Before anything else, I must tell you: one of the many things I love about this story is how you surprise us in terms of point of view at the beginning of each chapter (and sometimes you even switch ninja-style somewhere in the middle, which I forgot to mention in my previous review).
I'm happy to see Regulus back, for some inexplicable reason. He's a very likeable character so far, though his upbringing is predominant in everything he does. I hope we see him more sneaky afterwards!
Hmm, what an interesting little inclusion about Dark Magic and the Ministry, as most stories tend to push the Ministry to the side as if it didn't exist! I like the way you've reminded us that (for now) the Ministry isn't corrupted, and still fighting against Voldemort.
So, how was your summer, then? Still getting on with your brother?
Haha, way to be blunt about it! I do like that Regulus has friends who dare ask this type of question though, because when we know how the poor guy died, it's nice to hear that he led a (more or less) normal life before that.
Slughorn, though we've seen him in the books and I sort of liked him, suddenly appears more dangerous. I'm assuming you've based this off the idea that he chose students to add them to his 'collection', but this is much creepier than what's suggested in the books. And bingo! I'm not sure how I feel about Slughorn, there's a distinctly slimy side to him that is emphasised by his hunger for promising students and he makes me wary.
Aw, Regulus lying to avoid Sirius discomfort. I know I said this already, but I really like the relationship you've developed between the brothers, despite the family background they carry around.
Your description of the Slytherin common room was gorgeous.
Here we are then. The first meeting with the Death Eaters. 'Training', my big toe! They all seem realistic, from the short glimpse we've had, and Rosier's arrogance makes me want to throw something at him. My favourite aspect of this part, though, was Regulus' questioning attitude of the Dark Lord's actions and motives. Can that already be a hint as to what we find out in DH?
Regulus watching Snape watching Lily was amazingly well-done, and you did the point of view switch again for a moment absolutely flawlessly! Though it's still unsteady and snappy, I like the interaction between the boys. I feel like for now they're seen a little as the outcasts of Slytherin, no?
After a moment of watching her, he recognized her as Lily Evans, the Muggle-born girl that he'd so often seen shouting at Sirius out on the grounds between classes. She was memorable because her yells contained no hint of teasing or flirtation. She seemed to genuinely hate his brother.
I don't know why, but this quote made me smile. Regulus is a bit clueless, isn't he?
Oh, Severus, how I like your reaction! That's the type of thinking that wouldn't have hurt a few months prior though. Regulus, however, well: It was only a word, the right word. As always, you don't make your characters perfect, and this shows that Regulus is still formatted to a certain extent.
And what a lovely ending to the chapter! Your description was beautiful, as was Regulus' need for freedom and empty spaces.
This was another great chapter, I can't wait to read the next one!
Author's Response: Hey, hey, don't get too far ahead of me! I wish I had as much time to read as you do -sigh- :)
POV switching has become my new pet writing tool. I'm sort of obsessed with it. You probably noticed some of it in Yellow and The Middle Man and certainly in Diamonds into Coal. Anyway, it's great that you like it, because it's going to continue to happen.
Regulus's transformation is a central theme in this story, so yes, you'll see his nastier side emerge more as we get in a little deeper. You're right to point out that he's just a normal kid, though, even with the heavy weight of the pressure to join Voldemort continually hanging over his poor little head.
To be honest, I view Slughorn as sort of benign. It bothers me that he seems to choose to ignore the dark leanings occurring in his common room, like joining the Slug Club is really what everyone should be paying attention to. I can't really fault him, though, because I can't imagine anyone trying to deal with that sort of cancer in their house. (Snape, obviously, couldn't do much either, and he knew firsthand it was a terrible choice.)
Rosier will, unfortunately, continue to be an influence in Regulus's life. Let's just say that he becomes like the big brother Regulus might as well not have, for all the worst reasons. In fact, several people will have sway over Regulus, and he'll need to make his own decision about the course of his life. Fortunately, as you mentioned, he's not totally sold on the Death Eater thing right now.
Regulus isn't really an outcast, but Snape definitely is. I think of Regulus as being sort of fascinated with Severus at this point, unable to understand the latter's love for a Muggleborn girl. Their relationship is one of the dearest things for me about this story and you will see it continue to grow and change.
Thanks for yet another thoughtful review :) You're making me ponder this story and relive my choices and that is just what I needed.