Oh, I like it! It's very original, and something I haven't seen before. It's so interesting to see Fleur as a younger child, and not as the somewhat arrogant Triwizard Champion we meet in GoF. I love how this begins, with the whole idea of the wagtails. The fact that they 'only send letters with the best' is just such a good contrast to Hogwarts. You showed the contrast with the Beauxbatons letter as well, and I really liked that. It goes along with what Fleur said in GoF about how Beauxbatons is different from Hogwarts.
I think that, even though this is a different Fleur than we are perhaps used to, she is still believable. You managed to retain her pompousness, especially with this line: Really, she thought, like they even needed to mention that. How tacky. I really liked that line. :) You know, I never considered Fleur having siblings other than Gabrielle. I always figured she was the oldest, but I like that she has older brothers. It kind of shows why she is so confident in herself, I think. She's had to live up to them, and has probably worked really hard at it.
I thought it was really interesting that Fleur kept thinking she was a Squib, because she's obviously a talented witch. It conveyed a less confident side of her, and since we already know an older version of her, we can take that and see how she changes. Very nice. I also thought the doting-on of Gabrielle was good. The youngest daughter, and consequently spoiled a wee bit. It's different than what we might think of Fleur's family; I for one probably would have assumed Fleur was the spoiled one.
Overall, very nice work! Keep up the good work!
Author's Response: I am thrilled you enjoyed it. *trying not to blush, but not succeeding* The next chapter will be out as soon as the Gauntlet is over. It is turning out to be a lot more work then I expected.
Lolita love...I've been meaning to review this, and I've just now sat down to do it. Thank Merlin for summer.
You know how Ms. Stockard loves you so much? It's these kinds of things, chica, this kind of writing that is the reason why. The imagery is simply amazing and the characterization is lovely. I think my favorite image you painted was this: She was, after all, the princess of the family, the doted-on only daughter, crimson strawberry sprinkled with sugar in her fatherís bowl, her mumís peaches and cream. Aw! It's just beautiful and very cute. Stood out to me at once.
This whole piece just kind of gives me a fuzzy feeling when I read it, because you created such wonderful imagery that in turn creates a warmth. It ends on such a happy note. Indeed I spend a lot of fanfic time on somewhat depressing fics, and they do seem to be the ones I write, but this was such a nice change. Reminds me that I do like the fluffy stuff, despite my penchant for the Blacks. ;-)
Te amo, chica, te amo.
1983. In a world where Voldemort has won the First War, where hope has fled from an Earth moaning under the Dark Lord's iron hand, marriages are broken and others are arranged in order to preserve the sacred purity of blood. James Potter loses his wife; now they have to find another for him.
Can I just say that I love this so far? Really, I do. It's wonderfully original and very well-written. I like Marie-Antoinette a lot; I think her character is refreshingly human, and not Mary-Suish. I think that, with the type of story this is, a Mary-Sue would be easy to create, but you haven't done it here. Nope, you created a great character of whom I can't wait to see more.
I think the whole arranged marriage idea with James Potter is going to be really interesting. I'm very eager to read about his reaction to the whole thing, and also to see some Sirius and his reactions. I can't help but want to see Sirius. ;-) Anyway, back to the story...I'm also interested in seeing Marie-Antoinette's reaction to Lily, and vice versa. A James/OC fic is, in my opinion, something difficult to pull off, but I do think you've managed it. You've got my attention, at least.
So, I am loving this beginning and I hope you update soon! I'm very excited to see more of this so far wonderful story!
Author's Response: Wow, that\'s a lovely long review! I\'m glad you like Marie-Antoinette, I like her a lot too; I was tired of reading only about witty, brave and bold girls, to be honest. But you\'re right, it was hard not to fall in the \'Mary Sue\' trap. I\'m happy you think I avoided it.
James\' reaction will be visible in chapter 2 I think, though we may get a glimpse of him already in chapter 1 (this one being the prologue). I already know what Sirius\' reaction will be, and it\'ll BE interesting, that\'s for sure!... As for the Lily/MA interaction, it will be a key part of the story. Saying no more here :PI hope I update soon too... things are a bit difficult right now, but in two weeks something should be up! thanks for reviewing!
I've been meaning to read and review this since I got the email saying it was updated, but unfortunately I am just now finding the time. I also figured I could do you the favor of giving at least one semi-coherent review, so here I am.
I already loved this fic because of it's lovely prologue, but after reading this first chapter, I can assure you that my love of it has only increased. I just think it's such a wonderful and refreshing idea. It's AU, but not AU in that cliche kind of way, where everybody's OOC and random things happen. No, you've managed to dive into the AU world and create something that is unique and makes sense.
One thing that really stood out to me was the way you've made Beauxbatons so real. I hadn't really given much thought to this other magical school before, but it's obvious that you have. You did a very nice job; you kept it original, but at the same time didn't make it too different. I felt really sad for Olivier; it was obvious he liked Marie-Antoinette as more than just a one-time girlfriend, and for him to have all the sudden break up with her because she's getting married...poor guy. But it was a good bit in the story.
The end! The end was so good. When she walked into that room and noticed the two men, I immediately wondered if they were James and Sirius. My only question is, why is Sirius there? Because he's also a pureblood? I just wondered why Remus and Peter weren't also there. Surely he'd want them there too? But it's just a minor thing. I can't wait to see more of Marie-Antoinette and James's first encounter!
Lovely job, really. I love it. Good luck with the next chapter!
Author's Response: Thanks for a more-than-semi-coherent review!! =D
For once, I\'m so happy you loved the fic despite the fact it\'s AU. I always try to keep the charcaters IC, so no worries there. Just bear in mind that they\'re all seen through Marie-Antoinette\'s eyes, and also that some of them have suffered quite a lot in the war, which may have impaired their personality; and then you should be okay with the way I write JKR\'s characters.Thanks for your comment about Beauxb‚tons! I had wondered if someone would point that out to me. Yes, I did think a great deal about it, and I couldn\'t help seeing it as a big classical castle such as le ch‚teau de Versailles... With high windows and great classical paintings. I was afraid the bit with Olivier was too much sentimental, but it was necessary to point out the differences between her life before and after she\'s married. We\'ll see Olivier again in the future; I don\'t like producing characters out of the blue and making them disappear almost at once.
The reason for Sirius\' presence is just because he wants to be with James; and the reason why Remus and Peter aren\'t there is precisely because they aren\'t pure-bloods. Lots of things have changed since Voldemort is in power!Next chapter is finished and I\'m about to send it to my wonderful Beta... See you very soon then! And again, thanks for the nice review!
Iíve been following this fic from the prologue, but Iím afraid Iíve been a terrible reviewer. Hopefully this review makes up for that. =)
Not only have I been following this fic from the beginning, but Iíve been in love with it from the beginning. The way youíve created an AU world that isnít clichť or too strange or completely unbelievable is wonderful; Iím impressed. I feel like youíve really thought this out Ė youíve sat down and decided who your characters are, what your plot is, and how you want to accomplish this story. One of my favorite parts about this is, quite simply, your writing. Itís descriptive, engaging, and quite delectable, actually. You balance the narration and dialogue quite well. I donít feel like either one is dominating the chapter.
Marie-Antoinette is a great OC, no doubt about that. One of the best Iíve seen in a long time, honestly. Sheís not perfect Ė she has flaws, and sheís not entirely sure of herself (understandable, of course Ė I wouldnít be too confident in her situation, I donít think). I think Marie-Antoinette has immense potential for future chapters. She has room to grow and develop; she isnít all there yet right from the start. I think my favorite aspect of Marie-Antoinetteís character, illustrated excellently in this chapter, is her determination. She dives into taming the garden even though itís a very unappealing task. I love her determination to make something of the life sheís been thrust into hers. Sheís resolved to make the most of her situation; itís admirable.
I absolutely love Siriusís appearance in this chapter. I figured that, with James quite suddenly not around, somebody would have to come in and shake things up a bit. It was the right time to bring somebody else in Ė any longer with just Marie-Antoinette would have been too long, I think. Do I sense some chemistry between Mr. Black and the new Mrs. Potter? Youíve introduced something interesting. Iím excited to see more of this story!
The relationship between Marie-Antoinette and Aimťe is wonderful. I feel really bad for Marie-Antoinette, being taken away from her best friend like she was, but youíve kept Aimťe a strong character in Marie-Antoinetteís life through her letters. And I feel positively horrible for Olivier; his letter was a nice touch.
And finally, the end to this chapter! Youíve done an excellent job with the cliffhangers in this story. Is the visitor Lestrange or James? One guess is as good as the other. I personally hope itís James, because Iím eager to see a little interaction between the newlyweds.
I hope to see more of this soon. I guarantee Iíll do a happy dance when itís updated! =)
Where to start? This is, as always, an amazing piece of work. And I'm far too amused by the fact that it's got a mythological connection because I was far too bored in English when we covered mythology. But I absolutely loved this, so...my English teacher would indeed be proud.
I am, as you know, a Regulus fan. So, naturally, I wanted to read this. I think it's highly interesting that you chose to use second person, as it's not something authors use very often, if ever. I would generally discourage using it, as it does seem to be slightly odd (indeed, I've always wondered why we include it in our grammar lessons at all), but it worked here. I think it lets us be Regulus and feel what he is feeling. It allows us to take a walk in his shoes, as it were.
And in a slower world. you might have been surprised by the way you can no longer find the words you need. You need a comma there instead of a period. Just thought I'd point it out. =)
I really really liked the third part. It conveyed Regulus's thoughts of Sirius so nicely. The world as Sirius sees it, you think, is a network of sharp angles in contrasting monochromatic splendour, black-and-white and sketched in broad sweeping lines and quick upward strokes, straight-then-bent like the way he stands, or the way he laughs, sound arcing downwards like some sort of jagged lightning; brilliant and, for a moment, blinding. That's a good sentence if ever I saw one. Just love it.
The end is simply wonderfully sad. I think the idea of paralleling Icarus and Regulus is a really nice one. And the last sentence is just awesome. I can't really say anything except I loved it. Another one of your fics that's going in my favorites. Excellent work as usual, Noldo!
For as much as I love Tonks and Kingsley, I havenít read many fics with them together like this. Itís positively lovely, I have to say. I enjoyed this immensely. =)
I was really impressed with the characterization in this fic, especially Tonks. Sometimes I think people canít quite nail Tonks; sheís always too much or too little of something not right. But I think here, you did a great job. Everything was something Tonks would do, and her interaction with Kingsley was wonderful. I especially loved this line: ďItís not my fault,Ē Tonks proclaimed. ďItís my lack of ability to behave myself.Ē Lol, it reminds me of Sirius in a way, which I think is appropriate.
I love the idea of somebody playing a birthday trick on Moody, but I think I particularly love that itís Tonks and Kingsley. At first, Kingsley doesnít seem like exactly the type of person who would do this, but you made it seem perfectly plausible. He and Tonks meshed really well together in this; they were believable. And itís good that you threw in a bit of Kingsley questioning why heís even doing this, whereas Tonks seems to have no qualms about it at all. At the risk of sounding repetitive, everything is wonderfully in character. Excellent job there.
I do have some minor nitpicks, though. First: They appeared on dirt road north of small Muggle village. I think there should be an Ďaí before dirt road. Also: In that instant the sky was filled with dragons, Catherine wheels, rockets, and sparklers flying around the yard; making a great deal of noise, too. The semicolon doesnít work here. Anything that follows a semicolon has to be able to stand on its own as a complete sentence. ĎMaking a great deal of noise, tooí is a dependent clause, and thus cannot come after a semicolon. And finally, birthday doesnít need to be capitalized.
I adore the humor in this. I find humor extremely difficult to write, because different people find different things funny. But here, you managed everything very well. ďI think heís mad,Ē Tonks stated. I love the obviousness of this; it justÖlike I keep saying, itís just very Tonks. I see a tiny bit of Sirius in her in this fic, and I think thatís great, because I think she probably would have been influenced by Sirius a little. As they left Tonks was sure she heard Moody murmur something about the best pair of Aurors the Ministry had seen in a long time. Moody, you old softie. :-p Thatís a great line, that is.
So overall, awesome job! I really enjoyed reading this; I may have to check out some more of your fics in the future. :D
Author's Response: *Jaw drop* A wonderful review from a mod! Thank you so much! I personally love Tonks and find her a blast to write. I got alot of my ideas for her actions based on her response as to why McGonagall didn\'t make her a prefect. The \"lack of ability\" line is paraphased from the book. I loved it too much not to use it. As for Kingsley, I see him and Tonks natural working well together with his seriousness and her playfulness playing off of each other. Also since they work together both as Aurors and in the Order I think this wouldn\'t be the first time Tonks has talked Kingsley into doing somthing. And remember, it\'s the serious ones you have to watch out for. Thanks a bunch for the nitpicks, everything helps.
*loves* Anna, you are amazing, darling, and I love you lots.
Edit: Ok, that got messed up. My real review is up there...^^ Sorry :o
Author's Response: *loves back* I love you even more! :P
*loves* Anna, you are amazing, darling, and I love you lots. But I am going to review properly and not shower you with squees like I really want to. So. Ahem.
This is so great that I don't know where to start. Once again you have proven that you are a wonderful writer, especially for your age! I know I've said that before, and it's probably annoying, but really, you write better than most thirteen year olds and I can only see even more amazing things from you in the future. You are on a brilliant track, keep it up!
Your writing evokes so much emotion and feeling that I can really feel for the character. This is just so Sirius, you characterized him so well. I can really feel Sirius's hope at seeing Harry, and it then it pains me when he leaves, regretting not showing himself. You also captured really nicely how Sirius has been affected by his years in Azkaban; he's so...unsure, almost. He's not really quite sure what to do with himself, and seeing Harry sort of throws everything into perspective.
I think my favorite line was: The various clacks and whistles of the city droned into his ragged ears - he was unused to hearing anything else except iron bars closing, keys jingling and the reeking odor of them. Shows so well how Azkaban has been his life for so many years, and now he's unused to the world outside of prison.
Overall, this was amazing and I love you for dedicating it to me as a birthday present. I couldn't have asked for anything better and more wonderful. You've got me smiling, girl! *loves*
Author's Response: You can\'t possibly know how happy I am after reading your review! *glowers* I\'m glad that you loved your birthday present, because I did want it to be perfect for you. Thank you for your lovely comments, because they made ME squee...a lot. *blushes* I\'m afraid all those compliments are going to go to my head. *hugs* Thank you, dear! :D
I had meant to review this the moment I read on your LJ that it was up. Honest. But alas, other things kept me from it, and I am only here now. I've lately become a horrible person in reviewing when I mean to, so in a way you are lucky I even made it here. *sigh* Right, so, I'll move on with the actual review...
Nothing short of amazing, James. Really. It was just beautiful and heartwrenching and so well written that I'd expect it from someone a lot older. It's talent, is what it is. I think my favorite line would have to be (and trust me, it is so hard to choose only one): (time never tripping, or falling, but in a sense, a half-tuneódrawn out, blueó, perpetually breathing.) I remember when you posted it in Excerpts, and even now it stands out to me. It's just so perfect. The wording is impeccable and beautiful. I don't know what else to say.
You captured Remus so perfectly in this. His thoughts about Sirius's betrayal, about his life, about his past...they're all spot on and so saddening, but so Remus. His burning the photographs at the end is perfect. Everything is perfect. Gah, I know I just keep saying that, but it's true.
Superb work and excellent first fic (psht, my first was so much worse). And it's getting a place in my favorites. =)*claps for James*
Author's Response: I wrote this huge reply some days ago, but it just vanished. And I became a little defeated when it did.
But this beautiful reply verily needed a reply, and I couldn\'t really live it empty like that.
When I first looked at this review, I didn\'t know how to express myself without rabbling on incoherently, because, in a way, I was rendered speachless (only thinking, to some sort of innate music, \"thank you, thank you, thank you\").
I am still really happy you liked the story, and very flattered you think I\'ve got talent. It means a lot to me. (And I also need to agree with you that \"time never tripping, or falling ...\" was the best sentence, or at least structure wise--the one with the most impact, me thinks, was \"the world is strange ...\". ) But what I\'m the most happy about is that you liked my portrayal of Remus. It is the best thing an author can hear when you\'ve spent months trying to understand his character, the way he thinks, and what he thinks of, which is perhaps even more important than the way he thinks it.
This review made me smile from ear to ear the first time I read it, and it still does. So thank you so much for this review. =)
Author's Response: Gah, I meant \'leave\', not \'live\'. *looks furiously at keyboard*
Author's Response: I didn\'t notice until now, but OMG! Thank you ininitely much for putting this story on your favourites. Really! Thank you!
I donít know why I didnít review this when you posted it. Seriously. Siriusly, even. I absolutely love it, so I guess now Iím going to actually get around to leaving a review. You should know that I totally loved reading this again. I remember reading it when you first posted it on LJ for my birthday, and commenting, but reading it again was just wonderful. It reminded me why I heart you and your writing so much.
You already know this, but Sirius and Regulus are two of my favorite characters, without a doubt. Their relationship is one that Iíve written many times and explored for myself, but I always love seeing somebody elseís take on it. Thereís so much you can do with the Black brothers, isnít there? And yet I feel like sometimes people donít write anything terribly original. But not here Ė here is something truly original and honestly something Iíve never seen before. Itís so refreshing and so great and so perfect. Excellent, excellent job.
I love the beginning. Immediately, you start with the idea of difficulty. And how appropriate for Sirius and Regulus Ė hardship. Itís extremely fitting and intriguing at the same time. Two letters had come the night of September the first, six years ago. I donít know why, but I love that. Itís so mysterious sounding; the reader is able to guess what one of the letters is, but the second one is more enigmatic. But gosh, what a great letter Sirius writes to Regulus. Even though itís short, itís just right. And whatís so sad is that we, as the reader, know that things do change between the brothers. Which is why itís perfect that you move right into Regulus being sorted into Slytherin, because thatís the point where the two of them finally become separated.
He sat on a flat rock, gazing at the reflection of the moon in the lake. He supposed it was typical of him, to look at the shine of the image instead of the real thing.
It was what he had done with Sirius, after all.
Let me just take a moment to marvel at those few lines. Look at them! Theyíre absolutely wonderful. Beautiful and chilling and heart wrenching all at once. Iím very much in love with the idea of reflections in this fic, because itís so appropriate to not only Sirius and Regulus, but all pureblood-obsessed families. And I think that, just as Regulus is thinking about only seeing a reflection of Sirius, Sirius is thinking that heís only seeing a reflection of Regulus. Which leads so nicely into the little bit of just Sirius. Everything seems very coherent in this fic. I know that my own writing tends to be somewhat convoluted, but yours isnít. Itís concise and to-the-point, but not in an uncreative kind of way; itís concise in a wonderfully refreshing (which I know Iíve already said, but that was about something else, so ha) kind of way. I dunno if that makes sense, but basically, I heart your writing.
Gosh, the scene with Sirius coming in dog form Ė positively lovely. I never thought about Sirius interacting with Regulus in his Animagus form, but itís such a good idea. Regulusís Ďconversationí with the dog-Sirius is so heart wrenching. Everything about the reflections, and him being his hero, and shining like a star Ė guh. I love it. And then, and then. Man, Iím so lost for words, because I just donít know how to express how completely lovely this fic is. Everything is written to perfection Ė each scene is there for a reason, and every line of dialogue is meaningful.
One by one, they each stretched an arm up to the stars and found pictures in the motes glittering in the sky.
And for a little while, at least, they could pretend.
I think thatís my favorite bit of this fic. Not only is it such a nice parallel to the beginning of the fic when you mention them finding Ďpictures in the motes glittering in the skyí (which is truly delectable imagery, by the way), itís an amazing end to the fic. Because you ended on a relatively happy note, whereas I think most Regulus and Sirius fics tend to venture towards to more depressing (although, perhaps that is just me). But yes, the ending is very very lovely.
And I think now I shall end this review before I lapse completely into fangirl mode, but thank you ever so much for writing it for me. I absolutely love it, and you. -squishes-
-waves to SPEW buddy- Dude, Elle. I had no idea how many fics I would have to choose from! And believe me, it was indeed hard to choose. But of course, I ended up clicking for Sirius. -rolls eyes at self-
I really like the way you start this, with Sirius being all moody. Because thatís exactly how Sirius is. He would feel sorry for himself, and then be angry at himself for feeling sorry. Perfect. And LOL about killing the Giant Squid. Itís easy to see the relationship between Sirius and James here. You did an excellent job of showing how comfortable they are with each other, how much like brothers they really are. I did feel, though, that perhaps Sirius opened up a bit too quickly about what he was feeling. For me, Sirius seems like he would be reluctant to talk about Regulus at all, what with all the problems and differences between them.
The dialogue in this sometimes feels a tadÖperfect, I guess is the right word, to me. Like it was rehearsed, if that makes sense. I think maybe adding in some more descriptions, pauses, etc., would have helped to eliminate that.
I love the idea of Sirius going to the Black family cabin, partly because I love the idea of there even being a Black family cabin. How awesome is that? So awesome. And oh! I wasnít expecting the person on the couch to be Andromeda. What a great touch. Sheís such a good character to add in to the story, since sheís gone through some of the same things that Sirius has. Itís also just interesting to consider that Sirius does actually have real family in his life besides his friends. My only complaint is that we didnít get to see more interaction between Sirius and Andromeda. -wink-
Overall, this is pretty free of grammatical mistakes, but there are some errors that I noticed. Mostly small things, though. Nonetheless, I think a quick read-through by a beta would help polish this up a bit.
And just one more thing before I finish this up. I think that, since this fic focuses a lot on Sirius and his concerns for Regulus, it might have been nice to see Sirius and Regulus together at some point. Maybe not on his birthday, maybe not even in the present. A flashback or something, perhaps? But I think the story could have benefited from a direct glimpse at the Black brothersí relationship.
I definitely think Iíll have to read more of your writing in the future, especially since youíre a fellow Black lover. -grin-
Author's Response: *hugs SPEW buddy* Thanks for the review and the suggestions. I should look into getting this polished up. It\'s actually one of my older stories. Glad you liked it. *more hugs*
Whilst perusing your fic list, I was having trouble picking which fic to read first, because I adore the Black brothers and there was just so much love screaming to be clicked on. But eventually I decided on this one, eager to see how you would portray Orion and Sirius together.
I love the idea of them playing cards. I donít know why, I just do. I think perhaps itís a tad unlikely Orion would play somewhere like The Leaky Cauldron, though; in my mind, he would want to be somewhere moreÖrespectable, I guess, more high-end. Obviously we donít know if somewhere like that exists, but it would be interesting to explore. Anyway, the cards. You start us off wondering what Orion is trying not to think about. And then Sirius comes. I love that heís ĎsittingÖwhere Regulus should have been.í Just that little detail adds in a whole new dimension to what Orion is feeling, and to the relationship Sirius and Regulus had.
The little touch about Orionís heart attacks was awesome. It starts out teasing, but shifts to morose, what with him worrying about his sons. And Sirius asking about him worrying about him. Oh man. But then, of course, the mood quickly turns uncomfortable. I love the bit about people like Andromeda, Alphard, and Regulus being able to hold Sirius back. Itís very telling.
Cygnus is an excellent character to have included, I think. Because heís there to bring up all the uncomfortable things, like Regulusís funeral. In spite of himself, a smile tugged at one corner of Orionís mouth. Sirius wouldnít send his brother off in a conventional way, but he would send him. Perfect, I love that. And, as an aside, I also love that perhaps Remus liked Regulus, at least sometimes.
My only critique for this has to do with the interactions between Sirius and Orion. I feel like maybe theyíre too readily open with each other. And it probably has to do mostly with my own interpretations of their characters, but I think they would be more guarded with each other. Angrier, even. To me, Orion seemed too much like a real father to Sirius, when in actuality he hadnít seen Sirius in years. I think their encounter would probably have been a tad more awkward, bordering a thin line; Sirius would have been more cynical and sarcastic. But again, it could just be my ideas of Orion and Sirius respectively.
Grammatically, this is great. I really love your writing as well. Keep it up! Iíll have to read more of your fics in the future, for sure.
Oh, Rachel. Rachel, Rachel, Rachel. What a wonderful fic! Really, I'm impressed. What made me want to click on this was the fact that it was about Andromeda; she's a character that we don't know a lot about, and since I do have a penchant for the Blacks, I've always been interested in her.
I think you characterized Andromeda very nicely in this. Her thoughts towards her sister, about letting go, were great. I feel genuinely sad for Andromeda, and perhaps for all three sisters. I have a sister myself, and we're pretty close, so it's sad to see three sisters who don't have that kind of relationship. Especially Andromeda, being somewhat of a outcast; that's horrible for her.
I find it interesting that you have Andromeda thinking that Bellatrix was always the favorite, because I personally have always seen Narcissa as the favorite. But I can see from what Andromeda was writing and feeling how Bella might've been the favorite. Nice job.
I think, like Periwinkle said, putting the letter in italics would have been good, just to distinguish between the letter and the narration a little. I also don't think the gravestone needed to be in bold, but alas, it's just personal opinion. Overall, though, excellent work, Rachel. I love it!
Author's Response: Leanne, Leanne, Leanne? :P lol! I literally squeed when I saw that you reviewed my story, then squeed again when I read it. I\'m usually the one reviewing your stories, rambling on about how wickedly awesome they are! ;) Anyway, I\'m so glad you liked this! I like how you could think of something in your life to relate this to. That\'s cool, how you thought about your relationship with your sister. I explained in my response to Anna\'s review why it\'s not italicised, and I do agree with you about the gravestone. Mostly because it draws so much attention to it; I think I\'ll change it, thanks! And thank you so much for this wonderful review! It meant a lot to me!
ĎEllo, lovely SPEW buddy! Iím quite happy I got you as my buddy for this month of December; itís so nice to read a fic from someone new. :)
I thought this was very well constructed Ė you obviously have a strong grasp on all things grammatical and whatnot, something that I appreciate immensely. As far as technical errors were concerned, I didnít find anything here to point out. Excellent work there. I did feel, though, that perhaps the asterisks separating this into different parts were a bit unnecessary. I thought the piece would have been perfectly coherent and together without them. Also, I have to wonder why you have Ďrosesí at the top of this in italics. Itís not the title, soÖI just wonder why itís there.
I find your style quite enjoyable Ė Iím a fan of long sentences and lots of words myself, so I didnít really find this overwhelming as I think some people might. However, I did feel that at times the descriptions were a tad superfluous Ė not bad, certainly, but not really needed. But I thought the descriptions were mostly perfect for the mood of this; you captured that sense of love and trust that I think is so essential to James and Lily.
I wasnít completely in love with the actual wedding in the fic, though. To me, it just seemed too over-the-top and dramatic for James and Lily. I picture their wedding as much more low-key, simple, that sort of thing. No doves and rose-petal showers for me. But, thatís just my idea and not really a comment on characterization. Speaking of the characters, though Ė I thought they were great. Especially Sirius. And, considering I am such a huge fan of Sirius, it isnít always easy to satisfy me. But I loved how he kept James from messing with his hair. So adorable. I love it.
I liked your choice not to use names until the very end; itís something I find myself doing with my own writing a lot. It really adds to the fic, in my opinion. Maybe it got confusing at some points, but not enough that it should be changed.
Overall, I thought this was a very nice little one-shot. Well written, beautiful, and lovely. Great job!
Author's Response: Hello back, lovely former-SPEW buddy! I\'m so sorry I never reviewed you back. Life got so confusing and, well, it was impossible. Nevertheless, I shouldn\'t have left replying to this great review \'til now.\r\n
I\'m thrilled you appreciated the grammar. I, too, value that correctness in the books and short stories (newspapers, letters, etc., etc., etc. *grins*) I read. As for the asterisks, I\'ve stopped using so many. This was my first fic. and I am... well, slightly ashamed that you read it. I don\'t like it very much. It was (from its inception) merely a tableau that I dashed off. But there you have that.\r\n
And as to the \"Roses\" bit, I though--when I first joined MNFF--that each story had to have a chapter title. Thus, I thought: \r\n
Hmm... This chapter refers to roses quite a bit. That will be my chapter title!\r\n
Silly, I know, but that was what I thought.\r\n
I\'m glad you liked the sentence structure, but I disagree with you about the superfluous information. If this was supposed to be a story full of action, plot, and deep characters, I would agree. However, as I said before, this is merely a picture, a kaleidoscope of colors and sounds designed to bring the reader into the chapel, into the wedding.\r\n
When I wrote this, I really didn\'t know my characters, so I wasn\'t writing so much for James and Lily as I was for the \"painting\"--that is, my word picture. That said, however, I\'m overjoyed at your positive reception of Sirius. I, too, am a fan of him. *grins* Both canon and fanon.\r\n
Thank you very much for the review. I truly appreciate your honest criticism as well as your compliments and apologize once again.\r\n
I've read this many times over now, just loving it and oogling at it. Because it's just so wonderful, and I'm going to be fangirlish.
Okay, I'll try to be somewhat coherent and whatnot.
So I would go out and pick my favorite line, but I just can't. Everything goes so well together; it just fits, like a story should, and like words should. The thing I love about your writing is how it flows, and I don't think that's easy to do, especially when you've got this penchant for long sentences. But you make it work (better than work, even), and you let the reader just move with the words. I think one of the things about your writing is that everything is there for a reason. The commas, the semicolons, the parentheses - it's almost like art; the whole thing reads like poetry, and the style matters, and you choose that word because and this word because and just guh. Love.
Sometimes I forget that we really don't know that much about Regulus. And it's because I've read so much of your interpretations of him that it seems like canon. You've got his character down to the very center. All his thoughts and feelings are real, and the way you write them all is simply amazing. The Blacks can be hard to pinpoint exactly, and I see a lot of almost-right and not-quite-there, but never with you. You're always right.
Another thing that I love about your Regulus pieces is that there is always some kind of reference to Sirius. Which I think is important, because I think their relationship is something that had a lot of influence on Regulus's life.
(and thatís the way Sirius is, all intelligence and explosive temper and quite possibly madness)
Exactly. Just love.
(he cannot stop himself from imagining a passage across the Styx, a coin over each eye insufficient price for a fragment of a soul)
Ladies and gents, the mythological reference of the fic. :D I love how you do this, bring in something else. And it's so hauntingly perfect, too. But you seem to almost tie in everything here. The whole Horcrux thing, with the soul fragment, and Regulus's thoughts about it. I think it's kind of the whole point of the fic, isn't it? Regulus is R.A.B., yeah? And at the end, how he's not Regulus Black anymore, and he's not even sure if it's worth it.
Which brings me to the end. Guh. The last line is so perfect. And that's all I can say really, I guess. It just ends the fic in the best way possible - perfect. (Dear Noldo, you are amazing, did you know that? Yup, it's true.)
My name is Leanne and I am a Noldo fangirl.
I may not know a whole lot about poetry (as in, I donít know anything), but I do know that this is wonderful, and that I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Regulus and Sirius are captured perfectly in this. Itís their voices in my head as I read, and their thoughts, and their ideas. Even if it hadnít said so in the summary, I would have known these voices were my Blacksí (lol, yes, my), because you wrote them so well. I can hear Sirius asking, pleading even, for Regulus to step through. It has that urgency and rapidity that Sirius seems to have Ė like you have to do this now, because you just do. Likewise, there seems to be that touch of sarcasm in Siriusís voice, in the beginning mostly. Itís not blindingly obvious, but itís still there, at least for me.
The form of this is, of course, creative and different. The thing I love about your writing (like Noldoís) is that you use punctuation and grammar and everything in all sorts of ways; you challenge and play with the rules. Itís almost like the italicized bits are their own poem. The indentations and commas help separate the thoughts of the poem. I like the structure of this because everything seems so deliberate; thereís nothing here that doesnít have a purpose. I do, though, have to say something about the last line. On the one hand, I love it, because it has that sound of finality, and it brings the sun metaphor to a complete end. On the other hand, I just really adore Then I have/lost you / we have lost each other as an ending to this. I think thatís my most favorite line of the poem, because it sums the entire thing up so perfectly.
While Iím touching on the sun metaphor, I should point out how great it is. You portray it as fleeting Ė itís not always there, and it wonít always will be, and you have to step through the passageway now. Itís a very Sirius sentiment, and the fact that Regulus says he cannotÖwell, itís heartwrenching but beautiful. The sun parallels the darkness that is Regulusís life wonderfully. Sirius is, in essence, asking Regulus to become better.
Naturally, I loved this. You have a real gift, James.
-jumps into bag of amazing reviews-
I just donít know where to start with this. Itís absolutely lovely and wonderful and just guh. I heart it like whoa. Now, as you know, I am quite fond of the Black family. But Iíve never really read a fic about Orion Black (or Walburga, for that matter), so this one wins.
To start off, the first two paragraphs begin the fic perfectly. You set the mood for the whole fic, and the descriptions are just lovely. As the reader, we have our own images of Grimmauld Place in our minds, because Jo has provided them for us. But here, you give us a different dimension of the house we already love (okayÖthat I love, because Iím weird like that), and weíre able to really be transported to the time period of your story.
I love Isabelle. I just do. I tend to be really skeptical when it comes to OCs, especially American ones. Itís like a reflex. But you rose above the clichť with Isabelle Ė you gave her a past and a real dynamic. One of my favorite parts is when she visits Anne, for a couple of reasons. First, itís really great to see Isabelle with someone whoís an old friend, someone she can open up to. Someone to point out that Orion Black is not so bad looking. -wink- Second, it adds another facet to the story. It brings in something other than Isabelle being at the Blacksí house, or being with Orion, or being with the boys Ė instead, we get to see another person influencing her decisions.
Another one of my favorite parts is the scene between Isabelle, Sirius, and Regulus during the French lesson. Itís one of the only parts we get to see Isabelle with the boys, and itís adorable. I love that already Sirius is remiss about his schoolwork, and Regulus is more responsible. Itís interesting to see the differences between the two of them before they even get to Hogwarts. I think maybe the only criticism I have for this fic is the fact that Sirius and Regulus donít show up that often. Even though the fic is really centered around the relationship between Orion and Isabelle, I think that because Isabelle is introduced to the Blacks as a governess, itís important to see her interact with Sirius and Regulus.
The ball! -dies- The ball is just amazing. I just love a good ball scene in a story, really. And the kiss! Her heart did something when her name rolled off his lips, but she didnít have time to figure out what it was because his lips quickly captured hers. That was the most perfect to write their kiss. Guh, just perfect. What a delectable kiss.
The ending is also just perfect. I think it almost works better to have them end up apart than to have them end up together. Itís a different dynamic, and itís a good one. The relationship between Isabelle and Orion could never be anything more than what it was, briefly, and even though it makes me sad, I think the ending is still right. The last line Ė I love. Itís the perfect end to the story, and I know I keep saying that, but itís true. I just heart this fic like whoa.
Iím warning you now Ė this review is probably going to be very long, because thereís a lot to address with this fic, and I donít want to miss anything. =) I have to admit I donít read a lot of Harry fics, and I tend to not even particularly like Final Battle sort of fics (I think this is because of the immense amount of time Iíve spent moderating the General category, in which every other fic is an interpretation of Book 7, and not all are good). As a character, Harry has never been a favorite of mine Ė a little ironic, considering the books are about him, but I think thatís why I enjoy fanfiction so much. I can read about pretty much whomever I want. But I digress. The point is, this fic isnít normally one Iíd click on, but for some reason, I clicked on it, and I have to say Iím so pleasantly surprised, because this is absolutely wonderful.
The first thing Iím going to say is probably going to seem very nit-picky, but I canít help it Ė Iím very picky when it comes to grammar and the like. And for the most part, there isnít a whole lot I can pick out of this and say, ďThatís incorrect,Ē because youíve done an excellent job. But thereís one thing Ė your use of dashes. The thing with dashes is that they are indistinguishable from hyphens if not punctuated correctly. I think the most commonly preferred way of punctuating dashes is to put a space on either side of them. Take this sentence, for example: Seeing Hermione unoccupiedĖworse, unoccupied and not trying to do anything about itĖwas a little weird. And compare it to this sentence: It had been everyone-fights-for-themselves, and hex-or-die. The dashes look the same as the hyphens. The first sentence should really look more like: Seeing Hermione unoccupied Ė worse, unoccupied and not trying to do anything about it Ė was a little weird.
And now onto the actual fic. The beginning is great Ė it really draws the reader in, because theyíre wondering what Harry doesnít feel guilty about. The Ďdiaryí sort of start to the rest of the fic is also great. Itís a bit humorous the way Harry does it, which is exactly how it should be. Harryís whole demeanor in this seems to be a little cynical; heís recounting what has happened, and itís with a bit of an attitude. I donít think is out of character. On the contrary, I find it to be very fitting. Heís been through quite a lot (in his life, and in this battle), and to be perfectlyÖnormal, as it were, would be off. Heís bound to be a little different, isnít he? I think so.
I think the idea of being born again is extremely well-done in this fic. Towards the beginning, you have this line: I feel like Iíve just been born again. Then, later, thereís Harry feeling like heís finally starting to live. The theme of redemption is a common one in all literature, and it obviously works very well for Harry. I think him feeling like defeating Voldemort is like starting a sort of new life is appropriate. Itís satisfying for the reader as well. If Harry had lived through destroying Voldemort and didnít feel any kind of redemptionÖwell, that would be just a tad unsettling.
I have a few other tiny things to point out. You continually use the title ĎMinister for Magicí to refer to Scrimgeour. The correct term, at least the term Iíve always seen, is ĎMinister of Magic.í Of course, thatís a very small nitpick. And youíve forgotten a word here: McGonagall and I had already talked about that, and we had come to the conclusion that we shouldnít let the Death Eaters corner us in a castle, no matter safe it seemed. I believe there should be a Ďhowí after Ďmatterí and before Ďsafe.í Also (yes, this is the part where I point out all the little things and be annoying): My duel with Voldemort is easily the most dangerous trial I ever went through. I think that would be better written as: My duel with Voldemort is easily the most dangerous trial I have ever gone through. I donít think the way you have it is technically incorrect, but I think using the past participle sounds a little better.
Another suggestion for rewording: From that moment, his moves became slower, and his spells on the other hand went more powerful still. Because youíre contrasting Voldemortís moves and his spells, I think Ďbutí would work better than Ďandí for a conjunction here. This sentence caught me eye as well (I promise, Iím almost done): I had been struggling for my own life for too long to suddenly long for the love of others. You use Ďlongí twice in one sentence. Perhaps Ďyearní or Ďwishí could replace the second Ďlong.í And one last thing: spell incantations are usually italicized, and Killing Curse should be capitalized.
Now that Iíve nitpicked everything and probably annoyed you to no end, Iíll discuss more of the fic (I did tell you this would be a long review). I liked the bit where people are trying to help Harry with strategies before the battle. Each strategy really seemed to fit the character; that was some nice indirect characterization, I thought. I also particularly enjoyed this line: I didnít want to have them waiting; I didnít want them to realise they were running to their deaths; I didnít want them to have the time to start panicking. It gives me chills. The whole time leading up to the actual duel is so great. Itís very suspenseful and well-written. Harry cleaning his glasses was a nice touch. It sort of juxtaposes him against Voldemort and makes him seem all the smaller.
I positively love the way youíve written the duel. I have seen many different interpretations of the final showdown between Harry and Voldemort, but this one didnít seem clichťd at all. Sure, Iíve seen Voldemort speaking in Parseltongue to Harry before, but itís like once you put everything together, it all ended up very original. Of course, the idea that Harry is Voldemortís equal is great, because thatís exactly what the prophecy says. Just lovely. I thought Harryís connecting the duel to Quidditch was an interesting touch. That was some more nice indirect characterization. Oh, and also. The seventh piece of Voldemortís soul being at Harryís mercyÖchilling in the best way. Great job. And my last comment on the duel goes with this line: Voldemortís last scream was coming from my lipsÖ That was justÖvery haunting. Perfect.
I of course have to talk about Scrimgeour. I adore the conversation Harry has with him Ė I think itís marvelously in character for both of them. Scrimgeour trying to turn it all around by suggesting Harry used Dark Magic is justÖitís definitely something he would do. And trying to blackmail Harry with the idea that heís got this duty for the rest of his life was also great. In the books, I think Jo works with the whole theme of an incompetent government and leader very well, and youíve taken that and used it wonderfully here. Basically Ė yay Minster bashing! :D And obviously I have to mention Scrimgeourís murder. Reading through the other reviews youíve gotten, thatís a bit of a controversial point in this fic. Well, Iím going to say that I rather liked it. I think itís an original and somewhat refreshing take on what could happen, but itís not out of character. Yes, itís a murder Ė itís a cold-blooded murder, but the circumstances in which it occurs and the reasons for Harryís doing it arenít totally implausible. I think you wrote it excellently, and itís great to see somebody try something new. I can say that Iíve never that before. ;-)
I have to say that Iím a Harry/Ginny shipper myself, but I wasnít bothered by Ginnyís role in this. In fact, I think it was well-done. Itís not so unbelievable that she would react that way to Harry killing Scrimgeour, and her talking about the future really gets to Harry. The scene where Harry is arrested is one of my favorites, I think. And then. The end! Wow, itís so original and creative. I love how you left it. It leaves the reader hanging, but not in an unsatisfying way. You ended how it needed to end. It was just great.
Okay. I think I will stop taking up this entire review page now. I realize I was very nit-picky and also veryÖer, talkative, but I hope youíll forgive me. This was a long fic, and I guess I just had a lot to say. I hope my nit-picks donít bother you. I honestly think this was an absolutely wonderful fic. Excellent job, really. =)
Whee, SPEW buddy! As I was scrolling through your authorís page, trying to pick which story to review, I just had to click on this one. Because. The Regulus love, obviously. But also, this fic has no reviews, which makes me sad. Also, it says in youíre A/N that thereís another part to this. Which I want. =) But anyway.
I love how you start this. Itís very chilling, which is perfect. He didnít know if the feeling that gripped his chest was fear. I love that. The whole idea that he doesnít feel anything anymore is great; I think it really matches with his character. And the bit with the mystery girl Ė heart. Iím glad you didnít tell us who it is. I like the mysteriousness of Regulusís relationship with her, but also that he feels like sheís his weakness. Itís sad, but in a I-love-this-story sort of way.
It was a snake, acid green and hissing. Ö It was a summons. For some reason, this line really stuck out at me as I was reading. Iím not sure why. I think itís great because itís simplistic, but itís not simple, if that makes sense. Itís haunting. And I love how the first thing Voldemort does is penetrate Regulusís mind. Thatís soÖwhat he would do. I also quite like that Voldemort asks about Sirius, but thatís probably just the fangirl in me bouncing aroundÖ :-)
He could easily find out the truth of any boastful claim I could make, and it seems quite certain that an unsatisfactory answer will result in a grievous punishment, so you must choose your answer carefully, Regulus. Something about this bit doesnít read right to me. In the first sentence, I would take out the second Ďcould.í It seems a tad superfluous. I think what bothers me is the shift to second person at the end. It might work better to end at Ďgrievous punishmentí and then have a separate sentence that says, ĎChoose your answer carefully, Regulus.í But Regulusís answer is perfect.
The characterization in this is something I must comment on. I was about to say that you had Regulusís character down wonderfully, but then I remembered. We donít really know what Regulus is like, do we? Sure, we know some things about him, but heís pretty nonexistent in the books so far. But of course, in my mind, Regulus is a strong character whom Iíve thought a lot about. And itís obvious that youíve thought him through as well. Everything he does and says in this is great. Heís confident but not overly arrogant, intelligent but not genius; heís human. Heís sort of like a kid who just took the wrong path.
I adore the descriptions in this, especially when Regulus gets the Dark Mark. Since we donít know exactly how that works, itís open to interpretation. I think some authors go a little overboard with it, and then others hardly bother describing it. I like it here. You took the time to explain well enough that we could imagine it, but you didnít dwell on it for paragraphs and paragraphs. I think itís interesting that he gets thrown into the room afterwards. Isolation. -shivers- I love the mini flashback. I feel like we needed that tiny taste of Regulus with mystery!girl. But itís also very sad. Itís like one of those situations where they didnít want to break up, but they justÖdid. And it really helps explain why Regulus joined the other side in the first place.
The end! Thatís why I want the second part. I have to know what the errand is, dur. I vote you update this, pronto. So yes, I loved this. -squishes-