Heyyyy!! So super congratulations on your FROG for this story, first of all ;) It's super, super well deserved!
One of the things which I love when people explore it in stories is the kind of trauma people go through after things like the wars in canon - for a long time in fic it was so rare to see something which actually portrayed anything like ptsd or trauma or struggling to cope with something difficult in a genuine, serious, thoughtful way, so it's so lovely to see a whole bunch of stories - including this one - bringing that out. And you just do it so so well. The way they're broken and how reckless Astoria is, how she doesn't think before doing things (like, er, Draco :P), how she's got so many self-destructive habits - the sniping at Draco about his Death Eater past, the drinking - how they just don't talk about the war and what happened, despite their friendship. It's so true to life and it's so sad, but I like how it ends without the issues being resolved, but with them almost resolving to try to deal with them. It's a bittersweet, hopeful sort of ending which I love.
I love how you write Astoria and Draco and, well, all of her family. They all come across as such fully-formed, fascinating characters and I wanna know more about all of them. I like how they're involved in so much shady business, but her father didn't pick sides, how her mother is so loyal even to her murderer of a brother, how her grandmother's so cold and composed - obsessed with image - how Daphne cares, but is almost too blunt and too sensible for Astoria to cope with. There's such a brilliant dynamic between them all - all the Greengrasses - and it contrasts so well to the kind of relaxed, easy-going (ish) friendship/relationship she strikes up with Draco, where image is nothing and they can just be themselves, whoever they are and whatever that means.
I lovelovelove your writing in this. The details omigosh. There are so many details and they're so precise and they bring this whole story to life so completely. It feels immersive, yk? Everything from the glimpses of the pureblood society - the obsession with image, the mentions of all those family ties - to the bits about the war and the aftermath of it - Draco getting the war hero award, helping to track down escaped Death Eaters, Astoria's friends and how they all died, how Astoria's uncle tortured Draco... it just, it creates this whole complete universe in itself, and it's so rich. The description is so beautiful and your dialogue is amazing - it's just so so good, really.
I just gotta say as well that I love woods so like, describing Draco continuously as smelling like woods was somewhat distracting for me :P
I really, really hope you write more in this universe because it's incredible.
Hey Kris. Here for your requested review!
Drastoria is one of those couples that I'd never given much attention to until I did, and I ship them so hard right now it's not even funny. I particularly liked that you portrayed both Draco and Astoria close to the way I see them, and how the story progressed naturally and so in tune to how I feel their connection really is and develops.
it's always hard to give feedback in regards to Astoria's characterization given that she's one of those characters e know practically nothing about, yet I'll say that how liked her strength despite the horrible things she's been through. Her voice is very present and her own, and I like that she doesn't take anyone's sh*t, not even Draco's.
If you ever decide to write a follow-up on this story, hit me up. I'd love to read it :)
hey susana :D
aw, yeah, i know what you mean - i love a good drastoria, it's one of my OTPs :P the progression of their relationship is definitely something i was...slightly worried about. but they're both lonely and end up needing each other that at the same time it didn't feel off while i was writing it :)
astoria is someone who would never just let things be. she's one of those people that would remove a scab before it heals just because it bothers her :P and it's often at her own expense but it also means she's like...someone who would break before she would bend - not sure how better to describe her. and all the horrible things she's been through haven't completely broken her yet but she does realise she can't quite deal with it on her own. so she lets draco into her life, against her judgement.
thanks for the lovely review!
starting off the story with the funeral was a really strong way to introduce the characters and show the type of people they truly are. The imagery you create surrounding the funeral really drew me in right away, and helped me feel like I really was there.
You write a very strong Astoria and I feel like this is exactly how she would be. She knows her family so well, nothing they can pull would ever surprise her because she has them pegged to a T. Their dynamic as a family is interesting and it explains a lot about her and why she would end up being the way she is.
the electric current between Astoria and Draco makes me happy, he truly does deserve to find passion, and love. The poor kids been through a lot. Reading about her first impressions of him really sound quite plausible, that even she felt herself to be better the Draco Malfoy, him being a (former) death eater and her feeling ashamed of the member of her family who was sworn to Voldemort.
You are such a great writer! I love how you describe how she sees Draco, the magnitude that she feels towards him, I think that’s really such beautiful way to describe a budding romance no matter how it began.
I loved that line “only the pretty gryffindor ones” LOVE IT okay... fan girl over here again. Honestly this story is the one I should have nom’d unfortunately I only read it now!
Reading about how they become friends and get to know each other on intimate levels without the need for physical intimacy was pure gold. Sure they had slept together a couple times but the letters?! That is amazing. I love that!
I love a good friends turn to lovers or maybe it’s lovers turn to friends then to both? I’m not quite sure but their friendship, it was so great, and I love how despite her sister earning her that’s draco is bad news in the end it’s Astoria who believes she’s bad for Draco, that she will fuck him up. And what he said to her honestly had me swooning.
“I’m not letting you go. We’re going to be chaotic and messy and broken together.”
Best line ever! Like ever ever. I love how you write Draco. And I love how she sees Draco. That there is some amazing love. Thank you for writing about how Astoria and Draco found love, I have a new appreciation for their love and I love her.
Just in general she is such a real and great character. I truly love how you write your MCs. Honestly had I read this before TAOBN I probably would have nom’d this one.
Amazing job. Amazing story. Amazing author ❤️
Hey Kris, here with your requested review!
So first, I wanted to say that I really really liked your characterizations of Draco and Astoria! I think they're really different than what I usually read of the two of them (and defintely different than how I usually picture the two of them). I thought it was definitely realistic though- the two of them seem definitely hardened from the war and it's made them a good match for each other. They're able to be their true selves with each other and not have to hide things!
Astoria as a crime lord is AMAZING! It's such a fun take, so interesting and unique. I would literally read a million things about her as a crime lord, just reigning over everything (and it's not only because i'm writing my own story about a crime lord, shameless self promo lol).
The progression of Draco and Astoria's relationship seemed to flow so naturally and I thought you did really well with progressing it! It started off so heated but then how it calms down to friendship with such great banter was awesome. I loved this ending too, them giving into things again like they can't help it. But they know neither of them are perfect and that this may not be the easiest thing, but that the two of them are so good together. I love that one line about him not bringing out the best in her, but bringing out everything in her! I think that's so important and a really key line for the two of them! Great work Kris!
hey sarah! :D
i'm so glad you thought that both of them were realistic (especially draco since he's a canon character and i worry about going OOC with those...astoria is a bit easier since she's basically an OC) - i wanted to portray them as people who really don't have it in them to pretend about stuff anymore, especially after the war and everything...because who has the energy for that after surviving something so horrible? that they allow each other to be kinda broken and still care about each other was a headcanon i've had for a long time and it's cool that other people think it's realistic :)
well, she's not a crime lord yet, more of a consigliere or something like that anyway, to her father. i've always loved the godfather and the idea of a criminal organisations in the wizarding world because you can do so much stuff with a black market and knockturn alley fascinated me ever since we first read about it in the chamber of secrets - it's basically one big black market (sort of) that the ministry knows about and seemingly ignores...so i wanted to make the greengrass family people who weren't associated with either side but dealt with both and survived both wizarding wars (and even grindelwald before that) by being sneaky and criminal. so alexander, astoria's father, really hates that he has to go to his wife's brother's funeral but it was his own fault for marrying a rosier i guess hahah :P and astoria is in such a place in her life that the thrill of her father's job and the adventure gives her something to occupy her mind instead of wallowing in self pity all the time. and she finds out she's good at it...after i wrote this i was itching to just write about her job hhaha but i haven't had the time yet :P
thank you for this amazing review - i'm really glad you liked the story and their relationship!
let me start this coherently:
Hi, I'm here for the EvS review battle (go Silver) and because it's not something you've posted until I've gone ahead and screamed about it for six hours straight.
I honestly didn't ship Drastoria that hard but... go off I guess. I literally learnt you were gonna be writing this from twitter and I started painting drastoria banners in my basement listening to drastoria mixtapes with drastoria pinterest boards in the background.
And yet here I am. Boutta cry over them.
Every single time you write something new, you outdo yourself Kris.
I really, honestly, love this entire thing. It’s just … gorgeous.
Personal faves include the first line,
“I want to run away from myself, not to be left alone”
THE WHOLE PATRONUS THING???? im weak
& “I guess that means we can’t touch”
+ I love how Astoria is in Gryffindor and her house pride.
Just AHFGAKJFAS:FJA:OFPKAW this is so cute I nearly cried and as always, it’s beautiful.
Hi Kris! Back for the swap :D
As usual, this is an amazing piece. First of all, I LOVE the face claims! I think they work better for the story. Secondly, I love what you've done with the characters. Daco's raggedness, Astoria's involvement in the war, her being a Gryffindor, the way she handles the aftermath, it's all perfect. I think this story is canon for me now. That's it. This is how they ended up with Scorpius <3
One interesting thing is that I've also incorporated Daphne and Astoria in the whole "Designer clothing" setting in one of my fics, so it seems we think alike :D
You prose and writing in general is amazing as always. I love how the scene and the words flow without breaking the mood of the story. It's amazing really because I can never pull that off.
I really hope you write more of these in the post-war setting. What do you think Zabini, Marcus and them would have done? Would love to know your outlook.
As always, it's lovely reading your stuff <3
Here for our swap, dear! :)
Wow! This was such a rollercoaster! And your writing is just so good here! Your style is so lovely, captivating, with stunning descriptions... so, so good!
I felt so bad for Astoria, especially at the end, when she confesses her guilt for the friends she lost... like, it's not really her fault and it's the way survivors often feel, but I can see where she's coming from and it makes me so sad... :(
(Btw, I never saw Astoria sorted in Gryffindor and best friend with Colin Creevey... it's a little bit sad, too, but also kind of sweet...)
I felt so bad for Draco, too. While he has a lot of flaws, I can't blame him for his role in the war. I do believe that a lot of what he did, he did because of loyalty to his family. Also, he was only a kid who was trying to survive (and Astoria was probably not so different...) I love the idea that Narcissa and Andromeda reconciled after the war (it's my headcanon, too) and that Draco would be so fond of little Teddy (I so love that idea as well).
Their relationship... it's turbulent and it's crazy and it's perfect! I love how it all started so instinctive and then turned into a friendship and then turned into love. I can totally imagine it evolve that way! Draco doesn't bring out the best in me, he's addictive, absolutely intoxicating, he brings out everything in me, the good and the bad, the chaos, and he takes me in fully, without reservation, and I can't help myself but to let him accept me as I am. I love this line, it's so good and expresses their bond so well. And that final hug was just so emotional and... aww... I'm just so glad that they have each other because they so obviously need it!
I'm quite sure there are at least a thousand other things I should comment on, but I can't think of them right now and it's starting to get late and my mind is starting to feel too tired... but just know that this was so insanely good and that I loved reading it! Your characterization was absolutely delicious and your writing stunning! I loved every single word of this!
Thank you so much for the swap!
Hello Kristina, here to leave the review that you requested on the forums!
I, um, have a lot to say about this, I hope you don’t mind if I stray all over the place here.
So, the prose immediately struck me as excellent. Really, you pulled me in from the first line, because honestly who wouldn’t be interested to see where you’re going after that?
You’ve dropped us into a very complicated scene from the very beginning. A funeral for a Death Eater, attended by someone who is glad he’s dead. The family dynamic is clear from the very beginning, as you introduce it through small details that give us a pretty good idea of where these people stand. Especially with the line - “Alexander Greengrass did not stay alive through two wars by doing something as absurd as choosing a side” - I mean, what a way to introduce a character.
I’m very intrigued by the assortment of people attending the service, and also by the fact that Astoria’s mother is related to a Rosier! Pureblood families do tend to overlap that way, lol.
I love how aggressively Astoria despises Death Eaters. That’s also my headcanon, but you’ve place her in Gryffindor, which I don’t believe I’ve ever seen before. It fits in very well with the way you’ve written her and the idea that being a Lion, she likely would have seen a good amount of housemates die in the Battle of Hogwarts. The way she insists that it’d be cowardly to forget the memories that have made her stronger. (or so she tells herself.)
You write her first encounter with Draco so well, by the end of the first scene I’m already rooting for them to get together despite not particularly shipping them usually. Your Draco is a delight, you can feel the ways he’s changed already in only a few years, but there is still plenty of who he is still there. Frankly, I understand why she went ahead with it in the first place.
The idea of mood enhancing fog actually made up stand up and take a second because I was floored. I felt like I should have come up with that with all the stuff I invent, considering like eighty percent of scenes I write take place in bars or clubs. But alas, that’s your genius at work, not mine :P
I also had to take a little bit to go get a water and sit with my thoughts after I read “My friends are dead” - just a showstopper of a line. The vulnerability of that line and her admission of loneliness are exactly why this story works so well. She’s clearly in a bit of a state here and Draco is being such a good listener and he’s charming and it’s helped along by a bit of alcohol - both of the times they get together so far have felt earned and plausible.
Astoria’s dad being a crime lord is just incredible. It’s nice to see some shady stuff that isn’t directly linked to Voldemort because there’s SO much room for corruption and law-breaking when magic is involved. The fact that she launders his money is just kind of...awesome? I’d read a story just about how she got caught up in all of that.
(Also, her being friends with Colin is something that I simply never knew I needed but now love)
Once we’re to the point of Draco sending one-liners through owl post I’m ready for the wedding, I totally recognise this ‘just friends’ thing where one or both people are so obviously in denial and you’ve nailed it on the head. I can’t claim that I didn’t tear up when Draco told her about Teddy. I never seem to be able to remember that they are related but wow, my heart.
I like Daphne’s scene with Astoria because her reaction is extremely reasonable because honestly it would sound ridiculous from the outside looking in. If I hadn’t been privy to their interactions I’d tell Astoria to run far away as well, so I get it. I also get why Astoria completely tunes out her sister. That was a great bit of conflict in which no one is totally wrong and you can see where both parties are coming from.
Astoria totally strikes me as the sort of person that wouldn’t announce their birthday ahead of time. The way they finally start to discuss the elephant in the room - “Because then I’d have to demonstrate a level of self-control that I don’t possess” is just perfect. Couldn’t have been any better. Despite this being only a chapter long, you’ve taken us on quite a journey with these two and, as you asked about how believable the progression of their relationship is, I have to say, every moment felt ripped from a story one of my friends might have told me. It was so realistic that this is one of those stories that afterward, you’re left with a bit of a ‘Well, what now?’ feeling because you just want your friend to call you next week and fill you in on how things are going.
Astoria’s characterization is wildly unique and very consistent. When she admits that she is the one to have convinced her friends to stay and fight and harbors that guilt so deeply, everything that happened throughout the entire story clicked into place perfectly. It all fits together and it all makes so much sense. You’ve really crafted a protagonist that feels very much alive, in the best way possible.
I...can’t really praise you enough. This is FROGS worthy writing through and through and I can’t find it in me to criticise a thing here. The ending line alone is one of my favorite things I’ve read in so long - “I’m not letting you go. We’re going to be chaotic and messy and broken together” - I’m so glad it ended there. That is the prose equivalent of an exclamation point if I’ve ever seen one. I am so glad you requested this, this is exactly the kind of thing I hoped my thread would introduce me to. Such beautiful writing, I’m floored. I feel like I could go on even longer, but I’ll end this rambling mess here. Feel absolutely free to come back and request another review for anything at all!
oh my god joey
i literally teared up at your review, at work, in front of my coworkers and they actually asked me if everything was alright with me...so it was an awkward situation but still omg, i can't thank you enough for this review - it's just so beautiful and i'm in awe that you thought so highly of this story and my writing. english is my second language and to be complimented on my prose is just...so touching and wonderful and you actually made my whole day (which was going fairly bad up until i managed to read your review).
i'm really glad you thought everything fit well - i tried hard to drop little hints from the start that there is more to astoria's feelings and her trauma than what one could usually assume about someone who fought in the battle of hogwarts. the fact that she convinced her friends to stay and fight is something that she will most likely feel guilty about for the rest of her life and i really wanted to show how badly it affects her and her everyday life. she might get better over time, but the guilt will always be somewhere at the back of her mind. and she's definitely the type of person that would think and think about the guilt and her friends and just look for things to make her not think about them. working with her father, helping a crime lord and duelling other crime lords is the type of adrenaline filled work/activity that she would cherish just because of the fact that it doesn't allow her to think about her guilt for the time being. it's also why i think she would work well with draco - they're both feeling guilty and they're both broken so that last line was an endline i had in mind from the first time i started writing it (and the opening line as well because i thought it would be interesting to start a love story during a funeral for someone both of the protagonists hate). so i guess that besides this being a love story (kind of) i also wanted to explore astoria's character and her motivations and her guilt - i love that you think she's a good protagonist, and especially her relationship with draco - i don't really mention how much time passes between each of the parts of the story because somehow it didn't really fit well, and i thought that some people might feel as if they got together too quickly, so it's great to hear that their encounters/their relationship is believable.
thank you so much for this amazing and wonderful review, joey!!!
Hey, Kris! I'm here to do a review for the Magical Menegerie 2019!!
“I’m not letting you go. We’re going to be chaotic and messy and broken together.”
I know that that is the last line of your story, but it is the best line ever in the whole wide fanfic world. True that. End of... you get the picture.
This story was fabulous! I'm writing through the total flumox that fills me, to say I love your characterizations of noth Astoria Greengrass and Draco Malfoy. I've always thought there was more to their story then just meeting up with everyone else at Platform nine and three quarters to send their tots off to Hogwarts.
I love their stark darkness to them. Their broken spirits. Their need to find their paths to happiness. That, in the end, because we know their story together does end in sadness, makes it all that more heart breaking and wretched.
I love the absolute slow burn, and how they went from bed buddies to falling in love. How it was Draco that said it first. He lost friends in the War also (if you call some of them <i>friends</i>) but he was still able to get beyond that to offer his friendship to her.
That, in the end, is what makes the best relationship. Friends (even if they'd slept together) before becoming actual lovers and a couple.
I'm still in awe of your story here, Kris. It's truly amazing and I love, love, love (I mean truly LOVE) it. You've made yourself a groupie.
i already told you i loved your review but i'm finally getting a chance to answer it properly :P
so first of all i'm totally ignoring cursed child and there is no curse on my beloved astoria and draco suffered already too much so he doesn't need the love of his life to die on him so you can rest assured that if i write a sequel to this thing (which i would definitely love to do at some point) it's not going to be sad :D
i'm really glad you love draco and astoria and their relationship and its progress - i was worried about the believability of their relationship but i love that you think it's great!
thanks for the lovely review!
I love your take on Astoria in this: so far from the rest of her family - what with being a Gryffindor, being friends with people like Colin Creevey, and participating in the final battle - but also still connected to them as well, because she works with for her father and is still in their world to an extent, going to funerals for Death Eaters and the like. And she’s messy and broken and very real - as is Draco.
The progression of their relationship is so natural as well - from just a drunken shag at a funeral where Astoria barely even wants to look at him, to their New Year’s Eve and Draco offering to be her friend, the building of the friendship itself, and then the last scene where Draco admits he’s in love with her. It honestly makes this piece feel way longer than it is - in a good way.
And the way you’ve written them, they’re SO good for each other. They’re both so broken in different ways, and they both force each other to face their problems and their fears, which is probably really good for both of them. In particular, I just really liked this line - “Draco doesn’t bring out the best in me, he’s addictive, absolutely intoxicating, he brings out everything in me, the good and the bad, the chaos, and he takes me in fully, without reservation, and I can’t help myself but to let him accept me as I am.”
And I liked how you ended this as well - it’s not a perfect, tied-with-a-bow ending, but given the mood of the story as a whole, leaving it at this point feels right. There’s definitely a strong hint that they’re going to be together after this, but it’s not laid out in stone either. Although, if you ever decide to write more of their story, I definitely wouldn’t be mad about it. ;)
Written for the Magical Menagerie event and January RvG
yeah, astoria's family (at least her mother's side - the rosiers and the rest of the death eater-y people since her father isn't interested in blood purity, only profit) is tough on her. she doesn't like them, she doesn't want to be a part of any of it but she still loves her mother, despite their differences, and after the war she pretty much doesn't have anyone else left except her family. so she tries to tolerate them but, uh, it doesn't really go well, as witnessed with her getting drunk at the funeral. i also really wanted to try and explore a gryffindor!astoria who fought in the battle of hogwarts and is broken because of everything instead of being cool and collected. i just thought that she would work well with draco.
i couldn't end this with a perfect ending with the way the both of them are portrayed but i also definitely didn't want to break them up totally :P so it's kinda bittersweet, like everything about them but i definitely plan on writing more about their relationship at some point in the future because i guess i really like broken characters :D
thanks for the lovely review!
I really love your prose in this fic, it's exceptionally evocative and elegant. The way that we stay a lot inside Astoria's head is a great way to get closer to her as a character.
Ah, love that you're writing a minor character - I've never given Astoria much thought, but I really like this interpretation of her - also that she's a Gryffindor (!) I think you capture the despair of war really well, my heart breaks for her troubled memories and her dead friends. You really make me feel for her, without having to tell me she's traumatized, that her feelings are mixed towards Draco or that her relationship with her family is complicated. That drunken shag was super hot btw. and the last one very emotional. The way Draco helps her recover when no one else does makes me ship Drastoria to bits!
Btw. "The Runaway Elves" and "Wicked Wands" are such cool band names
Overall, I loved everything about this one-shot, and I wish there was more. Also your artwork/graphic is amazing!!
aww, thanks for the compliments - english is not my first language so i always feel warm and fuzzy inside when people say such nice things about my writing *_*
tbh, i always wanted to write a drastoria and well, i find her to be a really interesting character even with such limited information we have on her, she needed to be someone who would challenge draco, who would help him heal but also someone who draco would be able to help...i wanted her to be someone with whom he didn't have much contact during his school years and making her a gryffindor meant i had more story to add to her - staying behind and fighting in the battle of hogwarts, being friends with colin creevey, wanting to join the aurors but being rejected for her impulsive/reckless personality and ending up working for her father in his crime syndicate :O it all kind of added up to this woman i wanted to write about (and i still want to write more about her and draco!)
thank you for this lovely review!
Hey dearest! I wanted to swing by with a holiday review and I saw that this was new and that it had 0 reviews so I had to all the more come give this story some love. In reading the story I realize that this was the one you were working on that you asked about the dating service on and that makes me smile.
You did a nice job of setting things up between Draco and Astoria, I am particularly fond of the last line about how they can be messy and broken together that is such a lovely sentiment particularly considering everything the characters went through.
Also, I am very intrigued by the idea of Astoria being a Gryffindor. I thought she was Slytherin as almost every story I have read she has been in our house but her house probably is not official and so I like that you took a unique spin on things. It made for a good read all the same.
hey carrie :)
i'm not sure if astoria's house was ever official (and i haven't read or seen cursed child because i'm ignoring that particular part of the HP universe :P ) but i knew from the start that i didn't want to put her in slytherin and that draco needed someone who was quite different than who/what he was used to knowing during his school years. so making her a gryffindor made sense in my mind because it also offered the additional story of her staying behind and fighting, being friends with colin creevey and just tying her in with the events of the books.
that last line is honestly one of my favourites as well! it kinda summed up their friendship/relationship up until that point and set them up for the future (if i every end up writing more on them :) )
thanks for the lovely review!