The Sugar Quill
Sugar Quill Community
- S.P.E.W (SQ History)

Fan Fiction and Writing
- Ask Madam Pince
(Story Submissions)
- Floo Network (Links)

Forums

Administrative Links

Dumbledore's Army
Reviews for: A Drift of Azaleas
Review(s): 54

Reviewer: AmethystBelovedDate: 2009-01-25
Reviewid: 151372Chapter: 1
"All skulls smiled" ::shivers:: First Regulus' eyes and now rotting Walburga? How creepy for Sirius. I enjoyed the lighter memories that Sirius had about the House of Black even though he wasn't too thrilled about inviting them in his mind. I liked your reason why Sirius re-entered the Will and inherited the House. Great characterization of Kreacher.

Reviewer: krumfanDate: 2006-03-12
Reviewid: 140846Chapter: 1
Gee, that was SOOO creppy and sad....and CREEPY!

Oh, Kreacher is a nasty fellow....hmm...poor Sirius....

loved it, as usual.

Reviewer: ksellersDate: 2006-01-19
Reviewid: 138716Chapter: 1
Lovely, creepy, will likely give me nightmares... in other words, bloody brilliant.

Reviewer: Reader 2Date: 2005-12-15
Reviewid: 137224Chapter: 1
A Drift of Azaleas ****
Wonderful of course

Reviewer: childoftheseventhsinDate: 2005-11-02
Reviewid: 135651Chapter: 1
This is so good....I love it. It's so moving, Sirius is portrayed perfectly.....awww

Reviewer: katie BiliusDate: 2005-09-10
Reviewid: 132075Chapter: 1
WIKED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!BRILLIANT!!!!!!

Reviewer: WendelinDate: 2005-09-02
Reviewid: 131534Chapter: 1
"Murderer Master."

The beauty of that line!

"Murderer Master." I can hear Kreacher saying it now, placidly, almost, because in his twisted little way, he admires Sirius, but yet hates him, probably because of what knows Sirius was as a boy.

I've put that badly. But that line.. it's so haunting.

Reviewer: DustyDate: 2005-08-29
Reviewid: 131237Chapter: 1
Oh Fern! How do you do it? Another masterpiece. Please don't stop writing.

Dusty

Reviewer: Bits N. PiecesDate: 2005-08-04
Reviewid: 128777Chapter: 1
I got chills reading this! You imagry was perfect. I love the idea of the Blacks burying their dead in the house, it's so like them. And your characterization, especially when Sirius and Kreacher meet, is dead on. I absolutly loved every moment of this story. Kudos to you. Keep it up!

Reviewer: ViralpaloozaDate: 2005-08-04
Reviewid: 128776Chapter: 1
Oooh, creepy. I like the way you've set up the house, it reminds me of the mansion from Resident Evil.

Reviewer: FlorenceDate: 2005-07-31
Reviewid: 128345Chapter: 1
Excellent story. Very descriptive. I love how you made the smell of rotting azaleas something sinister, a metaphor for the rot in the Black family and an omen of what Sirius was about to find. I think you captured exactly what Sirius *would* feel: enough duty to bury the bones and give them a headstone, but no mourning. Your last sentence is pefect; the inscription Sirius writes (and doesn't write) captures the emotion of the story.

Reviewer: AnagnorisisDate: 2005-06-25
Reviewid: 125161Chapter: 1
I liked the premise of the story, Sirius returning back to his root, confronting one of his demons (I suppose). It was an excellent twist to start him off with a *happy* memory, and Sirius' angstier side was better portrayed at his desire for more painful memories. The one about Bellatrix was excellently in character for her. ;)

Reviewer: NunduDate: 2005-06-15
Reviewid: 124067Chapter: 1
Wow! This might be my favourite of all your writings. I cannot point to one specific thing that gives it it's power, but your characterisations are, as always, wonderful, and the story is just creepy! It it so well written and just draws me in. Fantastic!

Reviewer: srutiDate: 2005-05-07
Reviewid: 121542Chapter: 1
i loved it

Reviewer: Lady NaginiDate: 2005-03-05
Reviewid: 115639Chapter: 1
Did you get your inspiration from Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily"? Because this story has the same eerie, beautiful, disturbing quality about it as Faulker's classic...this is wonderful. I love how Sirius simultaneously hates his mother and can't bring himself to speak evil of what is, after all, his deceased family. I also love the fact that Sirius retains the one happy memory he has of his mother even after his long incarceration; I'm not sure if you meant to spin it that way, but I'd like to think that, somehow, Sirius sought a kind of approval which he never recieved, and so he hangs on to those reminisces.

Lovely, as always.

Reviewer: Chelsea_EvansDate: 2005-02-12
Reviewid: 113747Chapter: 1
That is sort of disturbing. Very disturbing really, but then who else would there be to take care of it? I figured it out though after a bit with the flowers, before he went inside.

Reviewer: wee meeDate: 2005-01-27
Reviewid: 112264Chapter: 1
nice and not too dark. i wonder if we'll learn more about sirius' family in the next 2 books... probably not, but i hope so.

Reviewer: EithneDate: 2005-01-21
Reviewid: 111628Chapter: 1
Amazing. Simply amazing. I don't know what else there is to say.

Reviewer: DenaliDate: 2005-01-12
Reviewid: 110644Chapter: 1
Ooooo, I have CHILLS. What a wonderfully creepy story. Sirius' reaction to finding mother is perfect - he hated her and everything she stood for and especially hated that she was happy about his supposed betrayal... he hated the "old harpy" but there was still that familial connection that drove him to respect her remains and bury them with her son and husband. But the way you wrote how he put her remains in the sheet - brilliant. You wrote it very matter-of-factly, which is exactly how I pictured Sirius dealing with the situation.

Bravo!

Reviewer: JetamorsDate: 2004-12-08
Reviewid: 107197Chapter: 1
I meant to review this a while ago, but it slipped my mind until you mentioned it again. I love all the subtle horror of this fic, and how it builds up to that terrible scene in the parlor. You did an awesome job of setting the mood for the piece, and Sirius and Kreacher were spot-on.

Reviewer: AngharadDate: 2004-11-12
Reviewid: 104541Chapter: 1
Dear FernWithy,

After stumbling across this extraordinary piece of fiction I immediately went up to look at the author--and was most pleasantly surprised! I remember reading your Father's Heart series years ago, and was shocked and thrilled to see the wonderful stories you have written here.

I think what gets me about this story is how evocative it is, how well it fits in with that sickly sweet smell of rotten flowers. I knew from the moment Sirius came across that path of azaleas what would lay at the end. A house decayed and gone to ashes and yet . . . so much history and intrigue is behind it. A beautiful, heartbreaking, and clairvoyant look at the remains of Sirius Black's life and family.

Reviewer: louisaDate: 2004-10-23
Reviewid: 102223Chapter: 1
Loved the flower petals, it seemed very true to Kreacher to do something at once so ceremonial and so nutty.

Reviewer: AbigailDate: 2004-10-18
Reviewid: 101735Chapter: 1
Perfect. Just perfect and once again I'm lost for words.

Reviewer: Aurianna ParkerDate: 2004-10-16
Reviewid: 101590Chapter: 1
You are a godess. How do you do it?
Once again, brilliant characterization, wonderful pacing, syntax, everything. In short, you ROCK.

Reviewer: SennaDate: 2004-09-25
Reviewid: 99364Chapter: 1
Well. That was quite a strong, creepy image of Sirius' mother in the parlor. This was sort of bittersweet, and a nice idea.

Reviewer: CendrillonDate: 2004-09-21
Reviewid: 98850Chapter: 1
Ooh, that was chilling! Would have been the perfect story for Halloween time. I can see this storyline as being possible and I liked your thought about why Mrs. Black may have kept Sirius as her heir. The azaleas were a nice touch as well and gave the whole scene a visual that strung it all together smoothly. Very well done!

Reviewer: DonDate: 2004-09-18
Reviewid: 98541Chapter: 1
Painfully done. You are a brave writer. Even if I had this idea, I don't think I could bring myself to write it. It's not that it is sad that Sirius finds his mother like that. It is sad because he does not mourn her. He has the one nice memory before he finds her. After he finds her, he sort of withdraws even further. This story is so opposite of the type of homecoming that most of us would experience that we ache for Sirius. He was such a good friend. So able to love. To picture his childhood... Well, better not to.

A masterful job.

Reviewer: McGonagall's CatDate: 2004-08-21
Reviewid: 98144Chapter: 1
How wonderfully in character~!
Please add more very soon!

Reviewer: GufaDate: 2004-08-09
Reviewid: 96457Chapter: 1
Wow...this story is surrounded by a sense of anguish and unease, I think. You are an extremely talented writer, to be able to come up with something like this and make it totally believable, as well as breat-holding...
:-)

Reviewer: ivy & GracieDate: 2004-08-09
Reviewid: 96427Chapter: 1
How disturbing. We mean that in the nicest possible way, of course. It's truly sick that Kreacher would do this to (for?) Mrs. Black; and the azaleas are such a nice foil to the horror of it all. It's great that we got a little backstory as well.

We think this is the first horror story we've read since high school. We're glad we did.

Reviewer: hairy_henDate: 2004-08-06
Reviewid: 96116Chapter: 1
Wow. This is really powerful--I'm floored by its brilliance. I really like how Sirius, just slightly, came to terms with his past by going back to the house. It's an interesting idea that he would go back to the house in order to get his Gringotts key--I hadn't thought of that before. Cool idea that he was able to get into the protected house because he was a family member, and that could not be undone, even if he was disowned. Very tragically misfitting how he was allowed to own the house, since his mum thought he had betrayed the Potters and gone over to Voldemort.

Awesome job with the story. Just--wow.

Reviewer: SammyDate: 2004-08-06
Reviewid: 96090Chapter: 1
That was a perfect end to the tale.

Reviewer: AnzieDate: 2004-08-06
Reviewid: 96059Chapter: 1
What an excellent story. I did wonder about that too. I especially liked the bits about Sirius's relationship with his younger brother. Your fic is a very good portrayl of Sirius's feelings for his family. So often, people think he only hated or disliked them b/c he believed such radically different things from them. But, at least when he was younger and didn't know any different, Sirius must have gotten along with them a bit better. And no matter what, they were his family. He must have felt something other than hatred for them. And you wrote that very well, so thank you.

Reviewer: StarseaDate: 2004-08-05
Reviewid: 95981Chapter: 1
One of the great things about this story is you start out thinking it will be about the fifth year, but it isn't - the time period is much earlier. I loved the fact that the Black cemetery was in the back garden - it makes a lot of sense; and Regulus playing blind man's buff among the tombstones was sad but brilliant foreshadowing. It was interesting how Sirius had to hold onto the bad memories of his former home so that he didn't fall apart. The glimpse of Bellatrix was chilling, although it seemed a little pointless - perhaps to illustrate just how bad his memories could be?

The main theme of the story - Mrs. Black and her azaleas - was intriguing. I liked the fact that the azalea petals provided Sirius the only positive memory of his mother, yet now they were rotten, and tribute to something even more rotten. ;) Sirius's eventual discovery of his mother reminded me very much of 'Great Expectations' and Miss Havisham's house: the past is everything, the future does not exist, time has stopped - the imagery was morbid, but no more so than Edgar Allen Poe - I personally liked it, but I can be very morbid myself. :P

The ending was very thoughtful - I liked Sirius's compromise, and his decision to stop carrying a grudge. It shows that he is indeed different from his family in that respect.

xxx~Starsea~xxx

Reviewer: Steve CalabreseDate: 2004-08-05
Reviewid: 95980Chapter: 1
A truly original story - one that'd I'd never seen or thought of before - and strangely sad and touching.

Reviewer: SeasprayDate: 2004-08-05
Reviewid: 95930Chapter: 1
That was very interesting. I have often wondered about Sirius' childhood, whether he had *any* affection for his old family... you fill in the gaps absoloutely beautifully. I

Reviewer: Mona1347Date: 2004-08-05
Reviewid: 95871Chapter: 1
I read the rough version of this on your LJ a little while back and I'm not sure if I ever commented.

Wow. This is amazing. Gruesome and perfect and had a truely gothic horror to it. Extremely well done - it's hard to take on Teh Gory and make it seem real and visceral but not sensational.

Reviewer: SJSDate: 2004-08-05
Reviewid: 95856Chapter: 1
I love the imagery when he finds his mother's body. When reading it, I'm thinking "there's no way you could do this with a movie." Well, maybe you could, but anyway, the order in which it's presented is brilliant. First madness, then regality, along with cruelty, and finally chilling death, when you show, flowers, ceremonial robes, the dagger, and then slowly reveal she's rotted away to a skeleton. It's freaky-cool. "All skulls smiled" was such a wonderfully creepy line. My only criticism is that it took me awhile to figure out that he was at Grimmauld Place, not Azkaban. It didn't seem clear at first, but that might just be me. Another cool thing about it is that it's so original. It's a horror story, not just a drama. You don't see many of those. It's also rare to see anyone actually support Sirius for "betraying" James and Lily. The Death Eaters hate him because he's innocent, and everyone else hate him because they think he's guilty. Sirius has finally been accepted by someone who should have loved him because she thinks he's done something unthinkable. That in itself is so creepy. I like how you summarize Sirius' mother as "Mistress of this House." It shows the power she held and the lack anyone who can profess real love for her. Awesome story.

Reviewer: CanopusDate: 2004-08-05
Reviewid: 95855Chapter: 1
Wow...
Yikes...
I am *impressed*
But I hardly know what to say.
You are amazing, Fern. Truly. Well done.

Reviewer: Sergeant MajoretteDate: 2004-08-04
Reviewid: 95837Chapter: 1
"Creepy" is right! Perfect.

Reviewer: RachelDate: 2004-08-04
Reviewid: 95836Chapter: 1
Wow. All of your stories are so original, so well written, so perfectly capturing each character. You made Sirius and Grimmauld Place and his wretched family live in all their strange, creepy completeness. Thanks so much! This story reminds me of one I read years ago in school...A Rose for Emily. Did you ever run across it? Eeee.

The very idea of Kreacher and those petals, year after year. You're brilliant.

Reviewer: HazelleDate: 2004-08-04
Reviewid: 95818Chapter: 1
Creeeeeepy! I'd wondered what might've happened to Mrs. Black, seeing as how Mr. Black made it so no strangers could find their house. . . You told a really great story here, it's an interesting little peek into Sirius' family. Very well written!

Reviewer: GandalfinaDate: 2004-08-04
Reviewid: 95809Chapter: 1
very nicely done! I like the tone of it.

Reviewer: Frankie BeeblebroxDate: 2004-08-04
Reviewid: 95798Chapter: 1
Whoa. Now, that was an interesting turn of events. Chilling, to say the least, but utterly believable. It never occurred to me to wonder who would have laid the second to last of the Blacks to rest when Sirius was indisposed.

Your descriptions are wonderful and really play a large part in this story. I really like the role azalea's play in this as well, both in the story's timeline and in Sirius' memories. Kreacher was well portrayed in this, as I can definitely see him "coming in with gifts for Mistress, over and over, not able to reach, but tossing his armfuls in exuberant glee as she..."

*shudder* Very, very vivid, and VERY well done.

Reviewer: sunshineDate: 2004-08-04
Reviewid: 95790Chapter: 1
*Chilling.* Great work!

Reviewer: madame enDate: 2004-08-04
Reviewid: 95777Chapter: 1
Brilliantly creepy and disturbing; wonderfully evocative and so original. It makes so much sense, really, that she would have died at home, long forgotten and just rotting away with only Kreacher to dance attendance under the orders of the portrait. *Shiver*

Bravo.

Reviewer: WendelinDate: 2004-08-04
Reviewid: 95734Chapter: 1
You know what I liked best?

Kreacher saying: "Murderer Master."

Like he quite relishes it.

What an amazing story. I love you, Fern.

Reviewer: Miss E BennettDate: 2004-08-04
Reviewid: 95688Chapter: 1
"Mistress's portrait told Kreacher to bring flowers."
"Mistress's portrait is short a brush stroke or two."
--V. g. line!

I like how you take little things from the canon--like the fact that Kreacher'd been taking mad orders from the portrait--and make them part of the story, and how you draw conclusions that we didn't think of when we read--like thatMrs. Black would re-evaluate her opinion of Sirius after the attack on the Potters.
I love your Sirius, too.

Reviewer: Deborah PetersDate: 2004-08-04
Reviewid: 95667Chapter: 1
Horrifying! Disgusting! Brilliant!

A lovely piece. First dropping the detail about the azaelias in the beginning, then showing how Sirius did indeed have some happy memories in his childhood--the idea of Sirius and Regalus having a secret entrance is a wonderful detail, as is your explanation as to how Sirius could have been named heir, after all he'd done. And the image of his mum, and Kreacher... fantastic.

Reviewer: Olive HornbyDate: 2004-08-04
Reviewid: 95653Chapter: 1
This is wonderful. Chilling and brutally honest. Sirius perfectly in character and Kreacher's madness is shown perfectly. The idea of Kreacher piling flower petals all around Mrs. Black seems so (strange as this may sound) natural for his character, as is his resistance to Sirius where Mrs. Black and her wand are concerned. The atmosphere and imagery are very realistic; it is easy to imagine what you have described. I liked the bit about what happened to Regulus--sending Sirius his eyes was just the sort of twisted thing some of the Death Eaters would do, sort of a subtle message to Sirius that his brother's betrayal of the Death Eaters might have been influenced by Sirius's own betrayal of his family. This is a great read.

Reviewer: Pineapple QueenDate: 2004-08-04
Reviewid: 95635Chapter: 1
Wonderful! I loved the atmosphere of this story. Though it did creep me out a bit, with Mrs. Black's name being Alya, because mine is Aliya. =) Creepy.

-PQ

Reviewer: JulieDate: 2004-08-04
Reviewid: 95625Chapter: 1
This is the first story that explained why Sirius
was still an heir, even though his mother hated him.

Reviewer: Kelley PaystrupDate: 2004-08-04
Reviewid: 95620Chapter: 1
Morbid, but strangely satisfying. I think we fans needed this closure. Thanks for writing this.

Reviewer: SailoranimeDate: 2004-08-04
Reviewid: 95615Chapter: 1
Depressing.

But in a good way, mind you.

Very well written, it kept me on the edge of my seat (which is very hard to do, since I have a very comfy chair ^_~). I could see the characters and the house very clearly in my mind, and it was a much different picture than my own version of Number 12, which says a lot. Sirius and Kreacher were both in character, and the part were you mention Bellatrix was, frankly, disturbing. The idea of Sirius and Regulus coming together to create the secret entrance was pure genius. When Kreacher said that he was merely bringing her flowers as she'd asked, I thought it had been a last request of some sort, but the way you did it was better. I love the idea of Sirius going to bed reciting the traits of choker weeds.

Once again; lovely. And depressing.

The Sugar Quill was created by Zsenya and Arabella. For questions, please send us an Owl!

-- Powered by SQ3 : Coded by David : Design by James --