So so sorry for taking a long time to get this to you! Also for not doing it last night, I ended up sick and thought that I should hold off because it'd probably have been mostly aldjfhalksdfhlkasj aklsjdfhkl adjshflaksd alksdjhflafh and, I mean, more than usual :P
So there are a million lovely things I could say about this chapter--like how this is one of the only stories I've read that successfully transliterates the Shakespearean tones through imagery and heightened diction etc, that these chapters always leave me wanting more but in the best way--but you specifically asked me to focus on Cygnus's characterization, the flow of information, and the POV switching, so I'll go ahead and do that ;)
wAIT NO THERE ARE TOO MANY OTHER THINGS I HAVE TO SAY FIRST. Like how much I love Mrs Weasley here! She's perfect as a mother figure, kind but firm, and I'm so glad that poor Regulus has her right now. I really did feel bad for him: he's very smart and it's even more heartbreaking that he recognizes the symbolic value of the funeral...and yet, a funeral is supposed to be the first step to healing from that kind of loss, but even that property has been stripped from this funeral because everything is under pretense--may I add it's quite evil pretense? That made me really--well--dislike Cygnus even more D:
Dumbledore at the funeral! That scene was amazing and it gave me chills. I do wonder whether or not he knows of Cygnus's, you know, EVILNESS, because he's Dumbles and he knows things. I suppose I'll wait and see :3
But. Ahem. On to your points:
1. Cygnus: Cygnus is such a strange but wonderful characterization in this story. He holds the intrigue of a villain in Shakespeare--dare I say even "Hamlet"? :D--which is nearly impossible to achieve in contemporary stories I think because part of archaic villains is their transparency to the audience. We get to see down into his little evil heart and we see that he doesn't have some secret past driving his actions. He fits into a stereotype but we don't want him to try to break out of it, we don't expect more than that and what he does do is perform to an amazing standard of evil characters. There's just something about the genre of the stage play that you've mastered and captured here that makes Cygnus's almost one-sided evilness possible and wonderful, if you follow. You make it possible for us to enter so wholly into this mindset that we don't hold Cygnus as a villain to more modern standards, which we often regard to be "better" but which aren't, as this story proves. They're only different. It's just hard to get people to appreciate this kind of a story and these kinds of characters, and yet, you do it, and it's all beautifully written and I believe it, and I'm still waiting anxiously to see what happens even though this story follows a pre-written storyline.
His interaction with is father--or, rather, his father's portrait--does shed a bit of light on his competitiveness.
2. The progression of the plot seems really solid, to me. Of course I'm wondering how Sirius is all throughout this chapter but I must confess I may have read the next chapter (eep!) so I know (ahem) you're going to touch on him soon :) Part of me really REALLY was hoping that Cygnus somehow wouldn't be crowned, but the last line---SHIVERSSS---made up for that disappointment. This is getting very intriguing and creepy and aslkjdhfaldkjsfs. Yes. Just that.
3. POV's are still absolutely seamless. I think the fact that you've separated the scenes helps to add to that, what I was calling anyway, Shakespearean tone. And that's only appropriate, I suppose. Anyway, your characters are too--intense--to tell the whole story themselves. Sometimes it's enough to see through one character's eyes and learn from their misperceptions, but because Cygnus is so exaggeratedly different to Regulus and Sirius, we need those breaks. We come to each character totally ready for his unique voice and leave with the right amount of their tone, if that makes any sense. I love it!!
Well, Missy. It's been a while since you requested, so I hope that this isn't too late and it is somewhat helpful. I'm sure I'll be leaving you a review on chapter 6, regardless of you re-requesting or not re-requesting ;)