Author at http://www.darkirony.com/.
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 27th September 2008 (8)
Tags: Short Story
Characters: Severus Snape
Summary: Voldemort has set his snake, Nagini, upon Severus Snape, killing him. What will become of him?
This is an afterlife where one makes one's own heaven or one's own hell; will Severus be able to face his uncomfortable truths, or will he stumble and fall? An intriguing post-"Deathly Hallows" character study. But only if you are interested in Snape, of course.
(1) Resonance (Harry Potter)
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 27th September 2008 (9)
Tags: Novel, AU, Sixth Year AU, Mentor, Reconciliation, Adoption, Hurt-Comfort, Post-Voldemort
Characters: Severus Snape, Harry Potter
Summary: Year six and Harry needs rescuing by Dumbledore and Snape. The resulting understanding between Harry and Snape is critical to destroying Voldemort... (AU)
Warning: This story is massively, hugely long. It will suck you in and make you lose sleep because you don't want to stop reading it. At least, it did me.
This is a Harry-Snape reconciliation fic, a genre of which I am rather fond. It does start off in a somewhat predictable way, with hurt/comfort leading to a better understanding between the two, which proves vital in the defeat of Voldemort. This story is unusual in that Voldemort is defeated relatively early in the piece, and the majority of the story deals with the aftermath. For Harry, there is the accumulation of six years of stress, the rootlessness of having fulfilled his purpose in life, the unwelcomeness of fame, and some unexpected but plausible side-effects of Voldemort's death. This being written before Half-Blood Prince, the means of Voldemort's defeat is different than in canon, but I was pleased to see that, like the best post-"Order of the Phoenix" AUs, the "power that Voldemort knows not" is indeed love, as in canon, rather than power as in magical might.
The story is also unusual in that Voldemort here is defeated in Year Six rather than Year Seven, which means we have Harry still at school in the aftermath. Not everything is safe, for there are still people trying to kill Harry: death-eaters who were not all caught in the final battle. Not to mention trouble with Year Seven's new professor. Plus the usual strains, misunderstandings and reconciliations with the Trio, plus a sprinkling of new friends and enemies.
I like the ending; everything comes full circle, and we are reminded just how far everyone has come.
With a reconciliation fic, characterisation is critical. How would Snape and Harry move from their mutual hatred to mutual respect and beyond? For Harry, it starts because Snape helps when Harry needs help, and is the only one who understands the darkness that haunts Harry. For Snape, it starts with Harry's vulnerability, mutual goals (destroying the Dark Lord), not having the awe that everyone else seems to have for Harry, realizing for the first time that Harry does not want the adulation he is getting, and being the only one to notice that not all is well with Harry after Voldemort's defeat. I suspect also that this Snape might have considered Harry a puzzle to be solved.
Snape does not become nice, though he does become not quite so nasty.
Harry is neither a saint nor a basket-case; he is sulky, short-tempered, caring, thick, insightful, tongue-tied, talented, frustrated -- his usual mix, though he also learns a lot and heals too. Indeed, both Snape and Harry end up healing each other to a degree.
There is also strong characterisation from the supporting characters; Ron (who gets to be a git, yes, no surprise there), Hermione, Ginny, Dumbledore, McGonagall and the rest. Even Draco manages to be shown as something more than a shallow villain.
There are good original characters. I especially liked Suze Zepher, the new Slytherin Seeker, and Vineet, one of Harry's fellow Auror apprentices, but they aren't the only ones.
This extends the Harry Potter world in interesting ways; not just new spells, but extrapolations about the workings of magic, the nature of Voldemort and Dark Creatures (and how that affects Harry), the Ministry and Auror training, additions to Wizarding society such as their equivalent of nunneries, and glimpses of Wizarding culture in other countries. Also little details, like why Wizarding gardens tend to be infested with Garden Gnomes, and more of Fred and George's inventions. There are also suitably crazy Wizarding names, like Wereporridge and Tideweather.
Despite revisions, there is still the occasional typo, but not often enough to detract from the overall story. The pacing and dialogue are engaging, especially important in such a long work. I can't remember any particular passages or turns of phrase that stood out to me, but I was mainly caught up in the characterisation and plot.
(2) Revolution (Harry Potter)
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 27th September 2008 (10)
Tags: Novel, AU, Mentor, Reconciliation, Adoption, Hurt-Comfort, Post-Voldemort, World Building
Characters: Severus Snape, Harry Potter
Summary: Harry continues his Auror training and begins a journey of mastering his unusual and growing powers. Harry, with the help of his adoptive father, is finally making his own way, but fate and prophecy are never completely absent.
This series continues with great characterisation and plot (and plot twists) and worldbuilding. This actually takes account of some things from Deathly Hallows as part of the plot, not because this was trying to be DH compliant (because it is already AU) but because it was something that would make the plot more interesting. I like how, in making Hary having unusual powers, the author has actually made these powers cause as many problems as they solve; or indeed, even more problems than they solve. Things are not straightforward or obvious; Harry has to grow up even more, for sometimes he is his own worst enemy.