I totally intended on reviewing after each chapter but I swear I wasn't able to stop reading! Gosh, I kept on trying to stop and review but the urge to read was too strong! Instead, after telling myself "Oh, I'll go back and review after this chapter!" about five times I realized maybe it would be more practical of me to just type a really long review summing up how I feel at the end.
Goodness, where should I even start? Perhaps at your mastery of characterization? The details you add really tie your fiction back to the original book characters. The way you described the different presents by her bed, for example, was really cool. I especially enjoyed how you described Luna's gift paper as being painted herself! Very original and fun.
I like the reason you came up with for the mistletoe always choosing them. It makes sense that, around the holidays, the plant would target negative energy and use its magical powers to try and transform the moment into something positive. The first time was totally surprising but you made it so that Hermione was stubbornly waiting for another solution, which made it believable. I find that many fictions rush into the romance to the point where it's unrealistic, but that wasn't the case with this one! The first kiss really made a path for their relationship to become better.
I feel like Draco knew from the beginning that Hermione was the one who had been his Secret Santa. I mean, she'd just mentioned previously that she liked to knit and he'd even incorporated that into her gift so obviously he remembered when she'd said that. I feel like Draco had the slight advantage in figuring out who gave him his gift, since it's much more believable for Hermione to go overboard on something even though she hates the assignment than for Draco to go all out on it.
The way he was fiddling with the metal puzzles in class was an interesting thing as well. I wonder if, while he was solving them and resolving them, he was thinking about her? Rather than just considering the gifts cool and using them because of that, I feel like he liked them because of the connection they had back to Hermione. Seeing those things reminded him of her, I feel, and that's why he wore the scarf all winter and had the metal puzzles tucked in his pocket during class.
Oh, and the promise ring! I do believe it's the last mystery that needs to be solved? Ugh how am I going to be able to wait? I'm REALLY hoping that you haven't abandoned this story or anything because I'm really hooked to this one. I remember you said that there was a glint of a ring on Malfoy's finger when she was looking across the Hall at him in one of the earlier chapters? I wonder what that is for! Maybe in order for the magic in her ring to work he has to be wearing one just like it? H M M M . . .
I'm also wondering if Lucius is going to find out that Draco likes a muggleborn. Obviously he would disapprove of it greatly as Hermione mentioned a few times and maybe even punish Draco for it. After all, he sent Draco to his room without dinner when he was little just for pretending to be a hero when he played by himself. What if he were to learn that he'd not only snogged her a couple times, but actually had affections for her? The shop owner witnessed the whole thing of course but did he end up going and blabbing to his father? I hope not!
I really liked the part where they were stuck together in the library. They shared a lot of really deep thoughts that got me thinking. They both recognized the value of those hours they shared in silence, knowing that doom would be approaching and that it was the last chance for them to just be there and appreciate eachother for who they are rather than have to hate eachother for their side or blood status. I particularly liked the part where they shared those pieces of their childhood. It's really sad because it shows that even though Hermione was born with an opportunity to do the right thing Draco is trapped on the bad side of things, forced to act on narrow-minded belief systems.
The snowball fighting scene was really awesome in my opinion and not just because of the Dramione action. That part just really went to show that even though they are Death-Eater's kids and soon-to-be heroes, they are also just regular teenagers who enjoy a good snowball fight just as much as anyone else. They werent even fighting Slytherin vs Gryffindor or with any other kinds of group division. In that scene they were just teenagers having a bit of fun, not caring if they hit a friend or foe. Even Ronald, who is just about the most hard-minded character who only ever had hate for Slytherins was enjoying the moment where they were just acting like normal people.
I really like how you added the part about Theodore Nott liking Harry. I mean, it really does justify why, in the books, Draco pretends not to recognize Harry in the manor. Of course, that action was protecting Hermione as well but still! The way you described all of this really helps me to see it actually being something that happened behind the scenes in the actual books. Nott liking Harry is something I've never seen in a HP fiction before. It was certainly a unique little surprise!
I'm in love with your writing style and I'm craving more! I hope you'll be able to update this story sometime soon. I know this review is ridiculously long but I just have so much to say about your story! I literally only noticed that I'd been rambling when the site told me that I'd exceeded my character limit... yikes! I went back and shortened it enough to write this. Sorry, I know there's probably a bunch of typos up there but everything I had to say was kind of just gushing from my fingers onto the keyboard, lol!
Thanks for writing this! It's so much fun to read even though it's midsummer. H M M I wonder if this will be 12 chapters for the 12 days of Christmas? I hope to hear back from you whenever you are able to read this! 10/10 :)