I loved the beginning sentences again. It was heavily ironic how Albus didn't take after his namesake, "the bravest man Harry ever knew", and became a cowardly Slytherin. Nice parallels! Of course, then Albus had to go and ruin it by making it seem like he was better than Melinda all along and just was too cowardly to break up with her. It makes me feel so much more sympathy for Melinda because he was leading her on, but it makes me feel better that she was the one to get the final word in the end. Darn you, Albus. Just darn you.
But honestly how in the world did he grow up to have such a hatred of oddness when his own sister is named after the oddest girl of the century? Did he never experience Luna, who both his parents loved, as a child? What happened? Gah, you're too good. I don't normally have this many questions.
I liked how both Albus and Melinda turned away from love after their break up. However, where Melinda became free and happier, Albus tunred sour and cold and bitter. The connections are amazing.
I have to say that this chapter did not make me like Albus more. It made me want to slap him repeatedly, though. I would never put up with a controlling relationship like that and I'm sad Melinda didn't see it sooner.
Author's Response: Oh, you flatter me! I didn't even notice the parallels until you pointed them out!
Yes, I suppose that Snape gave up his life for love of a girl while Albus Severus shrank away from a girl he used to love so that he could find a new life. It all comes down to the fact that Albus and Melinda were together, and Snape never had his moment with Lily. Snape lost the most wonderful thing in his life and lived in regret until his death. Albus gave up the most wonderful thing in his life because she ceased to be wonderful to him. He changed, for better or for worse. He is a coward by nature because he's never actually had a real cause to stand up for--Snape had his undying guilt to turn him over to the good side, and Albus never really had that. So the difference is ironic, but not unnatural, really. (I hope this all makes sense!) Thank you for making me think about this parallel! That was awesome of you. :)
As for his hatred of oddness, well, there are all sorts of siblings in a family. Lily Luna was named after an odd woman, but does she take after her? Was this odd woman ever around in my version of the story? Even I don't know, unfortunately. It might be a good thing if I were to write other stories, showcasing Albus' friends and siblings in this alternate universe of their story, but I don't have anything planned, exactly. Now that I read your questions, however, my thoughts are racing with ideas. Perhaps this summer I can come up with something worth publishing? :)
But to answer in a more concrete fashion: Albus could have disliked Luna's oddness, even though his parents loved her. There's no accounting for taste, as they say, and maybe Albus is just one of those straight-laced, professional types.
OR... He was more open-minded at the beginning, and that's why he became interested in Melinda. As time passed and he met more professionals in the Ministry, he began to emulate their worldview and professionalism, but took it too far. He started to hold Melinda at arm's length because she wasn't professional like he was. (I think this is the best of all the possible explanations I can give you!!)
I'm glad that you want to slap Albus. He definitely deserves it!!!
Thank you so much for making me think! I hope I didn't bore you too very much! :)