Reviews for From Across the Great Divide
E.DelaMer chapter 18 . 3/24/2004
Hullo dear...
Just another wonderful story! Great, I really like Harry in this one. He seems grown up, though he is just as thick headed as ever. He still has to do things on his own in the end. H/G rulez! *g*
luv, ayrin
Disassembly of Reason chapter 6 . 3/22/2004
Ginny's POV.
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First an implied sock-stealing Ginny, and now the obligatory tartan boxers. It keeps everyone off the streets, I suppose. :)
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Ginny's ex-boyfriend Ian can be found in a prequel to this story ("On Her Own"), and is discussed in more detail by Ginny later on in this story, so I'll leave him to himself until then.
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Ginny has the sense she was born with, I see. She interpreted Harry's reaction to her the previous evening correctly, and isn't so self-demeaning as to fail to realize that he's displaying some feelings for her. However, she's cautious enough to wonder about the depth of his feelings (with good reason, given his past history with women in general, and lack of history with her in particular).
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The Ministry isn't so very different from any other employer: if they're going to sack you, they do it at the beginning of the working day. (Well, technically suspended instead of sacked outright here, but suspension without pay is close enough, particularly to someone in Ginny's financial position.)
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[raises eyebrows] Ginny catching Harry in a towel is a nice change of pace from the reverse. Alphie did it this way in _With or Without You_, but most such scenes feature Ginny (usually as a tool for the author to give Harry a bit of a clue that Ginny's a girl, virtually always at the Burrow).
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In an extremely unconventional move, the towel scene here isn't to give the other party a clue (Ginny doesn't need it), nor is it to jump-start a smut scene. It's meant to show us how very upset she is at her suspension from work, since Harry is standing almost naked in her living room and she's barely registering the fact.
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Ouch. Since Ginny can barely afford the cottage, she has no financial reserves. Even if her family could afford it, she could hardly go to her parents for help, given her disagreement with her mother over the issue of maintaining a separate establishment at all. And as she points out, she can't get references to look for another job in this situation - and this was her first job out of Hogwarts, so she has no previous job history to draw upon.
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It says a lot about Ginny that she can see the bright side of this - Hopkirk's downside - so quickly.
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The Holy Kiss spell turns up again in Maid Marian's _Gifts_, chapter 6, "Sealed with a Kiss" - if you can find it online anywhere anymore. (All her stuff seems to have vanished off the net, which is a pity.)
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Nice JKRish author and title combination: _Really Old Magic_ (very flat, plain sort of name) by Methuselah Antiquas. Methuselah was the proverbial old testament patriarch who lived longer than anyone else in the Bible, while Antiquas is a variation on the Latin for "ancient".
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The spell isn't a throwaway, either; it has a deeper significance that comes out later, when Hermione does a bit more research. (The last paragraph of the spell's own text is a bit of a hint, though.) The incantation roughly translates as "I confer on thee a holy kiss."
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The enchanted!Muggle-device(CD player) turns up again, providing some background lyrics, but doesn't really earn its pay until "Better than Chocolate", later on.
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A nice touch of characterization for Harry, which I did not mention when he first remembered the scene in question, that what first captured his heart about Ginny was her laugh. He hasn't had a lot to laugh about in his life, except with his friends now and again.
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Copyediting nitpicks:
- Ginny's first-person thoughts should be in italics, not quotes (I don't think she'd be talking to herself aloud at that point for fear of waking Harry up, since he'd then catch her looking him over).
Disassembly of Reason chapter 5 . 3/22/2004
Harry's POV.
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"At his side, Ginny took a staggering step backwards, swaying against him."
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In Ginny's defense, receiving an apparent death threat soon after having one's home broken into and smashed up should shake almost anyone. I'd recommend handling the phrasing a tad differently, though, using "staggering" as the verb rather than an adjective to make the sentence a bit more active, and fiddling with it a little to avoid losing the information that she moved only one step. (Shaken, but still somewhat in possession of herself.)
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Something positive that Harry's playboy lifestyle may have given him is that he's able to make the first move to physically comfort Ginny with a reassuring hug. Physical affection was completely outside his experience up through his fifteenth year, at least, in canon, and Harry's recollections of his final years of school suggest that he didn't date to speak of until leaving Hogwarts after Voldemort's final fall.
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In this pre-OP AU, Harry apparently never dated Cho Chang after Cedric's death
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In terms of backstory, we now learn that _Across the Great Divide_ falls into the piling-it-on category of final battle angst: *all* of Harry's major male mentors, apart from the Weasleys, are dead. (Aibhinn's _Heal the Pain_ is also in this category, but one short, since Remus was only badly wounded, not killed in that storyline's final battle.)
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The removal of the mentor figures serves a few purposes in _Across the Great Divide_. Removing Hagrid frees the Care of Magical Creatures post at Hogwarts for Charlie, who appears later. If Snape had still been around, Harry could've handled the ghost of Draco Malfoy a bit differently later on, perhaps. Removing Sirius and Remus emphasizes how barren Harry's personal life is, and eliminates some of the most likely candidates for him to confide in about Ginny - either in earlier years, when he might then have been encouraged to make a move, or now.
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Despite his sophisticated veneer, traces of the old Harry show through: he refuses to even consider retiring Hedwig, his second-oldest friend after Hagrid.
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Is the shopowner's argument with the customer about a dead owl some sort of Monty Python reference, or just meant to strike an ominous note after the emphasis on Hedwig?
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Some things never change: Filch is still into whips and chains.
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We know from various canon scenes with the Dursleys that Harry can cook at least simple things; Ashwinder has chosen to clarify this by limiting his skills to *only* simple things. (Not unreasonable for a bachelor who lives alone, and has the money to take his lady friends out to dinner.)
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Nice touch in revealing more of Harry's feelings for Ginny, that he will not put her at any risk by using a protection spell that's fiddly to cast.
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Harry and McGonagall still have their priorities straight, spending lunch analyzing Gryffindor's chances for the Quidditch Cup this year. (Maniacs trying to kill you come and go, but the Cup is awarded only once a year.)
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That's twice now that Harry has mentioned (at least in his thoughts) fearing that Ginny would subject him to the Transmogrifian Torture (post OP, it would've been a Bat Bogey Hex, I daresay). Since only Lockhart in "The Writing on the Wall" (CS9) ever seems to have mentioned this spell in canon, I'd say it's definitely dodgy.
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The magical lupines are a nice touch.
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Ah. Clarification from Harry's POV: he does NOT consider Ginny to be just another conquest waiting to happen, and cares that she doesn't believe that he sees her that way.
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Copyediting nitpicks:
- Harry's memories of the little scene in sixth year are mostly correctly cast in past perfect tense, but there are one or two questionable uses of simple past ("its subject was unimportant" (possibly OK), "was around Cho Chang").
- spelling error: Transmogrifian Torture (transpose error)
Disassembly of Reason chapter 4 . 3/22/2004
Meme list: spy!twins(W as cover), sock-stealing!Ginny (implied)
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This chapter is split between Harry's and Ginny's POVs, but nicely so; the transition between POVs is handled at a scene break.
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Harry's POV:
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I like the touch that Harry has learned the secret of Weasley-twin-recognition, and that the author has been kind enough to clue us in to the secret (not canon, but interesting). The differences between George's and Fred's height, build, and hair wouldn't do Harry much good in this scene, though, since only one twin is present - except that Harry saw both of them up close at the wedding reception, not long ago.
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Ginny's POV:
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Another contrast between Harry and Ginny is in the nature of their jobs (apart from high-status/high-pay, low-status/low-pay). Harry as a Seeker has physically challenging work with a demanding schedule, and is rather independent during a game (unlike, say, a Chaser, who has to work together with the other two Chasers on a team). Ginny, on the other hand, has a dull, sedentary office job and is very much subordinate to her boss.
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As this story is pre-OP, Percy is still in the Department of International Magical Co-operation, as in GF. (However, this could be explained by transferring him back there at some point over the years that have passed since the timeframe of OP, so that's not inexplicable.)
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I've always liked the fanon conceit of Percy's cauldron-bottom report having turned into a family joke, as a standard against which boredom can be measured. (Considering that Harry still remembered the incident well along in GF, the conceit has some backing in canon as well.)
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Nice job of pre-OP characterization of Percy, who before the bust-up between GF and OP seemed to be particularly dear to his mother's heart: he wants Ginny to mend her fences with Molly.
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:) Ah, Harry's in trouble now. He unintentionally sicced an overprotective brother onto Ginny, and had horribly bad luck in that George started in on her immediately after Percy's performance.
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[grin] I like the JKR-ish "Spell Checker" device - particularly since I just consulted a Muggle spell checker about "sicced", above. (The dictionary recognized it although MS Word did not.)
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Even if she weren't angry, Ginny has a point. Harry *is* showing some nerve, just showing up prepared to move in without a by-your-leave (even though he's planning on the couch).
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The eagle owl suggests the Malfoys' owl from canon, of course.
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The rather flamboyant nature of the threat has a purpose other than stereotypical villain posturing, as we learn in a later chapter. It's been deliberately crafted to push Harry's buttons.
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Copyediting nitpicks:
- "Ma'am" should only take a capital letter at the beginning of a sentence, even when speaking to the queen, let alone Ministry employees with delusions of grandeur.
- I think "grated out" should be "ground out". It's worthy of note that the phrase is used in reference to Ginny in this chapter; Ashwinder seems to use it more typically in reference to Harry in other stories, as in _Lost and Found_ on .
- "King's Cross" appears to take an apostrophe, normally.
- Spelling error: "whoa" (transpose error)
Disassembly of Reason chapter 3 . 3/22/2004
First chapter from Harry's POV.
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Apart from his lifelong fame as 'the Boy Who Lived', Harry is also a high-profile professional athlete. The wizarding gossip rags, as we learned in chapter 1 and will see for ourselves later, make a point of keeping tabs on Harry's personal life.
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Harry, however, spent his childhood at the Dursleys learning to associate keeping a low profile with being left in peace. On his eleventh birthday, he learned of his fame, but simultaneously learned to associate it with his parents' deaths, and later in his youth learned all too well that it mostly meant being a high-profile target. On a more personal level, his time at Hogwarts would've given him good cause to associate notoriety with isolation, as he spent much of his first four years there (five, in fact, but this story is a pre-OP AU) being ostracized by the student body:
- first year, the Norbert incident
- second year, Heir of Slytherin rumours
- fourth year, Triwizard champion; also Harry's first serious encounters with the wizarding press, all negative experiences
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It seems very much in character that Harry values anonymity and privacy. In terms of his feelings, Harry has been a very private person since his childhood. He learned from the Dursleys never to make himself vulnerable by exposing weakness, and developed quite a biting sense of humour as a defense mechanism even as a youngster (see some of his clashes with Dudley, at 11 and at 15). Having little else to call his own in childhood, he cared very much about his dignity; many of the incidents of accidental magic before Hogwarts were concerned with avoiding humiliation. It seems plausible that in adulthood, he might have developed as shown here: witty, sophisticated, and rarely at a loss.
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Unfortunately, never being at a loss has come with a price of having nothing to lose.
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A number of parallels seem to have been built into the story highlighting the contrasts between Harry and Ginny.
- Harry's experienced sophistication; Ginny's innocence and feelings of awkwardness
- Harry's material wealth (in evidence from the first, in his clothing); Ginny's financial struggles
- Harry's barren personal life, a playboy without family (and as we are to learn, he became somewhat estranged from his adopted family after the war); Ginny's rather too-full family life (especially her relationship with Molly) and non-existent social life. (Also note that both their social lives tie in rather directly with their jobs: Harry's attracts women, while Ginny's leaves her no time to date.)
- Harry's Muggle flat, costing nothing but money; Ginny's cottage that has cost a great deal of labour, both at her job and in its garden
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"Then he had looked back over at Ginny standing serenely next to Hermione and had made the decision to pursue her."
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First, let me remark that I've read the entire story already, including the outtake on checkmated; I know how Harry's feelings toward Ginny develop herein.
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That said, in the context of the story up to this point, Harry's decision to "pursue" Ginny, given his playboy reputation (somewhat overblown, but real), can be taken in more than one way. His concern over the break-in, immediately reinforced after the information about his intentions, softens the possible impression that Harry is seeking just another conquest.
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"It's usually the same wizards who cause all the trouble, mostly wizards who live alongside Muggles and get noticed, or underage wizards doing magic outside school."
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Nice touch, that the story has expanded the role of the Improper Use of Magic to include offenders other than underage wizards. The mention of Harry's Slytherin year-mates, Crabbe and Bulstrode, makes the exposition about the death of Draco Malfoy appear a little more natural, and sets up our first encounter with Draco's ghost at Hogwarts later on.
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Note that as Slytherins, Bulstrode and Crabbe might be expected to avoid living near Muggles - particularly Crabbe, the son of a Death Eater. How did they happen to catch the attention of the Improper Use of Magic Office?
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Eleanor Branstone is a canon character about whom we know next to nothing, save that she was sorted into Hufflepuff during Harry's fourth year (GF12), two years below Ginny, so Eleanor graduated three years ago, and should be about 20. Since she has only just been hired at the Ministry, Eleanor must have been doing something else for the last three years.
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Mandy Brocklehurst is another nearly-unknown canon character, a Ravenclaw in Harry's year (SS7). (The Ravenclaws as of OP appear to share no classes with the Gryffindors of Harry's year, so his Ravenclaw year-mates are virtually unknown, except for D.A. members post-OP.) Consequently, the details of Mandy's characterization in this story effectively make her an OC, but without violating canon since canon has not yet given us contradictory information about her.
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I like the touches of realism that have been added to Ginny's character to make her a bit less sugary-sweet than she might otherwise seem in this story (and it's a bit of a close call, sometimes, given the impression created by the contrasts with Harry's empty sophistication). We now know that she has a temper (and loses it with her mother), a sarcastic streak to rival Harry's - and that she's not entirely innocent of believing the gossip rags herself.
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Ah, the enchanted!Muggle-device(CD player) meme, mainstay of songfics everywhere. This is the standard variation, in which Harry's intended significant other has the CD player; the song this plot device makes possible appears a few chapters on. Introducing the device also serves to contrast Ginny's family connections with Harry's empty playboy lifestyle as described in the past few paragraphs, since Arthur enchanted it for his daughter as a birthday present, and his hobby of playing with "Muggle rubbish" is always good for a warm fuzzy feeling anyway.
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Interesting that Ginny has unintentionally gotten under Harry's guard; he's uncomfortable with explaining his personal life to her, but feels the need to set the record straight. I imagine that he seldom troubles to defend himself in this way in the face of anyone's disapproval. Harry's warning about the press sets up Harry's confrontation with the sleazy editor over this very issue later on - another significant departure from Harry's defense mechanism. (The entire scene also lays groundwork for Harry's encounter with Molly several chapters later in this very spot, a delightful piece of work.)
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Copyediting nitpicks:
- Spelling error: "I" for "It". However, the author uses British spelling, a touch that I enjoy.
- Beware the hyphens: "garishly coloured" looks as though it should take one.
melanie chapter 18 . 3/19/2004
lol, norman's one of my favorites, as is the ministry of silly walks (and the association for putting things on top of other things!) and this was a great fic! i love it!
~melanie
Neni Potter chapter 6 . 3/2/2004
that was too sweet for my taste but ok i guess
Neni Potter chapter 4 . 3/1/2004
why someone would want do that to ginny?
Neni Potter chapter 3 . 3/1/2004
you made sound harry like some guy that takes what he got
adriane chapter 10 . 1/13/2004
wow this is a Great story! i've just finished ch. 10 and im left breathless! that whole couch scene! i was flushing myself after i had read that and relized my heart rate had considerably jumped a notch or two! you are a very good writter and im sure the rest of the story will be great. i just had to stop reading and tell you :)
Axisha chapter 18 . 1/1/2004
dude i first read this story on and i loved it so much then i went back a while later and the website was closed and i was freakin out but i found it here this is the best fan fiction of all time! sorry had to tell ya that even though i know this has been written for ALONG time!
happy new years!
Disassembly of Reason chapter 2 . 11/29/2003
First note of foreshadowing - and understandable anyway - that breaking through Anti-Apparition wards is particularly associated with the second war against Voldemort, and brings up bad memories.
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In character for Harry, that he'd refuse to leave Ginny alone and unprotected. Makes sense that after their long day as members of the wedding party that neither Harry nor Ginny is up to re-casting the wards (and even if they were, since the wards were broken once already this evening, Harry would hesitate to leave Ginny alone).
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Ginny shows less reaction than I'd expect to having her house broken into and trashed like that. Since the entire chapter is from her POV, it's clear that she's not just refusing to break down in front of Harry. Of course, she is tired and shocked, but that would seem *more* likely to break her control, not to numb her (and her POV isn't that of having been shocked into non-reaction, anyway).
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"...he wasn't even as tall as Ron." A bit of a continuity error, there, since Ron in canon is noted as being unusually tall, not short, and the sentence implies otherwise. As a professional Seeker, it makes sense that Harry wouldn't be very tall, though.
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Good tribute to Ginny's common sense, that when she's had some sleep we see her considering all the obvious possibilities as to why someone would break in, and rejecting them one by one as not fitting the facts. Her financial status and dependence on her job, as shown later on, are consistent with her not having any valuables in the house. Her working hours and the nature of her arguments with her mother go a long way to explaining why there aren't any jealous ex-boyfriends to consider.
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Makes sense that after a childhood spent making breakfast for the Dursleys, that Harry would be perfectly capable of doing so here, particularly since Ginny's had a rough night and he basically wished himself on her as an impromptu guest the night before.
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"Harry was obviously ignorant of the often illogical workings of the Ministry. She was used to them, though, having been raised in a Ministry family." Good line and good characterization, both.
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Not surprising that the over-protective Molly has issues with her only daughter living alone, and throwing a fit at seeing her in a compromising situation, given what we later learn about Harry's reputation with women. (Although at this point in the story it seems OOC for her to be so hostile and suspicious of Harry, that's actually a plot point addressed later on, so it's OK.)
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Realistic, that Molly wouldn't have suddenly stopped reading the gossip rags altogether after the H/Hr slanders of _Goblet of Fire_. She'd believe that they were wrong on *that* occasion, obviously, having been set straight by Harry when she had good reason to take his word for it, but it would have taken a massive attitude adjustment for her to give up that sort of reading altogether. It makes her more believable as a character, that she'd have guilty pleasures like reading the scandals while claiming she was only in it for the recipes. :)
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Consistent note to strike, and realistic to boot, for Ginny to remember only afterwards that Molly had a perfectly good prearranged reason to come over, and wasn't just snooping or something. Makes sense that after the break-in that Ginny would've forgotten completely about the arrangement, too.
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Nice continuity, that after so many years of working on the fanatically well-kept lawn and flowerbeds of Privet Drive, that Harry appreciates the work that goes into maintaining a garden and is impressed by Ginny's. Her love of gardening helps establish her character as an individual with her own enthusiasms, as well, that don't necessarily reflect those of her family and friends.
Disassembly of Reason chapter 1 . 11/29/2003
The story as the whole alternates between Ginny's POV and Harry's, although within the bounds of sanity (not forcing artificial every-other-chapter alternation where it doesn't make sense for the story, for instance). In cases where a single chapter contains multiple POVs, the changes of context are signalled clearly to the reader, I'm thankful to say, as murky POVs and unclear POV switches are a pet peeve of mine. This particular chapter is in Ginny's POV, picking up as Harry asks her to dance at R/Hr's wedding reception.
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The author has constructed a believable scenario for arranging for Harry and Ginny to meet post-Hogwarts after not having really seen each other much since Harry's graduation six years before. Regarding their meeting, as the best friends of the groom and the bride, respectively (obviously of both in Harry's case, and in Ginny's she's the groom's sister as well as the bride's best friend), it's inevitable not only that they'd both be at the wedding but be in the bridal party as best man and maid of honour, and thus would be thrown together to some extent regardless of their own feelings.
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Regarding the separation, good construction of the background to make it believable that they'd have stayed apart. Harry's travelling schedule as a professional Quidditch player, and what we later learn is his habit of over-committing his time to yet more Quidditch in the off-season, has kept him busy professionally. (We also later learn that for two of the intervening six years since Voldemort's fall, Harry left the wizarding world entirely to try to pull himself together. More about that later, as it's not addressed in this chapter.)
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Realistic note, that Hermione's muggle background would result in the female segment of the bridal party being dressed in muggle wedding attire, and that Ginny, being from a pureblood wizarding background, would be rather dismayed at finding out what that entails. :) Also logical that Ron would've had *his* part of the ceremony in wizarding formal robes instead; good that he stood up for himself, although the issue isn't openly brought up in this story as having involved any conflict.
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The fact that Harry and Ginny haven't seen much of each other also provides a very natural way of supplying some exposition on what each has been doing lately, and how their professional lives are going, as they make small talk during the obligatory dance. (Which, as we later find out from Harry's POV, was anything but a mere obligation to him, bless him.)
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It adds a nice bit of texture and realism to the scene that Ginny's aware of the quality of Harry's formal robes as a silent indicator of how well he's doing financially, and that she's self-conscious about it. It makes particular sense as we later learn that she herself is struggling financially, since her job is just adequate for her to hang on to her beloved house in Hogsmeade.
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Not too surprising (given that this is a pre-OOTP story, based on rather sketchy knowledge of Ginny's character in canon) that she'd follow in her father's footsteps and take a job at the Ministry, especially as we later learn that she took the job at a time when she *really* needed to get *any* job, fast, to be able to move into her own place. (And as we learn in chapter two, most of her brothers are now associated with the Ministry in some capacity, so it's even more likely.) A waste that she's stuck in a low-end job, but this *is* a bureaucratic organization, after all; they're bound to make inefficient use of resources sometimes; besides, there may well be ethical issues about having her work directly for or with a member of her family, and they all have more interesting work.
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It makes sense that the Improper Use of Magic Office employees are those with low seniority and get stuck with bad hours and boring work, since they only pass assignments to the Accidental Magic Reversal Squad rather than handling anything interesting themselves. As Harry points out from his own experience with them, we already know that they send owls at all hours of the day and night, and nobody with any clout would want to work *those* hours.
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Nice touch of characterization for Arthur, that he's trying to show off his knowledge of muggle customs, but mispronouncing "automobile" in the process.
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Interesting twist that, having seen H/G dancing together, Hermione opted to throw the bouquet to Ginny. In any case, Ginny's her best female friend, and has been lonely of late, so it would've been a nice gesture anyway.
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Not surprising that Ginny and the twins wouldn't know about the custom of throwing the bouquet; typical evil twin practical joke, having doused it with an aphrodisiac. :)
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The bit about Anti-Apparition wards being standard protective measures for a woman living alone is a realistic note to strike.
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Copyediting observations:
- Pretty cleanly edited chapter, on the whole. The only odd spelling is a deliberate bit of Arthur-characterization. "Imperceptively" is used by mistake for "imperceptibly" at one point, but that's about it.
Nutsaboutremus chapter 1 . 11/12/2003
Good story mate..like it alot..
Katriona chapter 18 . 8/31/2003
OMG! That was a terrific fic! I loved it! Please write a sequel! Keep on writing, you have a knack for it!

K te xx
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