Hello! Dirtydeedsdonedirtcheap here with your requested review. I'm very excited to read this. I haven't read any slash in awhile. You wanted to know about: believability, characterization, emotion, flow and imagery. Just so you know I do a running review and then tend to wrap everything up in the end. Hope that's okay with you!
So...let's get started!
Every autumn breeze that leaks into his drafty, dank flat feels like winter itself creeping into his veins, and the sensation causes him to toss and turn with what appear to be convulsions. Then he turns over again, ripping the bedclothes from his frail body, and flees into sleep to escape what now feels like hellfire.
Woah. You really want me to critique this? How can I? Your imagery is just on point. It's really impressive. I can imagine the flat. I imagine it beyond what you tell us, grey walls, scuffed floors, paint chips falling to the floor from the ceiling. That's what I see when I read 'drafty drank flat.' Your description and your imagery just makes the reader go above and beyond.
He grasps at the sheet, pulling it around him as he attempts to climb out of his feverish dream. He twists his body up in it, and in his delirium he believes that he can still smell his former roommate in the fabric. The scent of canine lingers, and it almost seems to become stronger with time, though he has never minded it. The two of them had that unpopular stench in common.
If I hadn't looked at the summary I wouldn't have known this was Sirius/Remus pairing. I normally never do look at the summary when doing review request because I try to go into the review without having any prior knowledge on what Iím reading.
The pairing has always interested me. Do I think they would have been together? No. Do I think so after reading your story? Yes. You were worried if it was believable and I have to say by the small pieces of information you gave us I think it could have been possible. I think about the pain Remus must have been in. The loneliness because he really didn't want to harm anyone by being in a relationship with them and the fact that he hadn't wanted to marry Tonks and he didn't want to have Teddy (at first). Then I think of how excited he was to see Sirius again. He just knew. He had been going over it in his head for such a long time and never quite understood how Sirius could have betrayed Lily and James.
Does that mean they had a deeper connection together? Maybe.
I think I got a little off track but my point was that I like how you don't say outright who we're thinking about and whose thoughts weíre getting a look into. You really donít know definitely until the 'canine' scent you weave into the paragraph. I like that because it creates mystery and if youíre not reading carefully or skimming the words you won't get the connection. I'm all about connections.
It is painful to be around her sometimes, when he really pauses to consider that she is the closest thing to Sirius that he can touch and that she has inherited her cousinís disregard for the rules.
"Do you think I'll see him again? You know, with Mum and Dad?"
I have to, Remus thinks, forgetting for a moment that it is Harry who asked the question.
The emotion is there as well. Tears were ready to fall from my eyes when I read 'I have to.' That's extremely believable and heart breaking because Remus is in this situation where his life is just consumed by thoughts of Sirius. He's in this marriage because Tonks reminded Remus of Sirius, they had a connection. And then when he says 'I have to,' it just shows how deeply invested he is with Sirius and I think that's how many of us feel when a loved one dies and we have to explain it to someone else. A lot of people tend to generally ask, 'Do you think they're in a better place?' And what are you going to say? No? No, you're going to say 'Yes. I have to think so,' because you want them to be even if they can't be with you.
Really powerful one-shot. I can't critique anything so I'm just going to end this with a 'thank you for requesting.'
Author's Response: Hi, and thanks for coming by! I apologize that my response has taken a while. I really love how organized and in-depth your review is, and I've been known to use the 'running review' style myself.
I'm glad the imagery and pairing both worked for you. I think it's neat that you purposefully avoid the summary so as to get a 'blind' opinion of the story, and it makes me happy to hear that you still felt like you understood and 'bought' the pairing here. I'm very glad as well to hear that the indirect way I wrote this and the description seemed effective to you.
It's also lovely to hear that you liked the emotion. I found myself feeling emotional when I was writing the piece, and it only got worse the further I got into it! I agree - no one wants to believe that they won't one day be reunited with their loved ones in a good place, happy to stay together for all eternity.
Thanks again for your very kind review :)