Reading Reviews for Ghost in the Machine
56 Reviews Found

Review #1, by just.a.willow.tree St. Mungo's

26th June 2015:
Lavender was never one of my favorite characters, either. Your stories make her one, though.

Thank you for writing this. :')


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Review #2, by looneylizzie Sunshine

12th June 2015:

Donít cry Lizzie, whatever you do, donít cry.

Too late. *sobs*

Wow. Just, wow.

Iíve got to say, I absolutely LOVE this story, and its ending. My favorite part of it all is definitely that it doesnít have a happy ending. Itís not a sad ending either, but, keeping with the whole fairy-tale theme, itís not all wrapped up in a nice little bow.

Probably the most powerful part of this though, was that Lavender struggled with WANTING to get out of the rut she was stuck in, but not knowing where to start, and getting overwhelmed with the prospect of it.

But Seamus came along with the first breadcrumbs she needed to get moving, and sure enough, that momentum kept her going! I know thatís definitely happened to me before.

It made me smile when she started telling the healer that she wanted to go to work, and not just any kind of work, but the D.C.B. The sheer act of trying to convince someone else that she could do the job, actually convinced HER that she could do it. Itís amazing how things like that can change your thinking.

Those last two lines are easily some of the most powerful lines Iíve ever read. I LOVE the idea that sheís willing to become someone else, because who really stays the same person their entire lives? Realizing that, and choosing to move forward is what I believe to be a really important concept.

Finally, one last question, when people gave her weird looks in public, was it because she has scars from her attack during the battle? I know you mentioned that she had some, but was it enough to make people look at her weirdly in public? Or is it more a matter of seeing the looks on the faces of people who knew her story?

Just curious.

Anyway, this is an absolutely phenomenal ending to an absolutely phenomenal story!! I loved it!!

Keep writing Branwen, youíre totally awesome!!

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Review #3, by looneylizzie Nightmares

12th June 2015:

Well Branwen, I told you Iíd be back, didnít I?? :D

The way that you described the she knows that logically, nothing is after her, and that the nightmares arenít real, yet still feeling scared and panicked. Itís very true to real life - logic doesnít dictate feelings at all, and you did a wonderful job of expressing that here!!

I love all the little details youíve included. They all add to the overall feeling of the story and to Lavenderís character. Like the bit about nightmares affecting her ability to cast spells, itís a really cool concept! Or that she and Paravati would sneak up and sleep in the boysí dormitories during their seventh year. Iíd never really thought about that before, and I absolutely love it!

"sitting alone in this flat recording prophecies might not be stressful, but itíll still make you crazy if you let it.Ē

Seamus is right. In fact, itíd drive ANYONE crazy, regardless of their prior mental state.

Iím glad that Seamus is willing to admit that he doesnít understand. Especially so quickly and bluntly. He doesnít beat around the bush with that. Itís true, he doesnít understand, but that doesnít mean he canít help Lavender. In fact, if he did understand Lavender, he probably wouldnít be able to help her.

I like how well youíve written Lavenderís progress. Yes, itís not a fairy tale, but it IS real life. Whether she realizes it or not, a fairy tale is just an accelerated version of life with a little bit of magic mixed in.

And the magic is really just the jump start of the change that needs to happen in someoneís life. Lavender has to start the change herself, which is the hardest part of it all.

Anyway, this is just an amazing story!! I love the way youíve written Lavender, especially as a victim of the war who is really struggling with the mental aspect of recovery. Itís so true to real life, and I really FEEL for Lavender.

This is just wonderful! Keep writing!!

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Review #4, by The Master of the Puberty Spell St. Mungo's

1st June 2015:
Hello Branwen!

It doesn't matter which identity I have right now, they're both feeling quite heartbroken for Lavender. Her struggles are very very real, and you did an absolutely wonderful job of writing them.

One identity doesn't like to see their classmate so broken, and hopes that with Seamus and Paravati's (that's who she is right?) help that Lavender might just get a little bit better.

The second identity just figured out that Lavender's best friend and husband in Ice are the same as the people here...which they absolutely LOVE.

I like it when there's a crossover of characters from one story to another in a particular author's world. It really brings the stories together, and is lots of fun to see how they might inter-connect.

"Some people had lived through the war. Other people had died in it.
And some people were left somewhere in the middle."

That was a wonderful first line! This is so true in general, but you've done such an excellent job of applying it to Lavender.

Your stories are SO good Branwen, and I can promise you, one way or another you'll be hearing from one of us again soon. The other one... we'll, you may end up writing them instead. You certainly have before!

We'll talk soon Branwen!

The Master of the Puberty Spell.

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Review #5, by Nia Sunshine

20th May 2015:
Wow that was beautiful!

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Review #6, by MargaretLane Sunshine

9th May 2015:
I really like the way you show time as passing here - that it was a year before she managed to make any progress in hospital, then some time longer before she reached a point where she could leave the hospital and then another year while she felt she was stagnating. After all, these things DO take time.

I mentioned similarities between Lavender in "Ice" and the character in the story I am writing. Well, in the chapter, I'm currently working on, my character is going to dealing with facing people for the first time after her trauma and feeling them staring at her. I can understand Lavender feeling the same way. After all, people staring would remind her of how her face looks, which would, in turn, remind her of what happened.

That part about the wizarding world starting to forget is kind of scary. There are a LOT of underlying problems to be addressed - ones that led to Voldemort gaining support. Problems like pureblood prejudice and fear of magical creatures.

Ah! I was wondering how she was supporting herself, as it seems like she is living away from her parents. It makes sense the Ministry would have some fund to support those who were injured as a result of the fight for freedom. Pensions were given to those who fought for Irish freedom, although some weren't given for quite a long time afterwards.

She really shouldn't feel ashamed. The Ministry wouldn't even EXIST in its current form if people like her hadn't stood up against Voldemort. And having health conditions that prevent you from working shouldn't be something to be ashamed of anyway.

I like the Healer's initial reaction. I was afraid they might be over-cautious, especially when she looked surprised, but it seems like she recognises this as a good sign.

But then, of course, she is concerned by the particular job, which I guess is understandable.

I like the ending and the reminder that she can't just go ack to the way she was before all this happened, but that she CAN move on with her life. It's hopeful without being unrealistic.

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Review #7, by MargaretLane Nightmares

9th May 2015:
I think she is underestimating her recovery. It's like she's expecting to work like a fairy tale or a story where things can be magically fixed by the wave of a wand or something, and real life doesn't work like that. Getting from spending a year in hospital, not speaking or caring about anything to a point where she can go home and take care of herself is a huge achievement. Especially considering the lack of support there appears to be for mental health issues in the wizarding world. The locked ward appears to be more about containment than treatment. And it sounds here as if Lavender has done a lot of it on her own.

Love the part about how nightmares can be as bad as Dementors for preventing you from casting a spell. I think J.K. Rowling indicated that Dementors were a metaphor for depression, so it makes sense that being depressed would have a similar effect to their presence.

I wonder if she has any parents actually. They didn't seem to be around either to visit her in the hospital or to care for her now.

It seems like she really needs somebody to take care of her and offer some reassurance when she panics. The way she is trying to comfort herself is so sad, as it makes it seem like there's nobody else to do it for her.

This line sounds a bit awkward: "She was tired of being too terrified of the darkness and what she couldnít seem to leave her room before the morning sun flooded her flat with light." The "what" seems out of place or something.

I love the detail about Parvati being afraid of the dark until she was a teenager and the way Lavender didn't understand how anybody could be until now. It sort of adds a depth of detail to things, as does the part about how all the remaining seventh years usually slept in one room during the year the Carrows were in charge. I can understand that. I think it would both feel safer to have four people in a room than two and it would also make it easier to forget all the people who weren't there. Seeing the empty beds in both rooms would be a reminder of how many people were in mortal danger.

Poor, poor Lavender. People are being kind of harsh. It's hardly surprising that somebody still suffering the effects of war trauma wouldn't want to take dangerous jobs like being an Auror or working with dragons. But I can understand their reactions too. Everybody's had a hard time and they probably think she's not even trying. And for some people, her obvious trauma might even be a reminder of the events they are trying to put behind them.

And of course, it's possible they aren't thinking that way at all and that her assumption they are is just a result of her depression.

And for reading "Ice", I'm pretty sure she will take this job. I hope it'll help her. "Ice" left that unclear. On the one hand, she certainly seemed better in that than here and she certainly seemed to care about her job, but on the other hand, it seemed as if she was using it to avoid things she didn't want to face.

Having read that part about recording prophecies, I'm now wondering if she has a job. I assumed she didn't, that she hadn't been able to bring herself to even apply for anything.

It does seem like Parvati and Seamus have come through things reasonably unscathed.

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Review #8, by MargaretLane St. Mungo's

9th May 2015:
I really can't believe I haven't read this story already.

And I really like the way you describe her dreams. It's not at all surprising that those things would turn up in them. I'm imagine most of those who fought in the Battle of Hogwarts suffered SOME level of nightmares.

You describe the sound of glass shattering so well. You can almost hear it.

And you also really capture her mental state. Just the part about how her anxiety paralyses her and how miserable her feelings are.

I'm glad she has some friends who keep coming back. I can understand why so many drifted away. Something like that is hard to deal with and it must feel pointless when she barely acknowledges them. And despite everything they've been through, they're still only teenagers. I don't think I could have dealt with something like that at the age of 18. And of course, most of them have their own problems too. Most people are probably grieving for somebody they've lost or coming to terms with having lived through a war. While they may not be suffering as she is, I'd imagine they do have other things on their minds.

I really like the part about her being able to smell the blood and so on when she goes to sleep. It really shows how her experiences are haunting her.

One slight criticism I would have is that the part about how one day the boy snapped seems to come in kind of quickly. I know there are parts of my own stories that come across that way too, so I'm not sure how to make it seem less rushed. Maybe putting a scene break before it would help?

I like the way you tell us how long she'd been there. It comes in really naturally and it IS important, because the more time has passed without improvement, the more serious her condition appears to be. There's a difference between having nightmares for a couple of weeks after something like that and having nightmares every night for a year.

I did get the impression a long time had passed, but I think knowing the exact length confirms my impressions and indicates just how much she is struggling. Poor Lavender.

Hmm, I think the fact she cares, even a little, is a good sign, a sign some feeling is coming back to her and that she might eventually recover.

All thought it hasn't provoked an immediate recovery (which would be pretty unrealistic anyway), there do appear to be signs of slight improvement.

Wow, the fact that she manages to whisper "congratulations" is a bit step, I think. It shows that she is still able to care about her friends.

I love the part about the unicorn and how much it clearly means to her.

Excellent first chapter.

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Review #9, by TheButterflyComposer Sunshine

2nd September 2014:
Hmm, I'm intrigued as to what this Burea is going to do. Is it a hunt, a pest control or animal control?
There is no way the Healers would let her do this though. Going from one battlefield into intensive care and then out into another one is not allowable, and for good reason.
Really, we need to know more about her affliction and whether it's actually a mental/physiological thing or her own coping mechanism.
We are advancing through the plot though, that's good.

Author's Response: It's kind of a mix of all of those! I don't want to come off as shamelessly promoting my stories or anything, but I actually have a couple that expand on the DCB that Lavender plays a pretty big role in - Wrinkles of the Road is the better one, IMO, but the Dark Side of the Moon also focuses on it.

I was going to dive further into this story, but I actually ultimately decided to end it here. What I really wanted to do was show Lavender's ability to rejoin the world, not get better.

I agree that you can't go from intensive care into another battlefield, but that's not really what she did - she's been out of intense recovery for some time, and she's also in a position where they can ease her into fieldwork slowly. They're not foolhardy, you know? I'll see about going back and emphasizing that a bit more, though. :)

Thank you so much for your lovely reviews! ♥

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Review #10, by TheButterflyComposer Nightmares

2nd September 2014:
This chapter isn't quite as good (or as long) as the previous because it's mostly been a repeat of what happened in St Mungo's, which I know is the point, but doesn't make it less noticeable.
I think she is in PTS now...which makes the idea that no one can help her seem a little unbelievable. If nothing else, she can go to the Muggles. That might actually be interesting to read, actualy.
Not too bad though. Perfectly okay.

Author's Response: It's actually interesting that this chapter is coming off as shorter, because the chapters are all exactly the same length - I'm not sure why I did it that way, but when the second chapter shook out to be about as long as the first, I played with my phrasing until I got to the same word count.

She definitely has PTSD, and I'm glad that that's evident. Going to the Muggles isn't really an option, though, considering what she's having trouble with - you can't help someone if you think they're delusional, you know? I can see what you mean, though, so when I get a chance, I'll see about going back and making it a bit clearer.

Thank you for the review! :)

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Review #11, by TheButterflyComposer St. Mungo's

2nd September 2014:
Quite a strange read this. It raises a few questions like: What exactly is she suffering from?
Does the magical world really have no effective treatment for PTS or depression?
What's going to happen next?
It's a neat little mystery because we know so, so little about these characters, even though they fought and suffered along with the glory hogs.
If nothing else, this chapter is a memorial to them.

(Reviewed for review battle 44)

Author's Response: As you guessed, Lavender is indeed suffering from depression and PTSD. I actually tend to think that the wizarding world doesn't have great treatment for mental health issues - I don't think we ever saw any indication that they did in the books, even though there were multiple characters who probably could have used the help. We didn't even really see it in St. Mungo's. Maybe it just wasn't applicable to the books, but if it was there, I'd have expected us to see some sign of it.

Different interpretations vary, of course.

Thank you so much for your review - I'm glad you liked the chapter! :)

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Review #12, by snufflesthedog St. Mungo's

2nd September 2014:

Wow - that was incredible. While reading it, I sort of had a break down and started crying, but thankfully I am recovered enough to write this review.

I loved how you wrote it - the words sort of flowed, and it was compelling enough to leave the reader thirsting for more and, just, beautiful, really. I really enjoyed your take on Lavender, transforming her from a loud girl who was nice but a bit silly, to a quiet and thoughtful character who we felt so much emotion for.

The perspective was wonderful - we could see into Lavender's mind while still feeling like we knew what was happening, and the way you made her friends visit her and bring back memories just added to the feel of the story.

So, it was brilliant. The only thing, I assume that the blonde boy was Draco, and I was just wondering how he came to be visiting Lavender? They don't really interact much in the books, so I think that it would be wonderful if you could explain that in your story. But that doesn't really detract from the overall 'I can't even' effect of the story, I just thought I would mention it.

Anyway, I loved it!
xx snufflesthedog
(Review for Ravenclaw BvB Battle)

Author's Response: Aw, thank you so much! I'm sorry it made you cry, but I'm glad that I was able to elicit that kind of reaction because it's definitely what I was going for (if that makes sense).

Oooh - I can see how you thought that the blond boy was Draco. He's actually supposed to be Seamus, though - he was always described in the books as having sandy-colored hair, so I went with that. Maybe I could introduce "dark blond" or something to clarify, though, because I can definitely see that interpretation!

Thank you so much for this amazing review.

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Review #13, by Dancingsnow02 Sunshine

24th July 2014:
I've been wanting to learn more about your Lavender since reading The Dark Side of the Moon, and I loved reading your new chapter today! It seems so realistic that as much as anyone pushed, she had to want to do it on her own to really start moving on. I would love to read more about her transition into the division if you decide to write it!

Author's Response: Aw, thank you! I love hearing that one of my stories led someone to read others - it really makes me smile.

That's definitely something I'm hoping to address at some point, though I do want to finish up some of my WIPs first. :P

Thank you so much for the review!

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Review #14, by MrsCanisMajor St. Mungo's

24th July 2014:
Wow, this is a very powerful concept. Yes, people have had it worse than her but that doesn't make her pain any less real. I sympathise thoroughly because anyone who has had anxiety or depression knows exactly how it feels. Excellent chapter!!

Author's Response: Thank you so much! I've struggled with some depression and anxiety myself, so I'm glad that it came across as genuine - that was really important to me.

Thanks so much for the review!

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Review #15, by CambAngst Sunshine

24th July 2014:
Hi, Beeezie! I don't know whether you remember, but this story was actually one of the first that I ever wrote a review for on HPFF. It's been on my favorites list for ages and I've been dropping in on it every few months to see if it had been updated. I saw your Chapter Updates post this morning and I couldn't wait to find time to check it out.

You closed the loop on Lavender's self-imposed exile in a way that felt natural and complete. She's been down a very dark path and it took a very long time but she's finally found her way back to the light. I loved Seamus's persistence and his refusal to give up on her. The contrast you drew out between the type of support he's given her (pushing her recovery to the point of being annoying) and the type she's received from Parvati (being understanding to the point of enabling her problems) was really clever.

I liked the way you paced things. Nothing about her recovery felt like it happened unrealistically quickly. It takes time for her to accept Seamus's offer and it takes time for her to convince the Healer that she's ready. It all came together in a nice, organic sort of way.

I didn't see any typos or grammatical problems and everything flowed really smoothly. Congratulations on marking this story complete, and great job!

Author's Response: Thank you so much! I do remember - I was really touched and pleased, because this was kind of one of those stories that took on a life of its own once I started writing it. It's definitely one of my favorite things I've ever written. I've had the last chapter half done for ages, but I had a block on how I wanted to finish it. I'm really glad you think that I did it justice.

I'm also glad you liked the way I described the different supports Lavender got from the people around her. People like Seamus can be really annoying when you're in a bad place, and you can definitely start to resent them... but IME, they're also the ones who are often the most effective and helpful.

Thank you so much for the review, and for your support throughout the story. I really appreciate it.

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Review #16, by The Misfit Nightmares

11th July 2012:
I actually cried at the end of the last chapter, the detail that you took with describing Lavender's feelings was brilliant! :D

Hurry up and post chapter three- I can't wait to read more ;)

Kate x

Author's Response: Aw, I'm sorry that you almost cried, but I'm glad you're liking it so much! I should have the next chapter up soon. :) Thank you so much for the review!

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Review #17, by Gin_gin06 Nightmares

4th July 2012:
Hello again! It was definently as good as the first one, I'm just upset you haven't updated since Janurary. I loved this chapter.

Seamus's concern for her is very endearing.

I'm glad that she's gotten herself out of St. Mungos and trying to take the real world one teeney baby step at a time.

I really liked for some reason the bit about her expereinces during seventh year. Since it was only vagueing described in Deathly Hallows, I've always wanted to know what really went on during that time.

Please update soon!

Much love,

Author's Response: Aw, I'm sorry! I've been working on the next chapter slowly but surely - I had a bit of a rough patch myself this year, and writing this hit a bit too close to home for awhile. I hope to have the next chapter up soon, though.

Thank you so much for the review. I really appreciate it.

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Review #18, by Gin_gin06 St. Mungo's

3rd July 2012:
Hello! I didn't really like Lavender either in hte books, or the movies, but I bet it would be fun to play post-war Lavender. She seemed so hyper. I haven't read any Lavender stories before, so this is the first one.

Okay so I'll start with grammar first. I only found one thing, which makes me really happy. It's easy to read things that aren't distracting you with their grammar issues.

Any hope that it was had faded as sheíd woken up, morning after morning, to the reflection of her mangled face in the mirror and the sight of the scarring from the glass on her arm.

I think that in between was and had there should have been 'a nightmare' so that it goes 'Any hope that it was a nightmare had faded as sheíd woken up', so that it flows nicer.

One chapter in and I'm already rooting for Lavender to 'wake up' completely in a sense. You described her dettachment brilliantly.

She was not really sure why she was crying. She wasnít sad. She certainly wasnít happy.

This line had me crying. I love/hate crying while reading, because it makes me feel connected to the story, and I just plain hate crying. But that's okay, because only good stories make me cry.

She did not want to squish her unicorn.

I like this line becuase it took the edge off of the seriousness in this chapter by adding a little humor at the end.

Okay, I must read the next chapter!!!

Much love,

Author's Response: Hey! I'm so sorry it's taken me an unforgivably long time to respond to this very lovely review. I allowed a backup to build up when I was away on holiday and busy with RL, and I'm thoroughly embarrassed about it. :(

I'm really, really glad that you liked this and that it had such an impact on you. That's definitely what I was going for. I actually didn't intend to put "a nightmare" in between the "was" and "had," but that's a very good point - the sentence would flow a bit better with that, so I'll add it in as soon as I get the chance. Thank you so much for the review.

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Review #19, by Jenna822 Nightmares

3rd June 2012:
{Challenge Review}

Wow. Okay, to start off with, you're a very good writer. You know how to tell a story that people can, and want to, read. Your style, pace, word choice, grammar,'s spot on.

For the first chapter, I was so glad to see that Parvati and Neville(?) kept coming back. You really showed that Gryffindor stubbornness in them. And you gave so much more credit to Parvati than a lot of people do. For both her and Lavender, you remind the readers that they might have been giggling, silly girls sometimes, but they were still strong, brave, Gryffindor girls. I feel like your pacing was perfect. You kept us hanging long enough on each level of her progress to understand it, while not leaving us there too long to stop caring. I don't know if you intended symbolism with the unicorn or if it was just coincidence, but it was nicely done. I like the second chapter as well. I can see that she's making progress and there's a lot of hope for her future.

Thank you so much for entering my challenge! Results should be posted some time over this next week. ^_^ --Jenna

Author's Response: Thank you so much! It was actually Seamus who kept coming back, not Neville - in the books, Lavender and Seamus always seemed like better friends to me than Lavender and Neville.

I'm glad that you felt this was paced well. Thank you for the review, and for the challenge! :)

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Review #20, by Debra20 St. Mungo's

2nd June 2012:
Hey there. It's Debra20 here with your review!

Let me start by expressing something: "WOW!". I must admit Lavender has never quite been one of my favourite characters in the world of Harry Potter but you just managed to spark my interest for her, and her story.

I must praise you on your idea of her development after the war. It seemed only logical that she couldn't have resisted everything that happened to her with a sane mind. In my opinion, very few could have. Not even Harry. But if it seemed easier for him to surpass the war's consequences, not everyone is that strong. Plus, to me, Lavender has always been the 'dreaming girl', the girl who had great (and rather 'pink') expectations of life. I can't imagine how hard it must have been for her to face the cruelty of war. Seeing her friends and teachers die around her. You just managed to convey those feelings. And the best thing is that everything sounded natural. As if there couldn't have been any other turn out for Lavender.

While reading this lovely story, I couldn't help notice some mistakes here and there. Nothing too grave, I want to add, but still noticeable. Like for example, "She remembering sitting with this girl and talking and giggling as though it had been another life". Correct me if I'm wrong but I think that rather than remembering, remembered is the best tense for the verb. I don't usually look out for these in my reviews because I know I can go wrong at places (not a native English speakers) but I think in that particular instance I might be right. Overall, however, the fluency was very good. All the events succeeded themselves in a very natural pace and nothing seemed out of place.

Also, I like how you pictured her torn decision between talking to her friends or ignoring them. It really did feel like she didn't know what was happening to her and that's not very easy to achieve. I am curious to see what happens next to her!

Author's Response: No, you're not wrong - typo on my part. :) I'll go in and fix it now and give the chapter another read over. One or two typos always manage to escape me while I'm proofreading - thanks for pointing it out! :)

Thank you for your review! I'm sorry it's taken me so long to answer it - I've had less time than I thought I would the last couple weeks.

I'm glad that you felt like it flowed naturally - that's definitely what every author loves to hear, especially when they're taking on a tricky canon character. I think that thinking about what happened to the characters still in Hogwarts during the events of DH is really interesting, because it's such a different environment than what the trio experienced, you know? I'm glad you think that how I developed Lavender in light of that (and the battle, of course) was interesting and believable!

Thank you for the review! Again, I'm so sorry for how long it's taken me to answer it.

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Review #21, by ScorpiusRose17 St. Mungo's

26th May 2012:
This story is so amazing! I love that you took a character that you weren't fond of and brought her to life. I wasn't a huge fan of Lavender and I tend to stay away from stories about her because of that. When I saw your story, I thought that maybe I would give it a try, just one more time. I am glad that I did because you did a wonderful job writing it!

I loved the description of the surroundings and emotions throughout the chapter. You did a terrific job creating a vivid picture in my mind that was easy to follow, yet still hold some mystery to it. I really liked the way that you characterized Lavender. She wasn't like the one we read about in the books. Which was a great change of pace and let her come out as her own character. I feel awful for her that she is trapped in this lonely little world she has created for herself after the war. I hope she turns it around!

Keep up the awesome writing! =)


Recenseo 2012

Adding to favorites!

Author's Response: Thank you!

I'm sorry it's taken me so long to answer this - I had a bit of a backlog of reviews and less time than I anticipated to answer them with.

I'm glad you liked it so much! :) I wasn't a huge fan of Lavender, either, but I also saw her character as having a lot of potential. She was a bit silly in the books, but we really only saw her from Harry's perspective, which was pretty cursory. Within that, though, I saw a lot of potential that I could play with and that I think a lot of other writers ignore - she's clearly a bit silly, but she's also clearly got a lot of courage, and I wanted to draw attention to that.

Thank you so much for your review, and again, I'm sorry it's taken me so long to respond!

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Review #22, by marinahill Nightmares

21st May 2012:
The start of this chapter was even more powerful than the last, I thought. It's so sad but so honest and true that people don't get "better" or "cured" after things like this. She's reached a point where she was well enough to leave St. Mungos but after that there's still a long uphill struggle to bring her back up to even a functioning level. It's just so sad and frustrating to read about her being stuck in the mud.

There's light at the end of this tunnel, though, what with the appearance of Seamus and his job. I can see this going one of two ways: she'll get there and not be able to cope, sending her back into a downward spiral. Or it could be eye-opening for her, providing her with something to distract herself from her anxiety with. Starting on something new might just be the way to go, I think.

I love this story so much. It's beautiful and so true to Lavender's character and the aftermath of the war. I can't wait to see what happens next.


Author's Response: Oh, I'm glad you thought so! I was a bit worried with this chapter - I didn't want to just gloss over the healing process, but at the same time, writing five chapters about Lavender getting to the point where she could leave St. Mungo's and trying to move on and being unable to just didn't really appeal to me, so I decided on a time skip instead.

I definitely agree that sometimes just starting something new can be what people need. Distraction is underrated as a healing aid, and I don't think it should be.

Thank you for your review!

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Review #23, by marinahill St. Mungo's

21st May 2012:
I really love this story, I've been meaning to review for a while but never got around to it *hides*.

You describe Lavender with such delicacy and emotion even though the syntax and description is minimalistic. I like that there's no frilly bits, so to speak. We just see the world as Lavender does, through a fog of numbness. She doesn't remember how to feel or care, she's an empty shell, or as your title aptly puts it, a ghost in a machine. Still, this implies that she's in there somewhere, which is clear to see as the prologue progressed.

I love how it's the echo of a memory that triggers her speech. It's not through trying so hard and practicing, it's not through frustration or a need to please others and speak. Instead, she's just found the right time to speak again, to care again and that's when she finds herself able to speak again.

It was so beautiful and fragile and sad, and I felt an enormous amount of pity for a character I don't usually like. Excellent job. :)


Author's Response: Aw, no worries, especially given how long it's been taking me to answer your lovely reviews. *also hides*

Thank you so much for the review. I was never a huge fan of Lavender, either, but I always felt like she was a little underrated. She was a little annoying, sure, but the way a lot of people write her, you'd think she was nothing but a ditz, which never seemed to be the case.

And then a plunnie was born. :P

Thank you for the review. ♥

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Review #24, by Cavell Nightmares

17th February 2012:
I loved Lavender. Like you, I had never really liked her before, but stories change things, and yours certainly did. I loved reading this chapter, and things are getting better for her. You've written her as a whole new character starting anew, starting fresh, and that's good. You're really good at writing her, and you need to update soon!

Author's Response: Thank you so much! I'm working on chapter 3, and I'll try to get it up soon. :)

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Review #25, by Hope's Mom Nightmares

5th February 2012:
Lavender has made a lot of progress since the first chapter. Her nightmares must be petrifying. She is lucky to have such a good friend in Parvati and Seamus. Being alone in your own home for long periods of time can make you feel really isolated and alone. I hope in the next chapter she is able to move forward a little a leave her home. Thanks for the new chapter!

Author's Response: Thank you for the review. :) She's definitely going to start moving forward slowly but surely - I'm planning some big time skips in the beginning because while I don't want to rush the recovery, I also don't want to spend 10,000 words on it, and I feel like if I spelled it out that's what it would take to do the issue justice.

Thank you for your review! :)

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