Oh wow! When you said it was different, you really meant it, didn't you? And really not in a bad way - this is like nothing I've ever read before, I have to say. The style is just incredible. I love how you've done it in different sections with one for each Marauder (and honourary Marauder, I suppose). It really divides them up and shows them all individually, you know? As their own people, not just as 'the Marauders' or 'Lily-and-James', which I really like. Sometimes you see so many people lumping them altogether as one big group.
I love how you've written it as well, with the unnamed narrator talking directly to the reader. It gives such a sense of personal loss, you know? The idea that there were people who survived who knew them - not necessarily intimately - but they knew them and their deaths and losses affected them. They weren't in a little bubble with just themselves inside. Also, it really made you able to explore them through someone else's eyes, which is generally unusual in a one-shot. Often it's the character talking directly about something, you know, and it's just such an interesting dimension and way to look at it.
Gah, it's so sad! I definitely agree that the Marauders' Era is so upsetting and angsty - we know it's never going to be all right in the end and it just makes it so much worse to read about them all being happy/loved up/etc. because it's not going to last and for once it isn't me being cynical, lol.
I have to say, two last things on characterisation (which I really, really loved - I think you nailed each one of them pretty perfectly) is that I loved how you left Peter for last, and how you didn't talk about too much about their relationships with the others in them, instead focusing on them and them alone. Peter being last was right, I think, and not because he's the least popular one, but because his story was, in a way, I think, sadder than the rest of them. He had everything - friends, happiness, 'glory' (if you consider fighting in a just war glorious), popularity, fun - and he just... threw it all away, destroyed his friends in the process and ended up enslaved to a man he feared, hated and admired in equal measure.
But no, I love them all. They're all tragic in their own, unique way, and you just brought them all and the reality of what war takes away (people rather than things and statistics) from us to life.
Not sure what else to say... style was fabulous, characterisation was flawless... there's not a thing I can find I didn't like, anything which read a bit clumsily or any typos... how do you do it?
Also, I remember reading the first chapters of Before They Fall a while back and when reading this I couldn't help but think just how much you've improved since then. Honestly, this is spectacular.
Author's Response: Hahah yes, when I said different I really meant it. I'm so happy thought that, despite it being different, you still liked it. I just felt like I needed to talk about them all. If that makes sense. I didn't want to create a story just then. I just wanted to miss them and make everyone else understand how much I miss them, haha.
I wasn't sure about then unnamed narrator. I'm so happy you liked that, and I know there will be others that don't.. but I wanted the narrator to be *me* if that makes sense. Haha, sounds a bit selfish, doesn't it?
Peter and I had some real issues when I started working on Before They Fall. I finally created something in my head, a reason on why he did what he did (which I won't say in case you ever decide to get back into BTF) and that made it a bit better. Now I can focus on the young man he used to be. This loving friend who just enjoyed being part of it all, who knew he was cared about and knew he cared about them as well. Like you said, he had everything. Whatever demands he was facing that drug in to the point of betrayal ruined a lot of innocent lives, and that's something I think haunted him forever.
I'm so sorry you had to read Before They Fall before I actually got back into writing. I promise, if you ever do decide to venture back in, the first four or five chapters have been almost entirely rewritten and it won't scare you away again :P. You saying that I've improved is one of the best compliments I can get, thank you so much ♥