HmmÖthis is an interesting fic. Your style is very poetic; reminds me a bit of my own, except you employ more direct poetry. Iím not sure Iím a huge fan of the poetry stuck in here, but thatís just a personal preference. Itís all placed well, I think.
The only thing about your style is that I found it difficult to follow at times (which is sort of lame coming from me, but there it is). I thought there were some run-ons that went beyond a stylistic disregard of the rules and ventured into confusion-land. Perhaps some more strategically placed commas would have helped. For example, this sentence: It is an act of pure selfishness, to see him pushing his long hair out of his eyes and inviting her in, when all she does is stand outside and watch how his mother pointedly ignores the both of them, how Regulus always seems to be lurking at the foot of the stairs looking at her and Sirius with what might well be hero-worship and how Sirius in his single act of defiance is turning his back to them all. ItísÖquite lengthy. But itís even the length that I mind so much; itís just that by the end I have trouble remembering what Iím reading about. Besides some more commas, I think maybe you should try experimenting with parentheses more often, especially since I think it could really add to your poetic style. That sentence in particular was one I thought could use some reconstructing.
Overall, I like the idea of this. The dying theme was nice. I particularly liked the line about Sirius getting his heroís death. I did, however, find this piece a little disjointed at points. Like it didnít all connect. You start off with the line about every hero dying a tragic death, but then you sort of start talking about Sirius and Andromeda, and then you go to Siriusís death, andÖI donít know. This probably isnít making sense. I just felt like this didnít come together as coherently as it could or should have.
So yes. I think I would have enjoyed this more if it had been clearer in some places. I felt like perhaps the style was inhibiting more than enhancing, but that with some fine-tuning you could have a really quality piece here.
Oh, snap. I love this. Everything about it, siriusly. -wink-
I positively adore the way youíve set this up, separating each day left of Regulusís life. I love the idea of him finding a bible and reading about the story of the creation of the world. I love the quote at the very beginning, because itís so appropriate, especially if you consider Horcruxes and fragments of souls, etc., etc.
Like waking from the nightmare only to find the murderer leering over you, he realizes on the second day that being dead will not save him. -shivers- Thatís such a great image. And to think that being dead still will not save him is so wonderfully sad. I feel so incredibly terrible for Regulus, because this fic really takes his life and shows us how awful it is. The fact that on the second day, Regulus criesÖoh man, I just want to run up and hug the poor guy. (Unfortunately, that would throw off the haunting-ness of this fic, now, wouldnít it? -shifty eyes-)
You paint a brief picture of the relationship between Sirius and Regulus in this that I absolutely love. Itís obvious that Regulus wished he were more like Sirius, especially because he pretends to be him. How amazing is that idea? So amazing. He pretends to be his brother, to be strong, proud, clever Sirius Black who can control himself (only he can't, but to admit this would be to shatter his illusion, and he prefers the sharp lies to the cutting truth). Itís very interesting to think that Regulus has a skewed view of Sirius, even if he knows itís skewed. But he still wants to pretend that heís his brother, I love it.
He begins throwing punches at imaginary foes, violent anger surging through every pore, being released with every breath, until he lands on the ground at the doorstep at dawn, a crying, sweating, lifeless shell of who he once was. This is another sentence that I love. Your writing is really lovely, especially in how much emotion it evokes. One thing about this sentence, though, bothers me a tad. ĎÖground at the doorstep at dawnÖĒ with the two Ďatsí throws me off a bit while reading.
By the fifth day, he is ready to die. They do not come for him on the fifth day. Oh, Regulus. Poor Regulus! Of course, the day he is ready to die, they donít come for him. Okay, so I was about to quote the entire section about the stages of death, but then I figured Iíd save the space and just talk about it. I think that part is one of my favorites in the whole fic, because itís so perfect. Itís so wonderfully perfect. And finally, the eighth day. I myself have written Bellatrix being the one to kill Regulus, so naturally I like that idea (heh). And God said let there be light. Guh, what a great end to the fic. I mean, it sort of has more than one meaning, doesnít it? Thereís the literal idea of there being the light of the AK curse, but then thereís the suggestion that Regulus is going to a better place, where thereís Ďlight.í Lovely.
Iím sitting here trying to think of some constructive criticism to give, but I honestly canít think of anything substantial. Itís a well-put-together, quality piece, for sure. I will definitely read more of your stuff in the future.
For the record, if anybody is allowed to not capitalize their titles, itís you.
Summer is unusually cold and filled with regrets that Remus ignores, and the streets are drab, grey, piled with dust which the street-sweepers will never be able to completely remove even though they are at it all day ó swish-swish, empty sounds. Guh, love the beginning. The whole idea of irremovable dust is so appropriate for Remus, and I love it. The entire first paragraph is so beautiful Ė your descriptions are made of awesome. Plus, the fact that Remus thinks of Sirius just makes me squee internally. And then the letter. Itís like you just completely characterized Sirius is that description. Him saying sorry over and overÖheartwrenching and so sad, but lovely.
"Are you going to let me in?" he asks. "Or am I going to stand here for ever and drip all over your unfortunate doormat?" Itís exactly what Sirius would say. I donít think Iíve seen much of your dialogue before, if anyÖhmm. Well, itís wonderful all the same. Is there anything you canít do? Possibly not.
It seems very Remus to make tea, even if it is just to steady his nerves. I can picture everything in this scene perfectly Ė Remus making the tea, Sirius studying his cup, then laughing. I love it. Öpart scientific examination and part idling concentration like an old oriental painting -- almost-careless brushstrokes more than just lines, the whole thing a careful depiction of absorption in the completely trivial. Hi, lovely much? Again, your descriptions are just amazing. I love the comparison here; itís wonderfully fitting for Remus and Sirius. And Sirius laughing is just the greatest end to that little section. Like I said before, I can see him standing there at the window, just laughing. A nice throwback to him laughing when he was being dragged off to Azkaban.
After that they were all ghosts and memories: two gravestones and a sunken-eyed photograph and a finger in a box, and the image of a glass slammed down hard enough for the wine to spill over the sides and stain the tablecloth a morbid sort of crimson and someone saying see, thatís the trouble with battles. They all tell the same story. Yes, I just quoted an entire paragraph (even though it is only one sentence, so ha). But I love it, obviously. Your ability to state so much in so few words is something I envy terribly, but love that much more.
I think maybe the last section is my favorite. Having Sirius reading the paper again is a nice bookend to the fic. And, once more, the descriptions! Basically, you win at life. And nothingís perfect, not really, because theyíre lacking a thousand things (idealism, Remus thinks; idealism and social utopia and a cause to fall in love with and James and Lily and -- ), but it might just be enough for a while, enough to tide them over through this intermission of sorts (although it isnít entirely clear what it exists to divide: eras, friendships, lifetimes). No, I canít help but quote it all. I donít know what else to say except this is amazing, and so are you. And of course, the evening stretching around them, warm, like a benediction is lovely. Beautiful.
Have I mentioned Iím a Noldo fangirl?
She was only shaken once.Not by Jamesís romance, nor by Voldemortís evil antics, but by that little joyous miracle called Ďmotherhoodí. And in her case, it had nothing to do with erratic hormones and mood swings.
LucillaJoanna of Hufflepuff tells in this story how the mother of a destined hero feels, her perplexity of whether To Laugh or Cry.
-waves to Joanna- Hello, dear, and Iím so sorry Iím late with this buddy review. I hope you can find it in your lovely heart to forgive me?
Anyway. I quite enjoyed this piece! James/Lily has always been a favorite pairing of mine, but oftentimes I have trouble finding a good James/Lily fic. How glad I am that I found one on your authorís page. I think you understand James and Lily quite well; nothing felt too forced Ė it was all nicely put together and justÖfelt right, I suppose. If that makes sense.
Normally Iím not a fan of the first person for fics (donít know why, itís just one of those things with me), but I actually thought it was a nice touch here. I donít know that you could have conveyed the same emotions and carried out the fic as effectively if you hadnít used first person, especially from Lilyís point of view. I was able to connect with Lily and you really let us get inside her head.
Which brings me to characterization. I liked the characterization of Lily very much. I thought you did a good job with a character we donít know a whole lot about and donít get to see too often in canon. I think it can be difficult to write Lily, especially because of the amount of fics with her, but you were able really characterize well. James was also great, I thought. He and Lily really felt like a couple who were in love; sometimes I feel that James/Lily fics donít convey their relationship realistically or well enough. Youíve shown that even though they had their fair share of stress (what with Voldemort wanting their kid and all), they were still in love and all that happy stuff. Great job there.
When I first read this, I wasnít sure how I felt about the dialogue. You donít have a lot of attribution going on, butÖI actually like it. It isnít really confusing because you donít really have a lot of people talking at once, and it allows for things to flow a bit more smoothly. Your style is unique without being confusing, I think, and I like that.
So overall, lovely job with this! Iím always very happy when I find a good James/Lily fic, and Iím always especially happy when itís from a SPEWer. -wink-
Hmph, Lucius had to be a jerk, didnít he? I suppose so.
What a terrible way for Hermione to find out about Narcissa. But it served to shatter her illusion about Lucius. Itís like sheís in this lovely little world where Lucius is so fabulous and all she wants is to be with him, and then bam. The universe is all, ďJust kidding, his wifeís alive and he is, after all, lame.Ē And I donít even like Lucius that much, but I was so in that world with Hermione. They made for a delicious pairing, you know.
Iím glad Hermione is so ďIíll show him.Ē Sheís strong, and thatís why I like her. Sheís not just going to sit back and let it go and satisfy him. You characterize Hermione very well, I think. He didnít deserve either of them at all. Ö He had found another woman.
Snap. Itís so strange to think of Hermione as the Ďother woman.í ButÖitís true, here. Not that she knew it. But still.
Gah, I hate how Lucius is just likeÖhe doesnít really care about Hermione. It was all just physical. That what he says, anyway. But it sort of makes me wonder if heís just saying that, if he really does care about Hermione. Hermione never did take her eyes off him, and he never looked back. Itís things like this that I love about your characterization. Lucius wouldnít look back, and that says a lot about his character. And go Hermione for kicking him out. She rocks. -wink-
Bah, I wish there were more of this, because the relationship you created between Hermione and Lucius, though brief, was delectable to read. I love your writing loads, dear. Lovely, lovely fic.
-grin- This is awesome, obviously. I have to admit Iíve never been overly fond of Hermione like so many people are, just like Iíve never had any special liking for the Malfoys. But, what an interesting pairing this is, and of course I knew that since you had written it, it must be lovely. And it is.
I love that you gave Hermione the profession of bookshop owner, and that Lucius looks down on that. Itís so perfect. I thought you kept the two of them wonderfully in character. Hermione was the grown-up version of herself, with a humble job and a love for books, and Lucius was troubled and proud and a Malfoy, basically. I love how he practically accuses her of not possibly making enough money with her job. I can actually sense a tension between them, and not just one of Ďwe should be/are enemies.í You know what I mean. -wink-
Iím glad you didnít have Lucius immediately open up and start gushing about his feelings Ė that would have been painful to read. A lot of authors probably would have rushed into that. But, you kept him in character while still allowing something to pass between him and Hermione. I love it. For me, the ending of this chapter is almostÖMr. Darcy-like, and Mr. Darcy is definitely not a character I compare to often. But the way Lucius states that the storm is finished and just leavesÖI dunno, it felt a bit like Darcy to me, which is naturally lovely.
I thought it was a tad clichť of Hermione to say that life is about learning to dance in the rain. That didnít seem like something she would say, and perhaps especially not to Lucius. But I love how he calls her by her first name when he leaves.
Okay, off to read the next chapter!
Guh! What an amazing chapter. I am really starting to like this Hermione/Lucius pairingÖ
First off, how cute that Lucius lures Hermione to his house with books. -giggles- Itís totally perfect, and so is her dislike of his treatment of the house elves. And I love how he sort of teases her, you know? Itís so Hermione to be a bit flustered about that, but then you also have her as a very confident person, and I love it because youíve just characterized her so well.
Ahhh! I wasnít actually expecting Lucius to be quite so forward. -cough- But it was awesome all the same. Hermione could feel her body quivering with a forbidden excitement, but finally her reason overcame her desire and she pulled her neck away from him. Of course Hermione keeps her cool. I love that she has to fight desire with reason, itís exactly what she would feel she has to do Ė sheís trying to prove to herself that logic trumps passion. Nice try, Hermione, but noÖ
Lol about trying to get out of the house without dropping the books. I feel like thatís something any girl would do, you know? Try to maintain composure when the guy is watching. And oh man, with Luciusís eye on me, I dunno if I could manage as well Hermione does. I like that he doesnít re-enter the house, just stays out in the garden. That just seems very Lucius to me, simply watching her retreat. Oh, and I liked the brief mention of Narcissa; that added a great element of uncomfortable-ness, no? It helps emphasize how very different Hermione and Lucius really are, how theyíre at completely different points in their lives. I love it.
Suddenly his lips were crashing down on hers as she backed into the door, closing it with a tiny click. Squee! Guh, I love this scene. Itís so perfect. And thereís something rather awesome about them being in a bookshop. Dunno why, there just is. Her mind racing, desire coursing through her veins, she stopped thinking. She stopped trying to understand. She simply felt. Yay, go Hermione! Iím enjoying this fic quite a lot, I must say. Your writing is, as I keep saying, lovely. I love this little fic. -squish-
Squee, Sirius/Lily! I’ve come to really adore this pairing, and I’m glad you’ve written such a fabulous fic about them. You rock.
I like how you’ve written Lily, for the most part. There are some aspects of her character that I wouldn’t have written there, but that’s fine. Obviously you’re not going to write the same Lily as me. It’s interesting that you made her a writer; I don’t know if I really think she would have been, but it works well to explain how she feels, etc. There was one small thing that struck me as maybe out-of-character, but I don’t know if that’s just me. I wouldn’t think she would speak to Sirius first, and I don’t think Sirius would have just not noticed her in the room. I picture Sirius speaking to her first, but maybe that’s just me. I just feel like Sirius would be forward in that situation, which is also sort of evident when he initiates the kiss (although Lily kisses him back, really…hm).
Anyway. I think I liked your Sirius more than your Lily. Him, I had no qualms with. And I’m very picky when it comes to Sirius’s characterization. When he said he didn’t see any reason for why Lily shouldn’t be happy – that was great. Very Sirius in my mind. It’s clear that he just cares about her, which is sort of how I see the Sirius/Lily relationship. There’s some connection there, even if in canon it was never a romantic one. I think that’s why some people (like you -wink-) can write a romantic Sirius/Lily relationship and make it believable.
This may seem like a really strange thing to comment on, but I have to mention it. Normally I’m really not a fan of internal dialogue, just because it usually feels awkward. Most writers have too much of it, to the point where you have to wonder how sane the character is. -shifty eyes- But you used it well here, in the beginning. I liked the reflections about Lily’s character as well. The stubbornness, which is so evident from canon. And I liked that she felt insecure and stressed, because that’s realistic. I think a lot of people try and write Lily off as a mixture of Hermione and some superwoman, which isn’t realistic or nice to read. Your Lily was easy to identify with.
Finally, the ending. The kiss! But you’re lame for ending it like that. But the kiss was so fabulous that I suppose I can forgive you. I mean, it’s believable that Sirius would just leave after they kissed, just sort of leave her wondering. It’s Sirius. And it’s great that it inspired Lily to write, of course. But I have to wish there were more of this, because I’d love to see what you could do with Sirius/Lily. So overall, great job, and keep it up!
Author's Response: Guh, Leanne! You officially rock more than me for writing this fabulous review. You know... I really wasn\'t thinking very much when I wrote this story. >.> I mean, what you were saying about Lily\'s character, and the way she approached Sirius, I totally understand where you\'re coming from. I think I was focusing more on the scenerio to get the characters together than the actual characterizations, you know? I think that if I were to rewrite this, I\'d definitely change certain things about Lily. And, yes, I guess decisive endings aren\'t exactly a strong point of mine. >.> Hee, I\'m glad you liked the kiss though, and Sirius. Coming from you, that\'s quite the compliment. ;) And thank you again, for the most wonderful review! *squishes*
I donít think so.She would be a Slytherin Princess, still as golden, only more cunning and less conventional.
In this story, let her teach you in gaining influence over the very people who crave it.LucillaJoanna of Hufflepuff is here playing Lachesis for the May One-Shot Challenge...
...And won Second Place!(Rating only for mild language)
After reading Sweet Sorrow, I decided to check out some more of your fics. This one immediately caught my attention, and Iím very glad I clicked on it.
Firstly, I think itís interesting you chose to sort Hermione into Slytherin. It seems like most people would probably re-sort her into Ravenclaw, because of her intelligence and whatnot, but Slytherin is definitely a good choice for her as well. And you did a great job of showing how Hermione could fit in Slytherin. She wasnít necessarily out-of-character; she was Hermione, but in Slytherin.
I mightíve liked to see a tad more of the Sorting (that is, more of the Sorting Hatís thoughts), but itís not really necessary. I like that the Slytherins werenít accepting of Hermione at first, that she had to sort of earn her place there. Also, I liked that Hermione was still friends with Harry and Ron. It could have been easy to just stick her in Slytherin and eliminate her ties with the other houses, but you really thought about this. Thatís what so great about this fic; itís clear that you gave a lot of thought as to how to make Hermione a believable Slytherin. (And, it was a nice little touch when Hermione mentioned Pansyís Ravenclaw crushes. -wink-)
The organization of this was good as well. Separating it into the seven Hogwarts years was effective without being choppy. The Ďtipsí to begin each section were good ways to differentiate without just saying ĎYear One, Year Two, etc.,í but I have to admit I wasnít a fan of the italicized, underlined, and adorned text. It isnít bad, but for me, things like that always detract from a ficís professional look and cleanliness. I think it would have worked just as well to simply italicize the tips, or perhaps put them in parentheses, or something. Itís possible to be creative without being overly so, in my opinion. Even though something like that may seem smallÖwell, itís the little things, right?
For the most part, the grammar in this was well done, but there were some parts in which I noticed a misplaced or missing comma. Perhaps a quick read-over from a beta would have been beneficial, just to polish everything a bit more.
Overall, though, this was a great insight into Hermioneís character and a very interesting fic. Great job!
This was a great fic, I must say. I really enjoyed it.
Can people really be referred to as past objects? … How long ago is used to be? That’s a perfect way to start this fic. Immediately we’re thinking about that ‘past tense,’ so we’re thinking about death and memories and what-used-to-be. The mood, then, is set perfectly. But it’s also just a really poignant sentiment – it’s something to think about, not just while reading this fic, but always.
The boys he knew had more life in them than they knew what to do with. The boys he knew surpassed him in height and beauty. Yet, for all their liveliness, the one thing that they really had failed to surpass him on was life itself. Those are just such a sad lines, but they’re perfect for what you’re writing and trying to convey (at least what I, as the reader, think you’re trying to portray). It’s sad anyway to think about people like the Marauders dying so young, but to think that they ‘had failed to surpass him on…life itself’? You’re breaking my heart. In the best way, of course, because this fic is wonderfully written.
In general, I’m really not a huge Snape fan. I’ve never even attempted writing him because I know I’d be rubbish, and I don’t read very many fics about him. But, this fic offers a completely different spin on things. It’s a unique look at Snape, and I’m really glad you wrote it.
And then there’s the song. Oh, The Beatles! I’ve always sort of associated The Beatles with the Marauders, just because. It’s terrible to think that he’ll hum ‘Here Comes the Sun,’ such a happy and hopeful song, until…well, forever. But it’s also, writing-wise, rather genius and poetic and made of awesome. You did a fantastic job with this piece, and I’m so happy I clicked on it. I will definitely have to read more of your work in the future.
Oh, that was so sweet! What a great fic, especially for Father’s Day, but for any day, really. It leaves me all warm and fuzzy inside.
I love that you start it out with some lame receptionist and James just completely in a rush. He’s so adorable, and stupid elevator for being full, and go James for not stopping to be reprimanded by a lame old nurse. And I love that he runs into Sirius, mostly because I love whenever Sirius appears, but also because the fact that Sirius is outside the room is in-character for him. He would be waiting for James.
I was sort of sad that we missed the actual birth, though, just like James is sad. It would have been a nice thing to see, but I guess it also probably would have been a slightly weird scene to write. Not that you couldn’t have done it, but…yeah. -shrug- But, there’s a hint of how the war is affecting everyone’s lives. I mean, James almost starts to explain about Moody something or other, and it just barely brings in the war. It’s enough to remind us, though, so that was a nice addition.
I really loved Sirius’s character in this. I thought you did a great job with him, and his little pep talk was so sweet and heartfelt and exactly like what Sirius would say to James. Plus, yay for godfather moment. -wink- This made me laugh: “How long have you been out here canoodling with Sirius and not with your own wife?” I heart the Marauders indeed.
The ending is great, even if it is a little sad because we know what eventually happens to the Potters. Again, there’s just that small reminder of the war and all the terrible things that it brings. But, this fic is so lovely. I read so much angsty stuff that it’s nice to read something warm for once. Great job!
For your first try writing Regulus as a main character, this is very wonderful. I’m usually rather skeptical of Regulus from authors with whom I’m not very familiar, mostly because he’s such a complete character in my mind that I’m afraid someone else’s Regulus will be too different. -blush- (I know, that’s silly of me.) But, you did a great job with Regulus here.
I like the way you carried the idea of being like his brother throughout the story. It really served as a motivating factor for Regulus. It shows that maybe Regulus didn’t take the Horcrux simply because he thought it was the right thing to do, maybe he wasn’t just being noble; maybe some part of him really wanted to prove himself to a brother who never viewed him as worthy. It adds depth to Regulus, a significant flaw that I think is entirely realistic. That said, you mentioned that Regulus hadn’t had a plan when he stole the locket, that he had just done it because he had to. This is possible, I suppose, but to me it always seemed like he took the locket very deliberately, that he had thought about it a lot. To me, it seems like him not really knowing at first why he had done it sort of downplays the importance of the action. I don’t know, maybe that’s what you were going for, to show that flaw in his character.
One thing that didn’t fit for me was the memories of Regulus and Sirius playing with Bellatrix, Narcissa, and Andromeda. I can see Regulus and Sirius playing together when they were younger, and I can see them playing with Andromeda, but I have a difficult time picturing Sirius playing with Bellatrix and Narcissa. Even if they had just been kids, I don’t think Sirius would have liked Bella and Cissy; I don’t think he would have associated with them by choice like that. Regulus may have, but Sirius…I don’t know, I can’t see it.
I love Regulus’s thoughts about dying, about being remembered for something, etc. They’re so real, and they’re probably along the lines of what Regulus would have been thinking. Because Sirius proved such a disappointment to his parents and the Black family, Regulus had huge shoes to fill, and he probably struggled with being good enough for his entire, if short, life. His stealing of the Horcrux was his one, last, final act in his life.
I want to mention your writing in general for a bit here. It’s very refreshing, almost, because it’s so clear. Nothing feels overwritten, but nothing feels too simple, either. It flows very nicely, and you’ve got a great handle on grammar and all the technical aspects. That’s just always fabulous to see, because well-crafted writing and a good story combine to make a really great fic. There’s one line in particular that I loved in this: By choosing to take the locket, he knew he would die physically, but if he did change, if, like the rain, his soul had a cleansing, then a part of him would still live; he wouldn’t completely die. It’s sort of like a throwback to the Horcrux idea, because the locket does actually contain a portion of Voldemort’s soul. It’s almost like saying that a literal part of Regulus will survive, that somehow he’s creating his own ‘Horcrux’ by destroying Voldemort’s. I may reading something into this that you’d not intended, but that just struck me as quite poignant.
So overall, I really enjoyed this and thought you wrote Regulus very well. I may have to check out more of your writing in the future!
Abi! -squishes- I do believe this is the first fic Iíve read by you, and Iím so glad I did. It was lovely. Clearly, Emmeline Vance/Regulus Black should be written more often. -wink-
You did such a great job with writing Emmeline. She became a real person, somebody I could relate to. Itís the little things, like copying down potion instructions before starting, that make her three-dimensional and wonderful. And you even hint to some bravery in her? It would take much more than a pair of dark, unblinking eyes to unsettle her. Her stronger side comes out when she confronts Regulus, which, by the way, was a great part. Itís definitely something somebody Regulus would be interested in would do.
I really liked the description of Regulus, even if in my head he just has black hair and not really dark brown hair. But still. His face was serious, almost too serious, as though he were dwelling on some unpleasant memory. Oh man. For me, the idea of him dwelling on some unpleasant memory pretty much sums up his entire life Ė how heís always having to be reminded that his family has issues and everything. Nice. And later, even, with: Emmeline thought that was odd, considering he had been sleeping at home for days. Itís because being at home isnít relaxing! Guh. The implications of that line are many. In my head, at least. And in Potions, how heís so courteous. Dude, I love it. Itís perfect. And yet, heís still this sort of mystery guy. I like that Emmeline doesnít know much about him, that he notices her first. You just did an awesome job in characterizing Regulus.
The conversations between Emmeline and Regulus are really well-done. I definitely see some traces of Sirius in Regulus, the way he banters and everything. Must be a super-cool Black brother thing. Somehow, Regulus always had the upper hand whenever they talkedÖ This line made me think that Regulus was probably a really good Death Eater. Being able to control the situation and everything. It makes it even more adorable later, at the lake, when heís all confused. And Regulusís eyes! For me, Regulus is a character with a whole lot of depth, and his eyes would definitely convey that. So, yes. Amazing.
The bit with Sirius and Regulus was great, but I think Iíd have liked to see a little more of their interaction. It couldíve been neat to see how Emmeline views the Black brothers and their relationship. One thing: would Emmeline really not recognize Sirius? I feel like she would know who he is, just because it seems like the Marauders were probably pretty well-known and everything. But I suppose itís possible they werenít that well-known. Wishful thinking on my part. -shifty eyes- The Arcturus touch is lovely as well (although I guess I have to give credit to Mar for that one, but still).
Overall, I loved this. I wish there were more to it! I want to read more of this relationship. I mightíve liked to see Regulus kiss Emmeline at the end, but really, Regulus moves slower than that, so it worked to have him just ask her out. Keep up the awesome work, dear.
Well, here I am, properly reviewing this lovely piece of work. I did say I would, and for once I havenít entirely procrastinated. The first thing I have to mention is the title. Being somewhat of a Panic! fan myself, I was intrigued by the title, especially since it is such a perfect one for this fic.
As somebody else already pointed out, this fic does seem to be staring down a rather large plothole, but you know what? It doesnít matter. Even though Sirius inherited a large sum of money from his uncle, and itís likely he never did much of anything, itís still interesting to consider what he would have done for a living. And as it turns out, he still isnít doing much of anything. But I do love the idea of Sirius working in a bookshop, even if it means a waste of his brilliant and expansive talent. But Iím getting ahead of myself.
Itís obvious that you have an understanding of our beloved Marauders from the way youíve written this. Everybody is so wonderfully in-character. Itís a welcome break from the many not-quite-in-character Marauders Iíve seen forÖforever. The conversation between Remus and Sirius in the beginning is lovely, a great beginning to the whole fic. I particularly like the image of Sirius eating breakfast without a shirt on (what? -shifty eyes-). Sirius not wanting a job reminds me a lot of myself, coincidentally. But itís such a tribute to his character that he gets one anyway, since Remus canít. It makes me feel for Remus, really. Oh, and I adored Tomís line, about not paying what Sirius is used to living on. Ha.
The scene with all four Marauders plus Lily is also great. It pulls at my heartstrings, obviously, especially seeing Peter acting soÖso much like a friend. Theyíre joking and everything, and thinking that soon, James and Lily will be dead, Sirius will be in Azkaban, and Peter will be in hidingÖwell, it makes me want to throw a lot than a roll at Peter. I particularly liked Lily in this. She just seems like one of the Marauders, and I love that. I also canít help but sense some Sirius/Lily action going on, but thatís really just wishful thinking on my part. But really, itís adorable to see her teasing him. You can take my place when I get carted off to Azkaban for going mad in a frenzy of boredom and becoming a raving mass murderer. Oh man. Why do you do this to me? Itís a terribly wonderful touch, it is, but youíre killing me here.
At eight o'clock. What an obscene time to have to go places. A-freaking-greed. And naturally, I adore the conversation between Remus and Sirius that follows. Again, your characterization is spot-on. Itís all very awkward in a friendly sort of way, what with Remus thanking Sirius and all. But then Sirius goes and breaks the tension: I am so sick of eating things that come out of a cow. LOL. I totally wasnít expecting that, and apparently Remus wasnít, either. The bit about Remus laughing in a way Sirius only gets when he catches him by surprise Ė awesome. Itís perfect. Everythingís perfect.
Okay, I think I should end this review before I continue to ramble on. But this fic is lovely, as is your writing. I must demand you write more Marauders, or really just more HP fic in general. Because you pwn. End of story.
Guh! Sarah, this is awesome. I love it. I was totally not expecting the James/Narcissa pairing, and I really quite like it. I actually donít think Iíve read any fic with this pairing, which only made reading this one all the more lovely.
You always blow me away with your writing. The beginning of this is perfect Ė it sets up everything so well and the imagery is beautiful. I wasnít even thinking about whom Narcissa was waiting for, just the feeling of love that you created. This sentence was priceless: A small breeze rippled her dress as it passed, and she held it down firmly, knowing that later on it would be lifted once more, but with increased purpose. And then, how she giggles childishly Ė itís great.
When you mention that the guy is five years her junior, I immediately (and perhaps naturally) thought Severus, and then the Ďstriking physiqueí sort of threw me off. So I was eagerly waiting to find out who had captured Narcissa like this. His first line has a rather mysterious, yet playful, quality to it; itís all very lovely. And then she says his name and I was like o.0. I like how Narcissa really seems to be in control of everything here; after all, James is her junior. Itís a side of her character that I think gets overlooked in the books, and to see it here is wonderful.
But of course, she couldnít evade capture for long. Aw. Youíve portrayed these two in a way that I wouldnít have imagined, and I love it. Theyíre really in love, and even though I love James/Lily, Iím finding myself cheering for James/Narcissa while reading this. I love when James tells Narcissa that he loves her, but I have to admit I didnít so much love the ĎI thinkí in Narcissaís answer. To me, it seems like she would have been firmer in her response, but perhaps you were going for a more vulnerable side of her? And, I suppose that leads nicely into her lack of control later.
The juxtaposition of the two sceneries for the two main parts of this fic is great. First we have the sunny and calm summer day, then we have the dark and still summer dusk/night. Iím not sure how I feel about the mention of Lily. To me, it seemed like James, then, was only with Narcissa as a way to qualify himself, a sort of ĎSee, somebody does want meí deal, when before I just felt that they were truly in love. But, I think the news that Narcissa is engaged comes at the perfect time. I can totally see her parents hurrying to find her a suitable husband because they saw her behavior change (even if they didnít know because of whom it had changed).
Jamesís goodbye is so sad. It really pulls at my heartstrings, but of course itís what must happen. -sigh- Overall, I thought this was wonderfully written, as always, and you did an excellent job with a very rare pairing indeed. Oh, and the title is golden. -squishes-
Author's Response: Whee! I love seeing your reviews, my dear! And I am particularly glad you chose this fic - I am really fond of it, to be honest. :D The beginning was a bit of a challenge when I was writing it - it started off as a more spring-ish scene, but developed eventually into what you see. So it\'s great that you like it! When I first saw the pairing I was a little thrown off balance too, but something about it has this rather special quality. I\'d like to think having an older woman controlling him would be a bit of a change for James! The thing with their love is, and I guess this wasn\'t portrayed as much as I\'d hoped, it\'s very simple and almost child-like: they trust and love being around each other, but it\'s not the I-want-to-be-with-you-forever love. By James\' bold proclamation of it, I wanted to show his slight naivety compared to Narcissa\'s more cautious \"I think...\", hilighting her slight maturity and the difference in their characters. Yes, the whole Lily situation...well, the way I thought whilst writing it was that James was infatuated with Lily when he met Narcissa, and all that happened with her took him completely by surprise. He loves Narcissa in that simplistic way now, and knowing that, he can hold his head up high when he returns to Hogwarts and he won\'t have to grovel to Lily anymore, because he\'s found someone else. Looking back, I do think that the concept of that wasn\'t really expressed very well, so I may have to do a bit of editing! You\'re spot on with Narcissa\'s parents - they\'ve noticed a change, and she\'s getting on a bit now, so they deal with it quickly. [Evil people!] I did love writing James\' feelings right at the end, because they were so powerful and he would clearly be devastated to have it end so suddenly. Thank you ever so much for your lovely review! I do love new inputs on my more secretive stories. And I rather like the title myself. Hee! *loves upon and squishes*
Oooh, I rather like this! Iíve not read many fics centered around any one of the Trelawneys, mostly because Sybil has never been a favorite of mine. But, Iím glad I clicked on this, because it was wonderful.
I love the description of the eyes. Itís so reminiscent of poetry, which is perfect because you write lovely, lovely poetry. The childís pupils were dark; the irises, a softer grey on the outside, faded in gradually like fog on a mist-drenched moor. Oh, snap. Gives me a slight shiver, you know? Itís perfect for a Seer as well Ė to me, their personalities would be foggy and mysterious like that.
The baby had no cried no whimpered though a storm raged in its eyes. Iím thinking that should be Ďnot cried nor whimpered.í Itís a bit confusing to read two noís like that so close together, but I did get the point. And of course, the juxtaposition of the silence and the storm is great. I love that itís the grandmother to call the babyís eyes Ďstorm-eyes,í but I was a bit thrown off when she then says Ďstormy eyes,í which is the title of the fic. It sort of made me go, ďWhich is it?Ē I personally like Ďstorm-eyesí better, just because Ďstormyí almost seems clichť. But I felt like it should either be Ďstormí or Ďstormyí and not both.
Ah! She cries when the grandmother calls her a Seer. Could that be any better? I donít think so. In my head, I have this sort of movie scene in my head, the kind where the lightning strikes right then and the music gets all loud and creepy. A Ďdun dun dun!í moment, if you will. But when I read it again, I get a very different feeling, one thatís calmer, quieter. Itís just a break in the silence, which I think is even creepier than a huge moment. Itís really great.
I enjoyed the background on the Trelawney family; I hadnít really considered before that Seers were not necessarily well-liked (Sybil excluded since she did appear to be a fraud most of the time). But, I guess the uneasiness surrounding Seers is to be expected, really. Anybody who goes around predicting the future would attract some uneasiness. While the child was young, while it could not speak, they would perhaps, be safe for a short while. Iím not sure I like the comma after perhaps; it interrupt the sentence for me. But I love the sentence. The idea that the family could be Ďsafe,í that having a Seer was unsafe Ė itís great. Itís rather chilling, actually.
Its large grey eyes opened revealing a world of their own where erupted a raging quiet, a reflection perhaps of days past and days-future, of wars that roared dormant and alive in distant years, along the jagged edge of time where the storm crept ahead to rest at its epicentre. I love, love, love that. Your writing is beautiful, and this fic is wonderful.
Oh, Sirius and Lily! I adore these two characters together in fics, and I was glad to see them as the focus of this piece.
This fic starts out really well, I think. The way you set things up, describe the setting, introduce Sirius – it’s just well-written. I had a bit of fun at first trying to figure who the character was (initially I thought perhaps Remus…at least I was in the right era!), and I was pleasantly surprised to see it was Sirius. I thought Sirius was wonderfully in character, which is something hard to come by if you ask me. I loved his…lack of motivation to change people’s perceptions about him, his desire for simplicity. It just seemed very Sirius to me, so excellent job. Pretending and hiding made things a great deal easier, for the most part. Nice line, that.
I wasn’t as impressed with the characterization of Lily, unfortunately. However, that’s not to say I was unimpressed (I was just really pleased with Sirius). You succeeded in not making Lily suspiciously similar to Hermione and/or Ginny, which is refreshing.
After Sirius and Lily initially recognize each other, Sirius calls Lily ‘Evans.’ But then, Lily calls Sirius by his first name. It’s little things like this that say a lot about characterization, to me. I think Lily still would have called Sirius ‘Black’ at that point. It isn’t a huge thing, but for me Lily accepted Sirius as Sirius too soon. I think they both would have been more closed for a while before accepting each other as someone other than a sort of enemy. That said, I do think you wrote Lily very well as her own character, so kudos and thank you for that.
The whole box idea was neat and well-incorporated, I thought. I particularly liked Sirius’s comparisons of Lily’s box to his aunt’s. That was a great way to give a look at Sirius’s thoughts about his family and to emphasize the differences between Lily and the Blacks. I also liked the questions Sirius had in his mind for Lily. He desperately wants to know about her, and it’s just a very lovely part of his character.
“You have secrets, Sirius,” she whispered… Oh, what a great line! That was fabulous. Much love for that line.
I just have one last comment. I’m wondering about the setting of this; well, really only the time. I’m not sure they’re the right ages here, at fifteen, for this moment between them. On the one hand, I like that it’s right before Sirius leaves his parents’ house, but I just feel like fifteen is wrong. Quite possibly that makes zero sense, but I guess I just might’ve liked to see this moment set in their sixth year, when they’re just a bit older. I would say seventh, but we know James starts dating Lily by then, and I can’t see Sirius kissing Lily if James were dating her.
This was a really lovely little piece, though. I quite enjoyed it, great work!
SPEW buddy! -squishes- Sorry Iím doing this so late. -hides-
This was so interesting! Almost like a missing moment sort of deal. I really liked how you started it out; it contained an element of mystery to it that I found intriguing. The word choice is wonderful Ė Ďrushing silence,í Ďvoid of noise,í Ďgasps for breath.í Very strong, very lovely. I thought the first sentence got a little heavy at the end, a tad difficult to read, but the idea was great.
I have to admit I didnít at first think Regulus was the one questioning Borgin. Or maybe itís more accurate for me to say that I wouldnít have thought it was Regulus if I hadnít known this was for Marie. -shifty eyes- I canít decide if this is a good or a bad thing. I think my problem is that I have Regulus characterized very specifically in my head, and the Regulus youíve written here is slightly different from mine. But that doesnít make it bad, just different. So now Iím just rambling. I think you wrote Regulus effectively. I can feel his tension, and the importance of what heís asking about.
I would have liked to see more description towards the beginning, with the initial dialogue. It seems like the end is much more fleshed out than the beginning. Additionally, I thought the dialogue was a bit confusing in parts. For example, when Borgin is explaining to Regulus about where the locket is, I found the entire exchange hard to follow. I had to read it a few times to fully grasp what exactly had happened, and why it was important.
I think the ending line is my favorite. Not even He himself realises the true value of his object. Oh snap. Thatís awesome, a very powerful way to end the chapter. And yet, it still leaves us with a sense of mystery. Lovely job, my dear. Iím eager to read more of this.
Author's Response: I tend to get a little heavy when I\';m trying to create a feeling, but it ends up like... a sack on anvils, I think. And they\'re not ACME ones, either ;).
Agreeance on the characterisation. I haven\'t got hiom figured out so much in my head, either, so that\'ll be a learning experience. Thanks for the feedback, hun!
I love when you write rare pairs. Theyíre always such wonderful fics! I dunno if this is really considered James/Petunia, but you know what I mean.
I really like your characterization of James. For me heís a difficult guy to write, for whatever reason, but you did a great job. Heís young, which is something I think authors sometimes forget, and heís in love, even though heís away from Lily at the moment. And you capture all of this very nicely. Hell, you even capture drunk James rather nicely, which is to say I could still see the James we know even when heís drunk, instead of just a random drunk person.
Itís lovely little twist to have him meet Petunia at a pub; she isnít exactly someone Iíd picture frequenting a pub. But the whole night is like that, isnít it? A couple of coincidences and odd decisions. Because thatís the only way James and Petunia would ever really meet up. You could have written this pairing in a huge, over-dramatic way, but you didnít. You kept it simple, and I think thatís partly what makes it so great.
I actually found myself feeling bad for Petunia, something I didnít think was entirely possible. But the emptiness you portray her as having, the longing for a magical relationship like her sister has Ė it tugs at my heartstrings. I want Vernon to turn into this prince for her. I donít know if Iíd go so far as to say I want James to kiss her, but you know. Heís drunk. /consoling self
The kiss at the end is so bittersweet. I donít want James to do anything like that and be an idiot, but I donít want Petunia to be so empty. And she would have to turn away as if nothing had happened, letting the secret escape her lips in a sigh which would be lost in the wind. How do you do that? Sarah, youíre such a wonderful writer. I love this line, and most of the lines, really. I rather enjoyed this fic, with its drunken rare-paired-ness. -wink-
Dearest Sarah, you never fail to impress me with your fics. I donít read very much Ron/Hermione, even though I love the pairing, because usually Iíve a hard time finding one worth reading. But of course yours was fabulous.
I love the simplicity of this fic. Itís just so wonderful, and I donít even know why. I guess itís because you didnít overload this with details and background and lots of unnecessary things Ė you gave a brief snapshot into a relationship, and it was perfect. You only included the one flashback, but that was all you needed, really. And it was so adorable. So Ron and Hermione; it could totally have happened.
The addition of the man on the train was cute. A great little touch, just to have Ron verbalize to somebody how he feels about Hermione. Itís so adorable! Thatís what Ron and Hermione are Ė adorable. I loved this line: He watched the cities flash past him, catching the eye of the old man every so often and sharing a look which every time whispered their two stories; similar yet different.
And again, itís so cute when Hermione sees Ron and they embrace and kiss and guh. So cute. :) Itís interesting that you donít really explain where they are (I mean, yeah, you mention Ipswich and whatnot, but you know), because it just lets us focus on the couple themselves. The center of the fic is their love, not their story so much. Does that make sense? Well, I donít know, but there you go.
And finally, the reference to ĎHey There, Delilahí is nice. I think itís a good song for Ron and Hermione, actually. And it does sort of sound like something Ron would say, doesnít it? Yes. Excellent work, my dear. Thank you for such a lovely read. -squishes-