All Ginny wants is to get the upper hand just once with drool-worthy hunk of man candy and callous playboy Draco Malfoy before he moves on to his next careless conquest. So how did this simple plan lead to time travel, nefarious plots involving the most infamous whorehouse in the wizarding world, and the teenaged Draco’s achingly sweet, chocolate-flavored kisses? Even Draco Malfoy was innocent once, as Ginny learns all too well…Category: Long and Completed
Chapter ONE HUNDRED EIGHTEEN Quote of the Day:
THE LAST CHAPTER
The minutes ticked by, long enough for Ginny to know that against all reason, all common sense, she still wanted impossible things from him. But she would leave. Even after today, even when her body ached from him and for him, when she could feel that he had begun to shape her to him, she would turn around and leave him. I will, I will, she thought.
“You don’t understand,” said Draco.
“Oh?” Ginny said stiffly. “At least he hadn’t touched her, she thought. She would not be able to find the strength to pull herself away from him, and she knew it.
*rubs bloodshot eyes* All caught up, and what a rush! I think my heart stopped for a moment in the chapter 53 true Draco reveal (and it wasn't just because he's magnificent when he lets himself go). It's not just conditioning he's working against, is it? When astral-Lucius dream-said that he'd made Draco this way, I'm now thinking he was talking about magic, not run-of-the-mill psychological abuse. I spent so many chapters willing Ginny to remember the jagged key and the room! and she finally, finally did!
So I've always thought Ginny WAS Marie against all earthly reasoning (this IS a fantasy story, after all). First I thought it was some astral plane/past life hullabaloo, and here's the newest iteration based on that throw-away comment of Molly's that maybe the Regency Ball is held in the Regency period every year: She'll come to the room in his heart (and possibly the next Ball) and call herself Marie for some reason (despair that she'll never be Marie?) and there's some as-yet-undefined space/time discontinuity that will make it true in the past. And she can use all her Crystal Palace lessons to make his first time good. Because the portrait, certainly he'd know if there'd been a companion before...well, I hope it's entertaining to you, at least.
Probably in the minority here, but I'm hoping to see more of Astoria. She's delightfully fiendish! Maybe she'll team up with her FIL sooner rather than later. Oh, and Daphne, too. Need more Daphne.
Hmm...this hasn't been much of a review of the current chapter. Once again we have a Draco with far-reaching plans (this job is certainly no coincidence). Not sure what to make of him, though doubtless there's stuff jammed up both his sleeves.
Author's Response: Wow, all 60 chapters!! (Does the Happy-Captured-New-Reader-From-the-Clutches-of-FFNet-- Oops, I mean the How-Nice-You've-Read-the-Whole-Fic Dance.) J/K, of course. ;) The Draco/Lucius father/son relationship is very screwed up in DDD, as readers have probably figured out by now, and there's much more to come. I love the Ginny & Marie theories. :) The answer to the mystery is actually very simple in a way, but it won't make sense until we get to that point in the plot. And you WILL get to see more of Astoria, the one we all love to hate! Daphne too. Yes, I would also think about just why Draco got the Junior Minister of Art job when he didn't even have formal art training. *How* isn't necessarily so much the issue (we all know about that Malfoy money and the bribes that might have been spread around), but why did he want it so much? More soon...
Three chapters of remedial reading and we're still in Coworker Rom-Com Land? Dagnabit, Draco, just pull the trigger on your next nefarious plan so we can get back to soft space, mysticism, and Mariiiie! (Whine? Me? Never!) Or at least blow up the base of the statue and get on with the next great adventure!
Lots of legwork going on here. I can't decide whether Draco is needling Ginny with this last conversation, trying unsuccessfully to warn her by demonstrating his art knowledge, or testing to make sure she's sufficiently under his thrall. Speaking of thralls, it seems that whatever curse he's under re: exhaustion is contagious.
Author's Response: "Coworker Rom-Com Land"-- snerk! I love it. :) This is a necessary interlude, though. You'll see. Just to clear up at least ONE thing, Draco is not under an exhaustion curse. But his increasing tiredness isn't randomly thrown in there, either. There's a reason for it, and it's important. More coming soon... ;)
Aww, I was looking forward to more from Hermione. Later, maybe. Hard to be disappointed when we're back in soft places and mentioning the Ball and there's DAPHNE and she's SEEING STUFF and we're about to find Draco. *crosses fingers that my two favourite villains are lurking at stage left*
Author's Response: Ohhhh, believe me, we *will* be hearing more from Hermione before too much longer. ;) The two favorite villains are Astoria and Harry, I'm guessing... I can reveal right now that Astoria isn't lurking so much as running around, which means that someone just might run right into her. Hmm. I think I might be hearing something in the distance... it sounds like meowing... maybe it's a CAT FIGHT!!! ;)
Ha, I saw the red walls and went OMG WE'RE BACK IN DRACO'S HEART but now I think it might be the Crystal Palace (it's hard for me to keep them straight since they seem to be so closely linked). And my favourite villain is being villain-y! (My other favourite is Lucius - when he finally shows up, things are going to go down.)
Gah, Ginny is so effing terrible at in vino veritas. I wish that for once she would ask a question that's not completely useless.
Author's Response: Well, we'll learn a little more about exactly where Draco and Ginny really are in the next chapter. Ginny didn't ask questions in the most effective way possible, it's true, but she was under a LOT of stress at the time! ;) And things are only going to get worse from here on in... (rummages around for some Xanax for Ginny. Anyone can dispense meds in Oregon, you see.)
I knew Astoria was evil, but during that whole exchange outside of the room she sounded downright insane. Oh my, that one flare-up of Weasley temper last chapter just ruined everything. Way to sentence Draco to doing the nasty with Astoria if you ever want to be together, girl!
After finding Draco the way we did (delicious, amongst other things), I was all, "Are you SURE he hasn't been cursed?" Never mind, cleared that one up! He's still super-touchy about Lucius, I see, and uncharacteristically devastated at the thought of being stuck in that room with Ginny. Extra significance to the location, perhaps, or was part of his bearishness when he woke up part of a new resolve to stay away from her?
Can't wait to see how Draco behaves in front of Colin and Luna. I'm sure Daphne will have some very interesting insights in the next chapter.
Author's Response: Well, Astoria was getting very, very desperate, and I think she did know by the end that her plot to get out of there with Draco wasn't going to work. She was playing for very high stakes (as we'll find out a few chapters from now.) To be fair to Ginny, she was getting extremely desperate too-- she couldn't think of any other way to get Astoria to let her in the room. But we'll see how that one plays out... ;)
We'll learn much more in Ch. 71 about just why Draco was so determined to not get stuck in the room with Ginny. As you've guessed, there's much more to his motivation than she knows at the moment. More coming soon!
You totally had me fooled that Lucius was there and things were going to start rolling. I was bouncing in my seat, the tension was so great.
Now I'm devastated by this vast quantity of non-answers, and although I absolutely loved Zach's astute clinical analysis of Draco I'm going to shake my fist at him anyways. That was NOT the whole truth, Immortal! Not by a long, looooong shot! You get back here!
Oh, I really like Boogum's interpretation of Ginny's vow! Really, really like it! Especially since they're going to be living in the sex room from now on....
Author's Response: Oh no! Don't be devastated (it was kind of sneaky about the Lucius tease though, wasn't it... ;) LOTS of answers coming up in Ch. 72. And no, Zach doesn't know everything there is to know about Draco, not at all.
But think about it: would you really want Zach back in the, um, "sex room"? I think we'd better leave Draco and Ginny alone in there for awhile... ;)
I wanted to kill 'im in 72, I really did. So insufferably controlling. Like, I get that he didn't expect her to muck up his plans but I don't know how he always expects her to trust him when he won't give her a smidgen of information. I just wish that he'd realise some day that she can HELP him, but he's got soooo much conditioning to overcome.
But that letter from Harry.... If it hadn't come straight from Zach, and if I didn't know that immortals were incapable of lying, I would swear up and down that it was a forgery, probably by Draco himself, because who else would speak so creepily about her purity? It makes me think that there's a whole cadre of Ginny-fetishists out there and she doesn't even know they exist, let alone why her purity is so important to them.
But that's crazy conspiracy theory talk. There's no Ginny-cult out there...right? RIGHT? *hyperventilates*
I cannot wait for the Ball...Marie's gonna be there in some form, I can feel it. Eyes on the prize!
Author's Response: Thanks! :) And, well, it's a good thing that you didn't kill Draco in Chapter 72, because we'll need him later on. ;) He's kind of at his controlling worst right now. He really thought he'd found a way to make everything work, and on top of it all, he was acting on a rare noble impulse... and then Ginny just HAD to show up, didn't she?
Now, about Harry's letter. The main thing with that letter, I think, is that Harry never, ever meant for Ginny (or anyone else) to read it, and it was far from the first of its type. So he's used to pouring out ungodly horrors dredged up from the depths of his subconscious mind in that way. And the key is that when he's honest about his feelings for Ginny, they really are remarkably similar to the way that Draco feels at his absolute worst. (Also, DDD's Harry has picked up on the wizarding world's attitude towards this issue, so it's not exactly original to him.) Draco has at least truly tried to move beyond this, but Harry hasn't.
Anyway... SO much coming up at that Ball. And Marie! I haven't forgotten Marie at all... ;)
Well, I'd like to say something intelligent but I'm arrested at the image of Draco in turmoil after their last visit to the Crystal Palace. Sweet, sweet agony (says the angst junkie). A powerful bit of writing there.
I'm still mulling over the relative prevalence of the wizarding world's Victorian sexual mores. I didn't get the impression from Corner or Creevy that she'd be considered ruined after sleeping with them. (I'll add that I didn't get that impression from Zabini either, but in his case I can chalk it up to him thinking she's the Wrong Kind Of Witch in the first place.)
And since I usually end my reviews with a thoroughly ungrateful "boo hoo, Marie's not in this chapter either" (you must hate me) I'll switch things up and say that you're doing a great job and I especially enjoyed this chapter - it felt satisfying.
Author's Response: Thank you! :) Angst junkiness is good. :)
I concocted a specific set of attititudes about sexuality in the wizarding world, and they do vary according to class and background (and hopefully they make, well, some kind of sense.) In the long-ago pagan history of this world, sex was a very positive and powerful thing. The older pureblood families still hold to this point of view for the most part (which is why you get that impression from Blaise.) Draco is very obsessed with Ginny, as we know (although he really has tried-- by his standards, anyway-- to let go of the darkest parts of what this means for him.) His obsession has lit upon something related to one of the magical-power aspects of pagan sexuality-- Ginny's virginity is special, sacred, valuable. Harry, OTOH, has picked up on the more Victorian attitudes held by wizarding families such as the Weasleys. (Although, you know, the output of porn during the Victorian era has never been equaled...) In the darker corners of his mind, he's obsessed with getting to Ginny first because she's supposed to keep herself pure for him. When you get right down to it, Draco and Harry at their respective worst are much more alike in their attitudes towards Ginny than either of them would ever be willing to admit.
(short break for cookies) Anyway, we will hear more about Marie rather soon. :)
The raspberry trifle...*sporfle* That half of the chapter was super cool. Really well-executed concept.
Aaaand then we get to Ginny making useless oaths again. You'd think that she'd be used to seeing a Draco in pain! Wow, her level of guilt over that portrait...she really bonded with it. Plus, I'm sure she sees it as an extension of real Draco's psyche or something, like she's hurt his delicate inner core, but honestly? I saw her eleven-year-old self popping up here. "I'm SO sorry I haven't written, Tom, no, I didn't mean to leave you alone, I'll do whatever you want to make you like me again, you're my only friend...." Conditioning: it's incredible.
Author's Response: Sporfle! I love that word. (Is it an actual word? Well, it is now.) Ginny doesn't get used to seeing anyone in pain. Too much of her core self has been traumatized, and she doesn't have decent emotional boundaries. She never learned how. (And, well, if you could have heard the conversation we were all having in the weekly clinical meeting about what happens to the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal gland axis in cases like that... it's a very physical thing, let's just say.) You're right about the conditioning part. Stimulus, response, HPA axis, and there she is again. Can she get better? Yes, because I've seen it happen, and I'm working with people who fit into that category every day. But the pull to keep reacting in the same destructive way is very powerful, and there is, and will be, plenty of backsliding for her. And here's a fortune cookie crumb, JUST for you.... ;) We're heading into the middle of the fic. But the vow that she made in this chapter to portrait-Draco will drive the entire plot for the last part.
Soft space and soft time. How can he be looking for her in the room otherwise? Soft time is the ultimate answer to at least one of these conundrums. And I'm sorry, did Portrait-Draco say that he'd be *absorbed* by current Draco? Like, merged? Like, get some of his innocence back? I can't wait to find out what exactly went wrong with the portrait/initiation. Maybe the wheres and whys of the crate-packing hold clues....
Author's Response: Oh, such a clever tricksy reader you are! ;) Not that I'm admitting anything either way. Yes, something did indeed go very wrong with that portrait, and that's why poor sixteen-year-old-portrait Draco still has to hang around, inexperienced and unsatisfied. What normally happens is that the portraits merge with their sixteen-year-old selves when the Crystal Palace initiation happens, so they kind of experience it, too. They're really a part of the boys' personalities, and because it normally happens within a few weeks, they don't develop a separate personality of their own. What happened to portrait-Draco is unique, and horribly frustrating for him. And yet, he still *is* Draco. It's just that the more time that goes by, the more he's *a* Draco instead of being exactly the *same* Draco as the sixteen-year-old one who was photographed on his birthday. It gets to be a little bit like two different fanfic Dracos... which may lead to a very interesting situation. ;)
Ooooooh my gosh, this chapter was worth the wait. Your surreality is, as always, without peer. Memories of future past, and talk about truth in dreams! That vindictive little SOB sapped her abilities and is willing to take his future self down with the ship! Has he been behind her horrible RL relations too? And why do I have the feeling that Tempia's rebellion is an indirect consequence of whatever magic he's weaving? If you asked me to draw a picture of portrait!Draco right now, my sketch would look an awful lot like a fifty-year old diary. Oh, oh, oh. Everything is shifting in this chapter. So much foreboding everywhere I look. That apple is making me question how real soft space is. I'm hoping that physical contact with real!Draco has yanked her further away from portrait!Draco's clutches. And some of Draco's memory charms are starting to crack too! I am beyond excited. Answers! I can almost see them through the mist! ...Hey look, an apple! I bet it tastes delicious....
Author's Response: Thanks! Ohhhh, so mean to poor sixteen-year-old portrait-Draco. ;) Now, I didn't exactly say that he doesn't deserve it... but in the next couple of chapters, you'll have to be the judge of just how much blame he should really get. And I love that you picked up on the apple. It holds the key to what's really going on this chapter and the next. SO much will happen in Chap 78. Just keep an eye on that apple...
Oh, thank heavens. He finally listened. Now I'm starting to get some cracked idea that portrait!Draco is under Lucius' control with all that talk about failure. Not that I don't have a certain amount of sympathy for the kid - it must be hard to have existed unnaturally long and who knows what he's bargained for - but still, that ain't love. Draco surprised me with his tenderness in this chapter. I guess he's just too exhausted to keep up his flippant front if she's not openly attacking him (poor Ginny, her speeches were funny and horrifying at once!). I'm excited for next chapter!
Author's Response: I'm glad Draco finally listened too. That's what he told me happened, you see, and... oh, I'm just going to give up on even TRYING to avoid those butterfly nets. :P Real-Draco is going through a lot at this point-- which he's struggling not to show to Ginny, because he feels that he has to hide it; and a few chapters down the road, everyone will just have to decide if they agree with him or not. Anyway, the strain is really starting to tell on him. As for the rest of the review.... (takes the fifth. ;) Anyway, more soon.
I am cringing here. That little idiot! Step 1: mess with time and get true self thrown in prison. Step 3: happily ever after! *bangs head* I was actually expecting something much more sinister than mere jealousy (what, I don't know). This is good, though. I didn't want an abominable portrait merging with our Draco. I loved how you highlighted the two Dracos' differing attitudes towards Lucius and can't help but feel that there was a cataclysmic event between father and son after the portrait was taken that soured the relationship permanently - this grim fear Draco has couldn't have come about from his own self-actualisation. And how has Lucius had access to the portrait since Draco's wedding? So very sneaky....
Author's Response: Yes, portrait-Draco is really lacking in a lot of the subtlety that he'll later possess. He takes a lot of rash actions. But you did omit Step 2, I noticed... ;) Of course, he did too. Now, as far as expecting something much more sinister.... (ahem) simply from reading this chapter, we don't know how sinister the behind-the-scenes machinations really were, do we? Remember that portrait-Draco was manipulated into doing what he did. Do you have a crystal ball over there? I saw them at Walmart the other day for $4.95...
Yes, how *has* Lucius had access to the portrait? That's the whole question, isn't it? Ginny is firmly convinced that he's a ghost, and if he is, then the question is pretty easily answered: ghosts have access to everything. She certainly didn't believe the portrait-ghosts of Stephen Jay Gould and Charles Darwin when they tried to tell her that he wasn't a ghost (and really, you'd think they'd know, having been forced to hang around Malfoy Manor...) But for Draco's statement on the issue, see Chapter 21. So if Lucius Malfoy isn't dead, then how *did* he get access? ;) More soon!
"resonance with Malfoy needs", indeed! Ha! And now she's all hot and bothered (okay, was, but still) and in bed beside a Draco who's actually apologised for something...my spidey sense is tingling....
So he needed her to find the bathroom and get the cake but when it's time for sleep he finds a single bed. Is this because he needs sleep and she doesn't figure into the equation or did he subconsciously only want one bed? Oh, this soft space is so confusing, but I like it.
Author's Response: Mwah ha! Yes, as noted above, all of the building tension throughout this entire section really IS leading up to something at long last. Draco and Ginny will have their day. (well, night.) But not until a few more things happen first. Oh, and more about that bed in the next chapter... coming soon...
Sketch like you've never sketched before! I suppose now that the crisis has (kind of) passed we'll be back to snarky!Draco. Too bad. And he was just starting to tell her things, too (although that bit about Azkaban was misdirection, even if it is true).
Aww, Lucius, that was weaksauce. I expected better. Maybe he'll deliver next time. And was that confirmation that Draco's heart room is the CP room?
So, at the end of this chapter I was reminded of that time in the CP where the "real" unguarded Draco came out for five minutes or so. I really thought that he was back again for a bit, but there was no abrupt change so I'm not sure. Maybe it was more of a slide this time? He DID call her by her given name. Although he seems to be softening a lot in general...but enough musing, there's a ball to get ready for!
Author's Response: Well, we'll just have to see exactly what we DO get back to. Ginny will, too. ;) Now, as far as what Draco meant by telling Ginny about Azkaban... there was more to it than met the eye, but it was true. He just wasn't telling her the *whole* truth. I admit nothing about that Lucius guess, but he's certainly not as strong as he thinks he is (at this point, anyway.) Yes, the CP room *can* be Draco's heart... or it can also be the official Malfoy seduction room, as Ginny already figured out. We'll be seeing it again. ;) More soon!
Happy belated birthday! I read through the other reviews and have nothing to add, really. I was struck by how lyrical the explanation of the Leda depiction and the co-drawing passage were.
Wait, I do have one thing to add: I was surprised that there was a mundane/non-devious explanation for his keeping his knowledge of art from her. So much for any wild theories I had floating around in my head - he was just trying to spare her feelings! Which means he knows she cares and he has something tender brewing deep down, too.
Author's Response: Oh, thank you... (blushes a bit)... Yes, there actually is a non-devious reason. It's kind of a palate-clearer for all of the things he DOES have devious reasons for. ;) And that's the question, of course... how many things can Ginny really trust him about? But yes, he does have feelings for her. I'm not saying how many just now, but we'll find out more pretty soon.... much more will be revealed.... (cackles in glee at knowledge of revelations in store)
YOU TOY WITH US, MADAM. It's like the journey to the PB is an asymptotic equation. Ahem.... I'm becoming more and more convinced that our boy is under some sort of Fidelus charm regarding a certain family member. "I can't get to her, even though I know she's here."
I hope their first sketch haunts both of them.
Author's Response: MATH! SCARY EVIL MATH HAS BEEN MENTIONED! AAAAAAAA!!!!! (Anise runs screaming.) Ahem. Anyway, whoever it is that Draco's trying to get to, he indeed can't reach that person from the art gallery. However, something tells me that this just might change very soon. And I think that first sketch is eventually going to have a part to play, too...
*eye twitch* Rules that he could have filled her in on YESTERDAY, or any other day over the past two weeks during their overly-polite luncheons! Hate the information withholding. I'm super pissed that he pretty much deliberately set her up for failure here (even if he was glued to her hip she could screw things up) and then got hysterical about how unlearned she is. A real asshole move. Yeah, yeah, I know he's got other issues to attend to but he wasted a veritable boatload of time and is passing the buck. I hope she makes him crawl for this.
Author's Response: Yes, he could have told her a lot, couldn't he? But he never did. How strange. It's almost as if he had a plan.... Well, anyway, I'll have another chapter up pretty soon, and then, I don't know when the next one will be. With the way I feel about this thing right now, I have no idea.
Oh, this chapter makes me happy. Maybe he didn't crawl, but Ginny took up all of my righteous anger and marched! So satisfying. And after all of his super-elaborate plans, the one he actually TELLS her about is "hide in the cloak room, okay?" Entertaining as anything.
I'm hoping that Blaise brings tidings of the outside world. These two are starting to get weird with isolation. Although Blaise probably won't be able to pass off too much intel - I'm sure Draco remembers Blaise and Ginny trying to shag way back at the beginning of the story.
Author's Response: Thanks! :) Yes, Draco isn't really ready to crawl just yet... but Ginny finally figured it out. And she isn't about to hide out with the coats. The room is definitely getting to both of them, and they haven't come to the end of it yet, let's just say. There are a few surprises in store... ;)
Why do I get the feeling that if anyone is going to give them away at the ball, it's Draco? Look at him talking to her like she's an adult, helping her, touching her. I think he overestimates his ability to just shut this off, especially since his feelings towards her over the past two weeks have been more consistent than her feelings towards him.
Author's Response: Yes, I think that this is going to be Draco's struggle indeed. The biggest danger by far is going to come from another direction, though, and while he'd kind of suspected it was coming to an extent, he has no idea how bad it's really going to be. OTOH, that will involve his feelings for Ginny too... ;) More soon...
Okay! Caught up at last! And we were actually worried about *decorum* at the PBB? Wow, not a single person exhibited a shred of good breeding except the Princesse. Blaise, I'm annoyed at. He's been very useless. Maybe it's not his fault - after all, Draco never tells anyone anything - but there it stands. Also, I fully approve of Ginny's anger at the end of the chapter, enmeshed as she is in something else Draco didn't see fit to inform her of. (I was wondering when she'd notice that wardrobe malfunction!)
Author's Response: Snerk.... I thought a lot about how to deal with the issue of everyone's behavior at the PBB, especially towards Ginny, and that's what emerged. It's based on historical records of the behavior of the analogous Muggle group at that time-- while there was a lot of concern for manners and decorum in public, unbelievable things went on among the upper class and nobility. (Lady Sarah Jersey really was a horrible mean bitch, from all accounts.) I also felt that the uppercrust purebloods would not have a great deal of respect for Ginny because of her "blood traitor" status. Blaise is being annoying, isn't he? ;) However, he's at his self-pitying worst re:Luna, which has a lot to do with it. He's about to get a wakeup call! And we'll learn much more about Ginny's resolve in the next chapter... more soon!
Astoria's back! I am excited. Master Gaylord Humperdink, eh? Yet Dean is recognised as a Voudoun prince. His coded message was too coded for me, I confess.
I like that Millicent has her personality from Lucius Malfoy's Good Girl.
Author's Response: Yes, the Astoria we all love to hate is back, and we'll be learning more about Dean... and a certain cousin of his. (The protocol-elves know ALL, you see.) I just love Milly here. :) More soon!
Good on you, girl. Oh, I just hate Draco so much by this point. Nothing he can say or do will ever make up for how poorly he's treated Ginny, how much he's taken from her, and how he still refuses to let her in even a little bit. His supreme arrogance, his completely unnecessary coldness, and asking her to once again trot after him and...ooooooohhhhh....*shoves Chapter Cake in mouth*
I think he's gone emotionally abusive at this point, and not even intentionally. He's disregarding her as a fellow human being with needs and feelings, constantly taking away her agency. No regard whatsoever for her emotional stability and well-being. Eminently selfish. Run, Ginny! Get a flat with Colin!
I always love your depictions of the soft spaces and surreality. I sound like a broken record, but it's true.
Author's Response: Okay, I HAVE to give Draco a *little* hug... ;) But I do see what you mean. However, I'll say this... Draco's right at the turning point. I *really* really want to see what you think of the next chapter. And thanks! :) Much more coming up in the soft spaces..... very soon.
My thoughts? Too little too late, and things he would never express even if he had the chance (and he's had many). He wants and needs, but he doesn't love or cherish, even in his deepest thought. It's all about him, always talking about needing to talk to her but never actually talking. And I hate the rest of the Slytherins too. Screw you, Daphne, and your whining about forgiveness for sisterly love instead of saying anything useful about what's actually going on (we've known for months that Astoria would do anything to consummate).
I was hoping that Astoria was conferring with Lucius in the gardens; I'm disappointed to find out she was really with Draco.
Author's Response: I'm kind of picturing you marching up to Draco and giving him a long lecture while going like *this*.... (pictures it) (trust me, it's good. :) The boy could benefit from hearing it. Anyway, it's fascinating to get such different perspectives on what Draco is doing (well, the others, too), but I think there's validity in all of them. I was thinking about the meaning of the "Angst" tag (for all fics). One of the conclusions I came up with is that while it certainly doesn't mean that there can't be a happy ending, I think it tends to signify certain things about the characters. There are some very damaged people in DDD, without a doubt. But they are fighting for that ending, and I do think that Draco is struggling to become something more than what he is and has been (as is Ginny). Now, whether they succeed... we'll just have to wait and see. ;)
And, oh yes, Astoria! So much more about her machinations coming up.
Such a creepy Alice in Wonderland vibe at the beginning! But more importantly, finally evidence that Lucius and Astoria are in cahoots! And of course, Astoria's true feelings on her marriage. I'd say "poor Draco" but I'm still mad at him :/
Reading the DSM there, I'm starting to wonder if you haven't employed a bit of misdirection. I know of a character who very much fits A...two distinct personalities the patient may not be aware of at all times, discontinuities of self...though I still think his is magically induced by dear ol' Pop.
Author's Response: Yes, Lucius and Astoria are deeply mired in their evil plans, without a doubt, and there will be much more to come. Poor Draco, indeed. But it's okay. You can feel sorry for Draco and still be mad at him; in fact, that's the kind of Draco that this is, I think. He has many flaws, and he's dangerous to love. In the next few chapters, we'll learn exactly what Ginny decides to do about this conundrum.
Now, about the DSM-V... Ginny fits the diagnostic criteria, without a doubt (and the "experience of possession" is new-- it's probably the biggest change from the DSM-IV-TR. I'm glad I don't live in an apartment. I was yelling "YES! Mwah hahahaha!" at my computer. Anyway...) But you're on to something. I don't think she's the only one.