|Review:||Violet Gryfindor says:|
There are really no words to properly describe this story - it is beautiful and moving, but those words aren't strong enough. They don't quite grasp the extent of the story's power. Once again, you've captured the relationship between Remus and Sirius in an extraordinary way - they are "meant to be" in that strange, ideal way, but they're also fated to tragedy and suffering. I see that more in this story than in others of yours, for some reason - you show the end, the beginning, and what came in between, offering a wider vision of the complicated history they shared, all in just less than 2000 words. That length is amazing because this story feels so full - everything is there, and you make every word count.
It's difficult to say which scene was my favourite - that first one, where we just know that Sirius distrusts Remus and believes him to be a traitor, or the second-to-last when Sirius dissociates from his own reflection, unable to reconcile the mark of Azkaban on his face. In each, you created a powerful scene that's very domestic and real, yet charged with intense emotions and tension that refuse to resolve themselves. Sirius breaks the tension with passion, but that's not a resolution - I think you've done this in other stories, too - revealing his penchant for evasion, a streak of immaturity that he never overcomes.
For a story seemingly focused on Remus, it's very much about Sirius. Your version of Remus in this story is highly observant, as a good cartographer should be. He sees the tiniest details, and from that, you produce a vivid image of Sirius. I can see his face, his tattoos, and other physical details, but as Remus does, we can't see any further than that - we can only guess at what Sirius is feeling. Sirius can easily read Remus, but can Remus read Sirius with as much success? Maybe it's the fact that he can't "read" Sirius like he can a map which fuels his love - there is always more left for him to discover.
The style of this turned out very well, though that's not a surprise. I wouldn't have guessed that you wrote this yesterday - it's polished and assured from start to finish. I thought that the out-of-order scenes would confuse me, but it wasn't at all difficult to follow. In fact, it made perfect sense the way that you organized the scenes, rather than placing them in chronological order. That first scene has a lot of impact - it sucks the reader in and makes one emotionally invested in the characters and their relationship in a way that the lighter, "first kiss" scene couldn't. And the "present day" inclusions between each scene tied the whole story together in a neat package primed for that conclusion. How do you do it? How can you write something so amazingly perfect? It's not fair, and I don't know how I can make a banner for this story that can represent all of the things you've managed to include. But it'll be an honour to decorate such a high quality piece of writing. ^_^
Author's Response: Susan, I just want to keep rereading your review. Each review you leave me is just so special and you always have so many nice things to say to me. You're an author I admire so much (and have for a very long time) and your compliments just blow my mind! You are way too kind.
I'm definitely playing around with writing shorter fics (I will attempt the Every Word Counts challenge at some point) and I was actually really concerned about the story feeling incomplete, so your comments about that made me feel better about the story as a whole.
I think you've definitely nailed my vision of Sirius as someone who still is a bit immature despite his age and evasion is a tactic he employs a lot when he's forced to face things he's not comfortable with. The story is about Remus, but you are right in that it's just as much (or even more) about Sirius. It's about their relationship and we get to sort of chart the way that it evolves as we flip between past and present. Sirius is still a mystery to Remus and I think that helps him deal with his grief, knowing that there are still things for him to discover, to keep him holding on.
Ah, I can't believe how fast I wrote this and I'm glad that it seems so polished. I was a bit worried about how it would all turn out but so far, things seem to be good. I'm also really pleased that the scenes worked for you and you weren't confused by the order of the scenes (that's a concern of mine and I need to work on clarifying a few scenes, I think). I actually wrote the scenes a little differently to begin with (and not in order either), but I'm happy with the way everything is set up now.
Gah, you're making me blush. It is not perfect. I still can't get over your gushing since you're pretty much one of the most famous authors on this site!
You will make the most beautiful banner for this fic, I have faith in you (and you never fail me). I'm glad you got the chance to r&r this and hopefully it helps you formulate an idea of how you want to design the banner. I can't wait to see what you come up with.
Thank you so, so much for this review. I want to hug it and keep it with me forever. Thank you!