Reading Reviews for Apogee
17 Reviews Found

Review #1, by AlecJamesCaius_ Waxing Crescent

28th June 2015:
Well damn. I finally read one of your stories, and I'm a bit perplexed by how emotional this was - to me, at least. Its not like I was crying, its just that Lupin is a character I feel so much for.
Honestly, this could be 100% canon. Lupin and Tonks were portrayed to perfection. I do think maybe you overdid it at how 'complex' Lupins thought proces and your writing of this one shot overall was. Don't Misunderstand, I have no doubt his thought proces IS (was) complex, its just that all those long sentences with all the long and complex words didn't make the reading as fluid as it could have been. All in all, the tragic that is Lupins life couldn't have been written much better in a one shot.

well done.


Author's Response: Howdy Alec!

I'm glad you thought the characterizations were believable and well-done. Since my stories tend to be character-driven that's always hugely important for me.

I definitely hear you about the long sentences. First, I'll admit that I tend to write long sentences when I get into more of a "think piece" about characters. But here, I will say that it did have a purpose too. We definitely know Lupin's incredibly introspective and I thought that would be magnified at this point in his life and in the war - plus I wanted him to meander a bit in his thinking because I figured it would reflect the enormity of everything that was weighing on him that he couldn't restrain himself to one thing, but would be trying to lift the whole burden all at the same time - and TRYING to do it on his own.

I thank you very much for reading and reviewing though! I always love getting feedback on my writing and just about every time I get a chance to hear something new and interesting!

Glad you enjoyed it!

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Review #2, by Voldemort Waxing Crescent

27th May 2015:
Hello again. I remembered hearing good things about this story a while back, and the last 24 hour challenge seemed to produce really interesting stories (thankfully I will never even have a last 24 hours because I cannot be killed, thanks to my 7 super-secret Horcruxes.) so I decided to pick this one to read next.

Ah yes, I remember Remus Lupin. He was quite a menace to my noble cause because he was really good at fighting against my Death Eaters, I'lll give him that. And what an introspective soul, I think you did justice to him in how you wrote his last day and how much of it he spent just reflecting on how he got to where he is in life and wondering what would happen to the people he loved. The choice of first person was perfect to make everything just that much stronger and more personal. You absolutely nailed the self-deprecating tendencies and selflessness he has, and Tonks' stubbornness.

The scenes with Remus and Tonks and baby Teddy are not adorable or touching at all, and I definitely have no tears in my eyes either. It's only that imbecile Wormtail threw a bucket of salt water at me and now I have salt water in my eyes. That's what happened, I swear, it's totally not from reading the story, because I do not have any warm feelings for these characters as I am far too evil.

The death scene - this is just some of the best writing I've seen, and not just because it's about the death of one of my enemies, but because it's such a big scale and his whole life flashes before his eyes in slow motion, like the way the curse kills him in slow motion. How he is lying there and still thinking in intellectual big words, interested in how the curse takes effect - so true to character even as he is dying. And the way he is looking up art the moon and thinking of how it changed his life and how much it has defined him, but how he managed to get so much out of life despite that. He seems to be at peace as he lies there dying, knowing (incorrectly) that his death will enable his wife and son to live on.

It's sad to think that after ot took so long for him to accept himself and be happy, everything was taken away so soon. But I feel no pity for him, because he injured my best Death Eater and because he was on the same side as Harry Potter and my old nemesis Dumbledore.

All in all, I found this to be a very moving, thoughtful story, but I am not moved because I am the Dark Lord and the most emotion I have ever displayed was that one time I gave a hug to Draco Malfoy.

I will be back to shower more of your stories with my evilness soon!

Author's Response: I definitely agree that Lupin is incredibly introspective. For me, I think it would be impossible not to be given his condition and the isolation it creates. I'm really glad that you thought the characterization of all concerned rang authentic though. I imagine thanks to your prodigious talent for legilimency you must have extra insights all your own.

I am particularly gratified that you enjoyed the death scene as it was one of the most challenges pieces for me to write. I know I wrote and re-wrote that particular bit a few times to try and capture the things you commented on and I'm glad that it paid off in the end.

P.S. Why did you hug Draco Malfoy anyway? Kid's a n00b.

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Review #3, by dirtydeedsdonedirtcheap Waxing Crescent

6th February 2015:
It amazes me how many emotions your child’s cry can inspire.

I love this line. It's so true. I don't have any kids myself technically but I do have a niece and twin nephews. My mother always jumps at their cries it can be something little or it can be something big but she always reacts the same way.

Perhaps a story we could share for his embarrassment to the unsuspecting witch he brought home to meet us.

You're killing me here with Remus's thoughts of the future. I wish Jo hadn't killed him but I guess that's because I was attached to Remus moreso than I was the others. I mean I took Sirius's death hard but Remus had a family. He finally had everything he had pushed away for so long and accepted it. If that doesn't make you shed a tear.

“Teddy needs you. You’re his mother. He’s always needed you more than he needs me.”

“Don’t you dare talk about yourself like that!” she snarled. “As if you’re dispensable.”

^ Cried a little at this. Poor Remus. That was a wonderfully tragic story. I feel like you hit all his characteristics that we know about him and his pain. I'm glad you chose first person because I don't think it would have hit as hard if you didn't. Also, I feel like people stray away from writing Remus in first person because his inner feelings and pain are hard to get a handle of. I think you did a fantastic job. It's horrible that he really did think he was fighting to save his family when his family was really torn apart without him knowing. But he was a fighter and he did what he had to do. I always questioned if he wanted to leave Teddy since reacted so negatively and he wanted to fight in the war but it's not that he wanted to. He needed too.

Author's Response: Thanks for such a thoughtful review! As you saw from my A/N I really wrestled with writing Lupin and writing in first-person, but I'm so glad I did it in this story. That's the beauty of challenges I suppose - forcing you to do things you haven't done before or just aren't comfortable with.

It's really gratifying that you thought I captured the complexity of Lupin's character well though. I agree with you 100 percent that it's a big reason people shy away from writing him a whole lot outside of Marauders Era or Wolfstar fics, but I think he's an incredible character (even if he has a rather tragic life).

This was such a wonderful surprise to come back to! I really appreciate it!

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Review #4, by writeyourheartout Waxing Crescent

12th July 2014:
Hello there! *waves*

So, I've been wanting to read and review some of your stories for awhile now and just couldn't say no to a Remus-centric fic! I'm a huge fan of Lupin and he is hands down my favorite character, for all the reasons you mentioned in your Author's Note and a million more, and nothing grabs me like a well-written, true to character story starring Moony, and that's exactly what this was. Just brilliant.

The way this begins is so gripping, which, considering how common the act of a crying newborn baby tends to be, is really saying something. This opening section with the list of thoughts and emotions that Remus experiences at the sound of his child crying is just so raw and real and terribly truthful given the time. The war is clearly at a point where every little thing has you on edge. When the worry of his child's safety fades a bit in this moment, though, the progression his thoughts take afterward are just so very much who Remus is. You really, truly captured his self-deprecating nature, which was both wonderful and heart-breaking to see. It's always been so upsetting for me to understand the battle Remus always has raging inside of his own mind, because he's such a wonderful person really, but he struggles so much to see it and he never lets himself off the hook, and in this scene I just want to shake him and hold him and knock some sense into him, force him to realize just how good he actually is... but then I suppose he wouldn't be Remus if he accepted all that, would he? haha Really phenomenal job capturing all of that.

I've never been a big fan of the Remus/Tonks ship, most probably because I'm a little obsessed with the idea of Remus/Sirius (are you rolling your eyes at me? :-p), but there was something really beautiful and natural and lovely about how you wrote the two together. This line in particular just beautifully captures their dynamic: "But you know what's most important about your Mum? She never gives up on people she loves."

And then when it's followed by this: ""That means us," I quickly added, looking wistfully toward the staircase that led to our bedroom, where 'Dora was fast asleep. "Don't ask me why she chose me. I can't explain that. But I'll tell you this.(maybe a colon here instead of a period?) She saved us both when she did(comma) your Mum. She saved us both." - This line is too perfect. Perfectly Remus.

Oh gosh, the further along I read, the sadder you make me feel, because I saw the little note in the summary about this being Remus' last 24 hours to live, and so I know what's coming; I know what you're leading me to! Don't do it! hahaha Your choice to focus in part on the more arbitrary, every day dealings of life - things like your kids cry waking you up in the middle of the night, or watching your wife and child goofily wave at you through the window - really made for a heavy impact, because it shows just how normal the day can begin, only to be turned entirely on its head at a moment's notice. We take so much for granted in those little every day moments, and I was glad to see Remus appreciating them for what they were. I like to think that even if the war weren't there to influence his actions, Remus is the type of person who would appreciate those moments with his son anyway, without the threat of potentially losing each other.

"This time he squirmed, scrunching his fate (face, not fate) tightly and inadvertently turning his eyes green. He was sleepy. Our time together was fading." - The end of this sentence - ah, so heartbreaking! If only it were just a nap that was going to separate them! :-(

"It's (It, not It's) would've been better-"

""Don't you dare talk about yourself like that!" she snarled. "As if you're dispensable."" - You tell him, Tonks! ^.^ This entire scene, with Remus trying to sneak off to Hogwarts on his own so that 'Dora doesn't know the war has finally come to fruition, so that he can spare her life for both her own and Teddy's sake, is something I can absolutely see having happened.

"Tell him I loved him. That I fought for him." - *holds back tears*

I've not yet imagined for myself exactly how Remus' death may have happened. I knew it was during the battle, I knew it was Dolohov who killed him, but I've never been able to bring myself to consider what dying was actually like for Remus - what those final moments held. Mostly because I didn't want to, because he's my favorite character, and because life has been so unkind to him in general that I like to focus on the moments when he maybe did feel some unadulterated joy. But this moment you created, with a death that comes slower than Avada Kedavra, one that leaves him staring up at the moon and knowing it's all over, was just so flawlessly executed; what a brilliant choice you made with that. And your Dolohov, though only there for a moment, made an incredible impact. A very powerful image, his enjoying Remus' death - pausing, even, to show his happiness that he's taken a life.

Before I conclude this review, I wanted to ask out of pure curiosity: In canon Tonks obviously is at the battle as well and dies there, too. Is that something that you imagine happened here as well, only Remus doesn't know of her having shown up? Or did you give her and Teddy a bit of a happier ending? Either way, it was really lovely that at least Remus died believing his family was together and safe without him.

I don't know what else to say other than I truly enjoyed this. It's beautifully written and your portrayal of every character spoken of was just spot on for me. Oh, and as far as the goals mentioned in your Author's Note? You certainly did all of those things you set out to do. Wonderful, wonderful job.

House Cup 2014 Review

Author's Response: Howdy Tanya! Thanks for the wonderful (and wonderfully detailed review)!

I definitely wanted to go for a very raw feel in the beginning and I'm glad that came across. I wanted to capture his combined feelings about the things that would be weighing most heavily on his mind - the war and his family. Of course, as you mention, he would hardly be Lupin if this didn't make him immediately wrestle with his more negative emotions.

I'm also glad you thought I did Remus/Tonks justice. I only have three ships I'm really "into" and Remus/Tonks is not one of them (and I'd never written it before), so I was interested to see how it would be received and it's nice to hear you thought their relationship was handled well.

I also definitely wanted to make his last day more of an "every day" type of day. These were the things Lupin noticed and thought about and cared deeply about. While the war tinged his view of them (how could it not?), I definitely still think war or no war, he would have focused on them. I picture Lupin as a very introspective character (at least partly due to his condition) and so I think he'd definitely be reflecting on them and experiencing them deeply too, especially the moments with Teddy what with him being a new parent.

When it comes to his death, I suppose we don't really know what curse killed him. Since it was Dolohov, I just kind of fudged it and made it "Dolohov's Curse" (which also shows no external signs of injury) so I could lengthen it out like you mentioned. I definitely wanted to have that moment with Dolohov looking down on him, as well as the chance for Lupin have his reflection under the light of the moon.

As for the timing, as we see it in canon, Tonks arrives and asks where Lupin is, seeming to indicate they haven't seen each other yet at the Battle of Hogwarts. They mention that he was last seen dueling Dolohov, and so I basically concluded that once Tonks arrived, Lupin was either already dead (or about to be) and did not learn that Tonks had come before he was killed.

Thanks so much again for the splendid review!

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Review #5, by nott theodore Waxing Crescent

7th July 2014:
Hi Kevin! I thought that I'd reviewed this story ages ago because I did read it before voting for it in the Paws, but apparently not! Never mind, I'm here to rectify that now for the house cup event!

I really loved this story! I love your characterisation of Remus here and what you've actually done with exploring Remus's character. I'm so glad that you won the Paw for this because I think that you really deserve it! Remus is definitely a really brave character and I think that you captured his personality perfectly in this piece. There was so much for him to face when he took this decision and I loved the part when he was with Teddy. We never get to see Remus as a father in the series but it was lovely to see the moment between the two of them here. And then I think that the fact you wrote it in first person just added even more to it, and it's more impressive when you say that you don't normally write in first person. And then the fact that we got to his decision to leave Tonks and Teddy behind and then fight... the ending was just so sad to read but at the same time written really well and lovely. You did a fantastic job with this!

Sian :)
Gryffindor House Cup 2014 Review

Author's Response: Hello again! I actually figured you had reviewed this already too! But it's nice to see you!

Ahh! Apogee carried so many of my FF firsts I was sure it wouldn't come off. But I poured a LOT into it. I don't even know how long it took me to write. I know the title and chapter title took a couple of hours (I obsess over titles) and then I remember writing it piece-by-piece. I would write one portion and then I just couldn't write the next one because I felt mentally fatigued.

Somehow, over that time, it became something. What's strange is that while I had purposes for every little strand of the story, what really drove it (aside from the challenge) was just a humble vision to capture the complexity and contrasts in Remus. It feels great to hear that you thought I did that.

In retrospect, I think first-person was really the only way to go, but at the time it was really intimidating too. I had never really written ANYTHING in first person before Apogee and it puts such an onus on you to understand the character that I was sure I'd mess it up! I'm glad I didn't!

This response is really an incoherent mess I think, but I love the things your review hit on because they were things that were so important to me to capture and particularly re: the ending it sounds like exactly what I wanted to evoke. If I had to describe the mood I was chasing for the finish, I think I'd call it "soaring sadness", where you feel that someone has done something truly admirable and your spirit is lifted, but it cannot quite escape the cloud of sadness that comes because its architect had his light snuffed out early.

Well, I don't think that paragraph made things any more coherent, but hopefully it all made sense. Apogee represents a lot for me and it makes me feel many complicated things talking about it, so hopefully you can forgive me.

I really appreciated your incredibly kind review!

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Review #6, by Veritaserum27 Waxing Crescent

21st June 2014:
Hi Kevin,

I realized that I have requested four chapter reviews from you and I thought it was only fair that I review one of your stories.

First off, I must congratulate you for doing the last 24-hours challenge. I wouldn't touch that one with the elder wand. I felt like it would either be too easy to make the story over-the-top depressing or too hard to actually come up with enough events that happened in a character's last 24-hours to make it interesting. You have found the balance, here. Remus starts off his day with normal, run-of-the-mill daily activities. Although he doesn't see them as run-of-the mill. To him, his wife and son are extraordinary. You end the story with the most dramatic of events in the recent history of the wizarding world. So kudos for balancing that as well.

I also need to comment on your title. At first, I thought it was weird that you titled the chapter "Waxing Crescent." If the story is about the last days of someone who's life was dependent on the moon phases, it seemed more appropriate to name it "Waning Crescent." But, you got me again! Of course, the theme of this entire work is about Teddy and his life, because that is who Remus lived - and died for.

You got Remus and Dora's characters spot on. Great job. He was self-loathing, until the end and she was the one person who wouldn't let him continually put himself down.

I also liked that you didn't dwell on the battle and skipped right to the final curse that killed Remus. I think that was brilliant - and it highlighted the only important part of the battle for Remus.

Great job overall! I really enjoyed reading this!


Author's Response: Howdy Beth! That was very kind of you! You definitely didn't need to do that, but it's certainly much appreciated!

Balance was definitely one of the hardest things with this story in so many ways. I knew going in I didn't want to focus too heavily on the battle itself because I wanted Lupin's last 24 hours to explore what defined him and I don't think his death in the battle nearly covers that. My biggest balance worry was with introspection and action! Lupin always struck me as a very introspective character (I figured he'd have to be, having been isolated quite often due to his condition), but I needed to explore his relationship with Tonks and his son as well, which required dialogue and action too.

Ahh! The title! It's been awhile since someone reviewed this one, but I think you're the first person to mention the title if I'm remembering correctly - certain the "chapter" title. You definitely hit on it, so I'm glad you got that from the story (and hopefully the end where it was supposed to be brought home). The other interesting thing about it, which just reinforced my desire to use it as the chapter title and not just in the story, is that I looked up what phase the moon was actually in on 2 May 1998, and it was apparently a waxing crescent! Originally I was going to use gibbous, but after finding that out I thought the crescent actually made more sense too because the battle was really just the start of things getting better, not nearly as close to the end as a gibbous moon would be.

I'm also really pleased you liked the characterizations. I was nervous going in about capturing Lupin (since he's such a well-liked canon character), but also about Tonks because honestly, I never really thought too much about her before writing this and I wanted some of her (probably still existing, since he left them post-marriage) insecurities about her tie to Lupin to shine through, but still retain that strong, feisty Tonks we know from canon too.

I will stop rambling now, but close with saying thank you so much once again! I'm really glad you liked it!

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Review #7, by lumos_knox Waxing Crescent

16th May 2014:
Hello, me from the review swap!

Heck, you did do this justice, just the overall feel is brilliant! I feel so sad now, because Lupin is such a deep and rather secretive character, if you will. Your story has dug into his innermost thoughts and feelings. I like how you mentioned he regretted abandoning his wife and daughter. It looks like he might have forgiven himself over marrying Tonks and perhaps passing the curse through to little Teddy.

Good old Tonks, even though she met her tragic end at the Battle of Hogwarts, she has a bit of fire in her and went to the Battle anyway. It was so sad to see Lupin was prepared to die and not say his final goodbyes to Tonks and Teddy.

One part I thought was very clever was your use of doubting Harry. It is always very powerful when people you think may have lots of faith in Harry in fact don't. It's sort of like (but not really) Harry secretly thinking that the top Hermione is wearing is ugly, and this is mentioned in writing. I don't know why, but the sentence - "Truth be told, based on skills alone, Harry probably didn't have a quarter of the chance James would've against Voldemort with a wand in his hand instead of a room away" is so strong in a story like this, it is brilliant language choice.

I think that Lupin's death you described well. He never knew that Tonks was at the battle at all, and he never actually saw her there. He believes he is leaving "the most crucial thing" to 'Dora and Teddy, but soon enough Tonks will join him.

I found that not killing Lupin in the usual way, explaining that he was weak and could not take the last curse, although it wasn't the killing curse, it was very good. Here I am, sitting here, half hoping that the full moon comes out and last minute Lupin turns into a werewolf and takes revenge on everybody:)

Anyhow, brilliant story, and (congratulations:) on receiving the longest review I have ever written! Keep up the fantastic work!


Author's Response: Hello again! I appreciate the detailed and thoughtful review!

Though I had a lot of worries about this story going in, the biggest was definitely tackling Lupin, and it's always gratifying to hear someone say they think I captured his depth and complexity well! I was also worried when writing it about the story being almost too introspective, so I'm glad to hear you liked that aspect - it makes me think I achieved some measure of what I'm always preaching at others about - balance. I'm also glad you thought Tonks was given a good characterization!

As for Lupin's death, so many people have had different reactions to it - some visceral, some rooting for him like you, and others ascribing general awesomeness to it. I'm glad you enjoyed it! That said, it would be delightful if I could accept all that praise without this admission, but the story behind Lupin's short, but slow-motion sort of death was honestly a bit of a tool for me as an author. I needed desperately to have Lupin express the thoughts he did at the end, and to bring the moon image and comparison I had been making during the story full-circle, so I chose Dolohov's Curse over the Killing Curse to buy me the time I needed to make that happen. I'm glad it didn't come off as so transparent though.

Thanks so much again for the review!

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Review #8, by kenpo Waxing Crescent

30th April 2014:
I'm on my phone, so I don't have the patience to say everything I'd like to, but... Wow. This was beautiful.

When I saw that this was for the last 24 hour challenge, I knew it would be sad, but man, did you do this perfectly. It wasn't written in a way that made me feel like it was your goal to make me sad, you know? It wasn't forced. The emotions flowed naturally.

I think you had fantastic characterization of both Remus and Tonks. Loved it.

This was beautifully written. Congrats on crafting something so brilliant. I'll have to watch out fur the challenge results. I haven't read the other entries, but I'm guessing you'd have my vote (if it were a voting situation...).

Really beautiful.


Author's Response: Howdy! And thank you for the spectacularly kind review!

I have been really pleased with how this story has been received so far. Going into it I had a lot of qualms about what I felt would demand writing in a perspective (first-person) that I have almost no experience with and capturing a complex and much-loved canon character. It makes me very happy that you thought I captured the characters well and that the emotions felt natural and impactful.

You are a review champ for even posting a review on your phone (I don't even want to think about trying that)! Thanks again for reading and reviewing!

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Review #9, by Unwritten Curse Waxing Crescent

29th April 2014:
Wow. I loved this.

I'm here to review your challenge entry and I find myself at a loss for words. This was beautifully written and beautifully felt.

I am surprised to hear that you don't normally write in first-person! It seemed very natural. And the voice was perfectly Remus. I easily fell into the sweep of the narrative and was captivated through to the end. Oh, and the dialogue? Brilliant. The scene in which Remus and 'Dora are talking/fighting about him leaving for the Battle at Hogwarts was masterfully done. I could feel the complexity of the moment and their personalities/loyalties clashing.

I appreciated that the actual death scene was short, because the build up was what made this piece sing. The close-up snapshots of Remus with his family made his death poignant.

I really don't have anything bad to say about this piece. I genuinely enjoyed it. (I tend to love sentimental pieces, so this was truly right up my alley) I do have one question though: Did 'Dora come with him? Obviously in the books she did, but it was unclear in this piece.

Anyway, thanks for entering the challenge!

-- Gina

Author's Response: Howdy!

Thanks for the kind review! I'm glad you liked it! Your challenge was awesome for pushing me to write in a condensed format and a different perspective than I normally do.

The main thing I definitely wanted to capture was the deep complexity in Lupin's life from his relationship with Tonks, to the idea of family, to society, to himself. To that end I took the snapshot approach to a lot of those issues and hoped the brief death scene along with that would come off exactly how you described.

As for Tonks, another reviewer actually broached this same issue, and unfortunately my books are now packed up because I just moved so I can't look back again. I really try to stay true to canon though, and my understanding from the books, the Lexicon, and the Wiki was that Tonks actually arrived at the Battle after Lupin (though we don't know exactly how long after). If I'm mistaken, hopefully it did not detract, but in any event, that is why Tonks accompanying him was not written into the story.

Thanks again for the thoughtful and detailed review! Your kind words are much appreciated!

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Review #10, by Rowling82 Waxing Crescent

25th April 2014:
Dear TidalDragon,

I think I was the first one to favourite you as a author. I was reading evolution, while waiting for the next chapter, I read this one! It's wonderful! I feel so sad on what had happened to Moony. Well, the last of the Mauderers that didn't die because of themselves or someone else, was Moony, and now he gets killed by Dolovoh. I wonder if J.K.Rowling purposely made them have unnatural deaths. By the way, you missed where Nymphadora is meant to die.

Callista G.

Author's Response: Hello again!

What a treat to get after spending a grueling two days completing a move. I'm glad that you liked the story and the emotion involved in Lupin's death. That was absolutely my goal to get across so I always like hearing I accomplished that.

Re: Tonks, at least in the books, she arrives after Lupin and never really finds him, merely being told that he was already "last seen" dueling Dolohov. So from that I extrapolated that he would have been killed before she joined the battle.

Thank you very much for reading and reviewing this too! And of course for adding me as a favorite author! That is a huge honor and one I hope I'll continue to live up to. Now that I've moved in and have internet again, I'm hoping to get an update to Evolution in the queue ASAP!

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Review #11, by randomwriter Waxing Crescent

25th April 2014:
Hello Kevin :) I've been wanting to read your work for a while, and I'm glad that review thread from the common room brought me here. I love Remus' character, and I think that this was a great chance for me to read this!

Firstly, before I forget, I want to address your question in the author's note. Personally, I love first person narration. I love how easy it is to establish a deeper connection with the reader, and I do believe that first person gives the writer an avenue to explore deeper, visceral feelings that they may not be able to do in the third person narration. You did a great job here. I really could feel Lupin's pain and torture come through, and you did a great job of portraying the weight on his shoulders through his thoughts.

I agree with you on the notion that it is extremely hard to write about a character in his last 24 hours. It's hard to keep in mind the fact that the character doesn't know that he's going to die. So how do you tackle something like that? To be honest, towards the end, I get the feeling that Lupin felt his end approaching. But there's nothing wrong with that. He was going to war after all, and there was a great chance that he wouldn't come out alive. Even then, his thoughts are focused on his family and their well being, and I thought that was very in line with the kind of person he is. Great job!

On that note, the characterisation here was spot on. Remus' love for both Teddy and Dora really shone through well. You wrote their relationship really well. I always thought that they weren't very explicit with their feelings and they really didn't make a huge show out of it. You captured their love well through the subtleties. The small gestures and thoughts in Lupin's head really reflected the nature of their relationship very well. His thoughts, on a more general level, about the moon, his condition, his family, his duties, his actions etc were very in line with his character, so I do believe you did that well.

You can see how Lupin really feels as if all the love and affection he's getting is unfairly directed his way. He's always felt like a monster, undeserving of these pleasures of life. His notion that he is far too old and poor for Tonks also shows us this. All of these worries and thoughts could be found in your story, making his portrayal highly realistic. In the end, the thing I was most impressed with here is your characterisation. In a story like this, it is everything, and you nailed it!

Dora too was well written. I really like how you didn't make her absolutely carefree. There is a war going on after all, and most people seem to forget that while writing :S Yes, Tonks is a free spirit, but the war obviously left an impact on her, and you managed to bring that out well.

The photograph of Teddy was an excellent touch because it established a connection in the reader's mind between your story and JKR's world. Later Dora shows up in the room of requirement with the picture. It's such a small, but thoughtful detail :)

I really, really loved the flow of this piece. The writing was of a high standard, and I loved how visual it was. It evoked a lot of imagery in my mind without being loaded with description.

I also loved the last bit. It was such a perfect way to end the story. I like the idea of slowing down the effect of the killing curse to show each and everything he experienced after being hit. It gives us a deeper insight into what he was going through.

There were several lines that caught my attention, but I'll try and restrict myself to a few.

“ ‘Dora?” I said gently. “Tell him about the moon.” This line was so incredibly profound when you think about it.

There, as ever, was my familiar nemesis. Under its glow, my pain was ironically ebbing. Clever, clever use of your words, and I really love how you showed the prominence of the moon on his life until the very last minute.

It was amazing to behold what simple things could captivate his attention with his mind not yet jaded by stores of knowledge and experience. This is such a good way to describe his child like innocence.

In addition to this, I love how both the story titles and the chapter title are related to the stages of the moon. That's great thinking.

Your one-shot was lovely, and I really enjoyed it. A couple of things seemed a little out of place, and I thought I'd mention it to you.

1) as my weary arm drug my wand through It should be 'dragged', not 'drug'.

2) In the end, you've described the killing cruse as being deep purple. But Avada Kedavra is supposed to be a flash of green.

Apart from these, I didn't spot any inconsistencies. I enjoyed reading this story and I'm sorry if this is slightly rambly. I really loved this one-shot. :)

Author's Response: Howdy! Thank you for the incredibly detailed and thoughtful review! I jumped on here before I begin a weekend of moving and it was awesome to wake up to this!

I'm really glad you enjoyed the characterizations. Aside from the first-person perspective that was my biggest worry since this is only thing I've written with canon characters in the Hogwarts Era. When I started thinking and writing, I also realized there were so many aspects of Lupin's character (and other people in his life) that I wanted to address and it was a bit daunting, but I'm glad you thought it turned out well.

Thanks also for the CC. "Drug" I don't even know where that came from, but knowing myself I'm guessing I wrote that around midnight after working all day or something haha.

As for the curse that killed Lupin, I actually wanted to avoid the Killing Curse, so it was actually supposed to be "Dolohov's Curse" from the Department of Mysteries that killed Lupin - hence the purple. According to everything I read from the books, Wiki, and Lexicon, Dolohov seems to be the consensus on who killed him and since neither curse leaves visible marks, but are supposedly lethal (though Dolohov's perhaps not instantly), I also chose Dolohov's to give me time for Lupin to have the thoughts he expressed at the end.

Anyway! I really loved getting this review from you! It was absolutely awesome and I really appreciate it!

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Review #12, by MissesWeasley123 Waxing Crescent

22nd April 2014:

I wanted to make sure I reviewed this because I read it really soon after it was validated, and I've been super lazy with reviewing, but am finally finding some time now!

For me personally, first person is really awkward to read, and it feels weird and just not the same as second person or third person, but I really loved the way you did it here. Remus is one of my favourite characters in the series, and he's so complex and you have captured that so well.

It's really hard sometimes to write missing moments, but you did it so well that it seems like true canon. So many wonderful moments really summarize this story and I liked it a lot. I think you wrote this brilliantly.

The moment when she asks him if he's leaving again was so sad. It was the beginning where the reader already knows it's going to happen, but at that point his demise is even closer. This was great:

"Tell him how much I loved you too," I added, hugging her tightly and gently kissing her cheek, tasting the wet salt of her tears.

I pulled away slowly, fighting to control the anguish on my face. She turned to gaze out the window, her pain awash in silver.

" 'Dora?"I said gently. "Tell him about the moon."

That exchange was so emotional and just really a wow moment. I liked it a lot.

Great writing! I really think you deserve to win :)

Author's Response: Thank you very much! This story was a real battle for me to write and so I have been really excited by how well received it was, especially with all my concerns going in.

It's interesting to me that you noticed the moon line too because almost everyone seems to have mentioned it and ultimately really liked it and it was probably the line in the whole story that gave me the most pause. At first I was like...geez is that too much? And then I thought, is it going to make sense? So I'm glad you liked it and the exchange between Tonks and Lupin too.

I'm perhaps most thrilled to get a thumbs up on the characterization and complexity from a big Lupin fan. When I drew Lupin for the challenge I was incredibly nervous about writing him precisely because he's so complex and generally beloved (not to mention being a canon character in the Hogwarts Era, which I think always adds more pressure to the characterization).

As for winning, I'm obviously keeping my fingers crossed because that would be really cool, but frankly I'm just honored to be amongst the other stories and writers who have been nominated. I'm halfway through (about) reading everyone's and it's just stunning how talented everyone is.

To come back around to your review though, it was wonderful to read after a long and grueling day of work! It really brightened my mood and probably made my night! So any writing and reviewing I accomplish this evening is probably thanks to you!

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Review #13, by monstrosity Waxing Crescent

18th April 2014:
Hello Kevin! *waves enthusiastically*

I love Remus Lupin stories and when I saw this one I couldn't resist checking it out. I'm so glad I did!

You are definitely right in saying that it's extremely difficult to capture a character in the last 24 hours of his life. You begin with his insecurities, as a father and as a werewolf. You aptly describe his helplessness in dealing with Teddy in a way that is almost amusing. I pity the poor guy, he isn't used to people loving him the way Dora does. He's so used to being called inferior that even in a place where he's loved and treasured he still feels that way. Slowly, as the story progresses, he really grows into a stronger person. It's not that he was changing his character or anything, it was more like evoking a latent fighter within him. He had been running for so long and now it was time to fight.

You've shown Dora as a more carefree person, not tied down by the worry Remus is facing. Or even if she is worried she's an expert at hiding it. Instead, she smiling with Teddy and generally enjoying the things a new mother would with her child. It's only towards the end that we see her fiery personality at its fullest. The readers get to know that her passion for fighting against evil and creating a better world for Teddy is just as great as Remus'. I think the exchange between the two when Remus is about to leave for the battle was probably the most emotional exchange between a couple I've read. Ever. It's just that there were no major proclamations of love, no dramatic kisses and yet the power of their words that translates into the love they have for one another is just unbelievable. The way Dora talks about Remus, insisting that he is just as important as everyone else, if not more. I've never been too big about Remus/Tonks but this story has heavily weakened my resolve against them.

Teddy was just adorable. I know how hard it is to write about babies and you just did a fantastic job. I love the little details about embarrassing him in the future in front of a possible girlfriend. It's something so typical of a father and completely shattering that Remus would never be able to do that. Curse you for being so capable of crushing the hearts of readers.

One thing which I really loved was the bit about Harry. Remus calls him James' son, never by his first name. It really made me think about how Remus perceived Harry, not only as the last chance the Wizarding World had, but as the last thing left of his beloved friend. It's heartbreaking to see how Remus desperately holds on to his best friend's memory, if not as openly as Sirius.

The last paragraph of your story is the one I enjoyed the most. To be honest I didn't really get the part where Remus says 'tell him about the moon'. Not until I got to the end and realized that aside from being a were wolf, Remus' personality is really entwined with the moon. He's full of scars, mentally and physically that run as deep as the craters on the moon. Yet he is the brightest thing in the night sky. While Sirius may be the brightest star, Remus was the moon closest to the Earth. Down to Earth, practical and filled with common sense. The similarities are startling and I'm left wondering why I didn't think of this before.

I absolutely adored these lines: Fought fiercely under shining stars and silvery moonlight, this battle would save our world. Though I would be remembered only amongst the fallen, it would be the linchpin of my legacy.

I felt that it truly showed Remus' strength during his last moments. Anyone could be lamenting about how they didn't have enough time with their wife or child but Remus thought about what they would remember him for. That in itself shows how magnificent he is. God, I think I'm going to cry.

Overall, this was a beautifully written piece filled with such powerful emotions. I'm so happy I got the opportunity to read this story and sorry for making you read through this rant. Half of it probably doesn't make sense but I just needed to put it out there. Anyway, I'll definitely be checking out more of your work as this one is just fantastic!


Author's Response: Howdy Sathya! Thank you so much for your incredibly detailed and thoughtful review! If it qualifies as a rant, I am definitely on board for more of them!

I am really glad that you ended up thinking the similarities between Lupin's character and the moon were real. When I wrote the line you mentioned, I was honestly pretty nervous that it would not come off right, people would think it was odd, etc., but so far it seems to have ended up well-received and I'm glad that it provoked you to think more about those similarities.

With the plot one of the craziest things for me was that I felt I needed to not just capture Lupin's complexity, but do so in a way that reasonably addressed Tonks and Teddy , his sacrifice, and of course his final moments. I really wrestled with it more too because I felt like I needed to make the story a one-shot, which I don't typically write, but I'm glad you thought I was successful. Perhaps I will try more of them in the future if for no other reason than to experiment with different things as a writer like I did with my foray into first-person here.

Most of all, I'm glad that you strongly felt the emotion behind the piece. Even more than the character stuff, I really wanted that to come through to readers so that the story was not just technically sound, but that people would actually connect with it and get an impact from it, so I am beyond thrilled that you did!

Thank you so much once again for the excellent review! It was awesome to wake up to and read first thing in my morning!

- Kevin

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Review #14, by UnluckyStar57 Waxing Crescent

16th April 2014:
Hello! I've come to review you now. :)

Oh my. This was very sad and very introspective, indeed! Getting Remus' point of view about his family life just before the Battle of Hogwarts was really awesome--rather poignant and so, so heartbreaking.

It is ironic that the night before the Battle, Remus was holding Teddy, thinking about how much he loved him and wanted to protect him. War often comes in the midst of ordinary-ness--a boiling teakettle forgotten, laundry left out to dry, and death going on as people stand to fight. I feel like that's what Remus was doing-he left behind his somewhat-happiness with Tonks and Teddy in order to preserve it for his son. It is so, so sad to glimpse his thoughts before death.

The line: "'Dora?" I said gently. "Tell him about the moon." was, for me, the most poignant and saddest lines of them all. Remus Lupin has lived his entire life by the cycles of the moon, and he wants his son to know about what it has done to him. It just struck me as very beautiful, in a way.

Great job on this!!


For the Huffleclaw-Ravenpuff Eggstravaganza.

Author's Response: Howdy! Thanks for dropping by!

I'm really glad you enjoyed the story. What you talked about in your review was just about exactly what I wanted to capture, so it feels super to see that it came across so clearly to someone!

I'm also really glad you liked the line about the moon. When I wrote it, I was actually really nervous about how it in particular would be received and it's such a relief to see that at least someone liked it!

Thank you for the kind words! And good luck in the Eggstravaganza!

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Review #15, by Chad Garrett Waxing Crescent

15th April 2014:
Well done! It was the first-person narrative that did the story justice. Each strand of story was given just the right amount of time and attention, which is no easy feat given the emotional complexities of the theme. The tone was perfect, true to the character. It is easy to overly romanticize beloved characters, or hold their perfections too close in fear of tarnishing the nostalgia we feel for them. You successfully avoided that, which made the moments feel true. Writing something that feels "true" is the only goal of good writing, and the most difficult thing to accomplish. Congratulations on reaching that apex.

Author's Response: Howdy!

Thanks for the thoughtful review! That is absolutely what I was going for, so I'm glad you felt like it came off, especially re: a canon character like Lupin.

Perhaps more first-person in the future...we'll see. I think the next battle for me with that perspective is something longer, but I have a massive task ahead finishing my WIP novel and an outstanding promise not to start the next story I have in my head until I do, so who knows when that might be.

Thanks again for R&R-ing though! It is much appreciated!

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Review #16, by Red_headed_juliet Waxing Crescent

9th April 2014:
Hey! Here for the swap! Sorry it took so long, I'm helping coach my sister's volleyball team and practice snuck up on me tonight. Anyways!

*applause* Bravo! Wonderfully done. As a fan of tragedies, this was thoroughly enjoyable to read. As far as I could tell, your first person point of view flowed well. There weren't any bumps that took me out of the story. I felt very close to the whole family throughout the entire piece. Your descriptions of the setting and inner thoughts were just right. Not to overbearing or scarce.

My heart hurt when he thought about Teddy bringing home a witch to meet them, and the entire argument was just so... yeah. Feels much?

I don't have any sort comings to comment on. You handled the pressure of a complex Canon character beautifully. +]

Good luck in the challenge! And thanks for the swap

Author's Response: You are most welcome for the swap! And thank you for the wonderful review!

My two biggest concerns writing the story were definitely handling Lupin right (because he is complex and also beloved by many) and the first-person perspective so I'm glad you felt like I did a good job with both!

I'm also glad you didn't find the amount of internal thought in the story to be too much. That was a worry that I came up with after I wrote it that I've been sweating a bit, so it's a relief to hear you thought it was okay.

Thanks again!

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Review #17, by Hogwarts27 Waxing Crescent

7th April 2014:
Remus is one of my favorite characters from the books, so I was happy to read this. You gave us a very touching portrayal of Remus connecting with his newborn son and deciding to be the protector of his family in the war. I think you characterized him perfectly well, and brought out all of the issues that he struggled with during the time frame of this story.

I don't usually write in first person either, and I tend not read HP fanfic in first person either just because I prefer fanfic to have the same feel as the books, but I think you did well with it. It just took me a little longer to orient myself to what character I was with in the first few sentences, but I quickly got into the flow and writing style of this piece. First person works really well when we're in a characters thoughts, which a lot of this was, so it was quite effective there. I also enjoyed all the vivid descriptions throughout the story.

One minor point you included that I really liked a lot was where Remus thought to himself that Harry would not stand as good a chance against Voldemort as James would have. I tend to agree with Remus that James may have been a bit better at magic and dueling than Harry as a trouble-making marauder, but of course, what Remus didn't know was that it would be no ordinary duel between Harry and Voldemort.

This was a thoroughly enjoyable read. Thanks for writing it. Good luck in the challenge.

Author's Response: Howdy! Thanks for the thoughtful feedback!

I'm especially glad to get this review from a big Remus fan. When I first drew him for the challenge it was a bit weighty for me because I know how many people like him and would really be looking for how I characterized him, so I'm glad you felt my portrayal was faithful to the character.

I also appreciate the feedback on the first person piece. It was something I really wrestled with because I never really do it, but felt it was necessary. I still worry if I didn't get a bit too bogged down in inner thoughts, but I'm glad you liked it.

Thanks again!

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