Reading Reviews for When Summer Fades
  
41 Reviews Found

Review #1, by AlexFan equinox

17th December 2014:
I can definitely see the problem that Regulus was having, and I can definitely relate to him as well. He wants to please everyone, all of his family has placed such high expectations on him and heís conflicted about what he wants to do because he wants to make everyone happy, but no matter what Regulus does, someone is going to end up unhappy with him. I mean, obviously he should do whatever makes him happy, but thatís a lot easier said than done, especially when youíre in his situation.

I find it kind of funny actually how completely grumpy Regulus is about everything. I mean, he hates it when people are too happy (and is it weird that I know what he means by that). He claims to be so annoyed by this girl yet he notices her whenever she greets other people. That one encounter with her and itís already beginning to have an effect on him.

Summer seems like such a nice person, sheís one of those people that makes friends really easily and is well-liked by everyone, yet you have no idea how she manages to do it so easily.

ďI never claimed I was a saint.Ē That line for some reason just really stood out to me. I think it was because it just really reminded me that Regulus is trying so hard to convince himself of the things that his parents have instilled in him and to behave like a proper pureblood, but itís just making him unhappy and itís obvious because heís so inclined to hang out with Summer. Someone that was devoted to Voldemort would never do that.

I honestly really love your Regulus. I loved hearing him talk about his favourite things about winter, it just really showed how young he was no matter how tough and mature he tried to act about everything. I mean, he needs to ease up on the Mudblood there but in general he seems like a kid who doesnít know what heís gotten himself into (which is pretty much what happened in canon).

And I love Summer because sheís such a genuinely nice and caring person. Sheís always there for her friends and she was even willing to listen and become friends with this boy that made it more than obvious that he didnít want to be around her, not a lot of people would do that. She is the very opposite of Regulus, and somehow, the two of them work.

I just really love this and Iím beginning to wonder why I havenít read this before now.

Author's Response: Grace, thank you for such a lovely review! Gaa!

I'm really glad that Regulus is relatable in his situation there. He is really put in a tough place between the two sides of his family and his friends and his house and it's good to hear that his indecision seems to fit.

Haha, yeah I don't like it when people are overly happy either, I'm glad you can relate too :p I think Summer's outlook on life is just so alien to him that he can't help but notice. She does have a huge effect on him even when he doesn't notice.

Ah, I'm so glad you liked that line, and I really like your interpretation of it. He is definitely unhappy where he is, and doesn't know where he belongs, and it's possible he's just convincing himself that even though he's hanging out with Summer that he still doesn't like her. You made some great points there!

Thank you, I am so glad you like my portrayal of Regulus, and especially the kind of innocent side of him that likes Christmas and snow. You're right - he's really just a kid who's had to grow up too fast.

So glad you like Summer as well! Regulus needed some sort of opposite influence than he had from the rest of his life and it's really wonderful to hear that you like her and that despite all the reasons she shouldn't, she works as a good friend for Reg.

Thank you so much for your kind review! I really appreciate it ♥


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Review #2, by Red_headed_juliet syzygy

15th December 2014:
Oh man. Poor Reg. I'm going to love this story. I'm such a sucker for tragedy.

Ok, well! I enjoy the introspection and how much of Reg's thoughts we're getting in this chapter. I really feel the internal battle going on now, his struggle with morality in general.

Honestly, the only bit of CC I have is that I would like more. Lol. When you say that Sirius would like Summer, why? What about her did Reg think Sirius would like? What does Anne look like? What about her dad?

I think the more details you put in, the more immersive it will be. With this being in first person, it can start to sound a bit narrative, but the more you describe, the less it will seem like that.

The sinking feeling in my stomach when he found the thing about Horcruxes was a good thing. You subtly reminded us of how this is bound to end, and the foreknowledge plus anticipation just makes this little piece a nail biter.

I'm so happy that I'm so sad about this! Haha. Thank you so much for the swap! Until next time!

Author's Response: He has definitely changed a lot since the previous chapter, for sure! So much internal angst haha yeah. It's a huge struggle for anyone to go through.

Ah, you love descriptions too - an author after my own heart, really :D Since it's only a three part story though, it gave me limited space to describe everything. I suppose I left out some about the descriptions of Summer's parents in order to include other things. (They are briefly described in the third chapter, I believe.) I hope it didn't seem too much like telling rather than showing! :S

I'm glad you liked that part about him finding the horcruxes... although it does remind you about the inevitable sad ending, it's great to hear that it was suspenseful and keeps up anticipation!

Thanks for the swap! :)


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Review #3, by tangledconstellations solstice

4th December 2014:
Gah! My heart hurts!

Compared to the last chapter, I feel like the angst that welcomes you to this chapter is well-needed. Poor, poor Regulus :( I think its really important that you've shown him to be both accepting and also really really angry that Summer has died. Grief is such a complex thing, but just as the last chapter was a catalyst, this chapter is definitely the reaction that I wanted to see!

When I initially started reading this, the story that you set up in the first chapter feels so, so different to the one concluding right now before me - in the best possible way! It's like you've shown this important contrast between normal school life, making new friends, etc etc with a topic so much bigger than just Hogwarts and just the wizarding community. First of all, I had no inkling at all in the first chapter that Summer was unwell, but the way it panned out was so effective. This is super angsty but I love it so much. I love it because it is just such a good example of why you should keep your mind open when reading fics. I wasn't expecting any of this to happen. Come to think of it, I don't really know what I expected to happen, but I love the way this HAS happened. Gah! I am totally rambling. But this is such an awesome three-act story and just.you've done such a good job with this fic!

Ultimately I think it's great the way you tied this story in with canon events. You gave Regulus a true motive - something I'd kind of been searching for when reading the books. I can totally understand why he did the things he did, and the reason why is such a pure one, too. Everything really came to a head in this final chapter and Regulus felt different to how he did in the first couple. He's taking more responsibility and he's changed because of Summer and because of the impact her death had on him. It's really, really effective.

Finishing the chapter the way you did really works because it puts emphasis on why we all know Regulus, but it twists his actions so that we can understand them more. I feel like I've been searching for a Regulus fic all my life that really grips me and leaves me feeling like he's more real than he is in the books (does that make sense?), and I think I've found the one!

I really enjoyed reading and reviewing this story, and I know I'll probably be back in a month or so to reread :) EEP! Loved it.

Laura x

Author's Response: This review literally made my week. I can't get over it. I want to print it out and hang it on my wall. a;skdjc;jawi THANK YOU ♥♥

Yeah, this is where the angst piles on and only goes from bad to worse. :( Especially since he feels all this anger and guilt and listlessness but he STILL can't show it.

I'm glad this chapter feels so different to the ones preceding it - I was definitely writing a different style in this one because this is when he really makes his change personally. I'm so thrilled to hear that the contrast and the big topics stood out to you, and that it wasn't predictable! Gah, thank you so much!

There was so much to explore that was left out of Regulus' small part in canon, so this story was sort of my way of fleshing out his background. I'm so glad you thought this provided the motive that wasn't evident when reading the books! It really is so wonderful to hear that it was all effective. :)

Aah, those last two paragraphs I just don't know how to properly respond other than saying THANK YOU!! I'm so honoured! So glad you enjoyed this story - I loved your thoughtful reviews!



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Review #4, by tangledconstellations syzygy

4th December 2014:
Hey again, love! Back with your second review :)

I thought this chapter was really special, because here Regulus is starting to understand that things exist that are a lot bigger than him in his self-centered world! It feels very coming-of-age-y, because he's growing up, in a way. He's starting to realise that he cares about Summer, not because she makes him feel better about himself, but because she is a good person. I love that this chapter is the middle one, the crux of the story, holding it all together. I guess essentially Summer telling Regulus that she is so very unwell is the catalyst for him, to consider who he is and what he should stand for.

At the same time, it was good that you didn't rush into Regulus suddenly being this totally awesome nice guy. He's still reluctant to really openly reveal that he's friends with Summer. In a way, this really makes me sad because she's been such a support for him! But at the same time, it's understandable - and one of the merits of this piece. You haven't broken out of Regulus' character at all, and that's really important, I think. Him talking to Jasper was a really good moment in this chapter. It's so easy to write every Slytherin or every Death Eater off as a terrible, awful person with no human emotion, ever. But of course, that's dumb! :P I think Jasper's character is really interesting. Even though he is still prejudiced he's patient and a good friend, too. I'm finding myself wanting to read a one shot from Jasper's point of view based on this situation... :P hehehe

The last four paragraphs for me were really wonderful. You showed the passing of time really well, something I find really difficult to do without it sounding a bit weird. Reading how you did it was definitely inspiring because it felt really effortless, kind of suggesting that to Regulus that time didn't really matter. The way you finished this chapter, too, was really nice. It was gentle and sad and made me really feel for everyone in such an awful situation, but you didn't over do it at all.

This chapter was really lovely, and ties in so beautifully with the first.

Laura x

Author's Response: Hi again, Laura! ♥

That is exactly what I had in mind for this chapter - it's where he finally begins to open his eyes and see more than just himself. The point when Summer tells Regulus her secret really makes Regulus think about what is important to him. Very much a catalyst.

I'm glad you appreciated Regulus' continued reluctance to openly align with anything though - even if he was figuring out where he stood, it's harder to wear that face publicly, so outwardly he's the same as he was. I'm thrilled to hear that he was in character throughout! Ah yes and Jasper... thank you! Haha, yeah I like to think the Slytherins are more complicated than that, and it would be unrealistic for them to just be 100% evil and devoid of feeling. I love moral grey areas and Jasper is definitely a prime example of that.

Thank you, I'm really happy that you liked those last paragraphs with the changing of the seasons. I love what you said about it, that's really beautiful and I'm flattered!

Thanks so much for yet another amazing review!!


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Review #5, by tangledconstellations equinox

2nd December 2014:
Hey there! :)

I'm so sorry for the delay in reviewing! I read this a week or so ago but didn't have time to review - but I'm so glad I've found time now!

I think the whole tone throughout is really really brilliant. I really really felt as though I was on the same level as Regulus throughout - something that's pretty hard to achieve because he's such a mysterious character throughout the series. I love your take on him, because there are so many unanswered questions about his motives that we can only speculate on and you've given a really honest and interesting take on his story. I think you've hit the nail on the head with your portrayal - he was both likable and aggravatingly stuck up at the same time! :P

This is an absolutely perfect opening chapter. It's so refreshing to read a fic where the two main characters aren't going to just fall head over heels in love. You've set up a strong basis on their actual friendship and on them ultimately being on the same wavelength, which again makes the reader question how much they know about Regulus, thus giving you lots of lovely scope! You've introduced us to his world, to his closest friends and also to a conflict that is going to play out in the next couple of chapters. In technical terms, everything is done spot on! The gradual warming to Summer, too, is done at such a pace that you've gently swept the reader along with Regulus and his changing attitudes. He doesn't once feel out of character - except that he is quite spontaneous in wanting to see the view with her again - but it totally works because she has this positive hold on him, which again links to their friendship and how great they work together.

I love your writing style so much! (sorry for abusing the exclamation mark - I'm just really trying to get my point across :P ) I'm so envious how you manage to weave the quite serious issue of finding your identity with that of humour - it kinda kept in my mind that they are teenagers and mainly that Summer is so bright and positive - she keeps the tone balanced. The whole chapter feels so balanced and perfectly timed. It kind of surprised me when I reached the end. You have this great mix of positive moments then a conflict, and then ordinary life...you show it in such a natural way.

As for Regulus himself...I love that you end the chapter with him lying to his Slytherin friends. It's almost as though he's made his choice in who he wants to be - he just hasn't worked it out yet. And a cliff hanger too! Having Summer looking a bit concerned makes me concerned, so good job on successfully hooking me to the next chapter! :P

A really awesome first chapter!

Laura xxx

Author's Response: No worries at all! Your reviews were so amazing which absolutely made up for it ;) The reason it's taken me so long to respond to these is just because they're so kind and thoughtful and I don't know how to convey my gratitude in a coherent way (if I'd responded when I first read this it would've been something like "asdkjfjkjaaa??!!!?")

I am so glad you thought Regulus was relatable, and that you liked him and were irritated by him at the same time. He really is such an interesting character with so much potential - there were a lot of holes in his story in the books which left it open for a lot of interpretation here. I'm so thrilled you like my portrayal of him!

Aah, yes - it's great to hear that you liked the friendship aspect. I really couldn't have seen this being a love story, and there are too few stories out there that are just about friends! I'm so glad it feels like a good pace and that Regulus' world is built up appropriately.

Wow, thank you! (hehe, I'm a big fan of exclamation marks too :P) It's really wonderful to hear that you liked the balance of the serious issues and the silly things, and that they seem like normal teenagers because of it.

Ooh, that's a great way of phrasing it about Regulus - like his heart knows where he stands, but his mind doesn't.

Thank you so much for this incredible review!! ♥


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Review #6, by Aphoride solstice

25th November 2014:
Hey there - so glad you see you post about a review swap, and I really wanted to get back to this story and, alas, I am busy so I kinda needed some kind of excuse :P

So, anyway, here I am, and omigosh this is just so sad. But it really fits the story, you know? It works so, so well.

I love how you introduce this with a much darker point - it really sort of sets the tone for the whole thing, you know? That it's not going to be light or happy, that there isn't a nice ending for them - or either of them, separately. It's so evocative of war, and everything that happens as a consequence - the pain and suffering people go through, the loss of life... I really actually liked how you had Summer's parents die too, it sort of compounded that, and to have Bellatrix ask Regulus if he wanted to finish her off... for him to cry in front of Voldemort. It's him being vulnerable, but also allowing himself to cry in front of such people kinda shows a sort of strength, I guess, in that they're really not the kind of people you'd want to be like that around, haha.

I really loved how you tied it into Regulus stealing the locket and knowing he's going to die - you set it up so beautifully that it felt like such a natural, desperate, lonely decision for him to make. He literally only has Kreacher left, and most people would think that didn't even count. Poor boy :( The bit about how he found out about Horcruxes was neat too - I liked the idea that he sort of found in the process of trying to find a cure, of sorts, for death, rather than looking for immortality. A neat inversion :P (Though, the only thing I'd say is that you say the Dark Lord gave him a 'respectful nod', which seems a bit OOC for Voldemort, tbh. Maybe try a different adjective?)

Your writing as always is so lovely in this - it's so evocative, and so descriptive. I particularly loved the way you said about him thinking about Summer, with the needles, and how you talked about him under the potion and Kreacher after having taken it. Your characterisation, as always, was sterling, especially Kreacher, so kudos to you! :)

I'm so so glad I got a chance to read the end of this - I really, really enjoyed reading this and just had to finish it. It's such a lovely, bittersweet story with a very sad end. But yeah, it's a gorgeous story :)

Thank you so much for the swap! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hi! Eeee you always leave the best reviews ♥ and I was super excited to get back to L'optimisme, so I'm really glad for the swap too! :D

I think there was really no way to have a happy story about Regulus. The story was kind of doomed from the beginning since we all know how it ends for poor Regulus :( I'm glad that kind of dark first paragraph helped set the tone for the rest of the dark chapter though.

It was definitely an unpleasant part to write, when Summer's parents die, but as you said it had to happen as it was like the last straw, and in a war there is a lot of death, some of which you can't see coming. That part about Regulus crying, I don't necessarily think he was trying to be brave, more like it all got to be too much and he gave up for a few minutes there.

It was kind of an act of desperation. In writing this I think I gained a lot of respect for Regulus as he really had just the worst circumstances. At least Kreacher still cared about him, yeah :( I'm really glad you liked the set up to the discovery of Horcruxes! I figured Voldemort couldn't have been too blatant about it, or other people would have figured it out - so Regulus had to know about Horcruxes already. "Respectful nod" hahaha... thank you for pointing that out, I have fixed it now :D

Aaah, thank you soo much, I'm thrilled that you thought the writing was so lovely and evocative! The potion was a weird bit to write, as he has absolutely no idea what's real and what's not, but that's the impression I got after reading the cave chapter in HBP a few times - anyway, I'm glad that came across well! And thanks about the characterization, that is so great to hear!

Thank you so much for your amazing review ♥


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Review #7, by BitterSweetFlames solstice

25th November 2014:
Okay, Kristin! Carla is back and I finally get to read this chapter (again) and review it! WOO. :)

Anywho, I think you started off this chapter really really powerfully. First off, you managed with just a few paragraphs, to show the gradual unraveling of Regulus Black. It reinforced the pain that your last chapter managed to make us feel with the last sentence -- Summer is dead, we can't forget that and if we can't, Regulus surely can't either. You feel sorry for the man. Not just for the loss of a friend, which is already hard in and of itself but for the loss of everything else - his humanity, his hope, his opportunity to be normal. The sadness spoke volumes when Regulus speaks of how he doesn't value life - you know he is lost then.

I love the little snippet with Sirius too! I know why he's disgusted and disappointed but he was also selfish in that he didn't check to see how his brother really felt and thought. By the time he could care, it was too late. -shakes head- The poor Black brothers.

Now onto the big part. WOAH. I totally did not expect that you would kill the Phillips! I was like. o.0 when I read that bit because it's a horrible horrible way to die, I bet. Whatever small piece of heart Regulus had left (and I doubt it was big after everything that had happened) probably shriveled up and died and you know, absolutely, that he's going to do something drastic. And you can't help but empathize for him. He could have been so much more, you know this, but he won't ever be.

I am really glad, btw, that Regulus knows what a Horcrux is. It's strangely comforting that knowledge about something so dark was found through the act of doing something so inherently good. It's like Summer helped Regulus find out too, which is genius!

The end was, just, too emotional for words. ugh. I can't even, Kristin. Can't even. But I am actually happy for Regulus, for his dying, for the fact that while that was so horrible a death he left before he could be fully corrupted, while he still had even just a small part of his heart and soul. Summer would have wanted nothing less for him.

"Inside my eyelids was a white light; I let it take me towards eternal summer." - Ok, sorry, but crying for that line. I love how you tied in Summer and how even in those last few moments he would be thinking of her (of course! who else would he think of?) albeit in a roundabout way.

Anyway, this was so beautiful, Kristin. So glad I finally was able to review this (somewhat) coherently. Thanks for the swap. ;)

--Carla

P.S. So sad that it's over... But knew that it would be. -sigh-

Author's Response: Hi Carla!

Thanks, I'm glad to hear that this was a powerful start. I think Summer's death was hard for him in a lot of ways, like you mentioned - he had known a really good person and then after she was gone, it was just even more evident to him what he was lacking in his life.

That snippet with Sirius - yeah, I feel like both sides are understandable, why they act the way they do - but if they'd only talked! Gaaa :-/

I know, it was really quite terrible, but after Regulus had lost his ability to care about anything, it needed to be something emotionally crushing for him to be spurred into action again.

Aw, I love what you point out about the Horcrux, 'something so dark found through the act of doing something so inherently good', as if Summer helped him find out. That's such a wonderful way to think about it!

It means a lot to hear that the end was so affecting. And yes, I think Summer would have been happy that there was still good in him when he died, and he stayed true to himself.

*hands over tissue* I'm really glad the end was touching and that you saw it as beautiful (even though it was just like, a paragraph of him drowning.) It's wonderful to hear that the last line tied everything together.
Thank you for the swap, omg and a favourite too, thanks sooo much!! You're the best - your reviews on this have been so kind and simply amazing! ♥


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Review #8, by nott theodore solstice

22nd November 2014:
Oh my goodness, Kristin - this was perfect!

(Hi, and here for our swap ;))

The opening of this chapter, when Regulus described the way that he felt after Summer had died, was so heartbreaking. I know in my first review on this I predicted that there was going to be romance between them at some point, but I'm so glad that there wasn't, in the end. I'm glad that it wasn't because of love - romantic love, anyway - that Regulus changed his mind about things here. It was like Summer unlocked a part of him that he'd been hiding and denying existed, and because of that he was finally able to do the right thing.

It was so sad to see the way that his life was after Summer had died, though, as if the light had gone out completely. And while I wouldn't say that his life was worse for having known Summer, it did make things harder because he'd known the sort of person who was compassionate and kind and loved life for living, and that was not what he had left. I really wish that he'd been able to go to Sirius after Summer had died, and explain what had happened, but I think the fear of being rejected by his brother again stopped him from doing that just as much as the duty he felt to his family stopped him from leaving it all behind.

I was really glad to hear that he tried his best to keep in touch with Summer's parents, though, and that he didn't just cut himself off from them completely. Of course, that just made things even worse when I got later on in this chapter.

You wrote Kreacher so well! His actions and his speech was just so perfect it felt like it could have come from the pages of the books. I felt really apprehensive, knowing, unlike Regulus, what he had just volunteered Kreacher to do - the poor elf! I honestly feel like he wouldn't have asked Kreacher to do it if he had known, and he was careful to take care of him afterwards. It was so lovely to see that different side to Regulus here, the fact that he was actually kind to his servant, unlike what we'd been led to believe purebloods were.

Oh goodness, the scene when Regulus went to the manor house for the meeting... that was just so horrible. Really well written, of course, but at the same time so shocking and upsetting to read. He must have felt so horrible to see Summer's parents there, the Muggles who'd been chosen for the Death Eaters to play with - and the fact that Anne recognised him at the end was even worse, because she'd believed he was so good and kind to her daughter, and would have felt so betrayed to see him there with the others and not doing anything about it. And you captured the Death Eaters really well, I thought, especially Bellatrix and Voldemort - to them, Muggles aren't people, they're just objects, things that are there for their amusement. It's truly disgusting.

I was really glad you included that moment though, as awful as it was to read. I feel like this was the real turning point for Regulus; the change had been coming for a long time, the disillusionment, the realisation that somebody his age shouldn't have to be involved in something like this. But it was seeing Summer's parents murdered so carelessly, and then Voldemort's attitude afterwards, that really prompted him into action. I loved his defiance and assertion that he wasn't a weak child - and I think because that's what Voldemort thought him to be, Regulus was able to get away with what he did. But I can just imagine Voldemort bragging about the way that he's become immortal, not believing that anybody except for him would even have the intelligence to understand it. He was his own downfall in almost every way.

Even though he couldn't save Summer, his research to try and find ways to help her did have some value, since Regulus knew that Voldemort was making Horcruxes. Having grown up in that world, and having been a part of the Death Eaters, it was so brave of him to choose to go and defy Voldemort and do what he could to try and bring about his downfall, to make sure that he could be killed. I really admired Regulus there, because he knew that it was likely he would die.

I thought you wrote those last scenes so well, and they were really effective. I know we get the bare bones of this story in the books, but the way that you've written him approaching Kreacher and then the journey through the cave has just become my head canon! It was so poignant to see those last moments that Regulus experienced, his reality shifting because of the potion, the confusion because of Summer's presence in his mind... all of it worked so well, fit so perfectly.

And those last lines, that he was finally going towards the light - they were just stunning. It was such a perfect ending, Kristin - so highly symbolic. Regulus isn't only going to be able to join Summer but he's also found his way to the 'light' after turning from the darkness that he'd been forced into for most of his life. Wow, it really just took my breath away. What a wonderful chapter to end a wonderful story!

Sian :)

Author's Response: Omg, this review. I don't even know where to BEGIN responding to it as it's all just so lovely I kind of want to frame it on my wall.

I'm glad you liked that aspect of it, that it wasn't romance. For some reason I felt like this was the type of thing that could only work with friendship - there's a certain power to friendship that gets overlooked in a lot of stories/movies/etc.

Yeah, he was definitely not in a good place at that point (or really, this whole chapter). He had seen how things could be different, but had no idea how to make a change. Yes, I think you're so right - things could have been so different if he had gone to talk to Sirius, but like you said he probably was too afraid of being rejected again after all the choices he had made before. :( Summer's parents were kind of all he had left at that point reminding him of the happiness he'd had once, and he had sort of become friends with them. But... yeah, that only made it harder :-/

Aah, thank you - it is so great to hear that you thought Kreacher was written well! I really enjoyed writing him in such a sympathetic way and showing this other side to him that wasn't really seen much in the books. I think if Regulus had known, he wouldn't have sent Kreacher - he did care about him. Although we know the Malfoys mistreated Dobby it doesn't mean that all purebloods mistreated their house elves - given how attached Kreacher was to the entire Black family, I think they were probably quite kind to him.

I'm glad you appreciated that moment with Summer's parents, as terrible as it was with the Death Eaters just playing with Muggles; that was definitely a turning point when he decides he needs to act rather than just wallow in guilt - even though he knows he'll probably die too. I'm glad you thought the characterization of Bellatrix and Voldemort was spot on as well. You're so right, Voldemort really was his own downfall, ignoring those he thought to be lesser than himself.

asdk;fhawkjnjsa; ee, thank you! I'm thrilled to hear that you liked the last few scenes and honestly I'm so flattered that you view that as your headcanon now O__O thank you!! It's wonderful to hear that it fit seamlessly with his history with Summer as well.

Thank you, I'm so glad you liked the ending lines and thought they were stunning, wow, just ahhh thanks ♥ I absolutely love the meaning you've taken from it and the symbolism, and I'm glad it came across as beautiful. Gah, thank you so much for reading and for your amazing reviews!! ♥


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Review #9, by BitterSweetFlames syzygy

22nd November 2014:
Hi Kristin! Review swap! Woo!

Okay, sorry, might have been shouting there. I do love this story though and it makes me happy that I now have the opportunity to read (re-read, actually) it and review! -dances-

Anyway, like I said, I am uber happy by your choice of Regulus as your main character! The way you've written him is brilliant. You've not written him as a one-note Slytherin (as Sirius probably sees him. tsk) but he's got so much morality and humanity in him it breaks your heart just how much.

The fact that you game Summer cancer is just painful. Regulus could probably have done everything he could (as a Death Eater) to try and help Summer (would have been impossible but he'd have tried!). But the fact that you gave her something so human, so uncontrollable... Well, I think it's brilliant.

Regulus suddenly starts thinking about himself; how he has been acting, about his life and their friendship. He realizes, rightly so, that he's been using their friendship as a way to escape his own life. He realizes then that Summer is more than just an outlet -- she's important to him. And the way this daws on him is just beautiful - like the awakening of something real and painful for him.

I feel so sorry for Summer. She was such a bright person, she had so many things going for her and then, suddenly, cancer. It brings into harsh perspective the frailty of human existence. But she's still, essentially, Summer. That beauty though no longer on the outside still manages to shine through -- that's how you beautiful you've written her. She still cares for Regulus and thinks about him.

And you see the unraveling of Regulus. Not, I imagine, most people would assume to darkness. But to pain. Something that finally meant a great deal to him and who also loved him in return was disappearing. And he doesn't know what to do about it. In very little words, you've managed to make him more human than I've ever read him.

That last paragraph was the most painful and most poignant. The way you write of Summer's passing just wrenches the heart. You're ready for the fact that she will go yet it still hurts when she does. -cries-

Well done on this one, Kristin! Sorry for rambling. I tend to get incoherent sometimes.

Thanks for the swap!

--Carla

Author's Response: Hi Carla! Yay, so glad to see you back and I'm thrilled that you like this story (re-read?! wow)

Aw thanks it means so much to me that you like my portrayal of Regulus and that you see a lot of humanity in him - it really is so wonderful to hear that the characters seem real.

For some reason I felt that the problems Summer was facing needed to have no relevance to the war, in a way to remind Regulus that there are other things happening in the world than the war. And he really tried, but some things he can't solve. :(

I'm really glad you liked the way Regulus starts to change and become less selfish as his friendship makes him reconsider things he'd not thought about before - I like the way you phrased it, like an 'awakening' - I think that definitely fits his mindset here. And I'm flattered that those paragraphs about Regulus' painful realisations and futile attempts to save her made him seem really human - it is really so wonderful to hear that you feel for the characters.

Aw, I like the way you've focused on Summer's personality shining through even despite of her illness, and that you consider her to be a beautifully written character - gah, thank you!

"You're ready for the fact that she will go yet it still hurts when she does" - wow, yes. True that.

Thank you so much for your review! ♥


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Review #10, by nott theodore syzygy

19th November 2014:
Hi, Kristin! Thanks for agreeing to another swap - it means I get a chance to come back and read more of this wonderful story!

Oh wow, I really wasn't expecting this chapter to begin the way that it did. We got to have such an insight into Regulus's mind in the last chapter, and everything was focused on him - like he realised here, he'd used Summer in a way, as an outlet for his own problems, without ever thinking about what she might be experiencing. Even so, since this is set during the war, I'd expected that whatever was wrong with Summer, and the reason for her having been missing from school, would be related somehow to that. The fact that it wasn't had a real impact on me, and I was so shocked and saddened by the news that Summer had cancer! In a way though, I'm glad you chose to do something different by using that in this story, and you pulled that off really well.

I really liked the way that Summer's news took Regulus by surprise but also made him step away from his own thoughts to some extent, and think about others too. I think that was a really important thing for him to go through, knowing that Summer had been there to talk to him and listen all the way through their growing friendship, and he realises now how much value that has, and that's the sort of person he'd like to be more like. From that realisation I did start to see more of an effort on his behalf to pay attention to things.

It was so brave of Regulus to decide to go to the hospital to see Summer on Christmas Day, especially with all the danger that put him in as far as his family were concerned, and especially the fact that he had to use Voldemort as a sort of cover story. His thought about Sirius liking Summer made me sad, because I really wish that his brother could have known and realised there was another side to Regulus, unlike the coward that he told people he was! And another tiny detail I liked was the fact that you fleshed out Regulus's character much more in a couple of sentences here than most stories ever seem able to do - the fact that he does enjoy Christmases at home touched me, because I've only ever read from the perspective of someone who's disaffected with their perfect pureblood family. It was so refreshing to see that someone was looking forward to spending time with their family, and that he and Sirius had used to joke around just like brothers will do at Christmas, even if they were meant to be behaving. I know that seems like a bit of a ramble and probably doesn't make much sense, but I just really liked the way that you included that!

Aw, I felt so sad when I saw Summer in hospital and Regulus started to realise that she was really ill and this could be serious. And the talk about their families was really telling - the fact that he's coming to be aware of how prejudiced his parents are, and the path that they've led him down, now that his eyes have been opened to something different.

It was so sweet to see Regulus searching for something that could try and cure Summer, and stop her from dying! I thought you wrote his feelings and emotions through that separation really well, and his increasing despondency with the situation that he's living in, and the people around him. I thought it was great to have him coming across the Elder Wand and Horcruxes in his search to try and find something to save Summer - that's a perfect explanation for how he came to realise what Voldemort was doing later on, and I adore details like that one!

Jasper finding out that he was writing to Summer rather than anyone else made me feel really nervous! I'm going to trust, for now, that he'll keep his word - we know that Regulus lasted as a Death Eater until he died trying to bring down Voldemort, so I'm guessing that his friend didn't expose him. And as long as Jasper stays true to his word, I'm really glad about that because it shows that Slytherins can be loyal and do good things, and I really think that people writing them - especially in this time or the second war - are too prone to suggesting there's no ties there.

And oh my goodness, that ending! It was just so melancholy and sad, and made me really apprehensive for reading on to the next chapter (which I definitely will do soon!) because I don't want Summer to end! Those last few sentences were really beautiful, though, almost lyrical, and they just ended this chapter so perfectly!

Sian :)

Author's Response: Sian gahhh this review (well, all your reviews are) just so nice! ♥

For some reason I wanted Summer's problem to have nothing to do with the war, in a way to just remind Regulus that the whole world doesn't revolve around his allegiance to the Death Eaters. I'm so glad you liked that aspect and thought it worked.

You're so right - he really needed to step back. In the previous chapter he learned what it meant to have a good friend, and in this one he learns what it is to BE a good friend.

It definitely spoke a lot for him that he was willing to go to a Muggle hospital on Christmas. Agh I know, it still makes me so sad that Sirius never knew that his little brother was a silent hero :'( I am so glad you liked that bit about the Black family Christmas, as well! I refuse to believe that the Black family was all evil and fun-hating - but they are often portrayed in a very black and white way. (Pun totally intended.) The way I envisioned Regulus, his family is really important to him, and as Christmas is a rather family-oriented day I thought it seemed natural that he would like it. And I love the idea that Sirius and Regulus were close when they were little. :) Anyway thanks for mentioning that, I'm so glad you liked it!

The whole experience has been really eye-opening for him, but he's still not sure what to do about it. It is wonderful to hear that you thought his feelings and emotions came across well, and that you liked the Horcrux foreshadowing ;)

YES, that is 100% what I was hoping to convey with Jasper/ about Slytherins during the war. People are almost never just good or evil - there's a lot of grey area in between and even those aligning with Voldemort's aims can have some good in them - it's what makes them human. So yes, I'm so glad you pointed that out :)

Thank you so much - I'm really glad you liked those last few sentences- I think those are my favourite of the chapter.

Thanks for your incredible review!! ♥


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Review #11, by BitterSweetFlames equinox

18th November 2014:
Hi, darling. Carla here with our swap. WOO!

First off, I chose this story because REGULUS. I think that Regulus was such an under-represented character (or maybe it's because we got a lot Sirius) but he's always interested me. So, yes. THANKS FOR WRITING ABOUT HIM. -loves-

So, I'm writing this review as I read so if it's a bit incoherent it's because I'm reading and enjoying the story, lol.

I love, btw, that you explained the hardships that he must have faced. He didn't want to alienate his family so he didn't want to make a choice. I don't think it was weak (as some have portrayed it), it's just that he doesn't know how to react to such polarized views on the Dark Lord and you actually want to smack Sirius for leaving him. It seemed selfish. I mean, I love Sirius but it always came across that he didn't care for his family and while his parents might have deserved that, did his little brother? I think not.

Summer sounds interesting. I've known people that friendly and chripy so to someone as reticent as Regulus, I can just imagine that it's a huge change.

I love that you used the Astronomy Tower! I think it's a brilliant place for meetings. And, yes, the whole interaction about smiles was perfect! It was fun and light but it also spoke volumes when you had them just stay there, watching in silence.

OH. I love how Summer was all nonchalant about the Mudblood thing. You don't see that. And that line about blood status not being contagious? BOOM. Just like skin color. NOT CONTAGIOUS AT ALL. NO.

I love how you've made him change and how you've made Summer see the good in him. I think there's a lot of good in him and he was just unlucky in the path that his life took.

YAY!! You used the Room of Requirement with all the junk in it. THAT's so cool. XD

I wanted to cry as I imagined Regulus just letting everything go. It just reinforces my belief that he could have been saved and I dearly dearl wished he had been.

WOW, that ending. I hate cliffhangers but it's a wonderful place to end, you sneaky thing. Also you made me want to hit Jasper. May I? PLEASE?

kay, gonna keep on reading. Thanks for the swap, Love.

--Carla

Author's Response: Hi, Carla! Aah, I'm so glad you like Regulus, I feel the same way! He really gets no time to shine in the books even though he was actually quite important!

YES, that is exactly what I was going for. I don't think he was weak, just indecisive and under SO MUCH pressure. I love Sirius too but I do think he made the wrong choice giving up on Regulus - there was still hope!

I'm glad you like Summer! She is indeed chirpy, definitely a huge change from Regulus' emotionless Slytherin pals.

I'm thrilled that you enjoyed their meetings, in the Astronomy Tower and then later in the Room of Requirement. Silence can be really powerful - especially as Regulus isn't a chatty type, just being silent and watching something with her was meaningful to him (eventually). I imagine Summer is used to being called a Mudblood and since she didn't grow up hearing that word anyway, she's not particularly offended by it, she just lets things slide.

Aw, it means a lot to hear that that scene touched you. I agree, that in other circumstances Regulus could have had a chance! :(

Cliffhangers are the worst when you're reading a story, but they're so satisfying to write XD Haha, feel free to smack Jasper since Regulus won't! :p

If you do end up reading on I'd love to know what you think of the rest. Thanks SO much for the swap and for your fantastic review!! ♥ ♥


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Review #12, by wolfgirl17 solstice

17th November 2014:
Me again.

It's such a sad ending, but I do like the way you kept it cannon. I so hoped you might find some way to get him out of death, but I suppose then he wouldn't be the anti-hero we know. This was a brilliant little story. I might just have to read everything else you've written. You're particularly gifted =)

Great story. Keep up the fantastic writing, and make sure to request more reviews from me. I'm far more detailed and less lazy when it's a proper request rather than my own pursuits as you can probably tell.

Loved it!

xx-Wolfgirl

Author's Response: I know, I really put Regulus through the worst of everything in this story :( But we all know how his story ends, so there was no way around it!

Gah, thank you so much ♥ I'm really flattered to hear that you liked the story and my writing style, thank you!

Thanks for the review!


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Review #13, by wolfgirl17 syzygy

17th November 2014:
Hello again.

So I didn't see the cancer idea coming, and if I'm being honest when I saw it at the top I almost gave up on the story. It's not that I'm not sympathetic to sufferers and their families, it's more that though I've had family members suffer, I was never that close with any of them and so have little understanding of all the emotional baggage it reaps. And most of the time stories about it are so depressing and yet so hope-filled that I avoid them when I can.

I'm still intrigued by Reg and how you're going to get him out of this mess he's gotten himself into. I like that he openly admitted to Jasper that Summer is his friend, and the bonding with her parents too. I thought it was sweet.

The flow is still fast, but I think that's ok. It keeps the reader interested. If it were slower and more dragged out, people might not be as drawn in. =)

Anyways, I'm jumping ahead to the next chapter now. Keep up the great work!

xx-Wolfgirl

Author's Response: oh wow- well, I'm sorry if it put you off the story but I'm really glad you decided to keep reading despite that! As for being depressing... yep. While Regulus' story in the books is already depressing, I suppose I just made it more so. :-/

I'm glad you liked the changes in Regulus here as he admits some of his secrets to Jasper and to Summer, and that you liked the aspect of Summer's parents looking out for Regulus :) I thought it was about time he had people actually care about him in a better way than his parents did.

Thanks, that's great to know that the fast pace works!

Thank you so much for reading and reviewing!


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Review #14, by wolfgirl17 equinox

17th November 2014:
Hey Kristin!

Wolfgirl here with your review.

I just have to say, I love this story. I actually stalked your author page a while back and was going to read this one before I got sidetracked by one of your other stories =)

But I love this one. It's brilliant. I love the way you've characterized Reg and the way you've woven such a complicated web of secrets and lies that he is trying to operate within. I especially love the way you've painted him as redeemable.

In the past I've not really thought all that much about Regulus Black. He was kind just the guy who was Sirius's misguided little brother and the one responsible for the fact that Harry and Dumbledore achieved nothing on their trip to collect the Horcrux.

I'd never considered the idea of him being a guy who went to school and had friends and feelings. I like Summer too and you're cliffhanger has left me wondering where you're going to take the story. I really want to read more and after leaving this I'm intending to go on to read the next two chapters =)

As for your areas of concern, Reg is definitely believable. He comes across as being conflicted and intriguing. He's still something of a mystery and yet I find myself rooting for him and hoping you can draw him up a better ending than the sticky one awaiting him in cannon.

The chapter does move fast, but I feel like that's ok. You keep us interested with tidbits of information, and you make the whole thing seem believable. I'd have loved to see a slow burn type of relationship between them, but since he is a minor character, doing it this way there is still something of a slow burn, but with enough that you've hooked me. Anything slower and I would probably have found myself annoyed or less interested in his tale than I am.

Overall this story is addictive and interesting and I'm so glad you requested to have me read it. I love your characterization and I can't wait to read more from you. I hope you request further chapters in future, though you're probably going to be on the receiving end of a freebie or two on the next couple of chapters =)

I loved it. Keep up the great work!

xx-Woflgirl17

Author's Response: Hi Wolfgirl - thank you so much for such a detailed review (and for reading on - that was such a wonderful surprise to find when I logged on!)

Ooh, really? haha. Ah wow, thank you - I'm so glad to hear that you love this story and the characterization of Regulus! Especially as, like you said, he isn't really given much of a mention in the books except for being Sirius's Death Eater brother who stole a Horcrux. But there was the potential for so much there, I decided to write a story about him! I am really glad you enjoyed my idea of a back story for him and thought he was believable, as well as his friendship with Summer.

As you know now after reading, I did stick to canon :-/ but I'm glad you were on his side the whole time and really wanted it to end well for him - it means a lot that you were attached to the character.

Thanks, I'm thrilled to hear that the story was interesting and that you read on, I appreciate it so much! Thanks for your reviews ♥ ♥


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Review #15, by casual_chaos solstice

14th November 2014:
Gaaah, this was such a great chapter - I don't want this story to be over!! Actually, I don't know if I'd be able to experience so many sad feelings again. :(

My mind is racing right now, I have no idea what I want to say! The scene with Bellatrix torturing Summer's parents was just awful! (I mean, the content was awful, the writing was great!) Bellatrix was so 'in character', well done!. But the moment Anne realises that Regulus is there as well and is about to say his name, ahhh, so heartbreaking. :(

Oh, and Kreacher's portrayal was stunning as well! Actually, all of your characters were marvellously written.

You know, it's been a while since I read DH (as in, a dozen solstices :P) so I can't really remember how detailed was Rowling's explanation of Regulus destroying the Horcrux but I think that from now on, this story will be my headcanon for Regulus. It's such a reasonable explanation for what he's done!

Your descriptions were beautiful. The last part, where his mind is all jumbled and his thoughts start overlapping with the memories of Summer in the hospital, it was just so well written and filled with so much emotion. Aaah. This story breaks my heart. When I decided to start reading When Summer Fades, I didn't expect it to have such a dark ending (maybe because of the banner?) but it obviously couldn't have ended any other way.

I'm sorry, I can't seem to say anything constructive. Maybe I should have waited with this review - just so this mess that my thoughts are right now can precipitate into something coherent - but I really wanted to tell you how amazing you are for writing this! Honestly, you should be really really proud of this. I can't wait to read more of your stories!

P.S. Thanks for adding me as friend on the forums, I'm honoured! :D

Author's Response: Ahhh! Andy, you are too kind ♥ Thank you and I'm so glad you returned to read the last chapter!

It was so hard writing that scene with Anne and Bellatrix. I really did not enjoy being in Bellatrix's mind for those few paragraphs - but I'm thrilled to hear that she was in character. Thanks, I'm really glad you liked Kreacher as well! It was neat to give him a time to shine, even though what he went through was so horrible :(

wow asdhjkf;ahs;kjd I am so flattered that you see this as your headcanon! That is the hugest compliment *hugs*squishes*

Eee thank you sooo much about the descriptions, particularly on the rather abstract last part. I really appreciate you saying you were so touched by the writing ♥ Ah and I know, it did end up being quite dark as practically all of the characters died except Kreacher :-/ As for the misleading banner, yeah... well, like a corner of it is shadowy? heh. But there was really no way to end it happily unless I went AU - Regulus' story is so sad :(

Gah I want to just hug this review forever! (and you too, since you wrote it!) Thank you so, so much! ♡


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Review #16, by nott theodore equinox

13th November 2014:
Hi, Kristin! Sorry it took me a little longer than expected, but here's some NaNo encouragement - you're doing amazing and don't give up, you'll make your goal! :D

This actually has been something I've been wanting to read for a while now, especially when I noticed it was the Hufflepuff featured story as well! I really enjoyed reading this!

Regulus is a character that I find really interesting, because he's really so important in the events in the books, but he's barely given a mention - and normally, when he is, it's Sirius talking condescendingly about the little brother that he believed was a coward. It was amazing to see this portrayal of Regulus! I've never seen a story written from first person perspective about him, but you did such a great job of getting into his head and making him realistic and believable.

From the very start of this chapter, you began to build up different elements of Regulus's character and that really helped me to get to know him. I felt like your characterisation of him was original - he's normally quite a two-dimensional character, I've found, and is either one thing or another, and with this you managed to incorporate elements from all of those and make him quite ambiguous in a way. He's so desperate to please people, and we can really see that from the beginning; he's the one who's been left behind when Sirius found his way out and, having seen his parents so disappointed and angry, he wanted to make sure that he didn't fall into that category. I can see that echoing later on with other people - he wants to be liked by everyone, but hasn't quite realised that's not possible. He wants to get on with his Slytherin housemates and share in their beliefs, but he's drawn to Summer and wants her to like him too. It's really interesting to see the fact that he's quite naive in that way, but completely believable that he would be.

His mention of the way that he'd joined the Death Eaters was kind of scary, and a little chilling, to be honest. These poor kids were brainwashed from such a young age that they're happy to join up when they're still just children and it's so sad. It's obvious that he doesn't really realise the impact that being a Death Eater will have on him, either, or what he will be forced to do - for now it's more about status than anything serious, and while he know what the others do, he seems to think of it as a little separate to him. From this point, I can imagine how you'll develop this and he'll come to want to leave the Death Eaters. I suspect that Summer will also have an impact on that too! Although his sense of paranoia is already so strong that I feel like it's going to get a lot worse for him in the future, which makes me sad because you've made me really like Regulus!

Summer was a lovely character, too! She really fit well with her name (and there's a real seasonal theme at play in this story, which is great). It was like a breath of fresh air to see her appearing in Regulus's life - they've been taught to hide emotion, and besides, I'm not sure how much love and happiness they have to dole out when their parents have brought them up on hatred, but Summer is the sort of person who has a smile for everyone. She actually reminds me a bit of one of my friends! I love the way that she didn't take it personally when Regulus was mean to her and bounced back from the insults with a bit of sass - she's independent and strong, and it was great to see her persevering with him. And at the end I loved the traditional role reversal which showed Summer as being the strong one as Regulus struggles. I'm wondering what happened when she was missing, though - did something happen to her family? And I'm eager to see the romance developing between them, but I think it's great that you haven't felt the need to start with it because you've had a much better chance to develop their characters with this chapter because of that.

The writing in this chapter was really lovely, too; I didn't spot a single mistake and the narrative flowed beautifully. I'll definitely be back for more soon, and good luck with the rest of your NaNo!

Sian :)

Author's Response: Sian! ♥ Agh, I've been sitting on this review for days without responding to it just so I can read it over and over because it's amazing! Wow, I can't believe you'd been looking forward to reading this for a while, aww :)

Thank you, I'm so glad to hear you thought Regulus was believable! You're so right about him being important but not mentioned much in the books, it's quite sad really. You've described Regulus in this story perfectly how I intended, so I'm glad he came across that way!

That's the way I saw the Death Eaters - if people are joining up as teenagers, maybe a few know what they're getting into, but I felt like not all of them could, and especially in pureblood families like the Blacks it would be a status symbol to be included. As Regulus at that point was kind of lost and trying to find himself, he latched on... There is definitely more paranoia and hard times to come :( Poor Regulus. I am so glad you like him as a character though!

Ah, I'm so thrilled you like Summer, as well as the seasonal theme of the story :) She is definitely quite opposite to Regulus' typical company, which is really something he needed. I'm glad you liked the traditional role reversal too ;) The explanation of Summer's absence is in the next chapter.

Thank you SO much for your review and the NaNo encouragement, I appreciate it so much! ♥ ♥


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Review #17, by casual_chaos syzygy

13th November 2014:
Hey Kristin!

I wasn't quick enough to continue with our little review tag game but I was planning to review this anyway so that's okay. ;)

I am in love. With your writing, with your characters, with your chapter titles (syzygy must be the coolest word ever invented), with everything about this story.

The beginning of this chaper was shocking, to say the least. I really didn't see that coming. But I have to commend you on taking everything into account - the explanation of the difference between Muggles and Wizards/Witches in relation to their susceptibility to diseases, the accurate portrayal of post-surgery behaviour and the seriousness with which you approached that whole subject. :)

The fact that Regulus kept correspondence with Summer's mother was a great example of his growth as a person and his genuine concern for Summer. This whole chapter felt like one big leap in Regulus' life, the final goodbye to his old life.

And apart from these big themes, there were a few details that I found especially creative and lovely - like the Aerosmith shirt, the flowers he conjured for Summer, then Summer's mum at Christmas (for I too appreciate talking gibberish after a glass of wine :P ) and the references to the Deathly Hallows and the Horcruxes. About this last thing - I just found it so incredibly ironic that Regulus would come across the Horcruxes in search of a way to help his Muggleborn friend get better, while the Dark Lord, whose faitful follower Regulus is supposed to be, used them as a way to make himself immortal, in his quest to rid the world of all Muggleborns. I just want to stretch my arms and hug this entire concept. You can jump in as well, as its inventor. :P

The ending of this chaper was so perfectly written. This quote: ''By August, she was back in hospital, and I visited her there too, until August washed away into September; the days started to get shorter, the nights colder, the leaves on the trees commencing their seasonal wither to red and brown. In the air was the beginning of autumn; the end of Summer.''

This is just so beautiful and although the phrase 'the end of Summer' made me expect the worst (though with what her mother said, I could hardly expect anything but the worst), I still adore this entire paragraph to bits.

To wrap it up: this is a wonderfully written story and I'm so glad to be able to read it. I'm favoriting it as soon as I post this. :)

Andy

Author's Response: Andy ♥ You spoil me - thank you so much for another fantastic review! How do I even respond to this much amazingness?

Ha, I'm glad you appreciated the chapter titles! 'Syzygy' is one of my favourite words of all time :D but seriously, thank you, I am flattered that you like the story that much ♥

Given the number of wizard-specific illnesses like Dragon Pox, it seemed natural that purebloods have a tendency towards different diseases than those with more Muggle blood would get.

You're right, it was a huge leap for him - at this point he's finally shed the selfishness that he had retained up until now.

I'm so glad you liked those details! I love writing the little things like that, I think they really bring a story to life with specific images. And I appreciate how you viewed that whole situation with Reg discovering horcruxes and overtly pointed out the irony - seeing it written out like that, it is quite funny :p

That particular sentence you pointed out is one of my favourites in the story so I'm really glad you liked it (despite its implications).

gah, I don't even know how to respond properly to such compliments and wonderfulness. Thank you for reading and reviewing, you're amazing!! ♡


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Review #18, by casual_chaos equinox

11th November 2014:
Hufflepuff Review Tag!

Hello! This story has been on my reading list for so long and when I saw that AMAZING review you left me (which I will respond to soon), I knew it was time to finally come and read this.

And aah, how great it is to read a story from a Death Eater's point of view! And a rather unpassionate Death Eater at that! I really like the tone of Regulus' voice at the beginning, he describes becoming a Death Eater the way one would describe joining a spelling bee club. :D

I love it when characters have crooked teeth. I always compliment authors who include this physical feature and I think I fell in love with Summer as soon as I read that sentence. :) And I know this is not the proper reason to judge a character but I can't really help it. :P Also, I love how plain looking she is but still has that aura of attraction around her. Not in a physical way but in a way that reflects her good-heartedness and how wonderful she is on the inside. The way you described her, standing by the parapet, with her golden hair and smile... it felt like she had this glow around her, just like... a ray of sunshine? Hah, I see what you did there!

Now that I mentioned it, I loved all the little hints about Summer being 'sunny' and how well they complimented her personality, especially in comparison to Regulus' brooding nature. And his thoughts about how he missed her smiling at him were so sad, especially because he is just a teenage boy who hasn't done anything terribly wrong and deserves some affection from time to time.

It's painful to listen to him refer to her as a Mudblood, especially when he says it to her face. But what's going on here is much more complex than your average teenage boy being hateful toward a girl for no reason. The way his thoughts drift from the fear of being a Death Eater, to his disgust with non-Purebloods and then the pleasantries of winter and how peaceful he feels around Summer - it's the voice of someone waking up from being brainwashed and there's something so disturbing and heartbreaking about it. And the fact that I feel all this for Regulus after only one chapter of a story says something about how amazing writer you are.

The part where she hugs him was so wonderful and again, so sad. I loved reading about Regulus' slow transformation, his gradual acceptance of Summer and her friends and his realisation that his former standpoints were not as flawless as he once thought.

I am obviously very interested in this story and what exactly Summer has to tell him. The writing is perfect, your characterisation is marvellous and I honestly care about what's going to happen to your characters. But what I really liked most was the fact that this is a story about friendship and not romance. There is so much purity to true friendship, sometimes even more than there is to romantic kind of love, and it's so enjoyable to read such an amazing story on this subject. :)

Andy

Author's Response: The reason it's taken me a few days to respond to this review is because I keep re-reading it over and over - it's just so amazing and kind!

I'm glad you liked the choice of POV for this! I think there are relatively few stories about Regulus out there (that I have seen). And yeah, I don't think he quite knew what he was getting into there...

I love that that's what you pointed out about Summer! Now that you mention it, it is a kind of rare description to find - when there are really a lot of people in the world who have crooked teeth. I'm glad you appreciated all the references to the sun and thought they fit her personality! :)

Gah, thank you so much, I'm flattered that you feel so much for the characters and that you found his transformation powerful and heartbreaking. I like the way you phrased it - he is definitely waking up.

Yes, that was a key feature in writing this - I really thought this story could only be told about friendship, for some reason. I am beyond thrilled that you like their friendship and are invested in this story, it means so much to me! Thank you SO much for your wonderful review, it seriously made my day! ♥ ♥


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Review #19, by The_Crookshanks_Saga equinox

10th November 2014:
ReViEw SwAp

Hi there!

I think I've already reviewed the other two chapters, so I might as well review this one too.

I'm seriously in love with this story. Summer and Regulus are both really believable characters, and their interactions are great. You could've drawn this out into a novel, but somehow you packed all that substance into just three novels. And that suspense-- gosh, it tears you down.

In my opinion, not many are able to tell a story from Regulus' point of view and actually pull it off, but you managed it. It had the perfect mix of free will and forced ties, all that worrying about his image, and how he's a Slytherin, all while still making him worthy of our love. Summer is a great character, and I love how fairytale this is.

Well, not really, considering that she dies in the end, but still. Opposites, secret romance/friendship, you know. That sort of thing.

This was an amazing piece of fanfiction. Keep writing!

-Meena

Author's Response: Hey Meena! Yeah I remember you did at least the second chapter - cool to see what you think of this first chapter as well haha. Omg, thank you! I'm so thrilled that you love this story!! It is really wonderful to hear that Summer and Regulus are both believable and that the suspense was effective.

Wow, what a compliment - I'm so glad to hear that you think I've pulled off Regulus' point of view effectively! You're right- he does have a lot of problems and confusion and Slytherin-ness but I'm glad you love him :) The first chapter does have a sort of fairytale quality to it in their friendship despite how all the odds are against them, I see what you mean.

Gah, akflwjsq;ljw thank you SO much - I am so flattered by this review!



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Review #20, by Aphoride syzygy

20th October 2014:
Hey there - stopping by for our review swap! :)

I'm so glad I stopped by because I remember reading the first chapter of this a while ago, but I never finished it, so a chance to read the second chapter was obviously not something I was going to pass up! :)

As before, I love how you portray Regulus in this - I have such a soft spot for Black family members - he's so different from how you'd imagine Sirius to have been, you know? Kinda quiet and so nervous about doing something wrong, and yet friends with Summer and so caring when he actually cares about people - there's this strand of loyalty in him which amazing to see, and you write it in so beautifully. All throughout, particularly towards the end with all the mentions of the Death Eaters and things there's this sense that he's getting in too deep, and he doesn't really know what to do, and he's sort of lost, you know? Sort of innocent rather than cowardly, if that makes sense. He just doesn't have that kind of violence in him.

Summer is a brilliant character, too - she's so unique and more so in this chapter than the last one, which is impressive, frankly! ;) I love how she's still friends with him even after he tells her he's a Death Eater, and she's so calm about it, and so strong, dealing with her illness and all - she just has this wonderful, calm and almost breezy sort of way of dealing with things - like nothing could phase her. Yeah, she's amazing.

Their whole friendship is so sweet - but there's this lovely sense of tension underneath it, with her illness and the war and Regulus being a Death Eater, and the whole image of the fading summer really just sums the whole thing up so beautifully. So nervous about the whole Jasper knows thing, too - is he going to say anything? Will anyone find out? Will Summer survive?

You know, you have a lot of unanswered questions/cliffhangers in this one, haha. It's very cruel of you! :P

So yes, I really love this story as before, and I'm so glad I got a chance to come back to it, because it really is lovely :)

Thank you so much for the swap - it was great, as always! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Ah, I'm so glad you came back to this story!

You've picked up on all these great things about Regulus - I've always seen him as a lot like Sirius, but neither he nor Sirius really recognises that. I really like in particular that you pointed out his loyalty, as that comes in so many forms - and the distinction between innocence and cowardice. That's such a good point, and I agree - I think considering he joined the DE's at 16, he was kind of naive and didn't realize what it all meant until his friendship with Summer really makes him think about it.

I'm so thrilled you like Summer, and that you think she's a unique character! She does have a very calm strength, and can see things about Regulus that he doesn't really see in himself yet. There is definitely a lot of outside tension underlying their friendship, with all these circumstances in the way. I'm really glad you think they're sweet though!

Heh, yeah I do have a kind of fondness for cliff hangers. The third chapter is the last one, though - so no cliff hangers there.

Thanks for this amazing review and for the swap!


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Review #21, by Cannons equinox

20th October 2014:
Hey, here from the review tag thread. :)

I really enjoyed this story, those 5000 words flew by and I didn't have to stop once. I thought you did a good job of conveying all of Regulus' contrasting thoughts and how he warmed to Summer. It was really believable because it didn't happen straight away and he was rude to her as well.

I have never read a story about Regulus but now that I think about it he is such a complex character, and I would love to read more stories about him. He had the pressure of his parents and his friends on his back and grew up believing everything he had been taught to be true and still gave up everything to make the right choice, sacrificing himself in the process.

I love how you have portrayed his as being kind and good natured at heart. He wants to everyone to be happy, his parents and Sirius and yet he can't quite make the right choice in the beginning. The fact that he wants everyone to be happy falls perfectly in line with the personality of someone who would later willingly sacrifice himself for the good of others. An interesting thought when you compare him to Peter.

Summer is a totally awesome character and a total breath of fresh air, exactly what Regulus needs. Someone to balance out his parents and friends. Their meetings in the Astronomy tower are really sweet. A death eater watching the sun go down with a mudblood... obviously Summer is able to see something in him which Regulus isn't able to see in himself at the start. Even when he calls her a mudblood she still wants to be around him which shows how much she believes in him. I really loved the part where she managed to get a smile out of him.

Persistence is obviously key for Summer gaining Regulus' trust. I had to smile when I thought of Regulus playing Gobstone's in the Room of Requirement with her her friends. There is also the fact that he doesn't even judge her friends straight away by wondering about the whole blood status thing, it is more of an after thought, which is awesome.

There is a recurring theme here with Sirius and Summer that shows just how little Regulus needs to be able to see which side is wrong. He defiantly needs someone to balance him out and maybe Sirius should have tried harder!

It has been ages since I had reviewed something from the review tag and I really enjoyed this first chapter. I noticed it is already finished at the third chapter so I am really excited to see where this is going to go and how you are going to deal with the inevitable if at all. Your writing was flawless and I loved the way you portrayed Summer and Regulus.

Cannons.

Author's Response: Cannons, hi! What an amazing review! ♥

Yay for reading your first Regulus story! I'm so glad you liked the way I wrote him with his lost-ness and the way he gradually became friends with Summer. I like what you pointed out about how his wish to please everyone really connects with his self sacrificing nature later on - honestly I hadn't even considered that, but it's so true!

Really glad to hear you like Summer, as well! Heh, yeah she sure is persistent, even when Regulus insults her - she can still see good in him. I'm really glad you liked the development of their friendship out on the Astronomy tower :)

Ahh, yes - things would probably have been so different if Sirius kept trying. So sad thinking that it could have turned out so much better for the two of them if they weren't so stubborn. :(

Ee, thanks so much! I'm so thrilled you happened to stop by review tag, then - this was such a lovely review! Thank you! :)


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Review #22, by Midnight spark equinox

12th October 2014:
I'm finally here for or review swap! I'm really really sorry I made you wait for so long!

Man, what a fresh story! I don't really read Marauder Era, but this is just so cool to read! You went straight to the point; I liked that. How you made Regulus the insecure boy who has no idea what to do... beautiful.

I like Summer's personality! She seems like someone who you'll always feel happy around. You used J.K.R's clue about the good deatheater in such a beautiful way! I'm hooked. Going to go read the whole story rightnow; or else I can't think of anything else.

So sorry for the wait once again!

Author's Response: Haha, no worries at all, I made you wait for ages for your review! :p

I'm so glad that you like this story and the portrayal of Regulus. I find him such an interesting character in the books and really wanted to explore his story.

It's so great to hear that you like Summer as well! Hm, JKR had a clue about a good Death Eater? Nothing is coming to mind there, I'm not quite sure what clue you're referring to, but regardless, I'm really glad you thought it was beautiful! It's great to hear that you're really into the story - I'd love to hear what you thought of the rest of it! Thanks so much for the swap and for your lovely review!!


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Review #23, by crestwood equinox

16th September 2014:
Hey! I'm finally here for our review swap!

I have never read a Regulus story before, but this has given me a newfound interest in him that I just cannot hold back. I have so many thoughts about everything in this chapter, it's going to be difficult to get them down coherently.

I love that you've framed Reg as this drifter that could never really firmly decide upon either side in the war against Voldemort. I have never pictured him as a particularly evil person and not just because he ultimately died trying to bring Voldemort down. It's just that he was so young (sixth year in this story!!!) when he joined the Death Eaters, I can imagine that it was largely due to peer pressure in a way. Here he just did what he thought his parents would be proud of - as he seems to feel that Sirius has abandoned him. Of course, this is all before he has to actually go out and participate in Death Eater activities. I don't think we were ever told exactly when Reg defected from the Death Eaters, but in this story, I suspect that will happen sooner rather than later.

Summer is amazing! She's the exact opposite of Reg, as far as outward manner goes. I would not be surprised if they are more alike than he suspects though. I can't believe how nice this girl is. She can clearly see that he is purposely ignoring her and wants nothing to do with her and still does not allow him to discourage her. She's the kind of person I think I'd like to be. She may be 'plain' as described by Reg, but she seems lovely nonetheless. Reg's friends are terrible in every way, but then, they do go on to be Death Eaters or sympathizers of Voldemort's cause. Not the optimal group to go searching for best buds in.

I like his thought that he may have used up his smiling quota, that's hilarious. Somehow, I don't think that's it though haha! Their Astronomy tower meetings are really cute and perfect until Reg goes and calls her a Mudblood. It's amazing that she still wants to be friends with him even after that. I guess she see's the good in him and doesn't want to give up just yet.

Summer beginning to meet in private with Reg in the Room of Requirement is so amazing and he's even okay with her bringing her friends of questionable blood status along as long as no one knows about it! That's such a big step forward. Although, there's still the step of him not being ashamed to be seen with her in public. I suppose it's reasonable for him to be afraid though. He IS a full blown Death Eater at this point.. that isn't necessarily something you flaunt about in such a situation.

By the time he pulls her into the broom closet, I know he's had it. He doesn't believe in the pureblood ideology anymore and unfortunately, it's a bit too late now that he's hastily joined up with the Death Eaters. Jasper is intimidating even and he's just a student. I don't know if he's going to be able to work up the courage to actively defy Voldemort just yet, which is good news in a way because more story for me!! I wonder what Summer has to tell him! So interested, this is really, really good. Like, unbelievably well written. I will certainly be back soon to find out what becomes of these incredible characters. SO impressed. Thank you for the swap!

Author's Response: Eeep! Wow, what a review! Thank you for putting so much thought into this, it's really an incredible review!

I'm so stoked that you're reading your first Regulus story and that this has made you really interested in him as a character! I think he's such a fascinating character what with the changing sides and his rather sad tale. You're totally right in pointing out peer pressure as a motivator - I also didn't see him as really 'evil', just an insecure, lost teenager who was trying to find his path. As for when he left - in OotP when Sirius and Harry are looking at the Black family tapestry, it puts Regulus' date of death (and therefore when he left the Death Eaters) at sixteen years previously - so he would have been around 19 at the time.

I'm really glad you like Summer! She was intended to be a foil to Reg, because with him having mostly Death Eater pals, he needed someone totally opposite to restore balance to his life and sees the bright side of things rather than the 'this is terrible' side he tends to see.

You've pointed out all the key moments when he makes steps forward in this chapter - and each one is a little step, but altogether it's a long way from where he was at the beginning. Ahh, I'm so thrilled that you are eager to read on, and thank you so much for your compliments about my writing ♥ You're a wonderful reviewer! Thanks for the swap!



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Review #24, by DarknessIsMyOnlyFriend solstice

14th September 2014:
Thank you for requesting another chapter! I'm glad you liked my previous reviews! I really liked doing them for this story!

The thoughts of Regulus, at the start of this chapter felt so right! That would be exactly what I imagine anyone would feel at such a time. Of course not everyone would hate themselves, but it fits him. He would take it like that. I know not much is known about Regulus in the books, but you described him exactly as I imagined him and you stayed true to this through the entire story.

Ugh can you imagine fighting your own brother over a cause you no longer believe in, but cannot put behind you? I love this character for many reasons but this is a huge one. I always wish Sirius and Regulus could have talked once more before Regulus's demise. I wish Sirius would have known just what his brother had done.

If only he had known just how loyal Kreacher really was too him. Or perhaps the events that lead to Regulus's death were what made Kreacher so incredibly loyal to him.
And Voldemort is such a true and perfect villain, is he not? He cares not for anyone, especially not for creatures such as house elves.

I had an inkling that Summer's parents would come to their end in such a way, and yet I can't help but feel incredibly saddened that he would have to see it. And that they would have discover him there.

Your story proves that one person can have a huge impact on other whether it be good or bad. Summer's influence was good as it could be.

It was a well rounded story. And I think it ties in so well with the books.
I think every question you could have, while reading, was answered in this last chapter. It ended with his life, which had only just begun when Summer walked in.
And now at the end of this amazing story I just want to say again; I love your writing style. It pulls a reader in and makes them attached to all the characters. And I loved the fact you said he would go to his eternal summer. I really liked the symbolism and metaphors you used in this story.

Thanks again for bringing this story on my radar! I am really glad I got to read, despite the depressing nature of it. In a way it's not just depressing. There is a little light in there too. A little hope. I loved it!

Author's Response: Thanks for coming back to review - your reviews are so in depth and so thoughtful, I really appreciate it!

It's wonderful to hear that the mood at the beginning of this chapter and the way Regulus takes the news seemed to fit his character. There isn't a huge amount about him in canon so I was just kind of writing him the way I thought he might be, and it always makes me so glad when people mention that it's the way they envisioned Regulus as well, so thanks!

Ugh I know, it's such a sad thing to think about, how they really could have been on the same side, and Sirius never knew that his brother was actually a hero in the end. Especially as I always imagined the two of them being quite close when they were young, so the fact that they ended on such bad terms is even sadder :(

I was actually quite excited to write Kreacher in this, because writing him from the POV of someone who actually liked him made it rather different to the books. I think Regulus really did respect Kreacher a lot, but might not have guessed the depths of his loyalty.

I'm so glad you think it ties in well with the books! That was one of my main goals in writing this, filling in the gaps of Regulus' story. And wow, I love the way you phrased that, that his life had only really just begun when Summer walked in.

Aahh thank you so, so much, I'm really flattered that you like my writing style and symbolism, that makes me so incredibly happy! And wow, I'm really pleased that you saw a little hope in the story in the midst of all the darkness, that's lovely :) Thanks so much for reading and for leaving such wonderful reviews, I appreciate it so much!! ♥


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Review #25, by MrsJaydeMalfoy solstice

6th September 2014:
Wow. Just... wow.

Even from the first sentence of this chapter, you can note the difference in Regulus' character... that alone is just extremely powerful and heart-wrenching and touching, all at the same time.

I was completely heartbroken by what happened with Summer's parents, but I love how that became the final motivator for Regulus' decision.

Everything here fits together so perfectly, and so well with Canon... this truly could fit in as a missing moment from the series, and honestly, this story is in my headcanon now. Seriously.

This was a truly heart-wrenching, touching, piece, dear. Wonderfully well-written... just amazing!

Author's Response: As Summer's friendship was so important to him, losing her put him in a really dark place, which altered his narration a bit. I'm glad to hear that the change in the narration was evident.

Yeah, the part with her parents was really difficult to write. I really didn't want to do it! I put Regulus through so much in this story :/ but it all lined up with how I thought he changed over time. And definitely something like that would be just the last straw - it needed to be something pretty big to get him to finally act upon his long-standing discomfort with the Death Eaters.

Oh my goodness Jayde, wow I really don't have words to express how honored I am that you see this story as part of your headcanon now :O Thank you so much, it's so wonderful to hear that you thought it fit in with canon and your reviews have been so amazing and smothered me with compliments, I'm just speechless! Thank you!! ♥ ♥


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