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Review:Violet Gryfindor says:
Excellent work on this one-shot! It's made me have to sit back and think about what you've done with Andromeda's character and about the way I've previously viewed her. This is a fantastic character study.

It's a difficult story to review because the pain of the narrative strikes one deeply - you make Andromeda's contradictions and difficulties real, bringing her to life in a way that I've never seen before. I really liked how you portrayed her as trapped between the two worlds - most stories about her seem to show how she left off being a Black much like Sirius did, but here you do something wonderfully different. She runs away impetuously without understanding the consequences - that it would mean cutting herself off entirely - and unlike Sirius, she doesn't move in with another pureblood family, and so the "culture shock" is that much more dangerous for her. It does make me wonder why she left - what was that inciting moment that made her steal away in the night? Or was it a very small thing that most people wouldn't even notice, yet for her it was the final straw?

Sorry, just thinking out loud (on paper?). I don't think that including that moment is necessary - all the readers need to know is that Andromeda regrets it for years. It guides her actions and makes what happens to her in DH that much more poignant. Both she and Bella - almost twins in appearance, so suitably similar in other ways - transform during adolescence, as though being separated brings them closer to darkness, Bella to the Dark Lord and Andromeda to melancholy, even depression. Andromeda distances herself from her new family, falling into herself so that it takes her a long time to realize how happy she is - you depicted her epiphany effectively, bringing out just enough angst with a hint of hope. Readers know that it still won't end well for her - that she'll be left alone - but at least for a short time she can fully appreciate the family she has (rather than the one she left behind).

The style was also effective - one can feel Andromeda cutting off her thoughts and the pain of disguising her regret, how she keeps wishing for that letter to come, for anything to signify that she is still part of them. Much of this story is perfectly restrained in its tone and language. The only section I would have liked to see more from was the final one - it seems lacking, her epiphany almost too quiet for it being such a monumental thing. This carries into the story's conclusion - that last paragraph doesn't fit there and makes the story lose its emotional power because it goes too far. The paragraph before it, on the other hand, makes a stronger conclusion, more focused on Andromeda. The slow steady beat of the clock is enough - to add that it's counting down the time isn't necessary - readers can interpret that for themselves. Does that make sense? Hopefully it helps you in some way.

My apologies for taking so long to complete this review. The only critique I can offer for this very well-written story is that you should reconsider the conclusion, and try to bring more emotion out of it to really make the story hit home. Other than that, amazing work!

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