Hey hon … I thought it was high time that I reviewed one of your awesome fics! This one has been a favourite for quite a while now so … *giggle*
Well first of all, I have to say that I totally love your style of writing! The way that you split this story up into small (and readable) chunks works brilliantly, and makes the whole narrative so much more intense. I love your poetic tone and your way of story telling; I could tell that each word has been carefully chosen and fits perfectly within the structure of the story.
Regulus Black had spent most of his life listening at keyholes
I really like the way that this small statement jumps straight into the story and tells us both about the present and about the past. It also seems to give emphasis to how small childhood activities can sometimes (and surprisingly) come in useful later in life; something that we appreciate in RL too. This opening caught my attention immediately and kept me reading, well done!
… and it had a sibilant, hissing undertone, which sounded somehow green and slithering and made Regulus think of snakes.
This comparison is really quite intriguing! It’s understandable, given Voldemort’s associations with snakes and his ability to speak Parseltongue, that even his voice sounds snake-like. Similarly for me, this emphasised the fact that what Voldemort was saying to Snape was something very secret that others weren’t not meant to know, and that Regulus was no meant to be caught eavesdropping on. Wow ..
— it would not do to have weeks of careful planning ruined by mis-timed exhalation
I love this, love it! It’s great to see the imperfect side of the situation – how sometimes plans don’t go accordingly as a result of something really quite trivial like this. Love the dry humour of it!
He listened, and planned, and waited, and wondered about Gryffindors.
The sentence kind of made me think … the listening, the planning and the waiting parts all seem decidedly Slytherin – the ambitious and cunning aspects etc. Then the wondering about Gryffindors … is Regulus wondering about a particular Gryffindor (Sirius), or about the qualities that Gryffindors possess such as extreme bravery, which oddly enough Regulus is actually exhibiting? Is he wondering whether he would have made a good Gryffindor? I also like how this carries on into the next part of the piece, very nicely done. :)
(He could not bear, now, even to look for long at her snapping black eyes, lest she discern his feelings about his 'noble cause', or the plans he was making to rid himself of it.)
This is one of my favourite lines. You’ve done a great job with Regulus’ characterisation through this story. Here, I like the way that you’ve portrayed his steady change of attitude towards his mother as well as his mother’s own changes in personality. I can picture quite clearly a younger Regulus, full of respect for the mother who would tell him all about his pure-blood status and his ‘noble cause’. This contrasts so well with his now almost ‘forbidden’ feelings against this cause – though I like the way that Regulus still expresses fear towards his mother, which is both realistic and understandable.
… he would whisper to himself, when no one was about (for Sirius would laugh in that way of his, and his parents would not understand), that the Heart of the Lion would prevail.
I love this idea of “Heart of the Lion”; it seems to suggest that Regulus might be ‘destined’ for Gryffindor. It gives us a deeper insight into his character, in that he seems to believe that Gryffindor is almost a right/almost inevitable, given how he has been named.
I felt that this part of the story in particular, is extremely well written. This blunt statement of “ He was Sorted into Slytherin” provides such a sharp contrast/plunge into reality against Regulus’ blind hope that one can discern a powerful, tangible disappointment coming from him.
The look on Sirius' face was enough of a cross to bear
This line especially, gives greater emphasis on the ‘unfairness’ of the situation. Regulus, who secretly hoped so much to be Sorted into the same house as his brother, who never though that his brother would understand his hopes – this conjures regret and really powerful emotions. Great work. :)
… in the tension that stretched, almost tangible, in every room, and snapped taut like a wire when anyone spoke.
The analogy of ‘taut like wire’ here is amazing. I love your descriptions and poetic tones! This gives a sense of everything in the household being ‘on the edge’ – with a possibility that the slightest comment could be the one that snaps this wire and creates conflict.
'The Most Modern and Ignoble House of Sirius Black, Toujours Poor'
I love this – the truth and humour behind it is awesome. It seems as if Regulus is seeing (almost wistfully), what it is like to be Sirius, to be free and laugh about one’s situation even when away from family. It also feels like Regulus is somewhat too late; he is laughing like Sirius does but there is no one there to hear him or appreciate it.
One of my favourite aspects within this story is its transgression between scenes. I love the arrangement of memories here; you’ve picked out some very important ones for Regulus. This first scene of Regulus torturing a Muggleborn indicates a pivotal change in his life, and yet at the same time, this change is not as certain. You’ve made a very sharp contrast between Regulus – who is still unsure about things and is in essence goaded into torture by Bellatrix, and Bellatrix herself who appears much more cruel from an earlier age.
The only thing in this story that I am slightly uncertain about is your description of the Muggleborn girl. Although the description of the eyes (almost in a completely different place to the rest of the scene/story) is effectively compelling, it seems a bit too much or over emphasised. I think that a little less description f the eyes here might improve the flow of the prose slightly.
Again, I will reiterate, your characterisation of Regulus in this story is superb. His uncertainty throughout the piece has shone through both powerful and realistic. It seems to me as if Regulus is ‘stuck’; in between both worlds of the light and dark, never truly accepted into either, which is such a disappointment. He is not cruel enough to be a proper Death Eater, and yet his fear at the end of the story: trembling, uncertainly… seems to suggest that even here there is doubt at whether what he is doing, what he has planned for so long, is correct.
And of course, there is still this fantastic line:
Sirius, he thought. He grinned, wide. Top this.
Having been in Sirius’ shadow for so much of life, I felt comforted on seeing Regulus finally step out of it. And here also, it seems that this story has turned full circle. Just as his childhood experiences in eavesdropping help to aid the downfall of Voldemort in this final line Regulus again seems to regress back to childhood, as if all of this is some competition in daring and bravery with Sirius.
This story is exceptionally well written with powerful scenes and vivid gems of memories! You’ve done a great job; your tone of writing has really shone through. Well done!
&& just in case you’re wondering why this review is so long and rambly … I’m currently on a bioscience research placement. It just so happened today that there was nobody to guide me in what I was doing, so basically from about nine to half five, I had a six page paper to read and that was it. For the whole day. *facepalms and dies of boredom* So I sat and wrote you a review by hand. :D *dies* Hope some of it made sense anyway. :)
A really good 'character study' of Lucius! Nice to see he's still as evil...grr. A really interesting read!
Author's Response: Thanks. I\'m glad you enjoyed it.
Wow...this is a really good one shot! I really like the way you've protrayed Draco's character, I don't think he's evil either...but if Greyback bit him does that mean he's part werewolf in this fic?
This chapter was quite funny in a way!
"Harry...Harry, are you okay?" she asked, looking worriedly at the young man, who was staring at her as if she was a strange martian from some planet he had never heard of.
Loved this. I think you’ve captured (though I wouldn’t know) the essence of a lot of men’s reactions to such news. Harry’s shock is so funny to see – it’s great. I like the way that you jump straight into the story from the first line, introducing Ginny’s excitement at her pregnancy straight away.
But it was too late... with one swift movement; Ginny had already opened the door and shoved him out into the cold night. I like what this shows about Ginny’s personality. She’s very forceful and fiery, and she knows what’s best for her. My first thought here was that most people would have stormed out after an argument – Ginny on the other hand, is cleverer than most and chooses to kick her husband OUT. *giggle*
Leaves were falling all around him, painting the dull streets with splashes of color. The few leaves that were still clinging to the trees were crimson and gold. The air was filled with the essence of change, and the dark night time sky was clouded.
I loved this paragraph. The imagery is fantastic and pays a wonderful contrast to the argument part of the chapter. You’ve really painted a vivid image of autumn; I specially like the idea of leaves ‘painting’ the streets with colour. It’s so true, and this is (in a way) exactly what they do – the colour always falls in small patches of leaves etc. I like the tiny hint about change there that you give too. *wonders* hmm.
I just have a few nitpicks and such: I noticed that you left a few American spellings in. his neighborhood wasn't a good place to be at night. Here, ‘neighborhood’ should be ‘neighbourhood’. And in the lovely paragraph above, ‘color’ should be ‘colour’. :)
This was a good first chapter – really interesting to read, and so funny in parts! Well done.
Author's Response: Thanks for the positive reveiw and the advice on American spellings...Id never really thought about it but I appreciate it! :)
I like how this chapter carries on; the introduction of ‘Aphrodite’ was clever – obviously the goddess of Love would know how to solve a problem of Love.
Standing behind the counter was a woman around his age, with long strawberry blond hair, and ocean green eyes. A very nice description. My first impression was that of a sharp reminder of Lily. Perhaps she is here, sort of in the form of the goddess, giving her son some advice to stop his love life breaking down?
“Well then, I don’t see what the problem is. I mean, you’d think you’d be happy, you have a wife, and you’re going to have a baby!” She clicked her tongue impatiently. *giggle* I love her tone, especially the ‘impatiently’ right at the end. She’s not our typical lovey dovey Aphrodite, is she? She seems a lot more ‘common’ which is good, and she acts like she knows exactly what’s what and I think it’s this sort of attitude that Harry needs to see in order to pull himself together. So well done!
“Good,” she smiled. “I guess that means you don’t have a problem anymore.” Again, I love it! She makes it sounds so easy, in a sort of “sorted!” tone. Great.
Some nitpicks – again, I noticed that you left quite a few American spellings in the chapter. These shouldn’t really be used, as obviously Harry and Ginny are in England. A good way to change things is just to set your Msword to British English which then highlights the American bits. :)
Anyway, this was a lovely warm fic to read! :) There were funny bits and sad bits; there was a very warm glowy sort of ending that made me feel…*lovely* Great job, well done!
Author's Response: Thanks! :)
I love the ending of this. Makes it look like they are normal people..lol
Are you going to carry this on as they find more horcruxes, and destroy them and stuff? I think that would be really good. Well done anyway! This is a great chapter.
The summary of this story really intrigued me and prompted me to read on; I love the idea of comparing a person to shattered glass, like an extended metaphor. It seems like the perfect analogy that reflects how a person may be strong one moment but collapses unexpectedly and suddenly, and how really, characters such as Ginny (especially after these sort of events) are extremely fragile.
The continued references to the mug of hot chocolate I felt, was another interesting way to extend the idea of the glass. The way that you portrayed Ginny’s actions were excellent, and I could definitely feel her emotion build up, as slowly her hands shake so much that the mug falls and breaks…perhaps reflecting her fragile mood as well?
But it’s over now. It’s done. Even Harry said so. He had saved her when she was but an inch from death. Riddle’s finished. The diary is gone. Tom can’t control me anymore. These thoughts should have been consoling to Ginny, but they only made her feel worse.
I loved the way that you blended Ginny’s thoughts in here. It was really clear to follow, almost as if she had two contradicting voices in her head. I could really sense her ‘despair’ at the situation, as if nomatter how much she tried to convince herself that things are over and everything will be fine, she can’t help feeling guilty and still feels very scared.
The interaction between ‘memory’ sections and description of the present are extremely well done. Although you included a lot of ‘storytelling’ of past events, I felt that they were effectively used and beneficial to the story as in each part, you justified Ginny’s actions and put her way of thinking and her emotions into it. Feeling left out, scared, and lonely, she began to write to Tom again. This short sentence seemed to summarise exactly how Ginny must have felt, and the confusion as well, which would have prompted her to consult Tom again.
During the year, every time another person was petrified, it was like another crack formed inside her. When Riddle had emerged from the diary it was as though all the criss-crossing cracks burst open and shattered the person that once was Ginevra Molly Weasley.
This imagery is excellent. The first sentence shows how much guilt Ginny must have felt, and how slowly she was breaking down as she felt that all of this was something to do with her, and somehow her fault. I like the use of ‘petrified’ and then ‘cracks’, which I thought went together really well in conveying how somebody that is petrified, unnatural and ‘stiff’ may well be more vulnerable and ‘crack’. The latter part of that I loved, and the harsh tones of the words, and onomatopoeia worked well in the ‘shattered glass’ sort of image that you were trying to display. The crisscrossing cracks seem to show how each petrified person had an emotional effect on Ginny, and weakened her slightly, so that collectively, as a result of Tom’s interference, they shattered her and almost destroyed her entirely.
Just as the final victim of the basilisk sat up in their bed, Ginny drifted away into a dreamless sleep.
I felt that this last line worked really well in contrast to the images of the shattered glass, describing how Ginny can now finally be at ease and so start her ‘recovery’ process, as she no longer feels the guilt as much now that all the petrified are revived. It’s a peaceful sort of ending to a really quite intense story and I felt that as a whole this fic portrayed her character very well.
Well done! *hugs*
~Suzie…your secret santa! :p
Author's Response: Wow, you really analyzed it. Thanks for the review... and the banner and avvies. I almost forgot that I had this story. I hadn\'t even read it over in quite a while. Thank you for the wonderful review. I\'m glad you liked the story and that you thought I was able to keep Ginny in character. ~SarahRose
*reaches for kleenex*
Omigosh, you've painted a really nice picture here. The atmosphere is exactly right, and I absolutely LOVE the end....aww *sniff*
Wow! Short, snappy, to the point (excuse the cheesiness of my comments lol)...
This is really good! Go write more poetry! :p
Author's Response: Wow thanks for all the reviews! You rock my socks lol :P
:o I don't seem to have reviewed this..lol! Loving the Voldemort disguise as the 'nice man' and Dumbledore's replies always make me laugh!!
Author's Response: Thank you! Yes, make sure you look closely at all of Voldemort\'s letter... I\'m really pleased you\'re enjoying this, thanks for reviewing!
A really good intro...and I like the idea of the story! Well done!
Author's Response: Thank you! The first chapter is probably one of my least favourite, as it\'s more setting things up, but I\'m glad you like it!
LOL!!! I liked the R/Hr thing and I can just imagine DD sitting there lauging and answering all of these...who was the nail girl?
Author's Response: Ah yes - I\'m an avid R/Hr shipper - but not always predictable (I hope!)! As for Dumbledore sitting there laughing - I picture that especially in the first letter of Issue 2...!
aww this really made me smile. You've captured Ron's character really well!
Author's Response: Thanks! I\'m always a little worried about Ron(\'s characterization), so I\'m glad you think he\'s alright!
Great chapter, well done! Loved the Crabbe/Goyle references and the Snape thing! Scrabble..lol
I also really like the way you're alternating between scenes and an edition.
Author's Response: Thanks you! Why - can\'t you just imagine Snape letting off some stress playing Scrabble?!
*laughs at Lavender and Parvati*
It would be really funny seeing Goyle 'stand up' to Malfoy,...lol
I'm really enjoying reading this! Well done!
Author's Response: Yes, Dumby\'s advice seems to have been going a bit...astray! Thank you, I\'m really pleased you enjoy it!
Love this fic!! Keep going :p I hope to see more R/Hr development...dont let me down...:p
Author's Response: I will keep writing! Well, I really can\'t say what will happen with Ron and Hermione! Well, actually, I could, I just don\'t want to! :p But I do have two other R/Hr fics up, if you would like to read them =) (/shameless self promotion) Thanks for reviewing!
I really like the twist in the middle here! teehee...hadnt realised that Fred and George didn't know about Padfoot and Moony! This is really funy!
ooooh wow! This is a really weird plot idea but I'm really looking forward to reading the rest! Please update soon! Sounds great...
ooof....the plot thickens indeed! Please update soon, this is a fantastic idea and really well written! I love the names and stuff too..:p Can't wait to find out more!
Great poem! And congratulations on getting runner-up in QSQs, I can see why, as this is a fantastic poem!
I love the clever way that you have made everything fit together, both in syllables and in rhyme. My favourite parts are the "which was..." parts at the end of each stanza...these are great!
I agree with what the others say about speech marks for Odo...and another thing, I don't know if its intentional/just me seeing this, but the whole poem is in two line 'paragraohs' (like a story) and not in stanzas. Capital letters still shwo starts of lines, but it was just a bit hard to read...