Sorry it’s taken so long to review D: I’ve been so busy with schoolwork and such. Apologies.
Anyway, this is an interesting story! I’ve seen Draco redeemed in quite a few fics, and I agree that he wasn’t evil as such. After all, there were many moments in canon when he was a better person than I thought he would. And the fact that Harry saved Draco’s life more than once and Draco saved his, too, definitely convinced me that Draco was worthy of redemption. I think you drew on that very well, humanising him. I love the title, how it’s basically Draco looking back on his life. The piece is very reflective in nature, which is different from what I’m used to, but I think you did a good job of it :)
I thought the use of first person was appropriate -- it made the story a lot more personal, as his recollections are pretty personal and emotional, too. I felt a lot closer to Draco and could feel what he was feeling. Okay, I’ll admit I’m not a fan of Dramione at all, but I felt it was quite convincing because of the first person. I do think that you could have had more of a physical attraction to her -- as in, if you actually described Hermione in terms of looks, it might have been more believable, because then at least we could see why he liked her. Another way in which I find romance more convincing is by dialogue. The whole story was told rather than shown, and I would have liked to see some actual dialogue between Draco and Hermione for me to think Draco being in love with her was really believable. I also would have liked to see Draco’s reasoning for being so horrible to Hermione in canon; surely if he fancied her, he would have been nicer to her? And wouldn’t he have considered the fact that she was a Muggleborn and could therefore never really be welcome in Malfoy Manor? In other words, that could have done with some expansion.
However, I did like the connection with the dragons. I thought it was fitting that he would be fascinated by them given his own name, and it makes sense that he then snitched on Harry, Ron and Hermione about Norbert. I liked that you mentioned the dragons at the end, too -- it really brought the story full circle, which I think is really important in reflective pieces like this one. On the whole, I really liked Draco’s characterisation throughout, particularly at the beginning when his mother told him stories -- there was something lovely and childlike about him that was great to read. And, as another reviewer said, you made him likable but not quite someone I would admire. The ending was also wonderful -- again, it was very much introspective, and it really made it clear that Draco wanted redemption and that he was a better person than others perceived him to be.
So overall, BP, this was a great fic. :) Ooh, one thing I think is worth mentioning -- I liked the use of first person, but I would love to see some other POVs from you, too. I may be wrong, but it does seem to be the POV you use the most, and it seems to be the one you’re most comfortable with. It would be great to see third person by you, too, as I think it would really benefit you as a writer to try things that may be out of your comfort zone. This isn’t criticism, as such, since I think this story worked best in first person, but maybe if you experimented a bit with styles, it could help your growth as a writer.
Author's Response: Soraya, I am ridiculously sorry: I should’ve replied to this yonks ago. I got caught up in school and completely forgot that this existed. The first person thing is completely true - all of my fics on MMNF are in first person – and I completely agree that it would be lovely to see me write in third person (or even second person if that would even be feasible for me) and I will hopefully finish a couple of third person WIPs soon (after I finish another first person WIP…). Thank you for your comment on the Dramione bit. I’m really glad you didn’t think that it was completely thrown in, as this fic was originally rejected because the moderator felt that the whole Dramione thing was thrown in. I completely agree that it needed more thinking through. I’m also glad the dragon connection appealed: that was something I added after the fic was rejected. :) Thank you for leaving me such a lovely review; I'm glad you enjoyed the fic and I’m sorry that it’s taken me so long to write you such a measly reply, BP
This was really good! I had read one of your other stories, Early November Morning and liked it, so I decided to read this! Not the type of fic I normally read at all, but as I had liked your writing before I decided to try it!
Author's Response: Wow, thanks. I'm glad you enjoyed it, and if it's not normally your thing, even better. Thanks for reviewing!
Very very good. You made me cry. I'm glad that Draco doesn't fall into a pit of dispair after the battle. He changed for the better. I also like how you incorporated Hermione. I could see him liking her in the books. It always seemed like a possibility to me.
Author's Response: I'm a bit of a Dramione shipper at times, so I am rather fond of the idea that he liked her. I believed that Draco probably had too much pride to fall into a 'pit of despair' as you call it. Thanks for the review, and I'm sorry I made you cry. Or perhaps I'm glad. I don't know; it kind of depends on why you were crying...
Hi there, I thought I should return the favour as you've left me some lovely reviews recently.
I do like a good old Draco redemption fic and this is an interesting shot at showing Draco's POV throughout the series. There are, we know, hints at his redemption. He fails to kill Dumbledore, he doesn't quite give Harry away at the Manor.
,br. I would have liked to have seen his perspective at the Manor when Bellatrix is torturing Hermione, though. I think his horror at that would have been difficult to write, but would have been an extremely powerful part of his psyche.
There's a weeny error with the family connections. Tonks and Draco were cousins, so he's not Teddy's uncle. He's actually his 'cousin once removed' sorry I'm a family tree nerd - eeep.
I liked how you tied up the ending, mentioning dragons again. It gave the fic a certain symmetry.
Unlike the previous reviewer, I understood Draco was talking to the portrait of Dumbledore and not the actual person - I liked that touch very much. Dumbledore would give support to anyone who needed it, after all.
Well done. ~Carole~
Author's Response: Thank you for the review; I am so glad you liked the fic enough to review it! It is my first fic, so it is great to finally get some reviews. I actually got the idea of Draco being a little bit obsessed with dragons from your story Contemplating Lilies, as Lily knows a lot about lilies in that. Thank you for the family connection error, but I didn't know. However, I think I might keep it the way I originally wrote it because I think it's a bit more sentimental. I hope you don't mind too much. Hermione at the Manor...good idea...another little baby plot bunny to feed and cage. There seem to be so many around these days - they multiply like, well, rabbits! Thank you so much for the review!
I do like this. Nasty characters are harder to write than they look; this story gets the reader to identify with Draco without making him admirable in any way.
There is one major slip-up: Draco refers to speaking to Dumbledore during the Battle. Dumbledore was, of course, dead by then.
Author's Response: Draco was talking to Dumbledore's portrait in the Headmaster's office, much like Harry did at the end of the Battle. Thank you very much for your review!