Oh wow, now that's quite the ending to the chapter and I can definitely say that I was not expecting that to happen. But of course it had to happen and had to make Draco look even more guilty which for me makes me know that it couldn't be him. I mean I doubt that Draco would be that stupid to kill someone right after he was seen fighting with them in public. But what I am thinking is that it also makes Theo seem guilty in my mind. He was the last person to see him alive so Theo could've easily poisoned him or something else to continue trying to point everything towards Draco. He also says Dark Lord earlier in the chapter which I believe is usually the term used by Death Eaters where as everyone else either says Voldemort or He Who Should Not Be Named. So does this mean that Theo is actually a Death Eater? Really before the ending I was already wondering if Theo was a Death Eater from that whole slip up.
I am very curious by Draco in this chapter. He finally got to talk to Hermione and while it wasn't what I thought he was going to talk to her about it was still interesting. But I also wonder what exactly he thinks that he really accomplished from that talk? In the long run it will still help him, at least in terms of Hermione believing he didn't do it. She already seemed to be wondering why he would possibly start a fight right after telling her he just wants to get through the school year which would do the exact opposite of what he wants.
This chapter was very heavy towards speach and not as much description as in past chapters which at first felt a little odd to me. The chapter was still wonderful so don't get me wrong there, it was just very jarring to go from chapters with a lot more description to very little. It was a very fast read I felt and was very enjoyable though. I look forward to reading the next chapter!
Thank you for reviewing another chapter! :D The ending of this chapter is very much the crux of this novel. Suddenly, everything is so much more serious. And Hermione definitely has to assess what she knows of Draco and whether she believes anything he's told her.
As for your suspicions of Theo...well, I suppose you'll have to keep reading to find out! He definitely has a background with the Death Eaters through his dad, but his own loyalties seem more fluid, right?
I hadn't noticed that this chapter was so speech-heavy. I'll go through it again to see if I can soften that at all. Thanks for the note!
And thank you again for all of your comments and compliments!
AH my poor heart, Draco's poor heart. How could Hermione do this to him? Well I guess with a handsome and wonderful guy like Theo currently I can see how she would do this especially since Draco is really only just starting to show his good side to her. But be still my heart because it swooped during their polite conversation and then you went and shattered it! I dont know if I can forgive you for this Emily.
Okay my dramatics aside, this chapter was really wonderful. I do adore the interactions between Theo and Hermione and he definitely seems protective of her but I wonder if there was a bit of foreshadowing and maybe he will somehow end up hurting her in the end? It's too soon to be sure but it could definitely go that way. But for the time being their friendship and now blooming relationship is really cute and I do enjoy seeing it. He is a very thoughtful guy so far but of course my vote is for Draco and the two just need to get together.
I enjoyed all of the description in this chapter but I think the thing that really stole the spotlight for me in this chapter other than Draco was actually Ron, which I feel like is really wierd saying since this is a Dramione and a lot of people tend to make him out to be some awful guy. But this chapter really played to his strengths. His childlike energy and excitement over all that he accomplished was really fun to read and brought a smile to my face. I also felt like all of the other characters in this chapter were really well portrayed even if they only had small lines.
It was fun to see Hermione transition during this chapter as well. We watched her go from freaking out over every detail, making sure that everything was perfect, to a slightly more calm version as she realized all the pieces were actually coming together and maybe they were really pulling this all off. And then to the final version of excitement and feeling proud over actually knowing that they really did pull it off and that everyone was actually enjoying themselves and taking their minds off of the war and the strange events going on at Hogwarts that year.
I'm curious to see how Hermione and Theo's relationship will end up playing out. Will they quickly realize that maybe they are best meant to be friends or will one of them mess up and harm their relationship and friendship? And we already know that Draco is clearly not excited about this new development and I feel like maybe he was the real writer of the note for Hermione and maybe he hoped to talk to her a little more than what was shown. Maybe he had intended to come in and swoop her off of her feet? But I'm curious about what he might do next. Will he try to create his own friendship of sorts with Hermione or act like a scorned lover who was never a lover in the first place?
Each chapter you write has me begging to continue reading so I can find out more about your characters and all of this mysteriousness that is happening at Hogwarts. Who is really behind eveyrthing? Are things getting better, or is this just the calm before the bigger storm? All I can say is that I'm glad there are more chapters posted so that I can continue reading and don't have to wait for the next installment. Really great chapter!
Thank you so much for coming by to read and review! I'm so glad that you liked the chapter! I know it's hard to watch the slow burn play out, but I promise it will be worth it. Draco's frustration right now is understandable though. He's done a pretty bad job of explaining himself to Hermione, and now there are even more obstacles in his way.
Your compliments on my characterization of Ron mean the world to me! He's so difficult for me to write, and I'm so happy to hear that you liked him in this chapter!
Finally, I'm really glad that the relationship between Theo and Hermione is interesting to you! I know it doesn't quite fit with a traditional Dramione story, but I hope it starts to make sense and you see where I'm going with it.
Thank you again for all of your comments and compliments! You're the best!
Hello for one final time tonight!
This is the final posted chapter, so this will be my final review for the magical menagerie and gryffindor red vs gold review battle january 2019. That said, can you please post some more soon? Pretty please? I need to know what happens next.
I'm sad to see that Theo is cutting Hermione out to deal with his grief. I mean I know that some people just need to be alone and to think, but hse just wants to help him. I guess technically they don't really have a realtionship yet, but I still think she could offer him some comfort.
ooh. I like how you incorporated the RAB locket bit into this story. That definitely keeps the story progressing along.
I'm glad that Hermione finally spoke to Theo. I know he won't get better right away, but maybe the gentle nudge will help him to open up to her a bit. I know Hermione is a bit concerned about not having been asked to be his girlfrend, but I imagine that's the farthest thing from his mind right now. Besides, usually you don't just go on a single date with someon and end up boyfriend and girlfriend. It's normal to date more casually for a bit first.
Draco sure is a sad, mopey guy in this. I suppose I should feel sorry for him, but ultimately I don't. I kind of feel like he made his bed, now he should lie in it. Trying to kill Dumbledore is something I just feel like you can't immediately return from. With all the weird things happening, no one has any reason to believe it isn't him.
I'll be looking forward to reading the next chapter when it's posted. Good work!
I'm so happy to finally be finishing responding to your amazing reviews! And you'll be happy to know that I have another chapter that I'll be posting in the next 24 hours! And it somehow grew by 1400 words during my editing process—oops!
I'm so sorry for pulling the rug out from under you with Theo! They were just getting close when all of this with Hart happened, and it's definitely changed how they relate to each other, which is really hard. And Hermione does hold some preconceived notions of what it means to date someone. But you're absolutely right that there's just so much more going on now.
As for Draco...ahh. He is tough to like in the beginning of this story. He really is self-pitying. You're totally right that he made a lot of bad choices...but then you also have to look at it from his point of view. He was 16 when he became a Death Eater. How many of us were fully logical then? But he is going to start thinking more maturely and evaluating how he wants to be seen and what he wants his future to look like. I hope you'll stick around to see how that changes your opinions of him!
Finally, thank you so much for mentioning that you like the Horcrux hunt in this! I'm always worried that it's kind of an after-thought to all of the drama going on in Hogwarts in this story, but it is a big part of Deathly Hallows, and I didn't want to completely throw it out. I think I've incorporated it in kind of awkward ways, but I'm glad you like that it is there.
Thank you again for all of your reviews so far! You're the best!
I think you know why I'm here by now. Magical Menagerie x Gryffindor Red vs Gold review battle january 2019. Now that that's out of the way, on to the review!
OH man, that's rough for Hermione and Theo to find Hart's dead body. I mean I know Hermione wasn't super close with him, but Theo was and either way it's still so hard to see someone die, especially someone so young. They both stayed remarkably calm and rational for such a horrific turn of events.
I'm glad that Hermione took Theo to the other Slytherins. He really needs to be among his friends to grieve. It's interesting that they all jumped to the same conclusion...that it was Draco who murdered him.
I'm glad Hermione stopped by Gryffindor too. I think she needed the support from Ron, Harry, and Ginny. I love how you've written the dynamic between them here.
Oh. THe bit with Draco at the end is very interesting. He seems really desperate to make Hermione understand. I wonder why he focused in on her so intensely. I also wonder why he suddenly cares what anyone thinks of him. I mean he's always courted that scary image of himself in the past.
On to the last posted chapter for now! I hope there will be more soon.
Hello again, dear!
Thank you so much for reviewing again! Your comments, as always, are spot on! I think the shock of seeing Hart really stopped them from reacting in any dramatic way—though in the original version of this chapter, before I edited it to post to HPFT, Hermione cried and Theo almost raged; but those reactions just didn't feel right when I looked at it again.
I do love that you noticed the immediate judgement that the Slytherins jump to. They absolutely don't trust or like Draco, so I think their reaction was logical to them, but of course seeing it from the outside, it feels like they're being quite hasty.
As for Draco, you're absolutely right. I think he's got an idea of how he wants to be seen. He liked that Tough Guy persona. But I think he recognizes that it's one thing to be known as a Death Eater—or even as someone who attempted to kill Dumbledore—and completely another to be seen as someone who kills other Slytherins after minor spats. And I think despite his desire to be seen as tough and strong, he's starting to panic that his reputation is getting out of his hands. If that makes sense?
On to your last review! Thank you again!
I'm sure by now you already know that I'm back for magical menagerie and gryffindor red vs gold review battle january 2019 review shenanigans. I'm determined to read all of the posted chapters of this story tonight apparently.
Yes. Ginny, you give Hermione a hard time about Nott. Make her blush and giggle. It's nice to see them participate in some girl talk together!
Draco is such a creep. I mean I get that he wants to talk to Hermione, but why does he have to be such a wierdo about it. Why can't he just walk up to her and ask to speak to her for a moment like a normal person? This skulking around really makes him look more suspicious in the long run.
Aww. I love Hermione and Theo together. He's such a sweet guy and I love that everyone is so happy for them (well with the exception of that cow Pansy). He does and says all of the right things I swear. Where can I find a Theo in real life?
Yikes! This scuffle between Hart and Draco is rough. Sounds like things escalated rather quickly. So much for Draco keeping a low profile. Seems crazy that he was just telling Hermione that he wanted to keep a low profile and then he goes and gets into a scuffle.
And that ending! What a cliff hanger!
I'll be back for more ASAP!
Ahh, I'm honestly just so happy that you've reviewed every chapter that's up so far. You're so sweet. I'm honored! :)
I'm so glad that you like Ginny here! Just like I struggle to write Ron and Harry, I do struggle with Ginny also. So hearing compliments is great!
I love your comments on Draco! Hahaha. He is a creep, isn't he!? I completely agree that he's acting like a total weirdo and should just be direct. Because jeez, dude. You aren't helping your case in the slightest.
The fact that you like Theo brings me endless joy! He's so fun to write for and I really do think he's a good person. But things will, of course, be getting very difficult for him after this chapter. (As you know from the cliff hanger!)
I can't wait to see what you think about the next chapter!
Thank you again!
Here for some more magical menagerie and gyrffindor red vs gold review battle january 2019 review action! Are you sick of these reviews yet?
YES! I AM SO HAPPY THAT THEO AND HERMIONE FINALLY ADMITTED THAT THEY HAVE FEELINGS FOR EACH OTHER! OK. Now that that's out of the way, let me try to write something coherent.
Poor Hermione. She is such a mess when she's stressed out and approaching a deadline. I suppose in this case she has a right to be though. Hosting a big event like this is a lot of responsibility. I feel like it's a lot to ask of her and Theo to manage this whole thing.
Aww. Ron. Bless him. He is the sweetest. I love that you show the good qualities of him (like he is in canon) instead of making him some horrific, obnoxious, super angry prat all of the time. I love that he gets competitive and boastful. I love that he's proud of how he helped put this event together. It's just all very cute.
Uh oh. Is it Draco that hit Hermione with a confundus charm? Was he trying to prevent her from having this exact conversation with Theo? If it wasn't him, who would've confunded her? For what reason? That is very concerning.
I like that Theo sat her down and had a mature conversation with her about their feelings. They didn't beat around the bush and they weighed the pros versus the cons. Very mature on their parts. I hope things work out. Maybe Hermione can be that last push he needs towards the good.
Whoa. Malfoy's reaction was pretty terrifying. What was up with that?
I suppose I'll have to keep reading on to find out. Good work!
Ahahah, I'm so happy that you're happy!!!
Your comments on this chapter are wonderful—thank you so much! I absolutely agree that it's a lot of pressure for Hermione and Theo to organize the whole carnival. I do now realize that some staff assistance may have made more sense... *shrug* Oops.
Anyhow! I'm glad that you like Ron! He's tough for me to capture, so compliments on how I handle his characterization are always appreciated!
It wasn't a real Confundus Charm, don't worry! Hermione was just feeling impulsive! But I do love that you're looking suspiciously at everything and everyone! xD You should! The mystery continues!
And finally, I'm so glad you like the conversation between Hermione and Theo! They are very mature for their ages (hence being Head Girl and Boy), and I think it's a great moment to show that. But we will have to see how that changes when things...hit the fan soon. (Ooooooh! Spooky! ;) )
Thank you; thank you; thank you!
I am back for yet another review for the magical menagerie and for the Gryffindor Red vs. Gold Review battle for January 2019. I just can't seem to put this story down so far. I have to know what's going on at Hogwarts and if Theo and Hermione finally get together.
Well, here is another one of those well used tropes that you've managed to twist a bit. I see a lot of stories where the administration decides that a ball is a good idea to liven the mood of the school, but you went a step in a different direction and created a carnival. Interesting.
Ah. Hermione is so cute when she flirts. She's so obviously into him. I have to assume that Theo must be aware of it at this point. He even seems to be flirting back. I mean he's given her a cute nickname and spends a lot of time with her. He confides in her. Those are all signs in my mind that he's interested.
Yes! I knew it. I'm so excited that he asked her to spend some time with her at the event. I want them to get to know each other a bit better and be the cutest Slytherdor couple ever.
Oh no. I just had a horrible thought. What if Theo is really a shady guy and he's trying to lure Hermione into his trap by acting this way towards her? What if Draco knows the truth and has been trying to figure out a way to clue Hermione in on it? What if he's a mole into the death eaters for the order and he found out that Theo has a super secret plan to charm Hermione? PLease, tell me that's not the case. I don't think I can handle it.
Not gonna lie: I'm casually obsessed with your reviews on this story.
I loved adding this element of social gatherings into Hogwarts in the trio's seventh year. I do think it's a fun trope even when it's done in a predictable way, but I also just think it's an interesting idea. I remember after 9-11, my elementary school had a pizza day or something to take our minds off of it. So I don't think it's totally farfetched to think that McGonagall might be interested in trying to lift the students' spirits.
I love your speculation for the future! I won't spoil anything, sorry! ;) But read on and see if your thoughts change at all or seem to be accurate! :D
Thank you again!
I'm back with some more review shenanigans for the magical menagerie and the gryffindor red vs gold review battle. I'm halfway through the posted chapters, so I feel like at this point I just have to finish this story tonight.
Wow. How scary for them to find smears of blood in the hallway. I could see why everyone was all freaked out, although I did think Theo trying to protect Hermione from seeing it might've been a little bit dramatic. I mean I get that it could've been human blood, but it's not like there was a dead body lying there or like Hermione hasn't already seen people die. (Cedric, Sirius)
I'm glad that the blood turned out to just be dragon's blood. That would've been horrifying if it had belonged to one of the students. That said, it's scary enough that someone would steal vials of blood from Slughorn and then create a fake crime scene, particularly with the current climate. Tis very concerning indeed!
Well, this could complicate matters. So Hermione is no longer interested in Crush? Now, she might be interested in Theo? What is going on here? And did Ron pick up on her potential crush? It seemed like he did.
That interaction with Malfoy at the end was very strange. He's definitely up to something. I hope Hermione doesn't get hurt trying to figure out whatever it is.
Hi again, dear!
Thank you so much for reviewing again! I definitely think the theme in this story of young men trying to "protect" Hermione comes up a lot. And I totally agree—guys, chill. She's more than capable. She'll be fine.
And yes! What a dark "prank" to pull! What could be the motive? *X-Files theme plays in the background.*
I definitely think Hermione's "crush" on Garrett was more a passing fancy, noticing that he was attractive more than really having feelings for him. But we'll see how things change in the coming chapters!
Thank you again! On to respond to your other reviews!
Yes! It's me again! Back for another review for the magical menagerie and the gryffindor red vs gold review battle january 2019. You getting tired of hearing that yet?
Aww. Yay! I'm happy to see the Slytherins and Gryffindors getting along so well. A lot of the times people write Ron as this crazy, irrational person that hates all Slytherins because they wear the color green no matter how nice they are. I like that you didn't do that here. I like that you made him reasonable and funny. I especially like that he and Harry agreed to meet them because of Hermione because that's the sort of friendship they all have in the books.
If Malfoy isn't doing anything shady, he certainly is doing a good job of convincing everyone that he is. The way he keeps behaving towards Hermione is very strange. It's like he's trying to provoke some sort of response from her.
Uh oh. You left this on a cliffhanger. Now, I'm definitely going to have to go read the next chapter. I have to know what Sam found when she walked in the front door.
I'm so happy that you liked this scene with the Slytherins! I really struggle with OCs and with Harry and Ron, so it's always good to hear when they don't come off as completely terribly written! ;)
Draco is such a creep, haha. He really is trying to act all Tough Guy right now, but it's not exactly having the effect he wants, y'know?
Thank you again for this review! I can't wait to see what you think of what Sam saw!
I'm back with another magical menagerie and Gryffindor red vs gold January 2019 review! I'm pretty sure I'm going to sit here and read this entire story tonight.
I'm glad that Hermione told Theo about finding Draco. It makes me feel better that someone else knows whats up. I also appreciate that Theo is trying to protect Hermione in his own way. (even though I don't really think she needs protecting.)
Theo's revelation about becoming a death eater after school was so casual. Like he just slipped it into conversation like it was no big deal. It's frustrating because he definitely doesn't seem to be the type to become a death eater. I hope that Hermione can convince him otherwise. I'm sure she will.
Ooh. Looks like Hermione has a crush on Garrett Crush. Ha. He sounds positively dreamy. He also sounds like he's into Hermione as well. I don't think he'd have asked Theo to introduce him to her otherwise and he seems to be subtly flirting with her.
I like that Hermione is taking her role of Head Girl seriously and actively trying to get along with the different Slytherins. I think it sets a really good example for the rest of the school. Now if only she can convince Ron and Harry that they're cool.
I do have a hard time imagining Hermione being scared of Draco though. I get that the year prior he definitely proved that he's a dangerous, clever wizard, but Hermione has squared up against Bellatrix, the Death Eaters, and Voldemort. Draco is child's play in comparison.
Hi again, Kaitlin!
Things got busy during the Menagerie (as I'm sure you understand!), but I'm here to reply now and I'm so thrilled to being reading such positive reviews from you!
I definitely think Theo is a fascinating character in this story (even being the one who wrote him, haha). He really has been so entrenched in the Death Eater world for his whole life, so it doesn't even seem like a big deal to him, which is so baffling to us and to Hermione. But you're right that she's going to try to change his mind!
I love writing for the Slytherins, so I'm glad you enjoy Garrett in this chapter! :D Hermione really is trying to get along with him and the others, and I hope you'll enjoy them in future chapters.
Your point about her being afraid of Draco is really good! Technically, Hermione hasn't ever faced up against Voldemort in canon, but she did see the Death Eaters in the Ministry at the end of Order. I think she's probably more nervous around him than scared. He's creeping her out and she doesn't like not knowing what he's up to. I probably should recharacterize that. Thank you for pointing it out!
On to replying to your next review! :) Thanks again!
I feel like a broken record because I'm back for another Magical Menagerie and Gryffindor Red vs. Gold January 2019 review! I have a feeling you're going to be reading that a lot.
Wow. I'm super intrigued by what happened in this chapter. Who knocked over the vase? It had to be Malfoy, right? Why was he taunting Hermione so openly? Why isn't he being all secretive like he has been in the past? Very curious. Very curious indeed.
I'm glad to see Hermione and Theo getting along a bit better. I mean it's still a bit frigid between the two of them, but at least they're being polite. I can see why he was a bit offended about being grouped in with Malfoy though. I mean she might as well have asked him if he was a death eater.
Why do people always split up in big, old, dark buildings? Like Hermione, no. You are a muggle. I know you've seen horror movies. This is how the girl always dies in the horror movies. Stumbling through the dark by herself.
Anyway, you've definitely got my curiosity peaked. Now I have to know what that shady Malfoy is up to. His wand twirling is making me feel very defensive of my girl, Hermione.
I laughed out loud at this review, Kaitlin! :D Completely true about splitting up in old, dark buildings, haha!
But I'm glad that Theo is starting to thaw a bit. I'd have been offended to be lumped in with Malfoy too, to be honest. And he is so shady, isn't he?? I can't wait to read what you think of him as more strange things begin to happen in the castle.
Thank you again!
I'm back for another Magical Menagerie and Gryffindor Red vs Gold January 2019 Review. I really enjoyed what you started in chapter one and am really curious to see how it develops, so I had to come back for another chapter.
Huh. I wonder why Hagrid was running late? I wouldn't think anything of it, except you mentioned it several times, so it makes me think it's important.
I love that you wrote your own sorting song. So often in fic, people tend to just write a verse or two, but you went the whole way and did the entire song. Kudos to you for that!
I am a bit curious about McGonagall taking over. So Dumbledore has still died at Snape's hand like in canon, so what has changed that stopped the Dark Lord from taking over the ministry and Hogwarts? How did McGonagall maintain control of the school?
The sorting hat's warning is pretty dire. I wonder if anyone ever actually pays attention to what it says though. I mean I know they hear it, but will they really try to stick together and put down house prejudices. Somehow, I doubt it.
I hope McGonagall puts Nott's attitude in check. I can't imagine Hermione having to live with someone so rude all year long.
Oh and the interaction with Draco in the carriage was very intriguing. Hermione is right. It lacked it's usual edge. I wonder what is going on with him.
Good work! I'm off to the next chapter now.
Oh, the Hagrid thing is actually totally unimportant, haha. I wish I'd have thought of making it significant! I didn't realize I'd made it look like something was going on there. XD
As for McGonagall, I think in this story it's more the idea of: Voldemort's had Dumbledore killed; Snape has escaped to the Death Eaters; but now...what next? I think I left things as they were at the end of HBP and took it immediately from there instead of us getting any of the takeover news like at the beginning of DH. But Voldemort's rise does come into play in this novel!
I loved writing this Sorting Hat song. I'll agree with you that I bet a lot of the students didn't really "hear" it when they listened.
And the drama with Theo and Draco continues!
Thank you again!
I'm dropping by for the Magical Menagerie review event as well as for Gryffindor's Red vs. Gold review battle for January 2019. I love a good Draco and Hermione AU, so I thought I'd stop by and give this a read.
Ooh. So instead of leaving on the Horcrux hunt, Harry, Ron, and Hermione have decided to go back to school. I don't honestly know if I've ever read that concept before. I like it though. I wonder how it will change things.
Uh oh. Shared dormitories. Do I sense a forbidden Slytherin/Gryffindor romance about to happen? I feel that's usually how it goes with that particular trope.
I really like that you have Theodore Nott as her head boy instead of Draco. I feel like having it be Draco is far too common, plus in your scenario, I feel like it would be unlikely since he literally just almost killed Dumbledore. Just a bit too soon.
Nott was pretty icy towards Hermione. I wonder what his deal is. I mean I know she can be a little intense and sort of a know-it-all, but that doesn't mean he needed to be so rude to her.
Uh oh. Malfoy's line at the end spells trouble. I wonder what he's going to get up to this year.
Good job! I'm off to the next chapter now.
Thank you so much for coming to read and review all of the chapters I currently have up of Collateral! That's so sweet and I appreciate it so much!
For sure this took advantage of the Head Boy/Girl dorm trope that was really popular when it was first written in 2009, haha. I actually don't mind that one too much, but it is such a cliche! I hope you'll like how this story utilizes it though and how I've changed some things from canon to fit the trio being at school rather than on the road hunting Horcruxes.
Theo definitely has a chip on his shoulder off the bat. I can't wait to read your other reviews and see what you think of him later on! And Draco too! He's such a trouble maker, haha.
Thank you again!
Hi, Emily! Happy holidays!
I had read most of this already when it won Hufflepuff SotM, but I didn't review back then, so I decided to catch up with you and leave you a review for the whole story. :P
This got much darker than I was expecting... I totally didn't expect Hart's murder... I wonder who did it and why... he's not the kind of person you would expect Death Eaters to go after? Or maybe, like Hermione said, this murder has nothing to do with Voldemort? Either way, it's strange and I really wonder what's going on.
I'm feeling bad for Draco. I don't really like him as a character (I mean in general, not in this story... also, I'm sorry...) but I do feel for him, having everyone disliking him and being suspicious of him. I mean, I understand where they are coming from, but it's so unfair. I'm glad at least Hermione believes in his innocence. She's right, he's shown that he isn't a murderer, and he would have no reason to kill Terrance anyway, not because of a silly argument, not if all he wants is being left alone (which I totally believe to be true). I wonder what's truly going on...
This is a great story, Emily! You have a lovely writing style (I'm sure I told you this already) and I love mysterious, intriguing plots, which you definitely have here! I love your characters and the relationships you are building among them; I love what you are doing with Hermione, Theo, Draco and everyone else and I'm just so curious to know what's going to happen.
I probably should say more, but I suppose I'll leave you for now. Hope your editing adventure is proceeding well. ;)
Lots of love and happy holidays again, my dear!
Aw, Chiara! Hi dear!
Thank you so, so much for reading and reviewing for me! I'm so happy that you've read this far already!
This chapter is really where the story takes its turn. So far, the pranks and things have seemed harmless, but now...murder. So here's where the "mystery" genre really comes into play!
It's completely fine that you don't like Draco as a character, haha. I'm glad I'm making you feel bad for him at least! But I definitely agree that Canon Draco can be really, really unlikeable. I try to turn that around in this novel. We'll see if I change your mind. ;)
Thank you again for all of your comments and compliments! I'll try to speed up the editing adventure in the new year! :D
Oh man this chapter was so good! I very much look forward to the next chapter because I can only imagine something is going to happen during the events of the carnival. Hopefully all good of course but with those sorts of events you never can be sure really.
I was sad that the appearance of Draco was so short but yet it did still pack a punch. The small bit with him left me very curious about what he had possibly tried to mutter to Hermione as he bumped into her and I just need to know. I was really hoping I would find out during this chapter and that he would just be waiting around for her to talk or something but alas you left me with a slight cliffhanger in that aspect and I still do not know what was being said.
I do enjoy the elements of Theo and Hermione though of course my heart is really only in it for Draco and Hermione but you've done a great job of setting up this small romance and I do look forward to seeing how it will play out. Will things ever actually get off the ground for this couple or will they continue to be to shy to actually make it to an offical relationship? Only time will really tell. But I do think that the two make a really good team they seem to get things done and have a pretty good understanding of each other. It really is such a cute relationship/friendship blooming between them.
Anyways, this was another really great chapter and I can't wait until the next chapter is posted.
Yay!! I'm finally caught up on my replies to you! :D
Thank you so much for your comments and compliments! Honestly, they mean so much to me! I'm so glad that you're interested in the plot! I'm sorry for how long it's drawn out! But I promise: all will be answered! Eventually! ;) I'm also sorry for throwing the added curveball of Hermione and Theo into this novel! I know it's supposed to be a Dramione, but it's definitely a slow burn for sure.
Thank you again, Erica! You're the best!
Hi! Back again!
I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned this before, but I adore the chapter images (and also the banner). Branwen is so talented, and I’m so envious that you managed to get such gorgeous graphics from her!
Anyway, onto the actual story haha.
Oooooh, intriguing. What exactly is Draco Malfoy up to? (I’m still free to answer that question, because the mystery is still super…mysterious haha at the end of the seventh chapter. What is the guy doing? I have to know!)
But also, I love this whole dynamic with Theo Nott that you’ve set up! It’s sooo good. I love that you’ve presented a different side to Slytherins, ones who may not necessarily fall in with Malfoy’s group, and that Theo’s funny and likeable. I’m super fond of Slytherins as a whole so seeing them being represented well makes me really happy!
You’re doing such a good job with this story! I hope I can come back and finish reviewing it some other day! <3
Hi again Eva!
Thank you so much for your compliments on Branwen's CIs! I'll definitely pass along the praise. She's incredible! I love that she's the artist behind everything for Collateral!
I love that the mystery behind Draco's weirdness is coming off as just that—mysterious! I really struggled to balance his odd behavior with hints at what might be going on. But I wanted to drag out the suspicion for as long as possible (before it switches to a completely different mystery!). And I'm thrilled that you like Theo so much!! I really love him too, and I definitely think Slytherins often get a bad rap.
Thank you again for all of your compliments! I'm so sorry for taking ages to reply.
This is so late, but I’ve come to fill in some of the reviews that I skipped while reading this. (Congratulations on winning Story of the Month, by the way, it’s so well-deserved!) It’s probably a little weird that I reviewed the first and last chapters first, and now I’m going back through the middle, but it’s giving me a chance to reread this story which is always fun haha.
Anyway this chapter was a lot of fun! After the surprise of the first chapter, with the Head Boy not being Draco Malfoy (can you tell I’ve read way too many Dramione fics where they’re both Head Students), I enjoyed seeing Draco in a role separate from that. He’s still nasty and prideful, which I think fits his character as a teenager from the books, and the obvious tension between him and the Golden Trio was a lot of fun to read. I’ve already read these first seven chapters, but I still wonder where you’re going to go with his characterization! The mystery is really intriguing.
But I’m getting way, way ahead of myself haha. That scene where Hermione ended up sharing a carriage with Draco made me antsy. I don’t know how she managed to brush off the slur like that lol, especially since she’s now lived in the wizarding world long enough to know exactly what it means, but good on her. And I love that she said he “only” called her “Mudblood” two times, like that isn’t bad enough. Poor girl’s been desensitized to how nasty slurs can be, I suppose. But either way, I hope Hermione doesn’t start thinking that Draco’s changed until he fully stops using slurs to refer to her (and hopefully he’ll apologize to her later on, too).
The Sorting Hat song was very impressive! Good job!
A really fun chapter! <3
You're not late at all! Look how long it's taken me to respond to you! (But honestly, I'm so sorry. It's literally been half a year.)
I love that you were happy with the "twist" of Draco not being the Head Boy (not that I don't love that trope, haha)! And I hope you continue to like Draco as he evolves throughout this story. If I ever finish posting it...
As for Hermione brushing off "Mudblood," I suppose I always thought it wouldn't bother her much. Though she knows its meaning, it's not something that she grew up thinking was bad, and she doesn't respect Draco's opinion enough to really care what he thinks of her. But as you read on, there are significant changes in him that she will find interesting!
Thank you for your compliment on my Sorting Hat song! I love it to this day! :D
Wow that was a whirlwind of a chapter. Poor Hermione, I feel like she just always has so much going on. But of course I feel like a good portion of that just comes from the fact that she feels that she has to prove herself to everyone and has to be perfect at everything she does. So even when events aren't conspiring against her, she's so busy studying that she always seems to be slightly stressed.
I enjoyed the fact that this chapter was more emotionally driven and that we got to see a bit more behind Hermione's thoughts and actions. I thought that she was perfectly portrayed in this chapter between her reaction at seeing the blood as well as her intensity at the end of the chapter towards Draco who is currently the only suspect for who would do something like this. The part to me that felt the most realistic was when Hermione just sort of nodded her head to Harry when he said he was going to go see what was taking so long and then she just goes and sits on the steps wordlessly. I think the shock was just wonderfully portrayed and I can really see that in that particular section.
The ending also made me feel really bad for Draco. I feel like, he was sort of hopeful when Hermione spoke to him and said she knew what he was up to and then when she accused him of this prank he felt so defeated and wondered if she would ever see him as more than the Death Eater he had been.
And then there is the part of me that is really curious about everything going on with Hermione and Theo. Are they going to try and be more than friends? Will Theo be accepting when/if things begin to happen between Draco and Hermione? A part of me really likes the idea of the two of them together but at the same time I see them more as best friends with a brother/sister type of relationship.
I'm really excited to see what this next chapter will bring for our cast of characters. Will we end up finding out who is behind the prank and stealing the dragon's blood? Or do we still have a long ways to go before that is figured out? And just what did Draco mean in the last chapter when he said that she is going to be busier soon? I feel like he is up to something but I don't think that he was the one behind the prank.
I'm so close to being caught up on responding to your reviews!
Thank you again (always!) for reading and reviewing! I'm so glad that you think Hermione's characterization is moving along. You're exactly right to say that she's always stressed. I think she gets that from me too, haha. As for Draco...yeah. It's hard where he's at right now. And Theo! He's such a fun character to write. I hope you'll like his storyline throughout this!
You'll be waiting a loooooooong time to figure this particular prank out! I hope you're patient! ;) Thank you again for your kind words, dear!
I’m so intrigued by the amount of mystery and flavor you’ve added into this piece! I love how it’s not romance-centric, but that there’s this entire sub-plot that we have to figure out. I still have absolutely no idea what Draco is up to hahaha.
And another thing that I love: the fact that there’s this romantic subplot brewing between Theo and Hermione! In Dramiones, I’ve never really seen Hermione being given the option of another guy before.
Really really great job! <3
Hello, Eva dear!
Thank you so much for taking the time to read and review! I'm sorry for taking so long to respond!
I'm so glad that you like the story so far! I'd never really written a mystery, so it was fun to try to weave so many things together. I hope they continue to intrigue you!
Thank you again!
First of all, I can say that the chapter title is a complete lie, after having read this chapter haha. And so far, I’m loving this. I’ve heard so much about it, and so I thought I needed to stop by and read through this story! Dramione’s definitely one of my guilty pleasures haha, I don’t technically ship them but I love reading fics about them, because their dynamic is always a lot of fun!
That cliffhanger is giving me stress. Good thing I’ll be moving onto the next chapter after this haha.
When you said in the Author’s Note at the beginning that you were challenged to write a not-cliché Dramione, I admittedly was a little surprised when the story mentioned that the dormitories between Head Boy and Head Girl would be shared. Because, I’ve read so many Dramiones where the two are the Head Students and they share a dorm hahhaa. BUT THEN YOU SUBVERTED MY EXPECTATIONS. I WAS LIKE “WHAT” WHEN IT TURNED OUT TO BE NOTT INSTEAD.
I’m sooo curious to see how you continue with this story! <3
Thank you so much for reading and reviewing! I'm so happy you liked this chapter. Dramione is my love, but this is definitely a slow-burn story. I can't wait to get more chapters posted (since the whole thing is written, after all).
I'm glad that I pulled the wool over your eyes with Theo as HB! I actually hate the Heads' Dorm trope, but I wanted to switch it around here a bit, so I wrote it in anyway, haha. I hope I still succeeded in changing it up a bit.
Thank you again for your compliments and comments!
Oh why must you leave me with this cliffhanger ending? You know that means that I have to continue reading on to the next chapter right?! And do you really want to make me do that :P I mean of course you do.
I thought that this chapter was very nice. The flow of the chapter was perfect and there was nothing I could find that broke it up or made it awkward at all. I seriously felt like I just started the chapter when it was suddenly at the end which I think shows that it was a great chapter. I love when I don't even really realize how much I've read as it means that I was drawn into the chapter I was reading and that I felt like I was there. Which of course all of those things make for a great chapter/story all around.
I love that when I jump back into the story I don't feel like I ever left it. I'm able to pick right back up and remember the characters and the story that you've set up for me already. I'm really sad that the next chapter is the only other chapter posted currently as I really just want to devour this story. Another thing that I love about it is that while it's a dramione you are taking time and effort to actually make sure that the relationship isn't forced upon the reader which is so amazing to see in a dramione because I feel like a lot of them do force the relationship too early just because they want it.
I'm really interested to see what it was that they need to get Professor McGonagall about and just exactly what Draco meant when he said that Hermione was going to be a lot busier soon. It's also nice seeing a different and more "normal" side to Slytherins. Honestly they are people as well and have passions and want to be liked as well so I always feel bad when they are always shown as the bad guys with no redeeming qualities to them. Every person has at least something good about them even if it is small not everybody is all bad even though sometimes that is all they want outsiders to see. Really great job on the chapter I look forward to reading more.
Hi again, Erica!
I hope you're doing well! Thank you again for a wonderful review! Again (again, again) I'm sorry for the delay in responding! But I'm here now, and I absolutely appreciate every review you've left me.
I'm really happy that you liked this chapter! This one was tough to write since it's juggling a lot of OCs, but it's good to hear whenever readers enjoy it. And I'm glad the OCs are coming across well! They're not the easiest to write, and I often wish I did a better job with them, but at least you like them! ;)
Finally, thank you so much for your compliments on the slow burn aspect of this story! I really wanted Draco and Hermione's relationship to be believable, so it was important for me not to rush it. I hope you keep enjoying their banter as they grow closer!
Thank you again, dear!
So here I am with my last review. I'm excited to find out what happened at the end of the last chapter. You know, the big question: what did Sam see? I'm not gonna ramble on too much here because I really just want to start reading, but I just want to say that I've really enjoyed all your stories. You're a great writer, and I hope to be back on your AP again in the future when you have a new story up. Anyway. Let's start reading.
Ahh. So it was blood they found. I'm glad it wasn't human blood. I was worried about that because the story summary does mention someone dying, and I just wasn't prepared for that yet. Mostly because I don't know who'll die, and I love all the characters so far so I don't know if I could handle seeing anyone die. But anyway. Why on earth would anyone put dragon's blood out like that? It sounds like a really stupid and dangerous prank, and I just don't see what the point is. Hm. I'll have to think a little bit more about that.
Draco would be the obvious suspect of course, but as I said in my last review, I don't think it's him. His reaction to Hermione accusing him just makes me think this even more. I still feel like what he's actually trying to do is warn them, but because Hermione doesn't trust him, he never gets a chance to actually say it. I'm not sure who could've done it though. I'm just hoping it's none of the Slytherins, because I like them and I want them to be good. Nah, idk. I got no clue who could've done it or why.
Anyway. Amazing job, once again! I really liked the story and I think you did a great job with the characters! I also found the story to be really intriguing. The summary does give you a lot of clues about what's gonna happen, but at the same time you don't know how it'll happen so it's still really exciting. I don't know if you're gonna continue to write this, but if you do end up writing more chapters, definitely let me know because I'd love to read more.
So again, great job! I really liked it! Thanks for sharing!
Hi again, dear!
I'm really glad that you liked this chapter! I'm sorry for leaving you on a cliffhanger at the end of the last one! What a prank, right? :O We'll see what the purpose of it was, but it'll be a whlie before it's revealed.
Again, thank you so much for reading and reviewing. These really made me happy and I'm so glad you enjoyed what was up of the story so far. Hopefully you'll get a chance to read on in the future! :)
Hi again, Emily!
So I'm at fifth chapter now. Only one more to go. I'm not sure how to feel about that tbh. I'm really starting to love this story, so I'm honestly a little bit sad about it. But I think I'm gonna like the last two chapters, so I'm just gonna focus on that part instead. Anyway. Let's start reading.
So first of all, I forgot to say this in the last chapter, but one thing I really like about Hermione's new friendship with the Slytherins, other than the fact that it challenges her views on the house and its members, is that I think it's really gonna help her view Draco differently too. She's now seen that Slytherin isn't a house that's only filled with evil people, and she's seen that just because you're a child of death eaters doesn't mean you have to be evil yourself. I'm thinking maybe this can help her see Draco differently too, since he too is a Slytherin and the child of a death eater. So yeah, that's another thing I like about her friendship with the Slytherins.
And omg. Hermione I love you, but could you please let Draco talk :P I really want to know what he keeps trying to talk to you about. But I mean it would be very strange if she wasn't distrusting of him, especially when she doesn't even have a wand on her. He hasn't exactly been nice to her in the past, so it's natural for her to expect the worst, but yeah, I really wish she would let him talk so I could find out what he wants to say :P It definitely sounds like he's threatening her, but I think maybe it's more of a warning? Like he knows something bad is about to happen and he keeps trying to warn her, but she won't listen because she's scared of him and because he hasn't exactly been nice to her in the past? Idk. Maybe it's just wishful thinking, but I really want to Draco to be a better person. Hm. I guess I'll just have to keep reading to find out that too.
And that ending! You can't just end a chapter like that! What happened?! What did Sam see?! I want to know so bad! Thank god I can just head over to next chapter to find out, which I'm gonna do right now because I really want to know. See you there, Emily!
I can't wait to have more posted for you to read! I have two more chapters (#s 9 and 10) edited, and I really hope to get a bunch more finished this month.
I'm so glad that you spot all of the little things that I intended throughout this story, like Hermione's friendship with the Slytherins. And I love that you want to hear what's going on with Draco! It's awesome to hear that his behavior is intriguing and adding to the mystery elements in this story.
You're the sweetest reviewer. Thank you so much!
So I'm back again for chapter 4. I notice it's called "Slytherins", which has me curious about it. It could mean something terrible is gonna happen, what with some of the Slytherins because into the whole pureblood supremacy crap, or it could mean something good's gonna happen, since Theo appears to be a nice guy. Hm. I guess I'll just have to read to find out.
So it looks like it's the second one - something good happened. I like Garrett, Sam and Theo. They all seem great, and I like that they don't treat Hermione horribly even though she is a muggleborn. With the families that I'm sure at least some of them have been born into, they could've easily hated her for having non-magical parents, so I'm excited to see them accepting her so easily. And I like that you're showing us some nice Slytherins too. Of course things can change, but I'm still hoping they'll end up being somewhat good guys.
I also liked the discovery that Theo's parents are death eaters. I think it really shows the situation that many of the Slytherins at Hogwarts are in. They might not even necessarily agree with what the death eaters are fighting for, but they'll join them anyway because it's what's expected of them. And also, it's basically what everyone around them expects of them too. And I think in a way Hermione sees that, and that's why she's trying to save him. She knows he isn't all bad - that there's good in him and that he can be saved. I hope she succeeds of course, but I guess I'll just have to keep reading to find out.
Once again, amazing job! I really liked it! Thanks for sharing! See you in the next chapter!
Another response! (I swear I'll catch up soon. It will happen. Really.)
I'm so glad you liked the Slytherins! A big part of why I chose Theo as the Head Boy was so that I could explore the friendships he might have with other Slytherins who we've never heard much about. So it was really enjoyable to do that. I think I might go back and change some of them to canon characters though so that I can have fewer OCs in this story, haha. We'll see!
And again, you're so good at understanding the subtext of everything I've put in regarding the Slytherins and their blood purity upbringing. You're exactly right. They're kids—why wouldn't they do what was expected of them if that's all they've ever heard? I think we often forget that, so I liked bringing it in.
Thank you again for reviewing!
Hey again, Emily!
So I just realized I'm half-way into the story now. That's exciting! But anyway. I'm not gonna ramble on too much this time. Since I really just want to read, I'm just gonna go right to the reading part and skip my intro.
Omg. I like this chapter! And Theodore Nott sounds like good guy. I like that he's a Slytherin that's not into the whole Death Eater, pureblood supremacy crap, or at least it doesn't sound like he is, but you never know I guess. He sounds like one of the good guys, which I'm happy about because it allows us to see a Slytherin that isn't bad. Or at least not right now. Yeah, I actually like him, which I didn't think I would. I think maybe he and Hermione will end up being friends in the end, or at least I hope so. They seem like a good team too, so yeah, I really like them. And their dialogue was good too. Great job!
I'm curious about Draco though. Why was he waiting for Hermione? I mean I know Hermione is a stickler for rules so it would be strange if she didn't tell him to go this dorm, but I sort of wish she hadn't, just so we could hear what Draco wanted with Hermione. I don't think he's up to anything, or at least nothing that's bad, but I guess I'll just have to wait and see about that. I don't know what he could want with Hermione though. Hm. Yeah, I don't have a clue. I guess I'll just have to keep reading to find out.
Amazing job, Emily! I'm gonna head right over to the next chapter to try and find out what's going on with Draco!
Ahh! Half way into the chapters I had posted at the time!
I'm really glad you like Theo! He's an interesting character to write for me because I do think he's a good person (and a good Slytherin!), but he's obviously grown up around a lot of terrible beliefs and attitudes, so that sometimes influences the way he talks or acts.
As for our sneaky little Draco... ;) Well, the big conflict in the first half of the novel is figuring out just what he's up to and what's going on with him. I'm glad that that's been intriguing so far!
Thank you again! You're the best.