I'm here for the BvB review battle. It is a good excuse to get caught up on your story. Although I have quite a bit of catching up to do and now you've started the next one!
I really love mysteries, but they are difficult to write and as such, many fanfiction murder mysteries are not very well done. This is definitely the exception. Not only have you managed to create a well thought out murder (or series of murders as it would seem), but the characters all have depth, flaws and possibly motive. I am really enjoying reading this and I can't wait to see what comes next.
Your characterization of Bella I think is my favorite. It would be so easy to make her completely evil and one-dimensional, drawing the reader to believe that she is or isn't the murderer because it is just too obvious. Instead, she has deep-seated emotions, especially regarding Narcissa, but also for her mother and their loss. I've never thought about it before, but Bellatrix obviously wasn't always the psychotic side-kick of Voldemort. She probably always had dark tendencies and was easily romanticized by his power and skill, but I'm sure it was a slow, downward spiral for her. You've painted her in the very beginning of this path.
Regulus, poor, sweet boy. He wants to be a man, but just isn't quite there yet. It was touching to see how the Black family rallied around him, without compromising his pride. As I read more and more of this story, I find myself caring about these characters that have always been so detestable. How could you Aph? I don't want to care about them - haha!
And finally, there is Sirius. Just beneath the surface, he seems to always feel like he just doesn't belong in this family. He seems to struggle with every move - uncertain if he should comfort Regulus, although he clearly wants to. Then when his father tells him to take his brother inside, Sirius seems almost relieved to play this role.
I love your little descriptions. There are just enough to move the story along and emphasize the nature of the dynamics working between the characters. For example "navigating the short staircase" and the "tock-tick" of the clock were beautiful narratives.
Author's Response: Hey again Beth! :) Lovely to see you back again! Sorry about starting the next one - I just wanted to put the first chapter up and grab a banner and things before I forgot it. Still got some plotting left to do for it, so you've got time to catch up ;)
Gah, thank you so much! I love murder mysteries too and they're always best when complicated and thought-out so I tried to kinda duplicate that in this, with lots of potential motives and them all being shady characters and everything... it's so much fun to write, tbh! There's a kind of sense as the writer that you could do almost anything and it would be fine :P
Bella... honestly, she's one of my favourite characters to explore, but I have definite head canon about her, haha. I never thought she would be insane from the beginning - it is for her, like you say, more of a corruption thing (though she's still pretty mad in this). I loved showing the loyalty she has, because I think it's often an overlooked thing with her, but it is a huge part of her personality, her fanatical loyalty. So yeah, she's fun!
Ah, Regulus is adorable! :) He's really the baby of the family - and he knows it, as well. I liked writing them sort of protecting him, in my head they all think he's incredibly vulnerable, so that's kinda why. He's like a baby bird, haha. Sorry about that? :) They're not that bad, really? . maybe? :P
Sirius is so much fun to write - he's this wonderfully tortured kid who doesn't really know who he is and where he wants to be, and he's kinda trying to work it out in the context of family. But yeah, he likes being the big brother, even if their relationship is a little mangled...
Thank you so much - I love writing description, so I'm so glad you liked it! :)
Thank you so much for all the compliments, and for the review in general - it's always great to hear from you! :)