Augh! I don't know what to say! At the beginning, you captured the boredom so well, the way that every little detail was paid attention to in the house to signify that Sirius has too much time on his hands in which to accomplish nothing. The fact that Sirius passes said time by breaking and fixing his mother's crystal tells me that he has resorted to trying to find ways of getting some satisfaction out of spite towards his family, but all he can really do is drink.
I never realized before that Sirius and James had both shared that feeling! What a great comparison, showing that James had been in a similar situation, but at least he was protecting Harry and his wife. But what was Sirius protecting besides his own life? I can see why Sirius would be so happy, then, to get out of the house and rush off to defend Harry, because his pride and ego thrive off of it, and also because he cannot stand to do nothing.
But the saddest part of all is Sirius forgetting it all. Though I think you really aptly captured his character with the fact that he could not forget laughter, which is rather bittersweet when you think about it. On the one hand, it is a really good and special thing to hold onto, remembering laughter. But on the other, it is all he remembers, and he can't even remember his best friends names. *silently cries*
I also think that the last line of your story was perfect. The fact that those words echo and whisper is a great way of showing that he is not only falling through the veil (where the voices whisper), but also that he is slowly fading away (though, perhaps, not as slow as I described there). I particularly like the words "I am," because it gives this sense that even though Sirius is no longer living in his mortal body, he does still exist, and therefore, "he is." And at the same time, it also gives a echo of his own joke, which, in a way, shows that Sirius was the embodiment of merriment and laughter, despite the fact that his name is a homophone. :)
A very good read! Thank you for taking the time to share it with us. ~Nagini
Oh my goodness, Nagini! What a wonderful surprise review! And such a lovely detailed one as well! b25; Thank you so much, love!
I was indeed trying to capture Sirius's boredom and sense of entrapment - poor Sirius; he always seems doomed to experience one kind of imprisonment or other, whether Azkaban, or Grimmauld Place, or his own sense of guilt. He is indeed unnecessarily spiteful in some parts of the story, toward Kreacher, and possibly toward that portrait of his mother. I was trying to show Sirius as someone who's lost touch a little, who's alienation has made him lose a little empathy for others. He's also lost touch with reality a bit, which is why he's so eager to rush out for a fight, and that he becomes reckless, which proves to be a fatal mistake. Kind of takes the battle as a game, actually.
Oh, I love your interpretation of the ending, with Sirius being unable to forget laughter! As for the forgetting bits, I'd say it was necessary, I guess. But as you can see from DH, it's not the end for him. Do not be upset. :)
Thank you so much for this wonderful review, Nagini!