I read this yesterday but I couldnít form a coherent review because of all the puns about Dracoís, erm how to make this 12+, thing ;) Iím going to attempt to write one again, but if it makes no sense itís a good thing because all the jokes and puns worked :P
You write girl talk really well! Isadore was fantastic in this by the way, I think all her remarks about what Astoria should do to Draco and what sheís done really made the chapter. I liked her being humorous in this because it made a nice change for it to be a little light-hearted.
I really liked the use of formal language in that section like here ĎThe two teenagers had sequestered themselves in her auntís parlorí. I think the fact that it showed that these two are pureblooded girls and that theyíre meant to be virginal and whatnot but the topic they were discussing was possibly the further thing from it so it really added to the humour of the scene.
I think this line was my favourite of the whole thing ĎYou didnít take any potions beforehand and you spent the next ten days keeping me up half the night, fretting about how you were going to look in maternity robes.í When we first met her I never imagined Isadore to be that type of person but now I think about it itís really fitting.
Poor Astoria in this section! Though she seemed keen to please Draco I couldnít her but notice she seemed a little out of her depth and it was really nice that you showed that as it showed the difference between her and Isadore, and Draco for that matter. I always did wonder what actually went on between Pansy and him and I enjoyed the little backstory here.
I could probably quote that entire section for the use of the brilliant puns and general one liners but that would take up the whole review. However, I could resist pointing out this one ĎSheís been on more little wizards than the Sorting Hatí I am dying. I honestly never knew that you could make so many magical puns about it (Iím not sure if the word is 12+ or not so Iíll be on the safe side), you have a real talent for them :D
I was a little disappointed that we didnít get to see the follow-up of the conversation because judging from the way Astoria reacted to it I can imagine it would be awkward but I did really like the next section despite it. I really liked seeing how much this work with Madam Blishwick meant to him because I never got that impression he cared that much about schoolwork during the books but here itís really nice to see how much care he put into it.
One thing which really impressed me was the way you wrote about how Draco approached the potion making. It seemed really scientific to me and that he was actually making a potion. I deliberately never write potion making scenes as I just donít know what to write so I was really impressed by that. Also the contrast between this and the first section was superb and it impressed me how easily you can switch from one to the other.
Iím not entirely sure whether I like Madam Blishwick or not. I feel as if I canít understand her and I canít predict what sheís going to do. I donít know why, maybe Iím just being paranoid about everyone being secretly evil, but there is something there which I donít like. Iíll keep my eye on her and who knows, she may end up being my favourite character!
The brief flashback Draco had to the war really was an excellent inclusion to the story. I think thatís one of the things which really make post-Hogwarts stories by drawing on the events which happened in the past. I mean, theyíre not going to be constantly affected by them but those little memories really make it great.
Wow this review is turning out to be massive so Iím going to stop it here! That was another excellent chapter :D
Author's Response: Hi, Kiana!
Keeping reviews 12+ can be tricky sometimes. The more fun a chapter is, the trickier it can be. I applaud your ability to keep it clean while getting your point across!
I have to give so much credit to Jami and sophie for the "girl talk" section. They gave me lots of ideas and picked out a number of things that needed to be tweaked, twisted or just plain deleted. When you ladies have to write "guy talk" scenes, I really wonder how you do it, given the dearth of male authors on the site. My hat is off to you!
Isadore is certainly more worldly than Astoria, but she doesn't know nearly as much as she pretends to. I think a lot of her "experience" came in the form of ill-advised teenage experimentation, which explains why she spent ten days costing Astoria sleep. In the beginning, it's killing Astoria to see her friend more or less guessing at the details, but the more she thinks about it, the better she starts to feel in a relative sense.
You liked the Sorting Hat crack, huh? That was my favorite, too. :)
I'm not sure what you had in mind as "follow-up", but you will definitely see the aftermath of this chapter very soon. Suffice it to say, Astoria plan doesn't go quite like she's expecting.
I actually really enjoyed writing Draco's potion-making. I believe a lot of people are able to ponder things better when they're doing something. Especially something quiet that requires concentration. And I love guessing at what sort of things might be involved in brewing different things.
Madam Blishwick is a character I feel kind of sad about because I put a lot of time and effort into building her up in this chapter and we really won't be seeing much more of her. She isn't evil or malicious, she just has an enthusiasm for dark curses that's similar to the way historians get excited when they talk about World War II. It's an academic exercise to her, one that she gets very excited about because it's her life's work.
Poor Draco is really struggling to suppress the bad memories that his conversation with Madam Blishwich evokes. He's so desperate to be successful in his new career that he's putting himself in a very bad position...
Don't worry about the length of your reviews. I write long ones all the time. And I really enjoy reading and responding to them! Thanks so much for all your encouragement and support!