Hey Academica! Here for your requested review.
It is not surprising that you have written another amazing one-shot that has floored me. I was literally left speechless a few moments after reading this - it is completely flawless. Indeed, Peter and Severus' characterisations are very hard to master, and yet you seem to have done it very easily and perfectly, so kudos to you for that!
I always imagined Peter to be this scared person who was forced into betraying the Potters because of his will to survive, maybe even manipulated/threatened by Voldemort into doing it, and later regret his actions and loathe himself for it, but you explored a completely different side of him which I enjoyed immensely. I always love reading/writing new sides to a character we already know a lot about and have a certain mindset about, as it gives me something fresh to think over, and you have done exactly that. You have explored the side of Petter that does not feel remorse for his actions - that does not in fact feel anything. He almost seemed power-hungry here (if that is the right word to use), wanting the Dark Lord's appreciation and interest, and yet not thinking once about what he's done. It surprised me even more that in the end he actually joined in the party; that just showed me how truly dark he was.
You really portrayed this side of him amazingly. Thinking about it, it does go well with canon after all - the way he framed Sirius, and later escaped and rejoined Voldemort. That dark side of him was always there and you delved deeper into it when writing him and I really liked that.
I also liked the little details of him having a soft spot for Lily though 'hating' James and Sirius. The way you explored his POV from the 'beginning' of the story to the 'end' was very apt and showed me his motivations for doing what he did, however dark and twisted it all may be.
Another thing I loved about him was his thoughts during his interaction with Regulus. It almost made me annoyed that he would think Slytherin House is 'filthy' and judge Regulus by it, when in fact he himself showed no loyalty to Gryffindor doing what he did to his friends. It revealed in the truest sense (apart from the actual betrayal of course) what a self-serving judgemental and harsh personality he has.
I think including that little scene was a stroke of brilliance to give his 'evil' character a finality, besides the scene where he retches and afterwards decides that he feels nothing after Lily and James' deaths. Honestly, you have written him amazingly and done true justice to his character. Great work.
Coming to Severus, you always do write him brilliantly so it's no surprise that you've done great this time too. I absolutely loved how you have focused on his love for Lily in the scenes and his thoughts and yet at the same time not taken away his actual bitter and disdainful personality. I have seen fanfiction authors turn him into a lovey-dovey pitiful tragic hero when in fact he is so much more than that. I liked how he was so anxious about his meeting with Dumbledore, not knowing how to beg for Lily's life. I especially loved the part where he reflects upon how proud he was for finding out the prophecy. It yet again shows the slightly dark side of him that yearned for appreciation from the Dark Lord. It also showed me a similarity between him and Peter which I've never really considered before, so great job there.
I think the ending for Snape was also very fitting, how he realises that he must take care of Harry. The scene with him noticing the eyes was awesome. Oh, and I also loved the part where he wants to see Lily's body one last time. All these details shaped his character here, and I enjoyed that. Finally, I also loved the bits where he wants James out of the picture, thinking if Lily could survive he could have her etc. It again shows that he is not a saint, as many fanfiction authors sometimes show him to be, and his love is definitely not pure - though it is true. I don't know if you meant for me to interpret it all this way but that's how I did it, and I really, really loved seeing things from this view.
All in all, your characterisations of Peter and Severus were pretty intense, very much perfect, and just fabulous. I loved every bit of both of them here, and the situations you portrayed them in. Your imagery was as always amazing and had me completely engrossed while reading. I could visualise everything happening clearly and some parts almost gave me goosebumps. Your descriptions truly struck a chord!
I also loved how you closed this story for the two, with Peter in the celebratory party with the Death Eaters, thinking the Dark Lord's protection is soon to come, and Snape in the Order of the Phoenix meeting, mourning Lily and thinking about protecting Harry. It really showed a beautiful contrast, and I was floored by your concept itself.
I have absolutely no constructive criticism for you. Honestly, you write amazingly and as I said previously, this piece was absolutely flawless, be it the grammar, descriptions, imagery, pace, flow, concept, or of course, characterisation. Amazing work!!
I feel 10/10 is still not enough for this masterpiece, so I'll give you a 100 (and honestly, I am not flattering you - I really loved this that much)!
Great, great, great work!
Keep writing like this!
P.S. Sorry for the painfully long length of this review but I couldn't stop myself from rambling! Love xx
Author's Response: Hi Angie! Sorry for taking so long to get to this response. For a while I just didn't even know what to say and my review count just crept up on me. Anyway, thanks again so much!
I agree that it can be a treat to find a portrayal of a character that differs from what you envisioned for them but that you also like just as much as what you would have written. I definitely tried to focus on Peter's growing darkness and the part of him that sought power and safety in working for Voldemort. As you mentioned, I tried to show that there is still a side of him he has to fight back, which is the side that's attached to Lily and his friends. I hope you can his conflicted feelings come out through his anxiety, especially with the opening scene and the part when he gets sick after getting back to his apartment. I also agree with you in terms of the Regulus scene; Peter has no right to be pointing fingers, but he'll do anything to assert his dominance.
I think you really understood where I was trying to go with Severus. I also get bored easily with the portrayal of him as the lovestruck hero, and so I tried to convey that his love is real and deep while also emphasizing that it comes with faults and selfish aspects just like love you see in real life. I'm also big on playing up his flaws and his darkness, because I think focusing on those aspects is important for building a well-rounded character. I'm really happy that you liked where I went with both him and Peter.
It's great to hear that you liked the contrast in the final scenes between the Death Eaters' celebration and the Order mourning. I wanted there to be a lot of tension because we know what they don't yet--just how things will turn out in the morning. I'm so pleased that the imagery worked out and the right mood seemed to be created successfully for the piece.
Thanks again for your wonderful review :)