Bine! *hugs SPEW Buddy*
Though short, this story was so lovely! Your description and word choice were very interesting to read, and just drew me right into the story beside Sirius and Regulus.
I imagined that walking along that pathway must have been like walking through endlessness. It was like a bridge over the endless sea – a sea of freedom.
I really loved these two lines. The last is a great simile and just made me smile along with Sirius. Very good description, my dear.
The overall plot of the story was simple, but I think that only added to the loveliness that it held. I think that, because it’s so simplistic in nature, that it gave the feel of letting the reader in on a moment of happiness, of joy that we never got to see between the two brothers.
When Regulus took hold of Sirius’ hand, I smiled. I could really picture that in a younger Regulus. Whilst we know that the two did not get on well as they grew older and apart, I think that they would have had a close relationship as young siblings, and you depicted that very sweetly, but yet realistically.
Your characterization of Sirius in this was very good. You showed that reckless, adventurous side of him here, but in a softer and simpler way than we usually see in fanfiction. It was sort of like a preview of the Sirius to come, the one who would runaway from home. So I thought that having Sirius sneak out with Regulus was perfectly in character for him.
I also liked the switch in point of view at the end, from first to third person. It allowed the story to close in a manner that, gave the reader a sense of being let in on a childhood memory. A really good one-shot, dear; I thoroughly enjoyed reading this.
Author's Response: Thank you so much, Hayley dear. *hugs back*
Ah, Bine! I had such a hard time deciding which fic to review. Really. I'm not joking. But then I picked this because it has the Black brothers. :D Regulus and Sirius are love. Anyway, the review...
This one shot is pure love. Brotherly love. It's just a normal day, okay, so not normal for the Black brothers because they go to Muggle places, but basically, it's just a normal thing one would do when one's getting bored. Go out to try to chase away the boredom. A simple act. But you've made this into a wonderfully written one shot about brotherly feelings.
The Sirius over here seems to be quite different than what we often come across. He seems quite... serious over here. There are no jokes cracking, just normal conversation with a sibling. From the 'not allowed to do magic' part, I'm assuming that he's in Hogwarts, but he has to be below 16, of course. And he also knows quite a bit about Muggle way of travel, so he'd be about fourteen? Anyway, the thing is that he's acting mature, doing things straight. He knows he's outside in a part where no one knows him. He has the sense of responsibility over his brother and is doing things the right way even though Regulus is in doubt. He's looking at the scenery, and not girls. That was another good thing. When telling the cat off [okay, that sounds weird but you get the idea], he feels bad about it. It shows that he's not feeling-less. That he understands animal feelings as well.
Regulus acts like the adorable little brother. He follows Sirius outside the sanctuary of the house to Muggle London without questions. He's intelligent to presume that they need tickets to board on the Tube and questions about it. He's not sure about Sirius' integrity, but doesn't say much. This shows that he's clever, he's curious and voices his opinions lightly, but in the end, he follows what others say. The part where he's all happy running in the field is sweet.
Now the relationship. Regulus trusts Sirius blindly. Sirius likes Regulus well enough that they do things together. He never thought of going outside alone or that his little brother would be a nuisance. They are quite civil to each other when they're talking [I don't mean the formal thing, I mean no bad names or anything], saying 'please' and requesting the other brother, etc. They hold hands when they get out of the Tube. When Regulus finds something he likes, he calls Sirius over and wants to share it with him, namely the 'You are here' sign. And then the proper 'holding hands' thing. 'Actions speak louder than words.' It fits to the core over here. And Sirius mentions about his love for Regulus. Sweet.
The ending, of course, is heart breaking. Sirius knows that Regulus was a Death Eater but he still misses his brother. He reminisces about the old times, what fun they used to have, the love he had for his brother. How happy he had been in his company. How good his life used to be, untouched by the war. And now he's crying over what he's lost.
Lovely one shot, Bine! Really touching. *hugs*
Author's Response: Thanks, Afifa! *hugs back* And you're right; the main point was to show the love Sirius and Regulus shared. Even if their break was deep, I'm sure they still loved each other, deep in their hearts. I know that from my sister and me. We often had (and sometimes still have) huge quarrels which end in beating and shouting and whatnot. But I still loved my sister and will always love her. I believe it was the same with Sirius and Regulus.
About the age, like I said in my response to H.J., I imagine Sirius to be of around eleven years and Regulus a year younger. This way, they're both still untouched from what awaits Sirius once he arrives in Hogwarts (Gryffindor) but old enough to find their way around in the Muggle world. Also, I imagine the atmosphere would have tensed enormously in the Black household after Sirius' Sorting which in the end would change the brothers' behaviour towards each other.
I must admit, the title fits the story perfectly. The Bridge to Happiness...it connects to the story on two levels-- one of the physical bridge mentioned in the story, and second, the bonding between the two brothers. I liked the way the two brothers are still brothers, and not enemies of any kind, as many fics I've read portray them to be. The childhood boyishness and the spirit of adventure was caught spot-on, and there's this point where I just go "Aww" while reading.
While the story was really good on the emotional aspect, I felt that the style of writing it was clipped, or rather, in short sentences. As it actually originated from a drabble, that's understandable, but prolonged use of short sentences in narration affects the flow and doesn't really work at a lot of times, except for short bursts of emotion. I liked its usage at the end, but during the course of the flashback-- not so much.
There were also a few things which confused me.
I had no plan or even an idea of where to go, but as long as it was away from Grimmauld Place, presumably very far away, I didn’t mind where it would take us.
In the above sentence, what exactly is 'it'? As the first half of the sentence is in active voice, whereas the second half in passive, so I found it terribly confusing! And I'm not sure if it's grammatically right either.
‘With what did you pay?’ my brother continued questioning me, not listening to my request for him to sit down. ‘You don’t have money.’
I'd love to know what was Sirius' and Regulus' age when this occurs. Sirius' has to be less than eleven years I'm guessing, but then again, if it is so, Regulus would be around six-eight, and such young children do not usually tend to know about things such as tickets and Muggle money. After all, they were the heirs of the Noble and Most Ancient House of Black, which thought that it was below their dignity to use anything Muggle-made.
I also wondered how Sirius knew so much about the Underground and the Tube too. Yes, I can see that he had a fascination with Muggle stuff, but at that young age, knowing so much about London's Underground is not something I'd have expected.
Another small nitpick was the fact that the Tube in the sixties(during which time the story is possibly based) was not red. The buses were, but not the trains.
However, the events after the duo reached the new spot of their adventure, was really well captured. Regulus mimicking the couple; the wheat-field and the bridge, and the small run-in with the feline was narrated nicely, and I liked the way you brought about the togetherness when they were there. It sort of makes me go "Aww" and then want to just hug the two brothers. It's cute.
The ending too, I love. Sirius seems to have forgiven his brother on some level after his death; enlightened perhaps by his own experience in Azkaban. It seemed like he'd gone back in time to when everything was all right, and nothing was a mess that his life had become afterwards. Sometimes, remembrances bring forth strong emotions, like the one described above-- it makes me wonder if Sirius still felt like the elder brother after all the bitter years that had passed in between.
The last line, however , didn't make some sense.
The ear of wheat remained on the old desk, lying forgotten next to a drop of a silent tear.
I don't see how the ear is forgotten, if Sirius obviously remembered it to have gone to his brother's room and reminisced about that day. Also, if it were forgotten, it wouldn't be there in the first place.
I could say that, overall, while I loved the premise and the feel that the story evoked, a little more work on the smaller, yet significant parts of the story, would've made it even better.
Author's Response: Thank you for that thorough review, H.J. *hugs*
Reading your review, I notice how much holes the one-shot has. I admit, I didn't really work too much on it back when writing the story. It was more the result of a spur of sudden inspiration from the brawl prompt. But now, with your tips, I might actually sit down and rewrite it to something better. :)
Concerning the age: Sirius was not yet in Hogwarts, so he would be around ten or eleven. Regulus' year of birth we know: 1961. Taking into account that Sirius was born between September 1959 and August 1960, he was around one year older than Regulus only, which would make Regulus in this one-shot be of nine or ten years.
Concerning the sentence that confused you: with "it" I meant the place they where going to. Although, rereading the sentence now out of the context, it really doesn't make much sense. I should truly sit down and work more on the one-shot.
Again, thank you so much for that eye-opening review, H.J. *pickles*
It is a curious stoty. I'm thinking Sirius is doing this remembering of a childhood adventure while he is stuck in Grimmauld Place during the 2nd war.
Author's Response: Caught spot on. :) Thanks for the review.
Me again, Bine,
I loved this in the Brawl and I love your extended version. Regulus taking Sirius' hand at the end is so touching. As a Londoner, I always picture Grimmauld Place in Kensington and this journey could well have been to my own Lon don suburb (I knew I'd met him!). You have a wonderful turn of phrase and your use of description is excellent. I do have one or two nit picks.
an underground came in, - you mean and underground train.
And the station nearest to our house was one of London’s underground net.
I think it would read better if you wrote, And the station nearest our house was part of London's underground net.
The red wagons ran past, and even after the last wagon was gone, the play of light tricked my eyes and mind to see more and more wagons. It looked like magic, this illusion in red. Muggles, though, would surely describe this phenomenon as solely science. They had no sense for the beauty of magic. Wow! That line is amazing.
Author's Response: Thank you, Carole. :) LOL
I love getting reviews from you. Short, precise, but with so many SPEW qualities. Shame you haven't yet applied. *hugs* I'll look into the corrections of your nitpicks.
Oh, Bine, I love it. It has such a sentimental and magical feel to it, even though it is set in muggle London. Superb job! *huggles*
Author's Response: Bella! Thank you! *huggles back*