Wow is all I can say for this chapter! I had my suspicions on what it might be about with the blood splattered chapter image, but what actually happened in it definitely caught me by surprise!
I really liked how you explored Roseís relationship with Ron in this chapter, as we havenít really heard much about her parents up until now. I didnít expect it to be so fraught and then you made it even more complex with the addition of James and Albus trying to her be her father, and the dreadful consequences that led to with the death of the Aurors.
One thing I picked up on in this chapter is Roseís feelings towards her family. Even though she supposedly cares for Hugo she still isnít afraid to manipulate him into leaving with him, and then the way she almost mocks Albus when he tries to help us. I really liked how you slowly unravelled Roseís twisted personality and it acted as a great prelude to what happened in the end.
Then using chess as a theme for the story was really great here. It hadnít really been mentioned in the previous two chapters but I liked the emphasis on it in this one because it almost acted a way of tying up lose and ending and showing that this was the finale. I suppose Rose views herself as the queen and it reminded me of the chess game in the Chamber of Secrets when the queen wielded all of the power.
Hugo really was a symbol of innocence in this chapter, or the entire story in fact. I was already feeling sorry for him for being dragged into Roseís deluded idea and when he was thinking of home and all his comforts I could sense how he didnít want to be there. Then the ending with him being killed by Montague, it was just horrible. He just seemed so naÔve and young to me and I felt as if he was a lamb being slaughtered as a sacrifice, and it was just horrible.
Then with Scorpius I had a feeling something monumental was about to happen with his feelings of discontent. I thought it was going to be something minor like him giving up on her and running away but I should have realised it wouldnít have been the case. After all, Romeo and Juliet never did things half-heartedly so neither would they.
Then the amount of foreshadowing you included while Rose was fetching Hugo left me on tenterhooks. Then when she came in and said the part about blood being thicker than water and what resulted after that I honestly thought she had gone insane. But like I said in the previous chapter, I liked how you still humanised her by showing this as a result of Hugoís death, so while it was still awful it was slightly more understandable.
Then the way you tied it up with the scene with Hermione and Albus I thought was perfect. It gave us a new perspective of the story and it was one which was more similar to our own as they observed what was going on like we had. There was a certain level of ambiguity about the ending too as you never fully revealed the full extent of Roseís crimes but I liked that.
Another brilliantly written story by you, and you work still continues to amaze me. I canít wait to read the next thing of yours! ♥
Author's Response: Kiana! You keep out-doing yourself with these reviews - thank you very much for taking the time to leave them and make them so detailed. I really appreciate it (and wish you the best on winning the Dobby)! :D
Saying "I'm glad" to have surprised you isn't strong enough. It's exactly the kind of response I wanted to evoke with this finale, not only because of the sheer violence of it, but also because of the way it changes the Romeo and Juliet story and the typical narrative of Scorose stories. There's a lot more to this chapter than its shock-value, though, and it's fantastic to see how much you've drawn out in regard to Rose's family. It became a far more important subject than I thought it would in the first chapter - she was always going to be close to Hugo, but her relationship to her parents and cousins grew into something complex and fascinating. There's still a lot more I could write about these characters, which is so strange for a story that, when I wrote the second part, seemed like it was going nowhere.
Rose has distanced herself from her parents - from her father's memory, though she still holds it dear, and her mother, who (Rose believed) cared more about her work than about her children. Rose clashes with Hermione because they're very much alike, except that Rose is more logical and less feeling - this last turned to apathy after her father's death, and everything that has happened since only encourages Rose's behaviour. It's one of those things where a character could have been "good" if only circumstances were different - Rose could have been a leader, but instead she crosses the line to manipulator; she could have used her skills to benefit others, but in seeing the world around her crumbling, she decides to use them to benefit just herself. She's the perfect chess player, manipulating the pieces and, once the battle is over, leaving the board behind, as though the pieces did not represent lives. I can't remember the name for the kind of person Rose becomes - she feels as though everything is hopeless and so she turns her back on it, not afraid to kill if it means achieving her escape. I've never written a character quite like her before, and it was a fascinating experience.
Hugo's fate was a painful one to write, and I resorted to Shakespearean methods to make it work - I just couldn't let it happen "on stage" because it would be too much. Like you said, he represents innocence - he's the only actually "good" character in this story, and it's sad that he's also the most powerless, completely passive, almost as though he has no mind of his own. In a tragedy, he's the character one regrets dying - like Ophelia, Lavinia, and Cordelia (he oddly takes the role of the young maiden in tragedy, whereas Rose is more like a Lady Macbeth).
You're right that Scorpius was not likely to actually run away with Rose - he had seen too much and, although he was still attracted to her, he was also afraid of her. If anything, he would have turned against his fellow schoolmates and gone to help the Potters and Hermione. I have no idea what he would have done about Rose, though. Would he have also reported her? Or would he have just let her go? It's a "what if" that I never thought about because I planned the end of this story long before I started writing - it was always going to end with Scorpius's death at Rose's hand.
I'm so pleased to hear that you liked how the ending turned out. It seemed right to conclude with the speech by the "Prince" - who in this case, turns into Hermione as Minister of Magic - and also to take the story off the tragic stage and back into a more realistic perspective (like there was in Act 1).
Thank you again for reading and reviewing this story! It means a lot that you enjoyed it. ^_^