I thought I should return a few favours! And am glad I read this. Have to say, I was expecting something darker, but this surprised me (in a good way). yes it was dark - especially at the end - because you showed the change in her from the beginning where she's pranking (still spitefully, mind you) and to the end where she kills for sport. And in the middle we have a Bella who isn't quite formed, but we can see how she could go either way.
I will admit to laughing at Archangel Gabriel turning up. I think it was a great touch that he lost a bet to Nigellus - ha ha ha - so had to take her to her next destination.
Another thing I thought particularly good was the way you showed her parents' neglect of her. their utter disinterest in their daughter, which must have gone a long way in her desperate need to be a somebody and a powerful one at that.
Well done. ~Carole
Author's Response: Thank you so much for reviewing. I'm honored. Through the two one-shots and the longer story Bella Rosa, I'm trying to explain how Bella turned out the way she did. Was it parental neglect or parental need to have everything appear perfect to the outside? Was Bella an alcoholic? I think she was powerful but pureblood society just didn't respect women that much. And, it seems there were very few female Death Eaters. Bella was probably the brightest, the most beautiful, and the most powerful. Bella kept trying to prove that she was a force to be reckoned with but in her need for approval she was led down a very dark path. She was used and abused. The time I write about is a couple of years before she becomes a Death Eater and disciple of Voldemort. She fell in love and had fun with her Muggle lover. As a Catholic I've always loved the archangel Gabriel and if he's like another Gabriel I know he's kind of a "bad" angel but has a heart of gold and always helps others. So thanks again for reviewing. You've made me want to write on my longer story:D
Brilliant-an excellent retelling of "A Christmas Carol." We all wonder what Bella would have been if not for certain decisions in her life!
Author's Response: I'm sincerely sorry it took me so long to respond to your review. On the other hand, I'm delighted you like this story. I wanted to write a story for Christmas and I wondered how Bella would react if she saw ghosts that came to teach her a lesson. How would she take a lesson? Would she listen? I had a lot of fun thinking up ghosts. I'm trying to think up something for this year:D See you next time.
This is really intriguing. The idea that Bellatrix didn't ever picture herself becoming such a person is actually a nice one, but it leads to the question - how did she end up that way? I liked the play on the Christmas story, but I can't imagine a pureblood member of the Black family being allowed to take Muggle Studies.
Author's Response: I had fun writing this story. I especially liked writing the ghosts. This Christmans story is a spin off of the chaptered story, Bella Rosa (as I'm sure you realize). I don't know if I ever outright mentioned but the point of Bella Rosa is explaining how Bella turns into the most evil and hated witch in the Harry Potter universe. Remember how she describes the woman sitting at the table--not very attractive. She just doesn't see herself sinking to such a low level. And, she's still at the point where she's really not totally sure of what's up with the Dark Lord. Right now, she admires his power. She covets that power. She's trying to figure it out. I think Dumbledore was the Headmaster at Hogwarts when Bella was a student. He made Muggle Studies a required course as opposed to an elective. Bella used it as an opportunity to learn about the odd, pitiful things called Muggles so she could walk in their world and take advantage of some of the fun things to do. That's how she's fitting into Gabe's world at the moment. She looks like any other beautiful woman. Thanks for the review.
I love it!
Author's Response: Thank you. I really enjoyed writing it and creating the ghosts or beings that agreed to haunt Bella. I especially liked the archangel with all of his showmanship and flip attitude. I hope you have time to check out some of my other stories. People seem to be reading the Valentine's story a lot lately.
Happy Holidays to you! I think this story shows Bella's headstrong, unrepentant personality and how she never had a moral compass. The implied frustration of her visitors is shared by most readers, I think. Even though we know all "Scrooges" don't redeem themselves, we can't help wishing they would.
I think your beta did an brilliant job overall, ho ho ho, but I did notice something that slipped through: dialogue tags that restate what the dialogue just implied.
“Don’t you carry warmth with you? It’s too damn cold out here and I forgot my wrap,” Bella complained.
What they say conveys how they say it, so the "complained", etc, isn't needed.
A stylistic choice I wondered about is the use of "responded" instead of "replied."I don't see responded used in dialogue tags in novels much, it's more of an action, responded to a letter, or call (or a call for help). Is there a reason you like to use it instead of replied? It's not wrong, just unusual, and I'm curious. =^_^=
Author's Response: I do have a brilliant beta, that's for sure:D Sometimes I think she purposefully lets some little things slip through as a way of testing me. Will I find it? Will I change it? Will I ignore it? I also know that even in the most perfect piece of writing, she can find something to correct. Geez, I told you to stop asking me hard questions:D I've been thinking about why I use respond instead of reply. My background is in research, analyzing data, interpreting data and statistical results, etc. I often talk about respondents, how a percentage of the sample responded, "they responded," "their response was," "how would you respond if . . ."Mark your response," etc. It's a common word for me to use. And, it's another way to say, "replied," "answered," "said." Basically, it's a part of my vocabulary. Maybe Bella's a Taurus and she's stubborn. This could be good. Gabe's a Capricorn and I understand that Tauruses and Capricorns get along very well. They can get into mighty clashes but they make up and their love is intense. Yeah, I think even Phineas Nigellus and her third visitor were frustrated with her, although they were both sort of kindred spirits. I find the concept of lack of a moral compass to be a wonderful explanation for Bella's actions. I learn so much from all of my story reviewers. Have a great holiday! I'll talk to you soon.
I really love your characterisation of Bella. There's all the aspects of her character later within her younger self and yet here she's not evil. I really like the idea of her being completely shocked by her future self.
You write so well –– the story flows and, despite this essentially being a character study, doesn't feel like one. Thank you!
Author's Response: Thank you for such a lovely review. I can't totally take all the credit for my writing skills. I have the most awesome beta ever--Kerichi. I do have to give her a little something to work with though:D I think people or characters grow into their personalities. Bella was busy laying the groundwork for her adult life. It could've gone either way. Unfortunately, it went totally to the dark side. Right now, she is shocked by the vision of her future self. But, she's also not real convinced that the future will go that way. She called everyone who came to her a "gobs***e." She thinks she deserves Gabe and that he's foolish for giving food away to the hungry. Why would she need to change? She doesn't kill people (yet). She thought her early pranks were an indication of her talent. Eventually, I think she's going to blame everybody else for her problems. I didn't mean to go off on a tangent here. I feel like I'm preaching to the choir:P It's just that when I run into someone who really understands the story, I get overexcited. So, thank you for the review. Happy Christmas! Have a super New Year! See you next time.