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Review:nott theodore says:
I get so excited when I see that you've updated with another chapter of this story! This is fast becoming one of my favourite favourites (if that makes sense) of the stories on this site.

I love your characterisation of Emily so much - she just seems so real and believable. It would have been easy to write everything getting better for her once she realised that she had a problem and first went to see Heather, but that would never have happened in real life, so I'm pleased it doesn't here. Dealing with her problems is going to be a long uphill struggle, and she will experience setbacks. Her fear of admitting that in this chapter is so convincing.

I like your explanation for how McGonagall came to find Emily, because that was something I found myself wondering at the end of the last chapter. Even though you only gave us a few lines of description about Bitsy, it fitted exactly with what we know of house elves from the books.

One of the things I find so interesting about this story is the way that Emily acts so differently when she's with people her own age. I wonder if any of her new friends have even realised that she has a problem and is suffering as deeply as she does, although I'm glad that she has told McGonagall about it; she seems like a mentor to Emily and does really care about her.

As I was reading this, I was struck by how the lack of interaction with people her age must have been a huge contributing factor to her problems. Day in, day out, she spends time teaching children who were probably far too young to remember the war, or have experienced any of the same horrors. On the other hand, her colleagues have probably lived through both wars and are a lot better equipped to deal with what they have witnessed. Emily can't have had much company at all when she was on the run, but spending time with people her age seems to help her regain a hint of her former self; she shares grief with them as her generation was the one that was most heavily affected by the war. When she's with her friends they can forget about the war to some extent because they're all trying to move on with their lives.

I don't really think that the romance in this chapter was too much - if you think about it, Emily has spent so long without any of the close relationships she craves that any hint of it is bound to make her a bit giddy (I'm pretty sure the alcohol helped, too!).

I enjoyed the memory, too. They draw a real contrast between the person that Emily was at school before the war - to all intents and purposes, a normal teenage girl, thinking about boys and a leader of sorts amongst her friends - and the person that she is now, suffering from her experiences during the war and to some extent tortured by the fact she isn't the same person anymore. I'd like to see some more of what happened during the time that Emily was on the run in the memories too.

It's going to be interesting to see how you develop things from here, because there are some things that seem to help Emily and I wonder if she'll notice them as well. Obviously there's no quick cure, and like Heather told her, she'll get there eventually.

Even though you haven't provided us with much physical description of Emily, I can see her so clearly in my head, and you've really done an incredible job of making her a real character.

Sian :)

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