Reviews For Act Two
Reviewer: Oregonian
Date: 01/29/14 1:07
Chapter: one-shot

Hi, H.S. This is Vicki from Slytherin House again. I always enjoy reading your missing moments, as you already know, because they are so skillfully written and fit so neatly into canon.

My initial reaction to this story was that I liked the first half, in which Draco is alone on the balcony reflecting on his recent past, better than the second half, because the first half is such a comprehensive analysis of the the emotions and reactions that Draco must have been experiencing at that moment: a lifetime of angers, fears, negative outlooks on life (looking down on people cannot be as enjoyable as appreciating them), negative experiences (bullying people cannot be as enjoyable as having friends), frightening real-life nightmares, disappointments, isolation, abandonment, resentment… You explore this lifetime of bottled-up hurts and wrongs in fascinating detail, even to the gallows humor of the golden casket with the mirror inside the lid.

There are significant hints in a few phrases: “…the vacuum of emotion..” and “It didn’t affect him…” Draco tells himself that he feels nothing and doesn’t care, when it is painfully obvious that he feels a lot and does care, not in grief for a loving father whom he lost a few days ago, but in grief for an entire loving childhood that he lost on the day he was born. You have him think of his father as “The man who had been dead to him for years…” Twenty-one years, by my count. In this, he is like Harry, who also grew up without a loving father. To Draco, his father was like the walking dead, not present in any sense that matters.

And still, as he reviews his father’s sins and shortcomings, you show hints that Draco blames himself as well: “Who the hell cared that little about [their father] that they could spend his funeral counting the panes of glass…” “…no progress had been made…” in building himself back up, and “Just how fucked up was he anyway?” These are not the thoughts of someone who doesn’t care.

At first reading, the half of the story featuring Astoria was less attractive to me. Her speech seemed affected, but to try to understand what you were doing here I re-read this section, skipping all the narrative and just focusing on her statements, and some points began to stand out, particularly “…he is both pleased and horrified to discover that his father’s death hasn’t affected him?…But doesn’t that make him as cold and unfeeling as his father was?” My take-away message here is that how we are raised will affect how we think and behave for the rest of our lives, and I saw an unexpected parallel with my own story, The Baby In The Closet, about how Harry was affected by his own upbringing. (Don’t know if you have read that or not.) I’m not sure Astoria was thinking about anything like that; she was just having fun freaking Draco out.

It was not clear to me how Astoria could pinpoint so accurately what Draco’s state of mind was”a lucky guess?”or why she accosted him out on the balcony. Why does she want to tease, torment, tantalize him? And why, in the end, does he seem to be attracted to her? Because she is the one person for whom he does not have to play a false role? It is for me a pretty ambiguous ending.

I enjoyed this story, and writing a review for it forced me to think more deeply about it instead of just skimming over it and on to the next. Thanks for writing.

Reviewer: Ruchira_M
Date: 02/02/13 9:41
Chapter: one-shot

Interesting. Very well-written too. I like your version of Astoria. A rebel? Nice.

Author's Response: Thanks for reading and reviewing! I'm glad you like her. I've not read a lot of fanfic Astorias. I went with someone who would make her own mind up about Draco, rather than go by his past or what she had heard from others. Anyway, thanks for reading!

Reviewer: kheldar
Date: 02/01/13 14:46
Chapter: one-shot

I know I reviewed this over on, but I really enjoy it, so I thought I'd say so again! I particularly like the way you characterized Astoria, I think I appreciated it more the second time around - she's an appealing blend of forceful personality with non-sleazy guile. I'd definitely be interested in reading more about her - and I can't help but think that whereas Malfoy could get under Hermione's skin he was never a match for her, whereas an Astoria/Hermione encounter (platonic, of course, though I wouldn't not read a non-platonic version if you wrote - only sort of kidding) could be really fun!

Author's Response: Haha, well, your double reviewing is appreciated so thank you! Yeah, she almost like a Bond girl I guess. I've half-written a sort of follow up to this set about a year later so she this won't be the last you see of Astoria. Oooh... Her meeting Hermione could be quite the match. I'm a slave to canon so it'd be platonic but yeah... I can see them clashing a bit, depending on how they meet.

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