Okay, let's do this!
He directed an ear to it, listening, and smiled sadly. "I don't ever want to give you up."
"Well, that's stupid," I'd told him. "Why on earth would we have to give the baby up?"
Lucius had looked up at me then, pity coloring his eyes, and said, "I had to give you up."
UGH, my heart. What's funny is that based on the characterization of Lucissa I see a lot on the archive, you might expect it to be the other way around, Narcissa saying she had to give up both of the most important men in her life. But to have Lucius say it just drives the stake a little deeper.
The part with Fenwick was so well done. His death started me as much as it did Narcissa, poor thing. I loved the imagery you used there and the way you compared Narcissa's loss of composure with Lucius's cold calculation. I also like that you've shaken me up here, too. You've woven this beautiful love story with these two very flawed and victimized people, and then I get this little peek into the possibility that maybe Lucius isn't Prince Charming to Narcissa all the time, either. With that, you cement this into the mainstream, without losing any of the richness and beauty of the plot.
It's weird to think of everything I've read and adored for months and months as a mere bedtime story. Did you always intend to end it that way? I really like it, especially the false sense of security that shows up there at the very end. It really reminds me of how jarring the Dark Lord's return would have been for canon Narcissa and Lucius.
This was such a treat, Sarah, and I'm so pleased that I finally got the chance to finish it. Awesome job with everything, from characters to imagery and beyond. I'll surely recommend it in the future!
Author's Response: Amanda! ♥
And it all turned out to be a bedtime story. Yep, it was always intended to end like that. In my mind, the only reason why there were fairy tales woven throughout was to make it interesting for Draco, softening certain points of it so that he would better understand. And as the story went on, it gradually crept into a more canon feel, drawing to a close with the assumption that all was well and Voldemort was gone forever. Even though Lucius and Narcissa were supporters of Voldemort and the dark arts, I think they would have been relieved on some level to have him gone; no one wants to raise their kid around that sort of thing. By the time Voldemort flew back onto the scene, Draco was old enough for Lucius to not care so much; but I think it would have been terrifying for Narcissa, who counted on a peaceful, elegant life in a nice house. They fell very, very far in the end.
Thank you so much for your kind words. :) Your reviews on Purgatory were where I first noticed your name, and it's a very warm and happy feeling to have early readers come back and read the final chapter.