Reviewer: ahattab33
Date: 09/07/09 1:26
Chapter: Chapter 3 - The woods are lovely, dark and deep

Ohhhh, nice chapter.

Your writing has such a nice flow. I just kept reading and reading and then boom! I was disappointed to be at the end.

I know we've already *sort of* discussed this, but I really like your characterization of the Gryffindor ladies. They are still girls, but they are facing their problems with a sense of maturity they didn't previously possess, because they didn't need to. Pavarti in particular in this chapter was simply a fantastic friend and a wonderfully developed character as she was brutally honest with Lavender. And their conversation about Ron - awesome. :) And real. At least, to me. We women are silly, but we know we know it and we gossip with our friends about our silliness and our men.

I am also liking your characterization of Blaise, he is quite ambiguous but sweet and mysterious...

I loved this chapter, dear. And I can't wait for the next. You are a delightful writer.

~Amanda

Author's Response: Thank you, Amanda. I have to admit to getting ticked off at people dismissing Lavender as a total airhead based on her relationship with Ron. In my experience, most teenage girls are silly at times - or perhaps that was just me. Hermione, in my opinion, is far from the norm - and even she goes silly over Lockhart.

Watch out for more Blaise - especially Chapter four heh heh. Thanks again. ~Carole~

Reviewer: mzap
Date: 09/06/09 10:09
Chapter: Chapter 3 - The woods are lovely, dark and deep

My, my, my, what an eventful chapter! I love how you keep subtle reminders of what is happening with the trio and a couple of hints of things that we already know, such as Neville and Hannah talking to each other while they were in Hagrid’s hut (slight foreshadowing there). You did a wonderful job in characterizing Parvati as a concerned best friend, and I liked how she obviously knew that there was something between Lavender and Blaise. Even more believable was her rational was what Blaise was “truly after”, given that some Slytherins have the reputation of only being after one thing. Lavender was once again spot on, with her nerves about everyone talking about Blaise and the Slytherins. I also really liked how you brought up Ron a couple times, and her relationship with him.

The party at Hagrid’s was done very well, even if we only got a glimpse of inside the party. It was exactly as I pictured it, with the DA being invited and them managing to get out in time as Hagrid had to flee. I could totally picture Blaise only warning Lavender so to protect her and she wanting to help everyone else.

I loved the scene in Slughorn’s office, and how it has become a place where they can be alone together (though probably not the best place). I had a feeling that they would do it and both were perfectly in character for it as well. I’m also loving how Slughorn keeps covering for Blaise because he is one of his favorite students.

Once again, a great job. All of this is perfectly paced, nothing seems too rushed or too slow. Your characters are spot on and the plot keeps pulling me in the more I read. I honestly can’t wait to read more! :)

- Mercy

Author's Response: Thank you very much for the review, Mercy. Hmm, Slughorn's storeroom - not the most 'romantic' of placed (all those newt eyes). Hopefully Blaise will be a bit more inventive next time (LOL - he will be I promise). I'm glad you're enjoying the story and hope you enjoy the next few chapters as much. ~Carole~

Reviewer: mzap
Date: 09/05/09 7:10
Chapter: Chapter 2 - He will not see me stopping here

Carole, this is fantastic! Remind me again why I didn’t read this before? I’m loving the whole Blaise/Lavender pairing and it’s always interesting reading about what is happening at Hogwarts while the trio are on their “camping trip”. You’ve got everyone perfectly characterized and this story is definitely going on my Favorites list.

Promise me, darling. Promise me you’ll keep your head down and keep out of trouble.
“Yes, Dad,” she murmured to herself and did not return Neville’s wave.

I found this to be very much in character, given that Lavender has always been a bit more hesitant to join in any sort of rebellion. Now it is a little more clear as to why: her parentage. I especially liked the repetition of her father’s advice throughout the first chapter and how she chose differently at the end. Also, it was interesting how she chose to follow her father’s advice: kindness to the purer bloods (a little too much kindness to Mr. Zabini ;) ), and staying away from those who could put her in danger.

My mum’s a Muggle-born; she’s in real danger, Ginny. The kind a pure-blood like you, and you,” she said, gesturing to Neville, “can’t understand.
Not only did I love this part because of characterization, but I loved the argument. True, that Ginny and Neville are purebloods, but they’re also blood traitors, so in a way, they do understand what the danger is. Also to point out how the trio more “elected” to leave and fight for what was right, where Lavender supposedly found her argument that her mother was clearly in “real danger”.

“I went out with one guy last year that hardly makes me the Hogwarts broom. It’s not as though I’ve worked my way through five husbands, is it?”
Oh, burn. Lol. Sorry, couldn’t help myself.

As I said before, your characterization was spot on. Lavender stayed very true to herself in that she was hesitant to rejoin Dumbledore’s Army because of the higher risk factor than last time. Also well played with how it took an incident like Crabbe’s assault to convince her that she had to fight what she believed in. Blaise, I loved your characterization of him. I must say that I have recently found a love for Slytherin bad boys and you did well in his personality. He has exactly the right amount of pride and arrogance that makes him fit in well with his house. Well done as he hides what his true sentiments are and how he lies about his past, as I’m sure many Slytherins have. Now, since I have to correct one thing, I guess Crabbe might have been slightly off. For the most part, almost every aspect, he was just as much the bumbling “muscle” as always written in the books, but I can’t help but feel his speech was too good. I don’t have my books with me, so I can’t give reference, but Crabbe may have had worse grammar. You may want to check on that, seeing as I can’t. :( Oh, almost forgot to mention! Ginny was perfect in your characterization. Still as strong as personality as has been seen in canon. Well done.

As for the plot, fantastically done. Everything was well paced in the first and second chapter, nothing felt faster than it should have been. There aren’t many Lavender fics out there, and I think you’ve done a superb job with this one. I especially love how it is also a romance between her and Blaise. You have the tone down wonderfully, too, with that sense of anxiety and anticipation with all the things happening at Hogwarts. You did a great job bringing in all the things JKR said was happening while the trio was away, and the way you portrayed it was wonderful. I’m looking forward to seeing what else you bring into the story, especially now that Lavender and Blaise have kissed, and what Dumbledore’s Army will think of this revelation.

I’m excited to read more. Adding to My Favorites list. Wonderful job.

- Mercy

Author's Response: OOOOH, Mercy, thank you, This review has made my day. I'm in love with writing this fic at the moment so I'm pleased you like the opening chapters - I just hope you like the rest. Blaise - bad boy Slyth - ha ha and don't we love 'em. Thank you for pulling me up on Crabbe. I think you're right, I haven't quite got him yet. The trouble is that when I initially wrote him he came out as too much of a caricature. I shall certainly watch for that when I write him again. And I've spotted a canon error on reading your review. Blaise's mum has actually been married seven times, not five, so I must amend that.

Future chapters are going to shift this story up a category, so I hope that doesn't ruin your enjoyment (C'mon, Blaise/Lavender all those hormones ha ha)

IThanks again ~Carole~

Reviewer: Nitwit Blubber Oddment Tweak x
Date: 06/20/09 9:10
Chapter: Chapter 2 - He will not see me stopping here

Oh, Carole, thank Merlin you posted the second chapter! I read the first chapter ages ago, thought it was really interesting, and kept checking back for the next one. And now you have it up! I hope you'll follow with the next one soon - I'm hooked!

What I find so great about this fic is how you've shown Lavender's depths as a character, rather than taken the easy route and have her batting her eyelashes and giggling. There aren't many stories with Lavender, and more-so with her as a decent character. I also like how you show her reluctance to re-join the DA; not because she's a coward, but because she promised her father. It's nice to see that she's genuinely concerned for the Trio, Dean and her mother. Do we hear anything about Mrs. Brown in later chapters?

Another thing I find interesting is your portrayal of Blaise. I like the idea of him being a half-blood and sympathetic to Lavender's plight, though I have to wonder about his intentions towards her. Is it just merely a physical attraction or has he been admiring her from afar? He can't know much about her, really. Or is he just using her? Hmmm...

I find nothing to correct in this chapter, to be honest. I think your characters are all very IC - especially Ginny and Neville. I think you portray her reactions very well and how easily she flares up. I like the way you show Neville's transformation into the group's ringleader - it's a side we all knew he had, and it's great to see him being so brave.

Overall, a truly original plot-line, a well-written and interesting story and I can't wait to read more! Your work never fails to impress me. Hopefully, though, it won't take as long to update?

Emma x

Author's Response: Thank you, Emma, for such a lovely review - especially as it's been one hell of a day for various reasons. I will be updating - hopefully soon as I definately have another two chapters planned - if not actually written. Hmmm, Blaise, well he may surprise you.

Thanks again and I'm glad you're enjoying it. Carole xxx

PS- your username always makes me smile. It makes me think Dumbledore is still alive.

Reviewer: luinrina
Date: 06/15/09 6:03
Chapter: Chapter 1 Promises to keep

What an interesting character study. I really liked it. In my opinion, you showed Lavender's dilemma really well. Of course she would be afraid of the situation, more so that her mother was a Muggle-born; who wouldn't be afraid in dark times like these? I especially loved that Lavender kept repeating the promise she had given her father (to keep a low profile) over and over, to remind herself that it was dangerous to meddle with the Carrows and Snape. You perfectly showed the angst she lived through, and that in dark times like these, friends show their real selves. Do they fight, no matter the cost, or do they hide like a coward?

What really clicked was at the end when she decided to break her promise and fight against the terror regime. It was a very powerful scene to show her nearly broken after what Crabbe did with her and remember the last words her mother had said. They conflict with the promise she had given her father, but they give her the strength she needs. You showed that extremely well in just a couple of sentences.

I also liked the twists you included with Crabbe lusting after Lavender. He comes across as the biggest git ever, someone I don't want to cross. He's changed a lot from what we know from the earlier books, but it fits completely with what we get to see of him at the end of DH.

Zabini is an interesting case as well. He's really reserved and cool, proud to have been made Head Boy. I liked the scene of his calm attitude at the platform, when he overhears Lavender and the girls talking. The way he talked makes him even more dangerous than he already is.

I found it quite surprising that he is a half-blood only. But it fits the way you characterised him. Though, still, I can't shake off the feeling that the scene where Zabini rescues Lavender from Crabbe's assault is a little overdone. Would he really tell Lavender his little secret? I assume his mother has told him and no one besides both knows Blaise isn't the child of Mr Zabini. And with Voldemort at large, wouldn't everyone not being a pure-blood and following the views of him and his Death Eaters be in danger, even half-bloods? Blaise has the perfect chance to say he's a pure-blood but he simply gives away the secret, to a Gryffindor no less? I doubt he would do that, even if he wanted to protect Lavender and help her out of the situation she was in. He didn't know if he could trust her. After all, she could have gone and told people about it. I doubt she would, but Zabini doesn't know that. I find that you have gone a little bit overboard here. However, it provides an interesting reason for him to show up and save her, and I liked how you used that to characterise Zabini, despite me being conflicted with him giving away the secret about his blood status so easily.

Overall, I enjoyed reading this chapter. You showed splendidly the situation Lavender, the DA members and everyone else find themselves in, the relationships between the various characters and how they try to deal with the fear Voldemort creates as well as the inner conflict Lavender has to battle out with herself. You balanced out narration and dialogue nicely, allowing the story to flow smoothly and be easy to read and follow – and of course enjoy.

Great work, Carole.

Author's Response: Thanks for the review. I take your point about Blaise admitting he was a half-blood to Lavender especially as she's a Gryffindor. I wanted a bit of dramatic licence, I suppose, because this was only going to be a oneshot (I say that a lot) It is explained more fully in the next chapter about his parentage and also the reason he told Lavender is hinted at too. At this stage, though, Lavender doesn't know what his parentage is. She doesn't know that he's not the son of Chester Zabini. A half-blood is basically anyone who can't prove their pure-blood line going back generations, so until Lavender looks into it - it could be his mother was a half-blood or something. As far as Lavender telling people - well, Blaise said it all really - who would believe her? I shall, however make sure I include that thinking in chapter three. So, Bine, my love, thank you very much for pointing it out. I think you've saved me from a glaring plot hole.

Your review, as ever, has given me much to think about. It is lovely to have your view as well as your wonderfully constructive criticism. Thanks again. Carole xxx

Reviewer: rayasunshine
Date: 06/13/09 7:12
Chapter: Chapter 2 - He will not see me stopping here

Oh my gosh, that was brilliant! It was well worth the wait, Blaise is characterized quite well and realistic, and Lavender is an original and believable OC. I'm looking forward to the nest chapter to see where you take this.

Author's Response: Thank you for reviewing. I wanted Lavender to be as far removed from the Lav-lav we see in HBP as possible, yet still recognisable, so I'm very pleased you liked her. Thanks again - Carole xxx

Reviewer: Thirteen
Date: 05/27/09 14:23
Chapter: Chapter 1 Promises to keep

I want to know what happens between Lavender and Blaise, i hope they get together. Over-all, a good story. Can't wait until the next. :D

Author's Response: Thank you. The next chapter should be with you fairly soon. I'm just waiting for the beta's approval. Glad you liked it.

Reviewer: Karaley Dargen
Date: 05/20/09 16:03
Chapter: Chapter 1 Promises to keep

I remember now (well, I checked actually, because I couldn't remember), and I guess I thought someone said that about Ginny, because you mentioned that you might have made her "rather an unsympathetic character" in the character exploration class... Never mind that then :D

Author's Response: Ah ha, so it was me after all. *giggles*.

Reviewer: Karaley Dargen
Date: 05/20/09 15:33
Chapter: Chapter 1 Promises to keep

That first chapter was great. I've been staring at your banner for ages, playing that song Marillion made of the lines in the beginning, in my head, always thinking I didn't have the time to read it right now, but I just couldn't resist any longer :D I'm actually glad you only posted one chapter yet, but now: post more!
Apart from that, it's wonderfully easy and fluent to read. I actually thought it would take her much longer to join the DA again, like, until the third chapter or so, but looking back on the first chapter, I suppose it's good you didn't overstretch that part of the story.

I was afraid you'd make Crabbe in love and all kind and fuzzy towards Lavender, because that wouldn't suit the rest of his character, but I think you made a very good portrayal of him eventually. I shuddered when I read that Butterbeer-scene...

I think you also did a great job on not turning Lavender into an OC of yours. She has so much more depth than in the HP books, but still she is very much in character. Something I'm not sure about is whether she'd really be so sad about Ron after months, but then again she was rather obsessed with him.

I think I read somewhere that someone said your Ginny was too out of character for snapping at Lavender like that (I might be mistaken though). I really don't think so. She's worried about what Harry does and angry that she can't do anything to help him. In that matter, I see Ginny as an idealist, someone who'd do a lot for a "cause," to show their colours. And she'd obviously be angry at people who back out of a movement like theirs, when Harry is risking his life, and she clearly sees that evil threat and wants to do something about it.

Great story, I don't think I can give you any constructive criticism. I always thought your MWPP characterisation and style was great, but you're obviously just an overall very skilled writer.


Kara

Author's Response: WOW! Thanks Kara. Grinning with pleasure now. I don't think anyone's mentioned Ginny being OOC in a review, but I could always argue my case (LOL). I actually think Ginny would snap at anyone who appeared to criticize thouse she holds dear. You only have to see her snap at Hermione after the Sectumsempra incident to know that. Now, I thought I'd made it clear she was over Ron, and wasn't that sad about him - my point being that too many important things have happened in the intervening months for her to actually be that bothered about Won-Won, but that must be unclear. The reason that it didn't take her until Chapter three to rejoin the DA is that this was supposed to be a one-shot for Characterisation Class, so I needed it to have a recognisable end. Having said that, I have written chapter two and it's currently with my beta so watch this space!

Thank you again for the review. I really appreciate it. Carole xxx

Reviewer: indigo_mouse
Date: 05/15/09 21:55
Chapter: Chapter 1 Promises to keep

What a lovely read! Lavender Brown is often such a flat character, a foil really to create conflict between Ron and Hermione. You have taken that construct and made a believable person out of her, with regrets, shame, uncertainty and strength.

A bit of a pet peeve of mine is the use of "Godric" as a curse word. To me it would be a bit like using "Lincoln" or another historical figure as a curse. It doesn't quite work, in my mind. Merlin is certainly used in canon ("Merlin's most baggy y-fronts" is my favorite), but other than that there is very little other than one or two "effing" references. Just my opinion, of course, and it in no way tarnishes your story!

I'm looking forward to reading more!

Author's Response: Thank you very much for the review. I'm pleased you enjoyed the story, and there should be another chapter up very soon. Hmm, I know what you mean about 'Godric'. I like it because it's close enough to 'Oh, God!'but it isn't very canon. I guess I just get sick of using Merlin all the time. I wonder if I could introduce Morgan le Fey or Wendelin-the-Weird as curse words. Carole xxx

Reviewer: Elf01
Date: 05/13/09 18:07
Chapter: Chapter 1 Promises to keep

I like the side of Lavender that you show here. She wants to help but doesn't want to break the promise she made to her father. She is too often seen as an airhead in Canon. I also like the fact that despite her blaming Hermione for the break up with Ron she hopes that she is OK (although that may be influenced by her mother being Muggle born). You have shown her Gryffindor side in this chapter. While she didn't immediatly join the D.A. you show that it was because of the promise that she made her father.

There are a couple of minor issues I had with the chapter

[i]She looked round to expecting to[i]. You seem to have an extra to in that sentance
[i]remembering Padma was there[i] If the three normally hang around together she shouldn't have to add and Ravenclaw as an afterthought. I know that she and Parvati are in Gryffindor and would hang around together more but if Padma was really a friend of Lavender's I don't think that it should be an afterthought.

[i]Lavender had nodded mutely.

“Lavender,” called a voice she recognised. Lavender turned round to see her best friends Parvati and Padma Patil walking towards her.[/i]
There is a little too much repetition of Lavender here. Maybe you could rephrase it to something like "A voice she recognised called her name. When she turned aroudn she saw ..." I only noticed this on a second reading though, which shows how good the rest of it is.

I also like your characterization of Ginny and Neville. Giny is angry and Neville trying to keep the peace. I'm looking forward to seeing how Zabaini comes out in future chapters.

Author's Response: Thank you very much for the review. I'm glad you liked the story. This was written for Characterisation Class and initially I only chose Lavender because the other people I wanted were taken. However, I quite quickly realised that she had the potential to be very interesting and I got quite annoyed at the portrayal of her as an airhead. Blaise features very heavily in the rest of the story.

I shall look into those nit picks, so thanks for pointing them out. Carole xxx

Reviewer: coolh5000
Date: 04/14/09 13:05
Chapter: Chapter 1 Promises to keep

Oh, wow. I had read this before but it was just as powerful on a second reading. Firstly, and most importantly as this was for your characterisation class, the characterisation in this piece was flawless. The class has obviously worked because I felt you'd really thought about all your characters, not just Lavender. I could feel myself being completely understanding of why she didn't want to fight but also the pain of seeing others standing up for themselves. I particularly liked the fact that she was constantly remembering the words her father said to her and using them as a sort of mantra every time she found herself coming close to breaking and wanting to help. Also, Lavender was never a perfect character - her activities with Ron and the presentation of her as a bit of an airhead in the earlier books haven't made her the most popular of characters - and you've shown this. However, like many of the students at Hogwarts that year, she was forced to become serious and face up to reality and I feel this chapter shows a very good development of her from hoping she can avoid the horrors of the war at the beginning, to undergoing terrible experiences and realising she has to stand up and fight against the regime.

The other characters were all in character as well, from Ginny's angry reaction to Neville's calmness. I've not read a great deal of Blaise but I found your portrayal of him interesting and I'm looking forward to reading more about him.

Moving on to plot, you presented the horror of Hogwarts during that year very well. The torture, the arguing, the terrible things which happen to Lavender at the end of this chapter, are all things which could believably have happened once the school was in charge of the Death Eaters.

The section in which Lavender says this: “Blood status,” replied Lavender harshly. “You three are pure-bloods, aren’t you? Snape respects that!” was particularly interesting as it was not something I had ever thought about before but I can imagine that even within those that were against the regime, blood-status still had a heavy influence, which is understandable if the half-bloods felt the Pure-bloods were receiving special treatment.

I tried to find something to nitpick in this but technically it is impeccable. My only one discovery was a missing space here: then it disappeared.Not too bad, but that's me being really fussy. On a personal preference level, I felt this line: Merlin, NO! she tried to scream, but it was hopeless. would have read better with a captial S for she so that rather than trying to scream 'Merlin, No!', she thought it and then tried to scream. But again that is purely a personal thing I felt as I was reading rather than an actual mistake.

Overall a great first chapter - you've really sucked me into the story and I'm looking forward to seeing where this goes.

Author's Response: WOW! Thank you so much for the amazing review. It's almost a one shot! Thank you for your comments on Lavender's character. I want to show her as something more that the 'airhead'. After all Ron wasn't entirely innocent in the snogging and sloppiness either.

I glad you picked up on the blood status lines. It's something I wondered about since DH, because Neville tells the Trio that the Carrows don't want to spill too much pure-blood. Now, we all know why Snape sent them on an easy detention, but the students didn't realise he was a bad guy.

Blaise will unfold more in the second chapter and especially the third, but the first chapter was basically about the much-maligned Lavender.

Thanks again for the review. I was gobsmacked when I read it and feel all warm and fuzzy now. Carole xxx

Reviewer: Charles Sinclair
Date: 03/24/09 3:53
Chapter: Chapter 1 Promises to keep

Really good. I have always thought Lavender was an interesting character, and there's not much of canon yet for when it comes to writing about her.
You developed the characters and atmosphere convincingly. I shall be curious to see how you treat Malfoy, will he be anxious as last year or will you drop subtle clues (not unlike the Head Boy-ship) as the Malfoy alliance with Voldemort disintergrates.
I'm hooked, and look forward to seeing what you do next. One very minor irk, I think the Partil twin should have referenced Ron's spattergroit with distaste rather then disbelief.
a) as it sounds like and gross condition
b) it seems likely that they would dislike him after the way he more or less used Lavender

Author's Response: Thank you for the review and I'm glad you enjoyed the story. You'll have to see what I do with Malfoy, although, I must admit, he in't a strong part of this tale. I take your point about Parvati, but the reason was that she didn't believe he had spattergroit, given that Harry and Hermione were both AWOL, too. Carole xxx

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