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Review:marauderfan says:
Oh, I'm glad you requested a review on this, it's nice to see what I'm competing against in the DE writing challenge hehe.

Well. This was amazing! Your descriptions are truly beautiful, and I love your writing style. It flows very well. You've structured the story reall well too, I think the bit in the beginning adds a lot, and I think it really sets the tone.

Your characterisation is really good too. I'm not the biggest fan of Lucius Malfoy but I love the way you've written him here. As a person he's not any more likable than he is in the books, but you've made me care about him in this piece, which says something! And, going back to that first paragraph, I find it very believable that Lucius didn't want redemption, that he didn't think he was wrong. His family mattered the most to him, but I think he still believed he had been on the right side in the war - he just gave up on the war at the end.

Draco was really well written too. I can see him as someone who wanted redemption. I liked the way you wrote the scene when he wanted information from his father, why he was leaving - the dialogue between Lucius and Draco was spot on as well.

The ending is lovely! I thought it was Lucius at first who was visiting the graveyard - I love that you kept me guessing until the last part. It was a very fitting ending, I think.

As for CC: There was one passage that wasn't very clear to me...

Lucius's head snaps up, just in time to watch as the man who called him fall rigid on the floor, spell hitting him square in the chest. He swallows heavily as he sees a witch run up to the body, grabbing his hand and pressing her fingers into his wrist. She is still for the moment, until she shakes her head sadly and drops his hand. She doesn't move from his cover, crouching by the dead man and wiping away her tears.
It is only then that Lucius realises they look exactly alike.
The twin's agony is enough to pull him out of his melancholy, and Lucius straightens himself up.


For most of that scene, the vagueness in the battle is good, but I can't tell what's happening in this particular segment. At first they seem like other DE's, because they were addressing Lucius, but then it seems like Lucius is just noticing a family resemblance between the two, that the fallen man and the woman are twins (?) - like he doesn't know them. So it's a little unclear in that passage, maybe you'll want to consider identifying who's who better, or at least mention that they're Death Eaters.

Also, active voice is usually much stronger than passive voice, so the place where you said "His lungs are filling with the putrid air" I think you could improve it by saying "His lungs fill with the putrid air".

Overall this was really lovely, great job!

Author's Response: Whoa! Has anybody told you you're a lovely reviewer? This was filled with just so much to get my brain thinking again and motivation going. Thank you so, so much! Your compliments had me blushing!
To hear that you felt for Lucius - just, wow. I wrote this as a piece as a kind of experiment, I suppose. I read a lot of stories on here that are real quick to throw the 'evil' label on Lucius, and I just don't really see him as an evil guy (that said, I don't think the movies helped much. He is quite chilling up until the fifth movie). I wanted to make sure that my readers knew that he didn't care for others, but his family meant the whole world to him. I'm glad to see it worked, too! I actually wrote that Lucius/Draco scene over and over, deleting nearly 1000 words at a time and re-writing it again. It was hard to write such a 'delicate' (in the eyes of fandom) relationship, while also making sure that readers knew that they had a strong father/son bond (I hope that made sense). When you read the second book, when Harry is trapped in Borgin and Burkes, and Lucius and Draco enter the shop, you can see that Draco has no real fear of his father, or questioning him. There's a fair bit of bantar and fathering, but it reading it again really had me thinking about how I could write their relationship realistically. I'm so, so happy to hear it worked!
I see what you mean about vagueness ... I will re-read that a few times and try to fix it up (maybe even just cut it out, altogether). And the voice! Active voice and passive voice are my worst enemies! Thank you so much for pointing it out, I'll be sure to get on that.
And thank you (again. And again. And a million times again) for leaving such a thoughtful, constructive review. It really means a lot! I'll be sure to check out your challenge entry too!
- Mahalia


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