Gads, that's beautiful even if I don't understand it.Author's Response: thank you hun. to sum up quickly - draco is dead and astoria sees his ghost once a year on samhain, the night of the dead. he doesn't realise he is dead and has not crossed over and she is supposed to be helping him but doesn't know how to. hecate is the goddess associated with samhain, which is why she visits astoria.
xx Report Review
Hello there ^.^ here from the forums with your review !
Alright, I've tried. You've asked me to be critical on this one and I'm just having a hard time. I read it over and over and nothing stood out in way of mistake as much as the cleverness and wordplay that you have going on here.
I believe that if I told you as my first instinct instructed me to do, to give us a little bit more of a tangible hint that Draco hadn't passed over yet (this is what's going on, right? I assume that because he chose Hecate, who is the goddess of the crossroads, and because Astoria tells him he has to make the choice to move on even if it's scary or difficult, and she refers to him singularly in past tense, that he is dead but his spirit is lingering in the house because he can't make himself cross over to the "other world"..could be wrong I believe since you've left it a little bit ambiguous..!)...but I think that you've dropped us enough clues and it just takes a careful scouring of diction and eerily meaningful allusions to understand.
I can't tell you to interrupt the flow with a word like "spirit" or "ethereal" because you're going with the darkness motif. Props, by the way, for the word "bower" ^.^
The line that really made my heart ache is when Draco asks Astoria if Scorpius still isn't talking to him. I'll be honest, I'm fond of the fact that Draco bothered to have a son at all and that he was capable of all the love it took to be a father, and then to be reminded of it in this little way, that they weren't on good terms, is emotional for me.
I know you asked me specifically for a critical review but every complaint that I even have in the back of my head somewhere is countered by the completion of the story in and of itself. You mention the wheel at the end of this chapter--I think that this is fitting especially because the chapter itself functions as a wheel of sorts, tying up ends in a way that brings us back to the beginning.
I suppose that for your sake I'll map out my internal dialogue :)
1. It's very dramatic. A little off-putting.
1a. My mind says, "But the whole story reeks of old-world magic. That's dramatic, it's important, and besides, the darkness motif allows for drama. This is serious after all!"
1b. Okay, okay. This is true.
2. Give us some context?
2a. It's easy enough to research on Samhain.
2b. It's hard to argue with that point.
3. Cat. Is this necessary?
3a. It allows Astoria to show us a little disconnect between herself and Draco...perhaps a reference to the much bigger gap between them? Also we see Draco related to a sleek, large dog which gives us some insight to his personality.
3b. Again, I concede to your reasoning.
4. Why doesn't Draco realise that he's dead? Can he partake in regular events? Does he only show up the one night?
4a. She doesn't have to tell us everything.
It goes on like this. Seriously. Every time I become critical about something I talk myself into why it works and try to look at it from your point of view as a writer and when I do I just become overwhelmed with how clever this is and I can't tell you there's anything I don't like about it. Like I said, it's a little dramatic for my tastes but then again, it's just because I have a personal aversion to drama. It's just a part of my personality; I can't take musicals seriously, I can't take dramatic stories too seriously...I guess I believe that drama will sometimes strip a story of its human dynamic, but in this case, since we're not dealing with entirely humans, it works.
I get the eerieness that I believe may have been intentionally worked into the story. Old-magic things do this to me. I used to spend a lot of time researching it when I first began writing and tried, albeit unsuccessfully, to give off that same feeling. It's not my style, I've since discovered, as I lack the ability to assume authority in my writing. I enjoy too much rambling along hand in hand with speculation to assert myself as an expert in any subject; and drama just makes itself needy to authority.
Alright, sorry I went off on the tangent there...takes me a while to completely fasten the tap :)
With all of that being said and I do think that saying any more would just be running this into the ground--lovely, amazing, brilliant job. As an advocate of the manipulation of language I have to say that this story is the nicest to the old eyes as any I've ever set them upon.
--lilyAuthor's Response: goodness me
i don't even know how to begin to respond to this amazingly epic review! i can start by saying THANK YOU!!
okay, i shall try and formulate a response.
you are correct - draco is dead but has not passed on. i am pleased the symbolism of hecate was not lost on you, and that you picked up on the use of past tense.
i love the word 'bower'. it is such a mystical word, for some reason, lol. and like you, i too am often amazed that someone like draco bothered with a family, but then again, considering, maybe he needed it.
your little internal dialogue made me smile, because i asked myself many of those same questions as i was writing the piece.
thank you - i am glad you think it is clever, because i did choose my words very carefully. i wanted parts of this to remain ambiguous, but for all the answers to be there underneath, discovered on a careful reading. i like to make people think.
i love the concept of old-magic and have wanted to write about it for ages. to me it makes sense that magic in JK's world could share things with the old pagan religions. they are, after all, on the british isles.
thank you so much for taking the time to read and review this and thank you for such a thoughtful review and for the wonderful compliments. i am not sure i am completely deserving of them but thank you regardless.
Kate xx Report Review
Hey there MajiKat! It's Saeli here once more..I just couldn't resist reading more of your work, everything is just so fascinating.
Ah yes, the wisdom of the Tarot Cards. Quite refreshing! I must commend you on that.
I adore how accurate your description of The Hecate, even the time aspect of it is absolutely spot-on. Hecate I find to be in one of those grey areas of the Tarot. She both lingers in the Light and Dark aspects of the Wiccan Wisdom, but real-life Hecates are sometimes much more difficult to see in real life when they are not in their card form, if that made sense...
LOL, sorry if I'm sounding different from the usual Saeli. I just study them as a sort of pass-time when nursing school is getting on my nerves.
10/10 as always!
-SaeliAuthor's Response: hey Saeli!!
Hecate is one of my favourite goddesses, and hers is the card I draw the most often from the tarot. I don't know why; maybe I am approaching a crossroads in my life.
Yep, Hecate is the goddess of Samhain. Pagan mythology fascinates me - it was my spirituality of choice and I guess it still is. I just don't practice like i once did.
Thank you darling! I appreciate the review and I am really pleased you liked this!
Kate xx Report Review
I am quite happy that you added a little "old world" magic into this; there aren't many around and it makes this something even more special. It's a wonderfully tragic story, hitting all the right buttons, and left me feeling like I had just read a story about actual magic and not the HP kind of magic. Does that make sense? And I hope that's not too insulting to HP magic lol
Either way, another enjoyable -albeit sad- story my dear! Keep up the fantastic work!Author's Response: thank you hun - I am really pleased you liked this, and that you appreciated the old world magic in here.
it makes total sense, as that was what I was thinking when I wrote this - the old magic was the way for Astoria to see him again, because she knew he would come. I see this magic as actual magic as well - not the part about the goddess appearing in the flesh, but the connection the old magic has to the world around it. one could not work without the other, you know?
thank you once again for another lovely review!! Report Review
I just now stumbled across this while doing some work on the archives, and once I read it, I couldn't continue on without stopping to say this is really wonderful. It's both simply and powerfully written. Excellent job.Author's Response: O.O
wow thank you so much!
im really pleased you liked this and cheers for the lovely compliments!!
x Report Review
I think I'm going to keep this one shorter than my normal length, because I have so little to say in terms of CC or anything to pick up on, so I am sorry in advance for that.
Just onto the parts you picked out for me:
Description and Flow
Divine; really and truly divine. It reads absolutely effortlessly, gorgeously and because of that consistency in your description, the entire thing flows brilliantly. Your writing has an elegance to it that makes it very majestic and it ties in with the setting well. It helped me to see the characters and their home; I could see lots of velvet and mahogany and a proper English country home just came to life in front of me. I have a very hard time associating words with strong images in my mind but this was a huge success, on that front.
I have just gone and skimmed the story back again, in the hope of finding a couple of stand-out lines but I think the part of the writing that makes it so wonderful is how there isn't one line to make or break it. It all matches, it all moves together and flows and it is consistent, which really isn't something you come across every day (or at least, it's not something I've come across too often).
I can see where the confusion is coming from, but I like the not knowing for sure element of anything like this. Had you not brought it up, I probably would have speculated for a while afterwards, umming and ahhing and weighing it all up, which is something that is always exciting in writing.
My thoughts on what was happening shifted. Initially, I thought Draco was dead, then I thought Astoria was either pregnant or had recently lost a child - but mention of Scorpius threw that a little, since that'd be quite an age gap. The line that made me revert back to my initial idea was: "Is he still not talking to me?"
That was the one that got me thinking, along with the line following that. After all, if he were alive, he would surely be aware that his son isn't speaking to him. I think that was one of the cleverest lines I've seen in a long time, in the way it can so easily be misconstrued with the very clever, intricate and delicate plot.
The best thing about it for me is that it makes you think. It's not in your face but you do speculate as you read. The way you brought in Hecate and gave us the information of her "role" (I can't think of the word I want) is the real clue, and that's where everything leads back to when you think on it. It integrates really well with the rest of the story, and it weaves wonderfully between reality and imagination.
So, I don't think the plot is strikingly obvious but I don't think that's a bad thing. It does all fall together when you think about it properly, and there are enough hints throughout to be able to piece it together, it's just a case of having the patience to do that, I think. Clearing it up would perhaps detract from the intricacy of the entire story, and I would hate to see that happen.
I've just realised that my supposedly "short" review has been going on for some time now, mostly my horribly mindless ramble so I'm sorry! This is just such a stunning, really thought provoking piece of writing and you really have pushed my mind into overdrive (it needs it, after several months of nothing but reality TV!)
I absolutely adore it!Author's Response: O.O
im not sure anyone has ever left me a review quite like this one. thank you so much!!
im always worried, with a piece like this, that the words will get tangled and the whole thing disrupted, so im glad it flows so well - thanks for the wonderful praise xD
i like writing more obscure things, where the plot is not so obvious and im glad you appreciate that. i like to think that readers go away pondering what ive written.
you should trust your gut because draco is, indeed, dead. the line about scorpius is significant because, although i don't state it then, years have past (as astoria tells us later in the piece, where she is talking about the amount of feathers she has collected - hecate leaves one every samhain ^_^) and when draco died, his relationship with scorpius was not brilliant.
knowing who hecate is and what she signifies is also important, and i think that is where people may have gotten confused.
i also liked the idea of linking their magic to the magic of the old pagan religions, which is where the cards come in and astoria's conversations with the goddess.
thank you so so much for such a stunning review hun!! ILY
kate xx Report Review
This was beautifully written as with all the other pieces of yours that I have read, especially the description. To tell you the truth, I had to go search what some of these words meant so I could understand. I found it rather ironic that she was playing with tarot cards (that's what they were, right? Lol). I love the atmosphere you presented in this story, darkness filled with untold secrets which Astoria seems pretty good at hiding for three years now.
Based on who Hecate is and her visiting on Halloween, I think I figured out what Astoria's secret is but because of how you've written it, I am doubting myself. I could give you an educated guess...did she experience a loss of a child perhaps but told her husband otherwise?
Anyway, I really liked this :)
Lia.Author's Response: hey lia!
thanks for a lovely review, darling. im glad you liked it.
yeah its tarot cards, or something similar, sort of like a goddess oracle set, or the like.
the secret - its hard to pick but once i tell you you will see it. draco is dead and he hasn't passed over yet. his spirit is lingering, which is why it was significant that he chose Hecate from the cards, as she is the goddess who helps escort souls to the other world. he, of course, does not know he is dead, and astoria does not know how to tell him, she's hoping he works it out. so for draco, time hasn't passed, hence the comment about scorpius. im imagining that, before he died, they argued or something similar. but, its up to you to decide ^_^
xx Report Review
This is a gorgeous little one shot. The description suits the darkness perfectly. It is dark and foreboding, but beautiful at the same time. I enjoyed the dynamics of Draco and Astoria's relationship here. I can tell that they love each other, but perhaps more out of habit than similarity? Until you mentioned the taroh cards, I wasn't entirely sure what Astoria was doing by the table, but it definitely added to the mysterious tone of the story. I think that you handled the tension between Draco and Astoria wonderfully over the muggle practice. For some reason, I always though that Hecate was the goddess of death, and couldn't help but shake the feeling that someone had died or was about to die. Such a secret Astoria is keeping... I really wanted to know what it is but I'm glad you chose to keep it a secret.
Very well done!
MelissaAuthor's Response: hey melissa!
thanks for reading hun and im glad you liked it. the reason you feel their love is one of habit is because draco is dead. it is his ghost she is communicating with ^_^ instead of moving on to the next world, draco has remained, and astoria both wants him to go and wants him to stay. the cards referred to are a goddess oracle, much like the tarot, and yeah, drawing Hecate on Samhain (the night of the dead in the celtic calandar) is significant for draco, but he still doesn't hear the message.
so you did pick up on it, without realising it, because yes, hecate is the goddess of death (among other things) ^_^
xx Report Review
Oh, wow. This is really lovely. I love the way that it is written and how it comes together. I love the final line, it's brilliant (:
- AlyAuthor's Response: thank you Aly. im glad you liked it! Report Review
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