Eeee! This is so impressive, I really enjoyed it!
And yes. Here I am. Finally. I am here to judge your story for my Film Noir challenge that I might have slightly abandoned back in the summer due to work and exams and the pressures of real life and my horrific memory and impressive procrastination ability. And I can say how happy I am to be here.
I was a little wary about reading a sexy!Voldy story, but you really captured Bellatrixís infatuation with him and, because of your writing, I could believe that Bellatrix would still love him as the handsome youth from Hogwarts (who I could easily fancy) AND the nasally-challenged snake-face of later years. The sensation itself was not unfamiliar; sheíd often closed her eyes and indulged her rare girlish tendencies when seated before him, listening to him speak of a world where he alone would reign.
You are very good at description - your various passages about Bellatrix's time at school and then her preoccupation with the darkness at Malfoy Manor were really well done, and allowed the reader to get the backstory and allowed you to show off your wonderful writing skills. I would have liked a bit more description of Bella and Voldy dancing - it seemed such a beautiful image, and while it was nice to hear her comparing him to her other suitors, I would have like MOAR. I tihnk itís because I donít usually associate Bellatrix with being graceful (thatís more Narcissa) so it was nice to see her be feminine and ladylike once in awhile.
I really loved their encounter - the dialogue was well characterised and flowed wonderfully (I particularly love how he simply batted away her attempt to learn about the Horcruxes). Both their obsession with the darkness and how you described it and used in this fic fitted them perfectly - especially the section with Bellatrix and the shadows. Gaaah, it just works so well with the film noir genre. Well done, well done.
Author's Response: Hello there! What a pleasant surprise :)
First off, thanks so much for awarding me second place in the challenge! I had a lot of fun exploring the various tropes that are present in film noir and toying with a brand new style.
At the time that I wrote this, I had been wanting to try out Bellatrix/Voldemort for a long while. The challenge just seemed kind of perfect, but in a very backwards sort of way. Voldemort is supposed to be like the femme fatale, using his wiles to ensnare Bellatrix's heart and get her to comply with his plans. Bellatrix, then, is meant to be an odd sort of anti-hero, drawn into Voldemort and struggling to hold onto some shred of herself. I think part of her knows that he's disingenuous and self-serving, and yet she wants to be part of his plan so much that she sort of lets herself be lied to in the process.
I entered this in Susan's Figurative Description Challenge as well, which is why there's a lot of imagery in there. Then again, though, I frequently put a lot of imagery into my work. I'm happy it accentuated the story instead of taking over too much, which is something I continually worry about. I didn't want to play up the dancing too much; it was tough for some readers to grasp (romantic!Voldemort, I mean, even if he is using it to manipulate her) and I didn't want it to go on much past a strong, quick image. I can see wanting to explore an unusual characterization of Bellatrix, though, so perhaps I'll write more of that in if I choose to write her again (I wouldn't be surprised).
My thought was that by the time he got to the point, he would have her in his web, and she wouldn't pick at the Horcrux idea too much. I'm glad you liked how I executed that.
Thanks so much for your very kind review!