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Review:Athene Goodstrength says:
Let me start by apologizing for being so slow to get back to you after the Holiday Review swap. Ill health and university took all my plans and threw them out of the window. But I’m here now, and let me tell you - I’ve read and re-read this chapter a few times in the weeks I’ve had it open in a tab. Because I love it. Seriously.

Your characterization of Draco is outstanding. Although this is a story that clearly is sympathetic towards our protagonist, you haven’t turned Draco into a Mary-Sue or even romanticised him. He’s still arrogant, rude and angry. What you have done is - with Astoria - taken a look at why he is that way, and it doesn’t take long before we see the fear and trauma beneath it all. I know that we’re supposed to laugh at Draco’s cowardice when he’s a kid, but actually he does seem to live in an incredibly fearful environment, and that can’t be healthy! I really find this Draco interesting, and I want to find out more.

Astoria is interesting too - the way you slowly reveal more about her as we go along, it’s as if we only get to see her as Draco notices her more and more. She seems both fragile and strong, and I really like that.

This chapter has a real atmosphere; I’m not sure I can define what it is exactly, I only know my head goes somewhere else when I’m reading it. It’s sort of cool, and clear, and light, but also there’s a sense of real turmoil. I know I sound crazy.

The language you use is perfectly deployed, and you come up with some really excellent phrases and ideas. These lines jumped out at me as being particularly great:

“His dreams fill with smoke, and Crabbe dies for the twenty-fifth time.”

“The most hated man to leave the Battle of Hogwarts alive, and yet everyone still wants something from him”

“Pureblood and mudblood both spill red and paint the castle of his adolescence.”

“ He was a born monster; anyone could have seen it — except blind batty Dumbledore” - this line intrigued me. It made me wonder if Draco’s actually angry at Dumbledore for not seeing Riddle as a monster, if he feels Dumbledore should have stopped it all before it started. I just loved the idea of someone on the ‘baddie’ side being disappointed in Dumbledore, and wanting more from him.

The final twist, that Astoria’s a legilimens, made me gasp. Utter brilliance.

More please! More! I've added this story to my favourites.

Athene xoxo

Author's Response: Eeek sorry for responding so late, I wanted to leave a proper response! School just about swallowed me up too so :P I think it just about swallowed everyone!

Aaah aaah thank you so much. Most of this chapter has been sitting here for a year, and it sits there stubbornly as 'my idea of Draco that will post one day.' I always thought of him as a litlte snot while growing up reading HP so when I first got into fanfiction, I didn't get the hoopla over him (Tom Felton, I would later understand). But I came to adore him for his potential because his story, after the HP books, has barely begun. I *want* to cheer for him, but there's no getting around his very ugly childhood, and hopefully I can keep that balance going!

Ahaha, no that's totally like the atmosphere I was attempting! The post-war world is pretty calm, especially in the middle of a psychiatrist office, but inside Draco's head is anything but.

I didn't think too much about that line with Dumbledore, but now you have me thinking too! I was trying to see the war through other's eyes who don't have the benefit of knowing the people who died as closely as they did.

♥ thank you so much again! c:

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