I meant to review this story for a while, so here I am :)
I LOVE the idea of this story. I really do.
Your choice of tense was suitable for the tone of this opening chapter. It does enough to stir up feelings of foreboding as well as mystery. Usually, I see it used in different genres, but I think you've done well with it in this setting.
It's a brilliant idea to have a murder mystery within the Black household. It's in a time where the family is beginning to fall to pieces - with Andromeda leaving, and we all know Sirius is about to fly the coop as well. One might thing death brings people together, but as you've revealed at the end of the chapter, it may very well tear them apart. I love seeing old Pollux Black in action as the patriarch, but part of me wonders how long he'll stay there.
You used a type of fragmented approach in retelling Cygnus' death scene. Others might use the real-time approach then describe everyone's reactions. But I liked your way better. You haven't exactly given us everything, but you've given us enough to understand what happened.
Druella's line - 'There was no blood' - was chilling. She's right too. Most of these murders are the typical bloody affairs, but I don't think it might suit these characters. They are of the cold, calculating type, which makes Barty's suggestion much more valid. Interesting that he came up with it - could be strategy. Maybe Pollux had the same idea, while his face remained blank when Orion told him, I suspect he already knew. He watched them all very carefully as they left the room earlier. Now with the switching around the will, this could have been to someone's benefit, or they found they might be cheated out of what they deserved. Anyway, sorry for the speculation so early on. Some will come later - trust me ;)
A bit of advice, as passed onto me in the past by a reviewer - using words like 'although' kind of makes the narrative sound like an essay. For instance, where you have Bella glaring at her grandfather before giving in and sitting down, you could replace 'although' and what follows, by something else and still have the same effect.
I really enjoyed reading this. I hope you keep up the neat pace you had with this chapter with all the others!
Author's Response: Hey there - I'm so glad to see you stop by, and I'm so glad you like the idea! :)
I did think about writing it in past tense, and did try in the first draft, but it just didn't seem to work at all, so I changed it, so I'm glad you like how I did it in the end!
It is an interesting time - particularly with the personalities they have in the family, as well, as you said. They're just a fascinating bunch, and I've always wanted to do something with them! Ah Pollux... I can't really say anything about that, sorry ;)
The way I wrote Cygnus' death wasn't really planned like that, haha, it was mostly accidental since I could not write about his death, it just wouldn't work! I'm so happy you like it, though - I enjoyed writing it almost like a movie-style thing with the camera pulling back, I guess, to reveal more and more of the scene.
Druella is one of the characters I just love - she reminds me of a creepy Luna, haha, and I've never thought about it that way! Yeah, I guess it does suit them better. Barty... ah, yeah, he comes up with it, and who knows why he does? He's a little bit mad, too ;) Haha, speculation is great - I love reading people's theories! :)
Ooh, good advice, thanks so much for that! I'll definitely try not to use it in the future, and look through things and try to edit it out! :)
Thank you so so much for this review, it was great! :)