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15 Reviews Found

Review #1, by dirtydeedsdonedirtcheap 

10th June 2015:
Dan! It has been way too long. Real life has been crazy though. I haven’t even written anything in ages. No matter, I’m here now and ready to read about Draco and Astoria.

Several gut-wrenching moments later, two identical copies of Emery Montague studied one another from opposite sides of the room.

Uh. I could barely stand listening to Montague for the short period of time. Imagine too? He sounds rather filthy. It could be his age and he sounds like he hasn’t exactly grown up yet or it could just be that he’s a slob. He makes me shudder though. In that way you do when you don’t want to breathe near someone because they don’t have anything to cover their body odor on a hot summer day or when their breath smells really bad after eating tuna fish or something.

Ugh. Grotesque.

Draco wondered for the tenth time in the past hour whether he’d made a terrible mistake by not telling Astoria about his plan.

Head meet desk.

Oy vey. Draco, what is wrong with you? I think telling Astoria would be vital to the plan. I mean, she could believe it’s him but then what does that look like infront of Horatio and Montague’s parents that they’re getting along? The two families will want them together and then there goes Draco and Astoria even though at this point she’s on the brink of being alright with leaving her family to be with him.

Plus, if he came as himself—not that he would have been welcomed—he could have shown Horatio and everyone else how much he has changed and then maybe they would accept him. Not fully but partially.

This entire plan is a train wreck.

“He isn’t planning to tell her until after they get to Switzerland and they’ve had a few rolls in the hay, but that’s beside the point.

Ugh.

Slytherins.

Ugh.

Men.

Ugh, disgusting men.

UGH.

“That’s really too bad, Draco. Because I know a girl who fancies you a great deal.”

Ha. She’s smarter than I thought. Maybe I just like to create a bigger scene in my head. Drama, what can I say, I’m a lady. I’m all about the flair.

Draco though trying to be Emery but failing miserably, now that was hilarious. I don’t fancy girls. I use that line when I go to clubs, “I don’t like men.”

The men say that’s okay because they’re married.

Ugh. Disgusting men.

Astoria tried to imagine what Pansy Parkinson would do in this situation.

Hm. They’re so young. Really, she’s incredibly young and naïve. She has to ask herself what Pansy would do, come on Astoria. Do what you want, be yourself. The two of them are incredibly young. I almost feel like I’m reading Romeo and Juliet with this chapter. Romeo and Juliet were ridiculous, he couldn’t have the first girl and basically his eyes fall on Juliet and then he decides, hey I’m in love with her. I need her.

Draco and Astoria need each other and want each other. She’s willing to change herself, go against her morals, her family, etc just to be with one person. I get that people do that. I do. And sometimes it works out for them but Draco isn’t emotionally ready. He has too much baggage he still needs to work through and Astoria is acting childish begging him to be with her. You shouldn’t have to beg someone to be with you. I did that before when I was a little older than her. I was disgusted with myself the moment it happened and the words left my lips.

“So the time we spent together in the hidden room didn’t mean anything?”

Females are really great at bringing up past events and things that bother us at times to really screw with a guy’s mind.

I like how you brought up Pansy, first in her thoughts and then she says the name out loud to him because obviously it bothers her just that much. The mere thought of Pansy or really Draco with anyone because she’s clearly inexperienced and upset she’s going to throw irrational things at his face.

The only person responsible for her misery was Astoria, herself.

She should blame herself but Draco needs and should to take part of the blame as well.

Wow. What a doozy of a chapter. I think my question to you is, do you think they would have a happy marriage? I think with all the trials and what’s line up against them, once they do end up together, even though they are (or will really fall in love) their marriage will have many hardships. That’s what I’m getting from their on-off relationship.

Author's Response: Deeds! Congratulations again on your recent graduation!

You seem to have grasped everything I was trying to get across with young Mr. Montague. He's a lazy slob who can't be bothered with things like decorum and personal hygiene. Definitely **not** somebody you'd want to stand next to on a crowded train.

So Draco's plan. Have you ever had one of those ideas that sounded **really awesome** inside your head? You had it all planned out and it was going to culminate in this sublime moment of joy. Have you ever had one of those, Deeds? Well, that's what Draco had going on in his head. And he's 18. And rather sheltered. And he has PTSD. And a raging substance abuse problem. So, yeah, things didn't work out like he'd imagined them. Or anywhere close, for that matter.

See how quickly you get right back into the swing of things with Jeremy Gamp? You put the story down for a while and then you pick it back up and read a few lines and it's like you never stopped being creeped out by him. He's special like that.

Astoria had Draco figured out, but mostly because Jeremy and his friends are loud-mouthed alcoholics. With that information in hand, however, I'm sure the signs weren't that hard to spot.

Astoria still has her inferiority complex about Pansy. Or maybe it's not exactly inferiority, she's just frightened that somehow she won't measure up. I believe that she sees Pansy as "the easy fallback" for Draco, so she feels like she needs to be *better* than Pansy to justify the effort. Or something like that. I'm not claiming to really understand how a 16-year-old girl's mind works. It seems that you can recognize the situation from some moment in your own past that you don't recall fondly, so I guess I wasn't too far off.

Ha! Yes, your gender does excel at cataloging past transgressions -- real or imagined -- and reintroducing them into later arguments.

Draco did spend a lot of time blaming himself for the disaster that played out at Daphne's wedding. You just don't see it here because I thought Astoria's reflections were better for the story. She does a lot of growing up in a short amount of time between this chapter and the next.

Thank you, as always, for sharing your thoughts and reactions. It always means a lot to me!


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Review #2, by Pixileanin 

7th December 2014:
Okay, I'm not even going to start with how long I've taken to return to this story. Bad, bad me. Was there a review around here somewhere? Oh, look. There it is!

"If you bullocks this up, there'll be hell to pay, Malfoy. I'm supposed to be meeting my future wife today."

Oh, the irony. Yes, and yes, and it all twists back around to Draco instead of this horrid bloke, which by the way, the moldy sock/cheap cologne combo turned my stomach. Ergh! I can't even imagine drinking that stuff. I was going to say how much of a piece of work Emery was, but when I thought about it, that would be the exact opposite. That boy hasn't had any work done to him whatsoever, and it shows in everything about him, from the mustard stains to the unwashed hair, and the "whatever" he'll be getting up to... I don't even want to know.

I love how you've kept Draco to who he was in your earlier stories, still reciting things in his mind to keep himself in check. I agree with him entirely that his quandary isn't quite what he expected. Telling Astoria was a bad idea. Not telling Astoria that he was attending, and now here wasn't getting him what he wanted either. And oh no! Nott's been clued in, as well as being completely off his broom about this new plan. Apparently, so have a lot of other people. Once Astoria told Draco that people were talking, I knew things would end badly.

Ok, so that whole next part was extremely painful to read. You captured young desperation at its most intense, and gave Astoria an argument that is both real and ridiculous all at the same time. She doesn't know the serious issue at stake because Draco is too busy trying to protect her, so she can't possibly understand. Frustrating and emotional, and perfect for this story. It was like a train wreck. Gripping and messy. I couldn't look away, and I was so glad when it was over.

Unfortunately, Astoria has to live with her actions and the consequences of her outburst, and quite possibly the realization that she has lost everything that means anything to her. I love the way you made her try so hard to be angry enough not to care, but fail miserably. I'm not sure her family could have made things any better even if they did force the door open and attempt to console her. At least Draco got to unleash his anger on someone else's property, someone else's father (was he envisioning someone else's face when he blasted Mr. Montague?) and console himself with the fact that he's not only made a mess of his own life, but also create extreme difficulty for Emery. Somehow, that even makes me feel a bit lighter.

Awesome prose here, my friend. Dreams have been crushed, and doom has blossomed on the horizon.

Author's Response: pix! What's shaking? How's trix? Oh, wait, I know the answers already. Anyhow, this was an awesome surprise!

Emery lives in a world of old-money pureblood privilege, perpetual adolescence and deep, deep denial. You are correct on both fronts: he would taste absolutely terrible in polyjuice form and you really *don't* want to know what he'll be getting up to. Completely unrelated side note: do you ever get a quirky, momentary desire to write stories for a no-holds-barred site, where you could inflict those sort of mental scars on people?

Draco is in quite a predicament. He thought his plan though -- he's too Slytherin not to -- but there were some flawed assumptions underlying it. Chief among those was the assumption that Zabini would keep his mouth shut. Very bad assumption, indeed.

I spent a lot of time editing this chapter before it went to beta and a lot more time editing it to incorporate sophie's suggestions on Astoria's though process and reactions. I'm really glad that the effort yielded a good result. Astoria and Draco each have so many incorrect assumptions about what's motivating the other, but they're too young and stubborn and they don't quite have the emotional vocabulary to talk it out. "Gripping and messy. I couldn't look away, and I was so glad when it was over." Yep, I felt the same way writing it.

The emotional aftermath was another part of this chapter that went through a few revisions to tweak the tone. Both of them make a transition from shock to despondency to anger and finally just to numbness. It was fun to let Draco unleash his aggression on Mr. Montague. I don't know that he was thinking of anyone else at the moment so much as he was generally angry. And, yes, Emery has some very unpleasant times ahead. Which, I think we can all agree, he richly deserves.

Dreams have been crushed, but better things will arise from the ashes. Have faith, my friend!

Thanks so much for reading and reviewing! Until next time.


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Review #3, by Roisin 

28th July 2014:
Ah, such a comedy of manners! Ah, the conservativism! I want to slap them both!

They really are SO star crossed. Never would have imagined that for this pairing!

It's pretty impressive how the unfolding of the romance is so not to my taste--the whole WE MUST MARRY thing--yet I'm really rooting for them anyway (and I've read the epilogue, so my worry is rather silly). You did a really good job weaving gushy romance together with intimate awkwardness and absurd polite-society elements. Each bit tempered the other, and the result was a really unique scene.

"I have to hurt her to save her" and "things wouldn't suck so much if he could tell the truth" are very familiar ideas, but the context and specificity of the dialogue here means I never rolled my eyes. Draco explained himself as well as anyone could have hoped, and the rapid POV shifts did a lot to justify the events.

Astoria storming in her room, and severing her dress, was especially well done. Really captured the teenage girl "the sky is falling because a boy!" thing without satirizing it.

And the little bit about Draco still holding on to the idea of Lucius rescinding invitations to Malfoy manor, before rejecting it, was a super nice touch. I like how the perspective he's had all his life isn't so easily shrugged off.

I want to say more, but I also want to get to the next chapter!

Author's Response: I wanted to slap them both on many occasional while writing this. They're cute, but they can be horribly frustrating at times.

They're star-crossed, but like most star-crossed couples, there's a big element of self-inflicted misery involved. If Astoria and Draco could simply be honest with one another about their deepest anxieties, a lot of their problems go away. It doesn't happen because he's too busy trying to keep her pure and untouched by the horrors of war while she's too busy trying to be the older, more experienced lover that she thinks Draco wants. It would be comical if you didn't like them.

"Rooting for them in spite of who they are" kind of defines the experience of writing this story, so it's good to see that it comes across to a reader, as well. Draco and Astoria are the embodiment of everything that JKR taught us to dislike or at least mistrust for the first six books: privilege, wealth, old blood lines and conceit. To me, gushy romance, intimate awkwardness and absurd polite-society elements were a big part of the key to selling this chapter. It had to be very nitty-gritty and in the reader's face, otherwise it all starts to sound rather absurd.

I'm glad you liked the rapid PoV shifts. A couple of readers found them confusing or disorienting. This was the one chapter where I really wanted the reader to know, in quasi-real time, what each character was thinking as their evening swirled down the proverbial toilet.

I think "the sky is falling because a boy!" thing satirizes itself. It doesn't really need my help. In this case, I just wanted to show Astoria at her lowest point so that we can commence rebuilding a stronger, smarter version of her in the next chapter.

Very well, on to the next review, then. Thanks for reading and reviewing!


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Review #4, by Veritaserum27 

30th June 2014:
Hi Dan!

Wow. There was a lot to this one. I think it may take me while to get through it all and do it justice.

Before I continue - I must say "bravo." I mean, really, really excellent writing. This was fantastic with the way you capture both Draco and Astoria's current states. For the past several chapters, you've been building to this - and it paid off in spades. They both have been falling for each other throughout the entire story, but they haven't been on the same page. Draco saw Astoria almost as an unreachable ideal. She was perfection and everything that he could never have. He dared to dream that she could possibly be attainable and he might just be happy again if he has her.

On the flip side, Astoria views Draco as her "way out" of being under the rule of her parents. She doesn't want the same life her parents were destined for - or her sister for that matter. As a side note, I actually feel sorry for Daphne. Although she is a bridezilla and completely inconsiderate of others, I don't know if her transgressions are severe enough to warrant a lifetime of Jeremy Gamp. (You know I haven't read "Harry Potter and the Conspiracy of Blood" yet, so I don't know if she actually ends up with Gamp as a life-partner, OR if she becomes a character worthy of that sentence.)

Both of them need a bit of adjustment to their current view of each other - and their relationship. I really like how you've portrayed Astoria as a typical teenager in the past few chapters. She is threatened by Pansy - someone who is insignificant in Draco's eyes, but you've beautifully captured the true angst of a teenage girl. It is much more realistic and it brings another layer to the story.

I have to comment on the last scene. She was still playing the petulant child - angry with her parents for not breaking down the door to comfort her during her sister's wedding - of all things. But in the end, Astoria finally decided to grow up a little bit. Realizing that incinerating all of Draco's letters would mean that she was giving up on the one thing that she truly holds dear is a big step for her.

"Slothenly." I love it. That is a great word!

I cannot go any further without expressing the heebie jeebies that I felt during the entire scene with Astoria and Draco/Emery. I know that she was able to overcome the fact that he didn't look like her true love, but I couldn't. I don't know if that was your intent, but... Ewww.

Again, this was a wonderfully crafted, fantastic chapter. You left the reader in suspense and I even teared up a few times along the way.

I'm sorry this sound so formal, but I wanted to get everything down and I didn't want it to be a rambling review. I hope you realize how much I really liked this!

~Beth

Author's Response: Hi, Beth! Huge apologies are in order. The House Cup reviewing event has left me looking extremely unappreciative for reviews on my own stories, which I certainly am not!

This was definitely one of the "busiest" chapters in the entire story. I did give some thought to splitting it -- you can probably figure out where -- but that would have left me with two chapters that were substantially shorter than their neighbors. Also, it sort of reeked of "cliffhanger for cliffhanger's sake". All in all, I figured it was better to just keep the beast together.

I'm thrilled that you liked the buildup/payoff involved in this chapter. Draco has been keeping Astoria on a pedestal and Astoria has been hinging far too much of her perceived future happiness on a fairytale ending with Draco. Both of them pay a high price for their childish oversimplifications in this chapter.

I don't think **anyone** deserves a lifetime of Jeremy Gamp except perhaps Jeremy Gamp. That said, Daphne was only too happy to ignore the warning signs as long as her relationship with Jeremy advanced her own life goals. Jeremy also cleans up fairly well. He's an old-money pureblood, after all. As to what their future holds... well, you'll see pretty soon.

Draco and Astoria are also suffering from a problem that plagues most couples their age. They've gotten good at communicating their hopes and dreams and happiness to one another, but they have no idea how to share their anxieties and fears and dislikes. Actually, I guess Astoria isn't **so** bad at sharing her dislikes, but only the mundane ones. If she'd broached the topic of Pansy with Draco -- and if she'd believed his denial, which I guess would also be an issue -- she would have known where he stood on that topic.

Astoria does grow up a bit at the end of this chapter, doesn't she? You'll be pleased, then, to discover that she keeps growing into the next chapter.

I agree on the point of Astoria trying to be physical with Draco/Emery. I'm sure it was beyond weird. Part of what I was trying to convey was Astoria's desperation. She's willing to shove her discomfort aside because she wants this to work so badly.

Aww, don't worry about the way you wrote this. I loved it! Thanks so much for all of your kind words!


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Review #5, by UnluckyStar57 

21st April 2014:
Hello again! I hope that your Easter weekend was eggcellent. :)

So the wedding is finally here and Draco has to deal with the Montagues... That's obviously not a fun job! My goodness, but Emery Montague is thick--mentally and physically. I have this hilarious image of him in my mind--stupid expression and all. It really says a lot that his primary concern about Draco's switcheroo is that his parents might ground him. He's what, nineteen or older?! Why can't he move out and stop acting like a child?! And then the Quidditch magazines and Draco's instruction for him to finish up his... whatever he was doing... Hahahaha. That was funny. :)

Uh oh... The new Death Eaters know about Draco's deception, which means that Zabini is a traitor and a blabbermouth. Nott was especially menacing, and his interception definitely threw a wrench in Draco's carefully laid out plan. The problem is, will Draco end up joining them? I hope not--he's come much too far for that! But he's afraid to say no to them and that could lead to dangerous dealings later on.

HAH!! That was REALLY clever--of COURSE Astoria knows that Emery is actually Draco, but Draco doesn't know that she knows! So his comment about "not liking girls" pretty much backfired, but in a good way. Astoria's line, "That's really too bad, Draco. Because I know a girl who fancies you a great deal." made me laugh a lot. :)

But of course, jealousy gets in the way, and when someone is not telling the whole truth, problems tend to arise. Draco's plan, while having to take a bit of a detour, still worked out in the sense that he got some alone time with Astoria and he got a few smootches. But since he doesn't want to tell her about the second (or is this the third?) uprising of the Death Eaters, he can't tell her exactly why he doesn't want to run away with her. I think it's really awful that Astoria feels like she has to not finish her N.E.W.T.s and find a husband because her parents tell her to. That just goes against everything that I think/feel about the subject of marriage, but I understand that the Greengrasses are purebloods in the midst of a very anti-pureblood society right now and so they'll cling fast to the old traditions. (It's still disgusting.)

And then Astoria just has to bring up Pansy Parkinson, that old cow. People are so frustrating to me sometimes, because no matter how much you reiterate a particular point, some people are going to persist in not believing you. That's what Astoria is doing to Draco right now, and then the stuff that it led to only resulted in more fighting and problems, problems, problems. I think that her reaction to it all was very realistic. In the moment of jealousy and possessiveness, she's not going to be thinking rationally; she's going to be thinking about how she can win Draco over! However, she's already won him over and he doesn't want to ruin her honor or anything like that. So in a way, it was her fault (it was his fault, too, for being secretive and such). I am glad that she realized that at the end of the chapter.

Awww, now there are going to be more sad times because Draco's "master plan" didn't work out in his favor at all! He's going to be on the lam for a bit, I'm guessing, just because he doesn't want to run into the Montagues (I have no doubt that Emery will blab). And Astoria can't burn the letters--good. She loves him. He loves her. Why can't they be happy? Because stories don't work like that. :D

Very eventful/rather humorous/quite dramatic chapter! I've only got five more to go until I get to find out Draco's perspective of the DH Epilogue! :)

~UnluckyStar57

Author's Response: Hi, there! My Easter weekend was eggciting and eggceeded eggspectations.

Yikes, that was awful. Forgive me...

Anyway, I think your imagine of Emery Montague is pretty much spot on. Spoiled, slothenly, rich brat who really has no intention of growing up until he's forced to. He is a year younger than Draco, in between Draco and Astoria, so he's either 16 or 17. Young enough to be grounded, but old enough that it shouldn't really be his primary concern.

Zabini is a blabbermouth. I don't think the guy is really capable of treason, in the classic sense. I'm glad you found Nott menacing, even though he's not all that much of a bad guy compared to Gamp. Draco has no intention of joining them, but he is in a sticky spot now.

Yep, Astoria figured it out. She's pretty sharp and Gamp has a big mouth.

This was one of those chapters where I think (hope) that Astoria seemed more age-appropriate. She doesn't have any real experience with being in love and she's still very insecure when it comes to Draco loving her. She's so frightened of messing it all up somehow, and that fear drives her to some very bad decisions. Even as she's rebelling against her parents' "old" values, they still shape her thinking in certain ways. It's a little ironic and a little sad.

If Astoria stopped and really thought it over for a while, I think she'd realize that Draco has been over Pansy for a long time. But since when do love-addled teenage girls stop and think? Pansy becomes the personification of all of Astoria's anxieties, mostly because she's Draco's ex. No other reason. I'm glad that their reactions seemed realistic to you. That was what I was most worried about.

Draco's "master plan" failed, but the story's not over yet. He doesn't so much go on the lam -- after all, Mr. Montague didn't see him before getting blasted off his feet -- as he mopes and thinks that he's lost Astoria forever. She's in a similar state of mind, although she does have the good sense to not give up completely. Every relationship has its low points and this is definitely one for Draco and Astoria.

Not much longer now and you'll get to see the epilogue from Draco's point of view. Before then, of course, they have to get back together and fix this mess.

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


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Review #6, by TheHeirOfSlytherin 

19th March 2014:
Ahh, switching places. Polyjuice potion is very convenient for sneaky meetings with girlfriends. I bet that's what the creator had in mind, too. :P

I don't know how I feel about this Emery person, he sounds like a brat. But he's helping Draco, so I don't hate him... unless there's an ulterior motive, which I only suspect because Blaise talked to him and Blaise is working with Jeremy and Jeremy is a psycho whose wedding Draco is sneaking into. So if there is, I'll hate him later. ;)

Emery is no doubt going to be in so much trouble when his parents see the real him and he's not going to be able to get out of it. I find this hilarious.

THEODORE! I'm pretty sure I love him no matter how 'evil' he is. :P

See, this is why I don't trust Blaise.

Uh oh. Now how is Draco going to get out of this now that he's stuck in the middle of it all? I worry; I don't want him to get hurt or caught or accused of anything. And I especially don't want them to use Astoria to get to him.

He just outed Emery!

I won't lie; at first, I wanted her to know so they could enjoy the party together, but after Draco realised that they might use her to get to him, I agreed with his plan to keep quiet so wholeheartedly that when she found out my go-to response was just, "Damn it, Greengrass." I haven't gotten past it yet.

Jeremy and his big mouth. He's going to get people into trouble... That line seems obvious given what he plans to do, but I felt like it needed to be said anyway.

Aww, he said he loved her. I'm pretty sure that's my favorite scene in this chapter (so far). :D

:O I so hope he says yes to her question.

I know change my statement to "Damn it, Draco." But he gets Draco not Malfoy because, with everything else he wants to do to protect her, I kind of expected it.

I wish he could tell her so she'd understand, but I imagine she'd still fight for him. And try to help.

The innuendo messed with a very serious moment. I don't know what's wrong with me today.

I've decided I don't like it when they fight. I didn't expect it to escalate so much; I don't understand girls. *shakes head*

How much trouble did he get Emery in? Did they notice it was Draco, since the potion wore off?

I also don't like it when she cries, but at least she knows she's partly to blame. The first step is admitting you have a problem, then you fix it - I know she's not an alcoholic, but the theory is the same.

(I haven't had any sugar... in a few hours, at least. I swear. :P)

I really hope they can fix it!

Onwards!

Sam.

Author's Response: Hello, again!

That's been Draco's plan all along. He works as a portioneer now, so he has access to whatever he needs to brew polyjuice. Emery is a very spoiled, unpleasant boy. Whatever happens to him, I guarantee there's no need to feel badly about it.

Yes, Theo makes his grand entrance. Not exactly the positive guy that you mostly portray, but he is at least smart enough to never trust Zabini. Would that Draco were that smart. He's now caught in the middle of the very thing that he's been trying so hard to avoid. And he knows that he's put Astoria in danger, which makes it even worse for him.

Draco's master plan gradually crumbles around him, and unfortunately it pulls Astoria down with him. Not that she's blameless, mind you. Her "solution" to the situation just makes things even worse. I don't like it when they fight, either, but I didn't see any other realistic way for this situation to play out. All couples have bumps in the road and they've just had a pretty extreme one.

You'll find out in the next chapter how much trouble Emery is in. Suffice it to say, he's not a happy camper.

Astoria actually does a lot of growing up at the end of this chapter. Growing up is painful, unfortunately. But we all have to go through it.

Thanks so much for all of the reviews! Looking forward to seeing what you think of the big ending.


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Review #7, by MissesWeasley123 

6th November 2013:
What. No. NO.

NEERR. (that's the sound I make when I'm in pain, by the way)

:( I hate you. School was keeping me away from Detox, and OMG whyy did you do this Dan. The one time I actually come back, you do this. NEERR.

I'm in so much pain. So much pain.

Deep breaths, deep breaths. Okay, so maybe I should give you a proper review now. (I am so finishing Detox today, NaNo rebelling is being cruel to me along with school. Ew)

The beginning of this chapter was so intense. You really did your descriptions so well, the way you command words to do your bidding (which is very Voldemort like... I'm having thoughts about your identity...) is so amazing. The way you use them, is so powerful - I love it.

Astoria! She is so hardcore. This line made me laugh out loud, because it was, quite frankly, hilarious. It really showed her awesomeness.

"That's really too bad, Draco. Because I know a girl who fancies you a great deal."

That was so true to the character you've made her out to be. In some ways, she's delicate as a flower - to her family, but in others you know you don't want to mess with her. She's sarcastically funny at times, and you know you never want to angry her. I found that line really impactful. You've just given her so much depth, and made her more than just a "name." You've made me come to love her in these eleven chapters, so I applaud you on that.

There were so many feels in this chapter. At times I got really excited, but I'm really proud of Draco for saying, "Whoa." It's really amazing how he stopped, and I liked and respected that. Over the course of this story, I've come to really like his character. Though you still make him out to be that jerk, you show him in another light, especially when you put him in front of Astoria. It's so amazing to see how much she loves her.

Astoria's getting carried away, and since I'm actually studying Romeo and Juliet, it was very dejavous to see that happening. Because, like Juliet, Astoria wants to get married, right now. I glowed again when Draco said he didn't want to go against her father.

Her irritation and jealousy - especially regarding Pansy - is very realistic, and I truly felt for her. I just wish things didn't end the way it did in this chapter.

What really broke me was the ending. Her attempts to take Draco and her memories in the forms of letters out of her life. That just killed me. This, this line was just too many feels in one.

She could blame Draco for upsetting her. She could blame her parents, she could blame Isadore, she could even blame Pansy if she wanted to. Deep down, Astoria knew the awful truth. The only person responsible for her misery was Astoria, herself.

*throws tomatoes*

Sigh... anyways, as much as I hate to admit it, this was the best chapter so far. I sound so hypocritical. Oh well.

Bye :(

Author's Response: *ducks tomatoes* Oops. I think I made her upset. :p

I get where you're coming from. This was not a fun chapter, by any stretch of the imagination. But I didn't think the story would be at all realistic if Draco and Astoria didn't have a few bumps in the road on the way to "til death do us part."

"the way you command words to do your bidding" I had to chuckle at this because half the time I feel like the words are fighting me tooth and nail. I do appreciate the compliment, though, and I try really hard to pick the right words to get my meaning across. It makes a big difference.

At the start of this chapter, Astoria is in one of those moods where she's fed up with the world. She's fed up with her parents, she's fed up with Daphne's wedding and she's fed up with Draco for not telling her that he was going to sneak into the wedding. It's roughly in that order, as well. So she's rather snippy. I liked that line, myself. And I'm really pleased that you feel like Astoria has come to life for you. I get a lot of enjoyment out of taking characters that are "just names" in JKR's world and trying to make something special out of them.

There is definitely a noble side to Draco where Astoria's honor is concerned. That's partly because of how he was raised -- although it never stopped him from taking advantage of Pansy's willingness to please him. See *Marked* -- and partly because he still has a tendency to put Astoria on a pedestal. In spite of the fact that he was mostly the recipient of Astoria's anger in this chapter, he's not completely blameless. He treats her like a China doll in some ways, and she's having none of that.

Astoria got very carried away, but that was mostly out of fear. Fear of being forced into the marriage that her parents choose for her and more importantly fear of rejection. She cares for Draco very much and she can't stand the thought that something she does or does not do might cause him to lose interest in their relationship. Just like he doesn't understand that she's not as fragile as she looks, she doesn't understand that the fact that he's not pressuring her to have sex with him doesn't mean that he doesn't want to.

The last section wasn't fun to write at all, but I thought it was important to show Astoria at her lowest point, just as we saw Draco at his lowest point back in the first chapter. Love involves certain inherent risks. You take a chance whenever you open your heart to somebody else and sometimes that chance doesn't work out like we expect.

Anyway, I'll hang onto your tomatoes in case you want them back at some point. Or maybe I'll make chili with them or something like that. I don't think you sound hypocritical at all. The chapters that hurt the most to read are very often the best ones -- see, f.ex., The Prince's Tale. Thanks so much for reading and reviewing!


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Review #8, by Remus 

10th October 2013:
REVIEW #400!!! YAY!

I've been holding off reviewing this chapter for a while now just so Detox could be my 400th. Woo!

Anyway! On with the review!

Dan, I have a feeling that you're a Slytherin at heart. Haha. Or at least you've captured what makes Draco...well, Draco. I could easily see his sneer while trying out the 'possibly expensive and well-tailored' dress robe.

Just make sure that... whatever it is you plan to do today, you're not still doing it when I return, are we clear?" LOL! Oh, my!! That is umm...yeah! Hahaha! I have no words for THAT! XD

See now, Emery! The wedding party will be making their way in soon. Come back here this instant!"


"I have to powder my nose and check my mascara!"
HAHAHA!! Really? Love this! It makes me wonder if Draco was ever like this before the war. Perhaps during his first year. My head canon wants to say yes because he was far more 'relaxed', so to speak, about his life and everything about his family. Then at the same time I want to say that he would be far worse due to him thinking he was the "prince" of the pure bloods.

Gah! The whole moment with Nott was so intense! Now Draco is basically in between a rock and a hard place.

Poor Draco! His so called secret plan is not much of a secret. He tried, at least.

And then all the funny moments stop. Ugh, the end was like a slow motion train wreck you couldn't look away. I wanted Astoria to stop, but she just kept going and Draco kept basically saying no to her! The rejection! And it just got worse! GAH! What are you doing to me!

The line:

If the little wizard isn't happy then the big wizard isn't happy, either.

Had me screaming at my laptop. I knew what was going to happen and couldn't do anything. It was a moment like Romeo and Juliet, you know what's going on but as much shouting you may do, nothing is going to stop the next moments. And when Astoria mentions that she would do anything he wants...man, that was horribly painful! It's one of those, 'been there, done that, learned from it' moments.

And then...the break up. Gah!

This chapter was amazing, Dan! I loved it!

I love how their love is a struggle right now. That not everything is happiness or "rainbow kisses and unicorn stickers". But I'm sure that you'll eventually give them the happy ending they deserve. :D

As always, this was a great read!

Until next time, Dan!!

--Rosie

Author's Response: Wow! I'm honored!

Maybe I'm one of those type of people who would have caused a hat stall during my sorting. I feel like I **should be** a Gryffindor, but people often tell me I have Slytherin tendencies. At any rate, I've written Draco enough by this point that it isn't too hard to get inside his head. Just act like anyone you don't particularly like is gum on the bottom of your shoe and you have a good start.

Poor Emery becomes a real punching bag in this chapter, not that it's really misplaced. He's a pretty miserable guy and impersonating him is no fun at all. His parents are insufferable snobs and nobody cares much for him. You need a few characters like that, I think.

Draco's "secret plan" blows up in his face in nearly every possible way. The only thing that **didn't** go wrong is that Mr. and Mrs. Greengrass still don't know that he was at the wedding, although I suppose that could also change. I have a tendency to write Theo Nott as a jerk whenever he makes an appearance, which probably isn't fair of me because he wasn't nearly as obnoxious in the books as most of the other Slytherins. In fact, he was barely in the books at all.

Once all of the joking stopped, this chapter got really hard to write. Going for long stretches without any sort of comedic break doesn't come naturally to me, so I'm glad that the end of the chapter worked for you. Astoria and Draco both say a lot of things that they regret in this chapter. I think it's a natural part of most relationships: that moment when limitless expectations come into contacts with a dose of harsh reality. "Rainbow kisses and unicorn stickers" make for a fluffy, feel-good story, but not a realistic one.

I'm really, really pleased that you enjoyed it. Things start to get a bit more hopeful from here, I promise. Thanks so much for leaving me this historic review!


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Review #9, by Sharvi 

11th August 2013:
Ok, why? Why would you do this? Actually, I should have known that the road to happiness wouldn't be easy. I really want to know how Draco's holding up!

Author's Response: That's pretty much the reason. If Draco and Astoria didn't have some real difficulties along the way, it wouldn't be a very good story.

Thanks for reading and reviewing!


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Review #10, by MissMdsty 

30th July 2013:
Hey Dan!

So I actually started writing this review several times, didn't know what to say and just gave up after staring at it for ages! But here it goes!

I have no idea what to say! It makes sense now that they don't run away together on an unicorn, like I had imagined in my head, but boy did that go downhill fast!

I actually really loved the chapter, especially the part where Astoria just knows it's Draco! My mom once told me that we recognize the people we love no matter what and that just gave me the warm fuzzies! :)

I like how you just make things more and more complicated. I am anxious to see how Draco digs himself out of this one. I can't see a way out just yet.

One thing I like that you really brought back to our attention is the fact that even though Draco is only a couple of years older than Astoria, he has been through so much and has seen so much and that changed him. The "Marked" Draco wouldn't think twice about it, but "Detox" Draco wants to do right by her. I guess being disillusioned by his parents and seeing his whole lifestyle crumble before him made him open his eyes! But Astoria is so young and in so many ways still a child. Case and point, her interpretation of his refusal of her advances. And at that age, her reaction makes sense. Because even though she wants to understand him and be supportive and everything, she has not seen it or lived it. She is sheltered and Draco wants to keep that, that little pink bubble around her. At this point, in my opinion, Astoria is just trying so hard to break that bubble.

The end of the chapter just broke my heart, it was so emotional to see her going from that anger that we all get when we fight with somebody and we say just the things we know will get on the other's nerves (I do it all the time, myself) and then when we cool down we realize it would've been best if we kept our mouths shut! I think the saying was "It is better to say nothing and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.".

I can't wait for the next update! This was such a beautiful chapter and I can't wait to see what you have planned next for these characters!

Ral

Author's Response: Hi, Ral!

I've definitely been in that situation where I couldn't quite come up with the right thing to say in a review. Or much at all, for that matter. I'll take it as a compliment. :)

There were bound to be bumps in the road as Draco and Astoria make their way to Happily Ever After, and this was the biggest so far. You're absolutely correct that the relatively minimal age difference between Draco and Astoria and magnified enormously by the difference in their life experiences. The difference between "Marked Draco" and "Detox Draco" is huge. He's come to realize that a lot of the things that he though were important before the war really don't matter so much. He looks back at his former self and he wishes that he could go back to being that naive young man who didn't know anything about darkness and death. In his eyes, Astoria still lives in that same sort of state of grace that he once took for granted. He doesn't want to see her forced to grow up the same way that he had to during the war. It's an unusually noble thing for him to be feeling.

Astoria comes to her senses relatively quickly. She's sharp that way. But you're right, realizing what she's done actually makes it hurt more. She certainly wishes that she hadn't removed all the doubt, at least from her own mind.

I'm working my way through the next chapter now. Astoria hasn't been easy to write. I'm hoping Draco will be a little easier. Thanks for all the support and reviews!


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Review #11, by W 

27th July 2013:
Please update soon sir .. I love this story

Author's Response: Working on it as we speak.

Thanks for reading and reviewing!


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Review #12, by anonymous 

26th July 2013:
Brilliant chapter. . I feel so sorry for Draco, nothing is going right for him .. Astoria was the only thing that gave him hope that his life is worth living, after the war and he lost her (sort of)... I also feel sorry for Astoria, she was so eager to leave everything just for Draco ..
I personally feel that these problems are arising due to the fact that Draco is not telling Astoria everything, the plot by the evil pure bloods to stage their revolution ... But again, that would probably make matters worse

Please Update Soon :D

Author's Response: Hi, there!

Not much is going right for Draco or Astoria at the moment. Their relationship is on the rocks, and they're both in shock over what just happened. Don't worry, they'll find a way somehow. ;)

In the long run, it probably would have been better if Draco had simply been honest with Astoria, but he's too caught up in his residual fear and anxiety from the war to see that. He wants to keep her out of the conflict he's expecting, at all costs.

I'm working on the next chapter. Hopefully I'll have something pretty soon. Thanks for reading and reviewing!


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Review #13, by Jchrissy 

24th July 2013:
Hi!

The description of the potion is absolutely disgusting. Oh my god. I could never, ever drink Polyjuice. I remember thinking that in the books, now you’ve just reminded me why :P!

I love the irony of Draco feeling irritate about being around small minded, self important people. There wasn’t a time so long ago where I can imagine Lucius, Narcissa and Draco sitting in a sort of situation where Narcissa might not think Draco was getting the respect he deserved and saying similar things. He’s come a long way, our Draco, especially to be able to recognize such annoying qualities in others.

Oh of course stupid Blaise couldn’t keep a secret. I hate that Draco’s had to become even more absorbed in this all. Honestly, I think the best thing he could do would be to tell Astoria what’s going on, tell the group he won’t be involved in it, and if they out him for the wedding... well, the idea that Draco tricked his way into the wedding to spend time with Astoria is still a lot more pleasant than him being involved in their mental idea to get things going again. Not that it would all be an easy encounter, and with the hotheadedness of his friends he might be dealing with them trying to take revenge, but at least if he’s having to defend himself that will prove even more who’s side he’s on.

Okay, ramble over. Haha. I really like Astoria’s attitude toward Emery/Draco. She plays a long for a few minutes -- maybe to give him a chance to confess -- then, oh boy. She’s not letting him get away with this one.

It’s nice to see Astoria acting a bit over dramatic. She’s always pretty composed, that watching her snap on Draco was a lot of fun! Ohhh Draco can be so sincere this time! I was worried he might get angry back, but I loved seeing him care enough to apologize!

I can’t even... I don’t know how to comment on the Astoria to Draco ‘look what I can do’ section. You left her line off on a perfect one with her reaching her hand, and then Draco’s ‘what are you doing!’

Aww now I feel sad for both of them :(. Astoria’s so hurt, and Draco seems genuinely willing to try and fix that hurt but he just doesn’t understand. He wants to keep her safe, and I still think he’s making a mistake by not telling her everything, but all that happens is she gets filled with all the doubt every girl will deal with once in a while.

I also love that she’s already considering it as ‘what she lost’ because everything really is that cut and dry at her age. She feels like that’s it, not like they’ll work things about, but that it’s just the end of it all. God, you couldn’t pay me to be 16 again. Poor thing just needs a big hug.

This was a much more emotional chapter and really showed a lot of Draco’s more caring sides. But I really liked to have it end with so much turmoil, and of course leave us to wonder how they’ll work things out.

Another awesome chapter, Daniel! 


Author's Response: Hi, Jami!

I don't think I could handle polyjuice, either, but I used to think the same thing about bourbon. I suppose you can acquire a taste for anything, or at least learn to suppress your gag reflex.

Wasn't that some delicious irony? Draco is experiencing the world as "the 99%" lives it, and he's definitely learned a thing or two. I imagine that the Draco in this story would not be able to stand the Draco from the beginning of Marked.

It was pretty dumb of Draco to assume that Blaise wouldn't blab his secret. Zabini is in so far over his head that bits of information are really the only "currency" he has to maintain his status among his fellow conspirators. You're probably right about the long-term merits of the path Draco's chosen versus one where he simply comes clean with Astoria about everything. At the moment, however, he's just too wrapped up in his own bad memories of the war to see that. All he can think about is keeping her out of it. And as far as his old "friends" go, he feels as though he can handle them with little or no trouble. Spending time around Bellatrix and Voldemort messes with your sense of what's dangerous and what isn't.

Astoria was all kinds of confused in this chapter. She still has the conversation with Isadore ringing in her ears, and all the insecurities that went along with it. She was feeling a little hurt that Draco sneaked into the wedding without telling her. And once she realizes that Draco isn't planning to reveal himself, that hurt turns into betrayal. So she does saddle up the Drama Llama and ride. I'm glad you liked that part. I've really been trying to show her in a more realistic light for a 16-year-old girl.

Their relationship is definitely on rocky shoals now. As of the last moment you see them, both of them are pretty much in shock. Astoria has had a little more time to process what happened, but she's still far from being in a good state of mind. Don't worry, I don't want to have any 16-year-old girls around. Too much drama.

All I can say is that you know that things *will* work out in the end, it's just a matter of when and how it happens. Which is coming up soon. ;)

Thanks for all of your help, support and awesome reviews!


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Review #14, by patronus_charm 

22nd July 2013:
Sorry that this review is going to be smaller than usual, I should have started getting ready for my holiday a lot earlier!

I really liked that scene where Malfoy was trying to get Montague to let him go to the wedding. It was nice to see him with a friend, if I can call him that, as we tend to just see him with Astoria so he casts a rather lonely image of himself. Hearing the guests commentary about him being Montague was great too and had me chuckling away!

The scene with Theodore Nott was even better! It’s making me want to read CoB even more, it’s just finding the time to do it is the real issue. I’ve never really seen him as such an evil person before because he’s usually a nice person in all the stories I’ve read about him so seeing him was a really nice change.

The story regarding Jeremy Gamp and their plan to take over the world is really great! Great in a sense of storyline as opposed to killing off innocent muggleborns. I really can’t wait to see what happens in Wales and see more of this Gamp person because he intrigued me last time we saw him so I’m really looking forward to seeing him again!

The interaction between ‘Emery’ and Astoria was really great. I felt rather sorry for her with her not knowing it was him, at least she found out in the end! I loved the moment when I realised she had sussed it out who it really was. I think that line from poor old Draco who was still trying to keep on his disguise was really brilliant with him ‘liking guys’, then Astoria’s comeback was even better.

Astoria and Draco’s relationship hit an interesting point in this chapter. I never really realised how insecure she was until now with doing what she thought would prove her love and her jealously of Pansy. I guess one thing I forget is that she is younger Draco and probably was more shielded from the war than he was so she still is a child in some ways so I guess that’s a reason for that.

Aw I really felt for her in that last scene! I really can’t wait to see what follows on from this and see how Draco and Astoria’s relationship manages to continue after this hurdle. A great chapter, Dan!

-Kiana

Author's Response: Kiana! Long time, no see. Of course, this is my fault because long time, no update. Still, awesome to see you back!

I wouldn't say that Draco and Emery are friends -- rather far from it, actually -- but they have a common objective in this case. Draco wants to go to the wedding, Emery doesn't. So it fits well for them.

I'm afraid my Theo Nott will never be the upstanding, fatherly type that Sam writes, but he can be an interesting character. In this case, he knows he has Draco painted into a corner and he freely takes advantage of that fact.

Gamp is probably not as much of an evil villain as he fancies himself to be, but he's more than enough for the current situation. Enough to make Draco scared for Astoria's safety and putting him back into a wartime mentality.

Astoria actually knew that "Emery" was Draco from the moment she saw him. She found out when she overheard Gamp and the others talking about it. She was just mad at him for not telling her in advance what he was planning to do. So she lets him squirm a bit before she reveals the fact that she knows. Draco, for his part, is doing his best to make her not like Emery. Not that she does anyway, but he's hoping to give her more ammunition for her conversations with her parents.

I keep reminding myself as I write this that Astoria is only 16 years old and very sheltered. She might be mature for her age, but she is very insecure about the fact that she's not as worldly as some of the other girls that Draco has been with. Those insecurities get the best of her in this chapter.

It isn't going to be easy for Draco and Astoria to overcome this. Something *big* might need to happen. ;)

Thanks for reading and reviewing!


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Review #15, by Courtney Dark 

20th July 2013:
Oooh, am I really the first reviewer for this chapter? Well, that's certainly a first!

I have to say, I feel quite stupid. When Draco was making plans to take Montague's place at the wedding, I didn't literally think he'd take Montague's place - I thought he'd just go as himself. But now that I think about it, that would be impossible! It certainly cant have been pleasant, disguising himself as someone so...vile.

I have to say, I kinda felt bad for Draco in this chapter - his whole plan went completely downhill, nothing turned out like he wanted it to - and Astoria finding out from that horrible group of Slytherins was yet another flaw in the plan!

I hated and loved the fight between Astoria and Draco at the same time - I hated it because I really, really don't want them to fight! I love them together so much! But I loved it because it was dramatic and so intense and packed this really powerful punch!

Sorry for this probably thoroughly unhelpful, incoherent review, I've been on my laptop so long that my eyes are beginning to blur and ache. But I loved this chapter, and am eagerly waiting for the next!

Courtney:)

Author's Response: Hi, Courtney!

You're at the end. Which means I have some work to do...

Yep, Draco's plan all along was to bodily take Emery Montague's place in order to spare Astoria the unpleasantness of his company. It's definitely not a body he's used to or please to be in, but that's the price of admission.

Poor Draco really didn't think things through well at all. He trusted Zabini, he assumed that Astoria wouldn't totally avoid Emery and he wasn't expecting her to ask him to take her away. Three mistakes with awful consequences.

The fight wasn't much fun to write, for both the obvious reason and because it was hard to get it all to sound right. Lots of back-and-forth with my wonderful, patient beta reader on that one. I'm glad the intensity was there!

Oh, goodness, this wasn't unhelpful at all. It's always good to see what makes enough of an impression that people feel like talking about it. Thanks so much!


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