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Reading Reviews for Chasing Fireflies
  
17 Reviews Found

Review #1, by nott theodore The Letter

1st April 2017:
CTF review

Hi! Wow, this was a really interesting start to a story - there are so many things about this which are unusual compared to fics I've normally read. I honestly don't think I've ever seen a story about Remus having bitten and infected anyone before, and I certainly haven't read a story in which there's a Muggle who's become a werewolf. Those two aspects of this story really grabbed my attention, but one other thing I loved about it was the fact that you didn't shy away from acknowledging that those two things make this story unusual. I liked the fact that Sarah addressed how unusual it is for a Muggle to even survive a werewolf attack, let alone become a werewolf, and then the added sensitivities that she has as a result. It must be really frustrating to know all about the magical world and be able to see parts of it, but only belong to one of the most stigmatised parts of it.

The letter was a really effective opening to the story. It gave us an insight into Sarah's character and the history between her and Remus, and was a great way to develop the story and let us find out about the history between the two of them.

I also really liked the details that you included in this story - the bracelet that Sarah owns which gives her greater access to the magical world and acts as a sort of signal to others in that world. Her job in the US sounds really interesting, too, and I'd love to find out more about the differences in attitudes towards werewolves between the UK and the US.

I really hope that Sarah manages to find somewhere to transform safely for this month - outside of the werewolf colonies. They always seem bad enough when Remus talks about them, but I imagine for a Muggle they'd be even worse...

Sian :)

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Review #2, by Felpata Lupin An Unexpected Visitor

30th July 2016:
Hello!
Here for a very late Hot Seat review, and because this story is so wonderful!!! (Sorry for being away so long...)

Aww... So cute... I have no words to express how adorable this chapter is. I'm just feeling so warm and happy. This is why I love Remus so much!!! *wub* *wub* *wub*

Really, I don't know what to say, except that this was perfect! I love how you're building Sarah's character, I love all the emotions of their meeting, I love the fluidity of your writing. I love everything!

Hopefully I'll be back soon! For now, wonderful job! And thank you for making me smile! :) (And sorry for the short review... *couch*)

Tons of love and snowball hug,
Chiara

Author's Response: Chiara!

I'm so glad you stopped by. This is one of my favorite parts of the story - when Sarah finds Remus just waiting in her room. There is this moment of sadness when he asks why she hadn't told him before he starts talking about knowing a safe place where there are fireflies. Remus is such a pleasure to write and I'm thrilled you loved their emotions in this piece.

Thanks for stopping by and loving up on this story.


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Review #3, by Cookiecrumble Chasing Fireflies

25th April 2016:
I found this very old fanfiction and started reading it..and couldn't stop. It's so well written, sweet and Sarah is a lovely character. In addition, I looove the title and how you described Remus. I was able to picture him in my mind with every line. Their story and love felt so real and intense that I am sad the fanfic is already over. But it's a wonderful ending. Very well done :)

Author's Response: Hi there!

Thanks for taking the time to read this story. You're right that it's old - I originally wrote it back in 2007 and only recently dusted it off, giving it a light re-writing. About the title, I remember as a kid chasing fireflies in summer. Now that I'm an adult, there aren't very many fireflies around (they spray for mosquitoes where I live, and that unfortunately kills off the fireflies, too). So in my mind, I equate fireflies with childhood, with summer and playing with friends. Hopefully those sentiments came across when I described Sarah and Remus as children.

Once again, thanks for your lovely review!

~Alexis


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Review #4, by velajune Promises

9th April 2016:
Hi Alexis,

I'm embarrassed to say, here's the review you requested months ago. *hides* I'm sorry it's taken so long. :) But I'm glad to be reading your story again as I have missed it!

Your writing is just impeccable and it takes only seconds for me to remember what I'd read before. Immediately, I'm brought to Sarah's world. Her emotions are familiar again. And... I remember how broken she was when I last left her.

There're quite a few descriptions in this chapter that I loved, but what stuck to me was the 'earth-bound stars'. Though I've never seen a firefly, I've always thought of them as thus. The running motif in this story feels so surreal. And instead of a beautiful writing, it's more sublime.

Short funny story- when I was reading this I had this playlist I made for a story I was writing playing in the background. Sometime after Sarah gets turned and right before Lupin leaves for Hogwarts, a particular song played- it's about an old love and how that love changed the girl, her world, and how she sees things. It just fit so perfectly and made that series of scenes that much more pleasing to read. Lol, I just thought it was strange and coincidental.

... And that wasn't the only time my playlist fit the story. There was a song that said, "love is hard for a man like you". ... It was just so weird. As they parted, I could feel my own heart break because the songs added this background music to your words. It was like I was watching a film. :'(

Anyway back to the story! I can definitely see a more forgiving American Magical community when it comes to Lycanthropy where they rule themselves. I just feel like that's so probable. You're so knowledgable. :) Again, I just love the details that you add to the story and I get so curious as to how much more you're going to add to the world of HP. It's really quite exciting.

I'm looking forward to the next chapter!
June

Author's Response: Heya June!

Don't hide! I'm embarrassed it's taken me this long to respond. But a New Year calls for a Review Response Resolution! So here we go!

I'm thrilled you found it easy to slip back into Sarah's story. Now I grew up with fireflies back in the 70's. I remember as a child trying to catch them without crushing them, holding them cupped in my hands as they blinked on and off. Then they started the whole spraying for mosquitos thing, which unfortunately killed the fireflies. I hadn't seen fireflies again until I moved to West Virginia back around 2006. Sitting on my porch with a glass of wine in hand one evening, I was struck by how magical they looked as they danced on the summer breeze across the lawn. They looked like little stars, and I couldn't help but recall how I used to chase them. From there, the idea that Sarah and Remus might have chased fireflies, too, was born.

I'd love to hear what songs you were listening to when reading! Music helps energize my muse. For this story, two songs were important - Me and Charlie Talking by Miranda Lambert (it also mentions fireflies), and Brass Bed by Josh Gracin (particularly the last chapter once they reach the cabin).

Anyways, thanks for the lovely review!

*hugs*

~Alexis


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Review #5, by Felpata Lupin Promises

3rd April 2016:
Hello, my beautiful Alexis!
I just realized I promised you I would come back to this story and never did... Well, I'm here now! (Also, I'm stopping here because I needed to keep reading after chapter 2. Couldn't bother to stop to review... hope you don't mind...)

Oh, my... this was so heartbreaking! And so sweet at the same time! You had me on the verge of tears...

I loved the recount of the time she spent with Remus... Ah, childhood innocence... the purity of a young love... It's so beautiful!
And yet so sad and scary, because of what happened... My heart was drumming with dread when she went poking at the cellar... and at the same time, I felt so awful for Remus... Anytime I think about it, I just can't get over how cruel his destiny was...

I wonder why he stopped writing? Why the Hogwarts' management felt the need to forbid their interactions? It makes no sense... but maybe we'll discover more later...

Urgh! I'm so angry at Sirius now... Couldn't he reflect before taking such initiative? Didn't he think about how Remus would feel? Or about how Sarah would feel? Sometimes he's such an idiot!!!

I really hope Remus will try to contact her and thst they'll talk things through. As painful as it might be. They need to talk it through!!!

This was so beautiful! I need to remember to come back to this story again! I love it so much!

Tons of hugs!
Chiara

Author's Response: Chiara, darling!

A New Year calls for a Review Response Resolution! Sorry it took a while to respond to your lovely review.

I'm thrilled that you felt the need to push forward to this chapter and not stop to review the previous chapter. Finally, we get to see how Sarah came to know Remus and the events that led to her lycanthropy. Their innocent love shines so much more for that darkness. Little wonder that Sarah kept those letters from Remus; you can't get rid of such bittersweet memories - they brand themselves in you.

As for Sirius in his defense, he was but a boy when he came up with the idea to write that letter with James. Sirius has always struck me as the impulsive type. Plus, Muggles live shorter lives than wizards - just look at how old Dumbledore is! So to Sirius' mind, it seemed logical to intercede and save Remus the pain. Little did he realize he had compounded it.

Anyways, thanks for the lovely review! You really lifted my day!

*hugs*

~Alexis


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Review #6, by filledwithwonder Chasing Fireflies

20th March 2016:
Hi there! I happened upon this story today and read through the whole thing!

I really liked your OC Sarah, and I loved how you revealed her story incrementally - it kept me interested the whole way through.

I liked your second to last chapter; I could really feel the emotion Sarah was feeling, but I was hooked so I kept reading before leaving a review. :)

In this chapter, I particularly loved your description of the transformation and the interaction between Sarah and Remus as wolves. And of course, I loved the reference to chasing fireflies, bringing it all full circle.

Overall, I thought the story itself was really refreshing. A muggle werewolf is a concept I've never heard of before, and I liked your introduction of a wizard-friend as well. You fit your story into the canon-verse so well that I could really believe it was a part of HP all along. Everything was really believable, from Sarah's backstory to their interactions in the present day. Kudos!

-R

Author's Response: Hello!

I know it's been a while since you left your lovely review. Sorry about that - life tends to gang up on one sometimes.

Anyways, thank you so much for taking the time to read Chasing Fireflies. This was the first fanfic I ever wrote back in 2007 and subsequently/ updated it over NaNo 2015. So your review means all that much more to me.

Sarah is a unique character that came to me fully developed and just demanded to have her story told. Sometimes first loves really never die, even if lycanthropy and well-intentioned friends get in the way.

Again, thank you for the lovely review.

~Alexis


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Review #7, by Marshal Chasing Fireflies

27th February 2016:
So I may have skipped reviewing the previous chapter. *sheepish face* I kind of didn't want to stop reading and just clicked for the next chapter.

This story is quite good and I did truly enjoy it. You did not do bad with Remus at all. He is different some from mine but I cannot expect him to be identical but the differences were ones that break believability in the least! It was all true to his nature so you are golden love.

I loved the end of this and I LOVED and I do mean LOVED the wolf instincts with the nuzzling. That is HUGE to me. I haven't written fanfic of Remus with Tonks but I have thought of it but in RP he would always nuzzle her face and get his nose near her ear very wolf like in nature. It was something I had research on my own/his natural tendency before I did the research. So Kudos to you for doing the research particularly the bit with the exposed neck - very wolf like as well, it made me supremely happy.

Also as an aside the shaved and painted Mrs. Norris, I know it was mentioned earlier and it is really clever and awesome and I love that prank.

Overall again dearest a really good story and I enjoyed the read the ending was sweet and happy and I loved it. Great work.

Author's Response: Hey, so you made it to the end. And I'm so glad you liked it and my Remus!

*dances around*

Oh, and the nuzzling. That was purely Remus' idea, and it was so hard to get him to tell me even that. He's such a gentleman, not wanting to disclose what he considers to be private moments. At least not until Sarah told me she wanted to nuzzle him in the previous chapter. It's such a primal instinct, to want to bury their nose there and breath in each other's scents.

Glad you liked that silly prank with Mrs. Norris. I thought it would be in both Sirius and Remus' nature to pick on the feline. I do feel sorry for her, though. Being shaved and painted must not be a fun experience. On a side note, that prank is also mentioned briefly in Intemptesta Nox, but under more strained circumstances.

Thanks once again for picking this story to love up on. This is as close to fluff and happiness that my writing gets. :p

:hugs:

~Alexis


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Review #8, by Marshal Promises

26th February 2016:
Another great chapter Alexis! You really pull the heart strings and make one fall in love with Sarah as a character. You can feel her pain and in some ways she has it worse than Remus. Stuck between worlds is not easy and I am most curious about what will come next.

I will say that I loved the line of "My introduction to the world of magic had been stained with my own blood and soaked in his tears." So beautifully poetic! Really wonderful work and I have yet to find a single complaint with anything in this story!

Author's Response: Hiya Marshal,

Yeah, Sarah isn't in a good position. Befriending that shy boy opened a whole new world to her, but also put her in a position of not belonging to either world after the accident. Not that it was Remus' fault. Sarah knows the last thing Remus would want would be to pass this curse to another. That being said, she's doesn't quite fit anywhere.

And thank you. Your reviews are so uplifting. I really was worried when you first started reading this story.

:hugs:

~Alexis


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Review #9, by Marshal A Dog Named James

26th February 2016:
Oh wow dearest. There were moments where I was like huh. Some things just didn't sit right for a moment like "This isn't Remus to me..." It surprised me coming from you but then it took a moment for me to realize it was all Sirius and it made PERFECT sense! My eyes bugged out and I was just sitting there in shock and wanting to read more so eager to see how things turned out.

What bit was the actual real Remus was soo dead on. I also LOVED your descriptions of the scents and smells Sarah was pikcing up on, particularly the smell of Remus. It was so perfect and I love the little details you put into this like the jealousy of Tonks and how things are layering nicely like a sighting of Molly in the previous chapter for her to be here now.

Also your mention of the smell of magic. I never thought about magic having a sell really unique and believable! Also I feel so bad for Sarah of course I know there is more to come as there are other chapters and also, I know Remus so I have niggling feelings here! I am looking forward to the next chapter but first I think I might see if I can get a more from James. ;-)

Author's Response: Do you realize you had my heart plummeting when I read the first three lines of your review? OMG, I thought you were saying you hated my Remus. Merlin's flaming balls! Whew!

Yes, it was Sirius, sticking his nose (furry and otherwise) where it didn't belong once again. His intentions were good yet misguided, as usual. Remus only makes a brief appearance, but I'm relieved that he seemed in character to you.

And I'm thrilled you liked Sarah’s enhanced sense of smell, and in particular, Remus' scent. I always thought that werewolves would be able to recognize each other outside of the full moon. It also follows Sarah would be able to detect strong emotions through scent. So yes, Tonks' spike of jealousy.

I hate to break it to you but Remus doesn't appear in the next chapter. He will be back later, though. Promise!

:hugs:

~Alexis


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Review #10, by Marshal The Letter

24th February 2016:
Lovely chapter dear, not dark like the other story but I know you write more than just dark tales. If this does turn dark don't tell me I want to find out on my own. I shan't be disappointed if it doesn't turn dark I won't be surprised or upset either way.

You did a lovely job of setting up the character and her place in the world, with the friend wizards and the reasons for why and what she is ect. I look froward to seeing your Remus in the coming chapters!

As an aside, I love you mentioning the National Inquisitor! I laughed out loud at that and my brain started compiling the weird and crazy stories I saw as a kid standing in line at the grocery store. I also love that it is an American thing only. If ever I write an American HP story I may have to steal that concept! Great work over all!

Author's Response: Sweet Godric's Hemorrhoids...you just had to pick this story to read, didn't you? I don't know if I'd be more nervous if you select this one or Child of the Hunt. But I guess turn about is fair play since I beta for you.

You do realize this was my first attempt at fanfic ever, right, all those years ago? It's almost fluffy enough to make my teeth ache now. This updated version was part of my NaNo project, so it's not as, um, clumsy shall we say, as the original. The down side is that I posted this without running through a beta as mine was quite busy. So fair warning.

Moving on, Sarah was the first character that ever came into my head fully conceived and insisting that I write down her story. She can be a handful but has a good heart. I mean, she was sweethearts with Remus when they were kids, of course she has a good heart. As for your favorite furry character, now I'm on pins and needles about what you think of my take on him. He makes an appearance in the next chapter.

So you liked the National Inquisitor? I wanted a wizarding newspaper that Mundanes would unwittingly buy. Who knows if some of the far out articles featured are fake or real. The truth is out there! :p In any case, the newspaper also makes an appearance in Child of the Hunt. And of course, feel free to steal the concept any time.

Thanks for the lovely review! I only hope the rest of the story doesn't disappoint.

~Alexis


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Review #11, by ravenclaw_princess The Letter

19th January 2016:
Hello. I'm here for your requested review.

This is quite an interesting little tale. The thought of Remus infected anyone with Lycanthropy is unheard of in my mind as he's such a gentle soul so it will be interesting to see how it came about. It sounds like it was accidental, and that they didn't think she would be affected by it, but unfortunately they were wrong.

You've created a very detailed world. I like all the details that you included about magical blood and how muggles can still have just enough, that while they can't produce magic, can still feel it and, so it would seem, contract lycanthropy. It seems like muggles, or mundanes, are more accepted in the US and I like the 'concept' of the charm that they carry with them to show they are 'wizard friends'. Still, I imagine there is quite a lot of prejudice against them.

The details about the US Ministry was also really creative and it's interesting to see what lengths the wizarding world goes to to keep their lives secret. It seems that Sarah has found a role for herself, even though she is in a difficult place in society, being both a wizard friend and a werewolf.

Sarah seems quite strong and makes the most out of the bad situation that life has thrown at her. But you can also sense her yearning to belong somewhere, as she doesn't really fit in either world. You can see this when she looks longingly at the wand. I also sense a little bit of bitterness in her, but she manages to thrown these thoughts away. It will be interesting to see her character develop.

I like the final letter and the how it developed through the story. It wasn't an easy letter for her to write, but I think it turned out pretty well. I like the mention of fireflies as it ties in with the title of the story and gives a little back ground to their relationship. I do wonder how the interaction between these two will go.

Grammar and spelling were pretty good and the story flowed well. There was quite a bit of information thrown into this chapter, such as details about wizarding blood and the US department, so while informative, I wonder if it could be spread out more through the story. But overall, it was a really well written first chapter.

Jacqui

Author's Response: Hello Jacqui,

I apologize for being late responding to your lovely review. I was trying to cram writing between RL.

This story was actually my first HP fanfic. I recently updated it as part of my recent NaNo, which is why the AU world is so detailed. Chasing Fireflies is part of a larger series which I have been building for several years now. One of the elements that came from such a long percolation period is the idea of magical blood and what effects that might have. Hermione's parents were mere Muggles, so how did they produce a witch? Was there one in their family tree generations back? If so, might not magic have been a recessive trait then?

It was this sort of line of questioning that lead me to create wizard-friends. No matter how hard the Ministry or the USBMS tries to keep the wizarding world a secret, there are bound to situations in which a Muggle would learn of it. Muggle marry wizards/witches and are trusted to keep things secret, and that's just one situation. More importantly, the Ministry/USBMS cannot work effectively if they totally isolate themselves from the Muggle/Mundane world. There have to be some sort of liaisons besides the halfblooded folks.

Enter Sarah. Because of her past, she's the perfect bridge between the magical and mundane. Yet she doesn't fit in either world, not really. She's had to live in this sort of limbo for many years and as a result, has learned to at least try to make lemonade from the lemons she was handed. The fact that she was also a military brat also is a factor. Constant moving across the county or overseas can make a military child learn to be more independent and strong. That's why while there's a sense of bitterness to Sarah, she still tries to find her place in those worlds, and not blame Remus for infecting her.

I will agree that this chapter does have a lot of information stuffed into it. As I mentioned earlier, it was my first fanfic and while I did make an effort to update it recently, I probably should have tried to balance this chapter a bit more. I’ll have to put it on my to-do list.

Thanks so much for the in-depth review. It was very helpful!

:hugs:

~Alexis


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Review #12, by velajune A Dog Named James

15th January 2016:
Hey Alexis,
Im back for your second chapter! I hope you dont mind another long review, also!

As CF is your very first ff, Id really like to applaud you for creating such an elaborate addition to an already elaborate story.

You explained to me in a reply to my last review about Sara and I really wish youd written that in the first. With that said though, definitely, I think, your opening for the second chapter clearly defines her feelings. Obviously, thats something we already came to learn by the end of the first. I would have loved to have that in the very beginning though.

Sarah has really grown on me after the first chapter, so when I read her thinking, I didnt want to appear overly made-up I just broke it a loud laugh. Oh how I can relate.

This unrequited love is such tricky business. Immediately, I feel sad for Sarah because of wear the enclosed scarf. That tells me, Remus has no idea how she looks like.

I hope you dont mind long reviews.

I truly love this line for various reasons, I watched it all, alternating between anxiety and impatience.
1. I love that this line starts at a paragraph after her long thought about the scarf and park.
2. It feels like two people meeting each other for the first time for a blind date.
3. But its not, and thats the clincher!
4. Therefore, we as the readers are brought into her thinking. Again, this is in part to the POV. Its not just her looking around nervously and impatient. Its us too! I dont normally read ffs quickly, but I found myself reading through those first paragraphs just to find out how their meeting will be!
Maybe you didnt know you were doing this, or maybe you did. Either way, its brilliant.

I have quite a few lines where I just laugh at Sarah. Its kind of a, I feel you type of laugh. Sarah and I, were like kindred spirits concerning love.

That James and Sirius twist/mix though. Hm I caught that right away. *proud-of-herself* The whole chaos that then follows is always welcome. I love seeing the familial relationships, honestly and seeing how OC shape up to them. She reminds me a spunky, easily riled, Nymphadora. : ) (I find it funny that shes a bit like Dora since theres clearly tension between them.)

Its amusing that the Trio are unnamed throughout their first appearance.


Perfect! It was a quick and easy read. Loved it.
June

Author's Response: Heya June!

Glad you came back to CF. Long reviews are teh love!

I promised you'd see more of Sarah's thoughts and dialogue. I had fun writing her getting ready to meet Remus. There was a balance she's trying hard to strike: to look nice, but not like she's desperate or love-sick over Remus. I think it's the sort of thing every woman goes through at some point. And then there are her feelings bouncing between anxiety and impatience, with an undertone of what Remus might think of her. So delicious!

Inserting Sirius into the picture was both a comedic relief and a cranking up of tension. We as the readers know Sirius all too well, while Sarah hadn't a clue; it's almost unfair to her. But you're right, Sarah does share some traits with Tonks.

(I have to point out that the prank Sirius was talking out - the one with Mrs. Norris - is also mentioned in one of my other stories, Intemptesta Nox. Both of these stories are part of the Chid of the Hunt series and have links like that).

As for the Golden Trio's appearance, they needed to appear because the story is set in the early part of OotP. But at the same time, since they are not the stars of the story, leaving them unnamed made sense. Sarah wouldn't know who they were (at least not Hermione or Ron), nor would she care. She's too angry at Sirius for his deception and then torn when she sees Remus with Tonks.

I will say that Sarah does know of Harry Potter. It's kind of hard not to, not after the Tri-Wizard Cup. Her knowledge gets a brief mention in a later chapter, but you'll have to return to see how that plays out.

Thanks for leaving the long and loving review. I'll be back to your thread with another request soon!

~Alexis



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Review #13, by Felpata Lupin The Letter

13th January 2016:
Hi, Alexis, my dear!
Here with your requested review, and sorry if I'm a bit late.
Actually, I read this yesterday but I wasn't feeling very review-y... so forgive me if I forgot a few details... :P

What I do remember is that I loved the idea behind this! There are so many interesting concepts, and this is only the first chapter! I have a lot of reviewing to do around, but I will totally be back again! I need to know what Remus' reaction will be. The poor guy, he'll be crushed in learning he passed the curse on, on someone he cared about moreover... I'm already feeling bad for him...

But let's go with order. Sarah. I already like her character. She seems a really strong one. I like the fact that she's sort of ok with her condition and that she doesn't hold a grudge about it.

I didn't know there was a link between magical blood and contracting lycanthropy. Is it canon or is it your idea? Interesting, anyway. Surely being a Muggle and a werewolf must be shocking. She's lucky, in a way, that she had a connection with the magical world. And that American society is way more open-minded both towards Muggles and towards werewolves.

And here comes interesting fact number two. I loved all the details you put in about the American wizarding government and Sarah's job. It's interesting to have Muggles (or Mundanes... btw, I like that term) inside the USBMS. And even a Werewolf Council. I really like it!

I loved how the letter turned out in the end! ;) Now, as I already said, I'm very curious to see Remus' response! Expect another visit from me soon (ok, not too soon...)

All my love!
Chiara

Author's Response: Hello Chiara, dear!

Don't apologize! I understand completely. Everything in good time - Latins and Italians, we know this, yes?

This story was actually my first ever written fanfic (as opposed to the endless ones I wrote in my head but never put on paper). I recently revamped it as part of my NaNo challenge. Anyways, I originally wrote it back in 2006 when the idea of a Muggle werewolf struck me. Next thing I knew, Sarah walked into my head telling me she needed to write a letter to Remus.

The idea of linking blood and lycanthropy was mine. In my head, there had to be a reason for Muggle-born wizards and witches like Hermione. A recessive gene made sense. From there it was a simple matter of linking that gene to being able to contract lycanthropy.

As for the government aspect, I grew up in a military family and have members who work for various branches of the government. It was too easy to visualize the bureaucracy and the way they might have departments and councils over here. Even the name, USBMS, sounds like the alphabet soup of our government (DEA, FBI, CIA, DHS, etc).

The word Mundanes ... now there's a story behind that. I first starting posting Chasing Fireflies (CF) back in September 2006 at another site. A handful of months later, someone wrote the first of a popular series of books that used the term Mundane to describe non-magical folks. It's rather amusing that at times I get asked if I'm referencing that series when in reality I finished CF before those books were published. To be honest, I came up with the term when using a thesaurus to look up similar terms for 'ordinary'.

I can't wait to hear what you think of the rest of this story. When you have the time, of course.

:hugs:

~Alexis


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Review #14, by mymischiefmanaged The Letter

12th January 2016:
Hello! I'm here with your requested review from the forums. You said you'd like a general review so I'll just give you my first thoughts on your characters and plot so far. If you do request for future chapters, let me know if there's anything you're worried about or would particularly like feedback for so I can make sure to include it :)

Okay, to start with, I love this idea. I don't think I've seen a story with a werewolf Remus infected before, and then the fact that Sarah's a muggle is even more original and interesting. You've obviously put a lot of thought into the logistics of a muggle werewolf and her connection with Remus promises to make this a really exciting story. Fab idea, I'm impressed :)

So far I'm finding it hard to know what to make of Sarah. Most of her thoughts in this chapter are of the wizarding world and her connection to it - we don't see much of her feelings or opinions. She obviously cares for Remus, and the fact that she doesn't seem to feel any kind of bitterness towards him for the lycanthropy speaks well of her. In future chapters I'd like to see a bit more of how she's feeling.

I'm looking forward to seeing how Sarah and Remus interact! That letter she sends him at the end is adorable but kind of painful at the same time because it really highlights how much they've both been hurt by their condition. She mentions being a werewolf kind of casually considering it's such a big thing in her life, but then that makes sense because she's been living with it for years. I expect Remus won't take it so well - based on how guilty he felt at Hogwarts just because someone could have got hurt, I think he'll be devastated by the knowledge that he actually did hurt someone like this.

All the background to this story is fascinating. I really like the idea of wizard-friends, and the subtle differences between American wizarding society and British wizarding society. Also the thought you've put into how a muggle can have lycanthropy and why it would be rare is brilliant. Everything's really well put together and you've built up a really cohesive world to put your characters in.

In terms of concrit, I've not got much. I think this is a strong opening and you've definitely caught my interest. The main thing I'd say is so far you've piled in a lot of information, and while that's impressive and demonstrates your really wonderful work thinking about Sarah's backstory, it's maybe a little overwhelming in a first chapter. I would have liked to see a bit more Sarah's personality and perhaps to have saved some of the other information until a bit later. For example, you could have saved explaining that she didn't develop lycanthropy for several years after the attack until her letter to Remus, or even until she meets up with Remus. It's just a little bit telling rather than showing.

Also, and this is probably a matter of opinion, but I really noticed the lack of dialogue in this chapter. I think having some strong dialogue makes the text flow more easily, even if it was just some bits of Sarah muttering to herself, or a brief conversation with whoever let her in to Diagon Alley. I potentially use dialogue more than most people so it might just be personal preference, but I would have liked to see a bit of speech somewhere in here.

Overall, I'm really impressed by this chapter. You've set up a fascinating premise for a story and your writing is clear and clever. I liked how you started and ended with the letter, and you've definitely given me lots of questions to think about in future chapters.

I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next.

Emma xx

Author's Response: Hello Emma!

Thanks for reviewing this story. It was actually my first ever written fanfic, from back in 2006. I recently went back and rewrote portions as part of my NaNo challenge. Redoing something so old was a unique experience.

There is a sense of painfulness in Sarah and it shows in places. She's hurt by being a werewolf, yet not being a witch; that she has not heard from the person who infected her and who she loved. At the same time, she doesn't want to blame him for her condition.

You;ll definitely hear more of Sarah's thoughts as the tale goes on as well as dialogue. The next chapter features Sirius and in a subsequent chapter, Remus. This first chapter, though, is admittedly a bit of an information dump. I think that it has more to do with it being my first attempt at writing. When I rewrote it, I didn't want to majorly alter how Sarah's story was presented.

One of my challenges in general is I tend to overthink things when I write. Hows and whys are very important to me. With Chasing Fireflies in particular, not only did I want to fully address how one could be a Muggle Werewolf, but I was also being careful with the fact that this tale is part of a larger series. It was a bit of a juggling act, keeping the links to two different stories intact. That being said, yeah, it was a bit of information dump and could have been handled better. Once I am done with the larger story in the series, I may come back and tweak this again. Your suggestions of adding dialogue (the bit about muttering made my muse perk up) are wonderfully helpful.

Thanks again for taking the time to leave great CC. I'll be certain to make additional request on your thread.

~Alexis


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Review #15, by velajune The Letter

10th January 2016:
Hi there Alexis,
I was very much excited to read this fic as Remus is my most favorite out of all the Marauders. When I saw your OC name, I was immediately taken by it. Sarah Forysthe is such a beautiful name. It, sort of, gives off an air of fantasy/supernatural, which is why I loved it right away.

I know I messaged you about the mechanical issues that I came across with, so skipping over that, I did want to talk about the flow of the second paragraph. I found that I did have to read that paragraph quite a few times.

I did think though, you did a fine job showing us in the last sentence of the paragraph Sarahs need to deny any feelings she has for Remus. Conflictingly, some of your word choices in the beginning did come off strange to me, such as recipient. The use of that word says that SHE doesnt have feelings for him rather than, she doesnt want to have feelings for him. Its a very distant word that, I think, you can use after the second paragraph. Since it came before the last sentence of the second paragraph, I didnt think it fit. This could be mostly a personal opinion.

The other word was gifting. I didnt know if I should understand it as Sarah being happy being a lycan because you dont give enough after that. If I knew better, then accidentally gifting wouldnt sound strange either. I would love to know though! Edit: I understand now, half way through, why you had chosen to use the word. Thats a really good choice and it gives continued interest.

The first person point of view was a good choice as it paints the readers a very good picture of Sarah. We connect with her better. And despite knowing Remus more beforehand, this format later will help us sympathize with her over Remus. (Thats just for the future though and since I feel invested in the story already; I feel the need to say that.) And using first person is often easier for readers to understand the plot and follow what is happening.

I loved that we get to hear her thoughts as she interacts with the magical world. Often, I find with muggle OCs, the key points are exactly that interaction. I liked hearing/reading her thoughts especially this line, It wasnt as if we were completely different species. Lines like that give us a lot of information and you had ample within your story!

I like the idea of wizard-friend. Sounds a bit like a pet, but I still love it.

My favorite part of this chapter is probably Sarahs extensive knowledge as a muggle entering into a magical world. I enjoyed reading the facts and getting a better understanding of the AU world youve created, along with learning better Sarahs voice. Your AU world is superbly thought out by the way! So well written and explained.

I often wonder how it would be for muggles/wizards/witches turned lycan from another country coming into another; do they have to register within the country they visit? Like, do they have to inform authorities about their whereabouts because theyre considered as dangerous and all. That was one of the things I thought as you continued to write about the different cultures.

I really enjoyed those long details. It can sometimes be a difficult read, being that they are facts though.

The letter was well crafted. Throughout this chapter we are introduced to Sarah and we get to know her, like I had said before. We follow her on her first day and so, as we got to know her, we wonder more and more about how she had turned. Why did Remus do it? And all of that anticipation builds up. Then bam. We finally get that letter, the letter with all the explanation. I think it is a letter that bridges the gaps of information not just how she turned, or her relationship with Remus, but what she really wanted from him. It is short, but very concise. Excellent build up towards it also!

Great job!
June

Author's Response: Hello June!

Thanks for stopping by. I didn't realize you were a fellow Remus fan. He's my second favorite character from the series (Severus Snape is my all time favorite, though).

First I should tell you that Chasing Fireflies (CF) was the first fanfic I ever wrote and published, way back in 2006 (at another site). I've only recently returned to the HP fandom after a prolonged hiatus. One of the things I wanted to do was complete a large, unfinished WIP in which CF was a small part of. So I decided to re-write parts of CF during NaNo last year.

That being said, there are reasons for Sarah being a little distant towards Remus. She is torn between not having heard from him for 25 years, having been in love with him, and having to contend with being a werewolf while not being able to perform magic (something she longed to do). So overall there's a sense that Sarah has conflicting feelings about Remus and lycanthropy and the wizarding world. And there's also a touch of cynicism that goes with working with the government (more on that later).

The first person view point was actually something I didn't do with a lot forethought, nor is it something I often do when writing. Literally when I thought of the idea of a Muggle werewolf, Sarah entered into my head telling me about a letter she needed to write to Remus. When I sat down to write, Sarah relayed the tale in first person, so that's how I wrote it. Now I know that might sound odd, but so be it. I have an odd muse. :p

Okay, you mention lycanthropes registering when they visit another country and I'm glad you did. This ties back to the government comment I made a little bit earlier. I come from a military family (born, raised and married into the military), so the idea how government agencies might interact with their international counterparts was something that I thought about. Would a witch/wizard with lycanthropy have to register? I could see there easily being a case for that. Merlin knows Umbridge made it hard enough for lycans to simply find work; she'd probably advocate for such a thing. I could also see how a government agent like Sarah might be told to not register, particularly since she's in England for a reason related to her job.

As for the AU world that Sarah inhabits, there's a lot to it. It's practically an obsession of mine. I tend to overthink the hows and whys and connections. I mentioned CF was part of a larger series, Child of the Hunt (CotH). I have reams of notes, both written and mental, relating to this AU world and I think it sometimes shows in the sheer amount of information I try to cram into a story. This particular chapter is a bit of an information dump that perhaps could have been handled better, but I was juggling re-writing CF while re-writing CotH and re-writing the other story in the series ... all while keeping the various connections intact.

I can promise in the following chapters, you'll see more dialogue and find out how Remus reacts to Sarah's letter and her condition. Thanks for leaving such a wonderful concrit review! I'll be sure to request more!

~Alexis


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Review #16, by Kevin McAlister The Letter

11th December 2015:
Great story! I'm sure my parents are in this alley somewhere. Looks like I'm gonna be alone again. I'll pass the time by buying some food. How much? Here, keep the change ya filthy Mudblood.

Author's Response: This is extremely important, Kevin. Will you please tell Santa that instead of presents this year, I just want are some reviews. No awards. Nothing but reviews for Child of the Hunt, Intemptesta Nox, Chasing Fireflies, If Only in His Dreams, Put a Ring on It, and Truth Dare or Drink. And Illicit Obsession and Embracing Death. And if he has time, my muse. Okay? Oh, and thanks for the review, Kevin!

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Review #17, by mrspaulmccartney The Letter

13th November 2015:
Hi Alexis! I havent read Child of the Hunt, but since this is a standalone novel and I have a soft spot for Remus, Im just going to start reading this.

Ooh, Remus accidentally bit her? This would be interesting since Remus hates his lycanthropy so much. I can imagine the guilt he must have felt.

Werewolf muggle, interesting character. :D

Mundane? That reminds me of Shadowhuntersunless you made a reference deliberately. Hmm

Sarah hadn't spoken to Remus in 25 years since she was 10, so shes 35 now? Hm, about Remuss age in GoF. Yay for maths!

The story seems really unique and I cant wait to keep reading. I love Sarah! Her snarky voice made me laugh and its nice to see she still has a childlike side. Did you create USBMS? This is actually pretty cool and I see your logic. Of course, jobs like this would exist in the wizarding world.

I love how you started the story with a letter and ended it that way too. :) Cant wait to keep reading!

Author's Response: Hey there!

I didn't expect to see you in my corner of the archive dungeons. Thanks for dropping by.

Yes, Remus is responsible for Sarah contracting lycanthropy. It was an accident on his part, to be sure, but even so he hates that he was responsible. What's more, Sarah didn't even know about the world of magic at the time. To say her introduction was rude and bloody is a bit of an understatement.

The reference to the Shadowhunters was completely unintentional. You see, I've never read those books. I originally wrote Sarah's story back in September 2006 and had posted it at another HP-centric archive before eventually deleting it along with my other stories. It wasn't until a few months ago when I started playing with the idea of re-writing Child of the Hunt that I even learned someone else had used the term Mundane. If you check and see, I think you'll find Sarah's story pre-dates the Shadowhunters by close to six months.

I also created the USBMS. Blame my exposure to growing up as a military brat and then as a military wife. Also, I felt that certain aspects of the wizarding community in the US would be decidedly different than that in England.

Anyways, I have finished re-writing Sarah's tale. Rest assure that once my beta has had her wicked ways with it, I'll be posting it here for your reading pleasure. Hopefully it won't disappoint.

Thanks again for taking the time to read and review! It means a lot to me when folks do that.

~Alexis


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