Wow that was a very powerful story. It conveys perfectly what i always imagined regulus' and sirius' relationship was. It was wonderfully written.
Well hi there :) It’s been a while, and just wanted to see how this was received. I actually forgot I’ve already reviewed this, but I’m coming back as a SPEWer! I’m pimpin’ it in SPEW :D. There’s heaps of Regulus & Sirius lovers there, so I’ll see what I can do about getting you more reviews for this! I adore the title, it’s something that I too have incorporated into my story about Regulus, unthinkingly. So, just reading this again, I picked up on a few little nitpicky things. I hope you don’t mind beta-betaing?
Up above, a flock of seagulls danced in the satin pink sky, caressing the fluffy white clouds with their distinctive mocking cries. This is such an amusing contrast. That evil sound against a sky of pink stain? Hilariously real.
A large, violet triple-decker bus with the words The Knight Bus written in gold lettering over the windshield, appeared out of thin air. I’d insert a comma after violet, and take out that one after windshield. It just seems like you’re rooolling –woah! into that half of the sentence. And in the following sentence I’d probably use “aside” rather than apart. It flows better.
I didn’t notice it before, but you’re describing a day, and then you say that it was the worst night of his life.
Although he was gazing through the window of the constantly jumping bus, Sirius did not see… the “did not” is just a little rough :). Didn’t is more like a teenager, and less standoffish compared to the imagery.
It was the reminder from a time a few years ago when Sirius had been seriously injured in a fight with their drunken father who had first beaten up his son, and then cut him with the broken remains of a fire whiskey bottle. And this sentence is supposed to have an element of tragedy to it, but it runs on a little and gets a little distracting. Perhaps rephrasing?
Hee. Swearing. It still makes me giggle, because it’s so Sirius. That was one of the things I loved about this when I first read it – everything was so in character. Regulus was that adored little prince, and Sirius was the rough rebel. I think the extra physical details helped to set them apart, and I loved the whole irony of coming back here and reading it after the seventh book, knowing what Regulus really did. Good insight, have you.
"I haven't forgotten, Sirius." His words were barely audible now. "So why have you?" Adore this. So, so much. So yay for you for being able to predict the bond the two brothers had. I love your more vulnerable Regulus, and I think this story was exceptionally well done. –claps-
Author's Response: Hi! It HAS been a long time, hasn't it? I've pretty much sunken out of the fan fiction loop since DH, so I haven't been checking here very often. Thank you for yet another comprehensive, complementary, constructive review! I love getting reviews (who doesn’t?) and yours are exceptionally good ones, so this is a nice Christmas present for me. It’s 2.15 am at the moment, so I won’t edit the fic now but I’ll definitely take the changes into account. I agree with that sentence about the whisky bottle, I’ve always found it quite difficult and misplaced. The problem is that I’m trying to impart a lot of info in a short amount of time. Looking back on it now it seems very rushed and in need of an edit, so thanks for pointing that out! I’m flattered that you think I’ve got a good insight into the brothers’ characters. I don’t think it’s because I’m a particularly good judge of personality though. I just couldn’t imagine Sirius and Regulus being any different from how I’ve written them and, with DH in mind especially, it’s the love/hate dynamic which supports so much of the plot around them. If I ever have the time/ inclination and a sufficiently insistent plot bunny, I might try and write a fic from Regulus’ PoV spanning from his signing up as a death eater, to betraying Voldermort. In my mind, I reckon that he probably decided to become a death eater the night Sirius left, but I could be completely wrong. I’ve got a half-written fic stashed away in the back of my mind which I’d love to get out, but it’s just a matter of finding the time. If it ever does get written, however, expect to see me posting on your beta thread at the forums! Thanks again for the review and apologies for the time I took to reply, I hope you actually see this response!
Oh, so very good, so good. This has been on my favourites list for awhile, but for some reason, I'd never reviewed. Anyway, better late than never?
Firstly, I'll say that I really liked the beginning of this. The way you started out with the general description of the scene, with the nature and all that, worked very well. It seemed to set a very serene type feeling over the fic in the beginning, before there was that bit of a change in emotions for the latter half.
The Knight Bus was a nice touch, and the way you described it was good. It was also a good way to introduce Sirius, in my opinion, and you seemed to keep both Black brothers remarkably in character throughout the piece. Particularly, the introduction of him -- hiding behind the mask, the 'hard man' exterior -- It's how I've always seen young-Sirius acting at times.
In terms of personality/characteristics of Sirius, I think you hit several key parts. I've already pointed out the bit about hiding behind a mask, and you've also shown a bit of the anger (a fiercely beating heart; "uncontrolled rage" in his eyes, etc.) that he can have by his reaction to Regulus claiming he's acting in a Slytherin manner.
You also managed to get a bit of the self-guilt that we see Sirius portraying in the post-Azkaban years, yet it's in terms of his brother here, rather than the whole James/Lily deal. Like I've already mentioned, I like seeing a deeper, young-Sirius, and seeing him show these aspects of his personality *before* Azkaban, and not just afterwards. (The main difference being, of course, the subject and the *amount* of the guilt.)
I also like your portrayal of the relationship between Sirius and Regulus, but then again, I've always been more fond of those stories that make Regulus more than a one-dimensional villain and have a deeper relationship between the two Black brothers.
Now, though, I have a few nit-picking things that I came across, though they're really just typos:
But Regulus wasn’t finished he strode towards his brother, I think you're missing a period or semicolon between "finished" and "he".
I haven't forgotten Sirius. You would need a comma between "forgotten" and "Sirius", as Regulus is addressing Sirius.
it was all his parents fault. There needs to be an apostrophe at the end of "parents", as the "fault" is their possession.
I think that's it for now.
Author's Response: Thankyou so much for this review! This is my favourite story I've written so I'm always delighted to find new people who've read it :-) I completely agree about it being hard to find an 'in character' Sirius and a three dimensional Regulus. I find it odd that the Black Family seems to be the least explored area of fandom as I think it's the most fascinating one! I love stories about the Black brothers as you can see from my mentions at the end of my fic. Anyway, I'm very flattered that you think I got the relationship right and that you've put the story on your faves list! As for the nitpicks, I'll correct them now. Thanks again, ~Claire
Ooh, first off (although, I should probably mention this last considering it’s the last thing in the one-shot) love the banner. Although this is attributed mainly to the banner maker, you’ve obviously inspired her to make something of such good a quality :D.
Nature was a wonderful thing Missing a period, for some reason.
Every time it got close to hitting a tree or crumpling a hedge, they simply jumped aside out of harms way. Hee. I love the image of a green leafy bush screaming, “DUCK FOR COVER” and jumping out of the way. Good use of personification.
The formatting is a bit off =/ I don’t know why, because you didn’t have < br > tags when you sent it to me the first time… make sure the tags in your Author’s notes are alright, and then copy & paste the Word.doc version in again, it should fix it up.
I remember my favourite thing, when beta'ing this, was the theme of betrayal mixed with the obviously contrary theme of brotherhood. Interesting that you should place two themes in such a juxtaposition – by doing so you’ve created a whole new mood. It’s not JUST about them being brothers, and reminiscing about the good things in a good light, or even about betrayal, evil and horrible as it is. By merging the two you’ve created a different theme of your own, if you will. Very nicely done.
I like the stereotypes. I know that the usual Slytherins are evil, Gryffindors are pig-headed, Hufflepuffs are always nice and Ravenclaws are always nerdy stereotypes are usually the ones that come to mind, but it is this line – “A Slytherin?” Regulus pushed his brother away, eyes narrowed. “No, I don’t suppose you will; Slytherins don’t betray their families.” – that shows a different side to the Slytherin house – they’re awfully loyal. Think of how dedicated to the Pureblood mania they are! So, you’ve managed to turn the stereotype into something positive. See, they’re not all bad… they’re just slightly obsessive :D.
And, SQUEE about Regulus. To be honest, it was one of the reasons I was so eager to beta it. I love Regulus & Sirius, and this is a different spin on the event in which Sirius leaves the Black home. I also love, as I said before, the closeness and the bitterness associated with the two of them. People always depict the brothers as close knit, and then one day they fall apart, but I was just grinning from ear to ear when Regulus slapped Sirius right across the face. It adds to the characterization of Regulus, actually.
I asked you to add in this line, or rather, something along the lines of this line – He had grown taller and stronger, while Regulus had got paler and thinner. – because I thought that it’d create that little bit of distance needed to differentiate the characters. Sometimes they’re too similar in their characterization, so I’m glad that not only did you add the above line, but also this line -
"Just us," he whispered, and then so quietly that Sirius could barely hear him, "shining like stars." because it’s so pretty :D. But seriously, I really do like the reference to the stars. It’s not something I think would pop out of Sirius’ mouth, so that’s something else added on top of the physical differences. And besides, talking about stars is genius :D
And so, this review must end after so long of waiting for it. Which makes sense in my head, I swear. I’m glad I got around to reviewing this, because I was able to see it differently, from the outside rather than the inside. Excellent, daaahling!
Author's Response: I just wrote you the longest response EVER and I lost it *wants to kill self.* I HATE it when it does that!!!!!! To summarise what I said (because it is really late now and I have school tomorrow): Yes the banner is absolutely gorgeous, I'm still reeling from how lovely it is! It's by Simply Being, a very talented author and banner maker (go read her oneshot Leaves- it's amazing.) Also, I will try and sort out the formatting but I'm not very good at that sort of thing and every time I tried to change it it just messed itself up again, frustratingly. Thanks for the pointers though, much appreciated :) As for the stereotypes, I was really trying to convey the way in which the rift between the brothers was widened by their being in rival houses and how maybe our perception of Slytherin is warped due to us only ever seeing events through Harry's (a prejudiced Gryff) eyes. *Is Also In Love With Regulus* He is my favourite character to write, I love the fact we know so little about him- it makes writing him so much more interesting and challenging :-) As for the stars analogy- I've always been fascinated by the starryness of the Black names (Andromeda, Orion, Sirius etc.) and I could just imagine Regulus and Sirius as kids picking out their stars and calling each other by their 'star names' (e.g. little king). I know it's a bit of a cliche in fandom now, having read at least one other story along the same lines, but when I originally wrote this it was still pretty much fresh so that's my excuse ;). So, if this stupid system will let me leave a response without timing me out, I'd like to say thanks for all the help you've given me reviewing and beta'ing, you really have been an absolute (no pun intended) star! xxxxxxx <3
*squees* *dances * Yay!*huggles fab fic* Sorry it’s taken me so long to get round to reviewing, but here’s my babble! And thank you SO MUCH for the A/N, I’m so honoured to be at the start of this fab story.
Seriously. This fic is AMAZING, there are so many things I love about it! Your portrayal of Sirius and Regulus is simply fantastic and your storytelling skills equally so.
Up above, a flock of seagulls danced in the satin pink sky, caressing the fluffy white clouds with their distinctive mocking cries.
The idyllic introduction works really well, and I like how you describe all of the senses. I also like the way that “mocking cries” sounds in this sentence – it sort of gives us a slight hint that things may not be so perfect, which is a really clever way to lead into events.
His name was Sirius Black and this was the worst night of his life. This line just on its own made me want to hug Sirius. It’s such a blunt statement that says so much and emphasises that this night is bad; it doesn’t elaborate which in a way makes situations seem worse. Poor Sirius.
If they had taken a closer look through the mask of a smile that Sirius had fixed onto his face, ignored the casual little tune that he was humming, and spotted the red traces of tears lingering on his cheeks, they would have noticed that this particular boy was feeling anything but normal.
Again, these lines were really emotional to read. I could conjure up the image of the Knight bus, with everyone minding their own business and ignoring Sirius. It’s quite sad really that nobody really ‘cares’ about strangers and that none of them could see through the barrier that he had erected around himself. Sirius’ actions here are really IC – I could see him desperately trying to ignore the fact that the situation is bad, and humming as if he is trying to forget what has happened, but all the same allowing tear to leak from his eyes. It’s as if he can’t help it, and for a boy of his age, that really does show how bad things are.
Sirius Black was in an emotional turmoil, and the image of a ‘hard’ man that he was desperately trying to keep up…
Yes, yes yes… *snicker* I am STILL sick-minded. *hides* But this line does echo what I said before. Sirius, who would probably normally be very outgoing and unwilling to let his feelings show, is actually breaking down – which says a lot about what has happened. You’ve portrayed this really well! Just one pick – I think there should be a line between this paragraph and the next :)
Cowardice was not supposed to be something Sirius Black had. He was a Gryffindor; he had bravery, courage - all that crap - but this time was different from jinxing Snivellus because he had attacked James, or stopping Moony from taking a bite out of Peter.
Oooh! I love Sirius’ tone here. It’s almost as if he’s feeling trapped enough to defy the Gryffindor stereotype of being all-brave. I like the added “all that crap” which suggests that Sirius has better things to worry about at the moment than being brave and what others think of him. The part about Moony biting Peter made me laugh hilariously the first time I read it. Though maybe that was just me…I love his slightly dry humour though, it’s very *Sirius*.
The way that you switch between the different scenes/memories is fantastic. You just jump right into it and get to the point. Starting the second part with Regulus saying "Only, I thought that was more a Slytherin thing, running away.” shows so much about the stereotypes that are around, and in essence, it gets right down to one of the main reasons why the brothers are now so divided. They – being in different houses have been conditioned to perceive one another in different ways, which ultimately leads to a permanent split. Their subsequent conversation is also very emotional and typical of brothers. I could see all of their confusion coming out, about how much everything is changing – I feel sorry for Regulus and Sirius both in a way, as it seems that all the changes are due to circumstances beyond their control. *sigh*
…all he could see was Regulus staring at him and his reflection glaring at him with such an intensity he felt like he would break.
I love the difference that this part makes with the idea that the staring was something that the two of them did when they were little – the difference in situation is so stark and contrasting. I almost get the feeling that this was something that they did all the time as children, and could do easily, whereas now though Regulus is trying and staring as hard as he can they can’t really make it work anymore.
And then when Regulus hit Sirius…that made me go – whoah. It was amazing that Sirius didn’t retaliate, and I’m glad he didn’t. He doesn’t really have much to gain by fighting and I think that he understands this. I can see that he desperately wants to reconcile with Regulus before he goes, seeing that his departure is something between him and their parents only; he doesn’t want to lengthen the divide more by fighting.
He waited for him to say something else, half expecting Regulus to make another attack, half wishing that he would. I love the mixed feeling here – they’re so powerful. It would (obviously) be harder for the brothers to communicate once Sirius leaves, and (I’m not sure how far on the war is) perhaps the two of them already sense that they will end up on opposing sides in the war. In a way, I think Sirius would probably rather Regulus hit him again, and then he could leave with something to hate his brother with. Hatred is probably a thick barrier than regret/love. *sigh*
Just as he was about to say something however, Regulus began to speak in a tumble of mashed up words. I don’t know if you just wanted this effect, but ‘mashed up words’ here sounds a bit odd; I don’t know if that’s just me… ‘mixed up words’ probably sounds a bit better, but that’s just my opinion. :)
"You said that they didn't matter, Mum and Dad, you said that the real family was just us two."
*loves* That has got to be one of my favourite lines! (Which is why I snagged it for the poem :p ) The ‘just us two’ especially gave me tears in my eyes – it’s such a childlike way of putting it, and for a moment Regulus sounds quite helpless, such a contrast from the violent moment before but written so well. Well done!
"GO!" Sirius was shocked by the way that venom and anger had suddenly replaced the sadness in his brother's voice.
Though Sirius doesn’t seem to see it, it seems as if here, Regulus is feeling exactly the same pain as his brother was a moment before, wishing that Regulus would hit him again…mask all the pain with hatred and anger. It’s too bad that both of them have so much to hide, but then again that’s not surprising.
All he could hear in his mind was Regulus’s bitter laughter ringing through the empty corridors and rooms above.
He slammed the black painted door, the laughter choke into a racking, heartbroken sob.
I’ve read this fic so many times now, and I think I’ve only just understood this line. This last line was referring to Regulus, right? I’d always interpreted it as Sirius, perhaps masking his fear with laughter, then breaking down as he closes the door to his home. But then I saw the part about Regulus laughing, and it hit home. So Regulus *is* sorry to see him go. It’s so tragic that the two of them are both equally upset, both equally afraid to show it, and as a result something as catastrophic as this happens. *facepalm*
A teeny nitpick: I think that “choke” in that sentence should be “choked”?
Sirius took one last look at the now inky sky. “Farewell Little King,’ he whispered, eyes prickling unpleasantly, as he slowly turned and stepped through the open door.
*Suzie’s eyes prickle too* Such a fantastic ending, I love it. Saying goodbye to Regulus made me feel really emotional. The open door at James’ house seems almost symbolic of something – as if he is moving from the closed door of his old life, into a newer one. Though the new life is definitely going to be more pleasant than the one he has lived up until now, there have also been some ‘unpleasant’ events, which we have seen. The beginning of the end I guess. *sigh*
This story is so full of emotion – love and hatred and regret, as well as the themes of difference and change. It’s made me sigh a lot in places, laugh a bit, and for the rest of the time, sit here with tissues dabbing my eyes. This is definitely one of the best fics I’ve ever read about Sirius and Regulus’ relationship. What’s great about your portrayal is that you show both their similarities and their differences. You show how they used to be together and what brought them together – but also that which has torn them apart. You’ve built on what we know from canon and made it even more vivid (especially the part about the scars). Serious Claire, this story is AWESOME. You should be so proud! *huggles*
Author's Response: *has a heartattack* I.LOVE.YOU! Seriously Suzie, this review is 1,621 words long! That's practically a story in itself!!! Thankyou so so SO much for leaving such a long and fantastic critique, you've made me all teary with happiness! *sniffs* I've gone through and edited the format a bit, reduced the amount of spaces between lines and then added a few etc. and I changed the 'choke' at the end. I didn't change the 'mashed up' though because I think it helps add the impression I was trying to give of Regulus being so hasty to get out what he's saying, that the words are sort of colliding with each other. Make sense? Probably not lol but I thought it worked at the time :) *giggles* About the 'hard man' line... I almost cut that bit after you made your initial comment because every time I read it I went into fits of laughter, but I left it in because I couldn't admit to myself that our minds were really that dodgy. So THERE! Behave! *laughs* Thankyou for your comments on Sirius being slightly mocking about the Gryffindor values, I wrote him this way because I think that Sirius resents the idea of fitting into other peoples' stereotypes and he also (very VERY deep down) slightly resents being a Gryffindor at all- things would have been so much easier for him if he could have just been Slytherin. I can see that he desperately wants to reconcile with Regulus before he goes, seeing that his departure is something between him and their parents only; he doesn’t want to lengthen the divide more by fighting. yes, yes, YES! That is exactly what I was trying to get at, I wanted to show that however troubled Regulus and Sirius’s relationship is, it’s nothing compared to the way Sirius sees his parents. In my mind Sirius never left because of his brother. I know there’s that line in OotP where Sirius says something like ‘because I hated the lot of them, my parents with their pureblood mania and my idiot brother stupid enough to believe them…’ but I’ve always thought that Sirius got angrier and more brooding over the years and liked to pretend to himself that Regulus was nothing to do with him, especially when he joined up with Voldermort. I actually have very vague plans to write another oneshot as a kind of sequel to this one about how Sirius leaving Grimmauld Place actually leads to Regulus joining Voldermort but I’m not sure if it will ever happen. Anyway, SO glad you get the bit about the laughter at the end. This is a very key point for me in the story because I think it basically sums up everything about the two brothers and how similar they are, not wanting anyone to know their emotions. You're right about how it's tragic, I personally think that it's this pivotal moment which sends Regulus down the path towards becoming a Death Eater. And to conclude... Thankyou thankyou THANKYOU Suzie from the bottom of my big chocolatey heart, you have made this story just as much as I have with your constant encouragement, help and squee-ing and I am SO glad that you think all the weeks of preparation are worth it! *hugs even harder and showers with teddy bears* *~* Claire *~* xxx
Author's Response: ^ yuck, none of the formatting worked. I hope you can understand that, if you can't then I'll post a formatted version at your LJ. xx
Wow...I really liked this story. It was really powerful and had a lot of depth to it.
Author's Response: Thankyou very much.
This was really good, believable too. I liked it! Thats prolly how Regulus really is/was back then...
Author's Response: Thankyou, I am so intrigued by Regulus as a character and especially his relationship with Sirius... I hope he IS RAB and we get to learn more about him in Book 7.
Oh, god. I loved this. This fic is really well-written, & very emotional. Good job.
Author's Response: Thankyou!
Oh, it's beautiful!!!
I love it so much!!!
Touching, sensitive... Just right!
Author's Response: Thankyou very much.