"No," Potter shook his head. "Draco may be in my debt. I haven't added it up. But you certainly are not." Harry raised his hand to an elf that was negotiating the room with a tray of extremely small wine goblets. He took two and handed one to Narcissa. "But I will grant you, that you were always the queen of the, uh, Mudblood haters. You used to treat Hermione" - he pointed to Granger - "like she had a disease. I'm sure you know she runs rings around Draco." Narcissa opened her mouth, but Potter raised his hand. "She runs rings around me. So I'm curious[...]"
Perfect. I really like how you characterized Harry in this story, "much older than Draco, more like a man in his twenties," with a quiet maturity. In Narcissa, you evoke a scared but honest woman, one trying to navigate her way to a peace between her and the only thing that has ever truly had meaning for her. We get the idea that a lot has been lost, but not all, never all.Author's Response: I was surprised and very pleased to see these comments. I had written this story quite a long time ago. I am not a young person and -- perhaps for that reason -- Narcissa is one of my favorite characters. She seemed like someone to whom, for all her flaws, family was everything. And who quietly and tactfully outdistanced her husband in the areas of personal courage and ability to strategize. And probably would have been a superb poker player.
Your comments mean a great deal to me, and I thank you.
Wow. I really loved this. Your writing flows beautifully and it was a wonderful and original idea for a story. Hardly anything is known of the Black sisters, but reading this I can imagine them being exactly like this. Lovely writing xAuthor's Response: Thank you. I am old enough to identify more with characters of Narcissa's generation than the younger characters. Perhaps I'm too easy on this character, but she has always seemed to me like someone for whom family is everything. Thank you very much for your wonderful review.
Bella Report Review
This is an amazing read.
There's so much good stuff in here, like the framed picture of Sirius, that I don't know where to begin. I guess all I can say is that I wish I'd come up with this excellent piece. 10.Author's Response: Thank you. I wrote that story about two years ago, I believe, and I have always been fond of it. I guess we all have our favorite characers to write, and Narcissa is one of mine. I really appreciate your encouraging words.
Bella Report Review
Beautiful... Well written... Excellent...Author's Response: Thank you so much. I'm glad you enjoyed it.
Bella Report Review
very cute, you gave Narcissa her redemption. You wrote from her eyes well.Author's Response: Thank you. I enjoy writing Narcissa; she's a favorite character of mine. I'm very glad you liked the story, and I appreciate your taking the time to leave a review. Report Review
i like this.. how you resahped narcissa :)Author's Response: I think Narcissa did an extraordinarily brave thing, even though her motive was to save her family.
Thank you very much for taking the time to leave a review. I\\\'m glad you liked it. Report Review
This was absolutely amazing. You had me crying at the end.
I could relate with Narcissa completely, and I had the feeling that I would have done the exact same thing for my family if I had been put in that position. You portrayed her perfectly. I also loved how completely shocked she was that Harry would even consider giving her the award, even though it made so much sense to him.
The ending was heartfelt and warming.
I'm so glad I took the time to read this.Author's Response: Thank you so much for leaving this review. I have always been fond of this story. Narcissa seems somehow more accessible than some of the "lighter" maternal character. She is a flawed woman, and a less than perfect parent, who loves her child and her family no less than anyone else.
I would expect her to be shocked at another person's magnanimity. In her world, people tend to nurse their grievances.
I am glad you liked the ending. I wrote this for a "Winter Wonderland" or "Snow Day" option (I honestly forget which) of a Writer's Duel a while ago, and I had to do something to utilize that theme.
Once again, thank you so much for writing. Report Review
Been meaning to read this for ages. Boy am I glad I finally did!
While I can't completely agree with some statements here, on the whole, I find the story completely believable. My biggest concern is how on Earth the biggest jerks in the wizarding world could shake off the centuries of prejudices that made them become what they had become and turn good guys in one day. Well, it's valid at least for Lucius. Seeing him turning suddenly good is something like seeing Goebbels dating a Jewish girl (apologies for the harsh allegory).
For sofar we know, Narcissa never took part in any DE activities rather than their meetings, no fights, no raids on Muggles, nothing of this kind. So, while she'd been raised as a Black, toujours pur, with all the Ubermensch mentality et al, she'd all of the time been a mother and a wife, instead of a soldier. Of her, I can believe to have been "reformed" to some point.
Narcissa is wonderfully written. Full stop. No questions asked. I can see her in front of me, a broken woman in her fifties; all her world completely haywire, man on the verge, son alienated, sister dead, another declared dead long ago. Loneliness.
Harry, being ever the gentleman. Order of Merlin to a DE wife? It must have taken some of his best diplomacy to push his wish through; hell, being a war hero must have been good for something, right? I just can imagine he'd had some words with her best friends on this and not all of those words were of the kindest; the essence of Hermione's reaction on seeing Narcissa is a witness to this.
I do not deny, I was reading the ending with tears in my eyes. Partly because you were able to convey the emotions in such an intricate way. Partly because I have been fighting with my own family for 12 years now with no possibilities to reconciliation.
I applaud you for yet another marvellous piece of writing. An instant favourite and a full mark, of course.Author's Response: I'm truly glad you took a look at this story. It was an entry in a Writers' Duel of nearly 2 years ago. (It was a runner-up.) I barely got it in under the wire; so what you see is basically a first draft.
Narcissa is a middle-aged mother of a grown, or nearly-grown, son, so I tend to see more of myself in her than in many other characters; therefore, she is one of my favorites to write. At the end of the day, she did something that, whatever her motive, took a lot of courage and poise to pull off -- which she did, without regard to the consequences, which would have been dire. She must have realized she was keeping Harry alive by, in essence, conspiring with him in an effort to fake his death. In other words, I think Narcissa deserved her Order of Merlin. When her moment came, she did her part.
As for Lucius: I do have a tendency to write him a bit soft. Your points are well taken. However, I see him as a bit of a Fredo, craving the perks and the politics but lacking the stomach or the skill to do the dirty work that goes with them. I imagined him suffering from PTSD after two years of dementors, Azkaban, torture and house arrest.
As to Harry: I figure, if he owes anyone, he owes Narcissa.
I am fond of this story. I like the idea of this aging woman and her bereaved sister, who so clearly need one another, finally achieving some degree of reconciliation. Report Review
Very nice story. I'm happy I came across it :)Author's Response: I'm so glad you liked it, Scarlett. Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a review. Report Review
I'm just curious - have you read Memento Mori? I think your take on Narcissa is very similar to hers...it's no longer available here, but I could PM you a link to another archive over at eHPF.
Now to this actual story, I liked it very much. I, too, think Lucius would have quite some issues after the war, although Narcissa would probably be far from being fine and dandy, too. And I do think she would want to reconcile with Andromeda and that she valued her family over anything, too.
One think that maybe wasn't that realistic was Harry being that okay with everything. I mean, I can actually imagine him nominating her for the Order of Merlin, but not being so okay with talking to her. I'd imagine it being something similar to the interaction we see in the Epiloque between Harry and Draco.
But now, I'm going on about canonishness and uncanonishness, but that's not actually talking about the story itself, is it? Well, the point is, I don't have that much to say...I loved the way it was written, I think the scenes worked well and you managed to show Narcissa's emotion without really describing it in detail. One always seems to have more to say when one's naming the flaws...Author's Response: On Memento Mori: please email me a link, if you have it. I was hoping it had an existence somewhere in cyberspace.
I wrote this story, as I mentioned in my PM, as an entry in the Writers' Duel last year. It "placed" as a runner up, for which reason I have avoided making any but minor changes. My normal manner of writing is to write multiple drafts. I didn't have a chance to do that with this one. I barely got the first draft completed, proofread, and spaced properly before the clock ran out. I certainly see your point with Harry talking to Narcissa in such a matter-of-fact manner. But that was the way it came out (more or less) the first time, and I had no opportunity to second-guess myself.
I like writing Narcissa. For one thing, she is also old enough to have lived a bit.
I really liked that you picked up on my brief snapshot of postwar Lucius. I always imagined him having an exceptionally tough time coping with his experiences. While Narcissa would not be "back to normal," for a number of reasons, I do see her as more resilient than he. But then again, she had less from which to recover. Lucius endured horrors she did not.
Thank you so much for your review. I appreciate it enormously. Report Review
Very, very nice. I have yet to read anyone else's work with words beyond a second grader's level. I'm very impressed. I'm decidedly going to be reading all of your works.Author's Response: Thank you so much. I'm very glad you enjoyed the story and (like any author) I would be thrilled to have you return and read more of my stories.
Once again, I appreciate your kind review. Narcissa is a favorite character of mine to write. Report Review
Oh Bella, I loved this story! I had been wanting to read it for some time and I'm so glad I got a chance :) Your characterization of Narcissa and the post-war events were terrific. I can really see Narcissa being granted the Order of Merlin, and how fair and just of Harry to nominate her for it. Their conversation was wonderful and I think it was really thoughtful of Narcissa to give him the picture of Sirius, something he would truly cherish. They really did do each other a favor during the war, didn't they? Harry saved Draco's life in the Room of Requirement, and Narcissa saved Harry's life by lying about him being dead to Voldemort. Even though she only did it to take care of her own family, she did save his life whether she wanted to or not. I like the way you've portrayed Narcissa as a protective, loving mother who doesn't really care either way about Voldemort - I've always seen her that way too. Maybe she is stringent about blood purity, but that's the way she has been raised - to be a snob. The snowball fight with Andromeda was heart-warming ... it's so wonderful to see these two sisters come back together and reforge that bond again. I really enjoyed this story and your writing was excellent as always! 10/10Author's Response: Well, I thought that Cissy-the-Snotty-Trophy-Wife showed a lot of guts out there, regardless of her motivation, and clearly changed the course of the war; so it was only fair that she receive a little recognition. And Harry, being the only one who knew what happened back there, and being a basically fair person, would have been willing to give an Incredibly Nasty But Nonetheless Brave Slytherin credit where credit was due. I mean, it wouldn't be the first time. (I mean, Snape didn't really care about the wretched little brat's welfare either -- he was doing it all for the brat's mother.)
But, with all that had gone on, I think Harry and Cissa were long overdue for a conversation. And that Narcissa was probably the toughest, smartest and most practical of the three Malfoys. She had been through horrible experiences -- not as horrible as Lucius, granted, but pretty bad. She'd nearly lost everyone and everything she loved, and she'd lived in terror, basically under house arrest, for nearly a year. So I think it was impossible that her view of life had not been affected. By the end, her and Lucius's enthusiasm for LV had gone completely out the window.
She was also the only one with a loved one out there, whom artificial barriers prevented her from seeing. I'm guessing she liked babies more than she disliked werewolves or Mudbloods, and she really wanted Andie back in her life.
So I imagine she would have been thrilled, at that point in her life, to reconcile with her sister.
Thank you so much for the review. Your reviews are so detailed, they are just wonderful to read, and this one made my day. Report Review
Oh, wow, this was a great one-shot. I liked Narcissa's character; I think you portrayed her very well. Her conversation with Harry was very...open. It revealed a lot about her and the moments following the fall of Voldemort. Her snowball fight with Andromeda was written well too, especially the dialogue. Nicely done. :)Author's Response: I enjoy writing Narcissa. She is one of my favorite characters, in part because she's older and has -- by the end of the series -- lived through quite a lot. This was written under deadline for a competition, so it was written much more quickly than I would normally do, and -- for better or worse -- there was no time for rewrites. I needed to incorporate a "Winter Wonderland" theme, hence the idea for the snowball fight.
The dialogue with Harry was fun to write. I thought the two of them were long due for a talk.
Thank you so much for your review and for your very kind words. I really appeciate it. Report Review
Adorable! Loved it. And I like how you made the connection between Narcissa and Lily's sacrifices for their sons.Author's Response: Thank you very much. Motherhood is important in JKR's world. One of the real surprises of the latter books was how much substance there was to Narcissa. Report Review
This is a really unique piece! - a treasure. I love the thought of Narcissa repenting her ways. The characterization was wonderful, and I loved Harry's initial greeting. Just amazing.Author's Response: What a kind and wonderful comment! Thank you so much.
I am delighted that you liked the story, and I am truly gratified that you took the time to let me know. Your comments make my day. Report Review
Enjoyed this - nice for Narcissa to get some recognition! The fact that she wants to meet with her sister and Teddy, very sweet. Will check out your other stories!
Thx CA xAuthor's Response: Thank you so much.
I love writing Narcissa. She is one of my favorite characters.
I'm glad you enjoyed the story, and thank you again for reviewing. Report Review
Such a sweet little one-shot. I thought it was nice reading about Narcissa following the war, as it is not something we usually see, most post-war fics focus on the younger generation like Draco and Harry.
I liked your take on how Narcissa changed after the war, and I thought it was heart-warming to see her reconcile with her sister. I also thought it was interesting having Lucius becoming a hermit, unable to leave his own home and unable to be left alone. I liked that characterisation of him post-war.
I did notice a few errors that I want to mention. The first is simply a tying error:
"balls of snow piled on tope of each other" should read "top" rather than "tope".
I also noticed in the letter Narcissa receives it sends greetings to "Narcissa Black", should it not read "Narcissa Malfoy"? It seems strange that the letter would refer to her maiden name even though she has been married for around 20 years.
Another line that struck me as odd was this: "Teddy was the last Black, the end of the line." It sounds as though she is saying that Teddy is the last Black left to carry on the Black legacy, yet Draco is still alive so that does not make sense.
Anyway, that's the end of my nitpicking. I did enjoy reading your take on Narcissa after the war. It was a lovely piece.Author's Response: Thank you very much for your review. I've read some of your chapters, and I know you like this family, also. So your remarks are doubly appreciated.
I imagined Lucius as having suffered the most, while having the least resiliance. He was, after all, a middle aged man who saw his life turned over, prison, torture, humiliation, and barely escaping with his life. So I imagined him taking to his bed with PTSD and taking a while to recover. (I see Draco, being younger, as more resiliant; and Narcissa as simply tougher than her husband. And I don't think she suffered to the degree he did.)
The "Narcissa Black" address was intentional. I imagined a Ministry functionary, knowing the nature of the letter, unable to bring him/herself to write the hated Death-Eater Malfoy name and simply addressing it to "Mrs. Malfoy" using her maiden name.
The reference to Teddy as the last of the line was, maybe, unclear. The point was that he was the only Black of his generation. (Draco and Nymphadora being cousins.) Scorpius does not yet exist. When I go back to fix that typo (thank you: I always miss something), I should probably take another look at that section.
Thank you very much for your kind review. I am very glad you enjoyed the piece. Report Review
Lovely one-shot, and I especially liked Harry and Narcissa's conversation and the end with the sisters. I haven't read many fics about Narcissa, mostly because I do not like her character, but you really made me feel for her. Wonderful job, Elizabeth.Author's Response: I am so happy to hear from you!
Thank you for taking the time to read my little story. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Narcissa is actually one of my favorite characters, mainly by virtue of the fact that she's a grown-up and as devoted to her child and family as any character in the HP universe. Thank you so much for leaving the review. Report Review
Mmmm I adore this. I would love that this is what happened. I love how you've written Narcissa, believable and yet sympathetic. Loved your Harry characterization, and the photo of Sirius as a baby was a brilliant stroke of inspiration. Nicely done!Author's Response: Thank you so much. I enjoy writing Narcissa, because she is dark and flawed and yet a mother, a mature adult, and very human. As I was writing this, it seemed that Narcissa was "five degress of separation," or less, from just about everybody, because of the reach of her family. I so much appreciate for your kind words; and I am delighted you enjoyed the story. Report Review
What can I say? It's a beautiful story about reconciliation. Narcissa always struck me as a strong woman in her own right. I never believed those who thought that Lucius beat her or otherwise abused her. I really see parallels between her and Molly and your story helps reinforce those parallels.
I have no real CC for your story. I think it is great the way it is. I particularly like the interaction of Teddy watching his grandmother and great-aunt have a snowball fight.
It's funny, all the stories that were entered into the writer's duel seem to have very few reviews. It's a shame that such good work doesn't get rewarded with reviews. Let me say it again: This story is excellent.
Your characterisations are spot-on. Narcissa and Harry in particular shine to me. To a lesser extent, I can really see Hermione in your brief characterisation of her.
A rare 10/10 from me.Author's Response: Thank you so much for the review. I also see parallels between Narcissa and Molly. It feels, at times, as though the story is about the latent, underestimated, but nevertheless vast strength of mothers.
I really appreciate your kind comments, and I'm glad you enjoyed the story. Report Review
I really enjoyed this, because it was a well-written piece. I do think it wouldn't hurt to add a little emotion into it. Narcissa seemed almost dead, in the emotional sense, and I believe that even a woman who has gone through what she has would have some feeling left in her.
While it was amazing, I also think that the persons in the work wouldn't have talked so properly. Narcissa and Andromeda, perhaps, but certainly not the younger ones.
Good job. Keep writing!Author's Response: Thank you so much for your review.
I am grateful your comments. This story was written under deadline, so all constructive comments are deeply appreciated.
I am glad you liked the story, and I thank you for your kind encouragement. Report Review
I've said it elsewhere, but I really enjoy this one-shot. It's very emotional and fun at the same time. I enjoy the fact that they kind of make up by throwing snowballs as they argue. It's kind of symbolic. And of course, I love little Teddy being present! :) This is awesome!Author's Response: I really appreciate your comments. I enjoyed writing this story (once I got into the right groove, so to speak). As you probably know, this was written for the "Snow Day" section of the Writers' Duel, so the snowball fight was conceived to bring the story more squarely within that theme. But it is still kind of symbolic, as you say.
As for Teddy, I loved the little guy, too.
Thank you again. Report Review
That was beautiful. I loved the idea you had here. How you described Narcissa and her family really reflected their despair/gloom at the hands of Voldemort's defeat. My one suggestion/criticism was that Andromeda's sudden change in attitude with the snowball fight was rather . . . abrupt - like why would she let Narcissa come home with her and play with Teddy if she still believed Narcissa was not a 'good guy'? But beyond that, you truly managed to craft a beautiful story. I especially liked Narcissa's conversation with Harry and the utter awkwardness of it.Author's Response: Thank you so much for your review.
Ah, that snowball fight. There were a lot of things going on that made it come out the way it did. I was trying to bring it within the spirit of the "Snow Day" challenge. Also, I'm a slow writer; and I had to write this very quickly to bring it within deadline (and the snowball episode was sort of a last-minute "inspiration.") But I did have the idea that, even if they made a decision to reconcile and accept one another at this point in their lives, Andromeda and Narcissa would also be agreeing to try to answer the unanswered questions and resolve the unresolved issues that would come up between them. Andromeda still has pain, and Narcissa (assuming there's a decent woman in there) still has guilt; and they have to work it out between them. A snowball fight is a fairly harmless way of getting rid of aggression, and it suggests a return to a childhood where they had been sisters without all these adult cares. So I thought Andromeda lobbing snowballs, even if accompanied by critical words, was an expression of acceptance. If that makes sense.
Sorry to be so wordy.
I thank you so much for your kind words that have made my day. Report Review
First of all, congratulations for that idea! Would have never thought of that one for myself. Something completely from everything else I usually read.
I liked your descriptions and the characterisation - the way Harry reacted and the way in which Narcissa still has to fight with herself at times about who she is and what her place has become.
Well done, really enjoyed this one-shot!Author's Response: Thank you so much. It was fun to write. After reading DH, I felt Narcissa deserved a little credit for courage under fire. I also thought reintegration into Wizard society would be tough. The Malfoys could either hide behind their mansion walls or face a new world.
I am delighted that you enjoyed my little story. Report Review
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