Howdy Abbi! Sorry for the delay in my half of the swap! I wound up falling asleep last night and...here we are.
And now I will discontinue my rambling and get to the story.
First, it was cool to see you exploring Peter. Obviously he's the Marauder who gets the least play, but rather than writing him during school or post-betrayal, you actually gave us an idea of how he might have been turned. One thing I do think would add to that is a little background on WHY the Death Eaters were recruiting him specifically - was his heritage involved for example or just being seen as the most susceptible in the Order? At any rate though, the concept of him killing someone in a flash actually perfectly matches up with SPOILER my languishing idea for him in Evolution.
What makes yours much more interesting though is that it involves a romantic partner. Out of all the explorations of Peter I have seen recently, the one thing I have NEVER seen is Peter in a relationship. The way you write Stephanie and Peter together it's a pairing I think I could ship actually - which is something I never expected to write when it came to Peter.
I think a big part of this is that you give us a nice snapshot of Stephanie's personality in this piece. She seems exactly like the kind of person who would be capable of bringing Peter out a bit and inspire more confidence in himself - especially when he's constantly comparing himself to his gregarious friends.
The final thing I'll comment on is the weapon. I think the tradition you laid out for it was exceptional - it's almost like a relic of the past, destroying the past - a lamp going dark on a brighter (dare I say, golden?) future. Plus it wasn't a wand - which for me is for some not-really-explicable reason not that exciting in fic.
And now I'm going to stop rambling again.
All in all I thought this was a really cool handling of Peter at an often unexplored point in his life. You put an original cast on him, making clear that while the Marauders were huge, they weren't the ONLY important people to him and that he WAS actually involved in the Order. Props!
Next time I promise to be more prompt.
Abbi! I'm here for our review swap ♥
Congratulations on winning the challenge! I can absolutely see why this piece won. You gave us a unique take on Peter, and showed us how in a moment, our entire world can change. I also love non-linear stories, and I think you handled the time jumps really well.
From the very beginning, I knew this piece was going to be good. Your imagery and language throughout it was so good and strong, and it painted such a vivid picture in my mind. Peter is obviously heartbroken and confused, like he can't really comprehend what he's done -- it's an out of body experience, and you really do a great job with showcasing that. I love that he sings to her, too; it's such a sweet, romantic thing, though a bit haunting when we realize that she used to sing while cooking them dinner at night. I had very conflicted feelings towards Peter in the beginning, because he just killed the woman he loved, but he's clearly so distraught that I actually want to hug him. I WANT TO HUG PETER PETTIGREW, ABBI.
And I loved the stark contrast with their romantic date at Madame Puddifoot's! Peter seems exactly in character here, shy and nervous and easily excitable; and it's so cute how he's worried about pleasing her. But I love that she just goes along with it, it's clear that she cares about him, too. Their romance seems to be very sweet, which makes this story all the more heartbreaking.
I thought it was so interesting that he went to Lucius to clean up the mess, but it's also something that makes so much sense. And that their bargain for him cleaning it up was for Peter to officially join the Death Eaters; it really paints his decision to betray his friends in a whole new light.
And I really loved the comparison of Death Eaters to Dementors; it sent chills down my spine by how true it was. Ugh, I wanted to shake Peter a little bit for making stupid decisions, but I suppose on this night he's really not thinking clearly at all.
And then the REVEAL! It was horrifying and shocking, all in the best ways. I can only imagine how much pressure Peter was in by going back and forth between the Death Eaters and the Order, and just, ugh. Steph was just concerned about him! But then again, if she'd gone to Dumbledore in the first place, we wouldn't have the canon, which is what I love about this story -- it gives more motive to Peter than just cowardic, almost like him owing them a debt, and it brings it all back into the story we know.
Excellent job with this! I really enjoyed it. Thanks for the swap!! ♥
Oh, my god, no! Peter! No! What have you done?
This was so heartbreaking!
As I read the first scene I was wondering what happened. He killed her? The girl he so obviously loved? How? Why? It was such a painful scene and you painted it so well, so vividly. I could feel Peter's guilt and desperation, I could see him rocketing her and singing to her... why did he do that? Even if I know the answer, I'm still so horrified with him. And at the same time I feel so bad for him.
The scene of their first date was so adorable and seeing them then, so happy and in love, and his nervousness... it would make me smile, if I didn't know what's going to happen in a few years. It was such a cute and sweet scene, and I loved it so much. I just wish things went differently.
When you explain what actually happened... I do understand Peter's moment of panic at Stephanie's decision of telling Dumbledore. If only he'd let her go. It would have been the best thing for him, everything would have gone differently. I still can't believe what he did. He wanted to stop her, but going so far as to kill her, even if he didn't really mean to... once again, why???
And of course at that point the easy way out was accepting the Death Eaters' help, which meant accepting to become one of them. Something he'd been thinking about already, anyway, I suppose, but he might have never done if he didn't have to hide what had happened to Stephanie. It's so cruel, because she only wanted what was best for him. Did I already say that this was heartbreaking?
You did an incredible job with this story! As always, your writing is brilliant and wonderful and I'm so, so impressed!
Thank you so much for taking part in the challenge!
Lots of love and huge snowball hug,
Abbi, hi! <3
(I am finally here to post this review, after escaping to a friend's house that has not lost power lmao. This review has had quite the journey. Okay, moving onto the review now haha.)
I loved your writing when I read Prisoner, and I love your writing now. You have such a wonderful way of writing short scenes that go back and forth between different time periods, which is one of my favorite things about this piece.
Okay, but I should start from the beginning! The vividness of the picture you painted in the very first paragraph was startling and shocking, which is a really great way to start off a story like this. I was absorbed into the story almost immediately, and the whole time, I was just asking myself, over and over again, "What did he do? What did he do? What what what wHAT," and that curiosity hooked me into the story completely haha. I really liked how you withheld what happened while providing just enough details to make the whole thing even more mysterious, such as Peter's insistence that her death was an accident, and the fact that he sang Celestina Warbeck's song to her dead body despite having just murdered her.
And then you skipped backwards in time to reveal how their relationship started (in the sweetest, most romantic Madame Puddifoot's, no less), and I thought this piece was particularly heartbreaking and made me feel extremely confused about the first section, like, why would he kill her if there appeared to be so much love in their relationship from the very beginning? He obviously adored her from the first, and he obviously grieved over her body after she died. So I thought this section added so many more questions and so much more depth to the story.
And then there's the next scene, where Peter just uses Lucius Malfoy to cover everything up and erase himself from the narrative. I have so many thoughts about this, like, I think you characterize Peter so unbelievably perfectly in this story. He's not completely inhumane (like the other, extreme Death Eaters), because he feels this crippling sense of guilt and grief after he murders his girlfriend, but his cowardly and selfish nature always wins out in the end. He doesn't want to face his friends and confess what he's done, so he's just getting Lucius Malfoy to dispose of her body, and I think that's nauseating. And I think you wrote all of this perfectly. Your line about how he thought "power would always beat love" is so on point here; it really highlights his complete selfishness.
My favorite scene has to be the one where everything is revealed, though. You answered all the questions I had in this chapter, namely, "WHAT," and left me with an even greater understanding of your Peter. Not that this understanding of him excuses him in any way lmao. But goodness, that escalation from Peter simply being snappish at his girlfriend to him panicking that his girlfriend was going to reveal him, so well done. When he saw the ugly lamp gifted to them, remembered all those little things about his girlfriend picking out the decorations for their home so painstakingly, and then STILL KILLED HIS GIRLFRIEND EVEN AFTER THINKING ABOUT HER CUTE HABITS, I was positively aghast at him.
You don't have to worry at all about how this story came out. In case you couldn't tell, I absolutely loved it, hahaha. I thought you wrote your ideas beautifully (and this is truly such an interesting headcanon, I'm so glad you managed to write it down!) and thank you so much for sharing your story with me!
Good luck in the challenge! <3
Wow, to start off your imagery is beautiful. Seriously, and your writing in general is just so good. I'm in awe. I got shivers from reading this. Now, onto the review!
The opening was so heart breaking; it makes me feel so sad for Peter while simultaneously hating him??? Excellent job on your part for managing to do that. We find out right away that it's his fault that Stephanie is dead, yet I feel so bad for Peter. And him singing Celestina Warbeck to Stephanie is so painful!
I also love the snippets of Peter and Stephanie's relationship - like the fact that she made Peter feel more like Sirius and James. Also, I love that ‘A Cauldron Full of Hot, Strong Love' is their song even though Peter doesn't particularly like Celestina Warbeck. And now he feels lost without her!
Their first date at Madam Puddifoot's was so cute! I'm really glad that you included this because I was reading, and I was like "wow, I really want to see more of Peter and Stephanie's relationship" and then you had that part. And I was so cute. I love it. It's so cute how much Peter likes her! (It's also just making this whole thing that more heartbreaking!)
You really nail Peter's character here, I think, with the panic that he feels when it sinks in what he'd just done. Also, Peter wondering if the others had liked Stephanie more than they'd liked Peter and the fact that he wouldn't have been surprised if they actually did. Ow! That hurts, but also so in character for him to have those insecurities regarding his friends.
... oh my gosh. Okay so you mentioned that this was a head canon that you had, and I love it - it's super painful, but I love it. Like, this is such a brilliant idea for why Peter would have betrayed the order (along with James and Lily). It's so in character for Peter to want to keep his friends for as long as possible while also protecting himself form being killed by Death Eaters. I know I've already said this, but this makes me so sad for Peter while also hating him at the same time!!
Also, I really hate Lucius Malfoy. *glares at Lucius Malfoy*
So, I'm practically crying over here now. Thanks for that (it's okay, I love suffering when I read fic - angst is my favorite genre). The argument between Peter and Stephanie hit me so hard. I knew what was coming and I was like "NO! PETER, DON'T DO IT!!" Peter didn't listen to me... ☹
"A light had gone out. She was gone. It was his fault."
That right there! That tore me apart. I'm done. Gone! It was nice knowing you. I'll be over here being all sad and whatnot. Your ending also just wraps it up so nicely! It also makes me want to read a follow up one shot about Peter.
So, summing up my incoherent thoughts: I loved this. You definitely don't need to be nervous about how this turned out. I'm 100% accepting this as canon for why Peter joined the Death Eaters. You did a wonderful job portraying Peter's relationship with Stephanie and his feelings for her in the amount of words that you used! Seriously, I low-key love them (read: high-key love them).
Anyway, I loved this! <3