To my readers:
Thank you so much for going on this journey with me. I started writing this almost exactly a year ago, and it has absolutely been a labor of love. Even when the characters insisted on things I never planned. Even when I stared at the cursor wondering "how write? how words?"
You all made it worth it.
I'm so sad it's over―mourning, really, like saying goodbye to friends. I love you all and these characters more than ever. But the story is complete.
A few people have asked if I'll write more. The short answer is: maybe? :P If there's anything, it'll be way shorter. I might try small challenges or requests. Writing a long, complex story takes tremendous mental effort, holding onto all of the threads so I won't forget anything (though I'm sure I did), and despite my sadness it's a relief to finally be able to let it all go. Unfortunately I'm a lot busier now than when I started, and it's all Hermione and Narcissa's fault ;) I wanted to be more studious and ambitious like them, so now I'm getting a master's degree to pursue a career in [redacted]. Someday I might finish the original novel I've been working on for *mumble mumble* years, and I'll let you know somehow if it gets published.
To fellow writers:
Please write more for this unlikely but fascinating ship! There are so many different ways to write these two and bring them together. If you wrote/are writing one, feel free to invite me to check it out. I've been abstaining from reading other Cissamione stories while writing this, because I was afraid of losing track of my own characterizations and plot. Now I can freely enjoy them all! Some I've read in the past, but I have more to say now that I know firsthand how important reviews are. I'll only give criticism if you ask for it, since I know not everyone craves it like I do. Maybe I'll become a beta reader. I didn't use a beta, and my story probably suffered for it. I really want to support our community, so don't be shy.
Thank you to my older brother, who (despite being straight and uninterested in fiction) endured my excited rambling about imaginary lesbians/bisexuals while we met for lunch or did bench press together. I appreciate your input (including the Channel Tunnel location idea, and the house elf terrorist network idea that I never used) and I love you to death.
Thank you to Cysteine Snape, dark goddess of Cissamione, author of One Step Left. As you know, your fic was my introduction to this ship, and I'm still over the moon that you enjoyed my story too. Yours undoubtedly influenced mine in more ways than I know, especially the way I see Slytherins in general.
Thank you to Cissy Black Malfoy, who helped me remember that Lucius is devoted to his family in canon. The entire story would have gone differently without you.
Thank you to fredfred, who sent a couple of great, detailed messages that helped me understand what was working and what needed more thought.
Thank you to LoveGoodWriting, who has been such a steady voice of support. Your appreciation for my writing always lifts my spirits and helped me through some low points.
Thank you to Fwallow, who continues to hold an unreasonably large place in my heart from leaving such insightful comments.
Thank you to... everybody. I know I'm forgetting influential voices, grr. Memory fades over months, but I value all of you. Your eager expectations for each new chapter made me push myself to keep improving.
Annnd J. K. Rowling of course :D Thank you for your amazing storytelling that impacted so many of our lives. I appreciate your work more now that I've played in its playground. You'll definitely never read this and probably disapprove of shipping Hermione with Draco's mom, but I like to think this queer transformative work stayed true to the spirit of the Harry Potter series, where friendship is invaluable and love is the greatest power.