I saw you had a Remus/Tonks story and I've been wanting to read it. I'm a little intimidated to read yours because I've written so much about them (and I'm worried about mine not being as good). I decided to put my huge ego aside and read yours.
Starting off, the way you're weaving first person present tense narrative with Tonks' recollections of Sirius and Remus is quite excellent. The way she's thinking back while experiencing the present hearkens to her state of depression and loneliness at this point in the series. Ahh, I love the idea of Tonks taking Sirius for a walk. LOVE.
The way you write Molly and Tonks' relationship is quite wonderful. She's the perfect older female friend (I've gravitated towards quite a few and her conversation with Tonks hits key chick points). Having Charlie and Tonks as exes is a great idea. I've always pictured that they would have at least known each other (and very well may have dated).
You write women extremely well. I mean, not just characterizing Tonks and Molly but the way women interact. You've captured Tonks' swirling thoughts and internal conflict excellently. I especially liked her stream of thoughts around who she should be (mature, brave, etc.).
The way you've characterized Tonks is superb. She's complex and yet the same simple person we know from the books. You explore her personality as more than just a clutz or auror or person in love. The way she covers her bases while skiving off work shows that she's intelligent and (as you stated) a planner. I also love that she's so gutsy. I'm a bit flabbergasted that she went to visit Remus while he's a werewolf (was he on wolfsbane?!?!). It's so heartwarming that she's trying to reason with Remus and get through to him.
Tonks' conversation with Remus is one of the best heart-to-hearts I've ever read. Ahh! She almost broke through to him and then he started to push her back again. I'm so glad she called Remus a coward - someone had to. Tonks' tender actions towards him as a wolf and the way she notices the traces of Remus in the animal is wonderfully done.
...for a few sentences I thought this story was going to take a route I've never seen on HPFF... O.o
Your description of Tonks transforming into an animal is wonderfully detailed yet light. It's not so technical in what she was changing that it read like a manual but I felt like it was really happening. Tonks' wolf-mind is primitive and raw but very genuine.
I laughed at Tonks when she tripped as a wolf. Can't blame Remus for looking like he's laughing. :D
Their jaunt through the woods is hilarious and romantic (even if they're both wolves). The way Tonks lost her cool made me laugh. She always seems so unshakable but I imagine that almost careening off a cliff would get anyone. The view he took Tonks to was a really something I can't quite express (amazing is coming to mind). He's sharing something personal that he's never been able to show another person. In his way, he's opened up to her in a very special way.
The idea of two werewolves trying to spread a blanket out on the floor is funny.
Remus in the morning is contrite and hilarious. His blaming Sirius for Tonks taking him out the night before - got some serious laughs out of me. Her incredulity at being called Dora - awesome. ah, I almost died at her comparison of Remus to Charlie. I love pervy Tonks. :D
The ending of this is beyond perfect. Tonks and Remus joking about whether they did it (I hate being 12+ btw) and what their kid would be like. The idea of their kid getting detention right away, ah so wonderful. Their moment of happiness was the sweetest way to finish this wonderful story. I'm so glad I got the nerve to read your incredible Remus/Tonks story!
Author's Response: Hi :)
I've been starting at this review for a while. Smiling, madly. But also trying to figure out how to answer it all. I guess it's time to give it a go.
This was the first story I ever wrote in first-person narrative voice, and it was a challenge. I kept finding myself slipping back into third-person and then I'd have to go back and re-write 2 or 3 paragraphs. In the end, I'm really glad that people seem to like it. Between Tonks and Molly, I really did have to get in touch with my feminine side for this story. And I also love the idea of Tonks and Charlie being a couple that just didn't quite work out. It's a way to breathe a bit of life into Charlie's character, which JKR honestly never did very much with.
Tonks is another character who never got her due in the books. i hate the fact that authors spend so much time playing up her clumsiness in fan fic and totally ignore the fact that she is one of the youngest Aurors in history as well as somebody that Alastor Moody thought highly enough of to want to take her under his wing. That didn't happen by accident, I'm sure. Whenever I write her, I try to balance the goofy, fun-loving parts of her personality with that determination and seriousness. I'm really glad that you like it.
I'm guessing that Remus no longer had access to Wolfsbane Potion at this point in his life because he's still angry at Snape for revealing his secret. The human/wolf duality is a concept that I borrowed liberally from Rosie's story which inspired this one. In the books, all werewolves suffered from certain symptoms of the disease, even when they weren't transformed. Rosie decided to interpret this as a sort of constant presence. The wolf is sort of "imprisoned" in Remus's mind when he's not transformed, and Remus can feel his thoughts and reactions. During the full moon, the roles are reversed. Remus is sort of a "passenger" on the wolf's adventures, although he can affect the wolf's behavior somewhat by "shouting" his own opinions.
Remus can definitely be a coward at times. Harry calls him out on it in DH, and I somehow doubt that's the first time he's heard it. Tonks just reached a point where she was fed up. Again, she's more than just a clumsy, bubble-headed Auror.
There was an early draft of this where a little more /did/ happen between the wolf and Tonks, but I was wisely talked out of that by my beta reader. ;)
I spent a lot of time fine-tuning her transformation, so I'm really glad that you liked it. I didn't want it to seem easy. She really wants to do this for Remus and she's willing to go through with it. I thought that was important.
Being 12+ in reviews is a pain, sometimes, I agree. I was tempted to cut the story off at the scene on the side of the cliff in the Dark Forest, but the idea of putting them through that awkward "morning after" had so many funny angles to it. Pleased as can be that you liked it.
Thank you so much for the long, detailed, supportive review! I really appreciate it!