Oh goodness, you aren’t letting our poor Draco start out easy, are you? Well, you know the old saying… if it’s worth having, it’s worth fighting for. And Draco certainly seems to be ready to fight for his future, for wanting to be looked at in a different light than he’s placed himself under with the drinking. You know, this first section, with his determination to continue on despite the feelings that haunted him, and the strength he found by reminding himself that breaking wasn’t the Malfoy way kind of reminded me of Root’s Pansy story. How Pansy forces herself to make a new life, needing to bring honor back to her name. Although Draco is much more proactive about it than Pansy, but still it was a sad reminder of what these children had to go through to be accepted into a world that didn’t fit what they’d been brainwashed into learning.
This is when I wonder things like, where on earth was child protective services when dozens of kids were being raised by death eaters?? The wizarding world seems to be so stuck in the dark ages sometimes.
I loved that you took Draco through a roller coaster of painful emotions before even letting him enter, or not enter, the school. The memories are really painful, and choosing to make them so was such a small, but significant way to show us that Draco Malfoy isn’t a cold hearted want to be murder. I mean, we learned that a bit through book 6, but after that JKR just kind of left him to dry out and never built on what she started to expand. Draco was afraid… probably more afraid than Harry had ever been during that entire time. It wasn’t something he just forgot. The fight, the deaths, the possibility at every turn he or his parents could be the next ones Voldemort decided to make examples of..all such important things to remember for his character and you made sure we did with those memories of the war.
And just after he’s gone through his own mini emotional Hell, here’s Minerva to remind him that he is not forgiven.
Draco’s last little attempt to regain some control at the end of this section.. haha. Poor little thing. I sort of just want to hug him.
Oh god, I just read Gamp’s name and it gave me chills. He made quite the impact in CoB. It’s ironic to think that Astoria’s thoughts on dwelling on the man who will one day play a part in the attempted murder of so much of her extended family, even her granddaughter. Chills.
The section with Astoria and Isadore was the perfect rare moment of a teenage girl actually making sense. You balanced out the section with their giggling and regular ‘you fancy him, don’t you!’ sort of attitude with the serious side of the conversation so perfectly. And Isadore’s words to Astoria, again those rare ones that a 16/17 year old says that are so much *more*. She’s stating something simple. It was a war. Sides had to be chosen for most. And now, things have to move on. It felt like Astoria was almost trying to talk herself out of caring for Draco, or the possibility of it, when Isadore said just the right thing without it being ‘too’ much. I kind of want to hug her, actually.
I love, love the way the chapter played out with the split sections this way. Sophie was definitely on with that one.
And now you’re making me all feely, Dan :(. I like that you contrasted Astoria’s and Isadole’s acceptance of Draco that we got from the previous section with the complete opposite during his first lesson in this one. But, his family really hurt, possibly destroyed, a lot of lives. That sort of thing doesn’t just go away, and the fact that you’re making sure we understand that is one of my favorite things about this story.
The little bit with Luna you slipped in there was so heart breaking and heart warming all together. The idea of Luna being imprisoned is such a sad one for me, because she was never anything but this precious, pure kind of person the books. For JKR to throw her into the middle of the ugliest parts of all this was really hard, and here you’ve taken that same girl and you haven’t hardened her. And I love that.. because, though I’m sure what she went through changed her, I can never see Luna being anything other than ‘Luna’ then the added revelation that Draco’s mother had been keeping her alive…. bah. I could hug you. In fact, I will hug you *hug*.
As always, your writing has enthralled me to the point where I get to the end much sooner than I’d like :(. But we do have the promise of our love birds meeting soon, yeah *wub face*
I still can’t believe you thought this one was boring, you naughty author. Am I greedy if I already ask for the next.. please? ;) ♥
Author's Response: Wow! Another humdinger of a review! Love it, love it, love it. Let's dig right in...
I can't imagine that very many things were easy about Draco's life after the war. When you were as closely associated with Voldemort as the Malfoy's, people don't forget it. If you're seeing parallels to Roots's version of Pansy's story, then I feel like I'm in good company.
I'm not sure there is such a thing as CPS in the wizarding world. Exhibit A: the savior of said wizarding world who defeated Voldemort as a baby and was left to suffer in the care of a pair of twisted, magic-hating barbarians and their thuggish swine of a son. If there was such a thing as CPS, somebody would have locked Dumbledore up and thrown away the key.
To me, exploring all the bad memories that Draco has been suppressing since the end of the war was a key piece of having him start to make his peace with the past. For most people, alcoholism starts out as a disease of avoidance, and I think Draco has an awful lot of things he's avoiding dealing with.
When I went back and re-read my first cut at his conversation with McGonagall, even I was a little surprised how harsh she was with him. At the same time, I think she probably took Dumbledore's death harder than anybody. He was her mentor and one of her only friends. It wasn't until after the end of the war that she learned about the motivations behind Dumbledore's choices and Snape's true allegiance. So I imagine she found it difficult to stop thinking of Draco as the coward who made it possible for Dumbledore to die.
Ha! It's funny to me that Jeremy Gamp isn't even a canon character, yet so many people have such horrible associations with his name. I guess I made an impression.
I promise that from now on, teenage girls will stop making sense in this story! :-P I understand what you're saying, though. Isadore helps to humanize the argument that Astoria's having inside her head just a bit. She puts a familiar face on the difficulty that the families of Death Eaters must have had attempting to find a place in the post-war world.
I'm glad that Luna was able to pluck your heartstrings just a bit. To me, she's always a very compelling character, no matter what role you put her in. But I think that in this case, she manages to help Draco discover a small act of humanity that played out underneath his nose during the war, and it meant something to him. So I happily accept your hug!
You will see the two love birds together very soon, indeed. Thanks so much for all your wub and support! And your patience. :-P