Okay, as an apology I'm doing this chapter too :P
Wow. That's all I have to say. Wow.
I'm actually a bit worried by exactly how well you manage to write insanity! Daphne petrifies me, she actually scares me. I think if I were Draco, I'd run away from her. Fast. I do like that he didn't give up on her and followed her in. It shows a great strength of character though I'm a bit unsure as to whether Draco would really do that. It seems a bit dangerous for him, that's all. It's easy enough to look past.
Actually, Daphne makes Astoria seem stable. I can't work out if Astoria IS insane or not, which is either very clever on your part, or worrying on mine! I loved the ending of the chapter especially: is that the first dialogue for Astoria? I think so, and it was so daydreamy(!) and shows the surprise really well.
I love your writing style. It's so wonderful to read, and it flows so well. Your descriptions are fantastic, your dialogue is sparse but so emphatic when it is there, and it's just generally a joy to read. I've struggled so much with these reviews because I have very little to say that is constructive. I've had to stop myself leaving 4 fangirly reviews!
xAuthor's Response: No need to apologize, but I am not going to complain :P
Haha, you are by no means the only one to be nervous! But I am perfectly sane. (At least, I think so). If it makes you feel any better, I hated writing Daphne here and... ick. She does not scare me, since I do not think I wrote her well enough for that, but the idea of her scares me, if that makes any sense. I understand what you say about Draco, but I think he is the sort of person who will plunge into the deepest waters without realizing it. After all, that is what his role in the story is, for the most part: he is in way over his head. He will go into whatever danger, and then cower and try to get out of it; that is exactly what happened here.
I will tell you right now, Astoria is not stable, nor is she sane. She has lost her mind, indeed her will to live. Her insanity is just a different sort. The end of the chapter was particularly hard for me to write because I did not want to drag it out, but it was the beginning of the end, and its importance cannot be lost! But yes, that is Astoria\\\'s first explicitly written dialogue. (She\\\'s been singing, screaming, reading the diary to herself, etc, but that is all too tedious to write out :P). Of course, when I first wrote it, I thought it was only her first dialogue since being locked in the tower in the first place, but after seeing your review, I realized that she had not actually spoken before. Which hopefully makes the occasion all the more momentous.
Rachelle, really, you flatter me too much. I cannot thank you enough for all of these delightful reviews! They make me think, and as I try to begin to write the last chapter, I feel kind of lost and hope I can actually make this happen. XD Thank you so much for everything! Report Review
At last, we see Astoria. I really like that you've held back on her to this point. It makes her appearance so much more powerful and important. It was introduced wonderfully, the emotions of the couple, Brian and Tabitha, really reflect how the reader feels: the shock, the surprise that Astoria has seemingly gone the same way as her mother, it's this outside perspective and it gives a good, strong idea of the feelings of exterior characters towards Astolat and the women.
I think her defiance against her being like her mother is just amazing. It made her seem madder than she was trying to convince us of. Her frustration, her anger, all her emotions come across brilliantly here.
I think Draco is really good. I may not read a lot of him but he really acts as I would imagine in a post-war environment. His attitude is brilliant, and I was quite surprised that he remembered Hannah Abbott's name and didn't flinch away from her touch. It was an interesting aspect to him. That conversation was written very well. It is well balanced and, as a lover of dialogue, really natural and believable.
Though we didn't see Daphne, I think this is a brilliant demonstration of her character. There's this brokenness about her that is wonderfully brought across here. I just love your characterisations, they're wonderful.
I think this chapter was my favourite so far. I really enjoyed the variety of characters. They're all so different and the contrasting perspectives on Astoria's situation are fantastic and really come across strongly in the chapter. I think this is a fantastic, unique and original story. It's so different to other stories that it's hard NOT to like it.
I'm so sorry this has taken so long. I've been busier than I thought!
xAuthor's Response: I always had to introduce Draco before going into Astoria in the tower, so that is why it took so long to see her again. Tabitha and Brian showed up when I couldn\\\'t figure out how to start the chapter, but I think they deserved more discussion after mentioning them in passing in Astolat. They of course remember Honoria living there, so seeing that parallel without the taint of Astoria and Daphne\\\'s bias is, now that I look at it, really important.
Obviously Astoria has mother issues, and there is no way she would ever want to become like her. Deep inside, deeper than she would care to look, she knows that she is goign the same way, but she will fight it and, in the process, expedite her losing her mind. It was really hard writing her like this, but it had to be done, and I am proud of what resulted :)
As usual, I was nervous about Draco, but I thought it was important to show him interacting with someone else, far removed from the Greengrass girls and their situation. I think that in school, he felt above everyone, but he was not the type to ignore people - he rubbed in his superiority however he could. Besides, he and Hannah have become almost friendly in the six months or so since the Final Battle. :)
Daphne was never supposed to take this huge a role - in fact, she was originally going to spend the whole story in Prague, and Maurice was the one to come to Draco. But then I killed Maurice, and Daphne came back. She freaks me out, but I am glad that she came back instead of Maurice.
This was my favorite chapter, too. I have not done this sort of thing before (at least, not that I can remember... for all I know, I probably have), so I am especially relieved that it worked! Thanks so much for everything, Rachelle! And please do not worry about time, I\\\'m not in a rush :) Report Review
I love the attitude you've given society towards Draco and the Malfoys. That was what struck me the most when I began reading. It is a highly believable reaction, and not written like this enough. I think Draco's characterisation was very good. I don't read him very often and I struggle to write him so I'm no expert, but for me he was believable. His attitude to Daphne was fantastic and not over the top. I think it is entirely plausible for Draco to feel as he does: the hatred of his job (a reminder of what the regime he joined did to people), his reaction to those who were deceased (indifference to the highest degree), the way that he has changed along with society's views of him but still holds that pride that we know he has. It's a superb balance.
I liked Daphne too. You've given her this nervousness that comes across very well: her stammering, her lies, her short monotonous, monosyllabic responses. It all adds to this mystery shrouding both Daphne and her sister. I love how the girls didn't know exactly where they were for so long. It is a fantastic plot device. I bet it's South Wales though! (-grumbles- )
I was very surprised by the change in Draco in terms of his kindness to Daphne. Is there something there romantically that happened before she left? I'm intrigued by that. There seems to be something hanging in the air between them that I want to discover (forcing me, not against my will, to read more).
The ending of this chapter is fantastic. I don't know what it was but it made me shiver. That horrible question that he just can't answer. It made Daphne sound so broken and hurt, it was amazing.
The style of this is so different from the previous chapter, it's quite a shocking change but nonetheless enjoyable. It feels now like we're back in 'real time'. I think it brings across the changes between the two societies well: this old-fashioned feeling for Astoria and modern and fresh for Draco. It's a fantastic parallel.
This is such a unique story. It's so captivating and different that you can't help but want to read on. Your writing style is so well developed and always fits perfectly with the concept or character that you want to bring across, and this is no exception.
xAuthor's Response: I think a lot of people write the postwar Malfoys as vaguely accepted, but not really embraced, you know? But I never liked them, so I guess I give them a harsher fate. That, and I cannot believe that Harry & Co. would ever accept them wholeheartedly, no matter what they have and have not done. Acceptance will come much later, not right after the Final Battle. I hate writing Draco, because I really cannot grasp his character well enough, but I am so relieved that he came across realistically to you.
I was almost more scared about Daphne than Draco, because she has... well, she has her issues, as you can see. A quick tip: never trust what she says. Ever. She does want to find her sister, but... well, never trust her. (Although, yes, I imagine that the Selwyn palace is in South Wales. Is that a bad thing? :P)
I don\\\'t think Draco was exactly kind to Daphne as much as he was resigned to helping her. What else can he really do? There might have been some romantic background to them, but that really has no relevance. Draco is more stricken by the fact that here is a chihldhood acquaintance whose death he has long accepted. Except now, she is not dead, and nor is the sister he never really knew. That is what frightens him, more than any ghost of vague romantic feelings in the past.
Actually, when I posted this chapter, I was entirely sure that in not answering, Draco refused the job. I went right on thinking that until I realized that, as a result of that, I would have to stretch the story out longer than the original five chapters, which I really did not want to do :P Daphne is definitely broken and hurt... but not helpless.
I know, I know! I was unsure of the transition, but it was needed. This is not entirely a fairytale, and the shift would have to be made sooner or later.
I am so, so happy that you are enjoying the story. It is my pride and joy at the moment, and seeing such support really makes me feel better about this whole undertaking. Thank you so, so much as always! Report Review
I think by far my favourite part is the way you've written this. It is just like a fairytale and (I think this must be down to the 'manse called Camelot' motif) reminded me of something written in the Middle Ages. I may have to go and read 'The Lady of Shalott' now, just to see how it plays in to the story. I think everyone knows the story of 'Snow White', and that makes it really accessible to all ages.
As I mentioned before, I loved the repetition of Camelot throughout it. It gives a really good sense of place and time within the story, and reinforces immediately that it is going to play such an important role in the story.
Since you haven't extensively shown the characters, it's hard to really gauge exactly how well they are characterised. I do like the way in which they speak. There's that fairytale aspect to it again which is so polite and proper. It's excellent and so enjoyable to read. I like the way that Daphne leaves. That letter addressed a lot of emotion and unspoken sentiment and it came across really well, I think. Astoria's defiance was superb. It shows a snippet of her personality. Her intelligence is evident and her rationality was brilliant to read. She's going to be a strong character, I can feel it. Maurice. I can't work him out. I don't know whether to pity him or not. I may have to reserve judgement on him :P
I think you brought the mysterious element of the story across excellently. Your vocabulary is so sophisticated and brilliant that it compels you to read on. Your description is gorgeous, your expression of the emotions is terrific and it flows really well.
I just can't fault you. I have read a lot of your stories and I just never find fault with any of them. You have a natural talent for this and you just keep getting better and better. I'm so jealous (especially when Jane told me how old you were!)
xAuthor's Response: Quite technically, the original versions of all the classic fairytales were very Spartan in description, as far as I could see, so I did try to do something different in that respect. You really must read The Lady of Shalott, not just for this story but because it is a wonderful representation of poetry from the period. Snow White does not play a huge role - mostly it is in the disclaimer because of the title, but also for something in the last chapter :)
Everyone actually likes the Camelot repetition! It really surprised me, since it did not run through the chapter and that bothered me :P I am glad that you liked, it though! Camelot is an important part of the story; it is also the title of the last chapter.
This chapter is not supposed to go in-depth into characterization; I suppose you could say that this is a prologue of sorts, describing what leads up to the main body of the story. Daphne leaving is a big part of her character, though, and she kind of speaks for Astoria, too, though she is much milder. Maurice, though... I would say, do not pity him. He has his heart in the right place, but with that sort of life, he is unbalanced, too.
Rachelle, you flatter me way too much; everyone has flaws, me especially, but what you said really made my day. XD A lot of people don\\\'t believe me when they find out how old I am, but I am. So thank you so much! ^_^ Report Review
Wow, your picturesque descriptions are great! I smile everytime you update :) I really like how this is going now, because the story is deepening and it's getting much darker. I'm enjoying the enticement because it's so different from other stories i've read, keep up the great work! & also, will you be putting chapter images in the story? not that i'd need a character's picture, the one already in mind is good enuogh, but it's just an idea ^_^ fabulous chapter, as always!
10/10.Author's Response: Thank you! I felt the descriptions were incredibly indulgent this chapter, but I am happy that you liked them! I do strive to be original and different, so I am happy that you recognize that, too. Hopefully the last chapter does not disappoint! As to your question, I might put in chapter images when the story is completed. I never have been a fan of them because, frankly, I am too lazy to request :P Also, I like it better myself to let the reader conjure their own images of the characters and settings. I will consider it, though, thanks for the suggestion! And, of course, for the wonderful review! -hugs- Report Review
Very very elegantly written. You have an extraordinary gift for writing. Keep it up.Author's Response: Thank you so much! I am flattered that you think that! Hopefully the next chapter does not disappoint! Thanks for reviewing! Report Review
Wow, Gubby, I think you outdid yourself with this chapter. The language here is so deep and moving. I kept losing myself in the wonders of your sentences and phrasing, which is something that just doesn't happen with fanfiction that often. But wow, here you have a work of art.
What I also like about this chapter is how you start to explain things, tying together the loose ends of the plot - the Draco/Hannah issue, Daphne's madness, what happened to Mr. Greengrass, the mirror. You put so much into this chapter, yet it doesn't feel bulky. It didn't feel as though you were moving the plot along, yet you were beneath all that wondrous language.
My jealousy of your talent keeps increasing. :P It's not fair that you can write a story like this. There's so much to it - the horror and fairy tale and Arthurian romance, plus all the Potterverse stuff. It leaves me squeeing without any criticisms to make. *sigh* Hopefully that's alright.
Needless to say, your Daphne terrifies me. She's so insanely creepy. I'm glad that Astoria is a bit more... I can't say normal, but she seems stronger, a bit more crazy in the Luna-sense than the insane madwoman sense. If that makes any sense at all.
I liked this chapter and look forward to the next, not just to see how you'll be wrapping this all up, for for another dose of your talent. ^_^Author's Response: Funnily enough, I really did not like this chapter. I still do not, although I have gone through it several times after all this praise. It felt so indulgent, especially with the section about Astoria. But there really was not anything else I could do about it, since I did need this chapter, so I suppose if you liked it, I should shut up. :P
The Draco-Hannah issue never really seemed like an issue to me; they became acquaintances in the postwar world and banded together because, really, what choice did they have? Hannah does not really have that huge a role here, but she seems to have caused a lot of speculation :P Daphne, I think, was always unbalanced, but it came to a head in this chapter. What happened to Maurice was actually explained in the second chapter, when Draco is trying to remember things about him: he sees the same thing Astoria saw, the bones with the wand. He died in the immediate aftermath of the Final Battle. The mirror\\\'s work has finally come to fruition, and I am sure that you know what comes next.
I was very unsure of Daphne - after Astoria, her part was what scared me most. I have not written full fledged insanity in a really long time, and Daphne\\\'s insanity is a different one. I thought she was rather tame, for a madwoman, to be completely honest XD Astoria is stronger, you are right, but remember that Daphne has experienced different things. She was older when she was with Honoria, so has clearer memories, and she went to Prague, after all... while Daphne finds insanity in an in-your-face manner, Astoria faces it from the corners, from behind your back. She cannot face it head on. Whether that is a good thing is up for debate, but the sisters have different... madnesses. I think? XD
I just opened up the Word document for the story, and hopefully will start and finish the last chapter soon! I\\\'m scared, but excited.
Oh, and you have no reason to be jealous of me, since you are a legend and everything. I\\\'m humbled by your reviews and support, but I am not good enough to incite any sort of jealousy. :P Thank you so much for everything, Susan! Your reviews always make me feel warm and fuzzy and slightly incredulous inside! ^_^ Report Review
this is getting more interesting. i hope Draco finds Astoria and soon. i can't wait to read the next chapter!!!^_^
Harry and GinnyAuthor's Response: Who said that Draco will find Astoria soon? ;) One chapter left, and I hope it does not disappoint! Thanks so much for reviewing! :) Report Review
Ok, well you know how on TGS I said "You know how when you write a sentence and you just know it's good?" Well...that's what this entire story is. Full of AMAZING sentences, strung together with grace, it seems like ever single word was thoughtfully calculated and placed as if it was always meant to be there.
This is an amazing piece of artwork, and although I'm not familiar with the story it is based off of, it's an epic achievement. You are a talented author with a brilliant future. I love the characters you've created here, and really given a personality. I just loved it, and would love the chance to introduce it to new people. Thanks for the awesome read!! :)
-AshAuthor's Response: Oh, Ash XD I don\\\'t know what to say. I mean, there\\\'s obviously THANK YOU, but what else? I\\\'m proud of this fic, yes, and I\\\'m so happy you enjoyed it. Writing it is really hard, because I don\\\'t want to break a pattern or disappoint my readers, but that you liked it makes me feel wonderful. You really must check out The Lady of Shalott - or maybe not, to save the last shock of the story next chapter. I do hope to be a published author one day, but lately that dream seems so far out of reach... so for your encouragement, thank you. For this review, thank you. For the opportunity you offered, thank you. I just... wow. THANK YOU! -hugs- Report Review
Oh, very interesting! I'm so happy you updated, I was reall surprised when I saw the third chapter already up :) This one was a real trip! How do you write so perfectly? YOU MUST BE AN UNDERGROUND AUTHOR! You're probably JKR in desguise or something ;PAuthor's Response: I was surprised, too, to be perfectly honest. But I was hit by inspiration, and decided to write as quickly (but as well!) as possible. I hope a "real trip" is a good thing? XD But I beg to differ, I'm not perfect. Nor am I an underground author. No, no, I'm just your normal HP-obsessed, plot-bunny-attacked fanfic author, who is not JKR. :P Thanks for the enthusiastic review! :) Report Review
Eep! Fantastic chapter! Absolutely perfect.
I LOVE the description of the mirror and her mother still being in it... amazing. The way she is so desperate to get out but can't... the fake wall giving off a false hope. Utterly brilliant.
Not to mention Daphne! Running off like that... so interesting, so intriguing! And then the beginning where you showed the neighbors... stroke of brilliance, I do believe. Want to share some? :]
Your style... integrating these different characters' thoughts... it all lends this wholeness to your writing. It's difficult to explain... everything flows so well, even though you've chosen different characters to depict the different times and scenes. It's really quite wonderful.
Great work! I'd love to know when you update! :D
-JillAuthor's Response: Perfect? And this about the chapter I was most worried about? -faints-
The entire Astoria section was terrifying to write. It felt like it was going in circles over the same material, but really, her mind is going in circles anyway. The mirror plays a very important role, both in the story and in Tennyson's poem, so it had to be there. The fake wall was the most troublesome part of the chapter; originally I was going to put something else in the cavity, which is prominent in the poem, but I decided against it, for now. It may show up in Chapter 4 (Camlann) but I'm not sure. But thank you, I can't explain how relieved I am about this!
Daphne running away was completely spur-of-the-moment. I decided that Draco's section needed drama, too, to qualify this as even slightly action/adventure-y. The neighbors I did because I couldn't start off immediately with either Astoria or Draco and needed a happy medium :P
As for style... I really don't know what to say to that, except that, despite my bout of sneezing, I'm blushing like crazy. A lot of things are happening at the same time (well, not yet, because I had to go to the beginning of Astoria's interment... but yeah), and I don't want to stretch the fic out. That's why I had to put in so many sections in this chapter. It will be there in Camlann, but as far as I know, not in Camelot.
I was so happy to see these reviews, they've made me feel so much better about this whole thing. I will let you know when I update (hopefully soon!). Thank you ever so much for everything, Jill! :) Report Review
Spectacular! This isn't what I was expecting, but I really enjoyed it! I had anticipated some more of Astoria in the tower, some kind of confrontation with her father... but I like this better. It made the last chapter like a prologue - a history of sorts. I really like it!
Your descriptions are absolutely beautiful. I can see everything in stunning detail and really feel like I'm standing there next to the characters. And I happen to be privy to their emotions as well... it alters the scene to your benefit. Really wonderful work.
I love your style as well! The way you integrate the dialogue into the scene that you want to put us in... the way the emotions of the character come through the way you write the dialogue, instead of you telling us. It's absolutely brilliant.
"Its inhabitants hardly made it through the night without waking in the middle of the night with cold sweat dripping languidly down their backs" -- I feel like the repetition of night is unnecessary. I actually looked back thinking I had missed something. I don't know if it's something you'd want to change, but it's just something I noticed and figured I'd share.
"Where were you, before you went into… hiding." -- I feel like there should be a question mark in here somewhere. Maybe between you and before?
Absolutely fantastic story! I'm really enjoying reading it. It's much different than anything else I've read; I have read darker ones, but the mystery and choice of characters really sets yours apart.
-JillAuthor's Response: I knew it would be a bit of a shock, going from the last chapter to this one, but it had to be done. There will definitely be some Astoria in the tower, but there is no confrontation (seeing as Draco recalls seeing Maurice's corpse). But yes, the previous chapter was a prologue of sorts.
Descriptions here were not as big a priority, but I had issues with them nonetheless. I was more concerned with Draco, who I hate writing, and Daphne, who frightens me a bit XD I am really happy that you enjoyed them, though!
The use of "night" in the first sentence was repetitive, looking at it on its own. (I tend to get lost in my sentences, which is why I missed it XD) I fixed it, though.
That sentence is tricky, though. It does feel like there should be a question mark, but I think I wanted it to sound more like a statement from Draco. I like the idea of putting it between you and before, so thank you.
I'm really enjoying your reviews, Jill. I hope the next chapters don't let you down! XD Report Review
Ooooh, very interesting! I love how you've molded this into a fairytale, historical-like story. It's absolutely wonderful!
I've actually never read Tennyson's piece, so this is all pretty new to me, and the fairytale seems more like Cinderella than Snow White to me... but that's probably because my brother stole my video years ago and has not returned it. However, the plot is definitely intriguing and the mixture of these three pieces is just brilliant! I think it's definitely going to be an impacting work when complete :]
Your style worked really well for me. The mixture of dialogue and description was well balanced and repetition and such grammatical pieces were used to your benefit, not over the top but enough to make your point. I feel like you're reading a fantasy to me, which is quite lovely. I haven't really got a grip on your characters yet, but a fair idea. I'm sure you'll flesh them out a bit more soon enough.
There weren't any grammatical things that really jumped out to me, but there seemed to be more commas than necessary. It could just be me... I really don't like them :]
I would normally rush onward because this is a fantastic story, but my computer is having some issues at the moment. :[ I'll definitely be back tomorrow! :]
-JillAuthor's Response: Hi Jill! So glad you could make it down here :)
If you haven't read "The Lady of Shalott," I highly suggest you do; even if you don't like the writing, the plot is haunting and beautiful. Actually, as another reviewer mentioned, the story itself is more Rapunzel than Cinderella (which I must admit I don't see) and Snow White (which does have a purpose, I promise you!). This chapter doesn't give much hint as to plot as much as it is simple exposition, but I'm happy that you liked it nonetheless. As such, it wasn't meant to fully flesh out the characters, whom we will see in greater detail as we go on.
Style, as I said before, was kind of weird. I swear I was in some sort of trance; usually I struggle with flow and stuff, but this was a lot of fun and actually worked, too. I was very nervous about the dialogue, though, since it came in the middle of all the narration. This is certainly a fantasy, but everything has gone wrong.
There are a lot of commas, I know, but I'm pretty sure that most of them should be there, for all the clauses of the sentences. I will look over the chapter again for any unnecessary ones when I get the chance, though :)
I really appreciate the review, Jill, so thank you very much! Report Review
Wow. What an awesome beginning.
Aha, hi! It's Lierrm from TGS. Just randomly here to leave a review ;]
Can I just say that this first chapter is absolutely fantastic. I love how you kept coming back to "the manse called Camelot," and really showed how significant that place is to the story, and how much of an effect it has had on the Greengrass family throughout the duration of their time.
I love the prose you used, it's just fantastic. Every word seems to flow so naturally, like you've really put your heart and soul into writing this story, so that was just beautiful.
At first I felt only sympathy and compassion for Maurice, and tried to understand what it must be like having an insane ex-wife and children who have undergone untold pain from her during their lives, but as the story progressed (and as he locked Astoria in the tower), I felt only disgust, and it's magnificent that in the space of just one chapter you've made me feel such a spectrum of emotions towards this one character.
Brilliant, just brilliant.
10/10Author's Response: Liam! I completely did not expect this (in fact I wandered over to your review thread to see if I had put in a request because I have a horrible memory XD), but oftentimes it's the surprise reviews that are the best. :)
Though I've been told that many times, I can't believe that the "manse called Camelot" thing actually worked! I was getting all neurotic about it not having gone on throughout the chapter, but I'm so happy it worked. In all seriousness, though, Camelot is an extremely important place and will be throughout the story.
I do think that I put a lot into this first chapter especially. I really think I was in a trance or something while writing it, because most of it was done in one sitting and I didn't edit much.
Maurice is not a character to be overlooked, even when compared with Honoria and the girls. Though one might blame Honoria for how they turned out, Maurice (and Eloise!) are also reasons why the girls ended up the way they ended up. Maurice might have been a good man at heart, but Honoria didn't "suddenly" become insane. I guess you could say that it rubbed off on him a little. I never really thought about getting people to sympathize with him, but that you did, and then began to despise him, is indeed a powerful thing and I can't believe that it happened with stuff that I wrote. XD
You really are too nice to me, Liam ^_^ Thanks for the review and I hope you enjoy the rest of the story! Report Review
Well, you've done it again. I can't really say anything more than what I've already said! Every aspect of this story is well-rounded, polished, and a joy to read.
Dialog? Good. Flow? Great. Descriptions? Amazing. Plot? Superb. Characterization? Couldn't be better. I just love it. Every single thing about it.
What I also love is how, so far, you've started out each chapter focusing on a different character. I think this is great because the reader gets a new and refreshing perspective with every chapter!
Like I said, I don't really want to sound like a broken record so perhaps I can just end here. Please, don't hesitate to request again over at TGS when the last two chapters are up. They would be a great little treat to read.
Thanks for requesting! It's been great.
- RinAuthor's Response: I felt this chapter was actually more raw than the other ones, since I wrote it much faster and kept switching throughout. Dialogue I always struggle with, flow as well, and I don't do descriptions very often, and the plot I'm proud of. Characterization is what gets me; in this chapter it was Astoria; last chapter it was Draco; next chapter it's Daphne, et cetera. So I can't communicate just how floored I am to hear all of this XD
Starting each chapter off with a different perspective is not what I planned, at least consciously. But the subconscious can do tricky things, so I'm glad it worked out anyway. In fact, because of your comment, Chapter 4 (Camlann) will start off with yet another perspective, which I'm very excited about! :)
I definitely will request when Camlann and Chapter 5 (Camelot, of course!) are up - hopefully within the week. Your reviews have been a joy. Thank you ever so much! - Gubby Report Review
Here again! ^__^
Wow, I simply loved this. The flow of this chapter (plus the one before it) is just magnificently crafted. I mean, you aren't moving too slow or too fast, which is something so many of the writers on this site (including me) struggle with. So major kuddos to you for that.
And every word just bounces off the next! I don't know how you do it, but the writing here is just absolutely fantastic. I can totally see some writers on this site being published authors, you included. Really, the style is just... great. Really great.
Plot is moving nicely, and it's totally unique as well, which is refreshing. Dialog is smooth, and seems perfectly natural.
What I really want to comment on is your powerful use of description. So far you've done an excellent job informing the reader exactly what is going on around the characters, and you do it very artfully as well! I mean... wow. Really nice work there.
Another great chapter! 10/10
- RinAuthor's Response: -blushes madly- I wasn't worried with flow in the previous chapter, but this one I struggled with a lot. Hearing that it flowed well absolutely makes my day. ^_^ I also struggled with diction in this chapter, just because it had shifted from the Greengrass' plight to Draco's, which are very different things.
Plot and description both build off the other two things you mentioned, in a way. Description rests largely on flow and diction, and without a plot, I would never make any progress in the story. I really am relieved to hear that you enjoyed this, because it took so long to do XD
Thank you again for a lovely review, Rin! :) Report Review
Here as requested! Sorry for the long wait. :(
I really, really enjoyed this! The words just dance across the page, almost like they are written in something other than prose. They style is simply... wonderful. I'm sure everyone here (including myself) enjoys reading your words and paragraphs. I especially love the way you repeated the whole "Camelot" thing throughout this chapter. It really tied everything in, and brought the reader back to that one very significant place.
Not to mention plot! Wow, what a great start you have here. I'm really liking how you are developing the characters, which, I'll admit, takes time. But you do such a terrific job of it.
Again, just mentioning your wonderful writing style, I couldn't help but fall in love with this line: "And when more and more houses were offered to the bloodthirsty gods of warfare, and more and more grinning serpent-skulls watched their prolonged and painful deaths, he brought his daughters back to the palace and waited for the sky to rain Camelot’s ashes." It brings up such great imagery! Really, really well done there.
The only thing I found to "complain" about was some of your dialog. I thought most if it was really strong, but when people put ALL CAPS when their characters are shouting, it just throws me off a bit. But thats all, though. Most of it flowed fantastically and, again, was written really well.
I'm off to the next two chapters.
- RinAuthor's Response: Hi Rin! Please don't worry about timing, I understand :)
Obviously, I'm absolutely floored that you enjoyed this chapter. It was pretty surreal, writing this chapter, so I'm glad it made sense to someone other than me XD Especially the Camelot thing in the first half. And that line! I adored that line, too, thanks for pointing it out :)
I'm not going to lie, I'm proud of the plot. The characters I'm more nervous about, but hopefully they make sense as we go on.
I understand what you're talking about with the dialogue: there isn't much of it, but when it came, it was strong. I knew that I did not want to put the screamed lines in subtler italics because it conveys the intensity, but not the volume. Lame excuse, I know... better explanation: italics and the like are subtle and polished. Maurice's yelling at Astoria is coarse and raw, hence why it's in capitals and not anything subtler. I understand your point, though, and will try to avoid that in the future :)
Thank you so much for reviewing! :) Report Review
I don’t think I’ve ever told you that when I read your work, it never fails to inspire me to write my own. It’s not necessarily the plot or characters or anything of your – it’s just your writing and it’s inherent awesomeness. It just inspires me to write and hopefully achieve something half way as great as yours!
I liked the unbiased perspective of Tabitha and Brian you introduced in the beginning. It gives the story a more real feel because it’s taking place amidst their common, every day lives and marriage squabbles and house cleanings and whatnot. And it gives the reader a different perspective of Astolat, which helps even out possible narrative bias.
The comparison of the lady’s songs to mercury was an excellent metaphor, I have to say. It would make my old writer’s craft teacher squee – and she’s definitely not the squeeing type ^_^
Astoria is, quite frankly, a strange and creepy character. I love her. Haha. I can never quite make her out; she’s always at the edge of my grasp. And while sometimes this might come across as a negative thing, here it works and is even necessary. It forwards the idea of her detachment from society because of her isolation in the tower – it only feels right that she’s strange and unpredictable. The one itty bitty critique I have to offer is that perhaps her search for a passageway/finding the passageway/exploring the passagway could have been shorter – at times it felt as if I was reading the same thing again (though an ectremely well-written thing again! XD). Though if something in there is important to the plot, present (in which case, I may be to dense to realize it :P) or future, than feel free to ignore my ramblings!
Honoria’s diary entries were downright frightening, in the best possible way. They were so disturbing and eerie; it was no problem believing that they were penned by a man woman. The fact that they were simple sentences, not complex or compound, only added to it – it created suspense and developed Honoria’s madness in that they show her detached, uncaring resolve toward everything – her children, servants and husband included.
I liked the introduction of Hannah Abbott in the end and the fact that Draco recognized her and knew her by name. It certainly shows that he is truly an observant and perceptive character, despite some appearances to the contrary. I also have a penchant for the underappreciated characters, so reading about her was quite nice XD I thought you brought her across well – vividly and in character, while still grown up – which was just an added bonus.
And, um, that ending? The suspense! What a cliffhanger. I can’t wait for updates, my dear, this is just a fabulous read.
DaniAuthor's Response: As usual, you flatter me way too much. My already ego-inflated head cannot take it, really it can't, so I'll just leave it at that. I am honored and flattered to be able to inspire anyone, especially a legend like you, to write, so thank you for that. All of a sudden writing doesn't seem quite like a chore, as it has been recently. Thank you.
I hadn't originally included Tabitha and Brian in, but I wasn't sure how to begin the chapter, so I put them in. They deserved at least more of a mention than they received in Astolat. I wouldn't call their perspective unbiased as much as passive. They are involved, but they don't have the same soul invested in Astoria's plot. I was fond of the mercury thing, so thanks for pointing that out. And since teachers are rarely pleased with my writing, I would be ecstatic to have a teacher squee XD
Strange and creepy indeed. I did hope to put some of her normal personality in with the madness, so I'm glad you actually loved her. You aren't supposed to understand her, though, at least I don't think so. I certainly don't understand her, and she probably doesn't understand herself. Having her in her mother's old room is a way of unlocking a long cordoned-off part of her mind. I was very, very nervous about the cavity section, and debated taking it. I'm glad that you pointed it out. I originally planned to put something in there for her to find, and I'm not sure now if it will somehow reappear after all (I'm sure, having read the poem, you can figure out what I'm talking about). If it doesn't come when the story is over, I will work on editing it, but for now I'll leave it.
Oh, thank God. I was seriously considering posting a help needed topic to get those entries right. After all, how does a madwoman record her life? I'm so relieved that my approach worked. I do think the simple sentence stood out from the ridiculously complex ones surrounding it, which might have helped it seem more insane.
Hannah doesn't play that great a role, I don't think, but I think it was good for Draco to have some sort of interaction with the side he fought against. I think Draco was above ignoring people, per se, even in the books. He knew who everyone was, and who was worth paying attention to. Chances are that Hannah and Draco didn't cross paths in school, but in the postbellum world, things have changed. That, and Draco stops by the Leaky Cauldron a lot. I'm glad that you liked her brief appearance :)
The ending took forever - I kept moving Draco's section between the Jenkins' and Astoria's. In fact Astoria's section was fragmented into two, with Draco's section dividing it. But yeah, I like the final product.
Gosh, Dani, as usual, I'm blown away by these reviews. It's for reviewers like you that generally lazy authors like me try to update faster. I cannot thank you enough, and I look forward to seeing your reactions to the rest of the story. -attackles- Report Review
I was so excited to see a request to review this! I was totally going to read it and leave a normal person review (I don't like critiquing without being asked, I just feel awkward - not that I have anything to critique haha) but yay I can leave one of my epics! XD
You are undoubtedly one of my favourite authors to read, and this chapter is just further proof as to why: you are simply a wonderful writer. I warn you now that there is no way that I can offer you critique. This will only be gushing. But I will try and sensibly point out the things I liked and why ^_^
First, your writing leaves me flabbergasted every time. You never fail to deliver and everything flows so perfectly. You use nicely varied diction that you string together in such a crazy insane way, it’s just love. It’s so easy to read your fics without concentrating too hard or getting distracted, because your writing soothes my mind. Your description is just… wow. Wow. Wow. I especially liked the concept of Draco having a ‘second skin’. That was really quite cool ^_^ I wish some published authors could write with the grace you do. I’d settle for half as good as you are, because that would be pretty darn amazing. See?! Told you. Gushing.
Daphne’s restlessness – her foot tapping, finger drumming, shifting positions – was really great in adding to the atmosphere. Her anxiety made me tense. I found that, once I finished the chapter, I let out a breath I didn’t know I was holding. I don’t know if it’s just me over-analyzing, but I found that the abundance of complex sentences added to the atmosphere as well – it makes you tense up, read faster to get to the end, to discover the outcome, only to have an equally long sentence to read afterward. And you race through that to find another. I know that was a terrible explanation, but it makes more sense in my head. Haha.
Draco’s characterization was spot on. He was always more proud than cruel, a fact that shines through here in his interaction with Daphne. I’m not the biggest fan of Draco (I think it was the bad Dramione’s that did him in for me haha) but you somehow managed to make me like him here while keeping him in canon. So that deserves major kudos! I also like how you’ve put the Malfoy’s in the position where they have to atone for their past in the cruelest of ways – by having the job that shows them first-hand the grief and destruction that they and others wrecked upon their fellow wizards. That’s got to have some great, psychological impact, and it should . A lot of fics I’ve read – especially Scorose Next Gen – don’t have the Malfoy’s as such pariahs. They’re just there, mutely accepted and tolerated, without having to face the repercussions of the past. And even if they do, it’s not to the extent to which you show here – and I completely agree with your punishment. And I’ll stop myself because I’m going around in circles.
The plot is shaping up to look like it’s going to be quite good. I’m rather excited to see where this goes :) The establishment of Draco and his very creative occupation, the sudden appearance of Daphne coupled with what we know of her past from the previous chapter, and her request all are effective devices in developing the plot. And creating an insane amount of intrigue, thus luring readers in for the long haul.
You’ve set a great pace and have already established a consistent tone, both of which are integral to a good story. Plus, your dialogue is like heaven to my ears – so completely fluid and relaxed in terms of believability. It’s not forced, which is something I cannot stand. Basically, I loved this, and I’m super excited to get to the next chapter!
End rambling and gushing XD
DaniAuthor's Response: Epic is the absolute perfect way to describe this thing. Holy crap, Dani! -faints- You are a legend, really you are. But... anyway. I'm not even going to try to respond to what you say about me personally, because I don't know what I would ever say, so:
I always look forward to your reviews because you pick up on the little things, such as diction and syntax and all those technical things that make me happy. But I'm genuinely surprised to hear that this soothes you - I get lost in my own sentences sometimes, but it's so wonderful to hear you say that, so thank you.
Daphne was very hard to write. The restlessness was always there, but her dialogue and her as a person was tricky to portray. How does one write someone with her? Thank God this worked, though. Complex sentences = love, honestly - too much fun to work with, though like I said, even I get lost in them sometimes.
I'll say it once but I'll say it a thousand times, I can't stand writing Draco. I don't do so often, so I suppose that's why he turns out semi-decent every time I write him. I don't like him as a person either (as a character, I think he is complex and that I can't do him justice), which I suppose is why I keep him canon and give him this "harsh" punishment. I really don't see the Malfoys as embraced by the new regime postbellum - in the end, they did what they did, and while they tried to make amends, they still ought to be punished for the crimes they committed. That, and I do not see the new regime being as quick to embrace the opposing side. Draco is definitely psychologically impacted - he's been forced to grow up very quickly, even after enduring Voldemort.
I'm excited, too, to be perfectly honest. With the last two chapters mapped out for the most part, I can say with some certainty that it should be good. I was nervous about this chapter because it was a change from the prior one, with more dialogue and less time for a fairytale atmosphere, but I'm relieved that it worked.
End humility and worshipping XD Thank you ever so much for this monstrous, ego-boosting review. Report Review
That last image is fantastic - the use of the word "mud" is perfect and it well-suits Draco's present situation and state of mind. He doesn't feel or act much like the pureblood anymore; all of that seems gone for him now. Though I am curious as to why Hannah would be so kind to him, even calling him Draco. It could just be me missing some background, maybe he helped her out or something.
I liked the three distinct sections of this chapter, how they showed the passage of time and added to the atmosphere of this story. By far my favourite part was the middle section about Astoria. It's absolutely chilling, like a combination of fairy tale (Rapunzel and Snow White) with Gothic and horror traditions. I'm wondering where all the screaming and singing is coming from, as it doesn't seem like Astoria is the source.
She's a well-written character, likable and sympathetic, and I like her intelligence (following clues and trying to find a new way out). She is very much like the Lady of Shalott now, trapped in her tower - though the Lady did so by choice, not force. I'm looking forward to seeing how you'll continue to integrate Tennyson and Snow White into the rest of this story. :) It's really a great read so far, Gubby!Author's Response: I was rather fond of that part, too ^_^ I was actually going to have the last line of Astoria's section end the chapter, but chronologically, it didn't make sense. That last line was a spur-of-the-moment kind of thing, actually, so I'm doubly glad that it worked. You are completely right, of course, in that he does not feel like a pureblood. Hannah is kind to him because I can't imagine her being very spiteful. There's still some rancor, I think, but she uses his first name because no one really has a choice in the postbellum world; I don't know the details, but I would think that Hannah helped Draco instead.
I was especially worried about Astoria's section since it was incredibly long and, to me, clunky, but I really did need it. Rapunzel fits better in the story than Snow White, I suppose, but Snow White does play a role... minor, but a role indeed. The screaming and singing is indeed Astoria. The first part of her section, about not knowing that she remembered the songs, was about the singing, and she's really been screaming the whole time.
Anyway, I didn't actually intend for her to be likable... I mean, I didn't mean to make her unlikable, but making the reader LIKE her wasn't something I was thinking about while writing, but that really is a good thing, so I'm glad. I was more concerned with the reader being able to sympathize with her, so I'm happy that you did :)
As usual, Susan, I am ridiculously flattered that you're enjoying the story. These reviews of yours make my life, and are some of the reasons that I want to finish this soon! Thank you ever so much! Report Review
this is getting more mysterious. i can't wait to read the next chapter. will u update soon please?^_^
Harry and GinnyAuthor's Response: More mysterious indeed! Hopefully I can resolve it in the next two chapters :P I'll try my best to update, but no guarantees. Thanks for the review! :) Report Review
Ohszmagoodness! I love Draco's characteristics, and even the job that his family does...it's really interesting and different and original :D Even Dahpne makes me smile. Sigh, I think I'm rather terrible at reviews, but I did love this chapter, Gubby :PAuthor's Response: Ohh, thanks so much, Malia! Especially with Daphne, because oddly, I was much more worried about her than I was about Draco. And no, you're not terrible at reviews at all! This made me really happy. Thanks so much! ^.^ Report Review
Well, I gotta say, your plotline is amazing. You have an awesome hand for writing descriptions and I'm hooked to find out what's going to happen next.Author's Response: Aww, thank you! I must say that I am proud of the plotline for this fic. I also don't write nearly enough description, so I'm relieved that it worked here. Thanks so much for the review! :) Report Review
OH, WOW. interesting, i can't wait for an update o_o
I wonder, is this a draco/astoria fic? because i'm diggin' it, if it is :) if not, i still like it! so far... everything's really intriguing and makes you want more, ya know?
great!Author's Response: Sadly, I'm 95% sure that there will be a sizable wait for an update - summer, sadly, does not mean that life comes to a standstill. I will try my best, though. To answer your question, romance is not the main point of the fic, but yes, there are Draco/Astoria overtones in it. I'm really, really happy that you enjoy the story and hope you continue to! :) Report Review
wow, just like a fairy tale! kind of... it's so original :) I'm loving it!Author's Response: I did intend to emulate a fairy tale (gone wrong), so yay for that, and since I always love being original, double yay! So glad you're enjoying the story! :) Report Review
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