Hiya Kaitlin! Here for the menagerie and because you're awesome :)
Lavender Brown and Minevra McGonagall are a really interesting pair of women to be assigned for this challenge, and I think you've done really brilliantly with them! I was REALLY impressed with your characterization of McGonagall. I thought you really hit the nail on the head with her, and she's a character that I generally consider very intimidating to write, so you get extra points for that. One line that really stood out to me as almost seeming straight from one of the books was this: "Miriam Strout, you were a Ravenclaw if I remember correctly. You should be clever enough to know that you won't stop me from visiting one of my students in their time of need. Now, please, move out of my way."
I also thought you wrote Lavender extremely well and that this is a really realistic portrayal of trauma. It's super tragic but it definitely makes sense how she's feeling here and that she just wants to push Parvati away. She has both mental and physical trauma to deal with and, as McGonagall points out, it seems like she's not at all being supported in actually processing what she's been through on any level. I guess maybe the St. Mungos staff are concerned with keeping her calm/sedated enough to try to deal with her physical injuries but at the same time the treatment of her physical injuries is being stalled by the barrier of her mental trauma. (If that makes sense.) I really appreciated the bit where McGonagall tells the nurse off for trying to give Lavender a draught of peace.
I thought you definitely nailed the challenge, you managed to portray a really wonderful relationship between McGonagall and Lavender. Even though Lavender may not be in a place where she is able to completely open up and be around people, McGonagall is going to be there for her until she is. I thought this piece was really really powerful and it honestly might be one of my favourite things you've written.
Fantastic work! TTFN!
Hi there! I'm stopping by for the Magical Menagerie!
Oh, my... this was beautiful. First, I'd like to comment on your superb characterization of Minerva. She's really, really hard to get right (at least to me lol), but reading her here felt like I was just reading a missing scene from the books. From her demeanor to her straight-to-the-point, no-nonsense attitude, you got her down perfectly.
I really felt for Lavender here. I'm genuinely not sure if Rowling ever confirmed whether she lived or died, but if Lavender did in fact live, this is exactly how I imagine she'd respond. There are some fates that are worse than death, I think, and I can completely understand why Lavender wishes she'd have died rather than forced to live in pain and shame. (Not that she has anything to be ashamed of, of course, but I definitely understand why she would feel that way.) Your writing perfectly captured her self-loathing, heartache, and agony.
Parvati visiting the hospital daily was so sweet, albeit heartbreaking. This showcased her love and devotion to Lavender, not to mention a Gryffindor's natural instinct to never give up.
The final paragraph was my favorite. I think everyone has that one person in their life - be it family member, teacher, coach, or friend - who will, no matter what, be the one to push you in the right direction in the end with some tough love. Professor McGonagall seems to be that person for Lavender (and let's be honest - she probably was for MANY students; you don't mess with McGonagall lol).
I also really appreciate McGonagall telling the Healers to give Lavender processing time. Obviously, they mean her no harm, but their goal is to treat her physically; all too often, the mental aspect of healing often gets forgotten.
This was an exquisite read!
Hi Kaitlin! Wow I really need to stop by your AP more often! The two things I've read have been absolutely incredible and this is equally wonderful!
Can i just start by saying that your characterisation of Minerva was excellent. She's often a really fun character to write but here it was different, she is shown as a guardian to Lavender and we really see her in an almost maternal role as a professor. Too often she's portrayed as the strict teacher and what is often overlooked is the sense of care that she must have for her Gryffindors. Youve done this while still holding onto everything that defines her character.
I don't often read fics about Lavender but gosh I was just caught by the emotion here. You've captured her pain and her sense of- i want to say personal loss but I'm not sure if that is quite it- so well. She's caught up in her own pain, her own hurt after something incredibly traumatising which is of course fair but she's doing it to an extent where it is pushing everyone else away. The idea that she's distanced herself from even Parvati is so tragic and really she's just causing herself more damage in the process. It's raw and painfully written. Honestly i did not expect the effect this piece would have.
It's beautifully done!
I shall be back for more of your work soon
(Review written for the Magical Menagerie and January RvG )
I loved this piece! I'm a big fan of Lavender so excited to see her in this piece. I thought this was so good because I loved your choice of characters, I love the contrast between them and more mother/daughter role going on here like it feels like emotional than average teacher/student but considering what they've been through it's understandable . I wouldn't have put these two characters together so I'm impressed with what you did with the character prompts for the challenge.
My favourite thing is ' it smashes a hole through the walls she built internally.' I love it because it is something so small but Lavender perhaps didn't realise that she needed as she spent so long pushing people away while in hospital. It was just a wonderful little moment.
McGonagall is wonderful like her characterisation in this piece in my opinion is point on, The dialogue was just so realistic and I thought everything just screamed McGonagall that moment when she came into the room, her first line - that sass but she is so in control. This feels so closely to canon McGonagall!
Lavender and Parvati, I can ship that all day long <3
welcome back, Kaitlin! I can't wait to see what else you're going to come up with!
For: Magical Menagerie/RvG
I wasn't expecting such a punch to the gut when I clicked on this. When I think of women supporting women, this is right on the button. Not only is Minerva supporting Parvati, but also Lavender in one of the toughest times possible. I feel that Lavender struggling to come to terms with her injuries, and refusing to eat because she'd rather not have survived her horrendous injuries is something that is very believable.
I always imagined that Lavender was killed in the final battle (though it was never confirmed), but I liked this interpretation that she lived but with terrible injuries she'd have to try and come to terms with. It's like the horrors of war not only leave children without parents, but those who lived with both physical and mental scars.
I loved that Minerva is completely in character here. With her firm, no-nonsense way of dealing with things and I liked that Lavender felt like a first year all over again. No matter how much the kids think she's too strict, she's definitely one of the most caring teachers and you've shown that really well with her promising to return every day. That final line really gives me hope that she'll be ok one day in the future.
I'd love to read more about this if you ever feel the urge to carry it on... just saying!
For Menagerie and RvG - Team Red
Hi Kaitlin! Here for RvG and the Magical Menagerie!
It's so long since I got the chance to read any of your new writing and honestly, this seems like the perfect piece to come back to - writing strong female characters is something you always do so well and this was no exception. I think one of my favourite things about this was the fact that you showed there are different ways that a woman can be strong, too - there's strength in vulnerability, in facing demons and overcoming them, and that strength doesn't just have to be someone who "keeps calm and carries on" no matter what.
The pairing (in terms of friendship, of course) in this story was so unusual - but it worked brilliantly! I honestly would never have thought of Minerva McGonagall being the person to go out of their way to help Lavender, particularly as we get the impression in the earlier books that she thinks Lavender's a little frivolous, but as I read it here, it makes perfect sense. McGonagall is such an awesome woman, and a teacher - she truly cares about her students, and I can definitely picture her going to visit Lavender to help her realise the things that she does have to live for after the Battle of Hogwarts.
Your characterisation of McGonagall was so brilliant in this, too. Every line that she said was just so... Minerva. She's very no-nonsense and she didn't seem to feel the need to get all emotional and touchy-feely to try and help Lavender out, but I think her approach is exactly what Lavender needed at this moment in time: someone who would tell it like it is.
Even though Lavender doesn't seem particularly responsive to McGonagall, at the end of this there's a real sliver of hope for the future that I really enjoyed reading, and I'm so glad that she's found a chink in her armour by pointing out that Parvati is still there for her. Minerva is just awesome, and I love the way you've written this!
I was really excited at the prospect of reading this. I love reading Lavender recovery fic, and there just aren't enough of them in my opinion and yours helps to fill that niche. Lavender got a really raw deal at the end of Deathly Hallows in my opinion, and it's great to see what it would be like for someone to survive the War but to have a long road of recovery ahead of them. We really didn't see it enough in Harry Potter and I think it's such a shame.
I think you conveyed Lavender's trauma very well, as well as her depressive state. I thought it was incredibly realistic and understandable for the situation at hand. I loved Prof. McGonagall's entrance as well. It was very typical of her; no-nonsense, firm and only just slightly intimidating.
I thought the interaction between the two of them was also incredibly well done. You did well to highlight McGonagall's firmness, but also her deep care for her students. She's definitely one of my favourite characters in the series for that very reason. I don't know if you plan on writing more, but I really hope so. It would be great to see more of Lavender's recovery.
Thanks for the read.