Wow. I think I'm at a loss for words! I'm so enthralled by the plot that you are creating for the summer before Draco comes back changed and as a new Death Eater. Again your portrayal of Bella was great, even if she was being played by Tonks :) I never really thought much about Dracos relationship with his Aunt. You've made it clear that she terrifies the...pee, outta him haha! I think I'd be just as scared! I think Cissy definitely fears for Draco, and I'm re-thinking her a lot now. She seems much different here than the books, though we do see so little of her. We know she goes to Snape later this summer to ask for his help, but in the book and movie this just seemed like something she felt she had to do. She seemed to suddenley realize that her and Lucis' pasts are catching up to them. And in the book we never get a glimpse as to how this hits her. Here we are seeing how hard it did hit.Here we see why she went to Snape, she needed to some how protect Draco, and Snape seemed a likely way to go. You show so much more depth to her, and though sometimes she is coming off pathetic, I think the anguish she is feeling over her only child's doomed destiny would do that to anyone. I don't think I feel overly sympathetic to her per se, more towards Draco (and that in itself in an amazing feat credited to your writing here, as I've mentioned)
One bit really spoke to me:
"Draco had never felt further removed from the four-year-old boy who used to smudge his forearm with soot from the fireplace and then pull his sleeve down, carefully guarding his cherished secret from the prying eyes of the world."
Wow. Just wow! This is so sad!!! Baby Draco pretending to be one of the most horrid kinds of people we know! I want scoop him out of Malfoy Manor and raise him up properly, with good role models to look up to. This shows the demented kind of childhood the poor guy had. Although Lucius did try to hide it from him, I don't really feel that it was out of the shame of exposing his child to the Dark Lord. Lucius was once very proud to bear that mark and after Voldemort's fall, I think he was just fearful. But firing you Nanny because she had allowed your 4 yr old son to 'disturb' you with a birthday card? Typical Lucius Malfoy. As for Draco trying to be like daddy; he's 4 and all kids look up to their parents at that age, and at 4 he definitely didn't know the implications of what he was pretending. But it almost made me cry :'(
For him wanting to be like his daddy, he pretended to be branded with the mark of the most evil wizard known. *sniffle*
Anyway, incredibly moving chapter with a bit of humor shot in there at the beginning! Loved it so much!
And now the waiting game. next chapter asap! Please? ( I know all to well the strains of RL, so in all seriousness, hurry! No, take as long as it takes to get to this level of amazingness!!) :D
Hearts and Happy Writing thoughts sent your direction!! :D
Author's Response: Hello, again!
First off, a huge apology. I hate leaving a review unanswered for this long. It makes me feel itchy. The only thing I can say in my defense is that I've been pouring all of my time into finishing chapter 5. It's going to be a doozy. That's all I'll say for right now.
One of the neatest things about writing a canon story, at least for me, is that sometimes the plot takes on a life of its own in your mind and takes you places that you didn't originally intend to go. Marked started off as a Draco story. But somewhere along the way, it's turned into something of a Narcissa story, as well. Those two moments in the books -- when she appeals to Snape for help and then when she lies to the Dark Lord about Harry's death -- completely redefined her character for me. I do think there's much more to her than being Lucius's pureblood trophy wife or Bella's weak baby sister. I hope that some of that comes out in this story.
The bit about young Draco smudging ash on his arm and pretending to wear the Dark Mark sort of popped into my head late in the process of writing this chapter. I'm glad you like it. Something about it really struck a chord with me, too. I do think that Lucius hid his mark out of fear, not out of any particular sense of regret for having been a Death Eater. I think he sacked the nanny for much the same reason. He was afraid of Draco revealing his secret and he wanted to send a very strong message.
I'm really glad you enjoyed it. Depending on how the editing process goes, I might have chapter 5 up in the next day or two. Thanks so much for reading and reviewing!