A review for the first chapter of Weakness, with references to others chapters despite them not being up yet

Out of all the fics I’ve kept up on my author’s page, this is perhaps my least favourite, and the one I’m proudest of at the same time. I love it, because it’s the first story I have that’s surpasses 10,000 words. At the same time, however much I edit this one, I think I’ll always be disappointed with it.

Second person is one of my favourite voices to write in, so naturally I wanted to have a go at something longer in that tone. I’m still not sure that was a good decision, but it would take too long to comb through and change it all now. As much as I love second person, I do think it’s a little too much in this story – too many ‘yous’. I’ve tried to moderate them, and to a degree succeeded, but for me it’s still more repetitive and detached than I’d like.

Saying that, though, I do like the opening scene in this story, and I do like the second-person perspective represented there. It gives me more of a sense of the Dark Lord through Bella’s eyes, while at the same time I could have fun describing his majestic-ness and getting a fairly good balance on those ‘yous’. In fact, I do like the way I’ve characterised Voldemort, though I accept that my interpretation is probably not to everyone’s taste. Particularly the way he talks – I’m not sure I ever wrote a scene with Voldemort before this one, and it was a nice challenge trying to capture a snapshot of him.

Another thing, again in regards to characterisation, I like is the house-elf/Bellatrix dynamic. The way the elf reacts around her was meant to convey a shadow of the fear that she conjures in people years later, and I like the way it works out, especially combined with Bella’s dismissive attitude. However, I’m not so keen on the rest of the chapter. It makes me sad, because I do think I’m good at the beginnings of stories, but not the bit that comes next.

The Rodolphus part is maybe a little too stunted in places. Like where the conversation dries up, I don’t think I should’ve included that detail looking back. It would flow so much more smoothly if I’d just left that bit out – for one thing, because the detail seems kind of unnecessary, and as said in one the reviews slightly OOC for Bella. However, I wouldn’t change this scene too much, because the Rodolphus-Bellatrix relationship is necessary for later scenes, and I don’t think I’ve done too bad a job introducing it here.

However, the Narcissa/Bellatrix part at the end I can’t help cringing at slightly. I wanted to include the Lucius/Narcissa subplot because the Blacks would approve of such a marriage, and I wanted to show there could be a love match. Based on the Malfoys’ behaviour in book 7 I do believe their love is very genuine. I’m not sure whether Narcissa would’ve been so frank with Bellatrix, though, who would perhaps be quick to ridicule... Maybe it would be better to have cut this scene out, but it is the only inclusion of the sister’s dynamics, really, and the only real discussion of Lucius between them. Since I don’t want to drop the subplot because of what it represents to me, I think there needs to be some representation of the sister’s characters because of it. And this is what this scene does, even if I could’ve done a better job of it.