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Review:Violet Gryfindor says:
[insert mess of emotions here]

This mess of feels includes many OMGs and flails because this is a brilliant piece of writing and I don't know what else to say. The voice you've achieved here is impossible, how you've made Lavender Brown a sympathetic character, a girl caught up in her dreams of normality, so different from the other girls in her year at Hogwarts. In the books, we see Hermione and Ginny (and even Luna) as the heroes, but Lavender is that annoying girl. However, here in just over 700 words, you make her something much more. Something real, something sad, just as strong as the others because she has survived and isn't afraid to still want everything.

This story made me cry! Maybe that's why I'm flailing so hard. That scene in the lavatory was so evocative, and the use of the fairy tale allusion was painfully perfect. She passes over it, perhaps because the war hardened her, made it easier for her create distance from that horrible moment. It seems like the world did all it could to destroy her dream of picket fence and happy domestic life, but the fact that she perseveres reveals a strength that I don't think anyone saw in her.

I love the use of the second person in this story. It's a voice that's hard to pull off, especially when it's also from Lavender's point of view, but it works incredibly well for this story, making the reader feel very uncomfortable, placing us in Lavender's shoes. This may sound crazy, but I almost find the ending frightening, the way she smiles coyly and responds "why, everything". It could be inspiring, that she's still ready to find her place in the world, regardless of what has happened to her. But it still holds a hint of menace, as though her experiences have woken something dangerous within her. There's a lot of bitterness there, but what will she do with it? What will she do with herself? It's a great way to end it, leaving the reader with as many questions as answers.

Everything I read of yours is much too good to be healthy, and this is no different. I'm in awe of your style and talent, your ability to explore a character's history and consciousness in a perfectly-contained narrative of this length, so polished and evocative. I feel the flails coming back again, so I'll stop rambling before they do. Amazing work with this, and the best of luck with the Dobbys! This one definitely deserves to win! ^_^

Author's Response: Susan :33 eee -flails back at you- I am like sideways on the floor beside myself.

I had this realization that if there were one thing to describe the majority of my writing, it's that it's practically all about strong women, and all strong in different ways. I've always felt HP gives a one-sided view of that, giving the spotlight to the best and brightest, and then in the shadows are the emotional girls, Lavender, Cho, Fleur, etc. - and I suppose they can't all be not-annoying but there's such little sympathy for them. I certainly hated them when I had first read the books.

I've never written anyone like Lavender before. What I love about it, is that I don't have to change who she is. She's older and jaded but as Lav-Lav-like as ever with her dreams and demands. But now, they've suddenly got a whole other meaning because it's tied to her perseverance. It's amazing - just me witnessing it through reviews - how people have responded to that. To say, 'how brave' instead of 'how silly' when Lavender is still being Lavender.

Bahah, I have always found her a bit menacing. She is a very 'watch out world' type of gal, and especially now more than ever. I remember as I was writing, I was thinking that she doesn't need to be necessarily inspiring, as she isn't looking for anyone's sympathy. I wouldn't even consider her actions hopeful (and life doesn't reward her hope). She's just stubborn, but that is very dangerous indeed - or even strangely admirable.

AHHH thank you so much Susan :333 ♥ I have melted into goo again.

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