Review tag! :)
This is such an original beginning to a story, and I really liked it. First of all, I remember in the books when Harry was having his dreams infiltrated by Voldy, and Ginny reminded him that she knew exactly how that felt. I had, like Harry, completely forgotten about that ordeal, and a lot of the events of CoS. But this story does an amazing job of reminding me that Ginny went through this terrible horror and was almost killed herself, and there's no way that didn't have an impact on her even if she doesn't talk about it once. I'm so glad you're bringing attention to that.
Also, I like how this is set post-Hogwarts, but also when the kids have already been born. It's a really unique time period to work with, and very interesting to see how having a young family and kids relying on her will affect the way Ginny handles her nightmares. I felt like there was something symbolic in Ginny associating Voldy not necessarily with the monster he became, but with the Tom Riddle she met in the diary, and I wonder if she associated Voldy with Tom and was perhaps always a little afraid of him because of his influence over her when she was eleven, not only because of the destruction he could wreak on those she loved. There may be something symbolic in her marrying the man who killed Tom Riddle, even going a little deeper than simply Harry saving her life in the chamber. I never thought of Ginny all that much before in these terms, and your story has really gotten my mind working, which is a very good thing! :) I never really thought of Ginny as anything other than first a shy little girl and then a strong, feisty young woman, and it's great to see a more vulnerable and damaged side to her.
I wonder, since you mentioned mental illness in the AN, if this is going to be a feminist story as well and confront some gender roles and female "hysteria." Although I of course respect women who are stay at home mothers and think it's great if that's what you want, women being trapped into gender roles, female hysteria (thinking of the infamous Yellow Wallpaper here, and Bertha and Jane in 'Jane Eyre') is prominent in feminist literature. Ginny seems to be missing something in her life, though I can't quite pinpoint whether it's associated with having left her job and Quidditch, or her scars from the war and from Tom, or a bit of both. Either way, I'm excited to see how you will explore this issue further in the story. :)
I'm sorry if this review has been a bit rambly and not made much sense! :) But I really love where you're going here and hope to get a chance to come back and review the following chapters. :)
Author's Response: Wow, what a review! And it really deserved a response long before now. Sorry about that :)
I agree that it was surprising for me while reading the books to suddenly remember what Ginny went through. She was so casual about it that I had to believe it impacted her deeply, way more than she let on. I definitely wanted to explore that further and also take the opportunity to play with creative and dark themes in this story.
I love your train of thought regarding Ginny's thoughts about Tom and her choice of a husband in Harry. I agree that Tom would have been fearsome for her because of the way he courted her almost like a lover through his diary. She developed a childlike trust in him only to find it shattered and herself humiliated in front of her family and friends. I'm pleased to hear that you like being able to envision Ginny in a different light and to see her actually described as being pretty vulnerable.
I definitely have plans to confront that theme, though I won't go too far into them yet. I do think Ginny is in a sort of domestic haze that doesn't satisfy her the way it did her mother. She loves her family and yet she misses the freedom of her Quidditch career and generally being young--which is made all the more tragic considering that her childhood was basically stolen from her, even more so than some others who grew up in and survived the war. Augh, I'm rambling, but I've just become enamored with Ginny and I want everyone to give her a fair chance :)
Thanks so much for your really awesome review, and I hope to hear from you again!