I know I was supposed to review sooner, but RL happens, lol. Let me start by saying that this was really well done! You’ve left me stunned. It was bittersweet, adorable and heart-breaking all at once. Somehow you’ve managed to put in romance, angst, sadness and humour all in one fic and it turned out to be a brilliant piece of work.
I really loved your depiction of Scorpius and Prachi. As a character, Scorpius feels quite original. He had his own personality, and yet he was explicably a Malfoy. Look at this line, for example: Normally, I wouldn’t even think of talking to such people. My parents had enough, or rather too much wealth and I had never seen that side of the world. At school, I wasn’t very kind with the kids that turned up in second-hand robes. I can imagine Draco’s son doing that! But he still somehow fell for Prachi. It was so adorable how he tried to learn Hindi just to talk to her! He had me in a fit of giggles. He was good enough to not differentiate between the rich and the poor here… but then again, maybe that was all because of love. That pesky little thing has a way to work wonders. Despite of that Scorpius did seem to have his dark side: he managed to get what he wanted in the end. He could guess that Prachi was awkward around him and I think he could sense that she felt something for him -- and he used that for his own gain. How very Slytherin of him.
I think I did like Prachi a lot more, though. She was rather adorable and snarky; her mockery of Scorpius was fun to read about! According to me, she was a well thought out character with good aspects as well as flaws. I found her to be a good natured, typical South Asian girl -- typical as in she considered her dignity to be more important that lust. She tried so hard to stop herself for falling for Scorpius, whether it was by constantly calling his Sahib in spite of his constant disallowance, or by not coming in for her duties just to avoid him. Despite her strong attempts to decline him, though, she was weak enough to give in to him in the end. She did reciprocate Scorpius’ feelings, but she didn’t know how to go about it. I felt really bad for her. You’ve portrayed the conscience of a poor Indian girl well, and to me her dilemma was understandable.
My favourite part was the kiss and the scenes leading up to it. Everything was sort of connected to the other and it was so simple how they set the wheels into motion. The rain, the lights vanishing… it’s like it was all destined to happen. It was so sweet, but behind it all lay the sense of guilt that Prachi felt. I could almost sense how she must have felt at that time: guilty, frightened, distressed, confused, yet finally, blissful. And then she realised what she had let me do - what we had done. This struck me hard for some reason; I felt that the tension was so thick you could cut it with a knife. It was probably the pivotal point of the whole story and you’ve managed to write it so nicely. Well done!
The initial tone was so light-hearted and calm; this lulls the reader into a false sense of security. I was so sure that like other romantic stories, somehow Prachi and Scorpius would end up together. Even up to the part where Scorpius goes to Prachi’s house I was so sure that he would somehow manage to convince her and then there would be a “happily ever after”. I was hoping against that, though -- the malicious!me hoped that Prachi would refuse and Scorpius would end up with Rose, lol. And then, after I finished reading, I suddenly I felt like I was hit by an oncoming truck. I was not expecting that twist at all! That was a mind-boggling idea, and it leaves such a strong impact on the reader that they are sure to remember for a long time.
You left us hanging in the end, though. How did she die? My first idea was suicide. She could have done so thinking that she had been “defiled” by the touch of another man who was not her husband. It wouldn’t be the first time that would have happened. Or maybe she died in an accident? My favourite idea, though, is that she died by a disease -- the same one that Scorpius had gone to gain information of. That would have been so ironic, really, how Scorpius had gone to fight the disease but Prachi had been killed by that same one.
All in all, Di, this was a wonderful read! I wish you the very best for the challenge. Love you!
Author's Response: NADIA!!! OMG, this is such a beautiful, lovely review! I was so, so happy to see this because this fic is very close to my heart. And thank you, thank you! I'm glad you liked this so much and enjoyed reading it! JK Rowling said that 'Scorpius was an improvement over Draco'. Well, though this does convey that maybe he was probably less of a bully or maybe less slimy and more tolerant, this also does mean that he still probably had some Malfoy-like qualities in him. I thought, maybe, since he had grown up rich... he probably wasn't very nice to poor people. The Malfoys, as JK Rowling has stated (Pottermore) were drawn towards wealth. Hence this paradox for Scorpius. He left the Malfoy Manor, lived in a developing country for a while, saw a little bit of normal life and got curious. After the curiosity, came sympathy, then appreciation and love. Love is a pesky, impossible little emotion, yes. And you're right. He was kind of a douche too. He took advantage of Prachi's vulnerability, knowing she felt something for him. :) Hmm, Prachi was a typical South Asian, wasn't she? But I'm glad you liked her. I intended the story to be based upon Prachi's Indian-ness. The prompt was, after all about travel and experiences in a new country, so I wanted to give Scorpius the Indian experience complete with a poor girl who swept for a living complete with her giggly snarkiness. And yes, these people have dignity. All of them, in fact. It's not just Prachi. The kiss. :D:D:D Ha, thank you! I'm glad you liked it. :D This kind of a kiss on a rainy evening in Mumbai... :D Yes, Prachi had to lose herself to Scorpius, somehow, and this was her moment. And you have interpreted her emotions so correctly! And I'm glad you found the awkwardness after that realistic! Ha, you know what, I think Scorpius would have married Rose after all; at the end of this. :D Maybe he went back to Britain and fell in love again with Rose (or Hugo. :p) But frankly, even though I wrote this, I couldn't imagine Scorpius with Prachi. They were good, but not meant to be-- at least according to me. A Malfoy marrying a sweeper girl would be like... O.o for the wizarding world. Of course, that wasn't why I killed Prachi-- that was just the plot. I wanted Scorpius's experience from India to be with him mentally, not physically. Just an experience... a memoir. Like I said, I imagine she died of a disease. Originally, I had plotted for her to get sick and for Scorpius to notice and not be able to do much about it, but then that interrupted the flow, so I decided to leave this vague. Dengue fever was what I had decided for her, in case you're interested. :) But that would make it medical and I didn't want that. Plus the story is about Scorpius more than Prachi, so it didn't make sense to say that much about her. This review was so, so good, Nadia! Thank you, and all the best to you, too! *huggles* Love you, little sis! :*
tht was really good and evvverything but i wish u explained why she died
Author's Response: Thank you! I'm glad you liked it. And I imagine she died either from a disease or an accident. I thought... it would ruin the flow if I wrote a long explanation below so I leave this to all your imaginations. :)
Notes taken as I read:
I love the onomatopoeia.
Pooja always does her country proud with the culture she infuses into her writing.
Spot-on characterization of a rich guy curious about the poor, and then indignant when the poor are less than thrilled at the attention. And spot-on Malfoy-ness to notice beauty, even in the poor.
This guy rhapsodizes about the girl's name and perfection after knowing her for less than a day and then he's surprised he might be in love with her? *snicker*
Oh, gosh, I like that kiss. Leave it to a Malfoy to do what he wants to do without hesitation, but after some mental debate and self-questioning, of course, hehe.
No Prachi? Where's is she? Scorpius seems really about to leave. This is a one-shot. He'll probably go home and then run into Prachi in London and discover she and her family had been part of an immersion project or something.
Oh, good, he went after her. Wow, I know some places in the Philippines just like Arun Nagar.
My goodness, Pooja. You broke my heart.
But. I'm strangely satisfied about it. :) Well done, hon! Although I squirmed at your public love. People might get jealous, you know. LOL I'm sure they are. Not everyone has such a lovely friend like YOU. *huggles and cuddles and kisses you* I know I already said this in our FB messages, but it bears repeating: you sweet, sweet woman.
Author's Response: Pauie! *huggles* :* Yay, I'm so glad you liked it! I just had my fingers crossed about your reaction to this one-- I tried Dramione, I really did, but my Draco is really bad and I settled for Scorpius instead (whom I've never really written like Draco-- because yeah, I can't write Draco. :p) And I wanted to write Philippines at first, had Google translation and stuff right beside me too but then I had some questions about the culture there and you're really the only Filipina I know and I couldn't ask you... :o Heehee, I liked writing confused!Scorpius, tbh. And I'm glad you liked him. :) The kiss was a spur-of-the-moment thing. I didn't think I'd write it at first... then it just came. :D I’m actually rather obsessed with onomatopoeia too. I like using it-- and there’s never many opportunities for it, unfortunately. :( And the memoir-style just came. Mainly because I’m not sure how to write in first-person PoV. I love places like Arun Nagar. They're actually very beautiful! I got this plot bunny when I'd been to one such place to visit a WHO centre. :) And yeah... Prachi. :( I was strangely satisfied about that too. It seemed like a fitting end to the story because frankly, I can’t see a Malfoy marrying a sweeper. She had to go… -_- Wow. That’s really mean of me. But you do know I kill a lot of my characters! Thank you for the review! Sorry it took me so long to respond! And I don’t care about how jealous people may get that I still have such a good friend from MNFF and we’ve remained friends for so long! Heehee, I want them to be jealous of our friendship. And you’re awesome too, Pauie, you’re amazing! *huggles and kisses back*
Noooo! This was so sad. But ... I don't teally understand how she died. Did she kill herself?
Author's Response: I made the reason for Prachi's death vague on purpose... I think I'd like to leave that for the readers to imagine. But... I wouldn't say she killed herself. More like... an accident or a disease (I can envision her getting sick, more than anything else though). Thanks for the review!
WOW! Lovely story. I have been looking so forward to this. BTW, my cousin's name is Prachi.~Nidhi
Author's Response: Yay! I really, really wanted a review for this fic, tbh. Thank you sooo much! I'm glad you liked it and I hope it met your expectations. Say hi to Prachi from my side! :)