I am here to fill the request you posted in the staff review thread. :)
The Marauders era is honestly my least favorite. However, reading about Regulus was nice, so I didn't even mind the era at all. I really enjoy more obscure/less popular characters, because I think authors have a lot of freedom with them, and often, I personally find it yields a more interesting (to me) story. I am also a sucker for missing moments type stories.
Regulus stealing the locket is a scene I have always wondered about, so reading your take on it was cool. You did a good job of showing what we know from Dumbledore and Harry's experience but telling it from the POV of the potion drinker. His reflections and things the potion made him see/remember made s ense to me.
In your request, you specifically asked about flow. The beginning of the story felt like it flowed less naturally, and then it picked up once Regulus actually got to the cave. I think the difference is because the beginning part was more intro/backstory stuff to lead up to the main important scene, and sometimes it's hard to squeeze that into a one shot.
Overall, I thought you did a good job of fleshing Regulus out and conveying some of the pressures and fears he was experiencing. I also liked the little flashes of personality you gave to Kreacher.
Author's Response: Hey Alo, Thanks you so much for reading the story. You and I are a bit the same when it comes to the more obscure/less popular characters. They are the ones I tend to favor when writing. Most popular I go is the Marauders because that is a place we certainly differ. In a lot of ways my fanfic writing really started in Marauder's era and I feel it was before they were overly popular. (I feel like I'm trying to be hipster in saying I liked them before they were cool but that isn't my aim at all!) Anyway I'm glad the story flows as a whole, I worried a good deal about the flash backs and memories that happen later in the story so I'm glad they didn't stick out as too jarring or stilted, I worried that in trying to convey certain things about Regulus that it would not flow naturally. I cannot express how many times I typed and retyped the end of this tale. While the review was requested, I greatly appreciate you taking the time to read and leave your thoughts!
Oh my god, this is so heartbreakingly beautiful. It’s full of torment and harshness, and the way you’ve written Regulus’s voice is excellent omg. I knew you were a phenomenal writer already, but to write something so full of anguish while including that adorable, touching scene between the two young brothers at the end? Perfection. <3
(Also, hi haha. I saw this piece and I knew I had to read and review it, because it looked stunning. I actually think this is the first fanfic of yours that I’ve read; everything else has been OF, right?)
Anyway I absolutely love your personal telling of this unseen story. Regulus’s motivations make so much sense given his history; we know he’s definitely more prejudiced than Sirius because he was unwilling to go against his parents, and I love that you didn’t make him a secret saint. He’s not going against Voldemort because he recognizes that a genocide of Muggles and Muggle-borns is horrific, he’s going against Voldemort because Voldemort is trying to build an empire for himself as opposed to accomplishing the “goal” of setting wizards above Muggles. And I thought you handled that beautifully. (Not to mention, that entire scene when Regulus was insulting Lily was so well-written, I was fascinated and disgusted by his behavior all at once, and it was amazing.)
Also just your language throughout the whole thing was amazing, especially in the part when Regulus is choking down the potion. Every single voice that came into his head, telling him to stop, was so brilliantly written, and I was just super impressed the whole time.
And that ending killed me. Especially with Regulus’s fear of big black dogs (and we all know what Sirius becomes later) and his willingness to let his older brother protect him, and the slight reversal of the roles later on in their lives.
Ugh this was just so so good. <3
Author's Response: Eva, Your review was such a surprise! I love surprise reviews. It is the first fanfic of mine you have read though. You've typically favored my quick little pieces and poetry. (Not that that is a complaint!) However, I am so glad you picked this to read. I have been wanting feed back on this for a while - it's why I have two review requests up for it. I was worried that the tender moment at the end would not convey well as it contrasts everything else but at the same time I wanted it because it plays into things at the same time and allowed me to show a bit more of my head canon. (I've always had it in my head that Regulus was afraid of dog - big black one specifically - and yes it is a play at what Sirius eventually becomes.) But I am so glad is plays! I am also so glad you mentioned motivation. I have always felt that Regulus had a unique take on the world in a lot of ways, and I wanted to exhibit that - so many people confuse his single act of bravery as his sole trait and that he really is a brave Gryffindor when that is very much not the case. Regulus was in Slytherin house for a reason and I wanted to exhibit that. His loyalty to his family and his family ideals is what drove him to make his sacrifice and any Slytherin would do the same - they don't stick their neck out for random strangers. For their own? Yes. So I am glad that it conveyed well. Admittedly, I had a little help with the fight between Sirius and Regulus - Alexis gave a contribution to it but it was one of my favorite scenes to write oddly enough. In my head it is around then that Sirius winds up telling Snape about Remus. I admittedly have a very detailed world in my head surrounding the Marauders - an entire epic really. Only problem is I have little to no time to write said epic. I am so glad you liked the story and it helps me to remember that I may not be as bad at writing as I sometimes like to think I am, so thank you. This review means a whole lot to me.
It's so sad that Regulus is being driven by the compulsive need to be loyal to his family, especially in the wake of Sirius' abandonment/disownment because all of that weight that Sirius fought against was so suddenly thrust onto his shoulders. I feel SO BAD that he feels the need to commit such self-sacrifice in what he wants out of life because of the way he was raised and what he was taught to be right and his sense of loyalty.
Oh DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMN, Regulus all up in there with the clapbacks. He's extra saucy when it comes to Sirius (can't say I blame him, when you look at things from Regulus' perspective).
And it's so difficult to read Regulus speaking to Kreacher because he knows -- he knows -- he's going to die and he's doing it for the greater good. Also, I loved the bit about the flame getting out of control ... it was a brilliant analogy. The memories in between, of course, make it even more sad.
I love the way you subtly approached his sexuality in the beginning, eventually leading up to the bit about Thorfinn. He couldn't even be with the person he wanted...he couldn't even be with the same gender of the person he wanted, for crying out loud.
And the bit where he hallucinated Sirius dying because of what he was doing absolutely shattered my heart! Even when he places all the blame on his brother, he still loves him, and that is why his final thoughts are of his brother.
"Now go to sleep"
THAT'S IT. :( I'm dead.
You've killed me.
This is so sad!
And so well done!
I love it!
Rumpels! You make me blush with your kind reviews! I am so glad you liked the story. This headcanon of Regulus being gay (and the complications that arise from it) has been in my head for over a year now and so I was super happy to finally let it loose. Of course, this story wasn't a happy story but you know what I mean. I'm glad you liked the insults, I swear Alexis helped me with it a little though that was back when I first started writing. But yes while Regulus loves his brother dearly there was no love lost between them while in school to a certain degree. (I've always felt that before school both boys were super close.)
As for not blaming Regulus, my aim was to make him a very sympathetic character because that is honestly what he is. Both brothers had issues and did certain things wrong and I honestly can't blame either of them but at the same time neither is 100% innocent of things either. There is soo much to Regulus and Sirius that isn't covered here but the canon is so clear in my head. (It all just didn't fit here.)
When it comes to the memories and you being dead... that was admittedly my goal. I was kind of aiming for that sweet spot, to be honest, that is why I ended it where I did, but it honestly summed up the relationship between the brother's Black an how deep that care for one another really goes despite the fighting that they had. Also with little Reg going to sleep as the end came for adult Regs was too much of a good parallel that I had to use it. (It took me forever to figure out the sweet scene though I went through 3-4 attempts before landing on what is there now. I'm so glad it works cause it, and the scene regarding Thorfin were the last bits I wrote and I worried about their place and pacing with the rest of the story.)
Overall, I'm glad it all plays and that you enjoyed the read!