Hey Kayla! I’m here for our review swap!
Is it weird that I’m a little nervous to read this fic? It’s not that the content triggers me or that it’s not my cup of tea or anything, but still, I’m nervous. Ahhh, I should probably start reading. Anyways.
Okay, so already, by the time stamp we already know that something is a little bit off. Why would James be getting phone calls from anyone at 3:27 in the morning? Unless it was an emergency. Right?
So, it’s Sirius. From the way that he calls and doesn’t really talk to James really tells me that something is off. Like really, really off. I don’t like the atmosphere of this at all.
Oh, god. Like what Sirius does, my friends and I often joke around similarly, saying that we’d rather be dead than to deal with this minor inconvenience. I don’t think we truly understand the gravity of that sort of statement (or if we do, we’re too scared to deal with what that means) and joking around it doesn’t feel like anything serious (haha, pun intended). It’s a whole different thing to hear it in such a grave manner, and James, though has a game plan as to what precautions he could take, must feel awful about this. But he knows it’s not about him.
I know I certainly feel awful. To be in that sort of place is a literal living hell. It’s like you’re in this limbo between living and dead and you have exactly every idea of how to get out of it, but… anyways, I don’t think I know what I’m talking about. James is a great friend, and just one person can make the difference. Sirius is lucky to have him (and James is lucky to have Sirius).
Yikes! Sirius hanging up right after he said that was going to kill himself is just… horrible. On James’ side, I can’t imagine what twenty or thirty minutes would feel like when you have no idea what the hell your best friend is up to at the moment, or whether he completely changed his mind and had already made the decision.
Double yikes. I totally get that James is sort of a high-pressure situation right now but asking a question like ‘why didn’t you call me sooner?’ feels more like an accusation than comfort, and I don’t think that’s what Sirius needs right now. But in this kind of situation, it’s hard to be a perfect friend and say the exact right thing.
You said this dealt with the theme of internalized ableism, right? At first it doesn’t really seem that there’s anything of that sort in the story so far, even as I was reading it, but I think I realized that the internalized ableism isn’t that obvious, at first. I think when most people think about disabilities, they think about physical disabilities or maybe learning disorders, I don’t know, but mental illnesses are a disability too. (Does this rant have anything to do with the story? I don’t know!) It’s really saddening the way the Sirius thinks about himself like he’s incapable of doing anything, or that he feels guilty for even thinking about calling James. Because I know neither James nor Sirius really says it out loud, I can almost guess Sirius’ thought process about calling James. It was a brave thing for him to do. It’s hard reaching out to people when you need help but at the same time, you’re also thinking that you’re going to bother them or bring their mood down or ruin their day. It sucks dude.
I’m super glad that this ended on a hopeful note. It’s really heartening to see Sirius accept help for his mental health, and I really hope that he gets better. He deserves that and more.
This had so few words, but you packed in a lot of emotions in it. The themes were heartbreaking, but I really liked seeing how far James’ and Sirius’ friendship went, in that James is willing to whatever it takes for Sirius, and that Sirius trusts James that much to call him for help first. The subject matter was expertly handled, by the way and I really appreciate this fic.
Thank you for writing! xx
Hey Kayla! Here for the HC finale.
I've been meaning to get round to reading more of your collab entries for ages (actually, anything you write, let's face it) and this... well, this was powerful. It was heavy, and emotional, but you wrote it so well (surprise, surprise) and I think you explored the idea of internalised ableism really well. The stigma around mental health and mental illness is one of the biggest things that prevents people from getting help and I think you showed that so effectively here - the pure desperation that depression can drive you into, and the inability to see a way beyond that.
As soon as James picked up the phone, I got this sense that there was something really wrong - it didn't feel like the average middle of the night phone call you might get from a friend who's drinking or something. The silence, the impossibility of speaking, was so terrifying but I think you wrote that really well. And even though saying the words made them more real than ever, they also meant that Sirius could open up, just the tiniest bit, and get help from his best friend, and I'm so, so glad that he felt he could do that.
He's as close to James as a brother but this really showed how impossible it can be to open up when you're struggling, even to the people who are closest to you and who mean the most. Mental illness and the stigma around it is so heartbreaking and it takes far too many lives already - I'm so glad that Sirius wasn't one of them.
James's reaction was perfect. He was in completely new ground, and it's a terrifying situation to be in from both sides of this, but I think he did the most important things - let Sirius know that he was there for him and didn't leave him alone. Their friendship warms my heart, even in such a heavy story, and I really hope that Sirius managed to get help after this.
Beautiful and emotional, as always <3
here for ctf
I can't believe that I haven't read this piece before. This is such a heavy subject matter but it was so brilliantly handled. It is good storytelling that we can see things from James' POV as it adds another layer to this story. Sirius' confession when James answers the phone had me really shook. It really had a strong impact on me as a reader because I worried about what was coming next.
The veiled ‘yet' under that sentence was impossible to miss. I think this line was really bold and powerful. it is a truly emotional piece of writing. I feel like there is so much things in this story that rings so true of people with depression. It is a bit too true but you've never been afraid to express these strong deep emotions within your writing which I admire. I think the thing that really got to me was 'I'm so fucking tired' and that is just how it feels to be fighting something so hard and it's just too much. There have been occasional times when I could really relate to that 'tiredness'.
James has such a good job in this really tricky situation here. He does such a good job at just listening to Sirius. James is a best friend and Sirius knows that too because that's who he called. I like James' view that he knew that a nights sleep wasn't going to 'cure' Sirius but it was the start. I like the line which links this whole piece together like 'since 3.27am, James let himself relax a little' like he had been edge for the whole piece.
this piece is really wonderful. It's a beautifully captured clip of deep friendship that is needed in the darkest of times. I think you should be very proud of this little one-shot.
Hi Kayla, here for our swap! So, confession time - I read this fic not long after you posted it, but because I’m actually terrible at reviewing things, I didn’t actually post a review. Anyways, it made me feel all the things on that first read and it’s still making me feel all the things now.
From the very start, this is just such a powerful piece. I don’t know how you managed to capture that weird sensation of a sudden disturbance late at night - because there’s a very distinct feel to it, especially in these sorts of situations, that’s hard to put into words, but you can really feel it here. And Sirius just breaks me from the very beginning - that pause at the beginning of the call, the fact that he’s apologising for calling and needing company, the way he’s clearly been in a bad state for weeks and is only just now reaching out - it’s so obvious that he’s beating himself up for needing James and I hate that for him.
And then we have James, who is just an absolutely stellar human in this fic. He’s clearly been in this position with Sirius before because he knows how to act - “He’d have to be very careful with his next few questions” - but at the same time, these types of situations will never not be slightly terrifying, as exemplified in the way he takes all the stairs two at a time and the apprehension he feels walking into the room. And then the way he starts feeling guilty for not catching onto things earlier and the way that Sirius immediately goes off about hating himself for being like this and James is just so patient - he’s such a good friend in a really difficult situation, and I really love him for that.
And I really appreciate James wanting to stay the night with Sirius and help him get help in the morning. And I really like the note that this fic ends on - it’s not a perfect tied-up-with-a-bow ending, but it feels very real. The whole fic kind of feels that way, you know? Like, the emotions in this are so powerful because this is a very real situation, and I think a lot of people have been in a situation like this or a similar one, and that’s why it hits home so well.
Anyways, thank you again for making me feel a lot of things all at once. This was just a really, really incredible piece of writing.
I'm dropping by your story for Gryffindor Red vs Gold - March 2019 - Team Red and in an effort to read all of the collab pieces from this round. You already know how much I enjoy your writing (even if it often breaks my heart), so I was really looking forward to reading this.
It's so sad to watch people break down like this. Depression is such an awful thing and it makes people think just the way you've written Sirius. He feels useless, like he's a drain on his friends, like a failure. Of course, that isn't the truth, but that's why depression is so insidious.
I'm so glad that James answered the phone and went to him. He really did all of the right things. He got to him quickly. He gave him space to vent and explain. He reassured him. And then he came up with a plan for getting help. It was nice to see him caring for his friend so well.
I thought it was also very sweet that they crashed out together and that James held onto Sirius. I think when you're going through such a downswing, like Sirius is, sometimes just having the physical contact from a person can be grounding.
It does say in your chapter notes that Sirius is suffering from internalized ableism. I see a few little hints of it when he's talking to James about why he doesn't call. I wasn't quite clear on whether he's just dealing with the mental disorder or if there is some other physical limitation as well. (It kind of sounded like he maybe had some sort of mobility issues.)
As per usual, your writing is really excellent. You do so well at writing all of the Marauders and this is no exception. It was fun seeing your take on a Muggle AU.
Life has been intense lately and as such I have not gotten to this swap until now! But I am here.
As soon as James got that call in the middle of the night and Sirius didn’t immediately answer in that way, I got very nervous. I know that call. I’ve been on both sides of that call.
So, I knew where this was going and still, it took me quite a while to read through this story, despite it not being very long. James is an incredible friend, the way he jumps up without question. I strive to be like this James.
I’m crying a great lot of tears as Sirius won’t even look at James. That’s, well, that’s very true to life. And the ability to hide the spiral through text, oh my.
The laugh was positively haunting to read. Somehow, in these situations, a laugh can be the most frightening thing imaginable.
More tears at Sirius’ response to ‘why didn’t you call sooner’ - this is probably the highest wordcount-to-tears ratio of my life.
Okay so, James is the best person in the world. I’ve rarely seen a character written that I wished more would be my friend. This is so moving? And just cathartic and such a gut shot. I can’t thank you enough for writing this. I wish I had more to say - but I just cannot find the words to express what this just meant to me. I didn’t know that I needed to read this, but I really did. Until next time,