Hi, it's Molly from the forums, here with your requested review.
I spent a good five minutes after finishing this wiping my eyes and trying not to get too much snot all over the place because, ugh, this just pulled at so many of my heartstrings it felt like my heart was being ripped out, only to be thrown on the ground and viciously stomped upon. Basically, this hurt, a lot, but in such a good way.
I've always really loved your characterizations of Remus and Sirius, and it's no different in this fic. If anything, I fell even deeper in love with them, particularly Remus, who is so delightful in his ups and downright heart wrenching in his lows, all of which are very believable and, in my humble opinion, as close to canon as an author can get. His grief is so heavy and overwhelming that it sits upon the soul and strikes deep. It's haunting and tragic, and I want to wrap him up in my arms and tell him everything will be okay, that he'll see Sirius soon and they can be together.
I loved the way you used cartography as a theme throughout the fic. It was beautifully done, subtle without being easily overlooked, with just the right amount of impact. I thought all of the metaphors were a very nice touch indeed.
As far as your concerns go, I had no problems distinguishing between the past and the present. The distinctions were clear, the transitions were beautiful, and it was very well put together. There was no confusion or anything of the sort.
Quite frankly, this is one of the best Sirius/Remus one-shots I've read in a long time and clearly, I need to read more of yours, especially if they're anything like this, which something tells me that they are.
I'm always blown away by how gorgeous your writing is and I can't say that that's changed. If anything, I'm even more jealous than I was the last time I read and reviewed your work.
Excellently done, masterfully crafted. Just breathtaking.
Author's Response: MOLLY. You are like the sweetest person ever. Seriously. You have NO idea how happy this review has made me. I'd give you lots of hearts but my computer doesn't like the coding for it.
I kind of giggled about your snot comment. Aiedail was kind of weepy about the chapter too so...I'm sorry I'm not sorry, but angst is sort of the whole point of the fic, so if I can make you cry...that's great!
Remus and Sirius are definitely characters I feel comfortable writing and it kind of limits me, I guess, in terms of what I feel confident in writing. But /this/ is definitely something that I love to write. Angst + Remus/Sirius = a recipe for something fantastic.
Remus is one of the best characters for writing angst fics and he's just so endearing. You really just want to give him a lot of hugs. He's gone through a lot in his life that isn't fair and he's still pulled through it.
Ah, this whole fic was really written about the idea of Remus being a mapmaker. I really love the idea of maps and the relationships that are involved with them. You can't have a map with a single road, you know? There are other roads, mountains, rivers, etc. that are all related (directionally) to that one road and so this fic was all about mapping out Remus and Sirius's relationship and watching Remus sort of following his own path through life.
I'm really glad the transitions worked well for you. Things were sort of haphazardly put together since this was written so quickly so I want to make sure that there isn't a ton of confusion. I'm really happy with how it turned out, but of course since I wrote it, I know when each section took place.
Aw, thank you so much. I'm definitely no professional writer and sometimes stories take a lot of effort to write (I'm always jealous of people whose stories are written so effortlessly) so I'm always blown away by people's compliments about my writing.
Thank you so, so much. This was such an awesome review to wake up to. :)