I really enjoyed Ice to Ashes, so itís really great to see you explore the whole Black family dynamic again. As you may have guessed from Broken Crown, I am a massive fan of the Black sisters as theyíre just so wonderfully complex and you really showed that in this piece! I will attempt to say a little about each section because they all deserve their own recognition!
One Ė wow even their birth is a dark one with it being all twisted and contorted. I donít really know what to say really because that scene just blew me away but I think the most poignant moment was when Druella refused to have her daughter cared for by a Muggleborn. It showed how deep their prejudice went, and how they willing for their own child to die rather than it be Ďcontaminatedí.
Two Ė Her convulsions (I canít really think of a better way to describe it) were really terrifying here. Youíve sort of built up this dark glamour about them in a way because even though theyíre so horrifying they still draw me. Then the whole divide of power and influence between the Black siblings was shown brilliantly here too!
Three Ė I liked this one because it showed how their parents cared about their wellbeing after all. I know obviously they loved them, but the way their father said they would care for sister was really lovely. Care just suggests doing it with love and thatís not something usually associated with the Black family so it was a great twist.
Four Ė Gah, I canít even think. Itís so horrible to see Bella like that, like she almost wants her sister to die because itís so dramatic. In a way, with your descriptions about her being a Greek statue I can see how Bella could be drawn into, but I would have thought she might have a bit more love. There was some brilliant characterisation and description there!
Five Ė it was really interesting to explore the whole issue of immortality here and to see them discuss so rationally too, it was just unexpected really. It gave inklings of what we see of them in the future and there was a small sign of hope there which was really lovely compared to the other darker setting of this story.
Six Ė this was one really interesting and almost made me question whether Cissy almost nearly dies out of enjoyment of it. Itís just the silent composure she maintains throughout it, almost as if itís a test for herself to see whether she will succeed or not, and that the idea of playing with life and death tempts in her some way. Hmm, Iíll just carry on musing.
Seven Ė this one was so bittersweet, there was the anguish of Andromeda craving for her family she lost, but then almost glad that they just died and didnít keep on reappearing like Cissy because that must have caused a lot of pain. Then despite the pain Cissy causes, she still wanted to reach out to her. It was a wonderful mix of emotions.
Eight Ė this one was really great for showing how immortality can never really be achieved. There was the brief mention of Lucius and then his futile attempts, and then how Cissy was finally losing the battle against nature. It was as if her life was an example of how you could defy it to a certain extent but then you would have to give up.
Nine Ė this was almost expected, with the fact Cissy had to die one day, but then still so heart-breaking. Andromeda was really shone in a different light here and that was shown through her bond to Cissy was depicted brilliantly here. They had such a twisted and warped relationship, they almost needed to cling to one another to deal with life.
An amazing one-shot and a well-deserved win!
Author's Response: Hi Kiana! :) Wow, this is such a wonderful and detailed review, thank you! I really enjoyed writing about the sisters in Ice to Ashes and knew I wanted to write about Narcissa again for this story, but eventually ended up realizing that it had to be told through Andy's voice- Narcissa had her turn with ItA. :P I've been avoiding writing Bellatrix's POV so far as I just don't know if I'm ready for her yet, haha.
Thanks so much for going through and leaving your thoughts on each section! The story originally started out as being ridiculously complicated and would have been several chapters long, so I'm pleased the more reduced version came across alright.
One-Yes, it was so dark! :( I knew I wanted to start the story off with Narcissa dying right at her birth, and the idea of Druella being angry with the midwife for touching her daughter as a Muggleborn was an idea that felt really vicious but right. I have that whole scene written out as well from Narcissa's POV, but it fit much better for Andy to tell it since she was actually of an age to observe these things. :P
Two- Ah I'm really glad the power dynamics and relationships between them came across! This story felt quite creepy while writing it so I'm glad that was a strong part of it.
Three- Yes, I felt like their parents would be loving, in their own ways, but also cold and strict in others. I enjoyed imagining how a young Andy might remember her father, and how there might be some good in him that she would recall.
Four-Ah, Bella is just awful here. :( I was a little inspired by how she was so eager to get Draco involved with Voldy and to sacrifice Draco to his service, and figured she might treat Narcissa the same way, as a tool or act to be shown off and to further her own interests. Of course by this point she knows that Narcissa will recover from it, but she lacks the compassion and ability to see the horror of it that Andy feels.
Five- Yay I thought that section was really important in actually hearing from Narcissa and her thoughts on her situation, rather than just Andy's interpretation. :)
Six- Ooh that's a really interesting point about Cissy wanting to die! I think at that point she's still sort of relishing the glamour of it and how it gives her this status among the DEs- especially since Voldy himself is so interested in immortality so she would be of special notice to him. I definitely think she would be swept up in the idea of it and not recognize the true horror, so your musing was very interesting!
Seven- Ah yes I was sort of playing with the reverse of the idea in Ice to Ashes and how while Narcissa was keeping an eye on Andy, her sister was doing the same thing and carrying on this sort of distant fascination. I felt like after the war especially Cissy would be quite distressed and broken (in my head-canon Lucius is shipped off to Azkaban in a rather humiliating way :P), and I think Andy would notice that in a way others wouldn't.
Eight-Oh my goodness yes I forgot somehow about that really creepy line about Lucius drinking her blood! Yes, that's exactly what I was going for with talking about immortality, and how it can never really last. I loved writing that reunion and the recognition that each one has aged.
Nine- Aw I just knew I needed them to reconcile in the end! Ice to Ashes was so heartbreaking for me with its ending so it felt right that Andy would be there for Cissy's final passing. I'm glad you found it heart-breaking, however, as I did a little as well! :)
Thanks so much for this absolutely brilliant review Kiana! It was really wonderful to hear all your perceptive reactions and thoughts. ♥