Reading Reviews for Traitorous Hearts
  
125 Reviews Found

Review #1, by UnluckyStar57 An Unwelcome Visitor

28th June 2015:
Ravenclaw--House Cup 2015!

Ooh, mysterious political games of intrigue and suspicion? Sign me up! I can't believe I haven't yet read this story, because this is exactly the sort of thing that I enjoy reading. The dark past, the Slytherin-ness, the hearts that are bound to break... Oh, I love it!

The thing is, while you've got this whole facade thing going on for Astoria, you've also got some of her real self in this chapter--which is really amazing and awesome, considering you did it in under 2000 words. I can already tell that she's a likable character--she definitely has thorns, but she's playing this incredible role for her family, trying to keep all of their dark secrets swept under the rug. When she almost thanked Filly but stopped herself, my heart broke. It's so awful that she has to play this game, but I can't help but be excited for all of the problems that will arise. I mean, it's definitely bound to be interesting.

The comment on symbolism in dress was on point. As humans, we put a lot of emphasis on the meaning of color, and wearing green was a brilliant tactic to suggest loyalty to Slytherin, which is associated with pureblood ideals, especially in this time, seeing as how Draco is demanding an answer to the question "Where does your loyalty lie?".

By the way, it was a really indecent thing of him to do, calling her mother's death an "unfortunate incident." If Draco is going to be Astoria's eventual love interest/possible husband, he's going to have to learn how to play nice. By the way, I am VERY curious about Lavinia Greengrass's death, and I must know more!

If I can get back to chapter two sometime before this House Cup madness is over, I will definitely be leaving you another crazy review. :)

~UnluckyStar57

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Review #2, by SunshineDaisies The Lady of Greengrass Hall

6th May 2015:
Hello! So I'm not sure I'll be quite as helpful as last time, as I think this is a pretty solid chapter.

I love the tone you use in this. I'm not quite sure how to describe it, but it's wonderfully suited to this story. The short and rather blunt sentences are so impactful, and they really do a lot for the story.

"And that was the end of Lavinia Greengrass."

I love this line so much. It cuts straight to the point without trying to lessen the blow or pretty things up. Out of context, it has the potential to be funny, but paired with the rest of the story, it's very serious. There's almost a shock value to it. Like I said, very impactful.

You're very good at spinning mysteries as well. You let out enough information to really hook me, but that was it. Just enough and not a drop more. Perfect pacing for a mystery novel.

I love the hard cuts in this as well. Generally, that's something I try to avoid, but they are very well done here. It's a hard transition, but it's not at all choppy. It's sort of wonderful.

I don't have any actual concrit to provide for this chapter, but here's some food for thought:

Adding a bit more detail about Draco's behavior could make the chapter more interesting. Astoria seems like a pretty astute observer, so I'm wondering what she's paying attention to. (Unless, of course, she's too focused on herself to worry about Draco at the moment.)

I also really like the hard cuts, but there is a lot of information that's sort of just told to us. You've done it in a way that it works, and works well, but in this chapter there's way more narration than there is action. I was going to suggest adding some of the information into the action, so Draco or Astoria is saying it, rather than it just being said, but I don't think that will work with this information. I do think a bit more action would make for a well rounded chapter, and I think you can add it in to the last section without too much difficulty. You can start the next bit of their conversation, or even have Astoria watch him shuffle through is papers, and then reflecting about what she knows is on them.

But like I said, this is a pretty solid chapter, so all of that is just stuff to think about. :)

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Review #3, by TreacleTart A Dangerous Revelation

4th May 2015:
Hey Penny!

I'm here for our review swap! As you already know, I've loved the first two chapters of this story and am pleased to say I feel no different about the third one. I've actually been meaning to get back and read the whole thing, but life has just not allowed me enough time recently.

One of the things that I thought was very clever in the structure of this story is how Draco asks a question and it throws Astoria into her memories. It gives us way more depth in the answer than it would if she had just told him. It really does create a much more vivid picture that way.

I absolutely adore the idea of Astoria going to Ginny to funnel information. She really does seem like the most logical and most trustworthy candidate. She is shrewd and good at judging things, so I think she would be the most likely to believe Astoria as well. I could imagine that had Astoria gone to someone like Neville, it might've turned out a bit differently.

For the third time in a row, I wish I had some solid constructive criticism to give you, but I'm honestly floored by the quality of your writing. This is a really well written story so far and has been a joy to review. All the things I would usually point out like plot, pace, flow, description/imagery, characterization, etc. are all exactly as they should be. Great work! I'm hoping to be back soon to read the rest.

Thanks again for another very enjoyable swap!

~Kaitlin

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Review #4, by SunshineDaisies An Unwelcome Visitor

2nd May 2015:
Hello! Finally here for your review! Sorry it took me so long!

This is pretty fantastic! Definitely right up my alley in ways I never would have thought of myself! The first chapter is very captivating. I immediately want to know more about everything. You've done an excellent job of drawing in the reader.

I really love Astoria, and I love the relationship she had with her mother. The interaction was sweet, if a bit dark.

Astoria as an almost-adult is so lovely as well! I love that she's so dedicated and determined to protect her family. She's obviously willing to do just about anything, which is so inline with the self-preservation of Slytherins. And I'm such a sucker for obvious house accurate characterization. I also like that, though you've shown her to be (or trying to be) cold, aloof and ruthless, you've also shown her to be kind. It's not often you see Slytherin characters like that.

And I have to say I love the opening of these scenes.

ďRemember, little one, secrets are meant to be kept.Ē

Astoria Greengrass was a brilliant actress.


Absolutely fantastic first lines!I mentioned before that you've done a great job of drawing the reader in, and really, you've done it right from the first line.

The whole thing is just so wonderful

As for your main concern, I'd say the time period here is clear, but could be clearer. It's obvious it's happening before the Battle of Hogwarts, but not exactly how much before the Battle of Hogwarts. "Spring" is a bit vague. That might be your intention, but if it's not, I think you could make it a bit clearer by mentioning the weather a bit more specifically. I think there are lots of ways to do this so here are some ideas:

Is Astoria dressed for the weather? Is she wearing a long sleeved dress because it's still a bit cold? Or has she transitioned into lighter outfits already? Is the rain melting the last bit of snow, or is it a warm rain? Is it uncharacteristically cold? Or warm?

Or you can always just add a month in when you describe the rain. "The cool grey mist and sputtering April rain," would do the job pretty effectively.

I think stating that would make things a bit easier on the reader. Right now, I'm left wondering how much time Draco has between now and when everything starts to blow up. (Of course, keeping us in the dark could also be an effective device, so that's just some food for thought.)

Other than that, I don't think I have much to offer in terms of concrit.

Very well done!

Author's Response: Hi! First off, absolutely no worries about the time! I hope all your school stuff went well :)

I'm so excited that you noticed the thing about the house accurate characteristics! That was one of my biggest inspirations for this story--I felt like the Slytherin attributes got such a bad rap. I wanted to explore those characteristics, because I thought there was a lot of potential and complexity there. Plus, I'm a Slytherin, so I wanted to write a Slytherin heroine who represented the house accurately, someone who could have heroic qualities without completely sacrificing their cunning or instincts of self-preservation. The fact that you picked up on that, specifically, and made a note of it absolutely delights me :D

You give such specific, useful suggestions! Thank you so much! I feel like I can really use those. Throwing the month in is a great idea. I did leave the timeframe vague intentionally when I first began, but some reviewers have told me that they were initially confused. You picked up on the fact that it's just before the Battle of Hogwarts, which is great (I'm hoping that means one of the changes I already made cleared some things up), but several people have thought that the first chapter took place years later, and realized that it was during DH in the 2nd or 3rd chapters. I think some of it has to do with the language Astoria and Draco use--the characters seem older than normal teens, because that's my headcanon for how Purebloods behave in formal situations. But I think just as much of it has to do with that vagueness, so I've rethought my strategy and decided I want to make things clearer.

But maybe if I can drop in the month, like you suggest, and a reference to returning to school, it'll make things clear right from the start.

Thank you so much for such a thoughtful review, and for such lovely compliments and suggestions! I really appreciate it!

--Penny



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Review #5, by TreacleTart The Lady of Greengrass Hall

21st April 2015:
Hi Penny!

I'm here for our review swap from this morning! Sorry it took me so long to get here, but I was stuck at work at the time.

At the end of the last chapter, I felt like I had a million questions about everything that had happened. This chapter definitely answered a few of those questions, but it also caused me to ask new questions. It was a really nice balance between intrigue and answers.

Your characterization of Lavinia really seemed to fit the story well. I could definitely imagine rich Pureblood women who were treated as if they were room decorations by their elitist husbands. It seems logical that a woman of her talents would be bored by that and branch out into services that she might not otherwise find.

Astoria's drawing of strength and determination because of her mother's actions also seem quite logical. The Death Eaters are responsible for her mother's death, so they all will die in return.

Draco seems to be quite a bit more intelligent and observant than Astoria gives him credit for. She's going to have to work hard to pull the wool over his eyes.

I wanted to tell you that I love constructive criticism and helping people to improve little things in their stories when I can, but in this case, I have yet to find any glaring issues. You are doing a lovely job.

I hope to be back to read more soon!

~Kaitlin

Author's Response: Hey Kaitlin!

Oh good! That was something I was always worried about, particularly in the first set of chapters--that the pace of the information reveals and the planting of new questions would be solid.

Yeah, when I sat down to try to imagine Pureblood society, Lavinia's predicament hit me right away. In my mind, Purebloods are all about the traditional way of doing things, which means they are very slow to change. I think it helps explain why people are still writing with quills and such, since I imagine the Purebloods have sort of defined wizarding culture for a significant portion of history. Lavinia was lucky in a way--her husband was always very supportive of her and valued her. But that didn't change the societal expectations, and Felix couldn't fill the hole of her ambition. She wanted to prove her worth, which was something she never needed to prove to Felix; he loved her. It's great on the one hand, but the fact that she couldn't work for recognition was a curse for someone as ambitious as Lavinia. Her work for the Death Eaters was definitely the result of desperation.

You are absolutely right about Draco! Really, both of them are used to being the canniest person in the room. They'll both need to watch their step.

Thank you so much for this lovely review! I'm happy to swap anytime :)

--Penny


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Review #6, by Shadowkat The Lady of Greengrass Hall

21st April 2015:
Ahhh, not an AU...but I thought Malfoy quit, or was that just Fanon and the movies hints??? Great chapter, sure to come back for more later.

Author's Response: Hey! Yeah, it's not an AU--so far everything lives within the potential bounds of canon. When you say that you thought Malfoy quit, do you mean quit the Death Eaters? He does quit, but not until the end of the Battle of Hogwarts.

Although it might just be that the time in which the story is set is still unclear. This all takes place before the Battle of Hogwarts, during Deathly Hallows. If that didn't come across/was confusing, will you PM me and let me know? I've been working on making the timing clearer, but if I haven't succeeded yet I'll want to give that another go. Thanks for the review!

--Penny


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Review #7, by Shadowkat An Unwelcome Visitor

21st April 2015:
So, I'm guessing that this is an AU? If so, it's off to a great start. The description is nice, and I'm interested in what secret she might have...well, on to the next chapter!

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Review #8, by Ohpl In Dark Spaces

21st April 2015:
So glad you updated.That was a terrific chapter. You are a wonderful writer . Astoria is a character I never gave much thought to but you have made her as real as any of the others.Looking forward to your next update and hoping it is soon but I am willing to wait if is as great as this one.

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Review #9, by cherry_pop94 In Dark Spaces

20th April 2015:
You're back! This chapter was AMAZING. The part with the boggart was honestly terrifying and Astoria's thoughts around it just seemed so real and brutal. I got shivers reading this.
I'm really looking forward to the next chapter and some humor, haha not sure how you'll insert that, but I'm sure it'll be great.
I'm quite curious to know if the DA will accept Astoria in because obviously she doesn't have a great track record with Gryffindors, though Ginny trusts her. It'll be interesting to see how she interacts with characters we know and love!
And Draco! I need to know what he's up to right now! I mean, we all know they get married in the end and have a kid, but how do they get there? It seems so far away right now, but I'm just terribly curious.
Thanks again for this story!
-Stefi

Author's Response: Hey Stefi! Thank you SO MUCH for reading and reviewing, and for just being so sweet! I can't tell you how much I appreciate it.

I'm really happy that you liked this chapter--it's one I really angsted over getting right.

The boggart part was not easy--I think it's one of the darker moments so far, in a fairly dark fic, but I'm glad that it was terrifying because that's definitely what I was going for. I'm not really for gratuitous violence; I felt the scene was necessary to the storyline. Astoria was definitely not on a trajectory to help the DA, and I think that's pretty understandable. She's 16, and the only person with the ability and sense to protect her family. The Greengrasses just barely escaped being killed as traitors, and Ginny--the person who had inspired her a bit, who made her feel like their might be reasons (other than revenge) to take a stand, is on the run. Astoria is not given to excessive risk--she's a Slytherin, and it's more than her own neck at stake. She turned Neville down for understandable reasons. But the story would be pretty boring if that was the end. As awful as the boggart torture scene is, a gamechanger like that was needed for Astoria to grow. It had to be something completely reprehensible on multiple levels--something Astoria felt she absolutely could not stand by and watch--to make a cautious person risk so much a second time, now that she truly knows what could happen. And I don't think it was any stretch, with Hogwarts under the Carrows' control.

I'm really looking forward to the chapter that introduces the DA! I don't want to reveal too much about it, but it's been fun to right so far. A little lighter, in some places at least.

Draco, Draco. If everything goes to plan, you should hear a bit about what he's up to in the next chapter. It's possible that he's still thinking about a certain Slytherin, against his better judgement...

Saying your curious about what happens next is pretty much the nicest compliment you could give! Thank you! : D That's what I'm striving for.

Thank you again!

--Penny



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Review #10, by merlins beard An Unwelcome Visitor

19th April 2015:
Hi Penny.
I'm here for our swap.

This story certainly takes me some time to get used to it. It is so far out of my comfort zone. I think i'll like where you're headed with this, though.

Draco is a good guy in my headcanon. He changes after the war, once it isn't dangerous for him to do so anymore. that is just how I have always seen him.
As Astoria is so disgusted by the Death Eaters, I bet Draco would have to change for them to eventually end up together (which I'm guessing they will)

I'm really interested in figuring out what kind of secret Astoria has.
I really like that she's so kind to her house elves and that she doesn't like being rough to them.

I see what you told me in your review here. You have shown me what you meant by being more descriptive.

Thanks for the swap
~Anja

Author's Response: Hi there, Anja!

I'm sorry if the chapter was uncomfortable for you! I'm glad you felt like you might end up liking something about it though.

Draco is arguably my favorite character in terms of fanfiction. I can't say he's my favorite out of the books, exactly. I just feel like he had so much potential in the books, and we never got to see it come to fruition. That's the joy of fanfiction, though! We get to develop the parts of the story we'd like to see!

I think that the war could definitely make Draco a better person as nothing else could. He was always a schoolyard bully, but he never had what it took to be part of the Evil Big Leagues. Draco was a lot like Dudley, except it took much less to rock Dudley's world and set him straight. With Draco, it would take a bit more, but I think being a Death Eater could have done it. I don't think Draco will ever be a glowing example of moral perfection (that's boring, anyway, in a character). But I think he has great potential for growth. In this story I really wanted to explore Slytherins and their traits, and how people who don't think of themselves as "good" might change and grow.

Ha! Draco and Astoria would both have to make some changes if they were to want things to work out between them, that's for sure! My babies have a lot of growing up to do ; )

I'm glad you're interested in the secret ; ) Really, it's secrets on secrets. A spy-master's daughter is not a simple person. And I like that she's kind to her elves, too. For all the cruel and careless people Astoria has known, and as jaded as she thinks she is, she still tries. It's one of the things I like best about her.

Thanks for swapping with me!

--Penny


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Review #11, by Unicorn_Charm An Unwelcome Visitor

19th April 2015:
Hi there! Here for our swap!

I've recently become interested in Draco/Astoria fics, so when I saw you wanted to swap, I had to hop on that. I'm so, so glad that I did. :)

The opening paragraph really seemed to set a tone for the story. It was very chilling. Especially the way her mother just repeated, "Bad things." It caused a bit of a shudder. 1986 would have made her very young. It's sad to see that her life would begin in secrecy and lies.

I loved the opening line to the present part of the chapter. It was really a brilliant way of showing that she had become rather adept in keeping whichever secrets her mother wanted her to keep. I'm also dying to know how her mother died. If she was murdered or what happened.

You could really feel her disdain for Draco. You did such a fantastic job with that. It seems like she may dislike him for more reasons than just being a Death Eater. It just feels like it goes deeper than that. I especially liked how she doesn't find him attractive, but still acknowledges that he is good looking. It really is a big difference. Someone can be extremely handsome/beautiful, but not be attractive because their personality is like a wet mop. Or they could be not considered conventionally good looking, but something about them makes them attractive. That was a great way of showing how she does not view Draco as a good person, or someone who would interest her. It really make you wonder what is going to change that.

It almost seemed like Draco didn't want to be there, questioning her and her family's loyalties. It was almost as if he were on autopilot. Like he could care less either way, honestly. Which he probably doesn't. I'm sure this was something he was ordered to do.

Your description and imagery was really, really well done. I could very clearly see the room they were sitting in, feel the tension surrounding them and almost feel the crushing silence. You paint great pictures with your words.

I really enjoyed this. A lot. I'm really glad I did the swap with you, because your writing is beautiful. I'm definitely going to be continuing on with this story. Great work! :)

Thanks for doing the swap!! ♥

xoxo Meg

Author's Response: Hey Meg!

Muahahaha! I'm always so glad when people say they liked (or were freaked out by) the opening. I was unsure about it when I first put it in, but I think it definitely makes it clear that something weird is up in this house. It makes even more sense as things go on. Astoria was very young, but she was raised on secrets. Her mother, Lavinia, is a very complex character, and she had an enormous effect on who Astoria is. Her death certainly has some mysterious elements--it wasn't of natural causes, that's for certain.

Astoria *does* have a grudge against Death Eaters--on multiple levels, really, but her feelings are complicated (you'll find out why if you read on). Astoria does have a particular disdain for Draco, not because he is a Death Eater, exactly, but because he is a threat to her family and she is the last line of defense between him and them. Slytherins may have their faults, but most of them are fiercely protective of family in their way, and Astoria is no exception.

I'm glad you liked Astoria's response to Draco. You're absolutely right--it's possible to acknowledge beauty without having an interest in getting closer, and your perception of people's attractiveness changes according whether or not you care for them. Draco's looks would strike Astoria in much the same way looking at a colorful poisonous rainforest frog would--pretty, sure, but let down your guard and that'll be the end of you. She's a girl with good sense. He's also not at his best, poor lamb. However, there may be some things under the surface that'll make them both adjust their opinions of one another.

You are absolutely right in your insight into Draco's level of motivation. He's tired. He was a small time bully, not a proper villain. He's spent his whole life sheltered and pampered and love. The pure evil of Voldemort and his ilk has worn at him by now--he's just trying to get by. But he always was competitive. It's possible he might shake out of autopilot soon.

Thank you so much for your kind words. I work really hard on the descriptions, so it really brings me joy when people tell me they thought it was good. I'm so, so glad you enjoyed it. I hope you do continue it, and I look forward to hearing what you think--especially of the other characters! Thanks for such a lovely, thoughtful review!

--Penny





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Review #12, by TreacleTart An Unwelcome Visitor

18th April 2015:
Hi Penny,

I'm here for our review swap! I apologize in advance if this review is incoherent due to my incessant rambling about how amazing this was, but I truly did love it.

The moment with Astoria and her mother in the beginning really pulled my attention in. It set a very ominous tone to the whole story.

The transition into present day and Astoria's current feelings was smooth and the way you've characterized her made complete sense. She's never really struck me as the type to be a Pureblood Elitist. My head cannon is more that she just kind of got stuck in that world and your story fits right in with that. The way you've written her thoughts is flawless. It all seems very realistic to me, particularly the part about being loyal to her family above all.

One of the biggest things that I look for in a story is description and imagery. It's something that often gets rushed or a few short lines get tossed in to fill space between dialogue. That is not the case with this story though. You've written the descriptions so beautifully. I could imagine the Greengrass home, what Draco looked like, the scene between Astoria and Filly, all of it. It was lovely. You really have a knack for painting pictures, it seems.

Another thing that stood out to me is Astoria's tone in regards to Draco. She just doesn't get what all of the fuss is about. I thought the way she breaks him down component by component and eventually concludes that he could possibly be good looking, but still doesn't find him attractive personally, was clever. I am also intrigued by why she dislikes him so much. Is it solely because he's a death eater or is there another layer to it?

I thought him being there to asses loyalty was a bit ironic since throughout the story his loyalty waivers quite a bit. I've always gotten the impression that he was the survivor type who only does what is necessary to stay safe. Because of that, I find it funny that he would be out checking in on people.

All in all, I really love how you've started this piece. If this chapter is any indication of what's to come then I imagine you'll be getting a lot more happy reviews from me very soon!

Thanks for such an enjoyable swap!

~Kaitlin

Author's Response: Hey chicadee!

First off, you are totally coherent and thank you SO much!

I totally agree with your head canon. I think it would be kind of boring if Draco wound up with someone who was as snobby and super-prejudiced as his family. It would eliminate the possibilities he has for growth. I have so much respect for J.K. and I love the books, but I always felt that Draco was kind of a lost opportunity as a character. I wanted so badly to see him grow. But, hey, that's what fanfic is for, amiright? :)

I wanted to kind of explore Slytherin-ness, in general, and it quickly occurred to me that my heroine was going to be out for people who she cared about. Astoria can be very loyal, but that loyalty belongs to a pretty small circle...for now.

Haha, no. Astoria certainly doesn't find him attractive from the get-go. But then, I didn't think he would be. I really imagined that the war would have worn on Draco--all the stress and disillusionment. I don't think he'd be the shiny little princeling that pranced around Hogwarts as if he owned the world. She also is one of those people that sort of sees through you. I mean, I think Astoria would appreciate a handsome guy as much as the next person, but she's interested in more than just looks. As far as she's concerned, Draco's a Death Eater and, what's worse, a direct threat to her family. That last quality is pretty much a killer, as far as she's concerned. However, you never know. People change... ; )

Hah! You are so right. Draco knows he's the worst person in the world for this job. Loyalty is not one of his virtues. However, as time goes by, you might find he has some qualities that make him uniquely equipped for the job, and there may be more to it than meets the eye. Conspiracy theories!

Thank you so, so much! I really appreciate this review. I'd love to swap again some time!

--Penny


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Review #13, by cherry_pop94 Behind the Bleeding Walls

15th April 2015:
Hi Penelope!
I love this story. Your writing is excellent and there's just so much suspense building! It's been a while since you've updated, I really hope you haven't abandoned this story. The way you've written Astoria is amazing, plus you've characterized the canon characters really well. Their actions all seem really in line with what they'd actually do.
I've been writing about the Greengrass family as well, so it was great to stumble across another interpretation of them.
Please come back to this story!
Stefi

Author's Response: Hi Stefi,
Funny you should ask at this specific time. I haven't abandoned this story at all--though I have been very bad about updating lately. Shame on me :( However, the next chapter is forthcoming--I'm just making some minute adjustments and then plan to put it in the queue. But reviews like yours are really encouraging, and give me the occasional kick I need to get a chapter out, so thank you very much.

Also, thank you so much for the compliments--that's really kind of you, and I'm so glad you like Astoria :D I love writing her, and for me the best (and most challenging) part is to keep the characters true to who they were in the books, while still giving them opportunities to change and grow. I'm excited that you think that's going well, and thanks for taking the time to say so!

Oooh! I don't run into near enough fics that include the Greengrasses in them, and I think the whole family is a tragically untapped resource. I'm glad to hear that you're writing them, too!

Thanks again for the review! I really appreciate it.

--Penny


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Review #14, by The Hot Cross Bun Monster An Unwelcome Visitor

31st March 2015:
Oooh, The Hot Cross Bun Monster has been teased out of its lair by Astoria/Draco as it has been known that it is very partial towards this ship.

Hmm, hmm, hmm, secrets they say? I am all for knowing them and utterly against keeping them so if Astoria wishes to remain my friend she must tell me at once what sheís keeping for her mother as it sounds most intriguing. Especially with the final revelation about her, and I wonder if this idea of secrets if linked to her death. Another thing I particularly liked about this first section was the way it took place a few years before as it allows the reader to see child Astoria which was rather enjoyable.

Hmm, hmm, hmm, again, I must say that you wrote about the pureblood formalities of things rather well with the specifics of tea and the way they had to check about whether families were loyal or not. It does set the scene very well for the rest of the story as itís always interesting to get behind the intricacies of the structure of society at the time. As this takes place just before the final battle, I cannot wait to see what happens next as it sounds most exciting.

An excellent start to the story!

Author's Response: Hello Hot Cross Bun Monster--by the way, great name!

I am so excited that Draco and Astoria have teased you out of your lair to read about them!

Hmm...well, Astoria may not tell you all her secrets right away, but if you stick around, plenty will eventually be revealed! ; )

Thank you! I really liked writing scenes that were so intense, all under the guise of something as polite and mundane as taking tea. I'm glad you like it, and hope you'll continue to. Thank you for the review!

--Penny


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Review #15, by RSHak Behind the Bleeding Walls

8th March 2015:
Please continue with this! It's really well-written and I love how the characters are developed. Great portrayal of Ginny - her understanding of someone on the other side and wounds from book 2 are definitely in line with what I expect of her character. Great job - I'd love to read more :)

Author's Response: Totally continuing it! I'm making the final adjustments to the next chapter and hope to have it submitted to the queue today. I'm SO glad you liked Ginny--she's one of my favorite characters to write in this fic, and it was always so important for me to keep her true to her character, so I can't say how excited I am that you think that's going well.

I definitely hope you *will* read more! Hopefully it will be up soon. Thank you again for the review!

--Penny


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Review #16, by peppersweet The Stolen Truth

9th January 2015:
Hello hello! I found this story completely by chance today, and after reading five chapters in a row I'm hooked. Draco/Astoria is one of my favourite pairings, and everyone's different takes on their relationship makes for interesting reading! I don't know if you're planning to pair them here but, boy, there's so much tension between them. You've characterised them both perfectly - Draco is exactly as I see him during the war - and Astoria is fiercely independent and so nicely written. Your description is flawless, by the way - you've got a real knack for it.

I'm glad to see Draco's Legillimency showing up in this chapter! One of my favourite headcanons is that his skill is in Occlumency/Legillimency, so I'm chuffed you've written about it! All round, this is the perfect fic for me to read, and I'm enjoying it so much!

Thank you for writing this, and I'm very much looking forward to reading on! ♥

Author's Response: Hello hello hello!
First off, sorry that this response is SO late. I've been a little out of commission lately, but I am back and working on finishing up the next chapter.

Thank you so much for your kind words! This review is just so encouraging, and I really appreciate it.

I totally agree--I always thought Draco would have to have a knack for Occlumency, since he was able to fend off Snape's Legillimency, and Bellatrix didn't figure out that he (probably, I think) knew exactly who Harry was when they captured him in Book 7. It seems like a valuable skill to develop when you're a member of Voldemort's forces. And it only stands to reason, then, that he'd develop considerable skill as a Legilimens. It certainly makes him the perfect man for the job in this fic!

I'm so, so glad you've enjoyed this story, and hope that you'll continue to! Thanks again!

--Penny


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Review #17, by marauderfan The Lady of Greengrass Hall

19th December 2014:
WHOOO LAST PAPER! I'm here to offer you encouragement in the form of a review :D

Okay, I know I shouldn't be supporting her choices of loyalty but I just want to say how much I love that Lavinia Greengrass was a spy for the Death Eaters. It's nice to see that the group was not only men and Bellatrix - I like to see some balance between the sexes! :D Which you have done wonderfully here by pointing out that Bellatrix was not the only female Death Eater. And I love that she was there really for her own glory and couldn't really be bothered about Voldemort. That said... I don't support Death Eaterness, but I like that you added another female to the group. Ahaha, this probably makes me sound ridiculous. Moving on. Also I like the name Lavinia.

I love the back story on Astoria and the way you've written her character - her motives are understandable given her background. She sounds like she's on her own side, and I really like that. She also seems like she's not the sort of person who can easily be swayed to one side or the other. I am curious what it was Lavinia found out! And who killed her? And what has Astoria done? Aah, you've set up this wonderful mystery and it's so captivating.

Love your character set up - your Astoria is wonderfully clever and manipulative, and the brief glimpse we got of Malfoy is spot on as well - and I look forward to finding out more! Great chapter! And good luck on your essay!! :D

Author's Response: Hello!

First off, thank you so much for the last paper encouragement. It really did help me to get through it. I'm so sorry for not responding before--after the Last Paper Ever I got swept into, well, real life. Like, REAL real life. So things have been a bit crazy! But it really meant a lot to me :)

Hey, no judgement here. Lavinia is flawed, for sure, and made some serious mistakes. But given her options, I think the path she chose is pretty understandable, even though I don't condone her joining up with Voldemort. And you are so right--it was always a bit annoying that Bellatrix was the only notable female Death Eater. Of course, in my story, Lavinia wasn't *noted*--she was a spy--but she was certainly *notable*. Team Evil needs more ladies, for sure! Team Evil accepts all sorts, so long as they have Pure blood or at least have the decency to lie about having it. More evil representation! ;)

And thank you! I like the name Lavinia, too!

You are precisely right. Astoria is on her own side. I wanted to explore Slytherins--what makes them tick, what makes them choose right, and what makes them choose wrong. And what being placed in Slytherin House makes them believe about themselves. Astoria has a lot of traits that are characteristic of her House, and perhaps some that she has absorbed as a result of being named a Snake. But which are which, and how will that play out?

I know, right? So many questions! Let me know if you ever want to do a review swap, or something, and maybe you'll find out!

Thank you so much, both for the lovely review and the well wishes! I really appreciate it!

--Penny



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Review #18, by aidanlynchrox Behind the Bleeding Walls

29th November 2014:
As always I'm so excited to see what happens next, I adore the way that you've portrayed Astoria and can't wait to read more!! Keep up the hard work :)

Author's Response: Hi! I'm so excited that you're excited! Thank you so much--I love writing Astoria and can't wait to *write* more (if I can just get through these pesky exams, right?).

Thank you so much for reviewing!

--Penny


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Review #19, by Ohpl Behind the Bleeding Walls

28th November 2014:
You have a real gift for writing.Your characters are strong and clear . I am looking forward to reading the rest of your story very much.

Author's Response: Thank you so much! I really appreciate that, and I hope you enjoy the rest! Thanks (again) for taking the time to review! It's so encouraging :D

--Penny


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Review #20, by Gabriella Hunter A Changing Tide

11th October 2014:
Hello!

This is Gabbie from the forums stopping by with your review and it's so good to be back, evil twin! I was wondering what was going on with this story and was just about to sneak on over here without a request. Hehehee.

So, a lot happened in this chapter! I'm not sure if I'll even begin to touch on everything that I loved about it, sadly. Astoria of course is the strongest female character that I've read in a long time, I really love how determined and fierce she is. The beginning of this chapter though had me really tense, I wasn't sure who was playing who and what Draco would do next. Astoria sly and very cunning in her ability to read others but I think that she wasn't counting on Draco to actually outwit her. Or at least, baffle her somewhat.

Draco was calm, collected and arrogant but I knew that he had no intention of really hurting her. There was an undercurrent of attraction in this chapter that just had me at the edge of my seat, it was the first time that it was acknowledged on both sides. That was a dangerous move for both of them, becoming distracted by one another like that but I loved how smoothly you worked it in. I felt that they each had something to gain from the other but right then, I was worried that Astoria's life was going to be cut short.

The moment when she realizes that it was all for nothing anyway though was hard to read. Astoria was willing to lie to save her family and it didn't even matter! I like that brief moment of hysterics you gave her though, I'm not sure if she'll ever allow herself to be weakened like that again but it was a softer side to her that we hadn't seen yet.

Draco's POV was lovely to read as well, I liked that you shamelessly write how much of a coward he is on one hand but show that he still has a heart on the other. The powerful need to do something for himself but to also just have a bit more time with Astoria just spoke volumes. Also, gorgeous writing! >:)

Now, I wasn't expecting these things:

Astoria to attack Draco with a fireplace poker.

Greyback

Draco DEFENDING Astoria and committing treason!

Like...what?! The second half of this chapter was so brilliantly written that I didn't even dare to take a breath. I was terrified for Astoria, amazed by Draco's strength and a bit frightened by what's going to happen next. I think that you packed everything into this chapter, giving me no chance at all to ever forget about it. Hahaha.

Totally loved it, obviously and thanks for the read! Also, I noticed more of our evil twin mind melds. In A Force of Wills, Blaise Zabini smells similar to the way you describe Draco and your Astoria is just as feisty as mine. Of course, I had my Astoria smack Draco in the face with a Transfiguration textbook but hey, our girls get the point across, eh? Hahahahah.

Much love,

Gabbie

Author's Response: Gabbie! I'm so sorry for not responding to this absolutely crazy wonderful review earlier! RL attacked me, bashed me over the head, and I've only just now managed a bit of an escape.

Yay! It warms my heart so much to see that you find Astoria to be a strong female character, because that's exactly what I was going for. Flawed, but strong and clever. And you're right about her underestimating Draco. They both have been sort of reminding themselves that they need to pay attention to each other; Draco is sharper than Astoria expected, and Astoria is far better at this "game" than Draco had anticipated. They spend the whole time *trying* not to underestimate each other, but they both definitely do it. Astoria definitely did not think Draco would turn the tables on her like that.

And Draco. Well, there's a lot that he didn't see coming ;)

I'm SO EXCITED that you really felt the tension! You have no idea how happy that makes me. There's definitely an attraction on both sides, and these two very controlled people aren't exactly certain how best to handle that. It is not convenient (especially for Draco). Draco didn't really want to think about his intentions. Does he hurt people sometimes? Yes. More often he is instructed to stand by and witness the destruction. He calls the hounds, so to speak. You're right, though: he didn't really want to do that, even from the beginning, with Astoria. He certainly never intended to lay a hand on her, himself. But he knew he was just the first wave, and that those behind him absolutely would.

I'm glad you liked Astoria's break down. You're totally right--it's not a side of her we're not likely to see often. It's a tucked away corner of her personality, brought on by absolute desperation. And it was important, because we saw what's absolutely at Astoria's core: she would do just about anything to protect her family. Even sacrifice her pride, which, for her, was the only thing she had left. She would give up everything for them.

THANK YOU EVIL TWIN! I can't tell you how happy I am that you liked Draco's section. I didn't want to sugarcoat him. He *has* been a coward. But I think that he could want to be more than that.

SURPRISE ATTACK! :) Muahaha. I wanted to show early on that Astoria is not as dependent on her magic as some people. As she's previously mentioned, she depends on her mind. And I also wanted to show her determination and willingness to use any tools available to her. She's resourceful and determined.

Greyback! Well, of course we needed a Big Bad. I had always wanted for it not to be something Draco could simply choose not to do. He was never the man with the axe in his hands--that was too easy. There had to be someone else in the mix; someone he had to stop. I wanted Draco to step up. It showed more courage to stand up to someone, especially someone who both terrified and disgusted him. And, of course, he gained multiple advantages from it: not only did he save Astoria and her family, but he became more powerful by refusing to be walked over. Which is nice, because it muddies his intentions and confuses him even more. Even he can't totally distinguish his intentions (especially since he's used to expecting the worst from himself).

Poor Draco. So confused. I'm so mean. Haha!

And thank you! That compliment really means so much to me.

Great minds write alike! Hooray for feisty Astorias, who don't back down and who hit people with things when it's necessary. That's our girl!

Much love back atcha! You're the best evil twin a girl could ask for.

--Penny




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Review #21, by GingeredTea The Lady of Greengrass Hall

7th October 2014:
Alright, so you had me with the last chapter, but now you really have me here.

Did you come up with the name " Lavinia"?

"Lavinia Greengrass became a spy." And I just became really really intrigued!

You write Astoria with exquisite care and I can just see how alive she is as a character for you. Your descriptions lend rather than retract from your story, and I can see it all play out in my mind.

"Draco Malfoy didnít realise just how right he was. At least, she hoped he did not." EEE - I nearly bit my finger nails. Don't discover her!

Then you switch back in time and we get another small glimpse into the true beginnings of this story.

I'm starting to suspect you have a talent for memorable one-liners. "It appeared that Lavinia Greengrass had perhaps, in the end, learned one secret too many. " - loved this one!

This revealed a lot - mainly how Astoria came to be the young adult she is. I am well and hooked and will see you over ---> in a couple!

Author's Response: Hey! I'm so sorry for taking forever (and ever) to answer this review! Real life just totally overwhelmed me, and I haven't been around HPFF as much lately. But school's wrapping up, so I should be able to be more active. Hooray!

Firstly, thank you for this lovely review! I'm so glad that you found this chapter to be a good hook.

I did come up with the name Lavinia (although it turns out it's also a character on Downton Abbey, but I had not seen DA when I wrote that chapter). I mean, it was already a name, out there--I didn't invent it. But I also didn't draw it from anything else. I took the name from a scene I had written for a class, and I must have done research to name *that* character, who came from a similar background as this Lavinia does. To me, the name sounds kind of old and high class, which was what I was going for :)

Heehee. Lavinia IS a rather intriguing character. At least in my opinion. But then, I do have a bit of a bias.

Awww, thank you! Astoria is definitely a very "alive" character to me. I like the way you describe that--it's just right. And I'm so glad you like the descriptions, since I do work really hard on them :D

Muahaha--I can reveal nothing!

And thank you again! I love getting to know what lines made an impression on people, and I was really fond of that one.

Thank you so much for this absolutely lovely review! I hope you do continue to read and enjoy the story!

--Penny


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Review #22, by Chazzie The Writing On the Wall

1st October 2014:
Hey Penny!
You know, this is a thing, I read it.


.. Okay, I wasn't that funny. Sorry. I have a weird sense of humour. Anyway, story. I really love this so far. Your Astoria is simply perfect, she is very sarcastic and relatable to the reader (or to me at least) which leaves a lasting impression.
I was very disappointed when my internet cut out, because I simply couldn't stop reading. It was full of turns and twists, sweet moments like the part with her father in the library, and suspenseful ones such as Draco using legetimency. You quite simply stole my breath away with your language. I don't remember quite the wording, but Ginny's hair being like a banner of red? That imaging worked really well. I also loved the fact that we saw the Gryffindors in a biase way, like Slytherins in most stories. Brilliant job here, thank you for the operation it's to read it!
Lottie

Author's Response: Hey Lottie!

It is, indeed, a thing. And you have, indeed, read it! Thanks so much for that! ;)

First of all, it means SO much to me that you read all the way through. That is, like, the most exciting thing ever!

And Astoria love! It makes me so happy to hear that you love my baby--my snarky, morally questionable baby! And the language. Like, oh my gracious, thank you. This review is making me smile so big. You should see the smile, because it has eclipsed my entire face and I am now nothing but an enormous grin :D

THANK YOU SO MUCH!

--Penny


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Review #23, by AdinaPuff An Unwelcome Visitor

30th September 2014:
Hi, Penny!

I can't say I've ever read anything that is based in Hogwarts Era through the eyes of Astoria. Especially her perspective on the war. I love the feel of this story so far. It's extremely impressive and all around suspenseful in every way. It makes me wonder what is going to happen to the Greengrasses. We all know Astoria ends up with Draco (unless this is an AU) but I still would love to know how this plays out. I'll be reading on!

Thanks for the swap! :)

-Leigh

Author's Response: Hey Leigh!

Thanks! It's lovely to hear that you enjoyed the feel of the story. Atmosphere is super important to me, so that means a lot! I will reveal nothing about who ends up with whom, because then where would the suspense be, but I do hope you read on!

Thanks for swapping with me!

--Penny


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Review #24, by maraudertimes The Writing On the Wall

28th September 2014:
Penny! I'm back! For our review swap a while ago that neither of us kinda fulfilled, but that's okay, I'm here now!

Okay, I loved this chapter. We're finally somewhere other than that blasted room for an entire chapter (!!!) and Ginny's there (!!!) and there's girly talk, if that's what that could be called (!!!), and there's laughing at Harry bits (!!!). Needless to say, I loved this chapter!

Okay, so first, I absolutely adored how you managed to weasel in the fact about Ginny being possessed by dear old Voldie in first year and Astoria remembering Ginny's handwriting (or at least, it was familiar to her) because I thought it lent so much to the story arch and canon plot and it was just something I've never really seen mentioned before.

Then Ginny's reaction and her reasoning for it was beautiful and exactly what Ginny Weasley would say. You really do have two strong characters in this scene, but the way you've written them is flawless and both have equal say and each matter to the scene.

The part with Peeves was perfect, especially when Astoria said to always have a backup plan. That's just perfect and I really liked ho wit was Astoria "saving the day" instead of Ginny who (like a Gryffindor) didn't really think things through, she just did something impulsively. It really says something about each girls' personalities and their houses, which is really cool to see.

I also love that Astoria kind of has a friendship/connection to Ginny, because I do think (at least with the girls in your story), that after the war if both were still alive, they could bery well be great friends.

Anyways, I absolutely adored this chapter and I'm so excited for the next! Get it up soon, yeah?

Oh and I just checked the forums and you responded to my review swap for today! Hooray!

And also I loved this. Don't know if I said that yet!
Lo :)

Author's Response: Hello!

Ha, at least we got around to the swap eventually ; )

I know! We left the parlor. For a *whole* chapter! Let freedom ring! And if it was Astoria's least-favorite room *before*...

We can totally call it girly talk. Ah, the laughing at Harry bits were so fun to write! So far, the story hasn't leant itself to much humor, aside from, like, irony. I enjoyed getting to break that up a little, and I'm *so* glad that you liked it, too!

Thank you! I'm glad you liked the cannon details. I think that the Voldie-related trauma probably *was* a huge factor for Ginny's development. I also think it would have really impacted her decisions in books 5-7, so it was cool to explore how that might have applied to her involvement with the D.A.

Thanks! Aw, that means a lot. I really wanted them to balance, so I tried really hard to get that right.

Yay! That is exactly what I was trying to do there! You got it! (*cue happy dance*) I really wanted to highlight the different houses and how they relate to one another. Astoria and Ginny very much belong in their respective houses, and that creates an interesting dynamic. And hey, Slytherin characteristics can be useful sometimes! Like you said, it's Astoria who saves the day!

They definitely could be! But we shall have to see...

You did say that, and thank you so much for it. This was such a lovely and encouraging review! Made my day!

--Penny



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Review #25, by whisper in the wind The Writing On the Wall

27th September 2014:
ďIím taking back my life. Weíre taking back this school. Iím not eleven years old anymore. This time, He doesnít get to control me. This time, Iím going to fight.Ē --> GINNY IS EVERYTHING.

That line...I felt Ginny's soul in that line. It was the same Ginny that JKR wrote and you just took her and you let her bloom in this story and I love that. We get to see her and understand her complexities. You show us that Ginny is strong and she's brave and loyal...but it's not only because she's a Gryffindor. It's because she suffered trauma at a young age and she's not going to sit there and be a victim for the rest of her life. She's going to make her own choice.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for doing Astoria and Ginny so much justice in this chapter. I was really looking forward to it. You didn't sacrifice either of their personalities for the sake of the other. You've really written some amazing and REAL female characters and I appreciate that so much. For example, since the story is written from Astoria's perspective, we only get to see in Ginny what Astoria sees. And yes, Ginny is brave and strong, but you show us that she is also vulnerable, and obviously so. There's nothing wrong with a woman who can kick butt and think about her complicated relationship with a boy.

Seriously, amazing job with your characterization. Keep up the fantastic work!

And the snippet for the next chapter has me screaming internally. Can't wait! xx

Author's Response: Whisper! Yay! I'm so excited that you liked this chapter!!!

Ginny IS everything. I'm so glad that we're on the same page about that :D

It means a lot to me that you think I got Ginny's character right. That's been a big goal for me in this story. I really want to keep the characters true to who they are in the books, but still be able to show different sides to them/expand on the details given to us in the series. So I really can't even tell you how much that compliment means to me. Thank you.

And also, you GET IT! That's exactly what I wanted to get across. Ginny's story is so much more than being the only Weasley girl, or being shy and becoming outgoing. She underwent a really horrific experience and came out of it so much stronger. I think she's such an an awesome character!

I loved writing this chapter. It was so fun to write a longer scene for the two of them. It isn't always easy, though, and I was really worried about making sure Astoria and Ginny were evenly matched. I also wanted to be true to the trajectory of their characters. I knew they couldn't be friendly in that first conversation in chapter 3--neither of them are naive or overly trusting--but I like seeing them kind of tiptoe around it, until this point, when we really see the possibility of a real friendship start to blossom.

Seriously, this is one of the best reviews I've gotten, ever. Ever ever. I'm just...I can't even! Thank you so, so, SO much!

--Penny


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