|Review:||Violet Gryfindor says:|
I'm very tempted to make my review a very long "why?" followed by a million question marks. How else can I respond to this story? It's just so painful! There isn't anything more sad than taking a canon ship and portraying it at its inevitable end - no matter how many times they've fought and risked their lives, it would have to eventually come to this. It's what few authors write of, though, and those who did would rarely take the risk to show it in such a realistic, yet moving way. It's like the beginning of Up, where it's just life, and there's nothing one can do to prevent it from happening. You've done an excellent job in creating a sad story, and what stands out about it is that you achieved "sad" without stepping into "tragic" and outright angst fiction.
I really like your portrayal of Molly here, not only because it's perfectly canon, with her practical thoughts and brave independence, but you show how she doesn't give up, even in the face of adversity. She keeps going without losing heart, although at times it comes close. Molly and Arthur's story isn't yet finished, and she hasn't given up on him - she still has him, painful as it is that he doesn't remember. That's worse than his imminent death. The deathbed scene will be one-sided - his goodbye will be to someone who has cared for him, not to the wife he loved, and that hurts a lot. Molly and Arthur are a rare example of a successful long-term relationship in the series, and I think readers take it for granted that they'll always be around, even far into the next-gen era. That's another reason why your choice of characters for this challenge is perfect.
What stood out most were the little details, like the way that she almost laughs to think that he'll be arriving in a car, and the subtlety with which you refer to Fred. I also liked when her own mind drifts in the hospital while she avoids facing the truth - it's easier to think of the children's ward, of life in its early stages, than of Arthur's life at its end. It's excellent characterization and excellent writing. :D
The one sentence that I think could flow better is the first one. It took me a couple of times to get through it - I think it's still "grammatically correct", but the way that you've arranged the clauses isn't as clear as it could be. It's up to you, though - that's the only thing I can imagine critiquing here. Amazing work, all-round! I wish you the best with the challenge - this one should at least place, if not win!
Author's Response: Hello, I'm happy to see you here! :)
Ugh, the beginning of Up just totally gutted me, so for you to draw the comparison makes me think that the emotion came through okay here, hah. I couldn't bring myself to make this unequivocally tragic, like following it through to the deathbed scene. I really wanted to make it like Molly was tough right until the end, pressing on on behalf of her family. I even more wanted to emphasize that she's doing that in spite of her own failing health.
I had a similar thought--a lot of people do seem to assume, especially in next gen fanfiction, that Molly and Arthur will just always be there. Unfortunately, old age takes its toll on wizards and witches too, even if they get a few extra years on us Muggles. I've wanted to write Molly and Arthur for a while, and what I really wanted this to be about is her fear of losing the wealth of memories and love that she's come to hold in the Burrow, as she watches it all slip away from her husband. They are the sort of panicked thoughts I think a lot of people have concerning death--why does it have to end? Must I give all this up?
I'm happy to hear that you liked the details. Molly is really the storehouse for memories here, the true center of the Weasley family. It's great that you felt like all of that fit in well with her characterization, because she was very intimidating to tackle. I wanted to get her right and to make her seem relateable.
That first sentence gave me some trouble, and you're right, it's still not really where it should be. I'll have to go back when I get a second and tweak it a little more. Thanks :)
Thanks so much for your wonderful review!