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Review:Toujours Padfoot says:
I knew that when I came back here to read the rest of this, it was going to be like a punch in the stomach. I don't know if there's any way one can prepare to view some of the worst times of their favorite character's life. But even though this was so sad, it was still so beautiful.

You demonstrated Sirius's unending loyalty so well here. Lily asked him to come and of course he did without a second's hesitation, sitting there on the bed where William lay dying. And poor James, exhausting himself trying to keep a vigil over his father, as if that would keep him alive. It just hit me that William must be a surrogate father to Sirius, that he loved him, too. He wasn't there just to support James. I think he must have needed those last few moments with William, too.

And then a very pregnant Alice, and Frank - so vibrant and alive and natural - they were like real people. Ordinary people just living their everyday life.

The ending just gutted me. I wish I could shout, "He's not dead! Peter's not dead!" at him and he could hear me, so that he would fight to stay out of Azkaban, fight for justice, but I think that this is the moment when Sirius gave up. This is the moment when the reality of James and Lily's deaths hit him - all at once - and he just completely lost it. By the time he came to, he was sitting in a cell in Azkaban getting all of the good memories sucked out of him by dementors. He never really had a chance to stand up and tell everyone the truth.

Your writing is so, so lovely. I loved your description of Sirius flying over the countryside on his motorbike, spitting up gravel when he landed on the Potters' property while light spilled out of the house, a pale Lily watching and waiting for him to come in and help somehow. I loved how vivid the explosion in the street was - the blood, the confusion, the eternal heartbeat of silence before screams started letting out. And Sirius's initial impulse to help people, trying to assist that woman, before he realized that everyone was pointing their fingers at him: Everything was perfect. Heartbreaking and horrible and perfect.

Author's Response: Aw, I'm sorry I put you through seeing such awful moments in Sirius's life! Just remember, what gets him through it is the memory of all the wonderful things in his life and the hope that he could be happy again.

I think you're right about Sirius's relationship with William Potter - if he and James were like brothers, it stands to reason that the couple who took him in as a lost teen would feel like beloved parents to him, too. He needs to be there just as much as James and Lily do.

I really enjoyed writing Frank and Alice's part, thank you for commenting on it!

Ohhh the ending! I'm sorry. Blame JKR. I hate injustice *so much* and the way Sirius never really has a chance to clear his name just... urrrgh. Too sad. You describe it so well.

Thank you for the comments on the writing and imagery. I always try to get a good balance of setting the scene and creating images, whilst not getting bogged down. You've actually picked out some of the bits I saw most vividly in my own mind (the spray of gravel, Lily in the doorway, the silence after the explosion).

And yeah, Sirius. Poor Sirius trying to help and then realising they'd all turned on him. I felt bad just writing that, but I had to show that a switch didn't just flip during that explosion that sent him mad - a lot of things came together and mixed in with his grief. It's when he realises he's utterly alone and trapped that something snaps within him.

I'm glad you enjoyed (if 'enjoyed' is the right word) this chapter so much. I really got my teeth into it when I was writing. Thanks for the wonderful review.

~ Sarah

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