Great fic; I think you've done these character studies really well and it's nice to see different sides of all of these characters. Narcissa's is my favourite, I think. ~TashaAuthor's Response: thank you so much! Report Review
Absolutely astonishing work about the three Black sisters. Interesting title and summary as well. I love how it was counted backward, instead of in numerical order like one usually would do. Everything about this short story was very strong, in a good way of course.
I can't say that this is precisely how I picture Andromeda, Narcissa, and Bellatrix in my own mind, but it is an interesting take on them. I love to see the way people express their relationships as sisters with one another, as well as their growing apart. I personally think that the three of them have one of the most interesting relationships in the entire series, and I firmly believe you stayed true to their characters, despite the short chapters. You got right down to the point - the bare bones of who and what the sisters really are, not only together, but as individuals as well. Job well done!Author's Response: Thank you so much! I have a soft spot for the Black sisters, so means a lot that you think I stayed true to their characters. Thank you :)) Report Review
wow, i've always loved stories that the pox is bella's but this. is. the. best. eva!
WOW, you make it so believealbe! 10/10!Author's Response: thank you so much! Report Review
Hey, it’s blueirony from the forums, with your review. And it’s a month late. Well, almost a month late.
And I honestly cannot tell you how sorry I am. I’ve just been so caught up with Uni work (I swear it’s like a never-ending queue of assignments) that I just haven’t had the time.
But I did promise to review. And I keep my promises. So I am sorry. But I’ll get on with the actual review, lol.
First of all, two minor grammar mistakes I found.
In chapter 2, you write:
How you could feel winter ebb away simply by standing in the middle of an orchard
Perhaps not keep the word ‘you’ in this sentence? It doesn’t flow with the rest of the paragraph, chapter or story. Perhaps consider changing it to “how the feeling of winter would ebb away simply by standing in the middle of an orchard”. I don’t know. It’s just something I thought I’d throw out there.
Also, in chapter 2, you write:
“The sense of adventure, and of belogning”
Belogning should be belonging. Minor typo.
Sweet, now that all the boring stuff is out of the way, allow me to rave.
And, yes I am going to rave. Because, for YEARS, I have been wanting to read a simple story about the three Black sisters. I think that there is just sooo much that hasn’t been told about them. All three of them are so different, yet they are, after all, sisters. And I have been itching to read something about them.
So, thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you for asking me to read this!
I think I’d like to first say that I really liked how human you made all of them. Of course, we all know that Andromeda is probably the most “human” of the three and, as the ending of DH shows, Narcissa has some “human” in her. But Bellatrix does not. Or, at least, that is the impression we get from the books.
You chose to make her human. You gave us an explanation for why she is the way she is. And I love it.
It was almost like having three stories moulded into one. And I’m not sure how you did that, considering each chapter was so brief! But it really, really worked. It really did. I’m often weary of reading stories that don’t have much of a plot, but this one just… worked.
I particularly loved the last line. It made me smile. And I think it might be one of the best endings to a story I’ve read in a long while.
You mentioned in one of your author notes that this was a character study. Did you succeed? I think you did. I certainly feel like I know a little bit more about the three. Particularly, the link between Narcissa and Andromeda. I always suspected something was there. And I think it’s entirely believable that Bellatrix was perhaps more of an “outcast” among the sisters. Which is strange, considering she was probably the most “true” Black. Hmm. Food for thought lol.
I really did enjoy reading this! And you did well. And, again, thank you for not writing something cliché! I’m so sick of reading the same stories again and again and it is so exciting when I come across something as original as this.
-Ju :]Author's Response: No worries - I know real life can, often and unexpectedly, come in between... well, pretty much everything. I checked out the typos, and fixed them - thank you for pointing those out. Food for thought indeed! These three characters, are, to me, very complex, particularly Bellatrix. I believe that there is always something inside a human being that is a reason for whatever he/she will one day become. And I wanted to find such a reason with Bellatrix, because I seriously don't believe she was evil through and through from the very start of her life. Yeah, don't know if I'm making sense, but hopefully. I'm glad I succeeded with this character study. It had to, since it has no plot to speak of! Anyways, thank you so so much for this gigantic and thorough review. Totally made my day (: Report Review
Very powerful. I still love your writing for the same reasons I said before, and I love how you wrote Bellatrix.
I only found a couple of spelling mistakes - a misspelled 'belonging and 'self-confident'. The only other grammar mistake is below.
She was barely out of school when she became a Death Eater, followers of the Dark Lord. Since Bellatrix is only one person, 'followers' should be changed 'a follower'.
Other than that, everything is beautiful.
I love how you portrayed Bellatrix. You captured her evilness perfectly (that poor cat...I love cats. I wish you had picked a different animal) and didn't go the typical route of trying to make her not seem evil. At the same time, you still make her seem very human and deep with her dreams. I love this portrayal - very IC and intense. I really hate that this chapter ended; I would love to see what you could do with a longer Bellatrix fic (or really, a fic with any of the Black sisters). This was an excellent fic and I'm glad you requested - feel free to do so again any time!Author's Response: All fixed - again, thanks for letting me know! I'm very happy (and relieved) that you liked this take on Bellatrix, because truth be told, I had a hard time writing this piece. Bella doesn't come as easy to me as Narcissa or Andromeda. And I'm sorry for using a cat *blush*! I love cats too. As for a longer fic with any of the Black sisters - I have one chaptered fic about Andromeda (ten chapters) and two longer one-shots about Bellatrix and Narcissa respectively. But one day I might take on writing their childhood - I think that hasn't been as explored as their Hogwarts years and after. But one never knows, heh. Thank you so much for your reviews! Report Review
I really love your writing style. It's so eloquent and emotional. You let us really see who the characters are on the inside without having to have dialogue or ranting descriptions - you just show us with your writing. I'm not sure how to explain it, but I love it.
I found no grammar errors, but I do think you could split a couple of sentences into two or structure them with semicolons. It's not a huge deal, but they seem a tad bit on the run-on side to me (but I'm also extremely nitpicky).
If there was something Andromeda loathed it was displeasing her family, though not that they cared in the slightest, because she was still the bad seed. This is strictly a matter of opinion, but I would probably change this to "If there was something Andromeda loathed, it was displeasing her family. Not that they cared in the slightest - she was still the bad seed." Or "If there was something Andromeda loathed, it was displeasing her family; not that they cared in the slightest. She was still the bad seed." Again, this is mere personal opinion and suggestions. There's other ways you can handle this as well.
It was not as if she went beside herself and behaved improperly, because Andromeda just wasn’t the vindictive kind of girl, but she could relax and for once, feel like she was being herself and not someone she was expected to be. I would suggest something like "It was not as if she went beside herself and behaved improperly. Andromeda just wasn't the vindictive kind of girl, but she could relax and feel like she was being herself and not someone she was expected to be for once." Okay, my example here is rather sloppy and not good, but there are several ways to de-run-on-ize it if you want.
I also think that the part in parentheses about Andromeda and Ted could be taken out of parentheses and maybe even added to the previous paragraph, but this is just a matter of personal opinion. It's still good the way it is. I'm sorry if I sound pretentious at all - trust me, you write way better and more beautifully than I do.
Other than that everything is perfect. I love Andromeda's memories and the fact that her closeness to Narcissa is repeated, but I also love the independence you've given her and the love of reading. Really, she's exactly as I picture her and I love it. Great job!Author's Response: First off - wow. Second - thanks so much for pointing those sentences out - I took your advice and split them up (run-on sentences is a weakness of mine and I never tend to really notice them, so thanks for letting me know). And don't worry, you don't sound pretentious at all - I'm just very happy that you've let me know, especially since these pieces haven't been edited and I'm kind of lousy at noticing my own errors =p Third - thank you so, so much for this review, and for having taken your time to point these grammar issues out. Means a lot! Report Review
As your biggest fangirl I've been following this closely. Though I get distracted sometimes (read: all the time), I finally read this last chapter and God, is this brilliant. I miss spontaneous writing too, when the words don't come fast enough and the ideas feeding the words will drown you. But you, in each chapter, made it look flawless, luxurious, beautiful. It's not fair how your spontaneous is this gorgeous description and mine is a jumbled mess of adverbs. I always love your vignettes and your portrayal of the Black sisters - your Andromeda has remained the best - so put together, this was pure magic. The end of this chapter was perfect, though, and the best lines. (There is a typo/grammar issue there; it should be If that had been the case, the flame wouldn't have been as missed.)
One question, though: why the word "driven" in the title? Maybe it's because I've woken up two hours earlier than usual and I need sleep, but I don't get it. It's a beautiful title (and I love how it's in lowercase!), but it doesn't make sense to me. Yet. You clearly know what you're doing.
So basically this was beautiful and did not seem spontaneous at all. Not. Fair.Author's Response: What to say? I'm not even sure there's a coherent reply in me for this, but I'll try. I'm very glad you got around to reading this final chapter and that you liked it. I don't know, I guess I'm feeling pretty rusty, so it means a whole lot to when you think that the spontaneity hasn't brought it down. And I don't agree with that - jumbled mess of adverbs? Never (: But I'm happy you liked my vignettes - it's the way I prefer to write (short pieces), though I'm starting to worry it's getting overdone on my part. Hopefully not. Anyways, I'm very happy, and relieved, that you liked the portrayals. And thank you for letting me know about the typo - it has been taken care of! As for the word driven - I actually came across the term driven snow when I looked up the word driven on thefreedictionary, and there it says that it means "piled up or carried along by a current". Personally, I meant for the title to be a bit contradictory - driven snow, I imagine, can get grimy depending on where it eventually lands. I think that case has similarities to the Black sisters. But maybe it's just me *blush*! Anyway - thank you for dropping by and for this amazing review! I've missed them (: Report Review
She was a cruel and sadistic little girl. Great story, though.
10/10.Author's Response: Indeed she was. I'm very happy you liked this! Thanks for reviewing! Report Review
Another great chapter, I especially loved the last line.
10/10.Author's Response: Thank you! Report Review
I love this chapter, the Black sisters are fascinating characters. The title is also very beautiful, although I'm just wondering if the decapitalization (I don't think that's a word, but whatever) of the entire title is intentional. Sorry, I'm a grammar freak :)
10/10.Author's Response: I agree, they are. And yes, it was intentional. I thought it looked more... beautiful and forlorn. Call me crazy :p I'm happy you liked this and thanks so much for dropping by! Report Review
Bellatrix is always amazing, you did a nice job protraying her, although I've always pictured her a bit insaneAuthor's Response: Well, she is insane - we know that. But I wanted to show her youth more, how she became this insane person - I don't know if I succeeded, but that was my aim. Again, thanks for reviewing! Report Review
Wow. Very powerful emotions in a short piece.
I do have to criticize the point on Andromeda being a Ravenclaw, since canon greatly suggests she was a Slytherin. Still, I had planned on sorting her into Ravenclaw in a story that I will likely never complete, so I can see the appeal.
That is my single critique. I noticed no grammar mistakes.
I like your characterizations and I think you captured all three sisters really well - Bellatrix the warrior, Andromeda the outsider, and Narcissa the one seeking to please. I like the closeness you gave to Narcissa and Andromeda, as I've always felt that there had to be some attachment. The last line was absolutely perfect.Author's Response: Yes, I'm aware that the question of what house Andromeda was in has remained unanswered, though leaning to the Slytherin direction (I've written an Andromeda centric novella, and she was a Slytherin there), but I wanted to set the three sisters apart even more and because of that, I chose Ravenclaw for her in this particular fic. Anyways, thank you so much! I'm very happy you liked the closeness between Narcissa and Andromeda - I like to think that Narcissa, at least, isn't pure evil like Bella. Well, enough rambling on my part and again, thank you so much for reviewing! Report Review
No poetry in this one. Rough, harsh, powerful, as Bellatrix has always been. All her essence is enclosed in these few words, like no one else had written her before. I almost feel sorry for her for not having known love, friendship, trust, care. She knew passion, she knew loyalty, but all these emotions were targeted towards the GOAL. Pureblood supremacy. How Hitleristic.
Three sisters, so different. Three fates, each of them tragical in a different way. Three chapters, further convincing me in my belief of you being one of the best writers around.Author's Response: I seriously have no idea what to say - I'm utterly speechless. But thank you, a hundred times over and over again (: Report Review
Now comes tragedy.
Andromeda Black, who actually is no Black any more. The "white" sheep, the renegade, the disgrace to an ancient pureblood family. She's so different from her two sisters. Not being infected with the ideas of "pureblood supremacy", she tries to see good in other people as well and finally turns out to be the only good one herself.
Yet, even as an outcast, she's happy. She's privileged to have known LOVE, something the other two have no understanding of, and she's given up everything for LOVE. No matter the consequences.
Heartbreaking, brilliant, poetic.Author's Response: Exactly - having always been rejected in some ways by her family - whether it was for, in this case, liking books more than liking performing the Dark Arts - she sought for love in other places and people and found it. (: Thank you so much for reviewing! Report Review
Steph's back. She's back with yet another fantastic story, full of pure emotions.
I couldn't mistake your writings for anybody else's. You've got a unique style and everything I read from your pen fills me with enormous pleasure. Clean, crisp, very often sad, tragical, but always highly enjoyable.
This first installment about Narcissa is a worthwile introduction into your idea to describe the Black sisters' connections to each other.
Narcissa is the youngest sister AFAIK, and for a while she'd been really close to Andy. Yet, as they grew up and made their choices, their ways parted. I can very well imagine though that after the events of DH the two sisters have come to some kind of reconciliation.
No further words necessary, you know I'm in love with your stories.Author's Response: Aw, thank you Zoltan! And yes, the thought that Andromeda and Narcissa, after DH, built some bridges (at least) is very appealing to me (I've written such a moment actually, in my Narcissa centered fic!) Anyways, thank you! Your reviews always make me very happy (: Report Review
I wish i could know more about this story! It just started to draw me inAuthor's Response: I'm happy it did! Thanks for reviewing! Report Review
Wow, this is very in character for Bellatrix. She's obsessively driven and it affects the style of the writing - the language is harsher, the phrases more abrupt. You've captured how terrifying she can be, which makes this even more amazing.
After reading all three parts, I can clearly see the connections between them, the similar images and ideas that bring the sisters together. But the differences between their thoughts and emotions keep them divided. Brilliant work on these pieces, Steph. :DAuthor's Response: *sighs in relief!* I'm very happy you think so, because Bella is a bit difficult to write, although always fascinating. I really wanted to write her as the Bella we all know and love, but still keep traces of her childhood in her somehow and the impact it did on the person she became. Ugh, I'm rambling. But thank you for these lovely reviews. They made my day (: Report Review
this is a really cool idea, i feel like the sisters' stories are never really told flat out.really nice and creativeAuthor's Response: Thank you! That means a lot ^-^ Report Review
I love how there's a spark of hope at the end of this story, with Andromeda knowing that she made the right decision, that her own happiness was more important than being a Black. It sets her apart from Narcissa, demonstrating her inner strength. It's ironic because her strength comes from being a Black - she's stubborn and a bit selfish, just like a Black.
Anyway, I really loved this chapter, even better than the Narcissa one. Your Andromeda is just perfect. :)Author's Response: Exactly - never thought of it like that, but that's totally reasonable (the part of Andromeda getting her strength from being a Black). I love writing Andromeda, because to me, she's the most relatable of the three - I don't struggle with her character as much as with Narcissa and Bellatrix (!). Anyways, enough rambling on my part and thank you, so, so much for this review. Report Review
It's amazing how, in these few words, you were able to say so much about Narcissa and her coming of age. The writing is beautiful with each word carefully chosen. The way you've charaterised her is also fantastic, how she's in awe of her sisters, but always wanting to act like a Black. You've captured her childhood naivety perfectly, and it adds to the sadness of this story.Author's Response: Thank you so much, Susan! Report Review
caught the recurring line - 'blacks don't get laughed at', really shows the level of commitment to family status; i like the way andromeda sees her school--as a kind of release, like the books were, and it makes so much sense, a bit like in the case of sirius.
and i always like it when the author uses the connection between hogwarts and the concept of home, after all, rowling said it all - as long as there are students who need learning (and kids who need a place to be themselves), there will be hogwarts :)
furthermore, it is so fascinating, to think of these sisters, so different, and yet united by the same blood, same parents, same belief system instilled in them. it really says a lot about human nature and nurture as well - how the two interweave to create a unique creature, different from the rest of its kind.
whoa, i got a 'bit' philosophical, so i'll stop myself here. see, like the banner that inspired you to write this, i am happy to say that this story inspires me in a way :D
love the recurring use of brackets; and of course the beautiful imagery, which reminds me of a poem, or a painting, or just something really artsy ... that's it, your writing has these elements of painting, which is my favorite kind of read - means you've gotten to the root of it, the part that makes it art.
ah, love, your final lines so far are fantastic! keep writing, steph! can't believe my review is so big when the chapter is so small, lolAuthor's Response: Getting philosophical is fun (: But I know what you mean - and those are the reasons that the Black sisters fascinate me - how they could be so different, yet having the same blood running through their veins; and what drove them to the places they were as grown women. I'm very happy (and relieved) that you liked the use of brackets - I was thinking that maybe I had overused them. Aww, thank you! That means a lot to me (: But again, thanks so much for this wonderful review, Lyn! Report Review
aww, that's so sad, steph! i really like the way you portrayed narcissa, a bit different than usual, which i like, and especially how you showed that all she ever did was what others told her to, expected from her, and how she could only listen to others telling her what her life should be, which is the saddest kind of existence. thanks for a great read, as usual! can't wait for the rest (: oh, also - the title - brilliant.Author's Response: Lyn! Thank you so much for dropping by and for this wonderful review. It has left me speechless! Report Review
I like this. I like it a lot. It's short, but it's really well-written. I love reading about Narcissa, and this one is no exception. I really liked how you called Andromeda the 'white sheep' as opposed to 'black sheep', it made me smile. (: Good job!
-JasmineAuthor's Response: Thank you so much! I'm very happy you liked this (: Report Review
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