Hi Sarah! I'm so pleased to return to this story, especially now that it's completed! So bittersweet ♥
Ugh. Your characterization is unbelievably perfect. It's positively chilling. Only you could make Lucius and Narcissa look almost like saints alongside their fellows! :) Voldemort, though, is my favorite. You've really got him down to a science, mocking his followers and playing on each of their fears, using his powers to frighten and amaze them. I like his little comments about the need for grammar lessons. He clearly expects perfection from them all, and yet he revels in the fact that none of them will ever be as wondrous as the self which he views. One of the things I find most interesting about Voldemort is how his followers will tear one another apart to gather his affection. It's scary.
I wondered how many times Voldemort would dig around inside of us until our brains were scrambled from the abuse.
^Once again, your description is fascinating. I actually felt physical pain reading this and the bits just before and after it, to imagine what it must actually be like to endure Legilimency.
Poor Regulus :( It's neat to imagine him going in as a spy from the start. I like how you used Narcissa's thoughts regarding him, Lucius, and Bellatrix to really cement this idea of her caring about things, about people. It sets up the canon Narcissa, who would do anything for her son, quite nicely. I wonder if we'll be seeing him anytime soon?
Your prose, as always, is lovely, and I've already mentioned the gorgeous imagery. I will have to return sometime soon to finish this one up at last.
Author's Response: Amanda! Squee!
You were one of the first people to give me confidence about this story, so I was very thrilled to see you return to it to read this chapter. I feel so guilty for letting the story sit, neglecting it for months between each chapter. I added like four chapters just this year. -___- And all this time, it could have been finished. I don't know why I neglected it. I don't deserve to have any readers left at all.
I always want to make readers empathize with the protagonists, even if the protagonists are bad. So I just have to make everyone else worse by comparison. :P Narcissa is still brutally selfish at times, and Lucius quite cold, but when they're in a room with all the other Death Eaters it becomes apparent that they could be much, much worse.
Voldemort's grammar lessons, lol. He just seems the type who would loathe the lot he's with but at the same time, acknowledge that he needs them. And like you said, he loves the opportunity to remind himself that he's better than they are, and watching them go for each other's throats at every available chance. If they see the opportunity to tear someone else down in order to make themselves look better, they are all over it in a heartbeat.
I know that Regulus most likely wasn't a spy from the start, but since JKR didn't specify I used some license here and made him a lot more like Sirius than previously known. A brave spy ~
You will see Draco very soon. :3
Thank you so much for reading and reviewing!