Hi again! I'm here with another requested review :)
I like the way you opened this chapter up with a newspaper article. It was neat to read Rita's take on the incident with Harry and Hermione. I would have expected to see a little more spite mingled with her reporting, especially for Hermione. However, I still think it was a neat way to begin this chapter and move into the rest of the action.
For what felt like the millionth time, Draco Malfoy was trapped. - Love the allusion here. Nice touch! I always wondered if Draco had the potential to be overtaken by his minions, and it looks like his old friend Blaise has done just that. It's also nice to see Blaise take on his own personality in your story, as opposed to him being just another of a long line of Slytherin lackeys.
The conversation with Harry and Hermione was interesting. I think the initial part about talking about Harry's feelings went on a little longer than it could have, but I liked how it showcased Hermione's determination and use of logic. The new information about Ginny is interesting, too. I still don't quite understand how this sort of behavior would cause her to be so nonchalant about Harry and Hermione's encounter, but I can see that she's erratic, and perhaps it fits in. Hopefully you'll continue to give us more detail about how she's changed in future chapters.
Ooh, I really don't like Blaise! I think it's really admirable how you've managed to keep Draco pretty close to canon thus far and have still managed to make him pitiable, at least for me. He practically looks like a protagonist next to Blaise! The poor guy just got his childhood home back and all Blaise can do is trash all over him, and then he won't even tell Draco why he is needed so badly. I'm really curious to figure it out for myself, really.
The impending dinner should be very interesting! I think you've done a great job building up to it, and overall, I was impressed by this chapter. Good job!
I hope this review is helpful :)
Author's Response: Hi Amanda!
I didn't include Rita Skeeter's spite because when I envisioned the scene of her writing the article, I imagined her feeling very intimidated/threatened by Harry in his magically out-of-control state. Because you mentioned it, I'm thinking of adding a retaliation on part of Rita Skeeter later. I think Harry and Hermione are underestimating her a bit. She didn't get this far in journalism by being stupid or cowardly.
I'm glad you said that about Blaise because I'm really enjoying writing him now. In fact, I think that's why my next chapter is lagging a bit - because he's not in it. Hah, hah. I have a sadistic little side of me that likes writing his nastiness. Also, I've never liked stories where Draco is some Pureblood Prince that all the Purebloods adore. At Hogwarts, he never seemed particularly cunning to me (more insecure and spoiled), and I always imagined that Slytherins wouldn't respect him for much more than his name.
Ginny didn't worry about Harry and Hermione's kiss because she really doesn't think they'd ever get together. Harry and Hermione have been friends for a long time, and there's never been any chemistry between them, as far as Ginny's concerned. Also, Ginny's acting, as you said, erratic, so she doesn't linger on it. More about Ginny will be revealed later, and I hope things make a bit more sense at that time.
The truth is that Blaise himself doesn't know exactly what The Department wants Draco for. His whole "Minister of Magic" spiel is just an educated guess (could be right... or not...). *evil author's laugh*
Thanks for the review! As always, I really appreciate your invaluable feedback. :)