Reading Reviews for Traitorous Hearts
301 Reviews Found

Review #26, by crimson quill A Trace of Home

4th April 2017:
so, I'm here again! woo.

so i thought this chapter was really a big step forward for her character. it really was embracing them as friends. it was obviously a really significant moment for her which you have really beautifully written the hug. it worked so well, it was nice to see her open up more. it's clearly developing the character for future chapters.

i really enjoyed the mods to canon with Luna's knowledge of wands has really come into play with her time as a prisoner with ollivander. it was interesting when Luna talked about wands, I'm wondering if that's something that's mentioned in canon or something you came up with it? either way i love it! I've found your portrayal of Luna to be really strong. in my mind she's a hard character to get right but i think you have a really good balance of knowledgeable but offbeat which really does suit Luna. I'm looking forward to seeing what is going to happen in the coming chapters as it's getting close to the final battle now! those will be some intense chapters, it would be nice to see some more draco soon! oh the drama! good job! xx

Author's Response: Hello hello!

Oh my gosh, the hug! Writing that gave me all the feels. My little Slytherin baby is growing up and processing emotions, learning to talk to people! It's definitely a big moment.

The wand details are canon - mostly Pottermore stuff. I just particularly fell in love with the idea that witches' and wizards' wands really say something about them. Astoria's wand reflects her quite a bit. She's deeply perceptive, which is reflected in the cedar wood. And of course, she's "reasonably pliant" - Astoria is very capable of changing her mind and adapting. After all, she's gone from basically nodding along, if not outright agreeing, with her mother's devotion to the Death Eater cause, to seeing the truth and despising the Death Eaters, to being an actual (if unofficial) member of Dumbledore's Army. And despite all the indoctrination she's been subjected to and how jaded she is, Astoria still has a certain purity in the core of who she is, aka unicorn hair. It also establishes a few facts that will prove important in the coming conflict - naturally, Astoria is not a fighter. Her wand has difficulty even performing magic that could directly harm someone, unless she is truly determined or desperate. That is going to have some say in how she operates and how she weighs her choices in the coming weeks.

And thank you so much for saying that about Luna! She's probably the hardest to write, so it means so much that you think I'm doing a good job of capturing her. I think you sum up her character wonderfully! "Knowledgeable but offbeat" - I like it!

Actually, the next chapter after this one is Draco! And yes, the battle is ticking ever closer! I am SO excited! I can hardly wait to get to that, but there are some other things that must come first.

Thank you so much for this review! It was wonderful to read your thoughts, and it really made me smile! :)


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Review #27, by nott theodore The Weight of the Curse

4th April 2017:
CTF Jailbreak Review

Hello again!

The start of this chapter was so chilling and scary - I think it's very easy for us to forget how terrifying and horrible it would have been for all the students at Hogwarts during this year, but when I read the really good stories (and this has to be counted as one of them), they've thought about that already. I can't imagine more than a few of the students actually enjoyed doing this, cursing their classmates and having to watch the consequences. I don't think that Astoria will have been alone in not really wanting to do what she was forced to, but as we saw, that couldn't stop her. It's so dangerous in times like this that only the people who are exceptionally brave (and perhaps with a different sense of bravery) will refuse.

The descriptions in this chapter - particularly the first section - were incredible, too. I got chills reading about the way that Carrow stalked into the room, and the imagery of the water falling like teardrops onto the students' work kind of foreshadows what he's going to do to them.

I don't think I've ever been so glad to see Severus Snape arrive in a story :P But I'd like to think that he didn't condone the actions of the Carrows, and was trying to stop them in his own way.

I felt so, so sorry for the pupils who had the curse used on them, particularly Jack.

I love Seamus, he's so lovely and I'm really glad that he's there trying to help Astoria feel better, because he realises the situation he's in and that she's doing a lot to even be doing this. And I think Astoria's conversation with Meg at the end was actually really brave.

Sian :)

Author's Response: Sian! As you know, I love your writing so much, so it's always a delight to hear your opinions on mine!

I'm so glad it was chilling and scary! That's definitely what I wanted to convey. I feel like when the gang goes back to Hogwarts I'm the last book, despite how happy everyone is to see them, you really sense the darkness of what had been going on at the school. And the students are so matter-of-fact about it - they're well past horror, which itself implies how bad things must have gotten,.I like what you said about only those who were exceptionally brave, or who had a different idea of bravery, would have been able to stand up against it all to the Carrows' own faces. That's a huge part of what Astoria struggles with, in this chapter especially - her idea of bravery. Part of her hates that she isn't brave enough to openly rebel, and another part of her hates all those who expect her to refuse, because it would be a foolish move, strategically. Her idea of bravery is becoming so conflicted.

Ha! I felt exactly the same way when I realized that Snaoe was going to show up. I'd never been so happy to see him, either :). I also think that he was trying to help, in his way. Snaoe is all for bullying students, but I think he was trying to curb the actual torture where he could.

And Seamus appreciation! Hooray! He has become one of my favorite characters to write. Seamus just makes every scene more fun. And I'm so glad that you found Astoria's speech brave. I thought so, too. There's a certain cop out there, in that Astoria is afraid to bend, to really make an effort. But she also told the truth, even when it wouldn't do her any favors, and I think there's bravery there, too.

Thanks so much for this lovely review, Sian, and for your kind words!


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Review #28, by nott theodore The Eyes of the Crowd

4th April 2017:
CTF Jailbreak Review

Hello! Forgive me for jumping around a bit with these reviews (I will go back and read it all through again if I don't get the chance to today), but it is Gryffindor's hour of need, and I have to answer the call :P

I see that things have moved on quite a bit here from what was happening in the last chapter I read, but I really enjoyed it. And I have to say that I'm so impressed by the way that you managed to write all the different characters in this chapter, and balance all their personalities and the dialogue and everything at once. It's really impressive - I found it hard enough writing next generation Weasleys together, and those are mostly my own ideas of them, so I'm a little bit jealous of anyone who can write established canon characters so well.

It's so exciting to see that Astoria is helping the DA! She's obviously still not entirely certain about it, and that's understandable because she's been determined all along to keep her family out of further harm, and the easiest way to do that would probably be by pretending to be the perfect pureblood and just standing and watching from the sidelines. She's taking a massive risk with this, and she definitely knows it, but I think deep down she's sure that it's the right thing to do.

I think one of my favourite parts of this chapter, even though it was really only a few lines, was the part about Astoria's mum. It was really interesting to see her kind of rejecting Lavinia's memory as something that could and should guide her actions today. That's a massive step for her to make.

I'm not sure if it's just the way this page has loaded on my laptop, but I did notice a few weird symbols at the end of sentences (maybe where you've got a new line starting?) that might be something to do with coding? I just thought I'd mention it in case you wanted to check back through it.

My favourite characters in this had to be Seamus and Luna! You captured their characters so well, and I loved the fact that Seamus hadn't lost his sense of fun - he was still trying to keep spirits up throughout (and the nod to Dean/Seamus ♥ ). Luna was great, stealing Marietta's coin as well! And even though she annoyed me a little bit in this, I did like the fact that there was some conflict and not everyone trusts Astoria, because let's face it, she isn't easy to trust for them.

Sian :)

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Review #29, by crimson quill The Eyes of the Crowd

4th April 2017:
So chapter 15, let's go!

So something ive noticed through your writing which I haven't talked about yet is your use of language when describing you use a lot of comparing, like a.. which really helps me as a reader to really picture the scene in my head. I have some great mental images created from this story. Like watching film. Haha

So I thought this chapter the way you described their little haven though these students really have nothing at the moment apart from their spirit which obviously can't be crushed. Like little things brings them happiness or more importantly hope. It's magic.

I enjoyed the themes of acceptance in this chapter how they want Astoria to be part of their group as what I've seen from Astoria's character it seems a perfect reaction. She refused give everything away to these people she doesn't know that well but really she knows that she needs them. They obviously have shown through the dialogue with lavender that not everything is that simple though. Hopefully lavender will come around though you can see her point of view!

Just a little word on seamus that I really enjoyed his characterization. He's still cheeky and his banter with Astoria was a nice little touch. X

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Review #30, by nott theodore The Writing On the Wall

4th April 2017:
CTF Review

Hello! This was another great chapter, there's so much character (and friendship!) development here that it was great to see.

It broke my heart a little bit to see Astoria arriving at the station without her father. I know she's not a little kid but she still wants him to be around, especially now that her mum can't be, and it's so sad that he's in a place where he can't be there for her. I think what upset me the most was when he didn't recognise her and thought that her mum was still alive:(

The description in that scene was just beautiful though - you really made the station come alive in my mind and I loved your description of the train arriving in all the smoke.

Astoria and Gennys as friends, yay! Ah, I loved seeing more of them together here and I really love the way that you're developing their friendship. It's like they can't be friends and know they shouldn't be, and while they don't entirely trust each other, they need the other one.

I love your characterisation of Ginny and it's so important to include why she's fighting - that it isn't just because her boyfriend is, but because she had first hand experience of what it is like to live under Voldemort and be in his power. The two characters are just both so vibrant together and I love reading about them and their growing friendship.

I feel like Ginny brings out a much lighter side in Astoria that we don't get to see very often - at least we haven't so far. So it was great to see that, and even the pretend rudeness and bickering when they ran into each other was great to read. I wish that I could be more hopeful for her term, but I know Ginny isn't going to be there...

Sian :)

Author's Response: Sian! Hi!! I feel like it's been an age since I talked to you - which would be my fault of course, as I dropped off the map a bit. Thanks for stopping by and reading :) I am so glad you like this scene - honestly it's one of my favorites. From the first time Ginny popped up in this story, she threw a wrench in things. It was pretty immediately clear that these 2 ladies were going to have to be in some scenes together, and were going to have way more in common than I had initially expected. Their fledgling friendship here never fails to make me smile, and it definitely makes a huge impact on Astoria, who is coming from a very lonely place where she's been raised to see friends as a weakness.

I really loved reading your review - I'm smiling hugely! Thank you again.

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Review #31, by crimson quill The Edge of Insanity

4th April 2017:
So my, my! The tension is certainly building up! I loved all the drama in this chapter!

Draco is so obviously so conflicted. It's very intense battle for him. Almost scary, I adore that the only thing he is feeling is keeping him same is Astoria. It's that type of chemistry is once in a lifetime. I never thought about them knowing each other in school. I just adore that she's like everything to him in this dark world. It's so sad but so powerful at the same time. You're really good at creating that character with so many layers in both draco and Astoria. The way he describes sensing her really got to me!

So obviously Astoria is such a star this chapter like Omg. She's such a boss lady with standing up to an adult and laying down the law. She's so strong. It's crazy and she's a hero in her own right. I like the fact that I can't predict where this story is going. I can't even begin to say how emotional and raw this story is. It's so full of pain but it shows such strength at the same time. The characters are all so breathtaking. I really think you're such a talented writer.

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Review #32, by crimson quill A Rattle of Keys

4th April 2017:

So I'm so impressed with this story, please bare with me as I've really a couple of chapters of this story. So this was a really interesting chapter with the interaction between Luna and Neville and her. Astoria is very clearly sees a barrier between them. She's so guarded from what I can see from other chapters it's not really surprising honestly. Astoria is still quite the mystery but you've made her likeable at the same time. It's a good balance. I really thought the way you were describing her in the tunells as a child was great but she shows part of astoria's adventurous side.

I really enjoyed the characterization of Neville as being so determined and brave because I always imaged him to be like a leader. It's shame we didn't get to see more of this in Jo's writing but you're doing a great job at filling in! I feel like this chapter is building towards something big and an exciting point in the story. I'm probably going to go through this from the beginning to get the full impact of this chapter in context but you've really caught my imagination with this story for someone who never reads Hogwarts era!! Good job xxx

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Review #33, by Deeds A Dangerous Revelation

4th April 2017:
How very interesting. I'm coming in obviously at a random chapter but I am loving your charterizarion of Astoria. She send fierce and formidable. It sounds like she can get things done and she's willing to put her life on the line no matter the consequences. I guess she's the traitor in this story and I am all for it. I always wondered what she was doing during the war. I like to think she was some sort of kick butt kind of young woman, which is why Draco fell for her. I thought the interaction with Ginny was interesting and spot on for her too. Why wouldn't she be wary of her? I think Ginny is smart to. Not trust her completely but to know there's something there, kind of like Snape. Oh! I also liked the mention of the galleon and her quick thought if the Weasley are so poor they have to show their money in that kind of way. Ha! The significance is astounding. You don't realize how rich you really are with or without money. In this aspect I think Astoria is poor with her judgements and prejudice. Really great job!

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Review #34, by nott theodore A Family Affair

4th April 2017:
CTF Review

Hi Penny! Ah it's been far too long since I read this wonderful story, and returning to it now has made me remember how much I enjoyed it! This is such a different take on Astoria and Draco compared to so many of those that I've read and seen on the archives, and I'm always so excited to see what you have planned.

I love the way that you characterise Astoria - she's so determined to protect her family no matter what happens, and I have to admire that in her. It's going to take a lot for her to look after them right now, particularly when there's so much pressure to be the perfect pureblood, but I am rooting for her. Her problem will be when things like the bookcase get discovered - I completely understand her allowing her father to keep it, since it's so important to him, and she wants her family to survive as they are (as sane as they can be), but I hope that Filly manages to hide it if necessary. I am worried about that.

I loved the little details about Filly, and the way that Astoria used to make her clothes out of scraps of material. It's something else that differentiates them from the typical families.

I loved the scene between Astoria and her father - it really helps to show why it's up to her all of a sudden to get this done. It was heartbreaking to see that he didn't recognise her at the start, but I loved the way he slowly came out of his shell and started talking about literature and the way Muggles aren't so different to us. It's not the best way to stay safe at the moment, but it really made me warm to him as a character (and I loved the use of Shakespeare, too!).

The scene at the end with Draco's family was such a contrast to the relatively calm scene at Astoria's house. You got the sense of fear and franticness across really well and it's clear to see that Draco's realizing how much he has to lose here - it's not going to bode well for Astoria, I fear...

Sian :)

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Review #35, by fabfidge A Dangerous Game

15th November 2016:
Hands down, this is the absolute best fanfic I have ever read. I get so excited when I see that new chapters have been posted. Can't wait to see what happens next. Keep up the good work!

Author's Response: Oh. My gosh. That has got to be one of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me. Thank you SO MUCH! :D


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Review #36, by TreacleTart A Dangerous Game

28th October 2016:
Hey Penny!

Back for one last review!

As soon as that girl sat down next to Astoria, I knew something was terribly wrong. I mean why would the D.A. risk meeting with her in public if it wasn't serious. It's a good thing the girl was clever enough to use homework as a cover.

Ugh. Your descriptions in this made my stomach twist into knots. Poor Seamus and Neville. It's horrible to think of any adult hurting a child that badly. I mean I know I'm talking about Death Eaters, but even still, to think of them torturing Neville the way they did is just horrific.

Astoria was just the person to call. Her ability to keep her wits about her under pressure is a huge asset and has saved the D.A. many times. With her help, they may just all survive after all.

The conversation with her and Madame Pomfrey was good as well, although I do feel like the whole thing was a bit transparent. In that case, if someone had been watching, it might've been easy enough to put two and two together. Particularly, when Astoria goes into great detail about the size and length of the wounds. But I mean how else is she supposed to get the info she needs?

I don't know if my heart can take anymore of this. Every time a new chapters up, I'm on the edge of my seat.

Looking forward to the chapters to come! Let me know when you post the next one.

Good work as always!


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Review #37, by TreacleTart An Unofficial Assistance

25th October 2016:
Hello again!

Back to review another chapter!

Poor Neville! I can only imagine how worried he must be thinking the Death Eaters might be going after his grandmum, but he should know that Augusta is more than most Death Eaters can handle. She's tough and I'm pretty sure in cannon she gives them hell when they come round. I guess that thought probably isn't much comfort though when his parents have been tortured into insanity. Probably his only thought is that he can't let it happen to her too.

I love that Astoria ends up being put in the position of having to go. She's definitely the right person for the job. Her level headedness keeps her from getting into trouble.

And aww. Seamus. I'm so glad he went with her. (Have I mentioned that you're totally making me a Seamus/Astoria shipper?)

I liked the little nod to Dean/Seamus as well in the way that Dean is so protective and worried about him. All my shipper feels are happy.

Oh and Luna/Neville that's another of my favorite ships. This story really does have all my favorite things at this point. :)

Back to the story.

The conversation between Mrs. Longbottom and Seamus was genius. The way you wrote both of their voices was sheer perfection. I giggled the whole way through even though I was on the edge of my seat prepared for something bad to happen.

I was also thrilled that you included the pyrotechnics in there. I had a head canon that Seamus becomes a demolition/explosives expert for the Auror's office after the war, so this fits right into my own head canon.

Of course, the one time that Astoria does something impulsive, it's throwing a massive bomb into a fireplace and exploding the Carrow's office. I absolutely loved it.

I also really loved the bits of humor you tied into this. The giggling fits at the end of the story were great.

As always, lovely work! I'll be back to review the next chapter later on. :)


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Review #38, by Ohpl A Dangerous Game

24th October 2016:
Once again a spectacular chapter. I love the growing friendship between Astoria and Seamus. In the midst of the horrors of Hogwarts at this point there is still room for kindness. I adore your sense of humour. Astoria shutting out Lavender. Dean's almost response to Astoria's order and the discussion of Madame Pomfrey's taste in books.
I was so excited to see this new chapter up and now the wait begins for your next one.

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Review #39, by TreacleTart Beyond Blood and Bone

24th October 2016:
Penny. Penny? PENNY!

You said there was A new chapter and so I hurry over here and find not one, not two, but three chapters that I haven't read! What is this madness?! How did these updates happen without my knowledge? Like part of me is so happy because I got to read three chapters in one go, but part of me is sad that while I've been going through Astoria withdrawals. this whole time there's been two sparkly new chapters waiting for me. What's more is that this chapter is about Draco and you already know I've been dying to know what's going on with him.

Okay. Now that that's out of my system, maybe I can try to review a bit.

Man, things are tense for poor Draco, eh? This certainly is punishment for him. In a way it's kind of cute how he's homesick and all he wants is to talk to his mum. But then part of me is kind of mad about it because his parents got him into this mess in the first place, so why should he really have any loyalty to them at this point?

I have to tell you that Bellatrix is one of my absolute favorite characters and I was sort of nervous (foolishly) when she popped up in the scene. I think a lot if writers just write her as senselessly vicious without motivation, but you did a great job of nailing her motivation. She might be crazy, but she is motivated by her loyalty/love for Voldemort and she'd forsake even her own family for it.

I feel pretty bad for Draco at this point. He's just a pawn on Voldemort's chess board. It seems he won't have much resolution for quite a while...and in the mean time, he's stuck in a forest with crazy people and only fond memories of Astoria to keep him from losing it. Maybe she will inspire another random act of courage in him.

Excellent work as usual! I've already read all the chapters, so expect more reviews from me soon.


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Review #40, by RupertsPheonix An Unofficial Assistance

26th August 2016:
Well I have officially read all 19 currently published chapters, and I must say... This is one of the best fanfictions I have ever read.

Your plot is fluid, and there's a sense of slow burn that makes me keep going onward to the next chapter. You have a strong sense of place, and your descriptions are incredible. The details, even the smallest ones, are purposeful and poetic.

If you aren't writing your own short stories or novels, you should be. Your writing is incredible. I would be an avid reader and fan.

Keep up the fantastic work. I look forward to reading more soon.


Author's Response: Hi Kate!

First off, Thank you SO MUCH! Like, seriously, this makes me want to cry. I'd taken a bit of an accidental hiatus, just do to RL situations, but I posted my first new chapter in a while today and I wanted to make sure I dropped by here to thank you for this review. I appreciate it so much, and it really means a lot to me.

Thanks again!


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Review #41, by IchigoPan An Unofficial Assistance

20th July 2016:
Hurray! You updated!

As expected, your writing is fabulous, as usual. And this unexpected budding friendship between Greengrass and Seamus is interesting, to say the least. Their personality dynamic is just calling for a comedic duo formation: straight-man Greengrass with the funny-man Seamus. Explosive disaster looms in their near future xD

Speaking of 'explosive disaster,' WOW. Just wow. I was half expecting Alecto to untransfigure herself from the ashes and attack them. I had this whole "Die-Hard" mixed with Michael Bay imagery in my head with the slow-mo 'xplosion with a "No~" attached to it xD

*applauds you* Looking forward to the next chapter!

Author's Response: Hey there!

Thank you so much! I've been so excited to finally get to include some humor (besides Astoria's occasional dry commentary) into this fic, and the DA--and especially Seamus--have given me that opportunity at last. Astoria and Seamus' friendship is definitely interesting, but I think that someone like Seamus is essentially the best kind of friend for Astoria. He's unselfconscious and reasonably perceptive, so she can't wall herself off from him; capable, so she can't look down on him; and a great deal more relaxed, which gives her the chance to lose a bit of her rigidity. Their dynamic has been so fun to write, and I'm glad you're enjoying it!

My scene was like a Michael Bay movie?? ACTION SCENE ACHIEVED! I'm really excited about this :D Thank you so much for this wonderful review! It really put a smile on my face!


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Review #42, by blindvchi An Unofficial Assistance

14th July 2016:
I've been a long time reader of this story and I'm really happy that you've continued it. Love the new chapter. I thought it balanced dramatic tension with comedic moments seamlessly. Seamus and Astoria have the funniest friendship, and I absolutely adore your characterization of Astoria.

Author's Response: Hey there!

I cannot tell you how much this review made my day. I was checking my phone, clicking through things on my lunch break, and I saw this and oh, how it made me smile after a long, hard day! Thank you :D I'm so excited to hear from a long-time reader, and I'm really excited that you're enjoying the story and have kept up with it! I've been looking forward to this chapter for ages, so it meant A LOT to get such a lovely response on it. My heart is all warm and fuzzy. Thanks so much, again!


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Review #43, by rover_bond007 An Unofficial Assistance

5th July 2016:
Love this story. And this chapter was particularly excellent - the longer the better I reckon :P I was so engrossed in the story that it didn't even feel long to me! I am now shipping Astoria/Seamus, however misadvised this may be! Can't wait for the next chapter :)

Author's Response: Hey! Thank you so much. And I'm really glad you enjoyed the longer chapter! I always get a little nervous about those, but the fact that it didn't feel long when you were reading it makes me feel a LOT better about it! Haha, you are not the first to tell me that you're shipping Astoria and Seamus. I will neither confirm nor deny anything about their relationship at this time, and will let you enjoy shipping whomever you ship ; ) Thank you so much for this review! Receiving it really is such an encouragement!


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Review #44, by dreamgazer220 The Eyes of the Crowd

4th July 2016:
Hello again, Penny! I am back to read another one of your fabulous chapters ♥

I'm really amazed at your attention to detail throughout all of these chapters. You have so much going on all the time, so much that drives the plot forward, but you keep reminding us that Astoria is very observant. I don't really have a particular phrase that stuck out to me on this, but it's really an incredible part of your talent.

I love that Astoria finally made a decision! And that the decision was so very, well, Astoria. She's trying to look out for other people, even to, as she put it "ease her conscious", but she's still growing even if she doesn't realize it. Of course, her first thought is her family and herself; as it should be because that's how she's been raised, and that's something that's very hard to break. And she clearly thought about her choices a lot; I loved how you used the coin to show the weight of the decision that she was making, and it was absolutely BRILLIANT that Luna had found and kept the coin for Marietta.

And can we talk about Lavender for a second? She's absolutely brilliant here. I love how dramatic she is and that she doesn't take a liking to Astoria right away; it just makes so much sense that not everyone would trust a Slytherin in their midst, and it makes so much sense that it would be her of all people. I loved them sizing each other up, that it took the use of the coin to "prove" that Astoria belonged here. But interesting: Lavender thinks that Astoria might betray them, but is that because she actually sees that, or because the coin belonged to Marietta and it hasn't adjusted to Astoria yet? I love how ambigious you made it; as much as it hurts, we can believe that Astoria would betray the Gryffindors if she's looking out for herself first, but at the same time, we've seen how she's starting to grow. It's really a brilliant move on your part. Well done!

Okay, we also need to talk about how adorable and hilarious Seamus is. I love your characterization of him, and that he is trying really hard to make Astoria comfortable and trying to cheer her up. It's also hilarious that he flirts with everything that moves - I can definitely see that! And I LOVE that you have him brilliant at engineering. It's so adorable ♥

Have I told you lately how much I love this story? Because I really do. You're doing such an amazing job with it, and I can't wait to see how the rest plays out!

Keep up the amazing work! :D


Author's Response: Whew, Okay! I'm finally here to answer this WONDERFUL review. Your reviews are so lovely, I just kept waiting for time in which to answer them properly. But alas, CampNaNo, my job, and your basic procrastination have taken their toll. But I am here at last!

I am so happy that you enjoy all the detail! It's funny--I used to write with less. My first fic was way more dialogue-driven, but Astoria is such an observant person, I knew she'd always be noticing everything, and now that's trickled down a bit into my general writing style. I've come to LOVE all the details, and setting the stage. And with Astoria, it just has to be that way; it's how she sees the world.

I'm also really glad that you were happy with her decision. I wrestled with it for a while. But, in the end, Astoria couldn't go into all this diving head-first. She's cautious by nature, and as you say, she's always been taught to put the Greengrasses first. Even going this far is a huge step for her. Balancing all her motivations and desires was tricky, so I'm thrilled that you felt it worked well, in the end.

I wanted Astoria to have a D.A. coin so badly, but when I thought about it, it seemed likely that there would be a shortage of them. After all, Dumbledore's Army seemed to grow exponentially during Deathly Hallows, so there would have been new members, but no Hermione there to make new coins. And then I remembered that there was *one* spare coin floating about somewhere, and once Luna's line about the Nargles popped into my head, I just knew how things had to go : )

We can talk about Lavender ANY TIME! Haha, I'm so glad you're enjoying her. Of course, she's a huge thorn in Astoria's side, but she isn't without value. She's basically the polar opposite of Astoria--I think it was Kaitlin who pointed that out to me. And it's just so true. They'd have clashed no matter what. Lavender's this emotionally-driven, dramatic person who is all about the attention. Astoria is a logic-based person who would rather avoid notice. Of course they'd seem suspicious and irritating to one another. And Astoria, despite her attempts to help, really doesn't put that much effort into a popularity campaign. I mean, she's never really had many friends, people she's loved have failed and betrayed her, and she's a Slytherin. I always think of the other students boo-ing those poor little 11 year olds when they got Sorted into Slytherin, and I imagine that, at least since the First Wizarding War, all of Slytherin House has sort of grown up on the defense. On the whole, I imagine they just assumed that no one would ever appreciate them, linked arms, and banded together, them against the others. Astoria has no real reason to think that others might like her, so she doesn't really try. Which means the side she's showing to most of the D.A. is very typical Slytherin and proud, and she's been unwilling to explain herself or socialize. Long story short, she probably *doesn't* seem very trustworthy. Lavender may be a bit annoying, but you can't completely blame her. We also don't know that she doesn't have a point.

Yay! It really excites me that you, the Queen of Seamus Fics, are enjoying my Seamus. I love writing him. He's exactly what the story needed, and he's become a much bigger part of it as time has gone on. That Seamus, not at all shy about inserting himself into the narrative ;) It didn't feel right, leaving him as just comic relief, and then, when he turned out to be this capable person who is willing to drill past people's defensive, he became the perfect ally for Astoria. But, like you say, he's really rather clever under all the jokes and the charm.

Thank you SO MUCH, Jill! This review, and hearing such lovely things from a writer as talented as you are, is SO unbelievably encouraging. Thank you!


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Review #45, by mrsdeanthomas421 An Unofficial Assistance

28th June 2016:
Such a funny, original, and well written chapter.
Keep up the good work! I love Astoria/Seamus interactions

Author's Response: Hi! Thank you so much for this absolutely lovely, encouraging review! I really, really appreciate it, and I'm so glad you enjoyed the chapter! :D

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Review #46, by Ohpl An Unofficial Assistance

28th June 2016:
I loved this chapter. In no way was it too long. Your imagination is brilliant. Whether she wants to admit it or not Astoria is all in. Her bafflement at being house rep and her shock at volunteering to contact Mrs Longbottom were wonderful to read.
I love Seamus more every chapter.

Author's Response: You are making me blush! My heart just did this weird squiggle thing that I think was some sort of internal organ happy dance. Thank you!!!

There's definitely no going back at this point. And Astoria is pragmatic enough to know that, but it can still be hard for her to draw herself even deeper into the fray. It goes against her intellectual desire to keep herself safe. But I think we see that, while Astoria has a strong sense of self-preservation and an appreciation for caution, her desire to protect people she cares about consistently outweighs it.

And I love Seamus more every chapter, too! I am so, so excited to hear that. Thank you so much for this lovely review! My heart is still squiggling! :D

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Review #47, by dreamgazer220 The Edge of Insanity

26th June 2016:

I'm so happy that we get to read more from Draco's perspective. I've probably told you a million times (so here's a million plus one) how much I love what you've done with him. He's really obsessed with Astoria's memories, isn't he? I'm not sure if I find that endearing or creepy; I can definitely see that he needs it as a break to keep him from going insane, but at least he knows that she would freak out if she ever found out what he was doing with her mind. And it's interesting, too, that he keeps memories of her being a child, of being more vulnerable and more real. It makes sense, though, that he'd choose this given their first interactions with the parlor.

AND OH MY GOD IT WAS HIM THAT SHE SAW! Well, she didn't see him, but he was one of the Death Eaters! I don't know why I wasn't expecting that to be the case but I was so excited that it was!!! Really well done, a nice little twist right in the beginning to keep things going.

You really do such a great job with the pace of this story, though. You manage to keep things fresh and interesting, even when we're just getting a peek into someone's mind, such as Draco's at the beginning of the chapter.

I KNEW IT WAS ALBERFORTH! Huzzah! More canon ties! I love it so much :) You write Neville and Luna so well; Luna had me chuckling at her light, blunt observations about Alberforth and poor Neville is trying so hard to get negotations going. It's so lovely to see him really starting to try and be a leader, it's great growth for what we see later on in the book when Harry comes back to school. He's really come into his role here, and it's so great.

I love that Astoria stayed hidden at first, and that Neville seemed to understand why. I definitely loved that she remained in the shadows to keep watch, but when she finally heard enough, she stepped right in! It reminded me of the moment with the fork and I just went, "YES." You're really giving us someone to root for, Penny, and your character archs are amazing and deserve an A+. Or would that just be an E for Exceeds Expectations? ;)

What I love about Astoria is that she's very no-nonsense. Not many people can argue with her the way that Draco can, not many people can see through her fortress and we got to see that here with Alberforth. He tried to keep to his stance, but she ran him down. I don't think she was downright cruel, but she made her points very clear, and I was relieved that Alberforth decided to help them after all.

This was another amazing chapter! I'm getting sad, though, that I'm on my way to being caught with this story. I don't want it to end, I love having chapters to read.

Keep up the great work!


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Review #48, by whykay Beyond Blood and Bone

23rd June 2016:
Great story! Keep going, excited to see how Astoria fares in the BoH.

Author's Response: Thank you so much for this encouraging review! I really appreciate it. And oh yes, the BoH is fast approaching. Cue anxious nail-biting ;) It will be, as they say A TIME. Thanks again!

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Review #49, by Shinicha The Weight of the Curse

13th June 2016:
Im happy to see the story continued! I love how you describe the small and subtle changes within Astoria. I'm really looking forward to hearing from Draco again!

Author's Response: Hi! Thank you so much for writing this really sweet review! It was so encouraging to me after a long day at work :D I really appreciate it, and I'm glad you're looking forward to hearing from Draco!


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Review #50, by dreamgazer220 A Rattle of Keys

11th June 2016:

I've missed this story. I've been meaning to come back and read, but my heart just hadn't been in reading fic the last few weeks. It feels so good to be back!

I'm always so amazed at how well you can capture a scene. Even in something that's only 2000ish words, you describe everything so well and it really feels like you're there in the moment. I felt like I was creeping with them along the passageways, and you did such a great job with everyone's reactions to what they were doing.

There was some definite Astoria snark in this chapter, and you know I always appreciate some good snark. Trusting rooms and portraits definitely doesn't seem like something that would come naturally to her, but it would come natural to someone like Luna. Can I applaud you on how well you write her? Well, you really just write everyone so well. I think I've told you before that this story really does feel like the other side/missing moments from book 7, and I so applaud your talent in that.

I love the dynamics you've set up here. They're an interesting personality blend, but I can see them working together quite well in the future. Luna's ability to trust blindly will parallel well with Astoria's skepticism, and Neville's boldness is just so wonderful. I really enjoyed the image of poor Neville trying to hide himself in a firebox. But did he manage to hide himself successfully?! I'm not so sure, and Astoria definitely seems to have her doubts too.

So, if they're (likely) in The Hog's Head, does that mean the person that's coming is ABERFORTH?! Oooh, intrigue. And cliffhangers are evil, but I can definitely see that this was the perfect place to end the chapter.

Another brilliant job, my dar!


Author's Response: Hey Jill!

I completely understand your heart not being up for reading fics these past weeks. I kind of had the same thing going on. But I'm trying to slip back into the groove of things. I'm so glad that you came by!

Haha, yesss. Astoria's snark was, for a good while, the only real humor that this fic had. Obviously now that the D.A. is involved, there are some other sources of comedic relief, but I definitely wanted to make sure her sarcasm still remained a feature, and I'm so glad that you enjoy it!

"I think I've told you before that this story really does feel like the other side/missing moments from book 7,"
--you...I just...cannot imagine a nicer thing someone could say to me?? THANK YOU! *attacks with hugs* That seriously means so much to me.

Yeah. The three of them definitely work well together here, though poor Astoria is fretting the whole time. Neville's boldness moves things along, Luna's trust has a surprising tendency to be useful, and Astoria's focus on subtlety, as well as her hard edge, all combine so that they kind of complete each other.

It *could* be. But there *are* other options. After all, someone just glimpsed Astoria through the window. Was it Aberforth? Or could it be someone else?? ;)

I'm pretty sure the cliffhanger was elise's idea, so credit where credit is due. I've been really happy with it, and I'm so glad that you liked it! Can't wait to see what you think of the next chapter! And I'll be over to Haunting Shadows soon!

Thanks for the lovely review, Jill!


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