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13 Reviews Found

Review #1, by dirtydeedsdonedirtcheap 

10th June 2015:
Chop, chop!”

One of my biggest pet peeves is when people say this. Chop, chop! What do I look like, a chef?

Eventually it seemed to dawn on Flint that he was being talked down to, and the angry scowl returned to his face.

Geez, Narcissa Malfoy has quickly become my new favorite character with these last two chapters. Way to go mother lion. She has such strength and power.

She completely…dare I say it, schooled Nott.

Goyle followed a moment later and a happy grin settled onto his fat face when he saw Draco and Narcissa.

Haha. I’m sorry this made me laugh. They’re honestly all clueless but Goyle takes the cake. He probably thinks he’s doing nothing wrong. Things could go either way for him.

“Uh, glad to hear it. I’m chuffed to see you, too.”

Oh Dan, I appreciate this line more than you know.

I like how Blaise is trying to be the voice of reason at this point I’m up too. We’re all on the same side, nothing is wrong. Really I’m surprised Blaise hasn’t completely run off too. He just doesn’t seem as strong as the others or idiotic. I mean come on; he has a brain it’s just clouded by misjudgments and too much alcohol. Of all the people in this story he disappoints me the most.

“He couldn’t very well leave it to your Aunt Bellatrix. She would have burned down the entire island.”

THAT WAS AMAZING.

I NOMINATE YOU FOR BEST FIGHT SCENES, EVER.

Not that there’s a contest going on or anything but still.

My mind is reeling I can’t wrap my head around all of this. We have Narcissa who is the baddest witch of all time. I mean, Bellatrix doesn’t even hold a candle to her. At all.

Poor Lucius though. You know how I feel about him. It was upsetting and sad to see him fighting along side his family thinking he was in another time. A time where he failed and he failed again in his own manor. He couldn’t protect his family. Not that I think he realized once he started fighting that they were beside him. At least he tried. That has to count for something, right?

And then Draco willing himself to fight them off and protect his mother. Not wanting his father to die. Trying to protect Blaise and the dunderhead next to him who still refused. Draco has heart. I think that’s what I learned from this chapter.

So excited to find out what happens next!

Author's Response: Hi, Deeds!

I think my personal fun writing this story peaked with this chapter. Not that the others weren't fun, but it didn't get any better than this for me.

Isn't Narcissa awesome? She puts Flint in this place, she keeps Nott from dying and then she pretty much saves the rest of the family's bacon with that locket. But we'll come back to the locket in a moment.

Goyle turned out to be such awesome comic relief in this story. I almost feel a little bad about killing him in CoB. Not bad enough to change it, mind you, but bad nevertheless. He's such a bumbling moron, it's hard not to like him on some level.

So Zabini... keep an eye on him. That's all I'll say for now. You're right, he is trying to deescalate the situation, but the reason why is slightly more complicated.

I'm so glad you liked Narcissa's locket. The idea popped into my head early in the process of writing this and I spend a lot of chapters making myself wait to roll it out. I like the idea that at least one or two of the Black family's dark artifacts could be useful. And that line about Bellatrix was one of my favorites in the entire story.

Poor old Lucius gave it his best. He's obviously in a bad way, but he managed to hang in there when it mattered most. At least until his wife could unleash the family fire demon on their attackers.

I agree with you. Draco has heart when it comes to people and things that he values. He also values Astoria, so now we get to see how that works out.

Thanks for reading and reviewing!


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Review #2, by Pixileanin 

16th December 2014:
"What are you doing here, Flint?"

Bleeding all over the panelling and messing up Narcissa's perfectly logical plan to put Draco back on steady feet. That's what he's doing! Nasty, nasty of you. Just when things were going to be so easy... Oh. Never mind. It can't be easy, or it'd be over already.

I love the word you pulled out for the Muggle weapon, "flintlock". It fits so well, and rolls off the tongue so nicely.

Draco's trying to draw information out of the crazy people while Nott's bleeding out, and it could have been funny, except there's a lot at stake here. I can feel Draco's anger simmering in the background. He's got a *plan*, and these people are going to muck it up for him. Again. Grumble grumble. But here, he seems to have a better handle on his anger. Good on you, Draco!

Narcissa is great here. I love the strength and the sheer intimidation factor you give her. She's obviously allowing Draco to make his own way. How she steps in and assists, it's like she's using everything she has to support Draco's decision without wrapping up her ego in the situation. Draco has a lot to learn from her. It's an impressive maneuver.

Oh, man. Goyle is thick. Which makes him hilarious. And dangerous, if he's with Gamp. All the posturing must be exhausting, on both ends. Gamp might be insane, but he's got brains too. what a terrible combination! And oooh! Lucius wakes up from his nap just in time to instill terror on the guests. Perfect!

"There was no way to be sure that the old man even knew what year it was. But Gamp and the others didn't know that."

And well they shouldn't. Your fight scenes always come alive and whirl around the page like a cyclone. All the details get messed around. Even the poor house elf had to run for cover, a tiny detail that I just love! I don't think anyone was paying attention to Lucius' words, there were so many blasts of light flying around the room. And finally, Draco's anger works for him in this instance, when Gamp is stupid enough to threaten his mother.

Uh oh. Lucius just couldn't stop talking, and then someone *heard* him. I guess it was just as well. He was quickly losing steam and wasn't going to be useful in the fight for much longer. From the last chapter, I figured that Lucius wouldn't be around much for the rest of the story, but I'm so glad you allowed him to have a last hurrah of sorts. He used to be so formidable in Draco's eyes, so powerful and uncrossable, and now, being just a shadow of himself, it must be hard. Fighters like to go down fighting. And poor Draco, doing the "my life is flashing before my eyes, but at least Astoria will have a better future"... I know that this story comes before your other story, so I doubt that will happen, but still. You gave him a very, very close call, and if he pulls out of this, he will have much to reflect on.

Okay, so I'm no longer worried about the floor. Narcissa unleashed some powerful stuff from that locket, and just in time. I loved the little aside about how things might have gone wrong if Bellatrix had gotten a hold of that locket. Wise man, this relative of theirs. Whew. If that wasn't edge-of-your-seat writing, I don't know what it was. You did a superb job with the fight scene. I have no idea what you were worried about. :)

Ugh, and Daphne! I am SO glad that Astoria has more than a thimble full of sense and is so much more aware of the world than her older sister. That door chime might have saved her from an uncomfortable moment with her sister, but I'm sure it's no one good.

Another fantastic chapter, Dan!

Author's Response: Nott and his bleeding. So inconsiderate! You're correct, if I wanted this story to be easy, it would have been a one-shot.

I struggled a lot to figure out what an aristocratic pureblood wizard from an old, muggle-hating family would call a gun. I wasn't perfectly happy with it because flintlock and Flint are too much alike, but it's the best I could do.

Draco can't ever stop being himself. He's a Slytherin, he always has a plan (scheme) and he's always tweaking and refining it in real time.

I really loved Narcissa in this chapter. I thought it was her shining moment in the story, except maybe for the conversation she has with Astoria at Gringotts. Draco could always learn more from her.

Goyle was my one small bit of comic relief in a chapter that was stiflingly tense.

I actually had a lot of fun writing Lucius. He's sort of the epitome of the stopped clock that's right twice a day in this chapter. Without really knowing what he's doing, he manages to play a pivotal role in keeping his family alive.

I nearly made some major changes to this chapter because I felt like Draco was getting too noble with his thoughts about Astoria being safe. I think I'm happy with how it ultimately turned out, but I'm also a relentless tinkerer. That means I'm never completely happy no matter what, I guess.

Narcissa's locket was a small thing that actually survived from my very first plot sketch of this story all the way through to the finished product. There aren't many things after chapter 5 that you can say that about. I was completely in love with the idea.

I think Astoria would agree with you that it was *almost* better to confront a group of murderous dark wizards than to listen to Daphne go on about the details of her love life. Not quite, but almost.

Whee, this is fun! Thank you so much for all the wonderful reviews!


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Review #3, by Veritaserum27 

30th July 2014:
Hello, hello!

I knew it. I knew you wouldn't let Narcissa's beautiful plan play out. Very nice with the plot twists, here. I seriously did not see how they were going to get out of this one. Draco is smooth and Narcissa always maintains a cool head, but there are only two of them and all of a sudden all these other bad dudes show up. Thank goodness Lucius is at least within enough of his mind to know to fight and which way to point his wand, even if he thinks he is in the Department of Mysteries.

I loved the term "flintlock" - brilliant. Your descriptions of Nott's injuries and the battle that ensues were fantastic. I usually find that I have to go back and re-read battle scenes to make sure I know who was hexing who(m?), or if someone had fallen to the side, or what injury had been sustained, but this scene was evenly paced and easy to follow. Definitely not lacking in action, however.

And I think the most important point of this chapter is perhaps the most subtle (and brilliantly done, by the way). Draco has finally learned to control his anger. It has plagued him since the very beginning, and he has had small moments of control (mostly that involved Astoria), but here he has every reason to lose it, but he doesn't. His family is under threat in their own home, he has lost Astoria (or so he thinks), he job is requiring him to relive his worst memories, and he just learned of his father's illness. Yup. Old Draco's life is in turmoil to say the least. BUT, he manages to keep it together, and assess the rather dangerous situation in front of him.

You did mention to me that Narcissa steals your scenes, and that is completely alright with me. She is awesome. And she did it again!!! Holy fireball, batman! It seems that some ancient Black relative found a way to contain and control fiendfyre? Maybe that wasn't your intent, but the descriptions were similar to me!

My two favorite parts were the humorous bits you added in:

"Hi, there, Malfoy, Mrs. Malfoy. How are you?"

Ahh, Goyle, the clueless prat until the very end, huh? You almost can't fault him for his actions because he just doesn't have the ability to know any better.

"He left that thing to you?"

Narcissa lifted her eyebrows noncommittally in response.

"He couldn't very well leave it to your Aunt Bellatrix. She would have burned down the entire island."

Oh, can you imagine that object in the hands of Bellatrix Lestrange? I quiver at the thought.

Daphne is so clueless and self-absorbed I almost don't feel sorry for her at having married a power-hungry murderer. I keep trying to find one redeeming quality in her, maybe because she's Astoria's sister, but I think the only thing that I can come up with is that she is too focused on her own poor lot that she can't be evil.

Ugh! Another cliffhanger, Dan? I suppose that's appropriate given that we're heading toward the climax of this story. You've done a fantastic job with the sense of urgency here. I'm holding my breath throughout the entire chapter with the hopes of letting it out at the end - and then bam I MUST read on because it just got worse for all of them!

Until next chapter,

Beth

Author's Response: Hi, Beth! Apologies that I wasn't able to answer this sooner. Let's dig right in!

It's not often that I allow my characters brilliantly-conceived plans to work out the way that they're supposed to. Where's the fun in that? Characters are most interesting when they have to adapt on the fly.

It took me ages to come up with "repeating flintlock". I went to the forums for help and everything. Still not 100% thrilled with it, but it works. I'm really glad that you found the fight scene easy to follow. I always try to visualize everything in my head and make sure that I'm getting the relative positions of the combatants right in the words. That said, I'm never quite sure whether it translates properly.

Draco's war-tempered survival instincts kick in when the curses start to fly. In a way, I almost felt like he was *more* comfortable in that sort of confrontation than the verbal type. Here, he can channel and focus his anger and turn it into something productive. Not easy to do when he's doing the dance of civility with Madam Blishwick.

You nailed it with your interpretation of Narcissa's locket. In my mind, one of her talented but dark ancestors perfected a way to contain and control FiendFyre and applied those enchantments to the locket.

Poor Goyle. The guy is eternally one step behind the rest of the world.

Not even Bella's own elders could imagine that locket in her hands. Hence, it was handed down to Narcissa.

Daphne is mostly in this scene for comic relief, although she does play a small role in what's coming. I haven't been kind to her at all in this story, but at least she fares better than Flint and Nott.

Yes, another cliffhanger. I'm just terrible, aren't I? But that's how I keep people coming back. ;)

Thanks so much for reading and reviewing!


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Review #4, by Roisin 

28th July 2014:
Ah! All through the fight scene I was internally screaming "BLAST THE DARK MAGIC, JUST DISARM THEM!" I was so pleased when Draco took a page out of Potter's book. Seriously, people tease Harry for using expelliarmus all the time, but it WORKS. He beat Voldemort so many times. GAH. Rant Over.

"...he would have been tempted to bury his face in his palm"--this was a very unexpected moment of comedy, and very very funny. I was impressed you were able to weave that in during so much action.

Also, it's a bit telling, isn't it? "Oh bummer, dad thinks he's back in the Dept of Mysteries on a nefarious quest." Draco has been taught to take so much wickedness for granted.

Narcissa is consistently impressively characterized. Where Lucius is defined by hubris, she is defined by self/family preservation. Every decision we ever saw her make during the books was motivated by that, and you do a wonderful job of continuing that tradition here.

Also, I was glad you brought in FiendFyre. There are very few issues I take with Rowling's masterful story-telling, one of the only ones being that FiendFyre was introduced hastily, and only the once. Seeing it again, further fleshed out, is very welcome.

This bit was subtle, but Bellatrix would have burned down "the island." It actually makes sense--Britain has a whole mess of little islands all over its coast. I dunno if you got that from canon or made it up, but those little islands really would be the perfect place for big wizarding stately homes.

So the suspense it killing me, so I'll leave this review here!

Author's Response: There is an amazing simplicity to the disarming charm, isn't there? You take away the other party's ability to cause you harm.

I think fight scenes always benefit from a little dry humor unless the intensity absolutely forbids it. It helps to break up the aggression a bit and let the reader mentally relax for a second.

I love writing Narcissa. I think I might have mentioned it in an earlier review response, but she has a huge tendency to steal scenes in my stories. I think family is of paramount importance to her, but not in the "my family is eternally superior to yours" manner of Lucius or worse still, Bellatrix. She loves her son unconditionally and will go to any lengths to protect him. It's oddly similar to Lily Potter or Molly Weasley, but from a completely different background. There's definitely a statement being made there.

I absolutely loved creating the "Black Family Heirloom". My underlying thought process is that one of Narcissa's talented ancestors figured out how to tame and contain FiendFyre and enchanted the locket to do so. When Narcissa refers to Bellatrix burning down "the island", by the way, she's talking about the *entire UK*, excluding Northern Ireland. Bella isn't known for restraint. ;)

Yay! We're counting down to the final chapter. No, wait, boo! I don't want the enjoyment to stop. Thanks!


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Review #5, by UnluckyStar57 

7th June 2014:
Hello! I thought that summer would be less busy, but I guess I was wrong! :)

Wow, so I'm nearing the end of this story and things are still heating up (literally!!). I have a feeling that while this is the most direct confrontation that Draco has had with his old schoolmates (up to this point), the worst is yet to come!

I thought it was awesome how the Malfoys presented a united front against Gamp and his toadies. Of course, Lucius thought he was somewhere else, but he fought ridiculously well. After all, nobody messes with ickle Draco and lives to tell the tale! :D

I love how Goyle retains his utter stupidity throughout the years. He's obviously a few players short of a Quidditch team, and his confusion about Draco's sarcasm is quite amusing. :)

The battle scene... I think you played it out as descriptively as is possible to write something like that. After all, this scene was probably happening in your head as you wrote it, and it is so, so difficult to convey what you're seeing to other people. However, as the Malfoys exchanged hexes with the bad guys, I definitely saw it all! You did a brilliant job of making sure that everything you saw in your head was shown in the narrative. :)

Narcissa, to me, is almost equal parts heroic and stoic. She's so icy and aristocratic that it's easy to imagine her casting spells in a very upright and proper manner--except, of course, that her spells are anything but upright and proper. She is a character who manages to keep up her aristo facade while in times of crisis, as evidenced by the releasing of the Fiendfyre. She controlling the raging beast as if it were a reluctantly trained kitten. Go Narcissa! The joke about Bellatrix and burning down the island was too funny, because it's true! It makes sense that the icy Black sister should be the one to control the fire. ^_^

Lol, Daphne. I almost feel sorry for her for believing that she even HAD a good marriage to begin with. Jeremy Gamp is a sleazeball, and if it takes him refilling his bourbon in the midst of private moments for her to realize it, then so be it. Maybe she'll see sense later on...

Uh oh, now the fight will be transferred over to Astoria's house... Dun, dun, duuun.

~UnluckyStar57

Author's Response: Hello, again! Nice to see you back! I always imagine that summers are going to be less hectic than the winter, but it never seems to work out for me, either.

You definitely don't have far to go now. There are definitely more bad things to come. Save half a thought for the "new friend" Gamp keeps talking about, now that you know it's not Lucius.

I thoroughly enjoyed writing Lucius as this befuddled yet powerful wizard who can still hold his own even if he's not sure who he's fighting against. A bit of comic relief always spices up a good battle.

I had a pretty good idea in my head of how the fight was playing out. I didn't draw a map for this one like I did for the big battle in the Great Hall in Conspiracy of Blood, but I definitely had a mental image of the great room of Malfoy Manor and where each combatant was positioned. Seems like you were able to follow along, which is awesome to hear.

Isn't Narcissa awesome? She has a terrible habit of stealing scenes in my story and I think this chapter was no exception. She is cold as ice to anyone who isn't part of her family, and her demeanor alone was enough to keep Flint at bay until Gamp showed up. I fell in love with the idea of the "Black Family Heirloom" that she unleashes, even though it is a bit deus ex machina. I imagine one of her powerful ancestors like Phineas Nigellus enchanting the thing and figuring out spells to make the Fiendfyre behave for whoever inherits it.

Yeah, Daphne isn't having a very good start to her happily ever after. I felt a little bad about using the idea of Gamp pausing to refill his drink. It's kind of cheesy and pretty cliche, but it really amused me. Believe me, she'll see sense *very* soon.

Bad things are coming to the Greengrass Estate. Stay tuned.

Thanks so much for reading and reviewing!


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Review #6, by TheHeirOfSlytherin 

21st March 2014:
So, I was scamming through HPFF, trying to decide on a film to watch, when I caught sight of my reviews and thought, screw movies, I have an awesome story to finish. And here I am, instead of watching Bad Boys... again. :P

Damn, guys. Terrorizing Muggles for uniforms, I hope everything they did, including Theo getting hurt, and everything they do next just isn't worth it in the end. That'll show 'em.

I knew it only being the two of them and them leaving just wouldn't happen; that would have been too simple, too easy for Draco. Who wants that? :P I wonder who tipped off the Aurors... And I need to know who this mystery friend is! It's driving me crazy (though not Gamp crazy, so all is well).

Duel! Ah, I loved the fighting scene, it was fast and dangerous and exciting (for the reader). It was awesome to read. Even if Lucius was mad and delusional.

The fire thing (yes, I did just say that) was brilliant and a little scary and definitely not something they should have given to Bellatrix. Narcissa was the best choice, I think. She's cool and calculating and would have known exactly when and how to use it (like now).

:O No, not Astoria's house!

Daphne must have noticed that Jeremy wasn't good, at least a little... Maybe something she'd pushed to the back of her mind and wanted to ignore? Or does she genuinely think it's because she's boring? Poor Daphne, I do feel a little sorry for her - she seems like the type who just wants the big wedding end the perfect, happy marriage and everything that goes with it. Instead she got an evil husband who is only his way to crazy town.

Little wizard - I swear, those two words will forever remind me of this story and I will giggle uncontrollably, no matter what situation they're written in.

Uh oh... someone's here... *hides*

Next chapter!

Sam.

Author's Response: Aww, that's really nice of you to say! I hope I don't keep you from your movies for too long.

Nope, it won't be worth it in the end at all. It's what happens between here and there that's the interesting part, though. ;)

Your guess was correct, Draco's situation gets a lot worse before it gets better. Draco and Narcissa could have easily handled Flint and a badly wounded Theo, but Gamp adds a whole new layer of difficulty. Who tipped off the Aurors? Good question. You'll find out pretty soon and the answer may surprise you. ;)

I'm really glad you liked the dueling scene. Those are my favorites to write. I didn't want to take **everything** away from poor old Lucius, so he did turn out the be a formidable duelist even if he isn't sure who he's dueling.

I think Narcissa was the only choice for that particular Black family heirloom once Andy made her great escape. Bellatrix was way too unstable to handle such a dangerous magical object. I really enjoyed giving her command of it.

They're on their way to the Greengrass manor and Draco is on his way to stop them. Can't you just feel the final confrontation brewing? It's all about to come down to this.

Daphne isn't sure what to make of her new husband. He's definitely not the man she'd convinced herself she married. And "convinced herself" are the key words. The signs were there all along. Astoria picked up on them. Daphne was a little too wrapped up in her own fairytale story to see them.

I promise that will be the last mention of the little wizard. At least in this story. :p

Ding, dong. Who's at the door? Find out soon...

Thanks so much for reading and reviewing!


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Review #7, by Remus 

11th January 2014:
I had to come read this!

My initial thought to Flint was "How dare he order Draco around in his own home?"

I want to make Narcissa my spirit animal. Haha!

"I say we hex him the lot of them,then leave them at Azkaban for the Ministry to find after we're gone.--maybe take out the 'him'?

Aww, Lucius comes to help! I couldn't help but laugh at the fact that he thinks he's in the Dept of Mysteries but still. He has come to help his wife and Draco. He means well...in a way.

Narcissa, kicking some behind and taking names! Yeah!!

Sorry for the short review but I got sucked into the story! That and I'm beginning to feel a bit under the weather again and all I can think of right now is taking a nap on the couch. Haha. I shall be coming back to this soon!

Until next time, sir!! :D

--Rosie

Author's Response: Day 2 of getting back on top of my unanswered reviews! The big push day!

Flint is the same sort of cocky jerk in this story that you might remember from CoB. You know, before Lady T gets tired of his act and wastes him.

Narcissa would make a good spirit guide, wouldn't she? She's pretty wise and well-measured and she presents well. Also, she'd unleash the family Fiendfyre on anyone who caused you grief.

Thanks for that typo! Amazing how these things can slip past so many people for so long...

Poor Lucius doesn't know where or when he is, but he's still pretty good in a fight. At least he didn't start hurling curses at the wrong side.

No worries on the short review. Man, I love knowing that somebody's enjoying the story! Thanks so much!


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Review #8, by MissesWeasley123 

17th November 2013:
*shuffles in guiltily..*

Okay, I know, I'm such a liar. I was going to try to finish all of this last week but then I couldn't and now you're done so I have nothing to truly catch up on - I can now only finish. That's very scary.

Anyway, wow, what an action packed chapter! I think the beauty of this was how fast paced it was, but you wrote it in such a way that not only were my eyes unable to leave the screen, I was able to follow everything. It was amazing.

I absolutely adored Narcissa in the previous chapters, and I think she really got her chance to shine in this one. It was amazing seeing that control she had, and how she handled the situation with such ease. I think she's very strong, and I've come to love her in this!

Ah, Lucius. He's off his rocker. Definitely getting old. But then he also backed Draco up, and that was sweet, though kind of awkward to read. It was like when your parents get all lovey dovey and you're like, "Er..." It was kinda funny, and also a nice touch at the same time.

I just thoroughly enjoy Astoria's "couldn't care less about Daphne's problems" attitude. I love it because it's so funny, and really really amazing to read. Daphne's character definitely did lighten up the mood, and I find her a bit obnoxious, but still a hilariously annoying character... If that makes sense :P

And AH, cliffie! I'll definitely read the next chapter tonight, though I might not get around to reviewing till tomorrow... We'll see *shrugs* But, a really job well done with this.

Congrats on completing!

Author's Response: Hi, Nadia! No guilt, I won't hear of it! I always love seeing you come back whenever you can spare the time.

This was probably my second-favorite chapter of the story to write because it is so fast-paced. The ball is rolling at top speed now and the end it near.

I love Narcissa as a character. She was completely disposable for the first 5 books -- pretty much like Draco -- and then she suddenly emerges as this extremely strong female character who was willing to defy Voldemort to protect what was important to her. She's no less strong than Lily Potter or Molly Weasley in that regard, just from a very different background.

Poor Lucius has lost the plot at this point, but he's still surprisingly effective as a fighter. At least against relatively weak competition.

Astoria suffers her sister's relationship issues with relatively good grace, but her mind is obviously elsewhere. I'm glad that Daphne was able to lighten the mood a bit. That's mostly what I was hoping for.

You're so close to the end! It's awesome but also a little sad. I've really enjoyed reading all of your reviews and following along just a bit as you read the story. Thanks for all of the support and feedback!


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Review #9, by MissMdsty 

2nd October 2013:
Hello again! :)

I was really happy to see that you didn't skip the whole Manor scene and just move past to the aftermath. I was really excited to see that we get to witness a fight scene and what a fight scene it was!

What I was most impressed with (because fight scenes are really hard for me to write, so any coherent fight scene, especially of this caliber, blows my mind) is the way in which Narcissa remained centered throughout. For me she is one of the strongest female characters in the series (she lied to Voldemort's face. She hid the fact that Harry was alive right under his nose... That's a horrible pun, moving on) and she sort of radiated power and self control throughout this whole fight scene and maintained balance.

Lucius losing his mind is something I expected and for him to relive the Battle of the Department of Mysteries makes so much sense, since to our knowledge it was his darkest hour and it was the starting point of his fall from grace and the troubles in his family. Following the conversation they had in the previous chapter, I think that battle made such a big impact on Lucius' subconscious because it was the source of his son's troubles. That lead to the events we saw in "Half Blood Prince" and in "Marked". I guess that on some strange and twisted level he is trying to make it right for his son by winning that battle.

Moving on from Malfoy Manor to Astoria's house, I just find her and Daphne's conversations so hilariously inappropriate. Having a younger sibling myself, I could never have those kinds of talks. It's better as the older one to keep an air of mystery around oneself and be regarded as somebody who knows what they're doing, instead of shattering all illusions that you somehow mastered the secret of life. In my opinion. Although, in the whole Astoria/Daphne dynamic, I think Astoria is the one who is "older", mainly because she realized at a young age that life isn't about being "Mrs. Somebody", but also about being your own person.

And thank you so much for the cliffhanger. I honestly missed one of those! Now go write because I need to know what happens next, the curiosity is killing me over here!

You did such an amazing job on this chapter, it was a pleasure to read! :)

Author's Response: Hi, Ral! It has taken me ages to get around to answering these reviews. Unconscionable, I say!

I never would have dreamed of skipping the Manor scene. For Lucius and Narcissa, I thought this was *the* key scene of the entire story. It shows that the Malfoy family as a whole is finally moving on from their past. Lucius might not fully realize he's doing it, but that's another aspect of the situation. Narcissa and Draco really assume leadership of the family at this point.

I enjoy writing Narcissa in anything that happens after Lucius is arrested in the Department of Mysteries. Her entire character changed for me in Spinner's End. It became plainly obvious that she really was willing to do anything to protect her son, including defying the Dark Lord's direct orders. What's a little dust-up with Gamp and Flint compared to that?

Poor Lucius has lost the plot, as the Brits say. He has moments of clarity, like we saw in the last chapter, but under duress he loses his handle on reality. To me, he was sort of careening back and forth among lots of different memories, some in the Department of Mysteries and others from the first war. The only thing that matters, I suppose, is that he kept fighting.

Daphne and Astoria have an odd relationship, no? Most of the time Daphne tries to play the protective older sister. When she's upset, however, the roles seem to get reversed. Daphne is alarmed to see her marriage in trouble after less than a week and she's desperately hoping that her calmer, more rational younger sister will think of something that she's missed.

I promise that I'm trying very hard to wrap up the next chapter. The ending is pretty easy, but getting the beginning right is killing me. Back to work...

Thanks so much for all of your awesome support and reviews!


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Review #10, by Courtney Dark 

30th September 2013:
Hey there!

First of all, sorry it's taken me so long to get around to this chapter. I'd say life has been hectic but it hasn't really. So my excuse is that I am clearly one of the most lazy human beings to walk the earth.

Anyway, I loved this chapter, particularly the fight scene. I thought it was extremely well written and I'm not quite sure how you managed to pull it off - if I attempted to write something like that, it would probably be complete rubbish.

I think my two favourite characters during and before the fight scene would have to have been Narcissa and Lucius. Narcissa because I loved how strong you made her and how strong Draco saw her as being. I also loved this stony sort of fierceness she had about her, if that makes any sense. Both her character and her relationship with Draco are exactly how I imagine, from reading the HP books.

I also really liked Lucius in this chapter. Well, I didn't actually like him as a character, but I love how you have written him as completely barmy, still believing that he is the Department of Mysteries. It's very interesting to read!

I also enjoyed the small section of Astoria's point of view, because it was nice to see a snippet of her relationship with Daphne.

And then that cliffhanger at the end! How could you?? I'm already eager for the next chapter!

Courtney:)

Author's Response: Hi, Courtney!

No need to apologize. The laziness bug bites all of us from time to time. For instance, I'm not nearly as far along on the next chapter as I planned to be. :(

I really enjoy writing fight scenes. In this story and in CoB, they have always been my favorite parts. If I have any sort of trick to writing them, it's just trying to keep a really clear mental picture of where everyone is positioned and what they're doing as the scene develops. Then you just do your best to make sure that comes through in the words.

Eek. I'm not sure how much I want people to like Lucius, but I guess he does come to the rescue in this scene. He has mostly lost his marbles, but he still has enough martial skills to help keep his wife and son alive.

I am glad you like Narcissa. The more I write her, the more I've started to like her, too. She's a very different type of "mother figure" from Lily Potter or Molly Weasley, but I think that's part of the appeal. Her background and her values system is completely different, but she doesn't love her son any less.

I felt like Astoria got shorted a little in this chapter, but there really wasn't much else to say. It's that mysterious knock on the door that's never good news...

All I can say about the next chapter is I'm working on it. Hopefully, it's worth the wait. :)

Thanks so much for reading and reviewing!


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Review #11, by patronus_charm 

27th September 2013:
Life is so hectic at the moment so apologies for the age in me getting here and the minuscule length of this review!

I really loved the darker side to this story with the beginning! I have a feeling something big and not so nice is about to happen and I can't wait to find out what it is. Ah, I can't seem to formulate what I have my head into words. Ok, here I go again. I really love how you've a negative impact of the war aftermath. It's just nice to see that the Death Eaters are angry and want revenge (obviously not for the Muggleborns but you get what I mean). It just makes it more accurate and realistic and really exciting about what's going to happen.

Also the anger Goyle sort of held for Malfoy was great as the shift in power is interesting to observe. Just all of these reactions from all of them are spot on in my opinion!

Two characters really stood out for me in this chapter. The first was Gamp because I still love him in the sense of him being an excellent villain. They're rather hard to come across, but seeing him here made me insanely happy as he's just so vindictive and merciless that it will be interesting to see what lengths he goes to.

Then Lucius! I loved how he stood up for his son and cursed Flint because I never thought he would do that for him with the way he was trying to persuade Draco into Gamp and all that lot. It will be interesting to watch him and see what his actions are because I just can't guess!

Great chapter!

Author's Response: Hi, Kiana!

First off, you should never apologize for sparing the time to let an author know what you thought about a chapter. We all know what a rare and wonderful thing it is.

The story has turned quite dark at this point. Draco is well beyond the point where he's going to humor Flint and Gamp. He watched his father grovel before the Dark Lord, so he knows where that kind of appeasement leads. He just wants to be left alone.

I'm not sure that Goyle is angry at Draco, per se. He's just faced with a choice: trust Gamp or trust Draco. At this point, Gamp has given Goyle a lot more reason to believe that he's trustworthy. I remember Crabbe in the Room of Requirement, telling Draco that he wasn't going to take orders from him. I always felt like there was some genuine resentment there for all the years that Draco treated them both like brainless lackeys.

After writing him into two stories, I've really come to enjoy Jeremy Gamp as a villain. He's ruthless and brutal and more than a little insane. You never know when he's going to snap.

Old Lucius really came through for Draco in this chapter, didn't he? I really struggle with trying not to make him more than he is. He is only a shadow of his former self and he's definitely losing his marbles, but even in his weakened state he's able to hold his own for a while against the likes of Gamp and Flint. They simply don't have the martial skills.

I'm really glad that you enjoyed it. Thanks so much for all of your awesome reviews and congratulations on your well-deserved Dobby!


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Review #12, by DumbledoresArmyOfOne 

23rd September 2013:
Whew! I've been on a Detox marathon for the past couple of nights and you leave THIS as the last chapter. Oh dear, I'm not sure how I'll survive until the next update!

That was probably the best fight scene I've read on this site. Your characterization of Narcissa is so perfect - she's probably my favourite character. Calm, cool and collected, as well as resourceful and deadly. What a woman.

I especially love the line where Narcissa said that if Bellatrix had received that particular heirloom, she would have burned down the whole island.

I love the way you portray Draco as toeing the line. Alcoholic, unstable and with a truly deadly temper, he's also powerful and you've included these redeeming factors that are impossible to ignore. His dedication to his family, his determination and love for his family (and Astoria of course) make him impossible to dismiss as corrupted, without letting us forget his fatal flaws.

But back to my outrage... how could you leave us with a cliffhanger like that? I'll have gone mad by the next update, I really will.

Please continue to be fantastic.
~Gilly

Author's Response: Hi, there!

Sorry about the cliffhanger. Originally, this chapter was supposed to have extended to cover Draco's big showdown with Gamp and the others, but it was already getting long and I had to cut it off somewhere. I'm working on the next one, which should be a doozy!

I'm really glad that you liked the fight scene. They're some of my favorite things to write! I think Narcissa has survived far too much by this point to get flustered in the face of a bunch of rank amateurs like Flint and Goyle. Once she feels like Draco and Lucius have the situation under control for a moment, she digs into her bag of old Black family relics and unleashes a dose of nasty on the conspirators.

Draco has been riding the ragged edge for the past couple of chapters, but things have started to come together in his head at this point. If only he can keep that head attached to his shoulders, he should be in good shape.

I promise to try to turn the next chapter around a bit more quickly, although I feel like work is about to throw me a major curve. We shall see...

Thanks for reading and reviewing!


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Review #13, by Sharvi 

19th September 2013:
Heyo! First of all- that fight scene was completely amazing! Really truly great. And the ending with Narcissa and what I think was fiendfyre was spectacular. While reading it I was wondering how she would stop the fire because Crabbe couldn't in the Room of Requirement. I can totally imagine an old Black giving the locket to Narcissa, and telling her to keep it safe from her deranged sister!

I also found the way you portrayed Narcissa as this really calm and collected woman, who at all times is in control of her emotion so true to what she seemed like in the books.

And the extremely one-sided conversation between Astoria and Daphne was hilarious! "Interrupt our lovemaking because his drink was empty and he wanted a refill? ... Am I that boring?” HAHAHA!

Finally Draco comes to the rescue and I wonder how Astoria and Daphne will react to Draco's story (I hope he tells them the whole truth!)

Cannot wait for the next chapter!! =)

Author's Response: Hi!

I really enjoy writing fight scenes, so I'm glad you liked this one. The locket essentially contained a form a Fiendfyre invented by one of Draco's ancestors that was bound to the locket and controllable by whoever possessed it. I thought that would be a perfect "family heirloom" for the noble and demented House of Black. I think of Narcissa as a very powerful woman whose upbringing gave her that imperturbable air.

I really debated whether to include the section with Daphne and Astoria, so I'm glad you liked it. I've included sections for both Draco and Astoria in every chapter so far, so it would have felt weird to leave her out of this one.

Draco is on his way. Will he come to the rescue? Find out soon. ;)

Thanks for reading and reviewing!


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