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Reading Reviews for Grey.
  
23 Reviews Found

Review #1, by Unicorn_Charm Grey

12th May 2016:
Hey Gabbie! Stopping by for our swap!

You certainly don't have to worry about this being angsty enough! That's for sure.

Oh my goodness. Poor Draco. I mean, he's just a hollow shell of the person he used to be, and even though he was a complete brat, I feel so sorry for him. He wasn't the nicest person, but he doesn't deserve to live in such disgust with himself. He's just totally broken and it's heartbreaking. You did such an amazing job showing the downward spiral that he's gone into.

The whole first part of this was so sad to read. How he was just sitting alone, drinking and feeling such pain that he could hardly breathe. Between all the mistakes he's made, the people that he's lost and his father in St Mungo's, I don't even know how he functions at all. It's a lot for someone so younger to bear. He's only 20, that's still pretty much a kid. I really loved how you pointed out how shabby looking he's become. It was a great way to show his slipping mental state in another way besides the drinking problem. Because when you've pretty much given up on life, you absolutely stop taking care of yourself. Ugh. Poor Draco...

I think it's great that he has been trying to better himself. By donating money and getting a job at the Ministry and adopting a son. I'll have to read the story you mentioned in your AN, because I'm very curious to see what all led up to this point in his life.

It's so clear that he still has feelings for Astoria, and as much as I hate Pansy, I feel sorry for her that she's married to a man who isn't invested in the marriage. That's an awful thing to be stuck in. True, Draco cares for her, but I'm sure it's nowhere near the way Pansy cares for him. What a dark and depressing life for everyone involved here.

So again, going back to the story you mentioned, I'll have to read it to understand more of what Astoria was talking about in that letter. It sounds like some awful things have happened and it says a lot about Astoria that she's willing to forgive him and wishes him happiness.

Oh and then the poor thing finally breaking down and crying at the end. It's not often that I want to hug Draco, but I wanted to hug him. I hope that he does find happiness. He's lived too much of his life in darkness.

The character development of Draco was fantastic. How he's gone from that snotty rich brat to a man who realizes how foolish he was. And that truly counts for something. He knows he was wrong and he wants to atone for his mistakes. Everyone deserves a second chance, I think.

This was really, really great! It was so dark and totally broke my heart the entire time. So you did a wonderful job with the angst. I'll definitely come back and read that other fic, because I'm too curious not to haha. Thanks so much for the swap! I truly enjoyed reading this!! ♥

xoxo Meg

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Review #2, by Yoshi_Kitten Grey

6th April 2016:
Hi Gabbie!!! OMGosh, I know it's been FOREVER, lol!! It is so nice to be reading your works again too!! Oh, how I have missed this!! Sorry, I hope you don't mind that I chose this storyÖ You know that I am a sucker for any and all things Draco!! Plus, I had seen this banner in Floralprint's gallery a few days ago, when she filled a banner request for me, and fell in love with it!! I didn't realize until just now tho that it was to one of YOUR stories!!!

Oh, my poor little Draco!! I always love reading stories of him after the war, the poor tortured soul that he is. I think you have done an amazing job at portraying him here. I felt so bad for him, it almost made me cry; seeing him in such agony!! You really know how to write Angst incredibly well, Gabbie. I'm not sure how you placed in the challenge, but I hope you did really well, as this piece was nearly perfect!!

The only tiny bit of CC I have to offer here is to maybe watch some of those run-on sentences. There were several places where commas needed to be added, and then some places where the comma just needs to be changed to a full stop/period. But other than that, your writing is excellent Gabbie!! Everything flowed really well, and the emotion throughout this piece was spot-on!!

And then that little twist you added in with Astoria? Scandalous!! Honestly, with that backstory alone, this could easily become a Novel all on its own! And that is definitely something that I for one would love to read more of. It looks as though I will have to be checking out some of your other stories asap, after reading that AN at the end there, lol! ;)

I just can't believe that Draco ends up with Pansy here. Although I do NOT ship it in the slightest, you have certainly done a good job at making their relationship convincing enough in this. I really can't stand Pansy Parkinson at all, lol!! Yet you have somehow made me feel sorry for her through Draco's emotions in this piece. And that's saying something right there. Well done, Gabbie!!

Thanks again for the swap, and I am sorry again for the delay in getting this review back to you. It is always a pleasure reading your stories though, Gabbie. Feel free to swap me again at ANY time!! It is so nice to be back with my HPFF family. I have missed you!! ♥

~Deana~

Author's Response: HELLO! >:)

Welcome back, Deana! I totally missed you and I am so happy that you chose to check this story out, it's been too long since we've swapped stories!

This is actually one of my favorite banners and I am SO in love with it, Floralprint makes awesome banners and I'm so happy that she continually surprises me!

I really love writing Draco like this, it's become kind of an obsession to see if I can make him cry. Hahaha. People usually hate his character but I think that writing him as more of a tortured soul is hard to resist. I don't think that the world would have treated him kindly after the War and I certainly don't think he would have walked away unscathed.

I didn't win this challenge or place very high but I had a lot of fun with this! I would certainly do it again! :D

Thanks for letting me know about the run on sentences, I tend to do that a lot in my stories! ;__; I'm glad that the emotions came across as really strong though because that's usually what I want you guys to focus on.

Hahaha. The thing with Astoria is scandalous indeed! This could have really become a novel but A Force of Wills is already up and goes into more detail about Draco's history with her. :D

I have a few stories with Draco and Pansy, I ship them so hard now. Hahaha. I think that Draco cares about Pansy but he doesn't love her and that's a big difference. You can read, "Ruins", "Lovely," and "Marry Me" if you want to understand their relationship more.

Thank you SO much for this amazing review, you're seriously the greatest! Swap with me again anytime!

Much love,

Gabbie




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Review #3, by princesslily_36 Grey

17th March 2016:
Hello Gabbie!

Thank you for the wonderful swap! I agree, we should definitely swap more often! I was kinda hoping you had a new Georgelina up, but I'm excited to read this as well.

Angst galore indeed! This entire fic had a wonderful feeling of Angst in every word of it. Your descriptions are wonderful and really captured the mood of the story - starting from the thunderstorm outside, to his stubble, to just staring at the glass pieces on the floor, the sound of the clock...

A pool of noxious flame slid down his throat that was more painful than he had expected but he fought past the burn and gratefully savored the last few drips until the numbing pain faded away - I loved this line! It explained exactly how toxic he had become and how he was spiraling downhill..

I never really liked Draco, but the way you have portrayed him seems so realistic! The guilt he feels has been so wonderfully portrayed - not just through his thoughts but your description of his mood by just painting the image. I was surprised to see that he had donated most of the family money to charity - but The build you that preceded seemed to make sense - that he didn't want to touch anything that had to do with the Malfoy legacy. I think I have read on Pottermore that Lucius never really worked to bring in the money, and I loved to see that you had worked that into it by mentioning that Draco was opting to actually earn his living.

Lucius being hospitalized for irreversible damage seems only poetic - I don't feel sorry for that man at all. I mean, Frank and Alice Longbottom were tortured into insanity for being good people, and it is only fair that such an end is met by a man as evil as Lucius as well. I especially love how you have shown Draco feeling glad his father was there as well - it is only reasonable that he would blame and resent his father for everything. I think this is one of the most realistic portrayal of Draco I have read in a really long time.

Draco feeling remorse over Hermione's torture, Colin Creevey, Fred - this was a side of him I never thought we would see. I mean, he was the one who risked killing Katie Bell just to deliver a fatal necklace to Dumbledore.

Learning about Astoria's and Draco's tumultuous relationship was yet another brilliant insight into his character - adding more and more layers into how complex Draco is. I have never viewed him that way, but reading your story right now, I'm inclined to believe he could be a fascinating character to write. You have done a wonderful job of it.

I've enjoyed reading this story - there was angst in every word and every moment of it. Loved it! You're an amazing writer, and hope to see more from you soon :)

~Ysh!

Author's Response: Hello!

Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving me this wonderful, chunky review! :) I shall have a new Georgelina up shortly, I've just got a few other things to update. I'm really behind on a lot of my stories.

I really enjoyed this challenge because I write angst most of the time and by now, I really just enjoy making Draco cry. Hahaha. I wanted the storm outside to reflect how he felt on the inside and I'm so happy that it worked out that way. I worried that it would have come across as too cheesy.

I was never a fan of Draco either but I do love writing him. He's one of my favorite characters to include because there are so many layers to him. He's not the same after the War and the fact that he's donated most of his family fortune to charity says a lot about him.

I never thought that Lucius really worked either and if he did, it was never a job that was very lucrative. Hahah. He always seemed like the sort of man to dabble in stock without really participating.

I didn't feel bad about putting Lucius in St. Mungo's and I always felt like Lucius should have gotten some karma. He was an evil man and his relationship with Draco is completely shattered. Draco admired his father very much and to go through so much because of him just ruined his childlike image of him.

I needed Draco to feel remorse for Hermione and the others because I wanted to show that he wasn't apathetic. I'm sure that the guilt would eat anyone alive and although I never quite talk about it, I think he may have PTSD to some degree.

If you had wanted to read more about Draco and Astoria, you should check out A Force of Wills. I think that writing this story after the events in that one really helps you guys see how different Draco is and I'm glad that he seemed realistic to you! :D

Thank you so much!

Much love,

Gabbie


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Review #4, by dreamgazer220 Grey

8th March 2016:
Hi! Here for our review swap :)

I really, really enjoyed this piece. You have a knack for description, for being able to do justice over the pain and guilt that Draco must be feeling. Everything from the storm brewing outside to him ripping at his blonde locks, it was all so well written. You were able to paint such a strong picture of him sitting in his father's old study, mulling over his life choices while drowing his sorrows in bottles of Firewhiskey.

I really loved these lines: "Draco swallowed back a sob and reached hastily for the bottle, his thin fingers shaking so badly that he barely managed to wrap his hand around it. The weight of it felt solid and comforting, as if the hard liquor knew how much of a failure as a human being he was and flung the top away before chugging the remaining few drops" because they were just so powerful.

And the letter! I haven't read any of your work before, so I had no idea who was going to write it, but I was very pleasantly surprised as to who it was :) The fact that she can forgive him after everything that he has done to her has obviously made a strong impact on him, and I hope that he'll be able to reach out to her in the future.

You also did a really good job of going over a lot of different events, but still giving enough details of what happened. I wasn't confused at all :)

I think the one part of CC I would have is maybe break things up a little? The letter was definitely a nice touch, but maybe a flashback or two just so that we can see some of the interactions you're talking about? Whether it's the scene with his parents or later with Blaise and Astoria, just to break up some of the exposition.

Overall, though, this was a really great piece, and you did an incredible job describing Draco's pain and guilt.

Great job!

~Jill

Author's Response: HEllO! >:D

Thank you a thousand times for this really great review. It was so lovely to read!

Draco is a ridiculously great character to write and I always have fun seeing how far I can push him. I think that I wanted this piece to focus solely on him so that you really felt how depressed he was. This was for an Angst challenge so the fact that he was alone, seeing how much his life had soured, really stood out so well.

I actually wrote those piece in a few hours so there were a few little things that I didn't like, which caused me to edit it. I took away a lot and it ended up making Draco feel even more isolated. :D

The letter! Yes! if you had wanted to read more about Astoria Greengrass, you would have to check out A Force of Wills. The fact that she can forgive him says alot about her character but I'm not sure if Draco will be strong enough to meet her in person just yet.

I thought about breaking this up a bit more, maybe a flash back or two but I think that I might save those for another story. Thanks for telling me though!

Much love,

Gabbie


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Review #5, by fwoopersong8 Grey

21st October 2015:
Songs here with our review swap!

Oh my gosh. Your Draco is pretty much my headcanon Draco. With minor differences. Yours has a better heart than mine does. Mine's still a selfish brat. And I guess yours is too, but at least he adopts people and does charity work and stuff.

It just...I can't express how I feel about this! It's so sad. :'( :'( :'( I just am going to sit here and wallow in the sadness and eat cookies.

For CC, all I can really say is that I caught a couple run-on sentences, or long sentences that would have flowed better as two separate sentences. I didn't seen any glaring grammar or spelling errors. So good job appeasing the Queen!

I really like your take on what happened to Lucius. I'm never quite sure what to do with that bloke and you handled him quite nicely.

AAA I can't get over the angst this story filled me with. I am filled with angst. Must I repeat that I am feeling particularly angsty? I think you did a very good job with the angst factor indeed.

I hope Draco gets off his butt and does something with his life. I love him and that is why I want him to...be...happy... (breaks into sobs)

And I don't think I've seen an Astoria/Zabini fic before. Nice job with that! Although I do wonder what makes her family so mysterious.

Good job! :-D :-D :'( :'( :')

~Songs

Author's Response: Hello!

Thanks a thousand times for checking this story out and giving it twenty reviews! Wow, I've never had such a response from any of my other one-shots like this before. You guys are great! Oooh, I need to read more about your Draco then if they're so similar!

I think that my Draco is just so depressed that starting charities and doing all that he can to make up for his sins, is really all that he has to live on.

Awww, I hope those cookies are chocolate!

I haven't gone back to edit this chapter for some reason but thank you for pointing out the CC's for me. :D

I mention in my other stories that Lucius kind of went insane so I had to make sure that I explained that a bit more here. All of my stories are interlinked so I have to make sure all of my facts are straight. Hahaha.

ANGST IS GOOD FOR YOUR SOUL!

Draco will be fine eventually but I don't think he'll ever be completely healed. :(

You would have to read "A Force of Wills" to understand more about Astoria and her relationship with Draco. Her marriage to Blaise is a big part of that story. For now anyway.

Muahahahahh.

Thanks a ton!

Much love,

Gabbie


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Review #6, by FredWeasleyIsMyKing Grey

7th October 2015:
Hi Gabby :)

I'm here for our review swap, apologies that it took a little longer than anticipated.

Wow. You've written so much pain. Although I guess I should have expected that for the angst challenge eh? Draco is in such a dark place.

You used some lovely descriptions throughout this. His mother described as the broken doll, and the tainted house were a few that stood out to me. Also the storm raging outside reflecting the inner turmoil Draco is going through was really nicely done. I also can't help but compliment you on your title. It fits so well. With the mood of the story, Dracos misery and the storm and everything, everything does feel very grey and gloomy and so it works perfectly.

There were lots of snippets that worked so well. You broke my heart with the mention of Fred. Eugh. Feels. And the mention of his father... It was sad that he hasn't changed in the way Draco has. And he adopted a son! That was really cute. And he loves him so much too, that came across really strongly.

Speaking of, my heart really broke when I read how much Draco is hurting in this, and how much guilt he feels. It's true that he did awful thing, but the way he's feeling in this and the things he's already done shows how much he's willing to change and how much he already has. I hope one day he can see that and start to recover.

Astorias letter. So much has clearly happened there but even she's willing to forgive and move on. Dracos clearly not ready though.

Overall I thought this was a well written piece. Your description in particular really worked well. There are a few places where you repeat yourself, so you could change the wording slightly, but it was nothing major. I'm really glad we swapped!

And really? Benjamin isn't cuddly? He comes across like he would be here!!

Lauren

Author's Response: HellO!

Thank you for stopping by and no worries for being late or anything. :D

I have wanted to really write this for a while and I was so happy to participate in the Angst challenge. It was kind of difficult at times to get into that level of depression but it was fun in the end. :D

I think that Draco really admired his mother and to see her so broken down would really hurt him. I originally thought about having Draco standing in the rain while the storm raged on but I thought that would have been too much for this story. He also would have gotten sick and stuff.

You know, someone else mentioned the bit about the title. I never even thought of that before now but it does fit well. The storm, his thoughts and his emotions are all so grey: Meaning that they're bleak and hopeless and well, gosh! You guys are so smart!

The bit about Fred always makes people sad and is bond with Lucius is just depressing. I think that Draco would have the potential to be a good person and in some of my other stories, since they're all interlinked, you see that he does. Somewhat.

Astoria's letter gets mixed responses but I'm glad that you were able to see that she wanted peace between them.

Well, if you read my story Abandon with Benjamin Malfoy, you'll understand why he's not really cuddly. Hahahah.

Thanks a bunch, darling!

Much love,

Gabbie


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Review #7, by MargaretLane Grey

11th September 2015:
This story sounds rather interesting.

Love the first line. It immediately sets up a dramatic scenario.

And I like the way you let us know he no longer has any contact with his old friends. Things like that are hard to include as the character already knows them, but the way you've included it sounds perfectly natural.

I'd be inclined to start a new sentence with, "he had once been rather meticulous with his appearance" or at least use a semi-colon.

It makes perfect sense that Draco would feel this way. I've always felt he'd be likely to have major emotional problems after the war. After all, he was forced into attempted murder and it's only sheer luck he didn't kill Ron, he spent two years in absolute fear of his life, saw people killed and tortured in front of him, learnt that everything he'd believed was wrong and the man he'd been brought up to admire was willing to kill his entire family. That would be hard to get over.

This is really nit-picky and may just be personal preference, but there are a few places where the writing seems a little stilted, like I'd be inclined to say "what was the point of living after everything he'd done?" rather than "everything that he had done" and "his thin fingers shaking so badly, he barely managed to wrap his hand around it" rather than "that he barely managed..."

Love the part about what the great Draco Malfoy had been reduced to. It's really in character for him to think that way.

The part where he is fighting against the urge to scream is just so well written. It really gives us an insight into what he is feeling.

There are some punctuation problems around "I hate this. I hate this". It should have a full stop before it, not a comma, as it's a separate sentence and "he muttered" should have a small "h". The way it's written "he muttered, defeating the urge to sob," forms its own sentence and that isn't a sentence.

I like the way the storm in his mind echoes the storm outside.

Yikes, you've given Draco even more to deal with than we know of from the books, though it all makes sense. His father could have been cursed by just about anybody - one of the Death Eaters who was angry with him for not remaining loyal or one of their enemies who knew him to have been a high-ranking Death Eater who tortured and probably killed numerous people.

I like the description of Narcissa as "a broken doll."

The "hes" at the start of the paragraph which talks about the precious artifacts are quite confusing. I'm not sure whether it's talking about Draco or his father worshiping Voldemort.

I like the way they both share a feeling of shame. It's hardly surprising after what they've done.

It makes a lot of sense that he'd be haunted by Hermione's screams. Even though he didn't like her much, she was still a classmate and watching somebody you knew personally being tortured would be horrific. I don't think I've ever before seen a story that took into account just how traumatic that must have been for him.

And I like the way he sees his home as tainted. It must be awful to have to LIVE in the place the trauma took place and have your home turned into a place of torture.

Ooh, this letter is interesting. It looks as if Astoria is married to Blaise Zabini here and she has some grudge against Draco for what happened during the war.

It sounds like you've developed Astoria's character way beyond what we learn of her in canon. The part about her being half blood is intriguing. I wonder how Draco even knows that.

I really like your use of the word "craved". It gives the impression of something outside his control.

I like the way you show divisions between the Slytherin students here. A lot of stories seem to portray them as pretty much a monolith, but there are bound to be different views.

This story gives a really good insight into how Draco might feel after the war. It's intense, which is good, as the events are intense too, and there are no easy answers.

Author's Response: Hello!

Thank you so much for stopping by with this really great review. It's been a while since we've swapped stories so we'll have to get back on track sometime! :D

I've had quite a few people check this story out, it's actually one of the most read one-shots that I have (I think it only comes second to Again and third to Glass) and that honestly really surprises me. I didn't think people would be very keen on this version of Draco Malfoy but I am so glad that this has gotten mostly positive reviews. :D

I think it would be pretty far-fetched to assume that Draco didn't have any major issues after the War was over. He saw a lot of horrible things and was under a lot of pressure to be what others expected, I think it would really shatter a person after a while. I also had to remember that he was quite young when this happened, which makes it even more disturbing to imagine. The fact that his ego has been taken, his family is falling apart and he's going just a tad crazy are all things that I believe would happen. At least, in some form.

You know, I'm in debate on who actually cursed Lucius. I have a few people that I think are responsible but I've never really delved that deeply on it. I can't feel sorry for him though but the physical decay is shown in how Narcissa deals with the situation. She's not the elegant woman that Draco remembers from his childhood.

I always wondered why people never mention the fact that Draco heard and SAW Hermione being tortured. Granted, he did nothing but I think that added shame,fear and guilt would get to him over time.

You would have to read my novel, "A Force of Wills" if you want to know more about Draco's relationship with Astoria. Her half-blood status is actually something that is brought up more than once, it's a focal point that I make a habit of teasing my readers with. Heheheh.

I can't think of ALL the Slytherins as being horrible for some reason but I think that it would only be fair to mention that there were some decent people there. They may not have been brave but I think they existed. I mean, Peter Pettigrew was a Gryffindor and he didn't turn out to be so great, so who's to say that ALL Slytherins are evil?

Thank you so much for stopping by!

Much love,

Gabbie


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Review #8, by manno_malfoy Grey

5th September 2015:
Hello, I'm here for our swap! There were too many things I wanted to give a shot on your AP, but I love Draco, so I thought I'd go for that! And it's not a decision I regret. Although it does make my day end on a bit of a dark, sad note.

I think that choosing to write about self-destructive Draco is such a challenge because we had hardly seen this side of him in canon. But I think you've done it in a very believable way. And it does make sense that after all he'd been through, and after losing his status and being part of a disjointed family that he would be in such a drastic state.

I think that you've portrayed the sadness and self-disappointment wonderfully. Although I do have a tiny bit of constructive criticism, and I hope that's okay.

Yes, you told it all wonderfully, with dark, gritty descriptions that helped establish this eerie, doomed sort of atmosphere, which helped magnify Draco's tragedy. But, in my personal opinion, the story could've used something to break up all the heavy, sad bits. Even if tiny flashbacks of things that Draco is remembering and we got to see a little bit of dialogue...?

You did something very similar to that with that letter from Astoria. It just brought a different voice to the story, and kept things exciting. You also did it when you mentioned Fred saving Draco, and it just gave the story more depth and momentum. And I thought it was a lovely touch as well, the whole Fred thing.

Going in, I was slightly worried about this being Draco/Pansy, but I think you did a great job with it. You explained everything about Astoria and how they ended, and even Draco's son, and I didn't feel lost or confused. Now that I know that this is related to other stories that you have, I really do appreciate how you've managed to make it stand alone, and I didn't feel like I missed out on anything.

You delivered emotional turmoil brilliantly, and definitely broke my heart with this. So I'm very glad I got to read this! I'm sure I'll come back soon to check out some of your other stories as they all seem interesting! :D

-Manno

Author's Response: Hello!

Thank you so much for this lovely review, I certainly didn't think that you would stop by and check this one out. It's so darn angsty and a lot of people aren't keen on that whole thing. Hahaha. I like making people cry.

I have written about this version of Draco but have never actually created a story around him until now. I'm glad that you were able to get a sense of who he was in that moment because I think that it makes sense for him to be swamped with depression after everything that he went through.

I know a lot of people have said that this was a little TOO angsty and heavy but I didn't think that it deserved to have a lighter moment. I wanted to keep you guys sucked into how Draco's mind was working and although I originally did have a scene that included his son and Pansy, I wasn't too thrilled about it once I read it over for the first time.

I think that people can get used to the Draco/Pansy thing. I never knew that they weren't canon until after I started writing fanfiction but I've never corrected that. Hahah. I'm glad that you were able to follow everything though, I got some CC's about that before and thought about changing it all.

Thank you so, so much! You really brightened my day. :D

Much love,

Gabbie


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Review #9, by carry on with your knitting Grey

28th August 2015:
Hello! :)
I'm here for the review swap, I'm so sorry it took so long, real life caught up with me!

This was different from anything I've ever read before but I adored it! The descriptions you use are just stunning! I was completely immersed from the start which is quite hard for me because it get distracted easily, but I was totally hooked :) It is amazingly written and just flows so well. The constant references to the thunderstorm, parallels Draco's state of mind was one of my favourite part and describing it as angel tears and then the reference again at the end... it was just stunning! I'm honestly a little words at how much I loved this!
It really made me feel so bad for Draco, and you explored his emotions so well! I now feel like I understand him a lot better then I did before. It was heart breaking, I just want to hug him and tell him everything will be okay!
I really enjoyed the inner turmoil about his father, because I think that's something that a lot of people kind of over look when it comes to pics about Draco. And his relationship with his dad is so so so important! I think it's definitely what would have shaped him as a person and theres is no doubt he would hold huge resentment for him after the second war, so I thought you captured this brilliantly! I also adored the care he showed for his mother, when he described her as a broken doll. For me that shows that even though he doesn't think he deserves or is capable of love throughout this whole piece, he actually is. Th fact he adopted the son as well just adds to this!

This was such a joy to read! (not the fact it was upsetting) but because it was just so good! I will definitely be giving your other Draco fics a read because you have me totally hooked! :)

Brilliant job! Keep up the amazing work!! :D

Katie :)

Author's Response: Hello!

Thank you a thousand times for this wonderful review and I am so sorry that its taken me this long to get back to you. :D

I am so glad that you enjoyed this, I rely heavily on description in this story because so much of what happens is in Draco's mind. I think that the storm was a bit of a cliche on my part but who doesn't love a good thunderstorm? I feel like it would have been something that you guys could picture in your heads because I certainly couldn't get the image of him sitting at his desk while it rained out of mine. I'm glad that Draco came off as a sympathetic character though and you're not the first person to say that they wanted to hug him after reading this. ;__;

I think that Draco's relationship with his father would say a lot about how he would turn out as a man. It's a crucial detail that I don't think a lot of people pay much attention too but it's pretty clear that Draco idolized his father and would be broken up after what happened. I mean, it is mostly Lucius's decisions that lead them up to losing everything in a way.

I think that Draco is capable of love, he adores his son but at the same time, it's not an easy question to answer. Will he heal? I mostly leave that up for you guys to decide. :D

Thanks for the review!

Much love,

Gabbie


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Review #10, by MalfoysCarolinaGirl2010 Grey

27th August 2015:
Hi It's Tasha here for the review swap I promised.

Okay so first this does a really good job of showing the effects of alcoholism combined with the symptoms of severe depression. I'm not an expert by any means but the way you portrayed Draco shows you've done your research.

This hits home with me in many ways because I've been down that road before where I felt like no matter what I did, I didn't deserve to be happy. I cut everyone out and tried to deal with things alone. I fortunately was underage at the time so I did not have access to alcohol and I shudder to think about what would have happened if I did.

I've been at the point where I thought I'd never get out and that noone would care if I lived or died. I was fortunate enough to have a friend that had gone through the same thing and was able to pull me out. But enough about me. Again this part of the story was really well done.

Second, I loved how you wrote this where there was no interaction with another character, other than the months old letter. This was entirely all about Draco and his demons.

Third, giving cc is not my strong suit because i really don't want to come across as mean so I just don't do it and grammar is not something I'm good at. that being said I liked the way the story flowed and wished there was more to it but then i read the A/N and realized that there is more to it, I just have to go read your other stories so that is what I'll do later.

Peace Love and Tacos
Tasha

PS Sorry about you losing you job.
PPS Thanks for leaving the awesome review! I needed a pick me up also. It's been a rough couple days and will stay that way for the next week or so.

Author's Response: Hello!

Thank you so much for stopping by and giving this story a chance. This really means a lot to me and I just want you to know that everything is going to be okay. Life is hard sometimes but for every bad thing that happens, ten more good ones are bound to spring up.

I am so glad that you were able to relate to Draco's pain though, it wasn't the easiest thing to write. I've been in some pretty dark places myself and being trapped in your own mind is a cage that not too many people would understand. My stories are all interconnected so this version of Draco is mentioned in almost all of my stories at some point, I had just never written him before. If you were curious about him though, you should check out A Force of Wills or Abandon, since they give the most information about who he was/is. (A Force of Wills is Hogwarts era and Abandon is Next Gen, just as a heads up)

Anyway, I think that knowing you can be crushed by life so easily, with just the simplest things can bring a person down but you always have to pick up the pieces eventually.

Thank you for participating in the swap! It really made me feel better and I hope everything works out for you too!

Much love,

Gabbie


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Review #11, by TidalDragon Grey

22nd August 2015:
Howdy! Here I am!

For me this story was a tale of two halves, ending with strength. I thought post-letter you characterized Draco much more strongly as you got back to some of what you do best in the others works of yours I've read - strong description and allowing us to see the reasons behind action and emotion through the prism of past events and existing dynamics and their cascading effect on the world around them. The only thing I noticed that needs fixing in the second half was that Draco called Astoria "filthy little pureblood" when clearly the remainder of the story establishes she's a halfblood. So I think that's what you meant there.

In the first half of the story though, I felt that there was honestly too much telling going on. I won't quibble with the weepy Draco there (because I usually don't debate characterizatons - to each their own), but aside from the drinking bit and shattering bottle it just read too literal for me. Perhaps if the thoughts were more disjointed it would work better as a sort of drunken earnestness? I don't know, but that's just how it struck me up until paragraph...five. And then again in seven, nine, and then.

Thanks for sharing though! Your stories are always somehow darkly satisfying!

Author's Response: Hello!

It's always lovely hearing from you and I thought that I would have you read something a bit different. I haven't typed anything new for Transparent and haven't even begun the one-shots that I started (They're still on my drive, gathering virtual dust) and I thought you would like this.

Anyway, I have had a lot of people debate on this. There are quite a few who love the entire thing while there are a few who aren't too keen on mainly the second half. Looking back, I can see the problem and have already edited and smoothed out the issues with it but, alas, I am too lazy to update it. Hahahah.

This wasn't really the easiest thing for me to think about either. I wasn't sure what side of Draco that I wanted to show and this was originally going to be told from Pansy's POV. I might end up making that into a completely different story at some point but anyway, I've mentioned this Draco a dozen times in my other stories. They're all interconnected and because my universe is so broad, it was fun writing this broken, drunk and weepy Draco. Hahaha. I suppose that a lot of the things that I lingered on for too long could have been taken out? I don't know, I felt like I had a little too much going on in that second half. The letter feels like it shifted the story a bit too much from what I wanted so I'll make sure to edit that again soon.

The crack about "filthy little pureblood" is actually from Astoria about Draco. I know how that could have been read though, in A Force of Wills, the Greengrass family has a particular disdain for purebloods and she loathed Draco the most.

Anyway, thank you so much for the great review! I always appreciate what you have to say, you're super honest, which helps me improve my writing. :D

Much love,

Gabbie
Gabbie


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Review #12, by EnigmaticEyes16 Grey

12th August 2015:
Hi! So I finally read this last night before going to bed and I have to say it was utterly amazing! This is such a changed Draco from the one I've known throughout AFOW and I almost can't believe it. But at the same time it makes a lot of sense.

I can see how the war would have destroyed Draco. All the things he used to believe in--his father, his pureblood beliefs, just his everyday belief that he is better than everyone--it's all been shattered to pieces and there's no way he could ever go back.

I'm surprised he has a family. I'm even more surprised he married Pansy. But it seems like she really stepped up after the war, coming to him and saving him from himself. Partially anyway, clearly he still needs some saving but she seems to be doing the best she can with someone as stubborn as Draco. And he has a son? From someone else. I wonder who. But I'm glad he chose to save his child from a mother who only thought of him as baggage. But is it really his son? You say the mother wanted to marry Draco to save herself from scandal so part of me thinks it must be, but part of me is not sure. But Draco wouldn't need to adopt his own son if that's the case...

The bit with Lucius confused me a bit. Draco says at first that Lucius will never recover to see the Manor again. But then he does recover? And his so "humbled" for doing so? Yet Draco still sees the old conniving look in Lucius' eyes which I'm assuming means Draco doesn't think Lucius is so humble at all, but playing his way through life as usual.

This is such a curious story full of so many things! The letter from Astoria was the most surprising and intriguing part! I can't believe Pansy and his mother went to see Astoria either! That they wanted her to help pull him out his misery. And that letter was just... I don't know if I have words to describe it. Clearly Draco has been the cause of a death in her family, and I'm so curious as to who... I'm starting to think it probably wasn't one of her siblings since she wanted to forgive him, and she was clearly closer to her siblings than anyone in her family. But I don't know. I'm partially surprised Draco didn't hate her for writing him, since she is so happy now in her new life with Blaise and their child together and Draco is more miserable than ever. His attitude towards Astoria has changed so drastically now that his obsession with her gone. He clearly thinks she is the most perfect person in the world to be able to forgive him but still cannot accept her forgiveness because he's still wallowing in all his guilt of what he did to her, and every other terrible thing he might have done during the war. I can understand how he would not want her forgiveness, but I hope he is able to pull himself out of this self-loathing place he is in. He still has so much to live for. He has a wife (who he at least respects even if he doesn't love her) and he has a child to care for. I wish he would try, I wish he would eventually visit Astoria and accept her forgiveness, that would make me so happy.

This was a great, deep, dark, sad one-shot, Gabbie! And it's so amazingly written!

xxNix

Author's Response: Hello!

Ah, it's so lovely to hear from you! I was wondering if you were going to give this one-shot a chance. This version of Draco is so much different from the one in AFOW that I thought I would have some trouble getting him to this place but because I've hinted at this in my other stories, it was surprisingly easy.

I think that a lot should have happened to him after the War though. I hate stories that feature him as this tragic anti hero with a heart of gold--I don't even think that's possible. Honestly, Draco grew up believing that he was superior to everyone and to suddenly have that taken away would be difficult.

Here's the thing that confuses people about Draco's family. Benjamin is his adopted son, he doesn't (At the time of this one-shot) have any biological children with Pansy. I should have written that clearer but Draco adopted Benjamin from a friend that didn't want to be burdened with a child. It's horrible but the fact that he loves Benjamin so much just shows that he HAS changed a little bit.

The thing with Lucius is that I meant to say that he would never fully recover enough to be back to his old self. A part of him is gone forever but I didn't word that correctly either. Hahaha. There are just little flickers of who he used to be and none of it's good, from what Draco saw in his eyes.

I think that a few people who have actually read AFOW would be shocked by that letter from Astoria. It's certainly not what any of you expected, which is great but at the same time...so much foreshadowing. I never say who in her family died but the fact that she can forgive Draco doesn't necessarily mean that it wasn't one of her siblings, her mother or father. In her own strange way, I think that Astoria still would have SOME love for them, no matter how horrible they are. It might be guilt on her end but for now, we're left guessing.

I don't think Draco would have had the energy to hate Astoria for the letter. I think that he was so crushed by guilt and defeat that knowing that someone else was happy would make him feel marginally better about himself. Or, make it worse. I honestly won't say what he does to Astoria and Blaise either because the fact that she's married the other guy and had his child would piss AFOW Draco off. Now, the Draco in "Grey" has matured quite a bit and he even says that he sees the error of his ways but I personally think that that really means he doesn't have to LIKE it.

Or something.

I'm not sure if this Draco is going to be able to get out of his funk. I like that you noticed how dedicated Pansy has been towards him though. Pansy is probably the only solid thing in his world right now, which makes it sad that he's not in love with her. I do leave you all hanging with the possibility of "what if" though and you're right about this: He has a son to look after and the potential to be better than he's ever been.

I'm just not sure if he's going to make it.

Thank you SO much for this review, it was really amazing!

Much love,

Gabbie


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Review #13, by Frankie05 Grey

12th August 2015:
Gabbie,

This story broke my heart. It was so wonderful to see how you characterized Draco and I think you hit him spot on. This story was so sad, angsty, heart wrenching, all of the emotions.

I feel sorry for Draco- that he feels like he has to drink his sorrows away- that he is so depressed he cries every night and doesn't have to the strength to forgive himself or move on. Really it's so sad.

This story was jammed packed with information- and it was very overwhelming at times. It jumped from Draco to Fred to a letter from Astoria, to his child, to his marriage, to his mother, and his father. I just found myself saying at times- what? I realize that it is played off another story you've written so that is on me to go and read those to answer my questions (as you stated in your AN).

At the end I like how he recognized the fact that he may not love Pansy and that he probably never loved Astoria. It could be the step in the right direction towards healing and forgiveness. I know it's been two years but I hope Draco finds it within himself to forgive himself and his family- and move on properly. :) thanks for always keeping me on my toes when i read your work!

Frankie

Author's Response: Hello!

Thank you so much for this wonderful review and for the swap! :D

I'm sorry that this made you so sad but this was part of a challenge. I think that writing Draco like this is easier than writing him very confident, I have no idea why.

Well, the information wasn't meant to confuse anyone. I think that I wrote it in a way where it was enough but I guess it didn't make too much sense. I didn't just hop from one topic to another out of randomness and the actual story really doesn't start until Astoria's letter.

*Shrug*

I don't think Draco could bring himself to love Pansy. I'm not really sure what would happen if he tried though, it makes me upset to think about it. Well, Astoria hated Draco and I'm certain that he never loved her either. That's actually not something that comes up in this one shot though so you'd have to read the WIP first. I'm also not sure if Draco will ever heal either, that's something that I left up for debate. Hm...

Much love,

Gabbie


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Review #14, by TreacleTart Grey

10th August 2015:
Hey Gabbie!

I'm here for our review swap!

So you suggested that I read this awhile back and it's been sitting on my to read list since then, so I'm excited that I'm finally here for it. :D

This was a really interesting look at a very intimate moment for Draco. I always imagine him having a lot of guilt and post traumatic stress after the war. Some of the things he saw and was forced to do were horrific and I can't imagine that anyone could survive that without being damaged. Not anyone with a heart anyway.

Astoria as Blaise's wife who has some sort of grudge against Draco for inadvertently causing a family members death was intriguing. I personally don't think she has any reason to want to patch things up with Draco...and even if Pansy or Narcissa approached her and told her how badly he was depressed, why should she care really? I suppose she's a better person than I am.

I laughed when I read your author's note and you mentioned that Benjamin Malfoy is not very cuddly. I can't imagine a child of Pansy and Draco being very cuddly at all. With parents like that I'd imagine him being a pretty big jerk honestly.

Anyway, I thought this was pretty well written. There were a few sentences here and there that could be polished up a bit, but overall, I thought the quality was on point.

Great work!

~Kaitlin

Author's Response: Hello!

Thanks for stopping by and leaving this review! I remember that I did say you should read this and I'm glad that you stopped by, it's lovely hearing from you! :D

I would think that Draco had a lot of issues after the War was over. It's nothing something that I see very often on the archives (PTSD in general isn't something that we see very often either but I do explore it in other stories) and I'd imagine that the weight of it would haunt him forever. Now, I did want to show that he was human so the guilt that he felt hopefully came across as realistic.

I've actually mentioned this version of Draco in my other stories (They're all interconnected) so it was great finally writing him like this. I think the most anyone ever really talks about this version of him is Roxanne Weasley in my story, "Abandon". The events that he talks about with Astoria and Blaise will happen in A Force of Wills at some point too so if you ever read that, keep your eyes open for little clues.

Anyway, Astoria is a way better person than I am too. I wouldn't want anything to do with Draco after something like that but I think that she probably went through a very bad time too before trying to do the right thing by him. I mean, that's great for her but at the same time...that takes some courage and humility that I do not have. Hahahaha. I believe that Pansy and Narcissa went to visit her not because they wanted to patch things up, but to just do something that would benefit them in the end. Having Draco stable would help the family and they would rather see him depressed and working than say, depressed and drowning in booze.

Slytherins...

Oh! About Benjamin Malfoy: He's actually not Draco and Pansy's biological child so his jerkiness stems from himself. Hahaha. I suppose though, that being raised by someone like Draco would leave a mark so that would explain why he's not that cuddly. Hahahahah. I mean, he has his redeeming qualities (I think) but you'd have to read "Abandon" to see if that's true. Hahahaha.

Thanks for the review, hon!

Much love,

Gabbie


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Review #15, by Pixileanin Grey

18th July 2015:
Hi there! I'm here for the review swap, and I've been meaning to review some of the other entries in the Angst Galore Challenge. I see you write a lot of angst, but me, I'm allergic to it. Now that I've taken my antihistamine, I will delve into what angst you have here.

Ahh, it's Draco Malfoy. His character gives way to so much angst it's unbelievable. He's in such a bad state right now, feeling so much pressure and guilt, and it's been a few years from the war, but something has put him over the edge.

Your writing is full of Draco's self-loathing, his pain and his regret. I like how you use the language and descriptions to enhance his mood, with the storm raging outside as it rages inside of him as well.

Interesting bit about Fred saving Draco's life. Did you mean that Fred died saving Draco? That's very sad, and I can feel Draco's guilt over something like that, since he's having a hard time reconciling his life after the war. He's really torn up about everything at this moment, and I'm wondering what has brought on all of this painful reminiscing.

I haven't read your other story, so I felt that the brief recap of his dealings with Astoria you did right after the letter was good for me. I don't think you belabored it at all, I think it was just enough to make me understand the relationship that Draco had with Astoria and why things are so painful for him now. And it was very relevant to the story you are telling in this piece, the angst at the beginning had a trigger, and this letter must have been it.

Okay, so I've read the other reviews that you've gotten for this piece, and I want to put my own spin on what they've said. First off, the language is good. I did not have any problems with the long paragraphs, particularly starting with "The Battle of Hogwarts had been two years ago but the wounds were still fresh..." This seems to be the beginning of the "Story" from my perspective. Everything prior to this seemed to be some kind of reflection of his current state, things that color his mood, his thoughts bouncing around inside his head, that sort of thing. That's the way the intro read to me. I didn't get a good grasp, a sensation of "moving forward" until two paragraphs before the letter, where things started coming together.

For me, the length wasn't a problem at all. Perhaps the placement of information may benefit from being rearranged so that we're led into Draco's situation with the catalyst for his mood, and we know why he's so reflective. I really liked all the details that you put in about Draco's family and the way he adored his father until his father broke, the anguish of Hermione haunting him, all of those things. Maybe if they were placed differently, maybe if they tied in with the theme of 'forgiving the unforgivable', all the reasons why Draco thinks he shouldn't be forgiven, not just by Astoria, but by everyone he's touched during and after the war, it would bring everything together and make those recollections more relevant.

This definitely fits the angst challenge, there was SO MUCH pain and disgust and you described him almost refusing to come to terms with moving on from this place where he is so visually. It's like Draco doesn't think he deserves to move on from this place. Even with a wife and child, he hasn't found any stability after two years, and that's very sad. You've got some lovely moments in this, and it was painful and heartbreaking to see a character struggle so much.

Thanks for the swap!

Pix

Author's Response: Hello!

Thank you so much for this great review, it really means a lot. I have mentioned this version of Draco in my other stories because they all happen within the same universe. I know that that can be a bit crazy sometimes to keep track of but for some reason, the image of this broken Draco just never went away. I mention him like this mostly in "Abandon" and "Albus Potter and the Dark Lord's Prince", which are on my AP too.

The fact that Draco was saved by Fred of all people just kind of helps to understand where he is in the world. I mention in the story how he felt like the wrong person had died that night too, adding to his grief and also making him realize that bravery didn't necessarily mean being bold, sometimes it's just doing the right thing.

The letter was the trigger! It's weird how people kind of don't get that. Draco was having a hard time already, lost in his memories but that letter from Astoria really sent him over the edge. It was meant to and the actual story doesn't start until after it's read.

I know that there were a few reviewers who kind of nitpicked at everything, which is fine but I'm glad that you enjoyed the story anyway. I had a bit of trouble getting into the swing of this one-shot so my writing isn't as good as it could be but I'm still happy with how it turned out for the most part. I also tend to make really, really long chapters (That Night and Glass on my AP are gigantic) so people don't really like reading them. I liked adding details about Draco's family too because I thought that was important as well. He wasn't the only one hurting, the War affected everyone differently and the fact that he's still alive after doing such an evil thing is nearly too much for him to endure.

I never really say whether or not Draco gets better after this but you get the sense that he COULD, if he wanted. I left that decision up to you guys. :D

Thanks for the review!

Much love,

Gabbie


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Review #16, by Kayssael Grey

10th July 2015:
Beautifully written, this is exactly how I picture Draco after the War.

Author's Response: Hello!

Thank you for stopping by and I'm glad that you liked the story! Please visit again sometime!

Much love,

Gabbie


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Review #17, by kenpo Grey

30th June 2015:
Hey! About a million years ago we did a swap and then things happened and I didn't get around to it, so I'm very sorry, but I'm here now and better late than never, right? (Right? Oh my god I'm so guilty please tell me its better late than never).

Okay I'm right in the middle of it, but I needed to stop and come down to say this so I wouldn't forget later: I love that you said that sound of Hermione's screams plagued him. That event is widely accepted as being a really important event for Hermione, that stays with her for years, and I loved the way you turned that around for Draco.

Ohmldkfjasldmylajdgod I also love that Fred saved Draco's life, that's so brilliant, such a good touch asldfjalksdjfjadlskfjs.

Okay, now onto the actual review:

I really liked this. I thought you did well with Draco's character, one that I've never felt super comfortable with writing (and therefore admire a lot when other people do it). I thought you wrote him well and believably... there are so many different ways that his life could've turned out, but this isn't one that I'm sure I've ever really seen. I don't have time now, but I might go check out what else you've got, becuase I'm totally curious about his relationship with Astoira.

I like that you're focusing so much on his emotion here, rather than only his actions. And even then, all of the actions he does take just reinforce what he's feeling (pulling his hair, leaning against things, etc). You use body language really well throughout this entire fic.

The other thing I like was how you showed a bit of how the war impacted people other than just him. You touched on the fact that some Slytherins stayed back to fight the death eaters, which I liked (ugh I hated how the movie showed them all as evil). I can't say that I feel sorry for Lucius, though...

Oooo speaking of Lucius, I like the way that you addressed how Draco really did just worship his father, and he thought that he really was a great man when he was a kid. That's the type of thing that a lot of people go through with their parents - finding out that they might not be people worth worshiping. I liked that you touched on it there.

I loved your writing style, although my tired eyes honestly found the long paragraphs a little intimidating at first. Once I got into it, though, it flowed well and I didn't have any problems.

Great story! Again, so sorry for the huge delay!

-Georgia

Author's Response: Hello!

Thank you a whole bunch for stopping by with this great review. It's totally fine that this was a bit late, it's taken me a long time to respond to this! :D

I would think that listening to Hermione being tortured would really bother Draco, even though he had never liked her. I mean, how do you sit through something like that without having it scar you? I wanted that to be made apparent here and the fact that Fred saved Draco's life is yet another twist of fate. Fred died that night but Draco was allowed to live, fueling his guilt and adding to the angsty-deliciousness of this story. :D

I've been writing this version of Draco for a while now (Two or three years?) so it was a lot easier for me to tap into his mindset. I have been hinting at this version of him in all of my stories, ranging from "A Force of Wills" to "Transparent" on my AP so it was great to finally write him like this. I do advise that you try to write him, he's a fun character that can take you all sorts of places!

Oh, if you wanted to know more about his relationship with Astoria without reading the full novel (A Force of Wills) then you can totally check out the one-shots: Monsters in the Dark and Bitter Longing, which are companion pieces.

Anyway, I didn't want to focus so much on Draco's physical appearance for some reason. I already hinted that he was in bad shape but the fact that everything is amplified for him because of his emotions just makes it more engaging for me to read. And plus, I'm lazy. Hahahaha.

I wanted to show that not everything centered around Harry and his friends or Draco. There were alot of lives lost and gained during the Battle, I think and I wanted to touch on that. Oh, Lucius...no one feels sorry for you. Hahahaha.

Oh, yes. Draco really did think that his father was a great man, which is something that a lot of little boys feel towards their fathers while growing up. It hurts to see that the person you idolized is less than deserving, I'm glad that you liked that!

Ah, sorry for the chunky paragraphs! I hope to see you soon!

Much love,

Gabbie


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Review #18, by patronus_charm Grey

29th June 2015:
Hey there! Apologies for taking so long to get here, there were a lot more entries than I anticipated! ♥

You really painted Draco in a sorry way at the beginning of this and I felt so sorry for him. He was always such a proud and vain person it somehow even made it worse that he ended up turning to alcohol and despair and that he couldnít find another way out because he was so unrecognisable from his former self. I thought your description regarding him was really great though as I really felt his pain and despair in a vivid way.

I also liked how you explored the different impact the war had on each person. I have to say, I still couldnít bring myself to feel sorry for Lucius being in St. Mungoís and not quite there as he was always too slimy for my liking but itís sad that Draco thought he could never live up to his expectations. I also liked how you showed how he was affected by other peopleís deaths and highlighted that not all Slytherins are evil and some fought bravely in the battle too as that was a nice touch.

Astoria and Dracoís love story wasnít what I expected at all but I really loved it as they really were a couple in despair, especially from that letter with her being with Blaise. Poor Draco though, being confused about the true meaning of love by Pansy. I never really thought much about their relationship but I guess it naturally did warp his view of love as they were kind of strange.

Aw, the ending :( That was sad to see because that one line from Astoria really stuck with Draco so much but I guess just have a feeling that heís never ever going to recover as he seems down-trodden and lost in the world. This was a really great story and thanks for entering into the challenge!

-Kiana

Author's Response: HEllO!!!

I'm glad that your challenge was such a success! :3

I like the idea of making Draco Malfoy face the horror of being himself. This miserable version of him was fun to write and it's such a nice contrast from the polished, snide monster that we all knew from the HP books. Also, he's a lot different than he was in my story, "A Force of Wills", which made writing him this way all the more delicious. >:)

I feel like the War affected a lot of different people in various ways. I know that some writers like to focus on main characters but I always wondered about the minor ones they came in contact with. Draco had never even liked Fred but he remembers being saved by him, so that was something that I wanted to stress. War isn't pretty and life is precious. I also didn't want to show that all Slytherins were horrible, I just could never get over that in the book and the movie portrayal of them made me cringe.

Okay, Astoria and Draco never had a romantic relationship. Hahaha. These are the same characters from A Force of Wills and they LOATHED one another but there is a certain type of affection in Astoria's letter that could make you think that they were close.

Pansy loves Draco but I can't say the same for him. It makes me sad but I wasn't going to try and brush over the fact that he felt incapable of loving someone.

Thank you so much for the review and I hope you do another challenge soon!

I had fun!

Much love,

Gabbie


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Review #19, by Bellatrixlestrange123 Grey

21st June 2015:
Hi there! Here with your (rather late) requested review :p

Firstly, Draco is one of my all time favourite characters so it's always nice to read something that has him as the main character! And this was definitely an amazing read.

i love how you delved straight into the story and started setting the scene from the outset. Sometimes it can get a tiny bit tedious ( for me anyway) to have to wait a good few paragraphs for the characters to be introduced, but you did well to have the reader introduced to Draco and his state of mind straight away!

You have a lovely style of writing and from the very beginning It was as though I could myself feel what Draco was feeling - from the way you wrote about him drinking to the way you went about setting the melancholy mood which wasn't overdone but was just the right amount to mirror Draco's inner mood.

I couldn't find any small typos and grammar mistakes and even though some of your sentences were a bit long, they added to the inner complex monologue of the main character and so did favour to the story rather than take anything away from it. I think the plot is also very strong, I didn't find you back tracking on the story line anywhere and everything flows very well!

I can't wait for you to update because I will definitely be reading more of this!

Bella x

Author's Response: Hello!

Thanks so much for stopping by and don't worry about being late. Hahaha.

Well, the story is about Draco so I tried not to stray too much from him. The actual point of this story comes later on but you're too swamped in his misery to really notice, which was just what I wanted. I wanted anyone reading this to be absorbed in him and I'm happy that you guys liked this so much! ;__;

I have trouble writing about alcoholism but I'm glad that it came across well. Draco's mind is in turmoil and I was so relieved that this was taken so well! :D

Oh, there are quite a few grammar mistakes in this but you're a sweetie! I'll go in and clean them up at some point! :D

Much love,

Gabbie


P.S.: This will actually be continued in a way because I'm writing a one-shot called "Black" that is from Narcissa's POV so you'll be getting an update on Draco's condition too.


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Review #20, by cherry_pop94 Grey

16th June 2015:
Hi Gabbie! Iím here for the review you requested!

I really love how youíre focusing on Dracoís pain. Sometimes in fics, I think he gets over it a little too quickly. I mean, what he did must be eating him up on the inside so I love how two years later, youíve got him still wallowing in his self-pity and drinking himself to sleep. Itís a really strong image because we know how polished Draco Malfoy used to be.

And what happened to Lucius was so horrible! But at the same time, I sort of donít feel bad for him because he was horrible, but I still love him! Itís very realistic though that a lot of people did not like the Malfoys presence in the Great Hall after the battle was won. Narcissa may have saved Harry Potter, but Draco brought Death Eaters into Hogwarts and certainly did more terrible things during his seventh year and letís not even get started on the horrible things Lucius must have done before.

And letís talk about Astoria! She seems like such a remarkable person. I donít think I could speak to Draco again if heíd done to me what he did to her, but she is so full of love. I think itís wonderful that she could be that kind of person after surviving war. I just feel like thatís the kind of experience that could make a cynic out of people. But Astoriaís still loving and brave.

What Draco feels for her is certainly confusing too. It seems that it started as a hormonal teenage crush, but it became an obsession for him. I wouldnít call it love at all because, well to quote the Bible, Ďlove is patient, love is kindí and Dracoís feelings for Astoria seem to be neither of these things. His lust is destructive and violent and possessive. He seems to have grown up in the past two years though and realized this, but Iím sure his feelings for her are still a mess in his mind.

I do adore the fact that he seems to truly love his son though. Heís an alcoholic it seems, so thatís a little tragic, but he loves his child still and cares for his wife, even if he doesnít love Pansy. The relationship youíve described between Draco and Pansy does seem like perhaps someday when theyíre both whole people, they could fall in romantic love for real, but until then, care will have to do. I think itís realistic for the social circles they run in and the circumstances of their lives. Because Pansy does love Draco, but perhaps just not in a romantic way. In the way that friends love each other and would do anything for each other. Iím glad Draco realizes that.

I must admit, it is a little difficult for me to make it through block of text with no dialogue or anything in between, especially on a computer screen. This is in part due to my terrible eyes of course, but I also do just find it can sometimes get a little tedious. Though with your story, I think lots of text and little dialogue works well with what youíre conveying, but it strains me a bit still. Maybe mix it up a little? Shorter paragraphs might make it a little less daunting also.

Anyway, Iím hoping this story is the start of a wonderful healing process for Draco. I mean, maybe not, but I can hope canít I? It just hurts my heart to see him in so much pain despite how well written it is!

Thanks for sharing!

Stefanie

Author's Response: Hello!

Thank you so much for stopping by with this wonderfully chunky review. It's really quite lovely and I'm sorry that it's taken me so long to get back to you. :D

I've had this idea in my head for a while and for some reason, the image of this broken up Draco really struck me. I liked the idea of him being stripped of all of his layers and forced to see what kind of person he was deep down. The results weren't pleasant but I loved writing him so damaged, he was able to understand that his life was headed down a destructive path. I think that he acknowledges it here a little but you get the sense that he may not do anything about it, which is the tragedy.

Anyway, Lucius! I have never liked his character and I felt like getting him a slap on the wrist after everything he did would have been wrong. I scoff at the very idea! I like the contrast though between the two men, Draco wanted to be SO much like his father as a child but now sees what a waste of a man he really is.

I think Astoria deserves a lot of credit in this story. I certainly wouldn't have had the courage to even look at Draco if he had hurt me so badly but she shows that there can be hope after sadness. That was something that I wanted to make clear, it's up to Draco if he wants to do anything with that kind of power.

Now, no one has really commented on the fact that Draco truly loves his son. Benjamin Malfoy is from my story "Abandon" and no one really picked up the fact that all of my stories are interlinked somehow. Anyway, Draco would do anything for his son but his love for Pansy may take time to evolve. I didn't say if this would be a romantic love or not because I would spoil it for the readers who know my other work but I think that the idea of him loving his wife should be enough for now. :3

My apologies for hurting your eyes! D': I want to go through and edit it of course but that might take a while!

Thanks for the review!

Much love,

Gabbie


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Review #21, by Dojh167 Grey

15th June 2015:
Sam here for our review swap!

I thought it was very interesting how scarred you described Draco as being for having to continue to live in the house that had both been his childhood home and the place he had seen people tortured. This is very powerful, and not something that I had directly considered before.

Your story does a good job of grounding us in the present moment and Draco's emotions when you describe the action of him sitting in the room and reacting to the storm. However, there are three very long paragraphs where we are taken away from that and are told a lot of background information. I would advise finding a way to edit the length of this section down or incorporating it more directly into an actual scene, instead of simply summing up the past.

I am interested in why Draco specifies that Colin Creevey died in the battle. I find Colin's death very emotionally evocative, but it is not clear to me how it effects Draco, who never had much of a connection with him.

I found it very powerful when Draco automatically apologized when he knocked the papers off the desk. This is a man who, in canon, we have seen as very proud and not likely to apologize for anything he's done wrong. It makes a very powerful impact when we see him apologizing for something so minor and harmless. It really shows how overwhelmed he is with general guilt.

It was definitely a very powerful twist that you had Astoria marry Blaise, and it really peaked my interest.

After the letter, you break into another lengthy summarization of the past. It seems that you have a lot of information to get across, but summing things up so much does take the reader out of the action of the story. This seems to me like information that would be better explored in a chaptered fic, where you can explore each scene in the moment. If you really want to write a one shot focused on this specific moment in time, I think it's okay to simplify things and leave some questions unanswered, especially if they are things that you explore in other stories.

You use a lot of very long paragraphs or text here. It can be very daunting for the reader to look at, and the paragraphs start to become monotonous when they are not broken up, especially for what is already kind of long for a one shot.

I think it's very interesting that you made Astoria a half blood. However, it's confusing to me how anyone would know this if her parentage was a secret.

I thought it was a good twist that he realizes that the letter had been there all that time and that Pansy and Narcissa had swallowed their pried sake. But it's all for nothing, womp womp.

You really laid the angst on thick, which was definitely appropriate for this challenge!

I won't go into in depth grammar notes here, but here are a few patterns that I noticed:

I would also recommend looking at your individual sentences and seeing if you can't break them up to make more sense, as you have some unnecessary run ons here. For example " A bottle of firewhiskey dominated the filthy expanse of his desk and he couldn't help but notice that it was nearly empty, there was a dull ringing in his head that made him think of church bells." The comma here should really be a period, as these thoughts are not dependent on each other. The same applies to the sentence that follows. Separating things into smaller sentences or paragraphs can give the story a more interesting rhythm and keep it from feeling like it's rambling.

Another thing to look out for is clarity in your pronouns. For example, in the sentance "Lucius Malfoy had been blind with fury when his mother had told him about the charity work that he had started, he had despised that a portion of their fortune was going to people in need," it looks like Lucius is the subject that "his mother" is referring to. From context I know that you really mean to refer to Draco, but that is not always clear in your sentence structure.

I would recommend formatting the letter differently than the rest of the story - either in italics or indented.

I hope this didn't come off as too harsh. I think that you have a very interesting story here, and I left such detailed feedback because I see potential for you to improve even more.

I definitely think that you did a good job angsting this story up for the challenge. At points I was frustrated at the story because of all of the feelings and character's bad choices and twisted circumstances, but that's angst for you. Well done.

Thanks for the swap!

Sam.

Author's Response: Hello!

Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving me such a detailed review. I also really like the fact that you managed to get to this so quick! The warm and fuzzy feelings are multiplying...

LIKE RABBITS!!!

I've been writing this version of Draco Malfoy for almost three years so it was easier for me to strip him down until he became broken up. This version of him is mentioned at least once in most of my stories, though you never really get the reason for it, which is why this tended to get a bit too long. I think that he's talked about more often in "Albus Potter and the Dark Lord's Prince" and I may actually lead more into what happened to him eventually but anyway, this!

I don't necessarily like writing tragic characters so much as I do depression. I think that there's something really upsetting about writing about a person who's so broken up and it was difficult to actually get to that place while writing this one-shot. Ironically, this isn't my longest one-shot at all (That Night and Glass on my Author's page are all pushing over a thousand) and I'm aware that people don't like to read such long stories.

I don't really understand why a one-shot has to be short but I actually cut out a lot in this story. I was thinking of going back and editing it soon too because at the time that I posted this, the deadline for the challenge was right around the corner and I got nervous and uploaded it without really cleaning it up. So, that's my fault for all the little things that got on your nerves.

Hahaha.

The thing with Astoria's half-blood status is something that you'd have to read A Force of Wills to understand. I worded it in a way that it didn't sound too unusual for bastard children to live alongside their siblings but that's actually one of the many reasons that Draco became obsessed with her. I'll just say that Astoria doesn't exactly LOOK like her family and leave it at that. >:D

Anyway, I think that Pansy and Narcissa both matured in a way where it was necessary to put their old prejudices aside. I drifted away from Draco's inner struggles on purpose because he practically lived in his head and those memories were essential to understanding him. They don't really NEED to be there and I can understand why you would think that they were taking away from the story but I feel like he would need that. I wouldn't want to live in my reality if I were him but I'll probably go through and clean it up a bit more, I was already thinking of taking a few things apart and making it smoother.

Oh, the thing with Colin Creevey is the fact that someone so innocent died while Draco lived. He wasn't able to fathom why and because he was probably a bully to the kid, it struck him more. I should have worded that better and if you were wondering exactly WHY Astoria marries Blaise, you would have to read A Force of Wills. Draco isn't the sweet-tempered sex God in that story so you might not have much sympathy for him. Hahaha. I certainly don't. >:(

Anyway, I used the simple editor for the section with the letter but it was in italics. When you use it, those things are often stripped away but since my laptop is back to normal and not dying, I can upload a better version of it. I will advise never to buy a Lenovo laptop, Sam...they are nothing but torture.

Anyhoo, I know that this story isn't perfect but out of my one-shots, it was very fun to write. My stories, "Glass" and "That Night" kind of made me want to flip a table over but I felt pretty good about this one for some reason. I guess I make writing Draco Malfoy cry...


Muahahaha.

Much love,

Gabbie


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Review #22, by CambAngst Grey

14th June 2015:
Hi, Gabbie!

This story was a really powerful study in self-loathing. After the terrible things that Draco did in your timeline for Force of Wills, it's not hard to imagine him coming to dislike himself, but here we see him wallowing in pure self-hatred. It's not fun to read, per se, but you do a really amazing job of capturing the depths of his despair and all of the regrets and pain that go along with it.

First off, I loved the setting. Thunderstorms always go well with strong, turbulent emotions. You came up with some clever ways to capture the experience: the booming sounds and the splattering against the windows. It compliments Draco's mindset well.

Poor, old Lucius. I did something similar to him in Detox, although the timeline doesn't go far enough to see him degrade to this point. It's really hard for me to imagine that he escaped the war without being severely mentally damaged. He led such a posh life until he made the regrettable decision to enlist in the Death Eaters. I never thought of him as properly cut out to thrive among lunatics and killers. The time in Azkaban didn't do him any favors, either. All in all, it's a miracle that he made it to the end of the war in one piece and once his Dark Lord was defeated it wouldn't surprise me at all to find that he crumbled.

Narcissa is sadder to see in this situation. By the end of canon, I came to think of her as a strong woman. Far stronger than her husband, at any rate. She was the Malfoy family's rock through the darkest days of the war, the one how held things together and made the most important call at the end. It pains me to think that she came apart so.

All throughout this story, we see signs of Draco's physical decay. You did a good job of describing the carnage and capturing the damage that is alcoholism is doing.

It's also interesting to see the things that haunt Draco from the battle. It's curious to imagine Fred pushing him out of the way of a curse, but then again it probably wasn't always easy to tell friend from foe.

There was an unholy taint on his childhood home that no amount of time could wash away and he despised the man that he had once thrived to be, "I'll never be a man." -- Harsh, but understandable. Also, "thrived to be" is sort of an awkward phrasing. Maybe "strived to be"?

I liked the letter from Astoria. Time and impending motherhood have obviously given her some perspective that Draco is sorely lacking. Some perspective that he could definitely use. If only he can find the courage to take her up on her offer.

The section that follows was one where I had two diverging lines of thought. One line said that you needed to make accommodations for readers who are not familiar with the storyline of Force of Wills. In those terms, you did a good job. You laid out just enough information for the reader to get the gist of what happened without rehashing the whole thing. A reader who wanted to know more can easily go read Force of Wills now if they want to. And some might want to. ;) My other line of thought is that it slowed the pace done somewhat and maybe you could have gotten by with less. Just a hint of Draco and Astoria's past and a good plug in your author's note.

You just hinted at the possibility of Draco figuring out what love feels like near the end. It seems like it's definitely possible that Pansy feel some love for him. I'm certain his mother does. Amidst all of the gloom and heartache and despair, I felt the tiniest little bit of hope for Draco. It was a nice note to wrap up on.

I want you to find happiness. -- I have to say, I feel the same way.

I saw one other thing you might want to take a second look at:

He nearly smiled at the memories but pushed them aside, he was certain that his father would never be returning to this room any time soon. -- "any time soon" sort of contradicts the word "never" earlier in the sentence.

Aside from those little things, your writing was terrific. You did a great job with this!

Author's Response: Hello!

Thank you so much for stopping by and giving me this great review. I was feeling unsure of this one-shot but you made me feel a lot better about it. It's weird, but I have far too many stories that deal with depression (Like my one-shot Glass in which Teddy Lupin nearly kills himself) and it's really hard to get the courage to post them sometimes.

Anyway...

I think that Draco would really despise himself after the War. Now, a lot of people tend to sugar coat everything and act like he's some kind of savior but he wasn't necessarily a good person when he was in Hogwarts. Why would that change afterward? I know that I played around with that, especially with what he did so you can see how it's really affected him.

I honestly thought about starting this story with Draco out in the middle of the thunderstorm but I thought that would have been a bit much. He could have gotten struck by lightning and stuff...

It's strange how more people don't have Lucius being in a bad condition after the War. The fact that I put him in St. Mungo's for spell damage (I neglected to mention his stint in Azkaban so we had a brain meld with that one) is just a nice little tip off to my own universe. In my older stories, it's mentioned that he kind of went insane and because I wanted to keep track of what I write, I made sure to include this. Also, it's just so nice writing about Lucius Malfoy's pompous nature being broken down with decay. I am a petty person, I feel no shame!

I think that Narcissa might actually get more strength but during this particular story she was broken down. I wanted to show that Draco wasn't the only person suffering here and the fact that she's so weakened by it all really shows how much the War took her joy away.

Angst is my pride and joy so if I can't have you guys feeling awful at the end of it, I haven't done my job. Hahaha. Yeesh.

Now, the thing about Fred pushing Draco out of the way during the Battle is because of two reasons: Draco actually gave his son, Benjamin Fred's name (But try saying Benjamin Frederick Malfoy ten times, eh?) and I haven't gotten around to mentioning it in my other stories. There's also the point that while Draco was a horrible person and deserved to die in the eyes of many, a good man lost his life. It was a memory that amplified his self-loathing and guilt.

The "thrived to be" portion bugged me too but I think it works better. Draco doesn't think of himself as a living thing and thriving to be something other than himself is what he wants. But "strive to be" sounds better so I might change it at some point cause you're awesome and junk.

I struggled with the letter from Astoria because I wasn't sure what to put into it. I wanted Draco to understand that he was being thought of, even worried over and at the end, I hope that he can have the courage to speak with her.

Now, I got some criticism for the diverging thoughts. I looked it over and thought about changing it because while I give enough detail about his relationship with Astoria, it felt like too much. I didn't need to include the fact that she was married to Blaise either. You can kind of get the hint by her last name, right? Hahaha. The reason for his guilt though was something that I should have focused on more. Also, I hope that you do stop by A Force of Wills again, I do the most terrible things to my characters. Muahahahhaha.

You know, we get the sense that Draco MIGHT get better and I wanted to leave that with you guys. Now, I'm not going to spoil it for you and say he DOES but I wanted the hope to be there.

Thanks for the CC!

Hope to see you again!

Much love,

Gabbie


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Review #23, by CassiePotter Grey

14th June 2015:
Hi Gabbie!
Wow. This was really, really intense. Draco was just so different from the way he's written in A Force of Wills, and I was shocked to see how broken he was after the war. He was just so awful in his time at Hogwarts, and seeing him like this, when he's angry and depressed and not at all the haughty, arrogant boy he was at school is a really shocking contrast.
I loved that Astoria wrote him a letter trying to make amends. I was really surprised, since he was so vile to her at school, but I think it says a lot about her that she was willing to make the first move in trying to move past what happened between them. It made me really sad that Draco thought it was too late to do anything about it, though.
I thought it was really interesting when he started to think about his relationship with Pansy, and how he didn't think it was love, but obligation. I hope he's able to find a way to love her, since he can see how much she cares for him and wants to help him be happy.
The end of this broke my heart. I can just imagine him alone in his father's study, sobbing until he can't anymore. It just such a gut-wrenching image to think about.
This was a really amazing story, Gabbie! I thought you did a fantastic job bringing out all of Draco's emotions, and showing him as someone who was broken and vulnerable. I loved getting to see a new side of Draco!
If you feel like checking out any of my stuff, I have a few one-shots up that you haven't read yet, and I think you'll really like the latest chapter of A Spoonful of Sugar once you get caught up on that!
Cassie :)

Author's Response: HELLO!

It's always great to see you, Cassie. I really love your reviews and I wondered how you would feel after reading this. Draco is so different from the way you might be familiar with but keep in mind that this IS the same Draco from A Force of Wills. I was wondering if I'd confused anyone about that but this isn't a parallel universe or anything. Hahaha.

I couldn't imagine that Draco would have been able to scrape through after the War without having some issues. I like to think that he broke down more than once as he tried to regain himself and I loved the contrast as well.

Well, a lot of things have happened by the time Astoria has written this letter. The events that are spoken of here haven't happened in A Force of Wills yet, they're merely hinted at but you hopefully get the sense that Astoria has grown. She's married and expecting her first child (Speaking of, her child actually shows up in Albus Potter and the Dark Lord's Prince if you were curious about him.)and wasn't willing to hold on to the past.

I feel badly for Draco as well, I hope that he'll be able to get past his sadness but at the moment, it's impossible. His relationship with Pansy and love for Benjamin are really the only things keeping him going right now. Draco doesn't love Pansy but he feels like he owes her, which is pretty depressing in my opinion.

Ah, the ending is my favorite part of this one-shot. Not just because this took me FOREVER to write and gave me a headache but because I can clearly see Draco in my mind, completely shut down. It gives me the chills!

Thank you so much for the review!

Much love,

Gabbie


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