Hey there! Dropping by for our review swap! :)
I should probably mention that I adore Sirius-centric stories, particularly ones which are more serious (haha :P) and not about his romance with a girl who inevitably dies and is the reason he joins the Order, so when I saw you were putting this up, I really, really wanted to read it! It's so rare to see a story like this, and even more rare to find one which is as good as this!
The way you've characterised Sirius is amazing. I love how he's so emotional in this, and yet not overly so. I mean, he's just found his brother-in-all-but-blood and his wife dead, expecting their child to be dead too - of course he's going to be in shock and floods of tears and all. I liked how his grief was so present, but so quickly overtaken by his anger towards Pettigrew and his want for revenge. It's a very cruel and vindictive trait and I like how he has it - it fits well with his character, you know? His anger was so wonderfully shown as well - I loved how you described him as predatory when confronting Pettigrew. Makes him sound almost evil, and bloodthirsty... which sort of lends almost an extra irony to Peter's actions.
Peter was so good in this, too. I loved how in two paragraphs or so of writing you managed to explain convincingly why and how he joined the DEs and hint at bitterness, irritation, even perhaps almost hatred of his 'friends' for the way they treated him. And, of course, ambition. Always ambition ;) I also really liked how Sirius completely underestimated Pettigrew - how Sirius didn't expect him to try and run or betray him quite like that. It made it a lovely twist, even if I knew it was coming :P
Your writing in this was lovely, too - it's so clear and your description is great! I loved the way you used italics for emphasis, as well - it's not something I see all that often, but I liked it here. It seems to suit Sirius' character, I think.
Just a small formatting note: in the second half, the formatting is different to the top half (tab in at the start of paragraphs). It's not a problem, you just might want to make them match. (Me and my OCD... :P)
So yeah, I really enjoyed reading this! I'm glad I swapped with you - thanks so much for doing it with me! :)
Author's Response: Hi! Sorry it's taken me a whitle to respond, but here I am now!
Thanks! I, too, love Sirius stories, but I also find, like you, most of them are about love and romance, or his time in Azkaban. Whilst I confess I love a bit of Sirius romance, this is always a moment I wish JK Rowling had written herself. When the challenge came along, I'd never seen someone write this scene (although they may have, I don't know), so I decided to give it a go.
I did find it hard to choose the right level of anger for Sirius - like you said, had he been overly emotional, he'd never have gotten anything done! I had to physically try and put myself in his place to decide how he would be feeling (which, trust me, is not the sort of thing you want to be doing with other people around - my brother wouldn't look me in the eye for about a week afterwards!), and then write. Yeah, now you mention it, it is a little ironic, isn't it? Not intentional, I promise!
Aah, Peter. One of the hardest characters I've ever had to write. I actually did two versions of this piece - in the first, which was abandoned halfway trough due to the unfortunate circumstnce of it sucking, Peter was just as angry as Sirius. He was having a yelling match with Sirius, and once I re-read it, it was completely OOC. It was so hard to decide on Peter's words and actions, but in the end I decided he would probably be bitter, but still actually quite cowardly and trying to feign innocence (like he did in Prisoner of Azkaban. I do think, though, that he was capable of a lot more than his friends took him for - probably part of the reason why he joined Voldemort, because he felt he was underestimated. That's also why I think he doesn't just attack Sirius on sight, even though he must know Sirius knows of his betrayal - they never actually did anything malicious to deliberately hurt Peter, they just dodn't accept him completely as a best friend. That's why I think Peter can't completely turn against them and try and kill Sirius as soon as he sees him - he has no real reason to, no justification for revenge, like Sirius has.