this was really cute fic :) loved it
really relly good so far
I find the way you've portrayed Sirius and Regulus ongoing sort of "secret meetings" of brotherly bonding quite sweet and somewhat amusing. It's a common theme in fiction, but always with secret lovers, not brothers. I like what it says about insecurity, and how we often believe that things are different when they happen out of the setting of our regular, day-to-day lives. And it shows, I think, the heart of the matter. If they can still be brothers on the tower, then they're still brothers. Everything else is just, well, pride and prejudice, really.
The structure of the plot in chapter three is, I think genius. The implications of Sirius' relationship with Reeve are definitely an interesting twist. I find it unexpected, but also unsurprising – at least in the sense that I imagine the wizarding world to be a small one and it doesn't strike me as difficult to believe that Mrs Black would get hold of this through a string of gossip. I find it amusing and superficial that Sirius' connection with Reeve is enough to warrant her asking him to come back.
I really dislike that Sirius' reaction is to "cool things off" with Reeve. But from a story and plot point of view, it is so perfect, really.
Of course, the other consequence of the letter from home is Regulus' newfound (and justified) paranoia about his relationship with Rachel. Which, is sad, but it's nice to see that he still sticks to it. And it makes me wonder if his opinion about Matt's involvement with Veronica has changed (or if there are still some lines one just does not cross.)
Something that this particular part of the plot highlights is how well you're playing off the contrast between Sirius and Regulus. You not only have their differing personalities and ways of dealing with the world climate, which directly reflect their respective houses, but you've drawn them into relationships that – in social terms are the "wrong" kind of connections for their interests, but in truth are really the best things for them. And it's wonderful to see the way you draw along these contrasting parallels, and show how they manifest themselves in reactions that are, at once, both utterly different and precisely the same.
As with Sirius dropping Reeves, and Regulus deciding to break it off with Rachel. While Sirius seems to think that Regulus' behavior is unacceptable, it's really the same as what he's done. And then of course when he decides to follow his heart, be brave, Reeve does to him exactly what Regulus does to Rachel. Which is so terribly cruel, but the way the threads just weave into place is wonderful story telling. And despite some people perhaps believing that Reeve and Regulus are both terrible for their choices, they're choices represent very realistic decisions. You can't always afford to be romantic. Something which I think is encapsulated in Orion's words to Regulus, " It’s better to be logical and realistic than to be an ignorant, dreaming fool, and wake up with the world crashing down around you."
The way this all comes together to be a message of love and, really, being afraid of investing in it is really just magical, Marie. I like the way it ends with Regulus and Sirius in their meeting place, in that safe place where they can be brothers. It's touching, but also tragic. It's interesting that they disguise the word "love" with "girls", because I don't think it's just about denying love. I think it's also that they're feelings apply to all kinds of love, and that they really make the same mistake in their relationship with one another. And this meeting place on the tower is that last remnant of the small amount of pride they're willing to swallow for that brotherly love. Of course, it is touching also, that we know the Black brothers shared something honest and emotional, at some point, before everything went so terribly and irreversibly wrong.
Touching story, as usual. I really have to reiterate that point from my other review about the power of the relationships between your characters and how they define your stories. This is, once again, absolutely true for this one.
So, I decided before starting The Fog Will Cast A Certain Shade, I would review this, this being The Watch Unwinds Until It Stops. Have I mentioned that you are absolutely amazing with story titles? Well you are.
So, this is review will be a bit of a combination of the first two chapters. Something very notable about your writing is how readable it is. It very smoothly integrates imagery, moments of thought and feeling, moments of humour, and real day-to-day motions and interactions of your characters. You don't let your readers get bored, definitely. And you don't seem to write things for "the sake" of being introspective or amusing. It's all just a natural, organic part of your storytelling style and ability.
Next I must say, and you must read the rest of this paragraph before you take offense, but Regulus and Sirius irritate me. Because they are such stupid stereotypical teenage boys. I feel like if I were in a room with them when they were talking, I'd probably get – what they'd term "girly" – and call them idiots. Which is of course a compliment to you as a writer; when your readers start having to fight urges to crawl into the fictional realm and argue with fictional characters over being silly fictional teenage boys, the writer is definitely doing something right. But, yes, sometimes, they're thoughts and words just do not amuse me. Of course, there are many things they say and think that do amuse me, and that helps make up for it.
What also makes up for it is the fact that, despite being stupid stereotypical teenage boys, they're still people. And they have feelings and hopes and expectations, and absolutely most importantly here – a bond. A bond that has, on many levels, been broken. But it's not entirely gone, and the twisting and splintering causes more pain, and it's really quite saddening.
Also, another note; I find Regulus' feelings about Veronica interesting. I like what it shows about his attitude concerning toeing the line and not risking your neck. His logic is actually quite practical, if perhaps a little cold. He has a point, though, and I think that many average people, in a situation where real danger was involved, would do the same and, while maybe not mistreat that particular group, would at least stay away from them. But also interesting is that Regulus just dismisses Matt's involvement as being "stupid". It doesn't occur to him that maybe Veronica is worth it, or that there is *gasp*, another point of view on the matter. And, I like that this shows a possible real chip in his armour, rather than just a series of defences and weaknesses leading to his downfall.
Now, to the OC's, Reeve and Rachel. The latter, might I add, seems to have absolutely nothing in common with you.
( Rachel nodded. “Matt is my best friend, and I love him like a brother, but he and Veronica can be so… together when they’re together sometimes.” ) /except for maybe some things. *wink*
I think that both these girls are nicely grounded, realistic, girls. There's nothing about them I don't believe. I feel a little bit more drawn to Reeve, because she is a bit more feisty and hot-and-cold, as far as I can tell (not that I know why I would be drawn to such a character, ahem). Whereas Rachel seems to tread more on "kind and patient and fragile" territory. But I also think that a big part of how the characters seem to the reader is based in the fact that this story is coming from Regulus' point of view. Though there aren't any words or phrases I can pinpoint that define his views, I can just get a sense that Reeve is a friend, and Rachel is the "apple of his eye". Rachel is viewed with somewhat rose-tinted-glasses, and maybe from a further distance. Whereas Reeve we just accept as being someone we know really well. It's just really impressive how these things express themselves in the way you're telling the story.
And, doubling back on the sibling relationship between Sirius and Regulus, as well as pulling into view the various friendships – from that of Matt and Regulus, Matt and Rachel, Regulus and Rachel, as well as even Sirius and James – I think this is really a defining point of your writing, that relationships are so integral to your stories. I can't remember reading something by you where the connection between the characters was not vitally important, and you definitely convey that to the reader. What is most profound about your writing, and it's present in this story as platonic love, romantic love and familial love, is that – whatever kind of love it is, it is important and it is worth writing about and about reading about. It's a driving force in the world and in your work, and you just convey those connections so well.
And, not that writing that last paragraph made me cry a little with love for you or anything, but I think I shall wipe my eyes and mosey onto the next two chapters, yes?
I like this story. Regulus and Sirius are done perfectly in this story. I can't wait to read the next story.
I wish that they would be friends again.
Well, I am glad you ended the last chapter where you did, because I like the beginning of this one. It’s a lovely little bookend to match the beginning of the first chapter. I particularly loved this line to describe the relationship between Sirius and Regulus: It was like an enchantment that only held when they’re on top of the tower, cut off from the rest of the world, looking out into the dark oblivion dotted with stars. Lovely.
The bits about each of the Marauders is really quite nice. Your characterizations of everybody are perfect, even though it always makes me sad when Sirius thinks about the future. The letter is of course intriguing, and the fact that Sirius only wants to share it with Regulus says a lot.
Hee, Regulus and Rachel are so cute (as cute as they can be since they’re not Regulus/Marie). I love how you describe their date, that it feels like a first visit it Hogsmeade; that’s just adorable. And the Madam Puddifoot’s thing was funny; needless to say I’m super glad they didn’t go there.
I have to admit I’m secretly glad Sirius chose to cool things off with Reeve. >.> But aside from my own personal interest in the matter (-cough-), it is a great foil to Regulus. Here Sirius is, not wanting to grow any closer to his family and doing whatever he can to distance himself, and here Regulus is, worried about making his family angry. Even though the two of them get along and are still brothers, they have these major differences. It’s sad, but it’s true.
Bwahaha, take that, Narcissa. I like that the letter is from Narcissa, though, because Regulus was relieved before that his older cousins weren’t at Hogwarts anymore. Stupid gossip. But anyway, it makes me happy that Regulus is going to try and ignore her ‘warning.’ He deserves to be happy with Rachel.
So, overall, a very lovely fic. You write Sirius and Regulus as they should be written, and the girls were great, too (even though they’re not us). Wonderful job, my dearest twin.
So, I love the insights we get into Regulus’s life at Grimmauld Place. He has totally different relationships with his parents, and with the pureblood society he’s a part of. It’s nice to see that.
Yay for chance encounters! Serendipity for the win. As much as I want Regulus to, you know, only be with you, I do like Rachel. Her comment about the war is a nice touch; it reminds us of the setting for this fic, and where all the characters are coming from. The reference to the house elves is interesting as well. It isn’t anything obvious or pointed, but it adds another detail to the characters’ family lives and backgrounds.
Ah, how much do I wish Regulus could blow off the Black family party? I hate when characters can’t be together. And yet I love it. So excellent job. And lol, I love the connection between the Regulus and Sirius sections. Stupid bloody party and stupid bloody school indeed. (Except, hmph. A blonde? You and I both know Sirius prefers brunettes.)
The interaction between Sirius and Reeve is nice, though. She does seem like a Sirius type of girl, just as Rachel seems like a Regulus type of girl. Sirius asking to borrow a quill is just adorable. Heart. Moving on to Regulus again, I really like the bit about his thoughts on Muggleborns. Again, you remind us that Regulus does still subscribe to some of what he’s been taught, enough that he finds it foolish to associate with Muggleborns. It’s sad, but he sees it as a practical thing, which is a different spin on things. I like it.
Oh man, the chapter’s over. The little Sirius and Reeve exchange is sweet. I almost like them as a couple, which is saying something. I’m not sure if that was the best place to end this chapter, though. But I also can’t remember exactly what comes next, so maybe that was the better breaking point. -shrug-
Right, next chapter here I come.
You already know that I heart this fic quite a lot, but I’m going to detail all the reasons why in some reviews. –grin-
The opening few paragraphs of this are great. They set everything up perfectly and engage the reader immediately. You introduce all the major players, plus you give us this awesome setting with the tower. Love it.
Just briefly touching on the title of this chapter, I love that Regulus wants to be a completely prejudiced git. This is where, I think, we start to see a different side of Regulus that a lot of writers never effectively convey. You know, Regulus was a Slytherin, and he wasn’t a carbon copy of Sirius, but other writers…yeah, I don’t think they always think Regulus all the way through. You have, though. Um, basically, you rock at writing Regulus.
The background on Sirius and Regulus is lovely. Sometimes I forget that not everybody comes into these stories knowing everything about these two characters that we want them to know, and you do a great job of explaining things and providing a past without bogging the story down. (The side note about the Gryffindor v. Slytherin rivalry is nice and really helps to characterize Regulus more; it flips our sort of default ideas about the two houses and tells us that Regulus isn’t ashamed to be in Slytherin – he’s just not our ‘Slytherin equals evil’ type guy.)
And yet, Regulus is still bothered by the fact that he has non-pureblood friends; it shows that he does care about the opinions of his family, that he isn’t interested in completely severing his ties with them, at least not at this point in his life. Even though he regards his situation with mild sarcasm, I think it’s clear he does feel conflicted, and that’s basically the point, isn’t it?
Ah, I totally heart the conversation about Quidditch. This is something you do so well – writing normal, regular, every day dialogue. And I mean that in like…the best of ways. Because it makes the fic feel real, like we really are reading a scene out of Regulus’s life, and it’s easy to picture other days, other conversations about Quidditch. And, Matt and Rachel may or may not remind me of some certain other people. >.>
Of course I adore Sirius’s entrance into the fic. It’s perfect, exactly what I would imagine Sirius doing. The exchange between Sirius and Regulus is so sad, but so great. This is why I love our Black brothers. They are still brothers, and they do care about each other, but their lives went in different directions, and their relationship could never remain the way it was when they were younger. Ah, love. Obviously you know this, but you just write them both so wonderfully. I love when Sirius says, “You are my brother,” after Regulus says that Sirius is supposed to be on James’s side. Usually we think if James as more a brother to Sirius than Regulus, but again, you show how the Black brothers are, still, brothers.
Oh, that’s the end of the chapter. I sort of momentarily forgot you split this into chapters. But anyway, excellent of course, and I’m off to the next chapter.
Hello, SPEW buddy!
I'm here to leave a review. Obviously. =p
Um, I can't help but point out a summary mistake:
A story about Regulus and Sirius, written for the fourth SPEW Secret Santa exchance.
It should be 'exchange'. =]
That's about it. Now on with the review!
I really loved this fic when I first read it on LJ. And did leave a review saying that. I especially like the way you've portrayed Regulus. We don't know much about him, but whatever JKR's let on, you've formed it all up very well to give us a very IC Regulus.
He's got mixed feelings about every thing. He's trying to use his mind and not heart but in the end the latter wins. The same happens after he becomes a Death Eater. He joins Voldemort because he thinks it's his duty to do what his parents believe in. To take it a step further. Later, he finds out about the horcruxes, and what happens? His heart takes over and he realises that what he's doing is wrong. He tries to make amends and ends up sacrificing himself.
Over here too, he's thinking about not talking to Sirius, and staying away from Rachel, but he can't. Again, the heart interferes.
I like the whole brotherly relationship. First Regulus and Sirius used to meet somewhere alone to just talk... or not... to just have a good time together even though Sirius was the black sheep of the family and had been sorted into Gryffindor and not Slytherin unlike Regulus. Sirius is not into the pure-blood stuff and is a rebel. Regulus, on the other hand, tries his best to live up to the expectations of his family. But despite these differences, the bond is still there. Even when Sirius leaves, Regulus tries to persuade himself that since they're no longer family, they shouldn't meet but he can't help but miss his big brother. He wants to listen to his family, and does try his best but he can't overcome his feelings.
Regulus also likes a girl-- Rachel. And she's a Muggle born. Cliche, but it works really well. And I read some where that something becomes cliche because it's repeated again and again, and the reason why it's repeated is because it's true. So this is a good thing. Anyway, coming back to Rachel. Regulus is undoubtedly attracted to her, tries to stay away but can't help especially when the feeling is returned. Again, he's trying to not to something since it won't be allowed but he can't and succumbs to the temptation.
Also, you've mentioned the Quidditch bit some where in the beginning. It's another canon fact which you mention in passing.
Now on with Sirius. He misses Regulus and he shows it. He also agrees that not all Slytherins are 'prejudiced gits'. That's another thing I like. Sirius accepts it and does not act all against them unlike the way other fics show him to be. Also, apparently he has some girl issues too. A girl who turns out to be a Slytherin pure-blood. Lol. I like the talk between him and James too, it sort of adds humour to the fic where Regulus is all depressed over his complicated life. I love how charming Sirius is with Reeve. Obviously, there's something going on from both the sides.
I'd mention more, but since others don't know the ending, I will stop. *zips lips*
One thing though. The ending is lovely. Very realistic. *stops self from writing more*
P.S. PoA is on TV right now. Lol. /random
Author's Response: Ahaha! Another reminder that I need to finish updating this story. Thanks for your response to the part of the fic that's up so far, Afifa. And I will go and fix that summary mistake. -facepalm- Oh, but in your review you said that Rachel was a Muggleborn, but she's actually half-blood. I am so totally aware of how common it is to use a Muggleborn with a hardcore Slytherin character, so I wanted to avoid that; but I also, when taking Regulus' character into account, didn't feel like *my* Regulus would go for a Muggleborn. He can rationalize Rachel being halfblood as okay, but he couldn't ignore it if she was Muggleborn.
I didn't really understand that last little bit at the end, but really great job! Can't wait for the next update!
Author's Response: :/ Yeah. I completely understand. It's a really abrupt break for the chapter, but it's the only place I had that would work for the chapter break in the arc of the story. It's just supposed to be a short, little piece between Sirius and Reeve to show that they're talking now, and at least at the point of buddies. Thanks for the review.
Oh, how I loved this story when I first read it in the swap. It’s such an incredible insight into the relationship between Sirius and Regulus. I know that you split the actual story in half, so I’ll try my best to only review the part that you’ve submitted as the first chapter.
It had been their thing, after all, he and Sirius. For his first four years, it was a ritual for them to meet as brothers, sneaking up to the top of this tower to talk, or not talk, and gaze at the stars.
Speaking of the relationship, I thought that this little part was really well characterized. I mean, Sirius and Regulus are clearly different and they both know it, but they are brothers. It’s one of those little facets in their relationship – that they actually do (or perhaps did, depending on when you want to speak about it) care about the other. Growing up, they were really all that the other had for playmates (I doubt that they would really want to play much with their female cousins), so they must have gotten along pretty well as kids. Anyway, I really liked how you emphasized that point right at the beginning – it really sets the stage nicely for the rest of the story to come.
One of the things that I really like about your writing style is how you do the dialogue. Dialogue is such a tricky thing to capture most of the times, and I think that you do it really well. I like that you don’t overuse the “…he said/she said,” at the end of every line. The fact that most of your dialogue stands alone really emphasizes what the characters are saying, as opposed emphasizing how they’re standing, breathing, or talking. (I only point this out because I’ve been working on dialogue recently and I have a rather newfound appreciation for well-written dialogue when I come across it).
“I wouldn’t get involved with her anyway.”
“Because you’re stupid.”
“Oy, what’s this? Aren’t you supposed to be on James’s side?”
Sirius shrugged. “You are my brother.”
“You’re such a girl.”
A perfect example of why I love your dialogue! Besides that, I also adored this conversation between Regulus and Sirius. Sirius was just perfect: he had the humor, the sarcasm, the quick wit, and the concern for James and his own brother. The fact that you were able to convey that in a minimum of words makes me worship your writing. Really.
At the very end, after Sirius leaves, you have Regulus talking about how he’s the quieter brother and Sirius is the leader. Although I absolutely agree with your characterization, I sort of wonder about Regulus and how he changed after Sirius left home. I think that he would have, perhaps subconsciously, taken on more of a leadership role in order to prove himself the exact opposite of Sirius and then flaunting that. I mean, the description of his room in Deathly Hallows just screamed, “Polar opposite!” I think that he would have tried desperately to prove that he was the “good son” unlike his older brother, even though he still cared for him.
Moving on, though. I love this story, Mar (could you tell?). The characters – even Rachel and Reeve – are absolutely superb. Just…love.
Author's Response: Oh, Kelly, thank you for your wonderful review! -squishes- And yay because you reminded me that I needed to put up the next chapter...