Date: 10/30/2011 12:59 AM Title: Chapter 25 - A Second Try
Did Harry just lay a guilt-trip on Ron? What a jackass. Ron's been run ragged for months and he can't even vent for one night? This is the main thing that bothers me: Ron's always the person who has to clean up the mess, no matter who makes it. Harry doesn't seem to care at all that Hermione spends time with Maloy, even when it obviously bothers Ron. It's fine that Harry debunks Ron's crazy theories, but can't Harry be a even little sympathetic? After all the crap Ron's listened to Harry complain about, it'd be nice if Harry returned the favor without making Ron feel guilty.
"You have to make things work. Even if Hermione made some bad judgments, she did apologize." An apology is not a magic wand that fixes everything. And why is it incumbent upon Ron to make it work? It takes 2 people to run a relationship, and to this point Hermione's not been very participative. And seeing her stick up so passionately for Draco again leads me to believe that she's going to end up in another situation with him--I mean, her behavior never changes so it's only a metter of time. I'm debating if I shold even bother reading the rest of the story, no matter how interesting it is. It's not worth seeing Ron get trampled on again.
Date: 10/30/2011 12:29 AM Title: Chapter 24 - Unspoken Desire
This is a well-written story with an interesting plot, but it is a very frustrating read. I'll come right out and say it: Hermione doesn't deserve Ron at all. She treats him like garbage. She is always ending up in sexual situations with Draco, Ron's worst enemy, a man who has harassed and belittled the Weasleys his entire life. Even now that Hermione spends time with him, he hasn't changed his stance regarding the Weasleys, yet this doesn't seem to bother Hermione. She is completely heartless and I just can't stand seeing her wound Ron over, and over, and over again. It never stops.
Seeing her call Draco sexy and fantastic in his bed when they're both half-naked was too much. The way she said it made it sound like SHE was chained to Ron, who was keeping her from doing things that she really wanted to do, instead of the other way around like she was complaining about earlier. I'm not really sure what Ron would lose if she ended up with Draco. Hermione and Draco are a better couple anyway--they both care about themselves. Hermione certainly doesn't care about the health of her child.
"...but he acts like he doesn't really want me anymore." Why would he want to be with a girl who treats him so badly all the time, always screams at him, and routinely goes off for private time with someone he hates? Hermione knew from the start that Draco wants a relationship with her, but she makes no changes to her interactions with him. I'm hard-pressed to anything she could possibly do to hurt Ron worse than she's been hurting him. Maybe shag Draco right in front of him--I mean, she's already kissed Draco right in front of him.
The ironic thing is that she didn't want to end up with Ron solely because of the baby, but her actions have ensured that that will happen. What reasons has she given Ron to stay? Affection? Understanding? Support? Respect? No, no, and hell no. He dedicates his whole life to her and gets nothing in return. It's not a very good relationship. The only reason that Ron is with her is because he feels honor-bound to stick by his family no matter how many times his heart gets cut out. The real Ron would stick up for himself and not allow her to keep trampling him, but Ron the dad has to lay down and accept whatever happens.
I hope it's not too late for Ron to find somebody better. Getting married and being a dad at 17 is not a recipe for success. I hope he doesn't rush down that road, especially with someone who doensn't care for him even remotely close to the amount that he cares about her. Find somebody better Ron--you deserve it.
Finally, I had to laugh after I read Draco drop the "L" word, and when he got righteously indignant on Hermione's behalf at the thought of Harry abandoning her and the child. Isn't this the same guy who only a few sentences ago hadn't made up his mind as to whether he was going to sexually assault a delirious girl who showed up on his door asking for help? They don't get much sicker than that. But at least he's sexy and fantastic, and that's all that matters, right Hermione?
Date: 01/27/2011 02:33 PM Title: Chapter One A New Spy Is Born
wonderful plotting. great moments of humor too like the newspaper puzzle being a clue. I liked all the main characters, they all had faults and strengths but they learned to work together.
Author's Response: Thanks, Jennifer! Glad to know that you enjoyed it! This was a fun story to write and I enjoyed the journey that all of the characters were on - they're quite different from beginning to end. Hope you'll get a chance to read some of my other stories. Thanks again for taking the time to write me a note. Take Care!
Date: 08/20/2010 10:24 PM Title: Chapter 33 - A Curse is a Curse, Of Course, Of Course
Wow, that chapter was intense and perfectly executed. I loved how you were able to seamlessly integrate all the details from previous chapters into the climax. Well done.
And finally Draco gets it that Hermione isn’t his. That didn’t take long, did it? After all is said and done, I still hate Draco and always will, but through his actions in some of the intense moments in the later chapters he earns my respect. I do feel Draco can be redeemed in stories. The brunt of my dislike for him in this story stems from the fact that I can't stand him with Hermione, rather than general dislike. It irks me that he feels he can use that smarmy charm of his on her after all the shit he's put her through. It just seems like he has no right to be with her in a romantic way, in my opinion. So, I don’t need anyone to push him in front of the train anymore—I just need someone to throw his luggage overboard when the train hits full speed. And I’m still waiting for Ron to break his front teeth if he touches Hermione inappropriately again.
I also wanted to say how interesting the framework of this story was, with it spanning 2 years. You get a final year at Hogwarts and a year of post-Hogwarts. I’ve never seen anything like it.
Finally, I wanted to say how grateful I am that you were so accommodating of my rants and criticisms. Not everyone would have the grace to tolerate me for that long! Even though it might not have seemed like it at times, I did like the story, regardless of Slimy!Draco or Naïve-to-the-point-of-tears!Hermione. I wouldn’t have kept reading and reviewing if I didn’t like it. Now I just hope you don't think I'm crazy, lol!
PS: I loved epilogue Mummy and Daddy Hermione and Ron! And its sort of a tradition for me with your stories to ask for outtakes at the end. How about an R/Hr wedding outtake?
Author's Response: Holy cow! You are one of the "meatiest" reviewers I've ever had. Makes me smile just looking over all the comments. I knew when I wrote this that some people would hate the ending for Draco and some would love it. I tried to take him on a journey throughout this story, a transformation of sorts and added in a little growth and maturity that molded him into a different person. Some people are probably set on the idea that he is and will always be "the bad guy" but I think that people do change and getting out from under his father's influence probably made a difference. I think that Hermione wasn't completely naive, nor was she not thinking of Ron's feelings. Instead, I think our smart little Hermione saw the opportunity of extending an olive branch in a very tricky game with Draco that could have turned bad. I think everyone has had one of those moments where the attraction or the excitement of the moment temporarily clouds your judgement, but underneath it all you never really lose focus of your life's original intent. So, she had some moments with him that, looking back, might not have been wise, but somewhere in her mind, I think she was contriving a very delicate plan, orchestrating something grand. Perhaps she accomplished her goal at the end and is sitting somewhere feeling very pleased with herself. Who knows. Your rants were just fine. I'll look forward to more! Thanks again so very much for all the reviews. What a lovely treat for me!! ~Laurie
Date: 08/20/2010 09:20 PM Title: Chapter 32 - Pieces of the Puzzle
“She was still smiling when he unexpectedly placed a small, friendly kiss on her lips. Her smile dropped as she drew back from him, but Draco held still. ‘I still think you are the loveliest creature I’ve ever met.’ He ran a hand down her arm.” Again, a reason why I hate Draco. Ron and Hermione have shown him kindness and friendship. Ron has opened his home to Draco and gotten his family to show him support. And Draco repays Ron by coming on to Hermione again? Thank Merlin this is the penultimate chapter; I don’t know how much more of this slimy git’s advances I can stomach, lol! I’m also disappointed that Hermione didn’t slap the shite out of him; her refusal to forcefully rebut these actions is really annoying. But as someone once said, you can’t always get what you want.
Absolutely loved the flashback row between Ron and Hermione. The emotions were so powerful, and we finally get a glimpse of all the misunderstandings and hurt that can be avoided when they are both completely honest with each other. But I absolutely cringed (and smiled because I could totally see him saying that) when Ron used the f-word--forbid. Nothing good ever happens when you use that word. It's probably a worse word to say that that other f-word, lol!
Date: 08/20/2010 09:11 PM Title: Chapter 31 - Acceptance
Well, I didn’t think it was possible, but this chapter completely renewed my faith in Ron and Hermione as a couple in this story. The proposal was perfect. Hermione finally recognized and rectified her mistakes. I could finally believe her apologies. It’s easily my favorite chapter.PS: This chapter is begging for an outtake!
Author's Response: Idol, I must say you've been the bright spot in my week. I've been working overtime this entire week - over 16 hours straight today. So, stopping to read your reviews has been a thrill. Thanks so much! I hope you'll like the ending. Can't wait to read. ~Laurie
Date: 08/20/2010 09:10 PM Title: Chapter 29 - A Brilliant Mind
You’ve done a really good job with Sage Advice! Bill. I’ve really enjoyed his counseling scenes, this one with Hermione and the one with Ron in the earlier chapters. Using Ron’s poetry skills to help decipher the text was absolutely brilliant and original. I had no idea that that was coming. I also loved it when Hermione put Draco in his place regarding Ron’s poetry. We need more of that and less of the icky kissing between them, lol!
Date: 08/20/2010 09:09 PM Title: Chapter 28 - Moment of Truth
“Draco pulled her close to him and tried to not pretend that he was pretending to have the best snog of his life.” I give credit to Draco (shocking!) for helping Hermione but enjoying that is just sick.
I love a Pummeling!Ron :).
Date: 08/20/2010 09:06 PM Title: Chapter 26 - Coming to an Understanding
“When Ron told Hermione about their mission, she became very concerned and made him promise to be careful and to look after Draco as well.” Seriously? Interesting scene between Ron and Draco in the cave. Draco needs to get it through his thick skull that Hermione is with Ron and keep his slimy hands off her. “She wants me.” This is exactly why I have been criticizing Hermione so much. Draco still—still!—thinks that Hermione wants to be with him. Didn’t Ron just say he’s going to marry Hermione, that they’re in love, that they’re going to have a baby? Hermione, not Ron, needs to tell Draco. It seems every chapter Draco does something like this and Hermione’s lack of rebuttal is irritating beyond belief (as are my constant criticisms, I’m sure, ha ha!).
Date: 08/20/2010 09:04 PM Title: Chapter 25 - A Second Try
“I don’t want to be with Draco. I…may have been a…a bit naïve in thinking that he only wanted friendship…” Understatement of the century. You’d think she could figure it out after the first time something happened, or the second time, or the third time… But I did feel you did a good job with the reconciliation (even if I don’t feel it was deserved). It seemed very heartfelt.
“Speaking of….Draco came to visit me today.” This line bothers me. I don’t have a problem with her still seeing Draco but she still has not quashed his feelings once and for all and until she does she just prolongs Ron’s sufferings. I wouldn’t be as critical of her failure to do this if it had only been one time, but it’s been multiple times and she still lies to Ron anytime she tells him nothing at all happened between her and Draco or that they are “just friends.” Her unwillingness to value Ron’s needs as he values hers is why I don’t think Ron should stay with her. Guess it’s good for her that Ron is more forgiving than I am. It would take more for me than a simple "I'm sorry"; she needs to prove it with her actions. Ron's powers of forgiveness are saintly, in my opinion. We'll see if Hermione's serious in her apology or if she keeps making the same decisions that got her in this position. It seems like nothing's changed regarding her continued meetings with Draco, something that doesn't bode well.
Date: 08/20/2010 08:55 PM Title: Chapter 24 - Unspoken Desire
“But, she looked so frail, so helpless and she was his…friend.” But he has no qualms leaving her to go shopping, shagging her in her frail state, or alerting her whereabouts to the people close to her only after it was clear that he won’t be getting sex from her? Have I mentioned my intense dislike of Malfoy yet? “This wasn’t his doing.” Has he ever done something that was his fault, not Voldemort’s, or his father’s, or Potter’s, or Weasley’s, or Hermione’s …?
“This was her friend, but it was obvious that he wanted more.” Why does she allow herself to constantly be around him in these situations? And please don’t blame this entirely on hormones.
“No! You are incredibly sexy, Draco and well, I haven’t done anything since…um…well, since summer and it…I mean you are fantastic, but…I just…I can’t…I’m in love with Ron.” She loves Ron enough to tell another man how sexy he is while they’re both in a state of undress in the other man’s bed? This isn’t the first time Hermione’s said these things to Draco either (astronomy tower). Actions speak louder than words. She can say “I love you, Ron” as much as she wants, but does it mean anything if she’s kissing and touching Draco while admiring his body every other chapter? At some point it doesn’t matter who initiated it or how long it lasted; enough is enough.“She reached up, cupped his cheek and pulled him down to her level before placing a soft kiss on his cheek. ‘Thank you, Draco.’ Draco smiled, looking at her in a way that made Ron’s gut twist.” This is really hard for me to say. I’m a diehard R/Hr shipper, always have been and will be, and I know that Hermione is pregnant. But these lines sealed it for me. I do not think that Ron should be in a romantic relationship with her. I don’t think he should or would abandon her and the baby, but I can’t see how it would ever work out between them when Hermione kisses another man, one who has just admitted his love for her, one who has just seen her in states of undress, one who has just intimately touched her, in front of Ron. We see his reaction to only the kiss and that was bad enough—he didn’t even know about the other stuff that just happened or the things that happened the other seemingly endless times Hermione and Draco get together, which Hermione has hidden from him (he’d have a stroke if he knew about those). We see his reaction and Hermione is completely oblivious, once again more concerned with Draco’s feelings than with Ron’s. Quite frankly Ron deserves better.
Date: 08/20/2010 08:42 PM Title: Chapter 23 - A House Guest
I can empathize with Hermione wanting to make sure that Ron’s proposal comes from love, not obligation. But I’m disappointed that she didn’t voice her concerns to him. Where’s her trust in him, the trust she asked of him when she was at Malfoy’s apartment earlier?
Which, by the way, she’s gone to again. I know she’s pregnant and feels as if she failed herself and Ron, but Merlin, it’s hard to empathize with someone who makes the same mistakes over, and over, and over again. Especially when those actions are so hurtful to the one she claims to love and the one who is so devoted to her. She has the complete devotion of a wonderful, handsome, and capable man; she has a love that people spend their whole lives looking for. The callousness with which she treats this treasure is staggering. I feel guilty about saying this, but sometimes it’s even hard for me to see why Ron should stay with her. She treats him like dirt, walks all over him, and hides things from him (even before the pregnancy) instead of being honest about the things that are bothering her.
Once again, we get to see the chivalrous Draco Malfoy: “Draco knew he could simply reveal the truth and his father would be absolutely delighted, but there were no assurances that he wouldn’t just take Hermione from Draco’s flat and that just wasn’t something he was prepared to deal with. It had taken him months to get to where they were and his father wasn’t going to take her from him, not now.” What great concern he has for Hermione, hiding her from his father so that his father can’t take away something that’s his. Can’t let her get away before he can bed her, right?
Date: 08/20/2010 08:35 PM Title: Chapter 20 - Discoveries
This chapter reminded me of the times I read people’s reviews and the spot-on predictions they had regarding guardians and intercepted owls, while I had no theories of my own. It made me feel kind of stoo-ped, lol! That’s the beauty of reading a completed fic, though—the answers are already put to paper.Loved Protective-Older-Brother!Bill.
Date: 08/20/2010 08:34 PM Title: Chapter 19 - Distractions and Discussions
“All those times he turned on the charm, touched her, kissed her and each time with the clear intent to earn her trust for Voldemort’s gain, instead became earning her trust for Draco Malfoy’s gain. He wanted her and it was becoming more important to him than fulfilling some task for the Dark Lord. It was becoming personal.” This quote is, as you’ve noticed, why I hate Malfoy. Everything he does is for himself. He doesn’t love Hermione; he loves himself and his happiness and he sees her as a commodity that will make his life better. He doesn’t love Hermione; he loves himself and his pride and he can’t stand the thought of anything choosing “the Weasel” over himself. He hasn’t truly chosen a side in the war because he can’t figure out who the winning team is yet.The last paragraph kills me: “It was chock full of all the right things to say: apologetic, friendly, and emotional. When he finished, he smiled as he read it through, sure it would pull on all of her heart strings just as planned. With his quill poised to sign the letter, he paused and let out a deep breath. Despite his instructions, he still held on to a spot within him that was only meant for her and it told him to add something to this letter – something that would be from the real and true Draco Malfoy, not the manipulative, contriving louse he had become and so he closed it.” Is he listening to himself? The whole letter is manipulative.