Hey caoty! Here's your review:
Well, this one certainly left me speechless…both in good ways, and sort of confused ways.
Initially, I was doing fine until the end where the speech shifted dramatically, and then I had no idea what was happening. But the first time I read it I had just got done with a few hours of chemistry for a final I had done this week, so I wasn’t prepared for how deep this piece was, so I read it a few days later and obtained better sight and am more properly able to review this.
I love your writing style. You have a poetry about your descriptions, which is rare to find. I loved the cleverness of putting in Little Red Riding Hood and tying it into a Harry Potter related story. I would’ve never put the two together, but you made it work when using it as a parallel to describe how Regulus is feeling : pack-less, out of place, alone, because the task he has ahead of him prevents him from confiding or relating to anyone. A really unique way to bring a childhood story in such a dark setting.
“Picture the scene: dark, dark like the magic that brings you here and lets you in, dark like the magic you will not be able to fight.” I really like this description as it is a new way to describe an utterly dark place to be in life when we are sad, scared or depressed, like “black abyss” or the “black night” of something. To write something so terrible as this as “black as magic” is quite refreshing to foreshadow a situation that only has a dark and desolate outcome.
This story makes me squirm because it puts me in Rugulus’ shoes. I can’t imagine knowing that I was going to die and being able to look over at what I would become would make me feel everything else but heroic. For how could a hero die and become something so…dead, for lack of a better word. It saddens me to read it, because there’s always such a dark, sad admiration for people that know what’s about to happen, no matter how dark the outcome, and push forward anyways.
I think if you had described the effects of the Drink of Despair, you would’ve taken away from the story, it would’ve been too much. Your description of his boat ride over was perfect, because if it stirred such dark thoughts in the reader about how utterly terrifying and depressing the scene around it was, it leaves a lot left to the imagination about what other horrors could await the drinker.
It also stirs a lot of pity because we know how terrible the drink was when we saw the effects on Dumbledore. So, when Regulus looks at Kreacher and thinks, “I’ll never end up like him”, we shake our heads and think, “Well, maybe not, but the next few minutes are going to be the worst of your life, and then you’ll start to think you’ll be lucky if you can get out like Kreacher.” It’s a Catch-22, one of which only we know and Regulus doesn’t, which makes the story even that more depressing.
A very dark and twisted take on a scene we’ve only ever really been able to imagine ourselves. Your perspective puts on a much darker twist than I think any one of us could have created in our own minds, and really brings to light that sometimes there is no silver lining in the cloud of any situation, and that maybe, there is no possibility that anything good that can come out of “entering the mouth of death”.
Author's Response: Hello!
Yeah, that whole stream-of-consciousness thing doesn't work for everyone. Especially after Chemistry revision. (Good luck with your results, by the way.)
I love Little Red Riding Hood - any and every version I can get my hands on - and, weirdly enough, I've always found it a perfect fit for Harry Potter. You've got werewolves, forests, manipulation, all that kind of stuff, which pops up in HP too; especially if you re-imagine the wolf as a tragic figure.
Anyway. Fairy tale geekery aside. I'm not the biggest fan of V myself, but I'm glad that sentence caught you. Regulus' surroundings seem to reflect him: the increasingly empty home, the dark zombie-filled cave. I kind of wanted to hint at that a little bit.
I'll have to agree with you about self-sacrifice. It's difficult to feel heroic when you're committing indirect suicide, especially in the way that Regulus does.
To be honest, I can probably do better than the current description of the boat ride and I'm thinking of rewriting, but I'm glad you like it.
This story is pretty pessimistic, isn't it? It kind of makes me want to write a nice happy AU where Regulus takes the Horcrux to the Order and is mercilessly manipulated by Dumbledore into being a spy while his relationship with Sirius is in a mess... but at least he gets to survive?
Anyway. Thank you so much for your wonderful review! It's been a pleasure to read. :)