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Reading Reviews for Traitorous Hearts
  
300 Reviews Found

Review #1, by Ohpl The Man in the Mirror

21st August 2017:
Loved this. One of the best chapters of the best story on this site.
You could feel Draco's exhaustion, terror and jealousy. His futile desire to get the people he cared about out of the castle . His acknowledgment that the things he was taught from childhood were proven wrong by Hermione's abilities was a stunning and mirrored Astoria's earlier realization that she could choose her own beliefs.
My wish , as always is a story from the point of view of
Seamus .

Author's Response: You are making me blush so hard right now, you know :). Thank you.

Draco has sooo much going on mentally right now that it was a real challenge, and I'm really happy that you could feel the many, exhausting emotions he's going through. He's terrified for his life, and the lives of his family and friends - and he can do nothing. He's now been forced to face the fact that every assumption that his life was built on was a lie. He's part of pushing Voldemort's agenda forward, and his life depends on that, but he misses the way his life used to be; he doesn't want Voldemort to win. But then, he also can't completely hope for Voldemort to lose, because then he and his family would be on the wrong side. And, of course, he's fallen for this girl who is in the middle of all the danger, and falling for someone is confusing and emotional at the best of times.

I'm really happy you thought the realization that Draco's bigoted views are changing went well. People can't much help what they're exposed to as children - I think we all had views that grew and changed when we could look at the world with our own minds and eyes instead of taking what our communities told us as fact. He's not perfect, but he's making progress.And, like you said, it's pretty similar to Astoria. They're both intelligent, analytical people who, at some point, had to take stock of the world and realize that what they were being told just didn't make sense. I don't doubt that Draco would have changes his views in the war. I think this is the time where he would have seen his parents imperfections; how they made mistakes that put the entire family at risk. And I think it would have taken the elder Malfoys' fall from grace for Draco to realize that his parents weren't perfect, and to finally let himself think about the reasons that, deep down, he knew they were wrong.

Also, it looks like Seamus wins, so be on the lookout! A few chapters from now I'll probably be posting a Seamus one-shot. I just have to figure out the right moment.

Thank you so much for reading and for taking the time to review, as always. You're fantastic!

--Penny


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Review #2, by GinnyPotterForever The Man in the Mirror

18th August 2017:
Hey! I love your writing! This story is so different from what we usually find!
I absolutely love Astoria and Draco! And the Gryffindor characters are amazingly written too!
Congratulations on the success of the story! Since you are taking opinions, I would love something from Seamus's point of view. What is he thinking? How did he develop his feelings for Astoria? Also, Astoria should definitely give him a chance, he's such a darling!
Keep up the great work!

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Review #3, by justawillowtree The Man in the Mirror

16th August 2017:
I absolutely loved this chapter. Just an entire chapter of their interactions made me so giddy ADSL all deals JFK. I hope we get another chapter like this someday! (Also, their awkwardness and characterizations were spot on, as always. I think you made Draco the perfect blend of selfish and thoughtful, and I thought you wrote his mental shift from bigotry incredibly well as well.)

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Review #4, by Rhian The Man in the Mirror

16th August 2017:
Hi there Penny! I have been eagerly anticipating this latest installment and I was not disappointed. The dialogue was engaging and flowed really well. The awkward pauses and body language discriptions worked well. It set the tone of two people seeking some normality in a hard situation. I truly enjoy the way you weave your story into JKRs timeline, it really is flawless. I like the idea of a one-shot. I think I'd like to read something from the P.O.V of Seamus, or maybe Ginny. Perhaps a snippet of life in the room of requirement from Seamus' P.O.V on a day that Astoria isn't there. Or Ginny's thoughts in the lead up to her sending the howler. That's my wishlist anyway :) Anywho...Keep on keeping on. You're doing a fabulous job and I look forward to the day this is all wrapped up, so that I can binge read it from start to finish *soo satisfying* ;) Until then, I look forward to the next chapter, I hope it's not too hard on you!

Author's Response: Hey Rhian! Can I just say I am SO glad that you were not disappointed? And I'm glad that you said so outright, because I truly breathed an immediate sigh of relief. I really worked and worked on this chapter, because I knew that it would either go right or very wrong and I def didn't want anyone to feel like it didn't fit in with the story/character trajectory. And it was tricky because it's just two people staring into a mirror for a very long time - nothing really to describe except for each other.

Weaving this into JKR's story is absolutely the most fun part about it, and I'm delighted that you feel that it's going well. It's a fun challenge to work around what's already there.

So far it looks like Seamus is winning the court of One Shot opinion here, so I think that's what I'll be doing. I think I'll have to do it a couple of chapters now for it to fit in well with the story, but I'm looking forward to it!

Thank you so much for this lovely review, and for reading, Rhian!

--Penny


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Review #5, by Ohpl An Uncomfortable Truth

8th August 2017:
Lovely chapter with some hard truths for everyone. The ending was fantastic. Can't wait for your next update.

Author's Response: Thank you, Ohpl! Yeah, I think Astoria has stuck it out under this "Slytherins are evil" mentality long enough, just because she knew that in her case, her mother really was a Death Eater, so she felt she couldn't complain. But I think as she saw people like Constance and Daniel being painted with that same tarred brush she finally just lost patience with it, because it wasn't only herself she was defending. After all, these are kids, most of whom haven't declared a side and, even if they'd like to be, aren't really included in the resistance because people make assumptions about their loyalties.

I'm so glad you liked the ending! I can't wait to see what you think of the next chapter.

Thanks!

--Penny


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Review #6, by justawillowtree An Intervention

8th August 2017:
You are so good at writing. I love your writing. I eat every chapter up, and I'm always ridiculously excited for the next one.

Author's Response: Aww, thank you so, so much. That is just such a lovely, encouraging thing to say, and I really appreciate it!

--Penny


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Review #7, by justawillowtree A Dire Task

8th August 2017:
I love this story so so so much. It's so creative and it talks about a side of canon that no one really thinks about! Everything is so interesting, I love it.

Author's Response: Hi! Thank you so much! I really love working around canon and filling in the spots that are missing - it's a fun challenge. I'm so glad that you're enjoying it! And thank you very much for taking the time to tell me! It means a lot.

--Penny


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Review #8, by practicalmagic An Uncomfortable Truth

4th August 2017:
This story is amazing! The characters are very well written and I love the relationships between them.

Dracos back! I'm so excited to see what's going to happen next, what Draco and Astoria will talk about, how this will grow their relationship!

I love that you had Astoria stick up for herself and the other syltherins, and I think she hit the nail on the head. Slytherins might not agree with what's happening but for them to go against Voldemort and the death eaters they are having to stand up against friends and family as well has a psychotic mass murderer. Everything is not as black and white as people want it to be. And I loved the emphasis on war/a battle/a fight meaning death, because it seems like Justin doesn't realize that he'd be asking children to fight to the death (cause death eaters are) against people who are much older and more experienced in dueling than they are. If someone who is of age wants to fight that's one thing, but I think it's important that Neville's main priority is getting everyone out of the castle safely (it just shows why he's in charge).

Again this is an amazing story and I can't wait for you to update!!!

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Review #9, by marauderfan A Changing Tide

4th August 2017:
Wow this was an eventful chapter. Ah! I really loved all the twists and turns in to the plot - Draco finding out, the faceoff between the two of them whre Astoria has let go of any facade of propriety, the terryfing moment when Greyback walks in, and then Draco calling off Greyback, denying everything and leaving. I think Draco is just as scared of Greyback as Astoria is, and whatever else he's done at this point in the war, he's still a kid and not up to facing the idea of watching Greyback devour someone. Besides, as Astoria mentioned, Draco does still have a soul somewhere in there and she found a way to get through to it - she noticed his hesitation at all the crucial moments and banked on it. I have to say, she held her own really well up until the Legilimency, and even afterward when she was defensive - she was not going down without a fight. This was such a fast paced chapter and I couldn't look away for a second as I was reading it! This story is really starting to build up now and I love it.

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Review #10, by marauderfan The Malediction Perfidious

4th August 2017:
Hi Penny! I just randomly decided to return to this story today as I saw it on the recently updated page and I remembered reading some of it a while ago and really liking it. Now that I'm further into the story I'm loving it even more!

There are far too few stories about Slytherins during the second war, so I really appreciate that about this story - that it handles all the complicated layers of what it is to be a Slytherin during this time, and how much acting is needed and secret alliances and holding all her cards close to her chest. And while Astoria is kind of alone among her peers in that she's working against Voldemort, in a way she's still like any other Slytherin, looking out for herself and those she cares about. It's a wonderful characterisation of her and quite layered which I really appreciate.

I also love her friendship with Ginny - if it can be called that. How they're both incredibly similar - observant, direct with one another (for the most part), and it made me wonder if in different circumstances, like if Ginny wasn't from a 'blood traitor' family or Astoria didn't have judgemental peers - they could have been really good friends. Omg, though, I really love Astoria's musings about Gryffindors' flair for the dramatic and foolish. I love that Ginny's friends got in on this even to the point of faking an injury just so Ginny can secretly meet with Astoria. That was a brilliant scene.

Also yikes that the curse was cast by Astoria's mother. Adds a whole new layer of complication there.

This is such a great story and I'm so glad I've come back to it!

Author's Response: Hey! Aw, yay! I'm so excited that you decided to check it out again, and even MORE excited that you're enjoying it! :D

I feel like your entire 2nd paragraph in this review makes me want to cry tears of happiness because it was *exactly* what I was going for with this story. Astoria is totally a Slytherin, but she's actually a rather good person at her core who, till now, was raised to sort of see her desire to take a stand as a weakness rather than a strength. I really wanted a character who wasn't good in, like, the typical shining, heroic way, but who generally has a good moral compass and who, when left to her own devices, tends to choose the right thing.

I also love her friendship with Ginny! I think it can be called that, even if it's a bit tentative. They're fun because I feel like they kind of represent Gryffindor and Slytherin being two sides of the same coin. They both do have that direct quality, and a certain disregard for the rules. And, to be fair, some prejudices on both sides. I think you're right and if they could have met before, under different circumstances, they would have been great friends all through school. Bahaha, Astoria is a bit of a snob sometimes, but she also sometimes may not be wrong--I think the flair for drama is a part of many Gryffindors. Astoria just maybe isn't aware that Draco Malfoy used to stage his meetings with Harry by sitting around in trees and waiting for him to walk by, and all that ;'). Two sides, same coin.

Thank you so much for this absolutely lovely review1. It's an absolute delight to hear your thoughts! Thank you!

--Penny


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Review #11, by May An Uncomfortable Truth

30th July 2017:
Ahh!! Haven't checked this in a while so read roughly 3 new chapters and they're brilliant thank you!! Hope this is as fun to write as it is for me to read :) Although this ending is a little evil- we've been waiting for Draco to appear for agess ;) anyways thanks for writing such a good fic

Author's Response: Hi May! It is tremendously fun to write (most days) and I'm really glad that you enjoy reading it! Me, evil?? :D. Well, I did choose to write a story about two Slytherins for a reason...

Thank YOU for reading, and for taking the time to review! It means a lot!

--Penny


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Review #12, by Eli An Uncomfortable Truth

23rd July 2017:
Hi! Thank you for continuing this story! :) I think you write very well and your story has a good plot.
Looking forward to the next chapter.
Eli

Author's Response: Hi! Thank YOU so much for reading it! And for taking the time to leave a review. I really appreciate your kind words, and I hope you enjoy the next chapter!

--Penny


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Review #13, by Felpata Lupin The Stolen Truth

23rd July 2017:
Hi, Penny! Here for our swap!
Oh, Merlin, did I miss this story... how am I so behind? Thank you for giving me an excuse to come back here!

As always, your writing is stunning. I love your descriptions, the atmosphere you manage to create and, most importantly, the dynamics between your characters, they way they study each other, the carefulness in every word and gesture, it's so fascinating. I loved that you showed us both point of views here.

I feel sort of bad for Draco, forced into this role, knowing that it's actually just an act and that the esit is already decided independently of how the meeting goes. I loved that you showed him tired and doubtful, even if he managed to hide it. At the same time I find it interesting how he is fascinated despite himself by her and wants to figure out her secrets, just because it has become a personal challenge, or maybe because he wants a justification for what he's doing. Maybe both...

I also loved how you made Astoria lose her cools, if only for a moment, when the subject of her family was brought up. And then, with the switch to her point of view... that was so intense! I could feel the fear and the tension when she thought he would torture her (by the way, I loved that you showed how Draco is repulsed by the idea of torture, even if only so subtly and from a point of view of someone who can't know that. It was so effective). And the Legilimens bit... it must be such a awful sensation, someone violating your mind that way. It can be, indeed, much worse that torture... And that cliffhanger, oh my Merlin!

I'll try not to take so long to get back to you next time, I need to know what happens next! But I have to go now...

Thank you for accepting the swap and bringing me back to this wonderful piece of art! And welcome back to our lovely community, I've really missed you!

Lots of love,
Chiara

Author's Response: Hey Chiara!

Thank YOU! You offered the review swap. And I was just so excited to take you up on it! It's always fun to swap with you, and I enjoyed reading your writing again! It had been way too long.

I really like your insight on Draco's motivations for pushing this when the outcome is already decided. I agree that he considers it a personal challenge and wants to figure her out, but I'm not sure I remember anyone else suggesting what you did - that he wants to find out her guilt because it would justify his actions this time. That really rings true. Draco's actions and motivations are complicated, and I've never put those words to it before, but I think you are right and that on some level the desire to be right about this, to be condemning someone who actually did what they are accused of, is a factor. If she's guilty, then that's one less sin on his shoulders.

Or is it...?

Writing that moment where Astoria loses it was such a relief for me. A BREAK in the TENSION! And I really wanted to take the opportunity to show that, as good as she is at all the deception and at keeping her emotions close to the vest, she's still 16. She's a young girl, and she's under tremendous strain, but her devotion to her family is absolute. They are her weakness, and she can't quite hide it.

Plus, I liked having this moment of breakthrough. Like they've been dancing around each other for 4 1/2 chapters and the time has finally come when we're getting past the surface.

I'm also really glad that you homed in on that moment where Draco is repulsed by the idea of torture, but Astoria can't tell. I cannot imagine Draco would have the stomach for that kind of cruelty, and I think he'd have had to witness far too much of it already. It was something I really wanted to convey without having it be obvious to Astoria what his reaction meant, so I'm really happy that it came across and that you liked it.

Muahahaha. Yeah, I'll admit, I enjoy a good evil cliffhanger. But I try to write the next chapter fast so that no one suffers too much.

And oh my gosh, Chiara, you are going to make me CRY! You are too sweet. Thank you so much for that absolutely lovely welcome back. It really, really means so much. I've missed you too!

--Penny



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Review #14, by katrinalliu An Uncomfortable Truth

22nd July 2017:
the ending of this chapter? holy crap? this story is absolutely spectacular and has had me hooked since day one. so sophisticatedly written and laid out. can't wait for more xx

Author's Response: HAHAHA, thank you *grins evilly*. I am sooo glad that you enjoyed the ending, and I really appreciate your kind words. Hearing that you feel like the story is spectacular just absolutely makes my day! Thank you!

--Penny


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Review #15, by Shinicha An Intervention

21st July 2017:
already two more chapters, how could I not have noticed?!

I really like new-Astoria the way she dealt with Daniel. I have this secret hope that maybe he will also join the DA? It would be nice if she weren't the only Slytherin in the end. And he does seem to have enough reasons! Also, yay for Ginny's letter. She must be so worried and bored! And what will come of all the suspicions regarding Astoria's love life? Will she have to invent a boyfriend eventually?

With Daphne I really can't tell if she's honestly so stupid, of if it's a supremely elaborate act. In any case, she's a very horrible person! I don't really understand how you would become like this. I like the detail about Pansy's family being broke. This at least explains her behaviour and how she clings to her blood superiority in a way.

Author's Response: Hellooo! Haha, well I'm very glad you did! This review is lovely! It was so much fun to hear about all the specific things you had thoughts on! I love knowing what stands out :)

Yes! Astoria *is* growing, steadily. Actually having friends and being around people who aren't totally jaded all the time was bound to rub off. And for all her reserve and reluctance to deal with emotions, etc., Astoria does have a heart. And poor, poor Daniel. He does have a lot of reasons to join the D.A. The question is whether it could survive 2 Slytherins. But we shall see...

Ginny's Howler was *such* a pleasure to write! I've missed getting to write her voice, so it was nice to have her back :D. She definitely is anxious and no doubt quite bored, but even from a distance, Ginny always manages to take action.

As for the rumors, you'll find out in the next chapter how Astoria goes about solving the issues of her alleged love life.

And in regards to Daphne, you're more than welcome to feel any way you like about her. She *is* pretty horrible. I feel that she's both legitimately awful sometimes and also not as bad as maybe she seems? If something is inconvenient or upsetting to Daphne, she tends to ignore it, even if it does include a significant moral lapse. In this, she is not so different from her mother, who went along with the Death Eater's agenda because it gave her a chance to succeed and, as far as we know, ignored the inconvenient ethical and moral questions of being a spy for Voldemort. Daphne is also like her mother in that she is desperate for affirmation; Lavinia Greengrass got hers from being a success in her career and by being her youngest daughter's hero. Daphne longs for the approval of her peers, and especially from Pansy. That said, she may have some motivations we don't fully understand yet when it comes to how she deals with her family, Felix and Astoria included.

And despite Astoria's assertion that Daphne was faking an interest in her life, I think Daphne's advice was meant with genuine care. Daphne wanted to keep her sister safe; her sister was seen talking to someone whose girlfriend had just been viciously murdered by Death Eaters...in Daphne's mind, she's legitimately trying to help by warning Astoria away. Daphne, of course, doesn't know that Daniel's reputation is clean as a whistle compared to what Astoria's would be if the truth came out. And, Astoria accuses Daphne of not being interested in her life, but to be fair to Daphne, Astoria isn't an easy person to get to know.

All that said, she's still a pain :p. I agree.

Thank you so much for this lovely review, Shinicha! I always appreciate your thoughts!

--Penny


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Review #16, by rover_bond007 An Intervention

11th July 2017:
As always, I loved the new chapter! I really liked seeing Astoria interact with Daniel - it would be really interesting if he became the second slytherin member of the DA (although I'm not sure the Gryffindors could handle it!). I'm really looking forward to when Ginny and Astoria eventually meet again, I want to see that friendship develop. Thank you so much for continuing to update this story - can't wait for the next chapter :D

Author's Response: Hi! That *would* be interesting! Although you're right, the Gryffindors would lose it. Can you even imagine Lavender dealing with TWO Slytherins?! But Daniel certainly has the kind of motivation one would need to join the D.A. We shall see...

He'll definitely remain relevant; I can promise that. He's in the latest chapter, as well :)

I'm looking forward to Ginny and Astoria meeting again, too! They are so much fun to write together. Their friendship really is something special, and I look forward to every scene where I know they'll interact. It might be a good thing that Ginny isn't there, though. I think she would have some Things to Say (and maybe some bat-bogey hexes to unleash) on Lavender and her crowd if she saw them messing with Astoria. And that's a fight I'm sure Neville would not be wanting to have to break up : )

Thank *you* for continuing reading! And for taking the time to review. It really means the world!

--Penny


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Review #17, by 0delia0phelia An Intervention

8th July 2017:
I love your story, it is absolutely brilliant! I love Astoria's complexity. I'm waiting for her to run into Draco again. Please please keep writing, Astoria's story is too interesting to be left on hiatus.

Author's Response: Thank you so much! It really means the world to me that you love Astoria's story. And thank you so much for the encouragement. This story is my baby, and even though we've had some lulls here or there when real life got to be a lot, I am determined that I want to complete it.

Thanks again for taking the time to leave a review! It is so encouraging!

--Penny


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Review #18, by Ohpl An Intervention

8th July 2017:
Loved this. I feel I repeat myself every review but your Astoria is wonderful to read. She is a fully rounded character. Sometimes mean , impatient , scared and then kind when she least expects to be.
Can't wait for your next chapter.

Author's Response: Thank you! Hearing that you love Astoria just gives me all the warm fuzzies!! New chapter should be up soon! :)

Thank you again!

--Penny


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Review #19, by Shinicha Gone to Ground

7th July 2017:
I know, I know, I'm terrible at reviewing! I'm really sorry :) But nevertheless, I think I should give a life sign once in a while and tell you how incredible your story is, how well defined the side characters are in your story and that I really love them (even or especially Lavender haha). You have the perfect tempo in plot development (on all levels, though admittedly the Draco-part is somewhat stalling, though I imagine that he wouldn't be doing much except sitting in his tent! I would love a scene like the one where they noticed each other in Hogsmeade though - but I will be patient, I'm convinced that you know exactly what you're doing :) ) - as well as character development. Astoria is even laughing with her friends like a normal teenage girl by now! I think it's heartbreaking that she is so scared of being like her mother every second she feels competitive and enthused, even when it's for the benefit of her friends.

Eagerly waiting for more as always,
xoxo

Author's Response: Haha, thank you so much! :). I cannot tell you how much your review made my day. I was having a particularly taxing day when I read it, and it just really helped lift my mood.

I completely approve of loving Lavender. For all her faults, she keeps things lively! Oh my GOSH, Draco is so bored in his tent right now, you don't even want to know. I know this story has some angstfest moments, but I feel quite certain that no one wants to see our fair (anti-?)hero sitting miserably on a cot, staring into an empty mirror, or suffering the degradations of latrine duty, for several chapters ;) But it really does mean an awful lot that you're convinced that I know what I'm doing! I fully intend for you to see him soon, and things will get a lot more interesting for him when you do.

I agree; it is heartbreaking how afraid Astoria is of becoming her mother. I think it comes from how betrayed she feels. She spent so much of her life almost worshipping her mother, and then after Lavinia died her eyes really opened to how horrible the Death Eaters truly were, and how selfish her mother had been for discarding moral considerations to go along with Voldemort's agenda, not because she was afraid, but because she was so hungry for glory and for approval (in the last part, I think we can see that Daphne was actually very much her mother's daughter, perhaps moreso than Astoria herself). But still, some of Astoria's good abilities and qualities do come from her mother, so one hopes she'll be able to make her peace with it in time. Not today, though.

Also, I completely agree. It IS great to see Astoria laugh and show some emotion, like a normal teenage girl. One of the reasons I love writing the D.A. scenes so much is that they really wake her up. Before this year, Astoria was such a sharply honed machine that, between her mother's training, her education, and the necessary social engagements she attended, she didn't really have a life, and all of that was very emotionally constraining. And then she spent a significant portion of the year basically as a walking coma patient, waking up briefly here and there to wreak some vengeance, because she was so trapped in her grief. Ginny, Seamus, and Neville really brought the spark back out in her, and it's fun to write emotion and *gasp* FUN, zinging into this person for whom it's been an almost foreign concept, largely thanks to her friends. Well, them, and a certain grey-eyed Death Eater who shall remain unnamed...

Thansks again for the LOVELY review, and for making my day :). Hope that you enjoy the next chapter!

--Penny


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Review #20, by Ohpl Gone to Ground

5th July 2017:
A new chapter up so quickly is great. While it may have been lighter in tone important things happened. Astoria realizing she will never be a death eater spy is big news. Your sense of humour keeps me so invested in the story. The girls bathroom is so over the top-all the pink that it could only come from a teenaged boys mind. As usual your Seamus just makes me want to hug him.

Author's Response: Thank you! I'm trying to do better on that :). I feel a bit bad for the hiatus I took. It was necessary at the time, but now I'm really wanting to catch up a bit.

You know, you're very right, and when I was thinking about the chapter even I failed to really give that due consideration. This is exactly why I love hearing from readers! But it *is* a huge deal that Astoria really decides that being a spy in the way that her mother was is not in her future, no matter what happens. She's spent so much of the story worrying about her mother and not wanting to be her, and she's hated the Death Eaters from the moment her mother died, but Astoria is flexible, first and foremost. The realization that she will never, ever work with them, not even to save her own life - not even to save her family's lives - is still quite significant. lt means that she's pretty firmly a rebel now. For the type of person who always wants a loophole to fall back on, this is a big deal. More and more, she's throwing her weight behind the D.A., despite the fact that she had always meant to be barely involved with them at all.

And thank you so much for those kind words about the sense of humor! I love writing the comedy into this story. There's something about the darkness of their surroundings that makes it especially fun to defy it with a joke here and there. And haha, ALL the hugs for Seamus! He won't say no to some appreciation :)

Thanks again! The fact that you review every time means the world to me. Not that you have to, of course, but I do truly appreciate it!

--Penny


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Review #21, by Ohpl A Dire Task

26th June 2017:
Absolutely wonderful as usual. Astoria is wrong about having only one friend though. The army coming together brought tears to my eyes. You have such a gift for writing.

Author's Response: Thank you for always taking time to review, Ohpl! It really means so much to me :)

Thank you so much for being so sweet. And you're right - Astoria is wrong about having only one friend. But at least she's admitted that much! Progress! And I'm so glad to hear that I brought tears to your eyes, even if it's evil of me to delight in such, because I loved writing them all coming together and this moment where despite herself, Astoria is very much one of them.

Thanks again, dear!

--Penny!


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Review #22, by Rhian An Unexpected Ally

13th May 2017:
Beautiful character development. Ingenious compliance to canon. You have made me consider Slytherin house in a new light and I find myself sympathetic to the plight of conflicted pure bloods and their role in the war. It is something I hadn't really considered before now. I enjoy how you have chosen to take a background character and weave her into the canon story. You have created a strong protagonist who is elegantly written. The inner dialogue versus the "outer shell" dialogue is cohesive and effective in your character building and I find your representation of the secondary characters realistic and true to canon. I am excited to follow Astorias' journey further. You have a wonerful talent in writing and I would encourage you to keep it up. I look forward to the next installment:)

Author's Response: Thank you so much! That really means a lot. One of my main goals was to really write a story that wove into the books - basically, a story that would feel like it was all kind of a "missing moment" of JK's books, so I really appreciate that you've enjoyed the canon compliance, since it's definitely something I'm working hard at. Another of my goals was definitely to write a truly *Slytherin* story - something that would really portray them at their best and worst, and would show the difficult choices and the morally grey areas involved in the war for them. I'm especially delighted to hear that it's made you more sympathetic to the Slytherins and Purebloods as a whole. I'd never want to excuse the awful things that many of them did, but I think that oversimplifying any conflict rarely does anyone any favors.

Thank you so, so much again for this lovely review and for taking the time to encourage!

--Penny


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Review #23, by Ohpl An Unexpected Ally

8th May 2017:
Brilliant chapter. So excited to see it up. Constance's appearance is interesting. Astoria could certainly use another ally if that is what she truly is. Can't wait to see what you have in store for us.

Author's Response: Thank you so much! I suppose we'll have to wait and see whether or not Constance can be trusted. It's nice to finally have another school-aged Slytherin in the mix, though!

Thanks for taking the time to write up a comment! It's so helpful and encouraging.

--Penny


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Review #24, by manno_malfoy A Family Affair

8th May 2017:
Hey Penny! I'm beyond eager to go back to devouring this story. This was the first chapter that didn't have a review by me, and I'm kinda glad that there are still many more chapters to go.

I liked this slow-paced, not very eventful chapter because we got to see Astoria under relatively normal circumstances and discover things about her family and heritage. You've done a wonderful job demonstrating how stressed she was, between her nightmares and distracting herself with mundane tasks such as packing.

Felix Greengrass was completely unexpected. He may not believe in mingling with muggles but mostly for the obvious risk it brings. And he's a Shakespeare fan! What a darling! He does touch upon the very important point that just because wizards shouldn't be getting involved with muggles doesn't mean that they have to necessarily be out to get them. I say you let Felix start a book club and end the war by introducing people to muggle art. And if they don't see art and technology as some sort of magic, then they're blind bigots.

I'm also very eager to see if/how Astoria's grandmother and her heritage will have any impact on the story and how it progresses.

The scene at Malfoy Manor was masterfully done as well. That moment between Draco and Narcissa is on point! We get to see the Malfoy's as this proper family. Of course, they've brought this destruction upon themselves and they don't get to complain about where their actions have got them. But while I may not sympathise with them, it was lovely seeing this interaction. This is, indeed, the same Narcissa that risks everything, risks lying to Voldemort just to know if her son is still alive.

I was also very glad to see you touch upon scenes we know from the books and build upon them, especially since you've done it so well.

Slipping back into this and into your mesmerizing writing was a wonderful start to my day. And I can't see what else is coming.

Author's Response: Manno! Okay, here goes take 2 at answering this WONDERFUL review! You really are an excellent reviewer--so thorough and specific. This review is such a treat.

I'm glad that you liked the slower pace. I thought that we could all use a chapter to chill out after the eventfulness of the last few installments. Plus, like you said, I wanted to show her in relatively normal circumstances. Astoria and Daphne aren't terribly close, even though she does care for her sister. But Felix and Filly are really the heart of this family she's been working so hard to protect.

I am SO HAPPY to hear that you liked Felix. He's enjoyable to write. He's still cultured and Pureblooded and wealthy--in many ways, he's a typical example of his class. But, despite the madness, when he is himself Felix is a very logical thinker. He recognizes that Muggles have value and that, at their core, their emotional lives and their minds are not lesser. He's not perfect--there's still a certain paternalistic, patronizing element to his views on Muggles. He sees them as somewhat pitiable, but still deserving high praise for all they've been able to achieve without magic. But as someone who no doubt has had little exposure to actual Muggles outside of art and literature, and for someone who is surrounded by so much anti-Muggle rhetoric, I think Felix really does handle the topic well. And YESSS! I am so here for Felix's Muggle Book Club! Get him, Hermione, and Arthur Weasley all in on this and I think they could really promote some cultural understanding between the Muggle and magical worlds.

Oh, I definitely think you'll see Astoria's ancestor again... ;)

Thank you! The scene at Malfoy Manor is honestly one of my favorites in this whole story. In a lot of ways, the Malfoys did bring this on themselves, but I'm still somewhat sympathetic for Draco. He has not been a good person in his life, and I wouldn't want to pretend otherwise. But he is in this position more as a result of the sins of the father, so to speak. He didn't have much of a choice. I wanted to explore what really happened to Draco--what changed between the moment that he couldn't kill Dumbledore, the time he tried to avoid turning in Harry to Bellatrix when he'd been caught by Snatchers, and the moment in the Battle of Hogwarts where he's there, standing in Harry's way once again? That's a change in the trajectory of his arc, and I wondered why it had happened. Then I thought about the consequences of the Malfoys failure. Bellatrix had called Voldemort so that she could deliver Harry, Harry escaped, and...what happened to Draco and his family? What kind of danger were they in after letting the Chosen One slip right through their fingers? This chapter is really my answer to that question. And I am very happy that you liked the glimpse of Narcissa in this part of the story. That was definitely what I was going for--the woman who defied Voldemort for the love of her son--so I'm really pleased that that was what you saw in her.

And writing around the scenes that are in the books, filling in the missing pieces--to me, that's the most fun part of writing this story, so I'm delighted that you think it was going well.

Thank you SO MUCH for this LOVELY review. I'm sorry it's taken me so long to respond, but it has made my day several times over.

--Penny





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Review #25, by crimson quill A Trace of Home

4th April 2017:
so, I'm here again! woo.

so i thought this chapter was really a big step forward for her character. it really was embracing them as friends. it was obviously a really significant moment for her which you have really beautifully written the hug. it worked so well, it was nice to see her open up more. it's clearly developing the character for future chapters.

i really enjoyed the mods to canon with Luna's knowledge of wands has really come into play with her time as a prisoner with ollivander. it was interesting when Luna talked about wands, I'm wondering if that's something that's mentioned in canon or something you came up with it? either way i love it! I've found your portrayal of Luna to be really strong. in my mind she's a hard character to get right but i think you have a really good balance of knowledgeable but offbeat which really does suit Luna. I'm looking forward to seeing what is going to happen in the coming chapters as it's getting close to the final battle now! those will be some intense chapters, it would be nice to see some more draco soon! oh the drama! good job! xx

Author's Response: Hello hello!

Oh my gosh, the hug! Writing that gave me all the feels. My little Slytherin baby is growing up and processing emotions, learning to talk to people! It's definitely a big moment.

The wand details are canon - mostly Pottermore stuff. I just particularly fell in love with the idea that witches' and wizards' wands really say something about them. Astoria's wand reflects her quite a bit. She's deeply perceptive, which is reflected in the cedar wood. And of course, she's "reasonably pliant" - Astoria is very capable of changing her mind and adapting. After all, she's gone from basically nodding along, if not outright agreeing, with her mother's devotion to the Death Eater cause, to seeing the truth and despising the Death Eaters, to being an actual (if unofficial) member of Dumbledore's Army. And despite all the indoctrination she's been subjected to and how jaded she is, Astoria still has a certain purity in the core of who she is, aka unicorn hair. It also establishes a few facts that will prove important in the coming conflict - naturally, Astoria is not a fighter. Her wand has difficulty even performing magic that could directly harm someone, unless she is truly determined or desperate. That is going to have some say in how she operates and how she weighs her choices in the coming weeks.

And thank you so much for saying that about Luna! She's probably the hardest to write, so it means so much that you think I'm doing a good job of capturing her. I think you sum up her character wonderfully! "Knowledgeable but offbeat" - I like it!

Actually, the next chapter after this one is Draco! And yes, the battle is ticking ever closer! I am SO excited! I can hardly wait to get to that, but there are some other things that must come first.

Thank you so much for this review! It was wonderful to read your thoughts, and it really made me smile! :)

--Penny



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