I have a habit of becoming speechless after reading one of your one-shots, and the speechlessness struck again. I was not expecting anything like this, I've read quite a few Regulus one-shots with him being on the brink of death, but I've never read anything quite like this.
The sections were all so different, and it really represented his confusion well, I mean, it even left me feeling confused.
And the unique use of grammar was great, it's so refreshing to see someone go against the norms. I mean, rules are made to be broken so I was happy to see that you did that:D
I can't really say anything as I'm still sitting here in awe. I loved this one-shot it was brilliant, and I can't wait to check out your WIP :D
-Kiana :DAuthor's Response: Hey! (Again.)
I've read quite a few Regulus one-shots too, and I found that even the best ones are somehow missing something.
What they're missing is, of course, complete insanity.
So I wrote a completely insane Regulus one-shot, and it worked! I think. Well, it worked for you, anyway, and that's all that matters really.
Thank you so much for your wonderful reviews (all of them!) and favouriting me, which was a really nice surprise. :D Report Review
Hi Caoty, here for your review as requested, and I have to say, this was NOT what I was expecting at all!!!
It was for lack of better vocab at this point in time, a mindf***. I followed it, it was very cleverly well written, both obvious and obscure, and to make them both clear at the same time, and yet both so different. Wow. Impressive. I did enjoy how you were saying obvious things like explaining the effects of the Drink of Despair in one of the scenes, but without saying he was drinking - You could follow it based on what canon we do know about Regulus and how you portrayed it (the trip across the waters of the cave, only Kreacher there with him, and then the memories), so I don't think you needed to worry about "copping out" as your A/N said.
I will say though, just during that scene, I know it's a memory flashback whilst he's drinking, and you did it all lowercase for effect, but my inner grammar nazi was jumping up and down wanting to wave her wand and zap all the i's to I's... I know what you were trying to acheive, but. maybe reconsider that part? :)
Definitely a one shot to get you thinking, and that's exactly what it's done. Very cleverly written. I enjoyed it as it all sunk in what you were trying to convey, well done. Bobby xxAuthor's Response: Hey - sorry I've been so late in responding, I'm crap at this kind of thing.
I think a mindf*** is probably the right word - I'm a bit sneaky in that I like to write stories where it doesn't make sense if you're not paying attention.
Oh, the lower case was a bit of a headache for me, too. I wrote it in lower case as kind of a first draft thing, went back and corrected the grammar but it looked odd somehow, and just generally went back and forth a million times until I gave up. D:
Thank you so much for your lovely review! :) Report Review
Hey, I had to read Paradise Lost in college! Such a long book.but so much imagery.
Speaking of imagery...your story is jam-pack full of visual/auditory imagery that kept me reading until the wonderful/melancholy ending.
Regulus, as represented in this story, is the epitome of a "walking dead man," and for some weird reason (I might just be insane or something) I really liked reading it.
Kreacher's suffering that was only mentioned in one line really made an impact on me. You have a way of implying more than what you have written (did that make sense? no? Eh, oh well).
The ending was perfect.
Thanks for the wonderful read,
soapman333Author's Response: Hello!
I'm doing book nine for A level currently. It's brilliant and everything, but I genuinely do not know how you managed to get through all of it.
I was wondering whether I hadn't gone too overboard with the imagery, actually - it's like, this guy is a zombie and then he's a wolf thing and then he's a zombie again and then randomly he turns into his brother. And then he turns into a zombie *properly*. XD
You know what, I really wasn't expecting Kreacher to have such an impact on people - I mean, he gets a whole chapter full of angst in DH, but yet that doesn't really get talked about in the HP fandom - so thank you for pointing that out to me!
Thank you so much for your very flattering review. And well done on your professorship! :) Report Review
This one shot is beautiful! Short and sweet, you didn't linger for too long with descriptions but gave us enough to know Regulus and his deterioration from an ordinary boy into a Death Eater who later disobeys the orders of his master. I also absolutely loved the ending, how Regulus shows true bravery and how you likened him to Sirius, because in the end, he was like his brother, defying purism and evil in his last moment on earth, a true Gryffindor. In addition, in part 6, I loved how you didn't use punctuation or capitals, it just resonated how Regulus was turning slightly mad and made me empathise with him.Author's Response: Hey /late, sorry
Regulus was fantastic to write, and to try to figure out in terms of Sirius' version vs. Kreacher's version of him, so I'm really glad the ensuing craziness worked for you.
Thank you so much for your review! Report Review
It's Roots in Water here with your review!
Wow. I'm not entirely too sure how much I'll be able to comment on this story since I'm not the best at analyzing metaphors and the exact meaning behind small things. (sorry).
However, I can say this: I really did enjoy it. I think that you did some really interesting things with this piece, including switching tense and perspective. As well, if I'm not mistaken, you also didn't tell this story in chronological order.
Let's go section by section.
The first section, a journal entry, is very interesting because it is probably the most human, the most young sounding out of all of the sections. It does a great job of showing Regulus as exactly who he was at the time of his death: a teenager out of his depth. He cares, in his own way, about (some, very specific) other people in his life and displays fear and regret.
I really liked the second section. There was a definite sense of mystic-ness coupled (or, I suppose, juxtaposed) with a sense of cold logic. The darkness of the tale (was it the original version of "Little Red Riding Hood"?), for me, set the tone of the story fantastically and I absolutely loved the line "In the laconic brutality of dreams, in the despondent irony of dreams, he is tried and drowned in the bitter cold as a witch". To be killed for being magical, to experience that terror, the sheer frustration and anger of it... The opposite yet same as what he was doing with the Muggles and Muggleborns... And then to not remember it. It's very interesting and very well done.
Third section: I liked this section. It was short and used its shortness to have a great impact. "Dreams are nothing"- the simple power behind this statement... I love how it can be applied to more than the act of dreaming while sleeping, how it can be applied to the sense that dreaming has no power in the middle of a war. Except that without dreams, without hope, how are you supposed to remain motivated? Another great sentence that really added to the dark and depressed atmosphere of the piece.
Section four was a great grounding scene- it did a fantastic job of clarifying to the reader the status of the situation with Regulus. It was really nice to not have this important moment buried under metaphors and similes.
I think that you did a fantastic job with section five. The use of the second person did a fantastic job of conveying the desolate atmosphere of the cave, of the feeling of heading towards your death and not turning back. The imagery in this scene was beautiful and I really liked it.
Section six was the only section that I was really confused about, since it felt out of place from the flow of the story, as though you'd jumped backwards in time. However, I now believe that the section was his life flashing before his eyes, brokenly and muddled, as he died. Am I right? Nonetheless, the section did a great job of conveying the sense of unworthiness and shame that he was feeling during the last moments/months /years of his life.
The last section was very interesting because it showed a last-minute change in Regulus' character. In the moment of death, he found courage, confidence... But only by acting like his brother. It makes me wonder how his life would have been different if he'd been more like Sirius, if he'd had the support system Sirius had had when he started to change his mind.
All in all, I do not think that this story was unnecessarily melodramatic and I didn't notice any points where description was lacking. Even though I would've liked more substance to the entry in the first section, I know that teenage boys aren't likely to write pages and pages expounding their feelings. Hopefully I've given you some good comments on reader reaction and emotional power. Thanks for requesting a review!Author's Response: Okay, so I have been putting off responding to this review for a ridiculously long time. I have no excuse, really - I'm just lazy. I'm sorry.
Hah, it's all right. To be honest I don't think there are any exact meanings, I just make it all up as I go along. (I'm not giving you a very good impression of me, am I?)
You know, I hadn't realised that - section I, while I was writing it, was all about looking in the mirror one morning and seeing a zombie there, but you've made me realise why I get a lot of comments on it in reviews. As well as being lazy, I'm not very bright. I'm going to address your comment about the lack of substance in I as well: it'd be a bit stupid of him to leave something that incriminating around, because if found it'd lead Voldemort to possibly torture/kill what's left of his family.
II is not the original Little Red Riding Hood - the original is actually very NC-17, I suggest you look it up some time if you're a fan of black comedy - I just sort of took the Charles Perrault version and located it into medieval France or thereabouts, which was in a werewolf-hunting craze as well as a witch-hunting craze. But anyway, II was the one that went through the most rewrites out of this whole one-shot, so I'm very glad it stood out to you. (Also, your interpretation of it is very interesting - I wish I'd come up with that one first!)
III is so depressing because it struck me while I was reading and writing Marauders fanfiction that the First War was so much more cynical and brutal than the Second - getting married at nineteen, not trusting one of your best friends to not be a traitor, all that kind of stuff - and I like capturing that kind of thing, so I did.
It's interesting that you liked V. I personally am not a fan of all the far-too-much imagery, but I'm inclined to reconsider now.
What I was intending to in VI was to show Regulus' thought process when drinking the Drink of Despair, but if you like your interpretation better, you can stick with it - unworthiness and shame is about right, though, so thanks for that.
If he'd been more like Sirius... god, I've no idea what that would be like. Neither, I suspect, does Regulus.
Well... thank you for such an amazingly wonderful review. You're an absolute gem. :D Report Review
Hello again! I'm here for your prize review! After this one I'll have reviewed everything on your page (AWW YEAH) so I'll wait for you to upload something. :D
Okay, I'll start the review now. :p
What is this beautiful piece of work?
Why is it so amazing?
Why, caoty, why?
Why can you write so perfectly and not be able to share it around? Silly caoty, sharing is caring!
As soon as I saw the title, I was like, "I have to leave this one to last. It sounds really thrilling and unique."
AND BOY WAS I RIGHT!
I'm very, very, VERY confused about Part II but it's just written so perfectly I've put my confusion aside and just relished in the beauty of the words.
I love Part V, though. It's just AH-MAY-ZING! *diamond sparkle*
I loved, loved, LOVED this line:
Below, arms and legs lie in suspended animation, like grotesque puppets. They are what you will become.
Just, oh my gosh. How did you come up with that bit of perfection?
And I love the last line as well, it just reflects that Regulus was just as brave as Sirius and it's just so dguvudgvdkv.
By golly. I've read this like four times now because it's just so thrilling and amazing. You really have a knack for this type of writing!
So, if you couldn't tell, I LOVED this one-shot! I absolutely adored it!
One hundred per cent 10/10! :D
Review number 3/10.Author's Response: Hello~! I guess I'll have to get around to writing, then, eh?
And I'm so sorry for this over-a-month late review response. I'm crap at stuff like this.
Part II was just sort of written for fun, honestly. It basically has nothing to do with the rest of the story at all, but I like it, so I put it in there. XD
Anyway - you are wonderful, I'm really glad you like it, and thank you so much for your challenge and your prizes! :D Report Review
I really really liked this! I don't have much to say other than that. It was a bit confusing, but in the way you would expect a story to be confusing, coming from a man like Regulus Black. I felt a bit insane myself, as I read it. ;) Hope that was the feeling you were hoping for. Great read! Perfect disjointed type of flow, great language, love the break down of grammar towards the end with the repetitiveness and the truly disjointed thoughts.Author's Response: Hi!
Disjointedness and Regulus Black seem to go together at this point in his life/death, so I'm very glad it worked for you.
Thank you so much for your review! Report Review
So, I have to review this again...
I do hope you don't find it obnoxious or annoying for me to re-review... It's only that I'm completely obsessed with this.
This is one of my favorite stories I've read here. In all seriousness, I could read it over and over again (I have) and not get bored with it. Every time I do, I get more out of it. That (in my opinion) is the mark of a truly talented author.
There is so much good crazy writing in here that I don't even know what to make of it (besides squeals of love and obsessive re-reading). Regulus is clearly an interesting character; someone I've always been fascinated by. This story however, takes sit to a whole new level in my opinion. You really have the ability to write not about him, but about his mind, which I think is truly fascinating.
I honestly can't pick a favorite part, because they are all so fabulous and weave together so well. I had to read part II a few times to understand it and it's significance to the story, but now that I did: It's brilliant. I may not even be interpreting the dream correctly, but I still think that bit is wonderful.
I said this last time but part III made me tear up a bit (I am not a crier). I think it's really cool that you added the bits about Sirius as well as his friends. Because Regulus, though not friends with them, must have observed the group. Adding that in a small way was magnificent.
Can I go on a bit more? 1. Kreacher. No words. 2. Part V: second person= so haunting. 3. last line: woah, kapow, wowza, etc.
Okay I should really stop now.Author's Response: Quick warning: double-reviewing can get you banned, I think, and I'd rather not have to see you go. D:
Anyway - of course I don't find it obnoxious or annoying. I'm honestly flattered by how you've given probably much more love and time to this fic than even I would, and I wrote the damn thing.
I had to plan and practise Regulus' characterisation a lot - I've got around five or six pages full of stuff that'll never see the light of day, some of which made it in a heavily edited form into this fic - and so I'm insanely pleased that my version of him is decent.
II was what the Nostalgia Chick (or TV Tropes) would refer to as a Big-Lipped Alligator Moment, I think, so any interpretation of the dream you have is probably the right one.
Oh, God. I'm not sure I should be taking so much joy in your tears, but I totally am. XD
No but really though - *hands tissue* - I don't know what to say.
You're an absolute legend. Thank you so much for reviewing. Report Review
Hey! Perelandra here...almost about a month ago, I asked for one-shots to read and review...I've finally made it here! Ugh, I'm so sorry that it has taken forever! :( I know I said it would take 48hrs but the Holidays and what not happened...I'm sorry!
I'm here though! And that's what matters, right! XD
Regulus has always been a mystery character to me, you know. So it has always been a wonder as to how he might've felt towards the end of his life. Within the first part you definitely made me feel slightly bad for me as I immediately remembered that Sirius, up to his dying days, believed that his brother was 1) an evil Death Eater and 2) a coward. Sorta sad you know, because he wonders how his cousin and brother are doing while Sirius, on the other hand, doesn't care much about him.
Did Regulus dream a funky dream of 'Red Riding Hood'?
The way you described the Marauder's fate was excellent! However, I was confused on which one was Peter and which is Remus. I never thought of Peter feeling guilty of what he did...but perhaps I'm wrong and he did feel remorse over his betrayal. I see Remus, however, feeling guilty for not confronting Sirius (of whom he thought as the guilty one) and going into hiding for years. That's just me though! XD
To he honest, I've never known the age that Regulus died up until your story. Poor guy...he died young!
I've never been into the Gothic Horror stories so it was a bit difficult to get through the last part, I had to read it more than once to get the real effect of it. It felt extremely choppy to me but I guess that was the point considering his mind just collapsed from the Drink of Despair. From that section, however, I liked the images you chose to show us. Again, it made me feel bad for Regulus and Sirius's thoughts about him.
"Come on then, you bastards," he said, in the voice of Sirius Black. --That line right there...ugh, straight to the heart. The way it felt to me was that he was trying to channel his brother's bravery. Regulus was a brave man in the end of his life. He might've made some mistakes thanks to his youth but in the end he redeemed himself and died a brave man. On his own. Everyone thinking he was a traitor...
With less than 1K words you managed to give us a great story! When it comes to description, specially when it comes to the Drink of Despair, I wouldn't be too worried. Instead of giving us the full effect of what was going on, you took us inside the broken mind where I believe things should definitely not make any sense or be too descriptive. I really enjoyed that. Like I said, it felt choppy to me but I guess that was the point.
Thank you for letting me read this! I really enjoyed it!
Until next time!
--RosieAuthor's Response: Hellooo... I can't really graciously accept your apology now because I've probably taken longer to respond - so I completely understand.
Sirius can be a bit black-and-white with his worldview, like a lot of HP characters, and my characterisation of Regulus is roughly around dark grey. There's a bit of tension there, I think, even before Sirius leaves home, and I kind of wanted to show that - it partially motivates Regulus to destroy the Horcrux, but stops him from just getting Kreacher to take the damn thing to the Order. Or something. I don't know.
He did, in fact, dream a funky dream of Little Red Riding Hood. Believe it or not, the version of that dream you read is the least funky I wrote.
My headcanon Peter is someone who consciously chose to prioritise his own survival and wellbeing above his friends' after rationalising it to himself - really, what did James and Sirius and Remus do for me anyway, actually they were pretty cruel to me most of the time, etc. etc. - because he wasn't necessarily a black-and-white 'Bad Guy'. And thus, after Halloween 1981 and the destruction of Peter's world, he realises that maybe it wasn't worth it. So, erm, it's up to you, really.
I wrote this just before my eighteenth birthday, so it was... feels-inducing.
VI wasn't Gothic horror, it was more just pure stream-of-consciousness - I'm glad that despite the difficult style, the images worked.
I actually quite like that line so it makes me happy that it worked for you. :D
Thank you so much for your lovely review! Report Review
Wow - this is so unlike anything I've ever read and I really enjoyed it! I thought you included so much for something that isn't overly long and did an amazing job with the descriptions. I didn't find it unnecessarily melodramatic at all.
My two favourite things about this were how you dealt with the attitude and feelings Regulus had for Kreacher and Sirius. Kreacher - I love fanfics where he is really quite nice. You made it clear Regulus cares about him, banishing the food to not make him unhappy and upset about what Voldemort did to him. I just found it quite sweet to be honest.
The parts about Sirius though were excellent and my favourite bits throughout. You show that Regulus really loves and admires his brother and obviously misses him when he's gone. I really feel for Regulus in the series as he was brought up the same as Sirius, he just wasn't strong enough to break free of what was expected of him and by the time he realised it wasn't what he wanted it was too late. You managed to convey all that in about 5/6 lines where Regulus thinks about him. Starting with him simply wondering how he's doing in the first section and taking it through to the last. The last section though was great by the way - he seemed to become his own ideal of his brother. To give him the courage to die maybe? Or did the drink of dispair just take him so far he completely lost the plot? I wasn't sure but I loved it anyway. It was the perfect way to end it.
I think section III was the most heart breaking for me. The way you wrote the fate of the four Marauders and Lily was just perfect. None of them had nice ends did they! I couldn't quite tell which way round you intended Peter and Remus though, I thought two descriptions could quite easily meant either of them: Remus is always feeling guilty and has to go into hiding about his wolf side but Peter should be feeling guilty and definitely goes into hiding as a rat. But then I guess they both kind of have suicide notes too. I think it could fit either way but I am curious as to which way you intended.
Your imagery in section V was just beautifully written and really gave me vivid images of what he was going through. I really loved the line 'this is black, the mockery of a grave for the undead' it just gave me chills. Amazingly written!
Section VI when you completely lost the sentence structure was really clever. I thought you described the drink of despairs effects amazingly well from what we get in the books from Harry seeing Dumbledore. When Regulus was thinking at least he wouldn't have to worry about ending up like Kreacher, jeez - I think he might have been a bit more worried had he known what was in store for him. I loved how he thought he was 'scuttling like a cockroach' too and felt remorse for the things he did. He really was brave!
The only part I didn't really understand was section II. I understood he was having a dream and the story was Red Riding Hood but I didn't quite get what it had to do with the rest of the story - sorry! I'd love to hear your response though about why you put it in, even though it confused me a bit I still found it really intriguing!
I haven't really got much in the way of CC as I thought this was a good piece and full of amazing descriptions. The one line that I felt slowed the flow slightly was 'You have a single wooden previously-invisible boat'. It just seemed a bit much with the previously-invisible in the description and I felt it could have maybe gone afterwards or something? I thought the bit in brackets didn't necessarily need to be in brackets either. Just a few ideas but these by no means detract from your awesome story!
Okay, so I really loved this and as it's the first piece of yours I have read I will definitely be coming back for more!
Great job :)
LaurenAuthor's Response: Hi! (God, that was a long time to wait, wasn't it? I'm so sorry.)
It took me eight months to write, so I s'pose there had to be some substance to it. :D
Kreacher is basically one of the only fully-non-human characters who actually has more than one dimension, so he's always good for Marauder fics, especially 'cause DH says he genuinely cares about our Reg.
The Sirius-Regulus relationship is fascinating, so I wanted to get that in there. Sirius is such a firebrand, and Regulus is anything but, so it's great fun linking a deteriorating mental state to a deteriorated fraternal relationship... or something?
III was a bit of a throw-it-in moment, and I'm glad I did throw it in, because it actually affects people, who knew. It does fit either way, but I have Mister Guilty as Peter and Mister Suicide as Remus, because that's what I was thinking when I wrote it. Guilty!Peter's my headcanon, and weirdly it's only after I started getting reviews for this that I realised it's not everyone's headcanon.
I'm glad you like V, though it's getting a less adverb-infested revamp at some point. I've never written anything like it before, to be honest.
VI was all from what I read in HBP, actually, so yay for it being canon-like! :D
Thank you so much for this amazingly thorough review, and I'd love to see you round some more if you do decide to come back~ Report Review
Usually, I can't stand reading angst or horror or anything dark, really (I'm weird like that, wanting my stories to be happy all the time), but I must say, I really love your style! You have such a wonderful way with words!
I think my favourite part of this story was when Regulus took the Drink od Despair. There seemed to be a real sense of stream of consciousness in that section which I really liked. The bit about hiding Sirius' wand was particularly heartbreaking, especially when one considers the last line.
A wonderful story!Author's Response: HEY!
Truth be told, all I read are action-adventure novels when it comes to fic, so it's weird for me too.
Stream-of-consciousness is really fun and somewhat scary to write (I mean, how the hell do you edit *that*?) so I'm glad that stood out to you as being decent. :D
Thank you so much! Report Review
First off, I loved the style of this and the messed up images it brought on. Everything about your description was fantastic and after reading a collection of your works, I can now say that I am a fan.
I think for the most part, this worked for me. There were several times when I was guessing about how the sections fit together. Were they chronological? How did each section flow into the next? I liked how Regulus seemed to tie everything together, but his grasp on the last three sections loosened considerably and I was left wondering if he was having flashbacks, or if he was attempting to be more like his brother, or if the character I had in my head for those last three sections was entirely wrong. I found myself wondering if you had been a little too vague at that point because I wanted to feel complete at the end and instead, I was grappling with questions that left me unsettled about the whole piece.
As much as I hate to say this, I think I would have liked more concrete connections. I suppose I was floating un-grounded for too long. I wasn't turned off by the melodrama, though. I liked the tone overall and as I said before, I really liked all the descriptions, particularly the carnival bits and the returning image of inferni. I'm familiar with the music of Danse Macabre, so if you were using that for inspiration, you definitely did it justice.Author's Response: Alright, so. I'm really, really sorry I've been so awful at review responses, and this is going to be equally awful:
The sections were mostly chronological, except IV-VI, I think... the chronology and the general structure of this piece I guess can come across as a bit like you're reading a collection of random musings about some undead guy, which is funnily enough what this thing started as. I think any sense of completeness, however, was probably the opposite of what I was trying to achieve, so I can't really be too remorseful about that. >.>
Anyway, apart from that, this was great fun to write so I'm really glad you enjoyed it, regardless of the lack of concreteness. :D Report Review
It was hard to decide which of your remaining stories to take on for the review tag, but I'm glad I chose this one. Quality Gothic stories are always worth the read, and this one is no exception. It's chilling in much the same way as a Poe or Lovecraft, with that combination of psychological and physical horror, the character tearing apart from within at the same time that the outside world tears him apart. I'm amazed at how you've captured the Gothic atmosphere in a minimum number of words - you put forward the right kind of images and allow the reader's mind does the rest of the work. It's because of this that I wasn't surprised to see that you'd been influenced by Gothic horror. It's not weird or melodramatic at all - the style and mood are perfectly suited to the story.
You especially made fantastic use of the Inferi. They're oddly neglected in fanfiction, even stories about Regulus, so the way in which you associated Regulus with the Inferi throughout was fascinating to see. I hadn't thought about the connection between the Inferi and the Drink of Despair, but the drink has such a weakening power that one becomes zombie-like. For Regulus it's only the final step in the long process of his demise.
I especially liked section VI when even the sentence structure unravels (fragments, dissolves...), thoughts and images flashing through his mind. There's a logical randomness to his final thoughts, but I'll resist the temptation to (over)analyze and just say that this section was the most chilling. You don't need to describe what he's doing - it's obvious from the turn of his thoughts that the Drink of Despair has taken hold of his mind and only death remains. What did surprise me was that ending. It's brilliant. His identity is subsumed into this worship? envy? of Sirius - when he loses himself, he becomes his Other. Once again you include a novel's worth of material in a single sentence. It's freaking amazing.
I can't think of any critique, though I noticed in one of the recent reviews that there is a revised version, so I'd be interested in seeing that. I didn't have any difficulty with the divisions - although fragmentary, they leave many avenues along which to connect them, and they work together as a whole to characterize Regulus, revealing what goes on in the secret corners of his brain. The structure is what makes the story so effective.
It's great to have had the chance to read another of your stories. I admire both the complexity and the brevity of your writing style - it always makes for a more intense reading experience because the story stays with me afterwards. I have to sit and think it over, re-read parts, if not the whole, and to me at least, it's the mark of excellent writing.Author's Response: Okay. So. This review has been sitting in my Unanswered Reviews for almost a month now; I kind of don't want to see it go, but c'est la vie... anyway, sorry about this late late response.
You just (presumably) unironically compared this fic to both a Poe and a Lovecraft, you know that? Wow. Jesus Christ. Even after all this time of reading and not responding to this review, that still floors me.
It's always surprised me that people don't write more about Inferi. I mean, zombies! In the Harry Potter universe! Is that not just the coolest thing ever? And zombies are just a good metaphor for anything, really.
The best forms of torture in the Potterverse are the purely cerebral ones, too - the Cruciatus, Dementors, creative uses of the Imperius curse or Legilimency or Veritaserum or Amortentia (and now you know what kind of fic I read...), as well as the Drink of Despair - and they all have this zombifying identity-stripping effect on their victims, which doesn't leave a lot of division between them and Inferi.
Section VI was probably the one I had to work the hardest on - it's got its own timeline and everything - so I'm really glad that that stood out to you. And that final line! It's probably my favourite ending to anything I've ever written because, quite frankly, you managed to pick up on basically everything I was trying to say. I don't know how you do it.
Anyway. I always love your reviews, and I'm thrilled that you left one for this, so thank you so, so much! :D Report Review
Hey hey. :) cypress here with your requested review!
First of all, your story seriously gave me -chills-. I loved it. I don't know -why- you would ever think there was too much imagery! That's what makes it beautiful! It's lovely, very Gothic, I liked your POV and tense changes. Your phrase "the laconic brutality of dreams" is pure poetry. And your ending, chilling. Just chilling. Bravo.
As far as critiques, I only have a few suggestions that you can take or leave as you see fit. First, the formatting. I think that a line break between your sections or a * before you move on to the next section would help with readability because a lot of the paragraphs are short so my eyes, reading it, sometimes slid from one section to the next and then I'd have to go back and reread.
Second, the part where you describe the cave: "The cave is the open mouth of a poisoned corpse, if said corpse is not long dead: slimy, dark and cold." The first part, "open mouth of a poisoned corpse" is just - my goodness, beautiful imagery. Really lovely metaphor. The middle part, though, "if said corpse is not long dead" kind of breaks up the flow though. I don't know that it's necessary and I had to read it a few times to get what you were saying. I think it might flow better if you just removed that center clause and kept the colon and the adjectives after.
Finally, section VI - as the mind collapses, I'd almost like to see a passing reference to the liquid that he's drinking, just to let the reader know at what point in the progression we've achieved. I'll be honest, I didn't quite get it at first, but I see now and I think it's just lovely. The lack of punctuation helps emphasize the progression of his stream of consciousness.
I'm afraid I have nothing more to say, so I hope my very short review was helpful. Thanks for requesting!
cypressAuthor's Response: Hey!
Yay! That's always good to read. I'm very glad you liked it.
I will get around to putting line breaks in between sections, in my new revised version which will exist at some point hopefully. It'll also have a better, less awkward section V.
I have put a tiny reference in VI to the fact that all this despair is being literally consumed - it goes from 'on your tongue' to 'in your throat', but it's a bit of a blink-and-you-miss-it moment. I don't know how I'm going to fix it without ruining it, though, but I'll take another look at it.
You've been very helpful, and thank you so much for your review! :D Report Review
That was indeed macabre... Nevertheless, it's different from anything I've read so far.
I think you did a very good job of describing the effects of that potion and what he might'e experienced in his last moments. Poor Kreacher, no wonder the old elf was driven mad by those images he was bound to keep a secret.
I think you did a good job on this!
By now I'm sure you've figured it out, I wanted to leave reviews for all your works, as a Christmas gift, seeing as you've been so helpful and have left so many reviews and so much helpful feedback on so many of my works. I'm looking forward to the next story you publish here!
So have a happy holiday and I'll be "reviewing" you again, dear sir or madam, in the new year! :)Author's Response: Hey!
The potion was fairly awkward and difficult to write, so I'm glad you thought I did that alright, as well as sympathetic!Kreacher.
Thank you so much! I know I've taken absolutely ages to get around to responding, but you seriously made my Christmas. ♥ Report Review
Hi! I'm here with the review you requested.
I've reviewed some of your stories before, and honestly, you never cease to amaze me. I love how you explore Regulus' emotions and actions.
This story? Definitely one of the best I've read in a while. The metaphors were so real and gruesome. They were of the sort that made my insides clench in some unrecognizable emotion... Fear, maybe?
I'm not sure. But the way you executed the plot, in those little snippets, was brilliant.
Part VI was my favorite. I am a big reader of Stephen King, and the way Regulus was breaking down inside his head reminded me of when King's characters kind of go insane. There's just so much lurking beneath the surface of our conscious minds, and you've got the secret of capturing it and putting it out for the world to see. I love it!!
One question: Why, at the end, was he speaking in Sirius' voice? That's one thing that I'm really not sure why it happened, but I know it's Reader Error.
Yes, yes it was quite weird, and that's a GOOD THING. Nobody writes things like this, at least from what I see, and I browse the archives quite often. There was no unnecessary melodrama... In my opinion, it needed all that to give the effect of the collapse of the sane mind during the drinking of the potion.
As always, fabulous work!! Feel free to request a review anytime! :D
~UnluckyStar57Author's Response: Hey!
I'm always going to slightly love you because you were one of my first reviewers for my first three fics, btw. Just thought I'd let you know.
I pick my metaphors very carefully - I've only used things that affected me in this fic, and I'm glad they worked for you too.
I'm not sure if there was an actual plot to this... but, erm, thank you anyway.
VI is my favourite too - if one is meant to have favourite parts of one's story. Stream-of-consciousness is a hell of a ride to write, and I kind of use it to pretend I know more about emotions than I really do.
Because I like multiple interpretations - several possible answers for you:
a) Regulus using his ideal of Sirius to give himself the bravery to die with dignity
b) the climax of the effects of Regulus' loss of identity - he loses himself in his ideal of Sirius
c) He wants to redeem himself; he wants to be like Sirius, or who he thinks Sirius is.
d) all of the above
e) something else entirely
Well - wow - that's a hell of a compliment. My ego is huge right now. Wow. Thank you so much, for this and your wonderful review. :D
Hey caoty! Here's your review:
Well, this one certainly left me speechless…both in good ways, and sort of confused ways.
Initially, I was doing fine until the end where the speech shifted dramatically, and then I had no idea what was happening. But the first time I read it I had just got done with a few hours of chemistry for a final I had done this week, so I wasn’t prepared for how deep this piece was, so I read it a few days later and obtained better sight and am more properly able to review this.
I love your writing style. You have a poetry about your descriptions, which is rare to find. I loved the cleverness of putting in Little Red Riding Hood and tying it into a Harry Potter related story. I would’ve never put the two together, but you made it work when using it as a parallel to describe how Regulus is feeling : pack-less, out of place, alone, because the task he has ahead of him prevents him from confiding or relating to anyone. A really unique way to bring a childhood story in such a dark setting.
“Picture the scene: dark, dark like the magic that brings you here and lets you in, dark like the magic you will not be able to fight.” I really like this description as it is a new way to describe an utterly dark place to be in life when we are sad, scared or depressed, like “black abyss” or the “black night” of something. To write something so terrible as this as “black as magic” is quite refreshing to foreshadow a situation that only has a dark and desolate outcome.
This story makes me squirm because it puts me in Rugulus’ shoes. I can’t imagine knowing that I was going to die and being able to look over at what I would become would make me feel everything else but heroic. For how could a hero die and become something so…dead, for lack of a better word. It saddens me to read it, because there’s always such a dark, sad admiration for people that know what’s about to happen, no matter how dark the outcome, and push forward anyways.
I think if you had described the effects of the Drink of Despair, you would’ve taken away from the story, it would’ve been too much. Your description of his boat ride over was perfect, because if it stirred such dark thoughts in the reader about how utterly terrifying and depressing the scene around it was, it leaves a lot left to the imagination about what other horrors could await the drinker.
It also stirs a lot of pity because we know how terrible the drink was when we saw the effects on Dumbledore. So, when Regulus looks at Kreacher and thinks, “I’ll never end up like him”, we shake our heads and think, “Well, maybe not, but the next few minutes are going to be the worst of your life, and then you’ll start to think you’ll be lucky if you can get out like Kreacher.” It’s a Catch-22, one of which only we know and Regulus doesn’t, which makes the story even that more depressing.
A very dark and twisted take on a scene we’ve only ever really been able to imagine ourselves. Your perspective puts on a much darker twist than I think any one of us could have created in our own minds, and really brings to light that sometimes there is no silver lining in the cloud of any situation, and that maybe, there is no possibility that anything good that can come out of “entering the mouth of death”.
Bravo!Author's Response: Hello!
Yeah, that whole stream-of-consciousness thing doesn't work for everyone. Especially after Chemistry revision. (Good luck with your results, by the way.)
I love Little Red Riding Hood - any and every version I can get my hands on - and, weirdly enough, I've always found it a perfect fit for Harry Potter. You've got werewolves, forests, manipulation, all that kind of stuff, which pops up in HP too; especially if you re-imagine the wolf as a tragic figure.
Anyway. Fairy tale geekery aside. I'm not the biggest fan of V myself, but I'm glad that sentence caught you. Regulus' surroundings seem to reflect him: the increasingly empty home, the dark zombie-filled cave. I kind of wanted to hint at that a little bit.
I'll have to agree with you about self-sacrifice. It's difficult to feel heroic when you're committing indirect suicide, especially in the way that Regulus does.
To be honest, I can probably do better than the current description of the boat ride and I'm thinking of rewriting, but I'm glad you like it.
This story is pretty pessimistic, isn't it? It kind of makes me want to write a nice happy AU where Regulus takes the Horcrux to the Order and is mercilessly manipulated by Dumbledore into being a spy while his relationship with Sirius is in a mess... but at least he gets to survive?
Anyway. Thank you so much for your wonderful review! It's been a pleasure to read. :) Report Review
I didn't think this was weird! Unusual, yes. But I loved it! It was unusual in the best way!
I adore the last line, it was brilliant and really felt so Sirius to me. (I don't say that as a pun but in all seriousness...again, no pun)
Your writing is really powerful, which is so, so impressive considering your writing is always short. I'm offended a little when someone says my writing is short but this absolutely isn't a bad thing, but admirable in your case!
I adore your writing. 'Nough said.
EverAuthor's Response: I'm not sure I know the difference between 'unusual' and 'weird'. :P
But anyway. I usually hate my last lines, so I'm glad you liked this one! I tried to make it as Sirius and as serious as possible. (*that* was a pun.)
Thank you so much for your lovely review! I'm so glad you liked this, 'cause it was way fun to write. :D Report Review
Wow. This was really interesting! I love dark stories, sad stories, angst-ridden stories -- they are, for me, much more interesting than light, fluffy romances and happily-ever-after endings. I wasn't surprised at all to read your author's note and see that a lot of this was inspired by Gothic horror, and I think you've captured that particular genre quite well in this one-shot. The imagery was bleak and black, but I mean that in the best way possible -- really, I did like the way you've written this stylistically! (You'll have to forgive me: It's a bit hard, praising a sad story sometimes.)
I love Regulus stories, and I'm pretty happy, because it seems that more and more people are writing about him nowadays. I think that you did his story justice! The ending, especially, because for some reason one of the things I haven't read a lot about where he's concerned (and maybe it's just me not knowing quite where to look) is what happens during Regulus's venturing into the cave. The last section gave me chills -- love that mental image of him!
I think you did a really good job with this story! There was a darkness to it that was nonetheless elegant, and having read a story or two of yours before, that seems to be your thing. :) Definitely keep writing like this!Author's Response: I tend to find sad and dark stories much more interesting too, especially the ones that are implied by canon and then never mentioned again. It's one of the reasons why this one got written, really.
Gothic horror is one of my favourite genres, and so I'm really glad you thought I pulled it off okay! :)
There does seem to be a bit of a fanon gap still when it comes to what actually goes on with Regulus inside the cave, which is sad, but it's a fairly difficult topic to handle.
Anyway - thank you so much for your lovely review, and I'm really really happy that you liked this! :D Report Review
Hello it's Whiskey with your review! Sorry it took me so long to get here, but, you know, life.
But I'm glad I DID make it to your story, because a piece of writing that is so dark and heartbreaking is not easy to come by these days. Go you, basically! Let's get to it:
I loved how you chose a very limited amount of images and words to build everything on, which you then referenced and came back to instead of piling on "dark" and "twisted" details by the dozen like others might have. Quality over quantity wins in my books any day.
The strongest part, in my opinion, was your inclusion of Sirius. We know that Regulus is sacrificing everything with a grand goal in mind, but you made sure to point out that he is just human and his motivations are very personal. His dream about a beautiful future for all is actually a dream of redemption, personified by one highly idealized individual who doesn't know or care. His relationship towards Sirius seems very complex and fluid, yet it makes sense.
The way the story is now would make sense even outside of the HP universe. The imagery you set up speaks to universal feelings instead of about a world of magic or a particular plot and I think that is what makes this piece so strong.
I am also very fond of the structure you chose. The numerals and slowly disintegrating grammar, as well as the pov jumps, all appear to be placed with thought. Without a structure that underlines Regulus' slow assensions into madness and obsession, this text would just seem like a mess and would need to be much longer and more detailed to get the reader anywhere. So whatever you do, keep the structure! I know several reviewers seemed critical of it, but I assure you it's worth about half of the story ;)
Now some critique (it's not much, don't worry)!
This part: "You have a single wooden previously-invisible boat, which is almost impossible to see, wandlight or no wandlight (your wand these Inferi have learned to go for first, the instrument of all your power, broken in an indifferent snap). The boat is lightweight, it is breakable, it rocks sickeningly as it goes painfully slowly to your destination.
Below, arms and legs lie in suspended animation, like grotesque puppets."
In a piece so short and saturated,every word counts, so when even one word doesn't fit, the text begins to crumble. This part stuck out because of it's different tone and slightly clumsy descriptions. "previously-invisible", "your wand these Inferi have ...", and the many, MANY adverbs...are just a few examples of what is wrong with this bit. From the very first sentence in the begninning of the text, I was hypnotized, but this part broke me out of the trance. Suddenly, I was being told instead of shown, and it was distrcting and frustrating.
I would advise you to look over this part and pick out what is actually important in the informaiton given there, and then rephrase it into Regulus' voice. Good Luck!Author's Response: Hello, and I can't really graciously accept your apology because this response is equally late, so sorry 'bout that.
I was actually wondering whether this was *too* limited - like, this story is just someone being all like, "yeah, I'm gonna die" and then he dies - but I quite liked this how it was and I'm glad you did too.
The Sirius-Regulus relationship is something I could talk about forever, and something I think gets unfairly sidelined in Regulus fics unless Sirius is in the spotlight. They're both wild cards, but in very different ways, and I'd love to see how they'd have grown up with each other. Although you can probably tell that from this fic.
Wow, that's... extremely high praise. Thank you so much.
The numerals and POVs and their placement and number etc. were things I completely agonised over, and I really wasn't sure how to keep the story structure clear-ish while still trying to make it sound less convoluted/pretentious/overdone, so I'm glad they worked for you. :D
Oh my God, thank you! V was the one I really disliked, and I honest-to-God couldn't figure out why, especially after I'd got reviews telling me how much my reviewers'd liked that particular one. But now it all makes sense. I will absolutely revise that, or replace it, or something.
Thank you so much for your wonderful review! :D Report Review
Hi Caoty! I am here from the Gryffindor Review Exchange Pair thingy.
I think I am speechless after reading your one-shot. The first thing that i popped into mind was how am i supposed to leave you the review that you deserve. Anyway, I think I should atleast try.
I did not read many fanfictions with Regulus as the main character. I think your Regulus was very true to what little we know of him from the books.
Some of my favourite lines were:
" I suppose it is too late to wonder about the living."
" sirius spat at me he is lucky he is lucky he is brave.i was alone in this madhouse of duty and pain though he hadn’t left yet couldn’t find his wand i hid it in the bathroom to keep him here for a few more minutes because i’d miss him when he went"
The second quote was so sad and yet so beautiful. I think your writing is very powerful.
That is all from me now. Thank you for the amazing review you left for my story. It was very helpful.Author's Response: Hey!
Well... wow. I'm really glad that you think so. And your review is lovely, so I don't think you need to be worrying about if it's good enough.
Regulus is a weird almost-but-not-quite OC; it was fun to mess around with the kind of guy he could be.
Thank you so much for your review, and I'm glad you liked this! :) Report Review
Wow, this is so well written D: I feel all sorry for Regulus but then he was so brave and I just ljksflkd I love it :3 I've gotten a bit confused with myself, but then again I'm always confused, so is this basically just the 7 stages before he dies? (I think so, just checking. I'm a very confused person, generally) I really love the way you incorporated the weird dreams into his life, it made it very mysterious ;) I do love a good mystery :P But the bit where there's no capital letters/lack of punctuation, that's a technique, right? (Idk I'm just kind of filling up time here I never know how to write reviews) It looks like a technique [his memories are flashing fast so he doesn't have time to think about them properly and gives a sense of haste] but I never really know. I did super bad in the last couple of english assignment's I've had so I highly doubt that is right... Oops.
I also love that end bit, where he speaks in the voice of Sirius Black. Made me love Regulus even more! :D
Here with your review,
Hedwigshat/Emily xAuthor's Response: Hey. :)
You know what, I have absolutely no idea what they're the seven stages of. Yours is as good a guess as mine.
And yeah, the going against every grammar rule ever was a technique. Your explanation was pretty good though, dunno why you're doing bad in English. Then again, I got a D+ for my last essay... *sigh*
Thank you so much! :) Report Review
Here for tag!
OMG this was one awesome angst story. I loved it! It was weird yes, but definitely in a good way. I loved the dramatics xD
I think you portrayed Regulus very well under the effects of the despairing potion (or whatever you call it). I loved your idea of writing this in 'seven broken pieces'. The way the thoughts were scattered in the story was quite realistic. I loved the imagery in "step V.".
I think you did a great job with this piece. It was a brilliant plot, great narrative, superb characterization, and well-portrayed angst/despair.
I really liked it! Good job!
(AditiDraco95)Author's Response: Hey!
The dramatics were way fun. So was the weirdness. :P
It's called the Drink of Despair, and I had no idea it actually had a name until I Googled it. I mean personally, I've got no idea why you'd need DoD if you had Dementors... is it, like, Dementor juice, or something?
Oh God, that sounds so wrong. D:
Anyway - wow. I'm really flattered that you think so - thank you so much! :) Report Review
There are about a hundred things I could say about this story and how amazing it is. But let me pare it down for you.
First off: I feel like your sentences are so carefully crafted and therefore it tends to read like poetry. In all seriousness, it's so well done!
I chose this story because I love Regulus, and I'm so glad I wasn't disappoint with this portrayal of him. There are SO many stories about him floating around and so many of them are very cliched. You completely avoided that and instead focused on his life, instead of him. That doesn't make a lot of sense. But I always thought that what was so interesting about him was how he lived his life and how he related to his very dysfunctional family and you touched on that part of it, which I loved.
There are so many great lines and as I said before, I could quote the whole thing. In part I. when you mention inferi! That sets up the whole story, and it's such a small detail hat makes a big impact. Later on in part III, you mention the five "dreamers". (I assumed this was the Marauders, and Lily.) That section reminded me somewhat of Peter Pan, and the Lost Boys and that was so heartbreaking for me because it just painted a picture of how vastly different Sirius and Regulus grew up
And you carry Sirius's role in his life through the piece. In part VI in particular: "he is lucky he is lucky he is brave." So chilling, so poetic and it really lends a crazy aspect to the character Regulus, which I find absolutely perfect, because I always thought that Regulus would probably have gone off his rocker a bit anyway.
I will stop here because I could pick apart every detail in the story and gush. But really, I'm SO glad I read this!
camilleAuthor's Response: Hey!
Well, that's always a good start to a review, isn't it? :3
Wow. Thank you so much. This fic was pretty heavily edited and rewritten, though I didn't show it to anyone else before I posted it, so I had honestly no idea of what the quality was like. I'm really glad you like the writing.
I absolutely adore Regulus and the Black family, and the poor boy does tend to get roped into these fairly conventional forbidden romance type situations that don't really have fun with the different ways to explore such as mysterious character. I've tried to write him differently and realistically through what his own definition of himself would be - that is, through his identity as a member of the Black family and all the class/blood status that comes with it. If that makes any sense at all.
I'm so happy that you mentioned the Inferi thing! It's an image that was in my head for weeks, of Regulus looking in the mirror and seeing what he will become, and it was such a relief to finally be able to write it down.
Sirius, gah - I had all the Sirius feels when I was writing this fic, 'cause I'd always thought that Sirius' departure from Grimmauld Place would have been quite traumatic for poor little Reg, 'cause it would have simultaneously given him a ton of new responsibility and also an offer of escape that Reg can't quite let go of, and it really irritates and obsesses him.
At least, that's what I think. I may be going a bit wild with my characterisation there. :P
Anyway, since I've written you an essay in lieu of an actual review response, thank you so, so much for your wonderful review! :D Report Review
This is amazing. i chose to read this story because Danse macabre is a concept that always fascinates me wherever it appears.
Here you managed to translate so much through very few words, which is always very admirable. Regulus's character burned through the words and I could feel his every emotion almost. The way the story was divided into sections gave it a nice touch and I liked how closer to death he was, all the more chaotic and jumbled his thoughts had become.
I could go ahead and quote the entire story, word for word, saying how much it chilled me. The part where Regulus mentions he had hidden Sirius' wand was the saddest thing ever. I swear my heart ached over that one little bit. Poor Regulus. He is such a special, special character, and you painted him just like that.
This one-shot is simply hauntingly beautiful.Author's Response: I've always liked those weird medieval death-related motifs, and la danse macabre is just so... well, macabre. I'm glad you like that, too.
I'm absolutely fascinated by Regulus, and he just lends his Romantic self to both Gothic horror and stream-of-consciousness really well. It was so much fun to explore his character through dreams and potions and other weird things, especially as he becomes more disjointed.
Oh, wow. That's extremely high praise. I'm unbelievably happy that you had Regulus feels in this, because I did too, especially during V.
Thank you so, so much for your wonderful review. Report Review
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