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Review:CambAngst says:
Tagging you from Review Tag!

As you pointed out in your author's note, there wasn't a single, clear fear that dominated this chapter in the way that past chapters have been, but I didn't see that as such a huge deal. Sirius's story seems really central to the thread that seems to be running through your chapters. I think I've figured out what that is now. :)

You have a pretty good command of what makes Sirius tick. He's struggling so much with that sense of failure, the feeling that he's let everyone down and he needs to do something to remedy the situation. In the immediate aftermath of James and Lily's death, I thought you hit all the right notes. He's broken with grief. It also kills him to realize that everyone who matters to him -- chiefly Remus, but also Dumbledore -- will think that be betrayed James and Lily. But mostly he's intent on avenging them by killing Peter.

I was a little bummed that you sort of skipped over Sirius's hunt for the rat. I know it wasn't vital to the story, but I felt like there was a gap between the moment where he's about to go to Peter's childhood home and the moment where he's waiting in a street full of dead muggles, waiting to be captured by MLEP.

I absolutely adored the conversations that he has inside his head with James, especially the first one. All of the little jabs that James makes about how Sirius was outsmarted by Peter were great. Even in death, I imagine that James would have been able to make light of things if only to help Sirius out.

Funny that Sirius thinks that Dumbledore was going to be his salvation. Of all the balls that Dumbledore dropped over the years -- and there were many -- I thought that never pursuing the truth about why Sirius would have betrayed James and Lily was one of the worst. I mean, Dumbledore's a guy who obsesses over Voldemort's plots and machinations. That's his thing, so to speak. And Voldemort has apparently managed to convince James Potter's dearest friend to betray him. If you're Dumbledore, and you practically live to get inside Voldemort's head and take pictures, wouldn't you want to explore that just a bit? Sorry, I'm ranting. Back to your regularly-scheduled review.

Innocence turned out to be a nasty friend in Azkaban. It was not a happy thought nor was one of solace. -- I loved that turn of phrase. Brilliantly done! And I loved the broader concept, the way that Sirius uses his hopeless reality and the horrible loss he's suffered to protect himself from the Dementors. I've seen similar concepts in other fics, but I thought this was one of the better-executed applications.

Lastly, I like how this segues into the moment when Fudge accidentally lets Sirius see the Daily Prophet with Peter and the Weasleys. He was ready for that moment, and that was his trigger. It all fits brilliantly!

Excellent chapter! Too bad I only have one left to read. I hope you're planning to do something about that. ;)

Author's Response: I'm glad the ambiguous fear wasn't an issue in reading this chapter. Others have pointed out his non-defined fear which is why I pointed it out as a known irregularity to begin with. ^_^ Sirius' story line always felt key to telling the larger story at play here.

Writing Sirius is usually fun for me. I've spent a lot of time with him bouncing through my head. He's such a man of action that I couldn't see him taking what might have been a Remus route of going to Dumbledore to explain/figure out the situation. This was definitely a view into Sirius breaking in very painful ways. He isn't in his right mind and I wanted to show that.

I did kind of cheat by not going into that. Part of me thought it didn't fit with the mood and cadence of the rest of the chapter. The hunt would have to be much more focused than I had Sirius throughout his downward spiral. I don't think the actual hunt would have taken that long as Peter was looking for Sirius looking for Peter. I like to give Peter enough credit to have known Sirius would start with his mother's but only know the general area she lived in. The other part was slight laziness. :D I did think the jump in time was more due to Sirius' devastation - at least that's how I ultimately justified it in my head.

Having James make a guest appearance as the voice in Sirius' head started off as a way to break up the long exposition with some dialogue. Then it turned into a key way to give the story a new dimension. James had to be funny - Sirius wouldn't imagine him being otherwise.

This chapter did make me mad at Dumbledore. I completely agree that for a man who was interested in interviewing house elves, old crazy people, and anyone with an significant insight to Voldemort - I don't know why he wouldn't check out why Sirius turned. He wouldn't even need Sirius' permission to jump into his memories for a bit. I have to think he had some sort of collaborating evidence that Sirius turned which made him not go interview him. *sigh* stupid plot devices.

I felt that his survival in Azkaban had to be explained (and the reason he didn't just escape right away). I was going with the idea that he needed something to cling onto but it would be like using barbed wire to climb out of a pit.

I'm really, really happy you liked this chapter and how it tied in with Sirius getting information from Fudge. This was the hardest chapter to write by far as the tone of it was quite different. The next chapter is the end of the story!

Thank you for sucn an incredible review!! I really enjoy reading your insight on chapters - you always leave such well thought out and thorough reviews.

-Rose


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