Reviews For In the Dark
Reviewer: DennisRekrap
Date: 04/14/13 3:23
Chapter: Chapter 1

It was wonderful!;)

Reviewer: welshdevondragon
Date: 05/14/12 14:24
Chapter: Chapter 1

Jess--I think (and hope) I told you how good I thought this was when you posted it and am finally here to review (sorry, not for SPEW). What I love about this is how much you show and imply, rather than have to tell . Everything about Draco's characterisation is there, but you just extrapolate from it, showing him dealing with his sexuality and desires in a way that does not damage the world's already damaged perceptions of him.

I love the contrast between the strangers meeting and sleeping together in the first scene, and the different sort of intimacy in the daylight of the second one. I love the way the line:Perhaps that was the hated thing about clean windows; they were forced to remember who they were. applies to them both. I also think it’s interesting that Draco’s initiated this change in their relationship, and an unusually brave act for him to say to Michael outright, which implies that he cares for him more than just fancying him. And Draco saying “the Dark Lord ruined everything” -- oh that line says so much, about how he denies his lack of agency and is so selfish in his approach to what happened. And I love Michael’s confession of love--which isn’t quite outright, and which he isn’t able to say to Draco’s face, but he does anyway, and is rejected by it.

I also love the light in this story. THat might sound odd, but the way it starts with intimacy in the dark, and ends in the darkness as well, whereas actually in the middle, where they are in cold daylight, they are in some ways at their most empty, at the point where what they had is broken by Draco. And the contrast between their conversations, in the first there’s the assumption of mutual attraction, the second likewise and the fear that this is something more, and in the last taut, formal, almost amusing how formal, given how intimate they’ve been. And then there’s Michael’s acceptance of Draco’s selfishness, at the moment when Draco is, suddenly, being selfless, and Draco’s declaration of love by Michael’s definition of it--And I loved the last line. That something can be changed by a place like that, that things which are repressed and put in a place out of the way, can get into you and change who you are--it’s so good.

I really love this story, and have missed reading your writing. It’s excellent though--Alex

Author's Response:

Yay, another review for this neglected little story!

I am perpetually surprised that anyone likes this story. Maybe it's because I still think of the drabble form of this rather than the one-shot form, so I sort of forget what I added/didn't add, hehe.

It makes me happy that I was able to tell more of a story than what is on the page. I was actually worried that I had skimmed over a bit too much, but you picked up on the things I wanted to show about both of them, but mostly Draco and his ambivalence about having what felt right rather than what was supposed to happen for him.

The motif of dark vs light was integral, I think, to what I wanted to portray. It's easier to be what you want to be when you can convince yourself that no one can see you. That was why their meeting in the light was so harsh: nowhere to hide, nowhere to convince them that the world wasn't looking.

Anyway, crap response to a great review, but suffice it to say that there was a lot of affirming nodding going on because you saw what I wanted to be seen in this, so yay for both of us, hehe. ♥

~Jess

Reviewer: Gmariam
Date: 04/22/12 19:04
Chapter: Chapter 1

Hail, twin! I really enjoyed your story. I think I've read it before, maybe I read the drabble? I like how you expanded it. I thought the set up in the club was good. Very dark and mysterious, esp. the image of them Apparating together to their dirty little inn. *snigger* The second part showed there was more there and rather sad since it just couldn't happen. The third part had some biting venom, but then Draco's cracked 'I can't forget" was perfect. Good for them, I always hope it works out at the end of stories like this. Poor Michael, though, washed up over Draco Malfoy, lol. Git probably isn't worth it, but people do crazy things. ;)

As someone who has also expanded drabbles, I know how hard it is. My only other comment would be that as a reader, I could still see more to this. Even if there were just the three scenes, I could imagine more dialogue, more interaction. But as a writer, I know how hard that can be, when you craft a drabble that begins and ends in 500 words. So it's probably pointless of me to even mention it, except perhaps for future drabbles.

And there you go. My 700th review. Cool. And a good story from one of my favorite writers!

~Gina :)

Author's Response:

Twinnnnnnnn! You're heeeeeeeeeeere! ♥

This was, at one point, a Brawl drabble. It did okay (rarepair week...I picked it from a list), but after writing it, I had a bit of a *thing* for this pairing because I can just see it in my head so clearly. To me, Draco wouldn't have it in him to be an outed gay because he's so afraid of what people think of him. He needs places like the Meat Locker because he doesn't have to identify himself if he doesn't want to. And Michael made him feel like he mattered, that what he is was okay. And feeling okay about himself isn't really a regular thing for Draco, especially since sixth year.

Basically, their 'dirty inn' was sort of a metaphor for their relationship. It served its purpose, both for meeting their physical needs, as well as Draco's need to pretend that he's not really doing what he's doing nor knowing who he's with. In my head canon, he recognises Michael after the first night, which was the only time he stayed until sun-up. Part of his complex was because he resented Michael for being comfortable with himself, and part of him resented himself for allowing someone who he *should* consider beneath him to be so necessary.

And Michael...who really wants to need someone like Draco -- someone so damaged and needy that he makes Michael feel like he's in control of himself, only to find that he's just as reliant on Draco as Draco was on him? That's really why Michael crashed so hard when Draco left. He saw what he had been with Draco and how pathetic it really was, but he felt even more pathetic because he wanted it back.

But really, though, Draco remained a coward through and through. If he truly, truly cared about Michael, he never would've married someone else, let alone lead him along knowing full well that it was an eventuality. It was selfish and cruel, but it was too hard not to be when Draco was so unsure of what he wanted or what he felt. All he knew was that, those nights in the dark with Michael let him just feel, rather than think, and being in Draco's head in those days was not a good place to be. Don't even get me started on his gall, going back to Michael only when it was convenient for *him*.

Expanding this was indeed not easy. It worked as a drabble, so I didn't want to fudge around with the parts of it that made it good. One of my favourite aspects of it as a drabble was how much it said without explicitly saying so. That was why I left the latter two vignettes much the same as they were and just added how they met and how they started their cycle. I tried to add more dialogue, oddly enough, but it didn't ring true with their relationship. The first time they ever said anything meaningful to one another was the day Draco ended things, and the first time they ever truly *talked* was when Draco bailed Michael out of lock-up. The lack of communication, ultimately, was part of their relationship and one of the things that made them so deliciously dysfunctional, hehe.

Anyway, I'm glad you liked it. It's probably not my best work, but I am interested in the pairing and the dynamics they present. It was fun to play with and to see if anyone else could buy into the idea. Don't know how well that went, but meh. LOL! ♥ you!

~Jess

Reviewer: hestiajones
Date: 04/19/12 8:01
Chapter: Chapter 1

Wow, Jess! So short but so effective. This was beautiful to read, and the second section took my breath away!

Author's Response:

I'm glad you liked it. I miss just cranking out random one-shots of things that make me squee inside. And I feel like this pairing has major unf potential. The great thing is that I don't think I could burn myself out on writing either of these characters. *unf*

Thank you for the visit, mah darling. We shall be racing to pass Kerichi, hehe. ♥ you!

~Jess

Reviewer: Equinox Chick
Date: 04/19/12 6:39
Chapter: Chapter 1

I miss your writing. There hasn't been enough 'Jessness' on the board recently because you're not entering competitions anymore - how evil of you to be running them!

Anyway, I like this story and loved the way you wrote it. Draco's curiosity was brilliantly explained as was his revulsion. It's a misconception that because you're curious you'll be attracted to anyone and so I loved Michael taking him away from The Meat locker - even if it was to a rather grubby inn. So Draco's motives were explored well, and his reasons for leaving Michael were so very Draco. Although I write a very different Astoria from you, I love the way you ended this. Draco and Michael can have their happy ending ... sort of. Well, yes, it will be ... I hope.

Love the story ... and am so pleased the Brawl prompt came up with something so good from your quill. ~Carmerta~

Author's Response:

I miss writing. I have a half dozen things that are started, but each time I go to work on one of them, some other damned thing comes up that drags me back from my writey hole. How rude of people to need my services. >:O

I wanted there to be some sort of underground gay culture in the wizard world, where people could go to quietly and discreetly dispense themselves of their urges. I don't think Draco could ever have the courage to come out because of his hangups about what people think of him. I do think he was selfish to go back to Michael, because the last time Draco broke Michael's heart, he turned into a veritable societal menace. And Draco is likely to break Michael's heart again, but I sincerely want them to at least carve out some sort of happiness from this. And Astoria won't object, considering the impossibility of an embarrassing pregnancy, lol.

I was trawling my drabble thread for my drabble entries, hoping that no dodgy ones would turn up in the SBBC rec thing, but then I bumped into this one and was like, "You know, I totally still like this drabble and this pairing." I figured I could chuck some more stuff onto it, make it a one-shot, and finally crawl back onto the Most Recents. Only, like, three more to go to move up a spot on the prolific list, as well. :D

Thank you for the lovely review, as well as for the gorgeous prompt/pairings that inspired the original drabble. And for just being you, hehe. *squishes*

~Jess

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