|Review:||The Misfit says:|
HELLO! As you probably worked out by my nomination of this for FAotM, (which was fully deserved btw) I read this this story back in December. I'd like to apologize for the ridiculous amount of time that it's taken me to come back and review; I wanted to give a review worthy of this story!
So: lithe and limber. I really like Viola - she's a lovely contrast to Lavender and instantly, her presence makes Lavender incredibly relatable, because the way that Lavender feels inferior in contrast to Viola is something that we've all felt at one time or another. Instantly, you turn a character that's seen in the books as a ditzy, unimportant schoolgirl into someone real, someone human. The way Viola treats Lavender is horrible, and your description of Mrs Brown's eyes makes me curious as to whether she suspects what's going on, but is pretending that the problem doesn't exist.
I caught a typo, btw: "Who cares. She'll never be yours." should have a question mark after "who cares". :)
The ending of that section was just so heartbreaking - I couldn't help but feel for Lavender, feeling so emotionally trapped by Viola. It seems such a contrast to what we see in the books, but it's still wonderfully canon because after all, Lavender isn't going to tell Harry, Ron or Hermione about her history. I really love this portrayal of her - there are so many fanfictions about her life after the Battle of Hogwarts, and not before, and I think that's one of the things that makes this one-shot stand out from all of the others.
In laughing, seeing, I loved how Lavender and Parvati became friends straightaway, and how they clicked instantly. Again, this was true to canon and after the darker aspects of Lavender's friendship with Viola, it was lovely to see her more positive and upbeat, and to see how attending Hogwarts has changed her life. The way in which Lavender mistook Padma for Parvati was amusing - the sisters just have such different personalities that getting them confused was rather surprising. (Sorry if I didn't make sense!) I also liked the explanation for why Viola wasn't a part of the story post-childhood; it had originally been one of the things I was going to point out.
I really liked lightning-struck, and how Lavender's relationship with Ron developed - the books being from Harry's POV so we don't really see it - and especially how she started calling him "Won-Won"! That moment was absolutely lovely, as it showed that Lavender was really happy and braver than she realized for being able to use a name like that in public. We also see the breakdown of Lavender and Ron's relationship, which I thought was a really nice touch and made the story realistic; that not everything has a happy ending.
I tried to hold on to his relief – to borrow it, just the smallest particle of it. This had to be one of the lines that moved me most - from an outsider's perspective, Lavender would have seemed desperate, but from her own viewpoint I can't help thinking that that sentence was more about hope than desperation.
And then we come to a lively sense, and it's really good to see Padma be more involved with Parvati and Lavender. I had been wondering earlier on in the story why Parvati and Padma didn't get along in their first year when we know they had a good relationship in fourth year, so it was nice to see that eventually they grew out of it, and Lavender's assurance that she could tell them apart instantly was proof at how much she's matured, to be able to notice and disinguish between the smallest of characteristics. Lavender and Padma's relationship was unexpected - I've never read a fic with this pairing before, but I have to say that I really liked it! The way that you developed their relationship and led up to their first kiss seemed incredibly natural for two schoolgirls.
I have to confess that the first segment of a lightness confused me slightly. You insinuate that Lavender's a pure-blood, as she's permitted to go back to Hogwarts, and with that deduction it seems that Viola's mother is related to the Browns through marriage - but then, why does Lavender refer to Viola's father as just that, instead of Uncle whatever-his-name-is? Furthermore, Lavender claims that the two families have never been very close - but they must have been somewhat close for Viola and Lavender to have grown up together?
Your description of Hogwarts in 1997-1998 sounded so incredibly canon - I know we never saw in the books what it was like, but your version is so believable. The way Padma and Lavender are hiding their relationship from Parvati, and her reaction, just made me feel for them - it can't have been easy for Parvati to have been a third wheel - and she must have known subconsciously, due to her behaviour - and for Lavender and Padma, lying to someone who they love.
You also described Fenrir Greyback excellently; the whole scene was just so frightening accurate that I could actually believe that I was there with Lavender. And the final section was just so beautiful and moving to read. I did notice a small typo in there: "There, – in just a tiny corner," - you don't need a comma after "there". :)
Those final two paragraphs were just so wonderful though; and that final sentence almost brought a tear to my eye. With that sentence, you don't just know that Lavender Brown is alive, you know that somehow, things are going to be okay. Because for me, those two lines are filled with hope.
This is an amazing one-shot, and you truly deserved to win that Featured Author award. It's so well-written, and I would love to see a sequel and find out what happens after the battle is over! XD This is just wonderful, teh! I know you want to cut it short, but don't - it's perfect as it is. ♥
Author's Response: OK, so I felt like someone had Stupefied me when I saw a new review for this story!?!?! And SUCH A LONG ONE AS WELL :DDD
Oh, thank you so so much! For taking the time to read and review, and for nominating it as Featured Story! I'm so so happy that you liked it and thought it was good; I've been having just so many mixed feelings about this story (and they get worse with time bahaha xD)
Oh, I take A LOT of liberties with punctuation. The second typo you pointed out (the extra comma) was indeed a mistake! Gah, need more editing! But the first bit with the question mark ("Who cares. She'll never be your mother...") was quite deliberate. It was originally a question mark but I didn't like the sentence to be a question so I put a fullstop instead. Bahaha! If you noticed, I also took out many many many semicolons and put in commas instead. Hence, comma splices everywhere! I've noticed that in some books I like, writers bend the rules of language and punctuation...and I've heard of some good advice that if a writer does it, you can do it too, as long as there is a reason. I do this because of the way I want the sentences to flow - they do have a certain sound in my head sometimes, especially when i write in first person. OK, am getting a bit rambly here...
I meant for Lavender's mother to come off as being distant and somewhat immersed in her own world among other things, but readers could have other interpretations, of course!
And as for the whole confusion about Lavender and Viola and their half blood muggleborn thing...ahaha I was clearly confused. I sort of mapped it out but didn't want to get all technical in the story so I left it out. I think Lavender and Viola are related through Lavender's unseen father and Viola's father (the one standing by the Portkey). In my mind they were brothers. And Uncle Viola's-Dad married a Muggleborn (Viola's sort of a Half blood, I guess). As for why Lavender says their families had never been close - well she's never been quite close to Viola's parents, and she and Viola drifted apart when they started school. And Viola spending so much time at her place was probably some sort of formal arrangement between their parents...maybe Viola's parents had to work or something ahahha! At least that's how I saw it. Also, Lavender's the narrator - she has her own views and attitudes toward people and things :)
I'm glad you like the final part! For me, Lav Lav pretty much died, but you could interpret it otherwise. You wouldn't be wrong! You're right: either way, things may probably get better, though if she lives, she'll have all the scars of course. I was trying to write that end scene without making it too angsty xD
In fact I was trying not to make the whole story too angsty :) Don't know if I succeeded though...
Anyway, thanks so so so much once again, Katie! I'm glad you enjoyed this and nominated it and everything!Thank you again for the brilliant review and see you in the forums :)