Oh, Anna. This was a simply wonderful read. The Bellatrix you’ve captured within this fic, at this most crucial time for her, is very real, and very in character. I like the way you portray her in the prison; she’s strong, but clearly is not above the affects of Azkaban and the dementors, they still get to her. Yet, she is still Bellatrix; you show her fond memories as ones where is serving the Dark Lord, killing, causing pain … That is very real for her in this fic, and I think you did a good job displaying that.
You also show her remembering other times; Hogwarts, her sisters, even her husband. I liked that, but I felt a little snag at the last mention. I personally don’t think she would have thought to think of him, because I don’t think she loved him enough to remember and treasure moments they spent together the way she does in this fic. She might remember, yes, but treasure … it’s a strong word, one I feel is too strong for Bella’s feelings for Rodolphus.
I love the way you set up the beginning and the description of the prison. Even those minor details, such as the screams, added so much and made the whole image really vivid in my head.
The Rodolphus you show in this fic isn’t the focus, but he is a strong character nevertheless. You show him as more than the husband behind Bella, the man that simply follows what she does. You give him character, and you make him lead. He shows affection for her, but it is subtle – the perfect combination, in my opinion. You also show that he seems to know more about the plan than Bellatrix, something else I agree with. I see Rodolphus as the planner, the brains behind her action, and you display this view as well in the way he explains things to her. She is a driving force when she is in action, much larger than him, but he sets it all up, and I really like the way you showed that.
(whenever he remembered, or whenever he decided she was about to starve were the two most likely ones. Or perhaps a combination, it was hard to gauge)
I love these two sentences for what they mean, but I think they read just a bit awkwardly, especially as they are within parentheses. I think it would read much better if you put a hyphen between them instead of separating them as two sentences, and it would add a bit more emphasis as well.
Otherwise she would sometimes had a hard time believing it was, would be convinced that she was stuck in the same endless time loop, and could only be released from this period where no time passed if she was out of here, out of Azkaban…
First, I love this, especially the ‘endless time loop’ and the fact that it ends in an ellipse rather than a full stop. I think those two really work together to create a lot of meaning and emphasis. However, there is a slightly grammatical error; instead of ‘Otherwise she would sometimes had a hard time’ is should be ‘have’, or you should simply take out the ‘would’ altogether. Either way works.
I like the way you show this very well known moment in Harry Potter form a completely different view. You did it very well; as I said, Bella is in character, and the event as she sees it changes it greatly and yet not at all. Its chilling, my dear, but absolutely wonderful. I especially liked the way you ended it, after their return had been acknowledged. You really tied it back to canon by bringing Harry in as the last moment, and it was a good note to end on.
Overall, I’m really glad I happened to stumble over this and read it. You’re a talented author, and I really love your work. This is just one great example.
Author's Response: Nikki! Wow, what an awesome review. How do I begin to reply? Heh. I love writing Bellatrix. I love writing all the Death Eaters, for that matter. They're just so much fun. >_> *coughs* Glad you enjoyed my portrayal of her, anyhow. Bellatrix and Rodolphus . . . I go back and forth on how I see their relationship (if you're interested, I deal with their relationship more thoroughly in another fic of mine, When You're Gone. Not that I'm self-promoting or anything ;]). But for the most part, I do agree that they don't love each other. I think it's more of a mutual . . . I don't know what word I'm looking for . . . respect, maybe? They're passionate about the same things, and have similiar mindsets -- though like you said, Bellatrix is more action, Rodolphus less so. I agree with both of the errors that you pointed out. When I'm not so lazy, I shall have to fix those. ;) You flatter me, hon. Thanks again so much for this lovely review. *hugs back*
Author's Response: :D Thank you!
oh thats good! Bella looking at the sky is really something else! Its very powerful!
Author's Response: I'm glad you enjoyed this. It was strange at first getting inside Bellatrix's head, but I had fun. Thanks for the nice review! :)
Nice job my dearie! (I knew Elle would give us a Bella story to read, hehe.) *clears throat* Anyways...
The details you gave the reader when describing Bella's cell was riveting. You could almost smell the murkiness that she had been living in. Okay, I'll touch upon some areas where I got confused and then I will... well, I'll do something. I'm just not sure what yet.
[I]She would recall other times as well to distract herself from the intense, endless cold…times with her sisters, when they had all gotten along…and times from her days at Hogwarts, from her classes to her socializing…as well as minutes with her husband, Rodolphus…she would relive each instant vividly, treasuring them once again, as though through a second life.[/I]
I was a bit confused as to the way the sentence was written. It just seemed so... long.(?)
[I]Holed up inside herself, some days it was all she could do to remain sane. She would fasten to her memories, memories of service under the Dark Lord. Every moment from her initiation into becoming a Death Eater, to the countless victims she had tortured and killed…she could still hear their shrieks reverberate off the walls, sending delighted chills down her back…[/I]
Ahh, yes. The evil within peeks out. You've got to love our Bella. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the grouping of the Death Eaters and their reunion with Voldemort. It was very believable and that was refreshing.
Author's Response: *giggles* I wonder why you thought Elle would do that? :D
Hmm, yeah, I see what you mean about that long sentence. It is kind of rambly and long-ish. :P My only excuse is that Bellatrix's thoughts might become a little disjointed after spending so many years in Azkaban.
Yes, I do love Bella, but more in the sense that I love to loath her. :D However, writing this did soften me a little towards her. I'm so glad you liked this, Nicole. Thanks so much for the nice review! :)
Very good. I love the descriptions you've used in this story. They are very vivid and powerful.
Author's Response: Glad you liked, thanks for reviewing!
Anna, we are such Slytherins. I can’t believe it. We did the same challenge; you wrote about when the Death Eaters escaped Azkaban and I wrote about when they were returned. Great minds, I suppose. *giggles*
Anyway, this was really great. Your description was wonderful. It was like being there with my precious Bella. Your take on Azkaban was interesting as well. I found the fact that there were windows in the cells very different. I have never seen that in a fic before. It was a good idea though. It gives them a way to know how time is passing them by while they rot away.
I was a bit disappointed that the Dark Lord seemed to have his own lair. That seems a little unrealistic to me. He seems too smart to spend much time in one place when so many people want to kill him. However, it worked well to allow his followers to return to him.
And as you know, I hate to think of Bella truly feeling that was about the Dark Lord, but you wrote it very well.
His red eyes lingered over each of them in turn. When the red gaze turned to Bellatrix, she felt her whole body tingle with some strange feeling, swell with a lovely notion. His eyes moved beyond her, and she felt herself steady again. She admired him so, she always felt so privileged when he looked at her…
This paragraph was really well done. I hate the idea that Bella would feel that way, but it showed her feelings so well. To imagine that she would feel so privileged just to have him look at her. It really showed the depth of her devotion.
Oh, and I have a tiny nitpick. In this sentence: Her desolate cell consisted only of only a stiff cot with a thin wool blanket and a rusted bucket for her waste. You have a typo—one too many onlys. :D
Anyway, overall, this was really good. I’ve never given that much thought to the Azkaban escape. Maybe I will now. Great Job, Anna!
Author's Response: *giggles* Great minds most certainly do think alike. ;D
I'm glad you enjoyed the descriptions of Azkaban. I pretty much just described it how I've always seen the place.
As for the Dark Lord's lair, I do kind of agree with you. It wouldn't be the brightest thing for him to have a gathering place like that. But on the other hand, he's got to live and make evil plans somewhere, right? ;)
Yes, I do think Bellatrix is very devoted to the Dark Lord. Sorry. But I'm pleased that you liked reading it regardless. :)
Thanks so much for the lovely review, Elle! And I will fix the typo right away. :D