Where do I start? I don't know. This was just so touching and sad and beautiful and overwhelming, to be honest. It really touched my heart. Maybe it was the whole second person thing that made it seem so much closer, in a way, that this really was Narcissa's thoughts, directed towards Tonks (which was very original, by the way. I've never come across something like that before).
I should tell you this: I'm not really a 'cryer' when it comes to reading or watching films etc. I can be touched, but I rarely cry (I've cried in three films in my life, I think - and yes, one of them was Harry Potter, when Dobby died..) But I cried when I read this. It was so beautiful, so heartbreakingly sad that I just couldn't help it. It was in the paragraph in which she wondered if it had been Lucius' friends who had killed Ted. The tragedy of it all, of this ruined family, of Andromeda's loss... it was just one of the saddest things I've ever read.
Narcissa is so much more human and compassionate than a first glance reveals, which you've captured perfectly here. I absolutely LOVE the idea of her sneaking into Andromeda's room after Nymphadora was born, to see her baby niece, and healing Tonks' wound in the playground. I can definitely imagine it. Also, Lucius shooting her a look when she claps hard at the graduation - that's such a believable detail that just reinforces the tragedy of it all, because maybe, had it not been for his influence, she would have dared to do more than he did. And now, she thinks it's too late, that she's done too much. Maybe she has.
"Andromeda's stare would turn me to a column of fire, leaving a pile of ashes beside the grave which contains your own. I do not deserve your mother, Nymphadora. So, she will continue see me in the frozen glass of the lake, a fleeting reflection. And I will see her in the sun, as it burns against my opened eyes." That might have been the most beautiful thing I've ever read. Thank you so much for writing this! I think I'll come back and re-read it, again and again, because it was one of the best things I've ever read.
Author's Response: Oh my god. How do I start? This review was just so, so lovely and incredible to receive, and really gave me the reassurance and confidence about this story. Thank you! :D
I really wrote this on a whim and got quite emotional in the process, so it's very good to hear that comes through. I'm glad you thought it was original, as their relationship (or lack thereof) never really gets addressed. I'm glad the second person thing made the story stronger, and not more confusing, and that it touched your heart- that's really such high praise!
Aw, you cried?! I'm so pleased (not that you cried, but that the story could affect in that way!). Yes, that part was very sad to imagine as well. Their lives coincided in so many tragic ways, and this is often all Narcissa has to go on to connect them.
I'm so happy that you liked the portrayal of Narcissa and that this brought her humanity. Honestly I never liked her much as a character but this story just felt right. She does come across as a bit... creepy, with all the sneaking around, but I believe it was out of love and a desire to be part of Andromeda's family. I do think Narcissa thinks it's too late for her: I originally considered having her wait in the graveyard until Andromeda approached, but decided that Narcissa isn't brave enough when it comes to her sister. In her mind, it is too late.
I'm so honoured that you loved that line, which was certainly one of my favourites. Poor Andy, poor Narcissa, poor Tonks! :( Thank you so much for this really beautiful review, it honestly meant so much to me! You are wonderful! :)