Hello there, SPEW Buddy!
You’ve captured a really great moment in Marauder era here – it’s filled with tension and rage, but also humour and a good sense of friendship. For such a short piece, you’ve managed to bring in a huge amount of emotion very effectively. Your writing is very rich with dialogue, and while I usually prefer more descriptions than dialogue, I think the way you wrote this suited the quick pace of the scene. It conveyed James’ rage very well, and how quickly his emotions are flying.
A great line of James’ is this: 'Who else knows how to get behind the Whomping Willow? Who else knows about Moony? Who else has a grudge against Snape? Who else is block-headed enough to potentially kill a student and get another good friend expelled?' I think it conveys how well James really knows Sirius, and that he’s able to use this knowledge against Sirius in order to prove his point. We all know that fights between friends can involve holding one’s knowledge of a person against them in a moment of rage, and I think you’ve captured this aspect of friendship extremely well here.
The only thing that troubled me about this fic was Sirius’ attitude towards the whole situation. You seem to be saying he didn’t care if Snape died. To some extent I believe he didn’t care all that much, but I do think that James’ reaction would have startled him into realising it was wrong. 'You saved Snivellus, didn't you?' muttered Sirius. 'This would've been the best fucking prank in the history of Hogwarts, we would have had our revenge on Snivellus...' This was the point at which I started to find Sirius slightly OOC. The Marauder’s were obviously heavily influenced by each other, and I do think that seeing James so upset about what he did would have shocked Sirius into the realisation of the damage he’d caused, and make him understand that Snape could have died, and that ultimately he did not want this.
The moment where James hits Sirius is great. He’s so angry that he’s capable of it, but also values Sirius’ friendship enough to feel extremely guilty after he’s hit him. I think this was a great example of who the Marauder’s are as people: they act on impulse, and then only afterwards consider the damage they’ve caused. This is how I think Sirius would have reacted, after he sent Snape to the Whomping Willow; he’d have thought it to be funny at first, but would later consider the detrimental impact of his actions. But this is simply my take on his character, and I can understand why you chose to write it the way you have; we’ve only ever seen hatred between Snape and Sirius, and there’s no evidence to suggest Sirius would have cared if Snape died.
Overall, you’ve built a really great scene between three people here and conveyed a very real sense of friendship, but also tension and rage. This piece challenged my understanding of James and Sirius as characters, and made me consider what they were really like. While I have my doubts about Sirius in this fic, you’ve written James pretty perfectly.
I hope to read more Marauder Era from you soon.
- Your SPEW Buddy Cassie.
Hmm, interesting. Not quite how I envisaged the whole Whomping Willow incident (in my mind Siriius readily admits it) but of course we don't actually know. Ohh, Sirius is Cain, James is Abel ... except Abel is murdered by Cain, and Peter - in effect murders James ... so that leaves Sirius as ... I dunno - God?
Let me get a bit more serious about this. First off, I did say this wasn't quite how I saw this incident, but that's purely my opinion. I can't see Sirius hiding the fact from James that he told Snape about the Willow, or blaming Peter. I think he'd be proud of the fact that he played this so-called prank. His justification for playing the trick (when he finally admits to it) is believable, he loathes Snape and wouldn't necessrily think of the consequences - but why does he refer to Snape as a traitor? I'm not sure that's a word he'd use, for who has Snape betrayed?
I liked the setting and they all spoke very authentically (teenage boys have potty mouths!), but I was a bit confused as to when this was set. You mention it being a September evening, then James comes in with snow on his robes. Snow in September is very rare - even for Scotland. I think you'd be better making it December.
What worked particularly well here was James' characterisation. He seems so much more mature than Sirius. When he hits him ... and then apologises ... and then argues some more, I got a very real image of a person that know he has to stand up to his friend ... he has to drum some sense into him, and of course he's very, very angry.
Peter was interesting. The peacemaker who wasn't siding with either one, unwilling to be caught in the middle, yet knowing he will be. Good bit of foreshadowing at the end.
One last thing ... I wanted this to be longer. Good story, BB. ~Carole~
That was an amazing story. It actually captured what I imagined that moment to be like.
I really like this story. It was really great.
Author's Response: Thanks so much for the review!
This was a great story, but now I'm all depressed. :-( Oh well. I'll get over it. I have no clue who was who. I loved this line in particular:
The words were rolling out of James' mouth, tripping over each other and racing to be the first, and yet Padfoot heard every word, clear as ice.
That line just sounds cool.
Wow, really? I know I shouldn't be gleeful about that, but ah well, I can't help it. :-p
Anywho, thanks so much for the review! I loved it. :D