Hey, this is Beeezie, here with your long-overdue review! Sorry it's taken me so long - our CR event has been eating up a lot of my time lately. ;)
On the whole, this was well-written and captivating. I thought that your prose was both beautiful and thought-provoking. I've sometimes found that fics that start out on an abstract level like this did sometimes have a tendency to feel generic or overdone, but the detail you put into it made this story stand out. I really got a sense of Narcissa's turmoil and pain when you started talking about all the ways in which dying of a "broken heart" isn't romantic at all. You turned it ugly, and that set the tone of the fic in a way that allowed you to seamlessly segue into their wedding.
I loved the mention of the flowers in their wedding. It was a nice little detail - especially the fact that Lucius has a favourite flower and that surprising Narcissa - that helped give this fic a little more depth. I also liked the link Narcissa drew between the white lilies and funerals - it was a nice analogy, given the overall tone of the piece.
I also liked the way you characterised both Narcissa and Lucius. I've read a lot of fics that portray them as cold, even toward each other, and Lucius is often unfaithful or standoffish. Some of those can be quite good, but I've personally always favoured your interpretation - I think that there was a lot of love in their relationship, and that while he wasn't a particularly nice person, he probably was a very good husband. I felt you portrayed him as such without whitewashing him, and for me, at least, that made this fic very believable.
That said, there were a few things I think you could have to improve it.
As I said, I thought that Lucius was very well done. However, I did feel like there was a little something missing from Narcissa. I didn't really get a sense of what her opinion was about Lucius's choices or why she thought that he'd chosen the wrong side, especially since she seemed to have doubts when they got married. I'm not saying that I wanted you to get into details about blood status - in fact, I think that doing so would probably be a mistake - but I did want to get a better sense of who she was and how she felt.
Additionally, while I liked the narrative in the beginning a lot and thought that it was beautiful, I also felt like it took a little too long to get to the point where Narcissa starts talking about her husband choosing the wrong side. I think that if you'd either cut some of it out or integrated some details about Narcissa and her situation into it, it would have worked much better.
On the whole, though, this was a very strong piece, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. :)
Author's Response: Hello! And gosh, I know! It's all happening in the CR :D
I'm glad you liked the start- I was trying to give it humour as well as making it feel sad. The flower/funeral analogy wasn't very subtle, was it? :P I wrote the flowers in because I previously didn't realise that narcissi were flowers, so I wanted to link in my new-found discovery.
I portrayed Lucius and Narcissa the way I always characterized them in my head, so I'm happy you agreed with that - I never felt they were bad people, they just made a lot of wrong choices, and they never gave us any indication that they weren't happy together.
Looking back, I wholeheartedly agree- Narcissa's own point of view isn't very well developed. I specifically made sure I didn't go into blood status- I wasn't sure how I wanted Narcissa's views on that, so I just didn't touch it at all, but I see that Narcissa's character could do with some developing. Also, the start- I can see how it is a little long. I tend to ramble :) I'll work on those points, thanks.
Thank you very much for such a great review!