Tagging you from Review Tag!
Ah, a story set in my absolute favorite era to read! Stories that start right after the Battle of Hogwarts are what got me into reading HPFF in the first place, and I always love reading authors' impressions of what happened in those first days after Tom Riddle died.
I love the solemn start that you got off to. The scene at Hogwarts Castle and all of the characters seemed appropriately subdued and sad for events set so soon after so many good people lost their lives. Some of the characters that you inserted and their behavior really helped to round out the scene. Every story set in this moment has Molly Weasley weeping over Fred, but this is the first time I've seen Xeno Lovegood running through the castle in search of Luna and I thought it was a nice touch. The mention of the poor girl whose face had been cursed off brought real gravity to your descriptions of the human cost of the battle. Andromeda showing up with little Teddy to learn the awful truth about Remus and Tonks was heart-breaking.
I'm not sure where you're heading with Harry in the long run, but there were things I liked and things I wasn't so wild about in this chapter. I really liked his inner thoughts: the guilt and sadness and the way that he kept second-guessing himself: "If only I'd been able to end this sooner..." That was Harry Potter to a T. I thought it a bit odd that Kingsley and McGonagall would have put him on the spot like that so soon after the end of the battle. The poor guy was totally wrecked at that point and I have a hard time imagining anyone asking him to give a speech. It isn't a huge thing, but it jumped out at me.
But then you brought Ginny and Harry together, and I was instantly filled with warm, fuzzy, happy feelings. Oh, how I love the two of them together. You cast aside the usual moment where she gets angry at him for leaving her behind when he ran off with Ron and Hermione to hunt horcruxes, but maybe you're just saving that for later.
Poor Hermione sort of got left on the outside looking in. It's kind of understandable, but I still felt badly for her. I hope Ron is able to come around and pick up the romance again soon. Neville's revelations about the way Augusta's attitude toward him changed was a nice touch. Poor guy went through a lot growing up. It's nice to see that she can appreciate him for it.
You're definitely bringing Percy into the fold at an early stage of the game, and I applaud you for that. All too often, Perce gets left out of these stories or glossed over at best. And the idea of Audrey fighting in the battle to the point where she's injured is a very different take on her character. I'm curious to see where you're taking her.
I loved the idea of Ginny being so close with the twins. It really gave George somebody to open up to, which doesn't always happen so early. She was very wise in her counsel to him.
I felt like your writing got off to a bit of a rough start and then you really hit your stride about a third of the way through the chapter. Sometimes it felt a little forced near the beginning, like you were trying to make things more metaphorical and flowery than you were really comfortable with. Then you relaxed and it all flowed a lot better for me. The only other thing I'd point out is that Hagrid's hut was destroyed during the battle, as far as I know.
You're off to a very interesting start here! Keep up the good work!
Author's Response: Well, first off, thank you for taking the time to leave such a long and detailed review! I really appreciate it :)
It's nice to hear that you liked this, and that the mood was fitting. Well, I can't imagine Mrs Weasley having any other reaction, so I guess that's why it's in every story. I'm glad you liked the part about Luna's father - I think his love for his daughter was evident in the Deathly Hallows, and I just wanted to show a snippet of that.
Yes, I definitely think that Harry is the kind of person who, even after all he's done, would feel guilty about not having been able to do it better. In my mind, he actually wanted to say something to everyone in there, but I do understand your point!
Actually, I don't think Ginny would be mad at him. She knew that he had to do it and why he didn't take her with him. Sure, it must have been hard for her, but I think she understands it.
Yeah, I felt bad for Hermione when I wrote this! But Ron has other things than romance on his mind right now. I'm glad that you're happy for Neville! So am I!
Percy is such an important character to me! I'm so happy to hear that you liked that :) I think that Fred's death will have a huge impact on him, and that it, combined with Audrey (who's actually quite likable in my story), helps him change to the better.
I'll try to read through the chapter again and see if I can make any changes to make the first part better. I was trying to paint a picture of the first hours after the battle, but I'll definitely take what you said into account and try to improve it.
Thank you so much for this wonderful and helpful review! I can't even tell you how much I appreciate it!! You are just awesome! :)