Reading Reviews for Skywards
18 Reviews Found

Review #1, by Siriusgirl Chapter Four.

18th September 2013:
Hi! I don't know if this was your entry for the Longbottom Challenge (I said you could include a pre-written one since it had them.

Either way I enjoyed this. Sirius is one of my favourites so I liked seeing his POV. Good job!

Author's Response: Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed this even though it was the wrong story ;) I love Sirius too.

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Review #2, by Toujours Padfoot Chapter Two.

28th February 2013:
I knew that when I came back here to read the rest of this, it was going to be like a punch in the stomach. I don't know if there's any way one can prepare to view some of the worst times of their favorite character's life. But even though this was so sad, it was still so beautiful.

You demonstrated Sirius's unending loyalty so well here. Lily asked him to come and of course he did without a second's hesitation, sitting there on the bed where William lay dying. And poor James, exhausting himself trying to keep a vigil over his father, as if that would keep him alive. It just hit me that William must be a surrogate father to Sirius, that he loved him, too. He wasn't there just to support James. I think he must have needed those last few moments with William, too.

And then a very pregnant Alice, and Frank - so vibrant and alive and natural - they were like real people. Ordinary people just living their everyday life.

The ending just gutted me. I wish I could shout, "He's not dead! Peter's not dead!" at him and he could hear me, so that he would fight to stay out of Azkaban, fight for justice, but I think that this is the moment when Sirius gave up. This is the moment when the reality of James and Lily's deaths hit him - all at once - and he just completely lost it. By the time he came to, he was sitting in a cell in Azkaban getting all of the good memories sucked out of him by dementors. He never really had a chance to stand up and tell everyone the truth.

Your writing is so, so lovely. I loved your description of Sirius flying over the countryside on his motorbike, spitting up gravel when he landed on the Potters' property while light spilled out of the house, a pale Lily watching and waiting for him to come in and help somehow. I loved how vivid the explosion in the street was - the blood, the confusion, the eternal heartbeat of silence before screams started letting out. And Sirius's initial impulse to help people, trying to assist that woman, before he realized that everyone was pointing their fingers at him: Everything was perfect. Heartbreaking and horrible and perfect.

Author's Response: Aw, I'm sorry I put you through seeing such awful moments in Sirius's life! Just remember, what gets him through it is the memory of all the wonderful things in his life and the hope that he could be happy again.

I think you're right about Sirius's relationship with William Potter - if he and James were like brothers, it stands to reason that the couple who took him in as a lost teen would feel like beloved parents to him, too. He needs to be there just as much as James and Lily do.

I really enjoyed writing Frank and Alice's part, thank you for commenting on it!

Ohhh the ending! I'm sorry. Blame JKR. I hate injustice *so much* and the way Sirius never really has a chance to clear his name just... urrrgh. Too sad. You describe it so well.

Thank you for the comments on the writing and imagery. I always try to get a good balance of setting the scene and creating images, whilst not getting bogged down. You've actually picked out some of the bits I saw most vividly in my own mind (the spray of gravel, Lily in the doorway, the silence after the explosion).

And yeah, Sirius. Poor Sirius trying to help and then realising they'd all turned on him. I felt bad just writing that, but I had to show that a switch didn't just flip during that explosion that sent him mad - a lot of things came together and mixed in with his grief. It's when he realises he's utterly alone and trapped that something snaps within him.

I'm glad you enjoyed (if 'enjoyed' is the right word) this chapter so much. I really got my teeth into it when I was writing. Thanks for the wonderful review.

~ Sarah

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Review #3, by Toujours Padfoot Chapter One.

29th December 2012:
Oh my God.

Seriously just sitting here in awe right now. I have tears in my eyes. Honestly, this is one of the best things I've ever read on this site.

I want you to know, first-off, that Sirius is my absolute favorite (hence my penname) and I'm very, very particular about his portrayal. I've read so many vapid playboy Siriuses that it makes me scared to try new ones. But I knew somehow, when I clicked on this story, that I would love it. I'd heard before that you're a remarkably talented author and your writing is quality, and am now kicking myself for not wandering over to read everything on your page a long time ago. Sirius was absolutely perfect. James was perfect - a mixture of childlike arrogance and good-natured friendliness. Remus and Peter were wonderful, as well. I could not ask for more realistic characterizations!

Everything was so lovely and canon, it was like a knife to the heart. It was just heartbreaking, seeing young Sirius gaze at the stars through the enchanted ceiling, then go back to him rotting in his cell. Your descriptions had me literally shaking in certain parts, when it was so vivid and so, so sad. I've always tried not to think about Sirius while he was trapped in Azkaban because it's such an awful thing to wrap your head around - an innocent man spending years and years in there, wasting away to nothing - and to be forced to watch him suffer was agony of the acutest kind. You have a way of pulling at my emotions that I rarely ever feel when reading fanfic, with the exception of a couple of stories. There were moments while I was reading this that I just stopped and reread several times, marveling at how good you are with words, shaping them to evoke just the right feelings in your readers, hitting us strategically in the gut. I'd like to quote back some of those parts that gave me pause:

How would it feel to walk, and know you never had to stop?

It was the first time the heavens had looked down upon a Black sitting at the Gryffindor table.

But as a pair of gleaming black leather shoes hurried past his cell, something swept into the cell and he felt the hairs on the back of his neck stand on end. Summer, thought Sirius instinctively.

There was an unholy sound coming from somewhere nearby; some part of Sirius's mind managed to register that the noise was coming from his own throat, a bleeding, guttural howl of pure fury.

And Sirius was rotting, rotting and starving and lifeless here, in Wormtail's place... begging for old newspapers, and wishing for death, and the only company he had was a memory of James.

Just rereading that last sentence above has brought tears to my eyes again. I feel overwhelmed. I want to hurry up and read the next chapters immediately, but at the same time I just want to digest this, and emotionally prepare myself before going any further. I hardly ever get that kind of reaction with fan fiction before. You have such a wonderful talent, evident already from just one chapter, and I will definitely come back to read more. Please never stop writing.

And while I'm thinking about it, I want to add that I really like your formatting - like mini-chapters within the same story, with the line breaks and separate titles. It made it feel like I was reading different Acts in Shakespeare; it lent it a poetic quality, and the titles themselves were so fitting; and at this point I am just a blubbering pile of mush and all I can do is gush about your writing so I'll go away now before you begin to think I'm nuts.

Thank you so much for participating in my challenge! Jami has got to be over the moon to be the recipient of such an extraordinary gift.

Author's Response: Wow, Sarah! What a wonderful review! Thank you. I'm sorry it's taken me a while to reply.

One of the best things you've read here?! That's crazy kind of you to say! Ee. You've rendered me incoherent.

Even-handed, canon-based, realistic characterization is so important to me, so I'm very very happy that you feel I managed to capture each character in a way that felt right to you. Particularly Sirius, as I know he means a lot to you! And he's one character who is portrayed in all sorts of odd, often one-dimensional ways. But he's *such* a multifaceted character, I found myself seeing different sides to him with almost every word I wrote. I have to write him again some time, as I loved doing this so much.

You've picked out some of my favourite lines :D I'm glad you liked them too, even if they did physically affect you!

I honestly can't thank you enough for this review, your appreciation means a lot to me. I'm so glad you set the challenge because it meant I got to write this, perhaps the most fun I've had writing *ever*.

Have to say, I'm a little nervous about you reading the rest though - I hope it measures up!

Also, I really should get in touch with you about my 'prize'! I've been AWOL so long :(

Thank you again! Thank you thank you!

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Review #4, by CherryBoom Chapter One.

10th December 2012:
Hi! I'm here for the holiday review! =)

I really liked this chapter, especially the last part of it. I wrote a one-shot recently about Sirius chasing Wormtail after his escape in Hogwarts, so I connected with this story immediately.

It was interesting that some parts of this chapter was in little snippets and two were almost one-shots on their own. In a way, it kind of reminded me about how Sirius's mind wasn't all that clear while he was in Azkaban. And then when his mind got clearer towards the end, the parts got longer.

I loved the idea of the confrontation between Mrs. Potter and Mrs. Black. That would have been a sight to behold. And Remus and Peter playacting the scene was so funny. =)

But what struck me most was definitely the last part. The way you described how Sirius scented summer from Fudge's clothes and it envigorated him, was pure poetry. I loved their awkward discussion as well. Like how Fudge was drawn to this peculiar murderer and how Sirius tried to have a civil conversation with him. The part where he found about Peter was heartbreaking. To realize after all those years, that a rat still lives and is right there in Hogwarts must've been a devastating. The escape was so bittersweet.

Your writing was just brilliant and filled with excellent similes, like the one comparing his laugh with snapping of a stick of chalk. Yeah, I'm a fan. =P

This was wonderful chapter and after I get more tissues and less red eyes (I cried my eyes out), I'll continue reading this fic. Thank you for it. It was amazing.

Author's Response: Hi CherryBoom! Sorry it's taken me so long to respond to this lovely review.

I'll have to give your Sirius one-shot a read if you've uploaded it! Yeah, honestly when I was writing this I wrote it as a series of small sections/one-shots, and then on the second draft I linked them together. Flashcards were involved!

I'm glad you liked the Mrs Potter/Mrs Black silliness - I wanted to show Remus and Peter as the boys they once were.

I loved writing the Fudge scene! Heehee. So awkward but so intrigued.

Well, thank you very very much for your comments on my writing and on this chapter - I'm very happy that you enjoyed them both! Hope you enjoy the rest of the story :)

And sorry for making you cry!

Athene xo

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Review #5, by Aphoride Chapter One.

8th December 2012:
Okay, so... wow. This is so good! Of course I've read bucketloads of Marauders fanfiction, mostly humour, and I've read the first few chapters of JChrissy's Before They Fall, but this was just great!

I lovelovelove your characterisation of Sirius. He's just... so how I imagine him to be, just I never think of him falling in love with anyone. You've captured that intensity about him, even before Azkaban, and the situation with his family and the ideas of his mother and his homelife - without even having to go into it in two much detail. Obviously, Bellatrix and (possibly) Andromeda wouldn't be at school with him, being older, but I'm guessing that's something taken from Before They Fall? If not, it's easy enough to adjust, I think, if you're dead-set on getting it completely canon compliant ;)

Gah, the way you talk about Azkaban is brilliant too! The whole idea of how the Dementors affect him as Padfoot and how they get confused, etc. is explained so well, and you get the despairing aspect of it perfectly - I could imagine it so clearly in my head when you talked about it. All the mentions of what it would be like to feel grass, to be free... they were so... saddening in a really solemn, sombre kinda way. So perfect for this, though!

I have to mention the way you wrote this because I've never seen anything else on this site done like this. Little sections, each one a different time and a different point in his life, each one highlighting different feelings and thoughts and incidents - it was so clear, so easy to read and such a nice change. It really, really worked with this. It was like you were taking snapshots of his life and putting them in a scrapbook or something. Really original.

Gah, I really enjoyed this! I wanna hug Sirius now for about two hours without letting him go. I may well be back... *shifty eyes* :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hi Aphoride! Let me start by apologizing for taking such a long time to respond to this lovely, lovely review. Ill health & university work make Athene a very dull girl.

Jami’s Before They Fall is partly why I decided I should try my hand at a bit of Marauders, because it’s just such a juicy story full of interesting characters and dynamics, and I fancied a bit of that for myself. I chose to focus on Sirius, and of course that meant it got a little sad and dark, and less humourous.

I personally don’t imagine Sirius ever fell in love either - he probably believed he had plenty of time to do that sort of thing later *sob* - but I wanted to give a little nod to Jami’s story.

Thanks for pointing that out about Bellatrix and Andromeda! I think Andromeda would still have been there, but Bellatrix wouldn’t. Honestly, that’s just a mistake on my part (I heart canon), but I like the tension between the cousins and three sisters, so I decided to keep it.

I really appreciate your comments about the format of the story. It came about sort of by accident, but then I started to really like it and the way it’s quite theatrical. I particularly love your way of putting it - a scrapbook.

I’m glad you enjoyed this so much! It’s the most fun I’ve had writing anything on HPFF, ever I have to write Sirius again I think, he and I seem to have made a connection when I was writing and I felt like he was talking to me. Do I sound crazy enough yet?!

Thanks again for the lovely review!

Athene xo

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Review #6, by Sundowner Chapter Two.

25th November 2012:

I'll try to do my best to leave coherent review, but
it is quite late, so we'll see how that goes. First of
all, I have to compliment your writing style again,
because it is amazing! But now onto the actual

(Remus nodded. Peter said hed forgotten about
tonight, which isnt like him; usually he jumps at the
chance to meet up. Hes been getting more and
more forgetful lately. Remus frowned, his scars
barely visible in the soft sunlight of the kitchen.
Hes just been really distracted.) This whole
paragraph made me both really angry and sad. Just
thinking about why Peter is so distracted, and
where he probably was while the conversation was
occurring makes me want to find him and squeeze
his neck. Your dialogue is really well-written and has
a real feel to it, which I find important in a story.

And then the whole scene with James' father and
when he says that James has had a brother since
the day he met him just struck a chord in me. It
explains their friendship perfectly. There was a
special connection there, and I like to think that it
was from the moment they met each other. They
just click together, exactly like brothers. I really am
bad at expressing myself at 5 in the morning. lol.

Author's Response: Aw, thank you for the review! I don't think you expressed yourself badly at all... although, how have you managed that formatting?!

It's always great to hear that readers enjoy my writing style, thank you.

Ugh, I know - Peter! He makes me so angry. He didn't just betray James and Lily; he betrayed Harry, Sirius, Remus, the Longbottoms - all of the Order. It's really good to hear that the dialogue works, as I do worry about that side of things.

It's a wonderful thing to find a friend with whom you click so perfectly. You're right, James and Sirius had that.

Thanks again for the review!

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Review #7, by CambAngst Chapter Four.

19th November 2012:
Hi, there!

So I really hope this isn't the end of your affair with Sirius, because you do lovely things with his character. You capture his roiling mix of emotions incredibly well and find all sorts of non-obvious motivations for his actions that make perfect sense. I think you have an amazing talent for writing him, and for writing, in general. ;)

You managed to add something really new and interesting to the well-understood process by which James and Lily came to take Peter as their Secret Keeper. Those extra details about Sirius becoming a focal point for the Death Eaters fit so perfectly with all of the canon details. Peter had already betrayed them all, so the Death Eaters knew that Sirius was the Secret Keeper. But Sirius thought that Peter was too cowardly and weak and in awe of James to betray them, so he jumped to the conclusion that it was Remus. James's concern for Sirius's well-being was another small touch that really fleshed out the narrative nicely. In the end, it all made perfect sense. They chose Peter because he really did seem like the safest choice for all concerned.

I don't care that your version of the events in Godric's Hollow didn't exactly follow canon, I truly preferred them. Giving Sirius that extra time with little Harry made a really positive difference. All of the realizations hit him, and he knows for a fact that life as he's known it is over. His only hope and only purpose is to take vengeance on Peter.

Lastly, you wrote the duel with Bellatrix really well. Lots of tension and edge-of-your-seat action. It's not easy to do when we all know what the outcome is going to be.

The ending was lovely, although I think I would have expected Sirius to be more concerned for Harry. After all, he did leave him in the middle of a battle. But considering that he was worried that it was all a delusion experienced in his cell in Azkaban, maybe it was easier to let everything slip away.

I truly enjoyed this story from start to end. Jami is very lucky to have such a talented, generous friend. Well done!

Author's Response: Hi! Finally here :) Sorry it's been a while; this is such a lovely juicy review that I wanted to respond to it properly and I'm having issues typing for any period of time due to shoulder problems! :(

I thought that this might be all I wrote about Sirius, but as time went on I realised that I have a bit of an affinity with him. 'Skywards' certainly won't be the end of my affair with Sirius Black. I really loved writing this story, and to receive comments like yours just confirms for me that I may have found 'my' character. He's always been one of my favourite characters anyway, but writing him was a really personal experience - one that I wasn't expecting at all. Anyway, enough rambling from me!

I really had to think my way through the Secret-Keeper issue. It's quite complicated! The few lines that JKR gives us to detail what happened actually make it a bit complex, so I'm really glad that it made sense to you. And thanks for noticing James's concern for Sirius - it's relationshippy details like that, that I take pleasure in writing!

And I'm so happy my fiddling with canon worked for you! Honestly, I prefer it too :P

I haven't written many action sequences before so it was great fun and quite challenging to write the Bellatrix/Sirius fight scene. I had to work to keep it interesting particularly, as you say, as we know what the outcome is going to be!

I'm with you on the Harry thing at the end. I pondered that. But I think, Sirius has been so battered and buffeted, and when he sees James and Lily a sense of peace just comes over him - and the way Lily thanks him for looking after Harry to me says that she's keeping an eye on her son. I might edit it so that she also tells Sirius that Harry is safe, don't worry... Come with us, I'll show you. Etc.

It's great to hear that you really enjoyed this story - I'm very proud of it and I'm so grateful to Jami for being the inspiration behind it, and to you for reviewing every chapter and being so helpful and supportive!
Thanks again - and keep an eye out for future Sirius stories! ;)

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Review #8, by Jchrissy Chapter Four.

17th November 2012:
So, my yesterday review did NOT save, but that just gave me an excuse to reread the forth installment. And it reminded me that I had something to ask you:


Phew. Now that that's over...

I don't get it :(. I KNOW James and Lily die. I realize this, but you just made it all feel so new an raw and ugh :(. The mixture of memories tied into the present when he was holding baby Harry, with a dead Lily only feet away.. God that was such an awesome but painful touch. Just remembering how happy everything had been, even when they were in hiding and it sucked.. and then it's all gone and bah :(. I understand I'm making on sense right now, but I'm trying to! I really am!!

I think you played out the 'make Peter your secret keeper' perfectly. Sirius brought it up in sort of a casual manner, and tried to downplay it all, but in reality he knew that they were going to catch him quickly. Yes, he'd die before giving them their information, but what if they still got it? Voldemort is a terrifying master of the mind, and bah. It just made so much sense when the three of them were talking about it, and Wormy. Of course it should be Wormy because.. because.. :(. Then they're all so clever doing a double bluff but they aren't. There's a reason we tell Dumbledore everything. EVERYTHING. Because of the double bluff they died, and Sirius spent his life imprisoned and it all just hurts. But during that section you made it all seem so logical, like 'how could this ever fail?' I want my Marauders back, JKR. I WANT THEM BACK.

Then the scene with Bellatrix! You always praise me for my action scenes, but good Lord Sarah! Did you read that??? Well, of course you did you wrote it, but it was so intense and fast and perfect and CURSE SPELL CURSE then the part where he thought about it being the second time in his life that he could have killed, and remember Harry's words. I do and I don't wish he would have killed her. If he did, he's still be alive. But does that even matter? Because there isn't much left for him to live for. Your ending made me almost happy that he died, because he felt so free and like he was finally where he belonged. Back with the two people (3, but only you and me know that, mwahah) he loved the most, and rid of all the things that he endured during his human life.

I didn't think there was any chance you'd be able to end this on a positive note, but you really did and I wasn't quite so teary at that point.

Thank you so much for all of this Sarah ♥ you have no idea how many amazing/terrible/heartbreaking/warm/loving Sirius and Marauders feels you've given me. This story just reminded me even more why I love these people so much, and no one but you could have done this justice.

AND YOU DEVIATED FROM CANON? You had Sirius come in first?? I think I may take you to the doctor.. :P. But really, I loved that. Just this sacred moment between Godfather and son, the last time he'll ever hold Harry James Potter as a baby... and bah. Okay. I have to be done before I turn into a tear ball.

Author's Response: Can you even believe how long it’s taken me to respond to this? You should put me in a time-out, but then I’d get even *less* done. This response isn’t going to be as long or as in depth as your review, mainly because I agree with your flaily emotions and can’t say much other than, ‘there, there. I know.’

You KNOW I wrote this specifically to make you CRY. I’m glad I did it. Hahahahahah. Love you. Thanks for trying to be coherent ;)

Oh man, I really had to think my way through the secret keeper conversation and reveal... I’m glad you think I got it right! And I like the way you put it “How could this ever fail?” - isn’t that just such a James and Sirius way of thinking?!

Oh my, I loved writing the action scene with Bellatrix, but boy was it hard! I had to really work to keep track of who was where and what was happening - I bow down still further to your greatness at writing stuff like this!

I’m really happy you got what I was doing with Sirius’s death. Of *course* we don’t want him to die, as much for Harry’s sake (and ours) as much as his own - but in this story at least, it sets him free finally from a life of loss and loneliness.

I’m so glad you loved this story. I wrote it for you, after all! And of course I wanted to warm your heart as well as make you cry. Thank you so much for being the inspiration behind it, and for being such a good friend. I’d make you my secret keeper. Voldemort would never suspect! :P

I DEVIATED FROM CANON AND I LIKED IT. It had to happen, really. I wanted to give him that moment with Harry.


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Review #9, by MercyWaters Chapter One.

12th November 2012:
Wow. This is excellent. You really have a way with words, I was completely enthralled the whole way through, and that's saying something since I don't typically like reading such long chapters! I really like how you've split it into sections and are jumping around between periods of Sirius' life. It gives it that "memoir" feel. Your writing is fabulous! Every description was so artful and it had excellent pacing, keeping the reader interested the whole way through.

I will definitely be reading more! I love your writing.

Bri, xx

Author's Response: Bri! Hi! Thanks for reading and reviewing :) Sorry I've taken a while to respond, I've got a bad back and can't sit at the computer for long.

I'm so glad that you enjoyed this chapter! I was nervous about writing a longer chapter, as I tend not to like them too - I never know where to start reviewing! But thanks for putting up with it ;) And thanks for the comment on the sections and the jumping around - I was a bit nervous about it as I've been told that 'flow' is a problem in my writing before - but if you could keep up and enjoy it then that's great!

Thank you for the lovely comments :)
Athene xo

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Review #10, by ValWitch21 Chapter Two.

7th November 2012:
She laughed and dodged out of the way. 'Don't get sarcastic with me, Black; I'll sit on you and then you'll know the meaning of pain.'

'Sirius, my boy,' William patted the young man's knee with a frail and shaking hand. 'James has had a brother since the day he first met you.'

^ This is too much for me. The link between James and Sirius is so perfect. The way you inject some of Alice and Frank is so perfect. The way you suggest Peter's betrayal is perfect. The second part of this chapter is perfect, and I won't detail because I want to be coherent. Your last line is perfect in an eery and terible way.

And I didn't say in my last review because I forgot, but I loved the scene where Remus and Peter play Mrs. Black aganst Mrs. Potter. That was epic.

You are amazing.


Author's Response: Aah you're so lovely! I'm really glad you've enjoyed this story so much ♥

Epic! Haha, thanks! I wanted to show Peter and Remus messing around, so often they're left to be bookish bystanders.

You are lovely.

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Review #11, by ValWitch21 Chapter One.

7th November 2012:
As the years shuffled by and Sirius's elegant, muscled body wasted away to mere knotted ropes on a cracking frame, he wondered at the fact that his dog-self remained relatively healthy and large, if somewhat skinnier than his days as a bounding pup at school.

^ This. This. Athene, I can not even describe what I feel like after reading this.

Okay. I'm going to stop before I say something extremely dumb and soppy, but I'll try to fit in something that makes sense.

Well. I love the way you alternate happy memories and Sirius in Azkaban. And the little bits of cannon you weave into your story... Excuse me while I go roll in a pile of feels.

Speaking of feels, Sirius' emotions, GAH. You write him so desperate and alone and empty and hopeless I feel a bit tearful now. Why are you doing this to me?

It is time for me to leave, I have to read on. But another of my favourite quotes before that:

Summer, thought Sirius instinctively. Somehow, the faintest touch of warmth, the tiniest trace of green seemed to have been borne in on the material of the man's pinstriped cloak. It was the most tantalising, beautiful, painful sensation.


Author's Response: Aw, Val! Thanks for the lovely review. I don't know why I do these things to you! I just like giving people the Feels. Especially the Sirius Feels. You've picked out two of my own favourite lines ;)

Sorry it's taken me a while to respond to your lovely reviews, I've hurt my back and can't sit at my computer for long.
Athene xoxo

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Review #12, by CambAngst Chapter Three.

7th November 2012:
This was easily my favorite chapter so far. You took Sirius through so many positive moments in this one, tempered by a few close calls and unpleasant realizations. I felt so good for him.

I absolutely loved Sirius's take on Harry's situation away from school. Fan fic authors spend so much time letting the would-be adults in Harry's life decry the conditions of his life with the Dursleys. And I think most of the authors come by that viewpoint quite honestly. After all, the majority of fan fic authors are on the younger side -- no offense to anyone -- and very few of them come from a family as cold and unloving as the Dursleys are toward Harry. The viewpoint also makes sense for many of the HP characters, particularly Hermione and the Weasleys. But here you've let Sirius come to a conclusion that feels perfectly natural for him. "Harry's a little skinny, but honestly he's not doing too badly." For someone who grew up with old-money, pureblood lunatics for parents and Bellatrix for a cousin and just broke out of Azkaban, I'm sure Harry's life doesn't seem all that terrible. So I commend you in the strongest possible terms for not falling into the tired, cliched, "Sirius is furious with everyone for letting his godson be treated so horribly" storyline.

Aside from that, I liked the way that Sirius reacts to his first sight of Harry, thunderstruck as though he'd just seen young James and not perfectly able to sort out his feelings. But then he also reacts to the hints of Lily in Harry's face. Nicely done!

Moving on to the scenes that take place in Scotland, this section gave me such mixed feelings. I loved the idea of Sirius feeling so at home around Hogwarts. The way that he gravitated irresistibly toward the Quidditch match felt so perfect for him, and once again he's having trouble separating Harry from James.

The way that he's forced to flee the castle and eventually the Quidditch match must have hurt him so badly. It was his one refuge from his family before he was sort of taken in by the Potters and now he isn't even welcome there. His flight from the Quidditch pitch was hair-raising. And I really, really loved the "soap box of humanity" that he keeps hidden in the Shrieking Shack. That was a brilliant little touch that humanized him so much. It was really emotional and heart-warming in a weird way to see James and Lily coming back to reassure him again. Magic being what it is, it's impossible to know whether he's going crazy or whether they're really looking out for him, but I like to believe a little of each.

Let's see, what else... I really loved Sirius's reflection on how his hatred of Peter had changed him. It was a great contrast, how it was a source of strength but also something that brought him to the edge of doing terrible things.

This story is so great. You've probably heard that a lot, but it's worth repeating. One more chapter to go...

Author's Response: Well, thank you for taking the time to write another review! And particularly for picking out Sirius's reaction to what he sees of Harry's life with the Dursleys. In addition to his unique perspective on childhood, we also know that Sirius - as much as we love him - is extremely single-minded (a trait he shares with Harry), slightly unhinged as we first meet him, and at this point in time has bigger fish to fry (ie. Finding Peter and making him pay). So yeah, basically - I agree with you!

Ha, 'Soap box of humanity'. I love it. You're quite right; is Sirius, as a wizard, simply more highly attuned to those who have died? Or is he a little crazy? Or is he simply a human who loved deeply and suffered great trauma?

Again, you've hit the nail on the head of what I was trying to do; his hatred of Peter becomes both sustaining and dangerous. Although we all grow to know and love Sirius, we do (on first reading) spend most of PoA understanding him to be a figure of terror and danger. When we first meet him, Harry has to persuade him not to commit murder. So I wanted to keep some hint at just how much he lives on a knife-edge.

Sorry it's taken me a while to reply to your reviews, I've injured my back and can't sit at my computer for long!

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Review #13, by CambAngst Chapter Two.

6th November 2012:
Hi, there!

Wow, so much foreshadowing in this one. The dark times are approaching, and you did a good job of capturing the tension and apprehension while also allowing life to go on for the characters. Let's get into specifics, shall we?

It was fun to see Frank and Alice whole and healthy, happy and together and waiting to welcome little Neville into the world. You captured the fire that Jami always brings to her character perfectly. Her banter with Sirius was witty and flirtatious and just all-around perfect for me. You danced nicely around Remus's suspicions of Peter. I found myself wondering whether Sirius had already started to suspect Remus, as well, by this point. There really isn't much time to go into if before Lily's awful news arrives, but that would be an interesting twist and could explain why Sirius isn't taking Remus's concerns more seriously.

The bit about Benjy Fenwick did feel a little forced to me. You introduced it and made a little bit of it and then moved on almost right away. I know this piece wasn't meant to be overly long, but the loss of a comrade in such a gruesome fashion felt like it should have had more impact on the conversation and on Sirius's mindset.

Lily's letter and the reaction of Sirius's friends was very nicely done. The letter itself was succinct and to the point, which made perfect sense. And the others were so concerned for Sirius. They didn't allow him to leave until they deemed him ready, which made them all sound like really good friends.

The little bit of gallows humor when Sirius arrives at the Potters' home was a nice touch. Very much in character for him, even in such a terrible moment. And the scene near William Potter's deathbed was very touching. This is the exact sort of closeness that Jami has always weaved into James and Sirius's relationship. Mr. Potter's words to Sirius really made the point hit home.

Gah! The last scene was hard for me to read. Not because you didn't write it well, of course, but because it was so emotional. You captured the shock that Sirius would have felt pretty well. The awful details about the muggle victims, the blood and the dust and everything that goes along with it really put a vivid picture in my mind. Sirius's shock at being blamed for the slaughter actually fit really well with the overall scene. For my part, I couldn't figure out why the lady was blaming him, either. If there is any one thing I could suggest for the story, and this may not be the right place to include it, I'm very curious as to how Peter managed to frame Sirius so convincingly. There must have been other evidence.

The ending, especially the final sentence, was perfect. Just a total emotional crash. No wonder Sirius was in no shape to protest his innocence overly.

I really like what you're doing with this. It all fits so nicely with Jami's story, but you bring so much fresh, new material of your own. A brilliant compliment!

Author's Response: Ooh yes, I do enjoy a little foreshadowing!

I really enjoyed getting a few of the gang together, and I'm glad you think I've managed to capture some of Jami's Alice as I didn't want her to be a repeat of *my* earlier Alice in Pop Goes The Weasel. I could perhaps have made that section a little longer, looking more into Sirius's feelings about Remus - but I think I look into that aspect a bit more deeply in the final chapter. You're quite right about Benjy Fenwick. You know when something's so fixed in your mind that you forget you haven't told the reader and so you don't make it obvious? To my mind, Benjy died quite a while ago, which is why they're shocked at Dumbledore wanting to reinstitute the use of tracking the Death Eater - it's been so long since they've had to resort to such measures. Also, although overall the Order is a very close band of brothers, Benjy wasn't particularly close to *that* group of people - he wasn't one of the young just-left-Hogwarts members of the Order. Ah, head canon. But thanks for pointing that out, I may go back and fiddle with that bit.

The muggle woman... yeah. I was going to start the scene a little earlier, to the moments before Peter blew the place up, and there would have been a clearer explanation of how she was convinced that it was Sirius who had done it. But for some reason, I couldn't bring myself to write it. I have the beginning of the scene in my head perfectly, and you've read the end... I just couldn't get the middle quite right. So maybe this is a cop-out of a scene? I may go back and revisit it later too.

Poor Sirius. Poor, poor Sirius. It was hard trying to write him into a state in which he becomes so unhinged that he can do nothing but laugh. So in my mind, he had to become unaware that he was even doing it.

I really love that you can see Jami's influence here! That's a great compliment to *me*!

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Review #14, by Jchrissy Chapter Three.

5th November 2012:
Oh. My. Gosh.

I am *so* happy that you showed us this first section. Seeing what weve been through wit Harry from Sirius was just so creative, amazing, bahh.

Okay. Phew. I can do this.

He wanted to see Harry so bad. He wanted to see the product of James and Lily, his godson, and it is so heart breaking that he didnt just get the last twelve (thirteen) years to spend with him. He should have, and I everything hes missed, everything Peter took away from him, just hurts so much in this first section.

Half expecting Prong to gallop beside him--- Sarah Im going to cry. Prongs was galloping beside him! Only a few chapters ago in BTF he was! And now.. now ;(. Bah. But hes going to get to watch Harry play Quidditch! So its okay, and I can toughen up. If Sirius survived all of this, I can too :P.

NO! NO! I wasnt ready for that one to be over! But I still have one more chapter

Okay. Let me try and backtrack so I can actually leave a coherent review. Or some of a coherent review.

The entire Quidditch section, oh god. It was written so beautifully and all Sirius could focus on was Harry. Watching him play, and excel, at something that he and James spent hours doing.. getting to live through Harry for just a bit, and willing him to catch the Snitch and be done with it (now Sirius, were we thinking like a concerned parent?? :P). The intensity of thinking though it all with Sirius, then when the Dementors came and Siriuss regret for coming because he doesnt know if Harrys okay but he does know that he found his broom broken. WHY Sarah? Why do you create so many swirly fuzzy pokey feels? And you know Im a bit on the emotional side today!!!

Your writing is, as always, beautiful in this. Your ability to place imagery in the best place to keep the story flowing and smooth, to give me these vivid pictures that play like the same memories Sirius watched in his Azkaban cell. You. Are. Killing me! And I loved the detail of him throwing the Dumbledore card into the fire.

OH! I almost forgot! We really get a look at his reckless side with his clawing into the portrait and trying to get Peter. He wasnt trying to hurt anyone, but he risked everything hed came there for because his need to track down the man who took away his entire family, his life, overcame him and it was such an awesome thing. It was so Sirius.

Did I tell you how amazingly honored I am that you wrote this for me? You have no idea how much it means to me. I want to hug you. ♥ ♥ ♥

Author's Response: Hi! I'm going to reply to my reviews tonight, as my neck isn't so bad. Woohoo!

I really enjoyed writing something we've seen before from a different perspective - and that scene is so underplayed in the film, so I really enjoyed looking at it from another angle!

Ah I'm so glad you think the imagery held up in this chapter! It's so important to me, that the reader has images in their mind as they read my work - as you know! That's why Annie and Cissy had to go ;) I felt really mean having Sirius toss the card into the fire! But I wanted to show him feeling betrayed by the school, by Dumbledore... because it would be too easy for his heart to melt on seeing Harry, I needed him to remain angry and a little vicious, so that he could be the man Harry first meets in the Shack.

Ee, I'm so so glad that you like this story! I really am. Please do hug me. How long are your arms? Mine are quite long, if we stretch really hard maybe we could meet in the Atlantic.

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Review #15, by CambAngst Chapter One.

5th November 2012:
Hi, Sarah!

As always, Jami has been bragging on your work and with good reason! This chapter was wonderful. The depth of emotion you're able to reach with your writing constantly amazes me. Sirius's despair and grief and madness are gripping.

Even though you pulled some people, places and events from Jami's story, I thought you came up with some really neat additions of your own for this. The way that Sirius learns to manage his emotions in order to avoid the attention of the Dementors was especially clever. I really enjoyed your version of Sirius's sorting. The typical portrayal is one where Sirius is already deeply alienated from his family before arriving and he meets James on the train. I liked your version better. There's just no reason to imagine that an eleven-year-old would have been able to attain that degree of separation from his large and mostly crazy family, no matter how much he disliked them. That spark of kinship he feels with James was also really believable.

All of the flashback scenes you wrote were really warm and funny and made it so apparent how Sirius was able to hang onto that shred of sanity that allowed him to survive. The idea of James sitting by his side in Azkaban, helping him to keep going, made me feel really warm and fuzzy inside. Your true friends never leave you, no matter how terrible the circumstances. And Lily's appearance right at the end was inspiring and heart-breaking all at once.

Your writing was fabulous in this. I can't find a flaw in it. I'm eagerly looking forward to reading more of this story later!

Author's Response: Hi Dan!

Well, this is an awesome little review to find sitting in my inbox. I'm going to have to send Jami a fruit basket or something.

I completely agree with your comment on young Sirius. I think an eleven year-old (particularly one as intelligent as Sirius Black) would maybe start questioning the legitimacy of their family's beliefs, or be relieved at not having to hang out with his older cousins any more... but to already be irreparably estranged from his family? Just doesn't make sense. It's not realistic. So, yeah - that's where that comes from!

I'm glad that I managed to give you the warm fuzzies despite the desolation of Sirius's situation... I was trying to think of a way he managed not to go stark raving mad. And maybe he *is* crazy (talking to your dead friends, whilst quite normal, is not quite the same as seeing them regularly, hatching plans with them etc), but he does seem to realise it, and still be mostly functional, bless him.

I loved bringing Lily into it. For some reason, she never appears quite as clearly as James, but she somehow brings more warmth and comfort (oh - yeah, she appears again!).

Thank you for all of your kind comments, it really means a lot to me to know that a writer such as you thinks that I can handle a story like this, haha! Thanks for reading and reviewing, I hope you enjoy the rest of the story :)

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Review #16, by Jchrissy Chapter Two.

1st November 2012:
Naughty author. Naughty ;(!!!

Okay. You seriously just wrap my emotions around your little finger with this. You know that, right?

Sometimes I forget how much I hate Peter until I remember everything he did. And I just want to walk him into the Black Lake where some creatures can munch on him for dinner.

The conversation between Sirius and William (thank you!) was so perfect and sad all together. James trying to stay awake, thinking that if he wills his dad to keep living then it will happen, because like Sirius points out... it's James. And James can get whatever he wants if he tries hard enough.

And then the comment about James having a brother since he was 11. Bah. Bah Bahhh ;(. It's not fair. None of what happened to them is fair and they absolutely didn't deserve it. Deep breath.

I just have to keep remembering how much better it is that William died because he was old and it was his time. It wasn't because of Voldemort or the war or anything. But James and Lily should have had the chance to make a huge flock of children and tell them all about their grandparents one day. And they didn't ;(. And Sirius never got to learn what an awesome Uncle he would be until a billion years later and even then he just has a few short years with his god son :(.

Sirius didn't even realize it first what Peter did! He was trying to help, and he *could* have fought it. He would have gotten trouble for admitting it, but he could have showed them that he was an Animagus and they all were and he could have fought it. Dumbledore could have helped, they could have extracted the memory from Sirius where he tells Lily and James to make Peter their secret keeper. But that's it-- isn't it? He told them to do it, and it got them killed. In his head he as good cast the curse. But this is where, even though we love him so much, his faults really show. Harry needed someone. He needed Sirius. But Sirius accepts his fate without even trying because it all kills his heart too much, he doesn't think about what he needs to do. And then it's too late and he's in Azkaban ;(.

Bahhh. This is such a beautiful, heart breaking story so far. Thank you so much for giving this amazing man a story he deserves ♥

Author's Response: I'm naughty?! Teehee. Sorry. But not really sorry.

That's the thing! Peter! I really hate him. I find writing young Peter very hard, so... I didn't do it much. Coward's way out, ironically :P

I liked William. Wasn't he sweet? I really wanted to show a moment where we see the parent to Harry's parents (James, Lily *and* Sirius). James reminds me a little of Harry in his utter determination and grit, although it springs from different quarters - James's from being used to having his own way, Harry's from never having his own way and being determined to make his world, and that of his friends, a better place.

You'll get to see Sirius being an awesome uncle to little Harry in chapter 4 ;) But then they do suffer an awfully long separation... only to spend the briefest time together before Sirius dies. Oh God, it's so sad! But you've just got to embrace the happy side of it where you can. There was so much LOVE in Sirius's life, thanks to the Potters, and that's what makes the loss of it so tragic.

I feel he deserves his own story, too, and I'm touched that you think I've done a good job of it. This story is by no means comprehensive, as I've had to miss out big chunks of his life... but I guess that leaves them open to write at another time!

Hm, is it possible that we have thought along the same lines? The final chapter covers a fair bit of your final paragraph! Heehee.

Thank you for your lovely review :) I'm so glad you're enjoying Skywards. Oh, and thanks for dragging Dan over this way too! :D

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Review #17, by Jchrissy Chapter One.

31st October 2012:
Sarah! Sarah. I started doing running review style, but I just couldn't. I had to keep reading. Arhghg. I don't even know where to start.

Deep breath.

Deep breath.


Okay. Now that that's out...

I secretly read this when you first told me it was up. But I still couldn't stop and review during because it's just so intoxicating... I want to cry and smile at the same time.

The way you started, with our first few glimpses into Azkaban.. then taking us over to his sorting was so powerful. Taking something from such a terrible, heart breaking period in his life then showing us how he really started. How he went from Sirius Black, eldest Black son, to a blood traitor more loved than nearly anyone.

The way you gave us our first look at the group and Lily! Gah. I just want to cry and hug you at the same time. Please?? Can I?? It shouldn't have happened to any of them :(. They should be fifty years old, still laughing together like the first time.

I loved the way that Sirius recognized arrogance in James and understood he was from the same kind of privilege, but the difference stuck out so much when he looked up and realized there wasn't anything but laughter in his eyes.

And the Marauding mothers!!! Oh my gosh. You made sure that you kept me from balling my eyes out with adding just enough amazingly sweet/funny perfect moments. I'd love to see Olivia kick Mrs. know what. And 'I think they're playing Mrs. Potter vs Mrs. Black' hahaha. You have such an amazingly creative mind!

And now you brought me back :(. And we're here again but we shouldn't be because even Sirius shouldn't be here. He shouldn't only see Lily and James like this. He should be sitting down to dinner with them and Harry, not trying to hold his soul together in the depths of Azkaban. The conversation with Fudge is *amazing*... that anxiousness that Fudge felt to get away from him as soon as he realized he was actually enjoying speaking with a *notorious mass murder* it was absolutely amazing.

Detail. Do you have any how perfectly you put everything together in this? The change from Hogwarts moods to Azkaban ones, the imagery the the ability you have to get all of our senses engaged. I don't even know what to do with you, you amazing-ness.

I just wanted to make everything stop in this chapter. I just wanted to stay in Hogwarts where nothing bad can happen to Marauders ;(. But I keep having to remind myself that everything Sirius endured after this is what really shows how strong of a person he is.. and I would have been okay with it if he would have gotten to.. to.. to live :(.

Well. Now you've done it. I'm a big sobby baby. But this is so beautiful and amazing and just took my breath away. The best part is I still get three more chapters of it! I'm going to try and toughen up for the next ones.

You're such a talented writer. I'm so honored that you've taken the time to write all this for me ♥ I don't know what I'd do without you to vent to/laugh with/whine to/RL gossip/talk HP writing/Jack/Ben/Puppies/Jobs.. pretty much just everything.

And it means so much that you've used Belle, Alice's surname, the Animagus change..

Okay. I must go review the next before I get all mush mush again.

Author's Response: Eeek, how to respond? I've just been looking at the review I left you the other day, I'm sorry it's so massive. This one is similarly... large :P But it's so lovely and it sounds like I've accomplished Mission: Jami Sobbing.

I was a bit nervous about the moment we first see James - I didn't want him to come across as Malfoyish. But I'm glad you, like Sirius, can see that he's really not awful. He's just a bit arrogant and privileged.

And you've picked out one of my favourite bits to write! Fudge! Did you spot him turning up again in Chapter 2? :P I think that the conversation with Fudge may be one of the only times in this story that we see Sirius from someone else's point of view. And Sirius is still charismatic, haha!

Writing the 'happy' bits made me want to write more Marauders in the future... but then again, I don't know if I can put myself through the heartache you go through knowing their ultimate fate! :S

I'm sorry this is such a rubbish response, I'm just really glad you like this story (I was so nervous!) and that I made you a big sobby baby, rwahahahahahahaa.

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Review #18, by Sundowner Chapter One.

31st October 2012:
Oh, wow.

First of all, your writing style is amazing. I could only wish to reach that level. The way you string your words and sentences together is just beautiful. Moreover the way you describe his feelings just makes him feel real, and the James part? Heartbreaking! I love the flashbacks, they felt really in-character and the Marauders dynamic is really well-written. I don't really have any critique. I love Sirius and you've managed to capture him in a way very few authors can (i'm afraid I'm not one of them, sadly.)

I could tell you my favourite parts, and stuff like that but seriously, it's better if I just say I really like it!

Sorry for my.. messy review, I'm really bad at them. ;d Anyway, I'm moving onto the second chapter :) Keep up the good work!

Author's Response: Wow, thank you! It's always great to find an unexpected review waiting for me, but especially when it seems you enjoyed this chapter so much!

You're very kind, particularly to say that you enjoy my writing style.

I've always been too nervous to write Marauders before, but Sirius made it easy for me, and I'm glad you think I did a good job of capturing their dynamic!

Chapter 3 is now up - and 4 is on the way ;)

Thanks again!

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