Hi! :) You requested a review from me a little while ago, and I'm sorry it's taken so long to get back to you! RL has been taking over, but I'm here now!
I really like how you jumped right into the action with this chapter, and explored the excitement and the tensions of the different characters. Hermione's stress and excitement was very believable, and I liked how even though Draco was trying to keep a cool and snarky front, there were little bits of fear and anxiety which showed through his exterior. I really liked Draco's wondering about which side would kill him first.
I think you characterized Draco really well! :) His comment about McGonagall's beautiful face was funny, and very in character. I also thought you did a good job of emulating the rude and stuck up boy from canon, while showing a softer and more vulnerable yet brave side to him in his private thoughts.
Hermione seemed pretty in character as well, though there were a couple moments which stood out to me as a little out of character. One was when she mentioned the hell she had to go home to every summer: I was always under the impression she was close with her parents and had a comfortable life, but if her having a difficult time at home is important to the story later then just ignore me. :) Also, her outright aggression to Draco, like calling him a ferret, seemed more like something Ron or Harry would say, just because Hermione usually tries to hold them back and keep the peace so they don't get in trouble. A way around that could be to say the stress of the moment got to Hermione and she snapped rudely without thinking? Also, with regards to Harry killing Lucius, I can't imagine Harry using the Avada curse so deliberately: the people he fights seem to end up Stunned or buried by a pile of rubble or something less direct. Again, feel free to ignore me, especially if this Harry is a little harder than in canon or if Lucius being killed by him is important to the plot: that was just something I noticed. :)
You asked about pace in your request. As much as I like the action and the exciting tone of the chapter, it did feel a little rushed. I get the impression this story changes the events of DH a little, but you might want to clarify exactly what's going on and why Harry etc. are at Grimmauld place with the Order and not on the run. There are some details which could help flesh the chapter out, for example, how did the teachers know Voldy was coming to attack? Why exactly is Malfoy allowed back at school? You also might consider expanding the battle a bit more, even with some well-placed description and summary of what is going on around the castle before jumping in to one particular moment, just to help set the scene and slow the pace down a little. :)
Another thing: I liked the cliff hanger at the end, and I'm very curious about what will happen to poor Hermione and Draco, and how this will change their impressions of each other.
I hope this review doesn't seem too critical! You have a great start here, and hopefully these ideas will help make the chapter even stronger. :)
Author's Response: Hi! Thank you for reviewing! Not a problem about the time it took to do so, I'm only just responding now, so I know how crazy life can get :)
I am really happy you liked how I just jumped in. I was really worried that it wouldn't work, and I have decided to add a bit of information to it, but it still jumps in. I am happy that it seems to work :)
Ah yuss, my Draco works. I love writing him, so its great to know that he is believable and in canon *happy dance*
That was one of the aspects of Hermione that I had changed. When I first wrote this chapter, I was in the Hermione gets abused at home and finds solace in bad-boy cliche, but as I have matured (somewhat :P) and continued with this story, it really doesn't work and I have taken it out altogether :) I have also changed around the interaction between herself and Draco.
Like you said, Harry killing Lucius was a bit far-fetched, so I have scrapped that and had a rogue curse kill him instead. I have had a lot of comments on it and decided that it was best that I change it, as it wasn't really working. So i am glad my theory of changing it still works :)
In reagards to the pace and such, I actually took your questions on board and have incorporated them into the first scene of the story, giving a bit of background of what has been happening beforehand. They were great pointers and they helped with adding more in. So thank you for that :)
Hehe I'm glad you liked the cliffhanger, will have to read the next chapter to see what happend :P
Not critical at all, but extremely helpful! I really appreciate it :)