I’m fascinated by stories dealing with the internal thoughts of prisoners in Azkaban, and I really like what you’ve done here, entering into the mentality of someone presumably surrounded by dementors. You never mention dementors, and yet the lack of any happy thoughts, any hope for the future or reminiscence of a happier past, sends a clear signal. Whether or not the dementors have returned to Azkaban, it is a joyless place, and you do a great job of showing this.
The refrain of the dripping is also done extremely well; you show how the seemingly insignificant physical details can pervade the consciousness to the point where they can’t be ignored, and the dripping somehow in her head becomes tied to the fact that her husband is dead. Irrational, maybe, but very realistic, and stylistically well done. I also like what you’ve done in reversing our sympathies for the characters by withholding their identities. I had guessed that the woman was Bellatrix, but it wasn’t until the end that I suspected that the man was Harry, and it definitely took me by surprise – a good thing, as it proves that you managed to play havoc with my loyalties, making me see through Bella’s eyes into a world where Harry is the villain. Well done!
Most of the story is written in such stylized limited third person pov that the few external references seem out of place to me. By external references, I mean places where you refer to “the woman,” as if given by an objective narrator. “A woman sat huddled…” “the woman whispered…” “the woman got slowly to her feet.” It’s such an internal story, based completely on Bellatrix’s feelings, that I think keeping the perspective consistent would be helpful. This is very much a personal opinion, and grammatically (and even stylistically) there’s nothing wrong with returning to the omniscient view of “the woman” – I just think that staying totally within her perspective would create an even more driving force, as we watch her descend farther into madness. Also, what come across as unimportant lines when given by an omniscient narrator can become highly significant when viewed from her own point of view. For example, instead of saying “the woman got slowly to her feet,” you could use the opportunity to describe what it’s like for Bellatrix to get to her feet. Get inside her mind, and describe the aching of her bones as she pulls herself up, leaning against the damp stone. Or perhaps describe her detachment, as she scarcely notices her body rising of its own accord. Right now, it seems as if all the action is described from an external standpoint, even though the story is about Bellatrix’s thoughts more than anything.
“She was already mad.” By her own admission – very chilling! This may be your first attempt at dark/angsty, but it was a very interesting read, so congratulations.
Author's Response: Thank you so much for the very thoughtful review. I'm glad I was able to play around with your loyalties a little bit, as that's exactly what I was going for. And I see what you mean about the narrator's voice sometimes getting in the way. *sigh* Live and learn, I guess -- that's the point of reviews, right?
As a sidenote, I read this story out loud for the first time the other day, and I creeped myself out! I don't think I've ever done that before. It was a weird feeling, reading something so dark and depressing and knowing that it came out of my own mind. A bit scary.
Nope, if you would've asked me, I would have been like 'HECK YEAH! CRACK IS CRACKILICIOUS!'
Author's Response: Good to know. I'll keep that in mind. ;)
Cracko puffs are something my friend made up. She asked me if i had my crack cereal today, and i go "oh only about ten bowls of cracko puffs" so yeah im really strange.
Author's Response: LOL! Actually, when I read your first review, I almost asked if you were on crack, but I decided that could be really offensive. I guess not. :) Anyway, thanks for the compliments, although you may want to lay off the cracko puffs a little (maybe cut back to 5 bowls).
I HATE YOU SO MUCH! NOW I HAD TO READ THIS, AND IT MAKES ME WANNA FORGET MY HOMEWORK AND READ REALLY LONG FIC EVEN MORE! BAH! OH, AND HERE IS BASICALLY WHAT I THINK:
This fic gets some cracko puffs! INSANELY AWESOME cracko puffs!
Author's Response: Thanks. Your review made me laugh really hard. I'm not sure what cracko puffs are, but I'll take it as a compliment. :)
Wow, really creepy. But so so so good! I've read all your other stories, so I pretty much assumed the woman was Ginny, talking about Harry, shouting at Voldemort. Cleary, that was not the case....But that's what you intended us to think in the first place, now wasn't it? Yes indeed.....
Really great story. For it not being your usual style, you sure make it seem like it is. Fantastic job!
Author's Response: Thanks so much. Yes, that's exactly what you were intended to think. I'm glad I was able to pull it off.
I forgot to mention something in my first review: I totally didn't see that coming. I mean I kind of suspected it was Bellatrix from the start or maybe Narcissa but that thought came and went. Nice twist at the end. I can see Harry being that cold where Bellatrix is concerned.
Author's Response: Thanks. I can totally see Harry being that cold to her too. He's a really nice guy, but not to people like her.
Wow. Bellatrix actually loved someone else besides LV? At first I thought the man that was murdered was Harry and the woman "scorned" was Ginny (naturally because every story about a love lost from a woman's POV is from Ginny), but than I thought why would Ginny be in prison. Duh! Its interesting that the "monster" is Harry.
Was this your first dark/angst fic? Good job!
Author's Response: Thanks. You were intended to think it was Ginny at first, so I'm glad I got that part right. I kept running across stories like this that were about Ginny, and I thought it might be interesting to turn the tables. I imagine Harry killing Rodolphus in battle, perhaps to prevent him from killing someone else, but none of that would matter to Bella. She would only see the man who killed her husband. And yeah, this is my first dark/angst. I'm glad you thought it was good.
Wow. Never in a million years did I see that coming. But it was a great twist. Even Bellatrix can love, I suppose. It's hard to see Harry being that cold to anyone, but, she did kill Sirius, I suppose.
The feelings and ideas behind this fic are so many, it really made me think. I mean, what would Hermione say, for one thing.
Anyway, this is a really unique, but great fic!
Author's Response: Yay! That's EXACTLY the response I was going for, I think. I don't think Harry would normally be that cold, but then again, he's not going to stand there and have a conversation with Bellatrix Lestrange, either. What would Hermione think? Now THAT is a good question....
Whoa. I literally gasped out loud when
"unnaturally green eyes"
This was beautiful, and dark.
Author's Response: Thanks. The idea was to make you think it was Ginny, or possibly Hermione, facing Voldemort. Then, just when you're feeling terribly, horribly sorry for her, you find out it's Bella facing Harry. I liked that twist of emotions, and I'm glad you did too.
Interesting, and so apporiate
Author's Response: Thank you.
that was so well written and powerful
it sends shivers down my spine for some reason
Author's Response: Thanks. I mean it, I'm really grateful for your feedback, because I've never really written anything like this before. I'm glad it touched you.
Very stressfull! Very good as well. But please, keep going with a stolen past. You've got me on tenterhooks!
Author's Response: I'm glad you thought it was good. And don't worry; I'm not abandoning any stories.
While I generally don't go for these sorts of fics, I love your other stories so decided to give it a shot. It was a very interesting take, showing that even Death Eaters like Bellatrix are human. Very well written and thought out, I enjoyed it.
Author's Response: I'm glad you enjoyed it. Honestly, I don't generally go for these sorts of fics either, but the idea struck me one day and just wouldn't leave me alone until I wrote it.
AHHH! Poor Bella. *sniff* That was really good. I could cry right now, of course I absolutly love Bella. That was so cruel. My poor Bella. :'(
Okay, I'm done ranting now. Your story was really great though. It was very well written. The dripping added to it nicely. Congrats!
Author's Response: Thanks so much! This is my very first attempt at the Dark/Angsty category, so I'm glad to get that reaction out of you. Not that I like making people cry or anything, but... you know what I mean.