Thought I'd drop by and leave your magnificent AP a bit of love as it's been far too long! You already know I love Post-War and recovery, so it was a given that I'd end up here eventually.
Before I start, let me just say that judging by the title, I know this is going to hurt.
YEP. THERE GOES MY HEART CRASHING TO THE FLOOR!!!
Of course everyone can see thestrals now. After the war and all the death, how could they not.
I like the sweet little moment that Ginny and Harry share with each other while watching the thestrals. At the end of the war, there is so much grief to unpack and damage to undo that it would be perfectly normal for them not to have seen each other much. It's nice that Harry finally stops and makes the time though. I'd think after losing so mnay people and having had to give up Ginny for so many years, he'd want to spend as much time with her as possible.
Wow! I didn't expect that ending. That was so cool how the thestrals all lined up. It's as if they sensed that the humans were grieving and needed their support. What intelligent creatures!
Ugh. Shattered would be a good word for how I'm feeling now. There is a bit of hope at the end of this, but I keep going back to...Everyone can see the thestrals.
Good work as always!
Wow! This was stunning! I really got choked up a little at the end. I think you did a really good job of capturing the tone you were going for. The whole story had this air of sadness but there was definitely that feeling of hope shining through. I haven't read much set so soon after the end of the war and I think you did a great job capturing what the mood would be.
I always kind of wondered if thestrals knew what it meant when a human could see them. I mean, can they tell when people can see them and when they can't? I feel like they must be able to, but I wonder if they can tell why it is. Reading this, I really got the sense that they could. Especially with the scene at the end, it really felt like they understood and were showing respect for what the survivors had gone through. I hope that was your intention because I really love that thought.
I really enjoyed the scene between Harry and Ginny while they watched the thestrals. I thought it was great how you chose not to name him and just made it obvious who it was, I think that was a really powerful choice because to me it was a great demonstration of them still being close and in-sync after being apart for a whole year.
The scene at the end was so powerful too, fantastic imagery! The mental image of them all holding hands and descending the stairs together, and then being greeted by this line of thestrals, was just amazing.
Beth! I love this! I'm becoming a big fan of your Rebuilding series, and this is one of the best I've read. It had never occurred to me that all of a sudden just about all of Hogwarts would be able to see the Thestrals, but of course you're right. They all saw death. They would all be able to see them.
I liked how you made this progressive. One day Ginny thinks she sees one, the next time she's sure, and by the end when everyone is getting ready to go home they can all see them. I can just picture this group of students standing staring at the Forbidden Forest in amazement.
I liked your descriptions, too. From the Thestrals' skin looking like mercury to the miagery of Harry, Ginny, Luna, Ron and HErmione descending the stesp together, it all felt right. Just like Hogwarts would feel in the days after the battle, if htat makes sense.
I also liked that you had this series of scenes, linked by both Ginny and the THestrals she can now see. That's an important thing to show, I think, because being able tos ee them at last would be a big thing for her. Again, never really thought about it like that. But I like it.
Just been exploring the archives and ran across this story and totally could not help myself. As I may or may not kind of have this thing with post war Ginny. Like, if I seek out a story specifically about Ginny, it’s this fresh post-war time that I enjoy the most. I don’t know if it’s because her character seems so vulnerable, or stands so strong, or what, exactly, but I can say I love what you’ve done with her character here.
She goes from this stage of brushing it off, maybe she imagined seeing the thestrals, imagined how much everything has changed, to seeing that it has changed, and while it’s sad and heart breaking, it’s okay. It can be that way, and life still goes on. Not everything was lost and while it’s a lot of rebuilding, it’s possible to get there. Like, the development in her character, the feelings, how she knew the thestrals were going to be seen, but it still hurt…like, I loved it.
I also love Harry’s place in that, appearing when she needed him to, reconfirming that the thestrals can be seen, that life is a mess, but that even in the sadness, even when things seem so wrong, it can be beautiful, and it can rebuilt and transform. Like, I love, love, love Harry in that position. It seems only rightful for him to have those words, having gone through what he’s gone through (And I may or may not adore Harry and Ginny and this sort of dynamic).
I also love how you circled the idea of everyone seeing the thestrals and how it went from just Ginny, and then Harry and Ginny talking about them to it being her friends, the group she walked so much with, and how the thestrals were lined up the same way as them...and how they could all see them and by the end, it was said in such a different light. It wasn’t the sorrow filled resignation, it was the almost hopeful observation. It just…it was really, really beautiful.
Fabulous job! Enjoyed the read!
Oh no. :( The prospect of every single person being able to see the thestrals is so chilling. Of course that would be the case though in this timeframe, immediately after the battle before everybody has dispersed. They have all just seen so much death. To suddenly be able to see animals that were invisible before would be quite the shock to the system for all the survivors.
You do a good job finding the balance of it being kind of depressing but not too much so. I guess Harry said it best: something can be beautiful and sad at the same time. Ginny obviously learns to think so, with their "shining, glimmering heads". (I love that description, by the way. It helps to bring out the magic to them and adds to their majesticness. It also fits with the movie description of them.)
At the same time, I can't help but think about how the thestrals must be feeling. It was kind of surprising that half of the group in OotP could see them, because I imagine that much fewer of them would typically be able to see them. They must not be used to so many people looking at them and trying to interact them. If they are a quiet bunch, it could be very unnerving for them.
I was glad that you ended with five of them together. It is a nice parallel to when they first interact with the thestrals. The only one missing is Neville.
Hi, Beth. I came to ask you to continue your Hurricane Luna as I twittered. And I happened to find Ginny in your AP and thought of reading and leaving a review.
I love all of this story, the opening, the development and the ending.
I think I've never read Ginny centric POV mainly focused on her grief after she lost her dearest people especially after the battle of Hogwarts. It's sadly beautiful when she felt a Thestral poke it's rounded nose beyond the shadows of the Forbidden Forest where the Death Eaters had captured Hagrid and Harry once during the Battle.
As I predicted you would mention Ginny's brother, the description about the magical creature she could see because of her lost, Fred's death, is beautifully written and warmly described.
Opening is full of nature and the detailed descriptions of the Thestrals and Ginny’s mind movement, it’s not intense, but full of quiet sorrow. I like the way you wrote about her pain in her heart.
One of the best parts of your beautiful piece is the scene with Harry. I really love that scene. Thank you Beth for writing the scene. I like the way you wrote how Harry cared about her including this spot, :“They’re beautiful, yeah?” Ginny would know that voice anywhere. He stood a few feet behind her, his way of seeking permission. : Something can be beautiful and sad at the same time,” he said, slipping his arms around her.
Oh, I love the last scene with the five friends. Finding Ron and Hermione, Luna, I remembered the last scene of HP OoP film where the five frineds entered.
Thank you again for sharing such a great story, Beth.
I think your opening paragraph is very effective. It can be interpreted both literally and symbolically. It makes sense that the day after the battle she would expect to be seeing things, like looking for signs of death everywhere.
I’m actually surprised that Ginny was at Hogwarts the day after the battle. I wouldn’t expect that school would be held after evacuating all the students and having the castle largely destroyed in battle, and I would imagine that the Weasleys would want to be together at home.
Wow, you have great language in this piece. I really like “The shiny, leathery skin stretched over the beast’s spine the way that her heart felt stretched thin within her chest.”
I really like your description of the thestral just chilling by the forest. It is a great juxtaposition of the animal just being in its natural way, while at the same time it is of huge emotional significance to Ginny.
I was confused at first about who the guy was. It must be Harry, but it seemed unusual to comment on beauty like that.
What a beautiful sad simplicity in the line “Everyone can see the thestrals now.”
Ugh I love the parallel of Ginny and Harry nuzzling each other while the thestrals do the same.
(okay, gotcha - you explained why she was at Hogwarts)
Wow, I didn’t expect he thestrals to behave so uniformly like that.
What a lovely little story!
Hey there! I'm here for the BvB! I already knew how much I enjoy your writing, but I don't think I've read any of your shorter stories before. So I jumped at the chance to do it.
Even though it's such a short and simple piece of work, it is so beautifully written. And I think it's such a unique idea to focus on thestrals at that point after the war. It's such a brilliant and different way to express grief and how much the war had changed everyone (although I suppose seeing thestrals is just the tip of the iceberg). But you also did manage to touch upon these more profound changes and the sadness came across clrealy through the economical interactions between the characters, and even in how conflicted Harry was about what role he should play now that it was all over. I was also thrilled to see support coming through friends as well and not just from Harry (I'm all for the representation of the importance of friendship).
Overall, I found it very touching and I'm so impressed with the concept of it. And I think I'm gonna hunt down the stories in this series.