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Reading Reviews for Painful Bliss
  
38 Reviews Found

Review #1, by SunshineDaisies Prologue: Beginnings

14th April 2017:
Oh my goodness, that was lovely! I'm not a huge fan of Draco, but I think you did a really great job of making him sympathetic and likable while still being true to his character. It's pretty hard to make me like Draco, so I think you've done a great job!

I'm already so interested in this relationship and the future of Draco and Astoria. The summary makes it seem like they don't exactly have a happy ending, so I'm really looking forward to reading the rest of this!

Your writing here is just beautiful. I really liked the way it seemed a bit distant, as it matched the way Draco seemed to be feeling at the time. This chapter seemed to start off a bit hazy, and then come into focus when Draco met Astoria. I also loved that you focused so much on Astoria's flaws. So often you read stories that are like, SHE'S SO BEAUTIFUL OMG I LOVE HER and that's not realistic or interesting. Here you've presented an absolutely normal woman, and Draco is captivated by her almost because of her normality. It's a really interesting beginning to this story. It's sweet to see Draco like that, and I'm a little disappointed that it seems the rest of the story will be so sad.

Great story!

katie.

Hufflepuff CtF

Author's Response: You're not a fan of Draco, say what?! I love me some Draco and I love me some Draco like this. Walls down, facade down. Yes, yes, yes, please! This story is essentially my baby. I think a lot of people are put off by the prologue and that's why not too many people have read until the final chapter. I think it's because I do focus on her flaws so much here that a lot of people aren't a fan of that but I wanted the prologue to read off as normal. These are just two normal people who are going to be in a normal relationship that could make or break them just like any other relationship out there. You know what I mean?

So glad you enjoyed the prologue. I hope you continue to read on!


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Review #2, by DossyVilja Prologue: Beginnings

3rd March 2017:
Hi, I came to find you from HPFT review tag, but at the end I'm glad I did :)
I liked how your start the story with describing someone's feelings, we know we are after the war, we know he is twenty-two, and just at the right time when we start guessing, you reveal that it's Draco Malfoy.
In general I like stories that cover the tima after the war, we know so little about it, as after book 7 JKR just jumped to CC. So I'm glad you are covering it. Also as a general comment I like that you make romance sound realistic. The way you describe people, the way you put their thoughts, it all makes sense, it's just so normal that one can easily believe it's happening.

Author's Response: Hello! Thanks so much for stopping by and reviewing my little story. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I really wanted to focus on feelings here. I feel like Draco would have been completely lost after the war so meeting this new person would have been great but he still would have been wary, which is why he's kind of critical describing her. But then again, in real life, aren't we all? Glad you thought it was believable! Thanks again for the review. :D

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Review #3, by scintillated Prologue: Beginnings

15th February 2017:
here from review tag - i actually have been meaning to read this for a while, and finally i'm getting around to it! drastoria has always been a ship that i have a soft spot for, just because we don't know anything about them from canon; i love people creating their own ideas of their story.

speaking of their own ideas, i really liked this chapter! i honestly have never liked draco all that much, but this made me really empathize with him. i also feel like your first line is really powerful, it kind of just sticks with me. i can really feel drake's emotions so powerfully, especially in the beginning.

astoria seems really great as well! even though we don't really know all that much about her, she seems like a well-rounded character, with her flaws (as i can kind of tell from the summary). i also really like how she seems to balance out draco a bit - it makes me wonder, how will their marriage become unhappy? (guess i'll just have to read and find out)

i also can't wait to see more of blaise, their friendship seems like one that has a lot to explore. and draco's letter to blaise - it makes me feel all kinds of emotions!!

as a whole, this prologue was really good! it's a nice lead in to the story, and really sets up draco and astoria's relationship. they seem so good together, all i want to do is read more and find out what went wrong!

Author's Response: Hello! Sorry for such a late response. I'm so glad you enjoyed my little story. I think Draco is definitely a character ti empathize with. He gets a lot of flack for how he was as a teenager but I think he would have tried to change and it would have been difficult. He had to see the world in this entirely new way so that transition as he grows up into an adult would be different.

I have a Blaise obsession so I wrote a little companion piece to this about them. It takes place during Hogwarts and I love it. I love them. I think they would have had quite the relationship. Not a romantic one but these are two young men that don't necessarily know what love is. They don't know what normal is because their normal is something different compared to what we know.

Thanks so much for the wonderful review! Hope to get you to read more one day!


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Review #4, by CambAngst Jealousy

11th March 2016:
Hi, Deeds!

“You don’t want to see me jealous,” Astoria whispered innocently. “I get a little crazy…” -- That may well be the biggest understatement you've ever written. We're not talking anything benign, like Taylor Swift crazy. No, we're talking about Kathy Bates in Misery-level crazy, with full-on emotional hostage-taking and mutual assured psychological destruction. With a cherry on top.

You imbue Astoria with so many different feelings and qualities. It's hard to even properly capture them all. I feel badly for her. Just incredibly, horribly sad. She needs so much help. But she's also disturbing to the point where it's almost uncomfortable to read. She makes me scared, for her and for everyone around her. You don't know who she's going to go after when she snaps -- someone else or herself -- you just know that it's going to happen and it's going to be ugly. But in spite of it all, the sympathy is always there.

Little by little, Lucien is getting through to Draco. Or causing Draco to get to the root of his own problems. I guess from the standpoint of making progress, they're interchangeable. I had guessed several chapters before that children -- or the lack thereof -- were at the root of Draco and Astoria's troubles. Tiny round of applause for me! For Draco to admit that he's jealous, however... that has to be a huge, huge thing for him. He's the scion of a wealthy family. Men like Draco don't feel jealousy, or at least they never admit it. Not even to themselves. He's finally admitting to himself that there are things he can't fix just by loving Astoria more.

I have this feeling like Zabini nearly found himself on the wrong end of a much bigger confrontation than he bargained for. Soon, when he calms down enough to think it over, he might realize that he took his life into his own hands when he stepped through the fireplace into Malfoy Manor to express his anger.

I saw what I think is a typo while reading:

If she needed a kidney he burn his flesh off with the tip of his wand and hand it over to her without a second thought. -- he would burn his flesh off?

Neat chapter! I'm looking forward to the next!

Author's Response: Hey! This review has been sitting here forever. My apologies Dan!

It's crazy to think this story still hasn't been completed yet. Uh, the agony. This month though! We'll be done with Draco and Astoria.

Understatement? Astoria isn't that crazy. Is she? I think crazy is subjective. HA-HA Taylor Swift crazy. I could see Astoria taking someone for hostage actually. I have this other story I've been working on and the roles have been sort of reserved. So Daphne is that hell bent woman while Astoria is the counterpart. I think its going to be pretty good if I can figure out how everything goes down in the middle but reading this story I see a lot of similarities in them here. Anyway, I keep getting side tracked because Im just enjoying speaking to you!

Or at you.

You should feel bad for Astoria. She's going through a lot and I don't think she understands her emotions and her actions all that much either. When you have so much rage and hurt inside of you...it's almost like she has these rage blackouts.

Yes, I think it was rather obvious children were the root of the problem. I think at this point Draco has just been completely...almost abused. Right? You would say? Astoria hasn't been the best spouse. She yells, she threatens and she hurts whoever or whatever is in her path. The person she has hurt the most is Draco. He's emotionally drained. He has tried so hard to keep it together so I can understand him showing his weakness and admitting that yes, he is jealous. He is hurt. He is so many things.

Yes, he would burn his flesh off. Not a typo. I thought it was more dramatic because with a knife it all sounds very medical to cut into himself and pull out his kidney. He'd use the very tip of his wand and burn a hole inside of him until he can reach in and remove that kidney or any body piece for her.

Dramatic. Eerie. Kind of disturbing. Just like Drastoria!

Thanks for the great review. Hope to see you around soon!


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Review #5, by rosiful Denial

11th March 2016:
Yay! That was a super quick update!
And another crazy emotional chapter.

Draco is so deep in denial. But after reading his section, I can kinda see why? I mean, you would expect your wife to tell you something like that... but I guess he doesn't really understand how much it has destroyed Astoria. And yes, denial is often a lot easier than accepting reality.

Astoria's section is just terrifying. I didn't think she'd go that far, but I guess Narcissa just pushed her the wrong way.

There were a few choppy bits, and I think you accidentally called Goyle Crabbe once as well, but it was really enjoyable to read anyway. I am so curious so see how you will end this story, looking forward to reading more.

-Rosiful

(Sorry to hear about your job as well :( )

Author's Response: Thanks so much for the review. Sorry for the year later response. I have to check that Goyle-Crabbe thing because I probably did do that. I think this part is rather choppy but it's kind of supposed to be like that. Only because Astoria has reached this huge breaking point. She's gone. She has officially hit rock bottom so she isn't making much sense. We'll see her finally calm down and hopefully start to rebuild in the coming chapters.

Thanks so much for the review!


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Review #6, by rosiful Honesty

28th February 2016:
Hi Deeds!

I've been reading this story from the start, but I don't think I've ever reviewed (Sorry!!). It's very dark and quite depressing to be honest, but you've written it really well so that I feel so many different emotions all the time.

I'm glad Draco finally knows the truth, even if he hasn't come to accept it yet. I really hope he does accept it soon, but I don't really know if I see that happening. He's pretty deep in denial right now. Astoria must be absolutely distraught right now.

I keep going back and forth between feeling sympathetic for these two, or feeling quite terrified of them. I don't really know if it would be better for them to work things out and be together again or to just break things off. I just can't imagine things will ever be anything close to what they had before.

As for typos, I did notice that three paragraphs into Narcissa's section you did accidentally have the same sentence written twice. But, other than that I don't think anything really stuck out to me.

I'm really curious to see where you take this story. I hope you update a bit quicker, but I do understand that real life does often get in the way!

-Rosiful

Author's Response: Hi! Thanks so much for responding. I didn't think anyone would continue to keep reading since it's been so long. Sorry for the wait but I had a lot of personal things going on. I was laid off from my job so I work everyday a low paying job so it's just been a lot along with other things.

Anyway, Draco knows the truth. What he does with it now will be interesting but I think we're on a path that's less Draco and more Astoria now. The story IS almost over so you'll find out soon enough. This has never been a happy story though so don't expect to feel like you've resolved your feelings for either towards the end.

I'll update soon! No worries and thanks I have to edit that out.


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Review #7, by krazyboutharryginny - round #8 Jealousy

17th April 2015:
*jailbreak!*
Wow... so I guess I was partially right with some of my guesses. I've definitely been suspecting that Astoria is infertile.
I'm glad to see that Astoria finally opened up to someone about her issues. I've been increasingly worried about her behaviour.
Personally, I think Blaise was totally justified in most of the things he said to Malfoy. I liked the reaction he had to Draco's outburst, where he walked over and took Draco's wand gently. That he managed to keep his head in such a tense situation is very impressive.
Lucien seems to be finally making some progress with Draco, which is a relief. I hope that Astoria will also start to talk to him properly now that she's opened up to her sister.
At this point, I'm not even sure whether it would be better for Draco and Astoria to work things out or just break up. They were both pretty scary in this chapter.
I'm definitely going to check back for the next chapter of this!
-Kayla

Author's Response: Yeah, I tried to make it obvious in the chapters but also not too obvious that when she finally says it it's still a shock to the readers.

Blaise was justified but Draco is also his friend. He's going to be worried about his own wife but he's worried about Draco too. As a married man he knows Draco doesn't deserve to be treated like this. However, he also can't brush it under the rug anymore. He gave him the advice to go to counseling but I don't think he understood the full extent of what was going on. I think he feels bad for Draco.

Lucien and Draco are making progress. It'll be interesting what people think of the next chapter and then the last few because this story is almost done. We've kind of reached Astoria's rock bottom here but not necessarily Draco's. She has admitted defeat and now Draco is letting his feelings free to Lucien but it still hasn't entirely hit the fan for him yet.

Honestly, by the end of this story you have to feel very badly for Draco.

Thanks so much for the review!


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Review #8, by StarFeather Jealousy

16th April 2015:
*Attack Post for the Capture the Flag #8

Reading this chapter, I shouted in my mind, "God save Astoria!" I hope Draco will figure out how he can stand by her soon.

It was so sad for her to beg her sister to give a baby to Draco. Of course Draco won't wish such a thing. Readers know how much she loves him, too.

I guess you chose the glass to express her broken feeling. The glass cut her flesh and her mind. The glass is the symbol for self-denial. The therapist must understand the darkness in her mind and give her his helping hand. And Draco must praise her in his honest words.

At last you let Draco face his agony. I guess it's really hard to keep writing their heavy angst. Readers will be relived to know Blaize understood his friend's mental pain at the end.

Kenny

Author's Response: You are too funny!

I really wanted to get it across in this chapter that Astoria DOES love Draco. She's just not in the right state of mind. I thought it was a good idea for her to ask Daphne to have her baby because Astoria is desperate and a bit of a trickster. Also, I got the idea from like the Borgias and the Tudors, long lines of blood, but even longer lines of deception where people actually tried to do these things if the woman was barren but didn't want to lose her position. That's kind of how I see Astoria.

That's horrible, isn't it?

Yes, but Draco hasn't completely reached rock bottom yet. It's happening soon though! Thanks so much for all the reviews!


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Review #9, by krazyboutharryginny - round #8 Guidance

16th April 2015:
*jailbreak!*
Hmm... I have to admit, I find the character of Lucius Malfoy a little OOC. There are a few places here where he comes off almost jolly. He always struck me as very cold and not at all affectionate. Your interpretation of him may be different though, I don't know. Just my two cents. (Also... how on earth did he avoid Azkaban?)
Wow... Astoria's mental state is really deteriorating. I think you've done a pretty good job showing that. Isabella holding her wand in her pocket when she's around Astoria was a really good detail to include, because it really highlights how scary she is in her anger.
I'm actually very interested in the way you've chosen to write the Greengrass sisters. Most stories I've read about them had Daphne shown as very cold, uptight, and reserved. Meanwhile, Astoria would be outspoken, cheerful, teasing, etc. You seem to have reversed that here, which is really cool.
I'm very concerned at this point about what's going on with Astoria. I'm going to read on and hope everything is explained soon.
-Kayla

Author's Response: I think Lucius is different. I don't see him as being out of character because we know Lucius needed Narcissa. She was the one who had to push him to give his wand to Voldemort. She was the one that got her family out of his clutches and into safety. I don't think he would have went to Azkaban because of Harry. Harry wouldn't have let Draco or Narcissa go to Azkaban. Granted, Lucius was worse than the two of them combined.

I don't see Daphne as cold and uptight at all actually. I don't know why she's always written that way. I think Astoria would have given her a greater run for her money in that aspect. Astoria to me, no matter how many times I write her, is loving but shrill. Uptight but can be fun. I always see her as a complex character that has many different sides. I kind of want to write another story about her as bipolar. That's kind of my personal head canon.


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Review #10, by StarFeather Guidance

16th April 2015:
*Attack Post for the Capture the Flag Game round 8

You yarned the words adroitly,"Failure had always been the biggest problem with Draco", "If you have a problem you need to figure out a way to fix it." And "Marriage isn't to be taken lightly." implys profound meaning. How many people got divorced easily nowadays. Your words means a lot, marriage is to live with the other who has a different point of view. How much you can accept the one's sense of values is important.

Then I understood why Astoria had dark circles underneath her eyes. But even if she was desperate, shooting out of her wand at Isabella, who will have a baby, precious life in her belly,isn't acceptable. I wonder you could have chosen the other option, when you tried writing about Astoria's agony. In my opinion, it's too extreme.

The most impressive part, I love that, is the blooming yellow peonies behind his father. I had an impression that the yellow flower was the symbol of something, yes, I'll predict their marriage wili go well, I believe Draco can fix it. The yellow healing flower reminded me of the novel 'Lemon' in my country.

;)Kenny

Author's Response: I'm really interested in the concept of marriage. Being with one person for the rest of your life. I have never seen a happy marriage before, at least not in my family. Everyone has gotten a divorce so it's hard to see the good when all I've ever seen is the bad. That's partly where I got the story idea from.

I wanted it to be too extreme. She's not just desperate. She's not all there. Astoria is about to reach rock bottom completely and that brings her one step closer there. She would do anything. She could do anything, even if it's wrong, because she's not in her right mind.

The flowers do predict something but not those! Haha. You'll see soon though. Once I decide to edit the next chapter. I'm feeling lazy and busy. Thanks for the wonderful review!


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Review #11, by krazyboutharryginny - round #8 Hope

16th April 2015:
*jailbreak!*
Wow, it seems like I was completely off-base in my guesses as to where this was going to go XD How embarrassing!
I was so glad that Draco and Astoria were going to go to therapy and get help for their problems, but it doesn't seem to be going very well. I know from experience that therapy won't work if you just sit there and refuse to talk!
Every chapter I get more and more curious about what's going on here. Astoria is really an enigma. A scary, scary enigma. The scene with her in the basement was very well written and truly got across how unsettling and unbalanced she was in that moment.
You've done a great job writing Draco. You've given him a lot of emotional depth and complicated/conflicting feelings. He hates Astoria but at the same time he loves her and wants to reconnect with her.
I'm eager to keep reading and see where this goes!
-Kayla

Author's Response: Therapy isn't easy, you know? Neither is a relationship or a marriage. It takes a lot of work and Draco is willing to put in the work but then again he's also closed off to the idea. It's kind of a hole in the wall place. Astoria is crazy, isn't she? I truly enjoyed writing her. Her parts just flew out of my fingers completely and honestly I was a little scared at times too. She's just so messed up and readers are split on if she's a likable character or not. I'm not entirely sure myself.

Thanks so much for the reviews!


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Review #12, by StarFeather Hope

16th April 2015:
*attack post for the Capture the Flag #8

Hi, I came back to your story. :)

When I saw the title 'Hope', it made me relived for I wished Draco would be happy, could get Astoria's love again. So I kept reading with much expectation.

I can guess the small engagement ring meant a lot to Draco as well as to the other men. A man fears if his woman would say 'yes'. I could really understand his nervous feeling. Many authors have described that but your way to write the very moment was also awesome.

You set the past when they loved each other and the present when Draco suffered mental pain dramatically like cinema, by which I could easily imagine his agony.

Then your interpretation keeps the tension between them: trickling sweat, the therapist who didn't give him a single helpful answer and Astoria wore her heavy blue dress robes, large sunglasses and ridiculous brown floppy hat like she tried to shutter her emotion against Draco.

I guess his childish immaturity prevented him from going to the therapy session, which made Astoria more irritated. I understand her feeling. The irresolute man sometimes let a woman unhappy. But a man needs her generosity, the way to fix their conflict is just smiling. And I wonder if you have had a smiliar experince to this.

And Astoria removed the ring from her finger? You kept us in suspense again. Please let Draco take a breath. Only the good memory you repeated is cruel for him.

Wheew..I tried leaving the longer review. It took more than an hour for me to compose the sentences.

;) Kenny

Author's Response: Kenny, thanks so much for your reviews. They are really fantastic.

Have I been through this before? I have had experience with bad relationships before. I did almost go to therapy, not couples therapy, because my ex-boyfriend never would have went but it was such a bad relationship that it would have been necessary if it continued. So some of the feelings are real and the answers that Draco says sometimes and his reactions because at the time I was in a very dark place and some of my emotions crept into the story. Now I am in a wonderful relationship. So I guess I get to experience Draco's happiness for real this time!

Anyway, there's more that meets the eye with these two. We see more of Draco's side but we're going to see Astoria's soon. She needs to break down completely to build herself back together again (hopefully).

Thanks so much for the review!


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Review #13, by StarFeather Love? (Part Two)

15th April 2015:
*Jail Break Post for the Capture the Flag #8

Hi,I've read Chapter 1& 2 and I came here. Your story is one of the addictive stories.

Despise, upset, misunderstanding, broken heart, you set their marriage as a happy one at the frist stage, then you planted a disaster. Nice plot! I'm very impressed.

Draco can't forget the day he fell in love with her. Astoria can't accept him at all for her reasons. So sad.

Hunger for love, emptiness and pain; Hatred, disgust and no respect.

Short time calmness, kissing gently and trap; Scream, escape and refusal.

Readers wonder where will their love be settled?

Kenny

Author's Response: I'm loving this review! It's so different. It's almost like poetry. I'm truly glad you're enjoying the story and that it speaks to you in so many different ways. It's definitely the piece I'm most proud of.

And I really love this review. Thank you so much Kenny!


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Review #14, by HappyMollyWeasley, Attack, Round 8 Love? (Part Two)

15th April 2015:
Attack again!

Oh, this chapter really made me feel. I'm feeling angry, and sad, now. What could possibly have happened to turn their love into hate or extreme alienation? Draco seems to be totally unknowing of what brought this on.

I was wondering why Astoria stays with him, but I guess the financial situation might explain that, and also the old-fashioned marriage laws you're telling us about.

Reading the last chapter I guessed that Astoria was jealous, and that she wanted a baby. It seems now that Draco is the one longing for the baby. He wants someone to love, someone who also loves him back. I like that, both because you show a soft and compassionate side of him, and because of it's not as stereotypical as writing the woman longing for a child.

Therapy would be good for them, but can you force someone to participate...? That might not be wise, Draco!


Molly

Author's Response: Draco does seem to be totally unknowing. Honestly, he is. Financial situation does explain it but don't you think she's resourceful? I could see her leaving him but maybe she doesn't want to? Hm. I don't know. I guess we shall see.

Draco, you have to feel sorry for him, or maybe you don't. He is longing for a baby. He's also longing for a wife and a life that he used to have. He needs to learn you can't live in the past or in a dream land. Marriage is hard and counseling is going to be just as hard for Draco.

Thanks for the review!


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Review #15, by krazyboutharryginny - round #8 Love

14th April 2015:
*jailbreak!*
YIKES. This is a really, really unhealthy relationship, from both ends. To me, Astoria reads as pretty much an abusive partner. I'm not sure if that's what you're going for though - I'm reading this story through a lens that is coloured by my own life experiences, so :P

I'm very interested in the way you've written Blaise. He always came off as a very haughty and dignified to me in the books, but then again, he might act very differently around his friends. Or maybe his wife (who seems very sweet to me :P) has changed him, opened him up and made him relax a bit?

I feel like there's something specific wrong in Draco and Astoria's marriage... something to do with children, perhaps? :P I've definitely read lots of fics where the two of them have trouble conceiving (Did JKR say that on Pottermore or is it just fanon? (Sorry, off topic)).

I have one theory that Astoria was pregnant, but miscarried, and the rose bush is planted where she buried the fetus? Like in The Help? I could be completely off base though. I'm eager to keep reading and see what is behind the issues in Draco and Astoria's relationship, and see if I'm completely wrong with my theories!

-Kayla

Author's Response: She is abusive, isn't she? I think so too. I don't know if that's how she intends to be though. She's too far gone I think to truly realize what she's doing and how she's hurting Draco. Then again maybe she wants him to hurt. Who knows? Oh wait, I do. Haha.

I do think Blaise is haughty and dignified but I also think there's another side to him that maybe we never saw because he only let's it come out behind closed doors. I think Isabella has changed him and I wrote a sort of spin off to this story focused on Blaise solely and his meeting with Isabella that explains who i think he is a little bit more.

I'm pretty sure it's just fanon.

OH GOD THE HELP. No, definitely not. I mean the flowers are important to the story. You're on the right track but the Help was...just...so...beyond my scope. I could never write anything as emotional as that. The book was so much more detailed than the movie. Cried.

Thanks so much for the review!


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Review #16, by HappyMollyWeasley Love

14th April 2015:
Attack! CTF round 8

Oh! Something definately happened between the prologue and this chapter. The love shown in the memory in the beginning of the chapter is gone. It's scary how Draco and Astoria lives side by side without loving each other any longer.

At first I thought that Astoria might be ill, maybe confused due to a mental illness or something, but after reading all chapter I think she's "just" disappointed, sad or maybe depressed.

I think Draco still loves her, or at least that he still wants to love her. He is longing for the girl he once fell in love with. The question is wether she is to be found again or not...

Astoria seems to have quite an objection to Draco's friends. I feel sorry for her when they tell her about the baby, because I suspect she would love to have a baby of her own. At least that's how I interpret the situation. I certainly remember that feeling... I used to hate seing pregnant women before I got pregnat with my first child, just because I envied them so.

One tiny little thing: Four weeks pregnant is really early. It's literally the same time when one misses out on the first period. Very few people knows about their pregnancies two weeks after conception. But that might be different in the Wizarding world of course!

Molly

Author's Response: Is four weeks pregnant really early? Hm! I'll have to check that. I don't know I've never been pregnant so I had to go on message boards and stuff. You know I learned in biology class that apparently if you pay attention well enough during intercourse you can feel the difference and know if the sperm has..err...reached its destination. Isn't that crazy? Apparently it feels like a 'whoosh.' According to my professor anyway. She was a little weird for me though and was a professional in the field of plants.

Anywho! I'll have to change that once I'm done with the story and edit the prologue and tweak this little bit as well.

There's a huge difference from the prologue to this chapter. It's two years later and they're learning marriage isn't easy. There are ups and downs and right now they are experiencing a 'down' or a 'low.'

She is envious but she also has problems. I'm quite envious, just a tad, of pregnant women because I'm not entirely sure I can get pregnant. But that's neither here nor there.

Thanks for the great review!


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Review #17, by HappyMollyWeasley (HappyTanyaWeasley?) Prologue: Beginnings

14th April 2015:
Jailbreak post, Round 8

Hi!

I really liked this prologue! I love the emotional feeling, both sad and... surpised? I don't know how to express it. Nostalic?

Draco is emotionally drained after the war, which hardly is a surprise. He wouldn't be human otherwise... I like how he doesn't have any hopes at all to find love, and how surprised he gets when he is drawn to Astoria. I only hope he's ready to love, and to be loved, and not too caught up in the aftermaths of war still.

I love that you don't describe Astoria as beautiful. There are all too many stories about beautiful stunning people already. Besides, Draco's feelings about her feels more genuine because of that.

It's not easy for Draco to find the words to tell Blaise about Astoria. That's very sweet! It's also very sweet how he tells his mother about his date with Astoria, both with the food getting cold, and about almost telling about his urge to kiss her.


Molly

Author's Response: I'm so glad you enjoyed the prologue! I really wanted to make them regular people. Not everyone is stunningly beautiful. We all have flaws, right? So Draco notices them even though to Astoria they might not be flaws.

Without a doubt I think he would have had major issues after the war. Sort of like PTSD. So finding Astoria after getting over the worse part of his life and actually falling for her and having her fall for him back that's something major for him. Come on, do you think he could have found genuine love if the Dark Lord had lived? No, love was frowned upon.

Thanks so much for the wonderful review!


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Review #18, by randomwriter Prologue: Beginnings

14th April 2015:
Hey Deeds! Here for the final round of CtF ♥

I love this Draco/Astoria pairing to the moon and back, and I love seeing different takes on them. Since we don't know much about Astoria from canon, it's pretty much a free pass, which I love because this way, there are so many ways to look at the two of them together.

This was a very sweet start. I like the idea of Astoria being the one to give Draco a sense of purpose and bring him back to living after the war. I also like that this isn't immediately after the war, because then, there'd be so much to deal with and I'm not sure falling in love was his number one priority at that stage. Now that some time has passed, it's a little easier, and a lot more realistic. I'd love to know more about the war from Astoria's side. How did she view it? What did she think of his role? Those kinds of questions.

I really like how you've described Astoria because she seems like she's genuinely good for him. Also, I like that you didn't make her perfect, and it's nice to see that he notices her faults as well. He isn't blinded or anything. It made the whole thing very believable and so very real. I loved that little detail. I also enjoyed reading about them together. Their dynamic is so perfect and natural. The easy conversation, the flirting and everything! I feel like it'll be easier for Draco to let down his guard with her than anybody else.

I laughed out loud at that part where you'd said that Blaise had advised Draco not to smirk because it looked creepy. It sounds so much like 'dude' advise. But then Draco ended up smirking anyway, and I thought it was really cute that he actually checked to see if Astoria had cringed.

Honestly? I love the Draco and Blaise dynamic also, and I wonder if we're going to see more of Blaise in the future. It's nice to see that he's the support system Draco leans on. It also sounds like he has a close relationship with his mother. I'd love to see you explaore that as well.

That last bit was so perfect. The entire last section... gahh. My heart melted. The letter was a clever addition. I think that even though it was just one line long, it spoke volumes. It showed how inexplicable his feeling for her already were, and how he knew that he couldn't do justice to the kind of person she is.

Just a couple of things. Firstly, I think that there's great scope to add some more description here, if you'd like :) But then again, I'm always going for more description.
Secondly, this is a technicality, but you sort of said that Astoria has dark hair and then mentioned that it was blonde, so it confused me a bit.

All in all, a great start. I look forward to reading more :)

Author's Response: Exactly! I honestly haven't read the books in ages. I have them in storage so I can't just pull them out and have a reading session. Plus, I'm still not over Sirius or Remus dying. Not looking forward to re-reading that. Astoria, in my head, can be so many different things but some reason I always come back to this broken version of her. I kind of want to write another story about the two of them but next time she has bipolar disorder and you see the struggle and strain it is on Scorpius and Draco.

I don't think Astoria had a major role in the war. She was younger for one and I don't think her family really took sides either. From what J.K. Rowling has said they weren't knee deep like the others so it was easier for her the transition into this new world than it was for Draco. Oh no, he could not have met her right after the war. He needed time to heal and to learn to accept this new world and the changes that came with it.

I see Blaise as his true confidant so yes, dude advice indeed. I wrote a spin-off to this actually, a one-shot, about Blaise and his side of things because he and his wife are important to the story.

I agree about the description and the hair part I have changed so many times but I'm going to have to re-write it again. It's supposed to be she has blonde hair but it's not her natural color. He can see the brown roots peeking out at top and I always think guys think that's funny. Like, why do women dye their hair, you know? I'm reworking the prologue once I've uploaded the last chapters. There are only a few more left.

Thanks so much for the wonderful and thought out review!


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Review #19, by Lady Asphodel Prologue: Beginnings

12th April 2015:
Hey Deeds! This was for the ctf game, but it's not needed anymore. I decided to leave this review for you anyway. :)



What's really attracting about the beginning of this chapter is how Draco sees Astoria. I never read a fic where a guy admires a girl for her flaws and not for her beauty. Or in a way, you're saying her flaws is what makes Astoria beautiful to Draco, which I find quite intriguing. And your description of her is different of how authors normally describe women through a man's view.

It makes me wonder how Astoria saw Draco when they first met.



And I have a great appreciate for how simple Draco made his letter. Like you said, that one line was enough for him to put all his feelings into.


A really nice chapter! I enjoyed this a lot, and I don't normally care for Draco-centric stories. This is really good though!



- Asphodel

Author's Response: I think people sometimes forget it's not all about your appearance. Maybe you aren't beautiful and there are some things 'wrong' with you (if they say so) but someone can and will love you anyway. So her hair isn't her natural color and it's obvious, she giggles too much and it bothers him, etc. Draco doesn't care because he feels a connection towards her. She makes him happy. It's that simple and that's all you really need in a significant other.

Thanks so much for the wonderful review!


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Review #20, by jessicalorewrites Prologue: Beginnings

4th April 2015:
hey!

ahh I've been meaning to get round and read a lot more draco-centric stories for a long time now and this seemed like the perfect place in which to start! I'm really interested in the draco/astoria dynamics that are going on. truly, I think she's good for him. and I am so here for draco redemption stories I can't even express my excitement. one of the things I'm quite happy about is that he didn't meet astoria STRAIGHT AFTER THE WAR like he's 22 when he meets her and that's much more normal than meeting the love of your life at 18

only one thing kind of disrupted the flow a little for me in this is astoria's hair colour. you say in one bit that it's brown and doesn't match her darker eyebrows but then later her hair is too blonde to be real. is there a mix? did she dye it? just little ol' intrigued me ^.^ it did get a little confusing though and I had to go back over and read it a few times

overall a really nice start to the story :D I can sense the awesome developments to come already

- jess, xo

~ part of the red vs gold gryffie review battle #teamgold

Author's Response: Hey, Jess!

First things first, TEAM GOLD. HECK YES!

Second, GR! Her hair. I think when I finish the story (and it's almost over with soon) I'm going to have to go back and just scrap that part entirely. It's supposed to be that her brown roots are showing because she's not a natural blonde, that's why it looks unnatural to Draco. Her eyebrows are brown, another clue she is not a natural blonde.

Who knew hair could be so confusing? I think I change her hair later to her natural brown color as a sort of symbolism but maybe I don't (i wrote this story a long time ago so I'm reading it as you all are). But I'll have to change her hair confusion.

Anywho! I'm glad you're popping by. I don't think Draco would have been ready mentally or emotionally to meet anyone straight after the war. He had too many internal and external issues he wouldn't have been capable of a relationship.

I love Draco/Astoria. They're kind of my hidden obsession. Thanks so much for the review! I hope you read on!


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Review #21, by Slide Love

2nd April 2015:
I like starting with the memories. It's an interesting atmosphere being set up, something slightly off-kilter amongst the emotions. I'm not yet sure what to expect, but it's keeping me curious.

Good use of the different senses for setting the scene; keeping consistency on smell for description and characterisation is a nice touch.

Ah, so I see there's trouble in paradise. Nice move to contrast the current tensions with the dreams/memories which implied much simpler affection. Also I find it interesting how there's a lot of Draco ruminating on how much she's made it difficult for him, how she doesn't care about stuff - these things are never this simple, so it makes me curious to see what *he's* done to push the situation to this.

There we go. Intentional or not, he's certainly emulating his father in his frustration, isn't he?

Interesting to go into Astoria's head. You'd drawn attention to her being thin, now we're seeing she's got problems keeping down food; I'm guessing that Astoria's got problems which were already there pre-Draco, and he's probably not that equipped to cope with them.

No wonder Astoria can't stand dinner with Blaise and Isabella. Anyone who says 'we're' pregnant isn't worth that dinner. ;)

I'm enjoying the premise of this story. I enjoy romance as a primary focus of a story when the romance is complex, and this one is. Both Draco and Astoria are proving themselves very flawed, and I appreciate that; it's all too-easy to demonise just one side or the other, and you're not doing that.

Good stuff!

Author's Response: Me too! I don't remember why I wanted to start with memories but I think I felt like the prologue was almost dream like, was it reality or not? You know what I mean?

It's definietly not intentional for Draco to emulate his father. You see Lucius later on in the story and he's a little different but still familiar. I think some of him is still ingrained in Draco though so he can't help it. It's just who he is.

Yes, trouble indeed. Marriage, so I have been told, isn't easy. There are ups and there are downs and right now they're experiencing a major 'down.'

Haha! Don't you hate that? We're pregnant? Nah, unless the man is also carrying the baby for 9 months SHE'S pregnant.

So glad you enjoyed this. Thanks for the review!


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Review #22, by Slide Prologue: Beginnings

2nd April 2015:
Right! Here for the review exchange. I may not get the whole lot done yet but I DO intend to give this all a good old crack. I don't read much of Draco-centric fic, so I'm looking forward to reading something different.

I can see Draco in an awkward place after the war, to put it mildly. Everyday domestic and family stuff just wouldn't happen. Or even just life-building. It'd be difficult, anyway. It's a good place to start a story.

I like the description on Astoria. Tying in the flaws with her appeal make both her more real as a character, and any of Draco's blossoming affection for her more real.

I chuckled on Blaise advising him to not smirk. Little things like that do rather suggest Draco has the capacity to change - and the desire, which I reckon is rather necessary to make him sympathetic for a story.

It ends simply and effectively. We've not seen much of their interactions to get a handle on any dynamic the two of them might have, but it was fun to see this from Draco's perspective, to see him ruminating on her and what he felt about her. It's a good establishing piece and I'm looking forward to seeing more of the relationship.

Good stuff!

Author's Response: Hello!

I love Draco actually. I don't read too many fics with him anymore either. I think they are hard to come by. I think Draco would have struggled after the war. He would have been in between the new and the old war, trying to find a balance with his beliefs but accepting the way things are now. It would have been hard so he would have been lost.

I wanted Blaise to be his go-to because for one I don't think Draco would have had too many people to talk too. Blaise wasn't exactly thick into the war and the Death Eater movement so he's a good choice for Draco to be friends with. A safe choice.

I didn't want to give too much away in the prologue. Thinks are different in the first chapter. Time jump!

Thanks so much for the review. I'm glad you enjoyed it.


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Review #23, by CambAngst Guidance

20th March 2015:
Hi, Deeds!

I think I gave you my theory on Astoria in my last review, but I'll reiterate: I think she lost a pregnancy somewhere along the way. I'm starting to thing that she never told Draco, or if she did, he missed it or blocked it out somehow. If I'm right, she's still failing to come to terms with what happened. There are things you've hinted at that make me curious. Is the hatred she feels toward Draco misdirected self-hatred? She's plainly suffering from severe mental problems that have become physical problems in a dire sort of way. I'd be shocked if she doesn't end up hospitalized (institutionalized?) very soon.

Lucius was recognizable in this chapter, yet he also came across as a caring and sympathetic figure. That isn't easy to do, so my hat is off to you. He seems like he's always cared about Draco and expressed those feelings the only way that he was able to with his limited emotional vocabulary. Growing up in a stiff pureblood family seems to stunt people's development in that regard.

Interesting that Narcissa focused mostly on his wedding vows. If you read them carefully -- which Draco obviously had not -- all of the risks and rewards are in there. But in the end, he plows forward with blind faith that everything is going to be wonderful because he loves Astoria and she loves him. If he only knew...

Back to reality. Sigh. If there's a genuine "innocent bystander" in this story, it has to be Isabella. She isn't even from England. She just stumbled into this bunch of crazy people because she fell in love with Blaise. By all accounts, it's an easy enough thing to do. And now she has Crazy Astoria threatening her because... OK, that's the second big hint you've dropped. Talk of pregnancy and babies definitely brings out the scary crazy in Astoria. She's absolutely horrible toward Isabella, vile and angry and downright threatening.

She shrugged and placed her glass back down, sighing. "Just don't get your hopes up," she said quietly. -- There! That was the moment where my last doubts really slipped away.

I've come full circle on Lucien. The way that he makes Draco horribly uncomfortable -- I assume he's doing the same to Astoria, to the extent she can still feel anything -- needs to happen. Draco has too many ways to avoid the problem, too many outs. Lucien asks simply questions that cause Draco to think. In this chapter, he realizes that Draco is lacking any sort of real support in his life to help deal with the problem. I'd assume that he comes to the same conclusion about Astoria.

Ah, Daphne. I've had so much fun with the character, it's always interesting for me to see what other authors make of her. She seems like a fun-loving free spirit. The type of person that Draco never was and never will be. The type of person that Astoria used to be. The same general type of person that Draco fell in love with and feels that he's lost. No wonder she makes him so uncomfortable.

I absolutely loved the way that you set up the "old" dynamic between Draco and Lucius and the reasons you gave for the way that it changed. It suits my Lucius head canon to a T. He was never the same man after he went to Azkaban, the experience gave him a whole new outlook on what was important in life.

Lastly there's the scene with Daphne and Astoria. I really hope that Astoria isn't too far gone for someone to help her. Daphne would probably be a better choice at this early stage of the game than Draco. Maybe she could at least help to stabilize her sister at this very low point. Astoria's behavior at the end of the chapter was chilling. She comes across as completely lost, unable to fathom the person she's become.

I can see why this wasn't your favorite chapter to write, but it was powerful. The imagery of two people crumbling was beautifully done. Hopefully they'll both realize soon how much they need one another. Otherwise, there doesn't seem to be much hope of fixing this.

Great job!

Author's Response: Sorry it has taken me a lifetime to respond to this review (and your others). Real life is kicking me in the boo-tay.

I'm not telling you anything because that would ruin it and what fun would that be? Plus, I like how you pick out the clues here and there. On another website someone asked me if she was cursed and Draco cursed her. Draco, curse Astoria, that would be crazy!

Or would it?

I wanted Lucius to be different. You see, I think after the war once the Malfoy's fled there would have been a lot of internal changes between the three of them. Draco would have been lost. Narcissa is probably the most adaptable of the three so she would be okay in a sense but angry with her husband over his stint in Azkaban and the family in partial ruin. Though she would have been happy they were all back together. Lucius would have struggled. There would have been fights with him and Draco and between him and Narcissa but he would have eventually worked through it. See, I do think he would have held onto his prejudices but I also think he would have tried to be better. At least to Draco because his son got screwed up because of him. So here he is, kind of quiet, alone. He keeps to himself but he can be there for his son. He knows a woman is what is necessary, at least for him and Draco, to survive.

Isabella is great. Isn't she? She's the complete opposite of Astoria and a vital character to this story. She's kind of what pushes Astoria over the edge because of her pregnancy and happiness in marriage. Astoria sees Isabella in herself, or at least what she would like to see.

Ah! Lucien! I don't want to say too much but you'll see an interaction with him and Astoria soon enough. I mean this story is almost over!

I'm glad you're enjoying the story. Can't wait to see what you think of the next part. My favorite chapters are coming up because everything sort of wraps up and we come to understand what the title means to the story.


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Review #24, by True Author Prologue: Beginnings

7th March 2015:
Hello! I'm here for our review swap!

Oh, I think I have seen you around a while ago! I even think I have been through some of your stories. But I'm really not sure.

Anyways, I loved this! I have never read Draco/Astoria before, but I think this was quite intriguing. Your version of Astoria is very refreshing and nice to read. I like that you mentioned her flaws right away instead of painting a picture of perfection. That's really smart of you. I like that he found her interesting in spite of her flaws and imperfections. :)

Wow, your writing style is absolutely stunning! It matches well with the mood of your story and it is very very vivid. And the line- "A girl that giggles is afraid to reveal her real smile" was so powerful that it made me think for a moment or too. I LOVED it. I always wondered why giggly girls sound so fake and probably this was the ultimate answer. ;)

I'm intrigued! I'll definitely be back for more!

Ashwini

Author's Response: Hello! Thanks for stopping by.

Yes you probably have. I'm reposting old stories but this story I never actually posted the entire thing so it's fun to see the responses from old and new readers.

No one is perfect. I wanted to show that right away. I'm sure Astoria doesn't think Draco is perfect but we don't get her point of view. I've been on plenty of first dates (well not plenty) and it's like you're examining the person. I do it anyway and you're looking for little ticks and little scars here and there. You check out their body language and try to decide if it meshes with yours. So Draco notices and accepts her flaws. It's not a big deal to him anyway. It shouldn't be.

I'm glad you liked my style. I get mixed reviews for the prologue because it switches different tenses but it's supposed to be like that. I have my reasons! So it's always nice when people like it right off the bat.

I can say the next chapter their relationship changes completely. Don't throw any tomatoes at me if you read on! Haha!

Thanks for the great review.


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Review #25, by Aphoride Love

6th March 2015:
Hi there - dropping for our swap! :) I just had to come back to this story after the first chapter - the hook in it was so so good, I couldn't resist ;)

I love how you start this by making us think that their relationship is still beautiful and so happy - well, almost :P - and then turn it all around with them really not being happy, and neither of them really quite working to fix them problem, or even try. It's a really sad thing to find, you know, but there's somethig so real and so sad about both their situations that it's hard not to sympathise with both of them. They both do things wrong and so on, but this really is a beautiful example of miscommunication, and lack of communication in total :(

I love their characters, too - both Draco and Astoria, and I loved in this chapter how you off-set their unhappiness with Blaise and Isabella, and how wonderfully happy they were together and things in their lives were going so well. It really highlights just how broken Draco and Astoria are as a couple. I feel so sorry for Astoria - she really just seems so lost, in life and in her marriage and sort of in herself too - and for Draco, who just doesn't know what to do. They both just seem, to me, like they have no idea what to do, or in a way why they're still there. Poor guys - I want to hug them both! :(

I loved the first scene, too - the glimpse of them when they were happier, at least, than they are now, and how it wakes Draco up and he almost thinks it's real. The idea of Astoria jumping out into the water is so beautiful, too - your description of it was gorgeous - and something about it felt so poignant and solemn, in a way, as though he was promising something or she was testing him.

Your writing in this is still so gorgeous. Your descriptions are so, so lovely, and I love how you use dialogue in this to just exacerbate the problems and show them - it's like whenever they speak it's an argument, you know, they can't have a conversation normally. It's incredibly sad, but a really clever way to portray their relationship. I especially loved the image of the rose petals falling and Draco shaking them... again, there was so much meaning behind it, and it felt so important, like he's destroying something so valuable to her and he doesn't even know.

Gah, this is such a devastatingly sad story! The worst part of it all is that however unhappy they are together, we know they can be happy and that they were, but who knows now? I hope they become happier, poor people - they definitely both deserve it! :(

This is such a beautiful story, though - Imma have to add this to my favourites to keep an eye on it ;)

Thank you so so much for the swap - I'm so glad I got a chance to return to this story! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hello! Thanks for coming by again. :D

I wanted a shift. Marriage is hard (so I hear) and sometimes it's not all good times. Even if you've been together since you were sixteen and married for forty years or whatever. Every marriage has their ups and downs, whether it's something big or small. They're going through that early on. But I also wanted to show there were good times. It didn't just change over night. If you read on you'll understand what happened.

They don't know what to do. Here's Blaise and Isabella, married a little less than Draco and Astoria, moving on to that next chapter in their lives. They're going to start a family while Draco and Astoria can barely be around each other. I think it obviously hurts Draco more. He tries hard to keep up appearances while Astoria has just given up completely but she hasn't hit rock bottom. I can assure you that. Not yet.

They don't know how to have a conversation. Astoria doesn't want to and Draco just doesn't understand. He's walking on thin ice and there are moments where he snaps too but then for the most part he doesn't want to anger her. He just wants his wife. The version he originally fell for and married.

Thank you for the wonderful review. I'm glad you liked the descriptions and my story. :D


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