I've been meaning to review some of your stories for so long after you faithfully review mine, but there's always been some distraction or issue stopping me from doing so. Literally, I have a list of 'HPFF To Do' and at the top is your name (capitalised AND underlined) ;). So I'm very sorry its taking me so long, but here I am!
When I saw you'd written a story about Remus, I couldn't resist! He's one of favourites and I can say with 100% certainty - you've captured canon Remus. You actually have him within your story - his doubt, his self-loathing, his selflessness and his burning hatred, yet combined with compassionate and kind Remus we all know and love.
You've done a brilliant job showing Remus' feelings and thoughts change, reflecting the situation and atmosphere of the scene. At no point was there a moment of 'he was sad... now he is happy'. It was a gradual change which makes it much more realistic. In a weird way, it reminded me of that '5 stages of grief' - he seemed to go through different stages of acceptance and his arguments against each point were well-thought out and accurate.
One of my favourite parts about this one-shot was that it was always clear why Remus acted the way he did - there was no hiding his past out of shame or making himself look more positive whilst reasoning - it was blunt and to the point. Very Remus.
Your characterisation was perfect. Literally - perfect! I couldn't help but chuckle at Andromeda being the scary mother-in-law. There was echoes of Molly and Arthur within this couple - the scary dominating female, and the tame husband willing to appease his wife, yet as soon as someone they care for is threatened... then all hell breaks loose. :P For some reason it seemed perfect to Ted and Andromeda! I just loved their reaction to Remus - nothing seemed out of place or OOC. Their reactions were spot on. :)
Tonks was perfect as well - I like how you've explained her physical looks and how Remus reacts to seeing her - desperate to look but scared of what he'll see (kind of like a child wanting to look under their bed in the middle of the night ;) ). She was also perfectly in character and I like the growth of her emotions - uncertain, irritated, hurt, passionate and just plain angry. She was just how I imagine her.
Your last line; 'We'll get there if we should.' Shivers. Literally. It was so perfect to the scene, the moment, the entire relationship and just is perfect. I can't say how much I loved reading this - it really was brilliant! And I'm so sorry it's taken me so long to review.
I will read more soon - but I'm half way through the next chapter of 'Playing At War' and don't want to stop now! :P (It will be up soon!) Also, I feel bad referring to you as 'The Last Marauder' - do you mind telling me of another name I could use? :D
100/10 Keira :)
Author's Response: Hi there yourself. Don't worry, it's not a problem, if I'm honest with you I'd much rather you spend your time writing your awesome fics, instead of reviewing one of mine ;) You're grand, it's cool! But I'm very glad you dropped by the review tag and picked this story to review!
I'm glad you thought Remus was canon in this, he's my ABSOLUTE FAVOURITE character, so I want to get him just right. All my stories feature him in some shape or form and I just love writing him so much. I just feel like I can relate to him a hell of a lot more than any other character, and I just seem to understand where he is coming from and what mind-space he is in more than any other character too. I just find it so easy to get into his head and see things from his point of view, than say if I tried Sirius or James, or even Ron or Hermione.
I'm also glad you liked the flow of the story too, I didn't want the progression to be abrupt where he moves from one extreme feeling to the next, I wanted it to be gradual and subtle, because it just seemed more realistic that way, to me anyway.
I'm glad you liked Ted and Andromeda, they both caused me a lot of trouble characterisation-wise, but then I just laid out the facts: They one have one child, and they had to watch her be miserable for a year because Lupin refused to be with her, and that must have been the hardest thing in the world to do, watch their child be miserable and know they could do nothing. Then Lupin decides to let her in, they get married, she gets pregnant and he leaves, again having her in a depressed state, and as parents I just figured that they see Remus as causing her an inordinate amount of pain and their first reaction is to protect her from more, which means refusing to let him see her. Or at least that is how I see it...
I'm glad you liked Tonks too. I really wanted her to be a strong character in this, and even though she is hurt, I wanted her to be strong, because that's the way JKR wrote her. I found her very difficult to write and I really had to work hard at it, and I'm quite happy with the result, still don't think she's perfect, but she's the best Tonks I can do.
Glad you liked the last line, it's the last line of the song which was the inspiration for this fic and which gave this fic it's title: "Heroes or Ghosts" by the Dublin band the Coronas, really great song, though I prefer the version in Irish which is much more beautiful "Taibhsi no Laoch(ra)".
Don't feel bad at all about calling me by my pen-name, I love my pen-name a lot, because it allows me to just be me, I don't have to hide anything, or hold my love for HP back at all. I don't want to give my name out publically online (there's always a fear that someone I know will find this page and connect it to me and realise the true extent of my nerdiness and Harry Potter obsession.. fanfiction is not well thought of at all in my circle of friends - I study literature in college see...and when you study the likes of Joyce, Beckett, Yeats, Wilde, Friel and Heaney, HP fanfiction is considered the lowest of the low, second only to Twilight fanfiction), but I'll tell you what I will do, I'll PM it to you on the forums, how does that sound?
Can't wait for more "Playing At War" - you have me all excited now! :-) Keep up the great writing yourself, please say there's more "Mischief Managed" soon too? :)