Tagging you from Review Tag!
What an amazing journey this has been. First off, I want to congratulate you on your milestone. 64,000 words is quite an accomplishment and you've obviously stuck by Brienne and her friends for many years now. Very impressive all around.
I loved all of her recollections and the imagery that showed why the necklace meant so much to Brienne. You did a masterful job of laying it out in all of its splendor and mystery. The obvious question, of course, is how? How did her mother manage to have the necklace delivered to Brienne a year after her death. It sparked all sorts of questions in my mind, from the obvious to the most far-flung, such as the faint possibility that Brienne's mother could still be alive.
"It was as if she knew," Angelina uttered. -- My thoughts exactly.
You did a really good job of taking us through Brienne's exams. Even in the midst of it, you sneaked in some great little things that added to the plot, like Filch's Secrecy Sensor. Very clever touch! As she takes all of her O.W.L.s with this new development in the mystery of her mother's death weighing on her mind, I kept thinking back to poor Harry trying to complete his O.W.L.s with Umbridge's abuse and Voldemort's visions plaguing him. All in all, Brienne seemed to handle things much better.
Stanley Meadowes had some good advice for her, I suppose, but it seems like it was too late. If the necklace was cursed, it seems like either the curse would have activated or Filch would have noticed. Instead, it just serves to make life a little less pleasant for poor Brienne.
It was neat to imagine the Divination classroom being open and sunny and not filled with incense. Poor Trelawney must have laid an egg when she saw her classroom after the exams.
I felt the same oddness that Brienne seems to have felt when she was hit by the realization that her mother had been gone for a year. In a lot of ways, it seems like so much longer. She really has become part of the fabric of Fred and George's group of Gryffindor classmates.
I'm not sure what to make of her conversation with Paul. Seems to me like you're teasing us with another possible romantic interest for poor Brienne. That's a bit mean of you, she can't even keep her current love interest straight without having an awkward moment every other chapter. :p
The scene in the Owlery was worth the price of admission all by itself, though. Finally! Finally these two impossibly awkward people manage to put aside their social clumsiness and have a genuine moment. I thought it was great that Brienne was the one who initiated the kiss. She was absolutely correct in all of her reflections and you did a terrific job writing them. Poor George must have been incredibly confused after their awkward almost-kiss outside of the Common Room. She finally took control of the situation and put things right. Well, they felt right to me, anyway. So many happy feelings!
And for the first time in a year, Brienne felt a natural smile grow on her face, without laughter, not forced. She smiled because this was something that she didnít have to be afraid of. -- This, I think, was my favorite part of the whole chapter.
I thought your writing was fantastic in this chapter. Kudos on great editing!
I am really looking forward to seeing what you come up with for your sequel. This is a story that needs to be taken to its natural conclusion!
Author's Response: Hi! xD Wow, I think this has to be one of the nicest reviews I've ever had! Thank you so much! Having just had this chapter validated I was anxious about what people would think of several things xD
I never thought this would reach 64k xD That's mad. And yeah, I've been writing this on and off for about four and a half years, but puberty and exams sort of got in the way of that. I think if it hadn't then this would have been finished by now xD
I'm glad you think the exams had ample attention! I didn't want it to be overlooked as it so often was in the original HP books xD
I've had Paul in the back of my mind for a long time, and just wondering when would be a good time -- if any -- to introduce him. His intentions to me will slowly be revealed over time :) If you think I'm mean here, just you wait till you read the epilogue!
Oh, the Owlery xD I had the rest of the chapter written and edited, but this scene alone took me about a week, so I'm so glad you liked it! It needed to bring together the aspects of their relationship and of Brienne's life in one scene, plus make it feel like a pay-off for the readers having to wait so long for updates, so that was pretty difficult :p But thank you so much xD
The epilogue should be up in the next few days, and soon after, the sequel. Here we go again...
Thank you so much again!