This is a sweet story. I think you caught the feelings of two fourteen year olds very well here as they try to negotiate their first date. And then when Seamus asked her, and both immediately thought the other wasn’t that interested was really quite amusing. Well, I giggled, anyway. The voices of the pair of them, as well as Dean and Parvati were well written, although I do think you could have written Seamus a little bit more ‘Irish’.
Anyway I was happily reading this and then you hit me with her death and that’s made me very sad. You wrote their goodbyes so beautifully and I had to swallow a little bit because it really brought it home that people died in that battle. In my own canon, Lavender doesn’t die and it is ambiguous in the books, but the movie has made her death more viable, so I shall sigh and cry at your version.
I do have some crit for you. The latter half of the story had some details that I thought were a little heavy-handed and extraneous. I don’t think we needed the back-story of Ron and Lavender, or Seamus’s introspection about it. It detracted a little from the sadness of the situation to be reminded of that time when her and Ron were playing tonsil hockey and groping each other all over Hogwarts.
The other thing was that I’m not sure you needed the song lyrics. It’s a lovely song, and it fits with the story, but it didn’t add an extra dimension, so I’d have been inclined to leave them out, or just have a line at the beginning. It did distract a little from the story because I was thinking about Madonna rather than Lavender, and, personally, I think the story works equally as well without the lyrics.
I really liked the kiss after the Yule Ball. The way they were both a touch insecure and fumbling, and then they enjoyed it. It seemed to sum up teenage romances very well. I was curious about Seamus’s reflections at the end that they’d grown apart with different views because I was wondering how different they were. Maybe that was an area that could have been expanded a little.
The end, as I said before, was especially poignant. I think he loved her. If it had stayed a crush, then I think he’d have been ashamed of it, but they’d formed a deeper connection, probably due to their time in the seventh year when Seamus was without Dean, and Lavender was no longer moping over Ron.
Overall, I think this was a lovely story and you captured the bittersweet emotions of first love very well. Good job, Pooja. ~Carole~
This story actually made me mad, but in a totally good way. You started off the story as a cute little song fic that emphasized the joys and pains of a crush and first love. I was totally connected to the characters and the themes, and then you killed Lavender! I think that that is the magic of this story though. You connect us so deeply to the characters and the plot, and then you tear us down, and it is so effective.
The greatest strength of this story is how you portray the feelings of a major crush. I was really drawn into the story because of these feelings, and you got me to really connect with two characters that I really don't care for. First, you give me Lavender, the character I perhaps least connect to in the whole Potterverse (well, maybe Umbridge more), as she's everything I'm not, and you make me connect with her and love her and understand her in a way I never have before. I was drawn in from the very first line, " It was the best feeling that she had ever experienced in all the fourteen years of her life". I remember when I was that age, and feeling one of my first major crushes, and yes, it was a marvelous feeling. Then you outline every little feeling. The flip of the stomach, how everything is funny, how he lights up her world. With Lavender, you focus so much on those fun feelings, but then you also brush on the void that we feel when they aren't around. When you bring it all full circle, it's like, yes, I get it and yes, I can feel those feelings. When I felt that, I was one hundred percent dedicated to finishing the story.
Expanding on those thoughts, I loved how you had Lavender and Seamus focus on a specific aspect of the other person. The two aspects you chose were perfect. Eyes are so important in identifying a person, and if you want to be cliche, they show us so much about them, so it's natural that Lavender would be attracted to them, because she is attracted to what makes Seamus Seamus. Similarly, the voice is often the first part that a person associates with a person. So by Seamus noticing her voice, he is noticing what sets her apart. I just think there is so much power behind these choices that really add to those overall feelings of attraction.
Your description of their first kiss was perfect. Too often in literature, a couple's first kiss is described as this perfect moment in time, when in actuality, first kisses seldom are. In that one paragraph, you give the reader this in depth description of a moment and in the few short moments it takes to read it, you feel awkwardness and disgust and almost like you are invading their perfect moment. This is exactly how I think this moment should feel. You have managed to make their first kiss so personal that I felt like I was invading.
The ending is something that I just want to touch on briefly. Once I got to the ending, all I wanted to do was strangle you. You gave this couple a perfect get together, and then you kill half of them off. Normally, I wouldn't care, because Lavender dies in my head canon anyway and I don't like her in the first place. But because you made me connect to her, I got emotionally attached, and I actually wanted to strangle my pillow because I wanted them to be together and I didn't want a character who I had grown attached to to die.
One last major point about this fic is the use of the song lyrics. In terms of lyrics, you used quite a lot for the length of the story. For the most part, I think that they fit really well. With song fics, it's easy to use too many lyrics and write your story exactly around it, but here, you managed to include a lot, but to portray the characters emotions. At first, I was a little skeptical about the first use of the lyrics, as they didn't seem to fit, but on the second read, I saw that they totally do as a foreshadow of the story. Surprisingly, I found myself actually reading the lyrics (I usually skip them over in song fics) and appreciating how they fit into the context of the story.
In general, this is a fab story. I loved every moment of it, from the use of the song lyrics to the anger over watching Lavender die. You really captured the real spirit of a crush and managed to turn what could have been a major fluff fest into something so much deeper, creating this story that is relatable and reaches out to everyone.
Author's Response: Hey Maple!
Sorry I made you mad! Haha, but Seamus and Lavender never did become canon (or maybe they did, idk), so all I wanted to concentrate on over here was what a first crush means -- to you, to me, to everyone. It was nothing out of the ordinary, really, it's universal to experience this, which is probably why I was able to pull it off, haha.
To be honest, all those infatuated thingies were probably the easiest to write. Like you, like Lavender, I've had a first crush too, and then some, so I just incorporated my own experience into this (though my crush never asked me out, so I didn't get as lucky as Lavender). I don't relate very much to Lavender's character either, but I picked her and Seamus for this fic knowing I could probably write all the silliness of a crush more accurately with someone like Lavender. This fluff, for example, wouldn't have fit Hermione all that much. I'd have to keep the thoughts and the situation more controlled.
My friend told me this once, "If you ask a person what they like about their crush, they can give you specific details, but if you ask them the same about someone they're in love with, they can't give you a single reason." Like, we have crushes for very basic reasons: "he's hot" "he's smart" "he's really nice" etc etc. You can pinpoint why you are crushing on someone, and I wanted to emphasise that here. The kiss, though, it's just my take on what a first kiss should feel like. I always wonder how uncomfortable it would be. Hehehe. Glad you liked it! :)
Sorry about the ending! In that case, I wanted to talk about how one can never forget their first love/crush, and how it must be so painful to lose them like that. And the song? Shhh, but I wrote the fic around the song ;). That's why it fits lol.
Thank you for that lovely review, Maple, and sorry it took so long for me to come up with a response. Glad you liked the fic! :)
I love this song!!!!!!!!! And what a beautiful story! I have something similar in my own life, so I really connected to this story. But, I think the death scene was, while tragic, something exquisite and extemely well-written and it actually made sense for her to die and pass on.
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful!!!!!
Author's Response: Thank you! Crushes are fun. Or at least they used to be. :p I'm so glad you liked the story. :) Thank you for the review!!!