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Thread: Sirius Black

  1. #101
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    So, what do you think about a drunken Sirius? Sirius going to sleep with a bottle of Firewhisky? Sirius having a problem with alcohol?

    How do you react when you see something along those lines in a fanfiction? Yes my interest here lies in the fact that I want to write an alcoholic Sirius. But two things considering: there are some details like using a wand, consuming Firewhisky, riding a broom that all fictions have at some point or another. But sometimes you cringe at particular details. I want to show Sirius having a problem with alcohol some days of his life. Like many in real life do too. Does the cringe factor work with you because of how the scene is written, or just because you think it is used too often?

    Tell all.

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  2. #102
    PurpleTree
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    I think that Sirius would not be a complete player, like he is in some fanfics, by that he'd be more prankster-ish and "appreciates" girls. For instance, he doesn't change girlfriends once a day but isn't one for long relationships. Also, to give him more depth you could write more about Sirius's family problems. Not many fics go into much detail about that if they are mainly J/L.

    Just some thoughts!

    ~~

  3. #103
    cmwinters
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    In Order of the Phoenix, it's mentioned that Sirius smells strongly of Firewhisky ... I think around the winter holidays. And Molly being disapproving.

    So yes, you have canonical support for this.

    However, it may depend on *when* you do this. It's canon in OotP, not so much, say, when he was at Hogwarts. And during OotP, he was in a particularly bad way due to stress from being cooped up at a very pertinent time during the war, when he knew the traitor Wormtail was on the loose, when he knew his only remaining childhood friend Lupin was endangering himself in a particularly precarious and heinous way, when he knew his childhood nemesis was getting an AWFUL lot of credit from *both* sides for his critical part in the war, when his godson, only living family and heir to his best friend's name was in unimaginable danger every second of every day and when Sirius himself was helpless to do anything to make it better.

    I cannot possibly state my dislike for Sirius Black strongly enough, but he's not a "sit back and let others take care of it" kind of guy.

    That particular set of circumstances would drive ANYONE to drink!

    However, that kind of addiction problem is not usually something that happens "some days" unless he's already prone to some sort of binging behaviour (which you could justify earlier in the fic and would be interesting and much more complex than most of what we see).

    If you have it happen after the release of Azkaban, I think it's important that you show the adults in his life (Molly, Snape, Dumbledore, Arthur, etc) as well as Mrs Black's portrait and Kreacher give him some amount of grief for it. Remember in GoF when Arthur made some sort of disparaging comment about the people in Death Eater costumes having had too much wine? We don't see a lot to do with substance abuse in the Potterverse, but it seems like it's not particularly well thought of. And it's not the kind of behaviour that Molly *OR* Arthur would condone. For Dumbledore's part, he'd give you the whole "disappointed" routine, if anything — maybe just the "disappointed look". Lupin would probably not be condescending or judgemental, because that's not in his nature. Jo said he (Lupin) wanted to be liked a little too much, so he probably wouldn't say anything, and if he did it would be VERY non-confrontational. Snape, on the other hand, is another story entirely; he'd be vicious about it, saying something about how, unlike some people, HE has a JOB to do so HE can't afford to be so self-indulgent or some such.

    You have canonical support for your idea and done well it could be brilliant.

  4. #104
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    I think Sirius is exactly the type to drink - especially when cooped up at Grimmauld Place.
    The thing is some people are heavy drinkers, some are alcoholics. An alcoholic will need a drink to function - a heavy drinker may just like drinking. He's choosing to drink rather than needing to. Of course an alcoholic may tell him/herself that they are choosing to drink... but just because someone does drink - and sometimes heavily - it soesn't mean they're an alcoholic.

    I think you could easily portray Sirius as a heavy drinker, he drinks to try and blot out Azkaban. Perhaps he's on the verge of alcoholism. What probably stops him from becoming addicted is his love for Harry.

    I do think that all the Marauders in their Hogwarts days probably drank a fair bit. I even imagine a disasterous attempt at drinking when they should have been taking care of Remus.

    Remus' need to be liked was more of a teenage thing. I think by adulthood he's far more secure in his own person (except with Tonks) and by the time OOTP comes around, he's useful to the Order - unlike Sirius. I can imagine him not wanting to criticize and trying to make allowances for Sirius, but I do think there'd be a tipping point when he tells Sirius he has to get keep it together.

    As far as his drunken behaviour goes; he doesn't actually have to do much in Grimmauld place so you're limited in the effects. Perhaps it affects his ability to transform.

    As far as this being used too often; I think that alcoholism is often used as a device in fanfiction, but simple social drinking isn't used that often. We either see total abstinence or one drink being a major drink problem. Butterbeer, by the way, is almost certainly non-alcoholic (unless you're a house-elf). JK Rowling didn't show anyone having an alcohol problem, as such, (except possibly Hagrid's loose tonge when he'd over imbibed) but she did show some of the adults enjoying alcohol (Charlie,Bill and Hagrid singing songs).

    Carole
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  5. #105
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    However, that kind of addiction problem is not usually something that happens "some days"
    Hmm. my question should have anyway told anyone how much of a drinker I really am? *rolls eyes to self*

    Okay to business then.

    However, it may depend on *when* you do this.
    *watches half of her plot bunny running away*

    First off, this story is situated when Sirius is 21. So the perceptions to this problem would change. But too much from what CM describes? Hmm. People that age today have this problem as much as a middle-aged person. Am I wrong? The only point on which the eyes could be raised maybe the period. This is 1980 I'm writing about. So. So. Still changes? Somehow knowing Sirius as he is, it is not really hard to believe, is it?

    That particular set of circumstances would drive ANYONE to drink!
    Right. And scroll back in my version of his life: in 1980, Sirius is beginning to break apart from Remus (I've a reasonably strong plot describing this, I think), there are leakages on Order activities, of which members covertly suspect Sirius (he knows this and he doesnt do a very good job of explaining himself - he never does), he receives a very belated news of Regulus's death, and little other things as well.

    Perhaps this is the first time that Sirius can develop a binge problem? Actaully Carole's term of being a heavy drinker sounds more appropriate. Am I safe writing Sirius drinking such given that these above reasons are getting to him?

    If you have it happen after the release of Azkaban, I think it's important that you show the adults in his life (Molly, Snape, Dumbledore, Arthur, etc) as well as Mrs Black's portrait and Kreacher give him some amount of grief for it.
    Since, this particular plot detail occurs before Azkaban, I'm assuming people close to him still have reason to give him some amount of grief...? That goes without saying, doesn't it?

    I just don't want to get this wrong, so I have also really open my mind to the fact that this might be unlikely. The year I'm writing about, we can expect Sirius to be in the thick of Order activites. Any chance he may not succumb to drinking heavily given that? -shakes head- Think I know the answer though.

    You have canonical support for your idea and done well it could be brilliant.
    Any idea how brilliancy in this can be acheived pre-Azkaban? Or not.

    Hmm. Thanks CM and Carole.

    - Akay


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  6. #106
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    Okay, I think you have to show that he's heavy drinker but not necessarily an alcoholic. To be honest, I don't think he'd drink whilst he's a useful member of the order. He knows how important that is.

    I do think the Marauders drank at Hogwarts (please it's what teens do -especially 1980 when you couldn't get hold of other substances quite as easily). With James married to a possibly disapproving Lily, Remus perhaps doesn't over indulge near the full moon (I have a plot bunny about this - excuse me) and Peter not drinking incase he lets slip that he's a double agent; Sirius would be very much alone in drinking.

    As far as the era, teenage binge-drinking wasn't as prevalent as today. Or rather, it wasn't splashed all over the newspapers, but it still went on. In real terms it's much cheaper today though. Most young adults do calm down when they leave University, get jobs, but some don't - perhaps Sirius is one of them.

    Is it alcohol driving a wedge between him and Remus? Or is it something else? Regulus' death could be strong reason for him to start drinking - guilt over leaving him at Grimmauld Place, for not staying in touch etc etc. Or perhaps he's seen something really awful on a mission and needs to forget.


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  7. #107
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    Is it alcohol driving a wedge between him and Remus? Or is it something else? Regulus' death could be strong reason for him to start drinking - guilt over leaving him at Grimmauld Place, for not staying in touch etc etc. Or perhaps he's seen something really awful on a mission and needs to forget.
    Alcohol is the reason but not the way it'd appear. Sirius and Remus fight with Firewhisky at the root of it, but not because Remus is reprimanding him about Sirius drinking. Nah. That'd be easy. Sirius hasn't seen anything specifically awful, but the fact is that the War is in some ways getting to everybody.

    Remus perhaps doesn't over indulge near the full moon (I have a plot bunny about this - excuse me)
    Really? My fiction is all about this Well, not all okay. But this is where it starts. (A shot of Firewhisky before full moon = Remus out of control)

    Thanks Carole.

    - Akay


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  8. #108
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    I have a hard time seeing Sirius as a heavy drinker pre-Azkaban. I don't seeing him as having much time. He was trying to find the traitor in the Order, going on missions, working to protect James, Lily and Harry.
    I think he took his duties in the Order very seriously and because of James having to hide, I think he would have been taking on more than his share of the missions.

    Now, that being said, perhaps the stress would have caused him to start drinking. A drink or two after a mission to celebrate coming back alive, to three or four. Perhaps with the Order members being killed, the drinking increased with each death as a coping measure.

    Perhaps, he felt alone in dealing with so much because he didn't have his best friend close to him. James had Lily and Harry, Sirius mistrusted Remus. So, coming home to his house after a mission, feeling relief or maybe at times dispair, he turned to a few drinks to cope.

    Something that starts off gradual and then develops into something more and out of control.

    However, I cannot see James not taking a stand against it if he found out it was severe. It may be cliche'd but I can see Lily taking the concerned friend route and perhaps Sirius getting ticked off at her, leading to a fight with James.

    I can see how you can work Sirius having a drinking problem if you use the right angles. Good luck and I look forward to reading your story.
    Terri Black (as in Mrs Sirius {aka Padfoot} Black)
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  9. #109
    leahsm2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Padfoot Patronus
    Any idea how brilliancy in this can be acheived pre-Azkaban? Or not.

    Hmm. Thanks CM and Carole.

    - Akay
    I don't know how helpful this is, but Sirius was always fascinated by certain, somewhat deviant Muggle behaviors, at least by what was in his room. The reason he reasonates with so many people, I think anyway, is his passionate nature. I could see him wanting to cut some of that passion with the occasional over indulgence, and alcohol would hold a certain glamor to him, in that it would be something that Muggles his (pre-Azkaban) age would be actively experimenting with.

  10. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leahsm2
    Sirius was always fascinated by certain, somewhat deviant Muggle behaviors
    Going along with what Leah said, and somewhat disagreeing with what Terri said, I can see Sirius as a drinker in his teen years, if only to piss off his parents. I can see him going to a bar and getting wasted on Muggle alcohol just to come home drunk and laugh about his parents' reaction. I basically agree with everything Leah said. To me, Sirius seems like the type that would do something, like drink, simply because he was told not to or because he shouldn't.

    I do think, though, that during his years in the Order it would sort of sneak up on him in the way Terri said. A celebratory drink or two, maybe one to ease the pain, and before he knows it he's drinking more each time. I can definitely see him as both a celebratory drinker as well as when he needs to cope.

    About James ... I can see Lily taking the concerned friend route Terri mentioned, but I think James would brush her off, say that Sirius had a lot going on and deserved a drink or two, that it wasn't that bad. If anyone were to say -- or rather, merely suggest, because he probably wouldn't put his foot down -- anything, I think Remus would be the best choice. James was a caring friend, yes, but much too much like Sirius to be on opposing sides in this situation, I think.
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