creepy, sad, and in character...maybe since we now know Andromeda didn't die we can interpret it as some sort of illusion Voldemort gave her?
Wow, MorganRay, that was absolutely beautiful. The parallel between the stone angel and Narcissa was perfectly achieved and kept a lovely motif throughout the story.
Perhaps, more so than any other part, I liked reading about the image of Narcissa smoothing her hand over her stomach. I could see her love for her baby, her Draco, even then. The atmosphere conveyed by, indeed, your word choice, seemed warm, which only served to contrast the cold, clammy feel of the mausoleum.
Your portrayal of the Dark Lord was wonderful. He acted just as he should, and his choice of Portkeys was just perfect. The spider instead of the customary snake was just what the object needed to be distinctive, and, if possible, more frightening.
Poor, poor Andromeda. I felt Narcissa's pain, and, even more, her loss in this particular sentence: "In those days, we smiled together." Oh, yes. In those days, they did indeed smile together. But now, oh, the poor Black sisters. Such a sad thing. Reminds me of a tragic version of Hocus Pocus, although that makes their struggle seem a touch trivial.
Also (I'm sorry, this goes on and on,) I was very, very glad that you used correct grammar. I am SO very happy when I find that on MuggleNet because--while our Mods do a fantastic job of checking through the stories--mistakes sometimes slip by them. The one mistake I noticed, however, was that you spelled 'Portkey' as two words and lowercase, 'port key.' According to the Lexicon, 'Portkey' is capitalized and is one word.
The second to last paragraph, I just noticed, parallels Hannah's dedication of Samuel to the Lord in the Bible. Of course, I realize that many people don't regard the religious aspect of... anything that much. In fact, I'm not a devout either, but, no matter. Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that Narcissa parallels Hannah as she dedicates her son to Lord Voldemort, just as Hannah dedicated Samuel to God. One to evil, one to celestial praise. Ah, yes... It is indeed a parallel.
Over all, this one-shot was superbly written and I'm glad I found it. A beautiful connection to the earthbound angel in the beginning. "As I remembered that face, I realized the artist had carved my sorrow into her face, trying to warn me away. And I hadn't heeded that warning." Lovely, just lovely. The poor stone angel.
~The Order of Ravenclaw House Elves~
Author's Response: Wow. I am INCREDIBLY pleased to get this review. You said you liked good grammar, but wow, I love a good review. :D I honestly didn't even think Biblically, but it does work in some sort of warped way.
Poor Cissy. I like how you show her as very different from the way we see her in HBP, but how the differences are for obvious reasons (Draco, especially...) It's good, also, how you compare her to the Angel. Anyway... well-written, well characterized and a really good story.
Best of luck in the Gauntlet!
Author's Response: I personally think it would have been better if I had actually finished all the prompts . . . but I liked how it turned out in the end.
Whoa! Very powerful.
Poor Andy, is not having a very good Gauntlet run, I'm afraid I had Bella kill her as well. The poor dear. I must admit our set up was even somewhat similar, although I didn't do it til the end of the story. Very interesting. I am anxious to see who you had at the end, although I do have a guess...
Anyway, this was very well done. It gave me chills.
Author's Response: I'll try to read your story soon. It seemed natural that Andy may have died because we don't see her or hear her mentioned throughout the series.
Author's Response: Sly Severus's story is amazing. If you've never sympathized with Bella, you might want to read it. It's different than mine, true, because the focus of the fics is different. I took a different view of Narcissa's testing than S.S. did of Bella's testing, but the story is still very effective. The final test in hers, and the main focus, was Bella's transformation to a Death Eater. That's not the case with Narcissa's testing with the Dark Lord because the final focus is on how Narcissa is snubbed from being allowed into the inner circle which her husband and sister are privalleged to belong.
Chilling. Narcissa's betrayal of her sister, whom she clearly adored was well-told.I find it easy to believe that Voldemort wants nothing to do with a pregnant woman - but to have her service be to raise her son to serve is cunning and clever. Your characterisation of both Narcissa and Voldemort was extremely well-done and your story weaves an impressive atmosphere. Great job! I hope you win the challenge.
Author's Response: Thanks for your supportive review. I never thought Voldamort would completely accept Narcissa, and it always seemed he might be sexist because Bella is really the only powerful woman death eater. As far as we know, she is childless.
This was a haunting story, well told! Narcissa is caught in this terrible web with no way out: damned if she does, damned if she doesn't.
Author's Response: First, congrats to everyone who finished this challenge! I have yet to work my way through the stories, but the ones I have read have been incredible. This was a great prompt, and I'm glad that my humble little musings on Narcissa's testings were appriciated!