Emesias here with your requested review!
As promised, here's you full- on review ^_^
Grammar/ spelling: None that I can spot ^_^ very good job on this part!
Characters: I'm loving how they are developing so far. Their personalities are highlighted and consistent with their dialogue and actions. They're well described so I, as the reader, can vividly picture them as well as the things that they do!
Plot/ flow: As I had shared in the first chapter, you have a very interesting plot going on here! So far it is going quite well in terms of development and flow. I'm loving the impact of the main influence of this story ^_^ Good job!
Happy Writing! 10/10Author's Response: Hey, thanks again for reading all these chapters. :)
You can thank my fabulous betas for the nice job on the spelling and grammar. They're fantastic.
Oh good. The characters are definitely want drives this entire plot forward so I'm glad you're finding them consistent. Descriptions are definitely something I love to write so I hope to continue to improve in that aspect and make my writing even better.
Glad the plot is working for you and the flow, as well! There's always a concern if it's going too slow or too fast, etc. so it's important for me to get feedback on how readers take it.
Thanks again. These were very nice reviews. :) Report Review
Emesias here with your requested review!
As this is a multi-chapter review, I will leave my full- on chapter review at the end of the fifth chapter ^_^
Overall: I think that you are off to a good start. The idea is brilliant. It gives off that same feeling that I get while I watch Merlin ^_^ It's awesome! I love the idea of the classic hierarchy, kings and princes and the thirst for supremacy! I can't wait how the plot goes along and how the characters interact and develop throughout!
Happy Writing! 9/10Author's Response: Hi, thanks for doing this for me. I know it was a lot to read!
I've never watched Merlin so I can't make any connections but I'll take that as a compliment. Kings, princes, and that whole fight for control is definitely a favorite of mine so I'm glad you like it too.
Thanks so much for taking the time to read and review this. It means a lot to me. :) Report Review
Hello, my dear! I'm finally here, I'm sorry it's taken so long! The House Cup writing got me a bit behind. Anyway, you said you just wanted a general review because it's the later chapters you are more concerned with, correct?
I'm going to say now that I probably will never look nor point out any grammatical error. You have a set of amazing betas, so I won't even worry about looking for that.
Shakespeare.. not a huge fan of him, but I AM a fan of Hamlet. One of his very few works I like. I haven't read it in sometime so I'll probably be spark noting throughout to follow the parallel ;)!
You have done an amazing job taking these characters and bringing them into a realistic AU. I love that you brought us straight into the plot and didn't spend forever on back story, it made for a wonderfully captivating first chapter.
I think your descriptions were perfect; I knew exactly what was happening without being bombarded with paragraphs of detail. I love descriptions, but I hate when they become so much that they overtake the story. Their purpose is to enhance, not control.
Your writing style in this first chapter matched the dark mood and undertones of this classic tragedy, I am very impressed with the way you have seemed to adjusted your writing style to fit this particular type of story.
Sirius... sweet, precious Sirius. Anything that has him in it that isn't a Lily and James instantly draws me in. I'm working on a L and J so I tend to stay away from reading them, but usually I miss out on reading about my dear Sirius, I'm so happy you have brought him to me!
I think you did a good job capturing the innocents of his youth. He doesn't know better than to ask the questions playing in his mind, he doesn't realize how dangerous they are. How dangers even thinking of changing the order of their world is. Instead, he remains the same reckless boy that know the difference between right and wrong, and can't help but question the two.
As you can tell, I have absolutely no CC for you in this first chapter. Hopefully in the future I can be of more help and actually make a few suggestions, but I think this was an amazing start and I do hope you re request, because I'm quite interested now :)!
Well done, PM me if you have any questions about my gushy non helpful review!
Jami Report Review
Finally, finally here with your review! I think this is honestly the longest anyone has ever had to wait. I'm so sorry!
Plot: This is really interesting and I was so thrilled to see such a unique story with characters written so often! You gave it such a unique and capturing twist!
Imagery: There was some, but I feel like perhaps there could be more? I suspect there will be more in later chapters, but I feel like its imagery what brings the story to life and I stress this with even the best writers(:
Characterization: I loved Orion, and Cygnus. I also feel like you gave us a good yet brief glimpse of Cissy. I think Sirius was written quite well too, but I would have liked to see more of Regulus!
Grammar/Spelling: Perfect! I didn't see any errors! This is always great because it didn't distract me from the story!
Flow: This was surprisingly good! I really expected it to be jumpy and whatnot with the whole Acts but you wrote it in such a way that you pulled it off perfectly! Congratulations, I consider that a feat! Whether you do or not, I don't know, but I find it rather impressive!
Reader interest: Terribly, terribly interested hun! This whole Cygnus is bad yet seems good is just intriguing, Sirius and his slightly rebellious attitude is a joy to read, and I love Cissy and how she's all 'holier than thou'! I particularly liked the relationship between Sirus and his father. I think you captured the father/son relationship perfectly, which was just wonderful!
Ultimately, I think this is really great! The only CC I would recommend considering is adding a bit more imagery. I don't know if this will be hard because its in acts and if that even affects it, I don't know. But I think some quality imagery would really make this story go from great to fabulous! I was impressed by such a unique idea and look froward to see where you're taking this!
EverAuthor's Response: It hasn't even been that long so don't stress about it. I've waited much longer for reviews and I honestly don't care. :)
I really wanted to write something that I had never seen before and this plot bunny kind of smacked me in the face and then wouldn't leave me alone until I wrote it. The Black family seemed perfect for the roles and then the other canon characters sort of fell into place after that. It was fate. ;)
Hm, there may or may not be more imagery, I'm not sure. I feel like I'm pretty heavy on the description and this, stylistically, is a pretty straight-forward fic so maybe that's why I didn't write as much imagery as there would be in another one of my fics. I'm not sure if I'll ever go back and edit more into the fic but it will be something I'll keep in mind, especially for future chapters.
I'm sad I killed Orion off so quickly, he would've been fun to write. But I do enjoy writing Cyngus, such a sneaky devil. You will definitely see more Cissy, especially in chapter 6, and in future chapters. Regulus didn't have a huge role in this particular chapter but he is included in the remaining chapters a lot, don't worry!
My fabulous betas really do the best job and I'm very thankful to them. I'll be sure to pass your compliments on to them.
I'm really pleased that the scene changes and POV shifts worked for you. I'm trying really hard to make the transitions flow well so that's definitely something I'd love for you to comment on in future chapters.
I'm trying to figure out why the only readers I'm getting are ones I'm requesting, so it's important to make sure that the story is interesting enough. I'm glad you're enjoying it so far. The characters will only grow from here and I hope that you'll continue to love this fic as much as I love writing it.
I will take your comments on imagery into consideration and I will look into editing it into the chapters, but if not, like I said, it will be something I keep in mind for future chapters.
Thanks for your super helpful review. I'll be sure to re-request as soon as you have spots open. Report Review
Simply put: I love this. Every sentence seemed so carefully and perfectly constructed that I'm not quite sure what I can say in this review that won't massively inflate your ego. The pacing, the plot, and the characterization were all extremely well done and I don't think I can commend you enough for this story, to be honest. I'm looking forward to reading the other chapters (: But, before I do, I suppose I should give you somewhat more specific, less gush-y reasons for why I like this haha.
Characterization wise, I thought this was perfect for a first chapter (er...first act?), because you told us a little bit about all the characters mentioned. Even though Narcissa and Regulus play such tiny roles in this chapter, I still got a hint of their personalities and I liked that a lot. I also particularly enjoyed Sirius' father, who was so delightfully different than I expected him to be; because this is an AU, I sort of expected you to completely re-vamp him and turn him into this all-around great guy who Sirius idolized or something, and I liked how you didn't make him into this unrealistically perfect character at all. I liked how the first thing he did when he saw Sirius was admonish him for his un-princely ways, but how you still gave him a more tender side. Somehow, you made me feel for him in that one scene, so that I found myself actually sad at his death.
I think one of my favorite parts about this is how you've translated everything from canon into this incredibly unique alternate universe (I'm fairly certain I've never seen anyone do this with Harry Potter, and I gotta say I'm loving it). It just makes so much sense that the Black family would be in charge of a kingdom and I can't wait to see how you translate the Marauders into this - seriously, I am more excited for that part than you can possibly imagine.
But what really charmed me about this was the subtlety of your writing. So far, you haven't really thrown any plot twists out - everything that's happening is sort of standard formula, and I mean that in the least offensive way possible. And yet, you still manage to add your own little spin to it just by the way you write. One of my favorite sentences in this is: "Cygnus felt his lips stretching slowly into a smile as he thought of his late sister and her husband; all Cygnus wanted to do was make Orion happy again." It seems kind of random, but I just love how you can say so much while still saying so little, if that makes sense. In fact, I think that sums up this entire chapter quite neatly; you say a lot in a little. There's not too much description or action or anything like that. It's a perfect balance, and I can't help but envy you for that (:
And my other favorite line in this was: "Cygnus fell asleep easily that night, dreaming of a crown upon his head and his brother's kingdom in the palm of his hand." I just like how poetic it sounds, and the fact that you ended this chapter this way. It worked very well, I thought.
I think I'm dangerously close to inflating your ego to massive proportions, so I should probably stop now. Expect more detailed reviews when I can get around to the next chapter! You are really spectacular.
Cherry Bear Report Review
I can honestly say that this is one of the best stories I've ever read. This is based on Hamlet, right? I prefer this version then the other, just saying.
Now, I'm not really good at giving long reviews, especially when there's not much CC to give and in your case there isn't, but I will try to give you a review you deserve.
First off, I love the way you write third person, whenever I try to write third person it ends up--to me--sounding detached, you on the other hand still give us such an insight to all your characters. I feel bad for poor Regulas, I'm pretty sure that Cygns will be targeting him next.
But the way you write this, the setting, the imagery, the little things. Is just so masterful, I sit at my computer chair in awe. :)Author's Response: Yeah, it's very loosely based off of Hamlet, plus inspiration from various other stories that'll pop up here and there.
I've never really attempted second or first person, so third comes naturally to me. I'm glad you can still connect to the characters, though. I know that second and first relay a bit more of an intimate feeling that's hard to get from third person so I'm glad you still feel insightful.
I definitely want you to sympathize with Regulus. He's going to have a rough life but he will become stronger because of it.
I'm glad you liked it. Thanks for the review. Report Review
I really should just read this more. I know your a brilliant writer and all, and I'm always so excited when I find time to read your stories, though I always seem to run to the one-shots more.
I really, really, really enjoy your story, and I know I loved this one because I had read bits of it before I just never found the time to go back, but oh my gosh I wish I had gone back because this is one chapter, (as I'm sure all the rest are) was so, so, so, amazing.
I really wish I wasn't so lazy and had come back here before. I'm sorry, hopefully this review makes up for it.
You are awesome.
LizzieAuthor's Response: One-shots are definitely easier to read and review than trying to keep up with a WIP. Glad you liked it. Thanks for the review. Report Review
I've never read an AU before - truthfully I tend to avoid them - but yours looked so tempting so I gave it a shot and boy am I bloody happy that I did. I am blown away by how well written and interesting this plot you have created is. It's only the first chapter and yet it's so well-done it feels like it's a tenth or something chapter in a wonderful old-age Kingdom tale.
I love to read stories that involve Kingdoms and the vicious lies and manipulating that befalls on the royal family. It's so intriguing; power, and the fight for it, creates one of the most fascinating tales. I can tell this story is off to a great start and I bet every other chapter is just as amazing, if not better.
Honestly, I couldn't find a single thing to critique. The grammar, spelling, story flow, characterizations, dialogues... they were all marvelous and just amazingly done. I love this, I love this, I love this! Not to mention, it happens to feature my lovely husband Sirius, so a plus for you on that! ;)
All in all, great first chapter. It was excellent. You're a fantastic writer!Author's Response: Ah, AUs seem to turn a lot of people off for some reason. I'm glad you decided to give this a chance, though.
Thank you! I definitely wanted to give this a bit of an old-age Kingdom tale with a modern-ish twist. It's a lot of fun to write these characters in this setting, so I'm glad you like it so much.
Kingdom stories are so much fun, especially with a good war going on regarding politics and definitely manipulation. It's interesting to see who the strong characters are or those who may act weak but then come out of nowhere and surprise you.
Heh, yes, Sirius! He is such an integral part to this story and I'm having so much fun writing him as a prince. I really do hope you continue to read this and find more reasons to fall in love with the kingdom and the characters.
Thanks for your lovely review. :) Report Review
I hardly noticed that this chapter was over 7K words long... Literally, Missy, I got to the end and was like, "what?, no, moreee." I know it's been a while since you updated and I know this chapter gave you troubles in it's earliest stages, but this was a brilliant chapter, like, really really brilliant. Maybe even your best one yet. :) Since your formatting is so nice, I'm going to go scene by scene and comment on things because if not, you'd have a rubbish paragraph of rambling nonsense because there was so much good in this chapter.
I loved the opening scene with Remus and Sirius. Their dialoge was so easy, so sweet. And poor Remus. I just wanted to hug him, or cure his condition or something. I do wonder if his scars are from the same source here as in canon, I sort of assumed they did, especially with him being on such good terms with the Potions Lady. I really hope that their friendship continues to grow... it's really quite precious. I think this was my favorite passage from scene I: "There was royalty and purity in the blood that ran through his veins, but Sirius Black was still no more than a young boy of eleven, desperate for companionship in this stark, cold world that was so unlike his life of privilege. " It really sums the heart of sirius up into a nice neat package.
The third scene was equally enjoyable. I was so pleased that Sirius got to hear news from the castle... not knowing is worse than knowing, even if what you're knowing is bad. Also, I love that the thing that angers him the most is the fact that he was robbed of his chance to be king. I think that's an important emotion to have for where this story is going. My absolute favorite line in this entire chapter came from this scene: "My father used to tell me there was honor in death and that heaven was peaceful, beautiful, even. If there’s a world after ours of golden hills, sunshine, and nights where I can watch the stars for the rest of eternity, I don’t think death would be all that bad." Omg. That was gorgeous. So, so gorgeous. -eternally jealous-
The scenes in the ballroom provided such a lovely contrast to the marauders in the wild. Cissy is so, so canon from her thoughts to her motivations to her mannerisms. Gah. And I was highly amused by Bellatrix's barefoot ensemble. lol. I think you are doing a fabulous job of moving the plot along while still managing to expose and develop a very large cast, so well done with that!
MOLLY. 'nuff said. She's amazing. I loved the little bit of backstory that you gave her and am so glad that you decided to go with her for scene four. He love for Regulus is so sweet, and I'm so thankful that the poor boy has her.
And finally, JAMESJAMESJAMES. Love him. I'm so glad that he and sirius had a moment, that he took care of sirius outside, that they too are going to be friends, b/c really. James/Sirius is one of my favorite friendships in the potter series.
Ugh. I'm sorry this is so long, but lksdjfaoiwjaoiewj there are just so, so many things that this made me think and feel and alkdfjsajf SUCH A BRILLIANT CHAPTER.
(review 500!) Report Review
Baww Sirius trying to fit in. I remember you showing me bits of the beginning; I love how you put it all together. It's been awhile since the previous chapters, but with how well you describe their situation here, it's really easy to get back into their world. Hee, Sirius and Remus are so cute. Their pyjama banter. “We’re a private lot.”
AWH REMUS. YOU POOR BB. he reached out with his good hand to bridge the gap between them, patting Remus on the knee. asdladh they are so adorable how.
Oooh. The castle is so sumptuous sounding. hah, snarky sisters. well. Ooh Cissy, you have such sass. Tsk. Ahh, I really liked that scene! It reminded me of canon a lot. Something about it seemed extra natural :3
“Is there anything worse than death, you think?” He thought of his father’s body, lying cold and still on his bed, and of his brother, who was too young to die. omg that is so chilling and ;_; And then Remus' response. I was all a pitter patter. AND THEN THIS: “My father used to tell me there was honor in death and that heaven was peaceful, beautiful, even. If there’s a world after ours of golden hills, sunshine, and nights where I can watch the stars for the rest of eternity, I don’t think death would be all that bad,” I can sense both the fact that they're so young but have gone through so much perfectly in their dialogue. Omg, like better than perfection.
snerk, Sirius' reaction to the woman. Not frightening at all, nope nope. And aw, finally hearing news of Regulus. Phew. Puts a bit of my heart at ease too, knowing Sirius knows. Even if people do think he's guilty. Grr.
Aww, Molly ♥ such a good mum everywhere. I hope this is foreshadowing a bamfy moment :3
OH. MY. GOD. JAMES. JAMES IS PERFECT. OH MY GOD THAT LITTLE WEASEL JUST STOLE MY HEART, HOW DID HE DO IT. aldhfadkl you saved the best for last, that was so sweet.
♥ favorite chapter, Missy, I'm so glad you're back! :3 Report Review
Bah! OMG REGULUS!! *huggles him close* poor lad. I really connected to him here, he just so emotionally intense. He's just too adorable for words, really i love him and he's a bit wild. I really hope he's okay now though or if Cygnus is going to brainwash him and make him a puppet :( stupid Cygnus.
Cygnus, I think i really enjoy him as a character mostly. He felt a little flat in this chapter and i suppose i just wanted to see inside his head a little more and to see his frame of mind and his scheming(though he was doing a bit of that, yes with asking about the boys?). However, i did like how you wrote him and how he reacted outwardly to his brothers death. I felt like that was realistic and well done.
I think my absolute favourite part of this was either Regulus and just his reaction when he learned of his fathers death was just so real and your description and the details you chose to share where perfect or when Sirius was saying goodbye to his father. It made me really feel with them and want them to succeed in this story. Also, i think it displayed how much Orion was loved by everyone and how much this death was going to hurt everyone.
I really love reading this story because the characters are so recognizable even if they are put into a completely different tale. Everyone you wrote, Mrs. Weasley and Kreacher especially, just seemed like themselves.
Your prose here is really lovely and everything you write i feel right with the character. There were times i wanted more detail but i was just really impressed with how much emotion and feeling your got across with just a few strokes. Less can be better and i think it really worked here for sure. Everything felt really present.
and finally JAMSIE WAMSIE!!! I'm excited about this part and i love that they come charging into the scene all dimple cheeked and wide eyed. I liked that image a lot for some reason. I also couldn't help but think of Lion King here with Scareface and Crooked Face and their warning to Sirius. It reminded me of the hyena's (which isn't too surprising as LK is based on Hamlet :P)
I really loved this so please go and write a new chapter:P ! This is excellent!Author's Response: Regulus is a fan favorite it seems. You'll want to hug him lots during this fic, so I hope you're ready.
Even-numbered chapters are mostly focused on Sirius, so maybe that's why Cygnus felt a bit flat. I'll take a look at it and see if there's anything I can add to make you connect with him more. The chapters that focus more on him, we get to see a sense of what he's thinking. I think with this chapter, I was trying to show a side of him that the other characters see, but I guess his true self got lost a bit.
The boys are just so sweet, aren't they? It's rough, having already lost their mother and to now lose their father. They've definitely grown up in a different environment than the one detailed in canon and that will affect them as they grow up. I'm glad you're rooting for them. Hopefully they'll grow up to be young men you can admire.
While this is an AU, I do want to maintain certain aspects of canon within my fic, so characterization is important for me. That's why you'll see a lot of canon characters but they won't be characters you won't be able to recognize.
This fic is a bit different stylistically for me, I think. Less lyrical/flowery prose and more straight-forward writing. I think it's effective here and I'm glad you think so too. Detail is something I'm working on, but I know that emotional writing is definitely a strength of mine that I use frequently.
Haha, yes, James! He's a lot of fun to write. A bit cocky, but he's a good kid. Ahaha, the Lion King may have been an inspiration for this...but I love that you're imagining the hyenas, that's great.
I'm really glad you're liking this, and I did write a new chapter! Now I need to catch up on on the rest of the chapters first. Report Review
Ahh! Another awesome chapter! I know you said this was a bit of a filler, but I honestly didn't feel like it was. Maybe mentally it felt like a filler, but remember, we don't know what's coming up :)
In a way it was nice not to have Sirius and the marauders in this chapter, because again it reminds you of the impact Cygnus has on the whole of the novel. After all, he is the king, and not a young prince. It puts into context the amount of power that he has, to have such a weighty chapter too. I think I secretly like Cygnus. He's a strong character, and villain's are always a little bit likeable.
Regulus totally broke my heart in this chapter too, and the fact that there is this potential for this to become a bildungsroman story, one central to Regulus' coming of age, as well as holding all the strings of Cygnus' evilness and the marauders poorness, is just going to make further developments fantastic. There's so much that you could build on and make better, to finish with an elaborate 'and they lived happily ever after' or even 'and then they all died' haha! I am very, very excited to see where this goes!
The coronation and funeral was, to me, very convincing, so I wouldn't worry about that. You have a wonderful way of really adapting the mood and style of your writing depending on its purpose. I think if I was to write a coronation scene I'd continue on with my useless drawl, but you just have a such a really inspiring way of picking up what you've got, shaking the dust off and making something really magnificent of it. The regal atmosphere was amazing, and at the end...foreshadowing! evil! excitement!
If you do have the inspiration to continue this, please, please do, because I would love to read more of it. You've fleshed it out a lot already from the readers point of view so hopefully it will be easier for you to continue where you left off if you wish to. Thank you for writing this, it's been super enjoyable so far!
Laura xxxAuthor's Response: I guess a lot of people didn't feel like it was a filler and the more I read it, the less I think so too. The next few chapters are probably going to be more fillers.
I do have to give you guys a break from maraudering outlawed youths. ;) But yes, I do like going back and forth between Cygnus and Sirius to show how everything revolves around the actions of those main characters. Haha, it's not secret that I like Cygnus, so I'm glad I'm not the only one.
I know, poor Reg. I just want to give him a great big hug. This will be a coming of age story not only for Reg but Sirius too so it should definitely be interesting to see the paths they take. I can't tell you if everyone lives happily ever after or if everyone dies, maybe a little of both! Who knows? :)
Ah, thanks. I was a little nervous about those scenes (obviously) but it seems to work well for everyone who's read it so far, so that makes me happy. Yes, evil! Foreshadowing. Ooh, what will happen next? ;)
I am really trying hard to continue. I have about a thousand words of the next chapter written but have only written maybe ten more words in the last three weeks. I'm hoping by finally responding to these reviews, I'll get the motivation and encouragement to update soon.
Thank YOU for your lovely reviews. You're superb. Report Review
This was probably the cutest chapter ever. After the dramatic and fast-paced previous chapters, this one was so lovely and so effective. The marauders make me think of the Lost Boys, which I guess in a way they are. They make me think that within canon it really was them against the world at Hogwarts. So much bromance! This was so lovely and so heartwarming, especially to see that Sirius is starting to be accepted, and that they've all got soft hearts, despite their hardened exterior.
It's also really interesting that you've included Dumbledore in this fic - he has the potential to solve everything, I can just feel it! The range of characters you've included is pretty astounding, and you've kept them all canon and convincing, just form the roles they play, such as Moody's, and Kingsley's. It's so interesting and really quite fun to see the parallels you've drawn :)
Dialogue was something I forgot to mention in the last review, but I may as well mention it again here, because your convincing use is just so simply brilliant, haha! Often when I write I worry that it's all a bit jarry and I go a bit overboard on it, and so I tend to look out for that in other people's writing, but yours is so easily paced, so realistic and thus so, so effective. Paired with your simplistic descriptions, which as I said before work totally well, you create such a good atmosphere with your words. This fic is seriously enjoyable, because it's not too serious and strained, nor does it take too much effort to read, if that makes sense? It's just the perfect story - you're not trying to prove anything; you're entertaining us perfectly, as well as making some glorious comparisons to the canon. :)
Laura xxxAuthor's Response: Bawww, the Marauders. I love them dearly and they are a lot of fun to write. To be honest, they were a bit inspired by The Lost Boys so there's that. I am going to enjoy writing the bromance! It's going to be epic.
Yeah, they've had a rough life but they'll warm up to him soon enough. They need to work on trusting each other.
Ooh, Dumbledore. Yes, he will play a very large role in this, have no fear. :) I'm so pleased you like my cast of characters. It's really fun bringing in all these canon characters and fitting them into roles that I can perfectly imagine.
Oh, yay, I'm pleased my dialogue works for you. It's hard for me to find a balance sometimes, and I worry that I'm making the kids sound too mature. =/
Thanks so much. You're beyond sweet. :) Report Review
Eep! Hey lovely! Reading this chapter again has reminded me what an awesome fic you have here! You must definitely continue with it!
I felt as though I'd slipped into a dark fairytale while reading this. You've given me everything I needed to fill my mind with the images required in this chapter, but not once did I have to decipher a poetic description. I think my only wish is that this chapter was longer, because I could keep reading on and on and on! Your narrative is just awesome and so effective; it's simple but it's dark. Everything is so perfectly timed. One thing I have seen often as advice to do when rereading your own chapters is to imagine them as a movie, and I think you MUST have done this because I was pretty much imagining it as one! Something about the way you write tells me about the light, the faces they pull, the atmosphere of each room. I could practically hear music in the ballroom! It's just so awesome to be swept away like that.
I think it's fairly unique to take a step back in a fic and address something that's come before what you've already covered. Dramatic irony alert! It just makes us doubly sympathise with Regulus, which equally so is extra good, because you're impressing that age gap, the childish vulnerability of Reg on us all over again. To be honest though I was so caught up in this chapter I completely forgot that Sirius is (relatively) safe - and I guess that just shows that your writing had me completely convinced! The tension and cliffhanger at the end though - simply epic. I apologise for the lack of coherence in this review, by the way. I feel as though that last line should be followed with DUH DUH DUH!
You've continued to set up and establish key players in this fic which is always super, and I think the way you alternate the viewpoints will always be effective as it shows us the gravity of this whole story and how many people it's encompassing. I honestly can't wait for more! :D
Laura xxxAuthor's Response: Hi, thank you! I'm glad you think so. This is my baby so I'm really hoping to get a new chapter up soon.
This was a bit different, stylistic, for me. I think for a few authors I know, their one-shots and novels are different - novels a bit less poetic or flowery. My chapters are long enough, but it makes me so happy that you just want to keep reading and I am so happy that you can imagine the scenes. I think it helps that everything's written out in acts and really gives it that feel of a play/movie.
Aw, yeah, poor Reg. He's going to have a bit of a sad life for the next few years.
Ha! If only fics had music in the background. ;)
Yay, I'm glad everything works well for you. Thank you for your review. I'm hoping this will spark my muse to get chapter 6 written! Report Review
Oh my God, it's JAMES!
Erm. Yeah. Erm. Another round of gushing from yours truly, courtesy of review tag, though I'd have R&Red this anyway, because you're just that good.
The way you've incorporated nearly everyone into this AU, right down to Winky, without losing their characterisation (even though you've lost the house elves' dialect), is absolutely brilliant... although I do wonder what's happened to Alphard. Is he to appear in this fic?
Your Regulus, actually, presents himself as a more tragic character than Sirius/Hamlet (Hamius? Sirilet? Erm... moving on swiftly...) in my view, because he just seems to feel everything so, so deeply, and there ain't no way in hell he's capable of mastering the intricacies of being the heir apparent at this moment in time. He's lovely, in a sad way. I love him. That is not generally a view I have on Regulus, so well done.
The best thing about this chapter, though, was just the breadth and range of emotion. You have hope, grief, humour, confusion, terror, pain and OMGJAMES! all flowing into each other like it's completely natural. Wow. That's amazing.
Sorry for the incoherency of this review, but yeah, I really like pretty much everything you write. If you can't tell already. :PAuthor's Response: Oh my god, it IS James. No kidding? :)
I am totally okay with gushing and flailing. It's a favorite past time of mine too.
House elves aren't present in this fic as house elves (Winky, Kreacher - they are humans), hence the lack of dialect, but I'm glad you like my cast of characters. To be honest, I didn't even think about Alphard when I wrote this. If he does, it will be a small part.
I was a bit worried about your thoughts on Regulus, just because you love his character, and I'm constantly afraid that I've made him too whiny or childish. I love him too. He holds a very dear place in my heart in this fic and his life is only going to get worse.
Aw, thanks. You're so sweet in your reviews. Thank you for all your lovely words and gushing. Report Review
This review will be on the gushy and incoherent side, so you'd best be warned.
So I'd been wanting to read this ever since you'd mentioned an AU including Regulus, and I was definitely not disappointed. It's utterly fantastic. The Blacks as actual wizarding royalty seems like a perfectly natural - obvious, even - AU, but I would never have come up with that myself; that, in my opinion, is a sign that you are a really, really, undeniably, absolutely amazing writer.
Your attention to detail is one of the things I also wanted to gush incoherently about, as it's the thing that sold me on this piece. I love that Cygnus talks to the Orion constellation. I love that image of Orion's 'arm thrown out across the mattress as if searching for a warm body to hold'. I love it I love it I love it. It's so very heartbreaking. You've made me feel for Sirius' dad, of all the people in the world. How you do it I have no idea.
I'm wondering so much where the other Black sisters and Remus are. I am now the official Colin Creevey to your Harry Potter. 10/10 and my eternal devotion and fannish creepiness.Author's Response: I love gushy and incoherent so lay it on me!
I'm so pleased you've enjoyed reading the introduction to this world in which the Blacks are real royalty. They seemed fitting for this role, given their noble house, and it was the obvious choice. I wouldn't say that makes me amazing, just obsessed with the Blacks.
Gah, I can't get over your gushing - it's fabulous and makes me want to squee like a little girl getting a cherry popsicle on a hot summer day. Yum.
The other Black sisters AND the Marauders make their appearances in later chapters, don't you worry! Guess that means you just have to stick around and read the rest.
Haha, I love that you're my Colin Creevey. I heart youuu. Thank you so much. You have no idea how giddy I am reading this review right now (for the fiftieth time). Report Review
Hello there! This is DarkRose from the forums here to review for you! :D So, let's go over things:
Characterization: Well...Cygnus is as ridiculously evil and creepy as always. I'm glad to see you didn't break your stride with him. And Regulus is very vulnerable which fits his situation perfectly. Well done. I was sad the Marauders weren't in this chapter, but fillers are always necessary. :]
Descriptions: I definitely could see and hear everything happening in this chapter. You did a very good job of describing things to bring them to life. Well done!
Emotions: Hmm...well, I think I definitely got to feel Cygnus's ambitious feelings, as well as Regulus's sadness. And I'm starting to see a hint of bitterness in his feelings towards Sirius. :/ That makes me sad.
Plot: Dang. Cygnus is now king. That's upsetting. But I'm glad the plot is moving along and things are starting to fall into place. I'm interested to see how things will go with Sirius as he grows up away from his kingdom...
Style: You kept a very appropriate, consistent style throughout this chapter again. I'm always delighted that you don't waver from the stylistic choices you make. It helps the story a lot that you're consistent. :D
Good job with another well-written chapter. Keep up the good work!
--EmilyAuthor's Response: Hi!
I love creepy Cygnus. He's so much fun to write. Regulus is also a great character to write. He's so innocent and naive.
Don't worry - there will be plenty of the Marauders in the next chapter. It alternates if you hadn't noticed. :)
Regulus is slightly bitter towards Sirius abandoning him and that'll sort of help with his feelings as he gets older too. But things will work out in the end, don't worry.
Haha, yeah, it's pretty sad that Cygnus is now king. He's going to change so much, it'll be interesting to see how people react to everything he has in mind.
I'm glad you thought I was consistent. It's such a concern when you go months between updating. Hopefully I'll manage to write a good amount this summer to make up for my lack of time during the school year.
Thank you for your review. It's definitely pushing me to get updating! Report Review
I'm not sure what you meant by this chapter being a lot of filler -- I think it was chapter full of well executed character development and plot progression. You really did a fabulous job at both!
Your cast of characters never ceases to amaze me. The way you manage to keep characters related to their canon selves, but fit them into this plot far removed from the world of HP as we know it. It's so clever that I often find myself jealous of it.
Narcissa was a fabulous addition to your cast in this chapter, she was every bit the spoiled, haughty woman she is in canon and suited the role of Cygnus' doting daughter perfectly. I think this line: "Nothing, Father. It’s just that one can never have too many servants, that’s all.” really sealed her identity in this story and from canon as one and the same.
Regulus. That poor boy. I have so many feels for him. :( I'm just glad that he has Kreacher and Molly to look over him. The caretakers compliment each other well -- Kreacher is all tough love while Molly offers the gentleness of a mother. Together, they seem like they'll do their best to make sure he is okay.
The juxtaposition between the greyscale of the funeral and the luxurious coronation was particularly moving in this chapter because as a reader, we know what your characters do not. All the golden grandeour of the coronation can not make up for the sinister plots behind it and the doom that is sure to follow it.
Everything about this chapter was great! I can't wait for you to update again, I miss little sirius and the marauding gang. :PAuthor's Response: Okay, it's not a filler anymore! Haha. The more I read it, the more I realize how necessary it is. The next few chapters will probably be more filler than this one.
I am so unbelievably pleased at how much you like my cast of characters. It's so much fun to be able to switch around and see how all these major plot events affect different characters.
Yes, Cissy is very spoiled and haughty. She will certainly be interesting as she gets older. ;)
Gah, Reg. I just want to hug him so hard! The poor kid. Molly and Kreacher will take care of him, for sure. He will definitely need them. Cygnus is an evil man and he will just play Reg like a puppet.
Yes, lots of sinister plots and doom! So excited to write the downfall of the kingdom, ahaha.
Thank you for your wonderful review. I'm trying to write Sirius and the little Marauders so hopefully I will update soon. Report Review
Hey, this is Beeezie, here with your review! Sorry about the delay - RL and a Gryffie CR activity have sapped me of my time recently. No worries about taking awhile to respond - honestly, it can take me forever to fill requests and answer reviews, so I totally understand. As long as it's answered within, like, a month or two, I don't think anything of it. :P
The mechanics in this chapter were definitely stronger than the last one. (Not that the last one was bad, this just feels a bit more polished.) It flows really well, and there wasn't anything that jerked me out of the story. I was completely absorbed in it start to finish.
I also thought that your description was much better in this chapter. Again, it wasn't bad in the last chapter, but there were a fair number of points where I just felt like there was a little something missing. The description in the first four scenes of this chapter was excellent, however. You included enough description that I felt like I had a pretty decent picture in my head of what was going on, but not so much that the flow felt drastically different than in the previous two chapters (which can sometimes happen when people add more description in, and it sometimes ends up feeling a bit odd, at least to me).
My only comment is that sometimes, I felt like the narrative surrounding your dialogue could have used a little more detail. It was mostly a problem in scenes II and IV, which I think might have been because they were more emotional than the others. Your use of dialogue tags were good and definitely helped to get the mood across, but I wanted you to follow up on them. For example, in scene II, when Madam Pomfrey snaps at Kreacher, I wanted to see some follow up - what was her face like? How did Kreacher interpret her tone?
Does that make sense?
The fifth scene felt a little more like the last chapter to me - there was just a little something missing in it. I wanted a little more description of the setting or even just detail about Cygnus's thought process or subtleties in Moody and Kingsley's expression. Does that make sense? Otherwise, though excellent job. :)
All of that was pretty minor, though. This is probably my favourite chapter so far, even though there was no Sirius in it. It was really, really strong in a lot of different ways.
One of the best things about this for me is your characterisation. I think I said this in my last review as well, but it bears repeating. This, for me, is exactly what good AU should be: it's a different world, yes, with very different rules, but I'm still left with the feeling that you're exploring canon. This story does not read to me like you are just substituting in the names of Harry Potter characters in a Hamlet-inspired OF (which is often what AU feels like to me and why I tend not to like it). This is beautifully crafted; there are so many references that fit perfectly with what we know or have guessed about canon.
Kreacher is one of the best parts of this chapter for me. I know that you mentioned that you're wondering now why you took house elves out of the story, but I'm actually kind of glad you did (or, at least, that you made Kreacher human). I think that the dynamic here would have been different if he was an elf - he would have had less respect and less control. As is, I feel like you've eliminated a lot of the complex relationships that inevitably come up when you're writing house elves, which in this situation, would have just been distracting. I love Kreacher's loyalty and devotion to Regulus in particular - it just felt so perfect and in keeping with what we know about their relationship in the books.
In praising Kreacher, though, I don't want to sell the other characters short. You did an excellent job with them, too. The other two standouts for me in this chapter are Regulus and Cygnus.
I loved Regulus. Kids can be very difficult to write, but you did a great job with him. His mannerisms and reactions to a rapid series of very traumatising events was absolutely realistic - you included a perfect amount fear and the confusion and even a hint of a temper tantrum toward the end without going overboard. I also loved the exploration you've done into his and Sirius's relationship. Regulus is a scared little boy who wants his older brother to take care of him, and you know, I can see this being how their relationship might have been pre-Hogwarts, too. This is AU, but it's giving me a new perspective on canon, too, which I love.
Cygnus is creepy. Cygnus is exactly the kind of creepy, self-serving nasty piece of work that I would expect him to be. It's a nice perspective on the Black family, and it's one that I can easily extrapolate to canon.
In short? You have me convinced that this is exactly what Hamlet-meets-Harry-Potter would look like. I love this story. I believe that this is what Kreacher would be like at a human. I can totally see all of the arrogance and egotism that it's very clear the Blacks as a whole had in spades in Cygnus's and Pollux's plotting.
I can't praise this highly enough.
Please feel free to rerequest. (And if you see a slot open and you haven't answered this yet and you'd like to post, go ahead - I know you're good for the response. :P)Author's Response: Hey, we're both busy, so I can totally understand. It's not like my chapters are all that short either and your reviews are so thorough that I get that it can take a while to get around to it. :)
I am so ridiculously happy that you love this story, no joke. Your opinion means a lot to me and the fact that you're so in-depth in your reviews blows me away. Every time. Thank you for this review, and for hopefully giving me the motivation to keep writing it. I've been sort of in a funk since school took a lot of writing time away from me so I'm hoping once I wrap my head around the idea that I do have free time, I can pump out a lot of chapters before school starts again and consumes my life. Thanks again!
I will start by saying this is a great story. I can't wait to read the next Act. Thanks for writing this.
Next, I will try to read your other stories soon. I really enjoyed the plot of this one, so I should at least read the rest of your stories.
Great story and keep writing please.
AJPotterAuthor's Response: Hey AJ,
Thank you so much for reading my baby and leaving such a nice review! I'm really glad that you enjoyed it, and I hope you continue to follow the story as I write it. :) Report Review
You know that feeling where you know the end and have all these intricate plans of how everything's going to work, but you just can't seem to muster the gusto to write that middle part? I sense you're going through a bit of that because, honestly, the rest of this story is great.
Cygnus, the Swan, is a bit prototypical, but the rest of your characters are top notch. I'm especially fond of Kreacher and Remus. They are two well written characters that show a great amount of empathy in a story where there is little to be found. Sirius and Regulus' relationship shows a deep bond that is sometimes difficult to show, but you avoid the pitfall of just saying, "They're brothers and they love each other," and instead show why they love each other. It's great.
My only criticism is simply a stylistic one. The format of this story requires everything to be wrote fairly straight forward and we're left without musings or 'waxing poetically' if you would like. That's not to say there's anything wrong with your style as I think your writing is magnificent; it's just that the surprise remains in how they finish the journey instead of the journey itself. Perhaps it's just familiarization with Hamlet that's speaking. If none of this made sense, completely disregard it. I had a good thought in the beginning but it fell apart as I wrote this paragraph.
I assume Cygnus' coronation will be the symbolic end of the first phase of this story. Keep on writing as you are obviously a great writer and the only motivation you need is to just start putting the words down on the paper. I look forward to Sirius' revitalization in phase two and his return to the kingdom in the final acts.
9/10.Author's Response: I AM going through that. It's kind of amazing at how well you were able to read that out of this.
I'm sorry you found Cygnus a bit unoriginal, but I'm glad you liked the remaining cast of characters more. Kreacher and Remus are some of my favorites to write. Kreacher will be a good mentor for Regulus and Remus will certainly be a huge part of Sirius's upbringing.
I loved writing Sirius and Regulus's relationship and I'm sad that I've separated them already. I kind of wish I gave them more time to mourn together.
I'm usually more of a "waxing poetically" type of writing, but I guess it seemed more unnecessary with this fic. It is all very straight-forward, yes, but I hope that there are surprises in this fic that don't follow the typical plot of Hamlet.
You've definitely got an idea of how I want to pace the story, so it's nice to see someone else has the same vision that I do.
Thanks for your review, and sorry for the delay in responding. It's hard, sometimes, to figure out what to say to some of these reviews without sounding so repetitive. I'm trying to get better. Report Review
I love the action in this chapter. Moody bursting in to Regulus's room, the boy's reactions, everything.
The flow of the chapters is very well done. How you modeled it after a play really add to the mood of everything. Your writing style is amazing, as well. Perfect balance of dialogue and description, I can envision the characters and scenes.
Del<3Author's Response: Ah, thanks so much! This story is a constant battle between going too slowly and moving things too fast. It's hard to find a perfect balance and knowing how to set the scenes up, so I'm really happy it worked for you.
There was never any other kind of format for this story aside from mirroring after the play that gave me the inspiration, so yay for getting something right!
Thanks so much for your really kind review. I'm so happy that you liked this little project of mine. :) Report Review
Ahh, miscalculated his age. The thought of running a kingdom is a heavy burden for anyone, let alone a small child. Although, he was probably raised expecting to and being taught how.
The connection between Regulus and Sirius is amazing. I can tell how much Sirius cares for his little brother and wants to protect him. And his last words to his father; so touching. He seems so much wiser than a regular little boy, although I suppose that's because he isn't.
I love the way you've incorporated the other characters into this new world. The boys, James! I'm so excited to see what you've done with the Marauders in this :)
Del<3Author's Response: It's okay. A lot of people felt Sirius was older than I made him to be - and maybe that'll come back to bite me in the butt later, but we'll see how things work themselves out. Sirius was definitely raised with the expectations that he would eventually run the kingdom, so he's a lot more mature than other children his age.
I really wanted to give Regulus and Sirius a strong bond. I always imagined, in canon, that they were close growing up and it was only time and Sirius's Sorting into Gryffindor that eventually drove them apart. I hate stories where Sirius disliked his family even before Hogwarts, and have a hard time believing that.
Aw, yeah, I couldn't leave the Marauders out of this at all! They will play an important role in Sirius's maturation and all that good stuff.
Thanks for your review, and sorry about the delay in responding. Report Review
Wow, this is fantastic.
I love how you've taken characters that we know so well and have put them in a completely different universe. This is why I love AU stories! It's a whole new world and set of actions underlined by something familiar and comforting.
Sirius is fantastic. He must be, what? 13/14, here? I can already see the bits of Sirius that we know - his rebellion against his family and desire to see everything in the world righted.
Cygnus! We don't know much about him in canon, but I think this character would be so much like the man you describe here.
Your dialogue is amazing. It's handled perfectly and adds so much to the story. Every word you use just adds to the setting and actions.
Del<3Author's Response: Thank you! This is my baby and definitely a story I'm proud of. AU is fantastic, I must agree! There is so much you can do.
Sirius is quite young, and part of me wishes I had made him a bit older, but there will be a time lapse later in the story and he needs a few years to come into his own. I figured I'd start with how old they were when they first went to Hogwarts and go from there.
Cygnus is such a fantastic character to write. I really love him a lot and it's great that he's essentially non-existent in canon because I get to play with him as much as I want and no one can tell me he isn't in-character.
Thanks! Finding a balance between dialogue and description is hard and it's especially difficult to maintain a sort of proper tone to everything being that they're royalty and all that, so I'm glad that you loved it so much.
Thanks for such a sweet review. :) Report Review
Even though there was not a lot of Sirius in this chapter I enjoyed this! I just love the way you write Regulus. I respected him so much as a character after I read the DH :) And a line that I really enjoyed in this chapter was this: “I’m just a boy,” Regulus whispered. “I don’t have the strength to carry a kingdom.”
AND I just noticed too that for some reason my review on your last chapter was cut off but I meant to say at the end "but it all worked out" :) Your story is great so far and I'm adding it to my favorites so that I can continue reading it and seeing what else this story has in stored! My rating is a 10/10 :D Again awesome job.Author's Response: The chapters alternate between Sirius and Cygnus so no Sirius in this chapter, sorry. I'm glad you enjoyed it despite the lack of Sirius though! Regulus is definitely one of my favorite characters to write. He's very naive and innocent, and it will be very sad to watch him fall prey to his uncle's malicious intentions.
I'm really glad you're enjoying this so far and thank you for adding it to your favorites. Hopefully I can update soon! Report Review
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