Hey there - stopping by from the forums with your requested review! Sorry it took a bit longer than expected, but I'm here now :)
So, I have to admit that I'm generally fairly sceptical of Sirius/OC stories, simply because they're generally set in Hogwarts or the OC is wonderful and brave and has a tragic family past, gets into the Order and is a brilliant duellist, etc. etc. but. But, this was brilliant!
I love how Eleanor is such an average character, you know? Yeah, she's a trainee Healer, but she's scared about the war, she doesn't really want to be involved, she has some kind of odd relationship with Sirius which you're not saying exactly what it is (which I love - it keeps us guessing ;D). She has such a strong, confident voice as well - honestly, if you're nervous about writing longer stories, you shouldn't be, because this is a really, really great start! :)
So yeah, your characterisation is great - all around, actually. Sirius and Amelia and your Hufflepuff OCs (who are just amazing!) are all so well thought out. I love that you included slight references to Sirius' family, without making it overly obvious. Amelia in particular is great - I like how you've linked it to canon with her working in Magical Law, and her opinions on Giant rights, and suchlike things. Her obsession with planning is funny, too - and I can relate to that, though I don't plan nearly as much as she does!
The plot is fantastic! I love how you started it at the end of the year, with the worry and excitement about leaving school and going out into the wide world and facing the war and actually being out in it, you know? It's such a great place to choose for it, particularly for this era, I think. Yeah, it's going a bit slowly at the moment, but because you keep referencing the war - mentioning that people have gone missing, shops are closing down, Bertram leaving, etc. - it keeps this underlying tension in it which kinda resolves the need for the plot to move faster. I mean, obviously, you don't want it to be this slow the whole time, but for now the pace is great - it's building up pressure and it works so well.
Also, on that note, it's so great how you're not mentioning the war all the time - it's not full on 'there's a war, there's a war, there's war - and oh, did I mention there's a war', but you're talking about it enough that we don't forget that it's happening. I like the mentions of how half-blood and mixed-blood families have started disappearing now, and Bertram and his family deciding to up and leave and him not being able to tell anyone, and Healer Davies making that point about hope and optimism.
And that bloke with Healer O'Kelly is very suspicious. Not sure if she's in on whatever's going on too (Healer O'Kelly, that is) but it's suspicious... I'm guessing he's a Death Eater? Someone she recognises from a few years above her at school? You didn't mention a name, so I'm assuming she doesn't exactly know him personally... still, it's making me curious :P
Your description is great; there's not really anything I can say about that, tbh. Your style in general is lovely - it really fits the voice of the OC, and keeps it lively, if not pacey. The detail is good, I liked the different robes for different years of Healer trainees, and how you haven't felt it necessary to describe every aspect of your OC :) So yeah, you don't need to be worried about that.
Just one note: you didn't ask about this, but in your summary, you've put 'For Eleanor Hughes, etc.'. I get what your trying to say with it, but it sounds a bit like 'she' would give up everything for 'Eleanor Hughes' so you might want to have another look at it. I know it's a pain coz you said you've had summary help - but it's the summary, so it's important, or I wouldn't have mentioned it!
This is really, really great, though - feel free to re-request any time! :)
Author's Response: Hey! No worries, it was 5 chapters and i knew it would take some time! Thank you for doing this!
I don't even know where to start with such a wonderful review such as this! I wish i could talk about everything you've pointed out but i'll just pick out a couple things to respond to.
First of all, I really enjoy Sirius/OC but it is rare that i actually like them written. I'm with the same opinion as you that so many of them are tragic past OC's, at Hogwarts and she tamed his playboy antics, or that she's just powerful and wonderful etc. It gets old and it's not how i really imagine Sirius. So, if he was to ever fall in love it would be quite different to that in my opinion. Which if something like that were to happen here i can safely say it's not going to around those lines at all.
I'm also really chuffed that you like Eleanor and - well all my characterizations of my characters. I'm really blown away by your compliments on them really. They've all become really close to me and i really enjoy writing them together and it's always good to hear that they seem realistic.
What I wanted to do with this story is explore life in a war. How sometimes it's just everyday stuff, sometimes it's full of fear, sometimes there is joy. But whatever it is, it is just life and just a bunch of people trying to survive and get through it. Which is going to make some of it a little slower, however, it won't stay there for very long. It's just coming to a boiling point really.
I'm happy that some parts of the story are a little mysterious! If there is one thing i'm rubbish with is leaving cliff hangers or trying to add mystery because i really like closure at the end of each chapter. It's hard to leave things hanging. Slicked back hair man is someone i'm dying to dive into but i keep telling myself to hold off explaining his relevance. However it's cool that you picked up on that :)
Finally on your comment on the summary - haha thank you so much for pointing that out! Summaries are always peskily important and I can definitely see now that it reads like that! I had summary help a while ago but this one is a new one i've cooked up recently so the bad grammar falls on me.
Thanks so much for your brilliant review!!