Reading Reviews for Traitorous Hearts
  
140 Reviews Found

Review #1, by aurevoir The Lady of Greengrass Hall

30th July 2015:
Ok, woman. What on Earth is going on. I feel TORTURED.

It's really curious to me that Astoria is the one to give away whatever secret it is. And I really want to know these secrets that Astoria keeps referencing. I also like that Draco had his sarcastic moment.

I feel like a broken record. But I love this characterization of Astoria. The brains, the wile. And Draco's half reaction to her antics. Come on. I know I'm a true Dramione, but I'm also kind of rooting for this to happen right now. I suddenly feel the urge to write a story about Draco and Astoria. CURSE YOU WRITING GODS. That is not what I need to write.

If you hadn't noticed by now, I am INCREDIBLY distracted in my reviews and other things. I also have a Charlie cat in my lap and I can barely type and see what I'm typing. He's really making my life complicated. But he just wants sweet cuddles.

ANYWAY. I definitely will be keeping up with this story ♥ I don't have my speculative reviews to leave yet because I don't even know what to expect. Althought I think this is during the seventh year now. =)

LOVES,

Cassie

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Review #2, by aurevoir An Unwelcome Visitor

30th July 2015:
Ok ok so I thought I would return the favor of leaving a review. And I've been eyeing this story for a while ;) I'm even stepping outside of my comfort zone to read this.

But seriously - I need to know what's going on. Is there like a second rising? Or is this the Draco of seventh year? I didn't read the description enough.

I'm really curious to see where this is going. I regret telling myself I could only read one chapter a night. Because I want to keep going - but that is how I get in danger.

I love mysteries and I love this characterization of Astoria - too often she comes off like a bimbo. So this makes me really happy.

As towards constructive

A misleading question. Her father was in no state to be concerned with such matters; her sister was too easily-led to think twice about them; and her mother...Astoria’s mother had been perfectly devoted--paid the ultimate price for her allegiance--and what had she gotten for it, in the end?

this sentence threw me off? But I really don't know why. Maybe I'm distracted or tired. Or all of the above.

♥ ♥ ♥ &hearts

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Review #3, by cherry_pop94 A Rattle of Keys

30th July 2015:
Hello Penny!

This was a great chapter! Though it was sort of filler, I think we really got a good look into who Astoria is. Even something as simple as standing in the middle of the line has meaning to her for her survival. She's just such a fascinating character!

The way you describe Ariana's painting is absolutely chilling. It is SO creepy, I just have no other way of describing it, but it really fits with the almost horror movie vibe you've got going on with this chapter. I was just waiting for the jump scare moment!

I'm so excited for the next chapter, where we'll presumably meet Aberforth!

Stefanie

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Review #4, by alicia and anne An Unwelcome Visitor

29th July 2015:
Ahh Sorry that this has taken me a while, I got distracted by food haha. But I am here now! :D

I like that she chose the green for Greengrass and not for Slytherin or purebloods, and how her loyalty lies with her family and not just purebloods.

I wonder what happened to her mother? I assume from the way she's thinking that her mother has sadly died.

It seems tense between them and it makes me think that a lot has gone on that we're not shown yet and I'm very intrigued to find out what.

Awww I like that she explained to the house elf before about how she had to act around Draco, and that she hates not treating her nicer. I am really liking Astoria and how nice she is, but that she has to keep up appearances.

:O Did someone kill her mother? That is quite a cliffhanger!

Ahh! I need to read more! I need to find out what happens next! This was such a good first story and was written so brilliantly, I was intrigued from the start and I can't wait to find out more about Astoria, she's a lot different to other purebloods that I've seen written about.

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Review #5, by navyfail A Rattle of Keys

28th July 2015:
Hey, Penny! I thought I would use the review swap as an excuse to read your latest chapter.

This is more of a filler chapter but still interesting. I think this chapter really shows how perceptive and observant Astoria is. I mean she noticed the shade of dirt changing. I also thought that Ariana would only let Neville and Luna in but not Astoria since Ariana seemed a little skeptical about letting her in. I also do understand why Astoria thinks her companions should be more careful. I mean Luna just went and drew the curtains open. I'm wondering if the Death Eaters can actually see Aberforth's place or else I feel like they would have came in, no? Maybe it was mentioned in the books and I forgot, oh well. I like how you made Luna be the quickest to hide... even though she does have her head in the clouds often, she deals well with pressure it seems.

Ah, a cliffhanger! Even though they leave me itching for more I always admire authors who can pull them off. I, myself, give too much away at the end. I wonder how Aberforth will react to them. I have a feeling he'll like Luna. Just because she may remind him of Ariana. Overall, great chapter! I really can't wait for more! And it seems like the Battle of Hogwarts is looming nearer and nearer.

~Sama

Author's Response: Hey Sama! This is gonna be long, bc I have a lot of thoughts on this chapter, and I'm excited to get to discuss it! :)

You noticed that! :D (about the dirt, I mean). I thought it was important that I really *show* Astoria's abilities regularly, to keep her character consistent. Astoria's training and abilities are a huge part of her, and observation is still her number one line of defense when she feels threatened (which nowadays is...pretty much 100% of the time).

Astoria was much of a mind with you--in that brief moment, she didn't expect she would be let in, either. I imagine that the portrait of Ariana, as a guardian, is capable of a sort of light Legilimancy, sort of like the Sorting Hat, but far less intrusive. Enough to take the general measure of a person. Neville and Luna's purity of heart is near-blinding in its earnestness. Astoria, with her complicated mix of emotions about helping the D.A., would naturally take a bit longer to consider. To be fair, Astoria would probably think it foolish that Ariana took a risk on her at all. She hates the Carrows, but Astoria was never raised to be an idealist. The more idealism she sees in Neville and Luna (at present), the more she doubts her place with them. Ariana would have sensed that doubt. However, she did let Astoria through in the end. Perhaps Ariana sees something within her that Astoria herself does not?

ISN'T IT IRRITATING?! But I thought it was in character. Neville has been doing this sort of thing for a while, but...he also gets caught a fair bit. He's a Gryffindor, and as such is still prone to impulsiveness and getting caught up in the moment. Astoria keeps a cool head. Luna is brilliant in some ways, but she has that Ravenclaw absent-mindedness. When it comes to her main areas of academic interest, she has tunnel vision. It sort of shows why they really NEED someone like Astoria in the D.A. The truth is that Slytherin House does have a lot to offer, and having no help from that corner has left weak spots in Dumbledore's Army.

Thank you! I wanted Luna to be the quickest to hide, because even though she's flighty, she's not totally impractical. She has a way of cutting to the heart of things very quickly. Besides, she's an avid student of the animal kingdom. Fight or flight. I figure Luna would know a thing or two about good hiding and camouflage. Most importantly, I wanted to show that, even though they lack Astoria's 'set of particular skills', Neville and Luna are FAR from being bumbling idiots. They've been helping to lead the D.A. for a year. Astoria's occasional frustration isn't unfounded, but the disdain she sometimes feels IS a result of Slytherin prejudices. I wanted to make it clear that, despite the fact that she obviously doesn't think they go about things in the most practical way, both Neville and Luna are valuable players in this game.

I guess that depends on what you mean by "come in". Death Eaters certainly frequent Aberforth's pub, but they wouldn't enter his personal quarters unless they thought they saw something suspicious. Do you think they saw something suspicious? Well, only the next chapter will tell... ;)

I like a good cliff hanger, but I try not to overuse them. It can certainly be tiring when you're invested in the characters. There's a lot of suspense in this story already. I wouldn't want to overdo it.

The Battle of Hogwarts IS indeed looming. 16 more days! And what will happen in between? *grins evilly*.

I'm so excited to know that you're really looking forward to the next chapter. I just appreciate that so much!

Thank you so much for the lovely review, Sama! And thanks for swapping with me.

--Penny


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Review #6, by navyfail The Lady of Greengrass Hall

25th July 2015:
Hi Penny! It's ~chocolate from the forums, here from the review swap.

Astoria's mom really did have some history. I really like how you didn't give her story away in the first chapter but the one after that. It builds up tension and mystery I think. I also can understand why Lavina Greengrass became a spy... it was the only thing she could do that would give her some status career wise. Also she's a Slytherin, I can see her being a very determined lady. And being a housewife really doesn't sound all that interesting for someone as clever as her.

I'm really curious about what secret her mom learned that got her killed. At the beginning of the story I assumed her mom dies a few years back but it seems like it's recent.

In addition, I understand Astoria's sudden impulse to want to get back at the cause and make the rash decision that now has Draco at her doorstep. Though when you think about it that choice is the reason she got to know Draco Malfoy well so maybe that's not such a bad thing. ;)

You really do weave mystery into your story well! I admire your ability. And the balance of past and present work together too. I hope Astoria is able to convince him of her innocence and all goes well.

Terrific chapter!

~Sama

Author's Response: Hey Sama! Thanks for swapping with me.

Thank you. I'm fond of Lavinia, in a strange way. She's made some mistakes--serious ones. But she's easily one of the most interesting characters to write, and she's already dead by the time the story begins! I've been so surprised (and pleased) by the amount of people who really empathize with her, even though she became a Death Eater. She'll keep cropping up throughout the story. It's hard to know everything about Lavinia. There's always more to the story.

Oh, the secret. Yep. That's a big part of the mystery element. It's juicy and dangerous, I can tell you that much. The rest, I cannot yet reveal! *swooshes cape dramatically*

I think it will be a while before Astoria can decide on whether her actions were for the best or foolish in the extreme. She's the type to wait until she has all the information to make that kind of call. Still, despite all the trouble it caused her, you may have a point... ;)

Thank you very much! I really appreciate that. Ahem. "All goes well". Well, I mean...does it ever?

--Penny




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Review #7, by wolfgirl17 The Lady of Greengrass Hall

21st July 2015:
Hey Penny,

Wolfgirl here from over at the forums with your requested review.

So right out the gate I noticed that this sentence is missing some words:

"For years she worked, funneling information to the forces of the Dark Lord. She had remained loyal while awaiting his return, and she rejoiced when, in a crumbling village cemetary in Little Hangleton, her master was restored and, more importantly, her position."

I think maybe at the end there you meant to say that along with the restoration of her master, her position as a spy was restored to her, but there are some words missing so it doesn't quite make sense. You also spelled cemetery incorrectly. If you have time you might want to just pop over and do an edit to fix those things up.

Beyond that I really like this. Lavinia seemed liked quite the character and by the looks of things she taught Astoria everything she knew. This was a wonderful chapter and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. The Subterfuge at play is exciting and I'm utterly intrigued to find out where this will go and how it will all play out for Astoria as she betray the Dark Lord and the Death Eaters with a far too insightful Draco Malfoy keeping an eye on things.

Keep up the great work!

xx-Ellie

Author's Response: Hey chicadee!

Thank you so much for your sharp eye and thoughtful review, and for the extra help you've given me in trying to clear up that sentence.

I'm really glad you enjoyed the chapter, and thanks again for the CC!

--Penny


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Review #8, by cherry_pop94 Into The Sanctum

20th July 2015:
Hello again Penny!

You have no idea how eagerly I've been awaiting this chapter! After I reviewed the last chapter, I read some of the other reviews you got on it and everyone was talking about Luna and Ernie and I was just here wondering what I was missing.

But this was worth the wait. The way you've characterized Luna is perfect. I always find it extremely difficult to write Luna's dialogue because she was quite a distinct way of speaking that's just so hard to get right. But you've done it very well here, I could totally hear her voice in my head as I was reading.

I also really love that you've got Astoria quite conflicted over what she's even doing here. She doesn't see herself as a hero, she doesn't fancy herself a resistance fighter. She's a survivor and that always shows. I do love how she chooses to help them though. Slytherin house is not synonymous with evil, and Astoria proves that.

Another thing I really like about this is the food problem. I feel like it's something that a lot of people haven't though about, but food is at the root of so many issues and an integral part of revolution. People protest because they haven't enough, they take down enemies by cutting food supplies, they protest by doing hunger strikes, etc. So, I love how food is a huge problem for the Hogwarts students too. Starving them out is probably an excellent tactic to destroy their revolutionary spirit.

I'm so excited to see what happens next and how Astoria responds to the upcoming battle! And if she'll see Draco more! This has been such a wonderful read and I just cannot wait for more!

Amazing job as always Penny!

Stefanie

(I go by Stefanie mostly now, but I really don't mind which name you use.)

Author's Response: Hello again Stefanie!

I really cannot tell you how much I appreciate your reviews! They truly mean so much to me :)

Haha! Sorry--I was worried that might happen to some people. I'm glad it made it through the queue fairly quickly and didn't keep you in suspense for too long!

I'm REALLY glad you thought it was worth waiting for :D

And thank you so much! Luna *is* tricky. I find myself having to tweak her dialogue, because she does have that very specific cadence to her words that's kind of hard to capture. I'm happy that you thought it sounded right. I was really trying for that.

You've really nailed Astoria there. She *is* a survivor. She's never seen herself as a heroine, just as someone who takes the best option available to her. Her instincts are kinder than she realizes sometimes, but when you've been told all your life that you're a survivor, that you're smart because you're NOT prone to "reckless" acts of heroism, then that affects how you think about yourself. She still *doesn't* think of herself as a freedom fighter. even though she's agreed to help the cause.

You're the first one to really talk about the food problem, I think. I had always been curious about what that was like--we know from Deathly Hallows that food had been an issue for the D.A. After all, that's why passageway to the Hog's Head exists. But I wanted to explore what it was like before then, and how that came about. The Carrows definitely know that starving them is an excellent tactic. Besides, there is the matter of where all that spare food is going...

Ohmygosh, at this point I'm literally counting down the days to the battle. It's April 15th and the Battle of Hogwarts is on May 2nd. Not long now!

But of course, a few key things have to happen before then. For instance, they have to see what's at the other end of this passageway...

By the way, new chapter's in the queue! It should be up any day!

Thanks again Stefanie! You're the best :D

--Penny



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Review #9, by navyfail An Unwelcome Visitor

19th July 2015:
Hi, Penny! I'm back as promised. It's time to reread this chapter I think. A refresher is always good.

I like how you used the past to start the beginning. It just gives off a very mysterious vibe from the very beginning and shows that Astoria was close to her mother.

It's nice to see that Astoria doesn't really believe in pureblood superiority. All she really cares about is her family which is something I admire.

Your description is lovely as always. I really love your description of Draco especially. I can definitely picture him and I love this part: "it made him look like a child playing in his father’s clothes."

I can't imagine how someone could drink their tea plain. Maybe that's because I can't haha. Though I'm guessing Draco really isn't in the mood for any kind of beverage.

I really like how Astoria is kind to her house elf but I can see why she has to act like she thinks the creature is below her around others. It would raise suspicion if other purebloods saw how free Filly is.

The ending leaves many more questions. I actually forgot about Astoria's mother's unfortunate accident. I'm guessing that's why Astoria looks down on Death Eaters.

Another thing I wanted to mention is that Astoria is really the perfect heroine in my eyes. She's smart, kind of cunning, loyal to her family and very perceptive. I love female characters that can hold themselves and take responsibility as well and Astoria is definitely that.

You already know I love this story (well I hope you know) and your writing style. I'm glad I went back and reread this chapter. I'll probably do so for the rest of the chapters as well.

~Sama

Author's Response: Sorry I'm so late answering this wonderful review, Sama! I had started writing a response to it earlier, but I accidentally closed the window! Oops! So (Mama Mia) here we go again.

I think I was nervous about that beginning when I first wrote it, but looking back I can't imagine the story without it. It takes on a lot more meaning as the story goes on. I'm so glad you like it!

Yeah, Astoria is very practical. She has seen evidence from her fellow students that Muggleborns can be better, magically speaking, than Pureblood witches and wizards, so she doesn't buy into all that so much. I mean, there are probably a few things left over from being in Pureblood society so long--she probably wouldn't quite know what to do if she had to make conversation with a Muggle, for instance. But on the whole, she's less prejudiced than much of her House.

Astoria may not put much stock in Pureblood superiority, but she certainly believes in her OWN superiority. Of course, I'm sure she would argue that that's merit-based ;)

Thank you!

Ugh. Draco and his tea. There's no accounting for taste, is there? Hopefully his taste in women is superior to his taste in beverages...

I love that moment with Filly because it's one of the few times that you get to see the real Astoria. Later in the story you see more of it, but at this point she's having to keep up the facade and all, so it's a small glimmer of her true self.

That is...one of the loveliest, most heart-warming descriptions I've ever received of Astoria. Thank you so much.

I'll be back to review other chapters of Crossing the Borderline, too! Thank you for this review, Sama! It's absolutely lovely. I really appreciate it : )

--Penny


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Review #10, by cherry_pop94 An Admirable Thing

15th July 2015:
Penny! This new chapter is lovely! I love how we got a peek into Draco's life and mind. The part where he's thinking about his soul is wonderful.

I really like how you've described Neville's appearance here. Especially with the bit about how he doesn't have time to shave. Its a small thing, but it really adds to his character.

I also quite like the shorter length chapters too. I think long chapters can be a little difficult to read on a screen.

Anyway, this was a lovely chapter. Can't wait for the next!

Stefanie

Author's Response: Hey Stefi! Or Stefanie. Which do you prefer?

Thank you! I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your feedback. It's really useful to me. Knowing that you liked the chapter length helps a lot. I noticed that my chapters have been creeping up on me and growing a bit too long lately, so just after publishing this one I decided to make a change and split it. I'm glad you think it works; I'll try to do more of that. And that means the whole next chapter is already written and I'm about to out it in the queue! Hopefully it'll be out in the next few days.

Thanks again!

--Penny


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Review #11, by wolfgirl17 An Unwelcome Visitor

15th July 2015:
Hey there Penny,

Wolfgirl here with your requested review from the forums.

So I think from the fact that you have 37 other reviews on this chapter before mine, that it's obvious you know what you're doing. You've got a really interesting story on your hands here and I look forward to reading more of it. I do so love to read about Draco and I've never before read a fic from Astoria's POV.

I doubt there's much I can offer on this one that hasn't been said many times before, and I know that it's more the later chapters you're concerned about with this fic, so I've not got too much to really offer at this point other than that I've enjoyed this chapter and I look forward to finding out more about Astoria and whether she'll end up falling for Draco.

I can't wait to see how everything plays out and feel free to keep requesting up until those later chapters you're interested in really digging into. I'm sorry I don't have more to offer right now other than great work.

xx-Ellie

Author's Response: Hey Ellie!

I'm glad you enjoyed the chapter. Yeah, I've gotten plenty of good feedback on that one. It *is* the later chapters I'm concerned with, so I'll definitely be re-requesting. I've got a thing or two to fix in this chapter--like trying to make the era more clear, which I've played with a few times but still needs some improvement--but like you say, I've gotten enough previous feedback to know that.

Thanks!

--Penny


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Review #12, by Unicorn_Charm The Lady of Greengrass Hall

15th July 2015:
Hi there! I'm here for the swap! :)

I've totally been meaning to get back to this story, but with the HC and RL I sadly have not yet. But, here I am!

I'm really excited to see where this goes. Now knowing what Astoria's mother was and everything. And I can't wait to see what this possible secret is that may have gotten her killed. Because I think I agree and it wasn't any Order member killed her. They typically don't use that curse.

This chapter was just so tense! I felt all anxious the entire time reading it. I literally need to know what happens from here on out.

This backstory you've created for her mother is brilliant. It's so intricate and fascinating. I really, really like it.

Another awesome chapter! I am absolutely going to be back! :)

xoxo Meg

Author's Response: Hey Meg!

HC and RL--the two most time-consuming acronyms I know of ; )

Muahaha, OH the secret. I'm excited for the time when I get to reveal that, too. It's a doozy, in my opinion.

I am both sorry and not sorry for causing you anxiety. Not sorry because that was 100% my intention. Sorry, because that probably means I'm horrible. Ah, well. I am really excited that you want to know more! That's what I was hoping for!

I'm SO GLAD you like Lavinia's backstory. It's one of my favorite aspects of the story, and I think she's one of the most interesting characters, even though she's already dead by the time it begins.

Thank you so much! Let me know if you want to swap again sometime!

--Penny


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Review #13, by navyfail An Admirable Thing

13th July 2015:
Hi Penny! It's ~chocolate from the forums. I feel really dumb for not realizing that you are the author of this amazing novel. I was missing Draco so I got excited when I read the first few sentences. And he's thinking of Astoria! Just like how she sometimes thinks of him. I really loved reading the memory... it was sweet and reminds you of happier times.

I think it's great that Astoria finally made it to the Headquarters. We got a feel of their food problems last chapter but I hadn't realized how bad it is. But she found a loophole!

I like how you included Seamus and Luna. You wrote them perfectly. And you included one of my favorite Luna Lovegood quotes! We also got a sort of Neville/Luna scene (I'm not sure if you meant it that way) and I'm one of the people who thought they should have ended up together so I was really happy with it.

I have to say, I never particularly liked the Carrows but you just made me hate them worse. How could he do that to a poor girl? I mean he could because he's evil but wow... he's almost inhumane.

I really liked this chapter! So much happened and you follow canon so well. I'm a huge Drastoria shipper but I never find stories on them. I think yours was the first I came across a few months back. I'll try and hopefully go back and review earlier chapters in the next few days. Again brilliant work! You writing style is fantastic!

~Sama

Author's Response: Hey Sama!!!

I didn't know you read this! I'm absolutely delighted! :D

I'm glad you liked the memory : ) I enjoyed writing it! Draco is definitely still thinking about Astoria--her memories are his bright spot in a miserable situation.

I was so excited to finally bring Astoria to the Headquarters/Sanctum/RoR! I've had parts of this chapter written since really early on. I've been looking forward to introducing Astoria to the D.A.--especially Seamus and Luna--forever. It means SO MUCH to me that you think I got those two right. I was really trying.

Oh, I ship Neville/Luna so hard! It was 100% intentional. More where that came from ;)

The Carrows are despicable. I knew when I wrote them that they had to be awful, but even I was surprised by how dark a turn it took. I kept it, because it seemed like the sort of thing that would happen in a Hogwarts run by Death Eaters. When you enjoy making people torture 11 year olds, I think there's probably not much limit to how sadistic you are.

Part of my inspiration for writing this was to explore the House of Slytherin. I wanted a heroine who was shrewd, and a liar, and who fully acknowledged that she didn't always do the right thing but she was alright with that because it kept her alive. But, in spite of all that, Astoria isn't a bad person. She's growing.

Draco is in a bad situation, and he's made some bad choices, but when he's been given the option–kill Dumbledore, turn in Harry, tell the truth about Astoria–he's made the better choice.

Even Pansy, awful as she is, you could have some sympathy toward, as we learned a few chapters ago that her brother has gambled away all the family's financial security. Her vulnerability is part of what makes her such a terror (actually, that's what my House Cup collab entry was about--it's a spin off about Pansy dealing with her brother's ruination of the family by betting on winged horse races) .

The Carrows are meant to be the opposite of all that. They're meant to be the absolute worst that Slytherin has to offer. Hogwarts under their rule isn't just unpleasant. It's deathly dangerous.

Thank you so, so much for leaving such a lovely, kind review! I really, really appreciate it!

--Penny


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Review #14, by Ohpl An Admirable Thing

13th July 2015:
Loved this chapter.Can.'t wait for updates.

Author's Response: Thank you so much for reading! And extra thanks for reviewing! I hope to have the update out fairly soon--fingers crossed! It requires a bit of research, to make sure it all goes along with canon and everything. But I'm eager to have it out there :D

--Penny


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Review #15, by mrsdeanthomas421 An Admirable Thing

12th July 2015:
This story is really amazing- I'm not usually a fan of Hogwarts gen stuff but Astoria's story is too good not too like. I love your depiction of Hogwarts at this time. You portray the fear and uncertainty perfectly while also managing to show hope- I always admired that in JK's writing and I think you have really captured that feeling here. Please keep updating!

Author's Response: First, thank you so much for reviewing! I'm so glad that you enjoy Carrow era Hogwarts. I was really interested in it too. That was actually one of the things I was most excited about when I decided to write about Astoria. We get such a small glimpse of what Hogwarts must have been like during the 7th book, but it's clear that for Neville and Ginny and everyone who stayed there, there was a lot of intrigue and danger. Everything you need for an interesting story!

Thank you so much--that is an incredibly lovely compliment, and I really appreciate it! And I totally intend to keep updating! Thanks again : )

--Penny


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Review #16, 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

Author's Response: Hey!

First off, I'm super excited that YOU of all people liked my story, or the first chapter of it anyways, because when I first joined HPFF I specifically remember that you were one of the first authors I ran across whose work I absolutely squeed over. It was your story The Society; I remember being especially impressed because it was your first ever fanfic.

There is a lot more to know about Lavinia Greengrass, and about Astoria's secrets for that matter.

I would love to have another crazy review by you any time! It has brought me much joy, and I'd love to know what you think of the rest of the story.

Thanks so much again! : )

--Penny


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Review #17, 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. :)

Author's Response: First off, thanks so much for the very thoughtful review!

I feel like you're totally on my wavelength about the "And that was the end of Lavinia Greengrass" line. It felt almost funny to me, too, in a very dark way. It's brisk in a way I hoped made it pop, but I was a bit concerned the difference in tone would be too much. I'm glad you think it worked well--that's what I was hoping for.

Thank you!

Hmm. You may well have a point there. You're right that Astoria is very observant, and she certainly would be noticing things about Draco's behavior all the way through. There may have been some bits I cut for flow, but I'll have to go back through and see if her observant nature is consistent enough. She has a lot to focus on, like you say, but you're right--she'd be trying to keep tabs on him.

I think you make a really good point. This is probably my shortest chapter, and it has far more "telling" than I prefer. It does work most of the time, I think, but it also weakens it to have so little action. And you're absolutely right--that bit at the end would be a very good place to add some more action. Maybe I can even add a little bit of an action component to Lavinia's death? More as if we're there. Of course, part of it is that the audience is meant to know only what Astoria was told, so that's an issue. But maybe it could still be done. Or, like you say, I could try to add in something specific about shuffling papers and that sort of thing. Your suggestions are wonderfully concrete, which is really helpful. I appreciate it a lot.

--Penny


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Review #18, 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

Author's Response: Hey Kaitlin! I'm FINALLY answering my reviews. Sorry it took a bit.

I'm really glad you enjoyed the third chapter as well! Oooh, and I'm happy you liked the structure. I remember when I was first writing it that I was worried the flashbacks would be confusing, but I thought the same as you--that showing the story would reveal more than her responses, especially since Astoria is not exactly forthcoming with truthful answers ; )

Ginny and Astoria's interactions are some of my favorite dialogue parts to write. They are equals, even if they are very different, and there's a certain wary respect that comes from that, right off the bat.

Thank you so much for saying such lovely things! I really am glad you looked for those things, and I'm especially glad that the chapter held water.

Thank YOU!

--Penny




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Review #19, 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.

“Remember, little one, secrets are meant to be kept.”

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 #20, 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 #21, 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 #22, 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!

Author's Response: Whoops, I never answered this one! I think there was one after it that I did answer, because I'm pretty sure I remember you commenting when you figured out it wasn't an AU. I've been working on figuring out ways to make the era/circumstances more clear, so thank you for that! And I'm really glad you enjoyed the descriptions, since they're my favorite bits to write! Thank you for the review!

--Penny


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Review #23, 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.

Author's Response: First off, sorry I've been so dreadful about answering my reviews! I can't tell you how much they mean to me. They really keep me going. And a new chapter IS in the queue, so if you get a chance to read it I hope you'll like it. Thank you so much for this really kind message! I never really gave Astoria much thought either, until one day this story just popped into my head. I'm so happy you think Astoria's been drawn well. That really means a lot :D

--Penny


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Review #24, 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 #25, 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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