Wow! I really liked it. The imagery with the fruit tree was pretty cool. Good Job!
Okay, to be honest, I wasn’t sure if I was going to like this. I love second person, but it’s very rarely done well. In the beginning, it almost seemed to me that you were writing in second person just to be writing in second person—it didn’t really seem like the story needed to be in second person. That is, until this line
It echoed throughout the silent house, and you startled yourself so much that your teacup fell to the ground and shattered.
It just wouldn’t work if it was in first or third person. The second person makes it seem oddly detached, which supports the you startled yourself so much part. After that, the voice really started to support Remus’s character and emotions, emphasizing his loneliness, his dissatisfaction with life, and his masochistic personality.
The thing I really love about Remus here is that he only blames himself, for what he is, but he never demands of the universe why, he of all people had to be a werewolf. It’s like he’s accepted his fate and has resigned himself to the life of a solitary man, which makes everything about him all that more heartbreaking.
But as the cold air clears and the snow on the ground starts to melt, so do the ice chambers you’ve built around your heart.
This is another line that only works in second person. It’s beautiful and in this line I really get the sense of hope. I feel like throughout most of the story, he has no hope at all and it’s so depressing. I’ve been sitting here trying to imagine a life without hope, without anything to look forward to, and I just can’t imagine. But then in that line there is finally that one sliver of hope and it’s refreshing, just like spring.
You’ve used the seasons as a literary device very smoothly. It doesn’t hit the reader in their head, repeatedly, but rather supports Remus’s moods and emotions. Winter symbolizes death and here Remus has hit rock bottom. Then, in spring, the time of birth and new life, his hope slowly begins to form.
You savour the words, say her name aloud in your empty house. It just makes you feel more alone.
Now this line is just downright depressing and heartbreaking, but wonderfully so. It’s something so simple, yet it is so sad. Remus’s loneliness, sadness, and emptiness practically drip off of this line, it’s so powerful. I think it’s my favourite one in the story.
I quite liked this story, even if it was a bit sadder than what you usually write. The transition from the loss of hope to having hope to his hope coming true made the theme of hope really work and balanced the story.
That. Was. Freakin. AWESOME!!!!!! I love it! Remus/Tonks is one of my favorite pairs, along with Lily/James and Teddy/Victore!!!! Great job!!!
Jen, this is a lovely story. The shortness definitely works in your favour; I feel as if it were much longer it would be dragged out too much, despite maybe making us feel him miss her more.
Yay, you wrote in second person! :) In fanfiction, I very much associate Remus with this point of view – maybe because that’s how I write him generally – and it definitely flows very naturally for his character here. Also I liked how the tense changes; it showed him thinking back, almost, but living in the now, too. However, I have to say the tenses got a bit confusing at times for me. I’m not sure why exactly, because despite liking the structure of it, I couldn’t help but be a bit like ‘wait, where are we now?’ Because in some paragraphs it would just skip from the past to present, or vice versa. For example, here there was an inconsistency and that made me more aware of the tenses – It echoed throughout the silent house, and you startled yourself so much that your teacup fell to the ground and shattered. The mess is cleaned up with a flick of your wand, but you feel foolish regardless.
eating meat nearly raw and fighting to the death with your friends every full moon.
I wondered about that line, as I didn’t really get the impression the Remus was friends with the werewolves, even from the short mention of spending time with them. Is he just being hypothetical here? I would’ve liked maybe a little clarification of what you meant by ‘friends’, as it did make me pause.
The conversation in italics between Remus and Tonks was interesting. You characterised them both perfectly – Tonks angry at how stupid he’s being in her eyes, but Remus being stubborn enough not to back down – and I loved the effect of the italics. The italics made it seem like the words were almost imprinted on his brain, as if he remembered the scene many a time in his loneliest moments. And, of course, he would – the story intertwines that loneliness with his love for her. The two emotions come together so naturally here, and this little scene really works for introducing the couple, set off against his musings and excuses for why.
But as the cold air clears and the snow on the ground starts to melt, so do the ice chambers you’ve built around your heart. -- ooh, I love that metaphor! It reflects the season so perfectly, but also catalogues the change in Remus, showing the toll his love and loneliness has taken on him.
I like how you touch on Remus’ school relationships, and his refusal to acknowledge Peter. It’s effective that you mention Peter at all [I like how you refer to him as ‘Peter’, too, and not ‘the rat’ or something – a nice reflection of who Remus is], as it shows that he can’t help but think of him, even if he does push the image away. That seems very realistic to the way people think. It’d be an acknowledgement you can’t help but have, even if you deny it to yourself.
The ending with the fruit tree was sweet. It’s like a symbol of their relationship, and it’s both sad and nice because as the reader I know that tree will last longer than they – but it’ll survive almost as a symbol or reminder that they were there. To make the tree carry more weight, as such, I would’ve liked it if you’d started the story with the tree somehow – I guess in a way you did, since it’s the chapter’s title – as that would’ve given the sense of coming full circle, which it could be said Remus and Tonks do. Even so, though, I like how you made that tree significant in the second section of the story.
I really enjoyed this look at Remus, and the second person added a lot to it, for me. Remus/Tonks can become quite clichéd, I think, but you gave this a nice spin of difference which I liked. Lovely story, dear. –squishes-
Great story - I love Remus and Tonks.