This was a beautiful chapter. It also struck me that it could've worked as a stand-alone, as you've stayed so true to our favorite fictional friends and family and their canon depictions. You've taken them on your own journey to get here from your very first chapter in this series, but both the journey as a whole, and your work on this chapter, click right into canon, like building a Lego house, lol.
Your discussion about Crabbe was very thought-provoking and felt very apt as a tiny encapsulation of how I would imagine all of them feeling a year after the war. Ron's maturity was particularly evident in his reactions.
Harry's immediate and sustained reaction to the memorial also felt dead-on, as did Ginny's comfort and reaction to his "soppines." It wasn't how I would've reacted to such a statement, which was precisely the point. It illustrated what a good fit she is for Harry's specific needs. I get annoyed sometimes by those who feel that pairing Ginny & Harry is a bit too convenient, as if he would have married any daughter of the Weasleys, just so that he could join their family. That conversation at Dobby's grave reminded me of all the reasons why Harry's love of Ginny is so clearly a response to her specific character traits, quirks, humor, and positive attributes.
Mr. Weasley's remark about Muggle births was just perfect and so out of left field, it had me grinning. I also noticed the great work of you and/or your betas in your reference to births "in hospital" vs. "in a hospital." I had to mention that as it reminded me of one thing I've long loved about your writing and your betas' work: You get such details right!
My eldest just recently graduated from college, so I share your melancholy strains in the midst of celebration. I'll never fully see my son as anything other than the hurricane of mischief and giggles that he was at age 5, too. It doesn't feel long at all since they had that red-faced, squashed look of a newborn, si?
Now don't worry about replying, please! Focus your time on your amazing son and y'all's lovely period of celebration, please. ☺
Melindaleo Tuesday 5th June 2018 04:08
22: Memorial (Author Response)
Thank you! This chapter represents something I've been avoiding writing since DH, lol. Every story has either funerals or a memorial or an after-Battle speech. I've skirted around it for two full stories now, but I thought at the one year point, I just had to suck it up and do it!! I'm right with you on getting frustrated with people who criticize Ginny. It's their issues though, not Harry's. All I ever wanted for canon Harry was for him to be happy, and Ginny makes him happy, so it's a done deal. Thanks for mentioning Arthur's line about baby birthing machines. That gave me a chuckle as I was writing it picturing the looks on both his and Hermione's faces. I do love Arthur so!
If I have to choose whose speech I like most, I think it's Harry's, mostly because of how honest he was about the aftermath most of the combatants suffer. And he's correct in reminding everyone that the biggest help to those who are having difficulties is to just be there, in whatever capacity you can. I love his remark to Ginny at the part when he says she gives him the strength to go forward.
I still say the memorial reminds me of the Fountain of Magical Brethren that Bellatrix and Dumbledore destroyed at the Ministry. I just hope the house-elf and the goblin have soppy, adoring faces up-turned towards the witch and wizard...not sure whether the centaur and merperson would look that way: I think you're trying for equality between the races and I'm hoping all six are looking outward rather than toward just the witch and wizard. Most of all, I like the changes Harry and George made to the names of their loved ones and I'm hoping over the years that other families will personalize the names so that the memorial truly becomes a reflection of those who gave their lives for the cause of freedom from Voldemort's tyranny. Oh, by the way, you put up a good argument for why Vincent Crabbe's name belongs on the memorial; I hope it will make an impact on Draco's attitude and outlook on life!
Finally, the discussion of what the future holds for all the girls in Ginny's dorm showed that without the sacrifices of others, none of them would have the opportunity to live in a free world and to make the choices they have about their lives. I'm glad Hermione has been assimilated into the group and that everyone in the room is happy for her: that was one of the things I think she worried about back in September. I also hope that Parvati had the chance to speak with George about starting a business in Diagon Alley. Maybe she and Padma can have their shop and their parents' arranged marriages, too.
Melindaleo Tuesday 5th June 2018 04:04
22: Memorial (Author Response)
Thanks so much, Arnel! I think Harry has slowly made this discovery himself, so it just seems like him to want to help others struggling the same way he is. I thought so, anyway. You're right that the Fountain of Magical Brethren was an inspiration, but more as allies than subjects. The Battle was awful, but hopefully some good can come from it all.