|Review:||800 words of heaven says:|
Hello from review tag!
It's amazing that you've read so much of what I've written, but I've hardly read anything of yours. This is very terrible of me, and somewhat inexplicable, because I spend so much time lurking in review tag!
Anyway, onto the review! Let me first start off by saying that the antithesis in your title reminded me of Robert Frost's poem Fire and Ice. Not the actual meaning in the poem, just the use of fire and ice, and how they mean the end of the world to me in my head. From your summary, this may not be such a far flung thought...
The first paragraph is amazing. I have no idea what's going on. Is someone dead? Or are they just figuratively dying? Who's the son? Who's the wife? Who's the husband? Who on earth is talking? WHAT IS GOING ON?! But all of this in a really good way.
Okay, I figured it out. She's actually dead. And I know who the story's about now. I feel like crying already. Tonks' death was an especially painful one for me, and seeing it through Narcissa's eyes should be interesting. She can't outwardly show grief for her niece, because her mother's a blood traitor, and her father's a muggleborn, and she married a werewolf, but it's touching to see Narcissa mourn for her all the same.
I love your descriptive language in this! Your use of antithesis is so wonderful and jarring. I adore the way it juxtaposes Narcissa and Andromeda. It's almost as if Narcissa's is mourning the loss of a very large part of her life – her sister, through her estranged niece. This one little line is one of my faves: "...and smiled at the strange, light-headed woman with the thin face who peeked so timidly from behind a cup of black coffee." The way you've used light and black here, is such a nice echo of the theme of the entire paragraph, as well as underlining the two different sides of Narcissa.
The middle bits of this story, when Narcissa's telling Tonks about her relationship with her two sisters, almost sounds like a love letter to Andromeda, where Narcissa's the damsel in distress, and Bellatrix, and her parents, and her pureblood life are the evil villains, and Andromeda's choice to marry her muggleborn love is the knight in shining armour, who will one day come and save her from her doom. I don't know if I'm just being fanciful or what, but that's what all the imagery is reminding me of.
The scene where Narcissa talks about visitng Tonks as a newborn in the hospital is very sad. I'm still thinking about the imagery from the part before, and now it's as if there's been this happily ever after, and Narcissa's just been left behind and forgotten, yet she doesn't resent Tonks for symbolising that, but is almost reverent of it, and respects it, whilst still mourning its loss.
The end of this really just emphasises my feeling that Narcissa's trying to reach out to her lost sister in one of the few ways she can. It's incredibly sad and touching. I feel Narcissa's pain in the way she can't break the barriers between herself and Andromeda. It's a side of Narcissa we don't often see, with the focus of her love and devotion often being Draco, with only hints of what she feels for Andromeda, but this story reversed that trope, and it was really enjoyable.
I think I've rambled long enough! If you didn't get this before, I really loved this piece, and enjoyed reading a different side of Narcissa! Awesome job!
Author's Response: Hello! Well I'm glad you were able to make it over here, and thank you for being the second review on this little story of mine!
I'm so glad you made that comparison since that poem was a sort of inspiration for this piece. I was going to put lines from that poem as an introduction to the story, but it didn't fit into the three-line rule, so it's great you picked up the allusion! :)
I thought Tonks' death was so sad as well, and I never thought of Narcissa being emotionally attached to her until this story just took shape. It was very fun, though emotional, to write. You're right, Tonks could not be more blacklisted for purebloods, but Narcissa loves her secretly all the same.
Thank you so much for liking the descriptions, this praise is just too lovely. I'm so pleased you like the symbolism and the contrasts between the two women, and you're right: Narcissa mourns the loss of Andy through the lens of Tonks' death. It's wonderful that you liked the contrast of light and dark, and yes! It's both the contrast between Narcissa and Andy, and also the two halves of Narcissa, the pureblood Malfoy part and the part that loves and misses her sister.
I love how you compared the story to a love letter, it does read a little like that, doesn't it? I really enjoyed those comparisons of the imagery, it is a lot like that. Narcissa puts herself in the damsel in distress position, secretly waiting for Andy to rescue her, instead of taking a role with agency and rescuing herself.
I think you've understood Narcissa perfectly in this review! Seeing Tonks as a baby symbolizes this strange perfection and happy ending for her, which not even the birth of Draco can remedy. Tonks represents someone Narcissa both wants to be and wants to protect in a way, and mourns the loss of both.
I'm so pleased you found the ending touching and sad, I got quite emotional writing it and deciding what Narcissa would do. She can't quite bring herself to let Andy see her, as the barriers are too great, and in this way she can't change.
I'm so glad you liked the story, and this review was such a lovely and wonderful surprise! Thank you for being so thoughtful! :)