I have to start this review with a disclaimer, by saying that I usually don’t read stories from the romance section, and I will very, very, very rarely even click on anything that has to do with a romance between Sirius and an OC. I have not had good luck with stories about Sirius, and avoid them very quickly. That being said, I obviously didn’t ignore yours, seeing as I am reviewing it. I ventured into the romance section the other day while feeling angsty (for some reason feeling angsty makes me want to read romance), and stumbled across your story. I saw the name Sirius and was about to move on, when something in your summary caught me. To be precise, what caught me was: “And I’ve had to think about you everyday. For fourteen years,” said Miriam, darkly. Her voice trembled. “I win.” “I win.” There was something so strikingly pathetic in that that made me stop and give your story a second glance. Such good characterization in so short of a space! You’ve captured something that seems (for some odd reason) to be part of human nature; we like to boast about our suffering, and see who suffered more. And Miriam of course does win; how terrible to think about the person you loved as a traitor, day after day, year after year. That pulled me in despite my abhorrence of most Sirius romances, and I resigned myself to reading your story.
I wasn’t at all disappointed by what was inside the story. That happens far too often for me; I like a summary, start the story, and give it up after the first chapter. What kept me attracted to yours was not only that you have an enjoyable, readable style of narrative, but also your original elements and your wonderful characterization. I have to admit that I was initially disappointed when I realized that chapter three was a flashback, because if there’s anything I dislike more than Sirius/OC romances, it’s Sirius/OC romances that happen at Hogwarts. However, I very quickly changed my mind – in fact, I soon found myself looking forward to the flashbacks.
What I liked most, as I think I already mentioned, was the characterization. Lily has just the right amount of spunk when compared to what we know about her from the books, and her perception of Sirius and protection of Miriam is fun to read. Her interaction with James is done just right – sweet and fun, but not overboard, and not sickening or annoying; you included just enough to let us know how they feel about each other, but not so much that it took away the focus from Sirius or became cliché. As for James, I loved the way in which you portrayed his concern for Sirius. His voice had a rough edge to it, as though there were something large caught in his throat he couldn’t quite manage to dislodge. I love this quick reference to their friendship, and the beautiful way in which you catch James’ disguised emotion.
The comradery between the Marauders is also portrayed wonderfully. I’ve seen far too many stories which announce in the beginning how good friends the marauders are, and then back away from that fact and expect us to stick their friendship in for ourselves. You didn’t flaunt the Marauderness of the story, but instead constantly gave us little references, allowing us to see their friendship in action. James and Remus laughing at Sirius’ expense, Sirius heckling them back…you gave us an excellent example of showing rather than telling. Perhaps my only major problem with the chapter, however, was related to this; not once, as far as I can tell, have you mentioned Peter. Where is he? Why is he so mysteriously absent? It’s a dreadful cliché in marauder era stories that Peter is left out of the picture all together, or more often depicted as that plump boy over there who ‘looks like a rat, and no one really likes anyway.’ You’re too good of a writer to fall into this trap, and I’d love to see you include Peter in your story as an actual character with a personality of his own, and a reason for being part of the marauders. I know your focus is not on the marauders themselves, but on the relationship between Sirius and Miriam…still, I think it would be a nice touch.
For a few nitpicks: her voice rising a few octaves with each word… I had to pull out this sentence, much as I enjoy the imagery, for its sheer impracticality. An octave is a long distance. I’ve been singing for years, and finally resigned myself to the fact that my range is only a bit over two octaves. Also, it seems to present too drastic of a change. A few octaves per word? That’s a pretty steep slope. While I have a very vivid picture of what is going on, I’d prefer it in different terms. Of course, this is a miniscule point in your well crafted chapter, and as an author you’re perfectly entitled to use hyperbole…this sentence just rankled a bit in my mind.
I was also confused as to why you referred to his friends as James and Lupin. It felt odd to me, that Remus was distanced by the use of his last name, whereas we were allowed to be more personal with James. It might make more sense if this was from Miriam’s perspective and she never became as close to Remus as she did to James, but since the narrative seems somewhat objective in other ways, this stuck out and surprised me.
Lupin bit the inside of his cheek, and stared determinably at a crack in the ceiling. Should determinably be determinedly? I suppose you could mean that the others can see him gazing at the ceiling; it seems awkward, though, and I think determinedly would make more sense. Also, you might want to be a bit careful with commas. James snorted derisively, and covered his mouth with his fist, his shoulders shaking with laughter. While I don’t think it’s wrong to have both commas, I think the sentence would read better without the first one. This happened in a couple places throughout the chapter and I thought I’d point it out, because it’s one of the things I get faulted the most for by my English teachers (I’m sure I’ve been doing it all through this review, but we can both ignore that). It’s so easy to allow sentences to become longer and longer by tacking on commas, and also easy to imagine pauses where they are not really necessary. I don’t think this is a major problem at all in your writing, but I thought I’d point it out anyway. Just passing on the love from my English teachers! ;)
Other than the lack of Peter, I love the way in which you took things that I’ve seen far too often. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read that woman loving Sirius, having been injured and taken to the hospital wing, falls in love with a girl (or someone who comes to visit him, or someone who is also a patient, or whatever). However, you took these events and made them your own. In the case of him meeting Miriam, I love the way you played around with her appearance. She is obviously not breathtakingly beautiful, or Sirius would have noticed her around in classes. However, he sees her differently in different parts of the chapter, and you show us the fact that “beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.” When he looks upon her as the person who is saving him, you describe her almost angelically, especially with ring of light around her head. And then we find out that she doesn’t look like an angel – and then he changes his mind again…but I’m getting ahead of myself, that’s in the next chapter. Perhaps I shall have to go review that too! Anyway, I think this is getting long enough (my reviews are obscenely long – sorry), so I’ll stop rambling and merely tell you that I have really enjoyed your story (and have I already mentioned why that is unusual?), and can’t wait for more.
Author's Response: I would almost like to respond to this review personally, for it is so a thoughtful and generous. I am honored that you chose my story to read, and more than grateful for the constructive feedback. A simple "thanks" would not do justice to the complementary things you wrote; from the summary, to the flashbacks - this was, again, more than generous, thoughtful, and kind. The detail in your review made it all the more gratifying. I was so pleasantly surprised when you mentioned the summary paragraph more than anything; I had really hoped that would be meaningful to someone, and you've more than satisfied that in me. You were also right on many levels; I absolutely did fall into the "nobody likes Peter, he's mostly out of the story" trap, although I did not realize it until you pointed it out. In other words, I have no good reason for his absence and would like to change that in the future. The octave note also makes complete sense, as does the commas, and those too will be revised; thank you for pointing this out to me. It seems to me a bit odd to call Lupin "Remus," because the name is used so rarely in JK's writing...it feels almost too personal for me to use sometimes. But I suppose that is the point, after all; Lupin was a close, personal friend to Sirius, and thus he probably should be referred to by his first name. I sincerely hope the rest of the story does not disappoint. I look forward to hearing from you in the future!
yea so, this is probably one of the top stories ive read...ever. im in love with it...it's amazing. i cant wait to read ch 12... i'm hooked on it!
Author's Response: Oh my, thank you! Chp. Twelve is on its way!
Thank you for the quick updateˇˇˇˇ Sirius is so sweetˇˇ even if I can hardly imagine him begging on his knees... great jobˇˇˇˇ
Great job!! Yeah, their back together!!! Persoanlly, I don't think anyone could have done that to a werewolf, even if they were a friend, I know I couldn't. 10/10!
Author's Response: I completely agree with you. Fortunately, there was a great black beast of a dog preventing Miriam from racing out of there, screaming madly, back to Hogwarts, in to her bed, pretending that none of that had ever happened - which is exactly what I would have done. Thank you very much fior the review!
heh Yay! I like it lots! its precious to the max! great job!
Author's Response: Sorry for the delayed response! I'm so happy you like it! Thank you so much for the great reviews - maybe next time I'll shoot for 3 in a day, eh? (hehe)
great story. I love how you go back in time! It explains a lot. I can't wait till the next chapter!
Aww! I heart it. It's great! Please keep going!
Author's Response: :::Keeps going...:::: Thank you!
your my hero! you updated 2 times in one day! SWEET! i get so excited at updates... hahah this is still a great story!! i like it a ton...
Great jobˇˇˇ This fanfic is one of the best written ones I have read. Please, update soon... I am totally trapped.
Author's Response: Bwahaha! I've got you under my spell! No, I'm kidding. It's the story. No, seriously. It is. I swear. Hehe, thank you for the review, and I hope you stay trapped for the rest!
DAMN IT SIRIUS! Shame on him. He's terrible. If a guy ever did that to me...I would dump him. Lol. Nice chapter. I loved how quickly you updated. :-) ~banned~
HEHE!! precious!!! i still think miriam is a gem lol and i still pretty mcuh love this fic.. i check it everyday for updates:D
Snuffles sounds like the most adorable dog in the world! If he had showed up in Hogsmeade for me I would have hugged him and never let go- but Miriam's reaction is completely her. She is her own character- you've done a stunning job creating her into a real person. Excellent chapter! Update soon!
Author's Response: Hug him and never let go? That's knowing who it really was - otherwise, big scary mangy evil looking dog = RUN, right? Right???? Hehe, just kidding, I'm glad someone shares my twisted sense of cuteness as well. I'm so pleased you've enjoyed the story, and Miriam especially - chp. 8 is in the queue ready to go!
Awww!!! How sweet! I almost cried. :-) Keep up the good work. Please update more frequently!!! ~banned~
Author's Response: I'll get those tears out of you yet! :::evil laugter::: Thank you for the review!
Hey, this fic is absolutely wonderful. The last chapter was amazing, I've read it four times since it was posted. It's one of my favs, keep up the good work!
Author's Response: Thank you very much!
hey are you going to continue writing? can't wait for the next chapter. love your story.
Author's Response: Thank you, and yes, I will continue writing until the story is complete! Check out chp. 7, I'd love to know what you think!
I just read your story, it's SO good! You have put so much effort into it! It's just such a brillient story! Well done! :)
Author's Response: Thank you very much! Believe me, for this kind of feedback, the effort is well worth it!
omg loved the chater.... u need need need need need to write more!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Author's Response: :::Stands at attention::: Yes Ma'am!
Author's Response: ...or Sir...? Sorry!
YAY! First in, best dressed! Well, actually Miriam is best dressed, loved the sound of that dress, and she's sounds gorgeous. Lil seemed so proud of herself, +Chalks one up for Lily+ anyway, I couldn't see and mistakes in that chappie, next time i read It i might pick up on some minor errors, but i doubt it. I know how much trouble I g to to get my story submitted, so kudos for getting it Validated TWICE! Tis all from me at the moment, till next time! ~Steph* ~10*
ohhhh... pretty!! i want to go to the ball aka homecoming lol funnny funny I do love miriam shes a gem!
Author's Response: Oh, I can't wait for you too see the *gem* in the next chapter...it's my personal favorite, I had so much fun writing it. Thank you so much for the review!
This is awesome. It's hard to picture what kind of girl is right for Sirius but you've found the perfect match. Miriam is such a real person. Wonderful job on her. I also like the way Harry is acting- normally he is portrayed as a moody, angst-ridden teen from book 5 but you've really worked his character well. Amazing story over all. Please update soon!
Author's Response: I can't express what a relief it is to know that people are enjoying Miriam so much...I was a bit nervous to how readers would respond, but you and others have been wonderful in reassuring me that I did alright with her. Also, one of my biggest concerns was portraying the characters that JK has already perfected as honestly as possible, and I'm glad to know I haven't muddled them up *too* horribly, hehe. Thank you very much, and look for new updates coming soon!