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45 Reviews Found

Review #1, by Veritaserum27 

10th November 2014:
Hey there Dan,

I recently realized how incredibly long it's been since I left you a review and I actually read this chapter THREE TIMES with the intent of reviewing and ummm... I get sorta busy?

But I have this weird thing of not letting myself read ahead so that I can leave a review with predictions and reactions without knowing what is going to happen next.

Ok. Done with the rambling half-explanation and on to the proper review.

Loved the switch to Draco and Astoria in this chapter. As usual, you did a fantastic job with their characters. And I'm actually in complete and total awe of the connections between the little subtleties that you mention in this chapter and the happenings of Detox. Did you base that entire story off of the details you gave in this chapter? Or did you go back and edit this chapter to reflect what goes on in that story? OR... are your notes, head canon and back stories so in depth that you always had their story in your head and you just decided to write it on a whim? Because I would never, ever, ever believe that this story was written first. I'm just astounded.

And I'm pretty much in love with Astoria here. I might even love her more than your Narcissa - maybe. She is smart, clever and loyal (where her family is concerned). She knows how to play the game and how to manipulate (I don't love using that word here, but it fits) her husband. I think her personality blossomed over the years because we only saw an inkling of these traits in Detox. She was only sixteen during that story and had a lot of other things going on - falling in love, trying not to be killed, blah, blah, blah. Pure genius to have her character grow into her full potential here. Or rather, working backwards, have it be less developed in her teen years for that story (I still can't believe that was written after this).

Back to Astoria, she gives her husband the advice he needs, not the advice he wants, helps him search the manor and even tries to play her cards with Hermione, all to protect her family. Love her.

And Hermione. She is perfect. She realizes instantly what Astoria is up to and won't back down, insisting that they use the "proper channels." Not going to play Astoria's game. I just am so excited to see someone portray these characters with their true personalities.

What is going on?! Hermione sure has a penchant for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. She was right to be suspicious. Hmmm... Is this couple looking for the same thing that Flint wanted from Draco? I'm wondering if they are working together or separately...

Someone was killed? Everything went black for Hermione. No. You wouldn't. You already had Ginny murdered. You could not possibly do this to me. I need my Hermione. I guess I'll just have to read on to find out what happens next!

♥ Beth

Author's Response: Hi, Beth! I'm also not big on reading ahead. It creates a difficult level of temptation for me. I tend to get lazy about reviewing.

From this point onward in the story, you'll find that I switch settings and points of view very frequently. I read a piece of advice somewhere once that said to always tell the story from the point of view of the character who knows the least about the situation or has the most to lose.

This was all written long before Detox, so certain parts of Detox were written to harmonize with the past that Draco recalls in this chapter. Detox was actually based on a request from a reader of this story to find out how Draco and Astoria came to be together. My version of events, at least. I'm flattered that it seems as though Detox was written first!

Astoria has grown into a strong, proud woman who is able to manage her husband -- sounds better than manipulate, although they pretty much mean the same thing -- very well while remaining fairly true to her pureblood roots. I'm really glad you like her. Her character will be an important part of the story until nearly the very end.

I really enjoyed writing the back-and-forth between Astoria and Hermione. I feel like I was able to create two very astute, very perceptive women having a high-stakes conversation where each side brings a slightly different agenda to the table.

Hermione is definitely in the wrong place at the wrong time. What happens? Well, you'll find out shortly. Mum's the word. ;)

I'm really glad you enjoyed it. The plot of the story begins in earnest with this chapter. Thanks for reading and reviewing!


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Review #2, by GingeredTea 

7th June 2014:
You lulled me into such a sense of pleasantness at the beginning of this chapter; outlining how Draco basically restored his life, how he came to experience the true love for a child through his grandchildren, etc. etc. and then you brilliant flip all this niceness on its head!

Marcus Flint is up to something. I wonder what he's after.

"“Oh, that?” he tried to keep his voice calm. “He was from Gringotts. They’re very eager to get that paperwork resolved.”" Draco's still not very good at lying, is he? LOL

The conversation between Astoria and Hermione was exquisitely written and I loved the aloofness that Astoria tried to maintain and Hermione gently basically telling her 'I can't do anything if you're not going to give me anything'.

The scene at Records was AMAZING!

And the ending, with Draco so terrified for Astoria was really an unfair place to end. ;-)

Author's Response: Hi, there!

In my own mind, I figured Draco's life would have turned out basically alright, subject to certain ups and downs. He is very happy with his family, but Narcissa's inability to manage the family finances has left him in a difficult spot.

Marcus Flint is up to several things, as you'll soon see. :)

I would modify that statement slightly to say that Draco's not good at lying *to Astoria*. As you'll see later, he's fairly adept at lying to other people.

I imagine basically all conversations between Hermione and Astoria as negotiations. It comes naturally to Astoria because of her aristocratic pureblood background and Hermione is a no-nonsense kind of person when she's annoyed. She's definitely getting annoyed by the end of this conversation. ;)

Magical records! The first duel scene that I wrote for HPFF. I'm always kind of partial to it, so I'm glad it played well for someone who knows a bit about writing duels.

Ha! Fair has nothing to do with it. :p

Thanks for reading and reviewing!


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Review #3, by Sharvi 

20th January 2014:
Small details like Draco not being able to perform the patronus charm just make me so happy. Sometimes we forget that most grown wizards actually cannot produce patronuses because the books were written with characters who actively participated in the war and hence knew these spells others did not necessarily master.

During the whole of the first part I was like Detox Detox Detox. Haha, it was great knowing the back story! Flint is probably out to hurt Astoria to get to Draco right? Probably. I loved the fact that Hermione and Astoria could come together to protect their grandchildren! Hermione's last line felt pretty epic.

So these people have now reached the ministry to find that book? Wow, I feel like the story has really begun now! Cannot wait to read on!

Author's Response: Hi, again!

I love finding those small details that make the story more in line with canon and, at least for me, more real. I don't think of a patronus as something that every witch and wizard can do, especially those who've never known true joy in life.

You're right. Draco's back story here is meant to tie together with Detox. Detox came to be because a few readers wanted to know more about Draco and Astoria's courtship.

Flint is after... something. You'll find out what it is fairly soon.

Hermione and Astoria are both practical people. They'll never agree on a lot of things, but they can work together for things that are important to both of them. And family is hugely important to both.

The main plot of the story definitely kicks off in this chapter. I'm really glad that you're enjoying it! Thanks for reading and reviewing!


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Review #4, by slytherinchica08 

1st January 2014:
Wow the action really begins! I absolutely loved this chapter! I thought it was really interesting to see something from different character povs! When Hermione walked by the person with the petition I thought maybe something was up, but I never suspected that they would be involved with the ones trying to get the records so that was a nice surprise. I thought that all the different povs were written very nicely and they each added something different to the story. I do hope that we will see more of them in the future chapters. Also the little mentions of scorose were nice for me and I loved how you handled it and mentioned how each one had a different reaction but yet they still love their grandchildren. I really don't know what else I can say other than saying that I absolutely loved this chapter and look forward to reading more. Great Job!

~Slytherinchica08~

Author's Response: Things really kick into high gear with this chapter. I'm really glad you like the different points of view that make up the chapter. You'll see that in nearly every chapter of the story from here on out.

Personally, I love Rose and Scorpius together, so I use that liberally in this story.

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


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Review #5, by APerkins 

21st October 2013:
And now I want to go back to reading detox. Loving this :)

Author's Response: It's right there waiting for you when you're ready. There might actually be a chapter 15 by then if I can figure out the right ending for that chapter.

Thanks for reading and reviewing!


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Review #6, by alicia and anne 

2nd July 2013:
I must say that I do like that this is a chapter showing more of Draco.

I'm glad that Narcissa became a better person after the war and it's good to know what the Purebloods have been up to since the end of the war.

Although it's not good that Flint is out of jail, that can only be bad, right?

Uh-oh I have a feeling that something big has started... I'm scared already... I hope Hermione is going to be okay?

Author's Response: You like Draco, you say? Well, I think I have some good things in store for you.

Narcissa is one of those characters who went from being an empty caricature in the first 5 books to being very interesting in the last 2. I came to think of her as an alternative mother figure, different from Lily Potter and Molly Weasley. She wasn't the selfless sort of mother that the latter two were, but when it mattered most she didn't love her family any less.

It is a bad sign, indeed, that Flint is running around free. Something very big has started. And it's going to get bigger and bigger...

Thank you so much!
-Dan


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Review #7, by Debra20 

14th June 2013:
Oh wow, what an amazing chapter this turned out to be. You were very brave tackling Draco like this, and I'm glad you dared because I thought his characterization (both through his own thoughts and those belonging to Astoria) was excellently handled. Seriously, well done! You've succeeded where many others fail when it comes to writing Draco: finding that balance between his younger self and his matured self. What I think many people forget when writing Next Gen characters that were featured in the HP novels is that people change, but never completely. We morph when we're faced with different challenges in our life and we learn from them. We're never the same and yet our core remains. I've always thought that deep down, Draco was not a bad apple and there are many scenes during Half-Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows that stand testimony to my belief. Rather, he lacked a beneficial education and home environment that could have made him more sympathetic to those that weren't in the same position as his family. The way he was brought up and the examples he saw from his parents were what poisoned him, but not beyond salvation.

That's why I think you captured his essence, his real essence, in an amazing way here. He's still very, very proud up to the point of endangering his family rather than seek help (I reckon this will change further on into the story) and yet you can feel how much he's changed. His concern for his wife and loved ones is touching and so naturally human that you can't help but feel for him, despite all his past disastrous choices. And I'm glad that you've decided to show that even after ALL this time he's still being haunted by those mistakes (involvement with the Dark Lord). Many seem to brush it off quickly and re include him in society right away, like nothing ever happened, which is very difficult to believe. I need to see some struggle! :))

May I come to you when I have to write action/battle scenes? Because you seem to do wonders with it. Again, it's almost like reading JK herself! I'm terrible at writing action scenes and yet I am planning a First Wizarding story...see the irony? :P

Author's Response: Hi! Awesome to see you back!

I've really come to enjoy writing Draco. It's kind of ironic. He was far from my favorite character for the first 5 books. I thought he was very cliche as the spoilt-rotten rich kid who mostly runs around yelling, "My father will hear of this!" Then in HBP he changed. Became more complicated and interesting. A character that you could feel a certain amount of sympathy for, even though he pretty much earned the bad things that happened to him. I agree with you that some of his less admirable traits will never go away, but the war certainly would have changed his opinion about a great many things. So I'm very glad that you like the way I've portrayed him. It seems as though you've spend some quality time thinking through his character.

You're welcome to run things by me if you like. I'm pretty flattered that you think my fight scenes are that good. For me, it all boils down to setting the scene well and filling in enough of the details that the reader can easily visualize what's going on. That's what makes it immersive, and that's the key to good action sequences in writing.

I'm very, very pleased that you're enjoying the story. Thanks for reading and reviewing!


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Review #8, by CassiePotter 

24th March 2013:
Hello again!
I really enjoyed this chapter, and think you write Draco and Astoria really well! They're interesting together, because you can tell the really love each other, but their relationship isn't overly romantic or touchy-feely or anything like that. But I think it really fits who they are and how they were raised. The end of this chapter was really intense! I hope Hermione is ok! I can't wait to find out more! 10/10
Cassie :)

Author's Response: Hi, Cassie!

I'm really, really pleased that you like Draco and Astoria! Over the course of writing this, they became two of my favorite characters. They're both products of their upbringing, although the war changed Draco in some important ways. I hope he continues to make sense.

Thanks for reading and reviewing!


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Review #9, by FredWeasleyIsMyKing 

15th February 2013:
Hello once more :)

I love the character development of Draco here and also his family. Narcissa in particular seems to have gone through the biggest change and I really liked that idea, especially the part where she stood up for Scorpius when Rose fell pregnant. I think you got Draco's character very right in terms of his personal hell being very different. He learnt in a very harsh way that the Dark Lord didn't care and that he was just as dispensable as anyone. I also liked the part that his relationship with his grandchildren is much better than with Scorpius. Again, it feels right.

So the plot does thicken... So, Marcus Flint is out of Azkaban and is after The Dark Lord's journal. Not only that but there is someone in the ministry who is involved too. Well, whatever plans are in there can't be good, that's for sure. I loved Astorias reaction though, not taking any chances with Flint being loose or the fact the book may be in the house. The two of them fit really well together. I don't read much Draco to be honest but I enjoyed reading this version of the two of them.

I just have to say that I loved the line 'My husband's problem is that he spent so much time in the Dark Lord's company that everyone else seems benign by comparison.'

I did not see the guy with the toupee being in on the attack! When he shot the spell at Hermione I was really surprised! Her arms and legs felt as though they were on fire? That doesn't sound particularly good. Someone's supposed to have died too - this surely can't be Hermione though as she doesn't work for magical records. Also I'm sure this is a trio fic and you seriously can't be so mean as to kill of both Ginny and Hermione, can you? I'll more than likely take a sneak peek at the next chapter before I go to bed!

As always, I loved this chapter. I don't particularly have anything to offer in the way of CC or anything. I enjoyed the POV changes and the flow to the story was as excellent as always!

Lauren :)

Author's Response: Hello, again!

Draco is one of my proudest accomplishments in this story. His family, in general, actually. For me, the most important thing was to keep him true to his characterization in the books, which is to say very ambiguous. I never saw him as a "good" guy by the conventional definition. He has deeply engrained prejudices, he looks down his nose at people and he has a mean streak. But, I think the war taught him that none of those things are worth killing or being killed over. And he's also not the maniacal arch-villain that some authors make him out to be. He's definitely a sympathetic character when viewed in a certain light.

Flint is on the loose, along with certain other names you'll recognize from the books. He had help getting loose, which will be explained very soon. Astoria is another character that I grew to love while writing this. She's Draco's backbone and his moral compass. She's the main reason that he didn't find a way to end up in Azkaban after the war. I hope you'll continue to like them together.

The guy in the toupee is also someone you'll recognize, and his identity is revealed fairly soon. The spell he hit Hermione with was very nasty indeed. You'll find out a lot more about it as the story goes on. And you'll find out very soon whether Hermione will be alright. ;)

This chapter is where the plot of the story starts in earnest, so I'm glad that you loved it. Hope to see you back soon! Thanks for reading and reviewing!


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Review #10, by Arithmancy_Wiz 

18th January 2013:
I have a hard time writing and reviewing on the same day, but I finished my chapter earlier than expected this evening and decided to treat myself to another chapter of this lovely story.

I'm not going to lie; I was super, super surprised to find myself both in Draco and Hermione's head in this chapter. Not that I didn't like reading both of their perspectives. It just didn't occur to me that the story wasn't going to be told entirely from Harry's POV. You just capture him so well it was a little jarring not to have him there. Not that the scenes you wrote weren't great...

Draco read a little, erm, softer (???) to me than I imagine him personally, but I thought you hit on some outstanding points with him. I loved the whole section that starts: Draco quickly realized that the particulars of his personal hell were different from those of his mates...

This whole bit so perfectly captured Draco. He may have started out as just spewing the hate he'd been taught as a child, enjoying the idea that he would be part of a class that ruled over others, but that wasn't him by the end. Once he was given his special assignment, he had to have understood then that he -- his entire family -- were disposable. There would be no winner aside from Voldemort since he valued no one's life but his own. How devastating to learn that a cause (even an evil one) is a farce, and all the terrible things you've done are not only terrible, but meaningless too.

Oh, and the line: She saw him the way his mother did. YES. YES. YES. I know everyone is entitled to their own opinion on characters and their capacity for change, but a momma's boy like Draco -- you just know he's going to end up marrying a woman just like his mother. I mean, the line is also rather sweet in that his wife sees the good in him, the same way his mother did, but still... And your Astoria totally lives up to it too. When she tells Draco they aren't leaving the house until they've torn it apart, I can absolutely picture Narcissa saying the same thing to Lucius if she thought there was something in the Manor that could bring harm to her family.

One more thing on Draco, then I'll move on, I swear. I love how you referenced his affection for his grandchildren, regardless of the rocky relationship he has with his son. That not only fits with the Draco in my head (I can't imagine him being an outstanding father-of-of-the-year type, what with how his own father behaved), but it seems that there is something about grandchildren that can soften a parent's heart. They can often show these children more affection than they can show their own children.

Another random great line that really needs to other comment: My husband's problem is that he spent so much time in the Dark Lord's company that everyone else seems benign by comparison.

Gah, this review is already getting long and I didn't even get to Hermione yet, or how I totally did not see the guy with the toupee being in on the attack. I loved that twist! The bits with Flint were great too. I love how much you've amped up the plot with everything that happened here. The idea of this missing book...if it really even exists. Percy better not turn out to have it :P

Okay, enough from me for one night. I can't even really think of any CC to offer (other than maybe a few extra "dears" -- I can see one character being inclined to address others that way, but they were all calling each other that and it was just a tiny bit odd). I do hope we go back to Harry's POV then soon, but only because I like the way you write him so much. Until next time...

Author's Response: Sigh. Taking four days to respond to a review is really embarrassing. Please forgive me.

This is the first chapter where I hop around between different characters' points of view, but it's something you'll see a lot over the rest of the story. It's one of my favorite narrative techniques, because it lets the reader experience the story through many sets of eyes and ears. There's an old saying that says, "always write from the point of view of the character who knows the least or has the most to lose." I always try to keep that in mind.

I've really grown to love the character of Draco Malfoy. I thought JKR did amazing things with him and Narcissa both in HBP and DH. Draco was such a generic villain in the first 5 books, almost a throw-away. But then he became really complex and interesting. I've tried my best to capture a lot of that in my portrayal of him. He still isn't a "hero" in the conventional sense. Many of his bad traits and prejudices are still there. But he did learn a lot during the war about what's important in life, and he would do anything to keep his family safe.

I'm really pleased that you like Astoria. She became one of my favorite minor characters as I wrote this. She'll be part of the story almost until the end.

I do think that spending time around Voldemort and Bellatrix made the rest of the world seem like a cake walk to Draco. This topic gets a fair bit of attention later on.

I really don't mind the long reviews. I love finding out how different things in the story affect people.

I *think* this is the last chapter I wrote before I started working with my beta reader, sophie_hatter, so you'll probably notice a major improvement in the quality of the writing soon.

Thanks so much for reading and leaving such detailed, thoughtful reviews!


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Review #11, by TheHeirOfSlytherin 

8th January 2013:
Ooh, action. So glad I decided to read this tonight. I enjoyed the change in POV, reading things that are happening from Draco's side rather than Harry's. What is up with this journal, I wonder? To attack the ministry and cause a panic in the Alley? It's gotta be important.

Tension between the families still, even Astoria and Hermione. To be expected, it was nice to see. Knowing that they're not suddenly all happy and nice because they share grandchildren. I loved reading about Scorpius almost being disowned for it, even though I'm glad Narcissa stopped it and part of me would think Draco would have learnt enough from the war to suck it up and let Scorpius choose, like he never. But Malfoys are silly, you never know what they're gonna do sometimes. :P

I can't wait to read more and find out, but now I must sleep - which is why this review is so short and about my love for this story. Because I do. It's amazing and I will be back for more. :D

Sam.

(Good luck getting to 800 reviews. :))

Author's Response: Hey, there! Thanks so much for stopping by!

You'll find that I change PoV a lot in this story. I really like being able to give the reader a lot of different perspectives on the events without giving too much away.

Hermione and Astoria have a workable if not exactly friendly relationship. They agree on the welfare of their children and grandchildren and they pretty much agree to disagree on the rest of it.

Ha. So I already know that you didn't go to sleep. Gotcha!

Thanks so much for reading and reviewing!


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Review #12, by LovlyRita 

3rd January 2013:
Hi, I'm back!!

Well, first of all I'm so sorry at how long it has taken me to read this review. I promise you that I have been looking forward to the moment when I could continue reading this and now it's here!! YAY!

First of all, the redemption of Narcissa. I like the way that you described her before the war as being cold and such, and the way that she changed from being Lucius Malfoy's unfeeling wife, a black sister, to someone who truly cared about her family. I love Narcissa as a character so it was really sad to read his reaction to her passing but it also makes sense.

So this is my first criticism I think I've had at all as I've read through it all, and I guess I was surprised to see that wizards dug graves by hand. I would think that it would be considered such a muggle thing to do, although I could see symbolism in doing it by hand. But I was just thinking that Wizards, especially pureblood wizards.might think they were above taking the time to dig a grave by hand, and do it with magic instead. To me, I feel like they would turn their noses up at it, but that's just my thinking.

I also love the way you've written Draco here in the beginning, his surprise at seeing Flint and his stressing that he is done with this old way of life that he has moved on. Before that, the interactions with Astoria were very real, I love the Draco/Astoria ship.

I especially really liked the part about the things that Draco had done after the war. Especially the fact that while all his other friends from school were sitting around making far fetched alcohol fueled plans, he decided to court Astoria instead. I never really had considered what the rest of the children of the death eaters did after the war, but I thought this was a grim and gritty reality. Really fabulously done there.

Ok, and now back to Flint. What a jerkface. I don't like this and I don't like the way it is going! Which means of course that it was brilliantly written but THAT is beside the point. :P I feel like his breaking out of prison is going to lead to all kinds of hell and that makes me sad haha.

Ok so this whole deal with Hermione and Astoria I thought was awesome. They clearly have a healthy respect of one another but neither clearly likes the other. And I can understand why that might that way, I can't ever imagine a scenario where they would be thrilled to see one another, even though they share a grandchild. For example, I can't ever imagine my mother and my mother in law ever getting along. In fact, when my mom sees my mother in law in the grocery store, she turns and runs the other way. (i'm not even joking. It's hilarious). So, I think the fact that the two of them are getting along this well despite their history is pretty awesome.

And then we have this entire thing in the magical records. What have you done to Hermione! I demand to know! :P I liked the inclusion of Ernie MacMillion in here, and I thought the action and suspense was very well done. Especially the description of curses flying around. I was definitely on the edge of my seat, trying to hard not to read ahead to see what was going on (I succeeded by the way :) ) I could really feel Hermione kick into action, keep her head about her, and just go. I hope she's ok :(

What a great chapter! Excellent job! I'm only sorry I didn't get to it sooner and I'm looking forward to heading to the next chapter!

Author's Response: Hello, again! So nice to see you back.

This chapter marks the end of the "setup" and the beginning of the story in earnest. So I'm really, really glad that you enjoyed it. Quite a few things happen, all of them quite significant.

I really came to like Narcissa's character by the end of Deathly Hallows. She showed a willingness to try to do whatever was necessary to save her family after her idiot husband put them in so much danger with his terrible choices. So thinking about the choices she would have made after the war was over, I couldn't see her allowing Lucius to put them at any further risk. And he was so broken after the war compared to her, I imagine she didn't have much trouble keeping him under control. As far as the graves go, I believe that the idea of wizards digging them by hand is "fanon" as opposed to canon, but I've really come to like it. There is an element of humility and sacrifice to it that seemed really meaningful to me.

If you want to know how Draco came to be "reformed Draco", I'm struggling to finish that story right now with Detox. But I'm really glad the idea works for you. I can't get into the idea of him being either a completely white-washed story of redemption or an unrepentant villain. I don't think either is consistent with his characterization from the books.

If you don't like Flint now... well, wait a few chapters. I'm thinking you'll like him even less. ;)

Hermione and Astoria have what I'd term a "productively arms-length" relationship. They're never going to see eye to eye on most things. They don't even really like one another. But when it comes to their children and grandchildren they're both willing and able to put all of that aside and do whatever is best for them. I really, really hope you'll like Astoria by the end of the story. Along the way, she became one of my favorite minor characters.

Ha! You'll know what happened to Hermione very soon. I really, really like writing fight scenes, so I'm glad it worked well for you. There are several more between here and the end of the story.

Wow. Such an awesome review! Thank you so much, and Happy New Year!


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Review #13, by shadowycorner 

20th November 2012:
Oh nooo. What's this? What happened to Hermione? I'm just gaping at the screen here! But I really loved being back in Draco town again! Him and Astoria clicked so well together. This is one of the reasons I'm really looking forward to a new chapter of Detox. You make Drastoria wonderful! I also liked the more grown Draco. It was a wonderful contrast from Marked. He seemed so mature, even changed to an extent, but still Draco somewhere at the core, the man he ended up being because he tried and Astoria helped him. It was awesome.

Seeing Flint there just gave me a real squeamish feeling. Everything was dangerous and off about him from head to toe. Maybe not dangerous, but he was like this pest you really don't like seeing, but he's there and you can't do anything about it, only feel uneasy and feel this trepidation in the pit of your stomach. He's like the black messenger, lol. What I'm trying to say that the scene with him was intense and I think you delivered what you wanted - setting up the atmosphere before this Ministry attack.

The cordial conversation between Astoria and Hermione was perfect. I guess their relationship would really look something like this, civil but sort of stiff because of all the differences. I also imagine Astoria never really being involved in war, so her entire world is a little different than those who've been touched and changed by war so profoundly.

This was a great chapter, really suspenseful and also full of great characterization points. Your narrative is amazing. It doesn't even matter if I'm reading a dialogue or descriptions or the thought train of a character, I'm reading every single word!

Author's Response: Hello, again, and Happy Birthday! Your birthday lasts for another two hours or so here, so I'm not shamefully late. ;)

Poor Hermione. Her fate will be revealed very soon, but she's plainly in a great deal of danger.

Over the course of writing Conspiracy of Blood, I really came to enjoy writing Draco and Astoria. They're a fantastic pair, full of humorously endearing moments and dramatic possibilities. I think of her as the perfect compliment to him: compensating for his weaknesses and helping to reign in some of his less noble tendencies. I hope Draco does seem a lot more mature and even somewhat changed for the better. He's had a very long time to reflect on how some of his old beliefs have affected his life and the people in it.

I think you have Flint pretty well figured out. He's no arch-villain, but he is dangerous and nobody you want to mess with. His role becomes pretty clear over the next few chapters.

I think of Astoria and Hermione as both being very pragmatic when it comes to dealing with one another. In this case, they both want the same thing: for Rose, Scorpius and Octavia to be safe. They will differ considerably on the particulars of how to make that happen, but with the common goal in mind, they are able to work together effectively. Astoria had very little involvement in the war. She was a Slytherin Fifth Year when Snape and the Carrows ran Hogwarts and her family remained completely on the sidelines of the war. Being pure bloods, it honestly didn't affect them all that much.

I'm really glad you're enjoying the story. The plot slows down a bit after this chapter before picking up again, so I hope you don't get bored.

Thanks for reading and reviewing!


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Review #14, by Illuminate 

7th November 2012:
Hi!

The plot thickens! I wonder if Flint and Voldemort's journal has anything to do with Ginny's murder and the overall plot. Interesting change of characters here. I was thinking about what Draco have been getting up to and his thoughts on the Malfoy-Weasley union xD

I would have liked a little more on the relationships as they stand between Draco and the Trio nowadays. It seems like he still resents them, so a scene between them I think would be very juicy; looking forward to that in future chapters?

Scary cliffhanger alert! Who's been killed? I would like to think it won't be Hermione but I know already you aren't afraid to kill off big characters xD It seems the scheme that's cooking could have repercussions across the Wizarding World, how exciting!

Great job again, very much enjoying it :)

Author's Response: Hi, there!

Well, it does and it doesn't. ;) Sorry to be cryptic about it, but you'll find out a lot more as the story unfolds. I wouldn't want to ruin anything for you this early.

There is much more coming that fleshes out the relationship between Draco and his former schoolmates. It's definitely not cordial, but it's not outright hostile, either. Sort of a detente.

When I started writing this story, I tried to embrace the attitude that no character is immune from having bad things happen. It's a war story, after all. As to who survives the attack on Magical Records, well, most of that is cleared up in the next chapter.

Glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for reading and reviewing!


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Review #15, by NearlyHeadless_Nick 

29th October 2012:
Such a great story so far! I rarely review in the middle of stories, because by chapters' end I am either being drawn to the next or have decided to stop reading, but something about this one just screams "worth a midway review". I like your choice to not tell us outright an exposition of the events that lead to Ginny's death, and how you revealed the Muggle's murderer so adeptly; this story has me on the edge of my seat already (quite literally - let me reposition here...). I can't wait to read more. I'd say 'keep up the good work', but that would be incorrect as this is completed; I guess 'awesome job!' will have to suffice.

(9/10 because of one niggling thing - I can't believe that any friend of Hermione's would have been able, let alone willing to procure a house elf through a means other than inheritance, and so a dollop of exposition would've been great there. I apologize if this comes later, and my antsiness is accidentally costing you a rating point.)

Author's Response: Hi!

I'm really glad that you're enjoying the story and I feel really good that you liked it enough to stop and let me know. Please feel free to leave your thoughts any time the inspiration strikes you!

I never really go into the details of how Hermys came to be part of Harry's house, but here are the particulars: Hermys is Kreacher's son. I really have no idea how house elves procreate because nobody does, but Kreacher did and Hermys was Kreacher's son and at some point Kreacher begged Harry to let his son join him in Harry's house because his son had no house to serve, a great dishonor. So it wasn't really like Harry went out and "acquired" an elf. It was more like an elf was thrust upon him.

Thanks so much for reading and reviewing!


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Review #16, by StormThief17 

28th August 2012:
It's taken me forever to get here, but I'm finally back! Dang you school! I will not let school keep me from fininshing this story at some point this year! It may be slow, but I'll still review!

I wasn't expecting Draco's POV but you did a great job with it! I still don't like him very much but I think he changed realistically and is IC. Astoria is interesting and I hope to see more of her. What's really sad is that they keep lying to each other and going behind each other's back. It was fun to see Hermione's POV as well! She's such an interesting person and you got her just right.

Its picking up quickly! This is clearly no sugar coated minor annoying villain, there is much more going on. I feel so worried for Hermione, and I hope she's ok! I mean, killing Ginny is bad enough, but Hermione? I would throw a virtual tomato at your head. I don't really think she's dead, but still.

Its really neat to see you take on all these different characters' POV's. It gives every scene a lot of power, and all the characters more depth, since we see their thoughts and experiences, not just one MC. Great job!

Chapter 7, I'm coming for you! *shoves real life out of the way*

Author's Response: Hello, dear!

I understand completely about real life. Work is sucking up nearly all of my writing time at the moment. But that's how things go. Don't worry, the story isn't going anywhere. ;)

The character of Draco Malfoy fascinates me. He started off as such a caricatured, one-dimensional, almost buffoonish villain in the first few books. Then JKR gradually turned him into a very complex, multifaceted individual by the end of the series. I do think he did a lot of growing up during the war. I feel like it led him to question much of what he had always accepted as gospel. And while he probably never stopped believing in some things -- the idea of blood purity, the fact that being a Black and a Malfoy made him just a little bit better than everyone else -- I think he came to realize that those ideals aren't worth fighting a war over.

You will see much more of both Draco and Astoria before the story is complete. They are definitely two of my favorite characters, and they will both be there right up until the end.

Whew, take a deep breath! ;) You won't need your virtual tomatoes yet, but Hermione's journey through this story is not an easy one. Enough said...

I really love writing from a lot of different points of view. It does give the reader a lot of perspective, but it can also be useful for keeping key plot twists under wraps until I'm ready to turn them loose. As a very wise author once said, "when deciding which character to use as the narrative voice, always pick the one who knows the least or has the most to lose."

I'm very glad you're still enjoying the story! Hope to see you back soon. Thanks so much for reading and reviewing!


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Review #17, by AdeleShare 

25th August 2012:
I am really enjoying this story! I love how you write, it is very reminisent of JKR. Talented you are, yep yep! :D

Author's Response: Hi!

That's very high praise. I'm not sure I'm exactly worthy, but I appreciate it nonetheless! And I'm really glad you're enjoying the story.

Thanks for reading and reviewing!


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Review #18, by Owlpost68 

22nd August 2012:
ACK!!! What happened??? Now I have to know what happened to Hermione. Boy, things sure started up quickly all of a sudden : / Eeek. I loved how you wrote everyone, they seem so real, even Flint. I wonder how he did get out, I wonder where this journal is. I also thought it was great how you described everyone's love for their family, after everything they've gone through, it would be the one thing that would bring them all together. Draco as a teddy bear to his grand-kids is a great visual :) that's awesome. Unfortunately there was just one phrase that was correct, but did break the flow for me to take the time to understand it. "The old wizarding tradition of digging a family member’s grave by hand would have been bad enough if he’d had more help." I think there could be an easier way to get this phrase across to the readers. I had trouble understanding it at first, and broke me out of the flow.. I thought the rest of the flow was outstanding going from person to person. Great job! I have to find out what happens to Hermione, so this will be the first time I go straight to another chapter lol :D

Author's Response: Hello, again!

So this is where the plot of CoB really starts to take off. There will be a lot of changes of pace along the way, but it's safe to say that the general trend will be toward a faster-paced story.

I'm glad you liked Flint and the other characters. You'll find out very soon how Flint managed to esacpe. Suffice it to say that he had help.

Draco has definitely mellowed into a family man over the years. The war impacted him a lot more than he'd be willing to admit. More on that to come later in the story.

Yeah, that sentence is awkward. Maybe there's a way I could word it more smoothly. I'll have another look.

Well, I'm very glad that I was able to rope you in for at least one more chapter. Thanks so much for reading and reviewing!


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Review #19, by WitnesstoitAll 

21st July 2012:
Heyy!!

Finally got a chance to read this chapter, and boy am I glad I did. :) This was a fantastic chapter. I loved the shift in perspective here -- it was great to see a bit of the world from Draco's POV. I love seeing various author's interpretations of what happened to the remaining death eaters and supporters of Voldemort following the war. I think that you did a really good job with it. Also, the relationship that you painted between Astoria and Draco felt very real and believable. I loved the way you characterized her in a similar mold to Draco's mother...

Oooh! the plot continues to thicken. All of the backstory on Marcus and his cronies was fabulous. The build up in the Record Keeping room was wonderfully done and when the wand fight broke out, I was practically speed reading to get to the end and see what happened. When the man with the toupee showed up I was shocked. I am very anxious to see who the casulty was. I certainly hope it wasn't Hermione... but it seems a bit early in the story for such a big loss. Ah! I don't know. But I'm very anxious to continue.

There was one small correction that I'd like to point out: "Hermione spend the next two hours" spend should be 'spent' :)

Fabulous chapter!
Melissa

Author's Response: Hi, there! Sorry for the embarrassingly slow response. Too much Going on this weekend.

I'm glad you liked the shifting points of view. It's one of my favorite narrative techniques and I probobaly use it to death in this story. But I like being able to give the reader a few different perspectives on events and, as an author, it's very helpful to convey the information that I want to get across and conceal what I don't. ;)

I spent a lot of time thinking about how to age Draco realistically, so I'm really glad you liked him. When I think about where his character started off in the books compared to where it ended up, I'm still amazed by JKR's ability to develop and define characters. I just tried to keep him on the same trajectory he was on at the end of DH. He's not a hero, he's not really a villain, he's something in between with traits of both.

I'm happy that you liked the scene in Magical Records. I enjoyed writing it, even though it was tricky to keep track of which character was where, doing what. Hermione... well, you'll find out very soon!

Thanks do much for reading and leaving such a lovely review!


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Review #20, by academica 

17th June 2012:
Hey! I'm here with your requested review :)

I thoroughly enjoyed this chapter. It had a very mafia-esque feel to it that I really liked and found fitting. I have this OC that I ship pretty hard with Draco, and I always find it interesting to read stories where Draco is shipped with Astoria or an OC, just because I never know how I'll react. I felt like your Draco/Astoria ship was really convincing, and I definitely shipped them as I read this chapter. I liked how you took ideas that might be considered mildly cliche, like Astoria changing Draco's perspective and Narcissa wiseing up after the war, and made them seem fresh and fitting. We don't know much about Astoria, but I liked your characterization of her, and I think you did a good job with keeping in character for Draco as well.

I like how you've brought Flint and other 'minor' Slytherin characters in here. I think he could potentially be very intimidating, and it seems that way for Draco here. I also liked the exchange between Astoria and Hermione, although it did seem a little too casual or buddy-buddy for me. I totally think that they would be civil because of the fact that they share a grandchild, but considering that Astoria isn't totally Muggleborn-friendly, I would have liked to sense a touch more tension between them, just to make the most of that interesting arrangement (with a potential for conflict).

I liked the attack, too. It was a little confusing, but I think it was meant to come across that way. I always find it really hard to write action scenes, but I think you did a good job with pacing and plot there.

I'm still really liking this plot, because I think you're good at balancing revealing backstory and creating suspense for the current plot at hand. The flow is still great as well. I usually find myself totally pulled into your chapters despite the length.

Great work! I hope this review is helpful :)

-Amanda

Author's Response: Hello, again!

I'm really glad you enjoyed it. The real meat of the story begins in this chapter with the introduction of Flint and his desire to find the Dark Lord's journal. We also get to meet Draco and Astoria and find out what they've been up to since the end of the war. I was happy to see that you liked the way I portrayed Draco and his family life. I tried really hard not to make him either a one-dimensional villain or a heart-warming redemption story. He is neither. He's pretty much the same guy who felt totally overwhelmed by the events that were going on around him in HBP and DH, only older, wiser and with a family to protect.

In my own mind, Astoria and Hermione have a reasonably productive relationship born out of a mutual concern for the health and well-being of their grandchildren. It's definitely not what you'd call "chummy" or even friendly, but they are both intensely dedicated to their children and grandchildren. So in this particular case, they're able to put aside politics and their lingering mistrust aside for a while.

The attack was meant to read as chaotic, with a lot of energy and uncertainty. It's kind of hard to write these sort of scenes, because you're always trying to balance descriptiveness against the natural confusion that accompanies an adrenaline-fueled, life or death situation.

Overall, I'm very pleased to know that you're liking the plot. And I really appreciate knowing which parts of it worked better for you than others. It really helps as I draw closer to the end and begin to think about the very daunting prospect of going back and making edits. (gulp) Thanks so much for reading and reviewing!


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Review #21, by Sansarya 

7th June 2012:
Nice pacing here. The conversation between Astoria and Hermione was vexing.

Author's Response: Astoria is a product of her upbringing. Coming from wealth and influence, she still believes at some level that somebody else should be taking care of her problems. If you keep reading, I think she might grow on you, though.

Thanks for reading and reviewing!


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Review #22, by Jamie 

15th May 2012:
Awesome story! I love the way the back story unfolded in the first couple of chapters, very suspenseful. (I hope there are more details about the Ginny shooting coming!) I also love all the action and excitement, very true to Harry Potter and very fun to read.

Author's Response: Hi, there!

I'm really glad that you're enjoying the story.

There is a lot more detail on Ginny's death coming up, as well as the difficulty Harry has in dealing with it. Stay tuned...

Thanks so much for taking a minute to review!


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Review #23, by shadowcat2 

22nd April 2012:
Just taking a little break from my studies. the plot is getting better and better. *off to read the next chapter*

Author's Response: A good study break can be the key to better learning!

Thanks for reading and reviewing!


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Review #24, by Elenia 

2nd April 2012:
Heey, finally had some spare time so I decided to drop by and read forwards (:

Glad I did since once again, such an interesting and strong chapter!

I really like where this story of yours is heading. there seems to be so much thought in your plot and so many layers, I'm really interested in seeing what is going to happen and how these all happenings are related to each other! Great work!

Once again, loving the characters. You're doing such a wonderful job with every single one of them. You always manage to catch every single characters personality perfectly, something that I'm quite jealous about d: I loved what you've done with Draco! You could still see the pride and stubbornness in him, but also some change the war and growing up have left in him. Astoria was great too, her character really fit with Draco's and it was easy to see why he would've chosen her to be his wife!

I'm loving these long chapters, you really manage to captivate your readers right from the start and not let go before the chapter is over. I had some huge difficulties interrupting my reading to leave you a review, I just wanted to jump to the next chapter immediately (x

Anyways, amazing chapter. I'll continue reading now! See you soon d:

~E

Author's Response: What a lovely morning surprise!

This was one of the most fun chapters to write in the story so far. I really enjoyed the process of taking the reader through Draco's reflection on his life since the war. Aging him in a convincing way was challenging, but it was very rewarding. I tried really hard to balance him out in such a way that he didn't come off as either a one-dimension villain or as an overly sugary redemption story. In most ways, he's the same guy who used to cry in Moaning Myrtle's bathroom about the burdens that came with his birthright.

Thanks for reading and reviewing!


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Review #25, by SexyDoorFrames 

29th March 2012:
Hey :) Another great chapter, you continue to out do yourself, chapter after chapter and I find myself enjoying the story more and more, as I read each chapter. The story just gets more interesting and pulls you in.

THE ENDING! Why do you do this to me! I need to find out what is happening! You really know how to capture the readers attention and invest in your story, because hey, i'll admit it, i'm invested.

Draco! And Astoria. I'm glad you've introduced them into the story, I think it was a really good move. I really like what you've done with their character. The thing is, they just make a really good couple. All of the characters are just so realistic. I mean, Draco is a character that often takes a beating, but you've managed to write him perfectly, he's exactly like I'd imagine him to be at this age. One of the best characterization I've read on this site.

FLINT CAN FALL OFF A CLIFF.
yeah, i don't like him on little bit.

Thanks for another wonderful chapter, you're such a good writer :)

Author's Response: Hi, there!

Sorry to leave you hanging with the ending, but I have to keep people coming back somehow. ;-) I promise I'll do my best to make sure you get a good return on that investment.

Draco and Astoria were part of the story going back to my earliest bullet-point drafts. They do go very well together. There are some definite parallels between their situation and Harry and Ginny's. Astoria kept Draco from letting his anger and bitterness land him in Azkaban, which is similar to the way that Ginny helped Harry recover from the emotional scars of his lifelong battle against Voldemort. I'm really glad you like the way I write Draco. I put quite a bit of thought into him. I didn't want him to come off as either a one-dimensional villain or as all sunshine and kittens. I found him to be a very complicated character in HBP and DH, and I tried to preserve as much of that as I could.

And Flint... well, yeah, you're not really meant to like him. So I guess that worked out well.

Thank you so much for the kind words and thanks for reviewing. I'm planning on getting to the new chapter of The Human Factor tonight. Really looking forward to it!


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