I had a hankering to do one more review now that I've calmed down a bit. To get my own emotional ducks in a row, so to speak.
Now that we've lost our beloved Methuselah, what was it I read in another story and that is so true in real life as well ... attention must focus on those still with us.
I'm still a mess! I've been in mourning for 3 days and just like another reviewer I'm barely able to get my work done! Look what you've done to us ... bad Slide! Brilliant Slide!
Would that my stories have this much effect on readers!
I eagerly await the last chapter, more than ready for it now. I really, really want to see what becomes of the other kids. I figure everyone's starting to wake up even as our 4 are still reeling at the body of their friend ...
I have a hunch Nat's in a tiff of trouble with Hermione. I mean ... she "could" have forbidden them to go ...
You tell us Selena will be much changed through the sequel. Thank God that seems a hint that at least we'll still see her. I was afraid you'd have her disappear somewhere forever and never be ok again. Or, knowing you better now as a writer, will she be ok ... ?
The second most affected person will undoubtedly be Scorpius who was ready to sacrifice himself only to be stopped by Methy. Only the next chapter and the sequel will tell what this will do to him. He's already been through so much but oh how he's grown! So much of this story has been from his POV ... Oh, I so hope he doesn't go home to horrible Draco but you tell us we'll be meeting him so ... oh, I can't wait!
Will we meet Astoria, I wonder? Will he ever find out where she is and if she cares about her son?
And yes, you've made an exemplary leader of Albus. I hope he comes to realize his own value quite apart from his dad. He will need to if he's to make his contribution to solving the wider crisis which they now face.
I've a strong feeling your Albus is an even better leader than Harry was at his age, more able to empathize with others. I also feel now that his friendship with Scorpius benefits him as much as it has Scorp. They truly do have each other's back. And yes, he is indeed Scorpius's stability and will continue to be.
And Rose? I'm also getting the ironic impression her relationship with Scorpius will help to ground her in other ways. They will soar with each other emotionally as you say, but maybe too she will still be as competitive academically but definitely not as embattled.
So brilliant, truly brilliant that you could have this kind of an effect on readers. I actually had trouble sleeping the first night! Well, with the kind of writing you do, I know we'll see plenty more challenge coming with the sequel which again for the thousandth time I'm so grateful we're getting. Now I'm in the mood for as satisfying an ending to Ignite as is possible under the circumstances!
Author's Response: Emotional ducks do need lining up. Unfortunately, then I remembered that I think you shoot the ducks once you've got them lined up? Or is it more about mother duck leading her ducklings? Either it's a sweet turn of phrase or it leads to a shotgun. Worrisome.
I'm... glad?... that the story's affected you so? Actually, I am. I'm not going to lie. I love it when my readers are affected. I was a mess for the rest of the day when I wrote the chapter. And the days coming up to it when I wrestled with the alternatives.
Hermione is beginning, slowly, to accept that the 'kids' are about as much kids as she was at their age, with all the risk of danger and death that entailed. So there'll be some sort of fallout... but not yet.
I will NOT be disappearing Selena in the sequel. Her arc, how she responds to Methuselah's death, is arguably one of the most important to come. If nothing else, the only good part of character death as a writer is that I get to explore how everyone else handles it. I could hardly abandon Selena! Scorpius will, indeed, be a distant second; he's not going to forget how close it was almost the other way around, and that he was the last person to see Methuselah alive.
We'll see Draco soon, I promise. And - yeah, I'm prepared to slip this one: we will see Astoria in the sequel, and find out what's HER deal.
You're right: Albus is a better leader than Harry is, although he's far, far too cautious and passive by instinct. He is much better at inspiring people personally - Harry could be a symbol, but Albus could inspire people who never knew his name. With a bit of self-faith, acceptance of shouldering *decisions* himself, and willingness to take risks, he's liable to be the "in the thick of it" leader that Harry, running off and mostly dragged through situations against his will, ever was.
You're pretty much spot on with the dynamic on Rose and Scorpius. They balance each other out well - they ground one another, while giving warm reality and affection. As they flit around in their pressures and their fuss and their worry, they are solid ground and reassurance to one another - and the trust to push themselves.
Final chapter is in the queue and so should be here SOON. Thank you very much for the big input on this chapter, and the story in general, it's much appreciated! I hope you manage to sleep better from here on out. Methuselah will be missed.