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Reading Reviews for Trapped
17 Reviews Found

Review #1, by PaulaTheProkaryote trapped

28th April 2017:
Hello lovely! Iím here for CTF

SO I completely loved that challenge Kaitlin posted forever ago because I think it's so easy to forget about the mental/emotional toll that war has on those stuck in it, regardless of which side they fight. And I always took issue with the end ďall was wellĒ bit because after living in hiding through a war torn country where you never know when you'll die (during each of the wizarding wars) can't leave everyone perfectly healthy.

Also I think Sirius is a great choice for a character in this prompt. Also I think you did a really solid job representing PTSD so thanks for taking the time to do proper research!

His fear is tangible and the feeling of being trapped is just so strong as so well depicted. It also translates really well into the actions of his character in the books. Especially when he's reckless to see Harry off or run off to fight at the ministry.

When he talks about the bit about others spilling their blood while he's being useless I think that translates really well into what we see with soldiers coming home. I know a friend of mine came home and he talked about how he felt like he was at least doing something there. But he also really struggled to transition to civilian life after the war. I don't think Sirius ever transitioned from that war mindset and that's why cooping him up in Grimmauld place just made it all worse. He couldn't escape just like azkaban.


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Review #2, by 800 words of heaven trapped

1st April 2017:
Wowee. This was exceptionally intense. I should've expected that, considering that the story was about PTSD, but I didn't expect to get so emotionally evolved.

Sirius Black is one of my favourite characters of all time. This story made my heart break for him all over again. I haven't visited OotP for a long time, and I'd sort of forgotten about Sirius being stuck in Grimmauld Place. I really liked how you portrayed this as him being locked away, all over again. I sometimes wonder if he ever wonders if it would've been better to stay wherever he was during GoF.

I think you really captured Sirius' anger very well. I felt myself getting angry for him, too. And you've written a different side of PTSD, which I really appreciate. It's not the usual "flashbacks" that is normally seen in the media, and whilst this is a very big and real part of PTSD, there is more to it. You've highlighted the anger, the isolation, the hurt, the perceived judgement of others instead. I really enjoyed reading a more broad experience of PTSD. Of course, this also has the added bonus of making Sirius' character development more complex and interesting. The anger and frustration experienced by him is a common symptom, but by viewing it through the lens of PTSD really changes things.

Thanks for writing this wonderful story. I really enjoyed it :)

Author's Response: Hi!

Sirius Black is my favourite character but a lot of the time I get so sad thinking about how unfair his life was :( Him being confined to Grimmauld Place was really clearly doing bad things to him.

When it came to depicting PTSD, I was really considering how his surroundings would play into it, and also how PTSD from Azkaban would look. I thought things like always checking his breath as soon as he feels cold and seeing Dementors in the shadows, scratching the walls, etc would be effective in conveying the same sort of thing as writing a flashback would.

Thanks for the lovely review!


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Review #3, by Marshal trapped

31st March 2017:
Wow. Very well written! Short though, leaves you wanting more, but at the same time I know there is that fine edge of giving too much and not enough. I'm not saying you didn't give enough my wanting more is actually a credit to your work.

I think you have captured the essence of Sirius very very well. You really painted a clear picture of his mental and emotional state and it makes my heart break for him all the more. I also LOVE how you sort of pain Dumbledore as the villain in all of this.

You have explained canon so well also, like Sirius disappearances ect. I love how you have melded things so perfectly with the original text.

Also the feeling of being trapped was well expressed as well. I was feeling clostrophobic while reading this so again amazing job in writing this for an experimental piece I think you hit the nail on the head and can call this experiment a success.

Have you written more exploring Sirius' mental state during this time? If so I would certainly like to add it to my tbr list.

Thanks for the great story!

Author's Response: Hey Marshal! Thanks for the great review!

Not to sound full of myself or anything, but I like to think I know Sirius pretty well, and I'm very happy that you seem to agree!

Dumbledore is obviously one of the Good Guys in the books, but to be honest I don't have a whole lot of love towards him. He is a really interesting character though.

Yay, a successful experiment! This story was really difficult to write but I think it was worth it.

Haha, I've written so much about Sirius that I had to sit and think for a moment. The answer is, unfortunately, no I haven't. But it's definitely something that could happen in the future! :)

Thanks again for this awesome review!


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Review #4, by mymischiefmanaged trapped

11th January 2016:
Kayla! Reviewing for team gold :)

I was so excited to come back to your stories after reading edges. And then this is more Sirius which is fab. I love your marauders.

This is actually so wonderful. I think it's hard to imagine Sirius's feelings in OoTP because Harry's too young and too preoccupied to understand his godfather, and obviously we see everything through Harry's eyes. You've done a wonderful job of showing what's going on in Sirius's head to make him act the way he does.

His anger at Dumbledore is so painful and believable. He's not so much angry as hurt, but then he's in such a helpless position that it can only come out as anger. And I think in the background he's feeling a bit let down and like nobody's trusting him and including him, which is how Harry's feeling at the same time so that's sweet.

The idea of him going to close the curtains over his mother's portrait only to find that they were never open is heartbreaking.

This is such such good writing Kayla - I'm so glad to have come back to your fabulous work.

Lots of love,

Emma x

Author's Response: Hello Emma! :)

Aw, I'm so pleased to hear that you were excited to read more of my work, and that you like my Marauders!

I definitely agree that we don't really see what's going on with Sirius in OotP because the book is through Harry's eyes. But it's definitely there between the lines that he's struggling a lot. It was interesting to try to explore and capture what he might have been feeling, but really difficult at the same time :(

I think we did get a glimpse of how Sirius and Harry were sort of feeling the same way - like they're being left out and aren't trusted. There's one conversation between them where Sirius momentarily becomes kind of bitter and Harry picks up on it... can't remember where in the book though.

Anyways, I'm glad you enjoyed my writing, and thanks so much for the lovely review!


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Review #5, by alicia and anne trapped

10th January 2016:
I am so excited about reading another one of your Sirius stories, because I am loving them! Even though I know that this is going to break my heart because of how sad it is probably going to be.

I just want to hug him, I want to help him through this and it's making me sad that I can't. :( He shouldn't have been forced to remain in that house, Dumbledore should have known better than that.

What can I say about this, other than I am speechless at just how well you've written this. Just wow! The way that you've written this was truly breathtaking, and you used such perfect wording and I just felt so much emotion through it all.

Can you please write a happy Sirius? I want to see him happy and it's breaking my heart that he's not :(

Keep up the amazingly brilliant work!

Author's Response: Aw, Tammi! Your reviews are so lovely! I'M so excited that YOU'RE so excited about my Sirius stories!

Dumbledore totally should have known better. Sirius staying at Grimmauld Place was so unnecessary! :(

Aw, thank you so much! Obviously this story was supposed to be pretty emotional, so I'm glad it worked - even though the emotion was sadness... Sorry... haha

Happy Sirius?! What is this craziness of which you speak?! Impossible! ;)

(Just joking, of course. There's some happy Sirius in Breathe, and more to come!)

Thank you so much for the wonderful review, Tammi!


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Review #6, by wolfgirl17 trapped

1st December 2015:
Hey Kayla,

I can't believe it's taken me so long to get my butt over here to check this out! Anyway, I finally made it since I'm handing out reviews like candy on Halloween.

This one immediately drew my eye on you AP as I'm a fan of Sirius and I especially like to see the way different Authors handle his mental status after being in Azkaban and subjected to the Death Eaters for so long. Having stayed an in his Animagus dog form for most of his incarceration would certainly have helped him hang onto his sanity, but I think there are some pretty distinct cracks in his psyche.

I adore what you did with this one. I loved the way you made him so angry. So bitter. So broken, like a jagged piece of glass, only too eager to cut into anyone who gets too close. Sirius is not the sort of broken to simply break down and sob. Sirius is the kind of broken like an abused animal that's been kicked one time too many.

He's willing to bite any who get to close. Any who extend a hand to the mongrel on his chain will know his fury.

I love that you captured that here. You somehow personified him as both the Sirius we know - proud, torn apart by guilt, reckless, bitter - and the darker side of him left behind after so long locked up in Azkaban, only to have exchanged one prison for another. Until just now I'd never considered the idea of him being better off dead.

I have always mourned his death, bitter over his loss when he had so much potential... but I see now that that's exactly the point. His potential goes wasted and stagnant, locked up and never to be released. It's making me tear up. The idea that he went out laughing after such a rotten, bitter existence is little consolation.

You've broken my heart with this one. Keep up the great writing love, you've got loads of untapped potential and I'd love to see more fics filling up your AP.

Thanks for writing this and contributing it to the archives.


Author's Response: Hi Ellie :)

I'm assuming you meant Dementors, rather than Death Eaters? I definitely think that the use of his Animagus form stopped him from completely losing his grip on sanity/reality, but there's no way that being in that environment for 12 years wouldn't do something to a person. In this case, the circumstances leading to his imprisonment certainly wouldn't have helped. Imagine being in that environment for 12 years knowing your best friend is dead and everyone thinks you're responsible.

Anyways, I'm so glad you liked the way I portrayed Sirius in this. I always found the lost potential you mentioned basically the saddest thing about his character. So much went wrong for him and it was just so unfair.

Thank you so much for the lovely review :)


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Review #7, by FredWeasleyIsMyKing trapped

2nd November 2015:
Hi Kayla!

I'm so so so so sorry with how late this is!

So I don't have much knowledge on mental illness and so I can't exactly comment on that side of things. What I do know though, is that this is a really wonderfully written piece and I love that you've explored what growing up in Grimmauld Place and being locked in Azkaban might have done to Sirius. And I can we believe that he would be this way. Especially the end bit, where he's constantly cold and checking his breath and seeing dementors in the shadows. I thought that section in particular was so well written.

You've captured him so brilliantly throughout though. His anger at Dumbledore and how trapped he feels and of course thinking of his friends. Even the pity everyone throws his way which of course doesn't help him. Everything felt so well placed and I honestly can't tell you anything where it didn't.

The description of all the emotions was brilliant too, it felt like you were dragging me to the low Sirius is in. My heart was breaking for him. No matter what he does he's never free and never gets to be happy like he deserves so much.

This is honestly a wonderful piece of writing Kayla! I'm so glad we swapped!


Author's Response: Hiya Lauren! No worries!

I'm constantly worried about showing Sirius having a vulnerable side. I'm always anxious that I'll get reviews saying he's OOC, that people won't see what I see in him and will think I'm Mary Sue-ing him or something. So it's really, really wonderful to get comments on pieces like this saying that Sirius is believable, that his actions made sense, that the reader could see him acting this way or doing these things. It honestly helps me so much and gives me the confidence to keep writing about him and posting the stories. So thank you so much!

Descriptions are also a major anxiety of mine - I always feel they're inadequate - so it's so wonderful to know that you liked the way I used them in this story and that they worked to bring out your emotions.

Thank you so much, Lauren, this review is so great! And I'm glad we swapped too, I absolutely loved your story :)


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Review #8, by Aphoride trapped

29th October 2015:
Hey there, dropping by for our review swap! :)

Okay, so I'm a huge Black family fan, and I find Sirius so fascinating as a character, so stories about him are always pretty good ;)

I was so excited when I started reading this (which sounds strange, I know :P) because the whole idea of Azkaban and how it effects people - and how it effected Sirius - is something which is so fascinating to me, and I love seeing people's takes on it. I'd never thought to connect it to PTSD before, but it makes so much sense now that I'm almost wondering why I never thought of it before :P

Your Sirius is so great in this! I love all the mentions to his friends - to the feeling of being trapped and the hatred and anger it brings up in him, the almost irrational thinking and desperate urge to get out. It's so realistic and so emotional, it's brilliant but also horrible because it really hits home, you know? It just really shows how bad things were for him and how difficult it was to be there, and it's so, so powerful.

Your writing is so lovely, too. You get all of the emotion out of this so well, and so strongly, too, without having to use cliches or overexaggerating anything. The language you use is so lovely, too - your description, gah. I loved the bit where you talked about the red of his room and the blood, and the connections there, they were stunning, and so visual, too.

(The only small thing I'd say is that it'd look better if the number 13 was written out - it kinda took me out of the story as it is? But it's kinda more of a stylistic thing, so... ;))

Gah, I feel like I've rambled a lot and not said very much, but the general jist is that I really, really enjoyed this. Well, enjoyed is the wrong word perhaps but you know what I mean ;) This is a great little story and I'm so glad I got a chance to read it! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hey Aph! Thanks for swapping with me! Sorry for the late response.

I'm really glad that this story got you thinking about Azkaban/its effect on people in a new way. And compliments on the way I write Sirius are my absolute favourite compliments to receive, so thank you! ;)

I'm constantly worried about my descriptions and that I don't use them enough, so your comments about that mean a lot!

(You mean like "thirteen" instead of "13"? I can do that.)

No, you've said a lot of really nice stuff! I'm glad you (for lack of a better word) enjoyed this, and thanks for the lovely review!


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Review #9, by MuggleMaybe trapped

28th October 2015:
Hi Kayla! I'm here for our swap :)


You said to pick whatever I was comfortable with. I guess I didn't listen, because this was amazing, but I cannot say it was *comfortable*. It was decidedly uncomfortable, and that's exactly how it should be! The way you wrote this story, it just sucks up the soul. It's haunting.

I think the theme of being trapped is an important one for Sirius. I'm really glad you explored that. In the books, they don't really talk about him being in Azkaban that much. He doesn't bring it up a lot, either. That's a shame, because it's a big deal. He's freaking tough to have survived that with his sanity and escaped. The things he must have gone through... I shudder to think. His memories of the dementors are so creepy and brilliant. I love the habit you describe of watching to see if his breath fogs.

You'd think Dumbledore would have realized that locking Sirius up again was the cruelest thing he could have possibly done. I don't blame Sirius for being angry about it! Also, his anger at Dumbledore reminded me quite strongly of Harry's anger toward the headmaster during the same time. That's a nice parallel.

You know, I never really thought about this before, but if Sirius had been a Death Eater, he would have been tremendously frightening. I don't doubt for a moment that he could kill Dumbledore if he wanted to, and that's saying a lot.

"He'd be better off dead than innocent" --> YOU ARE BREAKING MY HEART!

I think you captured Sirius perfectly!

The thing that makes this so, so sad is the echo of fear and childhood in his fear of the dark. That is a very powerful touch.

Thanks for the swap! I'll definitely try to check out your other stories soon!
xoxo Renee

Author's Response: Hi Renee! Thanks for swapping with me :)

Oh dear! Yeah, this definitely isn't a comfortable story. It wasn't comfortable to write, so I can't imagine it would be comfortable to read.

Since we see everything through Harry's eyes in the book, I think Sirius' stint in Azkaban is definitely underexplored. It doesn't seem like something Sirius would want to talk about to Harry, so we don't hear about it. But it definitely is a big deal and we see it affecting him.

I read this interesting piece about how Dumbledore only cares about those who are useful to him, and Sirius isn't useful to him since he's a fugitive, so Dumbledore doesn't take his needs or feelings into account. I actually hadn't considered Harry's anger at Dumbledore while writing this, but that is a really interesting connection to make!

You're definitely right... I hadn't thought about it before either, but Sirius would be a terrifying Death Eater. I think he could easily have gone the same direction as Bellatrix. This review has definitely given me some food for thought.

Sirius is my favourite character, so it makes my day every time I get a review saying I write him well. Thanks!

I'm really glad you thought this story was written well, and thank you for the wonderful review!


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Review #10, by Rumpelstiltskin trapped

13th October 2015:

You were definitely correct in saying that this was heavy. Egahd. Absolutely genius, but heavy all-the-same.

"He has always been trapped." -- Sirius' feeling of imprisonment, even after being released from Azkaban is a deep sentiment. In a sense, he is trapped, having to hide as an escapee due to his wrongful imprisonment. He held out onto hope and his innocence when he was in Azkaban, but in that house, it's like he's useless.

Everyone around him, pitying him, is obviously not helping him. He's losing his mind, and it's easy to see. He *needs* to help, and he needs to feel useful. His anger towards Dumbledore isn't entirely unjustifiable -- Sirius feels as if he's the one who's keeping him locked away.

"He'd be better off dead than innocent-" I think you've carefully given a very active example of the horrors of PTSD, here, and you've written it in a beautiful manner.

Style is the major element I want to point out. The way you've purposefully set *this* particular style, to fit Sirius' thought process assisted this greatly, in my opinion.

Fantastic work, thank you for sharing.


Author's Response: Hey Rumpel!

There is definitely an element here of Sirius being literally trapped - otherwise he would just leave the house, right? But on top of that, there's this element of how he's ALWAYS felt so trapped, like he's barely felt freedom in his life, and that makes it so much worse.

I think that line is one of my favourite parts of this story!

I'm very happy you liked the style this was written in. It was pretty experimental for me, so it's a relief every time I get a review saying it worked out.

Thanks for the review!


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Review #11, by The Basilisk trapped

11th October 2015:
Hello, It is I, The Basilisk, out of my Chamber once again.

This was very, very well-written. Sirius' characterisssation was perfect. I thought you wrote his PTSD in a very believable manner. His pain, his frussstration, his anger, his desssperation, it was displayed exceptionally well and I was captivated while reading.

I could underssstand his pain too. I was trapped in a Chamber for hundreds of yearsss myself, so hiss feeling of being trapped was relatable. Your use of descriptions was very good, and painted the entire scene in front of me beautifully. I was in his head while reading, so good job for that.

All in all, thisss made for a very good read. One of the finessst short pieces I've read. Great work.

Hiss Hiss,
The Basilisk

Author's Response: Wow, a review from The Basilisk! Cool :)

Sirius is my favourite character, and it's always such a huge compliment to be told I've characterized him well. Thank you!

I was nervous about my descriptions when I posted this, especially since I tried to leave the line between reality and delusion sort of blurred, so I'm very happy that it worked for you.

Thank you very much for the lovely review!


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Review #12, by Unicorn_Charm trapped

28th August 2015:
Hey Kayla!

You did such an incredible job on this! Ugh, my poor Sirius. :( You really did a fantastic job showing the absolute hopelessness and confinement he was feeling. He was like a caged animal who pretty much had given up. It was painful to read.

I'm sure that he would have resented Dumbledore and that resentment most likely bordered on hate. I don't think I would be able to be around him either, if I were kept locked up in a place which I hated and held so many terrible memories. Of course Dumbledore was trying to protect him, but you would never see that point of view if you were in that situation.

Watching him slowly collapse into himself was horrible. For someone who used to be so vibrant and full of life, it's a terrible thing to see.

I always say that I feel like Sirius had the worst deal of them all. Losing his (more or less) brother, being locked in Azkaban and then forced into another prison. Mental and physical, being that he could not leave. And you did a fantastic job showing how much being there got to him.

Blood traitor, abomination, shame of my flesh; sometimes he goes to pull the curtains shut, only to find that they were never open in the first place.

That line said so much in such a few amount of words. It was chilling.

Oh man, and how he still had nightmares, just as if he were still in Azkaban. And stil felt like the Dementors were there, by feeling so cold. That was terrible, Kayla. Just horrible. :(

My heart is broken. My poor Sirius... It's a shame that his life ended with him never really getting out of there. That he felt this way until the day he died. *sobs*

This was great work! Really well done. You do such a amazing job getting inside Sirius' head. You can feel that your just get him. Loved it! ♥

xoxo Meg

Author's Response: Ack, Meg! I'm so sorry that I left this unanswered for so long :(

I'm really happy that you thought this story was well done. I struggled a LOT writing it, so it's super exciting that it's getting a good reception.

Sirius definitely had a really rough time of it throughout the series, just like you said. He was so desperate to escape the house and to prove himself useful and that was such a big part of how he ended up getting killed. It's horrible to think about.

So yeah, I'm sorry I broke your heart :( But I'm glad you liked reading this anyway. And it means a lot that you think I did a good job of getting inside Sirius' head. Thank you so much! And thanks for the lovely review :)


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Review #13, by looneylizzie trapped

15th August 2015:
Hey Kayla!

So, I was looking at all of the stories nominated for SoTM, and I realized that I havenít actually read most of them! Which means I had to stop by and read this, and figured Iíd leave a review as well!! :D

First off, WOW. This is incredible! It absolutely blew me away! I can see why Kaitlin placed it in her challenge.

Secondly, I think you did a PHENOMENAL job of writing PTSD here. I mean, you already write Sirius incredibly well, but this is just a whole new level of awesome. Youíve captured him so well, his characterization is just perfect.

And then, the way you approached the PTSD is so unexpected, yet so powerful. Normally, Iíd expect the focus to be on what he went through in Azkaban, but you chose to focus on his childhood, and the house he grew up in - and that is much more powerful than Iíd expected.

I can FEEL Siriusí frustration, his anger, his anguish. Youíve really captured so much emotion for such a short story! Amazing!

Oh, poor Sirius! I really wish he hadnít suffered the way he did. He didnít deserve it in the slightest. :(

Anyway, GREAT JOB Kayla! This is fantastic, and definitely a new favorite!

Keep writing!

Author's Response: Lizzie! Hi!

I'm so excited that you think this story is good! I had no confidence in it when I posted it, but I feel a lot better about it now.

As for the experiences I chose to focus on, I thought that the memories of his childhood would be brought much closer to the surface by being made to live in his childhood home. I did try to pull in other aspects and relate the house to Azkaban too, though.

I'm really happy that you liked this and thanks for the lovely review!


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Review #14, by Pixileanin trapped

14th August 2015:
Hi Kayla!

I'm here with that review I promised from the Twenty-four hour writing extravaganza thingy from the House Cup.

This was so evocative. You've got so much imagery, and it's powerful, and it SPEAKS to what's going on without diluting the situation. I love how you show the effects of things going on in Sirius' head and you never break it down into what's reality. It's Sirius' reality, and that's enough.

This actually reminds me a lot of where I had to go to write my angst piece, and I admire you for going to that place. It's hard to get to, and even harder to express. You've gotten all of his anxieties out there, there's a story inside of it, that tells us what happened, but also how it's still sort of happening inside his head. The flashbacks aren't really flashbacks, because to him, he's still living through it. I don't have any experience with PTSD, but from what I've read, that's the single most remarkable symptom that I identify with it: the sensation of still being in that place where the awful things happen, being unable to escape it, even though you know it's over.

I love that you were able to use the setting of the house to enhance this. Thinking about it that way, this was the absolute worst place to keep the poor guy. He's surrounded by all of his bad memories, the one place he spent his childhood trying to escape, and then Dumbledore locks him up there.


I completely agree with your idea of the psychosis that turns this state of being into some kind of hallucination, but it goes deeper than that. We can try to evaluate it all day, but I think everyone agrees that you've nailed the sensations here with your carefully selected prose.

It reads real.



Author's Response: Hi Pix!

When writing this, the one thing I knew right from the beginning was that I absolutely didn't want to break it down clearly into reality vs. delusion. I feel like this definitely wouldn't have been the same story if I had. Without getting into too much personal detail, I very much felt that that would have been a disservice to the character (Sirius).

Another thing I was thinking about right from the beginning was how much trauma there's been in Sirius' life overall up to - and including - this point. He was abused when he lived at 12 Grimmauld; he was away from that environment for maybe 5 years? and then two of his best friends were murdered and he was framed (a trauma in and of itself); then he spent 12 years in Azkaban (an incredibly prolonged trauma); then, within 2 years of escaping, he was locked back up, right where he started. How is he supposed to work through his traumas and move past them when he's in that situation? I imagine it would begin to feel like some sort of vicious cycle, and that it would definitely exacerbate that feeling of "still being in that place where the awful things happen", because while he's not in Azkaban, he's literally in one of those places.

So yeah, I really hate Dumbledore. He's a great character and very complex, but I hate him. It seems to me that, even after Grindelwald, Dumbledore still thought in terms of "the greater good" in a lot of cases, and didn't really think of the others around him as whole people with, you know, emotions? I get that Sirius needed to be kept hidden, but that was not a good way to do it and the effects it was having on him were very obvious.

Yeah, I think you're right. There are lots of ways to evaluate and interpret this, but at the end of the day I wrote it the way I did because it felt right to me and made sense to me.

I'm really glad that you enjoyed this, and thank you for the absolutely awesome review!


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Review #15, by CambAngst trapped

8th August 2015:
Hi, Kayla! I thought I would start my GryCReMo attempt with stories from the other participants. So let me get my little bit of housekeeping out of the way:

GryCReMo (Review #3)

Like you, I've never suffered from PTSD, but I've observed it from a distance. I think you nailed some of the key symptoms: feelings of being trapped, feelings of isolation and the nagging feeling that other people are talking about you. The irrational bursts of anger and the struggle to differentiate reality from delusion were more extreme symptoms, but come on, the guy was surrounded by Dementors for 14 years. I can't imagine that experience doesn't leave a person with some heavy psychological trauma.

I liked the touchstones from Sirius's story that you used to draw out the nuances of his suffering. His terrible relationship with his family and his guilt over James and Lily's deaths were certainly things that gnawed at him. Snape's constant goading plainly didn't make things any easier. I have definitely seen people with psychological problems react poorly to other people's attempts to "help". The picture holds together very well.

Your writing was really good in this. I couldn't find a single thing wrong with it. You do a really good job choosing the right words to make your descriptions vivid and your narrative tight and high impact. Nothing read awkwardly and the whole story flowed really smoothly.

Great job!

Author's Response: Hi Dan! It's awesome to get a review from you :D

This is definitely intended to be a portrayal of a more severe case of PTSD. I actually even looked into what's known as "PTSD with psychotic tendencies" when writing this. The other thing is that Dementors are meant to be a physical manifestation of depression, so his very feelings of depression would act as a trigger for flashbacks (and in the case of PSTD with psychotic tendencies, hallucinations), making the frequency of these events much higher.

When writing, I was also very aware that Azkaban was not Sirius' only trauma, and that going through that experience could almost heighten the other bad experiences he'd gone through and take them from "bad experience" to "trauma" because of how long he would've spent dwelling on them - if that makes any sense!

I'm so glad that you thought this was well written :) Thanks so much for the awesome review!


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Review #16, by TreacleTart trapped

8th August 2015:
Hi Kayla!

I'm here to review your entry in my After Affects Challenge! I will be breaking this review down into categories, so you can see exactly how it's being judged.

Spelling/Grammar/Typos - I thought this was a very polished piece. The sentences were all very smooth. The word choice worked really well. The only small thing that I noticed was:

in this nightmare house, where it is useless. - reading that sentence I wondered if it was supposed to be "where HE is useless."

Plot Flow- Again, I thought this read really well. You transitioned between thoughts and paragraphs effortlessly. It was silky smooth.

Characterization - I thought you did a fantastic job of capturing Sirius' voice, but if I'm being honest I would expect no less. He seems to be your favorite character to write and this story makes it clear why. You have a knack for picking apart his brain and phrasing things in ways that sound really natural to his character. Really, really great job on that.

Accurately portrays subject matter - I thought you did a great job of handling PTSD. You found ways to make it very easy to understand and to sympathize with. And you covered so many symptoms in such a short space, but you did something unique. Instead of showing him having nightmares, you used little things like the feeling of dementors crawling all around him to illustrate it. For someone who is relatively unfamiliar with PTSD, I thought you captured it very well.

Anything Else - I want you to know that of everything you've written so far this is definitely my favorite (and I'm not just saying that because it's for my challenge). Your writing in this is a step up and the way you handled a tough subject was brilliant.

Great job with this prompt and thank you for entering my challenge! You should be very proud of this entry.


Author's Response: Ah! Kaitlin! It's such a relief that you liked this and didn't think it was completely horrible :P

"Where it is useless" was meant to be referring to the blood that he's spilling being useless, vs other people spilling their blood for a cause. Does that make sense?

Oh my goodness, everything you said in your "characterization" sentence is such a huge compliment! ;~; Thank you so much, that really means a lot to me!

There was a lot more that I wanted to do with this (and as you know I even wanted to write a Remus story) but life got crazy and it didn't end up happening :'( nightmares was one of the things that I barely managed to incorporate.

I put a lot of thought into how I was going to show symptoms and how they would relate to Sirius' specific experiences. One thing I was thinking was that Azkaban was a very prolonged trauma - 12 years of the exact same thing, day after day, basically. So I was thinking that there weren't really specific events to flash back to, and that Sirius' flashbacks might consist more of seeing/sensing Dementors in his current environment. This seemed to be plausible based on my research into flashbacks. I also looked into PTSD with psychotic symptoms.

Additionally, Dementors are sort of supposed to be a physical manifestation of depression, right? So I thought it would make sense for him to experience lots of flashbacks/hallucinations of Dementors, because his depression itself would be a trigger (in addition to feeling cold).

So yeah, there's my thinking... which you didn't ask for, so I apologize for going off on a tangent :P

Anyways, I'm glad you didn't totally hate this XD I'm not expecting it to win by any means, but I'm so glad I signed up. This was really a challenge for me and I feel like I actually pushed myself a lot :)


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Review #17, by Frankie05 trapped

5th August 2015:
Kayla, team red!

I thought this was so good. Sirius is one of my favorite characters but often times I think of him only as a Marauder and not like you have protrated him here. I only know a little about PTSD but what I know you nailed it. This story is so captivating and it's not very many words. You had my heart crying for Sirius and the desire to transcend reality just to hug him and let him out of his "cage".

Gosh it was so good to read. The line "he didn't want their (expletive) pity, he wanted out" was so good. I mean I had chills.

I'm guessing he hears voices. Shame of my flesh? Is that his mom? Ouch. Either way it was all so dark. I think the use of the italicized words made the story that much more eerie. It gave a certain flair and dramatization to the story that wouldn't have been there with plain words.

Lastly I loved the line "but innocence has take on a bitter tone". That line ALONE describes Sirius perfectly with our interactions with him on the books. Great job ;)

Author's Response: Hey Frankie!

I'm so glad that you liked this story :) I've been so incredibly nervous about it and it's great to know people enjoy it!

Sirius in this fic is suffering from delusions and hallucinations - so yes, he's hearing things. The whole "shame of my flesh" line is actually a direct lift from OotP - it's what we hear Sirius' mother's portrait yelling at him. Hallucinations are not actually a symptom of PTSD, but some people with PTSD actually end up developing psychotic symptoms - the flashbacks that they experience can turn into hallucinations that would usually be linked to psychosis.

Sorry for going off on a tangent :P I'm really glad you liked this, thanks so much for your awesome review!


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