After I read this chapter, I sort of thought of it as the "aftermath" chapter to the combination of the attack on Rose and Al and Scorpius's violent release of frustration. I felt pretty sure that there were going to be consequences on both sides of the relationship. Both of them were forced -- in a pretty horrible way -- to come to terms with some things that they've been avoiding dealing with since the beginning of the story. It felt about right to have a chapter where they were able to take half a step back and retrench a bit.
I guess it made sense that Rose would be a little freaked out about finding Scorpius in her bed. And hurling a Stunner at his head... I guess we'll write that off to still being completely on tilt after her near abduction. Honestly, I love what you did with the whole interaction. Again -- and I think I comment on this in nearly every review -- the pacing was fantastic. You gave both of them time to get past their difficulties and come back to one another in a way that didn't feel rushed or contrived.
The numbness that had acted like a bubble around me had been peeled away and I was raw and open. I felt too much at once and the aching was unbearable. -- Oddly enough, that's one of the most healthy-sounding things Rose has said or thought in the story so far. She's put off dealing with all of this for far too long.
I'm really glad that he talked Rose into telling Harry about what happened. It's another important step in her healing process, I think. She needs to stop acting as though she's responsible somehow for what happened. She needs to stop feeling like the world isn't interested or isn't willing to do something about it.
I just noticed something interesting. Not sure whether this is on purpose or not, but here goes. If you take Stannous's first name and add in a few letters, it sure looks a lot like LEstRanGE. In fact, the four letters you'd need to add are the first four of his last name. And the surviving Lestranges are Draco's uncles. Curious...
So Harry... Harry was the one part of the chapter where I felt like you needed a little more work. I don't want this to sound too harsh, but he came off flat. Here he is, finding out that his favorite niece and goddaughter was nearly abducted, that there was a fire fight in her home involving another one of his nieces, his son and his son's best friend, that the man who tried to abduct her was the same man who actually abducted her once before and also that her abductor tortured her with a modified Unforgiveble Curse. Given all of that, I didn't think his reaction was nearly strong enough. He just acts sort of shocked, dumbfounded and confused. I would have expected lots of emotions: anger, hurt, sorrow and frustration to name a few. I would have expected him to pull Rose into a hug the way he probably did when she was little, to make sure that she knew that he wasn't going to rest until Stannous was admiring the walls of Azkaban from the inside. Also -- and this is not the biggest part of the problem, but it contributes -- his dialog felt very stiff and formal. No contractions and kind of wordy in places. This sentence stuck out in my mind: However, I will honor your wishes, as I encourage you to reconsider. I did like that Rose runs back to him for that hug, but I wouldn't have expected her to need to do that, since Harry should have been all over it.
So, Grimmauld Place. I love the canon setting! Can't wait to see what's shaking there.
I think this chapter was a great change of pace after the past two emotional bombshells. Beautifully written, no typos or other problems that I could see. Be back soon for the next!
Author's Response: Hi Dan,
I'm not sure if you read my review responses, but I'm going to act like you do - haha! I like to respond to all of them (then I get sad when my "unanswered reviews" is 0).
I'm going to respond to your cc first to get it out of the way. I thought about this. A lot. When I was writing it I thought about it a lot, too. I think that Harry is a lot less hot-tempered as an adult than he was in the books. He was a teenager, for one thing, had the weight of the world on his shoulders and was harboring a piece of Voldemort's soul. As he got older and took on the role as head of the auror department (I never know if I should capitalize that or not), he becam a lot more wise (for lack of a better word). I see him as almost Dumbledore-esque. To me, this is a natural result of him being seen (whether he wanted to be or not) as a leader in the wizarding world. People would seek him out for advice on all sorts of things. While I don't think he particularly enjoys all of that, I think that over time, he has come to embrace it. Also, we are seeing this from Rose's perspective and although she can see Harry's facial expressions, she doesn't know what is going through his mind. It is mentioned in a later chapter that Harry does indeed, have an emotional reaction to this. (I don't think I'm actually giving too much away by saying that). He is processing it AND putting on a brave front for Rose. Given all of that - and all the thinking I've done over this - I think I will be taking another look at that part of the chapter.
Whew! - now that that is out of the way...
Rose and Scorpius are going to take a few steps back after all of this. They were in the "everything is great, honeymoon, rainbows and hearts" stage of their relationship and this *bam* lands them right in the middle of reality. There is not a quick band-aid for this one.
Now about the interesting part of Stannous's name. Hmm. Well, uh.. perhaps I've noticed the same thing. All I'm gonna say.