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14 August 2005 @ 01:10 am
Because Blood Tells (Narcissa Malfoy)  
One of the more common complaints about the Harry Potter universe has always been its polarity. It’s certainly my strongest complaint -- as a reader, I’ve always been a sucker for the shades of grey. I like bad people who do good things and vice-versa, and the reasons why they do what it is they do. And really, we’ve never really gotten a great deal of this in HP.

To some extent, this polarity is reasonable -- and even logical. Harry Potter is, after all, a childrens’ series, no matter how much we may forget that fact, and its primary audience is and always has been children. Children’s books are not usually fond of exploring complex (and presumably sympathetic) villains.

We’ve seen the Death Eaters in past books, but only as gross caricatures of people. Aside from Lucius Malfoy and Peter Pettigrew, we’ve never really seen any of the Death Eaters for extended periods of time -- and even they can hardly be said to have a great deal of depth to them. HBP is our first opportunity to see interactions between members of the “Dark Side”, completely independent of both Voldemort’s presence and Harry’s filter.

At first glance, the second chapter of HBP seems relatively straightforward. Narcissa Malfoy wants to ask something of Snape, Bellatrix Lestrange doesn’t trust Snape entirely, and Peter Pettigrew tries to spy on everybody else. There’s a long series of conversation where Snape accounts for himself to Bellatrix and JKR slips in a nice piece of recapping for the past five books, and then -- the Unbreakable Vow is sworn, which is also known as the Big Huge Foreshadowing WHAM.

So what does all this tell us that we didn’t already know, really?

The first thing that immediately captured my attention about this chapter was the interactions between Bellatrix and Narcissa. (I’m going to avoid talking about Snape for the course of this essay, simply because so many other people have written essays on this topic and they've done much better jobs on it than I ever could.)

Traditionally, neither of the sisters has ever really gotten a lot of screentime (so to speak!) in the book series -- the predominant fandom interpretation seems to hold that Narcissa is a trophy wife, while Bellatrix is completely out of her mind. We know that they’re sisters from OotP, the ones who “made lovely respectable pure-blood marriages”, but aside from this, we’ve never seen Bellatrix and Narcissa interact with one another.

Until now. And quite seriously, Bella and Cissy?

Yeah, they’re definitely sisters.

But in the same moment that we’re reminded of their siblinghood, we also see that the bond between them isn’t at all what it used to be -- or at least what Bellatrix believes it to be. When Narcissa threatens Bellatrix, Bellatrix’s only reaction is to laugh. Bellatrix’s primary motivations in this chapter seem to be two-fold: first, she does not trust Snape, and secondly, she believes that the Dark Lord is right in everything that he does.

As for Narcissa, it’s very clear that her loyalties lie elsewhere than Bellatrix and Voldemort. When Bellatrix attempts to account for the events at the Ministry, Narcissa is very quick to jump to her husband’s defense, even if it implies that her sister is to blame instead. More than this, however, we see that she’s willing to do anything for her son -- even to go against Voldemort’s will.

Which personally, I find rather interesting, because Narcissa has always tended to be seen as the vapid one who doesn’t do anything but stand still and look pretty and make pureblood babies. I don’t think, actually, that we’ve seen her described before now as anything other than looking somewhat snobbish -- and that Draco will jump to her defense when the Trio insult her. (Which really tells us nothing at all -- because it doesn’t matter how much one dislikes one’s parents -- one tends to jump to their defense when they’ve been insulted by someone else. Heh.)

Narcissa doesn’t seem to be ruled by the same desire for power that Peter Pettigrew holds, nor by the fanaticism that Bellatrix holds. I seriously doubt that she’s a nice person in any way, shape or form, but she doesn’t seem to hold any allegiance toward Voldemort outside of simple fear of him, and maybe just loyalty to her husband. And fear has never been the strongest of bonds.

It’s possible and even probable that Narcissa and Bellatrix were close once upon a time, but the two sisters no longer seem to have the same goal in mind. Where for Narcissa, “there is nothing I wouldn’t do anymore!”, Bellatrix believes that Narcissa ought to be proud, for “if I had sons, I would be glad to give them up to the service of the Dark Lord!” Bellatrix is fanatically loyal to Voldemort, even beyond her loyalties to her family -- and in all probability, even toward her own sister.

At the moment, the two sisters are on the same side, but it seems like this could change, especially given the way that Narcissa acts in this chapter -- she’s willing to do anything for her son’s sake, even attack her own sister. Draco is her only son, and Narcissa is desperate to ensure his survival -- which raises the question of what wouldn’t she do? And if this should ever happen, then who will Bellatrix end up following?

JKR’s fond of using the theme of love in its’ various forms and fashions, true and false and requited and unrequited; she’s set up Harry as paralleling Draco in some way or another.

Lily Potter died for her son’s sake. What will Narcissa Malfoy do?
 
 
 
mari4212mari4212 on August 14th, 2005 11:44 am (UTC)
Fascinating, I hadn't looked at this chapter in quite this way before. When I look back, I do note the family dynamics. And the names Cissy and Bella are wonderful, they give us something of a past between the two. I used to call my own sister Sissy, though that was more because I couldn't pronounce Elizabeth.

You're right, Narcissa is motivated purely out of family loyalty. I got the sense from this chapter that she follows Voldemort more because her husband does than for anything else. Her ultimate loyalty is to her husband and her son, and I could see her stepping between them and the line of fire. That could get very interesting, and I'd love to see more of her in the next book.
I laugh therefore I am.: hbp alone by crazycannotmonica on August 14th, 2005 12:31 pm (UTC)
I loved this chapter. I think you hit on a really important point-one that will certainly come into play in book seven.

As a parent I can tell you that, if the situation came up, I would die for my children. Their welfare would come before anyone elses's, neither Lily or Narcissa's behavior seems odd to me. What does seem apparent is that Bellatrix doesn't have any children of her own.

Nicely written essay!
vanityfair00vanityfair00 on August 14th, 2005 01:25 pm (UTC)
You're absolutely right about Narcissa, and I found myself very sympathetic to her plight in this book, (even though it ultimately led to the demise of one of my favorite characters.)

But I think in your opening you go too far. First I always disagree when people remind us readers that these books are meant strictly for kids because in my mind it's pretty obvious they aren't. I'm not a parent but if I was there is no way I would let my children younger than 11 read these books, they're much too scary. I don't think we should confuse the marketing and the writer's intent. (I know there's a quote out there where JKR says she was suprised to see them advertised as children's books, but I don't know right off hand.)

Ok so that's a minor point, the bigger one is that you contend that this is the first book that we really see gray shades of good and evil, in particular with Narcissa and Bellatrix. I would argue the whole series is chock full of gray characters and situations. What about people who look evil but turn out not? (Sirius and Snape pre-HBP) What about people who do evil things but under the control of another? (Ginny and others under the Imperius Curse) What about people who are working for what should be good but who abuse their power? (Umbridge, Fudge, Barty Crouch Sr, and Scrimgeor) What about people who appeared good but turned out evil? (Quirrel, Barty Crouch as Mad-Eye-Moody)

But you're right, we do get a more objective look in the latest book. I love that we got a more sympathetic look at Draco. He was still arrogant, snide, and awful but he was also struggling with his decision. JKR sets us up to see him in a slightly better light with the scene between his mother and his aunt. And I love the idea that there might possibly be some parallelism between the two, (wouldn't they both just hate that as characters though!) Anyway, you provide good insights into this scene. Thanks!
Magpie: Mind if I join in?sistermagpie on August 14th, 2005 02:54 pm (UTC)
First I always disagree when people remind us readers that these books are meant strictly for kids because in my mind it's pretty obvious they aren't. I'm not a parent but if I was there is no way I would let my children younger than 11 read these books, they're much too scary. I don't think we should confuse the marketing and the writer's intent. (I know there's a quote out there where JKR says she was suprised to see them advertised as children's books, but I don't know right off hand.)

Sorry, I always feel compelled to answer this line of thought. JKR said she didn't write with a target audience in mind, but that "children's books chose her." Most children's authors simply write the story they want without specifically thinking they are writing down to young people. She couldn't have been surprised at their being advertised as such, because Juvenile fiction and Adult fiction are totally different worlds. The publisher doesn't decide to market it one way or another; it's up to the author to send the ms to the right publisher. In this case, JKR very correctly sent her first book to the children's division of Bloomsbury, which also then sold it to Arthur Levine (who has always been entirely Juvenile--Scholastic doesn't even have an adult division).

My point in always jumping on that isn't that I think you're wrong in your assessment of the books. They are now moving into YA territory (there are many children's books meant for kids 11 and up). But that the idea that the books must be simple and can't have complex, sympathetic villains because they are children's lit is incorrect. The nature of good and evil and human nature is very much a subject children are interested in. I think the reason so many children's authors stress that they are writing for themselves, or simply writing the story they want is not to distance themselves from children's books, but dispel the notion that children's books=simple-minded.

I hope that didn't come across like I was jumping on you--I just always feel the need to jump in and wave the flag for intelligent children's literature.:-)
vanityfair00vanityfair00 on August 14th, 2005 04:53 pm (UTC)
Don't worry I'm not offended. It seems I mixed up the quote; she said she never envisioned herself writing children's books before HP. But I would place the entires series, from book one on, in the Young Adult category. Which is a good place for it to be. Books meant for younger kids should deal with more absolutes because they have a harder time with abstract concepts. But within the YA category they can begin grappling with the gray issues that JKR presents.

We've gone a bit off the topic of your original essay, but it's an interesting discussion nonetheless.
I like that show where they solve all the murd3rs: Dewey know our monsters! by megan_gcedarlibrarian on August 14th, 2005 06:34 pm (UTC)
It isn't that I think you're wrong in your assessment of the books. They are now moving into YA territory (there are many children's books meant for kids 11 and up).

They're not "now moving into YA territory." They've been YA books since CoS, even arguably since SS. I wrote a 2500 word paper (and I should probably post it here) for a YA lit encyclopedia, about how HP is not a children's series, but YA. And as defined by YALSA, books for people 11+ are not children's books, but YA. Without going into too much detail, a lot of it has to do with the lack of parents, the diverse environment, the questioning of authority, etc. I agree with you when you say that complex villians do not often exist in children's series, but HP, like His Dark Materials, is not a children's series.
Magpie: Maybe I'm wrong.sistermagpie on August 14th, 2005 07:04 pm (UTC)
I can definitely go with that age classification--I was mostly thinking of PS when I thought of the ms being sent off to a publisher and just lumping it together with YA to say it wasn't adult fiction. I do totally agree with the YA label. I'm just sometimes amazed at the subject matter some people (not the OP in this thread) assume is off-limits to younger fiction-like death or racism.
vanityfair00vanityfair00 on August 15th, 2005 03:44 pm (UTC)
Those are important topics that I think would actually be easier to discuss with a child using stories...just maybe not with HP until they're older, say 10 or so.
deranged energy metabolism: the silenceunrequitedangst on August 15th, 2005 05:22 am (UTC)
First I always disagree when people remind us readers that these books are meant strictly for kids because in my mind it's pretty obvious they aren't. I'm not a parent but if I was there is no way I would let my children younger than 11 read these books, they're much too scary. I don't think we should confuse the marketing and the writer's intent.

See, I'll admit here that I cheated a little -- I've never liked kid lit very much, even when I was that age, so when I wrote this section, I was thinking of a series of parenting articles which my mother had at one point which said that parents ought not to let their children be exposed to villains who were not clearly cut out. (I believe the example they used was, er, Team Rocket from Pokemon -- which was apparently bad because the characters' tendency to screw up laughably in each episode would somehow seduce children to the forces of evil.)

I would argue the whole series is chock full of gray characters and situations.

... and in retrospect, I really didn't write that introduction very well. What I was trying to say, I think, was that I don't really think that JKR gave her 'bad characters' depth in and of themselves in the previous books. I mean, yes, we've seen 'good characters' doing things which aren't necessarily nice -- Marauder-era James and Sirius, for instance, and as you pointed out, we've had a whole host of characters who appear to be good but really aren't (Ginny in CoS, Mad Eye Moody!Barty Crouch, etc, etc) -- but in those cases, they've always been under the control of someone who's fundamentally evil.

But we've never seen any of the motivations for someone who's evil and ... well, is still evil. *g* We know Peter changes sides, but not why, and up until HBP, all of the major villains (Quirrell, Voldemort, Peter Pettigrew, Barty Crouch, Bellatrix, etc) are evil just for what looks like the sake of being evil. To carry out the overblown black-white-grey metaphor even further, I guess you could say that we have lots of light grey, but not very much of the dark. We've seen good characters who aren't all shining light, but we've never really seen bad characters who aren't wholeheartedly following the Dark Path.

Thanks you for your comments -- it gave me a chance to think about some stuff that I probably should have. ^^;
vanityfair00vanityfair00 on August 15th, 2005 03:00 pm (UTC)
I guess you could say that we have lots of light grey, but not very much of the dark. We've seen good characters who aren't all shining light, but we've never really seen bad characters who aren't wholeheartedly following the Dark Path.

This would have been a much clearer thesis statement. I completely agree. We have Narcissa in chapter two, Draco crying in the bathroom, and we even get more insights into LV's motives, (though he still comes off as a sociopath, which is okay I suppose as there are people like that in the world.) Book six brings us both extremes, Harry vs. LV as well as everything in between. And I'm glad you went with Narcissa rather than Snape. It was nice to read some new insights into this particular chapter. Good work.
kiki: thinker: flicking_icons made thisbeyond_pale on August 14th, 2005 03:46 pm (UTC)
I had most frequently read this chapter as demonstrating that Snape's loyalties lie with the Malfoys rather than with Voldemort; that both he and Narcissa could be ruled by love (friend-ish or familial), and thus neither are irredeemable.

The interaction between sisters always forcibly reminds me of that quote (I forget what war it was from): "I regret only that I have no more sons to give for my country." Yes, some grieving mother actually said that (or something to that effect), and I could very easily insert those words in B's mouth.

Incidentally, I used to be a "Cissy" as well; my little brother couldn't master the trigraph "chr" when he was a young'un.
chthonyachthonya on August 15th, 2005 10:43 am (UTC)
that both he and Narcissa could be ruled by love (friend-ish or familial), and thus neither are irredeemable.

Interesting - both Snape and Narcissa are obviously able to think in more human terms than Bellatrix can. I find it telling that Narcissa appealed to Snape primarily as Lucius' friend rather than, say, trying to bribe him with promises of money or power.
safakus on August 14th, 2005 06:27 pm (UTC)
"...the ownership of the house is most likely to pass to the eldest of Sirius's living relatives, which would mean his cousin, Bellatrix Lestrange."

I was shocked to hear this from Dumbledore, especially after Spinner's End. I was 100% sure Bella was the youngest of the Black Sisters, especially after i read that chapter. But despite being the oldest, it's obvious she doesn't have ANY power on her sisters, since one married to a muggle-born and Narcissa certainly doesn't care what Bella thinks at all.

The books have never been grayer for me before that chapter. Narcissa clearly loves her son, and loyal to her husband. That also suggest there is some amount of love on Lucius's part, or at least there was. Lucius may not be a sociopath like Tom, he may have loved his wife and son.

But I wonder, if Snape hadn't told her he knew about the plan, would she still have gone against Voldemort's orders? Not in front of Bella, that's for sure. Would she sacrifice herself like Lily did? I believe she would. Which shows that this war is more about choosing sides, and less about good and evil. According to Harry filter, DEs are torturing and murdering psychos, but with Narcissa, we see it's not always true. They can also be loving mothers and wives.

I wouldn't forgive Narcissa for the choices se made or even sympathize with her, but characters like her give those books their depth, which, because of Tom-sociopath issue, suffered dearly in HBP. Great essay!!!
Shantiweasleyfan on August 14th, 2005 08:23 pm (UTC)
Agreed this is a great essay, and agreed that I was shocked by DD's quote placing Bellatrix as the oldest living Black relative. I sincerely hope that this means Andromeda Black-Tonks is dead, even though I would feel sorry for Tonks if that was the case.

The age of the Black sisters has always been a bit in dispute, due to the Tapestry family tree in OotP. The sisters are listed, left to right, as Bellatrix, Andromeda, and Narcissa. Traditionally, that would suggest their ages,oldest to youngest.

However, we know that Bellatrix was in school at the same time as Snape, at least for a little while, because in GoF we hear that Snape hung out with 'the Lestranges, they're a married couple...'

My problem, then, is that we know that Lily Potter had Harry at the age of 20, and that Tonks is at least 20 years old when Harry is 15, which means Andromeda was either very, very young when she had Tonks, or that Andromeda needed to be the eldest sister. I've always thought the latter--that this was one of JKR's occasional wonky-math goofs. She has admitted herself on a number of occasions that math was not her strong suit. It also appears in HBP that Tonks is in her mid-20's rather than just 20, which again means Andromeda would need to be older still...

A bit off topic, sorry, but this has always bugged me just a little bit.

I was intrigued to see the sisters display so much sisterly affection in this chapter, faded adn distorted though it may be. It was a nice change to see something like familial affection amongst characters we are used to considering 'dark'.
It's that Bucket woman!curia_regis on August 15th, 2005 04:42 am (UTC)
"...the ownership of the house is most likely to pass to the eldest of Sirius's living relatives, which would mean his cousin, Bellatrix Lestrange."

Maybe Andromeda wouldn't be considered a relative of the Black family since she was disowned and blasted off the family tapestry? Then again, this doesn't make sense either because Sirius owned Grimmauld Place even though he was disowned.

The maths in the HP series confuses me. I can imagine Andromeda having Tonks at a fairly young age but not any younger than, maybe, seventeen.
lea_hazel on August 15th, 2005 04:36 pm (UTC)
Yes, the age of the Black sisters is very confusing. I also thought that Andromeda was the eldest and Bellatrix the youngest, because it seemed to make the most sense, what with Tonks being 22 when Harry is fifteen (18 when she left Hogwarts, plus three years of Aurur training, plus a year on the job) and Bellatrix being childless.

Now, if Bella hung out with Snape, it means she's at most six years older than him (and that's a stretch; at seventeen, would you spend time with an eleven-year-old you weren't related to?) which means she was at most 26 when Harry was born, or at most 19 when Tonks was. Even if Bellatrix and Andromeda are twins (a theory I'm liking more and more) that still means Andromeda was very young when Tonks was born.

(As a sidenote, how probable is it that Tonks has younger siblings?)
mari4212mari4212 on August 16th, 2005 03:24 am (UTC)
Now, if Bella hung out with Snape, it means she's at most six years older than him (and that's a stretch; at seventeen, would you spend time with an eleven-year-old you weren't related to?) which means she was at most 26 when Harry was born, or at most 19 when Tonks was. Even if Bellatrix and Andromeda are twins (a theory I'm liking more and more) that still means Andromeda was very young when Tonks was born.

Playing devil's advocate for a moment, and stretching JKR's words for a moment, what Sirius said in GOF was, I believe "Snape hung out with a gang of Slytherins who nearly all went bad..." Then he lists off a group of people. Theoretically, we could say that that group was established, and included Belatrix at one point. It is possible that she was part of the group, but that she graduated before Snape came. It's not the most logical interpretation of the text, but it does give a bit more leeway in the time line. I don't think it would give us more than two years though.

Andromeda was probably rather young when Tonks was born, probably not more than a year or so out of Hogwarts. As Molly Weasley pointed out in this last book, people were marrying very young during the war, which had been going on for eleven years before Voldemort was defeated. It's possible for everything to still happen according to the facts we are given in the book.
lea_hazel on August 16th, 2005 07:05 pm (UTC)
It's a stretch, but no more than the idea that Charlie Weasley left the Quiddich team in his fifth year because of OWLs (to explain the seven years without winning thing).

I agree about Andromeda. Another reason why she was probably very young when she married Ted Tonks is her eagerness to leave her parents' home. Sirius had money left to him by his uncle, but there's no indication that Andromeda received the same benefit. She must have been longing to finish school and get a job so she could move out.
Adred Lightfoot: mirianaadred on August 14th, 2005 10:33 pm (UTC)
Here via the Daily Snitch
Great essay.
I particularly liked the contrast between the Narcissa we see at Spinner's End, and the one we see through Harry's eyes at Madam Malkin's.
As you have said, the fact that Bella was even following Cissy to Snape's house was very telling on the shift of power between them, let alone when Cissy hexed her for trying to stop her. JKR making it quite clear that the power lies in love, not the pretense of it (ie Bella's alleigance to Voldemort, love of power, pain etc).
Personally I think Narcissa will go all the way, and I think this will start to rot the DE's from the inside. The Bella who gleefully killed her cousin is not the Bella we see with her sister. Merlin .... Redeemed!Bellatrix? Hmm, maybe not quite that far.
Thanks for the essay. Sorry if I've rambled .... Narcissa features a lot in my fics, and it was most excellent for her to have a canon chapter of her own ;-)
draco malfoy's greatest dream: (chickenflicker) doing inside youjoyfulgirl1013 on August 14th, 2005 11:57 pm (UTC)
from the daily_snitch

Nicely done, nicely done. I especially like where you ask, "what wouldn't she do?" I think another important part of that chapter was actually the part wherein she killed the fox just because she thought it might be an auror. She didn't stun it, she didn't hex it or anything like that, she just killed it, almost without thinking. The utter ruthlessness of this act was pretty underplayed, but it definitely seems to set Narcissa up as a sort of shoot first, ask questions later type person.
TO RETURN WHAT WAS GIVEN.: Naked Dumblesour_innocence on August 15th, 2005 01:48 am (UTC)
Here from the Daily Snitch.

You nailed on the head what I had been thinking for a long time- before HBP.

I'm sure you've heard the Draco as a wildcard theory [in which what Draco does in books six and seven will greatly determine the outcome of the War], and I always thought that his love for his mother- and more importantly, her love for him- would leave a lot of room for interpretation and possible confusion. I think you've ironed it quite nicely.

The mother's love theory hasn't been covered a lot with Draco and Narcissa, for reasons you've brought up- everyone assumes that Narcissa is a walking Barbie doll- but the woman was in Slytherin, and cunning requires brains. I think she will have, whether on-screen or off-screen, a great effect on the book.
chthonyachthonya on August 15th, 2005 10:39 am (UTC)

the predominant fandom interpretation seems to hold that Narcissa is a trophy wife

Well, I hope to God that HBP has put paid to spineless-and-vapid!Narcissa for good. IMO the abused!Narcissa stereotype came from 1) Cassie Claire, whose characterisation of Lucius himself was somewhat non-canonical, and 2) slashers who wished to portray Lucius as gay and therefore not in a close relationship with his wife.


I don’t think, actually, that we’ve seen her described before now as anything other than looking somewhat snobbish -- and that Draco will jump to her defense when the Trio insult her. (Which really tells us nothing at all -- because it doesn’t matter how much one dislikes one’s parents -- one tends to jump to their defense when they’ve been insulted by someone else. Heh.)

We haven't seen her described before, but we've been told a lot more about her than that, namely:

1) She sent Draco regular packages of sweets in PS. (OK, we don't know she was responsible, but iirc they came from home and I really can't see that as a very Lucius thing to do. I've always considered Narcissa's 'softness' towards Draco the reason that Lucius' authoritarian parenting was not as successful as he would have liked it to be.)

2) At the Quidditch World Cup it is strongly suggested that she is one of the Death Eaters running amok - the conversation between Harry and Draco refers to his parents, and it's pretty unlikely that Draco and Narcissa would have split up if she hadn't been otherwise occupied.

3) She persuaded Lucius to send Draco to Hogwarts (assuming Draco's statement had a grain of truth), so she wasn't deferential to her husband in that respect at least.

4) Kreacher went to her in OotP, and she recognised his usefulness (it's possible of course that Lucius was with her when Kreacher showed up and took over at that point, but equally possible that he wasn't).

HBP!Narcissa was almost exactly as I'd imagined her.



JKR’s fond of using the theme of love in its’ various forms and fashions, true and false and requited and unrequited; she’s set up Harry as paralleling Draco in some way or another.

Lily Potter died for her son’s sake. What will Narcissa Malfoy do?


That is a very interesting point, particularly given Dumbledore's offer to shelter the Malfoys at the end of HBP.
lea_hazel on August 15th, 2005 04:45 pm (UTC)
I believe that at least one of the Malfoys will die in book 7, and Narcissa is a good candidate. I agree with most everything you said, and also think that Bellatrix is likely to kill Narcissa for her "disloyalty" to the Dark Lord.

It is very interesting to note that Bellatrix made a "lovely pureblood marriage" but has no children. My personal theory is that she is far too devoted to Voldemort to spend that much time with her husband.
mari4212mari4212 on August 16th, 2005 03:14 am (UTC)
It is very interesting to note that Bellatrix made a "lovely pureblood marriage" but has no children. My personal theory is that she is far too devoted to Voldemort to spend that much time with her husband.

Well, when you consider how inbred the pureblood wizarding world is, and the fact that as inbreeding increases the risk of a child having severe genetic problems increases, and you add in the fact that if a child has severe problems it is much more likely to abort if the mother is under any stress, and I can see Bellatrix trying and failing to have children.

Of course her devotion to Voldemort could also interfer with what she's doing. I note that she's practically the only member of the inner circle who is female, and pregnancy might have been viewed as a weakness.
lea_hazel on August 16th, 2005 07:10 pm (UTC)
I note that she's practically the only member of the inner circle who is female, and pregnancy might have been viewed as a weakness.

If it was seen as a weakness, then probably moreso by her than by Voldemort. Not to draw too many unnecessary Nazi parallels, but in an ideology that reveres purity of blood, isn't it a woman's primary duty to produce lots of pureblood babies?

The miscarriage/stillbirth is a good reasoning, though. It would also (partially) explain why Narcissa only one son. Surely money's not an object, and we know she loves her son.
Princess Angelina Contessa Louisa Francesca...maynardsong on July 18th, 2007 03:15 am (UTC)
I like Trixie better as a nickname for Bellatrix. :)