16 Reviews Found

Review #1, by Gabriella Hunter 

17th June 2015:

This is Gabbie from the forums dropping by with this super late review for our swap. I feel like I owe you the biggest apology for not getting to this more quickly and I shall repay you with kittens and glitter. Honestly, though, I'll probably just read more of this story and review to make up for this, I hate not giving you guys reviews the same day we swap. ;__;

I am going to be honest though and say that I have been checking up on this story for quite a while. I had a brief hiatus and wasn't able to read or review for a long time but now that I'm able to again I can review the stories that I started reading ages ago. This being an adult thing is not fun...

So, Draco! I remember that I read half of this chapter before but I re-read everything to get back into the swing of things. I am really invested in his character and I love all of the different angles that you've given him. He seems the same on one hand but on the other you can tell that he's become a tad jaded but much more mature. I liked that you still had him holding onto some of his prejudices about Muggles too, I feel like some authors make him out to be this tragic, romantic sex-god and that always felt waaay out of left field. I'm sure that that's a great fantasy but your version of him is more realistic. I'm sure that people who are bigots for most of their lives aren't just going to flip a switch in a day.

What surprised me here though was the offer McGonagall gave him. I liked that they managed to have a talk though and while it was more like a cowboy facing off with a hardened fighter, I really enjoyed that Draco held his own. McGonagall is an intimidating woman but I really enjoyed seeing her softened up just a little in this section. She's also putting a lot of her career on the line by trusting Draco and I think that offering him this job is a test of how much they can trust and rely on one another.

I know that Draco was feeling very defensive about the whole thing but I honestly believe that he would be better suited there. Potions seems to be his strong suit and I winced a little at how he carelessly tossed Muggle Studies behind him. I would have liked to see him trying to make more of an effort to learn but it was clear that it wasn't going to happen. I hope he'll be able to scrape through Herbology though, Neville Longbottom is silently laughing in a corner over this, I'm sure.

When we shift back to Astoria, I can't help but giggle with girlish happiness. I LOVE the way that she's written, she seems like a very real girl and I enjoyed how her thoughts of Draco slipped from worry to moonbeams. It's clear that her feelings for him are developing into something more serious here and their entire section together was all sorts of yum. As a professed perv of the highest order, I declared that you wrote that scene very well. There was just enough connection and physical intimacy to bring them closer together without it being written crudely or rushed.

"Little wizard" is still making me laugh, btw.

Anyway, this ending! Astoria's father is wanting more from her life than she's willing to let go of and I'm worried. I don't want her to look at Montague as some sort of example because Merlin have mercy on my soul...just...no. So much nope is coursing through me.

So much nope.

I hope that she'll be able to convince her father of what SHE wants. Also, I do hope that she won't end up being like MY Astoria either. The Astoria in A Force of Wills would be dead by now if her father learned of some illicit relationship with a boy that he disapproved of.

Anyway, great chapter and I'll be back!

Much love,


Author's Response: Friday review responding time!

Trying to keep Draco true to his character from the books while also aging and maturing him in a realistic way was one of the hardest things about writing this. Then you layer in the PTSD and dependency problems and he becomes really complicated. Which is good, I hope. Complicated is challenging. Complicated is fun.

I wanted McGonagall to be hard but fair. She sees that Draco has put in the work to become a better student. She also sees that he's given up on his cowardly, bullying ways. So I think she's willing to reward those improvements to a certain extent. I suspect that she and Dumbledore sometimes talked about Draco, and Dumbledore probably shared his philosophy on dealing with the boy. Now that the horrors of the war are a little farther in the past, perhaps she reconsidered some of what Dumbledore said to her.

Whew!!! As people have read this story, I've been completely terrified of what they would think of Astoria. Because I really don't know whether I'm writing her correctly. I've never been a teenaged girl, after all. I'm also thrilled that you liked the pace at which Draco and Astoria's relationship is progressing. And I agree, the Little Wizard cracked me up to no end.

Astoria's father comes from a different era, and he has very different ideas about what's appropriate and proper for his daughter. That conflict of norms and ideals becomes a major issue as the story moves along.

So glad that you're enjoying it! Thanks for the awesome review!

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Review #2, by dirtydeedsdonedirtcheap 

3rd April 2015:
Dan! Now Iím thick into the story. Reading your story keeps me from writing. Not a bad trade off.

The simmering resentment in the manís dark eyes had driven home the truth in a way that no lecture from his parents ever could. Nobody who mattered cared about Dracoís money or the Malfoy name any longer. He had no choice but to build a new family legacy out of the ashes of the Second Wizarding War.

Yes! Iím glad he has finally realized this. In the beginning I remember he contemplated who he could reach out or pay when he first got to Hogwarts and McGonagall had so many things to say to him. I like that contrast from the second chapter (I think it was the second or third) to here. Draco has grown but not entirely. Heís still letting his father get to him. Heís still drinking and letting it go further then he should. I hope when he does attend the wedding that he doesnít get into an argument or down about something and get drunk and embarrass himself and Astoria.

his mental health and the poorly-cast charm that the old man tried to use to conceal his receding hairline.

How dare you play with Lucius and his luscious locks.

ďMind the little wizard? Isadore, what on earth are you talking about? Just tell me what I need to do!Ē

Youíre horrible. Dan, I canítÖIím blushing. Thatís justÖIsadore is a handful. I think something could potentially go horribly wrong because she knows about Draco and Astoria. This girl has a mouth on her.

Anyway, the conversation with McGonagall was my favorite part in this chapter. I found it completely in her character to apologize to Draco but still have some misgivings. Sheís an educator and she has to believe in her students. She might not care for Draco 100% but he showed her he could work hard and follow her direction. He could change and I think thatís what any academic hopes for with their students. Iím sure she knows the others that were Ďlostí during the war and never returned, well I guess they are hopeless, and she figured Draco was probably hopeless. I think what surprises me is that she didnít have more faith in him like Dumbledore did in Draco and Snape.

And then thereís Astoriaís transformation. Sheís growing up. Sheís willing to give up a lot for Draco and defy her family. A part of me thinks once he gets his job at the Ministry her father will be more accepting of him. I donít see her losing her family. But you can still see she still has a lot of growing up to do because this is all very thrilling and exciting for her. Sheís meeting him in dark corners and seeing him at all hours of the night. Itís her little secret but sometimes when secrets come out and become reality itís not that great.

Author's Response: You know, I actually had to go back and look and see how far through the story this chapter falls. Isn't that sad? How quickly we forget.

Draco is coming around, at least where his life and reputation are concerned. He's still not completely there, but he's figured out some of the more important parts, I think.

Ha! I know you have a huge soft spot for Lucius and his long, flowing, beautiful hair. Age and Azkaban have not been particularly kind to him, however. Also his diet isn't helping things. He needs more vitamins.

Welcome to the select group of people who will never be able to hear the phrase "little wizard" again without thinking about Isadore and her advice. You're welcome. :p

Draco has earned a second chance with McGonagall. She's still not 100% sold on him, but she's willing to at least meet him halfway by letting him out of Muggle Studies and putting in a good word with a potential employer. She's touch, but she's fair. As far as why she didn't have Dumbledore's level of faith in Draco, I'm sure that she hasn't completely gotten over the idea that Dumbledore's faith in Draco and Snape was a big part of what got him killed.

Astoria does still have a lot of growing up to do. All throughout the process of writing this, I had to keep reminding myself that she's only 16. She's lovestruck and more than a little bit confused. You'll see more of her immaturity pretty soon. She'll do a lot of growing up before the end of the story.

Thank you, Deeds!

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Review #3, by Roisin 

28th July 2014:
"His work would directly benefit victims of the war. Shacklebolt, himself, was apparently championing this project. He didnít know the witch heading it up, but he recognized the name. The Blishwicks were an old, pure blood family."

Such a good example of the things I've so far praised about your characterization of Draco. He'd be helping victims, he'd also be maneuvering socially and rebuilding his name. His desires here are Slytherin, but they aren't evil. His goals are redemptive, but also self serving. Great!

And I like that you already mentioned the Blishwick party. This might be because that comes back later (so aha to me for noticing), but either way, I think it's prudent to keep named characters to a minimum, or pull last names from canon (as you know I'm wont to do). I mean, with about 30 Hogwarts grads per year, even if there are dozens of families that homeschool--magical Britain must be a tiny population.

VERY disappointed Draco doesn't have to continue with Muggle Studies, though. That seemed like a very fair and wise condition for his return to Hogwarts.

And yay, it's nice that Draco is using all the magic he probably learned during the war (disillusionment) to sneak around and snog girls rather than commit genocide.

And the bit with Horatio and Astoria was truly devastating. She's also now starting to see the faults in her father. It's grow up time!

Author's Response: Draco seems to have found the literal "win-win" here. As I'm sure you've already realized, however, life isn't that kind to Draco Malfoy. I agree, though, there's no rule in life that says that a goal can't be both noble and self-serving at the same time.

You're right, there are so few pureblood families in the HP world. Pottermore had a mention of something called "The Sacred Twenty-Eight", of which Blishwick sadly was not one. Greengrass and Malfoy certainly were, however. I suppose Scorpius did in both of those lines. Good on you, Scorpius!

I think McGonagall was trying to be realistic *and* to throw Draco a bone if he was willing to refocus his efforts on Herbology. He's made it completely obvious that he refuses to learn anything in Muggle Studies. Why belabor the obvious?

I find that fan fic authors tend to either grossly minimize the magic Draco would have needed to learn to survive the war or they turn him into some sort of super-dark wizard. Again, I go for balance. And he is undeniably using his powers for "good", at least as he and Astoria would define it. ;)

It's reached the point in the story where I really needed to draw Astoria away from her family in earnest and unfortunately for Horatio, he gets to wear the jerk hat. In his own very traditional way, he wants what he thinks is best for her, but his ideas are behind the times and his approach is very tone-deaf. He's a product of his upbringing.

Both of my little pureblood snowflakes are growing up in a hurry. Much more turbulence to come. Thanks for reading and reviewing!

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Review #4, by Veritaserum27 

17th June 2014:
Hi Dan!

I'm sorry it's been so long since I've reviewed a chapter for you. I started reading this one about a week ago and I got so caught up in it that I just kept on reading! - So to make up for my lateness, you will get at least two reviews tonight! (I KNOW! - Aren't you just thrilled?!)

To start off, we have studious and reflective Draco. This is a whole new side to him. I think he may be finally growing up a bit. He always knew that he liked Astoria and took actions to protect her and write to her, but now he is finally acknowledging to himself that she is the main reason for this turnaround. It's about time, Draco! The rest of us saw this in Chapter 1! He not only reflects on the events that led him to this place, but he also is thinking about the future and building up the Malfoy name. I don't think he will go so far as to acknowledge that McGonagall gave him the opportunity as well, but we can't hope for everything now, can we? He still has a bit of stubbornness when it comes to Muggle Studies, eh?

I really like the way you've characterized Lucius here. Even though he has been a fairly minor character, who is suffering from some sort of mental illness, he plays out really well. Lucius was almost the top dawg during Voldemort's reign. He has fallen far and the only place he can hold on to any sort of power is within his own family. He will hold on to that with a vice grip.

I really like the exchange with McGonagall and Draco. They are both so perfectly characterized. She is actually enjoying watching his reaction to her and he is just along for the ride - although he likes to think that he has the upper hand.

A side note - I'm not a grammarian, but I think you might mean "bevy" (a large group of things) instead of bevvy (which is slang for beverage). It might just be an alternate spelling that I don't know about.

This job sounds very promising. I'm excited for Draco!

On to the good stuff! Wow! I am impressed. What I really, really liked is the way that you led up to the meeting by setting the scene with Astoria. She is nervous, anxious and really, really excited.

I love the scene in the Room of Requirement. Although I am surprised that Draco would want to return there after his friend had been killed in that room about a year before. You paced the scene very nicely. They are a couple getting to know each other better. I can feel that they relish the time they can spend together because they know it is precious. At the end of it, they are a pair of teenagers with hormones and that comes out a bit as well. Draco is chivalrous. You are actually making me feel some respect for him. How could you do this to me, Dan??

Woah. Then Astoria takes it deep and heavy with the talk of the war. However, I think it was important for them to understand each other on a deeper level. Astoria isn't prying - she wants to know everything about him and understand him better.

And just when it is starting to get good... we have to deal with Isadore. She seems suspiciously more accepting of Draco. I remember her repugnance of him in earlier chapters. What is a best friend for, if not really bad advice.

Oh. My. Merlin. "Little Wizard." I laughed out loud. Poor Astoria is so desperate to do the right thing for Draco that she is even willing to listen to Isadore's advice!

Oh, dear. Her parents really are pushing this marriage thing, aren't they? Maybe it's me, but it seems like they are pushing a little too hard. Why are they so hard-set on their sixteen (almost seventeen) year old daughter to find a match? Do they know that she has been seeing Draco? Or is it something more?

Much to consider. Thanks for the great chapter!

Author's Response: Hi, there! No worries on timing. It's always good to see you back!

I like the place that Draco has reached by this point. He's being mostly honest with himself, which is a huge step for any Malfoy male, I'd say. He's become very dedicated and also sort of introspective. And he wants to be with Astoria very much.

Poor old Lucius is holding on by a thread at this point. He still has his pride and he still clings to his position as head of the Malfoy family, not that either one is worth very much in the post-war era. As far as his mental illness, well, that plot thread is coming to a head fairly soon... ;)

McGonagall has accepted -- reluctantly -- that Draco has changed. He got a second chance and he made the most of it. So she does what she'd feel duty-bound to do for any student who was trying hard: she tries to help him. You're right: Draco would like to think that he has the upper hand, but he's plainly just rolling with decisions she's already made.

I think you're right about "bevy". I'll go in and patch that up.

Whew! I'm relieved that you liked the build-up to Astoria's encounter with Draco in the Trophy Room. Having never been a love-struck teenage girl, I was sort of winging it on that one.

Draco spent so much time in the Room of Requirement during his sixth year that I imagined he would understand its malleability. Since he made it into something completely different -- and since Astoria was there -- I don't think it would have necessarily reminded him of poor Crabbe. When the scene becomes more passionate, there were definitely hormones at play, but also the fact that Draco didn't feel like talking about the war. And he is quite chivalrous in the end, although that's partly because he's still putting her on something of a pedestal. In addition to being his girlfriend, she's also this symbol of the "perfect" life that he always wanted and never thought he could have after the war.

I don't think Isadore was ever repulsed by Draco. In fact, you might recall that she seemed to fancy him a bit as well and it bothered Astoria. But now she's 100% in favor of Draco and Astoria's relationship. To the point where she wants Astoria to throw caution to the wind and bed him as soon as possible. So you're right, Isadore is always handy with some bad advice. ;)

Her parents grew up in a different time. Well, actually they grew up in the 1960's, but that was a very different time in pureblood wizarding circles. They're trying to lead Astoria down the path that they were raised to believe is right, which I think is what a lot of parents fall back on when confronted with very difficult topics like their children's love lives. At this point, they do not know that she's still secretly seeing Draco. Her father would be furious since he specifically forbid her from doing that.

You're on the downhill side of the story now. Coming soon: Daphne's wedding in all its glory! Thanks for reading and reviewing!

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Review #5, by Pixileanin 

21st April 2014:
Hi! I am finally here. Whew! Do not look at how long it took me. It's just plain embarrassing.

I guess the first time I read this, I didn't realize that the school year had come to an end already. I just figured that out from the chapter summary. I am a dummy. *smacks self*

I don't mind the single-mindedness about studies. It's practically the only thing he's living for at the moment. Alright, alright, I know there's this girl, but hey. He's doing the right thing. It's good to see that he's happy about it too. It might not change Mr. Greengrass's mind, but at least it's several steps in the right direction. Head down, stiff upper lip, Draco.

It's also good to see Draco standing up to his father after years of believing that his father's way was the right way. He's coming into his own, which is my favorite part of this story. Aww, but did he have to pick on the hair? That was a low blow. And the drinking. *sigh* It's a long road to recovery. I can't really blame the guy. I think Draco made a wise decision to just avoid the man entirely. Seeing that he was spending time in a Muggle establishment shows even deeper how Draco has changed, and actually making conversation with the waitress too. And pie. We can't discount the power of pie.

I like how you consistently show Draco's calculating mind, weighing in on the impulses of the past and self correcting before he acts rashly. He still reacts with an edge, but that is completely understandable. Remember, Draco. There's pie if you can get out of this without an incident.

McGonagall's confession that she had made things difficult for him and expected him to fail, and then admitting that she was surprised that he succeeded was a great way for Draco to realize that people were still watching him, and that his actions were, at least in a small part, moving him forward towards changing the attitudes of the people around him. McGonagall's apology was a great touch too, because even I did not expect that.

McGonagall's offer seems very generous, though if Draco is doing as well in Potions as she says he is, he deserves the position. The fact that he's willing to take it, and that his mind is filling with the possibilities, shows that he's really considering the big picture here. I am so glad that Draco is acting rationally here. He's certainly learned a lot about self-control.

You've kept McGonagall perfectly in character. You've given her the sternness that she's known for, and the compassion for which she's well-loved. I bet Draco's appreciating her very much right about now. And aww, he has to wait for his pie. It's usually best the next day anyway.

And how does Draco use his newfound freedom??? By corrupting an innocent young girl in the corridors way too close to curfew! The shame!! *shakes matronly finger*

Astoria is so... it's like she's playing a dangerous game of hide-and-seek and I don't want her to find whatever she's looking for because she wants it too much. I must say that was an excellent use of the Disillusionment Charm. Okay, okay, it all turned out great in the end, and it was all cute and touching and wonderful (especially the talking part, because talking is very important...), but I was seriously worried there for a moment.

Isadore makes me want to dig out the staining fruit again. Seriously, girls like that should have a warning tattooed onto their foreheads. Why do I get the impression that Isadore knows just as little about "it" as Astoria? And why am I suddenly concerned about Isadore's source of information? Your phrasing is priceless, by the way. Please tell me that's a Dan original.

And sigh. Astoria's father has to be difficult. It's only going to turn her against him later... oh, you've got that covered. Right. Mr. Montague sounds absolutely dreadful, even if it is only for one evening.

I do like how Astoria has made up her mind that she's not going to just go along with her parents' plans for her to marry well and not take her studies seriously. It's good that she is following her convictions, or that she even has convictions to follow (*cough* ignore your friend, Isadore *cough*). I'm sure that's part of what Draco is attracted to.

Another lovely chapter filled with romance and several tension-filled steps in the right direction!

Author's Response: Hi, pix!

School's out... for summer! School's out... for-ever! Draco is almost all done with school and he's behaving a little like Hermione in the home stretch. Granted, Hermione would never write off any of her subjects, but at least he's being logical about things.

Draco and Lucius are getting on very poorly by this point, and way Draco is handling matters is obviously a mixed bag. He tries to avoid the old man, but sometimes he succumbs to his demons and gets drunk. He has warmed up to the muggle world in one or two very limited ways, but I wouldn't make **too** much of it. Because you're right, the power of pie has a lot to do with it.

There's a good reason the Sorting Hat put Draco into Slytherin without a moment's hesitation. He plots, he calculates and he assessed the impacts of his actions. Cunning, always.

I'm glad you liked McGonagall. Part of me always feels like she never would have been able to forgive him for the role he played in Dumbledore's death, even after she knew the complete truth. But she is, above all else, an educator and a fair woman. Draco has made the most of his second chance and I don't see how she wouldn't have respected that, albeit begrudgingly. Her offer is very fair, and it doesn't take Draco long at all to deduce that he isn't going to do any better, so he accepts. He has become very rational.

You're right, he doesn't use his new powers exclusively for good. That said, I felt like the two of them deserved at least a few moments of unspoiled happiness together. **This** is what I always assumed that Disillusionment Charms would be used most for at Hogwarts. Small wonder that they aren't taught until much later in a student's years at school.

What can I do to get you to like Isadore more? :p OK, there's probably nothing I can do because she's just being herself. She knows **a little more** about "it" than Astoria, but not a whole lot. She reads more magazines, gossips more and she's spent more time sneaking around empty classrooms and hidden passageways with boys, but by no means does that make her an expert. The phrasing is an original. Glad you like it. :)

Mr. Greengrass is a stubborn, traditionalist pureblood. I'd argue that it's turned her against him already, although the damage isn't irreparable yet. But Astoria is just a strong-willed as he is, and she'll find a way to subvert his plans. Her conviction and intelligence is definitely a part of what Draco finds attractive.

Tension-filled is a good way to put it. Draco and Astoria are playing a dangerous game, flying in the face of generations of pureblood tradition and patriarchy. It's going to be a crazy ride through to the end. I'm glad you're enjoying it. Thanks for reading and reviewing!

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Review #6, by UnluckyStar57 

19th March 2014:
An unreasonable amount of time later. I have returned to your story once more!! Here is the part where I make the usual excuses about time, schoolwork, and laziness.

And now the review.

WHAT. I'm just so mad about the last part of the chapter that I CAN'T EVEN. Astoria's father has already shown himself to be a bit of a jerk and a hypocrite--upholding pureblood ideals, but looking at Draco like he's the scum of the earth just because the Malfoys got way too into the pureblood thing--but now he's even worse. Astoria had better find a way out of this, and quick!! Arranged marriages are STUPID. Moving on from that... I admire her for wanting to spend upwards of twenty-five hours on her studies every week during the summer. That's definitely something that I DON'T do (but I totally should).

McGonagall's conversation seemed very realistic to me. After all, she might be a tough old bird, but she's fair. I think that if she noticed that Draco was being a better student, she would truly want to give him a little more freedom. However, it's a bit of a bummer that he dropped Muggle Studies. Sure, he hasn't learned to fully appreciate nonmagical folk, but if he would pay attention, it would do him some good. Oh well. I guess it wasn't meant to be. He might never learn to accept the Muggles, but if he keeps going to the cafe, he'll appreciate their pie!

D'awww, Draco and Astoria being all covert and adorable! It's really awesome that they found ways to be with each other, even though her father is being a jerk. I like that Astoria remained true to herself and that Draco restrained himself before they took the relationship to "the next level." It definitely fits in with their characters, rather than the alternative, which would be OOC for the Draco and Astoria that you've created!

Oh no!! What's this?! The elusive mistake?!?! Hahaha, but seriously, your writing is impeccable, but I think I found a typo:

"He'd given up on Herbology weeks ago and he planned fail the Muggle Studies exam spectacularly as a matter of general principle."

Is there supposed to be a "to" in between "planned" and "fail?" If not, I'm sorry for pointing it out! If so, it was one typo out of 7,000-some-odd words. Go you! :D

Isadore's jokes about the "little wizard" were incredibly crass and inane. Props to the innocent Astoria for not having a mind in the gutter all the time!!

Also, this line made me chuckle: "He made it clear exactly what he thought of his father's intelligence and authority, as well as his decision-making abilities, his mental health and the poorly-cast charm that the old man tried to use to conceal his receding hairline." MAJOR BURN ON LUCIUS'S HEAD!! HAHA! I love it!!

Yay, career opportunities for Draco! It would seem that he passed his NEWTs, so he's going to be well-established in the Ministry. Despite his deplorable past, how could Mr. Greengrass say no to him? If he still says no, I propose that Draco and Astoria elope. (Just kidding.)

Great chapter! Sorry for the not-so-prompt review!


Author's Response: You know my rule on requested reviews: You are not allowed to apologize for timing, no matter what! I am always grateful, no matter how much real life gets in your way.

Now, on to the substance. Astoria's father is trying to raise her the best way that he knows how, but his ideals and social norms are dated. He comes from a very structured, patriarchal pureblood society where marriages serve a very important role in maintaining and strengthening the ties between the old families. To him, the idea of two young people falling in love and getting married with no consideration of the ramifications for their families and bloodlines is foreign.

I think of McGonagall, in her heart of hearts, as an educator. No matter how much she might disapprove of Draco's past, he has turned into a very dedicated student and she's going to do what she feels she can to encourage that. Draco will never embrace muggle culture, but he does like pie. ;)

Yes, Draco is the one to ultimately call a halt to their amorous activities. It's a bit of a giveaway as to how he still thinks of her, actually. Even though he's passionately attracted to her, he still places her on a pedestal in many ways. One some level, he's afraid of sullying her with his influence. This will be a problem for the two of them later on.

Ha! Yes, there are still some typos scattered about. Thanks for pointing them out so I can fix those.

Isadore can be a little on the crass side, that's for sure. But Astoria is taking her very seriously at this point. Just as Draco has some insecurities about whether he's too much of a bad boy for Astoria, she has insecurities about whether she seems like too much of a "good girl" to keep him. Being a teenager in love is difficult!

I have a lot of fun with Lucius in this story because... well, because he's Lucius. He's fun to mock. But before it's all said and done, we'll see that there are some mitigating factors here.

Draco will have his interview with the Ministry fairly soon. I'm really curious to know what you think about it. It won't be at all what he's expecting...

Thank you so much for all of your awesome reviews!

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Review #7, by TheHeirOfSlytherin 

11th March 2014:
I love his reasoning for which classes he's going to focus on and which he doesn't care about. It's just a very... Draco thing to think. Except for the whole blood status thing, it's a very Sam thing to thing. Priorities and stuff, if it's not worth it I won't do it. I liked seeing it in here. :)

Go McGonagall! There's the stern yet fair woman you shouldn't cross that I know. The trust she's put in Draco is a very big step that could lead to a small amount of progress. I hope Draco can keep his word and not ruin it.

:O The good girl caught in a forbidden romance with the bad boy, their love hidden from her disapproving father. The scandal! :P

If I made that sound like a cliche RomCom/drama, I give you my sincerest apologies because it is so not. You don't write it like a cliche, it's not what I think when I read it. Mostly, I think 'Go Astoria!' and grin while reading, but also that I love them and they deserve this and you write the progression of their romance so well and it's nice to see and I love them. I know I said that twice, but I don't care because that's how much I love them. And this story.

Aww, practically glowing. It was so sweet.


Okay, I had to pause for a little bit and laugh, but I'm back now... no, I'm not... yes, I am.

I freaking love Isadore!

It was so adorable how clueless Astoria was. Her parents are all for the sheltered life, aren't they?

And BOOM, bombshell. They're planning her life while Astoria is at school. I hope they realize she isn't going to take it before it's too late and she leaves them to be with Draco.

Next chapter!


Author's Response: Hi!

So I knew that I needed the scene with McGonagall, but I think it would have felt horribly awkward to just launch right into that conversation with no setup. So I thought about what classes he was taking and how he would approach his exams. The rest just fell right onto the page. I'm glad you concur!

I'm also really pleased that you like McGonagall. I think of her as being too much of a educator at heart to continue to hold Draco back if he made it obvious that he was really, sincerely trying. She will never agree with most of the choices he made in the past, but in the present he is her student and on that basis alone, she wants him to succeed.

Yes, Astoria, the cliche good girl who fell for the bad boy. Except there's a lot more to the two of them. At least I hope there is. The longer they're together, the more good Draco is becoming and, I guess, the more Astoria is dabbling on the "bad girl" side. It's healthy for her, I think.

Ha! I've grown to love the innuendos because face it: I can't write what actually happened without getting banned! Honestly, though, what happened wasn't all that bad. Nothing that curious teenagers haven't been doing since time immemorial. But you're right, Astoria is **very** clueless when it comes to boys and girls and the things they get on about when nobody else is around. And she's not quite brave enough to just follow her instincts. Astoria is a studier and a planner. She doesn't like leaving important things to chance. And in her mind, she's built up Draco's happiness -- mental and physical -- to be a very important thing. I imagine that's what you get conditioned to think in such a patriarchal society. She needs some quality Hermione Time to set her head straight. ;)

Yes, her father and mother have been busy in her absence, and not in a good way. The confrontation is coming, and I hope when it comes that you'll like how it plays out. In the end, at least. I'm pretty sure that you won't like parts of it.

Thanks for reading and reviewing!

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Review #8, by LilyEPotter 

15th February 2014:
That was quite a deal that Professor McGonagall was able to offer Draco for paying more attention to Herbology. My first thoughts turned to Frank and Alice and that they might be cured and take part in Neville's life. It was also surprising when Professor McGonagall lifted most of his restrictions and allowed him more revision time.

Poor Astoria, suspecting that her father is going to set her up with someone who doesn't care about her especially after spending time with Draco.

Author's Response: Hi, there!

I think by this point in the story, McGonagall has realized that Draco is serious about what he's doing. That doesn't mean that she approves of the things he did before and during the war -- far from it -- but she's first and foremost an educator and she feels duty-bound to give him a fair chance. As far as lifting restrictions, she would say that he'd earned that privilege with his good behavior, and should his behavior turn bad, she'd yank it away in a second.

Astoria is being smothered by her father's traditional beliefs, but don't give up hope for her. Love tends to find a way...

Thanks for reading and reviewing!

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Review #9, by MissesWeasley123 

23rd October 2013:
*smiles brightly*

No, seriously, this chapter was sooo cute.

MCGONAGALL! After all those previous chapters where she's so frustrating, she finally had some sense. Draco and Astoria's "Big Moment"? PFFT. More like Draco and McGonagall's "Big Moment"! I'm so glad she has softened up to him, even if it's only just. I'm reallym really proud of Draco for choosing that career path. I always imagined him to be Healer in the fture, and going around making Potions is kind of the same thing, because he's still helping "fix" people up :) This boy is waaay too cute.

Ada was a great character you weaved into this. It was so cute, her interaction with Draco. I liked the realization Draco had - not all Muggle things are so bad.

How very Draco-ish of Draco (was that confusing? Draco-ish of Draco, Draco-ish of Draco.. I dare you to say it 10 times fast!) to not think Herbology is of great importance! Ha!

Aw, Astoria and Draco are way too cute with each other. That last line of yours absolutely was amazing. I loved it.

And wow, you're almost finished with this story! I'll have to read and review faster! It's just, school barely gives me and time... and yeah. I'll try to come back when I can, though!

Nadia :D

Author's Response: Hi, Nadia!

McGonagall is one of those characters that I really enjoy writing. It's very challenging to get her to sound just right, but immensely rewarding if I'm able to do it. The two of them do have sort of a moment, don't they?

Ada was one of those little flashes of inspiration that pop into your head once in a while. It's always nice to be able to take a completely disposable character and make them interesting in some way.

It was rather Draco-ish, huh? Don't forget about him and Herbology. It will be very relevant very soon. ;)

I had a great time writing Draco and Astoria's clandestine meeting in the castle. Something about filtering it all through Astoria's mental picture of herself really made it come alive, I think. I'm pleased that you enjoyed it!

I'm very close to the end now. Only the epilogue left to go. It's been a pretty crazy journey, considering that I was planning on this being about a 5 chapter novella. Sometimes they take on a life of their own.

Thanks so much for all the awesome reviews!

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Review #10, by Sharvi 

11th August 2013:
I was tingling when I read that part on Draco and Astoria in the Room of Requirement (because that's the only possibility right?) Anyhoo, I can't wait to read the next chapter =)

Author's Response: That was a tingly scene, I agree. It was nice to finally give them that sort of moment.

Thanks for reading and reviewing!

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Review #11, by Courtney Dark 

20th July 2013:
I loved this chapter! I told myself I was going to stop reading after this one and go and do something more productive, but I think I'll just go ahead and read one more. And I'll keep this review short and sweet, as I can't wait to find out what happens next!

Go Professor McGonagall! I'm glad that she saw Draco was actually making an effort, and you did an excellent job writing her in this chapter - I almost felt as though I was reading J.K Rowlings McGonagall. And I am now craving elderberry pie, even though I actually have no idea what elderberries are - but it sounds amazing!

I really enjoyed reading the Draco and Astoria moment, actually - you write them amazingly and they seem so perfect together! I just hope nothing gets in their way! I also loved Isadore in this chapter - she really is a classic example of a gossip, she and Astoria are quite different. And you had me laughing for ages with the 'little wizard' and 'big wizard'.

Well, I'm glad Astoria's father realized Montague was pungent, but I can't believe he's trying to set Astoria up with yet more 'appropriate young men'! Well, I can, but that doesn't stop me from feeling bad for Astoria.


Author's Response: Hello some more!

I felt like I was walking a really fine line with McGonagall in this one. I hope you could tell that she still doesn't really like Draco. Hence the emotional distance. But she's simply too fair-minded not to acknowledge the change that he's made in his life. I think this is partly her way of trying to put the war behind herself. That is a very kind thing to say about the way she "felt". She's very tricky to write.

Draco and Astoria's "moment" has been a long time in the making, so I'm glad you enjoyed it. Things are definitely going to get in their way, I'm sorry to say. I don't think it would be a very interesting story if that didn't happen. But love will conquer all, as we all know.

Isadore is always fun to write. I love the interplay between her and Astoria, especially when they dive into some "girl talk". And I love writing scenes that push the limits a bit.

Astoria's father definitely has *different ideas* about what's best for her. His heart's in the right place, but the outcome isn't going to be at all what he's expecting.

Thanks again for another awesome review!

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Review #12, by Remus 

17th July 2013:
Surprise! Its your second review for the night! Haha! Its almost 2am...so of the day? :D It'll be a short one cus...you know...the time. Bed is calling me.

He had no choice but to build a new family legacy out of the ashes of the Second Wizarding War. that line right there pretty much captures what I think Draco tried to do after the war when it comes to canon. He wants to build a new life in which his children won't be judged by their predecessors doings. It will take years and perhaps several generations but it can be done.

I'm glad that McGonagall is finally trusting him a little bit to see himself in and out of the castle. She's a stern woman but I'm glad that she can see that Draco is trying to take the second chance he got and make the most of it. Kinda sweet of her to also tell him about the possible new job. She's warming up to him a bit, isn't she?

Can I ship Adeline and Draco? Hahahah XD Imagine the possibilities, the heartbreaks and the scandal.

the poorly-cast charm that the old man tried to use to conceal his receding hairline.---hahaha, aww!! Are you going by poor Jason Isaac's hairline? I would say poor Lucius but I'm kinda irritated at him right now.

ďYou have to mind the little wizard, Astoria. If the little wizard isn't happy then the big wizard isn't happy, either.Ē--What did I just read?! OMG! That line right there had me laughing and my husband looking at me like I'd gone insane. Even re-reading it in this review its making me laugh.

I can't believe Astoria's dad wants that from her! He doesn't care about her education as much as he cares that she goes to a good husband and family. That's what's important to him. Ugh. Sadly it seems that tradition is what's important to her parents. Poor Astoria though! I'm seeing a very important decision coming soon but not from her but her parents.

Anyway, time for bed for me! It almost 2:30.I think I fell asleep halfway through the review! :S

Until next time, Dan! :D


Author's Response: Hello, again!

Draco is quite determined by this point in the story to reclaim what his family has lost. But he's also realistic enough to know that he has to go about it a completely different way from his ancestors. You're correct, I think. He will succeed, but it may not happen in his lifetime.

McGonagall still doesn't like Draco. I hope that much came through in the way she carries herself. But, she's simply too fair-minded not to acknowledge the progress that he's made. I felt like there was quite a battle going on inside her head. Given enough time -- years, probably -- she might even come to like him a little. ;)

No, you can't ship Adeline and Draco! Astoria would probably hex you. :p

I had probably more fun writing the conversation between Isadore and Astoria than anything I've written since Slytherin Career Day. It was so ribald and so silly. Sorry for making your husband think you're crazy.

Astoria's father comes by his priorities honestly, but they're obviously rather dated. It's a major source of frustration for her, and will definitely provoke a confrontation before it's all said and done.

Whee! I'm so glad you're enjoying the story. It puts a smile on my face. :) Thanks for reading and reviewing!

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Review #13, by MissMdsty 

14th June 2013:
Dan! I finally crawled out of my books and decided I needed some Draco/Astoria to relax!

There were so many things I loved about this chapter I'm having a bit of a hard time getting my thoughts together. My reviewing skills are getting rusty!

First, I love how McGonagall finally decided to give Draco a break! A small part of me that I'm really trying to ignore most days wants to believe that good things happen to good people and those who chose to turn their lives around deserve to be treated as those who never were given reason to go off track in the first place. I also love how he still has some of his deep rooted prejudice, like making a stand against Muggle Studies just because.

Secondly, I loved the Astoria POV. Her innocence is almost contagious and I found myself reliving the days of puppy love when a date was the biggest event of the century! There is this purity of their connection, mainly due to the fact that Draco has seen so many horrible things and that he wants to shelter her is so heart warming for me that I wanna melt into a happy puddle!

The "girl talk" was hilarious and for me it served to see just how innocent Astoria really was compared to Draco (I see his persona from "Marked" as comparison). I can't wait for her visit.

The end of this chapter really makes me want this epic scene where Draco barges in on some important function and just literally sweeps her off her feet and ... you get my point! Oh the drama and loveliness!

I am itching to read the next chapter so I'll end this one here for now, but not before saying that while reading I realized that this is the best romance I've read on HPFF! I am amazed by every chapter! Great job!

Author's Response: Hey, stranger!

You know me. I'm always just pleased to know that people are still reading. The review is gravy!

I think poor Minerva is trying to hold her nose and do the right thing at this point. You can tell that she still has no love for Draco. In her mind, he'll always be the one who was chosen to kill Dumbledore, even if Dumbledore pretty much planned it that way. Draco, for his part, isn't really comfortable with her praise, either. Although you can tell part of him yearns for it, a bigger part can't stand the idea that it makes him happy.

Astoria is my darling! How can you not enjoy writing a character like her? She does sort of take you back to a more innocent time in life, but there's also a lot of determination there. She's no shrinking violet.

If you like the "girl talk" in this chapter, you're gonna love the next one! The visit turned out to be something else...

You're not going to get the exact epic scene you're hoping for, but I promise you that you'll get one that's pretty epic. There's a ways to go, however.

I am really flattered that you'd say that about my story! Because there are some truly amazing romance stories out there. Thanks for all of your support and encouragement!

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Review #14, by Dark Whisper 

21st May 2013:
This was very sweet. I especially liked the way you described her 'feelings'... her skin, her excitement, etc... Very well written, as usual.

I liked that they talked and even though she was prying into things he did not want to talk about, it was his way of understanding how much she truly cared. Her words obviously effected him so much that he finally kissed her, even though he still didn't talk about the war. That sounds very much like something he would do. It was a diversion, but at the same time it was still very much heart-felt. And as an author, I think you expertly timed it just right and kept it innocent and sweet and not rushed.

I can also say that I appreciate McGonnegal's comments to him about things she can respect.

Great job,
Dark Whisper

Author's Response: Hi, there!

I really went out of my way in this one to capture the things that Astoria is feeling physically because she's at least sure about that part. Emotionally, she's having a somewhat harder time being sure.

Draco's having a bit of difficulty because as much as he likes the fact that Astoria cares for him and wants to help him deal with his memories of the war, he's still has a hard time opening up and letting her do it. That's the Malfoy upbringing coming through. In this case, he kisses his way out of the situation. It was very heartfelt, but also a dodge. He's a complicated character.

McGonagall was being true to her responsibility as the head of the school, but I hope it was apparent that she still feels really ambivalent about Draco. I think she *wants* to give him the benefit of the doubt, but the war is still very fresh and painful in her mind. So she might respect the changes he's made, but she's probably not going to ever feel especially warmly toward him.

Thanks so much for reading and taking a minute to review

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Review #15, by Jchrissy 

20th May 2013:
Ohh Draco has made so much progress! Even some of the things in this chapter that are just smaller details, like Draco using the servantís staircase and acquiring Muggle money, show how slowly but surely heís able to morph into a living, breathing human. A few years ago heíd have been appalled at stepping on the same stairs that the servants use. But in this situation, where itís either do that or deal with his father again, heís able to chose the one that best suits him. That part, choosing what best suits him, is very Draco which balanced out using the servants staircase nicely.

And I loved that, even if he wouldnít admit it, there are a few things about the Muggle world he may enjoy. I really want to hear what Lucius would say if he knew that his son was not only using Muggle money, but spending a signifiant amount of time surrounded by them. Mwahha.

His thoughts about the past argument with Lucius reminded me what an unstable life Draco really does come from. Iíll always see Narcissa as a good mother, to the best of her ability. And Iím sure Lucius, despite destroying his son with his own messed up ideas, still spoiled Draco. But from the moment Voldemort regained power and came to life in book four, Dracoís life would never be the same. Now his dad isnít just the feared Lucius Malfoy, heís a possession of the Dark Lord. Making Draco a possession of the Dark Lord. And now, after itís all said and done, heís left with a shell of a father who is too detached and messed up to realize itís time to let go of the past.

Iím so happy youíve made Narcissa the way she is. I think itís nice that Draco has at least one parent a bit more in touch with reality.

Ohh this was such a big step for Draco! Heís gained a lot this evening. Respect from Minerva, which I canít imagine being easy to get, his freedom around the school, and a real, solid reward for all the work heís been doing. He started out to build something of himself. To get rid of the pathetic drunk that parents didnít want their daughters talking to. And this was such an awesome confirmation that, no matter how challenging it may be, what heís doing does mean something and it is working. I think heís even enjoying getting himself back into society more than he thought he would.

And this opportunity could be a huge one for him! I hope he follows through with the Potions job at the Ministry, because it could be a huge step in the right direction.

Oh this last section! Okay, all Iím going to say about Isadore and Astoriaís section is HAHAHA. I donít really love Isadore, but I do think sheís a good balance for Astoria. Sometimes I wonder if sheís more interested in being Astoriaís friend because she cares about her or because she likes to gossip. But I suppose if she was just a normal sweet friend she wouldnít be a Slytherin :P. But still, their conversation absolutely cracked me up. Nice euphemisms ;).

Now I want to move on to my favorite part of this whole chapter - the very end of the last section. I have such a hard time really getting my opinions on Mr. Greengrass accurate. Itís clear he loves Astoria and wants whatís best for her. But he doesnít value how smart and capable she really is. I just wish heíd stop trying to control her and let her make some of her own choices, but he wouldnít be pureblood father of perfect pureblood princess if he did that. Still, it was a very, very good way for Astoria to realize that this wonít stop and sheís going to end up hurting someone. Sheís not going to let herself get hurt, sheís not going to hurt Draco. Sheís going to hurt the people who are trying so desperately to run every aspect of her life.

Iím very, very excited for the next chapter! So much happened in this, and itís easy to see just how these two would have fallen so in love.

Author's Response: Yay! Jami's here!

Draco's coming along quite nicely, yes? He's still a work in progress, but the key pieces are in place. Now we just have to see whether they come together properly. He's figured out what in idiot his father is. He's got something to live for. And he's even managed to dial his muggle-hate down a notch.

Draco really does come from a messed up background. I do think that Narcissa really loves him and does her best, but she comes from the terrifyingly dysfunctional House of Black, so I her ideas about how to be a good mother are probably rather skewed. And Lucius is probably the world's wealthiest wannabe (say that 5 times fast...). He fills Draco's head full of nonsense, makes him think that he's royalty, buys his way onto the Quidditch team, constantly interferes with Draco's school... Basically Lucius is the Little League Dad from Hell. It's a miracle Draco didn't turn out any worse than he did.

I feel like McGonagall felt duty-bound to acknowledge Draco's progress, but she felt dirty when the conversation was over. She probably went straight to her quarters and took a long, hot shower. ;)

I don't think of Isadore as lovable, really. She plays a role in Astoria's life, and a fairly important one at that. Isadore is "that friend" who kind of holds up a mirror to Astoria and lets her see an exaggerated version of some of her own less positive traits. Also, I imagine she's a good laugh. I'm glad you liked the euphemisms. Some of my best work, right there. :p

I'm glad that you feel ambivalent toward Mr. and Mrs. Greengrass, because that's exactly how Astoria feels. They're her parents, they've always been good to her, loving and supportive, and she loves them in return. But she's reaching an age where she wants to be in control of her own life and they simply aren't ready to let go. That's not the background they come from and Astoria is their baby.

I have lots of ideas for the next chapter! Let's see how quickly I can knock that sucker out. Thanks for another awesome review!

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Review #16, by patronus_charm 

18th May 2013:
Wow I really loved this chapter, and I think itís one of my favourites of the story!

I see why you were asking about N.E.W.T.s now, and I rather liked seeing how conscientious Draco was when it came to his school work. He had that silent pride about himself and that he didnít want to admit to the others that he was good at Potions, and you could tell when McGonagall complimented him about it he felt really proud for himself. Youíve really shown how the war has changed as heís lost that arrogant swagger he had in the earlier books, and it shone through here.

I like him reminiscing about his father too. I think youíve really shown the complexities of their relationship really well and it was a pleasure to read. I could understand why Lucius would feel patronised as he used to be the head of the family and was the one in the know, but that role has been given to Draco know. I really wonder how that conversation with the others in the last chapter is going to affect the Malfoy future.

The conversation Draco had with McGonagall was great. When Draco first came back to Hogwarts I never thought she would say a nice thing about him, but sheís the type of person who honour the people who have done well so I my heart really swelled with pride when she was congratulating him. You really caught her understanding and how she does want to help him by coming up with that deal regarding Muggle Studies and Herbology.

The job sounds great for Draco. Itís interesting that he wants to help the victims of the war, because that suggests that he may become closer to opening up to Astoria and others about what he went through during it, and Iím really eager to hear about his perspective of it. I like the sound of Madam Blishwick she sounds like sheís going to be a really interesting character and I canít wait for the moment when we get to see her.

I really loved the scene in the Trophy Room with Draco and Astoria it was perfect. It was fluffy enough for me to feel satisfied, but then it wasnít overdone either that it felt sickening. I think it was right that it was from Astoriaís perspective as it added a really sweet touch to it and showed her innocence to things like this due to her being a pureblood princess. The flashback to the cafť in Derbyshire was a perfect too. It showed how intimate they were in a physical way as they were kissing in public, yet Draco still closed off his emotional side.

Isadoreís really beginning to grow on me. I think it was her eagerness about wanting to know what happened between Astoria and Draco is what really drew me into her. She just has this lively nature which is a real pleasure to read. I liked the conversation between the two as well as it was nice to have a lighter conversation and a girly one on top of that.

That was another amazing chapter and Iím eagerly awaiting the next :D


Author's Response: Hi, there! And thank you for taking time out of your busy exam schedule to leave such a nice review!

I'm glad you like the changes I've been bringing into Draco's character. I hope I've been able to create a good combination of carrots and sticks to make them all seem believable enough. His father is a key piece of the puzzle. All of the shine is off the apple, so to speak, where Lucius is concerned. Draco finally sees him for what he truly is and he doesn't want to ever turn out the same way.

Whew! I was worried about the conversation with Minerva. She's really intimidating to write. I'm still not completely certain that she ever would have been able to spare a kind word for Draco, but sometimes the plot takes characters into places where you have to feel a bit uncomfortable.

When I started writing this chapter, Draco's interest in this job was all for show. But the more I thought about it while I was editing, the more I realized that he might actually have a legit interest. He's trying to distance himself from his father and make his own way in the world. Whether or not he needs the money, this job could be a way of doing that. I'm rather torn at the moment as to whether you'll actually see Madam Blishwick. My plot outline jumps directly to Daphne's wedding at this point, but I'm sorely tempted to write a short little chapter showing Draco's job interview... and Isadore's explanation of the whole little wizard/big wizard situation. ;) Ah, so deliciously naughty!

I deliberately pulled the reins back on the scene in the Trophy Room and Astoria's memories of the Room of Requirement. I wanted to get across the point that this is all new to Astoria, but she finds it exhilarating. I didn't really see a need to get into an anatomy lesson at this point. Draco and Astoria do some of the things that love-stricken teenagers do when they're all alone. I'll let the reader decide in his or her own mind exactly what those things are.

Even see one of those situations on TV or in a movie where the character has a little angel on one shoulder and a little devil on the other? Isadore is sort of like Astoria's little devil, although she definitely has Astoria's best interests at heart. Her idea of "Astoria's best interests" might just be a little different from other people's. ;)

I'm really glad you enjoyed this chapter. It was a blast to write, once I got going with it. Thanks so much!

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