Hey! Here for your requested review from the forums.
First off, I am glad you re-requested. RL has been crazily busy lately so I haven't gotten time to read and review stories (on my own) that I'd like to read, and seeing that House of Cards is one of them, this has finally given me the opportunity to read on.
I think the story is progressing in an interesting manner. I am loving the plot of how you've brought all the Black family members together under one roof trying to get around this whole murder, and it's all kinda cool.
Sirius' characterisation is brilliant. As a teenager living among the Blacks, the way you write him is exactly how I'd imagine him to be. You've gotten him spot on. I am also enjoying Barty's character. Envisioning him as a teen is a little weird but again you've nailed him with his weird talks and slight craziness, haha. I think Regulus' characterisation is also done quite well, and the way you write the relationship between him and Sirius is awesome. I think you have pretty much got all your characters just right =)
Plot, as I've said before, is superb. The concept is great and I am quite intrigued to see how the mystery unfolds and who turns out to be the killer. The events in this chapter were certainly interesting and enjoyable. I liked the interaction between Sirius and Barty in the beginning, and later Sirius' run-in with his grandfather. The emotions Sirius was going through were also realistic, how he was hurt but he was trying not to. I loved Bella here too, you have really gotten her younger version written well. The ending interaction was cool and I am curious as to what Bella is up to.
I think the chapter flowed smoothly, I didn't notice any abruptness or discrepancies, and over all enjoyed the read. I do think that instead of putting an "X" to signify the end of a scene, you should perhaps use HPFF's horizontal line partition, or three asterisks as that would be neater and more distinct - since my eyes almost missed the "X". Of course, that could just be me.
Grammar wise, there are a few unnecessary commas here and there yeah. For instance, when you say "Well I'm sorry, Sirius, but you're just too late." - I think two commas before and after Sirius are not needed. It should rather be, "Well I'm sorry Sirius, but you're just too late". Then another one I spotted was - "Slowly, dragging his feet, he moves down..." where I think it should be "Slowly dragging his feet, he moves down...". There were a few more like this but if I point them all out this review will be way longer haha xP Of course, I may be nitpicking too much here so feel free to ignore me.
Besides that, I think the story is marvellous and I enjoyed the chapter very much. I love your descriptions as well, and all the little details you put in really bring out the realistic nature of the story. For example, the portraits of ancestors being everywhere around the house, the inclusion of house-elves, of Sirius' family regarding him as a blood-traitor being present in his mind etc. They add that pure-blood Black touch to the story and I like it.
The pace of the story also seems to be fine, and I am excited to see more action, and if Sirius and Barty find out anything. I really don't have any other CC for you except for that little grammar thing =)
Please feel free to re-request.
Author's Response: Hey there again! :) Don't worry about taking your time - I completely understand when real life takes over! On that note, sorry about the incredibly late response! ;)
Gah, thank you! :) I'm so happy you like the way I write Sirius, since I know it's not necessarily a popular interpretation of him, but it's always been the way of seen him, so... *shrugs* I really love exploring him and Regulus together, and how they get on, so I'm glad you like that! Barty, oh my gosh, I love writing Barty... he's just so brilliant and so much fun to write :)
Thank you! :) I'm so happy you liked the different interactions - I really like writing them. Hopefully I'll keep doing it justice as it goes on! Bella is one of my favourite characters in the whole series so I'm so flattered you like her characterisation, as well - that crazy/sane mix is such fun!
Ooh, yeah, I use 'X' on my word to separate the sections because I'm technologically incompetent, haha :P I'll definitely change over the Xs with horizontal lines to make it clearer! :) Thanks for pointing that out!
Gah, commas! I'm terrible with commas, so thank you so so much for pointing those out! I'll go back over and edit for them - particularly the ones you mentioned! Don't worry about nitpicking - it's absolutely fine and definitely encouraged where commas are concerned! :)
Thank you so so much for all the lovely compliments! I'm so glad you're still enjoying this story, and thanks for pointing out the little grammar things (it really does help so much!). Thank you so much for the wonderful review, as well, it was such a lovely thing to receive! :)