Hi Amanda! I should really be reviewing Diamonds into Coal (which I'm still following and still love, just to be sure you know), but I knew you'd been wanting feedback on this oneshot. So here I am! I really enjoyed it, as always :)
Andromeda is not a character I've ever been interested in, and after reading this I can't believe I never really thought about her before. I mean, she grew up with Bellatrix Lestrange, so that had to be a fascinating childhood. I love the way she describes herself, as the "calm center" between her sisters. Knowing both of them from the books, it makes sense that Andromeda would be the one to balance them.
And her love for Ted is so clear. She seems like a matter-of-fact kind of person, who isn't into expressing her every feeling. But every word she says about Ted is just full of admiration and love. It was just so, so sweet :)
One thing I noticed about your Andromeda is that she never seems to place much value on herself, or the things she's done in her life. Even being a mother didn't seem like much to her. But then in the next line, she'll say something like, "I am content to exist," and I get the sense that she is satisfied with the way she's lived. Even though she wasn't a "hero" and didn't have big aspirations, I think at the end of the day she recognizes that her life has served an important purpose.
I'm awed, as I always seem to be, by your ability to bring characters to life. When I read your stories I feel like I'm meeting people, not just reading about characters. It's a real gift that you have, and I'm sure I'm not the only author who tries to emulate it :)
Wonderful job! I really enjoyed this. Keep up the great work!
Author's Response: Oh my goodness, so nice to hear from you, Maggie! And I'm stoked that you're still into Diamonds into Coal, which will be wrapping up soon :) Anyway, you're right--I hadn't been feeling perfectly confident about this one and your review definitely feels reassuring to me.
Andromeda would have had to really, truly love Ted to sacrifice as much as she did in order to be with him, and so I wanted to be sure that her affection for him came through. I think his love was probably a lot of what sustained her in her difficult moments, especially after he was no longer around.
I guess Andromeda would have had pretty big expectations as a child in the Black family; she was expected to marry some illustrious pureblood and spend her days furthering Voldemort's cause. Her parents would have trained her to schmooze and flatter others. Her existence turned out to be a lot more simple, which would surely have been a culture shock, and yet I felt like she would be content to not be under so much pressure.
Thank you for this wonderful review :)