Why do you do this to me?
I know I'm late to the game here, but I'm finally catching up on my Drastoria love, and this story is just another incredible addition to their phenomenal world. You're one of the best authors I've read on HPFT (maybe...maybe THE best???) and I'm so honored to know you as a friend.
The characterization of Draco and Astoria in this was, as always, perfect. I love the dynamic you've created between them (as I've said before) and how consistent it is across the series. Each new story just deepens my understanding of them as characters and the things that have shaped them and thus influence their relationship with each other.
I love that Astoria agrees to help Draco with his tree, and I love even more that he's all anally retentive about it.
I love all the descriptions in this: from the winter market to the bedroom—wink, wink—and everything in between.
You tore my heart out with Draco's, "Do you even like me?" Absolutely tore my heart out. His vulnerability with Astoria is so indicative of the character you've built and the hopes he has for their relationship and for his future in general. And I just want him to be happy!
In sum, this was amazing. Wonderful. Fantastic. I loved it.
You're the best.
From dark atmosphere, you created steamy scene between Draco and Astoria. I was very astounded by the fact, it was the first time I read such a scene from your stories and then I remembered you have been selected as a versatile author. I was struck in awe wondering how many abilities you had been shown off on the archives.
It's sad to know Astoria suffered much during the war. Her best friend seemed to have been on her way recovering at St. Mungo’s.
I am glad to find you created a very ideal relationship between Astoria and Draco. Draco Malfoy made many mistakes and Astoria had gut to point them out. And you set her as Gryffinclaw, I felt like your characteristic was put into her. He was described as a person who held bitter feeling towards his dark and negative past and sometimes he had regretted more than the others imagined. It's plausible that you set each role to Astoria and Draco, a person who tell what is right and the other to blame.
I have one to solve secret J.K.Rowling cast us around Astoria and Nagini. I might get a hint from Astoria you wrote, especially her injury, (a kind of scar from the war?).
I've been looking for some good Drastoria or Scorose fics and some of the HPFT members suggested your fics to me, so here I am. I'll double these reviews with BvB for the Blue team :)
First, let me tell you that I absolutely adored the way you wrote Draco and Astoria as a couple. It's how I see them and how I'm writing them myself. I loved their cumplicity, and their friendship felt really relatable to me.
Their characterization, I felt, was on point. It's easy to forget that after a war like the one they went through things just don't go back to what they were before, and that rebuilding is hard, and takes time, and takes a lot from those who survived it. I really liked how you tackled the more sensitive and darker subjects, and how both reacted to the other's suffering and guilt.
I think you set the tone for the story really well. At first we see that it's a Christmas fic and we think that "hey, who doesn't love a good Christmas fic" and we practically get ready to cozy up with some hot chocolate but then we read the summary, and the advisories, and we know it's going to be a dark Christmas fic. What I'm trying to say is that you went down a different path than most, which is something I also do (and don't see much more people doing tbh), and it was still just as good as I was hoping, and I loved it anyway ^^
On a last note, your description of Diagon Alley during Christmas time sounded so beautiful it made me want to go there!
I look forward to continue reading your Drastoria drabbles, I can already tell you're a great writer :)
I thought I reviewed this. Apparently I haven't. Here we go, then. :p
I could applaud you for days on your characterizations of Draco and, in particular, Astoria. I love how, in all of your stories, you've shaped her into a well-rounded, relatable, and likeable character, even though all we know about her in canon is... well, nothing lol. (Was she even mentioned by name in the books? I don't think she was.) I know I sound like a broken record as I say this every time I review one of your Drastorias, but I'm going to keep saying it because the praise is so well-deserved.
Your descriptions of Diagon Alley at Christmas were stunning. I felt like I was actually there. I love them shopping for Christmas ornaments together, and I almost died laughing at the "Chosen One" bit. XD
The ending of this was truly beautiful. Our past waits for nothing, even the holidays, and it has a habit of haunting us at the most inopportune of times. It is nice, though, to see Draco continue to chip away at walls Astoria has built around herself, and that shes making very little effort to rebuild them. It's nice to see her willing to trsut again. It's indicative of her strength and that the war didn't break her.
Well done, as always!
Hey Branwen! Here for our review swap! I'm slowly making my way through your Draco/Astoria series so I'm excited to read this one :) Also I love holiday fics (no matter what time of year it is) so this is an extra treat :D
So I love the contrast already - of how holidays fics and Christmas are usually light and fluffy but Astoria's experience is so so dark. I actually love it, especially since I know this series is quite dark anyway, and focuses on healing after the war. I'm interested to see if Draco can start to change Astoria's mind :)
Christmas in Diagon Alley would be amazing, I don't know how it's something I've never thought about before. I love the idea of bewitched snow flurries used to advertise! Poor Draco having to check his cider for poison though :( but putting Harry Potter ornaments on his Christmas Tree... now that would be hilarious!
I just realised... I think I've read this :P I recognise the steamy moment haha (yet it's still making me blush) because you shared it on Twitter or something, maybe? Anyway, I'm still absolutely loving it. I adore how respectful Draco is of Astoria's wishes, and how he knows her self-consciousness and respects that, too. I love how they're comfortable in their relationship to take their time.
- this review was silent for about ten minutes -
Gosh, poor Eliza.
I love Draco and Astoria's relationship. Like, how much healing they both still have to do, and how sometimes I feel like their relationship is on thin ice but ultimately their love for each other is going to win out. It's addicting, and really well done :) x
Hi there! I’m here for our swap finally… sorry for the delay, but my life is all uncertainty and up-in-the-air with the schedules, and I made it! Woot!
So I could just go through this entire story and squee about things, or I could string together some semi-coherent thoughts about the story… let’s pretend that I did about three hundred words of squee-worthy flailing. And now that I’ve collected myself, I shall use words that don’t have as many double ‘ee’s and random punctuation. :P
I love how this story starts with such an understated way of expressing a highly volatile situation, and the juxtaposition of “it’s not everyday” with “world ends” drew me in. You jump right into the crux of Astoria’s issue. She’s fighting something big, and of course I want to know all about it right now.
And then after I found out what it was, I kinda wish I didn’t know. It was so horrible, and such a horrifying thing for someone to go through. Ick! There was something disturbing about the way she was also worried about the stairs. I’d have been worried about that too, so I’m glad she had the mind to do something about it after the immediate trauma was over. As you can see, I’m all caught up in the little details of your story already, and it’s only been… four paragraphs. Wow.
Haha! I love the little jibes Astoria uses when she helps pick out the ornaments. I get the feeling that she’s always this snarky, by the way that Draco puts up with it. Funny too that Astoria was almost a Gryffindor, which probably would have made Draco rethink the whole relationship, I bet. I haven’t read your other Drastoria stuff, so the characters are all fresh, and continuously pop on the page. I love that Draco is particular about the placement of the ornaments… I can totally relate to that. :P Oh, and the formal invitation. It can’t be a Malfoy holiday without one of those. It warms me that he’s not going, and also that he’s betting on people trash talking him at the party… and also that he’s going to find out about it. I don’t know why, but it’s a very Draco thing to keep tabs on all of that stuff.
So basically, I like the way you portray both of your characters, and I love the way that they are sensitive to each other’s issues. Astoria seems to still be working through some things, and Draco is trying to move forward as much as he can, and both of those things are good to see. I think you drew a very realistic picture of how they are attempting to cope with their futures, while not masking the ugly underbelly of what they have to live with in the ‘after’. I appreciate greatly how you’re not painting them as Victims and having them blame the war for who they are, but they’re definitely laying some important groundwork for continuing their relationship.
Speaking of which, I love the way the physical aspects of their relationship are the embodiment of how she’s learning to trust again, not just Draco, (but mainly Draco), and how his friendship and affection are helping her to grow through her issues. I love when the intimate parts of the story are there because they grow the characters, and not just because it was a ‘thing to do’. The meaning behind it resonated strongly with me.. I also like the sensitive way you wrapped up her developments in trying to talk about how she feels, and how having Draco with her helps her to want to work through that. Trauma aside, for people who don’t like talking about how they feel, all of it is hard, and I’m just so happy that there’s someone in her life who makes her want to stop hurting herself. You show the process very well.
I wasn’t expecting to hear about Eliza again, or maybe I was and I just was in denial about it, but anyway when she came up again, you clearly showed that some people aren’t coping as well as these two. This story makes me glad that they have each other, and even though they have their differences, I can see them working through them, and there’s a lot of promise and hope for things to keep getting better.
Great story, and it stood alone just fine!
First, apologies, because I know this was owed MonTHs ago and I'm a terrible person and I'm so so so so sorry. Second, your Drastoria's are pretty exactly canon in my opinion, like, if JK wrote about them any other way I'd be livid. I wasn't on the Drastoria ship (I mean, it was fine, I just wasn't interested really because Draco has never been one of my favorite characters) UNTIL I read your Drastoria and your Draco (which are PERFECTION). Anyhow, onto the review.
Every time you mention the horrors that went down in Hogwarts during the time Snape was Headmaster, I am positively fascinated. There was so much that wasn't covered by canon that I know was horrifying and I love how dark and deprave you show it. The sheer shock of the imagery of Eliza crying out to Astoria while bleeding out is SO much. It has me shook -- and I love the way that it reveals most of Astoria's personality, especially at the time of the war.
Um, yeah, the girl's staircase allowing a guy to go up is a little disconcerting. Like, any guy can just waltz up to the girl's dorms -- while they're asleep -- and especially in such a time where everything is BEYOND chaotic at Hogwarts. I would definitely feel cause for alarm for a number of reasons.
Draco Malfoy loving Christmas is absolutely the best thing I've ever heard in my life -- especially given that Astoria is really against Christmas. It's just another dynamic between the two that makes them OH SO AMAZING. Really, I can't help but positively adore the two of them (the way you write them). I adore that he wants help decorating the tree (sans Death Eater ornaments) and that she agrees simply because it obviously would mean something to Draco and Draco means something to her. Also, Astoria's going to pick out all red Christmas ornaments, isn't she? ;)
(Ahh, all the imagery of Diagon Alley's Christmas Market is so beautiful.)
I'm crying -- I love how Draco takes extra measures (as he does with everything, but who could blame him) to ensure that his hot cider hasn't been poisoned when Astoria doesn't give a shit. It's such a perfect depiction of these two. AND OF COURSE I'M ABSOLUTELY DYING WHEN SHE PICKS UP THE RED POTTER ORNAMENT! POOR DRACO! Bahahaha! I love the way she teases him and how he reacts to it so easily although he knows she's doing it on purpose.
I do feel bad for Draco. He's put in such an awkward situation with his family and their acquaintances at this point in his life. Of course they must despise him and of course he's trying to make amends for what happened and move on with his life but it must be EXTREMELY difficult when he obviously still cares about his parents. And I can totally see Narcissa writing Draco a formal invitation even after he'd already said he wasn't going. Seems like a very Pure-blood mother thing to do.
Aw, heck yeah -- kisses. I really love the way you write the steamier scenes, too. They're not vulgar or pointless, but they're filled with emotion and conversation (like in real life) and I think you do an absolutely phenomenal job in building up anticipation and the sense of longing and need between Draco and Astoria. The two are so wrapped up in each other and it's absolutely fantastic to read. (Also, she asked to sleep in his bed with him?! How freaking cute is that?) And him taking the moment to look at her, waiting for her permission, is absolutely everything. Astoria's uncertainty and mild awkwardness just adds some brilliant depth to this, especially when she's trying to get him to tell her if it was okay afterward, haha!
Plus, Draco's cockiness is too good -- "I can understand that. I'm very attractive". :P
Ahhh, she wants Draco to meet her parents.
Wrapping this back to Eliza and (yet another reason) why Astoria hates Christmas was done extremely well, too. And, of course, Astoria fighting the need to flee instead of opening up to Draco is huge for her. I know she has a LOT of things at this point that she's holding back and it's really important that she's able to open up to him because she does trust him. And I love that he's absolutely understanding of it and that he even agrees to go to see Eliza at St. Mungo's on Christmas with her. These two are just so perfect together; I always love reading the way you depict them EVERY SINGLE TIME I hop onto one of your stories. It's just aldkjfalsdkjflsajdflaskdjf (if you know what I mean).
I loved it!
Branwennn~ I'm here with the review I promised you for this story <3
even though you didn't manage to get this in for the challenge, I must say that I'm rather happy with this fic going from 2k to 6.5k, because I mean, this is just wonderful. it brought me through a whole range of emotions, and I'm so glad that you explored such new facets of their relationship! like I went from melting into a puddle of happiness, to blushing at the ~steamier~ parts of their relationship (I am so awkward about these things omg I apologize), to feeling just plain saddened for Draco and Astoria.
so let's get into it! :D
the horrors that Astoria experienced at Hogwarts are just absolutely awful. your choice of curse, Sectumsempra, is super interesting. we've seen first hand in the sixth book of HP the damage that this curse does, and I can't even begin to imagine the scarring that it must've given Astoria. no wonder Christmas is an unhappy time of year for her. I think it's a true testament to her character that she's willing to spend time with her boyfriend celebrating it, even with the memories that come with Christmas for her. like, how brave is Astoria? (no wonder she was almost a Gryffindor)
that scene at the bartenders, though it was short, just made me smile so widely. they're so familiar with each other now! they're doing such couply things!! he kissed her on the forehead and ran his fingers through her hair!!! she leaned into him!!!! (my excitement is probably excessive, but I am far too invested in this ship to back down now, so) THEY ARE SO CUTE TOGETHER LIKE HOW CAN THEY GET ANY CUTER. gosh I love them so much, you've made me love them so much <3
while they were looking for ornaments, I just about died from the cuteness. when she pointed to the 'Chosen One' ornament, I was already grinning so hard, but then Draco's response to it was even better. and then this line is literally the funniest thing I've read in ages -- “You do know that you’re not actually a Gryffindor, right?” he asked as we climbed up the stairs to his flat. “Like, you were sorted into Ravenclaw.”
gosh, I love their dynamic. you write them so wonderfully, I'm never going to stop telling you that.
and I just love that Draco's actually soft-hearted and romantic, and that he just wanted to spend Christmas with her (what with his rather specific ornament decorating ideas and whatnot haha), and it's just so adorable. also, haha, I love how Astoria wants to go make out in the bed (while specifying that it's not in a sex way), and then they end up pretty much having sex. not in the formal definition of the word, but the line definitely gets blurred a little in oral sex haha. she's really awkward about offering, too, which is so endearing. I love her. <3
I thought their conversation at the end was really well done, too. when Draco asked her if she even liked him, my heart broke a little bit. I do hope that in the future Astoria will be able to make more friends, because it sounds like her relationships with people are rather limited. I just think it'll be really good for her to make more friends, so she won't have to rely on such a small number of people. but I'm just really glad that these two worked out their problems like this, without refusing to listen to the other, and I'm glad that Draco's helping her.
as always, wonderful, beautiful, stunning writing. I'm going to love this forever and ever. <3
loved this!! can't wait for more. your drastoria fics are always so well done.
Uh, So wow. I loved this. I’ve never read Draco/Astoria before, but I am definitely going to check out the rest of your Drastoria fics because you have me shipping them already.
I love how you have them characterized, I’ve always loved Draco and I love seeing the softer side of him where he’s caring. He obviously cares about Astoria and it hurts me (in a good way of course). Draco’s little speech where he was saying that he knows he deserves the way everyone treats him, but he also wished people would give him what he needs had me practically crying. Also, Draco mentioning the whole sectumsempra thing from book six was really good. I just like how, even though he (probably) doesn’t fully know what Eliza is going through or feeling, he understands what it was like to be bleeding to death. And also that could lead to Astoria opening up more to him since she kinda knows that he’s experienced things too.
Now, I absolutely adore your Astoria. Even from just starting with this fic I can tell that she has so much depth to her character and her own story and I already feel for her. First, I love the fact that she’s a Slytherin that didn’t support Voldemort because they obviously existed (even though JKR never went into that in the books very much). Again, I was pretty much crying over here when I was reading that whole post fun stuff conversation. Especially when she said, “I used to like myself, you know, and now I don’t.” Like, wow, thanks for hurting me… because pain.
Also, can I just say? Your first-person writing is so good, like… I know (at least for me) writing in first person is really hard? But like, you nailed the whole first-person thing, it flows so well, and it comes across naturally.
And side note: yeah, this definitely stands on its own really well. I wasn’t confused at all in regards to Astoria’s backstory. Like I had a vague feeling that I was missing something but you also did a really good job of touching on backstory enough that it wasn’t confusing. Actually it just made me want to read the rest, so mission accomplished for you, yeah?
Anyway, yeah. I really loved this if you couldn’t tell :p. You have me hardcore shipping them just from this fic and like I said, I’m definitely going to be checking out the rest of you Drastoria fics.