I’m here because this story won Story of the Month, and since I love your writing, I decided to drop by and leave you a review.
And oh my goodness, I was not prepared for this. The beginning was just so happy and full of love, you know? And I was thinking about how perfectly these two fit together (which you showed really well in that first section), but then tragedy struck. Caradoc disappearing and sending Sirius into this spiral of grief was so painful to watch, but I think you handled the grief portion of this so so well.
I just wanted to say really quickly that Sirius and Caradoc together is a combination I never would have thought of. It’s such a fascinating ship, and because we don’t know too much about Caradoc Dearborn, it leaves a decent amount of wiggle room for characterizations and such. Anyway, I’m really glad that you wrote this ship! (I don’t know if it was assigned to you for the challenge or not, but either way, it made for an excellent story.)
At the end, when Sirius is finally coming to terms with Caradoc’s death (his repeated reminders to himself that Caradoc was dead and not missing was so heartbreaking), I was hoping for a secret, sudden happy ending, where Caradoc just pops out and goes like, “Oh, Sirius! I’ve just been healing in the bushes for the past few months, don’t mind me.” But that’s just because I’m too reliant on happy endings haha, and your ending suited the overall tone of the story really well.
I really liked how Sirius used James as a bit of a crutch before recovering, because that’s what friends are for, isn’t it?
That ending letter is just a perfect and beautiful way to end this story. I’m really glad that this won Story of the Month! <3
hey, it's your secret cupid here!
This was so cruel! You gave us a glimpse of Sirius so happy with Caradoc - and then you took him away! I like the visible difference before Caradoc left and after, you showed Sirius' emotions really well. I like how James intervened as well, and proved his status as best friend. I think the letter was a nice touch, and it's true that writing a letter to someone who won't read it can help. I really liked the little touches at the end that gave us a glimpse of the more vulnerable side of Sirius - like how he couldn't ride a bike and Caradoc taught him, and the first time they met. A lot of people write Sirius as a player, and it was really nice to see a different side of him.
I really enjoyed reading this, thanks for sharing it with us!
The first section of this is super cute and fluffy and I love what you show about Sirius and Caradoc's relationship through their dialogue. Then you hit me with this line: "Love you, Caradoc," Sirius said but it was too late -- and like, I know it's just too late because Caradoc apparated away to work, BUT I also know that Caradoc Dearborn did not survive the first war and I just get this horrible foreboding feeling about you ending the section with this. I've read a lot of angsty fics today so that could be why, but ... Idk. It's going to be sad and I can already tell.
Worst suspicions confirmed at the first paragraph of the next section. Caradoc is not there. Sirius seems to be holding out hope better than me - or maybe he's just trying to tell himself it's fine to avoid considering the worst, although deep down maybe he already knows.
NONONONONOOOO. Why did no one tell him?! Okay, I get the logic behind Moody's statement but you can't just not tell someone that the person they love is missing/dead. I think your characterization of Sirius in this moment is spot on as well.
The sections that follow this are the perfect combination of heartbreaking and beautiful. I absolutely love the way you wrote Sirius and James' friendship and the fierce way James promises to stick by him no matter what. He is such a good friend. The scene when he finally gets through to Sirius and they just stand there hugging is such a powerful moment. There is just so much raw emotion in here and Sirius' grief is so tangible, as well as James' desperation.
And then Sirius goes walking through his memories of Caradoc which is just as heartbreaking, but I love how you ended this, with the letter he wrote to Caradoc as some sort of closure. I love that he seems to have moved into the acceptance phase of grief and now is devoted to making sure Caradoc didn't die in vain, it's like he's promising to live for Caradoc and what Caradoc wanted in life, and that's so touching. It's such a sad end to this sad story, but it is a wonderful sense of closure.
Great story. This is really amazing.
Sirius Black x Caradoc Dearborn? Um, yes please! (Also, hello!)
Oh my goodness, Sirius and Caradoc are so playfully adorable together. Marlene seems like a much better choice to go out on a mission with than Mundungus Fletcher. Everything has this hopeful vibe with the war drawing to a close but I can't help but have this terrible feeling that you're following canon and that Caradoc is going to die. I love the natural flirting between the two as Sirius teases Caradoc about mustaches and oh--it's just so absolutely sweet. And then there's this hanging I Love You in the air that Caradoc doesn't hear and I can just feel the ominous foreshadowing. With Caradoc missing and Marlene found nearly dead, things are taking a terrible turn--I just knew you were going to break my heart (and Sirius'). And with Sirius grieving so hard, waiting for Caradoc to come home, I can hardly stand it. Finally, he realizes the horrible truth, that Caradoc is most likely not coming home and it's all so heavy and makes Rumpels cry. Sirius writing Caradoc a letter at the end in order to say goodbye and get some closure is the perfect ending.
This was so well written and so sad! My feels have been tortured. Wonderful job!
I'm so sorry it's been such a terribly long time since i've stopped by to leave you a review. Travel has been keeping me busy. Tonight, however, I had a bit of free time, so I thought I'd swing by and catch up on some fic! I'm so glad I stopped by this story!
Gah! What a heartbreaker! I've never thought to pair Sirius with Caradoc before...I think usually because I read him as being with Remus, but truthfully it makes a lot sense. I also like the idea that Sirius dated someone out of the Marauder circle.
Gosh. The idea of losing a loved one without having the chance to say goodbye is terrifying. I can totally understand why Sirius is so broken up about it. And then never having a body or any sort of solid proof. It's sheer torture. I definitely agree with James though. If Caradoc had been alive, he'd have found his way back to Sirius by now!
The letter at the end was such a good idea. I think writing his thoughts out might really help Sirius process some of what he's feeling and maybe let go of a little bit of his guilt too. I know that writing is always a great catharsis for me.
Beautiful writing! I swear everytime I read something of yours, it just keeps getting better and better. You've got some really clever ideas and you do a great job of putting them to paper!
Lots of love,
Abbi! Yet another of your wonderful stories that I somehow haven't reviewed?!
I haven't read a lot of Sirius stories lately, but I don't think that I've ever seen this pairing before, and I really liked the way that you started to explore the relationship between Caradoc and Sirius. Caradoc's one of those characters we know so little about, apart from the fact that he was in the Order of the Phoenix, but I thought you took that one piece of information and crafted a story around it really well.
I think the way that you opened the story in the middle of a scene between them worked really well; it launched us straight into their relationship, but I think that really helped to make us believe in the relationship, because the dynamics between the two of them were already established. It felt much more authentic because of that, I think.
I think my favourite thing about the scene with the two of them together was seeing the dialogue between them. You did a great job of capturing how light and easy they are with each other, and the laughter that I think would have to be part of a relationship that Sirius is a part of. They're quite gentle and tender with each other at the same time, too, and it's sweet to see.
Of course, after seeing how happy and relaxed they are together, it's even harder to see Sirius struggling to process the news of Caradoc's disappearance. I think, in some respects, it would be even more difficult not to have the certainty of the news that he's died, because he clings to the belief that he's alive (as is natural) and that makes it harder to process.
I thought SI=irius's grieving process - if it can be called that - felt very in character for him, and I'm only glad that James and his friends stayed there for him, and didn't let Sirius push them away, because they knew he'd need them eventually.
The letter at the end was a really nice form of closure - I don't think that Sirius will ever get over losing Caradoc, especially because he just has to weigh the probability to believe that he's lost him, but it was a nice way to wrap up the story and show some hope, and the idea that Sirius might have a chance of starting to accept what's happened.
(reposting my review because the formatting got messed up somehow the first time around!)
Hey Abbi! I'm finally reviewing the entries for my challenge. My sincerest apologies for the long wait!
So I was really excited to see this entry because it was so unusual! Caradoc Dearborn is pretty much a non-entity in canon and it's rare to see fics about him, and I've definitely NEVER seen him put with Sirius before. So major props to you for originality!
I'm obviously a huge Wolfstar shipper, but I came into this story with an open heart and open mind, and I found this pairing to be totally believable the way you wrote it. I was sad that we didn't get to see more of them together before Caradoc's disappearance, but by Sirius's reaction afterwards it was very clear how special Caradoc was to him. I think you really handled Sirius's emotions beautifully, they felt quite real to how he would react in a situation like that - especially his stubbornness in refusing to believe that Caradoc wasn't coming back. I was really so heartbroken for him. And it felt very realistic to how a real person would react to a loved one just disappearing.
James was great too, I was so glad he didn't give up on Sirius and was able to finally help him. I think the letter was a good idea to provide Sirius with a sense of closure.
I think this was really well-done in terms of characterization and realism :D Great work Abbi!
Hi again - I'm back! :) While floating around your page for a quick scout-out, I did notice this one in particular (and again, as it happens, I had heard rumours that it was pretty good - recommendations and so on), so I couldn't resist stopping by ;)
So I'm going to admit (at the risk of seriously unmasking myself) that I'm not a huge fan of Remus/Sirius (*hides*), but, honestly, I really, really loved this. It's a completely new pairing for me, super rare, but it was so good - it really caught me, you know? I really fell into the story and it just swept me along.
I love how you established their relationship so early on: with them being all domestic together at the beginning - the final kiss and the last, unheard 'I love you'. The details are so so good in this, they really build up the story so beautifully and add a layer to it which makes it so alive. Like the thing about their flat being small and having ugly furnishings (which made me laugh, but it's so Sirius, you know? To have ugly furnishings, things his parents wouldn't have had, mismatched stuff, and so on). It was such a sweet scene - which, of course, only made all the angst afterwards so much worse. Boo.
I loved James and Lily and them in this - they were so wonderfully done, too. I loved how it was Moody - and you really captured his blunt nature so well (which I'm so so impressed by because I struggle so badly with him, tbh, so please tell me how you did it!) - who told Sirius that Caradoc was missing, and how they were hesitant to tell Sirius because he's emotional and impetuous and prone to acting rashly when people he loves are in danger. It's so true to his character, and was a lovely bit of foreshadowing, in a way, to how he actually dies in canon - running to rescue Harry even though he knows it's a bad idea. I loved how James was the one to eventually help Sirius to deal with is emotions and start to process the fact that Caradoc is gone and not coming back. It just seems so right to be him, you know, considering how close they were - like brothers - and you did their dynamic so wonderfully. They really felt that close: with all the bagage and guilt and stuff that comes along with that.
And the letter... gah, the letter was just so, so sad. Like, it's so simple and so honest and there's something so incredibly raw about it. It's so plainly emotional and it comes across to strongly and so simply and it just... it's heartbreaking because it lays everything out, you know? Letters allow people to be honest in ways they might struggle with otherwise, and you use that to its full extent here and it's so so good, but so so incredibly devastating. I loved the line 'my promise to you is I will never give up'. That was so sad and so powerful, and if I was the sort of person who cried at things I would probably have burst into tears at that point; it really, really hit home for me.
As always, lovely, your writing is so good, honestly. I'm not just saying this or making it up or whatever. Your writing is so lovely: you have this beautiful clean, open, emotional style and it's so, so good. You have such a skill with dialogue and your description is great. It's incredibly well-rounded and just so good.
(With how good that letter was, I swear, if you ever did an angst epistolary fic, it might actually make me cry.)
EXCUSE ME, ABBI. EXCUSE ME.
(Also hello, I'm here for our swap, I'm sorry for the delay!)
BUT WHERE IS HE?! I kept expecting Caradoc to pop up, like waltz right in at the end or when we were least expecting it. In fact, I had to go back and see if this was marked complete or not and YOU NEED TO WRITE MORE, OKAY? I need to know!
Okay so, I obviously loved this? I loved that you decided to go with an OC for this challenge, and even though we don't know a whole lot about Caradoc's relationship with Sirius, we know enough to really feel for him. I can absolutely see Sirius obsessing in trying to find out what happened, of James coming and trying to let him accept the fact that he might not be found, or could be dead.
I loved how worried Lily was for him and the relationship you showed between him and the Potters was really believable and wonderful, I'm so glad that they were around to be there for Sirius. I can't imagine what would have happened if Sirius needed to go through this alone.
You had so many great lines here that I loved. "It was the moment the bottom dropped out of his world." I just, ugh. Such a powerful impact, and I loved how Moody was blunt with him about how he'd been acting; definitely something he would do.
I also really enjoyed your characterization of Sirius here, and the hug between him and James was just so raw and beautiful, you really captured the essence of their relationship well there.
Great job on this, Abbi! Thanks for the swap, and good luck in the challenge! ♥
Oh, my god, Abbi! I have no words! This is so beautiful and heartbreaking and... No, honestly, I love how emotional your writing can be and this is a perfect example! I loved this so much!
The first bit was so sweet and made me all fuzzy, it was such a warm and cute scene! I loved how happy Sirius and Caradoc were together.
Then the change of mood was so painful. I knew what had happened but, just like Sirius, I didn't really want to believe it.
And from there it was just a whirlwind of emotion. Poor Sirius, my heart broke for him, it's so incredibly sad how his whole world suddenly crumbled... So hard to read, but so beautifully written!
I loved the moment between James and Sirius as well, and how James was just there for him, to show him that their friendship still counted and that he would be there for him forever (don't remind me that he won't...)
And then the letter... that was so heartbreaking as well, but there was also a sort of hope that I loved. I loved the concept that Sirius wants to be a better person for him!
I don't really have any CCs. There were a couple of very tiny typos, but aside from that it was just perfect!
Thank you so much for the swap, I loved reading this!
Huge snowball hug rolling your way!
Hey, Abbi! Here for our swap :)
So I feel like I should have been expecting it since the title is literally "Letters to the Lost" but I was about two seconds away from crying my eyes out the second that Sirius woke up and Caradoc wasn't there. I saw it coming and you still got me completely. I found myself hoping so much that Caradoc was just going to pop up again by the end and maybe this would have a happy ending, but that was probably just the amazing way that you wrote Sirius and his pain over losing Caradoc.
I also love the idea of this pairing. I can say with certainty that I honestly have never seen Sirius paired with anyone other than James or Remus if the author chooses to write him as gay and I'm kinda digging this. It almost feels more realistic? Like, not that I don't love me a good Wolfstar, but it makes sense that once they're out of school, they all kind of grow apart a bit and make other friends.
Ugh, that last part when he was writing the letter??? Broke my heart, Abbi. I loved that he had started to move on but he wasn't quite yet to let Caradoc go. It makes so much sense with how his friends were trying to help him, but also you can't really let go of someone. It's such a great ending: not too hopeful since it's an actual war, but it's not so hopeless that it puts a damper on the rest of the story.
Abbi, I love this story so much! Thank you for doing the swap!