Oh WTM. This was just beautiful. Stunning, really. From top to bottom, I was completely and entirely captivated, just swept away by the power of this story.
Fury and Humiliation - I couldn't think of two more perfect words to describe this first moment with. I think everyone has been in a position where they've allowed anger to get the better of them and they lash out and say things they don't mean and it's that burning, passionate anger - that desire to just let that rage control you because deep down, even though you know you're wrong, you'd rather rage than admit it - at least for a few moments. And then that humiliation of having completely overreacted, of having let bitterness and stress and absolute fury control your rational mind, and you're embarrassed because you acted so stupidly. I think everyone can relate to Remus' emotions in this moment, and even more so because you described it so clearly, with the perfect words to sum up exactly what it's like to feel that way. It's being trapped in by yourself. And having such a relatable opening - it just sucked me in and held me throughout the story.
This line: "Harry knows quite as much about heartache as you do. Quite as much as your son will know, because his father abandoned him. At least James did not go willingly from his son." - Ah! This is my favorite kind of line; the kind that just punches you right in the gut! And an author who knows how to write those... Talent, my friend. TALENT!
I couldn't be any more in love with that moment when Tonks opens the door to Remus, with that faith still alive having known that he would return. It's such an overwhelmingly touching moment. And his realization of her unwavering faith in him was just brilliant, gorgeous. There's nothing in the world like having a person know you better than you know yourself, having someone who holds on to your faith for you when you've given it up. I may have grabbed a tissue in this moment... my memory is foggy. *cough*
That ending: "...he stroked her belly and sent up a silent prayer that their child would be like his mother, would have all of her and none of him..." - ah, my heart! My heart breaks for Remus all of the time. And that final sentence is so perfectly him, which is exactly WHY my heart breaks for him. He will never see himself as worthy or good enough, and right up to the end he keeps that mentality that he has close to nothing to offer and that the only reason Tonks loves him is because he was hit with some stroke of brilliant luck. I just want to shake him here! Tell him that his child would be lucky to take after his father! And you've made me feel really passionate about this yelling and shaking thing because you write him with such ease, with such clarity. The greatest kind of author is the kind that can make their readers really, truly Feel for a character, and the fact that I sat here wanting to slap some sense into one of yours, well, I couldn't give you much higher of a compliment from me than to say that you make me feel.
Remus has always been one of my absolute favorite characters and so I'm very picky with him and with how he is portrayed in fanfiction. I have to give you just my absolute highest praises because you definitely hit the nail on the head. You captured his constant and consistent internal battle of human versus wolf, of man versus monster. It was the perfect showcase of just how furious our usually gentle Remus can become, but how he also understands the importance of allowing that voice of reason to bring him back to reality and to convince him that it's time to get over himself and own up to his mistakes. And I really love how you also portrayed his internal struggle so that we both know where exactly he is coming from with his decision to leave and then again where his voice of reason is coming from. It's the perfect showing of how Remus is fighting what he thinks is right with... well, what he also thinks is right!
I have to say, because I've read a few of your stories before, back before I ever reviewed anyone, and I just have to tell you that with any and every canon character you write, you never fail to amaze me with your ability to truly understand exactly who that character is. I would trust you with any canon character and know without a doubt that you could write them as if they were yours all along. I'm both jealous and in awe of your talents. It's quite unfair. ^.^
So I don't know why I've never been much into song fics, but they never really did much for me. You now, until now. The song choice... I mean, it was just perfection. I just feel like with a lot of song fics, people choose the wrong song - the lyrics work against them, taking away from the story rather than adding to it, but this is the perfect example of how to make a song fic shine. It might also help that I adore Missy Higgins, but yeah... I would pay for a little 'Where I Stood' song fic from you, I think... yeah... *pulls out wallet temptingly*
I believe my point here is that you are a brilliantly talented writer and this is a brilliantly written story and that I'm beyond thrilled to have stumbled upon it.
Author's Response: This is such an incredibly lovely review, I feel totally speechless! I'm trying to think of a response that will do this review justice.
Thank you so much, and I'm so happy that you liked the story. I feel like, from your comments, you really understood what I was intending with this story, and I really love that. :) I'm glad you liked my portrayal of Remus as well - I'm pretty sure this is the only time I've ever written him. He's a sad man in a lot of ways, and far too hard on himself. I think he's a better man than he believes he is, you know? He needed a kick in the behind for leaving Tonks while she was pregnant, and I think his run-in with Harry at Grimmauld Place would have given it to him. I haven't seen a lot of Remus stories that I really thought got him. Although really, most Remus stories seem to take place during his teenage years, rather than as an adult. Ah Marauders. But, since he's one of your favorite characters, I'm very pleased that you feel I wrote him well.
I've actually thought of writing to that song, now that you mention it. It's one of my favorites of hers. Great for belting out in the car! I might do that one day. I'm not a huge fan of songfics, to be honest, despite winning a Dobby for this one. Obviously I was very pleased and proud to win it, of course, I just prefer a regular old story, if that makes sense.
Thank you again, so very much. This review really made my week. :) *hugs*