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Review:Marzipan says:
Hey there! I'm here (a little late, but here) for the TGS review exchange! First off I just want to say how glad I am that I got your story for the exchange, because you've been on my reading list for a while :)

I love how you've portrayed the Black family dynamics here! There is everything we know from canon, but its all very realistic. We get to see the wedge between Sirius and the rest of his family, but you've done it without hitting us over the head with the conflict, which is something I too often see. Sirius and Regulus' relationship is exactly what I'd expect from two teenage boys, and the difference in politics is more an extension of their opposite personalities than a true hurdle between them at this point. The fact Regulus doesn't even consider his answer to his father shows that this is just one more instance of him being the responsible son, doing as is expected of him without really thinking out what that will mean for him.

I also love Kreacher here! I always found him such an interesting character in the books, and you've continued that here! He reminds me very much of the head butler running his household. I've never really thought of house-elves having their own internal hierarchy before, but I really like the idea of it now! And his relationship with Regulus - just, unf. The mutual respect and affection between the two, hidden behind their roles and servent and master is really lovely.

I've really enjoyed this first chapter, and I can't wait to read on! Great job!

Mary

Author's Response: Hi Mary! Thank you so much for coming by, and I'm sorry that my responses are so slow! :)

It's great to hear that you feel like my portrayal of the Black family fits into canon well. Although I struggled a little initially with trying to figure out how to show that distance between Sirius and the rest of his family, I knew from the outset that I definitely didn't want it to be blatantly abusive. I think the subtlety works better, and I'm glad you agree! I also think you said it well when you talked about how Regulus and Sirius are still pretty normal and have normal brother-to-brother disagreements. Regulus is definitely a bit more reserved and agreeable with his family, whereas Sirius is louder and very bitter.

It was fun to play with the idea of a house elf hierarchy. I could definitely picture Kreacher keeping the "junior" elves in line :) He knows Grimmauld Place and the Black family better than just about anyone, I think, so it seems to fit to have him always there in the background. It's great that you like seeing his sort of warm relationship with Regulus, too.

Thanks for this wonderful review! :)

-Amanda


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