I swear I've read this before, but I forgot to review I suppose.
I love Lucius and Narcissa, so this was quite the cup of tea for me! I love how Narcissa really tried to keep her composure in tact, just as I imagine she would. Lucius was so cute and adorable and fangirl worthy, yet kept his composure and dignity as well! I loved it! This was very cute. My heart was breaking because Andromeda left her whole family and you captured it really well. Obviously I realized Andromeda left her family but theres something about the way you wrote this really renewed the sorrow I felt for them:/ I loved your imagery, by the way!
EverAuthor's Response: Hah, I know you do, so thanks for coming by :) I'm glad you liked both Lucius and Narcissa and felt that they were in character here. I really had fun messing with their stuffiness :) I'm also glad that the weight of Andromeda's departure came through in Narcissa's grief, and that you liked the imagery. My head canon is that Narcissa secretly missed her traitor sister very much, and that they made up after the second war.
Thanks for another lovely review :)
Amanda Report Review
Iím a huge minor character fan and seeing I have read some excellent Narcissa fanfiction in the past ( and havenít read any in a long time) I knew I just had to check it out ( also you had a really great summary which lured me in). I really liked Narcissaís character in this story and the way you convoyed it through the little details. It was quite realistic. I also liked the fact you showed a softer side of Lucius because not many writers do that. Most writers make him sound so abusive but if you read the books correctly you would know that isnít the case. So I thought this was realistic coming from his side and not OOC.Author's Response: Hey! Thanks for coming by :)
I always worry a little about my summaries, so I'm glad you liked it, and I'm happy that you enjoyed the story. It's lovely to hear that both Lucius and Narcissa are realistic; I get tired of that abusive portrayal, too, and I love them both, so I'd hate to get them wrong :)
Thanks for your kind review!
-Amanda Report Review
*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
-zayneAuthor'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 :)
-Amanda Report Review
I saw this while I was sorting out stuff for the review exchange, and got a bit nosy! Honestly, I've seen so many fics with Narcissa's reaction to Andromeda leaving, but I can't understand how I could ever underestimate you. Ever.
I loved this so much. Narcissa's reaction was perfect. Of course she'd cry, but she was literally frozen to the spot, which made sense because this came out of the blue. It was funny at the same time because all Mrs. Black does is scream anyway. Cygnus Black apparently is too engrossed in anything else to be bothered, and Bella just smirks. You'd expect it to be emotional and heartfelt, but it made me chuckle. All the family hate about Andromeda leaving was probably just Druella and her batty sister-in-law.
I LOVED Lucius here (which is no surprise, really). I love that he's still the rigid pureblood everyone expects him to be, but he notices her enough to realise when something is wrong. And he removed her from a potentially dangerous situation, into a safe place where she could talk about it. He wanted to know if she was okay - which is all a person could ever ask for on most days. Even his reaction to Andromeda leaving with a muggle born was very anti-climatic, in that he didn't blow up, or speak badly of her. It makes me think about when those prejudices really came into play.
This was really great work, Amanda. I'm glad I was so curious!
LiaAuthor's Response: Hi Lia! I'm happy to see you here! :)
I think I just really wanted to ruffle some pureblood feathers with this piece, both in terms of Narcissa and Lucius. I was trying to play with how Narcissa, with her perfect upper-class life, would handle something as crazy as her older sister running off with Ted Tonks. It's great that you liked the Blacks' reactions - I meant for the whole thing to be kind of lighthearted and funny, in a very macabre way.
It was neat to make my Lucius squirm a little. I just had trouble imagining what Draco or his father would do when confronted with a crying girl, and I thought it would be a neat way to bring Lucius and Narcissa together in a vulnerable moment. You do kind of have to wonder when things got so extreme.
Thanks for your super sweet review :)
-Amanda Report Review
This was a really good story! I loved the chararcterization of Lucius and Narcissa. From Harry's point of view we always see them as cruel, hateful people, but I've always thought that they were loving to each other, and this story proves that. I also like the way Narcissa feels about her sisters and parents; they seem really realistic. Overall, great job! :DAuthor's Response: Hi there! Thanks so much for your kind review :) I'm glad you liked the story and that it gave you a new perspective on the Malfoys. I agree that they seem to love one another more than we realize from canon.
academica Report Review
You've left me two lovely reviews so I thought it was about time I returned the favour :)
This was interesting. I love Narcissa and Andromeda as characters and I think you gave them a lot of depth. I also thought it was very romantic and I loved Lucius in this.
I would have liked more background information on Andromeda, though I understand that since it's from Narcissa's POV, perhaps she isn't as concerned. I just thought it was slightly abrupt, the way Andromeda was told Yaxley wanted to go out with her and then she just upped and left. I seem to want to read more a lot, though, so maybe it's just my personal preference :)
I definitely thought the way Lucius and Narcissa were courting each other was quite realistic and sweet. The only other quibble I have is a grammar one -- dialogue punctuation. I'll give you an example.
'Yes.' He admitted.
Now, this is incorrect because after dialogue, if you have a "saying" word such as "admitted" or "said" or another word that describes how the dialogue is said, there should be a comma after the "yes", not a full stop/period. Then, the "he" won't be capitalised. I just noticed that this error kept popping up so just bear that in mind in the future, because it was one thing that was a little distracting.
But overall, I really liked this piece, and I thought it was an excellent exploration of what could have happened when Andromeda left her family. I rarely read Lucius/Narcissa but this was done very well.
~Soraya~Author's Response: Hey there! It's so thoughtful of you to stop by and leave me a review, and I'm glad my reviews are so helpful for you.
I suppose I'll deal with the critique first. As far as Andromeda, I like her character too, and it would be nice to go more in depth. However, Narcissa was the main focus of this story, so I wanted to spend more time dealing with her feelings as opposed to talking directly about Andromeda. Also, I tried to give the impression that Andromeda was fed up with her mother's treatment of her, Yaxley being the last straw, based on our knowledge of her relationship with her family in canon. Perhaps I should have spent a little more time developing that, though.
As for your grammar comment, I've honestly seen it done both ways. This is how I've always done it, and if you read any other stories of mine, it'll be there, too. I guess I just don't think about it much while writing, as I'm more focused on adding imagery and developing characters, and it doesn't tend to bother me in other people's stories. But you make a valid point, one that another reviewer of mine has mentioned, and so I'll definitely think about trying to work on it in future stories.
I'm glad you enjoyed it, especially since you don't usually read much of this pairing. It was just meant to be sort of fluffy and sweet, and it seems like that worked for you, which is great!
Thanks so much for your lovely review :)
Amanda Report Review
Hey, this is Beeezie, here with your requested review!
I liked this story. Your portrayal of Narcissa was excellent - her disdain for muggle-borns, her feelings about the house-elves, and the way she felt about her sisters was perfect. I also liked the way that you portrayed her relationship with Lucius as being loving and caring. They had a lot of flaws, but being unable to love their family was certainly not one of them.
I do wish that you'd gone a little deeper into Narcissa's relationship with her sisters. Again, I liked the way she felt, and I thought it was well done, but I wanted to know why Bellatrix wanted Narcissa to do poorly, and I wanted to know what Narcissa's relationship with Andromeda was. I also was confused about why she was so hesitant to tell Lucius, and wanted to see more reassurance in his response.
On the whole, though, great story. :)Author's Response: Hey Beeezie! Thanks for stopping by to review :)
I'm so glad you liked my portrayal of Narcissa. I really love her character and I'm glad I got her right. I also agree that the relationship she had with Lucius had its flaws but was on the whole a good one.
I appreciate your critique as well. This piece was more focused on Narcissa and Lucius, but I have thought of writing a piece that focuses on the three sisters. I'm sorry the Lucius/Narcissa dynamic confused you a little, though. I was trying to get across the idea of having to put a face on for a proper pureblood courtship and that Narcissa didn't need to do that because he genuinely cares for her. I didn't want to soften him up too much, but perhaps I should have made him a little more sympathetic.
Thanks again for your thoughtful and quick review! :)
academica Report Review
Hello there! It's DarkRose from the forums, here with your review. Sorry it took me so long to get to, I've been very busy.
Well! I think this was a very nice story. For some reason, whenever I read stories about Narcissa, they remind me of my oldest sister. I guess it's just that I think they look alike (the actual, canon-blonde Narcissa and my sister, Julia). But something about your characterization here made it seem like her too. (Yeah, random. Okay, on to the real review...)
Anyhow: I loved your characterization. The subtlety of Bellatrix's cruelty, Narcissa's desperation to keep her family together, Lucius's hinted concern. It was all very well done, none of it over the top.
I thought the story itself was very unique. Usually Andromeda's-departure stories are filled with anger from her family, and I liked this change in pace.
Great job with the plot. I think it moved very nicely. I think I would've liked more description, though, just of their surroundings and maybe the atmosphere in the Black house, etc. You know?
The one thing that I wasn't particularly fond of was when Narcissa was crying in the restaraunt. I think her dialogue there was very frail and didn't quite fit the character. The stuttering could have worked, but I think the way it was done actually detracted from its usefulness. And how she says that Andromeda has been "sleeping with a Muggle boy" seems weird for the situation. I don't think she would phrase it that way, especially talking to Lucius.
Other than that, I think it was a very good story. The tone was wonderful and really brought everything together. I liked it a lot.
--EmilyAuthor's Response: Hey there! That's all right, I know the feeling :)
I'm glad you liked the story and didn't find it to be over the top emotion-wise. That's good to hear. I'm also pleased that you found it unique; I agree that this topic has been addressed before in fanfiction, and it makes me happy to hear that you find my depiction of it somewhat unique. I tried to emphasize that it was a very abrupt departure, and that it left the other family members with some confusion about what to do now. I think it could be written many, many ways, though; it's interesting in that way.
I appreciate your criticism as well. I've been trying to include more imagery in my stories, so I'll continue to add more of that in. As for Narcissa, I was really trying to depict the sense that she's finally falling apart after trying to hold in her feelings for the majority of the story. Her falling to pieces and becoming more raw and vulnerable in front of Lucius was sort of the crux in the story, in that it exposed him as an unprecedented source of comfort for her and worked to move their relationship along into something more serious. I hope that makes sense.
I'm so glad you liked it, and thanks for the review! :)
academica Report Review
Hi there, it's Atomic with your requested review!! I am sooo sorry it took me this long to get back to you. College takes up far too much time.
I was so thrilled when I saw this request. I absolutely love stories about the Black girls!! You've done such a marvelous job with them, too. I honestly think that the characterization was perfect. I would have preferred to see Andromeda's departure as it happened, and not so much as a recount of it, but you still did an amazing job with the story. Bellatrix was her usual manipulative and evil self, and poor Narcissa just wanted everything to go smoothly.
I especially loved the way you portrayed Narcissa. You can tell she loved Andromeda dearly and that it was a huge blow to her when she left, but at the same time she was trying her hardest not to let it affect her. She seemed so posh and pureblood. I was really impressed with the way you managed to show just how upset she was and still manage to keep her composed for the majority of the story.
Her relationship with Lucius is adorable too. He seemed so flustered when Narcissa started crying, yet you can tell that he really does care about her, and she him. Perfect ending, by the way. It was very touching.
The imagery was beautiful too. I really got a feel for Malfoy Mannor, and it set the tone for the story quite well. The restaurant scene was excellently done too. I felt so sorry for Narcissa when she started crying and people were angry with her. That poor girl.
You did an amazing job with this, it was extremely unique and excellently written. I absolutely loved it and I honestly can't offer any suggestions because it's seriously perfect the way it is. Great job! And always feel free to request!!!Author's Response: Hi, thanks for coming by! Your thread seems about as busy as mine, so I was glad to snag a spot at last :) And don't worry about the time; it wasn't that long, and I know all about the workload, trust me!
I'm happy I gave you a story with some characters you like. I love the Black sisters as well, and I especially relished the chance to write a little about Andromeda, because I think her story is really interesting, even if it's also really sad. I love Bellatrix, too. However, I think Narcissa is definitely my favorite, and I'm pleased that you were able to appreciate the complexity I gave her character here.
I'm so happy you liked the fluff! Fluff is sort of a new thing for me to explore, and it was interesting trying to make someone like Lucius into a romantic figure. But I really do think they care about one another, and I'm glad that you felt that those feelings came through okay. I'm also glad you liked the ending. I certainly didn't want it to seem contrived.
Thanks for the compliments about the imagery! I work hard on it, and I'm happy when my readers appreciate what I've done. And yes, poor Narcissa at the restaurant!
I'm so flattered that you found nothing to critique, and I really appreciate your thoughtful review. I'll definitely be back to request for something else in the future.
Thanks again! :)
Amanda Report Review
This was a really beautifully written chapter, very interesting. I love the idea and that you have the story starting when Andromeda left for Ted Tonks. I think this is a very original idea and I absolutely loved it.
As for characterization, where to begin? It was wonderful. I love how you have protrayed Narcissa. You have her as someone who did love her older sister and was upset when she left but yet at the same time she didn't want to disappoint her parents especially her mom. Lucius was very well done as well. Here he isn't portrayed as the blood thirsty horrible man but as a concerned man for someone who he is interested in.
I love the courting, that he takes her out for dinner to save her from questioning because he thought something had happend to Narcissa though I was thinking it was going to be the proposal but I'm glad it wasn't because this seemed so much better. I love the gesture of having him take her hand both when they meet and depart and leave a gentle kiss on her hand, it was very sweet.
Your description throughout the chapter was wonderful. I absolutely loved it! It all expanded on each other and was written so wonderfully that I was able to picture it around me. With Narcissa constantly wringing her hands indicating that she was nervous to the description of her pumps clicking along the floor in Malfoy Manor to the Malfoy Manor in general was all just really wonderful.
You asked about the departure of Andromeda and the reactions of the black family. I thought it was a nice show, her mom gets angry, her dad doesn't even put down the newspaper, Bella is just Bella (wierd and happy to have her go), and then there is Narcissa who is actually rather sad to see her sisiter leave. I thought it was interesting to have these different types of reactions but I think it fits perfectly.
I really enjoyed this chapter. Its very original and a great read. I feel like you have put a lot of thought into it and that you have done a great job with this beginning chapter. I think this has set the stage beautifully. Great Job!
~Slytherinchica08~Author's Response: Hey there!
Thanks for your lovely review. I do have to point out that this is a one-shot, not the beginning of a longer story, but I'm glad you thought I set it up well anyway :)
I'm so happy that you liked my characterization and thought I did Andromeda's departure well. You pretty much hit the nail on the head with your assessments of my characters, so it seems like I came across as I intended to, which is great.
I'm also glad you found it sweet. I'm pleased that you found the plot original, especially that you liked that I didn't write yet another proposal story. It's good to see that you liked my imagery as well, seeing as I'm quite proud of it myself!
Thanks again for such a thoughtful review :)
academica Report Review
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 Report Review
hey there! I just saw your status on the Forums and decided to check this out. Wise decision I must say :D
This was a very nicely written fic. Narcissa was portrayed quite well. I liked your depiction of Lucius too. It was really realistic and sweet. Also the way you touched upon andromeda's leaving was nicely thought out. I didn't find any mistakes. Even though I am not usually a Narcissa/Lucius romance fan, (as you know I am more of angst for them), I liked this one-shot. Good work!
ADAuthor's Response: Hey! :)
I'm so glad you liked it, especially for you not being a happy!Lucius/Narcissa fan. As you know, they're one of my top two pairings, so I relish any chance to share the love :) I'm so glad you found it realistic, especially the part about Andromeda leaving home.
Thanks so much for your sweet review! :)
academica Report Review
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