Hey! I’m here for BvB! :)
Your prose is lovely here - I love the way you integrate music in particular throughout the entire piece. It’s consistent without being overpowering, and it provides a really nice juxtaposition to the subject material, which is so dark and disturbing in so many ways.
I also liked the way you approached a really tough issue, especially given the clear parallels to the current political climate. (I’m not sure if those were intentional or not, but I definitely saw them, especially in terms of the whole empathy-or-accountability debate.) You walked the line very well - you humanized Regulus without excusing him, and you gave Pandora empathy without making her overtly sympathetic to him. That’s a tough thing to execute - but you pulled it off.
Part of what sold it for me was that you didn’t really make Pandora a comforting figure - you made her an inspiring figure. Sometimes comfort is necessary, but I think that especially when we’re at our bleakest, hope and inspiration to be better than what we are is so much more effective and positive than comfort. It fits so well with what we know from canon for Regulus to get that hope and inspiration when he’s feeling at his lowest, and I also love that Luna’s mother is the one who’s giving it to him. Luna seemed to have a knack for bringing out people’s best and inspiring them to be greater, and I can definitely see that coming from her mother - and we know from canon that Regulus at his best betrays Voldemort. The road that led him there is never really well-addressed in the books, and I like the direction that you took here.
A little bit of CC: as I said, I really do love your prose overall. However, I do think that you sometimes get a bit too wordy, which impacts the flow of the story. You’re using a lot of good strategies - I just feel like you’re overusing them a bit, and I feel like you’d be well served to look at adjectives and phrases that you’re using and considering whether they’re serving a purpose. For example, in the second paragraph, you say: On top of it all was a lilting, beguiling, all too tempting thought of escape, of a cowardly way to end it all, a melody too soft, gentle, and enticing, but calling him, beckoning him. I’m not convinced that you need all of that to get the sentiment across, and the number of synonyms you’re using here actually detracts from the power of what you’re saying. A little repetition can be good, but you generally want to use it tactically.
Other than that, though, you did a really lovely job on this - I enjoyed it a lot!
(Also, if you’d like me to add Pandora Lovegood as a character to the archive, just post in the tag request topic in the archive resources section on the forums - I’d be happy to add her!)
Thank you for your really kind and helpful review! I’m really glad that you liked this (and flattered that you like my prose!). I didn’t really intend it to be reflective of the political climate in America at the time, but I think that Pandora’s message is definitely suitable and that’s an interesting interpretation! :) I’m glad that you liked Pandora’s characterization; that was one part of this fic that I was quite nervous about, and i’m Really happy that you picked up on the fact that she’s not meant to be a sympathetic figure. That was why I never made her give Regukus any sort of consolatory comments, but rather tried to appeal to the lighter side of him, the side of him that knew what he had to do.
I really really appreciate your CC! Retreading this, I noticed my repetitiveness at times too, and am definitely going to edit to fix that up when I have the chance. That’s wonderful advice and I really appreciate it :) Thanks so much for the wonderful review!
Hello! I'm here to review your entry for the August prefect challenge! :)
Regulus is my precious baby who must be protected at all costs, so I was very happy to see he was the main character in this story. I love his thoughts on the stars, how he imagines himself standing on one, but then it's all too easy to imagine himself falling from one. I think it's such a great analogy to his positiob among the Death Eaters, or even his life in general. I like the music references that are repeated throughout.
It's so great to see Regulus and Pandora together, and it's an extremely interesting thought of having those two characters come together. And Pandora is so much like Luna (well, the other way around, technically :P) that it put a little smile on my face. But Pandora telling him that his star-namesake is one of the brightest in the sky is the sweetest thing ever. I love that she was understanding, whether she knew what he was going through or not, and didn't need to pressure him into talking. Reminds me of Harry and Luna a bit :)
Overrall, I really enjoyed this, and thank you so much for entering the challenge! :D
Hi Bianca! Thanks for the lovely review <3
I'm glad that you liked the thoughts of him standing on the stars and falling from one—that was one analogy that I was a little iffy about, and I'm glad that it came across as poetic and not pretentious, haha! I wanted to try to draw a vague comparison between Icarus and Regulus, and I'm glad that that sort of came across! I like the observation you made about his position among the Death Eaters; I hadn't really actually thought of it like that, but now that you mention it, that analogy definitely works in that aspect.
I'm very happy that I could make you smile too, that was one of my goals with this fic! :) And thank you for mentioning the parallel between Harry and Luna—I actually reread a few of their scenes of interaction first before I wrote this so I could try to characterize Pandora properly. I'm really glad that you liked her characterization and that she was characterized properly.
Thanks so much for the delightful, kind review! It really made me smile :) And I'm very happy to have entered the challenge; I had lots of fun writing this! <3
OOH. Okay, I've been reading a lot of Regulus lately because the whole idea of him being so young when he did his rebelling (and never really getting proper credit for it in the general wizarding world) is just too tantalizing for me to pass up. THIS WAS TOO.
Again with the descriptive writing.
I feel like the entire paragraph describing his anxious thoughts and questions and worries might be the most succint, accurate description of what having an anxiety disorder feels like on a day to day basis. I loved it. Except i mean obviously he's at risk of putting himself into some serious situation so that's probably not the best thing to catch myself relating to. It's just really well put.
Also not to sound like a total ravenclaw (as if I could ever turn it off), but I relate so much to the feeling under the stars too. I always blew up the romantic notion of the sky and the stars and all of that until I took astronomy my sophomore year of college and then sitting out there forever looking at the stars just made sense. Like yeah of course his mind went quiet then. My own troubles seem so insignificant in the magnitude of the stars.
I really like your characterization of Pandora. Luna is a character that I've always struggled to connect to, but her mother is characterized just Luna enough for me to see it and unbelieve it, but she seems grounded enough that I really like her as a character and can relate to her. I particularly like her teasing, but her encouraging him through the stars is just as nice.
I hate to be the person that ships everyone with everyone after very little dialogue but at the same time in half a second of conversation she broke down all of those walls and I can't help but think that if things were different...
AGAIN I LOVED IT! So...no pressure...but I hope you write more stories on here soon for me to stop by! :)
The repetition and the setting in this is very effective. It's almost surprising how well that fits in. The Astronomy Tower used to be that place where nothing ever happened, and then things happened, and then a very significant murder happened. I. think it surprised me not that Dumbledore died but where he died.
This really does bring the atmosphere of the books when Kreacher describes the lake. Almost eerily, hauntingly do, so that is really well done. That chapter in DH still makes me cringe. It's rare that someone in fanfiction honors the spirit of the books and illiterates that with their own style without sounding as though they copied from a source. Beautifully done.
I was thinking that girl really sounds with Luna Lovegood. But what is Luna Lovegood doing with this guy? Like, all the way through. And it's Pandora. Pandora's box. Well done.
You take an idea, you put it on paper, and you illustrate. This is what people look for in writers. Good job.
As I said in my email to you, thank you so much. I'm extremely flattered, and so happy that you liked this fic. Your comments made my night last night!
Welcome to the HPFT archives. Every once in a while a story in the queue really captures my attention and I have to step out of the queue immediately to review it.
From the description and the tone of voice, it was immediately clear to me that this was Pandora, Luna's mother. You did such a good job of showing Luna in her that it was immediately obvious who it was. This was a very tender and touching moment, with two under-utilized characters and it just struck me.
The use of the musical symbology was good and not overdone, so bravo on that. I also though that the symbology of the stars and constellations made good sense here.
Congratulations on such a brilliant first story on the archive.
Wow, thank you so much for the very kind review! I was really nervous posting this story and this review really made my day :) Thank you!