Reviews For For Him
Reviewer: lily_evans34
Date: 08/11/08 12:49
Chapter: Choices

Kelly, you win. Just… that’s it. You win.

Right, perhaps I could try to be a bit more on the eloquent side. Yes.

I’m always hesitant to request rarepairs for fic exchanges. Mainly because I see the pairing a certain way, and there’s always that fear that the other person might not get it right. But this story, quite frankly, is right. That’s it. It’s canon and it happened and that’s the only way I’m going to look at it.

Sirius/Lily is probably one of the harder pairings to pull off, what with James/Lily and Sirius and James being best friends. I don’t like Sirius/Lily fics that completely disregard James, because that’s just ridiculous. Of course they both know how much James loves Lily – it’s completely unbelievable for them both to disregard this. But the way you made this the focal point of the fic – the dilemma you’ve created here was just… sigh. Heartbreaking.

Characterization is an exceptionally strong point of yours, Kelly. I noticed that when I beta’d Requiem, and then read All He Knew in the SBBC, and now, rereading this, I’m sure of it. I like how Sirius and Lily’s thoughts are both… not completely mature. That’s to say, you captured this teenage romance without giving these characters the maturity and understanding that they lacked. I mean, they both loved each other, that much was painfully clear, but the way they couldn’t quite figure out how to make their relationship work just made it all so real. So sad.

I’ll have you know that I’m quite in love with your Sirius. I could gush about the way you wrote him in Requiem and The Morning Comes Too Early, but I’ll just stick to this for now. The way you told us that Sirius needed both James and Lily but could only have one of them… again, sigh. This is so believable… and reading Sirius thinking this, and then a paragraph later, reading about Lily not understanding why it had to be secret was just perfect. Your writing [especially Sirius’ thoughts] was so compelling… like, he had to see Lily in secret because he couldn’t lose James. I can see where a lot of people would make Sirius seem a bit… annoying and selfish with these thoughts, but you wrote it so perfectly and realistically. It wasn’t selfish at all. It was the only thing he could do.

Guh.

I love that Sirius’ thoughts were so eloquent in his head – he knew why he had to see Lily in secret – but he couldn’t put them to words. It just makes me feel even stronger that sense of desperation that you’ve created in this fic. My favourite line would have to be Why can’t I have Lily and James? Why can’t I have them both? It’s so… right there, so obvious, but he couldn’t make Lily understand. Once more, sigh.

The way you incorporated the prompt in this was wonderful. And Sirius realising that that’s not who he is, despite his love for Lily… perfect. I like that he chose James. Even though it means Sirius/Lily cannot be, I don’t think that under any circumstances could Sirius have betrayed James. And it was hard for him, because he wanted and needed them both, but… he had to turn Lily away. It was the only thing to do. That makes this story all the more painful. A lot of people write Sirius as an extreme ladies-man, and in this case, would completely disregard his loyalty to James in favour of Lily, but you made him such a real character. Have I said that enough? Yes? Alright then.

I don’t have quite as much to say about Lily, because to me, this is more of Sirius’ story, even though a fair amount of it’s told in Lily’s POV. It’s probably because you continued your companion pieces with Sirius, and rereading this, that really makes me see how much Lily meant to him. Which makes it all the more wonderfully heartbreaking.

However, Lily’s parts were necessary to cause the reader more anguish, seeing that Sirius loves Lily and Lily loves Sirius. It made both of these characters more believable, and it made me even more desperate to see Sirius and Lily work it out in the end. But like I said… I’m glad they didn’t. As much as I love this pairing, I also hate to see terrible OOCness, and this fic is the best of both worlds. The way it ended was just… right.

I really don’t have much concrit, honestly, because I love this fic just the way it was written. One line toward the beginning stood out to me though, and this is just me being OCD about phrasing again. Her hands will clench and she’ll regard me with those hard, glittering eyes that don’t belong to her. I don’t know if glittering is the right word, because it strikes me as something more… vibrant or passionate, and this is right after you told us that Lily’s eyes would become hard and unfeeling. So, I don’t know. I’m just sort of iffy about that.

Well, I know this is destined to be over 1000 words at the rate I’m going [gosh, I haven’t done that in so long], but I feel compelled to point out some of my favourite lines.

As much as I hate myself for saying it, I resent her for it.

Maybe.


Uhm, guh? That is all. I like this… Sirius can’t stay mad at Lily, even when he wants to. You’ve given Sirius such a different, more vulnerable side than what we’ve seen, while still keeping him extraordinarily canon.

Perhaps it was the danger and the mystery that attracted me to him, because goodness knows that it wasn’t his practicality.

This just… makes me smile. Well, you’ve seen the way I write Sirius/Lily, so you can see where I’d love the way you draw on the fact that they have little in common.

Oh God.

She’s coming this way.

I don’t have a letter.

Oh God.


So, so perfect. I love how she catches Sirius at just the wrong moment, and Sirius’ immediate panic. It makes me wonder, what would have happened if he did write a letter? This fic just brings up so many “what if” scenarios – I mean, even if you assume that Sirius and Lily were dating, there’s still what if they could talk this through and make each other understand? They’re just… so close, but they can’t get it right. Sigh. Just beautiful, Kelly.

Huzzah, I have predicted correctly. 1,100 words and counting, and yet, I feel I have said nothing of substance. Now I remember why I felt I was destined to leave SPEW. >.>

Author's Response: Rachel! Oh. My. Goodness. Thank you so, so much for your review. Although I already kind of knew your opinion from when you beta-ed the companions, it just made me so happy to see that you enjoyed your story. Quite honestly, I enjoyed writing it and I'm glad that you issued the challenge. Thank you!

Reviewer: ringobeatlesfan4
Date: 08/08/08 16:33
Chapter: Choices

Awww. That was really sweet! It almost made me cry (don't take it personally, though, I never cry during fics. Well, one, but Sirius actually died in it... lol) Ok, this was wonderfully written and IC, but I wasn't that fond of the ending, how it went back to canon. Oh, how I despise the James-gets-Lily-leaving-Sirius-heartbroken endings. Sirius deserves to be happy, and I guess he was in this fic... ok, that made me happier! haha anyway, this was really good. I guess my only problem with it is how Sirius doesn't end up with Lily for good. As you've probably guessed, my OTP is Sirius/Lily, which is odd considering my love of canon... I really wanted a happy ending though. It was, in a way, because Sirius still has James, and Lily as a friend. {BeccA} P.S. if that didn't make any sense, 10/10.

Author's Response: Well, thank you! Quite honestly, my goal was to keep this canon, hence James does get the girl. But it's good to remember the old saying about how it's better to love/be loved once that to never have loved at all.

Reviewer: Ginnygirl3
Date: 07/06/08 18:20
Chapter: Choices

Wow!! That was really really well written! I think its interesting in the story how sirius and lily are together. I never considered that match before but its a great idea. A little sad though, that they can't be together. oh well. I agree with another one of your reviewers, Jenna, and think that you should continue with this one! Contrary to your opinion of first person, I think it helps show emotions more realistically, but its your choice. After all, you are the one writing! Anyway, I really enjoyed reading it and hope you continue to write!!!! =)
p.s. - I don't know how you can write such great stories with your schedule kel!!! =)

Author's Response: Jenna is the queen of reviews, Nick. She has wonderful advice and I've taken it - the companion was just submitted five minutes ago. Thank you for the review.

Reviewer: sjam
Date: 06/26/08 11:08
Chapter: Choices

Beautifully written and IC, I really love it - brings tears to your eyes at the end!

Author's Response: I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Reviewer: Dory_the_Fishie
Date: 06/22/08 19:23
Chapter: Choices

Sirius/Lily has quickly become one of my favorite pairings to read, because it just offers a really interesting ‘what if?’ and I love seeing how authors explore that. I think you do a really wonderful job of delving into what a romantic relationship between Sirius and Lily could have been like.

They change from her eyes, her beautiful, caring, captivating eyes, to those of someone hard and unfeeling. They don’t suit her. I love this line, and I love when it reappears later. It’s a really nice thought from Sirius; it’s so clear that he loves Lily and that he doesn’t want to make her unhappy. And then there’s the fact that it’s because of him that her eyes have changed into something that doesn’t suit her. And that just offers a whole other thing to think about – does Sirius not suit Lily? That’s sort of how it turns out, at least to me. It just doesn’t work for them, and it’s sad, but it’s the way that things are. Just, great job.

I have to comment on the use of first person here. Normally I’m just really not a fan of first person; I tend to believe that first person should only be used if it’s just becoming impossible to convey the feelings you want through third person (and even then I personally opt for second person before I opt for first person). I think first person is a good choice here, because you want to switch between two characters and obviously it needs to be clear who’s speaking. I felt at times that the narration was a little choppy, though. But…I don’t really know if there’s a way to fix it, and it isn’t really that noticeable. The reason I say I don’t know if there’s a way to fix it is because you don’t really want this to turn into long bits of internal monologue because you have a specific pace in mind that you need to keep. So…yeah. Basically I’m rambling, so I’ll move on now…

I think the contrast between how James and Sirius express their love for Lily is interesting. I don’t know if I believe that Sirius would have loved Lily at first sight. I feel like maybe he would have slowly began to realize that he loved her after admiring her from afar, rather than knowing ‘ever since I laid eyes on her.’ I think when writing Sirius/Lily, it’s extremely important to figure in James. Clearly you’ve done that here, but I think it’s even important to factor him in as to why Sirius loves Lily. Perhaps he only started to pay more attention to her because James kept going on about her. Not that he didn’t notice her on his own, just…the fact that James very outwardly liked her caused Sirius to more and more inwardly love her. Does that even make sense? It might not even be what you were going for with your idea of a Sirius/Lily relationship, which is fine. I’m just thinking all over your review page.

I really, really like the ending of this. It works really well for me for the Sirius/Lily relationship. I can’t have you, Lily. I love you, but I can’t have you. That’s not who I am. It breaks my heart, but it’s also perfect for this pairing. I think it’s how Sirius would feel; he can’t lose James, he can’t betray James, but he loves Lily. It just…it doesn’t work. Sigh. I’m all sad, but that just means you did a great job.

Overall I thought this was a unique look at Sirius/Lily. Lovely job!

Author's Response: Leanne! Oh my, you, too, have left me an absolutely heart warming review. Thank you so very much. I quite liked your explanation (or thoughts, rather) as to why Sirius would have fallen in love with Lily. It would have been difficult not to take notice of her if James never really did shut up (:D). You know, I think that this is my only (or one of the very few *checks*) story that is written in the first person, simply because it is a clumsy tense. And, should I ever write a follow-up (Jenna hinted she wants one), it probably won't be in the first person. However, I can't make promises! Again, Leanne, thank you for the lovely review!

Reviewer: GringottsVault711
Date: 06/22/08 12:36
Chapter: Choices

Okay, first – I love Sirius/Lily. I didn’t realise until I actual began reading that was the pairing. And I feel a little silly, I was thinking – “Why would someone have to choose between James and Lily, and what would that have to do with any pairing?” *facepalm* Once I began reading, it was crystal clear, though.

I really liked the constant, present-tense, switching point-of-view rhythm. It creates such a fantastic pace. I think you did a great job of getting information in – how did the relationship begin, progress, so on and so forth – through their thoughts without it feeling like a history lesson. I like the technique of weaving it into their thoughts – in order to figure out where they are and where they’re going, they do need to contemplate where they’ve been. So, it just worked perfectly. So natural.

The one thing that is always difficult with Sirius/Lily, IMO, is Sirius. Sirius has been characterised as James’ best best friend, who would never do anything to betray him. And we know that James has had serious feelings for Lily pretty much since he was old enough to appreciate her. So, yes, that’s always a tricky bit, and I feel like a lot of authors just write around it. But you’ve both explained how Sirius could do this, and furthermore, used it as a pivotal point of your story. So, thank you, for that. Really, great characterisation and relationship dynamics.

I’m generally very picky about first-person. Through reading I’ve come to realise that first-person should never be the default perspective for story-telling, and it should really only be used if it serves some sort of purpose, and when you do use first-person, you should stick to the idea that you are this person, using this person’s words/thoughts, prejudices and perceptions. I think you did a good job of this. I think a huge point in this story is perspective. How one situation can seem so different through the eyes of two different people. Lily becomes paranoid by Sirius’ desire to distance himself from her in public, but for Sirius, who knows how hurt James will be, it’s merely a the only way he can keep the two people he loves. Furthermore, not only have you employed first-person to a good cause, you’ve been true to the first-person perspective. Natural human trains of thought, repeated words in a moment of worry or panic. Contemplation, indecision, questioning. All as if we’re really in their minds.

In some places, the speech is a little better than would be expected in the average human mind. Words like “clandestine” and “surreptitiously”. But, reality must now and then be edited for the sake of fiction, and I think it works wonderfully. Also, word choice is exceptional. You aren’t verbose, but you use the right words, and now and then it’s a treasure that we don’t get to see often enough instead of the same old, same old, “secret” and “secretive” and “hidden”, etc;

Here and there, though, the tone wanders from what I would expect from the character. We have to edit their thoughts a little more neatly for fiction, but it still has to be true to something they would say. And my mental rule for that is, if they wouldn’t write it in a letter, then it’s not them. In a letter, you still write in your voice, but you have time to think of the right word and edit your feelings into the write flow. So, would Sirius, in any circumstance, internal monologue or otherwise, say “she was the metaphorical breath of fresh air”? The “metaphorical” additional clearly makes it less cliché sounding, but it still sounds odd to me in general and not Sirius-like at all. Sirius, when speaking what he feels, has a tendency to be literal with a moving clarity (“I would have died before I betrayed them.”). Also, the phrase “By contrast” also seems a little off and more reserved for something Percy Weasley would write in a history paper. It’s a nice way of keeping your writing from being redundant, but it doesn’t feel like Sirius. “No, instead, I admired her from afar,” would sound more natural. And it’s pretty clear that it’s a stark “contrast” to James shouting his devotions from rooftops. (Though, again, that’s a little more hyperbolic than Sirius’ mannerism lends itself to.)

In other places, though, the character’s tone just makes the meaning wonderfully clear: Oh, right. Protecting James’ delicate feelings. Of course! Hee. I loved Lily’s sarcasm, here.

I like this idea here: It’s our relationship – let’s do things for us. It seems to make perfect sense, to Lily who doesn’t really take James’ feelings seriously. But it’s not quite reality; you do have to respect other people and other relationships. An, again you have the two perceptions: because Sirius can really only be with Lily as long as James’ doesn’t know. So, for him, the only way for them to have a relationship at all is for it to be a secret.

It’s really touching how important James is to Sirius. That the friendship is that important. And that he’s fully conscious of it, fully afraid of losing James, fully afraid of losing him. The James-Sirius dynamic is one of my favourite things in the Potterverse, and you wrote it really beautifully. This story would always be classified as a Sirius/Lily romance, I think, because those are the characters, and their relationship is the premise; but at the heart its really a James/Sirius friendship, I think.

The end is so sad and beautiful. *sigh* I can’t say more than that. I do know that I’m dying to see how you would write James/Lily as a continuation of this universe. How Lily could manage to fall for James in spite of the betrayal it would be to Sirius, how Sirius would react, how Lily and Sirius would have to sit down at some point and acknowledge what’s happened. Ahhhh. I can’t stop thinking about it. *wonders if Kelly could be persuaded to write a companion piece or two*

I love this story. And I’m so glad I unwittingly stumbled on Sirius/Lily fic!

Author's Response: Oh, Jenna. Your review just made me so happy. I'm afraid that my words do fail to express just how in love I am with your review. Thank you. I've actually been thinking about companion pieces (knowing me, they won't be done quickly). I'm sort of interested to see where the story could go myself. Oh, the friendship between Sirius and James. Gah, it's like an entity on its own. The friendship and loyalty between the two is such a beautiful thing. My original plan for the story was a bit of a role reversal - it was going to be Lily who fell in love with James and then wanted to leave Sirius. I think, though, that I went a little too far into their heads and they told me what to write. ;) Again, thank you so much for this review! b29;

Reviewer: Hufflepuff at heart
Date: 05/29/08 4:04
Chapter: Choices

I didn't explain what I meant very well in my last comment. Rather than me hoping for a happy ending, I meant it had me believing that a happy ending could be possible. And again, well done!

(I'll shut up now!)

Author's Response: Well, that's quite alright. Thank you, again, for leaving your thoughts!

Reviewer: Hufflepuff at heart
Date: 05/28/08 16:25
Chapter: Choices

That was a really good story. I especially loved the symmetry between the two of them, like the lines

"I don’t know.

I don’t know.

I don’t know at all."

(I'm sure you didn't need me to spell it out but I did anyway! ) And even though we have a pretty good idea of how it's going to end, I was crossing my fingers for a happy ending. Really well done.

Author's Response: While I am a sucker for happy endings, not all things end happily. Thank you for reviewing.

Reviewer: Calico
Date: 05/28/08 14:54
Chapter: Choices

That was so, so sad to read, but so good too. Both Sirius and Lily were in character, even though you showed a side of Sirius that's more sensitive than usual. I especially liked the way it ended, not only because it kept it canon, but because it proved that Sirius is loyal to his friends over everyone else. This was a brilliant story!

Author's Response: Thank you very much! To me, Sirius has never been quite as tough as he's been portrayed in many stories and I'm glad you liked his more sensitive side.

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