|Review:||800 words of heaven says:|
Heya! Finally writing that requested review!
Am I up to chapter four already? I am so proud of myself! Looking forward to some Regulus/Lily interaction!
I'm not sure if I've mentioned this before, but I love that little homage you (or Celestina's parents) have paid to the singer! I like to believe that she's like Norah Jones. It makes for an interesting mental image!
It breaks my heart to see the two sisters so. Sirius and Lily are similar in so many ways, I think, and I do believe that this might contribute somewhat to their deep friendship later on in the series. I hope you play with those similarities a little bit! Or perhaps you'll play with them a little differently, through Regulus?
I like the way you've portrayed McGonagall here. She seems a lot younger and a touch softer than what we, as students alongside Harry, know her as, and I'm enjoying reading a different side of her. She's still in her capacity as a teacher, but it's nice the way that you've shown her the way she might have been twenty years ago, before two wars ravaged her community.
Oh, my goodness! The drama! I should feel a bit worse than I do about the death of a young innocent person, but as far as plot devices go, I am so excited! My mind boggles at the moral ramifications and intense character exploration this could open up for Regulus!
Was that little exchange between Sirius and Lily the fragile beginnings of a beautiful friendship, or just Sirius' irrational and erratic behaviour? I really hope it was the former!
I think one of your points in the areas of concern was whether Lily and Regulus were in character whilst interacting with each other? On first impressions alone, I think they are. Regulus is as formal as ever and Lily is polite, which seems to be the modus operandi for the two of them! I'm not sure if this is just your take on Lily, or perhaps a bit OOC, but she seemed to notice pretty quick that Regulus' mother is quite pushy and he does a lot of things because of her (something he shares in common with his brother!). I just don't know Lily well enough to know if this is normal or not. Perhaps I missed something, or this is the first introduction of this particular character trait of Lily's?
What I did find a little out of character for Lily was her preoccupation with her food. It seemed a little weird to me that she wasn't trying to converse with the other people on her table, just out of sheer politeness. So far, my impressions of her are that she is quite polite, and it felt a little off. However, I was pleased to read that Lily also seemed to agree on this slight lapse in manners!
And Regulus eating the tart was funny, but also seemed a little out of character. I don't know why it should feel off, though. Regulus is a teenage boy who probably likes to eat, and I know I thought that the fallen custard tart felt like a waste. This little thing, or Lily's "rudeness", shouldn't really be an issue though, because I think it proves that I just don't know the characters well enough yet. They both have little quirks hidden away, and obviously share an appreciation for good food.
Concerning their conversation on the way to the kitchens, Regulus seemed a little franker and more open than I thought he would be, but Lily felt quite natural - this nice, polite girl, making semi-easy small talk. And, the Snape comment - awkward, much, Regulus? I think it served as a reminder that this boy is many things, and subtle and sensitive aren't those things.
The other thing you mentioned was flow. I thought it was quite good, overall. There were just a couple of parts where the point of view changed from Lily to Regulus, I think, and there was little warning, and that threw me a little. It wasn't anything major - I am a little tired, so I mightn't have been paying as much attention as I ought.
I was glad to read this, as things finally seemed to start happening!
Author's Response: Hi again! Please don't hesitate to let me know if you think I'm re-requesting too much. I really want more feedback on this story, and your reviews have been so helpful, but I don't want you to feel like I'm chasing you down :)
Hah, thanks! I figured it was a cute idea, considering how Molly loved Celestina Warbeck. Celestine is an interesting character.
Sirius and Lily are definitely similar in terms of feeling left out of their families at certain points. That similarity also extends to Severus. You'll definitely see me bring it up more in the chapters to come. I'm glad you picked that out and saw it for yourself.
McGonagall isn't quite as war-weary as when we get to know her in canon, but I hope it's obvious how much this loss weighed on her. The idea of students dying disturbs her deeply, especially combined with the knowledge that other students could be their killers. I really wanted to make the war a very salient part of the plot, not an afterthought.
Actually, that brief moment was meant to show that James has changed, not only in the eyes of the reader but also for his friends. They acknowledge that he's trying to present a more mature persona when around Lily, and as his friends, they try to be supportive there. Naturally, Sirius won't always be so mature. Never fear, though, there will continue to be some emotional tension between Sirius and Lily that doesn't have to do entirely with James.
I think you might be reading further than I intended into that comment about Mrs. Black. It was more so about how Lily observed the family being pushy with the train attendants at the station, and now she's noticing that Regulus is sort of quiet and mature-seeming when not with the rest of his family. She draws a contrast between this temperament and Sirius's more immature personality, or at least that's how she perceives the two of them. I will say that you're right about Lily being perceptive and thinking about things a lot; she doesn't like being caught off guard.
Yeah, I try to introduce a little bit of behavioral inconsistency, because that's how people are in real life. Like you pointed out, she did acknowledge it and felt a bit embarrassed. I just didn't want her to be like a bird, barely picking at the delicious spread.
Re-reading this chapter, though, I guess it does make sense that Regulus wouldn't want to eat half-eaten dessert that was left over. I think I got him a little confused with the kinds of characters his faceclaim tends to play. My Regulus does tend to be a little sassy at points, breaking out of the pureblood mold, and maybe he is too open at times. I'll try to keep an eye on that and make an effort at tempering it in future chapters, so I do appreciate the critique, very much so. I'm glad you liked the awkward comment about Snape--I meant to show that Regulus isn't always smooth and put-together, and he's still a teenage boy struggling to be "proper."
Thanks for your comments about the flow, too. Please let me know if the point-of-view switches continue to be a bit rough; they happen about once a chapter from here on out, and I can smooth them out if necessary. Any future suggestions on how to do that effectively would be helpful for me as well.
Thanks for another fabulous review!