Beautiful, short and sweet.
Oh, Jess, this is just beautiful. Sometimes I forget how much I love Remus as a character, and then I read something tortured and lovely like this, and I remember. It's interesting that you chose to make Marlene have that strong sense of right and wrong, idealism bordering on naivete. Not only does it fit, but it seems likely that this would be the kind of woman Remus would fall hard for. I hated that she left without the assurance of his love--so heartbreaking. And I literally gasped when he ripped the photo. Impulsive Gryff. ;) Beautiful, beautiful stuff here. So glad I found it.
Yay! I love Lori reviews! I so rarely write anything that falls into your reading patterns that I love when I can write something that fits the angst bill for my tastes but also attracts other readers. Having a lovely banner doesn't hurt. <3 Nadia.
Well, when I wrote this, Carole was going through a rough time and had a particularly bad day, and to exacerbate things, she got a nasty response to a review that ruined her day. That's when I busted out The Cure. I trawled through maybe 30 songs, but when I heard this one, it was perfect. As I listened, I got this mental image of a photograph being torn in half, and I just *knew* it was going to be Remus. The rest just kind of fell into place.
I wanted Remus to fall for someone who deserved him, and it sucked to have to kill her, but Marlene was always going to die and this ship always doomed. To me, it seemed a bit too forceful a reaction for Remus to refuse Tonks; there had to be something that happened before that burned him and made him wary of letting anyone close. Poor guy. :/
Anyway, thanks for the visit. I'm glad you liked the story. <3
So you're probably feeling now like I'm spamming you with all these reviews... basically I haven't read any fanfic for a while, so I'm reading most of what you've written in the last few months...
I loved this. I loved the present tense and past tense - you used them so well that I hardly noticed the shift for the memories, and while present tense can often sound clunky/unnatural, it flowed perfectly here.
I loved the bit when Remus tried to obliterate the dark mark - for some reason it made me think of that scene in the fifth movie when Sirius dies and Remus holds Harry back from going through the veil - although possibly this was more poignant, because Harry can be quite hot-headed, whereas Remus practically never loses it.
I love the background this gives for Remus/Tonks too - it seems very likely that Remus would have loved someone before her, and that adds to his hesitancy - after all, he may have more obvious reasons than most, but I think he's just afraid of being hurt - and if he's been hurt in that way before, it makes more sense.
The scene when Marlene essentially proposed was so well-written - I could really feel the whole mood slip from happy to broken just in that short scene.
Even though this is short and as much about Remus as Marlene, you really developed her character well, considering the books don't give us much. I also liked how, because this is told in Remus' eyes, she seems perfect, when presumably there would be more to her.
Anyway, I really loved this story.
Spam away, dearie. I will ogle every word hungrily, like a starving vegetarian at a salad bar. And, as it's nearly 7am and I should really sleep, I will apologise for the crappiness of that simile.
This is one thing I was really happy with after I finished and am still happy with now. I don't get that sensation often, so I was glad that I could write this as a pick-me-up for Carole.
When starting this, I had a vivid image of Remus tearing a photograph but immediately realising his mistake as soon as it's done. He needed that connection to Marlene to cope with her death, but his inability to cope had destroyed it. And yes, it does indeed explore Remus's irrational reluctance to pursue any relationships. While his lycanthropy never actually killed Marlene, or his not telling her, he would look and look for a reason to blame himself for it to the point where he might as well have done. That's all it takes.
I think one of the reasons why Remus is so measured in his grief later on is because of this (in my head canon). He's seen that ranting and carrying on does nothing but make one do things one regrets. Like mauling the one last piece left of someone beloved.
Anyway, me = rambling; you = superior to none other for visiting my page. I actually had a thought while writing this that it would be right up your alley. I can't say it for certainty, but I'm glad you liked it. Thank you again for your support. :D
Hello, SPEW queen!
Agh. I was completely planning on making this a SPEWly review, but I can’t. The simple reason being that I can’t hold back the squee. For some reason I’ve always disliked Remus/Marlene, because I felt like Marlene would be a couple years older than Remus would be. But you have totally changed my mind on that….LOVE LOVE LOVE.
But ahhhh. This is so incredibly beautiful. I love the descriptions you’ve given, especially about Marlene’s death [not a good thing, the imagery you’ve used is just fab.] And I love the flashbacks to the past that you’ve used…I think it was a really good idea to tell the story from Remus’s POV after Marlene died and then have him remember with the picture.
And the end. AAAHHH, the end was so, so sad, Jess. When the picture rips…I don’t cry when I read fanfic, I never have, but this made me so sad. Actually, the whole fic just made me sad. The reason I don’t ship Remus with anyone besides Tonks, tbh, is because the person ALWAYS dies. ALWAYS. But you did it so, so well here!
One thing I have to ask. Marlene didn’t know that Remus was a werewolf, did she? I realise that’s why he couldn’t marry her, I was just wondering if she knew in the first place.
Anyway this is just so lovely and poignant and beautiful and I love it. This is losing me SPEW kudos by the second, but I don’t even care.
Oh, you have made me smile this day. First with Peeta!love, and now with such a lovely review. ♥
I did as much research as I could to determine who Marlene's family was and whether they were her husband/kids or her parents/siblings who were killed by Death Eaters. When I unearthed nothing that suggested that her 'family' was her own nuclear family rather than her living at home with her parents, I decided to make her yet another young idealist who fought the good fight and never came out of the war.
Normally, flashbacks are kind of meh for me, but in this story, they are memories - painful ones that the photograph is dredging up. These memories set up the story as much as the present narrative tells it, so without them, it's just kind of a reflective pool of angstiness in which the reader can't see why Remus feels this loss so acutely.
When I started this fic, it was as a pick-me-up for Carole. Well, for something meant to cheer her up, it went into an awful angst spiral, but it was inspired by a Cure song. A gorgeous Cure song, if you're so inclined to youtube it. The song just gave me this mental image of a tearing photograph, and then this bunny just hopped into the yard and practically wrote itself. The format, the theme, the pairing...everything just fell into place. I miss being inspired like that.
But more than that, I really felt that Remus's objections about dating Tonks came from somewhere other than his condition. Everyone but him thought he was overreacting, and he'd found it within himself to gallivant around the woods as a werewolf with his friends. There had to be something else to it, and he was using his condition as an excuse. This is what I came up with.
Death is the age-old issue with Order/DE romance stories. One of them nearly always dies, but it sort of makes sense. When Moody is showing Harry the Order photograph in OotP, half of everyone is dead. It makes sense that if anyone in the group decided they wanted to date each other, the odds are not ever in their favour, hehe.
And about Marlene...no, she didn't know he was a werewolf. He made sure she didn't because he cared about her so much that he didn't want to lose her. Stupid and overly noble, but Remus had this gorgeous, wonderful thing for the first time in his life and didn't want to ruin it because of it. Well, he did ruin it, but because of him not being straightforward, rather than because of something he couldn't help.
And as for this not being SPEW kudos, I couldn't disagree more. You made points about the story you appreciated and were friendly. These are reviews that most authors would sacrifice lambs at alters for, hehe. Thank you for stopping by. It's been lovely.
Bonjour, Reine de SPEW :)
It’s been a while since I’ve read anything by you, so it was lovely having something of yours on my TBR list for once. And, wow, I was really impressed with this piece, for several reasons.
Firstly, I think Remus/Marlene is a wonderful pairing, partly because it’s pre-Remus/Tonks and still fully canon compliant (and your take on the pairing was another excellent one) but also because Remus’s reluctance to be with Tonks later on is understood more. Clearly, he had experienced a similar problem with someone else before Tonks, and it explains, also, why Remus seized the opportunity with Tonks in HBP -- because he knew that he missed the chance with Marlene. I think that was such a powerful aspect of his character to explore, and it was done incredibly well. I also know you’re not a huge fan of Marauder Era, so this is even more impressive, in my opinion, because the characterisation throughout was just stellar.
Second, we don’t know much about Marlene from canon, so I liked that you drew from that and characterised her really well, firstly by her actions and her ideals (which we know, partially, because she was in the Order and therefore cared about what was right) but by her description. I think it was necessary, because Marlene is essentially an OC in terms of characterisation. I find, usually, with your writing, that you don’t linger on description much, so it was a nice change to read more description in this one at the beginning. And it was beautifully and poetically written, right from the start of the story -- I got a really vivid image of Marlene, which was important because, of course, Remus remembers her vividly too.
I also loved the style in which this story is written -- I know you’re not a fan of present tense, but if I didn’t know your preferences when writing, I would never be able to guess that you’ve stepped out of your comfort zone at all, because it was written so effortlessly that it’s impossible to tell that you and present tense aren’t best friends. Present tense was definitely the right choice here, because it really made me feel in the moment, and there’s also something ominous about it which suited the mood of the story perfectly.
The flashbacks were also gut-wrenching, in that they showed when Remus and Marlene were happy, and that just added to the sad tone in the piece. The part at the end when Marlene proposed to Remus was gorgeously done, and I really liked that she was not a traditionalist in that respect. The shifts back to the past and then the present again were flawlessly done, and not once were they jarring, or abrupt. I think the non-linear structure here worked really well; it’s amazing how many memories one can get from just a photo, and the image of Remus lying in his bed and looking at the picture of him and Marlene is so powerful, and it really emphasises the gloominess Remus feels, especially when he tears the photo in two.
Finally, I think the story flowed really well. It is a relatively short one-shot, but it was the perfect length, I think, and there was a lot of emotion packed in for such a short piece, which I really liked, especially with the non-chronological way in which the story was written. You explored a lot of Remus’s feelings throughout -- love, of course, but also, anger (when Remus discovered the Dark Mark above Marlene’s body) which was executed really well, and it was perfectly in character when he obliterated it with his wand. That was a really good scene, and it emphasised how badly Remus was affected by Marlene’s death, and how much he loved her.
So, overall, Jess, this was a wonderfully-written and poignant story, even more so because it’s not your usual style or era, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Well done :)
Sorry it's taken epically long to respond, but it never fails that I don't have the proper words to respond to a SPEW review. /bad Monarch
Somehow, in my head, Remus/Marlene is totally canon. Remus is the one Marauder I genuinely don't dislike, but he is, to me, the most tragic. Peter was thought to be dead, James *was* dead, and Sirius had supposedly committed both crimes. Remus was left with the burden of knowledge that he had not been able to stop any of it. Add his furry little problem, and he is the person I would least want to be between 1981 and 1993. He went at it all alone, but there was only one conceivable reason why he would tackle such a difficult life alone, and that is because he wasn't alone and it didn't work out well.
And as for Marlene, I thought it was important for the reader to see her as Remus saw her at that moment, idyllically pretty and sweet to a fault. Naturally, this isn't the sum of what she was. At this moment in time, though, she was a flawless flower that Remus thought that he destroyed because of what he was and ultimately lived with that burden. To see her as anything else after she had just been buried would've been abominable to Remus. He loved her too much to let himself love her. Noble git. >.>
Present tense just ended up being a necessity. In terms of functionality, it would've been more awkward using flashbacks if all of it had been in past tense, rather than having a present that drifted into memories. It just seemed the logical choice. However, using first person present tense (which I've done once before) would've melted my brain. I think I don't have a POV I dislike more other than second person anything. I just picked what felt the best whilst writing, and weirdly enough, that was it, hehe.
Speaking of the memories/flashbacks, I really had to reign myself in while writing those so they didn't overtake the rest of the story completely. I felt it was more important to show Remus's heartbreak and use the memories to demonstrate why that is, rather than make the story about the flashbacks and using the present tense bits to mark their sad ending. That probably doesn't make any sense, but there ya go.
I had a really strong image of the picture, and that was what I wrote the story around. There is something really poignant about the image of a photograph being ripped, and I thought it fitting that not even magic could put it back together properly. And with it being likely the last photograph left of Marlene, as her house had been burned down, it kind of has a finality to it in that respect, especially for Remus.
As for the length of the story, I think a longer story might've ended up being too draining, both for me and the reader, or worse, run the risk of rambling rather than being emotive. I like to think that those 1100 something words say more than I probably could've done in 5000 writing it differently. It's probably pretentious to say that, but that's me for you, lol.
I think Remus obliterating the Dark Mark was probably my favourite thing to write. His rage was almost palpable in my brain, and I'm reasonably confident that it translated well onto the page. To be honest, I had the image of the HBP film where the students all held up their wands after Dumbledore died, but I wanted it to be the antithesis of that. Remus rarely loses his temper, but everyone has a breaking point. That, to me, was his.
That breaking point was very important to his future relationship with Tonks. Not even someone afflicted with lycanthropy could cut himself off from possible romance as solidly as Remus did. In the first war, he thought it was too much to overcome and he lost a chance at happiness because the dark times they lived in took Marlene away. But when Tonks came along, Remus refused to let himself feel that way again. I think he eventually realised that he couldn't stop himself from feeling the way he did no matter how hard he tried, so he decided to take happiness where he could get it, because things were even worse than they had been during the first war...and we know how that turned out. It's better to die regretting things you've done than die regretting things you didn't do.
All in all, if I were to write a Marauder story, this kind, with non J/L and all those characters that bore me, this is it. There are so many good characters to implement, and I prefer to give the ones who don't have a story a life of their own. Like Marlene. And maybe read through the lines a bit about Remus and his travails with romance. And so forth.
Anyway, I will shut up now. This was an excellent review, almost to the point where it was exceedingly difficult to respond in a manner fitting its quality. I fear I have failed, but thank you for visiting and reading this story. It's the best thing I've written of late, maybe save for Carole's birthday story. I appreciate the visit, and have a lovely evening. :D
Oh Jess this is so beautiful! The present tense works so well with your style. It's amazing. The flow, the language, the characterisation, it's all gorgeous. You really caught the tragic atmosphere.
I especially loved this part.
And wars don’t stop to grieve for the people they take.
Remus only wishes that it didn’t feel like the sky was falling in on him.
Guh. It's so poignant and lovely and sad and just brilliant. Sorry for this incoherent review but I can only gush.
I was not really expecting to see you up in here, considering how much Marauder Era stuff you read on purpose (which is about the same amount as I do, lol). I'm so glad you like it, because I feel like I was far too mean to Remus. But in my head, I don't think he would be as guarded about being with Tonks unless he felt like his affections could be dangerous, that perhaps he could be using his lycanthropy as an excuse not to get his heart broken like this again.
Present tense isn't a friend of mine, but when we meet, I think we can have a party. It's...tricky to keep from being repetitive, as you'll already know, since you've already got a black belt in present tense-onomics. But overall, I just wanted to capture the amount of pain that still festered for these days that had passed, having been dragged back into the open by the funeral. Hopefully that worked out.
Thank you so much for the visit and the review, as well as the glee-inducing nice words. :D
Aww, Jess, that was lovely! I love the idea of Remus actually having been so in love--and then you go and literally rip it apart. The image of him screaming at the Dark Mark, desperately trying to Obliverate it, is so, so heartbreaking. Guh. Tragically beautiful.
Sometimes stories that go back and forth between past and present feel disjointed, but this flows nicely. The memories seem to relate to the present perfectly well. The last one is definitely the saddest. I wish Remus had just told her. I wonder if he kept it secret from the Order the first time around, because more people certainly knew during the second war.
Lovely story, glad you are writing!
To me, Remus is a private person. He shares little about himself to Harry in PoA; instead, he talks about his friends. I don't know if he was actually emotionally equipped at that age to possibly alter how Marlene felt about him. I think he saw how happy James and Lily were and wanted a piece of that for himself so badly that he tried his best to pretend like his 'furry little problem' didn't exist. This far out of school, the Marauders might not always be around or available to soothe him through his transformations, so maybe a bit of the agony and shame factor played a part in it. In school he wouldn't have told her because he wasn't supposed to tell anyone. That gave him an out. Afterward, I think he grew a bit dependent on the care and validation that came with a sustained relationship and was too afraid to screw it up and, by doing so, ultimately screwed it up. Poor guy. :/
Thank you for the review, and I'm glad you liked it. :)
Oh Gods, Jess, that was beautiful. My sole criticism would be that it's too short. I love the present tense and ha, for once, the italicised flashbacks didn't annoy me, probably because they were short, perfectly chosen fragments, rather than long extended ones. There are so many things I love about this--the way you sketch Marlene's character so brilliantly in so few words, and then Remus' horror at her being defined by what she's left behind, and how it doesn't represent who she is adequately enough. That sentence is too long.
And the way that all this spirals from the photograph, and his horror at her death, and the screaming--I love your use of the word "putrefying" for the Dark Mark on the sky. And I also like how you hint at things--like the fact they've broken up when she dies, but you don't find out exactly when until right at the end. And when she proposes ( :) )and he doesn't know what to do--this is an incoherent review. But this story is beautiful. Alex
It is kind of hard to respond to such loveliness. This isn't how my head canon goes at all, but I was trolling you tube, heard this song, and knew right away that this was what the story had to be. It was sort of perfect. I'm really glad you like it and wish I could respond on something besides my phone...stupid attack page thing. :/
OMG! Jess, this is amazing. Wow, and thank you for dedicating this to me. I am deeply touched and just lost for words (hence incoherence of this review.
The scene when he's taking down the Dark Mark is so gut-wrenchingly powerful.
He had screamed. Oh, he had screamed with everything he had at that Dark Mark in the sky, hating every photon that made it shine so brightly in broad daylight. I shivered at that point. It made me falter and read again. I was truly there feeling Remus' emotions and rage because, of course, Remus rarely loses it. He's generally so controlled that when he does lose it, it's spectacular. WOW.
The description of the eyes is so perfect; that I could see them in front of me, and then the tragedy that he can't ever look at them again because she's blinking. Oh My, I want to cry.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
No copyright infringement is intended, and I respect their work with the utmost deference. Too right, or Lea and I will beat you up.
Thanks again. Can you tell I'm a little pleased - hee hee ~Carole~
Well, I saw that you had an epically bad day on Thursday and wanted to hug you and show you that you're not alone on the anti-pretentious wagon. So I decided to write you something that shows that something doesn't have to be convoluted to be just right. Of course, the flaw in my logic set in when I realised that me = not all that and a bag of chips (or crisps, I suppose). So, then I just hoped The Cure connection would suffice for a warm, fuzzy feeling to cheer you up. :)
I think everyone has a breaking point. Also, I think there should've been a reason why he was overly adamant about not getting involved with Tonks later on, and I reckon it was because he'd been burned before regarding who he was one day out of the month interfering with who he wished he could be.
I felt terrible, putting him through all of that. I rather like him now, so torturing nice boys is not something I enjoy. :/ But watching someone go through that should rightly feel like a piece of one's own flesh is being ripped out -- raw and bleeding. While I'm not glad that it had the desired effect, I'm relieved that it was carried out properly.
All in all, Jess still loves Croll, and The Cure is now on my shopping list. :)