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Review:Pixileanin says:
On the eighth day of Christmas...

Oh yes, please may I kick Draco?

Pansy's steadfast attempt at indifference was so cute, with her trying to be all "I'm a proper Slytherin and you can't fault me for that, right?", though Draco's craving for pleasant company might have needed a slightly bigger buildup to be more convincing. It was hard to tell whether he really needed the company, or he just wanted to know whether there was still someone on his side. Or maybe it was a combination of both, plus the fact that the one person he least expected had turned on him as well, but his desperation seemed overplayed. I loved that Ginny was still able to torment him in her own special way.

Draco really tried to carry on as usual, but even his attempts to take his anger out on Harry were thwarted. I can't think of a more fitting ride back to the station than in the luggage compartment, covered in slime and boils and all manners of whatnot.

Narcissa has a lot to handle with that boy. It was a small miracle that she talked sense into him so quickly. I guess by now he has learned to recognize his mother's "don't mess with me" tone of voice. He really hasn't been paying attention to much beyond the end of his nose, has he?

When it finally dawned on Draco exactly why the Aurors had shown up to escort him and his mother away, I'm sure he couldn't have been any more shocked or dismayed. I really like what you did with Tonks here. You gave her a real, clear voice that spoke with the attitude that I expected, and you gave her some fantastic lines to slap Draco in the face with. That was just awesome!

*smack* Take that, Malfoy! Be ashamed. Be very ashamed

Author's Response: Please feel free to kick Draco at your leisure. Everyone else is doing it. ;)

Hmmnn... I just re-read this for the first time in weeks and you actually have a very good point about Draco's craving for company. I really should have built that up a lot more. I remember writing this chapter -- I hate second chapters -- and all I wanted was to get to the "cool part" with Moody and Tonks. I definitely short-changed the beginning.

This was Narcissa's first appearance and you'll see a lot more of her. She does have that "don't mess with me" tone at her disposal, and there's also that aristocratic imperative not to air family grievances in front of strangers. At any rate, she gets control of him quickly enough.

I really, really enjoyed writing Tonks in this. She's such an under-developed character in the books. It's easy to forget that she and Draco are first cousins. The only person who really ever brings it up is Voldemort. So I thought it was totally appropriate that she would take a perverse joy in being able to mock and intimidate her "proper" cousin.

I'm so glad you enjoyed this. The end, especially, was a lot of fun to write. Thanks for reading and reviewing!

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