Ok, I'm way behind in my reviewing, but I'm trying to catch up. So here's my next review :)
The conversation with Isadore made me laugh, I loved how she was so determined that Astoria wasn't telling her the whole story. I think it showed a lot about her character too, the fact that she refused to lie to her father and yet she was determined to do whatever she could to defend Draco and stay at Hogwarts where she still had access to him.
Astoria's father is amazing...I just want to reach through my computer screen and throttle him! The conversation between Astoria and her father showed an interesting duality in Astoria I thought. She's this good daughter who wants the approval of her father but at the same time there is this quiet strength in her that gives her the motivation to stand up to her father when she thinks it's necessary. That demonstrates how important her relationship with Draco already is to her.
I thought the conversation between Astoria and Snape was really clever too, that's one thing that's so brilliant about the HP universe, you can bring in conversations with dead people with a little bit of creative thinking :) It was good for Astoria to get a different perspective too.
I really like your characterisation of Lucius Malfoy. He's just sort of wasting away, living in this delusion that everything can carry on the way it did before the war, that they can still overtake the ministry etc. His father's desire to get involved with this movement or revolution or whatever you want to call it is a real complication for Draco and adds a nice challenge to the plot, I'm looking forward to seeing where it goes.
I really liked the contrast between the two scenes with the fathers, it was a really clever device and I thought it worked well.
Overall, another brilliantly written chapter that I cannot fault even the slightest bit. Well done, and I'll try to finish off the next two reviews as soon as I can :)
Author's Response: Hi, there! Hasn't it been a fun month of April? I'm not sure how next month can possibly top this.
Isadore is another foil that I'm trying -- successfully, I hope -- to draw out some of the things that make Astoria stand out. She's on the mature side for her age, but she is still a teenage girl and therefore prone to a bit of drama, indecision and silliness. Regardless, Astoria is smart enough not to tell Isadore too much at once, lest it be all over the school in a matter of days. Isadore isn't malicious, she's just a hopeless romantic who wants to see Astoria in a relationship so they can gossip about it.
Astoria's father is a little too sure of what he thinks that he knows about a lot of things, including Draco and the war. That said, he is still very concerned for Astoria's well-being, and I hope that came through well enough in this. She will stand up to him to a certain extent, but she knows where to stop pushing her luck.
My first thought was to use Dumbledore's portrait for the conversation Astoria has at the end, but Snape just felt more natural. He's so much more blunt, and I think blunt was what Astoria needed at that moment.
By the time he appears in Deathly Hallows, I already had the impression that old Lucius was a shell of his former self. Azkaban was not kind to him. He isn't a fanatic like Crouch, Jr. or Bellatrix who came out of Azkaban even more hardened than they went in. I always had the impression that Azkaban broke him. By the end of the war, I don't think his mental health is good at all. Now he's sort of trying to recapture the "glory days" when he was a big, important, powerful man and not just a sorry, humbled shell.
I'm glad you liked the two different fathers. One very strong, one on the verge of collapse, both having a lot of difficulty dealing with post-war reality.
I'm so pleased that you're enjoying the story! Thanks for all of your awesome reviews!