Hello! Im back again, as promised! And thank you, I am SO glad that you enjoyed my last review so much. It made my day to know that I made had your week, lol! See, I told you I that I would try to make it well worth the wait, haha! ;)
So I think that the 1st Chapter is still my favorite, but there were alot of things I liked about this chapter also. The thing I loved the most tho was Tonks! I mean, you could have chosen any set of Aurors to put as Draco & Narcissa's guards, but you chose to use Moody & Tonks. Genius!! The way that she stood up for her mother was totally something I could see her doing too. It was really wonderful to see you breathe new life into her character and give me some more ideas about Andromeda that had never occurred to me before. Cuz I never would have imagined her marking their birthdays on her calendar before, but the more I think about it now, the more it actually makes sense. We do know from cannon that she is a very family-oriented woman, therefore, I could actually see her doing something like that. :)
And that was quite a twist to add in there too, that Dumbledore had assigned the Aurors there to protect them from the wrath of Voldemort, rather than to just tail their every move and watch them closely for acts of further suspicion, as Draco had 1st expected. Once again, you are amazing when it comes to paying attention to all the smaller details like that, which is what makes this story such a gem!! =D
It was really heart breaking to see Pansy breaking things off with Draco. To be honest, Ive never really given it much thought as to how the 2 of them ended their relationship. But the way you have made things happen here tho is brilliant, and it totally makes sense! You really seem to GET Draco and get how things from his side would have worked. I could actually see ALL of this happening in cannon, and I think that JKR would be proud if she could read this! All of your ideas are amazing, and everything just seems to happen so naturally! How on earth do you do it?!? ^_^'
Now I dont really remember the train ride home at the end of OotP, but I think I do recall Draco trying to corner Harry on the train. And, speaking of Harry, in the short amount if time that he was there, I really feel like you did his character a whole lot of justice too by the way! But did everyone else come out to Harry's aid in the book like that too? Cuz its been so long that I read it I cant really remember, sorry. If that is how it happened tho, then I am glad you stayed so true to the books and told it from Draco's PoV. It almost made me fee sorry for him, reading everything in the way that you described it. Poor thing is only trying to do what he thinks is right, and it ends up turning on him in the end. =(
And yes, even tho I don't like to see poor Draco hurting like this, I understand that his downfall is completely necessary for him to stop being so evil, and start acting more... human, I guess, is a good word to describe it. And I have said all along that Draco Malfoy is one of the most complex, misunderstood characters in the HP universe. Heck, I myself even have a whole entire (33 chapters & counting) Novel dedicated to the fact that Draco is a product of his upbringing, and nothing more. You cant expect a child who is taught, from the age of understanding onward, that Voldemort's got the right idea to act any other way than how Draco was behaving during his first 5 years of school. I am glad tho, to know that his redeeming moments are coming. =)
And even tho we all know how this story turns out for Draco by the end of DH, I really do hope that you will not make this story too awfully short. Cuz I for one am LOVING reading all of this happening in Draco's head as opposed to Harry's. Personally, I cant wait for you to get to the Malfoy Manor scene, just to get a glimpse as to what was going on in Draco's mind when he pretended not to know if it was really Harry Potter that they had captured or not. Idk how you are going to write it, but I am sure that whatever you come up with will be brilliant, and it will totally make perfect sense, and once I read it Im sure I will be like; "Omg, why didnt I think of that before," lol! Needless to say, I am very excited to read your account on that part in particular, so this had better not come to an end before it at least gets to there, lol! =P
PLEASE update soon, as I have fallen in love with this story and I cannot wait until the next Chapter gets here! Oh, and it would be my absolute pleasure to make a banner for this story for ya, my treat, haha!! ^_~
Author's Response: Deana, dear, you're making me blush over here! Seriously! I mean, you don't have to stop or anything, I just wanted you to know. ;)
I thought Moody and Tonks were a great choice to deliver Draco's next dose of harsh reality. For one thing, we know from the books that they were already at King's Cross. Shortly before this scene, Moody was terrorizing Uncle Vernon with his enchanted eye and Tonks was horrifying Aunt Petunia with her hair color. Also, they're such a great one-two act, aren't they? He's so gruff and maniacal, but she's actually a little crazier than him when it comes down to it.
I'm really glad that you liked what I did with Tonks in this. She's a character that I didn't care too much about before I started reading fan fic. In this books, she has such a limited role. We barely see her before she dies. But her family story is tragic in its own way. She's just one more casualty of the twisted and conflicted House of Black. So I was amused by the concept of her suddenly having this power over her "proper" cousin Draco.
It always seemed to me like Dumbledore had something of a soft spot for Draco. He essentially coerces Snape into killing him so as to spare Draco the damage to his soul. He tries to convince Draco to switch sides in the Astronomy Tower. I think he's pretty well positioned to see the truth about Draco Malfoy. The kid never really had a chance to turn out any other way.
A lot of readers found Pansy's behavior in the first chapter off-putting, it seemed. There was this consensus that even Pansy Parkinson couldn't be such a naive doormat. In this chapter, I wanted to show that she's not quite as naive as she seemed. Like Draco, she was playing the game with a goal in mind. And once Draco's family fell from grace, well... I think it would be overly harsh to say that she had *no more use* for him, but she's certainly not going to defy her father over him.
The confrontation on the train near the end of OotP goes pretty much like I've represented it here, just with a lot less detail. That's mostly what this story is about. Filling in all of the details from Draco's PoV.
I mostly agree with you about Draco... mostly. In my mind, he does become more human, although he never stops believing in certain things. I think he will always believe in the idea of blood purity, for instance, but he will come to realize that ideas aren't worth killing over. I think he comes to see the truth about Voldemort, which is that he's nothing but a pitiless, selfish, insane tyrant and everyone is expendable to him, no matter how loyal they are. I think he will always believe that being a Black and a Malfoy makes him a little better than everyone else, but he'll come to see the value in other people beyond just their ability to do something for him. Like you said, he's very complex. And I hate fics that make him one-dimensional, whether as a villain or as a redemption story. To me, he's one of JKR's most fascinating creations.
I do think this story is going to be rather short, because I'm just not sure how much I can add to what already exists in canon once HBP starts. To me, that's when JKR really began to develop Draco Malfoy and she did a splendid job of it.
Thank you so much for your thoughts, insights and reactions to the first two chapters! It means a lot to know that the story really connects with somebody who's obviously spent a lot of time thinking about Draco. The third chapter is written, I'm just waiting for my beta reader to come back from her vacation. So soon, hopefully!