Ahhh! I'm done reading (again), and I'm full of compliments! So, read on!
This is honestly a really sweet story in its entirety. It hits on all the high points of a post-Hogwarts story (marriage, adulthood, growing up, figuring out who you're going to be), but it does it in a uniquely Dramione way. And in an extra twist, it shows an aspect of marriage that I think a lot of fanfics don't address: the "bad" times from the wedding vows that promise you'll stay together in both good times and bad. Those bad ones aren't often written about.
Your characterization of Draco and Hermione in this final chapter is really lovely. As a huge Dramione fan, I absolutely love that they're back together and happy again. I love that they're in love and relishing this new chance at their marriage. I think their desire to stay private was very believable, as was their reason for Draco finally coming out with what happened.
His letter is great. I particularly love the line, "Don't ever let your silence shout things that you don't really mean to say." I think that's wonderful advice for all relationships—be they marriages, business partnerships, friendships, etc.
I can imagine Draco and Hermione growing old and learning to laugh about The Time They Almost Got Divorced, and I love that the ending of this story hints at that.
Great job on this unique Dramione!
Ahhh, yay! I love that I've reached this chapter again!
The plot in this story takes such a turn in this chapter, and I love how you did that. For the first half of the story, you do a great job of selling the idea that Hermione is leaving Draco because she's ashamed of who he is and how he conducts his business. But then this chapter comes along, and it turns out the entire thing was a huge miscommunication! It's something so simple, but so huge! I've seen relationships fail for exactly that reason: they can't talk to each other, and things get misconstrued and feelings get hurt...and it's over. I'm so, so happy that isn't the case for my favorite ship here.
I love the characterization in this chapter. It's so nice to see Draco have a chance to tell Hermione how much he loves her. It makes me so sad to hear from her about how she was interpreting his actions—let's be honest, I hate any time that Hermione is sad—but when he clears things up: ahh! So wonderful!
I also really like the judge. I like that he takes the time to figure out what's actually going on, rather than just plowing ahead with the bureaucracy and granting the divorce. Good job writing a solid side character!
Love that they solve things here, and I can't wait to review the ending. :)
The emotions here are so good! This is a great place to start this review because it's such a huge part of the chapter. While the plot is moving along—and I'll talk about that later—I really do feel that this story is driven by the emotions of the characters.
I love that this story focuses on Draco. He's a character who we usually see in a one-dimensional sense (through Harry's point of view), but I think he almost certainly has a lot going on under the surface. You've done such a good job of capturing his worries and woes, even if he occasionally verges on dramatic—which, when he does, he has Blaise to bring him back down to earth. When Draco takes the time to stop by his mother's grave...ugh. The feels. But honestly, that's a really lovely scene. Who among us, even as an adult, hasn't wanted to ask our parents for advice?
The plot in this chapter just brings readers further into the story. Hearing that Draco "didn't do anything wrong" really makes us want to know what happened to tear his marriage with Hermione apart. As I've already read this in the past, I know what's coming, but when I first read this, I couldn't wait to see what happened. I still have that feeling even now!
And thus, on I read! Good job on this chapter!
I'm so happy to finally be here to review this story! I've read it more than once, so I'm really happy to finally kick myself to take the time to sit down and review! I'm sorry I haven't done it before now!
So, I love the emotions in this chapter. You do such a fantastic job of laying out the background to Hermione and Draco's relationship, then taking that and showing how it fell apart in the wake of his business dealings. Then you take both of them and show their loneliness and heartbreak and the crumbling of their marriage. It's so hard to read two characters who I love so much being in so much pain, but you've done so well here!
I also really like the plot of this chapter. I like that the divorce isn't because they don't love each other (though they think that's the case), it's because Hermione's ethical standards are above Draco's...which makes sense in a Gryffindor/Slytherin way. And he knows it.
You've really captured huge moments in small actions. In particular, I loved the symbolism of Hermione leaving her wedding ring on the table. And the significance of the swing outside where Draco sleeps. (ASIDE: I also love that Blaise is in this chapter supporting Draco through his hard times. It's always good to see Draco having friends.)
Overall, great first chapter! I'll be reviewing again soon!