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Harry Potter stories written by fans!

Name: Meme0 (Signed) · Date: 01/30/08 13:19 · For: Chapter Five - Maiming and Mending
Aaw. I love the chapter. Can't wait for the next. Are we going to see more of Katie? that'd be nice. =D.
Can't wait for the next chapter!

Name: Meme0 (Signed) · Date: 01/20/08 4:39 · For: Chapter Four - Relatives and Revelations
Wow. I love the story. It's amazing. Lucas is really interesting. I'd really love to see new chapters. Please update soon!

Name: electronicquillster (Signed) · Date: 11/26/07 0:26 · For: Chapter Four - Relatives and Revelations
I really should have reviewed this ages and ages ago, shouldn’t I? Especially considering just how long ago it was that I first read it. -ashamed-

With this story, I always feel like there is so much more going on than I really understand. It has the feeling of the canon books and any other books, that feeling where you know that there is so much you’re not picking up on, and that you will only see all the things that are happening once the story is finished and you go back to read it again. This is very difficult for two reasons. First, the author must have the plot and the future in mind (as well as mostly figured out) when writing. Second, the author must tell the story, setting hints of other things in, though without dropping obvious hints that insult the intelligence of the reader. Yes, the author has to sort of weave small things in that have the author feeling smug. They left that little unsuspecting line in there, and little does the reader know just how important it will be later. THAT is how this story has felt, and it still continues to have that feeling. This is one of the reasons I love it so much.

I should get back on track, shouldn’t I?

I thought Lucas was interesting before, but Charlie is quite an enigma, almost outshining Lucas. I’m sure, though, that it is only in the way that he intrigues Lucas which makes him so fascinating. Oh, and that he is wanted for murder. That creates an undeniable curiosity. Well done with that, because you handled that situation so well.

When Lucas and Charlie are eating the meat loaf, I took a particular liking to this sentence:

Charlie, obviously ravenous after a day of hard work, attacked his food with delight and gusto, while Lucas enjoyed the meal at a more modest pace.

I never quite thought of combining the ideas of being ravenously hungry and enjoying food with delight and gusto. The latter two seem such light words, where ravenous is so desperate and powerful in my mind as a word. The juxtaposition is delicious. Not that your word choice isn’t always great, of course. I think that’s definitely one of the strengths of Vacillation and Volition overall.

Auntie Muriel is fabulous, by the way. She simply is. I think the way that you have handled, and continue to handle, this story is very good. You are keeping to the essence of the characters (like Muriel), and you keep to Half-Blood Prince canon, but the way you project what follows is an alternate universe, yet something that seems completely plausible.

I cannot wait for more. And I want to know who Charlie killed and why! You evaded that too well. Hmph. Lucas needs to get over Charlie killing someone and ask him about it. Even though that doesn’t seem very in character for him to do. That’s just what I want. Though I have my own prediction as to what will happen.

I love the way the friendship is developing between Lucas and Charlie. They are two people I wouldn’t necessarily have said would get on in normal circumstances, but now that they have been thrust together into this life of exile, I have no doubt they will become fast friends and stay that way for years to come.

Unless, of course, you have something else come up and split them apart and write it in that fabulous way you write everything. Lovely chapter, Anna, and I’m waiting very anxiously for the next.

Name: GringottsVault711 (Signed) · Date: 11/25/07 17:53 · For: Chapter Four - Relatives and Revelations
After some hours of much-needed rest; I misread that as 'much-needed tea', and I thought it was slightly... unique for Lucas to have hours of tea, and then I realised that it said 'rest' not 'tea', and that's why I was giggling. (And then I wrote 'Loocas' instead of Lucas, reason for the second bout of laughter). he had soon discovered Charlie behind the barn, bent over and... /third bout of laughter.

Now, I don't know if I can clear my mind enough to write a halfway-proper review, but I'll do my best.

First, I shall be repetitive and mention how very much I love your writing style. The way you say things is wonderfully original. I appreciate that your imagery and atmosphere and feelings, etc, are more than just adjectives and nouns strung together. It landed with a distant, invisible thud, and a lurking bird nearby took flight with a cry. ; sentences like that, for instance, are what makes your writing such a treat to read :)

His thoughts were as flying horses, untamed and uncontrollable, beating their hooves against the inside of his head. I also like this. Aside from it being another example of saying something in a new way, it just amuses me that you mention flying horses, because it's something I associate very strongly with you. And, later, when you use continue to use the metaphor, it makes it even more wonderful. I also enjoy that you didn't.. remind the reader of the comparison. You simply continued referring to his thoughts as if they were horses. Yes, I liked that quite a bit.

Speaking of flying horses. I keep feeling as if Liam is missing out on an excellent party. He's sort of like a strange mix between Charlie and Lucas -- aristocratic, yet more easygoing. But, yes, I think that he'd like to hang out with Lucas an Charlie. He'd have fun.

I also like how you took some time to reveal the that Charlie killed someone. You easily could have introduced it sooner so as to be exciting and torturesome, but you waited until Lucas had a chance to get to know Charlie a bit better. Sure, t would have been a shock to the readers, who have a fair idea of Charlie Weasley already, but Lucas might not have been as conflicted by it as he is, and so you have a much more interesting (and real) dynamic between the two, now.

I am also very interested in how you wrote the interaction between Lucas and the coin. It feels as if the coin has become an original character in itself. And it reminds me very much of Agnes Cecilia, and how someone can have a relationship with a... perhaps not inanimate, but at least a silent object. And you've written it in a very effective way that creates a good opportunity for reflection for Lucas, so we get character insight that's not entirely him just sitting thinking to himself. Actually, I feel like I'm mentally taking something from this, for my own future use. Being mindful of character introspection, and things like that. So yay for that.

I am very excited to find out what happens next, including what happened with Charlie and who it was he murdered. Yes. Very, very excited. Hint, hint. Don't make me get impatient and pluck your eyebrows in your sleep as punishment. No. I wouldn't want to give you ideas as how you might effectively extract the next chapter (or should I say 'kapitel'?) of Sins from me. *cough*

Name: GringottsVault711 (Signed) · Date: 11/25/07 17:50 · For: Chapter Four - Relatives and Revelations
After some hours of much-needed rest; I misread that as 'much-needed tea', and I thought it was slightly... unique for Lucas to have hours of tea, and then I realised that it said 'rest' not 'tea', and that's why I was giggling. (And then I wrote 'Loocas' instead of Lucas, reason for the second bout of laughter). he had soon discovered Charlie behind the barn, bent over and... /third bout of laughter.
Now, I don't know if I can clear my mind enough to write a halfway-proper review, but I'll do my best.
First, I shall be repetitive and mention how very much I love your writing style. The way you say things is wonderfully original. I appreciate that your imagery and atmosphere and feelings, etc, are more than just adjectives and nouns strung together. It landed with a distant, invisible thud, and a lurking bird nearby took flight with a cry. ; sentences like that, for instance, are what makes your writing such a treat to read :)
His thoughts were as flying horses, untamed and uncontrollable, beating their hooves against the inside of his head. I also like this. Aside from it being another example of saying something in a new way, it just amuses me that you mention flying horses, because it's something I associate very strongly with you. And, later, when you use continue to use the metaphor, it makes it even more wonderful. I also enjoy that you didn't.. remind the reader of the comparison. You simply continued referring to his thoughts as if they were horses. Yes, I liked that quite a bit
Speaking of flying horses. I keep feeling as if Liam is missing out on an excellent party. He's sort of like a strange mix between Charlie and Lucas -- aristocratic, yet more easygoing. But, yes, I think that he'd like to hang out with Lucas an Charlie. He'd have fun.
I also like how you took some time to reveal the that Charlie killed someone. You easily could have introduced it sooner so as to be exciting and torturesome, but you waited until Lucas had a chance to get to know Charlie a bit better. Sure, t would have been a shock to the readers, who have a fair idea of Charlie Weasley already, but Lucas might not have been as conflicted by it as he is, and so you have a much more interesting (and real) dynamic between the two, now.
I am also very interested in how you wrote the interaction between Lucas and the coin. It feels as if the coin has become an original character in itself. And it reminds me very much of Agnes Cecilia, and how someone can have a relationship with a... perhaps not inanimate, but at least a silent object. And you've written it in a very effective way that creates a good opportunity for reflection for Lucas, so we get character insight that's not entirely him just sitting thinking to himself. Actually, I feel like I'm mentally taking something from this, for my own future use. Being mindful of character introspection, and things like that. So yay for that.
I am very excited to find out what happens next, including what happened with Charlie and who it was he murdered. Yes. Very, very excited. Hint, hint. Don't make me get impatient and pluck your eyebrows in your sleep as punishment. No. I wouldn't want to give you ideas as how you might effectively extract the next chapter (or should I say 'kapitel'?) of Sins from me. *cough*

Name: Ennalee (Signed) · Date: 11/25/07 10:53 · For: Chapter Four - Relatives and Revelations
Well, I have a ridiculous number of reviews to do, but I’m starting with yours because I know I’ll enjoy it.

First of all, I have no words for how much I love your Charlie. Collecting eggs because he has to do something or go crazy! And then the peace he feels on their walk: Charlie remained where he stood, gazing over the field and the forest beyond. He, who had been moving about so restlessly all day, was now a picture of peace. And Lucas, who had lived most of his life in silence, now felt a strange need to hear the deep voice of Charlie. So perfect. I love Charlie, and I love that Lucas can’t help liking him too, though he doesn’t quite understand it yet. You have such a strong gift for characterization: even Healer Wickworth is interesting for the short time he’s ‘on screen,’ and Auntie Muriel is a joy to read. Great job.

I love how Lucas can’t quite comprehend Charlie – though I do have one comment about that. Although his incomprehension is very in-character, it’s rather more emphasized in the narrative than is actually understandable from the action; I felt like you were telling us about it, rather than showing. I wouldn’t want you to take out any of the description of Lucas’ failure to understand, which is written wonderfully – I’d just like to see a bit more of exactly what it is that he doesn’t understand. Charlie’s actions are quite commonplace – collecting eggs, performing household chores – perhaps explain a little more why exactly this is so incomprehensible to Lucas. Because while I can understand that Lucas isn’t used to doing work, especially work that could be left to the house-elves or simply performed by magic, Charlie’s efforts don’t seem to be worthy of quite as much confusion as Lucas appears to be feeling.

And so the hours had passed: Charlie going about what seemed to be a daily routine of manual tasks and physical work, now with Lucas following discreetly in his wake, trying to understand. This in particular seems like a rather abrupt transition, since it’s still not clear why it’s so hard for Lucas to understand.

One little nitpick: He went to open the carriage, at the very back, and when Lucas peered inside he was only mildly surprised to see how the interior was considerably larger than non-magical science and Muggle measurements would ever allow. This is something I’m constantly objecting to in things written from POVs of purebloods. I don’t think a pureblood would be even mildly surprised – it’s something they’re used to, something they take for granted. I’d object a little to him being ‘mildly surprised’, but even more to his reference to non-magical science and Muggle measurements. This is something he’s completely used to, much more than he’s used to things being compliant with science, and it actually knocked me out of his perspective for a minute. It’s somewhat of a predicament, because we like putting magic in our stories and we want to point out the to the reader, ‘hey, here’s something magical,’ but it’s much harder to work in when writing from the POV of a person who probably doesn’t even realize that this isn’t natural.

On the subject of nitpicks, you’re missing a space here: Nice? Nice! Ha, a bit of peace and quiet would have beennice.

The crucial thing about this chapter seems to be the elaboration of the differences between Charlie and Lucas. Charlie’s working and Lucas’ following. Their eating habits. The way they interact with house-elves (and, by extension, with the norms of wizarding society). And I like that we’re already beginning to see the changes their interaction is causing in Lucas: not only making him rethink the list of items he wants from home, but making him question – something we haven’t seen him do a whole lot of before.

As well as the characterization, you set up two key plot points: the return of the coin (which, I’m guessing, signals the conflict Lucas is going to meet – Charlie pulling him in one direction, the coin pulling him in the other), and the introduction of Charlie’s secret past (murder! Charlie? I’m intrigued!).

Also, the last line is stunning. “To choke on an explanation he didn’t even have.” Perfect! I love how every aspect of Charlie seems to pose a challenge to Lucas. I can’t wait to see the development of their friendship, along with the development of the plot. You will write more soon, yes?

Name: Merlynne (Signed) · Date: 11/02/07 22:43 · For: Chapter Four - Relatives and Revelations
An excellently dramatic conclusion to the chapter! I enjoy the interaction between Charlie and Lucas, and the snippet of Tonks/Remus was cute. Another great chapter! I can't wait until you update next.

Name: Merlynne (Signed) · Date: 11/02/07 19:21 · For: Chapter Two - The Adversities of Azkaban
Great chapter! Lucas really is a wonderful character. You write his emotions brilliantly as though they were your own, and I've become quite addicted to his story.
The coin was a great addition to the magical universe. Some people overdo it when they try to expand the world of magical trinkets et cetera, but this was great. Nice touch
And the line " the password is tiramisu" made me grin. Such a delicious (pardon the pun) allusion to the lovely forums. I've been meaning to do something like this in my own fics, but your reference is so subtle and perfect. Great work!

Name: Merlynne (Signed) · Date: 11/02/07 13:01 · For: Prologue – Part One
Your writing is beautifully fluid, and you write the tension between Lucius and Grace fantastically! This prologue is sensual and intriguing. Your characterization of Lucius is spot-on. You capture well his cold business like manner, and yet manage to shatter that cleverly with Grace's arrival. You make an exception to his facade, and I could not think of a better one! Great work! Congratulations on the award: you deserve it! I can't wait to read more...

Name: GreyLady (Signed) · Date: 10/28/07 20:17 · For: Chapter Four - Relatives and Revelations
I had meant to do this review earlier - I feel bad about leaving it so late, because you and your excellent story deserve much better. I'm truly enjoying reading it. You're a good writer, and though I know you've heard this many, many times before from everyone, I'm going to say it again: your mastery of English exceeds that of most people that I know.

Even though your writing tends to be a bit meatier and wordier than other stories that I've read, this by no means detracts from this story because there is a wonderful flow that carries the reader along without getting bogged down. The description is matter-of-fact and not flowery, but vivid. I especially liked the passage about the orchard, and your description of Lucas's thoughts afterward: "His thoughts were as flying horses, untamed and uncontrollable, beating their hooves against the inside of his head."

I actually think that the tone of your writing is what appeals to me the most - there's a warmth and impishness that is irresistible. I'm also loving the fact that there's a plot. You know, I can't think of one good fanfic that I've read recently that has a plot to match the writing, except perhaps Nan's A Road of Shattered Glass.

The characterization is also a joy to read. I was typing my quick while-reading notes, and I wrote "Lucas: an endearing enigma," and I think that actually does sum up how I feel about him rather well. There's something human and at the same time aloof about him that made me like him immediately. His ability to read others' emotions is fascinating.

You write Charlie very nicely, and, as a matter of fact, have somewhat changed my opinion of him. I've never disliked him; just never thought much of him. But Lucas's insight - "Charlie paid no heed to the norms of their magical society, but did and said whatever seemed suitable to him at the time" - was very interesting. I really like this image of him: warm, honest, open, and doing what he thinks is right without looking to society to know how to live his life. And don't think I didn't grin hugely at his green robes. Anna, Anna - manipulating characters to please you? ;)

Muriel was simply delightful. *winks* You wrote the character of an imperious, demanding, ornery old woman quite well, and she made me giggle. One thing, though: the doctor makes a comment about her old age of 107, but that isn't really that old in the wizarding old, when you consider that Dumbledore was 150. Also, I thought Charlie's exit after his revelation was a bit abrupt. Charlie is such an open person that it might have been more IC of him to tell Lucas what exactly had happened, without exaggerating or romanticizing it, or even telling it so that it painted him in a good light. However, I don't know the entire situation, so I might be dead wrong.

A few nitpicks:

“I’m sorry, but… What are you doing?” Okay, so this is shamefully unimportant, but it would please my OCD if "what" was uncapitalized and the space after the ellipsis was removed. *hides*

"Surely, the house-elf would do that?" The comma isn't needed.

"He hadn’t meant to be so straightforward, it wasn’t like him, but Charlie had been acting all too oddly not to ask." "It wasn't like him" should probably be enclosed in dashes instead, and the wording "all too odd" doesn't sit right on my tongue in that context, for some reason.

But all of that isn't really vital. Dearest Anna, you have a story to be proud of, and one which I'm highly anticipating seeing the evolution of as it unfolds. This is a really strong, intriguing, excellent story. =)

Name: crazy_purple_hp_freak (Signed) · Date: 10/25/07 13:23 · For: Chapter Four - Relatives and Revelations
Hehe. So I was reading this and I noticed that all your other chapters already have lovely shiny spewly reviews. So I claim this one first. *sticks out tongue* :D

Lucas is an amazing character. It’s weird that I’d heard of this story long before I actually came to read it, and at first I misread ‘Malory’ for ‘Malfoy’, and I always thought that the two sounded similar, so I was pretty surprised but pleased on finding out what this story was about, and I especially loved it when Grace mentioned this in one of the earlier chapters.

In a lot of the stories I’ve seen, a son of Lucius or Draco just ends up being a carbon copy of their father, which all the pure-blood mania and sneering habits; I’m glad that Lucas has taken a turn to be something different. It’s interesting to see how much ultimately, personality and character can be attributed to ‘genetics’ and how much can be attributed to upbringing. I think that part of the reason why Lucas is so different is a result of his mother’s upbringing and the lack of Lucius’ influence – and yet he does seem to have some of the same features, especially from what we saw in their Azkaban meeting.

The contrast between Lucas and Charlie Weasley is also pretty interesting to see. Lucas seems to always be more secretive, having more to hide and being much less open than Charlie. Charlie … I love your characterisation. I love it! Charlie has always been one of my favourite Weasleys, and it’s a shame we didn’t get to see more of him in canon. I love the little quirks you give him, and your Charlie is so interesting. He’s always doing something different, something intriguing which makes you want to learn more about him and how his character and experiences differ in this story compared to what we know of in canon. It’s no wonder Lucas describes him as ‘unique’.

Charlie, obviously ravenous after a day of hard work, attacked his food with delight and gusto, while Lucas enjoyed the meal at a more modest pace.
It’s little things like this that show the sheer difference in their characters. It’s not just what they believe or how they’ve been brought up, it’s the things that they do subconsciously like this. I can imagine Charlie, who I imagine to have always been an ‘outdoors’ person, an active person to eat in this way, whilst I imagine Lucas who (I think he ended up on Ravenclaw?) to be much more organised, thoughtful, studious and calm.

Thatcher bowed again, and Lucas watched the scene with interest. He had never been cruel to a house-elf, but he had also never thought to praise one as a fellow wizard.
Again, it’s the subconscious things. Lucas may not have been exposed to the pure blood beliefs that Lucius surely could have imposed on him, but he has still be brought up in a world that is quite old fashioned, in an old fashioned aristocratic family who are sure to follow conventions. If Grace and Maximillian never paid any attention to their servants, neither did Lucas probably, without realising that they could indeed be praised and spoken to like any human.

All the while he was conscious of Charlie listening to his orders, and for some reason that made him leave out garments of silk and velvet, and go for clothes and objects of a more practical nature instead.
This shows us a fantastic side of Lucas’ character. It’s almost like peer pressure, or envy in some way, of Charlie’s carefree nature and way of life. It’s as if Lucas somehow senses that Charlie is more sensible than he is, or is more ‘free’. Heh.

Okay, please don’t laugh at me Anna … but at times it almost feels as if I’m reading something that borders on slash. It’s as if Lucas isn’t 100% straight as it seems that he is pretty much obsessed with Charlie. XD There. I said it. >.>

Yes, they had had a good start last week. Too good. Similar things had happened in his life before, and Lucas should have known it wasn’t to last this time either.
Then again, this feels like a very much friendship focussed comment. Though at times Charlie seems a bit too carefree, it can definitely be argued that Lucas is much too lost within himself. This part in particular made me feel sorry for him. It’s as if all the people he’s tried to make friends with in Hogwarts eventually turned out to not be friends at all, and this time he is on the verge of giving up before he has even tried.

The same warmth seemed to be radiating from it and inexplicable relief touched Lucas’ senses — the coin was not upset with him for his recent neglect; it had not disowned him.
Ahh … so he is curious about the coin after all. This appears to show us the sort of ‘binding’ feeling that Lucas must feel towards the Malfoys. Though family he does not want to help Death Eaters, and yet I think it would probably have pained him if the coin had not grown warm and had indeed ‘disowned’ him.

Hmm … this thing about the coin almost burning him when he thought of Lucius and the woman that he desperately wanted to join, when it grows warm does this mean that lucas is getting closer in his guesses, or does the coin merely ‘respond’ when Lucas thinks about his family?

“Don’t you look dashing.”
Heh. Heh heh heh. Heh. >.> I’ll shut up now, and keep reading.

I love your portrayal of Muriel! Muriel has always been a subject of amusement to me, I love the way that she likes to insult more or less everyone. Her calling Charlie ‘Charles’ is great too. :D

He did. He minded so much he thought his chest would burst from it, and was slightly overwhelmed by the unexpected rush of hurt.
This again, is really interesting. It seems ideal that it’s Muriel, someone who is blunt and cares nothing of what others think, who first brings up the topic of Lucas’ parentage. The fact that Lucas is hurt by this question/topic shows perhaps that he doesn’t bear a grudge towards his father, despite what he knows that his father has done. Perhaps there is a part of him, the part which grew up in high society, who would love for his pureblood status to be recognised, and another part that regrets that this can never happen.

“If my father were a Death Eater, I’d lie about it too.”
This comment is so harsh, blunt and cutting. It’s a brilliant end to the chapter and I’m glad that Charlie says something like this. The way that he says this is almost as if he is disappointed in Lucas, in whom he may have seen a very good friend, until he found the flaws. It also feels to me as if Charlie is misunderstanding Lucas’ character a bit, and not realising that not everyone can be as open as he himself is. Perhaps he wanted Lucas to denounce his father there and then, not realising how difficult this is and how confused Lucas must feel.

This story is exceptional Anna! I love Lucas, and I love the interaction between him and Charlie. You really know how to tell a fantastic and compelling story, well done!

*wants to read more soon pretty please?*

Suzie < 33

Name: primagirl89 (Signed) · Date: 10/07/07 1:08 · For: Chapter Four - Relatives and Revelations
wow, I just read it all in one seating. And it is awesome!! I love the insight into Malfoy.

Author's Response: I'm so glad you like my story. Thanks for your kind words!

Name: Hectate (Signed) · Date: 10/06/07 21:15 · For: Chapter Four - Relatives and Revelations
This is simply one of the best written and imagined fanfictions i have read. The build up was steady and solid, which serves the preceeding events well. The characters are equisitive and very so well developed but not so well known or shown that the reader will know how they will act in the future. Mysterious, familiar but un-fathomable. i can't wait to find out what Lucas decides to do

Author's Response: I can't thank you enough for such kind words! And I'm glad to see that you're wondering about Lucas' actions, since that's the main point of the story.

I'm currently writing the next chapter, and I hope you will approve of that as well. Again, thank you!

Name: Ennalee (Signed) · Date: 09/30/07 14:46 · For: Chapter Three - Abduction and Affection
I’m skipping over reviewing chapter four for now, because I typed up a bunch of things I wanted to say about the fifth chapter while reviewing the third, so as fascinating as chapter four was, it’ll have to take second place. I may yet go back and review it, though, so we’ll see. :)

First of all, your description of the coin and its effect on Lucas is extremely powerful. This seems to be the first time Lucas has come so strongly into contact with his father’s heritage, and I love the symbolism, the seductive power of the coin mirroring the seductive quality of everything it stands for. As an ambivalent character, not tied to anything in particular, Lucas definitely is in a position to be lured into that seductive life of purity, pride, patrimony, and most importantly, power.

I love the entrance of the Order. It’s rather similar to the way they arrive to collect Harry in the fifth book, but rather from seeming like a copy, it goes to enhance the image of the Order as being ever so slightly ineffectual and bumbling. It’s a common trope, one that Rowling uses effectively, that of the bumbling heroes whose hearts are in the right place – and I love the way the entrance of the Order contrasts so well to the entrance of the Death Eaters in the third chapter. Structurally, I’m fascinated by your story – that will have to be my excuse for going all academic and analytical on you, but something about it makes me want to dissect it like I would for a class. Lucas is clearly positioned as a focal point for a conflict between the Order and the Death Eaters; the two contrasting visits not only work well in a structural, symbolic kind of way, but they serve to demonstrate to Lucas the two poles between which he is hovering. Very well done!

I’m not going to go into it, because I’ve already rambled on enough and am about to ramble on in a different subject, but I have to say, I love the way you show Remus and Tonks, individually and together. The Tonks-Charlie interaction is wonderful as well – as you know, I’m a strong believer in their friendship!

Speaking of Charlie: I expect, given the title and the focus on his ambivalence, that Lucas’ progression from inaction to action will be one of the driving forces of the story. I’m seeing Lucas in some sense as the Ron-figure gone wrong. What I love so much about Ron is that he isn’t a ‘remarkable’ character, in the sense that he doesn’t have any particular ties to the conflict, no especial ability like Hermione, no grand destiny like Harry – and yet he fights anyway. At first, he fights merely because his friends are fighting, and he loves them and will follow them, but by the end, he’s as tied to the cause as any of them. I see Lucas as the Ron who was never drawn into the fight by his friends, never given any reason to care. His position is furthered, of course, by the fact that his familial position is such that he’s likely to be in no danger, no matter which way the battle goes. Whereas Ron, of course, comes from a family of known blood-traitors, Lucas’ family situation really does foster ambivalence. It’s as he said in the previous chapter – he really has no reason to be drawn to one side or the other.

Charlie, on the other hand, is an action oriented character from the start (he’s a dragon keeper, enough said!). Add on to that his family ties – two of his uncles killed, half his family in the Order and the other half fighting Voldemort though underage, his status as a blood traitor – of course he’s going to have strong loyalties. And I’m thinking that Charlie’s not only going to provide Lucas of an example of what it means to be invested in a cause, he’s going to be the instigator of Lucas’ own loyalty. Not caring which side fails or succeeds when you have no ties is one thing, but not caring when the success of one means the possible death of a friend is a completely different thing, and I imagine the friendship that arises between Lucas and Charlie will be the catalyst of Lucas’ end to indifference. (That is, I hope a friendship will arise between them; the wave of affection Lucas has at the end of the chapter seems to indicate that it will!

I wrote this last part of the review first, and then went back to the beginning and saw it in a whole new light; if Lucas is going to be building ties with Charlie, I wonder what ties will pull him towards the other side? Will it be the coin, or his lingering feelings of duty towards his father, or perhaps his grandfather (seemingly another neutral character) will be pulled into it. Fascinating!

I think I love everything about this story – the writing, the plot, the conflict between ambivalence and action, the question of which side to support – but the thing I’m most looking forward to is the development of the relationship between Charlie, one of my favorite characters, and Lucas, who I am growing increasingly attached to. I suppose you might say that it’s a mark of a good story if it inspires fanfiction – well, I think you ought to know, I’m totally writing out a scene in my head about how Charlie’s in danger and Lucas finds for the first time that he really cares, and is goaded into action. And I keep trying to stop myself from imagining it, because I want to wait and see where you go with the story, but I thought you should know that if this was a published story, I’d totally be writing that fanfic.

And with that, I’m going to end this monstrous review. Very sorry for going all analytical on you like that; I don’t seem to have really critiqued much at all, but instead had a kind of in-class discussion all by myself – I must be back in school mode! I just hope that I’ve said something useful, or that my ramblings will at least give you an idea of what themes are coming across well. And Anna, dear, I know you’re busy with moving and all, but you simply have to update this story soon, because I can’t wait to see where you go with it.

Author's Response: Nan… I’m sitting here with a silly grin on my face. I LOVE this analytical review – partly because you and your eagle-eyes have made so many correct observations, but also because it makes me so aware of my own writing and because it inspires me to write, write and write even more.

So that is what I will do, right now. Thank you. I love you. =)

Name: Ennalee (Signed) · Date: 09/30/07 14:45 · For: Chapter One - Memories and a Midnight Message
So, Anna, here I am at last. I already told you how much I enjoyed this story, and I want you to know that it wasn’t just something I said because I felt obligated while sitting in your house and eating your chocolate – or even because I’m a nice person and like to compliment my friends. Looking over the story to review, I keep thinking how different your phrasing tendencies are, and it makes it difficult for me to comment syntactically – the voice of the narrative is lovely, with a reserved sort of elegance, and I’m afraid that my comments would only be trying to nudge it towards a voice more like my own, which would be a loss. Sentences like this one: These days, a man did not have to be a wizard to know that something was wrong in Britain. Absolutely lovely! I’m amazed by how well the voice of the narrative fits Lucas; it’s quiet and proper and reserved and elegant and tinged with a rather Rowlingesque humor. But if one happened to linger for a moment, perhaps to tie a shoelace or rummage pockets for gloves, blurred shapes would appear in the gloom… made me grin.

One stylistic nitpick, even though I said I wouldn’t: you do have a tendency to start sentences with prepositions, especially ‘but’. Three years of middle-school teachers bred this tendency out of me to the point where I have trouble starting sentences with prepositions in any sort of formal writing, but I do concede that it can be an effective technique. Nevertheless, I think it is something you should keep to a minimum level, not necessarily because of the grammatical rules, but because when you do use it, it will be more effective.

Something I found interesting was a pattern in the way you introduce your characters. Going back to the prologue, the first sentence in the entire story is, A young man was standing half-way up an impressive staircase… Following shortly after that, you have, He was Lucius Malfoy, and the successful ball below was all his doing. Here, in this chapter, we are introduced to Lucas with the statement, It was a young man, and he was quite comfortably seated on a bench…, followed by, He was Lucas Malory, and he had come to the park to honour the memory of his mother. In both cases, you introduce a general figure – a young man was, it was a young man – and then you specify the description – he was Lucius Malfoy, he was Lucas Malory. I’m very interested by this trend. I didn’t catch it the first time through, and don’t know if you use it to introduce any other characters. If you do, it’s probably something you should watch out for – it’s very easy to find a trick that works and reuse it all the time without noticing (for instance, I tend to have my characters kick the legs of their chairs when I need a filler bit of description – it took me ages to notice that, and I had to go back and edit so that all my characters weren’t pathological chair-kickers). However, if you don’t use it for other characters, then I’m fascinated by the implications of the way you parallel the introductions of father and son, a relationship that I suspect will have a large amount of driving force in the future of the story. Sorry for the long-winded comment on the trivial point, but I found that very interesting and wanted to point it out.

Lucas’ reminiscence about his mother was lovely; of course the smells bring back the memories, and I love the smells you picked – but what I found most interesting were the physical memories you chose. …hatching eaglets, duelling his grandfather, or leaning over some book in the library. He could hear her voice, reciting poetry or adjusting his spellwork or calling the wolfhounds. I’m intrigued that all of his memories of her are very active. We know that passivity is one of Lucas’ foremost traits, and as such, it seems highly relevant that he remembers his mother as someone who was always doing. Nice detail there.

What mustn’t it feel like to be so wholly dedicated to a cause that you would willingly sacrifice your life for it? He could not imagine it, and most of the time he wasn’t interested in trying. He was of little importance to anyone, so it wasn’t as if he had any reason to think in the terms of good and evil, of right and wrong. This right here seems to me to be the heart of the chapter, the biggest insight into Lucas’ character you’ve given us so far (and by so far, I mean the first five chapters, not just the first three).

I find it interesting that Lucas is able to so clearly diagnose his own condition; not only is he able to recognize his own apathy and name it as such, he’s come up with a reason to explain it – or perhaps an excuse. That he is able to identify so clearly what is going on marks him as a Ravenclaw, but more importantly, I think it shows that he has put a significant amount of thought into it. For all his protestation that he isn’t interested in trying to be so dedicated to a cause, the fact that he’s put so much thought into his apathy and its causes suggests, IMO, that it bothers him to some extent. Perhaps he doesn’t realize it, but I’m convinced that he really wants to experience that dedication.

Likewise, when he says that It was not that he really minded the isolation… But on the day when he stepped out of the Entrance Hall for the last time, Lucas knew that he would be instantly forgotten. He had made no lasting impression on any part or person of the school, and no one would miss him. It had been a peculiar feeling — to come face to face with his own unimportance. I can’t believe that he’s quite as accepting of this state of affairs as he believes – it’s obviously a point he’s thought about in some detail. Great paragraph by the way – another one that’s crucial to the development of his character.

I’ve been incredibly long-winded, so I’ll try to speed things up for the rest of the review – though, having fallen to the long-review-bug yourself, I’m sure you’ll understand. Maximilian was well done; from what little we see of him he has the potential to be an interesting character in his own right, not just a perfunctory grandfather figure. The house-elves were good and house-elvy – I liked the way Lucas interacted with them, kind and polite but obviously taking for granted the assumption that their duty is to serve him. Another element of his character – he’s accustomed to being served, to his needs being taken care of; I imagine that between his home and Hogwarts, he’s never really had to do much for himself. Something to look forward to in future chapters, I imagine.

One nitpick: “If you were seeking to talk to my grandfather, Maximilian Malory, I’m sorry to inform you that he left for France earlier this evening. He is not expected to return for at least a month.” It seems strange to me that he refers to his grandfather by his full name here, since his assumption is that these people know who his grandfather is. It would feel more natural, IMO, if he referred to him as either “Maximilian” or “Mr Malory”.

The action at the end of the chapter is great – very tense, and the flow is good. As someone who find writing action very difficult, I’m very jealous of your ability to make the scene with so little actual movement so tense. Congrats on that, and on the entire chapter, of course, and now I’m off to give you another long-winded ramble on the next one.

Author's Response: Nan! *blushes* This is... wow. I will try to respond to your review, but it's so amazingly in-depth that I'm not sure I can do it justice.

It's funny that you should mention my use of prepositions - I was taught exactly the same thing as you, and for the longest time I was a real Nazi about prepositions in the beginning of a sentence. But then, someone I greatly respect talked to me and told me to "relax about it" - and it seems that I did, without even realising it. =) I promise you I'll be more careful with that!

As for the way I've introduced Lucius and Lucas, no, I believe I don't do that with anyone else. I think it's because I'm introducing each of them as the main character for that part of the story, and I was attempting to make a straightforward and thus powerful presentation. I think I had to use my narrator’s voice more in those two situations, compared to all other introductions that are more or less from Lucas’ point of view.

Aha, yes. Not really leading a busy life, Lucas has had a lot of time to contemplate his own situation. Thinking about it like he does in this chapter is kind of a defence mechanism for him, or maybe like a mantra. If you constantly think of yourself as insignificant, perhaps you will be? And the next paragraph of your review – hee, I’m actually returning to that in not the chapter I’m writing now, but the next one.

Gah. Thank you so much for this review, Nan! I must confess that I’m rather worried what you’ll think of the rest of the story… But for now I’ll go and respond to your next review. *grins*

Name: callmehermione (Signed) · Date: 09/29/07 20:07 · For: Prologue – Part One
I remember you telling me about Luke when I was there this summer, and I couldn't wait to read about him. As soon as I started seeing this story mentioned everywhere, I realised it was his! I'm so excited to read it.

First, there's something I've noticed. You write men very well. I mean, you write stories from their point of view marvelously. It's nearly impossible for me to picture Lucius as a virgin, but here he is! But you've written him so we can almost feel his burning lust ourselves. You're doing such a lovely job with this story, I just can't wait to see more of it. Love.

Author's Response: *grins* Thank you SO much, Delaney love. And I'm glad you approve of how I write men - when Lucas first appeared in my head, it was partly because I had seen so many female OC's around and wondered whether I could write a believable male one. So... I hope you will think so, when you get to him.

Name: TheVanishingAct (Signed) · Date: 09/10/07 17:01 · For: Prologue – Part Two

I return with another review. This one won’t be as long as the other (or, as edited by myself later - it can be very much longer) mainly due to the fact that one took two days to finish and I’d rather get this one done within the hour. Enough about me, let’s talk about you. More to the point, let’s talk about your story, and what you have done with the second part of the prologue. First, I must point out that you once again manage to grab details and shake them with your all-mighty fist. I am talking about the timeline specifically. It may seem easy to figure out how everything would be placed to make sure it fits in with canon, but I know from personal experience that it can be a - well, in nicer words: witch. However, there are no mistakes here, and it flows seamlessly.

Now. I simply must talk about the fantastic way you handled the backstory of the upcoming fic (I am still in shock that this is simply a prologue, when it could actually be the fic itself, you know.) And, unlike many prologues that are scattered through so many stories, this actual prologue is what happened before the story began, and it shows why this or that happened, which I do not yet know, so I will refer to those moments as “this or that”. I cannot get over the fact that it was done so well. And normally I’m extremely opposed to splitting up a prologue into two portions. However, this splitting up was a wise judgment on your part. It makes sense, for first, we see the moment that triggers the story, and the many years leading up to the first chapter. Yes, Anna dear, I am very impressed with not only your organizational skills but also the relevance of the prologue.

Before I actually dive into the technical aspects, I must talk about the plot. How COULD you? I am not shocked in the least that you killed her, but, I really liked her as a character and now she is gone and Lucius doesn’t really care. It makes sense, her son being on his own, with being an illegitimate child and all, but I am still very sad that you killed her. That, to me, seems to be the major point that you tried to get across in this chapter: she’s gone, and Lucius, Lucas, and Mr Malory are the only three people on the planet who know about who Lucas’ father actually is, and we all know Mr Malory is probably going to drop dead any moment now, so that just leaves father and son. It does leave quite a bit of room for complications ahead, and I am positive that you will make a brilliant story, based solely on these two prologues (and I’m not even including your past work in the equation). I can’t wait to read it.

You use some scrumptious words here, and it all starts with the first letter to Lucius (I love this prologue title, by the way). First you start with the word “dearest”. Let me just say, it seems like something someone of high status would say in a letter, no matter who it is to. “It is my hope that by sending this letter at such a busy time of the year, it will pass unnoticed by others. If all goes well, you should be able to explain it as yet another Christmas greeting.” I just love the use of “pass unnoticed” here. Scrumptious indeed. And, how lucky Lucius is to not have anyone around so he doesn’t make excuses for the letter. Always thinking, that Grace.

“Nor will I admit that I miss you.” I just think that this sentence speaks volumes. For one - it was just lust that Lucius was feeling, and obviously Grace as well. It also shows that she can live happily without Lucius, as the large space of time between letters shows. This letter is strictly business. Why? Oh, the only thing that would happen with such a chance encounter and shagging session: an illegitimate child! It also helps to know that the summary told us this and that it was obvious what was going to happen so I can’t honestly say I’m surprised. Still. Also in this paragraph, you have one itsy bitsy typo. “But after hours of debating in my already tired mind, I have decided to at lest tell you.” Although lest is a word, I do believe it’s supposed to be “least” according to context.

I have another bit of crit for you before I start heaping on the praise (Good LORD I’m at like 770 words and I’m not even a fourth of the way down the page XD). “I trust you will be able to, seeing as any bit of his presence in your life would… complicate it.” In letters, I doubt that many people use ellipses mainly because it just seems unnecessary, unless you are clearly indicating a pause, and I doubt that Grace would use that tactic in the instance it is used.

“The white flakes seemed to hypnotise him, and he stared into the endless distance.” I really like this. Is the endless distance caused by the fact that not only is everything covered in snow, but it just doesn’t stop snowing? I enjoy it when a sentence gives me the chance to think about why it’s like that. It helps me get a clearer image in my mind of how the scene is set. Also, I don’t know if “hypnotise” is spelled all British and whatnot, but I spell it as “hypnotize”, with a z. Just in case it’s a typo. : )

“Barely covered by silk sheets, she had stroked the back of his neck and said that he was too young and too handsome, that they would never be accepted even if he was not already engaged to another woman.” I had to mention this, mainly because it just seems like such a Sins prelude (I know, I know, Sins isn’t canon, I’ve forgotten again…). It also strikes me as incredibly odd, because here is a woman of high stature in bed with a young man of high stature, who oddly are under silk sheets. I thought Lucius was the domineering one, like he should be talking and he should be stroking her neck. But no, it’s the other way around, and it seems as if that Veela blood in Grace controls her. I love that, Anna.

This entire seen of the two of them in bed is quite nice imagery, for you don’t spare us the detail that matter - not how exhausted the two of them were after going at it like a couple on their honeymoon, but how Lucius knew how Grace worked - “And Grace was proud. She might not admit to being affected by gossip and ill speaking, but Lucius knew she was more vulnerable than she let on.” I think this is quite important for you to include, because not only is that a frequent feeling in most of us, it also shows us why Grace warns Lucius how to be secretive in the first place, even though he might already be in the know. It’s an incredibly dazzling connection, and I applaud you for it.

Some more crit here. “His eyes were suddenly watering from not having blinked for too long, so he shook his head to rid it of the trance.” When you mention “it”, it seems like you are referring to his head instead of his eyes. And, in the case you actually are referring to his head, I’d strongly suggest you’d replace “it” with “himself”, as it would sound better this way, and not be as confusing.

Now, as I read, this pair of sentences strikes me as extremely telling on how the pureblooded society works in England. “He had long since given up the right to do things for the sake of his own emotions. He had asked Narcissa to marry him at his parents’ particular suggestion, to strengthen the alliance between two already powerful pure-blood houses. If he attempted to break up, the Blacks would not be forgiving.” Mainly, the first sentence stands as a reminder that in pureblooded society, you never do things to help others or yourself. You do things for a cause. This is one reason why I believe that Lord Voldemort was able to persuade some of these families easily to join him. That’s just the way they think. And I included the second sentence mainly because of what is insinuated by “…the Blacks would not be forgiving.”. Honestly, can you just imagine Bellatrix coming up to Lucius and Grace one day and cursing them into the ground? Not a good mental image, I know, but it’s certainly funny that they’d get high on revenge.

Now, I’m not even at the halfway point of the chapter and I’ve managed to write 1500 words. This does not bode well for my sanity. So, to keep me from completely spazzing out and being sent to the crazy train for people who write extremely long reviews, I’m going to take only one (or two?) paragraphs on the middle section of the prologue, mainly because I find that it’s the least important section of the chapter. Yes, we hear that Grace suddenly decides to sit down and write a letter to Lucius after 12 years of no correspondence whatsoever (though I can’t really blame her, can I?), but I think the most important thing to take note of is the fact that you managed to tie canon into your fic by having Lucius attempt to send Draco to Durmstrang, and to have Narcissa insist he go to Hogwarts. Well done, because I believe many of us have forgotten that little detail.

I have one comment on word choice. “Lucius had toyed with the idea for some time now, to join the board of governors.” I love your choice of the word “toyed”. It just shows Lucius has limitless opportunities to do so many things, just being one of them. I find it a very good choice of verb. : )

Anna, I must stop myself from reviewing further. If I do, this review will reach 4500 words, and you already know my reaction to your killing off my favorite character so far. ;) I hope you don’t terribly mind. I’m seriously about to enter the crazy train, so au revoir!

Author's Response: *hides face* Yes, how COULD I kill Grace? Bad me! But at least I didn’t laugh while killing her off, like Kasey would have. So there, I’m not THAT bad.

Very good point about the ellipses, Patrick dear. I will definitely edit that sooner or later. I will also look into the other excellent changes you suggested. =)

Yes, Grace was rather domineering, and she always let Lucius know, albeit subtly, that she was the one in charge in their little affair. It was she who struck up the relationship, she who decided when they would meet, and she who ended it. For good and for bad, she was a VERY independent woman.

*giggles* Patrick, I can only say how much I love this review, how much I love you, and how absolute thrilled I am that you’re reading and liking my story! :D

Name: GringottsVault711 (Signed) · Date: 09/10/07 4:13 · For: Chapter Three - Abduction and Affection
My goodness. I read your first paragraph, and am already just blown away at the pure, seamless, perfection of your writing. Anna, you cannot comprehend how well you write. I don’t know how to convey it to you. It’s not “you’re perfect because I love you” Perfection, it’s simply… “closest thing to Heaven” perfection. A Heaven that serves chocolate and tiramisu for breakfast on silver plates set upon black marble tables.

You are incredible. Beyond incredible.


I’m done, really.

*reads further*

No, I’m not.

…snatching it from the pull of gravity. I mean, COME ON. It’s brilliant. I could eat, drink, breathe this writing.

Okay. I’ll promise to contain future flailing urges and only focus on things I can actually say something specific about.

It was a game, a test, a torture, and Lucas could not recall ever being so amused and astounded.” This line is delicious. The alliteration. I just want to go back, after reading it, and say it aloud to myself and feel it. Plus, the word “torture” is always a good one ;)

A moment later, the streetlamp silently went out, its light stolen by the deep darkness of the night.” *bites lip and represses urge to flail, as promised*

it took Lucas a moment to realise what the sound had been – reality”. Now, this is a line I can be somewhat sensible talking about. Reality. I love how we use that word, and what it represents. It is the perfect description for what awakes him, what he wakes up to. What we all, unfortunately, must deal with once in a while.

And then, you have a more tangible description of Lucas using the power we saw earlier. For once, his target isn’t aware and in defense against it. Also, when we read of it last time, there was a much greater emotional aspect to it. Here, it is practical. He’s trying to sense if he’s in danger or not. There is a wonderful purity to the power, and it’s also just very exciting to see this power used again. What’s the point of creative ideas if they are brought up and then abandoned? [I know I’m guilty of it now and then. It does become difficult to keep track of something that is less of a plot-point and more a stroke of cleverness. Am glad you’re keeping us reminded of this one, at least for the time-being.]

but he did not fancy being walked in on when wearing only a pair of flannel trousers.” I must say, I certainly wouldn’t mind being the one walking in on him. Was this just supposed to be amusing, or are you teasing your readers by giving us images of half-naked Malfoy men? … “It was creased, but would at least cover his naked chest.” *cough*

“Who are you, and what are you doing here?” Lucas is direct. I like it. Is he this forward with his women, too? I think we should be given an example of that at some point.

But there are certain people who wouldn’t have been overjoyed to know that we are visiting you, so we thought it better to come here at night. This line definitely sounds like Remus Lupin. It’s his manner of speaking, and the slight humour that exists in his tone, even when talking of serious matters. Later, you continue to have him well characterized: “A question rarely receives an answer if not asked.” A very Remus way of being logical and fair when dealing with people. But, he continues to be direct, showing that he means business. He is not unnecessarily polite (that is, he is not going out of his way, or sacrificing his duty for the sake of not stepping on anyone’s toes). He is direct about their position and their reasoning. And, of course there is Tonks, who is needed to give that extra push and point out that they are indeed their to abduct him. *chuckles*

I like where Lucas’ thoughts go, about missing the power to choose. It’s a very honest view of the matter. It’s something everyone experiences, I think. Though, some people are less aware of the psychology of it than Lucas. We can be annoyed at things, or unwilling to do things not so much because we are opposed, but simply because even if we weren’t opposed, we don’t have a choice in the matter. I simply adore points of human nature in writing. :D

Also liked that you took the opportunity to lay out the travel plans, and that Lucas would be going by Side-Along Apparation. Because, these things can of course be tracked, and it does have to look like Lucas went unwillingly. Nicely and subtly done :)

Through the doorframe of the dark room, Lucas saw them as another moving painting, illuminated by the morning light that spilled through the windows in the doors. That is a rather beautiful description, dear.

And this Charlie, he thought, seemed unusually open and artless, as if ready to approve of everything and everyone he met” *chuckles* This is quite an original take on Charlie. But, it seems incredibly fitting, I think. I also like that there seems to be disapproval in Lucas’ mind, as he’s definitely not the readily-approving sort. These two will have interesting chemistry, it’s clear already. [And I mean “chemistry” very innocently, I assure you. Though, *cough*, that too.]

And then we reach the end of the chapter, with Lucas’ lovely ripple of emotion. And, all I can think of is how incredibly real and human he is. He’s not a contrived character, who is either good or bad. And he does not act ideally, which many many characters do. Not fan-fiction characters, but just characters in books and movies in general, who have a tendency to always do and feel and say what is “right” in difficult situations, and only behave with everyday flaws in everyday life. He views people subjectively rather than objectively, and he has his own mindset and perspectives that are not typically open-minded. Yes, I leave this chapter thinking just about Lucas, and his character, and just how very real and believable he is, and how I cannot wait to see what else happens to him.

PS. I love you more.

Author's Response: You could eat and drink my writing? That’s EXCELLENT, if we’re going to be poor Swedes together! :D

Oh, Lucas’ ability isn’t going to be forgotten, that I promise you. It plays a big part in an upcoming story of mine. Or, well, two upcoming stories. <.< And I’m also going to explain it a bit better before the end of this story. Well, that is to say that someone is, not me personally. >.>

*gasp* Would I tease my readers by showing them half-naked part-Malfoy men? Jenna! How could you ever accuse me of such a thing!? *coughs* And about Lucas being forward… well, not really, since he’s not very experienced in the area… but let me just say that when he finds the right woman, he won’t need to be forward.

*giggles* Jenna, I love how you’re not completely bashing me for including some Remus/Tonks. It’s not that I’m overly fond of them, as you well know, but rather that I do want some romance in the story, and couples are currently a bit lacking. But I shan’t torment you with them too much, promise.

My love, this was such an uplifting review, and it made me grin something terribly. Thank you! And… now I guess I had better go and finish the next chapter? Or write my reviews for Ch 20 of Sins? >.< I’m SO bad! But I do love you. More. =)

Name: TheVanishingAct (Signed) · Date: 09/06/07 12:08 · For: Prologue – Part One

There is just something about pureblooded wizarding culture that fascinates me. I don’t know why - I’m of the opinion that it’s a mix of my interest in the lifestyles of the rich and the tour de force known as Sins of the Father - and that’s why this is alluring. Well, one of the many, many reasons, most of which I’ll get to later. I could tell you that it’s because I’ve read enough of your work to know that this will be of the highest caliber, but that’s a given, and you’ll deny it anyway even though it’s true, so it’s not that. I could also say that it’s because of the fantastically written summary which gives me willies reading it because I just *know* it’ll be amazing. But I think that the main reason that it’s alluring is the fact that when you go to read it, the first sentence just completely grabs you - “A young man was standing half-way up an impressive staircase, looking down on the sea of people mingling below.” - and all of a sudden, you’re on this ride that buckles you up and takes you along whether you like your pureblooded wizards or not.

Your greatest strength, Anna, is that you have this innate ability to take what would seem as only minor details and make them full of richness and splendor. For instance - “A satisfied smile played on his lips, and he was dressed in robes of the finest cut and quality, by the best wizard tailors.” It not only gives us insight into this man’s character, but it resonates high society, for who else would have been dressed in robes such as those if not the highest in the social ladder?

“As he browsed the crowds, he remembered something better yet: that dressed in red and dancing in the ball room was his new fiancée, showing off her qualities to less privileged men.” I can’t help but wonder Anna, if Lucius is speaking of being privileged in the manner of his wife, her bosom, or the fact he has more money then the rest of the attendees? Upon further reading into the paragraph, it turns out that no, he really likes her. Interesting. Anna, you have his character wrapped around your little finger.

“It would be good if the two women could get along, seeing as they would be living at the same manor soon enough.” This sentence really amuses me. For one, I immediately think of the two sparring against each other and word duels to the intensity of Lucius’ and Siobhan’s. Well, almost. The second thing that I think of when I read this is the fact that Lucius won’t be moving out of his parents’ house, unlike the culture here in the US where we like to move out as soon as humanly possible. Houses must be passed through the families too, eh?

“Lucius was distracted from his musings when a heavy hand was placed on his shoulder.” It’s exactly like a movie. And what’s coming next, the little exchange between Lucius and his father - and the description of their relationship - really demonstrates why pureblooded society is as indifferent and gossipy and cold as it is.

“Both Malfoys watched as a certain Orion Black, tall and threateningly handsome, joined in the conversation below. Abraxas’ hand on Lucius’ shoulder immediately stiffened, before he quickly withdrew it.” I do believe that this is one of those moments where you give so much meaning to one little bit of your story. It just demonstrates what you have said earlier - “Lucius knew his father was still jealously guarding her from other men, a fact that never ceased to surprise him.” Delicious details, m’dear.

I’m going to skip through the story now - for if I continue the way I’m going, this review will reach the length of a football field. For giants. *nods* I’m picking up here. “Lydia, reading her son as easily as an open Potions book, smirked knowingly. ‘Lucius dear, why don’t you give Miss Grace a tour of the house?’” Oh, Lydia. How I DO love you and your ability to detect sexual tension. Not only are you such a graceful woman and clearly gorgeous, you know when there is clearly interest between two people and - as I will elaborate further ahead in this review - when they are about to shag like bunnies. I applaud you.

“He turned towards the magnificent woman, preparing to untwist his tongue. But as he took in the sight of her, hair aglow with reflections from chandelier light and figure subtly framed by green draperies, he felt words travelling over his lips with surprising easiness. Contrary to most of his species, Lucius does in fact find it easier to talk to a gorgeous woman then an ugly simpleton. It also strikes me curious as how he doesn’t strive to impress our dear Miss Malory. Of does he? Not wanting to seem like a simpleton would, in fact, count. Once again, your attention to detail strikes me as your biggest strength.

“He figured she could not have been too displeased, because she chose to answer. “Neither, thank you. I would like to look around but only a little, and talk even less.” I want to talk about this bit due to the fact it’s the only sentence I could find where I found something I love and something I could live without. I’ll first say that with all the rich verbs, adjectives, phrases, and dialogue that you have twinkling throughout, “figured” seems heavily out of place. I would substitute with a word like “guessed”, which sounds much more distinguished. However, “could not have been too displeased” is probably my favorite bit in the entire prologue, for it is a paradox of words and uses double negatives but it works. It not only works, but it makes the sentence stand out, even though normally, a sentence such as this, with such little importance, wouldn’t. Bravo, bravo!

“The rooms were buzzing with chatting and occasional spells, and sparkles from multiple Glamour charms twinkled in the intoxicating air.” I must eat my words. THIS is my favorite phrase in the entire piece. This is mainly because you invented Glamour charms. And, to top that off, you followed if with what is quite possibly the best string of words that you could have used. Fantastic. : )

“‘I’ve already met with the people I wanted to speak to,” he shrugged. “I tend to think that the rest is for women’s amusement.’” To fit in some more crit, I must say that “shrugging” seems like a very simpleton thing for Mr Malfoy to do. I do, however, enjoy the insight we get from this statement. Surely not all women enjoy the balls, yes? I also believe that some of the men might enjoy parties as well. Could we be stereotyping, Lucius? For shame!

“‘I see. What a pity.’ She took another sip of wine and closed her eyes.” This really speaks for itself. You obviously know how to suggest that seduction is being used here, all with a simple, nonchalant motion and a few words of dialogue. Heavens, Anna, I do believe your attention to detail strikes again! But what makes this even more enjoyable is Lucius’ reaction: “Lucius felt as if a dazzling light had suddenly been extinguished.” I giggled when I read this. I don’t know why. It just amused me.

I’m skipping past the sudden lustful!Lucius and the dance scene, for they really explain themselves - and I’m going to talk about this: “‘Mr Malfoy.’ She demanded his attention in a low voice that made him tremble. ‘Are you planning on escorting me to somewhere more private? Or are we to risk a scandal behind one of your draperies?’” Mainly, I’m quoting this because of “Or are we to risk a scandal behind one of your draperies?”. I LOVE this line. It sounds poetic and naughty and something like a woman of high estate would say when they are about to shag like bunnies (like a simpleton such as myself would say). Very amusing, and your character abilities take a moment to shine through here. Before, they only take a backseat, but I do believe that this is when you finally have them at the forefront. Why? Well…

“He did not answer, but looked towards the hall. Tightening her grip on his wrist, Lydia Malfoy shook her head. ‘No, my son. I thought I had raised you not to be a fool? Find a better way through the back rooms!’

He almost forgot his urgency and stopped to closely examine her face. “Mother?”

“Go, Lucius. And don’t let your father see you.”

This, my dear, makes you and Lydia WIN AT LIFE. Not only is the exchange totally unexpected, it’s also uncalled for, not needed, but so incredibly delicious and reveal so much about Lydia’s character that I am in total shock. Anna. Honestly. That was incredible.

I am now (finally!) at the end of the review, and I can truly say this: I look forward to reading the rest of your fic. And, let me finish by saying this: Lucius may have been seduced by Grace, but I was seduced by the amazing imagery, bits of humour, and story telling you always include in your work.

Author's Response: I can’t believe that you managed to include the word ‘bosom’ in the review, my precious. XD

No, but seriously, I didn’t really intend for Lucius to like Narcissa, but rather the idea of Narcissa – a pure-blood woman attractive enough for other men to be jealous, who could spend her days squeezing out little Malfoy heirlings or sit upon a velver sofa like an expensive ornament.

About the whole “two women getting along” thing, I put that in there to try and show a bit of Lucius’ general attitude to women. Even his mother, whom he loves and respects, is “just a woman” and he looks down on them and hopes that they will get along, sort of like naughty children. The things women find amusing or argue about cannot possibly be of any importance to a man, Lucius believes. And then Grace comes along and teaches him that some women are different…

Lydia, yes… She knows her son’s emotions very well, as does she everyone else’s. >.> Oh my, did I say too much now?

As a matter of fact, it’s Grace’s Veela-blood that loosens Lucius’ tongue (no pun intended, *cough*). I thought this would make sense, as we’ve seen proof of how some men get rather wordy around Veelas and part-Veelas. Lucius is indeed not a simpleton, so I figured that loosing his tongue a little would be sufficient.

*giggles at Patrick trying to give concrit* I shall most definitely look into that bit, m’dear.

*GRINS* I’m SO pleased you liked Lydia’s character and how she encourages Lucius to have himself a taste of a real woman before getting married to Mrs Boring – ehm, I mean Black.

Patrick, my love, that was… a truly stunning and somewhat overwhelming review. What can I say? Thank you, obviously, but also WELCOME BACK! :D

Name: Marauder by Midnight (Signed) · Date: 09/04/07 9:46 · For: Prologue – Part Two
Grace seems so firm to have Lucius stay out of her son's life. From your writing, I can understand why; Lucius' role in Lucas' life would complicate young Lucas' life too much, Lucas already has a fatherly figure in his life, AND Lucius' reputation would be beyond repair if the scandal did surface. It makes me wonder though: didi she truly care for Lucius at all? Would the last reason just be a reason of convenience? From the resemblance between 'Lucas Malory' and 'Lucius Malfoy,' I'd say it was a subtle recognition of the father.

I really would've liked to see the Wizarding world's reaction to Lucas' birth. Perhaps Narcissa could've said something about it between Grace's first and second letters. It would've made the chapter more rounded, accounting for the rest of the world rather than just Grace, Lucius, and Lucas.

Lucas knows of your existence, but I am pleased to say that he has never shown any interest in seeing you or even hearing about you.
That line made me snort out loud. What a paradox.

With a quick movement of his wand, he erased both Grace Malory and her letter from his life.
I really liked the finality that line had insinuated, only to see that Grace and Lucas continue to weave themselves into Lucius' life. It's interesting to see such one-sidedness; never does Lucius attempt to contact the Malorys. This could be misconstrued into showing that Grace, despite her words, really does integrate herself and her son into Lucius' life.

Loved seeing the comparison between Lucas and Draco. Poor Draco cannot match the skills and talents of his older half-brother. Your words showed that despite Lucius' efforts, he can't help but appreciate Lucas as his son and rather condemns Draco for the lack of talent.

I remembered vaguely that Draco told Harry in SS that he was nearly sent to Durmstrang; VERY GOOD JOB in incorporating that in your chapter. How ingenious of you for having Lucius consider Durmstrang because Lucas went to Hogwarts!

Some nitpicking:

at lest tell you. -- Should that be "at least" or "at last?"

son if his -- Son of his.

made yeas ago -- made years ago.

When reading trough the letter -- When reading through the letter.

Author's Response: Beth! Another amazing review!

Oh, yes, Grace did care for Lucius, but she’s a very rational woman and knew that there was no way they could ever work out together. And she cared for her son much, much more than her lover. Lucas’ name, however, is indeed intended to be a small recognition of his father. Plus, Grace liked it. ;)

To tell you the truth, there really wasn’t a “reaction” to Lucas’ birth in the Wizarding world. As Grace said, it was all very privately taken care of, and among the pure-bloods, where one might have spotted Lucas’ resemblance to his father, those things were often turned a blind eye at. Lucas also wasn’t out and about much before he went to Hogwarts, which I think might be rather typical for magical children.

Thanks for the nitpicking and your praise, Beth darling. :D

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