Oh Violet! This is absolutely wonderful. I love the feeling of this story and i love the imagery! It was so lovely and so interwoven into the story seamlessly. I felt this story, all the way through. It's a piece of work that sort of speaks to the soul, you know? I think everyone feel that inadequacy sometimes the idea that there are brighter stars out there somewhere. But what i loved about this is that through it, he was able to conquer it, to find a bit more brightness and to let himself shine by giving the ultimate sacrifice. He was able to find that flame in him and fight back eventually. I think that's all you can ever ask of a person. What makes this piece especially sad is that you know that Sirius would never have been willing to do the same. It was a one way street and it was so haunting and beautiful and the same time that Regulus himself recognizes this but still goes through with it.
You should be so proud of this piece because you wield words so beautifully and lead the reader where you want them to go. I loved the ambiguousness of this and the unanswered questions because it seems to point to a bigger story than the one you've just written. I love when authors can do that.
I loved Regulus here. His character just sent shivers down my spine and i just connected to him. His confusion his search for greatness which only led him to disillusion. I loved how you explored that and packed in so much punch as you did so. The idea that he worshipped his brother, the bright flame made this all the more sadder (gah, yes, i just used that word, but i feel a bit incoherent after reading this, so excuse me ;p) because we see these scenes where he's forced into taking the mark, forced beliefs, and then here trying to get rid of the mark. That in itself is a powerful image and evokes a lot of emotions. I especially liked the repetition of the Blackness because there were so many meanings to it for both Regulus and Sirius. I liked how it also portrayed Sirius and that one line characterized Sirius as i've always imagined him, still a Black and can never get away from that, no matter how hard her tries, there is that blackness in him too.
This is just so beautiful and i hope you are incredibly proud of what you've done here because this kind of writing is the writing i want to read in OF. This is the stuff real books should be made of. You're able to pull in to much into this, all these allusions, references and pull them altogether so seamlessly. great job!! Thank you for posting this!
Author's Response: Wow, Zayne, thank you so much for this! It's unexpected and long and wonderful - hopefully that's enough of an excuse for my speechlessness. Usually it doesn't take me so long to respond to reviews, but these long ones have left me sighing and wubbing over them. But it's been well over a month, and I have to respond before things get too out of hand. *hides*
I'm still trying to get over your compliments - right from the beginning, I don't know what to say except for a big thank you! It means a lot that you enjoyed the imagery and the feelings this story evoked - I really wanted to write something seeped in imagery. Some would say that I love imagery too much, but there's something wondrous about losing yourself in it while writing, and I just have to get it out of my system. I didn't expect the story to become so emotional a read - it was meant to be an exploration of a divided mind, but the further I delved in that exploration, the more pain I discovered. Regulus is a tragic figure, plunged into something way above his head, and there was never a chance that he could survive. Even if he had been completely loyal to Voldemort, he couldn't have been anything more than cannon fodder. Against older and more powerful witches and wizards, he would have had little, if no chance in battle. I don't know if he quite becomes an object of pity, but it's close.
*blushes* I'm still not satisfied with it, but I don't hate it. That's more than enough. :P Though you're right that there's a lot more to this story - perhaps it's that ambiguousness that bothers me because I have the larger story in my head, but I couldn't include everything in the story. It's up to readers to find their own answers to the questions - I'm sure that many readers have different questions, too. Regulus has a lot of potential in fanfiction because there's so much blank space surrounding him, so much that's unknown. But no story could ever wholly capture him - there's something too elusive about him. Even his own family didn't know him.
This response has been little more than a ramble, sorry about that. Thank you again for this fantastic review. It means a lot to hear from you, and even more to hear that you liked this story so much. It's made me very happy. ^_^