Hey Gina. Happy holidays!
At first it was the title of this fic that drew me to it (I love anything that has to do with astronomy/astrology/celestial things in general), but it was your narrative that really captivated me. While this was my first Andromeda-centered fic, or on any of the sisters really, I'm still a little awestruck about how much I loved it.
I think you did great with dividing the story in three parts, and I wish I could read more of all of them. First because I want to know more about the sisters growing up and their home environment. Andromeda must have suffered immensely until enrolling in Hogwarts, when she finally wasn't with someone from her family at all times, even if that didn't make it any easier to make friends outside of that tight-knit circle, I'm sure.
Then, of course, Ted. I had never given their relationship much thought, but you made me want to read so much more about them. I want to know how it is that they've met, all the things they went through at Hogwarts and what finally had Andromeda leaving home and marrying Ted, renouncing her family. I feel like there's so much more to their love story and they're greatly under-appreciated, both regarding their relationship and their contribution to the Order later on.
Last but not least, it's so hard to imagine Andromeda's grief over her family's deaths and to try and concile it with raising little Teddy. I like to think a lot of her days are spent reminiscing about her husband and daughter and son-in-law, telling Teddy all about their adventures and disadventures, and seeing in Teddy all that she misses about the others.
I think this is one of those fics that is so good, yet so simple and intricate, that it easily draws the reader into the plot and has them falling in love with it. You sure gave me a new character to learn more about and a new ship to fawn over. Your writing is beautiful and I loved every second of this fic.
Dang. That second sentence -- “The daughters of Cygnus and Druella Black, with their red lips and Patrician bones, bound by a pulse that carried vitality and privilege and wealth -- pure blood.” Again, dang. I had to read the sentence three times to fully appreciate it.
Oh my gosh. This sentence too - “From the moment she met Ted, she dreaded the day they’d have to say goodbye.” It’s such a beautiful and sad sentence.
You’re killing me. “His robes were ringed with yellow and his blood was caked in mud.” How do you come up with this??
“I’ll wait for you.” I LOVE THEM!!!!
Okay, so normally I might have a favorite lines section in a review at the end, but I’m putting it in the beginning this time. I normally don’t stop to and review as I’m reading, but I did for this review. For the lines above ^^
I’m freaking impressed. I don’t think I’ve read much of your work, so I blame my ignorance. But I feel like most stories in this sadish genre maybe have one or two good, awesome, blow-my-socks off kind of lines. I felt like those four seriously popped off the page for me. I reread those lines over each time just to let it soak in deeper. Amazing.
I would LOVE to read a more detailed story about how they got together and so forth. :)
Reviewed for RvG November Go GOLD
Still creeping through your page after reading Project Azkaban and discovered a few stories I'd left reviews on ages ago on the other site - so transferring this review to its new home :)
Hi Gina! I'm here from your wishlist - even though the wishlists are now closed, I wanted to make sure I still gave you a gift!
Aw, this story really is wonderful and I can't believe it doesn't have more reviews! I love the way you set it up, first of all - the fact that you styled it after a triptych, the smaller parts the 'before' and the 'after' and then the middle part of the story is where she has to make her decision. The names of each section work perfectly as well. Vampires, obsessed with blood, such a perfect way to describe Andromeda's family! And there's kind of a double symbolism in the Devils and Angels titles as well. Devils could be the mudbloods, as Andromeda thinks of them in the beginning, or it could be what she later realizes is her toxic family. Similarly, Angels is her new family and the love she has found there - or representing the departed souls, so to speak, of her husband and daughter. Anyway yeah that was really well thought out!
On to the actual story - wow. You use some really beautiful language - I love this line in particular: Andromeda was preoccupied with the gentle hiss of air leaking from her previously faultless image of Hogwarts and with keeping Cissy from eating the grass. -- This whole section, with the Black sisters as children, is so perfect. Bellatrix isn't cruel yet, but she's already espoused the blood views of her family and she just has a very inflated sense of her own authority, which foreshadows quite a bit about her as an adult. And for Andromeda - she's too young to understand, she doesn't really hate Mudbloods it seems, (by her reaction to Bella) but she still has that internal sense that they're unpleasant, which makes sense considering the influences she grew up with. She's still just a kid and there's a lot of innocence to this section, and a lot said in what you don't say , which is really impressive.
In fact the whole story has a lot that's behind the scenes and really subtly written, like the majority of Andromeda and Ted's relationship. You can tell what their relationship has been like before this point, mostly all in secret and with a sort of forbidden feel to it, but their love was more powerful than what kept them apart. I like that you chose to focus on this moment out of their entire relationship, too. That must have been literally life changing for her - when she left one family and joined a new one. Her indecision here is so perfectly written.
Ah, and the last part is so sad! Andromeda really lost so much in the wars. Her first family, and then most of her second. But that's what makes the last few lines so beautiful - there's still hope, and her family lives on because of Teddy, so to speak. This really is a beautiful story and I'm so glad I read it. Great work, Gina! Thanks for sharing! ♥
Here for Gryffie Review Tag! Such a wonderful piece covering grief and family dynamics. It's so poignant how you've written Andromeda's feelings about the loss of a child. But I love the part about constellations and with Teddy, that was such a great moment.
I think you've done great with the family dynamics here, especially something that's so difficult for Andromeda, who has been outcast from her family. It's clearly a tricky situation for her, as you've shown in the second part, where she's starting to become torn between two spots. You did a really great job with her inner feelings and really bringing them to life! I also really liked the vamipire comparision. I don't think I've ever heard that for a pureblood family before but it was perfect! I loved that line Ted says about it "making their lives all about blood". That whole section was so well done!
Great work as usual! Glad I've had some extra time to do more reading recently (and that review tag is so active giving me an excuse to come find new things)!
Review Tag Post! I am so glad I found this!
Gosh your writing is incredible.
The three sections stir up compleatley different emotions, mapping Dromeda's life perfectly. You've chosen very different points that manage to tell her entire story, right down to the last line when she looks to Teddy as her reason to go on and her reason to smile. It's outstandingly done.
The description really is the standout here, reading I feel as though I am there overlooking the characters. I'm in the scene almost. I love it when writing does that to you.
Dromeda is such a difficult character to do, I've seen her mamanged horribly or overdone to the extent she doens't seem real. You've avoided all of that. Really, I think this is the best interpritation of her I've ever read.
Wonferfull writing. I can't wait to get stuck into some more of your work.
- transferred from HPFF -
(Also - welcome back! It's great to see you again <3)
Ooh I love stories about the young Black sisters, and you have not disappointed. The image of a young Bellatrix in a bathing suit and sunglasses is just too amazing for words. And trust Bellatrix to gloat about Hogwarts and use being the eldest against the other two (then again, I'm the eldest of three, and I do rub it in the others' faces on occasion, because they're young and unworthy.)
I love that Bellatrix says: "Hogwarts isn't what it used to be." Obviously, she wouldn't know, since she's only completed one year, so she would have picked that up from one of the adults in their family, and I just find that really powerful.
Look at how different her two families are!
Side note: I was going to have a proper look through your author page, but I'm listening to a song called New Constellations, so I thought it was a sign to read this one. To compare her lost loved ones to constellations is beautiful, and that ending teared me up a little.
I love how these were three very different snippets of Andromeda's life, and yet they all felt connected (like stars in a constellation, perhaps?!) and all in all, it was beautifully done (just like everything you do ♥)
As I respond to all the reviews you left me, I am finding myself more and more giddy. You are too kind, my dear. It’s so inspiring as a writer to hear that your words resounded with someone. That’s what makes this all worthwhile. If one person is affected, I have done my job. Thank you.