Reading Reviews for Traitorous Hearts
  
106 Reviews Found

Review #26, by MadiMalfoy A Changing Tide

20th July 2014:
Well well well, some things really did happen, didn't they!?

This was quite the chapter, I must say. It was on the long end, but it was necessary I think to have everything in there that you did. Who knew Draco Malfoy had a good heart? *scoffs* And Astoria! Ugh, have I told you how much I love her characterization?! She's so strong and determined not to go down without a fight! Because you have her almost saying Voldemort's name three times, that alone conveys just how unafraid she is of him, something which Draco supports with his statements.

And their little dynamic is so great in the middle! When Astoria has dropped all fronts and is just begging Draco, showing how desperate she really is, and she picks up on his scent, that just makes me want more! Keeping them a few inches apart and then separating them instantly because of a visitor is so frustrating! Draco being unable to comprehend why he says she's innocent foreshadows something for the future!

I'm so excited to find out what happens next!! :)
~MadiMalfoy x

Author's Response: Hey there!

Well, some things really DID, I suppose! ;)

I know it was a little long--I was worried about that--but I'm very glad that you agree that it was necessary. I couldn't find any good place to cut it that wouldn't ruin all that built up tension.

I see your scoff and I raise you a doubtful snort ;) Haha. I, too, wouldn't really trust the idea of Draco's "good heart" at this juncture. He's done a good thing, but *he* doesn't even know his reasons yet, and we can only guess. I agree that saying Draco has a good heart doesn't sound quite right. It would be premature, and would gloss over too much. I *would* say that I think he is capable of good, but has been deeply entrenched in cowardice for a long time. This, at least, was a non-cowardly act. It's growth, but the poor dear has a rather long way to go before I'll be calling him a paragon of any sort.

:D I am beaming! There is no other word to describe it. I always appreciate some Astoria love! She's like my child--my lying, mistrustful baby. Thank you so much. I am so, so happy to hear that you like her :D

Astoria is definitely brave--much braver than she realizes. And she's defiant. I think that Astoria has a little better handle than a lot of people on the fact that Voldemort is, ultimately, a person. He's a horrible, powerful person, but still ultimately a man. But also, she's a Pureblood. She knows a lot of Death Eater families and has known them all her life. For her, the Death Eaters aren't this distant, malevolent force, nor is Voldemort. As she says, she would be terrified if she actually had to face him. But, as Draco points out, she still wouldn't just curl up into a heap and wait to die. And, being that kind of person, I don't think she'd put much stock in the whole avoiding-the-name taboo. She wouldn't find it sensible.

Heehee! Thank you. I am SO glad that you liked it. That part took a lot of tweaking, but I was happy with the way it turned out.

Muahahahaha. Sorry. But never fear, there *will* certainly be something in the future. All sorts of character growth and plot twists and--possibly--romance, ahead ;)

Thank you so, so much for the review! I really appreciate your thoughts, and I'll be sure to re-request when I see an opening!

--Penny


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Review #27, by Lululuna A Family Affair

12th July 2014:
Finally all caught up! :)

Haha, aw, I love how sweet Astoria is with the house elves, from helping them find clothes to leaving messes for them to clean up out of pity. It's sweet and also fits her personality in how she's quite resourceful and notices the little details, even if it's as simple as keeping the elves happy.

So I actually loved hearing Felix's thoughts on Muggles! It was really an interesting interpretation of an educated (though slightly mad and undisciplined) opinion on Muggles and literature, and as weird as it was the cat analogy did make sense to me. I also love the mentions of a wizard sponsoring a production of AMND because it's my favourite play and this fits so well with all the fantastic elements in the play. I love seeing how wizards could impact history with those little anecdotes.

I'm glad Astoria found a way to keep the books. It almost seems worth it despite the danger if they give her dad some comfort.

Ah, poor Draco - I liked seeing the impact of Harry's escape on him and how it changed the way he would think about his duty. I wonder if Astoria had an impact on Draco which explains why he showed some hesitancy to convict Harry despite disliking him, and so Astoria's influence fits quite well with canon here.

I can't wait to see what happens next!! :) I love this story!! ♥

House Cup 2014 Review

Author's Response: Astoria is sweet to the Elves, and it's one of the things I really like about her. The whole House Elf issue always reminded me of the American South. Like, I've never seen/read THE HELP, but I think it talked about this? Like, how you had African American women who worked in the house and raised white children, whose mothers were usually played a much smaller part in their upbringing. And the white children, as they grew up, had three responses to that, more or less: (1) they grew up, put it out of their minds, and continued to be racist (2) loved their nanny but were racist against all OTHER African Americans, or (3) they cared about the woman that raised them and thus actually grew to see an entire race of people differently.

I mean, that's an oversimplification, probably, but that's the idea. And I always thought House Elves would be the same way. You'd have people who treated them like dirt, or people who only cared about the ones that they knew, or people who cared about all of them because they had grown up in an Elf's care. Astoria falls toward that third approach, probably now more than ever, as Filly is pretty much the only dependable person in her life at present.

I'm so glad you liked hearing Felix's thoughts! Oh, the cat analogy! Writing Felix is really fun when he's *there*. Your description of him--educated, mad, and undisciplined--makes me SO happy, because that is just what I was going for. And I'm glad that you liked the Shakespeare references. I feel like Shakespeare + wizardry would be such an amazing theatrical experience, and also kind of disastrous. : )

Draco and Astoria both have sort of compromised their personalities lately. Astoria is so pragmatic, usually she'd have had those books destroyed. However, her desire to keep her family together outweighs her natural inclinations.

As far as Draco goes, I always felt like he was such a human character. I wondered, at the end of the 7th book, why the change? Like, he saves Harry's life, and then chapters later he's in the Room of Requirement hunting him down. Why?! What happened to that positive character development? To me, that meant that whatever happened to him as a result of showing mercy must have been pretty awful.

And I'm also delighted that you think it fits well with canon! I had hoped so. I saw it as a gradual ramping up of Draco's better instincts: he doesn't kill Dumbledore, but he doesn't *commit* to not killing him. To go straight from there to lying about Harry is a pretty big jump. I mean, he hates Harry, and Harry hates him. Neither of them has ever done each other a single good turn, and DRACO of all people is the first to break that tradition. Draco has everything to gain from Harry being caught--the war ends (or is more likely to fizzle out), he gets mega props, his family moves firmly to the Dark Lord's good side, which would mean their safety. But he doesn't choose that. In my version, I think his saving Astoria had a lot to do with his helping Harry. For a while there, he sort of built some merciful momentum. Obviously it doesn't last through to that scene in the Room of Requirement, but at least that side is there.

Thank you so much for all the reviews! My smile when I saw them was so huge--like, it covered half my face. :D

--Penny


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Review #28, by Lululuna A Changing Tide

11th July 2014:
Back again! :)

Ahh, Draco defended Astoria! I'm so proud of him haha although granted for their future relationship it would be a bit difficult if she had been killed by Greyback. The moments where she thought she was going to die were so terrifying but excellently written of course, and I liked the little details like how she was thinking about her nails of all things. In a way I almost thought Draco was too slow and should have spoken up before Greyback was practically seconds away from sinking his teeth into her but at least he did in the end. I'm pretty sure that he won't see any real repercussions about it since he's still alive at the time of the battle of Hogwarts but I'm a little worried for both of them now.

Thinking about Astoria's poor father being killed and tortured was so sad and came across well. I certainly felt empathy for him and Daphne through Astoria's fears about them even in the face of her own possible death.

I really hope that Draco is helping Astoria because he legitimately wants to be a good person and not just because he thinks she's a babe, however. I think the attraction is definitely there but should take a back seat to helping her for the sake of doing the kind thing. It almost reminds me of Snape and Lily in a way even though Astoria and Draco are very different both morally and with where they stand.

Can't wait to keep reading! ♥

House Cup 2014 Review

Author's Response: Yay, Draco! Someone give that boy some positive feedback!

My lips are sealed in regards to their future relationship, but I will say that the story would have been much shorter if Greyback had made Astoria into an appetizer.

Thank you so much! As far as the nails go, when you're panicked, your brain sometimes kicks into overdrive. For me, at least, that means I'm frantically noticing all sorts of things and my mind will go down odd little rabbit holes and then I'll be yelling at myself like HELLO, EMERGENCY HERE! IT DOES NOT CURRENTLY MATTER THAT THIS CLOUD IS INTERESTINGLY SHAPED! I guess it's some sort of flight or fight, heightened observation thing, but it always amuses me (after the fact).

Draco *was* rather slow about it, wasn't he? Do you think that's a timing thing I should fix, or just something you wanted to yell at him over?

I think worrying for both of them is an appropriate response. We know he's still ALIVE at the Battle of Hogwarts...but "alive" and "alright" are two very different concepts.

I'm glad that came across. Astoria's loyalty to her family is a huge driving factor of her character. It's certainly one of her better qualities.

I don't think Draco *knows* why he helped Astoria. Although I'm really loving the image of Draco calling her a babe, and what Astoria's response to THAT would be--bahaha. He certainly is attracted to her, and I think that's sort of what he focuses on, because it's easier. If he can bundle all the layers of what he's thinking safely into the, "She was just really attractive" box, then he just gets to call it a lapse of judgement than any hormonal teenager might have. He doesn't like losing control or being convinced to do anything he hadn't expected to, so he'd like to lean on the simplest explanation possible. However, being convinced to do something crazy just because he thought someone was hot would be rather out of character for such a controlled person. I think it is safe to say that there's a more to it than that. Even as he does imply, for instance, that he find her eyes very pretty, he also talks about her strength of will.

Draco is not generally impulsive, and he isn't one to just let things go. I think we'll get to hear more of his thoughts on the subject ;)

Thanks again for the reviews! I appreciate hearing your thoughts SO much!

--Penny


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Review #29, by Lululuna The Stolen Truth

11th July 2014:
Hi again Penny! :)

Gah, it was so chilling to find out that Draco's intentions with the interview, or purpose, are to lead to the execution of Astoria and her family. I liked seeing that he was at least a little bothered by this and not entirely caught up in "the game" as it's quite horrific. I'm really worried about her now as somehow my mind never went that far into the future for her fate but especially with the ending it looks like he's close to figuring everything out.

I'm still so curious to learn more about her family and finding out more details about her father, the sort of man he is and was and the suspicions raised about him was really fascinating.

Ahaha, so I know it's a serious conversation but I was quite amused by the bit of dangerous banter, like when Astoria was talking about the Weasleys' lawn. :P So witty, and Draco's sassy insult towards their house made me laugh though he's quite obnoxious.

By the way, I also really like how the Greengrasses have eastern/asian heritage! I'd love to learn more about that as well and how their culture might impact their identity as wizards. Very interesting to see diverse characters within the story. :)

Another great chapter - I can't wait to see what happens next with the Legilimency and beyond the parlour. :P

House Cup 2014 Review

Author's Response: OOoh! Chilling! I like it!

...that might not be a healthy response. Oh well :D

Draco would like to be caught up in "the game". I think that Astoria's cleverness allows him to enjoy it as an academic exercise--ferreting out her secrets (no pun intended) is sort of a chess match. He can think less about how horrible it all is, up until the very end when he's being forced to face the consequences, and it begins to trouble him even earlier. Astoria is obviously a case he hasn't run into before. He's used to dealing with "innocent" people who are self-serving and horrid and, while innocent of the crimes he's accusing them of, they more or less deserved what was coming to them. That's most of what he's been dealing with, and judging by his current levels of self-loathing, it bothers him a lot. So Astoria, who is *actually* guilty, but for whom he has some respect, sort of changes things for him.

Astoria's family are an interesting bunch, for sure. Her mom's a spy and her dad was associated with the Unspeakables/Department of Mysteries. She definitely has secret-keeping in her blood.

Haha, I cannot tell you how happy I am that you liked that part! I was hoping to break things up with a little snatch of humor. It's one of those things where, looking back on it, you get to see how well they match up to one another, and you can imagine a lot of future conversation between them that would be quite fun. You know, if Draco could ease up on the evil and Astoria could, like, not die. Both important stipulations in moving forward with any relationship ; )

And I am ELATED that you like the Greengrasses heritage. As you know by now, of course, since I'm answering these in reverse order, they are actually Chinese. Yay diversity!

And I'd like to go ahead and apologize about the Legilimancy. And the parlour. And the werewolf. Writing is so weird. You write these characters, and then you make bad things happen to them. It's like having children, and you love them, but instead of, like, working to give them stability and comfort, you throw rocks at them and put snakes in their shoes. Something is wrong about that, right?

I probably sound crazy again. Meh, oh well ; )

Thank you again for your thoughts and opinions!!!

--Penny


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Review #30, by Lululuna The Malediction Perfidious

11th July 2014:
Hi Penny! :) So glad to have the chance to come back and review bomb you! :D I really missed this story!

I liked seeing things from Draco's POV and how materialistic he is with judging Astoria's home against his own. It's very in character with Draco from canon since he was obsessed with what he had that others didn't but now this is a more subdued reaction where he measures possessions in terms of all he has lost. I thought the breaking china set was an amazing metaphor for Draco's loss of identity and his life under the Dark Lord.

The Curse that Lavinia cast on her daughter is so horrific, yet so brilliant on your part. It fits so well and adds this whole, bewildering, horrifying dynamic to their mother-daughter relationship and the secrets which made them emotionally close. The idea that Lavinia didn't trust her daughter or wanted to punish her in the rare case that she would tell the secret...well, it really changes the way Astoria can look back on her, and I wonder if it will change her character in the future as well. The corruption of Astoria's memories of her mother being motherly were so heartbreaking too with how Lavinia was just cuddling and hugging her partly to cast the Curse.

I absolutely loved the last two lines and the alliance forming between Ginny and Astoria. Of course they can't quite be friends yet but I like the partnership between them and how much they have in common and can read one another - it's really interesting to see develop.

Great chapter, darling! :)

House Cup 2014 Review

Author's Response: Hello you, too, hon! Thank you so, so much! I cannot tell you how excited I was to see your reviews today.

Oh, Draco, you have so much potential...but you're such a jerk, like, 95% of the time. I think it was Elphaba&Boyfriend who actually gave me the suggestion of having him judge her house/possessions, because I was initially having a little trouble breaking into his POV. After that, it flowed pretty naturally. It's like a recipe--just add bitter materialism! And thank you! The china was one of my favorite details, so am really glad you enjoyed it. You're totally right--his response to Astoria's possessions is much more subdued. He once would have been looking so that he could lord it over her, how much better Malfoy Manor was. Now he's just looking because he's used to noticing these things, even though it makes him unhappy. He certainly doesn't gain any joy out of it.

Thank you. The curse is definitely horrific. I think it's safe to say that Astoria's family is totally screwed up, and the fact that she doesn't really know WHY Lavinia did it, that she can't confront her because she's dead, makes it all the worse. It truly changes everything. But it *was* important. Before, she told her secret to the Order of the Phoenix to *avenge* her mother. Now, anything she does won't be for her mother, but for herself.

And ugh! I know! It is awful, even for me, the way it changes that memory of her mother! I'm so sorry! I mean, I'm glad I did it, but I'm sorry!

However, perhaps there will be more to that side of the story...

Ginny and Astoria's dealings with each other are some of my favorite bits. They each give as good as they get, and it's a very different vibe from when Astoria spars with Draco. Lighter. Besides, she could definitely use some alliances, and personally, their willingness to ply me with chocolates is what I look for most in an ally. It only makes sense.

Thank you so, so, so, so much for all the reviews! You are the best :D

--Penny


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Review #31, by MadiMalfoy The Stolen Truth

23rd May 2014:
Hi again! :)

Well, wasn't this chapter just exciting?! Draco finally cracked Astoria and now her secret is out in the open...dun dun dun! Anywho, a great chapter!

I really enjoyed how developed you made Draco's dig into Astoria's psyche--if it had happened very quickly it wouldn't have fit very well with the pace of the story so far, so good job on keeping it until the end of the chapter! Slowly revealing all of the chinks and cracks in Astoria's armor was a brilliant idea and gives us even more background information on her!

Essentially, quite the mentally fatiguing chapter that ended with discord. I love it! Re-request for the next chapter whenever you'd feel like. :)
~MadiMalfoy x

Author's Response: SO sorry for taking so long to respond! I really didn't realize how long this review had been sitting here without an answer!!

I'm SO glad that you found the chapter exciting. And thank you for your comment on the pacing. It was tricky, and I worked hard on pulling it together in a way that worked. I love the moments where I do get to peel aside Astoria's "armor", like you say. She's spent so much of the story with who she really is hidden that it excites me when I get to reveal the things that are true.

I feel like "mentally fatiguing" is an excellent way to describe this chapter. I'm sure Astoria would wholeheartedly agree. I must admit, the following chapter is probably much more *emotionally* fatiguing, but hopefully equally as exciting. My sincerest apologies for taking so long in responding. I am absolutely delighted--just sooo happy--to hear that you loved it, and I will certainly re-request when I see an opening in your review thread. Your thoughts are truly appreciated!

Thank you again,

--Penny


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Review #32, by MadiMalfoy The Malediction Perfidious

2nd May 2014:
Well hi there! It's been quite a long time, but this chapter was so huge I had to start all over again to remember what happened so I could give you a good review! :)

Anywho, wow. This was a phenomenal chapter. The characterization of Draco and Astoria and Ginny and Madame Pomfrey are spot-on and very well-developed! I liked the conversation between Madame Pomfrey and Astoria--it shows us a different side of Madame Pomfrey we've never really seen and a softer side of Astoria that she hides behind her mask of apathy. The twist with her mother casting the curse on her definitely puts a wrench in her life, doesn't it? Flawless plot device and way of putting it in. I loved the idea of her burn being in the shape of a coiled snake; it's unique and very symbolic.

The beginning scene definitely has some good (if relatively unnoticeable) foreshadowing. Draco and Astoria are becoming less relaxed with the situation as things get closer and closer to the truth. So exciting!!

Such a great chapter, I can't wait for more! Feel free to re-request at your leisure. :)
~MadiMalfoy x

Author's Response: First off, my sincere apologies, because it has taken me WAY too long to respond to this, and it is such a kind review! Finals, Maymester...excuses excuses.

Haha, this is a pretty long chapter, and I truly appreciate your going to all that effort.

Ohmygoodness, thank you! I really enjoyed writing this part. All the scenes with Draco are fun, because of the tension, but I really enjoy the bits where I get to write the real Astoria. With Draco, she's all Ice Queen--Conceal, Don't Feel, Don't Let it Show (Sorry, I had to ;) ). I love getting to reveal glimpses of what she's like "behind the mask", as you say.

And you're absolutely right about Madame Pomfrey showing a different side here. I hope it wasn't too OoC, but I figured that in the books when we see her, she's usually patching up crazy kids who've gone off and done some fool thing and are likely to be doing more fool things immediately, so she's a bit more strict and harsh. Astoria, on the other hand, has just been through something very traumatic at the hands of her own family, and I thought that might crack even a seasoned nurse a bit.

Hahaha, a definite wrench! Thank you! By the way, I think that is my favorite way that anyone has described the curse. It does change a lot of things--Astoria had a sort of hero worship for her mother, and now she has to reconsider all that. She has a strong family focus, but, as time will show, her family is pretty messed up. No shortage of issues among the Purebloods!

And it *is* close to the truth, now! Excitement is coming!

Thanks so much for this lovely review!

--Penny



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Review #33, by Verytaleteller A Changing Tide

9th April 2014:
You have got yourself a new reader. Hooked from the start.

The whole idea of the story is fascinating, with Mrs Greengrass having been a spy. I like how you gave shape to and defined all the main characters in such a short time. Also, I think you're doing a fabulous job with the conversations in this story. Not only the cutting comments your characters hash out, but also the way you describe their every uncomfortable shift in their chairs, every hint of fire in their eyes... Ah, I love it.

I share Draco's thoughts on Astoria; she's captivating, and she and the situations she finds herself in keep surprising me. There is no doubt about the outcome of this story - everyone knows Astoria and Draco will get together in he end - but that's fine, as how it will all go down is still unclear.

The old blood magic thing with the snake scar was awesome.
I now sound like a psychopath. Oh well.

Astoria associating with Ginny is something I've never read about before, and I like it. You don't make it sound improbable at all. As to my speculations what will happen next chapter... I'll keep that to me, as I'm much more interested in what you came up with, heheheh.

Merrily awaiting the next chapter ;D

Author's Response: Hello!

I am so excited to have a new reader! Welcome to the evil lair, with drama and intrigue and morally questionable protagonists!

Heehee, thank you! Lavinia's backstory is a lot of fun to work in. You haven't heard the last from her. And I really appreciate your kind words about the conversations! That's so encouraging. I always want to make sure those are just right.

The descriptions are the hardest part--I'm a fairly oblivious person, and Astoria notices EVERYTHING, so I have to think very differently to write her. So I'm really, really happy to hear that you're enjoying them.

Oh, and thank you! I'm fond of the snake scar curse, too. Which...does sound sort of weird, doesn't it? I guess we can both sound like psychopaths. Plenty of room for crazies around here!

I actually love writing Astoria's associations with Ginny, and I'm glad you're in favor. I don't know when it came to me that it was going to be part of the story, but it's always seemed right to me.

See, now I am even MORE curious as to what your speculations are. No fair!

Thanks so much for reading and reviewing! I'm merrily writing the next chapter, evil laughter and all. I hope you'll enjoy it!

--Penny


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Review #34, by monstrosity A Changing Tide

31st March 2014:
Here for the review swap!

I was initially just going to review the first chapter (me being the laziest person in the world) but I started reading and I er, how do I put this politely? I WANT MORE!

I just love the whole grey situation in the story. You have two young people, both in a world where they are supposed to become adults and face horrors so soon. Yet they are smart and are able to think for themselves and question the values they are made to conform to. Astoria is obviously a more independent and renegade person than Draco due to the death of her mother and the ideals that her mother instilled within her. Draco initially comes across as a devout follower of the Dark Lord as well as a highly talented wizard.

However, within the short span of six chapters I can se character development in both of them. Astoria becomes a bit more relaxed after Draco reads her mind. She's no longer as well maintained and rigid as before. We get to see the real Astoria in action, with her guards somewhat lowered. As for Draco, he sort of develops a spine and us readers get to know a bit more about the things he thinks about. He's scared and a tiny bit confused as to what he's doing. He also hates people treating him as a weakling because of his age and demeanor. I can only imagine what a blow not being able to kill Dumbledore must have been for him, although I doubt he could have been able to live with himself if he had carried out the task.

Moving on from your brilliant protagonists, I really like how you introduce characters really subtly. For example, Snape coming in to heal Astoria where all you had to mention was the oily black hair and I knew who you were talking about. Your writing style is brilliant, it flows wonderfully. The use of high and polished language between Draco and Astoria clearly shows how forcedly civil the conversation is. The descriptions are gorgeous, my favourite one being the one of Draco's eyes *snickers*. Comparing Astoria's to water (first the Lake then a tide and so forth) are unusual and absolutely delightful for me to picture in my head. Sigh, you are so good at this. Please tell me that you write or are planning to write professionally. The world really needs to read stuff like this.

Oh and before I forget, thank you for making Astoria not the perfect spy in the world. I mean, I've read stories where these young kids are just brilliant at spying and know exactly what to do when. They're like these super sleuth robots or something. I really liked the whole wand mess up and the fact that Astoria does get scared for her dad's life. It makes her more realistic and relatable.

I sincerely hope that the next chapter will be up soon. I'm going to favourite the story so that I don't miss any updates. Thank you so much for writing such a wonderful story for me to read and review!

Author's Response: Hey! Sorry for the long wait on this response. Honestly, I appreciated your review so much that I wanted to really respond to it properly, and I fell into the "perfect chapter" trap. You know, when you put off writing your chapter because you feel like you're too tired/other excuses to write it well? I don't know if it happens to you, but it definitely does to me. Anyway, eventually I was like, "Okay, now I'm just procrastinating. Have some coffee and answer your reviews, child!" So, I did.

I am SO excited about this review. I couldn't stop smiling :D No, literally, my face is tired from excessive grinning. First off, the fact that you ended up reading it all the way through? That's like the best thing that you could tell me. Thank you so much!

I am delighted that you like the "greyness" of the story. That's what I really wanted to write--a story where people were complicated, where you don't always know what the "right" choice is. And I definitely wanted clever protagonists who would be aware of the nuances of their situation and could critically think about the difficulties they are navigating.

Astoria definitely comes into her own in this past chapter, and I'm glad that you made a note of it. I'm excited for people to see the real Astoria, which so far we've only caught glimpses of in flashbacks. But you're exactly right. Before, she was very controlled. The fact that she could maintain her composure and lie cooly says a lot about her, but not as much as her subsequent actions will, now that she's freed from having to pretend.

And Draco DID grow a spine! A little bit! Aren't you proud? ;) I really enjoy writing him, because he's interesting. We know the things he's done, but why did he do them? There's a lot of room for interpretation and exploration there that doesn't exist when writing the main trio.

Yay! I think you are the first person to mention Snape's cameo. I love including those little easter egg details.

And thank you for liking Astoria, even though she isn't a perfect spy. I mean, I love Astoria, and I wish she could always win at everything, but you're right--it isn't realistic. She's a better spy than anyone else her age would be, but she's also human, and 16, and dealing with some very difficult challenges. Plus, I wanted to really drive home that, beneath the often-icy exterior, she truly cares for her family.

Also, thank you for the myriad compliments sprinkled throughout this review, which have left me with ALL the warm-fuzzies in the world. I feel like a bunny slipper that's just come out of the dryer. :D Thank you so much for taking time to write this, which is definitely one of the loveliest reviews I have ever received. And just more thank you's, in general. Imagine thousands of them being tossed at you like handfuls of confetti. That? That miniature party right there? Those are my thanks ;)

--Penny


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Review #35, by Didi An Unwelcome Visitor

29th March 2014:
Oooh, I just discovered this, and I have to say, I LOVE the tone, the voice. I love how they speak as if they're on Downton Abbey (but a lot more sinister) despite the fact that it is modern day; it seems so perfectly pureblood.

Astoria seems like such an interesting character, all intelligent and filled with secrets, just like her mother.

I have never read a Draco/Astoria before, but this seems like it's going to get really interesting! :)

Author's Response: Why HELLO!

I'm very glad to hear that you've discovered it! And I'm excited that you like it. I enjoy writing the tone in that sort of old, high class style. I figured that Pureblood wizards would be like that--very formal, a little bit stuck in the past. I mean, regular wizards are running around using candles and quills and carriages, so if you pride yourselves on being, for lack of a better term, the wizardy-est, then I figure you do them one better and retain outdated speech patterns. Plus, I do love that cold, sinister element that you mention.

And I'm kind of biased, but I do think it gets pretty interesting. I hope you continue to enjoy it. Thanks for reading and reviewing!

--Penny


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Review #36, by Remus The Lady of Greengrass Hall

28th March 2014:
I'm here!! :D

I really liked Lavinia's characterization. She sounds like a proper lady, but at the same time she seems to get a bit tired of being a proper lady. By the way, the name Lavinia, is that from Downton Abbey? I just always thought this was a very unique name. And wow, she met quite an end!!

Woah, hold up! So basically Levania spied because she was technically 1)bored and 2) restricted by her gender? NICE! And lastly, she got killed by another Death Eater?! What?! Who?! Will we know at the end of this?

GAH! Astoria is taking matters into her own hands. I really like this plot. It's different from any other ones that I've read. They're usually very cliche when it comes to both Draco and Astoria but your Astoria seems to be strong in her own accord. And a spy, whether she's a novice or not, a spy nonetheless. I can't imagine how she'll help bring down Voldemort.

Is this happening while Harry is away at his camping trip, right? Haha! I love to read Hogwarts stories when they take during Harry's 7th year. They're, for me, like behind the scenes while Harry was away.

Anyway! I'm adding this story to my faves! :D

--Rosie

Author's Response: Yay! Delighted to have you here. :D I just posted my review of your chapter.

That's a very accurate summation of Lavinia's character. "A proper lady who gets a bit tired of being a proper lady." I like it.

I didn't actually get the name from Downton Abbey. Is there a character named Lavinia on Downton Abbey? Everyone tells me that I should watch that show, and that I'd love it, but they've taken it off Netflix, so I'm just out of luck for now. I actually named Lavinia after a character I wrote for a theatre assignment where I had to write a scene in the style of Tennessee Williams. They weren’t really alike, as characters, but I liked the name and when I was trying to assign one to her character, that was the moniker that floated up from the depths of my mind.

Yup. There you have the majority of Lavinia's motivation. Thanks so much! Lavinia is pretty complicated. I wanted to explore a character who was a "bad guy", but you could understand her reasons for "turning to the dark side", so to speak. As far as whether or not you will learn who exactly killed her, and why...well, I am not in the habit of making assurances.

However, I will tell you that those are questions that Astoria certainly wants answered. And Astoria IS rather good at getting information when she wants it... ; )

Thanks. There is a huge smile on my face. I am so happy that you like the plot. I have tried to mix things up a little bit. Astoria is definitely strong. And as to how to give Voldemort some trouble, well, she definitely has some plans to that end.

Yes! This is happening during DH, and I'm really impressed that you caught that, because most people have had trouble nailing down the time in the first couple chapters (which is my fault, for not making it clearer. But still, you're obviously a careful reader). And you're in luck then, because, especially later in this story, you'll get a pretty extensive behind-the-scenes view.

Oh my goodness, thank you! I feel so honored! And thank you for your sweet, thoughtful review. I'm really glad you enjoyed the chapter!

--Penny


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Review #37, by FawkesFelicis A Changing Tide

26th March 2014:
I have rarely been so impressed with a single chapter. You are a artist. Your vocabulary is exquisite and your careful tension and resolution of each scene is masterful. I hope that you continue to show your incredible talent in the chapters to come! I would be honored if you would read my fic, Foreign Affairs, if you have the time and inclination. The first chapters need heavy revision, but I would love your insight on the rest of my story. No pressure though! Just really respect you as an author. You could seriously publish if you wanted to!

Author's Response: Thank you so much for this beautifully kind review. I can't tell you how much I appreciate it. And thanks :) I'd really like to publish my work someday. That's why I'm here--because I like celebrating things I enjoy, like HP, and because I really want to hone my craft. But it means a lot to me that you think I could.

As far as your story, yes, I'll try to take a look at it. It's been crunch time for me lately, academically, so I'm going to add it to my reading list and try to chip away at it when I can. I see that it's a Dramione, and I always enjoy those! However, if you notice that I've forgotten or anything (I can be silly and distracted that way) feel free to PM me.

Thank you again. And good luck with your writing!

--Penny


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Review #38, by a reader A Changing Tide

26th March 2014:
this story is really excellent, I'm really enjoying it so far, it's always refreshing to see a portrayal of astoria where she's got a brain! and draco as a human and a deatheater!
I'm a little confused on the timeline of this story though, why isn't astoria at hogwarts if it's spring of 1998?
I can't wait to read more!

Author's Response: Thank you so much!

Oh, wow. I see what you mean. I understand why you'd be confused--that's my fault. I think it only really explains the time thing in the italics in the first chapter. It *is* spring of '98, during Deathly Hallows. Astoria is home for of Easter holidays. Her interview with Draco takes place a few days before Harry and the gang get caught and taken to Malfoy Manor. But yeah, I can totally see the confusion with the timeline. My bad. Thanks for pointing it out! I'll definitely have to go in and try to clear that up.

Also, so glad that you're enjoying the story! *I* can't wait for you to read more, either. Posting a new chapter is my favorite :D Apart from getting kind reviews like this one, of course. That's lots of fun, too!

Thanks so much for taking the time to read and review!

--Penny


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Review #39, by FawkesFelicis A Dangerous Revelation

24th March 2014:
Hmm, smart move on Ginny's part to leave it hanging, smart of you as a writer! I like the format you're using, switching between time periods is hard to do!

Author's Response: Oh, thank you! Ginny's a smart cookie...er, biscuit? Do the British have their own idiom for that? I don't know. But yes. I wanted to set it up so that it's clear that, unlike many people, Ginny is someone who can go head to head with Astoria, someone who is on her level. I wanted Astoria to respect Ginny, to some extent, but Astoria's respect doesn't come free. Ginny had to earn it. She's a lot sharper than Astoria generally expects Gryffindors to be (she is a Slytherin, after all. Bit of prejudice there).

I'm glad you like the format. Switching between time periods *is* hard, but I felt it was necessary to keep all the parlor scenes from getting stuffy. I don't like to stay in the same place too long. And so long as people are still interested and not distracted, I guess it's doing its job!

Thanks so much for reading and reviewing! I appreciate your taking the time.

--Penny



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Review #40, by FawkesFelicis The Lady of Greengrass Hall

24th March 2014:
Why does she want to send a message to the Order? Revenge? She seemed undecided at first, but I guess her motives have little to do with the movement. She's a complex character!

Author's Response: Hmmm, why DOES she want to? Well, you certainly do find that out, although Astoria's motives may be much more clouded than she herself initially believes. You're right in that her motives don't have much to do with the resistance movement itself. But how involved will she become? And what will she do with the information she has? So many questions!

Astoria is definitely a complex character, and there's a lot more of that to be detangled in future chapters.

Thanks for the R&R!

--Penny


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Review #41, by FawkesFelicis An Unwelcome Visitor

24th March 2014:
Wow! Great start, I love your tone. You obviously have a command of your "voice". I will certainly continue reading!

Author's Response: Hi! I'm glad to hear that you're liking the tone, and I appreciate that. And I am DELIGHTED that you enjoyed chapter 1 enough to want to keep reading! Thank you.

--Penny


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Review #42, by ShadowRose The Stolen Truth

16th March 2014:
Hello!

Oh gosh, I think this chapter is my favourite so far. We see such a different side of Astoria - she loses her calm, cool, collected demeanour, and finally lets her emotions show. It really speaks volumes about her character in that the only time she really gets emotional is when talking about her family. When her father comes up in conversation, her reaction is so beautifully strong, and it really shows how Astoria is struggling with h er father's condition.

I still really like your portrayal of Draco, as bad of a person as he may be. Like Astoria, he's remarkably good at reading people, and knows exactly how to find Astoria's weak spot. He's a bit ruthless, but there's also a hint of something else there - a touch of sympathy maybe? Let's just hope that stays there with all that he's just found out. I really love the detail of Draco being a Legilimens, because it's something I don't think I've ever seen anyone else do before, but it certainly seems like something the Dark Lord would require of his interrogators.

What a cruel twist of fate, that the Weasleys were spied on by a twisted version of their own invention. I love that little detail that ends up incriminating Astoria, because I think there's a whole lot of irony in that.

There are little buds, mostly on Draco's side, of some sort of attraction, and I can only hope that that'll develop more as the story goes along. Regardless, thats about the only way Astoria will be saved from being reported to the Dark Lord - if Draco somehow finds his heart in all of this.

I've absolutely adored reading this story so far. You've created such an intricate storyline in only five chapters, and I can't wait to see where it goes from here!

-ShadowRose (Taylor)

(Blackout Battle review 16/20 on opposite house)

Author's Response: Hey Taylor!

Oh! I'm so excited that you enjoyed the chapter :D

I really do love the section where Astoria sort of loses it. It was fun to have a small break in the midst of all that tension. You're absolutely correct--it says a lot about Astoria that the only thing that can make her show vulnerability is her family. They are a really big driving force for her actions.

Draco's definitely ruthless--much like Astoria. But she, at least, definitely has a softer side, even if it's fairly well hidden. As for his sympathy, there does seem to be a touch of it there. Whether that actually has an effect on his actions at this point, well...I suppose the next chapter would tell that. I'm glad you liked the Legilimency detail. I figured that we knew that Draco was particularly good at Occlumency, so it made sense that he would have learned how to read minds as well. And it really would be a pretty key piece of criteria for a Death Eater interrogator.

Yep. The Extendable Ear bit was kind of cruelly ironic, huh? I guess I have a fairly dark sense of humor, because I did like that little ring of irony. It's sad. But hey, the twins really made it! Even Voldemort appreciates their craftmanship.
...Not an endorsement that you'd include in the brochure? Well, fair enough.

Buds of attraction are definitely there, particularly for Draco, as you say. But will those buds come to fruition IS the question. As far as that goes, well, a large part of that question might be answered in the new chapter, which is up now, if you're interested.

Thank you so much for reading, and for your sweet, thoughtful reviews. I really appreciate hearing what you have to say about the story, and the time you've taken to write thorough responses! Thanks again!

--Penny



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Review #43, by ShadowRose The Malediction Perfidious

16th March 2014:
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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Review #44, by ShadowRose A Dangerous Revelation

15th March 2014:
Hello, I'm back again!

Astoria's definitely got a lot to deal with - what with Draco interviewing her heavily in order to clear her whole family. That's a whole lot of pressure on her shoulders, but I feel like she'll at least be able to handle herself and come up with relatively decent answers, despite her "traitorous" behaviors.

I like how you've portrayed Ginny here - you've certainly captured her personality in that seventh book, showing how much she's hardened because of the war. She's definitely suspicious of Astoria, and she has absolutely no reason not to. But she's got a level head on her shoulders and is much more willing to listen than most people, but still thinks through the proposition before making any action, which shows that she definitely knows what she's doing. Props for Astoria for knowing who to go to.

This is another great chapter - I love learning more about Astoria and I think you're doing a wonderful job writing her!

-ShadowRose (Taylor)

(Blackout Battle review 14/20 on opposite house)

Author's Response: Thank you! I had a lot of fun writing Ginny. And that spin on her--how she's hardened by her circumstances--was something I really wanted to capture. It means a lot that you think I did!

Plus, writing those two together is just so fun!

Thank you again!

--Penny


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Review #45, by ShadowRose The Lady of Greengrass Hall

15th March 2014:
Hi, I'm back again for the next chapter!

I really love Lavinia's backstory that you have going here. She's definitely a woman that seems stuck in her situation, with the pureblood descent and expectations that she stay in the house and not get involved in the workforce, but she makes the most out of it and guarantees that she is still doing something useful, despite her position. And she proves to be very good at it, too. I'd be intrigued to know who killed her and why they wanted to do so - she certainly would have a lot of enemies, but I'd love to know exactly why.

Astoria continues to be a great character as well - she's so sneaky and doesn't show much of herself to Draco, as she should. She's great at keeping a secret and putting up a front, much like her mother did. She keeps her own interests at heart, but doesn't like to let people know what she's thinking either - she's definitely a closed book. She's such a strong character, and I really like her so far.

I really like the combination of both points of view - it really shows just how much Astoria is like her mother since they're presented side by side. I love how loyal Astoria is too, in that she's turning agains the Death Eaters because of what happened to her mother - I can't wait to see exactly how that turns out.

This was another really enjoyable chapter - great job!

-ShadowRose (Taylor)

(Blackout Battle review 13/20 on opposite house)

Author's Response: Yay! I really enjoy seeing Lavinia get some love. I'm surprised by how much people have taken to her. I'm glad that people have been able to sympathize with her, even though she was on the wrong side. Would you like to know who killed her? Hmmm...perhaps you shall. ;)

I'm also glad that you like Astoria, even though she is a "closed book". That's been one of the harder parts about writing this story--coming up with a way to make Astoria complicated and likable, despite the fact that, what with all her secret keeping, it takes a while to learn much about her.

Astoria is VERY loyal to family. It's a motivating factor for her in most of her decisions, for sure. And she is very like her mother. Lavinia groomed her for that. But it's also good to think about how she's different, as the story goes on. Astoria's spent a long time trying to live up to her mother's example. Can she find it within herself to do something different?

Thanks for the R&R and your kind words! It's very encouraging!

--Penny


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Review #46, by ShadowRose An Unwelcome Visitor

15th March 2014:
Hello Penelope! I've been meaning to check out something of yours, and this Blackout Bingo seems like the perfect opportunity for that!

I really love that you've started this story with a flashback, because it really helps set the scene and show some influences on Astoria's life before we even meet Astoria herself. Her mother seems like an interesting character, so now I'm intrigued to know what happened to her, the incident Astoria refers to throughout the chapter.

I like Astoria's character - she's very attentive to detail and manipulative when she needs to be, but she also has a softer side that she hides as well, like her conflicting opinion of the Death Eaters and her natural kindness to Filly that she has to repress in front of Draco. I really love the line "As far as she was concerned, it was green for Greengrass--that was where her loyalties lay. The rest of it could go straight to -," because it clearly shows her values, which are her family above anything else.

I also like your portrayal of Draco. You've showed how his Death Eater activities have taken a toll on him through physical description but through his dialogue he's definitely trying to maintain a semblance of coolness and cynicism known for the Death Eaters, and more specifically, the Malfoys. I'm actually really intrigued to know what he's hiding - obviously there's something big that he's trying to hide, since he had to set up this formal meeting.

I also really like your writing style - it's very detailed and shows clear thoughts on both your part and Astoria's, and the reader can really picture the scene fully. And with a plot as intriguing as this one is shaping up to be, that's definitely something I'm grateful for.

Overall, this was a really great start and I'm excited to see where you godwits this story - it already has so much potential!

-ShadowRose (Taylor)

(Blackout Battle review 12/20 for opposite house)

Author's Response: Hi Taylor! I'm really glad that you stopped by to check out Traitorous Hearts!

I'm really glad that you like the opening flashback. I was really nervous about that when I posted the chapter, because I hadn't tried anything like it before, but the past is very important to this story, so it seemed like a good place to begin.

You've really caught on to a lot of Astoria's character traits in the first chapter. Maybe more than anyone else, at least from what I've seen in reviews. Bravo! And I'm glad you like how Draco is portrayed here. If you keep reading, you'll definitely see some cracks in his plaster. Everyone's got weaknesses, and everyone has secrets.

Thank you very much! You're very kind.

I really appreciate your taking time to Read and Review. Thanks!

--Penny


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Review #47, by maraudertimes The Stolen Truth

14th March 2014:
Hi again!

Goodness gracious, what are you doing to me? I'm scared, I'm excited, I'm slightly happy. Okay, I'll start at the beginning.

Wow, I love this side of Draco. He's calm, cool, collected, but he knows how to interrogate someone. He can truly read someone through body language, not just through legilimens, which I think is a really good characteristic you've given him. It adds to the investigator personality.

The fact that he figured out that Astoria's family was a weak spot was amazing, and I wish Astoria could have figured out what he was doing, but I guess you win some, you lose some.

Astoria should have learned legilimens from her mother, definitely, but also how to keep a level head. She threw herself under the bus by reacting too strongly to questions about her family, although I did quite like how the only thing that actually got her to talk (sort of) was Draco going through her mind (not that I liked that, but it shows how resilient Astoria is).

The fact that Astoria realizes that her mother was too vain to believe that legilimens would ever save her because she believed she was too good to be caught was really cool and added so much to the story. We've never actually met her mother in the story (except for those flashback type moments), but I feel that if Draco were interrogating Mrs. Greengrass, she would be quite haughty and look down on him, thinking she was better than him.

Which is a good thing, since I can imagine your characters in different settings! Kudos to you!

Anyways, this was a great chapter and I hope you update soon because this is a truly magnificent story. Great job!
Lo:)

Gryffindor vs Slytherin Blackout Battle Round 3 Review 9/20

Author's Response: Allo!

Sigh. I, too, wish that Astoria could have caught on quicker. But she can't be entirely invulnerable, and he hit her in a place that's very hard to defend.

Draco was a bit brilliant there, wasn't he? If anything, they're well-matched opponents. Like you say, they both win some and lose some.

And I'd say Astoria keeps a level head in most cases. She *should* have known better than to react, but I think it's useful to remember that, daughter of a spy or not, she's still only 16. Not that 16 year-olds can't be brilliant and keep a cool head, because she is and she does, but there's still a part of her that's vulnerable and does have less life experience. Her family is her main weakness, which is an important thing to know.

Haha, good call on Lavinia! She'd definitely be haughty if she was in Astoria's place. She'd also probably be offended that they sent some young pup with the ink still drying on his Mark to interrogate her. Do they know who she is? No? Well that's because she's a SPY and a d*** good one, at that! So why doesn't he just enjoy a few biscuits and leave the intrigue and interrogations to the professionals, hmm?

...Now I can't stop imagining that scene, Lo ;)


I'm really glad that you enjoyed the chapter. New one should be up soon. Thanks for your thoughts--they were really fun to read!

--Penny











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Review #48, by maraudertimes The Malediction Perfidious

14th March 2014:
Hello! I have returned!

Wow, this was some kind of something. I really loved seeing what was happening through Draco's eyes. It was refreshing, but I loved how you quickly brought it back to Astoria. There's just something about her that I absolutely adore. But the fact that Draco seems to be forgetting what to pay attention to makes me a little bit hopeful about where this interrogation will lead.

The story about the scar is absolutely frightening, and I can't believe her mother would do something like that! I guess when dealing with the art of secrets, the art of cursing other isn't too far away though. But it was really sweet to see how Draco hated his mark, but Astoria never judged him, just related. I have a feeling that both of them have been through so much pain that no one else has been through, that eventually they'll have something in common.

The fact that Ginny was trafficking WWW products into Hogwarts during that time was possibly my favourite parts of this chapter. It's such a Weasley thing to do and I think you portrayed Ginny's character amazingly in that scene, where she tells Astoria that any rebellion gives people hope. Ginny's just such a lovely and amazing character and I'm so glad that your portrayal did her justice!

This is a great chapter and I'm very excited for the next. Keep updating so that I can keep reviewing (no matter how sporadic my reviews may be).

Lo:)

Gryffindor vs Slytherin Blackout Battle Round 3 Review 8/20

Author's Response: Hey Lo! Delighted to have you back!

Oh, good. I'm glad that the Draco POV was enjoyable, and was apparently not too long or too short.

Draco? Distracted? That doesn't seem very like him at all, does it? Hmm...why *could* that be... ;)

The scar bit is definitely a darker part of this story. But I did think it was necessary. It does give Astoria a connection to Draco, which I also like a lot. They both have scars, inside and out, that are kind of similar. But most importantly, it was needed for Astoria's character arc. Everything she did before now, she could attribute to her desire for revenge for her mother's death. But now that Lavinia has cursed her? She can't totally hate her mother, but she can't go out avenging her, either. Anything Astoria does now is something she does on her own, and she doesn't have revenge as a crutch to blame her better impulses on, which is crucial to her growth as a character.

But I'm glad you like that scar connection they have. I like it, too. :)

Draco and Astoria definitely have been through some similar situations. I think you're right that they'll find some things in common.

Heehee! I loved the bit about the WWW products, as well! Got to have a lighter side after all that doom and gloom, no? I love Ginny, too. I'm really happy that you thought I did her justice. I think Ginny is an awesome character. She'll be back around. She and Astoria are good foils for each other.

I definitely intend to keep updating. I'm in edits, and hopefully the new chapter will be in the queue this week! Thanks again for Reading and Reviewing!

--Penny


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Review #49, by nott theodore The Stolen Truth

13th March 2014:
Hello again!

Wow, I definitely didn't expect that either! I know that they still haven't left the parlour yet, but I'm impressed with how many twists and turns you've already managed to fit into this story without that happening. I never really know what to expect, but I'm so intrigued by the plan that you have for this story and the plot that I've seen so far!

Draco is so in character that it's amazing. You write him so well, all of his thoughts and even his mannerisms, the way that he approaches a situation and his dialogue too. I'm really impressed with that because he's someone I'd be scared to write more than a lot of other characters. The way that he interacts with Astoria is interesting, too. I liked his remembrance that she was only a girl, but to do his work he had to remind himself that she was just a year younger than him, so not really that young. There's some vulnerability there that could be exploited, I think ;)

I love Astoria in this story. She's so young but she's so determined to protect all of her family and do what she can to escape this, as well as already having done something to sabotage the Death Eaters. She's really admirable, and I felt so sorry for her as the line of questioning led to something that she couldn't have foreseen, and couldn't protect herself from! I'd have thought that her mother might have taught her Occlumency but now Draco knows her secret...

I have seen some sparks of possible attraction between the two of them, I think, especially on Draco's part in finding her attractive. I can only hope that she might be saved through a romance - the story is called Traitorous Hearts, after all!

Sian :)

Blackout Bingo review 7/20

Author's Response: Heeheehee, thank you! The plot twists in this story are so fun to write!

Oh my gosh, Sian, I'm smiling so hard! Thank you! Draco is one of my favorites to read and write, so it means a lot for you to say it's going well. It *is* intimidating to write him. I really wanted to put a spin on his character, but to have it happen in a way that seemed true to the person he was in the book. So hopefully that will ring true as he grows and changes in this story.

Astoria is admirable here, though she really wouldn't believe it of herself. She doesn't consider herself a hero or even a particularly good person. I think that, as far as she's concerned, family is Priority Number 1 (even if it is your slightly-mad father and your bratty older sister). Draco's good at finding a person's weakness. And she had prepared herself for a lot of things, but never really thought that they would suspect anyone but her. She knew how to defend her own actions, but Daphne? Felix? They aren't exactly evil masterminds. She always thought she'd be distracting them from her choices, or maybe her mother's. She never would have thought that her family could be such a potential weakness.

As far as Occlumency goes, you would think that Lavinia would teach her, wouldn't you? This goes back to the crucial difference between the two of them--Lavinia was much prouder than her daughter. Hardly anyone knew what she did. While Astoria lets herself believe, temporarily, that she can't be caught (to give herself the necessary confidence), Lavinia truly believed that. She never taught Astoria Occlumency because (A) She didn't think anyone would find out about her, and (B) Another reason that I cannot yet reveal because SPOILERS!

Muahahaha. What *will* happen next? Will there be romance? Perhaps. Will Astoria get out of this conundrum? Perhaps. What will happen after that? Hard to say.

I do hope you'll come back and find out. The next chapter is in edits and I'm hoping to have it in the queue this week! Thanks so much for reading and reviewing! It's so fun to read your theories :)

--Penny


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Review #50, by nott theodore The Malediction Perfidious

13th March 2014:
Hello again!

Ah this was another great chapter of this story. Your writing style is so lovely and so suited to the story; it seems to have relaxed in the sections when we discover what happened to Astoria in the past, but when she's in the parlour with Draco and under tense suspicion, the writing seems to shift slightly to adapt to that, as well. It's really intelligent writing and really enjoyable to read.

The scene in the parlour was written really well. I could feel the tension in the air as they talked about it - Draco clearly believes that they have enough evidence to incriminate Astoria, although I'm not sure what they'll do if they do decide she's betrayed them, but Astoria is equally confident of her own safety. She's definitely a brilliant actress, and the link between the two of them with the scars is really interesting.

I can't believe the curse that's been put on her by her own mother! That's so horrible, but I can imagine that there was a reason behind that perhaps we don't know about yet. Maybe her mother wanted to make sure that she wouldn't get caught up in anything to do with the Death Eaters, and punished her in case of it? I'm glad someone was there to save her!

I really like your characterisation of Ginny, as well. She seems in character with the books but we've seen a lot more of her here than we tend to in most stories, and she's really likable. I can imagine that maybe Astoria and Ginny will end up working together more in the future and maybe even forming some sort of friendship. I think they'd be good friends, if they weren't kind of on different sides of the war.

I'm intrigued to see what happens next, so I'm going to read on now!

Sian :)

Blackout Bingo review 6/20

Author's Response: Hello again!

I'm happy to hear that the writing style is working with the different tones. I do aim to create different environments, but I try not to stress over all the nitty-gritty style details to much (once I start, I'll never stop). So, I'm glad that it's working! That's actually tremendously good news to me! Thank you.

Draco's overconfidence hasn't totally left him, though it's much-diminished. He does have enough to convince himself that she's guilty, but would it be enough evidence to convict her? Would it matter?

Astoria is confident in her abilities. Really, she's similar to Draco in her overconfidence, however, in her case it's less because she really thinks she's untouchable. To effectively play her part, she has to convince herself (at least temporarily) that she's above it all; that they could never catch her. It's what gives her courage and allows her to stay "in character" as she puts on her act. For Astoria, failure isn't an option, so she has to avoid considering it as a possibility.

The scars are a detail that I love. It's sort of an echo of how the two of them are both similar and different. Both marks involve dark magic, and the choices of their parents, and their own decisions. They've both made choices that they'll never entirely escape--it'll always leave a mark. (Maybe a little heavy-handed with the symbolism? I don't know. I guess I just have a thing for literary figures with literal scars).

Hahaha! You're onto me, aren't you? I guess I've gone back and added crucial information often enough now for you to guess there might be more to Lavinia's curse than meets the eye. I can't say whether her reasons were good or ill, or if it was even really her that performed the curse, but it's good of you to question it!

Thank you so much! And good call--I don't think it's a spoiler to say that there will definitely be more of Ginny :)

Thanks again for reading and reviewing. I really appreciate your thoughts!

--Penny





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