Kayla <3 <3 <3
Again, finally here for your second prize review, and also the 400th review that I've left on the archives! Yay for new milestones!
Sirius the Ladykiller can this be his new nickname please? :P
The way that you opened this story was so clever, because not only did you manage to subvert the Sirius-is-a-womaniser trope in the piece, but you also completely subverted my expectations from your writing by beginning with the idea of Sirius even being a womaniser, and the way that you placed so much importance on it at the start of the story. I really wasn't expecting it, and I thought the way that you took it from there and the story flowed into something much more complex was really great.
Peter was another aspect of this story which I really wasn't expecting - he's definitely not my favourite character, and I know he's not yours, but I was actually so impressed with the way that you characterised him here. It's SO rare that I read a Marauders story which focuses on their friendship and doesn't have Peter cast as the outsider of the group, so seeing him so fully integrated and actually acting like a good person (???) here was kind of... refreshing?
I mean, I actually LIKED Peter in this story, so I think that tells you an awful lot about how well you wrote him and how much you fleshed out his character in this one story.
It made a lot of sense that you used Peter to narrate this story, especially with the opening, because it just seems like out of the three others, he's the one who'd care the most about Sirius having been with all those girls (except maybe Remus but obviously that is not mentioned in this fic haha). But the depth of his characterisation and his friendship just kind of amazed me, to be honest.
I think you wanted us to think that Sirius was upset about Marlene breaking up with him for the reasons that his friends thought were responsible, and I did in a way, but I also thought you wrote the scene with him confiding in Peter really well. I felt so sorry for Sirius when he came out to Peter and felt so sure that he was going to lose his friends over it, and that he'd been sleeping with all those girls because he was trying to convince himself that he could stop himself from being gay... it's just so heartbreaking that he had to go through that (and that so many people still do).
Even though he's so close to his friends, I can totally believe that he'd be terrified of coming out to them and being shunned by them - in the 1970s it would (maybe) be even harder that today, but it's still incredibly difficult for people to have to come out and face that fear.
Peter was so... nice??? Not at all what I was expecting, but he was really, really sweet, and he was so much more thoughtful and resourceful than I was expecting for him to be when Sirius confided in him. I know that Sirius didn't want him to tell Remus and James, but it was so sweet of him to come up with a plan to make sure that Sirius could be confident in their friendship and be honest with them. And it was actually a good plan, and it worked. Very unexpected, but after reading this story I kind of wanted to give Peter a hug?!
Ugh, the friendship in this story was just so well written, and you captured the characters so brilliantly, and I really enjoyed it.
Although... I don't know if it was intended (I'm going to guess yes because I'm sure you like hinting even if you're not writing angst) but the title Secret Keeper immediately made me think - obviously - of the Fidelius Charm, and Lily and James. And so I'm guessing that the fact that Peter was so good with Sirius's secret, and was the first person that Sirius was able to come out to, could maybe end up being the reason that Sirius convinced James to make him Secret Keeper for Godric's Hollow, not realising that his loyalties had been long swayed by that point? GAH. NOW I'M SAD AGAIN, KAYLA!
Anyway, I loved this story and it really deserves all the praise it's received, and I'm still going away from it with an identity crisis right now because I LIKE PETER IN THIS STORY and what is happening??
Yay for 400 reviews! Are all of them as fantastic and thoughtful as this one? <3
Sirius's new nickname absolutely cannot be Sirius the Ladykiller XD unless it's an ironic nickname!
It's so funny reading this review after having actually written heterosexual Sirius. At the time that I considered this to be suuuch a subversive piece for me, but now... here I am. The things I'll do for Mutually Beneficial (and at your extremely evil prompting :P)!
Peter's a different story though - I think this is the most Peter I've ever written, and probably the most Peter I ever will write! (Unless I get dared to write a Peter-centric story for a bonus chapter of Mutually Beneficial.... or something.... yeesh, I guess I shouldn't be giving you ideas hahaha!)
But writing this using Peter was actually really fun, and allowed me to approach Sirius in a way that I normally wouldn't. I'm really very fond of this story and so I'm super happy that you enjoyed it!
I'll admit though that I was being a little bit evil with that title :P hahahah.
I'm sorry for the identity crisis, but I'm really happy that you liked this story! Thank you so so much for the wonderful (as always) review! <3
Hello again! I'm so happy to be reading some fluff (albeit somewhat angsty fluff) after the heartbreak of reading "silence. death." and here is what I have to say: I LOVE THIS. I love the way you wrote Peter. And the friendship between him and Sirius is so perfect! I can totally see why this was nominated in the FROGS.
Peter really doesn't get much of a chance to shine in Marauder fics and this is a tragedy. Sure, he wasn't always the brightest bulb in the box (see: "I need to fold my socks") but this fic really illustrates why he was part of this group at all and why they valued his friendship. He is such a good friend to Sirius in this story, the way he sees his friend suffering and does everything he can to get him to feel better, including the least smooth plan in the world to raise 'hypothetical' questions around the other two in order to ease Sirius' fears so he will be confident and comfortable enough to tell them. I love that it's Peter, who's generally thought of as the most cowardly Marauder, who gives Sirius that courage.
The fact that Peter kept this secret for Sirius also kinda explains why Sirius years later suggests Peter as the Secret Keeper (I see what you did there) for the Potters. I mean, it's true Peter wasn't subtle and James could maybe have figured out what was going on behind Peter's random hypothetical question if he weren't so occupied in writing sonnets, but Peter did keep his word as it was really important to him, and he was such a supportive friend throughout the whole process.
(I know this wasn't even that important of a scene but James writing a soppy poem about Lily and then trying to pass it off as writing an essay cracked me up. XD )
Sirius, though - my heart really breaks for him, as during that time period in particular, society really frowned upon gay people. So it was really sad, and yet believable, that he got around with all these different girls in an attempt to turn himself straight, because he knows the truth about himself. Wonderful job subverting that trope, by the way.
I was so happy Sirius finally decided to come out at the end and it's so nice to see that Peter's plan has given him some peace.
However, it looks like part of the end of the story got cut off. You know, the part where after he comes out, Remus admits he's had a crush on Sirius for years and then they live happily ever after? :P
I loved this! Great writing, and good luck in the FROGs!
I'm so happy that you enjoyed this (and that it gave you some relief from silence. death., hahaha)! It's wonderful to know that you liked my portrayal of Peter, and of the friendship between all four Marauders. I was trying something a bit new with this story, so this is really reassuring.
Ahahaha, what are you talking about? That ending is right there! You must have skipped over it by accident ;) (I kid, I kid.)
Thank you so much for reading and for leaving such a lovely review! <3
THEIR FRIENDSHIP. *heart eyes*
Okay so my first thought upon reading the first sentence was, "I wonder where this story is going to go. Will Peter be jealous of his mate's skills? Will Sirius fall in love and then have to recover from a nasty breakup?" But then the story was actually so much better than any of my ideas that I felt embarrassed by the end of the story, for guessing so incorrectly at the beginning, haha. Anyway, that ramble was just to let you know: womanizer trope, successfully subverted!
I love the headcanon that Sirius Black is gay, and I think you just presented it in such a perfect way here. Especially since you also included the general stigma of the times, how it was definitely much more frowned upon than today (and even today, there are horribly homophobic people just spewing their hatred everywhere), so I can't even begin to imagine how Sirius must have felt back in his own time period.
It really made me smile to see Peter presented in such a likable, awkward-but-cute, adorkable fashion. I understand why a lot of different people view him as a sort of liability to the Marauders, but I also really like this interpretation of Peter's character, because obviously the Marauders liked him enough to be best friends with him. And reading your Peter just made me really want to be friends with his teenage self, just because of how friendly and accepting he was. (Adult Peter is an entirely different story.)
What Peter did for Sirius was so, so sweet omg. I loved reading about Peter finding Remus and then James and just asking them about Sirius, and giving Sirius enough courage to come out to his friends.
I found it so sad when both James and Remus were like, "Joining Voldemort is the only dealbreaker we can think of," because we all know what Peter did in the end.
But omg I loved this, it was charming and cute and absolutely wonderful. Also, Peter lmao: "You know Sirius?" ... "I have to go fold my socks."
YAY! Haha I'm sorry that you felt embarrassed, but it's fantastic to know that I pulled off what I was trying to do!
I'm so glad that you enjoyed this piece, thank you so much for this lovely review!
Sirius certainly is an anomaly -- on more than one level ;) .
I love that this is told from Peter's perspective, as although he turned out to be a traitor, was at one point the best of friends with the Marauders, and I think you captured that nicely. Also, I love your word choice throughout the story, including "13 different flavors of irresistible" :P .
I'm also glad that you worked into Peter's characterization that HE was the one who noticed Sirius missing that night and that HE was the one who went to find him, and HE is the one Sirius came out to.
Speaking of Sirius, I feel SO badly for him -- how he's been struggling with his secret for so long, feeling as though he could 'make it go away' if he tried hard enough. Poor Sirius.
Of course, James jumps to the COMPLETELY incorrect conclusion! At least Remus is rational about it. And Peter is trying SO hard to not tell -- and poor Sirius thinks that James won't love him if he comes out to him! I feel so bad for him. (Peter's totally right, he SHOULD tell James and Remus!!)
I can't wait to see Peter's plan that involves 2-way mirrors! And also, I love that Peter starts out with, "You know Sirius?" hahahah! Ahh, yes! That's a great idea -- let Sirius hear for himself how much he means to Remus and James! And of course, they do -- with the exception of Sirius agreeing with his mother about Voldemort and Blood-purity lol
And I'm SO glad that he's going to tell them!
You did a fantastic job with this! It was great!
Hi! <3 I'm really happy that you enjoyed reading this and especially that you liked my characterization(s). Thank you so much for reading and for taking the time to leave such a nice review!
Oh. My. Gosh.
Can it be...? Oh yes, it's true. You have actually given Peter a personality! Someone in this world has remembered that Peter was actually a Marauder and not just that bloke who once ate lunch with them. And he doesn't just tag along, he contributes! To the friendship! I mean, it makes his betrayal all the more worse, especially with that title (how RUDE), but I'm just in too much awe to care. You wrote him really well too so there is no need to worry. He's so alive, so Peter. You can see why he'd be a Marauder.
To be honest, you always write the Marauders well. You rule this era, I'm not even lying. There's not much of him here but Remus is perfect. James and his poetry skills and elaborate schemes are perfect. Pete is perfect. And Sirius. Gahh. Sirius.
I honestly felt so much for him here 😢 Especially considering it's not in his POV, you paint his struggle really well. The shame he feels for his sexuality, his reasoning behind his womanising ways (cleverly done, by the way), the irrational irritation he feels for Pete the next day and then the fact that my boy literally cried in the shower - all of it is written so well. Writing it from an outsider looking is was really interesting too. It wasn't bogged down with endless angst (not that there's anything wrong with endless angst, it's what half my one shots are) and toes the line with its humour. I really liked it.
And it ends on a good note: Sirius telling the others that he's gay and Remus, burning with a crush that's lasted years, jumping forward and kissing him to tell him just what he has to say to that.
(What do you mean it doesn't end like that? It says it right there.)
Hey Plums! Sorry for my late response.
Aw, I'm blushing! I'm really glad you enjoyed my portrayal of Peter. I'm not a fan of him, hahaha, so it was a challenge for me to stop looking at him through the lens of what he did as an adult and just write him as a teenager in an unbiased way, So every review I get saying I pulled it off is really exciting!
Ugh, I don't even know what to say - you're so lovely and it truly means a lot to me to hear that you enjoy my Marauders and especially Sirius. That character means a lot to me (as everybody knows, hahaha) <3
I've written about Sirius through Remus's eyes before, but it was quite different doing it through Peter's! So I'm happy I pulled it off!
Ah yes, that ending. What a kiss! So much fun to write ;)
I'm glad you enjoyed this, thanks so much for the kind review! <3
Hey Kayla :)
This is my first review on the hpfanfictalk archives so woo! And what a great story to be leaving it on!
So first of all I love your characterisation of Peter. I have to start with this because it's one of my biggest bug bears when people write him as not fully part of the group or that everyone is horrible to him. I feel like they're trying to make excuses for him doing what he did later in life and that just doesn't sit right with me. You however, I loved what you did. The way he observes the group and interacts with them all is exactly how I picture him to be. He seems to see exactly what is going off with them all. He's an important part of the group and you didn't shy away from that.
Funnily enough, when I read the title of this story I totally thought it was going to be about Peter being the Potters secret keeper so it threw me for a minute when it wasn't. I enjoyed the irony of Peter being so good and determined at keeping Sirius' secret here, while gently encouraging him to share with his friends of course, when we know how good he isn't at that later in life. Nicely played.
For the story at a whole, it was just so adorable. Poor Sirius going through what he is, I just wanted to hug him tight and tell him it was okay to feel what he was feeling. My heart truely broke for him thinking he was going to loose his friends if his secret came out. But of course James and Remus proved him wrong, I love that they both were like "If he actually is a death eater we'll be miffed" but in the end they managed to push away all his self doubt by telling him there's nothing he could do to make them stop being friends with him. Genius idea on the two way mirrors by the way. Oh, and as James is one of my favourite characters I particularly loved his response! It was perfectly in line with my head canon of him.
Overall this was a great story that dealt with real issues people face with their sexuality brilliantly and still managed to have a lot of light hearted moments in there that made me both smile and squee!
Wonderful work Kayla, I really enjoyed this story!
Hey Lauren! <3 Sorry I'm so late responding to this!
Yay! Like I mentioned, this was my first time writing Peter, so it's so exciting that you enjoyed his characterization, especially since that's something that you care about and pay attention to.
The irony of the title was definitely intentional, ahaha.
Not gonna lie, I'm pretty pleased with myself over the two-way mirrors idea. Still not sure how I managed to come up with that! And wow, it's fantastic to hear that you thought James was characterized well, since he's your favourite! I'm actually really insecure about the way I write James, so that really means a lot to me to hear that from you.
I'm really glad you enjoyed this, thank you so much for the review! <3
Hey, Kayla! Here for our review swap :)
I know you're nervous about this story, but I really don't think you need to be! I loved this so much. I loved your take on Peter, and it's really very believable that he'd be the quiet one, the one who sort of observes everyone and picks up on things that the others might not necessarily notice.
I also really enjoyed how you took a serious topic (Sirius questioning his sexuality) but still took a lighter tone to the overall piece. I really just wanted to snuggle him the whole time though, is that okay? And it makes total sense that he'd try to be with all these women if he wasn't comfortable with being gay. I loved how Peter supported him no matter what though and was only trying to help push him in the right direction.
The two-way mirror!! Such a clever idea!! But poor Peter, he really didn't do a great job of asking James without giving hints XD And I loved how James and Remus ended up just coming up after that because they realized something must be happening if Peter is asking all these weird questions about Sirius. It shows how much they love each other and really are a family.
(Not gonna lie, I was half-expecting Sirius to announce that he was in love with James. But, ah, baby steps? Haha) I'm glad that you focused more on his coming out though. And that in the end, he had the courage to tell his friends the truth ♥
This was a fantastic, heart-warming story and you did a really great job with it!! I loved it. (And clearly need to visit your AP more often!)
Thank you for the swap and fantastic read♥♥♥
Hey Jill! So sorry for my very late response, lol.
Haha, it's totally fine that you wanted to snuggle Sirius! I love that, actually. Snuggle away ;)
Yay, I'm glad that you picked up on James and Remus coming up right away! :D I wasn't sure how clear that part was.
Forget straight Sirius - James and Sirius would really be a twist from me! Ahaha, not gonna lie though, I have considered it. We'll see, maybe one day I'll end up writing that pairing!
I'm really happy that you enjoyed this, thank you so much for the very sweet review <3
Here for our swap! :)
I was very uncertain if picking this or starting Breathe (which I'm will read, sooner or later) but I loved the idea of some fluff, and of a bit of Peter's perspective (you know I'm obsessed... or if you didn't know, well, you know now...)
I loved this! So much! Poor Sirius, I love (meaning I thought it was really interesting and clever) the idea that he's been with so many girls just because he was trying to force himself to be "normal". I really don't know how he would believe that James and Remus wouldn't accept him, but I guess confessing this things, even to the people you are closer to (or maybe especially to them) can be hard.
Peter was wonderful! I loved that you showed him as a silent observer, that's exactly the way I imagine him, too. And I loved that you showed his most caring and sensible side, something not many people ricognize him. The mirror idea was really a stroke of genius, even if he almost messed up at the end... I laughed out loud at the "I have to folder my socks" bit!
Also, I loved the irony when both James and Remus talked about becoming Death Eaters as the thing that might break their friendship... Peter should remember that one... but he obviously won't... :(
On another note, I loved James and Remus' answers. Of course, I had no doubt they both would be completely understanding and supportive, but to hear how deep their love for Sirius is was so endearing, and I'm sure it was really heartening for Sirius, too! Oh, how much I love Marauders love!
One last thing I'll say, James being lovesick for Lily is something that never stops amusing me! I loved the poem detail! :D
Alright, it's three in the morning and I really should be sleeping... but in case you couldn't guess this was just wonderful!
Lots of love, my dear!
Hey Chiara! So sorry for my late response to this!
Aw, I'm really happy that you enjoyed this!
Yeah, keeping in mind too that this was the 1970s and attitudes towards the LGBTQ community back then were worse than they are today, I think coming out is a very difficult thing to do for a lot of people, and would've been even moreso back then. Of course we know that they were all very close friends, but I imagine that this topic wouldn't have come up and so Sirius wouldn't be too sure of their attitudes - and then there's the fact that sometimes in this scenario people will "accept" you, but in a very conditional way (like, they don't want to stop being your friend, but they still treat you differently).
Oh, it's really fantastic to hear that you enjoyed my take on Peter, because I know that you love him! <3
Thank you so much for the review! <3
Hello my little kaycakes <33 (don't you just love your new nickname?) ^_^
So I'm obviously here to review your lovely new story! I'm so impressed by this like you're so passionate about this character and your strong head-canon of who he is. I really love that you have that and how much you love to tell his story but this was something else like it was such a master stroke to twist this tale around and tell it from another prospective. It was so clear and that fact you've used Peter do this which makes it even better. The concept is honestly a stroke of genius.
There was so many moments which I just loved, I was expecting a straight Sirius in this but I shouldn't have doubted you ability to turn him gay. I thought the fact that Sirius was able to talk to Peter about something so personal said a lot about their friendship. While I hate Peter like you do in the fandom, I never thought he was so useless like he is portrayed in some many fics. I love your characterisation of Peter, it's wonderful about how much he wants to help his friend that seems like the type of person the others would want to be friends with you know? Peter had a clear voice and thought process. I loved that this wasn't too angsty (who doesn't love a bit of angst though?!) but I love a bit of fluff, it was friendship fluff! that bond was so beautifully written.
I lovelovelove the two way mirror thing, it's so smart and such a clever little idea. they speak with such love and acceptance for Sirius, it's so lovely and Peter is the little mastermind for this. Peter is likeable and fun, I adore his awkwardness to which adds to how realistic it comes across. I really did laugh at his 'folding my socks' line too! I'm so impressed with how much love goes into your work, you've done a fabulous job with Peter as you said you're not use to writing him but you can't tell! This is truly an engaging, fun and interesting coming out story which tells an old tale in a totally new way! xox
Ehehe, hi Abs! <3
So obviously you're busy with your new baby (<3) so I don't know if you'll see this response anytime soon, hahaha. But I've left this review long enough!
Hahaha, I'm glad you like my concept! And I'm glad I managed to trick you a little bit ;) because I was really worried that I was being too obvious! It's also really great to hear that you liked my portrayal of Peter, because as I mentioned I had never written him before, so I was quite concerned about that characterization!
I'm really happy that you enjoyed this! Thank you so much for the lovely review <3
Hello Kayla! I'm here for our review swap, and it's high time I checked out your AP page anyway!
OMG, this story is absolute class! What a great way you have with words! I love your take on the trope and I can't quite believe you were nervous about how Peter came across, because I think you've really brought his character to life here; have you really never written him before? The dialogue between the boys is so realistic and age-appropriate, and you have the dynamic spot-on. Add in the fact that you have an interesting and amusing plot-line with a bit of angst thrown in and - wow! Seriously, I don't know HOW it's taken me so long to arrive at your AP page, but you might not get rid of me now!!
Onto more specifics. Great opening sentence! If that doesn't grab the reader's attention, nothing will! I love that Peter "notices things", almost like that's his key role in life, and whilst I can see the reasoning behind him getting a snog before Lily-obsessed James and shy Remus, I'm kind of surprised. But in a nice way. Because even rats deserve love too, right?
I ADORE the cleverness of the line "13 flavours of irresistible" like it's an extrapolation of 31 back in the 1970s when fewer flavours would have been available. When I got to the part about Marlene breaking up with Sirius, and I thought she may have been the reason he fell apart at the seams, I kind of didn't feel sorry for him - rather, I thought he'd got his just desserts. It wasn't until he was getting plastered on his own in the common room and admitting his true feelings that I really felt quite sorry for him. He must have really struggled to come to terms with his sexuality, and attitudes then being even more disappointing than they are now, no wonder he was afraid of the truth :(
Heh! I did laugh at the way that Peter's firmness was proceded by a bracketed "not very". You've really given Peter such a clear voice in this story and it makes such a change to have him depicted as a true marauder rather than a two-dimensional accessory. I like how he came up with a clever use for the two-way mirrors. I did wonder how he was going to broach the subject with James and Remus. I knew Remus wouldn't care a jot (and, let's face it, it would be rather hypocritical of him to be unaccepting, when the other boys basically risk their lives every 28 days for him). Had to confess at sniggering when James was found writing poetry (emerald green eyes!! Such a cliche), which, of course is going to be deadly ammunition for the boys to use in the future. But Oof! Peter's somewhat clumsy approach to questioning James was an awkward moment all round - Sirius must have been dying inside, eavesdropping on that - but it all worked out fine in the end, as I suspected it might. James's model answer was just what Sirius would have needed to hear. I'm glad for everyone's sake it's now almost out in the open :)
Awesome, awesome work here, Kayla! This is so readable, funny, touching and heart-warming all at the same time! You've certainy won me over as a new fan of your writing. I really look forward to reading more of your stuff soon!
PS Peter's sock-folding has got to take the prize as the daftest excuse to leave, ever.
Hello Brax! So sorry for my lateness in responding to this!
Aah, I'm so flattered! Yes, this really was my first time ever writing Peter, and I definitely was very nervous, so it was really exciting to know that you enjoyed his character. You've said so many really lovely things in this review, it's hard to know how to respond - I'm overwhelmed! But truly it does mean a lot to me.
It's particularly exciting to know that you really bought into the whole Marlene-and-Sirius situation, because I was really nervous that I was being too obvious or that it was too obvious of a setup or whatever.
Sirius definitely must have been dying inside listening to Peter talking to James! The way I picture that scene on his end is with him lying on his back on his bed holding his pillow over his face, hahaha.
Thank you so much for the really lovely review, Brax! I really appreciate it!