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Review:Roots in Water says:
It's Roots in Water here with your review!

Such an amazing chapter! I really loved the direction that you took with Draco and Astoria in this chapter, although it's one that I never would have guessed at.

As we've both mentioned before, it would be impossible for there to be no hatred/bad reactions to Draco's presence and this same idea played into this scene. Though I was disappointed in Ron's actions, they did make perfect sense, considering that Ron was still burning from the same intense feelings of the war as everyone else and he also had a personal dislike of Draco. Furthermore, he hadn't yet matured past immediately acting upon his feelings.

Draco handled himself very well at first (I was impressed by how he managed to keep himself under control). His reactions once his safety was threatened were brilliantly done. Of course he would have learned to react and keep himself safe. Of course he would be unable to stop himself from reacting when there was the possibility of being humiliated.

Though Hermione wasn't the saviour I was expecting (I thought that Astoria would be the one to step in during that fight), I think that she acted perfectly in character (as you always manage to write your characters). I was not at all surprised when she reacted violently to Draco's words- some prejudices in some situations she just cannot stand.

Draco's reaction to her help was perfectly understandable, though- he'd just been humiliated and, like Snape, his pride reacted before his mouth could process that he didn't actually want to injure the person who had helped him.

On a side note, I really liked the mention of Harry and Ginny. From the short glimpse we saw of them, it seemed as though their relationship was still very passionate and making them both very happy. That small segment where they met definitely made me smile. As well, I kept expecting Harry to show up to save the day; but that, of course, wouldn't help to move Draco and Astoria's relationship along, just Harry and Draco's.

I liked your wording when Astoria differentiates between the two perceptions of Draco. For her father, he is a man, completely capable of making decisions and thus completely responsible for his actions. However, Astoria sees him as a young man, one who regrets his actions, one who realizes that he was wrong. One who didn't become a Death Eater out of true desire to belong to 'the cause".

The scene at the end was rather frightening as you had several witches and wizards who were more than willing to severely damage Draco (and then Astoria for standing by him) and a Draco who wasn't in top form. I was so happy when Draco apparated them away and I'm really intrigued to see the conversation that happens once they have a moment to themselves.

As well, I liked the intuition and understanding of Draco that Astoria showed in this chapter. She understands (at least partly) why he reacted the way he did to Hermione and she also saw the regret in his eyes. This understanding, coupled with her perception of his regret, will certainly help them in the course of their relationship.

All in all, I think that you did a fabulous job with this chapter- I really enjoyed it. I'm sorry for the unorganized sequence of my comments- hopefully you can still follow my train of thought. Thanks for requesting a review!

Author's Response: It's "Clean Out the Unanswered Reviews Day"! Starting with another amazing review from my pal Roots.

Draco spends an awful lot of this story being hated by various people who fought on the other side during the war. Not to mention some time being hated by people who fought on the **same side** during the war. It just isn't fun to be him. In my mind, Ron is still hurting from Fred's death, as are the other members of his family. Combined with his new found self-confidence and his legendary inability to deal with his emotions, it's a recipe for confrontation. I'm disappointed in him, as well, and I wrote this. ;)

Draco really tries. That's probably the worst thing about the situation. If Draco was being an unrepentant jerk about the whole thing, we could just look at him and say, "Good on Ron, he gave Malfoy what he deserved." But it isn't like that at all. So by the time Hermione steps in to restore order, Draco's mood is simply too far gone. He's angry and his pride has been hurt. He reacts instinctively and once again he pays a price for it.

Harry and Ginny are truly happy at the start of this chapter. Personally, I have a hard time writing the two of them any other way.

Astoria is trying very hard to decide who the "real Draco Malfoy" is in this chapter. She's a clever, perceptive girl, and very practical. She observes, she collects evidence and she weighs the alternatives.

The fight scene wasn't something I'd originally planned on, but I decided that I wanted the two of them to have a more private conversation. So I needed a way to get them out of the village.

I'm really glad that you enjoyed this. Expect some major soul-baring confessions in the next. Thank you for the long, detailed and enjoyable review!


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