Reading Reviews for The Steps to Insanity
36 Reviews Found

Review #1, by Sushmita Lesson One: Honor Thy Name

26th April 2017:
I actually really loved u going back to bella's roots. It would be interesting for u to explore her sisters and how different they turned out coming from the same home.

Author's Response: Thank you so much!

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Review #2, by rozen_maiden Lesson One: Honor Thy Name

11th August 2013:
So, I read this a while ago (while I was not logged in), and didn't leave a review (I'm sorry). But I am really, really happy I found this story again. It is a pretty accurate and intense viewpoint on Bella, and I could not applaud you enough for taking on a character's past like her own. You have done a really great job!
Bella's relationship with her father, and how she handles the others around them (by interacting on a blood/wealth status, instead of the actual person) is really symbolic of the time the older Slytherin's we know grew up in. You have done really, really well in encompassing all that would have been expected of these pureblood children. I don't see very many stories focusing on child Bellatrix, so I'm pretty excited and interested to see where you're going to take this. If this second chapter is anything to go by, I know you'll do an awesome job :)
Anyway, I'm really looking forward to an update. Your writing style, dialogue, characterisation and flow are just perfect. I'm very, very impressed and pretty beside myself right now :) Well done!
- Mahalia

Author's Response: Hi there :)!

I'm so excited you like the start of this! Bellatrix is one of those characters who I can't get enough of. I spend so much time in the 'good' heads of the Marauders, that getting to step into hers is always so much fun, haha!

Aww thank you for all the amazing compliments! I can't stop smiling!! I'll really try and update this soon, pinky promise!

Thank you again so much!

♥ Jami

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Review #3, by Beeezie Lesson One: Honor Thy Name

15th July 2013:
Please make this into a podcast as soon as you get the chance, because it was amazing.

I don't think I've ever read a story that started with Bellatrix as a young girl, but I love the way you pulled it off here. There's a lovely mix of you showing how her environment helped shape the person that she became and a glimpse at some underlying brutality, even at that young age. The fact that the newspaper article at the end made her smile makes me shudder, personally. The eagerness to please her father and her faith in him kind of reminded me of the way we see her regard Voldemort in the books, which I find really, really interesting.

Amazing job, Jami. Really.

Author's Response: Ugh I've been chickening out on podcasting this one pretty severely. There's so much dialogue and I have yet to try that. But I really do need to get myself into gear. Maybe this weekend!

Her devotion to Voldemort is something I absolutely see as being passed on from her feelings of never being able to please her father. I don't think she was ever a good person made bad by environments. I think she was always going to be a messed up person, but that her environment didn't help ease that at all.

Thank you again for all the amazing reviews you've left! It was so great to see what you thought about these stories, and I'm really excited you liked them ♥

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Review #4, by Beeezie Prologue

15th July 2013:
(I feel bad that my reviews for you lately have been very rushed - it's just that I see the opportunity to leave them so I am, even if they're not excellent, because I'm still reading your work.)

Yeah. It's interesting reading this, because I actually listened to the podcast version first, so as I was reading along, I actually started to hear your voice in my head narrating it. Having read it all on its own, I stand by what I said (I think) in my review on HPPC - you definitely made the most of this as you read it.

At any rate. Second person is hard to do, IMO, but you pulled it off magnificently here. You gave this prologue a really, really creepy vibe (with a dash of crazy), and you also portrayed Bellatrix in a way that I found compelling and convincing. I especially loved the last four paragraphs - they just sum up her personality and her life so well. "The husband who you've more than outgrown," indeed. I loved that line.

Loved it.


Author's Response: Hi again! Hahah I love any reviews from you, rushed included! And I know what you mean about having to take the opportunity when you get it!

I usually save second person for those times I want to write something, but don't want to focus on the plot so much as the character. It just seems easier in 2nd PoV to blur things together and get away with not making anything clear... haha!

I loved your review for this on HPPC and am so happy that reading it alone worked well, too! It was a really fun story to podcast because of the extreme sort of emotions our lovely Bellatrix feels :P.

Thank you for another awesome review!

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Review #5, by Chivalrous Lesson One: Honor Thy Name

6th July 2013:
I love this! The way you've painted Bellatrix is real and stunningly truthful. I like how we come to know her as a child it explains things a lot better than jumping head first into something (or someone) not everyone understands very well such as Bellatrix. I love this and can't wait to see where it goes! :)

Author's Response: Hi there! I'm so excited you liked this, and thank you so much for stopping by and reviewing! I really need to work on the the third chapter, and hopefully I'll get it updated soon!

Thank you again so much for stopping by and leaving your thoughts. This review made my day! ♥


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Review #6, by Owl Girl Lesson One: Honor Thy Name

12th June 2013:
It seems really interesting. I've always wondered about her past and you've showed just that. I would like more details to get a better grasp of the setting.

Author's Response: Hi there! I'm so happy you like this story so far. I'm really trying to get the next chapter up soon!

Thank you so much for reviewing ♥


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Review #7, by MrsJaydeMalfoy Prologue

22nd May 2013:
Hey there dear! As I'm sure you know (or are about to find out), I've just listened to and reviewed the podcast of this chapter on HPPC, so I figured I might as well come and review it on here, too! (After all, there really are too few random reviews going around these days!)

As I said on HPPC, I know this is actually a prologue, but it seems to me to be a letter from Bellatrix to herself... and it is haunting and terrifying and chilling and just... wow. It really feels as though Bellatrix is speaking here, and, although I feel as though it gives me much more insight into her character, it also makes me view her as a bit MORE insane than I did before. (But I promise, that's a GOOD thing! :P)

You've really just got her down to an art here (at least, in my humble opinion). It flows perfectly and there aren't any errors... it's really just an amazing piece, dear! 10/10!

Author's Response: Hi MirsJaydeMalfoy! I actually saw this before I saw your podcast review and scrambled over there as fast as I could. And ahh thank you so much for both absolutely amazing reviews ♥

I never thought about this being a letter, but that's such a cool idea! I think that's one of my favorite things about second person narrative, is it can be a lot of different things.

And I'm really happy this made you view her as a bit more insane. mwahaha. This is sort of my ending to the story, I guess. Then after this I back track to show just how she ended up as the crazy person in the prologue. Poor Bella, scary thing. haha!

Aww that's such a huge compliment. I'm so happy you think I did a decent job with her, and thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and review both here and HPPC! ♥


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Review #8, by teh tarik Lesson One: Honor Thy Name

26th April 2013:
This is an amazing chapter. Really, you've gone into so much detail in writing young Bella, her upbringing and the pureblood ideology of her family, the formal stilted relationship with her father, even the state of the wizarding world. This is such a complex chapter; it contains so much information, and the relevant accurate sort of info. There's nothing superfluous and your portrayal and characterisation of Bella is outstanding.

Already, at such a young age, Cygnus has already indoctrinated Bella into the hate-filled anti-Muggle pureblood philosophy. And Bella is just so ardent in upholding these beliefs, and I think part of this is because she respects and adores her father beyond anything and craves his acknowledgement and approval. This is just so Bella, and already we can see the shadow of what she'll become, how she will be so obsessed in obtaining the recognition and favour of Lord Voldemort. Your Bella here is just so wonderfully written and her character has been visualised in so much detail - beneath the rigid framework of beliefs, of stifling pureblood social structure, she's just such a strong, ardent and impassioned force, waiting for the right person to summon and unleash all her destructive power. Am being a little bit dramatic here :P

I also love your characterisation of Cygnus. On the surface he's the typical pureblood father - with an air of great authority, commanding respect from the rest of the family, and yet he comes off as somewhat cold and detached and very very formal. Yet that little glimmer of pride Bella detects about him (perhaps) betrays some sort of special connection with his eldest daughter, at the way she's turned out. And the praise that he bestows on her at the end of the day is not just a careless statement; it's an official stamp of approval that he bestows on Bella. There's that rare moment of connection between father and daughter which is such a powerful scene, especially when you consider how starved for affection Bella is. Well, I'm probably misinterpreting the whole story :P

Anyway, lovely writing, Jami :) This is such a great story and I do hope you update it soon. I'm so glad to have the chance to read more of your lovely works ^.^


Author's Response: Okay, I tried to get it together a bit better for this response so hopefully I can give you something relatively intelligent, haha.

Showing Bellatrix from a young girl is one of the biggest things that I was excited about when starting this story. I think she'd have always had something wrong with her. Not as out of touch as she is in present day, but I think her mental warping started at a very early age.

Yes, you're exactly right with her needs to please her father. She doesn't care what he's talking about, whatever he's saying is as good as set in stone for her. He's a person that will never give full approval, nothing close to it, which is what makes Bellatrix desire it so much.

I am totally happy with you wanting to be dramatic in your reviews. It just makes me sit here like a happy little writer and smile like a freak, haha. But your correct with your comments about setting Bellatrix up for what she'll become one day. This poor thing never had a chance, really.

No! You aren't misinterpreting at all! Cygnus was, in my mind, a man that could care less about his children. He didn't care that he didn't have sons, he didn't care what they did, all he cared about was that they acted accordingly and followed is Orders. He understands the way Bella looks up to him, and because of that takes this time to remind her of what is meant of her. The fact that he's doing it himself instead of just delegating the task to their mother is already a huge deal, and Bellatrix is more than honored to have this attention from her father.

You've definitely hit on everything I was hoping to convey in the start of this story. And you've made me so excited to write chapter three, haha!

I'm sorry I can't give you a more deserving response to these awesome reviews. You've just left me speechless ♥ and that's hard to do. Ask my fiance ;)!


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Review #9, by teh tarik Prologue

26th April 2013:
Hello Jami :)

Wow, this is a very strong beginning. This prologue is mostly narration and, as you mentioned in your author's note, functions to set the tone. Well, I think you've certainly achieved your purpose here. The tone of this story is dark - very dark, and the fact that this is in second person POV makes the narrative a whole lot more sinister; I'm going to be a little dramatic and say that your prose is alive and pulsing with this horror thrill. The fact that the narrative seems to be addressing Bellatrix directly is really chilling; it sort of bestows a power on her, a power beyond the words of the story - I dunno how to explain this, but it sort of invokes her presence, calls her to rise to power. This is especially evident in this line: You've been given a gift. The ability to see the way things are destined to be and act on that. Don't let that gift go to waste.

I really enjoyed the opening paragraph of the story; the first sentence is an instant hook, and the rest of it is worded perfectly. Also, the sentences were very effectively structured; the lengths of individual sentences were varied and the flow of the narrative was impeccable. It's such a strong beginning.

I've heard a lot about your Bellatrix :) And so far in this prologue, she is certainly very Bellatrix-y - manic and obsessed and fanatical and oh-so-impassioned. It's a little frightening just how intense she is, and I think this is what you were going for? So well done on that.

Anyway, this is a very strong and tense start so well done! I'm off to read your next chapter :)


Author's Response: Hi Teh!! I was so happy that we got paired!

I'm so excited that you felt like this prologue was dark! I really wanted to just give that... chilling feeling... to get started.

I think writing in second person is my favorite tactic to give things a sort of blurry feeling. So it doesn't have to make complete sense and can kind of be off in its own world.

I keep trying to respond intelligently to this, but seriously your comments are just so sweet and well thought out, that I want to just sit here and smile. Haha

Awww I can't tell you how much it means that you've heard about my Bellatrix! We've bonded over the last year... haha. Yes, intense and completely unable to focus on anything else but what she's meant to do for the Dark Lord is definitely something I wanted to get across in this.

I really doubt I'm making any sense. It's your fault for leaving these amazing reviews! I'm all puddles!

Thank you &heats;

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Review #10, by patronus_charm Lesson One: Honor Thy Name

17th April 2013:
Hey Jami! Sorry it took ages to get here, I have way too much going on now!

I never thought I would say this but child Bellatrix was adorable! It was those little things with her character about her boots rubbing against her, and how her heart fell when she heard Avery was coming to dinner with them. You could sense how disappointed she was by that, and then at the same time, almost glad that she was being included in the big people’s discussion and it was really lovely.

It was quite scary how Cygnus indoctrinate her at such a young age, but at the same time so fitting. He spoke to her about Nobby Leach with such passion that you could see how she really had no other way to think, and that she was almost forced into these views. When you put it like this it’s strange that Narcissa and Andromeda didn’t go that way either.

Due to the lack of appearance from Narcissa and Andromeda it seems to me that their father knew that Bellatrix was different, almost special. It seemed that he was using her as a replacement for the lack of son, and hoping that she would carry on the tradition of muggle hating. I really liked getting to learn more about him, and I hope we get to see more of her other relatives in the future.

That fire sounds ominous, and I have my suspicions about who caused it… It really is a scary world she was brought up in, and so many people fail to recognise it, so I’m so glad to see that you’re doing it here.

I can’t wait for the next chapter!

-Kiana :D

Author's Response: Hi Kiana! Now I'm the one that's sorry for taking so long to get to this response! In my defense, I got strep throat last week and am just now getting my mojo back :(!

I think you hit the nail on the head with this. Cygnus, in my mind, was a father who was abusive in the emotional sense of the word. I don't think he was some crazy man who waved his wand and cursed his daughter every second. I've seen that done before and it didn't feel right to me. But I think he kept them at such an arms length that he was hardly a father at all. While I see Andromeda being almost relieved of that, and Narcissa not caring enough to be bothered, I think Bellatrix would have really been affected. I think she craves approval of those least likely to award it. Cygnus sees that, and he almost uses it against her.

I'm so happy you liked this second chapter! To be honest, I'm not sure yet what's going to happen in the third! Which is so weird for me. I'm a crazy planner. Haha. But this story feels so good to just go with and not plot every chapter.

Thank you so much for stopping by ♥

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Review #11, by 800 words of heaven Prologue

15th April 2013:

Dark stories aren't really my thing, but I love Bellatrix's character, and taking that into consideration, if I want to read me some Bellatrix, I'm not about to get it in a fluffy romance novel! So I gave this a go, and I really enjoyed it!

I like your use of the second person. It had me guessing as to Bellatrix's mental stability, which is really awesome. I thought it began as a stylistic thing, that just fit well with the tone of the piece, but by the end of it, I was wondering if there was someone else telling Bellatrix all of this - and it's a bit unclear whether or not that person is inside her head, or out.

I also really liked that opening paragraph. It felt detached from the rest of the story, like it was the beginning of a fairy tale, or a folklore, or something. I can't quite explain it, but it reminded me of the way some of the parts of Wicked by Gregory Maguire were told, as well as prologues in another series of books I read.

You did a really good job on capturing the single-mindedness, determination, and drive of Bellatrix's character really well, too.

Considering how short this prologue is, I think you've done such an amazing job in introducing your character and setting the mood for this piece. Well done!

Author's Response: Hi there! I'm so happy you enjoyed this despite dark stories not being your favorite. I think we all have those things. I love Marauders, but I don't like reading them much, so I understand not really being crazy about a certain type of story.

I think second person is usually what I turn to when I want something to feel blurry. I love that it made you question Bellatrix's mental stability... I'd say at the point of this prologue it's not looking too good, haha. I LOVE Wicked and am totally taking that as an awesome compliment. Now if i could just squeeze through my screen and hug you...

Thank you so much for the awesome review ♥ I'm so sorry this response has taken too long to get to! I've had a lovely step throat filled week. *insert eye roll here.*

Thanks again! Jami

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Review #12, by Avis12 Lesson One: Honor Thy Name

15th April 2013:
Hello Jami :)

So I promised to leave you a better review and here I am! You have done such a great job at capturing my interest and making me want to read on in only two chapters. I am absolutely intrigued by Bellatrix's character and have always wanted to read a story about her. I think it's amazing how you've made me feel slightly sympathetic towards this cruel woman. Showing her relationship with her dad is really brilliant of you. I think it explains a ton about how she thinks and acts.

Apart from the great plot I also wanted to compliment you on your writing. There are little to no grammatical errors and everything flows very smoothly.

I've really enjoyed these couple of captivating chapters and will continue to read on. Really well done!!


PS I'm about to start Before They Fall and I'm so excited!!

Author's Response: Hi Sam!! Pretty name, by the way! Is it short for anything?

Thank you so much for stopping back by ♥!

Aww thank you so much for all your kind words! Bellatrix is a fascinating character to me (You'll see quite a bit of her in Before They Fall if you do decide to start that!) I think that she was never quite right, to be able to commit the kinds of things she did is far from normal, but I also think her obsession with needing approval from her father then later transferring that to Voldemort really created the person she is. The kind of woman who can take life after life and have little regard for her own, but only care about pleasing one certain person.

Thank you so much again for your lovely review! Also, just so you know, if you do decide to start BTF, please don't feel obligated to review every chapter or anything! I've had a few people that don't review until they're caught up with the newest chapter, and that really seems like the most sensible thing to me so that you don't have to spend too much time reviewing everything, haha!

Thank you again, Sam! ♥


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Review #13, by Remus Lesson One: Honor Thy Name

13th April 2013:
Hey Jami

I'm on my tablet so this review might be a bit shorrt and full of horrible typos.

It always intrigues me when people write about Bella during her youth. Her family is always fun and creepy to read. You however managed to get me all angry towards her dad! The way he was and the way he spoke about muggle borns was so infuriating! I mean...seriously! Hahaha so much anger towards a man that doesnt excist.

Bella was fantastic, though. Right now she just strikes me as this very spoiled brat who thinks she's better than everyone around her. God forbid if the waitress didnt smile at her she might complain of being ill treated by the staff. You just can't win with her, you know. Her personaliy makes me giddy and at the same time it make sme shudder.

Did Mr. Black not wish to meet with Avery's friend because he lacked the proper pure-blooded name? It was Riddle, wasnt it? By the way I spotted a typo in the paragraph in which Mr. Black refuse dto meet with Avery's friend. Instead of the word "of" you have "or".

The end, though, that was just fantastic! I definitely did not see that coming. And it really did shock me a whole lot! This would make young Bella an accomplice to the murders. Well...she doesnt see it that way.

Anyway this was a fantastic chapter and I really cant wait to see the rest of this story.

Until next time, Jami!

P.S: ignore the extra word at the end of this review. My tablet is dumb and wouldnt let me delete that. Hahaha


Author's Response: Hi again my lovely Rosie! PS -- do you have blonde hair? I understand that's a creepy question... but blonde seems like it would go with your name, haha.

My iphone reviews are always very short and typo riddled, don't worry, no judgement to be had on this side of the computer ;)!

I'm so happy Cygnus made you angry! I think it's clear that the Blacks had some intense prejudices, so showing how open they were about those in front of their children was fun for me in a weird way, haha. I believe Bellatrix was always missing that part of her that gave her the ability to care, but I don't think she'd have gotten to the point she was at without being raised to believe what she did.

It was Riddle! But I wasn't thinking about the blood status when I had them not meeting. I think Voldemort wouldn't ever have allowed anyone to know that. I think Cygnus likes to keep his hands clean. He has influences and can pay anyone off to do anything, but he also has appearances to uphold and doesn't want to be on the messier side of it all. Which is why I think he probably did support the Cause financially, but chose not to be an actual Death Eater.

Ahh thank you for the typo!

I'm so happy you liked the end!! yay!

Thank you for all your lovely compliments, Rosie! ♥

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Review #14, by Remus Prologue

11th April 2013:

I did NOT know about this! O_O Why!!!

I really enjoyed this prologue. It's definitely a bit creepy but I'm intrigued! Bellatrix is, to be honest, my favorite villain in the whole story. She's this complex individual who went more than bonkers in Azkaban. I can't wait to see how you're going to handle this! I think you definitely tapped into her crazy when you mentioned how she had overgrown her husband. He served his purpose (or perhaps didn't because he didn't give her a child to pass on the 'Black' nobility) so it was time for him to go.

What I love the most about this is this line:

You've been given a gift. The ability to see the way things are destined to be and act on that.

I think you're going to show us the reason why she did those things and justify her actions during both wars. I absolutely love that idea! I'm tired of her always being the evil one. I want someone who will make me think about her actions and find myself cheering for her even though I know its not right! Hahaha! Am I asking for too much? XD

Anyway, I guess we'll see coming soon! :D

Until Next Time


Author's Response: Rosie! Hi!

I'm so happy you liked how this started! And yes, it is a bit creepy, isn't it? Haha! I think that using the second person narrative really helped with giving it that eerie sort of feeling. I'm hoping to bring that back in for future chapters, but nothing's really planned with this one. Which is crazy for me, because I always plan :P!

You're half right about me trying to show why she did those things throughout the wars during this story, though I don't know if they'll ever actually be justified or even attempted. Since all of this will come from her perspective, she'll never think that any of it's wrong. If that makes sense... I haven't had enough coffee today so if none of this makes sense that's why :P

Thank you so much for stopping by my lovely Rosie!

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Review #15, by TheHistoryGirl Lesson One: Honor Thy Name

10th April 2013:
Ok, so this was an EXCELLENT follow up from the first chapter!
Your characterisation in this chapter was quite simply fantastic! You've done a brilliant job in your exploration of Bellatrix's character so far. I particularly found your portrayal of her relationship with her father to be very realistic. The whole idea of Cygnus treating her mainly as an apprentice of sorts rather than just a daughter encapsulates perfectly JK Rowling's own portrayal of the traditional Black family values.
There's something extremely disturbing about reading a story from the point of view of a child who is so helplessly brainwashed at such an early stage in her life. Don't get me wrong, it definitely adds to the overall entertainment and credibility of the piece but I just felt the need to point that out for the sake of giving detailed feedback.
I cannot fault you on your writing; this was clearly very attentively crafted and I know I must sound repetitive in most of my reviews (because so far I've only been reviewing the good stuff)when I say this to writers but I just really appreciate it when an author can write well and I just have to let them know that.
Overall a really nice chapter. I've added this to my favourites so that I can keep an eye on it in the future for any more updates. I noticed that you said you intend to work on this weekly. Well if you do end up updating and I don't notice don't hesitate to give me a nudge on the forums to let me know (although only If this doesn't inconvenience you; I probably will notice the updates anyway).
Great Chapter!

Author's Response: Hi Liv!! I was so worried to how people would take this much more normal chapter after the chaotic first. I'm really happy you thought it was a good follow up!

Brainwashed!!! That's the exact word for what she is. She seems like such a strong character when you just think about it, but she's really one of the weakest in the series. She needs approval from someone. When we know her, it's Voldemort. But I think the idea of it being her father back when she was younger really fit, so I'm extra happy you like that!

Aww I'm so happy you want to follow this!! I always post a status when I update as well, if that helps :)!

Thank you again m'dear for all your wonderful feedback. Your reviews really have been such a lovely treat ♥


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Review #16, by TheHistoryGirl Prologue

10th April 2013:
Hey there, it's THG (Liv) from the forums here.
This story jumped out at me immediately of course as Bellatrix Lestrange is, without a doubt one of my most favourite characters in the entire fandom. She's so complex and intriguing don't you think!? I absolutely adore your chosen narrative for this piece; it's so fitting to her character!
After reading so many poorly-written stories on this website I'm quite shocked to discover how easy it is to locate truly gifted authors when you're simply pointed in the right direction. I think I'm going to have to check out some of your other stories when I've finished reading this one; your crafting of this piece is just brilliant!
This had a real eerie feel to it. 'Eerie'? Is that the right word? I'm not quite sure but it definitely gave me goose bumps. I'm not used to reading stories from the point of view of someone as evil and twisted as Bellatrix; her whole ideology is distastefully fascinating and I feel as though you do a really good job of portraying that.
I'm intrigued to find out where this story will take me now.
An excellent first chapter!

Author's Response: Hi Liv! That's a very pretty name, by the way. Is it short for anything?

I completely agree; Bellatrix is such a fascinating character. I have a Marauder's Era novel where we slip into the DE's side PoV quite often, so I fell in love writing her in that and then. yeah. The woman has finally gotten her own short story :P

Aww thank you so much for the sweet compliments! I think having someone tell me they like the way I write is the best compliment I can get. I mean, I want people to like my characters and stuff, but liking how I actually write just makes me feel so warm and happy. I'm going to reach through this screen and hug you in a second :P

Thank you so much for your lovely comments and again for stopping by to review ♥


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Review #17, by CambAngst Lesson One: Honor Thy Name

10th April 2013:

I absolutely loved the cold, distant, Victorian relationship that you created between Bellatrix and her father. One of my favorite recurring themes throughout Before They Fall has been Bella's obsessive need to be in control. She's all about mental and physical discipline. This was such a nice vision of where that all-consuming passion for control came from. Everything about her interactions with her father, his associates and his underlings was about suppressing all of the behaviors that come naturally to a ten-year-old child and being Cygnus Black's perfect pure blood daughter. She was so extreme in her determination that it was almost creepy.

You have already collected Sirius, Bellatrix and Regulus in BTF and now I think you've added another Black family member to your cupboard of perfect characters. I thought that the way you wrote Cygnus was terrific. It was all about the small details with him: the way that he only acknowledges Bella when they're alone, the pride that he takes in her rude, dismissive treatment of the hostess at the restaurant and the way that he uses his very rare compliments to feed her need for perfection. Topping it all off, once the sun rises on a new day, yesterday's triumphs are old news to him. Bella is right back at square one.

In spite of the fact that he's a complete and utter bastard to her, Bella obviously lives to please him. Again, you've reinforced a precedent that we see again and again in BTF. I'm not sure Bella has any idea how to live for herself. It's as though she smoothly transitioned her subjugation of self and desperate need for approval from Cygnus to Voldemort without missing a beat. Poor Rodolphus never even factored into the equation, it seems.

The ugly conversation Bella and her father share about muggle-borns was the final element that you incorporated, and it filled in another important facet of her (deranged) mindset. Her hatred of those who don't come from a pure blood line obviously comes directly from her father. The viciousness of the comments they make was breathtaking. I am almost frightened to read what comes out of her mouth when and if this story reaches the aftermath of Andromeda running away with Ted Tonks.

I think that's mostly all of the good stuff. Just to keep it all balanced, a few typos and other things that I noticed as I was reading:

Students that think just because they posses a wand they’re as good as you... as good as the few amount of pure-blood families we have left. - "few amount" sounds a bit strange. Maybe "small number"?

She was not addressed for the remainder of the meal, therefor not permitted to speak, but she didn’t mind. - therefore

Belle let her mind wander and began thinking of what the next few days would bring. - Bella. (Freudian slip? :p )

She supposed it had a lot to do with all that she’d learned that day, and couldn’t wait to tell her sister’s that she’d gotten to attend a business dinner with Father. - "and she couldn't wait to tell her sisters that..."

As she neared the dining room and Cygnus’s became recognizable, - "... and Cygnus's face became..."

I'm sure you're laughing at me right now. No, I can't turn it off.

Anyway, I'm really enjoying this story. It adds even more depth to her twisted, terrifying character. It's really fun to see how her head got bent so badly. Nice job!

Author's Response: Dan Dan Dan!!!

I've really think Bellatrix had to have some sort of daddy issues. Not that she wouldn't be crazy regardless--- either a person has it in them to murder others or they don't--- but I do think that Cygnus's treatment of her, or more so the fact it was just as easy for him to ignore her as it was to pay attention, started the ball rolling for her to need a certain kind of approval.

I don't think Bellatrix could have been *just* that devoted to Voldemort. We saw over and over that she cared nothing for her own life and everything for how valued she was by Voldemort. So having her start those feelings young in a less of an extreme scale felt right. Her father's approval is the only one she seeks until Voldemort comes along. And we'll of course see how little Rodolphus got tangled into all this.

I'm so happy you liked Cygnus! He wasn't as hard for me to write as I thought he would be... I think I was just in that right mindset at the time. Mwahaha.

Thank you for the typos &hearts, and yes, i was laughing at you. Hahaha. But you know, in that loving sort of way ;)

I'm so happy you're enjoying this new little project so far!

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Review #18, by nott theodore Lesson One: Honor Thy Name

10th April 2013:
You know, I find the idea of a child Bellatrix absolutely terrifying - even more terrifying than the adult version! I'm glad you didn't portray her as a 'fully' insane character at this point in her life, because it makes it seem much more realistic.

The beginnings of the character that we recognise so well as Bellatrix are already present here. The sense of entitlement which has been bred into her from the youngest age is really clear; the way she treats the servants and considers herself above the people whose house she visits, simply because the decorations aren't up to her standards. Her indignant thoughts about muggles and mudbloods are very one-dimensional: purebloods are better than everyone else, no questions asked.

Her desire for approval from her father really intrigued me. I've never thought of Bellatrix wanting the approval of anyone but Voldemort, although after reading this it's evident that the need for approval would have started earlier. She must be very selective about who she wants to please, since she doesn't care at all about her husband or any of the other Death Eaters.

I'm curious to know whether Bella's opinions will continue to be internalised thoughts that she is too quiet to express, or if she will become much more vocal at Hogwarts.

I noticed a few typos in this chapter: 'wizading' should be 'wizarding' and 'never exchanging a world' should be 'word', I think?

This was a brilliant chapter, though, and I'm looking forward to your next update!

nott theodore :)

Author's Response: I'm honestly surprised you continued on. A lot of people say they want to by don't... and you've just made my day!

That approval from her father is something I was really excited to include. I think think that Bellatrix's need to gain approval from her father (and never have that approval given) really started her off to the path she ends up on. We watch her sacrifice everything for Voldemort, caring more about him than her own life, so I love playing with the idea that she sort of had that trait thrust into her after always trying to gain that approval from Cygnus.

Okay, I hope this response is making sense, I tried to multitask and I'm not good at it. But the show I was watching is now OFF, haha.

I'm not sure exactly what times of her Hogwarts years I'm going to show yet... I'm excited how she acts as a student, too!

Thank you so much for pointing out that typo, and stopping back by ♥ You have me smiling like a goof over here :P!

♥ Jami

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Review #19, by nott theodore Prologue

10th April 2013:


I've actually been meaning to come and read this story for the last week and haven't got here yet, so when I saw you'd posted in the review tag, I couldn't let the opportunity go to waste. And your Bellatrix seems quite legendary from what I've seen on the forums, so I was really excited before I even read this!

I am sitting here in awe of the first sentence! It gripped me immediately and I wanted to know what the legend was. I've never read a story using second person POV on this site, but it was really effective. It felt quite creepy and sinister, as though an omniscient character was making a prophecy to her.

You capture Bellatrix so perfectly. The narrative was kind of chaotic and really reflected her insanity, plus the comments made about being above everyone but her Lord fit in so well with her character. I have so many favourite sentences just from this short prologue that I can't list them all!

I really love this story already. It's so original, unique and completely compelling that I'm trying to stop myself from waffling on in amazement.

Okay, I'm going to submit this review and read on to the next chapter now!

nott theodore :)

Author's Response: Awww I can't even tell you how happy it makes me that you've heard stuff about my Bellatrix!!!

Second person PoV is becoming a new little addiction for me. It seems to work in these situations where you don't want things to be clear or really understandable but more... blurry.

Ohh I'm so happy you described the narration as chaotic! That's just what I was going for!! Eek I want to hug you!

Thank you so much for stopping by! I'm so lucky to have gotten such an awesome review tagger!

Thank you! ♥ Jami

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Review #20, by wizardunicorn Lesson One: Honor Thy Name

10th April 2013:
I really love this story. It's really good. It's fascinating to read it really! Keep writing!

Author's Response: I'm so happy you're enjoying this story! I'm hoping to have the next chapter posted this week!

Thank you so much for stopping by ♥

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Review #21, by MissMoneypenny Lesson One: Honor Thy Name

10th April 2013:
I was really pleased when I saw you'd updated, because Bellarrix is one of my favourite characters, and, as you say, it's good to see something of her before she goes insane and joins Voldemort.

I thought this chapter was really good and hugely informative, but subtly so. You've shown us how, like all pure-bloods, Bellatrix was told from an early age how superior she was. I'm intrigued to see how that will develop- whether she will only inwardly think these things, or whether she'll proclaim them in public, like Malfoy did.

Anyway, I really enjoyed this chapter - "Why would they be treated as equals if they simply weren't?"
I thought that was a brilliant example of the way Bella's mind worked- pure-bloods are brilliant, Mudbloods are filth. No question.

Thanks for updating so quickly!
Miss Moneypenny :-)

Author's Response: Hi Miss Moneypenny! I'm so happy you liked this chapter! I'm really happy you thought that it was able to make it informative in a subtle way. This is definitely a new adventure for me working with someone as... out there as Bellatrix. I really hope I'm able to do her justice through this!

Thank you so much for stopping by to review! I hope that I have the next chapter up by midweek!

♥ Jami

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Review #22, by missclaire17 Lesson One: Honor Thy Name

9th April 2013:
What I think is very interesting is how hard Bellatrix tried to please her father in this chapter. It makes me think that Bellatrix's behavior here is almost like what she will do in the future, try to please Voldemort.

Her naive indignance at Muggleborns and the likes was well written because her shock was genuine; it was as if the thought that Muggleborns could think that they were equal was SO appalling that it was so shocking a thought.

Although we know that Bellatrix really got crazy later on in her life, this chapter sort of set up the foundation for her character later on because we see her strong foundation in her beliefs and the beginnings of the pureblood-supremicist attitude.

Great job, can't wait for the next update! (:

Author's Response: I'm SO happy you picked up on how hard Bellatrix is trying to please her father! I think her need to get that sort of approval would have started long before Voldemort, though she's very selective of just who she wants to please.

I don't think there would ever have been a time where Bella *didn't* think Muggleborns were disgusting creatures. It's just like years ago in America when people though it was okay to own another human being, then thought it was okay to give those people less rights once they were free. Of course there were those that questioned slavery, but so many people just went with it because that's how it was. Then there's still the people who fully supported it and still insisted that anyone who wasn't white didn't deserve to be looked at as equals. Bellatrix falls under the latter for me. Not only was she raised to fully support the ideas of Mudbloods being worthless, but she relishes in it. It isn't something that she just accepts, but enjoys.

Wow. I don't even know how I got on that ramble, hahaha. Thank you so much for reading this second chapter and your lovely review on it ♥ I know it's so much different from the first, but I wanted to take us back to a little glimpse of how this all started.

♥ Jami

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Review #23, by GingeredTea Prologue

8th April 2013:
Interesting concept and beginning. I liked the tone, which lent itself well to Bellatrix's mindset - a bit chaotic. It felt like a good match to her.

I really liked your intro paragraph and this line made me shiver: "The husband who you’ve more than outgrown, the followers that have angered you."

Thanks for the read and I'll come back looking for more. :)

Author's Response: I'm so happy you liked the start of this! Diving into Bella's mind has become quite an odd hobby of mine, hahaha. She comes up relatively often in my novel, and I felt like it was about time she'd earned her own short story!

Thank you so much for your lovely compliments! If you do end up back for chapter two, I hope it doesn't disappoint!

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Review #24, by FallenTruths Prologue

8th April 2013:
Hi Jami,

A horror/dark story questioning Bellatrix's sanity? This story is definitely right up my alley. I commend you for writing this in second person because that's certainly something that's difficult to master. I think it will really work well in this story though since you seem to be focusing mostly on the mental state of Bellatrix.

I love how creepy and sinister this whole prologue was. I really felt like you were able to delve into Bellatrix's mind and find out just what makes her strive for the power she gets from hurting others. The plot that you're working with sounds really interesting as well. Bellatrix's sanity is definitely questionable, and it will be great to examine that topic further.

One of my favorite lines was, "Only by seizing the human heart and forcing it silent can you capture from them what was never rightfully theirs." It's a rather simplistic event you were describing, a murder, and yet the words you used to describe it were so artfully put together and really made the reader think about what it meant for that person to die.

I'm really curious to see where you're going with this story!


Author's Response: Alli! Is anyone sanity more fun to question than Bellatrix's? If so, I can't think of who on earth it would be :P. I had a lot of fun starting this off in second person PoV and that's something that will come back, though the whole story won't be told using that. That would just be way too much for me, haha.

Eek I'm so happy you felt like the prologue was creepy and sinister! I really wanted to set the mood for the story that's going to unfold so I hope that did the trick.

Thank you so much for your very sweet review, Alli ♥ I'm really excited you liked how this started out and hope future chapters don't disappoint you!

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Review #25, by CherryBoom Prologue

7th April 2013:
Hi! I loved the way you started this prologue. The first lines were nothing short of amazing. I love the imagery you used here. =) You applied the second person point of view very smoothly, personally I've pondered using it while writing an one-shot, but I haven't managed to write it ever as organically as you've done it here.

Your characterization of Bellatrix is really intriguing. While we all know that she isn't right in her head, you managed to give her plausible agenda that sounded surprisingly logical from her point of view. The idea that she thinks she can steal someone else's magical abilities when she kills them is very well plotted.

The story's flow was excellent, and I didn't even spot any typos here. =) It's fun to watch how you're getting scarily better and better with your writing. =P Happy writing hun! =)

Author's Response: Hi Cherry! Second person PoV is something that I've really, really ended up love writing. I tried my first with a Fleur shot, Fairy Dust, and oh my gosh it's just addicting! I hope you do decide to try it, and if so let me know when it's posted! I'd love to read it!

Ahh that's exactly what I wanted! For this all to make sense in Bellatrix's head. I'm not looking to write something that shows us how crazy she is. We'll see that, but I want to write something that makes sense to *her*... so instead of focusing on things like how terrible it is what she's doing, or wants to do, I'll focus on how terrible it is that other people aren't doing that. I could just kiss you for thinking that I've managed to give her a plausible agenda.

Awww thank you for the sweet compliments ♥ I've always told you that improving as a writer means a lot to me, and any improvement I've made/will make is all thanks to wonderful reviewers like you. I've actually gone back through and rewritten the first few chapters of BTF because I couldn't stand how sad they were compared to the newer ones :P

Thank you again for stopping by, and I really hope you have something new on your AP soon for me to stalk ;).

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