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Review:shez says:
THIS CHAPTER. OH MY.

First, I'd like to commend you for writing such nitty-gritty narrative. Too often I read overtly flowery fanfic that romanticizes Draco or the dark post-war occurrings but THIS--wow. I read this twice and both stunned by and envious of your talent for such vivid visceral description. This isn't fanfic--this could be a novel, and in fact, is already better than most.

Now clearly you're doing a how Draco-met-Astoria story, but I've seen it done like this. I've never seen Draco quite like this either, how you've managed to incorporate all the facets of him into one drunken encounter. He's angsty and tormented and has a relative case of PTSD, but he's still the same Draco we from the books. The instance when the bartender kicks him out saying 'we don't serve your kind here' really demonstrates how the Wizarding world has evolved since the war, where prior, it was discrimination against mudbloods. Tides have shifted and Draco now stands on the losing end. And it sucks big time.

This line--They were a bunch of bloody fools, but still the closest thing to friends he had left in the world.-- Personally I've always seen Draco as a wary perpetrator, a coward, not quite having the guts to exercise his own resolve. Whereas his so-called-friends are still disillusioned , he atleast is able to acknowledge he was in the wrong. He's still arrogant, characteristically so, and parrots his father (I loved that line by the way).

I'm not entirely sure how I feel about Astoria yet--the fact she shows up out of nowhere is a bit deux-ex-machima. I'm not entirely sure why she wants to help him either (aside from, I guess, just being a good person). We don't know much about her, but I can understand Draco's initial fascination with her. I would think he'd feel the same for anyone that stepped up and helped him out, The tidbits of her personality--definitely pureblood ('finders fee' haha).

This is probably the best post-war Draco fic I've ever read. No. This IS the best.

*furtively slips into favorites*

Author's Response: Hi, there!

Nitty-gritty is a specialty of mine, or so I'm told. I just tried hard to think about which details Draco would be most likely to pick up on at the various levels of sobriety that we see him at in this chapter. I'm really glad that it was vivid for you.

I tried to put Draco in the frame of mind that I thought he would have been in following the end of the war. "His side" lost the war. His family is disgraced and I'd assume that they barely avoided Azkaban. An awful lot of what he was taught to believe about blood purity and the justness of the Death Eaters' cause turned out to be total garbage. Voldemort only cared about his own power and immortality; the Malfoys were nothing but an expendable tool. So I think it makes total sense that he would have been depressed and very disillusioned. The PTSD also seems like a perfectly natural outcome of having witnesses such horrors.

I think Draco did a lot of growing up between the end of OotP and the end of the war. He learned that there are some things you can't buy with money and that his father was far out of his depth in the company of true killers like his aunt. His friends didn't see the things that Draco saw, at least not firsthand.

Astoria is definitely "too good to be true" in this chapter. I'd only ask you to remember that you're seeing her through Draco's hazy eyes. Her flaws will emerge later on...

Those are very kind things to say and I really appreciate them. Thanks for reading and reviewing!


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