Wow. I have no idea what to say to this. It was so great.
And of course its an old story, and I don't even know if you continue to check on its reviews, but whatever. I had to leave you one.
Author's Response: Thanks -- yes, MNFF send out an email to say a story's been reviewed! It more or less fits with HBP although I chose the wrong names -- I'll have to revise it at some point.
Cool story. I like how Mrs. Black indulges in her secret... she really has the real aura of an elderly, rich woman who holds herself above everyone else. Troy being Muggleborn is a great touch. It sort of shows Mrs. Black that you can't help your feelings, and you can't change who you are... but she reacts very differently than say her own son must have reacted when he made that discovery. Mrs. Black really becomes a real person in this story; more than just a raving portrait!
Author's Response: Thank you. The portrait is probably an impression of the worst of her, but she still wasn't pleasant! In the end, her pure-blood views mattered more than anything else, even family, I think.
This was very thought provoking. I admit, to me Sirius's mother has been a flat character, just another evil Umbridge-ish villain, but you effectively got inside her head and made her into a real person. I liked the tie-ins to the family motto, and the portrait; it seems to support Sirius's revelations of her in OotP. Her ideas about Sirius's imprisonment reveal much about her character; I think you used that information to its full advantage. I also appreciated the way you wove all the disparate elements together, to form just one train of thought, the trailing reminisces of an old woman; Quidditch, family, her past... Well done. An enjoyable read.
Author's Response: Thank you. I wouldn't have written about Mrs Black at all, let alone in this way, if I hadn't drawn her in the character roulette; but as it turned out it generated a number of mini-plot bunnies. I was surprised to find myself feeling mildly sympathetic towards her after this (but only mildly -- she's still not really a particularly admirable character). I sort of see her as sinking into the real obsessive madness that we see in the portrait after this.