I have to start by saying I really enjoyed this brief little insight into how damaged anyone and everyone could be by the Battle, Carole. I think you've packed a lot into a very short piece, and I love the way your choice of characters shows how everyone could be messed up by what happened from the most central participant in the Battle to someone like Parvati who might sometimes be passed over as peripheral.
I think you've done a great job at giving Parvati depth and negating that silly, feckless image her and Lavender so often get tarred with (and I do love the little aside about Lavender being concerned for her despite her own poor health). Of course they have to have more than just the silly, giggly girls people sometimes dismiss them as to stay and fight.
In fact, the bulk of this review I think is likely to be devoted to Parvati's section of the story because in some ways I found that the richest and most satisfying.
I thought the opening was really effective and it was a clever choice to delay naming Parvati until the second paragraph. There's no mystery of course because we know who the girl is from the summary, but by not naming her, it gave the first paragraph a much more universal feel: the girl is just one more tragic, lost woman walking the streets of London.
It's a good choice of opening setting too because London can sometimes be such a faceless, empty place to be feeling alone, and the feeling of Parvati being alone in a crowd is much more powerful than her being on her own and feeling alone.
I find Parvati's guilt more compelling for its complexity too since you didn't take the obvious route of having her just feeling guilty for not being able to save Padma. Her guilt for not feeling Padma die and for not being a suitable replacement to her sister's friends is so much more subtle and hence, I tend to think, more interesting. Also, it's clearly not healthy that she is spending so much time with the Ravenclaws and trying to replace Padma, but it feels totally understandable.
It's a brave choice not to shy away from the horrors of war and the reference to Padma being trampled is horrific, but the glancing references you make to it are more effective than lingering would have been. You give just enough for it to be distressing without being nauseating.
I think generally actually that balance between giving the key detail that makes the scenes feel real, allowing an emotional connection beyond just reciting the characters' thoughts, and not letting the detail bog the story down or become cloying is very well handled.
The only area I felt myself craving a little more detail, was Harry's brief scene. I couldn't really connect with him there, even though the isolation he felt made sense. It wasn't the brevity as such that just made it not quite work for me, but more, I think, the lack of physicality in that scene. All we get in Harry's scene is his thoughts and no connection to the world around, which just didn't quite fit with the very real-world-rooted feel of the rest of the fic for me.
Particularly, when in contrast in the final scene, you go onto a description of Parvati's gin and tonic that was sufficiently compelling to really make me fancy a gin and tonic (it's probably a little early in the day though so I probably ought to give it a miss), and I love how the bitterness and sharpness seem to parallel her feelings.
I think my favourite moment though in that final scene, for its raw power, is the brief discussion of how there's always tomorrow, and I love how you pare that little section down to its essentials and really highlight it with the change in pace to short, choppy paragraphs.
I think in someways though, the ending is perhaps the most powerful concept in the story. I think you mentioned in reply to one of the other reviews about this being a 'doomed' ship and I think it becomes totally clear at the end what cross-purposes they are at. Of course it could never be more than it is here, because they need such contrasting things from each other: Parvati needs to feel again and Harry needs not to feel anymore.
Well, this story has certainly got me thinking, Carole, and I'm really glad I read it.
Author's Response: Thank you very much for such a wonderful review. I fear my response will not live up to it. :).
I do get, totally, what you say about the Harry scene. I think his part is far too brief, and I might possibly rewrite this to include some more about him, but, in truth, I wanted this to be more about Parvati beause as you say, she's so often dismissed as a silly giggling girl. Extending Harry's part would have made this much longer and I was kind of on a frenzied mission to just capture a certain moment.
The twin aspect was something I always wanted to explore. They must have been very different girls to be in different houses, so I wanted to show that. And Padma's face - yes - far too often we hear about scars and a slight marring of someone's face, but to be trampled on, or to see the mirror of your face smashed is something I wanted to explore. George loses an ear, but really he's still George who looks like Fred. Parvati's face is still perfect; in death her sister's wasn't.
Thanks again. Much appreciated. ~Carole~
i loooooooove the sex part
Author's Response: Thank you. I liked writing it - LOL. ~Carole~
This was excellently written, as usual, Carole. I particularly loved the first part, from Parvati's point of view. You just really capture exactly what she would be feeling in a situation like that.
Nothing can take away that last image of her sister, the face mashed to pulp. Now when Parvati looks in the mirror, she wonders how her own face remained intact. Those two sentences are just beautiful - the idea of Padma being trampled on and her face mashed is so heart-breaking, and the next sentence just really shows how Parvati feels. I also loved the flashback to the DA meeting and Parvati's guilt about that, as well as this line But Parvati had been laughing as her opponent reeled backwards, exhilarated that she’d defeated the older witch., because it shows Parvati feeling like she wasn't as close to Padma as she should have been or something like that.
Harry's section was very short, but in thinking about that it makes sense, because we know what he thought/felt during the battle, and I think you really capture how lonely he is in this fragment. I think it's also very believable that he would retreat like that, and I loved how you repeated the line "He has ____, but...".
The last section I have mixed reactions to. It's certainly well written, in fact, it's perfectly written. But I still find it a little hard to believe. If I had no prior knowledge of the characters, only the first two fragments you'd written, I would find it very believable, but somehow I can't really see Harry doing this... but I suppose even during it, Harry finds it hard to believe that he's doing it... if that makes any sense. And that's probably just my interpretation of him anyway. And, as I said, the writing is really wonderful. Particularly from the line "This is not love" until the end.
Author's Response: Hi there, thanks for the review. The prompt for the drabble that this is based on was 'Harry/Parvati' and a doomed relationship. As I couldn;t really see them getting together at Hogwarts and also while he was married, I thought this was the best chance of them ever getting together when both are suffering. I also think harry probably went off the rails a bit after being so strong and responsible. I do take on board what you say, though, because it is hard to see Harry acting like that, although - technically - in my mind, he's not with Ginny as a boyfriend at that moment and just needs something unconnected to everything ... if that makes sense.
Thank you again for the review, it made my day. And you liked the lines I liked best as well - so YAY! ~Carole~
I so needed a bit of smut at the moment, since I can't seem to find my own writing mojo. Croll fic always hits the spot. :D
I think this is brilliant. I know you had your doubts and angsty moments about its standalone qualities, but I really don't think you have anything to worry about. The story itself is reflected in its structure and its length, like a snapshot into two tortured souls and the day their universes happened to collide. They both so obviously needed someone and got so lucky — if one could call it that — to find one another.
I wanted to hug Parvati for her pain. I can't imagine what it's like to, wherever you go, remind everyone else of someone who was brutally killed and disfigured. That look in their eye, like they were looking at Padma and not Parvati, would've been devastating beyond measure. And the recollection of taunting her sister for being slow to the draw in DADA... *sniff* The guilt!
Harry's segment is brief, and at first, I thought it was a bit too brief, but once the third, combined portion was underway, most of it being in his perspective, I was far more happy with the balance of it. In that bit, I was really happy that it gave glimpses of both of them. Yeah, I know it is supposed to be a no-no, but we will do what we please, lol. It works really well here, and I'm glad to get into both their heads as this romp in the grass happens. It's far more poignant and meaningful in a meaningless way (if that makes any damned sense at all).
The end is just... perfect. Parvati crying for Padma in the form of sexual release is rather unique, yet it works just right. She had to lose herself in order to find herself, and Harry needed it to get away from himself. The perfect synergy.
So well done, even if you may not have thought so. I'm not sure I have a favourite bit, but I really do love the whole thing.
Ta for the good read!
Author's Response: I agree about Harry, actually. His segment was too short, but the only way I could think of expanding was by adding dialogue with Ron, Hermione, Ginny and other Weasleys, which I didn't want to do because that would have given them more of a presence in the story. I'm sort of warming to Harry/Parvati despite my canon that she's in a menage a trois - ha ha. Hmm, child same age as James starting at Hogwarts .... interesting ....
Thank you for the review, Jess. ~Carole~
Okay so I’ve promised myself to make this a SPEW-length review because this story deserves this and more, but it’s not going to be one of my SPEW reviews as there’s far too much squee-ing and repetition of punctuation marks :). (Plus little smilies added for emphasis).
I read this when it was just a drabble, and I thought it was wonderful. I loved your rendition of the prompt and how you set the entire story after the Battle when they were both hurting (because that kind of romance makes for the best, doesn’t it? :P) and how they needed each other. Maybe one of my favoUrite lines in this story puts it better than I can: This is not love. This is not comfort. This is lust and need and greed and base desire. Just absolutely gorgeous writing right there, and it also weaves neatly into canon in that Parvati and Harry probably won’t stay together (well...maybe a few affairs along the way because I like the way they’re written here so much :D) but they needed each other in that moment above anything else.
So this was supposed to flow nicely as a review but apparently that’s not going to happen. What I was going to say here was that I thought the drabble was wonderful but after reading the full-length fic, I think this one-shot is amazinglysplendidlyperfect. I love it I love it I love it so so much and it’s some of the most gorgeous writing I’ve ever read. I love how Harry and Parvati fit together perfectly because he feels too much and she feels too little and the heat between them is breath-taking. I love that they have no one to turn to but each other.
Did I mention that I love this so much? Because I doooooooooo!! And okay maybe this isn’t becoming a SPEW-length review but it’s close, right? Because I’m running out of words to describe how beautiful this piece of writing is and how much I love it without being redundant.
And I have to thank you, so very ver much for writing this for me. I’ve never had a story written for me before outside of SPEW and it was so surprising and lovely of you to do this. You were the very first author I read on this site and loved, so it means so much that you would say that. Considering your story updates make my day, this probably made my entire month :).
You are so fabulous.
Author's Response: Thank you for the prompt! I was so down about drabbling until I tried this and then had to massacre it for the SBBC - ha ha. Anyway, I was still fretting over it and especially three certain lines which YAY you pulled out as your favourites - hee hee.
I kind of like Harry and Parvati now, although in my canon head she's having a lot more fun with Dean and Seamus - LOL. Might come back to this. Might decided Harry can't live totally without her. *ponders*
Thanks for the review ~Carole~
WOWOWOW! *drools* This is amazing writing, Crollllll!
*takes a deep breath*
It's interesting the two of us decided to kill off both Patil sisters between us lol. I have to say, your characterisation of the two was done really well. Padma was there for like a hundred words, but even there, the difference between them was so clearly marked. I felt really bad for Parvati, and damn those Claws! I know they miss their friend and all but c'mon, give her a break. >.>
Poor Harry. :( Unable to fit in. (Also, I feel the fact that he couldn't connect with Hermione here was a good move.) It tickles me that he sullied the Privet Drive garden with his lust LOL. What a great payback!
And the shagging. *drools again* How utterly beautiful. I am shaking my head at that clickysmut discussion we had that one time. >.> I TOLD you your smut is fabulous.
Damn. Now I want to write mine.
Great one-shot, Croll! Keep writing! (lol)
Author's Response: Thank you! Yay, I didn't expect this to be a review from you - not sure why. Anyway, yes, we seem to like killing Patils, don;t we? What is it about them? Possibly the mix of recklessness and intelligence, plus we never really see them together except at the Yule Ball.
I tailored this for 6th-7th so not quite clickysmut worthy, yet, but you've reminded me I must get started on that ... Thanks again. Much appreciated. ~Carole~