I loved the way you ended this! And Clara -- what a lovely (Hah. Hahahahahaha. :|) twist to have her be so cold at the end. I didn't know what to expect. Which is usually the way I feel about your writing, which is always good, as you very well know. I've favorited this, and I can't wait for more updates. The narrator (:P) is subtly, perfectly thrilling. I think ... I think this line was my favorite:
There are other ways - better ways - to ruin someone. And you deserve the best.
Just because ... WHAT THE HECK?! The best? Oh, my God. So, so scary. And I actually just remembered that I have a great (if albeit somewhat intense and rather long and perhaps not to your tastes) fic that deals with mind-warping and destruction of self, so if you ever need any help with that (not that you would, but you know me xD), just shoot me a PM. BUT YEAH. This is beautiful, not that I would expect anything less, and very, very creepy.
Also, kudos to whoever made your banner (Gina, wasn't it?). It's absolutely amazing.
Again, another perfect work! But that's not much of a surprise, my lovely Gubster. Do carry on. I already can't wait for the next chapter. Mwahahaha.
Kalina.Author's Response: I didn't actually see it as Clara being cold at the end, and if she is cold, doesn't she have something of a right to be that way? After the way our narrator treats her? I thought it was more defiant than cold, but Clara is something of a frosty person, isn't she?
*blush* You know I haven't written for awhile, so it's wonderful to hear that I still have something up my sleeve! And if you don't know what to expect, I sure as heck don't know either. My ideas are very hazy/unclear as of yet, so we're both in the dark right now.
Oh, the narrator. I really do like that person. I've been trying to imagine what the narrator's life was like before all the craziness started, and it's hard to do! It's like I can't separate non-crazy from crazy, which is a very dangerous thing, so I'm worried. But hopefully it will turn out well, and I will definitely ask you about this fic of yours (plus, it's an excuse to read more stuff of yours!).
Gina actually blew me away with that banner. It's actually influencing the tone of the story more than I expected (but that happens to me literally all the time) so I'm in love with it.
Please don't say perfect. It does horrible things to my ego. :P But THANK YOU for all of your help with this story and for this lovely (oh, no, I can't use that word anymore -__-) review. Love you! (: Report Review
Perhaps one of the most poignant and eloquent stories I've seen from you, Susan, at least in this length. As always, you write Dumbledore to absolute, heartwrenching, eyewatering perfection, and this was left nothing to be desired. Albus was literally perfect ... the cruelty of his gaze, of his demeanor, towards his brother is absolutely on point. It's terrifying, to know that this young, avaricious, and ambitious boy could become the man with the twinkling blue eyes that we know so well. But, again, everyone has skeletons in their closet.
And in regards to those skeletons, you've presented a beautiful one here: that Albus cannot, will not, allow himself to be defeated, least of all by a question. Thinking about it, I kind of realized that a question to which we do not know the answer is the most terrible foe: it can deal you countless damage, but what can you do in return? Beautiful, Susan, absolutely beautiful.
And Aberforth! So young, so determined, so completely dominated by his older brother. Strange that he'd become the man and goat in the Hog's Head ... I'd like to see a story that develops his character, writes his life out (and there we go, another plot bunny on the run).
I am absolutely unsurprised that you won the staff challenge, as I can hardly imagine anybody writing something more touching, more real, than this. A masterpiece, Susan. Really, really astounding. I doff my hat to you. :)
XOXO, Kalina.Author's Response: Wow! I really don't know how to respond to this. I've tried a couple of times, but just can't make it sound good enough. This review is amazing, and I really didn't expect this story to be much of anything. I rushed to write it and just went with my gut feels, no plans or anything. Why is it that the stories I don't think will be important end up becoming so? It's so weird and disconcerting, but you know, I love it! XD It's really amazing to have been able to come up with a story like this.
Dumbledore's personality is a strange one, and this was the first time I'd really gotten into his character as a young man, before his transformation, the guilt that haunts him beyond his death. I tried to think of the most egotistic, intelligent person I could imagine - so there was House and Sherlock Holmes. What was scary afterward was how easy it was to write from that perspective. It was like unleashing some unconscious side of myself. :P Or maybe not so unconscious. That's where I got the idea of centering the story on that one question. I've had them too often and they're excruciating. No matter how many have told me not to worry so much over one question, it's impossible not to.
Aberforth? Now there's someone I didn't pay any attention to at all. :P It's great that you liked him, though. I think that, like Albus, Aberforth changed after the death of Arianna - how could he not? It could have made him go mad with grief and anger.
Thanks so very much for reading and reviewing this so thoroughly, Kalina. It means a lot to hear from you. ^_^ Report Review
What an excellent chapter, Susan! ^_^ I truly enjoyed it, it was wonderful! Lily was appropriately dramatic, as I had imagined her to be, and yet not quite so ridiculous as she sounded in the letter. She's had everything her entire life - what has she to strive for? God, may she and Scorpius rot in the cesspool of their shared money and fame. Ech. Scorpius absolutely does not deserve Rose. :P
There were a few spelling and grammar inconsistencies, but that's nothing major. In short, I absolutely loved this chapter - and this story! And you wrapped it up fantastically. :) Why are you so brilliant?
XOXO, KalinaAuthor's Response: Thank you very much, Kalina! It always means a lot when you enjoy a chapter of this story, since it isn't my usual type of story (though it's turning into it slowly with all the psychological turmoil going on within Rose :P). I like the idea of Lily as the spoiled girl - she hasn't needed to fight for anything in her life, and so she expects the world on a silver salver. It really makes her perfect for Scorpius. XD
Not surprised about the grammar/typos. I did rush this one out. Hopefully I'll be able to fix those soon. Thank you very much for reading and reviewing! ^_^
I will ignore that last question. :P Report Review
So I'm kind of totally jealous of you. This plot is amazing, and to think I prompted you all those months ago! You've definitely proved you can write anything, Jenny. :) And congrats on the Dobby (belatedly, oh well). Gah, I can't wait for an update. I need me more Becker. And Dramione romance. Oh yesh. Yum yum yum. If there's one person who can write that well, Jenny, it's you. Hugs!
XOXO, KalinaAuthor's Response: THANKYOU KALINA i love youuu. thankyou thankyou so much, you know i totes envy you and your stories so it's a huge compliment to hear that you're enjoying this. thankyou!! x Report Review
I've owed you this review for a very long time, and I'm sorry it's so late in coming. :( Life has been so hectic.
I shan't lie, at the beginning, when you first sent it to me, I was a little doubtful of how you would reconcile Tom with Dumbledore. You'd gotten this absolutely fantastic idea - a gyre, a never-ending spiral, which is why we all love Yeats - and you wanted to apply it to a real life concept. And what's this concept? Minerva in a crowd, emotions pressuring in about her just as everyone swirls and melds around her, feeling as though she is in a whirlpool or perhaps at some great height, hunted by something which doesn't exist.
It's a phenomenal concept, and I honestly believe that only you could have come up with it. I wonder, though, because in your Author's Note you mention that it was inspired by a real-life event. I sincerely hope that you didn't feel quite so dizzy as Minerva herself - because I rather pity her in this one-shot. All of her memories are clamoring in her mind, desperate to be heard, and as she moves in a circle they all are jolted into existence.
I have this odd image of Minerva strapped to one of those wheels on which they would torture medieval prisoners. It's a gory image, although she's alive, but that sentence, "the gyre turns once more", inspired it. Her impotency, her inability to make anything out of what's happening to her is matched in my mind by the fact that she's tied by leather straps to a wooden wheel. You know my mind works in very odd and convoluted ways. But there you have it. Minerva and her small torture. In retrospect, she inflicts it a little bit on herself. Masochist Minerva. It suits her, and it suits her most especially in this one-shot.
It's her last lie at the end that gets me, though. In a way, it's the perfect ending, the perfect reason why Minerva gives up the gyre, why the turning evaporates, but it makes me wonder. Does she wish so strongly to shine in Dumbledore's eyes? What is it about him that gets her so? Why did he spark the memories? You leave so many questions hanging, and I love that about this story. I don't need an answer, I can create my own. You play off of your reader's intelligence and their own imagination, and for that, I thank you. Spelling everything out was never condemnable, but it lessens the mystery in a story.
And we all know you relish mystery. :) This is a beautiful one-shot, Susan. You should be proud. Were you to change the names to that of OCs, I want you to send this off to the New Yorker. Sound good? Okay? Okay. Good. I shall look forward to seeing it. Because this is, in one simple word, astounding.
XOXO, KalinaAuthor's Response: If your review was late, then my response is later. *hides* I have to first thank you for your help with this story, pointing me in the right direction and such. It turned out much better for going over it a second time - I used to just write-n-post, but it's amazing how much difference editing can make, and not just getting rid of typos.
It's scary because I didn't "come up" with the idea - it actually happened to me in less hysterical, twisting way - I added to it considerably to make it more dramatic. The lightning struck moment was there, though, and the feeling of that made me want to write about it because it was so intense. Wordsworth and his spontaneous overflow was very correct - emotion makes a story work. :P And Yeats fit, or at least that line or three did - after a professor explained what the gyre is and how it works, I was fascinated by the idea of a never ending spiral and how that related to time.
Minerva on the rack, yes that suits well for this story. It's the turning, turning bit and the way that she tortures herself over these memories and her feelings. She really goes through a lot during this story, which is probably what made it so hard to write - all that suffering was affecting me too.
I'm really really glad that you liked those ending words. I can't remember where they came from, but I loved the contradiction of them - and how often do people do that in real life? They feel awful, yet still say that they're fine - those little everyday lies. Why Minerva does it, I don't know - but like you said, there doesn't need to be an answer. The story isn't about answers, just this moment of feeling that makes her reassess herself. Perhaps, at the end, she's still afraid to admit that she loves him, knowing that nothing will come of it anyway.
The New Yorker?! XD Yes, haha, that would work wonderfully. I am working on a shortened original version, but I will make sure to save this story for something to publish in the future (if I ever get the courage to send anything out :P).
Thank you for this review, Kalina. It always means so much to hear from you and I appreciate that you wrote this out. ^_^ Report Review
Hey! This is psychee from the forums!
Well, I really liked this! ^_^ To be honest, I was expecting a little more ... background, perhaps, into Draco and Hermione's relationship, as witnessed by Ron, but you mirrored his confusion very well. I liked the use of Spellotape, so kudos to blackisback for giving you that item! :) Some of the flow was a little off, especially in sentences like: "Not twenty feet away, Hermione and Draco were snogging away." I think the reason I find it 'off', so to speak, is because you've ... I don't know, made it almost banal? There's not much hurt with Ron right there, though that's entirely your choice (whether or not to make him and Hermione romantically involved).
All in all, very well done! Congrats! :) I'm happy you took up this challenge. ^_^
XOXO, Kalina (Elesphyl or psychee)Author's Response: I'm so glad you liked it! I had, in fact, decided to mostly focus on Ron's emotions while writing this, so I'll admit that writing about Draco and Hermione's past did slip my mind. I didn't want to make them romantically involved because I wanted to... I don't know, exaggerate the tension between them. Well thanks again for reviewing! :) Report Review
I'm here! As promised, and I'm so sorry it took me so long.
First off, did you know I used to have a fic called Erebus? It was planned out to be this uber-long epic ... yeah. Then it died. XD So seeing this called Erebus was a bit of a jolt, y'know! ^_^ But I liked it nonetheless! I especially liked the bit at the beginning where you mention all the things going on around Hogwarts, though it doesn't interfere with the story itself.
The way you've set up their almost-relationship is very intriguing as well. Tom is very, very, very creepy, very much in canon, and kudos to you for capturing him in that perfectly sinful light. :) What I'm jealous of is the way you intertwine canon with the story itself - the Gaunt murders, etc...
It's flawlessly weaved, my dear, and I'm so jealous. I love that he watches her - and that he smiles! ^_^ Write more Tom/Minerva! You do it absolute justice. :) Beautiful, beautiful writing, Kate. *hugs*
XOXO, KalinaAuthor's Response: KALI!!
sorry this has taken me forever to respond to! im a terrible person!!
i did not know that - how strange xD
i can't see tom as being anything but creepy, lol, so im glad that came off. i didn't want him to be stalking her as such, but to always be there, irritating and distracting her.
i had to research my canon for this. i really wanted to make it as real as possible so thank you!
im so glad you liked this!!!
kate xxx Report Review
I think ... I may love you. This was brilliant. Well and truly. One of the best-written parodies in a very long time. Congratulations! All of your reviews seem to be saying the same thing - your wit is unparalleled and I simply loved the Buffy reference at the end (to which - WHOOT! I LOVE BUFFY!)! Great, great job!
XOXO, Kalina (Elesphyl)Author's Response: Ahhw, thank you so much Kalina! I thrilled you like it!
Lovely_Slytheriness Report Review
Would you believe I had never read this until this morning? I cannot believe I hadn't. But now I have. And I am, as ever, awed. Liam actually inspired me to click on to your Author Page and read this. He'd mentioned writing a Tom/Minerva as well (goodness! All of these popping up like daisies - well, so much the better! I'm inspired to write a second one, too :P) and I was rereading some unanswered reviews (I'll get to it, I promise). And then I remarked I had never read "Sharing Fire".
Goodness, what was I thinking, scrolling down your Author Page without bothering to read it? It's absolutely stupendous. Your best yet, by far. Miles by, in fact. It's so ... sinful. Yes. That is the word I am looking for. It's rich in sin, and not just because of the Biblical references, for which I congratulate you on flawless execution. The way he can manipulate people is absolutely seductive, and very, very well-written. Minerva's not the only one under his charm.
Speaking of Minerva, I love the new banner. I could picture Rachel Weisz as Minerva the entire time - a scary thought, because usually people in stories for me have kind of a blur for a face. But no. Here she's distinctly Rachel Weisz. Terrified. Alone. Powerless. But without regret nor remorse. God, I wish I could write like you.
I loved the Shakespeare reference. It fits the two of them remarkably well, I find. As for this line: “I feel regret,” he said, pronouncing each word with care. “You have made me regret, Minerva, and I do not know why.”, I think it is one of the best I have ever read - in fanfiction, or otherwise. Because Tom is so perfectly characterized here. In two sentences, you tell us all we need to know about him.
Absolutely enthralling. I cannot wait for "Widening Gyre". I love it.
XOXO, KalinaAuthor's Response: Wow, thank you very much for this review, Kalina! It was wholly unexpected. To be honest, I thought you'd already reviewed this story. XD Goes to show how well I pay attention to things. It is an older story, and until my latest, it was the most difficult one for me to write, but I am really glad that you enjoyed it so much!
The new banner surprisingly suits the story far better than my earlier ones. I don't know why I chose Rachel Weisz for this one - the picture just happened to look right and to fit (while all the others I'd tried before quite failed :P). I loved the reflection in that picture and how it would sit against the draped fabric stock image. It's excellent that the banner assisted with making the story more vivid - I'd never thought of that before (as I too only see blank faces, never the characters themselves - strange, as I do hear their voices).
The terror was a significant aspect of the story, perhaps because writing it freaked me out entirely. It stemmed from a comparison I'd made between Tom Riddle and Milton's Satan - both charming, charismatic individuals who were obsessed with gaining ultimate power over the universe. That was where the religious references emerged from (as one cannot talk about Milton without talking about the Bible :P). Yet I also wanted to give Tom a little weakness: his regret. I don't know if it's canon, but it really suited the story, and I'm glad you liked that bit. :D
"Rich in sin" is perhaps the best way I've heard this story described. ^_^
Thank you very much for reading and reviewing this, Kalina! It was wonderful to hear your opinions on this story. :D Report Review
Aw, I love this story. James and Amelie are amazing together (not to mention Chuck and Blair forever!). Not a fan of Amelie's mother, though, as a character. I thought she was rather flat, and I'd like to know that perhaps there's a little more depth hidden around somewhere. ^^ But the story is so cute, please continue it!
XOXO, Kalina (Elesphyl)Author's Response: Thanks! Chair for life! I love Gossip Girl! Yeah Florence will have a bit more story time later on so hopefully that will give her a little more 'depth'. The next chapter has just come back from the beta but I need to rewrite a little bit and then I will put it up. Thanks for the review! Report Review
Ahahaha! What a creepy yet enjoyable twist! I really rather liked this one, Ilia! It was a totally original take on my challenge - the idea of a doll is very well done. You didn't go into much detail about how the doll could talk and everything, but it's a magical world, so hehe. :P
I liked that Scorpius was still in Slytherin character. He took very well after his father, even if I didn't quite warm up to him at the end. I thought he was much better characterized in the beginning than in the end, but that's just my personal opinion.
Fabulously original, my dear. ^_^ And congratulations - you're my 100th review!
XOXO, KalinaAuthor's Response: Thank you! I'm glad you liked the way I interpreted your challenge. Yeah, it was a one-shot so I wanted to keep it as streamlined as possible =P
Thank you so much! I've never written Scorpius before so I appreciate your criticism. Thanks for making that challenge! Report Review
Holy cow, Lee Anne. You know what? Why don't I give up writing altogether? Because your plotting - the way you weave a story - surpasses us all. Your writing is amazing. Your characters are amazing. And your PLOTS! *faints* Consumed, Willoway, Legend, this! I'm in such awe of you, and so jealous. So completely jealous I have no idea what I'm going to do about it.
This chapter was, as usual, sublime. I liked that they weren't the perfect couple (which they weren't in the first place), and I liked even better that she lost the argument. A blow to her ego, indeed. And whoot! A squib! (I have a certain fondness for squibs :P)
I'm so excited for the next chapter, my dear, and I hope you are feeling better. By the way - congratulations on finishing Trial By Fire and Consumed!
XOXO, KalinaAuthor's Response: Kali!!!
*hugs* You are totally awesome, do you know that? Every time I see a review from you I hop up from my chair and do a happy dance. ^_^
You're jealous of me? I honestly can't believe that. Did you get my review for "Child of Devil Born"? I feel as though I should give up writing, not you. You're amazing and you have true talent. When I read the first chapter of "Complex" I kept thinking to myself "She's so brilliant. Why couldn't I make France more wild and less stuffy?"
So yes, I don't know what you're talking about. You are a fanfic genius!
I'm so glad you enjoyed this chapter, by the way. I thought it was so-so myself. After all, I'm never happy with what I write. ;)
Thanks again for taking the time to review!!! I hope you have a fantastic week. ^_^
Lee Anne Report Review
Aw, Melanie! *sniffles* I feel awful for the sitting girl. Poor kid has no idea. You've captured the innocence and the fantasies of young love perfectly well, and it's not an obsession. It's just a crush.
Masterful, as with all of your writing, and that last line is perfect. I love it. :)
XOXO, KalinaAuthor's Response: Thanks, Kalina! I had a lot of fun with this challenge, especially since I imagine Sirius as a boy who's fairly oblivious to girls, so I figured the sitting girl's story would be a sad one. Angsty, but like you said, not in an obsessive way.
Thanks so much for the review!! ^_^ Report Review
OMG, Rin! That was beautiful. Well and truly.
You're right, Narcissa staring at a fire, but since I know you completed this for Liam's challenge - you executed it perfectly. Really! I didn't quite understand why Lucius had decided to burn all the paintings, but the imagery you've used in this is mind-boggling.
I especially like this line: There was the canvas of the country house, its copper roof gleaming brightly in the afternoon sunlight. Those who had resided in these paintings once were missing, making the scenes appear empty and alone.
You have a talent for words, my dear. Fantastic. ^_^
XOXO, KalinaAuthor's Response: Kalina, Kalina, Kalina. What am I going to do with you? *blushes* Your reviews always make me smile so much.
To clarify on the whole burning paintings thing, it was because those paintings with other frames could easily transfer information they'd heart at the Manor to the residents where their other frames presided. Maybe I should make that clearer...
Anyway, thanks so much again. It means so much to me! Report Review
First of all, I am SO sorry for not having reviewed this earlier. You reviewed "For Such the Angels Go" and I made a mental note of reviewing this, but for some reason I didn't. So I'll make it up to you now.
Second of all, this makes all of my writing look like camel dung. So nyuh. *sticks out tongue* No false modesty from you, thank you!
Third of all, I love it. Absolutely. The relationship between Tom and Minerva is as unexpected as it is original, and you, being you, capture it with excellence and poise. (Do I sound like an old cotillion matriarch? I do hope I don't. It's not my intent. :P) Really, Gubby. The sandals bit at the beginning - er - end. I don't think I've ever seen such a perfect metaphor nor such perfect writing. The beach in Brighton.
Gubby, this is, without question, your magnum opus. I have read a LOT of your work, and I love it all, but this surpasses everything. Something I especially loved, and it wasn't about the one-shot itself, was that you put the title at the end, along with the author's note. That's something I wouldn't have thought of, and is unique to your flawless mind.
I can't think of any critique. None at all. The game of chess - it's the perfect idea. Absolutely enthralling.
10/10, as per usual. ^^
XOXO, Kalina Report Review
OH MY GOD THAT LAST LINE AND I THINK I'M IN LOVE.
Can I marry your Teddy? Please? He's so, so, so perfect. Just ... perfect! I love the fact that he could read Rose so well - that perhaps she did love Scorpius, but she had well gotten over the fact that he'd died. The lack of entertainment, perhaps not. The thing about Rose in this one-shot is that she's so complex. She's totally bored in my opinion, but is passing it off to her family as grief. I don't know, maybe I'm reading it wrong, but that's my interpretation.
I liked that Teddy wasn't fully appreciative of Scorpius, either. Especially this line: "Listen, I heard about Malfoy, and I'm sorry."
Oh, aye, he's sorry for her, but he doesn't seem compassionate enough to be sorry about the fact that Malfoy died. No. He's sorry that Rose is bored and (perhaps a little bit) sad. The fact that he calls Scorpius Malfoy is also a brilliant touch.
Really, Susan. One of these days you're going to have to share your awesomeness (to steal Shiloh's words), because right now, you're suffocating us. Your talent reigns over us all. I loved this one-shot. Well and truly.
Fantastic, absolutely fantastic.
XOXO, KalinaAuthor's Response: If I may say so, I love the ambiguity of the last line, the last sentence actually. Because there's no subject, it's hard to say whether it's Rose or the stars that are so much alive. It wouldn't have been the same had that last part been connected to the previous sentence.
It's fantastic that you love the Teddy here. I like making him into a quiet, yet very passionate artisty sort of person. Perhaps it's because I see Remus as having the potential for that personality, and so his son gets it in a stronger dose. It helps that I love Teddy (almost as much as Albus Severus, but perhaps when I finish "Winner Takes All" I'll love Teddy more :P), so it's easier to make him into a "perfect" sort of guy. XD
The tension between the Weasley clan and the Malfoys is still there - Rose bridged it for a while, but it seems that her family was relieved when he died. That adds to her guilt in many ways, knowing that her friends and family weren't happy with the match. And perhaps Teddy is also jealous, though that would be extrapolating a bit too much, as I didn't have jealousy in mind when he said that (but author intentionality rarely matters these days :P).
Thank you very much for reading and reviewing this, Kalina. It means a lot to hear from you. ^_^ Report Review
I'm reviewing second because Susan has dibs on first. Here's a little ramble before I begin, just to pass the time:
I'm hungry. Have you ever been really hungry but nothing in the fridge suits your taste? That's me right now, though today, admittedly, I've subsisted on two bowls of Frosted Flakes and a glass of water. I should drink more, a single glass of water isn't healthy. But oh! I want to eat raspberries. Raspberry ice cream ... yumy. Seriously, the most delicious thing on the planet. There is nothing so perfect as a raspberry. Except perhaps this one-shot.
And that, my dear, is my amazing segue into the review. So here you are. :)
Heartbreakingly beautiful. That's what this is, Kate. Heartbreakingly beautiful. An absolute masterpiece. This line: "She said she still loves me," he whispers. "She said we could be together again." It's just ... heartbreaking! And that last line, so poetically perfect. I am in awe, in total awe, of your writing. As per usual, by the way. I love that she kisses him anyways, and I love the imagery of the fire and the moth.
But my favorite line is probably this one:
He has not spoken to her since that night, and each time she sits before her mirror and brushes her hair, she rehearses what she will say to him.
Something about the image of her brushing her hair sets off a very, very strong vibe. It's absolutely entrancing, because I feel like I'm looking in the mirror with her, that my heart is too suspended on a pendulum, and that I, too, might at any moment falter and fall.
I love the chapter title, too. Theater of Stars. Beautiful, and especially beautiful because of that last line. I have absolutely no critique for you, my dear. You have truly made Teddy/Rose come alive. I bow to you.
10/10, because you are unsurpassable.
XOXO, KalinaAuthor's Response: O_O
kalina!! wow. (btw i loved your random ramble ^_^)
thank you so much - you know how much i adore your writing so coming from you, this review has made me grin like the village idiot!
im pleased that this worked out ok - and that the imagery is so strong.
i don't know what else to say only THANK YOU!
kate xxx Report Review
Hey Gina! Kalina here, from INKSTAINS with your review! Anyways, I really liked this! I thought Regulus and Sirius were both very well characterized, and I loved how Regulus was torn between his brother and his parents. It was heartbreaking! How old is Regulus in this, out of curiosity?
The flow was very nice, and you portrayed the fighting scene - from the point of view of an outside observer - very, very nicely. I've added this to my favorites! One thing I did notice was that you have a tendency to "tell" and not to "show". For example:
He had done nothing wrong; why did he feel so terrible?
Because you mention guilt in the previous sentence, you don't need the question. Let the reader ask the question for themselves. It's just a small thing, but it improves your writing a great deal.
Fantastic job, my dear. ^_^
XOXO, KalinaAuthor's Response: Hey Kalina! :)
Regulus is 13 in this particular chapter. I should probably mention that, at least in my AN. Anyway, I'm so glad you liked my characterizations! That is my favorite part of writing, but also the part that I freak out about the most. Haha.
Aw, you're adding this as a favorite!? *huggles* Thanks so much! I'm so flattered!
Thanks so much for pointing that sentence out to me. That's something I struggle with. I'll definitely work on that, because I do agree that it'll improve my writing. And that's the main goal of all authors, isn't it? :)
Thanks so much for the wonderful review! I really appreciate it! Report Review
Hey Len, here for INKSTAIN's Round Robin. I love the interaction with Remus and Mary in here. It's absolutely perfect. There are a few grammar things that could use tweaking, but on the whole, as with most of your writing, it's flawless. I'm totally in love with this story and can't wait for the final chapter! :) And wow, that ending! It's spectacular.
Congratulations on a beautiful fic, my dear! :)
XOXO, KalinaAuthor's Response: Kali,
Again, Thank you so much for coming and reading something I've written. I enjoy hearing from you, and I'm glad you have enjoyed what you have read so far of this fic. Report Review
Whoah ... Len, the descriptions in this were amazing. Beautiful, beautiful writing. The moon, the night, the stars - everything had such a "you" touch to it, and it was really just right. Not too much, not too little.
One thing I don't get, though, is why the ghost said he was part of Teddy. I didn't get that at all - and the idea that the woman locked him in the room to starve to death was amazingly ... gruesome. XD Not in a bad way. I'm not sure I'm entirely convinced that the reason why Teddy couldn't sleep was because of the ghost, but it was a wonderfully original touch.
Chapeau, my dear. An amazing one-shot, with, I'm sure, much more to come from you. :)
XOXO, KalinaAuthor's Response: Kali,
Thank you so much for reading this. You know I always look forward to seeing a review from you. Report Review
Ahaha! This story is brilliant, I absolutely cannot wait for more. I adore the Tedonique ship - it's really one of my favorite ones out there. And given that this time we've got the wedding on the brink and not in the distant future ... hehehe! I absolutely love this, please continue!
XOXO, Kalina (Elesphyl)Author's Response: Thanks so much, Kalina! You're one of my favorite authors on the site so I'm really happy you liked it. An update should come soon as the staff are done with the clean-up. Thanks again for the lovely review! :)
Nadhira Report Review
Oh, that ending! Susan, you've done it again. I loved the subtle (or not-so-subtle) mentions of Snape/Lily in this chapter, they were truly beautiful (and make me even more grounded to go against Snape/OC, natch). It doesn't seem as though you had any trouble fixing Vivien's character again - it worked seamlessly from the last chapter. And Grimm was a true dear in the beginning. Quite like my uncle, in fact. :P
Congratulations on a fantastic chapter, dear! *applauds* You deserve it. ^_^
XOXO, KalinaAuthor's Response: So this nasty piece of work is a success?! Good. :P It was hard enough to write, Vivien being very difficult (which is why I hopped over to Snape for a little while). I'm really glad that this chapter worked out and that you enjoyed it. It's thanks to you that I got through writing this, and also that Vivien managed to be consistent. I don't know why she bothers me to write so much - but then again, Helen used to be the same. Sometimes OCs take more time to flesh out properly. :)
After hating how Snape/Lily appeared in DH, I think I've finally come to terms with it. The ship is beautiful in many ways - beautifully sad, beautifully tragic, beautifully romantic (since Snape never stops loving her, very Victorian :P). I've decided to abandon the Snape/OC side of things. It was supposed to appear later in the story and was going to be one-sided, with Vivien falling for him a bit, but I don't see it now with the way she's turning out. I don't think she's capable of loving anyone in a romantic way. :/
Yay! Grimm worked out! And I kept his appearance limited, otherwise he'd threaten to take over the story. He's a dear to write and it'll get hard when the story gets to the tragic parts. :( It's part of "Fires Within" that I'm not going to change, that Grimm has to die (it's to fit into canon, as he'd never leave Minerva for any other reason).
Okay, this response is far longer than I intended. Oops. Thanks very much for reading and reviewing this new chapter so quickly, Kalina. It really means a lot to hear from you. ^_^ Report Review
Wow, Liz. This was absolutely beautiful. I truly don't think I've ever read such an original, such a stunning one-shot before. A new favorite. I really don't have the words to express how much I liked it.
I loved that every section was one person talking to another, and while I'm not a fan of Harry/Ginny, it worked (and not just because I pretended she was Hermione and the last section was off-canon =P). One thing I would have wished for would have been a Peter section. You'd had it beautifully set up for each of the Marauders speaking, and then, boom, it's Ginny, out of the blue.
But that didn't detract from the piece at all. Rather, it enhanced it. A magical, magical work of writing, my dear. I really love it.
10/10 and I've only given out one other of these
XOXO, Kalina Report Review
Thankfully I'd already read this chapter no later than yesterday. Your PM on TDA had my neurons churning and I needed a brain refresher. And a literate one at that.
Okay, I'll begin. You say Vivien feels foreign to you now, and I can tell why. She's definitely a hard character to get right - eccentric, moody, mercurial ... the list goes on. What I wonder, though, is why exactly she rejects Regulus so much. She despises being lonely but she detests his company. It's quite hypocritical of her, and, I'll admit, an interesting personal conflict of you to add. You know this is my favorite fic of yours (despite its age), and it's precisely because of that - precisely because of all the little idiosyncrasies you've placed within Vivien and not about her - that I love it so much. Now, obviously, continuing a story after so long with a character as complex as she is no small feat. For that, I applaud you.
One thing I wasn't entirely fond of, however, was Regulus's confession. It seemed to me a ... lack of character depth, rather than an addition to it, if you know what I mean. From canon (and Sirius's biased opinion) we hear that Regulus was fearful, zealous, and proud. His redeeming quality lies with the Horcrux's theft. His ... compassion for Vivien quite astonishes me, and I think I might've preferred it had Walburga sent him to the funeral. But that would have posed another hole: precisely why the Blacks, proudest of all purebloods, would have sent their son to pay respects to a disgraced pureblooded witch. So either way you would have had a snag. I think really, by here, it just comes down to personal preference. Maybe I've read too many Dramiones, but fascination always seemed to me a more ... maybe not realistic, but plausible circumstance than whimsical compassion, which is what I've gathered Regulus displays.
Your dialogue, splendid as it is, also poses me problems. I say splendid, because it really is perfect ... but for adults. I think that phrases such as "Even when I am candid, you still question my motives" are a bit too wordy for a fourteen-year-old. Perhaps now it is my turn to tell you to get your head out of Victorian-era books and perhaps read some David Sedaris. =P (Aha! Vindication!) But I don't know, it works, but it is a touch off-putting. As a fourteen-year-old, clever as she is, my sister certainly didn't use 'candid' or such phrasing, really, in any conversation, no matter how tense.
The scene with friends: now this was interesting. As stated by Regulus and by Vivien herself, they're both loners. But she does seem to enjoy the companionship of the girls, even if I get the sense that she does think herself a little higher above them than they. Perhaps pureblooded streaks do matter to her, in the end. I found this scene one of the best in the chapter.
The next, however, with Regulus and Snape, I found very interesting. The power-play, especially between a fourteen-year-old boy and his elder, was particularly captivating. Worthy of politics. The nuances that Regulus brings out in his speech (here, you see, the dialogue works better, because I feel that Regulus wants to impress Snape by his diction, and subsequently put him into his place) are very, very subtle and therefore, equally powerful.
Now, and I think you knew I was going to say this, obviously the cliche of "one boy chases one girl, said girl rejects him, said boy decides to use other boy to seduce girl" is widely-spread. Here, however, it serves well. Snape expects nothing out of it - no pleasure, no gambols, no happy lights - except power. Regulus, on the other hand, expects it all. I'm a little iffy about the Snape/OC, especially since the way you've characterized Snape throws me a little off of him (he's not quite the Snape in "Fallen" or "Afterglow", not quite the man, just the sulky loner), though it does pertain excellently to canon. I'm far more interested in what the Regulus/OC ship has to offer. Will Regulus detail any of his plans to Vivien? (I hope not) Will he drop and destroy her? (I hope so) What will become of them once Voldemort catches up? Will Vivien ever find any compassion for Regulus?
All that remains to be answered. All right. There we go. I hope this review was in-depth enough for you, Susan, and if it's not, feel free to rerequest. It's always a pleasure reading your stories and I can't wait for the next chapter!
9/10 because of those small things.
XOXO, KalinaAuthor's Response: This is what helped me get through the new chapter. *glomps* I really thank you for taking the time to go through the story so carefully. After a year of being away from it, I didn't feel any further ahead with planning the plot, but now with your analysis and opinions, I think I know where to go now. :)
I have fixed Regulus's "confession" - not removing it, but trying to make it so that he's acting, not being entirely honest about things. He's trying to catch Vivien out, draw her into his web, so to speak. That does make sense for a Black and a Slytherin than the sob story idea. While Regulus is essentially good, it takes a long while for it to show, whittled down by Vivien and Snape and Voldemort's cruelties. I do find a link between Regulus and Draco in how they've been "trained" to become Death Eaters, yet, in the end, I think Regulus is the stronger of the two. He does betray Voldemort, though it fails. Draco waffles and gets shunted to the background. :P I also edited the language a bit. While the narrative voice is a little "older" in language, the kids now speak like they should, with not entirely proper grammar and colloquialisms. That was a bit issue with "Fires Within" and I'm glad you mentioned it. The narration and the dialogue are going to be different, and I have to remember to separate them more in my head.
Vivien's rejection of him is curious. She's the strangest OC I've had thus far in that she keeps contradicting herself. She doesn't know that she acts so much like a pureblood, though after spending time with Lily and Snape, she'll come to that realisation. I know that she doesn't like other purebloods because of her mother's distance and coldness. She looks to Grimm, the half-blood, as a more real person, someone warm and kind. It'll be interesting to see when she realises what she is like and how easily she compares to a pureblood. At the same time, I'm wondering if her rejection is somewhat like Margaret Hale's of both Henry and Thornton; her rejections just don't make sense. Marriage isn't of interest. In Vivien's case, nothing interests her.
You're right about the Snape/OC thing. It might come in later, after Regulus is out of the picture. But Vivien won't be falling for Snape anytime soon and Snape certainly won't fall for Vivien. They may use one another, but never in a romantic sense - perhaps respect will be the only thing they feel. I am hoping for a canon Snape, so it's good to know that he seems that way so far.
The Regulus/OC side of things is something I'm struggling with more. Both of them will have to change in order to like each other, and with only three (or two?) years before Regulus vanishes, there isn't much time to do it in. There won't be sweeping romance, though - I'm saving that for Grimm and Rose.
Thank you again for the review, Kalina. I really appreciate it and thank you for your honesty and helpfulness. ^_^ Report Review
Len! Here I am with your requested review from TGS. :)
Okay, you know how much I adore this story. Really. It's a work of genius - I love the way you describe and the way you've made Mary - a canon character! - completely your own. It's absolutely baffling. Your descriptions are very, very vivid and your plot wound tight, so I'm eagerly going to finish this story whenever I have the time and I'm looking forward to the sequel!
One thing I noticed, though, especially on this chapter, is that your endings seem a little ... shall we say, off-balance? They don't leave me quite on the edge of my seat, and while they round off nicely, they do seem to be lacking some ulterior quality. I can't quite put my finger on it yet, but something is ... missing.
But that shouldn't bother you. The content of this fic is of extremely high quality and I can't believe you're not getting more reviews or recognition! You really, really deserve it. Congratulations on a beautiful fic, Len. ^_^ 9/10
XOXO, KalinaAuthor's Response: Lol, Kali you made me laugh with this review (since I'm pretty sure you put that part about Mary being a canon character there on purpose).
Anyway, yea some chapters sort of end all rounded off and others are like "wth? You ended it there?" When you figure out what's missing, please let me know so I might try to fix it?
It's cool that I'm not getting the recognition. It would be amazing if I did, but meh, I can't force people to read what they might not want to. It's not for everyone. :D
Thanks for the review, I appreciate it. Report Review
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