Hi Kayla! Here with the third of your prize reviews. <3
I think I read this a while ago for FROGS but I never got around to reviewing it. So I’m really thankful that I have the chance to review it now. And I thought I’d concentrate the rest of your prize reviews on this story, because I know you’re still working on it and so I’m here to cheer you on!
Okay so this chapter was short but a really, really good set-up. We’re in some alternate universe where James and Sirius aren’t a part of the Order of the Phoenix, and Sirius is in the process of getting his dream job (except he doesn’t really like being at the desk lol). And when he saw his brother’s name on the list, my heart stopped for a second. Because, like, siblings are siblings, and he clearly still loved his brother despite everything, and Regulus Black is one of the better redeemed characters in Harry Potter, and I know that if I saw one of my sisters’ names on there, I would panic.
I thought Sirius’s reaction was so well-written. His anger, guilt, fear are all so strong and present, and I really felt for him all throughout this chapter. And if I found out that my sibling died trying to run from a monster, I would react the exact same way as Sirius.
I can’t wait to read on! <3
I'm here for gryffie tag! I'm so pleased to make it back to this to review it!
I'm always in awe about your characterisation of Sirius. It's just how much you know him. You could put him in any situation as you would know how he acts. it's so natural, everything about Sirius' emotions in this chapter feel so realistic. your own Sirius head-canon seems to fit seamlessly to the canon-Sirius.
The first scene is just lovely, sometimes writing romance isn't about the big gestures but a bit little moments that make up a relationship. These scenes are so beautifully written, not over done but you get a real sense of their relationship and how close they are. I'm so happy that Sirius has the support from Remus.
I love how Sirius wants to go to the Order Meeting that his loyalty (and probably desire for some normality). Dumbledore's words/warning is pretty intense and really highlights the danger of the war. I just have to say though I love Sirius' biting words here - ‘hey, I was wrong after all, genocide is great and also I'm straight now' - just love that savage reaction, it's great! Great chapter Kay! :D
- Abbi xo
Awww I love to hear that people like the way I write Sirius <3 It makes my heart happy!
I'm also happy to hear that you liked the first scene. I'm kind of fumbling around a little with my portrayal of Remus/Sirius as a couple in this story, because I'm not used to them being in the background, in a way.
Thanks so much for the lovely review, I'm so glad you enjoyed this chapter!
Hi, Kayla! Thank you for doing job as a Prefect on the forums untill the end of 2017. And Happy New Year! (I lost the track for the number of those prize reviews at Auror's Tale story challenge season 2, but I'll keep reading this, so never give up updating your story and your Sirius, Kayla!)
Reading your fic has helped me with understanding new vocabs and imagined the dark hallway, staircase of Grimmauld Place and his mother's shriek. I felt pity for Sirius. Then, wow it's unexpected. Regulus showed up in front of him. The way to let Regulus appear in front of Sirius is great! I like this spot: Her shrieks, mercifully, fade out after a while, and the house goes silent. Eerily silent. Normally, even in the absence of yelling, there are sounds that carry through the house; but now it's as though he's underwater or something. All he can hear is his own blood rushing in his ears.
How shocking it must be that Sirius faced his brother who had already been a ghost. We can guess Regulus came back as a ghost from the place where Voldemort hid one of his Horcruxes. It's intriguing that he seemed to have died having a grudge against Sirius.
Poor Sirius, he couldn't sleep well after he came back to the place where usually he had slept with Remus. Then you wrote the scene with Auror Viola and she came to him to say something. I got thrilled expecting he might find a clue to his brother's death.
Oh did I tell you Kayla, how much I like the tone of each conversation you create? I enjoyed each scene of Sirius's talking with Viola and James. Reading them aloud is comfy as well.
After Lily and Peter joined them, the flow of this story is continued smoothly. Readers will feel Lily's sympathy towards Sirius from your excellent description and their conversation.
It's unlucky for them that they can't trust the Auror office nor the Order's function for investigation around Breckenridge's case and for Sirius's sake, Regulus.
I can't wait for reading how you’ll develop this question from here.
I like the idea of Regulus being a sort of ghost. It's just a dream but I think, in a way, he really is haunting Sirius. But part of it is also Sirius's own feelings of guilt just... manifesting. So everything Regulus says isn't necessarily how Regulus felt, you know?
I always feel like my dialogue isn't very good, so I'm REALLY happy that you liked the conversations!
It definitely is unlucky for them. But it was kind of hard to know who to trust and what the best way to go about things was, unfortunately.
Thanks for the review, Kenny! I'm glad you enjoyed this chapter!
So, I'm back again.
Oh, my god, that nightmare. It was so horrible. I never thought about Sirius feeling guilty towards Regulus for leaving him behind when he ran away from home, but it makes total sense. Regulus was as much of a victim of their abusive parents as Sirius was and you show it so well here.
I felt so bad when Sirius woke up to find that Remus wasn't sleeping beside him. I wish he just admitted that he's NOT fine and that he DOES need help. But he wouldn't be Sirius in that case, would he?
What Viola did was very touching, I wonder what she went through herself. I'm glad Sirius felt grateful for it, despite still not being satisfied.
I loved the moment between Sirius and Lily, you can tell they have a sweet relationship. Also, I love that she is so perceiving and not scared of calling things with their names, Sirius needs a push in the right direction and I'm glad Lily is doing just that.
So, this is what James has been working on. Personally, I think he should inform Gorham, but I guess talking to Dumbledore first won't hurt.
The tension between Sirius and Remus is killing me, I really hope they'll work it out soon...
Another lovely chapter! :)
Sirius Black acting like an emotionally healthy person? Sounds unrealistic. :')
We're going to learn more about Viola in upcoming chapters (or at least that's the plan!)
I'm glad you enjoyed the way I wrote Lily, I've only written her in one other story before so I don't have much experience to fall back on!
Thank you for the review! <3
I love the description of Remus in the beginning, it really shows how close Sirius and Remus are in the way that Sirius can read all of Remus' different moods even though the two versions of calm look almost identical.
Sirius' state of mind after finding out about his brother's death is really well written and fits in to what you've established of his characterization. He's still in shock, but ultimately he needs to be doing something in order to not dwell, that's what helps him cope (or just not think about it), so he goes to the meeting.
Once again you do a really impresive job of getting into Sirius' head, and right now it's not a pleasant place to be, he's sulky and depressed, and you never say any of that directly, but it's in the silences and how he gets lost in his head and doesn't have the energy to not sound bitter and short with people. Of course, this is understandable considering what he's just been through. I feel so bad for him and I'm really glad that he has the other Marauders looking out for him, even in he insists he doesn't need it all the time.
Dumbledore's request is... interesting. Poorly timed, for sure, because he literally just lost his brother to that group. And it's very like Dumbledore to ask something like that of him, because when you really think about it, he used Harry as a tool to win the second war for Harry's particular abilities/chosen one status, whatever. He is very strategic and sees the different things people offer and how to use that to their side's best advantage, but sometimes I don't think he considers the emotional effects of that. It was true with Harry and it's true how you;ve written it here.
Another wonderful chapter ♥
You are so kind! It really means a lot to me to hear that people like the way I write Sirius.
Sirius is definitely the bottle-it-up-until-it-explodes type, in my humble opinion, so that's definitely the direction I decided to take it in. I also definitely view Dumbledore as someone who really never lost his "For The Greater Good" viewpoint, just... redirected it. And so here we are!
I'm so happy that you enjoyed this chapter, thank you for the lovely review! <3
Hi again! :)
I love that you managed to put in a Sirius/serious pun, that never gets old. :P
Poor Sirius... he's still so hurt, which is totally understandable. He probably should really follow everyone's advice and take some time off, but at the same time I understand that he wants to do something, just because he can't stand staying there crying over himself, right?
I love your characterization of him, by the way. You capture so well his rage and stubbornness and passion. And I love the characterization of all the other Marauders, too. They are all so perfect.
I'm wondering what James found out, by the way. And now I'm also curious about Viola's source... but it will all be explained in due time, I guess. Sirius does need to control himself, though.
I probably should say more, but I guess I'll just move to the next chapter now.
Great job, as always!
I can never resist a good Sirius/serious pun, to be honest :'D
I definitely imagine Sirius as a big do-er and someone who wants to stay better. Like, think how depressed he gets in OotP when he's just locked in Grimmauld Place and can't help the Order - that definitely has to do with Grimmauld Place itself, but I can't imagine him feeling too differently somewhere else in that scenario.
You're too sweet! I really can't tell you how happy it makes me that you like my Marauders!
Yay, I got you all curious about what's coming next! ;)
Thanks for the review! <3
Hi Kayla! I keep hearing great things about this story so I guess it's about time to read it!
AHH okay I wasn't prepared for it to start like this :'( But it's a very effective start. Before we get to all my feelings about the second half of the chapter, I'll start with the beginning - I like that James and Sirius are Aurors (or rookie Aurors at least). For Sirius in particular it seems like just the perfect thing for him to do because he's the sort of person who really wants to make a difference and can't sit idle if horrible things are happening. (So it must be just awwwwful for him to be stuck at a desk.)
And then that report - my heart broke a little. For all Sirius says about how Regulus was just like the rest of his family and he was an idiot and whatever, I've always had this headcanon that Sirius really cared about Regulus, even if he'd never admit it to anyone. And what a horrible way for him to find out what happened to his brother. A filed report. (I can't believe they gave that report to him)
Your characterisation of Sirius is wonderful too (this comes as no surprise really :P ) - how he jumps up and has to get to the bottom of this and is understandably angry and upset, and doesnt realize he's yelling. That's just what I'd expect in these circumstances - you do a great job iwth his character.
I am glad that he knows that Regulus wasn't just a Voldemort supporter to the end, though. But... that doesn't really make it any easier, I suppose. He's still dead. Poor Sirius :(
This is a great first chapter and I'm interested to see how things develop now that Sirius has this news. excellent writing!
Yay, "effective" is one of my favourite words when it comes to this story! I get really nervous about the way I go about things with this fic, because it's outside of my comfort zone in so many ways (Sirius aside, lol).
Yes, poor Sirius! It's very contradictory - he's an Auror because he wants to be fighting Voldemort, not just sitting around, and now here he is, fighting Voldemort by sitting around :'D
I'm definitely going to be delving deeper into Sirius and Regulus's relationship in this story. A big part of why I'm writing it is honestly a desire to unpack Sirius's feelings towards his brother.
I love Sirius compliments <3 thank you so much!
I'm really glad you enjoyed this chapter, thank you so much for stopping by! <3
Hey! Hi again!
I loved the premise so I had to read on...
Your description of Remus' expression, the pressed lips the only give-away for his worry... that was so beyond perfect for his character! And how annoyed Sirius is that Remus insists on keeping his Muggle job because he wants to contribute... such perfect characterization of the both of them in such a short space and so little details, I love it! (You know I have a love for Remus, so I just appreciate it so much)
I'm still feeling so bad for Sirius. The loss of his brother must have been so terrible, and not knowing exactly what happened and how and why must be even worse. I just want to cuddle him. I also really want him to know the truth, to be able to be proud of Reg, but that just won't happen...
So, I've always had mixed feelings for Dumbledore, but I'm sort of hating him right now. He shouldn't ask that of Sirius, especially not in a moment like that. But it is for the Greater Good, isn't it? *rolls eyes* Btw, I'm quite impressed by how well you wrote Dumbledore. I always find him so difficult to write.
I'm also quite impressed by how James stood up to Dumbledore and tried to defend Sirius. The Marauders' friendship is always such a joy to read and it's so lovely how grateful Sirius felt for his friends' loyalty, despite being annoyed bit annoyed that they are trying to "babysit" him. I'm sorry for the slight coldness between him and Remus in the end, but I know it will be solved soon anyway so I'm not worried. I just hope Sirius will feel better soon.
Great chapter again!
I always like to include little details, like descriptions of expressions and such. I'm glad you enjoyed that! And I'm also really glad that you liked my characterization.
Hahaha, I really don't like Dumbledore, so this story is a little bit biased. But yes, he's very focused on The Greater Good. It's really fantastic to hear that you were impressed by Dumbledore, he's SO hard to write and I get really nervous about it! So it's really great to hear that you think I'm pulling it off, hahaha.
I also really love receiving Marauders compliments, hahaha. So thank you <3
Finally taking the chance to start reading this!
Oh, my Merlin! Poor Sirius! It's only the first chapter and you already broke my heart! What a terrible way to find out about Regulus... I have tears in my eyes... it's so horrible...
I love how this start, with a normal day of work as an Auror. I love that both James and Sirius chose that carrier, totally my headcanon! :)
"Low-risk duties", unsurprisingly, translates to "desk work" I'm not even slightly surprised by this, and I'm not slightly surprised that Sirius finds it a bit annoying, either. He isn't the kind of person who likes to sit behind a desk when he could be out there fighting, is he? :P
It was so hurtful when he read that Regulus was dead. It felt so impersonal, too, just a little notice, like it helds no importance at all. That also is very close to my headcanon, Sirius finding out by chance, reading it somewhere where it isn't given much thought at all. His reaction was totally understandable and completely in character for him. I bet Viola was mortified when she realized what the matter was...
Poor Sirius... Can I just hug him tight? This was so terribly sad!
I shall be back soon. Great job for now.
Much love and snowball hug,
Aw, I'm sorry for breaking your heart! I just wanted to throw you right into the action, is all!
Sirius would definitely want to be all up in the thick of things, so yeah, rationally he's happy to have the job but in practice he's very bored :')
You can hug him if you'd like ;)
I'm glad you enjoyed this chapter, thank you for the review! <3
Ooh my goodness, you gave me chills with that opening scene in this chapter! Honestly, the image in that was so scary - I had goosebumps as I was reading it. It was such a brilliant way to open the chapter, because I was pulled straight in, wondering why on earth Sirius had gone back to Grimmauld Place and was expecting he might see his mother. I realised pretty early that it was a dream, but the image of Regulus standing there was just so gruesome, and I think it'll stay with Sirius for a while. I loved the way that you actually kind of told Sirius what had happened to Regulus with that dream, but he can't understand it and focuses on the guilt.
I was actually pretty surprised to see Viola turn up at Sirius's desk and offer him the information that she could actually share. I guess it's because you've done such a wonderful job of recreating the atmosphere of the war, and the tension that just never seems to let up and leaks into private lives as well, but I'm suspicious of EVERYONE in this story.
Still, I kind of like her more for doing that for Sirius? But I don't know if I can trust her. What if she's just trying to trick him into following a certain line, or to get him into trouble? Argh, so many questions!
Breakfast for tea is an excellent meal choice. Just saying.
I enjoyed reading the Marauders and Lily spending time together again, but the obvious tension between Sirius and Remus made me so sad. Sirius is trying so hard to push everyone away and doesn't want to talk about Regulus, but it's not going to make anything better by second-guessing what Remus will say and avoiding him because of it.
Sirius, you're making me sad.
The information about Breckenridge is really interesting - I'm glad that we got to find out what James has been hiding here, and I think he's got a good theory about the Auror and did well to notice. I'm intrigued about how it's going to be handled, and whether he really is under the Imperius Curse.
You're pacing this so well, and I think you've done a wonderful job of capturing the mystery here - I'm so intrigued about what's coming next, and now I can pester you again!
Oooh, okay, now that's what I like to hear! I really debated with myself over the dream because, like you say, it actually kind of tells Sirius what really happened to Regulus - but in the end, I thought the imagery was too good to pass up, so here we are.
I wasn't expecting Viola to spark so many questions, but it's kind of exciting that she has! I guess that means I'm being very mysterious, which is fun and also opens up a lot of plot possibilities for me :'D
I don't know why but breakfast is so much better as a meal when it's not breakfast time :') Especially late-night breakfasts!
Please pester away! I need all the pestering I can get tbh, or this darn story is never going to get finished, I swear.
Thank you for the lovely review, Sian! You're the best <3
Are you sick of me yet? :P
Sirius sneaking out to avoid talking to Remus is very believable. Not everyone wants to talk about things when something bad as happened - at least, not right away, and sometimes it's actually easier to deal with something like this by distracting yourself and occupying your mind, rather than wallowing and dwelling on it. I feel a bit sorry for Remus, but I can definitely understand Sirius's reaction. To be honest, it's relateable as well as being in character for him.
I love the fact that even when he wants to get away from Remus, his favourite cafe is La Luna :P
I'm intrigued about Tracy Hawthorne - I'm not sure if her name is just mentioned because it's another person that James and Sirius used to know, which shows how far-reaching this war is, or whether she's got more to do with it. But seriously, who tells their classmates off for talking about their parents a certain way, especially if they don't know them?
I'm SO CURIOUS about whatever James has to say to Sirius. Honestly. You did such a great job of dripping that intrigue in throughout the chapter and not letting us forget that James has stumbled across something at work.
I felt kind of sorry for Peter in the scene when he was talking about St. Mungo's? It must feel so horrible to work there during a period when major incidents are as common as they sound, especially because he probably feels pretty powerless to stop it. I also liked the way that what he's exposed to in that position affecting his choice later on.
I think Sirius definitely cares about Regulus far more than he lets on, or wants to admit to himself - we can see that when he's trying to get Viola's source from her. I'm wondering who her source is, but since we know that Regulus did die, it sounds like someone reliable. Gorham seemed pretty harsh, and not really sympathetic to Sirius's position, but I can understand his attitude when he's trying to run a department that is struggling to cope with the demands of the war.
I can't wait to carry on to the next chapter!
I will never be sick of you, Sian! <3
Poor Sirius, he's definitely the type (imo) to not want to talk about things but also to bottle things up to the point of it being unhealthy. :( But even when he's in emotional distress and avoiding Remus, he's still a little bit of a sap, secretly ;) (I'm glad you caught La Luna, hahaha)
LOL I really want to respond to so much of this but I can't without spoiling things ;~; So just let me say thank you very much for the lovely review, and hopefully I'll be able to answer some of your questions in the story soon before I accidentally spoil everything!
Kayla! Apparently I haven't stopped by to review this yet even though I beta'ed it??
The way that Sirius felt so distant from the narrative at the beginning of this chapter was really effective in reminding us of the shock that he's experienced in learning about Regulus, and how much it's affected him already. I thought it was a great way to segue back into the story and the scene with Remus.
I loved the way that you've built up the relationship between the two of them here. I mean, I'm not surprised, obviously, but I thought you managed to show us in very few words how well they know each other, and what the dynamics are in the relationship. They both care so much about each other, obviously, and Remus doesn't want Sirius to go rushing to the Order meeting if he's not ready, but it's also good to see the give and take in the way that they've adapted to each other; Remus keeping calm in response to some of the things that Sirius says, and the way Sirius acknowledges that Remus wants to earn his own way.
The Order meeting was interesting to read, and I thought that you managed to show how detached and disconnected Sirius was feeling during that time, like the words were just washing over him. But the conversation with Dumbledore was great - I loved the way that he understood that Sirius would tell his friends anyway.
Given the fact that we know what Dumbledore asked of people like Snape, I'm not surprised at all that he'd ask this of Sirius, but it's so worrying - I can see him getting into trouble with this very easily, and I feel like Dumbledore could definitely have waited until he was in a better frame of mind to ask him. Then again, there's a war to be won, I suppose...
You are really too kind, all of your reviews are just so lovely! Tbh I am a bit surprised with myself for pulling off Wolfstar in this chapter, because really it's my first time writing them in a proper, functioning relationship (aside from in some very quick drabbles). It's been a lot more challenging than I expected :'D
The plan with Sirius is for the Greater Good, Sian!! Why would Dumbledore worry about Sirius's feelings? (/is bitter)
Thank you so much for the review! <3
Back for the 4th and final review (or at least until you post more chapters). Here you go being mean to poor Remus and Sirius again. Why can't they just love each other and be happy? My heart broke just a little bit at the end there. Remus is trying to be a good boyfriend and Sirius is shutting him out. I mean I understand not necessarily wanting to hash everything out, but at this point, Sirius isn't communicating at all.
It's interesting about Breckinridge. It does sound pretty likely that he would be under the imperius curse. Either that or the Death Eaters have threatened someone he cares about...and that has made him distracted and sloppy. Pressure can certainly do that to someone. I'll be curious to see what ends up happening with that!
I really enjoy how you write the interactions between all of the Marauders. You are such a natural with all of them. I'll admit that when James invited them all over, I totally thought he was gonna announce that Lily was pregnant, so nice surprise when it turned out to be work related.
I do hope that Remus and Sirius manage to reconcile a bit in upcoming chapters. I don't know if I can take much more of heartbroken Remus.
Hope you update soon!
Hahaha, you know me! I'm always terrible to Remus and Sirius, it's basically my hobby ;D
It's great that you seem to be intrigued about Breckenridge and coming up with theories about what's going on. I was worried that it would seem like James is imagining things, or something? Idk. But yeah, that makes me happy!
Unfortunately I did not update soon after this :'D But I did update eventually, lol!
Thanks for reading and for the lovely review <3
Back for the third enstallment of The Department! If you can't tell by my previous reviews, I absolutely adore this story! I think you've created such a believable story here.
Sirius' reaction to all of this is honestly perfect. I totally get how he's feeling. I'm the same way. When something bad happens, I generally prefer to distract myself with work as well. Something about having tasks to focus on makes it easier to compartimentalize everything else.
I think it's sweet that Remus cares so much, but I can see why Sirius feels uncomfortable. Not everyone needs or wants to talk things through immediately. Sometimes it takes awhile to process feelings before one is able to adequately express them. Aside from that Sirius seems the type to sort of just bottle everything up and hope it doesn't explode.
I did think Sirius' boss was sort of a royal jerk. Not even a shred of sympathy or understanding for the fact that Sirius found out in a shocking way that his brother has been murdered. I mean I understand him not wanting Sirius to get himself in trouble or harass other employees, but he could try for just a bit of compassion.
All in all, I really like where this is heading so far! I'm off to read chapter 4 now!
Awww <3 I'm so happy that you like this story!
I think it's definitely more common than people think to just react to shock/grief by wanting to stay as busy as possible. I do imagine Sirius like that, but I definitely do imagine him to be the type to bottle things up dangerously.
Yeah, Sirius's boss is kind of a jerk, huh? I guess it wouldn't be that uncommon for Aurors to lose people or to be dealing with death and he's gotten kind of brusque about it. But really, Sirius is really young and his even younger brother was just killed, so he probably could've been a little bit nicer.
Thanks for the review, Kaitlin!! Hugs <3
Back to review another excellent chapter!
I love Sirius and Remus in this chapter. They are just so adorable together. I love all the little details that you put into their relationship. I appreciate how Remus has a job at a shitty bookstore to make a bit of money even though Sirius can easily support them both. That is so like Remus.
I also love how when Dumbledore tries to talk to Sirius in private, he ends up having to speak with all of the Marauders. That's exactly how I imagine them as well. I like too that you didn't exclude Peter. So many people go the route of writing Peter as vengeful or excluded, but based on canon, we know that he was as much a friend to them as any of the others.
I'm really nervous about Sirius going undercover. I worry that the assignment would be really bad for his mental health, however, I can understand that it might provide the catharsis that he needs in regards to his brother's death. Plus, he might actually get some answers that way. Ugh.
This also makes me nervous that you're preparing to torture poor Sirius in the next few chapters. Please, don't hurt him anymore. I'm not sure my heart could take it.
Another great chapter and I'm on to chapter 3 now!
Writing Sirius and Remus in this has been fun but challenging! I've never really written them like this before (in an established relationship, rather than one that's just starting or is falling apart or has already ended). So it's super good to hear that you enjoyed them in this chapter.
Hahaha, I definitely imagine the Marauders being like that in general, so it would only be heightened by them feeling protective over Sirius right now.
Kaitlin, you know me - I'm always preparing to torture poor Sirius ;) That's like my permanent state of being. But I won't say any more than that... you'll have to wait and see what happens!
Thanks for reading, I'm so glad you enjoyed this chapter <3
How did I never come over here and review this?! For as many times as I read this during editing, I should've definitely come and left my comments on the finished product. Forgive me for my negligence.
You already know that I love how you write Sirius and James. In general, I really feel like you've got the Marauders pegged so well. You know what makes them really come to life! This story is no different. Sirius in this definitely seems a little bit less moody than he does in some of your other pieces, but there is still that dark edge bubbling with him. I mean he's just found out that his little brother is dead and if that doesn't thrust someone into angst and anger, I don't know what does.
I love the concept of James and Sirius working for the Aurors. I think they'd both be excellent at it and would be driven for different reasons to excel in that particular career path. For Sirius, I imagine it would be an extension of his school years and his need to prove that he's nothing like his family.
I'm really interested to see what path Regulus' death sets Srius onto. I mean I imagine he'll want to know how and why his brother died. Considering that Regulus always followed along with the family line, it must be hard for Sirius to imagine him being killed by Voldemort himself.
I'm certainly intrigued about where this is going and I"m off to read more chapters right this very moment!
Lots of love,
I'm not sure whether you'll see this belated response, seeing as you're off living your best life, but I'm gonna go ahead and respond anyway!
You sure know the way to my heart (Marauders compliments <3)! Sirius is only a little less moody than usual in this ;) His moodiness will definitely fluctuate over the course of the story.
I definitely imagine part of Sirius's motivation to be continuing to prove that he's not like his family, although I don't imagine that to be his only motivation (there's a healthy dose of wanting to stop Voldemort just because he's obviously reprehensible in there).
I'm so happy that you enjoyed the first chapter and were intrigued by it. Sorry for responding to this so late, but thank you very much for the lovely review <3
It's me again! Woo. So I totally have been meaning to read this for a while so I thought I would make a start now as such a good opportunity has presented itself!
So I really love the first sentence. It instantly grabs my attention as to what is going to come for the rest of the chapter, it's a good hook. I like how you've done the set up for the story. I thought all the little details about how the Auror office works is so clever and I'm sure that it's all from your own head canon so it's awesome that you've put all these carefully thought out little touches into the chapter because it really helps with realism and setting that scene of what Sirius' life is like.
I never thought too much about how Sirius found out about Regulus's death but honestly it's probably a really important point in Sirius' character development so it's interesting that you're going to explore and develop this event within the story. I think as always you know your character well so I found his quick reaction to be very true to his character but your charactersation of Sirius is always spot on because you know/like/understand him. I thought this was a really strong set up for a wider story and hopefully I'll be back soon to explore this story more! Keep up the good work!
- Abbi xo
Hey Abbi <3
Yeah, basically everything about the Auror's office is from my own headcanon. I'd say that stuff is by far the most challenging part of writing this story - figuring out how the Ministry and its departments actually function!
I'm really glad you thought this was a strong first chapter, and as always, thanks for the Sirius compliments ;) It's always lovely to get a review from you, so thank you for stopping by! <3
Okay, so we’ve got some good things here. Sirius has a boyfriend. Remus works at a bookstore. You like how I’m focusing on the positive? You should try it sometime instead of making people suffer. jkjk I like the pain.
James’ scolding look at Remus for letting Sirius come to the meeting. omg James is the mom friend. I love it.
Oh, are James and Remus being Ministry spies? That’s interesting. As far as I know the ministry wasn’t as Bad then as in the Second War, but I’m sure the Auror files are still meant to be kept secret.
Having Dumbledore pull you aside after a meeting feels a lot like getting in trouble with the teacher after class, doesn’t it?
I don’t know if I’ve read other stories by you with Dumbledore, but I have to say you’ve done quite a good job capturing him! His mannerisms and tone both feel canon, as does his detached and manipulative way of dealing with people.
I love you, mom-friend-James, jumping in to protect Sirius.
“Genocide is great and also I’m straight now.” Perfect line is perfect (in wrong ways of course).
The line “Sirius can just say no anyway” feels really strong coming from Peter, he who failed to say no.
Already regretting that there are only two more chapters up!
Ahahaha! I'm so sorry for making you suffer, even if you do secretly love it.
I DEFINITELY imagine James as being a bit of a mom friend. Idk why but that's just how I picture him. I'm really glad you enjoyed it, because I'm always really insecure about writing James!
I was less thinking that James and Sirius (I'm assuming that's what you meant) were spying ON the Ministry, and more thinking that they're reporting any useful information they find THROUGH the Ministry (so yeah, just leaking file information, which I'm sure they're definitely not supposed to do haha). That being said, I do feel like Dumbledore would be perfectly happy to have people in place within the Ministry, just in case.
I don't think I've ever written Dumbledore before, and to be honest, it's really challenging! I find myself getting so intimidated, hahaha. So it's awesome to know you think I've done a good job!
Thanks so much for stopping by, Sam!
Hello! I’m glad to have an event to kick me into shape and get me reading stories I’ve always wanted to - this one is definitely on that list!
I had hoped this story would be an AU, because it feels easier to stomach dark material with the promise of James not dying and Sirius not going to Azkaban, but you haven’t given me that hope. I’ll stubbornly cling to it anyway.
Me being sassy @ the auorors’ matching binder system: “can’t y’all just admit you want to have computers?”
OH. So that’s the tragedy striking Sirius’ life. I should’ve been prepared for that, so of course I wasn’t.
Auror Viola may not be the brightest. “Why are you so worked up about the death of Mr. Black, Mr. Black?”
You didn’t spare any punches there and got us right into the action and heartbreak of the story. It looks like this will be a rough ride, but in a good help!-my-feelings way, and I guess that’s what I’m here for. Your setup so far has been very effective, and I’m looking forward to seeing how things unfold and how James and Sirius stay alive and happy forever. Whoops.
Hi Sam! I'm not sure if this was a transfer but if it was I don't remember responding to it on HPFF, so I'll just respond here.
I'm not gonna say anything about that except that it's always good to have hope! ;)
Hmm, did the Muggles even have computers at this point? I mean, I guess they did, but the giant ones that took up a whole room. The binder system kind of seems more effecient than that, in a way! ahaha. But yes. Wizards should have computers, it would save them lots of shenanigans.
Poor Viola! She's just overworked, is all ;)
I'm glad you enjoyed this first chapter! Thanks for the review <3
Yessss I am so here for all of this.
I love how you're capturing Sirius and Remus's relationship. There's a lot of maturity in it - while I'm not sure how long they've actually been dating, it's very clear that they know each other well and have really deep feelings for each other, which is why Sirius bites his tongue rather than invite a fight - but they're also clearly still young men in a very stressful situation and have very different ways of dealing with feelings, which is why Sirius tries not to wake him up in the first place and dawdles about going home.
His friendship with James is something different entirely - I think part of it might be that platonic friends tend to not be quite as pushy about knowing what you need better than you do, but I think part of it is also that James really is Sirius's partner in crime in a lot of ways. He's protective, but he's also not pushy - in part because (at least as far as I can tell) Sirius doesn't push him.
Sirius does push other people, though, and I'm glad he got called out on it and shut down hard pretty much immediately - on one hand, his reaction is totally understandable and normal, but on the other, that's exactly why it's a problem. You can't go sharing sources around - that's what gets people killed. I'm curious to see how this ends up going - I can't wait for the next chapter to go up!
Awww, this is all really fantastic to hear. I feel like I haven't actually written that much Wolfstar that's not, like, past tense or currently-crashing-and-burning or in its embreyonic stages. This story has actually been trickier than I expected in terms of capturing their relationship, so I'm really glad you enjoyed it.
Yeah, Sirius is not necessarily in the right frame of mind to be back at work so soon, but as we've established, he wants to Be Busy and Do Things, so here he is inappropriately pushing for sources :')
It makes me happy that this left you curious and wanting to read more <3 Thank you for the lovely review!
I really, really like the way you're handling grief and stress here. I think that there's a tendency in fiction (both pop culture and fanfic) to portray the answer to grief and stress is sitting alone in a quiet room, and that's just... not how a lot of people process things. I get where Sirius is coming from - while I'm glad that he recognizes that Remus means well, I'm also glad that his reaction is to want to do something. It tracks really well with what we know of his character from canon, too - it's just really well done.
At first I was a little taken aback by James's surprise - he knows Sirius, after all! - but as I thought about it more, I remembered that he'd been the one to bring Sirius home because he literally wasn't able to bring himself home. In light of that, it makes sense for him to be surprised - and I like how his surprise morphs into hyperprotectiveness when Dumbledore holds Sirius back and floats the undercover thing. (And I love Sirius's response, too - those bridges are definitely burned to ash.)
I can't wait to keep reading - this is so, so good.
Aw, thank you <3 That is the way that grief is commonly portrayed, so I was a little bit nervous about going in a different direction with it. And it was a bit of a challenge to balance Sirius being the type of person who wants to act and wants to distract himself with just... his state of shock and dissociation. So I hope that I pulled that off.
In terms of James, I was less intending for him to be surprised that Sirius would want to come to the meeting, and more intending him to be surprised that Remus hadn't, like, sat on him or something to stop him leaving the house. Like, he knows what Sirius is like but he also worries about it because it gets unhealthy, and he doesn't want Sirius to burn himself out. Idk if that makes sense.
Thank you so much for the review, glad you're enjoying this! <3
Hey, Kayla! I'm here to leave you a little cheer for Pass-It-Along. I love Aurors and I love Sirius, so I thought I'd start here.
I was not disappointed. I love the way you took the wartime environment into account in terms of training without veering so far in the "not normal times" direction that it becomes unbelievable. I can totally, totally see Auror "trainees" being tasked with desk work - and while I get why Sirius hates it, it makes sense to free up some time for people who are already accomplished duelers and bringing-Death-Eaters-in-ers. (That is not a term.)
And I love (love, love) the idea of 1) James doing it with him and 2) James being so focused on his work that he doesn't look up exactly when Sirius wants him to and Sirius being a bit put-out over it.
All of that eases us into the story... and then you bring everything crashing down on the reader as well as on Sirius. It's such an awful thing to come across, but I can understand how it would've slipped through - they must be spread so, so thin right now, and while ideally they would be paying attention to this stuff...
I mean, it's not even just the wartime environment. The wizarding community seems pretty small, in the grand scheme of things - even if Harry's year was on the smaller side, it's inevitable that they'd be coming across the names of people they know and care about, and while Sirius's brother is something that really should have been caught, it's got to be something they're all dealing with in a more general sense - I feel like you got at that really nicely when you mentioned Sirius thinking he recognized some names.
Yay, I'm glad you found my accelarated program to be realistic! When it comes to Auror/Ministry stuff, I'm never quite sure whether the stuff I come up with works outside of my own mind :') So that is reassuring!
Yeah, definitely Sirius's brother should've been caught and more care should've been taken, but for me personally it's not difficult to imagine something like that slipping through (like you said, they're really stretched so thin). so I'm glad you agree on that front - some other people have had a bit of a harder time with that.
Thanks for reading and for the lovely review! <3
Hi, Kayla! I came back to your story!
It’s great you focused on what and how Sirius heard and felt after coming back from Auror office rather than begining with the visual depicting of the main character. It’s splendid that the process how stunned Sirius noticed Remus had cared him with Remus’s detailed descriptions. You captured his characteristics very well: fake-calm Mooney, with his lips are pressed tightly together.
Though Sirius’s first words made Remus amused, we recognize how deeply Sirius had been shocked by his brother’s sudden death. Wa…Remus was working at a Muggle book store! A good choice. It’s very Remus-ish and he couldn’t have the other choices in the Wizarding World because of Lycanthropy.
It’s natural that you inserted the Order meeting with the information that James had stayed for Sirius until Remus came back. Sirius couldn’t stay at home any longer, suffering from his brother's death. He must have wanted to forget the cruel reality by attending the meeting. It’s interesting to read various HP characters surrounding Dumbledore at the meeting.
Dumbledore’s words are shocking. Murder happened because Frederic Sudworth failed in his disguise, which sent me a chill. It’s good you wrote in that way. That must be reality Marauders had to face at that time. “The smallest mistake could get them killed.”! I remembered Harry’s mistake, that he uttered the taboo words while hunting horcruxes with Ron and Hermione. Then I’m very impressed when I read the spot, “Suspicion is enough to get you killed.” It’s marvelous you let Sirius’s thought ponder from the severe situation at that time to the reason why his brother was killed. Kayla, I really got thrilled at Sirius’s thought about the reason why Regulus was killed. That’s the most important theme in your Auror’s tale. I expect you will develop more from here. :D
We can guess from the fact Sirius didn’t report his brother’s death, that he would try searching investigation of it alone. Dumbledore must have known what Sirius didn’t tell him by Legilimency. I held my breath at their conversation and Dumbledore’s words, “I’m afraid not.”, which reminded me of HP book 6, in which he told Harry about Slytherin locket.
Oh, another exciting plot! Sirius was asked to do undercover work by Dumbledore. Will he disguise himself as one of Voldemort’s follower? His mission will be dangerous! <p><p>
It definitely made the most sense to me to start the scene sort of inside of Sirius's head. I thought that it flowed between chapter 1 and chapter 2 more naturally that way.
The Order meeting was interesting to write! I've never really done anything like that before. So I'm glad to hear that you liked the meeting! You're right, I really wanted to emphasize the reality of the situation. The Marauders were living in really dangerous times, and we know for a fact that a lot of Order members got killed. And you're also right that Regulus's death is going to remain a really important theme in this story.
Thanks for reading and for the review! :D
Hi, Kayla! Congrats, you got the first place at Auror’s Tale Season 3!
I really love the story began from the magical descriptions about the Auror office. Pictures of motorbikes, his desire to be sent out into the field are very Sirius-ish.
The scene was shifted from Sirius’s eyes and ears to circumstances in the wizarding world at that time, and we remember the cruel reality Sirius had to face around the Wizarding World War I.
Agh, “Fawley’s handwriting is always so small, and…scribbly,” it’s like me. :P
I like the scene, James was so absorbed in his work that he couldn’t listen to what Sirius said. Harry will be proud of his father. :D
The system how to track the Death Eaters sounds cool, Kayla!
It’s very shocking but the best timing for inserting the information of his brother’s death. Viola’s puzzled look and Sirius’s irritation and fear are well written through their conversation. It’s really cruel for Sirius that he happened to know brother’s death and hear from his colleague who finished him. I have many thoughts right now. Sirius will have lots of missions and he may have a chance to face Voldemort to revenge for his brother… K .
Hi Kenny! Thank you, it really means a lot to me that I got first in your challenge <3
I bet Sirius's ideal situation would be if he were sent out into the field ON his motorbike. He probably daydreams about it :'D
Aw, it's okay that your handwriting is small and scribbly. There are worse things than that!
It's great that this chapter leaves you with a lot of thoughts and ideas about what might happen next! It makes me happy to know that :)
Thanks for the review, Kenny! (And for hosting all your Aurors Tale challenges!)
Hi, Kayla! Thank you for making an entry for Auror's Tale Season 3 between CTF and House Cup. I really appreciate you continued writing “The Department”.
As I noticed you seemed to edit from chapter 1 to 2, I’d like to summarize feedback through three chapters here. (I’ll be back to chapter 1 and 2 later, of course! :D)
It’s great you focused on Sirius’s mind movement and his brother’s death. Though we know the background of Regulus Black’s death via J.K.Rowling’s original books, I felt fresh and very original after reading “The Department” chapter 1 to 3.
Your favorite ship, Sirius/Remus is gently written from the author’s eyes and we readers are itching to know what James found. I hope it won’t lead to his bad luck.
As we read more, the mystery, why Regulus was finished, becomes the heart of the story. Sirius’s worry and care about his lost brother arouse sympathy from readers and we notice the main character, Sirius Black is very human, irritable, given the circumstances, his only brother was dead and nobody could tell him why he was finished.
In spite of his hard situation, he also had to work for the Order. I hold my breath and expect more adventures and Sirius’s struggles are coming. Please continue this story, Kayla! I’m looking forward to reading next.
Hi Kenny! So sorry for my late response to this.
You're too nice to me, hahaha. It's very cool to hear that you felt like this was a fresh take on Regulus's story despite his backstory being explained in the books. I like what you said about how Regulus's death and the mystery around it is kind of the heart of the story, because I definitely feel like that is how I've been approaching it.
I'm definitely not planning to abandon this story any time soon! :)
Thank you for the lovely review!