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Review:800 words of heaven says:
Hello! Here with your requested review!

So, before I even begin reading, I'll comment about some stuff because you mentioned hooking your reader in. Your summary sounds super intriguing! I haven't seen much of Regulus around the archive, but I have a feeling he's a bit of a lurker, so I think the story's really interesting already, just because it sounds like Regulus is gonna be a main character! Also, looking at the length of your first chapter; it's on the shorter side as far as chapters go, and for me, that's always a good thing, especially for early chapters when you're just trying to set stuff up and get readers to continue reading.

The first two paragraphs, I think, are really beautiful pieces of description. As this is something I suck at, I really appreciate it in other people's works! It sets the scene nicely and quite descriptively, but it doesn't have the feel of too many words used. It's still quite clean and succinct, which is really nice!

The first character we meet is Kreacher and as far as first characters go, he's pretty cool! You can kinda see him starting to get old and senile, but there's still elements of his "younger self" shining through. I think this is a really nice marriage of your unique take on him with the canon version we know from the books.

The first glimpse we get of Regulus had me feeling a bit disturbed (but in a good, I-wanna-know-more-about-him kind of way). He's neat and orderly, like me, so there's already something with which I can relate to him. However his collection of newspaper clippings about the rise of Voldemort, which he has on display, really freaked me out. I guess I forgot that Regulus was a Death Eater before he became a martyr, so that little thing really drove that point home! His further interactions with Kreacher however, are building quite the complex character, already! This is a big plus point for me to keep on reading, because I want to know where Regulus' character will go.

Sirius' character is also interesting. A lot about what we know of him before we meet him are just the differences between the two brothers: Regulus is neat, Sirius is messy; Regulus likes to please his parents and is cordial towards them, Sirius is not. So I was wondering if this would be the case throughout the first chapter at least. I was really pleasantly surprised to find this not to be the case. Already, Sirius is being developed as his own character, which is really nice. Also, what I really liked was the way youíre describing their relationship. Clearly, they don't hate each other, but I get the feeling that there is distance between them. It is nice though the way Regulus seems to want to protect Sirius from their mother, by hiding the muggle magazines, and lending his wand.

For some reason, I found it really strange that Orion was into Quidditch. It shouldn't be weird, but I guess I'd always imagined him as being too restrained for something like sport. It's really obvious that Orion and Walburga favour their younger son, and the tension in the family is palpable. We don't know how Sirius feels about it, but you can tell that Regulus isn't comfortable with it. He may be happy that he was chosen over his brother to receive the family ring, but he isnt quite okay with the outright hostility that's directed towards Sirius. And aside from joining really evil organisations, the Black family reminds me a lot of families where there are high expectations placed on kids. On that level, I can relate a lot to their dynamic, dysfunctional as it may be, and thatís really endearing.

Overall, I think this is a really interesting story, and Iím eager to learn where it will go!

Author's Response: Hi! Thanks for coming by :)

Yes, Regulus is one of the two main characters here! I've really had fun writing him so far, and I agree that he seems to be a tad underloved. It's great that you like the summary; I've changed it a couple times since I first posted this story, and I like this one a lot.

I'm happy you liked the way I set the scene in Number 12, Grimmauld Place with Kreacher. I anticipated that he would be tough to write, but he's actually worked pretty well for me. I've been trying to work on not overloading the description, so if you ever feel like I am, please don't hesitate to point that out to me.

It's so great to hear that you got that intersection of normalcy and foreboding with Regulus. I wanted to emphasize the fact that he's still so young, way too young to even comprehend the life he's setting up for himself, with the help of his parents. I think part of why I portrayed him and Sirius as still being somewhat like typical brothers was to "save" him in some sense, to keep him from rushing forward into Voldemort's ranks. In that way, Sirius is comforting, because he's still a typical messy teenage boy at this stage.

It was very important to me not to portray the Black family tension as being over the top. I didn't want there to be yelling or discussions of abuse. I felt like it would be palpable but still somewhat subtle, given the Blacks' social standing and the general creepiness of a family that is moments away from imploding. That goes not only for the relationship between Sirius and his parents, but also for his slowly weakening relationship with Regulus.

Huh, that's interesting about Orion and Quidditch. I think that's a good point--hopefully it wasn't so weird that he seemed out of character :) I was trying to find a way to bring the tension into the forefront without making it too obvious, like I mentioned before. You're right that Regulus is really the one with the most visible emotion in this scene. It's neat that you feel like you can relate to the family in a proximal way, just in the sense that they're clearly quite imperfect.

Thank you for this really lovely review! I hope you don't mind if I skip over now and re-request :)

-Amanda


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