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

Once again I think that you've done a fabulous job with Draco's characterization. His anger and disgust at the situation he's found himself in poured off the page and showed in his every word.

You've done a great job with the creation of a very dark and conflicted atmosphere. The dangerous and violent feelings the Auror carries for Draco were clear and yet you didn't actually carry through on the threat of violence, which I liked. I think that it would have been too unrealistic if the Auror had actually cast a spell on Draco- angry through he might be, he was still bound by the codes of his job.

As well, it was interesting to see Draco's thoughts towards his mother. His non-understanding of the situation became very clear here, as well as his mother's understanding of it. The fact that he dislikes her for her fear and worry is very interesting because he doesn't understand how right she is to have those feelings. He doesn't realize that in a few monthes' time he will share those feelings.

Another thing that I found very interesting was the way you didn't explore Draco's thought process just before and as he accepted Bellatrix's offer. It gives us a very clear understanding (if we hadn't already grasped it before) that Draco most definitely did not know what he was getting into. He didn't consider the choice to difficult to make; he thought that the choice was already made and that it was inconceivable that he would refuse. And yet there was probably some part of him that objected, because he paused for a long time before answering.

I found the phrasing of the final paragraph slightly confusing because you went from talking about what Draco wanted to do to how he wasn't allowed to do what he needed to do. The difference between wanting and needing can be very great sometimes and I got the feeling that this was also the case here. Because of this I was unsure about what exactly you meant by Draco's needs.

I loved your characterization of Bellatrix. You did a fantastic job of writing her in a way that was undeniably her without giving in and writing as simply insane. I think that she's a very difficult character to write because, though her motivations are easy enough to understand, she's unpredictable, and you included this wildness in your description of her.

A small thing that I noticed that I didn't think was the best word for it was in the beginning of the chapter when the Auror gave a "sarcastic grin". From my interpretation of the scene I thought that you were more going for a mocking grin than a sarcastic one.

All in all, I think that you did a great job with this chapter, especially in moving Draco along in a world that he doesn't quite understand yet. Thanks for requesting and I hope that my review was helpful!

Author's Response: Hi, Roots!

Whew. I'm glad you like the way that Draco turned out in this chapter. This is the one where he is *just* beginning to turn the corner and realize that the world is not the black-and-white state of affairs that his father has always led him to believe in. He is still arrogant and obnoxious in this chapter, but for the first time he actually comes to realize that he is in real danger and that his survival may well depend on people that he previously considered beneath him.

His mother is desperately trying to get him to understand all of this, but it isn't until his aunt arrives that it really begins to sink in. Initially, he's merely angry at his mother. He feels as though she's betrayed his father and he can't understand why she's behaving in this way. Once he meets Aunt Bella and her companions, it starts to dawn on him that not everyone who's on "his side" is the sort of genteel, sane and safe person that he thinks of as a proper pureblood witch or wizard. But he still doesn't realize what he's getting into when he says "yes" to her. That comes later. For now, he still believes that his name and his wealth will keep him safe, no matter what.

I see your point on that final paragraph. I really still don't like it. I was trying to get across the point that he wasn't going to sleep very well after meeting Bella and her companions, but I couldn't find the right words. Back to the drawing board...

I agree completely; Bella is very tricky to write. Getting the right balance of madness and calculated menace and that sort of "evil little girl who never quite grew up" vibe took a lot of trial and error. I'm glad you liked the way she turned out. She'll be back soon...

That's a good point about the Auror's facial expression. Good enough, in fact, that I'm going to go and change it! ;)

Your reviews are always very helpful, my friend! Thanks so much for all of them.

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