I'M STARTING THIS IN A WORD DOC BEFORE YOU POST because the review box puts a lot of pressure on me and I don't want this to JUST be incoherent run-on ramblings. I HAVE THOUGHTS AND I'M GOING TO EXPRESS THEM ELOQUENTLY AND RATIONALLY!!!
Okay... so... let's start with: My automatic assumption with WIPs is that I'll never see them completed. I'm not sure why I thought this because you're generally pretty good with finishing the major WIPs you start. (I'm not counting Play, although maybe I should, because Play!!!). We'd just become friends, we were already writing fics because of each other (CONCSIGDHFGHD for one, Off-Kilter), and Jo had seen that one banner "We broke Hogwarts!!!" and wanted to see the story. So you wrote it. And... I don't know why I'm recapping this but I just remember thinking This will be great while it lasts. So as I'm sure you can imagine, this is a big deal. Well done. You did it. Two and a half years later, here we are, here you are more importantly, and you've won awards and acclaim and popularity, and I can't think of anyone who deserves it more for a story like this.
I mean, you know that this is not your typical Harry Potter Fan Fiction story. It's action/adventure bildungsroman with fluff and humor and romance and dead Scorpius and... everything you could possibly want in a story. And it's done so well, and you've grown so much... I think it's chapter 13, the one where Albus and Rose and Lucy and Fred explain to Bea that she demands too much and they kind of fight it out, that I told you I loved the most. You were afraid it was a little too angsty, that it was too much for Bea and for the story, but I think it was a real turning point for you as a writer and for the characters. You've grown so much, Gina, and it's so wonderful to constantly be impressed by what you do literally all the time (no matter how rough the first drafts may be, Bea tinkering with George Weasley cough). You work so hard and put so much thought into it and it truly shows. You think it's flaily in the beginning, and maybe it is, because I haven't gone back and reread it since the chapters were first posted, but from what I remember and I'm sure everyone else remembers too - it's a geniusly constructed, well-written, emotionally resonant story, and it means as much to its readers as it does to you.
I am RIDICULOUSLY jealous of you btw, because I couldn't pull this off, and I have a feeling a lot of people feel the same. I've been inspired by everything you write because I am at heart a covetous person, but I'll have you know that not once - not once! - have I tried to do anything approaching the scope or heart or inspiration of Capers. I am not 1. Creative enough 2. Smart enough 3. Dedicated enough to do anything like this. I am not capable. I love stories with the kind of heart this one has, and I can't recreate it or do something similar and I don't know why, but I don't want to try it. I don't want to try it because I could not do it nearly as well as you did Capers, and Bea and Scorpius and Fred and Anjali and Albus and the whole gang, the laughter and the tears and the explosions and cupcakes and this utterly perfect fairytale epilogue (I forgot this is supposed to comment on the actual epilogue, technically, probably). I could not do this, and I would not want to try, because you did it perfectly.
I've seen my HPFF friends complete their fair share of WIPs in ~my time~ (I am a dinosaur, so I need to clarify that) but I've never been so deeply invested in someone else's WIP, I've pretty much never cared so much about a fic - and again, I'm a dinosaur, so that might mean something. And I am 100% aware that I've made this review more about me than about you or the story or the characters but as long as it's about how you made me feel, it counts, too, right? I hope so. I'm not going back and changing this, I hate editing (edit: I DID HAVE TO EDIT BECAUSE THE REVIEW BOX DOES NOT LIKE WORD DOC APOSTROPHES), I could probably write something better than this wordvomit but I don't feel like it. This is from me to you:
Congratulations, I'm so proud of you, I love you, I love this, I'm so happy to say you're my friend, you're wonderful, this is wonderful, thank you for including me, thank you for giving all of us this amazing wonderful fic, this is probably too lo
(edit once in the review box: IT WASN'T TOO LONG!)
(... that's disappointing)
(I'm going to regret so much of this very soon)
Author's Response: So I don't have internet at home right now, but I kept the window with your review up so I can answer it. Lawd knows that this is going to take out a good half hour.
Our friendship began on a foundation of minor bribes and complete lack of faith in each other (ok, I really didn't think you'd finish 'Off-Kilter'), I wouldn't expect any less ♥ And Jooo, I always forget, unless I reread the beginning A/N, that she's the primary reason why Capers was written in the first place. Because she liked the tagline and that's it. Every other plunny from that time is still festering in the pit (etc. wasn't even one of those plunnies, snort). And now not knowing all these characters would be weird in the chills-down-the-spine way, like suddenly forgetting your family.
It's funny - the chapters that I struggle with most become my favorite ones in the end because I agonize over it for so long that it ends up being better edited. And Ch 11 is one of them (ze first angsty one). If you compare it to Ch 10, it's really /different/, and that's why I was initially wary. I had nothing to compare this new style to. Like the first time I wrote angst + humor, pure action, humor with a corpse in the room, /an ending and a new beginning/. I'm grateful for these chapters because the agonizing's where I learn. I agonize because I think I can do better, and I throw away first drafts and cherished scenes and start over. You're someone I go to when I'm doing all this, and you see all my worsts and frustration and doubt, but in the end, /you're right/. I can't be prouder of this fic and where I am now c:
and NIX NIX NIX ALL THAT YOU SAY OF YOU BEING UNABLE TO PULL THIS OFF. I'll only accept #3, because I am overly dedicated to things, but creativity and smarts is not it. Spend enough time on it, and I'll eventually think of something, but most of it is me feeling burnt out and ready to make more stalker jokes and food metaphors. I could never fathom of writing glossy evil like you do, and to me, I know I'm writing only what I know. I'm pulling from experiences left and right, and when those fail - tropes and other fiction. I'm still new to all this, in the grand scheme of things. Capers and etc are the two kinds of stories I wanted to write, and I'm always worried that one day I might run out of characters. But I can't fall into thinking like that, plain and simple.
By the time I got to the end of your review, I already realized that this was mostly a love letter and not a review, but I am always glad (more glad, even) for your emotions!!! because, I don't know we don't get to do this often and YOU'RE DEAR TO ME?? C: And I don't know, I feel like Albus beaming with pride with a Snitch in hand (and I did win Snitches, so). When I think about that adage about writing for 'one reader,' you are one of those one readers. And I also extra appreciate dinosaur gubby because now I'm imagining you with your own plethora of (HAPPY DINOSAUR NOISES) -insert rocking back and forth dinosaur gif-
nvr 4get this review ♥ ♥ ♥