ooh, very nice! I really enjoyed how you characterized Narcissa- especially how her boggart was her name removed from her family tree. Narcissa, as we have seen in HBP, is very compassionate towards her family, so the boggart made sense. I only have some constructive criticism- there's one line that goes "robes shot out of her wand and bound two of them tightly. The fairies struggled and tried to undo the robes,", and I think you mean ropes instead of robes. The other thing is that in the third stanza of the first poem the rhyme scheme is a bit off- 'the thing with danger bought' might be too long a line. Other than that, though, I really enjoyed the story! Excellent job!
Author's Response: Thank you for the lovely review. I will definitely get rid of that 'robes'/'ropes' mistake. As for the poem: I didn't write that at all. It was part of one of the prompts, so I can't change it.
*huggles SPEW buddy* Ilka, this was a wonderful, amazing one shot that you wrote for the Gauntlet.
Everything about it - Narcissa and her boredom, the mysterious letter, the maze, the problems in the maze, potions, herbs, boggarts, people, fairies, birds, jewerly - everything that you included in this fic was fantastic. You are very strong in description and are able to achieve what you want and how you want just by the power of using certain words.
This story doesn't have much dialogue and consists almost purely of description. There were parts here and there that were a bit boring. You could have enhanced them with a stronger focus on Narcissa's emotion. For example, when Narcissa is with the Fwooper, you could have focused on her feelings -- fear, anger, confusion - to add another element and more depth to that certain area.
You do the description and emotion wonderfully in other areas. One of the parts that I most loved is when she's facing her Boggart. You have us a great peek at her thoughts and feelings. We could feel her fear and desperation as her mind sorted out what could be behind the tapestry. That part was the climax in the story and you managed it splendidly.
There are a couple more things I want to comment on. Her Apparation. It's known that a person can't Apparate on Hogwarts' grounds. Even if the maze was so powerful, I don't think it would be able to break the strong spells that enforce that. Hogwarts is very big on security, so the spells for Apparation would be very strong. Also, was Umbridge really there, or was that just a figment from the maze? I'm thinking the latter...
What I really like about this is how solidly you have Narcissa's character down. Throughout this fic, a reader can tell that you know Narcissa well and that shows through. An author takes a big risk when they focus on one character only, because they have to know that character from top to bottom in order for the fic to be succesful. Narcissa is perfectly written.
All in all, wonderful one shot. I really enjoyed it - beginning to end.
Author's Response: *huggles* Thanks for your lovely review! Since reading HBP I really like Narcissa and I've thought about her quite a bit, especially what she was like during her time at Hogwarts. I had a lot of fun putting her through all the obstacles of the maze. The thing about her Apparition is that I really needed a way to get her down to the other path, and nothing else came to mind. So I wanted to move the maze outside the Hogwarts grounds, I'll definitely go back and check if I put that in or not. I remember wanting to put a sentence or two in, explaining how the air around her changed and having her think that she had left the Hogwarts grounds, but I might have forgotten to put it in. Umbridge had to be there, I really didn't see a way for her presence to be explained, so I just didn't mention why she could be there. I don't know how old Umbridge was while Narcissa was at Hogwarts, but she certainly wouldn't have had any authority then. My prompt said she had to be in it, so I put her in and hoped that it wouldn't make the story too unbelievable. I loved writing the Boggart scene, that part was the easiest one to write of the whole one-shot. The words just flowed for that part, whereas at other points in the story I had to rewrite a paragraph or two countless times.