Hello Mae! I've just finished reading Violet's entry and was excited to read yours next! It didn't disappoint! ^.^
I mentioned this already in the previous chapter, but I really like the idea you two came up with as far as the connection between these two pieces - and that was before I even recognized the fountain for what it was! What a great idea to have crafted this story around! It was really clever of you, too, because the James/Lily chapter now has me looking at it like a missing moment (and who doesn't love missing moment stories?), while this one here brings a really great sense of nostalgia along with it, both to the moment in the books when Hagrid gives Harry the picture, and to the previous chapter, where we see the moment come to life! Very clever of you both! :-D
I have to tell you that I am not generally a fan of Harry/Ginny. In fact, I'm not really a fan of Ginny at all! I'm going to set my bias aside, however, because... well that wouldn't be very fair of me if I didn't look at your story objectively, would it? :-p All of that said, I thought you made some really lovely remarks about their relationship in this story - so much so that I actually thought for a minute that perhaps they aren't so bad together... ;) This line here was exceptionally sweet: "Maybe it was the thought of how she had always been there, or the fact that she never saw him as Harry Potter, but just Harry." - Dawww. And while I think it could be argued that in the very beginning, Ginny's feelings for Harry were probably based more on his fame than on who he actually was as a person (strictly because she didn't know him at that point), it's still a really sweet sentiment, and I'm thoroughly on board with the idea that after she got over her terror of being in the same room as him, she did see him in this way, which is exactly the sort of thing Harry's always been partial to. It gives me a better idea of why J.K. Rowling created them for each other. You have swayed me at least a small amount. :-p
"He pocketed his wand in the back of his trousers, not keeping Mad-Eye's words in mind at the moment, and skipped down the stairs two at a time." - Bahaha! This line! I actually laughed out loud at the memory of Mad-Eye Moody's warning... Too funny.
I mentioned in Violet's entry about how I was hopeful that you would follow a similar structure to her story in regards to splitting the POV between your couple, and even though that's not what you ended up doing, I found myself really enjoying the entire story from Harry's perspective, regardless! I think that what's even more impressive about this is the fact that Harry is probably one the harder character's a person could attempt to write, simply because he's the POV we see 99% of the time in canon! So the feat of taking him on is definitely risky and a challenge, as we're all already so familiar with him, but I thought you handled him very well! The nervous pacing as he prepares himself to go downstairs to find Ginny, the search for reassurance as he looks to his parents photo, the tongue-tied attempt at a romantic speech - it all felt very authentic to me. A lot of people would butcher the attempt, but you managed to pull it off! Kudos to you, Mae!
"Her red hair was blowing in little wisps around her face, and her cheeks and nose were already starting to turn nearly as red." - There are some really delightful moments of seemingly arbitrary details that really take the quality of writing up a notch. This is one of my favorites. Simple, sweet, prettily written. OH AND THIS ONE TOO: "Every freckle was scrunched up and her brown eyes were shining, searching for answers he wasn't properly providing." :)
"Ginny, who was happy to see *harry (*Harry) hadn't offended her mum, smiled and nodded in agreement." - Love the earlier remark in this section about how no one turns down Molly's food. hehehe Too true. A very accurate representation of Molly, even with just the small glimpse we're given! ^.^
Your syntax in a few places is a little wonky, which makes a few of your sentences a little hard to understand the first time through, so should you ever go back and edit, I would take a look at certain spots and make sure they're clear and easy to understand! But that's it for constructive criticism!
I love the parallel's you drew between James/Lily and Harry/Ginny. Not just physically, either, but the very way in which Harry views Ginny is quite similar to the way James viewed Lily.
The ending was so cute! Gah! I really love that originally Harry wanted to say all of these things to Ginny, but the words wouldn't come out. It's something I can totally see the real Harry experiencing. He's definitely not one for big romantic gestures - I agree with you there - and so this simple, sweet proposal all felt very fitting. You've got me all smiles and I don't even like Harry/Ginny! Witchcraft, I tell you! ;)
Anyway, this story was all around just very sweet and cute and fluffy and adorable; the perfect one-shot for a Valentine's Day inspired challenge! It's clear that you and Violet worked well together, and congratulations on finishing this story on time! Can you believe you wrote this in less than 72 hours? You did a really good job with this story, Mae, and your collaboration with Violet is clear and precise. Excellent work, the both of you! Yay!
Author's Response: Thank you so much! I got to see a little bit if Violet's entry before she completely finished, so I was able to start planning my bit. I really wanted to use emotions between father and son as a common link, and some of the things she added was just so perfect I thought it'd be great to add over here! Like how James' mouth was tugged at the corner before he smiled, I wanted that to be how Harry smiles. When Lily introduces James the first time in her story, she goes: "'James,' she breathed." I wanted to recapture that moment completely with the way Ginny introduces Harry. The fountain was just the bonus of awesomeness we came up with. Missing moments, after all, are the best. Especially when you don't realize that's what you're reading!
YES! Thanks, though, I really wanted to make people like this couple as much as I always have. I didn't want to go over the top with them, because that would be a lie, so keeping it simple was the way to go. To show everyone just how I view their relationship and why it makes so much sense to me, so I'm glad you felt that way just a little bit. It was one of my ultimate goals in the beginning!
On her feelings in the beginning. She was so young, and he was so new to who he really was, that at the time, I doubt he realized why she was so shy and embarrassed around him all the time. And by the time she could really start falling in love with him, I'd imagine she loved him for just being himself. That's what Harry would see. So you're exactly right as to where I was going with that! And yay! You're a little swayed! I couldn't be happier!
The bit I got to read of Violet's story was before she added Lily's POV, and by the time I got to read it, I had an hour to finish, edit, and submit my own entry, and submit Violet's entry. As much as I would have liked to add a little bit of Ginny, I think I'm pretty happy with the turnout on just Harry's side. And I'm glad you thought so, too. After all, they were his parents, and we wanted the generational gap more than a boys feel and girls feel moment. Though I do hope Ginny's reactions were good enough to help convey exactly what was going through her mind! As for the rest if that huge wall of text, I'm too busy squeeing at just how amazing and nice you are! I was very nervous to take on Harry, and for you to say that - well, I'm on cloud nine right now! Just thank you so so much! You're amazing! Really!
Oops. Dumb phone. It doesn't recognize Harry as a proper noun half the time. Thanks for pointing that out! And I'm glad you like the detail added. It's normally one of my weaknesses, but I really tried to pick up things from Violet's style of writing so it wouldn't feel like you were reading two similar stories, but reading from one chapter to the next. So I took note on how descriptive she was and gave it a go!
Thanks for pointing that out! Though, maybe I'll have to wait a little bit (I'm still caught up in the glow of "OHMYGOODNESSWEFINISHEDASTORYIN72HOURSHOWAWESOME!" so I've read both entries several times haha). I'll stop reading it for now and go back to see what I come up with!
So the convincing has come to an even further development, yes? Absolute witchcraft it must be! Seriously though, that makes me so happy! I can't stop smiling right now! And here I am just happy I wrote something that makes sense and wasn't over-kill on Harry and Ginny getting engaged! Thank you!
Thank you so much for such a lovely, awesome, amazing, super fantabulous review! You're the best, I swear! 72 hours Haha a whole short story out of the way and here I'm just trying to update my own stories! This contest was such a blast, and it loved working with Violet the whole way through. She truly is amazing. Thank you for reading both entries, leaving such incredible reviews, and being awesome.