Reading Reviews for A Cartography of Grief
20 Reviews Found

Review #1, by UnluckyStar57 You Are The Only Map I Know

5th June 2013:
I'm here for the Blue vs. Bronze Review Battle!

... Wow. This story was amazing! Even though it wasn't a long novel or even a very lengthy one-shot, you managed to capture just the right amount of emotion and raw feeling that Remus and Sirius shared (and some that they didn't share).

I'm not really a big reader of slash, especially if I know that it's going to be some kind of overblown scene, but this was NOT like that. It seemed as though Sirius and Remus, instead of defining themselves in each other, defined themselves by their own experiences. And then, they became each other's greatest comfort. That's something that should happen in ANY relationship, but all too often, it does not. Their love was very real in this story, and very painful, even when they laughed at themselves. ("You don't even like girls.") Everything just kept piling up, adding to the dynamics of the relationship.

I like how Remus was the cartographer, the steady one, who saw rigid lines and corners, and Sirius was the traveller, complementing Remus' angles with uncertain rooms and changing situations. The way you incorporated the Marauders' Map and the map of Grimmauld Place into the facts of their story was really incredible. It further juxtaposed Remus' steadfastness and Sirius' wanderlust, giving all the more reason why they are absolutely perfect for each other.

This was a really tremendous work. I really, really enjoyed reading it because of all the elements that you blended so perfectly. My only question is:

This is your most recent work, and it was written in September of last year. When will you be gracing HPFF with more of your brilliant stories?

I'm sure you have so many more to tell. :)


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Review #2, by evans_4eva You Are The Only Map I Know

16th January 2013:
This is so so sad :( Amazingly written :) 10/10

Author's Response: I was in an angsty mood, apparently! Thanks so much for your review. :)

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Review #3, by Yolanda Yaxley the Yuletide Yak You Are The Only Map I Know

17th December 2012:
This was so completely, mesmerisingly beautiful, that I couldn't help but fall in love with Remus and Sirius as you laid out the map of their relationship. It felt so real, with all the little details so perfectly dropped in so that each scene had the feel of a well-known and well-loved memory, and your knowing it so well really made me love each unique scene.

The theme of cartography pulled the scenes together really beautifully, and I thought it was used the perfect amount too: not so much as to become an allegory, but enough to make it obvious, with mountains, bridging, paths, boundaries - it was immersing and I adored it ♥

My favourite part was probably the last paragraph, simply because it feels like the end of a long-travelled road, a natural resting place that you'd been aiming for all along. It fit in wonderfully with the rest of the piece (if you'll forgive me for using so many adverbs in this review!) and the idea that Remus wanted to stay in Grimmauld Place to be here for Sirius' return was both saddening and beautiful.

Aargh, you've just prompted so many feels! I loved this so much, and I look forward to reading more of your Remus- and Sirius-centred stories :)

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Review #4, by caoty You Are The Only Map I Know

6th October 2012:
So cartography's a common motif in the R/S fandom, and I've read so many angsty map-filled one-shots from Remus' POV that I am close to having sworn off them altogether.

I'm glad I haven't.
So, I shall commence gushing:

I really liked the structure of this, you know, the whole introspective-paragraph-or-so --> scene --> introspective-paragraph-or-so thing. The way you've done that allows the impact of the scenes, both when they occur and in retrospect (if that makes sense), to really sink in. It's very effective.

You've also packed a bit of a punch with individual sentences, too, my favourite of them being:

>The distance between them is bridged by murmured apologies.

Because that is exactly how we all wanted R/S to be in the end, after everything that happened.

Remus is perfectly in character here too, with all his therapy-what-therapy-ness (you know what I mean by that, right? His despair is an introverted despair which makes itself known in its silence, etc.), and the idea of creating a Marauder's Map of Grimmauld Place is also perfect.

As for your timeline concern: it was fine for me, because I'm used to this kind of thing, but maybe not everyone would have picked up that the Remus-with-wet-shirt scene is set in the First War. If you want to, you can stick a cultural reference in there near the beginning to contextualise it, but you don't have to.
It'd probably be the same for the post-Azkaban one, too.

Anyway, this was lovely, and I'm glad you've asked me to review it - especially since, yes, I'm apparently still your Colin Creevey. XD

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Review #5, by academica You Are The Only Map I Know

26th September 2012:
Hello ♥

Can I just come out and say that your chapter summary title is part of why I kept clicking over to this and wanting to read it despite having no time? There's something so beautifully earnest about it: You are the only map I know. Remus is so sad and so lonely, and he's just utterly lost his way. I pretty much cried through the whole thing.

I love the cartography theme. At first, when you mentioned it, I felt like it was sort of random, but of course you spun it into this genius idea. Your disciplined mapmaker Remus reminds me of my obsessive scientist Severus, and perhaps that's why it resonates with me. But then to go and tie it to the Marauder's Map--it all makes sense, and it's brilliant, and I love all of that integration so much. The ending was incredibly powerful. Remus isn't just the map. He's the origin. He's the beacon that Sirius can look for when he finally comes home. I have no doubt that one day your Remus got his reunion, in the next life--or do I just want him to?

I love your characterization, obviously. Sirius seems a little too small for his body; I especially liked the scene where he shattered the mirror, because I can definitely see that happening. I also liked seeing him through Remus's eyes, watching Remus as a lover learning and re-learning Sirius. I'm just sad that he never quite finished it all.

I've been dancing around talking directly about Remus because I really don't know what to say. You've taken him to an entirely new level here. He absolutely breaks my heart, and I can completely see why Sirius would feel compelled to continually apologize for every possible transgression. There's something about your Remus that just begs pity. The tentative pushing and pulling that you write in this ship is almost hypnotic to me. I get pulled in.

Yeah, I don't know what else to say. I can't articulate it properly, but I really enjoyed this. I'm so happy to see you writing again and I always love it when you write something new. This marvelous piece made for a great study break :)


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Review #6, by Gryffin_Duck You Are The Only Map I Know

23rd September 2012:
Hi! Duckie here with your requested review. :)

Bit of a disclaimer first. This was the first Remus/Sirius I've ever read. I'm very much a canon person in terms of ships (and everything, really), but I'm not opposed to all non-canon ships. I'll be honest and say that I'm not a huge fan of Remus/Sirius, but you made it seem believable to me!

I was hooked from the second section, where Remus comes home from Order business and Sirius is aloof. It seemed so real and haunting, especially coming from the section before. You captured both Remus and Sirius's personalities extremely well, but fit their canon personalities into a non-canon ship. I rarely see that done well, so great job! I felt really bad for both of them in that section.

I found a few tense issues in the sections after Sirius's death. The first few sentences of the whole chapter were in past tense, but then you moved on to present tense, and the subsequent sections were all in present tense. I do wonder how it would read if you did all the sections where Sirius was alive in past tense and the other sections in present tense. I think it might get rid of any time period confusion.

I was a bit confused with the time period changes. I understood that a time period had taken place, but I was unsure exactly what time period it was. All the sections with Sirius alive made sense, but the others took me a while to figure out. Again, I wonder if playing with the tense would fix that.

It definitely seemed complete! The emotions were great and I was really able to get a sense as to how Remus felt during the entire story. My heart ached for him the whole time. He's my absolute favorite character and I think you captured his personality wonderfully. If you do happen to play with the tenses, I'd love to read it again. Just PM me on the forums if you do. Great story! :)

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Review #7, by Sunflower You Are The Only Map I Know

23rd September 2012:
Hi there I'm (finally) here with your requested review! So sorry for taking this long. Life suddenly caught up with me :)

I really loved this. First of all your writing is impeccable (as always), the piece seemed to flow effortlessly, and the composition of the piece was flawless. I loved how the beginning and the end reflected upon each other and I loved the thematic/symbolic meaning of mapping and being a map which played into the story throughout each section. Magnificent.

I loved the characterization of the two - especially Remus stood out. His vulnerability and the loneliness he feels was very well portrayed. Sirius and Remus's relationship was so sweet and heavy at the same time? Which you somehow made go together and made it all so perfect.

Sirius was heartbreakingly real. The section with him after Azcaban broke my heart. Hardly anyone portrays him as a broken man after going to prison and I thought this really shone.

In general, all your flashbacks worked really well. They were relevant, yet to the point. I could tell the difference between past and present easily enough so no worries there. The only one I had trouble placing was actually the last one. I know it's after Sirius's departure, but I can't figure out if it's after Sirius passed behind the veil or after James and Lily's deaths or when it is. It did not ruin it in any way, but it wasn't as clear as the other parts. The last line was perfect, by the way.

This was my favourite part out of all of them:

If he peers closely enough, eyes squinted and slightly cross-eyed, he can still trace the echoes of a hand (that belonged to a man who was not quite whole but somehow loved him anyway), fingers outstretched as if guiding him like a compass across this vast, empty space on his map he's labeled 'loneliness'.

- So as for your concerns if Remus's grief comes across as realistic? Sweetie, you have nothing to worry about. Just... gah. Perfect.

So yeah, this was a very enjoyable read and I really loved this.

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Review #8, by Roots in Water You Are The Only Map I Know

22nd September 2012:
It's Roots in Water here with your review!

Wow- I loved the manner in which you described their relationship here. You made it real, affected by the darkness and devastation of the war; you wrote the characters to suit the time and you definitely did them justice. I really liked how you didn't go into too much detail in the scenes... You gave just enough so that we would be able to figure out the time period and their emotional state but mostly you made your point and made it well.

You definitely gave this piece the solemnity that it deserved due to its exploration of the war's effects on Remus and Sirius and their broken relationship but you also included a few moments of lightness that I definitely enjoyed. One of my favourites was "But I do like Remuses" - it was such a sweet insight into their relationship.

I wasn't confused by the jumps and flips in time periods because, as I said before, you gave enough information and context that by the end of the section it was clear which moment in time you were writing about. The seemingly disordered arrangement of the scenes (unless there was an order that I just didn't see) was very interesting because it lent a definite sense of disorder to the piece. This worked very well because grief is never simple or straight forward.

As well, I liked how you looped around to link to the opening of the story at the very end. I've always liked that technique because it does offer a feeling of completeness to the story as well as hinting towards the "reason" behind the story.

I mentioned this before, but I think it deserves to be mentioned again. I really liked your characterization of Remus here. You placed his plodding, constant manner in another context that made perfect sense, giving an explanation as to why he was like this, as well as his expression of undeniable grief and pain.

The use of mapping in this story was beautifully done and I loved how you included it in every aspect of Remus' life. You made it fit, and not seem like a forced comparison or metaphor.

All in all, I think that you did a fantastic job with this story. I liked how you wrote it in present tense- it made his grief seem so much more present and there in his life. Thank you for requesting and I hope my commetns are helpful!

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Review #9, by javct You Are The Only Map I Know

20th September 2012:
javct45 here with your requested review!

Wow. Just wow. This was really poignant; just beautifully written :) I can't say that I've read many Remus/Sirus fan fics (I've read stories where Sirus was in love with James but never read any of these). The ship is really intriguing and I have to say that you've got me shipping yet another ship!

Chronologically, you could easily tell that it was out od order and swapping between points in time. That didn't bother me (I actually quite enjoyed it) the only thing that distracted me from the story, only a tad, was me trying to figure out what time period it was happening in (like the year and what had happened). I do agree with you though: putting dates whenever the time changes would pull the story off its hinges a little bit.

I just have to put this in here; my favourite line: "But I do like Remuses" it just gave me happy feelings and made me smile and laugh :) It was such a good line.

I ADORED the contrast between the happy/bittersweet times and the sad times. It really showed the reader a complete view of their relationship -- I also liked the characterisation of both Sirus and Remus. It was very in character and nothing screamed OOC! The best Sirus-in-character scene (in my opinion) was the scene in the bathroom with Remus (just a question, was that scene during the canon-series? During OotP?)

This is such an amazing story!
Jasmine, x

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Review #10, by theelderwand You Are The Only Map I Know

18th September 2012:
You wrote this quickly? Are you kidding? This looks pretty well polished to me.

I don't read much slash, but I'm never "bigoted" about what I read. A good story is a good story...And this is a great one shot - so much so, I added it to my favorites.

But, down to business. Does the flow work? Without question. I never had any trouble following the time line, and I thought the short snippets between each vignette book ended the "flashbacks" exceedingly well. I also liked the little flourishes (Sirius eating cereal on the couch in his underwear, Remus drawing up an early draft of the Marauder's Map, only to have Sirius ruin it, Sirius and Remus both trying to cope with the aftermath of Sirius's imprisonment, noted by the line about the scars and tatoo's being added to Remus's "map" of Sirius.) In fact, the entire map theme throughout was exceptional.

Is anything missing? Hm...I think the story is complete, but it did leave me wanting more. How's that for a non-answer answer?

It works, and I enjoyed it.



Author's Response: Thank you! I was a little upset so this was a way for me to sort through my feelings.

I'm glad you gave this a chance despite not really reading slash much. I'm so happy to hear you added it to your favorites - it definitely cheered me up.

I really like to add little details to make things more real, so I'm glad you enjoyed those.

I am pleased with your non-answer answer. ;) Thank you so much for your review.

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Review #11, by Jchrissy You Are The Only Map I Know

16th September 2012:
Okay so! I don't mind slash at all, but when it comes to this pairing I have harder time finding myself able to really get into it. But this.. Gah. This was truly written for them, not just because you wanted to write a slash and needed some names to throw in there. My absolute favorite thing about the styling is that you didn't seem to do it in an obvious chronological order, unless I'm an idiot and didn't realize it, haha. But it seems more like the grief comes from visual reminders. The way you used him mapping out his own pain then trying it into the memories.. Bahhh. You wanted to break my heart.

I went into this knowing I'd really like it, because it's you writing it. But you really made me love and hate the darkness and the chaos that consumed most of their relationship during it. They were never able to just love each other and see where it took them because there was always the war, deaths, the betrayal that Remus believed his lover committed again their best friends... You're going to turn me into a mushy piece of mush.

...each inhale and exhale spanning the length of a lifetime he’s outlived those he has loved.

Easily my favorite line. Remus has been through so much pain, watching nearly everyone he loved die, then getting the love of his life back only to have him ripped away again! It's just so incredibly cruel.

Okay, now that you've given me a million feels and really showed me that this pairing can be done beautifully, I think it's time for me to stop gushing ;). I'll never be converted to being a Remus and Sirius shipper, but you made me want to root for them, I wanted them to just be happy, for Remus to stay tucked away in the memories of having Sirius as his.

Gahh. Feels.

Ps! This is the first I've read a story where the author gives an idea of the creating of the map. I really liked that not only did it go with your metaphors, but you it gave us an idea of how that amazing tool was created.

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Review #12, by Cassius Alcinder You Are The Only Map I Know

16th September 2012:
So I think you're really starting to sell me on the Remus/Sirius ship now. In the scenes you traced throughout their lives, it really shows how intertwined they could have been, and how they could have provided the perfect comfort and support for each other throughout their equally rough lives. In particular, you portrayed Remus' character really well, and how much of a truly tragic figure he was with evrything that happened to him, and how much sympathy we would have in just wanting somthing to finally go right for him.

The creating of the map was an intersting flashback, and it really served as the perfect metaphor for the other events we see and Remus' role in life. If I wasn't familiar with canon, I would hope that this could b the beginning of a lov story that finally ends well, but knowing how they meet their fate, the tale becomes awfully tragic.

This is overall a really excellenty written story. Thanks for the swap!


Author's Response: I won't complain about any Remus/Sirius converts. ;)

I really admire Remus's strength as a character and the tragedy of it all really draws me in as an author. It makes me sad to think what could have been for these two characters, had their lives taken different paths in life.

I really wanted the map to be the starting point of it all, of Remus's life as a cartographer. I agree - everything is tragic. So depressing!

Thank you so much for the review.

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Review #13, by WitnesstoitAll You Are The Only Map I Know

15th September 2012:
Okay, Missy. I warned you that this review would most likely be an insensible, incoherent mess of words, and I meant it. This was gorgeous -- the way it sort of saunters through time and flips back and forth between then and now, the extended map metaphor with the actual map wound together with it. You need to write more often because now my eyes are greedy for more.

Your Remus/Sirius is brilliant, and coming from me, that means a lot since I am typically a strict canon shipper. The moments from their lives that you portray her are so tender, knowing where it all eventually leads. D:

I'm going to point out a few lines that stood out to me, but know that I could have easily quoted this entire story.

The walls seem to close in on him until he’s gasping for air, each inhale and exhale spanning the length of a lifetime he’s outlived those he has loved.
^^ this. Just. This completely sums up post OotP Remus to me. It's such a simple sentence, but it carries so, so much in it's simplicity.

"You don’t even like girls,” he points out.

Sirius’s grin widens and he waggles his eyebrows, looking ridiculous, but Remus laughs anyway. “But I do like Remuses,” he admits.
^^ lol. just because this is so adorable that I had to quote it here. I literally felt my heart grow like 3 sizes ala grinch who stole christmas style when I read that.

(because he always returns, Remus tells himself)
^^this echoes the sentiment of Luna near the end of OotP so nicely... the whole, "things we lose have a way of coming back to us." and I don't know if you intended it or not, but it served to place it all in time so well.

Gah. Missy. Like I said, this is a gorgeous one shot. I'm completely convince that nobody writes Remus/Sirius like you do. Fabulous Job!!

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Review #14, by kjp You Are The Only Map I Know

15th September 2012:
HI i'm kjp from the reviews, you requested one. I'm so sorry that I haven't reviewed sooner, I've been constantly busy lately (something i'm usually not)
Anyway on with the review - I like it. I seemed to flow quite easily, although when you did jump to where they were making the map, it did take me a couple of lines to realize where i was. But thats fine, sometimes making your readers think is actually a good thing :D
Your characters were perfect. Sirius sounded extremely mischievousness at the time you were making a map by saying "“You’re going to get us caught.” Sirius chuckles" Its the perfect line to describe him how he finds getting caught would be hilarious, this quote also shows of Remus's personality and how he was always scared of getting caught but still went out on their little nights out.
Because I don't really support Sirius/ Remus I can't really say much more. I always thought that relationship was purely friendship. But Thats just my opinion :D
Great story. I'd be interested to hear more stories from you, 9/10 from me :D (Its extremely hard to get a ten :P )
- kjp

Author's Response: Hey, don't worry about it. I know all about being busy.

I was definitely concerned about people not really getting when the scenes took place, but I was hoping there'd be enough information to get an idea. It's not necessarily hugely important to the plot but it helps things move along better, I think.

Yes, Sirius is all about not abiding by the rules and so Remus is a bit more wary. Sirius kind of wants to loosen him up a little bit, but it kind of backfires on him.

I'm glad you liked it despite not being a fan of the ship. Thanks for your review.

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Review #15, by Remus You Are The Only Map I Know

14th September 2012:
Heya! Perelandra here with your review swap! I THINK this is the new one-shot you were talking about. I hope so because I love me some Sirius/Remus stories!

First off, I would like to point out that this was amazingly well written. I felt myself being sucked in and not wanting to stop to write the review since I usually read and write the review as I'm reading along.

I'm guessing that the first part is the point that Sirius and James think that Remus is the spy, right? Ugh, poor Remus. The description on the first part when Remus comes home was amazing. It felt as if I had been there along with them in that kind of awkward moment between the two of them. Remus' hurt and Sirius distance felt very real and I just wanted to look away but couldn't.

'He scrambles to right everything before black ink spills out onto the map he is dutifully outlining.' To right...shouldn't it be to 'write'? :)

"'But I do like Remuses," he admits" ---that line made me aww and giggle at the same time. Too cute.

The part where Sirius can't look in the mirror after spending so much time in Azkaban it was both beautiful and sad! Knowing that his decision cost the lives of his best friend and wife along with Harry's loss of a true family must've been hard on him!

That last bit with Remus though...that pulled on the heart! I started to tear up just a bit when it reads: 'because he always returns, Remus tells himself'. Because we know that he isn't going to and Remus is just in denial.

Oh the angst. You managed to capture Remus' personality amazingly well and we managed to see another layer of Sirius. Here, we don't get to see the prankster Sirius we got to see in the books. Instead we saw Sirius the lover and then the broken man.

This was definitely a sad, yet beautiful story! Thanks for the tears! I think...hahaha!


Author's Response: Hi Rosie!

Yes, this was the fic I was talking about. :)

I'm glad this sucked you in. I really love when fics do that and you get to the end and wonder how it went by so quickly.

Yes, well, at least Sirius believes him to be the spy. It always breaks my heart to write that scene and it's hard because when you're writing Sirius/Remus, how do you account for that, you know? I feel like when you love someone, it's hard to believe that they could but if honestly think everything points to them, how do you separate your head and your heart? I didn't want there to be this huge confrontation here either, just that growing distance that hints that something isn't quite all right between them.

Nope! I meant 'right' as in 'to fix' or 'correct.' So Remus is startled and knocks the ink well over, so he's 'righting' the well to its upright position.

Hehe, I loved that line. It's so cute. :)

I feel like I write a lot about Sirius post-Azkaban and for some reason my headcanon wants me to believe that Sirius had a hard time coming to terms with himself after his release. I think staring in the mirror, looking at how you've basically decayed, is horrifying and it probably makes him relive painful memories.

It's funny because a lot of people get to the last part and that's when it hits them - and when I was first writing this story, that last part was the first part I had written, but then I felt it fit better at the end. It seems that was a good choice. It made a greater impact that way which is what I was going for.

Aw, I know, that about Sirius returning and we know it won't happen but Remus doesn't, that made me so sad to write. I just want to hug Remus.

For some reason, Sirius is always way more serious when I write him. A lot more darker and not as funny. I'm glad it worked here for you though.

I'm really happy you liked it (and if you cried, that means I did a good job with the angst!) Thanks for your lovely review. :)

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Review #16, by pennyardelle You Are The Only Map I Know

12th September 2012:
Wow! This is a really fantastic depiction of Sirius and Remus. (I need to read more of your stories--mental note that I've had stuck somewhere in my brain for ages.) I loved the initial scene--you could feel the tension coming from Sirius, the fact that he didn't trust Remus.

The map imagery was really great, too. For some reason, when I started, I wasn't even thinking of the Marauder's Map, and then when it cropped up, I felt like a bit of a dummy. :P It's so poetic to think of Remus as a cartographer, not just in the real sense of the word, but in some figurative sense that I'm not very good at putting into words.

I think the only thing I could suggest was--and this may just be something lacking in my reading, not your writing--that I did occasionally feel a bit confused about where we were at chronologically. Maybe a few words here or there could have helped to pin down where each scene was taking place from an earlier point. I usually figured out what was happening, but sometimes it took a few sentences or a paragraph. I think the part that might really benefit is the third section (the paragraph starting with "No one"), because that was where I felt least sure of what the time period was.

That said, this was a really beautiful piece of writing! You capture both Remus and Sirius so well.

Author's Response: Hi, Penny! I was pleasantly surprised to find a review by you, so thank you. :)

It's really hard to love Remus/Sirius and address that moment in history where Sirius believes Remus is the traitor and winds up putting his trust in the wrong friend.

This whole fic was written with the idea of the map in mind, so I'm glad the imagery worked for you. Ha, it's okay that the Marauder's Map didn't even occur to you. Remus really is a great character and he fits the role of a mapmaker quite well. He's methodical and he pays careful attention to detail. I think that helps him move through his grief and not focus on how his life is falling apart because he has that structure of the map, you know?

The ordering/confusion over each section was definitely a concern of mine so thank you for pointing out that it didn't work for you. It alternates past and present so the "No one" part takes place post-OoTp after Sirius's death. I'll look at it and see if there's anything I can add that will help you identify it better.

Thanks so much for your kind words and for taking the time to read and review my little fic. :)

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Review #17, by Ravenclaw333 You Are The Only Map I Know

12th September 2012:
Beautiful piece with a strong, poignant ending. You've written the relationship so well, so true to the characters of both men. Loved the map imagery, 10/10.

Author's Response: Aw, thanks. Remus and Sirius are definitely my favorite characters to write so it's important to me that (despite it being slash), they remain true to their canon selves. Thank you so much for the review. :)

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Review #18, by Violet Gryfindor You Are The Only Map I Know

12th September 2012:
There are really no words to properly describe this story - it is beautiful and moving, but those words aren't strong enough. They don't quite grasp the extent of the story's power. Once again, you've captured the relationship between Remus and Sirius in an extraordinary way - they are "meant to be" in that strange, ideal way, but they're also fated to tragedy and suffering. I see that more in this story than in others of yours, for some reason - you show the end, the beginning, and what came in between, offering a wider vision of the complicated history they shared, all in just less than 2000 words. That length is amazing because this story feels so full - everything is there, and you make every word count.

It's difficult to say which scene was my favourite - that first one, where we just know that Sirius distrusts Remus and believes him to be a traitor, or the second-to-last when Sirius dissociates from his own reflection, unable to reconcile the mark of Azkaban on his face. In each, you created a powerful scene that's very domestic and real, yet charged with intense emotions and tension that refuse to resolve themselves. Sirius breaks the tension with passion, but that's not a resolution - I think you've done this in other stories, too - revealing his penchant for evasion, a streak of immaturity that he never overcomes.

For a story seemingly focused on Remus, it's very much about Sirius. Your version of Remus in this story is highly observant, as a good cartographer should be. He sees the tiniest details, and from that, you produce a vivid image of Sirius. I can see his face, his tattoos, and other physical details, but as Remus does, we can't see any further than that - we can only guess at what Sirius is feeling. Sirius can easily read Remus, but can Remus read Sirius with as much success? Maybe it's the fact that he can't "read" Sirius like he can a map which fuels his love - there is always more left for him to discover.

The style of this turned out very well, though that's not a surprise. I wouldn't have guessed that you wrote this yesterday - it's polished and assured from start to finish. I thought that the out-of-order scenes would confuse me, but it wasn't at all difficult to follow. In fact, it made perfect sense the way that you organized the scenes, rather than placing them in chronological order. That first scene has a lot of impact - it sucks the reader in and makes one emotionally invested in the characters and their relationship in a way that the lighter, "first kiss" scene couldn't. And the "present day" inclusions between each scene tied the whole story together in a neat package primed for that conclusion. How do you do it? How can you write something so amazingly perfect? It's not fair, and I don't know how I can make a banner for this story that can represent all of the things you've managed to include. But it'll be an honour to decorate such a high quality piece of writing. ^_^

Author's Response: Susan, I just want to keep rereading your review. Each review you leave me is just so special and you always have so many nice things to say to me. You're an author I admire so much (and have for a very long time) and your compliments just blow my mind! You are way too kind.

I'm definitely playing around with writing shorter fics (I will attempt the Every Word Counts challenge at some point) and I was actually really concerned about the story feeling incomplete, so your comments about that made me feel better about the story as a whole.

I think you've definitely nailed my vision of Sirius as someone who still is a bit immature despite his age and evasion is a tactic he employs a lot when he's forced to face things he's not comfortable with. The story is about Remus, but you are right in that it's just as much (or even more) about Sirius. It's about their relationship and we get to sort of chart the way that it evolves as we flip between past and present. Sirius is still a mystery to Remus and I think that helps him deal with his grief, knowing that there are still things for him to discover, to keep him holding on.

Ah, I can't believe how fast I wrote this and I'm glad that it seems so polished. I was a bit worried about how it would all turn out but so far, things seem to be good. I'm also really pleased that the scenes worked for you and you weren't confused by the order of the scenes (that's a concern of mine and I need to work on clarifying a few scenes, I think). I actually wrote the scenes a little differently to begin with (and not in order either), but I'm happy with the way everything is set up now.

Gah, you're making me blush. It is not perfect. I still can't get over your gushing since you're pretty much one of the most famous authors on this site!

You will make the most beautiful banner for this fic, I have faith in you (and you never fail me). I'm glad you got the chance to r&r this and hopefully it helps you formulate an idea of how you want to design the banner. I can't wait to see what you come up with.

Thank you so, so much for this review. I want to hug it and keep it with me forever. Thank you!

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Review #19, by Lisa You Are The Only Map I Know

11th September 2012:
Brilliant, as all of your work is. No one can capture Remus' angst like you. It sounds morbid - but it is a compliment!

Author's Response: Thank you so much for reading all my Remus/Sirius fics. I'm really appreciative of all your reviews. It's okay that it sounds morbid, I know what you mean, and it means a lot to me to hear you say that. Thank you. :)

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Review #20, by SnitchSnatcher You Are The Only Map I Know

11th September 2012:
Hi, it's Molly from the forums, here with your requested review.

I spent a good five minutes after finishing this wiping my eyes and trying not to get too much snot all over the place because, ugh, this just pulled at so many of my heartstrings it felt like my heart was being ripped out, only to be thrown on the ground and viciously stomped upon. Basically, this hurt, a lot, but in such a good way.

I've always really loved your characterizations of Remus and Sirius, and it's no different in this fic. If anything, I fell even deeper in love with them, particularly Remus, who is so delightful in his ups and downright heart wrenching in his lows, all of which are very believable and, in my humble opinion, as close to canon as an author can get. His grief is so heavy and overwhelming that it sits upon the soul and strikes deep. It's haunting and tragic, and I want to wrap him up in my arms and tell him everything will be okay, that he'll see Sirius soon and they can be together.

I loved the way you used cartography as a theme throughout the fic. It was beautifully done, subtle without being easily overlooked, with just the right amount of impact. I thought all of the metaphors were a very nice touch indeed.

As far as your concerns go, I had no problems distinguishing between the past and the present. The distinctions were clear, the transitions were beautiful, and it was very well put together. There was no confusion or anything of the sort.

Quite frankly, this is one of the best Sirius/Remus one-shots I've read in a long time and clearly, I need to read more of yours, especially if they're anything like this, which something tells me that they are.

I'm always blown away by how gorgeous your writing is and I can't say that that's changed. If anything, I'm even more jealous than I was the last time I read and reviewed your work.

Excellently done, masterfully crafted. Just breathtaking.

- Molly

Author's Response: MOLLY. You are like the sweetest person ever. Seriously. You have NO idea how happy this review has made me. I'd give you lots of hearts but my computer doesn't like the coding for it.

I kind of giggled about your snot comment. Aiedail was kind of weepy about the chapter too so...I'm sorry I'm not sorry, but angst is sort of the whole point of the fic, so if I can make you cry...that's great!

Remus and Sirius are definitely characters I feel comfortable writing and it kind of limits me, I guess, in terms of what I feel confident in writing. But /this/ is definitely something that I love to write. Angst + Remus/Sirius = a recipe for something fantastic.

Remus is one of the best characters for writing angst fics and he's just so endearing. You really just want to give him a lot of hugs. He's gone through a lot in his life that isn't fair and he's still pulled through it.

Ah, this whole fic was really written about the idea of Remus being a mapmaker. I really love the idea of maps and the relationships that are involved with them. You can't have a map with a single road, you know? There are other roads, mountains, rivers, etc. that are all related (directionally) to that one road and so this fic was all about mapping out Remus and Sirius's relationship and watching Remus sort of following his own path through life.

I'm really glad the transitions worked well for you. Things were sort of haphazardly put together since this was written so quickly so I want to make sure that there isn't a ton of confusion. I'm really happy with how it turned out, but of course since I wrote it, I know when each section took place.

Aw, thank you so much. I'm definitely no professional writer and sometimes stories take a lot of effort to write (I'm always jealous of people whose stories are written so effortlessly) so I'm always blown away by people's compliments about my writing.

Thank you so, so much. This was such an awesome review to wake up to. :)

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