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Dumbledore's Army
Review(s): 26

Reviewer: anna MDate: 2004-06-22
Reviewid: 88140Chapter: 1
This is greatness!
The scene between Remus and Sirius at the end is so sweet.
And this part...
Distantly, Sirius noticed the icy feeling inside him being consumed, boiled away by a spontaneous, seething fury. 'Pathetic weakling? Is that what you think?' He laughed. He'd just thought of the perfect way to teach Snape the lesson of his life. 'Why don't you go and see for yourself how pathetic he is? Go on, if you're so brave. See how weak he is.' Sirius's whole body shook with unexpressed rage as he waited, desperately willing Snape to take the bait.

Oh my gosh! This is almost exactly like how I wrote it in my prank-fic! (I promise I hadn't read yours yet!) Snape taunting Sirius, calling Remus weak, Sirius sending him off to see how weak Remus really is...wow.
Anyway, I really enjoyed reading this!

Reviewer: JolieDate: 2004-02-29
Reviewid: 72622Chapter: 1
Definitely the best version of The Prank that I’ve read so far!

What can I say that your other reviewers haven’t said before?


I like your writing style – how you take the time to describe the surroundings and establish the atmosphere. And your attention to all those little gestures and facial expressions – you write in a very visual way.


As for the characterization in this piece, it’s spot on for all the protagonists! They’re all perfectly recognizable and nothing grates at all. Lupin’s defensive de-escalation tactics, exasperatingly noble James, and especially Peter as a likeable person (lots of MWPP stories don’t succeed at that).

The way it takes Sirius *ages* to get that he’s gone too far, while everyone else realizes it immediately, is very IC, too. As was the “tiny glimmer of satisfaction” that even Dumbledore couldn’t quench.


I was particularly impressed by Sirius’s conversation with Dumbledore. It would have been so easy to write that in a clichéd way, Dumbledore telling Sirius to control his temper, I mean – but there are some golden lines of wisdom in your dialogue:

>>>> If you are unable to treat it with the gravity it deserves, for Remus's sake you would have done better not to have shared it.' <<<<

>>>> 'Loyalty and courage are nothing without the judgement to govern them. And without that judgement, they can even become dangerous. <<<

Just to quote the highlights.


I’ve always found Sirius’s apparent carelessness (both about Lupin’s and Snape’s life) very unsettling, but you’ve explained it well:

>>>> It was one thing for him to want Remus to give Snape the fright of his life; and it was one thing for him to want Snape dead. But it was quite another, he could see now, to put the two together, and to want Remus to kill Snape. <<<


This is even the first time that I was *not* annoyed at this much overused joke:

>>> 'I... I didn't think,' he croaked out.
'That,' replied Dumbledore, 'is evident.' <<<

Simply because it’s never been truer than in your story.


And here’s a great bit of foreshadowing:

>>>>> And Sirius was shocked to the marrow that Dumbledore might think there would ever be a time when he couldn't tell good from ill. <<<<


Instead of quoting your whole story back at you (sorry), just a few more things:


You’ve found a very convincing explanation why Snape would be interested in keeping quiet about the whole incident. Although I’d have liked Dumbledore even more in this if he’d had another motivation for keeping Snape out of Azkaban, rather than just saving Lupin’s secret. Something for Snape’s own sake, maybe?


Another theme I really liked is the “guard dog” image. Am I right in assuming that the Marauders haven’t, at that point, yet chosen what sort of animals they want to become? It’s a nice touch that Sirius turns out as exactly that, a guard dog. And I *so* feel for Lupin when he tells Sirius that he must be allowed to deal with the werewolf issue in his own time, and that he doesn’t want his friends to take it out of his hands, no matter how well-meaning.


On the whole, congratulations, a very enjoyable read!

Jolie

Reviewer: KaraDate: 2004-01-30
Reviewid: 68882Chapter: 1
If the HP books were told from Sirius's point of view, and during the marauder era...I could have easily believed JK Rowling wrote this herself! Absolutely wonderful story! I love that James acted so much like Harry! That's pretty much how I picutred him acting. :) Er...when he doesn't have Snape hanging upside showing us his dirty underpants. ;)

Reviewer: AshaDate: 2003-08-24
Reviewid: 48424Chapter: 1
I've been wanting to read a vignette that deals with the shrieking shack prank for a long time now, but haven't been able to find anything. Tonight, purely by accident, I found your story. I loved it! loved it, loved it, loved it. The characterizations were spot on, well maybe not so much now from what we know from OOTP, but it doesn't matter. What matters is you really captured the emotion that they would have all gone through. Personally, I would have liked to see Remus a little madder at Sirius, but only because I know that if I were him, I'd be furious. Then again, I have a huge soft spot in my heart for Remus. I loved the descriptions you used, especially the scene in Dumbledores office.
I assume from the fic, that the Mauraders hadn't become anamagi(sp) yet, but I sort of like the hints you gave for what was to become. Whether that was intentional or not,bravo.
again, this was a great story, please continue writing. You have a definite gift, you should use it.

~Asha.

Reviewer: CalimoraDate: 2003-07-02
Reviewid: 39807Chapter: 1
This is the best rendition of The Prank i've ever seen.

Reviewer: shannonDate: 2003-05-13
Reviewid: 31782Chapter: 1
ohhh very nice, very good, very compelling. great interpritation of the prank...plus the aftermath too. i happen to be a HUGE sirius and remus fan, and i really appreciate the hospital scene. Write more!

Reviewer: shannon12Date: 2003-03-31
Reviewid: 25874Chapter: 1
this is a great interpritation of what happened that night. i love this story, great job. so much drama...very good story.

Reviewer: CrookshanksDate: 2003-02-08
Reviewid: 19554Chapter: 1
Wow,this is really good! This is honestly one of the best stories I've ever read on SQ!

Reviewer: SnowyDate: 2003-01-31
Reviewid: 18478Chapter: 1
Ahhh...I have been looking for this story - I've read it before but could not remember where. Great work. The Cruciatus explanation is extremely creative. Sorry, I can't spell, byt what's new about that...
Snowy

Reviewer: TelanuDate: 2003-01-12
Reviewid: 15930Chapter: 1
Oh, wonderful! Everything is just right--everything, and everyone. Bravo!

Reviewer: CorgiDate: 2003-01-04
Reviewid: 15175Chapter: 1
Ooooo... the Review Thread was right. This strikes =exactly= the right notes - for Sirius, for the others' reactions... <applause>. Excellent construction and pacing.

Reviewer: CatherineDate: 2002-12-20
Reviewid: 13454Chapter: 1
I have always had a hard time reconciling the Sirius we see in the books with the boy would have had to have played this trick in the past. It's not easy to reconcile this.

You've done a pretty good job, although I must admit that the calmness with which Sirius plays his prank, and then the prevention he tries to exercise with Peter later villifies him.

I would wonder that his friends COULD trust him again, but that's not your fault. That's JKR's.

Good work trying to fill in a plot hole.

Catherine

Reviewer: E. J. LawrenceDate: 2002-12-20
Reviewid: 13406Chapter: 1
What a great story, I love this. A beauty of a plot, perfect to a tee, and reflecting the friendship that Remus and Sirius have. What a wonderful story in general. The only thing I'm not sure about is that Dumbledore would blackmail a student into keeping quiet. But I can certainly see Snape using a Unforgivable curse on Sirius, and I don't blame him for it either after reading this story. Snape may be a jerk, but if your story matches what Sirius really did, well then...its not hard to see him going after Peter full gun after the death of Lily and James.

Reviewer: Ara KaneDate: 2002-12-18
Reviewid: 13178Chapter: 1
All the raves I've been hearing about this fic were spot-on! I love it! Your portrayal of the Marauders was wonderful. I enjoyed reading about Remus getting angry (Yellow-brown eyes! Lovely!), Peter's timidity actually leading him to stand up to Sirius, and about reckless Sirius with his dog-loyalty to his friends. (The guard dog references were cute :D) Great, great, great job!

Reviewer: JestanaDate: 2002-12-17
Reviewid: 13083Chapter: 1
Excellent fic! I really like the way you've done this scenario. I've read other versions, but I like yours best. Bravo!

Reviewer: ileneDate: 2002-12-17
Reviewid: 12970Chapter: 1
I echo the others' comments; your idea about what made Snape keep quiet is very inspired, though for some reason I found it disturbing that Sirius is satisfied that Dumbledore is being a "dirty operator". To me, that "ends justify the means" part of Dumbledore seems to conflict somewhat with the point he makes to Sirius that "'These impulses can be twisted to bring harm rather than good, Sirius, and if you do not learn to control them, there will come a point when you will not even recognise the difference between the two." It makes me wonder if Dumbledore's own willingness to break the rules (although this is totally canonical, as in PoA) will wind up backfiring on him in some way later.

It also seems that the Cruciatus also led to Lupin's forgiveness of Sirius, though I think it probably took some more time for Lupin to really totally forgive Sirius. Especially since what Sirius did endangered Lupin's life as well. I wonder if the "trick" played a part in Lupin later suspecting Sirius of being the spy?

The last paragraph was especially affecting where dramatic irony is concerned; how Sirius wants to make sure "no one would need to doubt him, ever again", and we know that he won't get his wish...

Reviewer: CalantheDate: 2002-12-16
Reviewid: 12943Chapter: 1
This is a clever, quite original take on the Shrieking Shack incident--I'm particularly impressed by the way you have refrained from exempting either Sirius or Snape of blame. The intense animosity you created between the two made their actions entirely credible. And the Cruciatus was a chilling addition...

I found the way you let Remus and Sirius to reestablish their friendship to be believable, but perhaps a bit rushed--Remus seemed to get over the possibility of being executed very quickly. But maybe that's my own writing colouring my response to yours. And I particularly appreciated your Peter, who had more backbone than is the usual case.

Having enjoyed this, I shall keep an eye out for your stories in future!

Calanthe.

Reviewer: DurayanDate: 2002-12-16
Reviewid: 12904Chapter: 1
Wow! Read this on a recommendation...it's magnificently done! The prank thing has always bothered me---and you've done an excellent job of answering the questions raised about the prank. Your characterizations are very well-done--Snape is nastily unpleasant and you've given him good reason to keep Remus' secret.

Peter is nicely characterized and you really do a fantastic job of crawling in Sirius' head! Well done story!

Reviewer: JulianeDate: 2002-12-16
Reviewid: 12901Chapter: 1
I'm....breathless. This story had me mesmerized from the start, and as the crisis deepened I was more and more on the edge of my seat. I think what pulled me initially was the first scene between James and Sirius - both boys had unique personalities and voices, and I REALLY liked Studius James (the bit where he pokes his glasses back up his nose was a wonderful detail). He's the most canonical James I've read.

Peter's role in the debacle was so in character - frightened, but brave enough to defy a very angry Sirius. He is a Gryff, after all. Sirius is convincingly stubborn.

Dumbledore's appearance scared *me.* Brilliant timing! You've got a real talent for tension!

> they were ice-blue, and bore into his own, puncturing the bolster of his self-righteousness like shards of glass.

LOVE!!!! this description.

And Snape's misstep in this little adventure, which Dumbledore uses to make him keep Remus' secret is perfect. I also thought that Snape calling Remus 'weak' being the impetus for Sirius' action is brilliant. You really put the pieces together in this fic.

The last scene between Remus and Sirius was heart-wrenching. This is by far the best treatment of the Prank that I've read. Bravo!

Reviewer: CrystalDate: 2002-12-16
Reviewid: 12873Chapter: 1
WOW. and again, WOW. What a beautiful, finely-crafted story. I'm VERY picky about my MWPP stories and characterizations, and this is one of the best I have ever read.

Peter is there, and he's well-drawn and likable, not a snivelling little git or a "foreshadowing of evil." Yet one can see why he might have turned to Voldemort's side later. Your Sirius is excellent too. He's not a male slut, nor a sugar-high goofball, he's exactly as I'd imagined him as a teenager - warm-hearted and protective to a fault, brilliant at his studies, yet impulsive and lacking in judgment. And the reason you gave for The Prank is perfectly in character and plausible - not something corny like Snape lusting after Lily or something. (And speaking of Lily, thanks for not making her the Fifth Marauder. You have no idea how happy that makes me. :> )

On Snape: He's nasty and vindictive and spiteful and alltogether dislikeable. That's perfectly canon. While I like Snape (and Sirius) I don't agree with portrayals that make Snape the noble, wronged one and Sirius the spiteful bully. In this story, I could understand why Sirius did what he did. And your having Snape wet his pants was *priceless*. I burst out laughing when I read it.

Finally, Dumbledore: "Too bad for Snape that he'd discovered someone who was a dirtier operator than he was." I like the way you gave depths and a Slytherinesque cunning to the great wizard. I like Dumbledore, and always thought that he's much more than the kindly old grandfather figure so many fics portray him as. He is, after all, the most powerful wizard of his time.

Again: Wonderful story. Alkari told me that I should read it as I'd love how you portrayed Sirius and I agree. You did a "corkingly spiffing" job.

Reviewer: oybolshoiDate: 2002-12-16
Reviewid: 12862Chapter: 1
Wow - what an incredible read - you did a terrific job!

Reviewer: AlkariDate: 2002-12-16
Reviewid: 12831Chapter: 1
I have had to read this twice before I could post a review. It is undoubtedly THE best rendition of the "Prank" incident that I have seen - and I have read more than a few, including some really excellent ones.

I am particularly impressed with the way you have portrayed both Sirius and Peter. Your Sirius is not the totally reckless/idiotic buffoon /daredevil/hopeless at school because he is fooling around/etc person which we so often see in fanfics, but a highly intelligent, loyal and deeply caring person, who just happens to do something very reckless to 'protect' a friend without seeing all the potential consequences. Hardly unnatural behaviour for any teenage boy! His heart was in the right place, he just didn't think it through. And the way you also built in his personal enmity with Snape, and how it coloured his reactions, was excellent.

Your Peter is also impressive, as he is an integral part of MWPP and not a wimp/junior DE/total idiot. Yet you can also see how he could eventually become a person who would turn traitor, and how he would have the intelligence and competence to frame Sirius.

Snape was totally in-canon, and his use of the Cruciatus curse was inspired, as it gave Dumbledore a perfect lever to extract his promise about not disclosing Remus' secret.

James, Remus and Dumbedlore all perfectly realised too.

As a confirmed MWPP fan, I can only applaud your writing in this, and I really hope we will see more from you.


Alkari

Reviewer: A.L. de SauveterreDate: 2002-12-15
Reviewid: 12788Chapter: 1
This is the best handling of the recount of that night that I have ever seen. Your descriptions are magnificent, and your characterisations, flawless. I echo Rugi on this one-- you manage to portray Sirius as neither the caricature of the reckless rogue nor the heartless, vindictive perpetrator that he is often pegged as in fanon.

<<Relief, gratitude, guilt, dread at what might have been -- all of them churned together inside him.

And there, alongside them, small, but unmistakably still there, was the tiniest glimmer of satisfaction. >>

Your Sirius is complex, and like us, is basically good, but subject to "uncharacteristic" reactions in response to certain stimuli, in this case, Snape's taunting during his heightened sense of anxiety for Remus's safety and the burden of his secret. It's a wonderful balance that you strike in this story that is beautifully rendered in its description, its pacing, its dialogue and its observations.

Really, truly masterful! Thank you for sharing this with us.

Axelle :)

Reviewer: Fawkes101Date: 2002-12-15
Reviewid: 12756Chapter: 1
Awesome story!

Reviewer: B. NonymousDate: 2002-12-15
Reviewid: 12754Chapter: 1
Welcome to the Quill.

Wow! This is a zinger. I'm gonna sound almost like a carbon-copy of Rugi, but yes, you have both Sirius and Snape down to a T. You _also_ have Peter down pretty well too. You realize that in this story, you've set up one possible motivation for Peter to do what he did to Sirius, right? (I'll admit I'm jealous I didn't think of it first. I may ask your permission for this incident at some point.)

Reviewer: RugiDate: 2002-12-15
Reviewid: 12720Chapter: 1
Oh this is a very believable and impressive account of the whole incident. I am especially impressed by your version of Sirius. I don't know how you managed to make his motives line up so perfectly with his behavior in canon and at the same time keep him being a basically good person (like in canon). It is a very delicate balance since what he did was so horrible. It was also sad to consider what lay ahead of him.
The explanation for Snape's behavior was good as well. you didn't over romanticise him or make him entirely in the wrong. This is a very impressive fic.

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