Hey Bex! Here for our swap, for EvS, and for this awesome story!
I've been meaning to check this out for ages, and I'm so glad I finally did -- I loved this chapter, it's an original, intriguing, and brilliantly written start.
I love the character of Aurelia. Although she's far from likable -- throwing tantrums when she doesn't get her way, biting Andromeda, terrorizing Nympadora -- she is instantly compelling and sympathetic. Her insistence that she's always good is actually chilling! On the other hand, she clearly feels abandoned by Bella, and like a cuckoo in the Tonks household -- her eagerness to hear details about Bella, even just to hear her name, was both tragic and slightly creepy. That last line -- that Bella's name alone has the power to make her behave -- is just perfect.
Although this chapter is short, it effectively delineates the dynamics within the Tonks family. We get a good sense of Andromeda and Ted's mixed feelings towards Aurelia, of Nymphadora's pity for her parents and fear of her cousin, and of Aurelia's attitudes towards the Tonkses -- I find it so interesting that she likes Ted, even though he's a Muggleborn and hence at odds with Bella, and I get the sense that she has a grudging respect for Nymphadora, much as she enjoys terrorizing her. Finally, you do an amazing job of establishing Andromeda's fraught relationship with Bella through her interactions with Aurelia and Ted.
Amazing job! This is such a rich, intriguing piece, and I'm really looking forward to seeing where it goes.
hey bex, i'm here for our swap (and EvS, team emerald) *_*
honestly, i've never read a story about bellatrix having a child (daughter) (and i haven't seen or read cursed child) so for me, this isn't cliche-y and even if it were, i think that the way you write and the wonderful descriptions you use would make even a cliche read beautifully :p
even in just a couple of paragraphs you manage to portray aurelia very vividly - she obviously has a bit of a mean streak, and if that's just because she's still a kid (and kids can be like that and act out) or if it's more pronounced because of who her mother is (and her father???? because apparently andromeda thinks she got it from him. idk if it's voldy :o ) but aurelia also wants to belong in the tonks family. she wants to look like andromeda. she likes ted, and i don't think she's someone you'd expect as bellatrix's child. at least not how i imagine her kid to be!
she's feisty and i love it even if it means she rages until she gets what she wants, but i can relate to that when i was a kid so i think that in that part you've written her extremely realistically (tbh i'm in awe of people who manage to write from a children's perspective well, it's a skill i don't think i'll ever quite achieve).
the way she reacts when she hears her mother's name is also very telling - she wants to know more, she wants to know her mother, she knows she did some terrible things and yet...she's still sort of enamored with the idea of her? i find that so intriguing and i'm dying to know more about aurelia!
Hiya Bex!! As I’m sure you know, I’ve been eyeing this story of yours for quite some time now, and I have FINALLY come to shower you with all the love that it so wonderfully deserves!!
I love the idea of a story about Bellatrix’s daughter, and I was so, SO excited when I first saw this pop up in your AP! (And for the record, I don’t find it to be overused at all.) Aurelia is already so fiesty and full of such a fierce personality - I love the way that you have written her! She’s such a little brat in the beginning, which is perfectly believable for that age, and I think you handled it very well. I do hope that she will calm down a bit and take it easier on her aunt and uncle as she grows older...
Speaking of which, I love that she is being raised by the Tonks family, and I really like your characterization of Ted and Andromeda in here so far! I’m so happy to see that she went with them and not the Malfoy’s, as I imagine this will have a huge impact on how she turns out once she gets older. I am especially excited to see more of her interactions with Tonks in the future. I hope that the two of them get along.
Your language in this piece is so beautiful and so eloquent, Bex. I just love all of your descriptions, and the way you weave in and out of things so effortlessly. You’ve painted such a vivid picture of who Aurelia is already, and how she looks, and what she wants. Even though she is still so very young (and slightly out of control) in this chapter, there is still so much potential for her character to grow and develop yet. I think it’s interesting that her favorite word is “Bella” and that she had already picked up on what the meaning of it was. Kids are SOO intuitive at that age, and i think you did a really great job at capturing that in this chapter.
You’ve already left me with so many questions here, I just HAVE to know more!! Who is her father? Will she ever see her mother again? How will she behave when she gets older? This was a perfect little intro chapter, and I absolutely cannot wait to see where you go with this fic!!
~Deana (Team Emerald: April 2019 EvS review battle)
Hi Bex! Here for your requested review.
First of all, I'd like to point out that your story stood out to me the most because it's centered around Aurelia as Bellatrix's daughter, as well as Andromeda being in the picture (and perhaps Narcissa in the future?). Bellatrix has always been a fascinating character to me, and as of late I've developed a special interest in reading more about the Black sisters, so I definitely want to find out where you'll be going with this story.
Second, and despite this only being the first chapter, it's already clear that Aurelia is a bit of a terror. I want to know why Andromeda and Ted are the one's raising her, and how being Bella's kid has influenced, and still plays a part, in how much Aurelia acts out.
Lastly, I'm eager to find out where you'll take the story, both regarding the family plot and how they all will deal with things as Aurelia grows older, as well as Aurelia's plot on its own right. I want to know what story plots you will explore and where you'll take Aurelia as a character, as she's pretty interesting already.
Great start :)
I’m here for the Magical Menagerie Review Event on the forums as well as the Gryffindor Red vs Gold review battle for 2019! I’ve been meaning to drop by and check out this story after seeing so many glowing reviews of it! It definitely gets off to an intriguing start.
You say this is an old cliche, but I’m not sure what it’s a cliche of. Is it cause Bellatrix has a secret child? Tbh, I haven’t actually read many stories with that plot line.
Wow. Aurelia seems like a complete nightmare. Her reaction to not getting what she wants is to destroy an entire room of a house. That’s kind of terrifying.
What’s more terrifying is Ted and Andromeda trying to convince each other that she’s not a monster just because of her mom. I mean obviously she should be given a chance, but thus far, it’s not looking that good for her. I hope for her sake that she’ll grow out of it. It’s pretty messed up how she thinks of just destroying her cousins dollhouse just to make her cry.
I agree with Andromeda though. No doctor would ever see past her parentage to help her.
Hey, I'm here to review your story for the Magical Menegerie 2019.
I'm going to say, I really don't know what is up with Aurelia. Not one little bit (which means I'll have to keep reading, right?) but I love all of the characterizations so far in the story. I've always held a soft spot for the Tonks family, and wished (as a family) they'd come off better than they had by JK Rowling's pen.
She 'seems' evil. Is she really? I'm not sure. It may be she wants to be like her mum, crazy ol' Bellatrix L'estrange. That character always freaked me out in the movies (because I love Helena Bonham Carter) because she was so well acted. That your story gives her a daughter is amazing.
I have a feeling poor Nymphadora is going to tortured (not physically I hope) by Aurelia in different ways. The planned breaking of the dollhouse being one. But she's a tough cookie (as Aurelia herself suggests) and those type of things only make you stronger, right?)
Now, I'm off to chapter 2, my fellow Slytherin. <3juls.
Hi Bex, here for menagerie! I already told you a few days ago but I'm super struck by how gorgeous your phrasing and word choice is in this fic -- tempest stands out to me in this chapter as an example. The way you play with the idea of blame and deservedness etc. is super cool in this -- Aurelia 'asked for this' when she's having a brush dragged roughly through her hair; the Tonkses 'caused' the destruction of their room because they didn't give Aurelia her way the first time.
The way Aurelia says "I'm always good" while observing the catastrophic destruction she caused is soo goood as is the way that Andromeda assumes it's to do with her parentage -- but if they didn't know who her parents were, they would attribute it to the fact that she's three years old and a brat. It's also delightful that Bella is her favourite word, that she's so hungry for any information about her mother, particularly BECAUSE it's forbidden. It's interesting, too, that she is so deliberately acting out and that urge is satisfied by a brief mention of Bella.
I will be back to review the rest of this, Bex, because it's wonderful!
Aurelia is most definitely a tempest. I think at three years old it was the best way to describe her. The way her mind works at this age as well, that her actions aren't her fault - she needed to react in a certain way to teach her family a lesson. She's terrifying. Especially when she says that she's always good. Honestly I don't envy Ted and Andromeda at all for taking her on, props to them for dealing with such a little brat...a scary brat...who's mother is an even scarier brat.
Thank you so much for this review, and thank you so much for all the help with this fic!
Hi Bex! Here with your review request!!
Ok, so I know you said you felt like you were writing an overused trope, but I honestly don’t think I’ve ever read a fic about Bellatrix’s daughter before, so this doesn’t feel overused at all to me!
Already, Aurelia is such a unique character, and SUCH an interesting exploration of the nature vs nurture concept, because she’s being raised by Andromeda and Ted, who are generally considered nice, good people, but she’s the daughter of Bellatrix. And you can definitely see that Bellatrix side of her come out here: basically exploding the living room out of anger, wanting to crush Dora’s dollhouse just for the reaction it’ll get, and the wild fascination with Bella. I’m really going to be interested to see how all of these traits develop as she ages - if she’ll tone down the longer she spends with Andromeda and Ted, or if she’ll only get more and more like Bella as she ages.
I also just feel like this line says a lot about her as a character as well: “I always loved being told how pretty I was. Aunt Andromeda knew this, in fact it was the only weapon she had against me.” There’s definitely a little narcissism there, which I feel like is going to follow her as she gets older.
I’m curious as to how she ended up in Andromeda and Ted’s care - not that Bellatrix would ever really be considered a good mother figure to begin with, but I wonder if she was given up willingly or if it was a situation where Andromeda and Ted got her when Bella got sent to Azkaban. I assume that’s a question I’ll get an answer to in a later chapter!
This first chapter was lovely - short and sweet, but a perfect introduction to Aurelia and her personality. I’m excited to learn more about her and how she changes (or doesn’t) as she gets older.
Written for the Magical Menagerie and January RvG
Hey Taylor, thank you so much for reviewing!
I think a lot of her behaviour does come from Bellatrix...but also this feeling that she's definitely different. She isn't their real daughter, Tonks, they whisper about the infamous "bella" a lot - there are secrets and things gone unexplained and she acts out for information. Also, because it's fun, for her at least.
Aurelia is definitely narcissistic, she's always liked her appearance. She obsesses over her beauty and how in her mind, she can use it to her advantage. At this age, and even as she gets older, she doesn't hold a lot of value in other qualities.
There is a reason she was raised by Andromeda and Ted, it's revealed in later chapters!
Hi Bex! :)
I've been recommended this little story of yours several times now so I thought I'd go ahead and check it out! Ooh Bellatrix's daughter, as a young child -- very curious and interesting indeed! I am quite interested to know as to why she's living(?) with the Tonks family over the Malfoy family, especially since her temperament seems more suited to their family. You do a great job with the description here -- it's illustrative for the reader but is also done clearly with a child's perspective and thought process and vocabulary in mind. Andromeda and Ted and Nymphadora all seem to almost be frightened of her, and I can hardly imagine why, being the daughter of Bellatrix Lestrange :P You've really set up this new child character very well in this opening chapter and her relationship with the Tonks family so I'm hoping to see more of how she got here and the reasoning and logic behind it all. And, possibly her growing up! I'll be back for the next chapter because this is just so intriguing! Great job :)
(Magical Menagerie 2: Team Griffin)
There is definitely a reason why Aurelia is living with her Aunt Andromeda rather than the Malfoys or anyone else for that matter. That will be revealed later on in the fic! I think out of all three of them, Andromeda is probably the bravest when dealing with her niece. She knows what she may or may not have to deal with given that she grew up with Bellatrix. Ted never had any magic siblings or experiences like this, so he's pretty clueless - and Tonks is just a kid herself. Here's this little witch, showing magic at an early age, and it's a lot scarier than Tonks' ability to change her appearance at will. So Aurelia is definitely feared...but also loved. They just don't know how to show that yet.
A lot of this story focuses on her teenage years, the angst, the relationships, the backstory - hopefully you'll stick around for all of that!
Hi Bex! Here for the Magical Menagerie event - Team Griffin!
So, I have never read a fic about Bellatrix's daughter before - so I didn't even know this is revolves around an overused trope until your end notes haha - and I love your take on the whole thing!
Aurelia's character is super interesting here. For one, she's been raised by Andromeda so there are definitely certain values and personality traits that have been moulded by her upbringing, but at the same time, she seems to have conflicting thoughts about her place in the family and who she is. It's so intriguing to me since she's so young and still in her developmental years and I can't help but wonder whether this sort of inner turmoil and hints of a darker nature are due to her being Bellatrix's daughter (genes and all that) or because she has unresolved issues about not knowing her mother. Especially at three, kids really look towards their parents, so maybe not knowing much about Bellatrix is what pushes her to be more like her mother? (even if she doesn't completely know it at this age.)
I love how there's so much complexity in this. Andromeda and Ted clearly are fond of Aurelia but Dromeda seems to compare Aurelia to Bellatrix a lot, finding similarities in their childhood behaviours. I wonder whether this kind of bias or preknowledge of her sister's development will affect Andromeda's behaviour towards Aurelia as she grows up.
This is a short chapter but it raises so many questions that make me want to read on and know more about this family life, as well as find out if Aurelia gets to meet Bellatrix and how everything shapes her life. You're definitely playing with a lot of elements related to nature/nurture influences and I LOVE how Aurelia has a mix of the Tonks' openmindedness along with Bella's ruthless inner workings. I can't wait to find out why she's living with the Tonkses and what kind of person Aurelia will turn out to be. Absolutely brilliant job with this, Bex! <3
A lot of people seem to be saying the same thing, which is a nice surprise. Maybe I read too much FF c. 2012 where these fics seemed to be all the rage. I'm also currently reading one right now...some things never change, haha!
One theme that comes up a lot this story, that I didn't notice until today (several chapters later) is that Aurelia definitely has conflicting feelings about her place and where she belongs. Even at three, with Tonks being scared of her and knowing that they weren't "real" sisters, made her feel very much the outsider from an early age. Ted and Andromeda just wanted to be honest with her, bless them, but it hasn't really helped.
I think if you knew Bellatrix Lestrange, and then met her child - even if Aurelia had been the most well behaved baby on the planet...Andromeda would have still made comparisons. Just because of who her mother is, even if she is Andromeda's sister. I wasn't too sure how Bella would have acted as a child just because I wasn't sure how her own parents would have reacted...so I just left that to reader's imagination. Draw from it what you will!
This is the shortest chapter I've written in at least two years! I normally write 5k+ but all of these are under 4k. I think I like the shorter length, I feel like it suits my writing style a bit more...but chapters for That's All will probably still be 200k minimum haha!
Thank you so much for this wonderful review!
I've been interested to reading this story since you mentioned it on Twitter. I totally agree that your faceclaim is perfect.
I thought this chapter was so interesting, I wonder what as happened before Aurelia came to live with Andromeda, how much that has affect her as a person. I love Aurelia's characterisation she is creepy and crazy as a child. She is like the child in a horror movie or something like Andromeda has to appease her at every turn. I think you could argue that she is just a bit lost as she seems to love her mother a lot. I really love how you've portrayed that quality in her. She is already seeming like a really layered character. I think from reading your other story that characterisation depth is a really strong point of yours.
I know you said this was trope but from this chapter it doesn't feel like it is. In fact, it feels quite unique. I think that probably shows that you're going to be quite good at using tropes in an interesting and fresh way. I think I'm really going to enjoy all the trope-y goodness that this story is going to offer!
Good job with this! I'm very excited to get to read some more of this!
- Abbi xo
For: Magical Menagerie/ RvG
Chiara Scelsi is so pretty and I wish she had more pictures!
One thing I didn't want was for Aurelia to be likeable, at least, not as a child. She's definitely the kid out of a horror movie, an unpredictable toddler of sorts. Her life before Andromeda is revealed later on - along with a few other things. This fic jumps around a lot, because it's more of a character study than a plot...sort of. If that makes any sense.
Anyway, thank you so much for reviewing - and I'm glad you liked it so far!
For the magical menagerie review event
Wow, so this is a really interesting start. I’m so intrigued! I admit I’ve not read many stories about Bellatrix having a daughter so I don’t know what is considered tropey and what isn’t for this particular plot. So fortunately, no matter what, I will think it’s original and amazing :D
And this is SO interesting because one of the things I’ve always wondered about Bellatrix is how much of her personality was due to her environment and how much was due to just how she is, which it seems like is one of the things you will be exploring in this story. Aurelia is Bellatrix’s daughter, but she is also being raised by a family that is a lot more open minded and caring than Bellatrix is. I’m also curious where Bellatrix is and why Andromeda is raising Aurelia, considering Bellatrix and Andromeda don’t really talk, and Andromeda was written out of the family. So yeah, I’m just really interested in all the family dynamics you’re going to introduce.
Aurelia is already an interesting character too, as a child – she doesn’t seem to be bothered by Ted’s Muggleborn blood status, but she also retains the penchant for cruelty that Bella has. I look forward to seeing what she’s like!
Great start to this fic!
Hello! Thank you so much for reviewing!
I've read a few fics with this plot, and even attempted to write two - but I struggled and in the end I gave up. This time my OC is completely different to my last two attempts, she has a new name, a new face, and a brand new personality to go with it! Thank you, I'm really flattered!
I didn't want to make her 'good' - or you know, what people would expect. Because if she was raised by Andromeda and Ted then people would think she'd be a bit more like Tonks. At three years old, Aurelia is hell and I think it has a little bit to do with her mother. I don't think you could be the child of Bellatrix Lestrange and have an easy ride. There'd be a lot of inner conflict, a lot of anger issues, and that's not including what the rest of the world thinks.
Andromeda is raising Aurelia for a reason...I'm just not handing it over just yet. ;D
It was fun to write her at three, in the next chapter Aurelia will be seven - so it's quite a jump!
Thank you so much, again!!