Good afternoon, and welcome to Disassembly of Reason's attempt to supply reviews in time for Christmas. :)
Why would *Ginny* insist on keeping their relationship a secret after Voldemort's defeat? I can understand *Harry* having done so to protect her from leftover Death Eaters and the press, but I don't see *her* motivation yet.
The image of Harry with a checklist is a bit funny. That seems like more of a Hermione-like thing to do. Has the boy actually become organized in adulthood?
Also, if he's buying an engagement ring on Diagon Alley, he ought to have enough sense to realize that that isn't very discreet. Being Muggle-raised, why wouldn't he get some money converted and buy a ring in a Muggle shop? (Possibility: if wizarding wedding rings carry charms of some kind, he might not do this.)
Ah, *this* is an interesting twist. Marietta Edgecombe has become a reporter. "Think of the possibilities," as Ron would say.
*I* like the heartwarming little story about how the twins have been getting on, even though Marietta doesn't. I can even see why she doesn't - she wants to write something that'll impress her boss, not jump on somebody else's bandwagon.
(It also neatly makes Marietta unsympathetic.)
Hmm. Why Terry Boot as a photographer and not, for example, Colin Creevey? (Although that might be too trite or obvious, of course.)
"Why am I such a louse at finding leads?"
I don't think Marietta would call herself a louse, although Ron might. "Why am I so lousy" might be a better way of conveying what I assume would be her intent here.
Very good, believable handling of Harry here - he's nervous, and I'm not surprised that he's blurting out more than he wants to see made public just yet. It's nice that the saleswoman is a motherly type who can sort him out - that would be a tremendous asset in that kind of job, being able to handle overwrought blokes buying flowers for girlfriends, new mothers, and the like.
Why tulips and not roses? Not that they're not nice, but I would have expected roses to be a first choice, especially for someone who knows a little about the difference between Muggle and wizarding culture.
It occurs to me that I would've expected the saleswoman to recognize Harry at first sight from the media coverage of the past few years, if not just from the scar.
The whole scene is very nicely done - I like the touch of Harry finding out that buying flowers - like buying books or socks - can have unexpected complications for a Muggle-raised person turned loose in the wizarding world.
(Some lupines, regular lilies, or petunias might have allowed the author a few easy laughs, but she has avoided those.)
From reading Babbitt's THE EYES OF THE AMARYLLIS, I had a quite different impression of what an amaryllis looks like. Possibly I am thinking of another variety with a stronger colour - the image I have is of a reddish orange flower that would probably clash with Ginny's colouring, not the pale lilac described here.
The names of the flowers are quite lovely, as is the description, which is a nice touch.
Ah. And having the flowers delivered by the shop opens up the full range of possibilities for the nosy members of the press - they can not only find out about the engagement, but confirm the identity of the intended, all before Harry has had a chance to propose.
"Harry Potter's Secret Love"
You have no shame, Aibhinn - echoes of "Harry Potter's Secret Heartache" back in his fourth year. :)
The sweet tooth seems within the bounds of canon, judging from Harry's reaction to the food trolley on the Hogwarts Express. The specific taste for chocolate is debatable, though - for instance, after his third year, Harry avoided chocolate because he'd been fed so much of it after anti-Dementor lessons and the like, as first aid. After the war, he might have had a similar reaction. On the other hand, enough time has passed that he might no longer have such associations with it.
"Perhaps I should buy two more pounds and give them to Ginny...then when she was in no state to disagree on anything, spring the question on her."
This line is GREAT.
"Makers of Fine Jewellery since 1066"
That's a nice touch - since the Norman Conquest. Although since that's the date of the Conquest, Harry's remark about the Conqueror having let them stay in business is a little off-base - they seem to have come in with the Conqueror, not to have been allowed to stay on from a previous era. (However, Harry's under stress, so he might be a trifle confused just now.)
The boy hasn't *thought* about it? (That would be the character being clueless.)
I suppose it hadn't occurred to him that he'd be drowned in possible choices. Ah, yes, that seems to be the case. He hadn't realized he'd have options in choosing the stone, the style, and goodness knows what else.
Evil of me, but it is entertaining to watch poor Harry suffer like this. :)
The dialogue about the significance of wizarding wedding rings is intriguing - pearls for protection rather than diamonds for permanence.
Hmm. I was definitely not expecting grumpy old Aberforth the barman to change careers after the war. I suppose that the clean-shaven effect might explain why Harry doesn't seem to have found his appearance familiar?
I'm surprised that Marietta didn't simply try to interrogate the first shopkeeper, but it makes sense that she and Terry wouldn't take time out from trailing Harry, and that when backtracking they'd go to the nearest shopkeeper rather than the first one. They don't seem to have tried the *very* nearest of the three, Aberforth himself. (If they had, though, Harry would probably have been tipped off before they managed to brew up their silly scoop.)
Oh, boy. They got their scoop into the paper before Harry had a chance to call on Ginny. Pity that nobody at the Prophet seems to be on good enough terms with Harry to tip him off - not even Terry Boot, who's right there. (That *would* be a reason to put Terry in this role rather than Colin - Colin wouldn't have stood for this.)
This seems very unfair of Ginny, not to even *think* that perhaps the press might be getting out of hand as they have so often done in the past. Why didn't it even occur to her that the whole thing might have been fabricated without Harry's knowledge? (I realize that it wasn't false in this case, but for goodness' sake, she lived through Harry's fourth year too.)
Poor devil. She's lucky he didn't flee to a monastery after being run off like that.
And what kind of an article *was* that if it didn't even mention that a possible engagement was in the offing? What kind of scoop is that? Marietta knew about the visit to the jeweller's and didn't rake up the possibility that he'd been buying a ring?
It's Harry's bad luck that he was probably too nervous to read the morning paper (if he even reads it these days, knowing their track record.) It's good luck that he spotted it afterward (although I agree with Molly, he wouldn't reject Ginny even if he hadn't seen it).
I agree with Ginny's choice of retribution against Marietta; very neat. I'm just surprised that Marietta ever managed to get rid of it the *first* time.
- "Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes" is specified with a misplaced apostrophe and the wrong word in the middle.
- I agree that putting an apostrophe in "Gringotts" looks sensible, but I don't think it's canon, if I recollect the master correction lists.
- "Wizarding" should not be capitalized, in my opinion, unless it's part of a proper name.
- Typographical error in "sapphire". - "to a tee" - personal quirk, I prefer the actual letter rather than sounding out the letter in usage like this.