As soon as I saw this, I knew I needed to read it. First, because you wrote it, and whatever you said in your A/N, I am typically pretty impressed with what you write. Second, because it's about Lavender, and I find fics about Lavender to be really interesting in general.
I do understand what you mean when you say it felt rushed - there are definitely points that feel a bit less polished from what I usually see from you, I agree. There were a lot of little grammatical things that I haven't seen in your more recent things that I've read (which were, admittedly, awhile ago), and there were occasionally adjectives that didn't quite fit right. I also did feel like the end was a bit rushed - I would have liked something a bit less definitive than "I was going to be fine," you know?
At the same time, I think you might be underselling yourself. Overall, your writing was lovely and the details you provided painted a very vivid picture of what Lavender was thinking about. I also liked that you leaned on them so heavily to help describe her emotional state - it definitely illustrated how helpless she felt.
Honestly, though, I think the thing that impressed me most was how you created such a strong, plausible post-war voice overall for Lavender in this story, which is something I always love to see and also always admire in a writer. She's a character with a lot of hidden depths, I think, and you really took them on and did something with them.
The friendship between Lavender and Parvati was also lovely to see, and I think you did a terrific job with it. They were clearly very close in the books, but I don't think it gets explored very often in fics because neither of them is an especially popular character. However, especially when you're talking about recovery from the sort of trauma Lavender experienced, it makes perfect sense that she would need a friend to help pull her through it.
Again, I do see what you mean, and I do think that there are a couple parts you could improve a bit, which I already noted above. Still, though, this was a lovely story, and I think you did a great job with it.
House Cup 2013 - Ravenclaw
Author's Response: Hey Branwen,
I do agree with you, i wrote this in a rush and i know it can get tightened up a bit. Especially grammatically.
I'm a little shocked that you like Lavender stories because it seems that most people don't really like her as a character. I do enjoy her and I think she acts in very normal teenagerish ways so there isn't really a base for how much some people dislike her. To be honest, many teenage girls can be a little overbearing with first boyfriends. I think i like her best post war though because there is a lot to explore. Also, if you think about it, she was part of the DA, she stayed to fight - there is a lot of depth, as you say, in her character that she doesn't get credit for.
The end, 'i was going to be fine' doesn't necessarily mean she's going to be fine. In her eyes she's going to be 'fine' but the only reason she thinks that is because she's escaping into her fantasies again. She's "in" China and not having to deal with the reality of her depression, the reality of her post war self. Her mode of survival is escaping. It's being in another place so she can live to be the person she believes she is. It's a bit of an irony that she says she'll be fine because she is anything but that and will not be fine till she learns to try to cope with reality. But I think I do understand where you are coming from with wanting something that's sort of less clear in a way.
Past all that though and the feeling of it being too rushed I'm pleased that you enjoyed the details and the writing itself. That's always such a compliment coming from you as i've always been a little in awe of how you write. I really like trying to develop a voice for my character and post war Lavender seemed perfect to get this story across. There is so much to explore with her and so many emotions that are underneath the surface that I can't imagine how hard it would be to deal with the after effects of war. The demons and the terror of thinking you could die from Fenrir.
Yah, i like how Parvati turned out in this story. She is trying to hard to be that rock for Lavender, she cares for her so much and needs Lavender to survive this. But she doesn't realize that she's a little out of her depth and that she's lost Lavender already. In a way too Parvati herself makes it hard for Lavender to grow because Parvati has seemingly gotten past the war. She still is 'perfect' in Lavender's eyes and she sees this gap between her and Parvati and instead of making her push to get better she falls even further.
Anyway, enough of my rambling. I'm really pleased that you enjoyed this and as soon as my holiday is over I'm going to go back and try to tighten this story up.