Reading Reviews for Traitorous Hearts
  
81 Reviews Found

Review #26, by nott theodore A Dangerous Revelation

13th March 2014:
Hi Penny! I'm here reviewing for the Blackout Bingo - I thought it was a great opportunity to come back to this story since I closed down my review thread and I enjoyed reading it whenever you requested.

Well, I definitely didn't expect that to come in this chapter! There's a lot that we still have to learn about Astoria, it seems, and she's done a lot more in her past than most people have, let alone someone who's her age. It's going to be really hard for her to have to face Malfoy over this subject, let alone any others that there might be. It really shows how horrible the Death Eaters are, that they're interrogating a girl so young about her family's loyalties.

I have a really increased respect for Astoria, though. Ginny would definitely be the first person I would think could pass a message to the Order and other people in the Resistance, so it makes sense to me that she chose to go to her. I liked the fact it wasn't easy, though, and that Ginny didn't believe her straight away. I found it believable that Ginny would have trusted her in the end, though. The revenge brings another dimension into it that I hadn't expected - I just thought that Astoria was upset about her mother's death, and not that she'd done anything about it. Things are definitely going to get really interesting now that we know that she's stopped a Death Eater attack on some members of the resistance!

Sian :)

Blackout Bingo review 5/20

Author's Response: Hey Sian! Great to have you back! Your reviews are always really helpful--they make me think. Also, glad you were there to help out with the Blackout--go snakes!

There's a lot more to learn about Astoria--girl's got her secrets. You're very right in saying that she's done a lot for her age. Nope, it doesn't paint a very attractive picture of the Death Eaters, but then, what does? What she's undertaking--having to hide the truth like this while being interrogated--*is* incredibly difficult. She's very clever, but, as you point out, still quite young. We'll have to see if she can live up to the challenge ;)

I'm really glad that you found Astoria and Ginny's interactions believable. I really wanted that scene to work! I figured that, even though we didn't see much of it, Ginny would have had to grow a lot in that last year. She'd still keep part of her carefree nature, but even in the later books, she did have a bit of an edge to her. I didn't think she'd see some Slytherin girl and think, "Well let us welcome you warmly into our ranks for clearly you must be telling us the truth!", but I also didn't think she'd dismiss her outright.

As far as Astoria's revenge, her motivations are...murky, to her, at least. And while she's cautious, deep down she's not really the type to stand by and do nothing if there *is* something to be done.

Oh, and things are certainly going to get interesting.

Thanks so much for the R&R, Sian! Hope you're doing well :D

--Penny


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Review #27, by TidalDragon An Unwelcome Visitor

7th March 2014:
Howdy!

First off, I liked the time you took to describe things, particularly people's appearances. The lines about the dress Astoria was wearing were particularly significant and the way you wove her thoughts in with your own description of the symbolism was well done.

The way you paint the Greengrass family is also interesting. Obviously we don't really know much of anything about them from canon, but you manage to give them something unique in the first chapter by demonstrating how prejudice and loyalty to Voldemort have not permeated Astoria's psyche despite her upbringing.

I have mixed feelings about the ending. It was a bit abrupt for me. But at the same time I am intrigued by where the next chapter will start given Astoria's emotions and Malfoy's behavior in her home. It also helps that the thought expressed in the last line is an answer of sorts to her own open question. Perhaps you've got me after all - I'll have to read the next line to find out right?

Thanks for sharing!

Author's Response: Hey there, TidalDragon (snazzy name, by the way. I like oceans and dragons),

Thank you very much! I'm glad to hear that you liked the part with the dress. Depicting the Greengrass family has been really fun, because it's like having an almost-clean slate. There are some lines there for me to work with, but I've been able to create a lot of new details, too, and I've enjoyed having that freedom.

I totally understand if you found the ending too abrupt. Thanks for telling me. I may have to go back and edit that later. It seemed the best way to move forward at the time, since a large portion of Lavina's (Astoria's mother's) story is told in the next chapter. However, I do see what you mean. Thank you again for pointing it out! I'll have to see if I can think of a way to make that flow a bit better.

Well, if you're intrigued, I do hope you'll read on and find out. There are certainly plenty more mysterious to be revealed, if you do decide to stick around, and I really appreciate having a reviewer who'll give me constructive criticism.

Either way, thanks for reading and reviewing!

--Penny




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Review #28, by Lostmyheart The Malediction Perfidious

26th February 2014:
Not a single flicker of emotion betrayed her. He looked her over, knowing what signs to watch for. He wasn’t sure why he bothered--he was, after all, fairly certain of the eventual outcome. But still, she puzzled him. Her hands did not shake. Her eyes didn’t shift. She regarded him with that steady gaze, the one that said I have nothing to fear from you. The one that said, If this is a game, then it is one I will win.
- I love this! It was absolutely perfect and I'm so amazed with the little details you write! You're brilliant, Penny!

I also like this:
“‘Course not,” she shrugged, sticking her hands into the pockets of her navy cardigan. “I hate stuck-up Pureblood bints like you. I didn’t say I was hoping you’d be okay. I just said I wanted to come see.”
- I love how you make these two kind of play with each other at the Hospital Wing. They're quite amusing, both so proud and so stubborn, yet they almost see through each other.

This story keeps getting more and more interesting, I love it!

And you're so creative. I liked the spell you made up. If her mother really put that spell on her, it's truly sad. Does she really want to kill her daughter because of a few (though very dangerous) secrets?

I don't like her mother. But I understand her confusion, whether or not she should hate her mother.

The ending was good, I liked it.

You're doing such a fantastic job and this story is addictive.

Can't wait to see what you've written in the next chapters!

- Avi

Author's Response: OOooh! Favorite quotes! Those are exciting! It's fun to see what people like, in particular.

Bahaha! Ginny and Astoria's interactions are some of my favorite things to write. They're both smart, but in really different ways (while Draco and Astoria are similar, she and Ginny are basically opposites, apart from, as you say, being stubborn and smart).

That is a pretty sad moment in the story. I can't tell you if Lavinia really did curse Astoria or not. It's certainly what seems most likely here. However, I can say that what seems likely will, in some cases, be turned on its head. And also, with as many lies being thrown around as there are in this story, there could be other explanations. Lavinia is a very complicated woman, but it's perfectly fair if you don't like her. In many ways, she's a typical Slytherin, and like most people, she has good qualities as well as some very bad ones.

Thank you so, so much!

New chapter is coming soon. It's totally written, and I'm currently in edits. I have a big test tomorrow, but hopefully after that I can find the time to finish up the new chapter and get it in the queue :D

And speaking of which, when do I get to read a new chapter of Upper Class, missy? :p

Looking forward to it!

Un gran abrazo! ("Big hug!")

--Penny


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Review #29, by Lostmyheart A Dangerous Revelation

26th February 2014:
Hi Penny!

I finally got the time to continue reading this AMAZING story. To be honest, I don't think amazing really covers it. This story is so much more than that.

I'm truly amazed by how you describe things. I know I've said it before, but you're so incredibly talented.

Most stories that has a conversation that stretches over several chapters can become dry. But you keep it interesting with these little flashbacks and you definitely keep the conversation between Draco and Astoria so intriguing.

I really like where this is going. And I especially like that Astoria decided to tell the truth to Ginny. It shows a more caring side of her - that she wants to avenge her mothers death and maybe wants to save innocent people's lives.

Love this story!

- Avi

Author's Response: Avi, I cannot even handle how sweet you are. You are THE BEST! I feel, like, showered with way more praise than I could ever deserve, but I really appreciate it. You know how when you have doubts about your work/the quality thereof, it's supposed to take like 7 nice thoughts to make up for 1 bad one? This is supposed to be a science thing. Anyway, next time the doubts/bad thoughts come around, I'm going to have to come back and read your reviews. I'm pretty sure a single review from you is as good as, or actually, probably better than, the requisite 7 good thoughts needed to outweigh the bad one.

I am so happy every time someone mentions that the flashbacks work for them! I was definitely concerned about that, but it was so vital to the story (since no one ever tells the truth, you kind of have to see it yourself). I'm delighted that apparently they're working smoothly and proving helpful.

Yes! Astoria, arguably, isn't as bad a person as she thinks she is (at least not all the time).

Thank you so much, again and again.

--Penny


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Review #30, by Lostmyheart The Lady of Greengrass Hall

22nd February 2014:
Hi Penny!

I finally got the time to read the second chapter.
And I was not disappointed! It was incredible, truly amazing.

I can't get over how well written this story is. I loved how you portrayed them both. So formal and well-spoken, they both seem so smart and they almost play with each other somehow. They know exactly how to reply one another without beeing too honest, keeping it interesting all the time.

I'm kind of in love with this story already.
Can you fall in love with a story? Apparently, yes.

You're so talented!

Big hug
- Avi

Author's Response: Avi!

Sorry it's taken me a few days to respond. Urgh! I do mean to do better. It's midterms here, which is the only defense I can offer. Forgive me?

:D Ginormous smile. That is what you have done to my face. I am sooo glad you weren't disappointed. That's my constant worry with each chapter--I don't want anyone to read it and think, "Well, I've read better from her." Which, I mean, that's a silly fear and it's probably bound to happen sometime. But still, it makes me quite happy that chapter 2 didn't let you down.

You've got it just right, which I'm so excited about--they definitely play with each other. I think it's not often that either Draco or Astoria meets such a worthy opponent, and on some level they can't help but enjoy that.

Oh my gosh! Thank youuu!!! Avi, you really are the best encourager. I really appreciate it.

BIGGER hug ;)

--Penny



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Review #31, by Lululuna A Dangerous Revelation

22nd February 2014:
Hello! :)

Unsurprisingly I loved this chapter. It's so amazing to see into Astoria's head and her motivations, and how the stories she's conducting to explain to Draco are so different from the truth. I really enjoyed the structure of this chapter, with the mention of Epping Forest and how they really do mean a lot to Astoria.

whether or not a family's heads would be handed to the Dark Lord--or, more aptly, his snake--on a silver platter... Ew, but loved this just because it is so true. Nagini and her carnivorous ways really give me the creeps and you brought that fully to life here with this symbolic but also literal image.

Ginny being her contact actually fits so perfectly. I like how this showed how perceptive Astoria is and how she takes in the little details about a person to use to her advantage later. I really like the idea that nobody really knew that Ginny and Harry were together, and how that might have affected Ginny's place at Hogwarts - I remember thinking when I read the books it was a little unrealistic that she was allowed to stay at Hogwarts for so long but this fits so well.

She lived by her wits, not by her wand. I love this line and the spy mentality it conjures. Astoria is so quick and seems one step ahead of the game, and I like the reminders that she is this way because she was raised to be so.

Are you Weasleys so poor that you have to wear your money so you don't lose it, then, Blood Traitor? This was just so nasty but also a really good reminder of how the Slytherins (especially Draco) treated Ron and his family. Money was one of those things that they dangled over their heads and I like how Astoria is very aware of that. Also the detail about the DA galleons and how Astoria noticed Ginny's special attention to it was fantastic in hinting at what was going on behind the scenes.

Ginny cared about Astoria's motives only so much as they might prove she was telling the truth. I just really love the way you've written Ginny here, how pure and noble and caring she is. She's a bit of an anti-Slytherin in the way that she doesn't care about the secrets, but only if they mean that Astoria is genuine. Actually the conversation reminded me a little of Snape convincing Dumbledore that he had changed when he revealed his love for Lily.

I like how Astoria doesn't want to be remembered as a hero - it fits really well, she's a spy, not someone who wants to be in the spotlight for one reason or another. People knowing she's a spy would decrease her credibility for the future.

This was an amazing chapter, I loved learning more about Astoria. I'm so excited to read on and find out what happens next! :D ♥

Author's Response: Ew, the snake quote! I was always fond of it, in a darkly humorous way, and I think you're the first person to mention it. Nagini is sooo creepy, isn't she?

The Ginny/Harry thing was something that always bothered me, too! I know Harry broke up with her to keep her safe, but I always wondered why the Death Eaters didn't use their relationship to their advantage. The only explanation I could come up with is that nobody noticed. It seems a stretch, as popular as Harry was, but it was N.E.W.T. and O.W.L. time for most students their age, and they probably mostly hung out around other Gryffindors, who maybe wouldn't talk? Besides everyone being shaken by Dumbledore's death. Maybe they avoided being front-page news for just long enough?

It is such a mean thing to say, isn't it? I think that Astoria is so aware of the Weasleys because (well, apart from her being hyper-aware of everyone) they are, in essence, what she'd become if her fellow Purebloods discovered that she helped the Order. She's the type to think through potential consequences, and when she looks at Ginny, she sees what she could become (and that's if she was really lucky and wasn't killed outright, which would be her first assumption. Astoria isn't exactly an optimist).

I loved throwing in the DA coin bit as a little background. Besides, some of the things Astoria is noticing might come in handy later...

Thank you! Ginny was really fun to write in this scene. She's strong, like Astoria, but comes from such a different world and mindset. It was fun to compare them.

Astoria's insistence on *not* being a hero is one of my favorite things about her. She's not in it for the glory (not even in the quiet way her mother was). In fact, Astoria doesn't think of herself as a particularly good person, at all. Astoria probably wouldn't admit to being a hero if someone stamped the title on her forehead. She's a very different sort of person. And, as you say, she wouldn't like the idea of people applauding her. Makes it more difficult to slink around unnoticed ;)

Thank you so much! I really appreciate your review! And favorite quotes are so fun to see. I love reading about what struck people, in particular.

A pleasure swapping with you, as always :D

--Penny



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Review #32, by Lululuna The Lady of Greengrass Hall

20th February 2014:
This is a thing, and I read it.

^^ Best review ever am I right?

Haha okay, so I was doing this thing where as I reviewed the Speed Dating entries and checking for responses I decided to go give another review to the person to respond the fastest. Why? Who knows, but anyway you were the winner which is super impressive since I just reviewed yours a short time ago! :D Yay! Besides I was really eager to get back here so this just worked perfectly.

Ah, I love this chapter so much! It's really interesting to learn more about Lavinia but I feel like this chapter also raises so many more questions which I'm dying to know. Who killed her? What was the information, and what is Astoria going to do with it? This is so very intriguing!

I really like Lavinia, despite her Death Eater habits. She seems like such a wonderful strong woman who is determined to forge her own way in the world, and definitely worthy of respect. I loved the way her husband saw her especially, and how he would worship her equally regardless of her accomplishments. For a strong woman, that would be immensely irritating and unfulfilling, and I actually found that really relatable. I love the hints at the bond between Lavinia and Astoria as well.

It's actually quite funny, because when I read the summary for some reason I assumed the spy was Astoria's father. What does that say about me/attitudes towards evil, hmm... So learning that the female characters are the powerful ones here was a great surprise.

The tie-ins to canon were really clever. I like the mentions of Harry vanquishing Voldy, and how that affected Lavinia and her work. Astoria's reasoning, such as the idea that the Order of the Phoenix didn't normally cast the Avada Kedavra curse, was fascinating as well.

I feel like I'm going to be a bit of a broken record with this but I really love Astoria. Her thoughts towards Muggles were so interesting, and fits with that mentality of caring for one's own interests above petty morals and prejudice. I'm excited to see how she grows throughout the story. Also, as a fellow Astoria writer I love how much control and agency you've given her - so often she seems pushed to the side to make room for Hermione to swoop in and take Draco, so I love how you've written her as this force of power.

I can't wait to read on and find out more about the secret, and how Astoria is going to use Draco to bring down the Death Eaters! It's just brilliant, and I love your writing style. Another wonderful chapter! :)

Author's Response: ^^ This is a review and I responded to it. ;)
Heeheehee. Best review/response combo in HPFF history, for sure!


Wow! I'm delighted that I won the secret speedy review response contest (that's what I'm calling it, anyway)! It's lovely to have you back!

:D Yay! Lavinia is one of my favorite characters, and I've been pleasantly surprised at the amount of love she's received. For a dead woman, she has a lot of influence in this story. If you keep reading, you'll definitely find out more about her, just as Astoria does. She's a very complicated woman. As for who killed her, and why...heeheeheeheehee. Perhaps you shall find that out, too? (Writing: the only time it's considered okay to laugh maniacally about murder).

This is my story where I give the Slytherins some love. Representin' my house, and all. They get such a bad rep, and the books don't really make much of their better qualities. I wanted to get a better picture of what makes a Snake a Snake, which qualities are redeemable and which are not. All the characters so far are definitely rough around the edges, but there's more to them than meets the eye.

Yup! Lots of lady power in here (though the gentlemen get their moments, as well.) That is interesting. Somehow, writing that summary, I never even considered the fact that people might think that her father would be the Death Eater. Silly of me. But how fascinating!

And thank you! The references are sort of where I get my fun with this one. Normally, I like to make silly jokes and puns, but that doesn't really fit the tone of this story (or not in these scenes), so instead I try put little shout-outs to canon in there. I'm glad you liked them!

And no complaints about any broken record-ness. You are so sweet! It's like a broken record of compliments. Like, that's a really awesome record. I would totally buy that and it would be my most played album! (Which is maybe really vain, but come on? Who wouldn't?!) Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that I really appreciate it :D

Oh my gosh, I would LOVE to see Hermione try to take Draco from Astoria (if she decides she wants him). I mean, I adore Hermione, and she's doubtless the best witch of her generation, but still, Astoria wouldn't be easy to beat. That would be a sight to see!

Thank you so much for your super-sweet comments. Your writing style is amazing, so I cannot tell you how much that means to me. Thanks again for reviewing!

--Penny


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Review #33, by Lululuna An Unwelcome Visitor

20th February 2014:
Hi Penny! :) I've actually wanted to check this story out for a while since I love what I've read of yours and love Draco/Astoria (do they even have a proper shipname??) so this is the perfect chance! :D

The beginning was so tantalizing and made me very curious. Astoria's mother seems very sly, and I was really intrigued to find out what had happened to her from all the hints through the chapter. It's such a brilliant idea, that Astoria has been trained to be a spy since she was a child, how she feels that she needs to take up the mantel of her mother and protect the family. I really liked the line about her wearing green for Greengrass, and that was all she was loyal too. It's a brilliant take on a Slytherin and I can't wait to see how she fits into the pureblood and Death Eater world.

He was thinner, with cheekbones that were too pronounced and circles like purple thumbprints pressed into the pale flesh beneath his eyes. I loved this description, in fact the way you've described Draco throughout the whole story was just perfect. I like all the mentions of how thin and weary and pale he is - it's a perfect description for how his exterior would reflect his interior, how his self-resolve and charisma has been washed away by stress.

His presence would not leave a stain on any place she cared for. I really loved this line, among many others. It was so powerful and emotive, and shows how much Astoria manipulates people through her environment and the setting. Something I loved here was the acute awareness of the movement of the characters through the setting and how every little thing is significant.

Filly is such an adorable name for a house elf! I like as well how Astoria went to thank Filly. I really like Astoria already, she feels very relatable and definitely somebody I want to keep reading about.

Austerity in one's tea additives had never struck her as admirable. Haha, I actually loved this, just because so many people I know are so strict and judgemental about their tea! It's hilarious, and I love Astoria even more for loading hers up with milk and sugar.

This was such a fantastic first chapter, I can't believe it's taken me this long to get here! :D I'll definitely try and be back in the near future, I love your writing style and you create amazing characters. Thanks for the swap! ♥

Author's Response: Hello! I realized I'd replied to your other reviews and somehow left this one un-replied-to. I have been remiss in my replying duties! My sincerest apologies, especially since this is such a lovely review!

You are right I do not think there is one and why do my babies have no proper shipname?!

Astoraco? Drastoria?

...hmmm. Maybe that's why.


Thank you so much. I love seeing favorite quotes. It's actually really helpful in figuring out which aspects of my writing seem to work well, aside from just being really nice and giving me warm fuzzies. Which it also does :D

Astoria is definitely manipulative. You know, it's funny, I don't think anyone else has mentioned that aspect of her so far. Granted, we haven't seen much of it, so you picked up on the best example that's probably in the story for the first few chapters. But yes, she is, and in a way that is sometimes carefully thought out, but at other times is just so integral to her thought process she'd never really think of it at all. She just orders things in such a way that it will benefit her. In her view, that's as natural as can be.

Filly! Filly was actually the name in my first (as yet un-posted) fanfic. This is my second fic. I had given the Malfoys a House Elf named Filly, and I got curious about Mrs. Malfoy and how she came to be who she is, and just branched off one day and started writing a sort of prequel. It morphed into something totally different, and Astoria is now very different from that version of Mrs. Malfoy, but I plugged in Filly's name automatically, because it was in my head canon and that was just their elf. I was always really fond of it, myself.

Haha! The tea quote is one of my personal favorites. That one was actually just a thought that popped into my head in everyday life, for the same reason. Tea snobs! And when the sentence formed in my head I was like, that's a very Astoria thought. I also liked it because it shows that, despite her somewhat austere appearance, Astoria has a lighter side.

Thank you so much for your awesomely sweet review! It really made me smile so much. It's always a pleasure to swap with you, Jeanna! Thanks again.

--Penny



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Review #34, by Lostmyheart An Unwelcome Visitor

19th February 2014:
Hi Penny!

I've read your part of our story collaboration a few times now, so your EXCELLENT writing skills shouldn't surprise me so much - but when I read this, it blew my mind.

I love how you describe the different little details, how he sits, how she drinks her tea and watches him.

The beginning of this chapter was very cute and somehow intriguing.
How you described Draco, made me want to give him several cookies and lots of beef for dinner. yet you made him attractive and almost likeable - because he wasn't so keen on doing what he had to do.

I like where this story is going and I'll read the next chapters as soon as I get the time to!

Big hug
- Avi

Author's Response: Hey Avi!

Thank you so, so much! You are the best encourager ever.

Thanks. Details are one tricky part about writing these characters. They both just notice so much more than I ever do. I'm a pretty oblivious person, sometimes ;)

Draco is in desperate need of cookies and beef, at this point. I'm pretty sure a little red meat, sugar, and maybe experiencing real emotions would all be really great for him right now. I'm glad that he came across as likeable, especially since he's, well, Draco. That's exciting news! :D

Thank you! I'm headed over to read yours this weekend, and looking forward to it!

Bigger hug

--Penny


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Review #35, by MadiMalfoy A Dangerous Revelation

16th February 2014:
Hey there!!

So this chapter is different from the first two--I like it! It has the flashback to school rather than a young memory of family, is a nice change of pace. I quite love Astoria's characterization in this chapter--you've really fleshed her out well and given her very good reasons to do what she does. Even though this attack thing isn't canon, you write it well enough that it very well could be!

And Ginny! The insights Astoria has about her are flawless and fit with everything you've already described her as. It's basically really awesome and very canonical for her character so A plus for you!!

Overall, a great chapter, can't wait to get to the next one! :)
~MadiMalfoy x

Author's Response: Hey! Sorry this took a few days to answer. I did the Speed Dating challenge, which was great fun, but since I basically devoted a weekend to HPFF, I'm now having to catch up on the rest of life ;)

I'm really glad you liked the flashback change. This was, initially, one of my favorite parts to write. Throwing Ginny into the mix with Astoria was a really fun exercise, since both have very strong personalities. It was a very different dynamic from writing Astoria's interactions with Draco.

Your saying that, even though things aren't canon they seem like they could be is, like, the best thing you could ever say to me :D Thank you! It's really been a goal of mine with this story to write something that's viable within the world of the books, and to keep details the same, just from a different perspective. So thanks! Some measure of success has apparently been achieved with that, so, excitement!

Thanks so much! I really appreciate your reviews. I'll be sure to re-request when I see a slot open up!

--Penny


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Review #36, by True Author An Unwelcome Visitor

13th February 2014:
Hi there! Here for our review swap! :D

So, I had never read a Draco/Astoria fic before as I'm no fan of Draco Malfoy and I don't know normally how Astoria Greengrass is characterized, but your version was definitely captivating and totally different from what I had imagined. But she seems to suit the whole plot and you did a nice job writing her. As a first time Astoria reader, I can tell you she's a nice protagonist!

I simply loved some of the sentences you wrote here, they were very effective and totally gave the feeling of the darkness or whatever you call it. The feel of the chapter I guess. But the best of them was-
"Silence sat heavy in the atmosphere of the parlour, weighing down the empty air, hovering over the intricate furniture, the green and gold and ivory colour scheme, the gilded Greengrass coat of arms worked into the plaster of the wall."
It was pretty! Especially the 'coat of arms' part, like 'Peverell coat of arms' from DH... :)

Overall, this seems like a nice, gripping story, so well done for that! :D

Thanks for the review swap and also the wonderful review you left for me by the way!

Ashwini

Author's Response: Hey Ashwini,

Hooray! I'm glad you like Astoria. I can understand a dislike of Draco. As a character to write, I like him, because he has a lot of potential, but just from a "how he was in the books" perspective...yeah, not such a lovely person, is he? I could understand why you'd generally avoid him.

To my knowledge--and I haven't read many Draco/Astoria's, but from what people tell me--this version is a bit different. My Astoria's a tough cookie, which I think you'd kind of have to be, to deal with Draco.

OOooh! I love hearing quotes people liked. It makes me smile!

Thank you for that, and for your kind review! Happy writing!

--Penny


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Review #37, by Remus An Unwelcome Visitor

12th February 2014:
Hello!! Here I am again with your review! :D

This is the perfect set up for the story. It left me wondering what happened to Astoria's mother. What is going on? What are the secrets! I must know!

What I liked about this was the relationship between Draco and Astora. Well...the lack of, actually. It makes me wonder what those two are going to go through together to get them together. Unless this is AU and they don't. Which will be just as fun as well.

I like how you pain Astoria, though. She needs to be a woman who is sure of herself and of where her values are for she is the woman that marries Draco Malfoy. A Death Eater. One thing is to be a supporter while another is to have the heart to marry one that was on Voldemort's side. She must be able to look past the mistake and move on.

The details again is what I love from your writing. I mean, this epilogue is not as detail oriented as Where our Voices Sound but you were still able to paint a very clear picture.

Anyway, sorry for the short review but I must get dinner started! I may be able to come back soon since I've added this to my reading list. I love me some Astoria/Draco fics.

Thank you for doing the swap with me once again!

--Rosie/Perelandra

Author's Response: Hey Rosie,
(By the way, I knew your name was Rosie. I remembered just moments after I posted my review, and I was just like...oh, none of the above, then. Whoops! Sorry!)

What happened to Astoria's mother? Well, you'd have to read chapter 2 for that ;)
But I'm glad to hear that the suspense is working properly. That's what I was aiming for.

Some relationships don't come easy. If there's a future for these crazy kids, they'll definitely have to work for it. I'm delighted that you like it that way, though. Astoria definitely isn't one to be pushed around, which makes for an interesting dynamic with Draco "I'll tell my father about this" Malfoy in the mix.

Thank you. The details are fun to write, but they definitely take the most time, so I really appreciate your saying such nice things. It's very motivational :)

Dinner is of the utmost importance, and I totally understand.

Thanks for the lovely review!

--Penny


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Review #38, by toomanycurls The Lady of Greengrass Hall

29th January 2014:
I loved reading about Lavinia's life and death. She seems like such an intriguing person. You did such a magnificent job building her character while also diving into Astoria.

Marriage and domestic life really isn't fullfiling for some women. I love the disdain that comes throug in the narrative about the simple women who are surrounding in and trading such valuable secrets but don't do anything with them. It was very cunning of Lavinia to understand the value of information she was getting so easily and making her life something she found interesting.

It is a bit creepy that Malfoy is offering her money for her mother's death. I can get why it makes sense with the unspoken exchange (money for silence/loyalty). From their tea scene, I get the feeling that Draco and Astoria are somewhat equals when it comes to their political savvy and ability to navigate difficult situations with grace.

It's a bit brilliant how Astoria puts together the facts about her mother's death. The oddity of her being asked to be part of that battle, the fact that it had been the killing curse and not the fall that got her - all of this leading to her conclusion that it was an inside job. I also like that Lavinia confided a little in her daughter. I could see why it would make sense to talk with someone about it and who can you trust more than your own children?

Ah! I love her resolve to turn against the death eaters! it's so resolute and apolitical. It really shows the blatant flaw in Voldemort's operation - he fails to see that love will push people to act in ways he would not predict.

Awesome, extremely dark and poetic to read chapter!

-Rose

Author's Response: Hey Rose! Sorry I'm late on this response. Crazy few weeks around here (but then, isn't it always). Anyways, I'm truly sorry. I generally try to be a little quicker with these.

Thank you so much! I kind of love writing about really interesting people, women in particular, who are so often just shelved under "good" or "evil", when really it's much more complicated than all that. Lavinia, and also Astoria, to some extent, are like that.

Ha, it is a bit creepy, isn't it? And the funny thing is, that's almost his attempt to be kind...well, sort of. But that's Draco, for you. Social grace, I'll give him, when it's a "follow the rules" sort of thing. But when it comes to dealing with actual people and their emotions? Not his strong suit. However, you're totally right. Draco and Astoria are pretty much equals when it comes to this sort of exchange. Who will win out in the end?

I'm so glad you think so! Astoria *is* a bit brilliant, but in a quieter way. She's not one to flaunt it all over Hogwarts. She's the type who would quietly and consistently make honor roll, but never say a word about it. Not because she's humble, but because she's at an advantage if no one knows just how smart she really is.

And yes! You hit the nail right on the head. Astoria doesn't get involved because of politics, or because she wants to be a hero. She'd say it was practicality, but you're right--initially, her response is because of love, and that is just the thing that Voldemort would never have understood or be able to predict.

Thank you so much for your thoughtful, and extremely kind, review. I really appreciate it!

--Penny


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Review #39, by rozen_maiden The Stolen Truth

27th January 2014:
Okay ... *attempts to breathe normally again* So I quickly rushed over here to read this chapter when I saw your reply on your MTA page (I'm Mahalia on the forums, btw :)). For one, I couldn't believe I missed the update; and two, I didn't want to read the spoilers and ruin anything... All I can say is I'm so glad I didn't read those spoilers now - this chapter was full of answers and questions (so many questions!!). I'm unsure where to begin right now.
Firstly, I am amazed at how seamlessly and beautifully Astoria and Draco's relationship is going. There is just the right amount of tension, unease, and distrust between them both - and yet, I feel something more. At the beginning of the chapter, Draco seems to have a very firm opinion on who Astoria is and who he expects her to be, but, midway, it changes, and Merlin was it written well. The realisation he had about how young she is, and how innocent she looked - yet not at the same time - really hit home, and expanded on her character gorgeously. It was lovely to see her in a different light from the point of view of another character.
And Draco himself! I have no idea where to begin - he is perfectly canon. Smart, clever, sharp, bitter, cold and yet ... there is a bit of human left in him, I feel, and I am desperate to see if I'm right! The big deciding factor for me will be how he reacts to what he has seen in Astoria's mind - I am very, very excited for the next chapter.
And your writing. I don't know what I can say to you that I haven't already said. But I will leave you with this:
"Draco felt as if there were some invisible wishbone hovering between them, clutched by each in an iron grasp. Now all that awaited was to see in whose favour the lot would fall."
What a gorgeous metaphor. I am in awe. Well done on (yet again) another gorgeous chapter! I'm going to go finish reading your MTA answer now! :)
- Mahalia

Author's Response: Mahalia!

First off, thank you for the MTA questions. They were a lot of fun to answer, and really brightened my day. :D

I...*gurgle of happiness*...I just cannot possibly explain how encouraging it is to get reviews like this. I mean, obviously it's nice to read all the wonderfully kind things you're saying, but it also really helps me to know what's coming across in the story. Like, that Draco's slowly changing attitude is coming across? Wonderful! Hooray! It really helps so much to know that, because it keeps me from being redundant later and feeling like I have to say, "After much consideration, if Draco were honest with himself, he had to admit that his opinion had changed," or something, and end up beating people over the head with unnecessary explanations to make absolutely sure that important things are clear.

I think...this feeling inside? This must be what people are always referring to when they say, "SQUEE!" I'm pretty sure this is it. I love Draco. He's one of my favorite characters, so the fact that you think he still seems canon even as I'm sort of bending that along to my plot is THE BEST!!! I've really wanted to keep him who he was in the books, and just point out all the things that *could* have been, that we don't know about one way or the other. He's got a long way to go, but I'm glad that, under all his Death Eater-ness, he's still coming across as a little bit human.

I, too, am SO excited for the next chapter. If it all falls out as I have planned, in regards to what's included, it's going to be a VERY BIG DEAL, plot-wise. Hopefully I can pull it off.

And thank you so so so much! I love hearing favorite quotes, and I'm so glad that you liked that one.

As far as the spoilers in my MTA, I know there were some from Chapter 4. I wasn't sure about 5, but I thought I'd label it, because better safe than sorry.

I know I'm saying thank you a lot, but you deserve it many times over. I appreciate your reviews and the thought you put into them so much. Thanks (again)! You're the best!

--Penny


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Review #40, by Rumpelstiltskin An Unwelcome Visitor

19th January 2014:
Hey there.

The opening scene was a bit ominous, which is absolutely fantastic, as it set the tone for the rest of the chapter (if not, the story). Several immediate questions came to my mind while I was reading that, including what was going to happen, as the foreshadowing is glaring.

Personally, I think that this is a fantastic first chapter. You left me anticipating what in the world was happening until the near end of the chapter. Astoria's true personality shines through with her thoughts, even though she is putting on an act during this chapter. Her love for her family, and fear what her lack of devotion could cause is wonderfully instilled in her.

I think one of the elements that I love most about Astoria is that she's immediately not a fan of Draco Malfoy. Nothing in her description of him betrays her true feelings. Despite some of his better attributes, she stays true to her opinions. He is, more than anything, a Death Eater in Astoria's eyes, which is something that she clearly against.

Her mother's death is a terrific follow-up to the ominous opening scene, where her mother warns her against telling secrets.

Overall, I found this to be very enjoyable. It's well-written and interesting and leaves me anticipating more.

Thanks again for the swap.

-Rumpel

Author's Response: Oooh, ominous. Ominous is good--I'm glad that comes across that way. That's definitely the sort of vibe I was hoping for.

Thank you! I'm really happy that you liked it. I always hope that people are able to see that Astoria does have good qualities, especially since she spends a decent part of the story trying to hide them.

Haha, yes, she's definitely not a fan of Draco. She's a very focused person, and right now he is 100% the enemy. Astoria certainly has to expend some effort to cover up just how much she hates Draco and what he represents, which is where all that "polite society" stuff she's been trained in her whole life comes in handy.

Yay! Astoria's mother, Lavinia, plays a pretty big role (especially considering thatshe's already shuffled off the mortal coil by the time the story begins), so I'm glad to hear that her death was suitably dramatic. She'd certainly believe that, if she had to die, it should at least be a death worth talking about. ;)

Thank you again for your kind words and for taking time and making effort to write this review. I really appreciate it!

--Penny


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Review #41, by theblacksisters The Stolen Truth

18th January 2014:
I'm enjoying the new developments (sp?). Since I'm fairly sure this is a fic compliant with canon, we know both Astoria and Draco survive, but I'm still wondering how the hell she gets out of this mess. Update soon!

Author's Response: Hello! I can't tell you how much I appreciate that you always review! It's really so encouraging when people take the time.

Also, I think that is how you spell developments. It's how I'd spell it, anyways :D

Teeheeheeheehee, are you wondering? Wonderful! That's what I love to hear. It is quite the mess, isn't it? Well, Astoria may have been momentarily out maneuvered, but she's a smart girl. I have faith she'll figure out something. The question, really, is what.

Thanks again for the review! It made me smile, which hasn't been happening much this week, as I've been battling a truly nasty case of the flu, so I really appreciate your lifting my spirits by reviewing.

New chapter should be coming soon.

--Penny


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Review #42, by nott theodore The Lady of Greengrass Hall

31st December 2013:
Hello! I'm here with your requested review! I can only apologise that it's taken me so long - with Christmas and all the other things going on in the last few weeks, I've had a hard time getting online at all!

I was really happy that you re-requested for this story, because I enjoyed your first chapter a lot and wanted to know what would happen next. Your writing style is definitely something that adds to the effect that you're creating here; it's quite old-fashioned, almost austere at times, and it puts me in mind of the days when society was rigidly governed by rules about what people could and couldn't do, of the class system - which is still around in Britain, although this version of it reminds me much more of the past. I think it suits the story extremely well because your tale is one of the magical upper classes (or at least, that's how they like to think of themselves) and it helps me to feel like I'm immersed in that world.

Another aspect that I think you've written brilliantly is the suspense and intrigue in this story. I was hooked in the last chapter, when we found out that Lavinia had died working as a spy, but I think that this chapter was even better in terms of mystery. It was so compelling that I read right through and had to go back again to look at your areas of concern, which is something that doesn't happen very often. After revealing that Lavinia was killed by a Death Eater, I didn't think that you'd have another hook in this chapter, but I was wrong; you've left me wondering how Astoria plans to take down the Death Eaters. Your writing is extremely gripping and compelling, and the plot of this story is very intriguing. I think the different sections that you chose added well to that.

As far as CC is concerned, I do have a few things to mention. The first is a typo:
"the tea trey" - tray
Secondly, in the section towards the end when you mention how Astoria is angry, you start the sentence with "Anger at her mother" and the next sentence is started the same way; in the third you change it to "angry at". While I can understand you not wanting too much repetition, I think this third one would work better if it followed the same syntactical pattern, because the parallels really add emphasis. That's just something very small and based off personal preference, though.

One other thing, which is a very minor detail, is the way that you referred to Lavinia as a debutante. I quite like the idea of this in relation to the pureblood world, because I think that it matches upper class society in many ways, but debutantes originally were young ladies who were presented to the king or queen, meaning they were then old enough to be in society and to marry etc. So it's extremely minor, but if you were to play on this idea again I might think about who they'd be presented to, because the royal association is also a Muggle association, and that's probably not something that the pureblood families would care for. Like I said though, it is only extremely minor!

I don't think that the present is really overwhelmed by the past in this chapter, because you've chosen to focus on what happened to Lavinia, which is completely natural. But I think if you wanted to balance it a little better, you could add in another section in the present between the flashbacks, even if it's only a few lines long; that could also create a sort of disjointed effect that might work well with the fragmented flashbacks, and create more tension in the chapter about what actually happened and what's going to happen. I don't think you need to change it really, but if you wanted to then that's something I might consider.

I can't tell you how intrigued I am by Lavinia's character. I'm really drawn to strong female characters in stories and she definitely seems to be one of those, however covertly she had to operate as such in life. The idea of her spying giving her an outlet for her desires to be independent and throw off the constraints that her social situation laid on her is really interesting, and I like it a lot. I think there's all sorts of things that could be explored with that idea, because we've seen spies in the past in the books, and Lavinia seems completely different to them. I'm also extremely curious to know about how she died; was it one of the Notts or Malfoys who killed her, or could it have been someone else that discovered she was a spy when they realised she knew that information? I'm intrigued to find out!

Draco's cast in quite a harsh light in this story so far, which is definitely understandable given Astoria's feelings towards the Death Eaters and what they do. I'm interested to see how everything will play out between him and Astoria; clearly he has his role, assigned to him by Voldemort, and she is playing hers. I can't work out how he intends to test their loyalties, but I think they could both be in danger of underestimating each other at times in this story.

Astoria's another great character, and the ending really helped me to warm to her and like her even more. It's almost as if the burden of all this knowledge has been passed to her by default - if she didn't know, she could live a more peaceful life. But her decision to take the Death Eaters down is really intriguing, and I can't wait to find out what she has planned. Clearly it's something to do with Draco, but then if you're going along the lines of canon then maybe it won't be successful in the way she hoped, since they get married...

This was a brilliant second chapter, and once again I'm sorry that it took me so long to review! I hope this was helpful, and feel free to re-request!

Sian :)

Author's Response: Ack! Sian, I am so sorry for taking so long to respond to your wonderfully thorough review.

I'm delighted that you liked the writing style. It's something I was a bit worried over for a while, as I thought people might just think, "Nobody talks like this!" and write it off. But it always seemed the write way to convey just what you said--the rigidity and coldness of Pureblood society, as well as alluding to the fact that most of them are a bit stuck in the past.

I'm so excited to hear that you got caught up in the story! Like, seriously, I can't even tell you. I'm also thrilled that my attempts to hook and intrigue appear to be working (Muahahaha). I labeled it as Angst because I didn't know what else to call it, but I was always going for more of a Mystery tone, even if it isn't exactly a detective-type mystery story.

I really appreciate your CC. I haven't had any of these beta'd, so I really am grateful when anyone points out the grammar errors. I'd much rather have people tell me then just have them stay there! I also think you make a good point about the repeated lines. I'll have to go in and try to get them to match up.

That's an interesting point you raise about the 'debutante' classification. Honestly, I hadn't even thought of it. I'm American, and around here we still have debutantes (well, some places). But here you're usually presented to a society or a sisterhood of some kind, so there are more options. However, you've given me an interesting idea with that. We'll see if it makes it's way into the story...

Thank you for the way you directly address my concerns. The suggestion you give for balancing the past and present is a good one that I'll keep in mind, but it's good to know you also think it'd be alright to leave it as is.

Oh, Lavinia, bewitching everyone! There's more to be revealed about her, of course. She's really very active in this story, considering she's, well, already dead. But she would have wanted to leave her mark on the world, and it's looking like she certainly succeeded.

Draco, Draco, oh darling, you aren't even going to know what hit you. He's certainly never come up against anyone like Astoria. But then, she's never been up against anyone like him. They're both wary of each other, at least. We'll have to see how it plays out. Perhaps some feelings will, ever so slightly, change ;)

Perhaps some people will, too.

Astoria does indeed have something planned. But how Draco comes into it...you'll have to wait and see.

I'll have to re-request. You really do give the best, most thorough reviews! Thank you so much!

--Penny


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Review #43, by smitlikesllamas An Unwelcome Visitor

29th December 2013:
Hi! So sorry about the wait. I don't really have any excuse other than I'm a terrible procrastinator. D:

Anyway, I enjoyed this. Usually whenever I read a story with Astoria, she's fun and the complete opposite of Draco. But you can tell from this introductory chapter than she's serious about playing the role she needs to in order to survive whatever she needs to. You can tell she's had her manners drilled into her, because you know she does NOT want Draco in her house, and while she's a little cold to him, nothing that she physically says to him could possibly be taken in a rude way. She knows what she's doing.

That being said, I'd like to know more about the time period. This is after the war, I suppose, since it's taking place in '98, but what's going on? I mean, I get that obviously the remaining Death Eaters will want revenge, but I think that Voldemort's death could be a pretty darn good excuse to get out of being a Death Eater, right? I know the Malfoys were sick of being Death Eaters, and obviously I don't know much about Astoria yet, but from what I can tell, she doesn't particularly want to be a Death Eater. Just something I'm curious about. Why care if you're loyal to a dead guy?

Other than that, I'm kind of intrigued about what might happen later on in the story. It's pretty interesting so far! Thanks for requesting, and feel free to request the next chapter. :)

~Smit

Author's Response: Well, it seems I myself have been procrastinating a bit. Sorry to get back to you so late.

You're exactly right about Astoria. She chooses every word and motion carefully, and is definitely a product of her upbringing.

That darn time-period! Someone recently gave me a suggestion of how to fix that, and i really need to go in and play around with it to see what'll work. I totally understand the confusion. This actually takes place during Deathly Hallows. This scene is over Easter Holidays, which is why Astoria is home, just before Harry, Hermione, and Ron are captured at Malfoy Manor. So, at present, Voldemort isn't dead. But the confusion is completely my fault. I'll have to see what I can do to clear that up.

I'm glad you found it interesting, and thank you for the review and your thoughts!

--Penny


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Review #44, by MadiMalfoy The Lady of Greengrass Hall

23rd December 2013:
Hello! Sorry about my tardiness, final exams took up a lot of my spare time!

I absolutely loved all this background stuff we got on Lavinia Greengrass! Her ambition to do better than her position in life and sex allowed her made me love her even more! I love how you've characterized her and her relationship with both of her daughters!

Astoria is not usually character I like to read because she's usually hanging off Draco, etc. But you've really made me like her! This story really shows a different side to her and her family and their role with the Dark Lord. Just fantastic! I don't even know what to say, her character is just so flawlessly written and agh!

Fantastic job with this chapter! Come back whenever you'd like! :)
~MadiMalfoy x

Author's Response: Hey there. Sorry about *my* tardiness in responding. And think nothing of it--I too know the overwhelming nature of finals ;)

I'm so happy you like Lavinia. She's a very complex character, especially for one who's already dead! Really she sort of surprised me. The story just leaped into my head one day, starting with Astoria, and Lavinia sort of elbowed her way in. She's hard to deter, that one. Of course, more will be revealed about her, both to the readers and to Astoria, as the story goes on.

I'm also thrilled that you like Astoria. That's really exactly what I wanted to do. I've read plenty where Astoria was just awful, and here she may have awful moments (as do we all), but I wanted to present her as someone much stronger than the other portrayals I'd seen. You are so sweet! I'll definitely re-request when I see a spot come open. Thank you!

--Penny


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Review #45, by theblacksisters A Dangerous Revelation

15th December 2013:
I felt I should just mention that this story is very well-written.

Author's Response: You are so sweet! Thank you so much :D

--Penny


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Review #46, by theblacksisters The Lady of Greengrass Hall

15th December 2013:
Well, I'll review because I want to, not because you dared me to. I'm Slytherin.
Anyway, it's nice to see Astoria characterized this way-it's how I would do it if I ever wrote something with her in it. A lot of stuff shows her as shallow, or evil, so it's nice to see something new.

Author's Response: Haha, thanks! I appreciate that you wanted to! Also, it's always great to get a review from a fellow Slytherin.

I'm glad you like Astoria's characterization. I've read plenty where she's shallow or evil, myself. And while there's a time and a place for that, I wanted to explore a different route, so I'm really happy that it's working with you. I'm always super excited to see Astoria get some love.

Thanks for taking the time to review!

--Penny


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Review #47, by nott theodore An Unwelcome Visitor

12th December 2013:
Hello, I'm here with your requested review! I'm really sorry it's taken me so long to get around to but I've been completely overwhelmed by RL recently - luckily things have calmed down enough that I can get this written now!

Your summary actually captivated me straight away when I read it in my thread. It doesn't seem like this story will be your typical Draco-Astoria romance, with Astoria meeting him after the war and turning him into a better man, and it's clear after reading the first chapter that it isn't that. I really like the idea you have here and the way that you've set up the story so far. I was surprised when I got to the end of the chapter and realised you've actually only featured three characters here - I was completely absorbed by your writing and I think it's great that you haven't overloaded us with a giant cast of characters, because that's always difficult to get used to when starting a new story.

I have to say something about your writing style - it fits this story wonderfully! The tone is almost formal at times, and that suits the narrative so well, since both Draco and Astoria have grown up with privilege and upper-class families (if their family homes are anything to go by). The style of language that you used works really well when it ties into that aspect, and I can also draw links with the idea of Astoria keeping up a front and playing the role expected of her - the tone fits really well with that.

I do have a couple of little Brit-picks for you, if you don't mind!
"moment in the entryway" - I wasn't sure whether you meant the doorway or the hall here, but I think you mean the hall (it's inside, right?), which is a term we use more over here
"in the foyer" - although we have foyers over here, they don't tend to be used in the sense of someone's home - again, hall or hallway would be more British

With regards to the time that you said this was set in, I think I might be able to help you with what's confusing people. Having the date at the beginning of that section definitely helps, especially after the section about Astoria's childhood, but the actual narrative is a little confusing at times. Astoria keeps referring to 'when Draco was at school' and 'what he had been like' in her thoughts, almost as if both of them have been out of school for several years. As far as I can remember, Astoria is two years younger than Draco, so would have been at school, and I'm also fairly certain that Draco attended Hogwarts in his final year - there's a mention in the last book of him being home for Easter. If that's the case, you might be able to clear up confusion by adding a few subtle references to the fact they're in the holidays rather than termtime, and maybe some allusions to the last term? I hope that helps a bit!

Your characterisation of Draco is really interesting and enjoyable. I could see here that the war had taken its toll on him - he's described in a way that makes him seem physically older, almost weary; it's different to the way that he's described in the books, but I think that it works well since Harry's perspective would be different, and Astoria's also younger than Draco, so he'd already seem older to her, even without the effects of the war. Then, of course, he's playing his own role as a good Death Eater. He was very reserved here, and not nearly as boastful or arrogant as he's usually portrayed, but I think that works really well when I consider what's happening at the time, and the sort of pressure that their families are under.

Astoria is a brilliant character, and I already like her from this first chapter. I'm really interested to see the plot develop from her point of view. I've read a few versions of Astoria before and this one seems quite manipulative, Slytherin however much she wouldn't like the thought, because she's doing what she has to do to protect herself and her family. Her thoughts about little details like the green dress and house elves (I really warmed to her when she was going to thank her elf!) show that she pays a lot of attention to detail and has studied for her role - which ties in the idea of her being an actress which started the second section. I think that reading her as a child added a layer of vulnerability to her character to which she tries very hard - mostly successfully - to mask. Of course as a reader we see much more than the other characters! And the fact that her family is in danger is really interesting - the threat is not one I'd necessarily expect, but since the war is in the open at the moment and the Death Eaters are controlling the Ministry, perhaps it's worse to be seen as someone going against Death Eaters than someone who supports them. I'm really curious about what happened to her mother, as well - she's clearly played a huge part in Astoria's life, even if she's no longer alive, and has taught her what she needs to know to perform this role she's now taking on.

Overall, I thought this was a great start to your story! I hope this review was helpful, and feel free to re-request when I have free spots!

Sian :)

Author's Response: Oh my GOSH, Sian, this review is amazing! You are so thorough! I can even...gah!

I'm really glad the summary caught your interest. From my end, that's always good news :D And I think that sounds about right. I definitely don't see this as a story *about* Astoria changing Draco. This is a story about Astoria (and Draco), and they both ought to change and grow throughout it, but not only because of each other. There's this whole war thing, fate of the world...lots of reasons to become a better, stronger person, and romance is only one of those reasons (Don't get me wrong, though. I love romance! It's certainly featured.)

I am DELIGHTED--with capitals and everything--that you liked the writing style. I was a bit worried about it. The only way I could get things to sound right was if they spoke as though they had stepped into a time warp. I was worried people would think, "Nobody talks like that!" and be totally distracted from the story. But I felt like it was one of the best ways to convey the rigid politics and politeness of Pureblood society, and the tensions of the scenes between Astoria and Draco.

So glad you pointed those spots out! I'll have to remember to go in and fix them. I do try to get things right, but obviously I'm not British, so I really, honestly appreciate the help :D

I see exactly what you mean with the time confusion. I think you're the first to point that out, or at least to explain it so clearly. From my read on the books (and I could totally be wrong) it was never really clear whether or not Draco was in school during DH. We only happen to see him in the summer and during Easter holidays, which makes it hard to say. I took advantage of that wiggle room and decided, for the sake of this story, to have him pulled out of Hogwarts as a full member of Lord Voldemort's forces. As for Astoria, her birthday does put her at 2 years younger than Draco, but I placed her in 6th year in this story. That is probably incorrect, given her year of birth, but I really didn't want her to face the ordeals of this story as a 15 year-old. However, she *is* still in school, just home for Easter. Thank you for pointing that out--I totally see why that's confusing. I'll have to try to find a place where I can clarify it, as you suggest. You helped more than a bit! You helped a lot :D

I'm really happy that you liked Draco's characterization. I thought he'd behave a bit differently towards someone he considered, more or less, a societal equal. And, like you mention, I figured recent events would have deflated him a bit. But he does still have his jerktastic moments.

The fact that you like Astoria is--fantastic doesn't even cover it. I want to do a happy dance. Okay, you caught me, I might actually be dancing around right now. Astoria is my favorite character of all the ones I've ever written, so I love when people like her. I'm glad you noticed her attention to detail. Astoria is very unlike me, but that's one of the biggest differences--she notices *everything*. If I was in her place, I'd be sitting there like, "He looks unhappy. Yum, tea." :) And she's already noticed how the mud on his boots clearly implies that he's Apparated straight from Kensington, or something.

As far as Lavinia goes, she's a pretty complex character for someone who's already dead. You are absolutely correct in saying that she gave Astoria the tools to play her part. But what part was Lavinia grooming her for? She was a complicated woman, and she left Astoria a very thorny legacy. I'm really interested to know your thoughts on Lavinia in later chapters.

Your review was so helpful and also so kind. Thank you so much for taking the time to be so thorough! I'm definitely re-requesting.

--Penny


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Review #48, by Tanith The Malediction Perfidious

8th December 2013:
hi,

I just wanted to drop a few lines ;) I really like your story, it not only features one of my favourite characters (Draco, however, I also really like that you choose Astoria as a main character) but you also came up with a really interesting plot! Your use of flashbacks is a great tool to keep people guessing and interested and you use it very well! I am very curious about the next chapters :)

Author's Response: Hi! Thank you so much for taking the time to write a review! I love Draco myself--maybe good girls shouldn't like bad boys and all, but authors totally should! So much potential ;)

Thanks also for the note on the flashbacks. I'm glad it's working. New chapters should be coming soon! Thank you for reading :D

--Penny


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Review #49, by Cannons An Unwelcome Visitor

27th November 2013:
Hey, here for the review swap...

This is a strong start, not to long and very interesting. I haven't read anything when Astoria has been one of the main characters so it is certainly interesting.

The fact that she has been moulded in to specifically keeping secrets from such a young age is quite scary really. I wonder what they have to hide.

'unfortunate incident' - yep, typical Draco. Very fitting, I liked your description of him trying to live up to his father but not quite getting there.

Overall I think this is an intriguing start with a very interesting plot.

Cannons

Author's Response: Thank you. I'm glad it starts well. Yeah, the indoctrination *is* a bit scary, but then, the Greengrasses might have quite a bit to hide...

And yes, Draco. He's not exactly who you'd want to lean your shoulder on for a good cry.

Thank you so much for telling me what parts you liked. It helps me know what to stick with in the future.

Thanks for your review!

--Penny


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Review #50, by marauderfan An Unwelcome Visitor

27th November 2013:
Hi there!

This is a lovely start. I really liked the way you described how Astoria thinks about everything she sees, particularly the part about her green dress. I also think the way you've described Astoria and her loyalties in this is really good. As far as we know the Greengrasses weren't Death Eaters, so it seems fitting that they're kind of just doing their own thing, and that Astoria's loyalty is primarily to herself. I appreciate that she is normally kind to her house-elf too :) You characterisation of Astoria is really well done.

I also think you wrote Draco well! Despite that the war was hard on him and changed him, he still has the same combination of false charm and tactlessness that really defines him. His comment about Astoria's mother's death being an "unfortunate incident" - ouch.

Overall this is a strong start! Well done writing this chapter, it has a great premise and your characters are well written.

Author's Response: Hi!

Thanks for your review!

That's just what I thought--we don't really know where the Greengrasses fell in the war, which got me curious. And I'm glad you like that she is kind to her elf. I felt that surely not all Purebloods could be so careless about them. I mean, they've been in the family for ages, probably practically raising the children in some cases. I also wanted something to show early on that, even though Astoria is rather self-focused and can be harsh and aloof, she does have a good heart. But I wanted it to be something basic--treating someone with the decency that they deserved anyway--because Astoria's a bit of an anti-hero. She doesn't have lofty morals or a desire to save the world, so it couldn't be anything too noble.

And thank you so much for your comments about Draco. False charm and tactlessness, that's just it! He's so callous, but sometimes you wonder if he really means to be, or if he's just gotten so used to being awful that it comes without his reaching for it. He's really quite horrible right there, though, isn't he? It's not exactly "Sorry for your loss".

Thank you for your considerate review. I really appreciate the time you took to write out specific things, and you were just so nice!

Thanks again.

--Penny



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