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Reading Reviews for Schrodinger's Cat
  
30 Reviews Found

Review #1, by MrsJaydeMalfoy Anhedonia

5th May 2016:
Hi Kevin!! :D

I know I'm a little bit late with these hot seat reviews, but I just wanted to make sure I stopped by and at least left you a few reviews as my personal way of saying 'Thank you' for your contributions to the site. I can't tell you how much they are appreciated, nor how much your generosity has touched myself and every single one of the other staff members, as well.

I know it may have been more appropriate to start with your newest work, but honestly, I've been wanting to read this for a LONG time, since I saw it featured in the Dobbys, so when the opportunity arose, I couldn't NOT read this! And believe me, all the amazing things I've heard about this were proven right!

I'm just in awe right now... nearly speechless. This is one of the most original pieces I've ever read, in many ways. First off, you show an ending for Harry and Ginny that's NOT perfect and fairy-tale-ish, and although I really like them as a couple, this is a nice change; things don't always work out, and you've portrayed that wonderfully here.

Then there's the fact that you included Schrodinger's Cat itself, and Harry in an ordered therapy session to determine if he's still fit for duty because everyone thinks he's lost it. Harry's the 'hero' (or at least some form of strong 'savior' figure) in pretty much every story EVER. So to read here that he's struggling, to read that everyone's doubting him and thinks he's sick, is just... WHOA.

Your description here was awesome, I could clearly picture everything as it was happening, and though they were somewhat bittersweet, I really loved the flashbacks into Harry and Ginny's life together. And, speaking of the flashbacks, they flowed flawlessly with the current-day healer's office goings-on, so well done with that!

Reading that last dialogue between Harry and Ginny was heartbreaking, and you did a wonderful job of conveying Harry's almost inability to care or do anything to change it here - but then at the end, you can really feel his sadness that he thinks he can't come back from this - GREAT job with the emotions!

Honestly, this has left me with SO many questions, like WHY things just fell apart for Harry in that moment. I'd love to see a sequel or even prequel to this, that delves a little further into exactly what happened and why! (I'll beg if I have to!)

This was a FANTASTIC story, Kevin, and just so original and breath-taking. I'm SO glad I got a chance to read it, and it's going in my favorites right now. Well done!

Author's Response: Howdy Jayde! Let me start by apologizing for becoming the person I swore I'd never become. How far I have fallen from the dude who always answered reviews within a few days :(

Anyway, I want to also say thank you for this incredible review. The story honestly took an enormous amount out of me to write, which is weird maybe for FF I guess, but it did. I honestly don't know how long it was before I wrote anything new, but it was a good long while. A big part of that struggle was ending Harry/Ginny - which is, of course, my OTP. A bigger part was very personal, though not at all directly in the same way. Some of that, over time, makes it a challenge to respond coherently, which I know I'm not doing at the moment, but that's the explanation for that :P

One of the things I definitely wanted to do aside from sinking the ship was to turn some of the couple's and particularly Harry's strengths into weaknesses in the piece. Though that's getting into causes - which are notoriously hard to attribute in the end of relationships - but it's something I thought about.

It's really gratifying to hear that you thought the descriptions were strong too because it's honestly the thing I think I'm worst at. I've been getting dialogue-y these days and a bit too spartan otherwise so it's nice to get good feedback on description and remember (hopefully) how to get back to painting a better picture amid everything else.

Thanks so much for the incredible words, Jayde. I hope you're doing great.


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Review #2, by flourishandblottslover Anhedonia

4th May 2016:
I'm wondering, if the question is the tipping point, why did it tip towards dead, rather than alive? Doesnthat mean there were already factors that were leaning in that direction?

Author's Response: Well, first let me thank you for your time reading and reviewing! I'm sorry it's taken so long to respond, but alas - events have conspired against me.

Neither love nor humans are as neat as a thought experiment are they? However, the idea is a measurement taken in a moment. Theoretically it could go in either direction and I think that's honestly true of Harry and Ginny when the trouble starts. Unfortunately for them, when the issue is raised, Harry's mind tracks negative rather than positive and sets events in motion. I have been pondering for some time a companion piece however where it flips the opposite way and who knows - your review may have been the inspiration to write it!


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Review #3, by FireOpalQueen Anhedonia

2nd May 2016:
Hello, Kevin!

I hope you like it in your hot seat, because I’m here to give you a hot seat review! This is a great opportunity for me to get reviewing more, and also to do at least something related to the fundraiser (as I couldn’t afford to donate, and was too busy during the campaign to participate in some other way). Especially as this gives me an opportunity to review this story, which I’ve been thinking about a lot ever since I first read it. That was as a part of my mad dash through (most of) the Dobby nominations, and back then I liked it, but I didn’t expect it would stay with me the way it has. Your description of this slow, and yet instant, death of love has really haunted me over the month since I last read this story.

I’m in a pretty long term relationship and I can definitely see myself in the whole ‘is it still love or is it just routine’ question that the story deals with and you mention in your Author’s Note. I actually think this is a question one should ask oneself every now and again, as a way to actually keep the love alive. Maybe if Harry had thought about it before Hermione asked her question, he could have started ‘fighting’ earlier and actually won...?

One thing I didn’t pick up on in my quick Dobby-read through, but really appreciated on re-read, was Harry hyper focus on the Healer’s hair in the beginning, and how you describe it similar to Ginny’s without making the comparison explicit. Very subtle work that sets the tone for the whole story (and maybe hints at Harry not being so over Ginny as he thought, especially together with the last line of the story).

I also generally like the focus on what’s happening in the moment during the ‘interrogation’, little things like glances and scratching at chins gives life to the situation, and also conveys Harry’s discomfort with the situation in an, again, pretty subtle way. Together with the Healer paying such close attention to Harry, too, it gives the whole scene a sense of two master chess players scrutinising each other. Like in this passage, which are my favourite lines from the story:

“She looks perturbed.


‘It was interesting.’


She looks intrigued.”

The interweaving of this… Healer session?… and the flashbacks also works really well

Overall you write Harry incredibly well – the right amount of sassiness, the tendency to get frustrated when people don’t understand him immediately,

Actually, you write Hermione and Ginny – and their respective dynamics with Harry – really well too. Generally your dialogue writing is superb – it reads like real people talking, while still being easy to follow.

You also do wistfulness very well in this story, just like in ‘Meant for Two’. Maybe it’s a specialty of yours, or maybe I’m just drawn to that kind of story… The whole story aches with it, in Harry’s preoccupation with trying to save him and Ginny, which seems to still be present, even after the divorce. I mentioned the last line above, and it really does pack a punch, and puts the whole rest of the story into question. Did Harry’s love for Ginny really just die and he just wishes it hadn’t, or is it somehow still there, hidden away, possible to get back if he just finds the right thing to do, the way to prove the experiment wrong?

My only real gripe is with the Author’s Note at the end. I don’t think this was your intent, but in it you sorta present one interpretation of the story as the ‘correct’ one, when you say “the reality is supposed to have been more a hybrid of the proposed reasons that are given by others at the end”. It kinda forces a reading where Harry is all wrong about his own inner life – even though he seems a lot more self aware than he was as a teenager. It does of course make a lot of sense for Harry to struggle with (a pretty low key) depression, and the whole ‘slow death of love’ thing that I talked about above also obviously plays a part, whatever Harry says about it happening in an instant, but I still think what Harry says makes sense as more than a way to diagnose what’s ‘really’ going on, and I think saying otherwise takes away a little from the uncertainty of the story (which otherwise really fits with the quantum physics theme – maybe what I’m saying is that the Author’s Note unnecessarily opens the cat box in the end, when it should remain closed?).

(Oh, and two another, super minor things: In birthday party scene, Harry mentions Ginny and Hannah cleaning up after dinner, and you write ‘I’d offered of course’ – I wonder if this should be ‘I’d offered to help, of course’? Or does it work on its own as a phrase I’ve just never happened to come across before?

And then, in the scene where Ginny’s come home from grocery shopping, it says “She spun I away” instead of “She spun away”.)

Anyway, this story really is a treat that just keeps giving, and I’m sure I’ll come back to it again. : D

/Kapa

Author's Response: Sorry I've taken so long to get back to you on this AMAZING review, Kapa!

I will start with the end, where I think you rightly struck the nail on the head with the A/N...I actually have toyed for a long time with doing away with them in my stories other than as thanks and possibly previews as I think one of the great parts of stories is the ability for readers to interpret them in their own way, giving them different lives and creating lively debate (sometimes) in the process. I'll probably edit that part later when I come around (at some point) to editing the many flaws lying around my fics, but I thank you for pointing it out.

You raise a good point about the relevance in a practical example of the timing of the observation and its starting point. While I don't know that it's always possible in a relationship to necessarily notice before you've slipped past a "point of no return" in terms of viability (especially in a long-term relationship or marriage, when often there is much more incentive to keep it together and often there are many more "distractions" from regular if not frequent introspection, but the point is well taken and maybe the outcome would have been different.

Interestingly, I think you're the FIRST PERSON to point out Harry's fixation on the Healer's hair. Obviously it was deliberate and you are absolutely correct that despite his decision and the divorce, Harry is NOT "over" Ginny no matter how much he pretends to be capable of simply dismissing it (especially on previous occasions).

I really appreciate all your comments and your positive feedback about the tone and the dialogue. With the former I think, for better or worse, a lot of it comes easily to me due to personal experience, but with the latter it feels GREAT to hear that the conversations sound authentic AND easy to follow. I actually try to write my dialogue a little in the style of Aaron Sorkin in that way with plenty of tag-less back-and-forth, though I try to ease off the rapid-fire and it's much slower (for obvious reasons) in this piece because I think it achieves that authenticity and so I'll try to look to this for inspiration as a success story in that regard for future stuff!

Thanks so much again! I truly appreciate your very thoughtful, incredibly detailed feedback!


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Review #4, by SPJaymo117 Anhedonia

29th February 2016:
Heavy. Hit me right in the chest. I think anyone who's ever been in a long term relationship has felt something similar to this at one point or another. Intense dislike/ambivalence towards the other person while also loving them. You captured the emotions really well... I loved the simplicity in each sentence that managed to capture complexity. Beautiful

Author's Response: Thanks so much for your kind words. Writing this story definitely required me to relive a lot of pain so it's always gratifying to hear that it came across as real and genuine.

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Review #5, by Carlotaaa2 Anhedonia

5th January 2016:
I think this story was wonderfully heartbreaking! Yes, I know that doesn't make sense. But... For me it does. It is really well written, and I think the analogy was perfect. Thank you for this.

Author's Response: Thanks so much for the kind feedback! I'm glad you enjoyed the story!

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Review #6, by Bardic Magic Anhedonia

3rd December 2015:
Kevin,
Excellent read! What a way to link two concepts...the title (a physics concept) and the chapter(a psychological disorder). I'm glad I paid attention and read the story title and chapter title before I read the story because those two concepts were at the forefront of my thoughts as I read.
It was an artful and accurate description of the pain (and lack thereof) of the end of something that used to be so fulfilling and rich and then...isn't. I can say that because I am divorced myself and, much like Harry, the loss of joy (or any emotion connected with "her",frankly) was sudden and unexpected.
Your writing is so very natural. It flows so effortlessly with minimal words and without all of that unnecessary "muckiness". I know it only looks easy but, once again, fantastic job! Congrats on the Dobby...it's well deserved!

Author's Response: Howdy Kevin!

Thanks very much for the kind words and for taking the time to R&R at all! As it happens I'm divorced as well, and while the facts and mechanics are VERY different from what transpired in this story, it was nevertheless a huge hurdle to force myself to wade back into all those negative emotions and past struggles that I needed to tap into to get this story right.

I'm glad you enjoyed the piece! Thanks again for the R&R!


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Review #7, by Mice G Anhedonia

3rd December 2015:
$&@#! That was a great read! I'm trained in physics and I thought you did the analogy well, although I certainly had never thought of the thought experiment in an emotional psychological sense (mind blown slightly, may never thPink of it the same).

I loved loved loved this. Because so much of what I read is over the top drama that seems so fabricated and falls flat. But this wasn't just a clever idea- it was supremely well executed too. I've been reading and enjoying Hemingway lately, and I never liked him much before, but now I appreciate the genius in sparse writing. How it makes your readers work harder to figure out what's going on. It's just like observing real life- nobody explains what's going on, you have to figure it out yourself! Anyway, would love to read more of your stuff as I like this sparse style. Wish to hell I could write like that. It looks so damn easy to the eye, but then you sit down to write and all this crap comes out... At least that's what happens to me. And then I edit and it still looks weird.

I liked the way you described the scenes from memory- the birthday dinner and quiet moment with Hermione, the beach scene. They have a nostalgic tinge that is nevertheless sharp as a photo to the reader. I can picture the sunset exactly and feel the lull before the surprise. I can almost taste the nostalgia, which is hard to create since obviously I have no emotional ties to these scenes. And it's the nostalgia that screams angst ...yet so quietly

The dialogue was realistic without being predictable. Not an easy feat, although you make it look effortless. As many people said, though understated (perhaps because), the story really killed me. I was just thinking that people don't seem to write Harry much because we know so much of his thought processes from the books and it's fun to explore lesser known/developed characters. And then divorce is such a huge thing to write about. Sorry this is incoherent, it's very late. The ending line hit the nail on the coffin of my heart. And maybe it's the physicist in me, but the contrast between a heartless emotionless experiment and the huge emotional catastrophe of divorce only emphasized the ending more for me. I can't tell you how many times the whole mixed entangled state thing has come up in my classes and I have never once thought, well too bad the electron spin is plus 1/2 x, I wish we could run it again and get negative 1/2 x. Never. It's as passionless as rolling a di you have no bets on. To us scientists, it's just a measurement, but to Harry and Ginny, it's everything. Not unlike the dispassionate psychologist and Harry.

Okay I apologize if I repeated a lot of what other people said in reviews. I did see that someone mentioned not having much constructive criticism to give. Well that is understandable. It is a short story that seems perfectly crafted on a first read. I've been reading short stories from the Norton Anthology and it occurred to me although this is a one-shot, this would be an amazing short story. It has that open-ended feel with the kick at the end, know what I mean? Like how we don't really know why Harry divorced Ginny, maybe he doesn't either? And that is so realistic too. I still don't understand what happened in some of my relationships- there's a part that makes sense (growing apart) and then there's a part that defies logic. I guess if falling in love has an irrational component so must falling out of love.

Okay, here's some constructive feedback, but take it or leave it. You're already a good writer and I am not, so yeah.

I suppose if I were super hypercritical I would say the psychologist was a bit stereotyped, but I didn't think that was a big issue and of course, I don't know what the alternative would be. Perhaps she could be gentler and that would be more realistic? Or the idea that Harry is getting checked out regularly and resents it seems a bit taken from a movie or something. I understand the need for the psych eval, but thought it could be approached with more subtlety as you did the other scenes. But now I realize that if they are concerned about PTSD, it makes sense that an auror would need a psych eval periodically. Still it seems that PTSD would have more crazy symptoms ( again, not a psychologist myself) and a divorce would not likely trigger a psych eval, especially regular frequent ones. But again, I love the ambiguity of mentioning Bill and an unnamed muggle malady of the mind.. It's the maddening but beautiful open-endedness of the short story format once again causing the reader to circle back for clues and think over and over about the unsolvable mystery. Good stories make you think and I will be thinking about this one for some time.

Oh lastly, I love the line "since the war, there hasn't been a person I wasn't able to save." because it reminds me of Hermione accusing Harry of having a "saving people thing" before he rushes off erroneously to save Sirius. And so Harry trying to save his marriage is just another aspect of his need to save people, only in this case, he cannot be the hero because there is no one to fight except perhaps himself.

Thank you for writing this, it made my day. I had a horrid day, (actually week, month, year, but thats another story) and just wanted something good to read. Needed something to distract me from my own pain- enter fictional pain! Had seen it a few times and meant to click, but sometimes people really botch up physics in stories and it's annoying(ahem the movie Interstellar) because it seems avoidable. but you did a fantastic job and blew me away. Keep up the good work and if you are publishing original work somewhere else, do note it on your page and don't disappear off the planet like other good authors here sometimes do (padfoot4ever, I'm looking at you!). I'd love to read more and I'm sure I'm not the only one.

Good luck and thanks!

Author's Response: Howdy! My apologies for taking so long to respond to your incredibly thoughtful, detailed, and kind review. Normally I try to respond within 24 hours, but I've gotten behind the eight ball the end of this year and I'm trying to catch up now.

First off, one of my greatest fears in publishing this piece at all (or at least under this title) was that someone like you would come along as a reader and think "you know, this titular metaphor doesn't really work." I am not a hard scientist by any stretch of the imagination, but I have always been fascinated by Schrodinger's Cat and other thought experiments and it's INCREDIBLY gratifying to know that you felt it worked.

Then the next bit that just about sent me over the edge was the Hemingway comparison. While I'm not as big a fan of his novels, I'm a huge fan of his short stories and though I don't consider him someone I really model myself after, I certainly admire his minimalist approach to language having always eschewed bulkier, more flowery or showy phrasing myself and so...I'm just honored and blown away.

As far as the psychotherapy aspect, I certainly agree that the treatment is fairly stereotypical. For me, it was something of a necessary evil as I wanted the psychologist to come of rather clinical to try and help reinforce the relatively cold, placid tone of the piece as a whole (and particularly Harry within it). You're obviously spot on about the frequency and bases for the evaluations too, though there I tried to make it as transparent as I could that this was less strictly "necessary" and more Hermione meddling using her powers as Minister, which I don't think she'd be above doing if she had a concern about Harry's well-being or decisions (even in not work-related).

I will try not to disappear and though I'm not writing any OF at the moment I'll be sure to let folks know if that changes (though I'm limited in my ability to link or anything like that outside the forums here because I have to comply with this site's TOS).

Thank you so much again for this incredible review. It made my day reading it the first time and re-reading so I could respond in full was a great Christmas present to myself as well!


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Review #8, by greeneyedgryffie Anhedonia

28th October 2015:
Hi there! I've wanted to read this story for a while -- the title was intriguing first and then it received a Dobby -- but had been putting it off in order to finish up on other stories. I almost regret doing so now that I've read this! I feel very inspired by it. Here's why:

1. Your writing is clean, clear and honest. You don't shy away from making Harry a real person (I don't read many fics with Harry as a central character because I often find that no one portrays him properly). I love that you gave him problems, real problems, that were associated with war but that also could have come about naturally. I don't read many fics featuring Harry, as I said, but I'd guess that this isn't done well often.

2. You wrote Ginny, a character whose personality is hard to capture, in a way that I felt was honest and relatable. She genuinely feels like herself, as J.K.R. wrote her, and her feelings and emotions feel like they could be ones anyone could have.

3. The psychoanalysis -- beautifully done. It's subtle in a way that makes the story sneak up on you. It kind of hits you over the head at the end and makes you feel that this story could just as easily be about you or me or anyone. Harry's feelings and Ginny's feelings are equally valid and acceptable. No one is the bad guy.

4. My absolute favorite thing? The SO ACCURATE representation of the end of a relationship. I think you describe well the slow burn out of a relationship. It's possible to love someone, take comfort in their presence, feel happy when you see them, and think of their memory fondly without LOVING them. It's also possible to want out of a relationship that, in every way that matters, is still a good one. You did so well making these feelings clear that I almost want to apologize to you for having experienced them, as I assume you must have to write them so perfectly.

Overall, this story has become a favorite of mine -- surprising because I don't typically read Harry/Ginny fics and because I tend to lean toward longer fics rather than shorter ones. It's 100% deserving of the Dobby (great job, by the way), and I cannot wait to see what else you've written.

10/10

Author's Response: Thanks so much for the wonderful review! I'm only sorry I wound up so backed up that I'm only just now responding to it. :(

I would say that one of the overarching things I wanted to accomplish with this piece, which I think kind of hits on all the points you commented on was realism. TV, movies, etc. so often show us cataclysmic and dramatic ends to relationships when often it is quite different or at the very least, the relationship-breaking event isn't TRULY the cause, more the final, lethal symptom of underlying failure.

Here though, as you said, I wanted to address it in a way that could happen to anyone and in which no one is truly to blame. Not only did I feel that dovetailed nicely with the realism I was shooting for, but I also felt it was true to Harry and Ginny's characters, who are so complementary that I imagine if there were ever to be an end it would be more Eliot-esque - "this is the way the [marriage] ends, not with a bang, but a whimper."

Truthfully, as hard as some readers have expressed that the emotions and the situation were to read, it was VERY hard to write. The facts are nowhere near in parallel, but this story taxed me more than any other I've written because it certainly took me back to one of the darkest times in my life so that I could produce it.

I really appreciate all your detailed feedback and the kind praise. I'm glad you enjoyed the story and thanks again for the R&R!


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Review #9, by Liana Anhedonia

27th October 2015:
I liked this story even though it was a little sad. It's hard to see Harry and Ginny divorced. I do think that it's possible to love someone and hate them at the same time.

Author's Response: Thanks for stopping by and leaving a review Liana! Believe me, as hard as it is for you to read it, it was very hard for me to write it because they're my OTP.

I think you're certainly writing about being able to love and hate at the same time, in certain relationships it can be quite a thin line. Though here I would point out that Harry actually doesn't hate Ginny - in a way it's worse. He has come to simply feel nothing toward her and as the saying goes, the opposite of love (which I tried to express both with the words and the tone of the piece) is not hate, but indifference. Harry's not FULLY there yet, because he does have this feeling that he wishes he could go back but is simply helpless, but he's almost at that point.

I'm glad you enjoyed it though! Thanks again!


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Review #10, by lindslo2012 Anhedonia

12th October 2015:
Hello there,

I know it's been so, so long since we last spoke! And I see this piece has won the Dobby Awards and I think that it is well deserved!!!
My favorite thing about this story is that it isn't all about a fluffy Ginny and Harry love story. It shows what can happen to a marriage and reality and it makes Ginny and Harry seem more real than fairy-tellish.
This happens in marriage everyday.
Oh my goodness this was so sad but so intriguing. Another favorite part of this story is how you were doing flashbacks of their love and things they tried to make it work.
Can I just say this is one of the best pieces I have ever read? Good job!

10/10
-Lindsey

Author's Response: Howdy Lindsey! It HAS been awhile (and I bet you didn't expect it to be so long for me to respond either... :( ). I hope you're well!

I really appreciate your thoughtful feedback and it means a lot because realism was very central to what I wanted to get across to the end of the story. Truth be told, I'll probably never sink this ship again (it is, after all, my OTP), but you're right that life isn't all fluff and even endings aren't always dramatic.

Thanks so much for your kind words!


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Review #11, by Calder Anhedonia

12th October 2015:
Schrodinger's cat. Could be dead and could be alive. You just have to pick up the balls to find out.

Interesting intake of this theory, really. I think marriage is the most appropriate example for this. Relationships don't always break through deception. Sometimes it just dies away, like a flame.

Actually, a flame is exactly what it is. First the passion dies and then love before committment hits the grave.

I must say though. I've never read this ship being sunken. You say it's for some challenge. I've seen that a lot around. Must find out what and where those are. Sounds interesting.

Your award is well deserved even though I don't know what the award is exactly. I can only say that this is an excellent piece of angst.

For a moment there though I thought that maybe he was coming to realise that he was in love with Hermione. I'm so glad that this wasn't the case.

The way you've sunk this ship brings about the poasibility of Jily being sunk too. Must try that one out.

Keep up the good work mate.

Author's Response: Howdy Calder! Sorry it's taken so long to get back to you, but I definitely appreciated your review!

Interestingly, it seems Harry/Ginny is a pretty rare ship for folks to sink (at least on this site) and I think that's because people are so passionate about it (love vs. hate) that people who hate it would never write it (and might not give its death the same gravity) and people who love it (like me) usually don't want to give it a cruel ending because it's a bright beacon for us. Alas, such was my task for a challenge (something that happens on the forums here) and I was lucky enough that it actually turned into a story that won a site-wide award (voted on by forum members and site staff - also taking place on the forums).

I'm glad you enjoyed the story and thought the metaphor worked, as that was actually my greatest fear upon posting - that it wouldn't hold up.

Thanks again for the R&R!


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Review #12, by Misty_Rey Anhedonia

22nd September 2015:
Wow. I mean.. woah, wow, WOAH.

Honestly, when I started reading this, the first part had me a bit lost. Maybe because it was dialogue-driven? I'm not saying this as a critique though. I liked how revealing it was and how it positioned itself as the building blocks for the rest of the story. The first gut punch is revealed in that first part, the state of Harry's relationship with Ginny, Hermione being Minister for Magic (woohoo!). Then the rest of the pieces came together and you did it wonderfully, almost effortlessly. I wasn't expecting such depth.

The best thing about the plot was how it was a slow burn. One that comes to mind is the frog in the pot. Put a frog in a pot full of boiling-hot and it leaps out. Put a frog in lukewarm water then turn on the stove at low heat.

Another analogy is Hermione giving a slight tug on the loose thread of Harry and Ginny's relationship and watch it unravel.

I'm not much of a Harry/Ginny shipper. The only thing I like about it was that it is canon. But reading Harry deliver that blow with such... frankness, I had a strange pain in my chest. Even though I knew it was coming, the building of suspense was intense. After I finished reading this, I was still thinking about it even days later. I was emotionally invested and for that, I applaud you.

This is one of the best portrayals of Harry I've read on this site. He felt like a living, breathing, flawed person but still recognisable from the books. Hermione and Ginny were great too, as was the therapist.

This was such a quiet fic, simmering with subtle angst. Love the use of Schrodinger's Cat, very creative and cleverly used!

10/10!

P.S: sorry for all the silly analogies.
P.P.S: If I could make one small suggestion, maybe think of fixing the format? The large spacing was a tad distracting but it's a minor thing, more a personal preference than anything else.

~Misty

Author's Response: Howdy Misty! Thank you for the very kind review and I hope you'll accept my apologies for taking so long to respond.

First off, there's no need to apologize for your analogies! I liked them! And perhaps the one I liked best was the frog in the pot. I think there's a lot of truth to that for this story in that the end comes very slowly as Harry's feelings essentially disintegrate over time in such a way that he doesn't even truly become cognizant of it until Hermione's question draws out the issue.

Then he spends time and effort in futile battles against the conclusion that he's ultimately already reached, even if he can't satisfactorily explain the actual REASON to the therapist.

I'm glad you thought the sort of "poking around" dialogue in the beginning was ultimately effective though, because it was intended to sort of set the tone of the piece as calm and clinical, but also to lay the foundation for the idea that the end of all relationships isn't dramatic - sometimes the most painful are the most simple ends, and they can be even more so when the "cause" is so ambiguous as to elude true explanation.

Thanks for the review and all your kind words!


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Review #13, by manno_malfoy Anhedonia

18th September 2015:
I've been hearing about this story ever since I've come back on the archives and I've been scared about approaching it. I haven't really read anything about Harry/Ginny, and I'm not entirely sure why. But I'm so glad to finally read it, and I don't have to even wonder why it's nominated for a Dobby.

I'm a bit of a science-y person. Not physics, but science. Psychology is something I thoroughly enjoy. Therefore, this story had multiple aspects that made it such an interesting read for me! The psychoanalysis is very well done. And Harry's frustration with these healers not really hearing him is very justified and understandable. Like the healer said, they do focus on body language and they try to read between the words a person says to reach a conclusion, and it's likely that in their preoccupation with finding the truth between the lies, they miss important things that are being said. And I did enjoy how you've brought that up, and how it shows how many of these sessions Harry has had to sit through.

There's this composed, calm tone that you've managed to maintain throughout the story and I think it gives off the same message Harry is trying to deliver. Things feel calm, they may be the same, but they don't feel the same. The general emotion and tone betray the inner feelings and intentions and it just works so well to illustrate the conflict.

I can't help but notice the pain in the simplicity of it all. At least when a relationship ends with a big fight, there's someone/something to blame, something to take out all the frustration on. But when it ends like this... it's just so depressing. And like Harry said, there's no going back. The cat is dead.

The metaphor was such a brilliant touch, and I can't get over it! It's perfect!

This is the first thing I read for you, but I really loved and enjoyed it a lot! And I will, hopefully, check out more of your stories soon!

-Manno

Author's Response: Thanks so much for this review! I'm sorry it's taken me so long to respond!

First off, I'm glad that the titular metaphor worked for you even as a self-described "science-y person" because my biggest fear about the story was honestly that the concept wouldn't really play out properly.

It was also great to get some thoughts on the psych aspect of the story too. I definitely wanted that part to be realistic, but also to provide a space for the calm, kind of clinical tone you mentioned about the piece to grab a foothold.

As far as the simplicity, you're quite right I think and that's absolutely what I was going for by avoiding a dramatic conclusion. #1 I don't think relationships really end with such drama as often as fiction in all its forms (TV, movies, etc.) would have us believe, but #2 I think it was the best way for me to acknowledge the fact that when many relationships end, the reasons for the end are incredibly complex and can even defy easy reason or explanation by the people in the relationship, let alone outsiders trying to judge it or return things to the way they used to be. But sometimes no matter what anybody tries, there's just no saving it.

Thanks again for the great review!


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Review #14, by nott theodore Anhedonia

18th September 2015:
KEVIN HOW COULD YOU DO THIS.

(Hi, Kevin! I'm here trying to read and review the Dobby entries and I've heard so many things about this story that I'm sure I should have read and reviewed it ages ago, but at least I'm here now. And back to shouting at you :P)

Seriously, this is not okay. You can't just go round breaking up Harry and Ginny like this. I think we need to sit down and have a proper talk about this, because it's a problem and I'm not sure I can let you go on doing things like this, alright? Even if it is for the Sink Your Ship challenge, because it's just not okay to have to read something like this.

Having said all of that, I think you did a great job of writing this. So many of the relationships ending that I've read about in fanfiction end dramatically - with a big event, a betrayal, a death, or something similar - and this one didn't. It was so realistic in that, and I think that made me even more upset to read about it because I found myself believing that Harry and Ginny's relationship could just end like that, which seems so unfair. Especially in a relationship that's so long-term and has been so loving and the two of them have been so close - they've built an entire life together - it's easy to believe that they may slowly stop making as much of an effort as they used to and the love might slowly fizzle out to nothing, until one day Harry realises that he doesn't love Ginny any more.

That realisation was written so well, too - it was simple, and undramatic, and it happened in such normal circumstances, but I think that made it more heartbreaking because it was as if there was nothing he could do about it. It wasn't something that he just thought in anger, or in the heat of the moment, but something that crept up on him until he realised it, and once he did realise it, there was no going back.

I think you portrayed Harry really well here - you captured his character brilliantly and there are so many different layers to him, even in this short piece. I can definitely picture him trying to talk to the Healer and getting so frustrated with her, being reluctant to answer questions because he's always been a private sort of person, rejecting the idea that he needs to be fixed. The 'saving people' theme that you picked up on and played on through the story was great, too. There are so many people that Harry's been able to save because of what he did in the war, and I think afterwards he would expect himself to be able to just as much as others would. So coming up against something like this, that he doesn't seem able to repair, is terrible for him - he doesn't know how to handle it because he's not been equipped to accept failure in that way. Watching all of his attempts to save their relationship was so painful, and then the admission to Ginny that he'd been trying to do that with all of his plans was even worse. At the same time, though he doesn't really apportion blame for the end of the relationship, I can't help but wonder if his own mental state had something to do with it; maybe there would have been a way back for them if he'd have been able to accept that there wasn't an instant fix and that the two of them working through things together might have done for their relationship what he alone couldn't.

The analogy of Schrodinger's Cat worked really well for this story, too. I knew about it before and I like the way that you linked it in to the story and the way that Harry felt about the end of his relationship - I just wish that he could have answered the question differently, or that there was a way back - at least that he felt there might be. This was great, Kevin, and good luck with voting!

Sian :)

Author's Response: Hello Sian! I promised myself I would never get here, to where I have you know, AMAZING, three-month old reviews I haven't answered, but I've fallen a long way in this regard I'm afraid.

ANYWAY, if it was excruciating for you as a reader then I suppose I did my job, though you should know that it was incredibly excruciating for me to write, not just because they're my OTP, but because of all the LIFE and nasty memory type stuff that were dredged up to find the emotion required for this fic to happen.

I was definitely glad to read that you appreciated the realism in the lack of drama as that's definitely something I was aiming HARD at for this story. I think it's very common in fiction in all its forms to have relationships, even very strong ones, have this over-the-top, catastrophic ending where there's an affair or somebody dies or there's like a cross-country move or career drama or something, but I think the first in that list is often a symptom more so than a true, underlying cause (even if it's the straw that breaks the camel's back) and the others are just (for me anyway) too easy. The end of relationship in my mind is never an easy thing and it's always fraught with layers of complexity that even the people in the relationship may not fully understand until much later.

I honestly hadn't really thought of the idea of Harry's saving people thing perhaps being responsible for his inability to salvage things before you suggested it, but that's certainly an interesting point. It does make me wonder on a certain level if taking his feelings and desperation to save things to Ginny might have changed the outcome, though I'm not entirely certain as I think his attempts, genuine as they are, were really more symptomatic reactions to a war he'd already lost but didn't want to admit he had.

Of course, my biggest worry about the whole story was honestly how the whole titular concept would play out - I'm very glad to hear that you thought it did.

Thanks for the awesome review - I'll try not to make it 8 years before I answer next time :p


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Review #15, by HeyMrsPotter Anhedonia

11th September 2015:
Hi, Kevin! I'm here working my way through the dobby noms and on a very short time frame so this won't be a very long review, but I didn't want to not leave one.

I think you've touched on something so real in this story, I love the Schrodinger's cat reference and how you linked it to Harry and Ginny's realtionship, I think it's such a plausible analogy for a long term relationship. Also, I love how well you summed up both Ron and Hermione in this line “Hermione thinks I’m sick too…obviously,” I appended, deliberately locking eyes with the healer across from me. “Ron says I’m an arse. It really made me laugh.

Congratulations on the nomination!

Dee

Author's Response: Thanks Dee! Sorry it's so late getting back to this, but I'm trying to respond anyway!

The whole core of the story was obviously the connection between the relationship and the analogy and how it worked and I was so worried that it wouldn't, but I'm glad you felt it did. I thought it would let me express a more true-to-life end to a relationship, where there's no scandal or over-the-top drama that causes it to end.

I'm glad in the midst of the angst you were able to find a chuckle with the Ron & Hermione references too!

Thanks for reading and reviewing!


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Review #16, by LadyL8 Anhedonia

10th September 2015:
Hi there, Kevin

I’m trying to read and review as many of the dobby noms. as possible, and decided to start with the category “Best Angst”. And I’ve read and reviewed most of the stories in the category, but for some reason I never actually reviewed yours (I’ve read it, typed out a review, but I guess I must’ve been too tired to post it). So I’m leaving you one now, just so you know how much I love this story.

I really like the idea. One of my best friends likes science and dreams of someday being a scientist, so I’m very familiar with the concept of Schrodinger’s Cat (random thing I just have to throw in here, because I thought about it as soon as I saw the title: my friend actually dressed up as Schrodinger’s Cat at my Halloween party last year. She was a cat in an actual box. It was really clever). I don’t understand it completely, but I find the concept to be very fascinating.

And it was really interesting to see a relationship end so fast. It’s just a simple question, no drama, and it’s all it takes for him to realise that he loves her and doesn’t love her at the same time. And there’s something so truthful in it, so realistic and honest. We often see dramatic ends to relationship in fiction, but the truth is most relationship ends without much drama. It’s just two people growing apart, two people that stopped loving each other somewhere along the way. And they hold on for a while, they try to convince themselves it’ll work out, but in the end it doesn’t.

I imagine (and it might be different from what you had in mind, but it’s how I see it) Harry deep down knows he doesn’t fully love Ginny anymore, but it’s the safety of the relationship that makes him convince himself he does. But upon being asked directly about it, he realises that while he loves Ginny, he doesn’t really love her (that’s sounds really strange, but hopefully you understand what I mean). He tries to avoid the problem, but when it’s being said out loved he realises the truth.

I really like that Harry is describing/telling the story of their relationship to a therapist. We see it from his perspective, his attempts to save the one thing that can’t be saved. Their moments become bittersweet, because you can see that in the moments that should be happy, Harry really isn’t happy. And he feels always feels very distant, like he’s there but not really there (I didn’t even realise until right now that, that also fits with Schrodinger’s Cat), and it’s just the perfect way of describing what it must feel like to fight for a marriage that isn’t working anymore.

I really love the style. I think I’ve said this in the other reviews I’ve left you, but I’ll repeat it again just so you still know it: I really like your writing. The best thing about it is really the emotions you convey. I always feel something after I’ve read anything of yours, sometimes it’s heartache (like this one), sometimes I cry afterward, and most of the time I just feel like giving one or all of your characters a hug.

Anyway, I always try to come up with some CC, but I’m having a hard time finding anything to comment on. I just really like it the way it is right now, so I actually have no CC to give you. So instead I’m just going to say thanks for sharing the story, cause I really enjoyed reading it. Congratulations on your dobby nom, and good luck in the voting round!

Oh, and I almost forgot; have a very wonderful weekend!

- Lotte

Author's Response: Howdy Lotte! Sorry I'm so late but I finally made it!

That's especially true in your case because when I read this I felt almost universally: "she really 'gets it.' " First with the manner of the relationship ending - it was absolutely crucial to me and to the story that there be no outsized drama that has been unfortunately typical of fiction. That was crucial to me because I feel like it's more true-to-life in a lot of cases, which makes achieving closure and understanding so difficult. And obviously it was crucial to the story because that kind of ending, both sudden and difficult to comprehend, fueled the structure and analogy with Schrodinger's Cat.

Believe it or not you are the first person who seems to have actually picked up on Harry's distance and inability to be happy at every point he tries to salvage things (or at least the first who mentioned it in a review).

Thank you so much for the detailed review and the wonderful comments! I'm glad you enjoyed the story!


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Review #17, by Penelope Inkwell Anhedonia

10th September 2015:
Hey! I'm here reading through the Dobby nominees--congrats on your nominations by the way! I've been meaning to get to this for a while now, because Kaitlin recommends it so highly.

Yikes. This hurt to read. You sank that ship with a vengeance. And the worst of it was how low-key it all was. Their love was just there, and then it wasn't (or it was both at the same time, and then it wasn't. Ugh.

I think basing your story around the concept of Schrodinger's cat was quite brilliant. The fact that it wasn't this big, dramatic moment--it was a conversation with Hermione on his birthday, after dinner. That was just such a sharp barb.

Also, that bit where Harry kind of catches his breath, because the sun shining on the therapist's hair reminds him of Ginny--that was a really great (and painful) touch.

I like how you made Harry a bit difficult to work with. It's like how doctors are supposedly bad patients. He looks at all this as an interrogation and he thinks he could get to the heart of it quicker than she can--than any of these therapists could.

I'm also interested by how you wrote Harry. It talks about him needing to be the hero, needing to fix things, and failing. And I can't help but wonder if he's wrong about the problem. He's never been treated for PTSD, but is insisting that this has nothing to do with it. And maybe it doesn't. But there's something about his total unwillingness to look inside himself that makes me suspicious. Maybe it's just because I don't want to imagine that Ginny and Harry's love could just fizzle out like that, till Ginny is in this terrible unrequited love situation.

I feel like Harry insists that he's tried, but I also am not convinced that he tried the right things. There's something so recalcitrant about the way he acts, and I really can't tell if it's because of the frustration that everyone is insisting things can be fixed and he's saying they can't, or if it really is because he's so used to being the hero, he's simply decided that if he can't save it himself, then it can't be saved.

I mean, that bit at the end, though. He seems so tired. At the very least, I do think he really believes it.

Anyway, it's incredible that you can create that kind of depth, and that kind of realistic doubt and psychological realism, in such a short piece. The more I think on it, the more impressive it seems to me.


“You know,” she said quietly, “you’re still the only one I’d ever let save me.”
--I thought this was a great quote from Ginny. Very in-character. Really, her overall portrayal here--everyone's, even the characters we just hear about--was great.

CC: the only thing I have here is that at first I thought that the therapist had been the first person to speak--to mention Schrodinger's cat, and that seemed off, but then when I went back I could figure out that it had been Harry. But since she's mentioned immediately after the line, and Harry's next line could reasonably be a response to her question, rather than a continuation of his thought, it led me to believe that she had asked the question. This line, too, She’s waited this long. I suppose she deserves the truth after all this time. made me thing that his further explanation--how he had read about it--was a response to her question. t might be good to clear up who it is that is speaking, there at first. But that's all I've got.

This was very well done.

Congratulations again!

--Penny

Author's Response: Howdy Penny! Sorry this response is so late. I'm trying to answer all that's piled up today before I start NaNo in earnest though!

Thanks! Honestly I was pretty blown away that anything of mine would be nominated, let alone actually win as I always think of so many people's things I read here as being miles beyond my own, but perhaps that's the writer's curse - being hyper-self-critical.

My biggest worry was that the concept wouldn't hit its mark and so I'm so glad to hear you thought that it did. You're right that I definitely used it because I wanted this painful end, but I wanted it to lack the kind of flashpoint drama that is so typical of fiction. Perhaps because I think a death without that kind of drama is more true to life for most relationships.

As for Harry, he's definitely not perfect here and all the rationales provided by others that are summarily dismissed or not really resolved are designed to create ambiguity as to the true cause. While I definitely didn't intend for PTSD to be the decisive reason, it's not as far-fetched as Harry thinks obviously. Part of the point though is that sometimes when a great love dies, what adds to the pain of the loss is the uncertainty and incapability of achieving true closure by knowing the reasons behind it.

Re-reading the story for the first time in awhile, I can sort of see what you mean. This was another story where I was attempting to expand myself and better my writing by diminishing my painful overuse of dialogue tags. Perhaps an oversight on my score in pursuit of that.

But thank you for the excellent and detailed review! I'm glad you enjoyed it!


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Review #18, by Gossip Girl Anhedonia

1st September 2015:
Hey, HPFFers. Gossip Girl here. And do I have a story for you.

Spotted: The Chosen One at yet another therapy session. Word has it that he still isn't over his divorce with G. Where's my proof, you ask? Well one of my many sources, TidalDragon, has just written a beautiful one-shot that details the Chosen One's latest session. All you have to do is read this heartbreaking account of how the Wizarding World's It Couple ended and I promise you everything will be very clear.

While this isn't the usual tip you see coming through Gossip Girl, I can assure you that it is one of the best quality sources you will have seen in a long time. TidalDragon does a wonderful job of showing you how much this divorce changed The Chosen One and one can only imagine the kind of painstaking effort it took to sink such a ship. And for my readers who may be unfamiliar with the idea of Schrodinger's Cat, I can assure you that they incorporate the idea wonderfully with Chosen One's love for G. And don't even get me started on how quietly this It couple fell apart.

Let this be a lesson, dear readers. Even the most fairytale of stories can end in the blink of an eye. And as The Chosen One so eloquently put, you can never truly go back.

Until next time, you know you love me.

XOXO Gossip Girl

Author's Response: Howdy! Believe it or not, I've actually seen enough of Gossip Girl to truly appreciate this delightful review - thank my ex.

I have to say my two biggest worries for this piece were: (1) that the Schrodinger's Cat connection wouldn't make sense to people and (2) that the quiet end wouldn't resonate with people. So it's great to hear that you thought both worked so well.

Thanks for the kind and original review!


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Review #19, by MuggleMaybe Anhedonia

21st August 2015:
This story is powerful and beautifully written and I hated it. It's too devastating. I can't handle it, honestly! It's tearing me up!

But, don't worry! This only proves all the more how extremely talented you are and how excellent this story is!

You have captured depression so vividly, that simultaneous, seemingly contradictory emptiness and pain. And the feeling that the problem is utterly unchangeable and unsolvable.

Schrodinger's Cat is an excellent analogy for a crumbling marriage. If you never say it, if you never ask.. there's still a chance.

I don't know how you managed to write this without simply melting into a puddle from emotional exhaustion.
But I'm very glad you did! It is a work of art!

sobbing,
Renee

Author's Response: Howdy Renee! Thanks so much for your kind words.

One of the interesting things is how differently people have interpreted the story, but also how it's come back to the crumbling marriage and the analogy, just like I hoped. I'm glad you thought it worked for the situation and the individual relationship.

Truth be told, writing it WAS emotionally draining and I took a break from attempting to write for a couple of weeks afterward.

Again, thanks for taking the time to read this and give me your thoughts! Every piece of feedback I get is always incredibly appreciated and it helps me learn new things about my stories and how readers feel about or what they see in them!


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Review #20, by SunshineDaisies Anhedonia

20th August 2015:
Hiya! I'm making my way through the Dobby rec thread so I thought I'd make my way over! I really ought to start spending more time over here, your writing is absolutely stunning.

I have to say, I was a little too excited to read this. I'm sort of morbidly fascinated with the destruction of relationships, especially when it's portrayed like this: mundane. I really love that you chose to approach this story without adding any tragedy or drama. The marriage just fell apart.

The way you described Harry's feelings (or lack thereof) was exquisite. You explained the way he felt perfectly. I certainly understood the way his feelings just seemed to fade. It's so true to life and real. I'm sure you know this, but it really took me aback how completely accurate this is. Like, I'm nerding out about how accurate this was compared to all the stuff I learned about marriage in Social Worker school.

(I am alarmed and embarrassed at the level of nerd I just reached.)

But I digress.

I also think that you've done a really amazing job in keeping with Harry's character. He's got such a savior complex, and I feel like that gets overlooked a lot in fic. He's one who would absolutely fight to save his marriage, and I definitely felt his frustration. I can't imagine him acting in any other way.

I think this was an excellent insight into the devolution of a marriage. My one suggestion would be to include a bit of interaction between Harry and one or two other people. I only suggest this because I read his behavior and feelings as mental illness much the same way Ginny did. When he announced that he only felt like that around her, it shocked me a bit. Especially considering that anhedonia is predominantly used in the context of mental illness. But I can see how you may have done that inentionally, so feel free to ignore me if that's the case.

All in all, a really fantastic story :)

Author's Response: Howdy! Thanks a million for your kind words!

What you describe about it falling apart without drama was EXACTLY what I was going for. I think I've ended up saying this ad nauseam in my review responses on this one, but: (1) I think media and fiction of all kinds overdramatizes the collapse of relationships when in a lot of cases they really do die a more banal death - and if they DO end with some drama, it is often likely a symptom of something, a breaking point, more than a cause and (2) I wanted to show how painful a seemingly "simple" death can be to those involved.

I definitely know what you mean about the mental illness point. Anhedonia was really intended to refer to his inability to take pleasure or feel positive emotion from his marriage to Ginny rather than mental illness, but it was a delicate line since I simultaneously wanted us to be caught up in Harry's head a lot, experiencing what he was experiencing with it and seeing his attempts to save them failing one-on-one through his reactions and how they contrast with Ginny's (see the old pier trip). I did think about injecting a flashback to the conversation Robards or even to a talk with Ron or Neville, but decided against it because I worried it would take the reader out of being as absorbed in Harry and the Harry/Ginny dynamic as fully.

I really appreciate the thoughtful and detailed comments! Thanks for reading and reviewing!


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Review #21, by looneylizzie Anhedonia

15th August 2015:
Kevin!

So, I’m going through and reviewing all the stories nominated for SoTM, since I haven’t read any of them so far, and let me say, I totally understand why this was nominated!

*sobs* WHY??? WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO ME?!?! THE FEELS!!

Aside from all the pain you’ve inflicted in completely sinking Harry and Ginny, I’ve got to say, this is one of the best stories I’ve ever read.

I love the way you’ve used Schrodinger’s Cat here - that Harry’s love for Ginny is both alive and dead at the same time until the moment Hermione asks Harry that question. It’s the perfect analogy for this scenario, and you’ve done an AMAZING job of connecting the two things.

The fact that their relationship ends in such an anti-climactic way is almost exactly how I’d expect their relationship to end. Harry’s characterization is spot on, in that he tried so hard to save them, but failed, and didn’t speak up or initiate any sort of conflict, because that’s not the kind of person he is. Whereas Ginny is the one to finally explode (although it’s really not all that much of an explosion), which is exactly what I’d expect her to do.

All in all, you’ve done amazingly with this! I’m definitely not going to be able to forget this anytime soon.

Great job Kevin, and keep writing! Your work is awesome!!
LL

Author's Response: Ahh, Lizzie, you wonderful soul! There was a time when I didn't vote for anything without reviewing every single nominee, but life is mayhem right now and I unfortunately haven't been able to keep up. :/ I got lucky with the Golden Paws this year that most of what was nominated I had read or read part of already.

I'm really glad you thought the analogy worked for the story. That was the thing I sweated most of all! As for the manner in which things ended, that was the most important thing for me about the piece. Though they are incredibly challenging to pull of well in their own right, I didn't want to take the typical path in fiction - actual death, infidelity, melodrama, etc. - because I believe that often the death of a relationship can be quite banal. I think that's especially true of objectively successful relationships - the ones where most would look at the pair and say, "gosh, they're PERFECT." But those can end too, and that's kind of how I looked at this, the other important element being the inexplicability. Sometimes you stop loving someone and you don't even really know why - you just know you don't love them anymore. And you know (or discover) that you can't get it back, which as Harry demonstrates can be incredibly painful too.

Sorry for the meandering response to such a kind review. It's been one of those nights where I expected to be responding and then writing about...three or four hours ago...but my son decided to be impossible to get down for the second night in a row just being defiant and physical and rude and BLARG.

But thank you very much for this Lizzie! I appreciate it more than you know!


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Review #22, by Roisin Anhedonia

11th August 2015:
OH MY GOSH KEVIN HOW DID YOU DO THIS?!?!?!?!

Like, I KNOW how much you love Harry/Ginny--how did you manage to write this?!?! I mean, I realize that that was the point of the challenge, but HOT DAMN, you really managed to plumb some really murky depths to do this. Like, this is just so devastatingly convincing and well-written. Really, I am absolutely in awe. I'm almost disturbed by how convincing this is!

I always really admire stories that are /brutal/ and /honest/ and /unflinching/ and this was DEFINITELY that. In fact, I'm probably going to have to come back later and read this again because I spent the first read in something of a dazed state of shock.

SO. LIKE. PROPS, DUDE.

xoxo
Roisin

Author's Response: Roisin, you are too kind to me! Honestly, when I finished this (as you could tell from the A/N) I was like, "Does this even make sense to anyone but me?"

It took a lot out of me writing it, killing Harry/Ginny that's for sure. But my whole aim was to achieve one thing - do it REAL. What I knew I DIDN'T want was the typical thing you see in fiction from books to movies to TV - abuse, cheating, over-the-top melodrama - because I think if people are honest, the death of most marriages is far more banal, reaching a place where there's a realization that instead of all the mess you've been through together and all your shared responsibilities and resources making you stronger, they've eaten away at the love that fueled everything. And one day someone discovers for sure that it's gone. And in that moment, everything is irrevocable.

I'm glad you thought it came across real and raw though. I need to actually write a POSITIVE Harry/Ginny fic at some point now. Because despite them being my OTP, this is the first actual PURE Harry/Ginny fic I've even written believe it or not :p

Thanks for reading & reviewing!


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Review #23, by EnigmaticEyes16 Anhedonia

10th August 2015:
Wow, this was such an intriguing story. I've never read a Harry/Ginny break-up like this before. I very much enjoyed it though. I really like how you attempted to explain Harry's feelings for Ginny through Schrodinger's Cat. How Ginny was worried about him, but he hadn't actually realized anything was wrong until Hermione finally spoke to him about it, and suddenly the "experiment" began, and Harry did not know if his love for Ginny was still there or not, until Ginny later confronted him herself and the truth finally came out. He didn't love her. And he no longer felt the need to save their relationship. Which explains why he was so against the therapy sessions Hermione was making him go to since he knew there was nothing left to fight for. While everyone else expected him to eventually return to Ginny because they believed it was something else entirely. Hermione and Ginny clearly thought he had PTSD but that was never the case. Honestly, a part of me doesn't really see Harry suffering PTSD, he's always had one goal, to save the world by ridding it of Voldemort, and while of course he would have mourned all the loved ones lost during the war, I don't see him continuing to suffer from it afterward. I think he would have moved on but at the same time, never forget the ones who died because of him. Just like he will never forget his love for Ginny, even if he's no longer in love with Ginny.

I feel like I may be going too far with my comparisons in this review so I'm going to stop here. But I did really love what you did with this story, and how he left Ginny of his own accord, and not because he cheated, or she cheated, like other people have written. But that it was just something that happened, naturally, the same way it probably has for tons of couples who get wrapped up in their busy lives with kids and work, and just end up drifting apart from each other...

You did a great job with this!

xxNix

Author's Response: Howdy Nix!

Thank you so much for the kind words! I definitely wanted this story to be a "different" break-up. I feel that media (including stories, movies, TV, etc.) tend to make both romance and its demise overly grandiose rather than letting the significance of a collapse stand as a monument of its own. So I wanted the death to be banal, so banal in fact that it eludes any easy explanation. I'm glad you appreciated that!

In the end, I also wanted to capture the pain of that kind of ending too - to underscore that a divorce of that type, even though it isn't outwardly explosive, can just as damaging and leave even the person who "instigated" (and I use that term solely to refer to the person who accepted the falling away and acted here) it very hurt and wishing things could be different, just as Harry, despite the fact that he now knows he doesn't love Ginny anymore, DESPERATELY wishes that he could.

Thanks for reading and all your thoughts! I really appreciate it!


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Review #24, by merlins beard Anhedonia

9th August 2015:
Hey there. I'm reviewing this for the Dobby Recommendations.

Let me start off with this: I really enjoy the analogy. I know it may not seem perfect, but especially after your explanation in the AN, i think it really works (being a scientist and all, I just had to comment on that).

It's the slow death of a relationship that's making me feel really desperate and sad. Especially Harry/Ginny. They're not my OTP but they're a constant in the background of many of my fics and I can't ever imagine them splitting up.

Lots of entries for Lisa's challenge have been heartbreaking and sad, but I feel like this is different. It's very angsty and Harry is questioning himself all the time. He just doesn't understand what happened or how it happened. It just did. and he's beating himself up about it. but he can't change it.


I really liked all the references to Harry saving everyone. that's just something that he'd be worrying about.

I love how he talks to the healer, and makes her see that he actually has stuff to talk about and makes her deviate from her original opinion of him.

This was really well written, and I'm glad that Kaitlin recommended it. Thank you for writing something that has so much truth to it.

~Anja

Author's Response: Howdy Anja!

Thanks so much for stopping by! I'm really happy and relieved to get your first comment from someone IN science. That was one thing I was most worried about in this story, someone with a science background or career reads this and thinks - "this just doesn't work." So THANK YOU!

What you said about it being different also means so much, because it's exactly what I was going for. I've written precious little on relationship collapses before for a variety of reasons, but one thing I've noticed in a lot that I've read is how blowout/dramatic they are or are based on infidelity, even with marriages. Instead, I really wanted to try to do something different, and I felt quite realistic, where a great love can die inexplicably and in what is ultimately a most banal fashion. Yet such collapses are no less devastating to those they happen to and in some senses can be more so because there's no "reason" to point to.

Thank you so much for your thoughtful review!


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Review #25, by Aphoride Anhedonia

13th July 2015:
Hey Kevin! :) Okay, so I do love canon pairings, so I just had to stop by this to see how you sunk them (because just how? :() but also because I have a lot of Physics friends who talk endlessly about Schrodinger's Cat - lots of jokes about it - so the idea of using it in a story seemed so cool!

You really are a master of canon characters. Here I am and I'm so terrified of writing them because it would be so easy to mess them up, and here you are doing them so perfectly, and seemingly so easily, too. It's like... how? I'm just in awe because to me, this seems like the hardest thing to do.

The way you write Harry, Ginny and Hermione is just so good - and I love how you've transposed them into being adults, too. They feel so much like their canon selves - even Harry knowing what Schrodinger's Cat is, haha, which seemed so random at the time and not massively like him but works so so well - especially Ginny. Your Ginny is just perfect: I love how she still blazes even when she's older and she still loves Harry as much - for her it's a lot more like an all-or-nothing kinda thing. But then I guess it's similar for Harry, it just ends up being more complicated, as often happens :(

I loved as well the way you tell the story of the relationship, having Harry sort of describing it almost to the therapist in the chair who isn't just going to give in because he's /Harry Potter/, you know, and walk away. It's such a great idea, and such a great structure, especially considering the title and the analogy Harry makes to his relationship. Plus, it allowed for those beautiful bittersweet moments with Harry and Ginny together, when Harry should be happy but perhaps isn't and thinks he should be.

(On a slightly related note: Schrodinger's Cat is so perfect an analogy to these things. One of my sisters isn't sure about her relationship with her bf at the moment, and it really is that, for some reason, it feels so much more real if you say something - so you avoid it. She's been doing that, too, the avoidance thing, and that last line of Harry's, that the saying it makes it real and you can't go back, is so so true. So sad, but so true.)

Your writing in this is so so good too. Your style is so gorgeous, so so easy to read (and in the best of ways. Nothing is out of place, sounds weird, or anything at all, and it has this way of sucking me in until it's over) and, really, your description and your dialogue both are just so impressive (which I'm majorly jealous about too, haha, since dialogue is like the bane of my writing :P).

This is heartbreaking, though, with the ending - it's not loud or showy or overly dramatic. There's this quiet, understated devastation to it - because it is devastating, and especially for Harry, given his personality. It's so clever and such a great story - even if it is just so so sad, perhaps more sad than anything else, because there's always the idea of 'what if'.

Wah, this is too sad, but too good! :) Thank you so so much for the swap! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Laura! First of all, let me say that my extreme delay in responding does horrible injustice to your amazing review! Seriously, after writing this, I NEEDED a review like this to convince me that I hadn't just gotten the concept disastrously wrong (yes, Gryffindors can be insecure too :p). This was particularly true with the idea of Schrodinger's Cat as an analogy for the moment love dies - so I'm thrilled that you thought it worked.

You're also incredibly kind with your words about the canon characters - somewhat unbelievably even though I think the world knows they're my OTP, I've never written a Harry/Ginny centric story before this one, in part because I was worried about getting them right.

Part of getting Harry right for me, I think, demanded this being set with a therapist. Harry's so closed unless he's lashing out most of the time, and since he obviously can't open up to Ginny about this (one of the very few who REALLY opens him in canon), I figured it would have to be a professional (and one he was ordered to see at that :p).

I think the most important thing for me was what you mentioned last - the death of the relationship not being showy or dramatic. Part of that is because I think it's very often how relationships realistically die. There's not always a blowout or some single event that CAUSES the death. Of course, the other part owes to personal experience - but such is life, right?

Thank you so much for all your kind words! It really means SO much to me for a story that was deeply important to me and took so much out of me to write!

You are the best! And though it is MUCH belated, thank you for the swap too!


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