Ohhh I LOVE Peter in this. Okay, you know how we have to tweak parts of canon to sort of save ourselves? I'm sure you had to mess with a few things in Diamonds into Coal to make it more of a story you want to tell. Anyway, Peter is my canon tweak. I have to change a bit about him to be able to handle what he does, but this portrayal of yours is probably one of the most honest I've read.
He knew what they were up against. He didn't want to die. He didn't want to be on the losing team, and there was just enough separation between him and the group (that I"m guessing only grew, at least that's what I pick up from your story) that he was *okay* doing what he did. Your take on him isn't apologetic, it's not regretful, it's simple. Maybe he has those small flashes of regret throughout his life, but he made a decision to live and he's going to do whatever he damn well has to, to live.
I just really loved what you did with him.
Snape felt just like he always does with you. He's Severus. You keep him intense, you keep him bordering on dark, but he's focused on Lily and mainly Lily. Which I really, really like. I also like that he didn't seem interested in Harry until he met his eyes, Lily's eyes. That was another perfect thing to focus on, imo.
Obviously you made a few adjustments to what happened with Harry, but I really liked this. I also REALLY loved the celebratory party that isn't really one even if they don't know it yet. Wondering just how everyone found out and how they all reacted from the DE side really intrigues me. In the short bit of that you showed, it was almost manic.
I think your writing style was some of your best in this. You did the gorgeous work with descriptions that you're so well known for, but you let your story take the lead. You didn't put your characters or story second to description, and let the latter flicker in when it was natural.
This is probably one of my favorite pieces of yours, miss Amanda! Like I said, even if I won't be able to go the way you have with Peter, I think it's definitely the most true. Awesome job on some insanely difficult characters!
Author's Response: Jami, thanks again for the lovely swap :)
Yeah, I definitely understand that feeling. I try to stick to canon as much as I can, but of course there are little moments you have to change in order to make your story your own and to make it something you're happy with.
It's funny how much our perceptions of Peter differ. For me, that moment of separation, the first time Peter ever doubted that his friendship with the others wouldn't be enough, that's the hardest thing ever to write about him. This was much easier because it was already there. I tried to write it in Post Scriptum--well, sort of tried to write around it a little, I guess--and I don't know that I'll ever be totally satisfied with it. So I guess thinking of Peter before his betrayal is tougher for me. Anyway, yeah, I'm glad you liked my version and felt like I made a bold choice.
As much as I like Snape, I have to accept that he's not a good person without his affection for Lily. It only felt right to have that clearly being his entire motivation throughout this story. Again, this was easier than Post Scriptum because his betrayal was in motion. It was even tougher for me to figure out how to show his changeover from trying to be with Lily to trying to be a Death Eater in the novel. And again, don't know quite how I feel about it. Glad you liked the detail about Harry's eyes!
I guess what it boils down to is that these are both interesting, complex characters, and part of what I love about them is that there are so many different permutations that different authors can choose and they're all awesome :)
The ending of this was kind of interesting for me. I wanted to focus on the calm before the storm--the Death Eaters are celebrating, thinking they're home free, and the Order is grieving the loss of the Potters and wondering what in the world to expect next while not really understanding what happened to Voldemort and why Harry's still alive. I thought it would be a cool moment to describe given that we're more familiar with the aftermath based on what we know from canon. I'm happy that you liked my choice!
Aww, thanks! I really think this is my best one-shot to date and possibly my best story. It felt really good to write this and I'm happy that you also felt like it turned out to be good. Thanks so much for your awesome review!