Date: 04/13/2009 08:50 PM Title: How Close the Divide
Brace yourself. I realized as I started reading that this was going to be one of those fics that I needed to keep a running commentary on for review. So think of yourself as a director of sorts, and you can follow along as I 'watch' your 'film'. Well... some parts I got a bit too distracted to leave proper comments. Comes with the territory of painfully good writing.
"Ron tried to rationalize it; a pinched nerve, or the fact that no matter what Draco said, their bed was lumpy."
This sentence made me realize what I find so oddly magical about your fics: they strike me as more vividly real than most stories set in the real world. The emotions and the people are so incredibly alive, I find it hard to separate them out. It's like therapy, watching other, complex individuals scrabble through their lives and troubles.
I also just realized why I feel such connection and yet exasperation with Ron: he is my beloved father, incarnate in HP-fandom. If this disturbs you slightly, I'll apologize now. But the inexplicable tenderness and caring, highly frustrating communication skills yet honest affection, coupled with a deep insecurity most aggravating to those who love him, just made me realize that I was talking to Ron like I'd talk to my Dad, when he's having, well, some difficulty sorting things out . Then there's his well-honed skill at denial that irritates himself, subsequently making him irritable with everyone else. Fascinating.
Of course, that would make Draco my mother. Which also fits on far too many levels. Oh my.
"he was a Healer, yet he'd resolutely not sought out someone else to confirm what Ron believed to be true."
You must have had personal dealings with doctors.
Reeter Skeeter's Bloody Living?!?! You nearly made me spit out my wine. That was not nice. (Speaking of which, if you ever want a laugh, look up the magazine "Is Martha Stewart Living"... it's an absolutely hilarious spoof that was around about ten years back. May still be floating about, not sure.)
This was the best relationship he'd ever had, and he'd betrayed both Draco and himself by allowing fear to rule him.
"Just don't fucking go where I can't follow, dammit!"
Isn't this interesting? Both of them are really still centrally concerned with being left, abandoned by the other. Ron's phrasing is actually what really bothered me: "WAS the best relationship". He's still to some extent convinced of his worthlessness, prepared to give up as soon as he makes a mistake. Or, perhaps more correctly, he's prepared to believe that Draco will give up as soon as Ron makes a mistake. It's pervasive... his actions, his thoughts, his words. Somehow I think you see this, see how corrosive his self-doubt is. Just a few key words, and you've taken something that could have been a dry narration and given the reader an insight into the psychological state of the character, without the reader even needing to be aware of it. Oh, very, very well done.
'Every magical person has their own unique ambric pattern—"
'"I know that," Draco interrupted. "How is he going to—"
'"Draco. Let me finish," Ron said peevishly. "You asked. I'm answering." He took some of the sting out of his commentary by sliding his hand under Draco's. '
Yeah, it's confirmed. You've created my parents, slash, in H/D form. I think I've seen that argument in so many permutations that it doesn't matter if it's talking about ambric patterns or door handles. Impatient, much, Draco? Your insight into relationships is leaking through again here, my dear Thevina.
"I know I was in a fucking bad place before, and you didn't leave. In fact, you marked yourself for me."
There. That's what I was waiting for. It's so hard to prove to the other person that you mean it when you say you're committed. That something's as permanent as life. Ron never got it. I think he's getting it now. Thank the gods for Draco, on this one. Oh this made me SO happy to read. This one line. I'll control my semi-stationary glee-induced bouncing.
"planting small seeds of doubt of their long-term compatibility, despite being handfasted"
"I'm fucking BOUND to you, though right now when you're bring a total prick, I really wonder why"
Ack! No!! I just read the Sauna Incident. Oh that HURT. I think Remus said something at the handfasting about being caring and patient with each other? Even DRACO is being a right arse. Calling the relationship into doubt is just off limits. Oh my oh my oh my oh my...
"maybe he wasn't meant for a long-term thing with anybody. Standing inside the lift, gazing at his despondent face through the mirrored sheen of Malfoysian crests, he realised that was rubbish. He'd made a commitment to Draco, and he'd meant it. "
Well that was a relieving moment. I honestly am impressed to see that you can reincorporate that paralysing doubt, and yet use it as part of what Ron needs to feel in order for him to see that, no, this is something he's going to work through. Damned hard choice.
""I didn't think you would." Draco placed a hand on Ron's bicep, his hand gently squeezing in a brotherly manner. "I could be really off the mark, but I think you've told me things you've never told another living soul. That's trust in me, Ron, and belief that I'm going to stick around. You're committed to me, and I know that. But sometimes you doubt yourself, and that's rather painful to watch, even though it happens a lot.""
"Draco's insight floored Ron. Draco almost never talked like this, then again, neither did he. They just didn't need to talk relationship stuff like a couple of women, but Draco was spot on in what he'd said."
Yeah, well, your insight floors me. Repeatedly.
"Through it, though, they made things work, and most of their glassware hadn't suffered Ron's wrath."
This is the kind of optimism that makes life worth living, right? As long as most of the glassware is still intact. (-;
So, with all that, the more general comments: I was a bit surprised that Ron's treatment wasn't more involved. Perhaps it just wasn't where you were wanting to go, but I actually would have thought that it would have become a more pervasive element of life (the only time it really shows up strongly is with summoning lube!). As it is, though, I did feel that the medical scene with both the other Healer and Raven was wonderful (Well, meeting the oter Healer wasn't exactly wonderful per se. If that's your conception of het, I can see why you stick to writing slash. He's a real ass. Kudos, though, for writing such a thoroughly believable one). I felt like you introduced Raven with aplomb, and he just lifted right off the screen.
One comment about Draco, though: given his preoccupation with appearances (not unduly so, but still), I was a bit surprised that he would have been willing to squabble in any way while in front of a stranger, and certainly not while playing host to that stranger in his home. I also am curious what happened to "ghost Harry". Has he disappeared? Also regarding Xavier, or perhaps more for parenting in general here: there's really no discussion about where Draco's parenting style comes from. Is he learning from Lucius? His mother? What is his focus? He seems to have some hang-ups about 'moderation' given his concerns about Xavier obsessing, but combined with his apparent willingness for the child to be whoever he wants, it could use some clarification. Draco here is so dynamic, and your previous depictions of him so endeared me to him, that I'm curious to get a deeper sense of where his behavior is coming from.
I love how you don't even need the outrageous to bring depth into your characters' lives here. Snapping gingers were enough to remind Ron of his lover's amazing empathy and caring. It's just hard to focus on the wealth of significance in the little things sometimes. So thank you for bringing them back in perspective. Need to go remind my parents I love them, now.
Date: 04/13/2007 11:01 PM Title: How Close the Divide
OMG, I've waited for this one for so long. It was def. worth the wait. I like how the one doctor reminded me of Dr. House except the whole homophobe thing. Had me crying a few times, too. And even after all this time and all they've been through Ron is still self-concious of their relationship. I thought you might have explored more with Draco being the one to take care of Ron the way Ron took care of him when they first started their journey, but i still wasn't dissappointed, just loved it all the more.
No hint on which house Xave is gonna be in??? Is there gonna be more or is this the last one?
Thank you, so very much!! I'm always bowled over when I receive enthusiastic reviews like this; I was waiting for this one to come to a conclusion, too!! You picked up on the many elements I'm so pleased with, and I'm glad you were moved by it emotionally.
I know exactly what House Xavier will be in, but I'll have to write another chapter in this for everyone else to know. ;)
Many thanks for your enthusiastic review!