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Reading Reviews for Pain Makes You Beautiful
  
21 Reviews Found

Review #1, by Aleine Rated Mature for themes and content.

2nd October 2015:
Wow... you made me cry...

This is such an amazing piece of work. you made the characterization so emphatic that I felt like Sirius. I saw everything he was seeing and I felt everything he felt. You described the characters in a manner that it wasn't learning about them, but becoming one of them. That's the experience you gave me.

The build up the most crucial point in the entire series was amazingly done. You rationalized all four of their behavior excellently that it made perfect canonical sense. You didn't just give deep insight into the lives of the main two characters, but also about the the other two and their families. You made me understand Peter more, and love Sirius more.

That's saying something. Sirius is my bae.

There were no typos, no mistakes in grammar or no complains regarding sentence construction. they were all extremely done.

you gave the entire timeline of Sirius until the point we see him in the books perfectly well. It didn't feel as if I was reading an entire life. The flow was amazingly done.

Overall, one amazing piece of work!

Love and chocolates
Aleine
xx

Author's Response:

Hello!

Thanks for giving this a read. This thing was by far the most challenging and most experimental thing I've tried to date, so it's good to get feedback on it from time to time.

I don't generally write in first person, but this piece screamed for it, also with Sirius' foul language, he asked for it. I wanted to show how his environment and the people around him made him into the person he ends up to be at the end of this story. It's not about what happened, but how everything affected him. I wish I could say that I would be able to go this deep into characters all the time, but I'm not sure that's possible. It definitely stretched me as a writer and opened up the possibilities.

Thanks so much for the kind words and for letting me know what you thought.

Pix


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Review #2, by Penelope Inkwell Rated Mature for themes and content.

16th September 2015:
Wow.

Wow.

That was...a lot of angst. That might be the angstiest thing I've ever read. ALL the angst.

It was always clear that Sirius had spent most of his time, at least since James and Lily's deaths, and probably often enough before, in a pretty dark place. But we just dove right into the depths here. You apparently wrote this for the Angst Galore challenge and let me tell you it lived up to the name!

Whoa. Yikes.

Sirius and Remus' self-hate was...strong. But that is definitely a trait that I could see them sharing, and a way that they might understand each other on a deeper level that the others might not get.

Itís clever, really, the way he manipulates us into thinking so little of him.
--now that's an interesting take on Peter. I've never seen someone portray his 'weakness' as a tactic before. I like the originality of it. It makes me curious as to how you would right a one-shot about Peter.

I passingly wonder if the Fire Marshall's ďrequisite means of egressĒ has been overtaxed, and think about starting a blaze just to see.
--I think this is the most accurate "young Sirius Black" quote I have ever read. If you could distill that character into one line, I feel like that would be the one. It was really on point.


CC:

Marleneís acute to it.
--I'm really not totally sure, one way or the other, but I don't think that's the proper use of the word "acute"? I could be wrong, though. It could be a slang thing I'm not familiar with. "Wise to it" might be another option.

I can't quite tell what's happened with Marlene. It sounded like she'd died of splinching? (can anything happen to Sirius that isn't terrible? Poor, poor Sirius. Poor everyone). But then Sirius refers to her in the present tense with, "she thinks", "she wants", and "that's why I like her" . And then he refers to her as a ghost. That just seemed a little inconsistent and threw me for a bit of a loop.


Good job with Sirius, and with the super amped up angstiness! And congratulations again on your Dobby nomination(s)!

--Penny

Author's Response:

Hey hey! You're a reading and reviewing machine!

When the challenge said, "Angst Galore", how could I not go all the way with it??

Wow. Thanks for such a great compliment on Sirius' character. I really tried to stay in his head the whole time, and it wasn't pretty.

My beta reader gave me some warning with the way I used "acute" in that sentence. The artistic side of me loved the way that Sirius just used that word like it meant what he thought it meant, so I left it.

Marlene's dead. Sirius ends up talking to her ghost like she's still alive. He's not in a good place, so his brain is chaotic about the events. It was meant to be that way. So yeah. That.

Thanks so much for coming over to read this! It's not my usual.

Pix


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Review #3, by LiveBreatheNeedHP Rated Mature for themes and content.

11th September 2015:
Hello!
This is a very interesting take on Sirius and WolfStar and I must say it's very well written.
As a bit of a canon Nazi, it did make my skin itch slightly that this strayed from canon in terms of all the Secret Keeping and other such happenings, but in saying that, this was still a very enjoyable read.
I could feel the desperation and hopelessness that Sirius was feeling, and that Remus was feeling, in the tone, so this was communicated very well. It made me feel very sad, which is a good thing. If that makes sense.
Even though it went against canon of how the events actually played out, my heart still twisted when Sirius told Peter about where James was hiding. You made me feel that kind of "Why did you do that you beautiful imbecile, now you've ruined everything go back go back go back poor baby let me hug you" kind of feeling. You know the one? Maybe I'm the only weirdo that experiences this train of thought.
What I'm trying to say is you've done a really good job with this one! I really enjoyed reading it.

Author's Response:

Hello!

Yeah, I had that one little anit-canon thing, but truthfully, it worked better to move this piece to the conclusion that I wanted, so I left it in there. Sometimes the story has to be more important than anything else. *shrug* Whatcha gonna do?

It is very sad. I know exactly what you're saying, and it's kind of what I was going for, so thanks for letting me know that I hit the mark.

Thanks so much for the kind words!

Pix


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Review #4, by HeyMrsPotter Rated Mature for themes and content.

11th September 2015:
Hi, Pix! I'm desperately trying to review all of the dobby nominees before I go back to work on Monday so this review won't be too long but I wanted to leave one :)

I love how you've painted Remus as the glue that bonds the group together. I've always imagined that he would be the one to convince James and Sirius the cool kids to give Peter a chance, and obviously he's the more sensible of the group. I liked the way you countered that with the other three being the glue that puts Remus back together every month after the full moon.

WolfStar isn't one of my favourite pairings but I can definitely understand it and appreciate it when it is written as well as this. They're the perfect angsty pairing and this story has angst and then some! My heart aches for poor Sirius, especially when he is in Azkaban with his best friend gone and the man he loves thinking he is a killer. Gah♥

Congratulations on the nomination!

Dee

Author's Response:

You are very diligent with the nominations. Thanks for including me in your romp through the crazy list! I'm honored to be a part of it!

WolfStar isn't one of my things either, frankly. But it worked for this. I did want to include the Marauders as a whole in this, because they were so much a part of Sirius' life. And yeah. All the angst.

Thanks so much for the review! You are awesome!

Pix


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Review #5, by Unicorn_Charm Rated Mature for themes and content.

27th August 2015:
Hey Pix! Here with that review I promised! :)

Wow. You certainly were not joking when you said this was a sad one. :( *sniffle*

Sirius' pain, bitterness and angst was so clearly present throughout this entire piece. It was just jam packed with emotion. You did a spectacular job making that come across to the reader. From the way he talked about Dumbledore, to his relationship with Marlene and how he spoke of Remus. Even when he said he was happy, there was still the undercurrent of a bit of hopelessness and despair.

The foreshadowing with Peter throughout was nicely done as well. How he was always going "nowhere" and doing "nothing" yet no one really suspected much. At least, certainly not where he was really going or what he was really doing. But the reader knows. :'(

My heart hurt so badly for the way Remus found out about his father and the way his mother reacted. No wonder Remus came off as so cold and distant. It really was the only way he knew how to be. Ugh. Again, my poor feels!

Sirius' narrative really got to me. I'm still feeling his emptiness even as I write this review. And that is just a testament to your amazing writing of his feelings. You showed us exactly how he felt, about everything, throughout. With James in danger and in hiding, and Remus holding back so much of himself, Sirius completely fell apart. You could see, as the story went on, how it just progressively became worse.

The ending was terrible. He confessed his love for Remus, Remus left, he gets drunk and makes Peter Secret Keeper and then James and Lily are killed, and he's locked up in Azkaban. My poor Sirius.

I liked how you had Remus come to see him in the end. And it's totally true to Sirius' character that he did not deny killing James, because as we know from cannon, he felt like he did. The ending killed me, but it was really well done.

This was great. It destroyed me a bit, but it was truly great. Thank you for suggesting this! ♥

xoxo Meg

Author's Response:

Hi Meg. I did say it was sad. Perhaps that was a bit understated. Ooops.

Empty is a good way to describe where Sirius ends up here. There's nothing left for him to grab onto. No hope, no redemption. I don't like leaving characters like this as a rule, but it worked here for the challenge.

Thanks so much for being willing to read and review this!

Pix


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Review #6, by looneylizzie Rated Mature for themes and content.

15th August 2015:
Pix!

Since I haven't read & reviewed some of the stories nominated for SoTM, I figured I probably should stop by and check this out.

And WOW, what a story!

Poor Sirius! Poor Remus! My heart is breaking for both of them.

I've got to say, I love the way you've written Sirius here. You've captured his angst and his pain extremely well. There's so much here... the pain of his horrible childhood and breaking free of it, of losing his best friend when he went into hiding, of being torn between Marlene and Remus, of losing them both, and James.

Just... wow. There are no words.

I think my favorite by far is the way you've written Peter coming along and convincing Sirius to give up the Potter's location. He truly went to Sirius at his lowest and manipulated him in the worst way possible. He's truly a rat. The way you've written him makes me hate him even more than I ever have. And it's phenomenal!

Oh, wow. Again. This is fantastic Pix! I can see why this was nominated!
Keep writing!
LL

Author's Response:

Hi!

The SoTM entries were all FABULOUS! I was blown away by yours. So sweet.

I kinda destroyed these two, didn't I?

Sirius is a big ball of mess, and I didn't want to make this piece about a singular thing that sets him off. I wanted all of it, coming together to make him suffocate under the choices he made, even when there weren't any better options. I've used that theme before, but not to this extreme, where he's so buried that he can't find his way out. That's kind of how I define the Angst genre in my head, so that was my target.

Thanks so much for coming by to read this. I loved your words!

Pix


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Review #7, by Aphoride Rated Mature for themes and content.

13th August 2015:
Hey there Pix - dropping by for our review swap! :) You said you wanted something recent done, and I'm absolutely intimidated by the idea of starting novels as long as yours is, even though it sounds so cool, so I hope me stopping on this is okay! :)

This is an incredible one-shot. I'm not exactly a fan of Sirius as a person, but as a character he's amazing - so complicated and so many sides to him that there are a hundred-and-one different ways to take him and portray him which I love in characters, and this really just shows why. Not only that it makes me think, you know, about Sirius and Remus, and the Marauders as a whole, and their relationships as a group.

Speaking of the Marauders, I loved how you delved into each of them so well - Remus and James and Peter, too. It's not something I always see in Marauders stories (Peter being nonexistent was one of the reasons I pretty much stopped reading the era... :/), and I just love it here. I love how you emphasise the difficulties they have, and the problems they all face - the impact these things have on them, like Remus' lycanthropy and Sirius' relationship with his family, and how Peter almost manages to fly under the radar even with his friends so much so that they just don't know anything about his home life and things, which is equal parts devastating for him and devastating for them. Your James was great, too - I love how he almost tries to fix them, wants to give them the things they didn't get otherwise, and there's something almost heartbreakingly generous and almost naive about it, which I just adore.

I loved with your Sirius how he was so broken and so devastated by each loss he'd had, almost, and they seemed to keep on mounting up and overwhelming him - it rings so true to what he suffers in canon, with his family and so on, and it just makes me want to hug him, you know, because it's such a horrible set of things to endure. The part where he tells Remus he loves him, and Remus can't love him back, and it all ends, is so devastating too - the repetition of him having things and then having had them is just so good there. It's this wonderfully sad portrait of a very unhealthy relationship in that they're both clinging to each other, but it doesn't quite work, you know - they're only just supporting each other, really, but Sirius loves him and it's so sad. On the other hand, it's so perfectly in character for Remus, so I love it for that :P

Your writing in this was gorgeous, too - I love the style of it. I can't quite explain why, or what it is I love about it - the pace of it, the voice and the rawness of the emotions it brings out - but it's just so right and so beautiful, you know? Like it feels so real, almost like this is something he's saying directly to me - recounting what happened. Everything about this - every word - seems so perfectly placed and chosen exactly, and it's so lovely. Really, really is.

I feel like I've rambled a lot in this, so I'm sorry if this is a bit of a rubbish review, but I really did love this and I'm so glad I got a chance to read it! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response:

Hi Aph. Thanks for the swap!

Sirius Black has a lot to offer as a character. So many people are fascinated by him from the books, from the movies, just... he's so magnetic, you're just pulled in to whatever story he has to tell. He would have made one cool Godfather to Harry, but alas, that was not to be.

I guess this piece evolved by thinking about just what you said, the Marauders as a whole, and what they meant to each other. I haven't seen many satisfying fics that involve Peter in a way that I'd believe, so I had to think about that for a bit before coming up with my own version. The great thing about not knowing is that it gives us room to play.

I don't know if you are aware, but I am very allergic to angst. Mostly it's the overdone, melodramatic kind, where everything hurts so much that the characters can't put two words together without sobs wracking their body. I signed up for this challenge mostly because I didn't think I could do it, but also because I had a small idea that I thought I could pull off without getting all mucus-y and congested but still have everything hurt so badly that there's no way to move on from it. I wondered what that would look like, to make it real and raw, and Sirius gave me a character that I thought I could work with.

The take-away from this is: angst is hard. Uncomfortable. Exhausting. It's not my favorite genre, and writing anything longer than a one-shot in this style might just well kill me.

But now I know.

Thanks so much for reading and reviewing!

Pix


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Review #8, by nott theodore Rated Mature for themes and content.

7th August 2015:
Hi, Pix! I'm here because Erin recommended I read this story, but I've been meaning to read it for quite a while. So many people have said such wonderful things about it that I couldn't not - even if I came to this story preparing to get my heart-broken. Well, you didn't disappoint me :(

It's really hard to know where to start with this story, to be honest, when it comes to reviewing it. Because I want to ramble about every single little detail that you included and quote the whole story back at you because it was really perfect. Seriously, it was completely perfect. It felt like it could have come so easily from canon, as if this is the young version of all the Marauders we glimpse briefly in the books.

Your version of Sirius was so Sirius. Which sounds stupid, I realise, because that's just his name, but I was reading this story all the way through and I was just marvelling at your writing; there wasn't a single moment - not a line, nor a sentence, nor a word - when I didn't feel like I was reading this story from Sirius's point of view, as though every word on the screen was his.

At the same time, I felt so sorry for him reading it. It didn't read as though Sirius was trying to make people pity him, because that's not the sort of person that he is, but at the same time I think it's impossible to read this story and not pity him. He's just so broken and hurt, and I want to reach out to him and give him an enormous hug and say that everything's going to be okay. Even if I know that's a promise I can't make because I know that everything won't turn out well for him or any of his friends.

You captured each of the Marauders so well in this; I'm really glad that you didn't leave any of them out of it, even though this was a Wolfstar story. Peter was still their friend and so many people forget that when they write this era, which really annoys me. And you portrayed James so perfectly, too - the way that he tried to fix people, and give them everything he could to make them better. I loved the way Sirius talked about him sharing his money and his family because he wanted to be able to take care of the people who were important to him. It's exactly how I imagine him being, and I can imagine Harry acting the same way when he's older, too, and actually has a stable life and family to share.

Remus, too :'( I was just so sad about him, and how empty and broken he was. I've seen plenty of Marauders stories where James and/or Lily's parents die, and I think even some where Peter's father dies, but never one where Remus loses his family - and that would make a lot of sense in canon, since we know he struggled so much, but it's so heart-breaking to see that his mum rejected him and blamed him for her family falling apart. There's just so much pain and sadness here and it's so, so sad.

I loved the little details that you included in this which made it a really original story - I don't think I've ever seen a story where Sirius is so bitter about Dumbledore and doesn't have a high opinion of him, but just small things like that really made this story stand out. From what we see in the books, Sirius doesn't like Dumbledore's instructions then, and I can imagine him feeling pretty resentful towards Dumbledore in some ways when he was younger too.

The relationship between Sirius and Remus was so well-written. It's so, so sad though, and now I'm just completely heart-broken and want to go and curl up in a ball and cry :( Why did you have to do this to me? I had such high hopes for them helping each other through - at least before the Potters were discovered and everything went to pieces - but it just came crumbling down and now I'm so sad and upset. I want them to be happy together and it's not going to happen!

Having said that, you did a great job of writing the relationship - the way that it developed gradually from a friendship. There were hints of something there between them from the beginning, with the way that Sirius seemed to pay more attention to what Remus said and thought of him than the others, even though James was his best friend, and the way that he notices so much about him, but it still happens so gradually that it really seems to make sense. They've both lost so much and they're suddenly clinging onto each other because they want to feel whole again, and to keep hold of what they know and love. It's so understandable how they were drawn together, and then kept returning to each other. What makes me really sad is that even though they found each other, and found some solace and love there - at least for Sirius - they weren't able to be happy, even with that. Remus was so broken that he wouldn't let himself love Sirius and then, at the end, he's convinced that Sirius was the one who betrayed his friends. I can't even imagine how both of them must have felt at that point.

Your Remus in this story was such an intriguing one - probably the most complex version of him I've seen in a long time. I'd be really interested to see your version of him later on, when he meets Sirius again, or when he and Tonks get married.

Before I run out of characters, I just wanted to say that I loved the circular nature of this story too, the way that you started and ended the story with the same line. It really brought home the whole heartache and pain that Sirius was feeling, and it was so effective.

I'm sorry for such a long and rambling review which probably didn't make any sense at all *hides* In case you couldn't tell, I loved this story and your writing is amazing. Thank you so much for sharing it!

Sian :)

Author's Response:

Ahh, Sian! What is this thing? It looks like a one-shot, cleverly disguised as a review!!!

Your words are so generous, and make me feel like I might have done something with this. When I first set out to write this thing, I had a vague idea of what I wanted, but then when Sirius started speaking to me, I knew "this is it!" I also almost cried because he's such a foul-mouthed, biting thing and I didn't know if I could handle him inside my head.

Angsty angst angst angst. There was no room for happiness. Just. Not. It had to be real, and hopeless and final.

The relationships in this piece are what ultimately tell the story. Sirius wants and needs, and rarely is given a chance to get either. He's raised to feel one way, but he's born with the desire for something that goes completely against all of that upbringing. I wanted to show how he was drawn to the strengths of the people around him, and even though he has to be strong to do what he did, he envies the people around him for being stronger than himself. So in others, he finds his own weankesses, if that makes any sense.

I don't know if I'm strong enough to write this Sirius again, but if I did, I don't think I can get away from this angry, defeated guy. Though one day, I might try writing happy Sirius. I have no idea what that would look like now... I think I just killed myself with this. Sirius will always be broken to me now, and I don't like it.

Anyway, thank you SO MUCH for ALL THESE WORDS!

Pix


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Review #9, by Roisin Rated Mature for themes and content.

27th July 2015:
Hello! Here for your requested review :) I'm glad you requested because I read this just as soon as you posted and THOUGHT I'd reviewed, which apparently I didn't, so I'm glad to correct that now!

I really love the voice you have here for Sirius. Also, since this is in sort of a reflective present tense, you've built in an odd sort of curiosity. Right at the beginning you indicate that Sirius experienced some depression as a teen ('I sink into an impenetrable gloom). But since he's reflecting from prison, I recognize that there may also be a case of unreliable narrator going on. How much is his current state of mind influencing how he remembers things? Like, he probably DID have sadness as a youth, and you build a case for it, but Dementors are also known to leech happiness out of memories.

The second paragraph about the Lake is also interesting. I take it as an attempted suicide, and I really like how you leave it vague and underplayed, rather than going a more melodramatic route. Like, that seems like a realistic way for him to talk about it. And again, the voice is fantastic ('James goes about fixing me.')

So much is beautiful in this story. The language and observations are fantastic--like the bit about letting the wolf out so it doesn't destroy Remus from the inside, and Remus making them belong to one another.

I remember discussing the tense in this piece when I looked at it before. Not sure if you've edited it or if I just don't have my picky-beta-hat on, but reading it now, I think it really works. The reflective-present-tense definitely reads without being confusing, and I think the device on the whole is fantastic.

Really like the lines "get smashed / smash into each other" and "his eyes smolder with more than nothing" by the way.

I really like the way, near the end, the narrative starts to sort of dissolve and lose form and turn into a more disconnected and frenetic series of sentences and statements. I think it's a great way to capture his mental state/memory.

The only real criticism I have to offer is that I'm not 100% on this title. That's a totally subjective thing though, so whatever :P

As for how you handled the touchy subject matter, I think you did a great job. You were never coy but you also didn't belabor anything. I felt like you included as much as you needed to, so it didn't seem like you were either dancing around or over-indulging things. And because it all stayed really rooted in Sirius' voice and POV, which was a good move. I also really admired all of the language you used around sexuality--it never seemed euphemistic and definitely never seemed trite, cliche, or purple. There was a boldness to it yet still a huge amount of subtlety. Like, a delicate touch that only comes off as rough. Brilliant.

All in all, you've done an excellent job with this!

Author's Response:

Hello!

Thanks again for putting pre-posted eyes on this thing. It's very different from anything I've ever written and I had a lot of trepidation about it when it came out this way. Sirius' voice, for example was one of those things. When I first started writing this, he was just so vulgar at first. I don't use swear words as a rule, and never in this quantity. Part of me wanted to censor him, because I don't even think like this inside my head. But I forced myself to just let him go at it, and I think that if I had used milder language, the story wouldn't have had the same impact that it does.

I like the vagueness about the second paragraph too, and again with the language, because of the bluntness of it, you could take him either literally or figuratively and it would have the same effect. He states it in such a matter-of-fact way, like he's detached from it.

Since we've talked, I only changed two words, I think, so it's pretty much the same as it was. I didn't consciously think, "Okay, now I'm going to use the reflective-present tense here," and I don't generally write in first person, so all of those things just happened organically. Once they were down, I didn't see any reason to change them.

Remus was difficult for me to grasp here. I knew the effect I wanted to have with him, but I didn't want to label him. I felt like if I put a label on it, his personality would lose something. I just let him be who he is, along with Sirius, and allowed things to play out to some kind of conclusion.

Yeah, the title comes from a song, which was more of the genesis of the idea for this. The song itself is a bit on the trite side, but it's what I held onto to find the cohesiveness of the piece.

Ah, your comments on the touchy subject matter ease my mind. I wanted all of those things for this. I wanted a raw reading experience, and I wanted Sirius to be painfully blunt about things without going to the point of vulgarity. I'm relieved that it worked out that way for you.

Thanks so much for the review on this.

Pix



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Review #10, by CambAngst Rated Mature for themes and content.

16th July 2015:
Hi, pix!

I guess I could nit-pick you over the canonality (is that a word?) of how Peter came to have the secret to share with Voldemort, but that's about as much criticism as I can offer.

Your range as a writer is amazing. I was re-reading some of Rabbit Heart last night, trying to ramp back up on that story and take in some of the edits you've made. It's hard to believe that I'm reading two stories by the same person. The depth of Sirius's anguish and the flippant disregard for everything as he crashes downhill are heart-wrenching. The raw, emotionally over-charged way that you wrote this tears at the heart strings. Heck, it tears the heart OUT and throws it down and stomps on it until there's nothing left but a red stain.

I've rarely seen somebody do such a good job with the physical aspect of a same-sex relationship. You manage to take those scant details and make them fit perfectly into the broader themes of attachment and need and disaffection and self-destructive dependency. Remus's affection has a drug-like effect on Sirius, giving him a pale sort of hope in the face of an impossible situation.

I have to mention what you did with Peter, and how you drew out the similarities between his behavior and Remus's. I don't think I've ever seen someone do such a good job of presenting the confusing and ambiguous situation that would have confronted James and Sirius as they tried to figure out who the traitor was. Two possibilities, both moody (no pun intended), mysterious and unapproachable in their own way.

You did an incredible job with this story. pix does it again!

Author's Response:

Dan! You read my angsty angst piece!

I seriously wanted this to be completely canon-compliant, but there was this idea I had and when I had it down, it was too rooted in this piece for me to alter it, so yeah. We'll just pretend that that's the way it happened... (squint squint) Although now, I think I could go back and edit to make it work... but I am loathe to do so at this point. I think I'm going to let it stand as it is.

Ah, well. I think I'm STILL allergic to this angst stuff. It felt like I was going into anapylactic shock writing this way. The language alone made me squick all over the place, but something like this just couldn't be censored and still achieve the same effect. I'm glad this was only a one-shot, or I would have needed serious fluff-therapy afterwards.

Actually, I need several hugs. This was excruciatingly hard on many levels.

You got it all. Themes, everything. I am so relieved that all of that came through. Also, with Peter. Thanks for bringing that up. I can't believe that he was part of the group without being a true friend on some level. He had to have had their trust, and the point of betrayal would have been a huge shock, completely unexpected, but more obvious in hindsight.

Thanks for reading this thing. I am now going to wrap myself up in something fuzzy and eat chocolate.

Pix


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Review #11, by ad astra Rated Mature for themes and content.

12th July 2015:
House Cup 2015 Review - Slytherin

This story absolutely kills me. I've seen a lot of people talking about it on the forums but what you've done here just surpasses all expectations and it's easily the best Wolfstar I've ever read (and I read a lot of Wolfstar so I don't say that lightly)

Your characterisation of both Sirius and Remus is perfect. You've gone into so much more depth with their characters than anything I normally see and it's gutwrenching. I live for this stuff it's amazing

There are two kinds of scars. The ones that bind us together, and the ones that leave a gulf between us. I donít know what Remus does to me, but I like it. Too much, I think. this line is so perfect and it sums up their entire dynamic so well, because Remus and Sirius are a broken, falling apart mess and I can't get over the characterisation here. I think people have a tendency to skim over how cold and distant Remus can be - I suppose because he's so easily idealised - but you have him down in this story.

And Pete. He uses words that I love, like 'mates' and 'good times' and 'always'. He brings up Remus, and I shake. He asks when we can all be together again, and I break.

Heís eager. Eyes wide. Grinning and nodding like Iím giving him the world.
You manage to solve one of the greatest mysteries of the entire series - why Sirius made him Secret-Keeper, why nobody suspected his duplicity, in only a few key lines and I feel like I'm becoming a stuck record here but your portrayal of these boys at crisis point is so unbelievably well done. You take the canon and you enrich it beyond compare and I am just in awe of this piece.

10/10, phenomenal writing.

Author's Response:

Hi!

One of the things I wanted to accomplish with this story is highlight the absolute defeat that Sirius felt when Peter betrayed them all. The Marauders to me seemed like a very tight-knit group, each relying on one another for something that was otherwise lacking in their lives. Betrayal itself is ugly. Beyond that though, Sirius needed reasons to make the choices he did. Deep, painful reasons. I think that's where this story came from.

I hated writing this kind of language, but to get what I wanted, I just had to allow Sirius to express himself in the basest way possible. I really REALLY wanted to censor him, but if I had, this wouldn't be what it is.

Thank you for your kind words and letting me know that I hit the mark with this. It's not the stuff I usually write.

Pix


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Review #12, by SunshineDaisies Rated Mature for themes and content.

12th July 2015:
House Cup 2015 Hufflepuff

Crap. I knew reading this was a bad idea because now I'm all upset. :( I don't even ship wolfstar and I'm upset. Ugh.

You absolutely nailed Sirius's character. You can see his absoluteness so plainly. As you said, he's one for black and white. He loves someone with every thing he has, or he hates them with the fury of a thousand suns. Which is almost exactly the opposite of Remus. Remus is hesitant to accept love at all, it's not surprising he'd be overwhelmed by someone who loves with everything they have. I don't think he'd know what to do with it all. You've gotten them both so perfectly, I think this is probably one of the best Wolfstar fics I've ever read. No this is definitely the best one I've ever read, and definitely the best characterization of Sirius I've ever read. I could probably go on for years about how amazing this is, but, it's the House Cup. :)

Really phenomenal work!

Author's Response:
This got me upset too, and I'm not usually a Wolfstar shipper either, but somehow this worked, so I went with it.

I always saw Sirius as a very intense personality. He'd have to be, to have done what he did from what we know in canon. Thanks so much for your amazing review!

Pix


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Review #13, by Shadowkat Rated Mature for themes and content.

12th July 2015:
House Cup2015, Ravenclaw!

I just HAD to read this before bed, didn't I? Geez, why not just rip out my heart there? Hurts enough!

So, I used to not really like Wolfstar, mostly because we know it wouldn't happen via canon, but recently I've been being drawn a bit more to it, and this...this isn't helping bring that attraction to a halt. You've laid it all out beautifully. The pain, sadness, and loneliness. The pride. Everything is great. And may yet another to point out how flawless your imagery is? And that's the truth, not some pointless flattery.

This made me look at a number of different characters in a new light, and I think that's exactly what a good story should do. The only complaint I have is that Peter was the secret keeper, so he wouldn't have to get any information from Sirius.

Amazing job!

Author's Response:

Hi!

Yes, this piece has a world of hurt in it. I'm not certain that Wolfstar is canon-compliant either, but if it was, I think it would be a lot like this: born out of desperation and need. Even with their issues, these are strong young men to have even come as far as they did. I didn't want to weaken them by playing down their issues.

I tend to bend canon to whatever I'm trying to write. I know we all think of Dumbledore as this benevolent man, but what if Sirius saw him as meddlesome, and what if he had something to hide? And yeah, let's just squint over the whole secret keeper thing in canon. It was the only way I could make the emotional content tie together. Bendy canon. Just a tad.

Thanks so much for the review!

Pix


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Review #14, by Rumpelstiltskin Rated Mature for themes and content.

11th July 2015:
House Cup 2015 :: Slytherin

Ever get the feeling you're being stalked?

Before I get into things, I just wanted to mention that I really appreciate your ability to switch tone and writing style between stories (only because I just came from a story with a completely different feel). It really reflects on your ability as a writer and it continues to make your writing interesting to your readers.

Anyways, speaking of tone, that second paragraph really sets the tone for this story. I love how it also drops characterization for Sirius all in one go. This is a slightly darker side of Sirius than I'm used to reading in fanfiction, so it was quite refreshing.

James' generosity depicted as overwhelming at times is also new, but I can see how it can be. I loved the description when Sirius says, When Iím not choking in the charitable overflow." The word choice was lovely.

Remus' father dying, and having to find out by reading the paper is awfully heartbreaking, and his mother blaming the lycanthropy for destroying their family is even more so. "Remus makes us belong to each other." -- It's almost as if while the rest of the world, including Remus, himself, sees him as a nuisance and a monster because of what he is, Sirius views it as a blessing, because putting Remus back together every month is what holds the foursome's friendship together.

"Sometimes I think food is the only way he knows how to care. Maybe itís all he ever gets from his mum." You know, just go ahead and take my heart right now and get rid of it, because you're killing me (and I love it). Ah! This all ties into canon so perfectly with it's own little unique twist! Where has this story been?!

I'm assuming that this is going to be devastating at the end, isn't it? The closeness of the Marauders ("We bleed for each other.") in combination with the somber voice is telling me that this is going to hurt me, isn't it?

I love how Marlene brings out the better parts of Sirius, I love the pairing, so it's awesome that there's a very positive light about it in this. Remus and Marlene seem to be the ones that can bring some comfort to Sirius while he's unable to see James.

The comfort that Remus and Sirius bring each other is described so well, an intimacy born in a time of darkness and uncertainty. It's brilliant.

The way Sirius views Dumbledore is also new to me (you're full of surprises, you are), and I absolutely love it every second of it. I never would have thought about it that way, but there you are, shining a whole perspective into my headcanon.

Sirius is all sorts of messed up and its devastating and fantastic all at the same time. He's nothing without Remus, he says, but at the same time, he wants him to leave so that it won't destroy Remus... And can we talk about your imagery and word choice? I won't quote it directly, because it's far too long, but the imagery around spilling guts was amazing, just as an example.

My Wolfstar feels are shattering all over the place as well. Everything is just so depressing and amazing, I don't know how to feel exactly, but I'm reveling in it.

"Azkaban prison is cold. My good intentions become my weakness and swirl around me as the life drains out of my soul." Oh god, it's so true! What's worse is that Remus truly believes that he did it, and Sirius blames himself! Tying it back to the beginning was perfect, and I really really love this!

*fangirling*

-Rumpel

Author's Response:

You are the best kind of stalker!

Sorry it has taken me so long to respond to this wonderful review. I found it really hard to talk about this piece after I wrote it. It was one of those things that I had to just put down and walk away from for a while, until my brain assimilated whatever the heck this was. I don't even want to contemplate where it came from. It's definitely not my usual thing, and I doubt I could write like this all the time if I tried.

You seem to have gotten everything that I wanted to show, and as I'm always struggling with clarity issues, I am amazed that it all came through. There's a resentment Sirius holds inside of him, not because people helped him when he needed it, but because he needed help in the first place. He doesn't want to accept within himself how much he needs the people around him. So yeah, the "choking in charitable overflow", and his attitude towards Dumbledore show that.

Heh, sometimes I don't know how to feel about this piece either. It's dark and blunt and there are no soft corners. But it was for the angst challenge, so I just let it be that way. I knew exactly how I wanted the last phrasing to be, and I'm a huge fan of symmetry, so I'm glad you appreciated that end.

Thanks so much for the fangirling review on this! If the subject matter wasn't such a downer, I would squee. :)

Pix




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Review #15, by darkkid Rated Mature for themes and content.

11th July 2015:
Slytherin House Cup 2015

This was a phenomenal read. I don't even know what to say. Every single word had me hanging on the edge of my chair, your writing is just fantastic. I'm so heartbroken that this didn't end on a happy note, but I understand why! It cut me like knives, the ending did.

Remus, though, really got me. I can feel Sirius' pain and I feel awful for him but then there's Remus. Maybe it's because I have a soft spot for him but his feelings with being a werewolf are just... ouch. I don't even know.

GREAT AMAZING SPECTACULAR READ. I will definitely recommend it to others!

-raisha

Author's Response:

I'm trying to respond to these reviews, and I'm finding that I don't know what to say either. It is what it is: painful and raw and angsty.

Thanks for appreciating all of that and choosing to review this!

Pix


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Review #16, by TreacleTart Rated Mature for themes and content.

11th July 2015:
Hey Pix!

I'm here for the House Cup 2015 - Gryffindor!

As others have said, this story is so beautiful and haunting. I love the juxtaposition that you've created between all the different characters. I got a very clear sense who each one was and what was going on in their life. I feel like that's really hard to do in a one-shot, so good job.

Remus Lupin was the one who really spoke to me the most. The way you described his struggles with Lycanthropy really tugged at the heart strings. There was one particular section where you talk about how torn up he is after each moon cycle. It was really achingly spot on and it said so much about him. Really fantastic work.

You've also done a great job capturing how dysfunctional everything is. Sirius of course is just torn to shreds, lonely, and bouncing back and forth between everything like a forgotten child. His voice sounds so innocent and you can really feel his pain at being forgotten and sort of left behind by the war. Everyone else has something going on, something to hold on to, but Sirius is desperately grasping at the ghosts of things and it makes me ache for him. I just want to give him a hug.

This really was brilliant work and clearly hit the marks for the challenge. A definite cut above the rest. As always, your writing astounds me, Pix! You should do this for a living. You are certainly talented enough!

~Kaitlin

Author's Response:

Hi Kaitlin,

So I finally bit the bullet and I'm responding to these reviews on this story. I am so pleased that people are commenting on the clarity of the characters, since I struggle with clarity issues all the time. My muse doesn't like to just come out and state things, so when I started writing this, I guess she just went for it.

Actually, I'm starting to think that my muse is an angry-at-the-world young man...

I wanted Remus' struggles to tug at Sirius as well, just as Sirius' struggles affected him. I think that's the thing they bonded over at first, and it's what allowed Remus to be so open with Sirius in the first place.

"Like a forgotten child" is an apt way of describing Sirius' character here. I think he'd like your hug too much and try to take you down with him. He's that sort of person.

I stretched myself for this challenge, so I'm happy you thought it hit the mark. Angst is by far my least favorite thing to write, and I find a lot of times, people try too hard to romanticize a character's issues in the angst genre. I wanted to keep things real and raw and as painful as possible.

Aww, thanks! You flatter me to no end. Your words let me know that all of my intentions came through.

Pix


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Review #17, by krazyboutharryginny Rated Mature for themes and content.

11th July 2015:
House Cup 2015 - Gryffindor

Pix, I am lost for words. This is incredible. I can't figure out where to start.

Sirius is so raw here. You take all of his flaws, his instability, his weaknesses, and you drive them home. The worst part is that this story is from his point of view and so we know that this is the way he sees himself, that this is what he thinks of himself.

We also see Remus through his eyes, and see Remus' flaws, but these are excused/justified. Sirius brings up Remus' pain every time he is rejected or is hurt by something Remus does. There isn't really such justification for himself.

I love the bluntness in the narration. Like, yeah, there's a lot of description and metaphor and prose and such, but it still manages to be blunt. Then there's other parts that are just flat-out blunt, minus the other stuff (A lot of these parts have to do with Dumbledore).

The ending killed me. We see in canon that Sirius blames himself for James and Lily's deaths, but there's something about reading the words in his POV that makes it more painful.

Again, this is absolutely incredible. Really amazing job, Pix.

-Kayla

Author's Response:

Lost words seem to be a thing for this. I understand.

I think Remus and Sirius see each other's pain, and it's what brings them together. I couldn't get over the swearing that came out when I first started writing this thing. I don't even use swear words in my head as a general rule, so my first instinct was to censor Sirius. But I think if I had, this would have lost a lot of its edge, so I just let him go at it. He's mouthy and edgy and just... ergh. He's a mess.

Thanks so much for the review!

Pix


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Review #18, by Infinityx Rated Mature for themes and content.

10th July 2015:
pix. you know i usually leave long reviews, but i can't for this one. i do not have words to describe its perfection.

i am left with holes in my soul. your words have raked through my skin and left me feeling something so raw and powerful. i've read fics which make you feel, but this is completely beyond anything. i would worship at your feet if i could because this is just the most brilliant, gorgeous, painful story i've ever read.

it hurts. so much.

your writing is beyond perfection i can't even tell you how much i love this and hate this and how i feel it.

i want to express it better but i can't. i'm not even kidding - this fic is life-changing. thank you for writing it.

Author's Response:

It's okay. Your review let me know how this piece affected you. Knowing that it touched you in some way gives me the knowledge that I accomplished something with this. I wanted it to be real and raw, and completely uncomfortable. At least that's how it felt when I was writing it.

Thank you.

Pix


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Review #19, by writeyourheartout Rated Mature for themes and content.

10th July 2015:
This is stunning. I can't ever articulate how much I loved it, how much it hurt, how much it moved me. Your writing is impeccable, your characters are gorgeous and fragile and raw, and the whole story was so very real to me that it cut like knives with every phrase. I want to say more, but I just don't know how. I loved it. That's all I know.

Author's Response:

Knowing that you were affected by it is the ultimate compliment.

Thanks so much!

Pix


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Review #20, by MuggleMaybe Rated Mature for themes and content.

30th June 2015:
I found this via the Angst Challenge, and I can't believe it only had one review.

It is STUNNING!

WolfStar is not my head cannon at all, but I think if it was, this is the version I would run with. What I love most about it is the clarity of intention for each character. They're confused, hurting, just trying to survive through the pain. And even when their actions were cruel, I could understand them. Everything felt inevitable - which is NOT the same as predictable. It felt like Sirius and Remus were both cornered into their choices by a combination of character and circumstance. I could feel Sirius losing control of his world. Beautiful writing.

Thanks for writing this - going to check out your other stories now! :)

-MM

Author's Response:

I'm so glad you found this through the Angst Challenge. I would never have written anything like this if it weren't for that. I don't usually write this way, not this raw and unbridled. I'm so relieved that you felt the inevitable pull, that things came together, and it wasn't predictable at the same time.

I don't know what else on my Author's Page can compare to this, I just don't. The closest thing I can think of is my Severus Snape novel, Until We Close Our Eyes For Good, which I needed lots of cuddly kittens after writing, so you might like that. Otherwise, this is quite unique writing for me. I doubt I could write this way all the time, even if I tried.

Thanks so much for reading and reviewing!

Pix


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Review #21, by patronus_charm Rated Mature for themes and content.

29th June 2015:
Hey there Pix! Iím sorry itís taken so long to get here, there were a lot more entries than I anticipated but thanks for entering my challenge as I know youíre not the greatest fan of angst! ♥

Wow, I really loved this! It was one of the most unique stories Iíve ever come across in terms of style and it really paid off. Iím not even sure what to describe the style as it felt like a continuous stream of thought but Sirius managed to articulate the action well it felt quite different to that. I felt like this was really him speaking from the thoughts, the feeling and the observations he made so it did feel really authentic which I loved.

Personally, I viewed this story as a web of relationships. There was James and Sirius which I found interesting because they seemed a lot more distant in this story and it felt as if Sirius was almost disdainful of James at times and the way in which he threw money around. Thatís not to say it didnít feel like they werenít best friends, as it certainly did, but this more neutral balance of Sirius seeing James as someone with positives and negatives felt a lot more natural.

Marlene was interesting too as I was never completely sure what their endgame was. There were obvious differences in character which inevitably resulted in friction, but it felt like there was something else there too despite Sirius loving Remus. Perhaps it was the bond over that? Perhaps a sign that they wanted to be together as they did make great friends even if not a great couple? Iím not sure, but I found them really intriguing too.

Peter, again, was interesting too. I didnít find myself hating him strangely enough because I think Sirius was sometimes too wrapped up in himself to even notice Peter but I did enjoy it when they interacted. There were the lingering bits of suspicion throughout with Peter running off and disappearing, but not enough to spark concern. Then towards the end, poor Sirius, falling for Peterís trap, he just seemed to confused and lost to even get angry with him.

Finally, Sirius and Remus which is the one I enjoyed the most as it wasnít a typical Wolfstar story to say the least. I really liked the idea of Sirius holding this unrequited love for Remus as it felt very him and you could just sense how pure and strong this love for Remus was because every time Sirius saw him, there were all these feels. In a weird way, Iím glad that Remus turned Sirius down because even though it was incredibly sad as they both seemed to kind of want it, it felt much more fitting of Remusí character and reminded me of him and Tonks a little. The ending was so sad as that must have truly crushed him, possibly even more than Lily and James dying and Peter running away because all of that could have been bearable if Remus had stayed but sadly he couldnít.

This was a truly fantastic story and Iím so glad this challenge encouraged you to try out angst as you really are good at it! ♥

-Kiana

Author's Response:

Hello!

Sorry it has taken so long to respond to this lovely review, and thanks for hosting the challenge, because I don't think I ever would have written this if I hadn't entered.

I'm still not a fan of writing angst. It's difficult to separate the wordy, flowery prose of melodrama from the raw, emotional pain of hurt. I just didn't see Sirius as someone who would over-romanticize his position in life, and I knew that if I put him in a difficult enough situation, he'd implode with all kinds of angst. I was extremely uncomfortable with the swearing all over the place, but I wanted it to feel real, and it just didn't if I started censoring him, so I just let Sirius be the Sirius inside my head, and he went for it. I'm glad the authenticity came through. I wanted this to really sound like him.

Thanks for noticing the different relationships that I put in here. I wanted to show Sirius well-rounded with everyone that meant something in his life. He really did love his friends, but sometimes you know, when someone helps you out, you're grateful, but there's still this small part of you that doesn't want to admit that you needed them. That seemed to come through for you about James.

Marlene's character gave Sirius a taste of intimacy that he ultimately wanted with Remus, but couldn't have. But just as Marlene didn't want half of Sirius because it was unfair to her, Remus wouldn't settle for giving half of himself to Sirius because it was unfair to Sirius. Both reasons are valid, and hurt Sirius in the same way. The rejection at the end was something that Sirius knew was coming, he blamed himself, and then questioned everything. That's sort of how I define angst: the situation where you just wallow in the bad and can't find your way out.

So there it is. I'm so glad you appreciated what I did with this. Thanks again for giving me the chance to challenge myself as a writer. This was by far not an easy thing to write.

Pix


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