Hey there, it's me again! :) I told you I'd be back, didn't I? ;)
So, the appearance of the mysterious Lily Evans! I loved the way you started this off, again like last chapter not just jumping into the character and the scene, but using her favourite things to lead into it smoothly. There was one phrase I thought was a bit off: 'the impatient ones that still wore green and yellow hues'. I think it would sound better if you phrased it like 'the impatient ones still wearing green and yellow hues'. It's up to you to change it, but it just seemed a little odd to me so I thought I'd mention it ;)
Also, I have to mention that I thought it was so clever the way you linked the previous chapter to this one, with Lily seeing Sirius, Regulus and Walburga dropping their bags off and being so disdainful of their actions. It suits her character so very well and ties in neatly with what we know about her from canon.
Remus and Peter - so glad to see you're including all the Marauders in this one and giving Peter some time in the spotlight, if not quite as much as the others (which is understandable, given the two main characters are Lily and Regulus). It's always nice to see people including Peter with the others :) And James! Being sheepish and nice and growing up! I mean, it wasn't a hugely subtle gesture (no doubt not his forte, I think, from the way you're doing him), but it's not exactly asking her out with a bunch of fireworks spelling out the question. I like how you're making him a bit more mature than others usually make him, and a bit less obsessive. He actually seems rather sweet ;)
I like Lily's friends as well, with one being a Hufflepuff and the other a Gryffindor. It always seemed strange to me that in a lot of stories people only ever had best friends in their own houses. I mean, they do see people from other houses, they just don't sleep in the same room as them - I'm sure they're friends, lol. The Lily's best friend fancies Sirius is a bit of a cliche, but I think you'll be fine at handling that, especially since you're a Snily fan and since this is an AU, I might take a tentative guess and say that Sev and Lily end up together? Yes? No? Don't tell me! I like surprises...
Still - so many questions! Who sends the note to the other? What is it about? How do they meet? How does the sender decide to send the note to the sendee? What changes? What happens? Gah, this is driving me crazy (in a good way, of course!). I am, as I'm sure you've guessed, really enjoying this!
Aph xxAuthor's Response: Hello again :)
I'm happy that you liked the beginning here; it seems to grab a lot of readers' attention, and it's one of my favorite parts of this chapter. Thanks for the crit--I'll have to go back and take a look at that. Anyway, Lily definitely has reservations about the Blacks at this point, and they're going to linger a bit.
I've worked really, really hard to include Peter. He tends to come up a lot in future chapters, at least as much as the other Marauders, except for maybe James and Sirius (given their proximity to Lily and Regulus). Like you said, though, Lily and Regulus will remain the main focus here.
James was tough. I don't really like his character all that much in canon (Snily forever!) but I wanted to make him likable to me here, so I tried to calm him down and let him have "normal" interactions with Lily, complete with awkward fluff. There won't be any yelling or cursing or throwing here, either! It's great that you liked the turn I took there.
Yeah, I know the Sirius-and-Lily's-friend thing is cliche, and normally I keep away from those, but it just seemed to make sense here. Don't worry, there won't be a huge spinoff plot where Sirius has a whirlwind romance. They're mostly meant to keep things humorous :)
I hope you return soon! Thanks for the review!
-Amanda Report Review
Hey there and a belated Merry Christmas/Happy New Year! Sorry for the delay - I would have got these to you earlier, but my wrist played up again and made it very difficult to type. Reviews are still coming, though, don't worry! ;)
I've been on a bit of a Black family-centric trip recently and I've debated about reading this for a while now - it looks so good! I admit that I did hesitate seeing as it's an AU and I'm not usually interested in AUs (you know, different chosen one, etc.) but it drew me in anyway :P
I love how you started off with describing the house and Kreacher and the other house-elves in the kitchen. It gave such a sense of superiority to the whole family, despite the fact that it wasn't like something serious was happening - it just felt like that. Also, Kreacher was really well characterised with his little mutters and his loincloth and attitude and adoration of Regulus.
Orion and Walburga are kinda creepy parents, but I like how you made an obvious distinction between how they treat Regulus and how they treat Sirius, particularly in Walburga's case. You also really captured the feeling that Sirius is openly rebelling against his family, their beliefs and everything, with the magazines, breaking things and comments. The idea of a ring signifying status as the heir of the family was a lovely touch, too. A nice symbol of the passing of the torch from Sirius to Regulus - really shows how annoyed with the former his family are.
Regulus was just so heart-breaking. He's already determined to join the Dark Lord and we know what's going to happen (or not, as the case may be) in the future. It's just... he seems so very, very young even though he's obviously trying to be older. I liked the touch of him biting his lip. I don't know why, but it just stood out to me for some reason. Maybe coz when I write him I make him have the same habit, lol, but also it just highlighted the age thing.
I'm really curious as to how Lily's going to come into this. Surely she and Reg won't just start up a conversation somewhere in Hogwarts... it seems too simple. They're characters from such different worlds, I'm really curious to see how they meet and how the note comes into it. I'm assuming that the note is from Regulus, at any rate... unless it's someone else... maybe Lily to Regulus? I don't know! Gah, I wanna read more! (I will :D)
This is a really, really attention-grabbing beginning. I'm pretty much hooked and you've started so many questions with the brilliant summary, even though not much happened in this chapter.
Aph xxAuthor's Response: Hi Aph! Thanks so much for this lovely gift!
You know, it is fairly AU, but I don't think I would consider it AU enough to be a real plot-changer. I tried to make everything seem as plausible and consistent with canon as possible, while allowing some creative license.
It's great that you enjoyed this glimpse into a "normal day" in the life of the Black family. I wanted to make it clear that Sirius doesn't fit without having to resort to yelling and throwing of possessions. Similarly, I wanted to show Orion and Walburga's clear favoritism for Regulus without them outright saying it. I'm glad all of that came through okay for you.
Really, he has the same habit? Haha, that's cute. I just wanted to show that he's got this juvenile, almost innocent side. He's not quite cut out to be a cold-blooded Death Eater. Writing him does tend to make me sad :(
Well, I guess you'll have to keep reading to see where Lily comes in! I'm glad the beginning drew you in, and thanks once again!
-Amanda Report Review
Hey there. I'm here with the first of my several Christmas present reviews that I planned on leaving you. I know it's not yet Christmas Eve but there's a high possibility I won't be around the forums that day and I didn't want to start my holidays without making other people a little happier for the holidays :)
So here I am with my second review for this promising story. I really enjoy the fact that at least the first two chapters are written in different POV's (haven't yet read nor even looked at the others to be certain of this). After starting reading "Game of Thrones" which you must know is written in several different characters point of view, I came to enjoy this style a lot. It allows for a wider comprehension of the story and best of all permits us to gain a deeper understanding of how the characters "work". We can empathize with them easier when we get to see what their thought process is, what their feelings stir inside them, etc. It's a fascinating style and I was pleasantly surprised to see that you've adopted it (again, as I have seen only for the first two chapters as of yet).
One of the reasons I keep coming back to your stories is because you have a talent that I want to learn (or steal :P) from you and that would be description. I like how you devote special attention even to minor details such as landscapes, or other times a character's look, and above else to a character's inner world. I find your tendency to linger on the description of a characters feelings mesmerizing, not to mention beneficial for the story itself. It's so so much easier to put ourselves in the other character's shoes if we are shown how they feel, why they do what they do, what are their reasons, motivations, purposes. It's one of the aspects that I enjoy most of your writing style :)
I don't know if you know yet but as of late I am surprising myself that I'm not that interested in romance stories anymore (except Snily's ofc :D). However, this chapter there was a specific scene, a specific depiction of Lily and James that made my stomach flutter (and that does not happen often because I am a die hard Snape/Lily shipper). Namely " "Have you ever tried these?"
Lily turned to find James Potter standing at her side. She almost didn't recognize him, however, because he was wearing a timid, genuine-looking smile in place of his usual arrogant smirk". I don't know WHY, but there was something about this moment that made me melt inside. It could be because this is the first time I've read a moment in a ff where James and Lily get along and could well signify the beginning of their love story. Keeping the scene simple brought so much emotion to it. Very well done!
I've looked at the dialogue tags and punctuation for dialogue but I can't say there's been any mistake done. If there is any I might have overlooked it but overall I think you're doing fine with that :)
Anyways, on to the next review! Happy Holidays!Author's Response: Hi there! Thanks again for the lovely review :)
Well, this story is mainly focused from Lily's and Regulus's POVs, with the other characters acting as little background snippets where appropriate. In these first few chapters, I tried to sort of alternate who got the most "screen time," so to speak, but it gets a bit more muddled as Lily and Regulus begin to interact more and events unfold later on in the story.
I'm glad you like the description and feel like I've written the characters' emotions well. Since I'm a psychologist in training, I would hope to be able to provide an accurate and meaningful picture there, so that's great to hear!
I really like James and Lily in this story, and normally I don't, but this kind of innocent fluff is irresistible. I tried to stay far away from the love-hate screaming matches I find in so many other stories of this era. Lily's interactions with Severus are a bit more awkward, to say the least, but I've got a fluffier scene coming up for them as well. He's got to step up and try to honestly earn her affection at some point, right?
Thanks again for stopping by :)
-Amanda Report Review
OKAY. I just went read the first chapter and realized it felt incredibly familiar, then I realized I read it when I very first started on the archives. And left a God awful review, sorry about that ♥ AND I have no idea what I was talking about in previously said god awful review with the timeline. I used to think Sirius and Regulus were two school years apart, until.. you know, I actually started researching things, so that must be it. ANYWAY PLEASE FORGIVE what a terrible reviewer I was seven months ago :P
Back to this chapter! The mention of Halloween being Lily's favorite Holidays was bittersweet for me. I love that not only is it her favorite, but you went on to explain how much she used to love dressing up as a different kind of witch than most. But then it's painful, because at this point she has no idea Halloween will be the day she dies. Pretty sure you did that on purpose, you sneaky author. Really though, it was an amazing way to start this second chapter with a bag. Regarding your AN (which you probably put ages ago, and aren't really looking for feedback on anymore) but I didn't think anything seemed off with the dialogue in this chapter. Tags were there when necessary, but you were careful not to saturate the chapter with them.
I really like the names of your OC names! Obviously I don't know enough about them yet to comment on if I actually like *them* but considering this is your story, I'm positive I will. And you've chosen unique names that feel like they fit well without going over the top.
The scene with Severus and Lily.. I loved how Lily did a bit of internal lecturing for being rude, but she didn't really stop. This is something small, but I like the irony of her having a relatively friendly conversation with James Potter (and one of the first, from what her friends say) on the same day that she has a very uncomfortable conversation with Sev- someone who she's spent years being a best friend to.
I have a massive soft spot for back to school on the Express chapters. I don't think there's any better way to start a story, and I always feel a bit deprived if I'm reading one that involves Hogwarts and we never see them on the train :P
It's so much fun seeing how different your style is in this as opposed to Diamonds into Coal. It's so impressive that you can make such different styles both work so perfectly for you.
Awesome second chapter ♥. I've been wanting to start this for so long...and know that I really feel like my characters are chiseled into my head, I think I finally can :PAuthor's Response: Hey, no problem! I barely even remember it :)
I actually didn't even think about the date of Lily's death when writing that section--it was more about the contrast between being a dress-up witch and finding out you're a real one. What a bittersweet little detail to notice!
I'm glad you liked the names. I tried to pick names I could live with for a gazillion chapters and to make them something besides the usual. I'm still pleased with them 11 chapters in.
Man, your attention to detail is impressive! I felt a little awful for being so cruel to Severus in this chapter, especially after Lily had that almost civil conversation with James. However, in writing this story I set out to challenge myself to write the worst parts of Severus, to really toy with the most despicable flaws in his character. He'll be creepy, paranoid, cruel, cold--and yet some readers still feel sympathy for him. I have to say, I'm proud of what I've done with him!
It means a lot, what you said about me being able to juggle different styles. I've always felt like that was an important milestone in my development as a writer. Thanks so much for this wonderful review, and I'm glad you're enjoying the story so far! Hope to hear from you again on it soon! By the way, I am working on updates for both of my novels :)
-Amanda Report Review
I liked your description of how much of a weirdo Vernon is. I specifically liked the part about insisting on taking his shoes off at the door. I know a few people like that. McGonagall sounds like a babe, haha. It was very interesting how you went back to the situation at St Mungo's and gave us another side to the story. I love every scene with James in it, he just seems so adorable. And particularly, in this scene when he's plotting something, he reminded me very much of Harry. That's an interesting change; Lily's considering being friends with Regulus. Your Author's Notes are also very interesting. I strive to make as much of my own story canon as I can, and draw a meaning from any new words I add.
PS. Sorry, this took so long. I've been reading, but I just moved into a new house and we haven't had the internet until now for me to review.Author's Response: Hey again :)
Writing Vernon was one of my favorite parts of this chapter, so much so that he's making a comeback in a chapter I'll be writing shortly.
Yeah, the whole thing with Karen was sad. I hope you got a good sense of the concern that McGonagall has for her students here. And I'm glad you liked James! He's not my favorite character, but I've had fun playing with him and making him more appealing to Lily.
Thanks for another lovely review!
-Amanda Report Review
Cassian Wilkes. Cassian, a variation of Cassius, means "empty" or "hollow". Atroxas is taken from the Latin word atrox, which means "terrible, cruel, horror". Finally, Ignavus means "lazy" and also "cowardly".
Good names! I really liked your choices. They were very fitting.
He just believed in labeling things as they were, that was all. It was only a word, the right word.
Good quote! You've revealed just a small fragment of the whole picture that is Regulus Black. I liked the way you described Regulus kicking off from the ground barefoot. I felt as if I were doing it all myself. It sounded very peaceful. You did a great job of writing Slughorn, he seemed very much like the Slughorn from the book. And I liked that he was a little prejudiced, and you didn't just show his positive attributes. Overall, it was a great chapter. You're such a good writer!Author's Response: Hey, thanks for coming by! Sorry it's taken me a while to get around to responding to these reviews. I got busy with work and then the holidays happened. I'll get back to your story sometime later today or this evening.
I'm glad you like the names. There were some divided opinions about them, but I thought they fit well with other Slytherin names, and it was fun researching terrible meanings for them :)
I like that quote a lot, too. I think it implies that Regulus isn't strictly a bad person, even for using such an awful word -- it's like he doesn't know any better. He doesn't understand the rage it stirs up in some people.
I'm glad you liked the description, as well as Slughorn's characterization. He definitely isn't perfect, but I really like writing him because he adds some needed humor to the story.
Thanks for your kind review :)
-Amanda Report Review
Eee, I love the first paragraph about Lily's Halloweens; it's such a unique way to show the difference in her life before and after Hogwarts.
D'aw Remus. Hearing about his 'many illnesses' just makes me want to hug him. And Sirius and family tsk.
Ah, there are two sentences when Peter comes in, She didnít know him as well as Remus... and He didnít know her very well..., they seem a bit oddly matched so close in proximity to one another.
D'aw, I like the, err I don't know how to describe it other than, 'normalness' of Lily and James' first interaction since the incident. Usually I see their first interactions as so overblown, but this is something I'd genuinely imagine from them, cute and with all the awkwardness of a long-needed apology that can really only be solved with Bertie Botts :'D
And baww, the second amends of the day, and this one is just heartbreaking! Holes in his trousers too, can't win.
There's occasional changes in PoV from Lily's and I'm not sure if it's intentional, but I think it would flow better if the whole chapter were just in her PoV, as these shifts are usually just for a sentence or two (once with Peter, and a few times in Sev's scene), and detracts more from the flow than they add.
And I enjoyed Lily's PoV a lot! :) So breezy, still the start of the year, with not *so* many worries.
♥Author's Response: Hi Gina! Sorry this response took so long!
Describing Lily's Halloween experience is still one of my favorite parts of this chapter. It's so whimsical and pretty, which feels good in the knowledge that the wizarding world is about to hit a very dark downturn. Maybe that's why I like writing Lily in the first place.
It's great that the characterization worked for you! I don't really ship Jily, but I like them when they're 'normal,' as you said, instead of screaming at one another or mistakenly ending up together after a particularly wild party. I consciously tried to avoid overblown.
Thanks for the crit, too. I'll have to go back and re-check that section with Peter. As for the POV changes, I think they're probably here to stay, just because there are parts where other characters have thoughts that the main narrators won't be able to perceive. I'll take another look just in case, though.
Thanks for this lovely review :)
-Amanda Report Review
Wow. Iím not usually one that can get into Marauder Era stories, for some reason or another, but as soon as I started this chapter, I was sucked in. It flowed from one detail to the next and you sort of lead me as a reader through the chapter. You started with the basics, the house. Then moved onto the house elves, then Kreacher bringing up the juice and then Regulus, then Sirius and then the family mealÖit really was easy to visualize as you transitioned from one thing to the next. I really did enjoy it!
Also, brilliant characterization. I love Regulus and how he acts towards Kreacher and his parents. Itís pretty telling of his character, though we donít know too much about him from the books. Your description is actually pretty accurate as to how Iíve always seen Regulus in my head, which was sort of awesome. Sirius was also well characterized. His lack of interest when it comes to what his parents do and donít approve of and then, of course, his more than happy departure from his parentsí houseÖdefinitely within his character.
Overall, I really enjoyed this chapter. The flow and the entire style of writing were just fantastic. It was really easy to get into and I hope to return to read some more chapters soon! :D
~GrimmerzAuthor's Response: Hello, and thanks for coming by :)
It's so great that you were drawn into this opening chapter! I'm happy that the details worked well and that the imagery was good. I tried to make it easy to picture the Black house.
Regulus has been really tough for me to figure out, but I'm having fun molding him little by little. I want him to be markedly kind toward Kreacher, but not too kind to be out of character for someone who will eventually become a Death Eater. I'm glad you liked Sirius, too; lots of cliches to keep away from there. I tried to make it clear that he and his family are not on good terms, but without any over-the-top screaming or physical violence. Unfortunately, things will be more tense later.
Thanks again for this lovely review! I do hope you come back to read on at a later time :)
-Amanda Report Review
It's so interesting reading different people's interpretations of characters. Like Sirius is often characterized as a player, whereas you've played on his darker side, because we know for sure that he's had a tough adolescence. And so many people make Lily this fierce and stubborn girl, but from her actions on the night she died, and the flashbacks of her as a child, we know that she's really a sweet person. In fact, her relationship with Petunia seems kind of like Regulus and Sirius in the first chapter. As mean as Petunia could be, Lily still loved her and wanted to be close to her. I really enjoyed your characterization of her. I loved the conversation between her and James. It was so awkward, but just from that scene I'm already in love with him. I can't wait to learn more about him. I love the names of Lily's friends. Ellery Edelstock and Celestine DeMarco. They're very different but still fitting to the Harry Potter world. The conversation with Severus broke my heart; he seemed genuinely regretful. I'm curious to see where you go with that and how you tackle his relationship with the young followers of Voldemort.Author's Response: Hi again!
I do think you make a point about the Regulus/Sirius and Lily/Petunia dynamics. I guess they are pretty similar! I'm happy that the characterization for both of my main characters seemed to work well for you. I always try to stay away from the cliches.
I'm a Snape/Lily shipper, so it's kind of weird how much I'm enjoying writing James/Lily for this story. This chapter was especially fun, because they're so awkward and James has clearly changed from his fifth-year self.
I'm glad you like Lily's friends, too, and the scene with Severus. It was difficult to write that, but I'm enjoying the challenge of the James/Lily/Snape dynamic. Be sure to keep a close eye on all of them in chapters to come :)
Thanks again for another lovely review!
Amanda Report Review
This first chapter is so eloquently written. It just flows so nicely, and really has the same feel that the books have. I don't think I've ever come across a fanfiction that gives me that feeling. The way you introduced the characters was brilliant. You can really see that family dynamic, and it's as if Regulus really wants a relationship with his brother. So much so that he'll allow Sirius to walk all over him a bit. I could really feel the tension amongst the family whenever Sirius was in the room, but what you did great was you left it at that; just this constant tension looming over them, which I think is a whole lot stronger than a scene with lots of arguing and fighting. I can't tell you enough how much I love this story already.Author's Response: Hi, thanks for coming by :)
Wow, that means a lot to me, so thank you! I'm so happy to hear that everything flowed well and you liked my characterization. There is definitely tension between Sirius and the others, but Regulus doesn't want to lose his brother, and I'm glad that was apparent. I'm so, so pleased that the drama didn't seem overdone and that you're liking the story :)
Thanks so much for this lovely review!
Amanda Report Review
Aha! I've finally come to a chapter that I haven't reviewed yet (though it's been quite some time since I last reviewed this story. Oops). And it looks like I stopped before just before the story really picked up (as so nicely described by the chapter's title, "Catalyst").
Once again I am amazed by your fabulous characterization. Snape in this chapter was transformed perfectly into a teenager. His comments about the simplicity of potions and how anybody should be able to figure out its problems strongly reminded me of his comments during Harry's potions classes. You mixed in adolescent clumsiness very well as well- he managed to wound himself... *sigh* Oh Severus...
The characterization of Lily and Regulus (along with all of the other characters) was fabulous as well. I agree with you that it makes sense that Lily was a Prefect (I even think that it's also a part of my own headcanon). Lily's outrage over James and Sirius' treatment of Snape worked so well and I like Regulus' continued thoughts about his superiority over muggle-borns. He wouldn't be him without those thoughts, however prejudiced they may be.
Just a quick note: in the potions scene, I didn't notice Regulus or Wilkes putting the blob of flobberworm mucus into the potion, though they were dismissed from class. I supposed it was implied, though, since Regulus mentioned it working in the next scene.
As well, your description was beautifully done. All of the settings were crystal clear in my mind and you portrayed the reactions of the characters very well.
All in all, I think that you did a great job with this chapter and I promise that I will continue on with the rest of the chapters. I will not leave them unread! :DAuthor's Response: Hello, thanks for coming by! I'm sorry that this response has taken a while to get to you.
Oh, I'm so glad you liked Severus in this chapter! He has been such a challenge for me, in trying to flesh out all of his complexities, both the intriguing and the disturbing ones. It is interesting to note that on the one hand, he's got this fine, expert skill in the potions laboratory, and then on the other he can't even hold his own in a physical fight.
It's great that you liked Lily and Regulus, too. Regulus has been as much of a challenge as Severus, in terms of trying to contrast his Black family values with his continued growth and maturity and his confused feelings. I'm glad you feel like it makes sense for Lily to be a Prefect and that you liked how she reacted to the fight between Severus, James, and Sirius.
Yeah, I meant for that to be implied. Sorry if that was unclear--I might go back and look at it later.
I'm pleased to hear that you liked the descriptions and felt like the behavior was natural. I do hope you return sometime soon!
Thanks for your very kind review :)
-Amanda Report Review
You know on some computers they have that 'post-it' note thing.. where you can leave notes? Top of the list is 'Post Scriptum'. I remember reading the first chapter ages ago and absolutely loving it, but then due to exams, I completely forgot! I'm very glad I can come back to it now! :)
I think your descriptions are one of your biggest strengths; you effortlessly draw the reader into this mystical world and its characters... and it feels normal. The characters you're writing feel the the characters in my head - they're not acting peculiarly or saying things OOC.. it's spot on. Really.
I LOVE your characterisation of the Marauders. Remus was world-weary, tired, but still friendly. Peter was uncertain, but not evil. Sirius was perfect. Absolutely perfect. And James was really sweet. Great job on that :)
My favourite thing about the opening was reading how Lily had always enjoyed Halloween. It's such a simple thing and could have been said in a matter of words, but your description just had me imagining the entire thing. You even made me like Halloween a bit more!
Overall, I really enjoyed this and I'll definitely be back as soon as my workload is over, so that I can continue reading!
Keira :)Author's Response: Hello! Oh, yes, I remember you reading the first chapter of this, and I'm so happy to see you return for our swap. I'm so flattered that Post Scriptum has been at the top of your list! :)
Thank you! I used to struggle with not having enough description, and then I struggled with making it too deliberate and letting it take over the chapter. I'm really glad that you think I've struck a good balance here and that the characters seem to fit in with canon.
I really tried to stay away from cliches with the Marauders, having read (and subsequently disliked) so many stories with the usual depictions! My major concerns were that Peter fit in and James and Sirius not be super pranksters. I'm glad that they all seemed to work well for you!
I love writing Lily. She has such adorable moments where she just loves magic. I'm pleased that you liked the chapter opening :)
Thanks so much for this wonderful review, and I do hope to see you back here soon!
Amanda Report Review
Hey there! :)
Poor Sirius he really is treated badly but I'm glad he at least tried to speak up to his dad when he felt that he shouldn't spoke the team. I like the contrast between the brothers that you've drew on, the rooms being decorated differently, the way they dress and even the way the house elf treats them. It's interesting that everything is affected because of the house they are in.
I am curious as to where this is going becuase for a Snape/Lily and James/Lily story, this is an odd place to start. Not odd in a bad way, more an intreging I wonder why lets read on way! :)
It's written well, and I love your descriptions. It really feels like I can see the house, the room and the people interacting. It's very nicely done! Great job!Author's Response: Hi! Thanks for swapping with me :)
I'm glad you like seeing those differences between Regulus and Sirius, and that the contrast is evident in multiple ways. I didn't want to go the cliched route and make it a downright abusive household; instead, I wanted to make Sirius seem unwelcome in more subtle ways, like with his dad.
Well, the ships are a big part of the story (specifically Lily's part), but the major theme here is a budding friendship between Regulus and Lily. I think you'll see more of that if you read on -- and I hope you do! I'm glad that this opening chapter piqued your interest!
Thanks for your very kind review!
Amanda Report Review
Hullo there Amanda!
So, a very long time ago I read the first chapter of this story and fell in love with your pretty descriptions and added it as a favourite, and then very promptly because very busy and never read any further. Which I'm currently really regretting because this chapter was full of really really lovely descriptions as well, and it was a real pleasure to read this.
First off, you definitely manipulated my feels A LOT in regards to talking about how much Lily liked Halloween. That was really, really rather cruel and you should be ashamed of yourself for making me feel so. But all the little bits about Autumn were lovely too, and in the idea that Lily would think about being a witch before she knew was was lovely... I'm just imagining her little snippets of magic and this little kid just thinking she was deluding herself and such.
And then we have the Marauders, whom I'm a little bit in lover with, and I really liked the characterisation of all of them and how smoothly you introduced these characters. Particularly after seeing Sirius in the last chapter (which I reread before getting back to this) and how he comes across here, ack. I just loved that it was really lovely.
So basically, this was a lovely chapter that I enjoyed very much. And I should think I'll be back quite soon :)
-ACAuthor's Response: Hi AC! I'm glad to see you back here for the swap, and I hope you continue past this point :)
Haha, I liked the opening to this chapter. It was cute to imagine Lily as a little girl dressing up like a witch and 'pretending' to do magic. Think she had any accidents back then? If so, she probably just thought her eyes were playing tricks on her. Very cute.
I'm glad you like how I've characterized the boys! I stressed a lot about it because I know they've been cliched to death and I didn't want to mess it up. Hopefully, if you do read on, you'll enjoy watching them grow together.
Thanks again for this very sweet review :)
Amanda Report Review
Oh no, it ended so quickly! I kind of felt that you're wrapping the chapter up, but I kept hoping that you weren't. But, indeed, you were. This chapter was just so much fun and though there weren't any raging events, I could clearly see the set up for some. There was a lot of character structuring here, in my opinion, and that was fun to observe.
The first scene felt as though there was a camera lodged at the centre of the Great Hall, following the characters' gazes and zooming in on the important conversations going on. It was enjoyable to have a glance at what was going on through each of the characters' heads, and it was, thankfully, not confusing at all.
I loved how you started out with Peter and how you showed some subtle changes in attitude. Although he's always been the tiniest in the group, here we could see him make use of his friends' abilities and trying to gain some acclaim and appreciation. And Sirius is just so indignant! How is it all Severus's fault anyway?! I was so happy when Lily kind of took Severus's side. Even if her aim was just to be fair and all.
As for James and Severus this chapter... It was quite entertaining to see what each of them finds as the optimum method to impress Lily. We always wonder what made Lily fall for James, what has pushed Severus towards the dark side, and you're answering all of these questions exceptionally. It's an interesting aspect -how Severus decides he wants to become a Death Eater to impress Lily. Stupid, but quite intriguing. On the other hand, there's James who breaks the rules and has taken an insane risk just to keep an eye on Remus and support him. And it's disappointing to see that Severus, despite how well he knows Lily, would ever think that something like joining Voldemort would help him fall back into her good graces. And James who has never been as close to her had the ability to wow her into speechlessness by showing her how far he'd gone in order to help his friend. It was such a beautiful scene to seal the chapter with. :)
I think that the chapter was wonderful and it felt like a light read because I was so immersed. And I loved the diversity of characters here! I can't wait to see what'll happen next!
As always, well done!
-MannoAuthor's Response: Hi Manno, and thanks for coming by! I've missed getting your reviews, so I was excited to see that you had a spot open. Besides, this poor chapter was looking awfully dejected :D
I do think this chapter was primarily character-based. Don't worry, there's more action coming in the next few. I'm glad the lack of action didn't deter your enjoyment, though.
I was worried that my transition from the Gryffindor Table to the Slytherin Table might have been a little intense, so I'm happy to hear that it worked well for you. I'm always glad to hear that I've painted a picture well.
I have a lot of fun with Peter, because he tends to fall by the wayside in so many stories and I prefer to take advantage of his mysteriousness and lack of development. I wanted to show that he's got a dark side without blowing things way out of proportion. After all, he's still a Marauder at this point.
You've got an interesting analysis of Severus and James, and I think it's quite accurate. Severus tries too hard in his desperation, whereas James has learned that subtle gestures are the way to Lily's heart. We'll have to see where things go next in my crazy little love triangle :)
I'm so glad you liked it. Thank you!
Amanda Report Review
I had made a big deal out of saying I would read/review some work and here I am. I'm sorry that I didn't get here right away, I've been busy with boring adult stuff and it really sucks.
Anyway! Wow. Talk about great writing, first of all! I was completely immersed in the story with that first line and I really loved your progression of introducing the characters. I thought it was unique to show Kreacher's thought process as well, I don't really see much from his side of things. And the description of Regulus vs. Sirius was smoothly done as well and I was able to pick up on their differences right away. The feeling of the home was very well written as well, I could picture it all in my head and could sense Sirius's loathing and Regulus's innocence. Are you going to be going back and forth betweeen POV's of the two brothers? They don't seem particularly close but I do like that you have them interacting when their own parents seem to disregard the oldest brother to favor the second. Loved the little hints of Voldemorts rise as well in Regulus's newspaper clippings and that littel bit with their father and Sirius was perfection. ;)
So. I'm really glad that I decided to read this and I'll be back! I promise! I've got some updates of my own to do and then, probably I'll be continuing on from this. Its pretty darn excellent.
But you probably know that already. ;)
GabbieAuthor's Response: Hi! I can COMPLETELY sympathize with being busy. Being an adult really is no fun, huh? :) Anyway, thank you for coming by!
I'm glad you liked witnessing the banter between Regulus and Sirius and seeing the differences between them made apparent. I'm not going to be going between Sirius and Regulus's perspectives persay; the story is third person, and it focuses alternately on Lily and Regulus. You'll get Sirius in with that :)
Sirius is definitely very distanced from the rest of his family, though the outright break is yet to come. In fact, at the point in the story where I am now, it's not far off at all :( I did want to emphasize that Regulus and his brother are not mortal enemies yet, either. That's a major point/conflict in this story.
I'm happy you liked Kreacher, too. He's important to Regulus, so he's important to the story overall in that way.
Well, thanks again! I do hope you return soon!
Amanda Report Review
Hey it's Courtney, here for the review tag.
First off, I have to say that your use of imagery is spectacular. I have serious problems with image, and could never achieve something as awesome as this piece of writing. Even from the very beginning sentence; 'The ancient house was dark, except for the slender fingers of morning sunlight' you could tell that you have put a lot of thought into this first chapter.
The one thing I did notice, however, is that many of your sentences seem a bit...long? This could just be me though, I'm not used to writing/reading this style!
I love your characterization of Regulus and Sirus-most especially Sirius. He just seemed the very definition of a moody teenage boy!
Overall, I think you've done a great job with this first chapter, and I expect the rest of 'Post Scriptum' is just as fantastic!
Courtney:)Author's Response: Hello, thanks for coming by!
Well, everybody starts somewhere, right? I used to feel the same way about other authors, and so I made working on imagery a serious goal. I think you could probably work on it with practice. There are also probably some good tutorials for it on the forums :)
Yeah, my sentences are a little long. Something else I'm working on :D
I'm glad you like Regulus and Sirius, though! They're very young, and Sirius is especially moody. I hope you find him entertaining.
Thanks so much for this very kind review! I hope to see you pop by again sometime soon.
Amanda Report Review
This chapter has left me internally screaming at Snape to stop being such an idiot. The way you've written him here is brilliant because you show all of his flaws yet still make him sympathetic - he's pig-headed and misguided and not thinking with his head, but he's got good intentions in mind. It's a very difficult balance to maintain with a character, one that's integral to Snape's characterization.
This whole episode for him is a strange one - I wondered why he would actually believe Sirius, but his reaction toward James at the end make me think that all of Snape's hatred and jealousy is focused on James and James alone. It's interesting because Sirius equally takes part in tormenting Snape, but for Snape it wasn't about the abuse, it was about Lily. He would do anything for her, even if he's entirely incapable of speaking to her without being offensive. He's very cruel to her and his love is suffocating; he wants to protect her and have her all to himself. You take JKR's hints of Snape's selfish love and give us what feels like the "real story", straight out of canon. It's amazing how canon this story is, especially in this chapter.
There's a lot of other things I could mention that stood out to me, like the way you show Snape as more of a danger to himself than Remus was to him, or how subtly Sirius manipulated Snape. I also liked that you didn't actually show what happened between Remus and Snape, but instead we only hear Snape's confused rambling. The structure of his chapter reflected the chaotic scene by changing POVs and cutting the scenes at opportune moments. It enhanced the action and speed of the narrative, yet somehow you did it without breaking the flow. Great work with this chapter! I love how this story is developing! :DAuthor's Response: I'm just going to cuddle this for a while, mmkay?
Seriously, though, if my Severus is an idiot... perfect. I tried so hard to make him flawed and to really push myself to the limit, to try to see him the way Lily would have when she made choices against him toward the end of her short life. At the same time, though--you nailed it--I wanted the readers to second-guess her hard turn against him. I wanted to cast his motives in a purer light, in the sense that she is his only light and reason to move forward and so he just does that.
It was hard for me to put myself in his head and figure out why he would succumb to Sirius, and in the end, the only thing I could think of was Lily. She's what I return to when I try to decide where his character should go next. I think you've pegged him correctly; he'll do anything to keep Lily's attention, even if it's just so she can argue back to him. I think he'd endure any amount of abuse from Sirius and James if he thought it would help him get Lily in the end. It's amazing how closed off in his own world he seems at this point, in terms of not being able to comprehend how she must actually see him. I would think it would be scary for her, too--how is she supposed to redeem herself in this friendship if her friend isn't her friend anymore?
I'm glad you liked the way I set up the scene and moved it along from Snape's perspective. I really wanted it to be a bizarre moment for Lily, when she comes to realize briefly that Snape's rambling is actually somewhat accurate. I think it would be in these moments, when she can see the depth of his passion for her, that she would be the most frightened, of him and of what is to come.
Thank you so much for this wonderful review, Susan! I'm trying to go in reverse this time, just for a change, so I'll get to responding to others of yours as soon as I can! :)
Amanda Report Review
GORGEOUS! GORGEOUS THINGS ALL OVER THE CHAPTER! And the way you've ended it... I can't even formulate proper words.
I suppose I was expecting you'll get to this particular canon event eventually since you hinted at it the previous chapter, and you showed us Severus's willingness to protect Lily from the Marauders. It really is funny how both of them view each others' friends. Anyway, I was really impressed with the way you had Sirius lure Severus into going to the Shack. I honestly still don't understand what Sirius could have been trying to achieve by that. Getting Severus killed? Is that really a cause worthy of risking the exposure of his best friend's secret? This chapter made me wish I could see that Library scene from Sirius's point of view.
The thing with Severus is, perhaps, how his brain kind of stops working properly when matters are related to impressing Lily. Somehow, he doesn't suspect anything about this little rendezvous and he doesn't doubt Sirius's integrity despite his distaste for him; it really was stupid on his behalf, no matter his good intentions. I mean, he already had his suspicions regarding Remus and he was brewing a potion to have said suspicions proven. Yet, he blindly goes into the Whomping Willow in the hopes of impressing Lily. But I suppose that's what you do when you're desperate for the forgiveness of the one you love, right?
Severus and Lily aside, just for a tiny bit... Once again, there are occasions that prepare Lily (and us for having her) fall for James. He tries to protect his best friend by hurting who once was hers, reacts maturely to the whole situation and promises to reprimand Sirius for his recklessness, and she's impressed by him. I suppose that's sad because it was meant to be Severus's night to impress her. Poor Sev. Yes, we're back to him again! :D
And another chapter ends with the two of them fighting and being distanced from each other furthermore rather than just making up and being friends again. The best thing that happened this time though was having Lily confess that she missed Severus too. Maybe that'll change him a little and accordingly help her hold up her end of the deal with Regulus? Let me be hopeful about this despite everything I know about how things end for these two. As far as I know, Severus and Lily will make up and so will Sirius and Regulus, and everything will be just dandy.
I cannot wait to see the consequences of all that's happened in this chapter and how it will affect the deal between Regulus and Lily. Wonderful, wonderful chapter! It may even be my favourite but I'm finding it hard to settle on anything. Too many gorgeous things and chapters.
PS. This is my 100th review! So happy I've left it here! :D
-MannoAuthor's Response: Manno! Happy 100th review, once again!
You know, I think that's a valid point. It was a little tough for me to even imagine why Severus would take the bait from Sirius, and so Lily was used to sort of remedy that issue, but I do have to wonder what Sirius's motive was. Hopefully it wouldn't just be for laughs at this point. I think it probably stemmed from the bitter edge of his life, with his issues at home and generally dark outlook on things. I'm sure it wasn't easy to be around him.
Hah, it's so true! Lily makes him stupid, and fortunately some people have found that sympathetic. I think it bothers her, too, knowing that she's the cause of his injuries. It's probably one of many reasons why canon Lily eventually decided not to stick with him.
Toying with the Severus-James dynamic has been so hard and so enjoyable at the same time. I want to allow myself to get to know James and understand what Lily eventually found lovable about him, and I also want to see Severus the way that she eventually did. It breaks my little shipper heart every time she and Severus have an argument, and yet I'm enjoying letting her bond a little with James. This story has been so weird for me!
Be hopeful! Do it! It's okay to want that nice, clean ending--I know I do! I also love Lily's messiness, though. It's fun for me to play with her emotions and make her conflicted, as much as I usually want only good things for her. Characterization is a real roller-coaster!
Thank you again for this fabulous review :)
Amanda Report Review
Wow, this is great.
Not that that's a huge surprise, seeing as all your chapters are pretty amazing. But this was really, really good. I love your writing style, and the plot is so good... I really, really liked the way you portrayed everyone - especially Severus was great here, though Lily and James were really impressive. Even though I know Sirius is going to tell Snape, I feel so disappointed in him every time he does, in every Marauder's era fic I read centered around that time. (Other than that, I really love Sirius.) Anyways, thank you so much for writing this, it's amazing!Author's Response: Hello, and thank you! I always love it when a faithful reader comes out of the woodwork to review, since it happens so rarely :)
It's great that you like my characterization. I think that's the part I've worked hardest on in this story. I've especially put work into Severus, since I have a tendency to write him as being a bit more decent than he probably deserves, and James, who I've always had a bit of a bias against. If they came across fairly, though, that's lovely! I have to agree with you about Sirius--I adore him, but only when he's not being awful to poor Severus. It was tough to write Snape just falling easily into Sirius's trap, too.
Thanks so much for your review, and I hope to hear from you again when this is updated!
-Amanda :) Report Review
There's something real sexy about sev in this story!Author's Response: Haha, I'd love to know what it is! I tried deliberately to make Severus unattractive in this story, since I tend to demonstrate the other sort of bias in most of the stuff I write about him :) Anyway, it's great that you're enjoying the story. Thanks for much for stopping to review!
-Amanda Report Review
Ta da! I'm back! :D Hi, Amanda! I've missed reading Post Scriptum and Marauders in general, I feel like writing it myself since I read so little of it *sniffle* Anyway, enough about me, more about you and another lovely chapter!
There were a lot of scenes in there, you're right - for the most part, the start and ending bits where they changed weren't at all rushed, though it was the most obvious in between the scene where Sirius packs and he and Regulus returns to the castle. (...I seriously hope you know what I mean, because I know I'm doing a horrible job explaining it :p) Anyway, I felt horribly sorry for Regulus - no, I love Sirius, but he has to be so mean all the time, ugh -.-
Moving on from my general strangeness, I did like the Quidditch scene at the beginning! Most people use it as a filler, and I do wish it was a little bit longer because I so wanted to pick up tips like the weirdo I am >.< But, it didn't feel awkward or anything, and since it was our only glimpse of Lily for this chapter (and it wasn't too meaningless seeing as Regulus sent the notes) I'm pretty happy for the most part :)
Ugh, I'm horrible at this, I have nothing useful to say, Amanda, I'm sorry :( Most of what I do have to say is gushy and fangirl-y, blah. This was a lovely read, though, and I really do apologise for the slight wait along with the whole being-useless stuff, but I genuinely can't wait for the next!
--LinnAuthor's Response: Hi Linn! I am really, really sorry that this response took me so long. I get busy with things that I love so much less than your reviews.
Someone else pointed that rushed transition out, and I totally agree -- it needs some work. Now as soon as I figure out how to fix it... haha. I'm glad most of them worked okay.
You know, I've lately seen a lot of Snape fans who are just adamantly against Sirius, as much or even more so than James. I try to play with both the positive and negative sides of a character, so it's been interesting for me to bring out Sirius's less attractive qualities and still try to balance them with those things that would have made his friends love him. So if you have conflicted feelings, I guess that's working well, which is great!
Well, I'm horrid at action scenes in general, especially Quidditch, so you're probably best not trying to pick up tips from me. It's great that you felt like it had a purpose and enjoying the interaction between Regulus and Lily there.
Hey, I'll take all the gush I can get, so thank you! I hope to see you stop by again soon!
Amanda Report Review
OH YAY! Look, more plot! And they all explore things we just heard about in the books, so it's extremely exciting! And it took me weeks to get here so I feel horrible.
The opening scene to your chapter is kind of different this time. There aren't these foreboding descriptions; you're jumping right into what's happening and I think it goes well with the thrill that accompanies Quidditch. And, oh my God, Amanda! Lily's starting to notice James but is fighting herself like any sensible girl would. Let's hope she stays sensible long enough...?
I think the events flowed well in this chapter. You included many things that we know will lead to bigger things in the future very naturally and without making the chapter feel as though it has been purposefully 'stuffed' with events and information.
And I honestly cannot be any happier to back among the Black family! I don't think they were this entertaining in the beginning and I think this has to do with how we know them a little better now. I absolutely loved the part where Regulus couldn't decide which felt more like home to him, Grimmauld Place or Hogwarts. It makes a wonderful contrast to Sirius's determination to leave the house for good and that all that accounts for this difference is the parent's treatment.
I think the scene between Sirius and Regulus in this chapter deserves a prize! The fact that you even thought about having Sirius needing to go back and pack his things... Anyway! I think it's wonderful you let Regulus know about Sirius wanting to leave. It makes me think about how much harder it'll have to be for Regulus to hold up his end of the deal while knowing how little Sirius wants to have to do with the family. I wonder if Regulus will start to feel responsible for changing Sirius's mind and try to do something about it. What I really don't understand, though, is how you can make me excited about knowing details of events that I already know the way they'll end.
You know, when Sirius was criticising Regulus for being friends with Severus and Regulus was like, 'What's wrong with Severus?', I really wanted to throw something at Sirius and ask him what's wrong with Severus too. Because it's sad how the poor bloke has spent his entire life misjudged and misunderstood. Until the moment he died. I don't think anyone's life could have been more morbid.
And what I loved is how you tried to rectify one of those things that we misunderstood about Severus. We only heard about the Whomping Willow incident from Remus and Sirius in the books and they made it sound like Severus just wanted to know because he hated them and wanted to have something to hold against them. But he only did it for Lily's welfare! He just wanted to make sure that she wasn't going to get hurt! You have no idea how this makes me feel. I just want to cry thinking about it. The closing line kind of makes me want to cry too.
So anyway, I honestly cannot wait for the next chapter because I really don't know what else you may have in store! And I'm sorry for taking ages to leave you the review!
-MannoAuthor's Response: I just realized that I hadn't yet responded to this before re-requesting. I'm so sorry! On it now!
I'm glad the flow here was okay, and that you didn't feel like this chapter was just filler. I do kind of have a tendency to start out with description, to kind of set the scene, and I wanted to start this one off by just dropping the reader right there into the action. It's great that you liked the shift in that respect!
Writing the brotherly relationship between Sirius and Regulus is so depressing at times, and yet it's so interesting to me, too. I do think that Sirius leaving will mark a turning point of some magnitude with Regulus in terms of him holding up his end of the deal. I think fairly soon, both he and Lily will start to fully realize how difficult this arrangement is, and how severe the consequences could be.
This is a matter of some controversy, but I see a lot of similarities between Severus and Sirius, more so than I'm sure either of them would ever acknowledge. Both come from unhappy homes, both find solace at Hogwarts, and both end up finding a cause to devote themselves to. I find their dynamic intriguing.
You'll read more about that incident in the next chapter :) I hope it doesn't make you too sad, but I might have a couple tissues around just in case... haha. Thanks so much for this wonderful review, and I apologize for the wait!
-Amanda Report Review
Oh no, not that ending! I've got a bad sense of foreboding about what's going to happen next, though I love how you're making use of canon to further the plot. I'd never thought about the Whomping Willow incident in this way, as a reflection of Snape's care for Lily - he wants to know the reason for Remus's absences, not for his own idle curiosity, nor for getting the Marauders in trouble, but only to protect her. It's an interesting re-interpretation of that event, and I look forward to seeing how it will play out in future chapters.
My favourite part, however, was when Regulus first entered the potions classroom, ascribing its nighttime creepiness to Slughorn's absence. That was a fantastic detail. It's sometimes easy to put Slughorn down as a poor teacher and a weak wizard who was unable to prevent the Slytherins from joining Voldemort. But here, you demonstrate how his personality and enthusiasm, however misguided in some regards (as Snape explains, Slughorn admires only the beautiful and well-born), lends a positive, optimistic force. It's just a small detail in your story, but it's one I really liked to see.
The rest of the chapter was excellent. It was great to see Regulus and Sirius finally speak, even if it was only for a brief moment. There was a connection there, a something that gives hope for their relationship. Seeing it from Regulus's perspective was a novelty for me, and you made it an emotional moment for both brothers. The saddest part is that they still fail to understand one another. You know, I'm actually more interested in seeing Sirius and Regulus as friends than I am in seeing Snape and Lily together. Maybe that's the canon-lover in me. :P But there's a wonderful depth to your portrayal of both brothers in this chapter. Sirius's earlier behaviour almost makes sense after seeing how his family has bullied and pushed him aside for being different - they're the ones who alienated him, not the other way around. He becomes a rebel as a defence mechanism, though it's sad that he treats Snape the same way that his family have treated him, but sadly that happens too often.
The one part that I felt needed work was the transition between Sirius's packing and the two brothers' return to Hogwarts. It happened too suddenly and broke up the flow of the chapter. There needs to be more something there, but I unhelpfully can't think of what. Does Sirius immediately run up the stairs to Gryffindor tower, leaving Regulus alone? It could have been an opportunity for them to speak again, yet Regulus just wanders into the Great Hall. That's the only critique I can muster for this chapter.
I'm rambling, aren't I? My brain is still somewhat made of mush, but I really wanted to get this chapter done while I had the chance. It's a fantastic addition to this story. Once again, you develop your characters with great care, making them seem as real as possible - multifaceted is the word I'm looking for. You also capture the atmosphere of Hogwarts in the growing shadow the first war - there's still plenty of youthful optimism, such as in the Quidditch match (oh Lily, we all know you're falling for Potter, and I suppose that the Whomping Willow incident will only help in that regard), but it's set against the strange gloom of the dungeons and the castle's shadowy corridors. The descriptions help make this story so interesting to read, a very visual experience.
You've done amazing work here, and I'm eager to see what will happen next. There's so much that could happen - I'm curious to see how far you'll take this story, whether it will go to graduation, or halt somewhere before, when Snape and Regulus's situations become hopeless. Either way, I'll be on the lookout for updates. This is one of my favourite WIPs to read. ^_^Author's Response: *sigh* This response is so abysmally late. I swear I tried to type it up about a month ago and it refused to post, so I got frustrated and let it languish. You deserve a proper response, though, so here I am again. I'm so sorry!
I really wanted to figure out this whole thing with Snape and the Whomping Willow. I racked my brain trying to figure out why he would ever give Sirius the time of day, let alone take his advice about finding out Remus's secret. He had to know that there were some heavy ulterior motives there, right? Anyway, as with most times in which I am trying to figure out Severus's next move, I returned to Lily. I thought she might be a strong enough motivator for him to throw caution to the wind momentarily. I'm glad you felt like my reasoning worked well with canon.
You know, I really like Slughorn. I don't think he gets showcased enough, despite the fact that he was probably the closest thing to a redeeming force coming out of Slytherin in the final battle (that wasn't directly involved with Voldemort, anyhow). I also think that in a small way, he's helping to hold Regulus back from just jumping in with the Death Eaters right away. I imagine he was sadder than most to watch Sirius's brother end up dead.
Wouldn't it be lovely if Sirius and Regulus could just make up and leave the whole Black family travesty behind them? I'm happy that you liked my portrayal of them; I try to give them fairly equal screen time, at least most of the time, and I'm having fun exploring their contrasts and imagining them both as friends and brothers and as mortal enemies. I hope that Sirius's behavior humanizes Regulus a bit.
You're right about the transition. I felt that it was a bit weak, but I too couldn't figure out what to put there. Ah, well, another edit for another day, I suppose--thank you!
Yes, and I will only say this very quietly so as not to perturb my muse, but I am really enjoying letting Lily and James fall for each other. I think that James with a dose of redemption is a James who I can agree with :) Keep reading, for more Jily fluff is to come!
You'll just have to wait until the end, I suppose. Until then, I'm pleased that you're enjoying this, and thank you for yet another undeservedly wonderful review, Susan!
Amanda Report Review
There's so much you've done in this chapter that I like that I could pretty much copy-and-paste the whole chapter into this review box and say "THIS". But that's not the kind of review you'll be wanting, I expect. ;) You've done a fantastic job with this chapter, developing both the characters and the plot with ease and grace. The plot is building in a wonderfully complex way as you add in new elements, new challenges, little twists where you offer snatches of hope only to whisk them away again. I can't anticipate what will come next - there's no obviousness about this story in the least - but you constantly make me eager to read more. Looking back at how you were writing in "At Great Personal Risk", you've come so far! It's brilliant!
It's always a joy to see an author include so many characters and manage to give them all a bit of depth. The young Death Eaters have dimension, from Rosier's dark maturity to Avery's closeness to Snape (I liked his mild defence of Snape) and Wilke's painful naivety. They felt like people, which is refreshing and wonderful to see - yes, I know that they become "the enemy", but you remind us that they aren't really that different from the Marauders except in chance, being sorted into Slytherin at a particular time. It's the outside forces that made them who they were, to a large degree, and this fits into JKR's questioning of nature vs. nurture throughout the series.
The inclusion of Peter was fantastic in its execution. The ironic foreshadowing was amazing - subtle, but striking, if that makes any sense at all. You portray Peter very well, too - directly in line with canon where he helps the other two with their pranks, yet maintains hints of hidden depths. You say so much with what remains unsaid with Peter - from Lily's perspective, it's a straight-forward conversation, but the lack of narration there points to so much more going on behind the scenes. He easily tells a lie at the beginning, so how many more does he tell? How much does he read through her own lie? It's a fascinating conversation, and while I loved the rest of the chapter, this was a particular highlight.
As for the plot itself, of the deal and its results, I feel for both Lily and Regulus that it's not working out. They want to try, but there's too many other things - external forces - involved for it to ever be a success (or so it seems thus far). The ill-fated timing makes this a very sad chapter - the potential for success was there, but the prejudices that those young Death Eaters have been imbibed with are too powerful, tainting even the good people like Regulus and Snape. I loved the ending of this chapter, with Regulus's realization that his brother despises him, that he will never succeed in "making up" with Sirius. It's too late, and nothing Regulus can do could change that. Or is it possible? I'll still harbour some hopes. ;)
Sorry if this review is largely incomprehensible - my cold medicine seems to have petered out, leaving me drifting a little in mind. I really enjoyed reading this chapter - the flow of this story is incredible, continuously driving forward with an increasingly addictive quality to it. It will be great to see where you choose to take this highly unique plot. ^_^Author's Response: Aww, Susan :) Sorry this response took so long.
I do like to think that taking my time with these long pieces and really playing with the details in each chapter has paid off in terms of my improvement as a writer. It's so reassuring for you to say those things! Thank you for your continued support of my work.
You put it well when you said that Snape's friends are like the Marauders in that they each have their own personalities. They aren't as well-developed as the Marauders, but I do think they're each a little different, in terms of their quirks and allegiance to one another. It's been fun to explore each of them!
I was hoping you'd appreciate Peter! I wanted to allude to things from canon, things to come, but also make it clear that I'm not about to fall into that cliche where everyone has a funny feeling about Peter and just knows to leave him out. Lily's letter to Sirius makes it clear in canon that she is at least concerned about Peter, even if he's not her favorite of James's friends. You're right that telling lies seems to come easy for him. We'll have to see where he goes from here, hmm?
Isn't that always the way, that no matter how much you want something, there will always be the potential for things to get in the way? Don't give up hope just yet; it's only the beginning of this little journey for Regulus and Lily, and there's still much to come for them.
Thanks so much for this fabulous review! :)
-Amanda Report Review
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