When I saw a tweet that this story was made into a podfic and read the description I knew I had to come read and review it! I have always envisioned Audrey being the type of person who would get on well with Hermione, so this was really lovely to read.
I enjoyed your characterization of Audrey and her marriage, and also how you stayed true to what we know of Percy's character and created a plausible conflict related to that, but without taking it into bashing territory or making him into a caricature. I also like that the conflict you've written here is a realistic and relatable one.
Straight as an arrow, an unbendable wand, dependable where it sometimes counted, Percy Weasley.
I really like this description of him, and while these exact words could be used in a disparaging tone, from what we see of Audrey here we can tell this is a thought that comes from love and respect, because she uses it to reassure herself. I also like that she has the fleeting suspicious thought about his working late - a perfectly human fear to have - but then reminds herself that this is her husband and she trusts him. I think it goes a long way towards painting the picture of their marriage.
I was left wishing I had seen how this all culminated when she talked to Percy but then I reminded myself the focus of the fic was the interaction between two women! And as far as that, it is just right! A lovely little vignette!
Here’s your second review for your What If Challenge Award.
A new character! I have never seen anything on Audrey. The few times I’ve seen her mentioned, I thought “who is this woman to put up with Percy!” I’m so glad you gave us a glimpse into her life.
You really jump into both Audrey’s characterization and the crux of the story. “Audrey paused and glanced around her kitchen with a sigh of satisfaction. Everything was clean, but it hadn’t taken much effort lately.” I get the idea that she is a very orderly woman who likes everything in its place-an absolutely necessity to live with Percy, but she doesn’t feel like she has challenge or fulfillment in her life.
I also like the part where she, for a moment, questions her husband’s meeting activity, only because it seems a very possible thought of a mid-aged house wife. Plus I love the description of Percy: “Straight as an arrow, an unbendable wand, dependable where it sometimes counted, Percy Weasley.” It fits him perfectly (although most people suggest an exact location for that unbendable wand.)
I also like the talk about Molly (Sr.) Weasley. It’s nice to see that both her daughter-in-laws have such a positive relationship with a woman, who can be a bit overwhelming. The women really recognize their mother-in-law’s strengths whether it’s babysitting or fighting a duel.
I completely understand where Audrey is coming from, needing self-fulfillment. I wonder how that conversation will go. I’m guessing, it will be a bit of a battle for her. First, we know Percy and how stubborn he can be and second, Audrey’s anticipating a bit of a disagreement on this. (She cooked his favorite dinner. Plus, the fact she never mentioned her interest BEFORE she got the job.) She might need some more woman-to-woman support after she talks with her husband too.
Extra review! (Since you left me two last time, and because why not? :P)
I'm not surprised that Percy has that kind of family, where he works after hours to mantain the family and his wife stays home with the children... not that there is anything wrong with it (not if the decision was taken by both Percy and Audrey in agreement) but it's also the kind of thing you would expect by Percy specifically, since he's kind of traditionalist that way (or at least, I can imagine him to be).
I totally understand that Audrey would want to change things, now that the girls are off to school. It must be so lonely for her and she needs a distraction. Also, it must be very annoying for her, if Percy is so often in office till late and they don't even have much time for themselves as a couple anymore...
It's interesting the way you chose to portray Audrey. The fact that she's a bit younger than the rest of the Weasley women and didn't really have a role in the war, while everyone else were basically national heroes... and how she feels a bit insecure and out of place because of it... it's endearing!
And of course Hermione would be so supportive and see Audrey as basically a sister. The relationship you built between the two women is so sweet and lovely.
I really hope they went through with the monthly Weasley women meetups, because it sounds like a brilliant idea. I bet they would all have a great time catching up with each other without their husbands in the way, for once. :P
This was such a lovely read, as usual! Thank you again for swapping!
Lots of love,
Hey Jules! I’m here for the review swap!
It’s not often I say this about a story: this spoke to me.
Having good women friends is so important, friends who encourage you, support you, love you, and know your worth. I really like how you showed this kind of a support system, even if not accessed often, that support is there forever. They are family. I love how hermione is so supportive of a different walk of life (aka Audrey being a stay at home mom) even though it’s not what she would want for herself. It’s really hard to find that kind of female friend who is supportive of your differences as welll as your similarities. Building each other up instead of tearing each other down. I feel that from this story.
Thank you for writing this wonderful story!
I hope the characters really did start doing weekly or even monthly mom night.
Xo good job!
Hey Juls! I'm here for our swap!
I am so glad that I picked this story! I am alllllll about women supporting women! Also, I haven't read much of Audrey Weasley, so I was intrigued to see how you interpreted her character. :)
This is such a wonderful story. I was surprised to learn that your Audrey is younger than the Golden Trio, but it makes sense with what we know of Percy in canon and you do Audrey's character such justice! I can tell that she loves her family and that she's made a really good life at being a homemaker, but now she's ready for something else, showing us that she's brave (because starting something new to that extreme can be terrifying!!).
But telling Percy... you do a spetacular job at creating her anticipation in telling Percy--and at showing how clever she is! Fixing his favorite dinner, getting out the special wine glasses and the wine, Audrey is a very smart and capable woman, and I love her for it!
I even admire her more when Percy is unable to make it home for dinner. A lot of the annoyance I felt towards him throughout the series resurfaced here--but it turns out all right because Audrey has a lovely conversation with Hermione! I am SO glad that Audrey and Hermione have a chance to talk about these things: their careers, their families, their mother-in-law, finding solace and solidarity with each other... that kind of support is amazing, and I'm so happy for both characters that they've found each other!
And Hermione is exactly the cheerleader that Audrey has needed because by the end of the story, Percy is, in fact, home for dinner! I am positive that breaking the news to Percy is going to go in her favor (even if Percy is against her new job, but I don't see him being that way). To end a story on this level of confidence is awesome!!! Great job! :)
hey juls, i'm here for EvS, team emerald :D
i can definitely sympathise with audrey feeling lonely and like she doesn't really have a purpose now that her children are both away at school and her husband is working all the time. she obviously wants to do something, wants to feel useful and have fun at her job. she left her dream job to take care of her kids, which is admirable since it's something she wanted, but now she should be free to return to work without percy freaking up about it.
hermione's support obviously means a lot to audrey, even though she might feel like she's constantly in the shadow of the woman who is the minister for magic (along with the rest of the super successful weasleys) but hermione is the sort of person who would never act in a way that would feel someone else small (except like...malfoy or someone :P ) and it's wonderful that she supports her sister-in-law. especially since audrey values her opinion a lot!
percy is a little adorable in his concern for audrey and i really think that hermione is right in saying that he would support his wife in what makes her happy.
Hi Juls! Took me a bit, but I’m finally here for our swap!
I have never read a single story where Audrey is friends with.. anyone else in the family. Thinking about it now, that’s a bit of a shame, isn’t it? I suppose people don’t like Percy much and sort of allow that dislike to extend to the rest of his family. As you know, I myself am partial to Lucy Weasley.
I loved reading about her life as a stay at home mum. It’s a fairly unique point of view, and one that I think deserves endless respect. I do feel bad that Percy has sort of left her out to dry with his dedication to his work.
Hermione’s advice to Audrey is so heartwarming, especially her insistence on being so family oriented, never letting her forget that they’re sisters. She gives her excellent advice and you really hit the challenge prompt out of the park. I was all smiles reading this and just adore the idea of all the wives getting together. This was such an enjoyable read - thank you so much for the swap!
This was another delightful story to read. I really enjoy how you stepped to the challenge. I love how you wrote Hermione and Audry and had them talking about things in regards to life now that the kids are in school. I love how you depicted a struggle in a marraige without type-casting a character as a villain, particularly Percy. So many people love to type-cast him as a villain.
I also find it interesting that you have maded Audrey as younger than Hermione. That is a nice choice. You did a wonderful job having them talk and relate to one another and I love how Percy tries to exemplify his father as well. I love how both women admire one another as well for the role they have each individually taken.
I truly enjoyed this read.
Heya, Juls! I'm here for the Magical Menagerie event! :D
Having lived that stay-at-home-mom life for a few years now, I totally understand where Audrey is coming from (though I haven't done it for nearly as long as she has). Her desire to follow her passions (especially now that her children are older), is totally understandable. Her husband works long hours and she's often left alone in the house, and it's so true -- you can only clean and cook so much until there is absolutely nothing left to do. I can imagine it gets terribly lonely without her children or her husband to keep her company.
I don't blame Audrey for being upset that Percy is staying late again (or even that very real and normal contemplation that perhaps he's being unfaithful with all those long nights, even if it passes quickly). She went through the painstaking effort of putting together his favorite meal, worrying while she was trying to figure out how to broach the subject of getting a job, and he didn't even really let her get a word in edgewise to explain how important it was to her that he make it home on time that night.
Of all the decisions she could've made in that moment, I'm so glad that she sought out Hermione to help. Naturally, the woman have lived two very different lifestyles up until this point -- with Audrey busy at home with her children and Hermione with her work in the Ministry (which must be extremely busy). It's nice to see them fall into some sort of friendship, as sister-in-laws, and that they're making future plans to get together more and drink wine. It's important for women to have other women to lean on and just to have someone to chit-chat with in general.
And Hermione gives excellent advice, which I'd expect from someone like her -- Audrey just needs to be firm, and Percy loves her so he'll more-than-likely see her side of things. And if not, I agree -- Molly Weasley is a force of nature and Percy's got no ground when it comes to having to deal with her, haha! I love the way it resolved, too, where Percy managed to get out of whatever he had been doing at work and was home, worrying about Audrey and what could've happened. I have a feeling that they'll work it out in the end.
This was lovely!
I was really intrigued by the characters in this fic and just had to click it – I think Percy’s such an interesting character, and even though most hate him, I’ve always felt rather sorry for him. Thus, a fic on Audrey who isn’t portrayed like a Petunia 02 is just what I needed.
Adults ‘drama’ is something I love to read about (despite not being quite that age yet), and its really hard to find a fan fic not revolving around teens, so thank you for doing something different. I think a lot of women, and especially american women, can relate to Audrey’s sometimes lonely life of being a housewife. At least she was able to get a job after so long off the jobmarket. I found her so very relatable – people don’t often own up to being either intimidated or slightly jealous of other peoples success – it often isn’t mean-spirited, which is also why Ron is one of my favorite characters. I suppose I just really enjoy when characters seem real.
I can totally imagine Percy wanting to be the sole breadwinner like his father was and I’m glad Audrey sticks up for herself and gets out there! it’s probably good for their marriage also.
Lastly, I really enjoyed your wiritng in this one, it had a very natural flow. Overall, I loved this glimpse into Audrey’s life. Fantastic job!
Hi there! I'm stopping by for the Magical Menagerie!
The first thing that struck me about this story is that there was absolutely nothing that indicated that Hermione was the "better" woman because she chose a career, or that Audrey was the "better" mother because she was able to spend more time with her children. I feel like these days, there's so much unnecessary competition between women who stay at home and women who work, about which is better for families and the women as individuals, etc. I didn't once get the vibe that one of these two women felt superior to the other, which was great. Furthermore, it also didn't seem like either Hermione or Audrey felt pressured by their families to choose another path, which is equally wonderful; it just showcases the wonderful dynamics of the Weasley family.
That being said, I appreciated that there was a depiction of each of them, particularly Audrey, admiring the accomplishments of the other while still feeling comfortable in the choices they'd each made for themselves and their families. If that isn't women supporting women, then I don't know what is!
Another thing I found particularly interesting about this story is that it's about middle-aged people. Maybe I'm just not looking in the right places, but it always seems like in the vast majority of fanfic, the characters are never older than 40. (Which makes sense, I suppose, seeing as a large portion of fanfic writers tend to be younger, but let's be real - life doesn't stop after the last baby is born lol). I really liked how this story explored that "empty" feeling that parents often feel when the kids aren't around and/or don't rely on them as much anymore. It's rarely examined through the lens of fanfic, yet it plays a huge role in the lives of so many, so I really loved seeing it here. Audrey's feeling of wanting more out of life felt very realistic, as did her apprehension about telling Percy; it's always nervewracking to be the one to rock the boat.
Favorite line: "She didn't want to make it out like she wasn't happy, she was - just unsatisfied." -- This, I think, sums up what so many people often feel but cannot put into words. Happiness and fullfillment don't always go hand in hand,
This was a really interesting piece. Well done!
Hi! Here for RvG and the Magical Menagerie!
I absolutely love reading stories about women supporting women, so I'm excited to read entries from this challenge. The first thing that really stood out to me is something that I really liked about the story - the summary describes this as two Weasley women helping each other out, but I really enjoyed the fact that both Audrey and Hermione are people who've married into the Weasley family. I think that really goes to show how close the family is and how accepting they are of the others in the family. That in itself says a lot about how supportive they're being.
Ugh, I felt so sorry for Audrey at the start of this story. I feel like Percy must be a very... difficult... man to be married to. And though it wasn't Percy precisely that she was having a problem with, I think with the first scene you gave us a very realistic portrayal of the sorts of problems that do crop up in relationships and marriages and need to be talked about - if you can get the other person to give you the time, that is.
I completely understand why Audrey would feel so frustrated and lonely staying at home, especially once the girls have gone to Hogwarts. Being a stay-at-home parent is far more difficult than people get credit for (I don't think that I could do it!) but it must be lonely when you're on your own all day; and even more so for Audrey than the majority of parents whose children just go to school in the day and come home in the afternoon. Good for her, finding a job that she's excited about and thinks she'll be good at!
I really love the idea of Hermione and Audrey being close enough that Audrey can go round to hers for a chat. I think there'd definitely be certain closer bonds between the "wives" (for want of a better term), but it's nice to see that Audrey and Hermione are close, despite Hermione having known the rest of the family for much longer than Audrey has. I really enjoyed the little insight that we got into how insecure Audrey can sometimes feel in comparison to Hermione and the rest of the family - I can definitely imagine that being the case if you hadn't been involved in the war.
The women supporting women in this story is just so great, I love it! Hermione gives great advice, and she's definitely not the sort of person to try and claim that she's amazing and infallible and has done it all by herself. Molly definitely deserves credit for all she does, and I just really enjoyed seeing them talking so warmly about all the females in the family, and I'd love to read a follow-up piece to this where all the women meet up and just have a good natter around a pot of tea and some nibbles and leave the men to fend for themselves for a while. I can definitely imagine that happening!
I loved this! I liked seeing a little into Percy and Audrey's marriage, which we obviously never got to see at all. I imagine he'd be a bit of a nightmare to be honest and can't imagine it'd be an easy marriage to be in. I thought this was a really interesting moment for you to pick as it can be quite a touchy subject for some chaps as it is and I can understand why Audrey would be nervous to bring it up, though why shouldn't she?! It must be awful to feel like there might be something else going on becuase he works late, even if she really doesn't believe it.
Anyway, I'm glad she went to Hermione for advice, it was a really nice dynamic. I got the feeling Audrey might be a little lonely, but obviously I have no idea what her own story is, but I'd like to think they all did make time to hang out after this. Just because Percy is a bit boring, doesn't mean she has to be, right. I can just imagine them all getting together for girls' nights. I'd definitely read that if you ever fancy carrying this on... just saying!
Anyway, great job. Tasha xxx
For Menagerie round two and RvG January - Team Red.
Hi Juls! :)
So I haven't read anything focusing on Audrey Weasley, like, ever, so I decided it was high time to check out your fic! Also, I've entered into the Women Supporting Women Challenge too, so I wanted to see what everyone else came up with for this fantastic idea!! The characterization here is just spot on, in my opinion. Percy has always been such a straight rod and perfectionist when it comes to work life and wanting to emulate his father's ability to support the family by working long days and hours at the Ministry. I think something he lost sight of after the girls were old enough to go to school though was definitely his relationship with Audrey and maintaining that romance and spark between them. Just because they're now middle-aged adults doesn't mean there shouldn't still be a candle burning, if you know what I mean. Having Audrey going for a chat with Hermione is just wonderful and I love how you've characterized her here -- she's Minister for Magic, yes, but she's also still that Hermione that we all know and love, who also gives out excellent advice. I sure do hope Audrey resolves her anger towards Percy and is able to tell him about her new job and that he supports this new endeavor for her! Great job with this, can't wait to see how you do in the challenge! :)
(Magical Menagerie 2: Team Griffin)
I'm here to drop off a review for the Magical Menagerie review event on the forums as well as for Gryffindor's Red vs Gold Battle for January 2019. I had to come read this since it was for the women supporting women challenge...and as a woman, that's a theme I definitely support!
I thought this was a very sweet and relatable story. Regardless of whether someone is a working mom or a stay at home mom, we all deal with struggles. I thought you did a good job of showing the issues with both between Hermione and Audrey. Audrey feels lonely and like she has nothing to do. Hermione feels over extended and rushed sometimes. It's nice that though they have drastically different lifestyles, they can listen to and support each other.
I can see why Audrey is a bit frustrated with Percy. It's tough to feel like you always come second to someone's job. He's always putting in extra hours, running to meetings, and making excuses to her. It kind of wears on her. I think having a job and making some friends outside of her relationship would really help her.
I also love the idea that all the Weasley wives are going to start a weekly get together. I'm sure that will help her loneliness too.
This was a very cute one-shot! I really enjoyed it. Good luck in the challenge.
I thought you did a great job at writing Audrey! I like your versions of her, I think it's very realistic that Percy would want his children to have what he had and I can see his perfectionist side would lead to Audrey feeling a bit shut out though I don't think that would ever be his intention.
She felt inadequate in her experiences with the family she'd married into < I love this line and I feel it is so correct like everyone in the family fought in that Battle. It must be so difficult to know that they helped save the world. she wasn't part of something so bonding. I'm very pleased that you've addressed that about Audrey, I feel like this insecurity must be tough for her. It really shows part of her motivation. I'm really proud of her for going for something she wanted (the job) because getting confidence is really hard.
I thought your friendship pairing of Hermione/Audrey was really interesting. I haven't seen them together in a fic like this but I really enjoyed it. I felt Hermione was able to give some really good advice. I like how Hermione did acknowledge that being a stay at home mum wasn't for her but she respected Audrey for her choices. I think that's a huge women supporting women moment. There is so much judgement about women's choices in regards to child rearing. I really like that section.
I hope Percy is willing to listen to Aubrey when they got back and have dinner. by the way I enjoyed the elements of Hermione/Percy friendship. Great job with this! good luck with the challenge!
- Abbi xo
For: Magical Menagerie/RvG