Hello there! I'm here for Day 9 of the 12 Days of Reviewing challenge over on the forums! I actually read this story a long time ago, but apparently never reviewed way back then - how rude of me! I'm so glad I found my way back to it, but also kind of upset because as I continue to read, I remember how very much this story just broke my heart. But alas, I'm going to suck it up and review it anyway. Please ignore any bitter tone you find in this; I'm simply not over the fact that you've taken all my well-wishes for these four characters and stomped all over them. :-p
This is just such a crazy good story in the most upsetting way imaginable: because it could so easily be the truth. And the truth is just the worst sometimes.
This story upsets me the most on Harry's behalf, because Harry's life, for as long as he can remember, has never been easy or uncomplicated or wholly good. His parents die before he can even know them, the Dursley's stick him in a cupboard and treat him like dirt, and when he finally breaks away from them at age eleven, he finds an entire complicated world resting on his shoulders, relying on him to carry them forward. It's just so much nicer to think that he gets his happily ever after after everything he's gone through, but no. You have to be awful and throw out some way too potential truths about his relationships and not give him his happily ever after. I'm a little upset with you, but please understand that it's only because this story was so, so, so good.
Ron breaks my heart here. He's always felt inadequate and overshadowed and you've rehashed all of those insecurities through Hermione, who I would have hoped would actually be the one to make them go away! But then I feel badly for her as well, because she has gotten to the point where she doesn't even yell or fight anymore, she just tries to bury her unhappiness with Ron by making jokes out of the situations he gets her into!
I love the internal switch from Hermione's POV into Ginny's, where we see that Hermione is jealous of Ginny and her 'perfect' marriage with Harry (Harry, who thinks she's fat and reminds him of Mrs. Weasley these days), only to find out that Ginny is jealous of Hermione and the freedom she will soon acquire (of course, only for a fleeting moment, because Ginny is apparently going to be a negative Nancy whether she's with Harry or not)!
OH BUT WAIT! Now Hermione's changing her mind? And just when we've heard poor, sweet, young, innocent Rose accept and almost even wish for the divorce! Why must you toy with my emotions so??
It's like you took everybody's baggage that was so close to being stuffed away when the books ended and said 'Ha ha! Not so fast!' before dumping it right back on top of them. Do you feel good about yourself for doing this to your poor readers?? I just want them to be happy! Why would you do this to them? (I hope you understand that I'm just being dramatic and that I truly think you're fantastic! hahaha)
"Her words were unsure and low, but it doesn't matter how you say the word "divorce." It still sounds like "destruction."" - Great line. Your writing is just wonderful. It's so fluid and the transitions between different POV's is so smooth; you never lose your flow. I also love the small, seemingly arbitrary details that you have strewn about the story. It adds this layer of... normalcy, even though to me it's all so abnormal, these four falling apart the way they are! It's almost surreal reading this! Especially with this line: "She wondered, though, that her parents had been in Gryffindor. They never did anything brave." It's like they aren't even themselves anymore. It's so upsetting. I'm very upset.
Man, this whole story was just... phenomenal, really. Like, as much as I kind of really hate you for this, I can't deny how absolutely fantastic of a story it is, in every way. I feel like just curling up in the corner and crying for every character here. And for myself. And for you and your clearly non-existent heart.
I kid. Sort of. ;)