Though, I do feel very stupid. In the last chapter, I thought as Hogsmeade Village spun away. meant she died. I'm in full ROFL mode right now. I never seize to amaze myself.. One would think I could put two and two together... Anywho, you wrote this chapter wonderfully Dan!
I'd also like to take the moment to say that your Author Responses are awesome. That is all.
Trust Draco to be full of himself and be all, "I could have taken them single-handedly any day." I was clapping my hands and saying, "Sure you could Draco, sure you could."
But my heart expanded magnificently when I read this at the very beginning:
Getting them there in one piece -- keeping her safe -- was the only thing that mattered.
I think the Draco/Astoria section in my heart got like 10x bigger. Just saying.
I really liked how Astoria believed that Hermione wouldn't rat him out. I genuinely smiled at that part because to me it seemed so "Astoria-ish". She really is nice and... can you like introduce me to her? I really wanna be her friend :D
Despite the seriousness of this, I was once more laughing out loud right here:
"No. My aunt gave me a book to read and told me that if I splinched myself it was my own fault for not trying hard enough. Then we flooed to the Ministry and she put her wand to Mr. Twycross's head and told him that his signature was either going to be on my license or his own death certificate, his choice."
The thing is, though Draco's talking, I could totally imagine Bellatrix saying that! Again what you create with words is absolutely magic. My mind really gets into it.
Honestly, if I could quote this entire chapter into this review, I probably would, but you might not like that...
I really just want to keep on talking about their conversation, but that'll take up all my characters that I have left, so I'll try to say what I can about it without rambling: I loved the new perspective you gave to the whole idea of Draco becoming a Death Eater, without glorifying it, but still making me think that yeah, maybe he didn't have a choice. I've read far too many Dramiones where authors fail to recognize that, but you keep it and justify it. I always felt a bit bad for Draco, but you show it under a totally different light. I'm still pondering over it, it was so effective.
And now, Astoria's talk with McGonagall. For the first time, I thought that McGonagall was being a bit annoying - or maybe that's only because I've warmed up to Astoria. I was really proud of her for sitting through that talk without losing her cool, because I knew I would have. Professor was being very insufferable.
I think Hermione and Astoria could be great friends. WE ALL COULD BE AND IT WOULD BE AWESOME AND WE'D HAVE SLEEPOVERS AND JUST AH.
Well look here, I've just wrote my biggest review ever! Yippee!
All in all, I really needed a smile today. I'm so glad I came back to this chapter because it made me feel a lot better.
I don't have enough words to thank you for this one, and rest assured that I will be back :)
Author's Response: Hi, there!
This was a chapter that's been part of the plan since this story was in the planning stages, so I'm really pleased that you liked it. There was a lot of groundwork that needed to be laid in order to get to this point and I hope that it didn't seem too long in coming.
Draco still feels compelled to put on a show for Astoria, even though he's really banged up by this point. Being Astoria, though, she sees right through it and mostly puts him in his place. I think she finds his bluster endearing, if a bit overdone.
It's a little sad that she does understand Hermione better than he does, although her gender does give her an advantage. Still, he's known her for over six years at this point. He's a bit thick at times.
Ah, dear Bella. She's fun to include in stories even after she's dead. It's easy to laugh at her in retrospect, when you no longer need to be afraid of her.
If you're curious about how Draco became a Death Eater -- at least my version of it -- that story is told in Marked. You get the gist of it here. I don't think Draco actually wanted to be a Death Eater once all of his father's self-important bluster was stripped away and he learned what was really involved. He really didn't have a choice. Voldemort ordered him to kill Dumbledore as a punishment for Lucius's failure to obtain the prophecy. It was a win-win for Voldemort: if Draco died, a lesson was taught. If Draco were to miraculously succeed, Dumbledore was eliminated. I'm certain that Voldemort never expected Draco to survive.
I think McGonagall was fishing for information more than anything. She wasn't sure what to make of a situation where not one but two students were coming to her, confessing to breaking the rule and being adamant that it wasn't Draco's fault. Astoria did handle it well, though, and she even managed to get in a bit of a plug for him.
Wow! This was a really awesome review. Thank you so much for being so detailed and thoughtful. I really appreciate it!