I loved your portrayal of Regulus in this fic, as a confused and impressionable teenager who is only trying to please. I especially loved your ending - I guess it really enforced your message.
I also liked the beginning about Regulus being scared of everything, and also how you included his feelings of being lesser than Sirius - which is perhaps why he stayed loyal to his family. Then at least he'd done something better than Sirius.
I also liked the way you used present tense - I really felt like I was in the moment and inside Regulus' head.
Your characterisation of his mother confused me a little - perhaps she just needed filling out a bit more. I was confused as to if she felt fondness for Regulus, if she actually missed Sirius... anyway, that could just be me. I guess what you wrote left me wondering a bit about her.
But the rest I thought was great, I really loved your insight into Regulus :).
I love character studies of Regulus. This was very, very well done. I like the dynamics you showed between Regulus and the other characters. It was as if I were with him through the entire story.
Oh, my. That was one of the most powerful pieces I've read in quite a long time. The desperation, anguish, and ambivalence that Regulus is feeling are all portrayed carefully yet strongly, and makes the reader feel for him in a way that one can only feel when reading about a character they care about.
Regulus is desperate, at this point, as your story tells. He is desperate for a sign, for someone to tell him whether or not he is is right or if he has made a mistake. When the sign comes in the form of his estranged brother, you give us an entrance into his thoughts, into what he really has been feeling since that day over the summer when he committed himself to Lord Voldemort. I think you wrote his confusion very well, and I think that it's exactly how he would be portrayed in canon if we had ever been given an insight as to what he was like as a teenager after pledging his service as a Death Eater.
As well as Regulus's characterization, I was really very happy with how you portrayed Bellatrix. Her future cruelty and insanity were there, but in a muted, for lack of a better word, way. She hasn't been in Voldemort's service very long at this point, and she hasn't destroyed many lives yet as she will in the future. I think that the way you wrote her, as quietly insane, is exactly how she would have been at her age.
I think Sirius's appearance was the only questionable thing about the story. I think that what we saw in canon made it obvious that Sirius never really cared for his brother, so I'm not sure whether or not I can see him visiting Regulus at King's Cross on September first to change his mind. I think that if his friends and the Order had prompted him to go there, he would have been more likely, but I think he was a tad too kind to Regulus. From what we've heard of their relationship, Sirius sounds like he'd be much harsher to Regulus. That being said, I think the encounter was written well, especially Bellatrix's involvement. The family dynamic definitely showed.
The tense that it was written in was interesting too. With the point of view and plot it was dealing with, the present tense gave it another level of believability.(Is that even a word? Oh dear.)
Overall, though, I really did enjoy reading this. I look forward to seeing what you write in the future! Becca:D
Author's Response: Ahh, thank you so much! Reviews like this are the best, because they really let you know what was done well, and what you can improve on. In regards to the Sirius part, I personally don't believe that Sirius ever hated Regulus, as such - the quote from OotP is "soft enough to believe [Sirius' parents]" which I think paints Regulus as someone Sirius though was kind of naive, and impressionable, and therefore susceptible to having his mind changed - I also think that Sirius wouldn't give up on someone without a fight, although that's my personal interpretation :) Thanks again, I hope you enjoy my future work :D
I liked this a lot. Except I feel like the characterization for Sirius could be improved. I really don't feel like he would have even gone to Regulus after he became a death eater. He kind of really hates his family because of that. I also feel like the second Bellatrix pointed her wand at Sirius, Sirius would have pointed his wand back. It was apparent in the books that Sirius is not the type to walk away with his hands held up in the air. Especially when it came to Bellatrix.
However, I really liked how you showed Regulus. I felt like he just really want to please his family and you showed that well. And how he both wanted to curse him and hug him at the same time. I feel like a lot of people go straight to hate, and I don't think Regulus had it in him to hate Sirius just like I don't think Sirius hated Regulus. Overall, good job. =)
Author's Response: Wow :D Thankyou for the super-review! My basic idea for the Sirius bit (which is just my personal backstory for what's going on) is that Sirius is there on Order business... which is why he didn't immediately attack Bellatrix. He was acting kind of like... peacemaker? I don't know, perhaps that isn't very IC for Sirius in itself, but that's what was happening in my head - he is there to make Regulus see that he's making a mistake, not to start any fights, as duelling Bellatrix in the middle of King's Cross Station wouldn't be a good way to convince Regulus to change his mind. They're also in the middle of a Muggle trainstation, and I think Sirius as one of the 'good guys' is less likely to be brandishing his wand around, whereas Bellatrix simply doesn't care. However, I don't think Sirius would have cut Regulus off completely once he came a Death Eater. Like you said, I don't think that either of them would have the heart to hate eachother - if memory serves correctly, I think Sirius described Regulus as 'soft' enough to believe what his family was telling him, so I don't think Sirius thought Regulus was evil, and I think Sirius would have wanted to save Regulus if he'd had the chance. But that's just my opinion :P Thankyou for reading, and I'm glad you enjoyed it anyways!