Hi Taylor! I’m here for CTF.
The thing that really stands out to me about this piece is the structure. I love that you set it up in three parts, all starting and beginning the same way. Remus Lupin is one of the saddest figures in the Harry Potter series (although he has a lot of company) and I love how you set up his trilogy of loss.
I was mad a Sirius in the first part for apparently thinking that Remus was the traitor. Although, I wonder also if Remus maybe misunderstood? It’s an interesting idea that Remus would have suggested the Fideleus charm to protect the Potters. The ending of this section with poor Remus dry heaving with all of his friends dead or good as dead is so awful.
I really like how you set up this un-categorizable relationship between Remus and Sirius in the second section. Somehow the idea that they are more than any label that could be slapped on them strikes me as poetic. I think we are all more than the labels that are put on us. The description of Sirius’s death—that he would have been happy with the drama of it—seemed especially fitting to me.
The comment in the third section about how Remus wasn’t sure why he was jealous of Tonks being interested in Sirius—if it was because he wanted her or him—was insightful. It’s so sad and sweet that he finds love again and has a family and a son. But, of course, we all know that can’t last. It’s heartbreaking that he shows a picture of his son to Harry and Fleur and how he can’t quite keep up with the dueling anymore. I’ve always felt very torn about Tonks’s coming to the battle. Having to chose between your husband and your child is simply horrible.
The ending with everything fading to black and Remus losing everything for a third time—ugh, so tragic!
the three part structure kind of came naturally when i started thinking about the piece - there were three specific tragedies that fit into this storyline, and turning it into an actual structured thing with parallels kind of just happened as a result of that. i'm a sucker for intentional repetition in writing, haha.
it *is* canon that sirius thinks remus the traitor, and in sirius' defence, there was evidence that someone had turned coat and there were a massive number of werewolves flocking to voldemort's ranks, so remus was definitely the most obvious guess. he was obviously wrong in that guess, but he was just doing what he thought necessary to protect lily and james. and their relationship in the second part was largely constructed that way out of a desire to fit into canon, but i like that you find it poetic as well. and of course, his relationship with tonks is another chance to start again, and that gets ripped away from him as well. and honestly, i feel like for tonks it was probably never much of a choice - she would've wanted to do everything she could to make a better world for her family, even if it results in making the ultimate sacrifice. it's tragic, but i think she would've hated staying at home throughout the battle even more.
thank you for reading and reviewing, noelle!
here for ctf
I think this fic shows how versatile you are as an author. I think everyone does associate you with fluffy pieces but I think this shows your ability to craft something that is deep heartbreaking but full of strong characterisation too. I think it is the characterisation of Remus that really adds to the angst in this piece. I thought it was very effective how you basically pour angst upon angst. I'm here screaming for you to stop. I thought the repeating of the first line was really effective way of 'resetting' to lose all over again. I love when you wrote about Remus finding the charm for the Potters. it's cool to get a little detail like that.
OMG. DOOMED WOLFSTAR. I really love how you wrote this section. I think it was so effective at being that heartbreaking because you build up their relationship was beautifully in just a few sentences. I loved how you contrasted between 'public' and 'private' sides of their relationship. the imagery of them just curling up together and just trying to be happy was lovely. The support that they give to each other was so believable. The build up is wonderful but it's devastating to losing everything again. you know how to build up angst!
there wasn't even a spare moment for his world to fall apart. I'M NOT OK TAYLOR. I did like how Tonks was included in this that it addresses his relationship with Tonks. The way you described it was believable. the last time is so stinging and it is a line that stays with you. This was a angsty masterclass!
haha, i definitely do tend to gravitate towards fluff, but the occasional bit of angst is fun too. (although this fic may be a little more than a 'bit', haha.) remus really does have one of the most unfortunate storylines in canon, and tapping into that and pouring angst on angst was really interesting, but happened naturally because he *does* lose so many people dear to him throughout the course of their lives.
gah, the doomed wolfstar. in order to fit it into canon, it had to be sort of a secret thing, but there's still an immense amount of intimacy in that and i'm glad it came through in this. and, of course, because it's meant to fit into canon, his relationship with tonks needed that same sort of weight, and i'm glad it felt just as believable.
thank you for the review, abbi <3
Tasha here for the RvG reviews.
I adore Remus Lupin with everything I have. He has such an unfair and tragic story, everything I read I just want him to be happy, but that really isn't how his story goes. This really got me right in the gut - how did you write it? I'd be in bits if it was me! I was a mess reading it.
The first section showed what a great person Remus is. They all thought him to be the traitor, but he accepted it to keep his friends safe, how heartbreaking is that? Imagine knowing your friends think that of you - you pulled that off perfectly. This was spot on characterisation. I loved how you made it Dumbledore to be the one to tell him too.
Whether you're a WolfStar person or not, part two felt so canon that I could hardly breathe - this story needs writing in full. Please do it, you'll be my favourite (and I don't even ship them!). The thought that they were all each other had, they could stop the nightmares and keep some sanity, whether friends or lovers, was very clever.
"Remus swore that time froze in that moment" - This is the moment the tears started falling. I can't tell you how broken that made me feel, because wow. Another best friend gone.
The final section was obviously the most tragic, in that he finally found happiness, he had a family to protect and he knew he was going to die. The fact he had to see Tonks die before he did was just twisting the knife.
This was so powerful and emotional, without forcing it. It just felt true and honestly, that is the best kind of writing to me.
Now please go and write three novel-length fics for each of these sections. I don't care if I have to be a sobbing hot mess for however long it takes you, it'll be worth it!
Love, Tasha :)
oh my god, so this story absolutely broke me. i literally had so many moments of 'why the hell am i writing this, this is DEPRESSING' as i was writing, especially because i was trying to keep to canon and had to literally reread both sirius' and remus' last moments for that sake.
he's definitely a much bigger person than i'd ever be - he's so self-sacrificing that he doesn't get angry or indignant that they suspect him of being the traitor. instead, he just did whatever he could to keep them safe.
ahh, i'm so glad i pulled the wolfstar section off well!! i've always wanted to find a way to slot them into canon, and this time period really felt like the perfect moment to do it, because they really are all that each other has any more and it creates a really close bond between them that really could've blossomed into something more if... well, you know.
the last section where remus himself dies was definitely the hardest, because now he knows what he's leaving behind - it's almost worse because he knows teddy's about to grow up without parents, you know? that sort of attachment to staying alive didn't exist before his son in that way.
i'm so happy you liked this fic (even if it did twist the knife, haha), so thank you so much for this review and all of your lovely words. <3
I have arrived after a v long time to read and review this for my challenge. Sorry for taking so long, life's a bit hectic right now, but I figured I need to get off my butt for once and just get on with it haha.
I have to admit that I didn't expect a Remus-centric piece when I assigned you your lyric. Personally, I kept picturing Tom Riddle and his obsession with cheating death - but that's the beauty of this challenge, isn't it? Your mind went in a completely different direction to mine and you decided you wanted to break my heart. Because I can already feel it cracking when you mention that Sirius suspected Remus of being the traitor. Goddamn it.
It must be awful to know that you're frantically trying to keep your best friends safe, only to be regarded with such suspicion. I don't blame Remus for being so torn on what to feel - but he's a lot more mature than me haha. I don't think I could've ever reined in my feelings to think of the situation logically. My poor baby :(
And oh God, when he hears the news! :(((
In part two, I really like this line: "They weren’t quite lovers, but they definitely weren’t just friends either – and really, when the world is erupting into war for the second time in your life, who has the time to care about technicalities and labels?" I think it really explains a lot of the relationships during the tail-end of HP tbh and summarises why people behaved the way they did in the face of their world ending. When it comes down to it, they were going to take whatever comfort they could find, after all.
Okay so part three is here and given the track record so far (and the little lyric you had, damn it), I can tell my heart is about to shatter. I have a feeling that this last part is set during the Battle of Hogwarts where Remus really will lose it all (and so will I).
And yup, there it is: that last line. Is it weird that I really like how final and factual it is? It really drives in this sense that Remus losing everyone is just inevitable, no matter what he does. He tries so, so hard to fight for more time - whether it's by searching for something to protect his friends or praying for Sirius to stay home or persuading Tonks to stay with Teddy - but in the end, it's just not enough. It really does fit the lyric you were given perfectly.
I know I said the actual tone of the song doesn't really matter in this challenge and it still doesn't, but the relentless march towards death and loss you've written really matches up nicely with how haunting Immortal sounds.
All in all, this was a wonderful entry. Thank you so much, I enjoyed reading it and seeing how you were inspired by it!
(P.S. I really like how you portrayed Remus and Tonks' relationship. It wasn't just second-best to Wolfstar, it was a legitimate thing and I really respect that.)
honestly, i still have no idea how i ended up on a remus-centric piece for this. tom riddle would've made a lot of since for 'immortal,' but instead i just fixated on the 'everyone dies' part and picked the person who suffered the worst losses throughout canon and ended up with poor sweet remus.
but you're right, i absolutely can't imagine being thought of as the traitor by your own friends. and remus handles it way better than i probably would've either.
and war does crazy things to people, and there's definitely a good bit of that in HBP and DH, with people breaking up to protect one another, giving last minute declarations of love because they don't know if they'll ever be able to again, and this moment with sirius and remus. (i also wanted to find a way to make wolfstar totally plausible within canon, and not defining the relationship was kind of the best way to do it.)
but i also wanted to make sure remus and tonks' relationship still counted for something, because i think - at least if we're sticking to canon - it was a good and loving relationship, so it didn't deserve to be entirely brushed aside. and, uh, also it gave me yet another way to break his heart.
thanks for the lovely review, and for hosting this challenge as well! :)
Hello you monster, I'm here for Team Red for October's RvG!
I FULLY understand why you couldn't write more than a few sentences at a time while writing this because it is tragic and sad (but wonderful, you did a a great job), but you're a monster for making me feel all this at once.
I just--the first section of this was heartbreaking, I mean, honestly they all were, but just reading the first line he was going to keep them all safe if it was the last thing he did and knowing that 1) he can't and then 2) he finds out that Sirius and some of them think he's the traitor was SO TERRIBLE! BUT IT'S SO MUCH WORSE WHEN HE JUST RESIGNS HIMSELF TO IT AND LOSES HIMSELF IN ORDER WORK AND UNTIL THEY DIE! POOR REMUS, it was so tragic.
The scene with Sirius where you descibe how they're together but not was really interesting because I think it's really relatable? Like just having this person that you love unconditionally and would do absolutely anything for and are maybe a little more than friends with, but not, not quite more than that is really noteable, and I think maybe especially in a time of war, which I think Remus notes a few times.
Like, I think what he says about James and Lily being his sense of normalcy is SO important, because in times of war, it's the little things like getting married and having a baby that DO give that hope that the chaos will end and good things will come.
The third part I think may have kind of broken me, partially because it made me remember that in addition to Remus losing everything (AGAIN), Teddy is now also parentless and alone! I completely understand him wanting Tonks to stay home with Teddy for the final battle but I also understand Tonks not being able to be home while all the action is happening because that's not her at all. But it's the most heartbreaking moment when he realizes that they both aren't getting out of there alive.
One last note in this hot mess, I truly LOVE the style of this (and I don't mean this sarcastically, though the next sentence may sound that way). It really just digs the dagger in deeper each time you say that Remus is going to keep someone safe and then tell me that he lost everything again. But it's so powerful and poetic, and you did such a great job with this, Taylor!
I will never not laugh at the opening line of this review.
But yes omg writing this felt like pouring my soul onto a Word doc, which is always a drawn out process. And like, the worst thing is that I never had to make any of these events up - they all happened in canon, I just got to put them all side-by-side in a way that makes it that much more heartbreaking.
The James and Lily one is so hard because Remus really does think they're safe (until they're not), and in the aftermath, he's lost not only Lily and James, but also Sirius and Peter. It's everyone in one fell swoop.
Gah, canon wolfstar is difficult, and that's why it turned into this sort of 'are we, are we not' sort of deal, because it's obviously never a thing in the story, but it's plausible that it could happen on the backburner if it was something that no one really talked about. Which is how this sort of relationship developed. And throughout both of these wars, he's grasping at anything that feels like a sense of normalcy.
And yes, poor Teddy. But you're right, Tonks would never be the type of person who could sit back while all the action was happening, so she goes against their agreement and shows up to the battle anyways.
But I'm glad you liked the style, even if it did earn me the title of monster.
So apparently after your wonderful Jily fluff yesterday, I have come to torture myself with heart breaking stories about Remus. Don't ask me why - but here I am.
This was a beautiful story. Remus has such a tragic and unfair story, and you captured that brilliantly here. He's someone who had almost nothing throughout his whole life, grew up as an outsider and outcast, and then every time he found the people who meant something to him, who accepted him and whom he loved, he lost them over and over again.
The refrains that you used in the first and last sentences of each of these sections worked so well to emphasise that. The fact that he wants to do his best to protect the people closest to him, and yet in spite of his best efforts, he loses them anyway. It's heart breaking to think about how much he lost, but those refrains were really effective.
Your characterisation of Remus here was brilliant. He's just such a good person. Even when his best friends think he's the traitor and he doesn't get to see James and Lily and Harry before James and Lily are killed, he accepts that distance because it means keeping them safe. For someone to be so accepting and forgiving shows what a good person they are. And then later, when he knows he has to go into battle even if Tonks is the better dueller, because she's the better parent as well and he wants Teddy to have that growing up. Everything he does is about putting other people before himself, and I think that makes it all the more tragic that he never succeeds in protecting his loved ones.
Reading about how he'd come up with the idea for the Fidelius Charm seemed to fit Remus so well; the fact that he wasn't allowed any part in it when everything he'd been hoping to do was protect his friends and their family seems so unfair. I really enjoyed the way that you wrote the section with Sirius, too - how they weren't quite sure what they meant to each other, what label they'd be given, but that they were everything to each other. I loved the tie-in to canon with Remus running to stop Harry from following Sirius, when he'd initially been running for himself. It seems so unfair that his last link to all the memories of happier, more carefree days was severed and taken away.
I think the last section, with Tonks, is the one that got to me the most. He hadn't meant to let her in, because he knows by this point that he loses everyone he loves, but he can't not. And then for things to come full circle and Remus finally has the family that is meant to prove there's light in the darkness, and love surviving the war, just as the Potters were to him originally. But of course, it couldn't last. There's something both beautiful and heart breaking in the fact that Tonks fought her way to Remus in the final battle, but he still had to watch her die first, knowing that meant that Teddy had lost his mother, before he was killed as well.
This story is so detailed and you capture the characters in it so well, especially Remus; it's so unfair that he had to suffer through so much tragedy, but I think you depicted it beautifully and your writing was so powerful here to really emphasise that tragedy and unfairness.
Hi Sian! Yes, this story does stand in pretty sharp contrast with that Jily fluff. :P
You can 100% blame Plums for giving me the lyric that she did, because that was definitely what inspired this. It's incredibly reflective of Remus' life, because it really is kind of tragic that he keeps losing the people that he cares about most - all I had to do was take canon and stick the worst scenes side-by-side, and that's where this came from. And Remus is such a pure person, and he cares more about everyone else than he does about himself, which is partially why losing people is so much worse for him than the idea of dying himself. Asddfhjkl writing this review response is making me sad again - why did I write something like this, really?
I'm so happy you enjoyed the writing of this, even if the content was so tragic and unfair. Thanks for reviewing!
Here, Taylor, for your requested review.
The angst! The heartbreak! The well explored theme of loss! Be right back as I wipe away these tears...
Okay. I love how you organize this story into three parts. There's such a power to the number three, and it's awesome how you've included this. The first part highlighting the Potters: I adore how you capture Remus' desire to protect them. I haven't really thought about how Lily and James portray normal during the First War: getting married and starting a family. For someone like Remus, an outcast since childhood, this concept creates a big amount of hope for him. I'm so sad that he found out about Lily and James, about Peter's "death", and Sirius' "betrayal" while alone. I love that description of him clinging to the frozen earth. It's such a profound moment of grief, and I can definitely see him reacting in this way while the majority of the wizarding world celebrates the downfall of Voldemort.
The second part: this was a bit of a surprise for me, since, before reading this, I was assuming that WolfStar happened during the First War. But I like when this undefined relationship but it totally is a relationship happens within your canon-Marauder-take. Your images of them holding each other: this is what I imagine their Second War relationship to be like. Both of them are haunted by the First War and the subsequent events. It's only natural that they would find comfort in each other, no matter what their relationship is called. And in the Department of Mysteries... I can feel how gutted Remus feels (because it's Sirius), but I also feel the urgency in holding Harry. I also like how Remus immediately clings to Harry, the last living remainder of what Remus has loved: Lily/James and Sirius.
It makes you wonder how Remus can love again, but Tonks is that answer in part three. I love your descriptions of her; she's the reason why I get to smile when reading this fic. Because of this, I can absolutely believe why Remus falls in love with her, but because I've also read the books, and this is your Marauder canon work, I also knew what was coming. Writer me: you wrote their deaths well. Reader me: but you wrote their deaths... and Sirius'... and Lily and James'... Stunning.
I would also like to congratulate you on the effectiveness of this piece without the inclusion of dialogue. It enhances the reflective meditation, and I get a good glimpse into Remus' inner monologue. The title of your fic is very appropriate, though I do not feel as if Remus is as doomed as Sisyphus. While Remus gets to spend his entire life rolling a boulder of love up the hill only to see it roll away from him again, Remus dies and gets to be reunited with his loved ones in the afterlife. He's still doomed, but I glean a sense of hope because he continued to love, until the very end of this life, and I am certain that he will carry this love with him into the next.
I can tell you're very passionate about this piece, too, with your impressive array of vocabulary. Well done, Taylor!
Hi Abby! Thanks for reviewing this - I know how much you like angsty things so I could resist throwing this into your thread. ;)
There was definitely something behind dividing this into three - it's literally the three most profoundly painful moments in his life, stacked side by side. The first is the biggest one, in terms of the volume of what happens, and that's what throws him so much. Everything happens at once - everything gets pulled away from him at once, and it's the most jarring thing that could happen to him.
I honestly think Wolfstar could've happened in the First War too, but it just happened to fit in this story so much better as a Second War thing - and it makes that moment in the Department of Mysteries that much more heartbreaking.
The whole lack of dialogue thing actually wasn't an intentional choice?? I just got to the end of it and was like, 'huh, I never wrote any dialogue here, did I' and just decided to roll with it. I like that it kind of creates a more reflective theme. And yes, the name of the fic really only applies to his life - not his afterlife, where hopefully he'll find some happiness given all the shit that got thrown at him in life.
Thanks for reviewing this, Abby!