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Review:Roots in Water says:
It's Roots in Water here with your review!

Oooh- another brilliant chapter! I really loved the interactions in this chapter, especially since you managed to cover such a wide variety of reactions to Draco's presence, all of which made perfect sense.

The conversation between Minerva McGonagall and Draco was very well done. Minerva portrayed the outrage and indignation that she has every right to feel and yet she didn't go overboard in her words. She was to the point and she didn't mince words. Her line "Thatís far enough, Mr. Malfoy" sounded exactly like her.

The restrictions placed on Draco seem perfectly fair. After all, it would be very unrealistic if Draco was allowed back into Hogwarts without any change in the attitude towards him. He had, after all, played a role (small as it was) in the group that had tormented the students and teachers of that school for over a year.

I think that one of my favourite parts of this chapter was the interaction between him and Luna. Her choice to defend him, as well as her reasoning for doing so, was so her (I know- I'm doing an excellent job of explaining myself). Only Luna would think that she owes someone for throwing their food at her. Furthermore, her remark about the school having seen enough fighting was very insightful and, (you guessed it), her. It's true, in a way, that one of the best ways to move on after such a great tragedy is to forgive people for the actions that they have already been held accountable for, so that society doesn't tear itself apart again...

As well, the revelation about what Narcissa did with her elf was perfectly in character with what we know about her character. She wasn't openly rebelling but she was changing what little she could to reveal her displeasure with the situation and change it for the better. It's very interesting to see the different layers one can add to a character without changing them from the character we know from the books.

I liked Astoria's role in this chapter. I've never before thought of their relationship as having problems from the parental side, as they are both of pureblood status, so the added dimension with Astoria's father shall make this story even more interesting.

I wonder how the students' (and citizens') reactions will affect their Hogsmeade "date", since it certainly had a negative effect on his Potions class and Draco tried to avoid attracting attention. Ah well- that's something I'll have to see in action in an upcoming chapter. :)

I do have one question, though: why are the students attending Hogwarts if it's still under repair? Wouldn't that be a little dangerous (even if it can be held up by magic) and drafty? And (scratch that, two questions) how does Draco starting in the middle of the year (since he's starting after the Holiday break, if I'm understanding things correctly) affect his schooling, since he would have missed out on half of the year. Did I just misunderstand something? Is everyone starting after the Holiday break?

All in all, I think that this was a very well done chapter, and it didn't seem "slow" at all! Everything was very interesting and I look forward to reading more of this story! Thanks for re-requesting! :)

Author's Response: Hi, there! Long time, no see.

I just didn't see any possible way that Draco was going to be welcomed back with open arms, or even simple indifference. For the majority of the war, he found on the other side. People aren't going to forget that, and forgiveness would be a long, gradual process of rebuilding trust. From McGonagall's point of view, Draco has simply done what his family always does: use their gold to buy his way back into school. So she's understandably furious. Even more important to her, she doesn't want Draco's presence to disrupt the fragile healing process of the students and even the teachers. So in my mind, her terms are directly related to that. She won't take any chance of Draco harming any of her students physically (disarming him) or emotionally (isolating him).

Ah, Luna! If there's one big regret I have from CoB, it's that I couldn't work her into the story more often. I appreciate exactly what you're saying. There's a quality to her that's nearly impossible to define. You just know it when you see it. So I'm really glad that you saw it.

The little bit about Narcissa trying to keep Luna from starving made me happy. I really came to like her character while writing Marked.

The first part of their Hogsmeade "date" is now posted, and it's probably not what you're expecting. Then again, what is with these two? Astoria's father will definitely keep things interesting. He's not likely to change his opinion of Draco quickly.

In my mind, Hogwarts is *mostly* repaired at this point. There are certain parts of it that are still a work in progress, and the completion of repairs was likely put off until springtime. As far as Draco starting in the middle of the year, I imagine that things were probably rather... fluid for the first year after the war. A lot of families might not have returned from wherever they went into hiding right away. Some students might have still be hospitalized or too traumatized to start back right away. Some parents might have taken a "wait and see" approach. Somehow I doubt that Draco was the only student who returned mid-year. And he's really only trying to get to the point where he can sit a few N.E.W.T.s. Presumably he could have done that without returning at all, but he'll benefit from the instruction.

Whew. I'm glad this one didn't seem pokey. It took forever to write and I was really worried about it. Thanks so much for reading and reviewing!


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