What a great story! I've found I really enjoy stories about Lavender. I think Mark did an admirable job of meeting Lavender's parents. I'm sure that was scary for all of the people involved.
Author's Response: Thanks, I hope that Lavender's nerves showed.
I don't know what I would've done if someone was taking me to meet their parents and none of us knew we were meeting the other. I'd like to think that I would be like Mark and take it in stride. The Browns seem very protective of Lavender, probably because she's their only child and well as their daughter. Where have I read about Mark meeting the Browns outside the Hogwarts gates? Was it in another of you stories? I can see it clear as day.
Author's Response: Mark simply rolls with the punches. You have read about the meeting at Hogwarts. The earliest glimpses of Mark and Lavender are in Tales of the Battle, in the chapters Waning Moon, Epiphany and Fall, and Parents.
So does that mean that Lavender and Mark are going to her parents' place to have lunch? I think that if Lavender would tell the truth she wouldn't have so many problems but I also don't think that she'd be happy with less drama in her life.
Author's Response: Good guess, and you're right, I think Lavender (at least my version of her) needs the drama.
So contented with yet another well written, totally canon possible story between Lavender and Mark. I almost feel like JKR would have written about Mark, which is a 100% compliment to Northumbrian's writing and tale telling.
Author's Response: Thanks for the review, and the compliment. Lavender and Mark will return, but I have other stories to write first. -N-
Love it!!! I seem to repeat that one phrase over and over. Well it's true. And it seems to sum up my feelings perfectly, so...
Author's Response: Thanks. This is the second (chronologically) of my Mark/Lavender stories. Moon - this - and then Moons. -N-
Author's Response: Thanks -N-
Given Lavender's currently extremely precarious situation in H&P, it's nice to see her in a more domestic and happy setting! Hooray for Mark managing to survive his first meeting with his girlfriend's parents - always a moderately terrifying encounter at the best of times, and he wasn't even dressed for it!
Author's Response: Thanks for the review.
Lavender's precarious position in H&P is in 2000, this story takes place in 2005, which rather spoils the tension, doesn't it? There is nothing more terrifying than meeting your girlfriend's parents. :-)-N-
Adorable! I really liked this chapter and the story overall! :) It was very well written and I really liked the dynamic between Mark and Lavender's parents and the new level to Mark and Lavender's relationship.
Looking forward to more of your stories! Cheers!
Author's Response: Thanks for the review.
This story ended up a lot longer than I intended. At least I've got Lavender out of my system for a while.Back to Hunters and Prey, and Strangers at Drakeshaugh.
How could any future parent-in-law not love Mark?
This is another great chapter.
The English Tourist board should sponsor you the way you describe Rye it sounds a lovely place to visit.
the dreich rain is spot on too!
Author's Response: Thanks for the review.
You'll find out how Mark survives his day in the third and final chapter.Rye is a beautiful little town, and that's from someone who doesn't like the south coast much.
Dreich, I'm told, is probably a Scandinavian word, but a lot of northern slang is.-N-
Brilliant Chapter! I'm waiting for the next chapter or Strangers.
Author's Response: Thanks, the next chapter is neither of those, sorry, but it's up now. -N-
Very good! I'm beginning to think that Mark and Lavender are up there as my favorite couple of yours, besides Harry and Ginny and Ron and Hermione. :)
Author's Response: Thanks, I'm getting to be rather fond of these two too. Although Jacqui and Mike seem to be taking up a lot of my time at the moment, but what will Jacqui make of Lavender? -N-
I hadn’t read any of your Mark and Lavender stories until a couple of days ago, (although I do remember you mentioning Mark in other fics) but then I started reading Bare. I was intrigued by your take on Lavender, and so I read straight through the rest, right up to this point. I’m going to review the first two chapters here
Firstly, I love the setting that you created at the start of chapter one. The pathetic fallacy reflects Mark’s mood perfectly and your descriptive writing is rather gorgeous. I think that you have captured Mark’s voice really well. He sounds exactly as I would have imagined from your other stories about him. His exasperated comments on Lavender’s shoes made me giggle, but you balanced it nicely with genuine concern for her.
The Portcard is a really good idea I think. I always like the level of detail you provide about the Auror office and other magical institutes because it makes the story seems so much more real. You seem to have a knack for explaining your inventions succinctly and clearly without patronising the reader at any point.
You have handled the Scottish slang skilfully too. Mark’s explanations, the one for “braw” especially, fit in smoothly, letting you convey his accent and make it comprehensible to those who live further south, without interrupting the flow of the story.
I felt so sorry for Mark when Lavender mentioned “Mary Moon”. He seems to end up out of his depth with Lavender quite often, but this was a whole new level from her. I could learn a lot from her manipulative ways, not that I’m sure I would want to. I would feel a bit of a fool saying things like “Little Lavender is vewy sowwy, big Mr Marky”. I did feel that it seemed a little demeaning for her, saying things like that. It would certainly fit with “Won-won” though. My issue here is probably more with the character herself than with your writing, so I don’t mean to criticise. I’m just feeling a little feminist-y right now hahaha.
Your descriptions of clothes never fail to impress me, partially I think because many men would run a mile from things like that. However, you do it and you do it well. I always feel like I know your characters a little better every time you describe what they are wearing.
Carmine’s apron is a good example. She, like Molly Weasley, another apron-wearer, seems to be a motherly type, and very much in control of her family. The metaphor of “tiger about to pounce” reminded me of Molly a little too. Don was nothing like Arthur though, so the comparison ends there. Once more I felt rather sorry for Mark, being sprung into that situation.
Much as I enjoyed this, there are a couple of little thing I think you could improve. The first is a minor grammatical point: run-on sentences. I seem to remember noticing one or two in each chapter. For example in chapter two, you wrote “It wasn’t surprising, after all April was the month of showers”. It doesn’t detract from the story, but, grammar obsessed as I am, it always bothers me a little.
Also, I have never been a big fan of italicised flashbacks. Sometimes, I suppose it is the easiest way to signal a change in time. However, you signalled that change very well, with things like “I continued my contemplations”, so it seems a little redundant to add the italics.
Overall, though, I really enjoyed this, and as with all of your stories, cannot wait to see where you take this next. Do you plan on writing Exsanguination soon? All of your references to it have intrigued me.
Thanks for the long review, Sophie. I hope I've done it justice.
Lavender has been a surprising (to me) constant in my stories ever since I wrote Grave Days. Thinking about it, she had a part in After Breakfast, too, so even as I was starting my timeline, she as already wheedling her way into it.
Mark is a bit of a fool sometimes, but he sees through a lot of Lavender’s bluff and bluster, not that he always knows what to do about it. I wanted to write him in the first-person and this story idea has been floating around forever. He’s a decent bloke, just because he thinks her shoes are ridiculous, that doesn’t mean he wants her to fall off them.
The “invention” of the Portcards is a part-written story, so you’ll eventually find out how and when they arrive, along with several other jumps in magical “technology”.
I think it’s difficult to get accents right. A few ayes instead of yeses are okay, but if I drop dialect words in, I try to provide an in-story translation. A few hint-words work a lot better than a “haud yer whisht” which needs laborious explanation.
With the Mary comment, Lavender emasculated him and don’t think she expected his reaction. I hope that it’s obvious that Mark simply allows himself to be manipulated. I also hope that it is Lavender who is annoying you. As you say, anyone who can call Ron “Won-won” is clearly not going to baulk at “vewy sowwy”.
Clothing requires research, but so do a lot of things. The release of “Ladies in Lavender” is contemporaneous and correct. I usually keep clothing neutral, because fashions change. I’ve read stories where post-Hogwarts Hermione, still in her late teens wears obviously 2012 fashions.
I have a family tree for the Greengrasses (it’s the only one I’ve written) so I know a lot more about them. I know more about Don than you’ve seen here, some of it was in Tales of the Battle, but much remains unwritten. I feel sorry for Don, too.
I know that I’m not good with run on sentences. I try but neither I, nor my betas, catch them. I tend to write and rewrite, and often I can introduce new errors. It’s something I’m very good at, sorry. I’ll try to fix them.
Italicised flashbacks are, it seems, a fanfic staple. I put them in because, when I started writing it seemed to be expected, and it’s a habit I find hard to break. Again, I’ll try.
This will be three chapters, and I’m now working on the third. Exsanguination is two chapters (including Mark and Lavender’s first (or second) encounter). However, until I finish Hunters and Prey (and Aurors and Schoolgirls) I won’t work on it. I simply can’t start yet another chaptered story until I finish one of my “in progress” tales. Lavender (before Mark) is in the Muggle Interface Team stories, and Exsanguination is also an MIT story.
Terrific, as usual! Mark is such a fantastic original character, he (along with nearly all of your other OCs) really feels like a part of the world. I'll never cease to be amazed at your skill in weaving all of your stories together. Someday when you finally finish this epic tale (though I hope you have many years of writing still to come) you'll have to share your timeline with us - it must be a work of beauty!
Author's Response: Thank you.
Mark, and Fenella and Polly and a few others (even old Auror Webb) are certainly beginning to appear in the background a lot. My timeline changes when I realise (or more often an eagle eyed reviewer) spots a mistake I've made. Parvati wasn't married in the original version of After Breakfast. Certain things are fixed, others I change, but that's the joy of using a spreadheet.It's probably as cluttered and confused as my brain.
I think you're characterisation of Lavender is dead on, she's still the girl we know but with more depth to her, and I love Mark as a character, he seems so real.
I must admit I've read everything you've written, and I love the continuity between everything, and the link between this and Tales of the Battle was actually quite touching, as Mark had shared such a traumatic moment with Lavender's parents and they hadn't even realised it, much like how he took her to St Mungo's and she didn't know until he told her.
I can't wait for more :)
Author's Response: Fenella, thanks for the review.
Mark is such an easy character to wriite, always doubting, always worrying. Lavender is, I hope a little more mature than when she was snogging Ron. She seems to be taking over my writing again. She's in Hunters and Prey (and so is Mark, though they haven't met yet). They'll both be in the next chapter of Strangers, too.I've been meaning to write this encounter ever since the Parents chapter in Tales. Bits of this story have been around for years. The next chapter will be the last, but it's going to be at least a week before you see it.
your stories are all ajoy for all of us potteraddicts hope u update more often for u help us forget about the problems of life
Author's Response: Thank you. I update when I can. -N-
I just get sucked in to your world when reading your stories. Brilliant.
Author's Response: Thanks you.
Chapter 3 should be up fairly soon, I hope.-N-
Nice chapter! I like that its in Mark's PoV! I need a beta reader, is there anyone that you would recommend?-Nidhi
Author's Response: Thanks. I thought that it was about time that we heard from Mark. Beta’s, I’ve used a frighteningly large number, and they’ve all been good. -N-
Great Story! Poor Mark and his worrying. I know that it all works out in the end, but because of his worrying I'm worried about if Lavender is going to go back on their "status". I can't wait to read more!
Author's Response: Thanks for the review.
Mark is a worrier by nature. I hope to have the next chapter ready to post soon.-N-
This was very good. I was reading this while by happenstance, listening to "Helpless When She Smiles" by the Backstreet Boys (yes, I still listen to them) and it was surprisingly fitting to what Mark was feeling towards Lavender.
I laughed when I read the last line. Only Lavender...Looking forward to more, of any story! :) Cheers!
Author's Response: Thanks Katie.
I was never in right demographic for the Backstreet Boys (wrong age and sex), however, I’m open to any musical suggestion unless it contains the words death and metal.Lavender has problems of her own. Because this was supposed to be a 4000-5000 word one shot, it’s almost finished. More of this (and Hunters and Prey) soon. A&S not long after, I hope.
Mark is so nice and Laveder is such a complex character, thay are great together.
Hope to hear more soon.
Well done on revealing another facet of the story.
Author's Response: Thanks.
I wanted to write a first-person Mark story (Lavender's already had one in Bare). It was supposed to be a one shot, like Bare. It grew to over 11,000 words so it will be three chapters of Mark doing what he's best at, worrying.-N-