Dun, dun, dun! Obviously, as soon as Kingsley mentioned the alarms, I had a pretty good idea of what would transpire. And yes, I do think you described the alarm systems pretty well, though I have to admit to being slightly confused by the tracer. Maybe I missed this, but is it a stone too? Anyway, I think the stone idea is pretty good, because it does allow areas of varying sizes to be covered, and pebbles are inconspicuous and easy to handle. I can see some of the Muggles being less than impressed with a bunch of rocks that are supposed to keep them safe, though.
I love the way you opened this chapter! I knew right off that Scrimgeour was working on his speech, and even though you didn't describe it until a bit later down, I could picture him scratching off each sentence on his rumpled parchment, possibly with another sheet or two in his waste paper basket. I have to admit to being amused as his sentences became increasingly desperate. Let's face it: There was no way on Earth he was going to bang out a decent first sentence before breakfast.
I'm actually beginning to like your characterization of Scrimgeour more now. He doesn't seem quite as needy and useless. I can picture him struggling the way he did in this chapter, and the way he behaved while on the Vidiportal conference seemed very in-character for the way I imagine him. He was grumpy, inflexible, and a bit desperate.
One question. How are they going to man all the tracers without someone realizing something funny is going on? Or has the "new order" been completely leaked by now?
Author's Response: The alarms don't really get mentioned much in the chapters to come, because I move on to other things. I wanted this to add to the effect of the impending doom by emphasizing that Voldy takes his time, the villain who simply KNOWS that everything will go his way in the end. Even time is on his side. *shiver*
You're right, though, I just realized I never describe the tracer. It's left to the reader's imagination, I guess. It's just a device that has some kind of indicator [different colors or words, maybe] for tracing the kinds of magical activity in the corresponding area. Glad you liked the stone idea, haha. =]
And oh, Scrimgeour's speech. Just wait till you hear the real thing! ^_^ It's in Chapter 8. He worked so hard on it, the poor dear.
To answer your question: Scrimgeour doesn't think much about that, of course, but Kingsley knows who is trustworthy and who is blindly obedient. Those are the people he'll "shuffle around." There's a limit to how much he can exercise that power, though, and because Thicknesse is the Head of a subdivision in that department, it's a problem. Thicknesse, as a Head, knows about the new order. You'll see who else finds out in later chapters. =] Thanks again for reviewing!