Hey Dan! Iím here with your review.
I really liked how you incorporated the lesser written about next gen characters because it gave the story a really fresh and different feel. For example, Iíve never seen Roxie and Lily have a really closer relationship before but I really liked it here because it put Lilyís character in a nicer light which isnít often seen. Then the inclusion of Dudley and his children was really brilliant because I really love it when they appear in next gen stories because I really do believe that Dudley and Harry were good friends after the battle.
There were so many perfect little moments in this story I could spend all the review talking about them but I list a few here instead. The tension between Hermione and Molly over Kreacherís head was great, pin the tail on the Hippogriff was a genius party game invention, the small hint at Rose and Scorpius was perfect, the way Kreacher was still mumbling angrily were also really great too. You really do have a way with the inclusion of these tiny details like no other author has.
I think Harryís wanting to have the family at peace was really understandable and fitted in with his character really well. He never had a family before so the yearning to make them all get along now he has one worked really well. I felt really sorry for Dudley and Harry because fighting off all those jibe about his old bullying ways must have been hard. Though the way Dudley and Arthur sort of bonded over drills was really great. There seemed to be a bit of relief there in Harryís otherwise restless mind. I could really sense his anxiety and it was almost making me worried about how the party was going to continue, so there really is nothing to worry about with him because you wrote him really well!
Harryís final outburst about the puzzle and how no one could leave really had me chuckling though it might have been due to Ginnyís bizarre reaction to it :P The puzzle was a really good analogy for how if they canít figure that out they could never figure how to work as a family, and it was nice to see there was some resolution to it in the end. I just have to sit here and hope that for the Weasley/Potter/Dursley family all was well in the end!
Your writingís so great, I can only be nit-picky really! Here ĎďBut our portkey to Bangkok leaves at 3:00 AMí itís easy for the reader if you write three in the morning rather than numerically because words and numbers are in different parts of the brain so it takes longer to register and loses the flow and blah, blah, you get the picture :P Then here Ďnursing one of the muggle alesí we donít tend to say ale anymore, itís usually beer. Those two things I pointed out are only tiny ones so feel free to ignore them if you wish!
A great one-shot Dan!
Author's Response: Hi, Kiana!
I guess I could have set this during a birthday party for any of Harry's kids, but Lily seemed to work best for the story. She's more likely to humor her father's strange ideas and it allowed me to put James and Albus in more entertaining roles. The "moment" between her and Roxie just sort of flowed from that. I needed a situation that would leave Harry feeling pensive and give Ginny an opportunity to demonstrate her intoxication. Dudley was the last key piece of the puzzle, no pun intended. His presence really brings home the personal conflict for Harry.
The greatest thing about writing the story was the sort of wide-open canvas. If it could plausibly happen in the course of a ten-year-old's birthday party, it was fair game. To be honest, I cracked myself up a lot while I was writing this. That probably sounds bad, but it's the truth. I loved imagining Kreacher, in particular, grumping his way through the events.
As Harry grew older and had a family of his own, I always wondered whether he felt more of a connection to his mother's muggle roots. The muggle world was never especially kind to him, but that wasn't because there's anything inherently wrong with it. Vernon and Petunia were simply awful people. I'd like to think that Dudley eventually came to realize that his "weird" cousin wasn't all that bad. If Harry felt any relief over Dudley's saw, Arthur changed that soon enough. ;)
When I was writing Harry's outburst at the end, I was thinking of Clark Griswold in Christmas Vacation. Not sure whether you've ever seen that movie, but it's a great time of the year to watch it! I just imagined him being so worked up and afraid of failure that he sort of snapped and went into "dictator mode". Ginny, for her part, is very inebriated and not at all used to seeing this "take control" side of her husband. She finds it rather... irresistible. ;)
That's a good point on the time of the portkey. I usually write out numbers in my stories with a very few exceptions (years, Number 12 Grimmauld Place, etc.). Thanks for the Brit-pick on ale, too.
I'm really pleased that you liked it. It was loads of fun to write! Thanks!