I find myself caring for these characters more than ever before. I almost feel sorry for Draco and Narcissa. I mean, they just wanted to live their life and be posh as hell, annoying with their fancy walking canes and dress robes...and here they are in a life-threatening situation just because Lucius wanted to be cool and important. Draco's reminiscing to when his father was branded was perfectly done. It didn't disrupt the flow of the story but added nicely to it. Another interesting addition was uncle Augustus. I didn't even knew he existed before and it was an unexpected and interesting thing to add to Narcissa's character. It shows that she doesn't like violence, she cared deeply for this uncle who had always been caring and civil to them. Another thing that's so fascinating about the Malfoys is the way Draco thought even his father would perceive the attack on the Muggle hospital. I think even Lucius never thought Voldemort would go as far with all his plans. So I agree even Lucius, who I'm sure has killed some people, would call the attack uncivilized.
Yay, another Tonks and Moody appearance. What's really great is that you're able to really make a character shine even if they're in the scene for a few paragraphs. I may have said this before when they confronted Draco at King's Cross, but once again...Tonks and Moody were awesome. And Tonks, you give Tonks new and new layers of edge and rage and spunk. I like how she's not either a goof or a love-deprived woman who cries for Remus. She is one tough Auror and she can go a bit too far with her emotions when it comes to her family and that's simply an amazing thing to have in a story.
My one criticism is that even if it's maybe just me, but I'd omit some of the 'my darling' and 'my dear' parts. You use them an awful lot. Narcissa hardly says a sentence to Draco without using it, so does Bella and even Tonks impersonating Bellatrix. I noticed this even in Detox when Horatio kept calling Astoria his princess every other sentence. I understand it's fitting for Narcissa to spoil Draco every minute, even if she's talking to him and I'm sure she calls him my darling often, but here it's a little overused I think.
Anyway, this was my favorite chapter yet with action and lots of Draconess. I love the fact that he really wanted to run away but had to stay because of his mother. I wouldn't think him wanting to do that at this point yet, but you made it all believable for me. :)
Author's Response: Hello, again! So many wonderful reviews! I love this!!!
I was a little torn when I was writing this about how I wanted readers to feel about Draco and Narcissa. I mean, they aren't *good people* in the normal sense of the term. They're both arrogant, bigoted and selfish. At the same time, they never asked for the mess that Lucius landed them in. In the end, I simply tried to keep them as true to what I thought their canon characterizations were as possible and let the readers decide how they wanted to feel.
Uncle Augustus didn't exist before I made him up. ;) I had toyed with the notion of having Narcissa reach out to Dumbledore, only to discover that his price was too high. In my mind, Dumbledore would have offered Draco protection only if, like Snape, Narcissa had agreed to spy for the Order. And even as much as she wants to save her son, Narcissa would have been delusional to believe that she could have been an effective spy. She simply doesn't have the skills. So a relative like Uncle Augustus made sense, somebody who was sympathetic and a relative and who didn't hold with Bella's rigid ideology of blood purity and support for the Dark Lord.
I had so much fun writing the section with Tonks and Moody... you can't imagine! The idea of Tonks literally scaring the pee out of Draco was too funny to pass up. I love Tonks, and I always felt like she really got the short end of the stick in the books. I mean, here is this smart (youngest Auror in a generation), tough, brave young woman with this incredible gift, and what does she do in her appearances in the books? Make duck noses to amuse Ginny and Hermione, lose a duel to Bellatrix, get married, have a kid and die. I really wanted to make more of her.
I see your point on the way that Narcissa fawns over Draco. In my mind she was very distraught, but it still might be a bit much.
I'm really pleased that you like all the Draconess. I really enjoyed serving it up. Thanks so much!