Hi! I decided to take a break from grading to stop by and see what you came up with :)
This is so sad, and so beautifully written! I find it hard to believe that you've never written a one-shot before, since you clearly have a natural talent for them. I could definitely tell that this was Draco/Pansy even without their names. In fact, I like that you wrote this for a challenge where you couldn't use their names, because it makes your characterization and description that much more powerful. The one thing that threw me a little was Draco's use of 'babe'... I would have expected 'love' or 'darling', something a bit more formal and/or British. However, that's so small compared to the beauty of the remainder of the piece.
I can't believe what you've done with Pansy here. She is usually so two-dimensional and bratty, even in some of my work, but you've given her real human feelings that any jilted woman can easily identify with. I love how she leaves his gifts behind (except for the necklace) so as not to be reminded of him, and how she expected things to get better after the war and felt shocked when they instead got worse. I love her defiance in the face of rumors concerning the possibility of her being a gold-digger and her resolve to keep going because she has to even though she just wants to break down. I truly feel pity for the girl.
I love what you did with Draco, too. I could definitely see a complex personality in him - on the one hand, he's blunt and to the point, not wanting to get caught up in all of the emotion, and on the other, he's unable to not feel anything for someone who has been by his side for so long. Again, it's easy for me to pity him here, even as the perpetrator of Pansy's misery and disbelief. They're both losing a little.
Fantastic job! Seriously, good luck with the challenge!! :)
Author's Response: Oh, thank you so much! Yeah, I really don't know why I've never written a one-shot before. I mean, I suppose I have written a few original fiction one-shots, although in that dept. it would have been called a short story no matter how short. But I've never written a one-shot for fanfiction. I always go for the lengthy novel that I always end up giving up on. I do plan to write more one-shots now that I've started, considering they are much less stressful and because it's so short that it's like absolutely necessary that I finish, even if it takes a whole month like this one did because the plot kept depressing me to the point that I didn't even want to look at it.
I enjoyed not using names, but it was really hard. There were just certain parts where I really, desperately wanted to add in a name. And I understand what you mean about Draco saying 'babe,' but I just didn't think that 'love' was suitable in a situation where he's telling her doesn't love her, and 'darling'---I just can't see Draco saying it. Lucius, yes, but not Draco. Maybe if he were significantly older...
I have always been intrigued by Pansy. I like to believe that there was a lot more to her than what was shown in the books, and I've said it before that I enjoy stories where she's not a complete *insert rude word of choice here*. I'm glad that you liked her. And I think you have Draco pretty spot on. He doesn't want to get caught up in the emotions, he doesn't want a huge blow up, but he also feels bad for Pansy. I think you're right in saying they're both losing a little because they are; they're both losing that one person they could trust no matter what.
Again, thanks so much for the review! I love reading them. People always point out things that I didn't even think about when writing it or didn't even mean to convey, but then I think about it and see that they're right. I guess that happens to a lot of people though.