To my chagrin, I don't remember much about this piece. I was astounded, I knew, but I didn't remember the nuances of this fic. The one thing I remembered clearly was remarking about the stunning, simple imagery, specifically that of lilies and death. That's it.
So I'm really quite glad that you requested that I re-review this. I don't know if you've ever done this, but when I'm bored, I go through old favorites to see if I can still stomach them. Most of the time, I can't, and I wonder, what was I thinking? Why the hell would I have ever liked this? Not so here. I don't know why I didn't favorite this before, but I will. Having read your most recent fics in comparison with this, which is nearly a year old, I can definitely say that you have improved, but that difference is nearly imperceptible.
There were a few typos scattered throughout - "he" instead of "the" for example, so nothing awfully blatant - but I didn't really care. When I was reading, I remembered that I was blown away by the originality of your depiction of Sirius's death as composed to Harry's "death" in DH. Choosing Lily, of course, makes the ship "work," but I think she's there because she always had the answers, just as Dumbledore did for Harry. Looking beyond the fact that this is a Sirius/Lily story (although it really does seem more like a story that happens to have Sirius/Lily undertones in it), it really does speak wonders about Sirius, just having Lily explained the technicalities of death to him.
My favorite part was definitely the ending. I don't remember it being so abrupt, but it works marvelously. Really, it does. I can't complain about it coming so soon, because it sums up the whole story in one word. Death is just as perilous as Life, and just as in Life, in Death, people change. Sirius's fate is still a question in the air, and he has a choice between one unknown and another type of unknown.
I've always been fascinated with death (unhealthy obsession XD) but this didn't freak me out... at least, not with the heavy breathing and that general feeling of fear. No, this death and this choice is the type of thing that subtly unnerves the reader. There's no certainty, in life or death, and forgive me for my repetitive ramblings but it's true, and I have been subtly unnerved.
... so I'll just shut up, and we'll pretend that the pointing out of a typo is sufficient criticism, okay?
Author's Response: Hey Gubby! Thank you so much for reviewing this a second time, I really appreciate it. :D This version is a little different from the one you read - not in plot so much as edits and reshaping the language a bit.
Yes, sometimes I do go back, but usually the stories aren\\\'t that bad. Maybe you\\\'re more discerning than me, haha. It means a lot that you favourited this story, though, and also that I seem to have improved, even in just the last year. That\\\'s wonderful news! ^_^ I\\\'ll look out for those typos, ugh. No matter how hard I try, they always appear. The gremlins must do it. >.<
The scene in DH helped inspire this one-shot - I wanted to see how it would have happened for Sirius when he died. JKR\\\'s idea of the wizarding afterlife is fascinating and I couldn\\\'t think of who would meet Sirius at first. Then I went with Lily - it could have easily been James or Regulus, but Sirily is too much fun to write. :P It\\\'s good to hear that it wasn\\\'t a \\\"Sirily\\\" story so much as a story that happened to include that ship. I worry that I write too many romance/shippy stories, and am trying to get away from that.
The ending was a bit longer before, but I deemed it too mushy and sentimental, so I thought that a more abrupt ending might suit better. I liked the idea of leaving Sirius with that choice, though he has already made his decision, even if he hasn\\\'t said it yet. ;)
Thank you very much, Gubby! I\\\'d say more about the death and the unnerving part, but then I\\\'d start rambling and then where would we be? :P