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Review:forsakenphoenix says:
I think you write Narcissa beautifully here. How delicate she is - not only physically but emotionally. Her inner turmoil at her oldest sister leaving them for a 'nobody' and hating Bella for making her lose her composure in front of her future husband. I like that you have Mr Black favoring Bella and Cissy doesn't want to lose her mother's favor too. It brings Andromeda's plight to light, that she isn't the favorite of either parent. It makes her disloyalty to her blood family more realistic.

Your descriptions once again are lovely - the imagery of Malfoy Manor and Cissy being a bit of a snob when she notices the layer of dust on the fireplace and how when she moves in, she'll hire new elves. You show a contradiction between her fragile nature and the privilege she's grown up with.

Lucius taking her away from his mother because he was concerned about her was so sweet. It's a side I feel we don't see very often of him so it's nice that you focused on a moment in their lives where we can see their relationship blossoming - how sweet and innocent it is in its earliest stages.

The ending line was perfect. How they follow protocol and routines for these outings and then, finally, she decides to kiss him. I hate to keep saying how sweet your story is, but that's what I think of that last line too.

This was just very lovely. Nicely done. :)

Author's Response: HI! :)

I'm so glad you liked my Cissa! I've gotten really into writing her lately for some reason. I think I'm just really enamored with her changing character throughout the final book (read: growing a backbone). I just love the potential for emotional complexity with her, and I'm glad that came through here. I really wanted to hammer that system of favoritism in, the idea that there is a hierarchy within the Black family. Bella takes more after her father, being acutely in tune with his dark wizard leanings and having more of a boyish spirit, whereas Narcissa would be her mother's frail, delicate flower, always doing just what is expected of her. I sort of love the idea of Andromeda as this total rebel, but there is definitely a very sad spin on her story.

I'm pleased that you liked the description also. I wanted to create a contrast between Cissa who lives this sheltered life and Cissa who wants things done her way because she's entitled to it. It seems like that worked, which is great to hear.

Yep, I wanted to show the softer side of Lucius. I get a little sick of all the abusive Malfoy stories, because I don't think the Malfoy family's actions in Book 7 really suggest that. It's just something we assume of the villainous aristocrats. I also thought it would be nice to write something that had little to do with their engagement or marriage -- they're just starting out here.

Indeed, I wanted Narcissa to take the reins at last, just like her older sisters. It was my goal to show that she could find happiness "within the system" as well as out of it, like Andromeda. So it's okay if you keep saying it's sweet; it is good ol' fluff, after all :)

Thanks for the very lovely review!

Amanda


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