Reviewer: mojo_jojo13
Date: 08/09/06 23:04
Chapter: Is This What They Call Life?

thats deep, i like it

Author's Response: Thank you!

Reviewer: Narci Jones
Date: 06/17/06 17:33
Chapter: Only Love in the Dark

OMG!!! I LOVE THIS STORY!!!! AHHHH!!! THIS IS AMAZING!!!! OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG!!!! THIS IS BRILLIANT!!!!! WELL DONE!!! TIS PERFECTO!!! i love how u used song lyrics in the beginning and end and stuff, they really match wat is happening!! GREAT GREAT GREAT.....ahh u get the pictue!!
SWEETLY SWEETLY DONE!!
~narcissa
ps.....i love hos u stayed true to there original character!! AWESOME! *adds story and author to favorits*

Author's Response: Wow! I do indeed get the picture! :) Thank you very much.

Reviewer: clandestine
Date: 04/22/06 8:31
Chapter: Only Love in the Dark

hey! i like your story..it's quite..hmm..tragic but at the same time also touching. i like it!

Author's Response: Thank you very much! I probably write 'tragic' stories best - I'm just not funny enough for humour! Thanks for your review.

Reviewer: Vorona
Date: 04/19/06 18:21
Chapter: Is This What They Call Life?

I really liked this story, despite the fact that I often don't like redemption stories or romances. You really did an amazing job with the emotions: it's very powerful.

Author's Response: Thank you very much! I'm really glad you could still enjoy it even though your not a fan of the theme. Thanks for a review that brightened my day.

Reviewer: Zubz2004
Date: 03/21/06 15:04
Chapter: Only Love in the Dark

First and foremost, I'd like to make apparent my amazement at how very little reviews you have! This is such a very beautiful fanfiction and I've enjoyed reading it immensely! My favourite chapter has to be the first one in which I think you've described Draco's emotions superbly. I could feel the pain and bitterness and also even the guilt Draco was keeping locked up inside himself. It reduced me to watery eyes and a few tears. I loved the description you had within this fanfiction, not just of the emotion and thoughts but also of small, rather insignificant things, like the leaf on the table in the cafe and the lion bronze knocker of Hermione's front door. It showed how Draco paid attention to the small things that really no one else would care about and also portrayed quite well his disconnection from human company. I liked the poetry-like phrases scattered here and there in your fanfiction, my favourite of which is, "I can see a thousand seconds I want to change, a thousand words I should have said, a thousands lives I should have saved." How heartrending! I think that the rhetorical questions you used, such as "I have done nothing worthy of praise, I will achieve nothing in life. So what exactly am I now?", were an excellent idea and a splendid touch to the fanfiction as were the excerpts from songs at the beginning and ending of some chapters. It added to the atmosphere of the fanfiction, which your fanfiction itself in no way lacked. I thought the ending was simply exquisite! How beautiful that Draco's life should change for the better at the very first second of the new year! What a perfect ending! You have a truly wonderful fanfiction here which I cannot compliment enough and I must thank you for giving me this brief enjoyment. You are one extremely talented writer and I only wish that more people would read and review this fanfiction but MuggleNet has always been knowned for having very lazy reviewers, so not much can be said there. Awesome job!

Author's Response: Thank you! Yes, I don't have many reviews, but I don't really mind, as all the ones I have are nice and detailed. I'm glad you appreciated the description, atmosphere and Draco's emotions that I was communicating - it's good to hear that I achieved my goal! It was also very nice to hear that you liked my writing style, as I know it can be alittle difficult to get used to. "Exquisite!" "Extremely talented writer" - Well, what can I say? Thank you ever so much! *blushes*

Reviewer: mala
Date: 02/11/06 16:37
Chapter: Is This What They Call Life?

I was absolutely commanded by Pat (TheVanishingAct) to come read this story, so...here I am. :) My first reaction when I began reading was, "Uh oh, first person." I've never been a big fan of first person. But I have to say--you pulled it off. I was incredibly pleased to find that the first person didn't irk me. So, consider that a major achievement, lol.

Your style of writing is lovely, and sets a wonderful, striking mood, but there was a spot here and there where you became a little bit wordy. How is it that every day I see rejoicing, yet I feel as though there is nothing that is worth my happiness? In a sentence like this, I would suggest taking out the second "that," as it becomes a little bit repetitive.

But overall, I love the way that you use such elaborate and complex sentences to dig into Draco's mind, and his feelings. I think you kept Draco very IC while still exploring the parts of him that we've never discovered before; his desolation and self-loathing. You have a lot of talent.

One thing that bothered me is that Draco revealed that there had been many times during the years when he'd been forced to put on an indifferent face when really he just wanted to kiss Hermione. While I love your characterization of Draco, and find him fully believable as someone who could easily fall in love with Hermione--I think it's clear that he's changed since school. I would have guessed that loving Hermione would have come as a result of those changes, not before. Still, I'm eager to read the back-story on this...I'll trust you. :D

The wet patches on my face glisten in the moonlight and reflect off the window. I can see a thousand seconds I want to change, a thousand words I should have said, a thousands lives I should have saved.

It was the little sentences like this that really grabbed my attention. It was in sentences like this that you proved not only can you write a wonderful in-depth study of a character's thoughts, but you can write beautiful descriptions as well. I'm impressed!

The one-line sentences and isolated, short sentences really heightened the mood that I think you did a great job building. You've definetly piqued my interest--particularly in the D/Hr department, I want to know how it happened--I'm curious to find out more. Thanks for a great read, and marvelous work!

Author's Response: Wow, thanks so much, that was a very complimentary review! I'm glad the first person present tense worked for you, because some people feel it's very unnatural and doesn't flow, yet I find it give my writing more emotion. I'm also pleased that you thought Draco was IC, as some reviewers didn't feel I had his feelings quite accurate. Onto the running and kissing thing - this has come up a fair few times. I understand why, as it may seem a little confusing, but basically I was trying to suggest that something may have happened between them before he left Hogwarts. I'm thrilled that you enjoyed this story, thanks for a great review.

Reviewer: TheVanishingAct
Date: 02/09/06 16:30
Chapter: Forever's Gonna Start Tonight

Oh dear, I'm afraid I've come back to give you another review. I am also afraid I might squee all over myself, as I really do like your fic. It has a sensitivity about it... seemingly very gentle. Wonderful, it is, and I encourage more of it.

I am not such a big fan of songs in fics, although I'm glad you waited until the end of the chapter before giving it. That aside, I LOVE that song. I totally fanboy it. *squee* And it seems to fit perfectly -- good job!



Author's Response: Thank you very much - I certainly don't mind recieving more reviews! I'm glad you like the style of the piece, and I hope you enjoy the last chapter. In regards to the song - I love it too! I'll be using it in more than one fic probably...I tend to do that with good, appropriate songs. Thanks for your review!

Reviewer: wishiwereaweasley
Date: 01/30/06 10:24
Chapter: Only Love in the Dark

Beautiful story, rita. I very much liked how you wrote Draco. His pain was incredibly real and he still seemed in character. Although I have to say I'm a little surprised he didn't leave. I'm happier this way (I'm a sucker for happy endings), but it just seemed like that was the direction he was going. The thing that was a little unclear to me was whether he and Hermione had...something together before he left. Because the way they fall into conversation seems natural (or as natural as it can be) and they call each other by first names, so I just couldn't help but wonder. Also, it was very Hermione-like to basically order him to come to her house so she could fix him. Never without a solution, that one! All in all, I really enjoyed this. It was very beautifully written. Good job!

Author's Response: Thank you very much! I'm glad you thought his pain seemed IC, and you enjoyed this story. I think I gently implied that there had been something changing between them before he left, but I thought I'd leave it to the reader's imagination as to how far it had stretched. As I said in reply to another review, I was seriously considering making Draco leave, but my Beta is a fanatic D/Hr reader and so she convinced me to keep it as them getting together in the end. I'll probably write an alternative ending to this and post it in the Dark/Angsty section. Watch out for it! Thanks for your review.

Reviewer: kumydabookworm
Date: 01/16/06 9:59
Chapter: Only Love in the Dark

loved the last line. i liked the leaving part. to me, (i'm an angst lover) it would have been better if he left, but I suppose shippers will love this ending. a few more things: draco is very good in this chapter. Do Draco and Hermione have a history together? You make it seem like they do. If they do, I think a separate chapter or at least interspersed memories should tell their tale, because it's important to his redemption. Did he hurt her as well, could that be why she would redeem him and not perhaps, his mother (bellatrix's sister) or harry (dumbledore's student)? You know, people close to the people he hurt? Liked the countdown and the kiss, it works with the whole new year's theme. overall pretty good story. :) nice read.

Author's Response: Thanks very much. I almost did end the fic with Draco leaving, but my Beta said that I should end on a happy note, so I went back to my initial plan. If you are interested in reading the alternate ending, I may post it up as a one-shot in the Dark/Angsty section. Thanks for all the reviews!

Reviewer: kumydabookworm
Date: 01/16/06 9:55
Chapter: Forever's Gonna Start Tonight

very, very, very melodramatic. that sums it up. first, again, I can't see draco stuttering, not the way you've developed him with pride and vulnerability all at once. the only reason I can think of is that hermione somehow throws him off-kilter, and if so, that needs to be explained. Why does she have such an effect on him? out of all the witches there are: why not Ginny, or Luna, or Parvati, or Fleur or anyone else? Why Hermione? Second, I think the content in this chapter needs development. we need to see the transition from bold cunning draco of HBP to the vulnerable draco broken by the screams within his head and guilt. third, he has never been close to bellatrix, it mentions in canon. in trade for his own life I doubt Draco would regret killing her as much as you make him do so. Fourth, you never explained why hermione would be so open towards him...he is an ex-Death Eater after all, and he destroyed Hogwarts (presumably) in the sixth book. On to the next chapter!

Reviewer: kumydabookworm
Date: 01/16/06 9:47
Chapter: Darling, Can't You Hear Me?

What happened to his legendary pride? Draco, to me, would never openly admit he has made a mistake. After all, Draco sees Dumbledore and his death, yet he still refuses to admit he's in over his head. Your Draco seems to be very vulnerable and weak in a way, and that's all well and good. The things he has done, and the years (?) of thinking about it may very well have weakened him. Yet, you still bring back the old Draco in the lines about barriers of pride. Draco would not insist that he is not worthy; at this point his pride is the only thing holding him together. And, we are still missing the transition from old Draco to melodramatic, vulnerable, stuttering (now that's a bit unbelievable) Draco. Hermione is very in character. Her wanting to help, strawberry blush, nervous smile all ring very true. There was one line that hit me as strange: "We are lost in each other’s gaze, until she breaks the connection by seating herself opposite me numbly." Is it possible to sit numbly? remember, numbly is an adverb. :) On to the next chapter!

Reviewer: kumydabookworm
Date: 01/16/06 9:38
Chapter: Fate Leads To Mysterious Places

Hey, I'm back. Chapter 2. Your descriptions and lines are excellent. Poetic, really. I love the imagery. Everything was great in this chapter. I'm still waiting for the 'how Draco fell in love with Hermione' bit, but I hope it will come. Melodrama can be overused, and I think that Draco is a bit overdramatic in this chapter. Despair is good, but overdoing it numbs the effect. The whole coffee bit about it hitting the tongue and what-not was very descriptive, but I'm not sure how it affects the story. The waitress bit was awesome and well-thought-out. In dialogue, just a note. Draco has, in canon, traditionally been sharp and cutting with his words. I realise he loves Hermione (how???) but he seems sort of weak in his speech. It's just a note, not something to fix, but a note. On to the next! :)

Reviewer: kumydabookworm
Date: 01/10/06 13:47
Chapter: Is This What They Call Life?

okay, the rest of the chapter. I liked the "mere Muggle" part, very Draco-ish. Again, the contradiction: D/Hr (muggle) yet the idea of Muggle inferiority. I noticed you start a lot of sentences with "And," and it begins to distract me after a while. Personal thing. Aah, yes, noticed another thing about the "run and kiss her" line: you mention it was at Hogwarts. Now I assume you mean seventh year (because sixth year D/Hr really would be OOC)...still one would not think to see such a dramatic change (hating her to lusting/stalking her). I don't know...you say you explain it later, but to me it's such an important thing, it needs to be explained now. Anyways...I'll be back for the next chapters. :)

Author's Response: As I brushed upon before, Draco generally doesn't like most 'Mudbloods'/Muggles, which explains the 'mere Muggle' bit, but Hermione is different, because she's so special in his eyes, so he gives in to his emotions just in her case. Thanks for reviewing!

Reviewer: kumydabookworm
Date: 01/10/06 9:02
Chapter: Is This What They Call Life?

So, this is chapter one review. First thing I noticed was a grammar mistake: "How is it that every day I see rejoicing"...that should not be a verb. I can't think of the noun version of rejoice, but that should be fixed. Second thing, "I struggle to keep an indifferent expression on my face when all I want to do is run up and kiss her." I've been trying to write a character study of Draco, and this is something I've been struggling with. Draco would not admit, even to himself, I think that he is in love with a "Mudblood." Now, you may say that Draco was changed with the war, which is all fabulous, AS LONG AS YOU INCLUDE THE BACKSTORY. The idea is to make a non-shipper believe in the ship. What you need is more backstory: how did Draco go from hating her up til sixth year, to falling in love with her? It's such a remarkable transition that it needs a LOT of description and a logical reason that Draco would even think about the possibility of changing his mind: after all, he felt this way for 16 years, at least. Why did he change? Third, Draco, like all Slytherins, is hell-bent on surviving. Therefore the woeful, "It kills me so," seems OOC to me. I feel like though he is given to self-pity, Draco does not allow weakness in himself. Again, either explain it or cut it out. Survival is the most important thing for a Slytherin, and an inherent trait of Draco's. Make sure you keep that in mind. Dejected Draco doesn't really work in my mind. When there's a Slytherin, there's a way. You know? I have more...but I will add it later. Computer class is over, and I have to get off the Internet...I'll be back! :) P.S. I did like it. Just I get my criticism done first. Heck, I don't even bother with a review if I don't like the fiction, so...*blushes* Anyways, I'll finish later.

Author's Response: Thanks for your review, and I hope you enjoy the next chapters. Now, onto your points: First of all, I checked with a reliable source about the 'rejoicing' phrase, and she says it's correct - so that's sorted. The Draco issues are more difficult to deal with - I'm leaning quite heavily on what he's been through in the war (the full story of that is in Ch.4) as an explanation for his change of character. As for Hermione, I think it's plausible to say that he may have thought he should hate all 'Mudbloods', but that there was something attractive about Hermione that he could deny or overcome, so he learnt to hide it away. Until, that is, when he meets her in later life...well, that's my reason for it - you may not agree. Anyway, I'm happy that you liked it enough to review! Thank you!

Reviewer: TheVanishingAct
Date: 01/06/06 15:55
Chapter: Fate Leads To Mysterious Places

Hello there! Reporting for reviewing duty, I am. Normally, I'm not much of a person to read a fic with a D/Hr plot within it, but because I was intrigued with the summary and the title (which is lovely by the way), I decided to stop inside for a visit. I was entranced, and was very impressed on not only your writing style but the plot as well. It was very intriguing, and I cannot wait until I read the rest of your fic.

I just want to go ahead and elaborate on how well you can manipulate the world around you and give excellent results in the form of words. "I am merely a shadow, passing through her life of promise.". This is one of those "leaving me speechless" quotes that really stunned me. It worked so well in the form you had it in as well, and really helped me understand how Draco was feeling. "The girl of so many of my tainted dreams. The one person I have never attempted to forget. Hermione Granger." Now, my pet peeve is choppiness- but I must admit, even though I hate it with a passion, it can be a key device to a story and have a powerful effect when used correctly, such as the way you demonstrated it. I also like some more of your descriptions, especially the entrance to this chapter: "I hurry out of the shambles I call a house, my head bent against the heavens’ salty tears."

However, every great work has bits and pieces that need to be picked apart, and I'm afraid I shall be doing that. First off: "I turn the corner of the street, and see there, walking towards me, a beautiful girl with brown wavy hair and chestnut eyes." This needs to be fixed into something like this: "I turn the corner of the street and I see a beautiful girl with brown, wavy hair and chesnut eyes." Also, this sentence: "She walks with obvious joy, and bounce in her step, her hair swinging from side to side." after the "and" there needs to be an "a".

Now, before I must wrap my review up, I'll give you a few more lines that I liked. No, loved. They ARE love. Love. *looks at lines fondly* "They are crying for me, tears of remorse, of guilt, of self-disgust. They cry the tears I cannot muster, the tears that ran so freely just hours ago, but now are trapped behind the barrier of my pride."~~~"With one word, she brings my carefully crafted barrier crashing down around me. I look into her eyes once more and murmur tenderly, “Hermione.”" I believe that made an intriguing last line.

Well, what I'm trying to say is that I loved your fic and I cannot wait to read more. Great job!



Author's Response: Wow. I am literally speechless. (Well, almost. I can never completely shut up.) I don't think I've ever had such an amazingly positive or flattering review. I'm so incredibly pleased that you liked all of those quotes - and the story too. I've made the changes to the story that you suggested -thank you for them- and I'm now left deleriously happy. Thank you ever so much for such an encouraging review!

Reviewer: queen_of_malfoys
Date: 12/11/05 0:40
Chapter: Is This What They Call Life?

I have to say that this is a great fic. Draco is my favourite charater and I care very deeply about him and his redemption, and your story almost reduced me to tears. I wat to say that I loved it, at New Years Eve I want to be Hermione (seriously, I will be walking the streets looking for Draco as crazy as it is), and I will read this story every christmas. Thank you for writing such a great story.

Author's Response: Thank you so much! I'm really touched that you liked it this much - I'm overwhelmed! Wow, thank you for brightening my day with this lovely review.

Reviewer: x2pttrclue32
Date: 12/05/05 20:28
Chapter: Is This What They Call Life?

First off, I'd like to say that I enjoyed this story very much. It was thought out very well, it looks like, and it was really reflective and I really liked that. However, in places I thought that things were hard to understand. In places it was a bit too...whimsical, I should say. I suppose that's part of the mood, but it gets very confusing after a while. Furthermore, I couldn't tell who the story was about (though afterward, I did see in the summary that it was mentioned...I must have missed it). Anyway, something I liked were those contemplative one-liners such as, "I am nothing," or "And the cowardly can never be redeemed." Overall, I would say you did an excellent job. :D

Author's Response: Thanks for reviewing. I'm glad you liked the story, and I appreciate your views. Hopefully this will help me improve my writing. Thank you!

Reviewer: HermioneDancr
Date: 12/04/05 22:23
Chapter: Is This What They Call Life?

Since this summer I've read quite a few stories about Draco and his private (and often, in this context, remorseful) thoughts, and I've taken a liking to them. I liked your use of first person. I think it was very effective in drawing me in as a reader and getting me to feel empathy for his character.

I really like the opening paragraphs. They do a great job at setting the tone. However, the second sentence isn't entirely clear. We each have won and lost. I had to go back and reread that to figure out what you meant. I think it would help if you added a 'both' to emphasize your point, and possibly switch 'each' and 'have' for readability's sake. We have each both won and lost. might be clearer.

I also found myself getting slightly tripped up in the second paragraph. How I have wished for that - so long has it been since the only battles in my head were which hex I should use on Potter. In general your slightly nonstandard phrasing works well and fits in with the tone, but here it tripped me up. The 'that' is so far away from its antecedent (last word of the previous paragraph), so it took me a minute to figure out what you meant. 'It' is common pronoun in context, so changing 'that' to 'it' might clarify. Or alternatively you could also replace 'that' with 'redemption.' Normally you might not want to repeat the word so soon after you used it, but as you started a new paragraph (very appropriately, too) I don't think it would seem redundant. Or of course you could leave the 'that' as 'that' if you prefer it that way. The 'so long has it been' right after the dash didn't trip me up so much as bog me down. It's an older style of sentence structure, and combined with the dash it got me mired in the mechanics rather than the meaning.

I really liked how you used four paragraphs that are one sentence each, scattered throughout the story. I've seen this technique overused in some fics, but you avoided that pitfall (and it CAN be very tempting, can't it, when you discover just how lovely it sounds…). All four of the sentences you chose to highlight were excellent choices, and setting them apart like that really let them ring.

Overall, this was a nice piece of reflective Draco angst, which as a genre I really like. Keep up the good writing!

Author's Response: Thank you very much for this well thought through response. I've taken your ideas on board and adjusted the story according to them. I really appreciate your comments, they help me a lot. Please keep following as I post the next parts!

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