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Review:teh tarik says:
Hello there, Aph :) Returning your review from our swap.

I'm so glad to see that this story has been updated; I remember reading and reviewing it a few weeks ago and was completely intrigued by the story. Also, I might have mentioned this before - but I adore a good murder mystery.

It's really interesting that you chose to write this chapter mainly from Sirius' POV. And despite this being a mystery full of tension and suspense, your characters are all so complex and for now, are completely unreadable. I really love how you've written Sirius - the beginning where he's fiddling about with the fireguard showed him as someone who's rather bored and a bit dismal. Then there are all his feelings of detachment and isolation from his family, as a result of his Sorting into Gryffindor. You've really captured his situation, frame of mind and his emotions very well. And I love that cynical little voice in his head called 'Remus'! That was such a lovely little touch of characterisation, and it was a wonderful allusion to Sirius' relationship with his friend.

The characters are complex, and so are the interactions between them. I think you depicted the Sirius-Regulus sibling relationship in a very unique and striking way - there are certainly moments of understanding between them, but these are largely overshadowed by petty quarrels; there are darker more conflicting undertones in their relationship as well. And then there's Barty Crouch, who does indeed feel like he'll grow into the half-insane, methodical, ruthless Death Eater from GoF. I think I really really love your Barty (I know I mentioned this in my previous review, too! But he's just so well-written...), and the way he analyses and deduces things, gains trust from Sirius (though i can't really trust him fully). Cygnus' death actually seems to be a game for him; he really finds it fascinating. And he's such a chilling character, considering he's only about fourteen or fifteen - younger than Sirius.

I love the detail you've gone into to describe the setting. The opening scene with all the intricacies of the fireguard was really captivating, and I could really visualise Sirius running his finger half-boredly, half-curiously along the patterns and looking up the chimney. And then there's all the hallways and the cellars and the steps of the house, the sneering dusty portraits - all of these details really establish the tense, unnerving and somewhat morbid atmosphere of the story, which seems to be poisoning the relationships and interactions between the characters.

Alright, well, I really love your story. It's so incredibly engaging and intriguing! There's just so much suspense, and the pacing of the story is very measured, and instead of letting events fall into place mechanically, one after another, you space them out, and focus on smaller things, along with the characterisations e.g. the encounters and interactions between different characters like Sirius running into Bella.

All in all, a fantastic chapter. I look forward to the next one! Thanks so much again for agreeing to swap with me :D

-teh

Author's Response: Wow - this is an amazing review and thank you so much for stopping by again! I'm so glad you enjoyed it enough to come back! And I love murder mysteries too - mostly why I'm writing this *guilty pleasure fic* lol.

Ooh, Sirius. Yeah, I didn't really think I'd write too much from his pov when I started, but I really wanted to explore his emotions a bit more after the first chapter. He's the black sheep of the family (since Andromeda 'doesn't exist') and he's an outsider who doesn't know if he wants to be inside or not. It's an odd situation. But fascinating, lol. Oh, he's very bored - and I have no idea where the whole fireguard thing came from... I wrote and was like O.o where did that come from? But no matter... ah yes, the little Remus voice. Remus-voice will make more appearances, I think. I've always imagined Sirius and James taking the mickey out of Remus for being the more serious one and joke about him being their conscience. Naturally, in this, Sirius has taken it a step further and Remus literally is his somewhat sarcastic, temporary conscience kinda thing.

The whole Sirius-Regulus thing really interests me and I love any excuse to include it. I'm an older sibling myself, so I know how it all works - and Sirius and Regulus definitely have one of the more complicated sibling relationships, lol. Barty... he views everything as a game. He's manipulative beyond anything, but then again, so are a lot of people in this... :) He's a lot of fun to write, though.

Whenever I write, I always picture it in my head like I'm watching a film, so that's what I'm always trying to capture. It's kinda difficult to know what to include and what not to and I'm trying not to stay too close to the stereotypical haunted-gothic type house... even though they're so cool.

Thank you so so much for this wonderful review - it really was such a nice thing to get! :) Thank you!

Aph xx


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