*** Transferred from HPFF ***
Hi, Penny! Here for our swap!
Oh, Merlin, did I miss this story... how am I so behind? Thank you for giving me an excuse to come back here!
As always, your writing is stunning. I love your descriptions, the atmosphere you manage to create and, most importantly, the dynamics between your characters, they way they study each other, the carefulness in every word and gesture, it's so fascinating. I loved that you showed us both point of views here.
I feel sort of bad for Draco, forced into this role, knowing that it's actually just an act and that the esit is already decided independently of how the meeting goes. I loved that you showed him tired and doubtful, even if he managed to hide it. At the same time I find it interesting how he is fascinated despite himself by her and wants to figure out her secrets, just because it has become a personal challenge, or maybe because he wants a justification for what he's doing. Maybe both...
I also loved how you made Astoria lose her cools, if only for a moment, when the subject of her family was brought up. And then, with the switch to her point of view... that was so intense! I could feel the fear and the tension when she thought he would torture her (by the way, I loved that you showed how Draco is repulsed by the idea of torture, even if only so subtly and from a point of view of someone who can't know that. It was so effective). And the Legilimens bit... it must be such a awful sensation, someone violating your mind that way. It can be, indeed, much worse that torture... And that cliffhanger, oh my Merlin!
I'll try not to take so long to get back to you next time, I need to know what happens next! But I have to go now...
Thank you for accepting the swap and bringing me back to this wonderful piece of art! And welcome back to our lovely community, I've really missed you!
Lots of love,
AHHHH Astoria and Draco are communicating again! Awesome! Her communicating with Draco is kind of compromising to the D.A.'s security, however... I can totally see the rest of the D.A. finding about this, and they won't be happy. I mean, she is communicating with a DEATH EATER, even if it's one who saved her life. I get it, but I don't see the rest of the D.A. being even remotely okay with it. Lots of members of the D.A. wlil become suspicious of her again (after she just won their trust!) and most likely kick her out. Maybe that's why when Harry came to the Room of Requirement in the Deathly Hallows he didn't see any Slytherin banners...
You have lots of strengths in this story. I love the battle of intellect that Draco and Astoria have at the beginning of the story, and how the first several chapters consist of flashbacks until we finally catch up.
The struggle of being a Slytherin during the war is also very apparent. In a way, it's much more dangerous being a Slytherin who doesn't like Voldemort than being a part of any other house. In Gryffindor, pretty much everyone is opposed to Voldermort, and resistance is almost expected. In Slytherin, you're surrounded by the enemy, 24/7, and worse still, sometimes the enemy is your friends. There's no clear line of right and wrong, and you display Astoria's stuggle with this perfectly.
In the Deathly Hallows the Slytherins were displayed as pretty much all sympathetic towards Death Eaters, so I'm glad that you portrayed a more layered struggle. Plenty of Slytherins, like Constance, didn't like the Carrows but were simply to afraid to do anything. Very few people benefited under the Carrow's rule.
I like how you also show that the D.A. is just a bunch of kids who are scared and are just trying to help in what little ways they can. For most of the year, they're not full-out rebeling, their problems include little things like hiding muggle-borns and giving them food. You don't try to portray them as just heroic; you show their fear.
I also like the dynamic with Astoria and Seamus. Absolutely hilarious. I like Astoria's amazement that he actually does flirt with everything that walks. It's different from the original HP novels's characterization of Seamus, but it's similar enough that it still seems like Seamus.
This is also one of the most realistic love stories between Astoria and Draco that I've seen so far. It sets up their future relationship very well, and I understand what drew them to each other. You also made Draco sympathetic, which is no easy feat.
Overall, I just love this story! So much emotional depth throughout, and it's very addicting. I read it all in one sitting. I may have accidentally stayed up til 3am the other night finishing it... oops.
Hi Penny! I'm so glad to be back reading this story again, I have missed it! I started reading this chapter for the snowball fight, then I realized the snowball fight was over. Whoops. I'm still really excited to read this chapter though. :P
Aw. While Filly's 'dress' of doilies and part of a baby blanket sounds like an odd-looking creation, it is so sweet that they went to the effort of making her something that's as close as it can to be clothes without actually being clothes. It kinda seems like Lavinia Greengrass mostly cared about the appearance of how the house elves' clothng reflects on the house, but at least for young Astoria it kinda seems like she just liked doing that, and I find it sweet :)
Poor Astoria. she must have a lot to deal with on days when her father isn't lucid. I'm annoyed at Daphne not being around to help after promising she would be :(
That library sounds AMAZING though. I can almost not blame Felix for spending all of his waking hours in there. And he loves Shakespeare! His defense of Shakespeare and other Muggle authors was really interesting to read as well, how he thinks there is some value in Muggle art even if he doesn't see the point in mingling with Muggles.
Astoria's great grandmother sounds really cool. But also like she would have a legacy that's hard to live up to. I enjoyed that scene with Astoria telling Filly to hide the books while the portrait of her great-grandmother looked on and approved quietly, it just felt so subversive and great :D
her voice barely more than a dry leaf trembling, clinging to a twig in the midst of a cold, strong wind. -- I love this description. This is so beautiful and effective.
That was a really powerful scene between Draco and Narcissa after Harry escaped from Malfoy Manor. And it's really consistent to the Narcissa we see at the end of DH doing anything she can to protect Draco, and has kind of lost her desire to have anything to do with the war.
Great chapter! I really love this story.
Hello! Sorry that I'm just getting around to responding to this - I've been out for a bit, and I'm constantly confused as to whether reviews are new and I haven't yet responded, or if they're being transferred over from HPFF and I answered them long ago! But either way, thank you so much for the lovely review. I'm glad you read it again as well - I really need to update TH. My heart is ever torn between projects.
You're spot on about both Lavinia and Astoria. For Lavinia, it was all about appearances. Astoria, on the other hand, was more or less raised by Filly and very genuinely cares about her. Felix is a bit more nuanced. He's sort of paternalistic in his view of Muggles - it's its own kind of prejudice - but he still does respect their achievements and he isn't callous about them. Ultimately, the Greengrasses are still Purebloods and Astoria was raised with all types of prejudices. I just thought it was interesting to explore the different ways that those prejudices can manifest themselves, and how at the end of the day even people who are decent have their issues.
Oh Daphne. She is rather awful, isn't she? There's a part of me that sympathizes with her - she lost her mother tragically, she's got this terrible situation dealing with what ends up looking a lot like early onset dementia with her father. That's tough for real adults, and she's a kid. However, dumping it all on her baby sister is awful.
Also thank you so much for calling out a line that you liked because it absolutely made my heart tingle!
And oh my gosh the scene between Draco and Narcissa is one of my favorites, so I am so glad that you felt it was powerful.
Thank you very much for this absolutely wonderful review!!
(If you're still open to doing the extra little something, I'd love to have some more behind-the-scenes interactions between Seamus and Astoria! Their friendship is so pure and adorable and gives me life, honestly.)
My favorite thing about this chapter (and this story in general) is how you use little details about Astoria to flesh out her character. Somehow she's still incredibly relatable, despite being a generally cold, aristocratically-raised young woman working in a resistance movement. Her surprising sweet tooth never fails to make me smile whenever I think of it.
Most of all, I really enjoyed seeing how Draco has changed as a character. He hasn't quite done a full 180 (maybe a 135), which I'm thankful for. I think it's important to show that Draco, despite having changed to a certain extent, is not entirely redeemed at this point. I think this line is incredibly important and well written: "It was that she gave some home some mad kind of hope that, one day, he could be [a better man]."
I love your writing. Thanks for producing such lovely content for us to consume. <3
Hello again, Penny! I am back to read another one of your fabulous chapters ♥
I'm really amazed at your attention to detail throughout all of these chapters. You have so much going on all the time, so much that drives the plot forward, but you keep reminding us that Astoria is very observant. I don't really have a particular phrase that stuck out to me on this, but it's really an incredible part of your talent.
I love that Astoria finally made a decision! And that the decision was so very, well, Astoria. She's trying to look out for other people, even to, as she put it "ease her conscious", but she's still growing even if she doesn't realize it. Of course, her first thought is her family and herself; as it should be because that's how she's been raised, and that's something that's very hard to break. And she clearly thought about her choices a lot; I loved how you used the coin to show the weight of the decision that she was making, and it was absolutely BRILLIANT that Luna had found and kept the coin for Marietta.
And can we talk about Lavender for a second? She's absolutely brilliant here. I love how dramatic she is and that she doesn't take a liking to Astoria right away; it just makes so much sense that not everyone would trust a Slytherin in their midst, and it makes so much sense that it would be her of all people. I loved them sizing each other up, that it took the use of the coin to "prove" that Astoria belonged here. But interesting: Lavender thinks that Astoria might betray them, but is that because she actually sees that, or because the coin belonged to Marietta and it hasn't adjusted to Astoria yet? I love how ambigious you made it; as much as it hurts, we can believe that Astoria would betray the Gryffindors if she's looking out for herself first, but at the same time, we've seen how she's starting to grow. It's really a brilliant move on your part. Well done!
Okay, we also need to talk about how adorable and hilarious Seamus is. I love your characterization of him, and that he is trying really hard to make Astoria comfortable and trying to cheer her up. It's also hilarious that he flirts with everything that moves - I can definitely see that! And I LOVE that you have him brilliant at engineering. It's so adorable ♥
Have I told you lately how much I love this story? Because I really do. You're doing such an amazing job with it, and I can't wait to see how the rest plays out!
Keep up the amazing work! :D
HAI PENNY I'M BACK! ♥
I'm so happy that we get to read more from Draco's perspective. I've probably told you a million times (so here's a million plus one) how much I love what you've done with him. He's really obsessed with Astoria's memories, isn't he? I'm not sure if I find that endearing or creepy; I can definitely see that he needs it as a break to keep him from going insane, but at least he knows that she would freak out if she ever found out what he was doing with her mind. And it's interesting, too, that he keeps memories of her being a child, of being more vulnerable and more real. It makes sense, though, that he'd choose this given their first interactions with the parlor.
AND OH MY GOD IT WAS HIM THAT SHE SAW! Well, she didn't see him, but he was one of the Death Eaters! I don't know why I wasn't expecting that to be the case but I was so excited that it was!!! Really well done, a nice little twist right in the beginning to keep things going.
You really do such a great job with the pace of this story, though. You manage to keep things fresh and interesting, even when we're just getting a peek into someone's mind, such as Draco's at the beginning of the chapter.
I KNEW IT WAS ALBERFORTH! Huzzah! More canon ties! I love it so much :) You write Neville and Luna so well; Luna had me chuckling at her light, blunt observations about Alberforth and poor Neville is trying so hard to get negotations going. It's so lovely to see him really starting to try and be a leader, it's great growth for what we see later on in the book when Harry comes back to school. He's really come into his role here, and it's so great.
I love that Astoria stayed hidden at first, and that Neville seemed to understand why. I definitely loved that she remained in the shadows to keep watch, but when she finally heard enough, she stepped right in! It reminded me of the moment with the fork and I just went, "YES." You're really giving us someone to root for, Penny, and your character archs are amazing and deserve an A+. Or would that just be an E for Exceeds Expectations? ;)
What I love about Astoria is that she's very no-nonsense. Not many people can argue with her the way that Draco can, not many people can see through her fortress and we got to see that here with Alberforth. He tried to keep to his stance, but she ran him down. I don't think she was downright cruel, but she made her points very clear, and I was relieved that Alberforth decided to help them after all.
This was another amazing chapter! I'm getting sad, though, that I'm on my way to being caught with this story. I don't want it to end, I love having chapters to read.
Keep up the great work!
PENNY HI! ♥
I've missed this story. I've been meaning to come back and read, but my heart just hadn't been in reading fic the last few weeks. It feels so good to be back!
I'm always so amazed at how well you can capture a scene. Even in something that's only 2000ish words, you describe everything so well and it really feels like you're there in the moment. I felt like I was creeping with them along the passageways, and you did such a great job with everyone's reactions to what they were doing.
There was some definite Astoria snark in this chapter, and you know I always appreciate some good snark. Trusting rooms and portraits definitely doesn't seem like something that would come naturally to her, but it would come natural to someone like Luna. Can I applaud you on how well you write her? Well, you really just write everyone so well. I think I've told you before that this story really does feel like the other side/missing moments from book 7, and I so applaud your talent in that.
I love the dynamics you've set up here. They're an interesting personality blend, but I can see them working together quite well in the future. Luna's ability to trust blindly will parallel well with Astoria's skepticism, and Neville's boldness is just so wonderful. I really enjoyed the image of poor Neville trying to hide himself in a firebox. But did he manage to hide himself successfully?! I'm not so sure, and Astoria definitely seems to have her doubts too.
So, if they're (likely) in The Hog's Head, does that mean the person that's coming is ABERFORTH?! Oooh, intrigue. And cliffhangers are evil, but I can definitely see that this was the perfect place to end the chapter.
Another brilliant job, my dar!
Penny! I am here with your requested review ♥
So, this chapter! You are brilliant, you know? This story really feels like we get to see what's happening inside of Hogwarts while the trio is off gallivanting to find Horcruxes (which we know isn't the case, but you know what I mean!). Times are hard at Hogwarts, and you're doing an amazing job of painting the picture of the pain and torture that must have gone on in this place during this time.
I love your use of language and description. I've said this almost every chapter, but you really manage to paint an image in my mind, and I felt like I could really see what the Room of Requirement looked like, even if we hadn't seen it from a movie perspective.
AND OMG YOU INTRODUCED SEAMUS! *dances* I have to applaud you on your writing of his accent, it actually makes me a bit envious! And I love his humor, it's just enough to brighten up these dreary times. I also really love how observant Astoria is, the minor things she notices about a person. It's those details that make your writing so amazing; the bruise on Neville's face, for instance, or the scars he has. The background noises of the Room as everyone's hanging around until Astoria walks in. It's just so well done.
And we meet Luna as well! I like that you've decided to include both Dean and Luna in this, even if they're not present in the books. It's still entirely possible that they managed to find a way back to Hogwarts, y'know? We really don'tknow much in terms of what happened in those times.
I can totally believe the Carrows rationing food like that. I have a feeling I known where they're taking Gryffindor's food - is that to feed the army of Death Eaters in the Forbidden Forest, perhaps? It's so heartbreaking to read lines like "Snape's orders", but still so true to the character that all of the students know and fear.
Speaking of the Carrows, *shudders*. Were you really suggesting what I think you were suggesting about the young girls? I'm not really sure I want to know the answer...
I don't have much CC for this chapter at all. I think it flowed well and the conversations kept things interesting, and I loved meeting the new faces. Well, new to this story, anyway. I can't pick out the lines because I'm on my tablet, but there were a few times where you forgot to put a closed quotation mark at the end of a dialogue, and there's a typo somewhere up top where you are missing the word "she". I think it's when Astoria's deciding that she's going to do this so that she can look at herself in the mirror, or something along those lines.
And throughout all of this, Astoria's not looking to play hero. She's still looking out for herself, but there is very slow character development happening, and you're doing a great job with making that realistic.
And that Neville/Luna moment where he quoted her mum was so adorable! Do I spy a new ship? :) And speaking of ships... Astoria was worried about Draco's safety! I love that she recognizes that it's horrible, but he did save her, as she pointed out. It seems only natural that she would be concerned for his well-being.
AND THAT ENDING. Astoria's clever, about asking the right questions. Did she just create a secret passageway to the kitchens?! I guess I'll have to read on at some point to find out... The suspense, you're good at it! Just like everything else ;)
Another brilliant chapter, my dear! Thank you for the request!
Penny, I'm back and here for our review swap! ♥
So I had gotten quite used to your long chapters, so I was a bit surprised to see that this one was on the shorter side. And while it did feel a bit like a filler chapter (which is completely fine, and probably necessary), you still managed to keep things interesting and we still learned more about the characters.
I loved your descriptions of the way Legimincey worked. It's so interesting that Draco dreams of other people's memories, but it actually makes a lot of sense, given that he's seen so much. And it seems that his brain appears stuck on Astoria, I wonder why that would be.
You do such a great job of writing Draco. You handle his complexities with great talent, showing us the true struggle that he's facing because he's not so sure he wants to be on this side of the war, but it's the side that he picked. I loved the bit about his friends; and while it's sad that they wouldn't write to him, it makes sense, and he doesn't even seem that bothered by their silence. It says a lot about the kind of relationship he has with them.
And I did notice the tie into the souls thing even before Draco did, which I think is quite interesting. The Greengrass family seems to have a thing for souls, I wonder if that will be a theme later on in the story? I really like it, though. And I loved Astoria being worried that hers would be part of the painting and that's how it moved! It definitely seems like something a little magical child might think.
I wasn't sure if we would see any Astoria in this chapter, but I'm glad that we did! She's clearly making a catalogue of things she knows about Neville, which is smart.
AND GASP! Is he taking her into the Room of Requirement?! I think he is, since they're waiting on the seventh floor! I can't wait to see what her reactions to that are going to be, especially since, with three weeks from the battle, it's more of a sanctuary than a secret room.
Another great chapter, my dear! Keep up the great work :)
PENNY PENNY PENNY.
Okay, here for our review swap, and I LOVE this chapter!!
You did a fantastic job of building up the tension and suspense once we were actually in the cupboard with Astoria and Cardigan Boy (I literally laughed out loud when I read that line!). She is absolutely the type that would reprimand him, that would call him out. She has no time or patience for whatever he has to say, and it comes across so very strongly on the page.
It was also remarkable, really, how well she could see his facial expressions in the dark. It makes sense, though; Astoria has sharp eyes, and the small details you provided gave us a chance to see them, too. It was a great chance to SHOW us Neville shrugging his shoulders, or raising an eyebrow at her, and you really did not disappoint.
I just loved that scene so much. It was true to Astoria's character, that she doesn't want to be involved in something when she doesn't get anything out of it - that's the true mark of a Slytherin right there. But she listened to him, and Neville clearly got it into her head.
And I loved how you characterized Neville! You can tell he's sweet - he's worried about the children and the people they're hiding, and not having enough food or real supplies to give them. He's stressed and he's worried, but he's also tough. He knows that he's the leader now that Ginny's gone, and you do such a fantastic job of showcasing that development. He'll do whatever it takes to help, even if it means pulling an angry dragon into a supply cupboard.
Can I just tell you that I love what you're doing at Hogwarts? The torture is so cruel, so downright evil, and I never even thought of the Carrows using boggarts as means for torture. But they're Death Eaters, and like everything else you do, it just makes SO MUCH SENSE. That poor girl, though. I can't imagine what she must be feeling, so many fears going at her again and again. Do we get to find out what actually happened to her? I think she's just knocked out cold - Astoria mentioned something along those lines - and I hope that she'll be okay. The poor thing, so afraid and intimidated that she can barely speak.
AND THEN THE FORK. OH MY GOD!
You're brilliant. Okay, you're just brilliant. I could feel the tension dripping off the page as I read everything in the Great Hall. And the fork was something so unexpected, but I found myself saying "Yes!" when it actually was Astoria who had done such a thing. She's selfish, but she's already starting to change. So very slowly, but it's happening, and she can recognize it too.
And what's up with Slughorn saving her?? I'm very curious to see where you go with this! You manage to leave bits and pieces of intrigue as the chapter progress that honestly leaves me at the edge of my seat and nervous for what's going to happen next. Because really, I don't see any of it coming, and then it happens, and I'm like, "Well, of COURSE!!".
This was another amazing chapter! You're doing such a great job of building the story arch and Astoria's character growth. I'm also amused that she refers to Neville as Cardigan Boy, even after she knows who it is. It shows that, even though she's kind of selfish, she's still got her own sense of humor, and it's really refreshing.
So. did you get the part where I loved this chapter? :)
Thank you for another great swap!
Penny! I'm back! *squishes* ♥
Firstly, I'm so glad you found your wallet! I know how terrifying that is. And I'm glad you got my Grease reference, I was hoping you would! :)
ANYWAY. Onto your actual requested review.
So I did notice one thing, I'm not sure if you meant Black Friday or Good Friday? Black Friday is in November, so that's why I was convinced about the timeline. It happens somewhere in the beginning, where Pansy's talking about the other families that are abducted.
And speaking of Pansy: your characterization, girl. Spot-on once again. I loved this line: "Pansy was the sort that liked to have a little blood on her, so long as it was someone else's. That way she could claim a part in the victory." SO TRUE! I really liked that we got to see inside the Slytherin common room during the brink of the war. It's so interesting, and I'm wondering if the names you mentioned will come back somehow?
I feel like Astoria's feeling a twinge of guilt that she let her family survive, but I'm glad she's also relieved about it. It says a lot about her relationship with Daphne that, while she would sacrifice herself for her sister, that doesn't necessarily mean she has to like her. I think that's a very true fact about a lot of families, and it's nice to see that not all siblings - even if they're sisters - are particularly close to each other.
I know you were worried about the suspense before she gets taken by a Gryffindor (I have some guesses, but I'm going to keep them quiet and see if I'm right!), and I think you did a good job. It did seem a little draggy in some parts, but at the same time, you don't want to rush everything and it's a nice tack to Astoria's humanity that she wants to be left alone for a while. She's definitely feeling the burden, and you do such a great job of showing us that she has feelings, too.
AND THEN WE GET TO SEE DRACO, YAY!
Ahem. There's something so amusing about the Death Eater's setting up camp in the Forbidden Forest. I don't think it was too draggy in this part - it was nice to get inside Draco's head, as we've spent a good amount of time in Astoria's, and it's so good to see where he's coming from. And girl, characterization. HOW DO YOU DO THE THING?!
Draco's fears, his guilt, his worries for his mother- it all felt so real and so raw to me. And details I forget, like that Bellatrix is his aunt- it's so interesting to see how those family dynamics work out. And I LOVE that one of the Malfoy family rules is that family is first. It just makes a lot of sense (how many times can I say that in a review?).
Another thing I loved was the descriptions of Hogwarts looking like it was bleeding. And Draco's worried about having to face Astoria! I KNEW IT. :D He's so confused it's kind of adorable.
Ooh, and I also really loved the opening of this chapter, I forgot to mention that earlier. You just. Your descriptions and language and characters. A+
I really enjoyed this chapter! Not a lot was happening, but for the most part, you did a good job with trying to keep the balances. I'm not sure how to work up the suspense in the first part because I'm really not sure if you could cut anything, y'know? I am really bad at giving advice sometimes, haha.
Thank you for another request! I can't wait to see where you take this! All the exclamation points!
Penny! Here for your requested review ♥
Okay, so, this is by far my favorite chapter so far. And I mean, not just because there was a lot of Ginny Weasley, as it shouldn't come to a surprise to you that she's my favorite character. ;) I know you said in your request that this is your favorite chapter, and I can see why.
There are so many things I LOVED about this chapter. I loved the way you built up the tension for Astoria returning to Hogwarts after the holidays. It's really so sad that Filly was the one to bring her there, and it shows the truth and rawness of her father's condition. You do such a brilliant job of weaving in and out of Astoria's thoughts and moving the scene along without it droning on. It's so clear that something is wrong and everyone can feel it, even in that opening chapter. It just makes so much sense that they would be so subdued, not wanting to draw too much attention to themselves.
I really, really liked that Astoria was irrationally angry about Ginny not being there. Of course she knows she's on the run, but having her want to have some girl talk after everything that happened makes her seem less hard and even more human. It's a subtle reminder that, despite everything, she's still a sixteen year old girl with a lot on her shoulders. It also painted this picture of her being lonely, which we didn't really get to see in the last few chapters because of the interrogation. You did an amazing job of showing that vulnerability and that need for human connection.
And then you bring us to another flashback, prompted by something that Astoria remembers saying to Ginny. Everything you write about Hogwarts makes me go, "Why yes, but why didn't this happen in the books?" Of course, there's stuff we know that's canon - like Dumbledore's army and the graffiti on the walls - but you twist it around and make it just so raw.
I love the power play that's still going on between Astoria and Ginny. It's clear there's been some development, at least on Astoria's end, but they're still staying so true to their characters and their strong personalities. You just write them SO WELL.
And OMG, Ginny's breakdown was so brilliant and I didn't even see it coming! It makes SO MUCH SENSE that that's why she's doing all of those things, to make up for what had happened to her first year. I really loved the line where you said, "Everyone had known what happened to Ginny Weasley, and everyone had forgotten." I GOT CHILLS, PENNY. CHILLS. (It's electrifying!)
Ahem. And Peeves showing up, brilliant. And that conversation between Astoria and Ginny about Harry - you did such a great job of, once again, showing us Ginny's brilliantly strong character and her strong will, but also being scared and vulnerable and not knowing where Harry is or what's going to happen to him. I can't imagine what that must be like, but you did an astounding job of painting that picture for us.
It really felt like I was there in that corridor with them. The hushed whispers and everything - it was just SO GOOD, Penny! I envy your talent with language and description. I can see this alliance blooming and it's so brilliantly done that I'm not even questioning it.
I'm a little sad that we didn't get a chance to see Draco in this chapter, but there was enough going on that it makes sense as to why he wasn't around. Will we get to see more of his POV once we get to Hogwarts? I wonder what their first encounter will be like.
Honestly, I can't think of any CC to give you. I mean, if anything, I'd say that the beginning was a bit slow, but you did such a good job of setting up the tension and then throwing us onto the train and the flashback that it really worked for the chapter. I know not everything can be fast-paced all the time, so it was a nice balance.
Thank you for the request! It just gives me an excuse to keep reading this fabulous story that you've created, and I'm so excited to see where you go with it. It honestly keeps me guessing and has me at the edge of my seat.
Penny! Here for our swap ♥
I loved this chapter so much. I'm always impressed by your ability to keep things interesting, even when Astoria is doing mundane things like packing for school. She certainly has a lot on her mind, and I don't blame her! I would be confused too (well, I am confused!) about Draco saving her, and what his motives might be. It's also so interesting to see this dynamic with the house elves because it speaks so much about Astoria's character. I really like that she's not like other pureblood children who would torture them, but rather looks at Filly as more of a companion.
And we finally get to meet her father! I absolutely loved your description of the library- again, it's just your command of language and description. I really want to live in that library and I don't blame Astoria for spending much of her childhood in there. I can totally picture her as a child sitting in uncomfortable positions in the armchair and just devouring novels! I also really liked the fact that he called her Tori and she called him Papa. It made everything feel less formal and more familial, which I enjoyed. And for Astoria's sake, I'm glad that it was one of his better days, even if he did mistake her for Lavinia originally. That scene really made me feel for Astoria, though, as I can't imagine what she must go through on a daily basis when she's home - and it certainly doesn't help that she doesn't have anyone else to lend a hand. Ugh, Daphne!
You also did a great job of painting a picture of Astoria's family by giving us some of her heritage. Her great-great grandmother seems like a very strong, powerful woman and I can't help but wonder if we will see more of her portrait in future chapters. I certainly hope so!
And then you bring us to the Malfoy Manor! Immediately you set up an amazing contrast between what's going on in the two homes. And it was interesting to see the Narcissa/Draco relationship here after Harry's escape. Draco is right, though. Voldemort will find him no matter what, and I don't want to think about what he's going to do when he finds him. It really was a beautiful parallel scene, with Greengrass Hall and Malfoy Manor. Well done!
Another thing I really enjoyed was that you brought us right back into the heat of book 7. I'm so excited to see where you're going to take this and I can't wait to read it from both Astoria and Draco's perspective.
Keep up the great work, and thank you for another wonderful swap!
WHAT IS EVEN HAPPENING HERE?! And, of course, I mean that in the BEST possible way! I just - my heart - and you - and Draco -
Okay. So. I loved the opening of this chapter. I loved the imagery of Astoria unconscious on that uncomfortable sofa, and the language you used to describe it was perfect and reminded me of the first chapter, as when she was describing Draco coming into the parlor and how unwelcome he was there. She's uncomfortable, but she knows she's safe, and she's still home, merely by simple things like the fireplace and the rug. And really, isn't that all you need to remember where you are?
And, of course, I loved Astoria trying to defend herself with a fire poker. While it's not a wand, it certainly was a weapon, and I loved how she recognized it.
Once again, the banter and conversation between Draco and Astoria truly is remarkable. They really are a good match for each other, both intelligent and cunning in their own ways. If only he wasn't there to interrogate her on her innocence. Though in this chapter, it was clear that they were starting to see each other differently. We saw that a bit in the previous chapter, but it was nice seeing it from her perspective, as they're getting better readings on each other. He can already sense when she's doing something completely uncharacteristic, and she can sense when he's terrified - and, of course, who WOULDN'T be terrified of Greyback?!
Astoria begging for her father's safety is just so beautiful. It shows, again, that she's very strongly protective of him, even if she doesn't quite feel that way about Daphne. I do hope we get to meet her later on, I'm curious to see how she would stand out against the way that her sister describes her - and even Draco, as they were in the same year at school.
This chapter played out like a movie in my mind. The writing, as always, is so beautiful and clean. It allows me to get sucked right into the world that you've created, the different dynamics that are playing so well with each other. And I sort of really enjoyed that Astoria went into a fit of laughter when she realized that they were coming for her, no matter what she said or Draco did. Interesting, though, that she asked him to help her.
AND THEN HE DID! I was honestly as shocked as Astoria probably was, he had been so silent and then had done the thing I least expected of him. And I love that he has no idea why, though I suspect it's got something to do with the fact that he fancies Astoria, or that he might begin to fancy her, but with you, you never really know ;) It will certainly keep me guessing, especially now that the interrogation is over.
But will he find out that Draco's lying? What will happen to him then, and will it be up to Astoria to save him when the time comes? As you can probably gather from these questions, I'm very intrigued to see where you take this because I have honestly no idea. I've never read anything quite like this and I can't wait to see how it plays out.
Thank you so much for another great swap! We'll have to do more in the future.
Swap 1 of 2!
First of all, happy (technically belated) birthday! I hope you enjoyed your day.
Second of all, thank you for doing another swap with me! I'm really loving this story, and even though it has mainly been about Draco and Astoria's interrogation on her family's loyalty, I've said before that you write it so well.
Even in this chapter, when they didn't move from the parlor and you didn't have a flashback, their conversation was as lively as ever. The way you write, it's so easy to picture the scenes in my head and hear the way they talk to each other even when you don't have anything to describe the way they said something. This conversation really is a game, and it was so nice to see it both from Draco AND Astoria's point of views, because then we get to see how they come across from the other's perspective.
But ooh, Draco pulled one over on her! I'm actually quite glad that Astoria asked about Veritaserum because that answered any questions about why he hadn't used it on her before, just to get what he was looking for and leave. But Legilimency?! That's absolutely brilliant, and absolutely the one thing she couldn't have been prepared for.
I'm so eager to see where this goes. I have a feeling that it was Draco who caught her, it's adorable to see that he's already starting to soften up - just a tiny bit, but barely - around her. His comments about how she's just a girl were very powerful, as he said it's so easy to forget. And he really did seem to hit the target with asking the questions about her family and basically flat-out accusing them. It's still clear that Astoria is VERY protective and loyal to her family and will do anything to keep them safe.
And even though she's the youngest daughter, she comes across as the oldest. I'm not sure why, it could just be her controlled demeanor and the way they talk about Daphne being a fool, but I find myself forgetting that she's the youngest sibling. It's a very neat dynamic you've created here and I'm excited to see how it plays out.
Thank you for another great swap!
Hiya Penny! Here for our 2nd review swap :)
So, quite a long chapter! Admittedly, the word count is daunting when I looked at first, but honestly, you did amazingly with this chapter. I really liked being able to see into Draco's mind a bit, especially since you opened the chapter with it. You write him - and Astoria - so well and convincing. You just write well in general and you had my attention the entire time. It felt like I just started by the time I reached the end!
There was so much good in this chapter. I loved Pomfrey going to Snape (I'm assuming it was Snape?) for help healing her. A brilliant move, and once again, you do a fabulous job of capturing the horror within the walls of Hogwarts without going overly detailed. And I LOVE the idea of blood magic. That probably sounds warped, but it sounds so in-line with those old pureblood families, and of COURSE her mother would have a way to keep her secrets hidden. Otherwise she just wouldn't go spilling them, even to her youngest daughter!
I love how you wrote all the characters here, and I'm really beginning to enjoy this alliance between Ginny and Astoria. I hope we get to see more of them in future chapters because it really is a brilliant idea. And you do a great job of characterizing Ginny; Astoria noticing how worn she is from all of the pressure, her smuggling in things from her brothers' joke shop- it's all fantastic. And setting off dung bombs is such a Weasley thing to do, Fred and George would be so proud of their little sister :)
The other thing I love about the alliance between them is they're still sizing each other up, still not entirely convinced that they can trust each other, which is completely realistic. And hidden messages in chocolate - another amazing idea. (I'm running out of positive adjectives here!)
And as always, your style, flow, dialogue- it's all incredible and clean and easy to follow. I love it so much.
I'm so, so glad we started doing swaps together! You have a great talent and I can't wait to read more chapters in the future.
Hey there Penny! Here for our review swap ♥
So another great chapter and you manage to answer a lot of questions, but you've got that talent still of keeping me intrigued. I love the way you've chosen to tell this story- giving us flashbacks at prompts of Draco's questions, it's all very clever. And as from a previous chapter, we know that Astoria's a good actress, so I'm very curious to see how she's going to react and how well Draco will be able to read her (or not).
Going to Ginny was brilliant. You gave it such a thorough explanation as to why she was going that of course she would, who else would she go to?! And you characterized them both here so well too, with them sizing each other up and still not sure if they should trust each other. It speaks volumes of Astoria's character that she doesn't want to be labeled a hero even if the outcome is in her favor, you give us little snippets of how she's not like most Slytherins/Purebloods.
The only little thing in this chapter is that I'm not sure how Astoria sneaked into the Gryffindor tower? I would've liked to hear more description about that since I always thought the other common rooms were secrets from other houses, but it's a relatively minor detail and it doesn't lose focus on the heart of the scene.
And once again, your language, flow, and dialogue are all outstanding.
Keep up the great work!
Hey there :) Figured I'd come back for chapter 2!
So, we learn - almost - what happened to Lavinia Greengrass. I'm really glad that you decided to jump back and tell us what happened so we know where Astoria's coming from, but you leave us with just enough to ask a million questions! Did one of the Death Eater's turn on her? What actually happened? Does that have something to do with Draco really being there?
Again, your flow, language, and writing is all quite beautiful. The chapter was the perfect length too.
It's really quite interesting that Astoria's loyalties are the ones in question here and it has something to do with what happened after her mother's funeral.
I'm curious to know more, this is definitely going on my reading list.
Keep up the great writing! ♥
Hey, Penny! I've started the process of transferring my reviews! XD
Hey there, Penny!
Jill here from the forums with our swap, and thanks so much for doing it with me! I don't normally read Astoria/Draco stories (well, I just haven't really dived into them as a pairing) and I'm so glad I started reading yours.
You have such a strong opening here. I love that you started with dialogue and with a conversation between her and her mother at a young age; it's obviously an important conversation that she's going to remember and will probably play a good role in the story. It sets the tone well.
I also really liked that you jumped from Christmas Eve to Easter and over the span of a decade. You did the time jump flawlessly though. What I also enjoyed was your language and your descriptions about Draco. You didn't tell us "Astoria doesn't like him" you showed us by the way she described his appearance, his movements. One line that jumped out at me was: His presence would not leave a stain on any place she cared for. It was really powerful and descriptive, as most of your language was.
The dynamic between Astoria and Draco is obviously very tense, but I could really feel the tension between them. The silence may have dragged on, but the scene didn't, and I appreciated the appearance of Finny. It gave a nice contrast to Astoria's relationship/meeting with Draco and shows how she really is putting on a show.
I'm very curious to see where this story goes and how their relationship unfolds. You've definitely got me interested.
Great chapter and thanks again for the swap!
Wow this was an eventful chapter. Ah! I really loved all the twists and turns in to the plot - Draco finding out, the faceoff between the two of them whre Astoria has let go of any facade of propriety, the terryfing moment when Greyback walks in, and then Draco calling off Greyback, denying everything and leaving. I think Draco is just as scared of Greyback as Astoria is, and whatever else he's done at this point in the war, he's still a kid and not up to facing the idea of watching Greyback devour someone. Besides, as Astoria mentioned, Draco does still have a soul somewhere in there and she found a way to get through to it - she noticed his hesitation at all the crucial moments and banked on it. I have to say, she held her own really well up until the Legilimency, and even afterward when she was defensive - she was not going down without a fight. This was such a fast paced chapter and I couldn't look away for a second as I was reading it! This story is really starting to build up now and I love it.
Hi Penny! I just randomly decided to return to this story today as I saw it on the recently updated page and I remembered reading some of it a while ago and really liking it. Now that I'm further into the story I'm loving it even more!
There are far too few stories about Slytherins during the second war, so I really appreciate that about this story - that it handles all the complicated layers of what it is to be a Slytherin during this time, and how much acting is needed and secret alliances and holding all her cards close to her chest. And while Astoria is kind of alone among her peers in that she's working against Voldemort, in a way she's still like any other Slytherin, looking out for herself and those she cares about. It's a wonderful characterisation of her and quite layered which I really appreciate.
I also love her friendship with Ginny - if it can be called that. How they're both incredibly similar - observant, direct with one another (for the most part), and it made me wonder if in different circumstances, like if Ginny wasn't from a 'blood traitor' family or Astoria didn't have judgemental peers - they could have been really good friends. Omg, though, I really love Astoria's musings about Gryffindors' flair for the dramatic and foolish. I love that Ginny's friends got in on this even to the point of faking an injury just so Ginny can secretly meet with Astoria. That was a brilliant scene.
Also yikes that the curse was cast by Astoria's mother. Adds a whole new layer of complication there.
This is such a great story and I'm so glad I've come back to it!
Transferred from 4th April 2017 at hpff:
Jail break for Abbie at CTF Round 3!
The scene you wrote, Draco couldn’t stop thinking of Astoria is like Harry was like that when he thought of Ginny during his mission with Ron and Hermione on the run. Oh, wait, did Draco do Legilimens on Astoria before?
I like this spot, :
But...that was what he liked best about them. When he had first met the youngest daughter of the House of Greengrass, she had been so utterly inscrutable, more of a cipher than a being of flesh-and-blood. Seeing her memories, knowing her thoughts...it somehow made her so much more real. It proved she was more than just some fantasy Draco had imagined to escape his miserable life.
Astoria Greengrass existed. She had thoughts, and feelings, and a past. She was somewhere in the world right now. She was...
I like those ^ because J.K.Rowling has never described about Draco’s feeling towards Astoria. You are super!
Was the dark haired person Draco caught with his eyes, Harry Potter or Astoria? So thrilling moment!
I like how you let the story line go. The readers can’t resist sending cheers to Neville, Luna and Astoria even we know how the story will end. Aberforth’s irritation is well written and just thrilling!
Oh, was Astoria a leader for Slytherins at Hogwarts? Cool! (sorry, I picked this chapter at random to rescue lions at the forum review battle.)
It’s great that you let Luna describe how Aberforth looked like. Nobody tried writing how they met Aberforth. I was so excited by the heated conversation between Neville and Aberforth Dumbledore.
A good timing that you let Astoria enter after the talk. I spotted another favorite one, here : “We didn’t just come here--we were brought here, by the magic in the school to which your brother devoted his life. And by her.” She nodded towards the portrait.
I enjoyed the conversations between her and Aberforth. I think you did a great job to write an episode how DA members and her Slytherins could get food. The title, The Edge of Insanity expressed Astoria and Aberforth's state of mind very well.
Transferred from 4th April 2017 at hpff:
Jailbreak for Abbie at CTF Round 3!
Yes, it suits her well, the secret passages! Did her mission start? So exciting!
I like your description, smelt of damp earth and ozone scent of magic.
Oh, she was with Neville and Luna! She helped them out to somewhere, great! Oh Penelope! I think I love this chapter the best so far! J.K.Rowling has never written the scene from inside the Hogwarts, from Neville and Luna’s POV. “DA members will soon get together scene!” So exciting as a Gryffindor! It’s terrific to read this spot, :
Neville was undeterred.
He lowered his wand and approached slowly, with at least some caution, before reaching a hand out and gently brushing it against the surface. An odd expression crossed his face, and he turned and loped back.
“Canvas,” he whispered, nodding towards the rectangle.
Astoria’s eyes widened. “It’s a painting?”
“Looks like it.”
I really like your description of Ariana Dumbledore of the portrait. I smiled remembering the scene on the both book 7 and the film.
Ha ha ha, I laughed at this spot: “I thought I saw a Voolubog carapace on the windowsill. They’re very rare. It wasn’t, though. Just a garden variety beetle.” by Luna. Oh, Luna.
Oh, watch out! The Death Eaters!
I breathed quietly and waited the moment the trio and Aberforth would appear. Oh, no not yet. So many adventures and the thrilling moments with the war hero, Neville and dreamy Luna. It’s nice to imagine Astoria Grenngrass joined them for ending the war! I enjoyed very much! A rattle of keys must be Aberforth's, I'm sure.
Transferred from 4th April 2017 at hpff:
Jailbreak for Sian at CTF ROUND 3 !
Oh, the CI of Ginny is stunning! I was so happy to come back here. I was amazed by your detailed and carefully planned descriptions of Astoria. You showed me how the author should write about the main character’s mind movement or the surroundings. With RESPECT!
Oh, Ginny was her friend then? I might read about that at chapter 3… I’m not sure. Then I spotted this: As the Hogwarts Express rumbled to life beneath her, Astoria remembered the last words she had spoken to Ginny, before the holidays. She’d told her to take care of herself.
Yes, my memory is correct then^? She had told what she knew to Ginny. I think I remembered right. They trust each other.
“As far as she could tell, the Gryffindor girl had done a rotten job.” It’s so exciting to see how Ginny had been fighting while the trio including Harry were on the mission from Astoria’s POV. I like that you set the scene after that.
“Astoria didn’t need magic to become invisible.” Oh, that’s cool. As I read the chapter where her grand (grand?) mother came from, I guess the talent came from her.
I found another favorite spot. “Ginny paused to catch her breath. Astoria could see the pulse pounding in her neck, her teeth clenched against truths she couldn’t unspeak. Overcome, Ginny punched the wall, slamming her eyes shut as blood bloomed between split knuckles.” It is so fabulous!
Oh, the sensation, while recovering “pins and needles” is a good expression!
Hahaha, Astoria is clever on the point, ““Rule One, Weasley: always have an exit strategy” than Ginny.
I found another favorite description. About the surroundings of the castle. “Easing down to sit on the ancient stairs, she let her gaze sweep over the castle walls. There was the rickety old bridge, the lake. There was the long stretch of lawn and beyond, past the wards, the Forbidden Forest, an oasis of shadowy branches. She could almost hear the rustle of their leaves as their branches shifted, opened like arms spread to welcome her dark heart among their own.”
And the latter half is really wonderful! I’d like to say thank you for writing up Ginny’s feeling towards Harry as one of Hinny shippers.
Transferred from HPFF
Hi, again! And sorry I picked this chapter first. I’ve favorited this to nominate for Dobbys before and I had been itching to read through your Astoria/Draco ship atm!
I really love your narrative description of Astoria’s mind. I wondered why she repeated unpack and pack. Why was she worrying? Oh, she couldn’t forget him (Draco?) “she knew she ought to stop thinking about what had happened.” ( I just read the first one or two chapters over a year ago, so much expectation coming now.) What happened in the previous chapter? Did they kiss? :D
Oh, too early for me to think like that ^. Yes, yes, yes! I remembered! Astoria had been a spy and she had not believed Draco first. I read the part though I couldn’t leave the review then. ;) That’s a thrilling thing! Oh, yeah, she suspected him that he tried to let her in the rabbit hole.
It’s interesting to read your POV about house-elves through Astoria’s POV. Reading the scene of her and Filly, I remembered Dobby and Harry. You did a great job with working on their dialogues.
I’m amazed again by your skill, creating a new character J.K.Rowling has not written in detailed in her books. I could visualize how Felix Greengrass looked like. It’s sad to imagine her father was not the same he used to be and he couldn’t understand his wife was gone. But it’s interesting to read his opinions about Muggles.
The story about how Xing Li Ming moved her family over from China and ran the shipping company is interesting, too. And I enjoyed her struggle, her concern about how to hide the Muggle books and the scene between Astoria and the portrait of Xing Li Ming.
I was a little surprised that Draco had been coward till Harry Potter vanished form Malfoy Manor. Coz I had an impression that he had already determined to do something secretly behind Voldemort in the first chapters. So finally, he decided to do something exciting?? I’m happy to be back to the previous or the latter chapters to make sure what’s going on to Draco!