Sorry - this has taken me longer than I expected to review the next chapter. However, I really like to take my time with your story and read through slowly. You're writing is so detailed, I don't one to miss one pained expression or flick of the eyes.
Back to the chapter at hand: props to you for an accurate depiction of an over-indulged bride and a disgruntled bridal party. My favorite line: Astoria was certain that she looked like a hippogriff wrapped in a peach chiffon tent.
I've been there and I can feel her pain. Ugh, peach chiffon. Nice touch with the absolute worst color and worst fabric choices.
The internal tug-of-war playing inside of Astoria weaves through the entire chapter. She is falling in love with Draco and yet, still feels an obligation to her family. She can't fathom the idea of an arranged marriage, but sees how it worked for her parents, whom she still respects.
Astoria is constantly keeping her seventeenth birthday in the forefront of her thoughts. It seems so close, but I have this eerie feeling that much will happen before she reaches it. You seem determined to put this couple through the wringer, and I just know it won't be so easy to bide their time.
Then we have a typical mother daughter interaction. Do I sense that there is something else bothering Mrs. Greengrass? She seems very determined to get Astoria married off fairly quickly.
The scene wraps up with Astoria acting the typical sixteen year old girl. A small temper tantrum and a bit of self-pity at the unfairness of the world thrust upon her. This little bit splashes a dose of reality to the story because, underneath the dramatic love story, they are two teenagers who just want to spend time together.
The chapter changes to a much darker tone when Draco is with Blaise. Inside I am screaming! No Draco, don't have a drink, you've worked so hard to get where you are! I must admit I am a bit worried that he is making excuses to have a few.
The change in Draco is evident here. He feels empowered since he stood up to Lucius. Perhaps this was needed in his journey. He must detox from his poisonous family.
Ooo. He must walk a dangerous line on this one. In order to save Astoria from Mr. Smelly Troll, he must pay a very high price - a trade that could end up costing him everything. If Astoria (or her family) catch wind of his new associations, it could mean the end of them. Love the drama and intrigue!
I can't leave without mentioning this wonderful, romantic quality that has grown steadily for the last few chapters. This story could have taken place a few hundred years earlier. Forbidden love. "Two households, both alike in dignity..." This air of their ever increasing affections for each other and love from afar is pulling me further into their story. They are risking everything they have been taught, and their family and friends - and they haven't even had a proper kiss yet!
This entire chapter carried the essence of a romantic novel from the 1800s. From the first scene with the baroque style bridesmaids dress to the letter written in secret and ending with the men plotting to take over the world, without getting their hands dirty, of course.
I thoroughly enjoyed this chapter and I can't wait to read on!
Author's Response: Ugh. Talk about things taking longer than expected. Anyway...
I'm glad I connected well with the experience of a group of poor, put-upon bridesmaids. I've never been there myself, obviously. I have heard terrible things about peach chiffon, though. ;)
This was the first chapter in the story where I started to feel like I was finally capturing more of the teenager in Astoria and less of the precocious young adult. I think I'd be the first to admit that she was too grown up in the early chapters. In this one, I hope she seems more age appropriate. She is very focused on her upcoming birthday because it gives her a feeling of empowerment. What she'll make of it, well, you'll have to wait until she comes out the other side of the wringer to find out.
Learning to put his relationship with his father in the proper frame of reference is an important step for Draco, but he's struggling with it just like so many other things. For most of his life, his father was the only male role model in his world. That's been taken away from him, and though he's starting to come to terms with losing it, it's still hard for him.
Draco's "master plan" for escorting Astoria to Daphne's wedding has been set in motion. Like most things in this story, it isn't going to turn out exactly the way he's planning, however. Enough said about that. ;)
I suppose there is an element of Capulets and Montagues going on here, which is kind of ironic because the only Montagues in this story are Emery and his annoying family. I hadn't thought of the story that way, but I can definitely see it. Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good.
Purebloods do tend to live in the past to a certain extent, especially where their courtships are concerned. So I'm kind of pleased to hear you say that. :)
I'm really enjoying your thought and reactions as you move through the story! Thanks for reading and reviewing!