|Review:||Violet Gryfindor says:|
Wow! There's a lot to this story, and I've read it a couple of times so that I can take it all in. It's beautifully written, another fine example, not only of your fantastic writing style, but also of your work with minor characters, filling out their backstories in creative and complex ways that makes them come alive. This story, for instance, feels like it has a whole novel behind it of Dorcas's life and her history with Benjy and the things she did that lead up to these final moments. At the same time, this one-shot is perfectly contained, mostly because of the stylistic features - the repetition, the movement from "he was coming" to his arrival, etc. It makes for a fantastic one-shot.
This is a haunting story, its use of repetition and imagery forming a ghostly, surreal atmosphere. Nebulous comes to mind too because, even before the end, it's as though Dorcas is wandering in a fog, the world already fading around her before death comes. At first I read the "he was coming" as referring to Benjy, but when I re-read the story, it hit me that it was Voldemort coming to kill her. Yet I love how it's unclear, how she's also waiting for Benjy to return and how, in her mind, he does. Because of this, she accepts Death, reconstructing Voldemort as Benjy so that she can greet Death as an old friend, and thus, in JKR's world, die a hero. In this way, to answer your question, she is the kind of person Voldemort would want to kill himself because she proves herself to be stronger than he is, even in the midst of her weakness. Does that make sense? I even think that you portrayed Death as doubled, at once the negative, traditional figure of the Grim Reaper/ Voldemort and the positive, welcoming figure of Benjy. What's important for your story is that Dorcas chooses the latter.
The tragedy is that fighting against Voldemort and the Death Eaters breaks Dorcas down in this way. She literally fades or disintegrates as she wanders through Diagon Alley, waiting for Death, the world crumbling around her. Benjy's death has a lot to do with it, of course, but she also seems like someone under intense pressure who can no longer continue on. From what one can gather from canon, the First Wizarding War was even more brutal than the second, and I wouldn't be surprised if even the bravest broke down because of it - it was an incredibly dirty war, and until Voldemort's destruction, it was also a war the Order was losing. So your characterization of Dorcas is realistic as she unravels, recognizing that she's abandoning her cause at the same time that she knows it's a losing cause, and no matter if she lives or dies, it can only fail. And you capture this in the rhythm of her words, the broken sentences and dulled senses - like she says a few times to herself, she's already dying, already dead by the time that Voldemort kills her.
It's haunting - moving, too, the kind of story that sticks to one afterwards. You did amazing work in putting this together.
Author's Response: Hey Susan! I was really blown away by this review for some reason. I think it's because you're one of the few reviewers who really got this to the full extent that i intended it to be. I don't even know if i have the words to explain how excited I was to read this. You've always been a really thoughtful and insightful reviewer. I'm really pleased you read it a second time as I think it's then that the story begins to make more sense. :)
It does make sense what you said. The idea that she's accepted death, waits for it, wants it even because it's welcoming her to a place of rest. Welcoming her back to Benjy. She conquers death because it isn't a scary thing anymore and she understands that her time is limited and it doesn't scare her like it does Voldemort. She'd rather be out there in the thick of things, in the shadows and the darkness like she was in life rather than hiding away in a house, waiting for the inevitable. She would not cower like Voldemort would in the face of death. That's what makes her such a great character to me. That although she's faded, she still opens her arms to death which is really Benjy and for some reason she transcends the experience. She does die a hero in my eyes although she's given up on the cause and sees no more light. She steps out of the light because of that very reason.
It doesn't make what happened anything to be happy about though. As you stated, there is this fading of her, the darkness has overtaken someone who i've tried to portray as a strong person and that makes this story sad. It makes it seem like it's a failure. But, for me, it shows the causality of war. The chaos of it, and how it takes the strongest and destroys even that bit of light. In a way it has destroyed her and yet she choses to welcome the only thing that is left for her. Which is death and Benjy. She takes what she can, becomes better than the one who kills her.
I'm really pleased you read this and thought it was good. I'm still just so overwhelmed with this review because you put into words some of the hazy thoughts i had of this story ! Thank you so much for stopping by and reviewing!!