Hi Branwen! I’m here from your forum request :D
I loved how this one shot went back and forth moodwise. At first things were hot and flirty and full of making out and groping—and then they wound up teetering into serious topics of conversation that neither Draco nor Astoria are prepared to deal with. Draco’s willing to take Astoria as she is—but he’s uncomfortable that he can’t just solve her problems and make them go away (such a male response!) and so he doesn’t really want to talk about said problem because he can’t just make it go away. To be fair, I don’t think that Astoria really wants to talk about her trauma either—at least not with him. Maybe he hasn’t earned that level of safety yet.
The fumbling about the sheets and the clothing made me giggle—right up to the point when things suddenly got very serious. Their sleeping together was really sweet too. Like they both accept each other, even though they aren’t able to talk about their issues so much yet.
Astoria’s parting shot right before she headed out to see her brother was pretty hilarious.
Hi Branwen! I’m here from your forum request :D
I decided to start with (i feel you like) a spark and I was able to follow the story fine, even not having read any of the earlier ones. Astoria’s family is cute, and I really enjoyed her interaction with her niece and nephew as they prepared for her birthday. I also loved that Astoria’s brother is the type of dad who will get messy baking with his kids.
The dynamic between Astoria and Brendon was fun too—I enjoyed his giving her a hard time about Draco—especially the bit that Draco had begged off sick in order to be able to fully celebrate Astoria’s birthday with her.
I’d say she’s quite right that Draco wants to kiss her. Dudes don’t just buy multiple birthday presents for a lady (at least in my experience). But Astoria seems to be pretty well in control of the situation between them. Draco might suggest, but Astoria makes the final decision. I am worried about her though—her concern that Draco would see fresh cuts on her arms :(
So she’s come to the point that she is toying with this relationship—or toying with the idea of seeing what comes of it. Like, she seems to like Draco now, and she’s attracted to him, and she’s sort of riding the wave of it. The way that she decides to put the griffin earrings on in the end (awesome earrings, by the way—I loved that they moved and that Draco had obviously gone to some trouble to procure them) it’s like she’s accepting his present and the direction that the relationship seems to be headed.
I really liked how you wrote Draco—especially the way he’s embarrassed whenever he does something nice or vulnerable. He seems to be putting himself out a lot here in getting to know Astoria and getting her presents and doing this sort of courtship dance all the while trying to look like he’s not actually doing any of those things—and then blushing when he gets caught doing them. I really like this take on him.
This is a lovely one shot!
Branwen! What do you mean, you weren't thrilled with this ending?! I sure was *looks coily*
I love the way you write their dynamics so much, and I know I've said it before but it's so unique to me! In a way it's close to how I write them, but your Astoria is more outspoken and has more of this fighter spirit in her about some things than I ususally imagine her having, and I rather like reading this version of her too. One thing I do think our writing has in common is how Draco will feel, likely for a rather long time, undeserving of her attention and care and love, which I hope he'll overcome in your Drastoria universe at some point.
Please do continue writing for them, I absolutely love your writing. And don't be shy with the kink either. Balance in all things and all that ;P
thank youuu <3 it'll definitely be a work in progress for him to start to feel deserving, but... he'll get there, eventually.
Hi there! I'm stopping by for BvB! :)
Branwen, the one thing I can always rely on when I visit your AP is that whatever story I decide to read, I know the writing will be thoroughly engaging. You always strike the perfect balance between narrative and dialogue, you never spend an excessive amount of time with exposition, and you always leave just enough up to the reader's imagination. Your stories are just so easy to read; even though this fic in particular is on the lengthier side, I never once noticed my mind drifting. I was so enamored with every word, and as always, I was hoping for more. Thankfully, your AP is a treasure trove of Drastoria, and you know perfectly well I'll be back!
As always, your characterzation was on-point. As brief as it was, I particularly enjoyed the interaction between Draco and Harry. Even though we know they're on the same side now, there's still clearly tension/unresolved quarrels between them, and I honestly wouldn't expect any less from them. I've always envisioned them as having an udnerstanding of one another but never truly becoming friends, so I liked the reflection of that here.
I loved Astoria's thoughts on how Draco could never make the "bad thoughts" go away, because that's such a true sentiment that people are hesitant to admit. For whatever reason, society has this false expectation that true love can fix everything, but it can't. It can help us cope with our demons and make them more bearable, but it isn't a cure. I love that she recognizes this; it makes her relationship with Draco all the more healthy.
This was yet another stunning piece from you and I enjoyed it immensely!
For whatever reason, society has this false expectation that true love can fix everything, but it can't. It can help us cope with our demons and make them more bearable, but it isn't a cure.
+1000. this is so, so, so true, and i'm glad it came across.
thank you so so much!
Hello dear! I'm here for the Menagerie and BvY.
This fic is interesting because on the one hand there's all this tension revolving around Draco's history and the werewolves in a really serious way, and on the other hand, there's the smouldering attraction between Draco and Astoria. And they're just? Really different vibes?
But it totally works!
I think the connecting them is control. When they want it, when they don't. The tenuous dynamic between control and safety. I guess Draco is trying to maintain control when his and Astoria's safety is threatened, but Astoria kind of gets swept up in that control in a disagreeable way. And there's nothing that feels in control or freeing or thrilling about having to lock yourself away from enemies at the drop of a hat.
But then in the bedroom she has a totally different response to control, to say the least. And I guess in trying to understand that, I think that is also about safety. It's like, it feels really intimate to be able to trust someone with control that way?
I always love your Draco and Astoria - I was honestly thrilled when I say this story at the top of you AP. They have true chemistry the way you write them, both in dialogue and in their, ahem, other interactions. It's striking in this story though, because in the moment when Draco adopts his other persona, that connection COMPLETELY vanished for me for a moment. I thought that was so well done, because I can see now how she would have hated him at school, how totally disinterested she would have been. And then they melt back together when they escape to the forest, even if she's miffed with him. And I can then see more clearly exactly the ways in wcih Draco has changed to become a person that Astoria wants to share her life with.
The discussion about Harry's escapades that featured Draco was a fun aside.
Okay, and I have to say it. You are brilliant at writing the M-rated parts. I'm envious. =P
You are a glorious and brilliant human and I adore you.
Woman, I am trying to live a semi-calm life here, and you're killing me.
Another fantastic story. How do you do it??? Honestly, I'm just so impressed with you and so in awe of your talents. Can I be you when I grow up?
Okay, so, first of all, damn that scene with the werewolves!!! Ahhh! I was both freaking out because I wanted everything to turn out okay and freaking out because I knew that Draco was going to feel bad for what he was saying to put on the charade with Voldemort sympathizers. And then he did feel bad! :( Nooo, my baby. I just want him to be happy.
But then, somehow, in the midst of all the drama, you worked in moments of actual hilarity! Because, lezbehonest, I laughed out loud at "Whose wand was I using at the Battle of Hogwarts?" and "When our old house elf broke them out." / "That... that really doesn't clear anything up, you know."
And then we move on to your perfect Draco and Astoria conversations. I love seeing them get to know each other better and grow as individuals and a couple. I hate you for making me ship Draco with anyone but Hermione. But...Astoria is just so perfect. And I just desperately want her to come through all of this okay. She's been through so much and I just...ugh. I just want to see my badass bi/pan queen happy.
Then...welp...you know. The last scene in this is just...lakhglagjhs. Thank God I'm unemployed and didn't think to read this in public somewhere. Because you're just too good at these sex scenes. I will never even come close to your skill (if I ever even try).
Your writing is flawless. Your plots are perfect. Your characters are everything writers should aspire to create.
Why do you do this to me?
I know I'm late to the game here, but I'm finally catching up on my Drastoria love, and this story is just another incredible addition to their phenomenal world. You're one of the best authors I've read on HPFT (maybe...maybe THE best???) and I'm so honored to know you as a friend.
The characterization of Draco and Astoria in this was, as always, perfect. I love the dynamic you've created between them (as I've said before) and how consistent it is across the series. Each new story just deepens my understanding of them as characters and the things that have shaped them and thus influence their relationship with each other.
I love that Astoria agrees to help Draco with his tree, and I love even more that he's all anally retentive about it.
I love all the descriptions in this: from the winter market to the bedroom—wink, wink—and everything in between.
You tore my heart out with Draco's, "Do you even like me?" Absolutely tore my heart out. His vulnerability with Astoria is so indicative of the character you've built and the hopes he has for their relationship and for his future in general. And I just want him to be happy!
In sum, this was amazing. Wonderful. Fantastic. I loved it.
You're the best.
I just realized that I haven't been reading your Drastoria one-shots in any particular order, but I just can't help myself. I scroll through your AP, find a fic with a premise that intrigues me and I'm gone.
Have I mentioned before that I love your writing and the way you portray both Draco and Astoria? Because I really do â¤
I particularly liked the way that they came to become first acquaintances and then friends, slowly over time. I can't well say I like that they've been through the horrors of the war, but the way you write them both dealing with the aftermath in their own ways, and coming together with... With a grain of salt, with a little suspicion but witnessing it evolve into something else... I think you write them and their dynamic beautifully.
I definitely love that Astoria is so outspoken and has no problems giving Draco shit. Calling him out at first feels like a bit of a defense mechanism, but I'm sure that at a certain point she just does it because she enjoys teasing him too much.And as for Draco, it's bittersweet that at first he probably accepts her suspicions as a given because he thinks that he deserves it, but then I imagine he likes the way she enjoys herself teasing him as well. So win-win *grins*
And I love all the little things that they get to know about each other just from spending time together. The evolution of their relationship is so natural, it almost seems effortless even if it's far from it. The thing is that no matter the hurt, and obvious resentment over everything that's in the past, they both keep pushing because even if they won't admit it, even to themselves, there's something there, nd it might just be worth pursuing.
Another lovely read :)
From dark atmosphere, you created steamy scene between Draco and Astoria. I was very astounded by the fact, it was the first time I read such a scene from your stories and then I remembered you have been selected as a versatile author. I was struck in awe wondering how many abilities you had been shown off on the archives.
It's sad to know Astoria suffered much during the war. Her best friend seemed to have been on her way recovering at St. Mungo’s.
I am glad to find you created a very ideal relationship between Astoria and Draco. Draco Malfoy made many mistakes and Astoria had gut to point them out. And you set her as Gryffinclaw, I felt like your characteristic was put into her. He was described as a person who held bitter feeling towards his dark and negative past and sometimes he had regretted more than the others imagined. It's plausible that you set each role to Astoria and Draco, a person who tell what is right and the other to blame.
I have one to solve secret J.K.Rowling cast us around Astoria and Nagini. I might get a hint from Astoria you wrote, especially her injury, (a kind of scar from the war?).
Hi Branwen. Here for another of your lovely Drastoria's fics and for BvB's Blue team!
One of the themes I'm loving about the way you write Draco and Astoria is how Astoria liking him is a process that goes through her not letting him get away with some of the things he did in the past, even if for the most part - in the bigger scheme of things - he was also a victim of the circumstances. It's an important part of forming and solidifying their friendship, and I'm all here for it.
Again, I'm very much enjoying their cumplicity. It's seems like a rather easy-going friendship, something that I think both of them really need especially after what they've gone through with the war.
Another motif I'm liking, and that we see both at the bar and then when Draco and Astoria are messaging each other, is how Draco almost seems like he isn't quite sure how to approach his feelings for Astoria. We're used to him mostly being so sure of himself, it's rather funny and engaging exploring this new side of him.
The book is such a thoughtful gift (I know I'd love it), and I like that he got the idea from harry and that it already implies they are making ammends even if it hasn't been so long since Hogwarts. Aaand I need to point out that yes, "kissing him seemed like something that could be interesting to do at some point". I'd personally very much like to kiss Draco Malfoy, yes please!
Again, I loved the way you wrote them, and I'm very much enjoying this universe you've created for them.
Definitely be back soon ;p
I've been looking for some good Drastoria or Scorose fics and some of the HPFT members suggested your fics to me, so here I am. I'll double these reviews with BvB for the Blue team :)
First, let me tell you that I absolutely adored the way you wrote Draco and Astoria as a couple. It's how I see them and how I'm writing them myself. I loved their cumplicity, and their friendship felt really relatable to me.
Their characterization, I felt, was on point. It's easy to forget that after a war like the one they went through things just don't go back to what they were before, and that rebuilding is hard, and takes time, and takes a lot from those who survived it. I really liked how you tackled the more sensitive and darker subjects, and how both reacted to the other's suffering and guilt.
I think you set the tone for the story really well. At first we see that it's a Christmas fic and we think that "hey, who doesn't love a good Christmas fic" and we practically get ready to cozy up with some hot chocolate but then we read the summary, and the advisories, and we know it's going to be a dark Christmas fic. What I'm trying to say is that you went down a different path than most, which is something I also do (and don't see much more people doing tbh), and it was still just as good as I was hoping, and I loved it anyway ^^
On a last note, your description of Diagon Alley during Christmas time sounded so beautiful it made me want to go there!
I look forward to continue reading your Drastoria drabbles, I can already tell you're a great writer :)
Quodpot Match 1 - Friends to Lovers
i love all of your drastoria stories and you should write even more of them!
the way you develop the relationship between astoria and draco is wonderful - it's a slow process, astoria has to get over her inner righteousness and her gryffindor side, has to see draco for who he is trying to be, not the draco from the past. and the way your write them both, with their own set of demons from the war, the problems they possibly don't want to face and how they slowly become friends but still struggle with each other is amazing to read and makes you want to know more about them as you read. at least it's like that for me.
astoria kind of testing him (when she fights him, he says the right things and so on) during the months they've been hanging out always irked me a bit but i can understand her, after everything he's done and the way he's been, you can't fault her for wanting to make sure he's....reformed (?) and obviously, she's not perfect and has flaws and i love that she admits it to herself because it makes her seem like a real person. so something that irks me is at the same time something i admire in the story :P
the gift is cute but the parchment is even better (especially when i remember a really funny exchange they have over it in one of the later stories! *wink wink nudge nudge* )
as i already said - write more of them! tbh i almost feel like the way you write drastoria is canon to me so..... :D
I thought I reviewed this. Apparently I haven't. Here we go, then. :p
I could applaud you for days on your characterizations of Draco and, in particular, Astoria. I love how, in all of your stories, you've shaped her into a well-rounded, relatable, and likeable character, even though all we know about her in canon is... well, nothing lol. (Was she even mentioned by name in the books? I don't think she was.) I know I sound like a broken record as I say this every time I review one of your Drastorias, but I'm going to keep saying it because the praise is so well-deserved.
Your descriptions of Diagon Alley at Christmas were stunning. I felt like I was actually there. I love them shopping for Christmas ornaments together, and I almost died laughing at the "Chosen One" bit. XD
The ending of this was truly beautiful. Our past waits for nothing, even the holidays, and it has a habit of haunting us at the most inopportune of times. It is nice, though, to see Draco continue to chip away at walls Astoria has built around herself, and that shes making very little effort to rebuild them. It's nice to see her willing to trsut again. It's indicative of her strength and that the war didn't break her.
Well done, as always!
Hey Branwen! Here for our review swap! I'm slowly making my way through your Draco/Astoria series so I'm excited to read this one :) Also I love holiday fics (no matter what time of year it is) so this is an extra treat :D
So I love the contrast already - of how holidays fics and Christmas are usually light and fluffy but Astoria's experience is so so dark. I actually love it, especially since I know this series is quite dark anyway, and focuses on healing after the war. I'm interested to see if Draco can start to change Astoria's mind :)
Christmas in Diagon Alley would be amazing, I don't know how it's something I've never thought about before. I love the idea of bewitched snow flurries used to advertise! Poor Draco having to check his cider for poison though :( but putting Harry Potter ornaments on his Christmas Tree... now that would be hilarious!
I just realised... I think I've read this :P I recognise the steamy moment haha (yet it's still making me blush) because you shared it on Twitter or something, maybe? Anyway, I'm still absolutely loving it. I adore how respectful Draco is of Astoria's wishes, and how he knows her self-consciousness and respects that, too. I love how they're comfortable in their relationship to take their time.
- this review was silent for about ten minutes -
Gosh, poor Eliza.
I love Draco and Astoria's relationship. Like, how much healing they both still have to do, and how sometimes I feel like their relationship is on thin ice but ultimately their love for each other is going to win out. It's addicting, and really well done :) x
Hi there! I’m here for our swap finally… sorry for the delay, but my life is all uncertainty and up-in-the-air with the schedules, and I made it! Woot!
So I could just go through this entire story and squee about things, or I could string together some semi-coherent thoughts about the story… let’s pretend that I did about three hundred words of squee-worthy flailing. And now that I’ve collected myself, I shall use words that don’t have as many double ‘ee’s and random punctuation. :P
I love how this story starts with such an understated way of expressing a highly volatile situation, and the juxtaposition of “it’s not everyday” with “world ends” drew me in. You jump right into the crux of Astoria’s issue. She’s fighting something big, and of course I want to know all about it right now.
And then after I found out what it was, I kinda wish I didn’t know. It was so horrible, and such a horrifying thing for someone to go through. Ick! There was something disturbing about the way she was also worried about the stairs. I’d have been worried about that too, so I’m glad she had the mind to do something about it after the immediate trauma was over. As you can see, I’m all caught up in the little details of your story already, and it’s only been… four paragraphs. Wow.
Haha! I love the little jibes Astoria uses when she helps pick out the ornaments. I get the feeling that she’s always this snarky, by the way that Draco puts up with it. Funny too that Astoria was almost a Gryffindor, which probably would have made Draco rethink the whole relationship, I bet. I haven’t read your other Drastoria stuff, so the characters are all fresh, and continuously pop on the page. I love that Draco is particular about the placement of the ornaments… I can totally relate to that. :P Oh, and the formal invitation. It can’t be a Malfoy holiday without one of those. It warms me that he’s not going, and also that he’s betting on people trash talking him at the party… and also that he’s going to find out about it. I don’t know why, but it’s a very Draco thing to keep tabs on all of that stuff.
So basically, I like the way you portray both of your characters, and I love the way that they are sensitive to each other’s issues. Astoria seems to still be working through some things, and Draco is trying to move forward as much as he can, and both of those things are good to see. I think you drew a very realistic picture of how they are attempting to cope with their futures, while not masking the ugly underbelly of what they have to live with in the ‘after’. I appreciate greatly how you’re not painting them as Victims and having them blame the war for who they are, but they’re definitely laying some important groundwork for continuing their relationship.
Speaking of which, I love the way the physical aspects of their relationship are the embodiment of how she’s learning to trust again, not just Draco, (but mainly Draco), and how his friendship and affection are helping her to grow through her issues. I love when the intimate parts of the story are there because they grow the characters, and not just because it was a ‘thing to do’. The meaning behind it resonated strongly with me.. I also like the sensitive way you wrapped up her developments in trying to talk about how she feels, and how having Draco with her helps her to want to work through that. Trauma aside, for people who don’t like talking about how they feel, all of it is hard, and I’m just so happy that there’s someone in her life who makes her want to stop hurting herself. You show the process very well.
I wasn’t expecting to hear about Eliza again, or maybe I was and I just was in denial about it, but anyway when she came up again, you clearly showed that some people aren’t coping as well as these two. This story makes me glad that they have each other, and even though they have their differences, I can see them working through them, and there’s a lot of promise and hope for things to keep getting better.
Great story, and it stood alone just fine!
First, apologies, because I know this was owed MonTHs ago and I'm a terrible person and I'm so so so so sorry. Second, your Drastoria's are pretty exactly canon in my opinion, like, if JK wrote about them any other way I'd be livid. I wasn't on the Drastoria ship (I mean, it was fine, I just wasn't interested really because Draco has never been one of my favorite characters) UNTIL I read your Drastoria and your Draco (which are PERFECTION). Anyhow, onto the review.
Every time you mention the horrors that went down in Hogwarts during the time Snape was Headmaster, I am positively fascinated. There was so much that wasn't covered by canon that I know was horrifying and I love how dark and deprave you show it. The sheer shock of the imagery of Eliza crying out to Astoria while bleeding out is SO much. It has me shook -- and I love the way that it reveals most of Astoria's personality, especially at the time of the war.
Um, yeah, the girl's staircase allowing a guy to go up is a little disconcerting. Like, any guy can just waltz up to the girl's dorms -- while they're asleep -- and especially in such a time where everything is BEYOND chaotic at Hogwarts. I would definitely feel cause for alarm for a number of reasons.
Draco Malfoy loving Christmas is absolutely the best thing I've ever heard in my life -- especially given that Astoria is really against Christmas. It's just another dynamic between the two that makes them OH SO AMAZING. Really, I can't help but positively adore the two of them (the way you write them). I adore that he wants help decorating the tree (sans Death Eater ornaments) and that she agrees simply because it obviously would mean something to Draco and Draco means something to her. Also, Astoria's going to pick out all red Christmas ornaments, isn't she? ;)
(Ahh, all the imagery of Diagon Alley's Christmas Market is so beautiful.)
I'm crying -- I love how Draco takes extra measures (as he does with everything, but who could blame him) to ensure that his hot cider hasn't been poisoned when Astoria doesn't give a shit. It's such a perfect depiction of these two. AND OF COURSE I'M ABSOLUTELY DYING WHEN SHE PICKS UP THE RED POTTER ORNAMENT! POOR DRACO! Bahahaha! I love the way she teases him and how he reacts to it so easily although he knows she's doing it on purpose.
I do feel bad for Draco. He's put in such an awkward situation with his family and their acquaintances at this point in his life. Of course they must despise him and of course he's trying to make amends for what happened and move on with his life but it must be EXTREMELY difficult when he obviously still cares about his parents. And I can totally see Narcissa writing Draco a formal invitation even after he'd already said he wasn't going. Seems like a very Pure-blood mother thing to do.
Aw, heck yeah -- kisses. I really love the way you write the steamier scenes, too. They're not vulgar or pointless, but they're filled with emotion and conversation (like in real life) and I think you do an absolutely phenomenal job in building up anticipation and the sense of longing and need between Draco and Astoria. The two are so wrapped up in each other and it's absolutely fantastic to read. (Also, she asked to sleep in his bed with him?! How freaking cute is that?) And him taking the moment to look at her, waiting for her permission, is absolutely everything. Astoria's uncertainty and mild awkwardness just adds some brilliant depth to this, especially when she's trying to get him to tell her if it was okay afterward, haha!
Plus, Draco's cockiness is too good -- "I can understand that. I'm very attractive". :P
Ahhh, she wants Draco to meet her parents.
Wrapping this back to Eliza and (yet another reason) why Astoria hates Christmas was done extremely well, too. And, of course, Astoria fighting the need to flee instead of opening up to Draco is huge for her. I know she has a LOT of things at this point that she's holding back and it's really important that she's able to open up to him because she does trust him. And I love that he's absolutely understanding of it and that he even agrees to go to see Eliza at St. Mungo's on Christmas with her. These two are just so perfect together; I always love reading the way you depict them EVERY SINGLE TIME I hop onto one of your stories. It's just aldkjfalsdkjflsajdflaskdjf (if you know what I mean).
I loved it!
ayy, branwen, i just couldn't not leave a review on this. i've read the three stories that come before this one and they were a great intro into their relationship. i love how damaged they both are but you don't make the story totally about that and totally angsty, it's refreshing to see someone tackle what happens after the war in a realistic way - things are pretty bleak but also slowly getting better.
i'm also amazed at how you manage to achieve the tension and general atmosphere between them just by having one of them say a word or two.
anyway, i just wanted to let you know i'm loving these drastoria stories so far (i expect i'll love the ones that i'm yet to read, too)
Branwennn~ I'm here with the review I promised you for this story <3
even though you didn't manage to get this in for the challenge, I must say that I'm rather happy with this fic going from 2k to 6.5k, because I mean, this is just wonderful. it brought me through a whole range of emotions, and I'm so glad that you explored such new facets of their relationship! like I went from melting into a puddle of happiness, to blushing at the ~steamier~ parts of their relationship (I am so awkward about these things omg I apologize), to feeling just plain saddened for Draco and Astoria.
so let's get into it! :D
the horrors that Astoria experienced at Hogwarts are just absolutely awful. your choice of curse, Sectumsempra, is super interesting. we've seen first hand in the sixth book of HP the damage that this curse does, and I can't even begin to imagine the scarring that it must've given Astoria. no wonder Christmas is an unhappy time of year for her. I think it's a true testament to her character that she's willing to spend time with her boyfriend celebrating it, even with the memories that come with Christmas for her. like, how brave is Astoria? (no wonder she was almost a Gryffindor)
that scene at the bartenders, though it was short, just made me smile so widely. they're so familiar with each other now! they're doing such couply things!! he kissed her on the forehead and ran his fingers through her hair!!! she leaned into him!!!! (my excitement is probably excessive, but I am far too invested in this ship to back down now, so) THEY ARE SO CUTE TOGETHER LIKE HOW CAN THEY GET ANY CUTER. gosh I love them so much, you've made me love them so much <3
while they were looking for ornaments, I just about died from the cuteness. when she pointed to the 'Chosen One' ornament, I was already grinning so hard, but then Draco's response to it was even better. and then this line is literally the funniest thing I've read in ages -- “You do know that you’re not actually a Gryffindor, right?” he asked as we climbed up the stairs to his flat. “Like, you were sorted into Ravenclaw.”
gosh, I love their dynamic. you write them so wonderfully, I'm never going to stop telling you that.
and I just love that Draco's actually soft-hearted and romantic, and that he just wanted to spend Christmas with her (what with his rather specific ornament decorating ideas and whatnot haha), and it's just so adorable. also, haha, I love how Astoria wants to go make out in the bed (while specifying that it's not in a sex way), and then they end up pretty much having sex. not in the formal definition of the word, but the line definitely gets blurred a little in oral sex haha. she's really awkward about offering, too, which is so endearing. I love her. <3
I thought their conversation at the end was really well done, too. when Draco asked her if she even liked him, my heart broke a little bit. I do hope that in the future Astoria will be able to make more friends, because it sounds like her relationships with people are rather limited. I just think it'll be really good for her to make more friends, so she won't have to rely on such a small number of people. but I'm just really glad that these two worked out their problems like this, without refusing to listen to the other, and I'm glad that Draco's helping her.
as always, wonderful, beautiful, stunning writing. I'm going to love this forever and ever. <3
loved this!! can't wait for more. your drastoria fics are always so well done.
Uh, So wow. I loved this. I’ve never read Draco/Astoria before, but I am definitely going to check out the rest of your Drastoria fics because you have me shipping them already.
I love how you have them characterized, I’ve always loved Draco and I love seeing the softer side of him where he’s caring. He obviously cares about Astoria and it hurts me (in a good way of course). Draco’s little speech where he was saying that he knows he deserves the way everyone treats him, but he also wished people would give him what he needs had me practically crying. Also, Draco mentioning the whole sectumsempra thing from book six was really good. I just like how, even though he (probably) doesn’t fully know what Eliza is going through or feeling, he understands what it was like to be bleeding to death. And also that could lead to Astoria opening up more to him since she kinda knows that he’s experienced things too.
Now, I absolutely adore your Astoria. Even from just starting with this fic I can tell that she has so much depth to her character and her own story and I already feel for her. First, I love the fact that she’s a Slytherin that didn’t support Voldemort because they obviously existed (even though JKR never went into that in the books very much). Again, I was pretty much crying over here when I was reading that whole post fun stuff conversation. Especially when she said, “I used to like myself, you know, and now I don’t.” Like, wow, thanks for hurting me… because pain.
Also, can I just say? Your first-person writing is so good, like… I know (at least for me) writing in first person is really hard? But like, you nailed the whole first-person thing, it flows so well, and it comes across naturally.
And side note: yeah, this definitely stands on its own really well. I wasn’t confused at all in regards to Astoria’s backstory. Like I had a vague feeling that I was missing something but you also did a really good job of touching on backstory enough that it wasn’t confusing. Actually it just made me want to read the rest, so mission accomplished for you, yeah?
Anyway, yeah. I really loved this if you couldn’t tell :p. You have me hardcore shipping them just from this fic and like I said, I’m definitely going to be checking out the rest of you Drastoria fics.
Hey Branwen! Congrats on your FROG nomination! (Clearly, this is not terrible.)
I'm sure I've said this before, but I love your Astoria. Even if I hadn't already read some of your other stories about her, her personality just jumps off the page, and you manage to weave so much of her history into each fic without smacking the reader over the head with it. I know a lot has happened between this fic and the previous one I read about her, which is before Astoria and Draco even begin dating, but I don't feel like I'm missing any information. You're so good at setting up a story and providing exactly the level of detail that is needed.
Draco saying I love you and Astoria's subsequent analysis of her own feelings, the realisation that she does love him too, and what it means to her to be able to let down her walls after all the distrust she had in people during and after the war - this was such a well-written transformation. Also, the series of notes between Draco and Astoria while he was at work cracked me up.
I really am very fond of my boyfriend, but he’s incredibly prone to dramatic reactions. -- Bahahaha. I loved this. I love Astoria's sense of humour. It shows a lot more in this fic than it does in some of your previous fics of earlier on in their relationship, and I think it says a lot about how happy Draco makes her. She does seem really happy in this. And as much as I adore her snark, I think that moment when she thinks about responding to Draco with snark and then goes for honesty instead is really telling, because so often it's easiest to use sarcasm and humor as a way to protect your deepest feelings, and I like that she doesn't feel like she needs to have that wall up.
The love scene was really well written, too! I would never have guessed you hadn't written something like this before. It was the perfect combination of sexy and sweet, and I really appreciated how Draco keeps checking with her to make sure they're both on the same page. Yes for enthusiastic consent.
This was a great fic! Well done and good luck in the FROGS!
Congrats on your FROG nomination!
Your extensive headcanon about Astoria and Draco shows through so clearly here. The amount of detail included here, and the consistencies with which this adheres to your other fics (I believe I've read one that was set just after this) is quite remarkable and just adds to how real and complete this feels.
I love your characterization of both Astoria and Draco. In particular, how hard it is for both of them to recover from the war, albeit in different ways. I like that you show how the end of the war didn't solve everything - a lot was damaged, including people, and it takes a long time to recover from something so life-changing. Particularly I like the honesty about the fact that Astoria has unhealthy coping mechanisms like drinking, and how she knows that's unhealthy, but could do far worse in terms of unhealthy coping. Astoria is really in such a bad place, shutting herself off from people who love her, like her brother, because she's afraid he'll blame her for not being able to resist an Imperius Curse. No one can blame her for that. But it's perfectly understandable, even if not entirely logical, that she hangs onto guilt about it.
And Draco - I know he really, REALLY messed up during the war and was kind of a rubbish human being in a lot of ways in the years leading up to the war and then in the war itself, but what redeems (or starts to redeem) him here is that he knows this about himself, and he's sincerely trying to atone for it. The fact that he's passing information about Death Eaters, and continues to do so despite the death threats, says a lot about him. Like if he just passed information once and then gave up because of the threats, I'd not have much of an opinion about that, but the fact that he is so committed and he keeps going because he knows it's the right thing to do even if everyone hates him, I respect that. And I feel bad for him because no one on either side likes him at all, and damn that's got to be pretty lonely and depressing. I can't blame Astoria for hating him now, but I do find myself hoping that she'll start to feel some compassion for Draco eventually. (Luckily, I know she does.... someday)
(Can I also just say that I love how everyone in the bar is quick to stand up for Astoria and how when shes being bothered by a dude, people tell him to back off. (I wish it worked that way in the real world too.) I suppose part of that has to do wiht the fact that Draco is a pretty recognizable Death Eater, so any altercations like this would have people naturally doubting him. Anyway, I appreciated that.)
Anyway, I really liked this portayal of their first meeting after the war - it seems very realistic, and as always, your characters are amazingly written. Great job. ♥
Hi, Branwen. So, I'm checking out FROGS noms and I thought I'd stop by here. :)
I enjoyed reading this and seeing how the relationship between Astoria and Draco started, I loved to get some more background for them.
It's always interesting to see things through Astoria's eyes, she is so analytical and you have such a precise characterization of her, it's really so great. It's also so interesting to see all her complicated relationships with her family and how they affect her. I'm a bit sad that she isn't on good terms with her parents and also that she can't bring herself to confide in her brother. He's clearly very concerned about him, and he seems to have good reason to be worried, too... At least she tries to keep herself in control, if only to avoid to worry her brother more...
I felt really bad for Draco. Of course he has flaws and past actions he needs to redeem himself from, but he is really trying and he didn't really have that big of a choice to begin with (we always have a choice, of course, but I'm sure you know what I mean) and he totally deserves a second chance. The way he was treated was quite unfair, but I suppose it was understandable to an extent.
Anyway it's really nice that they got to talk and that Astoria could start to see a better side of him, even if she doesn't really trust him (yet). I bet they both benefit from each other's company that night.
This was a nice piece to read, I will probably be back for more Greengrass sometime soon.
See you for now :)
As always, brilliant! <3
I know I'm beginning to sound like a broken record, but yet again, I can't get over your characterization of Astoria. (And expect me to say it again; I'm sure it'll happen lol.) She's literally everything post-war Draco needs, and the fact that she's so reluctant about it makes their romance all the more turbulent (in a good way!) and interesting.
And Draco is perfect in this. I really appreciate his honesty, even when he's facing past endeavors he's not proud of. That's a really difficult thing to do, and that I think, is the ultimate indicator of how much the war changed him. He's not trying to justify anything he's done and he's exhibiting true remorse. And I love that he's not getting pushy with Astoria to "forgive" him. Like, obviously she's beginning to let him in but she's still showing that resistance and uncertainty on occasion, and rather than getting upset, he accepts it and just keeps trying to show he's a better person. That's really beautiful.
I've been meaning to ask: who's the actress/model you use for Astoria on your banners? I feel like I've seen her somewhere before and it's bugging me that I can't figure it out lol.
Beautiful writing, as always! I love this world your building.
Girl. It is not terrible.
i will leave it at that bcs I don’t want to get in trouble for violating the review ratings rules lol