Hi Rumpel! I'm here for the Slytherin Hot Seat!
This was a beautiful one-shot! I loved all of the imagery you included throughout the story. It's so sad to see Sirius spiraling into darkness and madness, yet it also makes sense when you think of his past with his family, and losing his best friend because of their mutual friend on top of it. And of course, in Azkaban it's certainly easy to go mad as we know from canon. But I think you did a wonderful job with this story and following the challenge rules. A very well written one-shot.
O/ Hey hunny!
Oooh, this was a tough one to write with the challenge requirements. This took a lot of balance between storytelling and trying to start each sentence with the next letter alphabetically. I think what helped the most was skipping large periods of time as I went. This was a really dark fic, but I think that happens naturally any time I write with Sirius (his story is just so sad). Thanks so much for your lovely review <3.
Hello, dear Rumpels! Here with some last minute love for you!
Oh, Sirius... poor thing... reading this was just so heartbreaking in so many ways... the rejection of his own family, breaking apart with Regulus, the darkness within he thinks he can't fight off and the slow fall into it, Remus' insecurities, Peter's betrayal... you managed to include so much into this and you made me feel so strongly for Sirius... and all this in such a short space, with so little words... and what words! Each sentence was so poignant, so effective, and I'm so impressed by the way you managed to fit into the requirements of the challenge.
This was so wonderful and I can totally see why it placed for FROGS! I'm not sure if I'd told you already, but you are incredibly talented, my dear!
So much love to you!
A drop of Amortentia
This was another difficult one! I think it helped that I leaped long periods of time because it allowed me more options when choosing words to start each sentence. There was a lot of juggling trying to balance storytelling with the challenge requirements (but I really love experimenting, so I had a lot of fun doing it). This was a very dark piece so I'm glad that you enjoyed it, despite this.
Thanks so so so so so so so much!
Hi, I came back for the winter wonderland.
I was so impressed by the previous story I read by you, but this one surpasses that. Not only do you fulfill the requirements of an incredibly difficult challenge, but you you do that while delivering a stylistically stunning piece. I know it must've been hard to write sentences in that pattern, but you managed to tap through it into a very eloquent style and delivered such a moving piece.
It breaks my heart that Remus is too ashamed to acknowledge Sirius as more than just a body. But when I thought about it, I realised that we know Remus to have very low self-esteem and he's mostly good at keeping secrets, so I'm not surprised. And we also know Sirius to be self-destructive (and as you've depicted him here being self-destructive in more than one way) so it also makes sense that he'd go along with it even if he knows it'll make him suffer in the long run.
I'm absolutely in love with this piece, and I think you should be very proud of what you achieved here. (And I'm super impressed of how you've incorporated the letters X and Z.)
Hello, manno! :D
D'awww, thank you! I really love experimenting, so this challenge was an awesome opportunity for that! It also presented another opportunity to work on my Sirius (because I haven't quite decided how I want to portray him). It isn't the first time I've written WolfStar but that specific dynamic (Remus not wanting a public relationship with Sirius) is new for me. Thanks so much for such a kind review!
Wow! First off, excellent job with the constraint—it really worked well for a fic like this, and it sort of gave it a poetic quality which made it really fun to read. I especially liked this line, with its really clever use of the constraint, plus its message which gave me shivers: “Madness. Nobody could escape their own madness.”
I loved how you captured Sirius’s descent; reading it, I almost fell like there was a sort of crescendo going on, things escalating and escalating until everything ripped over the edge.
Also, as a Wolfstar fan, the bit about Remus made me so depressed—but even in here, you used the constraint so wonderfully. I love the use of the letters O-R there, letters that I think generally sound smooth and lilting, which fits well considering that section dealt mainly with romance.
In generally, this was very creative and super well done! Loved it <3
I'm glad you liked the way the alphabetical restraint worked in the story! While I'm still working out my version of Sirius (juggling canon x fanon x headcanon), wolfstar always seems to fit in somehow, though this particular portrayal I haven't attempted before (though I have to admit, the unrequited/secretive nature of it works for me).
Thanks so much for the lovely review!
I was thinking of participating in this challenge when I saw it, so I was really excited for a chance to read an entry!
This was really lovely! I think you took the challenge prompt and excelled with it. The beginning letters weren't distracting, instead making this read a bit like poetry. You chose very vivid adjectives to start a lot of the sentences with, and I definitely felt like I was getting into Sirius's head. Despite its short length, you were able to craft a plot where I could follow Sirius's break from his family to his self-destructive feelings and actions, to the end in Azkaban. That was a great accomplishment! I also loved that this ended up being a Remus/Sirius story! They would've been such a good canon pair!
The only constructive criticism I have is in the second-to-last sentence. I'm not sure if you meant to, but you wrote "the rat got the better of me" instead of "the rat got the better of HIM." That was just a second of POV-switch that briefly threw me off.
Other than that, the story was great! Props in particular to your wonderful characterization of Sirius, as well as the unfailingly dark mood (which I am so here for!).
Hope you're well!
It's really awesome to hear that the alphabetical sentences weren't distracting! I'm still trying to figure out my version of Sirius (mixing in canon vs fanon vs headcanon), so something short like this is an excellent exercise for something like that. Yes, thank you for pointing that out--I'll have to edit! I've been having a terrible time staying in perspective lately (I think it's because I jump around too much)--I was originally going to write it in firs, but wanted to disconnect the reader from the character a little more so I chose third and had to catch myself several times from doing just that.
Thanks so much for the wonderful review!
Ah, I've signed up for this challenge as well and I'm so intrigued to see what other people write for it, and I really loved this. You know, if you hadn't written in the summary that this story was written for the challenge and with each sentence starting with a different letter, I probably wouldn't even have noticed that's what you'd done here. The story flowed really well and your word choice seemed really natural to me.
I loved what you did with this story, though - in so few words, you took us on a journey through Sirius's early life, and it was so recognisable and believable. The opening sentence, the dog held captive, was so effective. I thought it really helped to set the scene for the story, and the way that everything Sirius does after he leaves home for the first time and arrives at Hogwarts becomes a way for him to escape. And in the end, when he ends up in Azkaban, becoming a dog is his escape.
The self-destructive behaviours and using alcohol and cigarettes as part of that escape, as well as the pranks with his friends, feel very in character for Sirius, too.
I was so intrigued with your portrayal of the Sirius and Remus relationship, too - especially with the way that Sirius seemed to be the one who was far more willing to enter into it and Remus wanted to keep it private and compartmentalised, as if it wouldn't count if he wasn't open about it. It's really different to most portrayals that I've seen of their relationship, and it was so interesting to read!
The ending was brilliant too - you wrapped it up so well and naturally, and I really enjoyed reading this story!
Hey, Sian! <3
I'm really glad that you thought the challenge detail wasn't noticeable in the piece! I was really nervous about writing for this challenge but it turned out to be not as difficult as I'd expected (not that it wasn't challenging because it certainly was). I'm still working out what I think about Sirius (mulling around canon vs fanon vs headcanon) so short pieces like this help feel out his characterization for me a little bit. This particular Sirius and Remus relationship I hadn't tried out before but, most currently, I like it better than the others portrayal's I've written--maybe it's just because of the additional heartbreak :P.
Thanks so much, Sian!
So I thought this was amazing. I was so impressed with what you've done with this challenge as it's an tricky one but the end product here is wonderful. You've packed so much emotion into this piece. I loved how this is like a snapshot of a life in such a short amount of words but all of the words seem so well chosen like it's too the point but you've also managed to describe all these confusing and complicated feelings that he has.
You manage to hit upon all of Sirius' major life points but none of them seemed rushed through, the pacing is really well done for such a short piece. I think my favourite part is when you explore that friendship with James, it rings very true.
Sirius has such a sad misspent life and you've really added to the angst here by adding in his relationship with Remus into the mix. I really feel for Sirius here, nothing seems to be right for the boy who wants to be loved. In a way, I just want there to be happy ending for him but it doesn't happen. It's written in such a beautiful way and the ending is tragic but true to the story that you've told here. Amazing job!
- Abbi xo
Aww, thanks so much! I really enjoyed playing around with the prompt for this challenge, it was a lot of fun and wasn't actually as difficult as I had first thought it was going to be (not that it wasn't challenging, but I was more than a little nervous going into this)!
): Sirius does have a sad life and I'm still playing around with canon vs fanon vs headcanon to decide exactly what 'my' version of the character is, so something short like this helps suss out some of the details.
Thanks so much!
Oh, what a lovely tale you weave here. I love the pacing of the Story Rumple and I adore how you didn't make things all about the alphabet. The story took precedence and I forgot that you were doing a challenge with the alphabet. I love the passion of Sirius and the spiral that you sent him on. While I personally don't ship Sirius/Remus you still depicted it well. And it is totally my headcanon that Sirius starts abusing substances as things grow worse and darker.
Also, the feels, of Sirius deciding Peter to be the better option to be secret keeper after what happened between him and Remus - that the monster would grow! It is like a knife to the heart Rumple. You have added a new level and thought to the change in secret keeper and I love it, I'm jealous (in a good way) that I didn't think of it myself!
Honestly, a wonderfully lovely piece dearest, I really enjoyed the read. It truly got me in the feels which is honestly of no surprise because you craft such lovely works!
Hello, Carrie, dear!
The ABC-structure actually wasn't as difficult as I thought it was going to be (just a lot of swapping around sentences until things fit as they were meant to) and I'm glad that the story made the alphabet thing fade into the background :D. I don't even know what I ship, Carrie...I ship it all, haha (except, like, Bella and Voldy and some stranger pairings). Yeah, I can absolutely see how Sirius would start leaning on other substances to help him through his darkest periods, especially when we see him in the series drinking excessively on occasion. Sorry about your feels :( . Thanks for your lovely review!! <3'
Ooh, I was so excited to find this. I love this kind of story - the kind where you can tell a lot of thought went into it because of the way it's structured, but it still reads so effortlessly that I forgot you'd done the alphabetical sentences for a while. It's so wonderfully written.
I also like the way this sort of has a detached feel to it. Maybe that's created by the ABC structure, or maybe it's the lack of dialogue, but it has this feel of looking in at something from far away, which I think goes so well with the fact that he's in Azkaban as this is narrated. Given the line about him being in a cage at the beginning, and the last line about spiraling in Azkaban, this whole story is what he sees as he is stuck there reliving bad memories like the abuse he suffered at home, or trying to drown his depression in drinks, or falling in love with someone who wouldn't love him back. All of the memories here are sort of unhappy ones, which makes sense that they'd be what he thinks of while surrounded by dementors in Azkaban. The one exception is that befriending James is a happy memory, although by this point James is dead, so that takes a little happiness out of the memory :( I really love the stylistic effect you used to get that distant feeling, and it goes so well with the abc structure.
Amazing work, Rumpel!
Hello, Kristen! <3
The ABC structure was actually much easier than I'd initially thought it would be...it was all a matter of phrasing things certain was and re-routing my sentence structure to fit the build. Hm, I didn't even realize that I didn't let anybody speak in this :P. And yes, this is meant to be a part of his descent in Azkaban, which is why this piece has such a negative mood to it, as he outlines everything bad that had happened to him; even the memory of James gets soiled in the end.
Thanks so much!