Reading Reviews for Ad Venenum
  
15 Reviews Found

Review #1, by loveology To Poison

10th July 2013:
Okay, oh my goodness, that was just fantastic?
It was so creepy, too! Why did I read this at nearly midnight? I'm never going to be able to look at or smell a candle again for fear that it's going to kill me, and it's all your fault for being a good writer!

But no, I had never really thought of Lavender turning out this way? I mean, I'd always thought she'd survive, with heavy scarring both physically and mentally (she got thrown off of a tower, for goodness sake!) but I never thought of her winding up a murderer.

I've never been quite satisfied with a version of post-Hogwarts Lavender that felt quite right, but this almost does it for me.

Thank you for a wonderful night and for fueling nightmares and a phobia of candles! :)

10/10

Author's Response: Random reviews always make me smile -- the two you left me were no exception! Even with how creepy this story was (and I definitely understand that it totally was), I'm so happy you enjoyed it. Writing creepy/psychotic people is totally my favorite type of character, and I still find it awesome that people don't mind reading it. ;)

I never thought, given the books, that Lavender died, although of course that was an option. The movies did make it where she did die, but I'm fonder of the idea that she survived with heavy physical and mental trauma, because that makes her an excellent source for a story! And she's clearly obsessed with Ron in HBP, which makes her actually dangerous when you combine that with nearly dying at the hands of a werewolf.

I'm flattered this was nearly your idea of a satisfying post-Hogwarts Lavender. I'll take it! :D Thank you so much for taking the time to review!!


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Review #2, by _relative To Poison

5th June 2013:
I just love the character of Lavender because I think she has so much potential, especially after all she's suffered. I like playing with the idea that the main characters' perception of minor characters is biased because they're telling the story, and I feel like Lavender is a perfect example of that. She had her heart broken at a crucial time in her life, on top of people she knew and loved dying, and then the person that scorned her gets to be some big hero the world loves when she feels like she's suffered just as much too.

Or at least, that's how I see it :P I think it'd be enough to make anyone mad. And I love what you've done with Lavender here, how you introduced mental illness subtly but left the reader with no doubt it was there. I too think mental illness is fascinating, but I think most stories just don't handle it the way you have. And I think you've done it perfectly.

I really love this. I've been considering Lavender for a long time and reading fics about her to see if I get struck with an idea. I haven't yet, but this fic has been enlightening. It makes me think more about Lavender and all those affected by the war. Not everyone reacts in the same way. I think you show that well.

I love the language you use and the voice this story has. It all seems to mesh together nicely with your character development and plot as well. Basically I just think you're brilliant, and that probably sums it up pretty well.

Author's Response: I never much liked Lavender's character before writing this one-shot, but I do see where you're coming from about playing around with minor characters! And I think what you said about main character bias is interesting, too; it's what happened to Fleur in HBP after all, and Bill/Fleur is now one of my favorite HP pairings. Everybody has a different side to the story, and you never can paint everyone with the same brush.

But I originally wrote this story for a challenge that has since been taken down, and the idea of making Lavender go mad and kill Ron instantly popped into my head when I got the prompt for it. I've done mental illness before, both times working with Harry, and it was neat to get a chance to work with someone else's brain and motivations! I'm so glad you appreciate the way I've written it here; it's extremely fascinating, and I want to do it properly.

I'm so floored that you like my language and voice too, seriously. ♥ Those are HUGE compliments to me, and I appreciate them very much. Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a review on this story!! It very much made my day, and I hope to see you back before too long.


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Review #3, by CassiePotter To Poison

29th May 2013:
Hello!
So this was a really interesting read, and I was intrigued right from the beginning! I can't believe Lavender actually went so far as to kill Ron! I honestly didn't think she would have it in her, and I was really hoping she wouldn't, but she actually did! I think the part that really made my skin crawl was how normal she acted around Harry, and how he couldn't pick up that anything was wrong. It's a bit scary if you think about it, because she was able to plan out killing someone and actually execute it with so much ease. She did seem really nervous in Knockturn Alley, and I thought then that she would turn back. This was just written really, really well! I loved it! I took a class looking at mental illness in literature, so this was really interesting for me to read! Wonderful work, as usual! :) 10/10
Cassie :)

Author's Response: Cassie! First of all, I am SO sorry for how long this review's taken me to respond to. I started a summer history class just after getting back from vacation, and it's sort of thrown all my HPFF stuff for a loop. But I'm really pleased that you took the time to check this out! ♥

I didn't actually intend for Lavender to kill Ron until she got there in the end, but that's how it worked out -- and she was pretty much insane at that point, anyway, so she could have self-justified it pretty easily. I think one of the scariest bits of extreme mental illness like this is that a lot of times, people look totally fine on the outside. Insanity scares me ten times more than any hunt-and-find killer in any number of horror movies.

I'm pleased beyond words that you're still here reading my stories and that you think this was written well! :) Your mental illness in literature class sounds so cool, too. I wish I could take a class like that! I took psychology my fall semester and mental illness was my favorite unit in there. Who knows why it fascinates me so much?

Anyway! Thank you again for such a lovely review, dear. It really does mean so much to have you as a constant reviewer for my stories -- much more than I can express in words.


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Review #4, by LilyLunaPotter17 To Poison

23rd March 2013:
Lavender is very ... troubled. Seriously. I'd suggest a good psychiatrist.

But a poisonous candle is very imaginative. If I was going to kill Ron, I'd probably use a poisoned chicken drumstick or something.

I never thought Lavender would still be so cut up about her pitiful relationship with Ron - I mean, I knew she'd resent Hermione, but the fact that she'd still hold a grudge even after they were married is slightly disturbing and ... stalkerish.

But it was definitely an incredible story and it gave me the chills. You're very good at writing this sort of thing :) xxx

Author's Response: Lavender is very troubled indeed, although at this point, I think she's more bound for jail rather than therapy. :P She needs both, to be honest!

A poison candle was one of the objects suggested in the prompt, and the minute I looked at it, I thought it was so cool and knew I wanted to use it. (Though a poisoned drumstick would be genius!)

I definitely don't think Lavender's right in the head, and though I don't really get into it in this story, I'm under the impression that, as I've written her here, she suffered head injuries and a bit of brain trauma when she was attacked by Greyback in the Battle of Hogwarts. The movies made it seem like she died, but we never find out in the books; if she did survive, she's likely to have suffered. This is one interpretation of that suffering!

Anyway. I'm really glad you took the time to leave me a review on this, and I hope you know that it truly made my day to see you'd come by. ♥ I hope to see you back soon!


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Review #5, by Indigo Seas To Poison

25th February 2013:
Just wanted to pop by and say that a) this was really lovely (the writing, anyway - not the premise! I'm not overjoyed about killing Ron, or anything :P) and b) you are such, such a talented writer!

Bah. Description. So much envy. SO much envy.

xx Rin

Author's Response: OMG RIN. ♥ Of all the stories on all the archives, and you happened to walk into mine... Seriously, though, this made me so happy! I'm having a rough start to my week and coming online and seeing this gave me so many warm, fuzzy feelings.

Please look at your own writing and know I am jealous in return. Thank you please. :3 I'm so glad that you liked it! Thank you for reviewing!!


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Review #6, by academica To Poison

22nd February 2013:
Hey Rachel! I had a few minutes to myself this evening and I thought I'd pop by and check out some of your recent work. This one jumped out at me.

I really love this portrayal of Lavender. It reminds me a lot of Clandestine, because in the same way that I took Rose to the extreme in that story, you took that little bit of canon jealousy and just pushed it way over the edge. Not only that, but her disdain for Ron seems to bleed over onto almost everyone else she meets, even strangers on the street in Diagon Alley. I felt like every description was tainted by Lavender's hatred and jealousy. All at once, the emotions seem simple and then complex--she wants and hates him passionately.

I was a big fan of the creepy overtone of the story and the way Lavender had calculated even the smallest interactions, like her faux ignorance in the conversation with Harry. I can't help but wonder if he'll put two and two together when they find Ron's body. I get the sense that it doesn't matter to Lavender--she got to exact her revenge, which seems like the end of it, all she ever really wanted.

This was really cool and different. Nice job :)

-Amanda

Author's Response: Amanda! ♥ I'm so thrilled to see your name back in my (large) pile of unanswered reviews, and I really do appreciate your taking the time to check out a story of mine. I'm so long it's taken me so long to respond, too.

I've heard really awesome things about Clandestine, actually, and now that you've drawn that comparison I feel I'm going to have to check it out before too long. :) Lavender's definitely been warped by hatred and jealousy in this story, and it kind of drives her every action. I think the thought of wanting Ron is more attractive to her in this state than Ron herself is -- and somehow I'm under the impression that something Greyback did to her in the battle sort of altered her rational mindset somewhat. The movies indicated Lavender died, but we never knew that for sure...

I LOVE writing creepy stories, and I'm glad you thought it worked here! Creepy and/or sad stories are always my favorite, both to read and to write, and I'm not sure why that is. It's the seedy underbelly of life as far as emotions go, but there's something stark and striking about it, too. (I'm under the impression that Harry, upon finding Ron's body, knew exactly what happened... Poor bloke.)

Thank you so much for taking the time to review this for me! :) I'm happy that you enjoyed it!


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Review #7, by Renfair To Poison

22nd February 2013:
Hi Rachel! Yay! I'm so glad the review exchange has given me an excuse to read something else of yours. My fan fiction reading lately has been... zilch. Which really bums me out since I know there is an unimaginable amount of good writing out there. I've been trying to sign up for the exchange at least every other month or so to keep a trickle of reading coming and to expose me to some wonderful stories I normally wouldn't be able to read due to real life constraints :)

So on to your review! I love reading stuff of yours because without even starting I know, at the very least, I'm going to get a clean, well-written story. Commas are always where they're supposed to be, spelling and canon references are perfect, et cetera. I don't usually set out to read a piece critically, like I'm beta-reading it, but sometimes I can't help myself. So your stuff is extra nice because I don't end up distracting myself with noticing grammatical errors left and right :)

The description is just great. Maybe because it's the same time of year right now, but the beginning in particular with the old, mostly melted snow dirtied by shop patrons just transported me there instantly. I could feel the biting wind, whistling nastily down the alleyway, nipping the back of Lavender's neck. We can tell from her behavior straight off that she's doing something dodgy, and the cold winter setting fits perfectly. It wouldn't seem nearly as sinister in the summer with everyone in sun dresses eating ice cream cones. Only one description confused me for a sec: "and folds of black cloth that hardly looked real covered nearly every inch of her dark skin." --I'm not sure what exactly you meant by "real." What came to my mind with it worded that way was that the black was almost transparent and weightless like smoke, sort of the way Voldemort's robes are in the GoF movie when he's reborn. Maybe just a little more clarification in that one sentence would help drag the reader even deeper down into the darkness Lavender seems to be falling into herself.

I liked the format of breaking it up into segments with the time. I can almost hear the "Law and Order" dunk-dunk chime with each time stamp (ok, I have no idea how to describe that noise, but if you watch the show you know what I'm talking about...)

Are you like me in that you sort of wonder how Knockturn Alley is even allowed to exist? It seems like it should be a huge neon sign with arrow pointing down to say, "HEY, AURORS! REALLY ILLEGAL, DARK STUFF HAPPENING HERE!" But that's part of our willing suspension of disbelief in the Potterverse. Your creepy lady with the knotted hair was just...eew. Creepy. Must be the daughter of the one who was trying to sell fingernails to Harry in CoS. See, that's why you need to pass your O.W.L.s. Fail your exams and you end up either being a conductor for the Knight Bus or selling body parts on trays. Kind of makes you think Hermione wasn't quite so mental with her marathon revising before exam time.

It's interesting how Lavender's paranoia seems to evaporate after obtaining the poisonous candle. At the very beginning, she nearly freaks out considering if the man she randomly bumped into would remember her face. Then later at the Ministry, she comes face-to-face with Harry, who obviously knows exactly who she is, and she's so high on her mission that she doesn't even care. I think this ties in well with your final author's note about mental illness. Obviously something's gone wrong with Lavender, who maybe wasn't quite perfectly all right when she was at school with her obsession with Ron. Innocent teenage infatuation or something darker? I like how you took it to the dark place.

Until I got to the very end, I had the thought in the back of my mind that maybe she was going to actually poison herself in his office, not Ron. Sort of a "I can't live without you" thing with the added bonus of maybe implicating Ron in her death if it was in his office at the Ministry. But in the end Ron bit the dust after all. I can't say I'm disappointed since Ron was never one of my favorite characters. Maybe Hermione can marry Viktor Krum now like she was "supposed" to (you know, in my mind.)

One last thing, and this is only something I noticed and was curious about because I took years of Latin in school so 90% or more of your readers wouldn't pick up on it. The story title, "Ad Venenum," means "to poison," like you said, but as a prepositional phrase, as in "toward poison." Did you mean it as an infinitive, like "To poison Ron would be awesome" instead? Because that would be "venenare." I think either works, personally. In the first half of the piece, Lavender is literally making her way TO the poison. Funny how we both used foreign languages for the titles we reviewed in this exchange. I'm acutally not 100% sure mine is right! Hahaha... I think I might have reversed the word order, but I'm pretty sure it's ok. Like I said, I'm just being nit-picky cause it's so rare I get to talk about Latin, and I totally miss studying it. :)

Great job as always, Rachel! Thanks so much for your review too! I'm off to reply now, if you want to check back when you have a chance. Keep up your writing, ok?! I demand it!! You're too good at your age to not get something published by the time you're mine! ~Renny

Author's Response: Renny! ♥ Okay, first and foremost -- I know I said it would probably take me a while to respond to your review, but I didn't think it would take THIS long. Yikes! Please forgive me for being so tardy!

I always appreciate a well-written story (like yours!), so knowing you feel the same about m writing is quite lovely. And I'm so glad you like my description, too! Call me weird, but since starting my mass media writing class this semester -- I'm a professional writing major, but that's through the journalism college, which means I need to take a bunch of standard journalism classes before moving on to novels and short stories and the like -- I feel like my writing's become more terse and to-the-point than it has been in the past, which isn't something I'm sure I like. So knowing that someone sees things like descriptions and still enjoys them is a huge boost of confidence! I see what you mean about the "real" cloth, and I was trying to sort of allude to that ephemeral, shadowed cloth like Voldemort's. I'm heading right back to this story as soon as I finish typing up this response to make that a bit clearer. Thank you!

I know exactly what "Law and Order" sound you mean! :D I didn't do that intentionally, but now you've pointed it out, I totally see the whole timestamp dunk-dunk chime. :P And also -- right?! Knockturn Alley is officially the sketchiest place in the entire universe. Hagrid's description of it being "dodgy" doesn't even begin to come close. They are doing straight-up Dark stuff there, yo.

Lavender's "mental illness" does evolve a bit over the story, and that was intentional -- I'm glad that you pointed it out. :) She gets just a bit more careless, almost reckless, toward the end, and I kind of think she subconsciously wants to be caught, wants someone to stop her, but Harry fails to do so. Her infatuation is a bit darker than just teenage puppy love; in my headcanon (and people are totally free to interpret it differently) Lavender didn't die in the Battle of Hogwarts, like the movies allude to, but just got severely injured by Greyback. I think that she could have have a bit of brain damage from that injury, resulting in the Lavender I wrote about here. But taking into consideration the fact we don't know she's alive for sure, you could question whether this entire thing actually happened at all...

Confession: I love Ron/Hermione, but I'm a secret Krum/Hermione shipper too. :P There are several good ones out there!

I'm definitely going to keep writing! ♥ When I get such lovely feedback from kind reviewers such as yourself, how could I not? Your vote of confidence seriously does mean so much to me, though, and I really do mean that.

Thank you for exchanging with me this month!!


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Review #8, by SilentConfession To Poison

20th February 2013:
Hi Rachel!! So sorry for how long this has taken to get to you! *hangs head in shame* life has been hectic for me!

Anyway, i'm so pleased that you asked me to read this because i don't find enough time to read your work and it's always so good that i need to make it over to your page more often!

I absolutely love the fact that you write about mental illnesses! I've seen you do it a couple times before and this is another great good look into the obsessive human mind. It makes you scared of Lavender because she does have an air of normalcy about her in this, she seems like a regular person and yet she's planning someone's death. This just makes the end result quite eerie and chilling.

I like how you portrayed a lot of her feelings - the precision of the timing, how everything seemed to magnify as she was trying to pull this off. That was a great add in because it's the exact feeling that people get when they're nervous or have adrenaline coursing through their bodies. There was also that paranoia that was underneath the surface with her, how she thought people were following her, watching her simply because of the action she was about to take. It all really helped make this seem real and made the story seem like it could have easily happened.

It was also really creative take on Lavender after the war. A lot of people focus on her recovery and her changing and although those stories are great, it's really neat to see that she hasn't changed that much since the war. She's still obsessive, still like the Lavender we are familiar with in the books. You took those traits and warped them into this.

I have some small critique to offer, though nothing too serious. You asked specifically if things made sense and there was a couple of times that it seemed to contradict itself. She mentions at the beginning a few times how planned out this was, how it took 8 months of planning etc. I liked that detail because it shows her obsession, however, then it moves on to say she didn't know where Knocktrun Alley was. If someone is planning for so long (i'm guessing it was probably even longer) then it seems strange that she wouldn't have already had that figured out in case something went wrong. Someone as obsessive as she would have obsessed about the details of her plan. Finding the alley probably would have been one of those details.

The polished wooden floors beneath her feet sounded like small explosions as she walked; each step felt like a detonation, and she almost wondered how she was still able to go on. It was remarkably simple to place one foot in front of the other. Anyone who said different was lying.

This was a little inconsistent too, simply because she's wondering how she could go on because each step felt like she was detonating a mine sort of thing. Really vivid imagery there and I loved that. However, it also went on with how easy it was to walk the next sentence and if it was easy to talk why is she wondering about how it was hard to go on to the extent that each step was like a bomb? Both sentences you have are really great and I like what they bring to the story, however, I think there might need to be a better transition for it to make more sense.

These are just nitpicky things though and do not break the story at all, i may just be overanalyzing everything. It is a great story and it's eerie how her plan just worked perfectly! Really lovely job Rachel and thank you so much for requesting because this is really a joy to read!

Author's Response: Zayne! ♥ Thank you so much for being willing to come by and read this for me -- you are just too fantastic. And no worries about the wait, obviously!

I do love my creepy stories. :D There's something about writing a creepy story, and getting into the minds of the characters in them, that I find endlessly fascinating. And I think one of the scariest things goes along with what you said about the precision in timing and all that -- I think people who are mentally ill, speaking objectively, can act quite sane much of the time. The problem is when we don't notice it until it's too late, and that's quite a dominant theme in this story.

I really appreciated your critique so much, too! I don't get enough crit like that -- I'd say 90% of what I hear is about typos, and that's always appreciated, but the sorts of inconsistencies like you pointed out that really help improve the story. :) I've made a few changes, like you suggested!

I'm so happy that you enjoyed this! I had a lot of fun writing it (ironic as that may sound), and your reviews really do always brighten my day, you know. :3 Thank you for reviewing!!


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Review #9, by LuckySeven To Poison

1st February 2013:
Hi there! I have a review for you!
Oh my. My oh my. The opening bit was great. You can't read that opening paragraph and not keep going. Nice hook.
"paranoia had already wrapped its chilly fingers about her throat"
-I love this. Seriously. This is so descriptive and creepy!

"But it wasn’t him – of course it wasn’t him. He was at the Ministry of Magic, right where she knew he would be. Lavender knew what time he arrived at work, what time he left at night."
-Okay.Lavender Brown, Stalker Extraordinaire. At first I really liked her. And I still do. But now she's creepy. lol. What is she doing?? Agh! I love it.

-So...she's creeping on Ron? Oh boy. I'm going to have to admit this now...I love stalker stories. What luck! There's another one about Pansy creeping on Draco and I pretty much fell in love. This one is falling into that same category of awesomeness. :D

Stay Classy, Knockturn Alley! What terrible people! All she did was stutter and they were like.'Oh! You want someone dead!'. I love this. How lucky did I get that you happened to send me this story? You probably think I'm demented now. :)

"each step felt like a detonation"
-I love these descriptions. :) I love how obvious it is that Lavender has just lost her marbles. :D

-The Encounter with Harry? I enjoyed it. And her creepy moment in front of Ron's door? I loved it even more. Honestly, I'm rooting for her, but I really don't want Ron to die at the hands of a psycho with a candle. lol. conflicting emotions!

-Well. She got him. :(

Okay. So i loved this. I love how insane Lavender is. And how the whole story is just a mental monologue of her craziness. Also, I really liked the way you showed the heights that the trio rose to, and how recognizable and famous they are, then you have Lavender, who I guess feels like she was sold short for not being in on the whole thing. Especially with her thoughts about not being recognized, and whether anyone would even ask about her. I mean.dang. This story is just immaculate and full of allegory and awesomeness. I also loved how you put the time in bold. It added this ominous element, though I don't know why. It was perfect. :D I have no CC. Sorry. lol.
Anyway, thanks for sending me the link! If you have any more stalker stories please do let me know. They are close to my heart. ;)
Hugs.
Lucky
10/10

Author's Response: Thank you so much for taking the time to review this for me! :) And it's awesome to hear that the first bit of this one-shot hooked you in, too. That's always something I'm looking to do, after all!

I really do like Lavender as a character, and strictly speaking, I don't think she'd go to all these creepy, stalking extremes in pursuit of a love lost in her school days. But I have to say, this was a LOT of fun to write! I've never read that one you mention about Pansy stalking Draco, but that sounds really interesting. I'll have to snoop around for that!

Her encounter with Harry is one of my favorite bits of this one-shot. :D I always like the parts that sort of... you want to scream at the characters, and want to point out how obvious of a mistake they're making, and it's almost physically painful when you CAN'T. You know? That's the vibe I was trying to achieve there. :P

I'm so glad, again, that you enjoyed this so much! I love writing crazy people, although I really don't know why. It just fascinates me so much to get into their heads and see how they tick. No apologies for the lack of CC necessary! :D Hoping to see you around again! ♥


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Review #10, by Toujours Padfoot To Poison

27th January 2013:
Oh. my. god. Rachel. Sometimes you frighten me, the way you write murderers so well. ARE YOU ACTUALLY LOCKED UP IN AN ASYLUM SOMEWHERE, AND USE YOUR INTERNET PRIVILEGES TO WRITE FAN FICTION? The more I read, the faster I read, and I had to keep rereading lines because I was reading so eagerly, trying to see what would happen next. The format, separated with time stamps, emphasized the story's dramatic tone. Her heartbeat and the hypersensitivity and how clear and loud and angular everything was now that death was imminent; it was so freaking real and I have no idea how you do it, how you get into heads like these, but if reading your work doesn't turn people crazy someday, then I don't even know. It was so vivid! And all along I kept expecting for the plan to derail somehow; Hermione would come into the office instead, or Harry, or some innocent bystander, and Lavender would jump out and succumb to death herself. When everything went according to her evil plan my jaw dropped. I should have known you'd carry out such a dark scheme!



Author's Response: Oh, you've found me out now. I was doing so well, too, pretending to have this whole completely normal life, but now the cat's out of the bag. It's really not so bad in here, though; the shade of white on these padded walls is quite splendid.

THANK YOU FOR LOVING MY CRAZIES. ♥ I really don't know why I love writing them so much, but there's going to be a point in OF where one of the semi-main characters thinks he's going insane, so you're probably responsible for that as well, for inspiring me to that end. I don't think there's a single thing on my author's page you can't take credit for anymore.

Lulz, if I'm going to kill someone in a story, you know I'm going to. -cackle cackle- Thank you so much for reviewing this for me! Because you know that you don't have to, and I don't expect a single thing from you, what with everything that occupies you otherwise, and yet you still come over here and read stories from me and I am blown away always.

You are seriously the best, you know? ♥ ♥


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Review #11, by thelostone To Poison

27th January 2013:
Wow. Definitely describes Lavender that well. She seemed so unstable and... well, insane. But how you make her sound so rational gave me the goosebumps.

...I just want to drop by and tell you this is one of my favorites c:

Author's Response: I'm so glad that you enjoyed this! And I'm so honored that you've placed it among your favorites. :) Writing mentally unstable people is, although it's somewhat embarrassing to admit it, actually my favorite sort of one-shot. I have a couple of them in which Harry's quite crazy, and they're some of my favorite things I've written. I can't expressly say why that is, but it's just something that fascinates me, you know?

Anyway. ♥ This review really made my day, and I felt that you absolutely needed to know the impact it had on me. I can't thank you enough for your kind words!!


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Review #12, by Courtney Dark To Poison

26th January 2013:
Hey there! I'm Courtney, here for your requested review:)

Wow. This was an amazing one-shot. It was definitely one of the most horrifying dark things I've read in this site, but I thoroughly enjoyed it nevertheless. You have a lovely way of writing. Your descriptions, imagery, thought processes...wow. Just wow.

Right. Now I'm going to try and form some coherent thoughts and write a proper review!

I love the way your started with 'Friday, 8:26 a.m.' and continued to keep to this style throughout the story. It gave the one-shot a feel that was so much more mysterious, so...spine tingling. Like you were just waiting for something terrible to happen. Your descriptions in the first paragraph alone were lovely. And the line: 'But paranoia had already wrapped its chilly fingers about her throat, and Lavender couldn’t rid herself of the feeling of eyes on her back, burning through wool and cotton and finding flesh to sear' was perfect. My heart was actually pounding as I read it and I could feel Lavender's anxiety, felt like I was in her shoes. And from the very start of this story, I knew that Lavender was suffering from some kind of mental illness-that something had gone horrible long, merely because you're writing was so fantastic!

The addition of the talking women was a nice touch, because it really gave the reader some insight into what Lavender was planning...and where the root of her dislike and jealousy had come from. It also gave the feeling that Lavender was apart from the rest of the world, for lack of a better world. You have developed her character excellently in this one-shot, in a completely different way than I've ever seen done before. I especially loved the line: 'The air was much colder here, or so Lavender imagined; it tugged at the ends of her scarf, yanking her hair from its ribbon and tangling it about her throat' because it reminded me of the Lavender from her school days, while still reminding me that a sinister air now surrounds her.

The scene with Harry was great...and perfectly written, full of suspense. I think that's probably the best thing about this piece-the amount of suspense you have included. I felt like screaming at Harry "She's up to something! Can't you see that?"-but how could he see that? I love the way Lavender acted, like her old, bubbly self, completely masking the person she had become. It was kind of creepy, actually-in the best way possible, of course!

The end of this one-shot...oh my goodness, it was so perfect while at the same time being horrible dark and sad and horrible. And the last line; 'Lavender smiled, and let herself out of the broom cupboard' was just great. Are you a fan of horror movies, by an chance? Or are you just so amazing at writing that you put everyone else to shame?

I'm sorry if this review has been horribly long and rambling, but I have absolutely no CC's for it. I really enjoyed this one-shot (as you can probably tell) so thank you so much for requesting!

Courtney:)

Author's Response: Oh, wow -- thank you SO much! That is honestly one of the highest compliments, because I really do love writing dark, twisty, angsty stuff. I love fluff, too, but for some reason I'm attracted to the sad and bitter. :P

Writing the times in each section was something I've never done before, but I just said this in another response -- for most of my one-shots, except ones I write as gifts, I try and do something unique. It's a fun way to keep me challenged when I write! I have written crazy people before, but Lavender was sort of her own brand of insane, and it was actually extremely interesting, getting inside her head.

Lavender wasn't ever someone I was truly interested in writing about, but I got the assignment from fauxthefox's challenge to write about her killing someone in the Ministry of Magic, and this idea popped INSTANTLY into my head. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would! The bit about the ribbon in her hair reminded me of her movie self, somehow, and how she always wears that headband with the bow. So it's neat to see you made that comparison, too. :)

And her talking with Harry was actually my favorite scene to write! Partially, I think, because for the first him, HE wasn't the crazy one. :P True story: I don't really like movies in general, and it will take a lot for me to watch one. I have a few favorites I will watch over and over and over again, but movies make me fidgety. Horror movies, even more so! I can probably count on one hand the number of horror movies I have seen in my life, but that last line seemed a very fitting way to end the story. I tried for a while to write a paragraph or two more of closure, but I'm very pleased I stuck with the ending that's there now.

Oh my goodness, don't even /think/ about apologizing. ♥ Truly, this was such a phenomenal review, and I'm thrilled to pieces you enjoyed this story as much as you did! Thank you a million times over!!


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Review #13, by patronus_charm To Poison

26th January 2013:
Hi, it's patronus_charm with your review, I'm glad that you put the translation of ad venenum, as my years worth of Latin couldn't help me out!

I really liked how you put the time and date at the beginning of each scene, as it really helped me get a perspective of the time frames as often, I got confused over how much time passed so that was good. And as it's a murder/crime story, it fits well as well, as it's almost as if it's the auror documentation of what happened when!

I loved your description, it was so detailed so you really got an idea of the scene around you, I mean you made the snow interesting to read, and I've definitely never seen that happen before!

I thought it was really interesting with what you did with Lavender, she always seemed a bit mentally unstable in the books, due to her obsession with Ron, so it was great to see how you've developed it here, with her knowing Ron's daily timetable, and her bitterness towards Hermione. Also the way you made her suspicious of everyone was great, and makes me think she needs to be in a locked room in St. Mungo's!

The way everyone knew in Knockturn Alley what Lavender needed, perfectly fitted with the creepy atmosphere it has, and poisoned candles! I've never heard of that before, it reminds of the poisoned apples in Snow White, I guess when they are both trying to kill of the one they love and envy, and also the way death's disguised in something you wouldn't usually associate it with.

It flowed really well, even though I didn't initally expect it to, as I thought the time/date would be obtrusive, but it wasn't a problem at all:)

Overall I thought it was a great story, as I've never really read one where Lavender is so mentally unstable, but I found it really believable as it showed what can happen if you love someone too much! The only thing I would say to improve it, would be to write a sequel so I now what happens afterwards, but that's just me wanting to know if Lavender gets caught or not! Other than I really enjoyed this, and best of luck for the challenge, Kiana :')

Author's Response: I don't know what made me decide to put the times at the beginning of each new section of this one-shot, other than that it was something I'd never done before. :) With most of the one-shots I write (excepting, somehow, the ones I write as gifts), I try and do something different, to test out a bunch of different techniques of writing. It's been really awesome, and if you've never done it before, it's something I recommend!

I think it's so awesome you liked my description, too. :) I'm trying to get -- not better, but more... I'm working on my description, let's put it that way! I'm tired of describing things in the same old way. I agree with you too that Lavender seemed quite unstable in HBP at least, because of her obsession with Ron. And her poisonous candles are actually canon! The next time you read CoS, you should watch for them. ;)

Thank you for saying this flowed really well! Always a worthy thing to have achieved, I think. ♥ And you know, I just might have to write a sequel someday. I wrote two stories about psycho!Harry, and mental instability is something I keep wanting to return to. Thank you for your input, and, of course, for leaving such a lovely review on this story!!


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Review #14, by aquabluez17 To Poison

26th January 2013:
Hey! It's Mya here for your review=)

Well wow! I don't know what else to say! This was amazing!! I loved the description and the way Lavender seemed so hurt.

From what I understand is that Lavender is hurt by Ron since he married Heromine so she killed him.

That was really well done. Though I do believe you could use a slight more of the thought process that Lavender had in her mind but it was great!

Author's Response: I'm so glad that you enjoyed this! Thank you for taking the time to leave me a review -- I really do appreciate it. :)

You're right about Lavender, of course. She always seemed a bit unstable in HBP as far as her relationship with Ron went. I don't actually think she'd stoop to KILLING him over it... but the prompt I got fit too perfectly for me to ignore it! :P

♥ Thank you again for such lovely compliments!


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Review #15, by Gabriella Hunter To Poison

26th January 2013:
Hello!

Hey, there, its Gabbie with your requested review and goodness. What a weird little ride that was but I completely enjoyed myself! I don't read too much of Lavender in fanfiction and certainly not like this so it was a good experience for me. And gosh, she's demented. I wonder what happened to her after the War? Perhaps that Greyback attack did something to her brain?! I wasn't at all sure what you were doing here when I first started reading, I couldn't quite be sure of what she was doing. Her thoughts were bouncing around so much and she seemed as if she were living in a dream world of some sort. When she was walking through Diagon Alley, she was so focused on doing what she thought she had to do that I almost missed the little bits of information you put in here. Its so rare for me to divert from detail but I almost did here! Darn Lavender! D':
You mentioned that there had been a few years, which I had been able to tell and the little bits you hinted at about George (You may not know this but I'm a fangirl for anything dealing with him) and the Weasley family were great. Lavender's jealousy over Hermione was the first sign that things weren't going to go in a pleasant direction. I thought it was so bizarre that she had been obsessing over Ron after all this time and was so mad that she let it drive her illness! You wrote that so wonderfully well and by the time she got that darn candle I was foaming at the mouth. Don't do it! Don't do it! I was screaming but she did it!!! And Harry ran into her at the Ministry but didn't stop her because, honestly, she didn't look all that scary. Which was what she wanted, yes? And poor, poor, Ron! Gosh, I love him and Lavender, you're naughty! I sort of wish that you would continue on for this and make a part two because gosh, I just can't...I need more. Its amazing. :)
I think there were literally two grammar things but other than that, it was gold. :3
Thanks for requesting this! :)
Much love,
Gabbie

Author's Response: It was a bit of a weird ride -- but I'm glad you enjoyed yourself all the same! Mental illness is something that's actually really fascinating to me, and even more so since taking a semester course in psychology. I think your theory about being attacked by Greyback is a very plausible one, and of course we don't know if she survived it or not, so anything really goes.

I do remember your George/Angelina love! :D The Weasleys seem to pop up in my stories in the darndest places. But then Ron was central to this story, of course -- not physically, but the idea of him arguably drove it entirely. I always thought Lavender's obsession with him in HBP was, at the very least, unhealthy. :P

I think the scariest thing about this story, and about mental illness in general (I've written a couple of stories before where Harry's the insane one) is how /normal/ these people really can act. I won't go all political, but a lot of these people who are behind shootings and things at schools are very, very mentally unstable, and nobody realizes until it's too late.

Anyway! Thank you so much for reading another story of mine, and for once again saying such lovely things about my writing. It really does mean a lot to me! ♥


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