Time for a little late-night horror, methinks
Oh, and this isn’t just categorized horror because somebody dies, this is genuinely creepy. Just the repeated whisper of Dorcas’ name wigs me out a little.
I had to double check if Dorcas being imprisoned was referenced somewhere that I wasn’t aware of in canon or pottermore (ugh). I had always imagined that the order members voldemort killed would have been done quickly, but I suppose it’s possible he tried to extract some value out of them first. It’s unclear form what you’ve written how long she’d been there or what else had been done for her. I wonder if you have other stories about her.
The torture of her sitatioon really came through, as well as her questioning her sanity. Even before you wrote about her being uncertain if someone was really saying her name or not, I wondered if there was really anything enchanted about the mirror, or if that was in her mind. I can’t say if Dorcas felt the same, but there was almost a sense of relief at the end, that there was something definitely real and also that it was over.
This was definitely very effectively creepy, nice job!
Hello, my dear!
I can't believe I'm done with your current Drastoria fics! But now I get to move on to reading your other stories! I'm leaving the Johanna ones and the Tedoire ones for a while and bouncing to some others, so here we go!
This was really written lovely...ly. I wasn't sure what to expect when I saw that Dorcas was the main character, but this was really nice. I feel that you did a good job portraying the struggle of an unfamiliar character. I'm not 100% sure waht she was experiencing, but it was still really moving.
Definitely the thing I have to commend you on the most here is the emotions that you portrayed throughout this story. I could really feel Dorcas's fear and desperation, as well as her anxiety and compulsive need to get away from the mirror. That was all very real for me. We've talked about V for Vendetta a few times, and this gave me some Valerie-vibes akin to her imprisonment.
By the end, I assumed she was being held captive by Death Eaters, but I wasn't too sure. I'm still not, but I don't know if that matters too much. She was clearly experiencing something, and I didn't really have to know what.
This was good, and I liked it a lot! (Still missing my Draco and Astoria, but shh. That's a me problem.)
On to more fics!
Hello! I felt I was sort of obligated to leave you a review on this, considering the theme of the Winter Wonderland. I have to say that I loved your use of repetition in this. I think it helped to establish Marlene's mind-set; she's just going through this one day at a time, one step at a time. And that's a really interesting mindset because it doesn't seem to be the mindset of a hero, you know? But it seems really realistic because c'mon, they're in war—it's okay to be terrified and even upset when it seems like victory is nowhere near. And I really like that she's so concerned primarily with surviving; that's not very war-hero of her, but it's very human and realistic and I appreciated that addition to her character. It made her really relatable and all the more likable.
I also really liked the motif of the changing in the snowfall. That was a really clever way to show the change in Marlene's perception of the world and contributed to the simile of her being as "cold as ice". I honestly sympathize so much for Marlene, knowing everything she's been suffering through—her brother being gone, her father dead, her mother sick. She must feel really alone in the world, and that makes me understand and appreciate her perspective on fighting in the war much more. I have to commend you for creating such a realistic and likable character; even in the style of your writing—short, terse statements—I can hear her voice, her directness, which is really well-done!
Marlene and Gideon's relationship makes my heart ache so much. I love how in some ways, he seems to be a danger to her, and in other ways, she recognizes that he is her to protect her; she doesn't want to be with him because that would be "fanciful naive thinking" and there was no time for romance when they were in the middle of a war. At the same time, perhaps that's the exact time when people should be looking for romance because as she's said, she's living on borrowed time, and who knows if she'll have a tomorrow? I really loved that she considered Gideon almost pragmatically like, he's constant, steady, and he's a good duelist—he'll keep me safe. You really kept with the realistic arc of Marlene being primarily concerned with survival and I liked that a lot.
That last image is so sweet, so beautiful. Perfect way to end this.
Loved it, as always! Gotta say: you use these literary devices so masterfully. Like, wow. Learning so much reading your work. <3
So after the terrifying and chilling Dorcas story, I'm glad that this one about Marlene McKinnon is slightly less scary and I really enjoyed getting to read about her and your portrayal of her in this story.
Your description in this piece was honestly so beautiful. There were some lines that I went back to just to read over again because they were so lovely, and the imagery that you included in this story was brilliant. I love the metaphor in the title of the port in the storm, and the way that conjures up ideas of refuge and Marlene needing someone else.
I loved the motif of winter throughout the story as well; the way that the ice was something that seemed to lock her in and offer some sort of safety in a way, to let Marlene have a reprieve from the war and the constant threat and danger that she's living in.
You did a really fantastic job of capturing the tension of the war, and the sort of stress and pressure that puts on Marlene, which she can't get away from. Even the fact that she just has to be permanently on the watch and hope that the Death Eaters aren't looking out for her, since the Order numbers are already so small - it gives a really good idea of how outnumbered the Order were at this point, and how hard they were trying to fight to win the war.
I'm so glad that Marlene had Gideon there for her, though - he was so sweet and gentle being there for her. He was so wonderful being there for her and seemed to know exactly how to react to her and which questions to ask and how to listen. The ending was lovely, as well; I loved the idea that Marlene and Gideon get to snatch some moments now, especially when we know that they're both going to die as part of this war. They really deserve this time.
Oh my goodness, this story was so chilling and creepy. I honestly have goosebumps at the moment after reading this, and I'm kind of looking around myself nervously at mirrors nearby because I'm a little paranoid.
Why must you do this to me?
I loved the fact that this was about Dorcas! I mean, I'm not particularly happy about how much you managed to torture her in this story, despite it being just a few hundred words, but she's a character who's always intrigued me and since she was fighting in the Order in the first wizarding war, there's so much that you can do with her.
A mirror worse than the Mirror of Erised sounds so terrifying... and I'm not even sure whether or not the mirror is actually real, or whether Dorcas has just been kept holed up somewhere for so long and been tortured into believing that it's there. Is this all in her mind or is this real for her?
Whichever one it is, it sounds like a horrible form of torture and I felt so sorry for Dorcas here. You just conveyed the tension and the terror that she was feeling so well, and I just wanted to be able to save her from the insanity and torture she's suffering.
"even the scratches on the mirror had not been caused by her" - oh wow, this just sent chills running down my spine, and I wasn't entirely sure whether or not there were actually scratches there which had come from someone else, or whether it was all part of Dorcas's imagination...
The style of this was brilliant, too. It was so stark and that really added to the tension and the mystery that filled the atmosphere here, and just made this a fantastically creepy story to read. The repetition of Dorcas was really effective to add to all of this, as well. I really loved this story!
The whisper cut her so deep, she could feel it in her bones.
Why must you scare me so early in the morning? I felt a little chill in my bones after I read this line and it’s only the first one. Unfair really. Take pity on me and write something happier, okay? I would like some sunshine and daises in the next fic that I read.
A mirror worse than erised? I kind of feel like you’re playing with me here. I mean I’m not entirely sure if this was all real. Was she actually hearing a voice? Was it all in her head? Was she mad? Was she just staring at her own reflection? Was there even a mirror at all? I’m convinced the mirror didn’t actually exist but she had been through so much and tortured so badly maybe she wasn’t looking at anything at all. Does that make sense? You have made me completely paranoid.
From this not-quite-a-corner, she couldn’t see the mirror, and that was the important thing.
See, who says the mirror is actually there if she can’t see it? Or that it actually functions in such a way if she’s not near it? And for what it’s worth it does sound like the mirror or Erised. So if there was something worse than it out there wouldn’t we know the name of it? Wouldn’t she know more of it? Unless it’s like dark magic. Unless she’s under a spell because I’m telling you the mirror doesn’t exist.
showed the future, or a present she wasn’t aware of, or a past she’d just blocked out
Is Dorcas even alive? Is she actually human during this story? I mean human, as is she still breathing and living? I question if she’s even functioning because what if she’s getting tortured right now and that’s what she’s seeing. Or maybe she’s trying to lessen her pain by creating the illusion of something else. Another excuses accepting the reality that is going on around her. Maybe the mirror is just a metaphor for Voldemort of a Death Eater that is in her presence closing in on her ready for the kill. Yes! There is no mirror at all because this is her last moment before her death, isn’t it? So she’s not entirely coherent. She’s about to fight until her last breath but she’s already lost because they’ve already gotten inside her head. She’s too far gone to do much of anything even though she’s a strong woman. She sees the bodies and hears the voices because she’s going to be meeting them soon. She’s a prisoner waiting to be let free.
Since my other reviews were SO short, I thought they weren't much of a present, so I figured I'd check out this account. And this sounds extremely intriguing. Mirrors worse than the Mirror of Erised...hmm.
I like the fact it's about Dorcas. Always interesting to read about characters we didn't learn much about from the books. She could be any age from the Marauders' to Dumbledore's, could be married or single, have as many children as the Weasleys or be childless, have any job... It's fun to see the different options people come up with.
Oooh, this is rather stark. The way she is trapped in a prison, huddled in a corner. I immediately want to know more than a story this length will tell me, though the mystery is good too. I'm wondering how she got there, where she is exactly.
You create an atmosphere so well in the very first lines. Coincidentally, I was just getting my students to create a creepy atmosphere for the beginning of a play or film today. And a prison was one of the settings they came up with.
It seems like it's the opposite of the Mirror of Erised, showing bad things instead of good. And it seems like she's beginning to question what is real.
I really like your description of the mirror by the way.
Given what we know about how Dorcas's life ended, I'm assuming it's Voldemort who arrives at the end and I'm wondering why that should make her believe she is saved.
Brilliantly atmospheric story. I really enjoyed it.