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Review:a christmas nymph! says:
Hello there darling, I am here once again as your Secret Santa to marvel at your amazing writing!

When I was deciding what of yours to review, this summary drew me in straight away. I can't quite explain what it is, but that last line of the summary, 'want to play?', sent shivers down my spine and really made me want to read this. There's something about phrases like that which have an almost childlike connotation to them, but are used in a dark context - it just seems very intense and haunting to me, and I immediately knew I had to click on this story!

I adore Bellatrix as a character, and the way you have captured her here in relation to Rodolphus is truly captivating. Writing her as a teenager can be a little hit and miss - some people try and keep her as the unhinged fanatic Death Eater we know from canon, but the fact is we're first introduced to her after she has been absorbed deep into the culture and mindset of Voldemort, and then stayed a long stint in Azkaban, something we know can turn even the sanest of people a little crazy. I feel like here you've given her enough of her canon traits to make her clearly and believably the same character as we meet in the second wizarding war, but a younger version, with less life experience and therefore less anger, bitterness, and mania. She's still compelling, and aloof, she still has that air of pureblood mannerisms, as though she's smirking and sticking her nose up at the world. And she's really met her match in your characterisation of Rodolphus.

I feel like you really captured the essence of Slytherins in this time period. As Voldemort was first beginning to rise to power I always imagined there would be a lot of segregation between houses, and the Slytherins particularly would form their own kind of 'clique'. But here you've shown that the house isn't necessarily a cohesive bunch, and that there is pressure between the house members. You set Rodolphus and Bellatrix apart from the others in a way that still leaves them all believably 'slytherin'.

You really seem to have a talent for working with quote challenges, and I envy you that! I always struggle to make quotes fit into stories in a natural way, but in the two stories of yours that I have read so far, you have done it wonderfully both times. Here you've created a story which is incredibly unique, yet still manages to create the perfect context to incorporate the quote. And that is an especially notable achievement seeing as this is a Shakespeare quote, yet you've fit it into a modern language fic with relative ease!

I'm always a big fan of minor characters so I have to say, though your writing is wonderful and there are no spelling or grammar mistakes which is always a plus, my favourite thing about this is your portrayal of Rodolphus in particular, and Rodolpus and Bellatrix's relationship. You really wrote them exactly as I wish they would always be portrayed. You captured the aloof, pureblood voices perfectly, and made their youth obvious while keeping a sinister twist on the whole thing. You really showed perfectly why they would fall for each other, and I was rooting for their relationship by the end!

This was a fantastic read, so thank you for this, and well done.

Love and Merry Christmas from your Ravenclaw Secret Santa xxx

Author's Response: Hello there, again, Secret Santa! :) First of all, I just want to say thank you so so much for all the lovely gifts you gave me over the holiday - they were all so, so nice! I loved each of them so much, so thank you! :)

Gah, thank you! I'm so glad you like the summary as I find them so hard to write - they have to be right, you know, but that just makes it harder to do... - I didn't really think of the two meanings, and that kind of twist, when I chose it, but I love that idea, so thank you for mentioning that! :)

Haha, I love her as a character too! I love the whole Black family/pureblood group, too, so writing her was so much fun - and when I saw the quote and found out what play it was from, for some reason this idea just sprung up and wouldn't leave me alone. Yeah, that's kinda what I wanted to do with her - take away from the crazy from Azkaban and the Dark Arts, and scale it back to she's sixteen - because very few people remain the same as they age, tbh.

Thank you so much! :) I really wanted to emphasise the competitiveness between them all. In a house full of people who are ambitious, in some way and to some extent, you're gonna end up with people going up against each other in that kind of popularity contest, you know? So I kinda wanted to show that with them - and yeah, it's definitely not a cohesive house!

Mahaha, thank you so much! It's not totally deserved though - this one was a lot easier than the Perseus and Andromeda quote, but again, I tend to leave them to the end of the story to fit them in - it just keeps getting pushed back and back and back because it has to fit, and I'm always so scared of putting them in :P But I'm so glad you think it works! And the language, gosh - I was just glad I didn't get an overly-old-fashioned one to work with - I think that helped a lot! :)

Gah, thank you so so much for the lovely review, Secret Santa! All of your reviews were so great to get, and I'm so sorry I've been so slow in responding to them! :)

Aph xx

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