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Reading Reviews for All or Nothing
  
35 Reviews Found

Review #1, by ANightingaleInAGoldenCage there is a light that never goes out

2nd April 2017:
Hi there! I'm here for round 2 of CTF!

It may be me and my lack of sleep, but I am a tiny bit confused - who are the woman you're referring to, really? Because it left me wondering for most of the story and that was kind of distracting to me.
I do love how you incorporated both her relationship with her sisters and how even at an early age their characterisics shined through enough for us to see the things which we would see manifesting in their adult selves even stronger later on. (I do hope you can follow that sentence!) The way Bellatrix is written, her glee at other people's (or... well, vermin) suffering is really apparent and everything she does and even the relationship to Rodolphus is very well explained and totally fits within what my headcanon is of the Blacks, if I should be totally honest. It really is a story which works well in many regards and I am happy to say that this makes me glad for it to be the first story I read from the POV of Bellatrix (aside from that sneakpeak we got in HBP, really). Well done and I'll be seeing you in other stories!

Author's Response: Hi Ineke! I always like getting reviews from you, no matter the reason :)

Oh no, I'm sorry to have left you confused for so long! I did intend the woman to be anonymous, though - I left her identity vague on purpose :p But I didn't have any specific person in mind, so we'll just call her an OC :p

I did understand that sentence and I'm so glad you saw hints at their adult selves in who they were as children - I was really hoping that would come through, so thanks.

I'm also happy to hear that you thought her portrayal in this story makes sense with your headcanon! thank you! that's pretty cool when that happens. :D

and yeah, I don't think there are that many stories from Bellatrix's POV - people tend to stay away from her :p Anyway I'm so glad you read this and thanks for the wonderful review!


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Review #2, by PaulaTheProkaryote there is a light that never goes out

2nd April 2017:
Hi Kristin! Iím here to destroy hufflepuff in the capture the flag and also to say hi :D

I actually don't think I've ever read a bellatrix fic before so this will be a delightful first for me!

I think the thing that sets your writing apart from anyone else I've read is the way you write your descriptive writing. It's not too flowery, but it's still absolutely poetic. The way you describe the sunlight as a second skin, the beetle she was watching and then it's terrible demise. Dear stars above, it's beautiful.

And her characterization is so spot on it's scary. I feel bad for her sisters, really. I mean with a sister like her and her needless cruelty, how normal could they have turned out? What must their home life been like? Do you think she was just naturally malicious? Or a product of her parents? I think it's natural because neither Narcissa nor Andromeda turned out nearly as messed up as her. Andromeda teased a bit, but thatís what sisters do.

It's interesting to see how Bellatrix views her sisters' goodness compared to how we see them.

It took me a few moments to recognize that in the second section the you was not rodolphus lestrange she was talking to. I still havenít a clue who she was talking to. Iím assuming OC though. Which is fine I love OC.

I wish she had the opportunity to stay with her love only because Iíd like to have seen what the pair of them could have become. I feel like two Dark Ladies could do a lot more damage than a single dark lord.

-Paula

Author's Response: Hi! I would say I hope you were successful in your CTF goal bc I like it when people accomplish their goals but I actually don't hope you destroyed hufflepuff :p. I have no idea how the match turned out or who won, but, I hope it was fun :p

Yay for your first bellatrix fic! I don't think there are too many of them out there, tbh.

Omg, thank you so much for the comment about my description! That's so wonderful to hear. I definitely put a lot of thought into the sensory descriptions in this story so it means a lot to me that you thought it worked well.

And I'm so glad you liked the characterization too! ah yes, and the nature vs nurture question, I've wondered that about Voldemort too. With Bella, I think it's a combination. The sisters were raised in the same environment but turned out pretty different - I think a lot of that may have had to do with their peers. I imagine Bella's friends at Hogwarts kind of encouraged her on the path she was already on, and her penchant for cruelty as a kid just never got stamped out of her and instead was kind of emphasized, but in nature she was already a pretty strong, ambitious person. Interesting question though.

yeah, I intentionally left the identity of the other woman kind of vague :p I bet you're right that two Dark Ladies would be really powerful, especially if one of them is Bellatrix.

Thanks so much for your review!!


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Review #3, by Kreacher there is a light that never goes out

28th February 2017:
Kreacher finds Valentine's Day horrible. Kreacher thinks it is nothing but a filthy Muggle holiday, but Mistress Hufflecupid insists Kreacher leave a review for Kristin. Kreacher says he will do so, but only on a story Kreacher wants to read.

So Kreacher chooses the one with Mistress Bellatrix on the front.

My Mistress Bellatrix is so powerful. Kreacher has much respect for her, even when she was a child. She is far more superior than other witches. She is loyal, as loyal as Kreacher.

Mistress Hufflecupid bids you a good day. Kreacher has rooms to clean.

Author's Response: Bianca/Mistress Hufflecupid, you lovely, sneaky person. this review made my day. I'm glad to hear Kreacher approved of my portrayal of Bellatrix, as well. :P Thank you!

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Review #4, by The Basilisk there is a light that never goes out

28th December 2015:
Oh, you write of a creature more morbid and enchanting than myself. You've captured Bellatrix'sss obsessive and heartlessly cruel nature well. I find it interesting how you focused on her internal thoughts moreso than outward occurrences, why this choice? I think it highlighted her character more, made her whole and tangible as opposed to a "crazy woman" - I would've liked to sssee a bit more action though. Attacking muggles, a fight with the ex or her parents, any small scene would do to create a larger picture - showing the reader what happens instead of telling us ;)

As I can imagine she's a hard character to peg, kudosss to you for writing this and happy holidays!


Hisses,
The Basilisk

Author's Response: More morbid and enchanting than you? That's high praise, for you are the most morbid and enchanting creature there is, and I mean that in the best way possible, my dear friend the Basilisk. :P

Thanks, I'm really glad you liked the portrayal of her cruelty and obsessive nature, and her internal thoughts. Getting into Bellatrix's mind was a tricky thing to do but I thought it was really necessary in order to round out her character as more three dimensional. I figured all we see of Bellatrix in the books is action, her torturing/killing people etc, so I wanted to focus on a different aspect of her in this fic rather than writing more of the same as she appears in the books.

Thanks so much for your review, and happy holidays to you as well! I hope your New Year is petrifyingly wonderful. :P


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Review #5, by Jayna there is a light that never goes out

20th December 2015:
Hell0! I was off on an unexpected vacation for a week, during which I did not have internet access. Therefore, I am trying to make up the Hot-Seat reviews that I missed, so sorry I'm late, but better late than never!

I read in your A/N that you weren't sure what you think of it, and my two cents is that it is wonderful. The flow of the piece was just beautiful and the imagery was spectacular. In fact, I liked it so much that it's a favorite story of mine. I think my favorite part was all of it, and I loved the way you portrayed Bellatrix and what goes on inside her mind, and especially what drives her. I think that this was a super original idea, and the execution was even more creative. Just the way the whole thing played out was completely unexpected yet totally believable. Lastly, I thought the little section titles helped set the mood for the reader even before they started reading that section.

Overall, it was a pleasure to find such a good angst and I'm really glad that I got a chance to read it. Again, sorry this is so late, and happy holidays!

-Jayna

Author's Response: Jayna! Hi! Haha, I can 100% understand not having internet access, that's basically my life in a nutshell. No worries for late reviews, I really appreciate that you stopped by! ♥

Hmm, that's an outdated A/N by now - it's true, when I wrote this I wasn't sure if it had worked, but since then it's really grown on me. Wow, thank you so much, I'm so glad to hear you loved the flow and the imagery! That really means a lot to me. AND omg thank you, I'm so flattered that you've favourited it!

You made me laugh with your comment that your favorite part was "all of it" :P I'm really glad you liked the first-person aspect and her drive in life, and it means so much to me that you thought it was original and creative. Thank you! I'd never done section titles in a one-shot before but since this story covers basically her whole life, I thought it needed something to highlight the separation, I'm glad you liked them!

This was such a wonderful review! Thank you so, so much ♥ Happy holidays to you as well!


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Review #6, by meleessuhh there is a light that never goes out

19th December 2015:
Hello there! I am here for our review swap :)

Okay so first of all I was attracted to this story because I have a fascination with Bellatrix. I love how strong and powerful she is, even though she never used them for anything good. I loved the first scene with her sisters who I think you captured perfectly. I have never given much thought to Andromeda before because I haven't reread the books in a while, but I never thought she was an outsider in her family, she was just open minded and ran off with a Muggle. Narcissa on the other hand isn't necessarily "weak" but compared to her strong-willed sisters, I always imagined her as being the most motherly type as well. Awesome job! Young Bellatrix is creepy, crazy and sadistic just like she was as an adult.

I think "Light and Dark" was the most interesting section. I never have thought of Bellatrix as an emotional person, more passionate than anything and you did an amazing job portraying that. She doesn't seem to care for love, but she is passionate and lustful and loves to fulfill in her desires. And the twist with the mystery woman fits! I could definitely see her enthralled in someone like her, which is why I think she was attracted to Voldemort so much.

I think "Ash and Embers" portrays the most of her character development. Bellatrix is so obsessed with the idea of power and climbing the hierarchy that she's basically insane. I love the scene with Rodolphus the most, I always felt she saw her marriage as an inconvenience and something she did to please her family (marrying a Pureblood) but Voldemort was her "real" love because he had everything she wanted, which was ultimate power. My favorite lines were when she recalls how she would've walked to the end of the earth for Rodolphus but he wouldn't have done the same for her. That makes me wonder if she felt like the "weaker" one of the two because she loved him more, or because she saw him as the weaker one since he lied and said he was under the Imperius Curse. BUT the ending is also a cliffhanger! What happens with the mystery woman?!

Haha but overall, this was a GREAT read. You are an absolutely wonderful writer, the kind that I will read and re-read to pick up pointers. You have great descriptions, characterization and there honestly isn't much to CC on. Bellatrix is a tough character to write because she's hard to relate to but you nailed it!

Oh and I apologize for the long review. :)

Author's Response: Bellatrix really is a fascinating character and I love her too! Even though I hate her. It's complicated haha. Thanks, I'm really glad you thought I captured the personalities of the sisters well. I thought that there would definitely be hints when they were children about who they would become as adults, and in some ways Bella isn't that different to any kid at that age, because children can be cruel - but it was never stopped with her and she just embraced that darker side of herself as she grew up.

Ooh, thank you! I'm so glad you were interested in the Light and Dark section and that you though it portrayed her personality well. And yeah I agree, I don't know that it was ever love for another person, but love of power, and certainly passion. I'm glad you liked the mystery woman!

Rodolphus was never really given much attention in the books and there wasn't much about him and Bellatrix, and for some reason it just seemed to fit that he wasn't that powerful, certainly not as powerful as the woman Bella loved (until the woman used the excuse of the imperius curse and thus escaped going to Azkaban, which made Bella lose respect for her.) I think you've also touched on a really interesting point in that Bella could have felt weak for loving this woman who ended up being weak (as perceived by Bella), that's a really interesting spin and makes a lot of sense as she would definitely be annoyed with herself for something like that.

Aaah wow thank you! You are so kind! Thank you so much for your amazing compliments, and I'm so glad you enjoyed the story. And please don't apologise for a long review, I love long reviews! Thanks for putting so much thought into it, it was a wonderful review! Thanks for the swap :)


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Review #7, by ReeBee there is a light that never goes out

8th December 2015:
Hello Kristin! Here for our review swap!

To be honest, Bellatrix is an amazing character!! But I never usually read any stories about her but omg I'm so glad I read this one!!! Its so amazing and I love just how dark she's portrayed here!!!

I love how the story sort of has a simple style to it as it progresses along the years and the description is so beautiful!!! The description of the mysterious woman at Hogwarts is so enticing and I feel like it brings out Bella's own attraction to her perfectly!!! And the small aspect of Bella not wanting to be a death eater due to the fact that she wants to be a Dark Lady herself fits her character perfectly and i really do think you've done a fantastic job at characterising her!

And i love how Bella eventually outgrows her lover and that character development is perfect but it also shows the deep hurt she felt? Like when she says that she would've walked to the ends of the earth for her lover but her lover wouldn't have done it for her- i love the sense of rising above that period in her life. I also find it netting how at the end Azkaban and her admiration of Voldemort seem to drive her past sanity to the point where she doesn't know what day it is or what year it is all that matters is power and i don't know to me the whole amazing part of this piece is the totally on point characterisation!

I loved reading this and it was so dark and intriguing and explained a small part of the mind of a character so twisted it was really really really interesting! Thank you for the swap!

-Curie :)

Author's Response: omg this review was so amazing and thank you so much ♥ Bellatrix is such an interesting character and I was simultaneously really excited and intimidated to write her because she's an interesting mind to explore, but so easy to get wrong. So ahh, thank you, I'm really glad you liked her dark portrayal here.

Thanks so much, I'm thrilled you liked the description in this - it was definitely a huge focus of mine while writing so that is wonderful to hear. I'm also really glad you liked the characterisation of Bella and her initial reluctance to be a Death Eater.

Yes, there were definitely a lot of hurt feelings there, which made that section such an interesting one to write. Because for Bella it wasn't entirely about lost love, but also some resentment that her lover was no longer ambitious enough to keep pushing boundaries, nor devoted enough to face Azkaban for Voldemort, and found a way out - and as such was seen as weak by Bella - the ultimate thing Bella despises. I love the way you phrased it as 'rising above' that phase of life; as Bella is moving on but also very much one to want to aspire to be even greater, I thought it a very fitting description :D And yeah, she's definitely past sanity at the end, though she doesn't really see it that way!

Thank you so much for the swap and for this amazing review! ♥ ♥


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Review #8, by GingeredTea there is a light that never goes out

5th November 2015:
Your choice in how to start this story was a good one. Bella finding pleasure in making the insect suffer was both childish and creepy, setting the stage for your transition very well.

I love the simplicity of this story - of how you utilize simple descriptions and take us through years in just paragraphs.

"No, I would be enacting change upon the earth, scorching it in my wake. " - that really does summarize Bella.

"But every now and then I do wonder where you are." - I'm still wondering WHO this mysterious woman is!

I loved this story!

Author's Response: Thank you! I'm so glad you like the start of this story in Bella's childhood - it's odd because she's the sort of character you never imagine as having been a child at all! :p I appreciate that you pointed out her crushing the insect as 'childish' - it is cruel, and hints at who she will become later, but kids can often be cruel if they don't understand the repercussions of their actions. In Bella's case, of course, she does understand what she's doing, which is why it's creepy haha. I'm glad you thought it made for a good transition!

Thanks! I like that you picked out that line about Bella as well - I'm glad you thought she was well written.

Haha, the woman is intentionally left anonymous although I've heard various interesting theories - up to the reader ;) I didn't have a specific name in mind, though.

Thank you so much for reading, and for your review!


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Review #9, by TreacleTart there is a light that never goes out

11th August 2015:
Hello my dear!

I'm here for our review swap!

When looking through your stories I immediately knew that I had to read this one because Bellatrix is one of my absolute favorite characters. I love the rage in her and the strength. She's one of those rare characters who's evil just because she enjoys being evil and I thought you did a great job of capturing that.

The scene with the bug in the beginning of the story does a great job of characterizing all three sisters. I especially thought you nailed both Andromeda and Bellatrix. Andromeda shows her bravery and compassion by standing up to Bellatrix and ending the life of the suffering beetle. Bellatrix shows her evil by not killing the bug, just crippling it so that it can suffer slowly. Even at ten, you can see the terrifying woman that she will become.

I thought the relationship was intriguing. First of all, I never did quite figure out who it was supposed to be in the relationship. Also, I'm not really sure that I can imagine Bellatrix falling in love. I think the only two people she ever loved is herself and Voldemort. Otherwise, I think her heart is a decaying cesspit of malicious intent.

I love that you make Rudolphus sort of an inconvenience to her. That's sort of my headcannon for their marriage. I imagine that he would just seem like an extra obstacle in the way of getting what she wants.

It's amazing because at the beginning of this story you made me hate Bellatrix so much as she crushed that beetle, but by the end I was almost rooting for her to escape Azkaban. I mean I know she's awful, but part of me still wants to see her free.

Great work with a difficult character!

~Kaitlin

Author's Response: I'm so glad you read this one! It was definitely an experiment for me to write this as she is such a difficult character - but I agree - as much as I hate her for her evilness and what she did to everyone, she has a lot of power to her and is such a strong character so I really wanted to explore her view of the world.

Thank you, I'm glad you liked that scene in the beginning! That was definitely the intent, to provide a brief snapshot into the lives of all three sisters and how each of them reacts to things - mirroring who they become later. Bella is terrifying at ten! :S

I'm glad you were intrigued by the relationship - and yeah I intentionally left it ambiguous who that woman was. As for Bella in love - the way I see it, above all Bellatrix was in love with power, and for a while, this other woman really personified that for Bellatrix - until Bella moved on, met Voldemort, and realized that this woman she had loved was only her equal which was no longer interesting when there was a better way to power, and she fell out of love just as quickly. So in a way it wasn't really the woman she loved, but what she represented. if that makes sense haha

Bellatrix never seemed like she had any particular attachment to Rodolphus, and he definitely didn't seem as ambitious as she, so I figured she wouldn't have a particularly high opinion of him.

Ah thank you so much for saying that last bit, about hating her but still wanting her to succeed, as that's exactly what I was hoping for in writing this. :D I'm so glad you were able to feel connected to her (sort of)!

Thank you so much for your kind review!!


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Review #10, by MrsJaydeMalfoy there is a light that never goes out

20th July 2015:
Hufflepuff, House Cup 2015!

Wow. I agree, taking on Bellatrix's point of view is a grueling task, one that I can't even begin to imagine undertaking - but you've done an incredible job!

I can't imagine how horrible Bellatrix must have been as a child. I agree, for her to have been as evil as she was, it must have started from a very early age, so scenes like the one with the beetle must have been a common occurrence in their household.

I am so very curious as to who the mystery woman is! Did you have anyone in particular in mind? It's all so intriguing!

I loved how you explained that Bellatrix never loved Rudolphus, how she refused to have children so she wouldn't have to care for them - I think many people have often wondered about the relationship between the two of them, since her love clearly lie with the dark lord.

Your description of her progression away from the person she loved was great - and I almost felt myself there in the cell with her - well done!

Author's Response: Jayde!! I am the worst at responding in a timely fashion I'm sorry. But I love this review so much!, thank you!

Wah, thank you so much, I'm really glad you thought I did well with Bellatrix's POV! It was definitely challenging - especially the first-person narrative - but I'm so glad to see that it worked out. :)

Kids can often be cruel, I think, if they don't realize what they're doing is hurting someone else. Crushing a bug is probably something many children have done - but what makes Bellatrix scary at age ten is that she knows exactly what she's doing. I'd say you're right in that scenes like that probably happened a lot, and no one really did anything about it, so she ended up just like that as an adult.

I didn't have a specific canon person in mind, but I liked leaving the anonymity in because I love the mystery, and so that it's kind of up to the reader ;)

It never seemed to me that Bellatrix particularly loved Rodolphus. And I think she would really hate the idea of raising children! Haha, I can't even imagine how terrifying she would be as a mother :P anyway, thanks, I'm so happy you liked the explanation there!

That particular passage when she's sitting in the cell was some of the strangest writing I've done so thank you, it's really great to hear that you felt it was real! Thank you so much for reading, and for all your reviews, I appreciate them so much.


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Review #11, by Dojh167 there is a light that never goes out

17th June 2015:
Hello! Sam here for our review swap.

I have to admit, I've always kid of related to Bella. Weird, right? But the reason why is exactly the reason that you have tapped into here, that we both very much have an "all or nothing" personality. And the way she shows that passion can be powerful... Yeah, I don't aspire to be like her, but I kind of am.

I really like that you have Andromeda teasing Narcissa about possibly being a squib. People generally assume that Andromeda was always treated as an outsider in her family, but I don't think that's true, and I like how you have her embody her family's biases here. I also like that you had he kill the beetle. It was really evocative, and showed that she was not afraid to make hard choices for the sake of others.

I notice that you use semi-colons quite a lot. While you are not using them incorrectly, they are definitely noticeable as most writers don't use them too often, and I kept being distracted by the story by going "hey look, another semi-colon."

I thought it was very effective how much detail that you used to describe the squishing of the beetle. It's the kind of thing that Bella would really relish, and you did a good job of making that clear through your descriptions without having to spell it out.

I find it really interesting that Bella seems to have a certain degree of respect towards Andromeda for standing up for her cause. The way you coupled that with her disgust at the nature of the cause was very informative of Bella's character.

I really love your take on Bellatrix as a queer character. I had never thought about her that way, but it makes a lot of sense to me. I may have to try my hand...

I really love how you play with light and dark throughout this story, and then have Bella throw them out as insignificant.

I thought the whole arc of Bella falling for her lover, and then her being overshadowed by Voldemort was extremely poignant and fascinating. "There was still you, my love, but in comparison to the Dark Lord, you were no longer the striking majesty you had been; now you were only my equal" really got me.

I did not feel that the last sentences of the story were a powerful enough ending. Perhaps you just need one last sentence to button it, though I'm not sure what that would be.

Favorite lines:
"Youíre ten, so you know everything about magic!"
"He was effortlessly powerful, and his presence sent a thrill through my veins."
"your arm against mine like sepia on alabaster."

Thanks so much for the swap! I really enjoyed reading this.

Sam.

Author's Response: Not weird at all! I think on a certain level I can relate to her too. A large part of the motivation to write this story was just that - to make Bella a more relatable character than she is seen through Harry's eyes, even if she's not redeemed in any way. Bella does have some admirable attributes, I think, which makes her character so much more complicated, and I love that :D

Thanks! Yeah, the way I see Andromeda is that she wasn't really that different from her family until she was older, like at Hogwarts when she met other people who opened her eyes and weren't as biased as her family. I don't think any child automatically starts off as an outsider in their family - it was the sort of thing I saw happening much later. And thank you, I'm glad you liked that scene with the beetle! I was definitely hoping to show what the three of them would become, and I'm glad you found it so effective.

Hahaha, you caught me, I do love semicolons :p I can see how they'd be distracting since they're not used all that often... I'm bringin semicolons back. Them other punctuation just don't know how to act.

I think Bellatrix would respect people who have strong opinions and walk their talk, because she's all about that herself. As I was writing this it was kind of odd when it struck me that she might have admired that about Andromeda even if she also kind of hated it!

Thanks, I'm glad you like the queer interpretation of Bella, as well as the light and dark theme throughout the story and Bella's thoughts on it. And that line you picked out about power - I love that you highlighted that one. I think it says a lot about her and I'm really glad you liked that, thanks!

The ending, yeah it's not as powerful as some of the other lines, but I think I wanted it to end in a way that was different to the rest of the story - like the whole thing focuses a lot on how powerful she is/wants to be, and then at that point she just sits back and wonders, and it's a brief moment when she's not just thinking about her own power. But yes I agree with you, it doesn't end with a huge punch - though I wasn't necessarily aiming for that ;)

Thank you so much for the swap and your wonderfully detailed review! ♥


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Review #12, by cherry_pop94 there is a light that never goes out

16th June 2015:
Hi Kristen! Iím here for the review swap.

Iím so happy that youíve written about Bellatrix! Sheís one of my favourite characters in any book or movie or tv show, so seeing this made me happy dance a little.

Your first sentence is really excellent. I donít know why, but I just think that description is so perfect and well-worded. The word choice, sentence structure, everything about that is just really well done. And then to go on to talk about the Black Sisters as children! Narcissa and Andromeda seem like such sweet kids, and so close too, but we all know what they each grow up to become. Iíve always thought of Andromeda and Narcissa like you have too. I see them as really close friends and sort of growing up idolizing Bellatrix. A pretty normal relationship between sisters, I suppose. But they are so dynamic already at such a young age!

Bellatrixís narration is terrifying and perfect. She seems incapable of empathy, fitting with the horrifying adult she becomes. Even at age 10, sheís creepy and scary. She has no feelings almost, just ambition and pride, and all these things that arenít necessarily bad, but in Bellatrix, itís something monstrous. But then you go and almost, sort of, not quite, redeem her by giving her one human quality Ė the ability to truly care about someone. I think Bellatrix really does care about this Ďyouí person. I love how you kept that so ambiguous, but made it clear that maybe, just maybe, Bellatrix fell in love. But it wasnít enough to stop her from wanting more, which is perfectly in line with who Bellatrix is.

Overall, this was a really excellent story! Thanks for an enjoyable swap!

Stefanie

Author's Response: Hi Stefanie! I'm glad you were so happy to find a story about Bellatrix :D There aren't many stories about her. She's definitely an interesting one and I think she's a lot more complex than Harry sees her (he just sees EVIL CRAZY LADY but I like to think there's more to her than that :P )

Ooh, thanks for the comment about my first sentence! I was really happy with the way that sentence turned out and so it's really great to hear that it caught your eye and that you liked it :) I really like the idea of Andromeda and Narcissa being really close as children, and simultaneously kind of look up to and are slightly intimidated by Bellatrix. Honestly I'm quite glad that you said it seems like a normal relationship between sisters - while they do grow up to become so different, they are kind of normal kids at this point, although Bellatrix has maybe a bit of a cruel streak, but they behave like any siblings and I'm really glad that stood out to you!

Thank you for the comment about Bella's narration! I really like your analysis of her character. And yes, that is exactly what I was going for with the second part (I love that you picked up on all these subtle things!) how this wasn't to redeem her in any way, but to make her a bit more relatable and human. I think Bellatrix really did love the woman. One thing that always stood out to me about Bella in the books was how passionate she can be (like, she LOVES the cruciatus curse and she's very loyal to Voldemort, so she does have feelings, and this story was essentially an exploration of a positive side of those attributes, though since it's Bellatrix it's not exactly positive haha.)

This was such a thoughtful and kind review, I loved that you picked up so many of the subtle things I was hoping to convey. Thanks so much for the swap!!


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Review #13, by The Lady of Love there is a light that never goes out

15th May 2015:
WOW! JUST WOW!

This is an amazing story. I've rarely read stuff from Bellatrix's point of view but you totally nailed it. I loved how you kept her so in character yet at the same time showed these different sides to her. It's like you were in her head - you gave wonderful insight and some interesting backstory into her life. I could officially make this my head canon (if I knew who the "you" was) xD

I loved how you started off with the segment about Bella's childhood. It's strange, I've never pictured her as a child, but you totally got that image into my head smoothly. Her coldness and ruthlessness and thirst for power became apparent since the very beginning. It was interesting how she compared herself with her sisters and knew she was the "strong" one.

I could not imagine Bellatrix being in love but again you totally swayed me. The way you showed how much Bellatrix loved this "You" woman was very intriguing. It made me so curious to know who she is. Bella's strong love for her was shown wonderfully. It was also interesting how they both set on the path to Voldemort yet Bella was the one who turned so fiercely loyal to her Dark Lord and the other woman didn't.

The ending segment was the best bit. It was the Bella we know and you got it down perfectly. The insanity was captured amazingly and you really got the emotions across through your writing. The whole light/dark concept was interesting too and well-tied with the overall narrative.

All in all, I really loved it and I'm glad I read it. Great work!

Author's Response: Thank you!!

I don't think I've ever seen anything else from Bellatrix's POV in first person, I wouldn't imagine it's very common :P but I love first person because it really draws you into a character and she is one that is probably hard to understand what's going on in her head without being there in her head, if I'm making sense. I'm so glad you thought it sounded like her and in character, and that it provided insight and a convincing backstory - that is exactly what I as going for. Hahah, the 'you' is left up for interpretation XD

Yeah, she is kind of difficult to imagine ever being a child at all! It's great to hear that you thought that segment fit well with her personality as an adult.

Ooh thanks, I'm glad to hear that second section was convincing! I really liked the anonymity of the woman but I didn't actually have a specific name in mind for her. And yeah, despite her many failings I wanted to show how strong Bella's loyalty is, when her lover just did the same thing many of the other Death Eaters did to avoid Azkaban and denied her involvement.

I'm so glad you liked that ending segment and thought it captured her insanity and emotions. Thanks for the comment about the light and dark too, I thought it was really interesting to explore that as light and dark are often associated with good and evil but Bellatrix sees herself on the side that's doing good (in her mind) and writing this really put a spin on it and it all ended up grey. :p

Thanks so much for your review!!


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Review #14, by TearsIMustConceal there is a light that never goes out

8th May 2015:
Hi Kristin, here for our review swap!


I have to say, you are really brave for taking on Bellatrix - I don't think I would have the guts to write her but you did and wow, did you do an amazing job!!!

I loved everything about this! I love how you documented Bella's life, from a child that was so obviously cruel and hard, to the crazed, mad woman we all know and love (well I do anyway!).

The part with the mystery was fascinating to me! Their talk about taking over the world, Bella becoming a 'Dark Lady' and how the woman was her 'source of power'. I also love how it's the mystery woman who insists they join what is to become the Death Eaters and not Bella because in the end, it's Bella who becomes truly invested in the Dark Lord and not her lover. I also think this part is sad in a tragic way because Bella seems so invested yet we know in the end she has to marry Rodolphus and eventually, love doesn't even come into the equation anymore for Bella as she chooses power. I feel as though Bella could have turned out a lot differently if she had been able to love the mystery woman like she wanted too - would she have been so evil and cruel and so devoted to the Dark Lord? Who knows?

Anyway, this was an amazing story and your writing and descriptions are just beautiful. It was a lovely piece to read!

-Vicki

Author's Response: Hi Vicki! Aw, thanks - I must say I was indeed a little intimidated to write her, but I saw a lot of potential complexity to her character and couldn't resist exploring that in a fic. :D

Thank you so much, it is absolutely wonderful to hear that you liked this so much, from her childhood to her madness in Azkaban. I'm glad you liked the mystery woman as well, and I really like your analysis of their relationship - you pointed out all the things I thought were interesting as I wrote it. In particular it being the other woman's idea to join the Death Eaters - I imagined Bella was always a passionate, intense person, even when she was young, but I thought it would be neat to explore the idea of how she joined the Death Eaters and how it might not necessarily have been because she had such a one-track mind from the beginning. And Rodolpbus - I never got the impression that Bellatrix really loved him. You raise such an interesting point about what could have been. I'd like to know the answer to that as much as you would, haha!

Thank you so much for this amazing and kind review, and for our swap!


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Review #15, by Claire Evergreen there is a light that never goes out

8th May 2015:
Hey, Kristin! Here for our review swap!

Trust me, you have absolutely nailed Bellatrix's POV. Even with her as a child, you could still tell that it's Bellatrix. The mannerisms, the speech pattern, the thoughts, it is all perfect and screams Bella.

The first section with her as a child was amazing. It's hard to imagine someone like her as ever being a child, so that can't have been easy to write. And little Andromeda and Narcissa were fantastic additions and really showed the dynamic between the three sisters. That whole scene reminds me of the time I heard a woman tell her child that killing bugs was the first sign of becoming a serial killer and while it seemed funny at the time, it certainly takes on a whole new meaning when applied to Bella.

The second part was so hauntingly beautiful. I never really thought Bella would be capable of truly loving anyone, no matter what the gender, but the way you wrote the whole thing was simply amazing. It was wonderful to see a (somewhat) softer and more vulnerable side to Bella, one that I don't think I ever considered her having before. Not only was the characterization amazing, the emotions and the writing were also spot on. I can't over the fact that you actually managed to make me feel somewhat bad for Bellatrix Lestrange.

The third part was definitely more like the Bellatrix I know and love to hate. We all knew that she was more than a little bit unhinged when she was sent to Azkaban, but to get into her mind and see what she was thinking was eerie to say the least. I'm so intrigued as to who this mystery woman was and how she was able to get into Bella's head like that. She had to have been one heck of a person to be able to do that.

This is absolutely amazing and I'm so glad that you agreed to the swap because I probably would have never read it otherwise! Thanks for swapping!

-Claire

Author's Response: Hi Claire! I'm sorry about my inability to respond to things in a timely fashion, but I really do appreciate this review!

Aah, thank you so much! I had been kind of apprehensive about how Bellatrix as a child would come across, so it's really great to hear that it seemed so much like her. I agree with you that she's not someone who is easy to imagine ever being a child at all! I'm glad you liked the other sisters as well - I thought they made an interesting contrast to Bella in the way they reacted to that incident as kids as well as who they turned out to be.

'Hauntingly beautiful' - wow, that's high praise! I have been really surprised by the number of reviewers who have described these women's love as haunting and beautiful. I think in the books she is very one-sided (because Harry sees her as such) but no person is one sided and I really thought that a story like this could fit with Bella's character and who she became. I am really so flattered by your compliments in that paragraph - thank you so much and Im glad you liked the characterisation and that the emotions and writing were effective. I'm honoured that it made you feel bad for Bellatrix!

She is definitely unhinged in that last part, but she doesn't think she is! :p Writing that section was definitely the most out of my comfort zone but I liked the way it turned out and I'm glad you thought it was interesting getting into her mind! Ah yes the mystery woman... will remain a mystery ;)

Thank you so much for this incredible review and for the swap!


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Review #16, by CassiePotter there is a light that never goes out

1st May 2015:
Hello! I'm here for our review swap!
I loved this! I thought you did a phenomenal job writing Bellatrix! I've never tried writing anything from her POV, because I feel like she would be very tricky to get right. But you captured her character perfectly!
I loved that you started with her childhood, and how she was cold and had no pity for anyone, not even her sisters, from the time she was a child. Then we moved to the second section, which was my favorite. I want to know more about this woman that Bellatrix fell in love with! That whole part of the story was just fascinating to me. And the end was wonderful. You definitely got just the right amount of crazy and her obsession with Voldemort was spot on.
This was a really fantastic story. I loved how Bellatrix changed as she got older and started to follow Voldemort. This was a really interesting look into her character, and I'm so glad that I read it! Thank you for the swap!
Cassie :)

Author's Response: Hi Cassie! Aw, thank you - that is so wonderful to hear that you think I did well writing Bellatrix! I think she is the most challenging character I've ever tried to write, especially in first person.

I'm glad you liked that first section with her as a child - I felt like she's the sort of character whom no one really imagines being a child, like ever, so it was interesting to write that side of her. And it's great to hear that you found the second part fascinating with the mystery woman :D The third part was kind of strange to write because she's obviously crazy, but wouldn't see it that way from her own POV, so I'm glad that it seemed the right amount of crazy :P

Thanks so much - I'm thrilled you enjoyed the story! Thanks for the swap!


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Review #17, by merlins beard there is a light that never goes out

1st May 2015:
Hi there!

I agree that Bella's POV can be a huge task, but I think you have done brilliantly.

I could really see her as a child, crushing a beetle just so much that it suffers but doesn't die, I could see the horrified clance Andromeda exchanges with her younger siter, feel the irritation as she has to kill the beetle to make the suffering stop.

The characterization of Bella is really spot-on. While I have never pictured her being with a woman I have to say I never pictured her in a relationship at all. (I know she's married - and I agree that the marriage is probably only what her parents wanted)

Joining the Dark Lord with the plan of overthrowing him one day in the back of her mind would have been a dangerous thing, considering he's a Legilimens.

I wonder who the "You" she's addressing is. Did you have anyone we know in mind or is it an original character?

I love all the detail you put in, I could really get into the story.

It certainly was great reading material.

Love
~Anja

Author's Response: Hi Anja! Wow, thank you so much - it is wonderful to hear that I managed Bella's POV :)

I'm glad you liked the description as well and that it helped you visualise all these things - that's great to hear.

Thank you, I'm thrilled that you think the characterisation of Bella is accurate! Oddly enough, the minute I thought of this idea of her being with a woman, it instantly became my headcanon :D But since so little is known about her personal life from canon, anything could happen!

It probably would have been dangerous, yeah. But I don't think that would put Bella off.

As for the "you", I did not have anyone specific in mind - I wanted to keep her anonymous ;) Sooo.. it could be someone you know from canon, or it could be an original character.

Thank you so much for reading and for your review, and I'm thrilled that you liked it!


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Review #18, by The Glacier Wizard there is a light that never goes out

10th April 2015:
What an amazing story, you wrote it out so well.
I loved the way you characterised our dearest little Bell.
And her sisters too of course, but they are rather strange.
Meda married a muggleborn- she sounds quite deranged!
I loved all of your descriptions, especially the cockroach.
Most authors would find a thing like that quite difficult to broach.

Bella's lover sounds exquisite, and very bright and bold.
The second person helped with how their love story was told.
They were not allowed to be, which makes me very sad.
Some people are old fashioned, like her mum and dad.
But they couldn't stop dear Bella, not a girl like she.
She is the sort who would decide who she wanted to be.

There at last is Voldemort, who defied even death.
Bellatrix adored him, she'd give him all her breath.
She want to be remembered not forgotten like the rest.
To Voldemort she was his favourite, the best of the best.
I really really loved this, but my ice is melting fast.
I hope you can enjoy my review at long last.

Author's Response: Hello, Glacier Wizard! First of all I am super impressed with your poetic talents, and I want to thank you so much for this review! It was the most lovely surprise!

I'm so glad you liked the descriptions in this story, the characterisations of Bella and her sisters, and the use of second person - those are all such wonderful things to hear. Thank you so, so much for this fantastic review!


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Review #19, by LadyL8 there is a light that never goes out

26th March 2015:
Hi Kristin. So Iím back with my last review for now. I decided to head over to this story instead of reading another chapter of the foundersí story, because it looked too good to skip.

Anyway, I just have to start by saying that I think youíre crazy brave for even attempting to write Bellatrix. In my opinion sheís the one of the most complex characters in HP, and I would not dare to write her out of fear of doing her no justice. So thumbs up to you for even trying! :)

I really liked how you told the story Ė starting from childhood and ending with her in prison. It was interesting to see her progress for a cruel child to the mad woman we know from the books, and I liked that you could early on tell that she might head in that direction.

Bellatrix has always been a very fascinating character for me. While we get a somewhat sad/tragic backstory for Voldemort, that kind of explains why heíd end up being evil (but Iím not saying that justifies his actions), thereís never given a reason for why Bella is the way she is. And I donít believe anyone is just evil for no reason Ė thereís always some explanation for it (not necessarily a good one, though). This could be my criminology-studies kicking in, but Iím a firm believer in people having the potential for both good and evil. And itís environment and a little bit of genetics that decide whether weíll give in to it or not. And Bella did grow up in a difficult environment, probably being taught to hate muggles and muggle-borns since birth. So I always figured that was of the reason she ended up the way she did Ė and thatís also why I liked seeing Bellatrix in her childhood.

And then thereís the mystery woman. This is going to sound a little bit disturbing, but I found their relationship in the middle part to be almost tragically beautiful in way. Like how they talked about taking over the world together, and Bellatrix calling the woman for her source of power at the time. But then we all know how it will end, and thatís why thereís a touch of tragicness (is that a word?) over the whole relationship. And eventually Bellatrix chooses power over love, and thatís definitely the sad part of the story.

I really liked your description as well. Itís so detailed that I felt I like I was watching it all in my head, and I could feel the emotions.

And I think it was really interesting that you left the woman unidentified. But I have to askÖ Did you have anyone in mind when writing it?

Anyway, this is definitely one of the best Bellatrix-stories Iíve ever read, and I really think your characterization was spot on. You did her justice!

Amazing story. And Iím definitely going to keep an eye on you from now on, because youíre a really good writer.

10/10

- Lotte

Author's Response: No complaints from me about hopping between stories - I'm glad that this story caught your eye!

Crazy brave, or just crazy? :P First-person POV of Bellatrix was really not something I'd ever envisioned writing, but then I did. And yes - you've hit the nail on the head - she is really complex. In the books I feel like that complexity is overshadowed a little by her madness and she comes across as a bit one-sided, so this was my attempt to present a different side to her that sort of explained her a bit more.

I kind of loved writing the three Black sisters as children! :P And yes, there were hints that she might head in that direction, and although she was a bit cruel, she wasn't necessarily 'evil' at that point. I love your analysis of her character too - her environment was probably a huge part of the reason she turned out how she did. I agree with you on the potential for good and evil too - a great example being Andromeda, who grew up in the same home environment and could have been the same, but due to having different friends/falling in love with a Muggleborn at school, ended up becoming such a different person from Bella.

I have gotten that comment from several reviewers, about Bellatrix and the other woman being 'tragically beautiful' - and I really like that as it's not something that would ordinarily describe anything about Bellatrix. But I was definitely going for that! I wanted it all to be very complex - because I think it had to be. But of course Bella would choose power :(

Aw, thank you! I'm so glad that the descriptions were effective.

I did not have anyone specific in mind for the other woman - it helped with the anonymity aspect of writing it - although I've heard a few theories from reviewers! Up to the reader to decide ;)

gah, thank you so much! I'm so glad to hear that you liked this so much, and that I did her character justice. And THANK YOU for your compliments about my writing. And for all four of these lovely reviews. (five, if I include the anon that was you as well!) Your reviews are so incredible and really made my whole week.



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Review #20, by Felpata Lupin there is a light that never goes out

14th February 2015:
I'm having some serious trouble at the moment trying to come up with something proper to write in this review...
Saying that Bellatrix was perfect would be an understatement. The way you pictured the progress of her life, from childhood to Azkaban, her love, her devotion, her madness...
I'm shocked by the craziness and the perfection of this. This might be your masterpiece, Kristin!
Sorry if this review makes no sense at all... The point is, I loved this!
The world's biggest hug,
Chiara.

Author's Response: Wahh! How do I even respond to something as amazing as this review?!? I have no words. Just hugs. *hug*
Thank you so much! I'm so glad you liked the progression of her life and all the elements of craziness and devotion. And wow, thank you for calling this a masterpiece!
You are seriously amazing and I'm still in awe that you've read everything on my entire AP. Your support means so much to me and just thank you so, so much!

Kristin


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Review #21, by Aphoride there is a light that never goes out

31st January 2015:
Hi there! :) Dropping by for our exchange! I have to be honest, I was so excited to see I got paired with you this month because this story just looked so fascinating - I do love a good Bellatrix story and it's been ages since I read one!

And this was so good! :) I love the way you've presented Bellatrix in this - how she progresses from a cruel, but not evil, child, to such a determined, almost reckless teenager, to the madwoman we all know and love from the books :P There's something almost lovely (I say 'almost' because it is a want to hurt other people and all...) about the middle section: when Bella falls in love with the mystery woman, and they talk about conquering together, about staying side-by-side, even knowing the limitations their society would put on them. It's such a strong, powerful feeling there - the way you write it just pulls it through the words, it's so gorgeous! And that's a little bit strange, because it's not an emotion I usually associate with Bellatrix :P

The way you developed that relationship was simulatenously so sad (because we knew where it was going to end, and how it sort of had to end, before the beginning), but so bittersweet, too, because there was always this sort of memory, especially in the last section, and this sort of feeling with Bellatrix that maybe she still cared, even if just a little. If she was wondering about Mystery Woman more than Narcissa and them, it's kinda suggestive, you know ;)

You know, this is written for the Reset the Default Challenge, and, tbh, I think you've reset it perfectly, because I didn't even think anything about the sexuality of the characters or the nature of the relationship. It was just not really important, with the way you portrayed them and how you wrote their relationship - gender/sexuality didn't matter, it was a beautiful relationship and that was enough, you know? Yeah, that was so well done! :)

I loved your writing in this, too. I've already said (I think so, at any rate...) that you could really feel the emotion coming through the words, that there was this beautiful sense of love and passion and drive and determination, and all of those things which are so typically Bellatrix, and reflected their relationship. Like, you didn't just read it, you sort of felt it too, and you wanted them to be together, even though you knew it wasn't going to end that way. So sad, and so cruel of you! ;)

Even if I never thought of it before, this pairing makes sense. It just works, and you make me ship it! :)

So yeah, I really love this fic - it's so good, in every way, from the way you characterise Bella (the beetle-stamping thing was so in-character for all three Black sisters!), and the way you develop such a beautiful, even if desperately sad by the end, relationship. You make me feel for Bella, because we see her side, and this woman, in her mind, betrayed her and left. It's almost heartbreaking! :(

I loved this! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Laura!! I'm so sorry for taking ages to reply to this, it was such a wonderful review! Aw, I'm really glad you were excited to read this - I was stoked to get the chance to read some more of your wonderful work as well. :D

Thank you so much for what you said in that second paragraph, and how it felt strong and beautiful - that is such a compliment. I was definitely intending to show her impressive strength of character without changing her into a good person, yet still putting something of a good light on her.

I'm glad you liked the bittersweet development of their relationship. I like to think that she does stilll care, at least sometimes, but of course that is for only Bellatrix to know and for us to wonder :p And thanks, I'm so glad you liked the way I reset the default! I didn't want to make it the point of the story or draw any special attention to her sexuality, only to write a relationship how it was. I'm so glad you liked how I approached it.

Wow, thank you! It is really so wonderful to hear that you could feel the emotion while reading this and that you liked the writing style. It was really a challenge for me and so this is just amazing to hear. Thank you!

ooh, I'm glad you ship the pairing haha! I had never thought much about Bella before writing this but once I did stop to consider, I think this is the way I've always envisioned Bellatrix to be honest, and this story just gave me the opportunity to put a voice to it.

I'm thrilled that you enjoyed this fic, and that you liked the characterisation of all three of the sisters in that first scene. And most of all I'm glad it made you (almost) sympahise with Bella and feel sad that the relationship ended in betrayal (as she views it).

Thank you so much for this incredible review!!


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Review #22, by banshee there is a light that never goes out

21st January 2015:
Hey Kristin! Happy hot seat day!

I've been meaning to check this story out for a while now, so I'm glad I got the time to be able to!

I always adore your level of detail in your writing. Right from the first few sentences you set up the scenery and just give the reader this interesting and original topic to go into. You never really think of Bellatrix and how she became the person she was before she was Voldemort's second in command, and it's neat to see her younger.

I really liked the characterization you developed with the beetle in the first part of the story. How there was the teasing and then Bellatrix just sort of comes through and destroys the fun, and how she goes on to talk about how the characterizations sort of stick with them from that moment of their life.

This might be kind of a random thing to comment on, but I love your word choice throughout this story. You just always have this way of stringing words together that is so eloquent that the story just flows so wonderfully.

The second part with the woman that Bellatrix fell in love with was really wonderfully tragic. It seemed like they really worked well together, for the fact that Bellatrix remained her own self all the while that they were together. Unfortunately she was already arranged a marriage with Rodolphus... It sort of makes you think how much the moments in her life had help in shaping her, or if she was sort of pre-destined to be on the path.

I really thought it was interesting how you left the woman unidentified throughout the story, and how she constantly seemed to hold a spot in the back of Bellatrix's head.

Bellatrix always seems like such a tricky character to grasp writing but I think you wrote her so true to her personality here. Your writing is always so enjoyable to read, and this was definitely no different!

Lovely work, Kristin!

Julie

Author's Response: Hi Julie!

Wow, thank you, that is such a compliment that you like the detail in my writing!

I'm so glad you liked that first part with the beetle and that you thought it developed their characterization. She does destroy the fun haha! And yeah exactly that scene was meant to kind of symbolize their personalities and the things that stood out about them even as they got older.

aw, thank you I'm so flattered that you like my word choice and that it flows well, that is so wonderful to hear!

I love your analysis of Bellatrix and the other woman's love - I don't think I'd heard it described as 'tragic' before, but there definitely is that aspect to it in the way it ended. I'm glad it made you think too! I love it when writing makes me think ;)

You would be correct in that statement, she is definitely a tricky character to write - so I'm just thrilled that you thought this worked. Gah, thank you so much ♥ I really appreciate it!

thank you for this amazing review!!


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Review #23, by casual_chaos there is a light that never goes out

12th January 2015:
Hey Kristin! :)

First, the Smiths reference = love!

Ah, Bellatrix! I admire everyone who ever attempts to write her and since you asked in your A/N: I thought you did a brilliant job! She was right there - cruel, obsessed, slightly deranged but still passionate - it was Bellatrix as we know her from the books. Seriously, you did a great job with her characterisation! :)

The first scene was perfect. The descriptions of the sun on skin, and the girls moaning and bickering, and then this sentence like a little gem: ''When I lifted my foot, the insect remained alive, threaded with cracks, with fluid leaking out of it, its legs feebly waving in the air.'' (I'm not rooting for killing poor insects, but this sentence gave such a great visual!)

And, ah, can I just say how great it is that Bellatrix still admired Andromeda for being true to her word, even though she ''betrayed'' the family. It goes to show that Bella had her own set of morals and she went by them no matter what. Sure, the negative feelings prevailed, but she could still respect her sister for what she considered to be worthy of respect, and I really liked that you showed that.

Aah, the relationship! Such lovely, vivid scenes and so much nobility in one place, haha. But really, I love how you depicted their love affair. I was actually quite fond of Bellatrix for a moment there. I mean, I've always been fond of Bella, even though she's a bit of a wacko. :P

But my favourite part was when Bellatrix said she wanted to be the dark lord herself. I always had a feeling she was seen by everyone as this crazy woman who liked torturing people because she was in love with Voldemort. But I always thought she was simply doing it out of her own personal reasons and the fact that she and Voldemort had similar motifs was purely coincidental. And that's why I love this story - you gave Bellatrix her own free will (and there's a bit of femme slash, woohoo!) Admittedly, she did develop a bit of an obsession with Voldemort, but I still don't think it belittled her in any way, it seemed to be a product of respect, rather than love. Then again, Bellatrix is quite a complex character so who knows what I'm talking about here? What do you think about all of this, did I get it right? :)

The last scene! Wonderful language, just wonderful. Her excitement is so palpable and so unsettling, especially when contrasted to the bittersweet ending - I loved all of it.

This quote:

''As I sit here in my cell, I feel him call to me, feel the blazing of the dark, sensual curves of the line inked into my wrist. I lean back against the cold stones, warmth flooding through my veins and driving out the perpetual chill of Azkaban, an unstoppable smile spreading across my face as it stretches at muscles long fallen into disuse. But I cannot resist; the smile gives way into a laugh, and then a shriek escapes me; I am suddenly on my feet again. All of Azkaban will know it: The Dark Lord has returned.''

You lovely, talented creature! I still can't get over the amazingness of this description. :)

Keep writing, dear, and I'll see you on your other stories!

Andy

Author's Response: Andy! Thank you so much! You always leave such thoughtful reviews ♥

Haha, I'm glad you appreciated it :D Although the song doesn't exactly match the story, the title fit perfectly.

gah, thank you so much! I'm so glad you thought this was an accurate portrayal of Bellatrix! Getting into her mind to write this was such a strange thing. I'm so glad all or those characteristics stood out as that's really what I was hoping to highlight.

I'm really glad you liked that first scene, particularly the insect description. Poor beetle. :(

Bella's reflection on Andromeda was one of the things that surprised me most while writing this, actually. After establishing Bella as someone with a strong conviction who followed only her own rules, I realized that buried under all her hatred for Mudbloods, she might have a bit of respect for Andromeda for staying true to herself - a sign of strength, which Bella admires. It's such a complicated emotion. I'm really glad you appreciated that part!

Haha wow, thank you, I'm glad you liked the love affair and that you liked Bellatrix in this! I'd never been a fan of her, but after writing this I think I have at least more understanding of her.

I love your analysis of Bellatrix's character, and yes that's very much how I was trying to portray her. I think her joining Voldemort's cause had a lot to do with the fact that they were more powerful together than they would have been as individual dark lords. And yes, it kind of developed into an obsession at the end because she never did anything just halfway. As for whether or not you got it "right" - I left it purposely ambiguous so people could come to their own conclusions and opinions about her - so of course you're right! :)

Eep! I'm so glad you liked that part, thank you so much for your lovely compliments!

Thanks for your review ♥ ♥


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Review #24, by Veritaserum27 there is a light that never goes out

11th January 2015:
Hi there!

Here for our review swap.

Wow. You have a serious talent for description. I could feel Bellatrix's wave of emotions rolling over me throughout this story. And I love, love, love that while you wrote this for the "Reset the Default" challenge and made Bellatrix a queer character, it wasn't the entire main focus of the story. In that respect, I think you've met the challenge beautifully.

It was part of her and part of her path. Her path to darkness - or madness or however it ended up. It was incredible how you wrote the story and made it seem like she was entirely sane the whole time, but left little hints about how warped her thinking was - as she descended into the Dark Lord's way of thinking. There was always a twisted way to her thinking - her lack of empathy and thoughts on pity and weakness were apparent from early on.

I also loved how she used the characters around her to assure herself that she was indeed on the right track - she left the woman who at one time had meant so much to her - because more power was ripe for the taking.

Great job with this - great fic!

♥ Beth

Author's Response: Hi Beth! Aah, wow thank you so much, I'm really glad to hear the descriptions were that effective! And YES, exactly, her being queer was meant to be just part of who she is and not a character-defining quality (because it isn't) so I love that you saw that and that you think it was a good fit for the default reset, thank you!

Ooh, I'm glad she sounded sane but at the same time kind of warped. As it's in her POV she would hardly see herself as crazy :p Yeah, I saw the lack of empathy/tendency towards cruelty as something that would have been evident even as a child, and I'm glad that showed in the early scene.

I'm so glad you liked her comparisons of hew power to that of others. You're so right about that last bit - she may have loved the woman, but in the end she loved power more.

Thank you so much for the swap and such a wonderful review!! ♥


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Review #25, by Lostmyheart there is a light that never goes out

11th January 2015:
This story just blew my mind *_*

The way you describe her feelings, her intentions, her dreams, they're so scary, but fascinating at the same time.
I love the way you started this story, with her as a child, watching her sisters, comparing herself to them, deciding she was destined for something bigger, greater, than they were. That was scary. She's only a child! Yikes.

The lovestory, as it began, it was beautifully written. I really liked the way you wrote Bellatrix, it made her seem human (until the end of the story) and I liked that.

It was beautiful! Seriously, so hauntingly beautiful, and I can't help but wanting to read more of your work, so don't be surprised if you find random reviews by me on your other stories *wink wink*

- Avi

Author's Response: Hi Avi! Wow, thank you so much for this review! I am seriously so flattered that you think so highly of the story ♥

I'm glad you liked the start when they were children, and I love what you said about her dreams and feelings being simultaneously scary and fascinating, I was definitely going for that sort of reaction.

Ah, I just love your point about it making Bellatrix seem human. That's such an important thing and I'm so glad you said that because all considered, that was the entire point of this story. Not to redeem her, not to make her seem any less evil than she is, but to give her a background story so she's more real. So I appreciate that comment so much!

I'm so glad you enjoyed the story and thought it was beautiful - gah, thank you so much for this review :)


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