Hi! So sorry for being so late!
Okay, so I have a little checklist for the challenge, so why don't I start with that?
First, this fit the theme amazingly. I loved what you did with the song lyric and I absolutely love Ginny Weasley and I think she is one of the more well developed characters in all the literature that I've read. Next: grammar/spelling/typos! You not only wrote this magnificently, the only typo I could find was:
"You are Quidditch Captain, of course, and you find *your* calling out on the pitch as you lead your team to victory after victory." I think you just missed a 'self' at the end of 'your,' but other than that, it was flawless in that area.
It started strong and pulled me in, especially with you describing Ginny's handwriting at 11 years old spidery. I thought that was genius, considering you ended with describing her handwriting polished. It's such a small thing that I don't think I would have considered it any part of character development had I not read through this with a figurative fine-toothed comb! But it is such a big thing, showing the transition from slightly skittish first-year to mature, polished adult, and that was just amazing!
Everything was clear, concise, and coherent as well, and nothing was ambiguous or confusing, so great job on that! Your flow was impeccable. Although the time line was stretched, Ginny's age jumping years, the way you wrote it was masterful and everything bled into each other like those watercolours of sunsets. It was very nice and really helped draw me in.
Next on my checklist: did it evoke emotions? Yes. Yes it did. I loved how you started with a small and scared Ginny, because I wanted to wrap her in my arms and love her, then you transitioned to the indirect facts of Fred's death (your description of four and half brother - the half being George I assume - was simply heartbreaking), then to Ginny's thoughts of not wanting to let the war define her, which really made me think (I love to think so kudos!) about all the Wizarding War veterans who were asked to be aurors and who turned it down, such as Hermione. After that, you showed Ginny with the Harpies, and I loved how you showed why Ginny decided to go into journalism after Quidditch! Most chalk it up to her becoming pregnant with James, so this reason was mind-blowing and spectacularly fresh! I loved it. After that, the proposal was so cute, and the fact that she had to propose to him because he was stuttering too much seems very Ginny and I aw'd so much! Her tattoo and Harry's response was so cute and I gushed happiness, although I was sad to see that even then Ginny didn't believe him. The new Harpies manager made me mad, although Ginny's rebuttal was flawless and so awesome and is basically the epitome of Ginny Weasley awesomeness - great job on that, by the way, since your characterization was stunning! Then the ending made me so happy and I adored it, especially because I knew myself that Ginny was a lion-hearted girl, and even you hinted at that with saying that she ignored her victories and focused on her defeats. That part really hit me because isn't it true for a lot of people that you aspire to be something you don't realize you already are?
All in all, this was a great one-shot and I'm so glad that it is entered in my challenge and that I got the chance to read this and am now reviewing this because it truly is amazing. I should probably stop soon because this is getting to be the longest review I've ever written, but the gist of this lengthy review is: Amazing job! I loved this and how you used the challenge rules/guidelines successfully while making this superb!
Absolutely stunning job!
Author's Response: AH THANK YOU SO MUCH AND I APOLOGISE IF THIS RESPONSE IS RIDICULOUSLY INCOHERENT
Firstly, that's not a typo - 'find your calling' in the idiomatic sense of finding what you're "called to do" - as in "you've missed your calling" etc - but I can see how that could be confusing :)
I honestly don't know how to respond to everything else, you've been so lovely! I do love that you've picked up on those little details -I was very proud of the way the handwriting tied everything together and it's incredibly gratifying to know that someone else appreciates it. When I first started writing this, I didn't intend for it to span as many years as it did, but it seemed to fit and I enjoyed putting in my own 'headcanons' too much to stick to when she was seventeen. I always found the idea of Ginny switching careers because of pregnancy/necessity at odds with her character, and exploring the other possibilities behind it - and the passion she found for that second career - was one of my top priorities when writing her as a young woman.
I think it's easy to overlook exactly how the war, and everything that happened to her (not just her family, though that has an importance impossible to overstate) affected her and would have affected her perception of herself and her abilities, particularly the possession and subsequent loss of agency. It's subtle, but it's woven into the way she thinks for many years afterwards. I think it's also important to show that she is and always has been an incredibly strong character despite those doubts, and the two aren't mutually exclusive - she's not defined by what has happened to her - which of course fits into the reasoning behind her turning down the Auror job. It's a difficult balance to strike, acknowledging a character's experiences as potentially traumatic and very influential/formative, but also showing how they rise above those experiences to the point you sometimes forget what they've been through. I think that's Ginny's story in a nutshell, and if I've in any way done that story justice with this piece, then my work here is done.
Thank you so much for such a detailed and fantastic review, and for the challenge which inspired this!