I've been meaning to review this for months. Nothing like a house cup competition to kick my butt in gear. This is actually my second read-through, and hopefully you wont mind I didn't review sooner if I promise not to make this one a novel like the last review.
I continue to love this story and your writing for its perfect blend of wit and drama. There seems to be a great balance between not taking the characters and theatrics of it all too seriously while still paying well-deserved attention to the people, plot and details. You've got these great dramatic elements like the imprisonment metaphor and Draco's love for "peace the most." But you counter that all with comments about her "low" accent and him imagining Hermione melting...and of course a few choice words for a stubborn desk.
What really caught me in this chapter, besides your continued mix of humor and horror, was Draco's characterization. He's not likable, but he is enjoyable, if that makes sense. It's exactly how I picture an adult Draco to be. I love that you didn't compromise him to fit a plot, nor did you have to stretch the realm of believability to create a plot that brings him together with Hermione.
Since I can't help myself, I'll offer two super nitpicky suggestions. First there are a few sentences with words that hang at the end a bit. Two examples: Draco slammed the door of his study shut AND Not that derision bothered him any. Obviously they aren't wrong, and this is more perhaps my opinion than actual critique, but perhaps they would be a bit punchier or stronger without the last word, or in the case of the first "slammed shut the door" instead of "slammed the door shut?" I may be off on this, I'm not great at all the rules of grammar, but just thought I'd mention it. Also, there were a lot of parenthetical asides that I thought slowed down the flow a bit.
I know you're a busy lady but I hope you continue to work on this. I always check back on it from time to time. Great job, as always.
Author's Response: And it's taken me months to respond, too. *headdesk* You shouldn't worry about not reviewing right away, or even at all - it's wonderful to receive one from you (especially one as long as this!), but I know how busy you must be. I really appreciate that you did take the time to read (re-read) and review this story. :D
It's a strange story to write because of that balance - I'm constantly wondering how far I can go with both the humour and the drama without overdoing either. I can't take this story seriously, and that may be the downfall of it. It helps a lot that Draco is such a dynamic character, and he brings the humour to the story while Hermione provides more of the dramatic elements. Draco is very much a Slytherin, but I like to make him a silly one - he's snooty and arrogant, but life hasn't turned out well for him, making him a bit of a joke. Keeping him (and Hermione, for that matter) in canon is a challenge, and I'm still trying to figure out how, if ever, I can create any romance between them.
I got those changes as soon as I read your review. Those things make a lot more sense, and I'm glad you pointed them out. Editing isn't really my thing, as I tend to tear apart everything I do edit, so having other people let me know about these things is a great help. :D
With the reviews for this story as positive as they are, I guess I should keep writing it. It's not a story I planned ahead, so I'm just making it up as I go, really. ;)