Hello, here with your requested review!
I have to admit, I was a little sad when I realized this was a one-shot and not a short story, because I just wanted to read more of your Bellatrix and her intriguing relationship with Voldemort. Bellatrix, in particular, was really great because of the multiple layers I see in her characterization. She wants Voldemort to love her, and yet she chooses not to fall into the simple position of being a romantic companion for him, a "distraction." She wants him to love her as she is, as a powerful witch worthy of respect. She's quite inspiring, despite her dark leanings. It kind of makes me reflect on how feminism might appear in the wizarding world--are there some witches who retain only the basic household spells, and are they looked at differently than other witches with more complicated careers?
Voldemort was very well-characterized, too. I think it's very realistic that he wouldn't be interested in recruiting women, and again I can't help but muse about why I have that impression. I like how you dealt head-on with the question of why women were few and far between in his ranks. I also like how they have a mutual understanding about his thin apology and the tenuous relationship they've begun in this pivotal moment.
None of the dialogue and action seemed awkward or out of place to me. In fact, I'm impressed by your ability to integrate the quote so that the speaking style doesn't change. I might not have even picked it out had you not bolded the text.
I don't really feel comfortable addressing your last question; I think that's better left up to a validator's judgment. I will say that, at least in my view, it's better to risk having a slightly too-high rating than to err on the other side.
Nice work! Thanks for requesting, and good luck with the challenge, if it hasn't yet concluded. As always, I hope my review is helpful to you.
Author's Response: Hello! I've been an awful person and I haven't responded to your review until now. Someone should put me in jail for being a bad author. :(
But anyways, thanks for this brilliant review that you left me almost a month ago! I hope that my late response won't deter you from reviewing me again in the future! :)
Aww, no! I didn't mean to make you sad! I've found that one-shots are kind of my forte in fanfiction, and showing Bellatrix and Voldemort in just one scene of their complex lives seemed to be enough for me. :) In the books, Bellatrix is a crazed follower, and she's so far gone that she is blinded by Voldemort, no matter what he does. I wanted to imagine a Bellatrix pre-Azkaban, a girl aspiring to be great, even though her family tradition dictated that she should simply be a mother. I'm glad that you found her inspiring--to me, she's a woman in a man's world, but she definitely beats the men any day!
Voldemort is a terrible human/thing/creation/whater-he-is, no matter how you slice it. He's out for the blood of Muggles and Muggleborns, so I thought that his view of women would probably be along parallel lines, i.e., women were meant to stay at home and not get in the way. Once she meets him, Bellatrix realizes what a bigoted person he is, so she's able to see right through his "apology." :)
Thank you so, so, so much!! I do a lot of quote integrating for essays and things (English major life-I'm living it!), so incorporating the quote for the challenge was fun to puzzle through!
...Yeah, that last question... I'm sorry I asked that because it was a bit silly. Better safe than sorry, 'tis true, and there's a first time for everything--this was my first story marked "Mature." I guess there's no turning back from here! :)
Thank you so very much for this lovely review!! :D