Ho, ho, ho! This is your Holiday Review Swap review!
I thought this was a really awesome start to your story! You did a terrific job capturing the voices of two young children, each of whom is suffering through a family that doesn't seem to value them. Sirius's problems are obviously somewhat different in nature -- I'm sure Lexi's mother has never threatened her with the Cruciatus Curse for misbehaving -- but the lack of attention and favoritism towards their siblings that each one suffers is definitely a commonality.
I like the way that you wrote Kreacher. So many authors write him in such a way that he's affectionate and protective toward young Sirius and Sirius's betrayal of his family and ill treatment are what turn Kreacher against him. Your Kreacher is nasty and somewhat vindictive from the start. Sirius is afraid of the elf because he knows that Kreacher will get him into trouble with his parents.
Lexi seems like such a sweet kid. I do feel badly for her mother in a way. Having her husband leave her to raise five daughters is obviously no picnic. But she seems to deal with it by leaving the older daughters to fend for themselves while spoiling the two younger ones. This leaves poor Lexi stuck right in the middle.
The notes that go back and forth are humorous and they have a really neat innocent quality to them. They start to explore the small differences between Sirius's world and Lexi's, beginning with something as simple as the difference in writing mediums. They move along into talking about their families and their living conditions. It sounded just right for a conversation between a pair of ten-year-olds who are getting to know one another.
It was sad at the end to see Sirius so upset about losing his friend. Obviously they had been corresponding for a couple of years whenever Sirius was home from Hogwarts.
Interesting that Sirius would choose his father's own, hated insult when he makes fun of Snape. Sometimes it's hard to unroot ourselves from the way we've been raised, even when we desperately want to.
Overall, your writing was great in this. Everything flowed really nicely and you had a really good balance between narration and dialog. Your descriptions were crisp and vivid and the characters' feelings came across clearly.
I noticed one small typo you might want to take a second look at:
-- "He had already seen with his own eyes proof that Laura's light, whatever she called it, was more advanced than the lamp in his bedroom" - Lexi?
Very nice job, and thanks for tagging me!
Author's Response: Hi Dan! Thanks for dropping by so quickly! XD
Oooh, thank you! I was worried about my ability to portray Sirius and Lexi as children, so I'm glad that you've think that I did a terrific job! With regards to Sirius and Lexi's families, you're absolutely right- I wanted to explore -why- Sirius was Sorted into Gryffindor and thought perhaps a friendship with a Muggle would change his perspective of Muggles. Furthermore, Lexi's family situation was designed to make her feel isolated and in need of a friend, to explain why she wouldn't just disregard Sirius' letter. :)
Thank you! Even Kreacher admits to Regulus being his favourite, and Sirius "never liked" the house-elf, so I didn't consider that they might have been closer once upon a time! I don't think Kreacher hates Sirius yet though; I think he simply dislikes him for not quite fitting in with the Blacks, and is happy to land Sirius in trouble if it would make his beloved mistress happy.
Yep- Alex (Lexi's mother) isn't winning Mother of the Year any time soon! While I appreciate that Alex was placed in a difficult situation, I do feel that she dealt with it selfishly- indulging Amelia in order to gain a "peaceful" life at the expense of her other daughters. Diana is of course ill, so no-one could begrudge the extra attention that she needs.
Thank you, thank you, thank you! ♥ As mentioned above, I wasn't confident about writing children's personalities (yet I do it a lot, haha) but I'm so glad that this chapter was successful! XD
Yup! Sirius is a Black on both sides of the family, so whatever he does he can't escape his own DNA, and you summed it up perfectly with that line!
That pesky Laura! You're right about it being Lexi. Another reviewer did spot that, but since the queue is closed, I can't edit it yet. (Plus to save countless re-validations, I usually tend to submit edits at the same time as inserting chapter images.) The reason that typo is there is because Lexi's name was originally Laura, but I changed it and I thought I'd edited out all of the Lauras and put Lexis in instead, but that one ran off and hid. :P
No problem! Thank you for the review!