Amanda, this was A-mazing! I've always known that you're gifted with characterisation this from your previous stories, but I don't think I've ever read a Peter story from you. Our views about how he reacted to the moment of his betrayal of the Potters is so different, that it made reading his POV a real treat! I love it when I find stories that offer their own view of a character's inner workings that is different than my own. It makes the character a great deal richer in my eyes, it allows me to explore countless possibilities because everyone writes them differently.
If anything, you reminded me what it is to loathe Peter. I imagine him to be VERY bitter about what he did, and thoroughly hate himself for it deep down inside, but your story tackled the darker side of him. The side that is not sorry about his betrayal, that feels no mortification, no guilt, not even pleasure. He is so devoid of any kind of emotion at this point, so immersed in a kind of shock like state, that it's all he can do not to fall to the floor and never wake up. I see Peter like the weak, frail member of the Marauders who has been manipulated very easily into turning against his friends by Voldemort who deftly exploited his inner doubts. After all, Voldemort was a grand puppeteer. He was incredibly skilled at turning friends against each other and spreading disdain amongst people as was mentioned in OotP.
That is only my take on Peter however. This story allows us to explore the more evil, perverted Peter that actually chooses, of his won free will, to betray the Potters. Which in itself is a lot more terrifying than him being manipulated because in this instance, there is not excuse, nothing that could possibly absolve his cruelty in our eyes. You've handled his duality with great care. Even if he feels no remorse, we can clearly witness that this was not a choice he was proud of either. Especially because of Lily. Deep down, buried under his dark thoughts, still lies the boy that only wants to be cherished, praised, the boy that is appreciative of kindness when he receives it. And Lily was kind to me. Which makes everything that more tragic...ugh, I cry every time I read stories about Peter's betrayal because even if I try not to despise him, when I think that it was he who was set everything in motion, that he betrayed his friends in cold blood to Voldemort, my blood boils and I cannot possibly find any excuse for him.
Snape was marvellously handled, as always :D but the character that was briefly featured and yet it captured my attention is Regulus. I find him one of the most intriguing characters in the books, even if he is almost hardly mentioned. And your Regulus interpretation has that 'something something' vibe I get from the books. I cannot put my finger to what it is but he's one of the characters I crave to know more about. I mean, he was the only DE apart from Snape to literally go against Voldemort...of his own accord! That is HUGE!
Enjoyable read as always sweetie!
Author's Response: Hey Debra! Thanks for christening this story with its first review, and such a lovely one!
Peter is so interesting, perhaps because stories about him are too rare, and I think I always sort of knew I'd work up the nerve to write about him one day. I found dissecting his motives to be a fascinating and complex endeavor. It's nice to know I'm not the only one who actually really enjoys finding realistic character portrayals that differ from my head canon :)
I think my portrayal of Peter, in contrast to yours, stems from a couple of different notions. One is that I want to think of him as being a bit stronger than he seems at first glance. After all, this is a boy who got sorted into Gryffindor and somehow wound up being the friend of some of the most popular and talented students in his year. Obviously he turned out to be a different man from the one you'd expect given that trajectory, but I think of him as having little secrets, like a great intellect and a deep sense of self-obsession. Those traits come out a lot in Post Scriptum and I felt that they fit in well here. The other thing I wrestle with is that Peter ultimately decided to stick with Voldemort knowing full well that his friends would probably (and some, definitely) die because of Voldemort. There had to have been something inside him, in my view, that made him want to stay there, even if it was just a matter of selfishness or pride. As you mentioned, though, this is only my take on a richly multi-faceted character.
But yeah, I think after all the wonderful times he must have had with James, Sirius and Remus and the kindness Lily undoubtedly showed him as she got close to James, Peter would have had some regrets. He probably wouldn't choose to entertain them very often, but I doubt he could have eradicated them all.
Hah, it's great that you liked Regulus! I didn't explore him in as much depth as I have in Post Scriptum, but it was fun to contrast him with Peter here and show that he's learned the ropes as well as any good Slytherin would.
Thanks again for your wonderful review :)