So, I'm almost to the halfway point of the story now, and it just keeps getting more interesting. Blaise is still devoted to that Lost Cause that is pureblood supremacy, and Astoria is having the wedding blues--about her sister's wedding, no less!
Okay, so this story just continues to be a testament to the fact that change is SO DIFFICULT. No matter what happens in the world to tilt everything on its axis, there will always be those stubborn people who cling to the old ways and glorify the things that they were fighting for.
Example A: Daphne's wedding dress bliss. She's SO into 19th century fashion, and while I don't blame her for being a fan of it--people knew how to dress back then!!--it's quite obvious that her love of the fashion places her at odds with Astoria. While Daphne squeals and gets drunk, visions of peach bustles dancing in her head, Astoria feels uncomfortable and compressed in the dress. Daphne's still in that cage--she's still okay with the idea of settling down with someone to be his "happy little wife." Astoria is being forced into the cage and she doesn't like it--she doesn't want to be told who she can and can't love, and she doesn't want an arranged marriage OR an arranged date to the wedding(that's so last century). I think that her reaction was perfectly rational. Astoria loves someone, too, but she doesn't want to marry him at this point in time. She sees that he has problems and she wants to help him fix them, but she wants to be his equal, not his subordinate (sorry, I just read Abigail Adams' letters to John for a class. I'm sort of in that mindset right now...).
But anyways. Astoria's mother... She didn't exactly seem like a caricature, but she did seem contrived--I think that's because she's lived her life in a contrived, fake sort of way, and so it's just the way she is. It was rather nice to know that she and Mr. Greengrass found love in each other, despite having an arranged marriage, but it is extremely backwards of her to believe that the same thing could happen for Astoria. Even to "put on a happy face and make the best of the situation" is not enough--this is life-long commitment we're talking about here! There will be conflicts and clashing of wills, but Astoria should at least be allowed to pick the man that she wants to spend the rest of her life looking at over the breakfast table, darn it!! So I don't really enjoy Astoria's mother for being that way, but I understand why. :P
It was really interesting to see Draco in a rational state of mind after the cataclysmic end of the last chapter. I thought that he was going to backslide completely and go back to being a drunken sot, but this chapter surprised me. He IS drinking alcohol and he IS hanging around with Blaise again, but he's being cautious. He's determined to play his cards right this time, and he refuses to be swept back up into the whirlwind of the Lost Cause again. He's even being careful with the alcohol! What caused him to get out of that funk from chapter 6, I wonder?
His plan to attend the wedding is... A bit misty to me. Is he going to get Blaise to dissuade Montague from attending so that he (Draco, I mean) can go instead? Is he going to take Polyjuice Potion and BECOME Montague for a little while? I'm not sure what's going to happen, but that's okay. It's good to have mysteriousness sometimes. Or perhaps I'm just silly and I missed something? If so, I'm sorry for my oversight! :)
My favorite line was definitely "Come off it, Zabini, we both know that Emery Montague is playing Chaser for the other squad." Hahahaha, that would present MORE than a problem if Astoria's parents ending up setting her up with him in an arranged marriage. Perhaps that's why he never showers, so that the ladies will stay away? Who knows? Will we get to meet Montague? He sounds like quite a character!!
Great chapter! :D
Author's Response: Hello, again!
I decided to call this one "Old Habits" for a reason. It's littered with instances of people clinging to ideas that are simply past their time. Whether it's Daphne's taste in bridesmaids dresses or Mrs. Greengrass's ideas about love and romance or Zabini's political ideas, these people need to get a grip and join everyone else in the present. But if they did, this story wouldn't be nearly as interesting. ;)
I admit that I had a blast writing the dress fitting. There's something really satisfying about watching these Slytherin snobs be completely miserable while Daphne acts like a drunken lunatic. Astoria's chat with her mother wasn't as much fun, but it's important to the plot. What I hope you saw was that Astoria's mother, while she still clings to the values she was brought up to believe in, also has a romantic streak. That will be important later on.
I wouldn't overestimate Draco's state of mind at this point. He's once again found something to focus on to help hold himself together, but that grip is tenuous at best. What helped him to get out of his funk is the fact that he's mostly been avoiding his father.
You've got the right idea regarding his plan to attend the wedding. He's planning to use polyjuice to take Montague's place. You'll get to meet young Emery in chapter 11. He's quite a piece of work, as you'll see.
I'm glad that you enjoyed it! Thanks for reading and reviewing!