I really enjoyed this, your characterisation was perfect and you kept me guessing all the way through.
Loved it, do another!
Can I please steal your imagery skills? Because I've rarely read anything that I could visualise as much as this fic. I could see Rodolphus, exactly as he was sitting there (even though the way you describe him is nothing like how I have always imagined him). The fist paragraph really pulled me in, and I don't think I could have stopped reading after it if I tried.
Rodolphus is practically an OC for how little he's in the books, but the way you portray him here is exactly how I have always thought of him. I especially love how much we find out about his personality just through the description of his eyes:
His eyes were a piercing blue; intricate patterns laced the iris. Once the onlooker got pass the initial shock, they noted that the eyes seemed a hundred years older than the rest of the body.
You have to feel terrible for Rodolphus after all of this. Deeply in love with his wife, who comes only to kill him.
Bella is of course written perfectly, with her insanity and devotion to the Dark Lord. I especially like the way you make her speak. Her dialogue sounds so formal, with very few contractions — which is very Bella.
It's such a plausible plot — so simple but so believable. One thing is that I wish you had told us more about Rodolphus taking the locket and maybe that he was trying to redeem himself or something. A little more background would have been good, but not too much, because I love the mysterious air of this fic.
Rodolphus's emotions are perfect. My favourite part:
He had spent his whole life killing others, being spiteful, cruel and selfish. Did he regret that? Would he have chosen another career if given the chance?
Death Eaters are people, too, especially Rodolphus. Even Bella:
For an infinite moment, he thought he saw a change pass over her face. He wondered if he had really seen a drop of regret on her features or if it was only a figment of his imagination.
I love that you give even Bella that moment of hesitation — this is her husband, after all. She spent time with him, maybe even loved him before she had met Voldemort, and I think she would have that split-second of hesitation.
This is a nearly perfect fic, and it's definitely going on my favourites.
Yay! I hate Bella oh whatever her name is!
Samuri Rose xxx
Author's Response: Lol, thanks!
Wow, Anna. That was amazing. All your terrific descriptions pulled me in. That first paragraph had me hooked and I don't think I ever was so into a Dark/Angst fic.
You captured Roldolphus's emotions and Bellatrix's evil so well. They were both so in character. You created such a clear picture in my mind. I could actually see Roldophus's, especially his eyes.
This was a unique story, but very possible. The only bit of criticism I have is that it would have been nice to see a little more of Bellatrix's emotions.
It was an amazing story. Great job, Anna!
Author's Response: *huggles* Aww, thank you, love! I'm glad you liked it so much! The story was rather Rodolphus-centric, therefore third person limited. I do agree that it would have been nice to see what Bella was thinking. Thank you again! *loves*
Oh, Anna, that was lovely! Well, not really lovely lol, - it's a sad story, but beautifully written! You know what I mean!
I loved the relationship you described between Bellatrix and Rodolphus. I can really see their marriage working the way you described it - more a marriage of compatibility and perhaps lust, than love. You can still see the closeness between them with the way you write, and yet at the same time it's sad because their relationship has grown so cold now. I especially like the line:
"For an infinite moment, he thought he saw a change pass over her face."
It gives the impression that perhaps she really does regret having to kill him - that perhaps she really does care for him, even just a little bit. It humanises Bellatrix slightly, and that makes this fic much more poignant at the end.
I also loved your descroption, my love. That first paragraph was really amazing! It really draws you into the fic and allows the reader to picture the scene so perfectly. Your description of Rodolphus was also exceptional and I loved the fact that you continued the theme of his eyes all the way through.
"One could get lost staring into them, get sucked into them and seldom come back. They were a weapon for him, although he did not know it. He could change minds with those eyes, and only the strongest could overcome the temptations." - This was just fabulous, darling! A really wonderful descriptive part. You know people are always going on about 'show, not tell' - well you really exemplified this here, darling!
A few tiny, tiny, weenie, miniscule, nitpicks:
She laughed, "Don't be a fool. Give me the locket."
I think this should probably be
She laughed. "Don't be a fool. Give me the locket."
She took it, hid it and turned back to him.
She took it, hid it, and turned back to him.
Although the fic was so beautiful that these really don't matter. (And I'm a comma maniac - don't mind me!)
Lovely, Anna - really lovely.
Author's Response: *huggles back madly as well* Come 'ere! *loves* Your review made me squee and I am so happy you wrote it! I really, really am so glad that you liked it, especially about the eyes. And to say that I 'showed, not told' is one of the best compliments I've gotten. Thank you so much, dearest! *hugs again*
At first, when I saw the wonderful reviews that you had already gotten, I wasn’t going to write one myself because I was worried I might just repeat what other people had already said. But now I just can’t seem to help myself. ;)
I was really interested in your one-shot from the moment I saw your post about it in the SPEW Story Updates thread, and even more so after skimming through it before I made the banner. I have written something quite similar myself, and was really curious to see if our ideas were at all alike. It turns out that they are, and it seems that you and I not only share a first name but also an opinion on what Rodolphus’ and Bellatrix’ relationship might have been like.
To begin the actual review, I must agree with the previous reviewers; your description of Rodolphus’ appearance is simply excellent. You don’t get stuck on the adjectives and adverbs, but manage to mix a lot of colourful verbs and nouns into the picture as well. My favourite sentences about his eyes are really good examples of this:
They frightened some and fascinated others. They penetrated, cut; were a consolation and a source of pain.
- You expertly tell us not only what the eyes look like, but what they do and what they are. Bravo!
As we are on the eyes bit, I’ll point out the only formatting mistake I could find:
…amount of pain, sadness and… death.They haunted - those eyes…
- There is a blank space missing between the two sentences.
My next favourite piece is this:
It reminded him of the seconds of his life going to waste, and each resonance of the timepiece filled his chest with dread.
- Apart from this being a simply beautiful line, I love how it strengthens the feeling that Rodolphus is restlessly waiting for something. He seems to know that he can’t escape this and that he is afraid, and your excellent imagery makes the fear grow with every second.
The man attempted another stab at his supposed surprise. "I was told you were away."
- Oh, this is perfect. I always thought that Rodolphus and Bellatrix must have a huge distance between them in their marriage, as we have almost never seen them together in canon. I’m convinced that she would not tell him about her whereabouts, but that he would have to ask someone to know if she was even around.
- My favourite part of Rodolphus’ thoughts. It’s difficult to point it out with the quote alone, but those little words create such mighty pauses in the flow of your text, and it’s fascinating to see how he is questioning himself even at the very end. The “Yes.” would have been good on its own, a small word to make a big difference, but the little question, the “Truly?”, is what sets this apart.
The only change I would lie to suggest concerns this:
A wide, greedy grin spilled over her face as she opened it, but in a flash it was gone.
- In the last part of that sentence, “…but in a flash it was gone.”, it was a tiny bit confusing what the “it” was referring to. When re-reading the sentence it’s perfectly clear that it means the “wide, greedy grin”, but when I first read it I thought that the box had disappeared because she opened it. It might be that I’m the only one confused enough to make that mistake, but to make the sentence even clearer that last “it” could be changed into something like “her pleased expression”. Or even “her greedy expression”, if you remove “greedy” from the beginning of the sentence. Just a small suggestion from an old, confused mind. ;)
The ending comes as a surprise, and it’s perfect for the one-shot. I find myself wondering what happens after his, what Bellatrix will report to Voldemort and how they go about looking for the locket, which I assume Rodolphus has destroyed or hidden well… This is the first taste I’ve had of your writing, Anna dear, and I must say that you have managed to thoroughly tickle my appetite. Well done!
Author's Response: *squeals* *huggles Anna to death* Thank you for the truly marvelous review, darling. Coming from you, it means so so so much. Oo, you have a fic like that? I'm going to go have to check it out! I love that you like the part on the eyes, because its my favorite part too. When I sat down to write, I wasn't going to include that but thought of it at the last minute. I am also happy that you loved the 'Yes. Truly?' part because it took a while to get it right. Because even though Rodolphus might regret *some* of his actions, he's not going to regret all of them, so I couldn't leave it at 'Yes'. So I added the 'Truly' and let it stay that way, which I think works better than explaining it in the fic. I can see where you're coming from on that last sentence...I'll go fix it eventually. It's not because I don't agree with you, but because the tags mess up everything. You cannot know how much I am honoured and delighted that you review my fic, Anna. Much love and kisses to you darling!!
Hello, Anna, m'dear. :) I must say I was thoroughly taken in by this story. What a sumptuous, superbly written narration! I enjoyed it from the beginning to the end.
First off, the thing that attracted me most was the description in the first paragraph. It was like watching a movie. I could easily envision the entire scene in my mind's eye. One line did strike me as odd, though - It was eerily silent around the home, which would have struck an outsider as thoroughly unnatural.. Since it's a lonely hut in a lonely forest, where no other human lives, why would it seem odd that it's silent? Just a thought.
My favourite part in the entire story is the paragraph in which you describe Rodolphus. In that, I could see that you'd created a unique character who completely fits in with Jo's magical universe. I was particularly entranced by the description of his eyes, and this particular line - He could change minds with those eyes, and only the strongest could overcome the temptations. - mostly because I've experienced how influential a person's features can be. Even the lines in which you describe how little kids got frightened of little Rodolphus were good, because it kind of explains why he ended up 'loving' fearless Bellatrix of all people.
From your portrayal of Rodolphus, I could sense that he was an interesting mix of characters - he liked the Dark arts, but couldn't justify using them. He seems rather intriguing to me, and I liked that you used every possible opportunity to try and make him a three dimensional character. Very well done. The ending was excellent, giving the impression that the tables had been turned on Bellatrix. LOL. I just had to laugh at that. Sorry.
Last, but not the least (...) I must congratulate you for the superb title you've chosen. I completely understand the significance after reading it, and somehow I just think it gives you brownie points for your story. :D. Fantastic job!
Author's Response: *squeals* I haven't heard from you for sooo long a time, dear! Thank you for the beautiful reivew -- you should be in SPEW, dear. Ahh, finally someone comments on my title. You know, it's one of those titles that come to you when you really think about it -- I'm glad it fit in with my story. As for that nitpick, I've gotten several similiar comments on it. I'll leave it up for now, but as more peeps review and add their own I'll go back in and change it [the html screws up my story and I don't feel like deleting the br tags]. Thank you for all your lovely comments. I just woke up, seeing this and it has really made my morning!
Oh! Brilliant ending! My jaw dropped. This is my first review for a fellow SPEWer, so I will try to be as thorough as possible.
(The man had the appearance of someone once young; worry and strain had made him older.) This line struck me as rather awkward, honestly. I understand the meaning, but it is a bit difficult to wade through.
(they both married after graduating from Hogwarts) This part makes it sound like the both married other people after Hogwarts. If you removed the ‘both’ the sentence would be easier to understand.
(He soon learned that Bellatrix was someone not to be dealt with) This was also a bit confusing. Wouldn’t it be that she was not someone to be trifled with, or something of that nature? Dealt is an odd word choice here.
(She did not love him, and he had never loved her.) How sad, to be married for so many years and in prison with a person you didn’t love. My heart broke for him at this point.
(The box was empty.) I got chills reading this part. Again, brilliant ending.
This was such a well written piece that there really isn’t much concrit to give. I had a few questions on word choice or usage, but that was it. Overall, you did an incredible job on this. I thought the characterization of Bellatrix was incredible. So like her to agree to murder her own husband at Voldemort’s request. There isn’t anything she wouldn’t do for him, and you’ve portrayed that perfectly. Since we know very little about her husband, all I can say on his characterization is how moving it was. The remorseful Death Eater, locked in a shack on the edge of the woods, waiting for his wife to come and murder him, regretting the things in his past. This was very touching, honestly. Maybe I’m overly sympathetic, but I couldn’t help but feel a pang that someone like Rodolphus, who was obviously dissatisfied with his choices and could have changed, had to die – at the hands of his own wife. Wonderfully written.
Author's Response: *huggles* This review both suprised and amazed me! Thank you for writing such a lovely one -- you'll fit right into SPEW! Thank you -- the characterization is what I stressed the most. I'll look into those suggestions and see if I can go fix some of them. Thank you again and welcome to SPEW! We're glad to have you!
I thought that was amazing. You had very lovely descriptions that fit the mood of your story impressively, and your characterization was wonderful for both of them. This was a very well written fic. Not to mention I adored your plotline. It was so... original, to say the least. I loved it! Fantastic job, dear!
Author's Response: Aaaaaaw. Thanks Rachel! *huggles* I'm really flattered by your review, and to have a fic called 'original' - well, that's an author's dream! Thanks again!
*huggles Anna* Hi dearest SPEW-buddy! I really enjoyed reading this story. I especially liked the struggle for power between Bellatrix and Rodolphus. At first it looks like Bella is domineering and Rodolphus can do nothing but surrender to her, but in the end, when the box is empty, we find out that it was actually Rodolphus playing Bella, or at least withholding information from her, the whole time. She might have killed him, but in the end he won, because she didn’t get what she came for and Voldemort will surely punish her for her failure to bring him the locket. I wonder why Rodolphus was supposed to have the locket in the first place. Did Voldemort send him to retrieve it, or did he want to destroy it?
I love how it all comes back to Rodophus’s eyes. The other children being afraid of him and then meeting Bella who didn’t show any fear, who didn’t even seem to notice how strange his eyes were. I can imagine how that, as well as her fearlessness and strength, could have drawn him to her and made him marry her, even though he never loved her. At first I was wondering, why you would describe his eyes in so much detail, when he doesn’t even have them open, but later I understood that his eyes and people’s reaction to them, formed his character and influenced the choices he made. And since this one-shot is primarily about exactly those things, and the realization that he would have done things differently if he could, is at the heart of this story, it is only natural for his eyes to play a central role in the story.
I like how you start the story from an outsider’s POV, then change to Rodolphus’s POV and end it with an outsider’s POV again. Although the first paragraph was a bit vague and slightly misleading, it created the atmosphere for what was following. However, to the inhabitants of the little place, it was more than ordinary. This sentence to me suggested that there are more than one inhabitants of the hut, but Rodolphus seems to be alone until Bella arrives, who certainly didn’t live there with him. Or aren’t you talking about the inhabitants of the hut at all, but about other people who live close by? This sentence really confused me.
He thought back to when he was a little boy, when he had wandered removed the out to avoid repetition foolishly outside his manor and met a group of males his age. This was another sentence that confused me. The whole middle segment from ‘removed’ to ‘foolishly’ doesn’t make sense to me, I actually have no clue what it says. This might just be me, but I felt that there were some words missing in there.
I enjoyed reading this immensely, especially the ending. It made me laugh, because Bella was so sure of herself the whole time, feeling superior and all, but she never even checked to see if the box held what she had come for. Serves her right!
Author's Response: *hugs back* Thank you for that lovely review, dear! I'm very flattered that you payed special attention to the eyes and noticed how they prepare the way for the rest of the fic. I spent a great deal on them, because I wanted to reinforce how important eyes actually are. They're one of the first things a person notices. The hut was a special place for Death Eaters to seek refuge. It was one of many. Rodolphus knew he was doomed so he didn't go to extra lengths to hide himself. As for that other sentence that you mentioned...*blushes* that is just part of what my beta suggested and I didn't delete it when I sent the story in. *goes to fix that* Thanks again!
God that woman is one evil bitch!
Author's Response: Yup, she is. Thanks for the review, dear!
Lovely job. You have wonderful powers of description. Your observations about Rodolpus's eyes are especially good.
I very much like how you delve a bit into their shared background. Since Bellatrix is his sister-in-law, it makes sense that they could be close. I also liked how you hinted at there being others: "where the moonless night concealed all secrets." The fact that it was a hint only added so much tension and deepened the darkness, as it were.
The end is good. I hadn't expected it -- I think I thought that she would put the locket back without realising it was the wrong one, but this is better. There's only one thing I'd change: "Queerly, there was no sign of bloodshed around him, and no sharp or deadly objects lay nearby." Just the word "Queerly." It seems a bit forced in this setting. Perhaps just "strangely" or "oddly enough."
Very well done. Congratulations!
Author's Response: Aww thanks Katie! Your review is awesome, and I'll go fix that right away. I've very delighted that you reviewed it, dear. *squees*
This is the first Rodolphus fic I have read. It seems we have different views on Rodolphus and Bella, but I enjoyed reading your ideas. This was well done. Good Job!
Author's Response: Wow, thank you for your lovely review. It's good to know that people can put aside their views and enjoy a story. Thank you!