Reading Reviews for Marked
85 Reviews Found

Review #1, by Yoshi_Kitten The Price of Living

12th July 2014:
So I've pretty much missed this entire event. Which is tragic, really, as the reviewing event has always been my favorite one too. :( However, I did finally find myself with some time to do a few reviews tonight, and I thought, who better to show some love too than Dan? After all, his stories are ALWAYS good, and I could use a good read to get me back into the swing of things, lol! So, without further adieu:

House Cup 2014 Review

OMGosh, DAN!!! So, I was just looking back over everything, and I CANNOT believe that I NEVER came back and reviewed the last chapter of this! Holy cow, I totally fail as a Reader, lol!! I remember reading this THE DAY that is was posted too. I seriously thought that I submitted you a review for this. I'm sorry. Better late than never tho, right? ;)

I ended up re-reading this chapter, that way it would all be fresh in my mind again for the purposes of this review. Ohmygosh, after being away from HPFF for over a YEAR, this was just the thing I needed to get me back into reading/reviewing fanfiction again!! I have missed this place; your stories in particular, and all of my HPFF friends so much! You already know how AMAZING I think that you are, Dan, but I haven't said it in a while, so I'll remind you again, haha!! =P

I just LOVE your characterization of Bella. She is completely mental, lol. And I also like how calm, cool, and collected Narcissa was in the beginning of this here too. Honestly, your characterization of EVERYONE in this is just so superb! And I could easily visualize that entire conversation going on in my head, you wrote it so well. I felt SO BAD for Draco though. I can't even imagine what studying with Bellatrix would be like, but I bet that it would absolutely go something like that. *shudders* The whole thing was just so very realistic. Excellent job, Dan!!

I love your attention to detail in the description of the room. And don't even get me started on your description of Draco's first look at Lord Voldemort, lol!! He was just so chilling in this, and you nailed his character spot-on. I mean, it absolutely felt like I was reading this straight out of one of the HP books! I don't know where or how you came up with ALL those names from the Malfoy Family tree, but I loved that addition to the scene here. I couldn't even imagine being in Draco's shoes, and having to go though something like that. It's just so horrifying!! Which I'm sure is what you were going for, lol, so mission accomplished. =P

While I am sad that this remarkable story is at an end after only 5 chapters, I must say that the ending really was perfect. The moment between Draco and Narcissa was so touching, it almost brought me to tears reading it. The emotion was conveyed perfectly, as always. I wish there was more to read, but you're right; there really isn't much more to add that we don't already know from Cannon. This was an absolutely fantastic missing moment though! “Marked” is probly my most favorite fanfiction story on this whole entire site, haha!! I seen your “Detox” story a while back ago too, and I am super excited to start reading that one next. You know what a sucker I am for Draco Malfoy, lol! I have truly missed reading your stories, Dan. Looks like you've added a lot more over the past year tho, so I know what I'll be reading for the rest of the summer. ;)


Author's Response: Deana!!! What's up?

As far as the event goes, I felt kind of badly about my own numbers. But every little bit counts!

You're so sweet! I really appreciate all of the kind words and I'm really glad that you enjoy reading my writing. Readers like you make me want to keep going. :)

I have a very high standard for Bella, having done so much beta reading for Jami and her unbelievably insane, creepy characterization. I'm never quite sure whether my version stacks up. I was, however, really pleased with how she turned out here.

I felt like the scene in Voldemort's "audience room" was either going to live or die by the small details. When you're scared out of your mind, as Draco was, you tend to fixate on little things.

I am over the moon that you thought I nailed Voldemort's character. He's very intimidating to write, because to me, it doesn't take much of an error to completely screw his character up. Every word, every glance and every movement need to be just so.

I just couldn't see continuing to write past this point. We pretty much know what happened from here on out.

Where this story is set immediately before the war, Detox is set immediately after. Draco obviously does a lot of growing up between the two. I really hope you like it!

Thanks so much for the awesome, inspiring review!

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Review #2, by MissesWeasley123 The Price of Living

11th July 2014:
And so, he is finally marked. Wow. Before I begin, this review will seem rather formal, as my keyboard is being strange and now letting me use punctuation marks that are not exclamation marks and commas, also period. So this has a lack of contractions lol sorry Dan!

First of all, wow wow wow for Bellatrix. You get 10 out of 10 for her. Her anger in the beginning when she tells him it is not funny.. wow. Freaky as hell, and definitely frightening. That moment was so intense.

And I cannot tell you how thrilling the entire scene was with Voldemort. When he says that Lucius true masters (see how hard it is, without apostrophes, aghh) are pride and fear, it is so intelligent and so true in a way. And AGH SUSAN BONES!!! That part with the unbreakable vows are meant to be broken I could not explain to you how intense and genuinely creepy that was!

This story has been so amazing. Truly intense and has captured the story of Draco Malfoy brilliantly. Absolutely blown away, fabulous writing as always you literary and Draco genius!

House Cup 2014 Review

Author's Response: Hi, Nadia! Sorry about your keyboard. That would drive me completely bonkers!

Whew! Whenever I write Bellatrix, I always feel a huge amount of pressure to try to live up to Jami's Bellatrix, who is perfectly, marvelously insane. I'm never sure that I'm getting her quite right, so I really appreciate the compliments.

Oddly enough, I felt more comfortable writing Voldemort than Bellatrix. I feel like I understand him better, his motivations and reactions. Minimalist, I think, is the way to go with him. Minimalist, punctuated by outbursts of deranged anger. And I agree, he understands Lucius far better than Lucius understands himself.

Now that I think of it, I haven't written anything with Draco since back around Christmas. Maybe it will be time again soon...

Thanks so much for the lovely review!

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Review #3, by MissesWeasley123 That Which Must Be Done

13th May 2014:
Hi again Dan! Long time no see :D

I must say, I sure have missed this. It's just as thrilling as ever.

I truly loved the bit with Tonks. That was brilliant! You managed to grasp her character so well. Her dialogue always so fun to read as she's so hardcore and "sassy" in a way. Her attitude and recklessness is amazing and reminds me of Sirius, in a way.

And Moody! WOW. I have to say I loved the bit where he told Draco that he should cut his losses or something, can't remember the exact words but still very very cool. It felt so perfect for his character. Loved his interactions with Tonks as well.

You've always shown Narcissa as very strong, but we got to see a different side of her in this chapter. That whole moment where her eyes lit up in hope or pride, but then went back into gloom was very sad. And then that ending line.. wah ♥

And I must say, the whole dark mark pain part was brilliant as well. The little details of Lucius trying to seem all brave for Narcissa and then Bellatrix calling it "exquisite" those little moments were very well developed.

Brilliant writing!

Author's Response: Hello, hello! Truly a long time.

It was almost irrational how much fun I had writing the section with Tonks pretending to be Bellatrix. Aside from continuing to heap abuse on Draco, I really had a chance to use her abilities for something, you know, useful. Unlike pretty much every appearance by her character in the books.

Moody was also very entertaining to me. He makes it sound so simple, doesn't he?

Narcissa is very close to the breaking point in this chapter. It's a turning point of sorts for her, because she finally has to admit to herself that she and Draco are on their own and none of her family or old "friends" can or will help her. It's hard for her, but she ends up being stronger because of it.

I think of Bella as both a sadist and a masochist, so I'm quite sure she would have endured the pain of receiving her mark with relish. Lucius probably came close to crying like a baby. ;)

I'm really pleased that you enjoyed it! Thanks for reading and reviewing!

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Review #4, by TheHeirOfSlytherin The Price of Living

24th March 2014:
If memorizing things like family history is the best way of keeping your mind focused on things other than lingering doubts about the Dark Lord, I'd be dead. My memory sucks worse than Draco's.

:O Arguing! I was almost expecting one of them to slap or curse the other, the seemed so mad by this. Also, his just pointed out in the last chapter that Bellatrix was mad; why, oh why, did he think a spell she knew would be beneficial? I know he wants to stay alive, but he hasn't lost his mind. Be wary.

That's a horrible spell.

*Whispers* He's here... Dun, dun, dun... I don't know why I like doing that. But he's here and Draco is sat among him and it's all very creepy and I'm just waiting for bad things to happen.

...Torture. There it is. It wouldn't be a Death Eater meeting without it.

Draco's turn! The dread is building and I'm very nervous for him, I hope the family history thing works. It seems to be, a little. I thought something really bad would happen when Draco gave an honest answer, but I know Voldemort has a plan.

...To kill Dumbledore. It's horrible that he used Narcissa to get Draco to say yes, but to be expected I think, since he doesn't seem to want it.

And now we know what happens next. I still wish they'd been able to run.

This was awesome, Dan! I loved every second of it! :D


Author's Response: The technique Bellatrix is trying to teach Draco is more or less exactly what Narcissa calls it: a parlor trick. It never would have worked as intended. I really liked creating tension between the two Black sisters because it dovetailed so well with the way we see them at odds over whether to trust Snape at the start of HBP.

I don't think Draco trusts Bellatrix as much as he's just desperate and willing to try anything. Besides, it isn't as though she gives him much of a choice.

I've always imagined Draco's audience with Voldemort as being a truly horrible experience. By the time we see him on the train at the start of HBP, he's a completely different character from the Draco we saw at the end of OotP. I tend to think that his brush with the Dark Lord turned his world upside down.

The fact that Draco gave Voldemort an honest answer -- even one that he didn't really care for -- was probably what kept him alive. Voldemort has no interest in dealing with another Lucius, blustering and brown-nosing and ultimately falling on his face. Draco either succeeds and rids the world of Albus Dumbledore or he fails and dies, showing the other Death Eaters the price Lucius paid for disappointing the Dark Lord. Either way, Voldemort gets something he wants.

Running would have been the smart move, but that ship sailed very shortly after Voldemort fled the Ministry. Once Draco left Hogwarts and returned home, there was nowhere to run to.

I'm really pleased that you enjoyed it! It was a lot of fun to write and it set the stage for the Draco that we see in Detox. Thanks so much for reading and reviewing it!

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Review #5, by TheHeirOfSlytherin That Which Must Be Done

24th March 2014:
He only wishes it was a dream, or he will if he doesn't already. Attacking a hospital, there is just something about it that doesn't sit right with a person, even a Malfoy. That was low even for Death Eaters, you know? Uncivilized is a word you could use... evil is another, but maybe only a none-Death Eaters might that.

I have to admit, I did worry that it was really Bellatrix and I was almost afraid that Moody had lost his touch when she came in. But then I realized Moody was way too awesome and got suspicious... since I didn't think he was dead. :P

Ah, man, that warmed area of his crotch was an even harsher blow to his ego than Pansy walking away. Not that he doesn't deserve the blows, but you've now made me see that Tonks can be scary when she's angry. I don't want to make her angry.

Cut your losses and run, Draco. It's the smart thing to do. *knows he won't! but kinda hopes anyway*

Was the Dark Lord really so much worse? - I get the feeling you're going to pop that bubble so thoroughly, Draco won't know what hit him.

Aww, her favorite uncle is dead. The evilness of the Death Eaters knows no bounds; Did Voldemort do it or Bella?

Anyone who chose to give their life to the Dark Lord had to be stark, raving mad. - And he's starting to get it... Voldemort is coming and no one is going to stop it, because despite what I hope, running will be insanely stupid. Now. Now it can think poor Draco.

Nervously anticipating the final chapter!


Author's Response: Draco is living an unending, waking nightmare at this point. Things keep getting worse and worse, and every time he allows himself to think that they *might* be getting a little better it turns out to be very short-lived.

I'm not sure I could picture Lucius or any of the "respectable" Death Eaters attacking a hospital. Avery? Sure. But not the men of means. That was my thinking, anyway.

No shame in thinking that might have been Bellatrix. That was the idea. Moody hasn't lost his touch, in fact he just gets sneakier the older he gets.

As much as I loved writing Tonks in the second chapter, this was even more fun. She terrorizes her cousin and enjoys every second of it. The only things she doesn't like is when Moody makes her stop.

It would have been smart to cut his losses and run, but he would never do that where family is concerned.

The Dark Lord is much, much worse. Draco just has no frame of reference to imagine how much worse he really is. All in good time...

In my mind, it was Bella who killed Uncle Augustus. It's the sort of thing she would relish doing in order to demonstrate her loyalty to the Dark Lord and her ruthlessness in dealing with those who might even think of opposing him.

Yes, now he finally gets it. Too little, too late, but he gets it. Voldemort is coming, in the very next chapter. I'm excited to see what you think of it. Thanks for reading and reviewing!

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Review #6, by TheHeirOfSlytherin No Way Out

24th March 2014:
I don't know who this Auror is, he might just be a cameo with no name, but I like him. Just a little bit. Just enough to smile when he goes against Draco; there was even a little shiver when Draco did. Don't mess with an angry Auror.

He should really listen to his mother and stop arguing; you can tell he's not fully aware of his situation just yet. To fight with her about what she's doing and feeling as though he doesn't know her. To feel like he could spit on her if she were someone else, was too mean of him. I've gone from wanting to kick Ron to wanting to kick Draco... as well. :P

You - I bet he is starting to get it now. Making friends with Aurors seems like a pretty good idea now.

*In Gary Oldman's voice in OotP* Bellatrix Lestrange. I was waiting for her to show up and I'm more freaked out than I thought I'd be, which is always cool (that sounds weird, but it's not - you get it). Even when she's acting sweet and familial, it's sinister and scary and weird and I don't like it, I wanted to run away like Draco wanted to and Narcissa practically did. And that is why I loved it. :D

Things are happening!


Author's Response: The Auror is just a one-chapter character with no particular back story or future aside from the fact that his mentor was killed by Rodolphus Lestrange during the Death Eaters' escape from Azkaban. I thought about trying to make him something more, but I didn't see where that added enough to make it worth the complexity. He's just a messenger, in a sense, delivering another dose of the message that hasn't made it through Draco's thick skull just yet.

He really should listen to his mother, but the gravity of the situation hasn't quite hit him yet. Don't worry, it will hit him just about... now.

I love writing Bellatrix. Nobody bring the crazy quite like Madam Lestrange. I think she's almost *more* creepy when she's trying to act all caring and familial because you know it's exactly that. An act. Not even an especially good acting job, to be honest. She really doesn't know how to properly relate to other human beings in a caring way and it shows.

Things are happening, alright. And the pace just keeps accelerating. Thanks for reading and reviewing!

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Review #7, by TheHeirOfSlytherin Kick Me

24th March 2014:
One wrong thing - admittedly, it is a really bad thing - and they all cut him loose. I'd say poor Draco, but given how full of himself he was in the last chapter, we're not yet at the stage where I like him enough to give him sympathy. Nope, I'll just sit and watch them walk away. Particularly Pansy, since he was sleeping with her; that was just a harsh blow to his ego and his respect.

Does he never learn? Potter has people everywhere and he never loses; if Voldemort can't kill him, how can Draco think he can make the guy pay? :P It wasn't even a nice try, Draco is just having a really bad few days (which will only get worse, I imagine).

Tonks! I love that Tonks is in this; she's just awesome. And apparently knows exactly what to say to get to Narcissa, which is always good because it's sometimes nice to see that you can get a reaction out of her. Moody's, though, that was the best.

Draco definitely needed to hear what she had to say about Andromeda. It made me sad to imagine her marking their birthdays, but not getting to celebrate with them. They're not good, but they're still family, so I can definitely see it hurting her. :(

Loved this!


Author's Response: As the old saying goes, "when you're at the top, there's only one way to go." Aside from not wanting to have their names or reputations tainted by Draco's father's disgrace, I imagine that there was a lot of payback involved in the way that his housemate treat him after the battle in the Department of Mysteries. He's spent most of his life looking down his nose at the rest of his peer group. I'm sure their families suffered the occasional slight at the whim of Lucius and Narcissa. Now it's all coming home to roost. Pansy plays her cards exactly the way you'd expect. She offers him sympathy -- some of it may even be genuine -- but in the end she does what's best for herself and her family. In her place, it's exactly what Draco would have done and they both know it.

Draco was too angry and humiliated to think clearly on the train. At least that's how I've always imagined it. And boy, does he pay the price for his lack of forethought.

I enjoyed every second of "page time" for Tonks in this story. Poor thing won't get to enjoy very many moments of victory before her time is up, so I really like giving her these little cameo roles where she gets the choice lines and good things happen.

Even after she was chased out of the House of Black, I imagine that Andromeda had a hard time letting go completely. Family was everything to her for most of her life. She was the middle sibling, not as vain and arrogant as Narcissa or completely crazy like Bellatrix.

Fun stuff! I'm really enjoying all of your reviews!

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Review #8, by TheHeirOfSlytherin It All Comes Crashing Down

24th March 2014:
Secret messages, lies, deceit - the life of a Pureblood. Combined with all the rules they have, the social status they crave and the standing some have with Voldemort, it's an interesting life indeed. I feel like I'm going backwards with Marked; now that I've read Conspiracy of Blood and Detox, it's very interesting to go further back in Draco's life and see how it all started. He's very conceited here, so sure he's going to get what he thinks they all deserve and in agreement with his father; much different to how he will become. It's cool to see him like this, your take on the boy we all grew up with.

If we are very lucky, perhaps your wretched little schoolmate won't be returning at all. - The evil; it's like a bitter taste in my mouth. One little sentence and I can get a real sense of just how bad the Death Eaters are with the rise to power and glory and what they think is right. Now that is epic writing.

Pansy... So easy for Draco to use... Mistress; it'll never cross his mind when he meets Astoria. ;)

Snape to the rescue! Well, sort of, in a 'this is your only warning, do not mess it up' kind of way that is appropriate for the double agent no one knows about at this point. I love that he's in this; I mean, I figured he would be, even just a little, but like I said in Detox, he's just so much fun to read.

And there's Draco's imagined life gone. This is why you don't dream about things; it sucks so much more when you don't get it.

Awesome start. Onwards, I think!


Author's Response: Secret messages, lies, deceit... of course! They're Slytherins! What else would you expect? Marked is a step backwards. We start with Draco at the peak of his arrogance and self-importance. He sees himself as royalty among royalty, the son of the greatest of the "true" magical families. For the story to be as compelling as it could be, I felt like I needed to set him up in a very high place from which to fall.

Good old Lucius. Few can turn an evil phrase quite the way that he can.

Pansy is a plaything for Draco, sort of like a broom that requires a little more maintenance. Other people's happiness doesn't factor much into his thinking at this point in his life, except as a means to get what he wants. She'll be long gone by the time he starts courting Astoria.

"Rescue" You know, I really hadn't through of it that way, but it's true in a sense. Snape comes on a mission of mercy but he carries it out with the sort of spiteful condescension that only he can deliver. I'm afraid you'll only see him once more, and briefly at that, but his name will figure prominently in one of the later chapters.

Yep, Draco is watching his entire life spin down the toilet. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy, could it? He's such a little jerk at this point in the story.

I'm pleased that you enjoyed it! Thanks for reading and reviewing!

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Review #9, by MissesWeasley123 No Way Out

13th February 2014:
Hey! You've been so awesome giving out reviews, so for this prompt I wanted to make sure you got some too!

And ah, Bellatrix! But before I talk about her, let's talk about Draco.

He's frightened, but it's like how he was back in his first year in the Forbidden Forest. He tries to play it off and stay all arrogant, and mask his fear. I like how he stayed in that pompous character of his in the beginning, when he said he "won't submit to this kind of harassment" That was great. I half expected him to add, "My father will hear about this!" but yeah, that wasn't happening :P

Again, you write Narcissa so well. It's different to see their mother-son relationship so nice and stable. She loves him very much, and I think that showed a lot to what kind of a person she is. We know later that she even defies Bellatrix, her own sister, to seek help from Snape. I never thought that the Black sisters ever got much love from their mother, so it fits perfectly with my head canon that Narcissa would be so loving -- in my head, she's everything to Draco that she herself didn't have. That's what it's like for me, at least :P Everything she does in this chapter really ties in well with her actions in the Deathly Hallows. It's great!

And Bellatrix! You pull off her and Gamp, such twisted characters so well, and especially Blishwick from Detox.. you give your characters a different edge to them, and you write Bellatrix just so well. I felt bad for Draco in that moment because he was related to the most vile witch ever. And, the last paragraph, that was depressing. It summed it up pretty well, he was scared, and at this point it was just him and his mother against all these people. Yeah, really sad.

Anyway, great chapter!

Author's Response: Hi, Nadia!

I adore Bellatrix in a sick sort of way. She's such a brilliant creation. The perfect antithesis of the other strong female characters in the books (Lily, Molly and McGonagall, to name a few). She lets us dabble in a unique sort of darkness. But as you said, let's talk about Draco.

Draco is quite arrogant with the Auror who's keeping an eye on him. He still doesn't understand how much trouble he's really in. Nothing in his sheltered, lace-curtain life has prepared him for something like this. Believe me, his father would **definitely** be hearing about this if only he wasn't locked away in Azkaban.

I think of Narcissa as a character who has a lot of inner strength for exactly the reasons you describe. She was willing to sacrifice anything during the war to keep Draco safe and she still is. I do see her as a very loving mother, but she expresses her love differently from, say, Molly Weasley. Part of what I absolutely adore about JK Rowling is how she's able to present so many different versions of motherly love in the books.

Draco is legitimately terrified by his aunt. I think the thing that scares him most is that she's supposed to be on "his side", yet she's nothing like his father's cronies and sycophants. She doesn't just talk about torturing and murdering, she carries the acts out with relish. It really is just Draco and Narcissa against the world at this point.

I'm really pleased that you enjoyed it! Thanks for reading and reviewing!

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Review #10, by MissesWeasley123 Kick Me

30th January 2014:
Hey, I finally got some more time to stop by and continue reading this!

First of all, it's amazing how you continued it right where you left it off. One of the things I love about your writing is how you manage to write so many words without dialogue, and give background information with such ease. We aren't getting smacked on the face every second with overwhelming amounts of information, which is brilliant!

I found the little things funny, like the love potion under Nott's bed. I laughed when you said it was because he was trying to earn the affection of Millicent! I always imagined her to be such a troll, so it was funny seeing someone trying to go to those extremes.

I'd like to comment on Pansy, though. Last chapter I told you how distrubing it was to read them be that way. Pansy was desperate. But... In those moments, in this chapter, I was almost.. proud(?) of her haha. It was sad, because she knew that if Draco were in her place, he would leave her the second he was ordered to. And when she told him she still loved him, it seemed real, or as real as 15/16 year olds can love. Really though, it was depressing because even Draco didn't really want to anything, he just wanted to be with her and that couldn't happen. Depressing and a bit funny too, because he definitely isn't the most likeable guy in this.

And again, your love for Ginny and Narcissa! Ha, they were amazing. Especially Ginny, she was hilarious. Poor Draco couldn't do anything! It was amazing how you showed that in a couple of days, the tables had completely turned. Now Weasleys were poking fun at Malfoys -- great stuff!

And Narcissa. Again, you show the complex character she truly is. She's over protective, and I almost feel bad for her when Tonks says that Andromeda marks her calendar with all of their birthdays. It was a rather bittersweet moment. Tonks was bang on though, absolutely brilliant. You could see that fiery side of her, and she's easily forgotten but you just wrote her so well.

Moody was amazingly well written, and especially when Narcissa was thoroughly disgusted at the idea of Moody picking her up. I think in their encounter we truly see Draco's life collapse, because he can no longer bully adults or be a brat because of his father.

Anyway, excellent chapter! It's a pleasure to read your work as always :)

Author's Response: Hello, again! Always nice to see you back!

This chapter picks up right after the first one, but there are larger time gaps between some of the later chapters. The pace of the story picks up quite a bit near the end. I try really hard to work background into my stories at a very gradual pace because I agree with you: getting clobbered with a mountain of back story isn't much fun and most readers won't remember much of it.

I don't know why I decided that Theo Nott was wooing Millicent. I guess I never thought of the poor guy as being very lucky at love.

I'm glad that Pansy turned it around for you, or at least seemed less pathetic. This chapter is a prime example of how I imagine pureblood wizarding courtship. It's all about social status. I do think that Pansy truly cared for Draco, but she was raised to see that as only one part of the equation. He really isn't very likeable at this point, is he? Truthfully, I never wanted to make him likeable. I hate stories that white-wash his character and turn him into this very sensitive, misunderstood guy who sweeps leather-pants-Hermione off of her muggle-born feet. He is a deeply flawed person, full of prejudice and spite. But even bad people have some redeeming characteristics.

Ginny doesn't play a very large role in this, so I'll just say that I'm glad you liked her small part. Narcissa, on the other hand, ended up becoming a much larger part of this story than I intended. When I write her, she has a tendency to steal scenes. You'll be seeing a lot more of her.

Ah, Moody! If you liked the grumpy old coot here, I think you're going to love him when he reappears in a couple of chapters.

Thanks so much for the awesome review!

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Review #11, by MissesWeasley123 It All Comes Crashing Down

1st January 2014:
For the 12 Days of Reviewing!
Uhm, whoa, Dan?

So this was an.. awkward chapter to read. Honestly, my mind is blown and I am speechless (I accidentally wrote special instead of speechless and it made me laugh haha). I liked everything about this chapter, the intensity and the fear as well. Draco Malfoy was like a cherry on top. You write him to well.

He could already see himself falling into some of the same habits as his father, especially when it came to letting the women in his life deal with nagging social matters. -- This. This was tough. It was the sign that showed what type of a person he would become in due time.

When he talked about Umbridge, it made me laugh. You used words like, sashayed, and that visual that appeared was really amusing.

Draco and Pansy--forgive me-- were gross. Ew. Like, I do not mind Astoria obviously, she's awesome but Pansy is so creepy, I was cringing way too much during that. Not only was that disgusting, but so was Draco. It broke my heart to see how he treated her. She was enjoying it but... no. He.. he wasn't treating her well. It was bad. And sick. What he was doing was not appropriate. To him, Pansy was something he could use at his disposal. The way he was being arrogant and bragged... it made me sick. I was disgusted and disappointed. He is so twisted and nyah. The way his mind works is scary and he's like animal honestly. An ugly teenager who is so twisted. And stupid Pansy falling for him!

You have the world's most perfect Snape. It's as great as J.K.R's. He was my hero, saving me from that dreadful scene. I was so glad for him entering. His dialogue DAN! HOW? I think you should write a canon Snily just because you get into his head so well. I need to see more things from you about him.

Obliviating Crabbe and Goyle was a nice touch. Avoiding all plot holes, I see ;) Also, I could help but think, "YES, YESS!" when this happened:

Everything he had spent the last few hours imagining, his entire life, was swirling down the drain before his eyes.--LOLOL. YES,ME LIKE.

Anyways, great writing as always. You write Draco so well. Will be back soon!

Author's Response: Hi, there! So based on carefully reading the subtle messages between the lines of this review, I don't think you like Draco very much. ;) I don't blame you. He isn't very likeable at this stage of the story. If you like seeing him get beat up, keep reading. His life isn't going to be much fun at all for the next 4 chapters.

Draco is sort of special here, now that you mention it. He's an arrogant, obnoxious, entitled and self-important pureblood scion who's about to get his first unpleasant dose of that thing that the other 99% call "real life".

I was experimenting with pushing the envelope when I wrote Draco and Pansy, trying to see what I could really do without breaking the rules. While it is a bit gross to imagine, I was actually pleasantly surprised by what's really possible. People complain so much about feeling constrained by the rules against NC-17 material and the rather conservative interpretation of what isn't allowed under an M rating. If anything, I proved to myself that you can write a very ribald scene within the limits of the ToS.

Aww, I really appreciate you saying that about Snape. He's incredibly fun to write. I just let my inner Alan Rickman run free and tried not to let my fingers fall behind. And you will *never* find me writing any sort of Snape-Lily story, canon or otherwise. While Snape may have had a few admirable traits, his twisted, obsessive, possessive love of Lily was not one of them in my mind.

I think of Snape as being very, very thorough. He didn't survive as a spy in the Dark Lord's inner circle without covering all of his bases. Both Crabbe and Goyle have Death Eaters for fathers. Snape wouldn't take any chance of anything he had done getting back to them.

I do like the idea of Draco sitting there, feeling stunned and empty as everything he'd been plotting suddenly fell apart before his eyes. If anyone ever deserved it, it was him.

I'm really glad that you enjoyed it. This chapter was incredibly fun to write, especially the ending. Thanks for reading and reviewing and good luck in the 12 days challenge!

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Review #12, by academica Kick Me

4th November 2013:
Hey, swinging by from Review Tag :)

I see things have continued to slide downhill for Draco since the unfortunate incident with Snape in the first chapter! I like how he's still struggling with the realization that he's not untouchable; it seems quite realistic that Draco would fight this tooth and nail every step of the way. He wins some small, temporary victories (like not having anything too incriminating confiscated in his room) but suffers his share of losses as well (like the damage inflicted upon him by Harry's allies). It's interesting how his pride complicates his reaction to the unique sort of "protection" foisted upon him by the Order. I particularly loved his confusion upon hearing how his aunt Andromeda still remembered his birthday.

I also really like the way Draco's characterization comes through in contrasts. Everyone in his life seems to treat him like a child -- Pansy, his mother, the Order members -- and I think he fuels it in part by denying everything that's happening to him and whining about every instance of his "rights" being violated. It'll be interesting to see how he grows and changes over the course of the story, if at all, and how he reflects back on this time after his situation has worsened further.

Nice work, as always! I've missed reading your work and I'm still really enjoying this story.


Author's Response: Hi, Amanda!

Yep, Draco's life is in a tailspin at this point. It's starting to dawn on him that he isn't untouchable, but believe me, it will get much worse. Pride is a huge problem for him, but at least he has his mother to try to help guide him. Not that she's perfectly equipped to deal with a situation like this, but at least she's calmer about it.

I think you'll find that he grows up quite a bit over the course of this story. At the very least, he learns that much of what he used to think was important really doesn't matter that much when you're confronted with matters of life and death.

I'm really glad that you enjoyed it. Hope to see you back again soon.


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Review #13, by TheGirlWithTheLaughingFace That Which Must Be Done

13th August 2013:
I absolutely love this chapter. The way Draco carried himself you would never suspect he would suggest running away before joining Voldemort but then you saw the fear he had in HBP and you did a nice job including that in this chapter with the shaking of the hand while thinking about the receiving the dark mark. Guess ol Malfoy isn't as brave as he likes to make himself to be. Nice Job

Author's Response: Hi, there!

I imagine that Draco considered an awful lot of things when he was faced with the possibility of suffering the Dark Lord's wrath. He's gradually come to realize that he's in big trouble thanks to his father's failings. He isn't nearly so brave as he'd like people to believe.

Thanks for reading and reviewing!

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Review #14, by TheGirlWithTheLaughingFace It All Comes Crashing Down

13th August 2013:
Your fellow gryffie here with your review. All I can say is: OMG! Can I please please please have just a tiny bit of your talent? Your writing is just absolutely wonderful. I can just feel the smugness coming off Malfoy as he bragged to Pansy how he was going to be extremely popular the next day. I'm just in awe of the amazingness of this story. I'm off to read the rest of the chapters and probably fill your reviews up with more gushness. 10/10

Author's Response: Hi, there! Dreadfully sorry to have taken so long to respond. I really appreciate the fact that you went the extra mile with my story!

I'm glad that Draco's attitude and arrogance came through clearly. I really don't like stories that white-wash his character. At this stage of his life, he was definitely an arrogant, self-important, snobby little jerk. But he's about to learn a few things.

So glad that you enjoyed it! Thanks for reading and reviewing!

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Review #15, by rozen_maiden The Price of Living

7th August 2013:
Perfect! I really loved this story - everything was in canon; from Narcissa to Bella to Snape... And I loved the absolute loyalty Draco had towards Lucius, right to the end. I felt as though I was reading an actual book, and I even got teary at the end. You are an incredible writer. This was truly amazing, well done.

Author's Response: Hello, again!

I'm really, really pleased that you liked the story. To me, this was such an interesting period in Draco's life that was never thoroughly explained in the books. It was fun to take a crack at filling in the gaps.

Thanks so much for reading and reviewing!

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Review #16, by rozen_maiden It All Comes Crashing Down

6th August 2013:
Okay, I'm ... speechless at the moment. This was just magnificent. I don't even have words... Just. Wow.

Author's Response: Hi!

I have to admit, I'm a little speechless, too. Thank you for the lovely compliment and thanks for taking the time to review!

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Review #17, by adluvshp The Price of Living

5th June 2013:
Hey! Here for review tag.

I am pleased I got a chance to come for the final chapter of this story.

It was a very intense chapter, and made me feel really sorry for Draco and his mother. You characterised Bellatrix perfectly, and I loved the interaction between her and Narcissa. The whole thing about recalling family history was very effective and added to the narrative. You described Voldemort amazingly too, which is commendable, and the whole scene was written in a very realistic manner. You explored Draco's emotions really well throughout and I just loved it.

All in all, this was a great story, very realistic, and nicely written. You did justice to the characters and the plot.

Good job!

Author's Response: Hi.

I'm really glad that you enjoyed the story. This was by far the trickiest chapter to write. Voldemort is a very intimidating character to tackle.

Thanks for reading and reviewing.

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Review #18, by adluvshp That Which Must Be Done

2nd May 2013:
Here for review tag!

Ah another powerful chapter. It always amazes me how well you've characterised Draco. His fear, his anxiety, his despair, it's all so real. Narcissa is characterised very well too. Great job on that!

I loved the part where Tonks was disguised as Bellatrix. She did a pretty good job of it. I also liked how Draco's fear of Bellatrix was so prominent. Him seeking out his mother was something normal. I do wish they'd both just run away like Moody suggested though.

So far, I am enjoying the story. You've captured the entire scenario as well as your characters quite well in a realistic manner. The tension in the narrative is apparent. Great work. I hope to be back for the next chapter soon.


Author's Response: Ugh! Shamefully slow in responding to this. Bad Dan, bad! I lay the blame solely at the feet of an excellent fic I stumbled upon the other day that's been eating up my free time like a starving hyena on a ham sandwich.

Anyhoo, I'm really glad that you like the way I've built up Draco in this. I'm not trying to make him a hero and I'm not trying to make anyone feel unconditionally sorry for him, either. He's a complex character, with some aspects worthy of pity and others deserving of scorn.

When I look back at this story, I go back and forth on whether I'm happy with the role Narcissa plays. She turned into a real show-stealer at several points, which wasn't my intent. I guess part of the problem -- maybe it's not a problem, actually. Depends on how you look at it -- is that her story is so tightly interwoven with Draco's. Every noble thing she does in the books, she does for him.

I told you Tonks would be back. The idea of having her pose as her aunt and terrorize Draco came to me while I was writing that scene and I fell head-over-heels in love with it. I'm glad you liked it.

I'm really pleased that you're enjoying the story. This was my "rebound" story after the big emotional release of finishing CoB, so it's nice to hear that it wasn't a letdown for anyone. Thanks for reading and reviewing!

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Review #19, by adluvshp No Way Out

21st March 2013:
Here for review tag!

Ah, another remarkable chapter. I am enjoying this story more and more.

I love the way you have portrayed Draco. He is really very canon-like. His arrogant attitude, his cheekiness, his stubbornness, his self-centeredness, his pride, and the way he thinks money can buy everything - it is all captured perfectly.

Despite all these traits, you have made me feel sorry for him, so that's commendable. He's of course very confused about everything and doesn't know what to do and what not to do. His anger and fear is only justified. The interaction he had with Narcissa in the first segment was very beautifully done and captured the essence of both his and Narcissa's feelings smoothly.

You wrote Bellatrix wonderfully as well. A lot of people fail to capture her in all her dark and insane glory but you did a fine job. Narcissa's fear of her sister being in the house was also very well done, and so was Bellatrix's response to her pleadings.

Over all, I think you're doing a great job writing this story. You make me sympathise with Draco, and yet keep them him very much in-character, along with all his fear and darkness and arrogance. I can also see Narcissa's love for her son here clearly, and I am pleased with the way you have played around with that aspect of her personality. All in all, good work! I can't wait to see how the story turns out further.


Author's Response: Hi, there!

I'm pretty fanatical about the way I like to read and write Draco. I really dislike stories that portray him as being purely "misunderstood" or purely evil. By the end of the books, he had become a very complex individual. So I try very hard to reflect that in the way that I write him. I'm glad that you like it.

A lot of reviewers have said that they feel sorry for Draco, and I'm never quite sure how to feel about that. I didn't set out to turn him into a sympathetic character, because he isn't really somebody that I think you should feel badly for. For all the years that his family's money, power and connections to the Dark Lord worked in his favor, he flaunted those things shamelessly. If there's any reason that I think people should feel badly for Draco, it's because he was born with such a buffoon for a father.

Bellatrix has become one of my favorite canon characters to read and write. She's just so much fun! She's sweet and naive in a way, but lurking just beneath the surface is a complete sociopath who relishes the pain and death she inflicts on her master's enemies.

Narcissa loved her son every bit as much as Lily Potter or Molly Weasley loved their children, and I think that she is as much a testament to the power of a mother's love as any other character in the books. When I started writing this, I hadn't planned on her playing such a large role, but as the story evolved, I really started to enjoy her character and the role she played in it.

I'm really pleased that you're enjoying the story. Thanks for reading and reviewing!

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Review #20, by MissMdsty The Price of Living

21st February 2013:
Now that this is over and we know what happens next (thanks to HPB and DH), you simply have to write more of "Detox"! Draco seems almost human when you write him and I love reading your stories on him.

As for other, almost human stuff, I was terrified by the meeting with Voldemort. You described everything in such detail that I was scared for their lives. Literally. Voldemort is the kind of boss nobody likes to have... He's out of control, rude, agressive, thinks he's better than anybody else, spiteful, holds a grudge and will fire you at any time without any warning, since it's his company. Only in this case, getting fired is pretty permanent. You kinda die.

I loved how you portraied the whole meeting, with the people hiding and not wanting to reveal themselves. A very nice touch was the family tree he kept reciting. I need that spell that Bellatrix performed. I'd take the pain if the correct answer would just pop up on my arm.

Back to the ritual. Very well thought out and beautifuly executed! I'm talking to Dan, not you Voldermort! I think this marks (pardon my pun) the true loss of innocence in Draco. He's just a child and the answer he gave him was a child's answer. Which would've made anybody but Voldemort think twice.

That brings me to the epic conclusion of these reviews (which you should read from bottom to top to make any sense of them, since I sound very random at times) and that is: the reason why Dumbledore died.

Putting aside the fact that he played dress up with the cursed ring, he was killed because he was the only person that was impossible for Draco to kill. Not because Voldemort feared him. He had dozens of lunatics like Bellatrix for that. No, Dumbledore had to die because the quest of Draco Malfoy to kill him amused Voldemort. Sick bastard.

I think you ended the story in the perfect place! I enjoyed reading it very much. Like all of your writting, it was well thought out and even better executed. Well done! :)


Author's Response: Ha! I've always struggled with a good summary for this story. Maybe that will be my new one: "Draco Malfoy: You'll think he's almost human."

Whew! I'm so glad you liked the meeting with Voldemort. You would not believe how many times I tweaked that scene to try to get the atmosphere just right. Now I feel like I have a tiny appreciation for what movie directors go through when they try to set the scene for some Big Moment in a film and I don't envy them that task at all. It's nerve-racking.

Reciting his family history was meant to keep the Dark Lord from reading Draco's thoughts, but in the end it became mostly a defense mechanism against panicking. It worked out alright for him, although Voldemort obviously had no trouble reading him.

Interesting theory on why Dumbledore had to die. You're right, that he probably could have held on a little longer and helped Harry out a bit more. But it was important to Dumbledore to choose the manner of his own death and to make it as meaningful as possible. So he chose to help Draco out. I think he got a good return on his investment when Draco refused to identify Harry and Narcissa lied to Voldemort later on.

I'm glad you liked where I chose to end it. I could have gone on a bit longer, but I think it would have felt anticlimactic to go any further after he survives his encounter with the Dark Lord.

Wow! So I was definitely not expecting this when I posted in your review thread. Thank you *so much* for reading the whole thing and leaving such amazing reviews!

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Review #21, by MissMdsty That Which Must Be Done

21st February 2013:
Now he gets it! Better late than never I guess.

Narcissa's motherly love is haunting in this chpater. I don't have any kids myself, but the ones that exist in my mind for when the time comes... I'm very protective of them. I imagine it's nothing like the real thing. My Mom always says I'll understand when I have children of my own. But even so, it seems horribly painful to not be able to protect your child from something, especially something as terrible as a lifetime of servitude to that lunatic. You've painted a beautiful picture of her feelings and how Draco reacts when he realizes that it's either fight for his own life or lay down and wait to be killed.

I loved the bit with Tonks in disguise. I never expected that and I was very shocked by the fact that Moody with his crazy eye didn't see Bellatrix of all people. I can totally understand Draco's reaction. Tonks' display of "family pride" in regard to that made me laugh so hard.

Only one more chapter to go and I'm already feeling the tension of the fact that he is coming. Maybe it's because I have DH2 playing while I read this. Or maybe it's because I have no idea what's up your sleeve for this final chapter!

Author's Response: Yes, he finally gets it. Took him long enough, huh?

Narcissa is probably regretting a lot of her past decisions in this chapter. Not just the one that probably got her uncle killed. She's always pretty much let Lucius do whatever he pleases as long as he's discrete about it, and that's coming back to bite her and Draco both in a major way. Having kids definitely changes your perspective on things like this. Your decisions start to take on more weight when you realize that they're affecting more than just yourself.

I told you Tonks would be back! I had already written the part about Draco agonizing over the attack in the newspaper and the part about Moody telling him he should run for it, but the transition between the two bothered me. Out of the blue, that idea popped into my head and I instantly fell in love with it. Especially her crack about not embarrassing the family.

Yes, He is coming. Brace yourself. It's gonna be a doozy! Thanks for reading and reviewing!

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Review #22, by MissMdsty No Way Out

21st February 2013:
I actually had this very long and funny review written earlier today, then my Internet went all funny, then I had to go driving (which was terrible today, by the way, I wanted to run away kicking and screaming), but I'm back here now so let's get back to your story.

I'm having a sudden urge to go to Draco with crayons and a piece of paper and drawing it up for him, maybe then he'd understand. Dude, you're Dad's gone bye bye, his former friends want to punish him by doing terrible stuff to you. None of which I can describe here. I've gone completely mental, I'm talking to a fictional character.

I don't understand how Draco can be so oblivious to everything around him. It should be a dead giveaway when his Mom's a mess and the place is crawling with magical police. I know two things for sure. It's not lost unless Mom can't find it and it's not so bad, until Mom starts crying. And look at the little brat, "we have plenty of gold.". No kid, first of all, your parents have plenty of gold, you just have the attitude of a toddler who missed nap time, and second, if Lord Evil wanted gold, he'd have taken over the Bank of Wizard Gold, not the Department of Mysteries.

Anyway, looks like Lady Evil is back. And by that I mean Bellatrix, who scares me to death. I should look for her under my bed when I go to sleep. This time, she's like the Grinch song "You have termites in your smile, Bellatrix!". Yeah, if you sing that in your head, it's going to sound just right.

I love the power this woman projects all around her. She's scary, yes, but she is everything a woman should be. Powerful, smart, convincing. Compared to her, Pansy's like a Flobberworm. Too bad she's insane. I guess you can't have it all.

I think at this point, the end of this chapter, Draco's starting to realize something's up, but we've got a long way to go before he realizes he's in over his head.

Great chapter! I'm off to read the next!

Author's Response: Aw, that's too bad. I hate being dragged away from my computer when I'm in the middle of something. But I really enjoyed your review anyway.

Ha! I'm not sure Draco would have "gotten it" any better with a different, more dumbed-down communication medium. You have to remember that the new reality he's being forced to adjust to is contrary to everything he's ever been taught to believe. The idea that his family's influence and gold are not enough to keep them safe is impossibly alien to him. I think it's understandable that it takes him a long time to really internalize the message.

Yes, Bellatrix is back. If you find her under your bed, I'm not even sure it's worth bothering to run. You're pretty much dead either way. Ew! Termites in her smile. One more health hazard of Azkaban.

She is fearsome in her insanity. Even the other murderers and sociopaths give her a wide berth because you never have any idea what she's going to do next. I think that's one of the things the Dark Lord loved most about her. She was an excellent tool to spread fear.

Yes, as he goes to bed it's definitely starting to dawn on him that he's not in Kansas any more, so to speak. The next chapter will be pretty big for him, realization-wise. Thanks so much for all of your amazing reviews!

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Review #23, by adluvshp Kick Me

21st February 2013:
Hi. Stopping by for tag.

It's been a while since I read the first chapter of this story, but I am glad to have the opportunity to come back to this well-written piece of yours.

This chapter was very interesting. As I am sure I have said before, you write Draco in a very canon-compliant way. His characterisation is quite perfect.

The rejection he felt from Pansy was a strong blow to him, and I liked the way you expressed it. He's desperate for someone's company and yet he finds himself all alone - suddenly from being in a top position in the Slytherin house, he has slid to the bottom - and that is all portrayed very well.

I also enjoyed your inclusion of Tonks in this chapter. She's always been a "somewhere there" character for me - I hardly gave much notice to her - but the way you incorporated her in this scenario was impressive. I loved how she stood up for her mother, and became all angry at Draco, and such.

All in all, I think this was a very nicely done chapter and the events that occurred seemed very fitting. Your characters are all so believable, and I could almost see this happening. There are no 'technical' errors in this either, and the narrative flowed smoothly.

All in all, great job! I hope to come back for the next chapter soon =)


Author's Response: Hi!

I'm glad you found Draco consistent with canon. That was one of my major goals throughout the story.

He does take Pansy's rejection hard, but not because he truly had strong feelings for her. She was one of his "creature comforts" that he grew to take for granted. When she leaves him, it's like a soft, plush rug being yanked out from underneath him.

Tonks is one of those characters who never got as much attention as I thought she deserved in the books, so I enjoyed giving her a few moments to shine in this story. In a way, her story is a mirror reflection of Draco's.

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

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Review #24, by MissMdsty Kick Me

20th February 2013:
"wandered off into the forest like some tree-hugging hippie". Ha! That image made me laugh so hard!

I am in serious awe of how well these characters and their relationships are build. I am simply commenting to fangirl over this, I have nothing useful to add to your writting style.

I really liked how his fall from grace started slowly but surely. And it all culminated with Pansy breaking up with him. I still have no respect for her. She was told to do that.

What I liked best about this chapter is the interactions between Narcissa and Draco, and Draco and Tonks.

Narcissa is trying so hard to maintain her calm exterior, not to show her son the cracks and it's obvious she'd rather be anywhere but where she was right at that moment. Can't say I blame her, really. Noseless, red eyed man coming home for dinner with the husband? I'd be out of there faster than you can say "Constant vigilance!".

Tonks is amazing and your potrail of her was spot on. I was just as amazed as Draco was that the Aurors are there to protect them. Of all things! I am in shock. Draco m'boy, we're in for the summer of our lives!

Brilliant chapter, as usual! I'm loving this story so far.

Author's Response: Hello, again!

I was really smitten with that line, myself, although I had to check with my beta reader and see whether the term "hippie" meant the same thing in the UK. When I try to think about how Draco and his family would think of Dumbledore -- with all of his eccentricities and his fondness for Muggle-borns and non-human magical creatures -- that's definitely the term that came to mind.

Draco's fall from grace will continue to accelerate. Yes, he got pummeled on the train and his cousin takes him down a peg, but nothing *really* bad has happened to him yet. Without giving too much away, it's coming...

I didn't think much about Narcissa at all before HBP. The way that she defied Voldemort to seek Snape's help was the first sign that she was something more than just Lucius's trophy wife. Then, in DH, there was a very palpable strength to her, a willingness to do anything and everything to keep her son safe. It really changed my opinion of her, and I tried to inject a little of that strength into this chapter. You'll see more of it later.

Tonks is a character who had so much potential and I didn't feel like it was ever truly realized in the books. Aside form her obvious talents, her family story is so compelling. So I tried to give her a couple of chances to shine in this.

I'm really glad that you enjoyed this. Thanks for reading and reviewing!

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Review #25, by MissMdsty It All Comes Crashing Down

20th February 2013:
Hello there dear!

Another Draco story! Tehnically, this is the first Draco story you've written, but since I read "Detox" first, we'll leave it at that.

It's so amusing to see how Draco felt and thought before becoming disenchanted with his life as a Death Eater. The opening paragraphs were amazing, showing me as a reader that the little brat really wanted to be like Daddy when he grew up. The idea that he wanted a woman to busy herself with his social calendar makes perfect sense to me.

At first I was creeped out by the interactions between Draco and Pansy, mainly because I can't imagine anybody doing that with her. But once I got used to the idea that we are once again (for me at least) in the mind of Draco, I found them to be very ... interesting. I say that because what I've seen of Draco in this first chapter, he is the poster child of rich, spoiled children everywhere. The kind that don't actually have any plans outside of the imediate future, their best accomplishments are those of their parents, since they are at best, average and that count on Daddy to secure their life for them. I have a friend like that, who's parents are very well off, and as coincidence has it, I just visited her a few days ago. And reading Draco here, it just made me remember the things that come out of her mouth. The way in which one might drop a hint about an important aquaintance or a very expensive venue they've visited. Just like Draco bragged about the impeding nuptials with the Bulgarian family. So, you were spot on with Draco. Well done!

While reading about Draco and Pansy, I understood the full meaning of JKR's words "Let my girls be Hermiones, not Pansy Parkinsons". Let my girls be the same too. I will come out and tell you that I have no respect for this character. Any woman that would just allow herself to be treated like that and used in such a way deserves to be called anything but a woman. Such a shame that the comments are 12+.

I can understand that at fifteen or sixteen, it's easy to be impressed when the most popular guy in school comes on to you. And by her standards, he is the most popular guy. Except, what she doesn't yet realize is that she is a toy. Arm candy if you will. Draco's interactions with her showed me that to him, she is nothing more than an object, not a person. Of course, at sixteen, when you're smack in the middle of growing up, the things he thought about are perfectly normal, if you know what I mean. However, if there is one good thing that came out of this war, it's the fact that Draco grew up, or else he would've never been able to have a healthy relationship.

Now Snape. He was canon Snape, through and through. I even read him with Rickman's voice in my head, it all came very natural. I loved how he was both strict and somewhat concerned with Draco's well being and the instructions he gave him were phrased perfectly. I tell you, it's like the hoped off OotP and into this story!

I also loved how you ended this chapter, in the perfect place to build the suspense for what's going to come. Reading this reminded me of my 5th grade teacher, who used to tell us that in third-person POV stories, the author is allknowing and omnipotent. And you are, in the magnificent way in which you play with these characters and bring them to life.

I know you only requested for chapter one, but I'm going to go on and read everything now, because I'm so curious to see what happens next!

Author's Response: My goodness! Such a long, detailed and thought-provoking review. It's like Christmas morning!

I wanted to start the story off with Draco at the very pinnacle of his pride and arrogance. To really appreciate how far he falls by the end of the story, I thought it was important to depict him that way. It isn't just that he has no respect for Pansy in particular or women in general, he basically has no respect for anyone. He is living completely in his own world of self-indulgence and egocentricity.

I'm glad that the Draco-Pansy love scene creeped you out. That was more or less the reaction that I was going for. Draco holds her in such low regard that he pretty much toys with her. And he enjoys his "toy" so much that he's unwilling to give her up, even if his parents find another girl for him to marry who forwards their monetary and political interests more effectively. Most of us, I think, have known a kid at some point with these Draco-like characteristics. It's pretty universal for people from the developed world.

It's nothing new for me to agree with JKR, but I agree with her point on Hermione vs. Pansy more strongly than with most others. Pansy is the epitome of everything a self-respecting young lady should NOT be.

Snape... I **loved** writing him in that scene. And it was honestly one of the easiest things I've ever written, for exactly the reason you describe. I just let my inner Alan Rickman run free, and the words tumbled from the tips of my fingers. He's such a beautiful bastard!

I'm so pleased that you enjoyed this. I found it really rewarding to write. Thanks for reading and reviewing!

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