Hey Dan! First of all, I know I haven't yet finished COB, but answering the questions asked by someone of the forums about Draco and how his life after the war was, really got me in the mood to read something about him. And then Detox came to mind. Again, I have heard a lot of positive feedback about this story, especially since it features a character that can be easily mishandled these days.
I'd like to start by saying that even if the first chapters of COB are amazing, there is a definite improvement in your prose. I'm not exactly a literary critic, so I don't know if I'll be able to express what I felt and thought while reading this chapter properly, but this first chapter was a great kick off for Draco's redemption process.
The whole scene with him drinking his life away was very poignant. I think description is definitely the aspect you've grown most at. His struggle to exit the bar, the state of low existence he has reached was greatly enhanced by your mind blowing descriptive skills! It really made me pity him, because I never thought as ill of him as of his father. I mean, during school Draco was still a teen. That's not an excuse for his behaviour, of course, but in a way this happens in real life as well. Kids don't really measure the consequences of their acts, and if a life filled of bigotry is all he's known, you can't blame him for acting on the basis of the education he's received. Lucius on the other hand, was an adult, fully capable of measuring the consequences of what he did and he consciously chose to be what he was.
Astoria has already made me root for her. I can imagine there will be a lot of struggle before they will be able to be happy together, because Draco has a lot to atone for and changing people's views on you isn't always an easy thing to achieve. But if she stands by his side, I am sure it's possible. Can't wait to see how Draco's new-found determination will influence his further decisions!
Author's Response: Hi! Don't sweat the order or timing of reviews. I'm always just happy to hear from you! :hugs:
You have no idea how happy your first critique made me. I mean, **I** like to think that I'm improving, but to hear it from another person... Gah! Thank you! It's been ages since the start of CoB, and I've definitely learned some things since then.
Maybe part of the difference in descriptiveness with the first chapter of this story is that I've had a lot more experience stumbling out of bars than having out-of-body experiences in King's Cross Station. ;) He's definitely at or near rock bottom at the start of this. I'm glad that I'm not the only one who sees a big difference between Draco and Lucius. Lucius should have known better, especially after the first war. Moreover, he should have taught his son better. I don't see Draco as completely innocent, but he's undeniably a product of his environment.
Astoria is a bit white-washed in this first chapter because you're seeing her through Draco's eyes. To him, she's sort of an angel of mercy who's descended into his gutter of misery to show him the way out. One thing that I try to do later in the story is balance her character out, considering that whatever else she might be, she's also a 16-year-old girl who has a lot of growing up to do still.
I'm really glad that you enjoyed the first chapter! The story has been a lot more challenging to write than CoB. Thanks for reading and reviewing!