Hello!!! Here for your requested review!
Ok, so first of all this is a brilliant idea and I think you've pulled off a combination of classical murder mystery format plus HP plus intriguing family drama. I thought the descriptions setting the scene were very strong and gave me an excellent visual for the scene, as well as setting the dark, mysterious mood. I also think the use of present tense greatly adds to the tension of the story, which came across very well.
The only confusing part was the paragraph saying that the room could fit 30, but only 11 were there, but only 8 were sitting... it was a bit confusing as I tried to work out how many people were there, and in a potential murder mystery we want to know exactly how many suspects there are!
You have some truly brilliant descriptions, especially when it comes to the characters. A stand-out for me was: "None of them look at her, although whether this aversion is out of respect or embarrassment, it is impossible to say." The whole description was just perfect and so typical of the Blacks.
Also, you've done an excellent job of having the characters' physical spaces interact with one another's, which is sometimes difficult to write. For example: "A wooden chair leg lands on her back of her motherís rose-pink robes, pressing a rectangle into the soft fabric." The thought you've put into the visuals is very apparent: I also like how well the house is mapped out (again, key feature of the classic house murder mystery!), with details like a crypt which most would never have considered. It gives a very gothic vibe.
I do think that the characters are a bit confusing, especially Cygnus, Pollux and Orion, just because their names are all old fashioned and we don't know much about them from the HP books. A way that could be addressed could be to put more physical descriptions when mentioning them, just for people like me who have trouble remembering names! :P For example, "old Pollux" or "Orion, clutching his cane between his hands" (or whatever, but just something to help remind me of which one they are!) Just a thought :P
Overall, I am very drawn into this story, both by your beautiful and eloquent writing and by the exciting plot line. As for guesses of whodunnit, so far I am suspecting Kreacher (the butler did it? the house elf did it?) haha. I think both Bellatrix and Barty are acting rather suspiciously, but that would just be too easy, right? :)
Hopefully this review is useful! I'll be checking out the other two chapters and reviewing (probably sooner rather than later!) :)
Author's Response: Hey and thanks so much for stopping by! :)
Oh my gosh, thank you so much! I really really love murder mysteries and I've never written anything like this before, so I was a bit nervous about how it would turn out, so I'm so happy you like it! :)
Yeah, sorry about that - it does seem a bit confusing when I read it again! I wanted to try and narrow it down, if that makes sense, but I'll definitely take another look at it, to see if I can make it clearer. Thanks for pointing it out!
Ah, thank you so much again! Thank you! You're really spoiling me with all of these lovely compliments, you know ;) You can't see it, but I'm beaming like an idiot right now (and this is like the fifth time I'm reading this review through!) Thank you so much - I'm glad you like it! I guess it was easier for me than usual, since I have a really visual brain - I see it in my mind, so I just write it down.
And now I sound crazy :P
Yeah, the characters probably are quite confusing! I've looked at the Black family tapestry quite a bit, so I know exactly who they all are, haha, so that's probably why I don't get confused, but I'll go back through and see about giving familiar and different descriptions for them all to differentiate between them all, particularly Pollux and Orion, since I think they probably seem really similar... thanks for mentioning it - I would honestly have never realised otherwise! It's really, really helpful! :)
Haha, yeah, I suppose it would be ;) Kreacher isn't actually in this, tbh; in my mind, while this is all going on he's still back at Grimmauld Place, muttering under his breath and attempting to clean pans and things :D
Thank you so so much for this review - it was so lovely and incredibly helpful, so thank you for that! :)