Reading Reviews for Swing Low
5 Reviews Found

Review #1, by Violet Gryfindor Swing Low

11th December 2013:
This is a fascinating study of Peter, and you especially capture his conflicting, often contradictory, thoughts and emotions. There's still a part of him that wants to do good, be the knight and save the day, and yet he's also able to recognize - in a very mature, cynical way - that neither side is truly good. Both sides of the war are flawed, even corrupt, and his desperate need to survive at any cost, leads him to this choice. What I really like is that your narration doesn't judge Peter - you simply present his thoughts and leave it up to the reader to decide, which is very important when writing about Peter. It's easy for people to brush him aside as weak or cowardly, when really he's struggling with very human problems, and it's hard to say for certain whether any of us would make the same choice. There are very few Sirius Blacks in the world, but there are many Peters.

I'm also interested in the cynicism that you write into Peter's character. It suits him, and I think it gives him strength - he doesn't sound like a coward or silly rat in this story at all. Rather there's something else beneath the surface that drives him, but I can't put a name to it. While such cynicism makes Remus quiet and retiring, it makes Peter darker, bitter and without hope - he's been drained of feeling and empathy, crushing the last vestiges of his childhood dreams. I can see how this state of mind would lead Peter to the Death Eaters. But where did it come from? Was it always part of him, or did it occur after Eleanor's death, or is it a product of the war, years of darkness and fear that have driven him to prize survival above all else? Your story has left me thinking, and I love that. ^_^

There were a couple of grammatical things I noticed while reading - there's one that I've found again. "The man he pledged allegiance, the one to whom heíd been passing information on to for months now was looking at him" - it should be "the man to whom he pledged allegiance.

This was an excellent one-shot to read. You've done a great job with Peter's characterization as well as with the overall style of this story. Not that it's a surprise - your stories are always a pleasure to read. ^_^

Author's Response: Hi,

Thank you so much for choosing this story to review! Peter is always an interesting character. Someone i've tried to wrap my head around a few times. I'm somewhat happy with how this thing turned out. I've always felt like it would have been hard, the beginnings of his betrayal. He would have had to go through a lot of different emotions and I don't think he would have fully wanted to bend down to Voldemort at first. There is still that boy in him, he still has a sliver of innocence that he wishes he could still be. But through various circumstances, he's become cynical. I remember reading in the books how the Order was quite disorganized during the first war and how so many people had either let Voldemort rise to power, or joined him for survival sakes. There was less of a goal for Voldemort the first time round other than cleansing the wizarding world. Harry came later in the project. So, I think it could turn anyone cynical if they'd seen enough.

I also wanted to explore a Peter that was strong once, that was a friend, and who the others would have trusted. Not just some chubby boy who followed them around. I wanted to capture him before his actions led to his friends death. At this point, he doesn't even imagine that is where he'll go. I'm really pleased you felt like there wasn't judgement to him with this. I wanted to find that medium where he was just a person trying to get through life and trying not to die. As you say, there is very few Sirius Black's about and I think most would turn the other way if there was enough pressure.

I love how this has you questioning! I think there are a variety of things that have brought Peter to this point, where his bitterness and cynicism has taken the humanity out of him (at least, when we meet him in the books). He doesn't seem human there, just cowardly and scared. But perhaps when he let go of his boyish dreams, slowly saw the fading of the light and the deaths, and how there was this struggle that kept going downhill it drove Peter to a point where he didn't have the hope. He became dark. Why did he turn this way when Remus turned into a quiet and retired individual? There are so many could be answers to those questions, it all depends on their own growth and how they interpret the events in their life. Perhaps Peter's crush hope made him believe in the darkness. Or someone's specific death? A lot of that though, i think, comes down to the individual reader to figure out. I love when people start asking questions because I feel like my jobs been done :) I don't always like answering all the questions, even if i have my own idea of who exactly made all this happen.

Thank you for pointing those grammar things out. i'll have to go back and try to smooth it out :) Thanks for your review, it was very insightful =)

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Review #2, by academica Swing Low

26th July 2013:
All right, Zayne, I'm here for my part of our exchange!

I really like your take on Peter's characterization. I've written him a couple different ways now but I like the anxious way he behaves here, particularly with that line about being careful to get all the blood off his hands. The fairytale motif was also good, because it really demonstrated how far he'd fallen from his hopes and how different he'd become compared to his friends. I couldn't help but draw a contrast between Peter and the image of James as a handsome hero rescuing a princess (Lily). I also like how uncomfortable Peter clearly was in the situation with Henry Jorkins and his surprise at seeing Voldemort there. It just showed that he didn't really fit in with this crowd quite yet.

I also really liked the imagery in this piece, like how you described Voldemort's voice as being like a knife and his movement as being like a plague. The theme of Peter needing to do this to secure his own safety fits in well with the sentiment of the war, and I think it's a believable motivation for him.

I do have a couple of points of crit, if you don't mind :) Something about the flow of this didn't seem quite right to me. I noticed in a few sentences that you seemed to mix tenses (for example, that was when this becomes real), and in others the wording was just kind of awkward. It's hard to describe, but you posted this a few months ago, so maybe if you go back and look at it now you'll pick those parts out.

The other thing is just Voldemort's comment at the end. It didn't quite fit in with the way he's typically characterized, and I had trouble understanding why he would allow someone entry into his forces if he even suspected that they had ulterior motives. I could maybe see his comment as something said in private to Peter to really get to him, but it was odd seeing it spoken in front of everyone like that. Maybe you could add a little bit to give some context as to why Voldemort made that comment.

Otherwise, this was great. Peter is obviously an under-appreciated character and (at least in my experience) a difficult one to take on, and I think you did a great job. Thanks for the exchange!

♥ Amanda

Author's Response: Amanada! Sorry for the epically long wait for this! I have no excuse, i'm just sorry. :)

I'm pleased that you felt he didn't fit yet yet. I didn't want him too. I wanted it to seem like he was still a kid and he still had some semblance of friendship loyalty to the Marauders still. I think the whole thing would have been a slow slide from the person he was into where he fit into the roll of a spy where he became hardened and was able to give Voldemort L&J. This is just one of the slides. He's had other before this point and he'll have more to go through after.

I know it doesn't fit in with how he's typically done. I know he's cruel and hardened and doesn't care much about his minions. But at the same time, i think there is more to a leader than someone ruling with pure fear. It takes more to get people to flock to him like they did. Voldemort obviously felt nothing for the people who were serving him, but he's an excellent actor. I do like the idea that maybe he would say it to Peter by himself, but, as it is, it also serves as a warning to everyone else that Voldemort knows all. That they can't hide hidden secrets within themselves. He'll find them and so help the person who thinks they can outsmart him. I think Voldemort also knew that Peter was weak and that he was already at the the point where he was focussed on survival at all costs.

Thank you for your delightful review! I really appreciate you comments and your CC! It definitely will make me go back and work on this a bit when i have the time. I'm also pleased you thought it could have captured Peter. He is a difficult character to wrap my head around and explain in a meaningful way. especially in such a short little story. There is always so much more to a character.

-zayne :)

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Review #3, by MissMdsty Swing Low

13th March 2013:
Hello there!

I love reading about the Marauders and Peter's description in this story was spot on! It shows his transition from an innocent schoolboy to a cold heart killer and the motives you've underlined for the betrayal feel so real that it's just chilling.

The moment when you described the cruel smile that passed his lips it was so obvious that even though he may have been scared half to death and some part of him hoped to save his friends, he also enjoyed the power that the Dark Lord gave him and the fact that this power was not shared with any of the others.

The meeting between him and Voldemort was very well written. You manged to write Voldemort very true to canon and the dialogue, as well as the whole initiation process felt very real.

Good job on this!

Author's Response: Hi! Thank you so much for your review! I'm really pleased you thought I did Peter justice! It is such an emotional piece for me because it's that moment of no return for him. That moment where he takes one step too far and he can't go back. He's not strong enough, not that he'd want to at this point either.

Yah, i think although he was loyal to his friends and was part of them, i think eventually the war started changing things for him. His childhood dreams and his idealism was squished out of him which the others held onto. But he didn't have that anymore so he turned into this and eventually into the monster we know him as.

I'm really happy to hear that you thought the meeting between them went well. I was a little nervous about writing Voldemort because he's such an evil character and i wasn't sure if i could give him justice. i'm glad that you were able to see him as being true to canon in that brief moment. He's an interesting character though to write, to get his evil across and yet his charm that made people follow him so loyally.

Thank you so much for your thoughts!!

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Review #4, by patronus_charm Swing Low

24th February 2013:
AH! Thank you for sending me a link to a Marauders story! That is my favourite era to read in, even if it is about Peter Pettigrew ;)

I thought this was such an interesting perspective to write from, Iím surprised Iíve never seen it done before. I think Peter betraying his friends, is one of the hardest things to understand in the series, as you canít comprehend why anyone would do that to their friends, so it was nice to see how you provide some backstory to that.

I really liked the part about Eleanor and how when she was taken, and then saw Peter she thought she would be saved, but sadly that wasnít the case. I think that just showed you, in situations like the one they were in, you can never, ever anticipate what will happen, and where peopleís true loyalties lie. It was just so haunting the way Peter didnít seem to show that much remorse or regret, when talking about Eleanor and the other victims. But I think if youíre going to take part in things like that, you have to close down your emotions, otherwise you would get scared and back out, as you realise what youíve really done.

In answer to your author note, of course this story did the moment justice. It was excellent, and it was really realistic and believable, and you could almost hear Peter narrating the story, as it just seemed to be what he would think.

The only CC I can give is to write more to this story, as it was so powerful, and amazing, I would love to learn more from Peterís perspective as it was really well done.

An excellent one-shot, so thank you so much for sending me the link :D


Author's Response: Hi Kiana!

Thank you so much for your lovely review! I've always grappled with this moment and trying to understand some of the psychology behind Peter. It's such a hard moment to deal with that trying to capture it felt like trying to catch a ghost in the wind. I've always been a bit unhappy with JKR's characterization of Peter. Or at least, the parts that she's chosen to tell us about.

I'm pleased you connected to this and thought it did the moment justice. That's such a huge compliment so thank you so much.

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Review #5, by CambAngst Swing Low

20th February 2013:
Hi, there. I saw your forum status and decided to check out your story.

To answer the question in your author's note, I do think you did the moment justice. The thought process you detailed for Peter was really well written. I've read a lot of different versions of the rationalizations that Peter uses to justify his betrayal: fear and jealousy being the two most common. So your approach of casting it as pragmatism was a refreshing change. To anyone fighting against the Dark Lord's rise -- and especially a relatively weak, downtrodden guy like Peter -- the fight must have seemed well nigh impossible to win. And while it seems that the Order of the Phoenix had a huge appeal to people who like to dream the impossible dream, Peter wasn't that sort of dreamer. It seems like life had beaten that out of him a long time ago.

The idea that he would have to kill in order to become a Death Eater also made perfect sense. Peter's reflections on the act really left me wondering how he would have reacted if the Death Eaters had chosen somebody that he was closer to as his victim, rather than some Hufflepuff kid that the Marauders likely mocked for his studiousness. It would have been interesting to see.

I thought you did a great job writing his brief meeting with the Dark Lord. It was menacing and tense, but with just a bit of a pep talk thrown in when Voldemort chastises his followers for mocking Peter. And the fact that Voldemort knew what he was thinking all along was the icing on the cake.

Let's see, what else? I loved his thoughts about Sirius's rebellion against his family and James's attempt to live up to his parents' legacy. That sounded like Peter Pettigrew. He's still in awe of his friends, but he can't resist the opportunity to take them down a peg or two in his own mind.

The best concrete suggestion I could offer you would be to extend this story one more chapter and give us your best interpretation of Peter's emotions immediately after he betrays the Potters to Voldemort. After all, his feelings in this moment are still very theoretical. He hasn't been asked to turn on anyone who means anything to him. The blood on his hands isn't personal. He still actually thinks that he'll be able to keep the people he cares about safe. In that moment after he gives up the secret to Voldemort, he must have thought some interesting things, indeed.

I did see a few things that looked like typos while I was reading:

They could not afford their laced covered dreams and aspirations. - lace covered?

He did not expect him to have been here tonight, he thought his recruitment would have just been a blimp in the grand scheme of things. - I think you meant "blip". A blimp is pretty big, in the grand scheme of things. ;)

The only think that mattered now was what was more right and did he want to die? - only thing

Until then though, heíd brandish those thoughts away, they played no part in the life he lived because no matter how many books he read or daydreams he had, they would not save him now. - banish those thoughts?

Overall, your writing was really good. Everything flowed nicely and nothing sounded awkward or singsongy. You did a good job with this and I'm glad I got a chance to read it.

Author's Response: Hi! Sorry for how long it's taken me to respond! I've been on holiday for the last couple weeks and haven't had access to this site! Soo without further ado just thank you so much for stopping by and reviewing this! Your comments are way too nice! I'm just really glad you found that it captured it fairly well. I've read a few as well and only a couple i've properly liked. I've always wanted to show that he still had some loyalty to his friends, that it didn't just die or he was a complete blumbering idiot. He was their friend, he was someone they trusted without a doubt and I think him betraying them would have been a slow fade really where eventually he sold his entire soul to the cause but we're not at that point yet in his story. Right now he just doesn't want to die- he doesn't want anyone to die and he sees no other way to live. His disillusioned with the war effort i think on both sides to an extent (or he uses that to justify why it isn't so bad that he's embracing the darkness). A lot of this is him trying to justify himself - his comments about his friends as you pointed out or how this is survival etc. It is the only conceivable way for him to survive - he's not like Sirius who expects everyone to be able to lie down their life for the cause or James who expects great things and dreams too big. He's too straight forward and the war and life has beaten him down- killed those dreams he once had.

More to this? I do get where you are coming from definitely and the thought has crossed my mind since i've read this review. it would be great to explore in more concrete terms his betrayal - how playing the two sides affected him. Part of me likes leaving it up in the air for the readers to decide if he stayed their friend and felt bad about the betrayal or if playing the two sides made him turn darker and he'd become so desensitized to death and murder that the betrayal left less of a mark on him. So I guess we shall see- i wouldn't be surprised though if i end up writing more :P

Thank you so much for your review and reading this!

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