Kaitlin asked in her wishlist gifts for the staff, and since I adore you and you don't have your own wishlist up (unless I missed it) and since I don't stop by here often enough... well... here I am ;)
HAPPY HOLIDAYS, DARLING!
I thought I'd read on Beyond Repair, but I saw this at the top of your page and how could I resist a Narcissa and Andromeda "reconciliation" piece? I was so excited already when you mentioned it on Twitter, and of course your writing was delightful as always! Have I ever told you that you have the most beautiful descriptions? Because it's true! Your writing is just delightful and this story is no exception! <3
The dream at the beginning... how scary must it have been for young Narcissa eavesdropping on that moment... hearing her sister's screams as her father Crucioed her... it was horrible and heartbreaking but also such great writing! And I just want to hug both girls...
I also really, really loved all of Narcissa's memories of her sister, all the times she'd stepped in to protect her when they were young... it's so sad that their beautiful relationship got lost the way it did... so cruel... They're going to kill her, Narcissa thought. And then, but they wouldn't. Would they? Bella would. For some reason these two lines were particularly haunting... it must have been hard to be a Black... :/
The following paragraph was just so painful as well... the image of Nymphadora dead - the niece she never knew - and her anxiety about Draco... the way both Draco and Lucius are so broken... everyone's so broken... it's all so hard, but you captured all of it brilliantly!
Lucius' reaction when she confessed she wanted to visit her sister amused me, to be honest. :P The fact that his first thought was Bellatrix and he was like, "Are you crazy, what will people think?" was just so Lucius Malfoy... appearences, always appearence... :P but then he was so chill about Andromeda, and I guess it shows that he's changing a bit too... maybe? Of course, after everything they've suffered, he probably wouldn't be so proud of blood purity anymore...
The paragraph about the trails was interesting. I kind of wonder how Lucius' one went. And Draco's... I suppose he'd have one too? I guess they were all pardoned, but I still wonder... I loved the interaction between Narcissa and Molly, how unjudging Narcissa was there... all she can see is a mother in pain, just like she is, and I love that moment of connection. Even if Molly refused it all once she recognized her. It's cruel but it's true, the Malfoys caused their own misery.
And finally the actual encounter with Andromeda. It isn't the reconciliation I was hoping for (admittedly, it would've felt out of place if she'd just straight forgiven her after everything) but it's something. Do you still take your tea black? I love how this little line shows how close they used to be, how well they know each other... things aren't good, but there is a connection and eventually they might be... :)
Side note 1: Teddy is adorable! <3 <3 <3
Side note 2: I loved to see Oliver nervously waiting on Percy's trial... and I wonder what exactly their relationship is... :P
Beautiful! Just like everything I've ever read by you! Happy holidays again and big snowball hug!
I know you expressed doubt about starting with a dream, but I think it totally works here. Especially because it is a memory as well as a dream and works really well to lend context to the story. I could really feel both Narcissa and Andromeda/s emotions in that section, and the sentimentality of all the times Andromeda was there for Narcissa was really strong, and the little hints of Bellatrix just right to remind us what a complicated effed up family this is.
The parts about Narcissa never having wanted to know Nymphadora, but then having all of these complex feelings about her death were powerful. I like that all that was happening at the same time she was having her little revolt of loyalty over her family.
Okay I’m feeling the weight of all this a lot now. But your description continues to be very good.
Oooh I really like that exchange of Lucius misunderstanding which sister Narcissa meant and then accepting it. Ugh and then the complexity of Narcissa’s reaction to his reaction. Good shit.
I shall try to find comfort through the angst in your headcanon that oliver/percy/aud is viable in this universe
Dammit, I was just liking this nice moment between Narcissa and Molly and how Narcissa’s compassion comes first, but then Molly goes and ruins it. I know I can’t blame her, but come on
The only part of this that I might say felt rushed to me was the final scene, though that may be a result of the stylistic choice of it was mostly dialogue and moved at a different pace and didn’t have as much as the perfect description as the rest of the story.
But also that final scene was such a roller coaster for me! I read most of the story assuming that there would be no reconciliation. And then as that scene opened and Andromeda didn’t immediately shut Narcissa out, I saw hope. But then Andromeda hardened and I couldn’t blame her. But then, thank goodness, tea saves the day! In a bittersweet way, and I suppose tea is a perfect beverage for bittersweet.
I think you did a really good job characterizing Narcissa. She was a good mix of complicated, culpable, and sympathetic through her compassion and desire for change.
Some favorite lines:
“Half mud, perhaps… but also half Andromeda. Half her sister”
“Better screams, Narcissa reminded herself, than silence. Better a ghost than a grave.”
“His supposed “brotherhood” was of a type that brokered no arguments, that strangled all defiance”
“Was he a ghost now, like her Draco? What about his brothers? How many ghosts haunted the Weasley family? How many graves?”
“It was not acceptance - the distance between them could never be unmade”