This is the first of the later stories that I think might have benefited from a good editor. It was still good--REALLY good--but it definitely didn't need to be 700k words long.
I appreciate the description of Harry and Draco and their progress both as individuals and as a couple as a spiral--that they're always moving forward (or upward, I suppose, depending on the direction of the spiral) but that they're still working on some things along the way. I felt like, by this point, I was familiar enough with both Harry's and Draco's issues that I could have done with a few less examples. Having Harry regress to the point that he was using the ice imagery to freeze his emotions (and having Snape not recognize the symptoms, when the freezing thing is his trademark...) just seemed like he was going back TOO far. It felt like he'd moved past the point where that was necessary, so that whole section of the story just felt repetitive and frustrating.
The only other thing I didn't enjoy about this was that at the end of the 5th story, I remember thinking how remarkable it was that Harry and Draco's relationship felt so adult. It didn't at all feel like a relationship between fifteen-year-olds.... And then this story begins. And Harry, Connor, Padma, and Draco begin to squabble and bicker--exactly like fifteen-year-olds. Again, it just felt like regressing. And like it diminished what I'd thought they'd had.
Okay, so negatives out of the way, this story was every bit as vast and detailed and enthralling and vivid as all of the others. Getting to witness Harry and Draco and Snape and all of the other characters overcome their individual issues and work toward their potential is spectacular. Harry especially, as he becomes more comfortable and confident in his power is so much fun to read about.
I'm nervous about starting the 7th story, since it's billed as the darkest of the set, but there's no way I can stop now.Favorite Quotes:"One nice thing about being a Lord-level wizard is that magical temper tantrums pale next to what I can do in battle."
Harry actually snorted at him. "What the fuck does fair have to do with any of it?" he asked. "We live in the world as it is."
Life doesn't stop moving while you try to learn to live it.
It did not force. It did not push. It simply danced, and showed off how beautiful the world was, and asked the listener if she really wanted to give that up.
"I swear to hold the space of my own mind sacred, to make decisions as best as I can based on thought instead of reaction, to test my own beliefs until they shatter or until they prove themselves solid."
He had accepted that there was no direction he could move in that was free of mistakes.... He had to be willing to make those mistakes, and bear the consequences of them, and keep moving forward with a little more knowledge under his belt, eyes a little more open.
Whatever he picked, he was going to be different from now on. This choice was going to prune more of his childhood away from him. It was already doing so.
"You threatened to disown me if I chose Harry's rebellion. And now I am sitting in the same house as Harry, eating the same breakfast, after having slept in the same bed last night. When one chooses a side, it's always best to do it thoroughly, don't you agree?"
Connor, though, thought that the best way to get rid of a monster hiding under the bed was to challenge it to a duel.
You cannot change the past. You can live for the future and try never to make those mistakes again, but if you once begin to think that you can pay for the past, then you will be paying the price for the rest of your life, until you begin thinking that even breathing is too selfish.
the world full of glorious souls packed with glorious possibility
Connor sighed. ... "We'll see."
Parvati gave him a brilliant smile and reached out to clasp his arm. "And we'll argue about it until you do see."
because flying was the only way he knew how to deal with joy this extreme.
For the first time he could remember, Harry had the sense that life was there to be tasted, and taken, and sampled, and he wanted to live as intensely as he had ever wanted anything.
said Hermione, and then stuck her nose pointedly in the book and headed down the corridor towards the Great Hall, avoiding bags and feet by means of specially-trained Hermione senses.
"Fuck you," said Harry pleasantly, and turned away. "I am, as you reminded me today, a Lord-level wizard, Mr. Apollonis. I have no need to crawl."
Connor tried zipping very fast in several directions, on the off-chance that if he flew away from the thought, he didn't have to think it.
Malfoys do not show their emotions in public, because their wills trump their desires. What they wish, passionately, is always more important than what they may want in any one, fleeting, childish moment.
"Must he be so public in everything he does?" Juniper demanded, leaning over Rufus's shoulder to frown out the window. "The other Ministries are going to think we're holding a damn festival for the Muggles. Come learn about dragons! Come see that phoenixes are real!" He waved a disgusted hand.
"I don't think he means to be," said Rufus, and sat back with a little sigh to wait for the end of the display. "He's saving the world again, Elder, and that is sometimes a rather noisy endeavor."
The hatred pulled against the love, the revenge against the impulse to live life as he would, and Snape/Severus knew they were both strong in him, both too strong to simply be defeated. If he turned against either, then he would lose a part of himself. Voldemort would have him, or Harry would.
No. I will have myself.