Status: Complete, Word Count: 4,000, Pairing: Gen
Read the Fic Here: https://archiveofourown.org/works/15608064
Author’s Summary: The Potters are dead. There is nothing to fear. (1979)
My Thoughts: I Have Killed a Man for Wounding Me is the third story in Callmesalticidae’s impressive There is Nothing to Fear AU. This short story is a pretty large jump ahead compared to the last two, and chronicles Sirius Black’s final descent into darkness. So first thing’s first, I was really impressed by how this fic handles its characters. This isn’t especially surprising, considering how much I liked the previous two oneshots, but I Killed a Man For Wounding Me is a few chapters long, and it’s the first time Salt really flexes his muscles at characterization. Sirius’ grief is written in a very raw and emotionally resonant way, and it feels like his actions throughout the rest of the story are a fairly natural progression of it. I also think Tom is characterized really well here. This is our first look at how he interacts with his Death Eaters, and I found it to be really interesting. I’m assuming we’ll get to see more in future oneshots, and I personally cannot wait. The cult-y vibe that they gave off was super intriguing, and I’m excited to see more.
I also thought the action was extremely well done. It’s intense, it all has dramatic weight, and it does not overstay its welcome. It also has some gore, without being over-the-top. This is a very difficult balance to strike, and I think Salt does a very good job here. Writing action that is both characterful and entertaining is very difficult to pull off, and while there are moments when Salt’s writing falters, it’s very good, for the most part.
In terms of the fic’s actual plot, I’m continually impressed by how consistently interesting and cohesive Salt has managed to make There is Nothing to Fear so far, despite jumping around all over the place between characters and decades. But honestly, the vastly different settings and tones have built on each other really well so far. I don’t know how sustainable this short, serialized method of writing is, but I’m also pretty sure there’s a long-form story somewhere in this AU, so I’m not too worried.
As far as criticism goes, I wish this fic was a bit longer. While I really liked Sirius’ characterization, I think he probably could have been fleshed out a little bit more, and I wish his relationship with Voldemort got a bit more attention. Maybe we’ll return to him in a future oneshot, but for now, I was left wanting more and not in an entirely positive way. I also felt like the dialogue was a bit weak at points, especially compared to the previous two stories in the series. Just felt less….human, I suppose.
Overall, I definitely enjoyed I Killed a Man for Wounding Me. I think its highs are the highest in the series so far, and while it definitely had some lows, none of them were all that detrimental to the overall quality of the story. I think it’s a bit worse than Having the Right Enemies, but generally more enjoyable than Men Who Are Resolved, and I think it once again belongs in the Great Tier.
Tier: Great Tier
Written on 09/27/2021