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Reading Reviews for Drown
  
8 Reviews Found

Review #1, by Dojh167 goodnight, i love you

14th April 2017:
Hufflepuff CtF jailbreak Review

Oooof course I get the fic that’s “as dark as it’s going to be”

Solid use of second person narrative here - it really makes the story feel like it’s an internal running monologue, which seems to be what you were going for.

I did get confused with the line “You just what?” It wasn’t clear to me if the “you” was directed towards Sirius like most of the story, or if it was directed towards Regulus.

Oh wait this story is From Regulus’ perspective. Oh! The world makes sense again. I had assumed that Sirius was the main character.

It’s kind of funny seeing Walburga’s voice referred to as “reasonably calm” after all the maniacal screeching we are used to hearing from the portrait at grimmauld place XD

I find Regulus’ loyalty to Sirius touching, both in the past and the present. It’s a very quiet kind of loyalty that’s common to siblings - where you care about your sibling, but in a way that they are totally unaware of. I think you’ve captured that well here, showing the distant bond between the brothers in their different worlds.

“You know I hate it when you make me use spells on you.” ugh ugh no no awful woman!

“your brave, stubborn, prideful, stupid big brother” Yup, that; Sirius Black in a nutshell.

This really breaks my heart. I can’t blame Sirius for being angry with Regulus, but I also can’t blame Regulus for trying to survive in an abusive household. It’s an awful situation all around. Just be friend brothers and nobody dies! I don’t see why that’s too much to ask.

I honestly wasn’t sure whether or not you were going to tie this in with Regulus’ death, but you did because you are a very rude person who wants to hurt my feelings.

SO RUDE

-end-

Sam.

Author's Response: Hey Sam! Sorry for the late response, haha :P

A running internal monologue is definitely what I was going for, and I'm super happy that you think I pulled it off! This was my first attempt at second person and I was really nervous about it. I've done it more since then, but I'm always way more worried about it than third person!

Ahahaha it cracked me up that you assumed the story was from Sirius's POV. That definitely wouldn't be at all out of character, would it?

Urgh I really wish Sirius and Regulus could have reconciled before Regulus died. But at the same time, Regulus died doing the thing that would've made Sirius believe he was worth reconciling with. At the very least, I wish Sirius had learned what had really happened to Regulus. Because I really agree with the stuff you said about their relationship, and it's so upsetting to me that Sirius never knew his brother changed.

Sorry for being so rude ;) but thank you very much for the review!

-Kayla


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Review #2, by MuggleMaybe goodnight, i love you

13th April 2017:
GAH, KAYLA! I LOVED THIS!

Oh, I'm here for CTP, for the Puffs.

but anyways.

This is a *wonderful* fic, oh my goodness! I've read Breathe, although it was quite some time ago now and I confess that I don't remember it super clearly. I want to reread it now so I can know if I missed anything here.

In your author's note you mentioned that you'd never used 2nd person before. Well, I never would have known that. You managed it brilliantly! It really makes sense to me to use second person for this story, too, because you're deeply inside Regulus's head. And, also, because Reg is shown here committing an act of cruelty (once removed) upon a very beloved character, and putting it in second person makes it easier to relate to him, and to forgive him.

And, I do forgive him. It's hard to *like* him, mostly because of the barely concealed homophobia. But I can't deny that his intentions are, if not exactly good, not bad. He's the best sort of character in your writing: a deeply human (and therefore deeply flawed) one. His love for his parents is at odds with his love for Sirius. Which is, really, a terrible and unfair situation for a 15 year old to be in.

It's heartbreaking to think that he ultimately chooses to sacrifice himself rather than walk that line. But it's also so powerful, because in his final act he shows that he's learned Sirius was in the right, and that his parents were wrong. It's a wonderful character arc for someone we hardly know. What an act of redemption! And I LOVE how you wrote Regulus and how you wrote his memories.

Having this at the moment of his death, as he's drowning, was a stroke of genius.

Seriously Kayla. You are So. Good. Please never stop writing. I ADORED this, sad though it was.

xoxo Renee

Author's Response: Hi Renee!

Thank you so much! I'm glad you liked this!

I was nervous to use 2nd person for the first time, but like you said, it just worked so well for what was going on in the story that I couldn't pass it up.

Haha yeah. I think Regulus here is pretty much a grey character. But my intentions with this weren't really to get people to like Regulus, or even necessarily forgive him (although, I'm very glad you do!) - it was just to get people to understand why he did what he did in Chapter 5 of Breathe, and that he was a product of his upbringing, because a lot of the reviews I got on that chapter were like "Regulus why?!?! You jerk!" so I thought I'd address it haha.

I really think Regulus is SUCH an interesting character. I would love to write more about him sometime.

Yeah, that potion that was guarding the Horcrux made you remember the worst things that had happened in your life, so I figured it would make a lot of sense that when he drank the potion he would remember the thing he did that basically ended his relationship with his brother in one fell swoop, and also led to his brother being tortured and kicked out. Hence, the setting.

You are too sweet! I'm so happy you enjoyed this!

Love,
Kayla


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Review #3, by Unicorn_Charm goodnight, i love you

11th May 2016:
Kaaayyyla! :'( This killed me. *sniffles*

This was so sad! I can't believe how horrible their mother is and the hold that she had on Regulus. I really loved that we got to see why Regulus told on Sirius. I was so mad at him at the time, but now I just feel sorry for him. To think that his own mother would threaten him with magic... Just awful. You can feel that Reg was actually quite frightened of his mother.

Him trying to stop his mother and how badly he felt with she confronted Sirius ripped by heart apart. This poor kid is so torn, between thinking what Sirius had done was wrong, not wanting to tell his mother, being afraid to lie to his mother and then the guilt he feels seeing the aftermath of what happened. I just wanted to crawl into the story, hold him and let him know that it's all going to be alright. Even though we know it's not. *wails*

I wish that he did try to speak to Sirius again, regardless of what James said to him. I understand that James was just trying to be a good friend to Sirius, but Regulus was his brother. I'm sure Sirius would have forgiven him, with time. Especially if Regulus did make the effort to talk to him and ask him questions about his life and try to understand better. Bah! Kayla! My heart!

And then it's totally my headcanon too that Regulus last thought of Sirius before he died. Being that he died trying to do the right thing, I'm sure in his final moments he thought of his brother and how he wished he could have seen or spoken to him one more time.

Ugh this whole thing completely broke me in the best possible way. I love your whole Breathe-verse so much. I need more! Awesome job, as always, my dear. I really loved this, even though I'm now a sad puddle of sadness. :p

Tons of love and all the hugs,
Meg ♥

Author's Response: Meg :( I'm sorry!

Everyone was (understandably) really mad at Regulus after chapter 5 of Breathe! That's why I decided to write this one-shot - because I knew what had happened behind the scenes, and that he really didn't have much of a choice, but I realized readers didn't have that same insight.

:( Regulus honestly breaks my heart. I wish he and Sirius had reconciled too - especially since that might have even prevented Regulus' death...

There will be more Breathe-verse ASAP! (i.e. as soon as inspiration strikes lol) ;D

Thanks so much for the lovely review, Meg! Hugs!

-Kayla


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Review #4, by Penelope Inkwell goodnight, i love you

21st April 2016:
Hey Kayla! Here I am with the promised birthday review!

Okay, wow. That was definitely...I was not prepared to feel so sad for Regulus? I've read sympathetic portrayals of him before, but usually he's either a jerk with some redeeming values, or else he seems kind of too sanitized, you know? All scrubbed clean and perfect. And really, your Regulus is more innocent than some of those, but it doesn't come across as making the character unrealistically good.

You really did well skirting the line. It's not like Regulus did the right thing. I was horrified when he told his mother. But his reaction was realistic. He was uncomfortable with Sirius' relationship with Remus, but he didn't reject him. It would probably be unrealistic for someone who's grown up in the kind of environment Regulus has, who clearly hasn't had the friendships and broader horizons that Sirius was exposed to, and who is so ruled by his family's opinions, to find out his brother and be outright, immediately supportive. But you can see that he still is supportive of Sirius, as a person. He doesn't get it, doesn't approve, but he wants to protect his brother. He truly didn't want for Sirius to get hurt. That's a really nuanced representation, especially for a one-shot, and I thought it was a good choice.

Also, I think you did quite a good job with the second person thing. At first I thought it might distract me, since I rarely read stuff written in that style, but the story quickly pulled me in and I pretty much forgot all about it.

“Tell me what you saw. You know I hate it when you make me use spells on you.”
--this line was SO chilling. I've just got to give you props on giving me goosebumps. Not only did it very quickly up the stakes, but it gave us such a glimpse into Regulus' life. He may not do the right thing, but it's more than just him being a coward. He is very clearly a victim of abuse. And when you think about it, Sirius was away as much as possible. He knew his parents for what they were, and he had other places to go. But did Regulus? It's pretty obvious that, terrified as he is of his mother, he still is able to convince himself that things might not be that bad. So I wonder if he's really been able to recognize fully that he is abused. Which means he's probably had less escape from it than Sirius has. So, then, his choices are still frustrating, but I felt like I could understand it. I could forgive him for folding under the threats from his terrifying, abusive mother, no matter how badly he might want to do better.

When you’d returned downstairs, the house was silent, the tapestry was smouldering, and Sirius was gone.
--this line really stood out to me. I liked it a lot.

It was so sad that Regulus never got to speak to Sirius again. That James--understandably, if perhaps wrongly--warned him off, and that he never worked up the courage to try and repair their relationship.

The fact that he died, in a way, trying to redeem himself--in part, to redeem himself to Sirius--ugh, that was just...

And that ending, the flashback to happier times, when they were just kids and brothers--that just sunk hooks into my heart and pulled.

Also, his cowardice in the face of his mother--however understandable--and his less understandable but very realistic cowardice in never speaking to his brother again really makes it such a big deal that he had the courage to defy Voldemort himself, and to steal his horcrux. He died doing a good thing, and it's made all the more powerful because that was probably harder for him than it would have been for another person. Regulus wasn't born brave, but he died brave.

Good work with this one-shot! It definitely packed some emotional punch, and I thought you drew Regulus really well.

Oh, and Happy Birthday, Kayla! I hope it's been wonderful!

--Penny

Author's Response: Hi Penny!

Thank you so much for leaving me a birthday review! This was so sweet of you, and I really really appreciate it! And I'm sorry for the late response :(

Writing this story was, for me, very much about explaining Regulus' actions in chapter 4/5 of my story Breathe, but not excusing them or acting like he somehow did the right thing. I had this all in my mind while I was writing Breathe, and had thought about Regulus' motivations and the nuances of those motivations and of his character, but I didn't have a chance to showcase it. So I wanted to write a separate story to give readers that insight. I'm really happy to hear that you found my Regulus nuanced and realistic :)

I personally don't think Regulus would necessarily think of himself as a victim of abuse. I think he loved his parents and believed in their views and tried very hard to stay on their good sides to receive love back, and that he might have viewed the abuse as deserved in many situations, blaming himself for not being a better child. This is one situation, though, where I don't think that would be the case.

Regulus is a character that I wanted to explore for a long time, and I was really excited when I got the inspiration to write this and when I got it posted. I find him such an interesting and, honestly, tragic character. That he died doing something defiant and brave after spending his life toeing the line is such a testament to the idea that people can change and choose to be good and do the right thing.

Thank you so much for the wonderful review and the really lovely gesture, Penny!

-Kayla


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Review #5, by TreacleTart goodnight, i love you

4th April 2016:
Hey Kayla!

I'm here for our review swap! Sorry I'm a bit late.

So I absolutely love 2nd person. I use it fairly frequently in my stories because I think it really adds a level of depth to really emotional pieces. I think your choice to use it here was a smart one because this is really emotion based. It really helped me to get inside of Regulus' head and see where he was coming from.

I also really loved how you wrote the relationship between Sirius and Regulus. The fact that Regulus is thinking about his regrets and how he wishes that he stood up for Sirius as he's literally dying is such a touching thing and definitely in line with how I imagine Regulus developing as he grew up. I can imagine him looking back on his family life and feeling quite guilty.

The little flashbacks of his interactions with his mother also do a great job of creating sympathy for him. Sirius wasn't the only person badly treated. The evidence is in Walburga telling Regulus that she doesn't like to torture information out of him, but she'll do it if she has to. What kind of mother says things like that? Clearly, Sirius' memories of Regulus being this goody toe shoes is a bit inaccurate. He's just beaten down is all.

In terms of concrit, my only suggestions is just that you watch how many times you use the word "You" in each paragraph. I know you're writing 2nd person, so it's impossible not to do it, but trying to vary the way you phrase things can keep it flowing a bit more smoothly and keep it from getting to repetitive. And just to clarify...there wasn't any major issue with that here, just a couple areas where I noticed it. :)

All in all, I really enjoyed this version of Regulus' final moments. I find that often, he's one of the hardest characters for me to read because I find his story a bit stale, but you've given it a new life and made it truly interesting.

Good job!

~Kaitlin

Author's Response: Hi Kaitlin! I'm so sorry for my belated response!

I'd never tried 2nd person before this (did I mention that in my A/N? I think I did lol) but I'm actually quite pleased with how it turned out and can't really imagine having written it any other way. I'm so glad that you thought it was a smart choice :)

I had this sort of behind-the-scenes scene in my mind while I was writing Breathe, so I understood Regulus' motivations in chapter 5, i.e. that he didn't have too much of a choice when it came to telling his mother what he'd seen. But readers didn't have that same insight, and I remember being kind of surprised by all the reviews I got questioning why Regulus would do what he did/expressing hatred of him. So I really wanted to write out this scene and give that insight. Of course, what he did led to pain and suffering for Sirius, and I can totally understand people still hating him. I can't say that I particularly love him myself, haha. But yeah! Sorry for that little tangent lol.

Hmm, I will go back and see what I can do about the "you"s! Thanks for pointing it out :)

I'm glad you enjoyed this story, and thanks so much for the review!

-Kayla



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Review #6, by cherry_pop94 goodnight, i love you

13th March 2016:
Hi Kayla! Here for the swap.

This story was excellent. I remember reading breathe and the emotional response I got from it. This was just as powerful. I coulr feel all of Regulus's emotions. The pain, the fear. I could tell how guilty he has felt his whole life and how much he just wants Sirius to know that he is loved. And now I just remembered that Sirius died never knowing that Regulus was a hero. And now I'm emotional all over again.

Anyway, back to your wonderful story.

The way you describe Regulus's fear is heartwreching. He is so young and so afraid of his parents. He wants to believe in the best. You can see you clearly here how the instances of his childhood and that overwhelming feeling of cowardice that followed him prompted Regulus to make such a brave sacrifice in adult life. He spent so long feeling guilty and only hopes to atone for that somehow.

The ending came as a surprise to me, but it was very well done. I really like that you put all these moments in Regulus's memories. They are his worst memories. The memories of feeling helpless and cowardly in the face of his brother's abuse. Of being separated from Sirius. The potion is a horrible thing, but you did an excellent job portraying its effects.

I got such a chill down my spine reading how Regulus died from his own persepctive.

This is such a great piece Kayla. Really excellent just like all your writing!

Thanks for this really great swap!

Stefanie

Author's Response: Hi Stefanie! Sorry it took me a while to respond to this!

The relationship between Sirius and Regulus breaks my heart and it's something that I've been wanting to write about for a while. It kills me that Sirius never knew why/how Regulus truly died and just thought his brother died a cowardly Death Eater when his brother was actually a hero :(

I'm really pleased to hear that you liked my description and the way I handled the potion :) and it's good to hear that the ending affected you. I noticed a lot of people hated Regulus after chapter 5 of Breathe - understandably - and I wanted to see if I could change people's feelings about him.

Thank you so much for the really lovely review!

-Kayla


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Review #7, by bigblackdog goodnight, i love you

27th February 2016:
first of all- the title (and situation) of this is genius. while regulus is drowning, unable to physically breathe, he's thinking of sirius during a time in his life when he started to metaphorically breathe. the contrast is so lovely- highlights this huge difference between sirius and regulus and yet their bond is strengthened by the knowledge that regulus thinks of sirius in his final moments. so, i love that... that drowning/breathing contrast.

i haven't read many wolfstar fics where i felt like the regulus-sirius relationship was satisfyingly explored- either they never talk or regulus is a complete jerk like their mother, which doesn't fit with the canon of regulus sacrificing his life to destroy a horcrux. all of which i bring up to say, thank you, thank you so much for looking at what could have compelled him to do such a thing. i absolutely love the idea that regulus went after the horcrux to make something up to sirius, in some way. and you really give their relationship a lot of thought, in this and breathe.

i really love this line: "I just want you to make life easier for yourself. I just want everyone to stop fighting. I just want you to know that I care about you. I miss my brother, Sirius."
it's such a relatable characterization. you point out the cowardice of his actions, but also portray how realistically hard it was to live with their mother. it just makes my heart ache for what they both went through.

another wonderful story Kayla!

Author's Response: Elise! You are wonderful *heart eyes*

I totally agree with you about Regulus. So many stories portray him as this cruel little jerk and I don't see him like that at all. A lot of people were pretty mad at him (understandably) after chapter 5 of Breathe, so I really wanted to explain his motivations.

Thanks so much for the lovely review :)

-Kayla


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Review #8, by MrsJaydeMalfoy goodnight, i love you

9th February 2016:
Hello there lovely! I'm here with your two reward reviews for getting one of the presents correct in the "Guess the Present" thread! Congratulations, and thank you for helping us celebrate HPFF's 15th Birthday!

And oooh, what's this? A new story with no reviews? Well I'll just have to fix that, won't I? :P I'll be writing my review as I read, so if things seem to change topic rather quickly, that's why!

Okay, so the first thing I noticed is that your decision to use second person here was a great one! I don't know what it is about second person, but I just love it SO much - I think it really helps the reader feel connected with the story and the characters, and you did a fabulous job with it!

Also, reading from Regulus' point of view is just heartbreaking. Seeing that, deep down, he really cares about his brother and just wants everyone to be together, really makes him more like-able and a more rounded character. And it's so sad hearing him think "if I'd known it was the last time I'd talk to him". :(

And *raises eyebrow* That man? You've definitely grabbed my curiosity here! What's going on? Guess I'll have to keep reading to find out, won't I? :P

OH WOW. You have done SUCH a great job with the emotions here, and with your characterization of Mrs. Black.. just, wow. Before I read this, I'd always kind of viewed her as a nuisance and a mean woman... but here, you've actually shown that Regulus was AFRAID of her, she's so threatening and nasty! And, by showing how afraid Regulus is, you've kind of made me afraid of her too. *hides* That just goes to show how wonderful of a job you've done here with the emotions, that you can make ME feel what your characters are feeling!

Oh no, poor Sirius!! And poor Regulus, too! He wants to help his brother but he's too terrified to even move! And it's so heartbreaking to see the way he's beating himself up about it, even after so much time... I really wish he could just find some way to communicate with Sirius how sorry he is, and ask him the questions he wants to know about his life. :(

And :O *Gasps* Oh my goodness, that ending is just SO powerful! Based on the context, I'm assuming that this is the part where Regulus takes the horcrux, and to think that Sirius was Regulus' reason for wanting to do that, for wanting to stand up to Voldemort and not be a coward anymore is just... sweet and sad at the same time. I really wish Sirius had known that Regulus had changed his ways before they died... I wish they'd been able to reconcile! And, reading this has really made me think I need to go give "Breathe" a read... I'll have to add that to my "to read" list!

Anyway, this is a very intense and emotional story, lovely, I'm so glad I read it. Your writing here is so amazing, there were no spelling or grammar errors that I saw, and it flowed wonderfully. Really, really well done! And Congratulations again!

Author's Response: Hello! I'm really sorry this took so long to respond to. Gah.

Oh, I'm so glad you think I pulled off the second person. I've never really written in it before so I was definitely nervous about it.

Regulus Black breaks my heart, and I've wanted to write a story about him for a long time. I'm really happy that I was finally able to do so.

Unfortunately, the whole "that man" thing is an event from Breathe and wasn't really explained within this story (as I'm sure you realized :P) - I hope you weren't put off/confused by that too much.

I've always viewed Walburga Black as a very abusive woman. That really tends to make its way into my stories, I think :P It's cool that I managed to change your view on her or at least the way you looked at her in the context of this story!

You guess right about the ending, and I really wish those things too :( Like I mentioned, Regulus breaks my heart, and I really wish that he and Sirius had been able to reconcile :(

I'm really happy that you liked my story, and thank you so much for this really lovely review!

-Kayla


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