Tagging you from the Review the Person Above You thread in the common room.
As you did in the last chapter, I thought you did a great job of capturing the Black family in all of their twisted, conflicted glory. Poor Sirius is basically a prisoner in his own family and Andromeda seems to be the same. Bellatrix is fiendishly evil. She just doesn't care what other people think. Walburga and Cygnus are so caught up in maintaining their appearances that their children's well-being is mostly an after-thought.
“'Mummy, what’s a mudblood?' a small girl with pigtails tugged on her mother’s leg. People around her gasped, more mutterings filled the air." - I loved what you did with this line. It highlights how offensive the term is, even back in this era and gives us a great indication of just how far out of touch the Black family is.
Dorea and Charlus's entrance is beautifully timed and you manage to actually slip quite a bit of character and plot development into a relatively innocuous section. It was almost coy! So James is actually first cousins with Walburga and Cygnus, making him a generation above Sirius, Bellatrix and their siblings. This definitely fits nicely with the idea that James's parents were elderly. I like it better than some tics I've read where the author places an "unknown" generation in between Charlus and James. At any rate, I'm certain they spared Sirius from a horrible scene at the train station. It was a really clever way to set another canon plot line in motion!
Remus's section gave us a very interesting look inside what it's like to struggle with lycanthropy on the other 27 days of the month. I thought the way that some of the other students think of him as having this perfect life tied together nicely with the holiday scene you laid out in the last chapter. Remus Lupin is a child who's carrying so many secrets and living out so many lies and contradictions. It's a miracle that he doesn't just explode! In the end, he can't even be completely honest with his best friends. I feel very sad for him.
Peter's section was really heart-warming and intense, all at the same time. I really liked how you managed his mishap with Mary and Amelia. They both seemed to be at about the right level of maturity for First Years, even if life is aging Amelia prematurely in some ways. They laugh Peter's antics off. The encounter with the Slytherins was really well done. You created lots of tension and reinforced Lucius as a villain. Yet the other Marauders managed to come to Peter's rescue and Peter even turned out to be the one who helped them get away, albeit by accident. I did find one little, bitty typo in this section: "James, Sirius and Remus stood at the other end of the corridor – they’re wands raised." should be "their".
In spite of the supremely angst tone, I think the final section was my favorite. James finally gets the slap upside the head that he's needed for... well, probably for a really long time. And it comes by way of Lily, which makes it that much more impactful. He clearly isn't a bad kid, just just has no idea how wonderful his life has been. He doesn't seem to understand that life can be hard and not everybody has two doting, wealthy, elderly parents who absolutely adore them. I also like the direction you started Lily off in. Most fics seem to portray her as coming from a middle to upper-middle class background, which doesn't really seem consistent with the idea that she and Severus grew up in the same place. Sirius's walls start to come down a bit, as well. All in all, I think James began to make that long, slow turn toward being a better person in this chapter. But I'm sure he'll have many mis-starts on that journey.
Aside from that one, small typo, your writing was terrific once again! Everything is so easy to follow and you do a great job of blending narrative and dialog and mixing up your word choice so that nothing sounds repetitive or singsongy.
Another splendid chapter! Report Review
Tagging you from the Review the Person Above You thread in the common room!
It's been a while since I've read this, so I was excited to get back to it! Especially for something as interesting as your take on the Christmas holidays. It's going to be interesting to follow each of the Marauders in turn.
I really like what you did with the Black family, even though there's obviously not a thing to like about most of them. Sirius, Andromeda and Regulus are like their own little splinter group within the family, along with their uncle Alphard. Aside from dovetailing well with canon, I also liked the continuum that it sets up within the family. Whether among the adults or the children, you have a spectrum with certain people at one end (Druella, Orion, Bellatrix), certain people at the other (Alphard, Sirius) and the others somewhere in between the extremes. Out of all of them, I honestly think I felt the worst for Regulus. Like his brother, he's suffering for something he has no control over. At least Sirius has gained new friends and opportunities from being sorted into Gryffindor, while poor Regulus must continue to suffer at home.
The tradition of reciting from the family tree was the crowning touch for these horrible, status-obsessed people. What an awful thing to do to your children.
Remus's reunion with his parents was heart-warming. Probably my favorite part of the whole chapter. They feel such relief when they find out that he's been able to make friends and blend in at school and his lycanthropy hasn't made him an outcast. I think anyone who's ever sent a child to school can relate. You want your children to be normal and happy!
And it keeps going! It's so unusual to see him genuinely happy. I swear, you almost melted my heart in this chapter. Remus is such a tormented soul, and it was wonderful to see him in this place where nobody has any idea that he's even a wizard, let alone a werewolf. Here, he's just a boy, and his natural kindness, intelligence and friendly disposition let him stand out for all the right reasons. The sentiment is so lovely!
In nearly ever Marauders fic I've ever read, the author seems, at some level or other, to try to answer the question, "what made Peter do it?" What turned this awkward, shy, overweight boy into a traitor who sold his best friends out to the Dark Lord. I think you have a pretty good start so far. His home life was clearly terrible. Such poverty and regret. For a wizard to feel as though life would have been better somehow if he'd been a squib... That's a heavy thing. And I'm guessing that Sarah was Peter's sister and something happened to her? Possibly at the same time his mother became an invalid? It will be interesting to see where you continue to take his story...
James's holiday story was strangely mixed. On the one hand, it's plainly obvious that he's a spoiled brat. He has everything imaginable, but he's whining that he's bored. I loved his guess about how Sirius and his family were spending Christmas. That was a really funny touch, but it doesn't really salvage him for me.
On the other hand, his parents clearly have their head screwed on straight. I liked the utilitarian approach they take to dealing with Dorea's family. They want James to have no part of them, but the recognize the important of staying in the good graces of the Blacks. We all know that it doesn't work out for James in the end, but it probably buys him more time then he otherwise might have had after the Dark Lord began his ascent.
And finding the invisibility cloak! What a nice little touch.
Your writing was terrific in this chapter. Everything flowed very nicely and it was free of any distracting typos or grammatical errors. To be as long as it was, it was a quick read.
Nicely done! Report Review
I loved this one; there's so much innocence and joy with them, but they all have their own troubles. I love how you bring them all together. Fantastic job!Author's Response: Thank you very much! I've got rubbish writers block at the moment but hopefully the next chapter won't be too far away! Keira :) Report Review
i'm really hoping i wouldn't have to wait another month for the next chapter.. I just read the whole story so far in like, an hour. I thoroughly enjoyed it! You have NO idea how much I love the Marauders and I love the idea of this story, following their life from start to end.
You've imagined life into each of the characters, not portraying them as flat and predictable, and I find that really refreshing.
I can't wait to read the rest of the story :)Author's Response: My writers block still remains, but I feel like there are cracks appearing - so fingers crossed, it won't be too long! I've already completed Sirius part and a bit of Remus! :)
Thank you so much for leaving such a lovely review and I'm really glad you're enjoying it! Keira :) Report Review
FINALLY YES! Makes my day when I see you've updated!
Loved Sirius looking out for this brother, that was really nice. You saw how much he does care about him, and the sad thing is that we all know that in the end the boys just go their separate ways. Also the exchange with James about shaving made me laugh so much. It was brilliant writing.
Em... If I am honest with you, I didn't like Remus's chapter much - mostly because Dumbledore would have ensured that no matter what, Lupin couldn't escape the Shack during the full-moon, so I just didn't find the idea that Remus could splinter the door and get out realistic. I'd imagine the shack is magically protected too, it's not just boarded up windows and doors keeping Remus inside. Fred and George tried everything to get in, remember, and couldn't? I just don't think Dumbledore would leave anything to chance, and run the risk of Remus getting out. He's the most powerful wizard in the world, and I doubt a werewolf is stronger than Dumbledore's protective spells. But please don't think I'm being mean or anything, I'm just being honest... I really love this story, honest, but I just feel that you've got it wrong in this instance... then again, it could just be me and I could be wrong...
I really liked the music exchange with Mary and Peter though - saw the name Wormtail crop up - is that the origin of his oh-so-infamous nickname there?
James's piece really made me laugh. I loved the idea of Pogo. It was so nice and sweet, especially the piece where he believes that his pet has gone off to look for his family. It was just really innocent, but then that innocence is robbed when he discovers the truth. And the idea about the Swarp's nest was great too! I really liked how you gave Hagrid the last line as well - is this the start of the friendship between them???
Just on an aside - you say you've had a lot of writer's block with this - so I was just wondering, do you have a detailed plan or are you just writing each chapter as it comes? I find always having a very detailed plan of where you're going really helps avoid writer's block - even if it's just a collection of hap-hazard sentences stating what is going to happen. Before you start just sit down and jot down ideas - these events will happen in first-year, these in second-year etc. And say you're building to a big point in third year, you can be dropping little hints in earlier chapters foreshadowing this big point (JK Rowling did that a lot - the casual reference to the vanishing cabinet in OOTP for example, to the fleeting reference to Harry being a Horcrux in Chamber of Secrets: "Voldemort put a piece of himself in me?") - you say in your A/N that you're dropping hints about Peter - keep that up, that's that way to do it, because if you know the point to which the story is building, then you avoid both writer's block and including chapters that don't really serve the overall plot (not that you're doing that or anything, but every now and again writers do fall into that hole a bit). This just works for me anyway, for the novel fic I'm working on at the minute, I've over 50,000 words worth of plot notes and plans, it just helps, so I know exactly where I'm going and what happens in each chapter. I find it really prevents writer's block, but then again, everyone's different, what works for me, might not work for others. I just thought I would give you the tip, just in case you might find it helpful. Because I really love this story, so I would prefer if you didn't have writer's block either ;)
Anyway, keep up the great work! Can't wait for more and more "Playing At War". :) Report Review
Yay definitely an update! all to say is everything flows smoothly and perfectly. Loved James and Pogo and the swarp's nest.
It was the gamekeeper. Hagrid.
“Yeh stole me Swarps nes’,” he growled, his beetle-black eyes scanning over us.
Okay and now time for the best character of this chapter i.e.
"Remus"Author's Response: Hi!
Oh - I'm so glad you like Remus! He's got a great (slightly biased) plot line coming up. Though Peter's is pretty intense :D
Thank you so much for reviewing! Keira :) Report Review
Loved it! Poor Peter and Remus though =( James is such a brat though! I hope he grows into a nicer guy ha ha! Poor Reg though =( And Sirius. . .
Can't wait for more update soon please!
Great job!Author's Response: Hello again!
Thanks for reviewing this chapter as well! James is.. a work in progress. He's never had to adapt or fit in with other people - things have always gone his way. Hogwarts is really his wake-up call - hopefully you'll see him mature gradually! (Not too fast - I love writing brattish James!)
I'm going to write the next chapter this week, so hopefully it'll be up soon!
Keira :) Report Review
Hi so this has been on my to read list for a long time, and then I went on my favorites list today and saw you reached 99 reviews. I just couldn't pass up this wonderful excuse to procrastinate on Nano.
Anywho, I thought that this chapter was just as good as the past two. I like how you're continueing with the whole quarter of each chapter is from each marauders point of view.
The characterization of everyone was fenominal. I totally got the whole Sirius is mischeivous, but still nice, Peter is a follower, Remus is a werewolf, and James is spoiled feeling from this. I feel like you've opened up a huge window for growth for the characters as obviously James isn't this spoiled little boy by the time that he reaches seventh year.
I also like how you're working in all these little back stories while you write. You've got some back round on the Sirius-Kreacher animosity, some backround on the whomping willow, some backround on how the laundry is done at Hogwarts- all these little details that you don't generally think about when reading the books. It really makes you think about all the little things that everyone's overlooked in the books.
Anyway great chapter, great story, hopefully it won't be another month until I get around to chapter 4 :)
-BoOkWoRm24Author's Response: Hello!
THANK YOU FOR BEING MY 100TH REVIEW! You deserve a hat! (I would say a wand.. but I'm all out.) xD
I'm so sorry for this extremely late reply! I've just finished my last exam which means I finally have time to respond to your really kind review and begin to start writing the next chapters! :)
The four POVs will hopefully continue until they start to... 'drop off' (:() - it means that I can easily continue their story until there's nothing left to tell.
:O! Thank you! Characterisation is my main focus, and I'm so glad that it's coming across! Hogwarts is the place where they grow and become the adults that they should be - it's going to be fun to write it!
Thanks for reviewing, and I really hope you continue to enjoy Mischief Managed! I hope your NaNo is on target?!
Keira :) Report Review
The personalities of the boys are all so unique and accurate! I like how you gave us a little backstory for each boy without going into a long, detailed introduction. It's much more interesting to read!
For the first chapter, it was vey strong, and I shall now read on! :)Author's Response: Hello :) I'm sorry for the late reply - I've just had my last exams, so I'm fully focusing on HPFF now! xD
Thank you! I'm glad you think so - the characterisation has always been my greatest focus. It was really kind of you to review, I hope you continue to enjoy what's to come.
Keira :) Report Review
I feel so sad for Remus and Peter!!!
Anyways, great job! Loved it!Author's Response: Thanks for reviewing again! Yey! It's hard to get people to pity Peter - he wasn't always evil! :P
Keira :) Report Review
Finally a story to read from the very beginning that seems promisng =)
Poor Remus! That part was so sad. . .
James seems like a lil punk hahah anyways good job! I loved it!Author's Response: Hello :) I'm sorry for the late reply - I've just had my last exams, so I'm fully focusing on HPFF now! xD
Oh! Well, thank you very much! I'm glad that you're enjoying the story so far - I have big plans and plots for this one! :) James is always fun to write - he never quite gets 'it' - does he?
Thank you for your review, keira :) Report Review
Love the way you've written this. Remus and James' sortings were done exceptionally well. Loved the lines "What are you?" "A Gryffindor" it shows that remus knows who he really is but is still self concious about what others think and I believe this stays with him forever. I love how James thinks of his father and how his home life is percieved as being perfect. Really great story.Author's Response: Hello :) I'm sorry for the late reply - I've just had my last exams, so I'm fully focusing on HPFF now! xD
Remus and James are similar in that they both percieve the world wrongly - as you've picked up on! - and this develops in future chapters. :)
Thank you for your lovely review - I'm so glad that you're enjoying the story so far and I really hope that you continue to do so! Report Review
Love this chapter. I have a feeling that James is about to realize Remus's little secret. :) When does James fall in love with Lily in your story? I love your story. Please keep up the great work and thanks for posting your story for all of us to enjoy. I can't wait to see what happens next. :)Author's Response: Hello xD
Oh, they're definetely getting closer! Second Year will be the year. :P
James... is a little 'behind' on his emotions. I imagine that he'll start to realise in third or fourth year that he might feel something for her. But before that, his feelings are completely confusing! :P
I've got exams at the moment, but as soon as they're over then I'm purely focussing on HPFF so hopefully updates will be quicker! :)
Thanks for all your lovely and encouraging reviews! I really hope you continue to enjoy the coming chapters! :)
Keira :) Report Review
Love your story. :) I can't wait to see what you have the guys do next. :)Author's Response: Thanks for carrying on reading and reviewing! Oh - they'll always be up to something! ;)
Keira :) Report Review
Love your story. It is really great. Keep up the amazing work. :) I love ur story and can't wait to read the next chapter. :)Author's Response: Awh - well thank you very much. I'm so glad that you're enjoying this story to far! Thanks again, Keira :) Report Review
I love that you have James ans Sirius being related. :) I love your story and i can't wait to see what happens next.Author's Response: It's an interesting match! According to J.K's Black Family Tree, Sirius' great-grandparents had a sibling called Dorea who married Charlus Potter and had one unnamed son. The dates seem to fit so I've always figured it to be too much of a coincidence :P
Thanks for reading and reviewing, again! Keira :) Report Review
Love this chapter. :) Figures James would borrow his dad's cloak. :) I can't wait to see what happens next.Author's Response: The problem with borrowing... is that James doesn't intend to give it back. ;)
Haha, thanks again for reading another chapter (and reviewing)! Keira :) Report Review
I love ur story and i can't wait to read the next chapter. :)Author's Response: Hello :)
Oh, I'm so glad! Chapter 1 is actually in the queue for a re-edit at the moment so hopefully it will read better soon! :P Thanks for reading and reviewing! Keira :) Report Review
once again a nice chapter and a great start to second year, mixed with fear, anxiety, pranks and everything.
And i just love how you start with Sirius and end with James (oh his mischiefs). This year is certainly James year, all others need to gain still more confidence.
The best character i like is James, and Peter is so realistic. Bring out something more in Remus like u did in last chapter.
Well i dint review any other chapters before this because i m very lazy (excuses i know). so you can also call me selfish; but i know i like this story and said what i felt like.
Keep writing, and have good exams :-)Author's Response: Hello :)
James is always fun to write - he really doesn't seem to have any boundaries! Ah! I'm so glad that you don't find Peter the worst character in the world! I'm on a mission to make him more likeable! :P Remus: I understand what you mean; I'll make sure to give Remus some spotlight time in the next chapter! :)
Oh - don't worry about that! :) I'm just glad you're enjoying the story! Thank you! :) Keira Report Review
Love this chapter. I always wondered how Sirius was treated his first year. I love your story. I can't wait to see what happens next. :)Author's Response: Hello :)
Awh - thank you very much! This chapter (and Chapter 1) are currently in the queue to be edited. So hopefully it'll flow slightly better soon. :)
Thanks for reading and reviewing! Keira :) Report Review
Love how ur story starts. :) I can't wait to see what you do with it next. :)Author's Response: Hello :)
Thank you for reading and reviewing this chapter! :) Hope you enjoy what's to come! xD Report Review
Yay! An update - this always makes my day!
I really liked Regulus in Sirius's section. I liked how protective Sirius was of him, but also how Regulus has essentially been brainwashed in Sirius's absence. I really liked the moment when he asked Amelia why muggle-borns and wizards should be treated the same. it was a very innocent question, because he is out in the world now, so he doesn't know there are other opinions to those of his parents. I also liked how Sirius become more and more alarmed because Regulus wasn't acting like himself, but the tragedy is that this is what Regulus is like now. He's changed without Sirius even noticing.
I liked also how you are slowly getting James and Sirius to work out that Remus is a werewolf. Dropping all the hints - Madam Pomfrey taking him away, Mary stating that he has the worst luck in the world and listing all his absences, and even the prank with the first-years, the mention of the full-moon and werewolves. I loved the prank at the end too, and Jack asking "Do I want to know?" too. That was brilliant!
Anyway, keep writing, can't wait for more (of this and Playing At War). Please update soon, hope school is going alright for you! :)Author's Response: Oh! I'm so glad - your reviews always make mine!
I'm really sorry for this extremely late reply! I've just finished my last exam which means I finally have time to respond to your great review and begin to start writing the next chapters! :) So expect updates soon!
Ah! You've caught the relationship that I was trying to portray perfectly! Regulus is slowly changing - Sirius was always there to act as a barrier between reg and his parents; once Sirius was removed, he was their new target and Sirius just can't slip back into his role as everything has changed. :)
They're getting there - all three of the boys have been brought up in a world where werewolves are monsters and wicked - Remus doesn't fit that 'quota' so the answer just isn't clicking! :P
I love writing the relationship between the boys and the Seventh Years - they really act as role models and... oh I so wish that I could tell you the future plots! Haha!
As I said, I've just finsihed my exams - I hope yours have gone okay? It's so hard to put school first! :S
I'll write the next chapter this week, so hopefully it'll be up soon. Thanks for your continuously amazing reviews.
i love this story! It is so great to get see into the minds of all four of the boys. Keep writing I can't wait to read the rest!!!Author's Response: Hello :)
Thank you very much! I'm in exams at the moment - but as soon as we break up for summer there will be lots of updates! :)
Thanks for reading and reviewing! :) Report Review
This story is so much fun! I love reading it, I get so wrapped in it. How you incorporate the war (which I'm impressed you knew started so early, because most people don't) in pieces but still have all the fun and the different elements of all the characters, it's incredible. I love how James tries to apologize for that one time he spoke to Lily without thinking but it keeps spiraling! It makes their dynamic and their whole story is so cool and as you build up to it, it'll just get more epic! And Sirius with his family; I can see the beginnings of what we know he does in his later years. With Remus' secret, you seem to know exactly how to bring it all together; you've even got those mischief-makers piecing together the story in the last chapter! I love Peter's back story, it really changes how I see him within the Marauder dynamic and how he'll eventually behave. I just love this story, it's so incredible. I'm so excited to see how to take it through everything. You said at the beginning something about mistakes, but they're so easy to overlook in the midst of this story's awesomeness. You even have the Prewett twins and Frank Longbottom and Malfoy the right ages! I don't even do that sometimes! (By the by, you've probably heard this, but James' birthday is in March.) You've got me hooked until the very end.Author's Response: I'm so sorry for this extremely late reply! I've just finished my last exam which means I finally have time to respond to your really kind review and begin to start writing the next chapters! :)
Wow! Thank you so much for that! This review really made my day!
James.. is in his own world really - he hasn't really ever needed to adapt and change to fit in with everyone else - I think it's part of what makes him a leader in the future.
They're getting there - all three of the boys have been brought up in a world where werewolves are monsters and wicked - remus doesn't fit that 'quota' so they don't recognise the signs immediately. :)
I've fixed James' birthday (for some reason I wrote the wrong month originally!) - so thank you for pointing it out!
Just.. thank you so much for such a wonderful review! I'm going to write the next chapter this week, so depending on the queue - it will be up soon! :)
Keira :) Report Review
Back for your second review! :D So sorry if it's a short chapter but I'm at work right now...
Overall this was a great chapter. The humor, like the swords bit and James getting plastic ones was great.
I like the dynamic between James & Lily. Poor James...trying to make things better but failing. Badly!
Also, Peter here...there are moments I forget who he is and what he did. I'm not 100% sure if we know his story with his sister and the accident...so I'm going back a few chapters to see.
You have a slight formatting issue. Some of your paragraph's are not spaced out.
Other than that...that's it! :D
Until next time!Author's Response: Hello :)
Hopefully you've seen my other response - so you will understand why I'm replying late. :)
Awh - thank you very much. :) Peter's accident hasn't been revealed yet - so you haven't missed that part yet! :)
The chapters have just been put through a re-edit, so hopefully the spacing has been sorted!
Thanks for reviewing, Keira :) Report Review
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