When Ginny is invited to go stay with her godmother in London to have her first season in pureblood society, she never imagined being married to Draco Malfoy would be added to the bargain...Category: Long and Completed
This is a great story, btw. :) I've been following it. You're clearly (well, I think it's clear, anyway) writing a Regency, but I think you're interpreting and shaping the rules and conventions of this type of writing in the way that you choose to do so that they fit the story best (which is the only way to do it, IMHO). Since this fic is rated Definitely Naughty, you're bending that rule already! ;) (I keep thinking of Bertrice Small's *Unconquered*... Extremely Naughty without a doubt.)
The Regencies (as a style, I mean) do fascinate me; in DDD, for instance, I kept trying to make the Regency Ball into a Victorian Ball, and it just wouldn't go. There's something about showing in your writing that you know all the rules, and then following them (or not) to bring out your characters, which you're doing such a good job of with your Draco and Ginny here... I especially like the way you used the arranged marriage.... also the large house party, which gave them an opportunity to meet nad get to know each other...
Wow, I'm tired. I spent all day shopping with my sister-in-law. This review probably made no sense at all. Anyway! Looking forward to the next chapter. :)
Author's Response: It made perfect sense. Much more than my sleepy reviews. You're right that I basically am writing a "Regency", though I didn't want to write an AU and have it actually set in the Regency era. Really, I just wanted to use some of the rules, costume, etc to really highlight the difference between pureblood society and 'normal' magical folk. The easiest way to do that was to create a whole new culture, and what better than to use the era that featured a very dominant ruling class and had very clear rules about how one should behave, as well as what one should wear. The best part about not setting it explicitly in the era is that I can, as you said, interpret and shape the rules however I like to fit my 'world', which suits me perfectly. I hate feeling too limited. I guess that's why I was never drawn to canon pairings.
I agree about the style. If you're going to write with another era in mind (be that Regency or Victorian), /you/, as the author, have to really understand what you're talking about, otherwise the reader is never going to get the full effect. I'm glad you think I'm doing okay with that. ^_^
I honestly never thought I'd write an 'arranged marriage' fic. They're quite cliche and overdone (which was certainly the case when I was writing this in 2008 -- there were so many marriage fics back then), but I confess that I could never resist reading them. The problem I always had, however, is that by chapter two the couple were married, and by chapter three Draco and Ginny were fawning all over each other -- or, more commonly, Draco and Ginny had sex on their honeymoon and the rest of the story was about the two having sex while refusing to say 'I love you'. I thought there was so much more potential there, so I started writing this story. I /hope/ it is different and allows people to view the arranged marriage fic in a different way, but when it all comes down to it, I really did write this story for myself, so if people like it, great; if they don't, well I enjoyed it anyway.
Ergh-- I've meant to review this for days, and I'll warn you, this isn't going to be one of those award-winning reviews, because I'm tired, and I have to get up very early for work, and... more whining here... anyway... ;)
I really, really loved this chapter. :) You're making the arranged marriage work so well, and it really is hard to pull off. None of this feels forced. It's completely believable that Ginny would have a hard time coming to terms with this (and you know, I wouldn't mind seeing a tantrum or two, still. ;) But it also makes sense that she's only going to spend a certain amount of time in a state of listless depression. I've read fics where that's where Ginny spent LOTS of time and never really got out of it, but there was still an artificial happy ending tacked on, and... ick. Just ick. So I'm very happy not to see that here. :)
And the growing relationship between Draco and Ginny is so well handled. It's going to take a lot to truly bring them together. Draco has an unwilling attraction to her and a response to her, and that's very believable, but their differences are very real, and they won't be easily overcome. As readers, we can really *feel* her frustration with him, and we can understand why she has it. Oh, and I look forward to seeing a real Molly Weasley fit! :)
Author's Response: I also must apologise. I'm up to my ears with work, so this is going to be a pretty rubbish reply, but I'm glad you think I'm handling the arranged marriage thing alright, and that the characters and the way they're behaving seems believable. I think it would be impossible for Ginny to accept what's happening to her straight away, but I don't see her as the type to let herself wallow in depression for too long -- plus, I'd just get really bored of writing her that way.
Oh, and you will most definitely see a Molly Weasley fit. ^_^
Okay, I guess I'm reviewing after all!! :)
I always love your writing, but any kind of arranged marriage premise, anywhere... something about it is just always very hard for me to take from the get-go, and it has nothing to do with how well this fic is written, because it certainly is. But this chapter was intriguing, no doubt about it. Draco is certainly anything but the Slytherin sex god here. It's remarkable to see him portrayed as a character so phobic of human touch in general, and yet it does make sense to see this characterization as *a* Draco. In some ways, there really is more support for it than for the fanon SSG. And it's a genuine question: how are Draco and Ginny going to handle their private lives, from everything from sex to every other aspect of marriage?
Well, of course we all want to know about the sex at this point. ;) Ginny is supposed to end up pregnant in pretty short order, so they're going to have to figure out SOMETHING when it comes to the sex part. Girlfriend, you have set yourself a task here. I look forward to seeing how you solve it... ;)
Author's Response: The irony is that I have never really enjoyed the arranged marriage fics either, yet I wrote one. The strange things we do . . .
I really don't think this fic would have worked had Draco been the experienced Slytherin Sex God fanon likes to make him out to be. He would have just seduced Ginny and been done with it, and that would have been the end of the story. I think it is far more interesting to see how two people who really don't have a clue about what they're doing make of a forced relationship, especially when producing a baby does come into the equation. There's so much more room for tension of all kinds, and I think the learning to fall in love process becomes much more meaningful that way. I suppose you'll have to decide for yourself whether I pull it off, though. ^_~
Oh!(sigh of relief)
I know... I should have just trusted you... but I still couldn't help having those lurking fears about how this chapter was going to go, and especially about how it was going to *end*. But it was just right. Ginny and Draco's awkwardness at their wedding-- especially in the face of their family's various varieties of maniacal machinations, all except Arthur Weasley, who I think did indeed feel something of what was going on-- was so believable.
Their increasingly frantic desire for escape was hilarious; we really feel their desperation, and I was almost starting to be afraid that they weren't going to make it. :P
But then they did, and the night ended the way it had to, and the only way that it could have ended and still have been true to the story and to the characters. I think that Draco clearly does want her here even though he's not experienced enough to understand his own desires very well, but it's not because he wants her as *Ginny*-- he doesn't really even know her well enough yet for that. So it just would have been awful and wrong for Ginny to have not said anything and Draco to have carried on while she gritted her teeth. They both have some learning to do before the sex part can even work, never mind anything else...
Author's Response: From the moment I first started writing this fic, I knew Draco and Ginny were not going to have sex on their wedding night. I'm glad you agreed with my choice.
Oh, I think Draco definitely felt a moment of lust, but he doesn't love Ginny; it would have been really wrong if they had actually had sex, because Ginny didn't want it at all, and Draco is just confused -- poor boy. Sex would have complicated things even more for them, and they really don't need to deal with that right now.
A very believable chapter! I really liked it, and I think you're handling the situation so realistically.This actually is where Draco and Ginny would be at this point in the marriage, given both the circumstances and their individual personalities.
Wow, though... what's going to happen at that lovely moment when Ginny finds out what she's really gotten herself into? I don't know. The arranged marriage plotline is so very difficult to handle, but it anyone can do it, that person will be you!
Author's Response: I'm glad you feel the situation is coming across realistic. Writing the arranged marriage scenario really isn't as easy as some people think, and it is difficult finding that balance. As for Ginny, well, she's certainly going to have a lot to say to Draco . . .
Oh, this chapter is just so cool! :) I love this version of Draco. We see lots of Dracos who aren't in touch with their emotions, but I don't think I've ever read a fic with one who is so completely out of touch with his physical self, his sexuality, and his capacity for pleasure-- it's kind of fascinating (and it makes me wonder, too, exactly what the backstory is with that.) At one moment, he's convincing himself that he doesn't want anybody to touch him, and then the next... well, Ginny's leaning over him, and it all goes to hell.
She's even more out of it than he is in this area (honestly!! Did she *actually* think for one second that this was going to be some kind of platonic marriage??) And she's clearly still trying to deny the implications, I think. It's hilarious to see a Draco and Ginny so dead set on convincing themselves that they'd hate having sex with each other. Well... we know how wrong they are. ;)
Author's Response: Waah! For some reason I am not receiving FIA alerts. How very strange. Good thing I randomly decided to check the sight today. I didn't even know I'd got reviews, let alone that you had updated.
In any case, I think my Draco actually is unique in his extreme virgin-like ideas - I certainly haven't seen another running around. I think I've said before that I originally started writing this kind of Draco because I was so tired of seeing the Slytherin Sex God person of his character. I guess I decided to go the polar opposite and write one who has no experience at all, or even the desire. He's one suppressed young man, but it is very, very amusing to write. As is Ginny's complete denial of even wanting a physical relationship with him. I think I would have got bored very quickly had I decided to write a forced marriage fic where the two are all ready to jump in the sack with each other straight from the word go. It's just more interesting this way, and definitely worked for the genre I was trying to write.
Oh, how sweet! A really tender chapter, and I think that Ginny handled Lucius in exactly the right way. We get such a feel for just how repressed Draco really is here, and it has to make me wonder exactly how he got that way-- he's so utterly out of his touch with his physical self that it seems there must be some reason.
Of course, that makes we wonder, too, how they're ever going to get together. It if were strictly up to Draco, it could take years of misery and sexual frustration. Ginny may have to make the first move. ;)
Author's Response: I had so much fun writing the Ginny/Lucius parts. Lucius is my darling in this fic - a grumpy, nightcap wearing darling, of course.
Draco is really repressed, and I honestly don't know why he insisted on being that way. He's definitely not comfortable with accepting his sexuality though, or at least not when it comes to Ginny. It's possible he's just finding it extra difficult because he knows Ginny is out of bounds, so he's purposely trying to keep himself repressed. And there's the fact that he hasn't had much physical contact with girls, so he's still trying to work his way through those feelings. Either way, you're definitely right that his reluctance to involve himself in physical activities is definitely a big obstacle in those two getting together. More on that in the next chapters!
You picked this fic up again!!!
EDJHFIEU*&^*&^%$JHWOIA I DON'T EVEN.
An actual coherent review later.
Author's Response: Lol, I know! I've been so caught up on other things that updating this just totally slipped my mind. I'll be updating more regularly from now on, though. ^_^
Okay, so here's the ACTUAL review...
So much going on in this chapter! I like the reactions that both Draco and Ginny have to what happened between them (or rather, didn't happen.) They're both so shy and uncertain in this area (not something we usually see with fanfic Draco, so it's refreshing.) Armand is a trip, as always, and I actually like the way that you handled the Ginny-seen-with-Blaise incident. I was afraid that it was going to lead to chapters of unreasonable jealousy on Draco's part, and it didn't. I've also always liked the kind of but not really-Regencyesque setting. (That's officially now a word, btw.)
Author's Response: Yes, Draco and Ginny are very shy and uncertain when it comes to sex, etc. You're right that it's something we don't usually see in fanfiction, especially in regards to Draco, but I think that's part of what makes this forced marriage scenario so interesting. I'm quite certain that if Draco had been the 'Slytherin sex god' of which he is so often portrayed, this story would be very, very different.
It's interesting you see that about the Ginny-seen-with-Blaise incident. When I first started writing this back in 2008, that was indeed what I thought was going to happen. As it turns out, Draco had enough sense and respect for Ginny that he ended up believing her and putting his own jealousy aside. He's growing up, but more than that he's learning to trust her. Oh, and I'm all for making Regencyesque a word. I don't know how else you would describe the setting for this story, haha.
Anyway, next chapter should be up soon, depending on my beta. I had to pretty much rewrite the whole thing (it was truly an awful chapter), but I think people will like how it has turned out. Let's just say things are about to get a little steamy. ^_~
I have about one minute of net connection in burns... THE big city in southeast Oregon. .. About 200 people I think... So I can't leave a real review. .. But I will when I get back! 😃
Author's Response: Haha, no problem. :)
Yay, new chapters of this fic!! :)
It's so great to see the continued exploration of Ginny and Draco's relationship here. It's not just their personal feelings for each other, but also the fact that they're moving through this morass of complex social expectations. It kind of reminds me of a book from a couple of years ago... "Confessions of a Jane Austin Addict", I think the title was. The main character had gone back in time into some kind of strange literary re-enactment (I don't remember anything about exactly how that happened.) She found herself living in a very complex world with layer upon layer of subtleties in the relationships between individuals, their place in society, the expectations put on them, and permutations of all the above. While it was basically a romance, there's just no way the personal relationship was that simple.
So this does kind of remind me of that... it's not just a question of Draco and Ginny's feelings about each other. There are so, so many ways that things could have gone wrong between them after the events of this chapter. But they trusted each other, and that's what cut through all the deception. It'll be interesting to see how this plays out with everyone else in the narrative, though. On to the next chapter! :)
Author's Response: I feel bad it took me so long to get these chapters edited. I think part of the reason is that I read this story and just cringe now, haha. This chapter ended up getting a complete re-write, which is also part of the reason I took so long. I really would do so many things differently if I wrote this story now (including delving more into those more complicated issues you highlighted). Probably why I chose to emphasise it more in this revised chapter. You're also right that a lot of things could have gone wrong. Lucky for Draco and Ginny this story is more light-hearted than drama.
Thanks for the review! Always appreciated.
Ginny breathed deeply. It was all just a horrible dream. It was not possible that Vincent Crabbe was in her dorm trying to determine whether his bum looked big or not. It was not possible that boys were even in her dorm.Category: Long and Completed
She pinched herself and bit her lip as pain seared through her arm. Okay, it wasn’t a dream, but clearly something wasn’t right.
I'm really enjoying this story. :) You have exactly the right touch here, and you understand how to write Draco and Ginny (and all the other characters, too) so that they *work* the way they need to with this type of plot and theme. Using the light touch can be the hardest way of all to write. Personally, I know that I couldn't possibly pull off something like this, because I always seem to end up going over to the dark side! Anyway, I look forward to reading the rest. :)
Author's Response: I'm always amazed that people have yet to tell me 'what the hell are you doing writing this rubbish' whenever they read this story. I know why /I/ like it (because it was the first fic I wrote, and I'm sentimental like that), but it is nice to know that other people can enjoy it too. Though, I must say, editing these chapters for FIA is painful. My grammar was truly atrocious back then.
Anyway, thank you for your very lovely review. I do understand what you mean about resisting the urge to go to the 'dark side'. It's so easy to let plot bunnies take control and steer the story in a different direction, but with fanfics like this I'm generally okay. I just have to remind myself that this is not a dark fic, this is a humour/romance, and it would be very odd indeed if Draco suddenly decided he was going to become the epitome of evil and start his killing crusade.
Ah... we *do* have a hint of the dark side here, don't we? But at some point, I think it was necessary. Ginny could not avoid running into this kind of information while masquerading as Draco and interacting with his parents.
Author's Response: Yes, this story does delve into the darker side of things, but not to the point where the humour can't still be salvaged -- as you'll see. I think what I was trying to do was really emphasise the differences between Ginny and Draco's family. I guess it's up to you to decide whether I managed to pull that off. ^_~
Ahem. Okay, I'm better now. So let's see... in this chapter, we had Blaise's mom trying to seduce the 16-year-old Draco, except that it was actually Ginny in Draco's body, and then Blaise/Draco slash that was also kind B/G (but come on, didn't Blaise get a thrill out of kissing Draco's body anyway?) Then Blaise's slutty mama apparently mused about the possibilities of a threesome with Draco AND HER KID??? Or maybe it was just, um, a threesome with Draco and some other sixteen-year-old boy. That makes it much classier. ;)
Girlfriend, I write some straightup smut, but even *I* didn't manage to get any of this into DDD. I bow down to your unsung skills. :)
Author's Response: I think that's the joy of body-swtiching fics -- so many wonderful possibilities. And poor Narcissa was stuck in the middle of it all. But I think they all have issues in this chapter. Especially Blaise and his mother. You've got to wonder about those two . . . As for the threesome, I would /hope/ that Selina was implying Draco and another boy. That really would be delving into some rather questionable sexual fantasies otherwise.
The plot thickens! What I really like about Draco and Ginny's growing interest in each other (one of the things, I should say) is that it's not overdone, and it didn't appear too soon-- two common mistakes that authors make.
Author's Response: I've never liked the stories that rush into Draco and Ginny's relationship, nor am I a fan of sentimental/sappy romances -- especially if the characters themselves are just teenangers.
It *did* get serious, didn't it? But again, very believable. It'll be fascinating to see exactly what your Lucius Malfoy is up to, and what you end up doing with him as a character (I know that some authors have found his qualities-- personally, I've never been able to do it. :P
Author's Response: Well, I'm glad you still thought it was believable. When I was going over this again I wondered if some of these parts were too dramatic for the story, but I figured it wasn't so out there that it couldn't work. I have grown to love Lucius as a character over the years (in fact, I have written a few Lucius/Ginny fanfics), but I'm afraid he doesn't quite get the love and attention he deserves in this story. I think I would approach it very differently if I were writing this story now.
Wow, what a chapter. I think that you pulled this Lucius off, and I
ll tell you why. It's a long story, but you'll see the point... hopefully it WILL make sense in the end. ;)
Your Lucius reminds me of a character in an episode in *This American Life* I heard on NPR during the drive through Utah while I was moving from Nashville to Portland (it's a 2,500 mile drive... we listened to a lot of NPR... anyway...) An author for the New York Times was writing a nonfiction book in which his gangster uncle was a character. He went up to Attica (I think that was the federal prison) to interview him several times. The uncle had been very cooperative, but there kind of came this point where he just really, really wasn't. In fact, he eventually said to the author-- his nephew, remember-- that he wanted him to stop writing the book, and that if he didn't, he was going to kill him in this, that, and the other way. Well, the author's grandma intervened, and that's why the uncle didn't kill him. So the grandma reminded me of Narcissa.
The point is that I do think an analogy can be drawn: your Lucius does have some kind of limit to what he'll do, and some kind of appeal can be made to him on some level, so he's not totally inhuman, but he's a lot like a Mafia don (I think, anyway.) Authors can go a lot of different ways with him. A Lucius/Ginny fic, I could NOT do, and I know it, but I think you'd write a good one. And he lives in a world that is not like Ginny's world, or the Weasley world. That's one of the main things that, to me, is so fascinating about D/G-- Draco and Ginny really do come from such different worlds.
Anyway! It'll be fascinating to see where it all goes from here. :)
Author's Response: Oh, good. I'm glad you saw what I was trying to get across. I've never seen Lucius as completely inhuman -- I think his actions in Deathly Hallows is a testament of that -- so it seemed fitting to me for him to relent because of Narcissa appealing for Ginny and showing him how he would feel if it were his own son he was handing over to Voldemort.
What you said about Draco and Ginny coming from different worlds is exactly why I love the pairing. There are so many possibilities with these two, and each new setting you place them opens a whole new dimension of emotions and situations to explore.
So the question after the last chapter was, of course, how the story was going to develop from that point, because the original situation had been resolved. Draco and Ginny were back in their own bodies. One of your choices was to simply end it there, probably by adding something epilogue-ish along the lines of "Draco and Ginny realized that they cared about each other after all, they kissed, they started dating, the end." But while I guess that could have worked, it wouldn't have been very satisyfing, because too many unresolved issues still remained. You chose the more intriguing (and difficult) option, which was to continue the narrative.
You really did take it in a direction that worked. I know from your notes that this was a very early fic, but I think that you developed it in a direction that picked up unresolved threads. The B/G content needs to be completed, which wouldn't have happened if the fic had abruptly ended after Draco and Ginny returned to their original bodies. Personally, I think that Blaise doesn't care about Ginny very deeply, but it's something they do have to work through. And you continued the theme of something-- a character, an idea, a communication-- being "switched." I look forward to more! :)
Oh, btw... my first D/G shall never see the light of day. SPaG were most definitely not the problems. What makes it worse is that I'd actually had writing published then, and I should have been able to do a better job (non-fiction, though. That makes it okay, right? Right? No.) You just don't want to know. The Mall of America was involved.
Author's Response: I believe this is is my 100th review for this story, and what a lovely one it was. That being said, I feel like I can't say anything to this, because I was basically nodding me head and going "yes, exactly" to everything you wrote. *laughs*
The Mall of America. Now that is intriguing . . . in a slightly morbid, "oh dear" kind of way. I'd still probably read it though. I have a fascination with reading author's early work, because you get to see a sense of their 'beginnings' and can piece together how their 'style' all came about. It's always an interesting experience.
I think that your Pansy might just have more sense than that. ;) She was very perceptive the first time she broke up with Draco, and I just don't think that anything has happened to make her change her mind. The characters have so many different motivations, and we have the Cyrano plot device! But it works here. Once again, it fits into the theme of something significant being switched and incorrectly interpreted.
Out of the group, Blaise clearly has the most to lose from the truth coming out. If Ginny learns that he isn't the truth author of the poem, not only does he lose her, but there's also the chance that his friendship with Draco will end up being strained. It's also intriguing that you didn't take the easy way out and keep Hermione in reserve as his love interest, because he'd be more likely to be nonchalant if he knew that he could simply turn to her. So it'll be very interesting to see where this goes! :) And, oh yes. Nobody will ever, ever, E.V.E.R. read the "Mall of America" story. Although maybe I should get points (which can be redeemed for valuable prizes in the sixty-fourth dimension, of course), for coming up with the idea that Ginny was going to brew a love potion *before* HBP even came out. See, she got in trouble for it, and Draco was involved, and Dumbledore sent them both to a location where they absolutely wouldn't be able to use magic. Nothing extinguishes the possiblity of magic like a mall. And the Mall of America is the biggest mall in the world... and I used to live only a few miles away from it... so it made sense, in a horrible way... (runs and hides)
Author's Response: Pansy . . . well, she's not stupid, but you'll see what happens. You're right in saying that the characters have so many different motivations.
I almost feel sorry for Blaise in this story. He's not a bad guy, but I have an intense dislike of people who appear 'perfect'. Not that he is, but you know what I mean. Anyway, he's definitely the one who will lose in this scenario should Ginny learn the truth. As much as I like Blaise/Hermione, I just didn't feel the two were right together for this story. It just felt a bit too convenient, since Hermione and Blaise were both the ones to help Draco and Ginny while they were in each other's bodies.
You intrigue me even more with your Mall of America story. I am incredibly fascinated at /how/ you made that work. :P
I'll review these two chapters separately, but I think that there will inevitably be some spillover... anyway...
Plots here, there, and everywhere! ;) Well, Blaise isn't as manipulative (so far, ast least) as Draco is turning out to be. I think that some of those plans just MAY come back to bite him on that perfect arse of his. What Pansy did in taking him back does make sense, although I still think it would have better for *her* if she hadn't. Still, I can easily see how, and why, she would have been weak. Deep down, I think that she knows it isn't going to work with Draco in the long run. (Maybe she'll smack him upside the head a few times...)
Author's Response: Draco really isn't a nice person. Well, I wouldn't say he's /awful/, but selfish definitely sums him up. Pansy probably should have known better, but I think we all make silly mistakes like that sometimes when we're young.
There's something I just love about Crabbe and Goyle in this fic. I'm not even sure what it is, but they're very endearing. :)
Hermione is great here, and your characterization works so well for this fic. (You're doing a really really job of keeping up the same light, easy touch that you need in order to make this work, btw.) She's hilarious as the not-outstandingly-suave matchmaker. Again, I kind of hope that Pansy hits Draco upside the head with something here... (pictures a final Pansy/Crabbe/Goyle pairing...) Well, maybe not so much. ;) Draco really *does* have an annoying side to his character; it's very realistic, and we can see why it's taken so long for him and Ginny to get to this point. The barriers between them aren't artificial. Anyway... looking forward to more!
Author's Response: I have a definite soft spot for Crabbe and Goyle. They feature in quite a few of my fics -- especially Goyle. One of these days I am going to write one-shots for both of them. I just need to find two females who can match their brilliance.
I'm glad you think Hermione's characterisation is good. I used to write a lot of fics around her, but Ginny is just so much more exciting to write about (and suits Draco better), so she has been shoved to the side of late. I do think she has her place as a supporting character, though. I certainly can't imagine using anyone else for her role in this one.
I've never been a fan of 'perfect' Draco. I like my characters to have flaws -- it makes it so much more interesting to write -- but I just don't see him as being a particularly nice guy in that 'typical' sense. He seems more like the person who would unintentially do a 'nice' thing for someone else while trying to get his own way. In any case, Ginny certainly knows that being with Draco Malfoy will be no picnic - hence, why she is happy to stay with Blaise. At least for now . . .
Mwah ha! I just love your Pansy. And she actually DID hit Draco upside the head! (does dance of glee) The boy richly deserved it, as well as being forced to listen to all the screeching. ;) Yes, she was a little over the top; she'd earned the right to go there, though. But when it reached the point where she couldn't help thawing towards Draco again, that was believable, too. I dearly love her evil plots in Blaise's direction. He's hardly an innocent victim in all of this, and I'd have to say that awarding him any medals for sheer niceness over our Draco would truly be drawing from facts not in evidence. :P
Oh, and also, I really, really appreciate that you didn't randomly make Draco into a male slut. That's much too common in Hogwarts-era D/G fics, and 90% of the time, it simply doesn't work. I've seen cases where it does, but *not* in this type of fic-- in fact, it's very jarring when it shows up at points just like this (as it generally does.) Here, I think what we're seeing is that even though there never really was anything between Draco and Pansy except long-standing friendship and attraction, he does like her, deep down, he does respect her, and he didn't just randomly have sex with her before moving on to the other 345,347.9 girls/boys/whatever (all by the age of 16 or 17, mind you.) So, it's a nice touch. :) More soon, I hope!
Author's Response: Hehe, I'm glad you enjoyed it. I thought Draco deserved to be hit upside the head for what he did. The boy thinks he can get away with far too much, and he is very much mistaken -- at least where Pansy is concerned. I like to think that they're such close friends she can't help but thaw towards him, but there are also other reasons . . . (which you have no doubt guessed already. *laughs*)
I really dislike Draco as the male slut character unless it suits the fic, and I find (like you) that Hogwarts Era fics do not work in that respect. Really, there isn't much more I can say. You've already said it, but it's always nice to know one's sentiments are shared. ^_^
A long, long day.... anyway... What I really enjoyed the most in this chapter was the subtle complexity of the characters. Pansy; oh, I just love your Pansy! Now, talk about someone who isn't a "nice" character... She isn't exactly pleasant to Ginny, and she certainly isn't sweet, but deep down, I think that she does like and admire her. I'm not so sure that given the situation as it is, Pansy and Ginny would succeed in forming a real friendship, but who knows-- over time, they might.
You *did* surprise me by revealing that Pansy had some kind of hand in sabotaging Blaise's relationships, although honestly, I wouldn't let him off the hook by saying that her influence was a decisive one. Again, Blaise was *far* from the innocent victim here (and for all his insistence that he really cared about Ginny, he stopped liking her as much when she had an artificially induced case of the flu... yes, some really deep emotions there. :P) And Draco was just a treat in this chapter. :) His feelings for Ginny are real and believable. It's obvious that they're probably not going to jump into bed together, and I don't really see any blatant smut coming up, but somewhere down the road, it would clearly happen for them. (Tender, yet hot smut, that is.)
There's something about that phrase... "slumbers of the night"... remember that song "Shadows of the Night"? REMEMBER it?
We're running with the Shadows Of The Night
So baby take my hand, you'll be all right
Surrender all your dreams to me tonight
They'll come true in the end
Mwah hahahaha!! Bet you remember it now. :) Vengeance is mine for making me remember not only The Final Countdown, but the techno version.
Author's Response: Nooooooooooooooo! *clamps hands over ears* Er . . . eyes? Well, either way, I am not going to succumb. I shall resist!
No, I don't see Pansy as particularly nice. She's got heart, but it's whether she feels like responding to that and actually allowing herself to mellow that's the main thing. Actually, I don't really see Blaise, Draco or Pansy as particularly nice characters. They're all very flawed, though I think all have their good points -- as any human does. And Ginny is just as flawed as the rest of them when you think about it -- though her intentions are often more innocent. I don't know if I see Pansy and Ginny ever being close friends. I think they will learn to tolerate each other, but, as you said, it would take a long, long time for them to become real friends.
I completely agree about Blaise not being innocent. Pansy may have helped in little ways to sabotage his relationships out of jealousy, but it was Blaise who really made the decision to ditch the girls. I doubt he would have needed much help from her, and a lot of his 'rant' was more venting his feelings than the truth. I think all of us like to find someone to blame when we know we're in the wrong. I do see Blaise as being quite shallow, but I was rather amused when I was editing this and discovered I had used an almost identical plot in A Marriage of Convenience (Ginny getting given a flu-inducing potion and having Draco catch her; I clearly need to get new ideas, haha). Still, I think while Blaise's feelings for Ginny were "pond" depth at best, he probably will do much better with Pansy. If anything, she will keep him on his toes.
I never wanted the DG relationship in this to be particularly smutty -- not just because I don't like writing smut, either. It just didn't seem to fit for them to have an overly 'passionate' relationship straight away -- and I definitely don't see them having sex any time soon. They were friends first, and it took them quite a while to get beyond that. I think they'd be the type to slowly work up to it, as you said.
Sometimes, Ginny just wanted to break mirrors so she'd be certain to live for another seven years. She wondered if seeing her face splinter like Draco's mind already had would be worth it.Category: Works in Progress
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I'm really enjoying this fic. Your Draco is very dark (quite the Captain Obvious statement), but... it's hard to explain, but there are DarkDracos that kind of slip over into characterizations that are just too much, and yours manages to walk that tightrope without falling off so far. It isn't necessarily about the terrible things that this character has done (because he's clearly done quite a few), but there's *some* kind of line that (IMHO) Draco just can't cross and still remain readable. Yours is on the believable side of that line, and that's hard to pull off.
Author's Response: Okay, I'll have to admit that I might have squeed a bit when I got your review. (I don't think that it's a coincidence that "squee" rhymes with "pee," either.)(That doesn't mean I peed. >_>) The way you described the line that all Dark!Dracos walk was fantastic, and makes me blush to see that I seem to have gotten it right (at least for that chapter . . . ). I never want any of my characters to seem overdone or cliched, so it's always rewarding as a writer to be assured that they weren't. Thanks for the lovely review!
Clearly-- a very disturbing chapter, creepy characters, and you really do get Malfoy Manor right, which I don't think almost anybody ever does!!! The creepy creepiness of it all... (shudders) But again, it works very well.
It really is so difficult to write a good dark Draco, because there are so many pitfalls into which the writer can, well, fall. But I think you've captured the key to what makes this Draco work in Narcissa's cold statement that her son is right on the edge of losing his sanity. This Draco is being torn apart by the acts he's committed and continues to commit; the carnage he wades through rips his mind to shreds, and the dark Draco's that don't work are the ones whose minds remain so carelessly whole. It's as if this Draco has a part of his character very deep within that still is horrified beyond words by what the rest of him is doing, but this part is so deeply buried that it's hard to believe right now it could ever come out. That's the part, I think, that really wants to care about Ginny, that reaches out for her even when his hands are stained with blood.
Ultimately, I really don't know if this Draco can come back from what he's seen and what he's done (or Ginny either,) but it'll be fascinating to see how it all plays out.