So, I'm here for the swap -- I will be reviewing L'optimisme in due course, and I was going to finish House of Cards so that I could review Roll of the Dice because it looked lonely without any reviews but then I saw this and I felt incredibly guilty, because I read this way back when it was TGS' featured one-shot and was so overcome by feels that I planned to come back later... and never did. SORRY ♥
Your Narcissa is written beautifully and is quite similar to my headcanon, which I really enjoyed because I could really see her in that dirty and dusty ballroom, allowing tears to mourn down her cheeks and grieving for the people she loved and grew up with. I've never watched/read Les Mis or heard the soundtrack, so I can't comment on how it connected to the story, but nevertheless I was overcome by sad feels. I don't normally highlight my favourite lines, but yours were so poignant that I just have to bring attention to them:
Doesnít everyone, in the end, deserve to be mourned?
The playing field is levelled and all the scores set to zero.
Better to be a puppy than to be dead.
Was that what glory was? Making shadows out of men? Reducing boys to ashen-faced skeletons long before their time? Curbing the laughter of the innocent and happy to make way for words of death and hatred and superiority? Was it only to destroy people, destroy lives and hopes and dreams?
Your words really brought all the Death Eaters to life. I've always felt that their families would have mourned them, despite what they did, and I'm so happy you brought that to life with Narcissa and her recollections and her feelings. I really got the sense that her grief was just too big to put into words, there was just an overwhelming sense of it emotionally drowning her -- hence her description of herself as empty -- and I take my hat off to you for that, for your incredible talent in evoking such emotions in just three thousand words.
I also loved how you spent some time describing each person in detail, even the ones Narcissa wasn't close to, and that she still mourned for Andromeda and Sirius even though they chose the "light" side.
This one-shot was beautiful. I cried reading it -- and I hardly cry reading fiction -- there was so much to feel. Narcissa's one of those people who seems to hide in the background and see everything, and I think she understood most of all the cost of war, so it was wonderful to see that here. (I really hope I'm not repeating myself!)
This was an amazing, thought-provoking one-shot. ♥
Author's Response: Hey Isobel! :) Aww, don't worry about it - I do that all the time, read things, plan to review them later when I have more time and never get back to them too, so it's something I really can't get annoyed at people about ;)
Thank you so much! I'm so glad you liked Narcissa - and it's kinda weird but also pretty cool that our headcanons of her are similar :D I always wanted to portray her as more sympathetic than the others, and able to mourn and grieve, because we don't see any of that in the books for the people on the 'other side' so I wanted to show their story for once, so to speak.
The thing I really loved about writing this one-shot was thinking about war in the viewpoint of someone who hasn't fought in it herself, but has suffered because of it - someone who feels the effects but doesn't experience it, and how they would feel about it and think about it and the sacrifice which was made by people they knew. It's part of war which I don't think is often picked up on; usually things are about the victims rather than the 'perpetrators', but I wanted to take a more humane spin on it.
I'm so glad you lked all the Death Eaters, too! It was important to me to emphasise that they were still people's friends, brothers, sons, fathers, and so on, despite their actions, and Narcissa, to me, seemed the obvious choice to see that through. I love writing emotions and that kind of thing, so I'm so glad you liked it! :)
I kinda wanted to show a glimpse of a time when, for Narcissa, everything was right and perfect. Sort of when things almost were the perfect world the Death Eaters wanted to create, you know? And I had to include Andromeda and Sirius, because even if they weren't dead, and they'd been disowned, I don't think when you're feeling emotional already that kind of thing ends up mattering.
Gah, thank you so so much for the wonderful review, and thank you so much for stopping by - I'm just so glad you liked it, and completely blown away by all your lovely compliments! :)