Hey Vicki, here for the EvS battle :)
I thought this was an amazing beginning to your story. You had me at the moment Scorpius asked his father if he remembered how it was – at that age, all adults are basically from the middle ages ^^ I very much appreciate the initial emphasis on having your child go away on boarding school, I mean, what’s even up with that? I would be devastated to see my kids off for such a long period of time. So understandably, Draco feel this way as well.
And oh no, I’m sensing this will be an incredibly emotional story. I suppose the first scene is really the ending? I find it realistic that Draco wouldn’t know what to do in such a situation and tries to ignore him being sick in the hope it goes away – this is also incredibly frustrating to read! I feel so sad for them.
I really liked this line: “she glanced down at Scorpius, who was wrapped tightly in a light blanket like a larva in a cocoon, with only his little round head showing, dusted with a fine fuzz of white-blonde hair, moving with tiny rhythmic bobs as he nursed” – that was just really cute and I had a very vivid picture in my head. Seeing Scorp all cute and snuggled up makes everything more emotional. I very much enjoyed this chapter and I think it’s a very unique idea that isn’t dealt much with in fiction
Thank you so much for answering the Slytherin EvS Review Tag and choosing this story to read. I too find it hard to imagine sending one's children away at such a young age for such long periods of time. When my daughter was fifteen years old, she went to Norway for a year, and seeing her go off on the plane (in those days, before 9/11, we could go all the way to the gate) was heart-wrenching. I felt like Harry walking through the forest to his doom -- you just keep putting one foot in front of the other, trying not to focus on what is ahead.
You are right; the first scene is really a flash-forward. The story was written to a Nineteen Years Later challenge -- what is the significance of the events pictured in the Deathly Hallows epilogue? Draco does appears momentarily in the epilogue, but his brief appearance always spoke a whole story to me. I hope you will enjoy the rest of the story also.
Hello Vicki! I’m here for EvS, very excited to start with this story.
I love to see that Draco is feeling apprehensive about Scorpius leaving for school - I know in my heart that he would be close with and most likely a bit overprotective of his son. It’s an interesting choice to bring us back to a time when Scorpius was a young baby. I wasn’t sure what you had in store for us back in this time period, until Draco got into the shower.
There is only one thing that I had to assume after reading that and now I’m fairly certain this story will be an emotional affair for me to read, but one that I am sure you will handle with care. I wish that he would have gone immediately to get help, or at least told someone else about it - but I suppose he may not know what it is or anything of the disease, as I’m not sure of the scope of Wizarding knowledge of non-magical illness. I can’t wait to see how you deal with St. Mungo’s in the next chapter. This one drew me in, a very unique premise once again!
Thank you so much for beginnng to read my story, and I hope the the remaining chapters will not disappoint. The scene on the train platform in the Epilogue has always haunted me -- I was certain that there was a lot more behind it, an entire history. Who knew what Draco's story was in those seventeen years? The explanation formed itself in my mind of why he turned out the way he did. I hope that it will make as much sense to you as it did to me.
Why did you think it was ok to make me feel all these things?????? Not that I'm complaining because this was so well done even though it literally ripped my poor heart out and stomped on it. It's fine, I'm fine.
Your tone and style of prose is really good. You use your words so effectively and align a narrative that is so enjoyable to read. The way you were able to capture the complexity of Draco's emotions, coupled with his musing about being a father really impressed me. I love that Draco, even though he grew up in the lap of luxury, is literally so into being a father. As a colicky baby myself I really liked reading it from the parent's perspective and have more appreciation for my mother than I had before, something I really didn't know was possible! I'm so sad he's not in the best of health right now but will definitely continue reading becayse this is really something special.
The way you set up this story is so flawless, it flows at a nice pace and breaks your heart in all the right places. I completely mean this as a compliment but it's so reminiscent of T.S Eliot's work or even J.K's herself. Your ability to weave such emotion into every sentence is really great and I'm totally envious.
Here's what you need to do: go online and buy the book The Emotional Craft of Fiction by Donald Maass. This is the most recent textbook that I am working out of, and it is a real gem.
Having said that, a big Thank You to you for your enthusiatic praise. I really appreciate this review. Interesting that you refer to yourself as a colicky baby, since those events happened when you were too young to form your own memory of them. It must have been pretty acute if your mother mentioned it to you in your later years, so yes, you do owe her appreciation. :)
Other readers have also remarked on Draco's discovering that fatherhood is harder than he had expected, and that there are some problems that money can't solve. Even trying your best to do things right, as Draco has learned after his horrible experiences in the war, does not necessarily shield you from difficult times.
Hey there Vicki! I've got another Magical Menagerie review for you.
Both Draco's and Astoria's nerves seem well justified at the beginning of this chapter. This whole experience of being in a muggle hospital would have been completely new to both of them. I also feel like Draco handled the situation well, considering... and I liked that he had a lot of questions too. It is something I'm sure would happen with someone going through a situation like this.
Draco's inner monologue was also believable. I don't imagine he would have had any idea of a lot of things that Doctor Medven (I also love the name, it is very appropriate) was talking about. Astoria definitely takes the cake for most heartbreaking moment in this chapter though. She seems genuinely distressed at the prospect of losing her husband, and rightfully so. I just hope that she can remain strong for Draco, he's definitely going to need her support through this. Draco and Astoria have had a lot dumped on them in this chapter, so I'm looking forward to seeing how they handle everything moving forward.
Now for the next chapter!
Thank you so much for one more review.
Yes, this was a very hard moment for both Draco and Astoria. They manage to keep it together and ask the question that is the most important to them (Why?) while the doctor is in the room, and when he leaves we see their fears being freely displayed. As Draco says, in the end it just comes down to trusting the Healer and the Doctor. That is the only thing they can do. Be brave and trust.
Since the Magical Menagerie game is just about over, you may well not write any more reviews for this story (it is pretty time-consuming, I find), but I sure hope you enjoy the remaining chapters also, and I am grateful for all your kind words. This was an interesting story to write, and one that I have felt compelled to create.
Hey there Vicki! I've got another Magical Menagerie review for you.
I know it was a small detail, but I loved that you included Draco going to Gringotts withdrawing muggle money and dressing in muggle clothes. It wasn't something I thought of, but it makes complete sense and I thought it was neat that you included it. I know it's a sombre story, but the thought of Draco dressing as a muggle did make me giggle a little bit. Also, Draco catching and correcting himself from saying Healer was great, as well as his confusion over what a ‘GP' was great. Totally believable!
Astoria seems to really be enjoying motherhood, and it's great to see. She seemed so excited to tell Draco everything about Scorpius, it was so cute. Which only made it more heart-breaking when Draco sat her down and broke the news to her and I thought her initial reaction about getting a second opinion was spot on. But then it was great to see her support Draco and insist on going with him to his appointment.
Now on to the next chapter.
Thank you so much for continuing to read and review.
My vision of Draco is that he is quite sophisticaed and familiar with the Muggle world, not so totally isolated as some members of the wizarding populations. So he knows how to dress himself as a prosperous businessman, hail a taxicab, and buy luxury goods in Muggle shops with Muggle money. But when it comes to other kinds of Muggle knowledge, such as knowing what a GP is, he betrays an ignorance that would not be expected in a true Muggle.
What little JKR has told us about Astoria suggests that under her exterior she has a core of steel that will enable her to get through this crisis and support her husband when she really has to. She is an interesting character to write. I have read some stories which depict her as snarky and unfeeling, but I see her as making a strong contribution, pulling her weight when things are down.
I appreciate your reviews very much.
Hey Vicki! I'm back with another Magical Menagerie review.
Even without being told, the description of "tan plastic-looking material" and "light green walls" screams hospital/medical clinic to me. Great job in that respect, you set the scene straight away. Again, like last chapter, I feel that you conveyed the steps of diagnosis well here. The dialogue between Healer Wattles and Draco was realistic, and I thought that it had the natural flow of conversation between a doctor and patient.
Also, Draco's denial as he struggles to wrap his head around his diagnosis was well handled. Considering that all this is already overwhelming for Draco, I think it's made worse for him by learning that magic can't help him with this. His hesitation with being seen by a muggle doctor was incredibly believable as well. I also really like the internal monologue at the end when Draco is deliberating what to tell Astoria. I can't imagine how hard it would be to break something like that to your partner.
Again, great chapter and I can't wait to read more.
Thank you for continuing to R&R. Just imagine, getting a devastating diagnosis, and then being told you have to go to a really strange place and undergo a really strange program of treatment, administered by people so unfamiliar to you that they might as well be aliens! It would take some kind of courage (or desperation) to go ahead with it.
My head canon envisions St.Mungo's as being rather old and shabby, or should we say just 'well worn'. short on decorative elements, and the chairs being wooden and hard.
So nice to hear your comments!
Hey Vicki! I'm here for the Magical Menagerie event.
I didn't know what to expect going into this, but my heart is already breaking. Poor Draco! Cancer is such a hard subject to open a conversation about, but I think you've done an excellent job to start that discussion here. From the way Draco discovered the lump, to his ignoring the issue for as long as possible, to compulsively checking every time he showers, to him not even telling his partner, all seemed very realistic and well handled.
On top of that, I thought it was great that you highlighted that life didn't stop, or slow down - especially with having a new born. Life is crazy enough already with a new baby, especially considering that Scorpius seems very sickly here. I think it reflects what life can really like. No matter what is happening to you, the world doesn't stop spinning. And I think that can be one of the hardest things to accept when someone discovers they are sick. Overall, I think you did a very good job with this chapter, especially with handling such a hard theme.
Keep up the good work and I look forward to reading more.
Thank you so much for choosing my story to read and review! I tried to make it as realistic as possible -- something like this is so scary that the author doesn't have to add any artificial 'drama' in order to make it tense and upsetting. And there is never an easy time in life for it to happen.
I hope you will enjoy the upcoming chapters also. :)
I think you've portrayed Draco really well here. I love that you started with the epilogue but written in from Draco's POV. I thought it was really inner monologue that you gave him in this piece. It felt very poignant when he was talking about your only child being all or nothing. I think it really connected with me because I'm a mum to one. I think you've just done a wonderful job with writing a real issue here.
I thought the change in time was an interesting move, so I can't see where you're going with this. I suppose the first section is the ending point then you go into a beginning. I love the look into family life for Draco here. I think it's really difficult being a new family. I feel the pain of Draco and Astoria's struggling with a new baby.
I like that you're covering a real life issue here, I find it very believable that Draco would put off dealing with the issue but at the same time be very obsessed about it. I think you wrote about the issue in a very respectful but engaging way. I think you will handle this storyline really well over the course of this story.
- Abbi xo
Thank you for looking into my story and writing a kind review.
You are quite right -- the first pages ane the ending point, since I wrote this piece for a Nineteen Years After challenge, so that's where the story begins and ends. Since we don't know what Draco did during those nineteern years, this is my canon-consistent head canon about why things turned out for him the way they did.
Thank you for saying that my handling of this topic is respectful and engaging. It is informed by my years-long career in healthcare, where many things happen that can engage one's interest, and I always tried to be respectful and sympathetic with my patients, even reformed Death Eaters (and I can't be prejudiced against Slytherins because I am one myself).
I hope you will enjoy the rest of the story.
Hi Oregonian, I’m back for chapter two.
I like how you’ve captured Draco’s discomfort and mood at the beginning. I am also amused that he only has to wait five minutes for his Healer, and he’s still irritated, just what I would expect from him (or, really anyone waiting nervously for bad medical news.) I think you captured the conversation between Healer Wattles and Draco very well. I love how Draco is shocked that Wattles is so calm when he’s just told Draco he has some terrible Muggle disease. I also think it’s totally in Draco’s character to be horrified at the idea of going to a Muggle doctor and to want to try anything else.
You hit me in the heart again when Draco is worrying about Astoria and Scorpius and what will happen to them. After all Draco’s been through, I think it makes sense that he would immediately go to the worst case scenario. I also like how Wattles reasons with Draco, reminding him about what happens to Muggles who have to go to St. Mungo’s after being cursed.
Also, this line is simply perfect: “The disease was rushing in like a tidal wave that engulfed everything he held dear and washed it away, and he envisioned himself standing out on the tip of a barren sand bar, paralyzed with shock, surrounded by nothing but the vast ocean.”
I’ll be back for more later,
Thank you for writing me another nice review :) Interesting that you mention Draco's shock that the Healer is taking this subject so calmly. Draco doesn't realize that Healer Wattles has to deliver not-so-good news regularly in his profession, so he takes it in stride, and furthermore, he knows (though Draco does not, yet) that there is an easy fix available. It's good that Draco calmed down somewhat after his initial outburst, but no doubt Healer Wattles has had this conversation with other patients in the past, so he's got his speech ready and knows how to allay the patients' fears.
The line you quoted came about when I asked myself, "What would I see in my mind's eye if I had just received a diagnosis like this?" and that was the image of what I saw.
This was such a lovely end to a really interesting and unique story. I really love how you brought everything full circle from the start of the story to this final conclusion. It was a very satisfying experience. I love how you depicted the relationship between Draco and Scorpius as the latter grew up. I also like how you depicted Draco's relationship with his father and how he is trying his best to raise his son.
While I have no children of my own, I know all too well that there is no instruction manual and you have to do what you think is best and hope for the best in the end. It's something I have to do in child care which is something I do do on occasion. I also like how Draco and Astoria share some values while they may be slightly prejudiced it is still a nice touch. They are so right for one another even if Astoria had doubts that frustrated Draco while they waited to see if Scorpius would have magic.
I also like how you have developed and shown Draco's growth and maturity that has been garnered from his experiences with his cancer. I think it would shock Harry Ron and Hermione so much to learn the truth but it is a truth they don't need to know.
Still it is noble what Draco did with his nod and how he hopes for his son to be and have it better than him. It is the true love of a father and it was a wonderful expression here at the end of the tale.
Thank you for taking the time to write and explore this unique situation that there is not a lot of fiction dealing with. You did a remarkable job with all of it and it was a very good read. How did you do in the challenge by the way or are you still waiting for results?
-A Magical Menagerie Review
I am glad that you liked this chapter. I wasn't sure about it since it covered about ten years within a thousand words, in a very "summary" fashion, just touching quickly on all the reasons why, in the end, Draco and Astoria did not have another child. It seems to have been a decade of definite cultural change within the wizarding community, and that could have been unsettling for families like the Malfoys.
Getting back to the train platform made me happy. It was a joy to write that scene from Draco's point of view. Harry, Ron, and Hermione will never know. Do you suppose they would understand, if they did?
Thanks so much for going all the way to the end with me.
Thank you for addressing the muggle pain meds a bit more. I am glad that Draco was tempted by them and I really appreicate how you acknowledged the weakness one feels after surgery. You did a wonderful job of balancing reality and the stubborness of Draco. Again you did a wonderful job for keeping things tactful and yet realistic. I was amused by Draco's like of 'be my guest, I have nothing left to hide'. That caused me to crack a bit of a small smile. I aslso liked the bit where Astoria pushes for Draco to get in to see Healer Wattles right away.
You have done such a wonderful job of taking me on this journey that Draco has gone through and I like how Draco is attributing this to his final battle scar from the second wizarding war. Draco did indeed have a very unique experience when it came to the war and it is not fully surprising that his experiences may have actually led to his immune system going down. Stress gets us all in so many different ways.
So very nice job working to bring this story to a conclusion it has been an interesting journey thus far and you have boldly adopted a subject matter tha is difficult to address particularly in the world of Harry Potter.
- A magical menagerie review
Yes, you are right. We all feel okay until the pain med wears off. Another moment for Draco to appreciate what the Muggles can do for him, although he can also deal with it just fine by using magic.
It made me happy to write the scene where Astoria takes charge and insists upon getting Draco seen by Healer Wattles right away. She is a Slytherin, after all, and firmness is in her blood.
Actually, the surgical wound might well have been closed by surgical staples instead of sutures, but what I described was based on a small surgery I had many years ago; when the bandage was removed some days later in the surgeon's office, I saw an incision line with tiny bits of dried blood clinging to it, a little purplish bruising in the skin along the two sides of the incision, and the black thread ends standing up like a row of little black gnats. I said, "Ooh, that looks awful," and the surgeon was a little crestfallen, and he said, "I thought it looked rather nice." Knowing what I know now, I realize that it did look nice. :)
Actually, Dr. Medven never said definitively that Draco's cancer was caused by stress, but that's what Draco picked up on, in their conversation at his first Muggle office visit. And it is what he will always believe. He should know -- his experience was not only unique, it was indescribable.
Thank you for all your kind, confidence-boosting reviews.
You have continued to handl the medical aspects of this story impecably well. That is something I always appreciate in writing accuracy in how things work in the medical field. Either you have done your research or you have had some sort of experience with the processes. I am hoping that if you have had experiences it was not as a patient or the family member of a loved one.
You have done a wonderful job of slowly changing Draco's opinion of Muggles. Having spend at day with them and in there care certainly seems to have had an impact. It isn't a lot but it is something and I am glad you included this as well. I love that he hasn't had a full 180 on his opinions but he is starting to think and reconsider his opinions which is good. You have done a wonderful job with character growth in this story.
The ending of this chapter thought is very interesting. Draco wanting to see Healer Wattles certainly has me curious. Is he going to get some magical treatments for his pain and recovery? I noticed that he had no intention to take the muggle pain meds. I know a lot of people who think they won't take or need pain meds when indeed they are necessary for at least the first day becuase they don't realize the level of pain they are going to be in by the time the medicine from the surgery wares off.
Also nice job on insisting Draco be in the wheel chair. Walking and pushing too much is not good after any medical procedure and I would imagine particularly that one.
- A Magical Menagerie Review
Yes, I've had experience in all three aspects of surgical treatment: beside the table, on the table, and waiting in the waiting room. So I just called upon my own knowledge (plus some online research about current practice for this particular condition, and site maps for the various hospitals and clinics; Urology really is on the third floor).
When Draco was a little boy, he automatically accepted his parents' ideas about Muggles, but as we get older, we begin to examine our parents' attitudes more critically and to entertain the idea that if what they taught us doesn't jibe with our own experiences, it just may be possible that they weren't completely correct. Revolutionary idea! Deeply embedded prejudices are hard to root out, however, and I think that in the end it may be a matter of "Fake it 'til you make it," and we may never quite make it all the way.
Thank you for continuing to read and review. I appreciate it very much.
For such a short chapter there was a lot packed into here. I keep being impressed with how tasteful everything in this story has been. Not to say you aren't a tateful person but it is so easy to do this kind of story lacking the taste and tact that you have been measuring out in this story. I am particularly impressed how you handled the sperm collection scene in this story. I didn't think you would write it and yet you did and you handled it in impressive measures.
I do love how you continue to have Draco be true to who he is having a natural tendency to look down on muggles and frustrated with some of their procedures, despite their ways being what is saving his life. While it seems almost backward that he would still look down on the goup of people saving him but at the same time it makes absolute sense and I am glad that you have kept true to Draco no matter what has happened with him and how much he has to depend upon Muggles and the muggle way.
Also you did a wonderful job of showing the stress Draco is under during this showing his worries and concerns about the future and I like how you weaved the pains of his present with the worries of the future and the pains of the past. That was masterfully done and was a very well mapped out progression of thoughts. I am glad that ultimately, Draco's thoughts ended up on Astoria to complete the task even if he used a magazine to help spur his thoughts on to that subject.
Wonderful job. A magical menagerie review.
I appreciate your approval of the way I am handling this sensitive topic. There was no question that this scene needed to be in the story -- it is a part of the potentially life-altering results of Draco's diagnosis, and how he comes to this decision and faces up to what he has to do, despite his desperate wish that it not be so, is part of his growth as a character. There's really nothing sexy about it at all, and it would be a mistake if an author tried to depict it so.
Actually, I think that Draco really is beginning to appreciate what the Muggles are doing for him -- giving him a chance at life. His irritation over the supposedly inadequate label on the specimen jar is a transference. His real emotions are fear for his life, fear for the well-being of his family, worry about the unknown medical procedures ahead of him, embarrassment, unhappiness that the earlier events of his life have set him up for this crisis... But from his masculine point of view, acknowledging these emotions in unacceptable, unmanly. The only "masculine" emotion he dares to show is anger, a cover-up for the other emotions. So in Chapter 2 we see him thinking with irritation that the Healer is "rude" for not walking into the examination room on the stroke of two o'clock, when the emotion that he cannot admit to himself is fear and worry.
Similarly, at the sperm collection clinic, he allows himself the momentary thought "Merlin, this is embarrassing," and then suppresses that emotion by stirring up anger in himself about something, anything, and that something turns out to be the specimen jar, a convenient target. However, we can cut Draco a little bit of slack here; he doesn't know enough about the Muggle healthcare system to know the risk of his specimen's being mishandled.
I was amused at his thinking he was better than Muggle men because he wouldn't have to look at the magazines, and then it turned out that he did. What effect did that little moment have on his attitude towards Muggles?
Thank you so much for continuing to read and review.
So, I just noticed that each chapter starts with the words "Only One" that is a very nice and very cleaver touch to the story. It makes things very thematic. Again you are handling the whole issue of cancer very well. You have also made some very interesting points regaring the Wizarding world about how potions students don't quite handle the user of chemicals like we do in our world. Of course it seems that wizards and witches are more resilliant than muggles but all the same it is interesting to think about - particularly how hands were not really washed after potions class.
I also really like that you are dealing with such a difficult topic and yet placing it in the world of Harry Potter that is a very bold move in my opinion and yet you are handling it all so wonderfully well. You are hitting all the key notes when it comes to the questions and worries that everyone has in this given situation. I just feel extra bad for Draco and Astoria consdiering that they are very new to the muggle world which is vastly different from the world they live in.
I find it interesting that Draco is keeping this situation very secret from his parents. It makes snese of course but it is still interesting all the same. I also find it interesting that Drago works at a place called Malfoy Enterprises. Very interesting choice that as well.
You do a very nice job with pacing and tone and it honestly keeps me reading the next chapter so wonderful job in regards to your masterful work with your chosen characters and subject matter.
- A Magical Menagerie Review
I 'm glad that you approved of the themed chapters titles; I was afraid they would end up sounding hokey.
I do recall that in some scene in the Potions classroom with Harry and Ron, there is a reference to a hand-washing sink on the side of the room, but I could imagine that, in the rush to get the class's brewing assignment completed, students might not have the time to wash their hands before rushing off to their next class, especially if there was a line-up at the sink, and if their hands were not obviously dirty, they might not realize the value in it. And of course they could be contaminated in all the other ways that Draco thinks of.
My impression is that Draco really doesn't want his parents to know -- think what would happen if they did. They would try to take over the decision-making, and if Draco resisted that, there would be terrible rows No way would they approve of his present course of action. They might also blame him, saying that it was somehow his fault, a sign of constitutional weakness in him. They might hang it over his head for years. My gosh, he doesn' t need any of that. Poor guy.
Thank you so much for reading and reviewing.
P.S. Chapter 5 came back on line, still with tiny type. Obviously I didn't fix it properly. Will have to ask the techies for advice.
Another wonderful chapter. You have been handling this difficult situation of cancer for Draco masterfully. You have really keyed in well to the uncertainty and the fear that comes with such a diagnosis. Then you have layered an already difficult time with the fact that Draco has to enter a world that he is incredbily unfamiliar with as well. It is all very unsettling and you have been depicting that very well.
I am very glad that you had Draco finally tell Astoria what is going on. She needed to know that truth and I love how she wants to be there with him and support him in this process even if she questions what her husband was told in regards to treatment. I love how you have made Draco and Astoria a strong and powerful couple working together and caring for eachother. You may not have depicted the relationship a lot as this is not a romance but you have still left a strong impression of what the relationship is like.
I still love how Draco is thinking of his wife and son first and I love how you have weaved in how Scorpius is fairing in this tale though the focus is Draco. You do a lovely job of weaving in details and keeping everything balanced.
-A Magical Menagerie Review
Thank you so much for your kind words about my story. I think that if Draco's plan of treatment had simply been a few spells or a course of potion doses, he might never have mentioned anything to Astoria. But if he's getting tratment at a Muggle hospital, there's no way that she could fail to notice, so he has to tell her. Awkwardly, of course -- there's no good way to have this conversation. He is focused on shielding her and is too proud to ask directly for her help, but perhaps she surprises him a little by staunchly insisting on supporting him all the way. Not so delicate as he thought she was. He should have known it already.
I think of love more as something you do, rather than flowery language or soulful looks, and I hope the love shines through in this story, even though no one says "I love you." I would be more likely to love someone because of what he did rather than because of his drop-dead handsome looks. So my stories for romance prompts are thin on the obvious mushiness, but readers seem to sense the love anyway, and that makes me happy.
So nice to know that you are still enjoying the story.
I had a feeling it was cancer the moment I read about the lump in the first chapter. I love how you handled things in this chapter. You did a very nice job of keeping things very clean cut and dry. You did a wonderful job of writing and handling the medical aspect of this chapter. You kept it very much on point and it felt very real. I certainly felt reminded of being in a doctor's office myself. Wonderful job there.
I am so interested by how you handled cancer and I love that you didn't make this cure all potion for the disease. I also find it very interesting that it is very rare in magical circles but there is a need to see a muggle doctor about the whole situation. I also appreicate how you wrote Draco's shock. It seemed very true to the situation as a cancer diagnosis is a lot to take in. I also love how Draco's thoughts were more of his wife and child than himself that speaks a whole lot of volume to Draco's growth as a character.
Overall, wonderful job with this chapter, you have been masterfully building things up between last chapter and this one, lots of fantastic pacing.
- A Magical Menagerie Review
Well, I'm afraid that Chapter 1 was not a cliffhanger. Unlike Draco, everyone who has read Chapter 1 instantly suspected that the lump was cancer. I was a healthcare professional for 38 years before retiring, and although I said in an introduce-yourself type of post somewhere on the Forums that I do not write healthcare stories (a 'busman's holiday'), I had to do so for the Nineteen Years Later challenge because that's what I saw in Draco's life. Thus the clean cut and dry approach, seeing things through the eyes of the Healer as well as of the patient.
Thank you for saying that the pacing is good. In a multi-chapter story, I try to have each chapter be a different scene, just for interest's sake, but maybe that approach also enhances the pace. That result hadn't occurred to me before.
As always, very grateful for your reviews and interest.
Wow, you have such a wonderful start here. I like how you introduced things with a setting we are all familiar with the setting of the Hogwarts station before taking a trip down memory late as to what happend in the past to bring them to where they are.
I feel you handled adult Drago very well. You have matured him nicely and have reflected a rather realistic picture of what life is like with a baby. It is not easy and breezy particularly with a colicky baby.
As Draco discovered the hard mass, my heart instantly sank though. That is something not good and it frustrated me that he kept trying to ignore it and hope it would go away when a hard mass like that is never good, yet I understand the desire for denial the desire to deal with other things becuase the mass seems to be so unimportant. I am glad however that Draco finally relents at the end of this chapter to go see the healer though, I feel it is significant that Astoria does not know yet, I also am intrigued to find out how the summary will tie into this story.
You have done a wonderful job and your tone and style is very welcoming to a reader to pull me into the story and feel welcome in Draco's story, very well done. I do want to give a small CC which isn't major, you may wish to change the font on this story becuase it is quite small to read. I believe you can do that with the editing options on site or at the very least change the font size. Again nothing major but it would make reading easier.
- A magical menagerie review
Thank you so much for this review. I'm gratified that the writing style pulled you into the story. (It's always a shame when an inadequate writing style or editing job turns readers away from a story that actually has a good plot.)
I can understand why Draco would choose to ignore the lump at first, since it was just one more thing to deal with in his already overloaded life, and it didn't occur to him at first that it could be something really serious, even life-threatening, because wizards didn't think of their health that way (except maybe for dragon pox, which this was not). On the other hand, we Muggles feel a lump and think "cancer".
Thanks for your CC. I tried increasing the font size for the Chapter 5 manuscript. Of course, that kicks the chapter back into the queue (so that the validators can make sure that I haven't inserted any naughty words), but when Chapter 5 reappears, I will look at it and see if the font size I selected is appropriate. Aassuming so, I'll go ahead and enlarge them all.
Hello! I’m back for Magical Menagerie again :)
Oh haha, they actually went ahead with freezing the sperm, okay. Although from the first chapter, Draco says he only has one child, so we know they don’t end up having another baby. But speaking from experience, it is great growing up with a sibling to confide in and have fun with, so Astoria was right about that.
‘Absurdity upon absurdity’ made me laugh. And Draco adding those charms to the label was the funniest thing- it’s that apprehension of Muggles and the way they do everything so differently.
Aww, he thought of Astoria during the thing, that’s so sweet. You did a good job of portraying his fears and worries. Irrational as they are, they could still happen. I felt for Draco when he was thinking about the past, it just goes to show that those memories never leave you, even if they only resurface occasionally.
This is great writing so far. Thanks for the read! :)
You mention Draco's fears and worries. Add to that list embarrassment and resentment that he had to be there, doing that thing, and you end up with a long list of emotions that men don't like to acknowledge. So when they feel that way, they cover it up by acting angry. And that was what he was doing, focusing his attention and annoyance on the label of the specimen jar. Blaming the Muggles is a metaphor for blaming his whole situation and his rotten luck. He had to find a target, and it was the Muggle specimen jar.
It is true that the old memories, expecially such horrible ones, will always be there; that's what people say who have been through terrible situations. And they can be revived later unexpectedly by little triggers. This may be something that affects Draco throughout his life, and he will have to learn to deal with it, to come to terms with it.
Thank you so much for your reviews. I enjoy reading your insights. Vicki
Hi! It’s me again, I’m here for Magical Menagerie again :)
Firstly, I really liked your beginning. Your characterisation of Astoria is so good, and I love how thoughtful and understanding of Draco she is. Even when he’s about to go see Dr. Medven, she reassures him and is incredibly caring. I smiled at Draco offering to get her tea and something to read, even though he himself didn’t want anything, and wanting to show that he knew the way in the hospital. It’s like he isn’t in control of what’s happening with regards to the cancer he has, but he still wants to feel in control of small things, however trivial. Even in his nervous state, though, he was thinking of his wife, which was sweet.
I liked all your descriptions of the medical procedures, and even the equipment and everything they used. It helped me envision the scene better and more vividly, and provided a nice connection to reality, since hospitals are something we’re all obviously familiar with. I thought the setting was done very well.
The sperm-banking bit omg, I’m dead.
So there was a legitimate reason for Draco getting cancer! I was here, thinking he’d just had bad luck, but I liked the Potions explanation you gave. The books never touched on the effects, but now that I’ve thought about, it’s definitely unhygienic. So, that was a nice insight.
Great job :)
Hi, lovegood27. Nice to see your comments again. This is Draco's second visit to Charing Cross Hospital, but he has learned a little bit from his first visit, such as how to get to the Urology Clinic, and just that bit of familiarity gives him great comfort. Now he's not 100% helpless; he's starting to think,"Yes, I can do this," though he's not sure how, yet.
Everthing that happens during this doctor visit is entirely new to Draco, so we are seeing it all through his eyes, and he is trying hard to take in and figure out everything he can, in order to regain his sense of control. He is like a newborn baby encountering the world for the first time, learning at a rapid pace. The machines, the procedures, the medical explanations, these are all things that Draco is confronted with, so I try to describe them as he experiences them.
Actually in one of the books, when Harry and Ron are in a Potions class, I recall a mention of a handwashing sink in the classroom, but I'll bet that not everyone used it, and it would not have addressed all the other ways that the students could become contaminated.
Thanks for your lovely review! Vicki
Hello! I’m here for Magical Menagerie again :)
The ending was so sweet! I love how Astoria’s making sure she’s there for Draco for the appointment. We haven’t seen many of their interactions together yet, but they seem to have such a lovely relationship where they can be open with each other. I mean, Draco could have broken the news to her a bit better, but with things like that it’s always hard. I think Astoria actually took it much better than he did; she was confused and upset at first, but she didn’t let that get the better of her and her strength and determination really shows. I hope she sticks with Draco throughout his whole ordeal (are there arguments coming? Should I be worried?)
Also ‘he must be a quack’ is going to be my new catchphrase.
I think it was really clever, the way you wrote about the small connections between the Muggle and Wizarding world. I’d never really considered how the health system might work, but it makes complete sense that Healers would pose as GPs. I’d always thought they just each stuck to their type of patients, but there’s bound to be circumstances where Muggles need to be treated by wizards and vice versa. And it’s always interesting to see wizards/witches in a Muggle environment, the bit with Draco at the hospital was fun to read.
This was another great chapter :)
You know, when you read lots of fanfiction (I've probably read more pages of fanfiction than I have in the Seven Books), it all starts to run together in your head, what is canon and what is fanon. I know I've read about Muggles being treated at St. Mungo's Hospital for magical maladies that they had suffered, but that was probably in some well-written fanfiction.
Yes, Astoria has a very caring attitude toward her poor beleaguered husband; maybe it's her heightened maternal instincts at this time in her life, but I'd like to think she's like that anyway. And she's afraid of losing him too, so she's not going to do anything to make the situation harder.
Thanks so much for reading and reviewing. :) Vicki
Hi! I’m here for Magical Menagerie :)
*cries* Why Draco, why?! Why are you making him go through this??
Having said that, I think you did a great job of showing Draco’s thought process and emotions in this chapter, going from slight concern to panic and stress about his predicament. You captured his sense of feeling lost very well, how utterly unfamiliar he is with this whole Muggle illness thing and his helplessness and vulnerability, because as he said, he’s reliant on a Muggle doctor now. I liked your mentions of how even the Healer had only read about cancer in books, because of how rare it was in magical people. It makes sense.
The awkwardness of the examination, though. We’ve all been in that situation, so it’s easy to relate to how uncomfortable it is. Even Draco not knowing how to explain things to the healer at first seemed painfully accurate.
‘Butchers’ haha nope. His misconceptions do fit with canon, though. I think generally, the Wizarding community has a very poor idea of what Muggles are actually capable of (dramatic irony? Is that the right word for it? Idk). It’s almost like they think they’re a different species altogether, so Draco’s reaction was understandable.
I enjoyed this chapter! I’ll probably be back for more soon :)
One thinks of Draco at this point in his life (before his sudden illness) as being well-settled in life--a good job in the family business, money, a wife and son, a pureblood status--in short, having everything under control and well understood. You choose apt words to describe the upheaval in his situation: lost, unfamiliar, helpless, vulnerable. It occurs to me that he may have been acquainted with those same feelings earlier in his life during his last three years at Hogwarts, when his life changed from a privileged existence flavored by his father's politics into an unending nightmare. And now, when he had expected never to be in such a state again, it all comes rushing back at him. Under the circumstances, I'd say he's doing about as well as anyone could do.
My head canon is that the Malfoys, being wealthy and sophisticated, do have some business-dealing interactions with Muggles, such as arranging to buy luxury goods. but never anything so personal and raw as what Draco is going through now.
Thanks so much for continuing to read and review! Vicki
Ah, I like how you developed the story from chapter 2 and how you ended in this chapter.
Despite of the serious theme, I came to enjoy your Draco's thought in his mind. He used to hate Muggles and everything related with them, for he was born to Pure-Blood family and then he was confused or at loss against the Muggle system.
Feeling for Draco, on the other hand I thought it rather comical that Draco worried he would die if the appointment would be delayed more. But I felt very sorry for him again when I spotted he was very afraid of the possibility he would never watch his son grow up more if he died.
While many things whirling in his mind, he tried to overcome one by one and finally he faced one more hurdle he had to. Astoria. I think people try to say light things to distract from ourselves from fear, you described the point very effectively before he confessed his cancer. I like the process how Astoria made up her mind to fight her husband's cancer together. A great chapter!
@ Magical Menagerie 3, Team Wolpertinger
If I were diagnosed with a cancer that had been growing for more than a month, and the Healer told me "It could kill you," and uged me to see the specialist immediately, I would probably be completely freaked out and would want to have the surgery the very next day! So I can totally sympathize with Draco's initial feelings. But seeing Dr. Medven and realizing that the doctor was satisfied to do the surgery five days later probably reassured Draco that he wasn't about to drop dead in the middle of the hallway.
We don't know much about Astoria, except that JKR has said that she sometimes clashed with Lucius and Narcissa over their philosphy and values, so we can assume that Astoria had some grit and determination, which will help her get through this crisis and be a support to her poor husband.
Thanks so much for continuing to read and review. :) Vicki
I worried about Draco and hus family, so I came back. The descriptions of the previous and this chapter are great related with Draco's anxious feeling around the lump. As if you seemed to have experience with the disease or have a relative who suffered from it, I could visualize each scene when he took a shower and found the lump (in the previous chapter ) and when he was waiting for his doctor. Waiting for seeing a doctor is just like the spot you wrote : his turn doesn't come on time, both in the Magical World and the Muggle World. Waiting let the patient worry more.
I hope Muggle doctors will cure his disease once they find a way. Though I reckon it needs much courage for Draco to take the surgery, especially he doesn't know about the Muggle surgery in detail. I really feel for him. He remembers his family desperately while trying to take his fate. I hope the result will turn to a bright direction from the next chapter. Yes, you have already mentioned in the first part of the previous chapter. He will be okay by the time when Scorp leaves for Hogwarts.
@ Magical Menagerie 3, Team Wolpertinger
Ah yes, you are right. By having that flash-forward in Chapter 1, I have revealed in advance that Draco is not going to die, so the readers don't have to worry about that, although Draco is still worrying, of course. He is Magical instead of Muggle, but most of what I am writing is that first and foremost he is a Human Being, with all the same kinds of thoughts and emotions as any of us would have when thrown into an unfamiliar and threatening situation. It's true of most young aduts, I think, to take their good health for granted and to be blindsided when a serious illness or accident suddenly occurs.
Thank you so much for continuing to read and review. :) Vicki
Hi. Since I am interested in Draco-Astoria ship recently, I thought of stopping by your Draco. Oh... it's sad that he found something wrong with his health. No more second crisis after battle of Hogwarts. Life has many ups and downs. Marriage, children and work is a better side of one coin, but sickness is not welcomed, besides, a bad timing for his wife, Astoria who has just become a mother. I really feel for Draco. If I am in the same situation, I will do in the same way as Draco, try not to let her worry about him while she has to take care of their new born baby.
One more impressive spot in this chapter is that he wishes he could enjoy Scorp, who was going to leave for Hogwarts. I have a child, so I understand his feeling very well. It's our pleasure seeing children growing up, at the same time we wish 'don't leave us so early'. As a whole, I like your narrative tone describing each scene, on the platform, in their home, the conversation between a son and a father.
@ Magical Menagerie 3, Team Wolpertinger
Hi, StarFeather. Thank you so much for reading my story and leaving a review. Poor Draco, he's had a string of bad luck, and just when he thought he was on an upward trajectory. Maybe we think "it's not fair" when crises appear unexpectedly, and we say "I don't deserve this," but it's usually not a matter of deserving or not deserving, it's just our share of the world's heartache.
You're right--we are sad to see our children grow up, but the alternative would be worse, that they would stay as babies forever, never gaining anything. But I am glad that in America we usually don't send our children off to boarding schools at the age of eleven!
I hope you will enjoy the rest of the story just as much. Thanks again. Vicki
Hello! I’m here for Magical Menagerie :)
Oh God, poor Draco! As if having to deal with a newborn baby and sleep deprivation isn’t enough, he has to go and get himself cancer. I’ve never been in his position, but I relate to the feeling of not knowing whether you’re looking too deeply into something, or if it’s genuinely a cause for concern. I have a bad feeling about what’s going to happen to him next, though… :(
I have to say that I really liked your beginning. It’s reminiscent of the DH epilogue, only we get to see it from Draco’s POV with all his thoughts on Scorpius leaving (without any biased commentary, looking at you, Ron). It was so sweet, because he seems to be a much better man, more mature and learned from his mistakes at Hogwarts. His love for Scorpius jumps out at the reader, in the 9 ¾ scene and when his son is a baby, and it’s wonderful seeing that loving side of Draco. I feel sad for him, because he’s right, Scorpius is his only one.
“He thinks my childhood is in the Middle Ages” made me laugh. Children are never exactly the best judge of time/age and always think grown ups are ancient.
Great work so far!
Yes, speaking as a mother I can say that it's always hard when your children leave home. I can't fathom sending them off to boarding school when they're only eleven years old.
Thank you for saying that you liked the way the story opened. It's a challenge to write stretches of narrative that reiterate what JKR gave us in her story, without sounding as if you're just copying her narrative, so I guess that using someone else's POV is the way to go. I hope you read the rest of the story -- it was interesting to write about this. Thank you so much for the nice review. Vicki