First of all, I'd like to start by saying that I love how you've unified your chapter with the names of playing cards. It's a really neat way to grab attention. I also love the summary for this chapter... I'm a huge music nerd, so that's another plus about this story!!
(I haven't even read your story yet, and I already like it!)
Okay, I've read it now... And wow!!
Your voice is so strong, it's amazing. It's like I was reading poetry, intertwined with mystery and suspense and so much blood.
I can't even begin to say how much I love it. I cannot wait to read the next chapter, but for now, I guess I should focus on everything you've done in this one.
Barry Crouch... What a guy! His suggestion, the Funeral March, his future (which we know from J.K. Rowling)... They all combine to make him one creepy guy. And since you've put us right into the midst of the action, I can't help but looking for the whodunit. Did Cygnus die of biological malfunctioning, or was he murdered? What was the killer's motive, if there WAS a killer? Right now, I'd love to believe that it was Barty, but that just seems too easy... Gah! You've just woven such a fantastic web of doubt and suspicion that my thoughts are getting all tangled up!! (I'm sure that this only makes the review even harder to understand.)
The beginning of the story... What words can describe such perfection? The style immediately clued me in to the fact that something was wrong--very wrong. The girl in the painting, despite having an air of innocence, foreshadows the ruination of the Black family, I think. She IS deserted on a beach, after all, and maybe her hands are stained with blood. Maybe the undertow will consume her. No matter what, she'll die just as surely as the stain of corruption will fester in the Black family tree.
My absolute favorite part if this chapter, though, was when the family members were climbing the stairs. It was as if they had repressed thus awful memory, of a death right before their delicate, noble eyes, and suddenly, it resurfaces. The gasp, the sigh, the departure from life... I saw it all so vividly, and you used just the right words to show me. And, ironically enough, I was just imagining blood staining everything--the walls, the floor, the table, the silverware, the white dress shirt of Pollux as he catches Cygnus before he slumps to the floor. But that isn't true. It never happened. Druella took that image away from me, and so nonchalantly, too! "There was no blood... I thought there would be blood." Her and me both, obviously. Death comes in mysterious patterns, and not all deaths are baptized in the crimson rain. One thing us for certain: the Black family is mystified, but they don't seem sorry. Are they all, even Sirius, heartless even through their tears?
Like a house of cards, they will fall, I'm sure of it.
You've crafted such a brilliant (yet dark!) family. I cannot wait to get to know each and every family member's insecurities and possible motives. Mark my words, I'll be back to review your other chapters! This story is much too interesting for me to let it slip by my notice for another minute!
Author's Response: Hey there - thanks so much for stopping by! :)
Honestly, when I thought of the title, I just /had/ to make the chapter titles fit in, lol, so I'm glad you like it! I'm not sure there'll be that much more music in it... I'll see if I can slip another bit or two in here or there for you ;) I'm so happy you got the reference and liked it, though! You're the first person to have commented on it! :)
Thank you so so much! Yeah, Barty is very creepy... I think it's easier constructing what he would have been like as a child, partly because we know what happened to him when he's older, you know? Haha, thanks! I am saying nothing... nothing at all. Though you might be onto something with Barty... ;)
Wow, thank you so so much! I've never really thought that much about the girl in the painting - she was sort of introduced as a way to start it off without writing someone dying - but that is a really brilliant analogy... yeah, I love that, thank you so much! :)
Yeah, I think that with so many potentially traumatic events, you do just think about them continually over and over again, so that was what that was trying to show :) Haha, I know! I honestly never intended for there to be blood, but I always imagine blood when people are killed - I dunno, too many action movies maybe :P - so it's us three, I guess, lol. They're not heartless, as such, though some of them are more so than others. Sirius is... complicated :)
Thank you so so much for this review and sorry for the late response! This is honestly a really, genuinely wonderful review! :) Thank you!