I cried buckets. You do know how to spin a tale and get at emotions!
Author's Response: Thanks. I'm glad you liked it.
Great story with a wonderful ending!
Author's Response: Thank you!
Here I am, finally reviewing! This is a lovely story my dear. I liked how you portrayed Andromeda and how hard it was for her to get through the holidays without the two people she loved the most. I felt really sad for her, but even though she was desperate, you still showed her as a tough woman inside and that's what I like about her character (well, that's how I imagine her to be anyway). At least, she realised she still had someone by her side, Teddy, and even Harry! That was cute what you did with Teddy's hair, changing color all the time!
I liked the ending too. I felt better for her when she discovered Narcissa's note. It's true that sometimes, there is more hope than we think...
If I can just mention something, I'm not so sure about your time frame though. If it was Teddy's first Christmas, I'm not so sure Harry and Ginny would already be living together. I mean, Ginny would only be 17 years old and still at Hogwarts for her 7th year. So that seems a bit young for her to leave the Burrow. But that's just my opinion. You put her in your fic, that's already something in itself! :P I'm sure there are some nitpicks I could do, I saw some commas to add here and there, but I'm not an expert in that field! Anyway, you did a good job Ella Bella! Nice story!
Author's Response: *hugs Andromeda* I also always thought of her as tough. I think of all the Blacks that way, really. I don't know how else any of them would've survived their childhood.
Well, I've always liked the idea of Black sister reunion. I just hate that Andromeda ended up estranged from her sisters. It just feels so wrong to me...
And Ginny. See why I don't like her? She's even screwing up my simple fic. Sigh. I suppose she would still be in school. I really didn't think of that. The rest of them didn't finish, so I guess in my head, Ginny didn't either. Actually, I wouldn't rule out the idea that she didn'f finish, although Molly would probably have a lot to say on the matter. Harry, Ron and Hermione never had their last year, and after everything they went through, there's no way they'd be able to go back to school for a year. In some ways, I think Ginny is the same. It was a mistake. I didn't think of her being a year younger at the time, but I stilly think it sort of makes sense. I hope. As for her leaving the Burrow, I always figured that happened after her parents started to recover from the loss of Fred. Life would seem very uncertain and short to them. i don't think they'd want to waste it.
And the evil, commas. There may be a few errors in there. I try my best to get them out, but sometimes they get the better of me. I really think they're my weakest point in writing.
Anyway, thanks so much for the lovely review! *hugs*
This is a lovely story. Poor Andromeda. I really like the way you've managed to portray Teddy and his enjoyment, at such a young age, at being a Metamorphamagus. So many great lines but this one had to be my favourite.
At first, he seemed to think it was the most exciting thing in the world, reaching out towards the bright colors. Now, it was just something mundane, part of his life. That was the way with everything. Nothing stayed shiny and new forever. So sad. I liked the tie in with Narcissa at the end, too. Well done.
Author's Response: Thanks so much! I really struggle to write kids, especially that young. I'm glad to hear it wasn't a total flop. :D
Elle! Not only have you returned to MNFF, but you're writing again! Gosh, you have no idea how hard I smiled when I got an e-mail saying that you had a new story posted. =D
And, well, what else can I say? This was fabulous. You write about all the Blacks so well. Poor Andromeda. I don't think she would have known that Bellatrix killed her daughter -- how would she have found out? It didn't seem like widespread knowledge to me. But, you wrote about the conflicting feelings that come with that situation beautifully, so I don't want to quibble too much over that.
I knew Cissy was going to be in the fic somehow! Actually, I thought she was going to show up at Andy's house with the whole family in tow, but I suppose that's too big of a step considering they haven't spoken in so long. And the letter feels more like what she would do. Subtle and cautious, but still loving.
Nit-pick. When you were describing Andy's thoughts about Ginny, you wrote: "Andromeda was sure she’d be a proper chief". I think you meant "chef", not "chief", correct? :P
Alright, I think I've rambled enough. Excellent fic, dear, and best of luck in the competition! =]
Author's Response: *tackle hugs* It's great to be back. I've missed everyone so much.
And thank you so much. I'm really glad you liked the fic. I'm worried about being a bit rusty. My canon, is rusty, you wouldn't believe some of the stupid things I've had to look up.
As for Bella killing Tonks. Yeah, good point. I honestly never thought about that. I just assumed that everyone knew what happened. Maybe not... I'm going to have to make a note for WIP to explain how that became common knowledge, somehow. See, I am out of practice. :p
And yes, I very much wanted Narcissa to show up with her family, but it didn't feel right. Like you said, too big of a step. But I'd still like to think it could happen one day. *mutters something about the WIP*
LoL. Although, I can see Molly as cheif, I did indeed mean chef. I'll fix that. Thanks for pointing it out.
Thanks again for lovely review. *huggles*
This was great! It was really sad, thinking about the family Andromeda lost. For a while I forgot that Bellatrix killed Tonks, but this reminded me. Even if the series ended happy for Harry, it didn't for all the characters and this story shows how the war affected someone else. It was really good.
Author's Response: Thanks so much. And yes, the story ended happily for Harry. But not for most of the characters I liked. DH traumatized me! Anyway, thanks for the review!
Stupid review box deleted half of my enry but the sentence I wrote means it was a wonderful story
Author's Response: Lol. Thank you.
Author's Response: Lol. Thank you.
Oh you just made my day. Det var en vidunderlig historie
Author's Response: Glad you liked it.
I noticed that Remus was never mentioned in the story - Andromeda still doesn't approve of her deceased son-in-law, I take it? Poignant stuff, and good job!
Tim the Enchanter
Author's Response: Thanks for the review.
It's not so much that Andromeda doesn't approve of Remus. It's more that she's not really mourning him. Sure she's sad he died, but she lost a daughter and a husband. Her grief is focused elsewhere. Remus is actually mentioned in passing saying that one day Teddy will mourn for his parents.
Thanks again for the review. :D
Happy Holidays, Sly! I just finished reading your entry into the Winter Snows challenge and I enjoyed it very much. It got me thinking about a lot of things, what it’s like to go through the Holidays for the first time after losing loved ones. It just wouldn’t be the same, something you really bring out in Andromeda’s character here.
I really liked how you did Andromeda’s happy memory of her ‘bad’ sisters. I thought it was interesting to see Bellatrix bewitching a tree to sing Christmas carols. It’s not something we would expect. It shows us that maybe, in their innocent youth, Bellatix and Narcissa were not always ‘evil’. It hammers home the point that Christmas was once a happy time for Andromeda, if only briefly.
I also liked your portrayal of Harry and Ginny. I thought it was very interesting to see a look at them, post-war. In particular, I like how Harry brought the Muggle decorations into the home, and Ginny was in the kitchen cooking a wonderful Holiday feast, just like her mother would.
You also did a very nice job with baby Teddy. I especially like how you noted the constant changing of his hair color, which seemed in my opinion like it somewhat reflected his mood. I’m assuming you did that intentionally, anyway. Babies also do seem memorized by Christmas lights and holiday decorations. Something you captured very well here. You also did a great job portraying how Teddy picked up on the mood of the people / surroundings. We have a lot of babies in our family and they definitely pick up on things, even when the adults are trying to conceal the mood.
I would like to make a few additional comments on things I noticed. In paragraph fifteen, in this sentence, It was surprising survived as many Black Family Christmases as she had, I think you probably meant to have the word she between surprising and survived. I hope I am not reading that one wrong.
Second, I had to laugh when I read this sentence: The other was no more her family than the president of the United States. I’m not sure you were trying to make a political dig there, but I sure read it that way. Still, I got a good laugh out of it.
Finally, the only real criticism I have is that at times you seem to belabor the point about how miserable Andromeda is during the story. A perfect example of this would be the four paragraphs. After reading the first three, as a reader, I felt like fairly clear on the subject of Andromeda’s misery. Then, in the next paragraph you wrote: The floor felt like ice, but she didn’t bother to warm it. Her feet might as well be as cold as her heart. I know you did that for effect, but I just wonder if it was overkill.
In places, your story seems to come back to this point over and over again. Instead of telling us how miserable she was, maybe you could have shown it more. You did it at times, like when she didn’t want to get out of bed. I would have liked to see more things like that. Like maybe looking out the window and seeing another cold, dreary day instead of a wonderful winter wonderland like she did as child. Does that make any sense? It’s just an opinion, take from it whatever you like.
Overall, I thought it was a great story. I suspected you were going to bring Narcissa into it in the end, and I really liked how you did it. It wasn’t like she opened the door and they just had one of those great-big-forget-everything-that-has-happened hugs. It was a small step that left a warm feeling in Andromeda’s heart, hope for something better in the future. To me that was just a very real, wonderful ending. Great job on your story, and good luck in the challenge!
Author's Response: Wow. Are you a member of SPEW? If not, you should consider joining. You're review was wonderful.
Thanks so much for everything you said. I appreciate both the comments and critique.
Thanks again, and have a happy holiday.
that was truly beautiful. i completely had not expected the note from cissy. thank you for sharing this story. i dont think i had ever thought about all -some but not all- that andromeda lost.
Author's Response: Thank you.
*tear* good story!
Author's Response: Thank you!