Kelly, I have a why for reviewing this. Several, in fact.
First, You Have A Why is one of those epistolary stories that ensnare. Here we have a view into the mind of a character seemingly in the background but very much at the thick of the melee, what with having the villain in her house.
Second, your Narcissa is the consummate Slytherin pureblood princess in her letter. Commanding, striking and playing all her cards. Writing her thoughts and arguments down, safe from being overheard by her unwanted guests, and certain to have even more influence on her husband because of the permanence of ink. Verbum volent, scripta manent. Words fly, writing remains. I can see Lucius rereading and rereading this (after lifting protective charms, of course), for resolve, for fortitude, for guidance.
Last but not least, in one letter and in a few paragraphs, you have shown us all three of the Malfoys, before, during and after the War. You explained them. This certainly goes to my stash of "Malfoy Canon". I keep remembering that scene in the Great Hall after the Battle of Hogwarts, when the three of them were back together. Narcissa hinted of that coming scene in her passion here for her family.
Author's Response: Thank you so much, Joanna! I'm so glad that you liked the characterization and Narcissa's actions. That makes me so very happy. :D
*squishes SPEW buddy*
What a gorgeous story! I have a word document of comments for you, so let’s get straight into them, shall we?
First, you have a beautiful style of writing. I think I may have mentioned this in another review I gave you, but I’ll say it again all the same. You use very short, sharp sentences, and they get the point across immediately. It worked really well; because everything Narcissa is writing is urgent, and the tone of the fic suits it perfectly. My English teacher would kill you, though. ^_^ You repeatedly end sentences and start the next one with ‘and’. I like the effect of this, but you do it so often that it detracts from the impact it would usually have, and in some places, it would just work better to have a comma so it flows better. For example:
And when that day comes, our son will be gone. And all your effort will have been in vain.
I think this would work much better if you removed the ‘and’ from the beginning, and used a comma instead after ‘gone’. All it does is put emphasis on a sentence that doesn’t necessarily need the emphasis. Do you see what I mean?
Your description, though, is gorgeous. You have a gift for it, sweetie. I’m not overly brilliant at being descriptive, and using adjectives, so I really love how you’ve done it. You’ve captured the emotions of Narcissa and Draco really well, especially since it’s a letter, and you’re not specifically telling the reader how they feel.
I love your characterisation of the Malfoys. I never really thought much of them up until the end of book seven, where they changed slightly, and I realised that they may have minds of their own after all. :] You’ve portrayed this perfectly. You show a different side to the Malfoys to what we see in canon, but you’ve written it so it’s still plausible, especially after the events in DH. I like how Narcissa seems like she’s trying to reach out to Lucius; to the husband she once loved.
If I were the one given the task of telling him such things, I would be brushed off immediately and dismissed as weak, with female fears.
Ah. Such is the ways of evil purebloods. :] Okay, so I put that badly, but you know what I mean. This sentence is so typical of a woman who has grown up as a Black, and then married to a Malfoy. I’d imagine Narcissa to have grown up being taught to hold her tongue, because she was just an insignificant girl, and then probably to have an arranged or forced marriage to a man who thought the same way. She wouldn’t expect people to listen to her opinions. You brought that across wonderfully, even though I don’t know if that was the point you were trying to make or not. >.>
I only have one very small nitpick.
Our son is standing at the metaphorical fork in the path.
This sentence just doesn’t agree with me. I think you could leave out ‘metaphorical’, and just have ‘our son is standing at a fork in the path.’ It would make it flow a lot better. You don’t really need ‘metaphorical’, because it is clear that it is metaphorical, and the letter is filled with so many elusive phrases like this one that it doesn’t even need to be singled out.
The ending almost brought a tear to my eye. :] I think you would do brilliantly at writing a Lucius/Narcissa fic, my dear. Because even though I’ve never been a fan of the Malfoy’s, you make me realise that they do love each other underneath everything, and they care for each other and for Draco immensely.
Finally, I’m rather curious as to why this is titled: ‘You Have A Why.’ I would have thought you would call it ‘You Have A Reason’, or something similar to that. I’m not against the title, I actually really like it. It caught my eye when I was scrolling down your author’s page. But I’m just asking; because you can’t really own a ‘why’, can you?
Oh dear. This review is almost as long as your actual fic, hun. >.> Anyway, I was utterly thrilled with it. It’s absolutely stunning, and definitely my favourite fic of yours. You’re a wonderful writer. Not that I ever doubted it, of course. :] Well done again!
Author's Response: Jen! rn
rnThank you so much for the lovely review. Let me see...ah yes, the title. Why did I chose it? Well, I was originally going to write another letter from Lucius that was going to use the title cleverly (since abandoned). I think it just kind of stuck. Also, can you really own a reason? How many other people do things for their children? I think that such things are sort of public domain...plus, it sounded neat! rn
rn*snickers* I do have a tendency to irritate English teachers, it's true. Fortunately, I got to do creative writing this year, so my teacher was pleased with my style. :D I think I will go back and get rid of some of the 'ands', though. Thank you for the suggestion. rn
rnAh yes, such is the problem with very short letters. Thank you so much (again) for a review that nearly surpassed my word count. rn
I enjoyed this fic. Before this I believed that Lucius joined for power, and because he believed in the cause. It was nice to get a different perspective. It agrees with the way that Lucius and Narcissa were only concerned for Draco in Deathly Hallows.
It did not quite change my mind but it has made me think.
Author's Response: Thinking is a wonderful thing and I'm pleased that my story could help you expand your horizons.
This is lovely! What a wonderful piece- you've captured Narcissa beautifully. Very, very good.
Author's Response: Thank you and I'm glad you enjoyed it.