I love that you started off with Dolores as a young girl, it made me start out at least with an open mind instead of a ‘pitch for ready’ sort of attitude towards her. And your Dumbledore, let me just say I could never talk to you again because of how jealous I am that he is so *Dumbledore-ie* he’s perfect!
The children teasing her are bad enough - creative teasing name - dumbridge, btw ;) - but then Cygnus’s horrible cruel dismissal and being such a jerk to her, that’s even worse than knowing people are making fun of her, because he’s making it clear that she’s not good enough to even be seen with him. That the idea of her trying to snog him is humiliating and disgusting, and showing her in such a mean way that it is the last thing he'd ever want. Poor demented woman.
Her thoughts revolving around Dumbledore in this are really frustrating, because I just want to yell at her and tell her that he’s being nice! But she probably hasn’t ever seen much of the niceness for anyone, so it just isn’t a logical conclusion for her.
Okay, so, any part of - aww she’s just a young girl - sentiment has vanished with the switch the OotP time. She’s mean! She’s mean and nasty, and creepy. The worst part is, is she really thinks she’s doing something good! She doesn’t realize that she’s just being a mean old woman, but she thinks she’s helping! She thinks Hogwarts needs her help!!! Blah. But her thoughts were done so well. Her patronizing, pretentious, pink self come out so clearly, it felt like the exact same woman we know from the books. You really can ‘canon’ any character so well, my dear!
By this time (third section) any good in her is already nearly eaten away. She does fear her mother, that’s obvious, but she’s already building on that strong desire for revenge. She doesn’t blame the fact that if anyone would find out her mother would hurt her, on her mother - she would blame Dumbledore for making her mother hurt her if he were to get involved. I think that speaks the volumes about her character, she doesn’t understand right and wrong. She doesn’t understand compassion and lacks the emotional capacity to differentiate between someone wanting to help, and someone causing her hurt. I think this is, so far, the strongest aspect of the story because it shows us that this, right here, is when things are gone too far to be changed. She wants the bullies to be punished, because punishment - to her - is the only way of showing ones errors, she doesn’t want help, she just wants justice.
And she took the pink one! Favorite detail, haha!
Ah! It’s over? I thought I had another section for some reason! boo!!
I think you did such an amazing job at writing something from her PoV. You didn’t let your own distaste of her cloud this at all, you gave her the chance to be human, to be okay, to get help. And you showed her choosing to banish that chance and it’s such an easy transfer form that last section to the woman she becomes.
You definitely didn’t make me like her (which wasn’t your goal, because we both know you’d never take that on :P) but you really made me understand her.
I can’t believe how different this is from anything else of yours, the one of it, the details you center on, it’s just so perfect and such a huge jump from the warmth of the Weasley’s, or the open wounds of When You Go (When You Fall? Before You Go? Haha!)
This is even better than I imagined, and I already hold you up to impossibly high standards :P!!
Author's Response: Hi my dear,
Sorry I'm so late replying to this lovely review. It's been a rough few days!
Please talk to me! I won't write Dumbledore again, I promise! ;)
I can always rely on you to read my stories as I intended them, even finding stuff and saying things that clarify my own story to me! This bit of your review: "She doesnÃ¢Â€Â™t understand compassion and lacks the emotional capacity to differentiate between someone wanting to help, and someone causing her hurt." captures exactly what I wanted to get in 'young Dolores'. Reading your comment, it struck me that she's a sociopath.
Thanks for saying that it still works even though it's miles from what I usually write... I was nervous about it for that reason. I like to write things where I feel comfortable, and this story was anything but!
Sorry this is such a rubbish little response, I have a headache but I couldn't leave it sitting in my 'Unanswered Reviews' any longer, as it was such a lovely review and I really appreciate you taking the time to do it :)