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Dumbledore's Army
Reviews for: Family History
Review(s): 45

Reviewer: ladyluciusDate: 2007-11-20
Reviewid: 149959Chapter: 6
Sorry this took so long! But...

Wow. Seriously. I'm completely in love with the story. You really put a lot of thought into the characters and it's come out beautifully. I think you completely nailed the characterization of Bella. I'm cometely enamored with her leaving her own wedding cuz Voldy needed her. Their relantionship is exactly how I pictured it. Neville's parents torture, while cometely heart wrentching was also exactly as I pictured it. Her descent into complete madness is wonderfully captured (obviously she's always been a mad).

I love all the parallels. Neville seeing Bella's name on a trophy just as Harry saw James'. The parallels we've already discussed in your lj on this last scene.

So yeah UPDATE. And, uh, more Lucius, k? ;)

Reviewer: mullvaneyDate: 2007-11-08
Reviewid: 149871Chapter: 6
Well, that was disturbing :P You've taken one of the most wholly repugnant of characters and given her a little humanaity; a little depth. I still feel no sympathy, or anything besides loathing, for her, but I really, really respect what you've done.

Reviewer: TDUDate: 2007-11-06
Reviewid: 149844Chapter: 6
That was extrememly creepy. Bellatrix is truly horrible but you make me feel almost sumpathetic to her and then you remind us of what she's done. Great chapter!

Reviewer: St. Row-a-CheckDate: 2007-11-05
Reviewid: 149830Chapter: 6
*surprise review ninja attack*

" I despise her, and all women like her, who never dared peek beyond the bars of their gilded cage and see the greater picture, a truth, a cause." Laa. Bellatrix = Eowyn. Except for where the man she loves doesn't get her love and abuses it gleefully and without any nobility. Also, Aragorn was somewhat sexist, I think, do you think he'd accept a woman's help to be valuable a priori?

"I allowed Rudolphus to court me," Rodolphus.

Voldemort is PETTY. He offers her to postpone their sessions, everso gallantly, because he KNOWS she'll deny it, he wants her to beg and say all those things, wants to hear that all she wants is him, even if it brings him no romantic joy.

The end, of course, is awesome. (HE IS NOT DEAD!) And you do know how very much loss-of-virginity-night-ish the Crucio session was, don't you? Very spooky. It's odd how she believes (deep inside, she believes it throughout) that there is pleasure in pain. I love the tender shift from a sensation we've all felt (pricking of warm after cold)to outright catshit-crazy.

Reviewer: KateHC2Date: 2007-11-05
Reviewid: 149829Chapter: 6
I may have already reviewed this on your "Web" but- This gave me the creeps. You have captured Bella's descent into madness quite well. I felt so sorry for poor Alice but think that not having any memories would be better than remembering what Bella is fixated on.

Reviewer: Michelle RavelDate: 2007-11-04
Reviewid: 149820Chapter: 6
Wonderful. Amazing, how many people in the HP novels turn out to be motivated by love, however perverted.

Reviewer: Michelle RavelDate: 2007-11-01
Reviewid: 149793Chapter: 5
Bloody fantastic chapter. Love Narcissa's characterisation here.

Reviewer: Bellatrix LestrangeDate: 2007-10-31
Reviewid: 149777Chapter: 3
You're writing about me. That was both brave and presumptious. Be very careful.

Reviewer: mullvaneyDate: 2007-10-18
Reviewid: 149663Chapter: 5
The reason I like this story so much is you're taking these women who are walk-ons in the books and making them real. In canon, Narcissa is almost completely opaque; we are given little of her motivation beyond the obvious, and many of her actions could be interpreted in a million different ways. This chapter is filled with all the subtext that makes her little scene at the beginning of DH clear. I love that she is frankly selfish and disinterested in the dealings of the DEs; it would have been so easy to make her slavishly giving her home up to the DE's, or being one herself. Bravo for giving us her reasons for loving Lucius, he is one of the most un-lovable characters in the whole series, but to picture him playing horsey with baby Draco is preiceless. Bravo on a job well done! *hugs you*

Reviewer: KateHC2Date: 2007-10-12
Reviewid: 149602Chapter: 5
Chilling but believable. I am impressed with how different each of the stories about the Black sisters are.

Reviewer: Vega BlackDate: 2007-10-12
Reviewid: 149596Chapter: 5
I love this very original idea. I am impressed with the way you used the quote from the historian about all the items which are primary sources and then tied each "primary source" to a different chapter in your story. I especially like the unusual primary sources used such as the trophy and the class change slip and the purchase order for new household items. The last was brilliant. You truly illustrate the historian’s comment that for all that is known more is unknown. One might think that the purchase of luxury items was done to celebrate the Dark Lords arrival or to honor him. But because we have a privileged position - we can know the principals minds- we know the true reason for the purchase. This is a very clever union of an illustration of historical methods and the simple telling of a story of one family and the Dark Lord.

I liked the Neville section. I thought after the revelations in GOF that his forgetful and clumsy behavior could be understood based on his family history. He has a lot on his mind which causes him to lose track of what he is doing and gets him in trouble. You show this very well in the scene in the Trophy room. I felt the scene was generally well written but I have one small criticism. I think you write Neville as to young when he first hears of Bellatrix Black. The thoughts he has and questions he asks about his parents are more appropriate to an older child. A five year old accepts things as they are. It is an older child who begins to realize that things could be different and better. The thought that something terrible must have caused his parents condition is more appropriate to a child of ten -- maybe seven or eight at the youngest. A child would have to be older than seven to realize that a person caused the tragedy. This is of course only my opinion and I hope I am not quibbling. I just found his thoughts too advanced for a child so young.

Reviewer: KateHC2Date: 2007-09-12
Reviewid: 149261Chapter: 4
There are so many excellent parts to this story. I was struck by the three sisters having the 'blue' Black eyes and how Andromeda has made friends with so many diverse students. She and Ted Tonks 'meet cute', too.

Reviewer: KateHC2Date: 2007-09-12
Reviewid: 149260Chapter: 3
What a telling segment about Neville from the first passage-
'What had this evil, twisted…person… ever done to earn her a place next to honorable Quidditch players and special-service awards? It wasn’t right, it wasn’t fair, it was…he clenched his fists angrily, making a frustrated little noise. "

I got a chill at your description of Bella, especially-
"The sensation of sharp, glacial metal against her fingers was reassuring."

Reviewer: KateHC2Date: 2007-09-12
Reviewid: 149258Chapter: 2
This is as different as the two younger sisters are. It is clear that Narcissa loves her baby more than anything else. She is spot on about Bella and Lucius. Her memories of what happened after the kitten was killed are revealing.

Reviewer: KateHC2Date: 2007-09-12
Reviewid: 149257Chapter: 1
Jo encouraged people to come here to read your story, and I agree with her that it is well worth reading. Andromeda's diary is a clear look into her thoughts and tribulations. I can't wait to read the rest.

Reviewer: dogstarDate: 2007-09-12
Reviewid: 149249Chapter: 4
I clicked on this expecting (shh - no spoilers) and yay! Bonus Andromeda that I'd nearly forgotten about! I don't know if I've said this before but I love the way you frame each of these chapters, giving an 'official' stamp to each moment in time sometimes with a quotation, or a date, or in this chapter Andromeda's form to change classes (genius!). It's so successful in making each new chapter feel like a genuine historical document.

Then you reel in your readers with wonderful characterisation and the rounded, detailed social world of this family. I think that's what what originally drew me to this fic - I immediately recognised that here was an author who knew *exactly* what they were doing with their story - and that's why I'm so happy to see you inspired to continue and posting again.

Each chapter works very well as a stand-alone, and that gives you a lot of flexibility and potential to take it in any direction ... so if the next chapter is a big jump forward in time, I promise I won't stamp my feet and beg for the Andromeda/Ted my shippy soul demands. Much.

Love this, and you.

Reviewer: SeasprayDate: 2007-09-11
Reviewid: 149241Chapter: 4
Eeee! It's nice to see this up at last. I love your Andromeda, how brave she is standing up to her bullying sister. I love how you describe her fear, the way she dwells on the coldness of Bella's eyes, the way she tries and fails to shut her out. With all she goes through with her classmates and Bella it's so cool that she still has the spirit to pursue her own interests and to take up muggle studies *loves Andromeda*. I like the cameo's of the Marauders - Remus' politness, Peter's suprising bravery, James' charm.... it all just fits so well with what they know of them. And I adore the introduction to Ted

<I’ve got a complicated fracture in one arm and a splinter in the other, so she can’t mend it by magic,” he says, as though proud of this achievement.>

lol! So sweet. Even in the short couple of lines we get I feel like I know the boy. I like that Andromeda's interest in muggles is initially purely academic and that she doesn't all of a sudden make the transition to being uberly open minded... she still doesn't make friends with muggleborns until, presumably, she meets Ted.

Beautifully written, as ever, your characterisations are wonderful... rich and full of humour as well as bravery. I am craving more Black sister fic now... *looks pleadingly at Songbird*. I think the QoA need a new badge SWMBSN (Songbird Write More Black Sisters Now).

Reviewer: Reader 2Date: 2006-12-18
Reviewid: 146480Chapter: 3

Reviewer: KateHC2Date: 2006-10-31
Reviewid: 146015Chapter: 3
Thank you for friending me and inviting me to read your stories. The Black sisters were well developed. Bella is truly scary.
Grandma Kate

Reviewer: mullvaneyDate: 2006-07-06
Reviewid: 144000Chapter: 3
I realy like what you've done with this chapter! The part you added about Neville and his grandmother was very well done, especially this: "ever since he had come to realize that people like his parents didn&#8217;t just become like this, that there was a wand involved, and spells and someone holding the wand as they jeered into his mother&#8217;s beautiful face." You really have a knack for showing just how despicable the Blacks are. I also liked Bellatrix's speach, it was very *makes up adjective* megalomaniacly. This has really come together and tightened up. So, what's next?

Reviewer: Madame V. HunterDate: 2006-07-06
Reviewid: 143992Chapter: 2
Excllent chapter. This is very much as I envision the young Narcisssa. A very enjoyable read.

Reviewer: dogstarDate: 2006-07-04
Reviewid: 143935Chapter: 3
Lovely Neville:
~that there was a wand involved, and spells and someone holding the wand as they jeered into his mother’s beautiful face.


I agree with what Seaspray said, this is such a clever prologue using Neville's point of view. He is the character with the strongest connection to Bellatrix that we all love, so it is a great contrast to her POV.

The first scene, with Bella observing her triumph, is great storytelling - you pack in so much information about the Bella character and her contempt for everything, even her fellow pure-bloods and it all merges seamlessly with the description of the setting.

The speech - is GREAT. I'm so glad you expanded it. Bella is a true orator. *shudders*

Bella's meeting with Voldemort seems more concise by comparison - I don't know if it is, of if the chapter as a whole feels more balanced.

I think it is good that you stick very closely to Bella's interior monologue and *suggest* Voldemort's creepiness and power by the effect he has on her, rather than by him saying a lot.

Good to see this *finally* up here ;)

Reviewer: SeasprayDate: 2006-07-02
Reviewid: 143893Chapter: 3
*Blows out breath* This is a really powerful, really frightening piece. There is something so... ihuman about Bella. In some ways she seems like just an ordianry, though charismatic and highly driven, teenage girl, but there are moments when she is so detached, so single minded and unempathic - I commented before on the 'blanket of heavy mist or snow' and the blankness in her mind when she first meets Voldemort. There's something very empty about Bella - it makes me wonder if she sufferd some kind of trauma or abuse as a child, or whether it is simply the result of her single minded clinging to the Black family beliefs. Boy, analysing Bella is scary :).

Oh, and I said before, I love the opening scene with Neville and the trophy room - very clever :D. Yay for the Black Family History *loves*.

Reviewer: Baron Von KroggDate: 2006-06-29
Reviewid: 143810Chapter: 3
A very enjoyable read from all three of your writings. I did enjoy the first story of
all of the Black daughters. And then the Weasley
story with Author and Molly. All of them very
nicely qritten.

Reviewer: witchy-witchDate: 2006-02-19
Reviewid: 140026Chapter: 2
I loved everything. It was sweet and lovely. Exactly how I imagined Ada and Airhead, especially blondy. I like how we see her wondering how she could have gone from princess to Stepford wife. And the devotation to Draco was even sweeter than Rowling.

*Looks around for the Queens to Start Ritual*

Reviewer: HazelleDate: 2006-02-02
Reviewid: 139203Chapter: 2

I'm starting to like Narcissa. . . !

You've done a great job showing how she relates to the rest of her family. Your Narcissa bridges the gap between Bella and Andromeda so well, not throwing herself at Bella's cause but not taking Andromeda's path of complete independence.

And her Draco worries: "He looks up at me, gazes at me with those alert gray eyes, eyes that do not belong to a baby, but to the man he will one day be." Wow. I thought that was a powerful line.

Please keep writing!

Reviewer: TDUDate: 2006-02-01
Reviewid: 139155Chapter: 2
That is a very interesting take on Narcissa. The only clues we've had have been very contrasting (at the Quidditch World Cup in Gof and at Spinner's End in HBP) and this is a very good mesh of the two and makes her a very sympathetic and believable character. I'm looking forward to your next chapter.

Reviewer: AmandaBDate: 2006-02-01
Reviewid: 139145Chapter: 2
Thanks for fleshing out Narcissa's character here. We see in HBP that she does sincerely love Draco, and is concerned about Lucius being in Azkaban. But I can certainly see Lucius paying Voldemore more attention then his wife, especially since he now has the heir he wanted. Maybe I'm too harsh, and their marriage is one of true respect and love, but we don't really know enough to say for certain. I'm sure if nothing else, he admires the fact that she is beautiful and pureblood.

Reviewer: StarseaDate: 2006-01-31
Reviewid: 139095Chapter: 2
An amazing and realistic insight into Narcissa's head, especially her feelings about her sisters and her son. Her love for Draco, which rises above all social and family considerations, comes across as very deep and passionate, just as it should.

I can't wait to see how you write Bellatrix.


Reviewer: AmandaBDate: 2006-01-31
Reviewid: 139092Chapter: 1
It's interesting to see the adult personalities of Bellatrix, Andromeda, and Narcissa already present here. Narcissa likes to be noticed, Andromeda is unsure why Blacks should care about blood purity, and Bellatrix is cruel. Killing an innocent animal just to prove a point is something I could see her doing. I've always wondered how she became so sadistic, since it's clearly a process. I'm also interested to see how you portray the reaction of Andromeda's family when she decides to marry Ted Tonks.

Reviewer: dogstarDate: 2006-01-31
Reviewid: 139091Chapter: 2
Ok, I’m going to gush. Just warning you.

I love your Bella. She scares the bejaysus out of me.

“whether I am taking up the traitorous ideas of Her Who We Don’t Name”

Ooh! You got me – I can’t wait for the next instalment now :)

“There are very few people who actually like me, I think. Like me for who I am, Cissy Black or Narcissa Malfoy, or Airhead, or whatever it is they call me these days.”

This caught my heart. I felt real sympathy for this lonely woman – which is hard to elicit in me for the woman who called Hermione ‘scum’ in Madam Malkin’s!

“all my frustration spills out of me like water out of a tipped cauldron”

This is a great image. Very down to earth but with a beautiful rhythm that turns it into poetry. It’s touches like these that make your writing so original and readable, apart from the excellent characterizations and great storytelling that is!

“One day, I dread, I will have to fear for him, will need my courage to protect him from harm”
I like the foreshadowing here. You also convey her obsession with her son without going over the top. And cute baby Draco. *sniffs* What a shame she spoils him into becoming an evil little git.

Two little typos I noticed:
“I can’t risk my son’s like that” – should that have a ‘life’ in it

“my name is gurgles” he?

Wonderful Songbird – and Molly / Arthur fluff to keep us going until the next chapter - yay!

Reviewer: SeasprayDate: 2006-01-31
Reviewid: 139088Chapter: 2
Aww. I can't believe I'm awwing over the Malfoys. Still. Awww. That ending, with the new "title" was just brilliant- very clever. And I liked seeing the cat incident from Narcissa's POV and the benefit it gave her. It is hard being the youngest child, left out and left behind. I wouldn't have thought of Narcissa being lonely but it fits. It's a pity she won't make up with her sister, because I bet Andromeda misses her, airhead or no.


Reviewer: Madame V. HunterDate: 2006-01-11
Reviewid: 138352Chapter: 1
As the Black Family are my favorite characters to write about, I of course love your subject matter. This sounds very much like real people, and the "Kill Muggle" is game is chilling. Great Story so far. Keep it coming, Songbird!

Reviewer: fetishized_armadilloDate: 2005-12-30
Reviewid: 137809Chapter: 1
I love this. Andromeda's voice is extremely realistic and childlike and the entire thing is charming, funny, sweet. It's very refreshing after seeing the endless glut of bad (usually romance) diaryfic out there. This is a great example of diaryfic done RIGHT.

Reviewer: SeasprayDate: 2005-12-18
Reviewid: 137336Chapter: 1
I loved this! Andromeda was adorable, you really created a believeable ten year old voice here. I loved how childlike and almost innocent Bella and the others were and yet there were moments of darkness which foreboded of what was to come... that poor cat! It is fascinating to see the very beginnings of a rift in the family. And although he had a small role, I really liked how you characterised Sirius:

<"I think she’s mean!" Sirius said from behind me. He had a black eye and was hiding from Auntie, I could tell. It’s the same thing at each of Auntie’s parties- he hits someone’s son, and then he gets in trouble for it. >

lol. People don't really change, do they?

I really look forward to reading more about the Black family from you! Oh, and thanks for all your kind reviews at "87 rolls of parchment". They really made my day :).

Reviewer: mary ellisDate: 2005-12-16
Reviewid: 137260Chapter: 1
This is so charming and child-like. I can really see the other children through Ada's eyes. Great vehicle--the diary. So sad about the little kitten, but so typical of Bellatrix. I can't wait for the next vignette.

Reviewer: Angelina WeasleyDate: 2005-12-10
Reviewid: 136969Chapter: 1
Oh, my god.
I can't believe Bellatrix would do something like that. She's only 11.
Ach. I'm getting all weepy over a fictional cat.
It's a great story so far, I really like it. Little!Andromeda is so cute.
I really like how at first she LOVES Bella-I had to read the sentance again, just to make sure- but then she ends up hating her.
And I really like the mention of Great Aunt Prewett.
I'm waiting for more,
Angelina Weasley

Reviewer: GyakutennoDate: 2005-12-08
Reviewid: 136935Chapter: 1
Oh, poor Whizz! The way Bellatrix acts so much like she will as an adult is eerie. I like how you didn't try to make Andromeda seem completely unprejudiced. It's always so hard to make your central character have flaws. It's tempting to have your character always know right from wrong and not be caught even once playing a game about killing Muggles. But Andromeda wouldn't be like that, she's been brought up to hate Muggles.

Reviewer: revolvingstaircaseDate: 2005-12-08
Reviewid: 136932Chapter: 1
Wow. That sounds a lot like the diary I had, only Andromeda is better at writing in hers than I was. Wow. You made her so real and nice and angry and everything. Wow. I like this story. Please keep writing it.

Reviewer: HazelleDate: 2005-12-08
Reviewid: 136901Chapter: 1
Fabulous, you have really nailed the middle-child frustration. Your Andromeda is the perfect blend of traditional pureblood upbringing and a naturally sweet disposition. I look forward to reading more!

Reviewer: nymphadora_floridaDate: 2005-12-07
Reviewid: 136876Chapter: 1
*pouts lip* Evil Bellatrix! But I figured that she must've done something awful (before I read this) for Andromeda wouldn't hate anybody for no reason.

I love how everybody is in character, and Andromeda is such a tomboy!


Reviewer: _PhoenixLament_Date: 2005-12-07
Reviewid: 136872Chapter: 1
This story/diary is excellent! Its been planned really well and it's quite fun to see the whole Black family together and how they interact! And Rudolphus, i bet young Bellatrix never thought she would marry him and they'd be sent to Azkaban for services to Voldy! Lol, Whizz dying was so sad :'( Regulus was right "Bewwa is mean"!

Reviewer: AnyaDate: 2005-12-07
Reviewid: 136866Chapter: 1
*cheers!* Hooray I'm so glad to see your lovely story up on the Quill at last! I love what you've done with the ending it's *very* fitting, I like "A word that means crying-until-I’m dried-up-like-a-shrivelfig" especially!

Reviewer: YlimeDate: 2005-12-07
Reviewid: 136865Chapter: 1
Oh, gosh. This is beautiful. You've mixed in Andromeda's childish view with hints of the pureblood attitude (games about killing Muggles, for example) so well! And *I'm* teary too, about Whizz.

Can't wait to see more. This is really good!

Reviewer: aurora330Date: 2005-12-07
Reviewid: 136863Chapter: 1
OH poor andromeda and poor whizz older sisters can be so evil. anyways great start to a story hope you update soon.

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