Hi, Roxy! First off, thanks so much for helping Gryffindor to capture the House Cup! Here is your review.
This chapter was on the long side and it definitely covered a lot of ground. Coming into it, I was somewhat worried that I'd have a hard time being helpful to you, since I haven't read your WIP novel that it's related to. I was pleasantly surprised, however, to find that it was able to follow pretty much everything. I really love stories that show Sirius at the happy times in his life, because we all know how much sadness he endured between the day when James and Lily were killed and the day when he was finally reunited with Harry.
I thought that both of your two main characters were vivid and engaging. I found them easy to connect with, even though I didn't know anything about Saleena's background. You dedicated a lot of words to exploring their thoughts and feelings on the events you were describing, which is always a good investment. You gave us a really good idea of what motivates each of them: their desires and their fears
I found the concept of the gypsies as a separate and distinct group within the magical world really interesting and I can definitely see how you could build a very long, complex story around that. The idea that they would be mistrusted by wizards and ultimately hunted by the Ministry is easy to get my head around. Real-life gypsies have also been persecuted for much of their history. I liked the various rules and legacies that you constructed for them, as well as the magical abilities. It seems like a great edifice to construct a story on. It's also an idea that I've never seen before in HP fan fic, which is a definite plus. Honestly, I'm more than a little burned out on fairies and vampires. ;)
The unconditional love and acceptance that Sirius offers to Lee seem to be the thing that she desires most in the world, so it's easy to understand why taking their friendship to a different level would be both thrilling and terrifying to her. The way that Sirius assuages her concerns and ultimately wins her over was cleverly done. You simply don't think of Sirius Black as a guy who gets the girl by first visiting the library!
As far as constructive criticism, I don't think I can offer very much on the substance of this. You've put together a very compelling story, and without knowing more about the larger world of your novel I can't really tell you whether this is pitch-perfect and consistent. Your writing was very nice in terms of the way that you mixed up dialog and narrative and I liked the technique of switching the narrative voice back and forth. I do think this could use another good scrub for typos and spelling errors. I saw a few of them as I was reading.
So overall, I think you did a good job with this. You're clearly a talented writer and I'm surprised that you're having difficulty attracting reviews with a story of this caliber. Hope this was helpful! Report Review
Hi darling! Thanks for being such a lovely Gryffindor and reviewing the podcasts!
So, I am not familiar with the story this goes to, some of my confusion might have to do with that. I just don't know why Sirius is so infatuated with her. I think maybe you are having her come off as too perfect, that it's hard for me to see the strong emotional connection. Yes, they come from similar background in their own way, but I don't think that would be enough to really make me believe. Again, that is probably because I haven't read the story that goes with it :).
I like that you used the Lily and M's to explain the war, I also LOVED the switching first person PoV's, I think it was really great. There are parts where I feel like Sirius is a little out of CC, I see him very stubborn and really having a lot of pride, so it's hard for me to imagine him trying to convince a girl to be with him. I could see him teasing someone, trying to get them to date him kind of like James and Lily, but the serious/pathetic kind of what just stood out a bit. By the end of it I think you had really gotten him into my head canon of Sirius though :)!.
I don't know how I feel about the Gypsie talents.. I guess I'd have to know more about how they are portrayed to make them seem realistic. But I think it's really great that you've given her heritage so much importance!
I think the writing on this was its strongest point. Very captivating and intruging, great job!!
Jami Report Review
Happy Gryffindor Monday!!
I actually liked this a lot and I liked the fact she is a gypsy it was something I wanted to write myself about because I havenít seen it before but seeing you already have written it I have to be contented with that you did that. I really liked Saleena and her name is that a typicall Gypsy name? So I really thought this was very unique and very good! Well done!
Cleopatra ( Slytherin) Report Review
Awww, this was so sweet!! I LOVED that we got to see things from both Sirius' and Saleena's points of view! Again, so very glad to have more insight into Saleena's life as a gypsy, and into the gypsy world itself. Another great piece! 10/10!Author's Response: Thanks Jayde, I'm really glad you liked it!! I had never written Sirius before, so it was a lot of fun to get inside of his head for a change, lol! Thanks so much for reading & reviewing hun, I am glad you like the Gypsies so much, haha!! =) Report Review
WHAT?!?! That's IT? I feel deprived of what happens next ): lol I love it! It was the "Perfect" story to read before taking on your novel. ;D Other than a few grammatical errors, I thought it was A-mazing. (seriously though... what happens next?)
As a graduation present to me you should continue the story! haha!
Anyways, thanks for the wonderful read. I enjoyd it a lot.
Author's Response: Hey Chelsea!! Aww, I'm so glad you liked it! At least this way now you'll have a head start on the background information for Saleena in AiNFiL&W, lol!! I went back and reread this just now, since I knew that you were reading it too, and yeah I saw all the grammar things too. *sigh* I thought that I had gone back thru and fixed all of those at one time, but it must not have gotten saved or something... Looks like I'm just going to have to do another edit again soon then, heheh! :)
As for what happens next, well it's obvious really. Sirius gets blames for Lily & James' murders and is sent to Azkaban for it, remember? So when Saleena comes back from her studies in America, as you will see in the novel, she ends up just burying herself in her work for the rest of her life. ='(
Yes, yes, the ending of their story here is a tragic one, I know... But I am NOT the one who wrote it - it was J.K. Rowling who creates the dramatic ending, lol! Trust me; I would have much preferred it if Sirius would have been able to have a fair trial and been allowed to live, haha!! ^_^'
Thank you SO much for the review Sherry - rofl! I can't wait to hear your thoughts on the BIG story now as well, after all these years, lol! I really do hope that you like it, haha!! =)
AKA: Your fuhther!!! =P Report Review
Gurtz from the forums here! :)
I really liked how you went back and forth between Sirius and your O.C, and I think you have a great start here. I like how it isn't an instant 'I'm in love with you let's snog now' thing. It's refreshing to see. :) Can't wait to read more. :)Author's Response: Unfortunately, this was a one-shot, so there won't be anymore Sirius/Saleena like this. However, this is a companion piece for my Novel; "All is NOT Fair in Love & War" in which, Saleena is one of the more important characters. She is grown in it tho, and Sirius is dead. :'(
I am glad you liked the back-and-forth thing tho! I was a little nervous about posting it that way at first, but it seems to have gotten a lot of good responses, so yay!! =)
Thanks so much for the review!! I cannot wait to hear your thoughts on AiNFiL&W too, cuz I'm pretty sure I put a request in on your review thread for that as well, lol! :) Report Review
Aww!!! I love the romance!!!
Though in the start the flow was confusing and there are a few spelling and grammer errors here and there, I really enjoyed your story...Also you've made me curious about your other story and I'm gonna read it...sometime in the near future!!!
~CessZAuthor's Response: AWESOME!!! I'll look forwards to hearing your thoughts on "All is NOT Fair in Love & War" then too... Somewhere in the near future that is, lol! :p
I know about the grammar mistakes already. I've had this Beta'd since it was posted, I just haven't had the time to go back through and make all the corrections yet. (Fail, lol!) I will get to it tho... One of these days, haha! Thanks so much for reading!! I'm glad it piqued your interest in my novel!! THANKS!! =) Report Review
Peaky from the forums here, just stopping by to offer my thoughts/advice/review as you requested. :) Iím sorry this is slightly delayed, my internet decided to go over its limit and it decided to get a virus/crash. Anyways, onwards!
So, after reading the whole story I can honestly say that the flow and characterisation is pretty good, youíve actually got me hooked on this little one-shot. Although I havenít read All is NOT fair in Love and War, I think that this little story stands well on its own. I think I read it ages ago actually, itís a little fuzzy round the edges but its slowly coming back or Iím just getting confused with a different oneÖnot sure. The Gypsy reference got me slightly confused but I went back and re-read everything a few times (which I donít mind doing,) and I understood it so thatís all G. I think the concept fits in well, its different and new. :) So instant win in my books.
As for Sirius and Saleena, their relationship screams chemistry in your face. The way youíve written is breathtaking, the parallels between their two different worlds does give the reader a wider perspectiveÖ I think one of the other reviewers mentioned it and you stayed in canon really well for Sirius minus the fact youíve never really written about him for the Marauders Era.
I couldnít pick up any grammatical/spelling errors, so its all well and good.
Iíll be adding this one to my favourites list as for skipping on over to All is NOT fair in Love and War.
Well written and an amazing piece of work. :)
PeaksAuthor's Response: I've got you hooked? Lol, that's awesome!! :)
Thank you so much for the compliments on Sirius and Saleena's relationship. I am so glad you liked it! And if you want to, I think it would be totally awesome if you could check out my novel sometime too!! Thanks so much for the incredible review!! =) Report Review
Hello! Here I am finally with my review. I'm so sorry about the wait -- exams ruled my life for a while.
The flow and characterization between the two different POVs were fine! I could easily understand who was speaking. As for Sirius, I think you definitely did him justice! "fathomless gray eyes..bear hug.." hehe, it makes me smile! :D
I haven't read any of your novel, All is NOT fair in love and war, but I wasn't lost too much in this story. Gypsies are a novel idea; this is the first story I've ever read about them on this site. I would never have connected them with magic and this is an interesting idea. I got a little lost with all of the gypsy history at first, but when I read it over again I got it. I got it, I got it. ^_^
I think this story stands well on it's own apart from your novel. I enjoyed it! The relationship between Saleena and Sirius is so sweet and beautiful. (:
~foundriapenguinAuthor's Response: Don't worry about the wait, I understand. My apologies too for taking so long to reply to this wonderful review! :)
Awesome, I'm glad the POV switch seemed to be fine, cuz I was slightly nervous about that... It's also good to hear that you think I got Sirius right, cuz I had never written him before now! I'm glad you understood all the Gypsy stuff too, cuz again, I wasn't sure if all that really came thru or not...
Thanks reviewing this and answering all of my questions for me! And thanks for all of the wonderful comments too! I'm glad you liked it!! =)
Oh, and I agree with you... Exams really do suck by the way, lol! :p Report Review
I'm sorry that it's taken me so long to leave this review, I've been really busy as you already know. I honestly don't know where to begin, this was such a lovely One-Shot. Sirius and Saleena are two of my favourite characters, it was nice to see them paired together in this story, they have such an amazing chemistry.
I think one of your other reviewers already pointed out the similarity in their family life, which is one of the reasons why I admire this pairing so much. Both of their parents are prejudice to particular groups, and both Saleena and Sirius are reluctant to acknowledge such prejudices because they know that they are wrong. I already drew similarities between Walburga and Kirreonna whilst reading All is NOT Fair in Love and War. Now I know why I always liked Saleena as a character, she reminds me so much of Sirius, she's even sort of like a god mother to Draco in the respect that she nursed him back to health during the early chapters of the novel and she was so easger to look out for him.
You did a great job of bringing to light Saleena's internal struggle to choose between her love for Sirius and her loyalty to her family. You underlined the pros and cons of the options that she had, and through the process of doing this you drew the reader deeper into the story. For a second I almost felt as though I was faced with the exact same complicated situation that Saleena was having to deal with, so bravo - it isn't often that an author is able to do that. You did a really good job of highlighting Saleena's need to hold back, it's understandable that she should feel that way. From the way you wrote you could tell that she wanted so much to just go with her heart, but her mind was preventing her from doing so. I'm really glad that she kissed him in the end though, it really was the 'perfect' moment.
I loved Sirius in this. He stays in canon, yet it's easy to see how Saleena has effected his behaviour, he was so cute in this chapter. I like the fact that you made it clear from the start how infatuated he was by her, if were to hold back as well then it would have been very confusing lol. Sirius was simply brilliant in this, he was so calm with her, even when she was yelling at him. He was like the voice of reason, especially when he presented her with the 'third option'. I admired his determination to make their relationship work as well, would it be really cheesy of me to say 'he's her Romeo'?-lol, that does sound cheesy!
I liked the structure of this. The two different layers gave the readers a wider perspective of what was going on in the scene and what both characters were thinking. You switched the POV's at the perfect times, so all in all the structure was very effective. My favourite would have to be when Sirius hints to the reader that he's about to kiss Saleena, and then it switches to Saleena, like a sort of mini-cliffhanger until he actually goes in to kiss her.
The writing was brilliant. As i've said in the past, you have a gift for telling a story in the right way. You give the perfect amount of detail so that the reader always knows what's going on and you write LOADS so whenever you update it is well worth the wait (or in the case of a one shot - long enough to tell a brilliant story without rushing through it and confusing the reader).
There were a few badly worded phrases and a few mistakes here and there but I think I got them all when I sent you the PM.
I wondered, would it be a possibility to have a Roxi One-Shot seeing as you've had like two Saleena ones? I think that a Roxi One-Shot would be awesome, of course you don't have to, i just thought it would be a great read!
Well, I think this stunning piece of work deserves nothing less than a 10/10, and it's definitley going into my favourites.
Keep up the amazing work Deana.
Katie Report Review
There's something very sweet about this that I can't help but love. I can't quite put my finger on it, but it's there.
There are a lot of places that need re-wording. I don't know if it's the sentence structure, or the word choice but something was just off and it interupted the flow of the story. It seemed obtrusive at some parts. You also need to watch you tenses and your plurals.
The POV switch was a bit confusing at first though effective once you caught on.
I loved your descriptions. You did a good job of painting that picture!
I like the James awkwardness before he is introduced. The way he rolls his eyes. It shows just how out of character Sirius is being with Saleena.
I love the parallel between Sirius and Saleena. Similar last names, similar first names, and you imply that their families are similar as well. It makes her sound like the female Sirius and that really helps to establish her character without spending too much time really explaining it. Good job.
You have the Marauders and Lily explaining about the war, but you never really explain why Saleena doesn't know about it already?
I get that you are describing Saleena from Sirius' point of view and he is obviously a little biased, but you want to be careful that she doesn't sound like a Mary-Sue. She seems too perfect. She's got to have some flaws somewhere.
You also stated that Saleena's life would be in danger if she dated Sirius. How so? Go into that a little more.
Why was she yelling at him at the start of their picnic? It seemed like a little too much.
And why would Mrs. Black be friends with Saleenas mum if they were anything but pureblood wizards. Surely she would have seen them as something like a half breed. And we know she didn't like them too much.
You did an excellent job of letting the information trickle out a little at a time. You don't want to bog down and bore the reader with too much at once and you did a really good job avoiding that.
I also thought the description of Saleenas gift was very well done. You made it somehow believable. however I don't understand why Sirius' POV on the day they met was so much different than hers. Maybe try and explain that a bit better? Go into the memory more through a flashback perhaps.
Well done though! I had to get a bit nit picky because there wasn't really too much to criticize.Author's Response: Wow, this is such an amazing review, thank you! :)
I have had a beta go over this for me, so the needed corrections will be fixed soon! I'm so glad to hear that you loved my descriptions, because descriptive writing used to be one of my weaknesses. I used to rely too heavily on dialogue, and leave the details out, so it's good to get feedback saying that I have improved in that area!!
It's so awesome that you picked up on all the similarities between the two of them! Oh, and Saleena doesn't know very much about the war because she went to school in France. This is set during her summer off after finishing school there. And the reason she would be in danger if she was caught dating him is because of her Grandma, who is the current Gypsy queen. Saleena is supposed to take her place one day, but if she falls in love, Carla (he grandma) fears that she won't be up to the task... I know it talks about these things in more detail in in my novel, but I must have not mentioned them here. I might go back and find a way to sneak that info all in a bit more tho, thanks for pointing all that out!
She wasn't really "yelling" at him in the beginning, she was just irritated because she was afraid of their friendship changing. She didn't want to lose him as a friend by complicating things with dating... if that makes sense! ^_^'
Mrs. Black didn't know Kireonna (Saleena's mom) was a gypsy because they always acted like wizards. They had to, for fear of being discovered. So I guess Saleena's mom told Sirius' mom that they were purebloods, because she knew what kind of person Mrs. Black was... Again, I hope that makes more sense, lol!
And it's not so much that Sirius' memory of it was very much different than hers, it's more of the fact that Saleena was able to feel his emotions from that moment as he was sharing the memory of it with her. I think I will change that part up a bit, now that you mentioned it!
I don't think you were being nit-picky at all, I actually thought you asked some very great questions!! I LOVED answering them all of them, so thank you!! I'm glad you seemed it like it! Thanks again for reviewing!! =)
Thanks for asking such great questions tho, I LOVE answering them!! =) Report Review
Sorry for the delay, I swear I've read the begining ten times before I finally got the time to read the whole thing through.
All in all it was well worth the wait! It was a super fantastic story and I loveloveloved it! The ending was sooo cute! :D
I really liked the way you switched form point of views. It was an interesting idea and make the story flow more smoothly in my opinion. :)
Great job on the story, good luck in the challenge!
Well well worth the wait! XDAuthor's Response: Hey there!! :)
Oh, don't worry about the delay hun, I totally understand. I'm just so happy that you loved it that much. I have never written Sirius before, or any of the marauders before for that matter, so I was kinda nervous about this. I was also unsure if the whole changing POV's thing was going to make it harder to understand and/or difficult to read, so it's nice to hear that that wasn't confusing at all to you as a reader! My main concern for this one-shot actually, was with the overall story flow as a whole, so I was pleased to hear that you thought it went smoothly and made the story more interesting.
Thank you so much for the review, and for placing this story Second!! I have never placed in a challenge before, so that was very exciting for me, lol! But most of all; I want to say thank you for creating this challenge, and thank you for allowing me the freedom to chose any characters I wanted, including one from my main HPFF novel. I am sorry it took longer than I expected it to be posted, but glad to hear that you thought it was well worth the wait! Thank you so much dear!! =) Report Review
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