Reading Reviews for Avalanche
  
2 Reviews Found

Review #1, by nott theodore 1

3rd September 2014:
Um. Wow.

Okay.

(I'm here for the review swap, by the way.)

This is, without a doubt, the best characterisation of Peter Pettigrew that I have ever read. Ever. And I've read a lot of Marauders era stories and even stories focusing on Peter, but this one was just incredible. Seriously, it blew me away.

It's going to be really hard for me to pick out my favourite parts of this story because literally everything was perfect. I can't see a single thing that could be improved in any way so... I should warn you that I'm likely to ramble. Sorry!

What I loved about this was the fact that you explored and explained Peter and his actions in this story but you didn't try and make us like him. You present him so realistically, and the portrayal is so believable; he does what he does but there's no effort there to make us like him or make what he did seem acceptable, and that makes this story even more believable for me. It's just become my head canon for the way that Peter Pettigrew gradually got drawn into spying and turning traitor for the Death Eaters.

The opening of this piece had such an impact. That first sentence grabbed my attention straight away and launched us into the action. I got a real sense of what the Order had to deal with during the first wizarding war, and I loved seeing Peter's role within that. I think so many stories cast him aside or make him the coward of the piece - which he was, in a way - but he wouldn't have been involved in the Order if he wasn't prepared to fight. And people must have known that he was in the Order because otherwise he wouldn't have been approached to become a spy for Voldemort. So I really liked the way that you showed him fighting, and managing, but at the same time he's not quite as brilliant, or ruthless, as Sirius is.

I really liked the fact that Peter's hesitation in fighting didn't necessarily come from his lack of ability, but from the internal conflict about what was happening during the war. I can see and sympathise with him for his views on the bigger picture - people are still dying, no matter what, and the example of the Hogwarts student who was working as a Death Eater was a great way to show how high the cost is. Just because they're fighting for a better cause doesn't mean that it's right to kill others, and I can understand why Peter would feel that. The celebration afterwards was so well written - especially Moody, who's such a distinctive character - and I could see both sides of the coin. The Order feel that they deserve a celebration as some sort of reward, but Peter's right that it does feel strange to be celebrating.

James! ♥ You captured his character incredibly well throughout the story and I loved the way that he tried to help Peter, but at the same time there was a touch of condescension there, with Sirius and James both calling him 'Petey'. It's not a massive thing but I can imagine that playing in the back of Peter's mind as time goes on.

The repetition of 'I didn't want anyone else to die' ties in so well. It sets up a reason for him to be open to becoming a traitor, because he thinks that it's going to be the best way to prevent more death. He sees the human cost of the war more than the others in the story, it seems, and I find it really believable that someone would try to stop the war by doing something like that - of course, he was too naive to realise, before it was too late, that he wouldn't succeed.

Yaxley was so well written as well! I really liked the fact that you included his character because he's familiar from the series and I can picture his normality and politeness in an everyday situation - from the scenes he appeared in during the books, he seems like the sort of man who's very good at keeping up a pretence. And we know that he was the one who helped infiltrate the Ministry, so being the one to get Peter to properly agree to become a traitor for them made a lot of sense.

My mouth dropped open when I saw Peter hand over the names and addresses of the Order members. I'd known, obviously, that as a traitor he would be responsible for more death, but the extent of this is so shocking. If anything, that made me dislike Peter more than before, and I want to shout at him because he just doesn't realise what he's doing!

And then Peter finally works out what's going on, and that his information won't save lives but it'll just end more of them even quicker. But by that point it's too late, and he's in too deep, and there's no way out. I loved the way that you wrote that realistation, and the moment when him not wanting people to die changed into not wanting to die himself. Preservaton of society become self-preservation and that ties in so well with the weak, terrified man that we see in the books, who goes back to Voldemort because he's scared of dying.

The end section, when James told Peter that they wanted him to be Secret keeper... it was so heart breaking! James was so sweet and trusting and loyal and had absolutely no idea that Peter was the traitor all along. It's just so sad that he placed his trust in the wrong person and that this had to happen! And the fact that the very reasons Jamse chose Peter to be the Secret Keeper are the reasons that he turned traitor... I was glad to see that Peter tried to get out of it and convince James that he wasn't the best person to do the job. I don't think he would have accepted it easily - he still cared about his friends, no matter what. He just cared more about surviving himself, and knew that he would have no chance of concealing the information from Voldemort. Gah, it's just so horrible.

Really, this is just a stunning piece. The characterisation of Peter was brilliant and your writing was flawless. Thank you so much for the swap!

Sian :)

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Review #2, by water_lily43175 1

3rd June 2014:
Um, so this is perfect.

I wrote a Marauder fic once, back in the day when I wrote Really Bad Stuff. And it's heartbreaking to both read and write, because in the back of your mind is this thought that he's just going to betray them all. And how do you portray him realistically when you know he apparently has the capability to send his best friends to their deaths?

But this. THIS. I swear, you should just sit down and whack out one-shots all the time, because the amount of depth you give Peter in 6000 words is just... GUH. The title is so apt, given how things escalate. It's heartbreaking to follow him through this, to see how his hatred of death, of seeing people die, manifests itself in SUCH a desperation to end things, even if that ending means his side losing. Means James DYING.

And it's so heartbreaking that all the way through this, people recognise him as being so human, so pure-hearted, and yet he's the one to turn. Because it's too much.

Sirius and James are both wonderful. I like the little nuances in their characterisation - they're both loyal to a fault of course, as we'd expect, but Sirius is that little bit immature still (being transfigured and stuffed after death, I laughed so hard at that bit) while James is more sensible, more observant, and knows how to handle people. I have a bit of leeway when it comes to Sirius, but I have a pretty clear-cut idea in my head of how I think James Potter would have been, and here he is perfect.

Yay Giddy P!

What I also like (apart from EVERYTHING) is how Peter goes from just wanting to stop the war to ending up being sucked into the traitor role full-on. The McKinnons die and all of a sudden he's in too far to back out, and he has no choice BUT to carry on, or die. And that's the bit where it goes from "I don't want anyone to die" to "I don't want to die". And then we're in the realms of self-preservation and from then on it's just a downward spiral.

That conversation with James at the end, oh god it broke my heart. Poor Peter practically begging James NOT to make him Secret Keeper because he knows what he has to do. And James thinking Peter is the best for the job because of his principles, when that's what's driven him to all of this.

But, Peter still had the choice, in the end. He didn't have to hand over Lily and James. But it was that, or death. And he's made his choice now. And so they die. :(

I still don't like Peter. I love a well-written Peter, but at the end of the day this is the person who brought about James and Lily's deaths. I'll never like him. But what you've done here is create such a powerful, empathetic character. It MAKES SENSE, that someone who could have been friends with James and co for years would go from being this person who hated seeing death, to someone so desperate for it all to end that he'd resort to even the most terrible of measures. He's not blameless, or redeemed - because he still could have said no, and while it's a pretty rough choice, someone like Sirius (or my Giddy) would have willingly given up his own life for any of the others ... but at the same time, DEATH. It's pretty bleak.

So, yes. Perfect. Love it. And I'm off to mourn over James Potter dying again.

Author's Response: Oops, I didn't reply to this.

I've always liked to think Peter had a long, involved, drawn-out corruption and fall to darkness that turned him from a decent guy and good friend and into the wretched creature we eventually meet. If he was always evil to the core, then either his betrayal meant nothing or our beloved Marauders are idiots.

It took this idea before I wanted to write something, though. Eventually, death can get to a point where who's right and who's wrong no longer seems as important as making it STOP. And it just took that pebble. I think in some ways people were wrong to view him as 'pure' in this, aside for the obvious reasons - I think he was naive, I think that was his biggest sin here.

And yes, he had a choice. He felt he didn't, which was why he wanted James to NOT make him Secret Keeper, because then the thought process he'd trained himself into meant he HAD to tell Voldemort - but there was a choice. There was always a choice. And he chose the path of self-preservation, over, as Sirius told him in POA, dying for his friends.

I really enjoyed writing Sirius and James in this. I like to think of James as a very empathetic person, very good with people, and since he grew up from the little berk of yesteryear, used that power for 'good'. And Sirius has to be the ridiculous, roguish, overgrown child - but quick to forgive, and a good friend.

Oddly, I don't like Peter much. I don't read the books and think, "Poor Peter," or even, "that monster". I kind of nothing him in the books. It's only when I sit down and think about it that I consider his story has to have a lot of good material in there, and it took the spark of inspiration to make this one happen.

Alas, poor James. Thanks for reviewing, as ever!


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