Hey! Here for our swap :)
I was scrolling through your AP looking for something with only a few reviews and this caught my eye. I'm a sucker for a really good Marauders story and I love that this one is set post-Hogwarts. Don't see many of those!
I absolutely love your characterization of Peter, which is not a sentence I expected to be typing haha. It was so absolutely perfect with what we know he does in a few months. His hesitation was spot on to his personality and so was his feelings about his friends. I feel like that gets swept under the rug a lot, but Peter really did have a reason for going to Voldemort's side and you've articulated that beautifully.
Also, wow, I'm crazy impressed with what you did with second person here. Even without the specific details, I'm positive I could have figured out who each of them was. Their personalities were so clear, even with the second person. At first I was skeptical how it would work with this kind of story, but boy, I was so wrong. It adds so much to everything and really pulled me into the narrative.
This was amazing! I'm so curious as to how Remus's POV plays out, so I definitely am going to have to stop by again soon! Thank you so much for the swap!
Hi, Claire! Sorry for the late reply.
I'm happy you picked this story, it is one I'm quite fond of. :)
Ahahah! Well, I like to think of myself as a Peter expert... :P I might have a slight obsession for the guy... glad you liked his characterization and found it verosimilar. Yeah, I've always thought that his decision came more from resentment rather than fear. Not that this justifies his actions...
Ah, I'm so glad that you enjoyed the second person, too. This story was my first attempt at it and it made me so nervous, so I'm very glad that it worked out fine! And so happy that you felt the characters' voices were recognizable! Thank you so much!
Remus will open the next chapter and I would love to hear your thoughts on him, too. ;) I have to warned you, though, it's sort of depressing...
Thank you so much for the swap and the lovely review! We should do this again sometime! :)
Lots of love,
I'm here for our review swap! yay! so I read the first chapter for this for ctf and I said I would get back because it was my favourite thing that I read of yours. This chapter really proves that for me, I adore the concept that you've come up with. the final year of the Marauders is so tragic and interesting, you've done it justice.
I think my favourite pov in this one is the first one, I really enjoyed the theme of Easter in Remus's pov because we all know about his love of chocolate so I really felt that it was very clever that you used this. I really enjoy that imagery you used to describe his egg. It was very effective, I feel like you really get Remus as a character so you always have a beautiful way of writing him. The repetition of the 'alone' was really effective, it's so heartbreaking too. you really make me feel for Remus. That's real pain. You write it beautifully. I don't think it's possible to give you enough praise for this characterisation? his inner monologue is stunning!
I'm always going to love the way you write Peter with just so much care, it's wonderful! I think it's amazing that you've given him a personality and interesting inner conflict. I like how you've portrayed his thought process. I liked the way you write about his conversation with the deatheater too.
June - I love James, I just really love anything with baby harry and James being so cute as a parent because they should be happy so I loved the fluff in the latter half of James' POV. I thought it was really good because you use the contrast between his anxiety and the fluff to great affect. it's so difficult to read this gorgeous baby scene when we know what is coming. you make me feel! I also really like how you explore the impact of quidditch/flying on James, just lovely.
I'm so in love with this story Chiara. It's unique, brilliant, heart warming but heartbreaking at the same time. You understand these characters and you always tell their story perfectly.
- Abbi xo
First of all, thank you for the swap, I always love your stories and your feedback! And sorry if I took some time to get back to you...
Thank you, I'm so glad you are enjoying this story and the idea behind it. And also, it's wonderful to hear that you think I've done the Marauders justice!
I'm so glad that you loved in particular Remus, I bet you know by now that he is my absolute favourite... *blushes* I'm so glad you liked the chocolate egg's part! And yes, my poor Remus... he's having such a hard time at the moment, so lonely, abandoned by his friends... it is heartbreaking... Glad I could make you feel for him, though.
I love my Peter... I can't help it... as much as I resent his decisions, I can't help but loving him and feeling sorry for him... I'm so glad you like my portrayal of him.
James is a wonderful dad! He loves Lily and Harry both so much... they should be happy, it's so sad that they didn't get enough time as a family... I'm so glad his section emotioned you.
Aww, you are too sweet! Thank you so much! I'm so, so glad you are loving this story so much!
We should swap again soon! :)
Lots of love,
Chiara! Since I read the first chapter of Liar yesterday and this is also nominated in Best Marauders, I thought it was about time that I stopped by here as well.
(I'm so insanely jealous of how well you write, by the way, and even more so given that it isn't in your native language. I feel like an idiot with my baby italian after reading this :P)
This is a really interesting story idea! I don't think I've seen another fic which follows these characters just through this fateful last year in the end of the war, before two of them die and all of their lives are changed forever. It's an original way to tell their story and I love the way you've taken the months as sections and are focusing on each character individually.
The second person was a great way to reach out to the reader in this story too. I was instantly drawn into the narrative and felt involved in what was going on. During the February section, I think you could have made it a little clearer earlier on who the character was, purely because I wasn't expecting it to switch, but it worked so well to pull me into the story. The second person in the first section was actually really effective, and though I can't forgive him for it, I feel a little more sympathetic to Peter now? (How are you managing this??)
Your characterisation was great here too. Their lives seem so different comparatively and we got an insight into each - into their behaviours and reasoning. I think Peter's section interested me most because I loved the way you explored how he started to realise what he was doing, and his motivations for doing it. I don't think feeling jealous and pushed out because his friends have had a baby is a good reason to feel alone, though. It might be an adjustment but of course they're going to put their child first, and I know a lot of people his age and younger who have dealt with that.
James's frustration at being cooped up inside the house came through really clearly here as well, and I liked the fact you explored different aspects of his character. The loving husband and father, and then the young, impatient man who wants to get out and enjoy himself and see the world. Then Sirius, alone, drinking to try and forget what has happened, blaming himself for Regulus and his choices. I thought you weaved all of the characters and events together really well in this chapter.
One other thing I loved was the way you transitioned between each section - Peter spending time with James and Lily before we begin James's section, and James thinking of Sirius before we switch to him in the Leaky Cauldron. It helped transition really smoothly and I liked the attention to detail.
I really enjoyed this chapter!
It's always so lovely to receive your visit, your reviews are really so wonderful! Thank you so much! *wub*
Aww... I don't see what you are jealous of, honestly! You are a wonderful writer! And you know so many languages and I only know English (to an extent) and a tiny bit of very basic French... and your Italian is great! (By the way, poke at me if you want to practice, I had fun chatting in Italian with you!)
I'm so glad you liked the story idea and the structure. It was something I've had in mind to write for a while and I'm happy with the way it came out in the end. I'm so glad you liked the use of second person as well, and that it helped getting in touch with the characters' emotions. I'm glad you could feel a bit of sympathy for Peter, too. (Yes, I'm very proud when people tell me that :P)
I'm so happy you liked the characterization and their different struggles, and especially Peter (I guess because he is the one that usually gets forgotten, right?) I think a huge part of Peter's betrayal depended on his feeling of being abandoned and not considered by his friends and I think he always felt that way, but maybe Harry's presence accentuated it. Obviously, it's only natural that James and Lily would put their son first.
I've always imagined James as a person full of life and craving for adventure and I think out of the four Marauders he would be the one who'd feel most trapped if forced to stay locked inside. I'm glad his frustration came out well, but also the caring husband and father's side. He really loves Lily and Harry deeply and would do anything to keep them safe.
And poor Sirius, trying to drink off all the horrors of the war and his guilt for his brother... :(
Oh, the transition thing was actually unintentional... I'm glad it helped making it all cohesive. I really didn't realize I did it. :O
Thank you so much for this wonderful review!
The bleak, depressing end. =(
Halloween. It seems like such a huge deal in the wizarding world, with their massive pumpkins and real ghosts and the huge feast. Especially for somebody like James who loves pranking, to spend it inside seems terrible. I like how you had him describe himself and Lily as prisoners. It is accurate: to save their son, they were essentially prisoners in their own home. They should have been taking Harry out for the first time, trying to get their 15 month old to say "trick or treat" and "thank you". You incorporated what we know from the text very well. It was heartbreaking, but very well written.
The same goes for what we know of Sirius... laughing maniacally, Peter's words, and the fact that he ended up in Azkaban almost immediately. If only Peter would have had a different animagus (or not betrayed his friends, even better!). Sirius's realization that he was innocent being something the Dementors couldn't take must have been such a relief to him, but I can't imagine sitting on that for a dozen years.
As for Remus, what you wrote was beautiful. Especially this paragraph:
"You want to hate him. You think that hating someone might make the pain more bearable. But you don't have the energy to hate him. You don't have the heart. You still love him, love the boy he used to be, the one who'd consented to become an Animagus only to stay by your side in the darkest times of your life. He is already paying a high price for what he's done. Maybe he deserves it. Maybe he deserves worse. But who are you to judge?"
Depressing? Yes, but I can't really comment on that (you read my Peter fic!). And honestly, I think second person sounds weird 99.9% of the time but it didn't even register with me that this was second person. I was so absorbed with what was happening and eager to keep reading that it didn't cross my mind. So excellent job with that.
I wish I could give more constructive feedback, but this was just brilliant and I really don't know what to say. (Other than maybe write more stuff like this!)
I am adding this to my favourites. =)
Review transferred from HPFF.
I never really replied to this one, so I'll try to do it now...
Poor James, it is a torture for him staying inside, epecially in this occasion... Halloween does sound like something big in the wizarding world... I'm glad you felt I incorporated the canon bits well, and I'm so sorry for breaking your heart with his death... I broke mine too... :(
And Sirius... his destiny is so tragic... I'm glad that you liked my interpretation of canon events for him, too. And yes, I really can't imagine sitting on that for twelve years either... :(
Aww, my poor Remus... :( Thank you so much for saying what I wrote about him was beautiful! *blushing*
Thank you so, so, so much! It was just so lovely when I received these wonderful reviews from you, especially because you were the first reviewer of this story and your entusiasm really meant a lot to me! Thank you for being so wonderful!
All my love,
I was not expecting to read that Sirius had been planning to propose to Marlene, but him losing a girlfriend in the war as well just as to the tragic arc of his character. I'm glad you showed Sirius buying Harry his first broomstick and a bit of what happened after that. It helped add a spot of sunshine in an otherwise depressing situation. I love this: "You've always trust his judgement better than your own, so you imagine he must be right. You nod." It really shows the bond between James and Sirius - unofficial brothers and best friends for life.
Reading about Remus being by himself in werewolf form, happy when he thought he saw Padfoot made me angry for him. Yes there was a war going on and there were so many important things that needed doing, but how could they just leave him? Compounded with the fact that he can't find a job really helps to illustrate how rough he had it. Not being able to hold down a job, friends drifting away, and it not getting better until 1993 (!!). So unfair for such a nice guy.
Peter again... you've succeeded in making him seem real, but still like a bad human being at the same time. I wanted to smack him and yell at Sirius not to do it, especially since you made Peter hide so effectively while still being out in the open.
In that section there should have been a dash in twenty-one, but it was the only issue I found with July. In August, the "you're" at the start of Remus's letter should be capitalized. For September "information" should not have an "s" at the end of it. Those were the only three minor issues I found with the entire chapter.
I really, really like this story. I'm surprised at the lack of reviews! I am looking forward to the next chapter and hesitant to read it at the same time knowing what's coming, though. =(
Review transferred from HPFF.
The last half of the year... What can I say? Depressing, but seeing the theme of the story it was inevitable...
Sirius and Marlene. I've read the ship in other fanfics and I always found it fitting. But I suppose it was a bit cruel to have him lose his girlfriend too... Sorry... :(
The birthday party. A bit of brightness in the dark. I'm happy you enjoyed it!
So glad you feel I did a good job at showing the bond of friendship between James and Sirius!
Oh, Remus... Everything about his life is unfair (which is probably the reason I love him so much...) But you're right, he doesn't deserve the treatment he's receiving from his friends. They should've been by his side! I'm getting angry at my own characters too... Is it normal?
Once again, all I can say is that I'm glad you found I made a good job with Peter. It's really great to hear!
Thank you so so much again for these lovely reviews! I can't even begin to tell you how much they mean to me!!!
A huge hug,
I was looking forward to seeing Remus but I feel so bad for him now! I know his friends were suspicious of him and that the suspects for the spy were him and Peter, but... my heart broke for him. I like how you incorporated little things that we know about him and the first Order into his chapter. The fact that he hoped the chocolate would make him feel better was a nice nod to the Dementor and Harry down the line. As for him having to deal with Greyback when he was the one who bit Remus in the first place... what a horrible, horrible job. And it bit him in the butt (no pun intended).
The fact that you made Peter question what he was doing and not simply become a scaredy-cat with absolutely no morals was a good choice. Again, he seems more human than in most other fics he's in. That doesn't make me not want to shake him though, so take it as a compliment.
James is so stir crazy, but that is understandable. Is he even allowed to leave for Order business/meetings at this point? Nice job with Dumbledore & the cloak, leaving him with no ways to get out. Baby Harry is adorable. I feel so bad for him, knowing what's coming.
One minor mistake I noticed: "would've a boy" should be "would have a boy" in James's section.
Another very well done chapter. I have really enjoyed reading about the first half of the year and am looking forward to reading about the second half (even though it will be depressing).
Transferred from HPFF.
Remus is my absolute favourite :)
Yes, I feel bad for him, too. But I think that was how his life was like at the time. Rough, but we know that his friends suspected him of being the spy (hence the switch to Peter without telling him). And, yes, I agree that it must've been a hard job having to deal with Greyback when knowing he was the cause of his condition. :(
It's great to hear that I managed to balance Peter's character well, making him dislikeable but giving him some humanity at the same time. Thank you for that!
As for James, he's growing a bit fidgety... Who wouldn't, really? No, I don't think he was allowed to leave even for Order business at that point.
I'm happy you liked the reference to the cloak! And I'm really happy you liked baby Harry, too!!!
Thank you so much again for the review!!!
Okay, I will break this review up into sections, like the chapter.
January - Your depiction of Peter was amazing. Seeing that he was already involved with the Death Eaters but didn't really fit in there either was brilliant. You showed parts of the boy he would have been when he first became friends with the other Marauders, making him much more human than he seems in so many other stories. The fact that he felt remorse for killing and differentiated what he had done by betraying the Order to actually killing a man outright was interesting. Then you showed the fact that he felt left out while visiting the Potters. Great job!
February - Ah, James. I feel so bad for him, being cooped up and stressed. At the same time, I also was sad because he was still so HAPPY, with his memories of Lily and his time with baby Harry. Knowing that Peter is already with Voldemort and will betray him... ugh. Heartwrenching.
March - Sirius. =( Seeing him break down a bit after everything that he has gone through is so fitting. The fact that he tried to cope first by drinking and then by kicking a can to let out his anger seems very Sirius. I like how you went into detail to show how the war was affecting him as a person and the struggles he was having with losing friends, the different dynamic of the Marauders, and so on.
Really excellent job. =)
Review transferred from HPFF.
Thank you so much for transferring these lovely reviews!!! :D I'm transferring my answers now (with a few little changes here and there)! ;)
Peter... As I already said, I have a soft spot for him. I mean, I hate him for betraying his friends and everything, but I can't imagine him as outright evil. I think he's much more complex than he's often depicted and I'm glad you liked the way I portrayed him!
I know, poor James... Anyone would go a bit flustered being forced inside all the time, especially someone as lively as him. And I'm also sure that he would still try to see the bright side in his wife and son, that's just like him! But I agree, it's sad to see him still happy despite everything and knowing what's to come.
Sirius :'( It was inevitable for him to break down with everything happening around him. I'm glad to hear you feel I captured his character right! :) Trying to drink it off is just what I would expect him to do, too!
Once again, thanks for the review!
All my love,
ekndhxksvknf I can't process all of this. It's so hard to read these terrible things happening, but I couldn't look away, I was just too absorbed in your writing. I love the little mundane details in the first section and how an ordinary day gives way to this horrible, huge moment - it makes Voldemort's arrival that much more of a shock.
The section with Sirius was really strong and I loved the style of it, particularly the repetition in the explanation of why he's laughing. Everything is ending for him at that moment and he just can't handle it. And then the horror of Azkaban :( I want to give him a hug! Same with Remus. He and Sirius are both so alone, trapped in different circumstances but the same sort of situation in the tremendous loss they've faced and how they have no one to turn to. Excuse me while I go cry for hours about the unfairness that is the Marauders' fate.
So to sum up - Chiara, this is such a great fic and I am so glad I stopped by to read it. I'm so impressed. Your writing is so powerful in this and I love how it really brings out these emotions. And I loved your use of second person throughout. I really love that perspective, and it can be tricky especially when switching character POVs as you did, but you pulled it off so well. Molto bene! (That's the only thing I know in Italian and it just happens to express how I feel about this story :D
Lots of love,
Once again, I apologize for this story being so depressing... I really didn't want things to go like that, but that's what J.K. created for us...
That was exactly what I was trying to show, how everything happened so suddently and unexpectedly. I'm so glad you felt the shock of it.
Oh, Sirius and Remus... Yes, it is so terribly unfair... You are excused... Think I'm going to shed a river of tears too...
I'm so so so glad that you stopped by this story, too! I simply can't handle your kind comments, you are horribly too sweet!!!
And thank you so much for the comments about my use of second person!
Mountains of love,
*Transferred from HPFF*
There was a lot of buildup in this chapter with this feeling of suspense underlying it all... it's so difficult, knowing how it all ends and just seeing each unfortunate thing fall into place.
The balance between dark and bright side in that first section with Sirius is really well done, how you wove in Sirius' grief at his girlfriend's death, and James acting so... seriously (pardon the pun.. haha) with Harry in the background flying on his toy broom. I like how that juxtaposition really highlights how they had to appreciate the little things and any joyful moments, because the rest of their lives were so dark.
Wow - the detail in that section with Remus' transformation was just so vivid! That was an incredible scene.And to add insult to injury, that rejection letter - so sad. He really is the most alone of the four, and it's so tangible here.
And the scene where Peter sells out. He seems almost emotionless in his scene, like he's spent so long doubting and worrying and being afraid that by this point he just doesn't care anymore, or just isn't able to feel anything as he betrays them. It's so cold and unfeeling, and that makes his betrayal just that much more chilling.
This story continues to be so powerful and so well written. You've done great work with it. And now I'm onto the last chapter. I'd better make sure I have a box of tissues nearby because I know what's next...
Here I am again with the answer to your review!
I'm so glad you liked the balance between bright and dark in Sirius' section. The birthday party was one of my favourite scenes to write. Ahahah, James is acting pretty Siriusly in here ;)
Yes, poor Remus... He's so lonely...
I'm so happy to hear that you liked the scene of his transformation! I really struggle with description... I'm so glad you found it so vivid!
Yes, I suppose Peter is sort of emotionally exausted at that point. He's really just trying to convince himself that he has no choice, when really he could pull out a bit of braveness and loyalty and just not do it. But sadly, that's not what happened :(
Thank you so much, I'm so glad you feel that way!!!
*Transferred from HPFF*
I'm back! Gah, this was such a sad chapter. Everyone's kind of lost in their own problems and really just need to open their eyes! But as they say, hindsight is 20/20...
I love the way you've captured the personalities of the characters. It's probably no secret that I adore the Marauders, and reading anything about them during the war just gets me in the feels every time. That scene with Remus all alone with his Easter egg, I just wanted to step in and give him a huge hug and tell him it will be okay (though, really, it won't, at all). Aw. Life dealt him a horrible hand, it's just so unfair! Wah! But I really liked how you wrote him dwelling on the past, getting hung up on litle things, and of course unwrapping the chocolate really slowly and deliberately. Your use of little deatils bring the scene and characters to life.
Peter... ah. I do really like him as a character, though I hate him for what he did. I like that you've focused so much on his insecurity. Based on his tendency to ally himself with stronger people, it's evident that he's a really insecure person, so I think it makes perfect sense that even well into his service with the Death Eaters, he's still on the fence and questioning himself and his decisions. I almost felt badly for him when Avery left Peter all alone with his worries. Almost. And I like that you showed that Avery, despite his position on the side of evil as a Death Eater, has some good qualities to him, like the way he values loyalty. I like complicated characters - no one is ever wholly good or evil and your scenes with Peter do so well at portraying that.
James... If only he'd open his eyes! I can't handle how precious that scene is with him and Lily and Harry. Too cute. It's just going to break my heart even more when I reach October in the story!
Once again, wonderful work on this. Well done!
Welcome back, hun! :)
I'm sorry... This story is just so depressing... But it was supposed to be...
Thank you! I adore the Marauders, too (I think that's pretty obvious...)
Remus is my absolute favourite! I know how you feel, I feel the same way! Definitely wanting to step in and give him a hug!!!
I think he would totally be the slowly unwrapper... I'm like that, too... And thank you, I'm glad you liked the little details!
I feel for Peter exactly the same. I love writing him, because he's so complex and has so many facets to investigate. I agree, no one is totally good or evil. That's exactly what I was aiming to with Peter, and I'm glad you feel I portrayed him well!
I know... I'm so sorry... They are such a cute family, and knowing how everything is going to end... :'(
Thank you! I'm so glad you liked this!
Now I have to go to boogie, but I'll answer the other two reviews as soon as I'm back!
*Transferred from HPFF*
Hi Chiara! Welcome to Hufflepuff - I was so excited when I saw you'd joined us badgers! :D So here's a review to say 'welcome' - and also to say thank you once again for being such an incredible reviewer. You're awesome.
So, onto the story! Omg, that first section, wow! It was so chilling and absorbing, I was so caught up in it. And I love your use of second person here - it's a really particular perspective that I think has to be used in specific ways in order to be effective and you totally did that. It's perfect the way it creates this kind of distance from Peter's POV, but as the reader I still feel very involved in it - and it worked so well with that pivotal moment for him. Gah, it was just so good.
The section about James was so lovely in the way you portrayed how trapped he feels and how he is managing. Alhough his frustration is really evident at how he can't go anywhere but stay in the house, at least he has Lily - and I think it says a lot about James that he can see the silver lining in his boring situation and still feel so lucky and grateful for the family he loves, and for his friends. It was realy sweet.
Poor Sirius, though - he's definitely struggling to handle it and I think you did really well with all the things he's facing and how he reacts - he tries to just drown his problems and forget, but he is angy at a situation far out of his control and probably feels some guilt about Reg. I like that you implied that whatever Sirius said about Reg, he really did care about him- it is so frustrating to think that if they'd just talked, realised they were really on the same side after all, it wouldn't have had to happen this way. :'( Gah, so sad.
As you know, I love seasonal themes in stories, and I absolutely love what you did here with incorporating the loneliness and bleakness of winter into all three sections of this chapter - the experiences of each show a different side to loneliness and feeling trapped or out in the cold. I love how symbolic it all is :) And I must say -having read some of your earlier work before, which was good, you've already improved so much as a writer and I'm so impressed. This chapter was really superb and I'm so excited to keep reading and see where you go with it.
So, I'll see you again on the next chapter ;)
This was such a marvelous surprise to find these absolutely amazing reviews from you!!!
You are awesome too!!! Thanks so much!!!
Thank you! I'm so happy to hear that 2nd person worked well, because it made me so nervous! And that you felt involved in Peter's POV! I'm quite proud of how that first scene turned out, modesty aside...
I think that's how James would be, feeling trapped and insufferent, but trying to see the bright side in Lily and Harry :) I'm so happy you liked it!!!
Yes, I know... Sirius is going through so much at the moment... And yes, I've always thought that Sirius and Regulus really loved each other and were just too proud to admit it and apologize. They could've settled things right if they'd tried and I agree with you, it's really frustrating!
I love seasonal themes too. I'm kind of a meteoropathic, actually... I'm happy you manage to feel the coldness in this!
Oh, Kristin, thank you so much! To be true, I don't think my writing has improved... Just this story turned out particularly well written for some inexplicable reason... But thank you for saying that anyway!!! Coming from you, who are so talented, is such a huge compliment!!!
See you on the next chapter!