Reviewer: shewolf2000
Date: 05/07/12 15:58
Chapter: Presents and Prejudices

Very good :) I like the idea of Sirius having some happy memories with his family before he was old enough to realize what they really are. And good job with those few bits of early disillusionment with Andromeda. Good character work.

Reviewer: ron lover
Date: 08/28/09 18:36
Chapter: Presents and Prejudices

I really like this story. I haven't read one like it.

Author's Response: Thanks!

Reviewer: Ebony14
Date: 03/24/09 13:32
Chapter: Presents and Prejudices

it was so sweet...yet at the same time so sad...
good job. *thumbs up*
the pretend duel with the toy wands was really cute.. :-)

Author's Response: Oh, thank you, dear! :) I'm very glad you enjoyed it.

Reviewer: weasleywannabe47
Date: 02/16/09 15:21
Chapter: Presents and Prejudices

~~~No Nitpicks

~~~Review:
This was a sweet, elegantly told story.
It showed how Sirius did not always hate his family, which is how I imagined it.
It showed, subtly, how times were going to be bad, how there would be hate.

Well told; well written!

Rating: 8.6/10

Author's Response: Thanks again!

Reviewer: weasleywannabe47
Date: 02/16/09 15:20
Chapter: Presents and Prejudices

~~~No Nitpicks

~~~Review:
This was a sweet, elegantly told story.
It showed how Sirius did not always hate his family, which is how I imagined it.
It showed, subtly, how times were going to be bad, how there would be hate.

Well told; well written!

Rating: 8.6/10

Author's Response: Thank you, I'm so glad you enjoyed it!

Reviewer: PheonixFlamesForever
Date: 02/08/09 11:01
Chapter: Presents and Prejudices

I feel like I’m saying this on all your fics, but what a lovely title! They’re so catchy. Obviously, alliteration has its bonuses, but any title with the word ‘prejudices’ is bound to draw attention to it with its connotations to the lovely story by Jane Austen. Anyway, I really like this title choice. Personally, I would like my own Mr Darcy, but I understand that cross-overs aren’t allowed on MNFF so I’ll just shut up now and write a long ‘un.
Or attempt too, anyway.

Are you familiar to writing the family dynamic of the Blacks? A quick check on my list suggests you aren’t. (I have a list of fics you’ve written so that I can review them for your birthday, because I’m cool like that, yeah?) Sirius and Regulus have quite an interesting relationship in here. The line ‘but he secretly loved his brother waking him up in the earliest hours of the morning,’ is just so lovely. It just implies so much more than just the simple relationship that they’re meant to have done. There was love there, once. And of course, this explains the family dynamic, somewhat, Neither boy had forgotten Christmas two years ago, when Sirius had gotten an extra present, causing Regulus to throw a fit and demand another gift for himself. This little mention on equality is certainly interesting. I’m not sure the age of the two here, perhaps it’s mentioned somewhere, but it does make me think. The parents seem as I would imagine them – quite distant and elsewhere. Fancy Orion reading a newspaper on Christmas Day? Scrooge. I like the use of ‘Mama’. It seems like a very Regulus thing to say. I’m not calling him a suck-up, well actually, I am, sort of, but what child doesn’t know how to get round their own mother? And Sirius echoes it? Perhaps meaning that he doesn’t actually think about the words what he’s saying. I’m probably over analysing. Sorry.

Mrs Black seems so stiff and cold and I really feel for them. Even in the way she’s talking, with little mention of body language, I can just feel the tension. How cheesy do I sound? It’s this line which has done it for me, ‘Christmas is a family occasion, and you will have to stay inside with your cousins.’ . I think it’s because she said ‘you will’, instead of the much more casual ‘you’ll’. I dislike her, Jen, and I don’t even know her! She’s barely been written about, but I dislike her! I really like your description of the whole family – perhaps it’s a little clichéd almost, that Andromeda the ‘good’ character, is so much different visually to the rest of her family – a rounded face instead of a pointy one. Genetically it doesn’t make sense, hehe.

This isn’t just another Christmas story, there’s still reference to the future. He didn’t get along with his family sometimes, but he wouldn’t want to stay away from them all the time. They were family. How naive. How old is he here? Perhaps it’s already be mentioned, I’ll scroll back up soon. Surely he could see the wrong already? Or perhaps he couldn’t. Ah, I found it. Two years, that puts him at about nine. A good age, maybe not that he can’t see the confrontation happening already. Wouldn’t he stand up for Andromeda, but I suppose it was such a shock... No, I like how you’ve got his reaction. This seems to be his first taste of life through another person’s perspective. They’ve brainwashed him, almost.

I haven’t a lot more to say here, really. At times I think the formatting is a little iffy, like at the end when there seems to be either another line carrying on which doesn’t look quite right or its a paragraph which needs to be taken down another line. Either way, it’s no biggy. Also, the departing line of Andromeda ‘Seeya, kid. , seems a little ‘out there’ and American. This would be about 1969, and the wizarding world is known to be that bit behind normal times. It shows Andromeda’s difference to the rest of her family, perhaps and her defiance, but apart from that, it just seems a little out of place.

Overall though, this is lovely. You’ve really captured the family dynamics in the Black clan, every cousin, every aunt and uncle has a place in this story, and it all moulds together rather neatly. The language is nothing but fantastic, and I really had to search to pick holes in this. It feels honest and true and I like it. You really are a fabulous writer, Jen.

Author's Response: You actually love my titles? >.< And I thought this was one of the worst, too. It has no reference whatsoever to Pride and Prejudice, obv., but I'm glad it attracted you because of that anyway, haha. And yes, this was my first story having the Blacks as main characters. I'm so glad you thought I did them well, though! You keep pointing out things that never even crossed my mind when I was writing, but they work well anyway, hehe. Thank you again for another wonderful review! *plans to kidnap and make a member of SPEW*

Reviewer: XhayleeXblackX
Date: 01/29/09 18:41
Chapter: Presents and Prejudices

Jen,

My dear, this was such a sweet tale. It was not overloaded with fluffiness and clichés, but instead allowed the reader to look in on a holiday gathering between the Black family that truly felt real and believable. You wrote the interactions between the characters really well. You didn’t depict them showing too much affection, but also not too little. They are human, after all, and you showed that well.

Sirius groaned and pretended he didn’t want him in there, but he secretly loved his brother waking him up in the earliest hours of the morning, a wide smile etched across his face.

I really liked your characterization of Sirius, especially here. You depicted his arrogant ego while still showing that, underneath, he is a very caring, loving person. It seems that Sirius would love Regulus like this, at least until he joined the Death Eaters, at which the emotions would change.

Bellatrix gave him a look of disgust. She was far too dignified for such things. Since Narcissa did everything Bella did, only Andromeda complied, bouncing over to her uncle and letting him kiss her cheek.

Your characterization in this story was well done across the board, but especially with the Black sisters. I thought that Bella was rightfully proper and uptight, and Narcissa following everything that Bella did was a very nice touch. I can really picture that about Narcissa; she would look up to Bella the most because Bella pleased her parents far more than Andromeda did. I also liked the interactions between Andromeda and Bella. It was tense and frustrating between them, and you showed that well by depicting Andromeda’s tone to be sad and tired over the recurring argument. This really showed how strained the relationship between the sisters has become, and I thought you did it well and believable.

They proceeded to have a pretend duel, shooting multi-coloured sparks at each other. The sparks didn’t do anything, but it didn’t stop the boys from pretending to be wounded and staggering around as if they were about to collapse.

This was my favorite part. It was just so very Sirius and playful, and it showed him as the brother I feel he probably was until he learned different at school. Not to mention that it was just a really cute and boyish thing to have them doing. The depiction of Regulus and Sirius’ relationship in this story was different from how I’ve seen it before, but I found that it fit the two characters better than I have seen. You allowed Sirius to still believe his parents at this point, and yet still have that fire and rebellious side that he has. You also didn’t show them being overly affectionate, which was very fitting.

I noticed one little part where there seemed to be a word missing, though. ‘There’s nothing wrong dating a Hufflepuff, Bella,’ I think there should be a ‘with’ between wrong and dating.

Overall, I think the plot was simple (which suited the story), but well-done. You showed a moment out of the Black family’s life that I thought was an interesting and intriguing view. Your characterization was a pleasure to read, and I can’t wait to check out more of your work!

*hugs*

-Haylee

Author's Response: *grins* Oh, thank you, Haylee! What a lovely review. I'm so flattered that you thought this was original, because I was really struggling with trying to make this seem fresh and new when I was writing. I'm glad that it worked. ;) I tried to show the strain between the Black sisters as much as possible, because I've always been fascinated by their family dynamics, and couldn't resist writing them a lot, even though it's mainly a Sirius and Regulus fic. I'll go back and fix that nitpick. :) Thanks again, dear!

Reviewer: luinrina
Date: 01/24/09 11:25
Chapter: Presents and Prejudices

Let me begin with how much I love this story. It’s so wonderfully describing Christmas seen by two children as well as the rather stiff and cold traditions of the Black family.

I adore the way you started. You begin with both boys in the early morning, and the way Regulus pokes Sirius to get up reminds me of what my younger sister used to do when we were little. It draws me in immediately because I can rely to what both boys feel, and I get excited, too.

When reading on, I discover small but beautiful details like The sky outside slowly started to lighten as dawn came closer. The two boys were still sitting in their beds wearing their pyjamas, surrounded by ripped wrapping paper and piles of toys. It adds more to the lovely scene you’ve drawn until now, but with Kreacher’s entrance, this peaceful morning finds an end:

In their house, breakfast was served at half past seven each morning, and they all had to be sitting at the table by then. Being late was not an option.

Now the real Black Christmas begins, and these two sentences convey that in a simple yet subtle way. Also, this already gives us inside into the rules of the boys’ life – another detail enriching the story in a very charming way.

I also like the way you described the Black sisters. I could easily imagine myself sitting in the drawing room when they enter and see them standing there. And the way that Bella and Sirius stare at each other until the older girl turns away conveys two things to me: Firstly, they didn’t like each other very much despite being blood relatives, and secondly, with Bella looking away, it shows that Sirius was the stronger one of both despite him being younger. He’d already been powerful, as the heir, and I love the subtle way you showed that.

However, the silent and stiff atmosphere that has by now grabbed my heart, too (but not in a negative way), is lightened up again when Uncle Alphard appeared. Sirius clearly loved him, giving him a hug right away. Sirius jumped into them, giving his uncle a hug, but Regulus hung back, glancing at his parents nervously. They didn’t really approve of showing outright affection, such as hugging and whatnot. I love that you wove those two sentences into the paragraph. It’s beautiful and again rich in details, telling me a lot about how Blacks raise their children. Simply brilliant.

The exchanges between Sirius and Bella and later between Andromeda and Sirius are lovely to read. They tell so much between the actually spoken words about their relationships, the characters’ feelings, and I adore the way you characterised them all. Sirius is spot on, like I imagine him to have been at that age. Also, the sisters, first and foremost Bella and Andromeda, are characterised in a very good way. It adds to their beliefs, their education, to how they turn out years later.

Though, I wonder if any of the children would have used “Mum” or “Dad” when talking to or about their parents. I myself have always imagined them to be more the kind of people who say “Mother” and “Father”, because it adds even more to the Black’s belief of being practically royal. They feel like aristocrats, and saying “Mum” and “Dad” takes that feel a bit away, in my opinion.

Also, at the beginning, there are these two sentences:

‘Really? Wow! Thanks! This’ll be so much fun ... just wait until Bella hears you have a broomstick ...’ he kept talking, but Sirius was no longer listening.

Here the “he” after you close the speech should be capitalised. The ellipsis at the end of the speech shows that Regulus keeps babbling on, so you don’t need a dialogue narrative. The sentence afterwards can stand alone, so the beginning should to be capitalised.

But other than what I already said, I most of all love the relationship Sirius and Regulus have in the story. It’s very brotherly, and I’m in awe how you convey that. It’s brilliant, and I love it. And my absolutely favourite part of the one-shot is this one:

‘Eat your vegetables, Reg,’ Andromeda teased, when her cousin ate just his roast and left the vegetables sitting on the plate. He scowled at her, and she grinned back, taking a bite of her carrots. He raised a forkful of beans and aimed it at her. Bellatrix raised an eyebrow, waiting to see where this would lead.
‘Whoa,’ Dromeda said. ‘Put the fork down, Regulus.’ She glanced at her parents nervously; they were roaring with laughter over a joke someone had just told. However, Sirius doubted they would be so happy if Regulus started throwing food.
Thankfully, Regulus shoved his fork into his mouth instead, and gave them a smile filled with vegetables. They all groaned in disgust, looking away as he piled more food onto his fork. Dromeda threw a napkin at him playfully.


Thank you so much for that wonderful SPEWly Christmas present. *hugs*

~Bine

Author's Response: *flail* Oh, thank you, Bine! What a fabulous review. I'm so pleased that you liked it so much. I was a bit wary of my characterisation, so to hear someone say that it's good just warms my heart. ^_^ I see what you mean about Mum and Dad - I just didn't think about it when I was writing, I guess. I'll probably go back and change it soon. Thank you again, dearest!

Reviewer: sam_1034_lily
Date: 01/15/09 20:53
Chapter: Presents and Prejudices

this was so gud n very sweet kinda sad though cauz of how dey ended up but a great story

Author's Response: Thank you!

Reviewer: captburke
Date: 01/14/09 21:34
Chapter: Presents and Prejudices

Great story.

Author's Response: Thanks!

Reviewer: Kantaka
Date: 01/14/09 16:40
Chapter: Presents and Prejudices

This story is soo amazingly sweet... my eyes are all teary!

Poor Sirius... and Regulus... and Andromeda...

Great one shot!

Author's Response: Oh, thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)

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