Reading Reviews for Circles
14 Reviews Found

Review #1, by Felpata Lupin Circles

18th April 2017:
Hey, Sian. Here to free Sam #CTF

This was so beautiful. Sad, but beautiful. Have I ever told you that you are an incredibly talented writer?

I loved the way you portrayed each Slytherin, how the war has shattered them all. It's so heartbreaking, especially thinking that they were all just kids.

Each section was so powerful, and I loved how the theme of circles is recalled in each of them. They are all sort of trapped in their lives, in a constant repeat of gestures day after day, trying to run away from their nightmares and memories but unable to do so.

You wrote all of them so perfectly, with Blaise seeking relief on his broom, Millicent reliving all the horrors (the part of the Cruciatus Curse was so powerful), Gregory's nightmares, Pansy's silent pretence to a normal life, Draco's endless trial... It was all so strong and you really made me feel for each of them. I loved how much emotion you put in each section with so little words for each one. I really could feel the pain, the guilt, the horror. So well done, such beautiful writing (but from the little I've read by you it's not surprising, is it?)

Thank you for another wonderful story and see you soon!
Lots of hugs,

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Review #2, by Dojh167 Circles

17th April 2017:
Hufflepuff CtF Review

How have I not read this before? I love micro fiction (not just because I’m a wimp about reading long stories), and there are never too many introspective stories about Slytherins imo.

I love how much you’ve focused in on each character in these perfectly short little stories. Yu resist the temptation to spell out too much about what they’re thinking or feeling, and your descriptions are really effective at intensely grounding us in the moment, like a fully immersive snapshot.

I really really like the section on Millicent. You really honed in on the complexities of the situation right away, how the students being forced to torture each other put them in such horrible positions, between the personal trauma and the threat of consequences from the outer world.

I couldn’t bring myself to sympathize with Goyle so much, but I really like how in that section you emphasized hollowness and emptiness.

The Pansy section is interesting, because there is a lot unanswered there (which works well with what is unspoken). Did Pansy and her parents have similar or opposing views? Is their silence because they have have fallen out with each other, or because they are so disappointed in themselves, individually or collectively?

Ugh, can we not witch hunt children, please?

I wouldn’t totally agree with the fact that Draco had no choice (more that he was ignorant to start with and made a stupid choice, which very quickly became having no choice). But that grayness makes this even more complicated and engaging.

Well done!


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Review #3, by Marshal Circles

1st April 2017:
I love this, straight up, plain and simple. I love how you crafted the lives of the Slytherins and what it is like for them after the war. In such short snapshots you have crafted so much empathy for each character. I mean I have loved a few of the characters before (namely Blaise and Draco) but still all of it so much power and emotion. I feel like I could just gush repeating over and over how much I love it but I'll try to cease from gushing and try to give some more specifics instead of rambling.

I have to say I really like how each character handles things differently and how so many of them are trying to forget. Blaise with flying, Millicent with confessing, Goyle with trying to move on... Of the characters I think my favorite bit was with Draco. I can only imagine the number of questions he suffered. I always imagined him regretting things and in someways you see it in the books and I think what he experienced formed him in a lot of ways but you have pointed out another formative moment for him and that is the questioning and you are so dead accurate that the questions would be ceaseless circles.

Honestly what you have here is perfect and yet there are points where I want more - not in the 'your writing is lacking sense' but in the 'you did so well that I want more sense' which is a mark of a good writer in my opinion you leave the writer satisfied by telling the story you set to tell but leave an audience wanting more at the same time. So kudos to you, fantastic work.

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Review #4, by 800 words of heaven Circles

1st April 2017:

I picked this story for a few reasons. 1) You are an amazing author, and everything you touch is gold. 2) Slytherin represent! 3) I don’t read much microfiction, mainly because I am confused as to what on earth it is. I am curious as to what this story will hold.

Blaise’s story was so cool! I really liked that you focused on the physical with him. It’s all about his breath and his flying. This isn’t a “shower thoughts” exercise for him – he’s all about that altitude sickness and being one with the physical world for a change. You wrote so little about why he’s doing this, but it still speaks volumes. Your skill with subtlety really shines through here.

I must admit, that I found it difficult to connect with Millicent’s story. I could empathise with Blaise, but Millicent… it was a struggle. This is not a bad thing! Well done for writing unlikeable characters, and letting them remain unlikeable, whilst still having their stories heard.

(Side note: I think it’s a very clever and fun thing you’ve done here, using the last word of the previous story as the first word of the next one. It made my nerd mind giggle.)

It is an odd image to think of Gregory as a mama’s boy, but it’s still sweet. And I’ve never dwelt on it, really, but it must have been so difficult for him, after Crabbe dies. That was his best friend! They did evil things together! A bond like that hurts when it’s broken.

I was expecting more from Pansy’s story. But I think you’ve covered that base there by saying that the Parkinson family has nothing to say anymore. Now the war is over, so are their words. Perhaps Pansy isn’t quite ready to tell her story yet, and you’ve really captured that here, keeping even her thoughts superficial.

Ah, Draco. Again, you’ve taken the circular approach here, choosing to focus on the physical aspects of Draco’s life, rather than the emotional, similar to Blaise’s opening story. Different from Blaise, however, as you’ve chosen to focus on the people. It still remains outside of Draco, though. For me, it seems to mirror Draco’s state of mind. He’s trying to make amends, but maybe he’s not quite ready to do that yet, as evidenced by his still significant pride. And those people around him are pushing those feelings down, too.

You’ve definitely piqued my interest in microfiction! This was such an excellent introduction to that particular format of story-telling. I, of course, expected nothing less, since I know what a wonderful writer you are! Well done!

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Review #5, by Dark Whisper Circles

30th January 2017:
Nott Theodore,

This was quite a beautiful and sad picture of 5. Short and to the pin-point. Your post-war characterization of each has given them continued depth that I crave and love so very much.
Formatting to 100 words each is brilliant and quite the challenge, I imagine.
I can see clearly how you have been nominated for a Dobby. Congratulations for being recognized and for writing such a lovely piece.

Dark Whisper

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Review #6, by DossyVilja Circles

20th January 2017:
Hi, I've just resd this now that it's on the list for Dobby nominations - congratulations by the way! And I really like it! I can't tell you much about why, I just read it... and well it will go to my favourites! Thank you for writing this, I really enjoyed!

Author's Response: Hi! Aw, thank you so much for stopping by to read this story! I really wasn't expecting any nominations at all and so it was a lovely surprise, and even more lovely to know that people are reading it and enjoying it. Thank you for your review!

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Review #7, by randomwriter Circles

6th March 2016:
Sian! I'm here for the hpff review-a-thon. I wanted to leave a review for every mod to say a small thank you for making the forums such a lovely place.

I hate that I haven't seen your page in so long that it actually seems unfamiliar to me. Do you know how hollow I felt? Sorry for being the worst friend. Also, this review will be a bit short, given how close we are to the deadline, but I will certainly make it back here as soon as I can.

Onto the review now. Microfiction is a format I find myself really drawn to, but something I struggle with. Brevity is not my friend. But clearly, you don't have any such struggle for you've mastered this, like you do with everything else you write. Despite how short each segment was though, I didn't find myself yearning for more information. Somehow, in each of these short segments, you've managed to give the reader (and in some ways, the character) some closure.

Only you, and trust me when I say this, can write five characters in five hundred words, and still get each of them spot on. Never did I feel even the slightest of inconsistencies, which in other circumstances, would have been natural, given how there isn't much room to establish and develop your character.

Briefly, I think you've managed to capture a series of myriad emotions rather well through these five, and it was so well worded that I really felt hollow, upset, sympathetic and even slightly helpless. What could they have known? They weren't even of age yet, for most part.

You managed to show us five very different pictures of war, to tell us how they were each personally affected by it, no matter how big or small the role the played. It's clear that they all feel this sense of complex remorse and sorrow, and that war has changed their lives for ever. This feeling, that you've articulated so well, is something they will carry within themselves for the rest of their lives, and it's almost sad. I never thought I'd feel this way for some of them, but you've achieved the impossible. I also really enjoyed the way you've portrayed how each of them deal with what they're feeling or cope with the heavy bitterness.

All in all, another stellar one shot from one of my favourite writers here. This isn't the last of me, you can sure of that ♥

Author's Response: Adi! ♥ Aw, that's such a sweet thing to say - I'm very happy to participate in and contribute to our community!

This was actually my first attempt with microfiction, I think - if you don't count the 500 word stories I've written for the Every Word Counts challenge. But I really enjoyed writing this, even if it was difficult (and believe me, if it doesn't look like I struggled then I can tell you I did :P). I'm glad that you felt that the story was rounded enough despite the sections being very short.

Aw, Adi, I don't even know how to reply to that! I'm just blushing - thank you so, so much!

I'm honestly not the most sympathetic person towards these characters, especially when I think that there were so many people their age who chose the *right* option rather than the easy one, but they were young and there were other influences which induced them to behave the way they did in the war, and that was very fun to explore.

I'm so glad that you liked the way that I showed each of the characters and tried to explore some of the impact that had had on each character. I don't think any of them will ever be able to forget the war - really, how could you forget what they've seen? But I'm so, so pleased that you enjoyed this and that you liked my portrayal and characterisation of these five!

Thank you so much for all your brilliantly kind words and this lovely review! ♥

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Review #8, by tangledconstellations Circles

12th February 2016:
Hey there lovely,

So reading this was just the most absolutely heartbreaking thing. This was so wonderful and so cruel as well. I find life post-War amazing - how was the wizarding world able to rebuild after all that had happened?

I think the fact that this was so concise and so brief - but it encompasses a time and a feeling that will presumably be with these characters for the rest of their lives - was what made this so impactful. Nothing was dwelt upon, you didn't linger and sort of over-do the feeling. It was just a series of short, sharp snapshots into a complex situation - one that it's impossible to make heads nor tails of.

Your writing here is, as always, beautiful. There's such a wonderful rhythmic quality to these pieces, that ties them all together so well.

I loved it.

Laura xxx

Author's Response: Laura! I've missed seeing you around the forums, I hope everything's been going well for you! And also, can I just say I'm SO flattered that you left your first review in so long on one of my stories? ♥

I'm really pleased you liked this! It was one of those story ideas that just appeared in my mind and insisted on being written, you know? I'd seen the microfiction challenge and I loved the chance to write this - it was so interesting to imagine the different lives after the war and how it might have affected them. I'm glad that you liked the snapshots - I wanted to kind of let the readers decide what they wanted about the characters and just offer an insight.

Thank you so much for your lovely compliments on my writing - from someone who writes such beautiful prose, that means a lot! And for stopping by to leave a review! ♥

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Review #9, by looneylizzie Circles

5th January 2016:

Stopping by for the RvG Review battle! Team RED! :D

Anyway, I LOVED this story! I mean, wow! It totally blew me away! The way you portrayed each of the characters feels very true to how they were in the books, and in so few words you managed to really give the feeling of how the war was haunting these teenagers.

I really feel for them. They were sort of stuck in the worst position towards the end of the war - having to do unspeakable things to others but still young enough to be heavily influenced by outside forces.

It's a pretty fragile mental state to be in, and I think the way you've written these characters is pretty true to that. Particularly Draco's part.

But I've got to say, I got goosebumps reading Millicent's part. That whole section broke my heart - it's a horrible situation. No matter what she does, she still loses in the end, she'll always be haunted by her past, and that's something that no 17-18 year old should have to deal with.

Excellent story Sian! I absolutely loved it! I definitely need to read more of your stuff...

Keep writing!

Author's Response: Hi Lizzie! ♥

Ah, you're so sweet to me - way nicer than I deserve, I'm sure! But I'm so pleased that you liked this little story, which was essentially the product of a random stroke of inspiration and an hour's writing. It was one of those stories I couldn't not write, you know?

I'm really happy you thought that I captured the characters here well and the way that the war was still haunting them. I felt so sorry for them after writing this (there are actually a lot of stories that make me feel sorry for them, to be honest) because they are still so young and I can't imagine a war not affecting someone. Nightmares aren't exactly something you can just walk away from.

Millicent's part was probably my favourite to write! We see so little of her after the second book (I think?) and there's so much that could have happened in the intervening years. I'm really happy you liked the way I wrote her - or at least, that it gave you goosebumps!

Thank you so much for such a lovely review, Lizzie! ♥

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Review #10, by MuggleMaybe Circles

5th December 2015:
Hello Sian! I'm here to review your entry for the Microfiction Challenge. :)

This is stupendous.

You've captured all the characters with such clarity in such a short amount of space.

Blaise: escapist,longing for ease and simplicity

Millicent: frightened, guilt ridden, angry

Gregory: lonely, sad, abandoned

Pansy: desperate to forget, compulsive in her attempts to make each moment okay. I thought this was a particularly insightful direction to take.

Draco: impatient, guilt ridden, hopeless

And each of them, so desperately haunted.

The way you come full circle with the idea of circles (pun intended :P ) is so brilliant. It's like a loop within a loop, an infinity, that your characters cannot escape from.

I am thoroughly impressed.
I would love to read more from you about this time in these character's lives. You have done this with absolute elegance.

Thank you so very much for entering the challenge.

xoxo Renee

Author's Response: Hi, Renee!

Ah! *flails* Thank you so much! I'm really glad you liked this - I didn't even intend to enter the challenge originally but I couldn't resist it when I got the idea that fit, so I'm really glad you liked it!

I'm so pleased that you managed to understand all of the different emotions and characteristics I was trying to portray with each of the different characters - it's not that easy to do in 100 words, but it makes me very happy that you were able to understand that! And they're all so haunted by what's happened - they might have different lives after the war and be reacting differently in these moments, but each of them is just fighting a battle to cope with what has happened.

The circular motion of the story was kind of intended too; there's no real closure here, because the story doesn't end - the first and last word of the story are the same, even, and the loop just keeps on going - like you said, an infinity from which there's no escape. I'm so happy that came through as well when you read this!

Thank you so much for your lovely, kind thoughts and review!

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Review #11, by The Basilisk Circles

11th November 2015:
Helo, darling, you’re been struck by the Basilisk *nom, nom*

I love the geometry in this; the flowing of motion in such a way creates unison between the characters. Also, if I bit my tail, I would be a circle too. Alas, I have not bitten my tail, and the unity is disrupted. Their daily interactions ruined from war, thrown into chaosss that something as primitive as patterns and circles complete them.

You cast an interesting impression of these five almost-adults, I wonder where they will go from here. Strangely, I pity them in some ways, but I know I cannot. They made their choices, and now they have to deal with them. I like the hints you mention of dealing with their consequences. You captured a lot in so few wordsss, nicely done.

Hiss, hiss,
The Basilisk

Author's Response: Argh, not the Basilisk! No!

Although I have to say, you do seem like a reformed character, Basilisk; you're so much nicer than I remember reading about...

I'm really pleased you liked the way that the story flowed in a circular motion with the different characters each experiencing their own trials and tribulations after the war. These characters are really interesting and I found myself pitying them too, in a way - they were so young when they made their decisions and now the rest of their lives will be decided by it. I'm really glad you liked this story, and thank you for the review!

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Review #12, by TreacleTart Circles

21st October 2015:
Hey Sian!

I'm here for the Gryffindor Red vs. Gold review battle! Go team red!

As soon as I saw that this was for the Super Microfiction challenge I knew that I had to read it. You are the master of the 500 word chapters and I had to see how you handled splitting it into five segments.

As I assumed it would be, this story was brilliant. You really have this incredible knack for creating a complete pictures in such a short set of words. In this case, I had a very clear image of who Blaise, Millicent, Goyle, Pansy, and Draco were after the war. Each one deals with it differently, but their struggles all speak to the same thing. War is damaging.

I think Draco might've been my favorite. I like that you have him written in a way that makes him sympathetic. He isn't haughty, arrogant, or smug. He doesn't refuse to participate. He feels sorry for what he's done and he's trying his best to convey that. It's amazing how clear you made that in just 100 words.

Goyle's vulnerability was also really moving. His memories of Crabbe's death and the torture that occurred around the school must be horrible to live with. I never thought I'd say it, but I feel sorry for him.

As I always am with your writing, I'm once again blown away.

Great work!


Author's Response: Hi Kaitlin!

This challenge was so much fun! I actually had no intention to enter it originally, but I got struck with an idea and couldn't resist in the end. It's so interesting to see the different ways that everyone writes these 100 word segments of the story!

You're really far too kind to me - I've said it before but it's true! I'm really glad that you liked the pictures I painted of the different characters and their lives after the war, and the way that they have to face up to the decisions that they made when they were still in school.

Draco is such an intriguing character! I kind of want for him to be redeemed (although 100% not in the Draco/Hermione bad-boy-turned-good way - just someone who gets the chance to move on with his life when his whole environment led to him becoming a Death Eater and doing what he did) and I'm so happy that you liked the way that I portrayed him here!

I didn't think that I could feel sorry for Goyle either, until I wrote this - it's fantastic that you do, too!

Thank you SO much for your lovely review!

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Review #13, by Frankie05 Circles

22nd September 2015:
Hey Sian! Sorry it took me a couple days to get to this. I was exhausted and overwhelmed by RL stuff. You know how it can get in the way sometimes ;)

I really like this story. I read up on the super micro fiction challenge and it seemed very interesting to me as well as difficult and I think you conquered it very gracefully! I really like the snippets. It felt like I was watching a trailer for a movie but also getting enough of the story to completely understand what was going on.

First you have Blaise. I really like him. You have written him in a way that he copes only by sports. (I like this coping mechanism - growing up a gymnast, when I had a bad day I could escape to the gym and for a moment my world would not seem as chaotic when I was working out). You made it real and I could relate because I had been there before. But at the same time I wanted to hug Blaise.

And then Millicent. In an act of defiance ripped the ministry poster off the wall. It does make sense that she (and others) probably had no control over heir actions for fear. They were just children. And now she has nightmares because she was forced to torture her peers. Whoosh. Poor girl.

Goyle was interesting to me. He is forced to go back to the place where his best friend died. And many more. And the bombardment of memories would be enough to knock anyone down. But he does it because he cares for his mother. You wrote his snippet extremely well. It was a short - nice imagery to have of him.

Did Pansy's reaction to what happen make her OcD. That would explain the counting and the straightening of the cutlery and her shaping her toast into a perfect square. Goodness - poor Pansy. A probably reaction to the horrors and a way to deal with things she probably hasn't faced in her time.

And then Draco. We all love him. Even when we hate him we love him I think. He's so complex and so sad. He sits and answers questions on trial over and over again like he is a circus monkey (you pointed this out) and he can't escape. And that makes us so sad for me. (Well me at least).

I really love what you did here. It was harsh to read but you delicately talked of the after effects on characters that probably have some serious things to work through but we forget about them because of their parents choices to choose the wrong side. We forget about them because most people focus on the main characters and forget about the lives and struggles of these teenagers in a house society dubbed bad. And you brought justice to them. You brought life and feelings and emotions to them. You opened the readers eyes to see more of these characters and to step out of their box and to realize that this is a real thing. Well done. I really enjoyed it.

And good luck with your challenge! :)

Author's Response: Hey Frankie! It's no problem whatsoever - I've taken even longer (I don't even want to admit how long, although there are others that have been waiting longer than this) to respond!

The challenge is such an interesting one - it's so intriguing to see what everyone comes up with, and a really fun challenge to see how you can write a story in 100 words and what comes out of that.

I'm so glad you could relate to Blaise in a way (not that you had bad days, because that sucks, but that it made sense). I definitely see flying as his coping mechanism and the way that he can get away from it all - in my head canon he's actually not someone who took part as a Death Eater and he was secretly helping the DA, but at the same time I imagine that story wouldn't be widely publicised/believed and even so, he still saw terrible things that he has to deal with.

Millicent doesn't really seem to appear in the books after the Duelling Club so it was interesting to write about her here. She really was just a child - they all were - and though that doesn't make what they've done right, especially when other children made the opposite decision - it does make it a little more understandable, and perhaps forgiveable as well?

Goyle is honestly a character I never thought I'd feel sorry for until I wrote this story! But he didn't seem to have much going for him in all the books and I really think that losing his friend would have affected him deeply - Crabbe was all he had, especially when Draco was elsewhere, and to lose him so terribly must have been awful.

I don't think that her reaction /made/ her OCD, exactly, but I do imagine that the war exacerbated behaviours and triggers a stronger case of it, so that she begins to use it as a coping mechanism: her way of gaining control over something, in a sense.

Draco is such an interesting character and I'm really glad that you like the way I portrayed him here and found it sympathetic!

Thank you so much for this lovely, thoughtful review! You've really managed to understand so much of what I was trying to achieve with this story and that's so exciting! Thank you again!

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Review #14, by CambAngst Circles

21st September 2015:
Hi, Sian!

I enjoyed reading this. It was clever and pithy and grabbed a quick image or an idea or a reaction for each of the characters that gave us a quick glimpse into what the aftermath of the war meant for them.

Blaise's escapism fit well with the idea of him being a very reluctant participant in the war. In spite of his bluster and blood supremacist attitude, he always struck me as a lover, not a fighter.

Millicent has a different way of dealing with her scars. Fighting a losing battle against the condemning eyes of a world that seems determined to keep her scars from healing.

Poor Goyle. (I never thought I'd say that) I can't imagine very many of the Death Eaters' children chose to return to school. It must have been a horrifyingly hostile place, filled with awful memories.

Pansy sort of buries herself in her OCD. It isn't as though she's getting any other form of support.

Then there's Draco, answering the question that he must have heard over and over and over again. I'm sure he felt as though it would never end. I suppose it's also possible that -- no matter how long he lived -- it never completely ended.

You did a great job with this. It was very well written and I couldn't see a single typo or grammatical problem. Brilliant!

Author's Response: Hi Dan! I'm sorry it's taking me so long to respond to the wonderful reviews you've left me - I know it's a pet peeve of yours - but I'm just so busy at the moment that review responses are one of the many things that are being left. I'm trying to slowly make my way through them when I get a few minutes, though, and I wanted you to know that I do appreciate your reviews so much, so I hope you don't think differently!

I'm really glad you enjoyed this piece - it had been so long since I wrote anything new that this idea grabbed me and I think I wrote the entire thing in about an hour (and spent another two editing, I think :P). But I wanted to focus on the repercussions being on the losing side might have for the different characters. It's something that I'd actually like to explore in a longer piece after writing this (and something I love reading about, which is why I need to get back to Detox when I actually have time for reading and reviewing again!)

I have exactly the same idea of Blaise. I don't imagine him being that active during the war, apart from what he was forced to do (although from another of my one-shots, I do love the idea of him secretly working with the DA, however much it may not fit with canon) under the Carrows. But I see him being tainted by association and wanting to free himself from the images that linger in his mind, and I can definitely imagine him trying to separate himself from that as well and just get away. I'm glad you thought that snippet fit in with his character!

Millicent is actually a really interesting character - she always seems to be portrayed as someone who isn't very intelligent and she's more of a bully (from that tiny scene we see of her in the books), but I wanted to show that even if that's true, years later, she would still have suffered and maybe didn't know how to deal with it.

I don't think I'd ever thought that of him either, but I'm glad I got you to say something that surprised you :P I can't imagine that many of the Death Eaters' children would voluntarily go back, knowing what they would have to face there; some stories have them returning and acting as if nothing's happened but I can't imagine that would be possible. And I'd like to believe that, as awful as he and Crabbe (and Draco) were to other people, he did truly think of them as friends and seeing his friend die would be a terrible thing for someone so young.

I don't imagine that Pansy got much support from her parents, either - before or after the war. She seems like she's the sort of girl who's spoiled with possessions but not exactly smothered with love, and that's part of the reason for her attitude. Because of that lack of support, she turns to the only thing she knows to keep control over some part of her life.

Coming from a writer who's like a master at post-war Draco, I'm glad that you thought the tiny scene with him wasn't completely awful and that it fit with what might have happened to him afterwards. I hope that it would end at some point for him, that he could prove that he had changed. But I definitely imagine that, in the immediate aftermath of the war, he would hear that question so many times that he had no way of responding in the end.

Thank you so much for this lovely review - I'm so glad that you enjoyed it and thank you so much for your comments!

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