This was a very interesting story. Firstly, I'll say that genereally I don't like Hermione with anyone other than Ron - I particularly don't like Harmony or Dramione because I just think they're unlikely. So I was a little bit hesitant to read this story, but the summary looked interesting. Initially I assumed it would be Hermione/Viktor, being set at the time of the Yule Ball and all, but I'm glad you chose to write something different. The thing I like about this too is that it doesn't exclude Romione and I find it believable that Hermione wouldn't tell Harry and Ron about this encounter - after all, she wouldn't tell them who'd invited her to the Ball.
Anyway, I'm getting rather off track. Killian was an interesting character. I liked his light humour, eg
“We can start with introductions first, with wild accusations to follow. Very formal.” but also his comments such as this “And you’re a Gryffindor,” Killian pointed out. “I guess there are no more secrets between us now.”, which have a more serious side. You wrote the dialogue between the two of them excellently, it flowed well and was realistic.
I think you nailed Hermione as well. I think at this point, she has self-confidence when it comes to her intelligence, and even her ability to be a friend. Her relationship with Harry is simple and she knows he values her. With Ron it's a bit more complicated. But I think you're right with your last line, because I don't think she's felt valued as a girl, rather than just as a person (if that makes any sense).
I thought Snape was a little OOC. You've written that he couldn't take points of Gryffindor without taking them off Slythering, but this is Snape we're talking about and he finds anyway to be unfair in his classes. He probably would have said that Hermione was distracting Killian and therefore taken more points off Gryffindor or something like that. Although you did write his dialogue very well. So that's really only a small thing.
The discussion about Houses was interesting (I mean Killian saying it's only where he sleeps), and I think very true. Houses are, after all, a form of stereotype and had someone like Ron or Harry been in that situation, they would have judged more harshly than Hermione did (although even she, who tries to be fair, was still judgemental).
Anyway, I'm glad I chose to read this, it was an interesting, original and enjoyable read.
Author's Response: Hi Katrina, Thanks for reading/reviewing. I'm glad you enjoyed the story. I am the first to admit that I took a chance when I decided to pair Hermione with an OC. I know how readers feel about OC's in general. But the story felt right, and Killian (a character from an original fiction I wrote) seemed like a character that would counter Hermione well. That being said, I simply made a promise to myself that I would not change canon. I would interweave Hermione/Killian's story within the existing world of HP canon. Most of what happens throughout the series (as with The Last Dance) takes place in between the scenes of the books. Of course, there is a little bit of reinterpretation. As much as I tried, minute details had to be changed, if for no other reason, than the fact that Hermione is now connected with Killian, a character that doesn't exist in canon. I'm also glad you picked up on the "feeling valued as a girl" point. That was pretty much the inspiration for the story. I, too, felt that she was often appreciated for being intelligent, loyal, and a great friend, but never really as a girl. And not in a "you're so hot" sort of way. More in a subtle, charming, wooing manner. Every girl deserves this moment in their life. Of course, that's just my humble opinion ;) As for Snape, yes, he was a little OOC in the sense that he could have been flat out unfair. His reasonings become a bit more clear in the upcoming stories. Since the story is told through Hermione's eyes, she is not aware of what the brooding Potions master is thinking. She can only go on what she knows at this point ... which isn't very favorable toward Professor Snape ;) Alas, I've rambled on. Again, I thank you for reading and the very articulate and detailed review. Reviews of this nature make the writing all the more worthwhile. I hope you continue to enjoy the upcoming stories. Kindest regards, AD
this is really quite amazing! when will allies in shadows begin? i can't wait. you are a fantastic writer.
Author's Response: Thank you :) I will start posting Allies in Shadows tomorrow. The Last Dance sat in the queue for about 10 days, but I'm hoping my future posts go up quicker ... fingers crossed ;) - AD
very sweet (: