I can't believe you had to tear this story into two pieces to publish it on this site. Right now I'm giving my overall review. I loved this story and wanted it to go on. I think there should've been more Kreacher:P You know how much I love me some Kreacher as you write him. Even though Draco is so much older than Lily I liked the pairing. You know, I had a similar situation in my own family. My niece was engaged to a man who was a little over 20 years older than she was. Sadly, he passed away before the wedding could take place--a weak heart that no one knew about. He was a lovely man and their life together along with her daughter was like a fairytale romance. We all loved him. Anyway, my niece's heart was totally broken. It was a match made in heaven. If they had married my sister, the bride's mother, would've had a son-in-law who was older than she was. There was a big age difference but it worked. Like my niece's story I loved the romance in this one. I don't know what it was but it was easy for me to read and imagine the scenes, the lunches, the swimming, the long kisses--several days of all that. I can predict a happy future for them. I think Draco will live into a happy, and productive old age with his young sweetheart.
Author's Response: I can imagine the dismay a mod might feel at having to read a 20K one shot submitted for validation, so if it doesn't happen, at least I asked, heh. What a lovely and sad story about your niece. It's better to have loved and lost, but I wish there was less loss and more years of love, sigh. I'm glad you could imagine all the scenes and enjoyed the romance. I've started a Draco pov one-shot sequel, so you'll be able to see even more why the relationship works. And the older they both get, the less apparent the age gap will be. No one will even notice when they're both over 100, lol.
so was this for the NOTP Ficathon? I really liked it. You make the characters dynamic and interesting which I appreciate more than an interesting plot (although you have those too). I always am excited when I see that you posted a new story or chapter. Thanks for sharing your imagination with me.
Author's Response: Thank you so much! I didn't know what couple to choose for my not one true pairing, so I skimmed the most recent category for one I might otherwise go "nope" to, and after making sure the writer's plot wasn't what I'd write, dove in and, to my happy surprise, it was actually easy to imagine them as a couple in a Cursed Child dimension of the Potterverse. I've started writing a Draco pov sequel, so I hope you'll look forward to it. :)
Second review, though is probably going to be shorter.
Okay, the alchemist angle makes more sense here, and I am glad you explored that angle. With anything, there are those who research, solely research,,and those who practice. Some who do both. Malfoy researches, which I actually like, because that makes him a scientific fellow. Alchemy, after all, is science, an explanation on some levels for the mystic. The Egyptians and the Islamic world were the actual ones credited for tying that towards the scientific method.
I don't know how much research you did for your Malfoy researcher here, but alchemy is so much bigger than it's magical element. It's everything ... it's the building block of modern chemistry. It is everything. Sorry. I'm drafting a OF piece on alchemy, and I have read up on it after a seminar (most boring days of my life) in university. The professor said, "alchemy" and I lit up. As a kid who grew up with surgery after surgery, I believe in science. Science is my faith.
Yes, a boring lecture can change everything. I like Lily better here. And I don't know why because a lot of time hasn't passed. I think what's difference, and consequently what I think I missed, is the generation gap. I like that they don't meet each other on the same level, and they are all right with it. It's realistic that way. I think we've had this conversation, about it's good that this isn't the Victorian Era and a widower isn't left completely, utterly alone.
Now, the only problem that I have with this, and I point this out because I know how difficult it is, the time/space thing doesn't make sense. It is not that it doesn't make sense, really. It's just that it's not apparent. It is, of course, if and when you point it out, but it's there without being there. Perhaps that should have been a stronger angle. Maybe it would make it more believable?
Now that I am not seeing Lily as a little girl, it's more plausible, and I got annoyed whenever the parents or the cousin stepped in. She grown. Let her do her thing, whatever that thing is. The thing about the servants, as they are actual paid, like, people is a step in the right direction for Draco. I think his character growth is the shining star behind this. He recognizes that he is arrogant, worse than arrogant, and he mirrored that because of his father. Hate brews hate for no reason at all. And Malfoy points out. Well done.
Although, saying that, Mr. Malfoy is still a good olde boy living off the family money. Nothing wrong with that, although Scorpius, as I imagine the money's running out, will have to actually get a job. HA!
Lily went from little girl to confident here, or, at least, she's getting there. Well done, Paige.
My second response is going to be longer, heh.
Thank you for noticing Draco’s character growth! He’s changed for the better through living with the consequences of his actions and the loss of his wife. As for Lily, no twenty-one year old thinks of herself as a little girl, but she did grow in confidence that her feelings weren’t one-sided and was able to be proactive instead of running away.
There’s a saying about writing: Fiction is life with the dull bits left out. I concentrated on the scenes that showed Lily and Draco’s growing attraction and how they opened up to each other as they worked and spent time together, but just because I didn’t write scenes for all fourteen days doesn’t mean that I didn’t show time was passing or how that time had passed. To prove it, I went through and copied all the bits I think you overlooked. Hopefully, anyone who reads through them will be intrigued and want to read the story and judge for themselves. ;)
The first day is the moment of change in both their lives, so it earned a lot of scenes (6,644 words worth!). Once the attraction/working relationship/introduction to Malfoy Manor was established, I wrote:
Dinner that evening set the tone of their working relationship. They were polite, mainly discussed his research, and whenever their eyes met and held at random moments, each looked somewhere else and acted as though it had never happened. On Monday, Lily's run followed by a swim in the pool was so invigorating she resolved to make it a daily habit. Friday morning, after showering off the sweat of a run that for the first time hadn't had her groaning at the midpoint and walking back, she pulled on her green one-piece swimsuit and headed for the pool.
Friday evening during dinner:
"Don't you dare!" Lily dug her spoon into a meringue. "An alarm would go off in the kitchen and Mrs. Stevens would jinx you." He grinned mischievously, and she returned his grin before asking, "Will we fend for ourselves tomorrow? I've been here since Sunday, so I'm assuming the Stevenses have Saturdays off."
"They do." All of a sudden, Draco was absorbed with eating his dessert.
Lily said, "Scorpius told us about your racing broom collection. I thought it would be fun if we flew over Stonehenge--using Disillusionment Charms, of course." If she did friend type things with Draco, maybe they'd become as comfortable as friends.
Because Saturday’s events weren’t ones that needed fleshed out scenes, I summarized:
Flying on the latest Nimbus racing broom and getting a bird's eye view of a national treasure were experiences she'd never forget. The images of Draco wearing a form-fitting grey t-shirt and jeans, flying beside her and later challenging her to a sandwich making competition were unforgettable too. His Malfoy Monte Cristo won over her Potter pastrami and Swiss on rye, and her growing urge to kiss him nearly overcame her common sense. She took a cold shower before bed.
The next morning, she awoke resolved to choose a friend activity that couldn't be misinterpreted by her lust-fogged brain as anything resembling a date. She rummaged through the sports gear stored in the wardrobe in Scorpius's old bedroom and found what she was looking for. She tucked a flamingo shaped mallet under her arm and Apparated to the dining room.
After the croquet match:
Her strategy to do friend activities had backfired. She decided more work was the answer. During their lemonade and biscuits celebration in the kitchen, she asked if the Stevenses cleaned the manor all on their own. "I can help in the mornings," she said. "Kreacher taught me Cleaning Charms, and he even trusts me to polish the Black family silver."
Mrs. Stevens has her help Draco, who offers to teach her swim strokes if she’ll be his running coach:
By the end of their second run, she was calling herself every kind of idiot for going along with Draco's idea. Her physical attraction to him had escalated, and she actually liked him more every day. He had a self-deprecating sense of humour, and knew so much about the manor it was obvious where Scorpius got his interest in history. Although she was more interested in the people of the past rather than wars and dates, Lily enjoyed hearing about the items they cleaned. Her favourite subject, though, was alchemy.
She'd never known that Muggles considered alchemy to be a protoscience that became the field of chemistry. The only thing she remembered Binns teaching her class about Muggle alchemists was their eternal quest to turn lead into gold. Draco showed her texts that revealed a humanitarian goal; Medieval alchemists searched for a way to transmute sickness and disease into health. Texts were written using obscure language and double meanings, which led to misinterpretation. Wizard alchemists used the phrase lead into gold as code for a transmutation of self: the art of the Animagi. Gold in Muggle writings often meant magic. Muggles believed if an alchemist could comprehend the properties of a material, it was possible to break down the physical structure and reform it using spells if one had the gift of magic. In other words, if one was a witch or wizard.
(added the alchemy part to show yes, I had Lily find out that alchemy was a building block of chemistry) Another transition/timeframe reminder:
"What are we going to do with your research?" Lily finally asked at the end of her second work week.
After dinner the second Friday night:
Once in her room, Lily remembered that she hadn't asked if he already had plans for tomorrow. She wrote a note, folded the parchment into a paper airplane, and cast the spell to send it flying like a Ministry interdepartmental memo.
The next morning:
She awoke in a daylit room and turned to the bedside clock. It was a quarter past ten!
After the picnic at the lake, dinner interruptus, and what happened afterward and Lily tiptoeing downstairs to the library:
Stevens started to ask why she'd stayed up all night to do something she could have done over days or weeks, she saw his mouth start to form the first word, and then he pressed his lips together. She could almost hear the wheels in his brain turning.
and then, after the early morning scene, Lily goes upstairs and:
She ended up opening the window drapes to let the noon sunlight flood the room
I don’t want to come across as defensive, but you’re the second reviewer who didn’t pick up that two intense weeks passed from the time Lily arrived at the manor to the time she and Draco (spoiler not given, lol), and I wanted to show that the passing time isn’t “there without being there,” as you put it. It’s there but you didn’t pay attention (and you know I speak the truth in love because I beta your stories!).
I know a couple who got married after dating for two weeks, and from personal experience, when you spend a lot of time with someone, and you both like that person and feel a strong attraction, your ages mean nothing, and you fall hard and fast whether anyone else believes it’s love or not.
And maybe I’ll write a sequel from Draco’s pov just to prove it. ^_~
It's a good read, but I have difficulty believing Lily would fall in love with a man as old as her father in just over a day. Older man - yes. Time scale?
Thanks, Dad. I'd have a hard time believing it could happen in a day, too, which is why the story takes place over two weeks. :D The first part describes Sunday to Sunday, and the second continues the Sunday croquet match through the following Sunday after the Saturday night dinner-interruptus. The first day was the moment of change in their lives, so it took up a lot of screen time, so to speak. The changing days came in transitions like:
On Monday, Lily's run followed by a swim in the pool was so invigorating she resolved to make it a daily habit. Friday morning, after showering off the sweat of a run....
When two single people who find each other attractive spend most of every day together, two weeks is more than enough time to fall into the early stage of love that's made up of lust and liking and a desire to be more and more intimate. I'll see what I can do about adding more space between scenes so it's easier for readers not to miss the change of days. Thanks again!