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Reading Reviews for The Department
  
9 Reviews Found

Review #1, by ANightingaleInAGoldenCage Chapter One

27th April 2017:
Here for CTF!

And man what a good story this is. I love the fact that they're both Aurors and working up the ranks pretty fast because of the nature that the world is in and the tiny snippets about their characters before all hell breaks lose really makes it all work really well. The mentions of the pictures of the motorbikes and the marauders. The fact that James is circling things and that his hands are smeared with ink. The fact that Sirius has trouble concentrating and then freezes just because of the mention of his brothers name, which makes it all the harder to read because even though he ran away, he still cares deeply about some of them.
And then the ending. The fact that the report should never have gone to Sirius. The fact that James realises things are wrong but keeps on not getting answers until the end, and the fact that it was rumoured that Voldemort killed Regulus himself because they even found out that he was trying to leave - it's very impressive, especially because the last sentence of the story makes it stand out even more. The fact that the world comes crashing down, that Sirius is most likely not going to be okay and will be crashing with guilt... Excellent job here!

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Review #2, by Claire Evergreen Chapter One

27th April 2017:
Hey! Here for CTF :)

So I've been watching your progress on this on Twitter and I think the old forums too, so I'm beyond exciting to see that's it's as wonderful as I expected! I don't think I've read anything of yours before (which is a crime tbh), but I love the ideas you have about Sirius and I love how you've written him here! It's a shorter chapter, but we still get a real sense of who he is. He's obviously smart and talented enough to get through a more rigorous form of Auror training, but you do a really awesome job of setting up how young he is as well. It'd make sense for someone who is two years out of Hogwarts to be ancy doing straight desk work and filing report after report. Trust me, dude, I get it, I really do.

Oh, man, that twist (is it a twist? Imma call it a twist) hit me like a ton of bricks. I feel like I should have known that something like that was coming, but jesus, that was so awful. I love how we get the information the same way Sirius does. It really adds to the impact that it has on the reader, which is like a punch to the gut. I also love James' reactions to everything too, it felt really true to what we know about him from canon and otherwise.

Fantastic job, I look forward to coming back!

Claire

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Review #3, by Marshal Chapter One

3rd April 2017:
Ooo I like the start here! A young auror Sirius Black that is so much fun. But still it is so sad for him to get the sock of his brother being dead! I have always known that the death of Regulus probably hit Sirius hard. I've always imagined that while the two brothers fought argued and didn't speak much when older that there was a closeness between them and you have played to my thinking quite well - not that you were writing for me.

Still I love the emotion Sirius has here at the loss of his brother and James being there trying to figure it all out and being there for his best friend.

Knowing that you are looking to do a second chapter at least it will be interesting to see where you take things from here. If you will pick up where this chapter left off or time jump a little to Sirius like being consoled by James.

Anyway, I have to wonder about how and why the report landed on Sirius' desk and while it may not have been intended for him he would have found out eventually seeing as the information gets put in that black binder that everyone has and reads. In some ways you would think someone would have seen the name and pulled Sirius aside but alas this is what happens in a busy office and honestly poor Sirius.

Author's Response: Hi Marshal!

Yes, I feel similarly about the relationship about Sirius and Regulus. It'll be fun to explore that a bit in this.

I'm looking to write a whole novel, but we'll see if I can pull it off. Hahaha. I'm not great at writing long stories; one-shots are my forte. I do have Chapter 2 well underway, and it will hopefully be up by the end of the month!

As for the report, it really does just come down to "this is what happens in a busy office". The report was just given to the first person available and that happened to be Sirius.

Thanks for the great review! :D

-Kayla


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Review #4, by Unicorn_Charm Chapter One

3rd April 2017:
Kayla! *sobs*

You are the master of crushing my heart, do you know that? Dear god, you go from this average, everyday office work type stuff. Describing the monotony of Sirius doing his paperwork, going to file the documents, irritation with James, to THIS?!? Why? Why did Sirius have to find out like this??

I can't even imagine how horrible he must have felt. I mean, you've done a tremendous job, as always, showing us exactly how the world stopped for him in that moment when he read presumed dead, but to know from your other works how they didn't exactly hate one another, it packed that much more of an emotional punch for me. Literally have tears in my eyes right now and am demanding that you write more of this!

I loved the chaos of the moment. How he didn't even realize he was shouting, Jamesí confusion and the flabbergasted reaction from the Auror who initially made the report. It felt so authentic, like I myself had been Sirius and was feeling the shock of that moment.

Ugh! And then to find out that it was Voldemort who was rumored to have killed him (even though we know that was exactly what happened, but probably was what was circulated around the Wizarding world) because he was trying to run. My. Poor. Heart. Because now Sirius must be thinking about how Regulus was trying to leave the Death Eaters. And he's probably going to have guilt about not seeing him or speaking to him beforehand. More guilt that he wasn't able to help or save him. Why must you torture your Sirius so?! *wails*

As always, beautiful work, love. It's always a pleasure stopping by your AP. I'll need to come back again soon. And please can we have more of this?!? *begs*

Tons of love,
Meg

Author's Response: Meg! Hi!

To answer your questions: I didn't know that but I'm glad to hear it... muahahaha. And for the drama, Meg! The drama of it all! (And also plot reasons. There are some plot reasons. Hahaha)

I am writing more of this! I've made a lot of progress on Chapter 2 and I'll hopefully have it up (as well as possibly Chapter 3) by the end of the month.

No spoilers but that's exactly what Sirius is thinking about and is what drives the rest of the story forward... which is why I have to torture my Sirius so :P (Sorry, Sirius and Meg!)

You are too sweet! I'd love to see you back here soon! And yes, keep your eyes peeled for updates! :D

Love,
Kayla


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Review #5, by TreacleTart Chapter One

22nd May 2016:
Hey Kayla!

I'm here for our review swap (Finally). I'm so sorry it took me this long. Life has been hectic for the past couple days. Anyway, here I am now and I'm going to try and make up for it with a nice, detailed review.

First things first. I love the idea of an Auror Sirius and how much thought you put into it. The idea that he's a rookie Auror because the Ministry had to speed up the Auror training program is great and I could totally see that happening during war time. It would make sense that they'd need all hands on deck to fight the Death Eaters.

There's something about the tone of this that very much reminds me of JKR's writing. I'm not sure quite why. Perhaps it's the way you describe this relatively normal scene and then slowly build the anticipation that something is about to happen. You did it just right.

What an awful way for Sirius to find out about Regulus though. I mean to think he's just sitting there going through a report and happens to see his brother listed as dead. It can't possibly get anymore callous than that.

It's interesting that Auror Viola says that Regulus was trying to run. We know from cannon that that isn't really the case (unless of course you're going AU), that instead of running, Regulus actually walked face first into Voldemort's clutches.

Now, I'm curious to see where this goes from here. I imagine Sirius will be intrigued/confused about Regulus sudden change of heart and go searching for information. I have to wonder if he'll find out about the locket and all that Regulus did in the end. Part of me hopes so because I think it would really help to heal the memory he has of his brother.

In terms of the technical aspect of this, I think you've done a really good job of creating a very polished chapter. I didn't see anything in the way of spelling or typos and the flow was spot on. The pace was maybe a touch quick, but then again this is the very first chapter and we're getting a lot of info in a short amount of space, so I think that was okay.

All in all, I think this is a really good start and I'm excited to see where this goes from here. Let me know when the next chapter is up and I'll stop by to review it!

~Kaitlin

Author's Response: Kaitlin! Hi! So sorry for the late response to this!

I'm really relieved that people are buying the idea of the Auror program being sped up because of the war. It definitely made sense in my head, but the rest of the story kind of hinges on people buying that initial idea, so :P

We do know from canon that Regulus didn't actually run, but we also know from canon that Harry, Ron and Hermione were the first ones to figure that out (in the 7th book). Sirius never knew and told Harry in the 5th book that Regulus had joined the Death Eaters and then tried to back out. None of which really tells you what is going to happen in this... there are many possibilities ;)

My pacing is always a touch quick :( I really wish I could figure out how to stop that happening.

Anyways, thanks so much for the lovely review, Kaitlin!

-Kayla


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Review #6, by Penelope Inkwell Chapter One

19th May 2016:
Hey Kayla! Penny here for our review swap!

So, I'll admit that when I first saw that this story was in present tense, I was a bit wary. I've read several present tense fics, and many of them, even when they're relatively good, still come out kind of awkward and distracting. But Kayla, you ROCKED the present tense. It wasn't just *not distracting*. It flowed beautifully. It was wonderful. It can be such a tricky thing to do, and you just pulled it off excellently!

Your story opens quickly. Short and sweet, drawing us in. I loved how you let us picture the Auror office. That's one of those things that I find sometimes goes missing from present tense stories. They often lose out on scenery in favor of focusing on action. But you had a nice balance--I felt like I really got the ~feel of the office.

You really launch us into that quotidian feeling--initially, everything Sirius does has such the sensation of routine. That absolutely shatters when he sees his brother's name on the list, and it's that initial every-day feeling that you capture that makes it all the more horrid. Your refrain of Regulus Black is missing, presumed dead, was killer.

Oh, and Auror Viola was handled well, too. Even in a short chapter, your minor characters pop off the page. She clearly was busy, had her own things to do, was a bit annoyed at being questioned, but her sudden transition to sympathy, her regret that such a mistake had been made and that Sirius had to find out this way, was so sad, and very well-portrayed.

Another detail that I really liked was how you gave James his own sort of subnarrative. I have no idea if what he was working on will have anything to do with the story or not, but the way you had him focused on his own breakthrough, and coming up out of that focus to be totally confused and desperate at Sirius' breakdown, really made his character pop, like he wasn't just a minor character in someone else's story. He has his own stuff going on. I don't know if I'm explaining it well at all, but those tiny details made the whole world seem richer--just that he had his own business that had nothing to do with Sirius, initially.

I also like that you had Sirius and James as kind of the grunts. They're new employees, lucky to have a hand in really being involved in any way. It felt very realistic.


CC:

Some Aurors are sitting at their desks, busily writing up reports or recording intel; others are talking, comparing notes and strategizing. There are also some empty cubicles, their occupants out gathering intel or making arrests.
--I'd advise against using the word "intel" twice in back to back sentences like this. Maybe replace one with "information" or "suspect info" or something to that effect?

The only other thing I had was a bit of curiosity over Viola's information. She said that Voldemort had bragged about killing Regulus, but did Voldemort even know that Regulus had died? After all, he seemed to have no idea that the Slytherin locket had been stolen, as he never checked up on it. And if he'd *known* that Regulus was dead, and where he died, it seems odd that he wouldn't have looked into that.


This is a really interesting start to the story. I'm very curious as to how this is going to turn out. Are things going to stay as they were in the books? Will James and Lily soon be going into hiding? Or is this going to be an AU? Your description and just the feel of the writing draw me in immediately, and I'm so curious to see where you're going to take all this. Really good work, Kayla! I enjoyed this a lot. Thank you for the swap, and I hope you feel better soon!

--Penny

Author's Response: Hi Penny! So sorry about the super late response :(

LOL! I don't blame you for being wary - I've had the same experiences with present tense stories, and was quite nervous while writing this. But I'm really happy to hear that you think I did a good job with it!

Auror Viola was really just made up on the spot when I needed someone for that role, but I really like how she came out and I'm really excited to do more with her!

Oops! I didn't notice that double-intel. Thanks for the heads up :)

I am pretty sure Voldemort knew because of a conversation between Harry and Sirius in the fifth book where Sirius says Regulus tried to run and was murdered by Voldemort - although he does say that he's sure Regulus wasn't important enough to have been killed BY Voldemort and it must have been another Death Eater. Regulus did replace the locket with a fake, and Voldemort did make some pretty big oversights over the course of the series due to his arrogance, so... yeah! There's my reasoning haha.

I really hope to have chapter 3 up soon, and chapter 2 is up already! ^.^

Thanks so much for the awesome review, Penny!

-Kayla


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Review #7, by Gabriella Hunter Chapter One

19th May 2016:
Hello!

This is Gabbie from the forums here with your review for our swap! :D

I love reading a story about Sirius Black but I don't really get to read many of them for some reason. I might need to branch out more but anyway, this was certainly an interesting first chapter!

The thought of Sirius being regulated (No pun intended) to desk work when we know that he's a much more active person is really neat. He's bogged down by paperwork and quite frankly doing something that isn't very thrilling but I like that he's trying to make the most of it.

I'm not sure if this story is going to be an AU or not but I'm curious to see where you're going with it. I like that you've dropped this right in the middle of the ongoing war with Voldemort too. It's such a dark time to be in and with everything that we know later on, it makes me really eager to see where you're going to take this.

I like the structure that you have with the Ministry too. It's not all glitz and glam, it's busy, crowded and filled with superiors who don't really care about the people who work for them. I think that's a realistic way to look at it, we all know how corrupt it is as a whole but there are so many stories that you never get to see.

Plus, it reminds me of when I was working and I can sympathize with Sirius. ;__;

James was a pleasant surprise here and I liked this level of maturity that you've given him. We certainly don't see it often enough and I like the bond that he has with Sirius.

But that ending! No! Poor Sirius! I like how you didn't go into much detail about his relationship with his brother but left it all for us to decide. His reaction was powerful and gut wrenching, just wonderful writing on your part.

Let me know when you get another chapter up!

Much love,

Gabbie

Author's Response: Hi Gabbie!

I'm happy to hear that you found this to be an interesting first chapter :D

To be honest with you, I'm winging this a little bit, and I'm not 100% on where it's going to go! But as of right now I'm not planning for it to be extremely AU - I mean, Sirius wasn't an Auror in canon, at least that we know of, but for the most part I'm planning to stick to the canon timeline. (Spoilers? Maybe I shouldn't have said any of that! Oh well)

I'm really glad you enjoyed this, and will certainly let you know when there's a new chapter. Thanks for the review!

-Kayla


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Review #8, by PaulaTheProkaryote Chapter One

18th May 2016:
Hi there!

For starters, the banner is absolutely gorgeous and your summary sounds too good to pass up!

I've read an awful lot of auror stories and yours has been so very refreshing and original. I seriously love this idea so much.

First of all, I love your version of Sirius. He's so gung-ho and lively. A desk job, though he appreciates it, must be driving him mad. I like the details you added that seem to fall in line with his character like him pouting when James ignored him, and the walls of his cubicles with motocycles and pictures of his friends. I think you summed him up perfectly.

Being a new auror, even as Sirius Black and James Potter can't be all glamour all the time. I like that you have them working the mundane desk jobs, filing paperwork, sorting intel. I've read a lot of stories where James's family pulls connections or other nonsense. I think they'd have to pay their dues and work their way up. It also definitely makes sense that they were short staffed so they accelerated the program.

I also really like the character Viola and I hope to see more of her. My reason for liking her is that she was sympathetic for Sirius when her brother died. I think it would be easy for aurors to be like "well, your brother is a traitor...he gets what he gets" and could even chastise Sirius for feeling anything at all.

I hope that he gains some form of closure with the fact that in the end his brother tried to run. He tried to get out of the mess he was in. I know his family relationship was rocky at best, but I just always hated that Sirius never knew what Regulus did. He never had that redemption that he deserved.

Overall, I think this is a very good start to what I'm certain will be a very good story. I'm on the edge of my seat wondering what will happen next and I really can't wait for the next chapter!

Author's Response: Hi Paula!

Aw, thanks so much! I'm pretty pleased with how this banner came out!

I honestly haven't read very many Auror stories at all, so I'm really kinda winging it here! I'm definitely glad you found this story original. That's always a great thing to hear.

Yay, I'm glad you like my Sirius! That's one of my favourite comments to get! ^.^ My biggest concern with this chapter was trying to communicate that he's grateful for the job, but also a bit restless - it seems like that came across to you, which is great!

I was thinking about the best way to set up the Auror program in this story, being that they're at war. I was thinking they'd definitely need more employees, and that the 3-year training program might be causing issues, but I also thought that having Aurors out in the field who aren't fully trained and haven't been through the whole program would be a bit of a liability. So... I compromised!

I'm kinda totally winging this story, and I made up Viola on the spot when I needed someone for Sirius to confront about the report, but by the time I finished writing the scene I really liked her. I'm definitely going to try to show more of her in the coming chapters!

You'll see what happens re: closure with Regulus ;)

I'm super happy that you enjoyed this first chapter! Thanks so much for stopping by to leave me a review, I appreciate it a lot :D

-Kayla


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Review #9, by IchigoPan Chapter One

18th May 2016:
This was refreshing to read. Most of the Sirius-centric fic I've read were mostly confined to the Marauders' Era and never much about their post-Hogwarts life. Given that him and Regulus' relationship were never the best one to start with, just seeing him react to his name on the parchment like that shows family is still family.

And wonderful touch on the fact James and Sirius still use their nicknames for each other, even at work lol. Kind of makes you wonder what the aurors think about that.

Looking forward to reading more of this story, even if it is just for a challenge :D

Author's Response: Hi!

I'm so glad you found this refreshing! I don't think I've read many post-Hogwarts Marauder stories myself, now that you mention it... and I mostly read Marauder's Era :P

I think - I hope - that the exact reasons why Sirius reacted like that when he and Regulus were basically estranged will become much clearer very soon. Within the next couple of chapters, if all goes according to plan!

I'm glad you enjoyed this first chapter, and thanks so much for the review!

-Kayla


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