Hey love muffin :). Itís really so odd reading Gauntlet submissions as theyíre so similar, but so entirely different. Iíve got a couple drafts of this prompt on my computer, written by someone else, and itís just soÖ refreshing to see whatís really going on in the minds of others, and what they create.
I mean, itís a pretty fabulous choice of Regulus Black. I think I know the width of your smile as you realised the prompt. I think what would have been a total cop-out for other people, knowing that R is already a DE, and therefore the ordeal isnít entirely inconceivable, was tackled well by you as far as making it as interesting as you possibly could. There were certain things, like having to chose between the two paths that were a little odd, but theyíre Gauntlet tasks, so thatís understandable enough.
On that note, you did include the prompts with ease. I mean, the one I just mentioned was a little far-fetched, but not entirely ridiculous as youíve written it. Most people just go, ĎOh, um, okay, sure-í And Voldemort suddenly zips them away to the circus. So I am reallyhappy that youíve achieved that. I was looking at the poem Ė
Silence comes and silence goes
Enemies grasp futily
When facing oneís foes
- & was thinking, did Mar write that, or is it a prompt? I know youíre capable of writing that, so I just sort of went, ĎYou loony, you KNOW itís a gauntlet so youíre trying to pick out the prompts!í and buried my paranoia. But the fact I had to really think about what sections were prompts was good. Out of interest, how many prompts in this chapter?
Nitpick: It was inevitable for him tojoin the ranks of the Dark Lord, but perhaps he couldíve forstalled it. To join, & forestalled. Perhaps itís American spelling?
I liked the dialogue, it was very befitting of Voldemort. Regulus is always such a soft spot, because we really donít know what heís really like. You know I like your Regulus, and mineís really not as developed as yourís is, so itÖ not easy to conform to the personality, but you do make it less-hard than people whoíve justÖ written him as a mopey Sirius. Itís hard to explain, I guess. Itís like in RL, when people have different opinions of people.
With the girl, thereís something annoying me. I donít know whether itís the fact I donít know her name, or just that fact that sheísÖ in there, occupying his thoughts. I mean, heís got some pretty serious things going on. I just wonder at her importance in the story, is all.
I actually had to scroll down and see which one of your stories I haventít read yet. So huzzuh for you writing so much. My SPEW reviews would be a lot less fun without a little Mar every month. ♥
What a chilling story! I'll try to be as constructive as I can, but really, I don't see how you can improve such a well-written story!
You have a knack for mood-setting. The entire story was placed in such a dark and haunting atmosphere that it made the events more chilling than it already was. The storm was the perfect touch, and your descriptions of it throughout the story was magnificently ominous. Your ability to find "gruesome" words astounds me.
The details to which you give the Death Eater initiation is incredible. I would never have thought of the riddle or the serpent summons. My favorite is:
"What special knowledge or service do you hope to offer the Dark Lord for giving you the honor of being among his followers?"
ďI do not ask questions, nor do I talk.Ē
A very good summary of what the Dark Lord requests of each of his followers actually, and it is very smart of Regulus to answer as such.
I enjoyed the conflict between Regulus' old self and this new-found dedication to the Dark Lord. The girl with whom he has prior relations with added a lot to the story and re-emphasized the sacrifices he had to make in order to achieve this honor. It also reflects on what might have brought him back and makes him defy the Dark Lord. The descriptions of the other Black brother, Sirius, contrasted the two brothers severely. I'm a bit shocked at the vehement way Regulus regards Sirius; unlike the girl, Regulus doesn't at all see Sirius as a good part of his life. I would like to see how this view of his brother changes when he begins to lose the Dark Lord's favor.
I'm not sure about the way you change from the Dark Lord to Voldemort. The switching happens throughout the story so it doesn't reflect Regulus' growing boldness. I would've thought the Death Eaters were more inclined to call him the Dark Lord rather than Voldemort, as the former shows a lot more respect toward their leader and the latter is a name everyone fears saying out loud. I think consistency in that part would've improved the story.
Whee, SPEW buddy! As I was scrolling through your authorís page, trying to pick which story to review, I just had to click on this one. Because. The Regulus love, obviously. But also, this fic has no reviews, which makes me sad. Also, it says in youíre A/N that thereís another part to this. Which I want. =) But anyway.
I love how you start this. Itís very chilling, which is perfect. He didnít know if the feeling that gripped his chest was fear. I love that. The whole idea that he doesnít feel anything anymore is great; I think it really matches with his character. And the bit with the mystery girl Ė heart. Iím glad you didnít tell us who it is. I like the mysteriousness of Regulusís relationship with her, but also that he feels like sheís his weakness. Itís sad, but in a I-love-this-story sort of way.
It was a snake, acid green and hissing. Ö It was a summons. For some reason, this line really stuck out at me as I was reading. Iím not sure why. I think itís great because itís simplistic, but itís not simple, if that makes sense. Itís haunting. And I love how the first thing Voldemort does is penetrate Regulusís mind. Thatís soÖwhat he would do. I also quite like that Voldemort asks about Sirius, but thatís probably just the fangirl in me bouncing aroundÖ :-)
He could easily find out the truth of any boastful claim I could make, and it seems quite certain that an unsatisfactory answer will result in a grievous punishment, so you must choose your answer carefully, Regulus. Something about this bit doesnít read right to me. In the first sentence, I would take out the second Ďcould.í It seems a tad superfluous. I think what bothers me is the shift to second person at the end. It might work better to end at Ďgrievous punishmentí and then have a separate sentence that says, ĎChoose your answer carefully, Regulus.í But Regulusís answer is perfect.
The characterization in this is something I must comment on. I was about to say that you had Regulusís character down wonderfully, but then I remembered. We donít really know what Regulus is like, do we? Sure, we know some things about him, but heís pretty nonexistent in the books so far. But of course, in my mind, Regulus is a strong character whom Iíve thought a lot about. And itís obvious that youíve thought him through as well. Everything he does and says in this is great. Heís confident but not overly arrogant, intelligent but not genius; heís human. Heís sort of like a kid who just took the wrong path.
I adore the descriptions in this, especially when Regulus gets the Dark Mark. Since we donít know exactly how that works, itís open to interpretation. I think some authors go a little overboard with it, and then others hardly bother describing it. I like it here. You took the time to explain well enough that we could imagine it, but you didnít dwell on it for paragraphs and paragraphs. I think itís interesting that he gets thrown into the room afterwards. Isolation. -shivers- I love the mini flashback. I feel like we needed that tiny taste of Regulus with mystery!girl. But itís also very sad. Itís like one of those situations where they didnít want to break up, but they justÖdid. And it really helps explain why Regulus joined the other side in the first place.
The end! Thatís why I want the second part. I have to know what the errand is, dur. I vote you update this, pronto. So yes, I loved this. -squishes-