Jami, I seriously can't get enough of your writing! I know that this was only a really short story because it was for the Every Word Counts Challenge (by the way, I'm really impressed that you managed to get this story to exactly 500 words, because I know I'd really struggle doing that!) but it was great just the same.
Actually, at first (probably because I didn't look at the characters who were in the one-shot before I clicked on it!) I thought that the protagonists were the Potters, but it's actually a really interesting idea to see that others cared for their children just as much as Lily and James loved Harry. We know from the books that, as horrible as the Malfoys appear to be throughout the series, their son does become the most important thing to them. I mean, Narcissa even lies to Voldemort about Harry just to give her a chance of finding Draco alive up in the castle - there's nothing much braver that you could see a Death Eater (or the wife and mother of a Death Eater, anyway) doing for someone they loved.
I thought the way that you portrayed that love for their child was extremely effective. I honestly can't imagine how awful it must have been for someone to know that they were bringing their child into a world torn apart by war and full of danger. The Malfoys probably had an advantage over the Potters to some extent, since they were so convinced that the Dark Lord was invincible and immortal that their side wouldn't have a chance of failing, but at the same time that probably doesn't diminish their fear at all. Narcissa comes through as a true mother in this story, which is great to see. She's so cold and distant in a lot of the books because we're seeing her from Harry's perspective, but she was extremely loving and protective of her son.
Another element I loved was the fact that you drew parallels in the story between Harry's early life and Draco's beginnings in the world. The idea of Draco flying around on a little toy broomstick just like Harry did at the same age is very realistic, because we know from the books that Draco always had the best that money could buy and would have been zooming around on his own toy broomstick from the earliest age possible. Although the two families were on different sides, I imagine that if Lily and James had lived, Draco and Harry would probably have had very similar upbringings (although perhaps Harry wouldn't have been as spoilt as Draco was!). Harry would have been well cared for and deeply loved by his parents and his family, and it's really quite poignant to think about what he missed out on because of Voldemort.
Another thing I loved here was your use of the word "predicament" to explain the situation the Malfoys were in. It fits so well with everything we know about Voldemort and his inability to love other people. He just doesn't have the capacity to understand the ties between friends and families, and like we see at the end of the series, that inability to understand te power of love will become his downfall.
As far as constructive criticism goes, I only saw one typo:
"needed to feel their hearts beat together." -- I think this should be needing?
I could probably go on for much longer about this one-shot, because it's really wonderful and it's clear how carefully you've chosen each word and how much thought you've put into writing it. It really is great to read!
Sian :) Report Review
awww baby draco!
i love this. i'm writing a draco fic and i love the way you depicted draco and his family- its such a beautiful contrast to the cruel depictions of narcissa that I've stumbled across.
~MAuthor's Response: Ugh this is one of my older stories and really not one that I love, but I'm so happy you liked how I portrayed Narcissa! I think the Malfoys are such interesting characters. I'll have to come by and check out your Draco fic later on in the week when my work slows down a bit!!
Thank you so much for the lovely reviews you've left me ♥ Jami Report Review
Okay, I really thought that this was about James and Lily, until the end! But wow! That is a very good twist that I did not see coming. I really like how you've drawn the parallels between the two, and having them both seeming to be going through the same kind of things.
I really like that Draco was racing around on a broomstick at a young age, the same as what Harry had done.
That is really brilliant how you managed to do that, and in 500 words! That right there is very impressive. I was thinking that maybe they (when I still thought it was Lily and James) were talking about Dumbledore, but it's obvious now that it's Lucius and Narcissa, it's great that with the simple change of one name at the end, it could be a completely different story.
That was amazing!Author's Response: I'm so happy I tricked you with this! hehe!
I stated this with the idea of writing about James and Lily until I realized how well it would have worked for Lucius and Narcissa. It's odd thinking about how, at once, they were at similar sort of crossroads, isn't it?
Thank you so much for stopping by, miss Snaky! Good luck to Slytherin ;)
♥ Jami Report Review
I guess I can't help myself! I came back sooner than I thought.
Halfway across this I was sure it was the Malfoys. I don't know what gave it away, but something in my head just clicked! I think it was when the woman said "it's a child not a predicament". Only one person in the whole of the HP universe would regard a child as a predicament.
This was a lovely short ilustration of a mother's love, the kind that we know Narcissa had plenty for her son. She looked evil in the face and lied, for crying out loud!
I love how I just browse through these stories and you have so many ships and characters and every one of them is so well written and well planned. I'm impressed! :) You are a really talented writer, but you know that, don't you? :DAuthor's Response: Again, I totally apologize you read this. Haha. I just can't bring myself to delete it.
That was my first 'purposeful' clue hehe.
Aww your comments are so sweet, I don't even know what to do with you ♥ Gah. I'm a lucky lil writer ♥ Report Review
I have to admit I was perplexed over who/what the story was centre around for the majority of the story. At first I thought it was the Potters due to the mention of the toy broomstick, and I knew Harry had one, then it clicked when you said Draco.
I do think it was really effective after reading it though, as it showed how similarly Harry and Draco's lives started off, but both being drastically changed, due to one of them losing their parents. It makes you wonder how similar Harry may have ended up to Draco, if James and Lily hadn't died!
I really liked how you showed that Lucius and Narcissa were in fact caring parents, as they're often portrayed to be the reverse, when I don't think that's true, so it was nice to see it written more realistically:)
Good job, Kiana :)Author's Response: Hi m'dear! I'm so happy you enjoyed this!
I have to admit, I wrote it for the entire purpose of being tricky and making it sound like Harry until the end.
I agree that they were, at some point, probably very loving parents in their own way.
Thanks again &hears; Report Review
Oh wow. I thought they were talking about Harry! And those two where james and lily! And then at the end I thought they were going to say "Harry, bedtime" and they said Draco, I was like 'did I miss something?'
I should stop my blabberings. Anyway, I thought this was a good one-shot. It would be better if it had more details, but you can only say so much in 500 words.
I would give this a 7/10Author's Response: Hi there! Nope, you didn't miss anything :). This One Shot was meant to have twist at the end. That's why I didn't include the names of the characters in the story description, and why I made sure to use details from the book that related to Harry as a baby - like the broomstick and having his mother's eyes ;).
Thanks for the review!
Jami Report Review
Reviews for the reviewing competition coming your way!
This is a beautiful, beautiful story and I'm so glad that you've tackled it in the way that you have. The shortness really makes the story hit home which I completely love about this.
At the start I thought this could have been about James and Lily although making it Narcissa and Lucius was much more interesting as it also helped us see how Voldemort approached the idea of his two followers having a little baby who they were not prepared to give up the cause for.
Very good job!Author's Response: Hi darling! When I started writing this it was with the idea of making it a L and J, then all the sudden the Malfoys slipped out! I had a lot of fun trying to make it seem like it could be either up until the end.
I happy that you enjoyed it and thank you so much for the awesome reviews!!
♥ Report Review
Hi there! It's Jess from the Review Tag on the forums :D
So I'm just going to fangirl here for a moment and say that I'm absolutely in love with this oneshot!!! When I began reading it, I was so sure that it was the Potters that I was reading about! And then to find out that it was Narcissa and Lucius! That was very impactful on your part, I think, because the Malfoys and the Potters have many similarities - however, they act as foils to one another since they were on different sides. After I knew that it was the Malfoys, I reread the whole thing and the oneshot had an entirely new meaning to me!
I'd also like to mention that this was extremely well written; I really love your style and I thought your characterization was excellent.
Fantastic job! I really want to read Before they Fall at some point - hopefully I'll find the time soon :)
~Jess :DAuthor's Response: Thank you so much for this awesome review!! Yesss I love tricking people with this one ;)! I agree that they do have a lot of parallels, it's quite fun to explore!
I am so thrilled you liked the style as well! And if you ever are able to check out Before They Fall, I hope you like it ♥
Thanks again for reviewing darling! Report Review
This is so good! I thought it was James and Lily at first (a sign that I should start reading the story info :p) but then the end was a bit of a plot twist! :D
I like the way that you did that, it's like they're the reflection of James, Lily and Harry. :)
All in all, this was a really good one-shot!Author's Response: Yay I tricked you! Don't worry, I'm pretty sure I left it out of the story info for that purpose ;).
Thanks so much for this awesome review!
Jami Report Review
Wow, at first I thought it might have been Lilly and James with Harry but then it said Draco. I read it again and it does fit them perfectly, you've wrote them really well.
I think it's an interesting idea keeping who you are talking about a secret untill the end.
I like the time too and I do like to think that Lucious did actually care about his son!
A really good story, especially since it's only 500 words. You've managed to fit a nice amount of detail in there! :)Author's Response: I am so happy I tricked you at first! Mwahaha! And that you liked this, that means so much to me! Thanks for reviewing!
Jami Report Review
Oh... My... God.
Yes, I'm back.. and once again I am amazed with what you can do with only 500 words!
You know you had me going... all the way till the last line. LOL.
After I finished I had to go back and reread it, and THEN it clicked in my mind.
I had thought the father's voice was off through out the story... that's because I had the wrong father in mind.
I have a tear in my eye for one of my favorite characters.. and you put it there... Bravo!
You have officialy joined the ranks of my favorite authors :)
Can't wait till I have time to tackle you're big story!
10/10 - and I almost NEVER give those.. lol
Much love and adoration!
~Moon~Author's Response: Oh my gosh our review surprised me and I was so happy to see it! I am thrilled that you were tricked, I had some seriously sneaky fun trying to portray this as the Potters enough to make people think it was just a very OOC James and Lily :P.
Thank you so much for all your amazing reviews! The second I finish this three day novel craziness I will be stalking out your AP :)!
Jami Report Review
For only 500 words you did such a geat job of getting the emotions of fear across very well. I really liked that you didn't use any names until the very end and that is really the only way you knew who it was we were reading about was when she states Draco's name. I thought you did a great job with the oneshot and portraying a mothers fear for her son both when he was unborn and after as the war is going on around them. Also I loved how you added in the line that the cause would never be as important as her boy's life which tied this story into the books very well! I think Lucius seemed a little out of character but then again we never really see his interactions with Narcissa in the books so who's to say that he's not like this in the comfort of their own home. It was a very enjoyable read! Great Job!
~Slytherinchica08~Author's Response: Thank you so much for reading and review!! Five hundred word challenges are some of my favorite, they're just a really great dose of inspiration to me!
Thanks for reviewing!
Jami Report Review
tagged from Gryffie review thread
This is beautiful! and very well written. I thought it was James and Lily at first, but then when it said Draco at the end I realsied it was Lucius and Narcissa.
I thought it was J/L because of the little boy on the broomstick and we know that Harry had a toy broomstick when he was that age so it totally shocked me at the end.
You have portrayed Narcissa really well. Any mother would be scared for their child's life.
You have shown that Narcissa really loves her son.
You have deffinatly shown a different side to them young, caring, in love and will do anything to protect their child.
- Draco's eyes are grey not blue.
- Last line - there needs to be a 'She' before needed
I will be adding it to my favourites :D
-Potterfan310Author's Response: Hello, darling! Thank you for this wonderful review! I think I went a bit too literal in this, because babies/toddlers eyes can darken up until they are a year and a half, I figured keeping them at blue as opposed to such an odd color would be more natural. I think I'm going to need to change that though because it isn't something people usually thing about, haha!
Jami Report Review
YOU SURPRISED ME :O I'm usually pretty good at picking out who characters are if they aren't named but I wasn't expecting this! I thought it was Harry at first, but the man didn't seem like Dumbledore so I wondered, but I did not think of Draco :P You wrote it so well though, and now thinking back, I can see why it was so obviously Draco. I like that you show much he's loved in this, as opposed to the Draco who was bullied by his family like we so often see. Yours is more accurate, I think. It was a lovely one shot, especially for its length! Nice work!
-NaidaAuthor's Response: Yay I'm so happy I surprised you! That was my goal ;). Thank you so much for this wonderful review, and I'm happy you were tricked! It makes the ending so much more fun!
Jami Report Review
Its so refreshing to read a story about the love between Lucius and Narcissa. I think sometimes they are boxed into the 'badguys' category, even though they do show their love for Draco. Its really interesting to read about how they began, almost innocent-like, compared to how they ended up. Even before Draco was born, they were worrying about Voldemort's influence.
This story is really touching, it shows so much more than just Draco and his parents, it conveys how the war, how young mistakes and how Voldemort have affected this family. And all that in such a short amount of words, I am very impressed :o
Overall, I loved it! Great job :DAuthor's Response: Thank you so much for this wonderful review! I really think that there had to have been some amount of love and care in that family.
Thanks again :)
Jami Report Review
I loved how this story's pores breathed love. Love for the baby and love between Lucius and Narcissa. Even though it was a bit confusing at the beginning, not knowing who or whom they were talking about, I caught up before the middle of the story. I'm happy that in only 500 words you managed to transpire the close relationship that I have always believed characterised the Malfoy family. A bond that helped them pass difficult moments and remain united. A tie that would never sewer no matter what. As proved in Deathly Hallows, family comes first to them. Not their cause, not their obligations nor their fear for Voldemort. Just love :)
A very cute short piece. A pleasure to read. You handle Lucius/nArcissa pretty well. Maybe you will consider writing longer fics about them :)Author's Response: You weren't suppose to catch up in the middle! I wanted you confused until the very end ;). I actually even threw in some things relating directly to Harry with the hopes of confusing the reader ;).
Thank you so much for this wonderful review! I just might eventually! Astoria and Draco are also very fun to write about for me!
Thank you again, darling!
Jami Report Review
Aww, this was so lovely and heartbreaking! The relationship between Lucius and Narcissa was really lovely to read because of the clear love they show for each other in your writing, punctuated by the fear and uncertainty of the future. It was really well done.
Their love for Draco was also very apparent too, which is good to see because he always comes across as some sort of unloved child in most fics, so I like the way you turned this on its head.
If I were to say anything it would be that occasionally the dialogue was a little stiff, which is easily remedied by reading aloud dialogue to see how natural it sounds, but it didn't detract from the story :)
Well done!Author's Response: Thank you so much for this wonderful review! I will be sure to look over the dialogue and see if I can smooth it sound!
Thank you again for your kind words ♥
Jami Report Review
Jami! I figure I should really start reading some of your other pieces since you have read so many of mine. I have to say that I thought it was Draco from the very beginning of the story. For some reason, even though the whole he has his mother's eyes line made me think of Harry for a moment. There was something that screamed Malfoy to me. I think it had to be the way they talked about the cause because I don't think anyone would have seriously considered second guessing the Order or Dumbledore like that. I think everyone had this mentality that no matter what Dumbledore could keep them safe.
There were a few things though:
"Not forever. I'll get us out of this, for him." the hand touched a swell beneath the woman's dress. New life beating under it.
^ 'the' should be 'The'
You actually did this a few times within in this piece.
I, I don't know.
^ I think it would read more powerfully like this: I...I don't know.
The ellipses drags it out, makes it a slight dramatic pause that's needed because this is a very emotional scene.
they fell asleep together,
^ Again. 'they' should be 'They.'
I think with a quick edit you should find all the little lower cased words that should be capitalized. Other than that I really enjoyed it. I liked not knowing for sure who the couple was until the very end. For such a short piece you were able to convey a really strong scene.Author's Response: Thank you so much for spotting the typos, darling! I really am putting off editing this and Loving Through Tragedy. You aren't the only one that hates editing around here ;).
Anyway, you weren't tricked??? Rawr. It's because your so tricky that you can't even be tricked!!
Thanks for the review Miss Alyssa ♥ Report Review
Here for review tag!
This was a short and sweet story. In just a few words, it was quite powerful and effective. I could feel the fear Narcissa and Lucius were experiencing for Draco. The scenes flowed well, and were quite moving. I liked how you created 'suspense' on who the couple was till the end of the story. A well-written piece. Good job!
(AditiDraco95)Author's Response: Thank you so much for this wonderful review! The Malfoys were more fun to write than I originally thought!
Jami Report Review
This was very good! I was really happy to find out that my guess of the couple being Lucius and Narcissa, I thought they were really good in this story, in fact this is one of my favorites of yours, good job!
LizzieAuthor's Response: Thank you so much! It was fun to leave the couple a mystery until the end. I've made some people angry, thinking it was the Potters and I was straying very far off of Canon, until the end of course :)!
Thanks again for the lovely review!! Report Review
These are the moments that I always imagined had happened, yet I don't see that a lot of people have covered them in their fics. I'm glad you did this. It shows the Malfoys at their most vulnerable, where they question what they have done and at what cost. I love how this one-shot foreshadows Draco's future, Lucius' failings and Narcissa's strength as a mother. You used your five hundred words wisely.
I do have to say this: I don't mind when authors leave out dialogue tags when there are only two people talking. I think if you are careful to show who's talking through the words they use, then no one should be confused. And you did that. All the lazy readers who can't keep up with a two-person exchange... pfft!
The only tiny suggestion I have is to be consistent in the first section. You start out by describing the voices with the word "the" and then later you use "he" and "she". I think it would have colored the voices better by starting out with "his voice", and keeping that consistent. But that's a personal preference. I was not confused at all.
A lovely read, and congratulations for making the challenge work for this!Author's Response: I am so happy you pick up on the foreshadowing in this. It really sets up how the rest of their life will progress. I actually wrote this hoping to be a bit tricking and make people think it was the Potters being disgusted, so it makes me happy to know that even being aware that it is the Malfoys throughout the story, it is still enjoyable to read.
Okay, I feel a lot better that you feel that way, because I honestly didn't see how it could get confusing with two speakers who both say very different things. I love that suggestion and am going to put it into place right now! Even if it wasn't confusing, I think it will help with flow :)! Thank you for that!
Thank you so much for this wonderful review, I had a lot of fun exploring their world. It's hard to imagine that just one decision could have so severely impacted a family, but it's also an intoxicating subject to explore.
Thanks for the review, my dear! Report Review
I was a bit skeptic about reading this at first due to the length being exactly 500 words, but it is wonderful.
I love the way you managed to capture such a touching idea in so little length. At first I had gotten the impression you were discussing James and Lily with Harry inside of Lily, especially with the whole flying on the toy broomstick and what not, but I looked at the story facts beforehand, so I knew that wasn't the case. It almost felt as if you were trying to compare the two, that perhaps they had similar lives growing up, just in terms of the difference between good and evil, right and wrong. I really enjoyed that concept quite well. I'm not sure if that's what you were going for, but that's how it seemed to me.
I love it, that even back then, Narcissa was trying to protect Draco, and it was Lucius who continued to say no, to reassure her that they would be alright. Good follow through with that, and a nice tie in.
Overall, I'm actually quite glad I read this story. Good job!Author's Response: Okay, I must have forgotten that pesky submit button because I was sure I responded to this.
Anyway, I'm so glad you liked this! And as for comparing them, I actually started this piece with the idea of it being Lily and James, then changed it to the the Malfoys.
And, if we are being totally honest here, I was hoping to trick a few readers who didn't look at the descriptions into thinking this was the Potters ;)!
I'm so happy you liked this! Thank you for the lovely review!!
Jami Report Review
Lucius/Narcissa is awesomeness with a cherry on top!
I think it was great and full of emotion, but the only thing I would recommend is actually addressing the characters. If i hadn't read the pairings, I would have had to assume who it was;P
EverAuthor's Response: haha no no you were suppose to assume! I'm so mad that I had to pick characters, I want to lie and put nothing! haha! It was actually written to seem like it's reflecting the Potters discussing the Order, then the ending being a bomb shell when she says 'Draco'.. maybe I'll edit it so that you can't see who the pairing or characters are.. haha
Thank you so much for your review, darling! Report Review
Seeing I also have wrote some one shots for the Every Word counts challenge I was curious how you wrote it. And you did make every word counts I actually thought it was about Lily and James Potter at first so I was pleasantly surprised it was about Lucius and Narcissa instead. Especially because I like Slytherin characters more and because I was so cleverly deceived into believing it was an completely different pairing till the bitter end. But I do admit what you wrote also fits Lucius and Narcissa extremely well. Itís just they arenít the first couple you would think of when reading this.
I loved the emotions in this one shot as youíve shown the people that the Malfoys are truly human and not some kind of robots, especially Lucius because I always did thought he really loved his family. Even though he was a death eater. That doesnít mean he canít love his family. After all nobody is completely evil ( though Voldemort and Bellatrix are very close )
You really did a great job!
CleoAuthor's Response: I am so happy that you liked this one shot! And making you believe it was the Potters up until the very end was exactly my goal, I can't tell you how happy I am that it seems to be working ;)!!! I would never write Lily and James so very out of character!
Lucius and Narcissa got tangled up in a very dark world, and I don't believe that it simply happened by him saying, alright I'm a death eater! I think once Draco was part of the picture, it would have raised a lot of doubts.
Anyway, I am rambling, thank you so much for your review! Report Review
Wow. Just wow. That was great!! I thought it was Harry the whole time! I guess that's what you were going for ;) I was about to leave a review about how James and Lily were so out of character and it was confusing and stuff, but instead I have to say that was brilliant. It totally threw me off at the end. And it makes a lot of sense now, their words and emotions. It was very nice to see their side of things! It made me think about how similar the Potters and the Malfoys' situations were. Nice job!!Author's Response: Ahhh I'm so excited you jumped into it without checking the characters! And yes, that was the goal. I had an evil smile on while I was watching people react to the thought of this being Lily and James. It was so hard to pick vague enough words to not destroy that idea, but to fit in with Lucius and Narcissa.
Thank You so much for your review and for falling for my trap ;). If I EVER get anyone as out of character as J and L would have been if this was them, I'd want you to rip my piece to..well... pieces ;)! Report Review
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