I'm so sad that it's over! I wish that you would have written another ten chapters, but I understand why you wont ;) And (other than being over) the story is perfect just the way it is.
The articles worked as a great way of summing things up. They reminded me a little bit about each of the previous chapters, and it also worked as great link to Petunia's story. I noticed that you wrote this chapter in third person. Maybe there is a special reason for this, but whatever it may be, it worked really well.
Dudley's family and Petunia's feelings towards her grandsons was very believable! I guess she'll spoil them the way she always spoiled Dudley, and that they can do nothing wrong in her eyes. Even though the part with the Dursleys is quite short, it paints a really clear picture of their lives at this time, which I really enjoyed to read. It didn't just tell us about the Dursleys, but a little bit about the Potters as well. I think that their Christmas card hinted that they have a really lovely family life (which is exactly was Harry deserved). Even though you only described them in a photo, it seemed like Harry and Lily shared a special bond that was so, so sweet! :')
It was very sad and very touching to see how much little Lily affected Petunia. This right here:
"And while others said the little girl was the spitting image of her mother and her Weasley uncles, while some claimed the little girl had her fatherís thoughtful frown and the rueful will of the Potters, Petunia Dursley looked at her and all she saw was Evans.
Evans in the quizzical tilt of her head. Evans in the softness of her hair. Evans in her thin face. Evans in her bright glow, emanating throughout the picture and warmly melting all that it touched."
It was such a perfect description of Petunia's feelings! And the little detail of their father teaching Petunia and Lily to leave a share of their tea for the angels... Petunia sticking to that tradition - Lily's share - was absolutely beautiful and I actually teared up when I read it. It served as both a perfectly discrete way of saying that she did mourn her sister and that she still missed her - I don't really see Petunia blurting it out, so it was perfect! - and as the perfect ending to a really, really well-written, beautiful, captivating and thoroughly moving story! You should be really proud over what you have accomplished here. I don't know if I can explain how much I loved this, and I really just want to thank you for writing it and sharing it. My favourite chapter was the one with Flitwick, but each one was really perfect, and even though they were seperate, they were still tied together in a way. I absolutely love The Girl From Slytherin, but I think it was this story that brought me to the conclusion that you are one of my top favourite authors on HPFF. Even though I'm sad that this one is over, I look forward to reading everything else that you'll write (especially The Girl from Slytherin!!). Keep up the wonderful work, and be very proud of yourself and your writing! :)
Author's Response: Hello again!!
I'm so sad this story is over too!! Who knows though, I feel like I might get more bursts of inspiration for it and add more chapters someday, but for now it feels nice to set it as Completed! :P
I'm glad you liked the articles!! Since this chapter jumps so far forward in time I thought they would be a good way to transition into Petunia. Also, she's really separate and probably would have been avoiding any news from the wizarding world. I think the seperation between Petunia's bit and the others was my motivation for writing it in third person, and also I just couldn't imagine writing her in first person, I don't think I understand her well enough! :P I actually wrote this chapter before writing Firenze, and it just felt natural to have it in 3rd and past tense, so I'm really glad that it worked and fit in with the rest of the chapters. Oh, and I wanted to mirror JKR's original style in writing the Dursleys a little, so hopefully that came across OK! :)
Aww, yeah I figured the Dursleys would spoil their grandsons even worse than Dudley, since they are such static and consistent characters in their stubbornness. It was important to me that Petunia was surrounded by more boys, too, to make her feelings for Lily even more relevant! I totally wanted Harry to have a lovely family life and really imagined him doting on his kids, especially Lily. He does deserve it! :) I'm so happy to hear you liked how the two families came across!
I'm so glad you liked that description! It was a bit of a redemptive moment for Petunia, and I think that while she never could warm to Harry, her affection for little Lily would show that she did mourn her sister while still retaining her selfish personality.
Thank you so, so much for all your lovely comments and support on this story!! I loved it, and your feedback and praise has really helped my confidence in it. I'm really honoured that you like these stories to much, and trust me when I say how it really does mean a lot to me!! :) So thank you!!!