Today I realized that this story is in my favourites even though I had never reviewed. Quite strange. So here's a long overdue review, both for this story and in that I promised you one... ages ago. ;)
The opening of this piece is really effective. It sets the tone of the story and explains Sirius' fall from the top in an elegant way - nothing too fancy, but still thorough. Great way to open the story. I liked your characterization of Regulus and Mrs. Black, especially, in section two. The one paragraph describing Mrs. Black's presense and how she was once beautiful was nicely done, it emphasized her personality a lot. As for Regulus - I can't lie, I don't read very much of him, but I do like this stubborn, naive boy you've given us. If he didn't believe in horrible things, I would even consider him a bit adorable in that "aw, he's just little" sort of way. I know you know what I mean. =P
The third section, I really liked. It was simple and short, but the meaning that came out of it was just as important as any other section of this story. I think it's important that people realize that family is still family, no matter how much they hate one another. Some people depict Sirius' runaway as a relief and a new start, whereas you have done it in a way that is far more realistic with regret and unsevered ties. That's one of my favourite parts of your writing, your instinct for what is realistic and human nature. Just lovely.
After reading A Cold Heaven, I like the connection between Sirius and James even more in this piece. Not that it's the same connection, but that fic definitely changed the way I look at them (in the best way possible! =D), so to see them back together, not needing to speak to communicate, is spectacular. I love their friendship in your writing. Always effortless, always completely real. Great work.
Marauders reunion! DRUNK Marauders reunion. How fun. Anyways. I love your Remus/Sirius, as usual. Even though they're already heavily established in this fic, it's kind of like the Marauders themselves - the way you've written them, it's not like you're introducing a new idea. It's just second nature, what's always been. This is probably my favourite way to read them, when there aren't any explanations. They just are, and because of that you can go new places with them that you can't in a fic they're only just starting out as a couple in. This isn't a new relationship, it's steady and strong, and we don't have to know when it starts or ends because it's timeless. Love the way you depict that.
However, the best part of the story is the overall feeling I'm left with as I finish it. The feeling of still holding onto that family/blood tie, yet finding a saviour in something new. You do it so well. =D Not sure why I didn't review this the first time I read it, but I think it's better this way, 'cause I was kind of a cruddy reviewer back when you first put this fic out. =P Hope this was sufficient for such a long wait. ;) HEARTS.