Here I am, as promised. It's much too late again, but I'm going to stop procrastinating. This fic deserves this review.
I should first mention that you are scarily good at characterizing Bella. You have understood the root cause of what drives her character…at least, as I understand what you have come to understand through reading this story, if that makes sense.
She is completely insane. She lives for Voldemort. Period. Every decision she makes is for him and what she believes around him. Some of those beliefs are reinforced from her childhood, but the point still stands that she lives for his approval.
"Her wand hand was trembling a little with excitement; rewards from the Dark Lord lay ahead for her."
"However, the Dark Lord's mocking was very different."
"She was going to spill her own family blood, an act she felt honoured to commit."
"Soon, very soon, she was going to show the Dark Lord she always kept her promises."
If you assume, as she does, that this is the correct way to base decisions in your life, she is completely rational. She is cold, calculated, powerful, and not a woman to mess with.
She also lives moment by moment while simultaneously keeping the bigger picture at hand - this is most evident in duels, where she will jump from the most advantageous target to another, but relent or move targets sometimes when she sees advantages or her bigger picture in mind.
For example, right in the beginning, she moves to Tonks: "Forgetting about Potter, and with murder in her heart, she rushed forward to duel with the girl." But then when Sirius sends a spell her way, she decides he's a much better target because: a) she can get to Tonks another day, and b) it seems to be a part of her personality that she enjoys revenge, torture, the possibilities it presented to kill. So she just switch *snap!* just like that. The duality theme of her personality is present throughout the piece in different forms.
Another example of duality, and my *second* favorite part (my first will come next
) is the part about the photographs. She spends some time reminiscing. I found it surprising that she would get the photograph out, until I realized it was spurning her angry - she was relishing in it. But at the same time, there is a bittersweet quality to the memory. She remembers Cissy as a sister she can be proud of, even though she saved the photograph, and she let her save it this long. I think these qualities of stopping, thinking about her past…and then suddenly dropping the picture and burning it with those hateful thoughts are two twisted sides to her personality you've managed to portray quite well. It makes unpredictable.
The scenes you've chose to represent from the book, in particular the last two - fantastic. Her motivation and the way you've written them make them fresh. I didn't feel like I was reading the scene again, I felt like I was reading a new scene, and I was actually worried for Tonks in the 7 Potters scene, even though I know she makes it to safety.
Her obsession with Tonks is scary. The final scene at the Battle of Hogwarts is frightening in its intensity: " The wandless girl turned around at the sound of the approaching footsteps, but Bellatrix was too quick for her; she grabbed the girl’s hair, pulling her head to expose the neck, and slit her throat in a smooth semi-circle." And like the 7 Potters scene, though we know what happens, it still feels like I’m reading a new scene. (On a side note, I like your Tonks, you should write her more.) I like the fact that you didn't have her kill Remus.
I am conflicted about how you decided to have Tonks die. *sobs* On the one hand, I would like her to go out fighting, no matter what. On the other hand, I was strangely satisfied that Bella didn't take her down fighting; it was cowardly (even though she still felt a sadistic pleasure from it).
The last four words: quite chilling, and thus quite a fitting ending for Bella's tale.
I hope this makes sense…I don't know if there is anything constructive in there, but…I seriously fangirl what you've written about Bella.