|Review:||Violet Gryfindor says:|
Oh wow, what have you done here? It's one of those stories that kills a bit of one's soul (in an entirely good way, of course). I had a sneaking suspicion earlier in the story that something wasn't quite right, that Lavender's travels didn't match up with the kind of life she seemed to have at home, but even when I came to the part about the woman in Egypt on a quest, I didn't question it - I wanted it to be as real as Lavender did. It's the one thing that Pavarti can't understand - even if Lavender was to go out and travel the world, she would still be scarred, people would still stare at her, and outside of England, I doubt they would know what her scars meant. Lavender's dreams are more real to her because they allow her to escape what she is to become what she was. She still has the big dreams, but now there's only dreams.
I can't even make this review make sense, I'm floored by this story, the way that Lavender's narrative brings readers so deeply into the fantasy that we emerge not knowing what's real and what isn't. The world of Parvati feels unreal while Lavender can describe all of the places of her dreams so vividly, right down to the way each place sounds, smells, and feels. It's painful to see her struggle when she's pulled out of these dreams by people who really can't understand - even those who were present at the Battle wouldn't be able to understand Lavender's trauma. I think you even imply that she's lost her arm, or at least the ability to use it - I mean, why has she been left alone like this, the one who has fallen between the cracks, pitied and looked down upon by everyone (even Parvati to a degree). The world has turned away from her, and she turns away on both it and herself.
Her voice in this story is amazing - you capture the essence of Lavender and extend into what she could have become in the aftermath of the battle. It's terrifyingly realistic when I think back to the nature of the battle, and I can't help wondering why JKR chooses Lavender as Greyback's victim - perhaps it was because of her old vanities and silliness. There are still hints of her old manner in this story, but they're now heavily overlain by bitter sarcasm; the image of the fashionable Lavender sipping iced tea is in equally sharp contrast to the two Lavenders of this story, the adventurer and the dreamer. Although she claims that she's changed, she still desires the same things, especially bigness - not necessarily to be "big" but to experience big things and be in big places. But this desire is realized in the most horrifying of ways with the Battle of Hogwarts. Imagine having one's dream come to life like that - it would destroy one's mind, just as it does for Lavender.
Ugh, your portrayal of Lavender and her dreams is extraordinary - painful, but beautifully and cleverly executed. It's a fantastically original, though tragic approach to the travel prompt. I'm definitely going to add this to my favourites list because it's just so well-written and moving. Incredible work!
Author's Response: So, i've been so blown away by this review that i've been avoiding responding to it. I don't know why, but it was just so nice and i'm shocked that I was able to pull this whole thing off. It was such a vague idea I started with and as i wrote it grew into this .
I love how much of this one-shot you've really got. It was really interesting to dig into Lavender because she seemed so flat and shallow in the books. This is why I like fanfiction so much, it allows you to dig into the tiny corners of it.
What I loved writing about this was trying to make her fantasies real to her. they had to be otherwise this whole thing wouldn't work at all. It wouldn't work for Lavender either. She needs a place where she isn't herself and a slim hope that one day things will be fine. A place where that she won't have to worry about her scars. It doesn't matter to her that that slim hope comes with dreams and fantasies. It's only there that she has freedom. She's fallen into them so much that they truly are real to her. Far more real that her flat and the stale sense of disappointment. Whatever she has in her books, every time she enters them, she's experiencing it. It's lost the dream, she only has her reality.
She's lost the use of her arm, the scars ran so deep that it's basically useless. Another deep reminder of everything she's lost and how she was forced to look into her future and realized that she couldn't handle it. Not with the mind frame she had grown to rely on before the war anyway. So she turns to this dream because anything else would be torment. (though she's tormenting herself again and again with every dream she falls into, she just doesn't realise that). I cannot imagine what it would be to deal with the after effects of scars and war. You know? I've tried to realise it in a really horrifying manner were a person has sunk so low that they may never climb out again. It's sad that she's alone and has almost no one. Part of that is her own choice, but part of that is also just slipping through the cracks of the system. It happens to too many soldiers in RL as well and it makes me sad to think of someone having to deal with this alone. She lets Pavarti in to a very small extent, but as you said, even Pavarti can never understand and in her own way looks down on her. In my mind, Lavender never gets better. I don't think every character would have a happy ever after. Lavender is one of those that will forever be tormented. I tried to show that there that even with Pavarti she still slips back to her own reality. That reality is the only thing she'll ever know.
Thank you SO much for your review and i'm sorry for long it took me to respond. Every time i tried I didn't feel like i had to words to try and explain it. I really appreciate though you insightful review.