Hey! Here for the Gryffie review swap :)
Ok, first of all, I am going to try really hard to give you a nice, useful review but I might have trouble because this chapter was amazing! Seriously, how have I never read any of your stuff before? You're an incredible writer and just to prove it, I've never been a Draco fan, won't usually go within ten feet of a fic with Tom Felton on the banner, but after reading this chapter I think I may be on my way to becoming a Draco Malfoy convert! *gasp!*
Ok, so since I can't think of any CC, I'll tell you what I thought was particularly good so you can keep doing it :)
The start was great, it instantly drew me in and made me want to read more. I was actually curious for a while about where he was and what time it was etc, which sort of put me in Draco's drunken, confused shoes. The bit about him being sick...well it's not really my thing, but I can appreciate the purpose it served. It made me feel uncomfortable, and yet that also worked to help me understand just how messed up Draco was. It was a rather dramatic way to say "Draco is at rock bottom...he's completely stuffed!" And I thought that was clever.
Oh and the comment about how his family had been victims just as much as everyone else was so clever - it was one of those 'make you think' moments, where I actually warmed up to Draco's predicament a bit.
I also like how long Draco's attempt to find food took. You got the feeling that this was becoming a real problem for him and he wasn't going to get out of it easily, which re-enforced that whole 'rock bottom' thing I was talking about. And then it made Astoria seem like such a knight in shining armour when she came along! I loved the role reversal there - she was the one rescuing him. It was emasculating and I think that was good because it probably contributed to him later realising that he had to change.
Ok, so I'm not a fan of the whole 'love at first sight' thing, but I can accept it because she was rescuing him and being kind to him and that made it all the more believable. I liked the addition of the disapproving father...nice little complication there!
I liked the way you used the letter to his mother to show that he wants to change. It's sort of the action side of things, not just the character thinking about it, which has me hooked for future chapters, wondering what exactly he's planning to do etc. I did think the language in the letter was a bit formal, but then again Malfoy always was a bit poncey and I suppose it's very plausible that he would speak and write to his parents in a more formal tone.
As I said before, your writing is just fantastic, I love the choice of words, your deliberate characterisation and very vivid descriptions - I could see everything quite clearly in my mind. I only feel sorry for you that my story isn't anywhere near as good as this!
I'm really looking forward to the next chapter :)Author's Response: Hi, there!
Hmmnnn... Not sure I'm trying to turn anyone into a Draco fan with this. He's still a bit of a ponce, with a lot of the same prejudices he held before the war. But to me he definitely changed a lot between the end of OotP and the end of DH. I started exploring the change with a story called Marked that covers the aftermath of the Battle of the Department of Mysteries. And since Jami begged and begged for a story about how he and Astoria fell in love, this seemed like the next logical thing to try.
I definitely wanted the beginning of this chapter to have a very ragged, disoriented feel to it. Draco is at a very low point in his life, as you say. I'm not sure I'd call it "rock bottom" because I actually imagine he was closer at certain points during the war. But during the war he really didn't have the option of getting better. Here, he finally does.
I think that Draco and his mother were victims of a sort. They never asked to be thrust into the middle of Voldemort's attempt to seize power. Lucius was just an idiot, although he would up getting in far deeper than he ever intended, I think.
When you're stumbling around drunk, it always takes forever to find something to eat. I remember that clearly from college. What I was hoping to show with Astoria's appearance wasn't necessarily "love at first sight" but rather having Draco see something that he suddenly realizes that he wants very much. At this stage of the story, Astoria isn't as much of a person to him as she is a symbol of a life where somebody cares enough about him to help him out and try to understand the issues that he's living with. Obviously that changes, but for now he isn't really in "love at first sight."
The letter was one of those "moment of clarity" things that most alcoholics go through when they're at the bottom. He knew that he might not feel the same when the morning rolled around, so he felt like he had to do something to make sure that he didn't fall right back into his old ways. It definitely was on the formal side, but I tend to think that's how upper-class pure bloods write.
I'm really glad that you enjoyed the story! For some reason, this one has been a lot harder to write than my earlier ones, so it's good to know that it's turning out alright. Thanks for the awesome review! Report Review
Again, another great chapter. It can be downright difficult to get others to notice that you've changed, especially if they don't actually see the change happening in front of them.Author's Response: Hello, again!
I think it's fair to say that nobody was in a big hurry to see any positive change in Draco Malfoy at this point. The wounds from the war were still too fresh and painful. But he is changing.
Thanks for reading and reviewing! Report Review
Wow. Great chapter. It's amazing that Blaise could be so oblivious to the mood of others around him, especially so soon after the war.Author's Response: Hi. I'm really glad that you liked it. You'll see more of Zabini before the story is over. He really is quite oblivious. Thanks for reading and reviewing! Report Review
Good gracious, finally! Hi ♥ Have I told you recently that Astoria and Draco are hands down the best characters I think you portray? Thatís a huge deal, because I thought you wrote the trio like JKR herself. But Draco is so difficult, then we have no idea what Astoria is. But youíve created a person that fits Draco without being a ton like Draco. You just blow my mind with this story. And now Iím going to attempt the actual review.
I donít even want to think about wedding planning. Not even a tiny bit. Feeling Astoriaís pain here, and you havenít made me excited for when I finally decide to pick a date and get to work, haha. Umm. her dress sounds. lovely. Just lovely. Iím going to say this was all created from Danís brain and not something your wife actually put her brideís maids/maid of honor in? Haha!
I love that you have the fitting going on in the Greengrassís home. It makes perfect sense. With that kind of money, youíd hope you could get the dresses and the fitting brought to your mansion, but I feel like this is something that not everyone, or hardly anyone, would keep in mind when writing the scene. It just served as an excellent reminder to Astoriaís class, and kept everything realistic considering that class.
Ohh Astoria is such a sweet mixture of personalities. I love that you donít forget sheís a teenager, but you still hold her in the place of good daughter that does what mommy and daddy say. Then, when she finds herself not wanting to do what they say, you can feel her mixture of shame and excitement. You know what they say, girls go kind of crazy when they hit seventeen. I just hope that sheís able to go about convincing her family that Draco isnít like they think instead of doing something rash. But I would like to see her act on these more... free spirited thoughts, so I think Iíll be more than thrilled with whatever happens.
Again, you show what a sweet daughter she is when her and her mother first started speaking. You know, I really canít blame her for her reaction. I think I would have reacted the same way, and I wanted to throw a fit right along with her. Itís bad enough being told who she canít date, but now to be told who she has to let attend the wedding with her?? Being a teenage girl really is hard :(
The letter! Itís just so perfect. It holds enough back that she isnít acting too serious too fast, but also gives enough to sort of... place a few of her cards on the table. I really love these two, you know.
Oh I donít even know what to think, Daniel. Iím almost angry at Draco for playing into them , because Iím afraid things will get back to everyone. We know how it works in these small circles. But like he said, did he really have that much of a choice?
On the other hand, I LOVE the irony of this all. Dracoís tactic to let Blaise think what he wanted, and word things in a way that didnít make them untrue but didnít make them seem like they were were. it was all just the perfect game to play. Iím worried about what the old cronies will say though. And really, how are they stupid enough to think that they could do something the Dark Lord failed? I almost with Bellatrix was still alive to curse them just for thinking things like that.
You put me in quite a tense mood during this last section. Usually Iím excited about the wait for the next chapter, and when I finally talk you into emailing me a bit over, but all I wanted to do was click up and over to the next chapter. I could go refill my coffee... sit back and read hours of Draco and Astoria right now. You know, the more I talk about this, the more I want to email you and tell you itís time to pick up the pace. Wife? Work? Twin boys? PFF. Itís all about Draco and Astoria and Jamiís need to read their full story, right now!
Hehe. ♥Author's Response: Hellooo, Jami!
I, um... I don't know quite what to think about the idea that Draco and Astoria are my best work. I guess I have probably written more about them than any other couple. Hmmnn... something to think about.
Anyway, I'm glad that the dress fitting sounded like the right sort of setting for a wealthy, somewhat stuff, traditional old family. I wanted to make Daphne's bridesmaid dresses the stuff of nightmares, because that's just how I think of her. She isn't going to spare her bridesmaids one bit of discomfort in her pursuit of the "perfect" wedding. And you're right about the fitting being in the Greengrass home. Part of the point was to emphasize that Astoria comes from a great deal of money.
When I read back over the first six chapters of the story, I realized that Astoria had been coming off as pretty mature for her age, not that there's anything wrong with that, per se. In this chapter, I did want to remind everyone that she is sixteen years old. There's still a lot going on inside her head and the way she reacts to situations in the sanctity of her own home can be different from how she reacts to them in public. She loves her parents, but she's very upset with them right now. She's caught between the values that she was raised to believe in -- respect for her elders and her family traditions -- and the reality that she's falling in love with a man who her parents do not approve of. I'm glad that somebody can confirm that being a teenage girl isn't easy, because it looks really difficult to me.
Whew. I'm glad you liked the balance I struck with the letter. I wanted it to be brief but expressive, with just a bit of a leading statement at the end.
Draco is walking a very tricky line in this chapter, and I'm sorry to say that it will get worse before it gets better. He needs certain things from his former friends, and since we're talking about Slytherins, nothing comes for free. He's definitely running the risk of something bad getting back to Astoria's parents, but he doesn't really have much choice. You've only seen the tip of the iceberg when it comes to just how deluded Zabini and the others are. More to come...
All I can say is that I'm working on it. Life is always busy, but hopefully I can find more time to write over the next few days. Thanks so much for all of your support and awesome reviews! Report Review
Oh my another chapter! A brilliant chapter as usual.
I know you said you struggled with this, but it is amazing.
I loved how you gave us a glimpse into Astoria's world via the wedding dress fitting and everything that makes her stand out (like the image of Pansy. Ugh!). We saw a trigger in her in this chapter, a need to rebel, which I liked a lot, because to me it means that she is starting to realize that sometimes the parents are wrong and you just have to go with your instinct. And the letter. I liked that it was signed with love!
Now, last time we saw Draco he had just crashed and burned. But he seems to have gathered himself up and make a change. The plan he has for the wedding makes me anxiously await that chapter. I can just picture this confrontation between Astoria, her parents and Draco and them running off into the sunset, leaving Zabini to clean out the bar!
I like that even though they didn't actually meet in this chapter, the plot has advanced so much, from a subtle courtship, to "war" against the parents!
Draco giving in Zabini's demands reminded me of a saying we have in my country, which is "befriend the devil until you cross the bridge". In other words, do what you must until you reach your goal. I just hope nothing bad happens in the meantime. And the ending phrase was perfect! It shows just how much Draco's grown since his "Marked" days and how determined he is to continue on the path he set for himself.
Again, this was an amazing chapter! Good job!
RalAuthor's Response: Hey, Ral!
I knew how I wanted this chapter to work. The struggle was finding the right words to bring it together. Sort of like writer's block, I guess.
Astoria is coming around to the reality that she's going to have to play a more active role in her own life and take some chances to get what she really wants. Her parents do love her dearly and they are trying to do what's best for her, but they are products of the same type of upbringing. What they're doing makes sense to them, just not to Astoria.
Draco is still having his struggles with alcohol and social situations. The ending won't be *quite* as clean as you're imagining it, although that would be very satisfying to write.
I wanted to keep them apart in this chapter. They are in sort of a long-distance relationship at this point, and I thought it was good to show how hard they're both working to try to make things work out.
Draco is going to play both sides for a while. He doesn't really have any choice. I expect his conversation with Gamp, Flint and the others will be... interesting. Soon, you're going to learn why they all dislike Draco so much in Conspiracy of Blood. ;)
I'm really pleased that you enjoyed it! Thanks for reading and reviewing! Report Review
What a great chapter!
I have to agree that you've managed to capture Draco very well. As someone who's swum out further than they should and discovered it isn't as great as it looked before.
I can also feel sympathy with the spinach. I can't stand creamed spinach. Ick.Author's Response: Hi! Thanks so much for stopping by!
I felt like Draco was out of his depth from the end of the fifth book until the end. And I can't stand spinach, myself. ;)
Thanks for reading and reviewing! Report Review
Ooops, accidently posted this under my staff account. Let's try this again...
Astoria is really starting to grow on me. She's a bit of a cool cucumber, reserved and proper and a bit hard to warm up to, but I'm liking more and more with each passing chapter. She's got a bit of a Jane from Pride and Prejudice feel about her -- that sort of conducting herself properly air, keeping too much emotion from showing on the surface. She's got these sort of throw-back to a bygone era ideas about how to conduct herself that really speak to the way she was raised.
Awww, I loved this little nod to Harry and Ginny. Even in this brief glimpse, we can how much more of a free spirit Ginny is than Astoria and how free she is in expressing her affection. It makes for such a lovely contrast to how I'm guessing Draco and Astoria might be as their relationship progresses.
Draco's initial reaction to Ron's aggression was perfect. Very "here we go again..." This boy can't go anywhere without getting his butt kicked. Of course, Ron's behavior was atrocious here, and I don't like seeing him act this way, but we're seeing this all through Draco's eyes, so it's understandable that Ron comes off as nothing more than a bully.
The actual confrontation was really great. I've seen you write a few "combat scenes" now and you've got a real knack for them. I am very happy that Ron came out on top though. I think there is a tendency for people to write him as an oaf, but he is an Auror, or maybe an Auror-in-training at this point in his life. Either way, he should be good at defensive (and offensive :P) spells.
Hermione's line about the pair acting like children was great. It really dispelled the tension. In the moment, Draco is focused on the fight, but when it's all over, they both walk away looking a bit like idiots.
Oh boy. Another butt kicking! Draco seriously needs to think about investing in an invisibility cloak. But mostly I'm just annoyed this gang showed up and ruined their date. I was looking forward to some more Draco/Astoria interactions. Oh well, I guess that just means I'll have to come back for another chapter really soon!
I spotted a few typos. Other than that, another great chapter.
--So why don't you take your your shiny little Ministry badge and go bother somebody else? (take your shiny)
-- He struggled to reign in his temper, recalling McGonagall's warnings about the consequences of any sort in incident (sort of incident)
-- The time it took to shrug off the confusion was rarely worth it you were in danger (it if you were)
-- Granger stood in front of him,offering the handle of his wand. (him, offering)
-- He was vaguely aware of the pain in his chest as his arms and legs flailed about and then the hard cobblestones of the street knocked the air our of his lungs. (air out of his)Author's Response: I don't really care who reviews from what account, but I could see how the implied endorsement might be an issue. Anyway, I'm thrilled to see you back again so soon!
Astoria and Draco are both at a phase in their lives where they seem to spend a lot of time trying to work out the conflicts between what they were raised to believe and the new reality that's staring them in the face. In Astoria's case, she's been raised to be a proper, respectful, somewhat deferential girl who maintains a lot of facades. Coming from that background, I thought she would have very mixed feelings about seeing Harry and Ginny engage in such an open display of affection. Disapproving, but also more curious than she'd ever admit.
I wasn't especially nice to Ron, the way I wrote him in this chapter. He definitely comes off like a bully although, as you say, the story is told through Draco's eyes. But I don't think that Draco's perception is all that far off from what a dispassionate observer would have seen, assuming you could find such an observer in the emotionally charged, post-war world.
I love writing dueling scenes. Why have all these amazing abilities if you're not going to use them? And I don't think there was any risk of Ron losing to Draco. Ron was too angry and too determined to win, while Draco just wanted to get away from the whole situation. Throw in Ron's nascent Auror training and it wasn't even close to fair.
Ah, Hermione! I really loved the opportunity to bring out a little flash of that bossy eleven-year-old, at least for a few moments. But then Draco messes up. Badly. And she lets him have it. Truthfully, even he would admit that he deserved no less.
You'll find out some more about the Ratcliffe family (the old witch and her two sons who were attacking Draco) in the next chapter. Suffice it to say, they have a grievance with him and neither side is completely in the right.
Thanks so much for pointing out the typos! Not many reviewers do, and now I can edit and see my chapter-read count update with a clean conscience.
I'm really pleased that you liked it. Thanks for reading and reviewing! Report Review
Good for McGonagall! I probably should be feeling bad for Draco, as it's clear from the opening that he's struggling, but I can't help it. I'm totally with her on this one. If I was in her position, I'd have objected to his returning too. Draco made his choices -- granted, they were made under duress, but regret doesn't absolve you of all consequences.
Sorry, just had to get that off my chest. In all honest though, I thought McGonagall's reluctance to have Draco back and the restrictions she put on him were incredible believable. I have trouble with "8th-year" stories sometimes because they gloss over this issue. I thought you handled the set-up really well here.
I loved your use of Slughorn in this chapter. He's the perfect "escort" for Draco. He's too... what's the word? Cowardly? Oblivious? Whatever it is, it keeps him from making any real comments or judgments about Draco and his past. And it introduces just the smallest amount of humor. Slughorn really is one of those characters who doesn't seem to learn and grow. He lives through a war and I still imagine he's most interested in any damage befalling those ingredients that were "quite difficult to obtain."
Oh, Luna. She really is one of my favorite characters. You did a wonderful job capturing her character here. She's got enough confidence in herself now to step up and intervene in an argument but seems to hold no bitterness for what she's been put through. When Draco asked himself why she came to his defense, it really says so much about him as a person. He really, at least at this point in his life, doesn't understand the idea of doing something simply because it's the right thing to do and not because a person is obligated to do it or hopes to gain anything from it
I do have one question though about Draco. What's his motivation for returning to Hogwarts? I know in the last chapter he tells Zabini he's thinking about going back, but he never really says why. It's clear that being back is hard for him, and added to that the indignity of being shuffled around and kept separate from the other students. But he doesn't seem to question his decision to return, which makes me think it's something more important than a few NEWTs. Is he doing it to make his parents happy? To right some sort of wrong? To punish himself? He hasn't expressed any specific career interests (unless I'm forgetting something) that require him finishing school, so I'm wondering what's pulling him back...
Another great chapter. I'm sorry it took me so long to stop by again. I don't know what happened to the last four weeks of my life. Can't wait to read how the next encounter with Astoria goes.Author's Response: Hello, again!
So I truly, **truly** loathe stories that over-simplify the aftermath of the Second Wizarding War. So many people were hurt or killed, so much was destroyed and the psychological impacts on the survivors must have been horrendous. So to imagine that Draco Malfoy of all people would be welcomed back to Hogwarts with open arms just seems ridiculous to me. I don't think anyone on the "good" side of the war except for possibly Harry really understands much about what Draco and Narcissa went through. So, no, McGonagall isn't one bit happy to see him and she lets him know about it.
Slughorn, to me, is so glad-handed that he's not even willing to be judgmental toward an outcast like Draco. And he has a lifetime of experience when it comes to pretending to enjoy other people's company and making polite conversation. Plus, being Draco's former Head of House, he seemed like the obvious choice to play chaperone. That said, he doesn't do a very good job of it, does he?
I love writing Luna, but at the same time it terrifies me. She's like love and modern art: you can't define what makes Luna sound like Luna, but you know it when you read it. So I'm very, very pleased that you thought she sounded right. I don't think bitterness is an emotion that has any meaning to her, because she lives in the present. At least that's how I always interpret her.
Draco's motivation for returning to Hogwarts is so that he can prepare to sit a few N.E.W.T.s. He believes that finishing his education will help to show people that he's serious about putting the war behind him and not letting the rest of his life be defined by his family's former allegiance to the Dark Lord. When Astoria's father ordered her away from him in Diagon Alley, it made an impression. He doesn't want to be viewed as this horrible person for the rest of his life, but he also isn't quite sure how to go about "fixing it". So finishing his education seemed like a good albeit small first step, I think. He does not, at this point, have any specific career interest other than helping to manage his family's fortune.
Please don't apologize. We're all busy and I'm tickled pink that you enjoy this enough to want to keep reading! Thanks for the awesome review! Report Review
Yay a new chapter :D
I guess I can see Astoriaís reluctance to tell other people about her escapades! She was a rather a demure, and proper girl before meeting Draco, and since meeting him, sheís battled evil wizards, broken school rules, and hung out with a death eater. You can see how thatís benefitted both of them, as Astoria seems more free now, and more willing to go against the norm, and I guess any friendly company for Draco would do him good, considering how estranged from society he was getting.
I like how youíve tied in the social expectations of a pureblood into their lives. Iíve often read stories focused on purebloods, who arenít aware of any of the social decorum expected of them, so it was a delight to see it here. I always find it fascinating to see how in many respects the magical world are much further behind in the muggle world, I mean this is then 90s, a woman could pretty much do whatever she wanted then!
I liked the confrontation between Astoriaís father and McGonagall, as they were both so in character, you can just imagine it happening. It was interesting to his views on Dumbledore, muggleborns and house elves. You can see that he is more liberal than quite a few purebloods, but I guess some ideas will always stick with him. I liked the little thing about the portraits, it was nice to see that they were still being remembered.
I feel for Astoria, just as things were finally beginning to develop between her and Draco, and she admitted her feelings about him to Isadore, her father forces her to not to talk to him. Iíll just have to wait in hope that her rebellious streak will continue, and that sheíll disobey her father, and still talk to Draco.
I liked the cameo from Snape. He was always one of my favourite characters, and I liked that he seemed to have become rather wise since dying, and he did seem to provide an excellent point, and it did make you think about the concept of evil.
It was nice to see how much Astoria meant to Draco, the fact that he could pick out the smell of her lotion, was enough to show that he cared about her, as only someone in love would bother to do that. He seemed to cherish her letters a lot too, and that again shows how much he cares about her.
I never thought that Lucius would ever redeem himself, so that fact that he wanted to take part in these plans didnít surprise me at all. I really liked Dracoís reaction to it all. I liked to think that he would redeem himself, and I guess that he did, due to him not wanting to partake in this regrouping of death eaters.
I thought this was an excellent chapter, and it had so much drama in it, Iím already eagerly anticipating the next one!
-Kiana!Author's Response: Hello, again!
Astoria has a lot of reasons for not wanting people to find out about her and Draco. His reputation aside, she's pretty sure that word will get back to Daphne, which in turn means that it will get back to her father. But she is very excited about the romantic possibilities.
I highly doubt that proper, pure blood young ladies are easy to confuse with liberated, progressive 90's women. These people's entire sense of self-worth is build around old money, old blood lines and old customs. So you're not likely to find many pure blood girls asking a guy out on a date. Of course, they have no problem having their best friend tell his best friend that she would be pleased to be asked out. ;)
Horatio is understandably upset, I think. If he'd left it at that, Minerva would have totally understood. But the way he expresses his displeasure was almost guaranteed to set her off. The two of them just don't see eye to eye on very much.
If you pay close attention, her father only forbade her to spend time with him. Owl post is, of course, a sizable loophole that she was not about to point out to him.
I thought a lot about letting Dumbledore be the voice of encouragement, but being a Slytherin, I felt like she was more likely to take Snape's advice seriously. I'm glad you liked the way he turned out.
At this point, Astoria means nearly everything to Draco. That's not to say he'd go all Romeo and kill himself if she wasn't around, but she has become this very idealized goal in his mind. She represents his dreams of having a family and living a "normal" pure blood life of the sort that he remembers from his youth, before he ever heard the name Voldemort.
Sadly, certain parts of Lucius will never change. He's still, at some level, a very small man who's trying to live a life that's too big for him. In spite of all his money and the power and respect he held before the war, it was never enough for him. He wanted to be more than just what he inherited. But the way he chose to go about that was a disaster.
I'm starting to work on the next one after taking a fairly long hiatus to focus on the Gryffindor-Slythern reviewing battle. Maybe by next weekend. Thanks so much for reading and reviewing! Report Review
Hi ♥ I just finished assigning Gryffie Bday Reviews for this month and this is my reward :wub face:
Iím a bit unsure about you right now, Dan. You have a brother, no sisters. You didnít marry a high school sweet heart/ wouldnít have had any reason to hear about all the inner workings of teenagers. and yet you write this conversation between Astoria and Isadore perfectly. Donít get me wrong, Iíve always realized what an amazing author you are, but getting inside a teenage girlís mind is something thatís dang near impossible. I donít even think I knew what as going on in my mind when I was a teenager!
I loved that you still stayed true to Astoria. Sheís telling her friend about it, and enjoying telling her about it, but not wanting it to go past that and end up in a gossipy sort of rumor. I think Iíve said this before, but Isadore is the perfect best teenage friend here. She pushes at Astoria to tell her more, she gets carried away, she doesnít control her words... really, sheís absolutely perfect. And a nice contrast to our more mature Astoria.
And now! When Astoria already has much bigger fish to fry (like her father) Isadore finally decides thatís enough proof for her to believe Astoria. Ha! I loved that! Youíre making me really miss being a teenager, by the way.
I think the conversation between Minerva and Mr. Greengrass was perfect. He isnít cruel, but heís pompous. Heís worried about his daughter and he has no reason to not take his worry out on the woman who is charged with her care. Youíve made him a good man in some ways without taking away the fact that he is part of the exclusive pureblood society. And heís raised a daughter who thinks for herself and takes charge of her own life.
Her argument is a very impressive one! Again, with the insanely perfect details you have. Astoria doesnít interrupt her father because she knows it isnít right, but she also isnít afraid to try and state her point of view. I feel like they share a real mutual respect for one another, but that she still realizes that he *is* her father. God, Iím just so in love with all these people. Youíre really creating not only an incredible Astoria, but giving her the roots that we need to see *how* she became this way. Iím hugging you mentally right now.
And theyíre still talking! I wondered if sheíd let her good girl side or her teenage girl side win out. But, at the same time, Astoria promised not to *see* Draco. She even restated her promise to her father. And she isnít seeing him. Sheís writing him. Those are two very different things. She found her loophole and sheís going for it! Yay Astoria!
I really, really love that Draco is angry about the man his fatherís become. Itís a really powerful statement and emotion, and gah I just am in awe of how incredibly perfectly you write these characters. Oh god. Lucius really is going off the deep end, isnít he? This conversation is almost painful. You make all the emotions so powerful and swimming at the surface. Have I ever told you that I love, love what you do with Draco?
Oh no :(! I donít like this part! Oh Draco!!! Donít do it. Your worthless dad has brought back all that anger, and youíre going to make such a big mistake :(. I feel so sad for him right now. Iím happy that I didnít know the ending to this chapter, because this was just such a surprising and emotional ending. I canít decide how I feel. I like seeing Draco regress in an odd way, because it really does feel so realistic. It makes his current position and what heís going through in life as intense as it deserves to be, and you remind us that even if Draco is trying, he isnít perfect. But at the same time it breaks my heart so, so much because he was doing SO WELL. He has Astoria, he has his education, but Lucius just forced all those feelings back. I hate the man. I hope he gets sickly and dies soon. :[
This chapter was my very favorite so far. I loved seeing each of our characters deal with their own difficult things, and I really hope they can get through their separate struggles together. Iím so excited for the next!
♥Author's Response: Sigh. You've gone and shamed me by responding to a review that I left *after* this one, so it's high time I got off my butt and gave you a proper response.
I put some real thought into the conversation between Astoria and Isadore, so I'm glad it played well. I feel like Astoria is surrounded by people she can't really trust with the truth about her relationship with Draco -- she's a Slytherin, after all -- but she's also a teenage girl and if she couldn't talk to someone about it, she'd explode or something. So Isadore is there for her, much the same way that she was there after Isadore and Theo's father got thrown into Azkaban. At any rate, Astoria is very aware of how quickly things could get out of control if rumors start flying, so she's being very judicious about what she tells anybody, including Isadore.
I imagined the conversation between Horatio Greengrass and Professor McGonagall being very tense. From his point of view, his daughter could have been badly hurt or killed, so it's understandable that he's angry. The way he chooses to express that anger, however, infuriates the Headmistress. Probably a good thing that Astoria came into the room when she did.
Astoria does put her father back on his heels just a bit, at least enough so that he abandons his plan to pull her out of school. Her argument is pretty well reasoned. So he takes what I'd consider the more "adult" way out. He makes his expectations totally unambiguous and offers her a second chance. Unfortunately for him, he didn't think through all the loopholes. Not a good plan when you're dealing with a very bright Slytherin girl...
One thing I hope came across clearly in this chapter is that Draco is angry *about* the man his father has become and he's angry *at* the man his father has become, and they're not exactly the same thing. Being angry *at* his father is pretty obvious in this case, because his father is acting like an idiot. But being angry *about* the way his father has changed also has undertones of denial and self-loathing. Lucius isn't the only one who was changed for the worse by the war, and when Draco sees the old man in a physical and mental decline, part of what makes him so uneasy is the realization that Lucius's problems are a more extreme version of his own.
To me, it was beyond question that Draco would backslide on his recovery at some point. Nothing in life is that easy. All things considered, he could have done a lot worse, I think. The uncontrollable anger he feels is a symptom of some larger problems that he simply hasn't been able to deal with yet.
I'm glad that I'm able to keep raising the bar. The next chapter might be a bit slower, but I promise I have some big things in mind. If I could just keep all these plot bunnies at bay...
Thank you, as always, for all your support! Report Review
Oh my God! Lucius has gone mad! I'll get back to you on that!
I was so excited to see you updated and more so when I saw that Astoria's father would be in this one! But one thing at a time!
First, Astoria. I love this battle she has going on inside of her, between her proper upbringing and the things she just knows are true. The rebellious teen years of a princess. That's going to be fun!
I really love those moments when we can explain to our parents why they are contradicting themselves, when what they do doesn't match up to what they've taught us! And Astoria has a way of twisting around her father's words to get him to agree that makes me so proud of her!
One thing I've always loved about your writting is how in character you keep the canon people. It's so flawless, the way in which McGonagall speaks and in this chapter, Snape. I can hear them in my head as I read and I haven't seen many stories where the author manages to do that, so good job!
And now back to Lucius! He's lost his narrow mind! How on Earth does he think the Ministry won't move against the old families the minute they step a toe out of line? If it weren't for Narcissa, they'd all be locked away! Can you imagine that? All the Malfoys in Azkaban? No Scorpius! That's a scary thought for me! Anyway, enough rambling, more reviewing.
I was really upset to see Draco's relapse in this chapter, though I was expecting it. I do believe it's common in recovering addicts, especially if they've gone cold turkey, like Draco. At least, from what I've gathered, he didn't actually finish the bottle.
I noticed another thing. In the first chapters, his drinking was all about forgetting what he had done during the war and the horrors he had to face. Now, he's drinking because he can't be the man Astoria deserves. I would say it's an improvement, except it isn't. He needs to get his stuff together and actually become that man! Eh, baby steps.
Another amazing chapter! I enjoyed every moment of it! Good job!
RalAuthor's Response: Hi, there!
When I was writing this, I had this image of Lucius in my mind and he was maybe 2 notches above hiding in a dark corner of the room, whispering, "My preciousss..." I always felt like the war took a huge toll on him. It's definitely the way he was portrayed in Deathly Hallows, both the book and the movies.
Different aspects of Astoria's upbringing really come into conflict in this chapter, and I hope that made it clear what a complex and thoughtful young woman she is. She does turn her father's words against him, but I don't really think of her as twisting them. Rather, she's trying to show him just how inconsistent he's being. Most parents are guilty of this to some greater or lesser extent. We want our children to grow and learn from their experiences, but we're loathe to see them get hurt in any way if we think we can prevent it. Perhaps Horatio will come around before the story is done.
I'm really pleased you like McGonagall and Snape. It isn't easy to get them to sound just right.
Back to Lucius. Lucius's story, I think, is the story of a man who always wanted to be something more than what he was. He had mountains of gold, obviously, but you can't buy respect. He chose to become a Death Eater because he thought that people would fear and respect him if he was part of the Dark Lord's inner circle. Even after the disastrous outcome of that decision, that desire to be *somebody* is still present. Perhaps it's even stronger, now that life has humbled him so. Consequently, he continues to take foolish risks with his own safety and that of his family.
It's probably a testament to Draco's resolve that it took this long for him to relapse. Think about all the awful things he's been through. His drinking has a slightly different motivation in this chapter, but the underlying theme is the same: he drinks to get away from emotions that he doesn't know how to handle. It's absolutely a form of PTSD.
Thanks so much for being such a fan of the story! I always enjoy seeing what you thing about it. Report Review
I really enjoyed how you started off this story! You have a very unique style of writing which I really liked. I loved the descriptions you gave us right out of the gate with the "drab kaleidoscope" and all of the different visions around the bar that Draco was seeing. Your writing and sentence structure reflected the tone of the story so well during each of the different scenes. During the scenes when Malfoy was drunk, you could feel a 'drunk' tone in your writing in that it felt a bit scatterbrained as the readers followed Malfoy's thoughts. That probably doesn't make any sense, but this line represents it perfectly, "His voice sounded thick and wet, like he was shouting the words through a mouthful of cooked spinach. Spinach. Wrong thought."
Your characterization of Draco was perfect. It's hard enough to write him normally, but you were able to portray him drunk perfectly! I also really enjoyed how you focused on his redeeming qualities to balance out his other more negative personality traits. The interactions between Astoria and Draco were really well done as well. It was refreshing to see a more emotional and vulnerable side to Draco. The way Draco was "fixated on the feeling of her fingers against his palm" was adorable.
Another one of my favorite features of this chapter was the bit of humor and sarcasm that you threw into the story. It kept the story light despite the heavy topic of dealing with life after the war and alcoholism. Your really did a great job with balancing out everything in this first chapter. Wonderful writing!
AlliAuthor's Response: Hi, there!
First of all, I really appreciate the fact that you were willing to jump in and do this. It meant a lot.
I tried to pick Draco near the lowest point of his post-war life for the start of this. I wanted to show him at rock bottom, literally on the verge of giving up. I, um, might have had a bit of experience with the whole drunk thing, so that was pretty easy to immerse myself in when I wrote this. And your explanation made perfect sense, by the way. And the idea of my mouth being full of cooked spinach was one of the most disgusting things I could think of, which made what happens next seem more realistic, I think. ;)
I'm really, *really* glad you liked my version of Draco. When I started this, I had just come off of another Draco-centric story, so I'd already spent a fair bit of time putting myself inside his head. I really don't like stories that make him one-dimensional -- either as a misunderstood little emo puppy who just wants everyone to stop being mean to him or as an evil arch-villain bent on the total destruction of Harry Potter and his friends. To me, Draco wasn't either one of these things. He was a spoiled, obnoxious, arrogant rich kid who suddenly found himself in the middle of a life-or-death situation that forced him to take a long, hard look at what was really important in life.
I don't like writing stories without at least a bit of humor in them. Part of that is just me. I'm a generally happy person. But I also think it helps the reader out.
I'm really glad that you enjoyed it. Once again, thanks so much! Report Review
Told you you'll see me here! :D
Glad to finally know what happened to them after that horrible cliffhanger! Draco here is being very...macho. "I don't need help." Sort of attitude, specially when he stated that he could've taken the other men. It's almost as if, subconsciously speaking, he's trying to impress her. Almost like a peacock strutting his feathers.
"It's a girl thing, Draco. Subconsciously, she needs to fix you." i couldn't help but to laugh at that because it's very true. No matter what we think, say, act...We're out there to save the poor men who look like they "need saving" when in reality is just possibly a lost cause. I wonder if Astoria feels that way about her 'possible' relationship with Draco. That she can change him, save him from himself and his past. We'll see though.
I really wish I could draw because the image I have of Draco and Astoria in the Muggle place is just priceless in my mind. Perhaps also when the muggle woman tells him to get his money back for that 'tat' and then proceeded to say that the guy went out for business. I seriously imagined Voldemort owning a tattoo shop. Thank you for that image.
So just I have things clear in my head...Astoria is in her 6th year? She's 2 years younger than the Trio, 1 year younger than Ginny so I'm trying to figure out what year she's in, specially when she got in trouble for doing magic outside the school.
The whole conversation between Astoria and Draco was both fascinating and haunting. I mean...how did you come up with that idea? It sounded horrible just thinking about it. However, it sounds very like a plausible thing in the HP canon...just not something we would see from the books since they're directed towards children. I can seriously see the Death Eaters just enjoying a house burn with people in there. *shudders*
Once again, brilliant chapter. I really do wonder where you're going to take this. Will it end with him proposing? Getting married? Anyway, can't wait to see what happens in the next chapter.Author's Response: Hi, there! :)
Draco spends a lot of time in this story trying to maintain/save face. Astoria finds it kind of endearing, up to a point. That's the world she comes from, after all. Fortunately, she has no problems with telling him to knock it off when it gets to be too much.
So once again, I find myself spending a lot of time trying to put myself into the female mindset while I'm writing this. For some reason it was a lot less stressful when I was writing Tonks, because she and I are more alike, I think. Astoria is more cultured and far less of a wiseacre. But there are some things I think are fairly universal.
You're not the only one who pines over non-existent artistic talent. I really wish I could sketch my own chapter images. Draco was just trying to be dry, but that line came off a lot funnier than he probably wanted.
Your timeline is correct. Astoria is in her sixth year, Ginny and Luna are in their "natural" seventh and Hermione is sitting her seventh year year that she was forced to miss due to being a muggle-born and, you know, having other things to see to. Ron and Harry decided to forgo their seventh years to begin Auror training, as did Neville and a number of other D.A. members. That's my story and I'm sticking to it! ;)
The idea that Draco would have been forced to participate in a lot of terrible things seemed almost inescapable to me. He was Voldemort's whipping boy. Lucius Malfoy's son, marked as a Death Eater specifically to be made an example of. So whenever there was an opportunity to try to break him, I'm sure Voldemort didn't hesitate. There certainly isn't any way JKR would have gone there in the books, but they constantly allude to the horrible things going on around Britain.
I know where I want the story to end, but I'm still working on exactly how to get there. I started off thinking this would be 4 or 5 chapters. Now it's starting to look a lot longer in my head. At any rate, I'm really glad you enjoyed it. Chapter 6 is about half done at this point, and I have to say I'm pretty excited about it. Thanks for reading and reviewing! Report Review
I'm back for another dose of Draco!
Wow, what an opening. I really like that you didn't hold back on the gorier details. I'm not one for a lot of blood just for shock value, but it's appropriate here, in proportion to the horror the Death Eaters and Voldemort inflicted. It also makes for some great insight into Draco's current state of mind. He's being tortured himself, only obviously in a somewhat less literal way. I couldn't help but wonder if the vivid nightmares aren't also a symptom of withdrawal, both physically from not ingesting the alcohol and mentally, his sobriety clearing his mind enough to dredge up the things he'd been repressing.
I can't really quote most of my favorite lines from this section for obvious reasons, but I will say I loved the line, "Somebody had finished the work his mad aunt had begun." I actually found this one even more disturbing than the descriptive phrases. I don't know why, but it just lept of the page.
The only part I was a little unsure on was what the mood was supposed to be here. It's a dream, so realism isn't exactly a concern, but sometimes it felt like the wording and the intensity of Draco's feelings didn't totally match up. Like his "overwhelming dread" addressed in the same sentence as the "plush carpet." Or a sudden "dampness" on his check causing him to pause (as opposed to stopping short or halting or even jumping or recoiling). The writing was lovely but, at times, I thought it undercut the wonderful tension a bit.
I loved the contrast you created by putting the two parent/child scenes back to back. Draco and Astoria are still young enough to be reliant on their parents, even as they are working to come into their own as adults. And in their own way, each parent is just trying to do what is best for their child. It was just a nice literary touch having them one after the other with the gender rolls reversed.
Your Zabini is fantastic! Well, no, he's kind of terrible, but your writing of him is wonderful. His voice when he speaks is very distinct from the other characters, and IMHO, reads the most naturally. You're really hitting a perfect note with him.
I spotted a couple of small typos:
--Whether it was in real or in a nightmare, he could not recall, but something terrible waited in the distance. (was in real life...or maybe just...was real...?)
--He turned his back on Draco and took a could of steps, but then stopped. (couple)
--The tattered remains of a hand-knitted jumper clung loosely to his body... (This isn't really a typo but "clung loosely" is a bit of an oxymoron :D)
Well, I'm definitely getting hooked. I'm excited to see where this story is headed next...Author's Response: Hi, there!
I'm glad you like my second little Draco project. I don't know when I started to enjoy writing him so much. The funny thing is that I don't usually enjoy reading Draco stories at all, even when they're done well.
In my mind, his nightmares are driven by all of the terrible things he witnesses during the war that he hasn't even begun to come to terms with. During the months after the war, alcohol helped to keep them at bay, so I suppose that one effect of withdrawal could be that they're getting worse. At any rate, I had this very stark vision in my mind of a sort of "chandelier" of victims in a long, dark hallway. The carpet was meant, I think, to be a sort of contrast to the horrors he sees hanging above. I remember thinking at some point during Deathly Hallows what cold comfort the Malfoys' luxurious home must have been when they had to share it with Voldemort and the rest of his insane followers. And the fact that he never stops walking down the hall is just one of those things that seems to happen in nightmares, kind of like how you never think to just turn around, go home and put on pants. ;)
Horatio and Narcissa do contrast pretty nicely, don't they. He's more openly affectionate toward Astoria than Narcissa ever was with Draco, but I don't think that's any reason to assume that she loves her son any less. They're also both very concerned with family and with their children's place in society, although Narcissa was probably far more concerned before the war and far less concerned after.
I think of Zabini as a bored, somewhat disenchanted rich kid for whom the early stages of alcoholism are beginning to take their toll. Unlike Draco, the war was never a matter of survival for him. Being something of an outsider looking in, I'd say he viewed it as a missed opportunity for social advancement. And he certainly still wears the arrogance and prejudices of a pureblood scion.
Thanks for the typos and the other suggestion. I will see to them straight away!
I'm so happy that you're enjoying this! It's been a struggle, to be honest, because I'm having a hard time deciding how long I really want it to be, which in turn gives me fits with plot outlines. But that's my row to hoe. Thanks for reading and reviewing! Report Review
Thank you for the clarification in the last response, as it was a little confusing! In response to the other response, Iím already reading Before They Fall, and itís great!
I rather liked the ambiguity as to who Draco was talking to at the beginning of this chapter. I was tied between Astoria and Narcissa, as he seemed to care about the person who he was talking to, and seemed rather open when speaking to them, and I realised it could have only been one of those two.
I was really relieved to find that Astoria and Draco had managed to get away fine though, because the way you left it at the end of the last chapter, had me really worried that something serious had happened to Astoria due to the avada of the avada kedavra being said.
You wrote the dialogue between Astoria and Draco really well, and you could tell that they seemed to be getting closer, and it was nice to see. It was also really good, as it meant we got to find out things we may have not known otherwise. For example the thing about his apparation license being taken away, and then the comments about his Aunt made me laugh!
It was interesting to have more of a backstory to Ratcliffe and his actions. No I know why they did that to Draco, it lessens my sympathy for him. Sure he didnít seem that proud of what he did, but what happened to the others was far worse, so it would have only been their natural reaction to do what they did to Draco.
A tiny little Brit pick here! British people never tend to have porchs or use the word porch, I guess the best alternative to this would be path.
The rest of Draco and Astoriaís date/coffee meeting/heart to heart, was really great. Draco revealed more about himself, and I loved the little banter between the two about his tattoo and Daphneís wedding. They seemed to be getting closer and closer, and it really is lovely to see that develop. Then the kiss and the promise of writing just made me even happier.
I thought that was brave of Astoria to go to McGonagall, especially when she said the part about people judging him to quickly, as you could tell that last part was sort of aimed at McGonagall. I loved that question McGonagall asked at the end, as it seemed to me as if she was trying to forgive Draco, and Astoriaís response to it was also great, as it seemed so true.
Iím really liking this story, so I hope the next chapter will be along soon!
-Kiana!Author's Response: Hi! I'm glad I could straighten that up for you. It really highlights the most difficult part of writing in this style where the dialog is always disconnected from the rest of the text. I don't think I'll repeat this experiment.
Ha! It never occurred to me that I'd left that ambiguous. Part of me wants to make it more clear, but then again you liked it. Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good. ;)
Draco let his walls down in a way that was a pretty big deal for him in this chapter. It definitely gave Astoria a better understanding of him and a lot of things to think about. And the snarky little line about Bellatrix, well, that was just for fun.
I guess the gist of the story with the Ratcliffe family is that the idea of "good guys" and "bad guys" tends to get really blurry when you dig into the details of the war. Everyone is justified in their own mind because they're only doing what the had to do to survive.
Thanks for pointing out my Americanism. I'll figure out some way to tidy that up.
I think McGonagall is rethinking Draco, but she hasn't made any decisions yet. I'm sure Hermione's "confession" made an impression on her. Astoria's opinions will also nudge her in that direction. But she's still a long way from trusting or accepting him.
The next chapter is partly written. Other things keep getting in the way, but fear not, I will get there. Thanks for reading and reviewing! Report Review
Hello again! Iíve almost caught up with this story, so I hope more appears soon, as I really love it!
Even though it was only a brief comment, I really love how youíve shown the differences between purebloods like Astoria, and purebloods like the Weasleys. It reminds of class divisions, and how the Weasleys are considered inferior, yet they always appear to be having so much more fun, as they donít have to care as much about how they appear to everyone else.
Aw even though I hate Harry and Ginny as the main pairing, I love them being the other pairing, so the mention of them was really sweet and heart-warming, and you could tell how close they are. Just a little clarification here, am I right in assuming that you stuck to canon and Harryís not at Hogwarts for his 7th year? I was just a little unsure about that.
I really liked Ronís characterisation, even if he did seem a little mean! Iím glad that you didnít decide for them to kiss and makeup straight away, as that would just be unrealistic, and this is the much better way, even if Ron does look evil. But hey heís doing his job, so I canít complain!
Their fight scene was excellent, as it seemed just like something the pair of them would end up doing. I was proud of Draco for sticking up for himself, even though he was attacking an auror which was pretty serious, it was in self-defence. With Ron being so stubborn and all though he couldnít exactly reason with him to stop!
Woo go Hermione! I always knew she was awesome, but her scene here was excellent. I really love that you made her head girl as she would make a great one. Haha the way she talked to Ron, like he was a little kid, it was nice to see that somethingís havenít changed. I was surprised that she did use levicorpus on him, as she seemed more forgiving, but then I remembered what Bellatrix did to her, so it was no surprise really!
Then when Draco called her a mudblood, it reminded me so much of Snapeís worst memory, and I loved that nod towards it, as that is one of the most poignant moments of the book series. It was nice to see that Hermione was giving him a second chance, as he does deserve one.
Poor Draco though, I know what he and his family did was wrong, but I still canít help but feel some sympathy for him, as he canít go anywhere without being attacked! Then the last part, what have you done to Astoria? Sheís so adorable, and innocent, itís horrible to think thatís she been attacked!
An excellent chapter, and I canít wait to read on!
-Kiana :DAuthor's Response: Hi, there! Apologies for taking so long to respond. I got so tied up in finishing Waiting Room that I've fallen a little behind.
Anyway, I'm glad you liked the way I've tried to portray the various part of "pure blood society", if there even is such a thing. In my own mind, I don't really even see the Weasleys living in the same world with the Greengrasses, but I suppose that the do show up on the pretentious family trees that adorn the walls of the manor houses of the old pure blood families. They are definitely having more fun!
You are correct. Harry has chosen to forgo his seventh year and enter Auror training, along with Ron. That's the biggest reason why Ginny is so eager to see him. Like Ginny, Hermione chose to return to school. I'm glad you liked the brief glimpse of Ginny and Harry in this. Since it isn't their story, I didn't want to dwell on them, just give Astoria an opportunity to ponder what it means to lose one's self in love.
In my mind, Ron still has a lot of unresolved anger and grief left over from losing Fred, and Draco becomes an easy target. I didn't want Ron to seem likeable -- especially since this all happens from Draco's point of view -- but I didn't want him to seem evil, either. Hopefully I got close.
So just to clarify, it was Ron who hung Draco upside down. Hermione releases him from the curse and tries to help him out, but Draco is too far gone to think rationally by that point. His pride is wounded and he lashes out at her. So he makes a terrible mistake and she makes him pay for it.
I'm not sure how much sympathy I want readers to feel for Draco. In every case so far, he's been the creator of his own difficulties. He still has a lot to learn, but he's trying.
I'm really glad you're enjoying the story. Thanks for reading and reviewing! Report Review
Congratulations! You get my 300th review :D
I see thereís no change in how the Malfoys get what they want! Itís nice to see that Draco is going back to Hogwarts, as I didnít think he would have been brave enough to return, but itís nice to see that everyone can surprise you! I liked the idea of wizarding charities though! It looks as if heís suffering from PTSD, no wonder given the horrors that he had to go through in the war.
Ah McGonagallís so scary when you donít see her from Harryís perspective. I would be quaking in my boots if I was him. The reaction is what I expected though; as though the governors may be easily swayed I didnít think someone like her would be! It sounds even worse than when Iím forced to go to school, at least I can talk to my friends, and itís more than Draco can do, if he has any friends there that is.
Iím really loving Astoria sheís just so sweet, that you canít help but not love her! The way she was so nice to her house elf, then her talking to Isadore! I do agree with Isadore though, her and Draco would make a cute couple.
I liked the idea of Draco having to take muggle studies! I wonder whether that will change his views on muggles at all?
Aw Luna my heart goes out to you! Sheís so adorable and lovely, and of course it would be her who forgot about the old prejudice, and just help those who need it. I really loved that scene with her and Draco, and it was nice to think he gave her food. It almost made me ship Luna/Draco!
I thought it was another excellent chapter, and I have to say I love your style itís so easy to follow, and reads really well! Iíll be coming back for chapter 4!
-Kiana :DAuthor's Response: Hi, there!
I think the Malfoys have a pretty simple formula, and they're not the type to fix something that isn't broken. So, yes, Draco does more or less buy his way back into school. And he is suffering badly from PTSD or whatever the magical equivalent might be.
McGonagall doesn't make any bones about her feelings, does she? She gives the first of many cold doses of reality that Draco will experience in this story.
Astoria is, at her core, just a very good, very caring and loving person. But you'll find that she has a few rough edges before this story is all said and done.
The line about Muggle Studies was sort of a throw-away, but I thought it was amusing. One more way to ratchet up the torment Draco suffers.
I needed Luna for two reasons in this chapter. First, somebody had to step in and keep the two Gryffindor boys from cursing Draco. I thought about Hermione, but I'm not quite ready to have her let bygones be bygones just yet. Second, she sort of puts a human face on the misgivings that Draco and his mother had about their family's role in the war.
I'm really glad that the story is easy for you to follow. A lot of credit definitely should go to my beta reader, as well.
Thanks so much for reading and reviewing! Report Review
Hi again! This story seemed to be pulling me back to read it, and it really caught my attention, so I knew I had to finish reading this :D
Wow what a dramatic start to the chapter! You created such a vivid picture, that all I could picture in my head was bodies, and it was starting to scare me. I really liked that you showed that Draco was still being affected by the war, as some people tend to think that everything is perfectly fine after the war, and everyone recovers immediately, but of course that would never happen! It was interesting that he pictured Ďthe good peopleí, before thinking of the people on the side he was on. Perhaps this is showing some levels of remorse towards the people he fought against?
I really liked how you showed that Narcissa had some parental concern over Dracoís nightmares. People often make her out to be some cold dragon, but I donít think thatís accurate, so I like what youíve done with her. It was also nice to see that Lucius was being shown in a positive light for once, as again thereís a tendency to make him out to be evil.
I really loved that scene with Astoria and her father. She sort of reminded me of Hermione, with her keenness to get ahead of everyone by reading her Charms book. It was nice again to see that there is a nice bond between the parent and child, as I almost imagine that as theyíre purebloods, they could be a bit heartless towards the children, but it was nice to see that wasnít the case.
I would have thought that the Greengrasses would have supported the Malfoys and their cause, but again that was a great twist to find that wasnít the case. It also showed you, that you may think that all the non-blood traitor purebloods would support their cause, it may not be the case for all of them. Astoriaís father did seem to show a lot of anger towards them, and that juxtaposed with Astoria helping Draco.
It was nice to that positive change in Dracoís life. I thought it was really sweet that he wanted to go back and finish his newts, even though the entire school would most likely hate him, due to his parents, and what he did in the war. You can see that heís really determined to Ďdetoxí his life.
I thought this was a great chapter, and you can expect to see me back soon!
-Kiana :DAuthor's Response: Hi, there!
I'm glad the dream scene turned out well for you. I'm still not 100% happy with it, but I stared at it until my eyes hurt and I can't think of any other way to improve it. I had such a vivid picture in my head, but I also wanted the scene to be really dark and spartan. Not an easy combination.
I think Narcissa is a very good mother. I never would have thought that until HBP and DH, but those two books totally redeemed her in my eyes. I hope I didn't make Lucius sound *too* positive. He might be back to cause some problems for Draco later in the story...
More than anything, I wanted the Greengrasses to come across as a *relatively* normal, well-adjusted family. Granted, you can only be so normal when you're an old, wealthy family of wizards and witches, but the key takeaway here is that Horatio loves his daughters very much and he disapproves of the way the Blacks and Malfoys conducted themselves during the war if not necessarily the underlying philosophy of the Death Eaters. He believes in the merits of tradition and blood purity, he just thinks that those ideals were twisted to serve the ambitions of a murderous madman. And he's essentially correct. What he doesn't appreciate is that the Blacks, Malfoys and other Death Eater families didn't create Lord Voldemort. Voldemort would have been incredibly dangerous with or without their support.
Draco does want to make positive changes, he's just just not sure how to go about it and he doesn't yet realize how difficult it's going to be. But he'll know very soon...
Thanks so much for coming back to this! I really appreciate your thoughts and reactions. Report Review
I really liked the beginning of this story, as it was rather unusual. I've never read a story which starts with someone being sick, but I liked it, as we went straight into the action. I also liked the fact that Draco was being sick, as you always imagine him being immaculate, and never ill, so it was a bit of a twist.
I never really imagined Draco becoming a drunkard, but it seemed rather fitting. I guess considering everything that he went through during the war, it seems like a likely option, as that way he drowned his sorrows. It also re-inforced the image of Draco being worn down, and I guess that also represents the downfall of the entire Malfoy family.
I liked the idea that it was Astoria who saved Draco, and that she might be the one who saves him from his rather bad life at the moment. I liked her characterization as well, as she doesn't seem to be the type of girl who Draco would fall for, as she seems rather quiet. But I think that works well, as it shows the unpredictably of it all.
I also liked her line about Draco needed to detoxify. It links in really well with the title, and it seems to fit with the whole story idea as well.
I thought this was a really interesting start, and I really like what you've done with Draco, as he does seem rather different to most post-war stories I've read about him. I do think that your portrayal of him, does seem the most accurate so far. I thought this was a great chapter :D
-KianaAuthor's Response: Hi, there!
I didn't start out with the intention of writing an especially unusual story. Draco's disaffection, depression and alcohol abuse all seemed like pretty likely reactions after the war. But, compared to a lot of post-war Draco fics I've read I guess it is somewhat outside of the norm.
Astoria hasn't saved him just yet, but she's given him something to strive for. Something that's still rather abstract and idealized in his mind. That *could* be an issue later on.
I'm glad that you enjoyed the start of the story. Hope to see you back again some time. Thanks for reading and reviewing! Report Review
So I totally plan to keep reading CoB, but I really wanted to hop over and take a look at something you're still currently working on. Is this part of the same universe? I'm not sure I'm far along enough in CoB to know, but already this feels like a glimpse into the pre-CoB Draco.
I really liked how gritty this chapter started off -- that you didn't gloss over the unpleasant details of him getting sick. If this is going to be about redemption for Draco, it's obviously important to make the lows pretty low, and I'd say throwing up in an alleyway, abandoned by his friends, definitely qualifies. There were a few moments where Draco's self-awareness/ability to have deep thoughts seemed a bit at odds with how drunk he's supposed to be, but other than that, it really hits a strong note right out of the gate.
I love how the tables have been turned on Draco -- becoming the other, the one no one wants to have in their establishment. Payback is cruel, isn't it? But it sets a good precedent. If Draco is going to have any sort of change of heart, being forced to suffer (even in a small way) what he inflicted on others may be the only way to show him how wrong he was in the past.
But then the Aurors came. What a great line. So ominous. I don't know if you plan to elaborate on that, but it says a lot, and none of it good for the Malfoys. And the line about the coins being his "father's words." Brilliant. These little asides say more than ten paragraphs of narration. And wow, was Astoria reading his mind? Or did she just sense he'd been thinking about fleeing when she mentioned the fourth D?
I think you hit on an interesting point when Draco realizes that he's a living reminder of what they all just suffered through. The war is over but clearly these sorts of things don't just tie up in neat little bows at the end. I can't help but wonder, though, if he's latching on to the idea of Astoria here as a bit of a motivation for a change he knows is long in coming. He seems to have been taken with her incredibly quickly, especially for a girl he says he hardly remembers from school, so I wonder if there is more going on there.
I'll definitely be back soon to check out some more. The post-war Malfoys are such an interesting topic. It's so fun to read how different people imagine there place in the world after Voldemort's defeat.Author's Response: Hi! I definitely understand the desire to diversify, although I don't think I'll be moving on from Over the Edge until I've finished it.
So I haven't conducted rigorous studies to verify that this story and Marked are perfectly consistent with CoB, but yes, in my mind the three stories show Draco at three distinct phases of his life. Marked takes place after the Battle of the Department of Mysteries, when Draco is made a Death Eater in order to punish Lucius for his failure.
I try really hard not to gloss over anything in this story unless I absolutely have to for ToS reasons. It's a story about a guy who goes from extreme unhappiness to a much happier life, but with a lot of bumps in the road. The start of the story finds him at a very low point in his life. He basically has one foot in the gutter, and only his family's money and a strand of loyalty to his mother are keeping him from tumbling the rest of the way in. While he's at this point, he has what alcoholics refer to as a Moment of Clarity.
Payback is very cruel, indeed. And it isn't over yet...
I probably won't spend too much time going into what happened when the Aurors were questioning the Malfoys after the Battle of Hogwarts, since it's in the past, but you might see a memory or two.
Astoria doesn't read his mind so much as she just realizes that he's going to have to get home somehow. She's very practical that way, with a good head on her shoulders.
Draco is a living reminder of the war to everyone who sees him. It's a curse he will bear throughout this story. I tend to think that there were no "neat bows" for anyone who actually survived the war. Do not pity the dead; pity the living. ;) I think Draco initially sees Astoria as more of an ideal than a person. To him, it seems sort of like providence that she enters his life just as he's having this epiphany. Don't worry, they'll both have some time to explore whether he fancies her or just the idea that she represents.
I'm glad you liked it. It's been very challenging to write, mostly from the standpoint of trying to imagine all the various hurdles that the two of them would encounter along the way. The 2-year age difference is a particularly annoying detail to work around.
Thanks for reading and reviewing! Report Review
I'm really sorry that I didn't come back and attack this properly. For some reason, I've been bombarded with both real life and having to clean out my review thread. Its been making me all annoyed and such because I'd wanted to catch up on this and some other stories that I'd been reading.
But who cares about that?! I'm so relieved that Draco and Astoria made it away from the Ratcliffe's without real injury. I was really worried from the last chapter and the fact that Draco was able to disapparate at all was startling. What I really enjoyed, aside from the wonderful way you described him and his emotions of course was the simple banter that he and Astoria had. There was nothing over the top, just a simple, "prat" that spoke volumes for me and gave me a great perspective of how their relationship could be. Draco is incredibly stubborn but Astoria is as well so that might keep them busy for a while. The conversation and confessions that he gave her just simply blew my mind, I was so engrossed in this that I sort of ignored whatever else was happening.
I'd never heard of many stories detailing what Draco might have been doing during the War but you put so much detail and feeling into it that it was completely believable and fantastic. Astoria's reactions were great and I'm so glad that she didn't run off and abandon him, as Draco seemed to think she would. There are some surprises in store for them both I think, since their talk didn't go in the direction that most people would consider "romantic". It was far more realistic and emotional than just a fluffy lovey-dovey thing and thank god for it. Hahaha.
So, Hermione! I'm really glad that she told the truth and defended Draco to McGonagall, though I had a feeling that she would either way.
The fact that Astoria took up all that time to tell McGonagall what she thought about Draco and even telling HER what she thought needed to change really stuck out to me. She's really got some spirit in her and I like that shse wasn't afraid to show it and go out of her way for him either. I think that made all the difference at the end and the fact that McGonagall took that into consideration, at least a little bit, showed something to me.
So, I can't wait for your next update! I'm wondering how Astoria's father is going to feel about their relationship? Well, I sort of know but I wonder how he's going to handle it when she tells him? If things progress, anyway.
Anyhoo, no CC's, it was wonderful and amazing and all that good stuff. :)
GabbieAuthor's Response: Hi, there!
No worries. I can see that you're definitely busy. Please take your time and enjoy!
Draco suffered minimal damage in their flight from Hogsmeade and I think that Astoria actually finds his brave front very endearing, so it all worked out for the best. The two of them have a pretty easy dynamic with one another. They come from similar backgrounds with similar -- although not identical, obviously -- values.
I imagine that Draco got sent on a lot of very dangerous assignments during the year between Dumbledore's death and the end of the war. His family was still out of favor with the Dark Lord and I always got the impression that Draco became a favorite whipping boy. That's part of why Voldemort taunts Draco and the rest of his family shortly before killing Charity Burbage at Malfoy Manor. In my mind, there wasn't any chance of Astoria running away, no matter what Draco told her about his past. She came to Hogsmeade to figure him out, and she's determined to get her answers.
I think Hermione is much too honorable not to be honest with McGonagall about what happened. She would be very concerned about how her actions reflect on the school and her position as Head Girl. After what she witnessed in the Potions classroom, I think she's also starting to feel just a bit bad for Draco. She was there in Malfoy Manor and the Room of Requirement. She saw Draco pretend not to know who Harry was and she saw him hesitate when Crabbe and Goyle were trying to goad him into killing Harry.
McGonagall isn't going to jump on the Draco Malfoy bandwagon just yet, but Astoria's heartfelt explanation is a start. She really did stick her neck out a bit, knowing what low regard the Headmistress holds Draco in. As far as her father goes, you'll find out soon. ;)
So glad you're enjoying the story. It's proving to be a little harder to write than Marked was, but overall I'm pretty happy with the results. Thanks for reading and reviewing! Report Review
Ohh I love watching Astoria putting Draco in his place. Even if itís in her relatively subtle (not to subtle) way. She wasnít too harsh, but she made it clear that (even though she understands heís hurt) he has no right to snap at her. Silly Draco, youíll learn.
See, heís already learning when he adds that he appreciates what she did. Maybe there can be hope for him, after all ;)
You show so well that Astoria is a lot different from Draco. She went through the war (though not in the same way), she was raised a pureblood, but she understands a different sort of respect than Draco was taught. Her referring to Hermione as Miss Granger made me so happy. Because itís clear that, no matter what blood Hermione is, her position in the school and sheer intelligence isnít overlooked by all purebloods.
Your mention of Belllatrix and that she gave Draco the book and told him it was his own fault if he was hurt, is so so perfect. I can just hear her in my head.
ďIf you canít figure out how to manage a simple thing like Apparation, how on earth do you believe yourself worthy of serving the Dark Lord, Draco?Ē cue scary look.
The section about why those people wanted to hurt Draco was just as intense as the first time. Imagining Draco going through all that, having to watch it, be part of it. Itís so terrible.
And Astoriaís question! That one took my breath away, as well.
The fact that he wants her to understand that he didnít want the Mark.. that speaks so much about him. He needs her to realize that by the time he understood what he was doing, he didnít want to be doing it. Heís not a cruel person, he just didnít understand what he thought was right or wrong until it played out in front of him.
God sheís so cute. She doesnít stand a chance against McGonagall. But at the same time she does. Because she sees things without the prejudice that, though Iím sure McGonagall wishes she could forget, she never can. Sheís naive in such a perfect way.
And here! By McGonagallís small question of believing if Dracoís changed. Thatís more than her questioning Astoriaís judgement, itís her honestly wanting to know. Something our wonderful Astoria said went into McGonagallís head. And what a McGonagall! She was so, so perfect.
I wondered a few times how you would end this and what part McGonagall would play. Punishment wise. If Dracoís life would get even worse...
But it seems that things may actually look up from here. And Hermione going to talk to McGonagall and stand up for Draco is so exactly her.
Itís not hard to imagine how this young girl becomes Mrs. Malfoy one day. You managed to keep something incredible similar -- sheís a kind girl (woman, eventually) until she has a reason to be tough. Then she comes up with this strength that you wouldnít have thought she had, but it fits her.
I am in love with this chapter. Itís the best portrayal Iíve ever read of these two in the Ďstarting out phase.í And I have to admit, I probably wonít be able to be as patient for the next ;). Now that things are speeding up, I just want MORE.
♥Author's Response: Hello, darling! And once again, congratulations on your big promotion!
Thus begins a lifetime of Astoria being there to take Draco down a couple of pegs when he's being a jerk. She is the air valve in the back of his head for those moments when he gets too full of himself. As you mention, they do have certain things in common, but her upbringing was very different from his.
Ha! I cheerfully admit that when I was writing that section, the Bellatrix in my head bore a striking resemblance to the Bellatrix in BTF. She's such a nasty piece of work and you write her so very well!
Astoria looks at Draco very differently from other people. She was never tormented by him in school, and her family is secure enough in their station that they never needed to subjugate themselves in front of Lucius and kiss the ring. So she doesn't have any particular bias toward him, good or bad. It allows her to see certain things, like the fact that he never wanted to be what his father was.
While Astoria came into the conversation with McGonagall intending to sell her something, things didn't really turn out that way. It's a good thing because, like you said, Astoria isn't going to get anything past the Headmistress. But her simple honesty makes an impression. And I think Minerva is just beginning to rethink her opinion of Draco.
I'm really glad you liked this chapter. It's turned out to be one of my favorites in this story because so many important things are revealed. As always, thank you for your kind words, friendship and support. Until next time! Report Review
Hello! I'm excited to see what sort of conversation Draco and Astoria will have now that they're in a more private place...
Oooh- another fantastic look into Draco's life after the war. I really admire your ability to understand what he went through as an unvoluntary Death Eater during the war. You don't soften his experiences, you don't have him commit any great acts of heroism to "redeem himself". Instead, you show that he made bad decisions, yes, but he was also very afraid for his and his family's lives. He was reluctant to contribute to the Death Eater's acts but he is not someone who would die for the Wizarding world, like Harry, and there's nothing truly wrong about that. He's human, that's all.
I think that he did a great job of showing his vulnerability in this chapter, of letting Astoria see more of who he is. It really shows just how much he wants to become closer to her, since his pride forbids him from opening in such a manner to everyone.
I also really liked how Astoria was one of the few to see the difference between receiving the Dark Mark and wanting to receive it, as there really is a large difference between the two possibilities. Furthermore, I think that Draco did a great job of explaining his thoughts about the Dark Mark. He didn't just start in and explain his hatred of the mark in an over-the-top manner, which certainly would have gained him points in some company... But not Astoria's. He was able to see that she really wanted the truth and all of the grey areas that accompany it.
Your explanation of his feelings toward the Dark Mark was fantastically done. It fit Draco's character perfectly, with his admiration of his father and his slow realization of what the mark actually meant. It was well put when he said that the mark didn't give you any power, it just made you a slave.
However, I was a little confused by Draco's explanation of what had happened between him and the Ratcliffes. I understand why he and Greyback went to seek them out, but then you said Greyback attacked the middle son... And Astoria asked if it was the "youngest son", to which Draco nodded yes. Did I miss something? What is the significance of him being the youngest son... And when you said "middle son", were you referring to his position in the row?
I also really liked that you added Astoria's encounter with McGonagall into this chapter. I was really interested to see how it would play out and so I'm very glad that I was able to sate my curiousity immediately! I really liked the twist you put with Hermione, especially since it does seem like Hermione to defend Draco from the prejudice she likely (and truly) thought he would receive from other witnesses.
I don't think that Astoria's words will result in an immediate change in McGonagall's treatment of Draco but I do think that it's planted the seed for a slightly gentler treatment in the future. Draco still needs to prove himself but McGonagall is probably more willing to give him the chance to prove himself now.
All in all, I think that you did a great job with this chapter and I'm eager to read what will happen next (especially Draco's surprise when he realizes that, against all odds, he's still enrolled in Hogwarts). While I can't say "Thank you for requesting a review!", I certainly can say "Thank you for replying to my status!". So thank you! :)Author's Response: Hello, hello! Thanks for the generous offer!
I've never thought of Draco as "brave", per se. Probably the bravest thing he does in the books is when he lies to Bellatrix about not knowing who Harry is. But he is very devoted to his family. So I tend to cast most of his actions in terms of his motivation to stay alive and keep his family safe, or at least as safe as they can be under the circumstances.
I think the vulnerability he shows to Astoria is key. She's never going to accept that he's changed unless he lowers the walls somewhat and shows her. She's quite perceptive. So after he finishes baring his soul to her about the horrible night when he first met the Ratcliffes, I think it definitely would have made her question whether he ever wanted to be a Death Eater.
Draco's feelings about taking the Dark Mark are very grey, I think. I have to imagine that he spent the better part of two years wondering how getting everything he'd always dreamed of turned out to be such a horrible thing.
I guess I could have made the part about the three sons more clear. Madam Ratcliffe had three sons. The middle son tried to attack Draco and Greyback killed him. So when Astoria asks about "the third son", she isn't referring to their birth order but to the fact that only two of the Ratcliffe boys attacked Draco in the last chapter in Hogsmeade.
McGonagall is doing some thinking by the end of this chapter. Like most people, she isn't ever going to forget which side Draco fought for. She will also never forgive him for allowing Bella, Greyback and the others into the castle on the night Dumbledore died, even though Dumbledore was fully aware of what was going to happen. But she is beginning to take note in the change she sees in Draco. More on this in future chapters.
I'm really glad you liked the chapter. This story is slow going for me because I know where it's going to end, but I haven't 100% figured out how I'm getting there. That's part of what makes it fun, I guess. Thanks so much for reading and reviewing! Report Review
Those two, they just make my heart melt! Again, the descriptions were so intense, I almost felt short of breath when Draco was struggling to get a hold on himself.
I like how he can open up to Astoria and she is so understanding. In my mind, she is a lot like Narcissa and I think the two of them got along very well. It's always interesting how you can explain the events of the war through the eyes of the "bad guys". It's so strange yet at the same time humbling for me to see that Draco did indeed struggle with the moral issues of what he was doing and he wasn't just a robot programmed to do the Dark Lord's biding. The story about the man and his son was incredibly sad, it's a horrible thought that Lucius sent his child to bare witness and participate in something so cruel. I swear, the only back bone that man ever had was that cane he carried around and maybe the stacks of Galleons in his vault. It makes me sick. They should call Wizard Child Protection or something.
Astoria describing Bellatrix as a lady (nevermind the charming bit) brought a smile to my face. She is so well educated that she can even call the mother of all evil and cruelty a lady.
I also like how in character Hermione is. Even though she is in love with Ron, she still believes in doing what is right and she couldn't bring herself to abuse her position when anybody else would've done it.
I think McGonagall may regard Astoria as a little naive, since as she pointed out her family wasn't directly involved in the war and she didn't see all the things McGonagall saw or heard off. I think it's going to be an interesting journey to see how Astoria grows from a girl into a young woman and later the wife of Draco.
As always, this was flawless, with perfect grammar and spelling! Can't wait to read more!
RalAuthor's Response: Hi, there! Always a pleasure to see you, my dear.
There were a lot of intense emotions in this chapter. "Feels" as Jami would say. I'm glad that they came through well for you. Writing it was... hmmnnn... I'm not sure "scary" is the right word, but it required a lot of careful thought and fine-tuning to get it the way I wanted it.
The similarities between Astoria and Narcissa are not by accident. Draco sees them too, and I think it could become a topic of conversation between the two of them later on. ;)
I don't think of Lucius as being malicious. He's misguided and weak, and he gets himself in way over his head, but remember in Deathly Hallows when he's begging the Dark Lord to be allowed to go after Harry so he can search the castle for Draco? I never thought that was the request of an evil man or a complete coward. I think Lucius was in love with the *idea* of being a Death Eater. He liked the idea of people being afraid of him and he liked to dabble with dark magic. But the Dark Lord's true supporters -- people like the Lestranges, Barty Crouch Jr, Dolohov and Rookwood -- were a whole different kind of person. They were either fanatically dedicated to Voldemort or they were cruel, sadistic sociopaths who enjoyed violence and killing.
Even after hearing Draco explain a bit of what life as a Death Eater was like, Astoria still doesn't really understand what people like Bellatrix were all about. Don't worry, she'll get a better idea before this is over.
Hermione is the sort of person, at least to me, whose conscience wouldn't allow her to lie to McGonagall about what happened.
I'm really glad that you enjoyed this chapter. Aside from the first one, this one was the most fun to write. Thanks for reading and reviewing! Report Review
Hey look what I found in my Ďhpffí folder! How about if I ever go more than two days without reviewing a new chapter of yours, you throw something of me. I donít even know how I didnít realize that I *didnít* review it when I looked at my reviews to see responses. Maybe we should revisit the conversation of me dying my hair blonde. ANYWAY -- Sorry, mídear ♥
Hi darling! Iím excited to see how the final product of chapter 4 in this (soon to be) novel -- because we both know itís headed there ;).
Not only do I love getting to see the interaction between Harry and Ginny, but I love getting to see it through Astoriaís eyes. You made it clear how happy those two still are while still holding Astoriaís pureblood social trainings (I can not think of a better way to phrase that. Forgive me. Itís late and I listened to people whine all day) in the front of her mind. I really love that sheí a tiny bit jealous, as well. Because sheís still a teenage girl.
And sheís already of course wondering what can happen with her and Draco. Not quite in doodling Mrs. Astoria Malfoy on her parchments, but I can tell she wants too ;).
Oh and here is Ron making a bit of an idiot out of himself, with the best intensions behind the idiotness, Iím sure. I LOVE the changes you made to this section. Draco has the certain amount of self control that we can tell he had to have gained through the war. I think your choices with Voldemort are shut up or get tortured, so I like that the newly acquired ability to bite his tongue is being shown here. Until, of course, heís pushed just a bit too far.
Oh Iím really not thrilled with Ron right now. Heís being a jerk. Yes, he probably has every right to be. Well, at least in his head, but again.. this is Ron. Oh god, now see what youíre doing, Ron? Youíre acting worse than Draco Malfoy. I really do want to shake him. Itís just like when he got angry at Ron and Hermione, even if some of it was the Horcrux, it was also still the fact that Ron has never book good at thinking things through when his emotions get involved. I donít remember exactly how much you changed in this section, but itís absolutely perfect now. Theyíre both so themselves, Draco with a new sort of understanding of what is worth fighting over and what isnít, that Iíll admit... is a bit hot. Oops. Sorry. Fangirl moment
ĎWas that some sort of crack about my family being poor?í youíre doing it again, Dan. Youíre being JK Rowling. Now, Iím going to ask you again for the hundredth time, are you *sure* you arenít her? Really, really sure?
I canít even blame Draco for his mistake, right here. Itís so much like the Severus scene, except for Draco was never Hermioneís best friend so itís much less hurtful. If he had said that to Astoria or something (obviously he wouldnít because he wouldnít be going on a date with her if she was that) Iíd be angry with him, but in this instance, I can see exactly why he snapped.
I love how perceptive youíve made Astoria. She really watches things and uses what she sees to make her decisions. Not what others tell her. I seriously just want to hug this girl.
Ahhh. Cliff hanger?! What?
That last scene was actually harder to read this time than when you sent me the first chapter. Harder to read in the emotional sense of the word. It just isnít fair for Draco to have to deal with this kind of thing after surviving what most people wouldnít have. No, Draco isnít going to get an award for worldís best person. But he isnít a bed person, either. Heís a product of how he was raised, and heís trying to hard to at least change what he was doing to himself. Heíll never be as accepting as most others of different blood lines, but he isnít cruel, either.
Gah. Daniel. Why do you do this to me.
Also, youíre confused. My threats are NOT thinly veiled! They are big, scary, serious ones! :P
This chapter was so awesome and too both Astoria and Draco into a much more serious place than either of them thought this little afternoon tea would bring.
Now to see how the rest of the date, goes...Author's Response: Ah, darling, so nice to see you! Not that it's a rare occurrence, but always a pleasure. Please don't apologize for a thing!
I guess I am trending in the direction of a novel, aren't I? There are just so many interesting things to write about when you imagine these two courting one another! It's a tricky dance, with lots of bumps in the road. But we know it works out in the end.
I'm pleased to see that you interpreted Astoria's reaction to seeing Harry and Ginny exactly the way I meant it. It definitely nudges her in a certain direction as she prepares to meet Draco.
I don't know that Ron's intentions were necessarily all that good. There's no point in sugar-coating it. He's power-tripping, exacting a bit of revenge on his old nemesis from school. Draco does keep his cool much better than he would have before the war, but Ron keeps pushing his buttons. The outcome was pretty much inevitable.
I wasn't really thinking of any parallel between the moment where Draco snaps at Hermione and the moment where Snape ruins his entire life, but I can see it now that you mention it. And like Snape, Draco regrets his mistake immediately. Unlike Lily, however, Hermione makes him pay for it immediately instead of dragging his punishment out over the rest of his life.
Astoria is a very clever, thoughtful girl. She came to Hogsmeade in order to figure out what Draco was all about, and she is certainly getting an education in this chapter.
In the next chapter, you'll learn why the two wizards and the old witch from the village were attacking Draco. As with most things in his life, it's complicated. I give you cliff-hangers because without them you wouldn't sound nearly as credible when you say, "Daaannn! Tell me what happens in the next chapter!" :p
Perhaps your threats aren't veiled, but you do dress them up nicely.
So, yes, both Draco and Astoria have gotten more out of their little date than they bargained for. How much more, we will soon see...
Thank you, as always, for your friendship and support! Until next time... Report Review
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