Hey, its RoxiMalfoy from the Forums... OMG, I am SO sorry this took so long for me to get to! I ended up having to go to the emergency room yesterday cuz I had an allergic reaction to an antibiotic they put me on a few days ago. & Ive never been allergic to ANYTHING in my entire life, so it really freaked me out & had me down for pretty much the entire day... Yeah, so NOT how I had planned on spending my Sunday afternoon/evening. And then I started writing this review last night, but the medication they have me on pretty much knocked me out before I could finish it. And then, of course, I had to work pretty much ALL day on Monday. But now that I am home and I FINALLY have a few moments to myself, I can at last sit down and do this review for you! You seemed a little upset before, so I thot that I should clarify what happened. I always try to leave long and well thought out reviews tho, so hopefully I can make this one worth the wait? =/
Ok, so first things first. I just wanna say that I really like the title you have for this 1st chapter. Its very catching and I found it fitting for the chapter also. Another thing I liked is how this was kind of a missing moment from OotP, only told from Dracos perspective. I really enjoy stories that can do that and still stay 100% true to the books, so you pretty much had me hooked on this right from the beginning! I havent read an actual Hogwarts Era fic in quite a long time, so it was kind of like a breath of fresh air to see so many familiar faces again. For example; Millicent Bulstrode, Nott, & Zabini. You dont really get to see the more minor characters too often, so I liked how you found a way to include them all in here. :)
Your characterization of Draco is spot-on, for sure. I thought you did an extremely incredible job of capturing 'Book Draco' PERFECTLY in this, especially in the way that he referred to everyone by their last name, and thought of Ron as "Weaselbee," and Hermione as "little mudblood." Its paying attention to all the smaller details like that that truly make all the difference in the world, I think. And I could totally see Draco writing to his father to make sure that HE got part of the credit for whatever "weapon" that Umbridge found too. That was a nicely added touch, if I do say. I really LOVED getting this sneak peak into Draco's head. ;)
Omg, the part where Draco was alone in the room, reading over the letter from his father actually gave me chills when I read it. You're writing is SO GOOD! Call me weird, but I LOVE how dark this story is. I myself have spent a lot of time writing Draco out to be the "good guy" AFTER the war is over. But even I dont skirt around on the fact that he was a downright evil little prat during his Hogwarts days. You have most definitely done JKR's version of Draco a whole lot of justice here, sir! If anything, you've actually made me despise his character all the more - but in a good way that is, haha! ^_^'
UGH! He's so arrogant and so annoying in this, it just makes me sick! I cant believe how badly he is just using Pansy here. I mean, yeah, sure; its Pansy Parkinson. But still... Grr! He is already making plans to keep her around as his Mistress?!? That is just wrong on so many levels, and so sadistic of him to even be thinking of such things while she is making love with him. Oh, Draco is SO evil, and such a very non-12+ word in this. But of course, that is only making me love this story all the more, lol. Now, I wont go into very specific details, due to wanting to keep this review clean. *cough-cough* But the whole Draco-Pansy scene was phenomenally written!! I wish that I could write intense, hot, love scenes like that! That was fantastic and I was literally glued to my computer screen throughout the entire read!! XD
And even tho I knew it was coming, I was so wishing that this wouldnt end quite so badly for him. Because even tho he's being downright despicable, I still love him & I hate to see anything bad happen to my precious Draco. .. But this little reality check may be just the thing he needs to set him straight, you know? I personally cannot wait to see where you go with this, it is off to SUCH a great, GREAT start already!! I have added this one to my Faves, and I will most DEFINITELY be watching out for all of your updates!! This is seriously one of THE BEST Draco fics that I have ever read. And you, by far, have the greatest characterization of him that I have ever seen! As a matter-of-fact, I am gonna have to give this one a recommendation in the Draco Story section over on the forums next time I'm there, if no one else has done so yet. Cuz you totally deserve to get HUGE amounts of recognition for this! =)
And again, I am SOO incredibly sorry for the ridiculously long wait on this review. (Please dont hate me.) I usually DONT post unless I am serious about leaving the review as soon as possible. But I kind of had an unplanned emergency pop up, so my hands were tied this time... As an added bonus, however, for making you wait; Im planning to leave a review for the 2nd chapter as well. I dont think I can get to it tonight tho, unfortunately, but you can expect it to come within the next few days, for sure! =D
Author's Response: Hi! So I've been staring at this review off and on for the past 5 hours now, trying to figure out exactly how to respond. I'll start with the easy part. I'm glad you're feeling better and I completely understand that there's no way to write a good review when you're sick or loopy on medication.
This is probably one of the most effusive, positive reviews I've ever received. It feels great to know that somebody got this much enjoyment out of something I wrote. Thanks so much for that!
I started to get very interested in the character of Draco Malfoy while I was writing Conspiracy of Blood. I wondered what sort of things happened to him "behind the scenes" of HBP and DH and how those events might have shaped him into the very conflicted young man we see near the end of DH. I wondered how those events played out from his point of view and how they might have changed his perspective. In the course of the books, he goes from being a very caricatured, almost buffoonish villain to playing a key role in the outcome. He could have caused Harry's death twice: once at Malfoy Manor when he refused to identify Harry and again in the Room of Requirement when he hesitated to kill Harry. Something definitely changed, and this story is my attempt to explore at least a little bit of that change.
In order to capture the change, I felt like I needed to start Draco off *exactly* the way that he was for most of OotP, so I'm glad that you thought I did a good job. At the start of the story, he is still the same arrogant, self-important, prejudiced brat with a severely overdeveloped sense of entitlement. I wanted to grab as many little pieces of canon as possible to help make the scene familiar, and it makes me happy that you picked up on those small touches.
I'm not sure whether I wanted you to despise Draco. At least not exactly. One thing I was hoping to convey when he's reading the letter alone in his dorm room was that his father fills his head full of all sorts of rubbish. To me, the Draco of the first five books is nothing but a product of his home environment. It isn't until HBP that he suddenly has to begin to think for himself. That's not to say that it makes any of his behavior from the first five books excusable, just maybe understandable.
Whew! I had no idea how the scene with Draco and Pansy was going to be received. It serves two purposes in my mind. Plot-wise, it explores Draco's inner thoughts about his future and the people around him. Even his girlfriend is just another plaything to him. He already knows that they don't have a "proper" future together, but he's simply too selfish to give up something he enjoys. The other purpose is that, quite honestly, that part was a lot of fun to write. In order to keep the books clean and suitable for young readers, JKR never goes into the kinds of shenanigans that go on between the couples at Hogwarts. But come on, these are teenage kids attending a boarding school! It's unrealistic to think that there wasn't a certain amount of hanky-panky going on.
I don't know that it ended all that badly for Draco, considering how it *could* have ended. In my mind, Snape was sent by Dumbledore specifically to make sure that Draco wouldn't wind up being implicated. In his zeal to look like he was doing *something* after so many months of denying Voldemort's return, I have to imagine that Fudge was looking for anyone and everyone that he could toss into Azkaban.
So if you don't want to see anything bad happen to Draco, I, um, have some bad news for you. Lots of bad things are going to happen to him in this story. It's unavoidable. He is being made to pay the price for his father's failure. In my mind, that harsh treatment is what eventually shows him the error in his ways.
Thanks so much for such a long, detailed and enthusiastic review. I really appreciate it! I don't hate you and I understand that things happen sometimes that are beyond anyone's control. I hope you continue to enjoy the story!