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Reading Reviews for Breathe
  
111 Reviews Found

Review #1, by Dojh167 iii. Trapped

18th April 2017:
Hufflepuff CtF Review

Yay, I’m glad I get to come back!

Whoops, I hadn’t realized Sirius’ parents had been away - hazards of quick reading! Welp, that means things are inevitably going to get worse (especially since I know what happens from Drown).

Yikes, we don’t even get an explanation for what Walburga comes screaming in about. That’s pretty realistic, in my opinion, as it seems like anything could set her off, and it mirrors in the reader what I expect is Sirius’ feeling of unavoidable punishment, regardless of what he has or hasn’t done wrong.

Yikes at the matter of fact offhand way she immobilizes him. I feel so much for Sirius, but also think you’ve done a great job of writing him and how his personality traits connect with the trauma of his home life without having to spell anything out.

Sirius hiding his hindi dictionary from his parents at night reminds me of Harry doing his homework in secret at the Dursleys’. We already knew those two had similarities in their upbringing, but that plus the parallel of the forced haircut really highlight it.

From what I read in Drown I don’t think we’re really meant to sympathize with Regulus too much in this story and more see his action from the outside from Sirius’ perspective, but I definitely do sympathize with him. While he doesn’t have it as rough as Sirius, he still has the same parents, and he does care for his brother and wants things to be better for him.

This was another good chapter. The kind of good that’s really heavy and depressing, but good nonetheless.

Sam.

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Review #2, by Dojh167 ii. Bhaii

16th April 2017:
Hufflepuff CtF Review

Can you believe I’ve never read this? Because I CANNOT. This fic to me is like one of the famous books or movies that everyone has seen/you should have seen, but for some reason you haven’t so you plan to sort of pretend you have. But the pretending has nothing to do with not wanting to read it, but being ashamed that I haven’t yet. So thanks to CtF here I am at last!

I read the first chapter, but will save my review thoughts on it for later in case it ends up a CtF flag =)

Oh, so Sirius did end up sending a letter to JAmes! I wonder if “the second week” means the second week of vacation, or the second week since sending the letter.

You do a really good job of building the tension around the letter and how much it means. I particularly like how you stop t comment on the fact that the address is so simple, reflecting Sirius’ thoughts and mood in the flow of the writing.

It impressed me that James has such a hard time forgiving Sirius, and it makes me respect him more than I normally do.

It was unclear to me whether or not Sirius had already come out to James or not. The way he mentioned it in his letter made it seem so natural like he had, but his anxiety afterwards suggested that that may not be the case.

Haha there was already a ton of suspense for what JAmes’ second letter would say and then you/James went and made us wait for the translation to read it!

Wow, it is really interesting that Sirius choses to translate JAmes’ letter himself instead of ue a sell. I really like that he sees it as a sign of respect of JAmes, not making James convenient, though it does occur to e that this way probably makes James’ words less accurate =P

I have so much compassion for this Sirius. He clearly cares about people deeply and takes his actions very seriously (despite his impulsive nature), and I really really want him to have a whole lot less self hatred. While some of this is warranted after the incident with Snape, it seems that it is part of his general state of being.

Okay, but Sirius writing to James in Hindi (and including an english version just in case) is incredibly sweet. And hilarious that it involves describing sex dreams. He is too pure.

I really connect to the idea that while Sirius was able to let go of negative things he learned from his parents, particularly those that directed hate towards others, he had not let go of the ones that directed hate at himself. Too real.

I’m used to seeing Sirius as the more anxious and self hating one, but you’ve made those traits work so well with Sirius, without him losing any of his Sirius-ness. Very well done.

I am so glad I am finally reading this! It’s really, really good (as I knew it would be)!

Sam.

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Review #3, by victoria_anne ii. Bhaii

16th April 2017:
Sirius written by you is just my absolute fave. I know that character is in good hands.

I'm glad we find out the reason James is angry, and it's so good too. Snape finding out about Remus was such a powerful canon moment, and actually one of my favourite stories (heroic James, anyone?!) but I hardly read fics about it. I love how you provided a reason for Sirius' actions, and I completely understand why he did it.

His discomfort over the letter comes across so well, and I'm feeling all the feels right along with him. To sit around wondering if you're still friends with someone must be so awful.

Also, the fact that James holidays in India and writes in Hindi is so amazing. And Sirius went out and bought a dictionary! I love how we wanted to do it himself, painstakingly though it must have been, because using magic felt wrong under the circumstances.

Aw and James is so sweet and understanding about it all! But I wouldn't expect anything less ♥

But Sirius' self loathing is so sad! I think it's realistic (but I haven't gone through or know anyone who has gone through what he is) but still sad.

You've done a(nother) amazing job, Kayla! ♥

Author's Response: "Sirius written by you is just my absolute fave. I know that character is in good hands."
Awww what a lovely thing to say! Thank you so much! *hearts*

Really glad you enjoyed all my characterization and the reasoning I gave for what happened with Snape and Sirius!

Thanks for the lovely review!

-Kayla


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Review #4, by PaulaTheProkaryote ii. Bhaii

11th September 2016:
HIII LOVELY!

Okay the very beginning I'm very nervous for the letter. At first it took me a moment to understand why exactly the bird not flying away immediately indicated it was James' bird, but it must be because it's going to be flying all the way back to India and that's way too long to go without a letter. It would be much more efficient just to wait. Poor bird and that long flight.

Well the good news is that the letter from James didn't cement his fate forever. He just needed to explain. And have a dang good reason (which I'm not sure he actually has). In my mind I'm wondering where exactly Peter would stand in all of this. I imagine he'd be with Remus and James only because majority rules and the whole Sirius is the outcast of the group thing.

So I don't think James would cast him away for being gay. I just can't see it. Tell me that doesn't happen. That's just such a terrible thing to have a problem with, especially for such close friends. If anything James should feel bad for not realizing it. I mean if Snape could figure it out surely James could too.

DEAR. Thank god. Okay. I'm okay. We're okay. We're going to make it. James, you lazy banana, making him translate and building up all that suspense!

I really like that he didn't bother to do the translation the simple way. It's a very Gryffindor feeling thing and I'm not even sure why it's a Gryffindor feeling thing, but it is.

I like concern from James WAY more than the condemnation that I was fearing.

"He felt his muscles relax and he slumped over his desk, resting his forehead in his hand, a smile spreading across his face." I honestly thing I just did the same thing. Merlin's sweet ravenclaw, I didn't even realize how tense this was until it wasn't.

"Your brother." DON'T TOY WITH MY EMOTIONS LIKE THIS, IT'S A ROLLERCOASTER OF A CHAPTER. Also when I get emotional I tend to *ahem* snot bubble and I don't think anyone wants that.

The effort to write back to James in Hindi is such a nice touch. James is going to smile, even though he's mad, he's going to smile.

I loved, loved, loved the little bit about Andromeda and the secrets she whispered and the impact that had on him. And all of the "deprogramming" he had to do from his parents' garbage. Now we are going to have to do it all over again on homosexuality and honestly he's going to feel so very free. Also it's a nice touch with Uncle Alphard. It's going to be something they can bond over. I hate that he's going through this, I really do, only because no one should ever have to suffer this. That being said, I love that you've written this because hot dog it might save someone else. It might be enough to help little baby Sirius' all over the world reading this fanfic that THEY ARE NORMAL and everyone agonizes over it and so many have the toxic parents with their toxic programming, but that doesn't have to define you and you can make it (end rant).

Uh, I think I'm running out of characters. It's not perfectly solved by any means, but someone else is in his corner now and that's going to help him become a better person.

I obviously love your characterization of Sirius, but I especially love James. He's the friend that everyone needs. Even though he's mad, and reasonably so, he doesn't leave him best friend on his own during this conflict. He's there for him when he's needed most. I love that so much.

I love all of this so much.

Author's Response: HI LOVELIER!

I definitely think I was imagining Peter siding with James and Remus (and I might mention it later on? I can't remember), not only because "majority rules" but also because it was a messed up thing that Sirius did and he must have had morals and stuff at some point right?

Since you already know James is supportive, I'll say that I HATE HATE HATE stories that make James unsupportive and homophobic (or even "accepting" but making homophobic remarks), it's honestly one of my pet peeves. So rest assured that I would never do that. Also, I've always pictured Snape as quite perceptive, while James is... a little clueless. Not stupid or anything, just a bit clueless when it comes to stuff going on around him. Although I think he'd grow out of it more and more. (Re: your remark about Snape figuring it out while James didn't notice.)

I totally know what you mean about the translating being "Gryffindor-feeling". Maybe because it has elements of stubbornness and pridefulness.

LOL! Sorry if I made you snot-bubble!

OMG, I don't know if this will save someone else. That'd be pretty cool though.

I'm really happy that you liked my characterization of James, because I was far less certain of him than I was of Sirius going into writing this and was therefore less certain of the results. So that's a relief.

I love YOU so much! ;)

Thanks for the lovely review!

-Kayla


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Review #5, by PaulaTheProkaryote i. Consequence

11th September 2016:
HELLO LOVELY!

Okay, first and foremost, I'm glad that you've picked this period to do this story. It fits, it feels right, it feels like one of those powerful coming of age style stories! Those are the best!

The very first full paragraph was very painful in my mind because it's so hard to imagine a world like that. A world where James and Sirius might not even be friends anymore. I mean, I understand it, I totally get how serious of a rift that would cause in their relationship and you really capture it so well. This awkwardness had to be completely foreign.

I'm also very intrigued/enamored with and Indian James. DIVERSITY. IT NEEDS TO BE PRESENT. Thank you for including it.

I couldn't blame James and Remus for being furious either. He really put them in a terrible situation and single-handedly destroyed the friendship. Well, damaged it.

I love the characterization of Sirius because it's entirely unique to your story. I doubt I'll ever read another Sirius quite like him and I think that's such an exceptional thing.

My stomach is knotting at my anxiety for Sirius. I mean I understand the unforgivableness (totally a word) of what he did and let's be honest, it was super terrible, but at the same time he's clearly so, so very remorseful. He just didn't think it through. I mean they have to take him back at some point, right? RIGHT? We're going with a resounding yes because my heart needs them to.

All of it was just so, so intense and I didn't even realize it was a shorter chapter but it packs such a powerful punch.

The pacing was smooth and just as it should be. When you're building up the angsty anxiousness of the story the lines become just a little choppier and it really relates I think just how much internal agony that Sirius is struggling with.

It's an excellent start to what will surely be an excellent story!

Author's Response: HELLO LOVELIER!

I couldn't have written this story in any other time period! It just all fit together so perfectly :D

This might be kinda weird to say but I'm kinda glad that you (as far as I can tell) wrote this review after you'd read the whole chapter! Most people seem to review as they read, so I've gotten a lot of "oh no, what's going on?" reviews on this - which are great too! But it's really cool to see a review from someone who knows what is going on and has looked back over the rest of the chapter through that lens.

Praise of my characterization of Sirius makes my day every time ^.^

I'm really glad you enjoyed this first chapter, and thanks for this super wonderful review!

-Kayla


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Review #6, by TidalDragon ix. Breathe

18th June 2016:
I was wrong. The not-so-dramatic conclusion. But perhaps after all the drama in the earlier chapters, I should've known that it would actually be more fitting this way given that you were inevitably going to end (at least in my mind :P) on a upstroke.

I will say that from an overall story perspective I thought there was a delightful symmetry in the contrast between the beginning and end. In the beginning, by God, we think we KNOW the Marauders - fun, loyal, INSEPARABLE - but it's all wrong in the beginning because of the seriousness of what Sirius had done (yes, I deliberately wrote it that way - sue me :P). Here, it's what we'd expect - joy, ease, comfort in one another's presence in these dark times.

I also liked that once again you you didn't oversell a moment. I'm sure I'm not alone in having been waiting, waiting, waiting (to use some of your earlier style ;) ) to see the reconciliation between Remus and Sirius and I know it must've been tempting to make it grandiose, and have it rise to this enormous, flowing crescendo before that last period, but this was more honest, more real, and as a result, superior in my mind. It's ENOUGH for us to know that the process of forgiveness has begun and it gives it extra impact to end on that note.

This was an absolutely excellent story, Kayla and I'm appalled its taken me this long to read to the end, but I thank you for sharing it and applaud you for writing it!

Author's Response: Hahaha! This cracked me up. And yes, this was always definitely going to end on an upstroke. That's kinda how I roll. It's either outright tragic angst or it's a happy ending.

Yay, symmetry! This was, in large part, a story about Sirius's journey to "how things are supposed to be", if that makes sense - so yes, at the start of the story, everything is wrong and difficult, and he works through it and that includes, obviously, repairing these friendships, returning us by the end to the Marauder dynamic that we all know and love!

I know a bunch of people really wanted the Sirius/Remus reunion to be grandiose, but for me I was really always planning for it to happen this way. I was quite certain of my ending right from the beginning, in that I knew it would end on the Hogwarts Express and that the Remus/Sirius reconciliation would be defined by possibility. I think that trying to completely 100% fix their relationship and have Remus forgive Sirius for the horrible mistake he'd made within the confines of this story would have been putting way too much pressure on myself what with everything else going on. And besides, like you, I like it better this way. :)

Thank you very much, Kevin! I'm so glad you enjoyed reading this, and I really appreciate all your lovely reviews.

-Kayla


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Review #7, by TidalDragon viii. Celebration

18th June 2016:
Hello hello! This chapter felt a bit slower for me truthfully, like more of an interlude somehow after all the heavier stuff, but perhaps it was simply that it was more overwhelmingly positive that made it slide by so smoothly. While there were touches still in it (unsurprisingly so), there was so much less doubt and you could both read and FEEL Sirius's comfort level here and it was refreshing after the time he's been through. Despite that, I also think it was good that you didn't completely ignore looks and scrutiny from others because that likely would've defied realism, rightly or wrongly.

The one thing I'll briefly travel back to that I think I forgot to comment on last chapter was a relatively minor grammar thing. I noticed when you were referring to something belonging to James it was written James' but (at least under APA style) as odd as it seems it's really supposed to be James's (the exception being, bizarrely enough, names that end in "s" but the "s" is silent - grammarians...whatcha gonna do?). It's really minor like I said, but I just thought you might like to know!

Onward and upward for me, to the dramatic conclusion of Breathe!

Author's Response: Hey Kevin,

If I recall correctly, I think this chapter was actually a bit slower for me too, writing-wise. I think I got quite stuck on it and began to worry about whether I'd be able to finish! I managed it though, and I personally feel the slowness works, because like you said this chapter is full of positivity and is kind of a breather from the heavier stuff.

Thank you very much for letting me know that! I was always so confused about the rules about names ending in S. I don't think I fixed this story up, but I have started doing it right in my new stories, so that's something.

Thanks for the review!

-Kayla


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Review #8, by TidalDragon vii. Acceptance

18th June 2016:
Well...I DIDN'T think it was clunky. For a moment, I'll confess, I thought you were going to undo all the good I'd said at the end of my last review (not undo it really, but slightly minimize it), but yet again, you dealt with it with nuance even as his understanding of himself seems to be starting to grow.

Despite everything, I do have to say I feel for Sirius. The chapter ends on a bittersweet note, with the excellent language of "Acceptance, but not forgiveness" and "He doesn't hate be because I'm queer, but he still hates me." I think it was really difficult on you to accommodate the continuing gravity of what Sirius did, but also keep the thread of acceptance running strong, but you managed to do it in that finale and that was strong. To track back to where I started this paragraph though, I suppose I feel for Sirius because I feel like if they could truly acknowledge each other face-to-face it would make a big difference and while no one "deserves" a second chance in a situation like this, I do think Sirius is worthy of one after how loyal a friend he had been to Remus prior and the closeness of their relationship. I suppose, looking at it from the other side, it makes what happened all the more monstrous a betrayal, but in the end I guess I can't help feeling like I do about it.

I can't wait to see how the story progresses in the remaining chapters!

Author's Response: Yay!!! Glad to hear that your concerns weren't realized (Couldn't figure out how else to word that :P). I think the gender parts of this were the bits I struggled with the most. It's a relief when people say that I managed to do okay. Haha.

It really was tricky, like you said, to keep the thread of acceptance running alongside the actual seriousness (heh) of the situation. I like to think I pulled it off, and it seems you agree! I totally understand what you mean with regards to your feelings about Sirius deserving a second chance. It really is a complicated situation because you can understand Remus's perspective too (of it being even more of a betrayal). I think he would for sure need to prove himself as trustworthy again, but that he deserved a chance to explain himself.

Thanks for the review!

-Kayla


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Review #9, by TidalDragon vi. Awakening

18th June 2016:
And Chapter 6 brings home the other part of Sirius's departure that helps make it a success, the Potters as a whole. Perhaps even more incredible than a friend being there for him in the way James is, is the way that James's PARENTS care for Sirius and think nothing of him staying with them for an extended (and at this point indefinite) amount of time. I think even aside from the stuff I'll discuss later, you really portrayed that spirit of generosity and love masterfully, not just by telling us how wonderful and welcoming they were, but by showing us - and through small things too.

The next bit of excellence I have to comment on is the continued attention to detail you put into capturing James and his family as being from India. It's a popular headcanon for a lot of people at this point, but I see it too often in stories that it's just "BOOM. The Potters are Indian." And then nothing else changes. There are no cultural differences, there is no language addressed, no trips, no religion, no nothing. Just pointing it out and moving on and you have NEVER shied away from any aspect of who they are and have obviously done so much research to make sure they are authentically represented, which I think is exceptional.

The last piece I want to touch on is obviously the end, where we see Sirius struggling, without quite knowing (or at least admitting) yet that this discomfort with the dress robes, this issue with the hair and keeping it longer, this disdain for his appearance despite knowing that he looks objectively handsome by male standards - is an issue with his gender identity. At the age he is, I think there's this temptation that many authors succumb to (I even did it in my story, though Dom was a bit older) to make everything definite. To have the character have uncertainty about reactions, solutions, etc., but to have absolute certainty about their gender identity. Because of that, it's actually all the more refreshing for you to take us through the actual questioning and the emotions and uncertain associated with identity itself and I look forward to reading more of it in the coming chapters.

Author's Response: Hiya Kevin,

I really wish we knew more about James's parents because from what we see in canon they definitely seem to be amazing people. I actually had a bit of a hard time writing them and was worried that either they weren't coming off as generous/loving enough or that I was overdoing it and making them into weird caricatures. So far nobody's said either, so yay!! Haha.

It was important to me to make the Potters feel authentic without being weird about it, so I tried to do that through little details. I'm really glad it worked for you.

The uncertainty that you talk about is, I think, borne of several things - mainly a combo of the time period plus Sirius being quite sheltered. It just made sense to me to write it this way. And I really wanted the whole story to be a "growing as a person" type thing, so I felt like that fit nicely.

Thanks for your kind words :D

-Kayla


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Review #10, by TidalDragon v. Drowning

18th June 2016:
Ahh Chapter 5 and one of my favorite moments in the James-Sirius friendship. As your first scene very capably demonstrates, it's obviously borne of some truly awful, despicable things (I had outright abuse be the impetus in Evolution too, because I truly believe it), but I think it's just so huge for a person to be so accepting of a friend in a time of need and to not judge or pressure with questions, just to be there - especially among male friends - truly rare.

I also thought from a mechanics perspective you did a really brilliant job with the abuse portions, especially given how the ToS is about it. I was lazy when I did mine and just cut away with the Hemingway "later" move, though not nearly as well, but you kept it retrospective, but provided enough snippets of what transpired, broken, like Sirius at the time of their telling and I think it made an enormous difference in impact vs. the purely retrospective or purely present-cut away-return model. Truly, it was really well done.

See you in Chapter 6!

Author's Response: Hiya Kevin,

Thanks for the kind words. I'm honestly a fan of the way the ToS is about abuse because it makes you approach it differently. I don't have a problem with the "later" cut away method at all but in this case I almost feel it would've been hard to pull that off because of all the different elements (such as James being angry with Sirius). I think it might've taken people out of the story if I'd cut away to Sirius being at James's house and just gone "oh, he got kicked out, now he's here and luckily James didn't turn him away". So I did it this way instead. Haha :') I'm glad you thought it was successful, I know it's a heavy chapter and it's one I really wanted to get right.

Thanks for the review!

-Kayla


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Review #11, by TidalDragon iv. Mistake

18th June 2016:
I have made it (as promised) here to Chapter 4!

Perhaps my favorite thing about this chapter was the whole non-showiness of the kiss. You didn't make it extra-special earth-shattering, you didn't make it the catalyst for some final revelation. You made it a kiss. That happened. And then it was done. And I think that makes a lot of sense given the essentially NON-relationship between the two and the awkwardness of the exchange immediately prior. So kudos to you for gaining authenticity points there!

The earlier part of the scene was also effective at creating this distance between Sirius and others and I thought it was positive how you sort of patiently developed to this end-point with Frederic - though you cast in the idea that Sirius "noticed" him from a physical perspective, the entire thing still focused much more on his questioning of his identity and sexuality and less on some sudden lust or strong attraction. I am intrigued to see whether there is anything behind the query about James and Sirius (at least from Sirius's perspective) and whether that's a possible legitimate attraction he's been suppressing based on their friendship or not, but I suppose that will (or won't) be addressed in the future.

The one thing I did notice that just jumped out at me that I'd take a look at is the use by Frederic of "Suit yourself" in such quick succession. Granted, it may be young Mr. Macmillan's catchphrase - if so, cool - but if not, you might change one of them to a non-verbal reaction or different language just to mix it up. Anyway, there's my two cents.

On to Chapter 5!

Author's Response: Kevin! So sorry for my late response.

Yay, authenticity points! Authenticity is honestly one of my main concerns with this story, so I'm glad for those! Haha.

As you now know, James/Sirius was not addressed, but you did get me thinking about it. It's totally not impossible that there is/was repressed attraction there, but really he's been actively suppressing the heck out of his attraction to Remus, so in this particular story I guess I don't see it - but I 100% see it as a possibility in other contexts.

Thank you for pointing that out! I'll go back and change one of them.

Thanks for the review and sorry again for the belated response!

-Kayla


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Review #12, by TidalDragon iii. Trapped

18th June 2016:
Howdy! I have returned to make a return of my own of sorts - three cheers for getting back to regular reviewing!

It's been a long time since I read this story, but I have to say it didn't take long to get back into Sirius's head the way you've written him. His voice in this story is so unique and so unlike...honestly any other portrayal of him I've read. This chapter really showcases it even more, in his isolation with his own thoughts, but the one word I'd almost never use to describe Sirius in most fics is vulnerable, but he is here and painfully so.

I also like the allusion to the greater issues of identity he's dealing with from the hair scene. He doesn't quite understand it yet, but he understands that it "made him different from the other boys" (who he interestingly still refers to as boys at his age - I don't know if that was deliberate or not, but by this time I never in my life would've called another guy my age a "boy" - it seems much more common for girls to do, but then that's fitting, which is the point I took a long meandering time to get to). He also senses the loss of the hair acutely as a part of this loss of SELF he's experiencing in his isolation and so I thought it worked very well on that level too, contributing to his confusion and anchorlessness.

I also honestly liked the last scene. Though I don't have any siblings, it's still sort of heartbreaking to see how despite everything, Regulus still wants to be able to make a meaningful connection with his brother and gets spurned. It reminds me of the articles I've read recently about how in relationships of any kind, the health can often be judged on how often each party's "bids" to the other are accepted vs. declined. Here poor Regulus is really trying, but Sirius is having none of it.

Anyway, I am on to the next chapter now! Hoping to get caught up in full tonight!

Author's Response: Hi Kevin! So sorry it's taken me so long to respond to these :(

*dances* Sirius compliments are my favourite compliments ^.^ I'm happy to hear that you're finding this portrayal unique while also (I assume, based on you not saying otherwise) not OOC.

Ah, I'm glad you picked up on the implications of all the stuff with his hair. I will admit, the "boys" thing was not deliberate - I just couldn't think of a different word to use - but if you think it works I suppose I'll just leave it haha :')

Regulus and Sirius have such a sad relationship imo :( There's really not much of a basis for my HC for them in canon, but ah well. I think it works.

Thanks so much for the review!

-Kayla


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Review #13, by Moondust13 ix. Breathe

20th March 2016:
I just wanted to say that I LOVE this story so much. I love how descriptive you were with Sirius's feelings and his thoughts through the process of finding himself.

Author's Response: Thank you so much! :D

-Kayla


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Review #14, by banshee ii. Bhaii

10th March 2016:
(So I decided to do two reviews because my first one came out really short and I didn't feel right just reviewing a prologue, so yay reviews!)

That letter was was SO heartbreaking. I definitely understand why, but I feel SO bad for Sirius. It was really clear that he wasn't thinking when he told Severus about the Whomping Willow. Hopefully James will eventually understand. I'm definitely excited to see where you take things though.

I do really like though that in James' letter, you focused on Remus' feelings instead of Snape's. I feel like it's more realistic that James would be concerned about Remus over Snape.

Also, I LOVE the culture you're bringing into this story with James. It's really refreshing to see him as a person of color, and that you're not just mentioning it and then never bringing it up again. Yay! (Also, Sirius translating his own letter to James into Hindi is brilliant.)

P.S. If you haven't written to Remus yet, don't. - Please, no, just go ahead and BREAK MY HEART.

I just love so much how you linked everything together leading up to the incident. I like how it sort of gives Sirius some more in-depth characterization; I really wouldn't think that Sirius would almost ruin everyone's lives just for a joke, so it's so neat to see what the reason for that was.

It was just that writing it all down had forced him to actually think about it, and he didn't want to. - If that isn't the freaking truth, I don't know what is.

I really love that the marauders helped Sirius unlearn all of the hateful things his parents ingrained in him. It's such a lovely plot mention. It makes me sad that he even has to unlearn them, but I suppose that's just the truth. I really like how it took him a while too, because you know his parent's thought they were right so why would Sirius think any different.

Heartbreaking, that Sirius is punishing himself so much for the situation that he won't even let himself think about his feelings for Remus.

This chapter was SO good. I'm definitely going to be reading the rest of this some day. Thanks so much for the swap!

Julie

Author's Response: Hi Julie! Aw, you didn't need to do an extra review. That's really sweet of you, thank you so much :)

I definitely think that, while Sirius and James would be cognizant of how much danger Snape had been placed in (and that it wasn't acceptable) but they wouldn't really dwell on it and would be much more concerned about Remus.

I always thought that the Willow prank seemed super OOC for Sirius. Like, sure he could be kind of thoughtless sometimes, and even a bit mean, but he also adored his friends and was very loyal. I really can't see him spilling Remus' secret like that for no reason or just for a laugh. So I wanted to write what I thought his motivations could be.

I'm really glad you enjoyed this chapter, and I hope you'll continue reading sometime!

-Kayla


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Review #15, by banshee i. Consequence

10th March 2016:
Hey Kayla, I'm here for our review swap!

It is absolutely criminal that I don't read more wolfstar. This first chapter was amazing. I've never really thought about the aftermath of the situation with Snape/Remus/James, so I really liked how you touched on that here.

You really do a brilliant job connecting Sirius' feelings about the whole situation with his feelings about his queerness. I really feel like it's in character of Snape to use that against Sirius after that incident happened.

The voice and emotion you give to Sirius is really lovely. I feel like a lot of times (canon or not) I see Sirius as this jokester, so I think it's really cool that you gave him some more serious (heh) feelings here.

I also really like his apprehension to write to Remus at all. It shows some maybe feelings that I'll definitely be looking for.

Really great introduction, Kayla!

Julie

Author's Response: Hi Julie!

I agree! Read more Wolfstar! ;) haha

I'm glad you agree with me that Snape taunting him like that would be in-character. Not everyone agreed with that but I think it makes sense!

Aw, I'm really happy that you like my Sirius here :D

Thanks for the swap, Julie!

-Kayla


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Review #16, by Dirigible_Plums i. Consequence

3rd March 2016:
Hey,

It's Plums here with your requested review. I have come here SO MANY times to review, but it always turns out really inadequate, but today I am determined to leave something!

I know that this is sort of only a prologue so I love how you managed to allude to a more diverse portrayal of the Marauders without throwing it in our faces. Like, correct me if I'm wrong, but James is Indian, right? I really liked how it wasn't just blatantly stated, it was just "I hope India is nice so far" with a bit of clarification afterwards. I guess what I'm saying is that I liked the way it just slid in, another fact among others, but an important one nonetheless.

You know, it's strange. I've never considered how bad the consequences of Sirius' actions could have been. Therefore, I really like how this chapter focuses on them and shows that yes, Sirius made a terrible mistake and yes, it won't be forgiven easily. And it's not just Remus that is hurt, but James too.

Of course, that's not to say that I don't feel sorry for Sirius, particularly with the closing statement. I don't blame him for feeling attacked and wanting to lash out, I understand it. And even before I came up to that part, it was quite upsetting to see the Marauders so torn apart in this way and for Sirius to feel like 'James felt far too formal; Prongs felt forbidden, since Sirius was not sure if he and James were friends anymore.'

(But can I just say that I really, really like the way Sirius keeps mentioning Remus? I know he's distraught and all, but I can just feel the Wolfstar from a mile off. I love Wolfstar.)

This was a great start so far! I'm sorry that I couldn't read/review Chapter 2 as well, but I might come back for more ;) (when it's not 6am, that is.)

Plums xo

Author's Response: Hi Plums :) Thank you so much for doing this review for me!

You're correct - James is Indian in this :) And I'm glad that you liked the way I introduced it.

I always thought that Sirius' Willow Tree "prank" was really out of character for him - I mean, he was so loyal to his friends, and that was a really big breach of Remus' trust. So I really wanted to explore what could have possibly motivated him, as well as the fallout and repercussions.

I'm glad you enjoyed this first chapter. Maybe I'll rerequest for chapter 2 sometime :D Thanks again for doing this for me.

-Kayla


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Review #17, by Musafan ix. Breathe

18th February 2016:
im dead THIS IS SO GOOD HOW IS THIS SO GOOD IT MADE ME CRY HOW i just wish it was longer IT IS SO GOOD thank you for this

Author's Response: Aw thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed (although I'm sorry it made you cry haha)! Sorry it's not longer, but you might be pleased to know that I've posted one other story in the same universe, and I'm planning to post more, including a multi-chapter sequel!

Thanks for reading!

-Kayla


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Review #18, by alicia and anne iii. Trapped

15th February 2016:
Poor Sirius, being forced to spend time at Grimmauld place. I would hate it too :(
Oh no :( I hope that he doesn't go through too much with them around *hugs him so tightly* I wish that I could protect him from harm.

NO! She can't cut the lucious locks! Curse you Walburga! His hair is as famous as he is! She needs a good hexing!

I can tell that something is going to happen at this party :( I'm so scared! I love that Regulus was trying to talk to him though, that was nice and showed that he cares for him.

I absolutely love your Sirius so much! I can't wait to read more of this, it's such a great story!

Author's Response: Hi Tammi! So sorry it took me so long to respond to this :(

LOL, Walburga needs a good hexing for many reasons. She's truly the worst.

It makes me so happy that you love my Sirius! I hope I'll see you back soon to see what happens to him next :)

Thanks for the lovely review!

-Kayla


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Review #19, by MrsJaydeMalfoy i. Consequence

9th February 2016:
Here with review 2 of 2!

I told you reading 'Drown' had made me want to read this! :P

*Gasps* Why wouldn't Sirius and James be friends anymore? And why is it so hard for Sirius to write this letter to the person who's meant to be his best friend?! So tense, and so many questions right here at the beginning! Better keep reading! :P

Honestly, after reading the way she acted in 'Drown', I feel relieved that Mrs. Black is in Paris and I really hope she won't make a surprise appearance in this chapter. I think I'm still a little frightened of her... :P And, apparently it's very hard for Sirius to write this letter, so it's good that he doesn't have his mother there bothering and screaming at him every five minutes, to give him some time to work on it!

And my goodness - that's a short letter, to have taken him so long to write it! But GAH, the curiosity is killing me! What did Sirius do that was so awful?! And oh my goodness, they haven't spoken since MAY?! What in the world?!?

Also, I really like the subtle hints you've got of Wolfstar here. Yes, Sirius is clearly upset that he hasn't talked to James, but he can't even bring himself to write to Remus, for fear of rejection. That really says A LOT and I'm just hoping SO MUCH that the marauders fix everything, and soon! I don't like this feeling of them not talking to each other! And again, I think the fact that you're able to make me feel those emotions through your writing is incredible!

And aaah. A prank. That explains a lot. But what in the world?! What kind of prank could Sirius have possibly pulled that would involve Snape saying that word? And James was all bruised? It's nice to have some information now about what happened, and it certainly seems like Sirius' friends have a right to be angry with him, but I'm still really curious as to exactly how the prank went down. I'll just have to keep reading, won't I? :P

This is another wonderfully well-written piece/chapter of yours, dear! I'm very curious as to what will happen next, and this has already been added to my 'currently reading' list so that I can come back later to catch up! Excellent job, and again, Congratulations and thank you for playing the Guess the Present Game!

Author's Response: Oh my gosh. I can't believe how long it took me to respond to this :( I am really sorry!

LOL, I actually didn't realize how short the letter was until you pointed it out. I went and reread this chapter and was like "...wow okay oops". It's pretty funny that that short letter took him so long to write, but he was struggling to word things exactly right, so I suppose that's why.

Sirius being afraid to write to Remus at all is partially a subtle Wolfstar thing, but it's also something you'll definitely understand better if you keep reading ;)

I'm so glad that you enjoyed this first chapter, and I hope you'll be back to read more sometime soon! It took me an unusually long time to respond to this review, but it's a really lovely one and I appreciate it a lot!

Thanks so much!

-Kayla


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Review #20, by navyfail i. Consequence

6th February 2016:
Ohh, this is definitely different from most of the Marauder stories I've read. I like how you show Sirius and James in the middle of a tough period. I don't think I've ever really read them when they were having a rough patch or an argument. It's usually best friends for life James and Sirius so this is definitely new and refreshing in sort of a way. I honestly feel so bad for Sirius because his friends really are everything for him since he has never been that close with family. And now he's alone!

Not only is James not talking to him, but Remus and Peter as well. Whatever happened sounds very serious.

I'm not sure if I'm correct but it seems like the prank may have been the Whomping Willow incident with Snape. I've never really thought about that incident and actually never thought the Marauders would have a rift over that, though it was a very dangerous thing to do. Again, I may be totally off about this.

I have to say I really like how you ended this. You effortlessly brought in the title of this story, finishing off with "except he couldn't stop thinking and his mind kept going back to James and oh, Merlin, Remus, until he had to get out of bed to breathe or throw up."

Great start to the story! I wonder if the Marauders will make up and if they do anytime soon, how. And I'm sure later in the story the incident that started this will be expanded on and Snape's comment of Sirius being a queer will come up as well.

Great job and congrats on 100 reviews!

~Sama

Author's Response: Hi Sama!

It was really, really nice of you to come leave me this review when I posted about being 1 away from 100! Thank you so much!

You're right, this was the Whomping Willow incident. Interestingly, that event and the aftermath seem to be a common thing to write fics about on other sites, but not on here. I'm not really sure why that is, but yeah, that's what this is about. I think that it would definitely cause a rift (obviously) because Sirius' actions could have led to Snape's death, and to Remus unwillingly becoming a murderer.

You're right again that those things will be explored more in the rest of the story, and I hope you enjoyed this first chapter enough to come back and continue reading sometime! ^.^

Thank you again for the very sweet gesture and this lovely review!

-Kayla


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Review #21, by TearsIMustConceal v. Drowning

6th February 2016:
Hi Kayla, here with your review!

Oh wow, this chapter was heavy and heartbreaking! I was really hoping Regulus loved and respected his brother enough not to tell but obviously that hope was misplaced. I am seriously disliking Reg right now. I know that they're not close but even I didn't think he would do this to him – i'm glad he's feeling guilty!

Poor Sirius, he didn't deserve any of that. I just want to hug him. I feel like it's worse that she abused him using magic – that hits me harder than it would if he'd been hit physically and I don't know why. Maybe because it's unnecessarily cruel and pure evil but I guess his mother really is evil. And the fact that even though he disagrees with his parents belief's, you can feel he is utterly broken that he's been burnt off the family tree – I don't understand why anyone would want to hurt him.

James' reaction was perfect and exactly what Sirius needed in that moment. But Sirius feeling scared of the rejection – I just want to hug him – his mother has really done a number on him, hasn't she? I loved how he just hugged him and stroked his hair and didn't leave him alone. It was exactly what Sirius needed.

This gave me so many feels Kayla and you did a perfect job with everything, from emotions to descriptions and your writing is just amazing!

I can't wait to read the next chapter!

-Vicki

Author's Response: Hi Vicki!

Like I mentioned in my response to your last review, I have a one-shot in the queue dealing with Regulus' motivations in this chapter ;)

You're not the only person who's said that the magical abuse hit harder for some reason, actually. Other people have said similar things about it being unnecessarily cruel or how there would be potential for so much more pain. And yes, Sirius and his family didn't get along, but I feel like being rejected in such a huge and final way would definitely still be painful.

Yeah, his mother has really messed him up, but he has James :D And James knows just how to help him, like you said.

Aw, thank you so much! I'm so happy that you think I did a good job :)

-Kayla


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Review #22, by TearsIMustConceal iv. Mistake

3rd February 2016:
Hi Kayla, here I am with your requested review!

I forgot how much I enjoyed this story so i'm glad you re-requested, I'm definitely but this on my reading list so I can keep on reading it!

Urgh, Walburga is just a piece of work, I really can't stand her and all she did was turn her nose up at Sirius. I think you really portray her well, in the sense that us readers completely hate her! I liked how Sirius felt a little envious of Regulus – I think it really shows that despite his feelings towards his upbringing and his family, there is that little part of him that slightly wishes he could fit in, perhaps just for an easier life.

I like that no one caused a scene at the ball – obviously a lot good have been said but everyone ignored him and I think that's a good thing for Sirius, anyway. No one can say anything snide or nasty if they're ignoring him. I love that he tried to talk the house elves, that bit made me smile.

I like Frederic and that moment when they were near enough holding hands – I knew something was coming later on and I was not disappointed. I loved their awkward interactions– I think it was so cute, them bumbling away in a conversation, trying to work out what the other was trying to say.

I also love how you portray Sirius' honesty about being unsure about how he feels and whether he is gay. The kiss was sweet and really realistic, as were his inner thoughts!

I had a feeling someone would see them! I didn't think it would be Regulus but I think i'm glad it was because he does care for Sirius so I don't think he'd run and tell their mother. But I could be completely wrong!

Can't wait to see what happens next! I'll definitely be reading on! Thank you for your request!

-Vicki

Author's Response: Hey Vicki!

Walburga is the wooorst ugh. And yeah, there is definitely a little part of Sirius that wants to fit in, not just to make his life easier but because deep down he wants his family to love and accept him :(

I think everyone at the ball was quite hung up on having a good time, and Sirius was just standing out of the way and not causing trouble, so no one could even be bothered with him.

Since you've read the next chapter now, I can tell you that I had a good/evil chuckle reading the last part of your review :') Just FYI, I have a new story in the queue that is part of the same universe as this one and explores Regulus' motivations.

I'm really glad you're enjoying this story, and thanks for the awesome review!

-Kayla


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Review #23, by Unwritten Curse ix. Breathe

30th January 2016:
TEAM GOLD

*sobbing*

Not even kidding. I am crying. (Not sure if you know this about me but I am the biggest sap in the world.) This was beautiful. I love so many things about this chapter. I love that Sirius has a family now, a family that loves him and appreciates him and a family that makes saying goodbye hard. I love that he's so excited about going back to Hogwarts, that he calls it "home." I love that he's back in his element. And I love that REMUS IS TALKING TO HIM AND SMILING AT HIM and that the last line is "And he breathed." (I'm crying again just thinking about that last line.)

This is a genuinely beautiful story and if I haven't favorited it yet, I am favoriting it now. Your writing is stunning and your characterizations are complex and you handle sensitive issues with grace.

I genuinely feel like a learned a lot about gender identity through reading this story, so thank you for that. It's such a fascinating thing to learn about. Sad, too, because I know that many are bullied and depressed because of the judgment that is rampant all around us. Many don't understand. Writing this story is helping others to understand. That's one of the reasons I love fiction--it can help those who read it to develop empathy for people who are different than us. And that's really, really cool.

I'm a huge fan of yours. :)

--Gina

Author's Response: Hey Gina!

Aw, I shouldn't feel happy that I made you cry :') It just means a lot to me that you enjoy this story so much. Also, I am a huge sap too and cry at fanfiction (and books, and movies, and tv shows, and songs...) all the time.

Honestly, I'm still learning about gender identity (as I'm cisgender) and have other people to thank for teaching me what I do know. So I'm really glad that this story helped you out, and I hope that you'll continue to learn and increase your understanding!

I basically have heart eyes over this whole review. Thank you so much for all your nice words, Gina :)

-Kayla


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Review #24, by Unwritten Curse viii. Celebration

30th January 2016:
TEAM GOLD gave me an excuse to finally review this chapter. I think I've read the last chapter (when it was in the queue) but I realize now that I've never read this one. And this is the one I was so looking forward to (and dreading, a bit, like Sirius at the beginning of this chapter).

I loved this, Kayla. You write this scene so beautifully and believably. I felt for Sirius, especially when he was holding his skirt and worrying over putting it on. I was worried for him. I know that it's what he wants--what he needs--but I completely understand his nervousness. This is a huge deal. And he couldn't know how people would react.

I'm so glad he had James with him. What a good friend. I was tearing up a bit when they were dancing together and goofing off and James didn't give a crap what other people thought. He's a genuine friend and it makes things even sadder knowing that he dies young. I can't imagine how hard that loss was for Sirius.

But YAY SIRIUS. I'm so so proud of him for being courageous and putting on that skirt even though he knew people would stare. And stare they did, but he stopped caring. He was totally right--they were strangers and they didn't matter. He has friends who love him and that's what matters. They accept him no matter what.

So much love for this chapter. I can't wait to re-read and review the last chapter. :)

--Gina

Author's Response: GINA!

Your reviews on this story are always so lovely. It makes me so, so happy to know how much you enjoy reading this.

Aw man, did you have to bring James dying young into this?! :( That loss would absolutely hit Sirius so hard and he had 12 years alone in a cell to dwell on it... :( BOO I'm going to focus on the happy moment in this story. I think James is such a deeply loyal person, and Sirius is like his brother. Of course he would support Sirius in this moment :D Their friendship is so wonderful.

Aw, it makes me smile so much whenever people leave reviews saying they're proud of Sirius. Like it honestly makes me feel like my heart is swelling in my chest. I got so invested in this story while I wrote it, and so invested in Sirius' character in particular, and I'm proud of him too :') I know that probably sounds silly because, like, I wrote the story... but oh well :P

Anyways, thank you so much for the wonderful review, Gina! :D

-Kayla


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Review #25, by alicia and anne ii. Bhaii

10th January 2016:
Can I just keep you as my official Sirius writer? Just send you ideas and have you write me stories about him because you are so perfect at it! (I know I've said it before but I seriously want this to happen :P)

I am nervous for him about that letter and what it may contain. Oh no! James hasn't forgiven him (I know he totally has his reasons, but I want happiness :P)

That letter was so sad, and I hope that's enough to get James to talk to him again. Sirius really needs him.

I love that you've made it so that James is Indian, I absolutely love it so much and I love that Sirius chose to buy a translation book instead of just using a spell.

AND JAMES WROTE 'your brother' AT THE END! YES!!! This is a good sign!!

I must say, I really like that you're showing this fear that Sirius has about coming out and keeping it hidden from certain people. It makes it all seem much more real.

I can't wait to read the next chapter!

Author's Response: Hi Tammi!

I would love to be your official Sirius writer, but I'm too unreliable and struggle to actually write :( Although, if you really wanted to, you could still send me your ideas and I'd see what I could do... *can't tell if you're joking (oops)*

I'm super glad you're enjoying this story so far and were able to find so many elements you liked! :D

Thank you so much for the lovely review!

-Kayla


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