Tagging you from the Review the Person Above You thread in the common room!
It's been a while since I've read this, so I was excited to get back to it! Especially for something as interesting as your take on the Christmas holidays. It's going to be interesting to follow each of the Marauders in turn.
I really like what you did with the Black family, even though there's obviously not a thing to like about most of them. Sirius, Andromeda and Regulus are like their own little splinter group within the family, along with their uncle Alphard. Aside from dovetailing well with canon, I also liked the continuum that it sets up within the family. Whether among the adults or the children, you have a spectrum with certain people at one end (Druella, Orion, Bellatrix), certain people at the other (Alphard, Sirius) and the others somewhere in between the extremes. Out of all of them, I honestly think I felt the worst for Regulus. Like his brother, he's suffering for something he has no control over. At least Sirius has gained new friends and opportunities from being sorted into Gryffindor, while poor Regulus must continue to suffer at home.
The tradition of reciting from the family tree was the crowning touch for these horrible, status-obsessed people. What an awful thing to do to your children.
Remus's reunion with his parents was heart-warming. Probably my favorite part of the whole chapter. They feel such relief when they find out that he's been able to make friends and blend in at school and his lycanthropy hasn't made him an outcast. I think anyone who's ever sent a child to school can relate. You want your children to be normal and happy!
And it keeps going! It's so unusual to see him genuinely happy. I swear, you almost melted my heart in this chapter. Remus is such a tormented soul, and it was wonderful to see him in this place where nobody has any idea that he's even a wizard, let alone a werewolf. Here, he's just a boy, and his natural kindness, intelligence and friendly disposition let him stand out for all the right reasons. The sentiment is so lovely!
In nearly ever Marauders fic I've ever read, the author seems, at some level or other, to try to answer the question, "what made Peter do it?" What turned this awkward, shy, overweight boy into a traitor who sold his best friends out to the Dark Lord. I think you have a pretty good start so far. His home life was clearly terrible. Such poverty and regret. For a wizard to feel as though life would have been better somehow if he'd been a squib... That's a heavy thing. And I'm guessing that Sarah was Peter's sister and something happened to her? Possibly at the same time his mother became an invalid? It will be interesting to see where you continue to take his story...
James's holiday story was strangely mixed. On the one hand, it's plainly obvious that he's a spoiled brat. He has everything imaginable, but he's whining that he's bored. I loved his guess about how Sirius and his family were spending Christmas. That was a really funny touch, but it doesn't really salvage him for me.
On the other hand, his parents clearly have their head screwed on straight. I liked the utilitarian approach they take to dealing with Dorea's family. They want James to have no part of them, but the recognize the important of staying in the good graces of the Blacks. We all know that it doesn't work out for James in the end, but it probably buys him more time then he otherwise might have had after the Dark Lord began his ascent.
And finding the invisibility cloak! What a nice little touch.
Your writing was terrific in this chapter. Everything flowed very nicely and it was free of any distracting typos or grammatical errors. To be as long as it was, it was a quick read.