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Review:teh tarik says:
Hey Aph! Oh goodness, I'm so sorry for being so late with the review exchange! :( I'd quite forgot about it, until you left me your lovely review. Eep, apologies again!

It's been a long while since I last read this story, and I'm so, so glad I had the chance to come back! I had to reread the first couple of chapters to get myself back into the swing of the plot, and just like the first time I read them, I was once again arrested and intrigued by all the tension and mystery and the brilliant atmosphere you've evoked here. I don't think I've come across a murder mystery on HPFF which is so careful and so detailed as this fic, and it really does make it such a gripping read. And all your characters! Goodness, so many of them are so shady; too many of them seem to be hiding things, even if they're just feelings of resentment. And I love that you switch focus between POVs, because the entire narrative is like a puzzle, pieces that the reader has to put together, voices that whisper different things and also show just how conflicted some of the characters are. My favourites have to be your portrayals of Sirius, Bella, Barty, and Pollux, and even Regulus. These seem to be the most 'active' of characters; they're the strongest and the most striking, and definitely one of the most complex. Another thing I really love about the whole thing is that it's also a domestic drama of sorts; there's lots of family issues. Family drama/murder mystery is an amazing combination, by the way!

As for this chapter, whenever Pollux and Orion make mention of the mysterious will, I'm always reading very closely, and re-reading certain passages to make sure I don't miss anything. I'm not very familiar with wills and things like those, but I love that you've brought this up in your story. Could Pollux have read the will wrongly? Or has it been magically tampered somehow so that it seems to be changing by itself, if that's even possible? And gah, I'm just so intrigued to find out just how these changes could potentially rip the family apart.

I absolutely love that drawing room scene! I think you've captured the interactions between Narcissa, Bella, Sirius and Walburga perfectly. I find it so, so difficult to write scenes with more than two or three characters, and you've done an amazing job here, especially in conveying how some of these characters don't typically get along with others, i.e. Sirius. And yet during such difficult times like this, characters change, soften slightly toward each other, or maybe they go the other way and start viewing each other with suspicion and hostility. I love how different Sirius is; he's not full-on rebelling against his family, and I love that he does seem to show genuine concern toward Regulus, despite the sense that the brothers have drifted too far apart for things to ever be normal between them.

Druella's scene...gosh! That was incredibly unsettling, tragic and completely unexpected. You wouldn't expect a second death, especially a suicide, so soon after the first death. I'm kinda wondering if maybe it isn't a suicide? Maybe someone pushed her, or more likely, maybe she was under the Imperius curse? It's impossible to tell at this point, but I must say you have a great way of keeping your readers hooked! That's some cliffhanger!

I'll definitely be coming round to review your next chapter soon! This was such an amazing read, and it feels great to get back to this story - the premise is so original, and of course, your writing and your talent in establishing atmosphere with your lovely prose just makes everything so much better!


Author's Response: Hey teh - thanks so much for stopping by! :) And no worries about it - I forget things all the time! ;)

Gah, thank you so so much! I'm always so amazed and so happy when people say they like this so much because really this is the first time I've ever attempted a murder mystery, and the first time I've ever done something which really has a detailed/particular kind of plot, so it was a lot of firsts for me, in that sense. I've got to admit, I love writing the Black family - I just do. There's something so wonderful about them as a group, and something which just fascinates me about them, even though we never hear too much about them in canon. It is very much a family-centric thing, mostly because I always feel there aren't enough non-romantic-centric things in fiction in general, and fic in particular, so this kinda moves away from that (despite some of the later side-plots :P). The switching povs wasn't exactly a conscious choice, but it made sense for certain scenes to be differently, otherwise it would have been a lot more difficult to write! :P

The drawing room scene... omigosh, I actually really liked writing that one, even if it was annoyingly hard to work out what all of them should be doing, so they were all different in some way, haha. Sirius in this always came easily for me, and I always had an idea of the others, which helps, I think, when writing bigger scenes - knowing mannerisms and reactions and things people would give, and yeah, there's definitely more than a few changes in feeling, and buried feelings resurfacing when things go wrong, whether they're feelings of hurt or kindness. Sirius's characterisation has always been my headcanon for him - I've never believed that he just shook of all family ties like that, you know, so I liked drawing it out a bit more in here, especially towards Regulus and his father and grandfather - members we don't hear about much, as opposed to his mother.

Oooh, I can't say, sorry :P Though those are all very good theories - I especially like the last one ;) But yeah, it was a really fun scene to write, with the kind of unstable element in it and a certain amount of ambiguity as to what actually happened. And yeah, I wanted another cliffhanger coz I'm evil like that. Or something :P

Gah, thank you so so much - I really am just so glad that you enjoy it and it means so much to get such amazing compliments from a writer as good as you! :) Thank you!

Aph xx

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