Since the story's so well-edited, ^_~, I read this chapter with an eye for characterization, and what really struck me was how much Bella resembles a rebellious teenager. Her huge sighs, the way she widens her eyes innocently to hide her wild antics and imaginings. Her jealousy and pranks.
I think it's the Victorian-like tradition pure-bloods have of keeping daughters living at home with no job until they marry a wizard who meets their requirements of wealth, blood purity, and political views.
So here's this woman with arrested development and mental issues attracted to a man who's her polar opposite. While it might not make for a happily ever after, it will never be boring!
Author's Response: I must admit, I'm very pleased with the editing. It looks like someone did a lot of work on that. You know how first drafts can be:D I think you've hit the nail on the head with your description of Bella's character. She's the oldest daughter in an old pure-blood family. They probably appear to have money but really don't. But, after all, it's appearances that count. As a pure-blood she hasn't been out in the world very much. She's a rebellious sort and wants to be independent. I think she started out wanting to "play" with her Muggle artist, in a way to spite her family, but their relationship seems to be getting more serious. I worry about that nice young artist. I'm afraid she's going to break his heart. I'm not sure how committed Bella can be. I could be wrong, I hope I'm wrong. I have Chapter 6 waiting to be validated and a Christmas story. I'd appreciate your comments:D so be on the lookout for them. Be sure to have a Happy Christmas. See you next time.
Long overdue to leave some remarks, I know. All packed for guilt trip, lol. That being said, I’m really enjoying your story. Gabe is a great character and I can’t wait to see how his Native American mysticism plays against Bella’s magical heritage. Or could he even be a shaman in disguise… so many rich possibilities. The details about the smudging ceremony read just as exotic as the workings of the magical world to regular Muggles like me, wonderful touch. The dogs are great, but I’m a dog person so that’s a given. Please don’t let anything happen to them, I can’t bear that.
Lots of suspense created by your chapter notes about the cataclysm that’s going to throw Bella over the edge. Will you be interjecting any of this into the actual narrative, though? I guess it all depends upon whether you want readers to enjoy the opening chapters with a sense of impending doom, or whether you want to pounce it on them unexpected. Your choice, either way. Knowing how heartless and evil the pure-blood fanatics can be, the possibilities are dire indeed. Loved the way that Bella showed up drunk before Rodolphus – I don’t think she managed to repulse him as she much as she had hoped, though.
The name of Onyx for the Black family house-elf is priceless. Coincidentally (again), the black lab that I recently adopted from my sister-in-law is named Onyx. I would’ve preferred to call him Seriously Black, myself. Keep up the excellent work; I look forward to the next chapter.
Author's Response: I found out late last night that "A Black Brunch" had been rejected on another website because I said "drunk" in the chapter summary. Bummer!! When I checked MNFF this morning and saw your review, well, that made up for it. I felt I was on the right track. Not only have I been busy with writing but work's been real busy also. I'm looking forward to Christmas break which starts tomorrow and runs until after New Year's. I plan to get a lot of reading and writing taken care of. I'll be submitting Ch. 6 in a couple of days. Based on your review, I think you'll really enjoy it. I'm also working on a one-shot Christmas story. I'm not finished with that yet so I hope it works out. Hmm, Gabe as a shaman? Could be--I'm not telling:D You'll have to read and find out. I'm not planning for anything bad to happen to the dogs. That would just break my heart beyond repair. They're based on dogs I once owned and they lived good, loyal lives. There's no reason to hurt them even in fiction. Unfortunately, the same doesn't go for Bella. As bad as the character she becomes, she doesn't deserve what will happen to her. Readers will be witnesses to the entire hideous tragedy. When Molly yells, "Not my daughter, you bitch." (I think that's how it's stated) something's gonna snap in Bella and she's going to want to die. So, Molly's curse will be a blessing. Poor Gabe's heart will be shattered but I'm not sure if he'll totally understand what happened until he's much older. I hope I haven't told too much:D I bought a Great Dane puppy over the summer. He'll be nine months old right after Christmas. He's black with a white chest and white tips that are polka-dotted on his feet. His name is Mayhem Ange-Noir and he's quite a handful. i keep waiting for him to be the world's biggest lap dog like I was promised:D Thanks so much for your review. I'm inspired to write on!! To the keyboard!!
She’d be the perfect doting mother, putting her smothering skills to good use.
*snorts* Brilliant. Hehe.
I really liked Bella in this: she was funny, snarky, bitchy, and full of attitude. Keep it up!
Author's Response: I see Bella and Cissy as being about as different as night and day but still hopelessly intertwined. I have a friend, also my beta, who suggested that Cissy is an enabler to her very independent, slightly nutty, and possibly alcoholic older sister. I think Cissy cares a little more about appearances while Bella is very much into doing what makes her feel good no matter what it looks like. I have a number of local friends and family members who are convinced that I'm Bella. I've been asked if I'm really that bitchy or if I really did that to someone. (I'm always frowning at them and saying--"You've know me most of my life. What do you think?" To which I get a wink and a smile.) I must admit that when I'm in doubt as to how to write Bella I search my brain for instances of my most outrageous behavior or things I wish I could do:D I've said before, in response to a review, that many of the things in this story do have their basis in reality. I once owned a Newfoundland named Sampson and a Great Pyrenees named Jacob. Remember the scene when Bella was watching a father with three children eating in the gallery? That was really me with my three children in a Chinese restaurant in Cambridge, MA. As was the Mum pushing the pram with her foot while reading a textbook. Anyway, I don't know why I went off on a tangent like this--maybe to reassure you that I plan to keep up my characterization of Bella. I have lots of stories to tell:D Thanks for your review. I respect your opinion and admire your work so they come as high praise to me. See you next time. Chapter 6 should be coming up before too long.
It's interesting to note how Bella has a low opinion of Voldemort in her youth, which we know changes (i.e. she lusts after the bloke). I'm curious if you'll ever show us what changes her mind.
I like how you show us the side of Bella we've scene in her later years (i.e. a crazy bitch), but you also demonstrate her insecurities, in her youth - primarily a subtle envy of Narcissa. And it was almost sweet the way she was trying to impress Gabe. ^_^
The closing scene was also rather amusing. I'm liking your Bella, m'dear. ^^
Author's Response: Right now, Bella has mixed feelings for Voldemort. If you'll remember from the first chapter, she very much admires Voldemort's magical power. She's very enticed by that power. She's into appearances but she's seduced by power and whomever wields it. On the other hand, she's falling in love with an American Muggle. This has got to be the epitome of thumbing her nose at her family. He's so exotically attractive to her: he's dark skinned, tall, independent, kind,--some of the things she's not used to with the pasty faced Wizards. Not only is he a Muggle but he's an American minority, of mixed blood, and he honestly has to work for his money. Her family would cross the street to avoid him but he's so beautiful to her. I plan to show, many chapters from now, how she turns to the Death Eaters and why she cruelly wants to take revenge on all Muggles for the tragedy she believes they are responsible for. This will be humorous but so tragic in the end. Thanks for reading. Your comments mean a lot to me.
I'm really enjoying this story! It's a very different view of Bella but also very IC. I really like the way her skills at manipulating/ getting away with not quite but possibly later murder are here in a non-extremist Bella. Looking forward to the next chapter!
Just a quick question- if Bella is 19 in your fic how old is Narcissa? And will we be meeting Andromeda soon (sorry she's my favourite character atm and looking forward to seeing her and Bella's relationship)! Can't wait for the next chapter! Alex x
Author's Response: Thank you so much for your kind and lovely review. You've made my day! I think I've mentioned in other responses, that I see Bella as a very intelligent, powerful, and beautiful woman. Beautiful and intelligent people can be plagued by mental illness and can be broken by extreme tragedy. I truly believe that Bella wasn't always a cruel and evil witch. I think she had hopes and dreams and I think she might be shocked if she could look into the future and see what she becomes and how she dies 20 years down the road. I guess I wanted to give Bella a few happy months and a few dreams. I wanted to give a reason as to why she becomes such a horrible person. I'm thankful that JKR left little me some space to play with Bella and get to know her. Maybe I shouldn't say this but if you are someone who is afraid of emotion, afraid of laughter, afraid of tears--you shouldn't read this. I'm going to take you on a helluvaride!! And, I'll be laughing and crying right along with you. Thanks for bringing up your questions at the end. I guess I'd better deal with this somehow. According to canon, Bella was born in 1951. This story is taking place in the summer-fall of 1978 through early summer of 1980, so Bella would be 27, as is Gabe. When I'm reading a story I always like to have an idea of the timeline yet I haven't given you one. I apologize and will find some way to remedy that. I'm embarrassed to say I don't remember whether Bella or Cissy is the oldest--I think Bella is. (I need to look that up for sure.) I need to bring Andromeda in soon. I think she'd be able to empathize the best with Bella right now, don't you. While I know where the story is going and where it will end, I don't know a lot of the specifics yet--until I sit down and write. Again, thanks. I think you've inspired me to go off and work on Chapter 6. What pranks do you Bella will pull this time? Those poor Yank friends of Gabe's. They don't stand a chance.
I am so glad the two finally met. I love the meeting between the two and laugh at Bella's artful manipulation. It's so Bella. And I loved her dig at her cousin, Sirius). *snorts* (Oh, 'Merlot' is always capitalised).
Your descriptions of the artwork are wonderful. I can actually see them. My only qualm is with the constant PoV shifts towards the end. I kind of feel like this entire chapter should have been told from Bella's PoV or at least divided by scene.
Having said that, I'm quite excited to see what will happen next. Loving the UST between Gabe and Bella. Keep up the good work, love.
Author's Response: Sorry it took me so long to reply to your review. My desktop started to act up last week and I hate using my laptop. I waited until I got to work so I could use that desktop. I'm delighted that you found Chapter 3. I'm so glad that you you could "see" the paintings. I'm not much of an artist myself so I wasn't sure how to describe them and make them sound amazing to Bella. The paintings had to be amazing to her since that's one of the things that drew her to Gabe. I'm also glad that you agree with my characterization of Bella--that you find her believable. We have to remember that she was once young and had hopes and dreams like anyone else--that she was somewhat normal before she was manipulated into being the cruel and evil person she became. Since Merlot is capitalized I'll bet that Burgundy is too. That's coming up in the next chapter and won't be capitalized either. Thanks also for the PoV comment. I tend to be guilty of switching PoVs all of a sudden, so I'll try to watch it. Chapter 4 has been waiting to be validated for a week (tomorrow) so I hope to see it published very soon. Thanks for reading and taking the time to review. I'll see you next time.
I'm so glad they chose Helena Bonham Carter to be Bellatrix in the movies because she's my mental image for the character now and I can absolutely see her drinking, flirting, and gloating that she's manipulated everything to her satisfaction.
Gabe is confident with mean drunks, not so confident with a woman like Bella. I like him more for that. And it's always a plus when a guy wears leather and smells good too. ;)
I did notice while rereading that there’s no time/day context when the pov shifts from Bella and “Gabe took the dogs for a run and came . . . .” Is it happening at night? It would be good to know to help picture the scene. Also, the term “smudged”, while explained before, might be hard for readers to immediately recall. If you put “That night, when Gabe performed the smudging ceremony” I think it would jog memories, or at least give a clearer mental image.
Near the end, Bella dancing in the dark is an unexpected image. It made me relate to her more, and made me hum Bruce Springsteen. :)
Author's Response: I always picture Helena Bonham Carter as Bellatrix too. I really think she was a free spirit. She was out to have fun but something tragic happened that totally changed her lifestyle. I can see her out partying and having a good time. Gabe is a sweetie. He's almost innocent when compared to Bella, but he will try to protect her, as a good warrior should. He thinks he's man enough to handle Bella and maybe he is during these months when they were so happy. As for her dancing in the dark, it's interesting to note that she was probably doing a traditional women's dance while listening to a Native drum group. When you're listening to the drum it's hard not to dance. It goes straight to your center and you can feel its power. That's what Bella identified with. The drum is called "the heartbeat of the people." I agree with your comments and will try to pay attention in the future. I know what time of day it is but I guess it would help if I told everyone else:D I'm also familiar with the term "smudging" so I think other people are too. As I said, those are good points and I will try to incorporate them in the future. Thanks for your review and I'll see you next time. I just submitted Chapter 4, entitled "Friends" this evening so keep an eye out for it.
^.^ Liked it! Good nicely scheemed way to get our heroes (more like hero and anti-heroine) tomeet. I wonder where will all this lead...
- Your excited and impatient reader, Kay.
Author's Response: Hello again. It took about 12 days for this chapter to get validated and that was without any corrections. I'm kind of busy at work but I hope to get Chapter 4 in line in a couple of days:D I'm glad you found this one. That Bella is quite the schemer. It's kind of funny in a way. Bella wasn't too impressed before she met Gabe. As I recall, she called him a "fairy git" and thought he was trying to overcompensate for something. Then she became kind of obsessed with his art. After she stalked him for a while she decided to meet him. You can't stop a crazy woman with a plan:D Now you know I can't tell you where this is going:P I kind of know but I could change my mind. I won't say anything more right now. Thank you so much for the review. See you next time.
Ooh, I like Gabe. I love that he's Native American. *drools* I'm rather looking forward to their next encounter. I do hope you continue. ^_^
Author's Response: Well, thank you very much. Gabe is my invented character, based on a number of individuals, real and fictional. Chapter three is waiting for validation but it should be soon. I also must apologize for taking so long to respond. I was happy to see you had found my story but real life has a way of intervening even when you're happy. I wish I could write all day but I suppose that would get old after a while too. I'm so glad you like Gabe and look for chapter 3. We'll see if Gabe and Bella manage to find each other. See you next time.
Gods, I'm gorgeous.
Lol! I love your Bella here. I can picture a young Helena Bonham Carter doing all these things, as well as Bellatrix. It's such an appropriate rebellious stage for a Black teenager in the '70s. I am assuming she is 19 and this is 1970.
So why didn't you tell me you had a story published? Naughty! *waggles finger disapprovingly*
I love the title, Bella Rosa. It alludes to sub rosa, which alludes to secrecy. And that is what Bella is doing: sneaking around, being secretive.
You're building up the action nicely, introducing a Yank OC, whom Bella should have lots of fun toying with. I mean, she needs some boys to kiss too! ^_~
Normally, I am not a fan of Marauder Era fics, but this Bella-centric fic proves to be promising. Keep up the good work.
Author's Response: I am so excited that you found my two chapters. I must offer my humble apology for not informing you that they were posted. (Picture downcast head, sad eyes, on bended knee.) I had talked about writing for so long that I was starting to get embarrassed when I finally did it:D Plus, I hadn't been reading much since I was writing. Chapter 3 has been waiting for validation since Thursday evening so look for that soon. I'm actually picturing this in the late 70s--like 1977-78. She's in her middle to late 20s and her family's really pushing her to get married--to the right pureblooded bloke, of course. I'm trying to offer an explanation for why Bella was so insane and cruel. I think something's going to happen that is so awful it will totally turn her small mental illness issues into full-blown insanity and Bella, herself, into the most evil witch of all time--I think. Something will snatch the only happiness she ever knew right out from under her. The title, Bella Rosa, will also come to have an additional meaning a little later on in the story besides alluding to secrecy. Thanks so much for your review. It means a lot to me. I hope you continue reading.
The world will never have enough stories, so I'm glad you went from contemplating writing to doing it.
In this chapter, I enjoyed the glimpse into Gabe's life and how he and Bella are both fascinated and wanting to know each other better without the other being aware of it.
You know how I am about repetition, wanting to pluck it out like one of Stephen King's "pernicious dandelion" adverbs, :D. I couldn't help but notice that in the third to last paragraph the line about the dogs lying on the floor is repeating what you showed earlier.I'm looking forward to the When Gabe Met Bella moment, and thanks for the thanks, although only your desire (and bum glue) will get the story written. :)
Author's Response: Well, I must say, I certainly have enough bum glue to finish this story:D It's finished--it just has to be written, which is where the bum glue comes in:D You deserve a lot of thanks for this story. Thanks to you, in the past year, it's gone from a simple idea that was discussed over hamburgers in a small cafe with my sister to a many-chaptered and I hope interesting story. But, let's get to it. I think you will see the When Gabe Met Bella moment in the next chapter. That's when I will probably hear choruses of "Oh no, he's such a nice young man. Keep him away from her. She's evil." :D But he is a strong young man who will give Bella the best and happiest months of her life. Now, will she remember those months?? Hmmm, I wonder what that means? Mwahaha!! I saw that "dogs lying on the floor" sentence and thought the same thing but I left it in the interest of posting. You had made a couple of other suggestions also that I want to eventually fix in the final copy. You do know that I will make a hard copy of the final to keep (and probably be buried with:D). Thanks for your review. You are a true and loyal friend, going above and beyond the call of duty.
So.... Gage, uh?
I have a question. When you say Indian origins... you mean he's a Native, an aborigin. Not that he's from India, right?
I mean, with the eagle feather and everything... But at first I was a bit intrigued.
It's funny because this Gabriel seems to be a total opposite of Bella. Muggle and nice, easy-going and non scheeming. So, yes, the opposite.
I foresee a LOT of angst. I was a bit skeptical of fics that tried to explain how rotten-to-the-core characters became so. (like Voldy, for instance) then Belledeg came along and now you seem to be taking it upon yourself to to carry on with her legacy.
I think that the Bella you portrayed has all the potencial of tragically becoming the Bellatric we hate and fear. But with the setting you're laying out, you might just get us to bond with her and understand her fall.
I googled up the dog breed. Wow. Impressive!
Keep the good work!
Author's Response: Yes, Gabriel is a Native American character from South Dakota. He is actually an enrolled Ojibwe but practices many of the Lakota traditions since he spent most of his life with his mother in South Dakota. His best friends, that we meet in a couple of chapters, are Lakota from South Dakota. And how do I know that? Well, he's my character, of course:D In many ways, he is the opposite of Bella, but they do say that opposites attract. You can't blame Bella, in her rebellious stage, who falls for a very handsome Yank from the States who is probably the worst sort of Muggle imagineable to her family:P There's going to be so much angst--I can't tell you how many tiimes I've cried over this story already. But there will be a lot of chuckles too, I hope, kind of like real life. Keep in mind that many of the scenes you will read about in this story are based on things that actually have happened. I see Bella as being a very powerful and intelligent woman who is hurt and betrayed so wrongly and horribly that her slight mental illness (that wouldn't even be noticeable otherwise) comes to the forefront and she becomes, tragically, Voldemort's very powerful and cruel puppet. I actually owned Jacob, the Great Pyrenees once as well as Sampson, the Newfoundland. Thanks for your thoughtful review. I hope I've answered some of your questions and that you'll check back in a couple of weeks for Chapter 3, where Gabe and Bella meet. See you next time.
Congrats! Good start.
Author's Response: Thanks for your review. I'm working on Chapter 2 but it's going slower than I expected. I'm sure you know how real life intervenes. I keep trying though:D
When had it become her responsibility to marry money and refill the dwindling family coffers? This was the 1970s for gods' sake.
Hehheh Bella saying "This is the 1970s" like so many other rebellious girls must have done. How old is she, exactly? That's something that would be good to work into the story to give readers a clearer picture of her.
You did a good job letting thoughts and actions portray Bella as much as the descriptions. I wonder how long she can keep her nightly outings a secret.
To be honest, Bellatrix pre-Voldemort and Lestrange is someone I can't empathise with yet, but I'm interested to see where you go with this story, and what you'll do with the hint of mental illness portrayed through racing thoughts.
Author's Response: I think the character, Bellatrix Black, was born in 1951. I think of this part of the story as happening around 1977-78, so that makes Bella 26 or 27. Between you and me, Bella will keep her outings a secret for a few months but she becomes so entranced and in love that she becomes a little careless. I won't tell you more:D I'm hoping to describe her as a vulnerable character, doing things she shouldn't do because her family is not going to approve, and her life going to the dark abyss of hell quicker than we can imagine. I want you to care about her but to pity her in the end. I don't want her to be so psychotic that her mental illnes can be blamed for her actions but for her to be a strong woman who breaks under the power of the Dark Lord. Thank you for your review. I think even you might be surprised where this will go in the end:D
LOL! I sure do like this version of Bella. Evil, all right. But yet rebellious! Lovely.
And she's bound to meet someone else with Mum's issues. Nice!
I'd like to see where this goes.
Author's Response: Thank you so much, Kaiserin!! You're my very first reviewer on MNFF to my very first story. I've had fun writing this and I look forward to a lot more fun with the next chapters. I anticipate this story will be from 25-30 chapters. And, you betcha--Bella is going to meet someone else with Mum's issues:D I'm really excited about this story and I love it!! (Of course, I know where it's going.) There's going to be a lot of romance and a lot of angst. I mean, Bella can't help but have angst can she? Something made her the deadliest and most evil witch ever. I hope to have the next chapter up within two weeks. So, let's say we meet again in a couple of weeks. Deal?