I guess Sirius went straight to the heart of the matter. I think Remus was thinking up excuses for why Tonks shouldn't marry him.
Hahaha, I love this :D You nailed the characters perfectly, and you had great humor throughout. It was also very easy to tell who was talking, despite the story only having dialogue. I've read about the whole "rat-full-of-alcohol-and-had-to-be-drip-fed-coffee" in at least one of your other stories.... which one was it again? I can't quite remember, but it makes me laugh every time :)
Author's Response: Um ... can't remember which one it was now. That's bad. Basically I wrote it in this story first, and as I tend to link my stories the same themes link sometimes. Thank you ~Carole~
I think that you portrayed both Padfoot and Moony accurately in this fix. Not many people can! Please keep 'em coming!
Author's Response: Thank you very much. I got a fair bit of flak for this one, but I enjoyed writing it. ~Carole~
I can totally imagine this whole scenario in my head, Sirius and Remus bickering like schoolboys again. It was light-hearted, but pensive, when they started to backtrack to Wormtail and the Whomping Willow incident.
Well written and definitely worth a :-D
Author's Response: Thank you so much for the review. I enjoyed writing this story because it's about my two favourite men. Just a shame I couldn't get myself in the story really. ~Carole~
Hahahaha, I love it when an author has the ability to creat a bantering dialogue and throw it back and forth between two amazing characters. Congrats! I loved it :-)
Author's Response: Thank you very much for the review. This story has certainly divided the readers so I'm pleased you loved it. It means a lot that you read and reviewed. I like a bit of banter myself and try to put it in all my fics. Carole xxx
I'm going to leave you a nice review, because you are an awesome author! I really liked this fic, the whole reminiscing thing was really sweet! There was a little bit that I didn't understand I think he was more upset about Lily shouting. Can’t be nice seeing your parents argue before they’re even married. He’ll probably ask us if she was drugged with a love potion or something. I assume you are talking about Harry? It wasn't very clear... That's all I could find. I enjoyed this fic, it was really sweet and an interesting concept. Them talking asbout Peter at first sounded strange, but really it all fitted really well, and how they were so honest with each other about the trust, it was really good. *hugs* Russia xxxxx
Author's Response: Oh, yes, I was talking about Harry - sorry. He thinks about Love potions in OOTp and it was a nod to that really. I'm glad ytou enjoyed it, and do appreciate your review. Thank you muchly ~Carole~
I was very attracted to the idea of this fic; Sirius and Remus are two of my favorite characters, and this scene after Harry asks them about James is a nice missing moment of sorts. Unfortunately, I wasn’t as pleased with this as I wanted to be; there were definitely some good moments, but overall I wanted more from it.
All-dialogue fics are difficult for establishing setting, and I thought you handled the restriction pretty well. Remus telling Sirius to sit down, telling Sirius to get off him, that sort of thing. It works well to let us know what’s going on without having the option of just narrating normally. This conversation was a good choice for this challenge, because the focus is what they’re saying to each other, and having only dialogue helps maintain that important focus. So, good choices there, and good job painting a picture, as it were.
However, I felt like the conversation was a bit forced, rather than something that might have actually happened after Harry had gone from the fire. It seems like Sirius and Remus discuss almost everything that ever happened to them, and everything they say relates back to James and Lily, or simply James, or Peter. And, that’s not really how a conversation works, is it? Even when you’re talking to one of your best friends whom you’ve know for years and years, every sentence you say isn’t a recollection of the past. It might work better that way if this were sooner after Sirius and Remus have found each other again, but at the time this fic is set, they’ve had at least a good year to discuss some of these things. Did they really wait this long to talk about why they thought the other was the traitor? Maybe they did, but I find it more likely that they talked about it before, and not as part of a generally light conversation. It just felt like they were covering a lot of Marauder history in a relatively short period of time, which is convenient for a fic that seeks to reveal a lot about the characters but probably isn’t how one of their conversations might actually go. It seems like they resolve all their issues here – the prank on Snape, why they thought the other was the traitor, why Sirius got punished more than Remus, how hard it was for Sirius to be a Black, etc. They were rather productive here, weren’t they? I’m just not sure they actually would have been, if a conversation like this really took place in our unknown canon.
My other biggest concern with this fic was the characterization of Sirius. He didn’t feel like Sirius to me, and if I hadn’t been told who he was, and also just known because of the things he’s talking about, I would never have realized who it was. Overall I think there’s a significant lack of bitterness from Sirius, and while some authors do tend to write Sirius as this overly angsty fellow, it’s just as inaccurate to portray him as overly cheery, especially at this point in his life. I think, here, he would be appropriately happy when it came to recounting various Marauder activities, because those were good moments in his life, but anything that took place after that carries a lot of weight for him. His discussion of why he thought Remus was the traitor, for example. That’s something that, in effect, ruined his life. His mistake caused the murder of his best friends, and I can’t see that as something he would approach so casually. He probably never forgave himself for what happened, and would hardly laugh about it now. It’s something that both he and Remus should be somber about, but here they sort of share a laugh and that’s that.
I think it’s important to remember that post-Azkaban Sirius is a troubled person. He never grew up properly; he lost twelve years of his life in a terrible prison. He definitely never let go of his grudge with Snape (that much is clear from their interactions in the books). In OotP, he’s even more depressed because he’s stuck in his parents’ house, unable to do anything substantial to help the Order. I mean, he does still have a sense of humor and all that, but in general he’s not a very happy person in that book. Any mention of James and Lily should sting; he might remember them fondly, but there’s also a pain there. I don’t get that pain from Sirius in this fic, and I feel like it needs to be there. It feels like Sirius and Remus kind of gloss over everything in this conversation. I think all of these subjects would work better as separate conversations, because they all deserve some serious attention, and unfortunately they just don’t get it here.
It’s also important to consider the words characters use to say things. For instance, Sirius says he always thought of lilies as being calm flowers. Did he really, though? I mean, he probably never thought of lilies as anything. The comparison is a nice idea, but it’s probably not something Sirius would bring up (Remus maybe would, but even then I doubt he ever thought much about flower characteristics). That’s just one example; there were many times when I couldn’t hear Sirius saying some of the things he was saying, and it’s just something that needs to be really thought about. You have to know where he’s coming from, what his purpose in speaking is. How does he feel when he’s saying something? If he’s bitter, he might use shorter sentences. It’s that sort of thing, you know? At one point, Sirius stutters. He says, “B-but…” and then Remus cuts him off. But I don’t think Sirius has ever stuttered in the books, and he’s just not the type of person to protest so, well, lamely. He would be more strong-willed about it; the idea of going to help Harry is something he wouldn’t back down from very easily – in fact, it was his recklessness in that exact area that ultimately killed him. I have trouble picturing a few words from Remus as discouraging him.
Apparently your choice of using their nicknames for the majority of this fic is a hot topic in your other reviews, and I do actually want to comment on it. I definitely think Sirius and Remus still used their nicknames when they were adults, but I don’t think they used them to the extent that they use them here. It makes sense for when they’re reflecting on those good ol’ Marauder times, but in normal conversation I think they would have been more inclined to use their given names (Sirius might actually call Remus ‘Lupin’ occasionally, as for some reason his surname tends to get used more often). I mean, even when they were at school, I doubt they called each other exclusively by their nicknames; they did have real names, and I’m sure they used them with each other. It’s not a huge issue, it’s just another thing to think about. Again, it’s back to considering how a character speaks, and that includes how he refers to other people. Just from a personal standpoint, if I have a friend who also goes by a nickname, I probably use their real name and their nickname in any one conversation. It’s just a variation thing, you know?
I realize this review is getting quite long, so I’m going to wrap it up. On the whole, I thought this fic was a good idea that could have been better executed. Next time I would suggest paying closer attention to making sure your characterizations are spot on; the ideas are all there, it’s just the final product that needs some work.
Author's Response: Ah well, I guess the jury's out on this one with a love it or hate it type review. Obviously I'm going to disagree (LOL). Actually I do take your point about some of the points you raised - bringing up the past being the main one. However, the reasoning behind it is that Harry has just landed them straight back to their past by talking about SWM so they are reminiscing. Probably they would have talked about the WW incident before, however I've also had people telling me that Remus wouldn't have discussed it because he just forgave Sirius anyway (not my opinion and probably not the place to get into it.). The thing is, they don't have a great deal of time to discuss all these issues - this I felt was a perfect time. Sirius leaves at end of POA and goes abroad. He returns in August/September ish and stays not with Remus but in a cave eating rats. He does lie low with Remus at the end of GOF but they wouldn't have got into it then because other things were happening. Then they move into GP - Remus is out and about on missions, Sirius is stuck in the house. This could very well be one of the only times they're actually alone without Molly et al bearing down on them.
I'm on a bit of an anti-gloomy Sirius at Grimmauld Place kick at the moment. That's not to say I don't think he was depressed the majority of the time, but I reckon he had some lighter moments there (Christmas being an example)- I didn't want this to be all angsty - HA - I guess that's obvious. Nicknames - hmm, well I've banged on about that enough. Characterisation of Sirius, well it's how I see him and others have praised him and Remus. Why wouldn't he think about lilies especially as their flowers taken to funerals? I guess the beauty of fanfiction and HP fanfiction in particular is that we do have our own ideas about the characters.
Anyway despite coming across as ridiculously defensive, I do appreciate your wonderfully detailed review - partly because it gives me a chance to justify the fic, but also because it does make me think about the possible errors so I will take the points on board. Thank you lots . Carole xxx
I like your reasoning on why they suspected each other and not Peter. Very nice!
Author's Response: Thank you very much. Their mistrust obsesses me at times. I'm glad you liked it.
It's an interesting viewpoint, but I'm turned off by how it sounds like they are kids. Well, not kids, exactly, maybe what I'm aiming for here is teenagers. I think you use their nicknames too often throughout the piece for them to be taken seriously. I agree with whoever said mentioning the ages of 35/36 was an essential detail here. Surius played pranks, but I don't think he would have been this light-heartened. At least not Remus. This conversation was my favorite scene in that book, so I'm sorry if I sound like a nerd:) It is your viewpoint, but still. The dialogue helps move the piece.
Author's Response: Hmm, but as someone who is around the age of thirty five, I frequently have reunions with college mates and we slip back into the teenage banter very quickly. Sirius just has not had a chance to mature - not really. His formative adult years were spent locked up with every happy thought sucked out of him. Also, the scene follows Harry reminding them of their school days, so I do believe they'd be reminiscing. Unfortunately I get a bit bored with angst-doom-and-gloom Sirius. We see in OOTP that he does have his lighter moments (decorating the House elves heads with christmas hats.) I wanted a piece that gave them a chance to reflect on their life at Hogwarts,covered the reasoning behind the Whomping Willow Incident, and why they didn't trust each other.
I have to differ with you on the use of nicknames, as I said to a previous reviewer - for some people I will always be 'Pig' after Helga knows how many years away from school. You don't sound like a nerd, by the way. (well no more than the rest of us) You're obviously very involved with the books and your viewpoint is valid. Thanks for the review; I do appreciate people taking the time out - especially if it's not really to their liking.
I do like when I don't beta a story for you and read it for the first time in the archives. Okay, well, in one way I like it because I can leave a review for you. I don't like not knowing what you have written before they are in the archives.
First, nicknames... The timeline of this story, the things Harry brought up would have thrown both of them right back into being Marauders. I am sure when Harry let loose on them, both of them felt like they were 'naughty' teenagers again. Remus embarrassed because he didn't stop James and Sirius, Sirius embarrassed because his godson saw something that put him in a bad light. Then both of them embarrassed for James who couldn't defend himself.
Harry bringing this to light gave them a chance to talk about some things both of them probably did their best to forget about. Who doesn’t have one or two things they did when they are younger that they now regret, and embarrassed by? Talking about these things is not something someone does easily and Harry in a way forced them to talk about it.
This talking naturally lead to talk about Peter. Their use of nicknames seemed natural to me. They were reliving a time when they were happy and carefree and their nicknames are a natural part of that.
Now, I do have one major problem with this story... I want more. I think this conversation would have gotten much more interesting now that Tonks was brought into it. I can just hear Sirius telling Remus he was an idiot and fighting for him to give Tonks a chance. So, please, I am officially begging for more.
Great work on this story. You carried off the restriction of dialogue only very well. I could see Sirius trying to storm out just from Remus’ words.
Author's Response: Thank you Terri, I really appreciate your review for this story- especially as your prompt made me write it in the first place (all those months ago). I'm glad you understood why they'd start talking about the past having just been visited by a boy who looks so much like their still very much missed friend. Yes, about time they talked about that incident, I think it's been kept locked away for far too long. Thanks again. ~Carole~
HAHA, I loved it! Althou when I read the summary, i was expecting more old pranks and stuff, but this was great! Actually, I don't really have anything to say to it, exept that it was great!!!!
Author's Response: Thank you very much. I'm pleased you enjoyed the story. I wanted something that was both light-hearted and yet serious too, which was why I mentioned the WW incident, loss of trust, yet also interweaved a few of their happier times. It can't all be about doom and gloom, can it? Thanks for reviewing. Carole xxx
Excellent. I think you really got into their heads and kept them in character. I especially like the Slytherin prank that you invented.
I do have to say that I never noticed Harry having any particular ability to talk his way out of things. More like luck - but maybe I wasn't looking closely enough...
Author's Response: You mean the whole 'Roonil Wazlib' nickname passed you by ... *shock*. I think Harry has his moments, but a lot is down to luck, I agree. Thanks for the review, Thea and I'm pleased you liked the fact that Sirius has an imperfect earlobe. Carole xxx
carole, carole, carole...
you never fail to make me laugh, you know. these were my favorite bits:
"Vanity, thy name is Black. Your earlobe is fine."
“Padfoot, you old romantic.”
“I have my moments.”
“What do you mean? Oh, the werewolf thing!”
There were many things I liked about this one-shot. First, it gave the readers a glimpse of Sirius and Remus having one of their Marauder moments post-James' death. The general trend in Marauder fanfic tend to focus on their school days.
Secondly, i also like how you managed to weave different issues into a single conversation. Peter's betrayal, the fact that Padfoot and Moony had lost their faith in each other at one time, the impossible love between Prongs and Lily and, of course, the reference to the soon-to-happen Moony and Tonks. and, of course, Umbridge the Hag and Harry's predicaments.
Third, I love how Sirius was being Sirius- protective and reckless and funny. And how Lupin was being Moony and not the usually grave and logical Professor Lupin that Harry knew.
The only thing I didn't like about this fic was this: it's making me miss "Lions of G" more and more!!!
EDIT: I would like to comment on Padfoot Returns’ review. I just read it now.
Okay, the part about the “using the first name means we are serious” thing. I think Padfoot Returns claimed that this was inconsistent with their age and that both Sirius and Remus should be moving on while “James as Prongs is reserved in time.” I beg to differ. This conversation takes place right after Harry has reminded them about a Marauder prank which may have one which they would rather forget but which was done in the Marauder spirit (read: Prongs and Padfoot spirit). I think Harry’s reminder resurrected the boys in the men. They have both been robbed of their one source of happiness for a long time- their friendship. And I am sure that both were glad to have a reason to go back to their old selves. Moreover, I don’t think Sirius ever moved on. Sure, he acted like an adult as much as possible but inside, I think he still longed to run around with James. This point also goes well with how quickly he defends James in your fic. Remus is probably aware of this and wants to let Sirius enjoy anything that bears a semblance of the life he once had.
Again, Sirius may have gone to Azkaban but he turns into Padfoot ever so often. For instance, he still jokes whenever he has the chance. This incident takes place nearly two years after he has broken out of prison and a year after he has been proven innocent to the most important people of his life. I think it would therefore be safe that he lightened up enough to be a little carefree when Remus was around. His going back to “Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs” would not only be a sign of his nostalgia but his struggle to give an appearance of normalcy to his sad life.
Lastly, Padfoot_Returns also mention the part about how easily the two men talked about the affair. I feel that they have both been looking for a chance to discuss this uncomfortable topic but have been unwilling to be the one to initiate the discussion. A little like how Harry and the Weasleys avoid each other in OOTP during Christmas break but then when Hermione acts as the catalyst, they open up easily (albeit a little hotly). So, when Wormtail’s name comes up with Harry acting as the catalyst this time, they sort of plunge into it just to get rid of the guilt of having doubted each other. This is what I feel. : )
Author's Response: Wowzers! Thanks, I've never had an edited review in response to someone elses *grins inanely*. I am pleased you enjoyed this fic. I originally wrote it as a challenge in response to a prompt from Terri about the two men talking about why they didn't trust each other. It got forgotten about until the Gift of the Gab reared it's head so I dusted it off and re-wrote.
That's the history of it. Anyhoo, I really do appreciate any reviews I get because I know how easy it is to just not respond, so *bows low*. I think half my trouble is that I desperately want Moony and Padfoot to have some carefree moments because I know they're not long for this world. And at this time, they didn't know that Sirius would be dead in a matter of months so they wouldn't just have serious conversations all the time.
Lions of Gryffindor - Noooo, I haven't abandoned it at all, there is another chapter on its way very, very soon.
*giggling at Umbridge the Hag*
Thanks again. Carole xxx
It didn't worked as well as I'd have liked. Hmm, reasons. If you didn't tell me that Sirius/Remus are 35/36 years old at this point in the story, I'd never be able to guess. Maybe I will by the content they are discussing yes, but I mean to say I believe that that whole gap in Sirius' life due to Azkaban, and all that surpassed before Sirius was imprisoned, and also everything that Sirius was feeling while being hidden in Grimmauld Place just didn’t seem to work its way in the story, in the way Sirius talks in this one-shot. He's too pre-Azkaban, and in a way he should be of course because we all know like Jo says he never got that chance to grow up but somehow I didn't feel Sirius ‘appropriate to the point of time’ in which he is being written emerging well from the character. You include the 'recklessness' and 'defensive of James' side but there was nothing new. There was not much unique about their conversation, something that’d touch a chord with the reader. I think there could have something more. There is almost an ease with which Sirius discusses the past with Remus and vice versa. I'm not sure that'd be the case. I'm not sure bringing in the WW incident was the best move here. And again the way Sirius talks about it. Because personally, I'm thinking he wouldn't even want to talk about it. I'm not sure either of them would. Suggestion: you could have a shown either one of them reluctant to pursue that course in the conversation and thus leave the reader to draw their own reasons as to why because it can work fine either of the way. It works fine both ways too. But originality is lost somewhere there in between.
The second implication of bringing this incident was that the whole one-shot became sort of scattered in everything we know about them. Plot-wise, I mean. If I am reading dialogue only story I'd like the writer to focus more and particularly on one topic of discussion. The whole emphasis in such a case would then be on how language/speech is employed to convey discomfort, unease, hesitation, humour, frustration (all emotions I felt would be very commonly shared b/w 35/36 year aged Sirius/Remus when seated together).
Another thing that left me a little down: the use of names. I’m not sure I share The_Dream_Team’s view on this. Sirius at one point I believe uses Lupin somewhere in the books. While I don't want to read extensively into the reasoning but the use of his second name suggests a strangeness I guess Sirius would/should/perhaps is feeling, which I really actually liked. It made Sirius more believeable when written after the Azkaban imprisonment. In your story you used nicknames and that again with them receiving extra focus when you wrote “Blimey, first names. This must be serious. What are you after?. I felt that when you use the dialogue-only style whatever you are putting in the dialogues suddenly starts makes A LOT more difference than it'd usually. Using 'Sirius' 'Remus' 'Lupin' instead of 'Padfoot' and 'Moony' would reflect on a more grown side of theirs, unless it is spoken of it in a especially sentimental regard. Perhaps you had used only James' name being referred to as 'Prongs' and so when read in conjunction with the whole context there'd be a significance to it, that is James died and like you used once I believe the words 'preserved in time' and so James would be preserved in time with his nickname while Remus and Sirius are still well alive would be sort of moving on, growing, not stagnated in time. Right now in the story I feel like when you read those marauder era stories and ask yourself how in the world the marauders get away using in public seemingly weird names. Not that that would be the best comparison here, but I merely want to the say how nicknames become redundant quickly this way.
The ending is particularly good. I really liked it. I cracked up at Vanity, thy name is Black. Your earlobe is fine. This was very nice.
He’ll probably ask us if she was drugged with a love potion or something. Meh, this brings up certain memories. I forgot who suggested the Lily being drugged idea. I'm sure I have read it somewhere on the forums. Was it CM? Hmm. I can't be sure.
Author's Response: Actually it's Harry who suggests that Lily was drugged with a love potion. Snape fans can take that which ever way they want ... LOL. Remus saying it, was to underline the outrageousness of the suggestion. *grins wickedly*
Ahh, Akay, sorry it wasn't to your liking, but quite frankly I felt it was about time those two men talked about that incident. Regarding their ages, Sirius simply isn't as mature, he went to Azkaban in his early twenties and just hasn't matured as much as Remus. So that was why I wrote him like that.
Nicknames - Confession time. I'm old - not Marauder era, it's true - but I have reunions with college pals. I still get called 'Pig' at every reunion. We slip back into the banter and I think Remus and Sirius would have done too, when they didn't have the constraints of being grown ups around them (Blimey you should see my husband and his mates - Sirius and Remus are the most mature of adults in comparison). They do use their old nicknames in canon ("The Servant of Lord Voldemort") so I think they'd definitely use them in private, when they're having a chat. It bonds them. You say their nicknames are wierd - I mentioned I was called Pig - for no real reason - and my husband is known as 'Granny' because of a passing remark made to him at school over twenty years ago. Sorry, it's something I feel strongly about and although you disagree and have a good point, I have to differ.
I'm glad you liked the last line. It seems to be the favourite so far.
Good, concise review, Akay, so thank you. Carole xxx
i loved that! gr8 story! my favorite part is definitely the last sentence how you tie everything together by mentioning tonks. sirius and lupin, i thought, were in character and i really liked how they used their nicknames. gr8 story!
Author's Response: I'm glad you like the last sentence; Tonks refuses to stay out of any story I write about Remus - and vice versa. Pleased you thought my two best men were IC - I try my best *grins* Thanks again. Carole xxx
I love this story. It's really great. It was really fun to read. I like the last line. It was great.
Author's Response: Thank you for the review. I do appreciate your comments. HA! I liked the last line as well. I can never forget Tonks.