Here I am, as promised, with tissue in hand... ;)
Really... You're starting us off with Fred's headstone... I'm not supposed to have to sniffle this early in a story! LOL But you're right, Fred would have wanted his final resting place to be close to home.
"Fred Weasley, Son. Brother. Hero" - A perfect description of him *sob*
The thought that Bill would come talk to him every morning, even though they spent so much time apart during Fred's teen years makes for an incredibly bittersweet picture.
The idea that the Weasleys are actively involved in reclaiming Hogwarts is perfect, and honestly something I never really thought about. Obviously a lot of work would need to be done before the castle would be habitable again, but it's always been more of a passing thought if you know what I mean. I think this bit lines you (or someone else) up perfectly for a "Reclaiming Hogwarts" fic (and feel free to use that title if you decide to write it... LOL
Oh... numerical slip up *heart breaks*
And here's Bill, trying to take the blame for Fred's death... and Iím sobbing...
I can see him, as the oldest believing that it was his responsibility to protect the others. After all, I'm sure he spent the majority of his time growing up helping to look after them.
...And here comes the anger...You're doing a great job with making the stages of grief feel natural here.
And we're on to Charlie...
You're going to torture me with each Weasley one by one aren't you... I hope I have enough tissues left by the time I get to Molly!
The difference between the way the brothers are handling Fred's death is a jolt... but a good one.
Bill, being older, still has a bit of anger, but it's at himself... Charlie here seems full of rage at himself and at the world in general for pulling his own life out from under him. But when he collapses, you can feel the pain and grief wash over him, drowning him. *sniffle*
And Percy's opening line has me reaching for a new tissue...
The guilt he feels is heart breaking, and the fact the he honestly believes, and thinks George believes, it should have been him makes you ache for him.
"What if he thought that Percy deserted him again like he had for so many years already?" - So much guilt :(
..Wait... Audrey? Isn't that Percy's wife's name... Oh! You sneaky dog you!
And now we're back to tears... "It should have been me..." every time he says it I cry a little harder.
Oh no... George... Can I just skip this part? Please... No? *sigh* Fine, but I'm grabbing a fresh tissue!
"He'd barely gotten used to being just George..." - That line right there brings it all home...How do you live with only half of yourself?
The fact that George is leaning on the Trio and Ginny to just get through the day is so realistic I can see it happening. Ron and Harry, his rocks to lean on, Ginny and Hermione to make him laugh, to show him that he was still able to, seems very natural.
I admit, I read this part as quickly as I could... and still, by the end, when George was clutching his brother's headstone, I was in full on sobs...
And now for Ron... oh dear... :(
I love how he's just catching Fred up on the day's gossip and activity. It seems so Ronish - Yes, his brother is gone, but it's not going to stop him from telling him everything. Maybe Ron has a better grasp on this than the others because he spent the majority of him life 1) preparing for something like this and 2) being in constant life and death situations alongside Harry and Hermione. Maybe those experiences gave him the little edge he needed to get through this... Then again, he may just have the emotional range of a teaspoon... LOL
Oh, and here comes Hermione... Just when I managed to stop crying for a minute =P
Leave it to her to make sure Fred hears about Ron's own accomplishments... and then you had to slip that line in one me.. didn't you! *sniffle*
I like that you have Ginny give us a set place in time here. It makes it easier to sort of track the family grieving progress. As we get further out it seems to be getting easier for them to just come and talk to Fred about everyday things... but the heaviness and sadness is still there... and always will be.
She's the first one to mention blaming Harry, at least at first, but we know that it must have crossed everyone's mind at one point or another... she's just the one to say it out loud, Then her talking about Harry blaming himself... again, you're keeping true to character.
"Fred was the perfect twenty year old, frozen in time." - Isn't that how we always remember those we've lost? Everything they did that annoyed us, or angered us, just fades away and this is what you're left with.
And here comes Harry... at least he starts the conversation with happy news...
Aww... he is looking after Teddy as promised... and, we're sniffling again...
This conversation with Fred is killing me a little.
All those little insecurities shoved away buried beneath determination is the essence of Harry, but the visual of him sitting there telling all this to Fred, making sure not to leave him out even all these years later, still breaks my heart.
...Why do you insist on killing me with their parting lines? Years later, they've all managed to move on the best they can, but hereís Harry, still blaming himself... *sob*
Oh Merlin save me... here comes Molly and Arthur...
Twelve years later and you can tell that the visits aren't daily anymore, but Fred's not forgotten. This is a lovely, yet again bittersweet, scene with Molly and Arthur catching him up on what all his nieces and nephews are doing. Then we had to start talking about Fred II didn't we... *sniffle*
And we end it all with one last sob.. That line, especially coming from Arthur, is truly the perfect ending to this beautifully written, heart wrenching story.
Amazing job my dear!
Author's Response: Oh my gosh how do I even respond to this? This is such an awesome review. First of all, thank you!!!
I really worried about Molly and Arthur's section feeling boring, so I'm extra happy that you liked that one. Writing any of the Weasleys that isn't Bill or Charlie just generally terrifies me; your supportive review was just what I needed with this ♥
I didn't mean to make you sad! Well, I did, but I didn't actually want you to be sad. If that makes sense, haha. Writing Charlie and Bill's was my favorite, probably just because I'm more comfortable in their skin. Charlie especially felt to me like he was just angry. So angry. Hurt obviously, but so mad at *everything*.
I can't imagine that at some point, none of them blamed Harry. He did amazing things and he's the only reason more of them aren't dead. I'm sure they would have been the first family to be exterminated if Voldemort did succeed in his rise to power, but still. For just a few split seconds, how could you not wonder what it would have been like if he would have been part of another family? Bah. I just feel so sad for all of them.
Thanks again for stopping by, darling! And for leaving such an awesome review ♥