I have never read a story that focuses on what someone from the 'bad' side felt like after it all ended.
We see so often people dealing with the loss of Tonks, Remus, Fred.. any of our good guys that went way before their time. Not that I don't like that, but this was just such a fresh perspective on the kind of pain *everyone* involved suffered. Not just the good side.
The way she went through her feelings, how it was things in the room that jogged her own memories, even simple things like where they all would be standing, really brought a lot of feelings to this piece. She wasn't just going through the order, thinking of them one by one, but she was really feeling the loss of them and letting their memories intertwine.
Something about the time she spent dwelling on Evan... how young he was and what part of his life he should have been at, that felt really, really emotional to me. Maybe because we need that reminder that, just because they were fighting the wrong side of the war, doesn't mean they weren't just children all swept up into it the same way the Marauders had been.
The line -- lines drawn in blood (or something similar to that) was such an amazing use of description to bring us into this terrible dark place where old, dusty ballrooms conjure up heartbreaking memories of those who are dead or imprisoned.
I really liked how Narcissa recognized that Lucius wouldn't understand. How she understood she was lucky that he wasn't in Azkaban, but it wasn't enough because she was still missing so much.
The section about crying for both Regulus and Sirius the day she found out Regulus was gone, gah. That's a relationship I've always wanted to read about explored more (her, Regulus, Sirius, Bellatrix, and Andromeda all as children, to be precise) -- and my head canon has Narcissa loving Sirius, at least during on point of their lives, so I was really happy that you didn't neglect him.
You use so many beautiful pieces of imagery. The ongoing description of the ballroom, this one time glorious place full of laughter slowly transforming into this cold, almost tomb for the dead (at least in her mind) was done really beautifully.
This was a gorgeous and touching piece, thanks so much for the amazing swap, m'dear ♥
Author's Response: Hey there! Yeah, there are so many great one-shots dealing with the after effects of the war for Harry and co., particularly Fred. I wrote this just after seeing Les Miserables, though, so I had revolution and rebellion on the brain, so it kinda had to be Death Eaters - at least, it made more sense in my mind ;)
Thanks! It was a bit difficult to know how to include everyone, since there were a lot of people I wanted to include, so I tried to show them all in a more innocent, happy, young sort of place before everything, and somewhere where realistically everyone might be, hence the ballroom.
I'm glad you liked Evan! I always imagined him to be her first cousin, not far from her age and so they would be reasonably close, you know? So she would feel his loss almost more, since he's actually dead and not just in prison or absent, you know? I definitely agree with that, though - they're all just really young, and don't really know what they're doing, tbh. It's something I've always considered with regards to them, and tried to sort of convey in it, so I'm glad you got the same thing! :)
Gah, thank you so much! I'm glad you liked that - when I first wrote it I thought it might be too much, so I'm glad you thought it worked! :)
Same here! :D They're such a fascinating bunch, aren't they? My head canon is fairly similar, haha, I think she definitely loved him when they were younger, and that's enough to conjure regret and mourning, I think.
Thank you so so much! I'm always nervous about whether or not I include too much imagery/description as opposed to other bits of writing like dialogue and stuff, so I'm glad you liked it! I really enjoyed writing this, and surprisingly still like it this long afterwards, so it really does make me happy to hear that you like it too! :)
Thanks so much for the swap - it was really great! :) And thank you for the wonderful review!