How embarrassing. I get a mention in the chapter and vanish for a few months instead of reviewing. Thank you for your acknowledgement – I’m glad to know you’ve appreciated my reviews, and I’m looking forward to reviewing this, your final chapter of this small tale.
I think it was perfect. The subtle allusions to the poem were very nice in this chapter – like when the gentleman stuffs and smokes his pipe, and the tolling of the hours. Once again you matched the tone of the poem with the tone of the prose, and I’m really impressed by that.
One of my favorite lines was this: On both sides of the street, the preoccupied pedestrians were little planets trapped in perfectly elusive orbits, faceless behind raised newspapers, train schedules, and letters from strangers. I’ve never lived in a big city, but I’ve often imagined it to be somewhat like this – especially in the days when we actually used newspapers more often. But then you follow it up with the occasional greeting: “Good afternoon, my friend, good afternoon!” At first we’ve got a very impersonal world, everyone in their own little bubble and not really interested in anyone else, but then a personable feeling to touch it up with, and it seems to me to give a little hope to the world Remus lives in. But I might be extrapolating. It happens. ;)
To have this as your final chapter worked just fine for me. I’m not put out with you at all – we already know Remus rejected Tonks a few times before they got together, and to have this first time be what we see really fits well with the rest of the chapter, and with the poem.
I liked this chapter because it felt like, for the first time, Remus was starting to make a difference in the young werewolves’ lives. Sivey almost listened to him, and it’s clear they all look up to him a lot. To say that gratitude wasn’t the werewolf way was a nice touch; it reminds us how depraved and pathetic they really are.
(A “Muggle” house in Little Hangleton? Of course it would have a boggart.)
There is so much I like about this chapter, particularly your lovely word choice and diction. I can’t possibly talk about it all. I suppose I’ll move on to being picky, then.
Remus was walking up Tower Street and opening his book,when a resounding “crack!” rang through the din An extraneous comma!
they were standing on a garden path half-way between a run-down cottage and a large manor. I’m pretty sure you can just use “halfway” instead of “half-way,” but that is a personal choice. You do use hyphens in two other words in the sentence, if that makes a difference one way or the other.
“Keelan–Jared–lie low here for now. I disagree with your use of dashes here. It makes it seem like he’s forgotten Keelan’s name so has to fix it and call him Jared. Perhaps what I would do to adjust that is use “Keelan, Jared – lie low...” The dash then makes it clear that he’s addressing them while the comma makes the list.
But that’s all I could find. And I keep getting distracted because the story is so entrancing. If it’s not already on my favorites, it will go there now because I really really like what you did here. It was a very masterful interpretation of Eliot’s poem and I hope you’re proud of what you’ve accomplished here. :)
Have a nice day! *D*
Author's Response: Ah. I do seem to be overly fond of punctuation. Thank you for pointing those out; I will go back and fix them!... Your commentary was, as always, amazingly insightful. Sometimes I wonder if you know the characters better than I do myself. I wish...I dunno, I ended it because I ran out of poem, and there was nothing left to say, but I really like Remus as a character, and I wish it could have been different for him. He deserved more, he really did. Somehow, he just always gets the short end of the stick. Of course, I never gave him more than the bittersweet almost-successes of this last chapter, so I can't complain. All right, too much said... Um...two more things: I'm glad you liked what I did with the younger werewwolves. I almost used Aidan instead of Sivey, because I didn't want people to think she's weaker, just cause she's a girl. She's probably the toughest of the bunch, after Jared, but also the only one who ever seems to listen. Oh, yes, I was going to say I thought the Tonks/Lupin scene was...painful. It was brutal to write...I'm flattered by how nice you were about it. It was a really nice surprise, getting your review after having disappeared myself for a couple of months. It definitely made my day! Thanks so much again for all your encouragement!
Great job! Nice intro of the often heard "too" times three. Love the Eliot quotes...they fit so perfectly! Were you inspired by his poetry?
Anyhoo, awesome job, PLEASE post next chap soooon!
Author's Response: Eliot is my favorite poet, so I have a little book of his poetry, and the poems that remind me of characters have little notes pencilled in the margins. This one had Remus written all over it. (Figuratively speaking). I'm a little sad it's done, but I ran out of poem and I felt like the more I wrote, the more likely I was to slip up and make Remus OOC *chews lip anxiously* Anyway, thanks for the review and the compliments!
Dicken's! How appropriate....The worst of times because of the spy work and losses, best because he has a friend to help him through it all...
Author's Response: That bit got added in during the editing, while I was trying to straighten out this...bizarre chapter, but I had Dickens mentioned earlier, and if a fmous quote works?...*happy shrug*
Your story was excellent! You caught Remus' fears perfectly -- he fears himself, he fears harming others, and he fears the loneliness. You've added so much depth to his character in these sketches. Please keep writing!
Author's Response: Thanks! Yeah, Remus was fun to write, intriguingly complex, but ever so quick to win sympathy. I was only worried I had put too much of myself into the character. If it worked, then maybe, at least for a while, I've done something right.
“Perhaps! Try and be reasonable, Nymphadora!” Remus pleased, also rising.
um...maybe not pleased for the verb right there...
I like it overall- it helps me connect with Remus. J.K. didn't every go very deep into him- she hasn't gone very deep into any of the Mauraders...
Author's Response: Pleaded. My bad. *fixing* Thanks, Melis! It makes me happy when you like these!
Good chapter! I really liked the idea to throw a boggart into the story. You are doing things right, btw. Keep up the good work.
Author's Response: The boggart wasn't really my idea. It wrote itself in because I needed an excuse to put in two pages of Remus chastising Sivey, but ended up cutting most of that and keeping the boggart. I'm almost sad that this story is over...I guess I ran out of poem *grins* I'm really glad you enjoyed it, and thanks for the review!
Hey Penn! (maybe that can be your nick-name, seeing as you don't have one yet :P) It's your beta, Victoria from 'Darkness Rises', if you didn't remember that. :D
I really, really love this story, dear, and I'm not just saying that 'cause I was your beta. You kept Remus IC for the whole time, and I know that's really hard to do!
*gets all grumpy* I really wish that this story had more reviews. Seriously y'all, you don't know what you're missing. Keep on writing, Penn!
Author's Response: Hey! Like the nickname, by the way--and of course I remember you! You were amazing with my Sirius one-shot...I don't know if you noticed, but chapter three was borrowed stylistically from the story you beta-ed from me, because it turned out so well--with a few little twists to make it work for Remus. I love Remus. I love the Marauders. Proposition: everyone should send J.K. letters begging her to write more for them. That's what I asked the frat guy dressed as Santa for this year. I think he was a little surprised. Thanks for the encouragement!
It’s amazing how initially I don’t understand the point of the chapter, but when I read it again, I see where it falls both in the story and in Remus’ life. The part where he imagines himself becoming like unto the older werewolves made me shiver. Ah, the power of grief. And the environment in which he’d been immersed lately probably had something to do with it. I can’t imagine my best friend dying and then having to go spend time with people that make it a point not to care about anything human.
Stream-of-consciousness is not the most difficult feat I’ve seen you pull off in this fic, but I still think you did a good job of it. It didn’t feel like you were totally jumping around from topic to topic – I could tell the way it flowed. The topics you passed through during the flashback/nightmare/dreams are often discussed in fanfiction. I especially liked the way you wrote the way James and Sirius found out about his lycanthropy. The rest was good, too, but most of it was JKR’s. The point is, the parts you actually wrote fit in just fine with hers.
Just one thing I would mention this time around:
he fought the urge to run by forcing myself down into the offered chair. The image that came to mind is actually almost amusing. Remus forces the author into a chair to keep himself from running.
Oh, I lied. I found one more thing to say. It’s very picky.
both willing himself to wake up from the nightmare or doze off to escape it If you’re going to use “both” your conjunction should be “and.” If you are really attached to your “or,” I might suggest replacing “both” with “either.” That way it makes better grammatical sense.
Good luck on the next chapter! I’m tempted to go look up the poem and try and guess what you’re going to write about, but I think I’d rather have the suspense. Have a nice day! *D*
Author's Response: "Himself", not "myself". Fixing...and I think I prefer the either/or structure, so I'll go with that. If there was a point to the chapter (which, admittedly, there might not have been), it was entirely driven by the poem. It just seemed to scream "flashbacks!" at me. Those weren't original, no, and I did borrow the last three flashbacks entirely from JKR. Unfortunately, I can't even say the way I set it up was original. I did a one-shot of Sirius breaking out from Azkaban, except the flashbacks were exclusively depressing, and I used "cold" instead of "hot" for him. A confession. Hopefully you won't be too put out with me. The last chapter is done. And it's not written like the other three. An odd, motley fanfiction, then. Just like Remus' odd, motley life, I guess. Hopefully it will be a satisfactory ending *bites lip anxiously* I'm impressed by how much you perceive when you read. Your reviews are wonderful, it's been fantastic!
I like this chapter better on a second, careful read. At first I didn’t understand what was going on, but I’ve stared at the poem for a couple minutes and now I’m really impressed with the way you incorporated it. Again. The part where Remus lectures the young werewolves about “the hands” that Tiber nicks handbags from was really nice, I thought, but then I saw it in the poem and it was even cooler, the way you chose to interpret that for the story.
Even though it’s disjointed, there’s a sort of...cohesiveness to this chapter that came to me this second time reading it. Probably because I can see threads of the poetry running through it, but also perhaps because each scene has a common character that’s going through...hard times. I’m really proud of Remus. He’s doing a job he knows is hopeless, but he’s doing it anyway.
It was cool the way the werewolves take “revenge” on normal people. I mean, not cool that they do that, but that you chose that as a suitable revenge for them to take. I had to smirk when Remus pretended he didn’t know anything about the Malfoys. He certainly is living a lot of masquerades.
And I liked the suggestion that his realest life is just lounging with a good book, Sirius by his side. It saddens me that he doesn’t ever get as much of that as he should. Excellent use of that Dickens quote, as well. It pretty much exemplifies Remus’ life – heavy on the worst of times, of course, but things could be worse. He could be dead. (Okay, that’s pretty much the only thing I can think of that’s worse than what he’s going through. I still like the use of that quote.)
Just a couple little things I noticed:
Tremors wracked his boy violently I’m pretty sure you mean “body” there, not “boy.”
“Would you read it…out loud?” Remus smiled. Sirius stared back up at the ceiling ...
It just sounds like Remus is the one making the plea because of the placement of the names. I couldn’t tell if there were actually two spaces between the quotes and Remus’ name – that would help. It’s hard with question marks to make it clear whether or not the statement’s being made by the person named afterward. You might even consider rearranging the words a bit, though I hesitate to mention it because I do like it better the way it is. Just thought I might draw your attention to it.
Finally, I like how you use Old English. It’s a very nice literary touch. Your writing remains wonderful. Have a nice day! *D*
Author's Response: "Boy" was a typo, but I can fix it...and I think if I start a new paragraph after "Would you read it out loud?" it might be less confusing as to who's speaking. I hope. I hadn't noticed that before, so I really appreciate the comment. I couldn't resist throwing in the Malfoys. I mean, the Malfoy Manor? It's got to be every looter's dream! Not that Keelan and Co. would have ever come close to breaking in, even with permission...*evil grin* It makes me happy that you liked "the hands" speech. The original version of that was too long, and I was afraid that when I cut it down, it was incoherent. As you noticed, the poem provided the inpsiration. The poem seems to drive a lot of this story, mainly because we don't really know exactly what it is that Remus does; I wish J.K. had written more about Remus' time with the werewolves in the Christmas scene of HBP, but alas! I am reduced to guesswork. Thanks for the amazing review!
I just wanted to drop a quick word to say that I really like how this story is going and that your writing's got me hooked. I hope you don't leave this unfinished, and thanks for such a freshing read :)
Author's Response: Thanks! Yes, there's one more chapter, and so far it's quite different from the others...but I suppose I'm having trouble making any two chapters consistent style-wise...*guilty laugh*
Wow. Really intense story. But I love it! Update soon!
Author's Response: Will do. I was going for intense, so that makes me happy!
Very nice so far, I'm quite interested to see where it goes. Just fix the neverending italics at the end and you're golden. =)
Author's Response: AGH! You're right. I must have deleted the when I went back to fix another little detail. Thanks for pointing that out, I'll go put it right.
Author's Response: Blah. Now it put that in italics when I put it the end italics symbol after the 'the'. I give up--I'm html illiterate and not learning fast.
oh. Your writing is beautiful. It echoes the snippet of poem you posted at the beginning of the chapter. I can just see the city in my mind’s eye – damp, desolate, dingy.
You really did well with the flashbacks every so often. It gave a feeling of the scope of the danger Remus was getting himself into. In real time, we don’t particularly see a whole lot of how Remus is feeling, but when we see the conversation with Dumbledore we know that, just as he did when talking to him, he is hiding his fear. And...I would be scared too. I am scared. He’s doing something very frightening and I’m sitting here with my heart pounding and hoping that everything’s going to be okay. Here Remus is, just learning what being a werewolf means to most people, er, werewolves. He’s praying that he won’t hurt someone! That’s really when it hit me. I mean, Remus would never hurt someone, right? Not when he’s a human.
Gah. Now I’m all worried. Usually I don’t have such an emotional reaction to stories – your writing is very powerful indeed. I’m glad that I’m doing this in the morning and not at night, when I’d be sure to have nightmares about Bur Sceadugenga.
I really liked your last paragraph, especially in relation to the T.S. Eliot. The prose is just very nice. (How insipid. It’s effective, potent, rather beautiful in a strange way. Silly of me to use the word “nice” to describe it.)
Just a couple small corrections I would make:
Darkthroat vaulted over the desk again with inhumane grace and settled back in his chair.
When I see the word “inhumane” I think more about uncivilized, sort of cannibalism or making children live in the rotting remains of their parents sort of thing. Maybe you could change it to “inhuman,” but my thesaurus says they mean about the same thing. I think I know what you’re trying to say – that humans could never achieve the grace he exhibits here – but I’m not sure what word would be best, only that I don’t really think I like the word you’ve used. If I had to make a final judgment, I would perhaps ask you to consider the word “inhuman,” just because it doesn’t contain “humane.”
He had only just got back up when Keelan came tearing by in, grabbed his arm again, and took off down the tunnels
Do you mean “back”? This sentence is a bit confusing to me.
Other than that, I love your writing. It’s not flowery, but it’s descriptive and powerful all the same. And I’m sort of anxious to see if you continue this, because I’m worried.
Thanks and have a nice day! *D*
Author's Response: I hadn't thought of that--"inhuman" does have more appropriate connotations. I'll fix that... The other sentence, the one with an extra preposition..I think I'll change that to "when Keelan came tearing down the stairs". Hopefully that's clearer. Thank you for the review! I enjoyed reading your reactions, and I will update as soon as possible...