Reading Reviews for Empty Chairs at Empty Tables
18 Reviews Found

Review #1, by Tonks1247 Where My Friends Will Sing No More

29th June 2015:

Just thought I’d, you know, throw the warning that I’m not trying to creep on your page and just read all of your amazing stories. Just so happens that they’re towards the top of my list, I have limited wifi and can only read and review what I leave open on my internet tabs on my tablet…that, and again, your stories are amazing and I want to read more of what you’ve provided me to read and I figure you may appreciate some reviews, just cause they’re always fun, right? So…yeah…not creeping…just in love with your writing and need to read more. It’s cool.

Haha. So. On topic.

I was not prepared for that. Just….just…what? Why was I not warned that I was about to go through one of the most tragic but beautiful but terrible but awe inspiring journey ever? This walk through lives that were changed, just as everyone else’s was, but in such a different but so similar way…it was honestly heart breaking to think about how people on the other side feel the same things. Like, good side or bad, there are still loses and mourning and heartache. I always knew no one won a war, as everyone faced the consequences, but to have it dealt out as you’ve just done it…I just…I can’t even process what you’ve forced into my mind.

You do a great job of delving into the mind of Narcissa Malfoy, and highlighting what she saw and felt, and keeping it consistent. Even when she was lost in the past, seeing who she loved how she loved them most, how they were together best…just it flowed in and combined with the present so well. You didn’t definitively have it marked, when she was in past or present, but it was very clear throughout the chapter when things were taking place. It was really beautiful, how you crafted this story to have that distinction strong without clear breaks in the writing.

Also, just any of Narcissa Malfoy…you picked up her character and gave her so much grace but left her human all the while. You let her feel and pushed her character into something I never imagined from her. She was so insightful about how the world was viewed, how her side wasn’t necessarily wrong—they just had different expectation and a view of the world that they pushed on others just as much as it was pushed on them. It was really insightful, to see it so well worded and displayed by Narcissa.

Seriously. I now feel like I’m ranting, and way off base, but just…you did something beautiful and unexpected with a character I feel is never rightly justified in the series. You make her human, a person who has feelings and who others can relate to, even with her rough exterior and reputation due to her family name. It was refreshing to see her character like this, and I just…I love what you’ve done and how it’s written and just…it’s lovely.

Closing out with my favourite lines, which I could not narrow down between these four because just…you’re amazing:

“Doesn’t everyone, in the end, deserve to be mourned?”

“At the end of war, both sides are hurt, both sides have their dead, both sides carry the same scars.”

“...before sides started to be taken and lines were drawn in blood.”

“Was that what glory was? Making shadows out of men?”

Fantastic job! I quite enjoyed the read and am glad I’m getting to read through stories on my list!


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Review #2, by fwoopersong8 Where My Friends Will Sing No More

26th April 2015:
Wow. You actually made me feel sorry for pretty much all the Death Eaters in Harry Potter. Tricky you. I'd never before thought about how closely Narcissa was related to most of the Death Eaters. Of course she would have known most if not all of them.
The imagery in here was great -- the black and white tile and the candles going out one by one. The flashback was also pulled off masterfully. No awkward transitions back and forth. In, my head, it was like I was Narcissa, sitting there, reminiscing, seeing things as they were.
I only have two criticisms: one, I didn't know at first that it was night, so I had to change my mental picture halfway through. Two, I wasn't always positive who was being talked about when they were introduced -- for example, Sirius and Regulus -- but you may have intended that. Otherwise, I have nothing to complain about.
I don't know what to say to this. Great job seems too nondescript, not to mention understated. You have a magical way with words -- don't stop.

Author's Response: Hey there - thanks so much stopping by! :)

Haha, sorry about that? Thanks so much, though - I really wanted to kind of blur the lines of who to feel sorry for, and who not too, which tied in with the song, and the sort of spirit of it (failed revolution and all that...). And yeah, it's one of those things I think most people don't think about - that all the purebloods knew each other/were interrelated, so they all sort of grew up together, which is kinda scary and must have been pretty devastating for them, in a way.

Thank you so much! :) I wondered for a long time over how to do this - with the flashbacks, but in the end, it seemed to work best for the story so I left it (even though I really hate flashbacks, haha), so I'm so glad you liked them! :)

Yeah, it sort of varies - the flashbacks are a ball/party, so that's light, even though not necessarily day, and the present-day bits are at night. I don't talk about light much, though, which is probably why :/ And the characters - yeah, a lot of them aren't necessarily too obvious unless you know the Black family tree, but I kinda wanted it like that because Narcissa would think of them that way, you know? But if/when I edit this summer, I'll definitely look out for those things! :)

Thank you so so much for the wonderful review - it was so nice to get! :)

Aph xx

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Review #3, by apondinabluebox Where My Friends Will Sing No More

12th August 2014:

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:

Doesn’t 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! :)

Aph xx

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Review #4, by Kinnu Where My Friends Will Sing No More

22nd February 2014:

Ok. Woah. Composing myself before I'll be able to say anything...

Here from review swap!

I have always thought of the losses of the Dark and how they dealt with it but this characterisation and story is beyond words and compliments. I have a lump in my throat right now, I won't be able to continue studying or writing right now and I'm pretty sure I'll go to sleep tonight still thinking about this.

So beautifully written and relationships so tactfully described...I mean, I don't know how and what to say.

The idea of black and white, white and black was so effortlessly put into the story... I could see the colours merge. Your imagery is so beautiful, I could see the story happening in front of my eyes.

I especially loved the trio of sisters and how they drifted away, never to come back to each other. I loved her recollections of all the people she lost.

This is the perfect example of how one can lose people without them being dead. Because some things are worse than death.

I always thought Narcissa was the one to be pitied most in the Dark, for she lost the most in the Wars and knew, understood she did, which is more than we can say for anyone else fully in the Dark. This inner view of her thoughts perfectly fit Canon. So did all the other characters... Again, woah!

Wonderful job and I'm now pretty sure I'm going to read your other stories after I finish swallowing and digesting this one,

Keep writing!


Author's Response: Hey - thank you so much for stopping by! And thank you so much for the swap, I really enjoyed it! :)

(This was honestly an incredible review to get, so sorry in advance if I'm kinda speechless and unable to reply other than 'thank you thank you' haha!)

Yeah, it's a topic I always thought about too, because there's so much focus on the light side and the losses they suffered because we see the books through Harry's eyes, so I always found it fascinating! I'm so so glad you liked it, and so honestly amazed that it's made you think and all that... honestly, thank you so so much! :)

I'm so glad you liked the black/white imagery - I know it's overdone, but I wanted to use it because of the light/dark and good/evil connotations with it, you know? Plus, haha, it's coincidentally the colours in marble... :P

Thank you! I always thought the sisters and just everyone involved in that is to be pitied so much because they all really lost everything in the end. If they didn't die, they lost their families and friends, and were brainwashed into a war for no real purpose, I think. And definitely agree with you there - Azkaban and just losing someone permanently like that is so hard! You know they're there, but they're not...

Yeah, I did kinda big up what she lost in the first war a little, perhaps, but ah well :P And yeah, I definitely think she was the most compassionate and the most understanding of them and could appreciate war for what it really was other than the sort of facade of glory and revolution.

I'm so so overwhelmed by this review. Honestly. This made my week when I got it - it still blows me away and makes me smile every time I read it. Thank you so so much! :)

Aph xx

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Review #5, by -BookDinosaur- Where My Friends Will Sing No More

9th June 2013:
Here for the Ravenclaw Review Battle!

This was a really wonderful one-shot. The song you chose really complemented the writing, and your writing style is amazing. The description you use is really rich in detail, but it never feels like you're overloading us with details.

I love how this was told from a Death Eater's point of view. It's true that history hardly ever takes in the point of view of the losing side, so this story told us about the war from a completely new perspective, which I loved. It's really heartbreaking for me, that they all believed in their cause. They actually believed that what they were doing was right.

I think the fact that Narcissa is crying not only for her comrades, but for her family as well was really powerful and it just showed me how the bonds of family might never be truly severed. I really loved that part; I think it was my favourite bit of the whole one-shot.

So overall, this was an amazing story that absolutely broke my heart, as I'm sure it was supposed to.

Author's Response: Hey there Emily! Thanks so much for stopping by, and I'm so sorry for the desperately late response!

Ah, I'm so glad you liked it! It was an oddly spontaneous thing to write - I saw the film and I really wanted to do a one-shot based on the song, so this popped into my head. So it was less me choosing the song, than the song choosing the story, haha :P

I'm so glad you liked it from a different point of view! I've seen a lot of stories celebrating/mourning the losses the light side suffered, but I wanted to give some credit to those on the other side, because they had friends and family too, and a life is still a life, you know? And yeah, they fought for a cause as much as the order did :(

It's kinda funny you say that because it felt almost weirder doing the first section, where she's thinking about her friends, haha, since people don't often consider mourning their friends in the same way. But yeah, it was nice to explore the Black family and just how fractured they were by the end of it... it's an incredibly sad thing to think about.

Thank you so so much for the wonderful review, and, er, sorry for breaking your heart! ;)

Aph xx

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Review #6, by nott theodore Where My Friends Will Sing No More

28th May 2013:

I've been wanting to read something you've written for a while now, especially with all the lovely reviews you've left me :) Then I saw the title of this one-shot and I didn't look any further on your page!

This was really beautiful! People always say that history is written by the winners and because of that it's all too easy to forget that there are two sides to every story, and there's nothing really black and white about war. I think this story filled in those shades of grey in between fantastically.

You brought the characters to life so well in this story. I felt like I was in the room with Narcissa as she looked on the ghosts of her past, mourning them. The best thing about this was the fact that each of the Death Eaters, however hated they may be in history, were real people. Despite the murders they committed, they truly believed in their cause, and to Narcissa they were good friends. It's ridiculous to think that just because they were perceived as evil, someone close to them wouldn't mourn their deaths.

I think you really showed the ramifications of the war, and the deeply scarring effects on people from both sides. I loved the fact that Narcissa was not only mourning the people on her side, but also Sirius and Andromeda. To me it really highlighted the fact that your loyalty to the side you choose cannot always break the ties of family. It was just so real and believable, and actually absolutely heart-breaking to read.

This was another line I loved: " her mother's desperate prayers at night to the stars, to the heavens". I'm not sure if it was intentional, but to me it was as though Narcissa's mother thought she might find some evidence, some trace of her daughter in the skies - linking in with the names. If it was intended, I think it's brilliant, and if not, maybe even more so!

The whole one-shot fit with the song perfectly. I could hear the lyrics in my head as I read this, and I loved the parallels you drew between the two stories. The young men, desperate for glory; the ideology they clung to so tightly; the way that war changed them; the unfulfilled promises of failed revolution.

For me this was genuinely perfect, and I could tell that you'd thought about every word you used. Your writing style is lovely and this was a brilliant, poignant one-shot. I'll definitely be back to read some more of your work when I get the chance!

Sian :)

Author's Response: Hey there - thanks so much for stopping by! :)

Aww, don't worry about it - I love reading your work! It's all so beautiful, and so wonderfully written, it's totally not neccesary :)

Yeah, I definitely agree with that, and I really wanted to show another side to the Death Eaters, and kinda highlight the forgotten people on their side, because there are so many stories about the people from the Order, you know, but not many about them.

I really wanted to try with the characters of the Death Eaters, especially the ones Narcissa with closer to (like Rosier, and Wilkes, and Regulus, and Bella and so on) to show that there's more than one side to a person, and that she didn't necessarily see the evil things they did, just the belief and the friendliness they did have, underneath it all. So yeah, it sort of was that she mourned the men they were, perhaps, rather than what they became.

I wasn't sure originally whether or not to include Andromeda and Sirius, but I did in the end because even if they didn't die or go to prison, she's still lost them, kinda because of the war in a way, and she can't mourn them in any other situation, like with the Death Eaters. Both aren't acceptable things to do, so it's a private, night-time sort of thing.

Ooh, no I didn't realise that at all. I was thinking more of deities and praying and the kind of desperation that can sometimes imply to people who aren't religious, or if the person praying isn't religious. But now that you've pointed it out, I kinda like it! Strange how those things happen sometimes ;)

Yeah, I always loved the revolutionnaries story in Les Mis more than the whole romance idea, tbh - because it's so powerful, and it's almost only so powerful because they fail, and I think there's such an important message there. But yeah, I liked the paralells available, and twisting it to be the Death Eaters, rather than, say, Dumbledore's Army, which maybe some people wouldn't have expected :P

Gah, thank you so so much for the truly lovely review! It was so amazing to get it - and thank you again for all the compliments! :)

Aph xx

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Review #7, by rogue_bludger Where My Friends Will Sing No More

7th May 2013:
Ravenclaw Review Tag!
This was absolutely brilliant. i love that you include mini snapshots of each person mentioned--it really helps create a mental image in my mind about whats going on. i really do love this- i think you capture Narcissa and her friends and family really well. It's very believable and I love the little details about Andromeda (who i absolutely adore). Overall, a brilliant piece of writing. :)

Author's Response: Hey, thanks for stopping by!

Thank you so much for that! I know - I love Andromeda so much and she normally gets left out of these things, so I had to include her as well! I'm so glad you liked the looks at each person - I did wonder if it was too list-like originally - I had so much fun creating them all!

Thank you for the review! :)

Aph xx

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Review #8, by Female_Warrior Where My Friends Will Sing No More

28th March 2013:
This story was absolutely heartbreaking, but I mean that in the best possible way.

The depth of Narcissa's emotion is really something else. She understands and internalizes the whole concept and scope of the war, which not only fits perfectly with the reference to Les Miserables, but serves to make the all-consuming nature of her grief seem almost altruistic, and quite permanent.

I loved the dynamics of the family as Narcissa revisited them, they were all believable and they took a bit of the focus on despair away from the literal deaths. This is how I have always pictured the Black parents dealing with the "treachery" of Sirius and Andromeda as well - I feel like it would have come close to destroying them. Their lives would never have been the same after that, because none of them could accept what had happened.

Your imagery and metaphors are beautiful, and I have to say that they are the reason felt like I should tell you how much I loved this story. Regulus going from a prince to a butterfly with black-stained wings... excellent.

Cheers, and keep writing!

Author's Response: Oh wow, thank you so so much! :) That's just so amazing to hear (er... not in a bad way :D), so thank you! :)

I'm so glad you like Narcissa - this story just sort of hit me after I watched the film, so it wasn't really planned to be her. It is sort of altruistic, in that she's not mourning for her loss, she's mourning for their loss, if that makes sense?

Omigosh that is practically identical to my head canon! :D I love finding people who see it similarly to me, because it's such a huge part of my head canon. And I kinda wanted to focus on losses other than deaths - things which were still permanent in her eyes, because those things hurt just as much, you know?

Gah, thank you so so much for the review and all the wonderful compliments - it really, really made my day and was such a lovely surprise, so thank you! :)

Aph xx

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Review #9, by TenthWeasley Where My Friends Will Sing No More

24th March 2013:
What luck that we're paired up for this month's TGS review battle just before you became a new QTR editor! I don't think there's a more fitting way for me to welcome you onto the staff. :) And if I remember correctly, we've been paired up in the past, and I've always liked my pairings, so it's safe to say that I'll enjoy this, too!

I've had a lot of time, in writing the trilogy I'm currently working on, to think about all those who've died or been lost in some way during the first wizarding war. And I think you really nailed the tone of it in this story, too -- there was so much loss in that war, for both sides. There were obviously losses in the second war too, but I think this era is more shadowed and dim in the collective mind of the Potterverse, and that almost makes it more deathlike. Maybe I'm just spewing words now, but what I'm trying to say is that, in a slightly morbid way, I liked that this one-shot focused on those losses, because it's something I'd had on my mind, and you filled in the gaps nicely.

I really liked the style you wrote this in, too! You have a very nice way turning phrases and making things elegant where they might not otherwise be. I think my favorite bit of description in this story was when you were describing anything black or white or gray, especially the marble tiles and how they turned into gray. There was just something in that... and it was real, you know? I can't quite put my finger on what it was, but I liked it.

Drawing inspiration from songs often results in some of my favorite one-shots! And the song you chose is really fitting for the subject, too; I'm almost jealous I didn't think of it myself. ;)

I really enjoyed this, Laura! ♥ I'm glad I got an excuse to read it this month, too. And I'm sure we'll be talking again before long!

Author's Response: Hey there! Thanks so much for dropping by - and yeah, it's a curious coincidence! Impressive timing, and a nice way to do things, I think! Yeah, I think we were paired up once before... don't remember what for, though! :)

Thank you so much! I'm so glad you like it - I think it's such a heavy topic, but it's one which isn't really addressed or mentioned in the books, for obvious reasons that it's not then, but it's one of the things which has always really fascinated me. And yeah, it's a harder era because we know some of the things which happened, but because it's more distant, it's more historic, if that makes sense. More detached and that allows for a bit more wiggle room, which I always like :P

Gah, thank you so much! I know I tend to put a lot of description in, so I tried to focus a bit more on the people and the story I wanted to tell, so I'm glad you liked it! I loved playing with the colours of things, and the idea of things being colourless really fit into the death theme, in my mind, though it may just be me :P

Haha, too slow! :P

Thank you so so much for the lovely review - it really means so much coming from you, because I love your writing and you almost intimidate me, haha! :)

Aph xx

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Review #10, by missclaire17 Where My Friends Will Sing No More

11th March 2013:
oh my gosh, can I just say that I want to cry after reading this?! oh my gosh. I've always loved reading about the Slytherins' POV during the 1st and the 2nd Wizarding war because they truly believed in their cause. Voldemort was pure evil, as was his cause, but the fact that the Slytherins truly believed what they were fighting for and truly believed in their way of life just makes me so sad. Especially reading about Narcissa's reflections makes me so sad because she was part of the original era of those whose pureblood lives had a point in which they hadn't been tainted in the nonsense of ridding the world of Muggleborns and Muggles. its so depressing to read about it because it's so true, as you wrote. in the end of a war, sometimes, it doesn't matter who won or who lost and the losing side just has it so much harder because they aren't comforted by the fact that they had fought, lost so many, but won the cause for which they were fighting for. the losing side dedicated their lives, fought so long and so hard, lost so many, and lost the entire war.
sometimes, it makes me depressed for purebloods who fought on the other side because of how sad it really is.

I think you did a wonderful job portraying what Narcissa is thinking and making that delicate balance between wanting to maintain the pureblood ways of life and thinking that Voldemort had it right. the part that you wrote about entire houses being eliminated is just SO true. from Narcissa's point of view, you can really see why she mourns all of those people. there WAS so much legacy and so much history in those houses, even if they had slowly lost sight of what Narcissa called 'the light'. the fact that all of them are wiped out like that just makes it really depressing. it's not even about keeping the severely pruned family trees completely 'pureblood' but its the fact that all of those old families are COMPLETELY gone. just that in itself is so depressing and sad.

I think you did such an amazing job with this one-shot. I think its so amazing.

Author's Response: Hey there! Thanks so much for dropping by! :)

Thank you so much - I'm so so glad you liked this! (Though it's a strange thing to say about someone crying after reading your stuff, tbh... :P) I know - it's something which I always found kinda sad about them, too, how they were kinda manipulated into dying for Voldemort, when he didn't really care about them or, arguably, their cause. I kinda wanted to write this from Narcissa's point of view, because I think so much is written about the losses the 'light' side suffered, and it made me think about the other side and what did they do, how they felt and so on... and yeah, so many people died, and lives are still lives. It doesn't necessarily make it any easier that they were 'wrong'.

Yeah, the whole pureblood thing really fascinates me, as they kinda seemed to have their own society and their own way of life and things, and when their cause was lost, their people, and their way of life was gone. It's kind of sad in the way that it's tainted, as well, by what happened in the war.

Thank you so much for the wonderful review - it really made me think and I really loved getting it!

Aph xx

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Review #11, by dreamer21 Where My Friends Will Sing No More

5th March 2013:
Hi there,
This one shot is just amazing. I am in love with your writing style. It's so intense. When I was reading this I could not stop, I was just so lost in it.
The description of the ballroom, the placing of Narcissa and most importantly her thoughts.
I have always been a Malfoy fan but this seems to add another dimension to it.
I can imagine the baby version of Draco.
I am not really a history person but this seemed have sparked a new interest. The story of the three sisters, they all seemed to have fit in perfectly.
This story is amazing.
And this line is worth quoting, 'Doesn't everyone, in the end, deserve to be mourned?'
Simply perfect.
Thankyou for the swap. This story was totally worth it!

Author's Response: Hey there! Thanks for the swap! :)

Wow, thank you so much! I've always loved Narcissa as a character because she evolved so much behind the scenes, from when we first saw her in book 4 to when we saw her at the end of book 7, so I've always want to write her. When this plot bunny hit, of course I had to write it! I'm glad you like it! :)

Yeah, the three sisters... I mean, I'm one of three sisters myself and the idea that they could become so estranged is just... almost unthinkable. And their whole family is such a good symbol of what war does, since they were all destroyed by it, in one way or another.

Thank you so so much for this wonderful review! Thank you! :)

Aph xx

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Review #12, by soapman333 Where My Friends Will Sing No More

2nd March 2013:
You left such a wonderful review on my one-shot, I'm going to try (and probably fail) to return the offer.

Wow. I don't read many stories from the different perspective of the war, but I'm glad I took the time to read through this.

History, in general, never really gives both sides of a warfare. Rowling, through Harry, told about a war against pure-blood supremacists that wished to see everyone else killed. Because of this, we generally visualize these people as blood-thirsty monsters. Your one-shot really opened my eyes to another perspective. Bravo!

Narcissa's description of these fellow Deatheaters is just perfect. They all, essentially, changed and shifted into individuals that contrast greatly with what they used to be. My favorite that she described is Evan Rosier. I really connected the most with him and his efforts to cause every beautiful witch to blush at his words. The fact that I actually related to a deatheater blew my mind.

Your writing style is wonderful in that you use just enough pathos to keep me invested in the story right to the end of it.

The descriptions kept me reading every word of the narrative.

The ending was just brilliant and left me in a depressed mood (don't worry, I need to go review some happy-fluffy works, so I'll get over it).

I'm adding this to my favorites

Author's Response: Hey there! Naww, don't worry about it - your story was gorgeous and it was totally deserved! :)

Gah, thank you so much! I really wanted to do something which showed the other side, with the idea that people still died and every death is bad, because I've seen so many stories about the losses the Order and them incurred, but not many (if any) about the other side, which to me seems a little one-sided. So yeah, I'm glad it worked ;)

I'm so happy you liked that - I kinda wanted to show that war changes people and often in ways you don't expect, which can just leave you completely blindsided, so I'm glad that came across! And yeah, Evan Rosier's pretty cool... I'm always half-tempted to write something else with him and the other Death Eater guys, but it never quite comes through...

Thank you so so much for the wonderful review, and all the compliments - it really was so lovely! And thank you for the swap - it was so great to do, I really enjoyed it! :)

Aph xx

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Review #13, by 800 words of heaven Where My Friends Will Sing No More

27th February 2013:
Hello! Here with your requested review!

I'm a rambling reviewer, so bear with me as I ramble my way through your story!

Let me start with the summary. I don't usually comment on them, but I thought I might in this case. I'm not a big fan of angst, because it makes me feel sad, but from reading your summary, I wanted to read your story! I don't know who "she" is yet, but I'm pretty excited to find out! I'm a big Black family fan, so I'm really hoping it's one of them.

I've read about two paragraphs at the moment, and can I just say, that you such a wonderful writing style. I really like it! I'm picky about writing styles, and am put off by stories easily because of it, especially if it's a genre I don't usually read, but you write with clarity, yet still include wonderful description which is rich and simple all at once. Well done!

So I think this is from Narcissa's point of view, and so far, I like her characterisation. She always seemed a bit sensitive and vulnerable to me, and I feel as if you've captured some part of that of her in here. She seems the type to mourn those who others would not. But of course, it's all done privately and symbolically, because she's a Black and a Malfoy, twice damned by duty and fate. I have a feeling this is written after the first war, and not the second, because I think by the second time, Narcissa was really sick of it all and just wanted to protect her son and get out of it all. If my guess is correct, I think you've shown the sowing of the seeds of doubt in Narcissa really well. It feels as if all these losses will add up and partly define her decisions later on in her life.

The most interesting part for me about Narcissa's description of Evan was the bit about baby Draco. I never thought the Malfoys as especially involved parents, but the way you've painted Narcissa, I can see her spending more time with her son; at least more than Lucius, and that her cousin would be so involved is charming as well. It makes for a really poignant and bittersweet part of the story, because you know the things he did were bad, but after all, he was a human being, and like Narcissa feels, a loss is a loss, be it on the winning or losing side of a war.

Characterisation wise, I think the way you've shown the pureblood Death Eaters is really interesting. We, as readers, along with Narcissa, know that they did terrible deeds, but through Narcissa, we can empathise with them. They were people too, and they fought for a cause, just as the other side did. And as war changed the people on the other side, so it changed these people, making monsters out of men. I think it reflects well on Narcissa that she mourns not for the monsters, but for the men they once were.

In terms of plot and content, I think the themes that you've chosen to portray are difficult ones, but you've done well by them. I agree with a lot that Narcissa thinks and feels, yet I still feel that I can't forgive these characters for the horrid acts they committed - a feeling that I think Narcissa also shares. That sort of unique blend of confusion and understanding that underlies her grief is really well handled and never feels overdone or preachy.

With flow, I feel only a tiny bit disorientated when you jump from the sad endings of one group of people back to the happy ballroom that Narcissa is imagining, but I think that underlines the confusion and grief that Narcissa feels as well, so it works out in the end!

Like I said before, I don't read angst often, because it makes me feel sad, but I'm really happy that you requested this, because this was a really interesting read! Feel free to request again for other stuff or whatever - and please let me know if the review was what you were looking for. I'm trying to improve my reviewing skills!

Author's Response: Hi there - thanks so much for stopping by! :) And don't worry, I'm sure it'll be great ;)

Gah, thank you so much! Summaries are one of those things I always struggle to get right - they're so hard! - so I'm so glad you liked it!

I really enjoyed writing Narcissa. She's such an interesting character - with the way she has a sort of duality of character, her tenderness and her pride and belief in pureblood values with her caring for her family at the same time. Yeah, I wrote this after the first war, not the second war, and it is sort of the kind of reflection after a war, I think, and which sort of starts making her wonder about the truth of it all and what the actual result would be.

I loved writing baby Draco! :) I have a really specific headcanon of the purebloods, including the Malfoys and Blacks, and I don't really agree with the idea that they hated their children or anything like that: if the bloodline is important, then the children are important - and the idea of Evan playing with little Draco was too cute :P

Yeah, I really tried not to dwell on the idea of the things they'd done as Death Eaters, and rather to think about the people they'd been as people, because there's that side to all of them too - they were all more than simply Death Eaters, and it's so easily forgotten, I think.

Gah, thank you so much for the lovely compliments - and I'll definitely take a look at that bit you said jumped... I tried to make it smooth, but I don't know if it worked - thanks for pointing it out! :)

Thank you so much for the lovely review - it was so nice to get! :)

Aph xx

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Review #14, by academica Where My Friends Will Sing No More

26th February 2013:
Hey Aph! Thanks for the swap :)

I love Narcissa--I just think her feelings are really interesting and I like exploring her character. I love how you really just take a journey through her memory here, through the many romantic nights spent in the dustless version of this forsaken ballroom. I love how she can remember specific details about each person who has perished, things that other people might not have even picked up on. Your post-war Narcissa, in her grief, is so much like mine. I was completely entranced by her thoughts as they drifted from person to person, leading me about the imaginary room.

The description is gorgeous, obviously, because I would never have expected anything less from you. It's like Narcissa herself is turning into ashes and dust, with the way it coats everything she loves and everything in the room around her.

I don't have any critique. This broke my heart, as it should, and I really love your sympathetic take on characters whose deaths were probably celebrated without reserve by the majority of the wizarding world. Narcissa's solitude makes this ever more powerful.


Author's Response: Hey there - thanks so much for the swap as well! I love reading your stories - I always regret I don't have more time to read them all...

I know, right - she's such a fascinating character just by virtue of who she's related to, without considering what she does in the end. Thank you! :) Honestly, the whole idea of using memories was totally inspired by the song and the way it talks about the past while he's standing in the room then and there in the aftermath, so I can't really take credit for that ;) I've always thought of Narcissa as being quieter than her sisters and more observant, but also more compassionate. Honestly, I was a little worried when I wrote it that it would be bit too 'and here's another person, and another' throughout, so I'm so glad you think it worked! :)

Gah, I'm not totally sure about that one myself, but thank you for that! It means so much :) I actually love that analogy... it's brilliant and I never really thought about it in that way... wow... yeah, I love it.

Thank youuu so so much for that! I'm happy - no, well yes, well... you know what I mean! - that it broke your heart and that you enjoyed it! Thank you again for the wonderful review! :)

Aph xx

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Review #15, by adluvshp Where My Friends Will Sing No More

12th February 2013:
Hi! Here for your requested review!

Ah, this was such a beautiful beautiful one-shot. I just loved it! I am so glad you requested this from me and I got a chance to read this remarkably well piece. Great work! I don't even see why you should be concerned about this at all, this is such a perfect piece of writing, nevertheless, I'll touch upon your concerns.

Your characterisation of Narcissa was amazing. I am a Narcissa-fan myself and write her a lot, so I was very eager to see how you portray her. Needless to say, I was not disappointed at all. You have done a fabulous job in crafting her beautiful yet complex personality. I have always thought of her as the caring one, the one who really understands family, and wants her family safe and sound and happy, and I think you did a great job of emphasising on this aspect of hers. What I loved the most, is that her feelings and 'mourning' stretched far beyond her immediate family, and also how much she really regretted the war. I think you have done it very well.

"She cried for the hopelessness of the situation, the ending of an age and the murder of so many futures. She cried for the loss of innocence, the loss of naivety, the loss of laughter and youth and hope." - This sentence is just so powerful, and it is one of my favourite quotes from the story. I think, here, you express Narcissa's pain very beautifully and aptly, so hats off.

In fact, throughout the one-shot, you have expressed Narcissa's pain exceptionally well, with your amazing descriptions, and I was really into the narrative while reading. The imagery is very vivid too, and I especially enjoyed the part where she is remembering everything that used to happen in the ballroom. I could almost see it happening before my eyes, and it was great. The way Narcissa can still 'see' it all just how much she wants everything to go back to normal again. The small detail about Bellatrix and Andromeda being almost like twins and being sort of inseparable was incredible, as it really makes you realize just how much times change that both sisters went in completely different directions.So, here I'd like to compliment you on your well-thought-out plot details.

Talking about the plot, I think this was a very unique concept - something I've hardly seen captured in fanfiction - so great job there. I loved the idea of the ballroom, of the dust accumulating there, and of Narcissa reminscing old times, mourning, and regretting the war. I think you wove a very intricate and marvellous plot, and have executed it wonderfully. I think I have talked about the content too, so I really don't need to touch on it separately, since it was all very nicely done. The flow was very smooth and the entire thing was just so neat and beautiful, I can't really point out in any flaws. It was very consistent and very realistic, and I really really liked reading it.

I didn't see any grammar/technical errors either, so I don't have any CC to give you at all. So, to wrap it up, I'd just say that this is a very powerful and beautiful story and I loved every word of it. Your characterisation, plot, content, flow, pace, grammar, descriptions - everything is just perfect.

You have a great writing style, and I wish I could write like you! Wonderfully done, indeed. 10/10


Author's Response: Hey there - thanks so much for stopping by and I'm so so sorry for the late review response, I've had exams and things which have got in the way! :(

I love Narcissa too, she's such a complicated character, so I was a bit scared about approaching her! And I totally agree - she's definitely very family-oriented and more emotional, I think, than most of her family, even if she doesn't always show it. Part of me also kinda considers her as slightly 'delicate', as in she can't cope with emotionally taxing things, particularly when she's younger, and she's idealistic, so she feels things like the war a lot more.

Thank you so much! I tried to incorporate the feel of the original song from the musical into it, so that was really where the idea for the ballroom and such came into it. I've always had this little thought that Bella and Andromeda were close, because Bella seemed to take her betrayal really personally. I mean, sure, she was insane, but it was a little too personal, so yeah... and I liked the idea that they looked so much like each other. It is so sad that they were torn so far apart! :(

Thank you! :) I can't really claim all the credit for the idea, since it was based (and heavily) on a song, so most of it comes from there, but thank you so much!

Gah, thank you so so much for this review! I'm really finding it difficult to find the words to reply to this. I just can't stop smiling every time I read this... thank you so much! :) :) :)

Aph xx

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Review #16, by Gabriella Hunter Where My Friends Will Sing No More

6th February 2013:

Hey, there, its Gabbie with your requested review and I'm sorry that I didn't get to this right away! I've been annoyingly busy. :p
It sucks.
So this was simply beautiful writing all around for me, I've never read anything like this and not from Narcissa's point of view and I really enjoyed what you've done here. I could envision everything that she did and could picture her standing there in that ballroom and the image really broke my heart. I think that making it a point to talk about the ones left behind on the Darker side was a good way to go. There's always so much talk about the heroes and while I could care less about most of the Death Eaters, I have to wonder how their actions affected their family. It left dust and memories and you set that up so wonderfully and I enjoyed going through Narcissa's mind. There was so much love and beauty there and so much sadness and the details you added in with each character really had me thinking hard about the sort of people they had been or could have been. Brilliant. I got the sense of time here, too, though I would have liked a tad more, just a little hint of how long it had been and where was darling Draco? Though he wasn't really her concern just then, I would have liked to have seen what consequences he was dealing with and how it hurt his mother. That's just a minor, minor thing though, as the rest of this was just brilliant, I really choked up a little while reading about the three sisters. I think that sort of closeness is sort of ignored with some fanfics and the fact that Narcissa really even thought of Andromeda at all really showed how much she still loved and missed her. Not understanding why she left of course but the love was there and it touched me so much that I kind of had to take a deep breath. :)
Seriously, though, this was amazing and the imagery is so vivid and clear. I have no CC's for this, just that its a shame its a one-shot! :D
Thanks for the wonderful read.
Much love,

Author's Response: Hey there, glad you stopped by! And no worries about it at all - I completely understand what it's like when RL just sweeps you up! :)

Gah, thank you so so much! Yeah, I do love reading one-shots about how the Weasleys dealt with Fred's death, for example, and others, but I've always been curious about the Death Eaters, since we hear less about them, and since I wrote this after watching Les Mis, I kinda had the idea of failed rebellions and what happens to those people who failed afterwards on the brain, so that was sort of how this came about.

Thank you so much - I'm glad you thought it worked! While I tend to write more reflective stuff, rather than action-filled things, I just wanted to get this right, so I'm glad you liked it! :)

Ohh, Draco, well, this is set after the first war against Voldemort, so in about 1981/2 or something, after everything's over, so he's a little toddler at the moment, so he's fine :P I'll check it over and make sure that's clear, thanks for mentioning it ;)

Yeah, I think it's maybe easier for me to write about them because I am one of three sisters, haha, so I can kinda get it, you know? And family bonds aren't things which are thrown away easily, particularly when things like war roll around, and I kinda wanted to show that.

Thank you so so much for the lovely, lovely review - I really loved reading it, it was a great thing to receive! :)

Aph xx

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Review #17, by Jchrissy Where My Friends Will Sing No More

30th January 2013:
I have never read a story that focuses on what someone from the 'bad' side felt like after it all ended.

We see so often people dealing with the loss of Tonks, Remus, Fred.. any of our good guys that went way before their time. Not that I don't like that, but this was just such a fresh perspective on the kind of pain *everyone* involved suffered. Not just the good side.

The way she went through her feelings, how it was things in the room that jogged her own memories, even simple things like where they all would be standing, really brought a lot of feelings to this piece. She wasn't just going through the order, thinking of them one by one, but she was really feeling the loss of them and letting their memories intertwine.

Something about the time she spent dwelling on Evan... how young he was and what part of his life he should have been at, that felt really, really emotional to me. Maybe because we need that reminder that, just because they were fighting the wrong side of the war, doesn't mean they weren't just children all swept up into it the same way the Marauders had been.

The line -- lines drawn in blood (or something similar to that) was such an amazing use of description to bring us into this terrible dark place where old, dusty ballrooms conjure up heartbreaking memories of those who are dead or imprisoned.

I really liked how Narcissa recognized that Lucius wouldn't understand. How she understood she was lucky that he wasn't in Azkaban, but it wasn't enough because she was still missing so much.

The section about crying for both Regulus and Sirius the day she found out Regulus was gone, gah. That's a relationship I've always wanted to read about explored more (her, Regulus, Sirius, Bellatrix, and Andromeda all as children, to be precise) -- and my head canon has Narcissa loving Sirius, at least during on point of their lives, so I was really happy that you didn't neglect him.

You use so many beautiful pieces of imagery. The ongoing description of the ballroom, this one time glorious place full of laughter slowly transforming into this cold, almost tomb for the dead (at least in her mind) was done really beautifully.

This was a gorgeous and touching piece, thanks so much for the amazing swap, m'dear ♥

Author's Response: Hey there! Yeah, there are so many great one-shots dealing with the after effects of the war for Harry and co., particularly Fred. I wrote this just after seeing Les Miserables, though, so I had revolution and rebellion on the brain, so it kinda had to be Death Eaters - at least, it made more sense in my mind ;)

Thanks! It was a bit difficult to know how to include everyone, since there were a lot of people I wanted to include, so I tried to show them all in a more innocent, happy, young sort of place before everything, and somewhere where realistically everyone might be, hence the ballroom.

I'm glad you liked Evan! I always imagined him to be her first cousin, not far from her age and so they would be reasonably close, you know? So she would feel his loss almost more, since he's actually dead and not just in prison or absent, you know? I definitely agree with that, though - they're all just really young, and don't really know what they're doing, tbh. It's something I've always considered with regards to them, and tried to sort of convey in it, so I'm glad you got the same thing! :)

Gah, thank you so much! I'm glad you liked that - when I first wrote it I thought it might be too much, so I'm glad you thought it worked! :)

Same here! :D They're such a fascinating bunch, aren't they? My head canon is fairly similar, haha, I think she definitely loved him when they were younger, and that's enough to conjure regret and mourning, I think.

Thank you so so much! I'm always nervous about whether or not I include too much imagery/description as opposed to other bits of writing like dialogue and stuff, so I'm glad you liked it! I really enjoyed writing this, and surprisingly still like it this long afterwards, so it really does make me happy to hear that you like it too! :)

Thanks so much for the swap - it was really great! :) And thank you for the wonderful review!

Aph xx

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Review #18, by peanuts11 Where My Friends Will Sing No More

29th January 2013:
You are an amazing writer.

You made me rethink everything I've ever known about the goodies and baddies in Harry Potter.

I'd only ever thought of all the casualties on Harry's side. Fred, Remus, Tonks...

But the way you write about Narcissa's relationships with Voldemort's followers and those she lost on the way because of Voldemort is just so heartbreaking.

It just shows how hard it is to recover from war for everyone involved.

I can't stop gushing,



Author's Response: Wow, gosh, thank you so so much! :)

I'm glad it made you think - that was sort of what I wanted it to do (morbid as it is). I know - I've always thought that it's an odd kind of balance. It's because the series is from Harry's pov, of course, so it makes sense, but I wanted to explore the other side...

Narcissa's really had a bad time of it, hasn't she? It's kinda scary to think just how many people's lives were effected so much by the war...

And yeah, war is terrible for everyone involved. It's just a really bad thing in general, no two ways about it...

Thank you so so much - for this review, for all the compliments, for everything. You are lovely - and this has quite possibly made my day :)

Aph xx

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