Wow. What a portrayal of Draco Malfoy. First off, I really like that you're referring to him as Malfoy rather than Draco. I remember the first time I re-read all the books after beginning to read fanfiction, I was astonished that JKR refers to him as Malfoy almost exclusively--and then I was equally astonished that I'd forgotten how astonished I was that so many fanfiction writers called him Draco. Funny how we get used to things.
Well, that's not really important. The way you're portraying him, Malfoy as opposed to Draco sounds very appropriate. The way he's so bitter, angry, stuck in the past . . . it's all a bit pathetic and very Malfoy-ish. It's just him! It really is. I love it. The image of him rushing around, hiding papers, trying to make a lordly impression, hoping to prevent further Ministry interference . . . nice.
You also gave him two fabulous lines. I cracked up when he made that comment about the state of the economy. Also, though it's a bit awful, I was amused when he snapped that he wasn't in the habit of killing things he'd paid for. That's a good point, actually, though it hasn't always stopped people.
And yes, it was amusing the way he managed to get a rise out of Hermione. On the one hand, I almost want to say it's a bit cliche to have someone goading her about house elves--but JKR set that up herself, now didn't she? And what better way to bring those two together? It didn't feel like a cliche at all.
I was also amused that Malfoy thought the house elves seemed to be acting more pathetic than usual, as if putting on a show for Hermione (which they very well might have been--would YOU want to "work" for Malfoy? I wouldn't.).
Author's Response: The funny thing is that I hated Draco while reading the books and most fanfiction. It's hard to find a story that makes me like him, yet I egotistically like my own version of him in this and "Harry Potter is Dead!". He has a lot of potential to be at once a funny and darkly serious character - there are a lot of contradictions to his character which are interesting to explore (and exploit).
How an author chooses to name a character is fascinating to me - Rowling uses certain titles for certain characters, and for Draco, it's always his last name. That's his identity, as a Malfoy, and the Trio certainly don't see him any other way, though Hermione might change as time passes.
The end of DH created a strange and awkward situation for the Malfoys - they were treated poorly by the Death Eaters and weren't part of the dark side any more. Narcissa had saved Harry, Harry had saved Draco, and there wasn't much left of Lucius's pride. I tried to place Draco on the edge of society - still a pureblood, still obsessed with money and status, but not very well-accepted by the rest of the wizarding world, which makes him bitter and unhappy. He's not at all romantic, that's for sure. :P
Haha, you're very right about that cliche! I hadn't thought of it before, but like you said, JKR did set us up for it. It's almost expected that Hermione should have to go check on the house elves at Malfoy Manor, and of course, that must make Dramione canon, right? *rolls eyes* The house elves do seem to enjoy exaggerating their roles, yet at the same time, I wonder how much of an act it is. They are working for a Malfoy, after all.
Anyway, thank you so much for continuing on with this story. I hope that you can try and enjoy the rest of what's here. Updating it should probably be on my to-do list. ;)