Reading Reviews for Marked
88 Reviews Found

Review #26, by MissMdsty That Which Must Be Done

21st February 2013:
Now he gets it! Better late than never I guess.

Narcissa's motherly love is haunting in this chpater. I don't have any kids myself, but the ones that exist in my mind for when the time comes... I'm very protective of them. I imagine it's nothing like the real thing. My Mom always says I'll understand when I have children of my own. But even so, it seems horribly painful to not be able to protect your child from something, especially something as terrible as a lifetime of servitude to that lunatic. You've painted a beautiful picture of her feelings and how Draco reacts when he realizes that it's either fight for his own life or lay down and wait to be killed.

I loved the bit with Tonks in disguise. I never expected that and I was very shocked by the fact that Moody with his crazy eye didn't see Bellatrix of all people. I can totally understand Draco's reaction. Tonks' display of "family pride" in regard to that made me laugh so hard.

Only one more chapter to go and I'm already feeling the tension of the fact that he is coming. Maybe it's because I have DH2 playing while I read this. Or maybe it's because I have no idea what's up your sleeve for this final chapter!

Author's Response: Yes, he finally gets it. Took him long enough, huh?

Narcissa is probably regretting a lot of her past decisions in this chapter. Not just the one that probably got her uncle killed. She's always pretty much let Lucius do whatever he pleases as long as he's discrete about it, and that's coming back to bite her and Draco both in a major way. Having kids definitely changes your perspective on things like this. Your decisions start to take on more weight when you realize that they're affecting more than just yourself.

I told you Tonks would be back! I had already written the part about Draco agonizing over the attack in the newspaper and the part about Moody telling him he should run for it, but the transition between the two bothered me. Out of the blue, that idea popped into my head and I instantly fell in love with it. Especially her crack about not embarrassing the family.

Yes, He is coming. Brace yourself. It's gonna be a doozy! Thanks for reading and reviewing!

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Review #27, by MissMdsty No Way Out

21st February 2013:
I actually had this very long and funny review written earlier today, then my Internet went all funny, then I had to go driving (which was terrible today, by the way, I wanted to run away kicking and screaming), but I'm back here now so let's get back to your story.

I'm having a sudden urge to go to Draco with crayons and a piece of paper and drawing it up for him, maybe then he'd understand. Dude, you're Dad's gone bye bye, his former friends want to punish him by doing terrible stuff to you. None of which I can describe here. I've gone completely mental, I'm talking to a fictional character.

I don't understand how Draco can be so oblivious to everything around him. It should be a dead giveaway when his Mom's a mess and the place is crawling with magical police. I know two things for sure. It's not lost unless Mom can't find it and it's not so bad, until Mom starts crying. And look at the little brat, "we have plenty of gold.". No kid, first of all, your parents have plenty of gold, you just have the attitude of a toddler who missed nap time, and second, if Lord Evil wanted gold, he'd have taken over the Bank of Wizard Gold, not the Department of Mysteries.

Anyway, looks like Lady Evil is back. And by that I mean Bellatrix, who scares me to death. I should look for her under my bed when I go to sleep. This time, she's like the Grinch song "You have termites in your smile, Bellatrix!". Yeah, if you sing that in your head, it's going to sound just right.

I love the power this woman projects all around her. She's scary, yes, but she is everything a woman should be. Powerful, smart, convincing. Compared to her, Pansy's like a Flobberworm. Too bad she's insane. I guess you can't have it all.

I think at this point, the end of this chapter, Draco's starting to realize something's up, but we've got a long way to go before he realizes he's in over his head.

Great chapter! I'm off to read the next!

Author's Response: Aw, that's too bad. I hate being dragged away from my computer when I'm in the middle of something. But I really enjoyed your review anyway.

Ha! I'm not sure Draco would have "gotten it" any better with a different, more dumbed-down communication medium. You have to remember that the new reality he's being forced to adjust to is contrary to everything he's ever been taught to believe. The idea that his family's influence and gold are not enough to keep them safe is impossibly alien to him. I think it's understandable that it takes him a long time to really internalize the message.

Yes, Bellatrix is back. If you find her under your bed, I'm not even sure it's worth bothering to run. You're pretty much dead either way. Ew! Termites in her smile. One more health hazard of Azkaban.

She is fearsome in her insanity. Even the other murderers and sociopaths give her a wide berth because you never have any idea what she's going to do next. I think that's one of the things the Dark Lord loved most about her. She was an excellent tool to spread fear.

Yes, as he goes to bed it's definitely starting to dawn on him that he's not in Kansas any more, so to speak. The next chapter will be pretty big for him, realization-wise. Thanks so much for all of your amazing reviews!

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Review #28, by adluvshp Kick Me

21st February 2013:
Hi. Stopping by for tag.

It's been a while since I read the first chapter of this story, but I am glad to have the opportunity to come back to this well-written piece of yours.

This chapter was very interesting. As I am sure I have said before, you write Draco in a very canon-compliant way. His characterisation is quite perfect.

The rejection he felt from Pansy was a strong blow to him, and I liked the way you expressed it. He's desperate for someone's company and yet he finds himself all alone - suddenly from being in a top position in the Slytherin house, he has slid to the bottom - and that is all portrayed very well.

I also enjoyed your inclusion of Tonks in this chapter. She's always been a "somewhere there" character for me - I hardly gave much notice to her - but the way you incorporated her in this scenario was impressive. I loved how she stood up for her mother, and became all angry at Draco, and such.

All in all, I think this was a very nicely done chapter and the events that occurred seemed very fitting. Your characters are all so believable, and I could almost see this happening. There are no 'technical' errors in this either, and the narrative flowed smoothly.

All in all, great job! I hope to come back for the next chapter soon =)


Author's Response: Hi!

I'm glad you found Draco consistent with canon. That was one of my major goals throughout the story.

He does take Pansy's rejection hard, but not because he truly had strong feelings for her. She was one of his "creature comforts" that he grew to take for granted. When she leaves him, it's like a soft, plush rug being yanked out from underneath him.

Tonks is one of those characters who never got as much attention as I thought she deserved in the books, so I enjoyed giving her a few moments to shine in this story. In a way, her story is a mirror reflection of Draco's.

I'm glad that you enjoyed it. Thanks for reading and reviewing!

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Review #29, by MissMdsty Kick Me

20th February 2013:
"wandered off into the forest like some tree-hugging hippie". Ha! That image made me laugh so hard!

I am in serious awe of how well these characters and their relationships are build. I am simply commenting to fangirl over this, I have nothing useful to add to your writting style.

I really liked how his fall from grace started slowly but surely. And it all culminated with Pansy breaking up with him. I still have no respect for her. She was told to do that.

What I liked best about this chapter is the interactions between Narcissa and Draco, and Draco and Tonks.

Narcissa is trying so hard to maintain her calm exterior, not to show her son the cracks and it's obvious she'd rather be anywhere but where she was right at that moment. Can't say I blame her, really. Noseless, red eyed man coming home for dinner with the husband? I'd be out of there faster than you can say "Constant vigilance!".

Tonks is amazing and your potrail of her was spot on. I was just as amazed as Draco was that the Aurors are there to protect them. Of all things! I am in shock. Draco m'boy, we're in for the summer of our lives!

Brilliant chapter, as usual! I'm loving this story so far.

Author's Response: Hello, again!

I was really smitten with that line, myself, although I had to check with my beta reader and see whether the term "hippie" meant the same thing in the UK. When I try to think about how Draco and his family would think of Dumbledore -- with all of his eccentricities and his fondness for Muggle-borns and non-human magical creatures -- that's definitely the term that came to mind.

Draco's fall from grace will continue to accelerate. Yes, he got pummeled on the train and his cousin takes him down a peg, but nothing *really* bad has happened to him yet. Without giving too much away, it's coming...

I didn't think much about Narcissa at all before HBP. The way that she defied Voldemort to seek Snape's help was the first sign that she was something more than just Lucius's trophy wife. Then, in DH, there was a very palpable strength to her, a willingness to do anything and everything to keep her son safe. It really changed my opinion of her, and I tried to inject a little of that strength into this chapter. You'll see more of it later.

Tonks is a character who had so much potential and I didn't feel like it was ever truly realized in the books. Aside form her obvious talents, her family story is so compelling. So I tried to give her a couple of chances to shine in this.

I'm really glad that you enjoyed this. Thanks for reading and reviewing!

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Review #30, by MissMdsty It All Comes Crashing Down

20th February 2013:
Hello there dear!

Another Draco story! Tehnically, this is the first Draco story you've written, but since I read "Detox" first, we'll leave it at that.

It's so amusing to see how Draco felt and thought before becoming disenchanted with his life as a Death Eater. The opening paragraphs were amazing, showing me as a reader that the little brat really wanted to be like Daddy when he grew up. The idea that he wanted a woman to busy herself with his social calendar makes perfect sense to me.

At first I was creeped out by the interactions between Draco and Pansy, mainly because I can't imagine anybody doing that with her. But once I got used to the idea that we are once again (for me at least) in the mind of Draco, I found them to be very ... interesting. I say that because what I've seen of Draco in this first chapter, he is the poster child of rich, spoiled children everywhere. The kind that don't actually have any plans outside of the imediate future, their best accomplishments are those of their parents, since they are at best, average and that count on Daddy to secure their life for them. I have a friend like that, who's parents are very well off, and as coincidence has it, I just visited her a few days ago. And reading Draco here, it just made me remember the things that come out of her mouth. The way in which one might drop a hint about an important aquaintance or a very expensive venue they've visited. Just like Draco bragged about the impeding nuptials with the Bulgarian family. So, you were spot on with Draco. Well done!

While reading about Draco and Pansy, I understood the full meaning of JKR's words "Let my girls be Hermiones, not Pansy Parkinsons". Let my girls be the same too. I will come out and tell you that I have no respect for this character. Any woman that would just allow herself to be treated like that and used in such a way deserves to be called anything but a woman. Such a shame that the comments are 12+.

I can understand that at fifteen or sixteen, it's easy to be impressed when the most popular guy in school comes on to you. And by her standards, he is the most popular guy. Except, what she doesn't yet realize is that she is a toy. Arm candy if you will. Draco's interactions with her showed me that to him, she is nothing more than an object, not a person. Of course, at sixteen, when you're smack in the middle of growing up, the things he thought about are perfectly normal, if you know what I mean. However, if there is one good thing that came out of this war, it's the fact that Draco grew up, or else he would've never been able to have a healthy relationship.

Now Snape. He was canon Snape, through and through. I even read him with Rickman's voice in my head, it all came very natural. I loved how he was both strict and somewhat concerned with Draco's well being and the instructions he gave him were phrased perfectly. I tell you, it's like the hoped off OotP and into this story!

I also loved how you ended this chapter, in the perfect place to build the suspense for what's going to come. Reading this reminded me of my 5th grade teacher, who used to tell us that in third-person POV stories, the author is allknowing and omnipotent. And you are, in the magnificent way in which you play with these characters and bring them to life.

I know you only requested for chapter one, but I'm going to go on and read everything now, because I'm so curious to see what happens next!

Author's Response: My goodness! Such a long, detailed and thought-provoking review. It's like Christmas morning!

I wanted to start the story off with Draco at the very pinnacle of his pride and arrogance. To really appreciate how far he falls by the end of the story, I thought it was important to depict him that way. It isn't just that he has no respect for Pansy in particular or women in general, he basically has no respect for anyone. He is living completely in his own world of self-indulgence and egocentricity.

I'm glad that the Draco-Pansy love scene creeped you out. That was more or less the reaction that I was going for. Draco holds her in such low regard that he pretty much toys with her. And he enjoys his "toy" so much that he's unwilling to give her up, even if his parents find another girl for him to marry who forwards their monetary and political interests more effectively. Most of us, I think, have known a kid at some point with these Draco-like characteristics. It's pretty universal for people from the developed world.

It's nothing new for me to agree with JKR, but I agree with her point on Hermione vs. Pansy more strongly than with most others. Pansy is the epitome of everything a self-respecting young lady should NOT be.

Snape... I **loved** writing him in that scene. And it was honestly one of the easiest things I've ever written, for exactly the reason you describe. I just let my inner Alan Rickman run free, and the words tumbled from the tips of my fingers. He's such a beautiful bastard!

I'm so pleased that you enjoyed this. I found it really rewarding to write. Thanks for reading and reviewing!

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Review #31, by Louisiana The Price of Living

6th February 2013:
Absolutely excellent portrayal of Draco and how he would of coped and his family. Enthraling read!

Author's Response: I'm really glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for reading and reviewing!

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Review #32, by Gabriella Hunter It All Comes Crashing Down

3rd February 2013:

Its Gabbie here with your requested review and please excuse me while I wipe the drool off my face! I had been meaning to stop by, not only to bug you for no reason but to read this story to see how your Draco compared to mine (Its not stalking, is it?). But aside from that, this was super amazing fantastic! I think I was hooked from just that first paragraph, your Draco just seems so real and I thought your characterisation of him was just excellent. I don't even know how far I can go on about it but it was brilliant, I got that sense of haughtiness, a bit of childishness and his pride just made me wince. Though he's sometimes written in a really nasty way to show just how mean he can be, you had some traces of humor thrown in that I really appreciated. Some of his lines made me actually smirk a little and I'm so thankful for a bit of laughter with all the darkness going on. Great canon bits and I loved seeing how Draco viewed Umbridge and his fellow classmates. Hahah, and I loved that bit with Ginny too, she really hexed him good! Nice of him to run off and leave his mates, though, right? Haha.
There was so much detail that you put into his home life and the War itself, the changing world was so vivid that I was just speechless. The hierachy of pureblood society is something that really fascinates me and I tried to do it in my Draco/Astoria but I don't think I went in the direction that you did. I can honestly say that I would have seen this information somewhere in the actual books, it was just that good!
Now, on to the rest! Talk about me blushing like a twelve-year-old girl! Gah, I had to actually fan myself a little reading that little thing with Pansy and oh, my GOD, his ego. How'd he fit that gigantic head into his dorm?! The fact that he sort of cares about Pansy came across a little to me but he lost me at the end when he was talking about having her as a mistress. Sticking to tradition is important to him and really shapes his character, I LOVED what you did with that. :D
And that ending...thanks Snape for coming in and scaring naked kids! HAHA. OH, I thought your writing of him was spot on, he's a character that is so hard to write and I've never even dared to try it in any of my stories. (I've practiced and cried over how awful I write him) You just amazed me to death with this and I favorited this! Whoo! Love me some angsty Draco. *Coughs* Anyhoo, this was great, thanks for requesting this for me! :D
Much love,

Ha, I'm still blushing.

Author's Response: You're going to give me a big head, you know that? A great big head and I'm going to have to get an air valve installed on the back of it. Not that I want you to stop or anything. ;)

I am beyond pleased that you liked the way I characterized Draco. I tried so hard to keep him true to the way I remember his character from Goblet of Fire and Order of the Phoenix. I really don't like fics where the author turns him into an over-sensitive emo puppy dog or a fiendish arch villain. Draco Malfoy was neither of these things. He was a spoiled, snobby rich kid whose father filled his head full of all kinds of self-important rubbish. And that kid has a lot of very harsh growing up to do...

I tried really hard to paint a realistic picture of how I think he would have interacted with the other spoiled, rich kids of Slytherin House. I do think that hierarchy and pecking order were very important in pure blood society. These people measure their self-worth in terms of how much they have, how long they've had it and who they can claim to be related to. For a kid like Draco, who is the product of two ancient and noble houses, his station in society means everything to him.

As much as I enjoyed writing the dorm room scene with Draco and Pansy, it was also terrifying. I spent quite a bit of time picking Staffers' brains about exactly where the boundaries for such a scene should be drawn, and I found that those lines were a lot fuzzier than I was hoping for. Suffice it to say that the first draft of that scene was much stronger than the one that you see here.

Ah, Snape. I love writing the guy. He's not that intimidating if you just watch Alan Rickman's scenes in the movies and really let him get inside your head. Or course, you may find yourself being snide, petty and condescending to everyone for the rest of the day. At any rate, I thoroughly enjoyed writing that scene.

I'm really glad that you enjoyed this. I'll definitely be back to re-request.

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Review #33, by Santa's Little Helper Kick Me

3rd January 2013:
Comparing Dumbledore to tree-hugging hippie was very cute start for a chapter. I do believe that you're quite right about that Draco didn't realize Dumbledore's worth before the night he died. And even then that realization came little late.

Wow, how things can change in one night. He's not the Slytherin to watch anymore. Last night he ruled the roost, and now his girlfriend chooses not to mingle with the wrong sort. Shows how easily people can change their mind. One wrong step or wrong connection, and you're an outcast. Pansy was surprisingly gentle to him, so I guess she really cared about him.

Ginny is a little firecracker for sure. She was bit boring before OotP, but then redeemed herself quite well in that book. I can definitely see her taunting Malfoy just for kicks.

Scandanavia should be Scandinavia. I live there, so I should know. And I guess the bitter cold depends on who is asking. :p

Narcissa is a actually pretty interesting character. She's cunning, but not necissarily a Slytherin since I think her house in Hogwarts was never revealed. More importantly, her only worry is to get her family through the war, even if it comes with cost of double-crossing allies.

Well, hello there darling Tonks. She's on fire. :) The idea of her mother remembering every family member's birthday was a touching detail. I can't see Tonks being cruel for real, but she's auror after all, so she probably knows very well how to handle and intimidate creeps. I like how you put it out there, that Dumbledore was already organizing his next move in the game between him and Voldemort.

Yes, it was a very lovely chapter. It sucked me right in, and now I'm quite eager to read more. I might need to take a little break for such trivial things as sleeping at this point, but I'll be back soon.

Santa's Little Helper

Author's Response: Hello, again!

Out of the entire story, this was definitely the hardest chapter to write. Second chapters suck. So I'm glad that you liked it.

Draco really had no appreciation for how much Dumbledore tried to do to keep him safe from his father's terrible choices. He did figure it out far too late.

To put it succinctly, everything changed for Draco in one night. He's no longer the bee's knees, his friends are shunning him and although he doesn't realize it yet, he's now in mortal danger. But for the moment, it's losing Pansy that hurts him the most.

Out of everyone in Dumbledore's Army, I imagine Ginny would be the most likely to torment him. She has that little vindictive streak, and she's not as awkward as Ron, who'd simply try to pummel him to death.

Sooo... you like in Scandinavia. Interesting tidbit. Can't wait to find out your true identity! Thanks for pointing out the misspelling!

I really hope you'll come to like Narcissa by the end of the story. I really started to look at her character differently by the end of Deathly Hallows. She had the strength and wherewithal to try to save her family from the consequences of her idiot husband's awful choices. After she defied Voldemort, essentially saving Harry's life, I started to think quite a lot of her.

I really, really enjoyed writing Tonks in this story. Without ruining the surprise, I'll just say that you haven't seen the last of her.

I'm really, really pleased that you liked this. Hope to see you back again, perhaps without the secrecy. Thanks so much for volunteering to make sure that everyone had a nice holiday surprise!

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Review #34, by Santa's Little Helper It All Comes Crashing Down

3rd January 2013:
Wow. *blush* That was quite a beginning for a Draco story. I have to say, that it was by far the most sensual thing I have ever seen written by a guy. It was hot, although I'm still slightly disturbed about the idea of Draco and Pansy in bed. I guess I won't become Dramione shipper anytime soon. I really like the fact that you're willing to test your limits by writing all kinds of genres and themes. :)

I really liked Draco's thoughts in this chapter. He really looks up his father, and apparently wouldn't dare to cross his mother either. Not even when it comes down to who to marry. His character was very well fleshed out considering that this just the first chapter.

Snape was interesting addition to the end of the chapter. His advice was very sound and methodical, very Snape like. I like the fact you've written him very much similar to canon, where he couldn't quite get rid of being a teacher as well as Death Eater/spy.

This was very intriguing starting point for a fic, since now we get Draco off his element pretty much right from the start. It should be very interesting journey.

I love the fact that you added a small details throughout, but those still didn't swamp the fic in any way. I'm still trying to add this to my own writing, so it was lovely to see how it's supposed to be done. Your writing was very easy to read and the flow was excellent throughout the chapter.

I'm actually planning to read more of it, now that I got into this story. See you in the next chapter.

Santa's Little Helper

Author's Response: Hello, again, Little Helper!

Ha! I'm glad that you found it so... stimulating. ;) It was my first foray into writing something that edgy. Edgy is the polite way to say smutty, I think. But I thought it was really important to emphasize the state of complete, unrepentant self-indulgence that Draco lives in just prior to his fall from grace. He's at the very apex of his young life, and there's nowhere to go but down.

And down he goes. I loved every word of writing Snape in this. It was one of the easiest things I've ever written, too. I just opened up my inner Alan Rickman and let things happen.

The details are really important to solidifying Draco in this place, I think, so I'm glad you liked them.

Thanks again for stepping in and making my holidays much happier!

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Review #35, by Pixileanin The Price of Living

1st January 2013:
On the eleventh day of Christmas...

More like the eleventh hour...

So I want to start this review off with something like, "Poor Draco," and I think I'm finally about there. That whole business with his aunt drilling him of all those names, and then the relief he felt when she cast the spell to "help him" and it didn't do anything, and then it did. Yeah, I think I'm there. Poor Draco. If he didn't think he had a way out before, he surely doesn't have a way out now. He's in too deep. His aunt has him by the... err... neck, and she's not letting go. Not when she has so much at stake here either.

I loved how you made use of those names later on, and didn't just have them as a convenient way to showcase Bella's insanity, which would have been enough, but nooo. You had to make them intricately important to the rest of the chapter too. Clever thing, you. The running inner monologue that Draco uses to keep his cool was both disturbing and neato cool at the same time. And I also love the inclusion of Avery and your description of him. Just as I saw him too. :)

Boy, that family history sure does come in handy, doesn't it? He has the sense enough to tell Voldemort the truth when asked, which I think might have scored him a point, or at least half a point with the dark lord. He really is desperate here, not knowing which way is up, but not really caring because any way he looks at it, he's one step away from something worse than death. The description of how Voldemort applied the dark mark was appropriately vivid and physical, which ties in to all your other physical-based descriptions. The way that you kept that throughout the story was really a good touch, even if it did make me think I was reading something by Clive Barker at times, but I think that's what you were going for.

The progressions in this were really well-thought out. From the repulsion and then the acceptance of being smothered by Bella, the way he finally understands what he's gotten himself into, how he loses all thoughts of being a haughty little spoiled boy and grapples with the reality that he's basically meat on a stick for someone else's whims... it all tied together. The only thing that didn't resonate well with me was his last line. I don't think that Draco at this moment would have a future to look forward to. Perhaps it was the only comforting thing his mother might be thinking. Of course, I have no suggestions for anything better, so I'm not all that helpful there. I liked your chapter title for this, because it shows how desperate they are to survive whatever the next nightmare leads them to. (Probably more Bella... *shudder*)

Author's Response: Sigh. You make me wish I'd made this story longer. Then you could review it some more. Alas, here we are at the end.

Wow, so I finally got you to think, "poor Draco". It wasn't necessarily what I set out to do, but it feels good nevertheless.

The Black family's teaching methods are definitely barbaric, but they do provide Draco with a modicum of protection at the end. Without something to focus his thoughts on, he probably would have broken down in front of Voldemort or peed himself again. And my version of Avery was obviously heavily influenced by yours. So thanks for that!

Draco does try to BS Voldemort for a moment, but it plainly doesn't work. So he just admits the truth, which at least keeps him alive. Contrary to what Bella's convinced herself of, if Draco had pushed his luck any farther the Dark Lord probably would have killed him to set an example for the others. Having the son of the mighty Lucius Malfoy grovel for his life was exactly the show that Voldemort wanted to put on for his other followers.

Everything is a test of some sort with Voldemort, so I have to imagine that taking the Dark Mark was a grueling ordeal. It's one more way that his followers are required to demonstrate that their loyalty to him supersedes any concern for their own well-being.

By the end, he is finally aware of what he's gotten himself into, and he's realized that he's going to have to sacrifice a lot of things if he's to have any hope of surviving. You know, I didn't think so much about the last line when I wrote it, but I definitely see your point. I think at that moment, he was so happy to have survived his first encounter with the Dark Lord that he's irrationally exuberant about any number of things.

Thank you so much for all of your wonderful reviews of Marked. It was a joy to read and respond to each one. Happy New Year!

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Review #36, by Pixileanin That Which Must Be Done

29th December 2012:
On the tenth day of Christmas...

This counting down thing feels kinda ominous, doesn't it?

Hey, I wouldn't want to see Moody's face first thing in the morning either. What a way to wake up! Oooh, and his nightmare returns in the garish light of day. I had a bunch of trouble regarding the mission that had been discussed the night before as well. What mission? What was that crazy lady talking about now? Oh. It's Her. Ha haha. You had me going there. Nice one.

"The biggest part of him simply wanted to find a dry pair of pants without anyone seeing him."

Best Idea he's had yet. I'm thinking I might want to feel sorry for him right about now, but I just can't. Not yet. He's still too clueless. Moody's got a great idea and I'd love to see Draco try to take him up on it, but I'm feeling like he won't.

The memory of Draco and his father's mark was just chilling. To think that a little boy would see that and then play at it. I'm almost starting to feel just the least bit compassionate after that, but I think I have a little ways to go. Just a little farther. I think Draco might be starting to "get it", especially since he witnessed his usually composed mother so out of sorts like he did. I wonder what other letters she had been sending and who else is going to die because she reached out to them.

I really liked that Tonks knew her relative well enough to impersonate her so completely, though that was a bit wicked of her/you. Again with the solid characterizations. I'm really liking Narcissa and Tonks, as I said. As for Draco, we will have to see. I mean, he's perfect the way he is, but that doesn't mean that I like him. but I guess that's alright, isn't it?

Author's Response: It does feel a bit ominous, now that you mention it. Makes me feel like I should be writing more.

Moody can't be a pleasant thing to wake up to, although I still think I'd take him over Bellatrix. Oh, wait, Draco gets to experience both! I'm glad that I didn't do anything to give Tonks away too early. She scared the pee out of Draco, literally. I hate to say it, but you're running out of time to feel sorry for him. That's fine if you don't get there, though.

I don't think little Draco had any idea what the mark on his father's arm meant. Since Lucius refused to discuss it with him and punished him for even finding out about it, Draco's poor little mind probably just assumed it was some sort of exciting "adult secret". At this point, he is starting to "get it". Narcissa breaking down definitely helped the process along.

In her limited appearances, I tend to think that Tonks takes a very wicked attitude toward her cousin. Her mother was treated so horribly that she is enjoying the power to exact just a bit of revenge. It isn't her proudest moment, but it was fun to write. If you liked Narcissa here, hopefully she will really shine for you in the next chapter.

Thanks so much for all of your awesome holiday presents!

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Review #37, by Pixileanin No Way Out

29th December 2012:
On the ninth day of Christmas...

By the way, if you go by tradition, today is only the fourth day of Christmas. The twelve days of Christmas actually begin on December 26th and run through to the Epiphany on January 6th, but you probably already knew that so let me get to this review instead of stalling.

Ooohh, bad Draco! He doesn't know when to quit, does he? Those Aurors are indeed waiting to take him down to the station and hang him out to dry and Narcissa has to slap him around again to make him understand the situation. How clueless! But I wouldn't expect anything less from Draco can't-let-other-people-drag-me-down-to-their-level Malfoy. So, how can he actually sleep after hearing that awful admission from his mother? How heartless is he?? I'd have been up all night worrying over my own sorry little butt after my mother made it clear that I was going to be served up to the Dark Lord for my father's failures.

But you didn't let him sleep through the night after all. Good on you! He has to face that awful woman and her rotting teeth and her wild hair and her bony hips... erm, okay you got me there. I wasn't expecting that kind of imagery. It certainly completed the maniacal picture of Bellatrix that I never wanted to look at. I liked how you had Draco notice that even her "companions" were repulsed by her, but they were all too afraid to say anything. So I assume that Draco doesn't really know exactly what he said "yes" to, only that it's bad and he didn't have a choice in the matter. Maybe he is regretting his hasty reply and thinking that he should have taken his chances with more of his aunt's cleavage?

That sounded... strange. But I tell you, I didn't write this one. So it isn't really my fault, right? The imagery... my brain... it really left me Marked.

Author's Response: Here you go spoiling me again! You definitely need to write more so that I can return the favor!

Draco has not figured out when to quit yet, but he starts to get the hint in this chapter. The young Auror isn't kidding when he says that every member of the department would love to be the one who catches Draco doing something worthy of an expedited trip to Azkaban. Narcissa tries to set him straight, but she's struggling with a lot of internal conflict of her own in this chapter. She knows that her husband wouldn't approve of what she's doing, but she can't just sit on her hands. The problem is that she's in wayyy over her head, something she'll soon discover.

Since Draco was frightened and probably not 100% awake, I decided to try to make his perceptions of Bellatrix somewhat exaggerated and very physical in nature. And he gets a very close, personal experience. The scariest thing about her, I think, is that she really believes that she's being a good aunt to him. She's just too twisted to have much of an idea what that really means. All of her rambling about what an honor it is to be selected to serve Voldemort is, of course, completely sincere.

Sorry if I've left any indelible marks on your brain. We really have to stop these puns. Thanks so much for reading and reviewing!

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Review #38, by teh tarik It All Comes Crashing Down

27th December 2012:
Hello there :) I'm here from the Holiday Review Swap thread.

This is an incredibly intense opening chapter. I really appreciate the level of detail you've gone into to depict Draco's state of mind, his attitude and beliefs and expectations. It's the little things - the tiny details of Draco's body language and thoughts - that really enhance his characterisation e.g. the way he runs a finger along the expensive parchment, or how he goes over to Daphne to point something out making sure people are watching him...As a character he is incredibly self-aware and is rather too comfortable with being the centre of attention. And I really enjoyed the snarky sardonic thoughts embedded within the narrative. His speech does feel rather formal, compared to, say, Pansy's, but I guess it would reflect nicely on the "purity" and prestige of his upbringing and blood lineage.

The scene with Pansy was also well-written, with so much convincing detail. The exchanges of dialogue between the two felt really natural; they were short and sharp and witty and I really enjoyed those brief instances of speech. It was indeed a rather long scene in the dorm, and the narrative became increasingly drawn out and somewhat laboured, with Draco having so many stray thoughts about other things. I think the slowing down of story pacing worked rather well to reflect the increasing intoxication of the characters (or at least, Pansy), and how actions and thoughts become rather languid and slower under the effects of alcohol.

That last segment of the chapter really caught me by surprise because of the abrupt change in mood and the sudden increase in the story pace. It was an excellent contrast to the previous scene with Draco's expectations brought crashing down. And my goodness, your portrayal of Snape is just fantastic :D Every word he says and movement he makes is utterly realistic and pretty much spot-on with the Snape of the books. And the way he casually erases Crabbe and Goyle's memories! That was simply brilliant. Again, so much attention to detail, and so much insight and depth in your characterisation.

Well, I really enjoyed reading this! A superb chapter, incredibly engaging and fraught with tension. I shall be reading more soon :D


Author's Response: Hi, there!

So I felt like I needed to go into some detail if I was going to make readers realize that Draco in this story isn't one of the two prevailing "flavors" of Draco Malfoy that you find in fan fiction: Misunderstood Emo Puppy Dog Draco or Malevolent Teenage Arch-Villain Draco. I've never understood where either of those characterizations come from, because neither one is supported in the slightest by the books.

I'm glad you liked the scene with Pansy. I've had a few reviews from readers who found it to be too racy or too demeaning but I think you're the first reader who thought it was too long. At any rate, you caught the key point. Draco is in the throes of this very passionate encounter with his nominal girlfriend yet he can't keep his thoughts from drifting back to himself. He really is totally self-centered.

I enjoyed writing the last section with Snape **thoroughly**. It was one of the easiest things I've ever written, too. I just let my imagination run wild and the words just tumbled out of my fingertips.

I'm really glad that you enjoyed this. Thanks for the great review!

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Review #39, by The Misfit It All Comes Crashing Down

20th December 2012:
Hi! I'm apondinabluebox and I'm here for the review swap! :)

First off, I have to say that I absolutely love your characterization of Draco! You have him down perfectly- the arrogant, naive little boy that was so absorbed in his own world that he had no idea of reality; it was a perfect depiction of how our Master Malfoy saw life at that point in time! And I also liked your characterization of Pansy; she's obviously desperate to ascend the social ladder and sees Draco as her opportunity to do that. I don't read much HP-era fanfiction, but Pansy being a tart is common, and yet you've brought a whole new context and I'm not quite sure how, but you've made her unique. :D

The way that you had Draco make a show of reading the letter and getting everyone's attention "subtly" was hilarious in the sense that it showed how conceited he is (is that the right word?) to think that anyone would care about a letter to him from Malfoy Manor.

Draco's thoughts during the moments when it's just him and Pansy, though... Oh boy, he has issues. Who thinks of their mother whilst in bed with their girlfriend / mistress / plaything? Furthermore, it's kind of twisted that he actually has an internal discussion on his future bride and the merits and disadvantages of keeping Pansy as a mistress; it highlights massively how much Draco loves himself more than anyone else and how childish his brain still is.

SNAPE! SNAPE! You have a perfect Severus Snape, and I really could imagine Alan Rickman bursting into the room in my mind! XD The glare that he gave Pansy was brilliant, and the way he spoke to Draco and then departed as quickly as he arrived was so canon. Nice twist on Obliviating Crabbe and Goyle by the way, although now I'm wondering if the reason they're so stupid and gormless is because they've been Obliviated too many times...? Silly boys; they should know to stay away from private discussions / anything that might remotely annoy Snape, haha!

This is such a wonderful piece of writing that I'm having trouble finding anything to critique, so a) please excuse the gushing above and b) please forgive this nitpicking: in some places, you use a full stop where other punctuation could be better used. For example, this: "read in the society pages of the Daily Prophet. Or rather Pansy read them to him" would look better with a dash instead of a full stop. ;)

Apart from that, though, I can't find anything else wrong! I love this chapter, it's just so brilliant! You're really talented, Dan! XD

Author's Response: Hi, there! Sorry it took me so long to respond. I hate leaving people hanging...

I'm really glad you liked the way I characterized Draco. I really don't like fics set in this era that make him out to be either a little, lost, emo puppy or an arch-villain Death Eater mastermind. I don't think he was either one of those things. I honestly didn't put a huge amount of thought into Pansy, so I'm glad she came off alright. I mostly just included her as an object for Draco to ruminate on. Sounds awful, but it's true.

Draco made a big show of the letter mostly just so that people would see it and not see any message from his father. It's his idea of being sneaky.

Ha, yes, Draco does have some issues. Not least among them is the fact that he's monumentally self-absorbed. So as much as he enjoys Pansy's, uh, company, his mind does tend to wander right back to his own selfish ends.

I loved every second of writing Snape in this. It was probably one of the easiest things I've ever written. I just let my inner Alan Rickman flow and the words tumbled out of my fingertips. He Obliviated Crabbe and Goyle for a pretty good reason, I think. Since both of their fathers are Death Eaters, he's worried about any word of his involvement getting back to the Dark Lord. He knows that Bella and Cissy won't tell because they're already struggling to save face with Voldemort.

The choice of using a full stop in some places was a stylistic choice. I wanted a longer implied pause for effect.

I'm really glad you enjoyed this! Thanks for the lovely review and thanks for reading!

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Review #40, by academica It All Comes Crashing Down

20th December 2012:
Hi :) I decided to come try out another story of yours for this last holiday swap of ours. Sorry for the delay.

Wow, your characterization is great. I've always found it a challenge to write Draco and his friends, and I admire your ability to dig down to the ugliest depths of his personality in this initial chapter. I think it will make it even harder to establish sympathy for him in the chapters to come, but if you're anything like me, those are the sort of challenges that you enjoy, so I doubt it will be a problem. Pansy was also very good; she definitely reminds me of the desperate, shallow girl from the books, and I can see her remaining that way. Oh, and Snape was great; I can see him storming in, grabbing Draco by the collar, and then leaving as soon as he'd gotten out what needed to be said.

So... scenes with a lot of... erm... flesh, they make me pretty uncomfortable. I haven't really written anything too graphic since I first started. Here, though, I can see why you did it; it was necessary to establish how little Draco really thinks of Pansy and how much she lives to please him. It was a great idea for character development, although I bet it was a challenge in and of itself!

One tiny thing I noticed is that sometimes it seems like you use a period or a comma where a semi-color or dash might be more appropriate. Don't be afraid to play with other punctuation. For example, in the beginning when Draco thinks that Pansy is actually the one reading the Prophet to him--I think a dash would work really well there.

Nice work!


Author's Response: Hi, there! No problem on the timing.

I tried really hard to keep Draco as tight as possible to his characterization in the first five books for the start of this story. At this point, he hasn't had any of the traumatic experiences that will eventually turn him into the more reserved, tormented character we see in HBP and DH. At this point, he's still brash, arrogant, self-centered and really doesn't value other people much at all. It was a bit of a challenge, to be honest. I have a bad habit of slipping into "older, wiser Draco" from CoB.

Snape was enormously fun to write! I just let my imagination run wild with that part and the words just tumbled off the ends of my fingers. I looked up and it was over. ;)

I fretted quite a bit about the amount of... erm... flesh in this. I obviously didn't want the chapter to get rejected, but more than that I didn't want it to seem gratuitous, either. I'm glad it didn't come off like that. Pansy is more of a possession to Draco than a person. A toy that he's unwilling to relinquish.

The sentence structure is sort of a matter of personal preference. I like keeping my sentences shorter because I used to have a really bad tendency toward run-on sentences with lots of clauses. But I take your point.

Thanks so much! I'm glad you enjoyed it.

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Review #41, by Pixileanin Kick Me

18th December 2012:
On the eighth day of Christmas...

Oh yes, please may I kick Draco?

Pansy's steadfast attempt at indifference was so cute, with her trying to be all "I'm a proper Slytherin and you can't fault me for that, right?", though Draco's craving for pleasant company might have needed a slightly bigger buildup to be more convincing. It was hard to tell whether he really needed the company, or he just wanted to know whether there was still someone on his side. Or maybe it was a combination of both, plus the fact that the one person he least expected had turned on him as well, but his desperation seemed overplayed. I loved that Ginny was still able to torment him in her own special way.

Draco really tried to carry on as usual, but even his attempts to take his anger out on Harry were thwarted. I can't think of a more fitting ride back to the station than in the luggage compartment, covered in slime and boils and all manners of whatnot.

Narcissa has a lot to handle with that boy. It was a small miracle that she talked sense into him so quickly. I guess by now he has learned to recognize his mother's "don't mess with me" tone of voice. He really hasn't been paying attention to much beyond the end of his nose, has he?

When it finally dawned on Draco exactly why the Aurors had shown up to escort him and his mother away, I'm sure he couldn't have been any more shocked or dismayed. I really like what you did with Tonks here. You gave her a real, clear voice that spoke with the attitude that I expected, and you gave her some fantastic lines to slap Draco in the face with. That was just awesome!

*smack* Take that, Malfoy! Be ashamed. Be very ashamed

Author's Response: Please feel free to kick Draco at your leisure. Everyone else is doing it. ;)

Hmmnn... I just re-read this for the first time in weeks and you actually have a very good point about Draco's craving for company. I really should have built that up a lot more. I remember writing this chapter -- I hate second chapters -- and all I wanted was to get to the "cool part" with Moody and Tonks. I definitely short-changed the beginning.

This was Narcissa's first appearance and you'll see a lot more of her. She does have that "don't mess with me" tone at her disposal, and there's also that aristocratic imperative not to air family grievances in front of strangers. At any rate, she gets control of him quickly enough.

I really, really enjoyed writing Tonks in this. She's such an under-developed character in the books. It's easy to forget that she and Draco are first cousins. The only person who really ever brings it up is Voldemort. So I thought it was totally appropriate that she would take a perverse joy in being able to mock and intimidate her "proper" cousin.

I'm so glad you enjoyed this. The end, especially, was a lot of fun to write. Thanks for reading and reviewing!

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Review #42, by Pixileanin It All Comes Crashing Down

18th December 2012:
On the seventh day if Christmas...

Yes, I'm still pretending it will all work out in the end.

Here we go again, with you taking on one of JKR's characters and giving them depth and breadth beyond anything I've ever seen before. It was the epic goodness of CoB, and you managed to do it here too.

I don't like Draco Malfoy. I don't like thinking about him or his seemingly self-important problems or his self-absorbent attitude or his self-perpetuating problems. But you obviously did think about all of these things and you have succeeded masterfully in giving us a Draco Malfoy that you can be proud of. How do I know this? Because I cringed in the first paragraph when he mused about "women" and "social status". I squinted in the second paragraph when he decided that he was owed some "credit for whatever Umbridge discovered". And I clapped with glee in the third paragraph as he "kept running until the bats finally disappeared".

Have I mention that I don't like Draco Malfoy? Oh, yes. Maybe I have. But the way he went about making a show of that letter and then revealing that it held hidden messages from his father really caught my interest. And on top of all of that, you actually made me feel a bit sorry for Pansy. Oh my gosh, what did you do to that girl?? Not that she wouldn't have done what she did anyway, it's just, well, difficult to watch someone throw all of their gold into the wrong vault and not want to intervene on their behalf somehow.

Once again, I applaud your Snape. He's so devilishly Snapey.

"And Mr. Malfoy," Snape added menacingly, "if I ever find that little trollop of yours inside this room again, I promise that you will come to know a new definition of the word regret."

Yeah. Goodness. And light. The light from the dawn of a new reality. After paving Draco's shiny, twisted path with good intentions, you've led him to the top of the mountain and there's only one way to go. I think I'm going to enjoy Draco's descent into oblivion.

Author's Response: Hello, there! It's working just fine for me. :)

There isn't really much to like about Draco in this chapter. He's exactly what you describe. He's arrogant, spoiled, prejudiced, misogynistic, self-important, greedy, rude and he doesn't really care about anyone aside from himself.

Now as far as Pansy goes, I wouldn't start feeling too badly for her just yet. She has her reasons for being Draco's adoring little plaything. Wait until the next chapter is done and let's see whether you still feel the same.

I loved every second of writing Snape in this chapter. And it was one of the easiest things I've written in a long, long time. I just imagined Alan Rickman storming into that room and the words just tumbled out of my fingers.

Draco's world has changed dramatically. He doesn't even know how much yet. But he soon will. Muahahahaaa! Thanks for reading and reviewing!

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Review #43, by Beeezie It All Comes Crashing Down

15th December 2012:
Hey, I'm here for our swap! Sorry it's taken me some time - end of semester crush. :( But on the bright side, I'm done!

I wasn't sure whether I wanted to continue with CoB (which I haven't finished yet - I need to put it on my ereader or something and polish it off on my way to and from school/work) or start with Marked, but in the end, curiosity about Draco's character and how you'd choose to portray him won out.

Thus far, at least, I think you managed to capture his voice perfectly. There's just the right amount of privileged derision - e.g., planning to speak to his father about making sure that he gets credit for whatever Umbridge found, or telling Tracey Davis to write Pansy's essay for her, or deciding that he'd just keep Pansy as a mistress because the wife his parents chose for him wouldn't be as fun.

There's also a slightly slimy "nothing can touch me" vibe that's perfect for Draco as we knew him in the books. He reads about his father infiltrating the Ministry, and it doesn't even occur to him to worry. He just assumes that there will be a reason to celebrate. In some ways, it almost feels childlike and innocent - nobody who's actually experienced life expects it to turn out okay all the time.

It's a bit of a stark contrast to Harry, who throughout all the books often seemed to jump to the worst case scenario. I think that Draco as you've portrayed him here - which does seem very consistent with the books - is probably more naive than Harry was in the first book, which makes his comments about Hermione's blood status or his father's possible mistresses come off almost a bit silly to me, because I don't think that he really properly understands what a lot of it means.

One of the things that struck me the most, honestly, was the way Draco made sure to talk to Daphne about the letter. It's so self-important - "obviously everyone's paying attention to me and cares" and unnecessarily sneaky. He just thought he was being clever.

Which, as I said, is perfect. That was always how Draco came across to me in the books, too, and I think you've done a great job with him so far here. :) (Sorry for the lack of CC - I tried, but there's nothing in here that I really wanted to critique!)

Author's Response: Hey, there!

First off, apologies for the embarrassing lateness of this response. Busy, busy, busy...

I'm glad you liked Draco's characterization and thought processes. I went back and tried to brush up on the way he's written in GoF and OotP, which turns out to be challenging because he has a lot less dialog in those books than you'd think. But the overarching themes were definitely his arrogance, sense of entitlement and self-importance. He believes very firmly that his family's influence and money will protect them from any sort of repercussions, no matter what kind of nasty business his father gets into. All of that is about to change in a major way, though.

At this point in his life, Draco is still definitely the Anti-Harry. That will change to an extent over the next two years, and I wanted to capture the beginnings of that process.

I'm glad you enjoyed the story! Thanks for reading and reviewing!

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Review #44, by UnluckyStar57 It All Comes Crashing Down

12th December 2012:
Hi! I've come again to one of your stories, but this time, it's for the Holiday Review Swap. :)

This beginning is very intriguing. I love having Draco's perspective; it was something that I never even considered, actually. He seemed so invincible, and as his world crumbled, the chapter ended. Boo. I'll just have to read more, I guess!!

A comment about the Memory charm on Crabbe and Goyle... As if they weren't already brainless enough, teeheet!! I enjoyed the description of their "blank eyes," especially since their eyes are probably usually blank to begin with. :)

Excellent beginning!! If I have time later on, I'll pop over and read the rest!

Merry Christmas!


Author's Response: Hola!

I tried very, very hard not to fall into either of the cliched fan fiction portrayals of Draco: misunderstood, emotionally fragile puppy dog or fiendish arch villain. I don't think he was ever either of these things. He's just an arrogant, spoiled rich kid who's about to get a brutal education in the realities of life.

Maybe Crabbe and Goyle's problem is that they got hit with too many memory charms? Who knows what sorts of evil things they oversaw in their years living with Death Eater parents and in the dungeons of Hogwarts? Maybe they've just been made to forget it all. ;)

I'm glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for reading and reviewing and Happy Holidays!

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Review #45, by Athene Goodstrength It All Comes Crashing Down

7th December 2012:
Ho ho ho! Itís a merry Christmas elf returning her half of the swap! You know, I read this chapter ages ago and planned to read the whole thing, as I loved it... but in this first chapter there were too many similarities to what Iíve written and have planned for ĎWhen You Goí, so I didnít want to confuse myself. But Iíve decided that ĎMarkedí seems just too good to resist!

I found it quite refreshing to see a Hogwarts era fic where Draco is actually a pretty nasty piece of work, and furthermore is not just gratuitously nasty. I feel that youíve got into his over-indulged, entitled head very well! And yes, heís a bit of a sexual being here (I mean, heís a teenage boy, so...) but it doesnít come across as a clichť or gratuitous, which is also very refreshing and enjoyable to read. The way he was actually quite detached whilst watching Pansy undress was both disturbing and brilliant; does the kid have issues, or is he really intelligent and unable to stop analysing? And then thereís that line about her being able to handle her drink, and her struggling to undress as he just watches and Iím not sure again! Young master Malfoy is pretty messed up, for all he thinks heís the catís whiskers!

To me, the fact that heís really pretty nasty comes across in what I perceived to be his nascent misogyny. Well, maybe itís not exactly nascent, as heís pretty definite in his ways of thinking about women. The word Ďslagí, his thoughts on marriage, his plans for Pansy and the way he tells her what to do with barely a second thought, and even in the way he dismisses his motherís letter so completely... it all adds up to a young man who has very little use for women other than the pleasure, comfort or security they can give him. That said, I found the line about Narcissa and Luciusís kisses really interesting; it implies that sheís actually the one in control of the relationship, and maybe Dracoís fixation with a girl who *will* smudge her lipstick for him is a bit of masculine one-upmanship on his father. Or... maybe Iím overanalysing Draco. Heh. I actually really loved the Narcissa/Pansy comparison. Thatís exactly the sort of disturbing thought a young mind might need to push away, mid-passion, haha!

The flow of this chapter was excellent, as you introduce us to a character that we already think we know gradually and subtly. As the chapter continues, you reveal more and more of Dracoís character (and body!), and itís intriguing to follow. At first, heís just this louche, arrogant, bored kid. Then he thinks about the incident in Umbridgeís office, and you place us squarely in a place and time we recognise, and also remind us that this kid is involved in some pretty nasty stuff at school. And then! He reveals the secret side of the letter, and we see that heís involved in some *grown up* nasty business (also, I love Luciusís relationship with his son - it really is no wonder that Draco has turned out the way he is). Then when he takes Pansy to his dorm, itís clear that all the strutting and smirking isnít just for the benefit of Ron and Harry - he really does think heís king of the hill, and he allows others to believe it too. I feel sorry for Crabbe and Goyle.

Considering all of the above, I vindictively relished the moment when the adult world - a world of vulnerability and consequences - intrudes on his bubble of self-satisfaction and high expectations in the form of Severus Snape. Ah, Snape. Dan, you did *such*a great job with him. Itís like you conjured J.K. Rowlingís Snape; Alan Rickman burst into my head and scared the hooha out of Pansy. Iím looking forward to seeing more of him.

There were a few moments of overt humour in this that I really enjoyed, particularly Draco sharing my surprise at a love interest for Millicent Bulstrode, and a reference to Ginnyís ability with a Bat Bogey Hex.

I noticed one typo - ď he changed girlfriends more often thenĒ - 'then' should be Ďthaní, I believe.

I really enjoyed losing myself in this first chapter, and I can only apologise for my somewhat incoherent review. Itís been a long day! But Iím absolutely looking forward to reading on in the near future. Happy Hoggy Warty Holidays!

Author's Response: Hello, dear! Sorry it's taken me so long to respond. For at least the duration of this event, I'm trying hard to focus on being prolific reviewer more than punctual responder. It feels weird and unnatural. :-/

When I was first thinking about how I wanted this story to work, starting Draco off very tight to his characterization in the first five books was high on the list of Very Important Things. I really don't like fics that turn him into either a misunderstood, emo puppy or some sort of adolescent arch-villain. He's neither of these things. He's just an arrogant, mean-spirited, selfish and somewhat delusional teenage boy. One who has no idea what sort of terrible things await him beyond the sphere of privilege he's enjoyed for his entire life.

I really like your analysis of Draco. Like you said, he has all sorts of issues going on. I think of him as one of these boys who's very misogynistic *except* where his mother is concerned. He places her on a pedestal, as you'll see later in the story. In his own mind, he's already decided that he deserves both: a proper pureblood lady like his mother who will look beautiful and dignified at social events and bear his children and a "fun" girl on the side like Pansy, who will smear her lipstick wherever he wants her to. Like you said, he's a piece of work.

Your breakdown of Draco's progression through the chapter makes me smile. It's more or less exactly the way I was thinking of things, although I believe you thought it through in more detail. ;) I tried hard not to feel badly for Crabbe and Goyle when I wrote that, but yeah, I do feel a little badly for them.

I loved every moment of writing Snape's part of this chapter. Honestly, it was one of the easiest things I've ever written. I tuned my brain into the Alan Rickman channel from watching the movies and the words just tumbled out in bunches. Unfortunately, you won't really see any more of Snape in this. He makes one more brief appearance, but it's really of no consequence.

Thanks for pointing out that typo. I'll be happy to patch that up, because I haven't edited anything up update the read count in a while.

I'm really glad that you enjoyed this. Thanks so much for such a detailed, positive review, and Happy Holidays!

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Review #46, by Toujours Padfoot It All Comes Crashing Down

5th December 2012:
The first thing that springs to my mind while trying to formulate a review here is how in awe I am of Draco's characterization. I was really pulled in to the story from the start, with him throwing around little deflections before reading the letter with a hidden message. He absolutely seeped arrogance, which I love, because we didn't get to see what his life was like in the books before Lucius fell from grace. He is at an ultimate high right now, pretty much considering himself a king, and that means that when he falls he will fall even farther. He was deliciously horrible. You didn't shy away from that at all, which I like - I'm so used to seeing Draco as this sensitive, misunderstood puppy in fanfiction that it's fantastic to see him in all of his pompous, bigoted glory. His euphoria at the thought of getting rid of Harry Potter once and for all, and for Ron and Hermione to get what was coming to them, was really telling.

I gleaned a lot about Draco's character from the fact that he was thinking about his future, and his mother and father and potential mistresses, while Pansy was right there on top of him. And if a hormonal teenage boy is capable of thinking about his mother while he's about to indulge in some adult behavior, shows me just how strongly and irrevocably his family's thoughts are ingrained in his own. He knows who directs his life, and it's not him. He seems almost all right with that, as long as he gets a few worldly things. It displays his immaturity exceedingly well. All he wants is to be popular, to be revered and adored and even to be feared. And little does he know that life as he knows it is about to crash all around him.

Come tomorrow, I don't know if Pansy will even want to associate with him. Her family will now be seen in a higher estimation than his; and it won't be a matter of Draco having her as a mistress. It's a matter of no one wanting to be affiliated with a Malfoy at all. He'd be lucky to get a Parkinson in his current state, I'd say. For the moment Pansy is enamored, but that could change when the truth is out and her parents discover that Lucius is rotting in Azkaban. It's fascinating to see into his mind at this stage, how he thinks everything's going to be, when we as the readers know differently. I almost felt sorry for the little ferret.

Really excellent chapter! Your writing is wonderful, I hope you know. :)

Author's Response: Hey, there! Thanks for picking this story. I know it's a bit harder to review than the 520 word prologue of CoB, and I appreciate it.

I'm so very pleased that you liked the way I characterized Draco. I worked really hard on it. I'm trying to show how the events that follow his father's fall from grace change Draco, so it was really important I thought to start him off in a completely recognizable, believable place. Which means that he has to be a completely arrogant jerk with a silver spoon shoved up his, uh, nose. ;) I think the sense of entitlement was one of the most key things to convey about him. He **really does believe** that he's some sort of royalty, and he comes by it honestly. He's been raised to believe that being both a Malfoy and the last *legitimate* son of the House of Black makes him that way.

His thoughts about his future served two purposes, from my point of view. You're completely right about the first. He knows quite well what's expected of him, but he fully intends to do whatever he wants anyway. I also wanted to make it clear that Pansy is just a plaything to him. Even when she's totally debasing herself to make him happy, he can't even give her his completely attention.

Well, if you really want to know how Pansy reacts to Draco's change in fortunes, I just happened to cover that in chapter 2. [/puppy eyes] I'll tell you this much: keeping her as his mistress is definitely out of the question. Lots of things are about to change in Draco Malfoy's perfect little world.

I'm really glad that you enjoyed this. Thanks for reading and reviewing!

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Review #47, by adluvshp It All Comes Crashing Down

1st December 2012:

Ooh this was quite interesting! I love how you wrote Draco, it was so in character!! I think you really do get in his head. I liked your narrative, it was just perfect for the mood of the story. The descriptions were elaborate yet never got boring either! The ending was quite cool, the sudden change in the atmosphere of the scene was quite tangible through your narration. I really really liked reading this. In fact, I am moving on to the next chapter now, I quite enjoyed it!!

Great work!



Author's Response: Hi!

I tried hard to write Draco exactly the way he was acting when he was part of the Inquisitorial Squad: arrogant, spoiled, mean-spirited and completely full of himself. I just went about writing him as though I was a person who thought the whole world owed me something. That seemed like the perfect mindset.

I'm really glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for reading and reviewing!

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Review #48, by shadowycorner The Price of Living

10th November 2012:
It's funny because I didn't even realize the story was completed when I started reading these new chapters. It makes me a little sad, but it makes perfect sense, really. I don't even know where to start with this review because this last chapter was truly exquisite. I was glued to the screen and every part of this chapter was flawless. Bellatrix and Narcissa bringing up some childhood issues really chilled me, especially the 'barbaric' way of making someone remember the family trees. Now that's really cruel. The best thing, though, was how Bellatrix mentioned Andromeda. You could just feel the resentment in her words. Strangely, without any specific words, the reader can simply feel the back story. Even in regards to what Narcissa said about Andromeda's departure before, I'm thinking Bellatrix was really hurt by this, what she in her crazy brain saw as total betrayal. And then, I usually hate Bellatrix. Sure, she was fascinatingly dark and all that, but I've got over her after a while. There's only so much you can be interested in an obsessed screeching puppet. But here...I really, really liked the way she was written. She seemed real, you know? Even if she was evil, and she cackled, it made sense and she was portrayed like a real person. And I think that even though Voldy's the best for her, she still cares about her family, like Narcissa. One thing about these stupid evil Purebloods is that they are loyal to their Draco feels loyal to his father despite all the disappointment and danger he's given them. Am I making any sense?

The scene with Voldemort was very well-done. He was scary and dark. I could just imagine the swish of his robes as he waved his wand. Same goes for hearing the silky, terrifying voice of Ralph Fiennes in my head as I was reading the dialogues. Voldemort's difficult to write because it's very easy to go overboard with it, but you nailed it.

Poor Draco! He's just a kid and there he is getting branded with the dark mark. I really felt for him in that part, because even though he's a git, this is not what he should be going through. I liked how he didn't lie to Voldemort, how he didn't fake bravery or anything. Also, when Voldemort said Draco was meant to be his from the moment he was conceived...that there was the most twisted thing and it was the best line of the entire story. Seriously.

Another thing that was truly fantastic was how Draco was reciting in his mind the family tree. Really added another special layer to the whole scene.

Narcissa was wonderful in this story. It breaks my heart how she cares for Draco through it all, how she doesn't even want him become a killer! Their last moment at the end was beautiful and it really was the perfect place to finish the story. You filled this blank perfectly and I really enjoyed reading this. I'm so glad there's still Detox for me to read so I can get more Draco goodness! Amazing story.

Author's Response: Hello, again!

First off, thank you, thank you, Thank You! So many lovely reviews. It really made my weekend.

I gave a lot of thought to whether I should make this story longer. There were definitely some other events from that summer and on into the early part of Draco's sixth year that I could have explored. But there was something very appealing about bringing this to a close after he meets Voldemort for the first time and lives to tell the tale. The entire story was building toward that moment and I think anything I added would have been fairly anticlimactic.

I have to imagine that childhood in the home of Cygnus and Druella Black was not much fun. There's a reason that Bella turned out as fanatical as she did and I think it's the same reason that Andromeda ran off to marry a muggle-born. I'm really glad that all of those thoughts came through clearly. It's always very rewarding when you manage to get an idea across without having to come right out and say it. And I agree that Bella does care about her family, albeit in a very twisted sort of way. She honestly thinks that she's doing what's best for Narcissa and Draco. To me, everything you said made perfect sense, and I'm really happy you felt that way.

Wow. I am absolutely thrilled that you like the portrayal of Voldemort. He's so hard to write. It's very intimidating, trying to find the right words and gestures to make him realistic.

Draco has been in far over his head since the very beginning of this story, but I think it finally really dawns on him just how much danger he's really in. And I do believe Voldemort thinks of Draco exactly that way: he's property. He's something that Voldemort is entitled to possess simply because of who his ancestors are. I'm very glad you liked that line. I was rather proud of it. ;)

The family tree was a strange little idea that popped into my head when I was first laying out a plot outline for this story and it stuck with me the whole way through. I'm glad you liked it.

One of the neat things about writing a story is that sometimes you don't end up with exactly the story that you started out planning to write. I never meant for Narcissa to be so central to this, but that's how it turned out and I can't say that I'm unhappy about it. Her story is intertwined so tightly with the outcome of books. If Voldemort hadn't treated her family so harshly, she wouldn't have become so disenchanted with him. If she hadn't become so disenchanted with him, maybe she doesn't betray him in the forest. One of the most amazing things about JKR as a writer is how she manages to take even the minor characters and create interesting angles for them.

Again, thank you so much for all of the lovely reviews. I'm chugging away on the next chapter of Detox, so hopefully soon!

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Review #49, by shadowycorner That Which Must Be Done

10th November 2012:
I find myself caring for these characters more than ever before. I almost feel sorry for Draco and Narcissa. I mean, they just wanted to live their life and be posh as hell, annoying with their fancy walking canes and dress robes...and here they are in a life-threatening situation just because Lucius wanted to be cool and important. Draco's reminiscing to when his father was branded was perfectly done. It didn't disrupt the flow of the story but added nicely to it. Another interesting addition was uncle Augustus. I didn't even knew he existed before and it was an unexpected and interesting thing to add to Narcissa's character. It shows that she doesn't like violence, she cared deeply for this uncle who had always been caring and civil to them. Another thing that's so fascinating about the Malfoys is the way Draco thought even his father would perceive the attack on the Muggle hospital. I think even Lucius never thought Voldemort would go as far with all his plans. So I agree even Lucius, who I'm sure has killed some people, would call the attack uncivilized.

Yay, another Tonks and Moody appearance. What's really great is that you're able to really make a character shine even if they're in the scene for a few paragraphs. I may have said this before when they confronted Draco at King's Cross, but once again...Tonks and Moody were awesome. And Tonks, you give Tonks new and new layers of edge and rage and spunk. I like how she's not either a goof or a love-deprived woman who cries for Remus. She is one tough Auror and she can go a bit too far with her emotions when it comes to her family and that's simply an amazing thing to have in a story.

My one criticism is that even if it's maybe just me, but I'd omit some of the 'my darling' and 'my dear' parts. You use them an awful lot. Narcissa hardly says a sentence to Draco without using it, so does Bella and even Tonks impersonating Bellatrix. I noticed this even in Detox when Horatio kept calling Astoria his princess every other sentence. I understand it's fitting for Narcissa to spoil Draco every minute, even if she's talking to him and I'm sure she calls him my darling often, but here it's a little overused I think.

Anyway, this was my favorite chapter yet with action and lots of Draconess. I love the fact that he really wanted to run away but had to stay because of his mother. I wouldn't think him wanting to do that at this point yet, but you made it all believable for me. :)

Author's Response: Hello, again! So many wonderful reviews! I love this!!!

I was a little torn when I was writing this about how I wanted readers to feel about Draco and Narcissa. I mean, they aren't *good people* in the normal sense of the term. They're both arrogant, bigoted and selfish. At the same time, they never asked for the mess that Lucius landed them in. In the end, I simply tried to keep them as true to what I thought their canon characterizations were as possible and let the readers decide how they wanted to feel.

Uncle Augustus didn't exist before I made him up. ;) I had toyed with the notion of having Narcissa reach out to Dumbledore, only to discover that his price was too high. In my mind, Dumbledore would have offered Draco protection only if, like Snape, Narcissa had agreed to spy for the Order. And even as much as she wants to save her son, Narcissa would have been delusional to believe that she could have been an effective spy. She simply doesn't have the skills. So a relative like Uncle Augustus made sense, somebody who was sympathetic and a relative and who didn't hold with Bella's rigid ideology of blood purity and support for the Dark Lord.

I had so much fun writing the section with Tonks and Moody... you can't imagine! The idea of Tonks literally scaring the pee out of Draco was too funny to pass up. I love Tonks, and I always felt like she really got the short end of the stick in the books. I mean, here is this smart (youngest Auror in a generation), tough, brave young woman with this incredible gift, and what does she do in her appearances in the books? Make duck noses to amuse Ginny and Hermione, lose a duel to Bellatrix, get married, have a kid and die. I really wanted to make more of her.

I see your point on the way that Narcissa fawns over Draco. In my mind she was very distraught, but it still might be a bit much.

I'm really pleased that you like all the Draconess. I really enjoyed serving it up. Thanks so much!

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Review #50, by shadowycorner No Way Out

10th November 2012:
I liked Bella very much in this!! People portray Bellatrix as this mad cackling woman, which she was I guess. It just gets so exhausting reading about her always screaming and laughing. Here she resonated with energy and confidence and she didn't make my head hurt. I was almost sad to see her go. Even Narcissa was perfect. She spoke with a hidden desperation but sounded very collected for Draco's sake. It's amazing how through everything, Narcissa really only wants Draco safe, risking all her reputation and safety for him. Maybe she wasn't the best of mothers where upbringing is concerned, but she is a strong one still.

I know I keep repeating myself over and over again, but I am totally into the way you write Draco and the entire story. The language just flows and explains everything in just the needed detail. You're such a talented writer.

Author's Response: Isn't Bella awesome? I haven't had very many opportunities to write her, but I absolutely love it. I agree with you that Helena Bonham Carter's portrayal of her was both good and bad. She captured the madness very well, but I think she missed a lot of the darkness and menace.

Narcissa has pretty much figured out by this point just how much trouble and a Draco are in. That's why she's started to reach out to people on "the other side" for assistance. She knows that it's the only way she's going to save Draco from the Dark Lord's wrath. And she is willing to do anything to make that happen.

I'm so pleased that you're enjoying the story. It was really rewarding to write and for me it filled in a very interesting gap in canon. Thanks for reading and reviewing!

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