Reading Reviews for Spies
  
20 Reviews Found

Review #1, by patronus_charm Trading Places

28th February 2014:
I thought it would be fun to read one of your older pieces (though this only 6 months old :P), and the fact Iíve been wanting to read Spies for a while now so here was my chance to do so :)

Wow. This was such a fascinating one-shot, Iíve never seen Snape or Peter in this light before and now itís just making me view them all the differently. You really showed their reasons for changing sides perfectly and the way you made them scared at first and then at ease on their new side was really fantastic, it was almost as if they were mirroring one another.

Iíll start with Peter first because I think I almost enjoyed his character a teeny bit more than I did Snapeís. I think it was the way you showed his reasoning for why he changed sides which is what did it. The way I could sense this bitterness build up and up against James, and the others which caused him to want to shine in his own way which was joining the Death Eaters. You made his feelings so complex though because you made him want to care for Lily still, and he was annoyed that he still liked her and that twist was really fantastic.

One thing that I thought was really interesting was how the further we got into the one-shot the less Peter thought or cared about his friends and the more focused he was on his goal of securing safety and respect from Voldemort. You didnít let it slip entirely though because there was that lovely little line about how he never slept properly until Sirius was in Azkaban and that showed how the image of them was always haunting him in a way. You just showed him in this new and more selfish light than what I tend to see of him and I really enjoyed it.

Snape was fantastic too! The difference here than with Peter was how he never really thought too much about his past with the Death Eaters but only of the present with his family, the Order and protecting Lily. That subtle shift just showed how Snape was never really meant to be with the Death Eaters as they occupied so little of his thoughts and how sure he was of his actions compared with Peter who never really knew what he was doing.

The ending with Snape was really fantastic, and I could really see the Snily shipper side of you come through here. I really liked the idea that he would be there on receiving the news because it was almost as if he was making amends for everything that he may have done to Lily or James. There was small let up when looking at Harry, but when he resolved to help and protect him there was a feelings overload as it was so true and so real, and really showed the pure form of love he had for Lily rather than the twisted one.

This was such a fantastic one-shot Amanda, and Iím so glad that I read it!

-Kiana

Author's Response: Hey Kiana, thanks so much for coming by!

This is actually my favorite one-shot that I've written, so I'm thrilled that you picked it. I guess my style does change pretty fast, so maybe six months is technically "old." Haha.

I did kind of mean for Peter and Severus to mirror one another in this piece. That's where the "trading places" chapter title comes in, because I thought they each filled the gap left by the other in their respective groups, in an imperfect way.

Yeah, I don't think Peter was ever really able to shed the guilt that came from betraying his friends. He couldn't get past the fact that they were good and his actions were so villainous, however necessary he felt they were at the time. He tries so hard to throw himself into his new lifestyle, but he can only do so much to put his past behind him, and he still lives with some fear. I did try to build a good case for him changing sides, which is something that I think we're missing a lot from canon and other Marauder era stories, so I'm glad you liked looking deeper into that aspect.

It's great that you felt like Severus's sense of purpose was really tangible here. I do think I tried to paint him as really putting the past behind him and focusing on what he could do to make himself over. It's like when you make a mistake and you're so embarrassed and ashamed that you want to pretend like it never even happened. Sadly, he had lots of time after Lily's death to reflect on that particular bad choice.

I'm always happy when I can give readers a friendly little kick in the feels. It was nice to be able to do that with Severus in the end and give him a shot at redemption.

Thanks so much for this wonderful review! It was really fun to swap with you :)

-Amanda


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Review #2, by Courtney Dark Trading Places

15th February 2014:
Wow.

My mind is seriously blown. This was an absolutely amazing one-shot, and my only criticism is that there isn't more! Right now I really wish this was a short story, with more chapters to come, because this was just so good!

I wish I had more to say other than to gush about how fantastic everything in this was: your characterizations of all the characters, even the supporting cast who only appeared briefly, was fantastic! I especially loved your fresh characterizations of Snape and Peter. I was so intrigued by both of their stories that I just couldn't draw my eyes away from the words on the screen.

Can I just say wow again?

I wish I could put my thoughts more clearly down in writing, but I am just so in awe and still wrapped up in the story at the moment that I can't! Just know that I really, really enjoyed it - at that last line seriously sent shivers up my spine!

Amazing work, as usual!

Courtney:)

Author's Response: Courtney! You don't know how many times I've squee'd over this review. This is my favorite one-shot that I've written and I was so happy for you to choose it for tag. I'm sorry my response has taken ages, though!

It was so fun to explore Peter and Severus's characterization and play with the imagery in this story. I got really into the theme of two spies who sort of "trade places" with one another at the end. In fact, I found the concept so intriguing that I was surprised not to see more stories like this on the archive. Anyway, I'm so pleased you enjoyed it, and thank you for your lovely review!

-Amanda


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Review #3, by GingeredTea Trading Places

23rd January 2014:
I am speechless - almost. This has to be one, if not the, most amazing one-shot I've ever read on HPFF. Brilliant. Everything that could have gone right in your writing and execution has.

Your flow, characterization, set up, ending, and everything in between illustrated that you are a talented practiced writer. You took a really difficult situation (writing Snape is hard enough, but writing him at his weakest while still maintaining all his Snape-like qualities is amazing). Superb.

The ending left me wondering if this could become an AU but it also works so beautifully as a path into cannon - with Snape protecting Harry from a distance. I am awestruck!

Thank you for leaving such a nice review for me - I'm afraid this one doesn't compare but I'm still honing my reviewing skills. I will absolutely be visiting your page again to see what else you have written. :D

Author's Response: Wow, what more could I ask for with a review? Thank you so much!

This remains one of my favorite one-shots that I've ever written and I'm really glad you liked it. The characterization and imagery were definitely the focus, so it's great that you felt like I executed them well. I did alter a few things to make the ending work, obviously, but I'd like to think that the emotion there is still canon.

Thanks for your really sweet review, and I certainly hope to hear from you again!

-Amanda


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Review #4, by StellaRose Trading Places

2nd September 2013:
I really don't even know where to begin! I've taken notes on so many things but my overall reaction to this one-shot is 'Wow!' I'm so in awe of your writing and of this piece. Well done :)

I loved how you introduced Peter as the spy by having him confused by the 'stranger' in the bar. This really gave the reader a chance to see who he was associating with and help us understand why he was so paranoid and apprehensive.

Precision. I think that word very adequately sums up Snape as a Potions Master. It's clear you really looked into Snape's personality and found a reasoning behind one of his canon behaviors.

This quote was like a swift punch to my gut--'realizes in that moment that he feels nothing-no regret, no saddness, not even relief.' That line, to me, is really powerful. Even in the third JKR book, the Peter we are shown is not really remorseful. He is delusional that he HAD to do what he did in order to survive. Great job keeping his character consistent as he's such a complex study.

The only line in this entire piece, and my only real cc, is the last line 'It will not be until after Sirius is put in Azkaban that Peter sleeps through the night.' I understand that most readers KNOW what's going to happen but it still seems a bit out of place to me as no where else in the story do you show what happens in the future.

I really like the insight you gave when you said that Peter feels as though he's protected by Voldemort. It was very eerie to read the scene of all the Death Eaters before they found out what happened to Voldemort.

Your Snape was very interesting to read about as he was still in his first stages of grief. At times, it was a bit unbelievable due to his behavior in the books but I've come to the conclusion that he probably would have behaved the way he did right after Lily's death.

LOVE the ending, Snape's resolve and his final quote, 'No one can take care of him better than me.' It reminds me that even though Snape is a complete jerk in the books, he's always acting on behalf of another, Lily.

Sorry this is so long but I couldn't just focus on one particular thing for this piece. It's such a fascinating character study and I had a marvelous time reading AND reviewing it. :)

Author's Response: Hey, thanks so much for stopping by! I'm really proud of this one-shot and I'm very pleased to hear that you enjoyed it :)

Peter is interesting because his characterization can go in so many directions. It's easiest for me to really go raw and focus on his most negative qualities while also framing them in the light that he thought he was doing what was really necessary to ensure his own survival. As you pointed out, I tried to show the consequences of that, though Peter may not have anticipated them--his empty heart, his confusion and constant anxiety, and the false sense of hope he feels while living in Voldemort's seemingly protective shadow. I tried to make that final scene kind of eerie, given that we know what happens, and I'm glad it came across that way to you.

I get what you're saying about the future-oriented line. I'm really attached to it because I think it takes some power away from Peter and alludes to him being haunted by his actions for a long time, but I'll consider it again in the light of your comments, so thanks for that.

As for Snape, yeah, I like to think of him as a scientist, and with that comes a need to be precise. You're right that his grief is really fresh and his desperate actions are motivated by his concern for Lily. I'll be honest; it's easier for me to write him during times like these because I tend to be a little too sympathetic to him.

Thanks so much for your amazing review!

-Amanda


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Review #5, by navyfail Trading Places

22nd August 2013:
Hi, Amanda! I'm here from the review exchange. :)
I usually review as I read so sorry if I say anything confusing. :P

First off, I like that this is a story with Peter as a main character. Not a lot of authors are keen on writing on or about him. And the addition of so many familiar character is also great!

I really love how we see this sort of internal conflict in Peter. You can see how he struggles to keep all his information and loyalties to both sides aligned. I love how you mentioned how he tries to hide his other self, the one that was a both a Gryffindor and Marauder. That also makes him seem very in-character.

I also notice that as he adds in a lot comments in his mind about each of them (his Gryffindor friends). First he says good things than he reminds himself of one of their flaws. It's like he is convincing himself that betraying them isn't as bad.

And we meet Severus. Interesting..how you portrayed him that is. How he thinks that the prophecy is talking about the Longbottoms reminds me a lot of the Harry Potter books, which is a great thing! Seeing his thoughts on Dumbledore is refreshing. Most stories don't add that in.

Peter's Gryffindor side is coming out as he goes to his flat. I love how he is slowly feeling bold though there is some doubt hidden in. His wondering on how the Dark Lord will react is realistic and understandable.

The last parts are my favorite. That is when you truly see the switching of sides between the two. And I loved the mention of Regulus, Narcissa, Bellatrix, Molly, Mary, and all the others.

The only thing that stuck out to me was this: "Out of habit-he was the product of a respectable witch, after all-he averts his gaze." Instead of witch I think 'wizard' may fit in better.

Overall, this is an extraordinary one-shot!! You should definitely be proud of it! I loved so many parts of it and how you sprinkled meaningful details and known characters throughout.

10/10
~Sama

Author's Response: Hi Sama, thanks for coming by :)

Yeah, it's a shame Peter isn't more popular, because I think he's really intriguing and there's a lot of ground there for new portrayals, which isn't something you can necessarily say about the other three boys. Maybe he's challenging because it's hard to romanticize him. I don't know. But I definitely enjoyed creating my own spin on him. I really wanted that conflict to come through because I think Peter is weak deep down inside and it wouldn't be so easy for him to just turn off his past and go through easily with his mission--especially with skilled wizards like James and Sirius sitting across the table from him.

As for Severus, I'm more familiar with him and at times I do find him easier to work with. At other times, though, he's a challenge for me too. It felt right to really explore the nitty-gritty of how he felt about others and the disparaging remarks he made, because he keeps a lot inside and always talks about how important that is and I'm sure he's learned a lot from his observations of other people.

I'll admit that most of the other characters were just there to accent the main two men, but I'm happy they were effective nonetheless :)

Well, what I was trying to get at with the quote is that usually it's your mother who is always fussing at you about manners and being proper and not being rude to others. I figured Peter's mother could have yelled at him for staring when he was a little kid. I'm sorry if that part was confusing, though!

Thanks so much for your awesome review :) I had a fun time trading with you this month!

-Amanda


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Review #6, by purplepotter77 Trading Places

21st August 2013:
This was such an interesting and well-written fic! I loved the characterizations of Peter and Severus, and I think you really got them in character. Peter is not someone written about very often and neither is Regulus, but the way you wrote them and Snape, too, is excellent. I loved the parallels drawn between them and how they're both spies - Peter is a spy for the Death Eaters and betrays his close friends, and Severus is a spy for the Order and betrays Lord Voldemort and the Death Eaters. Their situations are kind of the opposite of each other's, and it's really interesting to see how their personalities compare.

All the other characters were written so well, too, and even though they didn't have a leading role in the story, you still managed to make them very canon and very accurate!

Another thing I enjoyed here was your description. It really helped bring the story and the characters to life without distracting too much. Your imagery was amazing and allowed me to visualize everything so well.

I enjoyed reading this so much and I loved the concept of it! Wonderful work! :D

Author's Response: Hello, thanks for stopping by!

I'm glad you liked my characterization here and felt like it was a cool plot idea to focus on the parallels between Peter's story and Severus's. It's also great that you liked the imagery; I definitely worried if I dumped too much in there, but this felt like the sort of story that would benefit from a lot of description. I've been pleased with the feedback I've gotten on it so far.

Thanks so much for your very kind review!

-Amanda


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Review #7, by MadiMalfoy Trading Places

20th August 2013:
Hi, I'm here with your requested review! :)

You asked about your characterization of Peter and Severus, so I will start with that. I think you nailed them perfectly. I haven't had the chance to read many Peter-central stories so this was definitely a good one to start with. You've captured his interior turmoil so well that it is canon. He's buried his Gryffindor roots underneath his worry about the Dark Lord and any repercussions he might face if the Order of the Phoenix finds out what he did. He acts just like his animagus form would--mousing his way in to the Death Eaters and telling Voldemort where James & Lily lived and expecting to get something for this valuable information.

And Severus! Phenomenal! I've written a piece with him and it was hard for me to get into his character, but you've got him down pat. He's conflicted with his alliances towards the Order of the Phoenix and the Death Eaters and also with his feelings towards James versus Lily. He knows he's in a bad position at the end of the piece but he stays for Lily's sake.

With the timeline, I think the only thing that would be slightly confusing is the "wintery" word used a lot. It would make more sense to use autumn terminology instead so that people realize, oh, it's the end of October and not the middle of December. I love the fact that you had Alice watching Harry and Frank watching the adults, but who's watching Neville? ;)

You had a wonderful amount of imagery as well--no need to be hung up on that, as it meshed with the scenes and helped to describe the mood of each separate scene.

Overall, a phenomenal one-shot, I personally loved it!

Author's Response: Hey, thanks for stopping by! I'm sorry about the slight delay in getting this response to you :)

I'm really pleased to hear that the characterization came across well. Peter and Severus are both such intricate young men, particularly during this confusing time, and I wanted to really showcase that while also highlighting the similarities I noted between them. I also love the idea of Peter's behavior being ratlike in nature; I don't know that it came across that way on purpose, but I like the meaning because it contrasts with Snape's brave decision to stick with the Order at the end.

I didn't even notice that I used "wintery" a lot, so thanks for pointing that out. I'll have to go back and take a second look. I think what I was trying to convey was that foreboding chill that you sometimes get in the late fall, the cold wind that lets you know winter is coming. As for Neville, I thought maybe Alice could keep an eye on Harry and Neville at the same time :)

Thanks so much for your lovely review!

-Amanda



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Review #8, by Lululuna Trading Places

20th August 2013:
Hi there! I'm so glad review tag lead me to your page and gave me the chance to leave some thoughts on this brilliant one-shot of yours! :)

First of all, I really love how you've written this crucial era and really think you've done not just the characters, but also the atmosphere of the times justice. The feeling of tension is enhanced by the short sections about Snape and Peter and the present tense. I love how you break up the dialogue and long descriptive paragraphs with short, impactful lines which really make the characters so much stronger. Another thing I liked was how the story didn't focus on James and Lily so much, as so many Marauders-type stories do, but instead the people surrounding them and how the existence of James and Lily and the prophecy affect them. For Snape, it is a turning point, and for Peter, an opportunity.

I really enjoyed seeing Lily especially through their tainted eyes, like how Snape sees her as an "angel" and his creepy, idealized impression really comes across. I felt like he didn't see the real Lily, and instead an idea of what he wanted her to be, yet at the same time he acknowledged how he is lesser to her other friends, as if he recognizes his own failures and lack of identity. This was so skillfully written, and truth be told I think you wrote their strange, one-sided relationship perfectly. As for Peter, I loved how he felt sick when he heard Lily's butter-soft voice, and this reaction was so powerful in showing his general distaste with not only her and James, but also with himself for feeling that way.

Another thing I found interesting was how you wrote the Death Eaters and Voldy. In my mind, Voldy as we know him in the HP books is a lot crazier and less human than he would have been before "dying" when Harry was one, with the whole coming back to life with a creepy potion and Horcrux thing. Though of course he would still be insane and terrifying, just a touch more human. So, I quite liked how you gave Voldy some moments of doubt and admitting he could be wrong, like when he wasn't sure if it was the Potters. I've never seen him written that way before, but it worked very nicely. Even Bellatrix seemed a little less... wild than usual in her brief portrayal, and I enjoyed the idea that perhaps she became more mad and inhuman over the long years in Azkaban, and was a little less neurotic before Voldy's fall. :)

Okay, now on to praising you for the portrayal of the two spies! I find Peter such a dynamic and interesting character to read about, and your portrayal of him was quite interesting. I liked how it seemed as if he lost much of his humanity, despite that Gryffindor soul still hidden somewhere inside him, and how you made him so despicable yet also slightly pitiable. The impression was of this broken, weak man whose very body seems to betray him: he's a wreck, like when he trips in the street and feels sick. Only being protected by the more powerful side can really bring him some sort of happiness, and it's very saddening. I liked the contrast of Peter being at the Death Eater celebration and feeling out of place, while Snape also missed that security a little and felt wrong with the Order.

As wonderfully as Peter was written, I think your Snape was the best part of this story for me. I think you got his self-deprecation, like how he thinks that he is ugly and looks like a criminal, so right and it was very heart-breaking. The mentions of his parents were very interesting, and you managed to say a lot about Sev's upbringing in a few short words and images. The father-son dynamic was very interesting, like how Snape relates to his father and sees the resemblances between them, and how at the end he seems to take on a father-like pledge towards Harry, while acknowledging through his own self-hate that he could never be a true father figure, only a sort of silent protector. I also feel like with Lily's death Severus would stop showing the emotion that he does in this story to the outside world and change into the abrasive and cold character he is in the books, so it's a turning point in so many ways for him.

I love how you've taken such an iconic night, right before the beginning of Philosopher's Stone, and given such a specialized and strong spin on it. I loved the writing and the characterization, but should probably stop rambling before I run out of room. :P Amazing job with this, and I hope I'll have the chance to re-visit more of your work soon! :)

Author's Response: Hey, thanks for stopping by! I'm sorry my response to this lovely review has taken so long.

It seems like you've picked up on some themes that tend to appear in a lot of my stories, so I'm very happy that you appreciate them! I don't know how I adopted the long-short style you described, but it shows up frequently unless I purposefully try to write in a different way. I'm also big on writing minor characters and writing major characters in new and unorthodox ways. Each new piece is like a fun challenge I issue to myself.

I tend to fall into the vein of seeing Lily as sort of pure and good at her core, and so it was interesting to imagine how Peter and Severus might perceive her. I feel like she would be a major sticking point in any effort to ignore or demonize the "good side." I'm sure she would be horrified if she had any inkling of what these two thought of her.

Oddly enough, I suppose I start to struggle with characterization once a character gets to bold-faced wildness and crazed, logic-less behavior. I definitely find people like Luna, Bellatrix, and Voldemort sort of difficult. It's great to hear that my portrayals worked well here, considering the chosen point in time.

I think you nailed Peter right on the head. He's so ephemeral, no matter how he tries to dress it up and disguise it, and he's hopelessly discontent with his station in life. He's too busy trying to get the upper hand to just enjoy where he is and what he already has. As you mentioned, he won't slow down even when his own body is begging him to stop. It's little wonder he got into so much trouble and met the unfortunate fate he received in canon.

Severus, I think, is also pretending--he desperately wants to be a normal man, the sort who could attract a wife and family. He's been dealt a bad hand from the very beginning and his fairytale is always going to be out of his reach now that Lily is gone. I think it must have taken something powerful like that to cause him to throw himself at his mission with such passion and fearlessness. I also agree that he seems much more restrained in canon than he did in those fleeting moments of begging for Lily's life.

Thank you so much for this amazing review :) I'm really happy you enjoyed the story so much.

-Amanda


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Review #9, by LoopyMoony Trading Places

19th August 2013:
I certainly did enjoy reading it! This was a brilliant contrast between the two spies. I loved Peter. He's so often left as the backround character that is never really brought to the fore until he's turned to Voldemort. This gave such a rich telling of his character. I really liked your Regulus as well. It's good to see him and Peter interact. Admittedly, I never considered that they would ever have met and very much enjoyed thinking of Peter squirming under Regulus' eye! Your Marauders were tragically wonderful. Lupin missing, the wonderfully kind Potters and the joking Sirius. Brilliant! Your Snape was wonderful too. I know this is probably getting dull! What with just saying how much I liked it all. But honestly, great job :)
Izzy

Author's Response: Hello! Thanks for stopping by, and sorry it took me a little while to get to this response!

I'm happy to hear that you liked my portrayals of Peter and Severus and felt like you could perceive the contrast between their characters. That was sort of the major theme I had in mind when I wrote this piece. I agree that Peter is very underused and I think there's a lot of room for creativity with him; he's really quite mysterious.

I'm happy that the other characters worked well, too. Regulus was certainly fun to play with and it's great that you could see him and Peter interacting during this fleeting time.

Thanks for your lovely review!

-Amanda


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Review #10, by adluvshp Trading Places

16th August 2013:
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!

Cheers!
AD
(AditiDraco95)

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 :)

-Amanda


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Review #11, by redraven Trading Places

14th August 2013:
Dear academica,

Wow that was a lot to take in! I think you did a great job with Snape. The way you represented him was definitely in keeping with the canon. I especially like how you drew parallels between how Snape looked like his father and he wouldn't want his mother to hold that against him -- just like how Harry resembled James and Snape would have to get past that.

I think you could've done more with Pettigrew. The relation between his actions and reactions was a bit confusing, and either his motivations weren't completely explained or they just don't make sense (which is ok -- the reader just needs to be able to understand how confused he is). Like when he vommed in the sink after giving away James & Lilly's location -- was this just a physical reflex or was he really disgusted with himself? That kind of stuff. He talks about feeling like an outsider among the Death Eaters, yet for some reason he decided to join them -- that could also be further explained. He's certainly a tough character . . .

Your language is beautiful and your descriptions really illustrate the scene taking place. Sometimes your sentence structure gets a little convoluted, so watch for that. Make sure that you aren't trying to squeeze too much into one breath. Sometimes your descriptions bog down the pacing of the story, so also be mindful that when action is happening you want the pace to quicken. I felt that the most when Severus was running to the Potters' house.

I really enjoyed this story! Love the concept -- the two spies, and how you present their two experiences simultaneously. Great work!

Best,
redraven

Author's Response: Hey, thanks for stopping by!

I'm happy to hear that you liked my portrayal of Snape, and what an interesting observation about the parallels between his feelings about his father and his feelings about Harry--I don't think even I quite picked up on that. I love it when readers take my story to a whole new level.

I definitely appreciate you being willing to offer some critique, since that's what I was looking for and I haven't gotten much on this story so far. I try to communicate characterization using subtle cues--for example, mentioning how Peter's body had cleansed him in a way that his words could not, and the way he felt conflicted about joining the Death Eaters but wanted to secure some sense of power for himself. I think part of it, too, is that I like leaving things a little ambiguous so as to allow the reader to decide some things for him or herself. It just creates a nice opportunity for dialogue in a review. I can see, though, how some readers might not prefer that and how I could have made a few things clearer in this story, and I'll definitely take that into consideration the next time I re-read this or when I work on my next story.

I'm always dancing on the edge of just enough and too much imagery, so I'm sure my language does get kind of convoluted at times. I'm kind of sad that you felt like the imagery at Godric's Hollow was too much, because that was my favorite imagery in the whole story, but I think you make a great point in terms of balancing action and pace with the amount of imagery. I'll definitely try to put that into practice from here on out.

Thanks so much for your kind review!

-Amanda


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Review #12, by ChaosWednesday Trading Places

14th August 2013:
Tag!

Yeah, wow, long one-shot! But I can tell you enjoyed writing it because I enjoyed reading it!

One doesn't often come by a one-shot about the marauders that feels fresh and new, since we know every little thing by now. And yet, you managed to - subtly, with little to no melodrama - bring these characers to life again and make me care about what they are going through. That is a feat, as I tend to avoid any story with Lily and James and Sirius in it.

Something about the down-to-earth, realistic presentation of Severus and Peter's struggles really interested me. Usually, montages like this tend to get rather dramatic, as we know all characters are doomed. But you managed to focus on the immediacy of their choices, with hardly any judgement and without the romanticization. They still believe their fate isn't sealed quite yet, and your descriptions give the reader hope as well. Does that make sense?

So, in combination with the cold, down-to-earth descritptions, I enjoyed the fun little theme of mobility between "good" and "bad" that you had connecting the two stories. And it was nteresting how an unrequited love for Lily, depending on the purity of the love and character, can either push a man to be a better version of himself or a worse one. It was a nice way to tie things together, without going the way of metaphors or drama. Basically, a really wonderful story, glad I clicked on it. Cheers!

Author's Response: Hah, I'm glad that came across!

It's great to hear that this story felt refreshing, because I thought it was sort of an original plot line and it also revived my interest in the Marauders (which I thought I had ended for a while with the completion of my novel).

I'm big on details, and this story was no exception. I think you're right that I tried to seize that moment before everyone knew the truth about Harry's survival and Voldemort's demise into a creature less than human. It was neat to imagine the Death Eaters celebrating and the Order mourning before the morning light, before everything had quite been processed. I mean, this is even before Sirius and Peter had their showdown in the street. Everything is meant to feel quite fresh.

I'm so pleased that you picked up on the shifting definitions of who's good and who's bad--that was a central theme of the story. I don't know that I envisioned Peter as having love for Lily (definitely not in the way that Snape did), but I agree that the presence of a "good" person can shift people in one direction or another in terms of how they react to that.

Thanks for your lovely review!

-Amanda


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Review #13, by Mnemosyne_Morrigan Trading Places

13th August 2013:
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! ;)

- Mnemosyne

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!

-Amanda


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Review #14, by marauderfan Trading Places

9th August 2013:
Hi - here with your requested review!

This is an amazing piece. I really like the juxtaposition of the two spies - Peter for the Death Eaters and Severus for the Order. And I really like how you set up the comparisons between the two: Peter has no regret, compared to Severus who is full of regret.

Your characterisation is excellent. I really like how you showed how everything Snape did was accompanied by thoughts about Lily. Given the little we saw of their friendship in DH, you've done really well capturing that desperate and obsessive love he has for her, and I liked how he felt awkward in the Order crowd and preferred to lurk in the corner. Your Snape is spot on, so well done!

I enjoyed seeing the way you write Peter, too, because it's much different to how I write him - he's such a fascinating character and it's just really interesting to see how other people interpret his thought process. In this piece you've written him in a very chilling way, like he's become so jaded with the war and the "good" side losing that's he's managed to convince himself that the more powerful side is the "right" one.

You asked about the imagery - I don't think you have too much at all! To me this is one of those types of stories that use description to tell the story, if that makes sense. You convey a lot through your descriptions and I think they're great. Then again, I just really like description, so take that as you will :p

I couldn't find anything that went against the canon timeline. I was surprised to see Harry at the end there when all the Order members were meeting up, because I was under the impression that he was taken straight to the Dursleys' after being rescued from the house, but I don't see anything in your interpretation that doesn't make sense, so it definitely could have happened.

Well, I kind of gushed my way through this review :p Sorry if it's not that useful, I'd love to give some CC but to be honest I have none! Great job on this!

Kristin

Author's Response: Hello, Kristin, thanks so much for stopping by!

I thought it was kind of cool to compare the trajectories of Peter and Severus, since they both defected from their original allegiances and, as you mentioned, both seem to have differing feelings about their actions.

I'm glad you liked my characterization choices for Peter and Severus, too. It's interesting the way you put it, like Peter's given up and is just trying to survive whereas Snape has more motivation than ever to make up for his past mistakes. I have to wonder, perhaps if things had been different, if Peter ever changed his mind again and wanted to go back to the Order and be with his friends.

Yeah, that makes sense. I just wanted to be sure the description didn't overshadow the plot, and it sounds like it didn't, which is great :)

You're absolutely right about Harry, which I totally forgot until I started asking about canon in my requested reviews, but I'm happy that him being at the Order meeting still seemed to fit. In my mind, he'd be safer there right after the fact than with a bunch of defenseless Muggles, just in case they found him. But who am I to argue with the goddess?

Thanks again for your truly lovely review!

-Amanda


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Review #15, by Jchrissy Trading Places

8th August 2013:
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!

-Amanda


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Review #16, by Lady of Tears Trading Places

8th August 2013:
So, you asked me to come and review this...and I think all you're going to get is an extremely gushy, fangirl-like squealing. Then I remembered all the kind reviews you've left me, and I felt even more happy.

Really, this was gorgeous! You have every right to be proud of your characterization. I thought it was spot on, and also refreshing at the same time. It was different from most of the perspectives from Peter and Severus, but fit perfectly with the characters I imagined.

What I really want to compliment you on though is your use of present tense. It's a really tricky thing to write, and I've found it to be jarring in some stories. But it flowed really well here, and I felt like I was in the moment with these characters.

Your descriptions didn't seem over the top to me. :)

Some of the canon things, like Harry being with McGonagall, have already been mentioned. But I honestly didn't mind it. It was creative license with a moment that I believe would have happened if these characters had been placed in that situation. So it seems canon to me, and I say go ahead and take those small liberties.

I want to write more because this story deserves it, but I'm kind of at a loss for words at how good this is. Keep going and ask me to review again! Though I'll probably beat you to it.

Oh. And I don't know how you plan to include Remus, but I'm really excited to see what you do.

-Lady of Tears

Author's Response: Hey, thanks for stopping by! No worries on initially thinking this was a multi-chapter fic; I've definitely done that before :) And gosh, I really need to go back and catch up on your story sometime. I remember loving the plot.

Thanks, I'm glad you liked the characterization. These were both difficult characters but I felt like there were uncanny contrasts in their lives and I just really felt this urge to write about them in more detail.

I actually had to go back several times and check to make sure I hadn't accidentally used past tense. I'm getting more comfortable with present tense, but my usual M. O. is to use past, so I guess it's become a habit for me. I'm happy that you think it flowed well because I did worry about it sounding awkward at times, but at the same time I felt like the spy theme would be more effective if you were experiencing it with the character.

Haha, great! I'm actually a bit proud of some of the descriptions I put in here, like the way I talked about the destroyed parts of Godric's Hollow, but I sometimes tend to push it too far and overwhelm the plot. I'm happy that I kept it controlled enough here!

Yeah, gosh, I got so worried about trying to keep to the proper timeline of when Peter betrayed the Potters to when they died and when Severus begged for Lily's life and whatnot that I totally forgot smaller details like Harry being taken straight to the Dursleys. Thank goodness that I have reviewers like you to remind me! But I'm very happy that it still worked okay and felt "canon," because I do think it represents an important moment for Severus's growth here.

Thanks so much for your very lovely review :)

-Amanda


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Review #17, by HeyMrsPotter Trading Places

6th August 2013:
Hi Amanda! I'm here with your requested review. I was really excited when you requested this having recently written a story myself in which Peter was the main character.

You said in your request that characterisation and canon timeline were your main concerns. As far as my knowledge goes, I think the timeline for the most part was spot on, the only thing that stood out was the ending where the Order of the Phoenix were meeting and McGonagall had Harry, I think Hagrid rescued him and took him straight to Dumbledore and McGonagal at the Dursleys. Having said that, I actually enjoyed that part of the story and thought it worked very well, especially how you used it for Snape to reach his conclusion that he must help to keep Harry safe from future harm.
As for charaterisation I think you did a really wonderful job.

Peter was everything I would have expected him to be around the time of Lily and James' death. I love that you had him almost reasuring himself that he was doing the right thing by picking fault with the Potters- them being 'good' is a pitiful reason and reflects Peter perfectly. I also liked that even after he felt no guilt, just relief that he had saved his own skin. I thought the fact that he had the audacity to judge the Slytherins was another great part to his character, as though he still deserved to be a Gryffindor after what he did, it made me so mad! The little details you added to his personality were what sealed it for me though, his lack of gryffindor courage, his forgetfulness when trying to remember where he knew the man in the bar from were all excellent touches.

Severus was really great too. We only see the side of him that loved Lily realy briefly in the books during his memories and I think you did an excellent job of taking that and building upon this wonderful side of him. I love the juxtaposition between Peter's betrayal and his and also his thoughts about what he was doing and the meticulous way he planned was very in character. What I loved most about Snape in this was the way you described his love for Lily, it was just so beautiful and heartbreaking. This line-"So, just as he has always done, just as he always did for heróSeverus waits." absolutely floored me, I never cry at fanfiction but this made me shed tears so well done for that (I think!)

Even the minor characters in this were really well written; Narcissa's concern at having lots of guests, Bellatrix's rowdy celebrations, James' positivity even in the situation they were in. You're very right to be proud of your characterisation-it's excellent!

You also have briliant descriptions throughout this, not only the settings but also the feelings of Snape and Pettigrew. I found myself getting completely lost in this story, though I was actually there and experiencing it all, and as much as I love reading fanfiction, it doesn't happen very often!

As with your characterisation of Peter, it was the little details that really made this so enjoyable for me. I loved the appearence of Frank in the pub on duty for the Order, James' mention of Tonks made me smile and one of my favourite parts was the certainty of the Death Eaters that Voldemort would be returning after killing James and Lily.

I'll stop now as this is the longest review I've ever left and I'm not even sure it was at all constructive, I'm fairly sure I've just gushed the entire way through. All in all, in case you hadn't realised yet, I adored this. Impeccable writing and a really engrossing story. I've added it to my favourites and I'm sure it's one I'll read over and over again. Please feel free to request again!

Author's Response: Hey, thanks for stopping by! Sorry this response was delayed for a few days :)

You're right about Harry; I totally forgot that he was delivered straight to the Dursleys' until you mentioned it, so thanks for reminding me. I'm glad that you liked the way I treated it anyway, as it is sort of an important part of the story in terms of Snape's final decision.

Peter was so tough to get down, and I still don't know if I know him as well as I want to. I'm definitely not as comfortable with him as I am with, say, Lily. I think he's got such a complex personality because of the decision he makes, and it would be remiss for me to just gloss over the intricacies of his choice. Anyway, I tried to play up his callousness and the fact that he still feels inferior to James and the others even though he's not really stupid. He's always trying to get the upper hand but he's always a couple steps behind and has to constantly fear for his life as a result of that.

Severus, yeah--he's one of my favorite characters, and it was super important to me that I really get him right. I do think his feelings for Lily are a big part of who he is and probably were the driving force that kept him going when he was afraid or doubtful or furious at something Harry did at Hogwarts. I'm so glad you liked that line, too, because I sort of fell in love with it once I got it down.

Anyway, yeah, it's so awesome that you liked the characterization and it all worked well!

I usually end up focusing on the details when I write and I'm always happy when readers appreciate the time I put into my work. It's so awesome to discuss little things with people--for instance, I love that you liked the Death Eaters's celebration. It must have been quite a shock for them to find out the truth!

Now I'm gushing, so I guess it's time to wrap up :) Thank you so much for your truly wonderful review, and I'm honored that you favorited this! Thanks again for stopping by!

-Amanda


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Review #18, by blackballet Trading Places

5th August 2013:
I love this so much! I think you did especially well with Peter. I love to write Peter because I feel like he is a very under-appreciated character. I really like his point of view, and I like your idea of how that night went down. I think you also captured Severus' feelings. He isn't a very forward man with emotions, so you did well even through all that.

Great job!

Author's Response: Hey, thanks for stopping by! I'm glad you liked my characterization and enjoyed the story. I agree that Peter is really interesting, perhaps because he's so under-appreciated, and I think Snape is really fascinating as well so I love any opportunity to write from his point of view.

Thanks again for your wonderful review!

-Amanda


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Review #19, by Debra20 Trading Places

4th August 2013:
Amanda, this was A-mazing! I've always known that you're gifted with characterisation this from your previous stories, but I don't think I've ever read a Peter story from you. Our views about how he reacted to the moment of his betrayal of the Potters is so different, that it made reading his POV a real treat! I love it when I find stories that offer their own view of a character's inner workings that is different than my own. It makes the character a great deal richer in my eyes, it allows me to explore countless possibilities because everyone writes them differently.

If anything, you reminded me what it is to loathe Peter. I imagine him to be VERY bitter about what he did, and thoroughly hate himself for it deep down inside, but your story tackled the darker side of him. The side that is not sorry about his betrayal, that feels no mortification, no guilt, not even pleasure. He is so devoid of any kind of emotion at this point, so immersed in a kind of shock like state, that it's all he can do not to fall to the floor and never wake up. I see Peter like the weak, frail member of the Marauders who has been manipulated very easily into turning against his friends by Voldemort who deftly exploited his inner doubts. After all, Voldemort was a grand puppeteer. He was incredibly skilled at turning friends against each other and spreading disdain amongst people as was mentioned in OotP.

That is only my take on Peter however. This story allows us to explore the more evil, perverted Peter that actually chooses, of his won free will, to betray the Potters. Which in itself is a lot more terrifying than him being manipulated because in this instance, there is not excuse, nothing that could possibly absolve his cruelty in our eyes. You've handled his duality with great care. Even if he feels no remorse, we can clearly witness that this was not a choice he was proud of either. Especially because of Lily. Deep down, buried under his dark thoughts, still lies the boy that only wants to be cherished, praised, the boy that is appreciative of kindness when he receives it. And Lily was kind to me. Which makes everything that more tragic...ugh, I cry every time I read stories about Peter's betrayal because even if I try not to despise him, when I think that it was he who was set everything in motion, that he betrayed his friends in cold blood to Voldemort, my blood boils and I cannot possibly find any excuse for him.

Snape was marvellously handled, as always :D but the character that was briefly featured and yet it captured my attention is Regulus. I find him one of the most intriguing characters in the books, even if he is almost hardly mentioned. And your Regulus interpretation has that 'something something' vibe I get from the books. I cannot put my finger to what it is but he's one of the characters I crave to know more about. I mean, he was the only DE apart from Snape to literally go against Voldemort...of his own accord! That is HUGE!

Enjoyable read as always sweetie!

Author's Response: Hey Debra! Thanks for christening this story with its first review, and such a lovely one!

Peter is so interesting, perhaps because stories about him are too rare, and I think I always sort of knew I'd work up the nerve to write about him one day. I found dissecting his motives to be a fascinating and complex endeavor. It's nice to know I'm not the only one who actually really enjoys finding realistic character portrayals that differ from my head canon :)

I think my portrayal of Peter, in contrast to yours, stems from a couple of different notions. One is that I want to think of him as being a bit stronger than he seems at first glance. After all, this is a boy who got sorted into Gryffindor and somehow wound up being the friend of some of the most popular and talented students in his year. Obviously he turned out to be a different man from the one you'd expect given that trajectory, but I think of him as having little secrets, like a great intellect and a deep sense of self-obsession. Those traits come out a lot in Post Scriptum and I felt that they fit in well here. The other thing I wrestle with is that Peter ultimately decided to stick with Voldemort knowing full well that his friends would probably (and some, definitely) die because of Voldemort. There had to have been something inside him, in my view, that made him want to stay there, even if it was just a matter of selfishness or pride. As you mentioned, though, this is only my take on a richly multi-faceted character.

But yeah, I think after all the wonderful times he must have had with James, Sirius and Remus and the kindness Lily undoubtedly showed him as she got close to James, Peter would have had some regrets. He probably wouldn't choose to entertain them very often, but I doubt he could have eradicated them all.

Hah, it's great that you liked Regulus! I didn't explore him in as much depth as I have in Post Scriptum, but it was fun to contrast him with Peter here and show that he's learned the ropes as well as any good Slytherin would.

Thanks again for your wonderful review :)

-Amanda


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Review #20, by lost and broken Trading Places

4th August 2013:
Wow, that was really good. I love how detailed your writing is. I feel that you did a great job with characterization. It was interesting to get a look from these perspectives.

Author's Response: Thank you! I loved writing this story and felt like the similarity between Peter and Severus's lives as spies and traitors was too interesting to resist. I'm surprised I haven't run across a story like it before, and I'm glad you enjoyed my attempt! Thanks so much for your lovely review :)

-Amanda


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