Reading Reviews for The Monopoly on Honour
  
27 Reviews Found

Review #1, by Gabriella Hunter The House of the Brave

14th September 2014:
Hello!

Its been a while since I've stopped by and I was wondering what had happened with this story, you kind of left me on a major cliffhanger.

So, we're getting a few more details about the Wizarding world and the aftermath of the War. I was really curious to see how you would portray that and while I can understand some of what Daphne was saying, I think that her views are awfully biased. I'm not saying that there weren't any Slytherin casualties but she's sort of blindsided by anger here and I think that that might be a problem later. I did like the mention of Hermione and the memorial though, I think a lot of people have used that idea but you put a lot of detail into it, there was still a lot of pain of course but the descriptions were beautiful.

Now, I'm really curious about this POV change and I don't really read too much about Alicia. I think that she's a good character to switch over with, since she'll have different feelings towards Death Eaters and the War itself. This Guild that you've created seems interesting and the news over what the Aurors did to the Nott family just...that had me so furious and upset. I wonder what's going to happen now, when Alicia is going with the Aurors? I don't think its going to be anything good. Magnus seems like a calculating sort but he's got a steady mind and I think that he's only doing his best with what they have but I'll be curious to see how he develops later.

I can't wait to check out what happens next so don't be shy about coming back! I didn't spot any CC's either so good job!

Much love,

Gabbie

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Review #2, by Roisin When Love absents itself

7th September 2014:
This. Is. AMAZING!

I'm sososo sorry I'm so late with this review--I was hosting a challenge, had a WIP to finish, and all sorts of RL. But here I finally am.

This chapter was really incredible. I just ADORE the prose. It's really beautiful, and elegant--but it also reads as effortless. Rich, and a joy to read, but never seeming tortured or *written.* Both natural and poetic, which I rarely see done well!

And your examinations of their perspectives and situations is just lovely. It's a really ambitious task, and you are succeeding tremendously!

There's just so much going on here, and it's really incredibly poignant. I don't even feel equal to offering an analysis--you wrote it so perfectly that no summary would do it justice!

I didn't see a single error or issue--not a one--except that (while I really liked the alternating POV), it took a tad to long to get my bearings when Draco read the letter from Theo. I really enjoyed that it took us a second to figure out whose head we were in, but with that passage, it went on just a little too long.

Otherwise, it was just brilliant in every way. So smart, and so much pathos.

And my curiosity about Lucius' plan is IMMENSE. If I didn't have other reviews that desperately need giving, I would ABSOLUTELY rush on to the next chapter. But I can't wait to read more!

I'm so glad you came to my review thread--I've already fallen in love with this!

Author's Response: Gosh, thanks so much!

And I'm sorry for taking so long to reply - this week has been utterly mental.

How do I reply to a review like this? Other than repeatedly stating how overwhelmed and touched I am by your words, meaning that I am at very great risk of sounding like a robot?

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. *oops* - I assure you that despite any appearance to the contrary, I am neither a parrot nor a robot :)

On the POVs - I am planning to go back and insert GoT-style POV tags, so hopefully that should clear up the confusion when Draco reads Theo's letter.

Pathos! I was going for that :) - I suppose the two main influences on the story in terms of tone are Ancient Greek tragedy and the French/Latinate mentality of something called 'la beaute du geste'. An example would be if a sports team has a really elegant move, and is inserted into the game purely because of its elegance, rather than any strategic value.

The plan - I'm glad you're curious about it; the next chapter, as it is Lucius-centric, should give away a few more things :)

Thanks so much for the review. I cannot tell you how much it means to me!

Celi xx


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Review #3, by Gabriella Hunter We shall live in song

2nd September 2014:
Hello!

This is Gabbie dumping this review on you and I'm SO sorry that I'm a few days late. I had some real life things to do and my allergies were really bad for some reason (Nature does not like me) and there were other, more boring things to take care of.

Anyhoo, on to this! Lucius Malfoy is one cunning little bird, isn't he? I really like how you opened this chapter though, you took all the pain and despair from the previous chapters and blended them all together--I was really sad to hear that his marriage was not at all what it appeared but I'd already suspected that. I wonder if Narcissa will ever be able to forgive him and return? I doubt that it will be soon or ever but I'm sort of feeling for Lucius and that's not something I thought I'd EVER say. Hahaha.

I also like that you wrote him as such a warm father figure, that's something I've never seen before either. I think that the way he dotes on Astoria is very sweet, a bit calculating here and there but he's aware of her strength and is putting his hope in her. Its really surprising and touching that he would lose just a bit of his control and I enjoyed their sweet bantering and Astoria's obvious fondness for him.

Now, the blood magic was very cool. I had read about this before but never in this much detail and I'm really blown away by what you've done here, it doesn't surprise me at all that the Malfoy's would go to such great lengths to preserve their heritage. I'm really curious about this plan that Lucius and Astoria mentioned and I can't wait to read on about it, I hope you won't keep me waiting too long!

I didn't spot any CCs or anything, your flow and pacing are great and your characters are very fleshed out and realistic.

Much love,

Gabbie

Author's Response: Hi Gabbie!

Thanks so much for the review, and it's my turn to apologise to you for the late reply - I've had no time this week. I hope your allergies are better :)

'Cunning little bird' - Indeed! I'm having a lot of fun writing him. Oh, his marriage is definitely not all it appeared (and I shall leave you to interpret that it whatever way you wish :p) Will she be able to forgive him? Hmm... Lucius has a lot to explain and a lot to prove before that happens, don't you think? You're feeling for Lucius :) Brilliant!

I wanted to delve deeper into Lucius's familial relationships, and for some reason, I was particularly drawn to what he would think of Astoria. Not only is she the girl his son has fallen in love with, and so there's that "seal of approval", but I also see Astoria as his intellectual equal. I also think that they are very similar in some ways - they both, with more or less success, are the strategists behind trying to keep their family together, and because of that, they understand the strain they're both going through. Astoria can't break in front of Draco, Daphne or Selena, because they all need her, and Lucius is similar. Ah, I enjoyed their banter too. It was a lot of fun to write! I like sardonic humour :) I suppose I was trying to show that Lucius does actually care about things - I don't think he could be that ambitious a Slytherin without having an incredible depth of motivation. I also see him as being incredibly determined, but he's only human, and his decision to involve Astoria is as much strategic as it is because he is actually able to connect with her in some way.

The blood magic. I'm glad you thought it worked well! It's important for the very obvious reason that it's tied in with the protection of the Malfoys, but it's also linked with their attitude to blood status, amongst other things, and if you want more detail, well, you're in for a treat in future chapters. It comes into play a few times :) I thought it made sense that they would use it - both from a heritage and security point of view - I see the Malfoy brand of blood magic as being very, very difficult to circumvent, so it is one of the most secure weapons they have, and hopefully it'll become clearer why in the future

The plan is in its primary stages, but the next chapter begins the arrest sequence, as well as introducing some more characters and a whole other perspective, so hopefully that will fuel your curiousity. By the way - that is the biggest compliment! It's so encouraging to hear that people want to find out what happens next!

I should be putting the fifth chapter into the queue over the next few days, so keep an eye out for it :)

Thanks so much for the awesome and really helpful review. It really means a lot :)

Celi xx



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Review #4, by EnigmaticEyes16 When Love absents itself

29th August 2014:
Hi! EnigmaticEyes16 here for the Slytherin Review Exchange!

This story is so very intriguing so far. I loved the flashbacks in the first chapter where Lucius refuses to make a marriage contract for Draco when he is still so young. Yet it was very cute how he ends up meeting Astoria anyway and they immediately seem to become friends. And the nervous boding of their upcoming trials is very intense. I am super curious and kinda scared to see what happens to all of them in their trials. I wonder if that takes place in the next chapter or not. I feel so bad for Daphne who is wracking her brain trying to come up with a way out of being persecuted for something she didn't even do, and I hope she does find a way out of it. Although, it will still be sad because Theo has been sentenced to Azkaban for five years. Even though he was lucky not to be sentenced for life, it's still such a long time to be stuck in such a terrible place. And it's so tragic what happened to Hero and Selena. Although I'm not totally surprised by Narcissa's reaction to Lucius. She's clearly very upset and angry about how her family is being dragged through the mud and will more than likely be torn apart by the upcoming trials and it's understandable that she would blame Lucius for putting them all in that situation.

Wow, this review turned out way longer than I thought it would. I did very much enjoy these first two chapters, although sadly (as they aren't exactly happy chapters). But I did have some issues with all the changes of POV, and trying to figure who's voice I was reading in each scene, and then the switching from third person to first person kinda through me off. But other than that I did think it was all very well written. I do intend to read the next chapter, just not right now.

Really great job on this though in pulling together all these Slytherins into one story and making it work and keeping it interesting.

xxNix

Author's Response: Hi Nix!

I'm so sorry for the late reply; the past week or so has been absolutely hectic. But I have a spare couple of hours now!

I'm glad you liked the flashbacks - I suppose I wanted to show that there was far more to their lives than constant doom and gloom :) Their trials are a ways off yet - there are arrests first, and lots of other (hopefully) good things before then :) I am giving them hell, aren't I? But I always thought the whole idea of 'Voldemort is gone and everyone lives happily ever after' was a bit far-fetched; because that doesn't happen after what was effectively a civil war. People want revenge, they want punishment, they want that elusive concept of 'justice' - it's going to be a very unsettled period, with different factions; different vested interests.

Narcissa's blame of Lucius is interesting: I think that when people are angry, they have very selective memories, but obviously I can't comment on that :)

I'm glad you feel for these characters. I suppose that was partly the aim - to humanise them. They are the protagonists of the story, but they are far from heroes - I think that sometimes people confuse the two as being one and the same, when they aren't, necessarily :) I'm happy you enjoyed the first two chapters, it's really encouraging and heartening to hear that!

On the changes of POV - from the third chapter onwards, I've used the GoT style of signalling changes in POVs, so hopefully that will make things clearer. Don't worry, I am planning to go back and edit the first two chapters and put the GoT signalling in to make the first two chapters more understandable to read.

It's so nice to hear that you're planning to read on, and I hope you enjoy the next chapters too!

On pulling the Malfoys and Greengrasses into the same story - the Malfoys and their trials were the original starting point, but the main attraction with the Greengrasses was that in canon we know so little about them, and so that gives me far more room to play around in. Then there was the fact that Daphne and Draco were in the same year at school, and given how closed Pureblood and especially Slytherin circles were, I thought it was impossible that they didn't know each other relatively well.

Thanks so much for the review, and I'm so sorry once again about such a late reply!

Celi xxx


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Review #5, by crestwood The House of the Brave

29th August 2014:
Hi Celi!

The Prophet article that you wrote reads a LOT like the canon paper did, so really well done with that. I find it strange that Hermione of all people would purposely exclude the Slytherins the way she did here. Of course, that could be the Prophet twisting her words in whatever way they think will get the most support and people reading their paper.

I think Daphne's anger is well deserved. The Ministry is looking for revenge and they aren't afraid to go through innocent people to get it. I don't agree with her reasoning about the whole pureblood ideology thing, but I do agree that the winners of the war are not dealing with the aftermath correctly.

The Guild is a wonderful idea. I never even thought of such a place, but it makes so much sense because it's not as if Hogwarts has a law class or anything of that sort. And I've always thought that the Ministry was a little incomplete, so this is a welcome addition to the Harry Potter universe.

While reading about the things the Aurors used against the 13 year old Nott (incomprehensibly evil act, by the way) and it really hit me so hard to realize that Harry must have taught them 'Sectumsempra' himself as no one else knows that curse.

Magnus seems like a really good leader who actually cares about people and I guess he sent Alicia because she has fought before and he thinks things will get ugly there. The Ron Wealey-led arrest of the Malfoy family is going to be an interesting bit of action I assume.

You've really done a good job of widening the scope of this a bit. - Leaving Malfoy Manor, introducing new characters - but you still kept the same feel of the previous chapters. It just feels like things are going to begin to implode soon. I can't wait to see the fallout of all of the tactics the Ministry is using, I don't think they'll get away with it all scot free. This was a really good chapter and you introduce a lot of unique ideas. Thank you for your request!

Author's Response: Hi!

I'm so sorry about the late reply - I started my new job, moved into a new flat and had a ton of admin stuff to do.

You liked the article! Realistic is what I was going for. On the exclusion of the Slytherins - I might go back and add Regulus and Severus to it. On the Prophet twisting Hermione's words - interesting theory. What I will say is that I am very interested in the way media is used on the population; it's a very potent tool.

Ah Daphne's anger. Well deserved - I definitely think so :) I spent the past two years researching C17th English Civil War and the Stalin eras, so I suppose I approached the Pureblood ideology from that very detached, historian perspective. Don't get me wrong, I don't agree with the ideology at all, but potency, in many ways has nothing to do with right and wrong - if you follow that line of thinking then Hitler would never have risen to power. I think that if you look at the answer to the question of why was Voldemort able to gather such support being that the Purebloods were all evil racists anyway, is too simplisitic a view to take. The fundamental question in understanding Voldemort's rise is not - was the Pureblood ideology right or wrong. The fundamental question to gaining that understanding is why was it so potent? And the answer to that is that the Statute of Secrecy was thought, rightly or wrongly, to be necessary. That's what I was getting at in that section (sorry if it was confusing).

The Guild - I like it very much too! I know all we've seen of it so far is the law school bit, bit it isn't just that, I promise. The idea came about because of the severe moral issue that became apparent when I realised that the judiciary was a part of the wizarding executive in the form of the Magical Law Enforcement Department. The law must be above politics, able to force politics to answer, yet how can it do that when it is itself a constituent part of the political machine. Hence the necessity for an independent institution where lawyers could be trained - the Guild.

On the Sectumsempra curse - the reason I put it in there was precisely because Harry had used it, and although he didn't exactly know what would happen when he cast it, the tagline 'for enemies' would have made him realise that it was a serious curse. I was looking for a spell they would have used which was realistic, but harmful, and I thought Sectumsempra fit the bill.

Magnus - I'm glad you think he's a good leader, I'm really enjoying writing him and Alicia, so hopefully that came across :) The Malfoy arrest begins in the next chapter. It's currently with my beta, so it should be up relatively soon.

Widening the scope, introducing OC's was my major concern with the chapter, so I'm happy you thought it was coherent. On implosion? I couldn't possibly comment on that :) The fallout of the Ministry tactics - oh, I'm looking forward to it too.

Thanks so much for your review, and once again, I'm sorry about the ridiculously late reply!

Celi :)


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Review #6, by simplelullaby The House of the Brave

28th August 2014:
Hey Celi! It's simplelullaby here with your review. Sorry it's late, I'm actually gearing up to move house at the moment so it's been a bit hectic here.

Great chapter! Very different from the others, you take us out of Malfoy Manor for the first time and introduce us to this entirely new concept - I'm very interested in the Guild thing you've got going on. I also love that you're utilising minor characters from the canon - pet love!

Technical:

Your formatting seems a little off, there's a few spacing issues in between paragraphs and the like. Little suggestion, switch from the Advanced Editor to the Simple one. It's actually much easier to navigate, and HPFF give you a handy little html guide if you are, like me, very unused to anything code-wise. Of course this is a nitpick, and doesn't take away from your writing too much, so if you want to leave it the way it is that's great too!

Characterisation:

I see you've started utilising the GoT style, and can I say it's really helping for when you switch POVs! Brilliant! Okay, let's talk about Daphne. It's really great that you've taken us away from the usual Astoria POV (though I did miss her a little in this chapter!) and given us an insight into a character who had been in the background previously. You create a very unique voice for her, probably because of all the swearwords you use (which definitely isn't a bad thing - she's Daphne and that's the way she thinks!). I think you managed to portray the message of that section very well - it's not just the "good guys" who're allowed to have feelings, and she is mad! It was a great section overall, I liked it!

Now let's talk about Alicia Spinnet. Wow, you manage to just introduce and entirely new character in an entirely new setting and make it seem completely natural. So jealous! I'm not sure if I know much of Alicia herself, persay, because you did put the focus very much on her surroundings as opposed to her as a person, but that's not wrong either. I think that you very much had to establish the settings more than the character, because you can do that later!

So yeah, overall some really great characterisation here. I do think you could have done with a little more expansion, a few lines here and there both for Daphne and for Alicia, just to puff out their characterisation a little, but it's really fine the way it is. I could also do with a little more physical description, but you probably know by now that that's definitely personal preference on my part!

Also, side note, this Magnus guy seems like quite the character. Can't wait to see more of him!

Plot:

A very big chapter for plot! You've introduced a whole new aspect to your story - again very GoT to introduce this whole new character in a whole new setting, and connect the two like that. I wonder, are you going to start doing this for more characters, say sneak a couple of Auror chapters in there, tell the trial from someone in the Wizengamot's perspective? Just a wee thought.

Now, I do love what you're doing with this chapter, but i can't help but feel like it seems a little rushed, especially in the beginning. I'd say to help this, just linger a little! Puff it out with descriptions, little observations. I think Daphne's section suffered from this more than Alicia's. Just languish instead of rush! You've got all the words in the world to play with!

Also, plot-wise, I'd warn you to be a little careful of what you're doing with the whole leaving Slytherin out thing. The article was VERY good, I loved it, but it seemed a little far-fetched that they would leave Slytherin out entirely. I'd say, instead, that they would add a few token Slytherins onto the memorial, which are completely outnumbered by the amount of dead mentioned from other Houses. It just didn't seem plausible that Hermione Granger, who is canonically a very fair person, who looks out for the rights of many, and always looks for the good in people, would let them get away with leaving Slytherin out entirely!

Setting and Description:

As I said above I do think that this is a bit of a weak spot, though compared to, say, you're first chapter you are definitely improving wonderfully! This section: "That smiling, waving picture of Hermione Granger on the front page starts to leave the picture frame, disconcerted by the steadily growing puddle of flame-coloured liquid that rushes like the waves of the sea into the photograph. In a moment of violent impulse, I imagine the orange juice is actually fire and that it really is trying to burn her." Is amazing! I'd so love to see more of this!

Overall:

A really great chapter, one of my favourites! I love that you are introducing an entire world around your central characters, and giving some spotlight to those who've been overshadowed in previous chapters. I'd say to improve add a little more description, especially setting description, and you'll be golden!

Your AoC: Characterisation is fab! Pacing seemed a little fast, but nothing a little more description can't remedy!

My Favourite Part:

The article. Oh my God that part was spectacular! So Prophet-esque!

Hope you liked it, feel free to rerequest when you've got another chapter up, it's great to see you improve as every chapter goes by. On a more selfish note, it's great to see that you're actually reading and taking my reviews in, makes a reviewer so happy!

Keep Writing,

~Aimee~

Author's Response: Hi Aimee!

Gosh, I am so sorry about the late reply - I've just started my new job and going from doing nothing to working 14 hour days has been a bit of a shock!

I'm glad you like the Guild! It came from several starting points: that wizarding Britain had no independent work institutions. I'm not a big fan of the Ministry beehive! I also wanted to introduce the concept of a third faction to heighten the realism of the story, because in my opinion anyway, very rarely do you get conflicts between two clear cut factions. The great majority of the population will be somewhere in the middle. In just about every Western country except the US (I don't know about other countries, which is why I'm not including them in the comparison) the judiciary is ALWAYS independent of the political executive for the very important ethical reason that the law is above politics and must and can hold politics to account. That is why I don't like the concept of the Department for Magical Law Enforcements - because appointments are made by the Ministry rather than independently. So that threw up the idea of the necessity of an independent institution forming the judiciary, amongst other things.

Minor characters! I love them. There is so much you can do with them, an almost infinite number of directions to take them in, which is exciting!

Thanks for the tip about the formatting! I shall pay attention in future :) Happy to hear the GoT style helped, and thanks so much for suggesting it. I wanted to give Daphne more screen time as we near the trial. (I've written two thirds of it) I was slightly nervous about the swearwords but then I thought it would help emphasise her emotional reaction, so I'm glad you found it consistent with her character thus far.

Alicia is one of my favourites, so thanks for the compliment! She's not a one off, don't worry :) I wanted to widen the scope, but without doing it from a more conventional POV like Harry's. As she's an apprentice, I can put her in tricky situations, like the Malfoy arrest.

I need more physical description, don't I? Especially Alicia. I'll pay extra attention next chapter, so hopefully I can do better!

MAGNUS! 'Quite the character' exactly the reaction I was hoping for. He is so much fun to write, and we shall se him again soon.

Oh you're good :p. Your theory is spot on. Why did you think I introduced Magnus and Alicia now? *evil laugh*

I'll put Severus and Regulus on the memorial. I think Harry and Hermione would push for that, and it would have interesting repercussions! I've been caught out at my own game, haven't I? Whoops.

You liked the photograph! It's really nice to hear that because I thought it was a bit much when I wrote it. And the article! You really are spoiling me. 'Spectacular' - yep, I'll take that. Any day. THANK YOU!

I'm improving? Wow, thanks! Of course I take your reviews in - your advice is so helpful!

Celi xxx





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Review #7, by marauderfan Do we not Suffer?

27th August 2014:
REVIEW TAG!

Wow, this is quite a start! Very dark and still has moments of sweetness! It's a great combination. I really like the premise though, expecially Slytherin viewpoints during the war. I have a soft spot for stories like that. And I love how you write Astoria and Daphne, particularly how Daphne was protecting younger students as she fled the castle - considering the last we see of the Slytherins in the books is them all fleeing, it's nice to think that behind the scenes, some of them were helping the younger students.

And aw, I cannot even tell you how much I loved the scene with Lucius and Draco. Yes, there are elements of Draco's rather snobby, aristocratic upbringing, but it's just so CUTE. Lucius obviously adores his son, and Draco is such a happy 7-year-old, and aw it was just really sweet.

Draco's relationship with Astoria is cute as well. What a challenge they face, after the war when everyone perceives them as villains, although they lost people as well. It takes a lot to change people's minds about social events and who's on what side and this story shows the grey area present in the war. I like it.

If I might point out one thing that seemed odd to me: Until there was a massive crack like a muggle gunshot. -- Would Selena, a daughter of a pureblood family, know what a Muggle gunshot sounds like?

Otherwise, this was a fantastic opening chapter! Great writing! :)

Author's Response: Hi!

I'm so sorry for not replying sooner - I've been having problems with my internet; oh the joys of having an ancient laptop :)

Thanks so much for the review, it means a lot, and I'm glad you enjoyed it! Daphne and Astoria, well we see little if anything of them in canon, so writing them is a lot of fun for me. You picked up on Daphne's defence of the younger students! I'm SO glad - without giving too much away, it's going to be important. Very important, especially, but not only for, Daphne.

I'm happy you liked the scene with Lucius and Draco - I suppose I wanted to show that they had been happy; that they had within them a capacity for happiness.

Oh, Draco and Astoria do face a massive challenge. I don't think they're villains - and yes, a major point is that they have lost people as well. On grey areas - I think that only very rarely are events or people objectively either evil or good, and I always did think that categorisation of an entire group of people as evil just like that is just as dangerous and just as wrong as fighting against people for something like blood status. And, I also wanted to show the other side of the war, without doing something like the archetypal 'protagonist goes dark because it seems like a rather cool thing to do'.

Thanks for pointing out the bit about the gunshot. I am planning to go back and edit at some stage, and when I do so, I'll fix it. Thanks very much for pointing it out to me :)

Thanks once again for your review, and I apologise for such a late reply. It's so encouraging and helpful to see what people liked and didn't like about the chapter.

Celi :)


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Review #8, by lexiatel Do we not Suffer?

27th August 2014:
Wow... beautifully dark! What an amazing start to an interesting story! Well written! Please do request.

I have tears, it is very sad to see someone so young go through such a traumatic experience. What a sad thing about Hero though... that's a character I would love to read about more.

I LOVE this version of Astoria, I actually pictured her being this way. Some people have wrote her up being more like Pansy, but I couldn't picture that... Never! :)

Author's Response: Thank you so much for the review!!! It means so much - and I saw your post on your review thread as well - no-one's ever recommended my story before - THANK YOU YOU ARE THE MOST BRILLIANTEST PERSON EVER :) (I know it's not a word, but it honestly should be) .

Okay, breathe :). Now I can possibly, hopefully try and write a coherent response, compared with the rambling mess above :)

Hero and Selena. I'm being quite mean to them, aren't I? Don't worry, you will see more of Hero, I promise :)

Yes! Someone else who thinks that Astoria is not Pansy 2.0! You have no idea how happy that's made me :)

It is dark. But I think I wanted to accurately represent a society that needs to rebuild itself - there is going to be a certain amount of witch-hunting going on (no pun intended).

Thanks so much for the review, I definitely will rerequest :)

Celi xx


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Review #9, by AlexFan When Love absents itself

26th August 2014:
Sorry for taking so long with this but I'm here.

I don't know if I mentioned this last time but the more of this story that I read the more interested I am in what happens to these characters. I think you picked a great time after the war to write about.

I liked how you showed the repercussion on Lucius's marriage because of the decisions that he not only made for himself but for the rest of his family. Because you can see that Lucius cares about his family but the fact that he seems to be worrying about humiliation more than anything else might give Narcissa the impression that he doesn't care and that he still isn't getting the message. It was really interesting seeing a man like Lucius, someone who is always in control of his emotions lose it and resort to tears because he does not know how to fix the mess that he has made.

All of this time and effort that he put into trying to give his family the best life that he could and this is what it all lead to. That would be hard for anyone to deal with.

I feel like had it been anyone else in these characters situation, they would've accepted their fate and cherished the time that they had left but that's not in the Malfoy or Greengrass blood. You go down fighting even if you know that you're a lost cause.

I like how you're building up to the hearing. Showing the readers how different characters are dealing with their current problem in their own way but still reminding the reader that this trial is going to happen by adding in more and more details about what each characters trial is most likely going to be like and what the sentences for those already convicted were and what the Malfoys can expect when it's their turn. The more you talk about the hearing, the more excited I get for it.

I think you're pacing it's good, it's slow but for a story like this I feel like it needs to be slow in order for the reader to really process and understand what's going on with everyone. It adds to the serious tone of the story.

Author's Response: Don't worry about taking your time - I completely understand :) we all have RL.

Gosh, thank you so much :) That is exactly what I was going for, so thank you.

On Lucius - I was a bit mean, wasn't I? But I quite honestly just could not resist, and hopefully it was a realistic conversation. I really enjoyed writing that scene - something about taking Lucius and Narcissa to some sort of breaking point.

Oh, the Malfoys - Lucius at least - have every intention of going down with a great a bang as possible. Lost cause - yes, in way. Simply because I absolutely cannot see the Malfoys blindly accepting and fitting into the Post-War world. Not because they are necessarily evil or anything like that, but simply because I think that too much has happened.

Ah, the trials. And yes, the idea was to keep the trials at the forefront as much as possible, but sort of in constantly in the background as well, if that makes sense? I think I sort of see the trials as a sword of damocles hanging over their heads, as something in their futures that comes inexorably closer, and that they cannot escape. It reminds me of a Pippin quote from Lord of the Rings, 'I don't want to be in a battle. But waiting on the edge of one I can't escape is even worse.' (I've been reading and watching waaay too much Tolkien lately :p ) I'm also very excited about the trials.

I'm glad you think I have the appropriate pacing, so thank you! I suppose it's something I am quite worried about, wondering whether I'm keeping the momentum going in each chapter.

Thank you :)


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Review #10, by Gabriella Hunter When Love absents itself

24th August 2014:
Hello!

This is Gabbie from the forums dumping this review on you and I'm so sorry for the long wait. I was actually pretty sick for the past few days and now I'm fighting through a stomach virus to give you this review--I hate having you guys waiting for so long! D';

Anyway, on to this! I'm really intrigued by the family dynamics that you've created in this story, I think its really fascinating. I've never really looked at the Malfoy family and their relatives as such tortured souls and you've done such a great job for making me feel some empathy for them. The beginning scene with Lucius and Cissy just made me really upset though, I knew that their marriage was falling apart and I thought that it was painful to read for a moment but also beautifully written. I sort of wanted to cry a little, reading how broken they were and the way you've interconnected everyone's pain with their loved ones was a brilliant move. From Daphne to Theo, to Astoria and Draco, I really loved that aspect in this chapter!

I was really upset by that decision to shove Theo in Azkaban though but Astoria and the others seem like they might have something up their sleeves. I wonder how that will work out later on? I really hope that you'll give me a lot of detail on that! It was also unfair that a lot of other Death Eaters were slapped on the wrist as well but I DO really, really love the pureblood values that everyone kept holding onto. In a changing world, what do they have left? Agh, really great chapter!

I don't have any major CC's either. I thought the switching POV's could have been done a bit smoother but other than that, great job!

Much love,

Gabbie

Author's Response: Hi Gabbie!

Thanks so much for the review, and I hope you feel better soon! Being ill really isn't nice.

Ah, the family dynamics - you're right, empathy is really what I was going for :) It was quite hard to do without making them adhere to the stereotypical 'we never really believed in Pureblood supremacy anyway' - that would have been too easy. The consequences of their actions, especially Lucius's, are severe, and I wanted to put them through that, but that does not mean that the automatic correlation with 'monster' is necessarily true.

Thanks so much for your comment about Lucius and Narcissa - it was a really hard scene to write, but it's definitely one of my favourites, and an opportunity I could not resist. It's just so much fun to delve into their psyches like that, and especially in Lucius's case, to take it that far and to see where it goes next is really exciting for me.

Ah, Theo. I suppose I did that to show how serious the new regime is about these trials - I never thought most people getting off after the war was realistic. I studied the English Civil War and the resulting war crimes trials, including after the Restoration, as well as Stalin's show trials in the 1930s for two years. That's where I got the inspiration from in terms of atmosphere, and probably why my depiction of the wizarding war trials in this is so dark!

The Plan. :) I'm very excited about it - I've almost got to the point where I can start writing it. Without giving much away, it will, hopefully, be the major pivotal point of the story (cue LOTS of angst).

It is unfair, isn't it? But as Snape said in that brilliant scene from the Half-Blood Prince 'Life isn't fair.' If you hadn't already guessed, in this story I will put them through hell *evil laugh*, principally because it's so much more fun for me as a writer, and hopefully makes the story more compelling to read :) well, that's the idea, anyway!

Thanks for pointing out the transitions - I am planning to go back and edit everything at some point, and when I do, I'll be sure to work on those.

Thanks so much for your review. It's really encouraging for me to know when people enjoy it, and point out everything that I can improve on!

Celi xxx :)


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Review #11, by Veritaserum27 Do we not Suffer?

22nd August 2014:
Hello!

I'm tagging you from review tag!

I think you've done a great job with this! It is a very original idea for a story. I've read a few Draco/Astoria stories, but none set against such a complicated political background. This fist chapter contained all the necessary information - you've introduced the characters, created conflict and started what proves to be a very interesting storyline with a love story intertwined.

I love your version of Draco and Astoria - I love that they call each other "Dragon" and "Star" - so sweet.

I also like your version of Slytherin. You're right. They aren't all bad - being cunning and ambitious and proud of your heritage doesn't make you evil. I also think that after any war (and even during) there is a bout of prejudice that permeates against anyone perceived to be "on the other side." This will be an uphill battle for the Malfoys and the Greegrasses.

A few bits of CC: I wasn't completely sure of the present living arrangements. Are the Greengrass sisters living with the Malfoys? What happened to Nero? Also, I think that you could include a line somewhere about either Draco or Lucius grieving for little Hero. But - perhaps that is addressed in the next chapter.

The only reason I mention it is because you've painted such a lovely picture of Lucius as a father. He clearly adores his children. He also appears to be willing to fight against the injustice being done to pureblood families that don't deserve it.

Great chapter. The ending with the three Greengrass sisters was heartwarming. :)

Beth

Author's Response: Hi Beth!

Thanks so much for reviewing; it means a lot :) Complicated political background, indeed :) I'm glad you think so - I've always found I really enjoy reading those kinds of stories, so they are definitely an inspiration to me.

On Draco/Astoria - I think it just felt right to write it that way - not that I see them as defined by their relationship, but it has a major impact upon their story line. I also think that to make their relationship forced would not provide balance. It's great that other people also think that they're relationship doesn't have to be written as unhappy! :)

In canon, I always found the Slytherins, though we saw little of them, the most interesting house. I certainly think ambition is not a dirty word, and that in order for prejudice to exist, it has to go both ways, unfortunately. The Slytherin characters are very complicated, and I particularly enjoy writing them (you may have noticed I'm a Slytherin on the forums).

I chose to write a dissertation and do optional source papers on the trial of King Charles I of England, considered to be the first modern war crimes trial, and so the idea of exploring concepts of wizarding law came from there :)

On the present living arrangements: they are explained in later chapters, as what happened to Nero and his wife. Ah, Hero - you see Lucius grieving for her in the next chapter: the idea of Lucius finding his daughter's body was an opportunity I could not resist :) I hope that clears up your questions :)

Thanks so much for the review :)

Celi


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Review #12, by Ribbons Do we not Suffer?

22nd August 2014:
Helllo!

I have to say that this wasn't exactly what I was expecting, somehow. I'm used to Draco/Astoria (although honestly I don't actually read it that often), but this really defied what I've seen in this genre. Why? Because it wasn't just them - two people. There was the family around them, the memories of them as children, and the little sister and brothers.

Why did I like this fic? Mostly because of a few things: Draco and Astoria seemed to work really well together, they understand each other and have a nice, balanced interaction. The memory of Draco as a boy was nice too, because it gave you a since of his messed up childhood (proper parenting? Nah).

There was, though, a few things that bothered me. Nothing big, nothing wrong with the story idea or the plotting or anything, but little stuff that was a bit distracting. First of all, what's with the formal talk? They all act like they've been plopped into a Jane Austen novel. Why is that? Is it necessary? I found it a little weird that's all.

Then there was the ending. Don't get me wrong darling, I LOVED the memory, really loved it, but it didn't really feel like an ending for the chapter, it just kind of...stopped with an idea that wasn't exactly like the others. A bolt out of the blue that didn't fit with the rest.

But what DID I like? Mostly, Lucius. You wrote him really, really well, and everything about him came across perfectly. While you'd expect to see these events from the Weasley or Potter's point of view, instead it's from the Malfoy's, which makes this whole thing all the more strange and potent.

I want you to keep writing, please! And keep up the awesome work as you delve into a subject I've never really encountered before.

Lots of love,

Alena

Author's Response: Hello Alena :)

Thank you so much for the review - it really is so encouraging for me to see that people enjoy it and point out the things I can improve on :)

I'm curious about what you said of my portrayal of Draco/Astoria, although admittedly I haven't read that many Draco/Astoria fics, and I'm relatively new on here, so I don't know enough about what is considered the archetypical view of their relationship.

Ah, Draco's childhood. In my head canon, I think that Draco's early childhood was happy, then went slowly downhill. His relationship and opinion of Lucius is definitely complex, but hopefully not entirely in the way that people might expect.

On the formal talk: I suppose what I was going for was aristocratic - may have overshot a little. Whoops :) I am planning to go back and edit at some point, and when I do, I'll definitely take your point into consideration, and about the ending, too. :) Thanks for pointing out your impressions of these things to me.

I have a ridiculous amount of fun writing Lucius. He's probably my favourite character in the canon, and Jason Isaacs's portrayal really got me thinking, and has a lot to do with my fascination with the Malfoys and other Slytherins. I mean, not only does Lucius have far more panache than pretty much any other character, but I also feel like he's a character who consciously layers himself - the impression he gives to others, bar a few exceptions, is very calculated, but underneath, he is far more than that. The next two chapters are very Lucius-centric, so hopefully you'd enjoy reading them :)

On the Malfoy POV - thank you! It's nice to hear that the story is making people think :) Potent! THANK YOU THANK YOU! Here's the bit where I lose control of my vocabulary :) That is literally one of the best compliments EVER.

Celi xx


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Review #13, by Roisin Do we not Suffer?

18th August 2014:
FINALLY here with your requested review!

This story is just lovely! There's a real sophistication to the prose that I don't often see on this site; very poetic, and a formality to the language. It suits the characters really nicely, as they're from a very aristocratic culture.

One note: "Her hands entwined with his. She could feel his heartbeat in her hands as he sat up in response to her touch." You use the word 'hands' twice in quick succession. Maybe swap for "her fingers entwined with his." Otherwise, I didn't see any errors!

The dialogue was all excellent, and the descriptions were really nice. I loved the party scene, and the way you detailed the floral arrangements. BUT, Astoria is younger than Draco. I can give a little leeway for his being very clever for seven, but she seemed just a TOUCH too precocious to be five or six. Unless the year in question is of TANTAMOUNT significance to the story, a very simple remedy would be to make him 9--and problem solved!

Introducing Hero, an OC was rather a tricky move, since there's no younger Malfoy in canon, but so long as you never *break* canon, then it's certainly alright (and Harry wasn't at Hogwarts in 1997 anyway). In fact, it could be interesting to examine--that there was this other character in the periphery all the while, outside of Harry's perception. Interesting, because it kind of shows how little the Order knew about these people--of their families, and all that. (Then again, Draco really did always SCREAM "only child," so I would keep an eye out for interesting ways to resolve that characterization.)

And the idea that the Malfoys kind of avoided Bellatrix was excellent! But then again, she would have been in Azkaban at this time, so is it really an issue? Did LOVE that though--that they, rather reluctantly, were forced to work with her during the war, and even though the Malfoys are prejudiced and all, still feel tentative about true sadism and madness.

Anyway, I love the idea of this story. Like I said, I read another GREAT Draco/Astoria post-war novel recently, but this one is indeed very different. The focus on the experience of being an unwilling participant of the wrong side is very, very potent, and I'm really into how you play with that concept.

Definitely feel free re-request! Spots will be opening up soon!

Cheers!
-Roisin

Author's Response: Hi Roisin!

Thanks so much for reviewing; I really appreciate it. I'm happy you liked the tone of it; I think the characters and setting of Malfoy Manor lends itself to that kind of thing, and I have a lot of fun writing it, probably because I think very visually.

When I go back and edit these chapters I'll fix that thing with the hands and Astoria's age; thanks for pointing that out. Ah, the party scene - I thought it would be a good way of introducing the complicated Pureblood political dynamics.

On Hero - I suppose I just really liked the idea of it; and I needed a whole bunch of first year Slytherins, so the two things sort of merged together. I do think that the Order would in reality know very little about people like the Malfoys, firstly because I think that the Order have a very fixed idea of them, and also for security reasons; the Malfoys protect themselves. I'll bear in mind your point about Draco when I write him :)

Bellatrix - the Malfoys' relationship with her is definitely complicated, but even though she was in Azkaban, somehow I don't think Lucius and Narcissa would have taken Draco to visit; but I do definitely think that they would have discussed Bellatrix. I think you're right; Bellatrix is in a different category - the Malfoys are very, very complicated people, and that is a massive part of the attraction for me in writing them.

Unwilling participants on the wrong side - it is definitely a very major part of the story, but there is a lot more to it as well :)

Thanks so much for your review; I'll definitely re-request; it really is so helpful.

Celi :)


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Review #14, by crestwood We shall live in song

14th August 2014:
I'm a huge fan of one scene chapters. I don't know why, but the idea of being able to give so much information about one moment just lends itself well to great writing and this is no exception.

Your characterization is handled perfectly here. This entire chapter is dedicated mostly just to developing two characters and that's what you've done. Astoria calling Lucius "Father" says a lot about their relationship. She's so different than I've read her before. She's got this cool intelligence about her and she isn't a spoiled, angry, unloving wife for once. I prefer this version of her - kind, in love and curious. Lucius again finds a way to subtle let the reader know how much he cares for his family. The amount of preparation he's putting into things shows a high level of remorse for what he's done to his family and a desire to fix things, which is more than I can say I would have expected out of him.

Also, the Malfoy Book was a genius idea. Loved the entire concept so much. Each chapter has held my attention more and more. You're doing a fine job with the pacing. This chapter was the kind that a lot of people would have skipped and just alluded to, but I'm really glad you added it in to give us some good character development and dialogue. All in all, this is the strongest chapter yet! Thank you for your request and feel free to re-request when you've uploaded more! Sorry again for the wait :)

Author's Response: Thank you so much :)

Thanks for the comments about the characterisation. I realise I am at great risk of repeating myself here :p but it means a lot. I'm glad you like this version of Astoria; I suppose one aspect of her character is that she is Lucius's intellectual equal, which means I have a lot of fun writing them both. Interesting that you see Lucius as remorseful - I completely get where you're coming from, and hopefully it'll become clear why and how in later chapters. I also see Lucius's extensive preparations as part of his scheming, meticulous nature, and hopefully that comes across too :)

Ah, the Malfoy Book. As I think I've said in responses to other people, I don't think it was a planned thing - I needed a way for Lucius to give Astoria "the Keys" to the Manor, and it just seemed to fit with the Malfoy perception and use of magic, inspired by the Pirates films :) Like Lucius says, not every form of deterrent involves a locked case of lead :)

Thanks so much for the review! Next chapter is currently in the queue, so it shouldn't be too long :)

Celi :)


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Review #15, by crestwood When Love absents itself

14th August 2014:
Wow, I've never thought that Narcissa would blame Lucius for all of this. I never considered it, but she is technically completely correct. Their argument was really gripping. These aren't characters I'm usually very attached to, but I felt a chill through my body when I read "I could never have loved you. Not now, not ever." The fact that it brought Lucius to tears is no wonder to me.

Daphne and Astoria's relationship seems to have grown all the stronger because of their dad's behaviour. They have a really nice moment when Astoria gives her the advice about her trial. There were a few times when I was a bit confused about who's point of view I was reading, but I understood after reading a little more closely. I like that this has an underlying romantic theme. That makes for a lot of strong emotions and reactions in a time like this. I'm very surprised at how believable you are making their struggles. I've never considered the collateral damage on this side of the war before. Very interesting writing so far!

Author's Response: Ah, Narcissa. Is she completely correct? I think that when people are angry, they tend to choose what they pay attention to very carefully. I'm happy you're starting to care for these characters: war takes its toll on everyone. There's an old Iliad quote which says that 'the god of war is impartial' and I suppose that is what I am trying to show.

Lucius - I have so much fun writing him, and bringing him to such a point of utter breakdown so early on makes things really interesting in future; I'm having a lot of fun as an author seeing how far and to where I can take him. This scene was born in part out of my complete inability to resist doing this kind of thing :)

Daphne and Astoria - I'm glad you like how I'm portraying them; I think I wanted to go beyond the stereotypical jealous/bimbo relationship.

Point taken about the POVs, I'll go back and edit at some point, and it's something I'm rectifying in future chapters by taking a leaf out of G.R.R. Martin's book; stating the POV at the beginning of the chapter/scene.

Thanks so much for the review; especially reviewing all the chapters up so far in one go!

Celi :)


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Review #16, by Phoenix_Flames Do we not Suffer?

14th August 2014:
Hello there! I'm here with your review as requested!

I'm so glad you requested this story because I really quite enjoyed it! You pulled me in from the very beginning. I can't express how important I think the first scene of a novel is, and you really did it justice with that scene between Draco and Astoria! I thought it was very sweet and romantic, and honestly I loved reading about this side of Draco. Not only was it a great scene, but you wrote it so well! It was so beautifully crafted with the perfect balance of description and dialogue. Really, your descriptions were perfect. I loved the pale sand reference. Really, just a gorgeous beginning that peaks the readers interest!

The rest of the chapter was just as interesting and lived up to the first scene. I was very intrigued from the beginning. I like the idea of Draco and Astoria having a history that began long before their years at Hogwarts. I love that you've made them childhood sweethearts in a way, and I like the tensions between the fathers presented in that area. The maze was also cute and it's definitely something I can see children doing.

The rest of the chapter was just as good! You have a very interesting set-up here, and this first chapter poses a lot of questions that definitely make me want to keep reading! The dynamic with the sisters was also very good.

Your awesome descriptions carried throughout the entire chapter. You really are great at them and you have the perfect balance of it.

Really, my only bit of CC that I have is the dialogue. While it matches the descriptions and the story perfectly, I only had a slight issue with in in the scene with Draco at seven-years-old. It honestly just seemed a little too mature for a seven-year-old to be saying. I don't know if this is good or bad, or my perception could be completely off! That was just the vibe that I carried away from it, but then again you established the relationship previously with Lucius and Draco and so it's obvious that they are educating him to a very high standard, so maybe it is realistic in this setting! But that's my only CC that I would comment to focus on.

Very good job with this first chapter! You definitely caught my interest, and I hope this review was helpful to you in some way! Thanks so much for requesting!

Author's Response: Hi!

Thank you so much for the review; it means a lot, especially if you enjoyed it! Gosh - the opening scene; it was one of the first scene that popped into my head for the story - not quite the first, but definitely high on the list, and it was the first properly romantic scene that I wrote, so the comments mean a lot! Ah, Draco. I wanted to make him more than the git we see in the early books, and more than the total wreck we see in the later books. Writing the two of them came very naturally, and that they've known each other since they were children means that I have far more opportunities, especially where their parents are concerned. I liked the maze as well. I started from the idea that most manors etc have very extensive gardens, generally including a maze of some kind, and I remember getting lost in mazes as a little kid :)

On the dialogue - when I go back and edit this I'll pay attention to it. I suppose I was going for the hint of formality that they have when they're older, and overshot the mark :)

Thanks so much for this, it was really so helpful.

Celi :)


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Review #17, by crestwood Do we not Suffer?

13th August 2014:
Hey, crestwood from the forums here for your requested review!

I'm SO sorry that it's taken me so long to get to this. It's been, what, a week now? If only there were more hours in the day.

First of all, Celi, you have an interesting premise here. I can't say that I've ever read a Post-Hogwarts story that included the war trials. I liked that you gave us a good flashback to Draco's childhood because it not only gave us Draco and Astoria's first meeting, (more on that later) but it showed us a side of Lucius that we rarely see in the books. We know that he was a very family oriented man, so it certainly makes sense that he would show the kind of affection that he does here. Also, it was an interesting choice to have him be distrustful of Nero Greengrass and Bellatrix. It almost seems as though he was a little withdrawn from the whole Death Eater business at that point, or at least some of the Death Eaters themselves.

I LOVED that you had Draco and Astoria truly be in love. A lot of times people will write them as being forced together by their parents or by some sort of pride. It was nice to see them simply together out of mutual want for a relationship and life together. Their nicknames were a really nice touch as well. It gave us a sense that they haven't lost the youthful aspect they had when they first met. Really good interpretation of the pairing.

I thought you did a good job showing the fears of your characters about the consequences they'd face after the war. You made a good point about whether the Order would have really helped them even if they had decided they wanted their protection. Especially in the case of Selena, you found a way to make me really care what happens to these people I typically am meant to be completely against. I didn't notice any glaring problems with pacing. The end was a bit fast, but I assumed that was because a frightened child was explaining the story.

I thought this was an exceptionally well written chapter and a good start!

Author's Response: Hi crestwood!

My turn to apologise for such a late reply - I've had a rough week :)

I'm glad you like my premise! I spent the past two years studying 17th century war crimes trials and Ancient Greek theory of law amongst other things, and I've always wondered what happened to all the Slytherins after the war. That, combined with watching Downton Abbey and reading Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice, and the plot for Monopoly emerged. If you haven't already realised, my mind works in very strange ways :)

I think it's interesting that you picked up on Nero and Bellatrix. I suppose I've always seen the Malfoys as consummate political operators; the reason they managed to survive up until the second wizarding war relatively unscathed. And then, there is of course the fundamental question: why did Lucius become a Death Eater in the first place? What makes people cross the line between sympathiser and activist?

On Draco/Astoria - Thank you! I suppose I've always been annoyed by the fact that the majority of people assume that because they are Pureblood, they are automatically stuck in forced marriages. It was very natural for me to write them that way; a because I didn't want it to be all doom and gloom, but also because I think it gives me so many more opportunities!

You picked up on the bit about the Order and protection! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. All I can say is that it's important :)

I'm so happy you care about what happens to the characters. You make me want to keep writing the story as much as possible!

Thanks for your review, it truly is very appreciated :)

Celi


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Review #18, by simplelullaby We shall live in song

13th August 2014:
Hey Celi! Funny story, I had a dream about your fic last night, I read it right before going to bed and had a very vivid dream in which I was Astoria watching Lucius being tried by the Wizengamot. If that's not a marker for how amazing your story is, I'm not sure what is :P

Okay, onto your review. I think this is your best chapter yet, and I think the reason for that is that it's all one scene, between two people only. I thoroughly enjoyed learning more about Lucius and Astoria - their relationship is quite sweet really.

Technical:

Nothing outstanding, really, your beta's doing her job well!

Characterisation:

As I said above, we get to know Lucius and Astoria a lot more in this chapter than the previous ones. I feel like this was very much a characterisation chapter, designed to isolate two important characters and let us get to know them well. Every move you make in this chapter relates to one or the other, and that's really really great.

Astoria is, as ever, a sweetheart. I am really enjoying your characterisation of her - in some fics I've read she's this cold, aloof wife who married Draco because their families told them to. To see Astoria in love humanises her, and helps me to understand Draco a little more - I have to admit Draco is not one of my favourites, but I can see myself sympathising him only in the characters you surround him with - his selfish father, loving girlfriend, dead sister, defeated mother. I'm getting to know more and more about him, and learning to think of him as human over the villain of the piece. It's a testament to your characterisation that I've come to think like this! One thing I would say is give Astoria a few flaws, little annoying things. Right now she's very Mother Theresa, and that's not a problem because we're only three chapters in, but just be careful.

Lucius is a very interesting character. He wasn't introduced until the second chapter but I can't help but feel like he's the most developed. He's unlikeable, but at the same time I dread the time his trial comes around, maybe for his family over him. You managed to humanise him with his relationship with Astoria, the fact that one of his last acts as Head of the Malfoy family would be to arrange the marriage between Astoria and Draco. It was very nice, and I think proves that Lucius does have a softer side, for his family at least.

Plot:

Very mysterious. I don't think you gave too much away at all! I mean, like I said above I think most of this chapter was devoted to expanding upon Astoria and Lucius and characters, but you managed to get a little more plot in there. The tension built up even more (I didn't think that was even possible!) when you made Lucius put a plan in place and Astoria become an official member of the family - great description of the Malfoy Book by the way, I loved it! I think that this chapter was a very different beast plot-wise from the others, which definitely isn't a bad thing - I think it was actually better to slow down and focus on one little niche instead of flying away. They are very different chapters so it is hard to compare them, and all three are definitely necessary and great in their own ways, but I do have to admit this is my fav! I can't wait to see what the plan is, when the trials will begin, etc. It's all very exciting!

Setting:

I still feel like you could squeeze more out here, though because this chapter was focused on one room, there's only so much more you can add! I'd say, add little insignificant things that your characters notice, maybe the warmth of the fire on Lucius' face, the luxury of the room and how no amount of money in the world could fix their problem. That'd be ace!

Overall:

A brilliant chapter, I loved it! I'd say your strongest area was characterisation in this chapter, Lucius has become a guilty pleasure of a sort! If your looking for ways to improve I'd add a little more description, and setting description specifically, in order to make it spectacular!

Your AoC: Your pacing was brilliant, really nothing to worry about there! I didn't get bored or anything if that's what your worrying about - it was brilliant! I've already told you what I thought of Lucius and Astoria above, I hope that's useful :). You definitely didn't give too much away, I think you gave the right amount to be honest!

Sorry for the wait, hope my review was helpful. As always feel free to rerequest when your next chapter's up!

Keep Writing

~Aimee~

Author's Response: Hi Aimee!

Thank you so much for the review - and I'm so so sorry about the late reply: I've had a rough week, and fever is not a nice thing to have :)

I loved your comment about the dream - that's awesome! I'd be curious to see what the outcome of the trial in your dream was. It would be interesting for me to see in what direction people thought the story is heading in. I'm excited about the trials too! And the plan. The plan. I'm looking forward to it too - I'm desperate to get to a point when I can actually start writing it, because those scenes have been ticking over in my head for weeks :)

I like the relationship between Astoria and Lucius too - the dry, sardonic, black humour between them is a lot of fun to write!

To be told your writing has changed someone's opinion of a character - WOW! Thank you! Draco is actually the character I'm finding hardest to write, so this means a lot. And I'm glad you like his relationship with Astoria too - they have enough bad stuff happening to them, so I wanted to give them something which was slightly nicer :) Thanks for the warning about Astoria - I'll keep it in mind.

Ah, Lucius. I have so much fun writing him it's bordering on the ridiculous :p He's definitely a complicated man, and probably one of the characters who is the most developed in my head canon, so I'm happy that comes across. He was always one of my favourite characters in the books, probably because he has bucket loads of panache as well as a fascinating storyline :)

Yay! The tension. It's definitely what I was going for, so thanks! I thought the Book would simply conform to the way the Malfoys use and view magic, which is why I included it. I also think that the Malfoys would definitely have created it to protect themselves and their possessions from outsiders. It was actually, and rather weirdly inspired by Shipwreck Cove in the Pirates films, in that the only way people who can get there are the ones who already know where it is. (I know my mind works in very very strange ways :p)

When I go back and edit it, I'll add in more description. As always, thanks so much for pointing stuff like this out!

Phew! About the pacing - I suppose I was worried it would drag on precisely because the chapter was a single scene, so I'm glad I got the balance right :)

Thanks so much for such an awesome, in depth review. It really is so helpful, and I'll definitely rerequest when chapter four is up. It's currently in the queue, so it shouldn't be long :)

Celi :)


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Review #19, by Chazzie We shall live in song

9th August 2014:
Hey Celi! Just thought I'd pop by to see what you've written so far, and boy was I impressed. Your writing flows really well from one paragraph to the next, and your characters are brilliant. I feel so sorry for them, but I think it is a very realistic take as to what could happen after the Battle of Hogwarts. The book bound with blood magic was really ingenious, was there anything that inspired it? In particular the Greengrass sisters really strike a chord with me. I am also curious to learn more about Hero, and how she got on with Draco given the age gap.
I look forward to reading more!
Lottie

Author's Response: Hi Lottie!

Thanks so much for the review - it means a lot :) I've always thought that there was so much more to the Malfoys than is mentioned in canon, and well, the Battle aftermath seemed like a good place to start! Do correct me if I'm wrong, but there don't seem to be that many stories focussing on the actual trials themselves, and so I wanted to explore that.

On the book - I don't think there was a specific inspiration for it, it just seemed to fit in with the Malfoy perception and use of magic - there'll be more on that in later chapters, and I suppose that I wanted to show that blood magic isn't necessarily equal to dark magic.

I'm glad you like the Greengrasses. Because they're basically names in the books, that gives me a lot of free rein, and they're a lot of fun to write.

Ooh... Hero. A fair few people have been asking about her. You will see more of her, I promise :)

Thanks so much for the review!

Celi :)


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Review #20, by Gabriella Hunter Do we not Suffer?

9th August 2014:
HELLO!

This is Gabbie from the forums tossing this revie w at you and I'm sorry that I'm late! I was sick and things were not very good for me during that, let me tell you! Also, its nice to meet you!

So, this! There aren't a lot of stories that feature Draco and Astoria as a couple in the fanfic world for some reason. I think that this is really refreshing, showing them as two young people in love instead of, say, just together because its what their families would want. I think that their relationship has so much passion as well, that was really great to read and I could see from the way you wrote them that they were very close and I loved the flashback of how they first met. The innocence was nicely written too, you could see that there were no dark things in their lives at the time.

Now, in the future they're hidden away at the Manor, fearing that they'll be put on trial and taken away from one another. That threat hung over their heads and made me worry for them too, I wonder how things will proceed? I also like the introduction to their families too, you've written them a bit different from what I've read before and I enjoyed it very much. They all seemed close, though a little stressed out and I can't wait to see how Daphne's trial goes as well. Anyway, that last little bit was really horrifying! I think you wrote it very well but gosh, it was so dark! I loved it! Poor Selena! I want to know more about that incident too, I hope you continue on with it later on!

My only CC's would be that your transitions are a little too choppy. I wasn't able to follow the scenes and flashbacks very smoothly but I think that if you cleaned those up a bit they wouldn't be a problem.

All in all, a good read!

Much love,

Gabbie

Author's Response: Hi Gabbie!

Don't worry - happens to us all :) I'm currently sitting in bed with a mug of tea and the flu, so I know what you mean!

On Draco/Astoria - it just seemed like the natural way to portray things, the way that best fits in with their characters. I don't think it was a conscious decision - it was just the way their relationship developed in my head.

The trials, the trials! I'm really excited about writing them. There will be a few unexpected twists! Stressed out is an understatement :)

Selena - yes, I've really put her through hell, haven't I! But I think it's realistic - I mean, something that bad cannot leave an eleven year old child unscathed. You will find out more about what happened, again, in later chapters :)

Thanks for the comment about the transitions - when I go back and edit it, I'll fix it, and I'll keep it in mind when writing future chapters.

Thank you so much for your review!

Celi :)



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Review #21, by Meleessuhh We shall live in song

8th August 2014:
Hello there! Sorry it took me so long to review I had a long week =/

Your opening scene is just beautiful, I am so very jealous of your writing style. You flow effortlessly, and it doesn't sound forced at all.

I like the twist that Lucius is questioning whether he loved Narcissa, since they are usually seen as a couple who was once and is likely still in love. I am also very curious as to what the plan is, and I like your portrayal of Astoria a lot.

Your story is very interesting! Update soon :)

-Melissa

Author's Response: Hi Melissa!

Don't worry about it, happens to us all :)

Thanks for your comment about the opening scene - originally it was just a brief mental impression of a hand touching a letter on a mantlepiece, and the whole chapter sort of grew out of that!

On Lucius/Narcissa - I'm sorry, I just couldn't resist! With everything else happening to them, I didn't think it was realistic not to do it, if that makes sense.

Yay! The plan. :) It should be very good, hopefully. A real bombshell, but coherent with his character - or that's the plan, anyway, and I hope I can pull it off!

The next chapter should be in the queue soon. I'm excited about it - new characters get introduced, and they are some of my favourites.

Thanks so much for your review, it really means so much. Off to return the favour and review your stuff now :)

Celi :)


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Review #22, by AlexFan Do we not Suffer?

6th August 2014:
Hello there, here with your review!

I liked seeing your version of Lucius, because we never really got to see any other side of him in the books other than someone who despised the Weasley's and mistreated Dobby so everyone assumed that he was a bad man (which he was considering the fact that he also went hunting for muggles and muggleborns). I enjoyed this side of his character that showed that he cared about Draco, and that he attempted to protect his son in the ways that he could. I liked seeing him show affection for Draco because despite all of the other things that Lucius may have done, this was a man who loved his family and wanted what was best for them.

I liked the whole family dynamic going on as well, this whole, you protect your own business going on, I wasn't entirely surprised because I always got that feeling from the Malfoy family.

I can definitely see where everyone's fears are coming from. A lot of people in the wizarding world must be against Slytherins after the war ended, or purebloods, and people fitting either of those things would have to work harder to convince people that they weren't evil if they were dealing with someone close-minded. And I like how you pointed out that there were probably quite a few Slytherins out there that attempted to protect students from harm but their actions went unnoticed by the majority of people.

I quite liked the pace of the story, it was slow but not too slow, it moved along at a good pace and the reader got to settle into the scene before you moved onto the next bit of your chapter.

I think you've got a good start to your story here!

Author's Response: Thanks so much for your review :) It means a lot! I'm still in shock at the praise - so this reply is probably going to be all over the place, but hey!

I'm glad you liked my version of Lucius - he's one of my favourite characters, so I always hope to do him justice! He's such a complicated character and I'm glad that came across. I think you hit the nail on the head with him - he's far more complex than merely 'bad'.

Thank you for picking up on what Daphne and Theo tried to do - not many people have, and it's one of the main things Daphne is motivated by, I think, and I'm happy you liked the premise and found it realistic.

It's one of the concepts I believe is probably true: that prejudice, like war, goes both ways.

Thank you so much for such an awesome review, I really appreciate it!

Celi :)


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Review #23, by simplelullaby When Love absents itself

3rd August 2014:
Hey Celi, it's simplelullaby from the forums back
again to review! Cheers for rerequesting, I do
love this interesting concept.

Okay, onto the review!

Technical:

"Cissa..." his wife was staring out." His needs to
be capitalised.

The formatting seems a bit wonky, might want to go
back to the editor and tighten up those spaces
between paragraphs.

Changing from third person to first person made
the flow a little disjointed.

"Merlin, if they can do that to Theo, what are
they going to do to my sister? to Narcissa? to
Lucius? And to." Capitalise at the beginning of
new sentence.

Characterisation:

You certainly get through a lot of character's
perspectives in this chapter, and I was a little
confused as to who exactly I was with at every
point in time. Maybe to rectify this, put the name
at the beginning of every POV?

My favourite of this chapter was, once again
Astoria. She seems like a very interesting
character, I think may be she'll be standing by
the sidelines and watching those who will be tried
as opposed to being in it herself, it'll be good
to have a character like that.

Lucius and Narcissa were a welcome addition to
this chapter. The beginning, where Narcissa
rejected him, was my favourite part of the entire
chapter. It's really great that youíre making sure
the characters are canon (except for maybe Draco,
but I'm sure we'll see more of him in later
chapters.)

Daphne is close second for my favourite. The way
you've breathed life into what is, essentially, a
canon name, is excellent. Making her and Theodore
Nott together adds yet another layer to the story.
One point though, if Daphne and Theodore were
together, wouldn't she have been at his trial?

Plot: It was a little disjointed due to you flying
through so many characters at once, and just when
I was getting used to one character another would
swoop into and I'd have to start all over again.
Maybe to rectify this, add a little more to each
POV you swap to, like more description, more
dialogue and the like. More internal thoughts,
especially. It'll be great to see that. Or, for a
simpler solution, go the George R.R. Martin way
and prefix every new POV with the character's
name!

Putting that aside, however, your plot is
progressing very nicely! The tension you built
through your chapter, first with Lucius/Narcissa,
and then with Theodore Nott's letter, I'm getting
more anxious with every word I read. Brilliant!

Setting: There wasn't much setting description,
which was a real shame because your descriptions
in the last chapter were so great! Try and add a
little more in, maybe to coincide with beefing up
your POV sections, and I'll be a very happy bunny!

Overall: A good chapter, your characters and your
plot are both progressing very nicely. I'd just
beef up each section a little with more all-round
description, and you'll be golden!

Hope you liked my review, let me know? I'm
wondering if my review style needs a few tweaks.
:)

Keep Writing,


~Aimee~

Author's Response: Hi Aimee!

Thank you so much for your review; such depth is really really appreciated :) I'll try and make my reply beefy enough!

Once again, thanks for pointing out the technical - when I go back and edit this I'll fix them.

The G.R.R. Martin idea about POVS is a good one, I might just do it ;) if it's confusing people. I suppose I don't like spoonfeeding people - I like them to figure it out by themselves, but obviously if it is confusing, I'll fix it. :)

I'm happy you liked Astoria, as I'm really enjoying writing her. Interesting that you picked up on the fact that she'll be watching the trials from the sidelines - there are some pretty juicy bits coming up, but there's a way to go before that - Daphne's trial is the tenth chapter :)

I'm really happy you liked the Lucius/Narcissa bit, as it was one of the first scenes I actually came up with for the entire story, and I spent days and days just thinking about it before writing it! It is also one of my favourite bits so far - Lucius's mind is a very, very interesting place. You remind me of something my drama teacher one said to me (my mind works in weird ways) which was that if by the time you've finished your production, you are not completely emotionally and physically drained, you're doing something wrong, and that is what I aim for in every scene I write, if that makes sense :).

Thanks for the praise about Daphne, it's really heartening to hear that, and I don't know what to say other than THANK YOU SO MUCH! I'm really touched. To answer your point about Daphne/Theo - she's in hiding, just like the rest of them, so it would have been too risky for her to attend. Hopefully that should become apparent in later chapters :)

Thanks for the comment about the tension - I really try and order consecutive scenes carefully for maximum effect, so it's good to know that it's working. But I will try and pad things out with description in future, and in the next chapter there are no jumps :)

I'm glad you like my descriptions; I think I sort of describe things in brief flashes - that's how I see things in my head, as a succession of single freeze frames, with particular details that are important, which I try to focus on. (I hope that made sense, and I'll definitely try and include more in future :)

Thank you so much for your review (I am in awe of the depth of it) and it is genuinely so helpful, and makes my heart sing :) It really inspires me to keep going if I know people are enjoying it ;)

Celi :)


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Review #24, by simplelullaby Do we not Suffer?

30th July 2014:
Hey, it's simplelullaby from the review forums here with your review! Brilliant first chapter, I love that you've turned the wizarding war on its head, I could totally see bloothirsty people throwing unforgivable at anyone who looks remotely like a Death Eater, or spawn of. Brilliant premise!

Self appointed wizarding nobility - love that line.

Technical:

"My name is Nero Greengrass, and I am the owner of Nemoris Castle in Oxfordshire." the second part seems a little unnecessary. Maybe add it as an aside, outside of the dialogue. Nero is a well known man, maybe Draco should be surprised that he is meeting the owner of Nemoris castle at last?

"We did not know it then, Star and I, that such an encounter would bind the two of us together." This line seems a little
unnecessary.

Characterisation:

I do like your characters, though I really am not used to reading fics like this so bear with me! Draco, though he has a lot of dialogue, doesn't get much general description, it would be great to see more of that.

The Draco/Astoria romance was very sweet, though their nicknames for each other really helped to characterise them! I loved your description of their movements, them being entwined in each other, their dialogue with him begging her to leave and the like. It was very effective, and very heartbreaking.

Astoria was probably my favourite character. She was kind and caring, especially with her sisters Daphne and Selene. I hope to see more of young Astoria/Draco, their relationship really was very sweet and because that isn't strictly canon it would be great to see you dig that part in a little more.

Selene and Daphne, oh dear the Greengrass' really aren't having a great time of it are they? Daphne being called up for a trial just because she was Head Girl, wow that is pretty harsh. Selene's nightmare/memory was the best part of this chapter by far. I was hanging onto every word! I'd like to see more of Hero Malfoy, in memories obviously. This flashback method is working for you, keep it up!

To improve your characterisation I would suggest some more physical description. You do well with this in relation to Draco as a young boy, and Nero Greengrass in the memory, but the others aren't described as thoroughly. As much as adding a few lines here and there would fix that no problem!

Plot:

Your pacing and structure did seem a little disjointed. You seemed to be rushing through this a little, maybe in your hurry to get to the meatier part of your fic. Don't be scared to saunter through your story, linger over some parts, your readers will love you all the more for it! Trust me!

That being said, the general idea is very unique and original. Like I said above, I haven't read one like this before. Just a little more description and it'll be great!

Setting:

This is where you did well. Describing Malfoy Manor, the contrast between the memory and back in the present, talking of Voldemort's presence nearly being gone but not quite. You use brilliant word choice to describe your surroundings, it's brilliant. The particular description I loved, however, was definitely the end with the moon, tying in Astoria's name. Brilliant, well thought out, imaginative. Well done!

Overall:

A good fic, with some tweaks needed with regards to pacing and description. A unique idea, some interesting characters, it looks like this could go a looong way! I hope you liked my review, leave a wee response telling me how I did? (I'm still pretty new at this :P)

Keep Writing

~Aimee~

Author's Response: Gosh, thanks so much for your review :) I'm glad you like the premise - I always thought that the canon 'Voldemort is dead and everyone is happy' wasn't very realistic. For the past two years I've been studying Early Modern European history and Ancient Greek theory of law, amongst other things, and I was thinking about the Malfoys and suddenly the idea of writing something about the war trials came into my head :) It's something I've really enjoyed researching - I did a 20k dissertation on it :) and so I liked the idea of a creative challenge.

Thanks for pointing out those technical points :) I'll be sure to correct them when I go back and edit it.

Yeah, I'm not being very nice to my characters, am I? I suppose my aim is to show their humanity, and that especially in the aftermath of war, there are never any easy answers :)Interesting that you picked up on Hero - I have some very juicy bits coming up in future chapters, I haven't just included her for sob story material for the others :)

Thanks for the tip about physical description :) I'll bear it in mind in future, and I'll make an effort with pacing, too.

Thanks so much for such a lengthy, constructive review, it was really helpful, and I'm really glad you enjoyed this first chapter. 3rd chapter should be up soon, so keep an eye out for it :)

Celi :)


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Review #25, by Meleessuhh When Love absents itself

29th July 2014:
Hello there! I'm returning the favor and reviewing your story :) I read both chapters since those are the only two you have up :)

I like your introduction a lot, it is simple yet dramatic. I love how you switch from third person to first, it keeps the story flowing without sounding choppy. I normally don't like reading stories that have that throughout because it's hard to execute, but you've done a really good job with it.

I think it's cute how Astoria and Draco have known each other since they were kids, it gives the story a romantic vibe without being too mushy. Also little Draco is adorable, trying to be like his dad haha.

The scene were Lucius is crying is pretty sad; he's not a character that is normally associated with much emotion, but he is still human and you did a fine job portraying that they're afraid and unsure about the future. Narcissa is typically more emotional but I like that she was standing up to her husband. I like your portrayal of the Greengrasses as well; not much is known about them so it leaves a lot of room for creativity. You've made them clearly aristocratic but not snobbish like the Malfoys which is a nice twist. I would also like to see some Draco point of view, I think that would be very interesting :)

Really the only suggestion I have is to possibly make the chapters a little shorter and have the formatting be almost like a short story, with possibly a different side being shown (like what the rest of the world sees them like). I don't know if that made any sense though haha. But keep up the good work! Update soon :)

Author's Response: Thanks so much for your review :) I hadn't really thought about the switch of POVs, I just wrote it in a way that felt right, so it's really nice to know that it works for the reader :)

Yeah, I liked that scene with Lucius as well - he is one of my favourite characters :) I spent a lot of time on that particular scene, trying to get it right :) You will see some more of Draco's point of view in upcoming chapters, hopefully (I have planned it).

Thanks so much for your review, it's really kind of you :)

Celi


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