Brilliant suspense in the story, and very interesting pairings! I would never have thought to put Malfoy and Katie together, but I think it worked, especially with your characterisation of Malfoy. Obviously he changed after the final battle, but my one small problem was that Malfoy was a bit too different from anything we have ever known him as. I loved how you made us guess who it was though; I was trying to work out whether Snape hadn't actually died, or Dolohov had somehow come into it... I think I worked it out when you mentioned Percy though, it was a nice little hint.
Author's Response: Thanks! This was a very early fic of mine and I agree that my characterisation of Draco could have been much better hehe.
You're finally done with this fic! Yay! It was an absolute pleasure to beta all the chapters, and I totally blushed reading your effusive praise at the beginning of each chapter, so I thought I'd let you know in a review that I think you're an awesome, wonderful, generally spectacular author too :) The things you make Draco do and think are always perfectly in character - and you make my job so easy all the time. Thanks for being an awesome beta-ee, and I can't wait to see some of your other stories, too!
Author's Response: Apurva! Thank you so much! It feels so strange to have finally finished this off but very satisfying. You have been such an amazing beta and my praise of you is completely necessary after all you have helped me with! Thank you again and thank you also for leaving me a review. I love getting those :) And thank you (wow, I'm using that phrase a lot) for the lovely stocking you and the other Gryffs left for me in the Slyth common room! I hope you had a great time over the holiday season. Julia XD
I've already reviewed but wanted to say again now that this is complete how much I enjoyed it. You really did have liking Draco, even cheering for him... and that is saying quite a lot in my case. Haha. When I finished the last chapter, I didn't realize it was the end, so it seemed a bit abrupt for a moment... but now I think it was just because I assumed it would be going on for a while. You certainly wrapped everything up nicely and resolved all the issues. This is one of the stories I've been checking regularly for updates... you are a good writer. Thanks for the good ride.
Author's Response: Thanks so much for the review. Reading through it I realise that the ending seems quite abrupt. I just think I felt like I had given to the characters as much as I could. Perhaps one day I will lengthen the ending to make it feel more wrapped up, even adding an epilogue... But thank you for sticking with me til the end! I'm glad you had a good ride :)
Julia, this is a wonderful story. How did you get me cheering for Draco's redemption? His characterization is so believable, and very complicated, which I think it would have to be... the way he was with the house elves, disgusted by his father's inhumane behavior and yet struggling himself to touch the elf. This is very good writing, and I can't wait for the next chapter... c'mon Harry!
Author's Response: Thank you! I'm so happy you thought Draco's characterisation is done well. I think it's easy to get into the whole dark!Draco who has no remorse at all or the redeemed!Draco who is perfect and gentlemanly in all respects of life. It was hard to find balance. Can't wait to hear your thoughts on the rest of the fic. Julia XD
Ooh, Julia, this was such an interesting opening, and you’ve really set up the story effectively – I can’t wait to read on further, but first I thought I’d stop by and leave you a review for your prologue. And also to wish you a belated Happy Halloween ;)
The first thing that I immediately liked about this story was the fact that you allowed five years to pass between the Battle and the Draco’s wedding. I think this was an important thing to do as while a transformation in Draco’s character is believable after the events of DH, I do think it would take a certain amount of time for him to truly become the better person he is presented as in this prologue.
The second paragraph immediately made me smile; it was just so completely Draco. I thought this line in particular, Draco’s lip curled up into a sneer as he thought of the man who had, unfortunately, saved his life was an excellent moment of characterisation. Draco may have changed, as we see later in the chapter, but I don’t think there is anything that could stop him feeling a certain amount of bitterness towards Harry. The ‘unfortunately’ added a brief moment of humour because of course Draco would still rather be alive but doesn’t exactly like that it’s as a result of Harry’s actions.
I think you presented the transformed Draco effectively. There are still aspects of the old Draco in there but you can also see his true desire to change, and show himself to be a better person. He is no longer so reliant on his father’s opinion as he once was though perhaps he has transferred this need for acceptance away from his father and on to the wizarding world in general, as he longs for their approval. I also thought it was particularly good that Draco’s transformation has come about as a result of his love for Katie – it provided a nice reference to the importance of love in the series itself.
Katie Bell was an interesting choice of partner for Draco, particularly because she was one the victims of his plans in HBP, but as we know very little about her, it was a pairing that could be believed. I did think that perhaps her reaction to his dark mark was a little understated. I can see how she would be prepared to accept it as part of his past, but may not go as far as to smile ‘warmly’ upon touching the mark. I think she would possibly be a bit more reluctant to embrace the darkest aspect of his past than shown here. But hopefully we’ll get to see more of her in later chapters and experience some more of their relationship.
The time jumps in this chapter were a little bit confusing, mainly down to the use of tense. You used the word ‘now’ several times, as if to suggest that was the time in which the prologue was set and I initially thought, as a result of this sentence: Now, as Draco stepped into his morning suit and checked (again) that Blaise had the wedding bands safely in his pocket, he would have to face Potter once more - on the day of his marriage, for heaven’s sake. that the prologue was set on the day of the wedding. The transitions to the honeymoon, then back to the home and the dark mark scene, were rather disjointed and could have done with being smoothed out a bit – there was a sense that you were trying to fit quite a bit into the prologue but that it didn’t all quite join together. The time changed quite frequently jumping forward and backwards and leaving me a little bit confused. You did show one clear transition in the time at the beginning but the others would have benefitted from being more clearly marked. When you then used now again here: But now Draco lay writhing beneath an ancient tapestry in the front parlour, clawing at his wrist. I wasn’t completely sure how it fit in to the rest of the chronology, except for the brief reference to it at the beginning.
Having said that, however, the ending was very good, and it fulfilled one of the most important roles of an prologue in making me want to read more. You have shown earlier in the chapter that Draco is still not exactly best friends with Harry and so I am looking forward to seeing some interaction between them when Draco shares his experience with him, as well as finding out exactly what is behind Draco’s mark burning once again.
Thanks for a great read and hopefully I’ll be back to let you know what I think of the rest soon!
Author's Response: Ah, Hannah! This is such a great Halloween gift. Thank you very much for the review. I really appreciate it, especially for this fic as it takes quite a bit of work! I'm glad you thought Draco's transition was believable. Katie and Draco's relationship is explained (to a certain degree) later on in the fic. I really wanted Draco to be redeemed by love so it's good to know that came through. The time jumps. Yes, they are really confusing. This is one of the first FFs I wrote and it makes me cringe when I read the earlier parts. Sometime in the future I am going to have to go back and rewrite those bits! The Draco and Harry relationship is very interesting to write. That has been the most fun for me in this fic. Angsty!Draco can be a little tiring at times and I feel I can explore his surly, sarcastic side through his interactions with Harry. Katie and Draco is a strange pairing but I thought it would be interesting since she was a victim of his cursed necklace. As I said before, it is explained later on. I'm also working on a sort of prequel to this fic to show how Katie and Draco's relationship developed. It's going to be one of my summer projects (along with a Flich/Pince lol). I hope you enjoy the rest of the fic! Thanks for the lovely review. -Julia XD
Nice start. Looking forward to reading more!
Author's Response: Thanks!
Well, I think you have a good point. I'm a bit confused, because it seems to be his wedding day, and yet he seems to already be back from his honeymoon, but maybe I missed something. Your logic seems to be working well, and I am going to follow this...
Author's Response: I agree that the prologue is very confusing and disjointed. Maybe I will rewrite it sometime. Thanks for the review!
I'm very intrigued and looking forward to the next chapter. Good beginning!
Author's Response: Thanks!
oooohhhhhhh, so excited for the next chapter
Author's Response: Thanks!
so far so good.
Author's Response: Thanks.
Draco and Katie. That's an unusual pair. I think this story is going to be interesting. I can't wait to see how Draco tries to convince Harry to help him. Nicely written.
Author's Response: Yes, the Draco and Harry relationship is an interesting one but I think I found some common ground between them which helped. Chapter one is ready and in the queue!
I really like this story. It'sreally interesting. I wonder what Darco is going to say the Harry. I really want to read the next chapter. This story looks really good. I really like your summary too.
Author's Response: Thanks! I'm glad you liked it
Curious as to why Draco chose Katie Bell for a wife. Will there be a backstory about this as well?
Good luck on future chapters.
Author's Response: Thankyou. Yes it is an interesting pairing but you will find out why!