Oh Val, this was such a heart breaking chapter. I really loved how much of it revolved around Simon.
A while ago I was at the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC, and everything I saw there was just brought to the surface with this chapter. I wanted so badly for them to Disapparate. I knew they didn't obviously, but I still wanted it. And Simons's father's reasoning was actually really solid. It's just sad that know one realized what kind of place they were really going until it was too late. Like he said though, he is a French citizen. He fought for his country. Why would he be worried about them hurting him and his family? It's just so terrible how much was done to these people.
Can't Simon Disapparate from his camp into the girls and and find them and then take them away? I know I know, he would never be able to do it fast enough without the Nazis shooting him. But it's so terrible and ugh ;(.
Simon's mom being pregnant and the detail about his baby brother being born dead. You're trying to break my heart today, aren't you? Val, will you please get him and his sisters and mom out alive? Pretty please? I'll give you chocolate.
Your details are perfect for Simon's section. You don't make anything over the top. The simpleness of it all, the bowl of milk, the being woken up in such a crude way, it just highlights the kind of life they were living and the terrible one they were headed to.
I'm not sure what I think about Astrid being separated from the group. It does seem like, as long as false alibi plays out, she's safe. But I don't like her being there without the rest of them. I hope that she's able to stay safe here though, and maybe even get enjoyment out of being back at teaching.
A really sad, but lovely chapter, Val! I'm anxious for the next!
Author's Response: Hi Jami!
I really want them to Disapparate too, and I've been tempted to whisk Simon and his family out of there more than once, but I just can't. I'm not sure this makes sense, but I feel like I've got a moral duty towards the people who didn't survive, and for them I simply can't magically save Simon. I doubt this story will change anything in terms of collective memory of WW2, but I feel really guilty when I attempt to write a scene where all of them are saved. (If this reassures you, I'm also someone who finds the camps an absolute monstrosity, and this will play a part).
Phew, that was a bit long.
Also, Simon can't Disapparate because he doesn't have a wand. He dropped it immediately past the entrance gates, which is a very tightly guarded zone, so he can't go back to get it (yet).
I'm not trying to break your heart, I promise! As tempting as chocolate sounds, I'm afraid I'm going to kick you in the feels a few more times :(
Astrid being separated from the group probably isn't the best thing that could happen to her, but remember that she's a Veela. If anything, she can charm her way into things (and she's also quite a powerful witch).
Thank you for your lovely review, and sorry for the length of this reponse &hearts