Ohh Draco has made so much progress! Even some of the things in this chapter that are just smaller details, like Draco using the servantís staircase and acquiring Muggle money, show how slowly but surely heís able to morph into a living, breathing human. A few years ago heíd have been appalled at stepping on the same stairs that the servants use. But in this situation, where itís either do that or deal with his father again, heís able to chose the one that best suits him. That part, choosing what best suits him, is very Draco which balanced out using the servants staircase nicely.
And I loved that, even if he wouldnít admit it, there are a few things about the Muggle world he may enjoy. I really want to hear what Lucius would say if he knew that his son was not only using Muggle money, but spending a signifiant amount of time surrounded by them. Mwahha.
His thoughts about the past argument with Lucius reminded me what an unstable life Draco really does come from. Iíll always see Narcissa as a good mother, to the best of her ability. And Iím sure Lucius, despite destroying his son with his own messed up ideas, still spoiled Draco. But from the moment Voldemort regained power and came to life in book four, Dracoís life would never be the same. Now his dad isnít just the feared Lucius Malfoy, heís a possession of the Dark Lord. Making Draco a possession of the Dark Lord. And now, after itís all said and done, heís left with a shell of a father who is too detached and messed up to realize itís time to let go of the past.
Iím so happy youíve made Narcissa the way she is. I think itís nice that Draco has at least one parent a bit more in touch with reality.
Ohh this was such a big step for Draco! Heís gained a lot this evening. Respect from Minerva, which I canít imagine being easy to get, his freedom around the school, and a real, solid reward for all the work heís been doing. He started out to build something of himself. To get rid of the pathetic drunk that parents didnít want their daughters talking to. And this was such an awesome confirmation that, no matter how challenging it may be, what heís doing does mean something and it is working. I think heís even enjoying getting himself back into society more than he thought he would.
And this opportunity could be a huge one for him! I hope he follows through with the Potions job at the Ministry, because it could be a huge step in the right direction.
Oh this last section! Okay, all Iím going to say about Isadore and Astoriaís section is HAHAHA. I donít really love Isadore, but I do think sheís a good balance for Astoria. Sometimes I wonder if sheís more interested in being Astoriaís friend because she cares about her or because she likes to gossip. But I suppose if she was just a normal sweet friend she wouldnít be a Slytherin :P. But still, their conversation absolutely cracked me up. Nice euphemisms ;).
Now I want to move on to my favorite part of this whole chapter - the very end of the last section. I have such a hard time really getting my opinions on Mr. Greengrass accurate. Itís clear he loves Astoria and wants whatís best for her. But he doesnít value how smart and capable she really is. I just wish heíd stop trying to control her and let her make some of her own choices, but he wouldnít be pureblood father of perfect pureblood princess if he did that. Still, it was a very, very good way for Astoria to realize that this wonít stop and sheís going to end up hurting someone. Sheís not going to let herself get hurt, sheís not going to hurt Draco. Sheís going to hurt the people who are trying so desperately to run every aspect of her life.
Iím very, very excited for the next chapter! So much happened in this, and itís easy to see just how these two would have fallen so in love.
Author's Response: Yay! Jami's here!
Draco's coming along quite nicely, yes? He's still a work in progress, but the key pieces are in place. Now we just have to see whether they come together properly. He's figured out what in idiot his father is. He's got something to live for. And he's even managed to dial his muggle-hate down a notch.
Draco really does come from a messed up background. I do think that Narcissa really loves him and does her best, but she comes from the terrifyingly dysfunctional House of Black, so I her ideas about how to be a good mother are probably rather skewed. And Lucius is probably the world's wealthiest wannabe (say that 5 times fast...). He fills Draco's head full of nonsense, makes him think that he's royalty, buys his way onto the Quidditch team, constantly interferes with Draco's school... Basically Lucius is the Little League Dad from Hell. It's a miracle Draco didn't turn out any worse than he did.
I feel like McGonagall felt duty-bound to acknowledge Draco's progress, but she felt dirty when the conversation was over. She probably went straight to her quarters and took a long, hot shower. ;)
I don't think of Isadore as lovable, really. She plays a role in Astoria's life, and a fairly important one at that. Isadore is "that friend" who kind of holds up a mirror to Astoria and lets her see an exaggerated version of some of her own less positive traits. Also, I imagine she's a good laugh. I'm glad you liked the euphemisms. Some of my best work, right there. :p
I'm glad that you feel ambivalent toward Mr. and Mrs. Greengrass, because that's exactly how Astoria feels. They're her parents, they've always been good to her, loving and supportive, and she loves them in return. But she's reaching an age where she wants to be in control of her own life and they simply aren't ready to let go. That's not the background they come from and Astoria is their baby.
I have lots of ideas for the next chapter! Let's see how quickly I can knock that sucker out. Thanks for another awesome review!