So, I religiously followed this story while you were actively posting on it. I just found it again in my favorites and saw that there was a chapter that I hadn't reviewed. So I dropped by. :] I wish you'd continue this! I'd forgotten how much I loved it...
Anyhow, ahh...I just love this story. This chapter was no exception. There was so much happening! Hermione and Draco kissing! And then Harry and Ron leaving! And Ginny actually believing that Harry doesn't love her. MADNESS. I was enthralled throughout the whole chapter, really.
I love your Hermione/Draco interaction. Both of their characterizations really lend themselves to this story. I admire that. I was so surprised, though, when Draco accepted Yaxley's proposal. Ahhh! WHAT WILL HAPPEN? I may never know...
Ginny was interesting to me, here. I'm really surprised that she would believe Harry when he said he didn't love her. And Harry himself! How foolish to leave Hermione behind, even in her fragile state. And Ron's being a real brat. Ugh. As usual!
I really think you've been doing a terrific job with this story and I truly wish you'd continue someday. I hope you're well!
--Emily Report Review
oh. my. gosh. I don't think you even know how beautiful your story is. I just read all the available chapters in one go, and I must say, it's heartbreakingly breathtaking. The plotline is so perfectly planned, and although it's not one with lots of cliffhangers that make you scream at the author to update, it's one that keeps you hanging onto every word.
The story is so dark, but in a good way. The relationship between Draco and Hermione is so believable, and I love that. You didn't rush their relationship, and their troubled lives bind them together. The way that they can only break down in front of each other and will do anything to spare the other's pain...I feel like I want to die.
I know, I'm pathetic. Your story hasn't brought me to tears yet, but I'm sure it will in the future. It's a totally different take on the Harry Potter series. Harry's side is now the losing, betrayed side full of mysterious signs and ominous deaths, whereas J.K. Rowling depicts his side as the optimistic side, full of temperamental Gryffindors that easily defeat the enemy.
The emotions in your story are so turbulent that they make me feel desperate for it all to end. And the way you sometimes write in ways that are difficult to understand just adds to that affect, that time passes so quickly and decisions are so impulsive and not thought over that...AUGH. I'm having a hard time expressing myself now. See what your story has done to me?? Goodness.
I REALLY need to see an update. Your story has now become one of my absolute favorites, and I love your writing so much. Waiting for more darkness to come.Author's Response: Thank you so much for your review. I've been away from the writing world for a very long time - far too long. But your review reminds me that, when life is difficult, you should always run back to writing. ^_^ I am so excited and moved that this story means something to you. And because of you, I'll do my best to update the moment the queue reopens in January. You are very far from pathetic - you're finding meaning in stories, which I would argue is the entire point of being alive. ^_^ I honestly cannot thank you enough for this review, that has made me smile and laugh and dance around my room in turns. If there is anything I can do for you, please don't hesitate to ask. And I'm beyond ecstatic that you delve into the relationship between Draco & Hermione. *jumps up and down* You're the reason I want to come back. :) xoxo Report Review
>.< CAN NOTHING GO RIGHT? (excellent chapter btw) but omg nonono Report Review
awe they're soo cute. :) I liked this to muchAuthor's Response: Thank you! I hope you enjoy the rest- xoxo. :) Report Review
e. I smiled so big when I read that "i love you' just ugh. ohmygod. This is great:) BUT RON. OH RON :| AND HIS FATHER? why:sAuthor's Response: I really hope that Draco saying that doesn't come off as premature. ^_^ He's almost testing the words. I loved writing it. And you're aren't going to like me very much if you're worried about Ron now. *fidgets* Thanks for reading :) xoxo Report Review
oh. my. god. I want to say I didn't like this but I realllyyy did, it was excellent. :) but I'm nervous nowAuthor's Response: Thank you! I love your dilemma ^_^ I was very nervous writing it so I hope you're enjoying! xoxo Report Review
IT WAS HER PARENTS... OHgod. This was great.:)Author's Response: It was indeed. ^_^ Thank you! xoxo Report Review
:O ohmy. twiissst, this was really good though! :)Author's Response: Thank you! Those twists. *nods sagely* :) xoxo Report Review
This sounds really good:) I"m excited to read moreeAuthor's Response: Thank you so much for giving Safe your time! :) I hope you enjoy! xoxo Report Review
AH!! update quickly! i love thisAuthor's Response: Thank you! ^_^ Hope you're having a wonderful night- xoxo. Report Review
Ksoo, I'm like really confused at the moment. I don't quite get what happened in this chapter. Sure, it might be the fact that I'm reading this at one in the morning, but... Anyway, I'll continue and might understand a little more. Keep writing, so when I catch up there's more!! (:(:(:Author's Response: I'm sorry that it's confusing ^_^ I think the writing gets better in later chapters, and understanding gets better around 10am, so maybe we can meet each other half way? :) Thank you so much for your support! I hope you are having a wonderful day! xoxo Report Review
He accepted Voldemorts offer!!! Is the weasley family dead? if so how did ginny survive??
I loved this chapter. I'm so sorry i havent read this story in a while. I almost forgot what was going on in it. But this chapter was so well written, i understood what was happening!!
This story is great. Update please!! 10/10 =]Author's Response: You are full of wonderful questions ^_^ They will be answered next chapter. Thank you so much for reading! I haven't updated in ages and I am so very sorry for being MIA. I just saw your lovely review and it made me jump up and down in circles! ^_^ I hope you are having a wonderful night! xoxo Report Review
I LOVE IT. Your story is so well-paced & I'm so addicted. :) Definitely one of the best Dramione's I've read.Author's Response: Thank you so much for your kind & encouraging words! I'm truly glad that you are enjoying it! I adore your pen name, by the way. Very, very true. ^_^ I hope you're well and thank you for taking the time to read! xoxo Report Review
I Like, I Lust, I Love!!Please Update Soon!!Author's Response: I'm so glad you enjoyed! ^_^ Thank you for reading! xoxo Report Review
OMG this is probable one of the best harry potter fanfictions i ever or at least the best Dramione. Your a great writer and I can't wait til the next chapter.Author's Response: Thank you so much for your wonderful enthusiasm and encouragement ^_^. I'm thrilled that you are enjoying the story, and thank you so much for being the delightful reader that you are! xoxo Report Review
When I read the words, I love you< come from Draco, I literally died a little inside. It was so adorable, and unexpected. You are a wonderful writer!! You're defiantly one of my favorites!!
ilovetowrite_dmAuthor's Response: You are such a lovely person ^_^ I second guessed myself so much when I wrote those words - I'm so glad that you liked them! I'm literally fidgeting and smiling like a maniac because of your encouragement. Thank you! I hope you are having a fabulous night! xoxo Report Review
Today is the first time I've read your story. You are an AMAZING writer. This story is ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC!!! If i could give you a higher rating than 10/10, believe me it would be! Thank you for writing this wonderful story!
ilovetowrite_dmAuthor's Response: You have completely brightened an otherwise overcast day ^_^ I'm absolutely thrilled that you are enjoying it! Thank you so much for reading Safe, and thank you for taking the time to leave a review! I hope you continue to love the story! ^_^ xoxo Report Review
AH!!! He's hiding his dark mark! Hermione! Ginny! GET AWAY FROM HIM!! I was really liking Draco in this one. *pouts* argh.
-LauraAuthor's Response: I can reassure you that Draco doesn't have a Dark Mark. What that means is up to you ^_^ I'm such a terrible person! If he hands Harry over, I will still love him. May I borrow your moral compass? ^_^ Glad you're enjoying and have a wonderful night! xoxo Report Review
Hey, Sarah. Since you left two wicked awesome reviews of Tracker, I thought I would repay the favor.
So it's onto Chapter Fifteen of Safe, is it? You know, I remember when this story just had twelve little chapters! *sighs, pinches cheek* Time flies! ;) And you've gotten much better as a writer even in the short space of time since Chapter Twelve, not that I did not like the title ("A New Home"... *snuggles!*) or the wonderful blanket nugget. ^_^ Still, people get older and wiser, and so you have, young grasshopper.
And now I'm reading emotional (incredibly well-written) angst. Oh fun. Let the games begin. ^_^
I am struck by how completely and utterly broken Hermione is at this point; it's incredibly well-written! Yet, awesomely, no where do you have "Hermione was completely and utterly broken" written anywhere (I *checked*), which means that you have gotten to the point where I don't even think you write in author voice anymore! That's really inspiring. I envy you. [Seriously- Look outside your window. There are lots of buckets. They are full of envy.]
Something I liked about this chapter: "Draco had not moved from the base of the tree. He surveyed her tense form, her balled fists. As he spoke, he chose his words carefully, trying to keep his voice calm. He would not lie to her." It's becoming more and more obvious to me that, through the early chapters, the way Draco showed he cared about Hermione was by trying to shield his feelings from her. It's like he wanted to contain his damage so as not to damage her. It's now that he's starting to change, and we can tell that it's difficult because in some ways it would be easier to lie and less painful for her. But he's decided not to let himself lie, and he doesn't. Powerful stuff! ^_^
And, of course, the crescendo! The Dramione in this chapter, the first Dramione kiss in Safe. Thank you for not making it read something like this:
"Draco," Hermione sobbed hormonally, "Harry and Ron left me!"
"I will never leave you!" Draco whispered--running his fingers through his blonde locks--as he moved his face closer to hers.
"I love you Draco!" *eats breath mint*
"NO, I love YOU, Hermione."
*snog session ensues*
I mean THAT ^^ would have been ICKY, and this is not icky! Congratulations! :) The issue I suppose that some find an issue (I personally, don't) is that Draco and Hermione haven't actually acknowledged their feelings for each-other. What a pesky technicality! ;) They aren't--what's the word nowadays?--"official." Draco is actually convinced that Hermione can't possibly feel that way for him, that she is trying to feel wanted and needed and is using him.
The fact that he honestly believes it and is willing to let her do it anyway is beautiful. Really beautiful and incredible and... you've written love, really.
And did I mention that I want inside Hermione's head to get her thoughts on this? Can I put that in the comment box? ^_^
[Begins objective criticism, things you might want to fix, now]
Moving onto the next scene--Ginny. I don't really have a lot to say about this, to be honest, except to give you a bit of constructive criticism. Some of the dialogue is a bit forced-- and I know it's between the Minister and Ginny, so in a way it should be--but it feels sort of unnatural-forced, not good-forced.
"Interesting," he murmured, "Very interesting. So you think those two are together? Separated from Mr. Potter, or accompanying him?"
I can't see the Minister of Magic saying, "So you think those two are together?" I just can't!! ^_^ Most of the dialogue in this chapter but that *winces* isn't very believable to me. Sorry. Oh! And I also love the Gollum-channeling. "Interesting... very interesting..." ;)
And sometimes the bits like "She composed her face into an expression of disdain" struck me as odd. You know, like that---> *squints, arranges look of disdain!*.
Moving onto the scene after that-- the only advice I would give is that Ron is not perfectly articulate...and neither is Harry. I think you walk a fine line in having two people very un-inclined to talk about their feelings, ever, do nothing but talk about their feelings. ^_^ It works here, but just, be careful!! *nods*
I'm running out of space, so I must be brief! About the final ultimatum, sorry. I am not going to predict what will happen because 1) I want to see what you come up with and 2) I hate being wrong. Teehee. ^_^
Honestly, though, what's scary is that I don't think it would be OOC for Draco to try and protect Hermione and to accept the deal. It's masterful that you have created a character that we, the readers, feel like we know so well because of your *awesome* writing. Yet, we obviously don't know him well enough!!! *dramatic music ensues*
:D Epic. Loved it. So what do I say now?
Adding to favorites!!! omg!!!
& my personal favorite
Update soon? ;)
Yeah I think that covers it.
HallowsAuthor's Response: Thank you for such detailed feedback over all of the main elements of the chapter! It is odd to think of this story as it was in Chapter 12. I felt like I was stepping onto the brink and now I feel like I have crossed it. Time truly does fly, and I'm pleased that you consider the story to be progressing in sophistication. Thank you so much.
I love that you are finding depth in the emotional turmoil. Fourteen & fifteen are so depressing; I think I need some sort of singing animal to hold out a Hallmark Card. On second thought, maybe I should cancel the chanting puppy? There might be holdouts who think this story will be fluffy! I'd hate to give them false hope. ;-)
In all seriousness, I've really enjoyed writing the darker chapters. They are harder, as evidenced by the horrific updating time, but they are much more rewarding.
Hermione's characterization is very much in flux right now, so I am going to seize upon this opportunity to discuss it with you ^_^ She is, as you say, completely and utterly broken. She's in pieces. When I set out to write, I wanted to know what happened when people are completely and utterly shattered. I wanted to understand what that looked like. Writing it through Hermione has been terrifying; it's so intensely personal to me. This is what I wanted to know and I hope I am finding the answer. I hope you continue to find it realistic. Truly, that means the world to me.
I adore the buckets placed across my lawn. ^_^ Author voice and hackneyed idioms are two things I truly struggle with; your compliments are very reassuring.
You are completely correct about Draco's transformation. His occurs so gradually; I was afraid that it would not shine though. You phrase it perfectly. He tried to contain his damage, despite her attempts to force him to be honest with her. Now, he's forcing himself to be honest with her. He's forcing himself not to give her any sort of escape. He wants her to face this pain and to beat it. And that choice is putting him through hell.
I expected some sort of uproar over the first kiss, but the sound & fury have been relatively calm. I love the lead in you gave it - the crescendo! *dramatic music ensues* I felt as if every single reader was staring at me as I wrote it, warning me not to screw it up. I think I just had an out of body experience as I read your version. That is quite possibly the most freaking hilarious thing anyone has ever written for me. Between the breath mint and the blond locks - I find myself literally rolling around on the floor. I hope if I wrote that, the police would come after me. That it would be illegal. That someone would stop me from mucking up the entire story. ^_^
You're right about Draco - he doesn't believe it. He doesn't think there is any way in hell that Hermione could love him. He thinks that she is using him as a distraction, a coping mechanism, & that she wants to feel wanted. And he's willing to metaphorically kill himself to let her do it. He knows what it is going to cost him. And he doesn't care.
"You've written love, really."
I cannot keep myself from staring at that. Thank you for making me feel like I've done something as a writer. I cannot express my gratitude or possibly hope to repay you.
You are welcome to put that in the comment box ^_^ Did the pesky writer not allow you to see Hermione's thoughts on the matter? *gasps* I cannot believe she did that! Who does she think she is?!? :)
I too am running out of space! I completely agree with your critique - Ginny's portion of the chapter was unquestionably the weakest. As for Ron & Harry, I promise to be careful.
And I'm thrilled to pieces that you think Draco turning Harry over to the Death Eaters would be a plausible option. I really did not mean it to be an, "Oh, he doesn't mean it, of course!" ultimatum. Thank you for saying that. And I love how you've written about the readers' knowledge of Draco.
Thank you so much for your insight! xoxo Report Review
*Helicopter blades whir overhead, spinning out the tune of Hedwig's Theme. A myriad of beautiful, bright lights, flash. A flag flies from it bearing the Hogwarts Crest. Everyone stops & stares upward, mouths falling open and eyes widening. "Who...who is that?" you gasp, jumping up and down with excitement.
A pink-and-purple rope ladder suddenly dangles out of an open doorway of the helicopter. A figure clad in ninja-esque robes of Hufflepuff yellow-and-black begins descending from it, something sticking out from the sides of its mouth. It reaches the bottom rings of the ladder before falling off.
The crowd breathes collectively in horror. But then a large yellow-and-black parachute with a ninja badger on top pops from the person's back, unfurling above like some giant, mutated flower. The crowd applauds at the fake-out and whistles. "Who could be that awesome? Ohmygosh, they're leaving me a review!" you clap your hands together, thrilled, and grin from ear to ear.
Finally, the person lands, right in front of you. It's me! And the thing sticking out of my mouth is a long-stemmed red rose. I pull it out, curtsy to you, and give you the lovely red rose (thornless, of course).
I give you a warm hug. "I had to find a more original way of saying 'hello,'" I tell you with a laugh.
To start off: I really do love how you write Draco.
You make him into a real person, not some two-dimensional character; I've read so many Dramiones where Draco has the same, cliche role: he's overly sarcastic, but in an oh-so-charming way; or he's too moody - one minute he's all "I HATE YOU HERMIONE YOU EFFING ***BLOOD!" (gotta star out that wizard swear word,hehe :P) and then he's all "Oh Hermione my sweet angel let me kiss those rose-like lips of yours and let's get married and have kids and buy a thousand puppies and I'll name each one after you!"; or he's suddenly super duper nice and loves Hermione automatically because she's "pretty."
Now please excuse me while I go dry-heave and then bash my head repeatedly against a brick wall.
The funny thing is, in canon, I dont like Draco at all. Remember how we were both talking about this - Draco is a coward, a very *despicable* coward. A jerk. That's how I see him and I believe that's how Jo intended her readers to see him - the anti-Harry.
But fanon Draco - well, he's quite charming, isn't he? Like movie Draco (more canon than fanon, of course): how can you not love him when he's played by the amazing Tom Felton? *fangirl swoon* So you gotta love movie-Draco. Book-Draco? Eh, not so much at all. And then there's fanfic-Draco...
As I mentioned a few paragraphs above, fanfic-Draco can be incredibly cliched. It can be really hard to avoid these cliches, and even some really talented writers fall into this trap. But you did not: you made Draco into an actual, tangible human being. Your version of Draco is the bad boy every girl wants. Your version of Draco is a breath of fresh air.
That being said, I don't consider this Draco as the Draco from the books. I consider this Draco as your own personal spin on him. Same with Hermione, actually. They both have to be OOC for this story to work. And that's fine! It works here, because your Draco is real, panoramic, deep, vulnerable, strong. This story does have to have OOCness from the characters to work, but you pull it off! :)
By the way, I LOVE the titles you pick for the chapters. They are insightful and meaningful and always fit the chapter context wonderfully.
Complaints: The whole dialogue thing again. Is it a mortal error? Of course not. Is it something that, if fixed, will make your story shine even brighter? I believe so, yes. :)
A few examples:
"'Hermione, I'm never in control. That's the problem, can't you see that?' She scowled."
"'No, Snape did.' Draco shook his head, looking at the ground."
"'Can I land now?' Malfoy rolled his eyes."
^ Do you see what I mean? The last one could really mislead someone. Just make the actions into a new paragraph or add 'Hermione said' or something of the like after the dialogue and you'll be good to go!
Suggestion - change some of your passive voice to active voice. It's usually cleaner this way and almost always makes for a stronger sentence. Passive voice generally works better with first person, though it can work with third person. But, sometimes, I think active voice packs a harder punch. Here's what I mean:
"Draco was watching her..." could be changed to 'Draco watched her.'
"The wind was whipping through her hair as she passed the Greenhouses, which were reflecting the light of the sunset." could be changed to 'The wind whipped through her hair as she passed the Greenhouses, which reflected the light of the sunset."
Do you see what I mean? :) What you have is NOT grammatically incorrect, but I still wanted to show you a suggestion.
The only scene I didn't like with this chapter was the one with Ron. :'( Poor Ron! Why did Hermione get so furious with him? Can't she see the poor boy is only jealous! Ohhh, the agony for a Romione shipper such as myself!! *Holds head and sinks to the floor*
I must really love you if I keep torturing myself with the lack of Ron&Hermione in this story and the surplus of Draco/Hermione. ;) Hahah. You should be flattered! Lol, as you said: "How are we even friends?" we have such different shipping viewpoints. I suppose it's because we are both tolerant, reasonable, and generally AWESOME! :P Plus, I can enjoy this story because it is so well-written, and because Dramiones can be quite fun to read (and sometimes write...SHHH!!).
It seems we just keep missing each other! We need to regroup and converse, STAT! Here are my own cookies I baked for you, in your favorite flavor with pink icing and purple sprinkles! Take one now, & you can have the rest the next time we talk. XP Hey, I never said I wouldn't resort to bribery! I learned from the best (YOU)!. heheh ^_^Author's Response: *seizes purple & pink cookie*
Your introductions never fail to brighten my day! ^_^ And you're nice enough to give me a review, a rose without thorns (how thoughtful!), and amass a crowd at my doorstep! How can I possibly compete with that?!
Your word choice also never fails to make me smile! ^_^ If I may be horribly informal, Draco is so freaking difficult to write. In the books, he's despicable. He's so full of cowardice & viciousness in the early novels; he never grows out of the cowardice, as far as we can tell. The viciousness is replaced by such a repugnant set of priorities by Book 7, as proven by his conflict with the Trio in the Room of Requirement. He's the product of circumstance, but there also seems to be an intrinsic darkness to his character. If Harry did not vanquish Voldemort, I'm reasonably sure that Draco would eventually become as evil as his father; he actively works to shut down his compassion. I love his dialogue in the books because he's ridiculously witty. He's so much sharper than Harry as far as the creation of comebacks is concerned (not that that is a positive personality trait!) His conceit makes him utterly absurd, but he has the dialogue to match ^_^. Your description of the commonly portrayed fan fiction Draco is also accurate. We should all want someone in our lives who wants us based upon such superficial criteria.
To me, Draco is the main character in Safe. If you told me that you thought all of the other characterizations were spot on, except for Draco, I would join you in head bashing. The best advice I've ever had in writing is that your characters have to be breathing, living people beyond your page. You are responsible for painting an accurate picture, for taking an accurate snapshot, because your writing is the only part of their lives that the reader will see. That said, I'm responsible for telling the story of my Draco. Not JKR's Draco. And I'm glad that you appreciate that he isn't completely complaint with cannon, and are willing to meet me halfway ^_^
I'm still smiling at the idea that Draco is the "bad boy every girl wants". Not that you're wrong. If I could have the Draco I've come to know, I would take him in an instant. But he would be utterly nonplussed to think of himself that way. It would never, ever cross his mind. He thinks of himself as beyond redemption. So, we mustn't tell him we think this!
I am so very glad that you don't find him cliche. I think there are moments when I make him slightly more melodramatic than he is, but apart from that, I think he's authentic. He's very real to me, so I'm glad you find him real to you ^_^
I am so sorry for the dialogue! I feel like I should offer some sort of recompense for the pain the readers (yourself included) have endured. It gets better - I promise! And thank you so much for not dropping the story because of how irritating it the dialogue is! I so appreciate it! *hugs* You are the best ^_^
And thank you so much for pointing out passive voice - that's something I'll watch for! I really do appreciate the tip! I want to get better! :)
I think Ron is a tad two dimensional in this chapter - and I appreciate your angst as a Ron/Hermione shipper ^_^ I've worked to rectify that since, and I hope you'll keep me posted on your Ron thoughts! I do want to hear all of them ^_^ That's literally the only ship I don't think I could ever write, and you are kind enough to read my shenanigans anyway! *hugs*
Thank you for your feedback. I cannot adequately thank you; I appreciate it beyond anything I could ever express. When all of these chapters are edited, your comments will be so helpful. And they are beyond helpful now as I keep trying to improve ^_^ Thank you! Thank you! xoxo
P.S. Bribery is so legit. And Hedwig's theme is the shiz. ^_^ Report Review
Hi there! ^_^ I absolutely loved the cupcake you gave me in response to your last review. 'Twas delicious. Thankies!
This chapter, as all your others, was beautiful. So, so beautiful, Sarah.
My only complaint is the way you sometimes follow dialogue with the name of a character who isn't speaking. I believe I pointed this out to you a few chapters back. You barely did it in this chapter, which is great because it can get confusing. Examples of what I mean:
"'Go and tell Ginny how you feel. Who cares about Dean? Ginny's old enough to decide. 'Harry gaped at her."
^ Hermione said these words; Harry performed the action of gaping at her, correct? But it makes it look like Harry said these words *while* gaping at her. You can easily fix this by making Harry's actions start a new paragraph instead of following the dialogue. Or just put 'Hermione said' (spruce that up a bit if you don't want to be so simple) and THEN put 'Harry gaped at her.'
"'Ginny, are you happy with him?' She froze, her hair swaying in front of her face as her fingers stilled their movement on the bird's leg."
^ Do you see how I could get confused?
There were a few more examples, but I think you get the idea. :) Not trying to nitpick.
I think 'Safe' is a beautiful title; I knew it had to have some great significance to the story, though the meaning always floated above my head - just out of my grasp; even as I stretched my fingers they just barely managed to brush against the syllables, connotative meaning, & symbolism before slipping away again.
But then I read somebody else's review on a chapter. I wish I could say I was perceptive enough to grab the conclusion on my own, but one of my fellow reviewers was the one who made everything about the title click into place: the title is more of a theme, isn't it? 'Safe' - Hermione is safe with Draco. 'Safe' - exploring the dynamics of relationships and how we come to give ourself up to one person enough to be safe by them.
Now I have been reflecting on this, and I wanted to tell you how brilliant this is. There was something you said in response to the review I left of the last chapter, something along the lines of: "Hermione makes Draco stronger, but Draco makes Hermione weaker." This, to me, really brought home more of the symbolic meaning on the title.
Safe - a safe haven - Draco is her safe haven, her sanctuary in time of need. Draco is the one to pick up her pieces. Draco. Okay, yes, I get it...now to delve even deeper in this, I thought of this: a safe haven is a hindrance. *You gape at me like I'm an idiot* No, no, hear me out!
A sanctuary (as Draco is to Hermione) is a very dangerous thing. You (not specifically YOU-you, but the general idea of you) are putting so much of yourself into this safe place; you depend on it so much. It's like the whole thing with dependence - to depend on somebody - some may say that it is weak and spineless to depend on someone so whole-heartedly. I disagree - I think to depend on someone, to put all of yourself into a relationship, to give away your heart; why, that is one of the bravest things you can do, to take that leap of faith.
So I thought about the "Draco makes Hermione weaker" aspect, and tied it in with the title. Now your title holds a paradoxical meaning to me. Draco makes Hermione safe. *Dangerously* safe. Like Lily and James Potter living in Godric's Hollow - they were safe there, but that level of safety, of only having one haven to rely on, is very dangerous indeed - if (in their case, unfortunately, *when*) your sanctuary crumbles, then you crumble with it, for you have no other place to go.
So the level of safety Hermione is getting from Draco is actually a hindrance to her. A beautiful shelter that protects her from harm, but in doing so is bleeding away her independence and making her rely so fully on him. Like a wall of thorny roses - on the inside, she's protected by the glory and gorgeousness of the roses, but should she try to leave and cross over to the outside, she will be injured and poked and scratched and torn at by the roses' sharp thorns. He's a crutch in her time in need, a cast to the broken bones of her soul (wow, that was super melodramatic of me, haha). But you eventually need to walk on your own without a crutch. And if you never learn to do so, what happens when your crutch leaves you before you can accomplish walking on your own?
I may be WAAYY off with my speculation, but this is what the title means to me, at least. Literature is about personal interpretation, right? :)
Hopefully I wasn't way off from your intentions of the title. But what I'm trying to say is: the title is absolutely brilliant! It's perfect with the story. It's deep and it's meaningful. *High-fives repeatedly* THAT'S what I'm trying to say. ^_^ And thank you for having such a wonderful title to such a wonderful story, so that I may actually be able to GAIN something from it.
This story has helped me learn more, just by my title evaluation. THAT'S why this story is special. THAT'S why this story is beautiful. THAT'S why this story connects. You have kissed my heart by doing this, by creating this story with this amazing title and AMAZING theme - so thank you so much. Thank you for teaching me more about myself, more about the power of love and safety. *Wipes away tear and honks nose into Hagrid-size handkerchief, Hufflepuff colors with a badger-shape stitched onto it* ;D
"Next chapter is called "Lessons" - and we have a bit of a Ron/Draco confrontation. So be on the lookout. =)" --- Did I read that right? :O Will there be actual scenes of RON coming up! *Salivates dreamily* YES, CAN'T WAIT to read the next chapter *Happy dance* :D Sounds thrilling! The chapter title sounds intriguing, I'm excited to discover the little mystery that clicked in Hermione's brain at the end of the chapter, and a Ron-Draco confrontation sounds delightful. I miss Ron! *Pouts* haha
TTYL! *hugs* < 3Author's Response: You are wonderful to me! Your reviews make me dance around in circles! While baking cupcakes for your immediate consumption. Eat these too!
I understand exactly what you mean about the dialogue. It's clear to me now that that was a terrible stylistic decision. My justification at the time was that I thought it made the action segue better (which it doesn't). I really didn't know how to go from action to speech in writing, so I put them together. It gets better, I promise. My beta nudges me in the right direction a few chapters on.
You are spoiling me by allowing me to talk about the story as a whole. It helps me sort out everything in my own head. As a writer, I never get to articulate it because none of the characters articulate it. None of the characters understand it, but different characters understand different pieces of it. And you understand it, and you are in Chapter Seven. Which makes you one of the most awesome readers on Earth. ^_^
You are right to say that safety is correlated to dependence, and this is a hindrance to character development. Hermione finds safety in Draco. She learns to rely on him entirely. In this story, she does has a diminished level of independence because she is relying on Draco. The rose comparison was beautiful. The idea that he is her crutch is absolutely correct.
You are right about the hazards: if Draco falls, leaves her, or crumbles, she won't be able to stand. She has poured so much of who she is into this cast (another amazing word) of who he is. Draco knows this, and like you, he understands all of the above. I honestly cannot think of much to add to your beautiful explanation of the conundrum facing Hermione.
I'm going to go off into a tangent about Draco since we're on the subject. You can throw a slipper at the screen if you want me to shut up. ^_^
Draco knows that he is becoming more stable while Hermione is becoming less stable. Initially, he tries to keep Hermione in an entirely separate sphere from the rest of his life; Hermione doesn't tolerate it. He knows that he is becoming all she has; Ron and Harry do not even understand that Hermione is losing control, and that places them beyond her reach.
At the same time, he's allowing her to mean everything to him. He's placing her above everything else and in doing so, he's rapidly losing the ideological footing he stands on. He sees the world as a divided place. In a "Here is how you stay alive" way. Being so deeply involved with someone goes against the way he's learned to protect himself.
But he is deeply involved with Hermione. And in being so, he's saying that there are more important things than survival. Which he doesn't believe. Or at least, he doesn't think he believes.
So in making himself stronger, he's making her weaker. In making her weaker, he's making her need him. And because he places her above everything else, he's losing his sense of self. While Hermione gives him a "You're Not A Death Eater" sense of self, she takes away his "survivalist" sense of self. Which makes him weaker. Which draws her closer to him. Which makes him stronger. Which restarts the whole cycle.
That is the most atrociously convoluted set of statements. Did that even make sense? I don't even know if that's right. I hope that's right.
I'll wait for someone to correct me. ^_^
Argh! You gave me a beautifully eloquent review and I'm giving you something that may or may not make sense. I'm so sorry! *runs under rock*
I'm really touched that you are learning things about yourself. That means the whole world to me ^_^. I started writing to learn about myself. That's what goes down to the core of why I read and write.
I don't even understand how someone could write me such a beautiful review ! My computer has another 24 hours before it is wiped, and then reinstalling the operating system begins! I miss talking to you! *hugs* xoxo
*Door to your reviewing room creaks open as the wintry wind hustles me inside, wearing a travelling cloak and a giant black tophat (just because). I rub my gloved hands together to get warm and waves to fellow reviewers, all gathered around your fireplace as you answer their comments. I hold up a giant mug of steaming hot butterbeer, a shy smile stretching across my face* "Er...hello, Niles," I say, looking down at my black boots, circling the rounded toes of them across your wooden floorboards, stirring up dust. "Do...do you remember me? I...I brought butterbeer, for us to share. And..." I pull out some crumbling cookies from my pocket, shaped into Sirius Black's profile, among other delectable shapes. "I brought the cookies I baked for you a long time ago. Mind, they're a bit...stale..."
I look up, tears glistening in my eyes and take a deep breath. And then...oh, to hell with formalities!! *Throws mug of butterbeer to the floor with a giant crash and sprints toward you, jumping on you with the fiercest hug-tackle you have ever received* It's me!!! *Squeals happily* Oh my gosh, I haven't talked to you in AGES! And I haven't reviewed this positively, dreadfully LOVELY story of yours (and, yes, I did just use 'dreadfully' in a positive way - what now??) in eons!
If you still remember me and my complete and utter head-scratching, should-I-call-the-asylum-or-not strangeness (please see above for example), that is. :)
Annnyway, now on the part you actually care about: me stroking your big, fat ego with all of my wonderful, privileged compliments that all the best writers are dieing to get. (That was me obviously joking, of course. LOL :P)
Okay, so, I return to this story after months of absence *wipes cobwebs from screen and flicks away a dead spider* and I am pleased to see that I still love it! Of course, that is because you are a disgustingly good writer (I dunno what it is with me loving to use commonly negative connotative words as positive ones today O_o), and you actually make me lahve Dramione and actually see the posibility of Harmony (sorry, but I have been and always will be a veteran Romione shipper *salutes you from atop the Good Ship Romione*.) Also, I love Harry and Ginny. So you've managed to infiltrate two of my favorite ships with your amazing writing style and awesome plot.
I love your story, as I have been known to ramble on about in the past. I am an established fangirl *points to shirt I am wearing with your penname on it beneath the banner for Safe* (though I daresay I am more than just a fangirl and actually a dear friend? *bats ridiculously long, lush, beautiful eyelashes at you* haha)
This review has turned out to be less of a review and more of me babbling like a maniac. But which would you rather have: a sophisticated, thorough review or a crazy one with random dancing bananas? *Snaps fingers and random dancing bananas moonwalk across the room, shaking their groove thangs and backflipping off of each others knees like acrobats...yes, don't look at me like that, bananas have knees!*
Uh-oh. I fear I have scared you off. I usually save this kind of completely oddtastic and ludicrously ... unnameable weirdness for those who I talk to on a regular basis and understand how I am so random. So I hope that you can remember my old antics and then not be so scared of me now! ;P
Okay, despite all of that babbling and high-praise, I do have one complaint. The one thing I don't like is that Hermione does seem a bit - now, I'm not going to say 'weaker', because that really is way too harsh a word - er...just not as completely strong-willed and opinionated as she is in canon. I do like how your showing her sweet and sensitive side, but where's that fiery side that'll call people out on their bull poo?
Lots of Love,
Mrs. Foxy Black (aka Sarah)
P.S. What is the significane of the '618' of your penname? Is it a secret code? Will it tell me how to access hidden chapters of this very story?! *Looks around with shifty eyes*
P.P.S. I have pointed this out before, so you are either purposefully ignoring my help and therefore plotting toward world domination, or more likely you just forgot, but: in your story description thing it says "beta'd by the amaing alanapotter" - you forgot the 'z' of 'amazing', missy! Unless 'amaing' is a completely different word than 'amazing' and it is yet another secret clue to find the code of your hidden chapters!?!? *Shifty eyes get even shiftier before flying out off sockets*
P.P.P.S. I'm sorry that I rambled...a lot. :( If ya wanna kick me out of your reviewing sections, then I understand. But I'm warning you: I'm a Ninja 'Puff, so if you DO try to kick me out...*voice drops into an ominous growl* "you'll regret it" *clears throat and repeats it in my normal voice* hahahhaha XP
P.P.P.P.S. Also: you're very welcome and should be honored, considering this is my longest review ever at 869 words and more and more as we speak! (I know the exact amount because I put it into Word Doc. to check --- because I am awesome like that.) Yeah. I dunno what came over me. I'm just really in the mood to leave you stalker-level comments. Teehee? ^_^
(Psst: 923 words now.)Author's Response: Your reviews. Are the most freaking awesome things. In the whole wide world! ^_^ *dives for Sirius Black shaped cookies* --- *GLOMPS* - It had been much too long! Your enthusiasm is such a blessing ^_^.
I love the way you write descriptions. You are such a stealthy, sketchy, wonderfully intense and completely legit ninja! Who could ever forget you?!? *looks high, looks low* Methinks no one! ^_^
You are much too kind to me! I don't even understand your generosity! It's overwhelming. Your panache and verve add to my general giddiness and brighten my day! :) And of course, your colorful use of the English language, oh master of antonyms!
*pulls out cupcake*
I think a cup cake is pretty much the opposite of a cookie. So in honor of your mastery, I think you should eat this lovely, rainbow-colored icing covered vanilla and chocolate cupcake! It rocks. *nods fervently and holds out on plate*
RON HATES SPIDERS. And he's in the story so get it off the screen! *shoves Ron under bed* Let me know when it's safe for him to come out!
Oh, why am I on the ceiling you ask? It's because I don't have the least fear of spiders, thank you very much! Ignore the monstrous brick wall magically assembled between me and that arachnid! *takes another step back*
And of course you are a lovely friend! It's also completely surreal that you like this story! It's surreal that anyone likes this story! I am still continuously giddy (read: psychotic) over any feedback. And yours is so wonderful and encouraging!
The fact that you're enjoying this story as a Harry/Ginny and Ron/Hermione shipper blows my mind. I literally cannot understand my good fortune. *Salutes from Harmony & Dramione ships*
Maybe we give hope to those engaged in ship wars everywhere :)
Your criticism of Hermione is completely legitimate. I have an incredible amount of Hermione's character riding on the first couple of chapters. And looking back, they aren't earth shattering as I thought they were when I wrote them a year ago ^_^. My sister says that in this story, Hermione is "overly scoopable" (scooped up by Draco, Harry). My intention was to create her in such a way that her flight from the Hogwarts Express legitimately undermined her psychological footing. She's not thinking quickly, not acting independently at the moment. She's realizing what it's like to be alone - and she's never had to face that before. And while she makes Draco stronger, he makes her weaker.
Summary of that rant: you're right :) But I hope (crosses fingers) you can see where I'm trying to come from? And I think you'll be a bit happier a chapter or two down the road ^_^
Haha, if 618 gets you into my brain - if you could pull out 16, I would really appreciate it :) It's the house number of the house I grew up in. ^_^
And I'm beyond honored :) Don't you dare leave! Thank you for making my day so awesome! I'll catch you later! (Read: don't drop off the face of the earth or I will come after you!) xoxo Report Review
Whoah! What just happened!?! I don't think I totally understand this part...care to exaplain?
I love the story! Update soon!
~wearefanpiresAuthor's Response: You are making me tread very carefully. ^_^
In this chapter, Draco and Hermione return to the Burrow in order to fetch Ginny. The logic is never forthrightly stated. Draco is aware that, from an objective standpoint, Ginny is leverage in its purest form. She is a Weasley. She is romantically affiliated with Harry. She has ties to the rest of the Order. There are other factors, which I cannot tell you ^_^. In any case, Draco knows that Ginny's safety is paramount.
Draco is unfamiliar with the layout of the Burrow. The only time he has spent inside the place was with Hermione, inside of Ginny's bedroom. Hermione is familiar with the environment, and is also better suited to convince Ginny to leave her family. The danger lies in the fact that the rest of family has discovered the absences of Harry and Ron. If they found Hermione, they would detain her. Hermione attempts to use a talking Patronus to reach Ginny. At this point, Ginny collides with Hermione. We shortly discover that the Death Eaters have taken the Burrow.
I wasn't sure if your confusion rested there, or with Draco's dialogue with Yaxley. ^_^
Yaxley does have a bit of a history in this story. If you look back at Chapter 10, Yaxley is the Death Eater who brings Lucius to Voldemort. I cannot tell you the rest of his involvement. But I did want to verify that Yaxley plays a major role. He is not a randomly placed Death Eater. It would not due to replace Yaxley with Nott, for instance, at any point in the story. ^_^
The phrasing in the conversation is intentionally ambiguous. Draco treads a fine line. He verifies that Yaxley is indeed talking about Hermione, rather than Ginny. And Yaxley offers him a deal: bring the Harry to the Death Eaters, in exchange for Hermione's safety. What kind of safety, specifically, is not stated. Yaxley also implies that Draco would be welcomed back into the Death Eater fold.
Draco accepts Yaxley's offer. And the chapter ends. ^_^
And by accept, I mean he says, "I accept."
Make of that what you will. ^_^
I hope that makes it clearer? If you are sitting there, beating your head against a wall because you understood the above, then I'm sorry for making you sit through such a tedious explanation ^_^ If your confusion lies elsewhere, know that you are supposed to be confused.
I am so thankful to you for reading! Thank you for your wonderful reviews! Have a good night. xoxo Report Review
Harry to the rescue!...again!
I love this story! :DAuthor's Response: I really do love writing the bond between Harry and Hermione. ^_^ And I'm glad that you are enjoying his character, in the context of a Dramione. I adore your reviews and thank you so much for taking the time to read! xoxo Report Review
OMG! It's Hermione's parents that he was supposed to kill, isn't it!?!Author's Response: Precisely. You're very perceptive. ^_^ xoxo Report Review
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