I love a well written, angst filled loved story. Love it! I'm not into all that fluffy, tooth ache sugary, cliché type romances cause that's not real to me. Love is hard and leaving the one you love (still love) is painful. So this is really good to me.
Blaise fits perfectly in your story as this strong (but silent) loved torn soul who shared a relationship with Astoria. Not very much is known of Zabani, but the way you had him react in your work seems very in character too me and how I would picture him to be.
I love the imagery you've set in the fic. From the stickiness of the bar (which I can relate to) down to the crowdedness in the streets of London and Diagone alley.... you really get the sense that Blaise feels oppressed by his surroundings. It was almost like some kind of metaphor for how his emotions were so bottled up that it somehow manifests itself into his surroundings.
How you've portrayed Astoria was very intriguing to me too. She comes across a bit as a little vixen manipulator who is still stringing Blaise along despite her leaving him Draco. For a moment there, I thought she was using their meet up to make Draco jealous. Possibly jealous enough to make him propose? Since their engagement and romance is a bit of mystery to us, the idea of Astoria using Bliase in that fashion could be plausible and interesting to see if it were played out a bit more.
If there were a nitpick to be had in this, is that I would have liked to have heard more about the relationship between Astoria and Blaise. I would liked to have seen a moment between them where she tries to get him to revel in their past exploits ; the things that they did together, things that were said, etc. That way we can get a sense of how real their relationship was. But then he, in his cold stoic way, brushes her off while reminding her of the decision she made to be with Draco. In this way, we can see how deep his feelings were for her and how hard it was to truly say good bye in the end.
Great, great, great, story - I cannot say that enough! And I'm glad I got to the chance to review this. I hope you'll revisit this and possibly expand on the idea more to make his more than just a one shot.. it doesn't feel over even though it is. More needs to be said and done before the final goo bye.
This has inspired me to take up one of my angst ridden love story and give it another look.
I really love your characterization of Blaise. He is just the way I picture him being; well, how I would picture him if he was broken-hearted and slightly resentful. :)
“Well, how are you?” She gave him a long look, slowly batting her lashes.
I like this; it was a very Pansy-like line.
“What are you drinking?” The joyously light jingle of Astoria Greengrass’ voice jumped from the now occupied stool beside him.
“You won’t be happy with me.”
She waved her hand nonchalantly and rolled her eyes. “Drink what you want. It’s not my place to care anymore.”
I just want to point out that this was quite possibly the point that I fell in love with this. I adore the way you wrote Astoria right from the start! You depicted her as the independent and strong woman that I think she needs to be to stand beside the post-war Draco. I also loved the sarcasm in her line as well, nice touch.
“Why did you want to meet me, Astoria? You shouldn’t be seen with me.”
The bitterness in his words here is lovely characterization of a jealous man. Not that he is really all that jealous of Draco himself, just that he is jealous because he no longer has Astoria. He’s bitter, with a broken heart, and that showed here wonderfully. I thought this line of dialogue was perfect as I could really see a guy saying it.
Frankly, I think you are a wiz at characterization. I’m not just talking about the characterization in this story either, but in all of your stories. I think you take great care with the characterization in all of your stories, you look at the little things, the big things, everything. You keep characters believable, even when you’ve had them change or shown their beginnings, as with Bellatrix in Curse me, Lord. This is one of the reasons I love to read your work: the characterization is always breathtaking and well-written.
Now, for specifics, I love the way you wrote Draco. He was angry, but oddly calm, and that is really how I see him at this age. He is a Malfoy, after all; he is bound to learn his father’s calm, cool manner. You also gave Astoria a good, believable character that could fit well with Draco, and Blaise. You didn’t make her into another version of Pansy; she is her own character, and I valued that in this story.
Blaise was also stunning. I think you have him down very believable as both Blaise Zabini, the cocky Slytherin, and a man who has lost his love. Good work, dear.
I only have on tiny little nitpick:
No matter what time of the year it was always crowded in Diagon Alley.
I think that maybe there should be a comma after year, but I am not 100% positive.
Other than that, I thought this was a good little read. It was sad, but cute in a way, too. I really liked the power of the ending line, too. It perfectly fit the story and gave it a good close.
Good work, love, I can’t wait to read more of your stuff!
Author's Response: Goshhh I have gotten the best reviewers reading this story! I'm so happy you liked it, Haylee, and you know what your reviews mean to me :D I'm really happy you like my characterization, too, because it is definitely the point I struggle the most with all around. I find I sometimes lose myself in the description when I really need to find a balance between the description and the characters. And for some reason, I've always pegged Astoria as one of those who could fit in either Gryff or Slyth like Sirius and Harry, but she just has a bit more Slyth in her. Thanks again Haylee! You're the best :D
Awww, Kat, that was so sweet!
I have two small nitpicks:
Before Draco had the opportunity to think of a curse, Blaise bounded around Astoria, flying onto Draco with all the force he could muster.
I don't really feel that the word "bounded" suits the mood. To me, bounded means happy, excited, eager, etc. The mood at that moment is more serious and painful and harsh. Maybe "lept" or "jumped" or even just "stepped".
All right, the second one is that in the beginning, Blaise spoke of Asotria as "his best friend's girl." But, later, when Draco catches up to them, their confrontation isn't very, well, best friend-y. I know it's Blaise and Draco, but I still think that a best friend would give more chance for an explanation, instead of jumping straight to violence, but that's just my opinion.
Bouncing his eyes from one stone to the next...
I love how you phrased this!
It was like some sick obsession he had with his best friend’s girl.
I really like this line. I love how you said it, it's so blod and powerful. And, lately, I've been more and more into love triangles and such, so it just really struck a chord with me, so to speak.
He took a long pull from his drink, allowing the burn in his throat to stifle the ache in his chest, and finished the liquid.
Aww. I just want to give him a hug.
Nothing appealed to him now, except for the warm hand woven with his.
No one could mistake the light blonde hair and content sneer that frequented Draco Malfoy’s lips.
-glares at Draco- Why does he half to come and ruin the moment? What a buzz kill.
His eyes were still mutinous as they stared tauntingly into Blaise’s; he could feel the world around him fading as their eyes remained locked. Astoria kept on uttering pleading words, but nothing was going to stop either of them now.
Ohmy. I can just see this. Blaise and Draco standing surrounded by people, but their blurry and so are all the building around them. I can hear Astoria pleading faintly, but I can't see her. All I see is the faces of Blaise and Draco and their intentions. It's amazing.
“We don’ wan’ no non magic folk seein’ a bunch o’ nutters beatin’ each other up outside our own place. Now, get inside,” the long forgotten voice of Rubeus Hagrid growled.
OHMIGODSQUEE! HAGRID! -loves-
Sorry, I just had to get that out. :P
Walking through the heavy crowd, he this time relished in the pandemonium. It was refreshing not being able to hear his own thoughts and memories as the worries and lives of others brushed him here and there across the sidewalk.
These two lines made me shiver. They're so beautiful and sad.
"Please, I didn’t want the day to end like this.”
“Like what?” he replied in monotone.
“With you walking away from me.”
“I guess the roles have been reversed.”
I love this exchange. Especially the lack of dialogue tags on the last two lines. It's so powerful and moving. I really feel for Blaise.
The soft press of her lips on his stubbly cheek caused his heart to thud for a few brief seconds, and then his body was flooded with relief.
This was goodbye.
Aww! -sniffs- My eyes are burning. It's so wonderfully sad and sweet.
Random thoughts -->
I was very happy to stumble across this. :) I've always loved Blaise; he's such a fascinating character. And recently, Draco/Astoria has grown on me. I saw the summary, and I had to read it. :D
This is the first thing I've read of yours, and it definitely won't be the last. I love your style. This one-shot is exactly the type of one-shot I adore. It's short and brief, simply capturing one, life-changing moment in time. -sighs-
You are a witch (I mean that in a magical sense, not a substitute for swear word sense) with description. It really is stunning. It’s like I’m watching a movie – no it’s better than that, it’s like I’m actually there, just watching everything. It’s brilliant. You’re brilliant.
I really enjoyed this, Kat. You’re a very talented writer.
Author's Response: Uh, you rock. This was quite possibly one of my favorite reviews EVER. I've always had a soft spot for Blaise, I don't know why at all, but I have. I actually wrote a one shot based on the same triangle-- it's in my long-forgotten thread in the Three Broomsticks xD I agree that bounded doesn't really fit there, thanks for pointing that out. AND I'm glad you're a fan of my description :] Something I get lost in it though and forget my characters, but what can you do? LOL. See, I think I'm going to write a prequel to this. Perhaps when Astoria leaves Blaise? I feel like there is so much I assumed that readers would catch onto because I have this all thought out in my head *rolls eyes* The way I saw it was that Blaise and Draco *were* best friends until the little girlfriend switch occurred, and Blaise got angry. So, when Blaise saw him, not only was there animosity, but also there was a bit of guilt/sadness and he didn't know how to react. Yeah >.> Prequel is slightly necessary. GAHTHANKS for the lubly review :D It totally made my day.
From what I gathered on the Forums this was some sort of assignment for you. None the less I enjoyed reading it. Now I must get back to mine or I won't get anything done before the new year!
Author's Response: Hey! Long time no see! Yes, it was an assignment for the Photography class on the forums. I'm glad you enjoyed it :] It was a bit slow for me >.<