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Review:ShadowRose says:
Hi Penelope!

I've actually noticed as I've been reading that you actually switch up your writing style a little bit as you write - your flashbacks, which aren't all that tense, have a more flowing style, while the present conversation with Draco has a shorter, choppier style. It's actually really great because it captures the current mood of each situation and helps the reader feel the environment of the story.

The way Draco's written in this story is great - he's constantly acting like he's so far above Astoria, because he's a Death Eater and older than her, and so acts in a way to make her feel smaller. For example, when he's commenting on his Dark Mark, and you compare him to an old man, and then he makes the "hideous" comment, both of which make it seem like he's trying to sound so much older and wiser than he is. But Astoria knows how to stand her own and combat that, as shown in her comment at the end of that section "I'd not concern yourself with it. We all have scars, Mr. Malfoy."

I can't believe that Astoria's mother would put a curse that horrible on her own daughter - but I guess in the secret business one must do anything to keep their identity a secret. I definitely see where her conflicted feelings stem from - her mother's always been so close to her, but yet, her mother pit this horrible curse on her as well.

Gosh, and I really love how you've written Ginny. She's strong-willed and powerful, but also caring. She's smart enough to communicate secretly, and I love the fact that she's sneaking WWW products into the school - carrying on the Weasley tradition now that she's the only one of ten left at Hogwarts.

This was another really great chapter, and I really enjoyed reading it!

-ShadowRose (Taylor)

(Blackout Battle review 15/20 on opposite house)

Author's Response: Hey Taylor!

Working on answering all these! Sorry it's taken me so long. I've never had so many reviews--the blackout bingo left me with several, and my computer had been broken, so when I finally got it fixed I checked my review count and was just like, woah! And I was also working on finishing the edits for chapter 6, which I just put in the queue last night. But please forgive me for taking so long in answering your lovely reviews. I really, truly appreciate them!

Oh hey! I've definitely been trying to create different moods for the different parts of the story. I don't think I ever consciously adjusted the structure, but I did try to create a different feeling with the way I wrote, and I'm really, really excited that that has apparently come across!

You're absolutely right about Draco. He does try to project a more mature, worldly persona. And, to a certain extent, it's real. He has been through more than most people his age. In truth, he's seen more horrors than Astoria. But she holds her own, too, as you point out, because she's been through far more than he knows. And you're right--she definitely uses that comment, and her own sort of jadedness, to beat him at his own game.

I was sort of nervous when writing the bit about Lavinia's curse. I was surprised by how much readers took to her character, and was like, "Oh boy..." because I knew this was coming. However, she's a complicated woman, for sure. And she didn't do anything without reasons. Of course, there's always the possibility that it wasn't Lavinia at all. Astoria thinks it was. It looks like it was. But I won't make any promises. Basically, I'm trying to say it's good that you're considering the various possible background factors, because whether or not she did it, and if she did, why--well, those facts could all make a big difference, couldn't they? But you're right about how it's made Astoria feel. The important thing right now is the truth as she knows and suspects it, and she's been betrayed. That definitely makes her feel very conflicted in regards to Lavinia, which is hard because, as you say, she looked up to her mother so much.

Yay! Thank you! I love Ginny, and I really wanted to get her right here. I'm glad that you liked how she came across.

Thanks so much for your kind words. I really enjoy hearing your thoughts on the story!

--Penny


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