|Review:||The Empress says:|
Hi! I'm here with your second requested review :)
You asked about Sirius and my thoughts on his reactions in this chapter.
I obviously haven't read any chapters between the first and this one but I think I have a pretty good grasp on how you have characterized Sirius. You describe him as a playboy but in this chapter he doesn't seem that way at all. Now, putting that together with the character of Gemma and his relationship with her I can assume that he is reformed, or in the process of reforming.
In canon, Sirius is not necessarily a playboy but we can assume it's a definite possibility. JKR said that he considered himself too rebellious to ever get married. There are a couple different reasons he may have felt that way and I think you touched on at least one here. The idea that he doesn't want to marry well and please his family, or that he doesn't want to marry badly and put his wife through the possible dangers presented by his family. Dangers we know to be real and present, as demonstrated by Bellatrix and her hate for Nymphadora. You mention that when Sirius is talking to Gio and he voices his concern over a Black family member finding Gemma wandering about unprotected. So in that sense you keep very well in canon.
As for his separation anxiety, I have doubts. However, if you have, and I suspect you have, set his character up to react this way then it reads as quite plausible. From a canon point of view I have trouble believing that he would suffer from, as termed, 'separation anxiety'. His reaction could be, however, termed as extreme concern, relating to his fear concerning his family hurting Gemma. He does get a little pathetic, describing how Gemma is the only one who can give him the kind of love and attention he needs to soothe his separation anxiety. In my opinion, if Sirius were that needing of someone like Gemma, he would never have developed the playboy persona in the first place. Instead, he'd have been in many relationships where he was more invested than his partner was, not the other way round.
A more plausible explanation for his distress about Gemma disappearing and his apparent need for her/concern for her, would be that with Gemma, it is the first time he has worried so selflessly about a girl. We know he would die for his friends, they have had six plus years to prove to him that they are true, steady friends. Gemma is fairly new in his life. Would he have worried so completely over a girl that, as a playboy, he had really invested no heart in? No, of course not. He would bravely do what he could to save them if they were in any danger but he wouldn't freak out just because they took a weekend away from him and Hogwarts. The idea of a playboy Sirius and a Sirius suffering with this kind of anxiety are two very different characters, perhaps made more stark in my point of view because I have only read your initial characterization of him compared to this.
In an otherwise very strong chapter (yay!) this one piece of Sirius' characterization, I think, detracts from him as a whole and he comes off a bit annoying because of it. I loved the Sirius at the beginning of the chapter, hitting bludgers indiscriminately and goofing off at Quidditch practice. I'd love to see more of that Sirius, who makes me smile, rather than the Sirius who cannot function without his girlfriend.
Author's Response: Omg omg omg, this is the longest review I've ever received and omg, it's brilliant. Seriously, where do I begin??
In this story, I'm writing 4 different romances going at the same time, so I'm trying to diversify each couple as much as I can. Now, there are some overlaps, sure, but for the most part, I want each relationship to stand on its own and prove its own point. That's one of the reasons why I decided to make Sirius a playboy - simply because no one else was. I actually really enjoy fics where he's much closer to canon, in the sense that he's not a playboy and a bit more reserved when it comes to girls, but I wanted to do something fresh with him.
But, that being said, I did want to show his transformation into his more "canon" self. I alluded to this in the disclaimer in the first chapter, but he doesn't start off as the person you'd expect him to be. He's extremely loyal to his mates, but I figured that if he ran away from his family, he had to have some scars. So that's why I decided to make him the playboy as well - because he chooses to take out his frustration and anger by having unattached flings with girls.
And therefore, I made him end up with a girl who very similar to him, but also very different. She has a problem with commitment, because she's so used to being on her own, and in her own way, she's very rebellious. She would never admit it, though. She just thinks being a wandering hippie bohemian is normal, even though most people don't smoke gillyweed and have psychic visions. But she's different from him because she didn't come from a prominent pureblood family. So, that's why I made him fall for her so hard. He's so used to having his outlet for his anger and frustration and she fits in that gap and makes it into something positive. Yes, he's so wimpy and needy in this chapter, but I hope that explains WHY he's that way - because he needs her to help him get through his grief, in a way that none of his mates can.
I tried to set it up so the reader sees this entire transformation, but I think I need to make it a bit more clear. In order to make everything equal, I've tried to make each chapter around the same length (to avoid making any favorites), and I know I was pushing the limit here with this chapter ... so I think in Sirius' next chapter, he's going to get a bit more introspective and figure all these things out. This is honestly the hardest ship to figure out for me (I mean, Lily and James are hard, simply because I want them to be canon as possible), so your review really helped me figure exactly where I want to go with him. That means SO much to me, you don't even know!!
Again, thank you so much for this beautiful, wonderful review,