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Review:Jchrissy says:
I am so spoiled by awesome stories ♥ The entire time at the gym this morning I was thinking about how as soon as I finished I could go come, get some coffee, and submerge myself in another awesome installment before I had to start getting ready. And now Iím here! Woo!

Oh. My. God. This start of this is so chilling. Somehow I completely forgot about the nightmare and gah. Poor Draco. I really loved how, despite their death -- or dream death-- you didnít have Draco giving some sort of sympathetic emotion. I feel fear, absolute fear. But with little details like ďWeaslyís sisterĒ we know Draco knows her name, but he has no reason to say it, and youíve made this nightmare so much more believable with those little touches. It shows a terrified Draco, yet not an uncharacteristically caring one for the deaths of the foes that are floating all around him. I donít know if I just donít remember the part where Draco pulls his wand on his mother, or if itís new, but regardless I LOVE IT. Darco. Poor poor Draco :(.

Youíve really taken the relationship you build between Narcissa and Draco in Marked and expanded on that. This is a mother and a son who have been to Hell and back together. Not that it felt mushy or anything along those lines, but they both just know each other so well. Itís a certain closeness that heíll never have with his father, because Lucius really just doesnít have it in him to show his son vulnerability the way Narcissa can, and I really love it. I also loved that we sort of see how Dracoís been trained when he answered, ĎI wonítí too quickly. It was an immediate, solid response, but like he said, it showed his mother that he hadnít really thought about the question.

Astoriaís section. Gahh. First of all, as someone with a close relationship with her father an overprotective sisters, I can relate to this so much. Although I never wanted to date an ex Death EaterÖ anyway. Nice tie in to your own head canon/CoB with Daphne and Gamp. Iíll never hear that manís name again without getting the chills. I can see so much of your adult Astoria in this girl. Already stubborn and knows what she wants, but thatís all covered with a layer of sweet heart that makes you want to do things for her. And (if I remember correctly) In CoB there was a point where Astoria wanted to go stay with her father, so it seems sheís always been a daddyís girl. I just really love getting such an awesome glimpse into the life of the woman I feel in love with during CoB. Youíre doing such a perfect job Ďde-agingí her while still keeping that same spirit alive.

And the Zabini section! Firstly, I love that it shows Draco is saying strong with his promise to himself and his family. But at the same time, heís had self control drilled into him so fiercely by this point, that it doesnít surprise me heís able to give up his old ways. And poor Zabini just doesnít get it. I love seeing him through Dracoís eyes, and Draco getting to see what he used to be until he decided it was time to try and change. But obviously we knew this wouldnít go great, because without Draco whatever this group is hatching wonít pan out. Draco used to just be the power in school because he had the strongest name, but now heís learned enough (too much) that heís not just a name. Like Zabini said, he knows. He had to live through it. Which is all the more reason heíd never want to go back to it.

I really like how you write the section with the men. I kind of wanted Zabini to take just a small curse, but at the same time I also think the way the men acted was no better than Blaise. You canít blame them, I suppose. They probably lost too much during the war, and hereís this spoilt child throwing words like bloodtraitor and mudblood around. He probably deserved just to get a quick curseÖ :P. Dracoís thoughts revolving around focusing on what his aunt taught him. Chils! Could you imagine dueling someone who was hand taught by Bellatrix Lestrange? Draco really isnít just show anymore. Heís not just the Malfoy child raised with a silver spoon. He knows things that most wizards never would want to, things that made him want to change, and I love how you show that in this chapter.

Dan this was absolutely awesome ♥ You have no idea how much I love this story

Until next time, mídear!

Author's Response: Hello, dear!

I have a confession. I feel like I'm starting to become one of those people who leaves reviews unanswered for a day or two, partly because I'm busy more often than I used to be and partly because my account feels so lonely when I have no unanswered reviews. Whew, now that I have that off of my chest, on with the response.

I'm glad that the tone of Draco's nightmare and his reaction to it worked for you. Aside from his parents, the bodies that he sees hanging in the air really don't have an emotional impact on him. He doesn't feel any *specific* sense of loss for them. Instead he feels the horror of realizing that the Dark Lord will eventually kill *everyone*, including Draco. Any living person is potentially a threat, and the Dark Lord doesn't like leaving threats unaccounted for. He is quite freaked out when he wakes up, hence pulling a wand on his own mother.

Narcissa cares very deeply for her son. She risked everything in order to save him during the war, and I feel as though they did become very close. Lucius basically just doesn't get it. He's much too caught up in this persona that he's built for himself.

In Astoria's section, I tried really hard to balance the aspects of a somewhat naive young woman with the spirit and determination that define her character in CoB, and I'm really glad it seemed right to you. This also seemed like the logical place to introduce Daphne and Jeremy's relationship. Don't lose track of that one. It becomes important later.

Sitting in the restaurant with Zabini, I imagine Draco being like the alcoholic who's been off the sauce for about a month. He's still feeling shaky about both commitments he's made: not drinking and disassociating himself from the worst of his former schoolmates. Zabini is obviously still caught up in the mindset of blood purity bigotry, but he's not as radical about it as Gamp, Flint and the others. So Draco is basically trying to prove to himself that he can still socialize with the sort of people who make up *proper* society without falling off of either wagon. In the end, it works out alright for him, although he probably winds up revealing more to Zabini than he meant to.

Ha! Believe me, I considered letting Zabini get cursed. I think it would have felt quite good. But I need him in one piece and indebted to Draco for some things that are coming up. Draco is caught in a pretty unappealing place. He learned more from his mad aunt that he wants to admit -- probably even more than he realizes -- but not nearly as much as Zabini and the others think that he learned. So while he tries to forget the terrible things she taught him, his old chums badger him to teach those things to them. Like I said, unappealing...

I'm very glad you're enjoying the story. After all, it's written as a gift to you! Thanks for all of your support, encouragement and friendship!

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