Reading Reviews for The Trick is to Keep Breathing
  
54 Reviews Found

Review #1, by Harry and Ginny Chapter Five

18th July 2010:
i'm so sorry i only got to review now but anyway, i feel bad for Astoria because she has feelings for Draco and is suffering as they aren't together. i can't wait to read more!^_^

10/10

Harry and Ginny

Author's Response: it's okay! thanks for taking the time ^.^

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Review #2, by ssb Chapter Five

20th June 2010:
I love this story, and this chapter was amazing :) Update soon, I'd love to read more!

Author's Response: I'll try! Thanks for reviewing!

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Review #3, by EmilyLewis Chapter Four

18th December 2009:
I hope you continue with this story! I really want to know how it turns out :)

Author's Response: I will, that's a promise. Not inspired at the moment though, but it'll come. Thank you!

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Review #4, by ohsayitaintsox3 Chapter Four

5th October 2009:
Amazing! I lke the angle that you've taken Draco/Astoria from. I especially love your characterization of the two. Can't wait for more.

Great work (:

Author's Response: Thank you so much!

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Review #5, by essenni Chapter Four

23rd September 2009:
This is a very lovely chapter. Correspondence through letters is a slow start, but very promising. Draco would never write every day if he did not have any feelings for her. I hope she will become more confident soon.
Azkaban visit was a good part. You did well with describing the atmosphere; however, I hoped for the conversation with her father, too.
The idea about Nott "learning to be a better person" is great. Sometimes it is so hard to understand people and it gives Astoria a lot of trouble in this story. I guess she will go through a lot of doubt.
I hope that Draco came to her sister just to pay her back for meeting Nott. Although, Astoria will not know the reason anyway and have an emotionally hard time.
Actually, I think that she should have written to Draco herself. She should have realized that he was not writing because of Nott. Or is she so uncertain about Draco's attitude to her?
I'm waiting impatiently for the next chapter.

Author's Response: I thought about writing the conversation between Astoria and her father, but I didn't have the patience for it, I think. I know it was a dumb choice, leaving it out, so I'll try to incorporate such a meeting again in later chapters. It'd be interesting to write Astoria's father.

As for the entire Daphne/Draco/Astoria drama: I'm going to leave some things unsaid, because I don't want to reveal the plotline I'm brewing in my head, but what I can say that yes, Astoria is pretty uncertain. Having lived in her sister's shadow and been reminded about their difference by her mother has left some wounds.

I'll be starting on the fifth chapter soon. Thank you so much for your lovely reviews, essenni!


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Review #6, by essenni Chapter Three

23rd September 2009:
I think you are doing great with describing how Astoria slowly falls in love with Draco. It makes this story very realistic, because nothing happens here like in a fairytale.

Author's Response: Thank you! I want this story to be more realistic than fairytale-ish, so I decided from the beginning to give Astoria's feelings time to develop. Happy to hear that you don't mind that (:

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Review #7, by essenni Chapter Two

23rd September 2009:
Clever move from Draco. He did not show his interest directly, but got another chance to meet her an consider what he wants to do. However, I guess this way of acting will bring a lot of confusion and heartache to Astoria as she will not know for sure what Draco feels for her.

Author's Response: It will indeed! ^-^ Thanks for reviewing!

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Review #8, by essenni Chapter One

23rd September 2009:
Hi! I never considered reading Draco/Astoria story, but then I fell in love with the banner and started reading this one. It's perfect! I'm enjoying every line. You really have got talent for writing. I usually get bored with writing descriptions, but you have done it flawlessly.
I like how you have characterized Nott. He will give a lot of headache for a well-mannered girl like Astoria. I also think that it is great that Draco is patient and did not rescue her from Nott like it happens in fluffy love stories.

Author's Response: I'm happy the descriptions didn't bore you! I tend to concentrate on them a tad bit too much, so it makes me happy that you think I did well. Thanks for this kind review!

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Review #9, by Harry and Ginny Chapter Four

16th September 2009:
things are getting interesting now between Draco and Astoria and i think Draco was jealous when he saw Astoria with Theodore so he may be using Daphne. will u update soon please?^_^

10/10

Harry and Ginny

Author's Response: He was indeed! But if he's using Daphne...? Hmm... I guess time will tell. Thank you so much for reviewing! I'll start working on the next chapter soon, I promise. ^-^

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Review #10, by donthaveanaccount Chapter Three

24th August 2009:
great story!! update soon!! :)

Author's Response: I'll try! Thank you for reviewing!

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Review #11, by xXmalfoysgirl4everXx Chapter One

22nd August 2009:
That was a great chapter!

I loved the rich detail that you provided to make the scene alive. Also, this is a different character for Astoria that I've seen so far. I like her. And as for Nott, you have a humourus way of adding him into the story. The way that you have Astoria trying to turn him off is hilarious. I enjoyed this chapter!

10/10 :D
--ron.weasleyxo from the forums

Author's Response: I'm happy you liked Astoria's character ^-^ Thanks for reviewing!

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Review #12, by Alassie Chapter Three

9th August 2009:
Poor Astoria. Draco certainly doesn't belong with Pansy. I am now thoroughly convinced they belong together, and after only three chapters. Kudos for the fabulous work. Every line of your story is a hook, pulling the reader (in my case, quite willingly) headfirst into the world you depict perfectly and with complete clarity. I am absolutely in love with your Astoria, she is a very strong character that could very well stand on her own. Bravo for such an accomplished story, and after only three chapters no less. Anxiously awaiting an update.
10/10
~Alassie~

Author's Response: Thank you so much! Can't tell you how much your reviews have meant to me. An update should be up soon, I hope. As soon as it's been edited ^-^

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Review #13, by Alassie Chapter Two

9th August 2009:
Ahh. I never have been a big Malfoy fan, but your characterization of him along with Astoria makes him quite likeable. Their interactions capture my attention and leaves me wanting more, which is why I am ecstatic to read the next chapter and going to tea at the Mafloy's. It seems it would appeal exactly to what I have been craving by means of Draco/Astoria interaction. Your descriptions are still beautiful and captivating, and I cannot help being drawn into the fantasy world you are creating and I am all to happy to temproarily reside in. The plot moves along at a perfect pace, and I know by the end of next chapter I will be anxiously anticipating more.
10/10
~Alassie~

Author's Response: Aw, thank you so, so much!

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Review #14, by Alassie Chapter One

9th August 2009:
I must say I couldn't be more grateful that you requested reviews, for I absolutely ADORE your story. It is elegantly written with beautiful characterization and vivid descriptions that take my breath away.
Right now I am going to give you how I envision Astoria from what I have read so far, but please, feel free to contradict me if I am wrong. I find that hearing someone else describe your character to you makes it so you know if you are depicting them in the manner you intended.
To me, Astoria is far from the typical pureblood, but she isn't completely willing to entirely reject her background either. Though she doesn't particularly care for the things her mother and sister love, she doesn't fight it either, instead preferring to go along with them and avoid argument. She seems strong willed and honest, both very respectable traits.
This plot line absolutely intrigues me, and I am riveted on this fabulous story. Thank you so much for requesting reviews!
10/10
Alassie

Author's Response: So sorry for not responding earlier - I've seriously been speechless. =p And *phew*! That's the way I want her to be seen as: Astoria isn't your typical pureblooded female character and that's the way I want it, because I don't think they're all the same, even though they were brought up to believe certain things. Astoria grew up and found her own morals and found her own sense of what is ethical and isn't. But she's still a Greengrass and that means, of course, something too and she neither can, nor really wants to, avoid it. Anyways, thanks so much for this review! Means so much (:

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Review #15, by Misty_Rey Chapter Three

5th August 2009:
Having just finished reading 'Pride and Prejudice' for the first time, I've finally noticed how similar the writing of this story is to that of Miss Austen. There is a certain old-world charm to your writing that fits with the subject matter, that of an old-fashion pureblooded romance. Of course, your writing style is distinctly much more modern than Austen, for which I am grateful ;). The pacing is slow and steady, it's obvious you're taking your time to properly build up the plot of the story and it works. Sometimes authors have a tendency to rush their romance and quickly jump into the action, so to speak. But realistically speaking, love takes a lot of time to develop properly and even then, not very much usually happens. Which is why, as impatient as I am for something exciting to happen, I can appreciate that dramatic occurences can't always happen immediately and the longer you keep us readers hanging, the bigger the impact will be when something finally does happen. I did like that you refrained from conviniently adding irrelevant characters (such as Blaise and Theodore) to the dinner party as this would have come across as pathetically attempting to add dramatic effect, not to mention not making very much sense. The chapter had a nice flow to it, the short paragraphs work very well.

The mounting tension between Draco, Astoria and Daphne was, to me, the most interesting part of this chapter. It was very subtle but I could feel that there was something going on, I just couldn't figure out exactly what it was. Again, you characterised Draco very well. He was unfailingly polite but was careful to never reveal too much of himself, even to Astoria. He remains an enigma to Astoria as well as to us, the readers, and this keeps him unpredictable which is always great. I never know what to expect from him and I like this. Draco has always struck me as a layered character in the HP series, especially in HBP and DH. Unfortunately, so few authors have been able to successfully explore and flesh out those layers. I think I've mentioned this before but I'm very excited to see where you go with his character. Daphne comes across as very unpleasant but I do like that you didn't go all out to make her the typical villainous mean sister character. She isn't all evil but does come across as very Slytherin-ish. I liked the way she purposely rocked the boat between Astoria and Draco by asking him about Pansy. I sensed a tiny bit of envy that Draco was paying more attention to her younger sister instead of her. Was the Pansy comment the fore-shadowing you mentioned earlier? Does this mean Pansy will be making an appearance? I do hope so, I can't help but think she'll be making things much more deliciously complicated if she does ;). As the story progresses, I really like the awkwardness and childish naivety displayed by Astoria. It's realistic and endearing and refreshingly different from the typical main female character. I do appreciate that while she may not be a strong-willed character, she does have a more subtle strength to her. She's a different kind of heroine, I'm rooting for her.

I'm so excited to read more of where this story is going, please update soon! You're doing great so far, Stephanie. Jane Austen would be proud of this homage to her ;D.

*Hugs*
Misty

Author's Response: I have no idea what to say. I seriously feel like crying (tears of happiness, in case there's doubt) - I can't tell you how flattered I am, and how incredibly honoured.

It makes me happy that you haven't minded the slow pace - although I can promise some drama in the next chapter. I haven't wanted to force it - especially not now, at the beginning of Astoria's and Draco's growing relationship, because it takes its fair share of time, as you said, and I didn't want to hurry into anything. And I'm glad you caught the mounting tension between the tree of them. It was indeed bothering Daphne a bit being left out of their conversations, and she wanted to shake things up. I have to say though, that, while Pansy may return, that's not what I wanted to foreshadow... You'll see soon enough (as long as I can get hold of my beta *blush* ) And I sigh in relief when you say that you like Draco's character. I know he isn't entirely similar to the one from the books, but, aside from the fact that he was grown up a lot, I've also characterizied him so that he fits the story I'm telling. If that makes sense. As for Daphne - I really love writing her. I agree: she's a bit more unpleasant, a bit more selfish, and things are about to get worse. As for Astoria - again, I'm relieved! To some, she's not convincing I think, and I do have a tendency to, when writing female characters in Slytherin, avoid such traits that should distinguish them. But I seriously don't think that each and everyone of them are, despite of what they have grown up with, against muggleborns or house-elves and think that blood is the most important thing. Children grow up and eventually find their own values and morals, and I like to think that Astoria did that pretty early, even if she was a Slytherin. Gosh, I'm not even sure if I'm making sense and I think I'm rambling by now. Anyway - can't tell you how much it means to me to hear that you like her character and that you're rooting for her. Thank you a thousand times for this incredible review. *hugs*


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Review #16, by subrosa Chapter Two

21st July 2009:
Once again, I really enjoyed this. I'm glad that Theo's behavior was lightly touched upon in Draco and Astoria's conversation outside of the party. It still seems a bit off for him to be so very different, but it works for the story. The same goes to Draco, actually. I always figured he'd grow up and lose a lot of his snarky attitude, but not to the degree that it seems at times in this story. Even to his friends and family he was always arrogant, so it's a tad odd that he is so good-natured for the most part. Like I said, though, it works for the story.

You do an excellent job with grammar, plot and dialogue. Sometimes the language gets a little weary, but your writting is amazing and pulls it along very nicely. I think the language messes with the flow at times and that's something that you can work on. Otherwise, everything was perfect :D

~Subroa

Author's Response: Exactly, it works for the story *blush* I have known in the back of my head that this Draco is not really Draco, but still, his attitude is what I want it to be in this particular story. I've always found him a bit difficult to write, but now, I've just gone with the flow and allowed him to be this good-natured guy to the point when I don't even recognize him (=p) Anyways, I'll be sure to mention this in my next A/N, because it's important that it's seen for what I want it to be seen as. Thank you for bringing it up! And I will think about the language messing with the flow and I'll do my best! Again, thanks and I've really appreciated your honesty!

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Review #17, by subrosa Chapter One

21st July 2009:
Hey, it's Subroa from the forums! I'm so sorry it took me this long to finally review this story for you.

So, I really enjoyed this chapter. I thought it was a nice introduction into the story that is to come. I loved that you had each character's personality down so far and that you didn't deviate. The only character that bothered me was Theo, but that was mainly because he's my favorite minor character to write so I look more into how other's write him. I just thought it was strange that he came off as so persistent and obnoxious. JK describes him as a "clever loner," and someone who doesn't like a lot of attention isn't normally about to be so very forward to the point where it's annoying. That, however, is the only negative thought I have of this. I really liked all the descriptions and, as someone who has three older sisters, really empathized with Astoria's situation with Daphne. Excellent work!

~Subroa

Author's Response: That's perfectly alright! I know what you mean - I know Theodore not to be that obnoxious git that I've written him as, but it was what worked for this story, sadly :( I'm usually all for canon, but it didn't work this time. Still, thanks for your honesty - can't tell you how much I appreciate it!

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Review #18, by Leah Kesrii Chapter Three

9th July 2009:
Wow. This is the first Astoria/Draco fic I've read, and you've done a wonderful job. Your writing style fits perfectly with the whole pureblood society setting you're working with, and I must say I love Astoria and I doubt I'll see her as merely a background character any longer. I am very weary of Daphne, and am just as confused as Astoria seems to be by the glimmer in her eyes. And you've also made Draco wonderfully likeable and believable as well.

One line that really struck me was this ,

"But there was something else between the superficial small-talks, something that lay deeper in these two women – a certain understanding that in its own way bound them together. Astoria realised that they both had their husbands behind bars and that neither knew when they would see them again. And Astoria got a glimpse, however brief, into their hearts and into the loneliness and utter hopelessness that they must feel. She could understand that it required a certain amount of strength to live on when one’s children left to live their own lives, and for a second, she realised that she had underestimated her mother’s potency[...]"

You seem to be handling the post-war pureblood society with aplomb. I can't wait to read more!

Author's Response: Wow, I\\\'m speechless! Thank you so much for this review - it made my entire day (:

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Review #19, by Potterholic Chapter Two

22nd June 2009:
Another great one! I love the chemistry between Draco and Astoria. They're not instantly falling for each other, but there's something there. I also like how Draco was working as a personal assistant and Astoria's application was immediately rejected. It shows the aftermath of the war for the pureblood family. ^_^ The dialogue flowed really well too. Looking forward to the tea with the Malfoys! Off to the next chapter!

Author's Response: Yay, I'm glad you do! Exactly - I like to imagine that things didn't go all that well for the purebloods after the war and that people weren't all that keen with them in general. Thanks again!

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Review #20, by Potterholic Chapter One

22nd June 2009:
Great start! I love how you wrote Astoria's character, and the dynamic of the family is interesting and realistic. It was also fun to see her endure Nott. =D The boy just couldn't take a hint, could he? I'm looking forward to see more of her and Draco. ^_^ Keep up the good work, Steph!

Author's Response: I'm glad you think the family dynamics were realistic. It's been a bit difficult on that particular area. And nope, he could not =p Thank you so much!

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Review #21, by Alopex Chapter Three

20th June 2009:
Haha, I enjoyed the mental image of Geraldine and Daphne scurrying around in a state of excitement, urging Astoria to reply, getting ready, etc. Daphne did come across as a bit jealous, though. I suppose there are going to be problems between the two sisters. Astoria is obviously smitten with Draco, but as for Daphne . . . well, it is difficult to tell for sure with her, since we don't hear directly from her.

The story is moving along at a nice clip. I do wonder why Narcissa invited the Greengrasses (specifically Astoria) to tea. Draco must have pulled some strings, but he's not living at home anymore, so he must have gone out of his way to make a request. Or perhaps it is Narcissa who is scheming for some reason, trying to marry her son off or something.

I really do like Astoria as a character, even if I am not certain her personality and temperament are completely in keeping with her background. I'm not saying she needs to be mean and snotty, just that she seems almost completely above her raising. Oh well. Like I said, she is a lovely person, and I do like reading about her.

Author's Response: Yes, Draco pulled some strings, but who knows, Narcissa might be up to something as well. As I mentioned, there will be some sort of an explanation for Astoria's seemingly non-pureblood-personality in the future. Thanks so much for reviewing!

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Review #22, by Alopex Chapter Two

20th June 2009:
Near the beginning, you have Malfoy take off his robes. Then he hands Astoria his blazer. Was he wearing his blazer beneath his robes, or did you mean for him to be taking off his blazer (not his robes)? Also, in the previous paragraph you seemed to imply that Mrs. Greengrass was very anxious about receiving an invitation to Mrs. Dimitrov's party. Yet in this chapter, you have the Greengrasses linger late, which would seem odd if the families weren't friends, in which case it would be odd that Mrs. Greengrass was so anxious about the invitation. And it does strike me as odd that Nott and Draco also lingered late, simply because they had been interacting with Astoria, I suppose. What I'm trying to say here is, what good reason did any of them have for staying late, aside from you wanting to put them all in a group somehow?

I found this chapter to be less formal than the previous, which I think is an improvement. This dialogue in this chapter seemed a little closer to the way young people in this day and age actually talk. The descriptions were detailed, as before.

I do have one qualm with Astoria's characterization. You seem to be making her out as this super-sweet creature, much nicer than her mother and sister. I'm a little puzzled as to where she picked up this consideration to house elves, for example . . . she says she was taught to be condescending, yet she simply decided to be nice? And she seems to stand so far above the behavior of her mother and sister that it seems a little unlikely for the average 20-year-old. So far she seems more like a Hufflepuff than a Slytherin. Not that that's a bad thing, but if her father was a Death Eater, she's obviously been indoctrinated with some "pureblood" ideas. That reminds me of one more thing. Astoria says she has never understood men, especially purebloods. How many half-blood, Muggleborn, and Muggle men has she interacted with, exactly? I'd be surprised, given her upbringing, if it was many - except at school.
I really did like Draco and Astoria's interactions in this chapter, though. They were both a little clumsy, a little shy, but they were also quite sweet. Obviously, I already know this is going to wind up being a romance, but I love the way you're leading slowly and gently into it.

Author's Response: Oops, thanks for pointing that out. Clearly there's a mistake there and I'll correct it as soon as humanly possible. As for the reason behind the families and Nott lingering late - I have, sadly, not given it much thought, but maybe I should. As for Mrs. Greengrass being nervous and anxious: I like to think that's her personality - worrying unnecessarily - while Mrs. Dimitrov wouldn't think it odd that they would stay, only natural, since, also, Blaise and Daphne are friends. And yes, Astoria's characterization has been giving me a bit of a headache. But, seeing as I've been sitting brainstorming all afternoon, I've come up with a solution, no matter how clichéd it might end up to be. Thank you!

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Review #23, by Alopex Chapter One

20th June 2009:
First off, I have never read anything by Jane Austen, so all those connections will be completely lost on me. I did, however, find the overall tone of your writing to be very formal and somewhat flowery, and it did have a more old-fashioned feel to it, which I imagine is in keeping with Austen's works. The lengthy author's note and the "Volume One" at the beginning also made me think you take your writing very seriously.

I did find the many descriptions of clothing and appearance to be slightly tedious. I know you want to introduce the characters here and give the readers a feel for them, and I know a lot of girls like to read about pretty dresses and all, but I personally would have liked to see less of it. Or at least to have it worked into the story in a variety of ways, rather than always a paragraph describing hair, skin, eyes, etc.

That said, you do write very detailed descriptions, and that definitely helps set the scene. I had no trouble whatsoever creating mental images, since you supplied me with many rich details, and I didn't find myself confused over what was happening either. I think this was a nice start to the story.

By the way, I have never read a Drastoria before. I've always meant to, but for some reason, I've never gotten around to it.

Author's Response: Thank you so much!

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Review #24, by LuckySeven Chapter One

4th June 2009:
Hi! I'm LuckySeven here with your review! I'll start by saying that you are an amazing writer. And, this is my first Draco/Astoria story! *confetti falls on your head!* Here are my favorite parts:


"“You know, Mother, it is actually considered fashionable to be late,” said Astoria, in an attempt to mollify her mother. She had, on the other hand, successfully increased her mother’s distress and would rather have headed straight to the underworld than being scrutinized by her intimidating black eyes."
-This just made me giggle because its what would have happened to me. You try to lighten someone up and you get screeched at.Typical. :)

"their sons were there, behaving ridiculously and expecting, for some reason, the same respect they had seen their fathers receive.
Sickening, Astoria thought and furrowed her brow."
-Boys. *eyeroll* They never really grow up. They just get taller. :D

"Confused, she mulled this over, but not for long since she felt another’s firm gaze upon her. She looked up and saw Nott smirk down at her, seeing as he was at least a head taller than her, and Astoria stiffened in his arms."
-Creepy old guy alert!!..well not old exactly. But definitely creepy. *smackings for Mr. Nott!*

"It was hard to make out the intruder’s face but as her eyes adjusted to the light from the wand in his hand, she could clearly make out the features of Draco Malfoy, sauntering leisurely toward her, with his eyes glinting and his lips curved into that infamous subtle smirk of his."
-What a perfect ending! Who in their right mind can stop reading here? The whole chapter has been building toward this moment! Great job at sucking people in!

So great title! I like it a lot. Also, Your writing has this sophisticated air about it that just makes me smile. Dracos characterization was great! Honestly, he was very much himself throughout this chapter. I'm a sucker for good characterization, so maybe thats why I like this so much! Great job and keep writing.
Have a Spleniferously Fantacular Day!,
LuckySeven
10/10

Author's Response: "-Boys. *eyeroll* They never really grow up. They just get taller. :D" Haha, this made me laugh! You're totally right, of course!

Thank you for this amazing review! It's always nice for a change to know of someone's favourite part of a chapter, and not the one's I have to work on =p And I'm relieved that you think his characterization worked in this. Still, he wasn't in this chapter all that much (he has a much bigger part in the other two chapters posted), but... yeah. I will have to come back and request a review from you again, hehe. But thank you, again, so much for reviewing!


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Review #25, by sworntofun_loyaltonone Chapter Three

1st June 2009:
well what a fickle person... i hope she smacks him if he tries anything with daphne

Author's Response: Ooh, well, you never know =p Thanks for reviewing!

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