Hello there! It's Ali from Pass the Parcel during the House Cup!
I think this was one of the most interesting stories I've ever read. It wasn't dramatic or adventurous, but it captured my attention. I definitely think you did a great job of explaining pureblood purity in a way that made it seem acceptable!
I liked that you already have Sirius defying his parents (and also showing his superior magical ability) by purchasing 'Horton Hears a Who' (I love that book, by the way) and teaching Regulus that people are people- no matter your characteristics.
I liked that you showed a softer side of Mrs. Black. It sort of contradicted everything we know from the 5th book, but then again, Sirius's account would have been quite biased, right?
It was nice how you set up the differences between the two brothers in this chapter. Regulus gave in to his family's expectations while Sirius defied them, but there was always an under-lying brotherly affection there and goodness in Regulus (as shown by his attempted destruction of the locket in his future).
You definitely captured the pureblood mentality from the eyes of a seven year-old quite well. Wonderful chapter! I enjoyed reading it.
classicblack Report Review
Hey there live life large! I'm popping in to judge all the entries to my challenge and I've got to say that I'm really impressed by this whole story. I loved the idea f framing it around a young Regulus learning about blood purity - it was really interesting t watch his internal dilemma about it, because I honestly believe that's something a child would naturally having trouble understanding (because of course they can still make ice cream, so are they not people?) and I liked Sirius's influence in their too.
It makes me want to read Horton Hears a Who, I think ahha because I really like the line you quoted :)
This was a really neat exploration of the belief and generally really interesting - it definitely wants to make me read more about his moral dilemmas and how he eventually comes to settle on his canon view (as in, supporting Voldemort then switching). I also liked that you had the Black family acting as a family unit, rather than hating each other all the time - I've always imagined them to be like that, like the Malfoys.
Great entry which I really enjoyed reading! Hopefully the results to the challenge will be up soon :)
-ACAuthor's Response: *That awesome moment when AC Rules is impressed with my story* Thanks, I'm glad you liked it!
Oh, don't you just love Horton Hears A Who? Personally, I'm a big fan of Dr Seuss and the way he can send such big messages in such little books, so when I realized how perfectly that line could fit into this, I jumped on the opportunity(:
The way the Blacks interact as a family is (obviously) going to be a big part in this story! I've always imagined that before all the pressure of the war, they actually were a fairly happy family.
Glad you liked it!:D
LLL(: Report Review
Hi! It's Aether from the forums. :)
Excellent first chapter. I love the Dr. Seuss style! I didn't realize you were planning on doing that, but after the first three paragraphs, I was like, "this sounds like Dr. Seuss." And, sure enough, you're disclaimer mentioned him. :) It's cool because I haven't seen that sort of narration in Harry Potter stories before. It's sort of a detached omniscient narrator with a grandfatherly personality of his own. Love it!
You do a great job of describing things in this story, and I can really feel Regulus's uncertainty. I did feel that he seemed very mature for his age (at seven, I think I understood everything in terms of sweets and my parents' attention). But I think growing up in a pureblood household, no matter how loving, might make one mature faster.
I had some trouble understanding Walpurga and Orion Black, though. When Walpurga gave that explanation to Regulus, I got the sense that she was just 'dumbing it down' a bit for the limited understanding of a seven year old. I thought this was okay, but I didn't really hear the repulsion I expected from her (especially considering how racist her portrait is). But then she talks to Orion and uses the same sort of simplified logic, without any sort of strong repulsion. I don't know if I totally bought that. She's an adult, and she seems intelligent. I feel, personally, that flawed logical arguments only exist because people have put a lot of emotional significance into them.
Also, what makes Sirius and Regulus so much more likely to question pureblood politics than Narcissa? Was Narcissa drilled with them from birth? And why did Orion and Walpurga wait to tell Sirius and Regulus until they were seven?
I was surprised by the bit of magic that Sirius performed. It's certainly not canon to have wandless, wordless, spell-less magic. And it was performed by a child, no less! I can accept it as some additional AU aspect to the story, but I felt that it warranted more of an explanation.
I think it's funny that eight-year-old Narcissa uses big words. It might have been a comedic bit, if she was really young, to have a greater contrast between how she looks with how she talks. (For example, she could use the word 'fraternize' as she tugs at one of her pigtails. Or, just give a more detailed description of how she looks). I just think it's really funny that she's using these words, and it's something you could capitalize on if you wanted some more of that comedy. When I first read this, because of how she was talking, I was imagining an older Narcissa (thirteen, fourteen years old). I didn't realize until I read through a second time that she was only eight! :) Brilliant.
Loved this first chapter!
AetherAuthor's Response: Thank you so, so, SO much for this amazing review! You said so many helpful things, and I'm just staring at my computer screen like, "Ahhh. Such brilliance!" I'm sorry it took me so long to respond, things like summer jobs and trying to scrape up an extra bit of money have been keeping me busy.
Anyway, I'm glad you liked the Dr. Seuss imitation! It was sort of an accident, but because I read Horton Hears A Who before I wrote this and it's a rather big part of the story, I figured it might be interesting. I'm actually going to do that every chapter, but with different authors whose stories have a part in the chapter:P It may be crazy, but I think it'll improve my writing.
Woo, thank goodness about Regulus. I was worried about him, because little kids look at the world differently from adults, and it was hard to put myself in his shoes.
Actually, I think his characterization might have affected Walburga and Orion. I got so immersed in his simplified, naive outlook on life that it snuck into the adults' thoughts too. I'll try to edit this chapter so that it seems more realistic, and I'll definitely remember it in later chapters.
Yeah, the wandless magic was an AU part of the story, but I couldn't really think of any other way to have him sneak the book at the time. The idea behind it was that since kids can do explosive magic, the Blacks would teach their kids how to channel that magic. Maybe I'll change that, as it is rather complicated.
I'm glad you got the attempted comedy:D That's a really good idea to describe her appearance in a childish way while she talks like an adult. Thanks for that idea(:
Once again, thank you so much for the long review so full of CC! It really has helped me as I right the next chapter. Sorry to keep you waiting so long for a response.
Live Life Large(: Report Review
It's Rosie with your requested review! :)
This was really intriguing; I don't often read stories about the Black family, so this was very refreshing for me. Regulus' characterization was interesting, because I've always thought of him as bad from the start and good near the end. But your version seems more realistic, because honestly, nobody is bad when they're a child. Narcissa's characterization was also very realistic--she's always thought of herself as better than everyone else, and she also ated superior to her cousin. I wonder how you'll characterize Bellatrix in later chapters; she's one of the hardest to write about because she ends up so insane as an adult. So your characterization was wonderful! :)
The flow of this story was perfect, and you did a good job separating each scene with the breaks.
Grammar and punctuation was wonderful. I couldn't catch any typos or anything like that which is great because I often tend to be nit-picky when review requests! :P
I really thought this was an interesting and believable take on how Regulus was introduced to the difference between muggles and pure-bloods. I also liked how you included Narcissa and her conversation with Regulus on the topic, and Regulus' own opinion.
Overall, a wonderful first chapter; I think it does a really good job luring readers into the story. Keep writing, this is a great story! :D
~RosieAuthor's Response: Hi! Thank you for the wonderful review(:
I'm glad the characterization seemed realistic; that's the part I worry most about when I right, so this was reassuring. Honestly, I'm interested as well to see how Bellatrix turns out, for just the reason you said.
Yay! I wrote this for a challenge, so I tried to be extra careful with grammar and punctuation. Thank goodness it worked:D
Thanks a ton for leaving a review so full of your opinions and thoughts! It really helps me when I'm writing.
Live Life Large(: Report Review
Hi, StormThief here with your review!
I think you did a good job of explaining the the pueblood idealogy to Regulus. Making magic a positive characteristic is a very good way of putting it!
I do think Walburga could have been a bit harsher, but overall I think her character was pretty well done. Sirius was also well written, and I liked that you showed his rebellious spirit even at a pretty young age.
I thought Regulus sounded a bit old, but if he were regularly treated as older by his parents or other people(such as Narcissa) he could end up sounding like that. So if you were going for that, he sounded just right! If that is not what you were going for, he sounds old.
The flow was very good, and I especially liked the reference to Horton Hears A Who! That has always been one of my favorite books. I hope this was helpful!
~StormThief17Author's Response: Thank you so much for the lovely review and the helpful tips! I've had trouble writing Walburga, so that will go into consideration. Regulus was treated that way, so I'm glad I managed that alright.
I agree about Horton Hears A Who. When that idea popped into my head, I jumped on it because I've always loved the book.
Thanks for reviewing!
Live Life Large(: Report Review
Hey, I'm here for your review. :)
This was a very intriguing chapter, it has definitely opened up the rest of your story to many possibilities,
The fact that Regulus and Sirius both believe that people are people no matter what at such a young age is great, i really love Reg's innocence!.
So characterization is really good, and the flow of this chapter is great, its opened up your entire story, which is the best way to start a story :)
Now you said that you were a little concerned with how you were portraying Regulus as a 7 year old, I think that its fine, he seems like a very intelligent 7 year old, and that has come off effortlessly.
So if and when you have another chapter out, id be happy to review it, just pop a request into my thread! :)Author's Response: Yay, I'm going for intrigue, so thank goodness it's working!
I agree with you, and I love this innocent side to Regulus so much that it makes me sad I can hardly write him that way once he's a death eater. Maybe I can get away with it for the next couple chapters (:
I'm glad you think Regulus came off all right, and he's supposed to be very intelligent so it's good that that's easy to tell.
Thanks for the review! I probably will re-request when chapter two comes out(:
Live Life Large(:
I think this is a brilliant concept to write a story about. The prejudice of Purebloods wasn't just something that someone made up one day but something that was passed down from generation to generation and couched in a way that would be have-able for the teller and the receiver of the prejudice.
It's sad to think of someone starting out so young to learn how to be biased and in such a way which makes it OKAY to be that way. But even Walburga and Orion's reasoning on it could be believable if it just wasn't so WRONG.
I like that you have Regulus struggle between two opposite ends of the spectrum, his parents and Sirius' rebelliousness. Both ends also approach him with love and affection and certainty in their own understanding so the conflict is something that I can easily jump into from Reg's point of view.
This was well written with the interactions from the different family members and their own input in the matter. Reg is little but big enough to start thinking on his own.
I can't wait to see how this develops!
xCharAuthor's Response: Thank you, I've was actually really curious when reading the Harry Potter books about purebloods and where their prejudice comes from, so when I started writing fanfiction I finally had an opportunity to think about it more. But this chapter was really hard to write, because I had to present an argument in favor this mindset without letting my contempt show through, and I completely agree that it is very sad.
Honestly, when I reread over this chapter with his struggle in mind, I thank God that HP really is fiction and that I'm not a pureblood, because I can only imagine how hard that would be.
I'm glad you enjoyed it and thought it was well written(: Thanks for the review and pointing everything out!
Live Life Large(: Report Review
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