I told you I would visit your AP today, right? So, here I am.
Okay, but... now I'm supposed to leave you a coeherent review, right? How am I supposed to do that when you just shattered my poor heart?
Everything about this was just so painful (and beautiful), starting from their childhood till the very last scene... those two are just so tragic and you just captured that tragedy so well. I can't even choose a favourite line or tell you what I loved most because everything was just so perfect and all I wanted for the whole time was jump into the story and smother them with hugs.
Okay, I'll try to do this properly and go back and comment on each section...
Ah, growing up in the Black family... the idea that Sirius grew up without ever feel any love from his family, without ever getting a hug... it's just so sad... and Regulus... :( It always kills me to think about the relationship between Sirius and Regulus, how it could have worked out and how instead it did... :(
My poor, little Remmy... so scared of being left alone, so convinced he doesn't deserve to be loved... and still, so hopeful that his three friends would be with him forever... *cries*
I love that you included the misunderstanding and how they eventually solved it. Had Remus realized why Sirius didn't want him to say the words? I think he did, even if I'm not 100% sure. Anyway it was nice to see them happy at least for a little bit.
I hate that they suspected each other. I hate that if they had just talked about it things might have gone differently. I hate that Sirius ended up in Azkaban and I hate that he'd think Remus wasn't the one after all, that he tried to think of anyone else telling him "I love you" as their last words. And at the same time, I find so sweet the memories of when Remus did tell him that he loved him. Oh, if only... :(
Another thing (rather, person) I Siriusly hate, Peter Pettigrew! Okay, lie, I'm not able to really hate him, as I'm sure you know... but still... Remus has lost everyone and it's Peter's fault and... why, Pete???
Argh! Those two are going to kill me... I just want them to be happy, but that's not a possibility, right? And poor Remus, not having even the money to afford a decent house. And Sirius needing to run and hide. So unfair. And then Remus trying to tell him that he loved him and Sirius' reaction... why?
Uff, I hate this fear of saying the words. Obviously, it's absolutely rational, but I still hate it. I just want them to be happy!
Ah, Remus and Sirius getting drunk on bad gin and reminiscing the old days... that would be nice if the war wasn't looming over them. Glad they have their few moments of... carefreeness, I guess?
This close he could see all the lines that fourteen years of poverty and illness had etched into his skin. Argh, why do you hate me, Emma? Why do you want to make me cry? Also, the dancing bit was just too sweet for words, and they are just so sweet together all the time. If only they could/wanted to loosen up some more... but they kissed in the end, so that's something?
I hate the effect Grimmauld Place have on Sirius and the impotence Remus feels about it. But I love how you wrote it and that you included a glimpse of when Sirius was disowned. I also loved the concept of the moments when Sirius didn't love Remus, when he was just too caught in his resentment and pain... I think it's such a powerful thing to include, even if once again you are trying to kill me...
Ah, Remus, you don't need to punctualize everything all the time, you know? Just let people say things that don't exactly make sense from time to time. Especially if the person in question is Sirius Black being happy for once... silly boys... but that's how we love them, right?
Ah, Sirius, honey, no... don't think that way... I know it's hard and being stuck at Grimmauld sucks and everything... but try to resist? Do it for me? Don't do anything stupid?
I also hate Severus Snape. Like, a lot! (Okay, another lie, but you know what I mean... he could be just slightly less of a jerk, couldn't he?) And of course Sirius is being an idiot. But this is what JK did, right? It's all so frustrating...
I'm not sure if I'm absurdely angry at Remus for saying it in that moment or if I'm glad he did because at least Sirius knew. What would have happened if Remus didn't say his part out loud? Probably it would make no difference, because Sirius had already done... or, who knows how these things work? And I hate (and love) the idea that Sirius would just sacrifice himself for Remus. I mean, he didn't exactly do that, but that was what he was hoping, wasn't it? That he would be the one to die so that Remus could live? This is so unfair! Everything about this story is just so unfair! But so was canon, I think? Why can't they all just live and be happy? :(
Okay, I think I did make your story justice now (well, a bit more than before, at least... this took me an absurdely long time as well...)
Wonderful job on this, my dear! :)
This was so painful and bittersweet and now I'm feeling all the feels *sobs* You built up the complexities of their relationship so well and the tight interweaving of all their hopes and dreams which were dashed and the terrible trauma of everything that happened to the Marauders.
I love how you weaved in Sirius' desperate desire for love but also terror because of the words - I had never considered such an impact. And Remus' reaction to him finally saying the words, ack.
Their love of Harry was amazing; as was the characterisation - you were absolutely incredible with how you showed their similarities and differences and what brought them together and what pushed them apart. So the final summary sentence was incredible for putting an end to his pain, but it leaves a ghost behind because we know the pain Remus and Harry will then be going through :(
Overall, incredible, well done! (I came here for the Nargles and forgot to say at the start bc caught up in the emotions!)
Hello hello hello Emma! I’m finally getting around to everyone’s entries for my soulmate AU challenge, so here I am with yours! :)
So I’m going to be honest with you, I’m not very familiar with the Wolfstar ship, but I’m very happy with your version of it, especially in the context of the soulmate prompt I gave you, which was the tattoos of last words, and the random prompt of “This wasn’t my fault I swear!”. I was itching for some angsty, broody piece for whoever ended up getting that prompt, and you definitely delivered on that. I also quite liked how you wrote the story as snapshots of Sirius & Remus’ lives and how Sirius’s tattoo defined some major moments in their younger years between them. The back and forth between them regarding their feelings towards each other and the barriers that repeatedly got put up and then torn down really provided a lot of the emotional anguish for the ship and the story. You wrote some very nice “quiet” moments between Sirius and Remus, which I quite liked because it gave them more depth and influenced their personalities later on in the story when it came down to the end and crunch time. I find it interesting and also vital to the story that Remus never tells Sirius his last words, because it does play such a significant role in the last few scenes of the story that Sirius is able to grasp the gravity of the situation in the Department of Mysteries regarding himself and Remus, vowing to die so that it wouldn’t be Remus.
I think you picked quite a few good scenes that match with canon (approximately) to show Sirius alone, or both Sirius and Remus together. You quite neatly injected the quote into the middle of the story too, that I almost missed it in my first read through because it flowed so well! It was one of the brighter, happier moments of the story, which was a great place to put it. Also, having Sirius say it, it reminds the reader that Sirius used to be dramatic and full of laughter as a young man, and this is a hint of that man that’s still somewhere deep inside him, circumstances notwithstanding. You did a great job making my heart hurt with this one! I’ll be posting the results later. :)
Hiii! I’m gonna review your story and I just want to warn you in advance as I’ll be reviewing as I go so if it sounds a little wonky, that’s why!
Aside from that, I am living for soulmate au’s so I can’t wait to see what you did here!
Okay. So. The first paragraph made me tear up already, because holy crap, the contrast between James and Sirius is so clear, yet it’s been written in such a matter-of-fact tone which really makes you realise how horrid Sirius’ situation is. But it’s not only that – he is so not used to it all, that it really makes him look like he’s from a whole different planet as it is, but in a way that makes it even more heartbreaking than it is already.
His entire monologue about the saying I love you then too, how minimal it is, just makes you go: why??? Because no child should ever have to grow up in a home like that. And just especially the ‘but perhaps’ part makes it like he shrugs it all of again and that’s just so… I don’t even have the words for it.
I honestly just want to hug Sirius.
‘Someday someone would love him, and that would be the end of it’ HOLY MOTHER OF GOD WHY? HERE I WAS HOPING THAT THE ‘THIS WASN’T MY FAULT I SWEAR’ WOULD BE THE WORDS ON HIS WRIST BECAUSE THAT WOULD BE HORRIBLE ENOUGH AS IT WAS BUT THEN YOU WENT AND DID THIS? WHY?
Okay so now on to part two. I can definifely get why Remus’ words just never make sense to him, because it just. Doesn’t. Well it probably does in context, but for now? I completely feel him.
Yeah okay just shatter my heart all over again, will you? He didn’t want to be left alone, bloody hell.
You seriously want to break me. Him being afraid the words would disappear just because he became a werewolf? Him taking two hours to muster up the courage to look? My boy wants to be loved so bad but the fear man. God you got him down so well.
‘They weren’t going to leave him.’ OH MY GOD REMUS YOU PRECIOUS BABY. I want to hug and protect him because boy is he going to go through a hard time and he does not deserve it and ugh.
Sirius flinching away oh my god. I can’t imagine how terrifying it must be to know those are going to be the last words someone ever says to you but there must also be that underlying thought of wanting to hear it as well? Like deep down?
AND THEN OH MY GOD REMUS IS SO HURT. He must have thought like how maybe Sirius didn’t want him after all or thought he was unworthy of loving him or whatever the hell it was oh my god this is such a mess already and it keeps shattering my heart but good god.
(Yeah this review totally is not coherent I apologise)
How does Sirius know it means death, though? Especially when there are other options? Is he just that pessimistic or?
Oh my god how hurt must Remus have been if he has been avoiding Sirius for days and wants him to stay away from him because daaamn? I want to hug him, still.
And Sirius is being so desperate. To be honest, I don’t blame him – i would too. Be devastated. Especially when you know a person so well you know what kind of hurt it must bring to someone to cut them off when they’re trying to tell you you love them but. God.
I was right about Remus though. It’s all about the werewolf thing and everything and he is so, so wrong but he just doesn’t see that and god.
OH NO BUT SIRIUS SO MANY PEOPLE LOVE YOU? James? His parents obviously? Remus? Lily will at some point and so many other people will do and even if it’s not all romantically it’s still so many people and this will definitely not be your only shot at love? Ugh. It’s seriously – god.
AND THEN THE RELIEF. It almost makes me sob in relief too.
WAIT WHAT THE HELL REMUS ISN’T HIS SOULMATE? WHAT? I DO NOT AGREE. WHAT THE HELL????? IT MUST BE HIM BUT LIKE SEPARATED? But god and just the mention of him having to relive his arrival at Godric’s Hollow. Just the thought makes me go: whyyyy.
A WEEK AND A HALF REMUS? AND OH MY GOD. IT CAN STILL HAPPEN YOU ALL. IT CAN STILL. WORK. OUT.
Oh my god it’s such a nice detail, though, that the words are messy like hell when he comes out of prison due to lack of practise. It makes so much sense? Really, it does. I don’t think I ever would’ve been able to think of that. I’m impressed.
REMUS HE IS SO EMOTIONAL OH MY GOD. But then with Peter you had other things on your mind, didn’t you, with protecting Harry and revenge and you weren’t alone with him to it makes sense that you’re way emotional now.
OH MY GOD DAMNIT EMMA THE LAST TIME HE FELT WARM WAS IN THE COMMON ROOM OH MY GOD THIS IS JUST. UGH.
Sirius near tears. He must be so happy. And relieved. But seeing him so emotional makes the desperation earlier even words and I just cannot.
OH NO YOU JUST MADE IT WORSE THEY BOTH HAD TO BE TAUGHT HOW TO HUG WHAT ABOUT REMUS’ PARENTS OH MY GOD NO THIS IS TOO SAD YOU’RE BREAKING ME, EMMA, YOU’RE BREAKING ME.
‘I asked Harry to live with me.’ AND WE ALL KNOW HE WANTS IT BUT THE MINISTRY MAN. THE MINISTRY. GOD I WISH IT COULD HAPPEN COULD THIS BE PART OF AN AU OR ARE YOU STICKING TO CANON?
‘He looked so excited.’ No wonder.
Oh good god all the references and how James would mock them. This is going to absolutely make me cry at the end. No doubt.
No you should not move back, Remus, if you’re standing to close to him. You. Should. Not.
OH MY GOD YOU ARE NOT.
OH MY GOD.
YOU SHOULD’VE KISSED HIM. YOU SHOULD’VE. OH MY GOD. WHY? YOU BOTH KNOW YOU WANT IT. WHY DO YOU MAKE HIM MORE AFRAID AFTER ALL THOSE YEARS IN HELL?
‘just in case the words counted in writing.’ Just bury me already.
Why would you have a tin of pineapple?
If this is canon, Remus, you will be able to convince yourself that you can because boy you will.
How can you forget a cat? D:
I count that as cooking by the way – thats basically how I cook and it works.
Yeah I am not surprised Sirius never behaved BUT OH MY GOD ARE THEY GOING TO DANCE?
I am dying and screw the pasta for ruining the moment because no matter how fleeting it was, it was glorious.
YOU’RE NOT SAVING EITHER OF YOUR HEARTS BY NOT GIVING IN. Or maybe you are but you are both HURTING so honestly pull yourself together please? There is a war going on.
Remus please don’t flinch.
Sirius has a point there. Keeping him near through friendship is better than losing him due to crossing a line.
Yes, good Remus. Good.
Are you two going to kiss now?
Okay my heart almost broke over that line about how it wasn’t his fault but then I remembered that it was neither of their words and then I could breathe again.
Oooh, James told him to come over there? Interesting tidbit, even if it meant he got thrown out in the process, really. I’d like to see more of that entire process.
‘that nail polish remover you buy’ I just about died.
The Map was given to him Remus, it’s different!
OH HERE YOU ARE AGAIN MAKING ME EMOTIONAL. REMUS TELLING SIRIUS HE’S A GOOD MAN AND EVERYTHING OH MY GOD.
OH MY GOD NO HE DIDN’T HE DID NOT OH MY GOD IT MAKES SO MUCH SENSE NOW BUT HOLY MOTHER OF GOD NO NO NO NO NO.
AND THEN REMUS WENT AND SAID I LOVE YOU. NO NO NO NO NO.
I absolutely hate you right now.
Honestly. This story was bloody briljant and heartwrenching and just your choice of words and dialogue and it made so much sense how accepting Remus seemed to be for Harry later on and goddamnit.
This was excellent. Truly. (But you also broke me).
There are so many things about this that I loved.
First: your writing is absolutely brilliant. The way you weave your words together draws the reader in and keeps them invested in a way. Each section flows into the next in a way that's both touching and heartbreaking, and the moments you choose illustrate both a progression in how Sirius looks at the world and how he's just... stuck in the same place. It makes sense, based on both his childhood and his time in Azkaban... but it's still so, so depressing.
Your Sirius is effing brilliant. He's so, so damaged in such a realistic way, and I love that you don't shy away from that or handwave it away as something that was solved by having friends. Having friends certainly helped, but it was still very much an upward climb, and he didn't really have an environment in which he could really make a good break from the toxicity of his home life growing up.
I also love his relationship with Remus. There's so much vulnerability there and fear around it, and that makes sense to me - I think romantic relationships often cause a lot more anxiety and make you feel more vulnerable than friendships. It's not that romantic relationships necessarily matter more or you feel more invested in them - it's just that they're different, and (at least for me) carry a lot more potential for someone to leave you. I got that sense from Sirius - and I also got where the fear came from, because they were so, so sweet together. The dancing just. It just.
Amazing job, Emma!
Hi there! I'm here for our swap, and also for the Soulmate AU story! I wanted to come and read everyone's entries for this challenge, so I'm feeling lucky that you were around. Bonus!
Okay. This thing here that you've written. I have to admit that I read it a little while ago, and it was screaming good. Like, I'm a big fan of symmetry, and though it had a lot to do with your Soulmate situation, you still wove a TON of symmetry into this thing and it was FABULOUS! I want to frame it and put it up somewhere.
Also, whew! Have you looked at all the Soulmate AU stories for the challenge? They're all full of all these words, and I love that because I was seriously having doubts about all my words. You sort of need to write a ton of words for these things because 1) AU, and 2) Soulmate mechanics. So. We're in happy company with that.
Ah, so the beginning of this was so sad. I want to say that Sirius had this tragic childhood, and he probably did, but the saddest thing about it is that this type of thing, when you present it as a blood status thing, probably was a lot of people's normal in this world. It's just heartbreaking. And the summary. I have to say that THAT was heartbreaking all on its own. I love the simple language. Those are exactly the words I can picture Sirius saying in his head, over and over. Living with all that tragedy... ok, moving on.
The incredibly wonderful thing that you've created here, the thing that I hadn't expected, but loved, was that the words themselves weren't what killed a person. I loved the twist that Remus had said the words over and over, and that had convinced Sirius that since he was still alive, Remus couldn't possibly be the one, but Sirius comes around to understanding that's not true. I also loved the line about Sirius itching to cheat death, because that sounds exactly like how I picture him. Your characterization is so good.
All the snippets of life, where you showed the progression of time, just enough that we get what's going on, but not any more than we needed, were all wonderful as well. One of the most touching parts for me was this bit, where Remus ponders some hard truths about their situation:
"There were many ways Sirius told Remus he loved him..."
"Remus also knew that sometimes, Sirius didn't love him... had always known how to read the absence of things, the figure-ground reversal that spoke in silences."
And of course, my favorite, favorite part, the one that was the most tragic of all, was the part where Remus didn't have to explain himself, that Sirius was so attuned to him that he KNEW this was the moment he'd been waiting forever for, the moment he'd dreaded, and the magical part of it was that he finally got the verification of a lifetime, just in time to have it all go away.
And oh, the summary kills me every time. And the end. And it was perfect.
There you go. Thanks for ripping my heart into tiny pieces.
*goes to get some super glue*
Okay so I read this at like 1:41 a.m. last night and my heart was broken into a million tiny pieces and so I had a really sad dream and so yeah. The dream was not fun, but reading this gave me so many feelings and it’s just so good, and I just read through Plums’s review and everything she says is pretty much accurate and now I don’t know what else to say haha.
The progression of their relationship was so clear in this fic, which made it all the more heartbreaking. First of all, the opening premise that Sirius would only hear “I love you” right before his soulmate’s death is already a huge punch to the gut. Second of all, I love how you tied this into canon because *sobs* Sirius dies. (Sorry it’s been like seven years and I’m still not over it. Will I ever get over a fictional character’s death? Good question. Probably not.)
I love how you wrote Sirius stopping Remus from saying “I love you” when they were both teenagers. I love how you wrote the two of them believing bitterly that they were wrong about each other, when Sirius was in Azkaban and Remus was grieving the loss of everyone around him, and they thought that they would never see each other again. I love their reunion my god. So many, many feelings, and everything is so well-written that I just don’t know how to compliment you further other than “I LOVE EVERYTHING.”
Also I’m adoring all the little things you added in there; all the little pop culture references to the time that they’re living in like the radio and the music (er at least I think that’s what you’re doing because I gotta be honest with you, pop culture references are not my thing, but either way, it really adds to the atmosphere of the story). And when they kissed again for the first time in – what, fourteen years? – my heart felt full and I completely forgot that Sirius and Remus had a sad ending.
Their banter is to die for. You write it so well?? I’m so jealous omg. <3
And that ending killed me. I just. I’m sorry, this has been the most unhelpful review in the history of reviews, I’m just. When Sirius just offhandedly asked that silly, silly question, my heart literally stopped beating for a moment. [Okay, maybe not literally, but you know what I mean.] And then when Remus knew what that meant, and he told Sirius “I love you”… *SOBS*
Anyway this has been Eva’s Unhelpful Ramble. Thanks for tuning in.
(But in all seriousness, I loved this. I can’t believe you haven’t properly written anything in years. This is so amazing. Good luck in the challenge! <3)
(I haven't done reviews in a while so I have no idea how to start these things off, but anyways -)
HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO MY HEART.
I saw your post in the common room in the updates section and honestly that summary was too good to ignore so I just had to read. With a summary like that, I was prepared for the angst, but I still didn't expect this to be so heartbreaking. Your writing is so beautiful and immersive. You balance dialogue with description perfectly and your eye for detail is just superb. As I was reading this, I kept noticing the smaller details that you included to further build this world and it was just lovely. Like having documentaries and soaps on the radio? What a perfect idea!
I also love how seamlessly you added the concept of soulmates into this world. You've strayed true to canon but weaved in this extra layer of tragedy to their story in a way that the story completely revolves around it without radically changing at all. Does that make sense? Basically, I love what you've done here.
There's so much I have to say about this and I think if I was to list them all, I'd be here all day. The introductory scene about the Blacks was so heartbreaking, the way their relationship broke down even more so. Ugh, I can't really put it all in words. The scene where Sirius stops Remus from saying "I love you" was also beautifully written - you can really tell how young they are, you know? And when you put this line ("How do you live with someone you can't stop loving even when they betray everyone?"), my heart broke even more.
Basically my heart broke a lot.
The way their relationship progressed, how it broke down and how they hovered in this awkward in between space, and then how it all culminated in them saying their final words. It's honestly so tragic.
You mentioned how this is sort of the first proper thing you've written since 2010. Well, let me tell you, it is amazing and tragic and one of my favourite fics ever. Honestly, kudos to you for writing so well.