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Review:Arithmancy_Wiz says:
Hello. I'm here (a bit behind) returning the favor for the Holiday Review Swap. I'm so glad I picked this story to review. It was such a great read.

I love stories that explore ideas outside the norm and this definitely ticks that box. Having Astoria as Draco's therapist is such an unusual and creative way of bringing them into each other's lives. No matter how you see it all playing out in future chapters, it creates such great possibilities for various interactions and dynamics.

Draco can be a tough character to pull off, but you have created a really good voice for him. You've managed to pull together a good blend of snark, melancholy, rebellion, and regret. I loved his simple command of "Install a floo." He's come to her for help and yet he's copping an attitude with her. It really makes his decision to visit a therapist believable. It's hard to imagine a Draco that shows up, begging for her professional advice and pouring his soul out to a stranger. But one that goes grudgingly and is resistant to the process? That I can totally envision.

Astoria is wonderfully crafted here as well. I love your repeated references to her optimism -- that she really believes she can help him. It speaks to her youth and inexperience, but also to her character. And the ending! What a twist. Not only does it open up some plot possibilities, it also really adds something to Astoria. What kind of person enters another persons mind that deeply without warning...even if they are only trying to help?

Your writing style as a whole is really well-crafted for this story. I like the use of short paragraphs, quick dialogue and small scenes. You have a great talent for saying in a single sentence things it can take other writers paragraphs to convey. Some of my favorite lines were:

-- There are words to say, but he does not know what they are or who they are for.

-- Loyalists for life, life for Loyalists

The last one especially complexly conveys the climate of the world at large with one simple slogan.

Overall, this was a really great first chapter. I really enjoyed it. Thanks for tagging me for the review swap. Happy Holidays!

Author's Response: Psychologist jumped out for me as Astoria's profession from the very beginning, though I never thought much of how to spin it until I began writing. There's an odd mix of hope and cynicism in the profession, I would imagine. I'm totally going by what I've learned from TV unfortunately :P

Draco, I imagine, is someone who wants a lot of things in his life to change, but without wanting to go through the actual effort of it, or is easily deterred by setbacks. So there's this part of him thinking he probably needs the therapy, and the other side that utterly scoffs at it. He had a pretty conflict-filled childhood too.

And Astoria, even though i didn't write her with the greatest idea of who she was, her flavor of optimism intrigued me, because I saw it as having this darkness behind it, because there is definitely something uneasy about someone being able to enter minds at will - especially covertly and with a patient no less.

Thank you so much! ^__^


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