Hi Claire! I'm back for another swap!
For some reason, this chapter seemed to have a lighter feel than the previous one. Perhaps it was the quiet and boredom of Pansy's captive existence. I liked it, though, because it felt sort of normal. For a moment, I almost forgot that she was under house arrest and imagined her as a petulant child stuck indoors on a cold, rainy day. I enjoyed reading about how she chose to entertain herself by cleaning up her things and reading.
It's interesting how you've managed to retain Pansy's true personality despite her situation. Even if she can't reign over the other students at Hogwarts, she can still entertain herself by thinking about how much lower they are compared to her. I especially love how she still fantasizes about her happily-ever-after with Draco, as if there is nothing to threaten that and this whole thing with the Ministry and the war will just blow over one day. I was almost surprised when she smoothly concluded that she didn't need her exams to be a trophy wife.
One thing I wasn't quite sure about was your use of the word "strewed" when discussing potentially incriminating objects in the Parkinson home. You may have meant "construed," which signifies a way of interpreting something. "Strewn" refers to things being placed haphazardly about the room or floor.
It'll be very interesting to see how things develop as Pansy's imprisonment term lengthens and she begins to realize the true consequences of the war. I'm very glad you decided to swap with this story :)
-Amanda Report Review
It’s been way too long. That’s the only negative about reading ahead, is I don’t have to read to find out what happened so it’s easier to not come back and review. But I love getting to read the chapters again to see the changes in such a more direct light, and I WILL not continue until I’m caught up on reviews, haha!
Anyway, I love that Pansy had to sort of build her confidence back up. Instead of being constantly confident like she would have been before Voldemort fell, it takes a bit for her to get there. And she’ll never be there again, which is good but almost a tiny bit sad. I know it shouldn’t be, because she was terrible. I just hope she gets stronger by the end of all this.
I really liked her thinking of the Goblin as an its. It is incredible fitting. Oh she works so hard to be poised but not appear cruel and further ruin any chance at being able to feel like a member of society.
Oh she has such a long road ahead of her. But this chapter was really a turning point to get her to push forward with her life. I didn’t realize that then, it just seemed like anotehr stepping stone, but it was a really a big ‘Pansy Moment.’
Excellent chapter as always ♥Author's Response: Hi! It's great to see you again- and it's been too long since I've reviewed your story as well. :P
I'm glad that you're enjoying Pansy's build back to confidence (though even in the latest chapters she still isn't quite as sure of herself as she was before the war). I don't know if I can reveal the "end" of her character growth without giving away the ending itself, so I won't speak about it here! :)
Writing about the Goblin as an "its" was a test of my dedication to writing through her perspective, because I really wanted to use "her/him", but I knew that she wouldn't use that language while describing them. They are to her, after all, just beasts.
Thanks so much for reading and reviewing and hopefully I'll get a chance to read "Before They Fall" again soon! Report Review
Hi Claire! I'm here to initiate our long-term swap :)
It's clear from what I've previously read of yours that characterization is one of your strong points, and this story is no exception so far. I love the little nuances you've built into Pansy's personality. For instance, the line about her fingernails nearly cutting holes into the newspaper as she follows along with the article clearly shows that control is a major concern of hers and she feels very anxious in this strange new topsy-turvy world. I always felt like Pansy cared more about Draco than he did about her in canon, but here I really felt like she was genuinely concerned about his well-being and really felt like she needed him there to stabilize her. I'm anticipating their meeting later in the story--and dreading it, given that he will probably have little to say to her that she would expect.
I also like the contrast between Pansy's desire to retain control and her utter hopelessness at going about it. She can't get the Floo to work, she can't travel with the help of a house elf, and she needs to say the truth out loud to her mother to even get herself to start to believe it. I like how Pansy's mother kept referring to her plans; I can see where Pansy gets her need for control and sense of self-righteousness. Neither of them can believe that the war could have real consequences for them. Makes me wonder what Mr. Parkinson is like!
The imagery in this chapter made me sad, and not because you didn't execute it beautifully (you did). It's weird to watch this sort of palace that Pansy grew up in turn into a prison, with her and her mother left to wander about aimlessly and try to make some sense of their new, trapped reality. Wonder if Pansy misses Hogwarts right about now?
I don't have any critique so far; your stories never disappoint. I'll try to be helpful where I can later on.
Very nice work! I'm definitely eager to read on.
-AmandaAuthor's Response: Hello Amanda! I'm sorry it's taken me so long to respond to this amazing review!
I'm really glad that so far you think I've done a good job with Pansy's characterization. Although I am fairly confident with it in the beginning of the story, as the story moves along Pansy begins to change or develop a lot, and since her development is the main focus of the story, I've been trying extremely hard to make her progress believable.
Mr Parkinson never really appears in the story himself, although he does feature in Pansy's thoughts on occasion. Imagining their family dynamics is very interesting because we've really only seen one Death Eater family in canon, and they, it could be said, gave up on Voldemort during the Final Battle.
Haha- I don't think Pansy misses Hogwarts so much as the freedom and power she felt there. At Hogwarts she felt as though she was at the head of the Slytherin girls, regardless of how true that was, and she felt that she held power because of her father's position as a Death Eater. Without that, without Draco, she feels lost and more helpless than ever before, a feeling that she is definitely not comfortable with.
Thanks for leaving such a well-thought-out reivew and I look forward to continuing our exchange! Report Review
That last line is so true. You really do have to figure out how to entertain yourself and that can be so hard to do. I liked this chapter and while the story is still setting itself up i think its moving along rather nicely. I like that you touched on the fact that she hadnt taken her newts yet as its a fact that could be easily over looked. I love her moms reaction with the aurors in her house and how she asked them about her husband. Pansy seems to be developing nicely and im really enjoying the story so far. Great job.
~slytherinchica08~Author's Response: Thank you for taking the time to read and review this chapter! I'm very pleased that you liked the last line- poor Pansy truly only has herself to pass time with.
I'm also glad that you think the story is moving along nicely. I didn't want to rush the story along too quickly, since it's not an action story and I wanted to expand on Pansy's time alone.
I'm also very glad that you like Pansy's development! It's great to here, as Pansy does change between the start and the end of the story (as she very well should).
Thanks once again for reading and reviewing! I really appreciate it! :) Report Review
Gosh i cant imagine what it would be like to wake up and suddenly have the world seem so different. To wake up and have your hopes dashed and your values no longer beneficial would throw anyone for a loop and then to aadd in a house arrest to it. Pansy was very well done in this chapter, just the right amount of tantrum and believable actions, though i do find it funny that it appeared she only checked the magical methods of escape. I like that her mom didnt really want to believe her as something like this would be hard to believe. I look forward to seeing where the next chapter will take us. Great job!
~slytherinchica08~Author's Response: Thanks once again for taking the time to leave a review! It was really difficult for me as well to imagine her feelings at that moment, but I hope I did a satisfactory job with what I wrote. After all, if you know the character, then it's easier to imagine their reactions to anything and everything.
I guess she only checked the magical methods because she figured that the Ministry would be smart enough to seal the physical manners of leaving the manor. As well, being raised a witch, I don't think she'd automatically think of leaving through the front door. She's more of a flooing/apparating type of gal. :)
I'm glad that you liked her mother's reaction. While more reserved than and slightly different from Pansy's own reaction, it definitely suits her personality.
Thanks once again for taking the time to leave a review! I really appreciate it! Report Review
I love the beginning to your story. Youve done a great job with your portrayal of pansy and her motives and thoughts. I love how you start this story out with a canon moment and one where anything that happens after is really all up to you. It was nice to see professor slughorn turn back and go to the war but making sure that there was someone to watch over everyone else as well. I also love how pansy wasnt really bothered with making sure they all left to go somewhere, it really reinforced the fact that she believes the dark ord is going to win and by doing this she could be in his good graces for making sure the pureblood children all left fine. This was a great beginning and i look forward to the next chapter.
~slytherinchica08~Author's Response: Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a review! I'm so glad that you enjoyed the beginning of the story. I personally can't imagine a different beginning to the story (and I suppose that's a good thing, since I'm the one who wrote it), since this is the moment here I could truly start to write her life after the war.
Yes, Pansy definitely believes that the Dark Lord is going to win. She's in for a rather rude awakening the next morning, though.
Thanks once again for taking the time to leave a review! Report Review
I forgot that this was the pug chapter!
Okay, not exactly the pug one, but the pug decision where darling Reflection reminders her of her promise.
I almost forgot that at this point she doesn't have him, poor Pansy :(.
I really liked the fact that she wanted the hex the owl for digging his claws into his wood, but didn't because she still had to use him. She has such an immense amount of self control. A lot of people raised the way she was, to get what they want when they want it, wouldn't be able to master it the way Pansy has. And I think it's such an important part of her character.
I loved that the supplies had been put in the library. It's so awesome to compare this Pansy to how she eventually gets. I'm just so proud of her. And again shows her ability to understand herself.
The way she had to concentrate so much on the letter, it had to be perfect. Again, I don't understand how you're able to weave so much character into every line. I like the rare show of frustration she gives into by crumpling the paper and throwing it on the ground. It's a small thing for anyone else, I crumple paper up all the time. But for Pansy, it's rare show for her and her iron tight self control. But the fact that she's doing it to rewrite the letter, to get it perfect, counters her actions perfectly. Am I making sense? This is your fault. Pansy makes me so... thoughtful. Haha.
I still, even on my current chapters, don't know what I think about Reflection. She creeps me out, mainly because she shows us how desperate Pansy has become for attention. Even her own attention.
And I wonder who this person she bumps into is? Hehe.
Ohh Roots, you have no idea how much this is just Pansy to me now. You've created such an amazing character. See you soon for the next chapter ♥Author's Response: Hello! Thank you so much for reviewing and I'm very sorry that it's taken me so long to respond!
I'm glad that you liked that moment. Pansy isn't able to indulge herself in her desires because the importance of maintaining a good appearance has been repeated to her many times over. She feels as though she can't let herself get out of control... And, as you said, it's become a major part of her character.
I'd almost forgotten that I had included that part about the supplies and the library! I'm really glad that you liked that detail. It definitely does show the progress she's made because she's out of her manor the majority of the time now... Or at least just for work.
Thank you so much for the compliment! I don't understand how you're able to capture the entire cast of the Marauders era so perfectly! :P Your thoughts do make sense. It was a rare show of emotion breaking through the cracks, and an even rarer show of it affecting her to such a visible degree.
Pansy's Reflection is an... interesting part in the story.
Oh, I have no idea who she bumped into. None at all... *whistles*
Thank you so much for the absolutely fantastic review! I'm so glad that I've written Pansy (and I wish we could use italics in responses) for you! :D Report Review
love the plot.. haven't red too many story, concerning the players on the other side of the war... great job!!Author's Response: Thank you so much for taking the time to read and review! I'm glad that you're enjoying the story! Report Review
Awesome! I thought there would be more to this Adri fellow than first impressions would indicate. It's obviously impossible to tell at such an early stage whether he's going to wind up being The One -- or whether he even has any interest -- but Pansy has set her sights on him and the game is on!
I like what this new determination is doing for her. She's finally trying to rebuild bridges with her coworkers. Nicola and Lesley seem moved enough by Pansy's loss to open themselves back up to her. Teresa seems like the most high school-ish of the bunch. And she has another great reason to avoid Cyril.
Wow, she really is starting to understand other people better, isn't she? This line in particular jumped out at me: "She could have told him that she had guessed his destination—there were no other departments on this floor, after all—but she didn’t want to. In some flash of intuition, she knew that he would be hurt by that comment, though he would try and play it off as a joke on his part, and she didn’t want to hurt him." That is an amazing leap for Pansy. I think it's the first time she's been able to put herself into the mindset of anyone outside of her own social strata.
I love the way that she tries to pretend she's somewhere else while eating in the Ministry cafeteria. Classic Pansy. And actually sort of clever, too!
You've left me very curious, based on the ambiguous way that you wrote her conversation with Adri. He might really be interested in her at a personal level, dare we even imagine a romantic interest? Or he may simply have a professional interest in her point of view. Regardless, he's willing to actually approach her in a friendly way, so that's something.
In the end, she's still treating this a little too much like a research project and not quite enough like a basic human interaction, but she's learning. Even her reflection seems to approve.
I noticed a couple of typos as I was reading:
The sound of Adri Bennett’s voice caused her to look of from her process of shuffling to the side to allow the occupants of the lift to exit. look up from her process?
Her family had immigrated to England shortly before the Second Wizarding World and hadn’t had the means to leave the country when it broke out. - Second Wizarding War?
Otherwise, your writing was lovely as always!
Is it OK that I feel afraid for Pansy? I'd love to see this work out for her, but there's such a long way to go and it's fraught with peril. Until next time!Author's Response: I'm so, so sorry for taking this long to respond to your fantastic review! But thank you for taking the time to review!
Yes, there definitely is more to Adri's role in the story than it first appeared...
I'm glad that you liked her new determination. She was in need of a bit of a refresher after the latest deterrents to it, wasn't she?
That sentence is one of my favourites for this chapter because it shows the progress she's made. At the start of the story, she may (and that's a possibility, not a certainty) have understood how others would react to her actions, but she wouldn't have cared if they were hurt by them, if their reactions didn't have negative repercussions for her. Now, she's withheld a comment simply because she knew that it would hurt Adri...
I'm glad that you liked that part! I don't think that Pansy could have managed to eat in the Ministry cafeteria yet without that coping mechanism.
You'll see more of Adri and his intentions very soon... Even as soon as the next chapter, I believe. :)
Thanks for pointing out those typos! I'll be sure to fix them!
Haha- I'm feeling very cautious and worried about Pansy myself! Thanks once again for your lovely review! Report Review
Roots! You've been giving me such lovely reviews *hug* I was about to respond but then decided that could wait until morning and I'd rather come review the next Pansy chapter!
Now that I know what happens, I'm looking at her in a whole new lights. Trying to stop the signs, and I feel a lot angrier at Pansy for how she's treating her mother than I did the first read through. I remember being more understanding, because she's such a logical sort of personality and her mother is so much more timid and quiet, that it made sense for Pansy to get easily irritated at her.
That still does make sense, but I'm just imagining more of how her Mother must've felt this time :(
It was so sad that the visit to Azkaban didn't do anything more emotional for her. She's hardened herself, and been raised in such a matter of fact way, that I didn't expect it to (even of the first read through) but at the same time I was hoping she'd just break. But she has something else to concentrate one. She's let herself forget, or ignore, what happened with Draco, she's not letting herself feel the fact that her father really is gone at this point (as good as gone, at least) she's just trying to move on to the next step of her plan.
The explanation of what they did to protect Azkaban, now that we no longer have dementors doing it, was one of the best I've ever read. The idea that they can separate the witch or wizard from their magic is just so perfect. It's easy to imagine how you'd feel having that integral part of you missing... and it is just such a creative touch.
This was an awesome chapter and, even if she wasn't able to find the kind of emotion I wanted her to, I was still proud of Pansy for going to Azkaban.
Okay, I'm off to finish work emails. Thanks for writing another amazing chapter to such an addicting story ♥Author's Response: Your story deserves them and it was my pleasure to write them!
One thing that's really interesting about being a writer is how you experience (or at least intimately understand) the emotions of your characters. This fact has created a conflict in my mind about Pansy's mother. On one hand, I understand why she's like how she is... But on the other hand, I see her through Pansy's eyes and Pansy is very unforgiving. It's very interesting to see that your views of her have changed as well, now that you have knowledge of the future (o!).
Writing the scene in Azkaban was very interesting (and I really should find a different word to use than interesting but it works so well...) because though I was aware of her father's state and tried to show it through small hints and details, Pansy refused to let herself see it and so I couldn't write it overtly. I'm glad that it came across well.
Eeep! I'm so happy that you think that! Personally, I think that it would be an absolutely terrifying experience, to have such an integral part of your body taken away like that, and I think that it would be very effective in stopping anyone from trying to escape. After all, the guards have magic and the prisoners would feel so empty without it that they probably wouldn't even try.
Thank you once again for re-reading and reviewing! I'm really excited to hear your thoughts on future chapters! Report Review
Oh gosh, she's a mess, isn't she?
This entire chapter made me sad for her on so many levels. In the beginning you do such an amazing job at making us understand what this isolation really is doing to her.
She isn't meant to spend months, years alone. No one is, and that's eating at her. She's terrified of what the outside world will do to her, but now she's let herself become so detached from it that she doesn't even realize how unhealthy she is. Trying to imagine being locked in your mind for that long, being too scared to take part in the real world but trying to justify that you just don't need it.
Until this reality check...
It is half frightening that she even considered her and Draco still a couple. But again, it goes so well with her current mental status. Not only does that news really break her apart, but the fact that she can't conceive when Draco may have met Astoria and fallen in love really shows more about her. She assumes because locked herself away, the rest of the purebloods who were involved in the war did the same.
You know what's neat? Going back and reading for a second time so I can review gives me a chance to see that, even if it doesn't seem like it at the time, Pansy really has come along way. The progress is so slow (and it has to be, because it's realistic. You don't go from as unwell as she currently is to the position she eventually will be in the new chapters over night.) Anyway, the progression is slow so it doesn't seem as huge when it happens. But now reading back over on this chapter, remember how terrible she'd been and reading the newer chapters where she goes out with coworkers, socializes, goes to work... it's just such huge steps for her. I never really appreciated the level of care you took to make sure all those were done at the right time, and to make sure they felt natural... I'm actually really glad I didn't review on my first read around because, like I said, I'm picking up so much more having known where Pansy will be in the 'future'.
Awesome chapter, m'dear!Author's Response: Hello! I always love reading your reviews and I'm so glad that you've left another one! :D
I'm also very, very glad that you think I did a good job of portraying the effects of her isolation on her. It was a very interesting passage to write because I tried to get across the sensation that a lot of time was passing, that her isolation and desolation was growing.
I think that Pansy would have gone on believing that she and Draco were a couple until the end of time if he hadn't stepped in and told her himself. She was so set in the mindset that they were together that nothing less could have shaken that knowledge.
Yes, yes, yes! I'm so happy about your observation! I've been trying to change Pansy slowly (I have a long-term projection of where I want her to end up) but it's fantastic to have someone else realize the changes and think that they've been done realistically. Thank you!
Thank you once again for taking the time to re-read and review! I love reading your comments and this review made my day! :D Report Review
Hello! Interesting first chapter - I am intrigued! Of course, it's a wonderful play with dramatic irony - we're all aware of the outcome, and just how wrong darling Pansy is...
This is an altogether new experience for me - my first Pansy-fic, and I am enjoying it very thoroughly; I am excited to see where it takes me! :D It is indeed slightly strange (but refreshingly so) to see the events of the war through her eyes.
Oh! and... Kudos to the interweaving of the DH events into the story - it is integrated really well.
Much love and props to your writing!
~ spreaddapooAuthor's Response: Thank you for taking the time to read and review! I'm so glad that you're intrigued!
Haha- yes, poor Pansy is very, very wrong in her assumptions. But she'll learn about that soon enough. :)
I haven't read too many Pansy stories either- she doesn't seem to be a very popular character to write about. (I wonder why). :) I'm glad that you're enjoying the story, which will soon go into the aftermath of the war through the eyes of a Slytherin/Dark witch.
Thanks once again for reviewing! I really appreciate it! Report Review
Hello, hello! Bet you didn’t expect to see me this soon. After the cliffhanger from the last chapter, I had to come check this out.
I wasn’t entirely sure what to make of the way that Pansy struggles in her conversation with Draco. She’s clearly going through a very difficult time, one that she’s not at all emotionally equipped to deal with. The isolation seems to be getting to her, so she reaches out to the only person she can speak to without being seen by her peers… and she goes about it in the worst possible way. She seems to vacillate between insulting him and begging – of course she doesn’t see it as begging, but that’s more or less how I read it – for him to acknowledge her. Even after all this time, she’s still pretty messed up on the inside. As much as anything, I always thing of your story as a cautionary tale on the dangers of bottling up your emotions instead of dealing with them.
Draco has obviously changed a lot. The flashes of understanding – maybe even pity – that he feels toward her suggest a level of maturity that has eluded Pansy. He seems fairly comfortable with himself, not needing to put on any sort of show for her benefit. Just as she’s studying him, he seems to draw a conclusion about her, as well. And the conclusion he comes to hurts her very badly. It’s sad.
Oh, no. Her reflection is back. And talking this time, as well. This can’t be a good sign.
I have so many mixed feelings about her new plan to restore the Parkinson name. On the surface, it seems like a good thing that she’s shedding the restrictive and very limiting tenet of only considering a pure blood suitor. But she seems so determined now to go and find a husband, it makes me worry that she’s charging into this without a lot of forethought. The poor thing has only one frame of reference for what a marriage should be like, the distant, cold, stilted relationship between her own parents. I don’t think that’s going to serve her well in her quest.
So I noticed one typo at the very beginning of the chapter that you might want to take a second look at: “Pansy continued to bit her tongue” – bite. Otherwise, your writing was flawless!
I think I’m more intrigued that ever at this point as to exactly where you’re planning to take this story. Pansy has so much to learn about how real adults relate to one another. So many walls she’s erected around herself that will have to come down if this marriage she’s planning has any chance of lasting. I think the opportunities for exploring her character are almost endless. I’m looking forward to learning what she discovers about herself as she tries to build a close relationship with another.Author's Response: Thank you so much for reviewing and I'm sorry it's taken me this long to respond!
This chapter marks one of the major turning points of the story, so I'm glad that you didn't find it unrealistic or completely odd. A lot of the rest of the story is based on what is said in this chapter... :)
I really liked your interpretation of the conversation between Draco and Pansy. She can't cope with him ignoring her as well so she tries several different methods to get him to respond... Even though he doesn't respond in a very pleasant manner and then she's hurt by his response.
Draco has been able to close off whatever previous dependence or closeness he had to Pansy, something that Pansy has not quite managed to do, despite her attempts. He doesn't like her and only went into the tomb with her because of pureblood tradition... And this distance, this dislike, comes out during the conversation.
You're absolutely correct. Pansy hasn't given her new declaration and path much thought, other than to think that it will surely secure her family's reputation. And, unfortunately, she will try to imitate her parents while seeking a spouse.
Thanks for pointing out the typo! I'll go and fix it!
I'm so glad that you're still interested in the story! Thanks for continuing to read and review- I really appreciate it! Report Review
I'm so sorry that I didn't come to this immediately when it was upated, I only just checked. It had been a while since your last update but I'm so happy to see you back, its always a pleasure. :)
I had such a bad feeling from the previous chapter and I'm so sad to see that Pansy's mother has passed away. I wished that there had been something more between them and while I was reading, I sort of sensed that that really bothered Pansy. She was trying so hard to remain composed but in the end, I think she may have lost herself a little, I would have liked to see her cry and break down. After all, the fact that hardly anyone showed and she's more alone than ever would have had me balling like a baby. I mean, its her mum! But I think she was trying to hold the Parkinson name very high, but I wonder if that's going to have a toll on her. Its a shame that her father was wasting away in Azkaban because I'm sure that he would have been destroyed by the news if he'd been well enough. :(
What I did enjoy while I was reading was the quotes Pansy remembered from her father about living and dying. They seemed strange, coming from a Death Eater, I'll admit, but they made alot of sense and I really hope that Pansy takes them to heart later on. I was surprised to see Draco at the funeral, I didn't expect him to be there after the last time that they had met. It was so awkward but him being there made me a littl relieved for Pansy, though I'm glad her reaction to him wasn't flooding into obsession again. This was such a sad chapter! And part two? I know that it'll make me want to dab at my eyes but I love this story and will follow it until the end. :)
Thanks for the update and I'll see you soon!
GabbieAuthor's Response: Hello! It's great to see you again! I'm sorry it's taken me such a long time to update but I'm hoping to get the second part up very soon!
The relationship between Pansy and her mother is very difficult because the manner in which they reacted to their situation was so very different... And their relationship had been weak to begin with, what with Pansy's difficulty with expressing her emotions. There would have had to have been a lot of work and effort used to get them both to a place where they could have a sustainable and strong relationship.
Pansy will definitely have a larger reaction to her emotions in Part 2. The reason she just didn't break down (though the temptation to write that on my part was definitely there) was not only because she had the family reputation to maintain but also because she's not completely sure of her own feelings about the situation. She's upset, definitely, but she's not sure of the depth or extent of her feelings and it doesn't help that she feels that she has to hide them.
My explanation for Draco's appearance at the funeral goes as such: Pansy, as per Pureblood custom, put out a general announcement about her mother's death and then one about where and when her funeral would take place. If anyone wanted to attend, they could. Generally, Purebloods attend the funeral of anyone they knew, regardless of personal feelings. This is all personal thought and speculation, but it's why he's there. :)
Thank you so much for your wonderful comments! I'm so glad that you like this story that much! Report Review
Hi darling! I'm so terrible. I'm going to try to review this pretending like I haven't read the first 25 chapters (I told myself I wouldn't read the newest two until I catch up in reviews).
Anyway! I really, really love the sense of fear you've instilled with Pansy returning back into the real world. In her manor she didn't really have to think about what it would be like, think about how she would be received, because she had no way of finding out. She probably has no idea how much she actually changed, well, except for the Mirror (which I'm so far dubbing 'old Pansy' in my head) reminding her of it.
I can't decide if I pity Pansy's mother, or wish Pansy could be more like her. She seems so air headed at times, but then she's accepting this, she's happier about this and taking advantage of it much better than Pansy. But of course that can go along with her air headedness.. I just think she's such a great balance to Pansy's incredibly serious nature, though.
This makes me sad :(. It's supposed to, so that's good, but I feel like so many of these kids aren't anything but a product of their upbringing. Is how they've acted for so long okay? No. But does she deserve the kind of ridicule society is putting on her, probably not. I'm not saying she's a good person by any means, but.. I don't know. She's just a product of stupid people, and that isn't her fault.
I LOVE that you're showing all this, though. That your making me question what I think about Pansy's place in all that, and that you aren't acting like she'd just be accepted into society's welcoming arms. It makes for an amazingly realistic story.
Until next time, m'dear ♥Author's Response: Hello! I was very glad to see your name again in the "Unanswered reviews"! And I definitely appreciate the difficulty of pretending that you don't know what happens next in the story... :)
I'm so glad that you think that Pansy's reaction to the possibility (and reality) of returning to the wider world is realistic/believable. She's gotten so used to the forced solitude that the possibility of facing others frightens her (not that she'll come right out and say that, of course).
Pansy's mother is definitely an interesting character to write because she's so alien to Pansy, while at the same time being so familiar tpp. She may be handling the changes better at the moment but what will happen when further changes take place? (I suspect that you have a very good idea about this.)
I enjoy reading your thoughts on Pansy. She's definitely a difficult character, isn't she? A product of prejudices; a person who finds it diifcult to change quickly... A person who is firm in their beliefs, a characteristic that would be appreciated if she had the right ones. :P
Thank you so much for leaving your thoughts! They were, as always, a pleasure to read! :)
I like your method of differentiating between Pansy and her reflection. "Her reflection" is just such a mouthful! Report Review
Oh, Pansy, my Pansy! How I've missed thee...
I had a bad feeling that her mother wasn't long for this world at the end of the last chapter. It's sad, but not quite the same as if the two of them had a very warm, loving relationship. I guess it's sad in a different sort of way. Pansy almost seems to toy with the notion that she would have gotten closer to her mother if only they'd had more time. I tend to think that's a bit of self-delusion, but self-delusion seems to be something that Pansy is tragically gifted at.
Throughout this chapter, Pansy seemed to be getting these flashes of... something. I'm not completely sure how to interpret them, but I wonder whether they aren't her grief trying to break through the wall that her upbringing has erected around her emotions. Whether it's a bit of a memory of a sudden pang of sadness, something seems to be trying to get out. It's hard to guess whether it will be a good thing or a bad thing for Pansy if her walls are breached. Perhaps some of both. Thinking about her makes me sad.
The polite but empty condolences of her coworkers made it pretty clear that she hasn't yet been forgiven for her mistake, but at least she's getting that level of courtesy. I suppose a recovery is possible.
Your depictions of the funeral were sparse, chilly and really appropriate to the mood, I think. Pansy's thoughts seemed like they were geared toward trying to channel the turmoil she's feeling in any direction except toward her own grief. I especially enjoyed it when she was thinking about the flowers that adorned her mother's coffin, and the obvious symbolism that went along with it.
I thought you had some really great ideas about the customs involved in traditional, pure blood wizarding funerals. It all came across as appropriately solemn and respectful, but not overdone. The ceremony seemed simple and dignified. The whole idea of asking another to act as a surrogate for family when levitating the deceased to their final resting place and the significance of the choice almost had an Italian mafia sort of feel to it, I thought. I really loved the idea of using the selection as a means of reinforcing bonds between families or as a peace offering.
I'm really excited to see what happens next. Pansy seems to be on the cusp of something, some sort of emotional break-out or perhaps a collapse. Either way, Draco is a very interesting choice of companion. Nicely done!Author's Response: Hello!
I was actually debating with myself about whether or not to drag out her mother's life just a little bit more... But then the scene at the end of the previous chapter wrote itself and seemed very odd and pointless to manipulate the scenes so that it didn't seem as though her mother was dead yet. (Does that last sentence make sense?).
Pansy is definitely capable of seeing the world through a lens. It's a tendency that she probably won't be giving up any time soon.
Pansy, as you know very well, isn't very experienced in dealing with her emotions. She hasn't had any practice in expressing her emotions and she doesn't quite understand just what exactly she's feeling at the funeral.
I'm glad that you liked the direction in which I took the funeral. I was trying to make the descriptions full enough so that readers could visualize what was happening but at the same time keep them sparse and blank enough to suit Pansy's mood. It was a difficult balance but I'm glad that it worked.
I'm happy that you're intrigued about what happens next. Draco will make another apparence in the second part and he will be a catalyst to a very important declaration on Pansy's part... :D Report Review
The first section was just so interesting (for lack of a better word..sry haha)!! I really loved the details you are giving not just to Pansy but to her relatives, to her supposed 'friends', emphasizing the array of reactions and responses to wartime, post-war, etc. Her relationship (or rather lack there of) with Blaise for some reason stuck with me. It just echoed beautifully this limbo she seems to be in now, as she tries to figure out where exactly she fits in. I think it really brings an element of reality to your storyline that again is not only a testament to your descriptions but, more importantly, your vision for the post-war wizarding world. Seriously spot on!!
Ohh goodness and the second section--finaly getting a bit of Draco in there (who is one of my favorite characters to both read and write!)--just absolutely broke my heart.
My favorite part: 'He didn’t like her anymore.' The way you spaced it, the positioning of the line, so simple yet so powerful. Really well done. Heartbreakingly so, as I said before.
Oh goodness me... I'm quickly becoming a Pansy fan, as you can see.
And well the last section, just left me wanting more. I'm really intrigued to see how Pansy bounces back from this... if she does, who might be Draco's replacement, if any arises. I also can't wait to see your characterization of Azkaban.
Great great work! Looking fwd to Ch. 7!
Yours truly, ffleurAuthor's Response: Hello! I'm so glad that you found the first section interesting! (Don't worry- I overuse the word "interesting" too). I'm glad that you liked the amount of details I'm giving in the story- I enjoyed exploring the reactions of the Wizarding world as related to Pansy.
I'm also glad that you think that my vision of the Wizarding world post-war is realistic, especially since I'm exploring a darker post-war vision than I imagine a lot of people write.
:D I'm glad that you liked the section with Draco. I'd been imagining the scene in my mind for quite some time before I actually wrote it. Poor Pansy was so stunned, so surprised by his declaration and that was what I really wanted to get across in this chapter.
Hehe- I'm glad that you're starting to like Pansy. It means that I'm succeeding in making her more than just a simply "evil" character. Thank you.
Thank you once again for reading and reviewing! I look forward to reading your thoughts on chapter seven! Report Review
This was another excellent chapter. One of the things I think you are capturing so well is the persistent hierarchy in wizarding society ... that the purebloods are not the only ones to perpetuate bullying, etc. It is so easy to cast the 'light' side as the heroes and forget they are human too, with flaws of their own.
Glad Pansy has been able to get out and about. And again, really enjoying where you are taking this story. With the wizarding world flipped upside down post-war its so exciting to see how things have changed, to learn more about your vision of this change. Your descriptions are really powerful!!
Great great job!
-ffleurAuthor's Response: I'm glad that you liked this chapter as well. One of the things I find particularly interesting while writing this story is that Pansy views society through a completely different lens than Harry. To her, the "Light" side is composed of the villains and it's this perspective that I get to explore throughout her story.
I'm really pleased that you liked my descriptions! It's impossible to imagine that the Wizarding world didn't change after the end of the war... This is simply my take on its consequences. :D
Thanks for reading and reviewing! I look forward to reading your thoughts on future chapters! Report Review
Wow.. this was such a great turn of events, well not really for Pansy but for your story and writing, I mean. I was excited to see what exactly you were gonna do with the Amortentia potion and never expected in a million years that it would be used in the way you chose to deploy it, to fuel her madness, to keep her company, to literally preserve her memory of Draco. Brilliant!
You can see Pansy unravelling without your saying as much. This story is becoming darker and psychologically complex. Really great work.
Looking fwd to the next chapter!!
-ffleurAuthor's Response: Hello again! I'm glad that I caught you by surprise with that particular twist- it's always nice to hear that your stories aren't overly predictable. :D
Yes, poor Pansy is unravelling and she won't recover for a long time, if ever (I can't reveal my entire plot so early in the story, now can I? :P)
I'm so pleased that you're enjoying the story so far! Thanks for reading and reviewing! Report Review
This chapter was equally fun. I love that we are getting to know the Parkinson Manor a bit. Its such an unknown place, a mystery that you can really do anything with it. Can't wait to learn more.
Also... I LOVE that you are bringing in Amortentia. It's one of my favorite potions to write about and I'm glad to see you're having a bit of fun with it too. Looking forward to seeing where this goes, as always.
Keep up the great work!!
-ffleurAuthor's Response: Great to see you again! I'm so glad that you enjoyed this chapter!
Haha- it's interesting that you mentioned the exploration of the Parkinson manor. I've realized that I've actually kept the "exploration" to her chambers, the library, the dining room, the front hall and some other odd rooms... But I suppose that a full description of the manor isn't really necessary, now is it? :P
:D I'm so happy that you liked the Amortentia bit. It's certainly a fun potion to play with because the possibilities of it...
Thanks once again for reading and reviewing! Report Review
I'm back with a few moments to spare and I'm gonna try to read as much of this as I can before having to go back to work haha. You know how much I love your writing.
This is a great follow up chapter to your first. I could feel Pansy's claustrophobia which is a testament to your descriptions that just keep getting better and better with each story you write.
Looking forward to where you take this story next. I love to hate Pansy... but I'm excited with where you seem to be taking her. Maybe I can learn to love her too or at the very least complicate my image of her.
xoxox, ffleurAuthor's Response: Hello! I'm so glad to see you again!
I'm glad that Pansy's claustrophobia was very present in this chapter- it's one of her foremost feelings at the moment (and who wouldn't feel claustrophobic, even when living in a manor?).
Haha- I think that a lot of people dislike Pansy... It's an interesting challenge to write about a character just about everyone dislikes. I'm glad that I've intrigued you, though.
Thanks for reading and reviewing! I really appreciate it! Report Review
I would have come and properly attacked this sooner but I recently moved and I had to put it and several other fanfics on hold. It is a painful thing to do! Hahha.
Anyway, we're back with Ms. Pansy again. Oh, I'm really feeling for her right now! She's really being put through it! Firstly, I like that you showed her dealing with a really bad hangover and I enjoyed watching her trudge through the day. It was actually a litle funny and I felt a bit sorry for her, I know what its like to have such a bad headache like that!
But then, Mr. Richards. This was something about Pansy's character that I thought would have changed just a little, even though I had my doubts. He was prattling away for so long and she was clearly not in a good mood that I thought she would actually snap. Her head was pounding, there were too many lights and his gossip was making her irritable. But what she actually did was nearly as bad! Argh, I know she didn't really mean it and I KNOW she wouldn't have on any other time but the littel tidbit she gave about Terrence and his wife was still nerve wracking. I knew that it wouldn't have ended well, especially by the rest of the day, where no one spoke to her. I think that they were acting a little childish, they could have confronted her in person if they had so much to say. But then again, I'm over here rooting for Pansy and the next few weeks for her were really hard to read. Poor thing! I hope that situation gets better for her and we find out what the others are thinking, I'm sort of sad to see her being shut out after that last chapter. :(
And the shadows moving when she went home. I really love how you show her mental state in the most well-crafted ways, its really interesting to see a bit of a decline when her emotions spiral. But her mother! That was so scary for me because I just have the most horrible feeling, I have that image of her laying on her desk in my mind. Compelling and scary and I'm not sure how that's going to be resolved! After the Christmas break is over, I'm going to be really happy to see this story again, I must have answers! :D
Great read, no grammar things and the pacing was superb. :D
GabbieAuthor's Response: Hello! I'm glad to see you back!
I'm glad that you didn't notice any problems with my depiction of her hangover- I really wanted to get across the idea that it's a really bad hangover.
Haha- I KNOW! Poor Pansy- she's wrecked her relationships with her co-workers for the moment. And all for a minute's peace... Well, I'm certain that if she hadn't said what she did, she would have snapped at Mr Richards and that could have had the same (or worse) consequences... Mr Richards does see just about everyone in the Ministry, after all.
You'll find out what happened to her mother in the next chapter, which should hopefully be posted soon after the queue reopens.
Thank you so much for reviewing! I always enjoy reading your reviews! :D Report Review
Hi, there! I figured that I should tag you first at least once in the course of this wild, crazy month. And you delivered just what I needed!
You did an awesome job of capturing Pansy's brutal hangover. All of the physical details were perfect. I think most normal human beings would have called in sick. And boy does she wish she had by the end of the chapter...
One of the really neat things about this story -- at least for me -- is getting to watch Pansy learn things that most "normal" people figured out much earlier in life. Her incredibly proper, sheltered upbringing has left her so ill-equipped for any number of common situations. This generally does not work to her advantage, and in this case the consequences seem to be devastating to her. One small slip of the tongue, a bone she was trying to throw to Richards just so she could get away, proved to be so detrimental.
"Just a few more moments, just a few more moments, she chanted to herself. Just a few more moments and then I shall be free." - I did want to stop and say that I loved this line. I think we've all been there...
It was sad but very predictable to see Pansy bury herself in her work and begin to request odd shifts rather than deal with the aftermath of her mistake. As horrible as the consequences are in her fragile mental state, it's hard to watch her make things even worse by avoiding them. The way you wrote the scene in the office, with Theresa and Nicola passing notes, had this awful, high-school-esqe quality to it. It's always kind of amusing to compare the level of urgency Pansy ascribes to winning the approval of her coworkers to the way that they actually behave.
The shadows that seem to pursue Pansy through the dark corridors of the Ministry reminded me of her reflection in the mirror. Whenever she's under duress, it seems like her demons start to manifest themselves. She's still really not well.
I'm not quite sure what to say about her mother. I think I know what's happened, but we'll soon know for certain. You wrote the scene with a really interesting mix of sensitivity -- the way that Pansy assumes that her mother is asleep, the emotional defense mechanism of children everywhere -- and brusqueness -- the way that Pansy kicks her mother's knitting under the desk because it's ugly to her. The contrast seemed very appropriate to the relationship that the two of them share.
As I was reading, I noticed two things that might be typos:
"By the time she reached Mr Richards at his typical desk her head was pounding like and she cursed herself for not having any potions around the manor." - pounding like what?
"Even the fact that it was well lit could overpower the eeriness of hearing one’s footsteps echo up and down the corridor and Pansy had developed the habit of hurrying through it." - did you mean to say, "couldn't overpower"?
This was a very sad, touching chapter. I love the way you pace this story, gradually following Pansy through her highs and lows. You also brought several seemingly unrelated plot threads together into this awful moment in her life. Very nice storytelling. Great job and happy holidays!Author's Response: Hello! I'm so sorry it's taken me such a long time to respond. I've just been super busy and finally have a free moment to respond your fantastic (as always) review!
I'm so glad that the description of the hangover seemed realistic! I wrote it based upon descriptions I'd read in other stories, not upon personal experience. :P
I'm glad that you're enjoying the story! One of the interesting things that I'm now finding is that as I write, it's easier to slip into her mindset and write from the point of view of someone who's never experienced so many common things.
Yes, no one in this scene has quite grown up, even though they're dealing with more grown-up topics. At least Pansy has the excuse of an isolated childhood...
You've hit the nail on the head with your comment about when her demons start to manifest. Her reflection may even reappear soon... :)
I'm glad that the scene with her mother fit the relationship that they share. As I may have said before, writing the scenes between the pair is very interesting because there's so much hesitation and tension between them.
Thanks for pointing out the typos! I'll go back and fix them!
Thank you so much for your comments on this chapter! I'm really glad that you liked it and thought that it was believable because it contains one of the changing points of the story... :D Happy holidays! Report Review
Hi! I'm here for the holiday review! =)
This is the first Pansy centred fic I've ever read, and it's really intriguing experience. I guess we often forget that there are always two sides in war, and the winners usually dictate the way history is written.
While I'm having some problems with Pansy at this point of fic, it's not really because of you, but more because HP books paint her in rather unsympathetic light. The idea of using classic antagonist as a main character is fun one, and I can see that she has plenty of room to grow as a character.
Her belief in pureblood society is amazingly confident. Then again, most often privileged people are the ones who have most difficulties to adjust their views, when times changes. She still has that mean streak that she has in canon, but you have cultivated more closer to being cruel and ignorant, which happen to be two character flaws I personally despise above all.
She's definitely in for a surprise when she wakes up. =P I was just wondering, that since she didn't see her parents when she returned to home, that there might be a possibility that her parents were in the battle. You don't tell us much of her parents yet, so one can only guess whether they are more passive or active supporters of Voldy.
This is really interesting start for a fic, and I'm glad I found it through holiday review thread. There were a couple of typos here and there, but nothing major. Your writing was enjoyable to read, and the idea is bit different from the mainstream, which is always plus. =)Author's Response: Hello and welcome!
Don't worry- I think that I've only read one Pansy story myself. Reading stories about new characters is always interesing and I'm glad that you enjoyed it.
Haha- I was a little worried about the problems you mentioned until I finished the sentence. I definitely agree that she wasn't painted in the best of lights; rather, she was painted as rather stupid, vain and prejudiced. Not exactly the best characteristics to have.
Yes, Pansy will have to change (or at least) hide her opinions in the future. The changed society will not be sympathetic to them at all.
Her reaction to the surprise isn't pleasant. As for her parents, her mother will appear in the next chapter. For me, (spoiler alert... Not really) her father was an active Death Eater while her mother stayed at home in the manor.
I'm glad that you enjoyed the beginning chapter and I'm happy that you found it as well! :D Report Review
I've never really read a story in the point of view of someone who was so ensconced in their belief in Voldemort, or Pansy in particular. She always just seems like such an unpleasant girl, but you show that she was just brought up with it, it's all she knows, and she really does want Voldemort to succeed.
I don't know if she's really thought about what it would mean, though. It's a little bit sad how certain she is. I'm really curious to see how she reacts when Harry wins (unless this is an AU, which I don't know yet) and what her life will turn to.
No mistakes that I could see mechanically, I really enjoyed it :) Good job!Author's Response: Hello!
I was in pretty much the same boat as you before I started writing this chapter. Aside from a few stories about Draco, most of the stories I had read centered around characters from the winning side of the war. I'm glad that you picked up on why (I think) Pansy is the way she is. Many opinions that we have are influenced by our parents and unfortunately Pansy didn't have the best role models...
Haha- this isn't an AU, though it does follow the future of someone who wasn't given one after the end of the war (which allows me a fair amount of freedom). If you do continue reading, you'll find her reaction to her loss in the next chapter.
I'm glad that you liked it and thanks for reviewing! :D Report Review
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