So is it heaven or... heck? That's the 12+ phrasing, right? As a reader, I'll admit that I'm feeling a bit of both after that explosive ending. Is this a breakthrough or just another big tease? Your track record as the author of this fine piece of literature strongly suggests the latter. ಠ_ಠ
Turn the page, Gwen. You need to turn the page. -- Quite the contrast between the start of this chapter and the end, wouldn't you agree?
First off, however, I felt really bad for Gwen when she sees her father's picture in the paper. At the same time, though, I think there's something here that she needs to deal with and every time she comes face to face with it, I feel like she comes a tiny bit closer to the resolve she needs to take that step. James, of course, doesn't help matters any by immediately taking the paper from her and burning it. His overprotective nature is sort of a recurring theme in this chapter, isn't it?
A quick image of me confronting dad in his prison cell flashed through my mind, but I shoved it right back where it had come from. I would never do that, I could never do that. I wasn’t strong enough. -- I really hope she surprises herself at some point, because I think she needs it.
James has turned the flirting up a notch or two in this chapter, making me more and more suspicious that he came to some sort of epiphany about his relationship with Gwen while hiding out at Freddy's apartment after everything with Kat went down. I wouldn't be completely surprised if Freddy knows something about it and he's just hiding it because James begged him to. The git. See what you're doing, Hanna? You're even turning me against Freddy!
I hated it and loved it at the same time. -- I can totally relate!
I narrowed my eyes at him. "You're up to something." -- Well, at least Gwen and I are on the same page here. He's definitely up to something. Something that I suspect is really awesome. But will she be able to put aside years and years of suppressing her feelings? Yikes. No wonder he's treading so cautiously.
I like that you remembered that Gwen would be able to see the thestrals. It's a sad thing, but a nice touch.
I loved the little Gryffindor girl who's getting her heroine worship on with Gwen. I feel like that was a much-needed little kick of confidence for Gwen. Also, maybe it will help remind her that not all fans are evil, as James reminds her later.
I don't remember being fond of Alex in his last appearance, but I don't think he was this much of a jerk, either. He and James obviously bring out the worst in each other.
I really loved the tour through Hogwarts. You made me feel nostalgic and totally at home, which doesn't always happen in post-graduation stories like this. There were a lot of nice little touches in this section. The Hospital wing was our next stop, a very familiar place to every single one of us, I was sure. -- Yep, those are Quidditch players for you. Completely mental. Too bad she didn't get to stop by Hagrid's hut. That would have been a fun conversation. Hagrid is a pain to write, though, so I understand why you chose the better part of valor on that one. ;)
Aww, Kreacher is still employed at Hogwarts? If you've read much of my stuff, you know that I've always had a soft spot for the old elf. I hope we get to see him at some point in the next chapter.
And then it happens. Well, it is sort of a rolling train collision culminating in the Capital IT that happens at the end. Is it weird that I could sort of feel James getting his courage up as they huddled in the closet? Like he was trying to talk himself into it as much as he was trying to flirt with Gwen? And she makes some very good points to him, as well. I'm sure that his and Freddy's constant over-protectiveness really has squelched Gwen's love life to a great extent over the years.
Answer is still you…
Urgh! Shut up, brain!
But what do you answer to a question like that when you can't tell the truth? -- What, indeed. She's really in trouble by this point. There isn't much question what's about to happen. Either somebody's going to open the door of the closet and blow up yet another perfect moment or...
GAH! The big scaredy-cat finally kissed her! Yes! What a great moment. But...
But you're not just any romance writer. You're Hanna, the Destroyer of Dreams. Something bad is about to happen as a function of this. I know it. Somebody's going to open the closet door, camera in hand, and awkwardness is going to abound. It's going to cause a major tiff between Gwen and Joshua and she'll super-over-compensate by pushing James away and running off with Joshua. And then he'll probably spring his evil plan, whatever that is. Or maybe my imagination is just running away with me. Maybe.
This chapter was awesome. Awesome in that horrible way that you always torment us and keep us eagerly coming back. Bless you and curse you! Mostly bless, though. Until next time!
Author's Response: Actually, you could use the actual word here, I think. Because even though the story is rated Mature, the chapter tittles still have to be 12+ and I checked if it was okay to use it and it was. But maybe it's better to be sure, so this lovely review won't be deleted ^^
Haha, you know me so well d:
Yes, exactly! James is trying to do the right thing and protect Gwen from everything bad, but it is not necessarily the best thing he could do. But you're right, every little scene like that takes her closer to actually confronting the situation eventually. She definitely needs to.
Haha, you might be on the right tracks, that's all I'm saying d: But poor Freddy, don't hate him ^^
That is the question, isn't it? She has spent years making herself believe that James could never have more than platonic feelings towards her. So what will she do now? How will she react to this? I guess we'll have to wait for the next chapter to see d:
Yes, and I actually meant to expand that scene a little and describe the Thestrals more, but I might have forgotten. Bad writer...
That's because Gwen didn't give him a chance to be an ... towards James, she shooed him away and told him she'd handle it. But it is mentioned somewhere I think that he and James actually got into a fist fight, so that should suggest that they really do not get along d:
Aww, I'm glad you liked that! And there's still time to bring in Hagrid in the next chapter. I really want to do it, but I'm not sure if I can do him justice. We'll see.
Haha, you might be right again d:
Yes, he finally did it!
What, me? I don't know what you're talking about... I would never do such a thing (x
Thank you so much, dear!! I'll try to keep the tormenting as minimal as possible ^^ and write many, many chapters during the queue closure and keep you busy throughout the holidays (x