I am a recent member of the Harry Potter fandom, but I have always had a passion for the written word, and I hope to fulfill it here. I live in a relatively boring corner of Idaho, and I like Kokanee and a good book!
So, I suppose you're wondering what's up with my username. Even if you're not, this is how that happened. No, I was not aspiring to be a Gryffindor. I can't think of any house to which I would belong less than Gryffindor, in fact. It was a moment of clarity that I got while I was battling with myself about whether I should want to be Sorted into Gryffindor to be like Harry or to be Sorted elsewhere and follow my own path. I thought it to be much like the contemplative scene in Hamlet when he weighed taking his own life. I'm not trying to be melodramatic. That's simply is what popped into my head when I was trying to sign up to leave a review. :D
Any questions or comments about my work? Please shoot me an email at: email@example.com — I'd love to hear from you!
Summary: Because Tracey Davies wants nothing to do with her brother Roger, she avoids Ravenclaw House. But will she survive in Slytheirn? And is survival even what matters?
Ah, another reason to not like Roger. I know he's a 'good guy' and all, but drat, I believe I don't like him. Poor Tracey, stuck for the next five years with a House full of people that hate her, but I believe she will do her utmost to either rectify the situation or get them all back.
I'm seriously getting into the Slytherin POV. Keep it up!
Author's Response: Dear Jess, The ease with which one can learn to think like a Slytherin is woryring, isn't it? Imagine what it's like when you live with them all day long! Roger didn't mean any harm (after all, the vast majority of Ravenclaws DON'T care about blood status) but of course Tracey is now in the mindset to blame her brother for everything that goes wrong. Obviously she'll have to stop blaming and start using her Slytherin cunning if she wants to improve matters. Don't worry, I promise you she will! Best wishes, GhV
Ah, brilliant girl! It's nice to see her back in the fold, so to speak.
One thing that most people forget is that the Hufflepuffs and Ravenclaws were not nearly as enamored with Hagrid as the Gryffindors. They didn't hate him as the Slytherins did, but there was not a whole lot for our inestimable half-giant.
At least they didn't like Umbridge...that would have been unfortunate. They merely recognized the need to be in her good favor for the sake of their social statuses and future career opportunities. It's hard to fault them for that, not to mention the desire to never seen the wrong end of that black quill.
In conclusion, after quite a bit of pedantic rambling, I thought this addition was brilliant.
Just a few minor issues. You mention Draco being attacked by the hippogriff 'last year', but it was the year before, in Third Year. Also, in this sentence: "I stopped thinking about the Firewhisky crate and focussed instead on the books stacked beside his bed", I believe there is only one 's' in focused.
Anyhoo, that's enough of my jabbering. :D
Author's Response: Thanks, Jess, ~ I don't have a beta reader so a few mistakes are slipping under the radar here. I can't remember why I said "last year" for the hippogriff incident - possibly because the execution date was only 18 months ago, hence "last calendar year". But if I need to make a more serious revision of this chapter, I'll correct these points too. ~ No, I don't believe the Slytherins LIKE Umbridge! I don't think it occurs to them to perceive human relationships in those terms. Does Draco like Vincent and Gregory? Does Millicent like anyone? I feel that Daphne frequently resents Pansy, yet she still describes her as her "best friend". ~ Thanks for your continued support. More follows soon. GhV
Ah, now I dislike Roger slightly less, because he helped her stick it to the Slytherins...but he's still a jerk, lol. I guess buying back favor is a tradition that extends to all the Houses, considering her Bones (Hufflepuff) Grandmother offered it.
Congrats on getting them to push your story through the queue so fast, I wish I could get them to do that for me.
Author's Response: Hi Jess, ~ I'm glad you saw a better side of Roger here. He just doesn't see the impact he has on his sister; he has no idea that she has so resentful, or what he contributed to the problem. ~ I don't know that Hufflepuffs would "buy back" favour; it's more a question of being nice to people regardless of what they have done to you. I actually think Tabitha Bones (nee Twillfit) would have been in Ravenclaw, where the perspective would be that wise people always try to neutralise their enemies and make as many friends as they can. I doubt that Tracey understands the differences between these three points of view; she just knows that "buying" people like Pansy costs more than she can afford to pay. ~ Thanks for reviewing. More to follow soon. Best wishes, GhV
Ah, poor Tracey, second fiddle yet again!
I hated it for her that she had to cheer for her brother just because everyone else was. It sucks, having to appease everybody to fit in, which is why Luna Lovegood is such a fascinating character, because she doesn't care at all. Tracey is almost the antithesis of that, and not too many authors delve into the mind of Slytherins not named Malfoy.
Still enchanted, still reading, and still like Tracey. :D
Author's Response: Dear TBONTBAG, I thought your comparison with Luna was very perceptive. Luna, despite her fantasies, has a fundamental honesty that constantly shipwrecks the deceit of people around her. Tracey, who is firmly pragmatic, has a fundamental DIShonesty that will refuse any information that is too uncomfortable. It's telling that you can sympathise with her anyway; such character flaws don't erupt in a vacuum. Thank you for your support, GhV
Hmm, poor Tracey, being stalked by Roger's legacy, even after he was long gone.
She really seems to be adapting to the Slytherin lifestyle, which she's properly using to her advantage.
It is unfortunate that Susan took her words as callousness and mean-spiritedness, because I really think that Tracey was just trying to paint a picture of better things for her cousin, whi didn't take it like that at all.
And nobody to love? That supremely sucks for her, because she couldn't love her brother for all the misery and neglect he had caused for her, and her parents lost her favor because of their adulation of Roger and their omission of her own achievements. Hopefully, she finds someone with which to share her life, not just someone who has visions of Galleons dancing in their head.
Author's Response: Yes, Tracey is by now utterly Slytherin in her approach. You're right, she was genuinely trying to cheer Susan up; but a more empathic person would have recognised that talk about money was a ridiculous strategy. Tracey is not happy about what happened to Aunt Amelia (unlike, say, Millicent), but nor does she greatly care. As for whether she loves anyone... Nobody springs to her mind at present, but perhaps she's overlooking something or someone? Tracey is not yet evil, but she has reached the stage where her habits and her environment are making it increasingly difficult to change her course.
Ah, even though she's not one of the bad ones, Tracey is a true blue (er, green, I guess) Slytherin, because she managed to make a potions accident and a Muggle textbook turn her into a gazillionaire. Cunning and ingenuity were Salazar Slytherin's strengths and his love, which Tracey has proven to have in spades, so brilliant for her!
I really like how you made her friends with Theo, who I thought was not a bad guy, just a guy in a bad situation. I'm also really glad nothing bad happened to her family and she could finally get over her hangups about Roger and move on with her life.
In essence, her dislike of her brother ended up giving her everything she ever wanted, because that=her Slytherin sorting=the potions accident=finding out about the attack on the cobbler=her reading that chem book=Tracey making diamonds from almost nothing. Wow, that's a long equasion, lol.
Well, in closing, I think this was a very good story, and you brought life to a background character about whom most would not have given a second thought, and you did so brilliantly. Thanks for writing, and I hope you've got more stories cooking in your head.
Author's Response: Thank you for all your support throughout this story, Jess. Tracey knows where her real friends are, she has got over Roger and she's going to be rich - so I hope you think that's a happy ending. ~ I didn't think it was realistic to turn her into a saint, so she's still selfish, but she has chosen not to be evil. Same for Theo, of course - his coldness and selfishness were caused by his father's bad example, but now he's chosen to get over it and will be morally normal. ~ I think Tracey might have worked out the diamond formula even if she hadn't been propelled by her resentment of Roger and the influence of her Slytherin friends, but I've no idea HOW it would have happened. Her story would have been altogether different. Did you notice the only chapter in the story that did NOT contain the word "diamond"? That's a clue to how Tracey's mind was working all along! ~ I did wonder whether it was worth publishing this story, given that Tracey is neither a major HP character nor very admirable. Thank you for letting me know that it was the right thing to do. Best wishes, GhV
Ah, to be the forgotten child! It's always a painful ordeal to be the offspring that received less adulation and more of the short end of the stick.
Nice touch, by the way, putting her in the Harry Potter closet (even real estate agents call it that, now). There are remarkable parallels between her home life and Harry's when he lived with the Dursleys. I just hope her lot improves at school, as well, because I like her. :D
In terms of style, the first person seems very fitting for this piece, because it allows you so much room to outline her insecurities and perceived shortcomings so well, as you have done. I am looking forward to further chapters!
Author's Response: Thank you! And congratulations on being the first to review this story - I didn't think it would even be visible yet. You know, I didn't think of the "Harry Potter closet" parallel, but you are right. I wonder what my subconscious was doing? An important difference between Tracey and Harry is that her parents DO love her. They are just worn down with adult worries, such as money, and don't realise that they are overlooking her. The story is finished, so I hope to move the chapters through the queue quickly. Thank you so much for reading and reviewing. GhV
Hmmm, I'm worried for Tracey, because Smith has always been a shady git, and if he hurts her, I'll kick him in his e-giblets!
Okay, enough of that, lol. How like Blaise and Draco to bet with people's feelings. I'm just glad that she found another date so it didn't make her look pathetic or anything. I may be reverting to my prior ill feelings toward Roger, but in that sense, I am mostly at your mercy!
Author's Response: Dear Jess, ~ Save your kicks; there's nothing more about Z Smith because he is definitely the wrong man for Tracey! ~ The full story of Draco and Blaise's bet is told in "Turning the Corner", which was the first HP novella I ever wrote. You can read there how many girls accepted Blaise's offer, and who finally won the Galleons. ~ Everything is against Tracey at this point: Roger, her fellow Slytherins and her own immaturity. So hold on for a steep slide down the moral precipice while we ask the all-important question: Can Tracey be redeemed? ~ Thanks for your support. Tracey will thank you if she grows up. Best wishes, GhV
Argh, poor Tracey. Her desire to stay in with the Slytherins is finally catching up to her, even forcing her to talk to Roger. It was good of him not to take the mickey out of her for even knowing about it.
Awesome chapter! Good work, and I eagerly await the rest.
Author's Response: Dear Jess, ~ Yes, Roger believes better safe than sorry where Voldy is concerned, but Tracey isn't quite ready to appreciate him for it. ~ He is completely desensitised to how she feels about him. A line that didn't make it to the final draft of this story is when Roger tells his friends, "Tracey's a little grouch but she wouldn't hurt a fly." And Tracey fumes that she could hurt twenty thousand flies if she felt like it but she doesn't usually feel like it because she's all sunshine when Roger isn't around to spoil things... ~ Anyway, she can't possibly want to stay in Slytherin at this stage... Can she...? ~ Thanks for reviewing, GhV
Many emotions. One wizard. One act of revenge.
A one-shot for the "Watching the Mirror" Class on the betaboards
Ah, I love how you portray Tom Riddle in this light. The way you show his inner doubts about himself and his distaste for all things emotional is quite telling of a character that committed the ultimate acts of evil. The last line was so poignant to that effect.
In terms of grammar, etc (since this is a homework assignment):
"rawing out strength and praying on weakness" It should be 'preying'
"gifted with magical gifts beyond contemplation" You may want to change one of the uses of 'gift'.
I loved your intermittent use of second person. It made it seem, at least to me, that Tom was talking about himself, but he refused to openly contemplate love in a manner so personal as the first person. I don't know if you were going for that, but I got a little of that from it.
All in all, excellence abounds and it's definitely on par with your regular work, and I loved reading more about the ever-fascinating Tom Riddle.
PS-I loved the latent reference to Keeds, btw. :D
Author's Response: Can't have Tom without Keeds ;-)
She stares out across the great expanse of water.
He watches her longing gaze.
My final task for the 'Watching the Mirror' class on the beta boards.
Nominated in the 2010 Quicksilver Quill Awards for Best Non-Canon Romance.
Holy Hippogriffs, your imagery was so potent and passionate! I totally felt like I was there! There aren't quite the words in my vocabulary to describe the emotional upheaval I experienced while reading this piece. I'm not sure if you intended to do so, but wow (yep, that's the best word I can come up with)..
I have to confess, in the end, I was a little disappointed that Ginny ended up with Harry, because I always harbored the secret desire to see Hermione with him and not Ron. I guess it's because they complement each other rather than raise one another's hackles. I would probably have even preferred that he end up with a completely different girl, but every delicious fantasy cast Hermione as his leading lady. I confess myself almost scared to defy canon and put him with someone else, but you are braver than I, Miss Julia.
PS-"His thoughts became focussed again." Should be one 's'.
Author's Response: Thanks so much, Jess! While I don't mind Ginny with Harry, I always loved the idea of Harry/Hermione. I, too, was a little scared to attempt a Harry/Hermione fic but I've always loved reading them (and there aren't that many written anymore) and thought that I'd throw all caution to the wind and just go with it. There's something so deliciously dangerous and non-canon about the pairing! Thank you for the review and for the little pointer there. I'm going to fix that up right away!
Summary: When your world has collapsed all around you, who would you turn to for solace? Could you find comfort in the arms of an enemy? Could you find your angel? Sadly, some things are never that simple.
Warning: bitter-sweet (with emphasis on the bitter).
I'm amazed that you've pulled off D/A and fluff in the same piece, but it's oddly comforting to know that even amidst the darkest of times and the rudest of elements, one can find peace at the eye of the storm.
To call this paranoia was an understatement.
I guess it isn't paranoia when they really are out to get you.
I always felt bad for Draco, because even though he always had the best of everything, all of it meant nothing while his family was still under Voldemort's thumb. That very fact has always soured me to Lucius, because it's basically his fault that it happened.
Stylistically, I appreciate the attention to details, from the hostility of the storm to the creaking of the floorboards, because this imagery served a larger purpose in it's metaphoric parallel meanings to the battle that had just raged. It followed them, long after the fighting was over, relentless in its pursuit to claim its last two victims.
Okay, totally waxing philosophic here, but all in all, excellent piece, IMO. Great job, and your friend has gotten a precious gift for her (I'm assuming) birthday.
Author's Response: Wow, that is quite the list of compliments. I am extremely flattered. I love that you picked up on how I juxtaposed the storm raging outside to the battle that took place beforehand and the metaphorical tempest that raged inside both Draco's and Ginny's minds. While Ginny's situation is undoubtedly heartbreaking (having lost most of her family), Draco's plight is equally horrible if not worse for after the battle is won or lost, he can never escape death.
If you would like to read longer D/G works of mine, I would suggest visiting here: http://www.dracoandginny.com/viewuser.php?uid=1856 There are tonnes of excellent D/G fics on this site if you are ever-so inclined. ^_~
Thank you so much for your wonderful review. It made me smile and blush.
Summary: She had taken to walking here most nights since he’d gone. The utter loneliness of her life led her to flee her mausoleum of a marriage bed for the solitude of these shores, and Narcissa would stride up and down the coast trying to block out the memories that threatened to break her.
The title for this oneshot is a quote from Charlotte Gray.
I am Equinox Chick of Hufflepuff and this story has been written for Roxy Black's 'Watching the Mirror' class on the MNFF Beta Boards.
Thank you very much to Ari (Royari) for her help in beta'ing this oneshot in super speedy time.
Disclaimer I am not JK Rowling but I doubt that surprises anyone.
This is a delightful story. I always pictured Narcissa suffering in silent angst during Voldemort's extended stay in their home, as well as her being forced to conform to the carnal advances of those above her in the Dark Lord's favor.
I like how Lucius is caring about his wife, yet he still maintained his sense of being a PC Death Eater. It realizes my vision of him caring, just not enough to stop the madness before it started.
All in all, I think this is a fantastic imagery-based story, one I'll probably read again in the future.
PS-Just a small nitpick, because I'm just like that: 'Warming Charm' should be capitalized, I believe.
Author's Response: Hi Jess. Thank you for the review and I'm glad you enjoyed it because I've never written about the Malfoys as a couple - and never sympathetically. I shall look into Warming Charm because I'm not sure myself if it's a real spell. ~Carole~
Summary: She belongs to him. Plain and simple. And if she ever thought that getting away from him would be that easy, she certainly has another thing coming.
Hmmm, interesting story. I've never really read Hr/D before, so this shall be a new experience for me. I would definitely be interested in the course of events during the war that have led them to this point. I shall stay tuned.
As for style and syntax, I find your word selection and structure to be excellent. It is almost as if we were in Hermione's head, feeling every blow, every sensation along with her. I appreciate that quality that is not often present, so thank you and happy writing!
Hmm, I am curious to whether we will be privy at some point of the backstory between Draco and Hermione. Do I think Draco meant any of those 'I love you's, no, but I do believe that Hermione thought they were sincere.
So far, great suspense going on here, and your language lends itself greatly to that. I'm looking forward to the next chapter, and I think there may be additional Hr/D stories read my me, for I believe you changed my mind about the ship.
Summary: It's Hermione's final year at Hogwarts. Nothing could be better. She starts a relationship, she is made Head Girl. All of that changes in an instant, however, when one man does the unthinkable and she is left to deal with the consequences.
Ouch! I have to say, what a way to begin a story! Poor Hermione, she doesn't deserve such treatment. I hope everything turns out okay in the end, mostly because I'm a fluff shipper, lol.
I will definitely be on the lookout for more chapters. I shall stay tuned. Good beginning to your story.
Summary: In the aftermath of the Hogwarts' battle, Draco Malfoy is interned at Godric's Hollow under the vigilant eye of Ginevra Weasley. While Harry and the Order convene to decide on Draco's fate, an unlikely bond is formed between captor and captive.
*JKR has never revealed the length or core of Draco's wand, just what wood it is made of. I took creative license and liberty with its length.
From the Harry Potter Lexicon:
Wand: Hawthorn and unicorn hair, 10 inches, reasonably springy (DH24)
Just thought I'd point that out...though your 'guess' was actually pretty good, lol. The Lexicon is my best friend in my own writing, because it lists a number of things that no normal person could possibly remember, plus details that were not in the books that JKR outlined in memos, interviews, and other publications.
I just started reading this story (which has been on my to-do list), because I'm a serial reader, so if something is chaptered, there has to be a lot of it for me to read all at once, or I lose focus/interest. I won't review every chapter of what's already posted, but I'll definitely check in here and there. Once I run out of chapters, I'll probably leave a really long one all at once and one for each subsequent chapter.
It's looking good so far, and as a Gemini myself, I do understand the split personality aspect that you gave Draco, because I'm much that way myself. His refusal to read the Muggle books unless he has to is, at least to me, a typical trait of someone like him, who was bred to revile all things Muggle, and that includes literature.
I'm not sure that Ginny would really be that mean to Draco, but war changes people, so when she gets her chance to exact any sort of retribution for Fred's death, I can see how she would, even if Draco really had nothing to do with it.
Your characterisation of Harry as overworked and relentless in his pursuit of the Death Eaters was, IMO, pretty accurate, and I can't see how that could have not affected his relationship with Ginny. I'm sure that irked her to no end, even though Harry, being, well, a guy, would not even realise.
It really wasn't very sporting of her to snap his wand, because she would have to know that he would eventually be released, which just makes it spiteful on her part. However, I can definitely see her doing it in a fit of pique because he wouldn't acknowledge her potshots.
As I mentioned, I will be back, so I shall see you later. Take care and happy writing!
Author's Response: You know, I never looked at HP Lexicon, and I normally do. I think I just looked up an interview (pre-DH) and saw that she never mentioned the make of Dracoís wand. I could have sworn I looked it up in the Lexicon. Maybe I didnít. Or maybe it has been updated since I wrote this (it was originally written in August 2009). Thank you for tell me though. I will add this when I go back to Ďedití the story again. ^^
Iím glad you liked the beginning of the story. I think I might have threw some people off because there was no dialogue, and it was rather depressing. Lol.
Ginny was very mean to Draco, but, for me, I can see her acting that way after the war. I mean, she had a lot of reasons to hate him, and in HBP I found her to be a bit of a bitch (in the books anyway). I mean, Ron would do it, so I think she would too. ^_^
Thanks so much for reading and reviewing. I really appreciate it. ^^ ~Lia
I also have no clue if hydro runs anywhere in or near Godric's Hollow. But in the case of this time-constricted fic, I decided to take creative license (again) and make it a relatively short process with the town already supplied with/set up for hydro.
I'd venture to say that, since Godric's Hollow is inhabited by both Muggles and wizards alike, there is already a preexisting water line at least near the house. The electricity (my dad did that for quite some time) would take one electrician installing basic things like plugs and lights about a week, depending on the size of the house. I'm guessing that Draco was only afforded one lamp, but the rest of the house would have plugs and fixtures.
Hope that helped, lol. :)
Oh, and there is nothing wrong with shirtless Draco...
Author's Response: Excellent. Now I know. Since they had a whole team in there, I'm assuming they got it done in time. Hehe, thank you.
And no, there is nothing at all wrong with a shirtless Draco. ^_~
Okay, so it's been a while since I checked in (plus, I'm skiving off my own writing for a while, because I'm naughty like that). Brace yourself, because this one is a bloody marathon!
I really admire how you didn't force the dynamic between Ginny [I'm calling her that because it's much faster to type, and I can foresee much more typing in this review, so I'm copping out lazy] and Draco, as many have done, throwing them together in a short period of time. It takes more than a couple weeks to change one's mind about someone, and you took remarkable care with how you shifted their perspectives on one another. It made the whole thing much more believable than most non-canon pairings.
I can't say I'm surprised at what happened to Ginny at Hogwarts that year, because she was essentially locked up in a nest of vipers, all of which saw her as a main target. I wouldn't mind knowing who it was that was the cruelest to her - not in anger so much as morbid curiosity. But hey, I'm a 'Claw, so I'm just like that.
You approached a touchy and conflicting concept with self-injury and 'cutting.' It was a brave thing to do, and I believe you handled it well. I, myself, put an entire chapter of non-con in my current WIP, followed by a chapter full of dubious content, and I had to work damned hard to handle the issue delicately, but without losing its poignancy. I feel you did this with the self-injury, so I'll applaud you for that. I'm not surprised that either Draco or Ginny became self-destructive after their respective life experiences, and I didn't find the addition of this particular subject out of character.
I'm actually surprised at the general lack of sexuality between them, because in my experience, at least, those who experience that particular level of trauma tend to come out the other end lacking in such characteristics as restraint and abstaining from what they truly want because it might not be 'proper.' However, the self-imposed distance between them actually added to the appeal of the story for me, because it wasn't forced or poorly written - they actually fought it, and believably so.
Your characterisation of Harry, in my view, was spectacular. He has always been a 'can't see the forest for the trees' sort when it came to romantic endeavours, though it was, by no means, his fault, as he had not really had a positive male influence in his life in that regard. Even if he had grown up with his dad, I'm not entirely certain that would have been a healthy example, especially considering how much of a 'toerag' (good Godric, I love that word, lol) he was whilst in school. He didn't mean to alienate her, but he did, though I think, with Harry's self-deprecating demeanour, he wouldn't have kept trying to make amends with her; I believe he would have simply accepted his blame in the matter (even if the situation was not entirely his fault) and leave her in peace.
It's interesting how you portrayed George, because I would have thought he'd be a sulky, sullen, misanthropic sot after losing essentially what was his other half, but instead, you made him the one that tried to lift others' spirits. I think I like that, because in my own writing, I made him into a rather self-destructive mess, but I digress.:)
Narcissa was another interesting aspect to the latter half of this story. On one hand, she is every inch of Lady Malfoy as she should be, but on the other, she seems to care deeply for Draco's feelings. It can't have been easy to not only be incarcerated herself, but to be isolated from her son and husband, who would be gone for much longer than I'm sure she would have liked, it must have been agony for her. That would, in my opinion, make her much more receptive of Draco's changes, and more notably, the interest exhibited by Ginny at the tea shop. She does, however, show a little more of her nature when she tried to pair Draco with one of the Greengrass girls.
As for the more minor characters, I liked most of what you did with Blaise. He always seemed to me as more cold and distant, and not so much a friend of Draco's as an ally/acquaintance, purely a social alliance. I can picture how the inner circles of the Slytherins worked, with the higher ranking ones (Draco, Blaise, Pansy) leading the others of their respective social rings, but I really don't think that any of them were every truly friends, which is sad, but not totally unexpected. It may have been beneficial to lend Blaise's relationship more toward this concept, but hey, it's your story, so feel free to ignore me, lol.
I think you might have underestimated Kingsley with the way you characterized him, because he seems much more perceptive than most anyone, which was greatly evidenced by his actions in OotP with his Obliviation of Marietta Edgecombe before she could sell out the DA. I believe he would have noticed the situation between Draco and Ginny much more readily (especially more so than Harry). Whether he would have said anything about it, that remains to be seen, but he most definitely would have noticed. I do, though, think that Kingsley very well would have let Draco go, because to use an old phrase, he had bigger fish to fry; there were much worse threats to the wizarding world than Draco Malfoy, and space in Azkaban would become a precious commodity once some of the latent Death Eater presence was mopped up.
I'm on the fence about your Luna portrayal. She just didn't seem...spaced out enough to truly suit her canonical characterization. She was blunt, as she is, but not as whimsical and odd as she normally is. I don't mind a more serious Luna, because personally, she's not a character I particularly like, but it was a little out of character for her to talk to Ginny as she did.
I just want to thank you for not making Draco actually like Pansy. While I don't imagine she's a truly villainous sort (as JKR unjustly portrayed her in DH), I do think she would have been an annoying shrew with a grating voice and personality. It always sort of made me ill thinking of someone as deep and complex as Draco stuck with someone as irritating as her.
And for the last character - the diary. I was secretly hoping in the first couple of chapters that the diary had secretly belonged to Lily Potter, and she felt trapped and unhappy married to James, because she was secretly in love with Sirius, but hey, a girl can dream, can't she? I knew, though, after some more intense reactions between Ginny and Draco that the diary had to belong to Ginny. I never really took her as the angsting type, but sh*te happens and changes people for better or for worse.
Okay, so now that I'm done with character analysis, I'll move onto mechanics. Your sentence structures are very good, because you use a shorter or longer sentence in the right places, dictating the flow and plot of both the story and the characters' thoughts. There were a couple typos/misuses, which I was negligent in recording so I could tell you which ones they are, but the one I remember is the use of 'faired' instead of the proper 'fared' in one of the chapters (somewhere between 10 and 13, I think...they all sort of blended together for me). A word or two were forgotten (I do that all the time, lol), but in terms of punctuation and structure overall, this is definitely one of the better pieces I've read. It definitely shows that you have experience as a beta.
In the beginning, I found your use of adjectives to be a little forced and at times, way too much. However, it did improve greatly as the story rolled on. Personally, I have an extensive and diverse vocabulary, so I could follow just about everything, but there are points when the use of obscure, flashy words would throw the story for an average reader, because they either wouldn't get what you're trying to say, or they'd lose the rhythm of the story because they're busy trying to find out/figure out exactly what it is that you're saying. For me, I found it refreshing to see some words I haven't used in a while, but after a while, it was a relief when your writing style leveled off and some of the overt use of adjectives subsided. By no means am I saying that I don't like your style or your vocab, but at times, a lower-key word could be used to keep the reader on track with what you're trying to say.
The dialogue, at times, troubled me. The way Draco spoke was very in-character, at least from my POV, but at times, Ginny was speaking as if she was reading lines from an old play, using words, phrases, and vernacular that one would never actually find used in anyone's speech (most notably for me in the part in which Wuthering Heights was discussed), but again, I believe it did get better as the story rolled along. Personally, I have trouble with that very issue, so it's easier for me to spot.
All in all, at this point, I can honestly say I enjoyed the story thoroughly, and I hope to see your next chapters in the queue soon. It's much better than most non-canon pairings in terms of characterization and overall plot. Other than the issues that I had with it as outlined above, this fic is definitely a cut above many others, and it really should have more reads than it does.
Okay, I'm signing out now, and I will be back for a chapter-by-chapter for the last two to go through the queue, albeit in a much less long-winded fashion, lol. Take care and happy writing!
Author's Response: First of all, I am deeply humbled and impressed by your review. I am extremely flattered and a little giddy right now (okay, a lot giddy). ^_^ As you may have noticed, I edit my own work. It's bad of me, I know. I should really get a beta, so I am very appreciative of any errors you find. Ironically, I am not one of those people who throws a fit when someone points out an error I make. Heck, I use .rtf format (no spell or grammar check). I make tonnes of typos! Lol. So, if you want, you can always point them out to me in reviews or in an email (firstname.lastname@example.org), and I will go back and correct them. ^_^
To touch on some points you made (incidentally, I prefer calling 'Ginny' 'Ginevra', but I wanted her to evolve her a bit in this fic, so I address her by her full name):
1. I really enjoy writing D/G. It's such a fire & ice combo for me. I would have drawn their relationship out even further, but I originally wrote this for a fix exchange, and wrote this in two weeks. I didn't want to go past 50,000 words. I hate it when a relationship starts out too fast. Prelude starts out fast, but there /is/ an actual explanation for that. Heh.
2. Unfortunately I do not mention what happened to Ginny during her sixth year at Hogwarts. I didn't want to dwell too much on her pain, mostly on the 'redemption' of Draco, or rather the Stockholm Syndrome effect. However, I do plan on focusing on that in another story. I probably should have included something, because everyone is curious, and I don't blame them.
3. The self-mutilation scene was tricky to write. I didn't want it to come off as emo. I, too, wrote a non-con one-shot (about rape), and it was difficult to write, so I feel your pain. I must check out your work. ^^ Are you like me and have a bunch on other sites? =P
4. I know that sexual tension could have been very appropriate in this story, but I also felt that the distance made it more real and any possible relationship genuine. I guess I wanted to make them friends more than anything. ^_^
5. I'm so glad you like Harry in this. I never want anyone to hate him. I love Harry. I just think he doesn't know how to act around girls (because of no strong male role model), and he's always focused on helping others instead of himself. You are right about him being the kind of person who would have stopped trying to make amends and rightly ended things with her. I wanted to show how he can't juggle everything at once (or please everyone at once), even though he tries. Essentially, I wanted to show everyone having real, human faults.
6. I love George, and I totally understand how you would make him a mess. JKR even said that George would, essentially, never be happy again. For this story, though, I needed a family member who would be there for Ginny with no conditions. Also, did you notice how Ron wasn't a complete arse? Lol!
7. Comments on other minor characters: I love writing Narcissa, and I am very glad she came off as realistic. You are right about Blaise should be more of a friend, but I felt that this was somewhat of an appropriate attitude coming from Blaise. There is a bit of a stigma from being in jail, whether it be house arrest or not. I have a feeling Blaise and Draco would have eventually got back into it. Plus, things change between friends after high school. As for Luna, I liked this portrayal of her. I think it is canon in the sense that, they have all grown up a bit. Luna doesn't have to be as flighty. She is a very astute creature, and I like to have her have lucid moments. Of course, Hermione would have been more perfect for this role, but Ginny couldn't go to Hermione. As for Kingsley, you are right about him, but I didn't want to focus on him. Lol.
8. Ginny's speech. Originally, I had her dialogue more forced and stiff because she was in the nest with a Slytherin. I see Ginny (and most late teenage girls) as beginning to demonstrate their 'intellect', especially when feeling threatened or small. Draco makes people feel small. I saw Ginny's easlier speech as her trying to be grown up and trying to impress/intimidate Malfoy. Of course, once the two relaxed around each other so did their speech. As for my adjective use, I just got sick of repeating the same words over and over. Plus, this was originally written for a bunch of people like me, who were familiar with my vocabulary. Lol.
So thank you for this review. Now I can go over it at some point and make corrections with an open mind. I love reviews like yours. They really lift me up and allow for me to grow as a writer. Thank you so very much. ^_^
"So many people say that they were pushed off that cliff; that they fell, or never saw it coming. I've been sitting here my entire life, taking pictures of the rocks I could hit on the way down. I suppose it's always been a choice and I've just been teetering here, waiting to decide. Turn around or jump?"
[dark one shot feat. Draco Malfoy]
Ooh, I heart D/A + Draco. It's like a keg of good beer that someone gives to you; you can't wait to tap it!
The imagery is so...real! It's like following Draco throughout the worst part of his life as we know it. I'm sure not only he amongst the Malfoys has considered hurling themselves off a cliff after the battle was lost. Not to mention, it's probably the only way to erase the life debt he owes to Harry, which I'm sure rankled to no end.
Your diction is very poignant and carefully chosen, and it shows. Ari is a lucky girl to get such a gift. :D
Great work and happy writing!
PS-Just noticed this, thought I'd point it out. I'm assuming it's supposed to be 'sand and', but not quite sure.
"As you push yourself up, the ground seems to be covered with and and stones"