Reviews for From Across the Great Divide
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
Katriona chapter 6 . 8/29/2003
Heya!

I'm loving this fic, but it's 2.02am so I'll finish reading it in the morning!

K te xx
miss-witch chapter 18 . 8/3/2003
I seem to miss all of your stories while they are being written but I love them all the same. You have fabulous writing and I hope that you will continue on with your stories. Please write one with everyone's children because you hinted at that sort of story in the epilogue of one of your fanfics and I think you would do really well with that.
skatey chapter 9 . 6/24/2003
I just wanted to say I loved the Les Mis references in this chapter. It was awesome! I'm an insane fan of the musical, and I love picking these things up. And I haven't reviewed a chapter yet, so just wanted to tell you this is an awesome story! One suggestion would be to use a little more variety in sentance openings...there seem to be a lot of 'he...' or 'she...' over and over. Great job, though!
strawberriesdelighte chapter 18 . 5/4/2003
OMG! great story! i have a question, though...what did harry mean when he said "the next time we make love will be it for me." did he mean that they were never gonna make love again? that confused me so much. other than that, this story, and your other two (ginnys gift and the long road home) are my three favorites. PLEASE make a sequel.. and please, respond to my above question by emailing me at
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