I'm here for your Anniversary challenge review :) In one of the threads, you mentioned that Pre-Hogwarts wasn't something you wrote often because often, you found nothing to inspire you. So I commend you for attempting it AND for tackling such a subject.
At first glance, I expected this story to be sad, but it isn't. How you've written Sirius here is like a man obsessed. This isn't a story about guilt, regret, or lament. In his grief, he finds a way to survive by turning it into something else. Something dark and dangerous.
I like that you tackled the anniversary prompt from this perspective. No mention of years because it is a bit hard to keep up. But days, yes. He uses the spent days as a reminder of what he wanted to do. How he wanted to prove himself in the end.
I thought of his years in Azkaban differently before I read this story. And how you wrote it makes a lot of sense. As I think back on the events in PoA, I can see that this Sirius is the mad man who hovered over Ron's bed with a knife.
I listened to Coldplay's song while I read this, just so I'd have a reference of sorts. There is a lot of hope in this story, but not in the flowery sense. There is no question about him finding Peter again, it's only a matter of when. So I get it. He hasn't lost, he's not defeated. He's merely been delayed - if I can put it as simply as that.
You did a great job with this one-shot, in spite of your initial reservations ;) Thank you for participating in the challenge, I hope it inspires you to move beyond your comfort zone in the future.
Author's Response: Hi Lia, sorry for the late response, being ill does slow down HPFF sort of things!
Yes, usually I think of Pre-Hogwarts, and I'm just like what even happens then? So, when this idea hit me, I realised this era could actually be really fun and interesting to write, so thank you for having this challenge which made me realise that!
I'm glad you didn't find it sad, because in a way Sirius isn't, he's in this obsessional state over their deaths as that caused this spiral of events which destroyed his life, so without that happening he would have been a lot saner, and not as dark and dangerous as you said.
Yes, it did have a bit of a morbid twist to it :P At first, I wasn't sure how to count the anniversary dates and then this idea hit me, and it just made sense as it went with his obsessional mindset surprisingly well.
I'm glad you did, as I listened to it throughout writing this as it had what I was hoping to capture in this one-shot. Yes, you can put it as that, as I think that's how Sirius views it here, him getting out of Azkaban is just a fact, he will do it, he just needs to find Peter and then he's all set to go.
Thank you so much for this great review, the challenge definitely did make me think differently about this era, I just hope I can do the same with my other fears soon!