Reading Reviews for When Summer Fades
52 Reviews Found

Review #1, by toomanycurls solstice

25th January 2015:
I thought that with Summer's death itself not getting much in the way of attention in this chapter that I would not cry. But I was wrong. Regulus' lonliness was very profound after Summer died and you had to go poke his loss of Sirius as a friend and brother as well. gah. This isn't what made me cry though.

When Kreacher left to help Voldemort I was interested to see where you would take this emotionally and I found myself also worried for Kreacher though I knew he'd return. While I was caught up in the Kreacher/Regulus/locket affair, you had to go rip my heart out with the Phillips. Regulus was in such a difficult place with his own need to stay alive versus the pull to protect the woman he had come to know as an extra mother-figure. Part of me broke when Anne recognized him - I think part of regulus broke too. I wasn't surprised that Voldemort saw Regulus' emotions at the murder. I feel as if he would have been dead regardless of his quest for the locket. He's right about Voldemort being a bit foolish to break about his Horcrux as his followers like and have likely studied dark magic.

I almost had to cover my eyes as Regulus went to the cave with Kreacher, knowoing the awful fate that awaited him. I started crying as he thought of Summer and her strength. I was for real crying when Summer was more real to him. It reminded me of how Harry felt about the resurection stone pulling his parents, Sirius, and Remus back to him. It was like Summer was there to collect him. I'm glad the eternal summer line was the last because I could not have read on wtih the crying that was happening then (and now). I'm only somewhat sure that this is coherant (or the words I meant to type :P).

Thank you so much for writing this heartbreaking piece!


Author's Response: that first part was definitely inspired by a lot of my own feelings of grief in that it's not so much what happened, but what it means, that's really affecting.

wow thank you, I'm so glad you connected that much with the story and were worried for Kreacher even though you knew what was going on. And yeah, as horrible as that part is with the Phillips, there needed to be something that completely tipped Regulus over the edge with no return, and that was that. You know, I think Regulus probably saw that as well (that he would have been dead regardless) and that was part of why he went through with his locket plan. He knew he was going to die for that, so he probably saw that he didn't have long anyway. Given all Dumbledore says about Voldemort's belief that he stood out, it seemed like something Voldemort would do to brag about Horcruxes and think no one would pick up on it. Dur.

Aw wow, I'm so touched about your reaction to the last part, and I love that you associated it with Harry seeing the Resurrection Stone, and how Summer was there to collect him - that's such a lovely way to see it. *hands box of tissues*

I'm sorry about the sheer depressingness of this :[ But thank you so much. Your reviews are the best. ♥

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Review #2, by toomanycurls syzygy

23rd January 2015:
I SECRETLY READ AHEAD LAST NIGHT AND I'M SO MAD AT YOU! I *knew* this would be a heartbreaking story and and I still read it. :( :( :(

Summer's mellowness and despondancy while telling Regulus about having cancer is understandable. I mean, I'd be in tears. it's just such a difference in her from norma.l which, again, is expected. IT'S JUST SAD AND SHE HASN'T EVEN GOTTEN REALLY SICK FROM IT YET AND you took away her happiness. :( Regulus' reaction was kind of perfect. At least he realized how much she's been there for him (and I hope he's there for her now).

Again with the Sirius contrasts. Are you looking to poke every feel in this story? I loved their chat about Chirstmas. I mean, Regulus is treated like a prince (and I'm not surprised). Summer's Christmas sounds pretty fun as well - much more jovial though.

I guess if Voldemort is good for one thing, it's giving Regulus' parents an excuse for sneaking out. gah. more with the sirius. I feel like he's almost a character in this story if not just because of how much Regulus misses him.

His visit was wonderful. I'm crushed that she won't be going back to school this year and I can only imagine how hard that will be on Regulus. and and and I FEEL LIKE SOMETHING BAD IS GOING TO HAPPEN AND I'LL HAVE TO GLARE AT YOU MORE.

ALKFJALSKFJ WITH THE MEL REFERENCE AND STOP. My feels are going nuts. I'm also not surprised his mom chekced up on the claim to have plans for Voldemort.

For some reason, even though nothing overtly sad happens while he's back at school, this section made me incredibly sad. too sad even for caps. the whole note about Anne being like a mother but I can tell that she's nothing like his mother - it's just too much for me on a friday. don't let her health go downhill even more. i can't handle it.

Jasper doesn't seem as horrible here. I mean, he doesn't really support their friendship but he's not a jerk about it either.

The books on immortality and having him research what a horcrux is for her is making me cry. THERE ARE TEARS. darn it. I knew she knew and love that she's still there for him and IT CANT' BE THE END OF SUMMER. my husband is confused now about the tears. fyi.

oh I don't know if I can emotionally handle the last chapter.


Author's Response: aw! I'm touched that you decided to continue reading despite knowing that this would be a feels-destroying fic. *hugs*

this is where I think the other side of her characteristic acceptance shows - she just despondently accepts the fact that she's ill while it's hard for Regulus to wrap his head around the idea. But yeah, it was a huge wake up call for Regulus.

I love what you said about Sirius in this story - how although he never actually appears, he's basically a character in the story because Regulus misses him so much. I hadn't thought of it that way. Aw :'(

i'm glad you liked the christmas scene at the hospital. That scene - well really this whole chapter - similarly to how you wrote dull ache, this chapter is more personal experience than it is fiction. (well, except for you know, Death Eaters and Voldemort and stuff.)

as for your predictions... um, I'm just going to put on sunglasses because they reduce glare. (Ahaha, get it? :P)

I'm glad you appreciated (I think? there are many ways to interpret keyboard smash but I'm gonna take it as a good thing) that sort-of cameo from Melanie and I'm sorry it attacked the feels. Haha yeah, Mrs Black isn't really a trusting type is she

That's definitely what I was trying to show with Jasper - he's still not a particularly understanding person, and still very under the influence of the blood status obsession, but he cares about his friends and doesn't want them to get hurt. He's trying! :p

I'm sorry about the tears. But at the same time I'm really glad this touched you and made you connect with the story - it means a lot to know that people are affected by your writing (as i'm sure you understand as a writer yourself, who has written many things that crushed my feels as well.) so... *hands tissue*

Thank you so much for your review ♥

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Review #3, by toomanycurls equinox

23rd January 2015:

(typing out the words seemed like too much work)

Here I am wrapped up in how Regulus is finally coming out of his shell and you do this to me?!?!? ughhghgh. why!?! I'll go back to the start though.

I love how you set Regulus up as the good boy (in pureblood terms) who really isn't into the bigotry stuff but it's what is expected of him. He's not a sinner or a saint, just a guy going through the motions. This really makes me sympathize with Regulus as well as other people who are raised in homes where bigotry is the norm. It's almost as if he doesn't know better. Also, I love that he sees Sirius as being happier as the rebel despite not being part of the family anymore.

His complaint that Summer is too happy just slays me. Partially because it's something i might say about an overly cheery person but it's also such a minor thing to someone who can't get over her blood status long enough to work past that. I love Summer's unrelenting cheer and I love even more that she's aware of Regulus' negative thoughts/demeanor but still pushes forward with a positive attitude.

It's so sad that regulus had doubts so soon with the death eaters. I like how you showed his hesitance at knowing what Rosier was doing - you didn't make him some noble dude who realized the humanity of what they're doing, it was a kind of selfish take on not wanting to do that himself. At their first sunset together, Summer is just remarkably kind. But, again, she's not oblivious. And, I loved his annoyance at Sirius using his name as a pun. xoxo

When the Slytherins started to ask Regulus about going out in the evenings I thought their friendship would be over (his and Summer's). I was just amazed at how accepting she is of him at this point. When they found the room of requirement, it felt just as much of a safehaven for them as it did for other students in the books. Oh how I wish Regulus could be free everywhere. :( And then when he broke down about not wanting to be in that life anymore and being trapped :'( :'( why must you hurt me so?

alright, the part i'm mad about. what the heck with the roller coaster about maybe she's dead and then with the 'we need to talk' business??! so many glares going your way

awesome chapter!!


Author's Response: Hi Rose!

I'm glad you liked the setup of Regulus. He's definitely not evil, but he's not really good either - he's just a confused teenager who doesn't want to be rejected. As you said, going through the motions. I'm really glad this made you sympathise with him - I think he really doesn't know better. And yes, he can see that Sirius is happy, despite that it goes against what he's been taught. It's confusing. Poor Reg.

Hahaha, yeah I would probably say that about an overly happy person as well! :p Regulus isn't a cheerful type but yeah I'd imagine that part of it is because he doesn't get why Mudbloods should be happy and he's not. I'm really glad you like Summer!

You've really nailed that thought about his doubts of the Death Eaters- exactly, it was a selfish thing, and not a case of him changing his mind about the whole cause. Summer gives off this happy-go-lucky vibe but as you've pointed out, she is quite perceptive. Haha, I love Sirius puns. But I imagine Regulus would get tired of them. :p

Summer is very accepting in a lot of ways, which marks the huge difference between her and Regulus' other friends. I just loved the idea of the Room of Requirement as a safe place where all their problems don't exist. But it only makes it harder once they leave the room :( Ah, I probably should have warned you, this story only hurts more feels as it progresses :S

Thank you so much for your review!!

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Review #4, by AdinaPuff solstice

20th January 2015:
Review swap!

I thought this was the perfect opportunity to finish this. And it's so sad, but so perfect!

Regulus grieving over his loss of Summer was perfect. He reflected over everything she was for herself and others around her, and then finally for him. She was his best friend and he loved her, and it was just written perfect. Well done with the grieving.

And then poor Mrs. Phillips. I was praying she wouldn't recognize him, but then she did! Dying knowing that her daughter's friend was there and doing nothing... so sad. I know Reg was sad too because he cried. And then The Dark Lord calling him weak. Well, he certainly was not weak.

I've always thought what made Reg do what he did. I've always been convinced it was for Sirius. I feel like it is. But this is another reason that was beautiful. And poor Kreacher having to sit through it and help him even though he knew it was going to kill Reg. So sad. But it was heroic and perfect. He did it for Summer and Mrs. Phillips and even a little for Kreacher too.

Great short story here! I loved it so, so much. It was so touching in every aspect.


Author's Response: Hi! I'm so glad you came back to finish this, and that you liked it!

That was quite an emotional part to write, as he kind of shuts down after Summer's death. But yeah he has to come to terms with how important she was to him, how much she changed him, and how much he's lost.

After all that had happened already and him still being afraid to show his true colours, it needed to be something truly heartbreaking that pushed him over the edge, and yeah, that must have been almost worse for her. :( You're right, Reg was definitely not weak. It takes a lot of strength to go through what he did.

In a way, I think it was for Sirius too - as I saw it, he did it for everyone who had ever been hurt by the war, as it was a pretty big sacrifice he was making. It was really horrible for Kreacher, yeah - to watch probably his favourite person in the world die. :'(

I'm so glad you liked this story despite it being like a huge glomp of sad feels. It means a lot to me that you found it touching. Thanks so much for the swap!!

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Review #5, by AdinaPuff syzygy

16th January 2015:
Hi, here for our swap!

So I definitely remember reading the first chapter of this. I loved, loved, loved it! But I do believe only the first chapter was posted at the time. This is a wonderful story.

You never really see as many friendship stories as you do romance. I, for one, am a sucker for romance, so I rarely write any friendships. But this? It's perfect. I'm in love with the whole idea of it. Regulus with a muggleborn girl, who just so happens to be sick with cancer. It's so sad--cancer is terrible. Although he should be careful--I'd hate to see anything happen to her because Reg slipped up, or Jasper let the word out that Regulus was seeing a muggleborn. Even if it's just as a friend, it's just as dangerous.

Regulus is one of my absolute favorites, so it's lovely to read stories circling around him and through his point of view. Well done!

Thanks for the swap! I'll be reading the next chapter soon. I loved this so much! Such a sweet story. I'm sure I'll cry at the end. Especially with those last words '...; the end of Summer.'.

-Leigh :)

Author's Response: Hi! :)

Aw, thank you - that is so wonderful to hear! I'm so glad you like this story.

That's so true, and a huge part of the reason I wrote the story in the first place. There really aren't enough stories about friendship out there! I'm really glad you like the premise as well, with Regulus' friendship with a Muggle-born girl. He definitely has a lot to be careful about at this point :-/

I really like Regulus too, I think he's such a wonderful, tragic character and is overlooked by almost everyone in the books. I'm so glad you like his POV here.

yeah the end of this chapter doesn't exactly bode well :S Thank you so much for the swap and for your lovely review!!

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Review #6, by AlexFan solstice

13th January 2015:
I get the sense that Regulus is a little bit disgusted with himself and how easily it was for him to go back to being the person that he was before and shutting off his feelings. He mustíve felt that around Summer he had changed into a new person, and Regulus did change, but he almost seems to think that without Summer there, heís still the same old prejudiced person that he was before who chose to feel nothing. I canít imagine how lonely it mustíve been for Regulus at this point in his life to have no one to turn to, although Iím sure Sirius wouldíve forgiven had he found out what his little brother was going through.

You can definitely see why Kreacher liked Regulus the most out of everyone, Regulus gave Kreacher the care and attention that no one else in Regulusís family gave. And as tough as Kreacher may try to be, and as much as he may insist that it is his job to serve the Blacks, he still wants someone to treat him like an actual being instead of dirt. Can you imagine how much Regulusís kindness mustíve impacted him?

The more I keep thinking about Regulus the sadder Iím getting because I can just picture the amount of self-loathing that he went through thinking that he was not enough and then having the Dark Lord tell him that he was weak. And itís funny that the Dark Lord should describe Regulus as being weak like a girl considering his right hand lieutenant is Bellatrix Lestrange, a girl.

It almost seems as if Regulus has completely gotten over Summer and her family dying but then you bring it back when I least expect it and I realise that Regulus hasnít forgotten at all but the only way for him to deal with the pain and loss that he witnessed is by shutting all of his emotions down and bottling it up instead of letting it out because heís never known how to do anything else in his life. This was so sad but so well written and I really enjoyed this short story!

Author's Response: You're definitely right, Regulus isn't in a good place, and I like what you pointed out about him worrying if he's become the same prejudiced, unchanged person he was before. I could absolutely see that as being a factor in why he's so upset. Ahh and yeah Sirius would probably have forgiven him if they weren't too stubborn to talk to each other. Writing this story made me so frustrated with both of them because it all COULD have turned out so much better!

Given how attached Kreacher was to 'Master Regulus' in the books, it seemed like Regulus had to have been kind to him otherwise why would Kreacher be so loyal. Yeah, Kreacher may not have been the nicest later on, but he did have feelings.

I love that you pointed that out about Voldemort's insult that Regulus is like 'a weak little girl', because of course Bellatrix is certainly not weak. But I wouldn't put it past Voldemort to make a sexist comment even when his strongest supporter is a female. Boo, Voldemort.

You've definitely got Regulus summed up pretty well in that last paragraph, and I'm so glad that you understood him that well, means I did that effectively so that's really great to hear.

Thank you, it really means a lot to hear that you liked this story and thought it was well written. Thanks so much for your review!! ♥

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Review #7, by bethanex equinox

10th January 2015:
I've always been a fan of Regulus - I wish there was more out there about him. I'm so glad you wrote this from his POV, it really gives insight to his transformation while he was still in Hogwarts. Still, I wish there was a little more of this, a little more description of the depth of his feelings. I really like how you characterized Summer, she's one my favorite OC's. I also love the idea that Regulus' friendship with this girl and her personality can give him the strength to think for himself.

Author's Response: Hi, thanks for your review! Regulus quickly became one of my favourite characters when I wrote this and I'm so glad to hear you like him in this. At this point of the story he is kind of drifting and not really attached to either side, hence the possible lack of depth of his feelings. I'd be interested to know what you think of him as the story goes on, if you read the rest (because he does change a lot). I'm really glad to hear that you like Summer and her friendship with Regulus, as well!

Thanks so much for your review! :)

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Review #8, by crestwood solstice

7th January 2015:
Hi Kristin! I had to return to this story because I am basically obsessed with it in every way.

This is so incredibly sad. The fact that Summer died definitely isn't going to do wonders for his already quite unstable mental state. I really feel for him when he says that he's lost a part of himself. I am just enamored with the way you've written his reaction to all of this. This really makes me wonder what he might have done if she was still alive. I'm thinking he may have run away with her and possibly gone into hiding. I think he was heading in a direction in which he would not have wanted to be a Death Eater. Of course, we know he eventually gives up his life to harm Voldemort's cause, but we're not there yet.

The scene in which Sirius and Regulus make eye contact in the graveyard is heartbreaking. I mean, everything about this chapter has been so far, really. People speak a lot about the tragedy of Sirius and Snape's lives, but this story has made me realize that Regulus' life was totally not all roses and that his story was possibly more dismal than anyone's.

I love that you addressed how Kreacher had no idea that Regulus had internally changed sides. It's like you're just writing down all of my super specific headcanon and more into one story.

Can't think of any more synonyms for sad to describe Regulus still sending letters back and forth with Summer's parents. Her characters gives an already awesome character just that much more depth. Even after she's dead, her mark on this story is unmistakable. I am constantly made speechless by all of this. It's pretty much perfect in every way.

The imagery of time as running through mud!!! How do you do this??

I love that Reg gave Kreacher that order to return back home out of genuine distrust because he totally had a reason to feel that way!

I cannot believe they killed Summer's parents. I feel like I won't ever get over this. I didnít see this coming at all and I don't think I have actual words for this so I'll just say--wow.

The idea of the world being that much more vibrant as he went to go find Kreacher is a great one because it gives us a bit of his viewpoint as he willingly walks into death.

The end was fittingly desolate and just beautifully worded. You've really done Regulus justice. This is by far the best depiction of him that I've ever read and that I'm ever likely to read. It was a pleasure to read this story, really. You are really so incredibly talented. You should be proud of this. Thank you for the swap!

Author's Response: JOEY ♥ This review almost made me cry (in a good way though), it was so kind and just ajsdlkfasd?!?!?!?! (I will try to respond coherently!)

I'm so glad you liked Regulus' reaction and the way he dealt with his grief/problems. Aah, your idea that he might have run away with Summer and tried to get out if she had survived - yes. I hadn't even thought about that as I knew before writing this that she was going to die, but if she had survived... I love that. I have this great image now of them running away and then Regulus making amends with Sirius and all these wonderful things that could have been. And I'm really sad now because that didn't happen. Waah!

I'm glad to hear you were touched by that scene with Sirius and Regulus. You're so right though, I feel like from the books we see Sirius' and Snape's side of things and it's really sad, but we only ever get other people's opinions on Regulus, people who didn't really understand what he went through. ahh! I love that you felt like I was writing down your specific headcanon haha, that's so cool!

Gah, thank you! I really liked the addition Summer's Muggle parents made to the story and as they were Regulus' only remaining link to her, I could see them still corresponding. I'm so glad you liked the depth it provided and as for the rest - I am constantly made speechless by your reviews!

I'm glad you like the reasoning behind Reg's order for Kreacher to return home. Ah, about Summer's parents, I really did feel terrible as basically every main character dies except for Kreacher, but it had to happen. :(

I'm glad you liked that bit about the world being more vibrant. That was the impression I got after re-reading that chapter of Kreacher's story in Deathly Hallows, and translating Kreacher's confusion into Regulus' last view of all these things was a really interesting writing process.

Thank you, I really appreciate you saying the end was beautifully worded and that the desolation fit. Aaa, I really don't know what to say other than thank you SO much and I'm incredibly flattered that you think so highly of my depiction of Regulus and of this story as a whole. That means so much to me, thanks!

I don't know how to thank you enough for this incredible review, it really did make my day. Seriously, thank you so much.

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Review #9, by AlexFan syzygy

29th December 2014:
First off, sorry for taking so long with this review but it has arrived finally!

You said that you were worried about lack of description, and for me, itís personally not an issue. I like the little details that you include throughout the story of Siriusís life and what his family is like around him, I think thereís enough to get to know Regulus even more than before and to really get an idea of what his home life is like, but not enough so that I end up getting bored and just start skimming. In terms of setting description, you could add in more description if you really wanted to give a vivid picture of Hogwarts but I personally donít feel this part to be all that important since the characters drive the story forward.

I loved the interaction between Regulus and Summerís parents. This entire experience for Regulus is just showing that everything heís been told about muggles was false and that theyíre ordinary people just like him, except they canít do magic. It sounds like heís honestly surprised to find how utterly normal Summerís parents are, almost as if he expected them to be these savage creatures.

I seriously just wish that Regulus would get fed up with his friends, knock them in the face and then stalk out of the Slytherin common room to get a cookie or something for his good work. My God, his friends are worse than his family when it comes to sticking their nose into Regulusís business.

I really loved that last line at the end of the chapter, itís my favourite one, because not only is Regulus talking about the seasons, but itís foreshadowing and I just really really love it because of how well it fits into the story and Iím just sitting here like, ďhe he, clever.Ē

Author's Response: I understand as this is a busy time of year so no worries!

That's great to hear that the description was sufficient and that you liked the details, and that you felt it helped you get to know Regulus better in this chapter. In this story I did try to focus on little specifics rather than broader description so that's good to hear.

Aw, thank you! It probably was a surprise for him to find out how normal they are after everything else he's been taught growing up. I'm thrilled you liked that as it was a pretty important moment for him.

Gah, right? They are one of the only reasons holding him back at this point from freeing himself - but although they are nosy and closed-minded, I was hoping to show that they do really care about Regulus, in their way.

Thanks so much about that last line, I really liked that one as well and it's so lovely to hear that it's well received. I'm glad you appreciated the multiple meanings in it as well ;)

Thanks so much for your review, Grace!

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Review #10, by kenpo solstice

27th December 2014:

I'm so sorry and I'm so disappointed with myself! I'm so sorry. I feel so guilty!

Okay, well this last chapter deserves a review! It deserves all the reviews! This chapter, and this entire story, was just gorgeous. GORGEOUS. Also horrible and sad and other things, but mostly it was a sickening gorgeous. If that makes sense.

The way that you developed Regulus' character, particularly in that last chapter... really, the only way that I can think to describe it is just gorgeous.

By far, my favorite part was the ending. Your interpretation of the potion, and of what it makes you feel... ahhh! It gave me so many feelings, it made my stomach twist up a little. I loved how he wasn't sure who was talking, and his was just totally not at all connected to reality anymore. Really, just gorgeous.

The fact that he wrote to Summer's mother was touching, and it was another great touch for Regulus' chararacterisation.

This story was totally depressing, but I'm one of those people that loves depressing things, so this was totally my type of chapter, and my type of story!!

Oh ohohoh another thing I liked was that Regulus did seem to care for Kreacher. He's not your average Pureblood, and there were so many times that you showed that so gracefully.

Thanks so much for the swap, and I'm sorry it took me so long to get aorund to this!!


Author's Response: No worries! That's kind of how I felt upon discovering a new chapter of One Blaze of Glory, so we're even! :p

Gah, thank you so much, I'm so glad to hear that you thought this chapter was gorgeous, despite how horrible it is in terms of what's happening. I'm glad you liked his character development in this chapter as well.

ah, thank you so much! Maybe it sounds morbid of me to say this but I'm so happy to hear that you had all the feelings and that you liked the ending part with the potion when he's not sure what is real and what's not. That was such an important part of the story as I felt like everything had been leading up to it in a way so it is great to hear that it was powerful.

This story provided a neat opportunity to write Kreacher and Regulus in a way that didn't conform to the stereotypes of either - given how attached Kreacher was to 'Master Regulus', it seemed only natural to me that Regulus was kind and cared for him. So thank you, I'm really glad you liked that.

Yeah it was totally depressing, so I'm glad you enjoy totally depressing stories! :P Thank you so much for your review! ♥

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Review #11, by crestwood syzygy

24th December 2014:
Hi Kristin! Finally getting around to clearing out my Review Thread. I've left in limbo for far too long. Naturally, I choose to start with your story because I remember loving the first chapter and wanted to see what you had in store for the rest of it.

I was not expecting this twist in the story at all. Cancer is not something I expected to happen, although your explanation of it happening to Muggleborns makes a lot of sense. I have written one story about a Wizarding equivalent of cancer and, for that matter, read enough books featuring it to know that this is going to be very, very sad from here on out. This adds a whole new sort of gravity to this story. It's not just about Death Eaters anymore, it's definitely rooted in the real world with a very real problem and that'll only make this better.

And it's a brain tumor. That is truly terrifying to have happen to you.

Somehow them having to make sure no one sees them together is much sadder given the circumstances. This is adding another layer of tragedy to this already doomed-to-be-devastating story. (by virtue of Regulus as protagonist)

He seems to be maturing, realizing that he'd been selfish and only thought about his own problems. The fact that he finds himself truly concerned for her is a very good sign. He's clearly not just using her any longer.

The image of Regulus and Sirius acting like normal brothers over the holidays is wonderful. I really wish things could have been different somehow. They would have gotten along in any other situation. Everything about this is making me kind of sad.

The fact that he asked Summer about her family and how they celebrate Christmas is important. He isn't quite so adamant to make everything about himself anymore.

He lied about a task at the request of Voldemort for Summer!! That is dedication to a person. He has to realize how much she means to him now, you don't do that for just anyone.

The scene in which he realizes that shaking a Muggle's hand is no different than a Wizards was powerful on so many levels. What an amazing way to articulate that!

Yes, Sirius would love Summer!! And it's hilarious how Regulus is just totally like--"Yeah, well maybe Bella doesn't know everything ugh."

I am so happy that he's sending letters to Summer and even communicating with her mother. The contrast between Summer and Anne's letters is really striking. This is so incredibly upsetting, but in a good way. You've written such an emotional roller-coaster of a chapter, I am so impressed.

For all of his faults, Jasper is a really good friend for continuing to cover for Regulus despite hating Muggles and not understanding his friendship with Summer. I really like his character, even if he is on the wrong side of the war.

I'm so happy to see Regulus starting to think better of the whole Death Eater thing. He's in way too deep already, but he really would never have fit in there. He has much too good of a heart to ever be fine needlessly slaughtering people as they do.

I am so amazed at him searching for a way to keep Summer alive. And I love this line: 'She couldn't die; she was too good.

You tied this to canon so perfectly!! He found the Deathly Hallows and Horcruxes! The latter explaining how he figured out what Voldemort was up to with the locket! I am in awe of this because it fits so perfectly into the established events and everything is just right. Love every part of it.

Of course she knew he was a Death Eater. She was far too perceptive not to.

Also, how beautiful was the way you chose to write in her death?! 'In the air was the beginning of autumn; the end of Summer.' I am bowing down to you, this was perfect from start to finish. One of the best chapters of fan fiction I have ever read. What a mind-blowing read. Wow. Thank you so much for requesting this because I might not have remembered to continue otherwise and that would have been such a shame.

Author's Response: This was such a wonderful review and I kept going back to re-read it rather than respond, so I'm sorry I've taken a while for that :p Seriously though, it was so kind and you are the best.

Regulus was pretty wrapped up in his own problems by this point (which, granted, are pretty difficult problems) and he needed to step back from what's happening in his own life, so it ended up being ultimately a very real-world, scary thing. I'm really glad you appreciated that aspect even though you weren't expecting it. That section on Christmas was by far the most difficult part of the story for me to write, because that part has a personal connection for me, but ultimately I think it added some stark reality that was essential for this type of story. Anyway, I'm glad to hear that you thought it added to the story.

I know, after all that they STILL can't be seen together, just when they need each other the most. :(

I feel like Regulus and Sirius would have gotten along so well in different circumstances and it makes me so sad that they never reconciled. And I love the idea that they were close when they were younger, just being silly, normal brothers.

This is definitely the point when Regulus starts to realise what it means to be a good friend, and to be, in other words, what Summer has been for him thus far, and he really starts to focus on her. He's changing! I'm glad it came across as well, that he wasn't using her and that he genuinely does care. Enough to lie about a task with Voldemort! :D

Ah, thank you so much - I'm really glad you liked that bit about shaking hands. It was a big moment for Regulus!

I really liked the idea of Regulus becoming friends with an actual Muggle, and I think his corresponding with Anne showed that Summer's perennial 'bright-side' view did have its drawbacks. It means a lot to me that you thought this chapter was affecting and emotional, thank you!

It kind of surprised me how much I ended up liking Jasper by the end of this. But 'good vs bad' is such a grey area that I really wanted to explore with him and I'm so glad to hear that it was effective and that you like him as a character.

Thank you - I'm so glad you like the link to canon! I figured he had to have at least a bit of prior knowledge about Horcruxes in order to figure Voldemort's secret out, and then it ended up that he discovered it while trying to save a Mudblood - Voldemort would be thrilled at the irony, I'm sure :p

I think that's one of my favourite lines from the whole story and I'm so glad you liked that as well. Gah, thank you so much for saying it was beautiful ♡ And wow ahh I just really have no coherent words to reply to the rest of this review, just... I'm so flattered that you thought so highly of it! Aah! Thank you so much for such an incredible review ♥

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Review #12, 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 #13, 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 #14, 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'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 #15, 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 #16, 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 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 #17, 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 #18, 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. ;)


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 #19, 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 #20, 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!


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 #21, 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 #22, 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.


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 #23, 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!


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 #24, 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!


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 #25, 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!


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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