Anothr chapter, and so quickly!
I loved the way you blended the different points of view in this chapter. Parvati's section at the beginning helps connect back to the previous scene, and I found her very realistic, particularly with the way she convinces herself that she wouldn't have left Lavender alone (I'm not sure how true this is, to be honest).
I'm not usually a big fan of Puddifoot's, because I still see it through Harry's eyes in OotP, but here it just made so much sense to see it pop up! I can definitely understand why Lavender would shelter here.
Jared seems lovely, from what we've seen so far. He completes Lavender, I think, in being carefree and easy-going, but at the same time very caring. I wonder what he was doing during the war, so maybe if we could get some background info on that?
This quote was my absolute favourite: Lavender isnít brown, itís purple. All of Jared's interaction with Lavender help her out of the situation she's in, and are great to read about, so I hope there's more!
Anyway. I'll be waiting for chapter six, though I can wait because I'm following a couple of your other stories as well :)Author's Response: I got all excited because you left me a prettty review and I have the majority of this mostly written (and it just needed polishing) so I thought HEY let's go for a mad quick update because there is no reason not too.
There should be a little more background information on Jared + their date (and a little bit more about the circumstances that led to Parvati leaving her alone).
Thanks for leaving me this lovely review! You're awesome :) :D
AC Report Review
Just when I'd gotten attached to Lavender and thought she was doing well, and then you drop this on my head.
Not to mention these quotes that are heart-wrenchingly beautiful:
She is not a human, at work, nor is she a victim. She is a commodity.
I predicted my death again today.
I can identify to Lavender so badly (minus the fighting a war bit), with her needing to cry just because she needs to physically evacuate all the tensions, and the feeling that she's of no real use. THAT'S NOT THE CASE, LAVENDER -- if Helen doesn't love you, I do!
(Excuse me if this makes no sense, it's my fourth night in a row where I'm still up at one a.m.)
Again, you shed a new light on Lavender's personnality with the Divination: she actually reads tea leaves for a purpose, and she still has these slightly childish habits, like wanting her books even when she doesn't need them.
I want to know what happens next! Please update this soon? I will bribe you with cookies. Or cupcakes. Yes?
:)Author's Response: Okayyy, so you persuaded me and I went and put the next chapter in the queue straight away (as it was ready and well... no one reads this story anyway ahha).
I think Lavender is really one of those really normal characters and I'm really glad I've gone and explored her character a little more, because it's been really fun.
Thank you for leaving me this lovely review! :)
-AC Report Review
This is a beautiful take on Lavender -- I've always seen her as giggly, futile, and light-headed, but you make her hardened. It's obvious she's seen a lot, but nonetheless she's trying to recover (and so far, she's doing an amazing job).
What I find wonderful about this story is the way you focus essentially on Lavender's thoughts -- it's a stream of consciousness most of the time, which I personnally find horribly difficult, but that you manage so well.
In three chapters, I feel like I've known Lavender since forever. You make her very realistic, and I love the relationship she has with Parvati.
I'm trying to find something I can compare Lavender too, but the best I coming up with is a steel ball hidden inside a porcelain vase. You expect it to fall and shatter, but what's inside actually survives pretty much anything. I can definitely see why she'd be made a Gryffindor thanks to this story!
:)Author's Response: Okay, this is going to win the award for the fastest I've responded to a review in all time (guess who's in bed with a cold with nothing to watch on tv on a friday night? Yup, that'd be me) but ACK thank you for this lovely review!
I honestly never cared for Lavender until I had the idea for this story, then I went back and traced all these little moments of Lavender throughout the books and came out with a) a renewed appreciate for how much JK think about her characters and b) I was really surprised at how much depth she actually had.
That's a lovely lovely comparison and thank you very much for this lush review :D
AC Report Review
I have to start by apologizing for taking so long to return your review on the Holiday Swap event - ill health and academia got in the way and Iím only just getting into the swing of things now. Iíve had this chapter open in my browser for weeks now, and Iíve looked forward to reading it!
I find it really interesting when authors decide to write about the less-known characters, and Lavender is such a brilliant choice. For all that she is a constant presence throughout Harryís years at Hogwarts, we only learn little bits about her... but they do add up to somebody interesting. Particularly JKRís almost-throwaway line about Lavenderís Ďfeebly stirring bodyí - which I guess is the basis for this fic! A lot of people have interpreted this as her dying, but I personally think she lived and itís so cool to come across a fic that looks at her post-Greyback life.
Your characterization of Lavender herself is really good; she feels recognizable to me, if a little older and wiser. Her determination, and knowing what she wants, is very much in play here. She gets a bad rap because she took that single-mindedness and concentrated it on Won Won in a misguided teenage crush, but itís not fair to think sheíd always be like that. So I think youíve done her some justice here!
I love her relationship with Parvati. It reminds me that there were some close relationships at Hogwarts besides that of Harry, Ron and Hermione. I also like how you mention Parvatiís beauty, but Lavender seems to love her so much she does not begrudge her it.
I really like the ominous closing line - it really makes me want to read more! Iím adding this to my favourites and will be back :)
Athene xoAuthor's Response: Hi there Athene! So good to see you back e I'm so excited :D
Before this I've never really thought all that much about Lavender. She's one of the characters that I think are so normal that it's really easy to forget that they're people too, and after I started writing this and skimming through the books to find all these bits where she's mentioned I have such a clear canon for her and I'm so excited to be able to write it :D
It's also sort of sad that people can never really forgive her for the whole Won Won event. I'm sure she'd be mortified looking back on things but... first boyfriends and all.
THANK YOU so much for coming back! I'm so glad that you like it and eee yes thank you very very much :D
-AC Report Review
Gah!! This is, again, an absolutely stellar chapter. It is really, really beautiful and i love how you've written Lavender. It has this really tragic feeling to it that really gets into your soul. She tries to be so strong, so brave, but it just feels like she's walking on this very small line between being okay and being a disaster. Or, at least, being able to admit that maybe things aren't as good as she wants them to be. I thought the line of her staying silent when they were putting the photo's up was especially moving. That whole scene actually, where she's thinking of the unchangingness of muggle photo's. It's a nice connection because she probably fears that she cannot change, cannot move on from this.
I really love how you describe things here. It's so moving, how she feels disconnected from everything, how this psychological progression might not be going like she planned and when her father touches her shoulder briefly, how she feels like she'll float away. Your choice of wording is absolutely brilliant and all the metaphors and imagery you use really put the reader in the mood for reading and getting into the story. It makes what you write that much more real and alive.
I liked the flashback and how that tied in with her thirst to prove herself a Gryffindor. That was a really neat theme here because I think many readers may think Lavender an airhead but this focus on how she was a Gryffindor and was brave in her own way was really neat. You continue to flesh Lavender out as a character, having enough of her past self here so we still feel connected to the Lavender from the books, and this Lavender which has changed so much after the war.
Anyway, really lovely chapter and work here! This is a really great piece of writing that you should be very proud of, even if it isn't getting as many reviews as perhaps your TAOB did or something. This is a masterpiece in itself. :P Report Review
I'm finally making an appearance!!
This is a really great first chapter. I love the haunting feeling of this. The way you can tell she's not alright and yet she tries so hard to be. Tries to let the logical part of her brain tell her that everything is fine, that she's alive. But there is something underneath the surface here and i like how you've constructed this. I find it very realistic because when trauma happens it's easy for some to have that practical mind that says things are ok but the thing is, emotions are a completely different story. You can't always control that.
I think a strong point for that is just how she listens to Pye talking Psychology to her and her relying on that and trying to implement that in her own development after the war that really hits home with where this story is probably going. She tries to be this perfect recovery story- but then, there's the insomnia and the fact that she's incomplete, broken. I can only think that with all her pretend that she's fine and okay that her mental issues are going to be one of the things she's going to be struggling with throughout this story.
You have some really lovely lines here too, i could try picking some out but there were so many that really had impact. The line of the Healers not having time to talk to their patients, or her being a jigsaw are a couple that come to mind immediately. I think what you've done with this first chapter is absolutely lovely, i like the Pavarti bits because it shows a bit of who she might have been before all this happened to her.
It's really cool that you're writing about a minor character too. I'm always a fan of those and you've really just managed to make me sympathize with her and root for her. I was indifferent to her before but i feel like this piece is really giving her a voice.
Really lovely job ac_rules!! Report Review
Hello, AC. I'm here returning the favor for the Holiday Review Swap. You have so many stories on your page it was hard to choose, but since I've read bits and pieces of so many of the other ones, I thought I'd give this one a go. I'm always drawn to stories that have somewhat less common main characters, and I've not read a lot of Lavender-centric stories before, so this made for a nice departure from the norm.
This was a really haunting first chapter. You created such an interesting atmosphere here. I liked the short interjections that seemed to give Lavender's thoughts a disjointed feeling -- hinting at a level of mental instability. Interrupting her thoughts on the hospital/Pye with the lines "They'd won. She'd been unconscious..." made it feel like she was almost having flashbacks to that moment in the battle. Yet I like how you balance it out with mentions of her chatting with Parvati, as if there is still some of the old Lavender left inside her, and also showing that world keeps moving on.
You had some lovely lines throughout the chapter. My favorite was the bit about her being a jigsaw puzzle with a piece missing. What an effective way to convey how she must be feeling -- physically whole, save for the scars, but still somehow broken and incomplete.
And the bits about Pye "talking psychology to her," and people who've survived war having "nothing ties them down anymore" were really wonderful too. The first gives such a great insight into Pye -- all fresh and eager and not yet cynical about his profession. The latter is sad and such a good description of how people who've gone through trauma sometimes no longer feel they fit into the world the same way anymore. And of course the ending. You get the sense throughout that Lavender isn't right, but that last line really adds a sense of foreboding.
Thanks for tagging me in the review exchange. I really enjoyed reading this chapter. Sorry it took me so long to leave you your review. Report Review
uafyausfhasuf its my first time reading this second chapter and I really loved it. Honestly, all of the moving in and having gone through the motions of moving out and having an overprotective mother. I especially like all these little bits of Psychology thats making their way through into this as well because its kind of a nice change for Lavender to have the kind of doctor that cared enough to keep talking and for that to make an effect and for her to be determined in some way at least not to let herself slip through the cracks even though she is already and she plays it down so much.
All the little things about liking the way how things are at first - the photographs - and then suddenly changing her mind about them when everything becomes more tangible and real and how she needs to adjust now and somehow all the comforts aren't there any more and she doesn't quite know why.
she's just got this whole new life to look forward to but she can't quite enjoy it - she's just going through the motions and enjoying small moments here and there but overall feeling so very disconnected and trapped.
don't know what i'm even trying to get at with this review, but okay. i'm going before i ramble about stuff that you already know about k? k.
♥ Report Review
skfjashfjashfas this is so exciting and I really like all the mental health stories that you do, because Azkaban was really, truly fantastic and then there's this - canon characters that are slightly older, but still retaining some of their character in a way. But they're so tangible and easy to bend when it comes to writing about war and death and destruction. Especially that of their mind.
I like how this feels almost detached in a way so that we can see how Lavender appears to Parvati, for example, but also to see just how mentally ill she is and has the possibility of getting even worse. Its just interesting and sad and you wish for a proper good happy ending, but it'll never really be that way.
There's just so much I want to say, but I don't have anything more of value to say I guess. Its just hard to describe what I'm feeling about this as an entirety and I'm not sure what the appropriate words are.
Either way this was really brilliant and I love the last line - the lead up to something more, to something dangerous and to a long journey.
Hanzi xxx Report Review
Hey Helen! *waves* Thank you very much for the lovely review you left me! It was really, really nice - just wanted to let you know now, since I'm really terrible at replying to reviews.
Onto the main event - and wow! This is just amazing (but then, pretty much everything else I've read of yours is pretty really good). I love your choice of using Lavender as the main character - not that many people writer her, and when they do, it's generally as a cow who splits up Ron and Hermione so that Hermione can run off into the sunset with Draco... you know, that kinda thing.
But here... she's her own person, she's obviously developed, she's obviously changed through the whole war and her experiences... I mean, the war and then the battle is just so much in such a short space of time and you've conveyed it so well, with the mentions of Parvati and other victims in the Hospital and the scars (gah, the scars sounded terrifying! I feel so sorry for her!).
I love the point you've started it at, as well. It might have seemed weird to start with her about to leave the hospital, deemed 'cured' and 'better' and 'healthy' and all the rest of it, but it really, really works. Instead of focusing on her recovery within the Hospital, it's after and it's just such an interesting place to start. I'm so fascinated to see where you go with this! Seriously - I really hope she gets better so quickly and ends up being all right, possibly with a nice boyfriend *wink* but I know that it's not going to be an easy task and she's going to have a lot of bumps and knocks along the way. I just wanna know what happens and how it happens!
Also, major kudos for the mention of Augustus Pye! :D I lovelovelove it when people mention minor characters like that!
I will be back! ;)
Aph xx Report Review
Hello Helen, here from the Holiday Review Swap!
So I was intrigued to find that this was one of those stories where the MC is recovering from the war. I haven't found many of those that are well-written, but I really like yours. I also like that rather than out-right having everyone know about Lavender's mental condition (the insomnia and other things I'm sure you'll reveal) you have her hiding it. It's sure to eat up at her throughout the story. Her false optimism and trickery of her doctors is also really powerful to read.
Awesome start to the story, I promise I'll fulfill my promise to review everything someday!
classicblack Report Review
This was great, I loved it! :) You write in a way that makes it easy to imagine the scene in your head, without having so much description that it's overwhelming. That was really well done.
I only noticed a couple spelling mistakes, nothing that took away from the overall piece. The flow was great and I liked the dialogue, it was really natural and realistic.
I loved the line about the trick step, I thought it was creative and a really good comparison.
I really enjoyed this, you're an amazing writer!
- F Report Review
Helen! I've always wondered what happens to the characters after the book finished and this was really good! I loved how you ended it, 'Then again, no one knows about the insomnia.' I love all the language and everything! :)
Emma xx Report Review
Okay, excuse me while I flail. I don't find myself particularly drawn to stories about Lavender for some reason and yet I've read two stories in the last two days that tell her story post-war, assuming that she survived the attack. Gah, Helen, this is just fabulous. It's so well-written and honest. I feel like you have this fantastic ability to pry open your characters and expose their raw emotions to us in such a beautiful, vivid way.
Lavender is definitely a character that isn't often written this way. She's often portrayed as a bit of an airhead, I think, who is obsessed with Won-Won. ;) The war changes people, though, and I really love this contemplative character you've written.
Honestly, there are so many lines in this fic that I want to pull out and keep with me always. But this, especially, really resonated within me: it has become a lullaby of life - a reminder that they are all still alive, that they survived this, that she can still breathe. I love the idea of Lavender lying awake, sleep eluding her, listening to those around her breathing. It's such a beautiful reminder of life.
Everything about this was so incredibly moving. Lavender's thoughts post-war, her desire to move forward with her life, becoming an adult and moving in with Parvarti - they're all such ambitious goals for her and I'm worried she's striving to achieve too much too fast. She's so determined to not go through her recovery alone and let her mental state deteriorate but I feel like that's still something she's going to struggle with.
I also really like Pye's character with his psychological babble. The line about how he's new so he still has time to talk to patients - that really struck me when I first read it. It sort of reveals a lot about his character and about the state of the medical field - that Healers are so busy that they rarely have time to just sit and talk to their patients. I think it's sweet he takes that time.
I'm really rooting for Lavender to pull through this, though I know she will probably struggle a lot. You've done a wonderful job setting us up for that and I can only hope school won't kick me in the butt and I can follow this story as much as I can. I'm really looking forward to joining Lavender on her journey.Author's Response: I've only read one or two Lavender fics before starting to write this, but I was really excited by the whole concept of it. In my head Lavender definitely survives, though, well... I just think that Lavender is someone who really needed that time after she'd finished school to grow up and live and... well, I don't want anyone else to die.
That's the thing, she's so determined to make sure she's okay that she's trying a little bit too hard and not giving herself time to fall apart a little bit - which I think everyone needs to a certain extent.
I liked Pye too! I always thought he was a great character just thrown into ootp and, well, as it's the same ward as mentioned there I thought I might as well capitalised on this.
I'm rooting for Lavender too and thanks for the lovely review :)
-AC Report Review
Hello! I'm here from the Ravenclaw common room for the review battle!
In my opinion, this seems to be such an intriguing story, even though Lavender Brown isn't one of the characters I truly admire. Yet, so far, I like her. Stories about mental issues are always very interesting and have this sort of cryptic feel to them -you never really know what to expect. And therefore, I am eager to see how you're going to go ahead from here.
I also really like the way you're telling this story. The suppressed thoughts that are italicised, the description of the way she passed the nights, the conversations between her and Parvati... It's all very interesting, really. My favourite one was this:
'She is a jigsaw puzzle with a piece missing, but a stubborn child has shoved the pieces back together anyway Ė not quite fitting together neatly and succinctly, but nevertheless complete.'
It's just so simple and, at the same time, so creative and lets the emotion really get to the reader.
I admire this as a first chapter about Lavender Brown. It just starts right from where we've left her in the books and doesn't go ahead summarising to us her past and the treatment of others to her while she was still at school or anything as such. There aren't any boring introductions and that's really refreshing.
I also can already see how the title relates to the story; it just seems so fitting. I was able to make the connection when I read the very last paragraph, and I thought that this was a really witty move!
Anyway, I'm very glad to have gotten the chance to read this story; this has been an excellent first chapter and I hope I get to read more soon! :D
-Manno Report Review
Okay, I have never been a Lavender fan, so I was excited to read this and see what you did with her. I have to say, that for such a short introduction, this was so very strong and captivating. I couldn't get over the line about him tearing into her... it gave me those horrible chilly mental images.
I think that you're doing a great job really putting me inside her mind, the choppy structure completely feels believable in the state she is in and I think it really strengthens this start.
It's weird, because I most often read about the excitement with the war ending, not about all the negative that was still left over. But there was so much hurt virtually everywhere, how could it not have shadowed everything?
The description of the scars is also amazing, traumatizing, but amazing. To mix something as innocent as a child's puzzle with it was perfect.
You really sucked me in with this, please feel free to let me know when chapter 2 is out, or post it in my review thread, because I would love to continue!
Thanks for the swap!
Jami Report Review
Oh Helen! This chapter is just written so wonderfully and so beautifullly how can I not help but touch that favorites button above? Really your opening chapter does such a wonderful job drawing me into your story about Lavender's healing. I look forward to more chapters and as I've alredy said will be favoriting this after I have left you a new review! I really shouldn't be surprised with how much your story draws me in as they all have and all with just reading the first chapter alone.
I really don't have much more to say other than that it was a great read and one that I look forward to reading more and more as you continue posting chapters. I will try my hardest to keep my eye out for future updates with this story and by you in general. I can't wait to see just what this story will bring between friendship, rebuilding, and hopefully some wonderful romance. Great Job on another wonderful new story!
~Slytherinchica08~ Report Review
Helen, your writing always pulls me in and doesn't let me do anything else, so why not review? :P
I'm so glad you're writing Lavender, I've found her such an interesting character I can't wait to see what you do with her! It's nice you're giving her importance and making her think more about... well everything.
The fact that she isn't thinking only about herself but also the other's aftermath makes us change our perspective her, and i'm really curious as to her character development now.
I feel this was like some sort of stream of conciousness kind of introduction which I really like, but at the same time your descriptions were soft and flowed well. Also, the few lines of dialogue were well picked and gave us a good sight of the 'world outside her mind'.
I keep wondering if she will be more reserved even after leaving the hospital, and if the war affected Parvati in any way. I wonder if Lavender is wondering the same...
But all those questions you left un-answered worked well to pull in the readers and keep us waiting exite for the next chapter!
What is going outside Lavender?
Can't wait to know :)
So I know this isn't full of CC, but all I can think of right now is how well you wrote the strwam of conciousness and how I'm intrigued on your take on her.
-ValAuthor's Response: Awh, thank you so much Val! This was a lovely review to receive so thank you so much for stopping by and leaving something so lovely for me :)
This is a bit of an experiment for me as I don't usually write in the present tense/steam of concious type style for anything other than one-shots where as this time I'm going for a whole novella like this, which is going to be interesting but hopefully it will work out well...
It's great that I've got you wondering! I've always found Lavender stories interesting and I guess I wanted to join the ranks. Thanks for reading and review, m'dear :D
-AC Report Review
Eee! I have always wanted to read some of your work, but I have never got round to it. I've been so busy lately so I was so happy that you popped up on the review thread! AND it's a story about Lavender Brown... most people portray her as the crazed fangirl, as the antagonist to Hermione in the battle for Ron's affection. But this is different - I really, really like it. :)
Your writing style is incredible, really. It's awesome. I would murder for your vocabularly, and it's all so interesting with varied sentence lengths and structures and images and metaphors and gah gah gah, I love it all.
She lies awake at night, insomnia clinging to her brain irritably (because if she could sleep then there would be no lingering effects), and can hear the rhythmic breathing of half a dozen people, wounded like her, inhaling and exhaling. She finds it reassuring and listens to it for hours, until the sun rises and she pretends that she has been asleep, it has become a lullaby of life Ė a reminder that they are all still alive, that they survived this, that she can still breathe.
I love what you've done with Lavender as well. Her shock and vulnerability and stoicism (?) is portrayed so well, which makes it easy to root for her and relate to her. The last line... it just makes me feel so sorry for her, that she feels the need to lie about her insomnia, and she's alone in struggling with it.
Overall, I love this one-shot. Well done!Author's Response: Hey there! I have a vague recollection of you reading a couple of things of mine in the past, but I'm really pleased and a bit giddy that you'd wanted to give my writing a try :D
Ack, thank you so much for all those lovely compliments! I've read some of your work (but not as much as I would like) and I really admired what I had the chance to read so it's really lovely and squee worthy that you liked this so THANK YOU. I had a lot of fun writing about Lavender and, actually, this is going to be hovering between a short story and Novella length when I've finished.
I'm excited to carry on writing about her and thanks for such a lovely review! :) Report Review
FIRST REVIEWER FIRST REVIEWER YAY -runs around in circles- Dear Lord, I am excited for this. (let's be real, I'm excited about everything you write) But there aren't nearly enough Lavender fics, and I am completely confident in your ability to write her, and I'm super excited/impressed about the 10k in a week thing and phew. Okay. I think it suffices to say that I'm really looking forward to reading more of this.
This has this sort of dark, haunting feel to it, set against the brighter backdrop of rebuilding after the war. I think it's well-established that I am a fan of angst (what does this say about me?) and so this should be right up my alley, lol.
General note - sort of reminded me a bit of Azkaban in a way with the tone/mental health thing, which I'm pleased with since I do miss it. (Not a bad thing - they're both different, but I like it)
(Although hopefully Lavender doesn't end up in Azkaban at the end of this. Please?)
That sometimes, when a war is over, there are people who feel like their strings have been cut loose and that nothing ties them down anymore. That all the passion and energy that gave them the ability to fight to the death can turn inwards and destroy a person. ugh you write the most beautiful things and it just kills me D:
Also the end - oh, perfect. Seriously. Perfect way to end this. All is not necessary well in Lavender-world.
I also love that she's going to move in with Parvati and we'll get to see their friendship. Honestly, I love everything about this. I love it so much that I'll forgive you for breaking your number-of-WIP rule. ;)
-sticks first reviewer flag into the ground-
Lovely job, Helen ♥Author's Response: HANNAH HI THANK YOU FOR REVIEWING THIS STORY I LOVVEE YOU FOR CARING ABOUT WHAT APPEARS ON MY AUTHORS PAGE AND THE LIKE :D
I'm really looking forward to finishing the rest of this and posting it. I'm looking for a fairly shift turn around from writing to posting to completion as my authors page really doesn't have that much room for more WIPS but there you go.
I completely understand the mention of Azkaban, here. This is sort of filling my Azkaban shaped hole up... well, I mean at the moment I don't have a more serious no real love aspect story on here, so I guess I wanted to start something which isn't next gen or humoury, like Azkaban. Although I can safely assure you that Lavender will not end up in Azkaban, unless I have a serious plot rethink :P
Aha, thank you so much Hannah! I'm glad you approve of the breaking of the WIP rule (although, technically, I think I'm still under 10 depending on how you squint... actually, honestly, I haven't got a clue).
THANKS FOR A LOVELY REVIEW :D Report Review
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