Hi! I'm here with your requested review! Side note - I'm also working on a story where Regulus and Lily have a connection, so I was interested to see yours!
This really blew me away. I love your intricate web of metaphors and watching them intermingle with one another. At times it felt a tad heavy-handed, like you were forcing some of that repetition, but for the most part, it was nice to see you make continual references to the stars, the flower, the serpent, the light and dark, and everything else. It seems like you took small interactions between living humans and transformed them into their higher cosmic meanings, their overall themes. To me, that's what a one-shot is for, and I think you executed it very well here.
I liked the halting style of the piece, too. For me, it seemed to reduce the effect of the length, because it kept the flow going. I liked getting the little observations about the House Points and watching each vignette crash into the next. I, like Regulus was asked to put together the puzzle, and like Regulus, I don't feel like I ever really made sense of it all. To me, that's exactly how I should feel.
As for Regulus himself, I think you did him well. I have a tendency to make him a bit too kind, I think, to balance out Sirius's bitterness, but I like the little battle of the wills I see between them here. I like how he has trouble sorting out his feelings for Lily, and how he compares himself to Snape and torments her with those thoughts. He's dark, and yet innocent at the same time, and I can clearly see the contrasts he drew between himself and the other characters, especially the other boys who were vying for her affection and his own family members (particularly his view of Bellatrix).
Your other characters were very good as well - like I said, I like Sirius, and I think you did a good job exposing Snape's weaknesses under his veneer, simultaneously pulling out a few of Regulus's, too. I like that it isn't James leading his interactions with Lily, but that we can see her impurities there.
Your imagery was gorgeous, especially the description of the cosmos at the beginning. I love one-shots chock full of metaphor and imagery! Overall, I think you should be proud of this one.
Nice job! I hope this review is helpful :)
Author's Response: Hi Amanda! SO SORRY for the late response (lots of things coalescing, didn't have much time for online stuffs, blown away by awesome review, etc), but I'm here now so ahem: I have seen your Regulus-Lily story around, but I didn't want to read it for fear that your Regulus would influence mine. So that's why I requested from you (and of course because you are famous for being awesome).
And aaah! I'm so glad you liked it, although I agree it was probably heavy-handed in parts, which I did want to avoid. I found once I tried to make the repetition of the images work, they just kept coming back, and the lines at the ends of each sections had to all sort of be these end-all-be-all type lines, because that was the style I was going for. I did struggle to do that and to keep the callbacks going, so thank you for the comment. Again, I'm so glad you liked it overall! Perhaps it's just my own particularity, but whenever I see names with special meanings, such as those of the Black family, I can't help but think of them in terms of what they were named for, and the juxtaposition of what they turn out to be versus what fate or destiny or serendipity would have them be. Some fall nicely into this pattern, like canon Lily, and some don't precisely, like Sirius and Regulus.
I'm glad the fic didn't feel too long, either, as that is inevitably a fear I have when I do monster one-shots. The halting style of the piece and the short sections are intertwined to me, as I was going for that livejournal-style story, but also, I think anything more flowing and 'complex' would be too much considering the subject matter is already heightened and a little ridiculous (I say with affection).
Heh, I think I always have a tendency to make Sirius very bitter and still very connected to his family, as much as he repudiates the connection, to Regulus especially. And I give Regulus a lot of credit, too, for sorting out his emotions and his connections to people, too; I might not be very kind to him, but I think he's kind too (though I think it's buried in there and it's something he hesitates/is not encouraged to let out). So -- yes! The dark and innocence at the same time, the very self-aware perception of where he and everyone else fits into what he thinks is The Grand Scheme of Things.
I'm glad you liked the others too, as well, especially as we didn't see much of them. Especially Snape, who I belatedly realize I should have included more, at least given an actual appearance. I think Regulus' ruminations on Snape and his relationship with Lily could have used some... conflict? I guess? But yes, his reflections on Snape certainly pull out Regulus' weaknesses too. And I do hate perfect pure Lily, so I thought that moment with James would be nice for the reader and for Regulus to see.
Basically: AHH thank you so much for such a wonderful review! Certainly it's very helpful/confirmed what I feared, so thank you! (Sorry again that my response is so very late).