This would have been an excellent first chapter in the last book, thanks for sharing it.
Author's Response: You are welcome! I appreciate the compliment, that means a lot now that the book is out!! Thanks for reading, and for the great review!! ~Gina :)
Wow! This fiction is a fantastic piece of work. I hadn't even thought of it as being the opening chapter to Book7, but as of now I find it quite fitting.
The first bit of the fiction is satisfyingly dark, though not horribly overdone (seeing as in an HP book, things don't get overly overly dark =]). Your descriptions of actions and reactions are very good, and I must compliment you on some of the contrasts you were able to make between the nice setting and dark characters, or dark characters and the hope within them.
I personally would've liked to see more of Draco's reaction to his mother's death, more of his thoughts, but seeing as he was trying to be in disguise, I understand that he couldn't show his emotions.
Also, Snape seemed very in character. I *loved* the paragraph that explained how Voldemort's plan for Draco was originally supposed to go, and how he would be mad at Snape for interfearing. That is exactly how I figure things happening in thte seventh book, and it was great to see that I'm not the only one who thinks that way.
Great story, and I'll have fun comparing this to the actual first chapter once we finally get our hands on Deathly Hallows!
Author's Response: Oh my, thank you for the amazing review! I'm so thrilled that you picked this story for class! After reading the other comments and reviews, I have to agree that the middle section with Draco could use a bit more, although at the time I was writing it as more of a transition between the first section and the last section. I will certainly keep an eye on such things in the future, though! I'm so glad you found Snape in character, I am not a Snape expert but I really enjoy writing him. I am also interested in seeing how this compares to DH next month, although I'll be shocked if it's even close. Thanks again for reading this story, and for leaving such a wonderful review!! ~Gina :)
This was very well written. You obviously know what you are doing. The mood of the story, its suspense, helped it along very well. Throughout the fic, you didn't know if Snape and Draco would get caught. That is what suspense is al about, and you achieved it!
I also liked Bella's characterization. You really proved that she would do whatever necessary to get the runaways after the death if her sister. She also showed her light side when it came to someone she really cared for.
It was one of those good quality fics that made you feel that there really are great authors out there.
Author's Response: Oh, I'm thrilled with your comments on suspense! It is tricky to know if you are writing something suspenseful because as the writer you obviously know what's coming next! And thanks for the comments on Bella. I'm not a big Bella writer but I've written her a few times (and read her a bunch) and really think she's a study in contrasts, you know? I think she'd care very much if someone close to her were killed, and I think she'd be vicious in her grief. I'm so glad you enjoyed this story! Thanks so much for reading it and leaving such a wonderful review! ~Gina :)
Wow. This is amazing! I think the thing that struck me the most was your vocabulary. Granted, you are an adult, but still. You used very sophisticated words and the entire thing flowed perfectly. The writing was just absoloutely amazing!
Throughout reading it, I thought it was just any old one-shot. Something about Draco and Snape on the run. Yada yada yada. I never actually connected it to the fact that at the end of HBP, Draco and Snape are on the run. It wasn't until your author's note that this hit me. Speaking of which...
First chapter of DH, eh? Hm. Interesting. This is a rather new take on things. It does seem plausible that the book may start out something like this, but then again, only a select group of people know at this time. I wish I was one of them...;)
Overall, I think you did a superb job with this. You used the right amount of the "D/A factor." It was almost as if I read it right out of the books...seriously!
Best of luck,
Author's Response: Hi CJ! Wow, thanks for the amazing review! I'm so glad you choose to read this story. When I Sandy told me it was being used for DADA, I was like "SQUEE!" Of course, I know that opens it up to discussion and critique, but it's so great to know more people might read it. Thank you so much for your kind compliments! I don't know if JKR will go back to a more traditional start for Book Seven or something more like this, but I do hope we get to see what happens to Draco and Snape; I think it's more likely we'll just hear about it secondhand, but we can always hope. That's what fanfic is for, after all! Thanks again for reading this story, and for the great review!! ~Gina :)
Awesome job! Your use of details and descriptions of everything are amazing! I wouldn't be surprised if something much like this happened in DH, but we'll find out soon enough... almost too soon! Congratulations on making it into The Tens! What does it mean to be a "Most Prolific Author"? Again, awesome fic!
Author's Response: Hi there! Yay, another review for this story! Thanks so much for reading this piece, I really appreciate the great review. I can't decide whether DH will start out with Harry or with a chapter like this; you are right, we will know soon enough. Thanks for the congrats on making The Tens. I think it means that I write far to much and should probably find a new hobby. ;) Thanks again for all the great reviews!! ~Gina :)
The story had an excellent pace and was skillfully detailed I loved the way you portrayed Snape - on the run, knowing he is hunted by both sides and still ever protective of Draco. It felt very in-character to me. Well-done and congratulations on a much-deserved win!
Author's Response: Thank you so much for the congrats, and for reading this story! Two reviews, yay! :) I really appreciate your kind comments. I am especially glad I was able to keep post HBP Snape in character - since we don't know what's going to happen next, exactly, that's always a bit subjective. I do think he will continue to look after Draco, or at least I hope so. Thanks again for reading this story and for leaving such a lovely review, I really appreciate it!! ~Gina :)
OH! Can't you be talked into it? Not necessarily a full Book Seven, but something about what happens to Draco when he ends up at the Burrow...
Or at the Diggory house, also in the neighborhood...the family who has lost a son of their own to the Dark Lord...
I like the potions bottle as a port key, I like that we are not certain Snape has been finished off, and how Snape Irritates Bella. I don't understand why they could not have taken the potoin with them, why they hesitated even a moment if they knew they had to leave, why they seemed to need any last minute ingredients other than hair...is it a longer-acting potion, considered dark for that reason? Could it be a potion that would cause a permanent change?
Very interesting, and a deserving winner of a first chapter, it delivers something substantial while setting up much more. Good job!
Author's Response: Hi there! Thank you so much for my first review!!You are too kind for reading this story, I really appreciate it. Now that you mention it, maybe I'll nip in and take out that "last minute" reference since you are right, the only last minute ingredient is hair. I had been thinking that since the potion needed to brew for a long time, they had been forced to abandon others as well. Potions-in-progress don't travel well with outlaws on the run, after all. I'll tweak it so others can't pick it apart.;) I really don't plan on continuing, although it certainly would be interesting to see what happens when Malfoy shows up at the Burrow. Hm. Thanks again for reading this, and for leaving a review! I really appreciate it and can't wait to read your Snape-goes-to-Ikea story! ~Gina :)