I thought about silently reading all of your stories, but post less reviews, so no one would notice I became obsessed with your stories! ;) Guess I can't hide that much. And it would be impolite not to write a proper review.
This review is a response to your request, but you deserve reviews even without requesting.
First of all, I'm really fond of your style. Your descriptions. They're always thorough, detailed and pictorial. Too much imagery? Where? Not at all! Thanks to it I can almost feel like a part of the world you've created. Especially since descriptions compose with atmosphere. Although I wouldn't mind more darkness. This time the gloom you've created was delicate and I think this plot could use more heaviness. Maybe I'm just too weird ;)
Portrayal of Peter is one of a kind. It's not that different from other stories about him, but it's like you lifted a thin voile. Like you've underlined his other, minor traits. They often are forgotten, most authors focus on his fearful/treacherous side. You managed to draw light contours of his whole personality (well, maybe not whole, but more completed, not only limited to betrayal). He's shy and insecure and probably lacks composure. Yet, he is smart, not knowledge-smart, but savvy. The burden of double-role he took is heavy and it's harder with each day. But I like that you didn't put it all in emotional heaviness. It's hard for him, because it becomes confusing. It's difficult to grapple with all of this. Peter's starting to realise he's probably not capable of it.
"He is a good person, just as his wife is, and that is why Peter hates them both."
It may sound shocking. When you first read that sentence, you're angry. I was angry. I think it should make anyone angry, because it oozes jealousy, bitterness and malice. But after re-thinking it, it makes sense. I don't think Peter hated Lily or James during school years. He started hating them now, after his betrayal. Their goodness reminds him of what he has done, who he has become. While he can live with his actions, he doesn't like being reminded how low he had fallen. Peter knows his "friends" would never do that to him, soonce again they become better than him. He hates them, because deep inside he hates himself.
Severus... it's a bit different to review him. Not that you did something wrong. It's difficult because of the time-frame. We didn't have that much insight on him in his early twenties. Yes, we knew about the Death Eaters and the prophecy, but it was only mentioned. So You chose a gap when he is like an enigma. Not embittered, more calculated and still delicate in some way. He's not hot-headed, he tries to be precise, prepared. It's like you portrayed the exact "makeover" time for him. He's not a child anymore, but not yet an adult. He's insecure and vulnerable.
And then it hits me - they both are!
Peter and Severus. Each on different level, it's a different perspective. But this contour of helpless, insecure boys lingers. What a smiting feeling, when you realise they are so simmilar, in the same situation, but each of them will choose a different path. So it's not your origins that make you who you are, it's your choices.
Other points: I love that you mentioned Frank Longbottom! Briefly, but it was an excellent move. A short, fragmented insight into his "sane" years. You did write also about Death Eaters and The Order, but this one scene with Frank was powerful.
You know, I would love to read another story of yours about minor Order Members. Maybe Longbottoms, or Dorcas Meadowes, etc. Well, let's be honest, I'd probably read anything of yours. Admit it, you cursed me with Imperio! ;)
Author's Response: Hello! Sorry for this ridiculously late response!
More heaviness, huh? Okay. I think what may have happened was that the imagery lightened as I tried to describe the action and pace. I'll have to glance back at this and see if there's anywhere I could insert more darkness.
One thing I really dislike is finding a Marauders era story that actually features Peter (yay!) only to discover that he's been given the role of the dumb comic relief (boo!). I just think you'd have to at least be street smart in order to gain the respect of James and Sirius in the first place, let alone take on the role of a double agent during wartime. I'm glad you liked the portrayal I chose for him.
I mean, yeah, Peter was friends with James during school, and he must have at least gotten along with Lily once she and James became more serious, so I imagined his dislike of them to grow over time as he grew up. He's looking for ways to cut his ties to the Order and to allow himself to fully invest in what Voldemort is selling, and I did see him potentially manufacturing some extreme flaws for Lily and James in order to develop the capacity to destroy them.
I did kind of pick an action-packed few days for Severus, when he really had to decide where he stood and what he was made of. It's good to hear that you felt like I balanced his emotions well and portrayed him as being just a young man caught in a difficult situation.
I think you definitely tapped into the heart of what I was trying to explore here, with the notion that Peter and Severus have some similarities in their stories and they sort of took one another's place by making different and opposing choices. That's what I was getting at with "a tale of fates entwined."
It's great that you liked seeing Frank here! I wouldn't be opposed to writing more about minor Order characters, though no plunnies for that are hanging around at the moment.
Thanks so much for your lovely review!