Oh my goodness, Katie, this was such a good first chapter! You did a really nice job at setting up Sirius' and Lexi's characters since they were so young and it was really sweet to see how they interacted with each other :)
I feel so bad for both of them! They both have horrible families and I'm just glad they both found each other to talk to :) so Sirius was a second year at the end of this chapter then, right? I think I got it but just making sure :)
Oh my gosh what happened to her?! Sirius must be extremely worried and hurt because he doesn't seem like the type of person to cry over just anything! I really hope she's okay and Sirius finds out where she went... The part when he realized that the hole was closed up almost broke my heart and I just wanna cry for him :/
Ahhh, please please please update this soon! It's sooo good(:
-AmandaAuthor's Response: Thank you so much, Amanda! (Especially for taking the time to type that lovely review on your phone!) Thank you so much! I didn't want to overdo the angst so I tried to make it have lighter moments, and I'm glad you thought it was sweet!
Technically, yes. This chapter ends the day before Sirius goes to Hogwarts to start his second year. :) (Don't worry, timelines are always the bane of my existence!)
You'll have to read on to find out! ;) Ah, I know! That part was so hard to write, because I really wanted to put my hands through my computer screen to hug little Sirius! :3
Ahhh, I definitely will! I keep feeling terrible over how long it's been since I updated! Thanks so much for reviewing! ♥ Report Review
Oh snap! I chose to review this story because I love the Marauders Era, but, oh man. I enjoyed this!!!
What an interesting take on Sirius. Maybe he joined the Gryffindor House because he met a muggle and found that they weren't disgusting? Maybe he despises Severus Snape because he reminds him of himself? These are questions I asked myself after reading this story :D.
Lexi is an adorable child, very selfless. Although her introduction was short (but epic) and I didn't meet her for long, I still felt bad when the wee Sirius didn't get a letter from her.
Interesting story, I'm going to check it out when you get your second chapter up.
soapman333Author's Response: Thank you so much for your review! I'm sorry for the delay in responding, time ran away from me. :3 I'm a fan of the Marauders too! XD (Obviously...)
THAT IS EXACTLY WHERE THIS CHAPTER CAME FROM. ♥ Sirius did indeed join Gryffindor because he "met" Lexi, and realized that his parents might not be completely right after all. As for Severus... no comment. ;)
Lexi certainly is adorable, but I wouldn't call her completely selfless - she does have some selfish traits, as we see later. And I know. Writing that broke my heart!
Thank you so much! It should be up within a couple of weeks!
-Katie Report Review
As a general rule of thumb, I tend to avoid stories that features characters pre-Hogwarts, or during childhood as I find them to be a challenging read.
I saw this and I was so intrigued.
The characterization of Sirius is so spot on with my idea of him. He's quite rebellious and naughty, without the teenage angst. I like the idiosyncrasies, like how Lexi has neater handwriting and can spell better.
I also really like Lexi. She seems really cute and innocent.
It also really amuses me that they bond over their mutual dislike of their siblings.
I love that you have this effortless way of writing and I can't wait for you to update this.Author's Response: Thank you so much for your review, and for reading this story!
I'm really pleased to hear that you liked my characterization of Sirius, and that you liked the mention of Lexi's handwriting and spelling - although personally I wouldn't call them idiosyncrasies, as good spelling and legible handwriting aren't that unusual. :)
I assure you that Lexi isn't cute and innocent - you'll see flashback chapters of her, and she won't always be as pleasant as she is now. ;)
I needed something for them to bond over, and siblings seemed good - my childhood best friend and I bonded over the fact that we were only children, so yeah. XD
Thank you, thank you! I'll definitely update soon! Report Review
Hi, I'm here for our review swap! Thanks so much for taking me up on this :)
So when I was looking at your author page, I realized that I've actually read this chapter before, and loved it! I didn't leave a review at the time (shame on me, I know), so I'm glad to be doing it now.
I have to start by saying this is an idea I've never seen on the archives before, ever. Props to you for coming up with something so imaginative! I loved seeing the contrast between Sirius' life and Lexi's, and I really liked seeing Sirius re-evaluate what he'd learned about Muggles. It seems like Lexi's influence could be what makes Sirius different from the rest of his family. She shows him how to look at life from a new perspective, and I love seeing that.
I would have loved to know more about Lexi's life, since we see her mostly through Sirius's eyes in this chapter. But I'll just have to stay tuned to find out more, and also to find out what happened to her! I think you do a great job of channeling your inner child in the narrative, especially the letters; they way you wrote them sounds so appropriate for kids of thier age, and it helped me really immerse myself in the story.
One question: how did Sirius know Lexi was a Muggle? Was there some clue that I missed? I would have liked a little more clarity about that one thing, but that's the only nit-picky concrit I have for you. Awesome job with this! I hope you continue, because I would definitely be interested in reading on. Thanks again for the swap!
--MaggieAuthor's Response: Hiya! No problem at all!
At least you reviewed eventually, so I don't mind (too much). ;)
Oooh, thank you so much! ♥ I was just daydreaming about Sirius and how he got Sorted into Gryffindor in the first place, with the Blacks' attitude against Muggles. So then I thought "What if a Muggle changed his perspective?" and then "How? He obviously wouldn't socialize with them." The idea of the hole in the wall was inspired by Doctor Who - [spoiler] in The Eleventh Hour, Amy's bedroom wall is connected to another world through a crack in the wall, which gave me the idea of a hole connecting the magical and Muggle worlds [end spoiler]. So yeah, Lexi was always meant to influence Sirius before Hogwarts. ;D
I didn't want to include too much of Lexi's life, since that's discovered through the story by the Marauders, Lily and Ella. And you're correct - what happens to Lexi will be revealed late in the story! :P Thank you for the compliment about the letters - I was terrified they would be considered too old for two ten-year-olds to write, so I'm really happy that they were written well enough for you to immerse yourself in the story!
I think the fact that Grimmauld Place is a Muggle street would have been a giveaway. ;) Also, Lexi doesn't write with ink and parchment, but with pen and paper - and she has an electric lamp, whereas Sirius' lamp is oil (I think). Those differences are subtle, but they're enough for Sirius to know that Lexi doesn't come from his world - and his natural assumption would then be that she's a Muggle. :)
I am definitely continuing - this story gets updated slower than my other one, because that one gets chapters written in chronological order - 1, 2, 3 - while this one has its chapters written out of order - 1, 5, 3, 9, 2 etc. I'd be interested in reading your reviews on future chapters to see what you think of it! ;)
-Katie Report Review
:O This was beautiful!
I love the glimpse into Sirius' childhood. You really got across a strong idea of his loneliness, isolation, and boredom (and even some frustration with his family).
I guess I was a bit surprised that Sirius wouldn't have been more hesitant about communicating with a Muggle, especially considering the isolation of his upbringing. Maybe a break in their first "conversation" with some explanation as to why he continues it would help?
Your prose is awesome. I can't spot any typos or grammatical errors, and I love your style! A little more dialogue would make the chapter read a bit better, but I'm not sure that it would actually suit the point of the story.
The ending was awesome - I didn't see it coming and it almost made me cry! The last line was pretty awesome too.
I love this! Ahh!Author's Response: Oooh, thank you! ♥
I'm glad that you felt that I wrote Sirius' upbringing successfully, and conveyed his emotions well.
I can understand what you're saying about Sirius' hesistance with communicating with a Muggle, but I did include a section explaining that it was his curiosity about the Muggle world that was a major part of the reason he continued talking to Lexi, especially as she contravened what his parents told him about Muggles. :)
Thank you so much! *squees* You're correct - they don't actually meet, so it would be difficult to incorporate more dialogue into this prologue.
Awww, it almost made you cry? Whoops! :P I'm glad that you liked that last line; I have to admit that I like it too!
And I'm happy that you love this! ♥ Report Review
Hello :) Laurenzo73212 here with your slightly late requested review... apologies!
Okay, first let me say I loved this prologue! You have my interest immediately and I honestly can't wait to see where you're going to take this! What has happened? I need to know!
I thought your characterisation was great. You really captured Sirius's horrible home life well throughout. I particularly liked the bit where Sirius feels a twinge of guilt for using the same taunt on Snape as his father used on him. Funny how things come back around eh? I thought it was a really nice touch!
Lexi was a really interesting character and I thought you introduced her well. She's really suffering isn't she bless her? It can't be easy for the her mum with a man who left her to fend for 5 children but my heart went out to her with how much she felt the least loved. You wrote it beautifully.
Speaking of which, your letters were just adorable! They had this... innocent child-like quality that was just perfect. I also loved the paper/parchment comparison and how they were both confused, again just so cute!
A few other things I liked were your portrayal of Kreacher and the Muggle prejudice you included from the Blacks. Kreacher was really interesting - he came across very similar to the Kreacher in the books, he's just not quite as outspoken. He clearly answers to Sirius's mum above all. I'm also glad you included the 'Muggle's are stupid and worthless' opinion Sirius was brought up on. A lot of people were brought up on this opinion but we know Sirius manages to grow up and look past this where as many didn't. Great job!!
One small error I did notice is that you put Laura instead of Lexi (I think!) Just thought I'd point it out!
Honestly this is a great chapter and I hope you re-request when you have more up!
Lauren :)Author's Response: Thank you for your review! Don't worry about the delay - I know how hectic RL can get! :)
I'm glad that the prologue intrigues you, and we'll find out what happened to Lexi... eventually. ;)
I'm also happy that you loved my characterization - I know that adult Sirius can't see his own flaws, but I think ten-year-old Sirius grew up brushing away his own consicience that he became blind to his negative qualities. :P Yes; I wanted to highlight how thoughtless Sirius was/is.
Thank you so much! I thought that if Lexi had been happy and close with her sisters, she wouldn't have replied to Sirius' first note and so she had to have an unhappy home life - and I don't see many fanfictions where mothers aren't the best of mothers, so I thought I'd portray that here.
Thank you! I was really worried about those letters, so it makes me insanely happy to know that they came across as childlike, since the characters are both ten.
My Kreacher is similar to JKR's Kreacher?! THANK YOU! ♥ I think the differences stem from the fact that Sirius hasn't yet been disowned from the family, so he can't be as nasty to Sirius as he'd like to for fear of punishment. And yes - he has a bad case of Walburga-worship. :P As for the Muggle prejudice, I was always curious about how Sirius became accepting of Muggles before he started Hogwarts - or he wouldn't have been in Gryffindor - and a friendship with a Muggle girl would explain that. ;)
There is an edited version of this chapter, with a chapter image, in the queue at the moment - and I've corrected the Laura in that, as other reviewers pointed that out. Thank you for pointing it out though!
Thank you - I will certainly be re-requesting!
-Katie :) Report Review
What a cute idea!! Can't wait for the first chapter :)Author's Response: Thank you for reviewing! The first chapter will be up soon! :) Report Review
Ho, ho, ho! This is your Holiday Review Swap review!
I thought this was a really awesome start to your story! You did a terrific job capturing the voices of two young children, each of whom is suffering through a family that doesn't seem to value them. Sirius's problems are obviously somewhat different in nature -- I'm sure Lexi's mother has never threatened her with the Cruciatus Curse for misbehaving -- but the lack of attention and favoritism towards their siblings that each one suffers is definitely a commonality.
I like the way that you wrote Kreacher. So many authors write him in such a way that he's affectionate and protective toward young Sirius and Sirius's betrayal of his family and ill treatment are what turn Kreacher against him. Your Kreacher is nasty and somewhat vindictive from the start. Sirius is afraid of the elf because he knows that Kreacher will get him into trouble with his parents.
Lexi seems like such a sweet kid. I do feel badly for her mother in a way. Having her husband leave her to raise five daughters is obviously no picnic. But she seems to deal with it by leaving the older daughters to fend for themselves while spoiling the two younger ones. This leaves poor Lexi stuck right in the middle.
The notes that go back and forth are humorous and they have a really neat innocent quality to them. They start to explore the small differences between Sirius's world and Lexi's, beginning with something as simple as the difference in writing mediums. They move along into talking about their families and their living conditions. It sounded just right for a conversation between a pair of ten-year-olds who are getting to know one another.
It was sad at the end to see Sirius so upset about losing his friend. Obviously they had been corresponding for a couple of years whenever Sirius was home from Hogwarts.
Interesting that Sirius would choose his father's own, hated insult when he makes fun of Snape. Sometimes it's hard to unroot ourselves from the way we've been raised, even when we desperately want to.
Overall, your writing was great in this. Everything flowed really nicely and you had a really good balance between narration and dialog. Your descriptions were crisp and vivid and the characters' feelings came across clearly.
I noticed one small typo you might want to take a second look at:
-- "He had already seen with his own eyes proof that Laura's light, whatever she called it, was more advanced than the lamp in his bedroom" - Lexi?
Very nice job, and thanks for tagging me!Author's Response: Hi Dan! Thanks for dropping by so quickly! XD
Oooh, thank you! I was worried about my ability to portray Sirius and Lexi as children, so I'm glad that you've think that I did a terrific job! With regards to Sirius and Lexi's families, you're absolutely right- I wanted to explore -why- Sirius was Sorted into Gryffindor and thought perhaps a friendship with a Muggle would change his perspective of Muggles. Furthermore, Lexi's family situation was designed to make her feel isolated and in need of a friend, to explain why she wouldn't just disregard Sirius' letter. :)
Thank you! Even Kreacher admits to Regulus being his favourite, and Sirius "never liked" the house-elf, so I didn't consider that they might have been closer once upon a time! I don't think Kreacher hates Sirius yet though; I think he simply dislikes him for not quite fitting in with the Blacks, and is happy to land Sirius in trouble if it would make his beloved mistress happy.
Yep- Alex (Lexi's mother) isn't winning Mother of the Year any time soon! While I appreciate that Alex was placed in a difficult situation, I do feel that she dealt with it selfishly- indulging Amelia in order to gain a "peaceful" life at the expense of her other daughters. Diana is of course ill, so no-one could begrudge the extra attention that she needs.
Thank you, thank you, thank you! ♥ As mentioned above, I wasn't confident about writing children's personalities (yet I do it a lot, haha) but I'm so glad that this chapter was successful! XD
Yup! Sirius is a Black on both sides of the family, so whatever he does he can't escape his own DNA, and you summed it up perfectly with that line!
That pesky Laura! You're right about it being Lexi. Another reviewer did spot that, but since the queue is closed, I can't edit it yet. (Plus to save countless re-validations, I usually tend to submit edits at the same time as inserting chapter images.) The reason that typo is there is because Lexi's name was originally Laura, but I changed it and I thought I'd edited out all of the Lauras and put Lexis in instead, but that one ran off and hid. :P
No problem! Thank you for the review! Report Review
Hi, Elphaba here with your requested review! I'll do my best to give some CC. :)
First of all, I really like your story plot. It just seems fun and and also helps to explain Sirius' departure from his family's beliefs. I also like the "Roald Dahl" style downtrodden female character -- she's poor but not too angsty about it.
I did think that the explanation for Lexi getting stuck with the mattress on the floor was a little long and not entirely necessary, since she explains her living situation separately to Sirius later on in her notes. I might trim down the first part of Lexi's section, and let her explain herself more through her communication with Sirius.
Sirius seems in-character for the most part, but I do question his thoughts on Snape in this section: "He felt a sudden twinge of guilt in that moment, remembering his first journey on the Hogwarts Express, where he had labelled Severus Snape with the same insult that he was so afraid of now." I don't know that Sirius would remember that incident so clearly, or think about his own hypocrisy ... I'm basing this on his age at the time, and also on his behavior as an adult, where he would act cruelly toward Kreacher and then turn around and advise Harry to look at how other people treat their inferiors. He just struck me as someone who could be oblivious to his own weaknesses.
Look out for passive verb forms, like in this sentence: "Raven hair was sprawled across the pillow, which was sodden with tears." -- I might re-write it as "Raven hair sprawled across a tear-sodden pillow."
Overall, I think this story is off to a good start and shows a lot of promise! :) It left me with questions (What happened to Lexi? Did Regulus ever communicate with her?) which is always a good sign. :)Author's Response: Thank you! I do seem to get compared to a few famous authors, don't I? :P Thanks so much for the compliment though! ♥
I'll have a look at that section; the aim was to explain the relationship between Lexi and her sisters- how Amelia is bratty and demands her own way, and how Melody and Grace are too wrapped up in each other to pay much attention to her, leading to her feelings of injustice towards her family and thus provide her with a reason for replying to Sirius instead of dismissing him as a creep. :)
I'll definitely work on re-writing that one; thanks for spotting it! Your pointers are absolutely correct, and I'll work on straightening out his Snape-related thoughts. :)
Oooh. Again, I didn't notice this. I'll definitely re-write that line too; your suggestion definitely seems to be more readable.
And thank you so much! I do like writing mysteries, don't I? Haha! Thanks again for the con-crit, and I'll definitely work on making the edits that you suggested. :) Report Review
I've been waiting to read this since I saw it posted in the summary help topic on the forums.
"Oh, Lexi, What happened?" - I'm with Sirius on this, I'm really curious as to what happened with Lexi and her family.
I think the summary is really intresting and it deffinatly drawed me in. I like how it's from Sirius and Lexi's POV as it shows us what life for Lexi is like and how her world is.
I think your characterisation is brilliant and I love Lexi's character and her family. You did a good job of Sirius as well and he seems like a cutie ♥ :D
Really can't wait for the next chapter and I'm deffinatly adding it to my favs. :D
Soph xxAuthor's Response: Thank you! :)
All will be revealed eventually when Sirius tracks down Lexi. It wouldn't be any fun if we found out why in chapter one, would it?
I'm glad that you found the summary interesting; it was quite difficult making it short enough to fit the banner in! :')
Thank you! I wanted to include Lexi's POV to explain why she would reply to letters from a stranger instead of throwing them away.
Awww, thanks! I hope you like Ella too when you meet her in the next character! I'm glad that I did a good job of Sirius, but I'm afraid that he isn't always a cutie. :(
Ohmygosh, thank you! ♥
-Katie xx Report Review
Hiya angel_speaks here to fulfill a request from the forums.
First off, I think that you did a really good job with the characters. I can't wait to see how the plot unfolds itself. The description as well was pretty well written. I think what caught my eye were the grammatical errors here and there. The tenses seem to be consistent throughout but there were a few slips here and there. Maybe one more look over the document can help or maybe even getting a beta could help with spotting those. Other than that, everything seems to be good. I could comment more on the flow and plot and character development as the story goes on :)
Hope this helped a bit :)Author's Response: Thank you! :)
I'm glad that you think that my description was well written; and I will have another look through to see if I can spot those tenses.
It's good that you think everything seems to be good! XD
Thank you, it did help but a couple of examples would have been useful. ;) Report Review
This. Was. Pure. Bliss.
I really truly loved your prologue. Usually I pretty much only read fun, humorous and bright next generation fanfiction, but this got me siriously (yes I just did write that :D) hooked on this story.
The relationship between the two protagonists is so special and you almost feel intruding when reading it. Your style of writing is easy flowing and almost melodic and I am definitely favoriting it!
Keep it up!
Lots of love,
SallyAuthor's Response: Thank you so much!
Well, I'm glad to have converted you (or at the least, expanded your taste in fanfictions) and I'm especially pleased that you're siriusly addicted. There is no-one like Sirius, after all. ;)
Aw. Thank you! ♥ I'm happy that I captivated you enough for you to feel as if you were intruding on Sirius and Lexi. And I especially like that you think my style of writing is melodic. I'm getting author feels! XD
Thank you for favouriting this story!
*hugs* *hugs again*
-Katie Report Review
I've heard about this story on the forums and it really interested me, so I decided to read it when it was validated and I'm really glad that I did.
This is a really good story with a quite a unique plot. It really draws the reader in. You've also characterized Sirius and Lexi really well and I want to know more about them, especially about why Lexi never responded to his letters.
CharlieAuthor's Response: You're glad that you read this story? Ahhh thank you! :D
Thank you very much; I was really worried about the characterization so it's good to see you like them both. The reason that Lexi never responded will be revealed in due course... ;)
-Katie Report Review
You've managed to portray Sirius as a mischievous little thing with just his actions and a few words in this first section. The thought of little Sirius "scurrying" about is adorable, as is his interest in investigating that hole in the wall.
I like how you've switched into Lexi's POV to show how the notes initiate. Leaving the leadup on Sirius' side of the wall to the readers imagination makes me wonder what sort of explorations the hole went under before Sirius decided to pop a note through. Imagine if Lexi had caught Sirius' buggy eye peering through :o
(There's one random "Laura" in under Sirius and Lexi's notes section.)
It was bit of a shock to go into the section where Sirius is crying, because in my headcanon he is not the crying sort and more into raging quietly, but then you reveal that he's around 13 at this point and has just lost his friend, the poor little bugger.
I think you've kept Sirius' reasons for continuing to correspond with Lexi appropriately childish and believable. Muggles must be clean because their ink doesn't blot - ahhh too cute.
I want to know what happens next! :-)Author's Response: Thank you for your review! This had me laughing all the way through, especially the second paragraph, so thanks for the entertainment too! ;)
Yes, I wanted to explain why Lexi would reply to Sirius instead of just ignoring the note. :)
(Aaargh! I found it; I'll fix it when I re-validate for a chapter update! It's there because I changed Laura's name to Lexi. Whoops)
Technically he's 12, but since his birthday's in November which is two months away, I'll let you off for that. ;)
HAHAHAHA! I re-read and re-read that prologue so much that I ended up not feeling anything for the funny bits and laughing at the angst, so I'm glad that you found some cheer in that prologue! XD
I'll do my best to update before the queue closure, but I can't make any promises! Thanks again! Report Review
Hi! I'm raisha from the review swap thread!
I read the summery for this and found it soo interesting! And then I read the chapter and I'm instantly in love! I haven't read another story like this, and it's very well written and really holds my attention.
I like that there's a bit of a cliffhanger. I'm sitting here asking myself "What happened to Lexi?" and "What is Sirius going to do?" and "Will they ever meet?" I love that in a story. It's the questions that always keep me hanging and I just feel like I HAVE to know more.
LOVE it. :) I really hope to read more of this in the future!!!Author's Response: Thank you! I'm glad that you're in love with The Girl Next Door! I was worried about this prologue, but it seems that I didn't need to be!
Well I hope to keep you guessing! ;) The entire plot for this chapter stemmed from one question: why did Sirius get Sorted into Gryffindor? So I'm glad that Sirius and Lexi have impacted on you, and I can't wait for you to meet Ella! :D
I'm so happy that you love this story! Report Review
This is beautiful, I'm really enjoying it. I can't wait for the next update.Author's Response: Thank you for taking the time to review! I'm glad you like it and I'll be sure to update soon! :) Report Review
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