So, Draco's getting sober now, and if the dream was any indication, it's going to be a LONG road for him. I loved all of the creepy imagery that you put into the dream sequence, showing Draco all of the death and destruction that Voldemort caused. As a fledgling Death Eater, he must've witnessed some of the cruelty and bloodshed, but seeing the bodies of his enemies and his friends lined up like that (even in his subconscious) should definitely spark a change. In fact, he should want to start running as far away from all of that as possible.
Draco's conversation with Narcissa was incredibly vital to his start on the road to recovery. She loves him, that much is plain, and her words of encouragement were very good for him to hear. I think that it was wise of her to state that Draco needed to work on his own mind before worrying about Lucius' misconduct--after all, Lucius is older and more set in pureblood and Death Eater customs. His mind will be much harder to change.
Astoria's father is not very likable, in my opinion. I can tell that he, like most purebloods, is quite entrenched in the customs of pureblood supremacy. The only difference between him and Lucius Malfoy is that Mr. Greengrass reviles the Death Eaters for wanting to overturn the Ministry. He does not seem to agree with Voldemort's ideas, and he hates that the war has sullied the reputation of being a pureblood. He's a very interesting character, and I'm sure that he'll show up in later chapters!
As for Zabini, he doesn't seem too dense, but in contrast to Draco, he is a drunkard fighting for a lost cause. All his talk of rising against the Ministry and taking what is rightfully theirs is a bunch of nonsense, and on some level, he knows it. He is crafty and cunning, but alcohol has addled his brains. Draco is disgusted with him, and rightfully so.
The way Draco handled the two wizards was impressive. He is still a fighter, but he will only make trouble if others provoke him. My impression of him was that he acted out of necessity and played it off with an air of suavity that seems to be his birthright. Before the fight, I saw a marked change in him when he cursed the fact that the restaurant served alcohol. It is apparent that he truly wants to change his ways, and good for him! :)
'Til next time!
Author's Response: Hi, there!
Yes, Draco has begun the long journey back to sobriety and better mental health. And you're absolutely correct, it won't be easy. I'm really glad you liked all of the imagery. I wanted to keep it really stark, but also dark and creepy, so I was worried about whether I had too much or too little description.
You're spot on with Draco talking to his mother. She is a key figure in his life. She was the only one who was there for him at all times during the war. She risked everything to try to keep him safe. Lucius... well, Lucius will be a project.
I didn't really want readers to like Horatio Greengrass too much at this stage of the game. He is very naive about Voldemort and what actually happened during the war. That's good in one way, because he wasn't a Death Eater and he never associated with them. But it's bad in another way, because he has no idea how powerful and dangerous Voldemort really was. He just assumes that the Blacks, Malfoys and other Death Eater families were propping up a madman because that's the only thing that makes sense to him. You will see other sides of him in later chapters, so I'm interested to see whether your opinion changes at all.
Zabini is still living the dream, so to speak. Like Mr. Greengrass, he was too far removed from Voldemort's inner circle to really understand much about what happened. Unlike Mr. Greengrass, he bought completely into Voldemort's "vision" of a perfect world. Draco is very disgusted with him and you're right, he should be.
Draco definitely learned how to fight during the war. He couldn't have survived otherwise. But he isn't eager to do it. He merely defends himself and then leaves.
I'm really glad that you enjoyed the chapter! Thanks so much for reading and reviewing!