I'm finally here, and I'm so sorry it's taken me so long!
I have said it before, I say it now and I will say it again: your description is absolutely gorgeous. You manage to create such a lively scene in a few sentences, which I love, and your flow is perfect.
Kreacher is immediately antipathic, which completely sticks to the portrayal JK gave us of him (even though afterwards he's more likeable, but anyway). I can see him in my head, being grouchy but with a morbid fascination for the heads on the wall, and, already, a deep veneration for the Blacks even though we've barely seen him.
THIS IS SUCH AN INTERESTING WAY OF COMPARING SIRIUS AND REGULUS. I'm literally sitting here gaping at my screen because of how simple yet original your way of presenting them two is -- the suggestion that their rooms are a transcription of their character is great!
Walburga (that is her name, right?) sounds like such a controlling mother! Just the fact that she wants Regulus to act like a man (because she's given up on Sirius, I suppose?) when he's only a teenager makes me reticent about her already. Knowing you, though, you're going to make me like her eventually, so I won't pronounce myself yet.
AWW. I've become a big fan of well written sibling scenes, so this one made my day. Despite the fact Sirius is (more or less) purposely distancing himself from his family, Regulus still loves him, and you got that across so well without falling into soppy declarations!
Okay, well, actually, I do not like Walburga at all. Maybe things will change, but right now she sounds horrible. Segregating her children is the worst thing she could do, and because of that I'm glaring her way now.
Wait. You did it again: you took a new take on a character! I cannot believe Sirius didn't retort to his father. This portrayal of him as being big-mouthed, but reasonably so, is refreshing compared to other fanfics where Sirius is a big-headed idiot. I don't know if that was done on purpose, but it was great!
Death Eaters already, hmm. Can't wait to see what happens there.
Ok, I don't feel like this review served any purpose, but anyway... This was a great first chapter, and I will be seeing you again soon for chapter 2!
Author's Response: Hi Val!
I had this really sick idea of Kreacher, in his slavish devotion to his family, having admiration for the elves that have truly served the Blacks until death. Maybe he thinks it is an honor to end up on that placard.
I'm afraid I cannot take credit for the room distinction; as I recall, that's straight from canon, or at least the mind of JKR. I'm glad you like watching the two brothers interact and felt like their personalities were interesting and not too over-the-top.
I don't know that I'll make you like Walburga. I don't really like her much myself, or Orion. Maybe you'll start to see them through Regulus's eyes, though, given that we only really get Sirius's perspective in canon. I wanted to show that there is clear favoritism for Regulus, but not in such a way that Sirius is being outright abused--more like ignored. I think "given up on him" is a good way of putting it.
Thank you for yet another fantastic review! I'll be back to The Calendar Girls quick as I can!