Hi, thank you so much for asking me to review your work!I do not know why there are only two reviews... I believe that should be illegal, period. Youíre writing style is beautiful and there is this way in which you communicate that is like I just bit into a piece of soft black forest cake. Itís gooey, rich, and everyone knows that everything bad in the world is completely counteracted with a piece of black forest cake :P. I think thatís the best way I can describe your wording. Itís so lovely and a breath of fresh air to read.
A couple things that I felt took away from the flow was James with Lily with their newborn son, maybe James and Lily with their newborn son or James with Lily and their newborn son would have flowed better together. Itís tiny eyes bulging at animal instinct took over. Should be- bulging AS animal instinct took over. Nothing big, just small little interrupters. One last thing was when Dobby was starring at himself in the silver platter. I loved how you described Dobby as he was chasing after the rat, the poor guy, but that part jolted me out of the feeling I had while reading and I think it was because it felt like there were two different, unconnected actions getting placed together. Bella waiving her hand, and then suddenly Dobby. But maybe that is what you wanted.
The relationship between Bella and Narcissa is palpable and I love the interactions. You have written them very realistically and I loved that you choose to explore their relationship in this story in such great depth. I loved their great differences and how in such subtle wording you brought those differences to light. How Narcissa touched her jewelled neck or her grace while Bella was all passion and is like a wound up jack in the box just ready to spring. I also think that this was the perfect setting to set Peterís transformation. I can see why Peter would admire her, probably because she had the passions and convictions that he lacked. Peter reminds me of sponge in this story, he spent all his time in Hogwarts soaking up the convictions and passions of his friends and now since they are gone, his sponge has run dry and as heís sitting underneath Bella heís found the passions that he believes he doesnít have, he cannot help but let his sponge start filling up again.
I also really love the dominance Bella has in the relationship and yet Narcissa does show this dark power in how she scorns Bella with doing her dirty work and yet isnít sitting where Regulus is. Iím not sure why but it brought me back to the scene in Spinnerís End where Narcissa is refusing to tend to her sisterís counsel and goes her own way to insure her sonís safety. I feel like this scene was a perfect build up to that, how Bella always seems to hold this ascendancy but in the end Narcissa never quite seems to be alright under that and I think that you captured the tension between the sisters wonderfully.
Ah! Need to cut short my ramble of them, this is a story of Peter, I must remind myself, I just found them so fascinating. Anyway, there was something about Peterís transformation I donít know if it quite got there for me. There was something missing and Iíve read the story multiple times trying to figure out exactly why Iím left with a question mark in my mind. I donít know if I have it yet or I just donít know how to transform it into words. I mean, it makes sense mostly, but I feel like there is a critical point that is missing that seals the deal. Iím not sure if Iím making much sense here and I might be the only one who still has a question, I donít know. I liked though the whole idea of how only the strong survive and to survive and to show the world that he was strong he switched sides.
I felt though that you had his insecurities and how he always felt like others looked down on him written brilliantly though. I feel like those same thoughts would have been running through his head and wonder if heíd ever be able to prove himself and pull himself from out of the shadows. I also liked your repetition of rats and how that really was what Peter saw himself as. I really loved the line Ďnothing worth the price of redemption.í I felt like this really captured everything, how Peter had nothing and no one really knew what it was like to feel like you had nothing to give to the world and nothing that would show oneís worth.
There were a couple things that I did notice though and questioned. At the beginning you did mention how he was the most trusted Order spy. I feel as if this was so, would this not give him the confidence in his own abilities and take up the spot the Maraudersí had filled in Hogwarts? Or is he forever fated to always have low self worth and feel undeserving of such trust. Also, you mentioned later that the whole Order looked down on him, and saw him as nothing without his friends. To me, those two thoughts in his head together didnít make sense. If the Order looked down on him, would they think of him a trusted spy? With that, I felt like maybe there should be more of a transition from the man who they trusted to the rat they looked down upon, a rat that was desperate to be strong and saw that the only way to strength was to switch. I did however love that you made him useful in the Order and that he was indeed needed for something.
I did like this story though, and there were so many details in it that just loved, your writing is truly very lovely and I always love reading it. I think I should stop my extremely long ramble that Iím not sure if I got anywhere with. :P
Author's Response: This review is insanely detailed - far more than I ever expected to get for this story - and it's had me flabbergasted since you left it. Although I made the changes as soon as I could, I've had a lot of trouble thinking of how I would respond in a way that this review deserved. It deserves something brilliant, to be sure.
Thank you so much for reading the story and leaving such wonderful constructive criticism. It's not a story I had any hopes for, but just wanted to get it out there, and you've made me glad that I did. My writing has not yet been compared to chocolate cake, but gosh, I love chocolate cake, and the image of my writing as equal to that is too amazing for words. ^_^
The presence of Bella and Narcissa in this story is very strong, and while it is a story about Peter like you said (and like I've advertised it), it says almost more about them than about him. Perhaps it's just my inability to write him as completely as I would have liked, but nonetheless, it was still fascinating to take a look into the two Black sisters and their lives during a period in fanfiction that usually focuses on the Marauders and the Order. I did base most of it off that first scene in HBP, and I enjoyed going further with JKR's snapshots of how these two very different sisters interact. One is the mother; the other an anti-mother. One is light; the other dark. Both are Blacks through and through; only Bellatrix carries the Black's ideals to their extreme while Narcissa thinks things through very carefully, weighing her options, even when she's emotionally involved. She may be the quieter of the two, but I think she's the more clever and calculating as opposed to Bella's fiery, uncontrollable temper. Ah! Now I'm rambling on about them, too! There's just something about them that, when written together, makes for a great spectacle, a scene that, even if it was limited to dialogue, would be intense and exciting to watch.
There is something missing at that point near the end, but I can't figure out what it is. I had this image in my head of how it would look, and it's impossible to force it into words. I'm still hoping for some lightbulb to go off in my head and give me all the answers, or better yet, for someone to come along and tell me the secret. It's awkward to describe that transformation because Peter's resisting it, but also wanting it at the same time so that he can "reveal" himself and take credit for his work as a spy. He's so contradictory - that's the problem, and I don't know how to fix it.
Thank you for your very kind words and lovely compliments - they're definitely "make my day" sorts of things, and I'm really glad that you liked this story as well as how Peter turned out, characterization-wise. This is the first time I'd written him in years, and although I'm a supporter, so to speak, of including him in fanfics, it's harder than I thought to write him! It was surprising to realize that. Anyway, thanks again! I appreciate the time you took to read the story and write this stunning review. ^_^