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217 Reviews Found

Review #51, by slytherinchica08 Catalyst

2nd April 2013:
Oh this was a great and exciting chapter. I wish i could have seen a bit more of what led sirius to go torment snape and how it all began but it was enjoyable as it was. There was one mistake that i noticed but since im reading and reviewing on my nook i cant copy and paste it for you but i believe its when regulus is talking to wilkes during potions. I thought lily was great here and i agree with your decision to have her as a prefect. She was absolutely perfect when it came to the fight, stepping in and giving detention to both boys even though james didnt really do anything. I was also glad to see that she didnt give snape detention it was kinda sweet and gave me hope for their friendship. Im excited to see whatelse you have in store for your story and im really looking forward to the next chapter. Ill be back to review more soon.

~slytherinchica08~

Author's Response: Thanks! The ending of the chapter was really mostly from Lily's perspective, but it would be interesting to see it through Sirius and James's eyes and see the lead-up to the big showdown. I think another reviewer has brought up a mistake in that section, so I'll go back and check it again.

I'm happy that you liked my Lily! She's one of my favorite characters and I always want to do her justice. Thanks again for your lovely review, and I hope to see you again soon!

-Amanda


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Review #52, by AisforAmy Snape's Second-Worst Memory

31st March 2013:
You're doing a great job of showing just how creepy Snape's fixation with Lily was. Like in canon when we know he stole the picture of the Potters from Grimauld Place and tore Jamer and Harry out of it. I remember reading that and thinking he's one step away from stealing some of her old underwear and sniffing it in a closet. Snape might have thought he loved Lily but really he just wanted to control her.

Author's Response: Thanks! I'm actually a big fan of the Snape/Lily ship, and I wanted to really challenge myself to make him as despicable as possible without losing that little element of pity we get from The Prince's Tale, just because I usually write him more sympathetically by default. It's good to hear that the creepiness is coming through, and I hope you'll experience some mixed feelings about my Severus if you read on.

Thanks for your great review :)

-Amanda


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Review #53, by Violet Gryfindor A Game of Hearts

30th March 2013:
What's fantastic about this story, and this chapter more specifically, is how you've represented the Marauder era and its characters. They sound and act natural, each dealing with his or her own conflicts, be they internal or external. You take care to make each character human, rather than caricatures, and you also take the time to give each character the spotlight, even for a moment. I've never seen someone fit so many characters' perspectives into one chapter so smoothly and effectively. You've provided a fantastic snapshot of the Marauder-era characters at Hogwarts, and if anyone asked me what the era was about, I'd be tempted to point to this chapter as the perfect example.

By including so many characters, you show what's most important to this story - the relationships between them. The whole story is based on failed relationships and the desire to repair them, but you also show how new relationships build from the ashes of the old. I liked the interaction between Lily and James in this chapter, how it came unexpectedly and showed both characters in a positive light. James is mature here, and it makes sense because of what happened with Remus - this hasn't struck me before, but perhaps that event, rescuing his enemy/rival, either forced him to make the right (rather than easy) choice or it brought out the best in him... maybe it's a combination of both.

The one aspect of that segment of the chapter I'm less sure about is the way that James reveals his secret to Lily. Does he think he can trust Lily to that extent? Although she makes a very good point that no one would believe her (though Dumbledore would - he knows to believe most things, no matter how crazy they sound), I still think it's a rash decision on James's part. It's bad enough that Remus's secret is out - you'd think that James would be too worried about that to add yet another reveal, one that places all four of the Marauders into trouble. Have we seen enough of James by this point for him to realistically place so much trust in Lily? I'd like to see more narration in that part of the dialogue so that I can better understand James's side of things. Why does he want to assure Lily that Remus doesn't go alone? Why doesn't he try harder to cover up the Marauders' secret?

That's the only thing I could see potentially needing work in this chapter. Otherwise, it was a joy to read, right from the beginning with Peter - and I can't squee enough over his presence in this story. You've done a fantastic job with his character, giving him an interesting manipulative quality, a cleverness that is not ever attributed to him in other stories. It's also interesting that he uses his powers on James - the foreshadowing there is excellent, and details like that work together make this a quality story. Amazing work! :D

Author's Response: I think I just try to replicate the sorts of conversation styles I hear in everyday life in my writing. I often see stories where people seem to really overreact and that natural feeling isn't there, so I work extra hard on mine. It's also great to hear that you like the different perspectives; my favorite stories are the ones that wrap up different points of view into one narrative, and I felt like it would be boring to just stick with Lily and Regulus when I have so many interesting characters to explore. Who knows who I'll start with next?

The more time I spend with James, the more I like him--and yes, you did just hear me say that! I have tried to make his maturing process seem realistic and gradual, such that he doesn't transform overnight into the man Lily needs him to be before she'll say 'yes.' Obviously he still has moments of immaturity, given that he's a seventeen-year-old kid, but I do think he's making a change. Unfortunately, Severus is doing the opposite--he keeps turning further and further from Lily the more he tries to impress her and draw her back in.

You make a very good point about James. I think I got so caught up in making him earn her respect that I didn't attend enough to his need to feel like he can fully trust her in return, especially since she's a Prefect and all. I think I need to do some work to figure him out, and it would only be realistic for him to potentially regret letting her know later on. Maybe it'll come in the form of an edit for that chapter, or maybe it's something I can work into future chapters. Either way, it's very good feedback, and I appreciate you pointing it out.

I'm fairly proud of my Peter :) I wanted him to be included and to be just as competent as his friends--well, mostly. I'm glad you can start to see him disintegrating a little bit from the tough moral fiber that makes up the other Marauders. His presence will become more important as the story goes on, so please keep your eyes peeled!

Thanks again, Susan, for this fab review :) I'll be back to visit Black Sands again very soon!

-Amanda


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Review #54, by HallowsAndHorcruxes His Other Home

30th March 2013:
Once again a very nice chapter that I really enjoyed reading. I must admit I've always been slightly found of Regulus's character and so it's nice to see him played out so beautifully in your story. Once again the characterization of him is wonderful as I can really believe that is what Regulus could have been like since there isn't overly much stated about him in the books.

Also how you portrayed the relationship between Severus and Regulus was rather clever as. It suits the kind of people that they are and so fits in well with the story. The way you have played out Severus is brilliant too as I could imagine him studying of sorts while absent minded watching Lily Evans from afar. It makes me feel a little sorry for the poor guy.

Anyway feel free to re-request any time!

~Hallows!

Author's Response: Hello, and thanks for another great review!

I'm glad you are enjoying getting to know Regulus. We don't know much about him, and that's half the fun for me in using him as a main character here. Don't be afraid to point out anything you feel doesn't fit in future chapters :)

The friendship between Severus and Regulus is an important part of my head canon, so I'm happy to hear that you think it's clever. Their brotherhood, of sorts, will continue to grow. It's great that you like the way I've portrayed Severus, too, and that you feel some pity for him. I've tried to jump back and forth between that sense of sympathy and a real creepiness in the story so far, and I hope you'll get some of the other flavor in coming chapters.

Thanks again for your lovely review :)

-Amanda


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Review #55, by HallowsAndHorcruxes Autumn Reds

28th March 2013:
I must say this is quite the interesting chapter as it is played out beautifully. I am quite intrigued to find out just what happened between James and Lily with the polyjuice potion, so from that perspective you have me wanting to read on more. It's clever how you have just given the reader a few little things like the fact something happened and there was polyjuice potion involved as it add a nice sense of mystery to the story.

You characterization of Lily is wonderful and really does capture what we know of Lily and then has been built upon it to make her your own Lily which I think is brilliant! I also love how you have played her closer to Remus as I've always seen the two of them getting along as friends. Also the how you have played the rest of the marauders is just how I imagine they might be so a big thumbs up there.

Feel free to re-request anytime!

~Hallows!

Author's Response: Hi, thanks for another lovely review :)

I'm glad you were interested! I'm afraid the Polyjuice comment might have led you astray a bit. I wasn't alluding to an actual incident. It was just an off-hand comment about how James and Lily were interacting civilly, which surprised Celestine and Ellery after their conflict last year with Snape's Worst Memory. Sorry if that's a bit of a disappointment!

It's great to hear that you like my Lily. She's definitely near and dear to my heart and I probably put a lot of myself into her at times. I always felt like her being close to Remus was part of my head canon, so it's good that you enjoyed watching them interact. I'm pleased also that you like the Marauders, though it would have been nice to hear a little more about what specifically you enjoyed :)

Thanks again!

-Amanda


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Review #56, by HallowsAndHorcruxes Eggs and Bacon

25th March 2013:
I must say this is an absolute brilliant chapter and story, I don't see why people wouldn't want to read it. Though maybe I love it so much as I love the marauder's era. I think this is a nice introductory chapter as while nothing too big happens it set out the timeline and the start of the story setting you up for what is to happen.

I really like who you've displayed the relationships between the different family members of the house of Black as you can really tell where the dysfunction in the family is and what caused it. I also must say that you descriptive style especially at the beginning is an absolute pleasure to read and flows ever so nicely that the chapter was over before I knew it. I would have happily read on for hours.

Keep up the good work!

~Hallows!

Author's Response: Thanks, Hallows, and thanks for coming by!

That's good to hear :) I wanted to try to build the plot up slowly in this story, in response to critique I've gotten on earlier work that my pacing is a little too fast at times. So I made a point to really introduce Regulus and his characterization, and then Lily's will come up in the next chapter. Hopefully, by the time they meet and the plot really gets going, the reader feels that he or she really knows them.

It's great that the dysfunction works here, too. I stayed away from the typical portrayal of the Blacks screaming at and outright abusing one another and tried to go for more of a subtle tension between Sirius and the others, with poor Regulus caught in the middle. I'm happy the flow works well, too.

I hope you don't mind if I come back and re-request when you have an empty slot. Your feedback was really kind and helpful for this chapter, so again, thank you for the wonderful review!

-Amanda


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Review #57, by 800 words of heaven Sparks

24th March 2013:
Requested review time!

Ooh! So this chapter (or at least what I've read of it so far) seems to be from James Potter's point of view! Exciting! I'm looking forward to seeing the drama from another perspective. In the chapters so far, James has come across as pretty mellow, so I'm pretty pumped to see how you flesh him out.

I love your description of the Map! I think it's really clever that you've left quite a bit of it still "blank" and I can see quite the interesting subplot developing! I'd love it if how the Map was completed was included in the story. It probably has nothing to do with the plot, but I really want to know now! Perhaps just as an interesting footnote?

You know, I think my James-centric bias is showing, because if Severus was partaking in the creepy ritual of watching a dot on a page, I'd be completely freaked out, but since it's James, it's almost... endearing, in a way. His feelings for Lily are quite palpable. I think, in their own ways, both James and Severus are equally creepy in their affections for Lily, and kudos on you for showing this similarity.

I think Regulus' budding altruistic nature has quite an interesting avenue of expression. He barely even knows Lily, and doesn't seem especially close to Severus, but he still wants to rebuild their friendship, even though Lily's a muggleborn and Severus is weird. It's an interesting aspect of his personality, and I'm looking forward to seeing how it manifests and grows. Considering that it seems to be part of the plot, I have high hopes!

And how very devious of Lily! I like how she's already thought of a way out. More than Regulus' altruism, I'm looking forward to seeing how Lily's show of selfishness (or is self-preservation a better word?) is going to pan out.

I really like the dynamics of the deal. The reasons for each character striking the deal in the first place are switched if you think about their "usual" personalities, and I can't wait to see where it'll lead!

I'll talk about Regulus' personality first. I like where you're taking him as a character. Six chapters in, and you can see the way he is. Along with the reader, he too is confused about his actions. He sees a lot of himself in Severus, and whilst he doesn't want to be his friend exactly, this bond is compelling him to do things for him. I'd like to see where this element of his personality will lead him. Will it come to play when he officially becomes a Death Eater? Will it become more important when he finally decides to try and thwart Voldemort and destroy his Horcrux? One thing I would like to see more of in Regulus is his intelligence. He must've been somewhat capable of complex thought to have figured out that Voldemort had Horcruxes, and what exactly a Horcrux was. I mean, Voldemort gave Lucius Malfoy one, and I don't think Lucius quite figured out what on earth it really was. Regulus is part of Slug Club, but the membership is a rather dubious measure of intelligence, in my opinion.

And OMG! I actually laughed when Regulus mused about why he thinks he's never had a girlfriend! He was just so adorable in that moment!

Concerning the interaction between the Marauders, I think you've shown a different side of their relationship. I've rarely read any fanfics where the bond between the boys is so inherently strong. Like, I know they were close and everything, but you've actually shown that through their actions and their words. James knows how each of his friends will react, down to the fact that Remus will come check on him like a mother hen the minute he steps into the dormitory. I especially enjoyed reading the conversation between Sirius and James. Sirius, so far, has been quite arrogant and emotionally distant, but he goes to James to talk about serious stuff. It showed a more vulnerable side to him that I really hope you explore and develop further. And it also showed a softer side to James, who was being a really good friend.

I'm really excited now to see where Regulus and Sirius' relationship will go now!

Author's Response: Hello again, thanks for coming by :)

James was a real challenge--being a Snily fan, I just don't like the guy very much, and so I decided to make him likeable to me and hope that he would also be likeable for other readers. I'm glad you like the perspective shake-up. It won't be the last time; changing perspective is one of my favorite little tricks.

I'm working on some parts now that are fairly Marauder-centric, so I'll have to try to find a way to fit the completion of the Map in there. I'm happy you like how it's still being fleshed out at this point. I also LOVE the comment you made about the differences between Severus's and James's behavior. They probably see one another as being quite creepy, and yet they have a lot in common when it comes to Lily. That issue of the dot-watching being creepy or romantic was on my mind the whole time I wrote this section.

Yeah, Regulus just doesn't have that evil core that I think you really need to succeed as a Death Eater. He can't help but feel something when he sees others around him in pain, which clearly comes out in canon with the way he reacts to Kreacher's "duty" in the cave. He never fails to fascinate me as a character.

In the same vein, I often fall into the trap of making Lily this sweet, well-meaning character, and I wanted to introduce some conflict here, just a touch of selfishness. She still sees the benefit in helping Sirius and Regulus reconcile, because I think she can see the similarity between their falling out and the one she's experiencing with her own sister, but for right now she just wants a reason not to have to re-open her old wounds with Snape. I'm glad you like how she's playing out; her conflict will be a central theme.

You make a good suggestion about Regulus's intelligence, and how him figuring out the Horcrux suggests that he was smarter than the average Death Eater. I'll have to think about ways that I can work that in later on. I will note that he's not a bad student; like a true Slytherin, though, one thing he sees in Snape is a way to get out of doing his work (e.g., with the Potions scene and the book).

I do like my Marauders. It was important to me to show that Peter isn't just an afterthought; he's really part of the group here, which will make his eventual split from them all the more painful for everyone involved. I think James does know his friends quite well, perhaps the best out of all four, which is maybe why his loss was so painful for Remus and Sirius. As for Sirius, yeah, I wanted to show that he's not as tough and carefree as he seems at times; many stories have him confiding in a girl, but I figured it would be more realistic for him to turn to his honorary brother, James. I will make another note to add in more Sirius in future chapters.

Thank you for yet another fabulous, comprehensive review! I'll be back to re-request when I see a free slot :)

-Amanda


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Review #58, by nikki The Right Sort of Wrong

21st March 2013:
Woops, I accidentally posted my review for this chapter onto the other chapter...oh well, can I still say that you're an amazing author!?

Author's Response: Haha, that's okay!

Thank you--you can definitely say that if you want :)

Nikki, let me just say again how much I've loved reading and responding to your reviews this morning, and I hope you'll return when I get a new chapter posted next month. I'd love to get more feedback from you on this story and any of my others that catch your fancy.

Thank you, so very much, once again :D

-Amanda


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Review #59, by nikki Small Favors and Large Tokens

21st March 2013:
I am sooo excited for the next chapter! I know I kinda suck at reviewing, but I just had to tell you how much I am enjoying this story. I wish I could write more detailed reviews like everyone else, but hey, at least I reviewed? :P I am in love with how you portrayed all of the marauders, and I am so incredibly excited to see what happens next!

Author's Response: No, seriously, your reviews have been the best part of my day so far. Short, sweet reviews mean just as much to me as longer ones, so please, don't feel like I don't appreciate them! You're right--what matters is that you reviewed.

I'm happy you like my Marauders. I tried to make them interesting, likeable, and again--not the usual cliche, at least somewhat. I'm glad you're excited to move on!

Thanks for another fantastic review :)

-Amanda


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Review #60, by nikki Small Favors and Large Tokens

21st March 2013:
Aw, Severus and Lily at the end was adorable!! :D Loved this chapter, as usual!

Author's Response: That's good to hear :) Thank you!

-Amanda


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Review #61, by nikki The Truth Hurts

21st March 2013:
Eek! These chapters a just getting better and better, aren't they??? Awesome job!

Author's Response: I hope so! Thanks again :)

-Amanda


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Review #62, by nikki If Santa Had a Broomstick

21st March 2013:
I absolutely LOVED this chapter! I love the drama between Lily and Regulus! (Lol, they don't but of course I do. :P)

Author's Response: Haha, no, they don't, but I'm glad it's interesting. This one is one of my favorites.

Thanks for another fabulous review!

-Amanda


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Review #63, by nikki A Game of Hearts

21st March 2013:
As usual, this was awesome! I must say this has turned out to be one of my most favorite stories on the archives! I will defiantly check out your other stories soon! :D

Author's Response: You're awesome for saying that, and I certainly hope you do! It's been great hearing from you today!

Thanks for your lovely review :)

-Amanda


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Review #64, by nikki Snape's Second-Worst Memory

21st March 2013:
Ooh, the chapter title made me excited! And the chapter was not at all disappointing! Wow, is all I can say!

Author's Response: Thanks! I'm glad you were intrigued by the chapter title and enjoyed the chapter itself.

Thanks for your sweet review!

-Amanda


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Review #65, by nikki Revelations

21st March 2013:
You are an awesome writer!! I just can't explain how much I love the way you write! No cliches, no boring plotline--I admire your talent very much. :)

Author's Response: Thank you once again! I know this story is a little unusual compared to most other Marauder-era stories out there, and I was hoping that wouldn't be a turn-off to readers. I try very hard to balance a good pace with keeping things interesting, and I always try to either avoid cliches or put new twists on them.

Thank you for another kind review :)

-Amanda


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Review #66, by nikki Making Good, Breaking Bad

21st March 2013:
L-O-V-E-D IT! :D :D :D

Author's Response: Thank you :)

-Amanda


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Review #67, by nikki Sparks

21st March 2013:
omg I love you. This story is getting better and better!

Author's Response: Haha, thanks! That's such a relief to hear!

-Amanda


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Review #68, by nikki Catalyst

21st March 2013:
I love the way you write Lily. (And everyone else for that matter!) I'm gonna keep reading! :D

Author's Response: Thank you! I like Lily a lot--I've tried to make her interesting and multidimensional here.

Thanks for another very lovely review :)

-Amanda


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Review #69, by nikki The Best and Brightest

21st March 2013:
Yet again an awesome-tastic chapter!!! *Hops off to read the next chapter*

Author's Response: Thanks so much :D

-Amanda


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Review #70, by nikki His Other Home

21st March 2013:
The mood in this chapter was excellent! Great job! :D

Author's Response: Thanks! I'm glad you liked it!

-Amanda


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Review #71, by nikki Autumn Reds

21st March 2013:
Ooh, I like where this is heading! :O

1000/10

Author's Response: Thanks!

-Amanda


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Review #72, by nikki Autumn Reds

21st March 2013:
Ooh, I like where this is heading! :O

1000/10

Author's Response: That's great to hear! Thanks for the review :)

-Amanda


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Review #73, by nikki Eggs and Bacon

21st March 2013:
I love the description on this. I like how you wrote Sirius too. :) Keep on writing! :D

Author's Response: Wow, thank you! This slew of reviews was so awesome to wake up to this morning :) AND you pushed me over the 150-review milestone, too!

I'm so glad you like my Sirius and the description. I wanted to show what I thought it would look like inside the Black house, which seems to be mostly uncomfortable. Speaking of discomfort, I also wanted to show that Sirius clearly isn't getting along with his family without having to make it a blatantly abusive household. I would think, given the Blacks' concern with self-image, that the tension would be much more subtle than that.

Thanks again for your lovely review!

-Amanda


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Review #74, by 800 words of heaven Catalyst

13th March 2013:
Hello! Here with your requested review!

There's some action in this chapter? I am so psyched!

Haha! I actually laughed out loud when James kicked Sirius. I don't know why, but it was funny. That's something I like about this story, actually. I don't think I've mentioned this before, but there are just these little moments, no more than two lines, which are fun and humorous and light, and just remind me that these people aren't all doomed characters in a tragedy. I mean, even Romeo made innuendo-filled jokes with his mates from time to time!

Also, how on earth did Peter get into Arithmancy and why is he by himself? And does Sirius even take any classes? If he's got the entire morning off, does he even go to school?

Oh, how sweet of Regulus to actually like school! He actually wants to learn things and do well, whereas Sirius is all like, "I'm too intelligent for school", even though he is, but that's hardly the point.

I chuckled again at the remark that Wilkes could read. Good to see the faith Regulus has in his apparently, one and only friend.

Severus is becoming creepier and creepier every time we meet him. If you're a Snily shipper, I can appreciate how difficult it is to depict a character that you actually like in a less flattering light. It's quite difficult, and I think you've done a really good job.

The scene between Sirius, James and Severus was very quick. There wasn't really much to it as such, but I dunno... it was really well written and everything, but it felt a little off. It's a difficult feeling to explain... as if the situation was a molehill being made into a mountain. That wasn't very eloquently explained at all, and I'm sorry that I couldn't help with that more! It just felt that with the entire pacing of the chapter, this one scene didn't quite fit in. But I'm being a bit of a nit-picker here. Your writing skills are superb, so I have to work really hard to find something to "criticise"!

And the suspense! I think the note's from Regulus. It sounds like his handwriting to be honest. And I think it might be about time that the plot started moving forward. Regulus knows how Severus feels about Lily, and he's also seen the two of them interacting with each other now.

Here's to hoping for some plot excitement in the next chapter!

Author's Response: I'm glad you like the humor! I've never been very good at laugh-out-loud humor in stories, but I do like my little moments of levity, and it's great that they make you stop and chuckle once in a while.

I don't like the stereotype of Peter being the dumb sidekick, so I explored the idea of him being somewhat smart and capable in this story. He just happens to be the only one who wanted to take it, since it's an elective class. And yeah, of course Sirius takes classes. He just doesn't have any in the morning for this day--I modeled it after canon, when Harry and Ron would have had some time to themselves if they hadn't signed up for Slughorn's potions class in their sixth year.

Anyway, I'm pleased to hear that you like how Regulus has an interest in what he's learning, and that you enjoyed watching him interact with Wilkes. I want to make it clear that he's multidimensional, as with everyone, and that he's got some nice characteristics along with the nasty stuff that comes with his background. I hope you're still a fan of him as a character and like getting to know him.

Hah, thanks! It has been difficult to purposefully work in these really creepy moments with Severus, but I think I've really learned a lot through trying to do that. It's sort of the flip side of the time when I tried to humanize James and make him a character I could really live with and understand. Also difficult, but also a great learning experience.

Your critique about the fight is helpful. I tried to model it off the couple of arguments we saw in canon, where it seemed like the skirmish happened because of little comments made by one side or the other, and also some of Harry and Draco's episodes of barb-trading. I got the sense that the flow might have gotten thrown off a bit there, and I'm still working on improving in the area of writing action sequences overall, but like I said, your comments are helpful, so thank you.

I do think the plot will start to take off more from this point. It was important to me to take it slow, based on feedback I'd gotten on prior stories, and to take my time introducing the main characters and giving them time to meet before jumping into the plot. But I think now we're ready to introduce more drama.

Thanks for your lovely review :)

-Amanda


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Review #75, by 800 words of heaven The Best and Brightest

7th March 2013:
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!

-Amanda


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