After you're lovely review on "I Suspect Nargles" I decided to check out your profile, and I was immediately drawn to this and subsequently rewarded with a very satisfying read.
I'm usually not a fan of first-person, especially for a character so difficult to capture as Draco, but in this case (due to the quality of the writing) I think the style fit very well. You didn’t exaggerate his emotion or try to spur sympathy from the reader by making him overly self-pitying. In fact, you captured his conflicting emotions, confusion, pain, sadness, and even disdain quite well.
Many things stood out to me. The imagery of the four different gems from the four different houses, scattered together on the floor among all that death and destruction was quite striking. I also enjoyed how you had Draco pocket an emerald. The symbolism in that is strong. I also liked Draco’s aside that he didn’t even know his mother could make tea. And, of course, leaving his father behind in Azkaban is very heart-rending.
Overall, a very enjoyable, poignant fic, especially considering how you managed to fit all that you did into a relatively short piece. Well done.
I remember skimming this when it came out (I don't escape the queue for reading much these days), but I don't think I appreciated how beautiful this story is. There is so much here for a short fic, but without being difficult.
There is so much truth in the mentions of the cage. We're all in cages, aren't we - bound by an invisible set of parameters cast by the people around us and above us; imagine how heavy those bonds would be if we'd done what Draco had done? But, really, I think the thickest bars were the ones Draco put up himself. He didn't say he knew what he'd done better than they, but his crimes. The fall of Voldemort probably wasn't the first realisation that he had that he was a criminal, and it wouldn't be the last.
I like the sheer characterisation of what each of the Malfoys did once they returned to the Manor. All of them knew what was going to happen, so they chose to face it with aristocratic dignity. It feels so much like them.
The description in this story is also brilliant. Every word has a purpose and an impact on me as a reader - most especially, the description of the hourglass gems on the floor, mixing together like everyone at the tables after the battle. There are just so many things to point out, I can't even bring them all up here without copy/pasting the whole fic.
This is, I think, some of your best work. I know Draco isn't a character you choose to write about often and probably wouldn't have done if not for a gift, but if you can have this level of clarity and understanding for a character who is by far not your favourite, I'm pretty sure you could write a Dramione medieval princess AU and make it fantastic. :)
Author's Response: Thank you.
I feel quite sorry for Draco.
Author's Response: I'm not sure that was my goal, but it works for me. He's complicated, and it couldn't have been easy, after. Thanks for reading and taking time to leave a review.
Wow Lori I think you really captured the hollowness of this moment in time, not only for Draco but the whole Malfoy family. There are so many moments I could quote and mention but then it would just be copy/pasting the entire fic into my little review box. I will mention just this one:
I want to stand straighter, to stare back at them with my father’s square jaw, but I rarely manage it. I know my crimes better than they do, after all.
I think this sums up Draco perfectly after the war. You have characterised him so so so well, Lori. Guh. This whole fic, while quite short, is really rather powerful. It moved me. The way you intertwine mundane moments like Lucius shaving with the terrible vastness of the aftermath of the battle is just so you and just so right.
Author's Response: I don't know what has made Draco so appealing to me lately in terms of his redemption, but the complexity of it draws me. There's a kind of grief there, but I think he has it in him to move on, to be better than he was. Not a great person, really, but a better version of himself, at least. Thanks for the lovely review, Julia. I appreciate it so much.
Living with the consequences of our actions (or inaction) can be punishment enough, more so than any mere prison cell. Great story!
Author's Response: I agree, and I think Draco was ripe for redemption. Consequences would have played a large role in that, I think. Thanks so much for reading and reviewing. I'm glad you liked it. ~Lori
Three things make this my favourite kind of fic:
1) A Draco Redemption fic.
2) PERFECT Characterisation
3) Written by Weasley Mom, who has never written anything that I haven't failed to LOVE on sight. (Don't push it by writing a Snamione, although it's possible you could sway me :D)
This is so wonderful, Lori. This is just such a great story. Powerful, emotive, and full of themostamazingkeysmashingmoments. Seriously, I forget, sometimes, how well you write small details, intimate moments that just set the scene so blooming well. The wall scraping Draco's back, for instance, and Narcissa opening all the drapes to let in light. Narcissa and Draco's tears, and Draco thinking he wasn;t a good son when he'd done everything for the sake of Lucius. (Well, okay, he was, I think, intoixicated by power, too, but really it was his parents that drove him.)
I love the end. he's perpetually in Harry's debt now. Merlin, he must hate that. No wonder it's a cage.
Fabulous stuff. Thank you so very much for writing this and dedicating to meeeeeeeeeee!
Author's Response: Yay, I'm so glad you like it. Every spring I determine to write you something and I'm just rubbish with deadlines, which is why I start so many challenges and don't finish. So when I started working on this one, I knew I wanted to gift it to you because you always told me not to quit writing Draco. I do think he's a better son that he imagines himself, because so much of his behavior was in obedience to his father. I think of those early scenes in CoS when we meet Lucius and see the way he treats Draco... it's not hard to imagine why things turned out as they did. I like to think he redeemed himself though. Drat, Caroledemort! You've foiled all my Snamione plans! Whatever will I write for the Christmas challenge now?? *wails* Hehehe. Thanks for the review, dahling. I'm thrilled you liked it! ~ Lori