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Review:MissMdsty says:
I'm back! Told you I'd be back though I'm sorry it's taken me so long. I did manage to get a few nights of sleep since then so I'm good to go with your review.

The descriptions from Draco's dream were so beautifully written they gave me chills. That's one of the few images I've seen depicted in fanfiction that's going to stick in my mind. What I liked best about it is that you managed to capture both Draco's fear and despair and his personality as we all know it (calling Ron and Hermione by their last names rather than by their first, mentioning Ginny as "the little sister"). Those are things that show me as a reader that even if his decision to change is serious, he still has a long way to go.

One thing I've always liked about your stories is that you have such an unique way of interpreting the books and the information that I find myself learning and understanding more and more about the series. Here, for example, there is the sentence where Draco said he would've been killed too when he was no longer useful. Having recently written a bit about the Malfoys after the war in my novella, I thought about what it would've meant for the magical community if Harry had failed in his quest. But never had it crossed my mind that Voldemort wouldn't keep the Malfoys around forever. So that gave me something to ponder and I love it.

What else? Yes! I want to see more of Astoria's father. In the few phrases he had he became my favorite character in this story. He seems like a respectable man that knows what he's talking about and his imitation of Lucius was simply genius. And of course I agree with what was said there, that the money helped Voldemort come to power. All it takes is a push in that direction and when it comes to gold I think the force of the push is that much stronger.

Draco is indeed a Black and a Malfoy (which again never popped out in my head, that he was part Black on his mother's side). I guess we know which character from the series drew the short straw when it comes to extended family, eh?

I'm going to end this review here and while I'm still able to focus I'm going to read (and review) the next one!

Great chapter as always!

Ral

Author's Response: Goodness, you're making me blush here! ;)

I had this very clear picture in my mind of the hallway in Draco's nightmare and I was really worried that I didn't do a good job of describing it. It was tough to hit a balance, because I wanted to keep the descriptions sparse and dark and really just focus on the details that would have jumped out at Draco in his dream-state. If that made sense, then I guess I did an alright job with that scene.

I'm really flattered and kind of surprised that you think my interpretation of Draco's post-war life is unique. I had a lot of opportunity to think about him while I was writing Conspiracy of Blood since he's pretty central to that story. In my mind, I see him being very bitter and angry until he falls in love with Astoria. Everything that his father ever taught him to believe in turned out to be rubbish. He was nothing but a pawn to Voldemort, an expendable tool to punish Lucius for failing in the Department of Mysteries. If Harry had failed, I truly believe that Voldemort would have turned on any of his followers that he thought *might* have been a threat to him. When your intention is to live forever, there's no margin for error.

Horatio will make a few more appearances. I think of him as a very well-grounded guy with strong opinions. But he's also sort of naive about what really happened before and during the war. In his mind, Voldemort was just another garden-variety loony who only became so powerful because of the support of families like the Blacks and Malfoys. And while that support definitely didn't hurt, the truth is that Voldemort was a huge threat no matter who his supporters were.

I really, really enjoy and appreciate your reviews! They give me a lot of insight as to what things resonate with readers. Thanks!


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