Reviews for The Darkness in My Veins
Liana Mccartney chapter 1 . 9/6/2016
I spent the last 2 Days reading this story without being able to stop. I absolutely loved it! I truly did! It's a really well written story. The charecters are perfect, and everything makes perfectly sense. It's not easy to write with a character as complex as Tom Riddle, but you made it seem so natural. I loved McGonagall, alphard, cygnus, Orion, walburga... It's actually kind of funny remember the beginning of the fic. Cygnus birth, Minerva's and Tom's friendship and that incident with alphard... I feel almost nostalgic now. Everythings fits perfectly and i just feel sad that the story had to end at all
mockingjaybrandybuck chapter 8 . 1/30/2016
I absolutely loved this opening. Having been away from this story for a couple of weeks, it immediately brought me right back to where we left things. And the use of description here was really effective, pulling in all the senses.

This chapter is really strong in the area of character development. We get Cygnus’s smug nature, realizing he’s injured Riddle, but then its contrasted by his reaction to this father. You also see that Tom Riddle doesn’t miss a second trying to manipulate Cygnus.

The use of Parkinson fit really well with Tom’s nature. Of course he would use his greatest admirer. And there is that element of truth, Cygnus had been drinking, at the manipulation of Tom. But that muddies the waters.

I loved Mr. Black’s reaction, however. Loved that he wasn’t taking any crap from anybody.

Ugh! Tom is such a manipulative Narcissist. He is the epitome of a villain. I hate how he is twisting everything up.

One thing that threw me off a bit was the use of French here. It’s fitting with the story, I just didn’t know if I should be grasping anything other than that Cygnus’s grandfather had died.
mockingjaybrandybuck chapter 7 . 1/17/2016
Finally back. So sorry for the delay.

Orion is clearly really intelligent. He knows when to flatter, when to be honest, and seems to really understand Tom Riddle’s motivations and character.

I’m curious, why did the other students disappear (around the point when Orion was jolted by being the only ones left in the room)? I wasn’t getting the sense that this type of dialogue would be unsettling for the students. Don’t Slytherins appreciate drama and tension? But maybe they just wanted to stay clear of Tom Riddle should he go awry.

There were little unique details I really enjoyed, like referring to the Slytherin students as the “serpent worshiping students” and the prestigious badger club. I also loved the way you used his inattention at his mooncalf reading as an opener to a new section. Such a realistic, yet interesting way to open a section. I also liked the way Minerva took away points for “inventing things that do not exist”.

This part about Minerva and the memory charm was really interesting. I was wondering what was going on in that previous scene where she clearly misheard him.

Ugh, I hate how easily Tom can manipulate people. But you write in a compelling manner that makes me feel uncomfortable, which I believe is the intent. He worked Prince like a charm. And easy one.

Riddle’s approach is fascinating. He just lays out everything he knows about a person (in this case, Cygnus), leaving them feeling so exposed and vulnerable.

Overall, this was a compelling, jam packed chapter that really helped to move the plot forward.
Malebron chapter 2 . 1/5/2016
Hi there, back for a look at chapter two. The writing is good and I can see the plot taking shape now.

I particularly like the carefully worked out details of the potion ingredients, that was great.
And the exploration of the dynamic between Minerva and Tom was fascinating. What is going on here? Does she have the beginnings of an unwilling crush or is he manipulating her in some way? I suspect the latter...

Not too much con-crit: I thought the phrase 'a gentle wave of panic' was a little self contradictory. In fact I'd probably lose the adjective there altogether,
Then I was a bit startled by the sudden switch in POV from Minerva's to Alphard's at the end. It may be that the formatting was stripped out here, but some sort of spacing or even a line break might help a bit.
Good work!
1-01-00-1 chapter 20 . 12/29/2015
The last, but not the least.

I think it was a good choice to have it end with Cygnus' death. Andromeda was very likable, and anyone with a bit of empathy could picture themselves in her place. Your descriptions, as usual, were beautiful, especially the opening sentence, and the ending one, as well. It was an amazing chapter as well, it's quiet but dark, it echos somehow the very first chapter.

I'm sad to see it ends, it was a great piece of writing you gave us. I know how important it was to you to finish DMV, so CONGRATULATIONS!
1-01-00-1 chapter 19 . 12/29/2015
This chapter was AMAZING.

PART 1: You depicted wonderfully their relationship: he, as her mentor, she, as his protegé. This is EXACTELY (lots of capitals) how I pictured it, the way you had them interact was PERFECT, there's no flaw in this dialogue, it's in character from the begining to the end. THIS should make it into the books. Let's add a chapter, between "spinner's end" and "Will and won't", nobody shall notice it wasn't there in the first place.
"If the situation were reversed, do you think this individual would show you any mercy? You do understand what he wanted from you?" "I do" SO FITTING. I can picture him so clearly saying that.
The descriptions were equally beautiful, especially the ritual to make a dead person into an inferius (I was so glad, by the way, to see someone writing it properly, one inferius, several inferi, not that difficult, for God's sake!). I like to imagine that, among all those inferi protecting Voldemort's necklace in the cave, one of them might be Bellatrix's.
Ah, and FINALLY, the sex scene. Perfect, perfect. I knew there was something behind it, though. Which brings me to...
PART 2: That part was even better. Unlike what you thought, I liked it even more than part 1. You see I was dying to know what Voldemort was planning, I knew that you, you wouldn't just have him bed her just for the sake of it. I was not disappointed! I just wanted to turn into one of DMV's characters, so I could invite myself in Cygnus' room, yell at Tom "WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK?!" and tattoo "NUMBER ONE ASSHOLE" on his forehead. What he did was so twisted and manipulative. Once a reader told me my Voldemort was truly evil, like only a few could depict it. Well, if those few want to create a club, you can be our president. But enough of Voldemort, let's talk about Cygnus. The poor man made all the wrong choices, trying to stay true to himself, he isolated himself, from his family, from his friends, from his own wife, and indeed, as Voldemort points it out, he had lost everything, and Voldemort didn't even have to do anything to make it happen. Cygnus did it on his own. I feel so sorry for him.
Malebron chapter 1 . 12/26/2015
I'm a big fan of stories about the Black family. I find them completely fascinating and largely unexplored, so was happy to find this.

Having the narrator speak directly to the reader in the short prologue is a technique I like and thought worked well here. It gave an immediacy and connection that pleased me. The part where you say that the Black family thought themselves akin to royalty I found a little jarring; while I understand what you mean, the analogy would only be relevant for Muggles who have a Royal Family. I can't see that this particular analogy would occur to the Blacks themselves, it is more of an outsider's observation.
This first chapter is atmospheric and points to quite an epic sort of writing style though I did find some of the phrasing a little on the heavy side here and there. One or two sentences were constructed in a slightly confusing way and needed to be read through more than once to unravel.
Where you start the paragraph, 'Black growled' - I think an indication of which Black it is would be useful, whether his Christian name, or is it the head of the Black family? I know there is a mystery here which I expect will be explained later on, it still felt a bit odd to call him - whoever it is - 'Black' when you are discussing several 'Blacks' in that paragraph.
I thought the description of the labour was very well done, I could really sense the pain and effort and the very concept of the shield placed on the unborn child was fascinating. I liked the way the midwife's discomfort was clearly portrayed as well.
I thought describing 'a fair, dark-haired girl' was a bit confusing. Do you mean, by fair, that she is good-looking? Then you describe her both as being five years old and as a toddler so that is contradictory. A five year old is well beyond the toddler stage.
I thought the high-handed arrogance of Pollux Black was excellently done there -definitely not a nice man!

I thought the description of Cygnus being in the forest was really good and vivid, but where you say 'the darkness was oppressing', it either wants to be 'the darkness was oppressive' or 'the darkness was oppressing him', and this sentence needs tidying up; ' was rare for as beautiful a boy like you...' either wants to be 'as beautiful a boy as you' or 'a beautiful boy like you'.

The encounter between Cygnus and Tom Riddle was quite intriguing and loaded with foreshadowing.

So, in summary, I'd say that the premise and scene-setting is excellent and promises a sound story. Some of the prose could be tightened up a little, but generally this is a very solid start.
Tarpeia chapter 20 . 12/21/2015
This chapter is brilliant and heartbreaking at once. It is unspeakably sad to see that the family has succumbed to the Darkness despite all the efforts, that it was impossible to escape the curse, which devoured almost all its members. At the same time, it's somehow the only fitting end for such a remarkable and otherwise invincible family. Yet I don't want to even imagine how Pollux and Arcturus feel at this point-this is not what they have been hoping and working for. Pollux loses his children all in one year, and Arcturus also loses his son and a grandson. It's more than enough to go insane. Will Lucretia at least live somewhat longer? Also, poor, poor Walburga.

Upon rereading, I found myself genuinely frightened by the atmosphere in chapter 13 as Sirius's birth takes place during a wailing and seemingly mourning storm, and the fatality of the entire story reminded me of the Greek tragedy, where heroes try to escape their fate but never succeed. Very well done for creating this masterpiece of a novel! I hope we'll get one day to co-writing Bella's story as it's difficult to let this family go! :)
mockingjaybrandybuck chapter 6 . 12/20/2015
The opening to this chapter was wonderful and so intriguing. First, I was intrigued that a slave would also have a second job at a pub, and while that seems a little different to me, it also seems like a good use of a character to learn more information.

Tom is so clever in the way that he manipulates the situation with Mary. He acts concerned and even insists that she helps her waiting guests first.

The use of Parseltongue is also well done in this chapter. Tom has such a commanding presence with it.

The scene at the Riddles was absolutely dark and horrifying. Tom is so cold and clearly has no patience either. Completely filled with hatred.

You do a great job of going back in time and then reconnecting the story back together in the present. It helped to clarify some of the early questions I had about the Blacks, specifically Cygnus and Alphard. Oh Cygnus, I fear for you.

I noticed one SPaG error. It looks like there is a space missing between “NowI”
Smiling Seshat chapter 1 . 12/19/2015
I think you should add the word 'become' before the dot at the end of the last sentence of the second paragraph. It's not wrong, the way you wrote it, but as the sentence is long, adding the word makes that final bit a bit easier to understand.

In the third paragraph, this bit:

"The Noble and Most Ancient House of Black they called themselves. With a lack of humility transparent to the point of annoyance and just as prominent in its people as it was in the name."

There is a missing comma and the first dot should not exist and it should be a comma instead, as this is meant to be one sentence, looking like this:

"The Noble and Most Ancient House of Black, they called themselves, with a lack of humility transparent to the point of annoyance and just as prominent in its people as it was in the name."

In the same paragraph: A relic is an ancient and/or holy object. A relic is tangible, so you can touch it. I don't think you should use the comparison and say they think their history is a relic. Perhaps say they thought their history had shaped the world' or something, which gets the condescending angle you were using.

The chapter is well-written and the story is engaging. I believe the reason why you don't have more reviews must be because although you write well, you write about a character that is mostly absent from canon, which means less people will read about Cygnus than they'd read about Harry, for example. It's a bit of a shame, but if you continue writing and updating, I'm sure more readers - and comments - will come.

A very nice introductory chapter. I really liked the part with how the birth was treated. It really shows the Black in an unforgiving light, when many fics try to make them dark but don't fully manage or faily trying.
1-01-00-1 chapter 17 . 12/19/2015
Ah, probably one of my favorite chapter! I loved how you portrays your main characters through some minors characters' eyes. Also, I enjoyed how you made Bellatrix being the one who started calling Voldemort "master" and how you justified it.

Except for Antonin Dolohov, who had nothing to do in Hogwarts at that time, as J.K Rowling said on pottermore he was of Voldemort's age.

One question, however: in your fic, pureblood women, especially from the "dark" families, don't seem to choose their husband. Was it, in your opinion, the case for Bellatrix? It clashes with my own head canon as I always thought that, for a given period, women's right were more advanced in the magical world than in the muggle world. To me, it seemed a woman could freely choose her husband, as long he was of noble status, and could even choose not to marry at all. I believe it was through education parents insured their daughters would want to get married, and wouldn't settle for less than a pureblood. But it doesn't mean I think you are wrong: nothing was said by J.K Rowling on the matter. However, I need to understand what were the reasons ,according to you, behing Bellatrix's and Rodolphus' engagement. It would help me understand better DMV, as every detail of the Blacks' lives are important in it.

Second question: The silver dagger, which I guessed, was used by Voldemort to curse Druella to make sure she wouldn't prevent Bellatrix to become his apprentice (did I get this right?); is it the same that Bellatrix uses in DH to kill Dobby? In other words, does she make that dagger hers at some point, or are they, in your opinion, two different artefacts?
1-01-00-1 chapter 16 . 12/19/2015
I liked how you portrayed Bellatrix thourgh her father's eyes. I was positively surprised to see you chose not to have him fooled by his daughter.

It's much more realistic to have him being aware of his daughter's "monster" burried within. It was deeply burried, yes, it's only 1966, after all, and she's not yet the openly sadistic witch we saw in the books, but we can already grasp it in this chapter. She has it in her, and always had. Voldemort just saw it, as clearly as Cygnus seemed to do in this chapter, maybe even more, and decided to make use of it.
mockingjaybrandybuck chapter 5 . 12/15/2015
First, I'm sad to hear that Alphard won't be back. Poor Minerva.

Second, did I read that correctly that Boggart is a suitor for Walburga? Isn't there quite an age difference?

Third, it seems we're getting some interesting perspective on Cygnus and Orion. Are they not 100 percent Team Tom Riddle either? They seem suspicious?
mockingjaybrandybuck chapter 4 . 12/15/2015
It was so sad to see Minerva slowly coming to realize what was going on with Tom. That would be so heartbreaking, in the midst of being upsetting.

Wow that took a lot of Gryffindor courage to stand between Alphard and Tom. Way to go Minerva!

Awww, I really like this dynamic between Minerva and Alphard. It’s really compelling. And then to read the situation with Riddle and Alphard in front of the group was really interesting, because at first I wasn’t sure if my trust in Alphard had been misplaced, but now I definitely sense that Alphard is someone to root for.

I hate the Minerva’s memories have been wiped. How much about Alphard does she remember? I hope she can still remember some of the good things he did, though the fact that he pushed her was not exactly chivalrous

To answer your question, yes, this story is definitely compelling. On to the next chapter!
mockingjaybrandybuck chapter 3 . 12/15/2015
So we can tell from this chapter how different the brothers are. Alphard seems to have some more decent qualities, while Cygnus seems to be more in the Lucious Malfoy camp.

Loved that Alphard stung him with the stinging hex!

Wow, that dream Minerva had was so creepy. That doesn’t bode well for Esther.

That bit with Minerva and Esther talking about Tom was really sweet and was a nice break from the tension. I love thinking of her as just another teenage girl with a crush. Someone who is so well revered as Minerva in in HP could easily be thought of as always being that person, but we forget that she also had a childhood and its nice seeing this perspective from her.

So, I am a sucker for reading about good girls who get caught up in dark figures, so I loved this scene with Riddle. He came across as so charming, a little narcissistic, but not all that much really. He actually seemed somewhat down to earth. Very effective. And I just find it very captivating to watch her get effectively wrapped up with him.

She is so effectively nervous and awkward. I love it.

Oh no! I fear the budding (I know it wasn’t really budding) romance between Tom and Minerva is over before it started I’m assuming it was someone elses hands and not Tom’s who pushed her into the classroom?

SpaG: I am wondering if you meant to say “What were you thinking?” that’s the more common phrase I'm used to, rather than “what have you been thinking”, but that just might be an American thing.

So I spotted another POV change that would benefit from a horizontal line, or some other section break. It is in between the sentences that start with “As Alphard pondered” and “All this time, Minerva”. That would make it much easier to read.
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