Okay, first off, I have to admit that I'm pretty sure I've seen this mentioned before on the forums but just never got round to reading or reviewing it, even though I thought it sounded interesting. Bad Aph ;) I'm here now, though! :D
I really liked this. It's such an interesting idea, exploring the Evans sisters' relationship. Of course, you always get a taste or two of it in James/Lily fics, but it never seems enough, you know? Never seems like it explores everything fully.
Anyway, I thought you characterised Petunia really, really well. I'm the oldest of three sisters, so I know what it's like to look at your younger siblings getting things and it is really difficult at times. So yeah, I can sympathise a bit and that's really down to your writing, tbh. I'm not really a sympathetic person, as such. I loved how you described the two sisters simply in the beginning, without going into too much detail. They're small children - their mother probably chose their clothes at that stage so describing much more than you did would have been a little pointless.
Lily was adorable! But I guess that's the point of this - Lily is adorable. Lily is cute and wonderful and sweet. Petunia is not. People don't think of Petunia as 'Petunia', like the way people think of Lily as 'Lily', they think of her more as 'Lily's older sister'.
A couple of things, though. I think you could do with a bit more description in some places. Just try when you're describing something to think about the senses. Is the air cold? Are Petunia's fingers numb from the cold? Can she smell fresh bread in the bakery? What colour is her scarf? Her coat? You don't need to include all these things, but more description would really add to your writing, and you already have a lovely, succint style which will prevent you from getting off track by describing every little detail possible. Like me :D
Secondly, I think you could try rewording some of your sentences as some of them are a bit too long to keep the way they are (they sound... I dunno, a bit clumsy and put-together, if that makes sense?) - maybe try and find a beta for this? I found one example: 'She was sipping some warm hot chocolate in front of the fireplace while she watched Lily through the window as she determinedly rolled a large ball of snow, which was as tall as she was.' I think it would sound better if you switched one of the phrases round and put a comma in instead. Like, 'Sipping hot chocolate in front of the fireplace, she watched through the window as Lily determinedly rolled a large ball of snow, which was as tall as she was'. You see? I can't really explain the difference - sorry! - but it just flows a bit better, I think. Feel free to pm me on the forums for more clarification or whatever because I really don't think I've made it that clear :P
Gosh, I really enjoyed this, though! I love the idea, I love the characters, and I love how you used the first chapter to show how their relationship was before the whole thing went to pot. I'm not sure where the second chapter is going to pick up, but I'm looking forward to it! I hope you do include the whole Hogwarts letter and Snape episode because I think you'd do a fabulous job and I'd love to see what you do with it! :D
Author's Response: Hi! I'm glad you liked the concept of going into Lily and Petunia's relationship. I've always wondered about them myself.
Yeah, they're both way too small at this point to be judged. Lily is the adorable little sister that everyone loves, Petunia is the older one who people almost never notice.
Yeah, description is my weakness, I've been trying really hard to do better with detail.
I know, sometimes I don't do well with phrasing things. I tend to type up really long sentences and then I have to keep re-phrasing them until they sound right. Again, trying to improve! ;)
I'm so glad you liked the idea! Yes, the next chapter is where Lily gets her Hogwarts letter a few years later. This was kind of like a prologue. Thank you so much for the lovely review! :)