Aweee. It was sad, but I liked it, surprisingly.
Author's Response: 'Surprisingly'? But I love sad stories! Haha, maybe I'm just crazy. Thanks for the review!
Okay, so I intended to leave a brilliant review for this, which outlined just how much I really like this story. Unfortunately, the captain of my brain ship fell asleep at the wheel and crashed into a traffic light... meaning that I really can't come up with anything coherent (let alone SPEW-worthy). So I shall just ramble, fangirl, and whatnot, and you shall humour me, for you just rock like that.
I dislike Dramione for three reasons: One, the characterisation is usually abominable, improbably, and plain stupid. Two, the plot devices are typically contrived, staid, overused, and again - improbable. Three, I prefer Harmony and Draco/Anyone else but Astoria/Ginny/Hermione. However, you have broken the mold, my friend. This fic carries none of these hot-button foibles, even to the point when I actually like the pairing as you've written them.
I really like the fact that you included Draco, but you didn't overwhelm the story with both characters. It was mainly from Hermione's POV, which was fitting, because she is the one facing the moral quandary in this story - at least, she does more than Draco. I read all the reviews for this before I read the story, so everyone has pretty much said everything that I wanted to say. I could copy/paste Nikki's review, and it would sum up my thoughts fairly well. About the swearing thing, I tend to lean more toward Hermione not being big on the f-bomb. Draco - oh, hellz yeah. I picture him to be a mean ol' potty mouth, but in DH, Hermione thought 'Merlin's pants' was a real epithet. That disposes me to think that 'fuck' is probably out of her realm, even as scarred and empty her soul is in this fic. I don't suggest changing it, because it does fit if one looks past what we know of Hermione in a 'happily ever after' situation, but that's hard to do when we've been brainwashed by canon into thinking that nothing but rainbows and kittens could abound from Voldemort's death.
Harry offing himself doesn't bother me in the least. While I personally wouldn't kill him (as he is my favourite major canon character), I understand why you did what you did any how you did it. I would actually be interested to see a story that showed Harry's downward spiral through your perspective. If it's already written... yes, I am too lazy to troll your author page, but I will someday (which will probably be this week, since I'm down to two more SPEW reviews to do in a relatively short amount of time).
One part in particular didn't quite ring true for me, though.
There’s nothing to fix, Hermione. You’re Harry’s. And Ron’s.
To me, Draco will always call Harry and Ron 'Potter' and 'Weasley.' It's not horrible or annoying, but it's the only small, small blemish on your pristine characterisation of Draco.
The ending paragraph of this is pure awesomeness. She's taking that one last taste of Draco before giving him up, but as she does, she realises that she had been lying to herself when she tried to say that it was only physical and she didn't truly care that he was leaving. He was, though, her last tie to reality, to control, if you will. He was keeping her together when she would have fallen apart after Harry died. Her lifeline had been cut.
Well, that's all of my rambling for now. Perhaps, when I want to read this again, I will leave a real review, but until then... sleep beckons.
Fare thee well, and I shall see the in SBBC sooner rather than later. Take care and happy writing!
Author's Response: Wow, thank you for the review, Jess! You may not think it's SPEW-worthy, but I'm easy to please - anything more than a paragraph tends to awe me. ;) Thank you so much for your con-crit! I'm still on the fence about Hermione swearing but one of these days I'm bound to be pushed over in one direction or the other! Oh, I see what you mean about Draco's line - I was thinking too deeply in Hermione's characterisation throughout this fic and I didn't even give that a second thought, but he probably would say 'Potter' and 'Weasley'. I'm glad you condone Harry's suicide - I love him too, and I hate killing him off! ANd I also tend to prefer Harry/Hermione, so I'm quiet glad you enjoyed this, even when it isn't your usual ship of choice!
Very lovely fic, Rachel :) You are an amazing writer!
~ Annalise x :)
Author's Response: *grins* Thank you, Annalise! :D
This is extraordinary and heartbreaking. Not in a disastrous, everything-falls-apart-at-once way, but it makes you ache, a bit. It's beautiful.
Author's Response: Oh, thank you so much for your kind words!
Author's Response: aw, thanks! :D
I'm going to do my best to keep this short and sweet, but I can't make any promises.
In a word, this fic is powerful. Thus far, it is easily the most powerful, moving fic I have read. You clearly have a passion for writing, which comes across in your work.
I typically read Draco/Other(I love the way that character was written by JK, and I really wish we knew more about him), mostly out of fear that other Draco pairings would be filled with fangirly things(no offense to fangirls). Out of plain ignorance, I actively avoided multiple ships. However, you have proven my fear wrong. Unlike so many, your Draco is still the same old guy, arrogant and proud, even though he's lost everything. He's changed, yes; but a basic personality type is something that does not change. The same holds true for your Hermione, although she is sensitive and good, rather than proud and arrogant. Again, the character was changed by the war, but not beyond belief.
Belief. That's another word for this fic. I believe it. The way they come together, and the way they fall apart, a desperate yet doomed attempt to hold on to something real, something beautiful, in a world that is broken. It's raw, and it's real.
Being unable to write anything happy, I quite enjoy reading authors who also tend to compose on the angsty side of things, especially when the plot calls for it. Although I really wanted them to be able to make it work, I think that I would have been disappointed had it been written that way. Their relationship was doomed from the beginning, which they both knew. Their denial was easy to get caught up in, their heartache easy to share.
Also, I'm glad that you killed off Harry the way that you did. Part of me is glad because I dislike that character, but mostly, I'm glad because it was a logical move. Having fulfilled a prophesy, your life would feel like it no longer has a purpose. Loosing the woman you love would only twist the knife. I defy anyone to survive that.
Making Ron leave...also logical. When you loose everything, you need to start over.
I hope that you will do more with this ship. You have quite the talent.
Okay, maybe this didn't end up being short and sweet, but I did warn you.
Author's Response: Oh, no worries - short and sweet is DEFINITELY overrated. ;) Thank you so much for this review! Wow, I am honestly flattered that you got so much out of this story. I had a lot of fun writing it, and I really appreciate you saying that a. Harry committing suicide works, and b. the tragic ending works. Harry dying is probably the primary concern I've heard about this fic... but you said it perfectly - his life had led up to killing Voldemort, and if Ginny hadn't taken him back [I really wish JKR had written it this way, but that's when the 'epilogue? what epilogue?' warning comes in handy], I don't think suicide would have been far off the mark. I'm actually really intrigued by this idea, and I'm really glad that someone else thinks it could have happened this way. And I agree that I have a penchant for all things sad and tragic, so ending this story happily is something that I just could not do. Again, you said it perfectly - Draco and Hermione were both so caught up in their denial and the fact that they were feeling something for the first time in years, that they forgot all their reservations until reality slapped them in the face. I love the thought of Draco and Hermione together, but the way I wrote this fic, I couldn't see them having a happily ever after.
Anyway, thank you again for the wonderful review! Haha, it's incredible - the power of what one story can do in influencing the way you see a certain pairing. I know that there are some pairings I like, or some that I dislike, based solely on the way I've seen them written. I hope you discover some new genres you enjoy, though - there's so much out there, and so much talent and creativity on MNFF!
Why have I not reviewed this yet? And why has it taken me this long to do so? I have no idea. LOL. But I’m here to remedy that. :D
Oh, Rachel, my dear.
I have noticed that your writing has this way of gripping the reader, and this story is certainly no exception. I was drawn right in from the very first line.
With a Draco/Hermione, its really hard to try and find a balance between what is believable and what is right with these characters. But, Rachel, love, you just made it seem easy … natural. That is really the perfect word; it felt natural. They are both so broken by the effects of the war that it connects them, and you did a wonderful job of bringing that out in both of them. The way you set up the start – it wasn’t anything, really, nothing more than just a chance to feel again and be done with it – fit just perfectly with this pairing. And this … this story made me remember why I loved Draco/Hermione so much.
I liked how you didn’t necessarily give them that happy ending. It felt a lot more real the way you wrote it – despite it all, they fell in love, but love is not enough. For some. For Draco and Hermione, certainly. I really love and admire that you had the guts and that skills to do that.
I was struck by how completely accurate you portrayed Draco. Especially with Post-War Draco/Hermione, authors often portray the ‘changed’ Draco as nicer, smoother, the perfect suave gentleman who has realized his woefully wrong mistakes. It is not so, here, however, and I cannot tell you how much I loved your Draco. He’s changed, yes … but he’s still very much Draco Malfoy.
He snorted. “Of course. It was all over the news. The saviour of wizard-kind apparently couldn’t save himself.”
This is just one example, but it is my favorite. This line is just so … Draco. Still bitter, still Draco, yet with a distinct change brought by the effects of war. It was just perfect. I also really liked the conversation he and Hermione had at the end, about Kingsley’s death and Draco’s father. Draco didn’t just ‘forget’ who he used to be, he wasn’t a completely changed man, but there were things that were different about him. You found that balance, and I think that’s really what made him feel so real.
Hermione was similar to Draco in the way you contrasted her. Still herself, yet changed. That’s what I loved about your characterization of them both, honestly, was that you managed to hold onto their canon personalities so well and yet still make them fit your story, make them your own. With Hermione, as she was the narrator, her pain and other emotions were much more palpable.
They had all lost an icon, a symbol of hope. She had lost the hope itself.
This line. Just – wow. I can’t even begin to explain how this line made my heart feel wonderful. ;) Honestly, though. It’s just … so beautiful, beautifully broken. The simplicity of it is really what I love the most, because it really is so simple, and yet … tells so much. The contrast, too, between what the two lines mean make them so much more powerful as a whole. It really hits the heart, my dear.
This brings me to my last big point, and my favorite. This story, as a whole was just so raw and real and filled with emotion. Yet it wasn’t overloaded, you didn’t bog the reader down with too much tragedy. It was enough to make the story, the relationship believable, and it was all written in such a beautiful way.
This, Rachel, is definitely one of my favorite of your fics. Right up there with Talk Tonight.
Author's Response: Why have I not responded to this yet? Well, I fail. This is SUCH a wonderful review, and I have to thank you so much for taking the time to write it. I have to say, this story also reminded ME why I love Draco/Hermione so much. It used to be my OTP... but after a while, I thought about it and was like, "this doesn't make sense - these two characters have NOTHING in common." Eventually I moved away from it, though I've always had a soft spot for it... and I just felt like trying it this time, for whatever reason [actually, it was for Suya's birthday, and I know that Suya loves Draco/Hermione, so that solves that mystery]. But anyway, the end result of this story definitely made me consider their relationship... and maybe they had more in common than I originally thought.
I've gotten a lot of compliments on my Draco in this story, which is funny, because I didn't put a lot of thought into writing him. *cough* I feel like when I was writing, I put too much thought into trying to create the perfect post-war Hermione, and I just sort of threw Draco in there as a compliment to her character... but I guess it worked, the way it turned out. I also liked that Draco line that you pointed out - that's my favourite, too [huge shock ;)] and one that I think is pretty true to his character. I also like that line about Hermione losing her hope, and you explained it perfectly - the concept is simultaneously simple and complex, and I tried to make that line apparent in this fic without straight-up saying it... and then I realised that maybe straight-up saying it was my best bet. It just describes the severity of the despair Hermione felt after losing Harry, and why that was such a catalyst for the change she exhibits.
Anyway, again, thank you so much for reviewing this! It definitely made my day... about three weeks ago. Cough. But reading it again today made my day AGAIN, so thank you for making two of my days. You're awesome, you know that?
...Wow this was an amazing story!!! I loved itn altough I'm not a big fan of non-cannon cuples this was amazing!!! I alwaus like it when Draco sweet! (Even if he is still a Death Eater :*() ... Well now I'm just rambling. :) so the story was AMAZING!!! And that was the point.
Author's Response: thank you so much! haha, I'm a huge non-canon fan, so I'm always glad when I can get someone to like these pairings, even if they're not usually your cup of tea. I used to be a huge Draco/Hermione shipper, but it's only recently that I've begun to explore this pairing again, and I hope to write it more in the future. Thanks again for the review!
WOW. Your are so friggen amazing!!!!!!
You made me cry THREE times during this chapter your the dramione goddess *bows down at feet*
Author's Response: *dons crown* :P but really, thank you so much! I actually don't write very much Dramione - this was my first in a while, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. perhaps I should attempt something again soon? thanks a lot for the review!
You did this song fic amazingly. Muse is one of my faveorite bands and you used the song perfectly. I love it.
Author's Response: Thank you so much! Muse is one of my favourite bands as well, and I completely adore this song. I'm so glad you thought I did it justice! :D
I loved it!! The ending actually made me cry a bit.
Author's Response: oh, wow! Thank you very much!
This was … wow. Amazing, Rachel. It’s been so long since I’ve read anything so powerful. This fic is just so filled with raw, intense emotion, and it kind of just sucked me in. Fanfiction rarely gets such a reaction out of me. It was like a book that’s impossible to put down, because if you don’t find out what happens next you know you’ll be wondering forever. It’s so dark and angsty, but it has this tragic beauty about it. Just. More wows.
You’ve created such a different post-war feeling to what you usually see in fanfiction – most of the time everyone’s all cheerful and life is good, and Harry and Ginny are together, as well as Ron and Hermione. This is such a stark contrast that it shocked me a little, because I’m a bit of a happy!world believer, to be honest. But I simply love how you’ve done this. They’ve lost so much, and now that they’re not fighting there’s nothing left to hold on to.
Despite this being a bit AU, it still fits into the HP!verse so perfectly, even though nothing like that would ever have been written in canon. It’s your characterisation, I think – both Hermione and Draco are written wonderfully. Even though you’ve taken them both out of where they should be and thrown them into a depressing world like this, they still fit. They’re still themselves, and it’s easy to imagine them getting to that point of desperateness where they need each other just because they have nothing else.
Harry’s suicide really threw me, though, because I can’t imagine that ever really happening. Possibly because the world JK Rowling created was nowhere near as dark as yours, but I don’t know … it still seems a little off for Harry’s character. I think you’ve described it perfectly – it seems so realistic, and I can see how he could get to that point. I can’t really argue with your reasoning, actually, and it does fit into your fic – it’s just because it doesn’t fit canon!Harry that it feels a little off. So this paragraph is pretty much entirely pointless. Anyway, I think the scene where she describes why he did it is just so incredibly moving – that Harry, our Harry, could have nothing left to live for just breaks my heart.
Actually, that all of them don’t have anything to live for is just … it kind of makes you wonder what happened. How they could all fall apart. But you explain it so well, how one thing leads to another until Hermione is just this broken, empty shell, going about her mundane life just because she has to. It’s so realistic, this whole fic – take away the war and magical abilities, and there are people out there who actually live like this. You’ve captured that feeling of being lost, of having nothing left, so well.
You’re an amazing writer. It’s so emotional - everything is just thoughts and feelings and dialogue, and you delve so deeply into the character’s minds. There’s hardly any description of the surroundings, but in a fic like this you don’t really need it, because you’re so immersed in the characters that it would just take away from the story, if you know what I mean. But yes, your writing is just beautiful. The way you describe how numb and empty Hermione is after the war is perfect. You’ve got her character spot-on.
The war had cost her so much that she wasn’t sure if she had anything left to give.
This line just sums up Hermione completely, and it shows just how much the war has torn her apart. She’s lost everything, and she’s clinging to Draco because he’s really all she has left, all she has that makes her feel anything. It’s so heartbreaking that the war has affected her so much that she just doesn’t care anymore. She doesn’t care about sides, because there’s no winning and losing anymore. Everyone lost.
Ooh, and I nearly forgot. Hysteria is one of my favourite Muse songs, and the sole reason I began reading this in the first place. I think you’ve captured the essence of the song perfectly. It’s all about losing control, and not having anything to hold onto – which you’ve mirrored perfectly with Hermione and Draco in your fic. And the placing of the lyrics was really good; they flowed so well with your writing. I couldn’t think of a better-suited song – I put it on while I was reading (because I’m cool like that) and even though it’s such a sad, tragic story, the energy of the song is really reflected in all the raw emotion and feeling in the fic, as cheesy as that sounds.
I wasn’t going to write such a lengthy review, but this isn’t a fic I can just read without telling you how much I adored it. I don’t think I’ve ever read anything of yours before, but now I see that was probably a mistake. ;) This is one of the most powerful pieces of fanfiction I’ve ever read, and I can’t give you much more praise than that. Well done, my dear. :)
Author's Response: Oh my god, Jen, what ever did I do to deserve such an amazing review?! Ah! Seriously, thank you! Actually, I found it helpful that you mentioned that I didn't use much description of the surroundings... that's never something I do consciously, but I do end up doing it quite a lot when I write. When people point it out, it just reinforces the fact that I need to work on it. ;) Hee, actually, I wrote the post-war world the way I wanted JKR to depict it. I mean... I knew she would never write it like this, and I'm somewhat glad, considering that I don't even KNOW what I would do with myself if Harry died... but I mean, there are plenty of negative effects of war, even for those who won. I know that in certain cases, people feel like war defines their lives, and without it, they have no purpose. I feel like under the right circumstances, Harry could be one of those people. He did live his life around the fact that he was going to kill Voldemort, after all, and once he did, I would find it believable that he wouldn't know what to do with himself. I think the general direction I went with this story could have been canon if the epilogue didn't exist... just a darker twist to JKR's 'happily ever after'. But then again, I do like angst... quite a bit. *cough*
Ah, and I completely adore Hysteria. It's such a brilliant song - there's something tragic about the way its energy veils the lyrics, about everything falling apart. I really tried to capture that in this fic; to show that Hermione is making a deliberate effort to ignore everything wrong in her situation, and just focus on how being with Draco makes her feel alive, and how this in turn is what makes her lose control. I feel like the song is such an integral part of this fic that without hearing the song, people might not... get it, completely.
But just, wow. I am seriously... honoured at everything you said here, and also as a fan of the song, I'm thrilled that you feel like this fic lived up to it. Just... thank you so much, dear. This really brightened my day! I'm quite glad you enjoyed it as well. :D
Hi Rachel. =] This fic is the reason I love one shots. It’s pack full of emotion without being too dramatic and without the ugly time fillers. I love how much you can get into 3000 words. It’s so impressive to me. And I couldn’t even see anything to nitpick, and I like nitpicking.
I was seriously in awe of this. I don’t usually read Dramione, because it’s not usually well-done enough for my tastes and I’m picky about that sort of thing, but in yours, it actually makes sense that they’re together. You didn’t just throw them together. They seemed to… click. Or mix. Or something else I can’t describe in words.
I had a problem throughout the entire thing telling when things were happening. I wonder where she is at the beginning and what’s going on there, and it happened after pretty much every flashback. They seemed pretty solid, and then the non-flashbacks… confused me a little. I just didn’t know what was going on. That may just be my short attention span and horrible short-term memory, but I had difficulty connecting everything.
But that’s not to say it wasn’t amazing. You write so genius-ly. I love this line: “I need someone to remind me I’m alive.”
I just love it. That’s so perfect, it almost seems surreal, that someone would say that, but you made it seem so natural anyway. There’s so much emotion there. It says so much about what happened before too – I think that line captures all the power and sadness of everything.
I also wonder whether Draco would actually want to go back. I don’t think he would want to go back. After everything that happened to him, he seems like he was done with the war. And he also loved Hermione, I don’t think that he would go back to go back to her after they got together. It just seems kind of random, you know? Maybe I just want them to be together – you’ve convinced me it would be for the best. He seemed so broken, and I don’t think he would go back to what ruined him if he had the choice, if that makes sense. I don’t criticise the ending, though, because it seemed right. I just had a NO, DON’T DO THAT, DRACO! Moment. Because, you know, you convinced me they were meant to be.
And all that makes me feel so bad for Hermione. Throughout the entire thing, she’s been so in love with him, but he’s always been so hesitant. I admire her for it, really. I think it takes bravery to admit you love someone who seems completely hesitant to love you back.
I don’t think I would have believed that Ginny and Ron would’ve left Harry and Hermione if anyone but you wrote it. Same with the suicide. But everything you write is so convincing and realistic, and so well explained, I can’t help but believe you. You’re seriously awesome. I’m going to read some of your other stuff. =p
Author's Response: Oh my gosh, Lizzy, THANK YOU for this brilliant review. Ah! *grins* I know what you're saying about the timeline... when I was planning this in my head, it was supposed to be real time/ flashback/ real time/ flashback, etc. But when I started writing, the present turned a bit too reflective, turning it into more... considering what happened in the past/what actually happened in the past. Which is... more confusing than what I was going for, so I understand where you would have found that a bit off.
I also agree that Draco wouldn't want to go back to the Death Eaters. But, since I was writing this as a songfic to Hysteria, and the song is ultimately about losing control... I needed Hermione to be in a situation in which she was in over her head with Draco, where she gets a reality check once she realises he won't be there forever. Which is no justification for abandoning Draco's characterisation, I know - just explaining why I wrote it that way, when I don't necessarily agree. ;) That's the reason that I'm not going to be 100% satisfied with this story. I feel like I spent too much time trying to make Hermione and Draco's relationship believable, and didn't focus enough on Draco's characterisation, and justifying why he would go back.
Thank you very, very much for all your concrit - and I'm glad that you enjoyed the story! Yikes, if you do read my other stuff, stay away from the older fics. Then again, there's always a chance that you've already read some of those, and have run away screaming and will never see this response [which, I apologise, is a bit late]. *facepalm*
Wow. Well. It's six a.m., I can't sleep, and I started browsing through the SBBC threads and found this linked through one of them. I always tell myself "I'll come back and read this later" when I see an intriguing summary and then I... don't. I'm so glad I made myself click the link.
Right off the bat, I cried. Only one other FF has made me cry, and this ranks number one out of the two on the crying scale. The first flashback... I'm not a big suicide in HP fan. I just can't see any of the characters killing themselves, but the way you explained it - the conversation and the hesitance, it... I just saw the world I've loved for so many years come crashing down.
“He was overwhelmed, I guess. His whole life had led up to the moment where he would kill Voldemort, and he knew it. He’s never seen himself as a hero, you know. When the war ended, and everyone kept looking up to him, and then when Ginny wouldn’t take him back after she’d moved on… he didn’t know who he was anymore."
Here, exactly, just so you know, is where I began tearing up. The dialog is just so... I honestly don't know. You've got me lost for words here :p The imagery that came from the quoted passage and the scene in general is still vibrant in my mind. You use such little description of the scenery yet somehow, with their movements and the resistance--I guess you've created such an intense image of the two of them, the rest of the scenery just falls into place without needing to be described. It's so rare that I read FF--especially something AU like this--and believe it could have happened just as if Jo had written it. That's mainly because of plot, but also because of the characterization.
I usually try to be more specific with reviews but honestly, the only thing more I can say is that I officially fangirl you. Being such an avid Harry/Draco fan, it's veryveryveryveryveryvery rare that I can enjoy FF with one of the two with anyone else. You've got me itching for more D/H. :p
And now I'm off to stalk your author page. Maybe after I've slept a little I'll be able to explain all the "OH MY GOD's!" that kept popping up while I was actually reading this (which is why I need to write reviews as I read the story).
Author's Response: *dies* Oh my gosh, thank you SO much! Wow, I love getting reviews like this! Though... I do apologise for causing your HP world to crash down. *cough* First of all... I'll admit; I agree that in JKR's world her characters probably would not kill themselves. But sometimes, including suicide in my stories is so very appealing because I want to create the sort of effect that you described - while I was establishing the idea for this fic in my head... it was sort of crucial that Harry was dead, preferably by suicide, which was a sort of catalyst to Hermione's... hysteria, I suppose [to rightfully credit the song].
Yikes, I always cringe when people tell me they're going to visit my author's page. *headpalm* Avoid the older fics, if you would... unless you'd like to run off screaming in the other direction. In that case, be my guest. :D
I'm glad you found the D/Hr satisfactory, especially since you don't read it much. Psst. Check out 'A Kiss To Send Us Off' by Potterphile12. I've already said this like ten times, but that story was seriously a huge inspiration for the way I wrote this pairing. But, I'll admit it, I am intrigued to write more D/Hr in the future! I'll let you know how that goes. Again, thank you for the lovely review! I'm quite glad you enjoyed this story.
awwww.....it is gud....i actuly m very touchd by it....
Author's Response: aw, thanks!
wow....like seriously wowwww.....u kno the kinda stories where draco hermione fall in love bcuz their both broken---but its not lame bczu dracos not a wimpy dumbass---are my favorite....n this one honestly was really good....i love one-shots....this one was sweet.....but im th girl who loves happy endings and i was reallly sad n dissapointed at draco for going death eater again...th first kiss was muy sweet....but i dont like tht its a sad ending...i dont like tht he chose th bad side....but i like how u made th ending like atleast hermione got what she deserved.......n it was really sweet of draco to say tht evn if she wanted to go death eater status he wouldnt let her...so overall i likd th story just not th sad ending....but thts jus cuz i love happy endings
Author's Response: haha, sorry, I can't guarantee you may happy endings from my writing. sad endings are my favourites. :) Thanks for the review!
What? No reviews! I guess I’ll just have to fix that. :P
Hi, Rachel! –waves- So, I told you that I wanted to review you ages ago, and now here I am, finally leaving you a review. :)
You are a very powerful writer, you know that? Right from the beginning, it’s just BAM! It’s strong, it’s dark, and it’s moving. You immediately let the reader know that you know what you’re doing and you’re not messing around. And, it wasn’t powerful just at the start—you held the power the entire time, never letting the reader go. That was my first thought throughout almost the whole story and, definitely when I finished (‘Wow—this is really powerful’).
And now that I’ve used the word ‘powerful’ enough in one paragraph, I’m going to move on. =) I don’t normally read much Dramione, but I know enough about the clichés and stereotypes of the ship to really appreciate the way you write them. You make it real and believable. Hermione didn’t fall in love with Draco because he was extremely attractive and she was a very sexually charged woman. There was an actual reason, tangible backstory to it—she’s lost everything and she’s become an empty, numb body and the same thing has happened to him. Their love is tragically beautiful.
I like the way you describe it. Hermione doesn’t really want to be involved with him; she tells herself that it’s purely physical, but she can’t help herself. The use of the word “lie” when you talked about this was particularly interesting and, in my opinion, a very good choice. To me, the connotation of lie implies some control over it, that a choice was made—often the easier one. I don’t know if that’s what you were going for, but even if you weren’t, it works wonderfully. I see it as Hermione knew she was going to fall for Draco, but rather than actually think about the fact that she was in love with her girlhood enemy, she chose the easier option, to make an excuse almost, to find a way to rationalize it to herself, to make it more acceptable. It’s brilliant. You are brilliant.
I’ve never heard Hysteria by Muse, but almost instantly after I finished reading your fic, I went on youtube and looked it up. That’s supposed to be a compliment, by the way. I guess what I’m trying to say is that your story was so good, it made me want to listen to the song. I was kind of surprised by it, actually. I was expecting a slower, sad song, so I was pleasantly surprised when it wasn’t. I think it fits the story even better the way it is, than what I was imagining in my head. Which is probably why it inspired this story. (-rolls eyes at self-)
The placing of the lyrics was really good. I’m curious—did you write the whole thing out and then add the lyrics in, in the most appropriate spots, or did you look at the lyrics and then write each section according to what the lyrics said?
I really like the structure of the entire thing, actually, not just the locations of the lyrics. I like the way it’s introduced, the memories, the explanation, the way everything is building up, like a layers of bricks in a wall to the scene at the end.
He too was lonely, frustrated, tired of pretending along with the rest of the world that the end of the war had brought the promised closure that the wizarding world had needed. There needs to be a set of commas around ‘too’.
Your portrayal of the way the war ended is a little mind-blowing. I really like it. Especially, the idea that everything wasn’t just suddenly perfect after Voldemort was gone. That Ginny and Harry didn’t settle back into their relationship as if nothing had happened, no time had passed. Actually, I quite liked the fact that Ginny refused to go back to him. I was a little confused about his suicide, though. For most of the beginning, I thought that like somehow Voldemort managed to kill, and they both died. Then, you mentioned it was suicide, but later it still seemed a little like Voldemort had killed him... I don’t know; maybe I’m just missing something (that would not be altogether surprising).
I’m not doing so well at my job, but I stay there after hours because I have nothing to go home to. But then I do go home, and I sleep, and I wake up and realise that I have nothing to work for. I don’t think you need me to say anything about this line. I’m sure you know how incredible it is. The void of emotion in it, the cold, blank, numb way she says it; it’s heartbreaking. But it’s not just that, it’s that I know there are people in the world who feel this way—I do sometimes. It’s the blunt way that it’s put out there, that really touches me. It makes me want to cry.
Draco, I promised you my entire fucking heart. I don’t know about this. Your overall characterization of Hermione is excellent. But—but I just can’t see her cussing. Especially not fuck. Saying that, I do see why you have her drop the f-bomb. It shows how much the outcome of the war has taken from her, how much it has changed her. But, there’s just this—this alarm bell going off in the back of my head, screaming to me that this isn’t right. It’s entirely up to you, and maybe I just have a skewed interpretation of Hermione’s character, but I really think having her say fuck is wrong. Once was weird enough, but acceptable. It could slip out, particularly if she’s really upset, like she was. But twice? (“So fucking what?”) Eh. I don’t know. It’s pushing it, in my opinion. Other than that, though, Hermione is amazing.
And Draco? Er, can you say perfect? I’m completely serious. I think I’m in love with the way you write him. He has so much depth. He’s got his redeemable qualities (he does love her), but he’s still a true Slytherin and a true Malfoy. Just because he fell in love with Hermione Granger doesn’t mean he’s suddenly going to become like the Prince of Light or the Bearer of Good. He actually tells her “I love you, but I’m not changing. This is who I am.” ♥ That is Draco.
She revelled in the familiarity of his kiss and pretended that this was all he had ever meant to her; that she hadn’t needed anything more to believe in. So, I’ve always sort of been a sucker for last lines. But I think this is like the last line of all last lines. It wraps up everything about the story; she wants to believe her lies, that it’s just a physical attraction, but she knows it’s not. But I don’t need to tell you that—you wrote it (;D). I think I like it so much because it does go back and revisit that earlier idea. Also, it channels all of the power you had in the beginning and all of the power that you picked up as you wrote the story. It’s just so—so good, I don’t know what to say.
Rachel, this story is so good it makes me want to find every Draco/Hermione you’ve ever written and just gobble it all up. Fantastic one-shot!
Author's Response: Ah! Mere, you can't even imagine how much my jaw dropped when I clicked on the review link, expecting to see a sad one-liner, and finding this. First off, thankyou thankyou thankyou for your very detailed and fabulous review, and I'm so glad that you liked this story! LOL, unfortunately for you, this is my only published Draco/Hermione [trust me, the others don't deserve to see the light of day x.x], but if you're interested in another D/Hr written along these lines of characterisation, try 'A Kiss to Send Us Off' by Potterphile12. She sort of inspired the way I wrote this pairing, so you're going to see some similarities.
Anyway. The mood of this song definitely had a huge impact on the way I wrote this fic - really strong, frenetic, passionate - and I am literally honoured that you feel like my writing comes off as powerful. You asked how I dealt with the song lyrics, so to answer that: my intention was to write and stick a stanza in here and there as I went along, but after two pages on a Word document I realised that I had no idea how long this story was going to be. So I wrote it, and then decided on where I thought the song lyrics were best fitting after the whole thing was done. But I did purposefully try to make the story follow the song, which I think is chiefly about losing control. I knew the beginning and ending before I started writing - I just had to fill in the middle. So to answer your question, yes, I made a point of keeping the story loyal to the song, but I added the actual lyrics after the fact.
Hermione cussing. Hmm. I'm so glad you gave me feedback on that, because I wasn't so sure about it. On the one hand, like you said, I wanted there to be some sort of change in Hermione's character, to really emphasise the effect the war had on her. And then, partially, I was just writing the dialogue out as I was thinking it. And, considering that... I have a *cough* slight tendancy to swear more than is healthy, while I was thinking about this part in the story, I really wanted Hermione to emphasise her devotion to Draco, and personally, I use swearing as emphasis. So every time Hermione swore, I think that you're right - it was a lapse of her characterisation, and more... me trying to get this dialogue out. I actually think I'll keep the first 'f***ing', because I like the way that added to her desperation in that section, but I'm definitely going to consider the second. Actually, I thought I'd made her swear more than twice. Perhaps I edited it before I posted this. Huh.
Hmm, what else was there? Ah, Harry's suicide. Yes, I didn't go into much detail, but I was hoping that it was implied. This story is canon-compliant, but it disregards the epilogue, so yes, Harry did defeat Voldemort... but in this story, it didn't bring him his happy ending, so eventually he did kill himself. Oh, but maybe I did imply that Voldemort killed him. If I did, that wasn't the intent - I'll have to go back and reread this, and see if there's any way I can make it clearer.
Oh, and thank you so much for the compliments on Draco's character. While I was writing this, I seriously, seriously worried that I was putting too much effort into developing Hermione, and not putting enough thought into the way I was writing Draco. I guess while I was writing this... he sort of complimented Hermione's character. That is to say, before I started writing, I had to sit down and think through the way I wanted to portray Hermione. I didn't do that with Draco. His character just sort of fell into place, and I'm so glad you feel like it worked. And, ah, I'm addicted to writing last lines. There's something so satisfying about it. The last line is my favourite in like 99% of the stories I write, and it seriously makes my day when other people appreciate them. ♥ Basically, this is turning into a response waaaaay longer than I had anticipated [sorry about that, *facepalm*], so I'm going to wrap it up now. Thank you SO much for all of your comments, and I'll take that swearing thing [and the ambiguity about Harry's suicide] into consideration. Thanks for the absolutely fantastic review, Mere! This really did brighten my day. :D