|Review:||Violet Gryfindor says:|
This is the most beautifully written, but insanely problematic story that I've read outside of the strange Victorian novels I bury myself in, so this review will be on the incoherent side. I like this story for what it does, showing the "real" - the gritty, the dark, the disturbing - side of Remus. This is the story running in the background of HBP and DH, but especially DH, where Remus's erratic behaviour throughout was worrisome because JKR never provided any reason for it. Remus and Tonks have to be the strangest relationship of the entire series (even Tonks/Moody makes more sense), and you show just how completely dysfunctional it is, not to mention how cruel and damaged Remus is by the end of the series. Sirius's death was, to a large extent, also Remus's - the books get so distracted by Harry's grief that Remus is overlooked. Who knows how he spent those first maddening days and nights alone?
What this story does for me, though, is make me ask why the hell did Tonks fall for Remus? He's tragic, but there's a limit to the amount of emotional baggage any person can take on in a relationship. It came out of nowhere in the books, and your story brings me back to questioning where it came from - I just can't wrap my head around her side of the story, especially with this one-shot because I can't see what she gets out of the relationship. There are hints of her feeling vindictive against Sirius, and I feel as though I'm missing so much of these characters' lives. You give them an added depth not found within the books, though it's of a darkly psychological intensity that is disturbing in its realism.
If anything, it shows how irrational love/lust can be - your use of stream-of-consciousness for both characters demonstrates this very well. The haunting addiction that Tonks has to his name is the perfect replacement for the typical maudlin line about thinking of one's love every moment of the day. You show it as a more obsessive thing, and that more accurately captures that feeling. Many would say that Remus comes off the worst in this story, but I think that it's Sirius who does. It is Sirius's words that run through Remus's mind, not his own. Remus is a mere shadow of Sirius's darkness, and even his memories are not his own - they are all full of Sirius. His obsession mirrors that of Tonks, and I suppose that is what links them in the end - she is another shadow of Sirius by way of blood, and she is willing to offer him what he wants, even at the sacrifice of her own identity.
Damn, this story is deep. It is messed up, but people are messed up, so if you write about people as they are, you get a messed up story. :P I definitely admire your writing skills, and I spent just as much time after reading this being in awe of your writing as I did feeling disturbed over that last paragraph. There aren't many who can make stream-of-consciousness work this effectively, and even fewer who can make readers want to hate (or at least feel strongly against) a generally well-loved character. Please write more! HPFF needs more quality writers. :)
Author's Response: I've spent the last couple of hours trying to figure out how to respond to the two wonderful reviews you've given me. You flatter me far too much. In reality, this one didn't have quite as much thought put into it as Carelessness did. :P
I think Regulus and Remus both suit their home environments well; Regulus' sense of propriety and suppression of deep emotions - he must have been terrified when he was writing the second one - go well with the silence and dark luxury of the Blacks, while Remus' quiet romanticism goes with his poverty. If that makes any sense at all. I was worried that the description might've got a little bit flowery (actually, I think it did) so it makes me happy that you liked it anyway.
I think a lot of people on HPFF would agree that Remus' story was the most tragic. I don't know. Maybe if I'd shown it to people who were not writers, they'd disagree - after all, Regulus never manages to fulfil the task he sets for himself in the Horcrux note. He dies a failure, to some extent.
Remus is the kind of person to remain silent about things. I don't think he's ever sat down and actually honestly talked to someone in his life. Maybe the contempt Sirius feels towards Regulus in OotP might have been lessened (he just makes a comment about Regulus getting cold feet and himself killed, really, which is so understated once we know the truth that it'd be completely OOC if Sirius knew what Regulus had actually done).
Regulus is an absence rather than a presence in canon. I wanted to somehow make him real without compromising that, because that idea is interesting, hence his silence and the relatively muted emotion of his part. Well, I tried, anyway.
I'm glad you liked this one - it's my least favourite of the two I've posted on here, actually, but there is a huge amount of room for interpretation, which can only be good. You've made my day, and it's only a quarter to twelve, so thank you for this review. :)