Date: 03/04/2007 08:36 PM Title: Chapter 8 - Slipping Further Away
I think I'm going to have to do what I did with the last chapter and leave several reviews, because WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW!
You have completely ripped my heart out and I've been crying as I read this and yet, oddly, I can't wait to go on and read the next chapter.
That's how I can tell how well this story is being written. You are pulling my heart out of my chest, but I still want to read and I'm sad that the next chapter is the last chapter posted. I'm afraid I'll start to go through withdrawal.
More reviews to come, but overall let me just say that this is definitely the best chapter by far. I would venture to say this is the worst best chapter I have ever read in fanfiction. I'm so amazed.
Wow, again, thank you so much for all of your fantastic reviews!! I'm amazed, shocked, and beyond pleased to receive all of them.
Gosh, hearing you say that you were crying throughout the chapter was both good and hard to hear. I'm sorry it was clearly so painful to read through, but that means that the agony I wanted to come across did.
The imagery of your review is quite vivid: "ripped my heart out" and "pulling my heart out of my chest" and it's quite clear to me exactly what my fic is doing to you.
I am starting to work on the next chapter, but it is a ways off... I'm working as fast as I can!! Thanks again for everything!
*butterscotch pudding for you*
Date: 03/04/2007 02:11 PM Title: Chapter 9 - Barely Breathing
This is such a powerful chapter and one of my favorites! The rescue was perfect and Ron having to save her life was so intense and powerful!
Then that fabulous and so honest confession of his feelings !
Risie, you have done so wonderfully well this story :)
Fabulous job, as always :D
Hi Mon! WOW to you too- what a lovely review!! :o) ::blushes::
I'm so glad you enjoyed the latest chapter, especially since there was so much action in it. I haven't yet written action, so that was a first for me.
The confession was something that really needed to come- after so much heart-ache and pain, I think we all (myself included) needed something positive to hold onto with this pair.
Hon, thank you so much for taking the time to let me know your thoughts about each of the chapters. Truly, it's so good for my heart!! ::hugs::
*chocolate-covered pretzel sticks for you*
Date: 03/04/2007 01:22 PM Title: Chapter 9 - Barely Breathing
Oh, poor Ron! I hope she comes around, but I’m sure it won’t be soon, given what she’s been through.
"Hurts, doesn’t it?” I spat to the unconscious Death Eater before continuing on my part of the rescue mission.
Go Ron! Kick some Death Eater ass!
“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.
Go Ginny! Kick some healer ass!
“Ginny and I watched on as Neville – Healer Longbottom – took charge and amazed me with his confidence and decisiveness.”
Go Neville! Kick some …. um... ass! I like your decisive Neville!
Good portrayal of Ron’s panic attack. I’m sure you know the symptoms! I got a psychologist friend to diagnose mine a while back. I didn’t know why my chest kept squeezing when I was under stress, and she told me that’s what was happening. Fortunately, much milder than Ron’s type of attack.
I liked him changing the room colors for her. Always taking care of her. And the scene in the bed, before she woke up. I hope what he said while she was sleeping sunk in.
Another good chapter. I look forward to seeing where it goes from here!
Hi my dear Beth!
Yes, there was loads and loads of ass-kicking in this chapter. After the EIGHT chapters leading up to this, I felt like we all needed something decisive, fast-paced, and involved, because it's been such a long journey to this place!
You're right- as a therapist at a college, I see panic attacks all of the time- and the one portrayed here was certainly a more severe one. I really don't see Ron as the panicking type, but when it involves Hermione and possibly losing her it makes sense to me. I think Ron is the type to fall apart when nobody is watching, and he managed to get through the entire rescue and to a safe place (with Ginny!) before it really hit him.
Thanks so much for another AWESOME review! It helps so much to hear the parts that are working for you and the parts that you are enjoying. Because this is a work in progress, it definitely impacts me hearing everyone's comments as I am writing. ::hugs you::
*pineapple upside-down cake for you*
Date: 03/04/2007 12:49 PM Title: Chapter 8 - Slipping Further Away
Man, those flashbacks was agonizing. (But not as much as him raping her as Ron.) I know that those two conversations were not in canon, but in a way, Hermione asking Ron to Slughorn’s party and him turning her down and taking up with Lavender was kind of like that (but must less obviously stated).
I like Hermione’s checklists for her torture – “Crucio, check. Imperio, check.” Very Hermione-like.
Intense but wonderful chapter once again!
Hi there again! :o)
You know, it's an odd thing about agony- I was seriously crying as I wrote the two flashback scenes, because it was so painful for me to get them out. The scene with the rape (as Ron) was really difficult for me, and I kept resisting the process. I kept deleting and editing and trying to find a way around that, but my muse really wanted it to come out with him doing that. I'm glad Hermione's checklists came across as in-character. I was a bit worried they might come off as silly.
Thanks, again, for giving me some things to think about. It's so nice to hear the ways you are resonating with the fic.
*rootbeer float for you*
Date: 03/04/2007 09:47 AM Title: Chapter 7 - Unveiled
Some observations, going in reverse order:
“You what? You chose now to kiss her? What the hell is the matter with you?”
Ginny is such a wet blanket!
“Ron? You’ve gone to that dirty place in your mind, haven’t you?”
But so astute!
Oh, the scene in the pensieve made me cry – both Ron and Harry’s reaction to seeing her being raped, and how Harry and Ginny comforted him. It’s sad that the shame on both their parts kept them from getting her rescued earlier – she wouldn’t let Ron in because of her shame, and he wouldn’t let Harry and Ginny see the memory because of his feelings of shame on her behalf.
And I had guessed that it was the guy who did the psychological screening when you first mentioned him a few chapters back. Who else would have known about her sources of shame and guilt?
“In the past two weeks, I had tracked down more leads that got us nowhere than I cared to remember. I knocked on hundreds of doors. I listened to hundreds of voices.”
Of COURSE he did!
“I was just looking at the tip of her tongue for an elusive answer,” I threw over my shoulder….
This was a cute scene. The first bit of levity we’ve seen so far!
“I looked up to catch more silent communication passing between Harry and Ginny. Merlin, I miss doing that with Hermione and feeling like I am part of a special club, too.”
Aw, Ron. You’ll get that soon!
Hi Beth! Thanks so much for the awesome review! It's always nice to see the specific parts that you are enjoying or that are hitting a chord in you.
The pensieve scene (and the scene directly after it in the kitchen) were very emotionally difficult for me to write. I know from experience, personal and professional, just how astounding the effects of shame can be on situations like this one. It moves people to do otherwise very irrational things, just to avoid losing more pride and dignity.
Yes, the first real bit of lightness we have had in this fic, even if it was VERY short-lived. I had to through something in there, especially between Ron and Ginny, because I love the sibling dynamic that can come out among them.
Thanks again for the fantastic review!!! ::hugs you:: *peach cobbler for you*
Date: 03/04/2007 09:23 AM Title: Chapter 6 - Panic Attack
Aww, this was a sweet, if still torturous, chapter. Finally some hope! Interesting that she wants to protect Ron and keep him pure. They just want to protect each other. But her blocking him out for so long was torturing him too since he didn’t know if she was alive or not.
She mentioned needing 10 years of therapy, which makes me wonder if they have a magical form of therapy – like using the pensieve or a potion to help them process or forget key elements of their torture.
Now I see why she was able to orgasm so easily – she’s naturally responsive. I read what you said about some women, but it seemed to implausible.
Another great chapter, Risie!
Hi again, Beth! It's so nice to have your thoughts and comments about the chapter- thank you so much for taking the time to do that. It truly it appreciated so, so much!
I actually have a few ideas about the different ways that magical therapy could work, and I'm going to be writing about some of them in the follow-up fic for this piece. I'd love your thoughts (I'll email you about it) on this dimension!
Oh, the part about being naturally responsive- maybe I should add that to me A/N for the chapter, because other people may not be quite seeing what I'm talking about either until they get to this chapter. Thanks for the heads-up on that!
*mango-pineapple smoothie for you*
Date: 03/04/2007 09:03 AM Title: Chapter 5- Bound
Oh, poor Hermione. And poor Ron, who had to witness it, which is agonizing because he couldn’t do anything to help. And knowing he did only adds to her shame.
I can see someone like Hermione falling prey to feelings of guilt and shame. She’s so orderly and organized and concerned about appearances (to some degree). And the Death Eater found just how to exploit it. I’m glad that Harry believes Ron. He could have easily written it off as stress-induced hallucinations.
A tough chapter to write – you did a great job!
Hi Beth! Thanks for continuing to read and review- I love getting your thoughts about each of the chapters!! :o) ::hugs you::
There are so many dimensions here, but Ron having to witness everything is a huge component here. Hermione's shame and guilt will increase exponentially because of this aspect. This chapter really was difficult to get through (though much easier than a few coming up!) and I'm glad you enjoyed the effort!
*yummy peppermint bark for you*
Date: 03/04/2007 08:46 AM Title: Chapter 4- Hope Fades
Very intense chapter! I love how Ron is her home and her center, and how she can rise above the pain of the cruciatus by focusing on him. Scary, though. So is Ron just in her mind? Or his actual body that’s coming through?
Hi Beth! Wow, thanks so much for reviewing!! I really do feel like Ron is the person who keeps her grounded and energized. At this point in the fic, the connection is a primarily a psychic connection- just their minds/hearts/souls. As the fic progresses and Hermione is more in control of the spell, then the connection is a real bodily connection. Thanks for asking!
*Jamaica Me Crazy (Ben and Jerry's sorbet) for you*
Date: 03/04/2007 07:22 AM Title: Chapter 3 - A Tentative Connection
Your idea of their connection is really intriguing. I love how Ron keeps getting distracted - is he distracted by her eyes or body? But Hermione is always thinking and trying to provide information to solve the problem!
Hi again!! Actually, I think he's more distracted by trying to figure out what's happening and where she is- he's on Auror mode, trying to take in everything... he's just forgetting that Hermione can give him the best information. Thanks again for reviewing!
*gooey brownies for you*
Date: 03/04/2007 06:50 AM Title: Chapter 2 - Forcibly Removed
Good chapter. Some random observations: It’s interesting how Hermione viewed Harry as a big brother, when she’s almost a year older than him and more advanced academically. But I guess that just shows his leadership style – especially in the way you wrote him in the first chapter. How horrible that she was abducted when she was in the middle of fantasizing about Ron – a foreshadowing of the horrors to come!
You don’t see a lot of stories that show them so many years down the road without having defeated Voldemort. They’re not out on a Horcrux hunt or dealing with constant battles of war, they’re working for the Ministry – within the system – to defeat him. Interesting approach.
“Hermione— Please don’t make me leave here with you angry with me. I care too much for you to… to…” Ron had trailed off, unable to find the right words. .... “Please be careful on your patrol this afternoon - you know I worry about you.” Because I love you… no, definitely cannot tell him THAT… can’t make him feel uncomfortable.
Oh, they both love each other and can’t tell the other!
I love how she just keeps fighting – trying to find a way out. She’s not a helpless heroine, but she knows that her boys will find her!
Hi Beth! Thanks again for reading and reviewing- it's truly appreciated! :o)
Yeah, I know that Hermione is older than Harry and in some ways, I think she really does see herself as his older sister- needing to protect him and be responsible for his wellbeing. On the other hand, I feel like she wants to impress him and feel safe with him, very much like a younger sister and her brother. And, being only children, I think it's easy for me to see the sibling dynamic that they've created for themselves.
I was a bit conflicted about having them be several years out and not have defeated Voldemort, but thought it was at least a possibility that they wouldn't get everything wrapped up quickly.
I'm glad the angst is working for you- there's a lot more of that to come. There's more development of the R/Hr relationships, but it's going to be moving a bit slowly during this fic- it will pick up in the follow-up piece. Thanks again for the awesome review!
*sweet southern mint iced tea for you*
Date: 03/04/2007 06:37 AM Title: Chapter 1- Forcibly Taken
Hi Risie! I promised I’d review, and even though I’m caught up through chapter 9 I’m going to go back and comment on each chapter. I didn’t realize that this was your first fic! Great job so far! I love how it just starts out with a bang and takes off from there (unlike my fic, which takes ages to get going!). And as one of the other reviewers said, I like seeing Harry take charge and keep a level head when Ron is falling to pieces – it shows how much he cares about both of his friends. Nice job!
Hi Beth! Thanks so much for taking the time to review!!! As a fellow author, I know you know how getting reviews are food for the soul. Yes, this is my first fic, and I'm straddling it and another multi-chapter, which has been a challenge. I'm glad my Harry is working for you- Ron is going to have plenty of emotional load that he needs to cope with, so I feel like Harry would just do what he can to alleviate the pressure. Thanks again for reviewing!
*blackberry pie for you*
Date: 03/02/2007 08:21 PM Title: Chapter 7 - Unveiled
This is my last review for this chapter. I cannot wait to go onto the next chapter and see what you've got for us.
This last section with Ginny really threw me for a loop!! Again you write the sibling dynamic so well. I'm guessing that you have siblings. Am I right? I don't see how someone who doesn't have siblings can so accurately gett all of the nuances into so few lines of dialogue.
This is the part that absolutely killed me though:
//“Just be careful, Ron. I know how badly you want this- have wanted this for so long. I just want you to go slow, otherwise everything could be ruined, yeah? Remember, you’re the one who rejected her and broke her heart years ago. This might not be as easy as you want to think. I’m trying to look out for you.”
“I know. I’ll try to make sure that nothing happens that I won’t be able to take back- not like the last time. Thanks, Ginny.” //
WHAT, WHAT, WHAT?????????? Did you say that he rejected her in an earlier chapter and I missed it? I think I need to go back and investigate that. If that was new, I think that was a brilliant way to give us a hint about why they haven't yet started up a relationship and why Hermione ended up with someone else.
I LOVE the dynamic when Harry comes in and you see the playfulness between Harry and Ginny, as well as with Ron. I love how you have Ginny as an established part of their lives, not just Ron's sister and Harry's girlfriend. She definitely feels like an equal, a family member, and a friend, which is how I think JKR means her to be- at least eventually.
To sum up for this chapter, I am blown away. I would say I'm speechless, but after 5 or 6 reviews of the same chapter (I've now lost count), it's clear that I'm not speechless at all. I am amazed by your talent and your ability to write Ron so well, while getting Ginny, Hermione, and Harry so in character. Seriously, well done! I do hope that Ron's going to rescue her in the next chapter. I am crossing my fingers and hoping for the best.
Wow, I'm feeling so completely overwhelmed by all of the wonderful reviews you have posted for me. Truly, you have touched me so deeply by taking the time to go through each section like this. I can't begin to tell you what it has done to my heart. Thank you!!!!!
Okay, you will see in the next chapter what Ginny was referring to. There is a bit of R/Hr backstory that hasn't been told (well, actually quite a bit, but some key things really), but a few things unfold in the next chapter in that regard. So, yes, this was new information, and it was a hint at answers to come. :o)
I love how this is your "last review for the chapter"- again, I can't say what all of this has meant to me! I am so glad that you are resonating with the storyline, with my characterizations, and my writing style in general. These have all been things I have worried about, so thank you for giving me some feedback about each of those dimensions.
Thanks so much for everything! *caramel apple for you*
Date: 03/02/2007 08:03 PM Title: Chapter 7 - Unveiled
Ron's fantasy was so sweet, but I just KNOW that it's not going to be that easy for them. How could it possibly be that easy with everything they've just gone through?
There is somehting so organic and just sexy about this line, I read it over and over again:
//She’ll get so used to sleeping in my arms that it will be uncomfortable for either of us to try to sleep alone ever again. She’ll reach out for me in her sleep, and pull me in closer to her. I won’t be able to get much closer though, because I’ll be spooned against her body all night long. I’ll be able to smell the vanilla in her hair. I’ll practically be able to taste the salt on her skin. //
What an incredible thought for Ron to have. I think Ron has a hard time seeing how Hermione could possibly want to be with him, without needing a reason. Ron thinks the way he will get her is if she is needing his comfort. This is so in character. Ron does not believe he is worthy of her and you are zeroing in on that.
I really hope Hermione isn't pregnant. Look at this line!!!:
//I’ll tell her about my dreams of a home, living next door to Ginny and Harry, kissing her pregnant belly, kids running in the backyard, so much love to go around that we won’t know what to do with ourselves.//
She can't be pregnant, because that line needs to happen. You need to make that happen for them, somehow. Pretty, pretty please?
I know that his fantasies are way too positive, but do you think you will be giving us something of a happy ending? I know it can't be too happy, because this is a very serious fic. But, a little bit happier would be much appreciated. I'm loving every word of this.
Yes, you're right- it will not be that easy for them. It couldn't possibly be that simple after the ordeal that they have lived through. Sure, happy endings are not impossible, but so soon after the trauma, it's highly unlikely.
I agree about Ron feeling like Hermione needs a reason to be with him- at least at the earlier stages of development of a relationship. He doesn't see how she could possibly choose someone like him (though we all can see why!!), but he thinks that might be the way for him to have her- to be her support.
I've said this before to other people, but my answer about the happy ending is a bit complex. There will and won't be a happy ending. There will be, in th sense that there will be hope and light for the future. However, it won't be fluffy and very happy, because that wouldn't be true to the rest of the fic or the situation. This is only the first in the series that I have planned, so there is a lot of room for happiness over the story arc. They will be happy enough at the end of the fic, but more happiness to come in the follow-up piece.
Thanks again for continuing to review! It's been so amazing for me to get your reviews! :o)
*tiramisu for you*
Date: 03/02/2007 07:48 PM Title: Chapter 7 - Unveiled
I had goosebumps and chills runs through my body as I read this:
//She pulled back from me and kissed my cheek. Merlin help me, I can’t resist her. Without thought or hesitation, I turned my head and caught her lips in a soft, simple kiss, but oh. It was a kiss I had waited for, a kiss I had longed for. It was a symbol of something I had turned away and had always regretted. I’ll never forget this moment. I let my lips linger on hers, all the while knowing now was not the time to be thinking of how much I needed to have her, how much she needed to be mine. I pulled back and kissed her forehead, blessing the beautiful courage which lay within the depths of her mind.//
That kiss was infinitely better than the first! I am waiting in anticipation for a real one becuase if you can make me feel this way with just a simple kiss, imagine how I will feel with a real one? Wow. It's going to be amazing.
More great interactions with Ginny. I loved how she hugged him and then smacked him around when he got back. That was funny and very in character. It was also very reminiscent of something Molly would do.
His faith in her in so nice: //I felt Ginny’s legs sag against me, before she expelled a huge puff of air. Looking down into her petite face, I saw both her smile and her tears. “Hush. It’s going to be okay. You’re going to save the day.”//
How can you say so much with so few words about their relationship?
And Ron confiding in her about the kiss and her hesitance about that decision was surprising. I wasn't sure what to think about that little moment. I do see what she means though, it was possibly not the best time to try something like that. However because those were some of my favorite moments in the chapter, I will have to forgive Ron for his poor timing. :)
Talk about goosepimples! I am getting them with each successive review that I am receiving from you!!! Again, words cannot begin to express my gratitude at hearing your thoughts and opinions. ::huge hugs to you::
I'm so glad the kisses are impacting you in such a way- it's funny how such a simple thing can make such a difference in an otherwise truly horrific chapter, yeah?
Yes, there is more development on the Ron/Ginny relationship. That will continue throughout the rest of the fic. It may seem surprising how she reacted to Ron's revelation, but something coming up in the next chapter should explain her reaction. She's looking out for him, because she doesn't want him to blow it majorly. However, I think most people will forgive his bad timing!
Thanks again for everything! *creme brulee for you*
Date: 03/02/2007 07:34 PM Title: Chapter 7 - Unveiled
I almost died when I read this:
//My hands skimmed up her arm, feeling the small semi-circle scar near her elbow. Still there, I thought. They traced up to her delicate shoulders, her graceful neck, the dips in her clavicle. My fingertips traced the soft line of her jaw, so soft, and cupped her cheek. Her cheek used to be fuller, but this is her. I would know her face anywhere, even with my eyes closed.
I felt the bridge of her nose, her eyelashes, her every feature. Merlin, I wish this was real. This must be a dream come true, because I’m finally touching her again. I moved my hand to touch the last place I knew as well as the back of my own hand. I moved my thumb over her mouth, to caress her lower lip. I wish I knew what it would feel like to brush it with my lips instead of my thumb. //
Could that be any more wonderful? He knows her so well, without ever having had her, but he knows the lines of her face and he knows her little elbow scar. I can really see Ron knowing all of that, even if he can seem clueless sometimes. Being such a brilliant chess player, he must know more than he lets on. Those lines were beautiful. And then you give us this:
//After gathering my courage, I leaned forward and dared to brush my lips gently onto hers. Soft, but chapped. My eyes had closed, but I opened them, before pulling back. I caught a glimpse of peace on Hermione’s face and I was relieved to know I had not completely scared her off by showing my affection for her. I leaned my forehead against hers and breathed her in.//
Let me just say it for everyone: SQUEE!!!!!!!!! This was incredible. I don't know why, but this hit me so hard, for them to have their first kiss in the midst of all of this. I know the first REAL kiss will be coming sooner or later and it will be fantastic, but this one was just so sweet and emotional.
My heart nearly broke when he wasn't able to apparate out of there with her. I seriously nearly started to cry. It was such a horrible moment.
Again you gave us some insight into Ron's feelings about Ginny. He thinks she's brilliant and he's giving her the credit for fixing everything. He even tells Hermione that Ginny is brilliant. I think that's fantastic.
And then Hermione realized she would have to stay? Oh, dear, I could have absolutely died when I read this. Can I just say heartbroken? Poor Ron, being given such a choice and having to live with it. He's going to feel so guilty later, I just know it.
There is so much material here. Every passage is so rich and has so many emotions and implications. I don't know how you are going to possibly resolve all of it. I'm looking forward to finding out though.
Seriously, I am blushing!!! I feel so incredibly complimented from your comment. Being able to see the section the way that you saw it, it's incredibly moving to have your thoughts.
And, YAY!!! I know, after so many chapter of this hell, I finally gave in to a moment of closeness and intimacy between Ron and Hermione. There is more to come on that front, but it's going to be slow moving. With the nature of the trauma they are all going through, they will need to move slowly.
Another comment about the sibling relationship! I'm so glad that dimension is working for you- I haven't gotten much feedback about that, so thank you for your thoughts and words! :o)
*yummy peppermint stick for you*