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A Dark Place in Time - Team Canon

Title: A Dark Place in Time
Team: Canon
Author: cutecoati
Prompt: The Empress
Wordcount: ~ 9000
Rating: PG
Warnings: EWE
Summary: What on earth was her son thinking, falling for Harry Potter of all people, Narcissa wonders. But after the death of her husband, she finds him useful in many, and sometimes surprising, regards.
Author's Note: Many thanks to my wonderful beta S. All remaining mistakes are mine.

A Dark Place in TimeCollapse )


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You really put Narcissa into perspective. She really was the Empress. Yet she was human and a mother and a loving wife. And she we got to see Harry and Draco's relationship through her eyes. This story was a so bittersweet. There was so much sadness and lose in almost every scene. Even when Narcissa finds Harry and Draco in a passionate embrace. And her description of it is great, technically yours, or course. And then she analyzes it from a mother's point of view, from the point of view of some one who has lost those moment and wishes she has treasured them more. This story was exquisite.
Thank you so much!

I really had to strive to keep Narcissa from taking over the whole story... ;D

But yep, I think she'd - eventually - accept anyone who makes her Draco happy, but it'd be a harsh learning process for her; and thus I came up with the idea of contrasting her loss with the blooming relationship of Draco and Harry. I'm very glad that this concept worked for you!
This is fantastic. I love how you managed not only to paint a vidid, and very realistic picture of Narcissa's character, but also of Harry and Draco seen through her eyes. It must have been incredibly difficult to allow the reader a glimpse into the nature of Harry and Draco's relationship when it's definitely not what Narcissa cares most about in this story, but you managed it wonderfully. I guess my favourite scene was Narcissa's visit at Harry's office, and what you did with Harry's characterisation there. Plus, your style is truly beautiful - touching and evocative without ever being overdone. This is both a great H/D and a wonderful Lucius/Narcissa fic :)

And the elf trying to strangle herself with the curtain cord almost killed me ;))
Thank you so much, sweetheart! *cuddles*

The most difficult thing was to keep her from taking over the whole story, and what with that deceased husband of hers demanding his share of stage time as well ;D

I totally can't withstand the temptation to torment an elf.

A Dark Place in Time

What a powerful picture of loss and grief. Narcissa's character was perfect, her love for Lucius and her suffering and, at the same time, her care for Draco and her internal strength so very palpable. I loved to see H/D through her eyes; and what a very convincing, canon-compatible H/D it has been! Your narrative voice was beautiful, and I also liked the little comic relief scenes with the elf or the office girl.

Thank you very much for this great story!

Re: A Dark Place in Time

Thank you so much, dear, I'm so glad you liked it!

Hehe - Harry has no idea what he's got himself into, with a mother-in-law like her ;D But seriously, I think Narcissa's capable of loving very strongly, and once she's accepted the one who makes her boy happy, he'll be family from that moment onward.
oh that was so depressing but so lovely!
Thank you so much! *hugs*
there aren't nearly enough comments on this lovely piece. i adore the use of an external pov, and narcissa's is so complex in this story. i love the bits where she remembers her lucius. so bittersweet. ♥
Thank you so much, my dear! ♥♥

It wouldn't be the same story without your wonderful beta comments&insights!

A beautiful touching read. It's hard to say which I enjoyed more here - Harry/Draco or Narcissa/Lucius. It's such a real take of the inside turmoil that accompanies the death. All the caught in the act scene's between Harry and Draco were love.
Thank you so much! ♥

I had a hard time keeping Narcissa (together with her deceased yet no less commanding husband) from taking over the whole story ;D
This was a wonderful example of less is more. You only describe one particular event, a series of interconnected moments in time, and yet you manage to say so much. The story is seemingly about death, the death of a loved one – or the death of a loved one of a loved one – and yet it seems more about love and life in the end. You weave together all the different interconnecting stories of love and emotion, seamlessly and seemingly without even trying.
The story of Harry and Draco, Narcissa and Lucius, but also Draco and Narcissa, Draco and Lucius, Narcissa and Harry, (there even is a hint of Harry and Lucius), Narcissa and Andromeda, Teddy and Lucius and the list goes on and on. Everyone has a certain relationship to everyone else. That is true of all stories, that is true of real life, but it this particular tale it becomes obvious, human emotions and relationships become the focus.
I like how you show us how every relationship is different and unique. Harry obviously has no friendly feelings towards Lucius, and yet his death means something to him, because Draco means something to him. On the other hand Lucius’ feelings towards Harry are rather different. Narcissa doesn’t much care for Harry, but grows to care, because he means so much to her son, he comes to mean something for her too… I particularly loved were you say that Lucius the father is a different person to Lucius the husband, and how two people who had such intimate knowledge of the same person saw such different sides of him.
For such a brief story there are so many layers upon layers of nuances and meaning and glimpses of bigger stories it quite staggering.
This was a little gem. You don’t see it at first, but the more you ponder it, the more you realise the brilliance of this story. The accurate and incisive way it captures it’s heroes and the way they relate to each other.
*flails like a flailing thing*

Thank you SO very much for your lovely comment! It is exactly what I wanted to shoe & achieve with this ficlet, so... ♥♥!!!!
*fails at coherent reply*

I like how you show us how every relationship is different and unique.

I think that especially Harry has to learn this, what with him knowing exactly (or having been told, rather) who the good guys and who the bad guys are, and that 'bad' people can truly be liked, or even loved.

Thank you again - you've made me very happy with your comment!

"Moments of perfection, she thinks with a pang, if only for an instant, how little value we attach to them while experiencing them, and how much we long for them when they're gone forever."

Beautiful - a sort of solemn celebration of grief. Thank you!
Thank you so much! ♥

I love stories told from an outside point of view to the main pairing. On one hand I wish for more central Harry and Draco interaction, however it is beautiful to see things from Narcissa's eyes. I especially like her remembrance of seeing them on the terrace, such a beautiful description. Her pain and her awareness are so well described, I just loved it. Beautiful story.
Thank you so much! I'm glad you liked it! ♥

I love stories told from an outside point of view to the main pairing.

*beams* It seems that I can't do anything but these - although I had to strive hard to keep dear Cissy from taking over the whole story ;))...
This was a very moving story and very well told. The ending is incredibly emotion filled.

Excellent job, Team Canon
Thank you so much, dear! *hugs*
What a beautiful and poignant piece. I loved seeing this through Narcissa's pov. It was wonderful to see her fleshed out in a very real way.

I think this fic perfectly captures the truth of grief, the very real, totally heart-wrenching reactions. Narcissa's pain was so raw; i was growing desperate to see her shed tears. Draco, struggling so much and just trying to handle it as best he could. And, poor Harry, not knowing what to do but desperately wanting to do something.

The ending was heartbreaking but so beautiful...to see the depth of love and peace in one relationship juxtaposed with the ending of another. This made my heart clench, in the best possible way. Thank you for sharing.
Thank you so much for your wonderful comment, I'm so happy that you liked the story!

Poor Harry indeed - I think he'll have to learn a lot about family life in general (especially being saddled with a, um, quite commanding sort-of-mother-in-law ;)

This was amazing.
Thank you so much! *beams*
This was very beautiful, more so than I’d expected from something with Narcissa's PoV. The awkwardness that is Harry in the beginning, and whenever he’s around Narcissa at first, nearly did me in. Seeing him in the meeting with her in the Ministry however, helped that almost embarrassing feeling take a hike, and seeing her actually starting to like Harry was so good. I always thought Narcissa had a caring heart deep down. And the ending… Ah. That was adorable. I was so worried about the two of them for a while, but the ending was so sweet it put my mind to ease. I loved it. :)
I don't know why but I like your Lucius... Thank you for this beautiful story!
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January 2010

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