Asking each other questions to get to know each other better is a good idea for fake dating. I do feel bad that neither of them feel comfortable coming out about their crushes. It must be difficult for Sirius to keep such a big secret from his friends, considering how close they all are, which makes Marlene totally right. Understandable, Sirius is afraid of losing Remus; he's afraid of losing all of his friends if he finally comes out. It might even make it more difficult that one of the friends in question is the object of Sirius' affection. Telling his friends means telling his crush and that's gotta be tremendously difficult. Aye, but yeah, Sirius does make a point that if Marlene thought nobody would care, she wouldn't have suggested the fake relationship to begin with. Oh, the score? Hm, were they keeping track of that? Haha!
Please let me know when you update!
First of all, I love Sirius x Remus ships and I absolutely adore the idea of Marlene McKinnon x Emmaline Vance! I love that Marlene tracked Sirius down in the library and brought up the proposition to fake-date for both of their sakes, so that no unwanted suspicions are aroused as to who they actually want to date. Sirius' reaction to Marlene calling him out on loving Remus is priceless--I love the shocked stuttering and the deference he played. Marlene has a fantastic personality, blunt and straight-forward, she's not messing around. I also really appreciate this little quirk of Sirius' that he generally prefers to study in complete silence. I'm looking forward to seeing how this mutually beneficial relationship will work and if Marlene and Sirius will end up with their respective loves.
I've come to review your entry for The Classic Fanfiction Tropes Challenge. This is definitely the most interesting take on fake!dating I've read simply because Sirius and Marlene don't have any feelings for each other. It's not a fic that will lead to romance (between them anyway) and I don't want it to be haha.
You mentioned Sirius being in love with Remus and my love for all things Wolfstar has come out with a vengeance.
I do like how Sirius and Marlene interact with each other in this chapter. There's definitely a camaraderie there, even if Sirius is unwilling to come forward with some information. (Naturally.) They're very at ease with each other which I suppose is the point. While it's always good to have the typical "omg how are we going to sell this if we can't act to save our lives" element, it's also nice to see the opposite. Also, the shipper in me really kinda wants to see Remus get jealous. I am a simple girl with simple wants 😜
Can I just say that I really love your characterisation of Sirius? So often do we see that he coasted by in school with natural talent (which, fair enough, I can see happening), but I really like that he studies here. Studies two chapters in a row, no less! It doesn't make him boring or less of the troublemaker I'm sure he is, just a schoolkid. Also love how he sits in on the practice while he does.
There wasn't a whole lot of James in this chapter, but I did like what we got so I'm looking forward to that in the future. All in all, a fab entry!
I'm here for our review swap! So there are so many things to pick up on this first chapter, it's quite short but you really set up everything so well. you've manage to get in so much characterisation for both characters already. I really enjoy that fact that it's just the two of them in this first chapter. it's really nice because we had the focus purely on the two lead characters here.
So, the idea for the story is really awesome as it is. I adore how you've taken a trope and turned it on its head to do something different with it. that's really clever and just a stamp of a really good writer to do something a bit outside the box? so I love that you're doing your own twist almost. it's really interesting concept while being quite fun too!
So you've opened with Sirius in the library and even in your first opening lines, you've created your own Sirius like I adore the line 'Contrary to popular belief, his avoidance of the library had less to do with overwhelming natural talent' because you've taken down and poked fun at the 'traditional' fan fic version of Sirius. It does lots for this characterisation and firmly making this character your own. So I'm just impressed with that little detail and I really enjoyed the way you did that.
So, we have to talk about my girl, Marlene. I love her in this, I adore my sassy female characters and Marlene is amazing. I just love her attitude, she's so blunt and just real, I think she is going to be such a kick ass character. I can't pick out my favourite line, this is from one conversation that they've had. Something that I picked up on from your other stories is your talent for creating dialogue especially using it effectively to craft the relationships between the characters aka. I love the banter.
I look forward to getting to know Marlene a bit better because I can see little bits of her more 'sensitive' side like when she also admits that she's in love with Emmeline so it'll be interesting in future chapters to see more of that because you've got the making of a very interesting and layered character. I really enjoyed this, great job!
brb - off to read chapter 2!
- Abbi xo
Heyy! I'm back again! And once again, I apologize for the delay, both in general and also between reviews :P
Okay so I absolutely love Sirius in this chapter, I think you handled him really well. I got all emotional when Marlene called him out on being a good liar tbh. And even more emotional when HE got all emotional and it all just burst out of him. I found it very believable, so big kudos for that!
I really enjoy how you're portraying Marlene. In both chapters she's had this confident and blunt exterior, but we also get to see a more vulnerable side to her. I like how she clearly cares about Sirius and isn't just using him for her own purposes; she genuinely wants him to open up to her, and seems to want what's best for him and worry about him. I love the way they interact with each other and I very much hope they're going to continue to be bros after this fake-dating thing wraps up (which I'm assuming/hoping it will?)
I also love the idea of Sirius going out and watching the Gryffindor Quidditch practices, and how you carried through what you established in the first chapter (that he needs peace and quiet to get things done).
Great work on this second chapter, I'm super excited for more :D
Hey Claire! I'm finally here reviewing my challenge entries. My sincerest apologies for the long wait.
So I was absolutely thrilled to bits the first time I clicked the link you'd posted in the challenge thread and I saw the concept for your entry. It's this fairly common trope (fake dating), but it immediately felt so fresh, because (in my experience, anyway) that trope is usually used to get the two people in question together and I rarely see it used for this sort of mutual-beard situation. So I already thought that was great, and then I LOVED it applied here specifically. I was instantly ALL ABOUT Sirius and Marlene as bros helping each other out by bearding for each other. So yeah, this is all to say that this premise was very instantly appealing to me. :D
And the first chapter didn't disappoint in the slightest! I absolutely love your characterization of both Sirius and Marlene. I really liked the idea of him needing silence to study - I've never really seen anyone put any sort of thought into his study or school habits beyond "he's naturally gifted at everything", so I thought that was really thoughtful and a great touch. His reaction to Marlene having figured him out was absolutely perfect - both his immediate reaction of panic and his continued discomfort and panic even when they were alone. I'm quite picky about Sirius and it read very real to me, so I was super happy there.
Marlene was great! I haven't read a lot of stuff with her in it because I don't read Sirius/Marlene fics and (unfortunately) people don't tend to include her in things beyond that. I really liked the way you wrote her though. She was so matter-of-fact and came across as quite confident, but there was that moment of vulnerability when she revealed that she's in love with Emmeline.
I love the way they bounce off of each other, and I'm so excited for the rest of this story and to see how this scheme of theirs will work out! :D
Thanks for entering my challenge and sorry again for the delay!
Hey, Claire! :)
Hope you don't mind if I skipped reviewing chapter 1, but I was so caught up in the story and I just needed to read on. :D
I'm loving this so far! I love your portrayal of Sirius, it's so great! I love that you make him so fragile and sensitive, it's not a characterization that you see often but it's one that makes total sense to me. I loved the detail of him needing absolute quietness for studying. So unique, and at the same time so fitting.
Marlene is great, too. I've always imagined her as an enterprising young woman and she totally is here, I loved how blunt she was in confronting Sirius. (By the way, I'm so curious about where the fake dating will lead them...)
Poor Sirius... I can see why he would be scared, he can't lose the other Marauders' (and Remus' especially) friendship... but obviously Marlene is right, his friends would understand. It's so sad how much he's been through, though, and it really must be killing him to hide such a huge part of himself from the people he loves the most... I hope things will get better soon.
And now I'm wondering... which house is Emmeline in? In my headcanon she's a Hufflepuff, it would be awesome if we shared it. :P (and yes, I'm partial to Hufflepuff characters, as you may imagine... :P)
I probably should comment on a thousand other things (like how flawless your writing is, for example) but I really need to go now. Just know that I've loved this!
CLAIRE I'M HERE FOR OUR REVIEW SWAP AND I'M ALREADY IN SHOUTY CAPS, BUT I LOVE THIS!
Okay so I was excited about the idea behind this story and this first chapter didn't disappoint. It's funny and the characterization is fantastic. I love, love, love the idea that Sirius keeps his emotions guarded because of his family - it makes so much sense, and I found it interesting that you didn't include Peter on the list of the three people that he let his guard down to. And also I love that he takes schoolwork seriously (har har) because I feel like that's not something typically associated with him in fics.
And Marlene! She was fantastic too. She was pushy enough to get him to talk about it, but not overtly so if that makes sense. She just knew what she wanted and she was determined to get it, but then showed vulnerability when talking about Emmeline so that Sirius knew that her feelings were real.
I loved the dynamic between the two of them, too! I'm super excited to see how their relationship grows and I feel like it's not a totally cliche almost fake dating story, and I have a weakness for those.
I can't wait to see where you take this with Wolfstar and Marlene/Emmeline and how everything comes into play.
An excellent first chapter!! Thanks for the swap ♥
Hey Claire! I'm here for our review swap! I think I've read a couple of your stories so far, but I'm not fully acquainted with your AP and it's about time I changed that :)
"Mutually Beneficial" - I love the title, and the opening paragraph to this story is great! It really sets a scene and draws me in to read more. Your writing, as ever, is beautifully clear and concise throughout this story, and this first chapter flows really well, and the dialogue is brilliant. Sirius Black is remarkably well outlined in this first chapter and I love the little details you've added here, such as him requiring absolute silence in which to study. School libraries are never the quietest places, especially when crammed with anxious students all busy scribbling away last-minute.
Heh! I love how forthright Marlene is with her dating offer, and how perceptive she obviously is to have picked up the clues pertaining to Sirius's sexuality (and the object of his desire as Remus). Poor Sirius! "...Number of times that he had slipped up, and even then, it had only been in front of three people ... and now he was going to have to add Marlene to the list." Your description of his reaction to Marlene's discovery is just perfect, and funny, and I'm cringing on his behalf. There's something so endearing about a Sirius who has had the wind taken out of his sails. I just want to reach out and hug him!!
I do feel so sorry for these teenagers, feeling that they have to live under a pretence. It being the 70's, attitudes left a lot to be desired, and I'm not surprised that Marlene came up with this plan to disguise her feelings and protect her own back. It must be of some comfort to Sirius that there was someone else in a similar situation.
Awesome work on this first chapter! I loved it! Let me know when the next one's up as I'd love to read more :) Thanks for the swap <3
I'm here for our review swap! I'm intrigued by the summary already!! Not only is it Marauders, but it's got Sirius AND Marlene, and Wolfstar. This story can't get any better!!!
I am only one paragraph in and I'm already loving the characterization of Sirius. Especially the part where his Black upbringing had made his guarded about his reactions - because that's exactly my headcanon of him!! He must have been so taken aback when Marlene figured it out. How did she, though? Does James know? Aaaaahhh So many questions! Sirius' reaction seemed so natural, startled, and wanting to run away. It's so in tune with the canon that we know of him.
I'm kind of loving Marlene's whole attitude here - her theatrics, bluntness, how she figured it out about Sirius, her discomfort while admitting her feelings about Emmeline. I'm guessing she probably cornered him at the library because that was where she would find him alone. I just feel so bad that they feel like they have to hide their true feelings though. But there's always a risk of heartbreak if the other person doesn't feel the same way. This little scene has made me so curious about what happens next. Is Remus gay too? Is he in love with Sirius too? I'd find it super interesting if Marlene wasbisexual and falls for Sirius later on!
Are you planning to write a sequel or expand on this? I love this story!! Good luck with the challenge!