Hi Amanda! Char here with the requested review. Oh, how I enjoy reading stories from good writers! Having already experienced your story-telling skills, I can look forward to a good read, Iím sure. Especially when youíve started out with a premise that I personally havenít read a lot about. I also really like your summary. Itís succinct yet intriguing.
Itís unusual to think of Bellatrix as studious but you put the motivation as having pureblood supremacy as well as a way for Bellatrix to get back at the Mudbloods and half-bloods and it makes sense. Thinking of Bella as sort of a Dark Magic Hermione is actually kind of funny. Itís also nice to see Bella as not being completely insane, at this young stage in her life.
And we kind of skipped the whole becoming a Death Eater and being in Azkaban dealio. I know this is a one-shot but perhaps we couldíve spent a wee bit of time on it?
Oh but Iím liking this description of Bellatrix at the window. Itís dark and creepy and sets the tone for the older Bella that we all know. ďThe black patches played about her legs like the children she would never have, lashing out at one another in jealously each time she twitched or took too deep of a breath, but she paid them no mind, staring instead at the drizzle that fell outdoors.Ē This imagery just captured my imagination.
Iím loving the whole exchange between Voldemort (I think) and Bella right now but, Iím sorry, this line Ė ďHe smiled, leaning against the sill, close enough now to exchange his carbon dioxide for hers.Ē made me kind of laugh. Maybe itís just me, but the statement is soÖscientific and a bit out of place for the darkly poetic moment youíve set here.
Youíve neatly captured Bellaís obsession and primal love for Voldemort/power here while at the same time showing us how Voldemort definitely knows of this love and uses it to his advantage without actually giving one wit about the woman connected with it. He plays her like he would a piano and she responds, blindly.
This moment between Voldemort and Bellatrix was beautiful in a black way and very well done. Bella was different but still the Bella we know from the books. To me, thereís a bit more insanity in here rather than the wish to learn, but you put it that it was a thirst for knowledge to have power over others and that linked it to the character that I came to know in the books. Voldemort, even with the polyjuice mixture, was true to form, really only doing it to manipulate Bella. You somehow were able to show this through the eyes of one who sees no wrong in him.
All in all, I enjoyed reading this because of the imagery and the way you pulled it together.
Author's Response: Thank you so much! I knew I could count on you to leave a thorough, comprehensive review :)
I'm glad the summary caught your attention and that the premise isn't too overdone. I didn't think so, and I was intrigued by the ship and wanted to explore it.
I'm happy that you liked how I did Bellatrix. Others have complained that she wasn't crazy enough in this piece, but I wanted to portray her as being a bit more subdued and innocent, as framed by the requirements of the Film Noir Challenge. It is kind of creepy to think of her like Death Eater Hermione! I can see what you're saying about leaving out some of the other parts of her life, so thanks for mentioning that. I suppose I didn't want to dwell too much on those details and instead wanted to focus purely on her love of magic and desire to keep it all to herself and other purebloods like her rather than doing a re-telling of everything she experienced.
It's great that you liked the imagery! I worked hard on it and the reception has been really positive so far. As for that one line, my only explanation is that I am a scientist and so I'm used to speaking like that :) I guess it does sound a little strange, though.
I'm most pleased, perhaps, that you like the way I did Voldemort and his treatment of Bella. Others have complained that I made him too human, but you picked up on all the undertones of manipulation and deceit that I tried to lay as the foundation of this piece. It's so great to hear that worked for you!
Thanks again so much for your very kind review :)