Dropping by because the Prophet gave me a link. :)
Omg. LR, this is absolutely asdfghjkl; jaw-dropping, so amazing that I cannot even. I should really read more of your stories! By the looks of it, they are going to be all amazing.
I liked how the broken window kind of brought the story to a full circle. I don't know what's with me, but there's just something nice about knowing the fact that in the end, the broken window stayed a broken window. I totally agree with Bellatrix, it's better broken.
I love how both Bellatrix and Narcissa were such in character. In my mind, it would be a bit hard to write a story that revolves around a villain -a crazy villain- like Bellatrix, so I'm really amazed at how great you pulled this off. Not that I'll ever doubt your writing skills, but I always get a bit skeptic when people write about Bellatrix. *shrugs*
Bellatrix's thoughts did scare me a bit. I should've expected it though. She's such a scary yet intriguing character. Her devotion for Voldemort is like no other. No one can ever compare, in my opinion. She worships him so much! Sometimes, I can't help but wonder if Voldemort ever felt...I don't know...something towards her. Perhaps not attraction...but gratitude, maybe? Hmmm... :
And Narcissa. I just love how her love for her family, especially her love for Draco, shows through all of this. She's a lovely woman who has had to sacrifice so much to keep her family alive.
This was such a great read, LR! This one-shot was definitely a nice insight to what she could have possible thought. So amazing. Definitely going into the favourites. ♥
PS: (I seem to be ending my reviews with lots of these. Not a good sign.) I was going somewhere with the review, but I just kind of lost my thoughts and...Idk what happened. :|Author's Response: Izzy! I am so excited to see you here reading my story!
I enjoyed basing my story around a broken window. IT was something that shouldn't have mattered and yet it did.
I had never written about Bella before and I was nervous to attempt it but I think the end result is really great, it's one of my favorite one shots.
When I wrote this I really was going for just really really crazy and I hope that's what I accomplished in the first few paragraphs.
I'm really glad that you enjoyed it!! :) Report Review
I am shocked that I haven't read this yet. EEEK. You know how much I. enjoy... getting into this woman's head (mad cackle) but being inside her head so expertly written was an even better experience.
I agree with your AN... the beginning with her absolutely erratic detached type of thoughts was my favorite part as well. And the rat! God, we clearly have something against those little creatures, don't we?
You painted such a wonderful contrast between the two Black women. Their loyalties are unshakable.. Bellatrix to the Dark Lord and Narcissa to her family. But Bellatrix's loyalty is so much different.. a dark obsession. Her crazed desire to be everything to the Dark Lord, everything for him. The sense that nothing will ever come close to meaning what he means. Not her family. Not her freedom.. even her life pales in comparison to her desire to please him. It's just soo.. *shivers*
Then Narcissa... the delicate princess. I always wonder what her and Bellatrix's time together was like, and I really like that you had her as a caring sister in this. It's obvious she doesn't understand Bellatrix's complete obsession, though she probably pretends to. But she does care about her sister's well being... even a sister as terrifying as Bellatrix.
This was so amazing. You got me in a twisty dark place now and and and NOW I want to play with Bellatrix's fragile, terrifying psyche! Mwahaha. Also... I'm a bit scared of you after reading this... *hides*.Author's Response: Oh, I loved me some Bellatrix! Writing her was such a joy here! She is so cray that her thoughts just...they're twisted. and that's what made this so fun.
I think that Narcissa, maybe after watching Lucius go to Azkaban, I think she kind of got her priorities in order and that meant not quite being on the same page as Bella. Though I'm not sure anyone is on Bella's page ahaha. But you're right, Bellatrix believes so strongly in the Dark Lord's cause it's like...her everything. She doesn't even know how to have another thought, she's so focused on him and his goals.
You're in a twisty dark place? then you stay far away from BTF because you're not allowed to do anything twisty and dark to Lily, you understand?! :P
And darling, lest you forget...I AM a Slytherin. It's what we do. :)
Thank you SO much for reading and reviewing! Report Review
Hi, there! Back again for some more of your lovely writing!
I have to start by saying that I love Bellatrix when she's written well. There's no better canvas for capturing the dark depths of the human soul. Voldemort is of course frightening in his own way, but his cruelty and madness are more of a means to an end. He has well-defined goals, and the things he does make sense when viewed in that light. Bellatrix is just insane. She's volatile, dangerous, unpredictable and completely devoid of any sense of proportion.
So I was very pleased to see that you did a fabulous job capturing her character in this. There are so many wonderful little details that you worked in, I'm almost certain to miss some. But here are some of the things I liked most. Her annoyance at the broken window was a brilliant expression of her mental state, considering that I'm 90% sure that she was the one who broke it in the first place. Fixating on a problem that's easily corrected and becoming irrationally angry about it is a classic hallmark of mental illness. It was an awesome idea and you worked it into the chapter with just the right amount of repetition, so that it didn't feel overdone or like an afterthought.
I loved her thoughts on Narcissa and her family. Narcissa still occupies a special place in her heart, I think. A reminder of the happy life that she forsook long ago to follow the Dark Lord. But she has nothing but contempt for Lucius and Draco. She sees both of them as being too weak to properly server her master, insufficiently dedicated to the cause. With the small exception of Narcissa, everything is so black and white for her.
The entire mental field trip that starts out with Bella's memory of the necklace was brilliantly disturbing. She fixates on something small, twists it into a belief that she was mistreated in favor of her sister, then nearly explodes when Narcissa tries to say something nice about their parents. There's just so much conflict between the small part of Bella that wants to happily remember her life before Voldemort and her fanatical devotion to him. It makes her dangerously unstable, as the same memory that she seems to like in one instant can infuriate her in the next.
Narcissa knows how to calm her down, though. She finds exactly the right buttons to push, praising her sister's skill and devotion to the Dark Lord. I really, really liked the way that you wrote Narcissa in this. All throughout HBP and DH, I started to develop a genuine liking for the character. She was desperately trying to keep her family intact in spite of the Dark Lord's obvious anger at her husband and his desire to punish their family by giving Draco impossible tasks to complete. By the end of DH, I thought of her completely differently.
Your ending was brilliant! It brought the entire plot device of the broken window full circle.
Your writing was fabulous in this. Everything flowed beautifully. This didn't feel anywhere near as long as it actually was. Your dark imagery and the way you picked and chose your words was fantastic. All-around awesome job!Author's Response: First off I just wanted to say that it's ok you didn't like Brain Activity, it's not for everyone :)
But, I am really glad that you enjoyed this story because it was absolutely a thrill to write! I enjoyed using the window as a rallying point of the story, kind of the one thing that was consistently brought up throughout it, despite her revolving mental state. You're right, she clearly has a mental illness and I did my best to try and depict someone who just doesn't quite have a stable mind.
She has no love for Narcissa's family, that much is true. They have proven themselves unworthy, despite their blood status, and perhaps even helping to diminish Narcissa in her eyes because of her association with them. But at the same time, Narcissa is her sister, and like she says in the story, the only family she truly has left. I think there is definitely a deep bond there, and perhaps even a love that Bellatrix doesn't quite understand and would deny if asked about it.
I agree with you about Narcissa though, I really ended up liking her as well, because it was never about the Dark Lord or the Death eaters, it was about keeping her family intact and doing whatever it took to preserve that. And there are any number of characters on the opposite side of the coin that would have done the same.
Thank you so so incredibly much for this review, I am blushing at your words, and it really means a lot. Thank you. Report Review
I'm a sucker for sociopath stories, so I was pretty stoked to see this gem in your thread!
You did a wonderful job with Bellatrix here. I've noticed that some authors have been influenced by Bellatrix in the films - whose malice was watered down slightly in favor of making her more of a caricature, a humorous loon - but you didn't make her the witch you can passively laugh at because she's crazy. Here, you made her the same kind of crazy that she was in the books. You made her intimidating, erratic, and unpredictable. There was a real darkness that made me shiver, even in her moment of lucidity with the emerald necklace.
Her mood can really snap at the drop of a hat! I can tell that Narcissa walks on eggshells around her, lest she say the wrong thing. You portrayed how Narcissa has to choose her words carefully, trying to make Bellatrix forget her anger when Narcissa said she fought for family, by flattering her. Comparing her to her idol, Voldemort, was a deft move that anyone with a more clear and stout mind might have right away recognized as flattery. But Bellatrix was eager to accept it.
I liked this line in particular:
I have no need for your concern, go shower your son with it, he clearly needs it more than I.
- This has got to incense Narcissa a lot more than she can reveal. Being just outside the Dark Lord's circle has granted her some perspective that the others don't have. It's the only way she's kept herself and her family alive for all these years, after all. She's not stupid. So even though everyone is constantly mocking Draco and Lucius (and I love how Bellatrix regards him as her sister's 'pet', not thinking anything of it and just viewing them as people there to serve Voldemort who then fell short of that task and are no longer worthy of her notice), she has to put up with it. Clearly, she is a woman just waiting for everything to end. And Bellatrix is the polar opposite, waiting for everything to begin. She has deluded herself into thinking that the Dark Lord is infallible. Her outlook, her scattered thoughts and the way she's just standing there at a broken window, letting the cold and rain sweep inside, was excellent.
My favorite line, though, is the very last one, after she re-broke the window. It speaks of her character, that she prefers the broken and cold and damaged.Author's Response: Thank you so much for your review! I think one of the most interesting things about Bellatrix besides her insanity is her relationship with other characters besides the Dark Lord. And in HBP you see this entire other side to her when she is chasing after Narcissa, you start to think...maybe there is this human side to her after all. So I think that was something that I really wanted to show while I was writing this that, despite that she is legitimately insane, despite the entire beginning part where she is just jumping around from thought to crazy thought, that there is some part of her that wishes her sister well.
She has no love for Lucius, that much is true, and I enjoyed exploring that little side of her. I truly think she is one of the most interesting characters of the series, simply because she is just so irrational and she could do different thing at any moment.
Anyway, thank you again so much for your review I really appreciate it! Report Review
Hey, it's Courtney from the review swap thread!
I REALLY enjoyed reading this. I tend to stay away from anything other than humour, fluff and romance but this was amazing.
I absolutely loved the way your portrayed Bellatrix, and how you gave us insight into her thoughts and what her life might be like.
I especially liked her interaction with Narcissa and the bit about the necklaces was...interesting. In a really, really good way! It showed that perhaps there is more to Bellatrix than we know, but anything 'good' about her has been driven away by madness.
You are clearly a very sophisticated writer and some of the language you used was beautiful! Nice job.
Courtney:)Author's Response: I'm so glad you enjoyed reading this! I really enjoyed writing it, especially with the exchange between Narcissa and Bellatrix. I think it really showed how volatile Bellatrix's general state of mind was at the time!
Thank you so much for reviewing! Report Review
Oh, I keep finding stories through this swap which I instantly enjoy!
This was such an interesting look into Bellatrix's mind. In many ways, she reminded me of a child. Her attention span, her sole focus on one object and her random thoughts which most definitely couldn't be contained. But, at the same time, I felt her power and her controlling tendencies.
You really showed Bellatrix's devotion to Voldemort, and how she sort of saw the world through an opaque piece of glass. This is the main image that I've created through your story. It seems that Bellatrix is standing in front of a window with everyone stood behind it, and she's polished one spot perfectly, so that she can see Voldemort perfectly, but then she seems to see everyone else with slight confusion and lack of clarity. Your description of how she sees Cissy; her faded love for her sister, but her confusion over why Narcissa doesn't devote more of her time to Voldemort. It's perfect.
I really enjoyed how you focused on the smaller details; the scuffling rats which she eventually killed, the dirt-ridden wooden floor, the broken glass in its frame. It just added to the believability of the entire piece.
I really like the description of the glass window. It linked perfectly to Bellatrix's life. Almost like it's always been broken, just like Bellatrix had possibly always leaned on the 'crazier' side. And she was the only one that could, or cared to, fix it.
The relationship between Bellatrix and Rodolphus was really interesting to read. I've always imagined the couple as Rodolphus loving Bella much more, and as she grew crazier, they grew further apart. But divorce wouldn't have been an option. I've always seen her as the more powerful in the couple, but I really enjoyed how you showed them. The idea of Rodolphus having mistresses and them only acting as a couple when needed was perfect.
Overall, I really enjoyed this one-shot! Fantastic job! Keira :)Author's Response: Thanks for reviewing my story!
I love your analysis of this, it is really quite true that Bellatrix lost sight of everything else in her entire life except the Dark Lord and his conquest. That was her entire life and without it she was an empty shell. But not only that, she was certifiably insane at the same time. It's almost like she's not entirely lucid all the time, she goes from having a perfectly nice conversation with Narcissa to accusing her and threatening her, back to nice again.
I think that Rodolphus and Bellatrix were a staged couple, because she has made it clear so many times that Voldemort was her one true love in all ways that were necessary. I don't know if she lusted after the power more than the man but I always saw her husband as a front for her, for the wizarding community at large. But hey, a guy has to feel loved somewhere, right?
Anyway, thanks again so much for reviewing this I really appreciate it! Report Review
This was an absolute treat to read, twisted as it was. That's what made it so good, of course. I've always loved it when writers took the darker characters of the series and go deep to explore their psyche then presenting them in a well-written story with a tightly woven bow on top. I liked that you focused more on her splintered mind rather than go all out psycho. It's restrained but more realistic and believable. The more personal insights into her previous life were nice touches, I especially enjoyed the dynamic of hers and Rodolphus' relationship, brief as it was. I wanted more but that's probably just me being greedy, I'd love to read more of their romance and marriage. You really captured hers and Narcissa's sisterly relationship, a touch sentimental without compromising Bellatrix's unstable state. The necklace story gave a surprisingly human side to her that I did not expect. Actually, the entire scene had a lovely flow to it, I could believe it could come straight from canon! It's a marvel and real testament to your writing that you could cover so much of what essentially drives both characters while still maintaining that great flow. The imagery in the description was top-notch while the window being the focus point was something a therapist would have a field day over and Merlin knows if anyone needs therapy, it's Bellatrix Lestrange.
~MistyAuthor's Response: Thank you so much for reviewing my story! I think you are definitely right, Bellatrix is straight up cray, and she needs therapy :) It was important for me to show how fractured her mind is though, how she jumps from thought to thought, the way she can be talking completely normally to Cissy and then just go completely insane on her.
To be honest, it didn't occur to me to put more of the Rodolphus relationship in there, because to her it's just another passing thought, you know? It shows how unimportant he is in her life, that her thoughts linger on him for only a moment, recount the past, and then she moves on.
I thank you again, so incredibly much for reviewing my story it really put a huge smile on my face :) Report Review
Wow Ash... I should really read so much more of your stuff because that was just purely awesome!
I felt the power from every single one of those words as I read them down the page. I also felt so empowered as I read the thoughts going through her mind, she seemed so strong after everything she'd gone through. You sort of forget that she has feelings too even through her rough exterior.
I also loved the fact in this she showed her dislike for her sisters family. You showed she loved Narcissa but that she was not so fond of them but I felt you did that in a really really awesome way!
You focused on a lot of insignificant things here which really added to this such as the whole idea of the rats and the filthy floor and of course the broken window which I felt really added to the mystery and the substance of the story really! It was just so powerful.
You also focused on the differences between Narcissa's appearence and Bellatrix's. I feel you emphasised the differences in the social class between them talking about her high class shoes and that really contrasted to how you'd described her. It was very interesting really as you'd made Bellatrix seem quite empowering just as she was in the books. Bella just seemed to have a lot of power but at the same time you just seemed to then take all the power away from her in an instant with Narcissa's pristine appearences.
I also love the way you talked about the beautiful necklaces as a way of talking about their past but leading into their families aswell. I like how you talked earlier about how Rodolphus had taken on other women for relationships as I had never imagined their relationship to be perfect and this just showed it which I really really liked.
Also you did the whole full circle thing which not many people can do within a one shot so I really liked that you managed to end it off in that way and I think the thought processes you'd given Bellatrix made this a very good action for her to take.
I LOVE THIS :DAuthor's Response: Summer! Thank you so so much for the kind review!
Honestly the one thing that I thought was super important for this story was the level of detail. In the books I think her dialogue definitely is what seals the deal on her crazy, but I felt like really looking at the finer details and really exploring psycho she really is.
I think the differences in the way that Narcissa dresses and acts vs Bellatrix is so interesting. they truly are sisters but you definitely can't tell based on appearances. I think they both have a deep love for one another but it's difficult to tell on the outside.
I also like to think that Bella may be nostalgic for her childhood, for simpler times, despite the fact that she is on a quest for world domination.
Thank you so much for reviewing this! I really appreciate it! Report Review
Ash! I'm reviewing finally! xD Anyways, like I said before I really really liked the detail. I thought it was nice, and Bellatrix seemed in character to me! The insane ones are always the most fun to write! Anyways, I like the symbolism with the window, and how, at the end, Bellatrix broke it again saying she preferred it broken. That just screams "Crazy!" at me and I know you wanted that!
I loved Narcissa too, and the inclusion of the pendant. I thought it was really neat that you gave Bellatrix more than a "Oh. I'm insane. Nice to meet you! *BOOM*" layer of characterization!
Anyways, I loved this story! :D And you're welcome for the banner again :P
Mike.Author's Response: I'm so happy you came to review this story! I had a great time writing Bella, she was a fun mind to be inside for a while. She is so crazy but I really wanted there to be a theme with her, something to keep her almost stable and I definitely think that the glass window almost was like mocking her. It was so very fun.
And Narcissa was such an antithesis to her, it was really a pleasure and a departure for me to explore this road. I loved it!
Thank you so much for reviewing, and again for the lovely banner! Report Review
This was a wonderful wonderful story!
You captured Bellatrix so well. Her character was spot on! I loved the opening paragraph. As you said, it was just insane. Her insanity clearly showed through this story. The way her thoughts jumped around, how she didn't 'focus' on one thing for too long, how she easily got bored, how she was just so random yet insane, it all went so well with her personality. I think you have really captured her amazingly.
I also liked her interaction with Narcissa. You have characterized Narcissa very well too - her worry for her family, and her hesitant nature regarding Voldemort, it was all well written.
The window reference was awesome too, I could somehow see a similarity between Bellatrix and the broken window, and how she liked it to be broken yet was disturbed by it. I don't know if that window-Bellatrix thing was intentional or not, but I read into it and loved it.
I think this was an amazingly written story. I enjoyed reading it.
Slytherin for the Cup 2012!Author's Response: Thank you so much for reviewing! I loved writing this story, and I loved writing Bellatrix as a crazy person. She just can't focus on anything, and I think that part of that might have been from Azkaban, but at the end of the day I really just think she is legits cray.
I really enjoyed writing the window stuff, almost as if it was actively toying with her. And having Narcissa there was really fun to explore.
Thanks so much for reviewing! Report Review
I haven't read anything from Bellatrix's POV before, or really wanted to, but this is really, really good!
I love the use of the butterfly to describe her mental state, and also that she hates the idea of the butterfly even as she seems to realize her similarity to it.
This sentence made me laugh out loud:
"Bellatrix was tired of living off her sister Narcissa and that great stupid oaf she kept as a pet, Lucius Malfoy."
Actually, that whole paragraph was brilliant, and the story as a whole. :)Author's Response: Well I've never really written anything from her point of view before so this was really fun!
I'm really glad that you liked my descriptions and such. Thank you so very much for reading and reviewing! Report Review
It takes a lot to be able to get inside Bellatrix's head and I think you did that very well. You definitely captured the insanity and her obsessive nature without going overboard. I've read stories in the past that overdo the insanity angle when it comes to Bellatrix and it was nice to read one that was detailed without being over the top. The other characterization points that you hit were spot-on in my opinion and as a side note, you captured Narcissa well too. The references to the broken window did an excellent job of capturing the essence of Bellatrix in a way that I've never seen anyone do before. All around excellent job on the characterization and very believable story.Author's Response: I am so happy that you traveled over to my page to read this! The characterization was the number one thing I was worried about so I'm glad that you've given me some good feedback about that. I did enjoy writing how Bella's mind and thoughts skipped around and always came back to the window. It was really fun. Thank you so much for reading and reviewing my story it really meant a lot! Report Review
Dear LovlyRita, that was amazing. I think your characterization of Narcissa and Bellatrix were completely spot on. She had those qualities that were portrayed so well by HBC in the movies here, and it was very awesome to read! Her complete passion for the cause was so well done, I'm still in awe! I loved every bit of this, it was a really great look into a small part of whats going on before the war from the other side :D Fantastic job!
-SarahAuthor's Response: Oh my dearest Sarah, how I love thee, let me count the ways! Thank you so much! I was honestly a little worried there for a bit about the characterization but I'm glad that you like it! I was definitely picturing HBC in this one, her facial expressions and everything. It was great fun and I'm honored to be your first review in a long time!!! Report Review
I loved this. I loved the emotion that you wrote into it. The part with the necklace made me feel bad for Bellatrix and made me almost cry a little. I loved the ending where she said she liked it better broken. It lightened the mood which is good :D
P.S Mike's banner is epicAuthor's Response: Thanks Maggie! I know, I feel like somewhere deep down she has real human-like feelings.somewhere. I think she's just legit cray cray :P Thank you so much for being my first reviewer! And doesn't Mike's banner look AMAZING!! Report Review
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