Ooh this was quite interesting! I love how you wrote Draco, it was so in character!! I think you really do get in his head. I liked your narrative, it was just perfect for the mood of the story. The descriptions were elaborate yet never got boring either! The ending was quite cool, the sudden change in the atmosphere of the scene was quite tangible through your narration. I really really liked reading this. In fact, I am moving on to the next chapter now, I quite enjoyed it!!
(AditiDraco95)Author's Response: Hi!
I tried hard to write Draco exactly the way he was acting when he was part of the Inquisitorial Squad: arrogant, spoiled, mean-spirited and completely full of himself. I just went about writing him as though I was a person who thought the whole world owed me something. That seemed like the perfect mindset.
I'm really glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for reading and reviewing! Report Review
It's funny because I didn't even realize the story was completed when I started reading these new chapters. It makes me a little sad, but it makes perfect sense, really. I don't even know where to start with this review because this last chapter was truly exquisite. I was glued to the screen and every part of this chapter was flawless. Bellatrix and Narcissa bringing up some childhood issues really chilled me, especially the 'barbaric' way of making someone remember the family trees. Now that's really cruel. The best thing, though, was how Bellatrix mentioned Andromeda. You could just feel the resentment in her words. Strangely, without any specific words, the reader can simply feel the back story. Even in regards to what Narcissa said about Andromeda's departure before, I'm thinking Bellatrix was really hurt by this, what she in her crazy brain saw as total betrayal. And then, I usually hate Bellatrix. Sure, she was fascinatingly dark and all that, but I've got over her after a while. There's only so much you can be interested in an obsessed screeching puppet. But here...I really, really liked the way she was written. She seemed real, you know? Even if she was evil, and she cackled, it made sense and she was portrayed like a real person. And I think that even though Voldy's the best for her, she still cares about her family, like Narcissa. One thing about these stupid evil Purebloods is that they are loyal to their families...like Draco feels loyal to his father despite all the disappointment and danger he's given them. Am I making any sense?
The scene with Voldemort was very well-done. He was scary and dark. I could just imagine the swish of his robes as he waved his wand. Same goes for hearing the silky, terrifying voice of Ralph Fiennes in my head as I was reading the dialogues. Voldemort's difficult to write because it's very easy to go overboard with it, but you nailed it.
Poor Draco! He's just a kid and there he is getting branded with the dark mark. I really felt for him in that part, because even though he's a git, this is not what he should be going through. I liked how he didn't lie to Voldemort, how he didn't fake bravery or anything. Also, when Voldemort said Draco was meant to be his from the moment he was conceived...that there was the most twisted thing and it was the best line of the entire story. Seriously.
Another thing that was truly fantastic was how Draco was reciting in his mind the family tree. Really added another special layer to the whole scene.
Narcissa was wonderful in this story. It breaks my heart how she cares for Draco through it all, how she doesn't even want him become a killer! Their last moment at the end was beautiful and it really was the perfect place to finish the story. You filled this blank perfectly and I really enjoyed reading this. I'm so glad there's still Detox for me to read so I can get more Draco goodness! Amazing story.Author's Response: Hello, again!
First off, thank you, thank you, Thank You! So many lovely reviews. It really made my weekend.
I gave a lot of thought to whether I should make this story longer. There were definitely some other events from that summer and on into the early part of Draco's sixth year that I could have explored. But there was something very appealing about bringing this to a close after he meets Voldemort for the first time and lives to tell the tale. The entire story was building toward that moment and I think anything I added would have been fairly anticlimactic.
I have to imagine that childhood in the home of Cygnus and Druella Black was not much fun. There's a reason that Bella turned out as fanatical as she did and I think it's the same reason that Andromeda ran off to marry a muggle-born. I'm really glad that all of those thoughts came through clearly. It's always very rewarding when you manage to get an idea across without having to come right out and say it. And I agree that Bella does care about her family, albeit in a very twisted sort of way. She honestly thinks that she's doing what's best for Narcissa and Draco. To me, everything you said made perfect sense, and I'm really happy you felt that way.
Wow. I am absolutely thrilled that you like the portrayal of Voldemort. He's so hard to write. It's very intimidating, trying to find the right words and gestures to make him realistic.
Draco has been in far over his head since the very beginning of this story, but I think it finally really dawns on him just how much danger he's really in. And I do believe Voldemort thinks of Draco exactly that way: he's property. He's something that Voldemort is entitled to possess simply because of who his ancestors are. I'm very glad you liked that line. I was rather proud of it. ;)
The family tree was a strange little idea that popped into my head when I was first laying out a plot outline for this story and it stuck with me the whole way through. I'm glad you liked it.
One of the neat things about writing a story is that sometimes you don't end up with exactly the story that you started out planning to write. I never meant for Narcissa to be so central to this, but that's how it turned out and I can't say that I'm unhappy about it. Her story is intertwined so tightly with the outcome of books. If Voldemort hadn't treated her family so harshly, she wouldn't have become so disenchanted with him. If she hadn't become so disenchanted with him, maybe she doesn't betray him in the forest. One of the most amazing things about JKR as a writer is how she manages to take even the minor characters and create interesting angles for them.
Again, thank you so much for all of the lovely reviews. I'm chugging away on the next chapter of Detox, so hopefully soon! Report Review
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! Report Review
I liked Bella very much in this!! People portray Bellatrix as this mad cackling woman, which she was I guess. It just gets so exhausting reading about her always screaming and laughing. Here she resonated with energy and confidence and she didn't make my head hurt. I was almost sad to see her go. Even Narcissa was perfect. She spoke with a hidden desperation but sounded very collected for Draco's sake. It's amazing how through everything, Narcissa really only wants Draco safe, risking all her reputation and safety for him. Maybe she wasn't the best of mothers where upbringing is concerned, but she is a strong one still.
I know I keep repeating myself over and over again, but I am totally into the way you write Draco and the entire story. The language just flows and explains everything in just the needed detail. You're such a talented writer.Author's Response: Isn't Bella awesome? I haven't had very many opportunities to write her, but I absolutely love it. I agree with you that Helena Bonham Carter's portrayal of her was both good and bad. She captured the madness very well, but I think she missed a lot of the darkness and menace.
Narcissa has pretty much figured out by this point just how much trouble and a Draco are in. That's why she's started to reach out to people on "the other side" for assistance. She knows that it's the only way she's going to save Draco from the Dark Lord's wrath. And she is willing to do anything to make that happen.
I'm so pleased that you're enjoying the story. It was really rewarding to write and for me it filled in a very interesting gap in canon. Thanks for reading and reviewing! Report Review
I know you've written tons since this but I wanted to read the ending because I was getting a bit attached to your Drakey-poo.
So you've made Bella actually useful for something other than mindless destruction... and kept her in Helena-Bonham-Carter-ish character... though you've moved more into book-canon when it comes to characterisation since she walked into this fic wearing that dress from the ending of the OotP film, so well done.
Cissy is lovely in this chapter especially. You can really link her to the woman at the start of HBP, and it's really cool and stuff. Her dialogue specifically stood out to me as being pretty damn awesome, so I don't know if I'm just picky or what.
And Draco himself is just Draco. Scared, with a newfound healthy survival instinct, and a little bit silly. I love your Draco and I can't wait to see where you'll take Detox.Author's Response: Hello, again!
That's quite alright. I kind of like having a complete set of your reviews on this story. I'm OCD like that.
Bella was useful, I suppose, in a very cruel, twisted way. I found it interesting to start to draw major distinctions between her approach to the situation and Narcissa's, keeping in mind what will happen at the end of this summer at Spinner's End.
One thing about writing a multi-chaptered story is that sometimes you don't end up precisely where you thought you were going to when you started writing. I meant for this to be a "Draco story", but it also become partly a "Narcissa story" along the way. Her actions at the beginning of HBP and the end of DH made an impression on me. Perhaps more than they should have, but at any rate I felt the need to explore her character more in this story.
I really need to get back to Detox. I have a lot of ideas for that one and I'm struggling a bit to figure out how to sequence them.
Thanks again. These reviews make my day because like I said, you're honest about what you don't like. Good stuff. Report Review
Hello, it's me again. Your fault for posting in the common room thread, really.
SO. Draco. He's adorable. A bit silly, but adorable, and you've kept him unlikeable yet sympathetic without turning him into Heathcliff, which is great, because you know how I dislike Wuthering Heights.
Though everyone knows that his best course of action is to just seek amnesty from Dumbles and hope he doesn't get randomly killed or sacrificed in some ridiculously convoluted plan in DH.
(That's my way of saying I really liked your summary.)
And yay for more vindictive!Tonks. I love her. She's so much fun while remaining in character, and she doesn't do a half bad impression of darling Bella either.
I haven't got much to be sceptical about in this chapter. You're improving, though you may want to tell sophie_hatter that JKR capitalises random Wizarding words - actually, all of them, IIRC - so maybe you should try that too. :PAuthor's Response: Hello, mes ami. And congratulations on your significant new life event!
Poor Draco really doesn't know what's happening to him at this point. Everything he's ever taken for granted in life -- the idea that his family's money and prestige will always be enough to keep him safe; the idea that being a pureblood makes you privileged in the Dark Lord's new world -- is being torn away. Things would indeed be better if he and Narcissa could get asylum from Dumbledore, but who's to say that she hasn't already tried? If you recall Dumbledore's conversation with Snape in the Prince's Tale, Dumbledore's help came with a steep price. Perhaps it was more than Narcissa wanted to pay.
I enjoyed every second of writing Tonks in this story. She is, for the moment anyway, my favorite character to write.
Yes, I know all about JKR's capitalization habits. sophie has pointed it out more than once. I happen not to agree with it. It's like saying that you or I should capitalize the word Driving or Airplane or Washing Machine. I feel disinclined to compromise on this point. ;)
Thanks so much for another great review! Report Review
Hey, you're going to have to put up with me again.
I love your Draco. I love your Draco. I keep saying that in the grand total of three reviews I've now left for Marked, but you've just characterised him so well, it just makes me happy.
And because I am terrible at this whole reviewing thing, I'm going to skip to the craziest Death Eater of them all. So. She is also all kinds of crazy-wonderful in personality so well done there, but you've written her aesthetically more from film-canon than book-canon, so I've got this image in my head of Helena Bonham Carter hugging Draco Malfoy. It's just... I don't know, I'm being really nit-picky, but it was just weird.
And something else I'm not bright enough to get from earlier on:
>Draco rolled his eyes. The Auror's breach of decorum left him feeling as though he had regained the upper hand.
I found the wording there a bit confusing as to who the pronoun in the second sentence is referring to.
And I know I have spent two paragraphs whining about how I didn't get it, but this is actually another great chapter from you and I want to read the next ones at... some point. So you'll have to put up with me again, I'm sorry to say. :PAuthor's Response: Hello, again! Thanks so much for the tag and for, you know, actually doing your review in a timely fashion. More and more, I feel compelled to express my gratitude for that, because the courtesy seems to be going out of fashion again.
My friend, I do not put up with you. I look forward to seeing what you have to say. There are so few people that I can count on to genuinely tell me what they're thinking without a hint of sugar or varnish.
I'm so pleased that you're still loving Draco. As the story progressed, I found him fighting harder and harder against my attempts to keep him from turning back into "older, wiser, war-weary Draco" from Conspiracy of Blood. I had to keep pushing him back in the direction of "arrogant, spoiled, naive, bratty Draco" as I edited. You will definitely see him drifting toward his older, wiser characterization a bit as the story progresses, but I hope that it will sound natural as his eyes are gradually opened to the dangers surrounding him.
Ha! If you think Bella hugging Draco was weird for you, imagine how it felt to Draco. I get that book-canon Bellatrix was crazy in a darker, more menacing way than movie-canon Bellatrix. I see her here as trying to apply what few social skills she has left to building a relationship with her nephew. After all, she's counting on him to undo the damage that Lucius has done to her family's standing in Voldemort's inner circle.
That sentence you picked out wasn't especially well written, now that I look at it again. The idea is that Draco feels like he's regained the upper hand because the Auror temporarily lost his cool. It's a very aristocratic way of looking at things: whoever can maintain their stiff upper lip longest wins the argument. And it naively fails to account for the fact that the Auror would very much enjoy using physical violence to impose a pecking order on their argument.
Again, please don't ever hold back with your criticisms. They're valuable! I love finding out what things didn't quite work right for readers. Until next time... Report Review
It's Roots in Water here with your review!
Wow. What an absolutely stunning chapter and, if you choose it to be, what a wonderful ending.
To begin, I found the first section very interesting. In her own way, Bellatrix really seemed to care about Draco- or, perhaps, her family honour. She didn't want Draco to think about anything that would endanger him before Voldemort. A moment I found very intriguing was when Bellatrix said that she used the method as well- it was a very interesting slip of the tongue because she's known for her absolute loyalty to Voldemort. What need would she have for the technique?
The spell she used to force Draco to memorize his family history was definitely in keeping with both her character and what we know of the Black family. They wouldn't hesitate to use a spell with such painful results if it would yield such promising results... As it obviously did with Draco. The fact that his mother had opposed the use of this spell on him was also very in-character and showed yet another example of the softness and protectiveness she had towards her son.
As well, I loved how you used Bellatrix's technique in the second part of the chapter. The way you went through his family history and used it as a way for Draco to focus on something other than his present situation was very well done. In particular, I loved how you matched the moment where his immediate ancestry was introduced with the moment when he made a choice that would define both his immediate and distant future.
I did find it interesting how you mentioned that Arcturus Black was the son of Sirius Black... I assume that you meant a different Sirius than the one we all know? And, out of curiosity, did you create the Black history listed here or did you use the family tapestry?
I think that you did a fantastic job with your characterization of Voldemort. There was a definite darkness about the Death Eater meeting and you did a great job of writing the violence and cruelty he was known for without going into too much detail. Voldemort himself was a scary, scary presence in this chapter and I think that you wrote him very well. He wasn't mad- he knew his power and wielded it.
Draco's answer to his question showed both his essential character (the need to survive) as well as the fear that Voldemort inspired. If Draco had answered anything less than "Anything" he most likely would not have survived the meeting.
Finally, as I mentioned before, I think that this would be a great ending point. You've brought the story successfully to the point where Draco would be entering Hogwarts once again and from there we know the essence of his journey, if not what his thoughts were like.
All in all, you've done a brilliant job of writing the "missing summer" of Draco's life in a way that both fits with his immediate future and the one you created for him in CoB. Thank you so much for requesting a review and I hope that there are future stories for me to review!Author's Response: Hi, Roots! I promise I haven't been ignoring you. I'm trying very hard to get Pansy to play well in my little gift one-shot and she just won't cooperate. I'm sure you can relate.
I'm very glad that you enjoyed it and this could well be the ending. It's difficult to say at this point. At a minimum, I can't change anything until the Dobby voting is complete, so I think I'll take my time to decide. It's just hard to see what else I could add that would make the story *better*. It feels like anything that happens after he meet Voldemort -- and lives to tell the tale -- would just be anticlimactic.
I do think Bellatrix cares, in a very twisted sort of way. To her, serving the Dark Lord is the highest honor, the most noble of all aspirations in life. So "helping" Draco to be a better servant, even by cruel, brutal means, is certainly doing him a favor in her eyes. She's a sick, sick individual. And I doubt she really ever had any secrets to hide from Voldemort, she just never wanted him to think that she had fears or doubts. Those would be signs of weakness, and I don't think she was willing to be weak in front of her master.
The Blacks are a very twisted bunch. It's not really a mystery how Bella ended up so crazy. She was the elder sister, the guardian of the family legacy. When her cousin Regulus died and Sirius and Andromeda betrayed the family, I think it took a heavy psychological toll on her.
I was so very pleased with how the family history mnemonic turned out. The way that it slowly converges on him wasn't something I started out planning to do, but I started to realize that it made for interesting symbolism as his entire life converged on this single moment where Voldemort would either decide to kill him or let him live.
The Sirius and Acrturus Black I mentioned were much farther up the family tree. Sirius was actually the third son on the tapestry with that given name, and there were also at least two Arcturus's.
Whew! I am so glad you thought Voldemort sounded right. He is very intimidating to write, about as bad as Dumbledore. They're both such looming presences, and every word and action carries such weight.
Yes, Draco really only had one choice. That's been the case throughout the story. It just took Draco the better part of five chapters to realize it.
I will certainly take your opinion into account. If I decide to end this story here, perhaps I will pick up Draco again in a different story. For some reason, I find myself writing him a lot lately.
Thanks so much for all of your wonderful reviews and for sticking with the story through to the end. As always, the pleasure has been all mine! Report Review
hello, its cartoonheart again.
so, i have just read the chapter and i have to say that it looks like it'll pan out into a pretty decent story.
i like the way that even though draco is in trouble, you haven't made him seem all 'innocent and just a victim'. that way, you have still kept his personality intact and we the readers don't feel forced into feeling sorry for him. well done on that.
i like some of the british terms in there, such as 'loo'. most writers tend to forget that this is a british book and so it is a rarity to find such brit terms anymore, so cheers!
the breakup with pansy...well, i liked it, it seemed realistic based on where you're looking at it from. i personally thought that pansy would have been a little more snarky because of what i've seen in the books but its only fair to say that maybe she's softer when she's with draco (like we see in HBP when they on the train).
another thing that made me a little uneasy was that alastor and tonks referred to them by their first names, aren't they supposed to be on last name terms? but anyway, i like that tonks was still her bubbly self.
i like the way you've created narcissa, instead of being the innocent victim in her family's vendetta, she's the true embodiment of her name a narcissistic pureblood.
great story so far, i like it. 8/10
:) CartoonheartAuthor's Response: Hi, there!
My biggest goal for the story wasn't to make Draco sympathetic or warm and fuzzy, it was to make him realistic. He still harbors most of the same prejudices and character flaws that made him such a disagreeable antagonist in the first 5 books. But he's also just beginning to realize in this chapter that he *might* be in over his head. Not that it's going to change his approach to dealing with life right away. After all, being a snobby, arrogant brat has gotten him this far. So overall I'm pleased with your reaction.
I try to pepper in British terms to make the story sound more like the books where I can. I'm obviously culturally handicapped in that regard, but I have an awesome beta reader who floats me some suggestions and keeps me from messing up.
The thing with Pansy is that she really does care about Draco. They've been schoolmates for 5 years and a couple for some amount of time. But she doesn't care about him *enough* to go against her father's wishes. She probably doesn't care about anybody that much. She's a Slytherin, and she embraces those values.
Ah, Narcissa. Nothing has changed about her, at least not yet. She is much more aware of the danger that they're in, but she's not about to suddenly make up with her blood traitor sister or half-blood niece.
I'm really glad you're enjoying it. Thanks so much for reading and reviewing! Report Review
Hello, it's me again. A review in lieu of a review response. I'm terrible, I know.
I'm sure I've mentioned how much I like your characterisation of Draco, because I really do. He's perfect. This is something I am unused to seeing in fanfiction - you know how it is - and therefore I'm going to have to mention it a lot. Sorry.
I'm also very pleasantly surprised by your Narcissa! It's easy to connect this woman to the desperate mother of HBP and DH while still keeping in mind that she's a loyal(ish) Death Eater and blood purist, and, again, this is sadly not as common as I'd like in fic.
And this whole thing from Tonks:
>"I'm gonna tell you something, Draco. About your 'blood traitor' Aunt Andromeda. In spite of everything your family did to her and all the nasty, hateful things they said, she used to mark the calendar with your birthdays. Your mother's. Our whack-job Aunt Bella's. Even yours. She tries to act as though the way you all turned your backs on her doesn't bother her, like it didn't hurt. Well it did. It hurt her more than she'd ever be willing to admit. And every time you open your mouth disrespectfully, I'm gonna share some of that hurt with you." Her lips twisted into a cruel sneer. "Because I can."
That is so. Much. Win. That's hidden depths in Tonks that we don't see in either canon or fic - at all, pretty much, and I'm just as guilty of this - and I'm really, really happy that you wrote that because it's brilliant. More displeased Tonks, please.
Anyway, my dear, I'm off to try and respond to your review. See yer. :)Author's Response: Hi, there!
Since I get the idea that you watch your reviews and responses about as obsessively as I do, I wanted to throw this out for you right away: If you like Tonks being mean to Draco then keep reading. I don't want to spoil anything, but you will definitely get your wish before it's all said and done.
So on to your review. First off, I'm very glad you're continuing to like my characterization of Draco. That's really important to me. Narcissa, too. A funny thing happened while I was writing my "Draco Story". It sort of morphed into a bit of a "Narcissa Story" as well. Perhaps that was unavoidable, to an extent. They are trapped in this situation together, with Lucius being in Azkaban. But one of the neat things I find about writing is that sometimes the story you end up with isn't precisely the story you started out intending to write.
Have you ever written a block of dialog for a character and when you were done you were almost standing up and cheering for that character? Because even though the words are actually yours, even though the character isn't a real person and therefore doesn't have thoughts and feelings, you still felt just that happy for the character? Yeah, that was me after I finished writing Tonks in this section. For the first time in her life, she is in a position of power over the family that made her mother an outcast. And she isn't going to waste a moment of it. Like I said, more to come...
I look forward to reading your response. If it's as brilliant as the piece itself -- or even close -- I'm sure I'll enjoy it immensely. Thanks so much for dropping by to read and review! Report Review
Ooh, Draco! And more importantly, a Draco almost freakishly untainted by fanon. Now that is unusual.
I'm very impressed by how rigidly canon your characterisation of him is; this Draco is cunning, power-hungry and a tad bit manipulative. That said, I'm curious as to if you're going to give him any of the fandom's beloved hidden depths, or if you're going to portray him as a pure pragmatist. Either way works for me, really.
And the sex. The awkward teenage sex. It was actually kind of hilarious at points, but you've still managed to keep the darker themes of power, manipulation and egotism that you've introduced. I don't know how you manage it, but then again, I am seventeen.
And as for the immediate aftermath of that night - that's a concept that I've never actually read a fic about from Draco's perspective. It'll be interesting to read; I'll have to keep an eye out for this fic, I think.Author's Response: Hi!
When I started this story, I had a goal of telling the story of what happened to Draco over the summer between the end of OotP and the beginning of HBP and doing it as realistically as possible. The character changed so much between those two books. It seemed like most of his childish bravado was gone, replaced by a moodiness and a bitter edge that was, well, almost Harry-like in an inverted sort of way. I felt like there had to be reasons for that, and I wanted to try to explore what they might have been.
Ha. I wrestled a lot with just how awkward to make his romantic encounter with Pansy. On the one hand, I wanted to make the point that this isn't the first time the two of them have done this. Draco is very used to getting his own way. He is completely wrapped up in his own self-indulgence. On the other hand, I didn't want to have him seem godlike in his bedroom prowess, because they are only 15. But I think you got the key point. This isn't about sex for Draco. It's about power and control.
The aftermath was short, but it was far and away the most fun part to write. I just let my inner Alan Rickman run free...
I hope you'll find time to come back to the story soon. I'd be really interested to know what you think of the rest of it. Thanks so much! Report Review
It's Roots in Water here with your review!
This certainly was an interesting chapter! I knew that there was something off about Bellatrix the moment she came into the dining room; the fact that there wasn't a sound before she arrived was clue, since I couldn't believe that Moody would be easy to take down, and her eating with her mouth open sealed it. That specific instance was definitely out of joint with her characterization, since she's so proud of being a "proper pureblood" and probably views eating with your mouth open as distasteful. I found it very strange, considering your great success with her in the last chapter.
And then I read on and learned that it was actually Tonks in disguise and everything made sense. Her idea, which Moody obviously was not a part of, was very clever, especially since Draco hadn't been around Bellatrix enough to know the details of how she acts. Since Tonks played the public opinion of Bellatrix, Draco bought it.
And soiled himself. I really like how you continue to show Draco's naivety in the world. As I said before, he was truly unaware of the realities of Voldemort and the prejudices he's supported and he's getting a rather rude awakening now. It was very interesting to see Draco try to seize the opportunity to escape. You're opening the paths for his future refusal to identify Harry in the manor and, it can be argued, his half-hearted attempts to murder Dumbledore. He doesn't truly want to join Voldemort now but he sees no other choice.
As much as I loved this other side of Narcissa that you're showing us - the weaknesses that she allows only those she loves to see - it was interesting (and different) to see just how much you allowed her to fall apart in this chapter. I would have thought that you'd have her seize the opportunity to see her son safe and far away from the dangers of the war, but I can also see why you had her react the way she did. She just had a horrible shock and she can see no way out. She's depressed and likely to see any plan as a failure now.
As well, having her agree to the plan to run away would have only made the plot more difficult, since we know that Draco did end up joining the ranks of the Death Eaters. :)
The ending definitely brought us back to the Narcissa that we know from the books (the little we know of her, I should say). She still cares about the survival of her son above all else and we can clearly see the roots of her decision to seek Snape's help.
All in all, this was a great chapter that continued to move the story along Draco's unfortunate path. You've done a great job with Draco's characterization as well as with the events that push him to take the Dark Mark. I look forward to reading more about his sad, inevitable journey and thanks for requesting a review!Author's Response: Hello, again!
You know, I wasn't really thinking about giving Tonks away when she takes a bite of Draco's breakfast and chews with her mouth open. I was more just imagining her as being stark, raving mad. But, now that you mention it, it probably isn't the sort of thing that Bella's obsessive devotion to her upbringing would allow. Better to be lucky than good, I suppose?
Moody was actually a part of Tonks's plan. They devised it to confirm what they already suspected -- that some of the escaped Death Eaters had paid Malfoy Manor a visit while the Aurors were otherwise engaged. Tonks merely took it a lot farther than Moody had intended because she can't resist tormenting her arrogant, pure blood cousin.
And she does scare him quite badly, doesn't she? It was just another step in Draco's harsh and abrupt growing-up process.
I've been trying to foreshadow or hint at a number of future events as I take Draco and Narcissa through this story. Bella, as well, to a lesser extent. It's one of the fun things about writing this. Since we all know how the story turns out -- more or less, anyway -- there are so many opportunities to water-drop in ideas and details and off-hand comments that connect with future events. Much different from writing a post-canon story.
I did give some thought to having the two of them try to run. It certainly could have been entertaining to put the two of them out there together in the big, hostile world. In the end, though, it sort of seemed... beneath them, I guess is the best way to put it. There's nothing about either character anywhere in canon or elsewhere that suggests that they would ever just run away from everything they've ever known and strike out on their own. Draco retreats into his family's money and power, not away from it. And you're right, bringing the story full circle would have been much less tidy if they'd tried to run.
In spite of the terrible circumstances she finds herself in, Narcissa really does care more about Draco than anything else. More on this in the next (possibly the final) chapter.
Thanks so much for all of your detailed, thoughtful observations. They're always very helpful! Report Review
Hi, I've thoroughly enjoyed every chapter of this story. The pacing was good without any lag, so it really held my interest. The scenes kept nicely to the story line without unnecessary wandering in all the chapters. I particularly liked this chapter - it had just the right feeling of tension, the descriptions were vivid, the characterizations were very good for everyone, and it had a nice ending that left me feeling satisfied if you wanted to end the story here.
Whether to continue? Well, I think that depends less on the opinions of your readers and more on whether YOU feel inspired to take it further. The story would not suffer either way in my opinion. If you're torn, you can always start something new and come back to this. But it's up to you and what your muse urges you to do. Anyway, you've done a great job with this. I've enjoyed it very much.Author's Response: Hi!
I'm really glad to know that you enjoyed it. I was able to pace this story a lot faster than Conspiracy of Blood because all of the back story is known. There was no need to stop and fill in the gaps. That was pretty enjoyable, actually, just to be able to tell a story without worrying about whether readers would know who any of the players were.
It's hard to say what I'm going to do. There are opinions on both sides. At a minimum, I think this story is taking a hiatus. I hate to do that, but there are other things I feel like working on, instead. If the muse comes back, I can hop right back onto it.
Thanks so much for taking a moment to review! Report Review
Hola! Just so you know, you're my 300th review! yay! :D
First off, I would like to start by saying this: continue it. There's still moments we only saw through Harry's eyes and I would like to see your take of what Draco would've done/said/though in certain moments. The failed attempts at Dumbledore's life, his desperation, his thoughts about his mother, when Lucius escapes...
However, it is your story and if you think its done then its time to move on to something else. But like you told me in a review for chapter 2 of HPoF "I really hope you decide to come back to this story and extend it at some point."
Anyway, on with the review!
Bella, as always, is crazy! But you managed to capture a different type of crazy than the usual version I get to see on FF. I can't describe it very well, but it almost feels like she's a crazed Sergeant who wants everything done right and will shoot you on the spot if you utter the wrong word or breath the wrong way. And she wont stop even though you're family and support the Dark Lord. What I like about your Bella is that her salvation is based on Draco so I'm not surprised that she even thinks about using the Cruciatus on him.
I really like the whole Narcissa/Bellatrix confrontation. They love each other in a very strange way but the sister rivalry felt like it has always been there. In a way, Bellatrix being the eldest of the Black sisters, it feels like she is the one that needs to carry both her sisters in order to live up to the family name. Until one of them marries a muggle born and sees it as personal treason. Meanwhile, with Narcissa, whom I think was raised to be a devoted (and trophy) wife, does not live up to Bella's expectations and takes it out on Draco. The point where Bella tells Cissy that she thought she "was too pretty to do as" she was told, felt like Bella was always jealous of Narcissa and her charm.
How did you come up with that idea for the spell? It was brilliant! It almost reminds me of Umbridge's quill.
Your names for the Malfoy family were so believable that I just spend a good ten minutes looking at every Malfoy/Black tree I could find to see if any of these were canon. They were strange yet they seem to fit with the pureblood style when it comes to names.
"The boy unites two bloodlines of my oldest and most loyal servants. From the moment he was conceived, he was mine.”--I think, by far, this is the best line that Voldemort could ever deliver. I never saw it that way but its true. Poor Draco! In a way, it goes to show that the title of this story goes a bit further than just the Death Eater's mark.
Did Voldemort just went Darth Vader on poor Narcissa? Haha. I'm sorry, that's how I pictured it my head! I had to relieve the tension from this chapter and my brain did the work for me! This whole scene had me glued to the screen and didn't even flinch to change the music that my itunes was playing. Your Voldemort felt scary and fantastic all at the same time! And poor Draco! He's just a child! Yet we know that Voldemort doesn't care. This whole scene reminded me of the movie Downfall where Hitler is giving medals to some kids in the Hitler Youth and telling them they did a wonderful job of defending their nation. Those kids were afraid of war but still did it because they were proud while Hitler didn't even care if they died.
Anywa, enough rambling! This was a very excellent possible last chapter! Can't wait to see if a) you have another chapter or b) whatever you write next!!
Until next time!
--RosieAuthor's Response: I feel honored! It's not every day somebody reaches this milestone and I'm pleased to have been a part of it!
Another opinion in favor of soldiering on, and you are completely justified in tossing my own advice back at me. There are definitely moments where we never got Draco's point of view, and I agree that it would be interesting to explore his increasing desperation as his attempts to assassinate Dumbledore fail and his time begins to run short. Seeing his side of the duel with Harry would be interesting, as well.
Bella is crazy, but I don't think she's totally disconnected from reality the way that many fan-fic authors portray her. Her reality is the same as everyone else's in most respects, but it's built upon her single-minded devotion to Voldemort and her need for his constant approval. Everything gets filtered through that, which gives her a completely different perspective on things. Torturing her own nephew with dark magic, for instance, makes perfect sense to her because in her mind she's helping Draco to become a better servant to the Dark Lord. The ends completely justify the means.
The Black sisters are a seriously messed up bunch. Andromeda, being plainly the most well-adjusted of the lot, would have eventually left anyway, whether or not she fell in love with a muggle-born. Bella let her obsession with blood purity and dark magic drive her mad. And Cissy, the baby sister, probably spent most of her life caught between those two extremes. I do think she probably found it convenient to be Bella's sister a lot of the time. Who in their right mind is going to mess with Bellatrix Black's little sister? And then Bella went to prison for 14 years, which meant that Cissy could surround herself with her husband's sycophants and more or less forget about her crazy sister. But now Bella's back, and I'm sure it's left Cissy quite torn.
The idea for the Black Family "educational spell" was more or less based on Umbridge's blood quill. Blending that idea together with the awful dark magic that's woven through the Black Family legacy didn't seem like much of a stretch.
You wanna know how I came up with most of the Black family names? I went to a web site that lists all of the stars, planets, moons and constellations. Pick and choose, pick and choose. For the Malfoy ones, I looked at a listing of Roman emperors and other dignitaries.
I doubt the Dark Lord ever considered the possibility that Draco *wouldn't* become a Death Eater because he probably never thought about Draco at all until Lucius goofed things up at the Department of Mysteries. But given his general level of megalomania, I'm sure it was an easy step for him to make.
Voldemort did go all Vader on her. And being the benevolent master that he is, he even managed to turn it into a teachable moment for young Draco. What a good dark lord!
What I might do is simply leave Marked as a WIP, but put it on hiatus for a while. So many plot ideas, so little time to work on them...
Thank you so much for all of your wonderful, thoughtful reviews! Report Review
Bellatrix! I’m dubbing her my favorite baddie. You know what I really love about the teaching Draco scene? It’s sibling difficulties taken to the extreme. Not the simple, ‘no I think this school is better than this school, oh I read that this car is safer for this car and you want the safest to drive around soccer practices’ that I’m sure a lot of sisters have. But these aren’t normal sisters, these are two people tangled up in incredible dark things. One completely unwillingly, and the other would give her right arm to remain where she is (not the left, because her dark mark is there). So they are fighting about whether torturing Draco to help his chance at survival is better than to teach him how to close his mind from the dark wizard who will try to invade it. And then when Bella brings in the jab about Andromeda. Perfect!
That one remark Narcissa makes about not associating with mudbloods and Bella’s words about Annie’s lifestyle choice… it’s all perfect. It just makes me think of exactly what their childhood must’ve been like. Narcissa having that deep feeling of right and wrong, but her desire to fit in with her family, to live up to her darling sister Bella, stronger than the need to act on what’s right and wrong. Andromeda being a lever that Bella would pull against her other sister to get what she wants… just those few little lines show so much about how these Black sisters grew up.
And Draco still retains so much of his nativity. He’s seen what his aunt does, the fact that she organized a muggle hospital massacre to get time to slip into the manner. SHE’S CLEARLY NOT THE KIND OF PERSON YOU WANT HELPING YOU OUT. Part of him knows it can’t be good, but still the idea of his aunt performing a spell that can help him ‘concentrate’ is pretty tempting because he could use the help. He doesn’t realize that just because he’s Draco Malfoy and Bellatrix is, in blood, his aunt…. she has no qualms against hurting him. Poor lil guy. I bet he realizes it now..
The line in the second section about Bella rocking back and forth on her feet… ehhh! Chills! She’s such a loon.
The entire Death Eater scene makes me really feel bad for Draco. He’s just a child, a spoiled, arrogant child… but a child. He never deserved to be put in this situation, and I can’t imagine the kind of regret Narcissa must feel for letting her family’s lifestyle turn into this. I really liked that Draco was honest, though it showed his weakness, we know he doesn’t have what it takes to lie to the Dark Lord. This entire part just clicks so perfectly in with what we know from the beginning of HP and HBP. This is the Narcissa that fled in the dead of night to beg Severus to help, and this is the Bellatrix that tried to talk her out of it. I’m so impressed with what you’ve done, Dan. And as much as it kills me to say this, I think you’re right to end it on this note. We know Draco lives, we know what happens. This part, how he became the boy trying to kill Dumbledore.. we *didn’t* know any of that and I don’t think the blanks could have been filled in better even if JKR herself did them. This short story shows of what an insanely versatile author you are, and how well you can understand your characters regardless of who they are. And now, we move onto R and H! Yay! ♥Author's Response: Hello, dear!
Bellatrix is amazing, isn't she? There is no better character in the entire series if you want to explore the descent of a human mind into madness. It makes her challenging and fun to write, all at once.
I spent some time pondering Narcissa's relationship to Bella while I was writing a review for one of Beeezie's stories recently and some of what I came up with really helped with writing this chapter. I think that Narcissa always viewed her insane elder sister as something that was very convenient to have, and we all know how Narcissa feels about convenience. Bella was the scary monster that baby sister Narcissa invoked to get her own way, I think. And it was doubly convenient for Narcissa while Bella was locked away in Azkaban -- she became that much more frightening, yet Narcissa never actually had to deal with her. Now, suddenly, Bella is back and she's crazier than ever. I have to imagine Narcissa is regretting a lot of decisions she made at this point.
But the manipulation definitely goes in both directions, as you observe. Bella knows what buttons to push if she wants Narcissa to do something. Andromeda is a very sore subject for both of them. For Bella, that's because she's embarrassed to have a blood traitor for a sister. For Narcissa, I'm sure that she missed Andromeda if only because she was probably a good buffer to help absorb some of Bella's insanity. I'm sure she was far kinder than Bella, too. At the moment, I'm really into exploring fics that show various takes on the two of them struggling to reconcile after the war.
Draco is still very naive. Naive enough to believe that his aunt would help him unconditionally. Oops...
The final scene brings everything full circle in a sense. Draco is face-to-face with the moment he spent 99% of his childhood dreaming about and the previous week or two desperately trying to avoid. And the Dark Lord cuts straight to the crux of the matter, doesn't he? Draco doesn't want to be a Death Eater any more than Voldemort really believes that he's capable of killing Dumbledore. It's a complete "heads I win, tails you lose" proposition for Draco. If he succeeds, the Dark Lord gets exactly what he wants and the blood is on Draco's hands. If he fails, then it's obvious to everyone that the Dark Lord sentenced him to an impossible task as punishment for his father's failure.
So where to go from here... Well, I have a couple of strong "soldier on" votes and now I have one, "this is a good spot to end it" vote. We shall see how the other reviews go.
Thank you so much for honoring me with your 450th review! I always love reading your thoughts. Report Review
hi, this is cartoonheart94 with the requested review.
lovely start to a promising story and i think that so far you have managed to portray draco's arrogance well. the love scene between him and pansy was -dare i say- classy. i like how you put his thoughts in between all the lines and that also added to his character. you also put a little bit of everyone's personality through, which is generally a hard thing to do since most people just tend to focus solely on one person, but you gave a bit of back story or description, which is wonderful.
i look forward to the rest of the story, it's interesting, original and i like that it has canon underlying it.
well, all in all, good chapter.Author's Response: Hi!
Yes, Draco is quite a little twerp in this chapter, isn't he? He has a lot of growing up to do. Unfortunately for him, circumstances are about to make that happen a lot faster than he probably ever imagined.
Ha. I think you're the only reviewer thusfar who has called that scene "classy". My objective was to show Draco at the absolute peak of his self-indulgent egotism. Here is a moment where he believes that there is nothing in the world that he cannot have or, more to the point, that he does not deserve to have. And then it all goes terribly, terribly wrong...
I really glad that you enjoyed it. Thanks for reading and reviewing! Report Review
I agree, the story would make a great short story if you ended it here. I'm not sure whether lengthening it would make it better overall- perhaps it is one of those stories that are best left short. BUT I am also selfish, and don't want it to end! You are such a great writer anyway that you'd no doubt be able to do amazing things with it. So, I vote, carry on! :DAuthor's Response: Hi!
Thanks so much for your thoughts and opinion. I'm still really up in the air about it, because there are other projects I would like to start on, but this one has turned out to be more fun than I was expecting.
I'm also really glad you're enjoying the story. Thanks for taking a moment to review! Report Review
It's Roots in Water here with your review!
Once again I think that you've done a fabulous job with Draco's characterization. His anger and disgust at the situation he's found himself in poured off the page and showed in his every word.
You've done a great job with the creation of a very dark and conflicted atmosphere. The dangerous and violent feelings the Auror carries for Draco were clear and yet you didn't actually carry through on the threat of violence, which I liked. I think that it would have been too unrealistic if the Auror had actually cast a spell on Draco- angry through he might be, he was still bound by the codes of his job.
As well, it was interesting to see Draco's thoughts towards his mother. His non-understanding of the situation became very clear here, as well as his mother's understanding of it. The fact that he dislikes her for her fear and worry is very interesting because he doesn't understand how right she is to have those feelings. He doesn't realize that in a few monthes' time he will share those feelings.
Another thing that I found very interesting was the way you didn't explore Draco's thought process just before and as he accepted Bellatrix's offer. It gives us a very clear understanding (if we hadn't already grasped it before) that Draco most definitely did not know what he was getting into. He didn't consider the choice to difficult to make; he thought that the choice was already made and that it was inconceivable that he would refuse. And yet there was probably some part of him that objected, because he paused for a long time before answering.
I found the phrasing of the final paragraph slightly confusing because you went from talking about what Draco wanted to do to how he wasn't allowed to do what he needed to do. The difference between wanting and needing can be very great sometimes and I got the feeling that this was also the case here. Because of this I was unsure about what exactly you meant by Draco's needs.
I loved your characterization of Bellatrix. You did a fantastic job of writing her in a way that was undeniably her without giving in and writing as simply insane. I think that she's a very difficult character to write because, though her motivations are easy enough to understand, she's unpredictable, and you included this wildness in your description of her.
A small thing that I noticed that I didn't think was the best word for it was in the beginning of the chapter when the Auror gave a "sarcastic grin". From my interpretation of the scene I thought that you were more going for a mocking grin than a sarcastic one.
All in all, I think that you did a great job with this chapter, especially in moving Draco along in a world that he doesn't quite understand yet. Thanks for requesting and I hope that my review was helpful!Author's Response: Hi, Roots!
Whew. I'm glad you like the way that Draco turned out in this chapter. This is the one where he is *just* beginning to turn the corner and realize that the world is not the black-and-white state of affairs that his father has always led him to believe in. He is still arrogant and obnoxious in this chapter, but for the first time he actually comes to realize that he is in real danger and that his survival may well depend on people that he previously considered beneath him.
His mother is desperately trying to get him to understand all of this, but it isn't until his aunt arrives that it really begins to sink in. Initially, he's merely angry at his mother. He feels as though she's betrayed his father and he can't understand why she's behaving in this way. Once he meets Aunt Bella and her companions, it starts to dawn on him that not everyone who's on "his side" is the sort of genteel, sane and safe person that he thinks of as a proper pureblood witch or wizard. But he still doesn't realize what he's getting into when he says "yes" to her. That comes later. For now, he still believes that his name and his wealth will keep him safe, no matter what.
I see your point on that final paragraph. I really still don't like it. I was trying to get across the point that he wasn't going to sleep very well after meeting Bella and her companions, but I couldn't find the right words. Back to the drawing board...
I agree completely; Bella is very tricky to write. Getting the right balance of madness and calculated menace and that sort of "evil little girl who never quite grew up" vibe took a lot of trial and error. I'm glad you liked the way she turned out. She'll be back soon...
That's a good point about the Auror's facial expression. Good enough, in fact, that I'm going to go and change it! ;)
Your reviews are always very helpful, my friend! Thanks so much for all of them. Report Review
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
~AdeleShareAuthor'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! Report Review
Hi, here from review tag!
I was so impressed with this. You write Draco so well, with such arrogance and pride. I haven't really read that many stories about him, and none that seem so true to the character we see in the books. It was plain to see that Pansy was just a toy to him, just an object designed to please him. It makes total sense that he would think about people that way, in terms of what they can do for him. I just think his narrative (and dialogue too, for that matter), is so chilling.
I loved the scene with Snape too; I could just imagine Draco's shock. His whole concept of the world just comes crashing down around him (hence the chapter title, I guess :P), and I just thought it was so well done. I'm looking forward to seeing how he handles this! And I love Snape's dialogue, especially the line about "a new definition of the word regret." It was just the kind of witty thing he would say, and I could just hear his drawling voice saying it :)
You've got a really great start here; I was hooked from the very first line! As soon as I can carve out some more free time, I'm definitely reading on. Keep it up!
--MaggieAuthor's Response: Hi!
I'm glad you enjoyed my version of Draco Malfoy. He's obviously going to change a bit over the course of the story as events unfold around him, but I hope that I can preserve some of that essential self-importance and cluelessness that make him who he is. He really does look at Pansy in much the same way that a child thinks of their favorite toy. But if you keep reading, you'll find out that he's not the only one with an agenda in that relationship.
The scene with Snape was so much fun to write. I just got the image in my head of Alan Rickman sweeping into the room and it more or less wrote itself.
I'm really glad that you enjoyed it! Thanks so much for reading and reviewing! Report Review
I thnik you've done excellently on protraying Draco in this chapter. He is definitley acting like a twerp! I think you've got him spot on. He's a stuck-up 16 yr old and he is not at all pleased with the Auror invasion of his familys home. It would be weird if he stood by and handled things maturely haha
As for your Bella, I think you did awesome incorropating her madness into her interactions with her sister and nephew. I forget that she probably hadn't met Draco before she got locked up, or at least when he was just a baby. I loved the part where she hugged him and he knew that she wouldn't release him until he gave her the answer she wanted to hear. It put a little twist in how Draco got suckered into being a Death Eater. I always wondered if he had been forced and by the looks of things that's the way you're going to go with this tale. I'm sure it's not completley invouluntary, I'm sure he'd have ended up being one no matter. Bu having him feel like he had to because of his aunt Bella is interesting.
Sorry it took a while to get this one up! I got a little busy this weekend ;) (had a few engagments to attend to, like a concert haha so nothing that wasn't pleasant.)
I'm glad you've asked me to to reveiw this story as you put it up, I'm scared to get to the next chapter cause then I know I'll probably have to wait a bit for the next one and I am really enjoying it so far!
I'll get onto number 4 right away :D
~AdeleShareAuthor's Response: Hi! I'm always super-excited to see what you think about this story. I feel like you "get" where I'm going with Draco and what makes him tick in my world.
He is extremely bratty at the start of this chapter, but he definitely starts to figure some things out by the time it's over. When he's taunting the Auror, he's still quite full of himself. He believes that he can be as rude as he likes because sooner or later, everything is going to blow over.
Bellatrix was fun to write, but intimidating at the same time. It's so hard to gauge whether you're getting her to sound right. And there's so little to go on in the books. Really, if you check, she has next to to dialog. I think she only appears so much in the movies because Helena Bonham Carter is so amazing.
His induction into the Death Eaters, ultimately, will be anything but voluntary. But that is a topic for a later chapter...
No worries. I appreciate all of the time and thought you put into these reviews. You do a really valuable, really amazing service for all of the authors on HPFF and I can't say 'thank you' enough. Here's a start, though: Thank you for reading and reviewing! Report Review
It's Roots in Water here with your review! I'm sorry it's taken me so long to actually write it but, as I mentioned in my responses, I've been busy with work.
This chapter was certainly very interesting and full of developments. I think that you've done an absolutely fantastic job with your characterization of Draco. He's protective of his family and very prideful. His thoughts sound so him, especially in the manner he thinks about Harry.
The moment on the train where Draco attacked Harry was very well done. I had forgotten about that moment in the books but it fit in perfectly with the chapter. It definitely brought Draco's "sneaky" and underhanded tactics to the forefront- he attacks only when he thinks that he can win.
His thoughts after the news of the incident at the Ministry becomes public were very interesting. I don't think that he's ever been in such a position of loneliness before, where everyone avoided him and scorned him. His desire for companionship and friendliness was an intriguing moment for his character because it showed how fragile and young he still is, no matter how important and grown-up he tries to act.
And then when Pansy "breaks up" with him... I wasn't expecting that to happen (I overestimated her adoration of him) but it certainly made sense. Pansy is still a Slytherin, after all, and they tend to look after their own skin whenever possible. To continue to show her love for him would be to throw her lot onto his sinking ship and she's too concerned about her own survival for that to happen. Draco would do exactly the same thing if he was in her position- he just wasn't prepared to see the tables turned on him yet again.
I liked the scene at the end of the chapter. Dumbledore's actions fit in with what we know of his later concern over Draco's life, though I'm sure that Draco will never understand why Dumbledore is doing what he is. Their thought processes are too different for Draco to understand him.
As well, you also added an extra depth to Tonks' character. She isn't just the fun-loving Auror that we usually see in the books; she's protective of her family, same as Draco is, and though she may not like what Dumbledore asked her to do she will do it because he asked her to.
I only noticed one small thing as I was reading this and it truly is just a matter of opinion. At one point in the chapter you described Narcissa's tone as "exasperated" and I found it strange that Narcissa would allow herself to show such an "undignified" emotion.
All in all, I think that you did a great job with this chapter. It will be interesting to see how Draco will react to the changes in Voldemort's treatment of his family- his family's reputation and his father will no longer protect him for his wrath. Thanks for requesting and I hope that my comments are helpful!Author's Response: Hey, Roots!
Ugh, tell me about it. I just got back from a 3-day sales meeting. And the biggest thing I brought back? More new projects. :-/
Anyway, I'm glad you're still liking the way that Draco is coming along. He's taken the first couple of shots that life throws at him and managed to mostly remain standing, but there are many more to come.
I re-read the end of OotP before I started writing this, so I knew I had to work the train scene in somehow. That meant that I had to get Crabbe and Goyle back into Draco's pocket, although it didn't seem like much of a stretch, really.
He's definitely never been in a situation where he lacks people who want to kiss up to him, so that's definitely a new thing. So there was a little more to Pansy than I made her out to be in the last chapter, which was somewhat by design. It's another way to show that every element of Draco's charmed life was mostly for looks and could go away in a hurry if his circumstances changed.
I do think Dumbledore was concerned for Draco, going back a long way. Draco is a product of his environment. From that standpoint, having Lucius for a father narrowed his outcomes quite a bit.
Ah, Tonks! One of the most underused characters in the books. This isn't a story about her, but I did want to make the most of her appearances.
I think maybe I need a different adjective for Narcissa. What I had in my mind was that sort of haughty sigh that snobby people use to say, "I suppose I must continue to tolerate your presence, you common little man." Back to the drawing board...
I'm very glad that you enjoyed it. I'm working on the Dark Lord's first appearance now. Hopefully it will be a big splash. Thanks so much for reading and reviewing! Report Review
I haven't seen you around the forums! :P
But I figured I should come and review this instead of writing ch. 4 of my story. XD Procrastination? Nah!
You know, I'm enjoying this side of Draco. We're definitely seeing a different side to him. At least the side that eventually grows and develops and takes over Draco. He's starting to see the horrors of war and while he might agree to Voldemort's agenda, he doesn't seem to like the way things are being handled.
You seriously had me fooled! I thought Bellatrix had come once again and Moody had been attacked or she was just a very, VERY brave woman by showing up with him there. But no, it was Tonks and I was just as confused as Draco for a second. My question though...how did Tonks know how to act like her dear old, loony aunt? She's been in Azkaban for a while so perhaps Tonks payed her a visit? I'm asking because Draco got scared to the point of soiling himself thanks to Tonk's brilliant performance.
Tonks, here...does she hate Draco for what his grandparents did to her mom? Or does she hate what he stands for?
Man! Narcissa in this story is so heartbreaking. You just gotta feel bad for a mother who is worried about her son's well being! When he tells her about hiding among the muggles, I can just see her waving the white flag...almost as if giving up all kinds of hope.
I'm glad that you paint Lucius as a normal father. I've read some fics where he's just intolerable and is horrible to Draco. Here, whilst a small part, you showed that he cares for his when he was given the card. HOWEVER...he's still Lucius Malfoy and of course he had to sack the nanny. I like, however, the contrast between the young and older Lucius. The way you wrote it felt like the Lucius on his 30th birthday felt ashamed of it and that's why he chased Draco away. But now that the Dark Lord is back and could possibly win...well, its like a treasure to have. I really like, however, was that 4yr old Draco tried to be like his father by 'branding' himself with soot.
The end was very powerful as we know to what extent Narcissa goes in order to keep her only son alive. If Lily had been given the option, I think she would've too. People fail to see it but both women loved their sons as did James and Lucius. Just Lucius' childhood choices are biting him on the behind right about now.
Lastly...Dromie? XD You like being different, don't you? I've (almost) always seen Andromeda shortened to 'Andy'. I've even seen it as Rome or Rommy but not Dromie. Interesting choice! XD
Until next time, Dan!
--RosieAuthor's Response: Hi, Rosie!
I've been a little quiet of late. I have to travel for work the last 2 1/2 days of this week, which basically means cramming 5 days worth of work into 2 1/2 days. Hopefully I'll be more lively next week.
I'm glad you're enjoying what I've been doing with Draco. It's been challenging and very rewarding to try to imagine these horrific events from the perspective of this spoiled, arrogant, sixteen-year-old twerp and then try to explain how his views would gradually change as he gradually realizes just how much danger he and his mother are in.
Ha! I'm glad my little feint with Tonks fooled you. The idea popped into my head as I was writing it and I absolutely fell in love with it. As far as Tonks knowing how to mimic her aunt, I'm sure that the Aurors had some sort of psychological profile on her. And Tonks had first-hand experience dueling her in the Department of Mysteries. As far as scaring Draco to the point of wetting himself, well, I don't know that it was such a huge accomplishment. The guy is still freaked out from the night before. My guess is that Tonks could have turned in a B- performance and Draco still would have fell for it.
I think that Tonks hates everything Draco represents. And she hates the fact that he glories in his family's money and misdeeds. As to whether she hates him personally, well, she probably doesn't think he's worth hating.
Wow. You're the second person to say that they feel really badly for Narcissa. I'm starting to wonder whether I've written her a bit too sympathetically. It isn't that I don't want people to feel bad for her at all, but she has brought a lot of this upon herself by being such a genuinely unpleasant person up to this point.
I'm sure Lucius had his moments of warm normality during Draco's youth. But he's also proud and also rather scared of winding up in Azkaban for his past involvement with the Dark Lord. To me, that fear had more to do with chasing Draco away than any shame he felt. But once the Dark Lord returns, Lucius changes his entire tune. Then, after the Dark Lord falls, Lucius changes his tune again. The guy is a veritable jukebox!
Augh! Dromie! Perhaps the worst decision I've yet made while writing anything! I just wanted a short, affectionate pet name for her. Bellatrix was Bella. Narcissa was Cissy. There must have been something cutesy they called her to avoid the four-syllable formality of her real name. I tried "Andy". Really, I did. And I just couldn't imagine Narcissa saying that. There is nothing in canon, because Bellatrix and Narcissa obviously never speak fondly of her in the books. So I took a swing and I missed. Grrr...
So, anyhow, I'm glad you enjoyed the chapter! The next one might be a little while, because the characters just aren't behaving well in my head right now. We shall see whether they suddenly fall into line. Thanks so much for reading and reviewing! Report Review
Me again. So, I'll start off with answering your questions:
"What do you think about the way Pansy breaks up with Draco?"
I think that they way you wrote her breakup works pretty well. Though Slytherins can be vindictive and showy, I don't really think a huge public fight would have made any sense. The quiet way, with the Owl from her father makes alot of sense. Draco's family isn't the only social ladder climbing family, and having Pansy's father forbid the continuing relationship is very much in line with that.
"Does the animosity between Narcissa and Tonks seem strong enough?"
Yes, I do think you wrote it with just the right amount. Obviously the disdain would be stronger from Narcissa's side, I feel. Sure, Tonks' family has be excommunicated from her mothers side, but I don't think Tonks herself would feel too much loss at this. Sure, she probably hates them for how it hurt her mother, and she likely dislikes them enough for being Blood Purists. I liked how her dislike for Draco was more prominent.
"Does Tonks's revelation to Draco about her mother make sense?"
Yes. I can see poor Andromeda doing this. She probably misses her family, no matter how horrid they've been to her. She must still care for them.
Now for my general reaction:
Absolutely loved it!! You are just such an amazing writer. I liked how you showed the schools reaction to Draco's families fall from grace. And how this fall is going to affect Draco in ways he didn't think of. His mother is smart enough to realize that the Death Eaters may be after them, Draco not so much. He is much too concerned about himself and the fact the he is losing the head of his family to Azkaban. Very interesting ideas are coming to me from the ending. Are Tonks, Moody and the Order stepping in to help the Malfoy's? Interesting.
I found one minor issue. Seems adding a word to the following sentence would help its readability:
"There was nothing in the world he wanted less than to deal with his disgraced cousin and salty old curmudgeon who accompanied her. He was surprised when his mother didn’t budge."
-I think there should be a 'the' in front of "salty old curmudgeon"
Thanks for requesting!
~AdeleShareAuthor's Response: Hello, again!
First off, you are absolutely right about that sentence. A 'the' would make it complete. Thank you for the good catch!
Your review just fills me with glee! It seems like the things I was trying to get across all turned out well for you. I was hoping to salvage Pansy in a way in this chapter. To show that as much as Draco thought that she was his eager, somewhat desperate plaything, she had other ideas. She is playing the game just like he was, and now that he has nothing to offer her, she's moving on.
Tonks is a minor character in this story, but I hoped to do some interesting things with her, nevertheless. I always felt like she was marginalized in the books to such an extent that she became almost pointless. "Look at the awkward girl with 'mood hair' and the funny name that she hates." So you haven't seen the last of her. ;)
Andromeda's name also pops up a couple of times, although she doesn't appear in the story. She will serve as a constant reminder to Narcissa of what her family's rigid, pureblood supremacist views have already cost her.
Draco is only starting to realize how much trouble he's really in. And that understanding gets reinforced in spades in the next chapter.
I don't know what else to say! I'm pleased as punch that you liked this chapter. Thanks so much for reading and reviewing! Report Review
Dan I have to say that a broken Narcissa seriously hurts my heart. She was never the model for mother of the year, but you show her strength as one so beautifully in this. That strength being her love for her son. There are times when I hate her because she's too weak to just take him and go, then other times where I feel like she just needs someone to give her a little help. I'm not sure which one I feel during this.. It's really a mixture of the two.
Can someone tell me why the heck JKR gave Tonks these sweet talents if all she was going to do was play dress up with them? Anyone? No, it's stupid. Except people like you who *do* use them. I have to say, you'd like Run. Mainly because your Tonks and Sarah's are so much alike in the sense that they are intelligent brave women who actually do something with themselves as opposed to feeling like the clumsy, hopelessly in love, random colored hair JKR created.
Draco's initiation to adulthood is really much rougher than most, isn't it? At least Harry had all his friends through his worst times, poor guy is nearly alone. I was almost a bit angry at mad eye and Tonka for not actually putting them somewhere safe, but I know they aren't the good guys here... Things from Draco's side are just not the kind of glamor he wanted to make us believe on the Hogwarts express in book 6.
It took me a minute to figure out who Dromie was because I'm so used to Sarah's (Athene) nickname of Annie. And because its almost midnight. I like the idea of there being someone else in that family who wasn't a nut job. And the fact that Draco doesn't understand why he was killed and is just thinking about his uncles (great uncles?) blood line hurts my heart. He has so far to go. Narcissa is broken in this section in every way possible. She's failed to protect her son, what a horrible feeling.
The ending!! The dark mark and the remembrance of his father's and his simple question - will it hurt? Ahhh Daniel you gave me so many eerie feels!
Love the title you came up with!! It does fit with both Tonks's and the Narcissa scene. Yay!
So we've decided on novel length for this, right? ;)Author's Response: Hello, darling!
Hmnn... I guess it's kind of hard *not* to feel badly for Narcissa, now that you mention it. Even though she's been an awful, arrogant, prejudiced person through the books to this point, she is still a mother and that's a powerful thing. Looking back at what I've written so far, if there was one person I might choose to portray a bit less sympathetically, it's her. But we are where we are, at least until I decide to make major edits or something.
You're preaching to the choir on Tonks. She has the ability to look like anyone she chooses. And she uses this incredible ability to... um, make duck faces at Ginny Weasley? Have "mood hair"? She's the equivalent of Superman deciding to do a Las Vegas show instead of protecting Metropolis. But no longer! Any time I write her, I do solemnly swear to have her use her special abilities to do, you know, Auror stuff. And make Draco pee his pants.
Draco is having a rough go of it, isn't he? I'm not sure the decision was really left to Mad-Eye and Tonks as to where to put the Malfoys. Or even solely left to the Order, for that matter. If the Malfoys were to suddenly disappear, I imagine the Ministry would get involved. On the list of things the Order was dealing with in the aftermath of Voldemort's "official" return, I'm guessing that Draco and Narcissa just didn't rate.
Ugh. Honestly? I hate that nickname. But, I was trying to think of something abbreviated and affectionate that Bella and Cissy might have actually called her. There's nothing in canon, because Bella and Cissy obviously don't ever speak fondly of her in the books. I perused the relevant fan fic and found a lot of "Andy", which I just could not imagine Narcissa ever saying. "Meda" just sounded dumb. I even found one instance of "Andro", which had to be the most terrible idea ever. Dromie seemed, I don't know, like the lesser of a bunch of evils. But now I hate it. What to do, what to do...
I thought about a few different endings for this chapter, but there was something so... humanizing about the idea of Draco wondering how much being branded would hurt. It strips away all of the high-minded philosophical stuff and pretense and reduces his anxieties to something very basic and universal.
Eh. I'm glad you like the title. I'm still not sold on it, but I couldn't come up with anything better. :-/
Thank you so much, dear, for all of your wonderful reviews and for being there (being insistent, actually ;) ) for me to bounce ideas off of! Report Review
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