Oh Anna, this was such a dark little treat to read. Your take on Rodolphus was very intriguing and different from the many others that I have read. He’s usually shown with either a strong devotion to Bellatrix or at least a love for her, or a strong man who holds his own against her, but who can never quite defeat her power of him. But your Rodolphus is very different from that – he’s a hollow shell, his character barely seems of importance as you read the story, and that’s how we’re supposed to feel. As readers, we’re supposed to be able to feel what the character feels, and I think you achieved that.
I could really sense Rodolphus’ sense of worthlessness in his own eyes, and when he made the decision at the end, I could feel that he truly believed and felt that he was worthless and his death would make little difference in the world. And that is just great writing, because even though you were able to convince the reader of Rodolphus’ ideas being justified in his situation, you were still able to leave the audience with sympathy for him.
The alluring smells of fine wines and dark magic might be pleasant to the unaware, but he was constantly noticing the suffocating stink of sea water and rotting algae.
I loved the detail that you put into describing the location and setting. It really gave off this wonderfully dreary and dank atmosphere that really fit the story.
Bellatrix had even said she would have preferred his younger brother, Rabastan. He who had, as she had so delicately put it, ‘at least shown enough dedication to get himself killed’.
This characterization of Bellatrix was simply astounding. It was just so her. I could vividly picture her telling him that and her believing it, because she was just so devoted to the Dark Lord that dying for him would have given her the greatest joy, and the fact that her husband couldn’t even devote himself that much to their cause would have brought her great displeasure.
Of course it was. His master always knew.
This line was one of the best character moments, in my opinion, because it was exactly how the Death Eaters would think of their Lord and exactly how Voldemort would have been – he would have planned it, or at least known what would eventually happen.
Great work, dear; you’re writing is always a pleasure to read.
Anna... so I was going to read one of your stories with less reviews, but Bella intrigues me too much >.> And your summary was too good to pass. Lol. So, I read this. And I don’t regret my choice. XD
This really sucked me in which is odd, because I prefer fics that are balanced between dialogue and description, and not too heavy on either. The lack of speech here though worked perfectly, and it reflected the seemingly silent atmosphere I felt from your description of the darkness of the setting. Naturally, I associate darkness and silence because of sleep.
Something that struck me immediately was how you didn’t mention any names in the first paragraph. Rodolphus could have been anyone, and by mentioning no names, immediately it helped me get into his shoes more, because although I knew it was him from the summary, the anonymity of him at first made him slightly more intriguing.
Actually, in general, I found myself very much relating with his character. I loved how you included the paragraph on Bella, and explained what he saw in her, as such – the change in her appearance shows how deceptive her beauty was, in a way. Nothing like the woman that always hid underneath the flesh, exposed by Azkaban. That’s how I saw it, anyway...
There was a little inconsistency in the fic where Bella was concerned, though. Especially towards the beginning, the narration said ‘Bellatrix’, but then it turned to more ‘Bella’s. I’d choose one or the other, unless it’s for illustrative purposes, like here: Bellatrix Black was to add to both their status and wealth.
And I can’t review and not tell you how much I love the ending. I forget warnings when I read FF, so it came as a bit of a surprise to me, though as soon as he began pondering the knife I remembered the warning and knew what he was going to do. I have to say, it was both a sad and beautiful conclusion. For such a short fic, I did find myself kind of tied to Rodolphus and I didn’t want it to happen, but the description of the cliffs and sun made it perfect, in a way. Does that make sense? Also, I like how you don’t actually say outright what happens. Just that he wouldn’t be missed. It’s not graphic, and I think it would’ve been almost out-of-place with the fic if you had included it.
[...] lit by torches and candles, they were decorated [...] - maybe replace ‘they’ with ‘and’ there, or something? You’re talking about the corridors being decorated though, right?
suffocating stink of sea water - ooh, I love this sentence. It really appeals to the senses, which helps me get into the setting. However, maybe ‘stench’ instead of ‘stink’?
He spun around, failing completely to look composed. - I would swap around ‘failing completely’ so it’s ‘completely failing’. It would flow more naturally that way, I think.
Her high chin bones - do you mean cheekbones?
“It seems that my master has found a purpose for you, after all. Try not to disappoint him.” - and I love that Bella says my here, instead of ‘our’. She said ‘our’ a few lines before, but the subtle transition – whether on purpose or not – shows well where everybody stands in her eyes.
This was a very capturing piece, Anna. –hugs Buddy-
Oh. My God!
I was really expecting not to find any nitpicks when reading this story because I know what an amazing writer you are but this still took me by surprise. This story, I can’t call it angst for some reason. Because though you deal with heavy subject matter, its all so matter of fact to Rodulphus.
The way you describe him and his surroundings, I can see the events unfolding in front of my eyes. The dank corridors, the smell of the rotten algae and all the rest. *shudders*
This is probably the best take I have seen an Rodulphus and Bella’s relationship. The simple fact that’s she doesn’t care about him, hasn’t cared for him for a while now, its sad still. The worst part is that he has had to live with this knowledge for so long now. Somehow, its worse then actually being turned down by someone you love.
Even when she met him for the last time and literally sent him to his death, she could not even be bothered to say goof bye, only to not disappoint her Lord. *sniffs* This was written so simply and it really hit home.
The only tiny error I found was a typo… I think… and I am most probably wrong there.
The face, which together with her wax-coloured hands was all had seen of her body for years.
I think you’re missing a “he” there. As in –
The face, which together with her wax-coloured hands was all he had seen of her body for years.
Is short, I think you have done a really lovely job, Anna. You took a very simpler and well knows fact from canon and turned it into such a moving piece without any melodrama. I think that is what I enjoyed the most about this fic. The lack of any drama and yet the presence of all the events that usually justify it.
It was a real pleasure reading this. *pickles*=Sammy
This made so much sense, and was both beautiful and terrible in it's descriptions. Very well written, an excellent read.
I have been looking and looking for the perfect Bellatrix story and this might be it...there were no annoying spelling errors and your descriptions of Bellatrix's appearance from Rodolphus's point of view were most amusing.
What an eerie characterization of Rodolphus! Really good, though, realistic and very dark. Plus, the writing really accentuated his feelings; his relationship with Voldemort was really something else. Just amazing. :D I really enjoyed reading this!
My dearest Anna.
Firstly, I loved this. The symbolism in the man running from the sunrise - beautiful. I thought Rodolphus’ reaction to Lucius was quite realistic, and also intriguing - it makes me wonder what they had done before this to get to this point. Interesting. You give just enough information to make me wish you’d written more about this.
the nod could have been one of Goyle’s *snort* I loved that line. It amused me. a silvery glimpse of a snake’s head. That was gorgeous. Likening Lucius to a snake is not something I would have expected from a fan of some stories, but it was well done. I’m restraining myself from copying that whole paragraph. May I just tell you how gorgeous I found the imagery? The vision itself was revolting, but the language was perfect for the setting. I also thought it was clever of you to show that the Transfigurations he had done weren’t visible to him as they were to everyone else. How tragic - to put so much work into something and be constantly disgusted by the sight. Though, I must point out that Transfigure should be capitalized here.
He was really not supposed to be down here, he knew, and the impropriety of it scared him more with every step. How perfectly ominous! As I read that, I thought about the possible consequences to those actions, but the following line sent a chill through my heart! Not knowing why he was doing something that was sure to get him killed reeked of bad things - I feared for him.
“What are you doing here?” I’m glad he didn’t jump, by my heart did. My first though was ‘Oh, no!’, followed quickly by, ‘Who is it?’. Ah, but my question was answered in the next phrase - his wife. Somehow, that is more frightening than if it had been Voldemort. I’ve always been terrified of Bellatrix, myself, and I find it very believable that he would be too.
Again, I’m refraining from copying the entire paragraph as you begin your description of Bella’s looks. Thank you! I find it refreshing to read something that focuses on the aspects of her character that are revealed in her looks - once handsome, now she is only mad. I found her next phrase even more ominous - a mission from their master - how terrifying. That Voldemort has instructed your wife to give you your assignments must gall on a man.
Her words as she dismissed him angered me so much - how dare she call her husband to a place he wasn’t supposed to be and then taunt him about being caught? That wench! My fingers itched to curse her into oblivion! He did not want to think of where she could be heading, who she would rejoin. I am pleased to meet someone who shares my suspicions about Bella’s relationship with her Lord. Even someone of his mental state would have physical needs.
This had inevitably led to their set up marriage, although she had lost all interest in him long before their worthless wedding day. I would not have used ‘set up’ here, but arranged, instead - but it works well the way it is written, too. I find it quite sad that she would have rather married Lucius - very sad. Even more sad was that her husband knows that - he knows he’s a poor choice in his wife’s eyes. Poor dear.
My heart broke for Rodolphus when he began thinking about his wife and her devotion to her Lord. No man should have to feel that way - no matter how ‘useless’ his wife deems him to be. Rodolphus’ reflections on his own position in their unique organization was heart-wrenching. It is hard to watch someone feel that way.
was being dared to protest as the meanest of men would place a spider-like hand on Bella’s waist, or touch her hair. How very like the petty, insecure, childish creature we know Voldemort to be. Brilliantly done, dear.
And now he’s reached the open air, the place he had tried to avoid - and the sun. Beautifully written - your descriptions are very clear and emotive. And then, he opens the box and discovers the contents - how horrid - a knife that can make people think things on it’s own before it is used to murder them? Its digusting, it’s terrifying, it’s brilliant.
And suddenly Rodolphus understood. It was not the knife that was to be disposed of. I read that and knew that my premonition was correct - something that doesn’t often happen to me. How dare she? How dare he? What had Rodolphus ever done to his Lord to deserve this? Obviously, I was affected by it. I was even more angry as I read the next bit - Voldemort knew that one day, he would send Rodolphus on this mission! I was furious!
The decision was not difficult for him. He had no significance, and he would not be missed. I felt relief when I read this: relief that he had finally escaped the clutches of his wife and her manipulative lover. And a certain sadness, as well, for you made me feel close to him - as though I knew him personally.
Anna, you’ve accomplished the most difficult of things when writing - you’ve completely engaged your readers’ emotions, forcing them to feel your character’s feelings. I can give no higher praise than that.
This is the first time I've read any of your stories. It was a difficult read and a difficult situation. You handled it with such finesse. WOW
Oh my, Anna! When I read the summary for this story I wasn’t expecting to be about Rodolphus or anything like it was. But nevertheless, it was wonderful. You have a very unique and excellent writing style. The flow and descriptions you have used are written so nicely that one feels as though they were in the story.
I’ve never thought about Rodolphus as a character in the story. He was always there but just as a background character and naturally, we all hated him because he was a death eater and was Bellatrix’s husband. I never imagined reading a fic that was centered on him. You made his character so real…we can feel his emotions and his pain.
Something I noticed while reading is that everything around him seemed either fake, or inhuman in a way…except for him. The castle was charmed into being what it is now, you described Lucius as a snake, and Voldemort as a spider. And of course, Bellatrix seemed even more inhuman in this piece that we imagined her. The hurt that he feels
Something that I thought you did brilliantly was capturing this story and relating to the world. It tells of a forced marriage and a broken love. The way that Bellatrix feels towards Rodolphus is something that can be seen in the world. Two people will marry but soon enough, one’s feelings will fade so much that their heart doesn’t even feel anything towards their ‘companion’.
The ending to this story is really beautifully written. It sort of gives a bit of light and hope to the story.
He gave the blazing sky a final look, and wondered if he would ever be lucky enough to come across something as beautiful again.
I think this is very powerful. Throughout the story, we have this sense of a dark, gloomy, and disturbing atmosphere. There was nothing remotely close to light about it and suddenly, the sky appears. You give us this vision of the sun and clouds and it slowly lightens up the story.
I would love to give you critique that can be very useful but with a fic like this, it is hard to find glaring mistakes because you are lost in it. Here and there, mainly in the beginning, there are a few places where you can switch up a few words but nothing too major to take away the understanding.
Very well done, Anna!!
Oh Anna dear! This is such a wonderful story! I can’t believe I didn’t get around to it before! :: squees at the talent that Anna possesses ::
I really like how you’ve taken Rodolphus, a virtually unknown but hated character, and transformed him into something entirely human. It doesn’t surprise me, because you of all people have an amazing capacity for empathy, but it’s so well done that I feel the need to comment on it. Your Rodolphus is certainly a Death Eater, but that is only the beginning. He’s wearied by years of hardship, disillusioned with the darkness of his world. I really like how you used the walls of the passageways to reflect his state of mind –– brilliant. Perhaps most compelling at all, Rodolphus is a bit lost. He’s doing what he has always done, compelled by forces he does not understand. He’s neither nice nor good, but that feeling of confusion, of meandering through life without control, is a feeling we can all relate to. It’s part of being human, and it’s very compelling.
I also really liked how you further highlighted Rodolphus’s humanity by emphasizing the inhumanity of the other characters. Lucius is a silver snake, Voldemort is a spider, and Bellatrix is inhuman in her insanity. It’s very subtly done, yet extremely effective. Both excellent and … dare I say… slightly Slytherin in its sneakiness? :: giggles and runs ::
Now, my dear sweet Anna, it is time for a bit of nitpicking. Just minor things, really. The first sentence of the sixth paragraph reads: It was only the training they had all undertaken that kept the jump of fright inside him. While nothing about this sentence is actually incorrect (so don’t fret, darling), it’s a bit confusing. Partly you have been referring to Rodolphus so far as an individual, and making him part of ‘they’ throws me off balance. Also, it’s simply more information than we need in the given situation, if that makes any sense? Also, while poetic, “the jump of fright” is rather odd syntax, and compounded with my confusion about “they all” makes the sentence difficult to read. I would rewrite this sentence to read something like “It was only his training as a Death Eater that kept him from jumping in fright.” Maybe you want to keep the image of the jump being contained inside him, but I think you should do something to make this sentence clearer. Wonderful imagery is wonderful, but if it’s not communicated clearly to the reader then it is not as effective as simpler, less beautiful writing.
A few paragraphs further down: At once he wished he had not, feeling how an invisible web of evilness spun around his hand. It should be a web of “evil,” not “evilness,” I think. Clearer, simpler, and darker.
One more little nitpick: His gaze was eventually torn away from the scene of dawn, by the box he was holding. The comma is grammatically incorrect, I’m afraid. It also cuts into a beautiful, beautiful sentence. The image is lovely, and the comma is a confusing distraction. So please, allow us to enjoy the beauty of the imagery and remove that comma.
All right, that’s enough nitpicking, even for me. :: hugs Anna :: Now it’s time for me to gush about my favorite part of the story :-P
The ending. It’s beautiful, in a dark sense of the word. I love the irony of Rodolphus being the one who first came by the knife. Rodolphus’s recognition of the irony of the knife and his realization that Voldemort planned the irony are, metaphorically, the twist of the knife. I also love the poetry of Rodolphus’s last (and only) defiance. It means a great deal if a person can, knowing they are about to die, face death with dignity rather than crumpling in fear. Even though his fate is inescapable, even though he dies at the end, the ending is still hopeful. It is hopeful because in the last hour he sees very clearly where and what he is, because he learns to refuse Voldemort, and because he finds the beauty of the sky. And truly, Anna, it is a beautiful ending. Like the haunting beauty of a dying rose.
Amazing writing! Very deep and angsty. Keep up the good work
This was a very interesting take on Rodolpus. I really enjoyed reading it. I love Death Eater stories, and it seems that everyone has their own unique way of writing them, the joy of fan fiction. Anyway, very well done!
"A part of Rodolphus, the same part that had connected with the sun, felt blessed at the sight of the black cliffs far beneath. There was no escape from the Dark Lord’s will, but if he could avoid the horrible call of the knife, that was at least a final victory for the last member of the Lestrange family. He gave the blazing sky a final look, and wondered if he would ever be lucky enough to come across something as beautiful again."
*snif* I love that line...!
This is an amazing story *snif again(
wow. i never thought i would feel bad for rodolphus. that was an amazinmg story. i loved it.
wow. Poor guy. That's...oh wow...*whimper*
wow. Poor guy. That's...oh wow...*whimper*
Submissive...that's how Bella likes 'em.
SPEW buddy! *gets all giddy*
I love the theme you’ve touched on here. Not sure what to call it... but I do know that it’s a rare one: when women take the men’s position in life. And this one is quite unique, too, because they are both Death Eaters. Also, you’ve chosen canon characters over original characters, and I really like that. The reason for Bellatrix and Rodolphus getting married makes perfect sense. As a matter of fact, it’s pretty much assumed that a lot of pure bloods marry simply to keep the family line going. ...she would have preferred someone like Malfoy. Not because she was attracted to him or even remotely cared for him, but because he was rich and well-connected.
The ending really surprised me. This is probably because I don’t notice things like “warning: suicide” in the summaries. I really am in awe at how it was done — not just Rodolphus getting angsty and deciding to kill himself. It was... clever. After the explanation about Bella’s marriage, it really doesn’t surprise me though. The thing I respected the most about it was how much cruelty it shows on both Voldemort’s, for coming up with such a thing, and Bellatrix’s side.
You have a lot of what I tend to call “super paragraphs”. Basically, these are paragraphs that are so long that sometimes it’s hard to keep your place. Perhaps you could split up a couple into two?
The dialogue throughout this is very eloquent and well worded, yet just normal enough to be natural. I really enjoyed and admired that.
I also like how much description you have. It really does add to the dark mood.
*huggles Anna* This is unlike any other story I’ve read. It’s original, yet the plot isn’t too crazy. I want to see more from you!
This put me through a bit of pain. I'm a Bellatrix fan and I'm a Bellatrix/Rodolphus shipper, so I believe they love each other. But don't worry. That didn't lessen my liking of this story, in fact, I've added it to my favorites. It was so beautifly written, and it is hard to come by a story from Rodolphus's point of view, so it is superbly original. I felt like crying for him a few times [okay, I'm in love with the guy] especially in the last sentence. That's so tragic! This was amazing, I've never been so attached to a fanfiction. I prefer this one to my own actually. And Belonging To Bellatrix definetly dominates my favorites list right now. Kudos to you, and God bless!
Author's Response: Oh, thank you for such a lovely review! I realise what high praise it is, especially coming from a Bellatrix/Rodolphus shipper. And I know what you mean, I've come across different interpretations of their marriage myself, and I'm open to other ideas about their feelings. I've just always noticed how much attention Bellatrix gets in the books and how Rodolphus is barely mentioned, and I figured that she must be a VERY difficult woman to live with. ;) This was written over a year ago, but would you believe it - the other day I suddenly got a new Bellatrix/Rodolphus "plot bunny". If I get around to writing it and publishing it here, it will be with the greatest hopes that it will also win your liking. Again, thanks for the wonderful review!