*rolls in full of shame and a thousand apologies* I'm finally here for our exchange, i'm so sorry for how long it's taken, i feel absolutely rubbish for taking this long!
I haven't ever read a Lucius/Narcissa story so i wasn't really sure what to expect but I must say i am pleasantly surprised to see how good this is. I really liked Narcissa's character and how you showed her as the obedient pureblood. It came across in the smallest details as well, which i really appreciated. It was in her thoughts about house elves, how hard she tried to compose herself, and the contrast between her and Andromeda in how she chose to follow who her parents chose and yet Andromeda left the house at the mere suggestion.
I like the dinner too and i think it really showed the relationship between her and Lucius well and i loved seeing him squirm when presented with a weeping damsel. It really just showed his stiff pureblood self who's been brought up to believe that emotions don't matter. It was interesting how he dealt with it too as it showed this vulnerable side of him. (well, as vulnerable as he can get) when he said he was sorry and that he worried for her. It obviously took a lot for him to not only see that she was going through something but also was able to express these thoughts to her. AND he didn't go into his hyper pureblood mania that we know him for. But i really liked that part as well because he showed this humanness and it really gets me when the characters in the books are always portrayed as they are in the books. Like Peter always being a betrayer and no one likes in many marauder stories. he wasn't always like that! Lucius might not have always been a pureblood crazy as well and i appreciated how you showed another side of him. I hope all that makes sense, it's a bit rambly. :D
One last thing, although i liked the brief interactions we see between the sisters and i loved the exit, there was a part of me that wanted to see more of that moment, more of the sister's dynamics and more of the reasons behind Andromeda's exit as it felt a little abrupt. However, it didn't really detract from the story itself and i did like the subtle characterizations that you had in there and i thought you did do a great job with bringing out Bella's need to be best and Cygnus indifference.
Overall, this is lovely and i really loved reading it, you have such a great tone with this story that it made it so easy to read and follow. :D
Author's Response: No worries! Glad you stopped by :)
I've been told that details are one of my strong points, and I'm glad that they worked well here. I really tried to convey Narcissa's snobbishness through the small things, like her disdain for the work done by the house elves, because I feel like her regal nature would be very ingrained by this point in her life and she wouldn't think twice about having opinions like these, much less miss little expressions of how much better she is than everyone else (in her perception, anyway). I think she must have been really shocked, even more so than Bellatrix, to watch Andromeda simply turn tail and defy family tradition. (I picture it now as sort of leaving the Mob. It just isn't done, you know?) I sort of wonder if maybe Andromeda's actions, in part, inspired Narcissa's later defiance of Voldemort, even though that was also motivated by family. Okay, now I need to stop generating new story ideas and finish responding to this review! -shoos Muse-
I was definitely trying to show a different side of Lucius there, the one that perhaps drew Narcissa in from the beginning and convinced her that marrying him might not be so bad. Hopefully he got better at comforting a crying damsel as they stayed married over the years, since I imagine she fell into tears often. I really like to strive in my stories to mold canon characterizations so that they show new potential aspects without diverting too much from what we know about the character.
I think you make an excellent point, and it's one that reviewers have pointed out before. Naturally, no story is all-encompassing, and the focus here was meant to be more on Lucius/Narcissa than anything else. However, reading your review has sparked an idea for a story that I laid down a while ago that compares the Black sisters to the Three Brothers, and maybe I'll dust that off and give it a try, or do something similar, in the future. I love it when reviewers make me think, but especially when I get a thought-provoking review on an older story upon which I have, so to speak, 'closed the book'. Thank you!
I really appreciate your very kind review :)