Date: 03/30/2007 07:38 PM Title: Chapter 9 - Barely Breathing
The section when they got to the hospital with Hermione was amazing! Knowing that she was out of the prison and that the danger wasn't over yet was heartbreaking. You managed to make it seem so urgent, even though there were very little lines about Hermione in with the healers:
//With Ginny’s help, I somehow managed to walk into Hermione’s room, where there was a flurry of activity.
A coordinated and well-practiced effort between the members of the healing team was taking place, members rushing about with intent. Neville was still nowhere to be found, but I knew he must be coming. //
And having Ron take the authority for Hermione? OMG, I whimpered again. This was fantastic:
//The healer who seemed to be in charge for now hastened forward and asked, “Who has the authority for this woman?”
“I do,” I answered her immediately. “You have my permission to do anything you need to.”//
Have you been counting? Whimper #3:
//“I’m the everything: her roommate, best friend, and for all intents and purposes, next of kin. Just save her.” I felt my breath coming in heaves, a desperate tone of my voice resounding in the room. What are you waiting for? Help her!//
That line was beautiful. I'm the everything. I wonder if he has any clue that he really is. The everything I mean. He could be if he just took a leap of faith. I'm hoping that comes up in the next chapter.
//“Her parents were killed years ago and she was already of age. I can assure you, you have permission. Now, what do you need to know?” Ginny again took control, allowing me to fall back onto her, to take comfort in her presence.//
I had forgotten that Hermione's parents died in this fic! The death eater said that at one point, right? That she would join her dead parents soon? I'm glad you mentioned it again, because I had been wondering where they were until I remembered that they were dead- that line helped though.
//Suddenly a commanding voice broke into the room. “Well, then, let’s get started everyone,” Neville said quickly, clapping a hand to my shoulder and squeezing Ginny lightly. I hadn’t realised he had come into the room while I was describing Hermione’s injuries.
“Turn her onto her side and pull her hair back away from the wound as much as possible. Let’s see what we’ve got.” Ginny and I watched on as Neville – Healer Longbottom – took charge and amazed me with his confidence and decisiveness. He turned back to us, a forced smile on his face.
“Ginny, Ron, I’m sorry, but I need you to leave for the exam. Stay outside the room and someone will come to get you when we’re done. I’ll take good care of her, okay?” His voice didn't falter and he again conveyed his promise to help her with his eyes, solemnly meeting my gaze.//
Did I mention that I LOVE YOUR NEVILLE? He is so capable and sure of himself. I think Neville has it in him to be that person and to be so confident. He becomes more so as the books continue. We get to see shining moments of him, and it's nice to have someone put him in the role of Healer. He is good enough to be a healer and with an interest in botany, it makes sense that he might end up there. I'm trying to think if I've ever read Neville as a healer, but I can't, so congrats for portraying him so well!
I've just now stopped laughing about your "whimpering" comments. I love that you whimpered 3 times and could actually remember each of the times/sections that it was in reference to. I can admit to whimpering to my fair share of fics and pretending I haven't. It's kind-of weird when something hits you like that, right?
The line where Ron takes authority for Hermione is something I re-worked a few times, because I wanted to get it just right. I'm so glad it came across well!!
I'm so glad that you're enjoying Neville as well!!! He'll have a bit more in the next chapter as well. I definitely agree with you that he's growing and maturing in the books and becoming more sure of himself. Sure, he's still a bit unsure and bumbling, but he's wonderful. I really think, given the chance, he will prove just how capable he can be. And the idea of Neville as a healer is also so nice to me- don't know that it's realistic, but it's nice to think of him in such a role.
::hugs you:: Thanks so much for another wonderful review! I really am flabbergasted! *chocolate covered pretzels for you*
Date: 03/30/2007 05:31 PM Title: Chapter 9 - Barely Breathing
You gave us more Ginny!!!! I love, love, love your characterization of Ginny, as you already know. It works so much for me. I just love the voice you have given her and the affection that Ron clearly has for her is wonderful, even in the midst of all of this.
//Another two minutes of moving as quickly as I could and a wondrous sight began to fill my vision. Red. In the near distance, flame-coloured, vibrant, alive, hope-restoring red. I cried with joy and made a loud whooping sound when I saw Ginny start to run toward us. I knew it was safe to stop, we were safe, we had made it. I’m so glad she’s here to help me get her to St. Mungo’s.//
That was really, really beautiful! And this scene was one of my favorites:
//I moved Hermione’s form into a safe position, felt Ginny surrounding both of us with her strength and calmness, and drew in a deep breath. “On three, okay? One, two, three!” Ginny activated the Portkey with wandless magic and I felt myself being pulled back roughly into a swirling vortex of light.
Ginny’s arms unclenched from around me and Hermione and she was off in a whirl of commanding authority. Oh, heaven, thank you, I prayed in thanksgiving for our safe arrival.
“I need Healer Longbottom right now! This woman needs a private room immediately. This is official Ministry business.” Ginny continued barking orders at every person she encountered and before I knew it, Hermione was being forcibly wrenched from my arms. //
Ginny kicks so much ass! I think the high level of respect you have for her is great, espeically because so many other people hate her. But, you have her taking such great care of Ron, I can't help but love her even a little more.
//Ginny again took control, allowing me to fall back onto her, to take comfort in her presence. //
//I nodded numbly, heard Ginny thanking him, then felt my body being propelled forward. Her reassuring hand found mine and squeezed tightly as she steered me towards the chairs outside the room. Thank Merlin for Ginny. What would I do without her? //
//She quickly conjured a jug of water and some sandwiches, but I barely registered her movements, my mind still on the woman who seemed always to occupy my thoughts.//
If people were to read this and read how you see Ginny, I doubt they would be able to hate her. You make her so lovable and dependable and wonderful..
Yes, more Ginny in this chapter. I really see her as the fourth member of the group- no longer the golden trio, but the golden quad. Any relief effort would be incomplete without her there in some way.
It's nice to hear from someone who loves Ginny and to know that the characterizations are still working for you. It made me smile and blush to think that my version of Ginny makes you love her a little bit more.
I actually really enjoyed writing the sections with Ginny, because they seemed so natural and easy for me. It's not hard for me to picture her being nurturing and caring toward Ron. Thank you for your compliments about her, though, because it is so fantastic to hear about your enjoyment of her.
Thank you again for your absolutely wonderful reviews! What did I ever do to deserve such fantastic treatment? *chocolate covered peppermint patty for you*
Date: 03/30/2007 05:24 PM Title: Chapter 9 - Barely Breathing
Can't it ever just be easy? I know I'm asking the wrong person that, because nothing in this fic has been easy. It's all been hard earned and difficult, but look at this:
//I tried every unlocking spell I could remember, but each yielded no results.
“Fuck! Fuck, fuckity, bloody fuck!” They probably knew she could open it with wandless magic if it was that easy.
Instead of continuing my efforts to unlock the door, I focused on a new approach. I decided to blast apart the hinges, which only succeeded in shifting the bolts slightly out of their hinges. “Bombarda!” Completing the spell three more times, it looked like I could physically force the barred door out of the socket with a well-placed push. I took aim and kicked my foot out as hard as possible against the middle hinge. The door clanged heavily to the floor, the metal crashing against the stone. //
Of course it makes sense though, because she would have been able to escape on her own if it was just a simple unlocking charm. I hadn't thought about that.
//A masked Death Eater rounded the corner of the staircase and I fired off a disarming spell, a stunning spell, and a binding spell before the poor bastard could have even known I was there. I levitated his body off of the stairs and roughly hurtled it into the dungeon wall.
“Hurts, doesn’t it?” I spat to the unconscious Death Eater before continuing on my part of the rescue mission. //
YES!!!!!!! I loved that!!! That was one of the best parts about this rescue sequence. I really hope we get to see what happened to the main death eather guy, because he really needs to be punished!!!
Again, I love the amount of detail and imagery you give us. I can picture exactly what the house looked like as Ron was running through it. I could probably draw a fairly accurate diagram just based on this part of the chapter. It's things like this that help so much:
//The staircase opened out into a large room with high vaulted ceilings and no windows. I took note of another staircase leading to upper floors to our right, seeing a fellow Auror duelling with a Death Eater halfway to the next level. I absently took in the spacious surroundings, the expensive furniture, and the cool tones of the walls, intent on figuring out where I needed to go. It appeared that the room I was about to walk into was a living room of sorts, with a couple settees, a fireplace, and bookshelves on two walls.//
Oh, and it's about freaking time:
//“Thank you, oh, thank you,” I said aloud to any deity listening, looking up at the ceiling and taking a full breath of air for the first time in several minutes. //
She's finally free of her prison, even if they're not exactly out of the woods yet. I breathed such a huge sigh of relief when Ron was able to see Harry and know that it was almost over.
Hi Jen- I know it's hard. How could it not be with the eight chapters leading us up to this point?
I think a lot of people loved Ron's small moment of revenge, even if it wasn't enough!! Being able to see Ron's barely controlled rage is quite a sight, isn't it? I can really picture his anger just sitting below the surface and waiting to erupt. ::shivers::
Yes, she's finally free- after waiting for so long. There's still a long road ahead, but at least it's a different kind of peril from now on.
Thanks again for your insightful and thought-provoking comments. *pumpkin pie for you*
Date: 03/30/2007 05:17 PM Title: Chapter 9 - Barely Breathing
Again, you are so right on with your word choices:
//“Hermione? Come on, get up. Hermione?” I called out to her, my voice rising with each command. “Hermione!” I shook her a bit harder when she continued to not respond. “Hermione, open your eyes, love,” I begged her in a panicky tone, but she didn’t bat an eye or move a muscle.
“Fuck!” I said, hoping she would open her eyes and reprimand me for my “atrocious language” or some other such bullocks. I dimly realised that she was barely breathing and her head was still bleeding. My own head felt fuzzy, as though I wasn’t inside my body. //
I love how you can sense the urgency even this early on in the chapter, at how grave the situation really is. Oh, and this is the part which I started crying at and never stopped:
//“Anapneo!” Nothing. No change at all.
No, no, no. No, this can’t be it! Not after coming this far, you can’t die this way!
“Damnit Hermione, come on back now. This isn’t funny!”//
Forget about Hermione dying- all of your readers nearly died at having to read that!!!!!!!! And then this:
//“You can’t die. Hermione, I swear I'll never forgive you if you don’t get up this instant. We haven’t lived enough yet.” My voice broke and I vaguely heard myself begging her to pull through, still alternating pushes on her chest and expelling breaths in her mouth.//
I actually whimpered when I read the next couple of lines. That right, whimpered- out loud, sissy as possible, whimpered. Damn.
//I can’t do this without you. I can’t live in a world where you don’t.
“We haven’t kissed, we haven’t made love yet. You haven’t married me or made me a daddy.” I blew hard into her mouth, forcing my love and life force into her body. “You can’t die now, I won’t let you.”//
I know this is a series- I really, really, really hope tat one of the stories down the line will be about that line- them making love, getting married, having kids. They deserve it. Pretty please?
//“Hermione, don’t you dare give up! The Hermione Granger I know would never go down without a fight. Get up!” I angrily screamed at her, pushing particularly hard on her chest, and then something miraculous happened. She coughed a bit, sputtered somewhat, and drew in a huge gasping breath of glorious air. Breath after breath she sucked into her body as though she were drinking in water after a journey through a sandy desert.//
THANK GOD!!!!!!!!!!!! She's going to live. I would have been so angry if she had died after all of this!
This segment was so powerful. Incredbily powerful and gut wrenching. I wanted to stop reading, but I'm so horribly addicted that I couldn't.
Wow, Jen!! Your generosity with your time amazes and astounds me! ::hugs you::
Sounds like I gave you quite the scare throughout this part of the story- just imagine what Ron was going through!! I know it was somewhat scary, but I think it would have been anticlimactic after having nine chapters of hell to not have something big happen. If they had just managed to slip her out without a fight or without some danger, the earlier part of the story simply wouldn't have the same power (nor would what's coming up).
The stories coming up after this one will be following the story line of their recovery, the end of the war, and their growth together. I promise there will be happier endings coming in the future, it just might be a while off.
Thank you again for your lovely reviews. It's so heart-warming to read! *Ben and Jerry's Phish Food ice cream for you*
Date: 03/30/2007 05:09 PM Title: Chapter 9 - Barely Breathing
I'm finally getting the chance to come back and go through the chapter more thoroughly. This one had me on the edge of my seat the entire time I was reading it!!!!!! I thought I stopped breathing at one point.
//Her beautiful brown eyes looked up at me and I suddenly was fighting the urge to cry, because she looked so vulnerable, so scared. Her eyes skimmed over my face as though she were trying to find something in one of her beloved texts, but she never met my gaze.//
Even though it's in Ron's point of view, you manage to characterize Hermione so perfectly. She is matter-of-fact so often. Sure, she is in a vulnerable position and she is scared, but she holds onto something she knows- Ron is there to help her.
//“Of course I came back. I would never leave you here. You did great, Hermione.” My voice cracked while I spoke to her and I suddenly remembered myself as the pre-pubescent teenager who was so uncomfortable in intimate conversations with her. She met my eyes and my breath caught at the exhaustion I could see in them.//
God, he loves her so much. How is it possible that she just doesn't see it? She won't let herself open her heart to him again, but look at him!!!!!!! With so few words, you convince us of how madly in love with her he is.
//We both just have to hold on a little longer and you’ll be safe. //
Very in-character of Ron- he's always worried about her and Harry's safety, and it's so fitting that he's thinking about her safety, not his own.
//“Are they coming?” she whispered to me, softly conveying her urgency to be away from this hell, to be free of her prison. She closed her eyes again and I wondered if she had slept at all; overwhelming fatigue was easily apparent in her features.//
I love your word choice- very strong, very bold, and it gives the reader the ability to easily close our eyes and imagine exactly what you were picturing in your mind. It is so easy to "see" the story come to life with the picture you paint.
*happy sighs* You killed me, with this, but I loved it!!!!!!!
Wow, another fantastic review- I'm getting absolutely spoiled by you!!!!! I'm glad you enjoyed this most recent chapter, especially since there was a bit of a wait between chapters.
Thank you so much for your comments about the characterizations of both Ron and Hermione. It's always so nice to hear when the characters come across as themselves, just in different situations.
Indeed, he does love her very much, but some wounds run really deep, you know? We can convince ourselves of many things- that someone does or does not love us, based on what it proves to us. I think that's a lot of what's happening with Hermione. She has closed off the part of herself that could be hopeful about them having a future. He'll have to convince her otherwise.
I'm also very glad that the imagery worked for you!! I think I have said this before, but I'm always worried about giving too much detail and boring anyone who reads it, but giving enough to create a picture. It's nice to hear that it's the right amount of details and the right words for you.
Thanks again, Jen- your reviews are very much appreciated!! *chocolate chip cookies for you*
Date: 03/27/2007 03:08 PM Title: Chapter 9 - Barely Breathing
Wow great chapter my heart just broke for Ron poor guy. It's a long and difficult road for these two.
Hello Sandra! Thank you so much for taking the time to review!!! Yes, this was a very difficult chapter, but I'm glad we've made it out of that horrible place- it is going to be a long road to recovery, but at least we can see the light at the end of the tunnel... er, um, sort-of... yes, there's definitely light somewhere in the future, but I don't want to promise happiness just yet. :o)
*chocolate satin pie for you*
Date: 03/26/2007 04:36 PM Title: Chapter 9 - Barely Breathing
So, that is the most evil cliffie ever! Well, it's actually about as evil as all of the rest have been, but it's SO EVIL!!!!!!
*wags fingers at you* EVIL I SAY!!!!!!!
I want an update and I want one now. I'm willing to stand over you and make you sit at your computer and type if that's what it takes. You know I'll do it too! Don't make me come over there. That's right- just go back to your keyboard and it'll all be okay.
My heart literally stoppped beating so many times in this chapter. I didn't know how much more I could take of it, but it was all worth it. So a beautiful, amazing, heart-breaking chapter.
I have so much more to write about and review for this chapter, but I want to take the time to do it properly. Until then, I want you to know how much this story has impacted me. I have never read something so painful, so addicting, and so powerfully written.
Really, I can't wait for the next chapter. They keep getting better with each new chapter and I know the next chapter might have the ability to kill me.
More later especailly with some specifics, but I wanted to let you know I finally finished it and it was brilliant. Keep up the awesome work!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hi Jen!! Another absolutely brilliant review! Thank you so much for all of your kind words- I can't even begin to tell you how much that means to me. ::hugs you::
I swear an update is coming- this is not a forgotten fic, by any means. However, I am only at the beginning of writing a new chapter. I'm in the middle of a new chapter for my other multi-chaptered fic (If a Man Answers) as well, so it may be a few weeks.
I'm so taken back by all of your wonderful words about the chapter. It really touches me to know how much you are connecting with this fic and are sticking with it- despite how dark and painful it is.
I really, really appreciate your thoughtful and enthusiastic review. It so warms me to read your thoughts each time you leave a review. Thank you again. ::more hugs::
*strawberries and cream for you*
Date: 03/13/2007 04:34 PM Title: Chapter 9 - Barely Breathing
That's left me slightly gobsmacked right there. The rescue was amazing, very detailed and specific, I could picture everything as Ron was running out with Hermione. That sure was scary how Ron found her, and then the way she wouldn't respond - made my heart go *bump*
Amazing writing as usual. So very descriptive, intense, and amazing. All while I was reading this, the intensity really pulled me in. It was interesting the whole scene with Ron in the hospital bed with Hermione. I thought it was odd, but a pretty good framework to then have Hermione come awake so scarily.
Oh, the panic attack - Ron. That poor guy, *scary* I've had a few of those symptoms before and it's not a good feeling at all. Amazing how you described all of it, the way Ron couldn't hear anything, couldn't focus, felt his chest tightening on him, :::phew:::
Made me breathe really deeply when I was reading through that section. Well done.
Really well done. :::big hugs::: Thanks for this new chapter. Sorry I didn't get to it sooner.
Hi M! ::hugs you tightly::
I told you this latest chapter would definitely leave you speechless, because of where I left it! I'm so glad that I delivered on that promise to you.
I'm so happy that you enjoyed the chapter, especially with the TONS of stuff going on, in so many different areas. I'm also very glad that the descriptiveness worked for you. Thevina and I worked hard to make sure that there was enough, but not too much to bog down the pace. :o)
Yes, I think there are a lot of us who are familiar with panic attacks. Anyone who has had one can tell you exactly what it's like, and what it feels like to live through one. I think it's fairly easy to logically understand it, but to live through one is so completely different. Definitely scary. ::nods::
Thanks so much for my lovely review, my dear! It always makes me so happy to hear what you've felt about each chapter, so thanks for giving me your thoughts!
*rasperry sorbet for you*
Date: 03/04/2007 10:13 PM Title: Chapter 8 - Slipping Further Away
This is my last review for this chapter. I know you must think it is a little ridiculous for me to be reviewing so much for each chapter, but I really have so many thoughts and want to be able to tell you all of them.
//“You came back,” I stated simply, trying to burn the image of this Ron, the real Ron, this sweet, loving man into my retinas. This was the Ron I always wanted to remember, not the monster parading around in his likeness. I tried to stifle the tremours coursing through my body as Ron gently put his cloak around me.
“Of course I came back. I would never leave you here. You did great, Hermione.” I heard his voice cracking, and somehow managed to make my eyes meet his.//
I haven't read the next chapter, so I'm not exactly sure, but I'm thinking this is FINALLY the end of Hermione being imprisoned. I really, really, really, really, really hope that Ron is finally able to get her in there.
This last chapter hit so many nerves and had me crying through and through. Good tears, bad tears, pained tears, wishing it would be over tears, wishing there were more uploaded chapters so I could know how it all ends tears- you get the point. I never thought I could cry so much from just reading fanfiction, but you have proved me wrong.
I am wondering where you got the inspiration for this fic and if you had any idea where it's heading? I know the summary says that this is the first in the series. Does that mean you have something planned out or do you just have a rough idea that the story won't be finishing within this fic?
I really love this fic and I love how real it is, in a way. I mean, you are dealing with real issues and you are not just brushing them under the rug or giving cop-out resolutions to real problems. You are bringing us into the bvery worst, you are showing us the worst horror possible. But, I know you will work on getting us out of there, on getting us into a place where there will be growth and light. I'm just waiting to get on that upward trend.
In case you couldn't tell by all of the reviews, I am astounded by you and your writing. When I get the chance I will be moving onto the next chapter. WOW!!!!!
Hi there! ::hugs you:: Thank you so much for all of the really wonderful reviews you have given me, both the multiple ones for the past two chapters, and the ones in the past. It is so amazing to hear how this fic is touching you in so many ways! I, in NO way, find you to be ridiculous- on the contrary, I find it very endearing.
Gosh, I had you crying so much, I surprised you read it as many times as you did, and I'm equally surprised that you want to keep reading!
The inspiration for this fic is both personal and professional (I'm a therapist), but mostly comes from the idea that Hermione could potentially be very vulnerable to this kind of attack (not in canon, obviously!). I know, on so many different levels, the pain that goes with this kind of situation- shame, guilt, long-term consequences, low self-esteem, family and friend reactions, etc. It can be staggering and I thought that fanfiction might be a good place to bring that to light.
I'm so glad that you are connecting with it and the style I am writing in, that I am not ignoring or minimizing the horrifying aspects. As another reviewer wrote, I have taken you into hell, but I will bring you back out- slowly, but surely.
As far as the rest of the fic and series is concerned, I have a very definite outline of the rest of this fic. I have good ideas for the follow-up piece and potentially the piece after that. I've got a pretty good amount of storyarc completed, but it's just finding the time to get it all written that is holding me up. Stick with me though, I certainly have no plans of abandoning this series!
Thanks again for all of your kind words!!! You compliment and flatter me to the point that I am honestly blushing and can't stop smiling. You have given so much to me and I genuinely thank you for that!!!
*chocolate frog for you*
Date: 03/04/2007 10:01 PM Title: Chapter 8 - Slipping Further Away
Oh, the rape scene was so completely horrible. I wasn't exactly prepared for it to be as graphic and violent as it was. I know you forewarned us, I just wasn't realizing how horrible it would be. Sadly, I know that is nothing compared to the absolute horror of actually being raped and having to live through that. I can definitely appreciate why you are not taking the easy way out and why you are showing exactly how bad it really is.
At the end of the rape scene, you showed us that spark from Hermione again:
//“You could never be a Weasley,” I screamed at the top of my lungs. “Every single Weasley is at least fifty times the wizard you could never hope to be.”//
I felt relieved to realize that as broken as her body has been, you've spared her spirit at least a little bit and I hope that spark is enough to carry her throughout the rought times ahead.
//“You are truly sick, you disgusting, twisted pervert. The real Ron Weasley would never do to me what you’ve done to me.”
He would never. Never. I need to remember, it’s not him. It was never my Ron.//
There's more of that fire and spirit. Thank God that you she's still Hermione, underneth all of the pain and suffering and trauma, she's still there. But how will she ever get through all of this???
This is the second time that you have hinted at knowing the horrors of being in a situation such as this. If it is something you have gone through, you have my deepest empathy, caring, and understanding. It is one of the most horribly cruel, demoralizing, and defeating experiences someone can go through. ::hugs you:: If I am just reading too much into your words, forgive me. :o)
Yes, despite the trauma and violence, she is still the fiery and bright woman we all love. She's a bit wounded right now and it's hard to see how she can possibly move on from this, but I promise you that she will!
Thanks so much for yet another beautiful review!
*blackberry sorbet for you*
Date: 03/04/2007 09:54 PM Title: Chapter 8 - Slipping Further Away
More on the second flashback, because there wasn't enough room to do it on the last review.
//I closed my eyes against his probing stare. I knew I would never say the words if I had to look at him. It struck me as ironic that I now knew what he had been struggling with that night and how similar the experiences were to be.//
I so badly wanted her to give in and let him back into her heart. However, knowing they weren't together at the beginning of the fic, I know that isn't possible.
//“Ron… Actually, I’m…” I trailed off, looking for the right words. He was right, this was too important to not have the correct words.
“I’m- I’m… I’m not there… anymore.” There, I said it. It had to be done, but that didn’t stop it from hurting to say, hurting to hear out loud.
“I’m so sorry, but the moment’s passed for me, you know? I can’t- I just can’t… I don’t feel that way anymore.”//
Oh, this is so painful. I almost couldn't take any more.
//I looked up, not sure what to expect. I certainly did not expect to see his agonised expression, nor the tears glistening in his eyes. I was taken back by his capacity to show me his emotions, something I had been struggling with, as of late. I knew I needed to say something to him, but from my own experience, nothing could make this moment easier for him to stomach or accept. He would simply need to live through it and only time would heal the damage. At least, that’s what I kept telling myself, and it seemed to be somewhat true.
“I think it’s best if we… I mean, I think it’s clear that it’s just not meant to be, Ron. We keep having these near-misses, but they’re never close enough, you know? I really am sorry. It’s just another momentary slip of judgment, okay?” I asked, trying to give him a graceful exit.//
Does the agony never end??? Oh, I cannot begin to describe the twinges going through my chest and the pit in my stomach.
//“No. No, no, no. I don’t believe you. I know you don’t really feel this way. You just wanted me to feel how hurtful it was when I rejected you, right? I get it, okay, I get it. I know that it was the worst possible thing I could ever have done to you. I’ve learned my lesson.” A solitary tear rolled from his bright blue eye down his flushed cheek and I thought I had never seen him look so vulnerable.//
Even in the incredible amount of pain she is in, Hermione could never be so cruel as to exact revenge on Ron. She may have been trying to protect her heart, but she would never do something like that.
//“It’s not a momentary slip. How could you even say that? Don’t you believe me, don’t you understand how important this is to me? This isn’t some shallow feeling, Hermione, it’s not just going to go away. I’m in lo-” I quickly covered his lips with my hands, physically preventing him from continuing his comment.//
NOOOO!!!!!!!! He's in love with her and he needs to say it and I can't believe she was so stubborn as to stop him!!
//“Don’t say it. Don’t say something that you can’t take back, but it will injure us both for having heard it. It was a slip, that’s all.”//
Oh, my heart is still breaking. Really, really breaking. You need to fix it. You need to give us a happy ending, because this is so painful! But, this flashback was just so incredible I am blown away by the intensity and amount of emotion you were able to get into this segment.
Wow, more of me torturing you, huh? I honestly can't believe that you have stuck with it as long as you have, especially given how painful it is to read.
Despite the difficulties and the pain that comes from reading it, I am so appreciative of your taking the time to give me such specific details of the parts you liked, the parts that were hard to read, and what you want to see more of.
Hermione is a great many things, and stubborn is definitely a great way to describe her- when she sets her mind to something, she's going to do it to the best of her abilities. She is fighting the heartbreak and letting him in very hard, but things that are meant to be will be, you know? It just takes a while to get there.
Thanks for the fantastic review! *bananas foster for you*
Date: 03/04/2007 09:37 PM Title: Chapter 8 - Slipping Further Away
The entire second flashback was so incredibly painful. I honestly re-read it over and over again because I cried so hard. You write pain so well.
//He was waiting for me to turn and look at him. I knew this and he knew that I knew. I determinedly ignored this knowledge and began slowly running my fingertips through the blades of grass on the hillside. I caressed each strand of life, enjoying the implication that the earth was in a cycle of rebirth. I wished I myself was in a cycle of rebirth, instead of the awkward self-preservation phase I seemed to be stuck in.//
This was just beautiful!
//He reached toward me with his large hand and plucked my left palm out of the grass. He held onto me and ran his fingers gently over the knuckles on my hand. “Won’t you even look at me?” he asked quietly, with a tone I couldn’t quite place. That had been happening a lot lately: him speaking softly, using tones I could not understand the implications of, him finding excuses to touch me. I refused to let my mind make any guesses or assumptions about what these changes could mean.
I pulled my hand back from him, restraining the shudders which wanted so desperately to course through my body. I turned my head slightly in his direction and cocked my head at an angle. Resolutely, I resumed my gentle dance with the cool blades of grass. Forward, backward, side, side. Forward, backward, side, side. The repetitive movement soothed my uneasy nerves.
Another deep sigh from him. I didn’t even want to hazard a guess as to what had his knickers in a twist. Frankly, he had been acting very oddly since he and Lavender had broken up. Of course, I hadn’t spoken to him for months before that, so perhaps something happened in that time and I simply didn’t know about it. I knew the thought that he and I had lived entirely separate lives for all those months should bother me more, but it really didn’t. I refused to let it bother me more, because that might be the key to opening a dangerous and forbidden door.//
Oh, poor, poor Hermione. I know how deeply she was hurt by what happened with Ron and Lavender and that was such a great way to show that pain.
//“You just left me that night and I couldn’t get to you. I knew I had hurt you, but I couldn’t get anywhere near you. I shouted up the stairs until I was hoarse, but you never came back to me. I begged Ginny to check on you, but when she came back, she said you had imperturbed your bed and she couldn’t get to you either.”
I suddenly knew what night in the fall he was talking about. Yes, the night we never discussed- ever. Not that he hadn’t tried; I simply refused to engage in any discussion about the incident.
“The next morning, you acted as if nothing had changed and I hated you for it. How could you possibly drop a hippogriff on my chest and then pretend it never happened?”//
In the first flashback, I felt so horribly for Hermione that I didn't even stop to think about what it would have been like for Ron to have to give his ebst friend news like that. I like how, even though this is in Hermione's POV, you managed to give us a glimpse into how Ron handled that first rejection.
//"...I won’t be whole without you. Please let me have you.”//
Wow, my heart just stopped.
//I felt like my world was closing in on me. I couldn’t take in enough oxygen to begin to process what was happening. That door to my heart was fighting to open, to let him back in, but I steadfastly beat it back into submission.//
She's just fighting it too hard!!!!!
//“Please say something, I’m dying here.”//
So few words, but we can see how hard it was for him to put himself out there and for her to hesitate.
This second flashback was seriously so completely emotional for me. It was more painful for me to read that than it was for me to read about the torture. Amazing!
I can't believe that, with as much pain as you were in, you read this part over and over again!!! Wow, that is such a compliment to me. ::Risie blushes profusely::
Yes, I think in the first flashback, it is so easy to see it only from Hermione's point of view, especially since that's the POV I wrote it in. However, can you imagine how hard that would be to have to tell your best friend? I wanted some of the pain he suffered to come through in the second flashback, because it's important to realize it was not just one fault or the other- it was partly their dynamic together that lead to them being separate for so long.
You know something funny? I think it was harder for me to write the flashback scenes than it was to write the torture scenes, at least emotionally speaking. I really fought with the torture scenes, but the flashbacks just killed me to write.
Thank you again for all of your wonderful words!! *yummy bread pudding for you*
Date: 03/04/2007 09:18 PM Title: Chapter 8 - Slipping Further Away
This section with the Death Eater was one of the most cruel things I have ever read in my life. What a brilliant, yet sadistic twist.
//“My dear Mudblood, my dear pet. I had no idea that the blood traitor had completely rejected you. Tsk, tsk. That must have hurt very badly. I guess you always really have been the odd one out within your little ‘golden trio’. Just one more example of how he doesn’t trust you- he couldn’t even trust you with something like his heart.” //
Oh, I just wanted to kill him when he said that. And reading this made my stomach churn:
//The Death Eater had taken my memory and used it to make my worst nightmare come true. The Death Eater, probably using glamour charms, changed his appearance to look exactly like Ron.
“Today is your lucky day, puppet. I’m going to grant you your heart’s deepest desire. Today, you will be together with your dear blood traitor- or at least, that’s the memory you’ll have. You’ll remember the look on his face when he takes you and tastes you. Isn’t it generous of me to give you what you have always wanted?”//
I know I can't be the only one who wants to kill him right now. What an absolute bastard!
//The mental cloudiness began to recede and I made a checkmark on the running list in my mind, marking off the first of a long line of torturous moments to come. Lists were something I understood, something I clung to. For the majority of my life, I had relied on lists and schedules to ensure that I was aware of everything which needed to be done and to make sure every essential task was completed. Now, I relied on this daily list to help me get through the routine. If I compelled my mind to see the torture as a daily routine, to see it as a set of tasks to be done, I could somehow survive the day. If I thought of my situation in cold, clinical terms, I could somehow find the strength to cope with my reality. //
I actually really like the idea of Hermione viewing the torture as a checklist. Somehow it seems like it would make sense that she could cope like that. If it became a routine and it became something she could anticipate, her mind would be more protected. What a great idea!
I know, I know- probably the most cruel thing I could have possibly written to happen. I really did fight against writing it- I tried and tried, I wrote several versions of this section of the chapter. However, my muse kept getting back to the DE glamoured as Ron. ::shudders with you::
And, NO, you aren't the only one plotting revenge against that horrible DE- I have had several people on my LJ tell me the same thing. Don't worry- time wounds all heels... or at least in theory.
Hermione's torture checklist is actually a way that prisoners of war report that they manage to survive their torture. If they can anticipate and make sense of it somehow, it becomes easier to cope with. Interesting, huh?
*peppermint sticks for you*
Date: 03/04/2007 09:06 PM Title: Chapter 8 - Slipping Further Away
You broke my heart so many times in a single chapter. The first time began from the first flashback scene. This just killed me:
//“I can’t, Hermione. I just can’t. I’m so sorry.” He searched my face for something, his eyes flickering over my features.
He released my hand and walked away, head bowed.
I stood in shock for a few moments before I decided to throw caution to the wind and run after him. I was already so far in and had already put so much of myself out. I didn’t think my dignity had much further to slide if he rejected me a second time.//
Oh, this was just so painful to see Hermione put herself out there and feel like that was the lowest her dignity could get.
//“Say something… anything… I just- I just…” my voice trailed off. I steeled myself and tried again, my voice coming out in no more than a whisper. “I just thought you might need me too, might want me too.”
I closed my own eyes to ward off the tears which were threatening. No, no more threat. The tears started to slide slowly down my chilly cheeks, leaving tracks of agony in their paths.//
Oh, this was just so painful. I can't even imagine how badly this hurt her. I was actually crying at this point. And then this:
//I didn’t need to hear another word of how he didn’t love me, didn’t want me in the same way, but he continued my torture. I couldn’t force my eyes open to look at him.
“I would never risk our friendship just to get something physical out of it. It hurts me to have to tell you this. I care for you so much, but I can’t give you what you want. I can’t take what you’re offering.”
I took several deep breaths and squelched down the pain searing through my centre, the core of my being. My soul had been shoved into an incinerator, but I wouldn’t let him see how deeply I had been burned, I couldn’t let him see my wounds. I wouldn’t let him see that I might never recover from this.//
And the imagery you used in talking about her heart being completely burned was wonderful! I loved how you had her try to be graceful and give him a simple way out of the uncomfortable situation.
I love how you managed to make Hermione's offer fit within the existing 6th year relationship, much like a missing moment. I seriously started crying at the beginning of this flashback and didn't stop for the entire rest of the chapter. Wow, that's powerful.
It continues to amaze me that you take so much time to review and give me your thoughts. Truly, I am astounded by you taking your time to do that!!!
It seems like I am continuously putting you into some pain. Sadly, this is a darker fic and I think that's just grist for the mill with a piece like this one. I promise there is light at the end of the tunnel, there's just a few chapters to go before we get there!!
::hugs you for your tears::
I'm glad the "missing moment" that sort-of fits into canon worked for you. I know a few people weren't thrilled about it, because it does change canon. However, the basic premise of the missing scene fits with what eventually happened, even though the specifics leading up to the canon separation were different. :o)
Thanks so much for your kind words! *rice pudding for you*
Date: 03/04/2007 08:52 PM Title: Chapter 8 - Slipping Further Away
You know, I love the way you write these characters. I really, really do. Every time I read a chapter in Ron's POV, I feel like you have so much insight into him. But then I read your Hermione and it's like you have completely figured her out. There were certain sections that were so Hermione that I honestly could practically see her doing it. Like this part:
I waited as the minutes dragged by, feeling the gentle beat of my heart pumping in my chest. One, two, three… What’s that called again? Seven, eight, nine… Something to do with sensitivity to your internal heart regulation… Thirteen, fourteen, fifteen… Interoceptive sensitivity, isn’t it? Nineteen, twenty, twenty-one...
I counted my heart beats, forcing my body to remain in the relative calm of the moment. I had always been particularly in tune with my heart rate, and any fluctuations in the speed or volume of pumping frequently caused me some anxiety. Any reason to get anxious about something is a good reason, eh? However, when the beating of my heart was consistent and stable, I used the rhythm of the steady pumping as an anchor.//
I swear this is something I would do, and more importantly, I can see her doing it. And you know what? I loved the idea that Hermione would have needed therapy when she was younger. We don't know much about her from before Hogwarts, but there's got to be a reason she had such a hard time connecting with other people. It makes sense if she would have had odd things happen to her when she was a kid.
This part was so fantastic.
Hi again! Thanks for another wonderful review!!!
I'm so glad that my characterizations are working for you! I find it easier to write Hermione than Ron, because there is so much of me in her (I read the canon and I think "I do that!"). On the other hand, there is something very organic about Ron Weasley and writing him is good for my soul.
It's funny, but a few people have commented on her possibly needing therapy when she was younger. I see Hermione as such an anxious person- sure, she can be cool, collected, and calm under pressure- that it would not be surprising to me if she would have needed therapy to help her control that dimension. ::shrugs:: The idea seems to be working for some people. :o)
Thanks for the lovely comments! *mint chocolate chip ice cream for you*