Not going to lie, I sort of maybe really, really liked your opening line. But anyway, you don't want to hear of my obscurity, so i'm going to jump in with the rest of this. Bare with me, yeah?
Grammar/Punctuation/Awkward Sentences/Other Boring Stuff -
+ 'It was scorching hot, twisted black and a scream that rushed out of his throat seemed never-ending.'
- Should be: It was scorching hot, twisted black and THE scream that rushed out of his throat seemed never-ending. 'A scream' doesn't make sense. It's the wrong tense.
+ 'Dark Lord'.
- Should be: THE Dark Lord. It's a title, needs the 'the' to signify that there is only one. ('there is only one' - Sounds sort of foreboding and creepy now that I re-read it. Oh well. Voldy was a sort of creepy guy, what with the whole ripping up my soul and keeping it in my very many *cough* teenage diary...)
+ 'His master could see his thoughts and as exhausted as he was shielding them was out of question.'
- There should be a comma in here. 'His master could see this thoughts and being as exhausted as he was, shielding them was out of the question.' See how it reads easier? It signifies a spot to breath. Don't want your readers dying from lack of oxygen, now do we? ;)
+ 'By her side was her fiance, it was easy to see by the manner a man shared looks with his cousin.'
- This doesn't sit right; interrupts the flow. I think something along the lines of: 'By her side was her fiancée, easily recognisable by the manner in which they exchanged glances.' Does that make sense? See how it flows better and isn't as confusing? I hop i'm not ranting and confusing you here. :S
- This should either be on a new line, by its self, or after 'a single word entered his mind' on the same line. Does that make sense? You COULD do it either way, but where you have it at the moment is awkward, as there are no other lines like that in the whole chapter. Just something to link about. (I'd stick it with a one line gap (for emphasis, ya' know? ;) ))
+ "I'm at the Potters."
- Should be: "I'm at the Potters'."
Apostrophe goes after the 's' for possessive plural, particularly of more than one person (such as the Potter family). (I'm aware that makes absolutely no sense, so i'd suggest checking out the forums (Writers Resources -> Grammar Guidelines -> then go crazy. I learnt LOADS. Check it out ;) ))
+ "I'll see you at the school next week."
- Probably better as: "I'll see you at school next week." Cut the 'the'. It's not needed and just confusing.
+ "If you change your mind, just send me the owl."
- Again, cut the 'the'. It's not needed, messes up the flow and is confusing. It'd be better off as: "If you change your mind, just send me AN owl." 'Owl' is used like letter by JK and within the wizarding world. We wouldn't say send me the letter, we'd say send me a letter. Food for thought :P
+ The chipped paintings of centuries worth the Black ancestors covered the walls.
- Again, this sentence does make any sense the way it is (I also think chipped could be replaced for something else, but that's up to you). Try something like: 'Faded paintings, of Black family ancestors from centuries past, lined the walls as Regulus followed the house-elf down the passage in harmonious silence.' See the difference? On second thought, maybe not. Don't mind me... :P
+ 'Regulus couldn't remember the time when Kreacher didn't live in Grimmauld Place.'
- I feel this could be reworded to: 'Regulus couldn't remember A time BEFORE Kretcher HAD lived in Grimmauld Place.' I just think it flows better... :S
Phew, okay. Hope I didn't sound too nasty there, because that wasn't my intention. I'm just trying to help you/give alternatives to the parts that don't sit so well, so it can be the best story it can be! ^_^
Characterisation - I seem to be requested to read more and more Regulus fics these days, but I must say, yours is certainly one of my favourite portrayals so far. I love that it starts with him becoming a Death eater, as it really sets the tone for the rest of the story to come.
Pacing and flow - Apart from those points above, this was pretty good. I'd check your sentence structure though, as it's very 'he did this', 'he did that'. But all that stuff improves with practise and I wouldn't have mentioned it if I hadn't been reading it with a critical eye :)
Dialogue - There wasn't much of this, but the few parts we had were good. Nothing to worry about, but certainly something to expand on in later chapters. Dialogue is such a important part of character development and is often the part that writers struggle to make natural. There wasn't much here so I can't comment too much, but yeah. Something to keep in mind for future chapters. :)
Overall, I liked this, but wish the first chapter had been longer, so we'd gotten to see more of Reg's character (yes, he and I are such good friends, I can give him nicknames :P) But I suppose it's always better leaving your readers wanting more than overloading them with stuff they don't want now, isn't it? Seriously, this was good, and with some tidying up, it will help show your abilities off even more as a writer.
Hopefully this has been helpful, and i'd love to hear your thoughts on my excessive ramble in a response.
Keep up the writing, it only gets better with practise!
- Adele :)
Author's Response: Hey there! I really appreciate it that you took the time and read this chapter. Thank you for the corrections and advice. =) I have to ponder about some of those sentences, but I'm sure I'll find something more appropriate.
I'm really happy that you liked the idea of it. Admittedly, the prologue is kind of short but I felt it was needed to set the background to upcoming events. Dialogue and character's inner musings are more challenging for me, but hopefully time will make those better.
Your review was definitely helpful. It gave me confidence to trudge on with the story. Angsty fics are not quite as popular as fluffier ones, so getting feedback is truly appreciated.