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35 Reviews Found

Review #1, by Veritaserum27 

11th November 2014:
Hiya Dan!

I just had to keep going with this next chapter. I really like how your writing plays out like scenes from a movie, switching back and forth between small snippets of dramatic events. It moves the story along and keeps up the drama, without overloading the reader all at once. :)

And kudos for managing to weave some humor into this chapter as well! Astoria running down Diagon Alley in that slinky number left me giggling. I really love the bond between her and Draco. I imagined a lot of pure blood marriages (even ones that were not arranged) to be loveless, mainly because they were so focused on appearances and propriety, but Draco and Astoria understand, respect and will do anything for each other. ♥

And I can't go on without Gah-ing over the Ron Hermione scene. He's just so adorably protective of her. She can totally take care of herself, and Ron knows that, but he still can't help himself.

What's this? Ron is the one telling Harry to calm down and get out of everyone's way. Wow. I guess he's matured over the years - haha! Hmm... I'm very curious about this book. Were all the restricted books removed from Hogwarts placed in the magical records office that was attacked? Or did the Ministry put them somewhere else? I'll just have to read to find out.

And this horrible, nasty spell. Ugh! Hermione is seriously lucky. But this makes me really worried about these dark wizards. I don't think they got what they were after and I fear this will just escalate their tactics. Obviously they know some really dark magic - what else is out there?

Marcus Flint clearly got a bit more savvy in his old age. I felt like he was kind of the bumbling side-kick in Detox. How did he escape from Azkaban? They don't have the dementors as guards anymore, but I'm guessing they aren't in the habit of letting people out who haven't finished their sentences... Marcus had help and I have the feeling he isn't running the show, so there's someone worse out there. Yikes!

The last scene with Harry and Draco was interesting. At first I was kind of like "Really?! You guys are in your sixties and you resort back to the childish immaturity and prejudices from your school days?" But I think that Harry is in a really bad place right now, he is still grieving for Ginny and now that Hermione's been attacked and he'd just learned about the dark magic resurfacing... Well, I guess he's not in the best of moods and Malfoy just has a way of pushing his buttons.

I'm really interested to meet Scorpius. He's been mentioned several times and seems like a really great character - especially if Harry respects and cares for him so much.

Can't wait to see where this is going!

♥ Beth

Author's Response: Hello, again!

I definitely agree that it's important to keep a long story moving and change up the scene and narration frequently to keep readers from glazing over. I feel like I was mostly successful in doing that with this story.

Humor is an important aspect of telling a long, dramatic story, I think. You have to break up the tension and lighten the mood from time to time. Draco and Astoria's marriage is about as far from loveless as you can get. They are crazy for one another.

Hermione can take care of herself in general, but at the moment she can use all the help she can get. She was the victim of a very nasty curse, as you'll soon see.

Ron has always been a good balance against some of Harry's more obsessive tendencies, and he plays that role very well here. Someone has to remind Harry from time to time that he can't solve all the world's problems by himself.

You're correct that we've only scratched the surface of the dark magic you'll see in this story. Much more to come on that topic.

Flint had a lot of time to sit in prison and reconsider his youthful idiocy. And while he's more forceful and savvy in his old age, he still doesn't choose sides very well. You'll find out very soon how he managed to get out of prison.

Harry and Draco will never be friends. I think that's simply a given, considering the past they share. The way that Harry chooses to prod at Draco's insecurities isn't *just* because of the place he's in at this point, either. He truly enjoys inflicting a bit of mental suffering on his former nemesis. That said, the two of them can work together when they have a common interest.

Scorpius's first actual appearance is in chapter 11, although you'll find out more about his relationship with Rose in chapter 10. To me, his character starts to get interesting in chapter 12. He's another one who'll be an important part of the story for quite a while.

I'm really excited to see your reactions! I always love to see a new reader making their way through. Thanks for reading and reviewing!


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Review #2, by GingeredTea 

11th June 2014:
I always mean to do a rolling review, but then I get sucked right into your story and end up halfway through before I realize I should be noting my reactions. LOL

That said, I was really impressed by your description of the sisters shopping. My amazement probably has to due with the fact that I hate shopping and therefore wouldn't ten know where to begin describing someone who does. Kudos to you!

The way you write Daphne rushing to tell Astoria something, then forgetting as she admires the dress she picked out for her sister had me laughing.

The scene with Hermione had me on the edge of my seat, and that's probably where I forgot about the review - swept into the story. Will Hermione make a full recovery?

Harry just seemed so Harry here, making everyone worry with his worry.

Then you transition into the Astoria Flint scene and you have me on the edge of my seat again. Draco came at just the right/wrong time. I have a feeling Astoria might have managed a bit more gracefully without him, and maybe with them thinking she could still sway Draco. Her demand/order at the end made me smirk.

Harry speaking to the portraits was a nice breather between the chaos otherwise filling this chapter.

Then you jump right back in with Draco and Harry. I was tense as I read the paced but still dramatic conversation.

I loved this line. “Come to turn yourself in, Malfoy?” Harry said, startling him.

OMG, YOU ARE KILLING ME WITH LAUGHTER! TORTURE! "“Well done, Malfoy,” Harry replied coldly. “You’ve really come a long way, you know? For a moment there, I thought you were going to call my niece a mudblood, and I was about to remind you how it feels to be a ferret.”"

This was an awesome chapter! I wish I had more time review this, but work has been crazy right now. I'm really enjoying this. :)

Author's Response: Rolling reviews are harder than they seem. If I manage to successfully write one, it's not usually a good sign for what I'm reading. ;)

Shopping is probably the only hobby that Astoria and Daphne have in common. They're about as different as sisters can be, but they both have a weakness for retail therapy. Daphne much more than Astoria, obviously. She's also rather easily distracted.

Hermione has a long, difficult recovery in front of her. All throughout this story, I tried really hard to portray war for what it really is. People get hurt. And when they get hurt, they don't just bounce back the next day like they always seemed to at Hogwarts.

I imagine that Harry was a really good boss in most dimensions, but yes, he's really getting on everyone's nerves in that scene. Fortunately, he has Ron and Susan to rein in his less productive managerial tendencies.

Astoria definitely had Flint going before Draco showed up. She was also right at the point where she was going to have to knee him in the unmentionables, though. Draco and Astoria make a good team, even if he's not really willing to admit that he needs the help.

Isn't the Headmaster's office always a bastion of serenity? You know, unless you've just discovered that you're meant to die. ;)

Even if they did learn to tolerate one another and even behave somewhat cordially in the interest of their joined families, I highly doubt that Draco and Harry ever came to *like* one another. The animosities and the philosophical differences just run too deep. It was a lot of fun, writing their bickering and subtle displays of alpha behavior. Even in their sixties, they can't let go of the rivalry.

Your review was very enjoyable! Thanks so much!


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Review #3, by mischiefalwaysmanaged 

27th May 2014:
Damn, this story is amazing! It also helps that it fits in flawlessly with the storyline from Padfoot4ever's Delicate, which I recently finished reading. I'm glad that I ran into Detox because it introduced me to the rest of your amazing work! Can't wait to see how this novel ends! :)

Author's Response: Hello, again! So one quick suggestion: be careful with language in your reviews. I wouldn't want to see you get in trouble with the site rules so soon after joining.

Delicate was definitely an influence on this story, along with a few other stories on the site.

I hope you enjoy the rest of it. Please take a second to let me know if you do! Thanks for reading and reviewing!


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Review #4, by APerkins 

21st October 2013:
Hey, so I got kinda "into" the story, and just wanted to read next chapter, but figure I should stop and review seeing as I am enjoying it so much.

"This is like reading a 'real' novel."
lol

So, um.. ehat can I say?

Ok, I really wanna go read detox, but I am making myself wait. ill start at the end, with Draco/Potter interactions. I think the whole redemption thing btn Draco and Astoria is a really really good thing, and I am so glad Draco is a good guy. I am also really pleased that he n Potter cant stand each other - its much more believable that way. I am also pretty thrilled about the family connections.

See, all im gunna do in this review is rave about your characterisation. I feel like it would jsut be repeating myself to rave about your "dialogue" yet again. But really, you write so well.

Although... lol... I do cringe every time I read the line about Draco saying Astoria cured him of his wickedness. I agree with the sentiment, but I think Draco would have said that in a sardonic or sarcastic, or mocking tone or something, not the grave serious voice that I hear after Malfoy looks at Potter for a long moment. If he were going to be all grave and serious, he probably wouldnt use the word wickedness. (ok, ok, i know you never described him as grave nor serious, but the tone of the paragraph is implying it.)

I would love to see Ron a bit more fleshed out - I hope you do that in the coming chapters. Harry is coming to life in a 3D way, but ron is a little bit of a cardboard cut out at the moment (ok, hyperbole is a speciality of mine, take it all with a grain of salt)
Ron is such a strong personality in the canon that I think you (of all authors) can have his voice coming through a little louder. Again, he's not a major character atm, so I dont mind.

Anyway, Im loving reading this, and it's.. just so nice to have such a polished, well written read.
-Anthea

Author's Response: -- "This is like reading a 'real' novel."

Ha! I'll take that as a compliment. Sorry for falling so far behind on responding to your reviews. I've been reading them as they come in and feeling badly that I haven't been able to make the time. But I promise that I'll get to them soon!

The Draco and Astoria in Detox are meant to be younger versions of the Draco and Astoria you see here. That's actually how Detox came to be. One of my readers for CoB kept demanding that I write the story of their courtship. So if you like Draco in one story, I think you'll like him in the other.

Eh. I could see how Draco saying something like that would come across as a little over the top. I had Clint Eastwood in Unforgiven on the brain at that moment. Forgive me. ;)

I think (hope) you'll like how Ron's character develops. I really don't like seeing him trapped in the "Second Banana Zone" either. It was hard to get around in these early chapters, but he steps out of the shadows much more later on.

I'm so pleased that you're enjoying yourself. Thank you for all the lovely reviews!


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Review #5, by alicia and anne 

2nd July 2013:
I'm so glad that Hermione is alive and somewhat okay, as well as Ernie.

Aww both Astoria and Draco wished that they could cast Patronus charms, they're so alike. I must say that until this story it had never crossed my mind that they might not be able to do it?

I'm so glad that Draco saved Astoria from being kidnapped, even if he didn't save her modesty. but these things can't be helped during an attempted kidnapping.

I am so so glad that Hermione hasn't died from that spell, I would have been so much sadder.

I love the Draco and Harry still insult each other, it wouldn't be them without a few insults thrown about. :D It makes it all the more believable.

This story is so awesome by the way! You've written it so amazingly and I can't wait to find out more.

Author's Response: Hermione has a long, difficult journey ahead of her, but you're right, she's still alive and that's what matters for now.

I remember reading somewhere that Snape was the only Death Eater who was able to cast a Patronus, owing to his happy memories of Lily that he kept hidden from Voldemort. Aside from that -- Astoria certainly wasn't a Death Eater -- it's a very complicated spell and Defense Against the Dark Arts was a sadly under-taught subject at Hogwarts for many years. So I figured that not many people outside of the D.A. would know how.

Ha! Draco did save the day, but for some reason I couldn't bring myself to spare Astoria that small, humbling moment. I'm sure she had much bigger concerns.

I don't think Draco and Harry will ever be friendly toward one another. Civil is probably the most anyone could ever hope for. I believe they honestly enjoy torquing each other and pushing one another's buttons. Plus, it makes for fun dialog.

Wow. You are making me blush here. Not that I want you to stop. ;)

Thanks!
-Dan


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Review #6, by Debra20 

15th June 2013:
Ok so the meeting between Harry and Draco stole the show (chapter) hands down. Not that I didn't enjoy the entire chapter, far from that (I'm slowly faaling in love with Astoria - she's so strong and at the same time so fragile), but I've been expecting a scene between them since Astoria said to Hermione that she'll bring Draco around to talk to Harry. And correct me if I'm wrong, but I feel that they've kind of, sort of, grown fond of each other over the years. Or at least more appreciative of each other since they're all family now. Their brawling feels more like an old habit than what it used to be, open, deep animosity. They've both been through traumatic experiences and even if they like to sting each other, they can put aside their differences when more important things are at stake. It was amazing to read their interaction! I almost mistook it for a scene from the non-existent canon Next Gen books that JK never wrote :P

I would also like to commend you for the ingenious spell you invented. Up until this point the only killing curse was Avada Kedavra. Now that there are two makes the story a lot scarier. I don't even want to imagine a worst case scenario for our loved characters. How did you come by the idea? I can't wait to read on and see if there will be further consequences, because I have a feeling it's not the last time we've seen it.

Author's Response: Hi!

No matter their circumstances, I can't ever imagine Harry and Draco being friends. There's too much bad blood there. More to the point, they actually seem to *enjoy* trading barbs at some level, each trying to see whether he can get under the skin of the other. But, when their mutual family is concerned, they can put it aside enough to be constructive if not exactly cordial. Much more on this later in the story.

The blood boiling curse is also something that you'll be hearing much more about. Without giving too much away, the curse and the reason it came to be used on Hermione are closely related to the central mystery of the story.

Ooh! You know what's really neat? Seeing a new reader experience the story for the first time. I've been over and over the story so many times myself, responding to reviews and fixing typos and even occasionally tweaking the substance just a bit. It's fascinating to sort of go back in time and hear from somebody who doesn't know how it all ends. Thank you for that!


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Review #7, by FredWeasleyIsMyKing 

8th May 2013:
Hi Dan!

Gosh it's been so long since I read this - apolagies I just got really caught up with RL. I'm back now though so expect some reviews from me! I caught myself back up with the story though - I can't believe I managed to leave myself on such a cliff hanger with Hermione! Anyway, back to actually reviewing this chapter...

The start of this chapter actually made me smile quite a lot. Daphne just came across rather spoilt but the line about her enjoying the house elfs cooking too much was great. I love that Astoria liked the dress despite the fact Draco would hate it and knew she could use it to her advantage and make him jealous. The relationship you've created between the two is really great. Astoria is fast becoming one of my favourite characters in this.

I'm so relieved Hermione's alive, despite being seriously injured/ill. I think I did kind of check after I'd reviewed last time but I didn't get the chance to read the whole chapter. Anyway, I was relieved here none the less.

The family unit you showed in the hospital scene was perfect and fitting as always for the Weasleys. You showed that Rose and Hugo are really close to their mum and also gave us a good picture of Ron and Hermione's relationship too. When Ron said the line 'Sweetheart, I am so sorry. I should have been there to protect you,' it really broke my heart. I can imagine him beating himself up over not being there for her. It's also shown how much Ron has grown up too. I don't know, this just isn't the kind of line you'd expect to hear from Ron in the series but it fits perfectly here. I like his growth as a character.

Harry was funny making everyone feel nervous, and I think it was good how you got Ron to call him up on it. On a more serious note the fact that the ministry not trusting Harry and Ron so therefore messing up the crime scene is bad. They sound more and more like the minstry before Shacklebolt took over which is kind of worrying...

I kind of enjoyed seeing how the boys coped without Hermione. The line "Ordinarily, this was the point where they would have asked Hermione to look it up." made me smile as its true, they boys wouldn't have got half as far without Hermione most of the time.

The comment about Harry giving Ron some space where Hermione's concerned, even though he considers Hermione his best friend was nice. It's like they've all grown and understand each others needs more. A small detail but a really nice touch I felt.

Marcus flint just reminded me of Crabbe for some reason. He was too caught up in the wonder and feeling important. Kind of brainwashed almost. I didn't like it anyway, in a good way. You write a good bad guy that we can hate! so many opposites in that sentence but I hope you understand what I mean! They way he was talking to Astoria and had his hands all over her just made me shudder. Yuk.

I loved Draco's reactions in this next part. From yelling at Flint, to holding Astoria, to asking where she got the dress. It was nice to see Draco and Astoria so close, him genuinely concerned about her. Nothing can distract him for too long though when it comes to the dress. She knew he wouldn't like it though I guess.

The curse used on Hermione sounds awful! Although, from what PN Black said it's a good job the caster was incompetent, if that really was the case. Poor Hermione - I get the feeling this curse won't be easy to shake off. Even with PN Black thinking the damage could be reversed. An interesting idea for a curse though.

Draco and Harry made me smile in the last scene. The old tensions and rivalry is there but they have to get on and it's really fun to read. You got the conversation between them so well though. I love how Draco was ordering Harry around to start with. Then the line about him coming to find 'the worlds most wonderful wizard' was just so Malfoy. I'm happy he didn't call Rose a mudblood. He wasn't exactly welcoming her with open arms but it was something from him.

I love the small details you've given us in the chapter to explain how events have gotten us to this point. You do it so naturally too, nothing is out of place in the chapter. So Al and Scorp were friends and Harry is now very close to him which is a really nice idea. The mention of Malfoys past was really interesting too. It's good to see that Malfoy isn't stupid, he knows he was expendable to Voldemort.

This was such a great chapter and I'm so happy to be back in the swing of reading the story! The way you've wrote this story is amazing and it really could be an extra book tagged onto the end of the series. I will be back soon :)

Lauren :)

Author's Response: Lauren! Long time, no see! You have no idea how excited I was to see you back. :)

Daphne doesn't pop up too often in this story, but when she does I tend to think of her as everything that Astoria could have been but isn't. She is spoiled and bossy and very full of herself. Some of it is probably a defense mechanism, since her life didn't end up at all like she wanted it to.

Astoria definitely enjoys making Draco a little jealous from time to time. As she says, it brings out some of his best qualities as a husband. I'm really pleased that you like her. She became one of my favorites, too. You'll see a lot more of her later in the story.

Hermione is alive, but very badly injured. She has a long, unpleasant recovery ahead of her, and that becomes one of the running sub-plots of the story. Ron is, in a lot of ways, even more messed up by what happened than she is. He knows how close he came to losing her and he doesn't deal with it well at all. Again, this will be a major issue for the two of them for a while.

Overall, I imagine that Harry is a very good boss, but when the case is so personal he can be more than a little overbearing. It's good that he has Ron to straighten him out. He and Ron will have to lean on one another a lot because you're right, they both rely on Hermione more than they probably would like to admit.

I'm glad that you thought I aged the characters well in this situation. That's been one of my biggest anxieties throughout the story. I want them all to be recognizable, but I don't want to lose sight of the fact that they're much older now, with children and grandchildren and lives and responsibilities. It was a really tricky thing to do at times.

I'm glad that you didn't like Flint. You're not really meant to, after all. ;) He is in way over his head, he just doesn't realize it yet.

I really enjoyed writing Draco in this chapter, from his comments about Astoria's dress all the way to his terse conversation with Harry. Before I wrote this, I never would have expected that I'd grow to like his character. Seeing as how I've now done two more Draco stories, maybe I started to like him a little too much.

The wizard who cast they curse on Hermione was indeed incompetent. Nott and Flint are quite a pair. They deserve one another. Sort of the Two Stooges of dark wizardry. But they need a third. Hmmnnn... wherever shall I find one?

No matter how much time passed or how much their families have intermingled, I can't imagine that Harry and Draco will ever be chummy. There's too much bad blood between them and I honestly got the impression from the books that they enjoy sniping at one another. It's their thing. The relationship between Draco and Rose is more complicated. Suffice it to say that she is part of his family, whether he likes it or not, and when push comes to shove he will treat her as such. You'll see much more on that later in the story.

Small details are important, I think, to helping the reader make a connection with the story. I'm really pleased that you noticed.

Ah, I have missed you so! Thanks so much for the awesome review!


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Review #8, by CassiePotter 

24th March 2013:
I'm back again!
This chapter was wonderful! You do a fantastic job writing JKR's characters and keeping them in canon! Flint is really weird and kind of creepy, and I was worried he was going to do something, but Astoria is too smart for him. And you wrote Harry and Ron's conversation so well! I loved the portraits, and I hope they'll be in the story again later! Draco and Harry's conversation was brilliant, too. This story is just fantastic! 10/10
Cassie :)

Author's Response: Hello, again!

I try really hard to keep my characters in canon, so I'm really happy that you thought they were. You're not really meant to like Flint, so I guess I did well with him. If you like Astoria, she'll be around throughout most of the story!

Thanks for reading and reviewing!


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Review #9, by Courtney Dark 

5th March 2013:
This chapter was so amazing. I love this ability that you have, to incorporate all of these canon characters into your chapters and make them all so real and believable and true to their original personalities.

I think my favourite part of this chapter was the conversation between Harry and Draco. Though they are clearly a little more tolerable of each other, they don't exactly like each other, do they? I also loved the fact that Harry was able to so easily irritate Draco, in comparison to at Hogwarts, where Draco was always able to anger Harry.

So many more questions and mysteries arose in this chapter, which I am eager to know the answers for. I also think Astoria was a very strong character, and I loved the way she dealt with Flint-speaking of Flint, I wonder what is going on there? There was so much tension and suspense in this chapter, I felt like I was about to explode!

I can't wait to read the next chappie.

Courtney:)

Author's Response: Hello, again!

This chapter remains one of my favorites precisely because of the interplay between Harry and Draco. It was a lot of fun to write. They will never really like each other in my opinion, but they've learned how to peacefully coexist for the most part.

I'm really pleased that you like Astoria. She became one of my favorite characters as the story progressed. You'll see a lot of her before it's all said and done. As far as Flint goes, well, you'll find out fairly soon what he's after. It's not exactly what it seems...

I'm looking forward to seeing what you think. Thanks so much for reading and reviewing!


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Review #10, by TheHeirOfSlytherin 

8th January 2013:
Okay, so I changed my mind... They'll be short, though, because it's really late... *keeps reading*

I like Astoria's influence over Draco, that she can get him to listen and do the right thing, even if it is threats to leave him. The one thing I've always liked the Malfoys for is that they seem to do the things they do for their family (switching sides at the end, for example, although that is the only /good/ thing they did for each other, that I remember).

Harry and Draco trading insults will always be fun to read, I enjoyed reading that. The whole office scene was awesome, in fact, from the insults to the thank you at the end. And hearing Harry say that Scorpius is like a son and accepting they are now family. It was kind of an aww moment, even though Draco didn't return it properly. :P

That spell sounds nasty, I hope Hermione will be okay.

Amazing chapter.

Sam.

Author's Response: Ha! Like I said in the last response, Gotcha!

Astoria and Draco are great together, don't you think? She is his better half, his conscience and his voice of reason. The Malfoys are all about family, although Lucius clearly made awful choices that put his family in mortal danger. Draco ruminates on that a bit in later chapters.

I have to admit, I enjoyed every bit of writing Harry and Draco's conversation. It was one of those things that turned out to be really easy to write, as well. It just flowed. At least in my imagination, Al and Scorpius are very close, perhaps closer than Al is to James or Lily.

The spell Hermione was hit with is very dark. Much more coming on that topic.

I'm sorry if it sounds like all I ever say in these responses is, "more coming on that topic soon". You're actually quite good at zeroing in on the important plot points, and I don't want to ruin any surprises for anybody.

Thanks for reading and reviewing!


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Review #11, by LovlyRita 

6th January 2013:
Hello there, back again!

Ok, loving how this chapter starts with Astoria. I love her flippant attitude toward Harry and his whole family, that they simply "fix" dark wizards. love love.

Well I have to hand it to you, you did a fine job here with the women in the clothing store. I'm glad that you wrote it too because a lot of male writers shy away from this kind of thing but I think it made your story more real and interesting. I love that, as she hears the news, she just runs out the door with the dress on. Too funny, but also very scary, because I fear for her and Draco, both looking for each other! don't they know it's scary out there?! :P

I also really liked the way that you wrote Hermione figuring out what was going on and where she was. I know from having an experience of passing out that when I came to, the first thought I had is "is it morning already? I don't want to get up!" even though I'd been perfectly awake seconds earlier. (Don't worry about me, I'd given blood :P ) So I thought you did a really accurate depiction of what it feels like to kind of come out of unconsciousness and not just sleep.

Other things I really liked in this chapter: Astoria and Flint. What a dirty liar he is! I was freaking out the whole time, like oh no they have Draco, and then turns up to save the day! Well sort of, she was still scantily clad, but meh. This Flint sounds like a real jerk. I can see how he might harbor these thoughts about purebloods because clearly they were instilled in this entire generation from a young age. I don't think that their thoughts on life would have changed all that much from what they were when they were little, possibly becoming a little more tolerant but otherwise their core values will probably stay the same. But it seems like Flint got a little more twisted that the others did. I really dislike him but I think you've made a good job of singling him out as the villain so far.

The part with Harry and Draco I LOVED. I loved the little banter they had going on at the beginning where all they did was insult each other. And the thing is, it makes total sense. I don't think there's ever a time when the two of them could even remotely get along, except if their children or families respectively were involved. But I do love the way you have portrayed them here, that even despite the darkness and the misery that's beginning to happen, the two of them can't just bury their differences and get on with things. I really like the way that Harry extended an olive branch at the end, thanking Draco for doing the right thing, and Draco attributes it to Astoria. I feel like these characters have an interesting, yet realistic and canons relationship and you've done a great job portraying that.

One other thing, before I go, that I really liked, was the way you said that Ron was Harry's best mate but Hermione was Harry's best friend. I thought that was really sweet and also true. It didn't downplay their relationship but it didn't hint at any gross Harry Hermione ship either (which I hate hate hate hate lol). I thought it was simply put and probably a true assessment of their relationship.

Overall another excellent, mind boggling chapter. Everything is developing so smoothly, I'm jealous at the way things seem to be unfolding for you. I wish I could be that dedicated to detail. It's like you know what's coming up next. Gah I need to plan my stories better. Fabulous job!!

Author's Response: I guess I've sat here staring adoringly at this review for long enough, hmmnn? Time to respond.

I really liked the idea of Astoria trying to stay interested while Daphne pilfers through the entire stock of clothes in some fancy boutique. It seemed like a good contrast to what's about to happen. I try really hard not to shy away from including different sort of characters with different sort of perspectives. I even tried writing Tonks from a first person PoV in Surrender to the Night. I think my number one comment I get on that one is, "Wait, you're a guy???" I guess I'm doing something right.

I remember that groggy, confused, "everything is not right with the world" feeling from waking up after I had my wisdom teeth cut out. Granted, that was over 20 years ago, but that sort of thing never really leaves you.

Yep, Flint is a sleaze. As the old saying goes, nobody comes out of prison better than the way they went in. I imagine you'll come to like him even less as the story progresses, but rest easy knowing that he'll get his just desserts at some point.

I really enjoyed writing the conversation between Harry and Draco. I think of them as having reached a point in life where they're able to insult one another in a civil tone of voice, without the argument turning into a duel. I don't think they'll ever *like* one another. But they can agree on certain things, such as the importance of keeping their family safe.

You know, I've gotten widely varying reactions to the comment about Hermione being Harry's best friend. After everything that happened during the year they were on the run from Voldemort, I don't think I'll ever see it any other way. Harry may think of Ron as a brother and Ron will always be his go-to guy for talking Quidditch over a few beers, but Hermione was the one who never left his side. She was the one who was ready to follow him into the Forbidden Forest and die with him. That goes a little beyond the relationship he has with Ron, I think.

I'm pleased as can be that you're enjoying the story. Thank you so much for reading and reviewing and I can't wait to hear from you again!


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Review #12, by shadowycorner 

22nd November 2012:
Haha, you have no idea how much I enjoyed Draco being a git again. It's a nice contrast with how he acts around his family and around Harry, after all these years. Some habits never die, I guess.

And wow, you mentioned that the plot will sort of slow down, but it didn't feel like that at all! Reading this was really exciting, every part of the chapter. I don't mind if the plot doesn't move forward with every chapter as long as the in between parts are as interesting as this. You filled it all up with great characterization and once more the little details that really help build up the atmosphere. Astoria's sections were all great, even her talk with Daphne and then my heart clenched when Draco pulled her into a smothering hug! Thank God he got there in time, Marcu Flint ew! But from the way you write Astoria, I had the impression that she'd take the slimy ogre down even if Draco didn't turn up. Way to go Astoria!

I am so sad because of Hermione! That curse just sounds absolutely mental and dangerous. Thank heavens she's alive then, but I gathered even from your hints and from this chapter that my dearest Hermione will have some really tough time from now on. :( That scene was so emotional, when Hugo and Rose ran in there and Rose embraced her so lovingly. And I almost wanted to cry when Ron held her hand, and he said he would leave and still he lingered. He must be worried sick! I wish he can be close to her as soon as possible, because even though it wasn't said what exactly is wrong with her, I could clearly make out that she must be pretty hurt. Even her thoughts were so blank and disjointed, almost numb.

I liked how you handled the crime scene investigation. It sounded neat and yay for Susan Bones being there. :) Also, I really liked Harry speaking to the portraits again. And McGonagall really cares for Hermione judging by her immediate distress after she heard she was hurt. She's like a second mother to all her students, I adore that. And I swear that when Harry mentioned that curse I was just waiting for Phineas to speak up and alas! he did. Great touch.

Another great chapter, off to read more! :)

Author's Response: Hello, again!

I don't think the part of Draco that's a git ever really goes away, no matter how mature he might become. I really can't stand fics that portray him as a one-dimensional villain or an uplifting story of redemption. He's neither. He's a very complex character and he has been since the start of HBP.

Ha. I'm glad things still feel like they're moving along. I guess what I mean to say is that this part of the story is relatively slow-paced compared to some of what's coming. I'm really glad you like Astoria. She's a great character, at least the way that I've imagined her for this story. She's a perfect compliment to manage some of Draco's less wholesome tendencies. The two of them really are great together.

There is a lot of history behind the curse Hermione was injured by, all of it terrible. Much more on this is coming up later in the story. Suffice it to say that she has a long, difficult road to recovery in front of her. Her entire family is worried, but Ron is definitely the worst off. She is really the glue that holds him together, and he's struggling without that.

You'll see a whole lot more of Susan before the story is all said and done. She is one of my absolute favorite characters.

Wow, I think you're the first reviewer who's had expectations for Phineas Nigellus. I think the most amazing thing about the magical portraits, particularly the ones of the old headmasters, is the perspective and knowledge they bring.

I'm so glad you're enjoying this. Thanks so much for reading and reviewing!


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Review #13, by Yoshi_Kitten 

20th November 2012:
Hey Dan! Sorry Ive been so absent lately. Now I know Im skipping a few chapters here, but thats only cuz my notes for 4-6 are saved onto my laptop, which is currently down atm... But anyways, I am here to do what I can for now. & For starters, I must say that that Im loving where the story is going so far. Your action scenes are so fantastic, and the pacing of everything is perfect! You cut the scenes off in all the right places & you never fail to leave me wanting MORE! Theres quite a bit going on in this, and I appreciate the fact that you are taking the time to space it all out and give us everybodys POV of these events.

I really enjoyed how this chapter stated with Astoria's aforementioned shopping trip with her sister. They really are nothing alike, are they? I really like your take on Daphne tho, she seems quite vain and materialistic, which I feel is fitting for her. I liked the dress she made Astoria try on, and Astoria's inner-monologue about how Draco would never approve of the garment. Jealous Draco, ha! But when things hit the fan, I like how she instinctively knew where to find her husband at. I like what you've done with Draco & Astoria's relationship. It is strong and completely realistic so far, which makes it all the more believable. She really does seem absolutely perfect for him, and I like the good side that she brings out in Draco. =)

Flint's character is intriguing, as far as villains go. I cant help but wonder who he is working for/with, and how he escaped imprisonment at Azkaban. He is totally evil and sadistic, and kind of a moron - no offense, lol. But the part where he captured Astoria was SO intense, OMG! You had me holding my breath the whole time! This was all so very well written. When he started putting her hands on her and seducing her, it actually gave me chills, it was so good. I was even convinced that Flint was serious about having captured Draco, and thought that they were really gonna torture him if she did not cooperate. I mean, they just broke into the Ministry and put Hermione in the hospital, so who knows what they're capable of. I was SO relieved when Draco showed up & came to her rescue tho.

Thank goodness Hermione & Ernie are alright. That curse they used on her sounds absolutely dreadful. I thought that they had done the Cruciatus Curse on her at first, but I guess that I was WAY off. Lucky the man who cast it on her didnt seem to know what he was doing. But why do I get the feeling that there is someone out there tho, who IS competent in this newfound Dark Magic, and will not hesitate to use it on whomever stands in his/her way? I really liked the name Exussanguis too. How did you come up with that name? I was surprised when not even Professor Dumbledore had heard of this curse before, but then it was even more surprising when Phineas, of all people, knew about it. To be honest, I was expecting Snape to know more on it, if anybody.

- "Ordinarily, this was the point where they would have asked Hermione to look it up." - That quote made me laugh so much, haha! Poor Harry & Ron are still so lost without Hermione there to guide them and find all the answers for them. Its good to know that some things never really do change, no matter how old they grow. Harry & Ron's work relationship is excellent also. Like how Ron automatically knew that Harry was looking over peoples shoulders and making everyone nervous. You can tell that they have been around one another for a very long time now... The Ministerial Security concept is an interesting idea, and its totally something I could see the Ministry of Magic doing in the future. Altho I cannot help but wonder why they wouldnt trust the Aurors - especially not with Harry Potter as head Auror - to do their jobs proficiently. Hoping to learn more on this in the future, maybe?

I feel like you truly nailed the Trio's relationship perfectly in this when you said that Hermione was Harry's best friend & Ron was his best mate. Thats how Ive always viewed them also; especially during DH. Ron left, but Hermione stuck with him thru it all, and Harry & her have always had more of a connection. I feel like she gets him more than Ron does, and they have deeper, more meaningful conversations. They are in no way whatsoever romantic tho - just friends - or more like brother & sister. Which is why I hate the Harmony Ship even more than I do Dramione sometimes, lol. Neither of them are even remotely plausible, and I for one am glad that you also seem to get that as well, lol! I thot it was a really sweet moment when Hermione woke up and her whole family was there. It was good to see Rose and Hugo in the same room tho, and they were getting along too.

And I love how you ended the chapter with Harry telling Draco to help protect "OUR" family. Cuz whether Draco likes it or not, he and Harry have a common ground now and they're gonna have to swallow their pride and work together... Harry & Draco's conversation was definitely the highlight of the chapter for me. I mean, it may have drug out a little bit, but at the same time I feel that all that extra bickering between the two of them was necessary to show off Draco's reluctance. If he would've sat down and just immediately started spilling everything it would have been a tad unrealistic. So I thot you got that one spot-on! I was glad to see that some of their old animosity still lingers between them, & it was fun to read them bickering back and forth. ;)

& finally, PEEVES! His poem about Harry being back was to die for, rotfl! I wont quote it here, cuz Idk if its considered 12+ or not and I would hate for this review to get deleted, lol! But OMG that was great, haha! This is such an amazing story, and it is starting to get SOO good! I just wanna keep reading, non-stop, but no worries. I will continue to sit down and review the rest, just for you, haha!! XD

Author's Response: Hi, there!

So I've been staring and staring at this review, very daunted by the prospect of trying to write a suitable response. You cover a lot of ground and you're so kind and encouraging that I wanted to make sure I had the time to do it right.

Action scenes were always my favorite parts of the story to write. If there's one thing I think I'm pretty good at, it's visualizing a certain scene playing out and converting that into words. My super power. ;)

Astoria and Daphne are nothing at all alike, but they do still share that sort of sibling bond. No matter how foolish and obnoxious Daphne might be, Astoria still cares about her. She just doesn't allow herself to be overly constrained by Daphne's foolishness. And she does truly enjoy pushing the limits of her husband's comfort zone. His jealousy and overprotective nature bring out certain behaviors in him that she finds quite endearing.

I think you hit it just right in your comments on Flint. He definitely didn't get out of Azkaban due to his brains or his charm. His... let's just say "benefactor" for lack of a better term, is pulling all the strings. He just doesn't realize it yet. A lot of things will start to become clear over the next few chapters.

Hermione managed to survive, but she has a long, difficult recovery ahead of her. The man who cast the curse was indeed incompetent, and you'll find out quite soon who he is. Exussanguis is slightly bastardized Latin. It essentially means "fire of the blood". Nothing too fancy, but I thought it sounded good in a pinch. Phineas Nigellus lived during a time when many more dark curses were commonly used, before the Wizard's Council and then the Ministry of Magic clamped down on dark spells to help preserve the secrecy and safety of the wizarding world.

Ministerial Security was created after the trio were tried and acquitted for the murder of Ginny's killer. It was essentially a message from the Minister that he no longer completely trusted Harry and Ron. It was also about political control, giving the Minister his own personal police force of sorts. Throughout history, the ploy has been used by dictators to help solidify their control. Not saying that's where things are heading, at least not yet. ;)

That quote about Hermione being Harry's best friend has generated a lot of reactions from my reviewers, some good and some bad. Personally, that's how I think of Harry and Hermione. They're like brother and sister, only they don't fight as much. ;) And she probably understands him better than anyone, because they both come from the same background and went through nearly everything together during their school years, including all the times that Ron was acting like an idiot.

I struggled a lot with how long to make Harry and Draco's conversation. I thought about shortening it, but I couldn't figure out which part to take out. In the end, I guess I'm not 100% happy with it, but I'm just not sure how I'd make it better without messing it up. The basic message would always stay the same, though. They do have common family now and they need to work together to keep them safe.

Yeah, Peeves is known for his bawdy, non-12+ sense of humor. That was fun to write. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Thank you so much for such a long, detailed, well thought out review! I promise I'll respond to your next one sooner, although it also needs a lot of thought. ;)


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Review #14, by Illuminate 

8th November 2012:
Hi!

I'm glad that Hermione is alright :) Or she will be. Or...will she? The spell that she was hit with sounds awful and genuinely horrific, a painful end. I wonder about the repercussions of this, and whether or not the Trio will have obstacles in this investigation. You suggest that the Ministry no longer trusts them; I wonder how that will play out.

I'm intrigued as to the pieces of the puzzle that are being switched and moved around, and the ones still being introduced. It's also nice to see a scene between Draco and Harry! The dynamic they had at school still remains, but with a little more maturity. And seeing Harry still needs the advice of his teachers is very humbling for him, and shows his modesty even now.

One thing: knickers is spelt with a K :)

Great job!

Author's Response: Hermione is injured very badly. The true extent of her injuries becomes known over the next few chapters. Suffice it to say that she has a long, rough road in front of her.

The Minister does not completely trust them, nor has he since the trial. You'll definitely hear more about it later.

Draco and Harry still aren't friends, but they can be civil when it's in their mutual best interest. They're both fiercely protective of Rose and Scorpius's children, as you'll see several more times.

Thanks for the catch on the spelling of knickers. I'll be sure to fix it.

I really enjoy your reviews. Several times now you've picked up on little things that many, many readers before you have missed. You have a good eye!


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Review #15, by Owlpost68 

22nd August 2012:
Oh jeez, very nervous for Hermione now... I do think that the conversation between Draco and Harry was a bit drawn out. It was an extremely important topic that Draco came with, and I would have thought he wouldn't have wanted to be in his presence for very long. Banter sure, just maybe a bit less. It made sooo much sense for Flint to have been bluffing about having Draco. That would be way to quick to have happened. I did really like that there was a bit of magic they still haven't learned and was resenting that Harry knew it lol. I love the relationship that Draco and Astoria have, very dynamic, and real :) I'm very curious what this could have to do with Ginny's murder... very interesting. Great job!!

Author's Response: Hello, again!

Hermione is in pretty bad shape. She was cursed very badly and lucky to be alive.

Draco and Harry's conversation was something I enjoyed writing, but it was also challenging. To me, they would still feel a lot of animosity toward one another, having made such different choices in life. At the same time, they have family in common now, so they can't be outwardly hostile.

Flint was trying to lure Astoria with him, and he very nearly succeeded. But she's also a very smart witch, and she clearly got some information out of him.

JKR said in an interview that Snape was the only Death Eater that ever was able to cast a patronus, so I extended that to Draco.

Draco and Astoria are still very much in love in this story. She is the bedrock of his life. More on this to come...

I'm glad you enjoyed these chapters! Thanks for reading and reviewing!


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Review #16, by academica 

20th June 2012:
Hi! I'm here with another requested review :)

Great work on this chapter! I thought the pacing was really nice for the most part, and everything seemed to flow well, especially in the beginning. I loved your characterization of Daphne, as her vapid nature added a little bit of humor to a dark plot line. I also think your discussion of the new spell was really interesting - it sounds quite painful!

While I liked the chapter overall, I do think that the conversation between Draco and Harry dragged a little bit. I get that they have an intense rivalry, but I thought you spent a little much time with them trading barbs. It seemed to contrast with the businesslike conversation between Astoria and Hermione earlier. Maybe you meant it that way. I guess I just would have thought that Draco would press more to get to the emergency situation.

I really liked the scene in the Records department. It had sort of a CSI-like feel to it, because the whole idea of this new spell and the lackluster evidence had a mysterious feel to it. I also liked Harry's conversation with the portraits - Phineas never leaves room for a dull, drama-free moment. I really enjoyed continuing to follow the story here.

Great job! I hope this review is helpful :)

-Amanda

Author's Response: Apologies for the slow response. I've been on vacation with the family for the past couple of days, and the Respond link doesn't work on my phone's browser.

I'm glad you like Daphne. She is shallow, materialistic and not very bright, a great contrast to her sister, I think. And she can be kind of funny.

Hmmnn... I haven't read Draco and Harry's conversation in a long time. They do like to torment one another, and perhaps I just had too much fun with it. This chapter was also back before my wonderful beta reader signed on. Maybe I'll ask her opinion on that. Astoria and Hermione's conversation is more to-the-point, but I think they also have less personal history.

I was going for a bit of that feel in the scene where the Aurors study the aftermath of the fight in Magical Records, so I'm glad that came through and you liked it. The results will come out in a couple of chapters, and I promise they're interesting!

Your reviews are always helpful! Again, sorry for the late response. Thanks so much for reading and reviewing!


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Review #17, by Erised 

10th April 2012:
Hi! Back again...

Another excellent and suspenseful chapter with plenty of questions and further depth added wonderfully. Thank goodness Hermione is ok! Her brief point of view was very well done. Although I hope she is actually okay after what Nigellus Black said. Harry and Ron's work on the crime scene was also very realistic, I loved the detail of the new Ministry-endorsed special branch and the subtle link back to the idea of the Ministry not trusting them also. This makes me wonder whether the Ministry are innocent in all of this...

The scene with Astoria and Flint started off slightly terrifyingly and ended up being quite amusing! Flint is clearly an idiot and hasn't learnt a thing since Hogwarts. Astoria dealt very well with the situation and yay for Draco being there to save the day!

The banter between Draco and Harry was very fitting of what JKR has told us of their future relationship, so well done. It's also good to see the case coming together nicely, although I suspect it is not as straightforward as I presume!

A great chapter, excellent work.

Author's Response: Hello, again!

Hermione has survived, but her prognosis is grim. It remains to be seen how her recovery will go.

I tried to incorporate a lot of elements and ideas into the crime scene investigation. I tend to think of being an Auror as a lot less glamorous than it was portrayed in the books and the movies. Dark wizards are a sneaky lot, and I'm sure there's lots of tedious, painstaking work involved in catching those who don't maintain an extremely high profile like the Dark Lord.

Astoria does a pretty good job of handling Flint, but he is kind of an idiot. And Draco came through for her, flaws and all. I'm now starting to write the section of the story where Draco really gets a chance to shine, and I think you'll enjoy it.

I tried to mature Draco and Harry realistically without completely getting rid of the simmering dislike that has always characterized their relationship. They're never going to be friends and they truly enjoy needling one another, but they can work productively together when they have a common interest.

Thanks for reading and reviewing!


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Review #18, by charlottetrips 

3rd April 2012:
Hola. This was great.








Joking!

I love how you’re portraying Daphne here. Her flightiness and passing carelessness about matters not fashion is so like some people I know. Unfortunately, such people do exist in this world, people whose thoughts really don’t go above the tiny circle of their own life. It’s actually sad to see from an outside perspective.

She recalled the [the] steady stream of owls that her husband - double “the”

And my first thought in the next section is: “Yay! Hermione’s alive!” The whole scene was very sweet. I liked how Rose’s hair is similar to her mum’s and not some supermodel sleekness.

Oh no! Astoria’s being accosted!

Ah, politics. Gotta love it. The Ministry no longer trusting the people who gave up so much to save their society.

Ron might have been Harry’s best mate, but deep down, Hermione was his best friend. - This sums up how I categorize the Trio. So many people use that chemistry between Harry and Hermione as something more than friendship but to me it’s more of the deep abiding friendship that one forms around them. Ron, with his quick-temperedness and impulsiveness, doesn’t make for a friend you can depend on to help you out. He’s loyal and someone who will be there but Hermione is someone who can think on her feet and get you out of situations that you feel like you’re swimming in. So basically I understand what you’re saying here :)

She [started] at him for a long moment. - stared

LOL, just as I’m thinking who is “we” in this whole speech of Flint’s, Astoria asks the same question. Nice.

Again to make a note on the quotation marks, if someone finishes speaking in the first paragraph and continues without interruption in the second, the first paragraph’s speech shouldn’t be enclosed so the reader knows that the same guy is talking in the second paragraph.

Yay, the portraits are back! I think you’ve done well to capture their voices here, especially Phineas’ uppity-ness.

There are some pros and cons to this conversation between Draco and Harry. Let’s start with the negative first shall we? I would think that after 10 or so years of being related and having little grandchildren together, they would not be so hostile to each other. I do get that they wouldn’t be BFFs but the amount of dislike that is very present in the beginning rounds of their verbal spar seems to be basically the same as when they were in school, but this doesn’t quite make sense to me given the time lapse, the relationships, the fact that Draco’s family helped Harry and Harry’s own maturity in all other areas.

Some of the ribbing was great and the fact that both old men liked to poke at each other was fun to see. Also Draco’s reluctance to accept help from Harry while at the same time asking for it seemed believable. It’s also sweet how open Draco is about Astoria’s positive influence in his life. This ending of Harry and Draco’s conversation seems more real to where they would be at in this period of their life.

We’re getting into the action now, aren’t we?

: Char :

Author's Response: Hello, again!

Daphne is basically just a vacuous bubble-head. Her main roles are providing a contrast for her sister and serving as the butt of a joke here and there.

I'm really glad that you liked my idea on Harry's subtly different relationships with Ron and Hermione. A lot of readers have taken exception to it, but this was how things always seemed to be. Ron is Harry's go-to friend for all things guy-related, but there were always these tiny bits of separation that didn't exist between Harry and Hermione. -- e.g., fact that Harry was in love with Ron's sister, the fact that Harry and Hermione both grew up in the muggle world, etc. My perspective, at any rate.

I'm glad you still like the portraits. I think they're such an important connection to the past.

I think there's an element of immaturity affecting Harry and Draco's conversation that has at least as much to do with the antagonistic tone as any genuine dislike. They just can't resist needling one another, no matter how old they get or how much they might actually have in common. Don't worry, they actually reach a more productive sort of truce later on.

And, yes, we are now solidly in the middle of the action.

Thanks so much for pointing out those typos. Your capacity to catch things that many, many others have missed never ceases to amaze me!

Thanks again for another awesome review!


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Review #19, by Elenia 

2nd April 2012:
Hello again (:

Wow, another great chapter, though I'm not surprised at all. This story is quickly becoming one of my ultimate favourites.

I'm adoring all the mystery you've build here. There are so many things going on and so many questions swirling around my head. I just can't wait to see what happens next. There's just something about the way you write, I can't get enough of it. This is like one of those books, where you just can't lover it down, but have to keep on reading because every single chapters leaves you wanting for more, wanting to get answers for the multiplying questions.

Draco acted just like I imagined he would when he was asking Harry's help in protecting his family. Too proud to say it immediately, hinting like it was just a casual visit and circling around the subject, not able to say it straight. And even in the end of their conversation, he just had to say that he did it all for Astoria, so nobody could suspect he had gone soft. That whole scene was so amazing.

“You’ve really come a long way, you know? For a moment there, I thought you were going to call my niece a mudblood, and I was about to remind you how it feels to be a ferret.” - my favourite line!

Oh, and I also loved how you kept me holding my breath in the scene where they had captured Astoria! That was very well written, you kept the suspense of it up and I was scared for her, luckily it all turned out great.

Great work once again! I'll drop by to read more instantly when I have the chance! (:

~E

Author's Response: Hello, again!

There are a lot of mysteries being created at this stage of the story. It was fun to write. A lot more fun, frankly, than working my way through all of the resolutions that are starting to come together in more recent chapters and making sure that I don't mess anything up. ;-)

There was a certain dynamic between Draco and Harry in Deathly Hallows that I desperately wanted to preserve in their interactions in my story. A sort of very grudging, very tenuous respect built up over many years of being adversaries. They still dislike one another in most ways, and they still enjoy pushing each other's buttons, but they can put it aside at least long enough to get something done where their families are concerned.

I'm glad you liked that little line. It was fun to write!

I wanted to show a bit of Astoria's intelligence and resourcefulness in the scene with Flint, so I hope that came through alright.

I look forward to seeing you again. Thanks so much for all of the kind words!


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Review #20, by Pixileanin 

25th March 2012:
Loved the bit about Astoria: 'Wasn't that what Potter and his friends did, take care of other people's dark wizard problems?" It's funny to me that both she and Draco were regretting not learning that patronus charm back in school.

The scene at St. Mungo's with Hermione's family was really well depicted. They are all so caring and worried, and she is very out of it. I loved how you described her still in a daze, how she felt and heard things and how difficult it was for her to put her arom around her daughter, but she managed it anyway.

The back and forth between Astoria's scenes and the Aurors was a good choice here. You really kept everything moving along and we got to see both sides of it. And my, Draco is well and crotchety!

Author's Response: Hello, again.

Astoria is a very strong-willed, practical woman, but she still has certain elements of her upbringing that she can't quite get past. To me, it stand to reason that at least Draco is unable to produce a patronus. According to JKR, Snape was the only Death Eater who could do it, because he had his memories of Lily to draw on. It's not that Draco is such a bad guy, but the very essence of his childhood was that stiff upper lip.

Poor Hermione, and poor Ron. It's going to be a huge struggle for them to get by. She does have her family, though. Rose and Hugo both love their mother dearly, and, as you'll see later, they will do anything for her.

In this chapter and for most of the story, I've tried to mix up the action into three or four scenes just to keep things lively. I find that it makes the chapters read a lot faster and avoids overwhelming the reader. I feel bad for authors who write from a single point of view, since they don't have this luxury.

Thanks again for reading and reviewing!


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Review #21, by hedwigs_theme 

10th March 2012:
Hi

I have to say that your chapters are really long, but very interesting. I hope that Hermione gets better in the next couple of chapters because when I read what the curse does I got really upset! I have always liked the insults that Draco and Harry throw at each other, in J.K. Rowlings books so I enjoyed reading the last bit!

Great job and sorry that it has taken me so long to review!

Author's Response: I am undeniably guilty of writing long chapters. The alternative would be to have this story be 40 or 50 chapters long already. Given the average length of the validation queue, it would have taken a year to get to this point. So I just make them long.

Hermione will recover to an extent, but her injuries -- physical and psychological -- and the difficulties they present are one of the many subplots of this story. She has a long road ahead of her...

Draco and Harry have reached an understand of sorts. They still don't like each other, but they're able to be sort of civilized when they have a common interest. That said, neither one can resist an opportunity to needle the other. I just can't see that ever changing.

Thank you for the review and please don't feel bad about taking a while. It is a very long story and we all have lives outside of HP fan fiction. I appreciate the reviews whenever you're able to get to them!


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Review #22, by starryskies55 

4th March 2012:
AH! So yeah. Poor Hermione!
Kill them. Kill them all! I'm loving Astoria more with every chapter, she is delightfully funny and evil and good, which is nice.
Draco is a stuck-up arrogant idiot, to be frank, and Harry isn't much better in this chapter! PLAY NICELY!
However, at least Astoria managed to get Draco to go to Harry. She's got some sense, at least!
One thing- you've written 'nickers' and I think you mean 'knockers' as in boobs. :D
Another great chapter, and they had better find Hermione's attackers soon, or I WILL! :)

Author's Response: Hello, again!

You have no idea how pleased I am to be getting such an emotional reaction from you. It lets me know that you're able to connect with the characters and their circumstances and it feels great.

Astoria is one of my favorite pseudo-creations in the story. (Pseudo in that she exists from the books, but is not well-defined) I picture her as this deceptively strong woman who looks to all the world as though she's Draco's trophy wife, but she's really the brains and the backbone of the Malfoy family. Not that Draco doesn't have one or two redeeming qualities, as you'll see later, but he needs her to help bring them out.

And I did actually mean to write "nickers". When Astoria lets herself fall down to give Draco a clean shot at Flint, he's looking up her dress. He's not really a very nice guy.

Hermione's attackers **will** get theirs in the end, but you have a lot of reading in front of you to get to that point. I have a fair bit of writing left to do, as well.

Thanks so much for reading and reviewing!


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Review #23, by Gin-gin06 

15th January 2012:
And as one of my favorite movie lines go: The husband is the head, but the wife, she is the neck that turns the head. Seems fitting for Draco and Astoria. I love how she knows how to manuplilate him, but only for his own good and how dependently Draco really needs her, that he'll do whatever she asks. Kinda sweet.

Oh I hope to god whoever threw that curse at her was incompentent. *bites nails* Oh please say no... she's my favorite... okay so one of the many, many favorites... but still!

I still completely dislike Flint. He is vile, and a sexist, racist pig as far as he goes in my book. Just horrible.

AMAZING ONCE AGAIN!

--Gin-gin

Author's Response: It's a fair bet that without Astoria, Draco winds up in Azkaban right beside Flint and the other delinquents. That's the way I've imagined things, anyway. She is his spine, his conscience and his better judgment.

The fact that Hermione didn't die instantly tells us that the wizard in the bad toupee was incompetent. Maybe I should have made that more clear. At any rate, as you'll soon see, Hermione has survived. But in what condition? Well, you'll have to keep coming back and reading. ;-)

Again, you make me feel good because that's exactly how the reader is meant to react to Flint. I think you'll find the, uh, "resolution" of his story arc to be satisfying.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!


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Review #24, by Cassius Alcinder 

15th January 2012:
Tagged for another chapter!

I've relaly enjoyed how well the plot is moving along, you've obviously put a lot of effort into developing a complex and multi-layered story that is slowly dveloping and becoming ever more suspenseful. Is the book they're looking for Tom Riddle's diary from Book 2 or something different? Or is that something we shouldn't know just yet?

I like the way you incorporate some of the minor characters from the books and give them a role, in particular Peeves and Phineas Nigellus were well used and spot on.

I really enjoyed the depiction of Harry and Draco meeting, and how there is some degree of civility but they still really don't like each other. Although I was slightly disapointed to see that Harry would still hold a grudge for that long and at times act just like they did at school. Overall I liked the scene though.

The story continues to move along very nicely and its keeping me intrigued.

Author's Response: I'm glad that you're enjoying the story. I have put a lot of effort in trying to keep a number of sub-plots developing alongside each other. To be honest, sometimes I have to draw a picture to keep track of them all.

The book is not Tom Riddle's diary. When the horcrux in that book was destroyed, it become useless. You will find out, in time...

Harry and Draco will never be friends. That's my take, anyway. Even when they have nothing to argue about, they just love to poke at each other. It's part of what makes them fun to read and write.

Thanks for reading and reviewing!


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Review #25, by ashling586 

1st January 2012:
I have to say that each chapter that I read only gets better and better. Though I have to admit that it seems a bit silly that after so many years neither Draco or his wife ever thought to learn the patronus charm. Then again, considering that after the war was over there might have been little reason to learn it, so I guess it could be possible.
It just occurred to me while reading this chapter that Draco followed in his father's foot steps by placing his wand in his walking cane. Part of me wants to knock my self in the head for it having taken this long to remember that small detail from the series. It's little details like that which really captures readers attentions.
I really enjoyed the squabble between Harry and Draco. It may have been over forty years since the two of them attended Hogwarts but they still insult and get on each others nerves as if they were still in school.
Out of the whole chapter there was only one thing I wish I knew more about: How did Draco find his wife in the alley?

Author's Response: Well, as was said many times in the books, the patronus charm is very advanced magic. It also requires a very happy memory to cast, and I think that Draco went through his formative years without having very many of those. And, as you said, there wasn't really a need after Kingsley imprisoned the dementors. Thank you for doing my rationalization for me. ;-)

I like to think that Draco adopted a lot of his father's style. It's just that he's not as much of a jerk as his dad. And yes, he and Harry still don't particularly like each other. They have a minimally functional relationship built on Scorpius's friendship with Al and marriage to Rose, and neither one really wants any more that that. But, I think that circumstances might force them to collaborate more as the story progresses. It's just too much fun to write the two of them sniping at each other.

Thanks again for reading and reviewing!


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