aargh I am SO sorry that it's taken me this long to review! I am a terrible gifter (& I also apologise for the incorrect gifting name, I apparently can't sign out?)
anyhoo, I absolutely LOVED this chapter! The developments with Sirius and the Marauders kept me grinning all the way through, as I do love however you write your Sirius and Remus. Remus is such a strong character the way you've written him, with secrets but a big heart, and I am very excited to find out what has happened/will happen to him!
Similarly, I LOVED James' development at the end of the chapter. Since he was best friends with Sirius in canon (I think?) I've been wondering how exactly they would bond in this. I think you brought them together wonderfully, as Sirius begins to be accepted more - although the tension from the issue of magic keeps us from getting too relaxed!
I loved the development of Sirius' world with his trip to the village, as the poor village opened his eyes a lot and it contrasted nicely with the values and living of the other Blacks up at the castle. Sirius being worried about Regulus really made me feel for him, though! It was a massive relief when he heard that all was okay, even though we already knew that... oops.
I do like hearing about the rest of the Black family - well, Cissy in particular, but it sort of keeps the soap-opera element without it becoming too absorbed with drama. Cissy's scenes reminded me quite a lot of the feasts in the Song of Ice and Fire series, actually! Your interpretations of refined Lucius and less-refined Lestranges were really fun to read, and I always get far too caught up in your storytelling!
I do hope it won't be too long before the next chapter is up - I am enjoying the development of characters & the world immensely!
~Yolanda Yaxley the Yuletide YakAuthor's Response: Haha, it's okay, Lottie! I knew it was you at this point, so I'm not to concerned about the name. :)
Aw, the Marauders are my favorite to write. I'm excited for their next chapter and I hope you continue to follow this story for when I eventually update. Remus is definitely a strong character and we'll find out more about his past (as we will find out about the rest of their pasts as well).
James can be a little rough around the edges, but he obviously has a reason for it. They will definitely bond more in future chapters. I cannot write a Marauder story without bromance. Hopefully the magic issue won't be too much of an issue soon, but it will be brought up in various parts of the story, not necessarily related to the Marauders.
The poor village is definitely a key point and it will definitely be brought up again (the whole contrast between the royalty and the villagers will play a huge role in this story).
It's a bit hard with rotating POVs because we learn things earlier than the other characters so hopefully that isn't too off-putting for some people.
I actually was watching Game of Thrones, which sparked the inspiration for this chapter, so I find it funny you got that vibe from the feast. I'm excited to play more with the inhabitants and the castle and to write more of the Lestranges and Lucius to broaden my horizons a little bit with different characters.
I'm going to really try to get a chapter written this week while I'm on break, so keep your eyes peeled! Report Review
Hello! I'm here in response to the response you left on my status what seems like ages ago. Sorry about the delay! I'm glad that you responseded- I hadn't known that you'd updated this story!
This was another great chapter in a string of great chapters about this fantastical kingdom. I really liked how you're continuing to weave the different story lines together as well as how you include small pieces of what could be called canon into this piece.
One of my favourite moments in this chapter was when Narcissa noticed Lucius and he started to walk towards her. Though they aren't my favourite characters in the series, they work together so well that I can't see them with other people.
I liked the moments between the "Marauders" in this chapter. It's very interesting to see Sirius start his friendships with them with a very different mindset than the one he had in the series, a fact that was especially evident when Sirius' reaction to Remus was influenced by his late father's words.
The moment between Sirius and James was very well done. I really liked how they were able to come to an understanding of the other's position. James, as harsh as it may sound, has a good approach when it comes to toughening his friends up for survival. His words, and Sirius' mantra, "It's this or die" (to paraphrase) are very true.
I'm very curious to see exactly how Sirius' life in the wild will shape his future as a king. I have no doubt that he'll return to challenge his uncle, but I wonder what discoveries he'll make that will shape his reign. He could have had one of those discoveries today when he entered the village... But the village was friendly and warm enough, not as devastatingly poor to his eyes.
I also really liked the interaction between Sirius and Remus. From the scars on his body, I wonder if Remus is a werewolf in this universe as well... The wild nature of his reaction when Sirius asked about his scars does support this... I'm curious to see how werewolves are treated in this universe and, if they're poorly treated, if their treatment will become one of the things that will change once Sirius (or Regulus) sits on the throne.
I wonder if you'll write a bit of a time jump into this story, so that we end up with a more roughened and toughened Sirius and a Cygnus that's obviously wrong for the throne...
All in all, I guess I ended up wondering a lot about this universe that you've created... But that's only because it's so interesting! I look forward to seeing where you'll take this story next! Great work! Report Review
I'm not exactly sure how to feel about the jumping around in the timeline, but I can accept it for now; I hope it doesn't become too regular of an occurrence, 'cause it'll get confusing and this is too good to be confusing.
The similarities between Regulus' and Cygnus' characters really stand out in this chapter, especially with the conversation about funerals, and their status as a younger brother/brother-in-law who is to become the most powerful man in the kingdom. The way they act/react in those situations - Regulus' real and Cygnus' feigned hysteria, their relationships with their fathers and brothers(-in-law) - are extremely well done and create an interesting duality between these two characters. It'll be great fun seeing how you develop that during the course of this fic.
I don't know how large a role Kreacher plays in this fic, but the differences between Steep&Thorny!Kreacher and canon!Kreacher are interesting; your Kreacher seems to hold more affection for Sirius, and people in general. He's just generally nicer. I don't know whether that's because of your decision to give him the same racial status as everyone else, or because of his strict loyalty to Orion, or just a byproduct of your AU - are your supporting characters the same people in an AU, or somewhat different characters who fulfil the same function as their canon counterparts?
But anyway. More on Regulus. If Sirius is eleven, then Regulus is only about nine here, and yet he's a little too grown up for my liking. I understand that as a Prince he has a classical education from a young age, and yet lines like this
"I understand you're frustrated. I'm sorry, I wish I knew more."
make him sound as if he's at least twelve.
A different sentence (yes, I am pedantic as all hell, sorry) stood out to me as being a little unnecessary:
Regulus felt betrayed and angry that his brother would leave him to deal with their father's death alone.
It's just... you've already shown his feelings of betrayal, and throughout the rest of the chapter you've managed to describe Regulus' feelings in a beautifully emotive way and then this line seems almost juvenile in comparison.
I should probably apologise for being picky, so - sorry.
Cygnus is a fun villain. Blood purist, manipulator arrogant, murderer - he's easy and fun to hate. He worries about his plan, and yet he half thinks it's come through already. I will take great pleasure in watching his mistakes, especially when concerning one Matthias Kreacher.
Random question - how similar (and prominent) are the magic systems for this AU and canon's? It'd be fun to throw in some Legilimency and Occlumency or tracking charms and the like... although, from what I've read of your writing, your specialty is the interpersonal relationships of characters rather than world-building. Hmm. I should just wait and see, shouldn't I?
Anyway, this was lovely as ever. Well done! :D Report Review
You said this was a filler-y chapter, but I found it so exciting! It felt like a lot of changes were happening that would have large consequences, with us seeing more of Cygnus' plans for the future and how he would be dishonouring his brother.
I feel like we're really getting a handle on Regulus now, too, after the interspersed scenes of him in the last four or so chapters. Again, it feels like you're building towards some final scene for him, but it's all so subtle - the missing of his parents, the slight dislike of his uncle... I'm just so excited to find out what will happen! :D
Cissy was a nice addition, as Cygnus seems so fond of her - she seems a little like his Achilles Heel, something which could make him feel remorse for what he's done.
Doge seemed as strange as ever; Dumbledore's public hints that he should be doing right seemed very in-character; your last line was AMAZING for leaving me hanging! the Dark Mark is out and about?! :O
I loved absolutely all of it, and look forward to reading the remaining chapter (thus far) :) Report Review
Oh, this was absolutely amazing! It totally lived up to my hopes of what the Marauders would be like, and it was so interesting to have scenes featuring Sirius and them juxtaposed with scenes of the castle.
The fact that James was so against Sirius - in the beginning, anyway - was really refreshing! I felt torn between laughing at his ridiculous airs and how he kept talking down to Sirius, and feeling sorry for poor Sirius, who hardly needed to be picked on because of his birth.
I thought you translated Remus and Peter across marvellously, too - Peter was pudgy and followed James but could be too cruel, and Remus was just... I always love how you write him, but his role in comforting Sirius and helping him to get along seemed especially poignant here ♥
Dumbledore's search for Orion's true death cause has me on tenterhooks! The suspense is so well-written that even though I know exactly how it ends, I'm still squirming for Dumbledore and Kreacher to make their stand and realise that Cygnus is certainly behind it already.
It was a wonderful chapter to read, and I can't wait to read the next! [Also - I am very sorry for the lateness of this/these reviews :( ] Report Review
Aaah! Poor Regulus! Gawsh, there are no words to express my sad feels for him :( He's been hit the hardest first by his father's death, and now his brother's disappearance, and with just an evil Uncle to guide him? That's just got to look so bleak; you showed his despair and anger brilliantly.
Even more evil!Cygnus is ruining stuff, gah. The talk with Pollux brought his crazed plans into the light again for us to feel the weight of them fully, and I am genuinely feeling pretty scared at his cold-blooded ability to off his brother and nephew just to become king. Also, the frequent demonstrations of his treating inferiors badly - just as with Act I Scene 1 - show us again how much of a horrible person he is.
I'm curious as to how Kreacher might fit into the bigger picture - for the moment, he's not having much of an effect other than in helping Regulus and disliking Cygnus, but he occupies a fairly weighty position, so I hope his time comes!
Fabulous chapter - it was great getting more backstory to Sirius' disappearance, but has also made me very eager to find out how the Marauders and Sirius will fare :D Report Review
oh my gosh, there was so much amazing action in this chapter! I love how so much went on, especially compared to the first, crucial, characterising Act. Not having to transition between scenes really helps to keep the plot moving, I think, but you still manage to create each scene's new, rich atmosphere so well.
I liked the developments in each character's standing, because you've somehow developed each character so fully already that I very invested in their outcomes. The description of Cygnus' acting with Kreacher was so clever, making me hate him so much even before his men took Sirius away and were so nasty! and it's refreshing that you've developed Regulus and Sirius' personalities too, as younger characters are often just written off as 'were silly and childish'; they seem much more regal and prepared to take the throne; much more pureblood.
I also can't get over the clever way you've used so many canon characters in Shakespearian positions! It really does feel like a likely translation for Dumbledore to be a wise aide, Winky to be the cook, Moody as head of security, Pomfrey as the potioneer, etc., and seeing them in these new positions is far more interesting than original characters!
I can't wait to meet the Marauders next chapter, too! That ending is so evil :O Report Review
This was completely brilliant! I am already so drawn in by the characterisation and plot to come (despite knowing Hamlet, the AN intrigued me as to where you will take this).
I like how the differences between Cygnus and Sirius are already so obvious. From the first scene, their attitudes to the powerless or weaker species set aside 'good' and 'bad' teams, and the quarrel over goblins' rights reminded me of one of Sirius' canon quotes: 'If you want to know what a man's like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.'
I really enjoy the setting of this story, too - playing for a kingdom from inside a castle, as the decadence and power games fit very naturally with the purebloods we know, and who seem to be right at home with the prospect of becoming king one day. It was nice to see the snippets of Sirius being told to do the princely thing, though, as it reinforces the image of him as an innocent(ish) child, and seems to mark the beginning of his journey into tortured man.
and aaah! All the mtaphors and thoughts we saw running through Cygnus' mind in Scene3 were so brilliantly enticing, and it gave us amazing sight into his mind, which I just loved. I'm very glad I can read more soon! Report Review
Oooh, this chapter was so good! You know, it didn't feel that long once I got into it, which was in the first scene. The alternating scenes worked very well here, pushing things forward with a wonderful flow - it reminded me a lot of a television show, oddly enough, like the way that Game of Thrones switches between POVs in a single episode. That's what this chapter was like, and it added dimension - even more so, it added contrast between the poverty of the outside world and the wasteful wealth of the aristocracy. And what was great was how Sirius saw this very clearly - he is a smart kid, and I can see why Cygnus felt threatened by him. The Sirius in this story sees the world as it is, which is why he seems to feel so much pain all of the time - he knows that his world is wrong, and he sees himself as the one who can fix it... once he's old enough. He's gaining the experience he needed now, and it will make him a better king (if he gets to that point, of course :P).
The descriptions in this chapter are amazingly vivid. I could visualize Narcissa's entrance in to the ballroom and the wonders she saw there - all the colour and splendour. It reminded me of the 1996 movie version of Hamlet with the coronation scene having a similar flavour - in that one, however, it was Hamlet who was all in black, whereas here, it's Bellatrix. I'm interested in your portrayal of her - it's very canon, but that also makes her stand out in this setting. Like both Cissy and Molly immediately see, Bella doesn't belong - she's not like a king's daughter, and I'm eager to see where you'll take that idea in future chapters.
While the scenes in the castle are blindingly colourful, those in the forest are very sepia in tone - it's very much like a Medieval forest, or perhaps more accurately (lets just go with Shakespeare here, for obvious reasons), a forest of Arden, where transformation and maturation occur. Yet at the same time, it's perfectly canon because it's in the forest that the Marauders had their legendary adventures. I also loved the way that you developed Sirius's relationships with both Remus and James. That last scene was unexpected, but it was great to see James taking Sirius under his wing, showing that he'd truly accepted him, and that all four of them are in the same boat - all alone, homeless, and afraid. Your Remus is someone I want to give a really big hug to - that scene at the beginning after he lashes out at Sirius was beautifully written, his desire for a friend very moving. It's not pathetic, but rather heartwrenching - he still possesses too much strength of character to be an object of pity, which makes for a strong interpretation of Remus's character.
So hopefully this insane rambling has made up for the extreme lateness of this review. I'm kicking myself for not having read this fantastic chapter sooner - it's of excellent quality and moves the plot forward effectively and, better yet, excitingly. I love the world-building you're doing here, how you're constructing the characters in this different universe, adapting them to new conditions while still making the most of canon details. The best of luck writing the next chapter - I'll certainly be looking out for it! :D Report Review
Hey, this is Beeezie, (finally) here with your review! :)
As if I could not love this story more, you had to toss Peter Pan into the mix as well. Hamlet + Peter Pan + HP? There is nothing better. (I would have sworn that there was no way to really make that work before reading this, but I clearly would have been wrong.)
A couple really minor mechanical things:
In Scene I, in the first paragraph, Sirius is in awe of their magic because it saved him from "certain torture." That came off feeling a little odd to me - I mean, it was pretty clear that the men were planning to kill Sirius, so why wouldn't he just say that?
Similarly, a little later on in the scene, there's a mention of Sirius "huffing quietly" but keeping his mouth shut. It just felt a little awkward as a description.
That aside, though, this was another great chapter. I love your characterisation of the Marauders - from the very beginning, I felt like you gave each boy his own distinct personality, and I also felt like that personality stayed true to canon. I've said this before, I'm sure, but that's one of the things I really love about this story - it's the very best of what AU is for me. You've truly taken the characters and transplanted them into a weird, Hamlet-meets-Peter-Pan type world, and it's just absolutely brilliant.
James was perfect, IMO. There was an edge to him that I liked. He wasn't nasty or malicious, exactly, but he definitely had a rough streak. He's clearly capable of compassion, whatever he says to Remus - by the end, he's defending Sirius when Peter advocates killing him - but it took awhile to get there. He did leave Sirius outside all night with no socks. I guess I ended up getting the feeling that he was capable of loyalty and friendship, but that he was less inclined to be sympathetic. If that makes sense. At any rate, I thought that your portrayal of James was terrific - I can easily imagine a James that didn't grow up in relative luxury and doting parents turning out this way.
I also really liked your portrayal of Peter. He was a little more tentative and cautious than James or Remus, and I loved the mention of his nose twitching - it absolutely put me in mind of a rat, which is perfect for Peter. I also liked that you gave him a little more of a villainous streak than I often see in young Peter - I feel like he's often just shown as being a little pathetic, but you clearly gave him a nasty edge without making him a terrible person. It's a thin line to walk, especially given some of the cliches surrounding Peter - but you walked it well.
I found what you did with Remus to be very interesting as well. He's definitely one of the Marauders we get to know best in the books - probably even the best, since Sirius was really only around for two books. Despite this, I always felt that he was also the Marauder whose past was the biggest mystery - nobody really talked about Remus as a child or a teenager, so IMO, writers can take him in a lot of different directions without being "wrong." I liked the direction you took - Remus was more sympathetic and compassionate than the other two boys, but not to such an extent that it was unrealistic.
The way you portrayed the boys' interactions was also excellent. It came across as quite realistic to me - the constant teasing fit their age, and I liked that Sirius eventually recognised that the teasing wasn't actually a bad thing. I did think that you could have included a bit more about his thought process as he got to that point, though - given how isolated I imagine he's been growing up, I would have liked to see how he shifted his perspective. I think that you did an excellent job depicting his adjustment to the Marauders' world from his own in general - it was just that one little bit that I thought could have used a little something extra.
I was torn about whether I wanted to see more about why the Marauders accepted him fairly quickly. In some ways, I thought that the fact that you didn't go into a lot of detail fit Sirius and his frame of mind - I don't get the feeling that he's really thinking analytically right now. At the same time, I did feel like I would have liked to see more hints of where the shift came from, especially from Peter. I suspect you get into that more in later chapters, at any rate, but I just would have liked to see a little more of it here.
The interactions between the boys did make up the majority of the chapter, but I do want to mention scenes II and IV as well. Their inclusion really helped the chapter fit together - they were both short, but they helped keep part of the focus of the story on the murder and the succession, which stopped me from getting completely swept up in Sirius's part of the story. For me, that was a good thing - it kept the overarching plot from being swept away by Sirius's situation.
On the whole, this was really another excellent chapter. Please feel free to rerequest when I have free spots, and I'm sorry it took me so long! Report Review
First things first - the wait :( I'm sorry for taking so long with this review, RL is a little bit crazier than I thought, though at least I'm here now, huh? :) Anyway, on with the story!
I love your opening scenes! You immediately shove us in the action, leaving us no time to think, just read and wow... it was interesting seeing everything from Sirius' view since I haven't seen him written before, but I liked yours! Since he's only young and stuff, he's a lot more innocent and sweet and ah, he's adorable and so was Regulus - I loved them both, and in fact, I loved all of your characters and I most especially adored the fact that Regulus was the one who first heard the news.
I felt the tears well up in my eyes at Sirius' father's death, your description was that good. People deal with grief in so many ways, but the way Sirius and Kreacher and Regulus and everyone else was fitting to their characters, so well done on getting it right :) This is a really good AU - I didn't know what I was expecting when I first read the first chapter, but wow.
Woah, the rest of the Marauders' first appearances are epic ;) Perfect way to end a brilliant chapter! I loved the suspense and you made everything so intense, making me wonder what's going to happen next and ohmygosh, I'm rambling aimlessly, aren't I? :p Sorry! Anyway, thanks for requesting - again - and apologies again for the wait.
--LinnAuthor's Response: Hey Linn,
Don't worry about the wait. :)
I was a little worried about just "shoving" you guys into the action, but I felt like this was the best way to approach the situation.
Aw, you really should read more Sirius fics. He's such a fantastic character. I think you'd like him. Writing young boys is so hard! Especially Regulus. I'm constantly worried I'm making him too wimpy, but yay, I'm glad you love both boys. They're so much fun to write.
Grief is definitely a topic that I like to write about and one that I seem to have some success writing. I really want to make people /feel/ and if I can do that then I feel like I was doing a good job.
I'm really pleased you're liking it! AU isn't for everyone and it's such a fine line...you don't want to make a mess of it, that's for sure, but I am having so much fun writing it. I love this story. :)
Heh, I love the Marauders! I think you'll really like their part of the story. I know I'm going to have fun writing it.
Thank you so much for the review. I really appreciate it. :) Report Review
I'm so glad to see another chapter here, and there's so many new developments I'm not really sure where to start...
First of all I realy liked the way the reationships between the "Marauders" are progressing. The part with Remus and his scars felt so similar to the Remus we know from the books and how he would react to the werewolf issue. Overall the boys seem like they can't realy enjoy being boys because events around the have forced them to grow up, much like the two wars in the books did to these characters and Harry as well.
It was also a very interesting take on the Black sisters, and the societal pressures that would come with being from their family. Belltrix seemed exactly what you would expect, looking to marry for weath and status rather than love. But I'm anxious to see how the Lucius/Narcissa plays out.
It was quite sad to see that Molly never got to be a mother, but she is still very effective in her role as a guardian for Regulus, who continues to be probably the most sympatetic character in the story.
Great job and I can't wait to read more!
-JamesAuthor's Response: Hi James!
I'm glad to see you here for another chapter. :)
The Marauders are so much fun to write and I can't wait to write more of them as they grow up and mature. I really want to keep some of their canon similarities despite it being an AU, you know? I think that's important to me.
Yes, Cygnus's scenes, especially with Bellatrix and Narcissa will definitely be more political and about the upbringing of young women in this uppity society. I'm excited to write Lucius/Narcissa too. :)
I had a tough time deciding what to do with Molly. I wasn't sure if I wanted her to have children as well, but I felt like if she had her own children, she wouldn't be as focused on Regulus, or if she was, then she'd be neglecting her own children. It was hard for me to figure out a balance and so I made it that she's a childless mother, but with such a big motherly heart that of course she would take poor Reg under her wing.
Thank you so much for your kind thoughts. I really hope to find time to write the next chapter soon. Report Review
Okay, so firstly the last straggling cobwebs of sleep from his eyes
Beautiful and so so cute. I want to give him a massive hug (and you'd have to peel me away, little Siriusy-wiriusy :D)
And then this 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. I know how I always say that this whole story just makes the entire Marauder era feel more poignant to me and this was definitely one of those moments - shove that in a fic about Sirius first day as a Gryffindor and it would still apply and ack, can I please give Sirius a big hug?
And poor Remus. And just, ack, I want to give this massive hug to all of them.
How are you so great at characterising everyone, though? I thought Bella was perfect and so was Cissy and Molly (although, Molly with no children of her own broke my heart a little and... can I hug Molly too?) and Regulus and Kreacher and, man, i've missed the story great and significant amounts.
And James! I'm glad he came through here, too. Obviously the Remus/Sirius bromance beginning was just so beautiful (and they're so tinnny), but I liked having a James/Sirius friendship moment in here too.
I just read a one shot about when Sirius finds out about Peter's betrayal and him finding James and Lily and well, I've got a serious case of the feels right now.
Excuse me whilst I go mourn over some fictional characters that have been dead for a really long time.
Lovely as always! :)
-AC Report Review
Firstly, I have to say, I have always found it really refreshing about this story that amongst all the things that are adhering beautifully to archetype, Sirius is thrown in there and doesn't take up his role as what we imagine it was in canon, a co-ring-leader, if you will, with James. I like that you have him maintain his prince's sensibilities, as well, because I can imagine that in the excitement to get their relationships moving it could be tempting to have him get a bit dirty and then immediately become one of the group after they fight off a troll or something. Not that that's not a valid way to do it…I just like that you're taking your time with building up the bromance. Because it is certainly great for your readers :D
(I wrote this review when I read the chapter the first time, but I've gone through and added in things addressing the specific concerns you had when you requested!)
I'm finding the easiest way to review this chapter--Act, rather--is to break it up by scene, because they're so drastically different in tone and content.
Scene I: I was a bit wary of Remus being so kind at first, and then you break out the line "are you deaf?" and I just totally fall in love with him, not only believe him! YOUR WAYS ARE MAGIC, I SWEAR. I also like how "are you ready?" comes immediately after. It's such a realistic scene, and what I love more about it is that Sirius doesn't reach to the slur, but Remus moves the conversation along anyway. That's how things happen in real life, but it's one of the strange, unpredictable things that's hard to think of and then write. So, well done, basically :D
"Are you wanted for murder?" So sensible, Sirius! And I love that Remus actually answers him. I can imagine James scoffing and scampering off.
I still feel that Remus is a bit mild at this point, but I trust you as a writer well enough to know that you've got something up your sleeve and I'm going to find out something about him that explains it.
WOW I'M A PROPHET. Literally two minutes after I write this I run into the scars and the fight. YOU ARE SO AWESOME. Right when I wanted it, you delivered the conflict. "I just want a friend." So precious. So Remus. MISSYYY ♥
Scene II: Already nodding in approval at your inclusion of Rosier. I absolutely am completely in awe at your ability to paint a scene. It's so rare in fic that I imagine exactly what the scene looks like, and when I'm reading back through this section again, it's not like you described every little thing or color or tone, but you have this overall voice and you know what to include--the appearance of the characters in this scene does so much to the rest of the room.
Scene III: Let me just say I'm breaking in some Doc Martens right now so I totally know how Sirius's feet must feel!
"I suppose it's better than death." LOVELY LITTLE SIRIUS. And this whole conversation he has with Remus is so cute :3 But considering their respective situations, it's also quite powerful. I love pow-wows in the forest--I may have written a story with that backdrop myself :)
"Took a nice little tumble into a bed of pansies." This. Bahaha Sirius, not even understanding how much of a contrast that offers to the stories that Remus could tell him about his own scars. There's something lovely about Sirius's naivete, and part of me is trusting Remus to take care of him.
"You are very lovely." OH MY GOD SIRIUS. HOW ADORBS. And I love, love, love the bit where Remus steals the jumper :3
Scene IV: I love Molly!! I think pairing her with Bellatrix's amorous adventures (just had to go there sorry) was a really smart contrast; we already know they're the ultimate foils.
And of course nobody is surprised by Molly's wisdom and insight. I'm glad that she's thinking about Sirius, too. Something tells me that when and if he makes it out of the forest alive he'll really be ready to fight for the throne, necessarily hardened.
And D: the last line of this scene really got to me, because I just know it's true and full of forewarning.
Scene V: REMUS IS GUFFAWING :3
James is so--so--James here. I think you characterize him perfectly. He's to the point but not unfeeling, and it's clear why he's the leader of this little pack. And it's a hard idea, one we don't usually want to confront nowadays, but I think he does have the right idea. I think it's time for Sirius to harden up, so that he can eventually fight as an equal to Cygnus for the throne. And save poor Regulus ;(
Basically, this chapter didn't seem like a useless filler, though it was a filler: and I mean, we needed to see the character development and the subtle shifts in Sirius, and Mrs. Weasley. I am also really interested in seeing where you take Cissy's romance! Overall, I thought you maintained the tone and characterizations of earlier chapters effortlessly :) LOVED THIS. Report Review
Wow, this looks like a really interesting story.
AU can be a little tricky some times, especially when you start mixing things up so much. Its hard to let your reader know what changes exactly you made to your reader. That being said I think you did a wonderful job pulling this off. I wasn't confused about really anything after reading your first chapter.
The actual idea seems extremely interesting. I can see you using a lot of fairy tale motifs with the evil uncle who tries to kill the king and king's son. And I'm extremely interested to see where you're going with this.
Poor Sirius though, you go and give him a better relationship with his father than he had in the books, just to kill the man off in chapter 1!
Any who great first chapter, I hope to see you around the BvB battle some time soon :)
-BWAuthor's Response: This SHOULD be an interesting story, I hope! :)
AU can be tricky and it needs to be done well but it's A LOT of fun to play around with. I'm really glad you weren't confused about things. I try to explain everything as much as I can, but obviously some things can get lost in translation.
Yes, fairy tales are definitely incorporated into the main themes of this fic and were a huge inspiration for its writing. I do hope you come back soon to check out more.
Haha, yeah, I did kill off his father pretty quickly, but I didn't want certain things to drag on and while his father's death is certainly a catalyst, it's not a huge aspect of the story itself.
Glad you liked it! Hope to see you back and thanks for the review! Report Review
So so sorry for taking a long time to get this to you! Also for not doing it last night, I ended up sick and thought that I should hold off because it'd probably have been mostly aldjfhalksdfhlkasj aklsjdfhkl adjshflaksd alksdjhflafh and, I mean, more than usual :P
So there are a million lovely things I could say about this chapter--like how this is one of the only stories I've read that successfully transliterates the Shakespearean tones through imagery and heightened diction etc, that these chapters always leave me wanting more but in the best way--but you specifically asked me to focus on Cygnus's characterization, the flow of information, and the POV switching, so I'll go ahead and do that ;)
wAIT NO THERE ARE TOO MANY OTHER THINGS I HAVE TO SAY FIRST. Like how much I love Mrs Weasley here! She's perfect as a mother figure, kind but firm, and I'm so glad that poor Regulus has her right now. I really did feel bad for him: he's very smart and it's even more heartbreaking that he recognizes the symbolic value of the funeral...and yet, a funeral is supposed to be the first step to healing from that kind of loss, but even that property has been stripped from this funeral because everything is under pretense--may I add it's quite evil pretense? That made me really--well--dislike Cygnus even more D:
Dumbledore at the funeral! That scene was amazing and it gave me chills. I do wonder whether or not he knows of Cygnus's, you know, EVILNESS, because he's Dumbles and he knows things. I suppose I'll wait and see :3
But. Ahem. On to your points:
1. Cygnus: Cygnus is such a strange but wonderful characterization in this story. He holds the intrigue of a villain in Shakespeare--dare I say even "Hamlet"? :D--which is nearly impossible to achieve in contemporary stories I think because part of archaic villains is their transparency to the audience. We get to see down into his little evil heart and we see that he doesn't have some secret past driving his actions. He fits into a stereotype but we don't want him to try to break out of it, we don't expect more than that and what he does do is perform to an amazing standard of evil characters. There's just something about the genre of the stage play that you've mastered and captured here that makes Cygnus's almost one-sided evilness possible and wonderful, if you follow. You make it possible for us to enter so wholly into this mindset that we don't hold Cygnus as a villain to more modern standards, which we often regard to be "better" but which aren't, as this story proves. They're only different. It's just hard to get people to appreciate this kind of a story and these kinds of characters, and yet, you do it, and it's all beautifully written and I believe it, and I'm still waiting anxiously to see what happens even though this story follows a pre-written storyline.
His interaction with is father--or, rather, his father's portrait--does shed a bit of light on his competitiveness.
2. The progression of the plot seems really solid, to me. Of course I'm wondering how Sirius is all throughout this chapter but I must confess I may have read the next chapter (eep!) so I know (ahem) you're going to touch on him soon :) Part of me really REALLY was hoping that Cygnus somehow wouldn't be crowned, but the last line---SHIVERSSS---made up for that disappointment. This is getting very intriguing and creepy and aslkjdhfaldkjsfs. Yes. Just that.
3. POV's are still absolutely seamless. I think the fact that you've separated the scenes helps to add to that, what I was calling anyway, Shakespearean tone. And that's only appropriate, I suppose. Anyway, your characters are too--intense--to tell the whole story themselves. Sometimes it's enough to see through one character's eyes and learn from their misperceptions, but because Cygnus is so exaggeratedly different to Regulus and Sirius, we need those breaks. We come to each character totally ready for his unique voice and leave with the right amount of their tone, if that makes any sense. I love it!!
Well, Missy. It's been a while since you requested, so I hope that this isn't too late and it is somewhat helpful. I'm sure I'll be leaving you a review on chapter 6, regardless of you re-requesting or not re-requesting ;)
♥ lily Report Review
Hey there! Dirtydeedsdonedirtcheap here with your requested review. What a super long awaited chapter! I've been waiting for this update for quite some time so I don't know how helpful I'll be. I'm a bit biased when it comes to this story.
His mind wandered to thoughts of his younger brother, and he wondered how Regulus was faring. Thinking of his more delicate sibling made the ache in his heart bloom like the flowers in his mother's garden in spring.
^ I'm glad you haven't forgotten about Regulus. I'm a bit sympathetic to his character, more than Sirius's, because he's younger and really doesn't know what's going on. Sirius is going to become a mere memory to him if his brother doesn't show up anytime soon and I think he'd be easily corrupted without him. I really can't blame it on him though because he's young. I also can't blame Sirius either. You make it so hard to cheer for one or the other. I want to root both of them on but then there's something inside of me that's pulled towards Sirius because I know I'm supposed to really be focused on him.
I really liked the imagery here though. Comparing a blooming flower to his delicate brother was really nice. Painted quite a portrait for me.
But he remembered the utterly wild look that had possessed Remus at his seemingly innocent question, and he was frightened.
^ Ah. I like what you did here. I've grown somewhat tired of James and his slight attitude towards Sirius. I understand he doesn't trust him and really he shouldn’t but the distance is kind of shocking to me. I would think James of all of them would have made Sirius feel welcome. Remus of course would too, obviously, but considering his condition I think he would be extremely wary and turns out he’s not as wary as James.
I like that you had Sirius fear him for a moment, afraid of the way Remus snapped at him almost like a monster. He actually thought he was a monster at that point and I've never given it a thought as to maybe when he first found out about Remus or any of the other boys there could have been fear or doubt in their heads.
I thought it was sweet, heartwarming even when the two shook hands and declared themselves friends. Really innocent at that moment, you stuck with the characterization of an eleven-year-old boy and not someone much older.
and it was only then did Cissy notice with a start that her sister had come to the celebration barefoot.
^ For some reason calling her 'Cissy' irks me but it works for her age. I hate to see it when she’s much older because it sounds childish to me. I liked Bellatrix though. I thought she was fun and had some attitude about her that wasn't at all in the 'crazy' zone. I think a lot of people like to make Bellatrix appear crazy all the time but I think she wouldn't have been as sinister until her stint in Azkaban.
She needed a man
^ Who doesn't?
I may seem like a bully, but sometimes you have to be mean to get what you need to stay alive. I may say things that will hurt you, but it's only so you'll grow some thicker skin, toughen up. Don't be afraid to be aggressive, kid.
^ Okay. Okay. So I suppose I have to retract my James statement from above. Seems he is rather nice. I think what he said speaks a lot about his character but also of what he has been through. He acts much older than he really is. At first I thought that maybe he was fifteen instead of thirteen, verging on sixteen but more than anything I have a question.
Sirius can't do magic, right? Or it seems that none of the others do and only James has a wand - correct me if I'm wrong. So, is that going to mean something in the story? Because it seems to me that it's rarely mentioned concerning the boys and I understand why but it also makes me question how James knows how to do magic and why he can or why he has a wand.
I really don't have any CC and I only have that one question I posted above. I think you're advancing the story, or at least the characters because right now it seems like the same thing is still happening in the chapters. I think we're slowly creeping towards the climax of the story so there's not much to comment on right now.
Thanks so much for requesting. If you have any questions/concerns feel free to PM me.
- Deeds Report Review
Sorry I haven't gotten to this earlier - real life got in the way (doesn't it always?) but I was honestly so excited that you'd updated, because this is one of my favorite stories.
I'll probably end up reviewing as I read, so it should be interesting how this'll turn out!
Scene I: I loved seeing the friendship between Remus and Sirius. My heart broke with the bit about Remus just wanting a friend, which was why he wanted to keep his secrets. Poor Remus :(
II: Ooooh, I do love the way you've portrayed Cissy. It's so perfect - the jealousy of Regulus, the way she feels entitled to be the princess. The way she and Bellatrix interacted was also wonderful; definitely saw the Bellatrix from canon in her mannerisms.
IV: Molly ♥ Bless her. She's fantastic. It's quite touching seeing the way that she cares about both Regulus and Sirius. I loved the bit about her reading Regulus to sleep, too.
V: James and Sirius friendship moments yay! Easily one of my favorite friendships in fanfic. I thought that James explained himself rather well - I can imagine, living like that, that it would be necessary to grow a tough skin, in a dog-eat-dog world. But it's nice to see that underneath it all he still can care about things. He's very older brotherly in this, which is lovely.
Plus the last bit - when Sirius confesses that he misses his family and then "'Me too,' James replied easily." I don't know what it is about that that stood out to me - I think it's got something to do with the easy way James replies, the way that it's all right to miss people sometimes. Whatever it was, it was lovely.
That and the last line: For here, in the quiet of the night, there was no judgment, no snide remarks, just James and his hand resting between Sirius's shoulder blades, a silent, steady comfort. ♥ It was a beautiful way to end it.
I can't believe this chapter was 7k - I got to the end and it felt like no time at all! It all flowed so smoothly and engaged me thoroughly.
it was an absolutely wonderful chapter. I'm so, so glad you updated - it was honestly a pleasure to read :) Report Review
You had me in the palm of your hand the moment you said Hamlet :p I can see the slight (very slight, don't worry) similarities between it, but for the most part you have made the story completely your own, even in the first chapter, and I completely admire that. I adore the idea of this - the Blacks seem like the type to rule over kingdoms and this was rather fitting to it all.
I can't for the life of me spot any mistakes. Some words I did have to look up (only two, tutelage and something else I can't remember) but that's all due to my poor knowledge, so I'm not holding you against that. It's all so sinister, this plot is, and I can't wait to see where you take it and you have completely gripped my interest. Sirius as a young child is so sweet and full of innocence and ah. I am itching to read the next chapter, but it would not be fair, so, you know, I'll have to wait - or I could just go ahead myself, but I want to finish this review first.
I have heard so much praise about this story, and pleasantly enough, it has far exceeded my expectations. You have a brilliant story under your belt, and your characters, Cygnus, in particular, all have the brains of any average 'Claw ;) (It's coming from a 'Claw, so feel free to take it as a compliment) I can't wait to see what Sirius thinks of it all, and when the other Marauders come in (my only complaint, though Sirius satisfied me enough) and just... wow. Gah.
My lack of eloquency aside, for my first AU story, it was pretty darn good ;) Good luck with the rest of the story, thanks for requesting, feel free to re-request, and well done :)
--Linn Report Review
I love the dynamic between the boys in Scene I. It's neat that James can do magic, or at least put up a convincing act - after having been away from this for a while, I almost forgot that the boys are still young, and it's interesting to watch them trip over themselves and each other as they grow up. Sirius's sense of entitlement - "I like my silk pajamas" - is incredibly endearing, and I sense he especially has a lot of growing up to do, although I see lots of maturity in his concern for Regulus. (Gosh, what are you going to do with that? Okay, enough Black family rambling.) I also really liked the exchange between Remus and Sirius - I can see the underpinnings of a friendship there, and I like that Remus is confident and yet very delicate about his scars and his troubled past. I feel even worse for him as a child than as an adult!
Oh, Narcissa. You're so vile in your naivety! Haha. I do like the way she parades herself about, despite knowing that she must look ridiculous being escorted by a boy so much younger than she. Lucius, however, seems more her speed, and I'm interested to see where you'll take that. I wonder if Bellatrix will step up and get in her way?
I love how Sirius and Remus both embrace death in different ways and for different reasons. I can also see early signs of Gryffindor bravery in Sirius - it must have been hard to listen to the accusations against you while trying to get news of your family. At least he got a little bit of relief out of it.
I love getting Molly's perspective on developments at the castle since the funeral. It's still kind of bizarre to imagine the Blacks hiring Molly Weasley to watch their sons, but it definitely works here. I thought her judgment of Bella was funny as well. Poor Regulus, though - it must be hard to sleep :(
I think it's neat how the James/Sirius relationship is different from the Remus/Sirius relationship, even in subtle ways. I would have made them different, too. (The age difference is also interesting.) I'm so proud of Sirius, waiting until he couldn't stand it anymore to cry and open up about his fears, waiting until he knew (at least sort of) that he could trust his new band of comrades. I bet they'll be integral to his eventual return home.
Lovely, as always, and very much worth the wait!
-Amanda Report Review
Finally, FINALLY here with your review!:D Sorry, I'm usually pretty on-top of my thread
Characterization: I love this, its a strong suit of yours! Even though its not in the 1st person, you've still managed to capture the characters and their emotions well!
Flow: The entire story was smooth and the transitions were fine. The acts that I thought messed with it in the before chapter weren't as noticeable this time, which is good!
Reader Interest: I really am interested in it, even though this isn't what I used to consider my cup of tea. Anyone who doesn't even read this genre, will surely enjoy this because you wrote it in such a way that it doesn't matter. I really enjoy this!
Plot: I love it! I love the incorporation of some many characters in the subtlest of ways! it really is interesting how you keep the characters in -character/canon/whatever you wanna call it, while still bending them to your plot!
Grammar/Spelling: This is fine, of course!
General Overall: I thoroughly enjoy this story! Its so unique and well thought out, its just intriguing and I look forward to the next chapter!
EverAuthor's Response: No worries, Ever! Thanks for getting around to it. :)
Ah, I feel like I've written the Marauders so much that writing them just comes naturally to me. So to hear that my characterizations are such a strong suit means a lot to me. I'm definitely not a first person POV writer (third person is a personal favorite, though I should probably branch out more...) so it's important to me that emotions and actions still come across.
I'm glad everything seems to have smoothed out in the second chapter. I'm getting a little better with the transitions so hopefully future chapters are even better.
Thank you for taking the time to r&r even though you're not a huge fan of the concept. :)
Haha, yes...while it's AU, I definitely want to keep them as canon as possible. That's definitely important to me because I want you to recognize the characters, you know?
Thank you so much. I'm really happy you like it and that you're enjoying it so much. :) Report Review
Hi! I'm here with your requested review :)
First off I just want to tell you how much I love the whole concept of this story. This is such an original and well thought out plot that it was addicting from the first chapter. I'm sort of at a loss after five chapters on what to say. Everything is so poised and alongside the intricate details of each character, you just can't help but have to know more.
I could see two things happening.. I could see Sirius coming back just at the right time and saving the day, or I could see Regulus standing up to Cygnus and saving the day. Just my - probably incorrect - guesses, though! :) Either way I will be looking forward to reading more.
I love what you've done with every one of the characters, from Sirius and Regulus, to the Marauders, and even Kreacher and Mrs. Weasley. They all have that familiarity that we know and love, but you've taken each one of them and given them an important place, just fitting the part in the puzzle so miraculously.
I've been enjoying the style of this, almost as a play format. I was even thinking how awesome it would be to see it as an actual play! Your imagery and details about the characters actions work so well that it paints such a lovely picture already.
While you said this was a filler I still thought it was amazing in detail and new information. This line: His lips quirked up a bit before he schooled his face into that of a serious monarch-- was my favorite in a loathsome way. As much as I dislike what he is doing and despise him to his core that little smile just described everything and I'm really hoping someone caught that and is going to call him out for it! It seems - from previous chapters - that Dumbledore is onto something so I am looking forward to seeing that play out.
(Kind of completely unrelated:) Have you seen the Prince of Persia movie? The Sands of Time I think it's called. It reminds me a lot of this, if you're interested you should check it out!
Anyway, you've got a brilliant story here, and I'm eager to see what happens next and hopefully be of more help! Keep up the fantastic work, and re-request please! :)
-Julie Report Review
I was so unbelievably excited when you posted in my review thread saying that you had updated! I love this fic - it's so unique, and as I've said a trillion times before I can't wait to see what's going to happen.
One thing you did mention was that you were worried about the continuation of the characters. I really feel like you have carried them on really well, though, so you needn't worry at all :) Sirius is still a little bit lost and naive, and I liked that at the beginning of this chapter he still wasn't quite a part of the group, but was slowly getting there, despite a few days passing. It was actually really good with continuing the feelings on from the last chapter - I think if he'd miraculously fitted in all of a sudden it wouldn't have felt natural, but it does, and it keeps the tone just so. James and Remus, too, are the same headstrong and reliable boys as they have been before, but I really liked that you're adding more as you go, but still keeping them a little seperate from us. Their little group is really enigmatic but it is really effective and comforting as well. The way they still don't quite trust Sirius 100% was really realistic, but by the end of this chapter definite progress has been made.
Aside from characterisation, I think you have picked up on what you've already written and continued this really well overall. I don't know about you, but sometimes I lose the tone or flow of something I'm writing and feel a bit weird going back to it. I don't think it showed at all here though, and the way there was such consistency feels as though there hasn't been a break in writing this next chapter at all :) I'm starting to really love the alternation between Sirius and the castle ongoings, because it keeps everything really fresh and interesting, and also the way the scope of characters you cover is so wide. Narcissa meeting Lucius was honestly such a brilliant part to read - I know a lot of people imagine it to be fluffy and perfect, but here she reminded me of the cat that got the cream, and was super smug about it :)
Not only do you continue and carry on the story so beautifully in this chapter, but there are so many emotional and sentimental moments in this chapter that add to it as a whole. This is just so well written it makes me jealous, (I'm trying to work out just how you do it!!) and the dynamics are perfect. I can't wait for the next one - you've left this on the perfect note.
Laura xxx Report Review
Hey! Perelandra here with your review! :D Sorry it has taken a while...the HC and all has been getting in the way.
First things first...I'm super glad you updated this! I've been looking forward to know what happens.
I absolutely love Remus here. He's not as fragile as sometimes he's made out to be. He actually stands up to Sirius and treats him as his equal rather than someone who is afraid of losing his friendship. Does that make sense? He has an attitude, I guess that's what I'm trying to say. Nonetheless, the way you portray him when he's telling Sirius that his family banished him to the woods, I just wanted to hug him.
Cissy and Bella here are fantastic. Their personality really fits the ones from the books but somehow they're twisted in way to fit the setting of your story.
Yay! Cissy saw Lucius! I like how Evan gets jealous of the idea of Cissy actually being interested in Lucius. I would've, however, liked to see a bit of Andromeda as well. What she was wearing, what she thought of her father becoming 'king'. Any feelings towards Sirius' departure. That's my only small CC on it.
Got a question...you're basing this on Hamlet, right? Is one of the sisters based on Ophelia? Just wondering because if you are...then one of them is going to have a tragic death.
I really like this section. Specially the part where the guy about news from the castle. It just goes to show that you're really thinking things through. The 'commoners' would definitely see the parties that the royals are throwing as a waste of money. Their tax money at that, I suppose. We still see that nowadays when the people get angry when the royals spend tremendous amount of money on a wedding or trip. I really hope Sirius learns a lot of things regarding his kingdom when he comes back to take it back. At least...I hope he does!
Another question! Seems I'm filled with those...but are we going to see our beloved Marauders grown or is Sirius going to re-claim his throne at a young age?
Molly here is a sweetheart. She reads the same as the Molly we know but for some odd reason I like yours better than the one in the books. Will she meet Arthur or was that the husband she lost?
I really enjoyed the James/Sirius interaction here. Glad that James told him why he's being that way with him. And he's right...if he wants to survive, he needs to toughen up...Your last line, however, really got me wondering...what is James' story?
Overall, this was another great chapter and I look forward to reading more of what's going to happen!
Thanks for re-requesting! :D
--Perelandra/Rosie Report Review
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
Terms of Service
categories & genres
short story collection