I am very much ashamed to be one of the few SPEW members who have not yet read this story. And wow, am I glad I started!
I love the mystery you've surrounded Grace Malory with. From your descriptions, I could tell she really is a creature of grace. The way she seduces Lucius so subtly, with a little aid from her bloodline, was powerfully worded. There must be something that is driving her to pursue Lucius, a man who's so much younger than herself, if she really is thirty. It's interesting to see a family who wasn't pure-blood whom the Malfoys could see fit to invite. I wonder if they would've been invited if they were part-troll rather than part-veela.
Lucius' character is also intriguing. I'm not used to seeing him act this way, so human and somewhat warm (with lust, albeit). Perhaps he acts this way only among "his own kind;" I recognized a bit of the familiar Lucius when he interacted with the house-elves and first met the Malorys.
I liked your introduction of Narcissa through his eyes as well as his viewpoint of love. He and Grace share that "I-must-not-be-owned" sort of pride and makes them more suited for each other. I do wish to see Narcissa's reaction to the scandal though. Certainly, she must have some Petunia aspects in that she keeps a scrutinous eye on her "prize," Lucius and should've noticed something peculiar.
...organise the many folds of her black dress before sitting down. Sitting down in a matching chair on the opposite side of a small table.
For me, seeing "sitting down" twice in a row was awkward. Perhaps the second one should be "lowering himself into a matching chair" might have been better.
Grace says something about seeing the same old faces at balls. If that is so, why haven't Lucius met her before? Or did she direct it so that she's saying, "Hey, a new face!"? Her words seemed to contradict the situation.
Lovely prologue part one :) Off to the second part!
Author's Response: Beth! Thank you for such a spiffing review!
Grace, yes... She didn't arrive at the party with a plan to seduce Lucius Malfoy, but simply saw the opportunity and decided to go for it. To her, who was at the time almost thirty years old, the party was dull and like many other social gatherings she had been dragged along to by parents who were hoping that she would finally find a man to marry. She knew almost all the faces and despised most of them, but Lucius (who was only really just out of Hogwarts at the time) managed to tickle her fancy. She really didn’t think that they would share more than a night, but, well… it turned out to be quite a few nights, mainly because he turned out to be such an excellent student. She probably would have continued seeing Lucius after his marriage if she hadn’t gotten pregnant. So, yes, Grace was mostly interested in Lucius as a lover, but she did grow very fond of him. I mean, who wouldn’t? >.>
I’ve been meaning to create a one-shot in which Grace tries to write the first letter to Lucius (that’s in the second part of the prologue), and it’s quite possible that I’ll include some thoughts of hers about how Narcissa has been suspicious, or maybe even confronted Grace or Lucius… we’ll see when I have time to type it down. =)
Thanks for noticing that repetition! I’m allergic to them myself, so I’m so glad that you caught it. And again, thank you for the lovely review!
*sighs contentedly* My dearest Anna, I’m so sorely tempted, even after my third re-read of the story, to start reading it all over again, but I shall try to resist at least until I finish writing this review for you. ;) Now, oh, where do I even begin?
The first thing that caught my attention about this story was the mood you so wonderfully capture – just so tranquil. *sighs* That you have a way with words is an understatement. I loved how your words just flow, almost like poetry; the rhythm, the pacing of the story. Absolutely delicious.
There, where the afternoon mist softened the outlines of London, the translation had come to him.
There. That’s what I’m talking about. “… afternoon mist that softened the outlines of London”? *sighs* Lovely, dear.
And I must bring up Mr Lucas Malory now. I absolute adore him – truly a treasure of an OC. An insane part of my brain even refuses to acknowledge that Lucas is an OC; Lucas is just too real for me, see? *giggles* It’s not very often that we get to see characters like him in fiction, much less fanfiction, because the general norm is to write about a hero and a villain – good and evil, in black and white terms like that. The very fact that Lucas is neither a hero nor a villain intrigues me greatly. He’s almost a nobody, and it makes easier for everyday people to connect to him, for how many heroes and villains do you see in normal life?
But if Lucas had ever experienced the feeling before, he might have recognised the tremble of curiosity that touched his mind.
Aww, that was depressing. Lucas seems to have been deprived of living, it seems. It’s almost like he only just existed for so long, as a part of the society who just stayed, neither adding or deducting from it. Indifferent, minding his own business for the most part, something I can easily relate to. ;)
He was a Malory, for sure, but no whole thing was ever made without two halves.
Oh, my. *grins* I love the sheer simplicity of these words, just a plain statement makes my heart flutter. No whole thing was ever made without two halves. What a fantastic way to convey the idea that Lucas was half-made of Malfoy! *sighs*
Lucas had made a few indecent attempts at examining their feelings, but their hearts were closed to him, as if by some kind of emotional Occlumency.
I’m intrigued by Lucas’ power to examine other people’s emotions. I’m curious to know how exactly it works; is more about that skill of his coming along in the next few chapters?
The item seemed to be a part of him, like an extra heart beating against his palm, pumping belonging through his veins. Mal-foy, Mal-foy, Mal-foy, it whispered. A seductive voice, one that could kindle longing within any soul.
Oh, wow! Such excellent mental imagery! Anna, this totally sent chills up my spine. Absolutely froze my mind for a second. Hauntingly beautiful, my dear.
And, I loved how you effortlessly worked DH canon (or showed us the other side, rather) into the story – like the fact that Crookshanks was actually with Charlie! Hee.
I just caught two typos in this chapter for you:
Malfoy’s actions as a Death Eaters have resulted in several deaths and broken families, and our Order cannot sit idly by and watch while he returns to Lord Voldemort’s side.
It should say just “Death Eater” here, yes?
Aw, poor Mrs Prewitt, sick again.
Molly’s maiden name is spelt Prewett, if I’m not mistaken. =]
And this review would be incomplete if I didn’t mention this concluding sentence:
Compared to what he had felt a little while ago this was nothing; it was barely noticeable, but it was, as he realised with much confusion, entirely his own.
Ah, that tiny ray of hope that sends flutters through my heart again. I’m very interested and a tad impatient for the next chapter – the Charlie-Lucas interaction must be, if nothing else, very interesting.
Author's Response: *blushes* Preethi, you're too kind and wonderful! Thank you for such amazing praise! And, of course, the nitpicking, which I will correct in the chapter as soon as I get a chance.
Yes, poor Lucas. >.> His life hasn't exactly been very interesting up until now - but I'm planning on putting some action into it, for good and for bad. Hee.
Yep, Lucas "skill" is ever-present and I think I at least mention it in most of the chapters. A full explanation will be offered before the very end... or at least as full as the character in question can provide. *mysterious smile*
I'm sorry that you've had to wait for the next chapter for so long, but I'm hoping to send it to Kasey soon. Thanks again for your lovely review, Preethi darling!
I like how the perspective has chaned from Lucius to Lucas. Of course this happened in the last chapter, but it seems... stonger here. Lucas knows who his father is, what he's done, or at least the extent at which the Daily Prophet had reported it. It kind of makes me sad that Grace urged Lucius to be careful, not only for his own sake, but for the sake of his son. He's obviously broken that promise. And I'm interested to see how that plays out...
They leaned in, they reached up; they were like drowning men begging for rescue, but Lucas could offer none.
*shiver* the imagery here is just beautifully horrible.
awww... I like that Lucas is so sentimental about his wand. That no one else had touched it since Olivander placed it in his hands. Bittersweet actually, that he wasn't close enough to anyone that anyone else could have touched it.
He had opened a cell door for Lucas, and the lightless space inside was suddenly threatening to suck him inside. Panicking slightly, he just stared at the Auror.
Even without the presence of Dementors, this is a chilling vision-- being sucked into the darkness... Oh, I would be terrified! To be imprisioned for absoluetly nothing more than being in the company of an Auror when he's summoned to an emergency. The imagery of his clausterphobia is breathtaking in it's felling of panic.
Slowly, like when one wakes up from a nightmare that doesn’t want to let go off you...
"off" should be "of"
What I need to ask you though, Mr Malory, is whether you will agree to assisting me or not?”
"assisting" ought to be "assist"
He was no Legilimens, but well equipped with a different ability, so instead of prodding Lucius’ mind he sought out his heart.
Oh! Facinating!!! I think reading people's emotions rather than their thoughts and memories would be almost more telling. I'm very interested in this particular trait of his! And the fact that he gained this gift from his father, a Death Eater, rather than his part-Veela mother.
the password is tiramisu...
Hmmm... okay, so you've left me with a lot of unanswered questions. First of all, why would Malfoy be allowed to keep personal affects on his body in prision... okay, stupid question that probably means nothing. Of course the other questions revolve around Lucas' trip to Malfoy Manner, what the document contains, and how it will help.
My greatest hope is that Lucas can pull his father (and surrounding family) up to his level, rather than his father pulling him down. Excellent story going here Annalove! I can't wait to see what you have next in store!
Author's Response: *beams and blushes* You're too kind, Amanda, with such beautiful compliments. And thanks for the nitpicking!
omg. It seems like I can WRITE about touching wands without being bothered by it, but READING about it - Amanda, could you hand me a bucket of bleach, please? I need to soak my dirty brain in it. x.x
Whee, I'm glad you're intrigued by Lucas' ability. It's not entirely my own invention - I've borrowed the idea from an author called Jennifer Roberson, but I plan on using it differently from how she did. And, yes, the gift runs in Lucius' line - he gets it from his mother, as a matter of fact. >.>
Malfoy definitely wasn't allowed to keep personal affects - he just did it anyway. Well, not "just", because it took a bit of planning and cunning from his part. But the Malfoy coin is different... it's... how should I say... less obvious, to people without Malfoy blood. And I'm sorry to say that Lucas' visit to the Manor will be a bit delayed... but he will get there, eventually. Promise. ;)
heee... to start off, it's my birthday again :)
I absolutely love this paragraph:
As such, many of Lucas and his likes came to be somewhat socially inept, because no formal training of greetings or table manners could ever really replace the interaction with others of their age. Most young wizards got over this fairly quickly after crossing the great doorstep of Hogwarts, but not all. By accident or fluke, some were overlooked. Some never found a Potions partner, a study group or a place in the Gobstones Club.
It makes me so sad, but psychologically, it's so true (not that I've studied pure-blood wizard children in any psychology class-- wouldn't that be awesome?!) but I have done a lot of child psychology, and this so holds true for only children who don't have a lot of contact with other kids when they're young. Some will make it when they reach school, make friends and be just fine, and others will continue in their solitude. I can see where Lucas feels left out- secluded from his peers. it makes my heart break for him.
Heeeee... Only Anna would write a story that has dogs wandering around as companions. I adore the attention to details you have love.
and went over to the fire to feed his leftovers to the dogs. Beating their long tail against the rug, they happily accepted bits of meat and bread.
"tail" should be "tails"
Lucas answer was short, and had the circumstances been less serious he might have been tempted to snort at the question.
"Lucas" should be Lucas' or Lucas's
Okay... so I'm trying to do a timeline here... This is September 27, 1997. It should be Harry's 7th year... I'm not sure when you posted this, before or after DH? I know that you were going to include some DH spoilers, even if you started this before then. So is Lucius in Azkaban (pre-DH release) or at Malfoy Manner (post DH)? I'm assuming he's currently in Azkaban, since Yaxley and Nott cannot visit him. Very interesting... *giggles* here I go speculating again!
I guess my answer will come in the next chapter, that I will eagerly run to now.
Author's Response: Yes, I do like to be cruel to my poor OC. I believe it makes him a better person. >.> Or at least more interesting.
OF COURSE there has to be dogs! And flying horses! And house-elves! I firmly believe that all true pure-blood families surround themselves with such useful companions.
Yep, I started writing this story over a year ago, so I had no idea that JKR would so sneakily get Lucius out of prison - he's still in Azkaban in my fic, which you will soon discover.
Thanks for your nitpicking, love, and of course the excellent review! :D
Okay, so after looking at the review page, I obviously did not have that much of interest to say. My only defense was that I was too eager to move on!
So I'll follow my usual procedure of commenting as I go. First of all, I amire Grace a lot. To have the baby, then anounce to Lucius in letter that the child was born, and her intentions with his future, shows so much... confidence. Lucius of course would briefly consider leaving Narcissa for Grace, but of course he wouldn't. There was too much at stake, reputation, honor, money... all things that run his life. He would not be the type to follow love when obligation stood in the way.
I really like how this chapter is set up with the communication from Grace, and Lucius' thoughts. So Lucas was a motivation for his interest in Hogwarts. I can't wait to see how this might influence his contact with is oldest son. I did have to laugh as he sat there and watched his son fall off a broom, while drinking wine. So.... Malfoy.
*sniff* Grace died on my birthday. :(
Oh... that little flash of Malfoy and Lucas' chance meeting was very interesting. What a contrast between Lucas and Draco. Lucas, the illegitamate child is the one that's studeous, well groomed and follows through with what is predicted of him. Draco, the child of a pureblodd marriage is woefully behind. He tries, we know he does, but just can't get on top the way he wants to. He's beaten in every class by a "mudblood", Harry Potter bests him in Quidditch and popularity. And only Snape seems to favor him. It almost makes me feel sorry for little Draco.
So now we have the set up: Lucius has another son- seemingly perfect. But has been asked to stay away, and so far has. But that can't be the end of it. How are they going to end up being thrown together? Or are Lucas and Draco going to end up confronted with their father's history. The one great protector of the secret, Grace, is gone. How will that effect their relationship? Will Lucas seek out Lucius for answers? or perhaps the other way around?
LOL, I love speculating in reviews. I think it amuses the authors to no end. Because surely, I'm no where close. So althought this review is completely lacking on concrit, I move on. I'm very fascinated by your characterization, and I didn't even find any typos, so there went any opportunity! Excellent work love!
Author's Response: Hee. I love your speculations too, Amanda! VERY inspiring! *mysterious grin*
And, aww, I didn't mean to have her die on your birthday! How clumsy of me, *slaps self on typing fingers*
*gasp!* Am I making you feel sorry for Draco?! That was absolutely NOT my intention! *confesses to not being a great Draco fan* Though, to comfort you - remember that Draco was at least acknowledged, and even if he was beaten in everything he's still got the high Malfoy horse to sit upon. ;) Thanks for the review, my dearest Panda!
Anna my love, you have been sooooo acoomodating to me these last couple of months. Your patience and friendship to me mean more than you can ever know. So, in return, I shall bestow upon you some review love. *Hug*
And it didn’t hurt that the youngest of the Black sister was by far the fairest to look at...
"sister" should be "sisters"
Are you planning on escorting me to somewhere more private? Or are we to risk a scandal behind one of your draperies?
Ha ha ha ha! I love it! Grace is a woman who knows what she wants and knows how to get it. She doesn't have to ask for what she want, merely directs his own predictable reactions to get what she desires. I love it!
Anna, you are amazing. already I'm hooked. How horrible of me is it that it took me so long to open this little gem. I love the contrasts in emotions. Lucius is genteel, wealthy, being groomed to become what his father is, and does not let silly things like love get in his way. He's selected a wife with the right bank account and set of mind. So the fact that he would meet someone that he would risk running through a ballroom for is quite amusing to me. You paint a brilliant picture here, and I'm eager to see what happens next!
Author's Response: *grins* Amanda, I can only say how absolutely grateful I am to have you as a friend.
I'm delighted that you liked the first part of the prologue, and really hope that you will come to like the upcoming chapters as much.
Thanks for a lovely review, precious. =)
Purity and pride, patrimony and power.
I love the utter simplicity of this. Do you remember saying that people put too much weight on cosmetics of words? And praising me for not doing so – I give the praise back to you. You use words in such a beautiful way – it’s elegant. He didn’t have to read it; the words had been forever etched onto his mind since he had first dared to unpocket the coin on the mainland. That is what I’m talking about. Utter, simplistic elegance.
The item seemed to be a part of him, like an extra heart beating against his palm, pumping belonging through his veins. Mal-foy, Mal-foy, Mal-foy, it whispered. A seductive voice, one that could kindle longing within any soul. This is wonderfully vivid – the imagery is so crisp and clear that I can literally feel my own heart beat in the same rhythm as Lucas’, chiming with the same words in my ears. all while trying to figure out his father and the workings of a Malfoy mind Ah, haven’t we all tried to do that at one point or another? It makes Lucas very real to me. I can see him, lying on a bed with his eyes closed, feeling that terrible rhythm in his veins, and puzzling over his father’s thoughts.
I’m struggling to NOT copy+paste the entire chapter into this review and leave my thoughts on each and every line in this review, but no promises can be made as I got to the very next paragraph and read: Curious he was, and perhaps also enchanted, but definitely not stupid. The very wry, almost self-mocking humor inherent in this one line strikes me – it makes me smile, but it also gives me a slight chill. Beautifully done.
I love how you don’t waste words on needless imagery that does nothing except create filler. Too many authors waste countless words, but you are always direct. You tell your reader exactly what they need to know to visualize the scene, but you don’t overload them with three hundred words about taking a shirt off and the feel of the cotton against his hands or such. It’s quite refreshing to read something so crisp and clean, without being bogged down in meaningless details. *has a feeling there will come a scene where he takes his shirt off and it takes three hundred words just to spite me*
I’m not too sure about Tonks being addressed as Miss Tonks. Not to say that Remus wouldn’t do it, but that she wouldn’t take to it very kindly. Yes, that is the thing that concerned me.
And the shortage of fear, he found, left plenty of room for annoyance. YES! I love Lucas’ sense of humor and just the voice you give him in this story. He’s truly a treasure of an OC.
And if I say no, I can’t imagine that you would simply believe me and just leave me be?” LOL! He’s just too funny. I found myself laughing throughout the entire scene between these three.
But if Lucas had ever experienced the feeling before, he might have recognised the tremble of curiosity that touched his mind. and this is just so lonely and depressing all of a sudden. It’s so well-done.
You’ve captured Tonks’ voice perfectly as well in the remainder of the chapter – and now we come to my favorite part: Charlie. *SIGH*
Oh! Crookshanks! I didn’t notice him before! What in heaven’s name is he doing there? LOL!
The last line of this chapter is utterly disconcerting for poor Lucas – but I adore it. All in all, my dear, a fantastic chapter of the first caliber!
Author's Response: *grins* Kasey, I have no idea how you manage to be such a spectacular beta AND write wonderful reviews! Thank you!
<.< Write 300 words about how Lucas takes his shirt off? Would I? Surely not! (Except, you know, to spite you, and to flaunt the sheer sexiness of my OC.)
Hee. I'm glad you caught the 'Miss Tonks' bit - I have Remus saying that to tease her, as he's well aware that she won't take it too kindly. But, yes, maybe I need to add an extra glare there, or something.
Charlie, yes. Bwhaha! What would you say if I told you that there will soon be a chapter including a shirtless Charlie in your inbox? And ickle Crookshanks will be explained, too. =)
Again, thanks for such a wonderful review, Kasey love!
UH, when are you planning to update this story? It's been awhile.
UH, when are you planning to update this story? It's been awhile.
Author's Response: The next chapter was submitted today. I hope you enjoy it.
Oh! Such oppression from obligations! I certainly don't have dire/dangerous obligations like Lucas, but yeah... I'll pretend it's the same as my own life. Oh, Anna, I just love you. And Gah! Once you've brought up the rumors that will spread, I now think Lucius is so selfish and I hate him for putting Lucas into this position.
The scene-setting description you give for Azkaban is so chilling. It sets such an eerie mood that I nearly shivered. Probably would have shivered if it wasn't so bloody hot on this summer night.
Lucas' agony in the cell was my own agony.
Lucius, though I'm mad at him for making Lucas come to Azkaban, has me in awe of his actions, his influence, his intentions, and the task he has Lucas asking him for assistance in. This chapter really did not allow me much time to want to stop and write any notes. All I wanted to do was keep reading. I love that about your writing. Really. Even though in the review for the previous chapter, I said I appreciated a balance of engaging and simple, this chapter makes me think I was lying. Gah! I crave more! You turn over your storytelling to the reader so well. I'm left nearly incoherent at the end of this chapter. I need to know what happens next!
Author's Response: :D Another review from the bestest Mar! *grins* I’m so glad this chapter captured you, and even gladder that by the time I write this, I have already shared the next chapter with you. ;) I submitted it today, and I hope that you will think as well of it as you did of this chapter. =)
One thing I enjoy about your style of writing is the way you make the magical world you're describing sound - not like the fairy tale sort of place it is, but like the real world. An example of this is portrayed in the line 'A sight that was perhaps not frightening, but that would still make any sensible person walk faster and lock their door tightly once at home.' I've felt that many times myself, so yes... gives it such a real world feeling. And I must say I'm sad that autumn, my favorite month, can't currently be its pleasant, beautiful self in the story.
All the memories you give from Lucas... I envy him those powerful recollections.
What mustn't it feel like to be so wholly dedicated to a cause that you would willingly sacrifice your life for it?
I think you might mean 'must' there, instead of 'mustn't'. Though I do love the word mustn't.
As lucas' role in society, I guess you could call it, is described, I feel and identify with some of what you wrote: the semi-iscolation of being an only child; participating minimally in a group or organization; and knowing your departure will mean little, if anything, to the place you leave behind. I recently heard that a person I was on somewhat friendly terms with a year ago didn't remember who I was until the person he was talking to said "Marie and Shanae". Then he remembered who I was. And it's not a *terrible* thing, I suppose, but anyway, you did describe it very well.
Can I just say, YAY LAMPPOSTS!
Now, Lucas approaching the house... You know, until your narrative mentions the east wing, the house seems so inviting, and I'm anxious to get my reader self in there, and there's just a slight dropping of spirit when I read about it.
"Lucas! There you are! I thought for a moment there that..."
The grammar girl in me doesn't like having two 'theres' so close together. On the other hand, it is just Maximilian speaking, and we're not always perfect in our real life dialogue. I suppose revision of one of those 'theres' really depends upon how refined Mr Malory's speech is.
Yes, if I could have some cold meat and bread, and a glass of red wine[insert comma] too."
He almost jumped, not having heard the house-elf appeared behind him.
/other two nitpicks.
"Just like the two of you," he said to the big dogs who had settled on the rug before the fireplace.
Does this speak of other dog owners? Only saying part of their thoughts aloud to their faithful companions? It sounds like how I sometimes speak to my cats. -grin- We pet owners are ridiculously in love with our dear ones.
When Scrumpy returned with the food, he gently placed the glass of wine in Lucas' unoccupied hand, knowing that his young master sometimes forgot about matters like food and drink when he got his nose stuck in a book.
I love this book obsession in any person, so yay because I can latch onto Lucas' character in yet another way. Also, Scrumpy, and I assume Herby, seem to be a bit more presumptuous - for lack of a better word - with their servitude. It makes me think of Dobby and DH!Kreacher, in fact, with tells us that the Malorys obviously treat their hour-elves well. I love all of the subtle ways you characterize.
Oh snap. I must say that the execution of the rest of the chapter captured me in a way that I was unable to pause for any reflection whatsoever, much like any other authors I love. I appreciate balance in that respect: passages that are engaging, ones that prompt reflection by the reader, and places where I can feel free to pause, if necessary. You had a good blend of all those in this chapter.
It was truly lovely, Anna dear.
Author's Response: Thanks for another brilliant review, my Mar! This one had several useful notes in it, and I promise you that I will sit down and have a look at them when I get the time.
Yep, Lucas speaks to the dogs quite often, as does he to the horses and to other animals. He’s not a dog/animal person per se, and I’m sure that he couldn’t handle a boisterous, bouncing Labrador Retriever or a nervous, young flying horse, but he gets along really well with calm and “thoughtful” animals. Because Grace often had owl babies at home, there has never been a cat at Merridown, but something tells me that he might really like a cat friend, and that a cat might be inclined to approve of him.
You’re right about the Malorys treating their house-elves well. Maximilian can be a bit more demanding, but that’s just his character. Grace spent a significant amount of time teaching her son to always be polite and to respect all living things, and that helps him get by in a world where he might have been a bit lost otherwise. Whenever Lucas doesn’t know how to act, he always falls back to a quiet politeness. /blabbering
Nice job with this chapter, Anna! I really loved the setup. You built it up slowly, starting with Lucius and moving to his father and then to the Mallory's introduction. By the time the dancing began, you hooked your readers (including me!) in and the rapture never stopped from there! I'm not one to set up my stories like this – I like the hook right away, but I rather enjoyed this change in style. It was refreshing and effective to slowly build up to the part where you can't look away from the story because by then, you're already emotionally connected to the characters and the "hook" has so much more meaning/anticipation involved with it! :)
I also really loved your characterization. Very few romances featuring Lucius show him as an inexperienced, suave-but-hesitant aristocrat. It's refreshing to see that side of him, and it works really well with Grace's more experienced, sultry persona. I think we see enough of suave!Lucius that is his future self to make it believable, and yet, he's still…young.
My one worry with this chapter is that…the romance line you have going is cliché. Experienced woman with younger man has been done over and over. While I realize that this isn't a romance, it would have been nice, maybe, to vary the cliché somehow. (Maybe Grace could be experienced and be HIS age? *gasp* Or something?) My other complaint is that there are many errors with dialogue tag punctuation – commas where there should be periods, for the most part. If you want to fix that, a beta can look over the story for that fairly quickly.
Your characterization and imagery make this beginning absolutely gorgeous. You really take readers' emotions along with the characters for this tumultuous ride. Thank you for making my heart race and making me sit on the edge of my seat!
Great beginning – this story's going to be a winner! :)
Author's Response: Hi Kumy! Thanks for your kind and helpful review. =) I’m sorry that you felt that the Grace/Lucius “relationship” was cliché, but it was necessary for the story. I wanted to really emphasise Lucius’ inexperience on the subject, and I also needed Grace to be old and independent enough to deal with… ehm, the following consequences of their liaison. But to comfort you, I can assure you that the affair was fairly brief, and that it didn’t have a happy ending. ;)
I apologise for the dialogue punctuation errors, though I can’t seem to detect most of them. Perhaps if you have a moment sometime, you could explain further what you mean.
Thanks again for the review, Kumy. I really hope that you will enjoy the upcoming chapters.
I loved the beginning. The romance was so good. It really lured me into the story.
I adore Lucius in this fic. He is just how I would imagine him. I loved his initial reaction to the fact that Grace is a half-blood. He is a very prejudiced man, and it makes sense that he would not be that accepting of a half-blood. I liked how his idea of love changed from the beginning of the chapter to the end. Grace's character really played a nice role here. She was his first real love, his first experience with.
To Lucius, marriage was an act of necessity, to produce children to be new links in the chain of pure-bloods. He could understand that a man would wish for his wife to be faithful, but only because of the damage a scandal could do to a respected family name. Love was a word unknown to him, and one he had no interest in adding to his vocabulary.
I thought that this showed Lucius' character very well. This is how I would picture from the books. He seems to have ulterior motives for everything he does, and this opinion fits him well.
I adored your characterization of Grace. She felt very realistic. You could relate to her. I loved her half-Veela heritage. We don't here a lot about half-Veelas in the books, except for Fleur. I could easily imagine them having a high status just for the fact that they have such stunning natural beauty. I thought that Grace fit her role very nicely. She seems like the perfect person for Lucius. I love her desire to keep her independence.
“A husband? I can’t think of a single thing I care for less than marriage.” To his great relief, she still looked more amused than anything else. “Oh no,” she continued, “a woman of my fortune and connections needn’t bother with husbands. On my own I am whomever I choose to be, while as some man’s wife I would never reach further than he did. Even if he would become the very Minister of Magic I would still have to hover in his shadow. So no thank you, Mr. Malfoy, I prefer to remain a free woman, owned by no one.”
I thought that this really showed off her character and independence. I like seeing characters like Lucius being in a relationship with a woman who is very much their equal. It fits his character much better, in my opinion, when the woman he is with is his equal.
I loved the romance in here. It just sucked me in, making me want to read more. I thought that it was a great way to start the fic out. It leaves you hanging, wanting to read more about Grace and Lucius.
Overall, I really liked this. I can't wait to finish the rest of the fic.
Author's Response: Hi Teresa! Thank you for such an amazing review!
I’m sorry to say that the story will be a bit lacking in romance after this chapter, as it’s going to be more about love in a platonic way. However, I have considered writing a one-shot or two about Grace and Lucius – I just have to find the time to do so! =)
Wow, Anna, this was a very interesting story, one that I particularly enjoyed! I loved your description and how it flowed.
Wealth and influence shone as accessories from the man and two women, now handing their snow-sprinkled coats to the house-elf. The man, who was of a very considerable size, had an extraordinary aura about him, and was the kind of person Abraxas would almost allow to show interest in his precious wife. The shorter woman, beaten in beauty only by the other who looked to be their daughter, gracefully placed her hand on the man’s arm.
That is . . . amazing, Anna! I adored this sentence, it was wonderful.
And I adore Miss Malory's characterisation. It was brilliant--- she seemed as if she were a very sophisticated lady, and to have Lucius fall in 'love' with her was a very nice twist. I liked it when he didn't care about whether or not his fiancée dancing with his wife.
“Go, Lucius. And don’t let your father see you.”
I found this a bit odd, though, because it kind of just . . . stuck out to me. Why would Lucius' mother allow him to engage in something like that, when she knows that he has a fiancée? It just seems a bit bizarre to me that a mother would help her son do something like that--- but if she knows what Lucius thinks about love---Love was a word unknown to him, and one he had no interest in adding to his vocabulary. --- then she would have allowed him, but I could see it as . . . perhaps his friend, maybe, saying this?
I like how you used Lucius, someone we know so little about, and his characterisation was great as well. I really enjoyed reading him.
But I really adored this story, Anna. It was very description-filled and it had a lot of twists. Good work.
Author's Response: Hi Lindsey, and thanks for this lovely review! I’m nearly brushing from all of your lovely praise.
In my version of the magical pure-blood society, adultery isn’t exactly something uncommon. Most marriages are arranged, and therefore it’s almost accepted – by some - for a witch or a wizard to find a bed-partner elsewhere. Lydia Malfoy, who cares immensely about her son and silently regrets that he’s to marry a woman that is, to her, boring, prejudiced and stuck-up, wouldn’t hesitate to encourage him to partake in some “innocent” philandering. He’s not married yet, after all, and Lydia thinks that he should take the chance to enjoy himself, to have a taste (no pun intended) of a real woman, before he should settle for Narcissa. Also, although I never think that Lydia even thought it out loud to herself, perhaps she was hoping that Lucius would fall head over heels for another woman and call off the arranged engagement completely.
Again, thanks for your review, dear!
Are you alliterating your chapter titles on purpose dear? Because if you are, that’s marvelous. I love alliteration. And if you aren’t, and it is some mad coincidence that your story title and first two chapter titles are all alliterated, you should pretend it was the plan all along and carry on with it.
An unforgiving light woke him up. *giggles* I interpreted this wrong at first, thinking “I wouldn’t forgive it either, if it woke me up.” But, obviously it is “unforgiving light” as opposed to “unforgivable light.” /completely pointless note that will hopefully at least bring Anna some amusment.
I’m approaching this review in a bit of a different sense than usual. Rather than combing through and simply bombarding you with random analyses, I want to comment on a few of the things that really stood out to me, for different reasons.
One is Auror Russel. He has more personality in his little finger than all of the MNFF Character Forum put together. I’m envious, rather, or perhaps regretful, that all the Aurors and officials in my stories are characteristically bland. Russel has a distinct characterization, and he stands out. You manage to create such strong impressions in your writing, in every aspect, from the atmosphere to the background characters.
Speaking of minor characters, the *ahem* disembodied voice of the jeering prisoner… he’s awfully knowledgeable of how to insult people by comparing them to dogs. I wonder why his thoughts were on that track. *cough*
I also wonder what it is you have to say about the prison system. Azkaban is painted very cynically. [I adore it and amuses me and it adds yet more entertainment value to the setting].
Lucius. *sigh* Lucius, Lucius, Lucius. He’s perfect, dear. I love the bit about him not being completely powerless. And just, his mannerisms. The coin is a fabulous touch. The sort of pride he eyes Lucas with when it recognizes his blood. I love that he says “our” ancestors, instead of “my”. And… the password is tiramisu. *facepalm* Dear, what am I to do with you?
Now, for what must be my favourite part of this chapter. He was no Legilimens, but well equipped with a different ability, so instead of prodding Lucius’ mind he sought out his heart. That is incredible, dear. I love it. Not in a “omg, love, *flails*” sort of way, but I am just in this… quiet awe of how beautiful an idea that is. It’s such an Anna thing to come up with. I would love to see this come up again later. Anywhere. In this story, in another story, just… oh, I must, it’s just… *sighs* I love it.
Now, I do believe there is another chapter on it’s way? O:-)
Author's Response: Alliterating my chapters on purpose, you say? You know, I wasn’t really, as in that I wasn’t going to force an alliteration if I couldn’t think of a good one, but it’s worked out well so far and I will stick with it if I can. =)
*giggles* I’m sorry to disappoint you my dearest, but I’m as clueless as you are about the true identity of the jeering prisoner. He just appeared, somehow. Maybe he’ll reveal himself to me later in the story, and if he does I promise I’ll share the information with you.
*now sniggers* Of course the password had to be tiramisu! What else? And I’m delighted that you approve of Lucius, seeing as my version of him is completely inspired by yours. He will be appearing again in V&V; in fact, I have a special father/son conversation planned, which I think you might enjoy.
I must confess that Lucas’ “ability” isn’t completely my own invention – I’ve borrowed it from an author called Jennifer Roberson, but I’m planning on using it quite differently from the way she does. And, *grins mysteriously*, it will come up again. In this story, and in another story – where it’s very important to the plot.
A new chapter is, as you have noticed, on its way. And now it’s even been submitted. ;) Thank you, preciousest, for this inspiring review.
Grace is fabulous, for the record. I love her. I just do. I actually.... didn’t love her as much in the last chapter as I do in this chapter. She’s just so independent and smart and logical, and I admire that in a person.
Lucius becomes so human for me in this story. He is young for the first part of this story, and I can feel that, but then you just continue to keep his ever-human heart beating. I feel that bittersweet feeling for he and Grace not being together, but I know why they aren’t. -sigh-
I’ll just comment on a couple of other things. First, what’s this ‘common Hufflepuff’ rubbish? Clearly Lucius has no idea what real Hufflepuffs are like. (Ed and Porter, for example, as well as Cedric. >>) Next, Abi and I have discussed before how exceedingly well you manage to cover all those years with just a few letters. It’s not at all tedious. It’s done perfectly. And then just... YAY LUCAS! And YAY ANNA WHO WRITES HIM!
Author's Response: *giggles* Thank you for such a lovely review, my precious Mar. I'm glad that you like Grace better in this chapter - she's a person who's rather hard on herself, and although she lived her life comfortably, it was often far from easy.
Hee. Well, you wouldn't have wanted me to write a Gary-Stu Lucius, would you know? He can't be perfect, and so he must get something wrong - like the characteristics of a true Hufflepuff.
Thanks again, dear! :D
and by the beginning of September premature frost had burned the leaves yellow and red. *sighs peacefully with admiration* Who writes that sort of thing? Dear, you are a Goddess of Description (and you leave us mere mortals with little to describe you, but I shall attempt).
I’m in a very tranquil mood, and so, I think it was a very good time to enjoy this chapter. I don’t know if I can quite put it into words, though.
We’ve now jumped another five years, and into a new point of view. Yet, everything still feels familiar. The writing and tone are consistent, we’re merely looking at the father instead of the son, and instead of him being just another original character who we have yet to get to know, we already know quite a bit about him.
I think that my favourite thing about Lucas, as a character, is how he feels in respect to “good and evil” and “right and wrong”. On one hand, he is unique in this characteristic. Most people go through life with fairly clear ideals in regards to what is moral, what is immoral, what crimes and sins they are willing to have on their conscience, etc; furthermore, most people are fairly quick to judge others based on these opinions, as well as form judgments about life, history, politics, and current events. I think, though, it’s not this actual characteristic that makes him different from the average person, so much as his awareness of his apathy, and resignation to it.
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. This is very refreshing, and I think it’s what connects him to the reader. We are very used, in fan-fiction, and in most fantasy fiction, to reading about people who are willing to face death in the name of good or evil. To the point, maybe we’ve forgotten that that isn’t real life, and most of us never come anywhere near facing a decision like that. And, I believe, most people are quite glad of it. We all have our opinions about which side to be on, but a lot of it is – in my personal theory – steeped in superficiality. Lucas, because of a lack of connection outside his family, and his apparent lack of “importance” in the world, is just more aware of it.
And, to the point of this thorough, opinionated analysis, it is, as I said, refreshing, to read a character who lacks the black and white contrast of most HP/Fantasy Characters, in terms of which side of the war they are on. And in terms of having a life or death commitment to a cause.
By accident or fluke, some were overlooked. Some never found a Potions partner, a study group or a place in the Gobstones Club. This is very sad. A very simple line, but… very sad. And, just now, it reminded me a bit of Siobhan. Except… it’s different. Ish. But, yes.
It was not that he really minded the isolation. Things became much less complicated that way, … Well, I think this is annoying of him. Silly people thinking that lack of love and friendship is a plus because it also lacks complications. *shakes head* I shall chalk it up to a defense mechanism. *thinks Lucas should lose a wall or two*
Maximilian Malory appeared, changing the very atmosphere of the room with his presence. Oh, *applauds excellent description*. And that is a very fabulous power indeed. I think I also change the atmosphere with my presence. The entire room becomes cloaked in grumpiness.
Lucas accepted the rough proof of affection… I like that. Not a sign of affection, but proof of affection.
When Scrumpy returned with the food, he gently placed the glass of wine in Lucas’ unoccupied hand, knowing that his young master sometimes forgot about matters like food and drink when he got his nose stuck in a book. I absolutely LOVE this line.
“Herby don’t know them, sir. They is two men, and they wears black robes.” That’s certainly not something one would want to hear at that time of night in that political climate.
The atmosphere changes again, with Nott and Yaxley’s presence. And, I admit, it’s rather harrowing. I know their agenda, but I can still feel the fear in the room, and my mind raced with the possibilities – what if they want him to join the Death Eaters? Surely, he couldn’t say yes, but, surely, one doesn’t say no to such an invitation and get away with their life? Maybe he could pay them off. Contribute to the cause monetarily. – Yes, it’s that thought spinning an experience, to have two Death Eaters arrive at your home, that I could feel the tension, and that I just had to wonder…
…and knew that Lucius Malfoy’s oldest son had gotten the message. And that’s a fabulous way to end it. It’s rather symbolic, I think. How we went the whole chapter without a whisper of Lucius, and then at the end, recognized the fact. And, of course there’s no way the readers – or Lucas – could have forgotten, so it doesn’t come as a surprise. It’s merely that moment when someone in the room states what everyone knows to be the truth.
Aha. Soon I’ll have reviewed Chapter 2, and then you’ll be in trouble, won’t you, because I’ll need you to post the next chapter. Hehe.
Author's Response: Hee. I love this review. When you comment on my writing, it all makes so much sense! If only it could be like that in my head when I wrote it, I’m sure I could do a much better job. No, but seriously, your reviews make me aware of my own writing in a way I didn’t think was possible, resulting in feeble – but hopefully improving – attempts to consciously create things that might appeal to a reader.
I’m glad that you seem to like and be able to understand Lucas. Sometimes he’s so different from me that I have no idea how I even created him, and sometimes we’re so similar it’s like I’ve based his whole character on myself. And about the part you found annoying – I agree, very much, and a big part of this story will be to prove to Lucas that he is wrong, and how wonderful they can be, the things he thinks are unnecessary and complicating.
Thank you, Jenna. Your reviews give a whole new meaning to my writing. *hugs*
Apologies for not managing to review any of this story before now. Lucas is an exceptional character –– quite the OC! –– and the plot is brilliant and well thought out. Clearly you know exactly where you’re going with this, but you manage to make the scenes flow smoothly and realistically without getting caught up in plot-centric details. Brava!
I find it interesting how you begin both of the first two chapters (not counting the prologue) with a description of the natural environment followed by Lucas’ reaction to it: first the summer heat in the park, then the morning sunlight. Is it an accident, I wonder? Or is it an intentional trend that you will be continuing, perhaps to highlight different aspects of Lucas’ character and set the mood for each chapter? I rather like it, and the two openings mirror each other so fully in some respects that I really want to know if it’s intentional, despite the fact that there are only two of them.
I loved the symbolism of Lucas getting dirt and slime on his hands in the corridors at Azkaban, and when he got stuck in the cell. It made fit into the plot very well, and was an original idea for getting the visitor some time alone with the inmate (I’ve seen so many bad or overused explanations for it in fan fiction that it was almost overwhelmingly refreshing), but I like it best because of its symbolism. Foreshadowing of the story to come, perhaps?
The only bit I think you might have done better was the section where Lucas reaches out to Lucius with his heart. It makes sense, but I would have liked a clearer explanation of what exactly he was doing. You’ve invented a new and beautiful magical ability, and I’d like to see you explain it in more detail and with more depth. Though, perhaps you will return to it in later chapters? I hope so!
Thank you for writing such a lovely story, and also for finding the courage to share it with us. I’m certain I will enjoy the rest. *pickles with love*
Author's Response: Hi Lian, and thanks for your review!
I never intended for the beginnings of the first two chapters to be similar, but I’ glad you like it. And while I don’t want to restrict myself to begin all the following chapters in the same way, it’s quite possible that many of them will look like that, as I like to skip from one scene/time of the day to another between chapter breaks, and because the story is from Lucas’ point of view.
What was intentional, on the other hand, was how I introduced Lucas’ “ability”. It is something that I can’t really take credit for myself, as it was mostly inspired by the works of an author named Jennifer Roberson, but I’m planning on using it differently from how she does in her novels. In this chapter I only wanted to show a glimpse of it, without any in-depth explanation, hoping to intrigue my readers a bit. Lucas will be using it more frequently in the upcoming chapters, and I promise to give you a full explanation before the end of the story.
Thanks again for the review! =)
This wasn’t an easy chapter to pull off, dear. Spanning two decades, tying them together only with three letters and the recipients accompanying thoughts and reflections. But you did so marvelously, cleverly tying in canon to give the reader not only familiarity, but a good frame of reference. It helps make more sense of the time. You clear up a lot of questions that people might ask about how Lucas fits into the canon world, and why wouldn’t have come up in the books.
As for letters, perhaps it’s just me – I’ve always had difficult writing letters to anyone, never being quite sure what to say – and so, when I have to write a letter for a story, it can be a bit of a task. But, your letters are wonderfully written. Appropriate to the subject, to the writer, to the addressee. The tone and language is lovely, and the flow is so natural. And, the wonderful usage of correspondence makes me feel like I’m reading Pride & Prejudice. :)
But he will not be hidden away like something to be ashamed of, no, because after only nineteen days he is already making me proud. This line makes me very fond of Grace. In a way, it may be because she is just too proud a person to feel any other way, but I still find it endearing.
You can be proud of your actions, but don’t be a fool and brag about them. Telling my son that his father is a man of principles is one thing, having to confess that he is locked up in Azkaban is another. I also like this. Not that I agree entirely with her, of course, but I think it is a very good way of conveying a different view; so many people cover up any support of the “bad” side with mental imbalance and darkness and “evil”, but this seems like a very fair-minded point. It’s also sad that Lucius doesn’t quite heed her advice.
I also found it interesting that Grace chose to sign the letter with “Love”. It makes you wonder more about what sort of liaison they had. And what’s really going on with her feelings. Sort of like, a long, well composed letter of understanding, strength and independence, everything well disguised, but then the truth is given away with a single word at the end. Well, that’s my perception, at least.
You describe Lucius’ state of being very well after he reads the letter. I think it’s something that everyone has felt at some point – just a state of rather blank shock. And, bah, I feel like I’m just gushing and raving, but the way you start with the letter and lead straight into him putting the letter down on his desk, and just gazing off, you put the reader right there with Lucius. And the simplicity of him just putting down the letter, you can feel what he’s feeling, knowing what it is he’s just read.
I love the way you flashback on the relationship by tying it into the present. And, the way you include little details like, “Barely covered by silk sheets…”.
He had plenty of time to change his mind, to break off the engagement and offer apologies to anyone who might want them. Then he could propose to Grace instead. If he went to such lengths she was bound to accept, even if she had said she would not. I also love this. The sudden feeling of just wanting to get up and do something ridiculous, just because it’s what you want, but realising that it’s just not possible. I really like what it says about Lucius. He’s not cold, he’s merely hardened his heart. Chosen his duties over desires.
And, a carriage, for the Blacks? Where on earth did you come up with that? *coughs*
In the next section, I absolutely love how you bring in Lucius ‘real’ motives behind wanting Draco to go to Durmstrang. It’s fabulous. *applauds* And then, later, him thinking that Draco should really be a Hufflepuff. *snorts and giggles*
I don’t know what to say about the last letter and the thoughts that follow it. It is exactly as it should be, I think… solemn. It’s hard to tell what it is Lucius feels, or what he should feel. Aside from the two letters and the odd glimpse, Grace has not been in his life for the past twenty years, and the time they shared was short. But, there is still something there that makes Siobhan jealous. There is something very beautiful, I think. In whatever it is they shared in that time, and it is very sad, that it was something that was in the past and could not be relived or revisited.
And, I still enjoy how you continue to develop that part of Lucius, that wants. The part that wished he’d been informed in time to attend the funeral, but knows that it is better that he didn’t. The part that wants to claim Lucas, the part that wants to contact him. But, the path he chooses in preserving peace and dignity and appearance, for whatever reasons.
Author's Response: *just grins stupidly* I have no idea what to say in response to this review, dearest. Except, of course, that you're being much too nice to me, and that you seem to know my mind and my story better than I do.
Thank you, thank you, älskling!
Even Lucius Malfoy was a virgin once. How fascinating.
Can you tell already that this review is going to severely lack criticism? Ah, well.
I shall start by applauding you for the lovely, descriptive introduction that most definitely does not mention weather. [Another author I know – coincidentally enough, she also writes Lucius Malfoy, as well as a red-headed OC or two -- very rarely manages to introduce a story without describing the weather. How utterly annoying.]
Speaking of Lucius and red-headed OC’s… “Lucius knew his father was still jealously guarding her from other men, a fact that never ceased to surprise him. He had no understanding whatsoever for such feelings. Sometimes, dear, I wonder if it’s my overactive imagination, or if perhaps you’ve based your Lucius an awful lot on another one, and have complete field days with dramatic irony. *grins* Whether it’s my imagination or not, it amuses me.
“but we cannot leave whoever it is standing outside, I guess.” *waits until Anna is not looking, then quickly removes the phrase “I guess” from Lucius’ dialogue.*
As for the Malorys, it wouldn’t matter if they were part troll, with the number of stuffed vaults they’re sitting on. *giggles* I do like Lydia. :D
“Bad luck and bad faith, yes.” It’s fabulous. I love that part. *flails*
He had never wanted to own another person before, no, he had always thought obedience and submission more important than mere ownership, but now he was filled with an all-consuming desire to possess the woman in front of him. I find this highly interesting. It makes perfect sense. In order to be truly possessive and domineering, I think one must first understand obedience and submission. There’s a lot of coming-of-age for Lucius in this chapter, and I think this transition for him is a very sensible one. He moves from being Abraxas and Lydia’s son, to becoming the man who will soon control the estate. I can actually relate to him, a little. I am, in certain situations, submissive; but when I am in a position of control, it rather consumes me. It is definitely possible to, at different points in time or life, be each side of the coin.
I also really like how you describe his PoV, once his lust for her starts to consume his attention. It’s like she become all that matters, the only person in the room. Perhaps confused with love by some; but it’s such a beautiful, raw, sensual state of enchantment to be in. *breathes it in* Oh, I do love how well you capture human feelings.
Seduction was a strange art to him, / line that I find highly amusing.
Or are we to risk a scandal behind one of your draperies?” Hee Hee Hee. And !!, I think I just had an idea. *cough*
And then of course, the end, I further adore Lydia Malfoy.
btw, it amuses me to know that Lucius’ swimmers are so successful on their first trip to a foreign land. *cough* Anyway. I love how you introduce the story with this part of the tale. For a few reasons. In a fan-fiction sense, it’s very good, because you’re addressing your readers interests. You start with a familiar character and familiar setting, instead of just starting with an OC. Which is what most people do (*coughs guiltily*). Also, it’s very interesting for Lucius’ character. We see him in the prologue young, just coming into his own. But, when we see him the later through Lucas’ PoV, over two decades later, he will be in a completely different place in life. He will have been married, he will have been the master of the Malfoy estate, he will have been a father, he will have gained his own power, and he will have lost it and been imprisoned (perhaps he will even have fallen in love with a mistress, who knows, this is all an assumption of course). And, it’s also nice to see where Lucas is coming from, especially since we won’t see Grace again, this is the only real chance to know what both of his parents were like.
Wonderful, dear. I almost wish Lucius weren’t here, and that this weren’t fan-fic, because it’s good enough to be an original, definitely. But, >.>, I don’t know. Lucius is rather nice to look at. So, perhaps we’ll just keep it here. Since you've already written so much, and all. *pats*
Author's Response: *giggles* Yes, I did hope that Siobhan would enjoy the part about the poor virgin Lucius.
Field days with dramatic irony? Based my Lucius on someone else's Lucius? Why, how could you ever accuse me of such things? *nearly suffocates from trying to hold back mad giggles*
And I thought you might like to know that Lucius little seamen weren't actually sucessful on their very first cruise - Lucius and Grace had quite a few cosy get-togethers during the late winter and early spring that year.
*grins* Thank you for your wonderful review, my love. I swear that I will continue trying to improve this story, so that one day it might be worthy of your attention. <3