Dearest Kelly, I loved this fic, and I feel terrible for not reviewing it earlier. I had every intention to, and then, well, you know how things get in the way. But I’m here now to express how much I appreciated that you wrote this for me.
Diving right in here with a bit that I loved: You’ve spent the last few months finding the perfect place to view her usual seat at the table. I mean, Regulus is totally kind of stalking Lily, isn’t he? But that’s sort of what people do when they fancy someone, especially as teenagers, and that is, after all, what Regulus is here. A teenager. I think it’s easy to forget that, because Regulus died so young and the little that we know of him from canon might make it seem like he was older than he really was. Finding the balance between the clearly intelligent and eventually brave Regulus that sacrificed himself to help eliminate Voldemort, and the teenager who probably had his share of embarrassing moments and schoolboy crushes – it’s not easy, but I think you did a wonderful job in this fic. There’s this as well: Without hesitating, you abandon your breakfast and friends and make to follow him discreetly. Again, Regulus is a bit of a stalker. I think that also works well with his being a Slytherin. He’s sort of stealthy and manipulative and secretive. Maybe that’s getting into stereotype territory, but for some reason it just melds very well with my idea of Regulus.
Continuing with the characterization of Regulus in this fic, I want to touch on the jealousy you portray. I think it’s brilliant. I think Regulus would definitely be jealous of James, who seemingly has everything Regulus wants, and also partially of Sirius, who seemingly has everything Regulus might not realize he wants. Even though Regulus has grown up as the favorite son, and he completely recognizes the status he holds and the power of his family, he’s missing things. It is – and always has been – easy to get exactly what you want. For perhaps one of the first times in his life, he can’t have something he wants. Here’s this great girl, and he can’t have her. For a number of reasons that all trace back to him, and who he is. In some ways, it’s easy to envision the path that Regulus follows. He’s searching for validation and other things he can’t really determine, and he goes looking for them as a Death Eater. Here, in this fic, he’s right at that point. He’s presumably very close to becoming a Death Eater, and it’s clear from the way you write him that he’s on that edge of uncertainty and trying to find real direction.
On another characterization note, I absolutely loved Snape in this. I just thought you wrote so well. I had no trouble picturing him or hearing him in my head; just everything was spot on. I also found the relationship between Snape and Regulus really interesting. It’s clear when Regulus is with Avery and Wilkes as well that he has some power amongst this group of future Death Eater. Even though Snape is older than him and probably at this point enjoys some real influence, Regulus deals with him in exactly the way he needs to in order to get what he wants. He’s manipulative, he knows which strings to pull. It’s perfect. No harm was done; it was only a word. Loved that line. Regulus is subtle but not impossible. He knows what he’s doing, and it’s rather remarkable. And Snape’s reaction to it all is great as well. He doesn’t really want to do anything for Regulus, but he’s going to because he understands when to fight back and when to provide. It’s something about his character that we see so many times in canon, and it’s great to see that bit of characterization in a piece like this.
Of course I have to mention the use of the second person here. You know of my love for the second person, so naturally I was thrilled to see it. I think it works really interestingly here. It could make the fic seem like a pathetic self-insertion deal, with the reader identifying a little too much with the protagonist, but it doesn’t at all. You managed to find the line between that and simply gaining an insight into Regulus’s mind. It also offers a really different and interesting perspective on characters that we seem to know relatively well (e.g., James, Sirius, Snape). Because we’re only with Regulus throughout this whole fic, we see what he sees. We experience things the way he would, and it’s a skewed view of things, but it’s really nice. It’s especially effective when Regulus is James. That little nod he gives his fellow Slytherin – it’s one of those things that just works so well in second person, because you feel yourself, in a way, giving that nod and then realizing the carelessness of your action. And just quickly, speaking of the Regulus-James, I absolutely loved the scene of Regulus changing. Just everything about that scene is wonderful. The detail completely made it. The bit about his feet being the same size? I don’t know, I just thought it was brilliant.
He deserves Lily more than you ever could. You know, I think James gets a lot of crap in the fandom. People quite like to ship Lily with other characters, and even though there are obviously about a billion James/Lily fics out there, there are also a fair number of people who sort of despise the guy. But James was really the one who was there for Lily and who, no matter what anyone says, Lily loved and chose to be with. I have my Lily/Whoever ships, to be sure, but in the end I’ll always be James/Lily, and I love fics that have the other character realizing the epicness that is James/Lily. Here, I think it says a lot about Regulus’s character as well. It’s mature of Regulus to understand that he isn’t right for Lily, but it’s also back to that low self-esteem thing of just being a teenager and not thinking you’re good enough for anybody or anything.
So, to sum up, I loved this. Wonderfully written, of course, and thank you so much! -squishes-
Author's Response: I'm so glad that you liked it! It was very strange to write what I considered to be "your" terrirory - second person, Maurader Era. But anyways. I totally agree with you about James. I appreciate Lily with other characters, but there's just something that you can't really deny about the two of them together. *squishes*