Hello! I listened to this story over on HPPC, and just had to come review it over here as well!
First of all, I absolutely adore your writing style. The description is so vivid that I really get the feeling that I'm actually immersed in the story, experiencing everything the characters experience and feeling everything that they feel.
"His crystal blue eyes still pierced her soul, his laugh made the soft fuzz on her arms stand on end, and his thin, wane smile still turned the corners of her mouth."
I love this line, because it really shows how much Molly loves Arthur, even through a simple description of his appearance.
Another really excellent part of this story is just how realistic it is. Although part of it is due to your descriptions, everything in this story feels like it could definitely be happening in real life, as if I'm watching everything play out around me.
Molly's character is definitely my favourite. She's very true to canon, in that she's so loving that it takes over as her dominant personality trait. Even better, you build on this as it turns into a flaw as well, as she almost refuses to let the boys take Arthur's wand from him, because she loves him to the point that she's unwilling to accept that Arthur's condition is permanent and fatal. Throughout the entire story, her love for him is so clear in everything that she does, and I think that really shows Molly as a deep yet simplistic character, and I love it.
I really like what you added in there with the nurse at St. Mungo's, talking about the disease. The fact that neurological tissue can't be touched by magic seems really believable, as magic and electricity don't mix, and the brain has similar electrical activities. That little detail added so much to the story, and really gave it some backing to why Arthur's condition was incurable, even by magic.
I don't know exactly what experience you've had with people with Alzheimer's, but I'd assume you've definitely had some, as you capture the disease perfectly. This story, purely for that fact, was heart-wrenching to read, because, having worked at a nursing home before, I definitely have seen Alzheimer's much like this, and it brings back memories of talking with both the patients, and seeing just how much it affected them. Your description of the beauty of those short moments where Arthur's memory is working again really shows the dual nature of the disease.
The ending was so sad, and really tied up the whole of the story. The brief moment of Arthur remembering supplies that sliver of hope, but still reminds the reader that the disease doesn't reverse itself, and that they're on a downward spiral, and Molly is really having to come to terms with that.
"The man she’d loved for years was still there, hiding beneath the hardened exterior of a malignant, invasive disease."
This is definitely my favourite line, as it really shows the nature of the disease, and how it really creates a divided feeling, in that Molly loves these short moments of memory, but the suffering caused by the disease is so painful as well.
This was a beautiful and realistic one-shot, and you did an excellent job handling a very tricky subject.
-ShadowRose (Taylor) Report Review
Hi, Ash. I'm here to claim some bonus points in the Reviewing Battle, but I had always planned to review this story. I've read it a couple of times before, and honestly it was too hard to figure out what to say. I lost my great-grandmother, who I was very close with, to Alzheimer's Disease in December of 1985. She was a wonderful, lively woman who lived by herself well into her mid-80's. My cousins and I all loved her dearly. I'll never forget her final months, watching her sit in a chair and stare vacantly ahead. When the end came, I remember feeling relieved in a way. None of this really has anything to do with your story, but I just felt like saying it, so I hope you don't mind.
You did an amazing job of capturing the heart-breaking duality of watching a loved one slowly succumb to this awful disease. On the one hand, they're still alive, and for that you're thankful. They have their rare moments of lucidity, and those moments are priceless. Little things, like the surprise kisses and the way he calls her "Mollywobbles" when he's himself, were perfect touches in this story. On the other hand, living with stranger that you know and love is pure torture. Especially when they reach the stage where confusion leads them to act out and behave terribly toward the people who care most about them. Arthur's magical accidents illustrated exactly how difficult and even dangerous it can be to care for a loved one with advanced Alzheimer's.
Wow, I don't know how long I can go on with this review.
The conversation between Ron and Molly was eerily familiar to what my dad and his sisters went through with my grandmother. She was already in her early 60's when my great-grandmother started losing her faculties, but she was determined to take care of her. About 4 months before my great-grandmother passed, the rest of the family finally had to convince my grandmother to allow her to be put in a home. It took weeks of gradual conversations. You did a great job of capturing the difficulty that loved ones have accepting the reality caring for an Alzheimer's sufferer is beyond their abilities. But you did it in a really sensitive way. Or maybe I should say that Ron did it in a sensitive way. Regardless, the moment was as awful as it needed to be and no worse.
The scene where Ron and Harry come to take Arthur's wand away was the point where I was really starting to lose it. My great-grandmother begged and pleaded with everyone not to take her out of her home when she finally had to move in with my grandparents. To her, it represented her last vestige of self-reliance and self-determination. She was gone within a year after that. I felt so much for poor Arthur. To be so lost and confused and then have somebody tell you that they're taking away the one thing you've depended on for nearly your entire life... that was an awful moment.
Reading this story was hard, but also cathartic in a way. I relate so strongly to these characters, and following Molly and Ron through this terrible time in their lives helps a little when I try to settle my own memories of losing my great-grandmother. This was really lovely and I'm glad I finally managed to get at least some of my thoughts down for you. Until next time...Author's Response: Oh Dan :( This review was so heartbreaking to read, it truly was.
First of all, I'm sorry about your great grandmother, that's a horrible thing to have to watch, especially to someone you are close with. This story was based off my experiences with patients so I can't even begin to imagine the awful things that you must have went through.
I am having a hard time responding to this because I know it must have been awfully hard for you to write this review, so first and foremost I just want to say thank you for that. I feel like an awful person for what I've done to Arthur in this story, but I also feel like this is reality. It's the cold hard truth, not everything ends in fairytales like you want it to. To watch your loved one suffer, lose complete control, return to a state of almost infancy is just indescribable and such a difficult subject, I am humbled by the thought that I was even able to touch on the precipice of the pain.
The scene where Arthur loses his wand is the single reason I can't podcast this story. I have tried so many times and I end up crying every time. It is heart breaking to think about, much less read aloud.
so I guess what I'm saying is...I want to thank you for reading my story and I admire your courage to be able to write this review. I'm sorry this is such a crappy response, I don't know what to say...I just am sorry that life had to play this cruel trick on you and I hope the good memories of your great grandmother in her prime outweigh the ones toward the end. :) Report Review
I can't believe you have a Molly/Arthur and I hadn't reviewed it. I was sure I had, I know I read it back when you posted it cause I remember talking about it with you, but I looked through and don't see my name on the reviews so winning, I can review it now ;)
I like that you portrayed neurological disorders as uncurable by magic. I think it fits with canon, where they can try to make magical brain injuries better but can't just instantly fix them. And while I hate hate hate my darling Arthur having Alzheimer's, you certainly did a fantastic job writing about it. My grandfather had Alzheimer's for the last few years of his life, so I have seen it up close and personal.
Of course Arthur would want to take the Muggle meds. That's so him. But it's so sad to see him fading away, and Molly there with him suffering because he's gone but not gone. And the moments of lucidity will come less and less often (I feel like that's grammatically inexact, but you get me) until he's completely gone. And now I want to cry thinking about it. Poor Molly, she's just not able to keep up with this at her age, she needs help. Taking away his wand seems like a good idea, even if it is a hard thing for him.
Also I love the way Ron refers to Scorpius XD Made me laugh.
Ron's right that they shouldn't be home alone, it's too much for Molly to deal with. And ack, when Arthur describes Molly's pregnancy with Ron and says they're hoping for a girl. Awkward. Poor Ron.
If I can offer something here: his thin, wane smile It should be "wan", not "wane". :)
I'm never surprised to see a staffer write wonderfully. We get the best of the crop (and then shove them in the queue to read things that burn out their eyes, but that's beside the point). So I'm not surprised at how good this is. It's so very sad and poignant. *sigh* I wish there was a way to make Arthur better. But that would wreck the emotional point of the story. Yeah. Very well done!Author's Response: I thought you had read it too!
The fact that neurological disorders can't be cured is like my own personal little canon that I created for myself. To me, it makes sense. It was heartbreaking for me to do that to Arthur, but it's realistic and it's really something that a lot of people don't write about, but something a lot of people can identify with.
I still get really sad when I read it. I suck. :P
Thanks so much for stopping by to read this, though, I really truly appreciate it very much! Report Review
Oh Wow! Ash why have I not read something of yours before this?! This was just absolutely amazing and wonderful and so heartbreaking! I loved this so much and you did a great job with such a hard topic! It was so realistic and spot on that its just amazing. My heart was breaking for Molly with each passing sentence but none more so than when Arthur kept calling for her and not realizing that it was her. And poor Arthur and Ron. Gah to have to go and take your own fathers wand away because he is no longer stable enough to be able to keep it must have been absolutely heartbreaking for him and to have to witness his father breaking down, I can't even imagine. This oneshot does such a great job of making me remember how thankful I should be to have the life that I do and for being able to hold onto my memories. I really loved this piece and will be favoriting it as well! You did such a wonderful job tackling such a hard topic! Great Job!
~Slytherinchica08~Author's Response: I'm so glad you enjoyed this story :) It was really sad to write but it was important for me to portray the fragility of life and even how the couple that has the most love in their hearts for each other can crumble due to reality.
Thank you so much for reviewing! Report Review
I'm sad facing hardcore over here :(. I know you can't see it, but it's happening.
You did such an amazing portrayal of Alzheimer's in this, especially with the wand. It reminded me of when a person has their drivers license taken away. For the people that don't live in a massive metropolitan area and have to drive, their license is pretty much everything. Not as much as a wand would be, but still, it was an awesome parallel.
I loved through Molly's pain, she still had her patience. Insisting that it was her over and over instead of just agreeing with him would have just made things worse, and it was so sad but so well done!
I really liked the flashback to the healer's appointment, and was really impressed with the explanation you have. It felt perfect. Although I found myself wishing they could do something, anything :(. Bah. The children's insistence on taking Molly and Arthur in is both amazing and heart breaking. Most people wouldn't want to take their grown parents in who need a lot of care, but we know that Ron, any of the Weasleys, would do anything for them. But leaving the Burrow, Molly not having her kitchen, her clothes line outside... :(.
This was really beautifully written, m'dear. I'm so happy I stopped by!Author's Response: Thank you so much for reviewing my story! I know, I did warn you that it is super sad :( Poor Arthur and Molly!
I will admit that I actually get a little sad when I go back and read it, I don't know how I didn't cry when I wrote it! But I do think it's a good point, because of all the things that people with magic are capable of, you would want someone firing on all cylinders with their mental faculties completely intact in order to wield a wand.
As for the healer's thoughts, I mean, it makes sense to me. The way that neurons fire, the electrical impulses, all that. I mean, in real life sometimes the body can mend and heal that, but not easily, and not always. So I think that it would make sense to me that Magic would not be able to fully mimic the intricate workings of the nervous system. Especially in a degenerative condition. But there are other examples in the books, such as the Longbottoms and Lockhart, that suggest that different types of neurological insults, particularly magical in nature, are unable to be cured. I love exploring this and other different types of medical conditions that cannot be completely helped with magic.
When I was in college I did an interesting study on whether or not different age groups would be more inclined to put their parents in a nursing home in contrast to having them move in. An overwhelming majority of people in pretty much every age group preferred to have their parents move in with them as opposed to going into a nursing home, which is interesting given the intense financial burden as well as the added stress of day to day routines. I don't know that people of college age really took that piece into consideration. It's just very interesting I think. The Weasley's, in my opinion, would never let their parents go into a home for the aged, and I think that any one of them would be able to move in and help out. But it's definitely a sad thought to think that Molly might have to leave the Burrow, which is what she called home for so long.
Anyway, this is really long, whoops! Thank SO much for reading this story, I really do appreciate it! Report Review
Hey Ash :)
I've talked about Arthur and Molly in my reviews on Centrifuge, so I'm glad you made me come review this as well. This was so sad, I actually teared up a little (bear in mind it's 3am). I felt so bad for Molly, all she can do is answer his questions. I understand that, having a grandmother with Alzheimer's, not this advanced, however. It's frustrating and hard, yet necessary. You did an amazing job of showing that.
Arthur's reaction to having his wand taken was heartbreaking, it would be so confusing to be in that situation and not remember things, and be surrounded by strangers all the time. You've obviously either thought a lot about Arthur's feelings, or been around Alzheimer's patients, it shows here.
You make a good point about him being like a child with magic, it's very true, and sad. As awful as it was to see Harry and Ron take his wand, it was necessary, and that's part of what makes it so sad. It's all necessary, it's no one's fault, and no one can fix it. It just is.
Beautiful writing, as always.
(Slytherin)Author's Response: First off I love this story so much. I am so sorry I made you cry! Hahaha, er at least tear up. I think that this is one of the most heart breaking things that i've ever done in fanfiction and it's just so sad, but I really worked hard on it to make sure that it was really descriptive so you could feel like you were there.
thank you so much for reviewing Report Review
ShelbyBlack here for your review! Sorry for it being so late though!
This sensitive issue affecting Arthur and the repercussions it had on those that loved him, I think you handled it brilliantly. I see Arthur and Molly as the father and mother of Harry Potter, so it was quite heartbreaking to read them in this position. After everything they had been through, this would be their downfall, it's terribly sad and you done well at portraying them in this situation.
Your writing it flawless, the flow is perfect! (I could even see some of your physical therapy lingo throughout that, which made me smile.)
"Life is full of misery, loneliness and suffering - and it's all over much too soon." I believed you used this quote nicely, the way I saw it is that this represented this situation, naturally. While they lived through the misery, loneliness and suffering of many situations in their lives they always had each other to fall back on and that's what made this story even more heartbreaking. The lived wonderful lives, it's sad that they have to live through all these things again, life is all over too soon, but they lived and loved and that's was what was important. I think you can take this quote two ways, either the negative or the positive. I think amidst all the negative in this story you manage to still capture the love and the positive in the situation. Her love and courage out ways this ordeal, if Molly can't do it, who honestly could? But...that is what I got from this, maybe you were headed in the opposite direction. I think if you manage to get people to interpret their own meanings behind a story such as this, then you've done an amazing job! So to your final words...you have definitely made me think about life and the importance of living through all the bad and seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and to love and be loved in return.
Thank you so much for entering and for this amazing, lovely story!
xooAuthor's Response: Thanks for issuing such a great challenge! I had a ton of fun writing this, even though the subject matter is so sad.
I really honestly cannot help but use my PT lingo it's like ingrained in my mind!
Thanks for the kind words on my writing :)
I think Molly and Arthur really had amazing lives and to have it end this way is so sad but it was important to me to depict Molly loving her husband and sticking by him no matter what you know?
I'm glad that I made you think about the importance of life, and I'm glad you took the time to review my story! Report Review
Sad, but nicely done. i wrote a story recently dealing with something similar. it was Harry instead of Arthur in mine, but the effects were just as devastating. happy writing.Author's Response: Thank you very much, I'm glad you liked my story! Report Review
This is REALLY good missy! I don't know why you were so worried.
I can remember my grandmother thinking I was her niece so I really sympathize with Molly and I think if anything that is what I got out of this story, the lives of those who witness the deterioration.
I like that Ron is portrayed very strong. He really grows into a man during HP and I'm glad to see that is carried over into your piece. There was a funny part when Ron refers to Scorpius as that..with that…Malfoy…’
I was looking for the next chapter when I finished reading. I know when that happens it's really good!
Thank you for shout out. Let me know when I've got do your dirty work again, it was fun.
Bravo!!Author's Response: Well thanks DgR! :P
I think that Ron should be strong you know, I think he's mischaracterized a lot and that's sad. I think he's definitely a strong person and should be portrayed that way.
Thank you so much for reviewing Report Review
This was very good. A definite 10 out of 10. It made tears well up in my eyes. Very nicely done.Author's Response: Thank you so much for this review :) Report Review
I almost cried! My Great-Grandmother had been cursed with the same thing. It was very hard for our family to cope and she had the same tendencies that Arthur had in this. It is always hard to see the child become the parent but I think that Harry and Ron did it rather well. I loved the devotion of Molly in this. She is one of my favourite characters and you wrote her well. I can't wait to see where Centrifuge goes after reading this.
GinnyCAuthor's Response: I'm sorry, I know it's really sad but I really enjoyed writing this. I think the devotion of Molly was one of the most important things in the story. She was definitely a corner stone. I'm so glad that you enjoyed it, you've always been a great reviewer! Report Review
This is a well-written and, unfortunately, accurate depiction of Alzheimer's. Knowing what we know of the Weasleys it is a very sad picture, movingly depicted. Arthur and Molly are my favorite couple in the Harry Potter universe, and seeing them dealing with the disease is heartbreaking.
Not everything ends up happily ever after, even if you've done everything right and been on the good side of things. It is a cruel reality, regardless of whether the person is a Muggle or a Wizard. You've captured that perfectly.Author's Response: Thank you so much for reviewing. I think this is a realistic portrayal of something that might have actually happened because you're right, not everything can be idealistic and happy. It's definitely cruel, but thank you for your comments on my writing. I really appreciate it :) Report Review
Wow... Amazing Job Ash! This story is absolutely fantastic!
I especially like the coversation held between Molly and Arthur. The string of sentences that Arthur comes out with really makes the scene real. My Grandmother had Alzheimers and some of the things she said would be completely obscure and just out of nowhere... It was a real heart-skipper when she remembered who you were and you captured that beautifully. Fantastic job!
And thank you so much for using the banner I submitted :D it really means alot that you liked it enough to use it for your story.
Again, amazing job.Author's Response: Ah, you've brought up the string of sentences. Yes, that conversation was based off of a conversation I had with a resident of a nursing home while volunteering once. She kept talking about my mom and telling me weird stories that didn't make any sense so that's where that inspiration is from.
I'm sorry you had to go through that with your grandmother. Disease is so sad :( But thank you so much for your review, it really meant a lot! Report Review
This was heartbreaking in its honesty, and beautiful too. It deals with a really difficult topic with sensitivity but honesty as well.
I guess in my mind I have Molly and Arthur living forever, because they just can't die. Not those two - it feels like they've always been around, and I just picture them growing old together as the millions of little Weasley grandchildren grow up too.
But this is probably much closer to the truth, which seems sort of scary. Alzheimer's is frightening and draining and horrible, and I think you've done a really nice job here portraying that. Having to have Arthur's wand taken away really did make my heart break.
You've done an excellent job, and Molly's plight was heartbreaking. I know I keep saying that :P but it's really the only word I can think of at the moment to describe this. It also made me feel very lucky that my own grandmothers aren't affected by this... but I know one of my closest friend's grandfather was, and losing him was really hard on her.
Beautiful and sad one shot... and lovely writing.Author's Response: It was important to me to be honest about this topic because it's really not one that is discussed often and it's one that's so sensitive in nature. It's so easy to look at Molly and Arthur and think...they will live forever because they have already been through so much! But unfortunately that's just not the way things work in real life.
Thank you so much for your kind words about my writing, I appreciate it dearly. Report Review
Your story is excellent. You dealt with a difficult subject with honesty and compassion.Author's Response: Thank you very much for your review, I really appreciate it. Report Review
the story was very good, very real.Author's Response: Thank you very much for your review :) Report Review
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