Hi Emily! :)
So I remember reading this ages ago on HPFF, so I figured it was high time I started it over and read it again! :) I love the premise of this as disregarding Deathly Hallows, because there is so much in limbo at the end of Half-Blood Prince, especially with Harry and what he has to decide to do, so this is a great start to that alternate reality! It’s honestly hard for me not to be thinking about the canon events as I read this, but that’s also what makes it so compelling because this is so different. Also, can I just say how much I love the Head Girl/Head Boy shared dorm trope? Because I do love it and I can’t wait to see how you employ it here.
I’m happy (yikes, maybe not the best word choice, but you get the sentiment) that you still had Hermione obliviate her parents. It’s a huge part of her character arc in canon, and even though she’s returning to Hogwarts, she still recognizes that it’s not safe anymore for her parents, so she sends them to Australia and hopes that they’ll be all right. Head Boy Theodore Nott coming atcha, oh man and is he the most disinterested person for the job! I’m very excited to see how you develop Theodore’s character as we’re not given much information about him in canon. What a cliffhanger ending though, wow! You’ve done a great job setting this novel up, and hooked me (again) with that dramatic appearance of Draco Malfoy on the train at the end.
Great opening chapter, Emily! I’ll be back soon for more :)
(Puff-a-Claw-polypse Reviewing Event, Team Huffleclaw)
WAIT EMILY I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS IS THE LAST CHAPTER SO FAR? WHAT I’M SO DISAPPOINTED. This has been such an enjoyable story so far, and I absolutely love all the new chapters, and I’m so excited for the rest of what you might have! (How many chapters are you planning total?)
You know, wouldn’t it be the most terrible thing if the whole time, I’ve just been hating on Theo and he didn’t actually do it? :P I don’t know what I would do, to be honest, but since this isn’t the real world, I’m going to keep my fingers pointed at him until I’m proven wrong! I still don’t trust him, and his refusal to really trust Draco rubs me the wrong way, and the fact that he’s not really calling Hermione his girlfriend makes me think he’s still just trying to use her somehow. BUT I DON’T KNOW. I KEEP HATING ON HIM IN EVERY REVIEW. However, Theo is suspicious and deserves it hmph. How can anyone believe that Draco killed Hart when he wasn’t anywhere near him?? That’s what really baffles me.
Anyway. This chapter’s contents was so interesting. I love the way you showed a lot of different students’ reactions without making it boring in any way! I was just hooked from the beginning of this chapter to the end, as soon as I found out that Kingsley Shacklebolt and Emmeline Vance were going to be teaching the class. I also thought the contrast between this class and the previous Mad-Eye Moody one was really, really good—the waivers and asking permission and everything felt so much more ethical, and I was really glad of it. And after reading this chapter, I’m suddenly so much more interested in Hannah; I was incredibly proud of her for being able to shake it off like that?? It was incredible. I hope she shows up more hehe. <3
Hermione being shaken and frustrated after the curse felt really relatable too. I mean, of course I can’t ever imagine what it would be like not having control over my own body, but I would probably feel incredibly helpless and angry. And I would hate for anyone else to feel that way.
I love you and this story so much!!! Thank you for writing! I’m really looking forward to what the next chapter has in store for us. <3
Can we talk about how beautiful Emma Watson is?? I keep seeing her on your chapter images, and I keep getting distracted by just how stunning she is.
But anyway! On topic!
I honestly can’t believe that Hermione made Draco talk to Harry, Ron, and Theo in the same day hahaha. I was so thankful when she listened to him, and believed what he had to say, because the fact that he seems to be hiding from the Slytherins in addition to the rest of the school is kind of telling. Like, Draco would not be stupid enough to kill someone from his own House, with Death Eater-ish allegiances (at least, I’m assuming, considering what Hart said to Draco about not being able to kill Dumbledore). It was really sad when he said he missed when things were normal, though, to be fair, he probably could have gone without making his political beliefs clear from day one, and gone without terrorizing the Golden Trio for so long. (This is off-topic but I’m hiccupping so much right now so like every three words, I’m letting out the goofiest sounding hiccup you can imagine.)
When Hermione traced over Draco’s Death Eater symbol tattooed on his forearm and realized that she wasn’t scared of him whatsoever, I smiled a bit. It was a sweet moment, and I hope it’s a sign that Draco is genuinely starting to reform himself and change for the better!
I’m really glad that Harry ended up agreeing with Hermione that Draco couldn’t have killed Hart, even if he still doesn’t like Draco as a person, though Ron was a bit tougher. Hermione can definitely handle herself haha, way better than he could protect her, anyway, so I think he doesn’t need to worry so much. :P
When she made him talk to Theodore Nott, I was so nervous omg. At least Theodore didn’t like kill him or anything, but like I have a feeling that it didn’t really actually make Theodore like Draco BECAUSE THEO WAS THE ONE WHO KILLED HART AND I WILL PUSH FOR THIS TILL THE END. UNLESS HE DIDN’T, IN WHICH CASE I WILL NOT.
Okay, not having confirmation about Theodore is driving me crazy, because even though I’m like 93% sure I’m correct, I can’t be positive, and so I feel like every time I see him speak or act or look a certain way, I’m just reading into what he’s saying/doing. For instance, the fact that he’s withdrawn from everyone? I think it’s so that he doesn’t have to pretend to not be the murderer, so that he has a slimmer chance of messing up and getting himself incriminated. I’m not positive that he feels no guilt—I think the croaky voice and everything could potentially be the guilt messing with him (either that, or he’s really good at acting)—but I think he’s almost definitely the one who actually committed the murder.
But no one believes that it’s not Draco, not even Harry, who I was hoping would support Hermione. Which is so sad! After all, like she mentioned at the beginning of the story, he was the only one who actually saw Draco hesitate when he faced Dumbledore, and so I hoped that he would be the one to back Hermione up???
Did Theo ever intend on Hermione being his ‘girlfriend’? Was he planning on this distraction preventing him from ever doing so? I wonder if he’s trying to get closer to her or something because Voldemort wants to know about what’s happening with the Horcruxes, or something like that, though I can’t imagine that Theo knows about them. But maybe he just wants to be closer to the Golden Trio in general, to know what they’re up to. I wonder if Theo and Hart had originally planned on framing Draco for something, and maybe Theo took it farther than Hart had realized he was going to??
SO MANY IDEAS, AND NO CONFIRMATION AHHH.
Are Hermione and Draco going to talk now??? I’m so so excited omg. His last words at the chapter, where he mentions he just looked for a place to hide, made my heart ache a little bit. <3
Theo was staring with a “blank, detached expression”! Though I don’t know if there’s really another culprit in the story that’s the actual one, and you’re just trying to trick us with Theo, but at the moment I’m just going to stick with my original theory and say that Theo is a psychopath and a Death Eater and a murderer, which is why he’s been so eerily calm this whole time and why he’s been so furiously against Draco from the beginning—but what would his purpose be? Is he trying to prove himself a better Death Eater than Draco?? GASP IS HE JEALOUS THAT DRACO GOT INDUCTED INTO THE GROUP SO YOUNG? He mentioned way in the beginning that only Draco had been qualified enough to join the Death Eaters as a teenager, which makes me think he’s envious…
Hermione, you’re smart! Figure it out soon! (Unless I’m wrong, but hopefully I’m not hahah.) At least, though, she doesn’t blame Draco. I don’t know what I would do if she blamed Draco, because I am wholeheartedly convinced that he’s not the murderer, and that he couldn’t kill if he tried. Speaking of which, Hart’s taunt right before he disappeared and died was really strange, wasn’t it? Like he basically said the equivalent of “you’re so weak you can’t even murder someone” which is…sketchy hahaha.
AHHH DRACO I BELIEVE YOU. I don’t think you’re necessarily a good person, but no one really deserves to be accused for something that they didn’t do. I’m looking forward to Draco’s further character arc, though, now that we’re more on his side than in the beginning!
IN ALL MY CURIOSITY ABOUT DRACO’S BEHAVIOR, I TOTALLY FORGOT TO REACT TO THEODORE AND HERMIONE OMG. So here we are: I’m veeerrryyyy skeptical about this relationship. I do not know why, but I don’t entirely trust Theodore Nott, and I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been primed to think all Slytherins from this time period are all somewhat sketchy.
Wait omg Emily I wrote that paragraph before I read the chapter, and now that I’ve read the chapter, I’m going to double down on my distrust for Theodore Nott. Because Draco seemed so, so genuine, and there’s literally no reason he would risk his pride (and the ire of other Purebloods) and be kind to Hermione and target her for sympathy unless he truly meant it, and even though my reasoning seemed flimsy I’m still convinced. I don’t think he did any of that terrible stuff that everyone thinks he’s done, and it makes me truly upset that he won’t just tell the truth about what he didn’t do! Like, he left Hermione to believe that he did it, why would he do that?? You big dummy.
So I’m even more sure now that Theodore Nott has somehow been behind all these things. His date with Hermione was a little uncomfortable and everything, and what if he’s like secretly with Pansy or something like that? He was unrealistically kind to her during the Prefects’ meeting when she said “vulgar Muggle costumes,” and just now it seems weird that he just gave up on yelling at Pansy so easily?? (Told you, mysteries make a conspiracy theorist out of me. :P) AND THEODORE WAS THE LAST ONE TO SEE HART. I REALLY HOPE PEOPLE SUSPECT HIM NOW. PLEASE. Of course he would target the one person that Draco last had a fight with AHHHH.
P.S. Sorry for all my screaming. :P
The carnival sounds absolutely beautiful omg; I felt so envious reading the descriptions of it because this is like the carnival of my childhood dreams. I got really big Night Circus vibes from it, not because I remember the book very well or anything, but because I remember both the book and this chapter made me want, more than anything, to attend a carnival/circus setting. I’m proud of Hermione for doing a beautiful job to plan and organize this wonderful event, and to make everyone happy for one evening, and I’m also proud of you for describing it in such a magical way that it made me want to attend. The magical haunting melody playing makes me think it would be a mix between like a haunted mansion and your everyday circus, which would be perfect for Halloween.
Draco’s behavior is so weird??? (I’m beginning to think that I should discard my previous conspiracy theory haha. :P) Like he clearly has something weird for Hermione somehow, which he expresses through his weird and sudden civility and politeness haha (which has the result of making Hermione suspicious of him), but was he angry afterwards because jealousy?? Was he even looking to ask her out??? Was he angry because he didn’t want Theo to like a Muggle-born? I still feel like Draco knows Something Bad about Theodore Nott, which he doesn’t want Hermione to face, but I’m not entirely positive about this.
EMILY I REALLY HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS. YOU’VE WRITTEN SUCH A COMPELLING MYSTERY AHH.
The title did not sound good, so I was prepared for the worst, and I should’ve known it was blood omg. At first I was genuinely horrified because I thought Draco like killed a man (or person :P) and just like held them out in the Great Hall to bleed out slowly to death…and then it turns out it was dragon blood haha. Thank goodness. I’m really quite glad that no one was actually like injured in the process of scaring the students. And I wonder how Hermione’s going to go about gathering proof for who did this? Who did this anyway???
Also, I can’t believe that Hermione’s starting to like Theo; NO HERMIONE. ELIMINATE YOUR FEELINGS. Or, I suppose, it’s fine for the time being haha, though if he finds out I hope it’s at least reciprocated in some form. It’s not fun to be the ‘unrequited’ part in ‘unrequited love.’ Hopefully it’s just a passing crush!
As mystery stories always bring out the conspiracy theorist in me, I have a theory, with absolutely no proof, but I hope it entertains you! Here we go. CONSPIRACY: Theodore Nott is not as good a person as he seems, and so all of the complete and utter hatred that Theo has for Draco is either a front, or because he’s angry at Draco for messing up the assassination of Dumbledore the previous year. Because of Theodore’s close ties with Death Eaters (his parents), he buys into their doctrines more than he revealed to Hermione, and so he wants to scare the school with the dragon blood and stuff, using Draco as a decoy.
AM I RIGHT? PROBABLY NOT. I think I was just suspicious of Hermione starting to like him so I concocted reasons why she shouldn’t haha. :P
WHAT DID DRACO DO?? Hopefully he didn’t like kill someone or anything (from my reviews, you wouldn’t be able to tell that I’ve read this story before, I actually have the worst memory in the world). Speaking of Draco omg, you know you’ve set a low bar for yourself when Hermione’s impressed that you didn’t even threaten her hahaha. I can’t even tell if Draco’s good mood is supposed to be a sign of a character arc, or if he’s doing something devious that he’s just genuinely delighted about. I just have a very suspicious feeling about all of his recent behavior, and I need to know what’s happening!
I loved how in this chapter, the Slytherins and Gryffindors finally all met, and everything went well! It’s really entertaining how Hermione constantly admires Garrett’s physical attractiveness, haha, and I wonder if anything’s going to happen here. See, I’ve been totally ruined by fanfictions; every time a character thinks that another is attractive, I just automatically think that something’s going to happen between them haha. She really seems to get along well with Garrett, though! And Theo! Hopefully they’ll all stay friends and I don’t have to worry about messy feelings, especially when the Dramione part gets involved. :P
Okay, speaking of sniffing out maybe-romantic-intentions, are Ron and Mandy going to potentially become a thing?? Bonding over chess is adorable and nerdy, and it would be really fun to see these two at each other’s throats for chess-related things over the next few chapters hahaha. Ugh I’m glad that everyone bonded though, I don’t think I could’ve handled the stress of animosity between these two groups.
Looking forward to finding out what happened!!! <3
HI EMILY. I wanted to congratulate you for winning a Golden Chalices award with this story! And also to thank you for all your hard work in reviewing for the HC finale this week. <3
So I reread the first few chapters to remind myself of different details in the story (I’ve forgotten a lot of different things), and I’m so excited to continue reading! You paint a really interesting situation at Hogwarts, and I’m so curious to find out how Hermione and Draco end up growing closer, because at the moment it just seems like Draco’s out to cause trouble. I wonder what he’s trying to prove, and to whom, and what it will take to change him, and I love that we’re in an AU setting so that I don’t know what’s going to happen beyond this point. It’s so imaginative! And there are a million different ways that things can go, so I’m really excited to continue. <3
I also thought that all your Slytherin OCs are incredibly interesting. (The chapter image did a wonderful job showing all of them!) I’m really glad that Hermione and Theodore are getting along well, and that she’s even met his group of friends. (It’s nice that they bonded over their dislike of Draco Malfoy and his Death Eater status hahaha, though that makes me wonder even more how in the world Hermione’s ever going to get a chance to get closer to him.) I can’t believe that some of Garrett’s first words were to tease Theo about “sleeping with Hermione,” which, hah. Definitely did not happen. I wonder if anything will happen between the two of them, though, or if they’ll remain friends?
I really liked meeting Theo’s friends! It’s really wonderful to see Gryffindor-Slytherin cooperation, even during these trying times. And I wonder what they were talking about?? Like, what was Draco doing by the greenhouses? He broke a vase last night to distract Filch, I presume, but to do what? And what ingredients did he need from the greenhouses, if any?
I hope we can find out soon! :D
Oh wow, now that's quite the ending to the chapter and I can definitely say that I was not expecting that to happen. But of course it had to happen and had to make Draco look even more guilty which for me makes me know that it couldn't be him. I mean I doubt that Draco would be that stupid to kill someone right after he was seen fighting with them in public. But what I am thinking is that it also makes Theo seem guilty in my mind. He was the last person to see him alive so Theo could've easily poisoned him or something else to continue trying to point everything towards Draco. He also says Dark Lord earlier in the chapter which I believe is usually the term used by Death Eaters where as everyone else either says Voldemort or He Who Should Not Be Named. So does this mean that Theo is actually a Death Eater? Really before the ending I was already wondering if Theo was a Death Eater from that whole slip up.
I am very curious by Draco in this chapter. He finally got to talk to Hermione and while it wasn't what I thought he was going to talk to her about it was still interesting. But I also wonder what exactly he thinks that he really accomplished from that talk? In the long run it will still help him, at least in terms of Hermione believing he didn't do it. She already seemed to be wondering why he would possibly start a fight right after telling her he just wants to get through the school year which would do the exact opposite of what he wants.
This chapter was very heavy towards speach and not as much description as in past chapters which at first felt a little odd to me. The chapter was still wonderful so don't get me wrong there, it was just very jarring to go from chapters with a lot more description to very little. It was a very fast read I felt and was very enjoyable though. I look forward to reading the next chapter!
Thank you for reviewing another chapter! :D The ending of this chapter is very much the crux of this novel. Suddenly, everything is so much more serious. And Hermione definitely has to assess what she knows of Draco and whether she believes anything he's told her.
As for your suspicions of Theo...well, I suppose you'll have to keep reading to find out! He definitely has a background with the Death Eaters through his dad, but his own loyalties seem more fluid, right?
I hadn't noticed that this chapter was so speech-heavy. I'll go through it again to see if I can soften that at all. Thanks for the note!
And thank you again for all of your comments and compliments!
AH my poor heart, Draco's poor heart. How could Hermione do this to him? Well I guess with a handsome and wonderful guy like Theo currently I can see how she would do this especially since Draco is really only just starting to show his good side to her. But be still my heart because it swooped during their polite conversation and then you went and shattered it! I dont know if I can forgive you for this Emily.
Okay my dramatics aside, this chapter was really wonderful. I do adore the interactions between Theo and Hermione and he definitely seems protective of her but I wonder if there was a bit of foreshadowing and maybe he will somehow end up hurting her in the end? It's too soon to be sure but it could definitely go that way. But for the time being their friendship and now blooming relationship is really cute and I do enjoy seeing it. He is a very thoughtful guy so far but of course my vote is for Draco and the two just need to get together.
I enjoyed all of the description in this chapter but I think the thing that really stole the spotlight for me in this chapter other than Draco was actually Ron, which I feel like is really wierd saying since this is a Dramione and a lot of people tend to make him out to be some awful guy. But this chapter really played to his strengths. His childlike energy and excitement over all that he accomplished was really fun to read and brought a smile to my face. I also felt like all of the other characters in this chapter were really well portrayed even if they only had small lines.
It was fun to see Hermione transition during this chapter as well. We watched her go from freaking out over every detail, making sure that everything was perfect, to a slightly more calm version as she realized all the pieces were actually coming together and maybe they were really pulling this all off. And then to the final version of excitement and feeling proud over actually knowing that they really did pull it off and that everyone was actually enjoying themselves and taking their minds off of the war and the strange events going on at Hogwarts that year.
I'm curious to see how Hermione and Theo's relationship will end up playing out. Will they quickly realize that maybe they are best meant to be friends or will one of them mess up and harm their relationship and friendship? And we already know that Draco is clearly not excited about this new development and I feel like maybe he was the real writer of the note for Hermione and maybe he hoped to talk to her a little more than what was shown. Maybe he had intended to come in and swoop her off of her feet? But I'm curious about what he might do next. Will he try to create his own friendship of sorts with Hermione or act like a scorned lover who was never a lover in the first place?
Each chapter you write has me begging to continue reading so I can find out more about your characters and all of this mysteriousness that is happening at Hogwarts. Who is really behind eveyrthing? Are things getting better, or is this just the calm before the bigger storm? All I can say is that I'm glad there are more chapters posted so that I can continue reading and don't have to wait for the next installment. Really great chapter!
Thank you so much for coming by to read and review! I'm so glad that you liked the chapter! I know it's hard to watch the slow burn play out, but I promise it will be worth it. Draco's frustration right now is understandable though. He's done a pretty bad job of explaining himself to Hermione, and now there are even more obstacles in his way.
Your compliments on my characterization of Ron mean the world to me! He's so difficult for me to write, and I'm so happy to hear that you liked him in this chapter!
Finally, I'm really glad that the relationship between Theo and Hermione is interesting to you! I know it doesn't quite fit with a traditional Dramione story, but I hope it starts to make sense and you see where I'm going with it.
Thank you again for all of your comments and compliments! You're the best!
Hello for one final time tonight!
This is the final posted chapter, so this will be my final review for the magical menagerie and gryffindor red vs gold review battle january 2019. That said, can you please post some more soon? Pretty please? I need to know what happens next.
I'm sad to see that Theo is cutting Hermione out to deal with his grief. I mean I know that some people just need to be alone and to think, but hse just wants to help him. I guess technically they don't really have a realtionship yet, but I still think she could offer him some comfort.
ooh. I like how you incorporated the RAB locket bit into this story. That definitely keeps the story progressing along.
I'm glad that Hermione finally spoke to Theo. I know he won't get better right away, but maybe the gentle nudge will help him to open up to her a bit. I know Hermione is a bit concerned about not having been asked to be his girlfrend, but I imagine that's the farthest thing from his mind right now. Besides, usually you don't just go on a single date with someon and end up boyfriend and girlfriend. It's normal to date more casually for a bit first.
Draco sure is a sad, mopey guy in this. I suppose I should feel sorry for him, but ultimately I don't. I kind of feel like he made his bed, now he should lie in it. Trying to kill Dumbledore is something I just feel like you can't immediately return from. With all the weird things happening, no one has any reason to believe it isn't him.
I'll be looking forward to reading the next chapter when it's posted. Good work!
I'm so happy to finally be finishing responding to your amazing reviews! And you'll be happy to know that I have another chapter that I'll be posting in the next 24 hours! And it somehow grew by 1400 words during my editing process—oops!
I'm so sorry for pulling the rug out from under you with Theo! They were just getting close when all of this with Hart happened, and it's definitely changed how they relate to each other, which is really hard. And Hermione does hold some preconceived notions of what it means to date someone. But you're absolutely right that there's just so much more going on now.
As for Draco...ahh. He is tough to like in the beginning of this story. He really is self-pitying. You're totally right that he made a lot of bad choices...but then you also have to look at it from his point of view. He was 16 when he became a Death Eater. How many of us were fully logical then? But he is going to start thinking more maturely and evaluating how he wants to be seen and what he wants his future to look like. I hope you'll stick around to see how that changes your opinions of him!
Finally, thank you so much for mentioning that you like the Horcrux hunt in this! I'm always worried that it's kind of an after-thought to all of the drama going on in Hogwarts in this story, but it is a big part of Deathly Hallows, and I didn't want to completely throw it out. I think I've incorporated it in kind of awkward ways, but I'm glad you like that it is there.
Thank you again for all of your reviews so far! You're the best!
I think you know why I'm here by now. Magical Menagerie x Gryffindor Red vs Gold review battle january 2019. Now that that's out of the way, on to the review!
OH man, that's rough for Hermione and Theo to find Hart's dead body. I mean I know Hermione wasn't super close with him, but Theo was and either way it's still so hard to see someone die, especially someone so young. They both stayed remarkably calm and rational for such a horrific turn of events.
I'm glad that Hermione took Theo to the other Slytherins. He really needs to be among his friends to grieve. It's interesting that they all jumped to the same conclusion...that it was Draco who murdered him.
I'm glad Hermione stopped by Gryffindor too. I think she needed the support from Ron, Harry, and Ginny. I love how you've written the dynamic between them here.
Oh. THe bit with Draco at the end is very interesting. He seems really desperate to make Hermione understand. I wonder why he focused in on her so intensely. I also wonder why he suddenly cares what anyone thinks of him. I mean he's always courted that scary image of himself in the past.
On to the last posted chapter for now! I hope there will be more soon.
Hello again, dear!
Thank you so much for reviewing again! Your comments, as always, are spot on! I think the shock of seeing Hart really stopped them from reacting in any dramatic way—though in the original version of this chapter, before I edited it to post to HPFT, Hermione cried and Theo almost raged; but those reactions just didn't feel right when I looked at it again.
I do love that you noticed the immediate judgement that the Slytherins jump to. They absolutely don't trust or like Draco, so I think their reaction was logical to them, but of course seeing it from the outside, it feels like they're being quite hasty.
As for Draco, you're absolutely right. I think he's got an idea of how he wants to be seen. He liked that Tough Guy persona. But I think he recognizes that it's one thing to be known as a Death Eater—or even as someone who attempted to kill Dumbledore—and completely another to be seen as someone who kills other Slytherins after minor spats. And I think despite his desire to be seen as tough and strong, he's starting to panic that his reputation is getting out of his hands. If that makes sense?
On to your last review! Thank you again!
I'm sure by now you already know that I'm back for magical menagerie and gryffindor red vs gold review battle january 2019 review shenanigans. I'm determined to read all of the posted chapters of this story tonight apparently.
Yes. Ginny, you give Hermione a hard time about Nott. Make her blush and giggle. It's nice to see them participate in some girl talk together!
Draco is such a creep. I mean I get that he wants to talk to Hermione, but why does he have to be such a wierdo about it. Why can't he just walk up to her and ask to speak to her for a moment like a normal person? This skulking around really makes him look more suspicious in the long run.
Aww. I love Hermione and Theo together. He's such a sweet guy and I love that everyone is so happy for them (well with the exception of that cow Pansy). He does and says all of the right things I swear. Where can I find a Theo in real life?
Yikes! This scuffle between Hart and Draco is rough. Sounds like things escalated rather quickly. So much for Draco keeping a low profile. Seems crazy that he was just telling Hermione that he wanted to keep a low profile and then he goes and gets into a scuffle.
And that ending! What a cliff hanger!
I'll be back for more ASAP!
Ahh, I'm honestly just so happy that you've reviewed every chapter that's up so far. You're so sweet. I'm honored! :)
I'm so glad that you like Ginny here! Just like I struggle to write Ron and Harry, I do struggle with Ginny also. So hearing compliments is great!
I love your comments on Draco! Hahaha. He is a creep, isn't he!? I completely agree that he's acting like a total weirdo and should just be direct. Because jeez, dude. You aren't helping your case in the slightest.
The fact that you like Theo brings me endless joy! He's so fun to write for and I really do think he's a good person. But things will, of course, be getting very difficult for him after this chapter. (As you know from the cliff hanger!)
I can't wait to see what you think about the next chapter!
Thank you again!
Here for some more magical menagerie and gyrffindor red vs gold review battle january 2019 review action! Are you sick of these reviews yet?
YES! I AM SO HAPPY THAT THEO AND HERMIONE FINALLY ADMITTED THAT THEY HAVE FEELINGS FOR EACH OTHER! OK. Now that that's out of the way, let me try to write something coherent.
Poor Hermione. She is such a mess when she's stressed out and approaching a deadline. I suppose in this case she has a right to be though. Hosting a big event like this is a lot of responsibility. I feel like it's a lot to ask of her and Theo to manage this whole thing.
Aww. Ron. Bless him. He is the sweetest. I love that you show the good qualities of him (like he is in canon) instead of making him some horrific, obnoxious, super angry prat all of the time. I love that he gets competitive and boastful. I love that he's proud of how he helped put this event together. It's just all very cute.
Uh oh. Is it Draco that hit Hermione with a confundus charm? Was he trying to prevent her from having this exact conversation with Theo? If it wasn't him, who would've confunded her? For what reason? That is very concerning.
I like that Theo sat her down and had a mature conversation with her about their feelings. They didn't beat around the bush and they weighed the pros versus the cons. Very mature on their parts. I hope things work out. Maybe Hermione can be that last push he needs towards the good.
Whoa. Malfoy's reaction was pretty terrifying. What was up with that?
I suppose I'll have to keep reading on to find out. Good work!
Ahahah, I'm so happy that you're happy!!!
Your comments on this chapter are wonderful—thank you so much! I absolutely agree that it's a lot of pressure for Hermione and Theo to organize the whole carnival. I do now realize that some staff assistance may have made more sense... *shrug* Oops.
Anyhow! I'm glad that you like Ron! He's tough for me to capture, so compliments on how I handle his characterization are always appreciated!
It wasn't a real Confundus Charm, don't worry! Hermione was just feeling impulsive! But I do love that you're looking suspiciously at everything and everyone! xD You should! The mystery continues!
And finally, I'm so glad you like the conversation between Hermione and Theo! They are very mature for their ages (hence being Head Girl and Boy), and I think it's a great moment to show that. But we will have to see how that changes when things...hit the fan soon. (Ooooooh! Spooky! ;) )
Thank you; thank you; thank you!
I am back for yet another review for the magical menagerie and for the Gryffindor Red vs. Gold Review battle for January 2019. I just can't seem to put this story down so far. I have to know what's going on at Hogwarts and if Theo and Hermione finally get together.
Well, here is another one of those well used tropes that you've managed to twist a bit. I see a lot of stories where the administration decides that a ball is a good idea to liven the mood of the school, but you went a step in a different direction and created a carnival. Interesting.
Ah. Hermione is so cute when she flirts. She's so obviously into him. I have to assume that Theo must be aware of it at this point. He even seems to be flirting back. I mean he's given her a cute nickname and spends a lot of time with her. He confides in her. Those are all signs in my mind that he's interested.
Yes! I knew it. I'm so excited that he asked her to spend some time with her at the event. I want them to get to know each other a bit better and be the cutest Slytherdor couple ever.
Oh no. I just had a horrible thought. What if Theo is really a shady guy and he's trying to lure Hermione into his trap by acting this way towards her? What if Draco knows the truth and has been trying to figure out a way to clue Hermione in on it? What if he's a mole into the death eaters for the order and he found out that Theo has a super secret plan to charm Hermione? PLease, tell me that's not the case. I don't think I can handle it.
Not gonna lie: I'm casually obsessed with your reviews on this story.
I loved adding this element of social gatherings into Hogwarts in the trio's seventh year. I do think it's a fun trope even when it's done in a predictable way, but I also just think it's an interesting idea. I remember after 9-11, my elementary school had a pizza day or something to take our minds off of it. So I don't think it's totally farfetched to think that McGonagall might be interested in trying to lift the students' spirits.
I love your speculation for the future! I won't spoil anything, sorry! ;) But read on and see if your thoughts change at all or seem to be accurate! :D
Thank you again!
I'm back with some more review shenanigans for the magical menagerie and the gryffindor red vs gold review battle. I'm halfway through the posted chapters, so I feel like at this point I just have to finish this story tonight.
Wow. How scary for them to find smears of blood in the hallway. I could see why everyone was all freaked out, although I did think Theo trying to protect Hermione from seeing it might've been a little bit dramatic. I mean I get that it could've been human blood, but it's not like there was a dead body lying there or like Hermione hasn't already seen people die. (Cedric, Sirius)
I'm glad that the blood turned out to just be dragon's blood. That would've been horrifying if it had belonged to one of the students. That said, it's scary enough that someone would steal vials of blood from Slughorn and then create a fake crime scene, particularly with the current climate. Tis very concerning indeed!
Well, this could complicate matters. So Hermione is no longer interested in Crush? Now, she might be interested in Theo? What is going on here? And did Ron pick up on her potential crush? It seemed like he did.
That interaction with Malfoy at the end was very strange. He's definitely up to something. I hope Hermione doesn't get hurt trying to figure out whatever it is.
Hi again, dear!
Thank you so much for reviewing again! I definitely think the theme in this story of young men trying to "protect" Hermione comes up a lot. And I totally agree—guys, chill. She's more than capable. She'll be fine.
And yes! What a dark "prank" to pull! What could be the motive? *X-Files theme plays in the background.*
I definitely think Hermione's "crush" on Garrett was more a passing fancy, noticing that he was attractive more than really having feelings for him. But we'll see how things change in the coming chapters!
Thank you again! On to respond to your other reviews!
Yes! It's me again! Back for another review for the magical menagerie and the gryffindor red vs gold review battle january 2019. You getting tired of hearing that yet?
Aww. Yay! I'm happy to see the Slytherins and Gryffindors getting along so well. A lot of the times people write Ron as this crazy, irrational person that hates all Slytherins because they wear the color green no matter how nice they are. I like that you didn't do that here. I like that you made him reasonable and funny. I especially like that he and Harry agreed to meet them because of Hermione because that's the sort of friendship they all have in the books.
If Malfoy isn't doing anything shady, he certainly is doing a good job of convincing everyone that he is. The way he keeps behaving towards Hermione is very strange. It's like he's trying to provoke some sort of response from her.
Uh oh. You left this on a cliffhanger. Now, I'm definitely going to have to go read the next chapter. I have to know what Sam found when she walked in the front door.
I'm so happy that you liked this scene with the Slytherins! I really struggle with OCs and with Harry and Ron, so it's always good to hear when they don't come off as completely terribly written! ;)
Draco is such a creep, haha. He really is trying to act all Tough Guy right now, but it's not exactly having the effect he wants, y'know?
Thank you again for this review! I can't wait to see what you think of what Sam saw!
I'm back with another magical menagerie and Gryffindor red vs gold January 2019 review! I'm pretty sure I'm going to sit here and read this entire story tonight.
I'm glad that Hermione told Theo about finding Draco. It makes me feel better that someone else knows whats up. I also appreciate that Theo is trying to protect Hermione in his own way. (even though I don't really think she needs protecting.)
Theo's revelation about becoming a death eater after school was so casual. Like he just slipped it into conversation like it was no big deal. It's frustrating because he definitely doesn't seem to be the type to become a death eater. I hope that Hermione can convince him otherwise. I'm sure she will.
Ooh. Looks like Hermione has a crush on Garrett Crush. Ha. He sounds positively dreamy. He also sounds like he's into Hermione as well. I don't think he'd have asked Theo to introduce him to her otherwise and he seems to be subtly flirting with her.
I like that Hermione is taking her role of Head Girl seriously and actively trying to get along with the different Slytherins. I think it sets a really good example for the rest of the school. Now if only she can convince Ron and Harry that they're cool.
I do have a hard time imagining Hermione being scared of Draco though. I get that the year prior he definitely proved that he's a dangerous, clever wizard, but Hermione has squared up against Bellatrix, the Death Eaters, and Voldemort. Draco is child's play in comparison.
Hi again, Kaitlin!
Things got busy during the Menagerie (as I'm sure you understand!), but I'm here to reply now and I'm so thrilled to being reading such positive reviews from you!
I definitely think Theo is a fascinating character in this story (even being the one who wrote him, haha). He really has been so entrenched in the Death Eater world for his whole life, so it doesn't even seem like a big deal to him, which is so baffling to us and to Hermione. But you're right that she's going to try to change his mind!
I love writing for the Slytherins, so I'm glad you enjoy Garrett in this chapter! :D Hermione really is trying to get along with him and the others, and I hope you'll enjoy them in future chapters.
Your point about her being afraid of Draco is really good! Technically, Hermione hasn't ever faced up against Voldemort in canon, but she did see the Death Eaters in the Ministry at the end of Order. I think she's probably more nervous around him than scared. He's creeping her out and she doesn't like not knowing what he's up to. I probably should recharacterize that. Thank you for pointing it out!
On to replying to your next review! :) Thanks again!
I feel like a broken record because I'm back for another Magical Menagerie and Gryffindor Red vs. Gold January 2019 review! I have a feeling you're going to be reading that a lot.
Wow. I'm super intrigued by what happened in this chapter. Who knocked over the vase? It had to be Malfoy, right? Why was he taunting Hermione so openly? Why isn't he being all secretive like he has been in the past? Very curious. Very curious indeed.
I'm glad to see Hermione and Theo getting along a bit better. I mean it's still a bit frigid between the two of them, but at least they're being polite. I can see why he was a bit offended about being grouped in with Malfoy though. I mean she might as well have asked him if he was a death eater.
Why do people always split up in big, old, dark buildings? Like Hermione, no. You are a muggle. I know you've seen horror movies. This is how the girl always dies in the horror movies. Stumbling through the dark by herself.
Anyway, you've definitely got my curiosity peaked. Now I have to know what that shady Malfoy is up to. His wand twirling is making me feel very defensive of my girl, Hermione.
I laughed out loud at this review, Kaitlin! :D Completely true about splitting up in old, dark buildings, haha!
But I'm glad that Theo is starting to thaw a bit. I'd have been offended to be lumped in with Malfoy too, to be honest. And he is so shady, isn't he?? I can't wait to read what you think of him as more strange things begin to happen in the castle.
Thank you again!
I'm back for another Magical Menagerie and Gryffindor Red vs Gold January 2019 Review. I really enjoyed what you started in chapter one and am really curious to see how it develops, so I had to come back for another chapter.
Huh. I wonder why Hagrid was running late? I wouldn't think anything of it, except you mentioned it several times, so it makes me think it's important.
I love that you wrote your own sorting song. So often in fic, people tend to just write a verse or two, but you went the whole way and did the entire song. Kudos to you for that!
I am a bit curious about McGonagall taking over. So Dumbledore has still died at Snape's hand like in canon, so what has changed that stopped the Dark Lord from taking over the ministry and Hogwarts? How did McGonagall maintain control of the school?
The sorting hat's warning is pretty dire. I wonder if anyone ever actually pays attention to what it says though. I mean I know they hear it, but will they really try to stick together and put down house prejudices. Somehow, I doubt it.
I hope McGonagall puts Nott's attitude in check. I can't imagine Hermione having to live with someone so rude all year long.
Oh and the interaction with Draco in the carriage was very intriguing. Hermione is right. It lacked it's usual edge. I wonder what is going on with him.
Good work! I'm off to the next chapter now.
Oh, the Hagrid thing is actually totally unimportant, haha. I wish I'd have thought of making it significant! I didn't realize I'd made it look like something was going on there. XD
As for McGonagall, I think in this story it's more the idea of: Voldemort's had Dumbledore killed; Snape has escaped to the Death Eaters; but now...what next? I think I left things as they were at the end of HBP and took it immediately from there instead of us getting any of the takeover news like at the beginning of DH. But Voldemort's rise does come into play in this novel!
I loved writing this Sorting Hat song. I'll agree with you that I bet a lot of the students didn't really "hear" it when they listened.
And the drama with Theo and Draco continues!
Thank you again!
I'm dropping by for the Magical Menagerie review event as well as for Gryffindor's Red vs. Gold review battle for January 2019. I love a good Draco and Hermione AU, so I thought I'd stop by and give this a read.
Ooh. So instead of leaving on the Horcrux hunt, Harry, Ron, and Hermione have decided to go back to school. I don't honestly know if I've ever read that concept before. I like it though. I wonder how it will change things.
Uh oh. Shared dormitories. Do I sense a forbidden Slytherin/Gryffindor romance about to happen? I feel that's usually how it goes with that particular trope.
I really like that you have Theodore Nott as her head boy instead of Draco. I feel like having it be Draco is far too common, plus in your scenario, I feel like it would be unlikely since he literally just almost killed Dumbledore. Just a bit too soon.
Nott was pretty icy towards Hermione. I wonder what his deal is. I mean I know she can be a little intense and sort of a know-it-all, but that doesn't mean he needed to be so rude to her.
Uh oh. Malfoy's line at the end spells trouble. I wonder what he's going to get up to this year.
Good job! I'm off to the next chapter now.
Thank you so much for coming to read and review all of the chapters I currently have up of Collateral! That's so sweet and I appreciate it so much!
For sure this took advantage of the Head Boy/Girl dorm trope that was really popular when it was first written in 2009, haha. I actually don't mind that one too much, but it is such a cliche! I hope you'll like how this story utilizes it though and how I've changed some things from canon to fit the trio being at school rather than on the road hunting Horcruxes.
Theo definitely has a chip on his shoulder off the bat. I can't wait to read your other reviews and see what you think of him later on! And Draco too! He's such a trouble maker, haha.
Thank you again!
Hi, Emily! Happy holidays!
I had read most of this already when it won Hufflepuff SotM, but I didn't review back then, so I decided to catch up with you and leave you a review for the whole story. :P
This got much darker than I was expecting... I totally didn't expect Hart's murder... I wonder who did it and why... he's not the kind of person you would expect Death Eaters to go after? Or maybe, like Hermione said, this murder has nothing to do with Voldemort? Either way, it's strange and I really wonder what's going on.
I'm feeling bad for Draco. I don't really like him as a character (I mean in general, not in this story... also, I'm sorry...) but I do feel for him, having everyone disliking him and being suspicious of him. I mean, I understand where they are coming from, but it's so unfair. I'm glad at least Hermione believes in his innocence. She's right, he's shown that he isn't a murderer, and he would have no reason to kill Terrance anyway, not because of a silly argument, not if all he wants is being left alone (which I totally believe to be true). I wonder what's truly going on...
This is a great story, Emily! You have a lovely writing style (I'm sure I told you this already) and I love mysterious, intriguing plots, which you definitely have here! I love your characters and the relationships you are building among them; I love what you are doing with Hermione, Theo, Draco and everyone else and I'm just so curious to know what's going to happen.
I probably should say more, but I suppose I'll leave you for now. Hope your editing adventure is proceeding well. ;)
Lots of love and happy holidays again, my dear!
Aw, Chiara! Hi dear!
Thank you so, so much for reading and reviewing for me! I'm so happy that you've read this far already!
This chapter is really where the story takes its turn. So far, the pranks and things have seemed harmless, but now...murder. So here's where the "mystery" genre really comes into play!
It's completely fine that you don't like Draco as a character, haha. I'm glad I'm making you feel bad for him at least! But I definitely agree that Canon Draco can be really, really unlikeable. I try to turn that around in this novel. We'll see if I change your mind. ;)
Thank you again for all of your comments and compliments! I'll try to speed up the editing adventure in the new year! :D
Oh man this chapter was so good! I very much look forward to the next chapter because I can only imagine something is going to happen during the events of the carnival. Hopefully all good of course but with those sorts of events you never can be sure really.
I was sad that the appearance of Draco was so short but yet it did still pack a punch. The small bit with him left me very curious about what he had possibly tried to mutter to Hermione as he bumped into her and I just need to know. I was really hoping I would find out during this chapter and that he would just be waiting around for her to talk or something but alas you left me with a slight cliffhanger in that aspect and I still do not know what was being said.
I do enjoy the elements of Theo and Hermione though of course my heart is really only in it for Draco and Hermione but you've done a great job of setting up this small romance and I do look forward to seeing how it will play out. Will things ever actually get off the ground for this couple or will they continue to be to shy to actually make it to an offical relationship? Only time will really tell. But I do think that the two make a really good team they seem to get things done and have a pretty good understanding of each other. It really is such a cute relationship/friendship blooming between them.
Anyways, this was another really great chapter and I can't wait until the next chapter is posted.
Yay!! I'm finally caught up on my replies to you! :D
Thank you so much for your comments and compliments! Honestly, they mean so much to me! I'm so glad that you're interested in the plot! I'm sorry for how long it's drawn out! But I promise: all will be answered! Eventually! ;) I'm also sorry for throwing the added curveball of Hermione and Theo into this novel! I know it's supposed to be a Dramione, but it's definitely a slow burn for sure.
Thank you again, Erica! You're the best!