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Review:Jchrissy says:

Hi ♥ I just finished assigning Gryffie Bday Reviews for this month and this is my reward :wub face:

Iím a bit unsure about you right now, Dan. You have a brother, no sisters. You didnít marry a high school sweet heart/ wouldnít have had any reason to hear about all the inner workings of teenagers. and yet you write this conversation between Astoria and Isadore perfectly. Donít get me wrong, Iíve always realized what an amazing author you are, but getting inside a teenage girlís mind is something thatís dang near impossible. I donít even think I knew what as going on in my mind when I was a teenager!

I loved that you still stayed true to Astoria. Sheís telling her friend about it, and enjoying telling her about it, but not wanting it to go past that and end up in a gossipy sort of rumor. I think Iíve said this before, but Isadore is the perfect best teenage friend here. She pushes at Astoria to tell her more, she gets carried away, she doesnít control her words... really, sheís absolutely perfect. And a nice contrast to our more mature Astoria.

And now! When Astoria already has much bigger fish to fry (like her father) Isadore finally decides thatís enough proof for her to believe Astoria. Ha! I loved that! Youíre making me really miss being a teenager, by the way.

I think the conversation between Minerva and Mr. Greengrass was perfect. He isnít cruel, but heís pompous. Heís worried about his daughter and he has no reason to not take his worry out on the woman who is charged with her care. Youíve made him a good man in some ways without taking away the fact that he is part of the exclusive pureblood society. And heís raised a daughter who thinks for herself and takes charge of her own life.

Her argument is a very impressive one! Again, with the insanely perfect details you have. Astoria doesnít interrupt her father because she knows it isnít right, but she also isnít afraid to try and state her point of view. I feel like they share a real mutual respect for one another, but that she still realizes that he *is* her father. God, Iím just so in love with all these people. Youíre really creating not only an incredible Astoria, but giving her the roots that we need to see *how* she became this way. Iím hugging you mentally right now.

And theyíre still talking! I wondered if sheíd let her good girl side or her teenage girl side win out. But, at the same time, Astoria promised not to *see* Draco. She even restated her promise to her father. And she isnít seeing him. Sheís writing him. Those are two very different things. She found her loophole and sheís going for it! Yay Astoria!

I really, really love that Draco is angry about the man his fatherís become. Itís a really powerful statement and emotion, and gah I just am in awe of how incredibly perfectly you write these characters. Oh god. Lucius really is going off the deep end, isnít he? This conversation is almost painful. You make all the emotions so powerful and swimming at the surface. Have I ever told you that I love, love what you do with Draco?

Oh no :(! I donít like this part! Oh Draco!!! Donít do it. Your worthless dad has brought back all that anger, and youíre going to make such a big mistake :(. I feel so sad for him right now. Iím happy that I didnít know the ending to this chapter, because this was just such a surprising and emotional ending. I canít decide how I feel. I like seeing Draco regress in an odd way, because it really does feel so realistic. It makes his current position and what heís going through in life as intense as it deserves to be, and you remind us that even if Draco is trying, he isnít perfect. But at the same time it breaks my heart so, so much because he was doing SO WELL. He has Astoria, he has his education, but Lucius just forced all those feelings back. I hate the man. I hope he gets sickly and dies soon. :[

This chapter was my very favorite so far. I loved seeing each of our characters deal with their own difficult things, and I really hope they can get through their separate struggles together. Iím so excited for the next!

Author's Response: Sigh. You've gone and shamed me by responding to a review that I left *after* this one, so it's high time I got off my butt and gave you a proper response.

I put some real thought into the conversation between Astoria and Isadore, so I'm glad it played well. I feel like Astoria is surrounded by people she can't really trust with the truth about her relationship with Draco -- she's a Slytherin, after all -- but she's also a teenage girl and if she couldn't talk to someone about it, she'd explode or something. So Isadore is there for her, much the same way that she was there after Isadore and Theo's father got thrown into Azkaban. At any rate, Astoria is very aware of how quickly things could get out of control if rumors start flying, so she's being very judicious about what she tells anybody, including Isadore.

I imagined the conversation between Horatio Greengrass and Professor McGonagall being very tense. From his point of view, his daughter could have been badly hurt or killed, so it's understandable that he's angry. The way he chooses to express that anger, however, infuriates the Headmistress. Probably a good thing that Astoria came into the room when she did.

Astoria does put her father back on his heels just a bit, at least enough so that he abandons his plan to pull her out of school. Her argument is pretty well reasoned. So he takes what I'd consider the more "adult" way out. He makes his expectations totally unambiguous and offers her a second chance. Unfortunately for him, he didn't think through all the loopholes. Not a good plan when you're dealing with a very bright Slytherin girl...

One thing I hope came across clearly in this chapter is that Draco is angry *about* the man his father has become and he's angry *at* the man his father has become, and they're not exactly the same thing. Being angry *at* his father is pretty obvious in this case, because his father is acting like an idiot. But being angry *about* the way his father has changed also has undertones of denial and self-loathing. Lucius isn't the only one who was changed for the worse by the war, and when Draco sees the old man in a physical and mental decline, part of what makes him so uneasy is the realization that Lucius's problems are a more extreme version of his own.

To me, it was beyond question that Draco would backslide on his recovery at some point. Nothing in life is that easy. All things considered, he could have done a lot worse, I think. The uncontrollable anger he feels is a symptom of some larger problems that he simply hasn't been able to deal with yet.

I'm glad that I'm able to keep raising the bar. The next chapter might be a bit slower, but I promise I have some big things in mind. If I could just keep all these plot bunnies at bay...

Thank you, as always, for all your support!

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