Due to my incapacity to sleep (I think they're putting caffeine even in my water these days), I decided to read something that was out of my comfort zone. And post-war stories mostly are and Draco stories definitely are, but I figured that if somebody can write a Draco story that will make me love Draco stories it's you. So, here I am!
First, I must applaud your descriptions! The way in which you built up this chapter, from the shaky images to his sobering up and then steering it towards the revelation that he needed to change his ways. Brilliant.
What I liked most about this, is the fact that you showed me, as a reader, that for these people, these characters, the War was real and it took away their friends and for the Mafoys it took away their life as they knew it. You don't get over this in a few days. I'm sure even the winning side had some post-traumatic issues, even more so the losing side.
I fell in love with Astoria. I have no idea how it happened, but I was just so mesmerized by the sweetness and to an extent, the innocence of the character, from her walking Draco by his hand to the food cart, to her questions about his year and finally the moment in which she said the magic word. Detoxification.
Which brings me back to the title. Which I think is extremely fitting. A character with the kind of past and experiences like Draco really needs to detoxify, both literally, as in ceasing to drink and spiritually, by learning to let go, move on and heal both himself and the family. And I'm sure you've planned a very interesting journey towards that point.
I would love to be able to offer you some of that lovely CC that is so valuable to me in your reviews, but I honestly can't find anything to criticise about this. So I hope you'll excuse me if I don't.
Adding this to my favorites and you will see me again!
Author's Response: Hello!
I'm really happy that you chose my story for your foray outside of your comfort zone. And I do hope that people aren't slipping caffeine into your water. That doesn't sound healthy in the long run.
I tried a totally different writing style with this story, one where all of the dialog is pulled out into separate paragraphs with no dialog tags. It's interesting and really challenging, because you have to make it clear who's talking either based on the descriptions in the surrounding paragraphs or in the dialog, itself. So I'm glad that the descriptions worked well for you because otherwise you probably wouldn't have been able to figure out what was going on. ;)
This is almost too obvious to be worth saying, but I'm sure that the Second Wizarding War was THE defining event in the lives of everyone from Draco and Harry's generation. It touched everybody in some way, and even families like the Malfoys who got away /relatively/ unscathed would have been deeply affected. Post-traumatic stress must have been rampant. Fics where the sun rises on May 3rd and everything is rosy and wonderful again are always really hard for me to buy into.
Over the course of writing Conspiracy of Blood, Astoria became one of my favorite minor characters. The main reason I decided to write Detox was that so many readers seemed to like the way that I wrote her and Draco. It seemed like something worth exploring. She is a very sweet, somewhat naive girl at the start of this. She can't even fathom the terrible things that Draco went through or the true extent of the horrors inflicted on the wizarding world by the war. But there's also a strength to her. I hope you'll get to see more of that as the story goes on.
Detox seemed like a good title for exactly the reasons you described. Great minds and all...
Sometimes no constructive criticism is the best constructive criticism of all. :)
Thanks so much for taking the time to leave such a lovely, supportive review. It came at a really great time for me, because chapter 4 is turning out to be rather hard to write. But I shall prevail, hopefully this week. ;)