Hello, Ariana :)
What a wonderful story! Alex mentioned it on the LS while she was betaing it, and I just had to read it to see for myself how great it is. I haven’t read anything by you in a while, so it was lovely reading this. The GH challenge has meant some truly excellent stories have been written, and yours is definitely one of them for several reasons.
Firstly, I really liked the inclusion of song lyrics. They complemented the story really well but without being intrusive or choppy. I think lyrics are best when there are only a few used, and it definitely worked here. What I liked the best was that the lyrics in the summary, at least, appeared quite optimistic, and it contrasted with the summary itself which was quite dark and foreboding. It kind of gave me hope, in a way, even though I know that in canon, Dorcas Meadowes is killed by Voldemort.
I also loved how it was written from Evan’s and Dorcas’s points of view. I think you got into both their heads really well, and your stellar characterisation of them helped make the pairing, which is definitely a rarepair in my opinion, believable and real. From the beginning, I think the story had a really sensual feel to it, which definitely lent itself into making the pairing plausible. I especially liked this sentence ( The frost lingered on her swollen lips and on her tongue) because it’s a beautiful image and, as I said, quite physical as well, if you know what I mean, but without being overly explicit about it either.
One thing I noticed was that you seemed to switch POVs a little abruptly, and without a line break or anything to indicate that. For example, the section about Dorcas’s first time with Evan started in Evan’s POV, and then it kind of went to Dorcas’s for a few paragraphs and then went back to Evan’s. I do think the changes of viewpoint could have been a little more clear-cut. I also think it could be worth mentioning their age at the beginning, because I was slightly surprised when I read that they were still in school, albeit in their last few days of seventh year. I just think a little clarification was needed there.
But they’re very minor points, and they in no way detracted the wonderful style in which this was written, in the three sections, and the even more wonderful plot of the story. Even though I knew Dorcas’s backstory, that she was going to die somehow, I really liked your take on it, and I thought the ending in particular was heartbreaking, the way Evan lured Dorcas into a trap in such a way. And it made sense; the way you characterised Evan, the ending was perfectly written, the emotions felt by Evan wonderfully executed, and it tied in with canon too.
Brilliant story, Ariana, and I am adding it to my favourites :)
Author's Response: Um. Wow. This review kind of made my day :). Thank you so much for reading and reviewing and leaving such a stellar SPEWly review at that. I'm so happy that you liked it and that you thought the song lyrics weren't intrusive - it was one of the main things I was worried about when I had Alex beta it for me. I agree with your points about the POV switch especially the paragraph you mentioned…my (rather pathetic) reasoning was that it was more omniscient than her POV, but it is kind of clunky. Again, thank you for the review and the points you made, so much! xx Ariana
I am a bit stunned by the kind of evil implications the song's title come to assume at the end D: Not sure that was deliberate, but Merlin, so ironic and tragic and mind-bending.
Okay, that said, OMFG. I knew this was going to be glorious! :D The smut didn't even have to be explicit when it was this HOT. And what a twist, what a twist. Still reeling from the tragedy of his betrayal, and how love is not enough :/ I'm also pleasantly surprised you put Dorcas in Slytherin. I assume that's how Evan got into her dorm? Or am I missing something? D:
This is not a nitpick, but I did expect to see Dorcas doing something badass, as Moody said she was a powerful witch. Uhm. This does sound like a nitpick :O It doesn't take away the beauty of the story, of course, and it's a romance fic of the D/A kind. Just wanted to point it out.
Fab work! I'm so happy you decided to sacrifice precious time and write this
Author's Response: Yay! Thanks for the review :). I'm glad you thought it was glorious, lol. I'm actually not sure what to do about Dorcas and the Dorm Dilemma, which is what I'm calling that section of the story until I can think of a solution. And while I'm at it, maybe I"ll add a little Dorcas-Badassness at the end :). Thank you so, so much again for taking the time to review. I have another story planned for the challenge that may or may not double as a birthday present for this really wonderful girl who's my mistress you know…xx Ariana
ARIAAAAAANNNAAAAAAHHHHH, This is such a good story. I adore the forbiddenness of it, and how torn Dorcas is. I always find it a bit of a stretch to read pairings where two people from opposite camps come together, but you've made this incredibly plausible. Of course, Evan has this way of compartmentalising his life, so he can detach her from his Death Eater activities, but Dorcas' dilemma and the way it tears at her is so well done - especially as we see this from his POV. So subtly written.
The sensuality between them is gorgeous. I love the intimacy and the way it encompasses all the senses (I do think smell and taste are really powerful and oft overlooked senses). But what I also love is that this isn;t just a story about a pairing - you have a plot - and a very sad plot.
I do have a quibble (sorry). Okay, how did Evan get into her bedroom when they have alarms on the staircases? This is, obviously, me assuming that Dorcas is a Gryff or that the Claw and Puff staircases have the same system. The canon part of me twitched a little, that was all. This really doesn't in any way impact on the overall gorgeousness of the story, so feel free to ignore me (or moan at my pickiness).
OHHH, and I remember what I was going to say. At the beginning of this month when I was attempting to set a challenge for TTB, I was going to do a songfic challenge. This song by Norah Jones was one of the ones I was going to use. HA! I kind of jumped out of my bed when I clicked on your story, although I was already singing it when I read the title. It's such a wispily melodic song and really suits this story.
Lovely story. ~Carole~
Author's Response: Yay! Thank you so much for this lovely review :). I'm so happy you liked it and thought it was plausible - I wasn't really sure how it would turn out, given that I had only written the end of their relationship in a drabble and none of the in-between stuff. And I'm awful at plots usually, constructing something that's completely hole-free, so it makes me so glad that you thought it worked.
Also, don't be sorry for quibbles! I am absolutely horrible at remembering canon information and I do often ignore it in my stories. I'm going to add a sentence (or two) that fixes that - hopefully, if I can think of a good reason :).
I like this song a lot, too - it probably would have made for a great challenge. I do like the idea of songfic challenges in the TTB…not lobbying or anything, just commenting :). Thank you so much, again, for your review! It meant a lot. xx Ariana