Bet you didn't think I'd be here twice in one night, did you now? Sam strikes again!
But wait, this chapter was heart-breaking. Ginny must have died fairly young if Harry's only 64 and it seems to have been a while since her death. At least enough for the initial sharp grief to fade and the aching loneliness to set in. Poor, poor Harry.
The whole conversation was so sweet but simultaneously really sad. I think what added to that was not making it clear initially whether Ginny was actually there or not. I guessed she wasn't since she wasn't replying--Ginny doesn't strike me as someone who would just sit and listen, even in old age--but the ambiguity that you wrote it with was just perfect. It also made for a superb ending, with the gravestone.
Can I have Harry as a grandpa? He just seems like he's the coolest old man. Ok, that sounded weird, but I really think its true. Like he's sort of sentimental as he's talking to Ginny, but clearly he's still just as sharp as ever.
What's great about this is how much you managed to convey about Harry's life without just sort of listing information. By making it a conversation, you made learning all that about Harry's family so much more interesting.
I have to say, I really admire your ability to age Harry. He's an old man, but still so clearly Harry. Even after just two chapters, Harry feels so right. I think your writing style just really suits his character.
Also, this is such an original idea, having him be 64. I have yet to read another story where Harry is this old and still the main character!
Lastly, thank you for not making Harry bald. I don't think the world wants, needs, or could handle a bald Harry.
I certainly couldn't.
Author's Response: You're right, I did not think you'd strike twice in a night. Mostly because my chapters tend to be very long and it takes stamina to get through one, let alone two. Clearly, your reading and reviewing is in good shape. :)
Ginny was 59 when she died, not at all old for a witch. Harry's initial grief has passed, but as you can see he has a lot of lingering issues that he hasn't dealt with at all.
I decided to conceal the true nature of Harry's conversation for a while, and I'm glad that it made the effect stronger for you. For me, the imagine of poor Harry having a conversation with Ginny was not only sad, but it reinforced the idea that he's living in a state of denial in many ways. He never properly accepted her death, and every time he tries it nearly breaks him.
I think we would all love to have Harry as a grandparent, because he'd be an awesome one.
I'm really not a fan of stories that just dump information on the reader, so I'm glad you thought the delivery felt natural. As far as aging him, that was definitely the trickiest thing about this story. I had to try to keep these characters recognizable while also making them seem like realistic sixty-somethings.
I also haven't ever read another story where Harry's in this age range, which was a big part of why I decided to write it. It's an era of Harry's life where we get to see four generations of his family -- from Molly and Arthur right down to his grandchildren -- taking part in the story. Much more on this to come...
I never, ever thought of Harry as bald. The one time Aunt Petunia tried to cut his hair short, look at what happened!
Thanks so much for reading and reviewing!