My first foray into the Review Tag 2.0 thread, and itís for a story Iím really starting to love! Double-win!
OK, one small pat on the back for myself before I delve into your review: In one of my reviews for a previous chapter, I remember saying something like, ďAndromeda wouldnít want Teddy around Narcissa because she would shower him with gifts and heís not old enough to understand.Ē Based on what I read at the end of this chapter, Iím feeling a little bit prescient! Thatís only a guess, obviously, but Iím going with it!
I love the idea of Teddy bouncing off of the walls as he waits to go and buy his wand. This is one of those scenes where I can feel the excitement and nervous energy as Iím reading it. Partly because youíve written it well, but partly because Iíd be the exact, same way! The mentions of James and the rest of Harryís family was also a heart-warming little touch of canon. I love the way you weave those in.
The way you described Dracoís reaction to seeing Andromeda in Flourish and Blottís was awesome. I just donít think it could have been any other way. Andromeda was always described as looking very much like her older sister, and the sight of her must have scared Draco half to death. I also liked Andromedaís reaction to his expression.
The way you walked us through Narcissaís thought process in the second section of the chapter was terrific. It all seems so consistent with how Iíd imagine her feeling. She misses Andromeda and feels hurt by her rejection, yet thereís still a childish, selfish element to it all. She doesnít like the fact that Andromeda can affect her in this way. I really love the way you write her.
Dracoís perspective on things -- that she should simply give up -- is actually pretty sensible. From there, I liked how you segued from Luciusís inability to understand her feelings of loss to their familyís generalized post-war isolation and back to her feelings again. It added a bit of depth to her feelings. Her relationship with her sister wasnít the only thing the war cost her, but itís the only one that didnít eventually come back to her. Their money never really left, and the scorn they suffered gradually eased. Again you mix the longing with a certain sense of entitlement thatís quintessentially Narcissa.
The little twist you put on things right at the end -- the realization that perhaps she wouldnít be able to mend the fences with her sister but she might still be able to do something with Bellatrixís share of the Black family vault -- is really exciting. It suggests that something very interesting could be happening soon, something that will bring the two surviving Black sisters into unavoidable conflict. Something that will force the two of them to talk. I love it!
Suggestions? Well, one thought that came to me is that it could have been interesting to explore Narcissaís relationship with her grandson just a bit more. Not to the point where it distracts from the obvious point of the chapter, but it would be a very meaningful contrast with the essentially maternal relationship that Andromeda has with Teddy. Somehow, I get the sense that Narcissa is a bit distant from Scorpius. I could be wrong, of course.
I also thought it could have benefitted from just a little more insight into Andromedaís thoughts and feelings after she figured out who Draco and Scorpius were. At some point, I imagine it would have dawned on her that her estrangement from Narcissa was depriving her of more familial connections than just her sister. And the same holds true for Teddy.
Small things, of course. Your writing was terrific in this chapter. It all flowed really nicely and it read fast and easy. There was a nice mix of narrative and dialog. Everyone sounded in character. I really might have to go read the next one to find out what happens!
Author's Response: And once again I have taken too long to respond to your lovely review. They're just always so lovely and thorough and I don't want to give them a simple, "Thanks for the review, bye now!"
Tonight, though, I am answering all of my backup of reviews (... I hope), and then I won't fall behind anymore (... I hope). :P
Your guess was absolutely right. There are other things, of course, including the straightforward resentment that Narcissa and her family are alive where Tonks and Ted aren't, but there's also the simple fact that Andromeda doesn't trust Narcissa not to overcompensate with Teddy (as is seen in the last chapter, which I hope wasn't an anti-climax). Narcissa has so much guilt, but her way of dealing with guilt tends to fall into the "If I give you things maybe you'll forgive me" type of approach, which isn't very healthy (at least not for Teddy - Scorpius makes out fine).
I see what you mean about exploring Narcissa's relationship with Scorpius a bit more. I do go into some detail about it in other fics, and I think as a result I failed to do so with this. I can't edit while the Dobbys are going on, but I will try to edit some clarification in when they're done.
Likewise, I think that Andromeda actually doesn't really think about missing out on a relationship with Draco or Scorpius - she never had a relationship with Draco, and given what she knows about him, she's okay with that. She's got nothing against Scorpius, but the same sentiment is true there, too. She and Teddy (Teddy in particular) both already have more family than she can take - the Malfoys wouldn't really add to it (in her opinion, anyway). Unfortunately, that's also one of those things that I know, but didn't communicate well. Again, once the Dobbys are over I'll edit this up a bit.
Thank you so much for the review, and I'm sorry it's taken me so long to respond. It's greatly appreciated. ♥