Reviews for The Promise
GodricGeoffreyGryffindor chapter 25 . 7/12
I like the premise of a "wizard's oath" creating a special bond that implements the oath. It makes a lot more sense than the "mother's sacrifice" claptrap that JKR foisted off on us. Mostly though, your story left me feeling frustrated by stylistic concerns.

I did not enjoy how overly dramatic and unrealistic the story was. You could have, and should have, edited down significantly the paragraph after paragraph of ruminating and reminiscing that impeded the flow of the action. I was frequently bored by the ever-so-predictable delaying tactics, rehashing so many old memories before every action scene. You took the story from drama and angst to melodrama and tying-to-train-tracks silliness. But it didn't feel like it was deliberately being melodramatic. Clearly you intended us to take the story seriously.

At times the story took very unrealistic turns, like when Remus just happens to find Sirius at the very first village fair he attends and he just happens to guess the Floo address of Alphard's cabin on the first try, which it shouldn't have in the first place because it's supposedly unregistered. And then, of course, Remus jumps the gun and doesn't wait for Dumbledore or the Aurors for no good reason except the author's need to advance the plot. I can imagine a different story where Remus has much more trouble tracking Harry and Sirius and falls into the lake all alone, in the dark. It would be much more thematic to have Sirius save Remus because of a prior wizard's oath they made as Marauders.

Contrary to your assertion, Sirius did not have to sign the confession for dramatic purposes, he just had to be convinced that the prosecutors would once again ignore proper legal procedure and hand him over to the Dementors without a trial. A taunting warning from a guard or Lucius Malfoy would have done the job. It's not really high drama when you're audience is sitting there cringing that it's so obvious that the main character is going to push a big red button marked "Kick Me, I'm Stupid". That's sitcom comedy. What's high drama is to reveal that there's a powerful character motivated to seeing that the hero's life is snuffed and is greasing the wheels of justice to see that he gets his way. Malfoy has such a motivation, since with Sirius out of the way the only male that stands to inherit the Black fortune is his son Draco.

Also contrary to your assertion, it is not realistic to forgo a trial just because the prosecution has a signed confession. The defendant has to plead guilty or no contest before a judge. The confession has to be adjudicated as evidence. I had hoped that since you say you are a lawyer that we'd see some much more realistic court procedure than JKR was able to manage. I was sadly disappointed.

It was all too easy for Harry to get the adults to take him to Sirius, only a couple of hours of persistent hysteria. I'm sure he had watched Dudley do as much for some toy he wanted. It should have taken several days of a hunger strike, etc. to get them to agree that Harry would not tolerate the Weasleys as his host family and that he was worried sick over Sirius.

The chapter titles when strung together made a vow that was much too wordy. It was a bit of cleverness that just didn't work in that context.

I tried to ignore the awkward wordings and usages and strange comma quotes and didn't point out most of the errors that you made as a non-native speaker of English, but it would be an improvement to get someone who's a native speaker to help you eradicate the many errors.

Sorry this is a pan review. This should have been, could have been, a great story. But you need honest people to tell you what's wrong with it.
GodricGeoffreyGryffindor chapter 23 . 7/12
"Harry silently cried himself to sleep that night as well." Surely Harry knows that he has to make at least as big a fuss as Dudley ever did in order to get Sirius back. He can't just trust that people he doesn't know and don't know Sirius will do what he wants without lots and lots of persuasion on his part that he won't settle for anything else.

MacNair is not in the DoM. He's an executioner in the Committee for the Disposal of Dangerous Creatures.

It's most annoying to get to a really climactic part of the story and then the author goes off on a totally useless tangent where some other character starts reminiscing for what seems like pages and pages. It's just too obvious that the author is trying to drag out the story as long as possible.

It's also most annoying when a character goes and does something really really really stupid like believe a police interrogator and sign a false confession. Knowing that Harry was placed with the Dursleys and could still be placed back there, would he have really believed that he could trust the interrogator? Of course not! He would have known that the only way to ensure that Harry didn't go back there was for himself to stay alive, and the only way to do that was to get a fair trial, and the only way to do that was to not sign anything before he got into the courtroom.
GodricGeoffreyGryffindor chapter 22 . 7/12
Heh? If a cabin near a lake surrounded by woods and an hour's walk from the nearest village isn't rural then I don't know what is!

The Weasleys really aren't the best family to place a boy who's been isolated for most of his life. It would be completely overwhelming to be thrust into a home with nine other people, most of whom are loud, rambunctious and argumentative. If I were writing, Harry would be either completely catatonic or throwing monkey shit.
GodricGeoffreyGryffindor chapter 21 . 7/12
Why did you say "You've stunned him" when he's wide awake, just immobilized with Petrificus Totalus? Stunned means you're unconscious.

I think I would have Harry go on a hunger strike at this point until he got Sirius back. That would light a fire under the butts of the adults.
GodricGeoffreyGryffindor chapter 18 . 7/12
Remus you liar! No, you haven't sent Albus a message about where they are.
GodricGeoffreyGryffindor chapter 17 . 7/12
Pretty unsatisfactory to have Remus just make up a Floo address and try to Floo there. It's way too dangerous for Remus to do. He might end up anywhere. He might not even end up at a working fireplace. Sirius might do something that stupid and impetuous, but methodical, studious Remus would never do that. Remus would have previously done proper research or had Dumbledore contact the Ministry to do it. If there was a Floo connection it would have been *much* much easier and more sure to research and find a Floo address than to go to the Lakes region and start attending town fairs hoping for a random encounter.

However, this cabin is supposed to be unregistered to the Ministry. Therefore it can't be connected to the Floo system. And Sirius is smart enough to recognize the dangers of a cabin connected to the Floo system. That would have been one of the first things he would have checked after he and Harry arrived. The cabin would have been entirely unsatisfactory for their purposes if the Ministry had any record of it.

The proper way for you to have Remus proceed would be to have him follow their scent back to the cabin. Of course, you really should have Remus contact Dumbledore once he's discovered the location of the cabin, but I understand why you would want to make Remus momentarily stupid enough to confront Sirius and Harry without backup. I would probably write it that Remus already has his doubts about just how guilty Sirius is and how much danger Harry is in. After all, he's seen the evidence for himself that Harry is went willingly and escaped a bad situation.
GodricGeoffreyGryffindor chapter 15 . 7/11
This story really needs a beta reader who's native language is English.
GodricGeoffreyGryffindor chapter 14 . 7/11
Dumbledore would have had to have "done a spell" or a ritual of some kind in order to power blood wards off of Lily's sacrifice. He would have probably had to draw protection runes in her very blood. Without specific magic to extend Lily's protection it would have only applied in the nursery of the cottage at Godric's Hollow. It's a plot hole consisting of pure sentimental claptrap to claim otherwise. I can't truly buy into the idea that Lily's sacrifice was worth more than James just because Voldemort played "mother may I" with her and verbally demanded that she step aside. But brushing aside my basic reservation for a moment, it would only create a shield then and there where her body fell and her blood was spilled. Burning Quirrell a decade later at Hogwarts was a totally unexpected Deus Ex Machina. If it was permanent protection it should have burned *anyone*, including Petunia and Vernon and Dudley who touched Harry with the intent to harm him. Then to extend that to blood wards around the Dursley house without any magical augmentation whatsoever by Dumbledore is totally beyond the pale. Why would such wards exist without ever having been deliberately created by anyone? It's yet another Deus Ex Machina at work digging yet bigger plot holes. The more you try to attribute to Lily's unintended sacrifice the more it becomes just more sentimental claptrap. There is no mechanism, no incantation, no ritual, no wand movement, it's all just handwavy whatever-the-author-wants-for-purely-sentimental-reasons "magic" of the very worst story-destroying kind.
GodricGeoffreyGryffindor chapter 13 . 7/11
Chapters without action are best edited out. It's great to be able to insert background information here and there as needed, but filling entire chapters with it is not good story writing.
GodricGeoffreyGryffindor chapter 8 . 7/11
Little kids know the difference between someone defending themselves or others and someone being abusive. They feel protected, not traumatized, when someone resorts to violence to defend them. What they don't understand is the difference between punishment and abuse, because punishment isn't discipline, it's abuse.
nanniepoppy17 chapter 25 . 6/27
Absolutely beautiful. "This I promise." Incredibly genius!
Nocturnal Storyteller chapter 25 . 6/18
I love this story! Sirius is so awesome!
Guest chapter 3 . 5/27
Life is good with fanfiction
Eagle-Eyes chapter 25 . 5/13
Great story...

Keep writing as life allows
Sasha chapter 25 . 5/10
Wow. So realistic. It is fan of something I can exactly see happening...and not lily and James romantic love. But brotherly love, and just care for fellow humans. A reminder to be kind and not a way much more so then Rowling's books...keep it up!
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