Reviewer: AidaLuthien
Date: 12/02/10 1:21
Chapter: Stranger, Stranger...

In short - I love it.

To expand, particularly since you and this one-shot deserve it:

Your Draco voice is spot on. He argues with himself and agrees with both sides. He is arrogant, he is weak, he hates everyone.

Myrtle's appearance is also great. I like that everyone else just leaves when they hear her instead of telling her to get out. Typical Draco to be the only one to think of that.

I also like the surprise from the summary. I was expecting something more AU, with more out of character Draco. Instead the conflict with Harry happens exactly like it did, and exactly like it should.

Reviewer: CoolCatElly
Date: 10/31/10 17:28
Chapter: Stranger, Stranger...

Hi there Bine! This is for your treat for Halloween!

The first thing I noticed was how gripping the start was. From the first line, the mystery builds – i was so curious to find out what the situation was. I can really commend you for keeping me guessing throughout; you slowly filled in the blanks until I realised that it was the Harry/Draco HBP scene.

I loved the little references at the start to Draco’s family. I am fascinated by the Malfoys’ family dynamic, and seeing Draco caring about his mother straight off is really good. Also, his slightly blasť attitude about father made me wonder what their relationship was really like...

Draco throughout was written really well – you captured the emotional turmoil he must have been feeling, in fact it was almost similar to harry in Order of the Phoenix. For a piece in the 3de person, you really made the reader feel like they were inside Draco’s head. The frustrated outcry and throwing the apple was so wonderfully in character, as we know that Draco often responds physically when he’s in a temper (I’m thinking of him tramping on Harry’s face earlier in the book)

Since this was written for the DADA class, I have to say that you nailed the angst in here. Especially with his thoughts about the Dark Lord’s trust in him and if it’s misplaced or not. I’ve always wondered if Draco was really as ignorant of Voldy’s true nature as he seemed. It was nice to see him considering both sides for once. I also found it funny and quite sad that feeling superior made Draco feel that there was still hope for him. It just shows how far from repentance he is, in fact, he doesn’t realise that he has a problem at all! There was also a distinct change in the tone of the piece towards darkness at the end, as you described Harry’s curse. The descriptions were lovely, and not over-done, which is a trap people sometimes fall into with violence.

Plot-wise, there were so many things that took me by surprise: Finding out it was Moaning Myrtle surprised me soo much! And I was even more surprised when I realised which canon moment you were writing about! I never guessed it was that scene, which is either brilliant writing on your part, or severe dimness on mine. (I think it was the former though. )

I really love those “missing moments” from canon – filling in the gaps of what really happened, and I felt that this was one of those. I had always wondered just how Draco had come to be in that bathroom crying, so thank you for making that clear in my mind!

As for crit, the only thing I can really think of is that the pacing was a little slow for me in places, as one of my favourite parts of angst is that sense of urgency carrying it. I felt Draco’s angst, and I felt his anger and frustration, but I’m not sure I felt his desperation – that striking driving force which led him to become so careless that he would send poisoned mead or a cursed necklace.

Another little nit-pick is that in a few of the sentences seemed I felt that the word choice was a bit off, for example:

“he stopped, pondering.”

Not sure I like the word “pondering” there, it just seems a little too formal.

“despite the state he was in, he still felt superior over the girl.”

I’m not sure the tone here is formal enough – I would have just said “he still felt that sense of superiority,” or just “he still felt superior.” Then you could have expanded on that and said something like, “the thought gave him power, and he felt his old confidence returning.” Just to paint the atmosphere more, and really delve into the feelings without moving straight on to the contrasting thoughts.

“wimp”

This word really bothered me for some reason. It didn’t feel like a word a Malfoy would use, I’m not sure what, but I think something else would have worked better.

Anyway, all in all it was really good, and you showed a lovely mixture of angst and darkness. Really enjoyed reading that.

Xx
Elene

Author's Response: Thank you for that wonderful review, Elene! I'm really glad you liked it and that you think I nailed the angst. I agree with you that sometimes, angst in a story makes for a faster pace, but I didn't give the story a "rushed" feeling on purpose. For one, this one-shot is a missing moment like you said, not the entire story of Draco during HBP. And my intention with this misisng moment was to show the thoughts that ran through Draco's head that made him cry. I believe that when you ponder your situation, then you're not rushed. You take all the time you need to realise where exactly the problem lies you're thinking about. And the more time you have to think things through, the more intense the impact of the realisation is - which is why I wrote the story with such a slow pace.

Still, I appreciate your thoughts and opinion and cannot thank you enough for that fantastic review. *huggles the badgers' cheerleader*

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