This was very sweet. I especially liked the way you described her 'feelings'... her skin, her excitement, etc... Very well written, as usual.
I liked that they talked and even though she was prying into things he did not want to talk about, it was his way of understanding how much she truly cared. Her words obviously effected him so much that he finally kissed her, even though he still didn't talk about the war. That sounds very much like something he would do. It was a diversion, but at the same time it was still very much heart-felt. And as an author, I think you expertly timed it just right and kept it innocent and sweet and not rushed.
I can also say that I appreciate McGonnegal's comments to him about things she can respect.
Dark Whisper Report Review
Ohh Draco has made so much progress! Even some of the things in this chapter that are just smaller details, like Draco using the servant’s staircase and acquiring Muggle money, show how slowly but surely he’s able to morph into a living, breathing human. A few years ago he’d have been appalled at stepping on the same stairs that the servants use. But in this situation, where it’s either do that or deal with his father again, he’s able to chose the one that best suits him. That part, choosing what best suits him, is very Draco which balanced out using the servants staircase nicely.
And I loved that, even if he wouldn’t admit it, there are a few things about the Muggle world he may enjoy. I really want to hear what Lucius would say if he knew that his son was not only using Muggle money, but spending a signifiant amount of time surrounded by them. Mwahha.
His thoughts about the past argument with Lucius reminded me what an unstable life Draco really does come from. I’ll always see Narcissa as a good mother, to the best of her ability. And I’m sure Lucius, despite destroying his son with his own messed up ideas, still spoiled Draco. But from the moment Voldemort regained power and came to life in book four, Draco’s life would never be the same. Now his dad isn’t just the feared Lucius Malfoy, he’s a possession of the Dark Lord. Making Draco a possession of the Dark Lord. And now, after it’s all said and done, he’s left with a shell of a father who is too detached and messed up to realize it’s time to let go of the past.
I’m so happy you’ve made Narcissa the way she is. I think it’s nice that Draco has at least one parent a bit more in touch with reality.
Ohh this was such a big step for Draco! He’s gained a lot this evening. Respect from Minerva, which I can’t imagine being easy to get, his freedom around the school, and a real, solid reward for all the work he’s been doing. He started out to build something of himself. To get rid of the pathetic drunk that parents didn’t want their daughters talking to. And this was such an awesome confirmation that, no matter how challenging it may be, what he’s doing does mean something and it is working. I think he’s even enjoying getting himself back into society more than he thought he would.
And this opportunity could be a huge one for him! I hope he follows through with the Potions job at the Ministry, because it could be a huge step in the right direction.
Oh this last section! Okay, all I’m going to say about Isadore and Astoria’s section is HAHAHA. I don’t really love Isadore, but I do think she’s a good balance for Astoria. Sometimes I wonder if she’s more interested in being Astoria’s friend because she cares about her or because she likes to gossip. But I suppose if she was just a normal sweet friend she wouldn’t be a Slytherin :P. But still, their conversation absolutely cracked me up. Nice euphemisms ;).
Now I want to move on to my favorite part of this whole chapter - the very end of the last section. I have such a hard time really getting my opinions on Mr. Greengrass accurate. It’s clear he loves Astoria and wants what’s best for her. But he doesn’t value how smart and capable she really is. I just wish he’d stop trying to control her and let her make some of her own choices, but he wouldn’t be pureblood father of perfect pureblood princess if he did that. Still, it was a very, very good way for Astoria to realize that this won’t stop and she’s going to end up hurting someone. She’s not going to let herself get hurt, she’s not going to hurt Draco. She’s going to hurt the people who are trying so desperately to run every aspect of her life.
I’m very, very excited for the next chapter! So much happened in this, and it’s easy to see just how these two would have fallen so in love.Author's Response: Yay! Jami's here!
Draco's coming along quite nicely, yes? He's still a work in progress, but the key pieces are in place. Now we just have to see whether they come together properly. He's figured out what in idiot his father is. He's got something to live for. And he's even managed to dial his muggle-hate down a notch.
Draco really does come from a messed up background. I do think that Narcissa really loves him and does her best, but she comes from the terrifyingly dysfunctional House of Black, so I her ideas about how to be a good mother are probably rather skewed. And Lucius is probably the world's wealthiest wannabe (say that 5 times fast...). He fills Draco's head full of nonsense, makes him think that he's royalty, buys his way onto the Quidditch team, constantly interferes with Draco's school... Basically Lucius is the Little League Dad from Hell. It's a miracle Draco didn't turn out any worse than he did.
I feel like McGonagall felt duty-bound to acknowledge Draco's progress, but she felt dirty when the conversation was over. She probably went straight to her quarters and took a long, hot shower. ;)
I don't think of Isadore as lovable, really. She plays a role in Astoria's life, and a fairly important one at that. Isadore is "that friend" who kind of holds up a mirror to Astoria and lets her see an exaggerated version of some of her own less positive traits. Also, I imagine she's a good laugh. I'm glad you liked the euphemisms. Some of my best work, right there. :p
I'm glad that you feel ambivalent toward Mr. and Mrs. Greengrass, because that's exactly how Astoria feels. They're her parents, they've always been good to her, loving and supportive, and she loves them in return. But she's reaching an age where she wants to be in control of her own life and they simply aren't ready to let go. That's not the background they come from and Astoria is their baby.
I have lots of ideas for the next chapter! Let's see how quickly I can knock that sucker out. Thanks for another awesome review! Report Review
Wow I really loved this chapter, and I think it’s one of my favourites of the story!
I see why you were asking about N.E.W.T.s now, and I rather liked seeing how conscientious Draco was when it came to his school work. He had that silent pride about himself and that he didn’t want to admit to the others that he was good at Potions, and you could tell when McGonagall complimented him about it he felt really proud for himself. You’ve really shown how the war has changed as he’s lost that arrogant swagger he had in the earlier books, and it shone through here.
I like him reminiscing about his father too. I think you’ve really shown the complexities of their relationship really well and it was a pleasure to read. I could understand why Lucius would feel patronised as he used to be the head of the family and was the one in the know, but that role has been given to Draco know. I really wonder how that conversation with the others in the last chapter is going to affect the Malfoy future.
The conversation Draco had with McGonagall was great. When Draco first came back to Hogwarts I never thought she would say a nice thing about him, but she’s the type of person who honour the people who have done well so I my heart really swelled with pride when she was congratulating him. You really caught her understanding and how she does want to help him by coming up with that deal regarding Muggle Studies and Herbology.
The job sounds great for Draco. It’s interesting that he wants to help the victims of the war, because that suggests that he may become closer to opening up to Astoria and others about what he went through during it, and I’m really eager to hear about his perspective of it. I like the sound of Madam Blishwick she sounds like she’s going to be a really interesting character and I can’t wait for the moment when we get to see her.
I really loved the scene in the Trophy Room with Draco and Astoria it was perfect. It was fluffy enough for me to feel satisfied, but then it wasn’t overdone either that it felt sickening. I think it was right that it was from Astoria’s perspective as it added a really sweet touch to it and showed her innocence to things like this due to her being a pureblood princess. The flashback to the café in Derbyshire was a perfect too. It showed how intimate they were in a physical way as they were kissing in public, yet Draco still closed off his emotional side.
Isadore’s really beginning to grow on me. I think it was her eagerness about wanting to know what happened between Astoria and Draco is what really drew me into her. She just has this lively nature which is a real pleasure to read. I liked the conversation between the two as well as it was nice to have a lighter conversation and a girly one on top of that.
That was another amazing chapter and I’m eagerly awaiting the next :D
-KianaAuthor's Response: Hi, there! And thank you for taking time out of your busy exam schedule to leave such a nice review!
I'm glad you like the changes I've been bringing into Draco's character. I hope I've been able to create a good combination of carrots and sticks to make them all seem believable enough. His father is a key piece of the puzzle. All of the shine is off the apple, so to speak, where Lucius is concerned. Draco finally sees him for what he truly is and he doesn't want to ever turn out the same way.
Whew! I was worried about the conversation with Minerva. She's really intimidating to write. I'm still not completely certain that she ever would have been able to spare a kind word for Draco, but sometimes the plot takes characters into places where you have to feel a bit uncomfortable.
When I started writing this chapter, Draco's interest in this job was all for show. But the more I thought about it while I was editing, the more I realized that he might actually have a legit interest. He's trying to distance himself from his father and make his own way in the world. Whether or not he needs the money, this job could be a way of doing that. I'm rather torn at the moment as to whether you'll actually see Madam Blishwick. My plot outline jumps directly to Daphne's wedding at this point, but I'm sorely tempted to write a short little chapter showing Draco's job interview... and Isadore's explanation of the whole little wizard/big wizard situation. ;) Ah, so deliciously naughty!
I deliberately pulled the reins back on the scene in the Trophy Room and Astoria's memories of the Room of Requirement. I wanted to get across the point that this is all new to Astoria, but she finds it exhilarating. I didn't really see a need to get into an anatomy lesson at this point. Draco and Astoria do some of the things that love-stricken teenagers do when they're all alone. I'll let the reader decide in his or her own mind exactly what those things are.
Even see one of those situations on TV or in a movie where the character has a little angel on one shoulder and a little devil on the other? Isadore is sort of like Astoria's little devil, although she definitely has Astoria's best interests at heart. Her idea of "Astoria's best interests" might just be a little different from other people's. ;)
I'm really glad you enjoyed this chapter. It was a blast to write, once I got going with it. Thanks so much! Report Review
Oh, I do love it when Draco goes to the edge of fury. The entire wand at Flint's throat thing had me squealing with delight. Loved it.
I had to laugh with Gamp about Voldemort though... Draco's "sign of spring" comment and Gamp saying he was wondering if a Death Eater would finally admit that. Hahaha! Somehow it reminds of the "reasons why Voldemort is like a teen-age girl." (You can look that up if you don't know and need a good laugh). xD But I'm glad that you remind us through Draco that Gamp truly has nothing on Voldemort. And all kidding aside, that is what really rings true.
It is apparent that Draco thinks his father is involved, but you have not convinced me that this is the benefactor that the group is speaking of. Hmm. A bit of mystery remains to me.
I do love your details, as usual... the glass on the floor, the backstory of the tiara, her getting ill on her first and last rollercoaster ride at the bank. Very nice.
And finally, in this little exchange with Astoria and Narcissa... I LOVE that she mentions that the little bit of doubt Draco instilled in Bellatrix played a major role as well. Draco never gets enough credit for this, so I do thank you for pointing it out. You do justice to him and true fans of Draco's thank you for it.
Dark WhisperAuthor's Response: Hi, there!
Draco has quite a temper still, and the more stress he's under, the worse it seems to get.
Gamp is one of those completely crazy people who sometimes sees the world in unique ways. Unique for a pure blood sociopath, anyway. I can't remember where I first saw the joke abut Harry beating Voldemort every spring, but it's definitely true.
Draco is pretty convinced by this point that old Lucius is behind this all somehow. It is a mystery, because it's far from certain...
I don't see how *anyone* doesn't get sick on their first trip into the depths of Gringotts. That's a pretty insane ride.
There I go again, letting Narcissa steal a scene. I did it a few times in Marked. It's hard not to, because her story and Draco's are so tightly connected. Draco did play a role in helping defeat Voldemort, whether he wanted to of not.
I'm pleased that you enjoyed it! Thanks for reading and reviewing! Report Review
Hey! So I have a bit of time to spare before my life gets too complicated once again so I figured I should drop by!
As I read this I realized that Daphne is only 18-19 and is already getting ready for marriage. It just goes to show that even though the pure bloods always regard themselves to be better than the other 'lowly' witches and wizards, they still live in what I would see as a backwards way of living. Hermione, same age as Daphne, wants to finish her education and go work for the Ministry. Daphne on the other hand is getting married, be part of the inner circles of society to excel in gossip and be a dutiful wive. Oh and let's not forget about having and raising the pure blooded children she's suppose to have. You just really made me think of how the 'noble' pure bloods are raising their daughters compared to someone like Mrs. Weasley or the Grangers who have strong and independent girls.
Anyway! The scene with the dresses reminded me of those reality shows on TV. Made me giggle and made me feel bad for Astoria. However when her mom told her that she was to be escorted to the wedding by Emery I felt so bad for her and anger towards the mom. One minute she's this person Astoria can open up to, the next she's a demanding mother who forces Astoria to do something she doesn't wish to do. She's quite a character! I'm wondering of how she'll react when Astoria tells her that she wishes to be with Draco. Will she be mad or try to be happy for Astoria?
I absolutely LOVED the conversation between Zabini and Draco. Its like Draco wants to appear like a BAMF in front of Zabini about the wedding but in reality he's doing it for a girl. That, overall, is just funny.
we both know that Emery Montague is playing Chaser for the other squad.
That was brilliant. It had me laughing! Ah, wizarding humor. Zabini, though, he's playing with fire and will always play with fire. He's not evil or anything...just very stupid. The wizarding world just went through a horrible war and thinks that he can rally the losing side and overthrow the current government. Doesn't he stop to think that Harry went face to face with Voldemort and that facing Zabini would be nothing compared to him? Even if they're targeting Shacklebolt it's not like he'll be alone. Ugh, Zabini frustrates me!
Anyway! Now I'm one chapter behind and I already read half of it at work. Just so you know, Gamp is just scary! Haha! Sorry the review is a bit short but today is becoming hectic once more. Real life bites some times.
Until next time, sir! :D
--RosieAuthor's Response: Hi, Rosie!
Daphne is so vested in the old pure blood way of doing things that none of this seems at all strange to her. Her sense of right and wrong is hard-wired at this point and she really isn't the type to spend a lot of time second-guessing things. That's the difference between her and Astoria. Or her and Hermione, for that matter. So yay for strong, independent-minded girls!
I was definitely thinking along the lines of some of those awful reality shows when I wrote that whole section. It's definitely not Astoria's "scene", if you will. I'd say not to pass judgment on Astoria's parents *too soon*. They're products of their upbringing and they really do love both of their daughters and try to do what they think is best. They just have some weird ideas about it, that's all.
Draco does prefer to look hardcore when he can, but he has other reasons not to want Zabini to know why he's so intent on attending Gamp and Daphne's wedding. If word gets back to Mr. Greengrass that Draco and Astoria are still romantically involved, he'll probably send her away to Beauxbatons or something.
I'm glad you liked Draco's little one-liner about Emery Montague. I enjoyed writing that.
Zabini is not being smart at all, but you'll soon see that he's probably the least dangerous of Draco's old friends. He's disenchanted and he has a bad substance abuse problem and he's too dumb to realize what he's getting himself into.
You're going to be all caught up and I still don't have the next chapter done! I'll have to work on that. Thanks for reading and reviewing! Report Review
I really wish I had a time turner because I seriously don't have the time to read and review as often as I did. But considering that I'm already three chapters behind I figured I should narrow the gap by coming to review this chapter. I was guilty of reading and never coming to review until now...oops. :S
One of the things that stuck out to me the most and definitely one of my favorite details is how Astoria behaves. One moment she's a normal teen talking to her friend and the next an obedient daughter who only speaks when she's allowed. You definitely have kept in mind that most of the Slytherins come from a somewhat 'posh' upbringing. Proper behavior from a lady is expected from these girls. Perhaps that's why I always seem to picture Astoria in a large Victorian era gown instead of her uniform. The part where her friend tells her that she's a Slytherin and therefore she has to lie made me giggle; mostly because it's true.
"Not being a parent, perhaps you can't understand how upsetting that is to her mother and me."
That line by her father just annoyed me. I thought, "How dare this man talk to Minerva that way!" And then I felt a little sad because McGonagall has a very tragic past. How rude of a man! Again though! Kudos to you for bringing yourself into a mindset of a Slytherin father. He's concern about his daughter's wellbeing but at the same time, he doesn't think that school is dignified enough for his child and feels the need to let the Headmistress know that. I have to ask, how do you do it? You're able to write bad guys so well but clearly you're a Gryffindor. Hahaha! Astoria's dad is not a bad guy per say but he has a bit of that pure-blood tendencies and that his family is better than everyone else's. And yet...he's a loving father who is concern about her wellbeing and her future. He's a very stubborn man...ugh, I don't know how I feel about the guy yet...
Just so you know I wanted to applaud just like Astoria after Minerva's speech. But I was at work...and that would've looked weird.
I absolutely loved Snape's speech.
Lucius is going absolutely mad!
I can just picture Jason Isaacs rocking back and forth in his chair looking wasted away and disheveled. For a while you had me there, that there were some Death Eaters trying to rise once again and finish what Voldemort had started. But then I felt bad for him...a little bit.
But Draco in the end just made me very upset! He was doing so well with his drinking and now Lucius had to ruin everything. So much angst for Draco! I know that Astoria and Draco get together so I know that there will be a happy ending to this story. Unless you go through the alternate universe route...then I won't be happy! Haha!
Well, I hope to not take forever to read and review the next chapter! But I'll be back nonetheless!
Until next time, sir!
--RosieAuthor's Response: Hi, Rosie! I caught up with my review responses this morning and now I'm endeavoring to keep up a little better. Time will tell whether I succeed.
Astoria's upbringing definitely affects how she behaves, and it's different around adults than people her own age. She is expected to be a proper young lady when her father is addressing her in public, or when he's angry in general I imagine. But she's also a teenage girl and the behavior of her less proper schoolmates has rubbed off on her. And Isadore doesn't just think she should lie because she's a Slytherin, it's also because she's a girl. :p
Mr. Greengrass has been one of those characters that I'm sort of figuring out as I go along. I don't know whether that shows, but I always sort of plunk him into a situation and think, "OK, how is he going to act?" In this case, he is very concerned about Astoria's well-being. And he still has enough misconceptions about the war to make ignorant statements like the one he makes about Dumbledore. In his mind, Dumbledore over-reacted to Voldemort and because of that, he allowed Hogwarts to be dragged into something that a school never should have been part of. He's wrong, of course, but he doesn't know that and McGonagall probably doesn't see any point in trying to set him straight at this particular moment. It isn't as though she would have changed his mind.
When I was first mapping out this chapter, I had Astoria talking to Dumbledore instead of Snape. But then it occurred to me that Snape knows Draco much better and Astoria would be more likely to take his advice to heart. It just sort of rolled from there.
Old Lucius isn't well. His time in Azkaban and the war both took a toll on him, and losing all of his friends and influence inside the Ministry was a pretty cruel blow, as well. I'm glad you can see Jason Isaacs behaving like that, because it was pretty much exactly what I had in mind.
In my mind, I always expected Draco to have some missteps during his recovery. Most addicts do. I wasn't planning on going to AU route, but now that you mention it, I could turn this into a really awesome Dramione! :p
I always love it when you stop by. Thanks so much for reading and reviewing! Report Review
Ugh, here I am moping about how good your stories are in comparison to mine again. I wish I'd left a review on every chapter, but I really wanted to get to the end to see what happened, and, well, here I am.
I also wish I could be coherent with this, but I'm tired, so I will just say that Jami is a very lucky person, that this is one of the best takes on post-war Draco that I have ever read, and that I absolutely love your Astoria.
Please update this soon if you can, you've just found yourself a new fangirl!Author's Response: Hi, there! What a pleasant surprise!
I like all reviews, whether they're coherent or not. ;) It's very nice to know that you're enjoying the story and you like the way I've written Draco and Astoria. They're quickly becoming one of my favorite pairs to write.
Thanks for reading and reviewing! Report Review
Ok, I need to start by including something I forgot in the last chapter review because I was in a bit of a rush: I absolutely loved the ending of the last chapter! The fact that he slipped backwards, that he thought she could never love him, that he went back to the alcohol! Oh brilliant, brilliant, brilliant! That simple decision made your character so much more real and I think it was just perfect. Draco wants to change, for himself and Astoria, but change is HARD. So often in fanfic people forget that. So well done you.
Ok, on to this chapter. Hahaha, the scenes with Daphne were great, I loved all the squealing and consumption of way too much champagne and the uncomfortable dresses...it was almost like a caricature, but it really worked well. And the conversation with her mother was fascinating. The whole arranged marriage concept is an interesting one, but I think it works incredibly well with the whole 'pure blood' system. What's amusing is that in another time and place, her parents would be falling over themselves to marry her off to Draco.
I really like the choice to have their relationship develop through letters, it adds to the anticipation and drama of the whole piece. Nothing brings two lovers closer together like being forced apart (Romeo meet Juliet :P). I like the way that Astoria's feelings for Draco seem to give her this added strength too, the fact that she's now almost planning the 'run off and get married' plan B is a big step from where she was at the start. I like that growth in her.
The Draco/Zabini interaction was really good, such a contrast to Astoria's difficult situation and yet so similar at the same time. Rather than making Draco into someone he's not (my main gripe with draco-centric fics), you bring out the qualities that are apparent in canon and build on them, resulting in the character maintaining integrity and being entirely believable as the same person. His shrewdness, sarcasm and intelligence are all things that we saw in Malfoy from the very first book, and you've brought them all out really well. It's really impressive and you should be proud because it's very difficult to do that with someone else's character.
The final paragraph was perfection. It sums up this motivation for Draco to stay out of the firing line and bring about change in his life. Of course there's not just one reason, but here you've touched on a very real issue that Draco would have faced, a very real emotion and anxiety to stay out of the fight. I just thought it was very clever.
As always, your writing is brilliant and beautiful and I loved reading this chapter. Only one left and I've caught up :( Hopefully there will be more up soon :)Author's Response: Hello, again!
Draco had quite a setback at the end of the last chapter. He was having a rough go of it anyway, and his father's antics pushed him over the edge. In my mind, it was bound to happen at some point. He's dealing with a lot of stress in his life, between preparing for his N.E.W.T.s, trying to keep his relationship with Astoria a secret, worrying about what's going on with his father and trying to walk the straight and narrow path. So he slipped a bit. Let's hope it's not the start of something. ;)
In my mind, Daphne is a pretty horrible bride. She's vain, flighty, spoiled and very high-maintenance. Plus, there were aspects of that scene that were just too much fun not to write. Pansy getting physically abused by the dress fitter? Come on, that's gold!
Astoria's mother is one to keep an eye on. Like a lot of characters in the post-war world, you're going to see her struggle a bit to find a balance between the things she was raised to believe and the new realities of life. And you're right: in the absence of the war, Draco would have been one of the most eligible bachelors in the entire wizarding world.
I see the way that their relationship is mostly developing through letters as being somewhat double-edged. By the nature of the letter-writing process, they do get to learn about each other's thoughts, dreams and ambitions. But they're missing out on the chance to get to know the real human being that goes along with all that deep stuff. I'm pretty sure that will become an issue at some point.
I'm really starting to enjoy putting Draco and Blaise together in a room and letting things develop. They're both Slytherin through and through. They're shrewd, cunning, motivated, high-bred and pretty ruthless when it comes to pursuing what they want, but in a refined sort of way. *Big* contrast to that coming up soon...
Draco has a distinct advantage over Zabini, though. He's been through a lot more. He knows what happens to idealistic idiots like Zabini when real conflict breaks out. And he wants no part of it.
I'm starting to work on the next chapter. I have a pretty good outline through to the end of the story at this point, so hopefully the writing will go a bit faster. Thanks for the awesome review! Report Review
I feel left out having not read the Conspiracy of Blood Jeremy Gamp means nothing to me. Well, I suppose once all of my exams are over it will give me an excuse to read it ;) This probably sounds really minor but I liked the addition about wizarding whiskeys, it’s so nice to see the author go to the extra effort to include that and it gives you a better sense of the magical society.
I really loved this line – ‘In truth, he wanted nothing more than to stand up and leave.’ It just showed how much Draco had changed by no longer wanting to be with them. I think you’ve shown his transition from a Death Eater to someone who no longer fully agrees with their views perfectly, and all of his actions throughout the story perfectly correlate with this moment. It kind of makes you wonder what he would have been like without Astoria as she was a big help in him reaching this point.
This may sound weird but I’m really liked this Gamp person. Obviously I don’t like his personality, but he seems to be the perfect villain, one that you hate so much you end up loving him for that reason. I’m guessing that he’s the main antagonist in CoB? If so these is an even bigger motivating factor to get round to reading it, because what they’re discussing now is probably foreshadowing for the book.
It was strange to see Draco stick up for his family, yet it seemed sense that he would do so. Even though he probably doesn’t agree with what they did then, he isn’t the type to sit there and just let Flint offend his family however he wants. I liked this spark in Draco as it was reminiscent of his often quick temper we see in the books.
I found another line I loved – ‘Zabini was a lover, not a fighter.’ I don’t what it was about this line but it fitted perfectly with my mental image of Zabini as I always imagined him as a lover. I really liked how you didn’t make Zabini perfect and best friends with Draco as I’ve seen that done a lot, so what you did was a refreshing change. I never imagined him to be so revolutionary, but then again, we know so little about Zabini you can really manipulate him to be whatever you want him to be.
After what you said about Zabini being of a higher class to Gamp and Flint I really began to pick that up in every aspect of them. It was subtle enough for it not to be in your face, but it was done subconsciously so you still picked up on it. I think it was their mannerisms and speech which pulled it off and it was most obvious when Gamp called Draco a ponce.
I liked learning about the legend of the tiara, like the whiskey, it was a really nice touch and made a simple object a lot more interesting. I really like the clear difference you’re showing between Daphne and Astoria, as I always wondered why Draco didn’t end up with Daphne considering they were in the same year, and we have an explanation here.
I really enjoyed that scene between Narcissa and Astoria, it was perfectly done. Narcissa’s understanding of the situation was great, and she just seem to instinctively know how to handle Astoria and how to say the right thing. I liked how she recognised how much Astoria had done for Draco, and it seems as if she was giving her blessing for their relationship.
I really enjoyed that chapter and I can’t wait for the next!
-KianaAuthor's Response: Hi, there!
I don't normally respond to reviews out of order, but one thing you said made me do enough of a double-take that I felt like I needed to answer you right away. I really, really doubt that you'll like Jeremy Gamp after reading CoB. I won't spoil anything for you, but suffice it to say that he does some genuinely horrible things. Obviously, there's no way you could know this, but when I read it in your review it leapt off the page at me because I don't think *anyone* who read CoB liked Gamp by the end of the story.
Anyway, you're right about Draco. The war changed him drastically, and his relationship with Astoria has helped him continue to change in a positive way. He no longer has any desire to associate with the likes of Gamp, Flint and Zabini. And it isn't because he doesn't agree with them about muggles and muggle-borns, he's just seen enough war and death to last a lifetime and he doesn't want any part of any new conflict. Moreover, he knows that they are doomed to fail.
Draco is the sort, I think, that will always stick up for his family if he perceives that an "outsider" is insulting them. That's just the way he was raised, and nothing is ever going to change it. He may think that Lucius is the biggest fool in the world at this point, but he'll still defend his father against someone who isn't part of the family.
I don't think that Zabini is as much a revolutionary as he is disenchanted and impressionable. He no longer sees the "golden future" that he was expecting when pure bloods were the "royalty" of the wizarding world and held enormous influence over the Ministry. Combine that with all of the big talk that Gamp, Flint and the others are filling his head with, and he's really started to believe that they are destined to "retake" their world. He is much too naive to realize just what a dumb thing they're doing.
The tiara filled a need I had to draw out the differences between Daphne and Astoria, but also to show that Astoria is still a teenage girl who's still prone to moments of juvenile behavior and silly rivalries. After the first few chapters, I really started to worry that she seemed too old for her years, so I wanted to show some different sides of her.
Ugh. So I'm feeling shades of deja vu as I reread the conversation between Astoria and Narcissa. When I started writing Marked, it was meant to be a "Draco story", but Narcissa stole the show in a few places. It's a hard temptation to resist. For one thing, her story is so tightly intertwined with Draco's. Also, I find her to be one of the most interesting characters JKR created: this very different version of what a mother is supposed to be compared to Lily Potter or Molly Weasley, yet her love for Draco is obviously no less and in the end she plays a very important part in making Voldemort's defeat possible.
I'm really glad that you enjoyed this. I don't think I've ever had quite this much difficulty writing a chapter where I went in knowing exactly what I wanted to do. Hopefully the next one will be a bit easier. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and reactions! Report Review
You know, I wish for about the millionth time that I could leave running reviews. There are so many things I thought about wanting to comment on during this chapter and I have no idea how I'm going to remember those. Maybe if someone wouldn't have kept me up until midnight distracting me while I edited, my brain would be working better. Oh... wait. I was the one keeping you up, huh?
Anyway, I think the additions to Gamps scene are awesome. Draco still managed to keep a cool head when the man countered his excuse about the weapon, and I have to say I was really impressed with the turn he chose to take.
Can any of us disagree that Voldemort's biggest downfall was being so obsessed with Harry? I loved Gamps comments, and it's hard to think that people involved in the war wouldn't think something similar. Of course the DE like Bellatrix and the first few who new Voldemort from Hogwarts days wouldn't think twice about their master, but I love that the supporters who'd never seen his cruelty would think something along those lines. Gamp actually said something I sort of agree with. Creepy.
Although he best watch the way he talks about Lily. That's one group he doesn't want going after him ;)
I'm getting pretty nervous about Draco and the way he seems to be letting all of this get to him. He's getting too involved with the trickery and the sneaking, and much too involved with that alcohol he's drinking. I wish he'd just go over to the Greengrass's and talk to her dad, man to man, instead of ever having gotten involved in all this.
Then the scene at Gringotts was really lovely. I adore watching Astoria learn so much more about what's outside of her sheltered world. She sees these things people went through, things she never could imagine with her parents firm stance of not getting involved and the money they had to keep them in them that way. The war was real for her I'm sure. She knew it was happening, but in the way that people across the world know there was a terrorist attack. It's sad and terrible, but she wasn't involved the way that Draco was, or Narcissa. She's learning so much more than I'm sure she bargained for, and I'm so impressed with how understanding she's being. I think the serious conversation that took place between those two was the perfect balance to the spoiled daughter vibe from the first part of that section. Not that there's anything wrong with being a spoiled daughter. I've managed to do it well all my life ;).
I had to remind myself this story was about Draco and Astoria, because I was half tempted to ask you to make the next chapter about Narcissa and Andromeda, haha! Well, maybe that's something Astoria can bear witness to in the future? ;)
I really liked that you added Astoria enjoying shopping for Daphne. Astoria is a girl, enjoys being a girl, enjoys looking pretty... and the fact that Daphne has good taste couldn't hurt. It's funny how different the two of those are. My sisters and I are so much alike, but neither of them are similar to Daphne so that's probably why ;).
This was an awesome chapter, m'dear! I can't wait to see these two lovers reunited!Author's Response: Jami, Jami, Jami. I love how much thought and effort I have to put into responding to your reviews. It's like a really pleasant homework assignment.
One odd thing about Gamp is that he's actually pretty insightful for a lunatic. Voldemort was completely obsessed with Harry because Harry's very survival made his power look less than absolute. As long as Harry lived, there would be proof that there were things beyond Voldemort's control, and I think that thought ate away at him night and day. Gamp saw things about him that all of his most ardent supporters missed. So, yes, great minds like you and Gamp think alike. :p
Draco is putting an awful lot of eggs into one basket with this plan he has to attend Gamp's wedding. It's obviously taking a mental toll on him. You can see it in his drinking and in his reduced ability to control his temper. I can't see him doing that with Mr. Greengrass, however. He's already had his pride injured once by Astoria's father. Being a Malfoy, he will definitely go the route of trying to prove that he's worthy rather than trying to talk his way in.
I loved writing the scene at Gringotts. Here I am letting Narcissa steal a scene again, just like she did several times in Marked. I think the conversation did a lot of good for Astoria. Perhaps a bit too much. You'll see... ;)
I think I'd like to write about Narcissa and Andromeda someday, but I'm not quite sure what I could bring to the story that I haven't read already. It's a surprisingly well-covered topic.
Astoria loves her sister, even though Daphne acts like a shallow idiot sometimes. They have a pretty strong bond in my mind, and Astoria definitely enjoys letting her sister spend their father's money on her. ;)
So glad that you enjoyed it! Thanks for the awesome review! Report Review
Ok, I'm way behind in my reviewing, but I'm trying to catch up. So here's my next review :)
The conversation with Isadore made me laugh, I loved how she was so determined that Astoria wasn't telling her the whole story. I think it showed a lot about her character too, the fact that she refused to lie to her father and yet she was determined to do whatever she could to defend Draco and stay at Hogwarts where she still had access to him.
Astoria's father is amazing...I just want to reach through my computer screen and throttle him! The conversation between Astoria and her father showed an interesting duality in Astoria I thought. She's this good daughter who wants the approval of her father but at the same time there is this quiet strength in her that gives her the motivation to stand up to her father when she thinks it's necessary. That demonstrates how important her relationship with Draco already is to her.
I thought the conversation between Astoria and Snape was really clever too, that's one thing that's so brilliant about the HP universe, you can bring in conversations with dead people with a little bit of creative thinking :) It was good for Astoria to get a different perspective too.
I really like your characterisation of Lucius Malfoy. He's just sort of wasting away, living in this delusion that everything can carry on the way it did before the war, that they can still overtake the ministry etc. His father's desire to get involved with this movement or revolution or whatever you want to call it is a real complication for Draco and adds a nice challenge to the plot, I'm looking forward to seeing where it goes.
I really liked the contrast between the two scenes with the fathers, it was a really clever device and I thought it worked well.
Overall, another brilliantly written chapter that I cannot fault even the slightest bit. Well done, and I'll try to finish off the next two reviews as soon as I can :)Author's Response: Hi, there! Hasn't it been a fun month of April? I'm not sure how next month can possibly top this.
Isadore is another foil that I'm trying -- successfully, I hope -- to draw out some of the things that make Astoria stand out. She's on the mature side for her age, but she is still a teenage girl and therefore prone to a bit of drama, indecision and silliness. Regardless, Astoria is smart enough not to tell Isadore too much at once, lest it be all over the school in a matter of days. Isadore isn't malicious, she's just a hopeless romantic who wants to see Astoria in a relationship so they can gossip about it.
Astoria's father is a little too sure of what he thinks that he knows about a lot of things, including Draco and the war. That said, he is still very concerned for Astoria's well-being, and I hope that came through well enough in this. She will stand up to him to a certain extent, but she knows where to stop pushing her luck.
My first thought was to use Dumbledore's portrait for the conversation Astoria has at the end, but Snape just felt more natural. He's so much more blunt, and I think blunt was what Astoria needed at that moment.
By the time he appears in Deathly Hallows, I already had the impression that old Lucius was a shell of his former self. Azkaban was not kind to him. He isn't a fanatic like Crouch, Jr. or Bellatrix who came out of Azkaban even more hardened than they went in. I always had the impression that Azkaban broke him. By the end of the war, I don't think his mental health is good at all. Now he's sort of trying to recapture the "glory days" when he was a big, important, powerful man and not just a sorry, humbled shell.
I'm glad you liked the two different fathers. One very strong, one on the verge of collapse, both having a lot of difficulty dealing with post-war reality.
I'm so pleased that you're enjoying the story! Thanks for all of your awesome reviews! Report Review
This was such a great chapter I don't really know where to start! I once read a book by an author named Cecelia Ahern that told a love story which stretched over several decades just through the letters the main characters exchanged. They met once at the beginning and once at the end. I'd tell you the title but my bookcase is too far away to check. I'll get back to you on that. My point is, you are building this amazing love story between these two people (if I didn't know the outcome I'd have fainted by now) and they haven't actually seen each other in two chapters. I think that is incredible. It's easy to build romance when your characters go for picnics and shop for rings together but here, it's this struggle of theirs to get together that is so emotional. It gives me that old romance vibe, when the two just saw each other and fell in love and after that point nothing else mattered.
Draco is really playing a dangerous game and the fact that he is willing to do something so stupid as to get in touch with the old crowd just to get Zabini to do him a favor makes me think that either he's really that determined to get Astoria (and the romantic in me clings to that) or the Firewhiskey's fried his brains for good.
I'm currently reviewing all the usual suspects in my head in search of this inner circle member that's planning the revolution but so far I'm coming up with nothing. That's number two on my list of things I should get back to you on. The weapon story is indeed a very good cover up and he was very good at coming up with a lie so quickly. It'll be interesting to see how he's getting out of it, though. This whole dynamic with Draco and Gamp is amazing, because they are two strong male characters that clash on the most fundamental things, like principles and chosen paths in life. Draco is used to being the alpha in his little pack at Hogwarts and Gamp ... well, he's just evil and a wee bit delusional. It's clear none of them want to give in to the other and it's going to be interesting to see how that plays out. From my experience, in a group when two alphas collide, it's not pretty (lucky for me I'm a short girl with a big mouth and I can stand my ground just fine).
And I guess that maybe, somewhere deep down in the black pit where a heart should've been (not that he wouldn't have turned that into a Horcrux, given the chance), Voldemort did care for Harry. Or just his education seeing as he always waited until the end of the year to try and kill him.
The sad thing is, these people don't learn from their mistakes, which is lucky for us since the last thing we need are humble villains who learn from their mistakes. Calling Lily Potter a housewife. Ignorant little punks.
I loved this line " barristers, fines, charitable contributions and outright bribes". It's what all the good families spend money on. There is hope for them still!
As for Astoria, there is that little princess thing still there, with the tiara (which she wants just because her sister wants it) and the shopping for undergarments. I loved that your brought her face to face with Narcissa. In my mind they are so similar and Narcissa's actions in the forest at the final battle are so overlooked in my opinion. Draco lied to Bellatrix, which is an accomplishment on its own, but Narcissa looked the most powerful Occlumence in the eye and told him his arch enemy was dead and nobody bothered to check twice? She was that good. Can you imagine a duel between her and Molly Weasley? I'd be torn!
I liked how her arrogance was toned down. It's clear that having a raging lunatic for a husband and a former Death Eater for a son took its toll on her and she might have realized that not all that glitters is gold. She lost family and friends and all she has left is her dignity and you present that beautifully. I'm looking forward to seeing more of Narcissa in future chapters.
I think I've used up all my words but I will say once again that I loved this chapter and as always, you make me think about so many things regarding Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy in particular (and you make me rant in case you haven't noticed). Brilliant job!
RalAuthor's Response: Hi, Ral!
You know, it's bothered me a little from time to time, this idea of the two of them essentially falling in love by mail. I hadn't really thought of it the way that you do, but I do think that it's going to work well in the end. The fact that the two of them actually don't know one another as well as they like to think that they do will present some difficulties before the story is over.
Draco has become very focused on having his opportunity to be Astoria's date for the wedding. It's partly defensive -- he doesn't *really* think that she might fall for Emery Montague, but he doesn't want her to fall for anyone else -- and partly because this is one of the very few chances he'll get to see her. Pure blood daughters, after all, don't get to just go wandering around the world unescorted, especially those who have already been caught once associating with an "undesirable" young man.
By the end of his section, Draco is convinced that old Lucius is the one that Gamp has been communicating with. The details fit, obviously. There is a lot of friction between Draco and Gamp, but Draco manages it fairly well. During his year as Voldemort's whipping boy, he definitely learned that there are times when it's not worth it to try to be the top dog. That said, he's not going to let Gamp push him around when it matters. You already know how their "relationship" ends. ;)
The bit about barristers and fines is something that I've always suspected about the Malfoys' life immediately after the war. Just because they didn't wind up in Azkaban doesn't mean that it was easy -- or cheap -- to avoid.
There's a *lot* of "daddy's little princess" in Astoria. One thing that I've tried hard to do over the last few chapters is remind everyone that she's still a teenage girl. I was worried after the first few chapters that she came off way too mature. The tiara seemed like a really good device to show that she remains immature in a lot of ways, but it also gives her something to think about once Narcissa reveals just how much she misses her own sisters.
Ah, Narcissa... I'm having a bit of deja vu right now, because something similar happened when I was writing Marked. That was meant to be a "Draco story", but I felt like Narcissa stole the show in some places. It's hard, because her story is so tightly intertwined with Draco's. I also thought she turned out to be one of the more interesting characters by the end of DH. She became this very different version of what a mother is supposed to be: nothing like Lily Potter or Molly Weasley, but her love for Draco was no less important to the final outcome. At any rate, I'm glad that you find her interesting.
I'm really glad that you enjoyed it! For a chapter where I knew going in how I wanted it to turn out, this one ended up being really hard to write. Thanks for all of your awesome reviews! Report Review
Ok, I've been meaning to write this for a couple of days and I am FINALLY getting around to it!
I liked the way this chapter started, kicking right off where the last chapter left. The feel was the same as well, which I was really impressed by, sometimes you see this fantastic cliffhanger and then in the next chapter it doesn't seem to match but this flowed beautifully. I love how long it took Draco to get up, it fits in with what I was saying last time about the reality of the situations. He's been attacked and then apparated with another person some distance; of course he's going to be having difficulties.
Draco's thought process towards Astoria in this chapter showed a lot about his feelings towards her and the effect she is already having on his character. The fact that he is worried about her when he's the one who can't even stand up properly shows real affection and even the beginnings of love.
The fact that he trusted her enough to share the things that he did in the café continues this theme and I almost got the feeling that he was just as surprised as anyone else that he was being so open with Astoria.
The comment about the dark mark being a bad tattoo made me giggle :)
I thought you did a great job of showing a range of moments between Draco and Astoria in the chapter too, from the arguing and banter at the beginning, to the trusting and in-depth conversation right through to the beautiful tender moment behind Honeyduke's. I thought the addition of the little kiss on the cheek was perfect, it was so sweet and innocent and such a contrast to the passionate and evil madness Draco would have experienced during the war.
The conversation between Astoria and McGonagall was perfect. I was glad that Astoria stood up for Draco, although I thought she was incredibly plucky! The way McGonagall threw in that little compliment of Astoria's spell work made me smile - such a McGonagall thing to do!
The writing was perfect again :) I didn't spot any errors. Oh and bonus points for use of the word 'caveats' !!! I am impressed!
A great chapter and I'll try to get the next review written a bit quicker!Author's Response: Hello, again!
I didn't want there to be any implied passage of time between the end of the last chapter and the start of this one, because that would probably make people angry after last chapter's cliffhanger. Draco is very beat up physically when they arrive, so he wasn't going to be going anywhere in a hurry. But he is very concerned about Astoria, both her physical condition and how she thinks of him. Even when he's in no shape to object, that Malfoy pride is never very far below the surface.
The scene inside the cafe is what I'd been waiting to write ever since I started the story. A very genuine moment when Draco finally lets his guard down and opens up about some of the horrors that he witnessed and participated in during the war. I think it was vital for Astoria to see that. Otherwise, she would never know for sure that her father's opinion of Draco was wrong.
Glad you liked the tattoo comment, by the way. I was proud of that one. ;)
McGonagall is always a teacher first in my mind. And Astoria's comments may have more of an effect on her than we first realize.
I'm really glad that you enjoyed this. I think it was my favorite chapter of the story so far, although I always try to do better. ;) Thanks for all of your awesome reviews! Report Review
There's just something about the thrill of getting a letter. I miss them, actually, as they become more rare these modern days.
So... I had to think about this one... Emery would be Blaise's step-nephew. LOL! Loved Zabini's description of him... haha... little more harsh than Astoria's. And I loved Draco's take on Zabini's mother as well. Wow!
And oh, Draco... don't do it! Don't let your friends drag you down and become cell-mates in Azkaban! Oh, my stars, you've set up this story very well.
And Astoria... I loved her question to her mother. It was very, very good and insightful. And you are right about it being about control. But choosing to go against her parents can be heartbreaking and have life-long consequences. Trust me, I know.
You have a bit of 'forbidden love' going on with these two and I love it.
Dark WhisperAuthor's Response: Hi!
I think you have your relationship correct on Blaise and Emery. Suffice it to say that the two of them are not especially close. But Draco seems to believe that Zabini wields just enough influence with the younger Slytherin for him to get what he needs.
Draco is once again walking a very fine line. Unfortunately for him, he winds up doing that quite often in this story.
Astoria knows her mother pretty well, enough to realize that there are aspects of pushing Astoria into an arranged marriage that aren't going to sit especially well with her, either. Let's hope it's enough for her mother to change her mind. I'm sorry if you've had a similar experience. I hope things ended up alright for you.
There's quite a bit of forbidden love here. Much more to come.
Thanks for all the awesome reviews! Report Review
I forgot to say something about that last chapter... I liked how they were able to laugh a bit and I loved how he contemplated leaving everything, but didn't for the lives of his parents. Very good. Sorry that I left that out.
Anyway... For this chapter, I love Snape and his words to her. He is so right about the nearly impossible, but it is what she believes is the most important. Your insight is very wise and your Snape was perfect. :)
Draco is right to be so upset. His emotions are really up and down and I feel so sorry for him right now. His father is really 'losing it' and could really hurt his future. It's so sad to read of a relapse, but is realistic and rings true. Poor Draco.
Great chapter. I love how deep you go. And Astoria is doing so well with her father... still his good little pureblood daughter, but still finding a way to bend the rules in still communicating with him.
And Draco already thinking of marriage? Awe... But then wondering why she would want a mess like him? Awe...
Dark WhisperAuthor's Response: Hi!
I'm glad you liked the levity between Astoria and Draco. Obviously, there will be points in the story where things aren't quite so rosy and light-hearted.
I debated long and hard about whether to include Snape's moment. To me, it felt a little cliched. But I also wanted Astoria to get that little bit of clarity from somewhere, and he seemed like the best choice at the time. He's also blunt to a fault, as opposed to Dumbledore, who probably would have had something flowery and metaphorical to say.
Draco's father is being an idiot. No doubt about that. Part of what I wanted to show is that Draco does still have serious issues controlling his temper. It's something you see fairly often in PTSD victims. In the end, it drags him back a couple of steps.
One thing I love about Astoria is that she *is* a Slytherin. So I can blend a measure of equivocation and deviousness into her character and it doesn't feel out of place at all. Above all else, she's very practical.
Thanks so much for all of your awesome reviews! Report Review
Confessions... hmm. Well I'm glad that he is truthful with her, which is an important base for any relationship to last. I think you handled the Mark issue quite well. I loved what Draco said about it being an "elaborate chain." So true.
The story of the burning house was really tragic. Very sad, indeed and so senseless. I can see how this would haunt Draco.
It was sweet of her to kiss him on the cheek when they parted. I like her character and how she confessed to McGonnagal. It was very Slytherin of her to use her reputation for the cause.
And of course, I love Hermione in this as well. She's so good, right? I love the 'girl thing' and how she needs to fix him. Lol. I find that quite amusing.
I liked the depth of this chapter and how he is opening up to Astoria. Who doesn't love a man who is willing to open up a bit? It's all good... :)
Dark WhisperAuthor's Response: Hello, again.
Draco opens up to her in a way that he's never opened up to anyone about the war. Certainly not his drinking buddies, and probably not even his mother, since I think she implicitly understands most of what he's feeling anyway. That's how I thought of the Dark Mark. It was just a symbol of a person's enslavement to Voldemort.
By the time they part company behind Honeyduke's, Astoria has decided that he's worth pursuing a relationship with. Worth the effort that it's going to take to try to keep him in school and change her father's mind. And she thinks of everything in capitalistic sort of terms. That is the Slytherin in her.
I thought about having Hermione just sort of let the whole thing go, but that didn't feel very much like her. She has this burning sense of right and wrong and a real need to be fair and just. It's the best thing about her.
You are really making my day (week?) with the feedback and kind words. Thanks for reading and reviewing! Report Review
Oh, I do love it when Ron and Draco fight. Fight! Fight! Fight! LOL! Your descriptions of it were excellent and so vivid.
I enjoyed reading of Ginny's one track mind having the world melt away in the snow. :)
And as far as your words... can I say that I loved how you gave hatred a color... as in "black hatred." I loved that and can understand how much he hated Ron at that moment because of your description of it.
"You'll beg me to end your life. I swear it." Oh, my how I love Draco and his threats.
You've left quite the cliff hanger for your readers. Excellent pull to the next chapter and I'm so glad that it is already written so that I don't have to wait. :D
Dark WhisperAuthor's Response: Ugh! I have fallen so far behind on responding to your reviews. It's shameful. Sorry about that.
I'm glad you liked the little sparring match between Ron and Draco. I felt like there would be lots of lingering animosity between the two of them left over from the war and all the years that led up to it. Now the tables have been turned and Ron doesn't hesitate to take advantage. I didn't feel *good* necessarily about writing Ron in this way, but it's sort of important to the things that follow.
I like to think that once the war was over and they got over all of the lingering hurt and mistrust from Harry's decision to break up with her that Ginny and Harry fell deeply in love. And she's not one to hold back very much. ;)
Hatred always feels black to me for some reason. If you let it fester and grow, it eats away at you from the inside, like decay.
Draco still has a flair for the dramatic, doesn't he? He's quite serious in this case, though.
I'm so pleased that you enjoyed the chapter. The next one is slower-paced, but much deeper emotionally. Can't wait to see what you think. Thanks for reading and reviewing! Report Review
You are really good at painting pictures for your readers. I loved your descriptions of Hogwarts and his feelings at seeing it once again.
The rules are understandably strict while being realistic. Reactions from the students were really done well also.
Poor Luna. You give us a glimpse of what happened to her while at Malfoy Manor and it is tragic, indeed. You've written her so true to her peculiar mannerisms. She doesn't think like the masses... case in point with the stew he basically threw at her. It was cruel of him, but she so was hungry, she didn't care and thought of it as an act of kindness. Wow on that storyline. Regrets, indeed.
Draco certainly has a degree of Post Traumatic Stress from what he went through. I feel it is very fitting and although tragic, it is something that I enjoy reading... great depth and potential in his character.
Dark WhisperAuthor's Response: Hi, there!
For starters, you can just call me Dan if you prefer. My penname is kind of a mouthful.
I'm glad you liked the descriptions of the castle. I played with those a lot before I was happy with them.
Luna seemed like a really good person to extend a small olive branch to Draco while making him think about his past choices at the same time. She's awesome like that. I wish I could put her in every story I write.
I don't think there's any doubt that Draco is suffering from PTSD. Anyone in his situation probably would be. The psychological impact of the war on the canon characters is ignored far too often in post-war fics, I think.
I'm really glad that you're enjoying the story. Thanks for reading and reviewing! Report Review
Trying desperately to catch up on a little reading and reviewing this week. It's amazing how easy it is to fall behind!
This chapter was definitely the one I'd been waiting for. I'd been all ready to read about them having their first real heart-to-heart in the last chapter, but those pesky Ratcliffe had to go and spoil everything. But before we get to all that...
Yikes! You did a fantastic job of capturing Draco's injuries. Perhaps a little too fantastic. Feeling dizzy and sick is just the worst! But that aside, this opening scene really demonstrated an interesting dynamic between the two. Draco is a man of contradictions. He's so resistant to even the slightest show of help or support, yet he's very introspective and willing to be open with Astoria about how is feeling. It's fun to watch Astoria try to navigate it all and keep up with him.
I think my favorite moment from this opening bit was the line, "It seemed that the Slytherin in her was giving some serious thought to taking him up on his offer." I love that Astoria has at least some measure of self-preservation hidden inside of her. She's going to need it if she tangles herself up with a man like Draco.
I really enjoyed the way you worked Bellatrix into Draco's confession. While it's obvious that he's been scarred by many of his past experiences, he still manages to keep some perspective and humor about certain things. "Then we flooed to the Ministry and she put her wand to Mr. Twycross's head and told him that his signature was either going to be on my license or his own death certificate, his choice." This is a perfect example. Under normal circumstances, death threats against Ministry officials would be a big deal. But in light of all he went through, this has almost become the kind of humorous story he can share at a dinner party.
Draco's answer to why he didn't run away was very revealing. A Malfoy doesn't run from danger. This is, of course, very ironic seeing as the Malfoy men proved rather cowardly in the books. It's really Narcissa who risks danger to save her family. I guess maturity is bringing out more of her traits in him.
I loved the little aside about Wormtail. What a rat-like thing to do -- conjuring up fake money. I wouldn't be surprised in the least if the spell only lasted a few hours and ends up leaving the recipient shortchanged.
The time had come to spend some of that credibility on a worthwhile cause. Astoria really has fallen hard for Draco, hasn't she? There is such an innocence at that age. She may in fact be totally right about him, but her lack of any real doubt isn't something a lot of adults could replicate. Which leads me too McGonagall...
I love how Astoria's response to McGonagall's question is "We had tea, after we fled Hogsmeade. And we talked." Of course! Obviously that would explain everything :P Astoria is definitely very mature for her age and a good and caring person, but next to McGonagall, she looks like the young, naive girl she really is. Though I do like that at the end of the conversation, we're left with a feeling that McGonagall has something to learn from her. I still like the way McGonagall is keeping Draco on a short leash. She knows what kind of person he use to be and she has a responsibility to keep her other students safe. But I also like that Astoria is right when she says people can't change if they aren't given a chance.
Oh, and good for Hermione too! No matter how much she dislikes Draco, I like that her anger with him doesn't erase her sense of right and wrong, or her desire to make sure that all parties are given fair treatment.
I spotted one typo. Hardly worth mentioning, I know, but...
-- She punched him on the arm, trying to look serious as she dabbed her her eyes with the sleeve of her robes. (repeated "her")
Also, there is one line in the opening scene where you seem to slip into Astoria's POV while the rest is in Draco's POV:
-- As much as she tried to stay cross, Astoria found it infectious.
Last, if you're interested in opinions on the issue, I like the idea of grouping action and dialogue in sections like this: Astoria arched her eyebrow at his revelation. "Did you actually take the test?" I feel like I might have read somewhere you were trying differing formats (or maybe I'm just making that up out of thin air), and I feel like you grouped things this way in CoB. I used to do it the way you're doing it in this story -- using separate lines -- but a reviewer suggested I switch. Looking back at it, I find grouping it is less disrupptive to the flow and has the added benefit of acting like a dialogue tag, identifying the speaker without using a version of said. Anyway, just throwing that out there for whatever it's worth.Author's Response: Your reviews are never easy to respond to. So much good feedback! I really have to wait until I have time to sit down and think and respond intelligently.
I'm really glad you enjoyed this one. I had been waiting for a way to get the two of them off by themselves that didn't feel contrived. So I'm pleased that you found it worth the wait.
Draco took some pretty hard knocks in Hogsmeade, so there was no way that he was going to pop right back up and dance a jig. Still, he's too proud to let Astoria be openly sympathetic toward him. But she's clever and intuitive for her age. Pretty soon, she's able to figure out how to deal with him. And she's not so altruistic that she doesn't give at least a bit of thought to what's best for her. I'm glad you picked up on that.
I don't think I could write a story about Draco without involving Bellatrix in some fashion. Until she came along, he didn't really have any idea what Death Eaters were all about. His father is quite genteel, after all. But I think she quickly laid to rest any romanticized notions he might have been harboring about the Dark Lord and his followers. She's cruel, vicious and completely crazy. And the fact that he survived his time with her definitely put a bit of a different spin on things for him.
I'd like to think that Draco became more like his mother and less like his father as he aged. I'm still pretty much in awe of what JKR was able to do with Narcissa's character in her very brief appearances in the books. She went from being a snobby pure blood trophy wife to one of the stronger examples of what it means to be a mother. I still hope that she and Andromeda were able to reconcile at some point. They probably had more in common than they realized.
I'm pretty sure that those notes turned back into napkins at some point, by the way. ;) Hopefully not until after the proprietor counted the till at the end of the day.
Astoria is very smitten with Draco by the end of this chapter. He's so very different from the boys that she's grown up around. He's been through hell and back, and it's given him a quiet sort of strength as well as a profound vulnerability. Based on her limited experience, he probably seems like a beautiful, blond character from a teen romance novel come to life. Don't worry, she'll see some of his flaws before the story is all said and done.
I felt like I was walking a really fine line with McGonagall in this chapter. It's way too early for her to let bygones be bygones, but I also wanted to show that she's still able to consider the possibility that she misjudged him. Especially when two people whose opinions she finds worthwhile -- I won't go so far as to say that she accepts them at face value -- are telling her similar things.
Thanks for spotting those problems. I went in yesterday and patched them up.
Ah, the style of writing dialog. That was a decision I made back when I started writing this story. And to be honest, I wish I'd never made it. It makes writing painful at times, and I know it's given some readers real difficulty when it comes to keeping track of who's saying what. That said, I would really need to go back and rewrite the whole thing if I decide to abandon it. I may make that decision someday, but for now, I just want to finish writing the story. I appreciate the feedback, though.
Thanks for the long, detailed and insightful review! It was really helpful. Report Review
Another brilliantly written chapter. *sigh* you spoil me, you know that? Although it does make writing a review that's not just line after line of "brilliant, brilliant, brilliant!" a bit more of a challenge, but I'll do my best :)
I really love the way you focus on what your character's thought processes. I always feel like I'm right inside their brain and understand the motivation behind all their actions. I mean this is only chapter 4 and I already feel like I know Draco and Astoria better than I've known some characters at the end of a 20 chapter novel! Your attention to the detail on your characterisation of your main characters is incredible. I'm imagining you sitting in some study somewhere with page upon page stuck to walls with details about them :P
The thing about not being able to do magic in Hogsmeade surprised me because I'd always thought students could do magic in Hogsmeade. So at first I was a bit like "Uh...is this right?" But by the end of the chapter, I understood why this detail was so important and it didn't matter anymore if it was canon or not, because in the context of this story and especially this chapter, it fits in brilliantly.
Astoria's ruminations on Harry and Ginny were perfect, the way she longed to not always be 'proper' and just be this free, impulsive teenager was not only a great spot of character development, but added some foreshadowing for her future actions (in both this chapter and the next). I did feel (and this is totally a personal interpretation of canon thing) that Ginny and Harry's display felt a little bit too much for them. I don't know, I just couldn't see them acting that way, at least not this soon after the end of the war. But as I said, that is completely based on my interpretations of the characters so there's not really wrong or right about it and it certainly didn't detract from the story. PLUS, as I already mentioned, it was a great catalyst for Astoria to think about her own feelings and secret desires.
Oh Draco...poor old Draco, I did feel for him in this chapter. Just can't catch a break, eh? Once again, you've captured that balance between Draco being someone you feel sorry for and someone who's getting what he deserved. I adored that way it just seemed to be never ending, like it wasn't this one little fight that he walked away from, but first it was Ron, and then Hermione and then the three that attack him at the end. By the end of the chapter I was practically screaming at the computer "Oh for the love of Merlin, just get out of there!!!"
I just want to stop and say how much I loved Ron in this chapter. I love how there was this bully-esque feel to his character, not in an unrealistic way, but in a "I have the power and you're not going to push me around anymore Malfoy" way. I could see years of pent up frustration at being picked on by Malfoy and his cronies, as well as everything that happened during the war (and I'm sure he's directing some blame from others like Bellatrix at Draco too). And the fact that Ron punches him? Heh...that was such a Ronald Weasley move :)
And Hermione's little cameo was great too, the 'mudblood' moment seemed to echo back and reflect both their interactions as younger students but it also made me think of Snape's worst memory (not that there's really an comparison between the characters and their relationships, but it just made me think of it). I especially loved her parting shot “I should have had you expelled for that, Draco. Professor McGonagall probably would have just handed Gryffindor the House Cup for getting rid of you. But you do need to learn a lesson. And I have to admit, that was fun.” Hehehe :)
I'm loving Astoria so much, although I would err on the side of caution just because sometimes I feel like she's a little too perfect. I mean I love the contrast between her being so beautiful and almost angelic as opposed to Draco who is just so tortured and trying with all his might to change but struggling with it. But I could see myself getting irritated by Astoria if she doesn't develop a more pronounced flaw. Just a thought.
I loved the reality of the effects of fighting, and how by the end Draco was just this puddle who could barely move. There's nothing worse than a battle sequence where the character casts perfect shield charms and executes perfectly aimed curses while their opponent seems to miss every time. I mean unless you're Voldemort duelling Dennis Creevey, that just ain't gonna happen! You write in such a realistic manner, to the point where it sometimes makes the reader uncomfortable - not in a bad way, but in a 'empathise with the character' way. It's not something you see a lot, and the fact that you're willing to push that boundary is impressive, you certainly don't see a lot of that in fan fiction.
Your technique is incredible - as always. It just flows so beautifully and is so effortless to read. The only error I picked up on was this sentence: “Well? Don’t you and the Weasel King need to run off and find Potter so you celebrate?” I'm thinking it should be 'so you CAN celebrate?' but otherwise, it was just about perfect.
I'm sorry if my thoughts are all over the place in this review, it's late and I'm tired, but I feel like I've been a bit slow with these reviews so I was determined to write this before going to bed tonight!
Great chapter, great story. I'll be back soon to review the next chapter :)Author's Response: Hello, again! This review sort of set me on my heels. It was so long and detailed. I read it through a few times and I was thinking to myself, "where do I even begin to respond?" It's a good problem to have. I guess I'll just start at the beginning!
I'm obsessive about following characters' thoughts and feelings. You should see the notes I make for myself in comments when I'm working on a chapter. It's like I write a parallel narrative just for me so I can keep track of what's going through each character's head, even if it doesn't end up in the final version. At any rate, I'm glad that it shows. Really, what's the point of writing from a certain character's point of view if you're not going to really get inside their head and explore?
I admit, I sort of guessed about not being able to do magic in Hogsmeade. In the books, it always seems as though there are only two places where underage sorcery is allowed: Hogwarts and the Hogwarts Express. In the movies, there's no rhyme or reason to it. Like you said, it worked well with the plot in this situation.
With Harry and Ginny, I wanted to put an alternative version of romance in front of Astoria, one that flies in the face of her upbringing. So admittedly I was thinking more about her than about Harry and Ginny when I did it. That said, since Ginny doesn't get to see Harry when she's at school and he's off doing his Auror training, I could imagine her being very excited to see him. ;)
Draco has a really rough go of things in this chapter, doesn't he? Again, I'm not sure that the objective was to make anyone feel badly for him, but to show that he's going to be living the consequences of his role in the war for the foreseeable future. In retrospect, I feel a bit bad about how I wrote Ron in this. Part of me feels like he comes off as too much of a bully, but then I remind myself that we see the events through Draco's eyes. I guess it serves its purpose.
Hermione, on the other hand, was a joy to write. Her sense of right and wrong is so strong, and for Draco it cuts both ways in this chapter. He completely loses his composure after Ron humiliates him, and he snaps at the one person who was trying to help him. I liked making Hermione very human in terms of how she reacts.
I agree with you about Astoria, actually. In future chapters, I've tried to show more of her flaws and portray her age a bit more realistically. In this chapter, I think she's a bit torn between crushing on Draco and feeling the need to mother him. I guess the two aren't completely mutually exclusive.
Draco is a mess by the end of this chapter. Whether or not he wants to admit it, he really needed Astoria's help. He also has a very strong survival instinct, though. He wouldn't have survived the war otherwise. At any rate, I'm glad you liked the fight scene. I really enjoy writing them.
Thanks for spotting that typo. I'll go in and patch that up!
I thought the review was actually pretty easy to follow. And I really enjoyed reading it! Thanks so much! Report Review
Ok, sorry I've been a bit slow, I decided to read all the validated chapters and then come back and review them.
I was surprised at first that McGonagall was so rough on Draco, but then I remembered that she wouldn't know what Harry or Snape or Dumbledore knew about him and her actions are sort of justified then. I liked your interpretation of her, she felt tlike the McGonagall we all know and love. Her comment about how she thinks the governors were wrong to let Draco back in the school reminded me of when she'd stand up to Umbridge...you really don't want to get on Minerva McGonagall's bad side, do you?
Astoria's thoughts about Draco were very realistic and genuine. You've captured her quite well as this young, idealistic yet very strong girl, and despite the madness that is still going on in the wizarding world, she is obviously experiencing something of a crush on Draco. The girlish conversation about fancying Draco was so perfectly placed among everything else that's going on - it makes you realise that wars and prejudice can't stop these basic teenage emotions :)
Wow...the scene in the potions classroom was perfect. I felt so uncomfortable for Draco when he was trying to be quiet and keep out of the way while others were determined to attack him. It creates this brilliant conflict in the reader because on the one hand you feel bad that he's trying to change and people are treating him so badly, but on the other hand, he wasn't really very nice to these people. Yes, their ideas about his involvement during the war might be uninformed somewhat, but he still was on the wrong side and even before the war, he was the worst kind of school bully, who used to pick on people just because he could and used his influence and power to hurt others. I both feel sorry for Draco and feel like he deserves to have his life to be made difficult. I think it was pretty naïve of him to think this sort of thing wouldn't happen when he came back to Hogwarts though.
I love that Luna stepped in to defend him, it was such a perfect Luna move. I think Luna sees a lot more than people ever gave her credit for. She is incredibly perceptive and sees that Draco maybe isn't the black and white character the others have palmed him off as.
The writing was brilliant as usual, I didn't spot any mistakes. I've really enjoyed what I've read so far and I'll be back to review the next chapter soon :)Author's Response: Hi, there!
I agree that McGonagall was very harsh on Draco, but she has her reasons and they aren't just about the things that he did or didn't do during the war. I actually imagine that Harry did tell her, Kingsley and the other surviving members of the Order about the fact that Draco lied to Bellatrix and Narcissa lied to Voldemort. Otherwise, the entire Malfoy family almost certainly would have wound up in Azkaban. I think her opposition to Draco has more to do with the surviving students at Hogwarts. Many of them lost friends and family members to the war and the majority probably know at least one person who died. Having Draco -- an admitted Death Eater, even if his family did switch sides at the end -- back inside the castle would have been very difficult for a lot of the other students, as we see later in the chapter. More than anything, McGonagall is trying to protect the very fragile recovery that's starting to take root at Hogwarts. And given her deeply-engrained sense of right and wrong, I'm sure she also believes that Draco is a coward for participating in atrocities just to save his own life.
I'm glad you like Astoria. At times, I'm worried that she sounds too mature in this story. So I did try to make her act a bit more like a typical teenage girl in this chapter.
The scene in Slughorn's classroom was my favorite part of this chapter. Luna is a character that I always find myself wishing I could work into my stories more often. She's fun to write but terrifying at the same time because getting her words to sound right is so tricky. Luna is like modern art or being in love: you can't explain what it means to "sound like Luna", you just know it when you read it.
As far as whether Draco "deserves" what almost happened to him, I'm honestly not even sure myself. No matter how much he changed because of the war, the reality is that for the vast majority of seven years at Hogwarts, Draco Malfoy was not a good person. Even after the war, he's still prejudiced and more than a little arrogant. But he's also learned that his prejudices aren't worth killing or being killed over.
I'm really glad that you enjoyed this chapter. It's definitely one of my favorites in the story so far. Thanks for another awesome review! Report Review
Wow, the "grotesque chandelier?" Incredibly dark and terrifying... and quite worrisome.
I liked the fatherly advice, but "that boy is a Black and a Malfoy..." bit... Ouch. The truth hurts. But she saw something that has her thinking otherwise... smart girl. :)
And this whole conversation with Blaise... I love the threat, which quite honestly establishes a hierarchy between them (or at least reiterates and seals what was already there while still in school).
He is honest with Blaise about his abilities, which I find interesting. And it must be difficult and a bit sad to realize that his roommate and Slytherin brother for so long will not be with him on this change of his.
You've set up a very intriguing potential for conflict and I must say that it is really, really good.
And also, he is amazingly cunning and smart with this entire scene at the restaurant... what he says, what he does, and how he does it is truly spot on his character. I loved his patience until the precise moment.
And I must say that I love your details, like the coin rolling to a stop. You're a master.
Dark WhisperAuthor's Response: Hello, again!
So I had this really clear image in my head of what the hanging bodies looked like when I was writing this and I'm never completely sure of whether that came across clearly. I didn't want to go overboard with the detail because this is meant to be a nightmare, so I think it should have a very spartan feel to it. Anyway, I'm glad that you thought the imagery was good.
Mr. Greengrass is not going to easily forgive or forget the consequences of the two wars, and he blames both of them on the old Death Eater families that supported Voldemort. He's a bit naive about it, really. He wasn't one of the Dark Lord's followers, so he doesn't realize how powerful Voldemort truly was. He thinks that without support from wealthy families like the Blacks and Malfoys, Voldemort never would have amounted to anything.
Draco definitely has no problems putting Zabini in his place. Since Voldemort was so obsessed with status and pecking order among the Death Eaters, I imagine that Draco learned to function in a dog pack. But he's also become a realist. He knows that Zabini and the others are going to wind up in Azkaban if they don't change, but there also isn't much he can do about it. He's chosen his path and they've chosen theirs.
When I read, I always find that small details go a long way toward selling a story. They add gravity and realism, I think. Thanks for noticing!
I am really, really glad that you found this story and that you seem to like it. I appreciate the feedback! Report Review
Wow, well I haven't been that wasted in a long while and it reminds me of why I stopped. Your description was so good I felt that infamous taste in my mouth of too much mixing of things... oh my spinning stars. Surely in order to write such a thing, you must have experienced it yourself, you poor dear and poor Draco.
Your insight into his mind after the war is exceptional and I especially appreciated how he took the time to notice how people looked at him. It was really an amazing piece of storyline and characterization. I loved how you wrote of the realization that he was poison. Very good.
I loved your description of the moonlight reflecting off the fountains. It was a very well-described phenomenon that fits right in to his aristocratic surroundings.
I like your Astoria so far. Perhaps it is her youthfulness that allowed her to look past his filth. I don't know, but she certainly left an impression on him.
Great first chapter. Thank you for the vivid descriptions. I think I'll go eat some bread now. ;)
Dark WhisperAuthor's Response: As the saying goes, never get drunk unless you're prepared to pay for it! I'm glad it all came off sounding genuine to you. As far as me personally, well, let's just say I know enough about what I'm writing that I wasn't too worried. ;)
This is the third story I've written where Draco is either the main character or a major supporting character, so I've put a lot of thought into what his life after the war must have been like. I really don't like fics that make him one-dimensional, either as a redemption story or a villain. And I definitely don't like stories that make it seem like he went right back to his old life once the war was over. I'm sure his life was very complicated both during and after the war.
I felt like I was walking a thin line with Astoria in this chapter. We're seeing her through Draco's eyes when he's at a very low point in his life, drunk and miserable. So I think she comes off as being sort of angelic. Obviously, that's not completely realistic, but she does take pity on him at a time when he doesn't really have any other friends in the world.
I'm really glad that you liked it. Thanks so much for reading and reviewing! Report Review
Oh wow. The beginning of this chapter was just incredible. Like terrorising and haunting and just amazing. It gave such a brilliant insight into the fear that Draco is experiencing and shows just how much the war and his interactions with Voldemort are ingrained into Draco's psyche.
The scene in the café was a really good way of showing the struggle that Draco is feeling about his decision to change. It isn't like he decided to be a better person and then 'bam' he's changed. It makes it so much more realistic that he's still struggling to keep away from alcohol. Even his actions towards Blaise and the other people in the café show that he is not this perfect person, there is so much pride and rage and darkness inside of him. I think that aspect of his characterisation is spot on - I cannot stand this attitude that some people take that Draco was this innocent victim who is so inherently good inside. He's still an arrogant, prejudiced bully who was horrible to a lot of people in his life because he had the power to. He does want to change but there's still that tension between the sense of entitlement he's always had and what he thinks might be a better choice.
I love that you have some people on the 'good' side who are still pretty aggressive and violent. With Harry, we saw someone who had such a good moral centre, who didn't believe in killing or hitting someone when their back was turned. I suppose with Dumbledore as a mentor he developed a real maturity about that. But the reality is that not everyone is like that. The oppressed can be as vicious and the oppressors if they are given enough power, these sort of things are rarely black and white and it shows such a sophisticated understanding of the world that you've shown these shades of grey in the survivors of the war.
I find Astoria's father to be a fascinating character! The fact that he thinks his prejudice is alright as long as he isn't trying to take over the world is brilliant. He's so quick to blame others for his own misfortune, he doesn't see his drop in status as something that is justified or a reason to open his mind and look at things differently; he sees it as a crime that has been committed against him by the death eaters - he believes he is the victim in all this when it's attitudes like his that caused the problems in the first place! I love the irony of him carrying on about how arrogant the Malfoy's are when he is his own brand of arrogance!
Again, the writing was beautiful, I couldn't spot any mistakes and I was captured by every word. Can't wait to read the next chapter :)Author's Response: Whew! I'm really glad that you liked the nightmare scene at the beginning. I'm always worried about how that's going to come off. I had this really clear vision in my head of how it all looked, and I feel like it didn't come off quite right. At any rate, I'm glad it worked for you.
Draco is struggling a lot at this point. He's a recovering alcoholic, but all of his old "friends" still drink a lot. He's also struggling quite a bit with his own values. It isn't that he doesn't still think that his blood status and family history make him superior to others; he definitely does. But he knows that he's going to have to tone it down enormously if he's ever going to be accepted back into "polite" society. Zabini doesn't realize any of this. He's still living in his own world of post-war disaffection and rampant alcohol abuse.
The wizards inside the cafe aren't inherently bad people. But like most witches and wizards they suffered from the harsh conditions imposed by Voldemort's Death Eaters during the war. They probably lost people that they knew, either because they were muggle-born or just because they happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. So Zabini's diatribe sets them off.
You're absolutely right about Astoria's father. He's no saint. There really are no saints in this story. He's prejudiced and more than a little bit arrogant. He's also very naive about Voldemort. He truly believes that Voldemort was some sort of mentally unbalanced charismatic who never would have risen to power without the support of wealthy, old families like the Blacks and Malfoys. Obviously, that isn't true, but Mr. Greengrass doesn't know how powerful Voldemort truly was. So he assumes that the Blacks and Malfoys were playing kingmaker.
I'm really pleased that you enjoyed it so much. Thanks for the awesome review! Report Review
I saw that this story has passed a thousand reads so congrats for that :D
I was really excited to get to learn more about Daphne and Astoria’s relationship, as they’re not really explored by JK and I was intrigued to see how you were going to go about it. I really loved how you had a bit of comedy into Astoria’s thoughts during the dress finding as it added another layer to her, and it was nice to see her in a more of a relaxed setting.
It was nice to see her refer to her and Draco’s relationship as ‘clandestine’, and for her to break out from the proper girl she was before. You’ve done a great way of showing how Draco’s changed her, and how she’s changed Draco, and it’s nice to see that they’ve been such a positive addition to both of their lives.
I liked seeing more of Astoria’s mother too. It was funny to see how she viewed her daughter as the good one, because if she found about her and Draco I’m sure her thoughts about her won’t be as nice. It is interesting to wonder what their reaction might be, as they seem to be nice people, so perhaps they will be supportive of it?
Another note on her parents though. I really like how you’ve not made them traditional by actually being nice to their children, yet they do still believe in the importance of marriage, and finding the right match. Astoria really is an independent person though, and she really didn’t seem to be enjoying being stifled by them.
The letter! I was cheering for Astoria and her new adventurous streak by suggesting that they have a different type of relationship. They seem to be a more moderate version of Romeo and Juliet, as that letter seemed to show how passionate they are for one another.
I was glad to see an appearance from Draco, as you write him so well. I love his and Blaise’s friendship, they have such easy banter between one another, and it’s funny to read. I found it interesting that they were the one’s now being repressed by reforms, but it does make sense for the reverse to happen. I can’t help but feel sympathy towards them because of it.
Anyhow, this was an excellent chapter and well worth the wait!
-Kiana :DAuthor's Response: Hi, there! And thanks for the congratulations.
l've always thought of Daphne as being self-absorbed, flighty and more than a bit shallow. And I'm actually kind to her in this story compared to the treatment she gets in Conspiracy of Blood. Being much more practical, Astoria finds her older sister kind of amusing and a bit pathetic, but in an affectionate way. They really do care for one another, but like most sisters, there's quite a lot of friction that goes along with it.
Astoria and Draco are in full stealth mode at this point. They know that if rumors of their relationship get back to Mr. Greengrass, things will be very bad for Astoria.
Astoria's mother is another character that I think is caught between her upbringing and the realities of her current life. She does really want what's best for Astoria and she is a romantic at heart, but she comes from that aristocratic pure blood background where matters as important as the joining of two old and noble families through marriage are never left to something as fickle and unpredictable as young love.
I'm really glad that you liked the letter. I tried really hard to keep it short, but expressive. She needed to say a lot in a short amount of time.
Draco and Blaise are still friendly with one another, but don't read too much into their banter. Each has his own agenda and they are both Slytherins, after all. They do share the common bond of being "disenfranchised" relative to the privilege that their families enjoyed before the war.
I'm really glad that you enjoyed it! Thanks for reading and reviewing! Report Review
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