When I saw the summary for this story, I was intrigued. The obvious girl for Lucius to fall in love with is of course Narcissa, but the hint of his possible failure made me think it would be someone else. I would never have guessed that she would be Andromeda, though, so you did really well to convince me of his feelings for her.
I think the main reason this worked so well was the strength of Lucius's characterisation. Even in the very opening lines, his arrogance and obsession with appearances came across strongly. His initial disdain for Narcissa was a surprise, but it did make sense. Bringing it back to shallow concerns about money and social appearances made sense of it instantly, for me. I thought you also showed his arrogance well -- the certainty about his looks, about Andromeda's reciprocation of his feelings, about everything working out perfectly. I suppose that's just his world, and oddly enough I didn't find myself entirely loathing him for it. You were setting him up for a fall, which I though helped to redeem him slightly. Not that he can ever be completely redeemed for things like his reaction to Ted, but I could sympathise with him to a degree.
It was great that you got these very recognisable traits across very well, but I was also pleased to see you adding more depth to his character via Andromeda. Seeing him trying to be a slightly better person for her sake, in the Platform Nine and Three-Quarters section, was good; that played a part in the redemption I mentioned above, and it made me hopeful for him. I felt like he could have become a better person for her sake (although clearly he didn't in canon) and so there was definitely part of me rooting for their relationship. That positive trend in his behaviour was marred rather when he caught her with Ted, but then again, he could have been so much crueller. That he resisted the ultimate revenge of breaking his promise was, in a way, touching, because that relationship must have hurt and offended him so much. Again, it gave me hope for his character, and made him much easier to sympathise with than he ever was in canon.
One thing I was really impressed by was how well you fitted this into canon. Lucius's initial feelings for Narcissa made me wonder how he could have ever ended up content to marry her. However, his revulsion at Andromeda's relationship with Ted made me buy the idea of him changing his mind; she turned everything he thought he knew upside down, made him reconsider his basic certainties. I agree with you that he didn't truly love Narcissa, too. I think of it as a society marriage, one that existed for mutual convenience and to satisfy their families, so the idea of Lucius always being a little bit in love with Andromeda fits in well for me.
The surrounding details were an important factor too, I think. You'd clearly researched well with the facts around Sirius's sorting, for example, and with the details about Bellatrix, which is something I always like seeing, especially when you're writing such an unconventional pairing. It made the story feel even more like it could have been a fact of canon, despite being rather unexpected.
Technically, I noticed quite a few nice little details. The first was your use of parentheses to describe the people Sorted into Slytherin in Lucius's year. It suited his snap judgements, made them seem more surplus, and reflected Lucius's attitude towards other people really well, I thought. They were reduced to a little addendum, only notable for how he could use them. Another thing was the touches of formality you added to your language -- “whom” for example. It always pleases me to see people using it correctly, which you did, of course, and it seemed especially apt in this context. There were other bits of vocabulary which I appreciated -- “cavorting” and “disinterestedly” were well-chosen. Thee small details were an important part of the atmosphere of the fic, for me, and brought the whole thing together.
This was a surprising fic, but I was definitely convinced by it and dragged into its world. You wrote Lucius masterfully -- well done :)
Author's Response: Hi Sophie, Thank you thank you thank you for this lovely review!! I really appreciate that you put so much time into it, and that you liked the story. I came up with the idea for this story because I like figuring out why characters behave the way they do, and I also like doing something different with stereotypes - in fanfic, I've often seen Lucius fall for Bellatrix, but like I wrote in this, I think he wanted a woman he could control, and she's pretty unpredictable and volatile. And I agree, I didn't see a lot of love in Narcissa and Lucius' relationship (though they clearly both love Draco), and so I wondered if maybe Lucius had fallen in love. So even though it's unexpected, I'm glad it made sense in how I wrote it. I'm glad you liked Lucius' characterisation - he is certainly arrogant, which I think is because he's been told all his life that he's better than others, and he's probably scared of really looking at himself and seeing what's there. I think that's why he is certain Andromeda will marry him - he does love her, in his own way, but he doesn't understand the kind of passionate love that would take her away from everything she knows, but it's also because the idea of failure to him is repulsive, so he doesn't even think that way (if that makes sense). I'm glad you didn't loathe Lucius - he certainly has his own choices, but he is also a product of his society in a way (that does not excuse all the terrible things he did in canon though). I always thought he would be observant, though, so he watches that Andromeda appreciates kindness, so he is kind for her sake, bu not really because he wants to be kind. Having discovered Andromeda and Ted, he could have been very cruel, but instead he hides it. I did this for two reasons - first, he does love her and doesn't really want her to be hurt, and second he feels almost ashamed/embarassed about his certainty and knows this will reflect badly on him, so he wants some time to deal with it. I think he does also feel hurt, and I agree with you, it is this experience which really changes the way he see things and makes him realise that Narcissa is perfect for what he wants in life. I'm glad you liked the parentheses with his classmates - I think he would be very dismissive and only see people for how he could use/manipulate them. I'm also glad you liked the level of formality - to me this felt really appropriate for Lucius, he probably would have been taught perfect grammar and I think he's the sort of person who uses language as manipulation, hence the longer/more complex words which make him seem above others. Anyway I think i"ve responded to everything you mentioned... thank you so much for this detailed review, it has really made my day! ~Katrina
In a culture with arranged marriages, love has nothing to do with marriage. That's what affairs and mistresses are for. How sad.
Author's Response: Thanks for the review :). Yes I think arranged marriages are very sad - I didn't exactly mean that my characters were having arranged marriages though, more that they could only choose a partner from a select group of people. I guess it often has the same result as arranged marriages though. Anyway, thanks for reviewing :). ~Katrina
Not an epic adventure, but an interesting and original snippet from Malfoy's life.
Author's Response: Thanks for reviewing, I'm glad you thought it interesting and original. I'm pretty useless at writing epic adventures, so I prefer to do little character pieces or snippets. Anyway, thanks for taking the time to review. ~Katrina