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Review:Gabriella Hunter says:
Hello!

Hey, its Gabbie here with your requested review and because I'd favorited this, I can read it whenever I like. :3
Oh, how I love this. I think what you've done here is given a very realistic way of having Draco being back at Hogwarts. I'd always sort of hated the stories that make it seem like he could have walked back in without any trouble or, in your Draco's case, past trauma. McGonagall's words with him, while harsh, were enough to have me understanding where she was coming from. The sight of him after seeing students and staff dying had to have been too much and I loved all the detail you put into it, with the Governers deciding hsi fate. Draco probably didn't appreciate other people telling him what he could or couldn't do with his life, he'd had enough of that hadn't he? His reaction was as outraged and disbelieving as I would have thought. There was still that bit of haughtiness about him as well, which was strange to see after that episode he had before he even made it to the gates. Also something I like! He's not completely ignoring his own pain at what he saw at Hogwarts and I'm so glad that you put that in. From the nightmare in the previous chapter, it makes perfect sense.
What I also really liked was the rules that the teachers gave Draco. He won't be treated like an ordinary student and I know that getting shoved into that Muggle studies clas is going to be torture. But at the same time, perhaps he'll learn a thing or two and I sort of winced for him with that Potions class. The animosity was tense, though I'm glad that Draco kept his cool through most of it and didn't resort to using his fists.
A little surprise came in the form of Luna Lovegood! I'm a huge fan of her so seeing her written so well just made my day and the fact that she stood up for Draco, despite his confusion, was really touching. It came as a later surprise I think that his mother had risked her own life to make sure that she ws fed. It showed just how human she was and I'm glad that you put that in there, as Narcissa was the kinder of the two Black sisters. :)
And that ending! Ah, what are you up to now? From that little bit with Astoria, she's not going to give up on talking to Draco just yet. I wonder what she's up to? As a last thing, I liked that you pointed out the children suffering from their parents' mistakes. While their parents are in Azkaban, how are their children supposed to act in a world that's against them? Brilliant! :D
So, I'll be back with another review when you have another update! Thanks for the read!
Much love,
Gabbie

Author's Response: Hi, there! I am determined to make it through a good chunk of these unanswered reviews today, but they're so lovely to see! Especially the long, detailed, thoughtful ones. ;)

It didn't seem even remotely possible to me that Draco would be welcomed back with open arms or even simple indifference. For nearly the entire war, he fought on the other side. People don't forget a thing like that and forgiving is a long, gradual process if it ever happens. McGonagall is very harsh with him, mostly because she wants to make it absolutely clear that she's unwilling to allow his presence to disrupt the fragile recovery that's underway at Hogwarts. The building might have been mostly repaired, but the students and teachers are still struggling with a huge amount of grief and trauma. In my mind, she hasn't written him off entirely because she isn't that type of person, but she's a long, long way from forgiving him for the things he did during the war.

The rules seemed like total common sense to me. The number one priority would have been eliminating Draco's ability to harm the other students, either physically (disarming him) or emotionally (isolating him). Given that the Governors had been persuaded -- barely -- to allow Draco to return, I imagine that McGonagall realized she wasn't going to win that argument and instead she negotiated the most onerous terms possible. Muggle Studies was almost an easy one, because she knew he'd hate it and yet who would benefit more from exposure to muggle culture than a "reformed" Death Eater?

I adore Luna. One of my biggest single regrets about the way Conspiracy of Blood turned out is that I wasn't able to create more opportunities for her to shine. At the same time, I suppose you can't overdo it with her, or she starts to sound kind of cliched. In this case, I thought she was the perfect voice to help pull Draco back from the precipice of despair with a well-timed injection of her *unique* interpretation of things. And the bit about Narcissa making sure she was fed just felt like something I wanted to do. I really started to like Narcissa by the end of the books.

Astoria and Draco have *a* moment in the next chapter, although it might not be *the* moment you're expecting. ;)

Thank you for the wonderful, supportive review! I really appreciate all your insights and reactions.


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