I decided to review this one, too. :P If you don't want to leave me two reviews, no worries - I know I sprang it on you. I just saw this and couldn't resist.
So I love this.
There are some really, really sticky ethical questions in Harry Potter that never really get the attention they deserve, and the memory modification is definitely toward the top of that list. I think that we all understand why Hermione did what she did in DH, but it was also really invasive and problematic all on its own.
And, beyond that:
The idea that erasing her parents' memories broke Jewish law is so, so fascinating, and you depicted the beit din in such a vivid and relatable way. Reading it almost felt invasive, because I was clearly witnessing (well, sort of) something really private. I loved the way they guided her and challenged her, though - I think it's what she really needed, in a lot of ways.
Also? I love the idea of Hermione being Jewish in general. It's not an interpretation that I think I've seen before, but it gives a lot of depth to some of her experiences in the wizarding world in general. They're not even 50 years removed from the Holocaust when they start school; that's a really dark backdrop to see some of the blood purity prejudice through, and it also makes me think about what kind of thought process led her to be in Gryffindor and why she never abandoned Harry under this interpretation.
Amazing, amazing job.
EMMA HI. Here for our swap! <3
Okay so I’ve been meaning to read this for the absolute longest time (especially since you put this forth as the story you wanted to talk about in your prefect blog interview!) so I’m so glad I’m here now!
To start I would like to say that your story summary was hilarious and also relatable (I too have not obliviated my parents into forgetting their own child) and how are you so naturally funny?? I’m literally laughing at your freaking story summary. <3
This was really, really interesting to read on a number of levels. I definitely learned a lot about your culture (being the woefully ignorant dummy that I am, I don’t really know too much about Jewish culture), and I really love Hebrew as a language so it was really cool seeing the glossary at the end, as well! I’ve heard it being spoken before, and honestly I could listen to it all day. Even when the plainest thing is being said, it sounds so cool?? (Sorry I just have this weird fixation with foreign languages haha.)
And this was really sad and thought-provoking as well. The idea that Hermione broke Jewish law by obliviating her parents is honestly such a unique and creative idea (and I can’t wait to read one of your longer pieces, because I am 1000% positive that the worldbuilding in that is going to be insanely good), and it hurt my heart a bit when she had to explain why she did it. Ughh, poor Hermione. I think that was always one of the saddest parts of the book, where she had to quietly do that on her own, and then deal with her emotions and sadness largely by herself as well. </3
It does raise an interesting question though, like – her parents didn’t really make the choice to leave. And now that she’s done this, and that it’s lasted for so long, it might have permanently affected them to the point where bringing them back might make life even harder. So this was such a good story, and it made me think a lot, and it’s so wonderfully original and intelligent and thought-provoking.
Loved it!! <3
I was just promo-ing you on twitter before I had a chance to write your review. A friend of mine asked for stories featuring Jewish characters in HP and you came along at the perfect time! :)
Addressing one of your initial concern areas of moving the glossary, while I do think it might be helpful for a lot of readers, you’ve added enough in story context that I think the glossary is fine where it’s at!
I wanted to mention as well that your story summary’s disclaimer made me snort water out of nose so it was off to a good/burning start immediately.
I like the idea of the three of them living together instead of splitting up or coupling off immediately. It feels nice and right and exactly like what I want, but had never thought of. I like Harry implying that Hermione is super shady with the rent and Ron just accepting it because tbh she really is. But in the best way.
I really like the pacing you set once we got the letter. It felt like it really built up the suspense of it and I might have had second anxiety.
It was very thoughtful of them to hold off on the conversation until she recovered. I found that incredibly comforting.
I think the Rabbis are pretty solid on their moral compass. I understand Hermione’s fear and why she’s keeping them in their false lives, but I agree with them that she has to give them the life that was truly theirs.
While I don’t think your story needs the lines you cut, I think they’d add an extra level of familiarity and the dialogue is really solid. I’d put them back in if it was my story! ;)
So, I really have to say that I absolutely adored your characterization of Hermione. She feels so very Hermione. I really liked the Rabbis and Harry and Ron as well! It was incredibly well done!