Hello! This is a very late review and I apologise for that, So I'm going to leave you several reviews because you deserve them because I have been positively useless, but I always complete my promises :)
You are a very talented author, I always enjoy reading your work, you pull me straight into the story and when I get to the end, I always want more. I was very sad to see that this was only a one shot! Your prose, descriptions and the way you portray the characters is astoundingly brilliant. Every character seems real, you have a knack for writing canon characters and making them consistent with how they were portrayed in the book. It's never occ, which is something I love about your writing. Your Harry was perfect, he's matured as a father and you really showed that. I am so glad that Dudley was in this story, I am a firm believer that after the war, Harry and Dudley would still have a relationship and visit each other families. I loved your portrayal of Dudley, you showed that he had really grown up and matured from the bully he used to be. I always imagined him redeeming himself. You have a gift, I get quite jealous when reading your stories because you are beyond brilliant.
You've portrayed the family dynamics perfectly. I liked how the characters mingled together, it felt very real. Sometimes it can feel fake, but it wasn't the case with your story. I loved the idea that Harry gave Lily a puzzle, it showed that he hadn't forgot his Muggle years, if that makes sense. And then the puzzle seemed to be coming to life, a very clever idea that I enjoyed. This was a really fun story and I enjoyed reading it! Kreatcher was hilarious! He made me laugh quite a bit. I mean, he had a saucepan on his head! The image of it made me laugh! And Ginny being a bit drunk was so funny! I loved it! The ending to this story was perfect, really summed up the story and it was so funny. You are very good at comedy writing.
Thanks for this, I loved it :)
Author's Response: Keely! This made my day. And then it made the next day. And the next. I really need to be better about responding to reviews. :-/
Anyway, I'm really glad that you found this engaging. I really wasn't sure whether I could take a weird idea that hit me while I was working a puzzle with my kids and turn it into a meaningful story. I did my best to keep all of the characters in character, even though the situation tends to strain that a bit. I agree with you completely about Harry and Dudley. To different extents, Dudley and Harry were both victims of Vernon and Petunia's petty prejudices and lousy parenting technique. Naturally, it probably took Dudley many more years to realize that, but having children of your own tends to cast a very different light on the way you behaved as a child. That's why I tried to make Dudley's kids a lot like him.
I'm over-the-moon happy that the interactions between the characters felt right to you. I was worried about parts of it. Not so much Kreacher, mind you. I was thrilled with the way he came out from the get-go. But the others were a big concern.
This was a fun story to write and I really didn't have the greatest aspirations for it, so it's really awesome to hear that you liked it. Thanks so much for letting me know!