Reviewer: Purple Dragon
Date: 10/01/13 20:17
Chapter: Tango

I will always have the time. This is a very powerful slash, and I will explain why. You convey what can, and probably has happened to friends. "I like kissing you...but I don't want it in the long run". This is very different from alot of femmeslashes in the way that, it embraces a future of what might happen, instead of worring about now. This actually has the chance of a sequel (and if you already made one I apologize) It isn't nessacarly dark, but it is emotionally deeper than some other slashes. Well done!

Author's Response: Thank you so much for taking the time to write me a review! I'm sorry the response is so late, college life is harder than I expected : . Anyway, I am so happy you liked this fic! I really wanted to explore the friendship aspect of it, because I love the idea of being friends first and romantic partners second, but it always makes it so much harder when things go awry. I don't have a sequel up for this yet, but I've written a few drabbles about their future and referenced it in a few stories, so there is a high probability I will return to writing about them in the future :). Thank you so much again!

Reviewer: IWillAlwaysRememberYou
Date: 01/04/12 21:16
Chapter: Tango

There's not much I can say, just amazing. I just couldn't stop reading. And I LOVE the way you explain and express emotions in words, it just knew how they felt for each other. Just beautiful, I've almost started to cry! And I don't do that orten. ;)

Author's Response: This is such a wonderful review - it made my day! I am so glad you liked the story, though I'm sorry it almost made you cry :). Thank you very much for taking the time to leave such a lovely review. xx Ariana

Reviewer: Crazycow89
Date: 12/08/11 10:26
Chapter: Tango

Wow! This is truly amazing. I just found this after a long stint away from MuggleNet and I have to say that this is wonderful! There were several things I noticed that I particularly enjoyed (please be patient while I run through all of them):

The first paragraph and the last. The first one felt as though it was the story told in only a few words, the story of which is explained in the rest of the story. The last paragraph is great as it sort-of resolves. I always did like the sort-of resolutions, because they are so realistic and not 'Mary Sue' as I've liked to dub them. Don't get me wrong, I love happy endings (way) more than the next person, but the sort-of solved endings are the most realistic and will therefore always have a special place in my heart. Well done for excellent execution.

The sexual tension throughout the story is another wonderful part of the story. I could just feel the tension building and building and building and it was a great feeling. It made me really connect with the characters and think about what it would be like if I were in their shoes. The sexual tension was even better than it normally is because it doesn't culminate in sex and confession and yadda yadda yadda. Instead it becomes resolved, but not resolved enough: they just keep on at that tango of theirs. Fantastic.

The tango metaphor. Yes, it really does take two to tango and you have seriously proven it here. The appearance of the 'tango' is enough so that it really becomes engrained into our minds but not so much that it dominates the story. I also love how you ended the story with the quick (their first kiss), quick (their second kiss), slow (their third kiss) of their 'tango'.

The Parvati and Lavender that you have depicted here are incredibly realistic and believable, including their thoughts on the relationship that is slowly but surely on the collision force and how they both thought they'd end up straight and with a husband and kids. The alternating views remove the exclaimations of, "What about the other person's POV?" Their stories of what they thought about what has happened are surprisingly similar, yet so different. I really treasure that.

So pretty much, all I wanted to say was that this was a stunning story, keep writing and that you totally deserved that win for the QuickSilver Quills!

Author's Response: Okay, here is where I try to think of a semi-adequate response for such a lovely, heart-warming review. Thank you so much for taking the time to tell me what you thought of the story; it means a lot to me.

I'm glad you liked the sort-of resolved ending…they're my favorite way to end a story, because having everything happy and neat and tidy is so right that it feels wrong. And then the chemistry between Lavender and Parvati…this was my first slash fic and I was so worried I wouldn't get it 'right,' so it makes me very happy to hear that you thought it worked! The tango metaphor was part of a prompt from the drabble challenge this originated from, and I rather liked the idea of a relationship being like a dance.

I can't thank you enough for leaving this gorgeous review :). It made me smile. xx Ariana

Reviewer: MissMeg
Date: 07/31/11 18:55
Chapter: Tango

I’ve been meaning to review this ever since it was discussed in SBBC and have finally gotten around to it. I thought that you did a fabulous job with this piece. I really liked how you composed this story out of a number of brief episodes. Because each part was concise, the entire story felt well focused.

I loved how you jumped right into the story. You didn’t spend paragraphs introducing everything in a very formal manner. Instead the story began with Parvati trying to figure out her feelings for Lavender. The flashback fit into her thoughts in a manner that didn’t feel very planned or forced. The first scene made me think that Parvati was actually reliving the moment, in an attempt to make sense of it. The progression of Parvati’s feelings and thoughts provided a wonderful introduction to the story. At the beginning of the section, she didn’t seem particularly sure about her feelings toward Lavender, and how she felt about them. Her confusion about whether her feelings for Lavender were destroying their friendship and then finally her acceptance of those feelings. It almost mirrored Lavender’s transition from being confused about her relationship with Parvati, at the beginning of the piece, to being somewhat more certain of her feelings toward Parvati.

In my opinion, beginning the story in the middle worked really well. It gave Parvati’s narration a very informal feel, which contributed to the feeling that the events were happening as I read them. I liked how it felt like I was experiencing the events through the thoughts of the characters, rather than being told what had happened. Obviously, the present tense helped a great deal, but I think that the fact that neither Parvati nor Lavender directly addressed the reader also contributed to the feel.

I liked how you switched from Parvati’s to Lavender’s point of view multiple times in the fic. Having Lavender’s mum disappear, I thought, actually contributed to the focus on Parvati and Lavender’s relationship rather than detracted from it. I think if every single sentence and minor event directly contributed to the relationship between Parvati and Lavender, it would have made the story feel somewhat forced. Including Lavender’s mum and the DA, in my opinion, added to the idea of risks, confusion, and nervousness, all of which I’m sure both Lavender and Parvati would have experienced without their romantic relationship.

I liked how the second part of the story didn’t include any conversations between Parvati and Lavender, but instead gave an overview of Lavender’s thoughts and feelings about Parvati. It provided a contrast between Parvati’s semi-confidence and certainty and Lavender’s inability to decide what she thinks. I felt that centering Lavender’s uncertainty about how she doesn’t want to act and look how she thinks a gay or bisexual woman would act and look. I thought that it led nicely to the next segment, when another person possibly judges/glimpses Parvati and Lavender’s relationship.

I really liked how the first time Parvati and Lavender are really seen interacting with each other began. Their conversation seemed very awkward, and like they were trying to avoid the issue (which they obviously were). I really liked how their kiss was interrupted by Professor Trelawney, who may or may not have seen them. The uncertainty as to whether she saw them and the idea that Trelawney was judging them, I think accelerated the conflict Lavender appeared to be having over how people would view her and Parvati.

I really liked how the piece ended with Lavender and Parvati finally confronting each other about what happened. I thought that Lavender’s reluctance, and Parvati being almost pushy felt very consistent with how they had been portrayed previously in the piece. I liked how the ending was left open, but the impression was sort of given that they weren’t going to break off their friendship or romantic relationship. Ending the piece with Lavender’s point of view, I think, tied up the piece nicely. Lavender’s transition in her feelings about a lesbian relationship appeared very similar to Parvati’s in the beginning of the story. That in addition to the tango metaphor connected the beginning and end of the fic. I felt that the way you used a tango metaphor contributed to the piece. It was relatively subtle, so it didn’t take over, and helped shift focus onto the main themes of the story.

The only thing I can really think to critique about this story is the way you shifted tenses occasionally. In the middle of several paragraphs, for example in the beginning when Parvati remembers several experiences from when she was younger, the tense shifts from present to past. It’s done for a reason, and I think the memories contribute to the characterizations. However, occasionally the sudden change in tense would throw me off. Overall, it wasn’t major, though.

To sum up, I greatly enjoyed the characterization and writing in this story. When I have more free time, I really ought to read another story you’ve written. Any recommendations?
-Meg

Author's Response: Oh my goodness! First of all, thank you so much for this really lovely review. I wasn't expecting to get any more reviews on this story, to be honest, and I'm really happily surprised that I did. I'm glad you liked the beginning of the story, jumping into the middle. It was only after I'd written the piece that I realized I had done that. I'm also very happy you enjoyed the characterizations of both Lavender and Parvati. I was worried because this was my first attempt at femmeslash -- or any slash for that matter -- and I wanted to make sure I could write the story while still being true to the characters.

I definitely understand what you're saying about the tense shifts. I had a really difficult time writing it in present tense and then jumping back to the past during the flashbacks. I'll read it over again, and see if I can fix anything :). Again, thank you so very much for your review. You are amazing. xx Ariana

Oh, PS, I'm awful at giving recommendations from my own writing. I'd recommend 'Doubt' 'Defiance' 'Facades' or 'Picking Up the Pieces' -- they all got QSQ nominations so people seem to like them :). Thanks!

Reviewer: samana1990
Date: 07/28/11 7:01
Chapter: Tango

thumbs up , really good narative :)

Author's Response: Thank you very much! xx Ariana

Reviewer: ToBeOrNotToBeAGryffindor
Date: 05/28/11 15:16
Chapter: Tango

I have always believed that there is a time in every writer’s development when either a large step is taken toward great things, or said writer is left behind with everyone else. Only a gifted few ever do the former, and the rest of us typically fall into the latter category. When I read a story of yours for the first time, which I *believe* was Doubt, I had such high hopes for you as an aspiring creative writer. Defiance added to that, and stepping outside of the box and writing a pairing you’d never before considered with Susan/Theo was yet another step in the right direction.

And then there was this story.

There are so many lovely parts in this story that I could practically write a one-shot worth of praise for it, but I’m sure neither of us have that sort of time. So, I’m going to touch upon a few of the reasons why this is definitely a ‘breakthrough’ fic and what I believe makes it so.

The ability to write a non-canon event with canon conviction — that is to say, making it fit into canon and just have that feeling that it really did happen — is not something that can be taught. It can be directed and given certain sets of criteria, but writing to add to a pre-existing dimension yet still making it your own in a fabulous trait to have as a writer. The way you drew from what we know of Parvati and Lavender in this story, yet still selling me on an idea that had truly never crossed my mind until I read this story, is a gift of talent. From beginning to end, I couldn’t help but feel like I was in Jo’s world and just reading a small file she’d tucked into her buckets of notes, something scripted that didn’t make the final draft. Those are my absolute favourite kinds of stories, and I love that you were able to do that here.

Writing about one’s battles with homosexuality is not an easy feat. It’s something that I know from experience, and it’s difficult not to sound patronising or make the character out to be homophobic or just wangsty, but I thought you handled the girls’ respective identity crises very well. I think the most unique thing about how you did it was that they weren’t both mirrors of one another in terms of reaction to their first kiss. They were two distinct individuals who acted far differently, and their trains of thought, while somewhat similar, had their own unique sets of factors and feelings involved.

It was interesting that, of the two, Parvati seems to be the more sexually open one. One would think that it would be the other way around, since Lavender has the reputation in fanon as liking boys more than normal (which seems like a misconception, considering that, as far as we know, she’d only gone to the Yule Ball with Seamus and dated Ron). But you so expertly drew on canon and made your alternate theory fit and seem even more plausible than what many assume to know about these two.

I thought it was fitting that Parvati would worry far more about how her mother would react than anyone else. It speaks a lot of her heritage and her cultural differences. I’m assuming you would know more about Hindi culture than me, but from what I’ve heard, it seems like something that would push some buttons in the family. It fit that you touched upon this as a deciding factor, but also that you made Parvati her own person and Gryffindor enough to decide what is right for herself.

Lavender seemed to have far more issue with her feelings for Parvati than the other way around. In her youthful lack of knowledge, she assumed that all girls who liked other girls have to be lesbians and that all lesbians had to be like her aunt — short hair, no makeup, and smelling like cigarettes. It humanises her in a very strong way, because I’m sure we’ve all had a wildly off-base assumption about someone of a different culture, creed, sexuality, or race, only to find out later that we were so very, very wrong. For instance, I used to think, before I’d ever actually met a gay person, that gay men were all well groomed and dressed nice. Hahahahahahaha… no. So wrong. Things like these that make someone identify on a personal level are what separate good characterisation from great characterisation.

Neville’s appearance was a bit of a squee part. I liked how you managed to show how the other DA members accepted the shift of leadership from Harry to Neville and that the latter had grown into a role of respect where he had formerly been the house spaz. The way he showed genuine concern for his flock was touching and felt right.

And as for the war, it felt almost like it was in the background, barely ascertainable, but in a way, at least for me, it worked better that way. I believe I’ve mentioned this before, but the bad parts about Hogwarts almost couldn’t have been non-stop. First of all, I don’t think Snape would’ve allowed things to get so bad as per Dumbledore’s final instructions for him, nor would the other teachers. So a lull in the Carrow fiasco (likely after the first round of torturing when everyone is on their best behaviour and trying to keep out of trouble) is not an unreasonable thing to assume. So the lack of it in the forefront is not a bad thing, I believe.

What I would call the only drawback of this story is the insertion of Lavender’s mum and how the next time It came up was because someone else mentioned it. I do think that Lavender would use her emotional struggle from the kiss to think about something else besides her mother being in danger, but her reaction when Parvati brought it up didn’t seem quite right. I don’t know how she could possibly not think about it for that length of time. If you have thoughts on this, then feel free to share, but I am a bit dubious on a girl who seems to love her mother being able to push something out of her mind for that long. Perhaps if she had said something like she’d been trying not to think about it, it would’ve rang a bit more true. Just something to think about.

The heart to heart at the end was so touching and raw. It was as if they’d decided that pretext was over and they had to be honest with one another. For Lavender to admit that she was apprehensive about being judged took guts, and for Parvati to initiate the conversation in the first place, even though she said she didn’t want to do it, either, also took a bit of courage. In the end, though, how much the girls cared for one another and the fortitude that stood them well in the Battle really shined through.

All in all, I think this is your best story thus far. I’ve not got a chance to read your chaptered story yet, but knowing your usual quality of writing, I have no doubt that it’ll be just as good, possibly even better, than everything else I’ve read from you. So bravissima! The story is fabulous; you are fabulous.

~Jess

 

 



Author's Response: You happen to leave the some of the most gorgeous reviews I have ever received :) . I think this one will keep me smiling for the whole weekend. It makes me so, so happy to hear that you liked it. I have to admit, when it came up in the SBBC discussion I was worried you might think it was too fluffy/mushy/superficial, and I'm just so unbelievably glad that you enjoyed reading it. It was a fun challenge to write. I wanted to make Parvati and Lavender noticeably different in the ways they dealt with their feelings for one another. I think Parvati had an inkling that she wasn't straight before the kiss, which is why she accepted who she was more readily than Lavender. I felt like Lavender was probably bisexual, and that in-between-ness where she realizes she *can* have feelings for a boy and fulfill the life path she had planned out for herself puts her at more of a stalemate than Parvati. I'm glad you liked Neville, as well. He's such a sweet guyI think he achieved his leadership in the group more through how compassionate he was towards everyone, whereas Harry already had the help of his fame (not to say Harry's not a nice person), and I wanted to sneak that in there. I purposefully set the story in their seventh year because Lavender and Parvati are the only Gryffindor seventh-year girls, and I think that forced closeness would act as a catalyst for their relationship to bloom. I was worried it would come off as a fic that was too much romance and not enough plot, but not enough to actually add in war scenes :). Shows you just how dedicated I am, lol. Anyway, I'm happy you thought it worked well.

I've been reading the SBBC discussions (*cough* more like stalking*cough*) on this, and both the SBBC-lings and you pointed out the Lavender's-concern-over-her-mum thing, which I really hadn't noticed before. I'm glad you all pointed it out, because when I read it it was more of a Lavender-is-trying-to-distract-herself-from-her-mum thing (which is why she is so invested in solving this relationship and why I don't think the relationship itself will last). But now that I read it over, she sounds a little callous. I think I'll take your advice and change the line a bit, as now reading it just makes me wince.

Thank you, so very, very much for reviewing this story. Your comments are always so eloquently put and it makes me happy to think that someone actually put the time into thinking so deeply about something I typed up :). xx Ariana

Reviewer: Quite_Simply
Date: 05/17/11 12:31
Chapter: Tango

I like it! It's very sweet and you made it very believable.

Author's Response: Thank you so much for taking the time to review! I'm so glad you liked it, and thought it was believable. That is the angle I was going for :) xx Ariana

Reviewer: Quite_Simply
Date: 05/17/11 3:38
Chapter: Tango

I like it! It's very sweet and you made it very believable.

Author's Response: Thank you so much for taking the time to review! I'm so glad you liked it, and thought it was believable. That is the angle I was going for :) xx Ariana

Reviewer: welshdevondragon
Date: 03/04/11 16:17
Chapter: Tango

This story is beautiful! The tango metaphor is so overused but somehow you manage to make it fresh. I like the way you don't force the context of their relationship- it's not until the mention of DA that we know this happens in their Seventh years.

The way you show the change from a sort of accident to them both acknowledging, to different extents, how they feel about each other is really gradual and well done. I also like the way you give them both different reasons for not being together rather than them both having the same worries.

The words you've italicised are really well chosen- sometimes I think they can be overused but here they feel very carefully chosen.

Thank you for such a lovely story, that never feels forced or overly sentimental.

Author's Response: Thank you so much for your review! I think my head is very swollen now :). I'm glad you didn't think the storyline was clich, and that the relationship was gradually done. It's my first slash fic, so it's great to know it didn't completely stink. Your review was very lovely, and it made me smile. Thank you! xx Ariana

Reviewer: Equinox Chick
Date: 02/03/11 8:48
Chapter: Tango

*lush*. beautiful writing, Arianna, just heartmeltingly good.

Okay, I shall attempt a proper review now (ish). We've both just written femmeslash stories, and both about Lavender. I wonder why that is? In my case, there was a bit of a challenge about it, mainly because I ultimately ship Lavender with Blaise, but I think there is a part of me that wanted to explore this very 'girly-girl' without a boy because, as Lavender herself says, it's not just girls with cropped hair who are gay. So, my first question is: Why Lavender/Parvati?

I like your use of both girl's POV's mainly because Lavender was starting to sound like a very petty b1tch, so I was very interested in her side of the story. When her side came, I was astounded. She was still recogniseably the girl from canon - girly, trivial, giggly, yet her insights were so spot on. She knows she doesn't want to be 'that girl' and you know something, I don;t think she is. I think Lavender wants to kiss Parvati ... but not other girls. It's about emotions as much as lust. I get the feeling that Parvati probably is gay, and may well find another girl, but lavender will move back to boys once she's got Parvati out of her system? Is that a fair assessment in your mind, or am I way off the mark?

I love your writing. You have a beautiful lyrical quality that conveys such a tense atmosphere and yet the story unfurls slowly and gracefully like a flower. I love the use of present tense here. It suits the story. It suits the very immediacy of their situation and how Lavender wants to resist but can't.

Someone reviewed my story and praised it but said she was left wanting because she couldn't see Lavender's feelings and emotions that clearly. I wish I could nick some of your paragraphs and insert them into mine LOL. You've done a wonderful job with this story - well done ~Carole~

Author's Response: Carole! Thank you so much for taking the time to review my story--it really made my day :). SPEW just started LoveNotes, and I wanted to challenge myself with slash since I haven't written any yetso when I saw Lavender/Parvati on the list I picked it because I thought it would be most interesting to explore. And it really wasyou were right about Lavender, she really isn't into other girls, just Parvati, while I can see Parvati dating another girl in the future (I think it's because I ship your version of Lavender/Blaise so religiously that Lavender being permanently gay just didn't cross my mind). I didn't write them as a couple that would work out in the end, mainly it's just them experimenting with how they feel about each other and life and dealing with feelings they haven't encountered before. Especially because this is their seventh year and Hermione isn't really around, so it's just the two of them :). And I'm so pleased you liked the style of writing, it's something I haven't really tried before (successfully :P). Thank you so, so much for your comments--they mean a lot coming from you, and especially since you've just finished your Lavender slash fic as well. xx Ariana

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