Reviewer: Vorona
Date: 11/29/10 22:26
Chapter: The Beginning, The End, and Everything In-Between

I really enjoyed reading this story. I don't often venture into Marauder era because, although I am a big Severus Snape fan, I'm mostly interested in how his double spy activities caused him to be suspected and feared by the very people he was trying to help. That isn't really part of his early years, although I suppose it might be. Anyway, as a result, I mostly read Hogwarts era and some slightly post-war era fiction. It was really a nice change of pace for me to see a part of the story I don't often follow.

One thing I think you did particularly well was the narrative voice you used throughout the piece. It was clear from the very beginning, with the line "In the early days of their friendship, there was always the secret." It immediately grabbed me, as the reader, even though I knew what secret it had to be from your summary. It was a very strong hint of suspense that reflected the tension and attention it must have taken Remus to maintain the secret. It also has a nice rhythmic, musical quality that I often find lacking in prose. The way you continue: "The secret was closely guarded; no one knew how to get its Keeper to speak it. Even at eleven years old, the secret was kept with the utmost care, almost like it was protected by an Unspeakable" has a lot of passive voice, but I found it actually worked well to again underscore that narrative voice and bring a kind of coherence to the story. It felt very well crafted and polished.

The plot, I think, was probably the least important part of this story, if only because we, the readers, already know the plot. We know how James, Sirius, and Peter eventually went on to become Animagi and lure Snape to Remus' lair. What did matter, though, was bringing those events to life. Before this, we've only had brief glimpses and secondhand information filtered through Harry or memories. With your story, particularly with your characterization, you bring these moments to life. I thought it was particularly well done. Each of the characters is obviously unique and trying to live up to various ideals. I loved it when Peter says, "'Sirius, please . . . Maybe his family really is unfortunate.'" It is so rare for an author to give Peter a sense of compassion, so I found it refreshing. I wish you could have downplayed Peter's stupidity a little; I know McGonagall likens Peter to Neville, but really, Neville isn't stupid either, he's just not as in tune to common sense and can be clumsy or forgetful. But he's clearly very intelligent in the realm of Herbology. I suspect Peter is similar in that he's probably not "on the ball" so to speak, but he must have been intelligent to figure out 1) how to become a rat, and 2) how to frame Sirius and hide out with the Weasleys. But I digress . . . as a lover of underdogs, I find Peter to be my favorite of the Marauders, at least during the Marauder era (probably another reason I don't read that category much). Whatever disagreements we may have about Peter's intelligence, you still did an excellent job making each of the Marauders an individual.

There were a couple of pet peeves that caught my attention, though. For one, you refer to Malfoy as "the tall blonde one". The word "blonde" basically means "a blond female". This was particularly distracting to me since Malfoy is male, but even if you were talking about a girl, the adjective form is without the "e". You only have the "e" if you use it as a noun, as in: She was a blonde. (vs. She was blond or She had blond hair). Another little detail I found bizarre was when you said that James "shrunk" into a stag. I think stags are normally larger than humans, so it seemed weird that he would shrink. On the other hand, I loved the detail of having the Ravenclaw Quidditch team be the successful one. That was another neat refreshing take on the usual Gryffindor/Slytherin rivalry.

Overall, I thought this was a very well-crafted retelling and visualization of some important moments in Marauder fiction. You definitely have a distinctive and original voice and a talent for creating lifelike and individualized characters. I'm very glad I read this story. It was a great read!

Reviewer: iLuna17
Date: 09/12/10 9:01
Chapter: The Beginning, The End, and Everything In-Between

AMAZING

Author's Response: Thank you very much! Becca:D

Reviewer: lucca4
Date: 09/11/10 12:26
Chapter: The Beginning, The End, and Everything In-Between

Okay, this review keeps getting cut short, so let's see if I can make this work....
Becca, I LOVED this story! You chose the perfect Marauder moments that exemplify their friendship :). The ending is absolutely amazing, it made me smile (especially that last line, great job with that!). Originally, I thought this story was going to be a little more somber, ending with Peter's eventual betrayal, but I like the way you ended it better--with the Golden years of the Marauders instead of the darker times.

Absolutely amazing job, Becca!

xAriana

Author's Response: Oh, thank you so much, Ariana! I'm so glad you liked it =) Originally, I figured that it was maybe too long for one chapter and that it would just be too confusing or something like that, or aggravating to read. I'm really glad you think that I chose the perfect moments to write about! I couldn't really see myself writing about Peter's betrayal, at least in this particular story. It seemed like it would be better if it focused on the friendship as opposed to the end of the friendship, the Golden Years, as you called them. Thank you so, so much for reading and for the absolutely lovely review! Becca:D

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