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June 24th, 2011

“Where Dwell The Brave At Heart” by Scandalacious Intentions

Phoebe Caulfield’s Rec:

Scandalcious Intentions’ “Where Dwell The Brave At Heart” is a humorous and touching look at the Marauders Hogwarts years, from their first year to their seventh. Unlike most MWPP and Lily/James stories, this is a series of non-chronological one-shots framed as a series of photographs, and thus instead of following a single plotline, allows the author to jump to whatever scene she wants to depict, whether it be the friendship dynamic between James, Sirius, Remus and Peter, a James/Lily love story, Remus’s ill-fated romance with love-her-or-hate-her Anna Lovett or Sirius’s fling with icy Electra Nott.

As a Marauders fan, what makes the story so irresistible to me - and why I recommend it to any MWPP fan - is the characterization and depiction of James, Sirius, Remus and even Peter. Remus Lupin is the most prominent character, due to his being the author’s favorite character, and his lycanthropy is often touched upon - an excuse for a lot of angst. His snarky and sarcastic sense of humor is ever present, and is one of the funniest components of the story. True, it does suffer from a Lupin Overdose at times, but Sirius and James’s characterizations are always fun enough to take the story in a different direction if need be. Even Peter Pettigrew gets some limelight, and is given a rather sympathetic characterization; looking into his personality and treatment by his friends, exploring what would persuade the shy and loyal boy into becoming a Death Eater. It’s a surprisingly refreshing change from the constant Peter-bashing that is ever present in most fanfics.

James and Lily’s romance is touched upon in numerous chapters, and it’s a fairly standard formula, but thanks to the jumping timeline, ignores all the meaningless angst and heads straight to the fun chapters; In Which James Butchers Romance is one of the best and most touching of the entire series. Remus and Sirius’s respective love interests are also entertaining in their own right. Within a Marauders-Era story, there’s a fairly standard formula for the RL/OC and SB/OC romances; Sirius and his girlfriend fight all the time, Remus and his girlfriend get all awkward and stare into each other’s eyes all the time. Luckily, Where Dwell… gets their dynamics right most of the time. Sirius’s Electra is less present in this story as she is in its companion (Where Dwell The Brave At Heart Outtakes) but Remus’s Anna Lovett is prominent in several chapters, becoming alternatively sweet or bitchy as the years go by at the Marauders and their girls grow up.

Yet despite all the romance, the angst, the girls and the pranks, the heart of the story always lies within the four wonderfully drawn Marauders and their friendship - which makes their later fate all the more heartbreaking. Highly recommended to any MWPP fan.

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