|Review:||Violet Gryfindor says:|
This is excellent! One-shots of this type are wonderful to find, providing shapshots of things that might have happened in the background while Harry (and thus the narrator) were otherwise occupied. From the first line, you set the scene with vivid imagery and a strong sense of atmosphere - the setting of Hogwarts does this to stories when it's described in the right way, and you've captured how it is steeped in history and magic, often of a dark sort. You also include little canon references that enhance the story in a fantastic way. Some authors here forget to include them, yet they're very important in recreating the Potterverse and bringing it to life.
As I told you on the forums, I really like how you've portrayed both Hermione and Draco in a very canon way, revealing how that potential can indeed exist between them, but there's still too much... everything keeping them apart. I'm not a Dramione fan, but I love to see it done well - it takes a lot of talent to make such a relationship seem plausible without sacrificing some aspect of the characters. What makes it work here is the careful choice of circumstances, how Hermione is weakened, uncertain of her relationship with Ron and his family, and Draco is equally on edge. They're both troubled by something in their lives that they have, thus far, relied upon, and you capitalize on this to produce this extraordinary moment. It's a small moment in time, but it could have changed things in a momentous way.
It's interesting to compare this to the scene in the first book when Harry chooses Ron over Draco - Hermione here makes the same decision, but with a difference. There's an emotional connection, if only for a moment - a fragment of sympathy and understanding. I love the idea that she sees something in him that she can connect to, even with the vast ideological differences between them. Draco isn't a "bad" person, nor is he completely married to pureblood ideals - that's what makes JKR's development of his character so brilliant. And you do an amazing job at portraying him with these things in mind. Your version of Hermione is equally amazing.
I could keep going, but I'll leave off by saying that your writing is fantastic. You're among the best writers of this site, and I look forward to seeing which characters, plots, and styles you tackle next. :D
Author's Response: I'm so sorry it's taken me this wrong to respond to this, Susan! Because of the slowing of reviews because of the holiday break, and the break itself, I've gotten a bit lax in my HPFF duties. I'm setting out to correct that now!
Snapshot-esque one-shots are my favorite sort, and it's neat to see that someone else enjoys them too! And it's wonderful to see that you thought this one started out strong. That makes me very happy, especially knowing that this is a Draco/Hermione, which is a pairing I'm not fond of in general and have never tried before this. I feel like most of my stories start off with descriptions of temperature or weather or the like, because sometimes I don't know any other way to segue! :P
Which brings me to my next point, and that's to say how awesome I feel at hearing you think I've kept Draco and Hermione in character. That's one of the reasons I think I'm adverse to the ship: Nine times out of ten, Draco and Hermione in these sorts of stories are very OOC, and I wanted to write a story that was as plausible as possible, while still making the two of them work. Hermione's frustration at Ron's relationship with Lavender, as well as Draco's uncertainty about the task Voldemort set him -- bring those two things together, and it's the one point in the series where both of them are emotionally weakened to the point where something like this might have happened.
I love the comparison between this and the time when Harry chooses Ron over Draco -- I never thought about that! (Poor Draco, always getting slighted in favor of a Weasley. :D) Draco certainly isn't a "bad" person, just as Snape isn't, and Slytherins in general aren't. That stereotype always bugs me.
Your reviews are the best. ♥ I don't even know how to thank you properly for them -- whenever I start, my brain just goes all to mush! I cannot even begin to tell you how much it means to me that you, someone /I/ consider to be among the best HPFF has to offer, thinks that my writing's great. Seriously. I've got the biggest smile on my face right now!
And thanks again for the gorgeous banner -- still can't stop staring at it weeks later!