Hi! Things have been hectic in real life for... oh, about a month, but I'm BACK to review you once again! :)
Okay, so I'm glad that you asked me to pay close attention to Jeremy Gamp, because I've got a lot to say. First of all, I think that I'll have to read Conspiracy of Blood sometime so that I can see all of his other villainous escapades. This guy seems dangerous!! His maniacal laughter was really creepy and it reminded me a lot of Bellatrix. It didn't help that his glittering, manic eyes were compared to hers. They're the type of people who have a wild look in their eyes, and in both of their cases, it's a reflection of their characters. The fact that Draco was worried when he accidentally turned his back on Gamp is really terrifying. He's obviously not someone you want to mess with.
In seven chapters, I haven't found a single mistake in your writing, which is totally awesome. :) However, there's a first time for everything, and I'm not even sure if it actually IS a mistake. When you're talking about Flint's physical features, you wrote:
"The dark-haired wizard had added a few pound since his Hogwarts days..."
Is "pound" supposed to be "pounds" in that sentence? My mind wants it to be "pounds," but I'm unsure if it's some sort of Britishism to say "pound" instead of "pounds." It's such a minor thing, but I had to mention it, just for the sake of thoroughness. :)
Also, Flint! Hah! He's the typical college frat boy. Maybe in high school (aka Hogwarts) he played sports (Quidditch), but then he got to college (the resurrection of the Death Eater movement, in his case) and gained some weight. Lolzz! That being said, it's good to see that he's still the same brute-force-using Marcus Flint that was in the HP books. This just gave a close-up of his brutishness.
I was quite surprised to see that Zabini was described as "a lover, not a fighter." It is very true that he is more mannered than the other two, but I never pictured him as someone who loves other people, per se. If we're talking casanova, though, oh yeah, I can TOTALLY see that! He's probably the type who has a girlfriend and a back-up girlfriend and a weekend girlfriend and... Well, you know what I mean, haha. :) But yeah, the mysterious new Death Eaters would chew him up and spit him out. He should be careful!
Draco continues to stand up for himself, which is great. He's no longer the ferrety little ferret that he once was--he actually grew a spine! I hope that he can continue his lie until the delinquents can be caught and thrown in Azkaban for trying to start up another fear campaign!
Another side note about Jeremy Gamp: I can't believe that Daphne is in raptures over her marriage to HIM!! Of course, she's probably mostly excited to wear a pretty dress and a tiara and have everyone watching her at the wedding (center stage, yo!), but STILL. Jeremy Gamp is a creeper and a madman, and probably a wifebeater to boot!
Astoria and Narcissa's conversation was illuminating, to say the least! I'm glad that they actually like each other--no hatred is always better! It was also cool that Astoria acknowledged Narcissa's part in saving the Wizarding World, because it shows that she isn't like every other person who wants to bash the Malfoys for picking the wrong side. And awww, Narcissa's revelation to Astoria that Draco stood up to Bellatrix just makes her admire him even more. :) :) :) They're definitely going to be a good couple when they're finally together. If only they can get through some obstacles, like Daphne's wedding, Lucius Malfoy's Lost Cause fixation, and the neo-Death Eaters! The course of true love never did run smooth, says everyone's favorite Bard. :)
Wow, I'm halfway through this story! I look forward to seeing what happens next! :D
Author's Response: Hi, there! No worries on timing. I'm always happy just to see you back for another go-round.
Jeremy Gamp is one of a handful of characters that tie Detox and CoB together. He's a nasty piece of work, cruel, violent and not all there mentally. Here we see him in his formative years, before he goes to Azkaban and pretty much loses the few marbles he has left. That's why he's able to woo Daphne and convince her father that he's a worthy suitor. He comes from an old, pureblood wizarding family and he's able to hold it together well enough in polite company. That, and Daphne is desperate to be married by a "proper" age.
Thanks for pointing out that typo. It's amazing how they can sometimes survive countless readings and reviews before somebody finally makes note of them.
I like your thinking about Flint. He's definitely still living in the "good old days" before the war, when his family name made him quasi-nobility. You can practically hear "Glory Days" playing in the background. He's another character that appears in CoB, having escaped from prison with Gamp.
We're definitely talking "casanova" where Zabini is concerned. He's far out of his depth in this revived Death Eater movement and at some level he knows it. That's why he's so keen to have Draco involved. Draco comes from the same sort of very refined upbringing as Zabini, but he's already shown that he can hold his own in a fight. What he doesn't realize is that, as you say, Draco is in this fame for himself now. Draco has no intentions of ending up in Azkaban for Zabini's sake or anyone else's.
The conversation between Astoria and Narcissa was my favorite part of this chapter. I think a lot of trust and mutual admiration was built up during those few stolen moments in the bank lobby. You're right, true love never does run smooth. And there will be a lot more bumps in the road before the story is over...
Indeed, you're halfway through! Thanks so much for all of the awesome reviews!