This was a nice filler chapter :) I would have liked to see what happened to Barty when he came home -- exactly what his father said to him, etc. But I did like the fact that Barty appreciated Regulus's beauty. That was a fab point, and I suppose it makes sense since Sirius was hot, too, lol.
I do think that, again, certain things were *told* rather than shown. I would have liked to see more Barty/Regulus conversation to develop their relationship rather than just having it in narrative.
Eeep, I sound really nitpicky here D: This was a nice chapter, probably not one of your strongest, but still a good chapter nevertheless. I enjoyed it, at any rate :)
Ooooooh, sneaky Regulus, lying to Sirius like that about being a DE. Poor James and his family, too.
Okay, backing up a bit. The beginning of this chapter felt, to me, a bit clunky at times. I mean, I wasn't alive in the 70s, lol, but "are you for real" sounded a bit... modern. I think the flow was slightly shaky/laboured to begin with, but after that scene in History of Magic, I think it got better. I liked Reg's interaction with Avery and Mulciber; it was well-written and realistic. I also thought the part with Sirius was wonderful. It's nice to see the, er, serious side to him (no pun intended, lolol).
I also liked that you haven't rushed things so far. The pace of the story is going well -- it's good that only now, after six chapters, Regulus and Barty's lives are really beginning to intertwine.
So again, characterisation- and plot-wise, this is fab. I think the only issues I really have are to do with technical things like phrasing and punctuation. For example, I don't always think you use the semicolon correctly. Like here --
“No,” he said simply, then added; “Father’s got his hands full with work now, so there’s no point going home.”
It should really be
“No,” he said simply, and then he added: “Father’s got his hands full with work now, so there’s no point going home.”
Honestly, that's the only thing I can call you out on right now. Otherwise, though, this is great :) I'll see you on the next chapter!
It's me again! Eeep, sorry I kind of died on you (review-wise, anyway). It's mainly because of Ramadan -- I've been kind of busy. Sorry sorry. Anyway, I'm back now :D
Hmmm, interesting chapter. I think this was a bit too much telling, tbh -- I mean, we did see scenes between Barty and Miranda, and obviously, you don't want it to be repetitive, but I found it less convincing at the end when Miranda told Barty that it wasn't working anymore. Maybe if they had had a proper fight or something, I would have been more convinced, but I think we were being told too much and not shown enough.
Having said that, there were some lovely character moments in this. Miranda, I think, is right in that it's not the right kind of life for him -- sleeping rough never is, tbh.
Oops, I have to dash -- family to visit and stuff. Sorry to cut this review short, but just to let you know that I am definitely still reading this, lol. see you on teh next chapter!
I love your Sirius. He's jokey and cocky and could pretty much be canon. And I can see how fond Regulus was of him and everything -- it makes me sad that he doesn't talk to him anymore :( It's also nice to see some lightheartedness, despite the clearly dark tone of the story as a whole. It's difficult to have the funny bits among the dark bits because a joke might seem out of place, but you pulled it off flawlessly, so well done :)
And ZOMG I love your Bella. (I've had so, so much trouble with her lately -- *sigh*) Anyway, I think the dynamics between the Black family are excellently portrayed, especially between Bella and Regulus, but also, now, Lucius. I so loled at the comment about his hair, hahahahaha. And I loved the bit about "to be honest" -- I never thought about it like that.
I'm off to eat some noodles (woooot) but I shall return, and soon, so expect more spamming from me later. :)
Thank you, again, for all these wonderful reviews! I'm glad you like my Sirius- in this story I try to write him from the eyes of a little brother i.e. with admiration but also (later) resentment and bottled up, unexpressed emotion. I think that if I wrote from Sirius's perspective he would be different- probably darker.
Haha, writing Bella comes easy for me. I don't know what that says about me as a person. But it's weird actually, because I do struggle to *get* sometimes. In canon, she's portrayed like such a monster that I find it hard to write/read her as anything else... I honestly think she is one of the few characters JKR failed to flesh out and give both good and bad traits.
Anyway, I'm glad you're enjoying the story, it makes it worth writing. And the so-called spamming makes my day, really, so if you want to leave more than I'd of course be very happy. But if you won't then I'm grateful for these four (!) you've already written. Thank you.
I love Miranda. She's an excellently well-rounded character, and I love how rebellious she is but also her fragility. I mean, she tries to put on a front, with the dyed hair, etc., and yet it's easy to see through that and understand how vulnerable she really is. fab fab fab.
What I like the most is Barty's and Miranda's chemistry -- they are an interesting couple, and I'd like to see where things go from there. And eeeeep. I'm sure there will be problems with Miranda leaving/Barty joining her, etc.
Oh, and I read your response to my first review -- I so get what you mean about being unsure about the first chapters of something when you've spent a long time writing it. But really, the only thing which I could criticise you on is something technical: you could do with some commas. Like here:
That night we fell asleep on the couch in the common room.
There should be a comma after "night". But that is very minor, and it definitely hasn't prevented me from enjoying the story or anything. I just wanted to point out that that is really the only thing I can think of that could be improved at this stage. I'd love to see where things go from here :)
MIranda originally started out as a plot device, intended to propel Barty in a certain way, though I am now very fond of her. I think there's both strength and fragility to her character, hopefully you'll see what I mean about the strength in the next chapter.
In manhy ways, I think Miranda is more mature then Barty. She is more experienced and she knows how the *real world* works. He is very much a dreamer, while she's a realist, which is, I think what draws her to him. Because the one thing she is very immature about is herself. She has no clue about how to "tackle" herself and her demons and she thinks far worse of herself then what is actually true. I think Hogwarts must have been a rather close-minded place and it must have been nice to have someone who didn't put her down. On the other hand, and I think this goes for many first loves, I don't think Barty is in love with her only because of who she is, but what she represents to him, and that is freedom. I think it's common at that age to fall in love more with an idea than a real person.
Aaah, comme placement. Honestly, I've never really learned "the rules", mainly because I think there are different views on how to teach in Sweden and I think the teachers I had didn't think it was important. I do recall one of them saying; "Put them where you feel a need for a natural break!" which isn't very helpful. I actually learned more about comma placement from studying German than I did from studying Swedish and even less English. That may be because Swedish German teachers are generally old ladies with firm grammatical beliefs. Which I like in a teacher. God, I'm rambling, sorry. But thank you so much for these reviews - they are so lovely and they make me re-experience writing these early chapters. Thank you.
ooooooh. Lovisa, I love your writing style. I would pick my favourite phrase, but that's impossible, lol. The whole bit about comparing things to cancer, and the stage, and everything. It's so beautifully phrased :)
But also, your characterisation of Sirius and the other Blacks is really good. I've had a lot of trouble with Sirius lately (and he's my character for SPEW 007 -- I don't know why I chose him, lol), and you portrayed him in this effortlessly.But, more importantly, of course, given whose POV this is from, Regulus's characterisation is excellent. I love how he's so-- dangerous and kind of scary.
This is a great setup so far for the story, Lovisa! Without making it an infodump, you've given both characters great backstories :)
I'm looking forward to reading the next chapter!
Oh no, I had written a response I was really pleased with and then somehow I managed to hit the back button :/ But anyway, yay, Soraya, more reviews! Thank you!
Thank you for the compliments. Phrasing is important to me and it is often the reason that it sometimes takes me ages to update this thing... I'm glad you liked it, because I do put a lot of effort into it and I think it's one of my strengths as a writer.
And thank you for commenting on the characterisation. Before I even started writing this I spent a lot of time and energy figuring out *who* Barty and Regulus were and I'm glad the effort paid off. This is a character-driven story and the decisions they make really is what the story is about. Apart from that, there's honestly not much of a plot (that would be one of my weaknessess and a writer....). This is a story about two boys growing up and struggling to come to terms with who they are and where they come from. Kind of simple, I know :PI guess Regulus is scary and dangerous, but I think it's because he's very confused. As the youngest in my family, I sometimes found it very hard to balance the influence of my two great role models- my parents and my sisters. Sirius did leave Regulus and I can see how that must have felt like a betrayal to him... He's only fifteen and his brother leaving the family puts him in a difficult situation. How can he continue to love his brother if he still loves his parents, who have denounced him? I hope this makes any sense. While writing FM, Regulus has really become one of my favourtie characters in the potterverse. Thank you, again, for reading and reviewing!
Hahahahaha, I'm finally here! Eeep sorry it's taken me so long. Exams and everything.
This is fabbbbb. Barty is one of those characters who we have quite a bit of background on but who not many people have written about in fanfic. I think you did a great job in establishing his voice, and I was rather sad about how much his dad pressurised him with internships and stuff.
There were a few places where I think you needed commas (and it's meant to be Christmas *holiday* rather than break), but they're minor, technical things, really, and I still enjoyed reading this chapter :) I'm interested to see where this goes, so I'm off to the next chapter!
Yay Soraya! So glad you've started reading this!
It's weird because, as you might know, I started writing this aaaaages ago. So I'm a bit unsure about the first few chapters -- I'm not sure how I feel about them, because it's been so long since I wrote them. The original idea for the story and the plot has stayed the same throughout though, despite the fact that I've expanded on it very much, so I do think they still work, but my favourite chapters come later in the story (obviously). I do think this story is sort of a record of me developing as a writer but I'm very glad you like these first two chapters - even though I don't think they're my best, I am proud of them.
Barty has a weird relationship with his parents. I do honestly think the main problem is that he never objects. I think if he dared speak up and tell them that this isn't what he wants then they'd fight but afterwards things would be much easier. But he wants to please his parents too badly, which is his main flaw. I think most parents, including Barty's, want their children to be happy and that's it. Barty's father mistakes what he wanted as a young man for what Barty wants now and I think that's a common mistake parents do. There will be more on Barty Senior's background later in the story, though.
This became a rather long response, I think. I guess I'm a bit to eager to discuss this with someone who doesn't know the whole thing yet... :) Thank you so much for reading.
I love it! It's so... interesting. They're both so innocent still, and it's quite odd to think of Barty that way. I enjoy the way that you're portraying Regulus and Sirius's relationship, it's an intriguing level that I've never quite seen before. I'm very excited for more as it's an amazing story and you're a wonderful writer.
Author's Response: Thank you for reading and leaving such a wonderful review! I'm glad you find the story interesting and thank you for all the other compliments!
I love this chapter - I think it's very interesting how Barty views the Ministry as Power for the sake of power., because that's how many people would describe Voldemort. I also like the idea that he feels he has to be a part of something (liket he line Freedom was not for me. I didn’t trust myself enough to be able to handle that.), and this chapter really sets up a logical reason why he would join the Death Eaters... because at first they would seem a group who stood for something, who worked together - therefore pretty much opposite to what he experiences at the Ministry. Also with the end of the chapter it's clear he's longing for camaraderie, and he will find that with the Death Eaters.
I think Barty Crouch Sr is also very interesting here - I think underneath he wants the best for his son, he just has no concept of how to love him, and always focusses on what he wants, not what his son wants. But nonetheless I think he's an interesting character, because he will eventually disown his son, but then later break the rules he loves so much to set him free.
This, like the rest of this story, is really well-written and I love how you really get inside the characters' heads.
Thank you for another lovely review! They truly make my day.
I do think that in the beginning of the First War the Death Eaters' ideas would seem rather appealing to many. I think that usually when extremist groups gain power and support, it's partly because the actual government isn't doing its job properly, i e people lose confidence in the establishment. I do think that might have been the case in the Wizarding World too, and that many changes were made after Voldemort had disappeared. In my head canon, it was much more "okay" to be opposed to Muggles/Muggleborns before the First War, than in the books, when it really seems like something rather controversial that one wouldn't boast about.
I'm glad you find senior interesting and that what I intended shone through- I do believe that he loved his son very much but that in his mind there's only one way for Barty to be happy which is following the same route as he did. Did that make sense? I hope so. Also, in my head canon, Crouch Sr come from a "working class" family. He's Pureblood but he doesn't have the connections like, say, Lucius Malfoy. He's worked his way up from the bottom and is very afraid on not being taken seriously/losing what he's been working for. But there will be more about that later.
I hope you'll like the rest and again, thank you.
I'm so glad I've come back to this story, it's been quite a while since I've read it, but I got back into the story and the characters really well. Your interpretation of them is really unique and interesting.
I loved what you did with Regulus in this chapter - how you started with the line I could feel myself corrupting, and then really showed that darkness inside him with Barty's fever. The title of the chapter also worked really well - not just in terms of the change in Regulus, but also the swamped sort of feeling he had at the beginning.
I am intrigued as to how Bella got inside Hogwarts. Anyway, I think it's interesting that Regulus thought of her first - I really like how you've developed their relationship in this story - and you really show how Bella seems to be constantly in control of herself, which contrasts with what Regulus feels.
Just a small thing - “It’s my friend. He said he didn’t feel well and then he just started raving, I don’t know what’s going but it must be some kind of curse, no?” - it would sound more natural to say "right?" or something like that at the end - I know English isn't your first language (which constantly astonishes me by the way because you grasp it so well), but having the "no?" at the end just doesn't sound quite right in English.
Anyway, I loved this, can't wait to get onto the next chapter.
Also, the italicised bit in the middle fit in perfectly - were they song lyrics or did you just write them? Either way, they really add to what Regulus is feeling.
Author's Response: Thank you so much for the wonderful review! (and thank you for coming back to this story - I'm glad you found it easy to get into again). This chapter is, as the title suggests, when Regulus finally stops fighting the idea of becoming a Death Eater. I spent very much time on trying to figure out how to get that across - I'm so happy you feel like it payed off :) Hah, I was actually thinking about that while I was writing (no vs. right); I'll edit that. The italicised bit was all me, it's supposed to be Regulus' innermost feelings that he just doesn't dare express. Anyway; so glad you liked this! To see anew review made my day. I hope you'll keep reading. It's so nice to know that someone is following your story and cares about what you write. Thanks, again.
Very much enjoying, thanks for updating!
Author's Response: Thank you!
What a great description! I excitedly await your next installment.
This is a very realistic portrayal of how Crouch's son could have slipped so far.
Author's Response: Thank you so much! That was what I was going for. The next chapter is with my beta :)
Really well written, it captures both of the boys' feelings perfectly! Please continue writing!
Author's Response: Thank you so much! The next chapter is on its way...
Wow. This was an amazing fic.
Author's Response: Thank you very much! Actually, there's more to come...
I've been away for a week and was so glad to see another chapter of this fic up. It really is excellent.
You create a great sense of mood, particularly in the first few parts.
The lack of sound seemed to reinforce what still was to be heard. Mum’s attempts at conversation became even more desperate, her voice more shrill than ever before. Father walking around downstairs boomed through the entire house. The scraping of a quill against parchment, the squeaking of a fork trying to stake a piece of potato, even the soft sound of a newspaper being folded, all those normal everyday sounds were to me like earthquakes. - This paragraph really showed Barty's frame of mind at this time, and it was just so beautifully written. You did a great job of putting the reader into Barty's head, and the pain he feels.
I thought his reaction to Dorothea was interesting, because her comment about wishing she'd had adventures doesn't reassure as you'd expect it to in this kind of situation. I didn’t know what to think. She was repulsive. I wanted to be nothing like her. I think that really shows how he's changing.
I liked how Regulus was different after his encounter with Bella in the last chapter. I wasn't surprised that Barty noticed it immediately either - he is very observant, and Regulus is starting to let down his guard with Barty a little.
Had I been wrong my entire life?
Had I been fed lies about everything for as long as I could remember? - I loved this ending, particularly as you used questions when Regulus had just been talking about doubt... it just works so effectively.
Just a tiny nitpick - you wrote when he continued he sounded so matter-of-factly (it's quite near the end) and it should be "matter-of-fact". Anyway, just a tiny little thing, I loved this chapter!
Author's Response: Thank you for the review! It makes me truly very very happy that you're glad to see this updated. When you know people are actually reading and caring it makes it even more fun to write. Thank you for the compliments of the mood in the beginning, I rewrote that part several times because I knew that I wanted to create a very specific atmosphere; I knew what I wanted to convey but I wasn't sure I could put it in words successfully. I'm glad that you thought it worked! The Dorothea part was actually quite fun to write; I think Dorothea is the sort of person I would find really fun today but would have been repulsed by when I was younger. Regulus is definitely changing very fast now; this will continue in the next chapter. Thanks again for reading and reviewing! (After re-reading my responses to your other reviews I realise that I must start checking them for mistakes; I get so excited that my grammar is completely off).
Initially when I was reading this fic, I thought your Barty was a more interesting character than your Regulus... but I think I'm beginning to change my mind. Often in fanfiction, Regulus is written as a bit of a wimp - the opposite of Sirius - who takes ages to realise what Voldemort is really upto, and I think your Regulus is so much more believable. He's extremely intelligent and knows how to manipulate people - except Bella, who's probably the queen of manipulators - and good at hiding his feelings, and yet there's a side of him which is clearly fed up with the superficiality of Pureblood society and which longs to be a rebel like Sirius.
The idea of Regulus tasting Bellatrix's blood in his mouth and remembering it was a very powerful image which really stuck in my head, as was the way you used fire in this chapter.
I felt like he replaced something I had lost, but I couldn’t really put the finger on what. I loved this line, because it connected back to the end of the last chapter, when Reg describes to Barty what having a brother is like, and Barty sees Reg as a sort of brother.
I'm not sure if you've realised... this comes up as chapter 9, but there's no chapter 8, which confused me initially... I'm not sure why that's happened. Also, I was wondering, how long is this fic going to be?
I think it's very interesting the way you alternate between the two boys' perspectives and show us how they both see the world and each other. This is a great fic and I can't wait til you update!
Author's Response: That's interesting, because my original idea was to tell Barty's story "with help" from Regulus but the more I wrote the more I started to like Regulus. Sometimes I think I've made Barty too much of a wimp but he will toughen up... Thank you for the compliments about Regulus! I do think he understands SOME things better than Sirius like Barty said but he's not as smart as he thinks. I'm really glad you "got" the brotherhood relationship between them because I was really not sure whether that was really vague or too obvious. The story will be about 25 chapters (but I', constantly expanding so I'm not sure... This was originally meant to be a one-shot..) Thank you so much for reading and reviewing! I'll try to update as soon as possible.
I can't say I'm surprised by this... firstly, because Miranda's right - he wouldn't last a day by himself - and secondly the title suggested it. And his relationship with Miranda didn't seem like it would last... I liked how it was always Barty who said how he felt, like when he said "I love you", she just said "I know you do". He seems so innocent in this, which I think is interesting because he's used to being at school, in an environment in which he excels. The thing I am sad about is that I suspect this is the last we'll see of Miranda, and yet I think there's a lot more to her than you've shown sofar.
That quote at the end was just perfect for this chapter.
Author's Response: Thanks again for another review, they make my day. No, more like my week. Miranda was created as a catalyst for Barty really. I needed her to be a person that he would fall in love with but never make it work. Then when it all fails he's forced to go back to his parents and become even more suppressed which will have consequences, of course. I really like Miranda too, she's capable of a lot of love but doesn't really know what to do with it. This was supposed to be the last of her when I first plotted the story but she will make further appearances (not very soon though.) I hope you like the rest... :)
I've finally got around to reading further than the first two chapters of this story... I wasn't thinking of reviewing again so soon, but I loved this chapter. Particularly the beginning part, because scenarios when Sirius and Regulus are really close and there's not too much underlying tension are quite rare. And I thought you wrote it beautifully - because at no point did I forget that they were in different houses, and yet there was such a sense of brotherly love between them.
There was something lovely about this line “Oh, Reg. Looks like you will be a man one day.” It made me feel rather sad about how their relationship eventually turns out.
I'm loving your take on the the Pureblood families (or family, I should say, since they're basically all related). I thought Regulus' Dad was quite interesting in this one, and your Bella is so well-characterised. And so is Lucius.
As for the last chapter - I find your Barty extremely interesting. He certainly went through a rapid change, but I suppose when all your life you've controlled yourself so much, and suddenly you drop that, things change quickly. Interesting that he runs off with a half-blood and ends up a Death Eater... Miranda is also quite interesting, I hope there's more of her back story in this (although I know the focus isn't on her). The idea that Barty disgraced his family so early also works well with that scene in canon when his father says 'I have no son' (I think that's what he says anyway).
I'm looking forward to more.
Author's Response: I love your reviews so I'm glad you decided to do it again! Thank you! This chapter was actually one of the hardest ones to write because I really wanted to show that brothers usually do love each other and I don't think that Regulus and Sirius are an exception. I like that you found their father interesting, because he's not described at all in canon, while we get a very clear picture of their mum. Therefore I do believe he wasn't as "vocal" (can't think of a better word right now) as his wife, or he would have been remembered as such. As for Barty; I see him as a too-controlled boy who is really bad at rebelling if that makes any sense. But he really wants to, and therefore he do it "through" Miranda. Thank you so much for reviewing, it means a lot!
I really enjoyed this chapter. Bellatrix is definitely in character. I liked the analogy that compared joining Voldemort to a fire. It really seemed like something that Bellatrix would believe.
Author's Response: Thank you, I'm glad you like it! Nice to see you're still reading, I hope you'll like the rest!
This was an excellent second chapter. I really like your characterisation of Regulus. I think it's a great idea that Regulus became what he became because of Sirius, not in spite of Sirius. I get that impression that your Regulus wasn't necessarily into the Death Eater stuff, and he didn't just go along with it because his family wanted him to, but rather because Sirius had done the opposite... if that makes any sense.
The star had resigned and there was a vacancy at the theatre. I chose to step on stage. I adored this line, because it follows Regulus observing Barty and it's such a wonderful connection between them. I like the idea of this story alternating between their perspectives, too, because you really contrast how they see each other and how they see themselves.
I loved Bella in this - wonderful characterisation of her. She's great at manipulating existing feelings into serving her purpose... as is her master.
I'm intrigued by Regulus' 'anger'. I put it in inverted commas because the word doesn't seem to quite sum up the extent of it. Your writing was particularly evocative as you described that as well.
In fact, your writing throughout this chapter was excellent. The second last paragraph was just so well-crafted. You contrasted short, truncated sentences really well with longer ones.
You really created tension between Regulus and Sirius when they chatted, and, even though he's quite a minor character, I think you really grasped Sirius in this - in that he's always trying to make things light but underneath he feels a lot. I loved the idea that he grinned at Regulus - when underneath he's probably upset about what's come between them and worried how Regulus will turn out.
Author's Response: Another wonderful review; Thank you so much. I'm really happy that you got the idea that Regulus wanted to rebel against Sirius (sort of) because I really believe having your big brother leave you at fifteen is really traumatic. Or at least I would feel really hurt. And Regulus did join the DEs acoording to canon about a year after Sirius ran away so to me it really seemed like a reaction. And Regulus is so devoted to he's family (in canon he for example seemed to care even for his house-elf) so I think he perceived Sirus' leaving as a huge betrayal. And of course he misses his brother! I'm a little sister myself and whatever we might say in our early teens we do adore and admire our older brothers and sisters. I don't think Sirus and Regulus were any different even though Sirius had grown to despise him later. I think he (Sirius) was very disappointed and his resentment was an expression of that. Thanks again for the review, I really really hope you'll keep reading and that you'll like the rest of it :)