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Dumbledore's Army
Review(s): 35

Reviewer: ClytymnystraDate: 2008-02-01
Reviewid: 150479Chapter: 6
Hi there!

I'm so glad to see this posting!
Here are two that jumped out at me.
--Narcissa followed Helen, s lightly appalled. Staying.... (slightly)
--and white lace over the pink. She also liked the line of her chin with her hair pined up (pinned up)(I'm so literal. I was wondering how she pined it.)

I was a little surprised to see Narcissa letting Aethelred manhandle her like that, but ...

I just LOVED this:
" to hang onto her shoulders with little, prickling claws. "
AND this whole idea:
"Narcissa turned back to the mirror and realized that she was looking at someone else. She was looking at one of Helen’s friends, but not at the youngest, most refined of the Black daughters. Not the future ornament to a man’s home. Just a girl, cheaply dressed and garishly made-up in hopes of pulling a bloke for a few hours or for the night. The girl in the mirror wouldn’t survive. She would go back onto the dance floor and dance until late, then go and crash on someone’s sofa, then do it again the next night. If anything touched, shattered, that fragile world view, she’d sink. She had no staying power. And, most damnable, worst of all, it was somebody else."

Wow! Not only does Drama fail to recognize her, but she fails to recognize herself--knows she's only posing.

There's such a cliff and conflict conflict conflict:
Costos is so in for a broken heart, but ...what of Narcissa?!
Lucius' shows up----to pass judgement on the present night mysterious.
It'S ONE thing for Lucius to catch her dancing like a veela in secondhand Muggle-glam, but WHAT WILL HAPPEN NOW with Fitzgerald squeezing her shoulders?!!

I cannot wait...

One last (repetitive) comment: I'm still sorry that you didn't go for the Frank--Narcissa angle. Narcissa eventually turns out to be far from detached: a mother who cares only for her own child. It would have been a stark contrast in fiction and life, with those who sacrifice willingly for the children of others: such as Frank and Alice? Sigh.

I wanted to see Alice sweeping in for the rebound?! or even Bella's inspiration for torturing him into insanity, but I'm sure you have your reasons! Passionate beta readers among them....

THANKS for the GREAT READ!

Reviewer: Violet AzureDate: 2007-11-13
Reviewid: 149917Chapter: 1
I love the nickname you created for Andromeda! And I love that Narciss would brush her hair with 100 strokes each night!

[The presence of Bellatrix the warrior hung like a thunderstorm over the conversation, ominous and unfulfilled. It would be another week before the pressure broke.]

Great description of Bellatrix and the tension her unseen presence cast over the two of them, especially the pairing of the words "ominous" and "unfulfilled"--excellent phrasing.

Loved the tension between the sisters and how you show Narcissa's strengths and weaknesses. The dialogue just crackles and I love the tension and intrigue. I also found it quite interesting that Narcissa is good at Divination--it adds a unique spin on her character and gives her a richer shade of development.

Reviewer: bradamanteDate: 2007-11-13
Reviewid: 149910Chapter: 6
I just discovered this fic a few days ago, and I've already reread it three or four times! I love the unexpected but completely logical ways in which you've developed Narcissa's character; there's a lovely inevitability about her responses to so many challenges, and I find myself liking her far more than I could ever have imagined.

Your OCs and almost-OCs are wonderful, too. I've become very fond of Costos, and I hope he doesn't get himself hurt too badly! And, of course, I love the blend of Shakespeare, ABBA, and "Chess" references--wonderfully reminiscent of high school drama club (which I mean as a compliment, so I hope it reads as one!)

I'll look forward to future installments!

Reviewer: KaworuDate: 2007-11-11
Reviewid: 149889Chapter: 3
Oh Ms. Thessaly! How you intrigue me! I'm only three chapters in and you've already woven a remarkable societal back story for one of the most ambiguous and mailable characters in the series! Do I detect allusions to Shakespeare in those songs? Ding-dong bell indeed. And all the coyness and charm of The Importance of Being Earnest!

You do intrigue me indeed. And, I must ask; have you read The Sandman? Your name brings to mind a certain creation from that series.

Reviewer: ladytalksalot17Date: 2007-11-06
Reviewid: 149842Chapter: 6
that was good. Very Sexy.

Reviewer: ClytymnystraDate: 2006-07-01
Reviewid: 143866Chapter: 5
Hi Thessaly!

Of course, I love your story! Have been a bit too busy to comment or find any errors--none to be found?!!

I'm a little bit discomfited by your confessions here at the end of this chapter--that you couldn't do THAT to Frank and Alice, while agreeing wholeheartedly that Narcissa/Mad-eye were better left alone.

Cannot help thinking that Narcissa/Frank would have been so elucidating...and have contributed to the development of each character with facinating results. For one they are both so equally and interestingly well or over-bred. For another, while I like your Costos, I would have cared SO much more about the outcome of a Narcissa/Frank interlude.

We know enough about Frank to care what happens to him, (and Alice)(and Neville). It is precisely this conflict conflict conflict that would have made for a GRIPPING rather than merely very enjoyable read.

I believe JKR herself mentioned at some point the need for ruthlessness and believe that a little more of it here would have served you well.

Your dialogue on the other hand is delightful!

Affectionately, your fan

Reviewer: Ravenna VoponDate: 2006-06-07
Reviewid: 143294Chapter: 5
This is such a great fic =)
I love the Austen-like mood, and all the great characterisations. Of coarse, what I love the most is the Chess title and quotes *am total Chess fanatic*
If I may be picky, you've spelled the composers' names wrong - it's UlvaEus and AnderssOn. Have to keep up our country's honour ;)

Reviewer: Mcily NochiDate: 2006-06-05
Reviewid: 143226Chapter: 5
This story is quite fascinating. It's a very different take on Narcissa, and, I feel, a quite believable one. I look forward to reading more.

Reviewer: StarseaDate: 2006-06-04
Reviewid: 143207Chapter: 5
I like where this story is going: the comparison between old and new, between different families and different 'emotional systems'. I felt so bad for Alice. Narcissa's viewpoint of this grieving was extremely interesting.

My favourite exchange was this:

""That's the problem with the old families. They bring up their children too quickly."

Narcissa bit her lip. "It's such a waste of emotion," she said, continuing on her train of thought and ignoring his. It was easier than acknowledging it; thinking about it.

"Waste?" said Costos, surprised. "But it's there to be used. There's not a finite amount of emotion in the world, Narcissa!"

She looked at him. "But it's easier to conserve it. You're sad less of the time. I mean, if you could spare Alice all of that, you would."

"Of course I don't want to hurt her," said Costos. "But what you're talking about is stasis; pure, simple boredom." - I really like how Costos is pointing out everything that is wrong with the old families, but not in an aggressive way. Just the simple facts.

I feel rather sorry for him, though. His feelings are doomed.

xxx~Starsea~xxx

Reviewer: shiikiDate: 2006-05-31
Reviewid: 143142Chapter: 5
Well, you've just gained one new reviewer! I'm finding this extremely interesting. I've never actually had such a good look into the life of Narcissa Black as you've presented here!
Do keep going!

Reviewer: KeridwenDate: 2006-05-30
Reviewid: 143133Chapter: 5
I'm very much enjoying this story. Watching Narcissa trying to grow is painful, though fun to read, and you write it wonderfully.

Is it telling that the Cole Porter that Costos quotes is from "So in Love"? <grin>

Reviewer: ShadowRainDate: 2006-05-30
Reviewid: 143112Chapter: 4
wat the heck is up with the Freaky O's of Scary Doom!?

Reviewer: ClytymnystraDate: 2006-04-08
Reviewid: 141767Chapter: 4
Unofficial Beta? I'm honored!

Cannot blame Narcissa for dislike of mad elves. Auntie out of town?? Who can argue ?

"I should, she thought a little tiredly, have gone to Grimmauld Place...."

First paragraph...position situation was probably meant to be compromising situation....

Love this new chapter! It's especially interesting the way you have developed the new Mr. Fitzgerald situation. I guess Mr.Longbottom was NOT to be tempted ... but I'm admitting to a little bit of disappointment in that. It would have been so ironic if he and Narcissa had actually had a flirtation! On the other hand, it is perhaps more in character, sigh, for him to have never ever thought of anyone other than his beloved Alice. The nicest ones do fall hard.

Reviewer: Reader 2Date: 2006-03-29
Reviewid: 141429Chapter: 4
Please post a readable version.

Reviewer: dumbledressDate: 2006-03-28
Reviewid: 141395Chapter: 4
Wow i am REALLY enjoying this story, its got such a great idea behind it, this last chapter though had lots of these odd shapes that made it hard to read, Unless im going mad and noone else can see them

Reviewer: Reader 2Date: 2006-03-21
Reviewid: 141172Chapter: 4
Please Re-post.

Reviewer: Mcily NochiDate: 2006-03-20
Reviewid: 141136Chapter: 1
What a fascinating beginning! I look forward to reading more of this. I love seeing through a different set of eyes, and Narcissa and Lucius - two characters we are naturally inclined to dislike - are the perfect choice. I look forward to seeing how Narcissa escapes from her sister's vengeful nature and walks off with the prize.

Reviewer: StarseaDate: 2006-03-17
Reviewid: 141006Chapter: 4
Oh dear. So that's why we don't know about Julia. I actually feel sorry for Narcissa now but I'm glad she was with the Fitzgeralds and Frank, not other people. You describe the shock of bereavement with extreme clarity.

It's a shame that something seems to have gone wrong with the file so all your punctuation is mixed up. Perhaps reloading would do the trick?

xxx~Starsea~xxx

Reviewer: AnyaDate: 2006-03-16
Reviewid: 140992Chapter: 4
Narcissa Black pushed her hair out her eyes and admitted, first to a state of existence, and second to a strong desire for black coffee.

I loved that line! You manage to put prim, composed Narcissa in a situation where she'd wake up on a floor after a party! I daresay she needed it! I ABSOLUTLEY LOVE your Frank Longbottom. He's genteel, he's a civilized bohemian (sort of makes me sad thinking what little Neville would have been like had he known this father!)

Oh my...Julia has certainly presented an eenteresting mystery. I look forward to the next chapter!

Reviewer: AmandaBDate: 2006-03-16
Reviewid: 140984Chapter: 4
This is a great story, and I wanted to comment. I liked how you showed that Narcissa doesn't have a lot of fun, because of her upbringing, and that it is strange for her, but also enjoyable. I liked how you introduced Alice, and Frank seems to be just like I imagined him. He does seem the type to get to know wary Slytherins like Narcissa better. I liked Costos, and I think that he does really like Narcissa, even though he knows that any sort of relationship between them is not that realistic. I loved the damsel in distess comment, because it's so in character, and Narcissa does use her intelligence and beauty to manipulate people to get what she wants. Hopefully you can fix the weird O's in this chapter.

Reviewer: ThessalyDate: 2006-03-16
Reviewid: 140983Chapter: 4
I am EXTREMELY sorry about the formatting issues!!!!

I realize that it was very, very hard to read. I'm not very computer-literate and the instructions about submitting things are all for windows users. They asked me to submit in a different format this time, and I did follow the instructions, but it clearly did not work so well (wince). If anybody (especially people with macs) can tell me how to create .htm files that *don't* look like this, I would be more grateful than I can say. Again, very, very sorry.

Reviewer: Amick_WoodsDate: 2006-02-24
Reviewid: 140233Chapter: 3
That was wonderful! Tell me there are more chapters coming! You've captured a perfect image of the Dark Families, I can't even imagine being able to keep track of my imagination in such a wonderful way. Congratulations!

Reviewer: Pineapple QueenDate: 2006-02-21
Reviewid: 140146Chapter: 3
Love this fic! Always loved the Black sisters. And I do love the Gryffindors you've created, and how you characterized Narcissa. I especially like how you made her more adventurous than Narcissa usually is in fics. Hope to see the next chapter soon!

-PQ

(by the way, Drama isn't a nickname I see often for Andromeda. Like it. :D)

Reviewer: ClytymnystraDate: 2006-02-18
Reviewid: 140008Chapter: 3
Nice. I liked Narcissa's dream world experiences. Every girl wants a little fun--whether she knows it or not....

I think Mr. M's letter would have warned of something that would affect rather than effect Narcissa.

Also... in London...why wouldn't they have been staying at Grimmauld Place?? Can't picture her at Hojos. If not Grimmauld place where they could be properly looked after, then I'd have expected them to have a suite in perpetua at some swanky hotel.... Do Blacks really use the Leaky Cauldron? It just seems so ... common....

Reviewer: corvidaeDate: 2006-02-18
Reviewid: 139982Chapter: 3
oh my what a marvelous story! the sugar quill has been letting me down lately on the subject of interesting, well written stories that aren't filled with angst; i've found a few and this is certainly one of them. i really like how you've portrayed the malfoys and blacks as though still living in Jane Austin times and the contrast between what narcissa is naturally and what she's learned from her breeding- how those things intertwine -it allows her to have a very diverse personality. especially when she winds up in such a typical college-like scene as helens house!

since i didn't comment on the other chapters i must say that i love the drama between bellatrix and lucius and narcissa, its very tangled which is how i think of these old rich societies and i hope there will be more of that. your use of proper language is also very gratifying and this whole story seems overall very compelling especially since we kind of know how she turns out and but not how she got there nor how she feels. thanks for such a happy reprieve! i might have to sketch some fan art eventually.

Reviewer: Elarra GreensleevesDate: 2006-02-11
Reviewid: 139674Chapter: 2
Wonderful story - the best I've read in a long time.
Oh, and nice choice of title - that's what made me read it, since I love Chess - and it fits really well.

Reviewer: KresselDate: 2006-01-22
Reviewid: 138802Chapter: 2
I love everything about this story. I love that you've given Narcissa a talent, I love this encounter with Frank Longbottom, "Teddy Bear" and "Drama," and the little bits with Sirius. And I assume the name "Cassandra Austin" was deliberate, too. It's a very Austen-like story, showing the hypocrisy of high society while keeping us in JKR's magical universe. I'm very much looking forward to more.

Reviewer: aurora330Date: 2006-01-13
Reviewid: 138488Chapter: 2
Oh how the world would have been different if Narcissa married Frank Longbottom instead LOL. Anyways great little story i do hope you update soon

Reviewer: AnyaDate: 2006-01-13
Reviewid: 138475Chapter: 2
Now this is Narcissa; cool, composed, stylish.

I love the way you've woven this, with Narcissa mostly detatched and well formed into a 'proper' lady, but still able to access intuition with her divination and in her self-contained feelings and reactions. I think she also comes across as having impeccable taste and the rare ability to see beauty and true style in even second hand things. Still waters run very deep here, I think it suits her beautifuly.

The culture you've set up is very well done, usualy the "prim 'n proper English Victorian Wizard World" model falls flat on it's face in fics, usualy as an excuse to have 'marriage contracts' and other silly devices, but you've set the culture up very well in just the first two chapters. Gentlemen court, ladies play instruments and engage in parlour games without falling into silly Gothic novel traps. Well behaved young witches and wizards who are set up with manners and gloves and very high expectations.

It contrasts wickedly well with the nickname you've given Andromeda and her almost bohemian way of sweeping out of the stiff well behaved Regencyesque summer retreat (to her teddy-bear!) is a wonderfuly view of Andromeda who so often gets stuffed into the mould of "the boring" Black sister. And Bella...well she's just *scary* intense, I love that she and Lestrange have quick wits instead of just being dressed up versions of Boris and Natasha.

I also appreciate that you've mercifuly disregarded the fannon tendency towards putting Narcissa in Sirius' year for extra "drama," I don't think the story needs it, it's intriguing, stylish and subtle (just like Narcissa...)

My only niggle is with the format, tis a bit hard for me to read as I'm used to spacing between each paragraph.

I can't wait to see what Narcissa gets up to with the very elegant young Mister Longbottom... (ditto on the audience thing though, and I've actually worked on a production of Chess so I got a giggle out of the title! Very fitting!)

Reviewer: Jo WickaninnishDate: 2006-01-13
Reviewid: 138453Chapter: 2
Umm.... wow. Let me get my thoughts in order, I'm not usually the best reviewer.

I clicked on your fic fully expecting to give up a paragraph or two in because you were writing about characters that I never really care about, but you managed to suck me right in before my attention had a chance to waver.

I love the elegant tone in your prose. It seems so appropriate for writing about the Old Families. I love your treatment of Narcissa - holy twinkletoes Batman, she has an actual personality and I love it. I loved her feelings about being good at divination and her quiet enjoyment of that sort of subversion to the respectable. I love the way you include Andromeda in the family. She's clearly got a strong streak of Black in her, but you can see how she wound up with a Muggleborn.

I like the interesting combination of Sirius and Peter as background characters. I think Julie is a terrific and intriuging OC. Lucius kind of gives me the creeps and makes me want to kick him and tell him to leave Narcissa alone, but it seems like that's sort of the reaction you're going for.

I even really liked the tone of the letter Andromeda recieved from her friends. Your Icarus reference seemed so intelligent and yet somehow magical, it worked wonderfully.

OK, I think I'm done babbling like a lunatic now. I'm really looking forward to the next chapter. Goodness gracious, what happens with Longbottom? I've totally got my fingers crossed for some sort of star-crossed lovers situation or whatnot.

What are you doing still reading this long, rambling review?!? You should be working on your masterpiece instead!

Reviewer: ClytymnystraDate: 2005-12-11
Reviewid: 136997Chapter: 1
Hmmm. Really enjoying this depiction of the aptly titled Beautiful People and especially Narcissa's place in it. Referring to Chapter One, a few comments:

1. Nice descriptive interactions between family members--especially showing the conflicting camps of Drama/Sirius/Peter and Lucius/Bella/Narcissa. As they say "Conflict, conflict conflict" is enchantment in storytelling, and you are setting it up.

2. A few stilted parts “Thank you, Mr. Malfoy. I would like that above all things.” seems a little much when a simple "Thank you" would do. Overall I think you capture the formality of the interactions well, but of course, we all have our preferred degrees of formality. This last was a hair too far for me--given the age/relationship of the two in question.

3. I liked that you gave Narcissa abilities in fortune-telling--think it suits.

4. I'm not Miss Manners, but I think it was probably proper for Lucius to be getting Bella's cloak as the hosting family member present at the time. I don't think he was in a position to politely refuse, so I think you might have picked another situation or perhaps the follow up as you clarify his rejection of Bella's flirtatious advances.

4. Narcissa reflects that she has "won" the skirmish with Bella, and that "I did that." However, it seems that Narcissa herself has done very little--rather Lucius has made his preferences clear and this has favored Narcissa. Not sure if she should be crediting herself just yet, although really agree, and ENJOY that you tie this chapter up with her reflection on Bella's talent for revenge.

5. One last thing, although this isn't necessarily relevant--I myself had thought in Spinner's End of canon, that the Narcissa/Bella relationship is somewhat more affectionate/if conflicted than will be possible as a follow-up to this romantic rivalry...but that's perhaps
--maybe just me!

ANYWAY, so fun! On to the next chapter!!

Reviewer: _PhoenixLament_Date: 2005-12-09
Reviewid: 136966Chapter: 1
I thought this story wz really groovy, it's fun to see how they all interact, and that they don't know that they'd b soon having draco!

Reviewer: Author by NightDate: 2005-12-09
Reviewid: 136940Chapter: 1
Thessaly - ecfans Thessaly? It's me, Azaelia!

(Ahem. Onto the review - and apologies if this isn't the same Thessaly).

Interesting fic - I'm looking forward to more.

Reviewer: feylinDate: 2005-12-08
Reviewid: 136928Chapter: 1
very interesting!! I can't wait to see more of all these characters. It's so easy to forget that some of them were all once a family.

Reviewer: RoseyDate: 2005-12-08
Reviewid: 136913Chapter: 1
Oooo, intriguing! I love how you've got all the characters working together, and I'm especially curious to see how it all pans out regarding Lucius/Narcissa/Bella. I like how you've built up Bella's entrance (and you've got her character down pat). I also like how you've portrayed Narcissa as the youngest, and with her personality all about 'keeping up appearances' I think she's written well. I especially love Andromeda and her mother's tension and arguments, which I'm looking forward into building up for future events. You've got me hooked, I'm eager for more!

How many chapters are you planning on writing?

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