I really liked this fic! I was really taken into the story. I thought Draco's own narration was very effective and it made the story so believable that the ending came as even more of a shock to the reader.
Okay, I just re-read the ending and now I understand it! Ahaha I had this whole evil!Draco in my head, and that he had created the action figure to spread the poison and had killed that Ansley Dalton, and was going on a mass killing spree. Wow, I've been watching too many 'Criminal Minds' I now realise that he just used those things to create the story Ahahaha Russia!Fail
I think the ending was awesome! (even if it took me a re-read to understand it fully) I do love a good ambiguous ending! It lends itself to my imagination (as demonstrated up there with my Evil!Draco comment...) I just needed to re-read the ending and remember that Ansley Dalton was the dude with the weird forest house and that Diana whats-her-face was the woman who had been "murdered" by the knights. But no, it was really effective and executed really well.
The interaction between Harry and Draco. Hmm. I am in two minds about this. I really liked some bits, and it makes sense to be for Harry to try to be nice and get along with Draco. But some of the things Draco said just seemed... really off to me
“No, really!” Draco insisted,
But honestly, most of Draco's characterisation was totally SPOT ON. You write a fabulous Draco
I have read through this fic and I have to say that I am astounded I have never read anything you have written. I love the explanation that you have at the beginning; that has to be one of the most insightful explanations that I have ever read for Harry Potter fanfiction, for it certainly made me want to read on simply because you have clearly taken the time to do in depth research. You really are a dedicated fan on a level that I am not, so I admire that.
The built up to Hagrid is just so well done. Why? Well, it’s not just his voice, although I have to say that surprised me on such a level. You give both Draco and Hagrid such respect, which truly says something. Hagrid is often seen as the clueless oaf and Draco is viewed as a malice character. The description either led to him or Harry, and with that opening line of this visitor being the last one Draco wanted to see, you’ve left this open for wonderful interpretation. The exchange there was well done, especially since you give Hagrid such a strong backbone and reason. I could never have mastered that voice with an attempt, and you realty studied the character.
Eventually, as would be the case, of course, he ends up discussing things with Harry. This is something that sort of bothered me, so let’s see if this makes sense. As they are older, they perhaps would not have reverted back to the childhood bickering. You didn’t have too much of that, but it was almost like they reverted back to the childhood bickering here and there. This might be an attempt to hang on to characterization, but perhaps they would have dropped it. In fact, if you look at the epilogue, this is mentioned in passing with much less passionate feeling.
The story that you build round this creature is very, very intricate. My first thought of you placing this in America was along the lines of, ‘oh, here we go,’ but the flashback is weaved in well. The one break you placed between that story wouldn’t have been something I placed there, for it’s one sentence, but all right. The whole surrounded so convincingly, and I swear this is one of the first times I have been so wrapped up, and this whole thing that you have with Draco and Harry … I bought it. Completely.
Interesting. There is some unnecessary detail here and there, but, overall, it’s so well done. Thank you for a hooked read. Keep writing.
Oh my - what happens next?? Ah, there are so many unanswered questions! What a great twist at the end. I was thinking that Draco seemed a bit too nice and reformed, but I was ready to believe it - like Harry. But the twist at the end was perfect, totally in character - he was just playing Harry, and we'll never know why! Ah!
I've been meaning to read this for a while and am glad I finally did. It's fascinating to read a Gauntlet story and wonder which bits are the Gauntlet prompts and which are not. I have no idea because you wove everything together so well. I particularly liked how you inserted small flashbacks while Draco was telling his story. And the international aspect of his Nundu adventure was great - so nice to step out of England a bit! :)
Fun story - congrats on winning!! ~Gina :)
Author's Response: Thanks so much for the review! :) You're awesome. I'm totally glad you enjoyed the story - and yeah, it was a fine line to walk characterizing Draco as neither TOO nice so that people would say he was OOC or become suspicious but also not give away the end early...and it's nice to see you didn't see the ending coming! Thanks again for the review, dearie. It meant a lot to me :)
The bit where Draco speaks Arabic made me giggle madly. Draco speaking my native tongue seemed so funny - especially since there are numerous things he woudn't be able to pronounce.
I really liked this One-shot and your writing was so convincing!
Author's Response: Thanks so much for the review! I'm glad you enjoyed it - and yeah, the prospect of Draco speaking Arabic made me giggle a little too :) Just my nod to the Draco-can-do-anything! fangirls out there, haha :) Thanks again for the review!
I loved this, Apurva! The whole thing... I never guessed until the ending that Draco was making it up as he went along xD
The suspense was maintained all the way, and I loved how the story was structured, and the characters were all VERY well characterised. I could really see Harry warming up to Draco, and Draco finally doing that xD
I caught on that it was inspired by The Usual Suspects as soon as the travel vouchers were mentioned, tough :-p That isn't to say that I wasn't surprised by the ending, because it definitely shocked me.
I was, however left wondering WHAT Draco really wanted the Nundu for...Oh, and another small point to critique:
“It was all a lie, Harry – he just wanted to buy time until he was healed! Who knows what he really wants with the Nundu? He took prompts from all around the room and from things he’s read, and wove them all into a really believable story, and convinced you not to tell anybody anything in the meantime. You see that now, don’t you?”
This... felt somewhat forced. Like you were trying to explain the twist to the readers, so that those dumb uns reading could understand as well. I think it would have been a lot better if we were allowed to make our own assumptions and look at it in out own way. The fact that Ginny comes up and says AND THAT WAS THE PLOT TWIST, DID YOU HEAR THAT? PLOT TWIST! somewhat takes away from the awesomeness, IMHO.
But all the same, I really, really loved the fic and the six thousand words flowed in no time at all. Looking forward to reading more by you!
Author's Response: Heyyy! Thanks SO much for the awesome, awesome review, BB :) It was really nice to read! I totally see what you mean about the plot twist being explained - I feel like I definitely put it in there to make sure everyone got the ending, haha. I'm so glad you enjoyed reading it, though! Thanks again for the review. Hugs, Apurva.
I've been meaning to read this for a while now, and I adore how you utilized the prompts. Instead of thinking of anything so clever, I drug poor James across the whole planet, but you, ever the Draco expert, made him go to exotic places without even setting foot in a single one! I LOVE the ending...it's so very Malfoy.
Harry is so freaking gullible, it's great. He was even starting to warm to Draco (which, I admit, gives me warm fuzzies), but it was all a neatly-crafted, very in character, Malfoy fabrication.
Very well done. Good luck in the judging. :)
Author's Response: Thanks so much for the wonderful review, dear. I'm so happy you enjoyed it! I tried really hard to make sure Draco stayed in character, haha, so I'm glad you thought it worked. Best of luck in the judging to you, too! :) Hugs, Apurva.
Alright, alright. I have to start somewhere. I keep spouting random things and all throughout there was one thing I wanted to say and I must get to it lest it slip my mind.
Simply, WOW! Jeeeeeze, that was fantastic! The storytelling was amazing! The story within the story, I mean, though both were wonderful. Draco’s retelling of his “adventures” were just fantastic, for so many reasons. The way it was written – old-timey story-telling of Great Adventures – was a blast to read. It held all the wonderful elements of fantasy stories; the suspense, the imagery – the jealousy of the character who got to “experience” it all. I so thoroughly enjoyed it. At first, I was wary of reading for the length, but so, so glad that I didn’t put it off ‘till tomorrow.
And then the main story – oh, how tickled I was. XD I suspected something was up with Draco, but both he and Harry were so in character (despite exhibiting strange behavior toward each other) that the thought of Draco deceiving him never truly seemed plausible. That, my dear, is a very wonderful thing to pull off. Let the reader know just enough to doubt their assumptions, and then spring it on them! You stayed a step ahead all throughout, and it paid off greatly.
There was one single nit to pick; at one point, you slip into Harry’s PoV (it was dialog). It was only a line, but off-putting nonetheless.
This was fantastic. You have proven once again that you are a master at the Harry/Draco dynamic. The way you portray their interactions is as amazing as it was in A Difficult Conversation. Perhaps even better!
I will be extremely impatiently waiting for your next story. =D
Author's Response: Thank you so much for that incredibly sweet review! I'm so happy you enjoyed it, you have no idea. You were the first review, too, so I clicked on it hoping against hope that it would be positive :) I really wasn't sure if I had made it believable enough or if I had made the ending too predictable or what, but it was great to see that it mostly worked out. THANKS for reviewing! :) Hugs, Apurva.