Sarah. This is the first chance that I've had to look at this, and gee whiz. I literally could not have imagined a better end to your story. From the title to the chapter title to the chapter summary... it's all so stylistically similar to So... Listen that it made for a perfect bookend. (Note, that I haven't even mentioned the content yet (H)).
Now, the content. gahhh. I adored it. It was so, apropriate for grown up hollis. I loved that she had reconnected with her old housemates. I've found in my own life that people that I used to gossip about and not care for, have circled around and ended up being grand companions. I think you wrote a line about Cho and how she knew a thing or two about coping. That is so true, I adored how that line sat by itself, because it really did encapsulate a lot in so few words.
The box in the closet. I love that Hollis had made great efforts at moving onward from Fred. It's only normal. I'd be concerned if she never took a step forward from her first love. I also love that she hadn't yet found anything that was quite right. I imagine that, being robbed of her first love, that it'd be difficult to find something that rivalled that. The fact that she still had the feather and the potion central in her box of trinkets, said a lot without really touching on anythign emotional or heavy.
Lee is hysterical. I certainly hope she meets him without the quidditch star. She deserves a Lee.
Now as a quick aside, I need to squee a few things that weren't central to the story but made it feel so REAL. Juniper.
Albus. Poor boy. Merlin help him if he's anything like his mother. The little red head. I hope it was Fred. Just so you know. Annnd Mrs. Norris. Cranky old cat stalking around Filch's protrait. That was so perfect.
It felt so Hogwarts-y that it made my heart ache a bit. Time always does come around and repeat itself. Hogwarts, is really not that different from when Hollis was there, but she's not a part of it the way she once was, and she never will be again. Time is a funny thing like that. The world keeps spinning unchanging, only you change and age and phase out of it.
This was beautiful, sarah. I'm honored to have been a part of Hollis' life and so grateful that you allowed me and your other readers to be so. Thank you so much.
Author's Response: JUNIPER ♥ c wat i did thur, incorporating her in Wayward? I AM SO CLEVER, RITE? Hee.
In my head, Hollis and Lee get together and run off on a cruise ship to the Bahamas and then they go mountain climbing in Fiji and jungle-hacking in Brazil before they buy the Malfoy's house with Lee's lottery winnings and produce lots of misbehaving children with no sense of personal boundaries or manners or tact in public. But they make up for it by being very good-looking.
In all seriousness, though, I'm so honored that you liked this story and that you saw it through to the end, and, most importantly, that you liked Hollis. I really miss writing about her these days, but going through these old reviews, it brings back those feelings again. Thank you so much, I can never tell you that enough, for reading this story and being so supportive. (hug)