Reviews For Always Watching
Reviewer: Mind Games
Date: 02/09/10 23:52
Chapter: Always Watching

The library setting for this story was great, and I loved the way you described it! There isn’t much of a description in the books, which always disappointed me. The library in this story sounds absolutely wonderful with its huge windows and the bench on the balcony. The setting outside was great as well. I liked how detailed it was, especially your mention of the light from Hagrid’s hut, which was a great touch. The whole paragraph was beautiful and it really set the scene.

I’m going to have to disagree with Shanae and say that I really loved the different sides of Emmeline’s character. I liked seeing a very prim, serious version of her as well as someone who gets annoyed easily. I’m sure exam times are very stressful, and I don’t think having her confront Regulus in a rather irritable way went against what we’d seen of her personality in the beginning of the story. Actually I think it made her seem much more real. No one is the same thing all the time, and showing multiple sides of a character’s personality is important.

And have I mentioned yet how much I loved Regulus? You turned him from someone who’s considered the naïve, lesser of the Black brothers into a mysterious, intelligent character with great wit. The banter between him and Emmeline was so amusing!

You mention at the beginning of the story that exams were two weeks away, but then go on to say that it’s close to Christmastime. I don’t remember them having exams before Christmas, and according to the HP Lexicon they don’t. I also didn’t find any evidence of this in the books, so I think you have a minor canon error there.

One thing I’ve noticed about your stories is that you tend to start most of them off the same way. You always tell us where the main character is and what they’re doing. It’s not a bad way to start a story, but it does come off a bit dry. I’d really love to see you mix up your writing. You could try starting with a bit of dialogue, a character’s thoughts, or an action that isn’t quite so common. Don’t be afraid to try something new in future stories. I know you’re capable of coming up with something really creative.

Really lovely one shot overall. You did a really good job of developing the personalities of lesser-known characters and bringing them together. Well done!

Reviewer: Emily_Anne
Date: 08/07/08 6:20
Chapter: Always Watching

very nice! i actually love Regulus, but you don't get the chance to read about him much....

Reviewer: xohplovr94xo
Date: 03/27/08 15:53
Chapter: Always Watching

awwww really cute!

Reviewer: lilyevans91
Date: 01/19/08 16:36
Chapter: Always Watching

oh my goodness, this was amazing! i love the story idea, and the characterization of emmeline was perfect. you described her feelings so well, i could really relate to her and understand her. everything was realistic and loverly and very descriptive and well-written. oh, and i love regulus. he's just adorable, of course! and i like the fact that he and sirius don't seem to totally hate each other! great job with this story, i really liked it!

Reviewer: Binka Fudge
Date: 01/15/08 17:20
Chapter: Always Watching

This was a bit scarey at first because i wasn't sure if Regulus was being Death Eater spying or infatuated boy staring. towards the end though it got quite funny, especially the bit where he stopped her talking. That reminded me of the movie Beetlejuice for some reason. I guess with marauder era fics I should just live in the moment because if you think about what's to come it's disheartening.

Reviewer: Roommate of the Quillster
Date: 08/29/07 19:14
Chapter: Always Watching

Dear Abi,

Sorry about that last review. -blushes- And on to the real thing!

What a marvelous story! I'm actually not sure that I read the final version, but I absolutely love it. You grasped Regulus' pwn-ing qualities so incredibly perfectly!

I love all the references to him as 'dark.' You varied them so we didn't get bored, yet still captured the essence of his character. Nice job.

Two things I noticed that you might like to consider.

One, there is a minor discrepancy in how you portray Emmeline. The story is told from her perspective, and you capture many parts of her personality. (Duh, she's a girl, she's going to be crazy.) Yet you change. Sometimes we see her as very proper and dignified like from the nineteenth century.

Sitting up straighter, she surreptitiously glanced over. It was that boy again, Regulus Black. It looked as though he had followed her over here. He was certainly going out of his way to unsettle her this evening. Irritated, Emmeline stared pointedly at him, but his expression didn’t waver.

Other times she seems a very modern disgruntled teenager:

‘Don’t play stupid,’ Emmeline snapped. ‘You’ve been staring at me for weeks. What do you want from me? If you’re trying to upset me by watching me, then I guess you’ve succeeded. Well done. Now would you please leave me alone so I can study in peace? I can’t afford to fail this exam tomorrow.’

It’s not a huge difference, but it affects the tone of her story and her interactions with Regulus. I happen to prefer the more dignified version of Emmeline. ;)

Another thing you might consider is varying your sentence structure. You tend to use the same two sentence structures over and over. 1-a simple sentence 2-a compound sentence (, and/but) The structure of your paragraphs becomes repetitive as we read words put together the exact same way across your writing.

If you read the first paragraph, you have two simple sentences followed by two compound sentences that use ,and and ,but. Not an issue, but the way the words came together became slightly repetitive.

And I know Mar would just say I'm being ridiculous. But... just a thought you might consider to spice up your next piece. ;)

Overall, nice job my dear. You totally have me squeeing on this.

Reviewer: electronicquillster
Date: 08/26/07 22:22
Chapter: Always Watching

Well, well, well, first off, I can’t believe I haven’t already reviewed this! Second, you have introduced us to Emmaline in such a way that seems slightly ridiculous but something very endearing and relatable to us as readers.

After dinner, she’d come straight to her usual study spot, the same place she had been before dinner. It was a routine.

Just a bit of something I would iron out here. I would change ‘she’d’ to ‘she had’ or ‘she would’ if you want to develop the rest of the paragraph more in that vein. And then I would take out the ‘a’ to make it simply ‘It was routine’ because then you outline her routine.

I love that some of the key parts of this story take place in the library. Aside from other connotations, libraries have always just been such deeply important places for me. Settings are always so important to me when I read a story. I think a lot of authors wash over setting, but they forget that the reader only sees as much as the writer illustrates, and adding the perfect setting can make a story so much more meaningful. So yes. Yay library!

Hmm... If I were to suggest one thing for effect in this story, it would be to take out the mention that the only class they share is Potions. If you only mentioned that they had one class together, then I wouldn’t get to the scene in potions and be like, ‘Alright, cue Emmeline/Regulus moment.’ I mean, I’d be guessing this is the class they had together, but it wouldn’t be so cut and dry expected.

Maybe while she was stirring her potion or bending over to reach an ingredient, maybe she glanced up to look at Regulus. Maybe.

Hee! I love that part. I lurve it, even.

It wasn’t that he was bothering her, exactly, but enough was enough.

Yeah right, Emmeline. Yeah. freaking. right. You know you’re bothered by it, but you just don’t realize that it’s the sort of bother that you like. Mwahaha.

And, Regulus, I adore you. The end. And he totally won that conversation. I don’t know how he did it, except that he’s Regulus and just awesome like that, so YAY for him being awesome and you showing us how awesome he is. Wheeeee!

I have to agree with what Leanne said in her review about Sirius. Emmeline should know who he is. She should at least recognize him, even if she didn’t think about them being brothers before seeing them together. Either that or it should be evident that Emmeline spends so much time ignoring anything but her books and her immediate friends and her lessons that she doesn’t know him.

When Emmeline is doubting things by the lake, I would have liked to see more of those doubts ennumerated upon to build up the tension. Also, it’s something most of us can completely relate to, and that is an easy way to grip your readers more emotionally.

And the entire ending is just so freaking cute! I get so caught up in it and it’s just fantastic, and I do like the fact that they don’t kiss then. And I also agree that the A/N about Arcturus should be at the beginning, but I totally squee-ed when I came across it for the first time. Thank you for such a wonderfully orchestrated story. I think the middle was my favorite part, but very good all around.

Er, just one other thing... Didn’t Ashley help you with the story, too? I remember her saying something about it a while back. -skips away thinking happily about the story-

And, again, I can’t BELIEVE I didn’t review this before. -facepalm-

Reviewer: ForbiddenLove
Date: 07/19/07 15:31
Chapter: Always Watching

First, let me say how entirely wonderful this fic is! Besides me being a complete sucker for Regulus fics, its superbly well-written and enticingly cute. You have made me sufficiently jealous of your talent, thank you very much, but I just had to write you a review before wallowing in self-pity. ;-).

I liked the interaction between Sirius and Regulus, and how he called him by his middle name. That was a wondeful addition to the story. It really put the Black brother's relationship into focus. I also enjoyed Emmeline and Regulus fighting over words-- watching, looking-- even though they're really both the same thing. Very cute. The ending was especially lovely, how she made him ask again. I was smiling as I read the whole things. Well done! This is going on my favorites!

Reviewer: Dory_the_Fishie
Date: 07/18/07 19:46
Chapter: Always Watching

Abi! -squishes- I do believe this is the first fic I’ve read by you, and I’m so glad I did. It was lovely. Clearly, Emmeline Vance/Regulus Black should be written more often. -wink-

You did such a great job with writing Emmeline. She became a real person, somebody I could relate to. It’s the little things, like copying down potion instructions before starting, that make her three-dimensional and wonderful. And you even hint to some bravery in her? It would take much more than a pair of dark, unblinking eyes to unsettle her. Her stronger side comes out when she confronts Regulus, which, by the way, was a great part. It’s definitely something somebody Regulus would be interested in would do.

I really liked the description of Regulus, even if in my head he just has black hair and not really dark brown hair. But still. His face was serious, almost too serious, as though he were dwelling on some unpleasant memory. Oh man. For me, the idea of him dwelling on some unpleasant memory pretty much sums up his entire life – how he’s always having to be reminded that his family has issues and everything. Nice. And later, even, with: Emmeline thought that was odd, considering he had been sleeping at home for days. It’s because being at home isn’t relaxing! Guh. The implications of that line are many. In my head, at least. And in Potions, how he’s so courteous. Dude, I love it. It’s perfect. And yet, he’s still this sort of mystery guy. I like that Emmeline doesn’t know much about him, that he notices her first. You just did an awesome job in characterizing Regulus.

The conversations between Emmeline and Regulus are really well-done. I definitely see some traces of Sirius in Regulus, the way he banters and everything. Must be a super-cool Black brother thing. Somehow, Regulus always had the upper hand whenever they talked… This line made me think that Regulus was probably a really good Death Eater. Being able to control the situation and everything. It makes it even more adorable later, at the lake, when he’s all confused. And Regulus’s eyes! For me, Regulus is a character with a whole lot of depth, and his eyes would definitely convey that. So, yes. Amazing.

The bit with Sirius and Regulus was great, but I think I’d have liked to see a little more of their interaction. It could’ve been neat to see how Emmeline views the Black brothers and their relationship. One thing: would Emmeline really not recognize Sirius? I feel like she would know who he is, just because it seems like the Marauders were probably pretty well-known and everything. But I suppose it’s possible they weren’t that well-known. Wishful thinking on my part. -shifty eyes- The Arcturus touch is lovely as well (although I guess I have to give credit to Mar for that one, but still).

Overall, I loved this. I wish there were more to it! I want to read more of this relationship. I might’ve liked to see Regulus kiss Emmeline at the end, but really, Regulus moves slower than that, so it worked to have him just ask her out. Keep up the awesome work, dear.

Reviewer: kumydabookworm
Date: 07/13/07 5:58
Chapter: Always Watching

I know this is a matter of preference and all, but I really would have preferred seeing that A/N about Arcturus in the beginning of the story. I read those lines where Sirius said Arcturus instead of Regulus about six times before giving up and thinking I had missed something. It kind of ruins the flow of the story and you can't get into the emotions as much as a reader, you know, so that would be my crucial suggestion.

Anyway, the story was wonderful. I enjoyed your unique perspective on these MWPP characters. They're pretty much open books because so little is known about them and your interpretation of them is TOTALLY different from my interpretation of them, which is kind of cool!

Honestly, I want to see more of Regulus. There's no major (even indirect) glimpses into his character – and I think we kind of need to know him better in order for the romance to be fabulous. Don't get me wrong! This is a cool pairing and the writing is good…but I didn't feel too connected to Regulus. Maybe you could have us overhear a conversation with Sirius and Regulus about their home life through Emmeline's ears. Maybe he could just talk more in front of the lake – something to make me connect to him would be nice.

Emmeline, on the other hand, is simply fabulous. She's the REASON I really loved this story. You've made her three-dimensional and real and wonderful. :) I felt connected to her emotionally from beginning to end.

One other plot point that I felt needs just a TAD more detail was the part where she opened her lips, he shook his head, took her hands and asked her to Hogsmeade – not taking advantage of what was being offered like most boys would. I'd like to see Emmeline's reaction – "Oh my gosh, does he think I'm ugly?"…"Only I could be that stupid to offer my mouth to a boy."…"Aw, isn't that sweet? He's taking it slowly."

I think that would give a bit more insight into how she thinks about guys, romance etc – and add a bit more of that side of her character. The romance/boys non-academic side.

Your characterization and the great flow really made this into a riveting story. It wasn't heavy or dark – a little freaky, I'll admit, with all the watching – and it was fun to read. You do a really good job of getting people emotionally involved with your characters, for the most part, and this is just a GREAT story.

Wonderful job, Abigail!

Reviewer: GreyLady
Date: 07/01/07 22:59
Chapter: Always Watching

Abigail, I really liked this! The dialogue is so natural, Regulus was incredible, and it was very sweet overall. I think your writing has improved so much from your early stories.

Probably ought to have written a SPEW review, but instant gratification is sometimes even better, yes? ;)

Anyways, I'm sure Marie absolutely loved it.

Reviewer: solemnlyswear_x
Date: 07/01/07 19:52
Chapter: Always Watching

Wow, that was great!

I loved that you made Emmeline such a real character. Normally she only pops up in fanfic as one of Lily's best friends or something, so this was a very refreshing read. Her reactions to Regulus watching her were very realistic, especially moving around her cauldron to take a peek at him. I think it sounds exactly like what a teenage girl would do. That and blushing. =)

Regulus was great, too. He was wonderfully mysterious, and I could just picture him smirking when he turned the tables on Emmeline when she confronted him. It was also nice to see him and Sirius getting along, and I loved that Sirius called him Arcturus. The one thing about that is wouldn’t Emmeline be confused as to why Sirius called him that ? I know there was no one else around, so she would know it was Regulus, but I would have thought she would have been curious about the name. Just a thought, though.

Completed? Does this have to be just a one-shot? I was hoping we’d find out what happened in Hogsmeade… Well, in any case, this was an awesome fic, so I’m very glad I saw it on the ‘Most Recent’ list. =)

Reviewer: x_bewitched_x
Date: 07/01/07 19:38
Chapter: Always Watching

I love it! It's so intense! You are an amzing writer. Is Arcturus really Regulus's middle name? Or did you make it up to kind of play off of the RAB thing? I love it, though!

Reviewer: siriusblack1440
Date: 07/01/07 17:58
Chapter: Always Watching

aw that was cute but i don't understand the "Arcturus" who's name is that im confused?

Reviewer: HarperLee
Date: 07/01/07 17:48
Chapter: Always Watching

woah, this is so above my head!

Reviewer: Noel Weasley
Date: 07/01/07 16:56
Chapter: Always Watching

awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwe! that's so sweet! i really like this! it good! and the 'stro's won! my first Baseball game! and there was a loud guy behind me! :D good story! :P

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