Wow, you really captured are horrible, painful subject so well. I think telling it from three year old Remus perspective was a really great idea. It brought that childlike feel combined with the horror of what was happening really to front.
The gnome part crushed me, but even more was the whispering fights he heard from his parents. He had such a rough childhood, didn't he? So young and he's already afraid he's becoming a monster..
I just want to wrap this sweet little boy up. I think you did a great job with his father. At points he felt a bit detached, but considering it was told from Remus, I don't think it takes away from the story. I just think there may have been a bit more hesitance on his father's part.
When Remus and his father are talking about living longer.. blah. You're horrible. You're killing me - he finally gets all that. He finally gets love and a child and it's all taken away and it's just too horrible. Nothing about Remus's life was how it should have been. You're breaking my heart over here. Bad author, bad! (but only because this is really good)
Great start, I really hope I make it back soon to continue!!
Author's Response: Firstly, thanks for offering reviews as an incentive to review podcasts. It was a really great idea, fair play.
I am glad you thought I captured this subject well, it is a sensative issue, so I just want to do it justice and the only way I could properly capture the loss of innocence was if it was told in the voice of an innocent, if that makes any sense at all. I spent forever trying to get the voice and the tone right, so I am glad you think I captured the horror of it well.
I know what you mean about the gnome. As I wrote this I took a step back and just thought, no, wait, is this too horrible? Is it verging on disturbing even? I had thought about changing it to killing a snail or a ladybird or something, but that wouldn't have had the same effect. Death is cruel and it is horrible and it is terrifying and I wanted to chapter that right from the very beginning. This is a story about Remus's experiences with death, and I don't just want to tell the story of his life, I want to tell the story of his pain. Death has marked his life as much as it has marked Harry's and people tend to forget that sometimes, so I decided there would be no holding back here, so I went with the gnome, as awful as it is.
I know what you mean about his rough childhood (it actually gets worse in coming chapters), but I just felt that in order to show how much James, Sirius and Peter mean to Remus, I had to show how miserable Remus's childhood really was, in order to do that friendship justice. I kept thinking about what Lupin said in the Shrieking Shack in POA, about how for the first time in his life he had three great friends, when he was telling Harry about his years at school. That line just stuck with me, and that more I thought about it, the more I realised that it hints to a very lonely and sad childhood, which would make Lupin's fear of losing his friends if they found out what he was all the more telling. So I went down that vein in this story, but is does, of course, get much happier once he arrives at Hogwarts.
I also know what you mean about the dad seeming detached, but you have to remember that this is from the point of view of the three year old, he does not understand nor can he imagine what his dad is feeling, so he does seem detached in that way, because such a small boy does not understand what is going on and that comes across when he tells the story, and it makes his dad seem detached, or at least what was what I was trying to do anyway...
With regard to the hesitance issue, I sort of see what you're getting at, but the way I saw it was that this whole event caught his dad off guard, one minute he is happily playing with his son, the next minute the world explodes without warning. He panics, because he doesn't know what to do or how to explain what has happened nor is he ready to. He now just finds himself in an awful position where he knows he will have to explain to his 3 year old son what has happened and what he has done and he doesn't like that he has to do that, he's not ready to do it, and he doesn't even want to think about the reality of the situation himself. He doesn't know what he is doing and he is caught off guard, and if he had more time to think then I would have made him a little more hesitant with this issue, but I was just trying to capture the moment the world turned upsidedown and this is the best I could do...
Yeah sorry about the ending there, I know I was playing with emotions there but it had to be done - we all know what is in store for Remus, but his dad doesn't, and every parent wishes their kid to live a long and full life so I just had to include it, you know? As painful as it was.
Thanks so much for the review, and if you do indeed come back for more, I hope you enjoyed it! I will review one of your stories now too, probably later this evening though, hope that's alright.
Thanks again for the review and everything!