|Review:||Violet Gryfindor says:|
It's hard to think of what to say about this story or where to start saying something about it. I knew it would be amazing because you wrote it, but this is above and beyond what I expected. It's a powerful story, very affecting, with a lot of feeling behind it.
What you've done with Dudley... wow. I have tears in my eyes, not only from reading his speech, but from seeing the conflict going on within him as he gives it and how it sends him reeling afterward. He's aware of what he's doing, yet it's clear that he didn't think about what it would truly mean to do it, the kinds of things he'd have to reveal about himself, his family, and about Harry. He has to delve into a past that made them who they are, yet it's also a past they'd much rather forget. And you capture Dudley's experience with these conflicting thoughts and feelings brilliantly. By giving him a voice like this, you make him very human and sympathetic, even likable. You bring out his goodness and portray him in a way I've never thought possible.
Your portrayal of Harry is also excellently done. There aren't many who can write him as well as you do - he's difficult to recreate, but here he's humble and unassuming, all the things that Dudley described him as, all things that should be impossible based on Harry's upbringing. And I really like how Dudley is still overwhelmed and confused about how Harry turned out. At the end, Dudley is lost in more than the geographical sense - he spends the whole story feeling lost, perplexed, and out of place. I wonder how far this resonates into his life, how his own accomplishments must seem very small even though he was the one who grew up with everything while Harry had nothing. Harry has a bright future, but what does Dudley have? It's a thought-provoking ending, even uncomfortable because of the kind of thoughts it provokes. But that discomfort and lack of complete closure is what makes this story so striking. I love it when stories have that ability to affect readers in this way.
It's fantastic to see a new story from you as well as a hint on your author page that more might be forthcoming. It's been a great experience to read something of yours again - your writing has only become more amazing. :D
Author's Response: SUSAN! I have been avoiding answering this review because you are, as usual, far too kind and lovely!
Dudley is one of those loose ends at the end of the series, which gives us so much room to explore! That moment when he and Harry bond (in their strange way) for the first time when Dudley and his parents are leaving Privet Drive leaves so much room for Dudley's character to grow. I really hope this is how he turned out - not lost and somewhat self loathing, but at least aware that he was wrong and cruel. I like to think he would have found a way to apologize to Harry, but honestly I think he was probably too much like his father - proud and stubborn, and certain that he was right.
Anyways, all this to say that this story was a bit of a gamble in terms of characterisation and I'm really, really happy that you enjoyed it. I admire you so much, and respect your opinions and writing to the highest degree. You always make me feel really proud of my writing. Thank you, my dear! You are such a gem. xo.