Harrys First Detention

(1) Harry's First Detention (Harry Potter)

Reviewed by Kathryn A on 10th January 2010 (2)
Tags: Short Story, AU Divergent Timeline, First Year, Reconciliation, Abusive Dursleys
Characters: Severus Snape, Harry Potter

Summary:AU one-shot about Harry's first detention with Snape. Take one mistreated boy, one misinformed man, mix well and watch what happens.

There is almost a genre in Harry Potter AU stories where the Dursleys are more physically abusive of Harry than they were in canon; enough of them, at least, that the potions-and-snitches site has a keyword for "Abusive Dursleys". Some stories take this to sickening extremes; this is not one of them. What this is, is a Harry-Snape reconciliation story, and I love those.

What is appealing to me about this particular story is how very well the author applies the principle of "remember what your characters don't know"; we have a chain of misunderstandings on both Harry and Snape's parts; but it is all sorted out in the end.

(2) Harry's New Home (Harry Potter)

Reviewed by Kathryn A on 10th January 2010 (3)
Tags: Novel, AU, Reconciliation, Abusive Dursleys, Adoption
Characters: Severus Snape, Harry Potter

Summary: One lonely little boy. One snarky, grumpy git. When the safety of one was entrusted to the other, everyone knew this was not going to turn out well... Or was it? Sequel to "Harry's First Detention". AU.

This is delightful. Perhaps it should be subtitled "How To Make Snape Squirm Due To Overly Demonstrative Gryffindors". Lots of fun touches, like the letters Snape mentally composes in reaction to various incidents. And it isn't all sappy sentimentality, not at all. Snape is as snarky and grumpy as ever.

This story makes much more of the Dursley's abuse of Harry in the way that it affects his view of the world and his expectations of adults; such as Harry thinking that Snape is being lenient when Snape thinks he is being strict. One of the things I really love about this is how Harry correctly interprets the fact that Snape punishes Harry for recklessly putting himself in danger as a sign that Snape actually cares. Also the way Harry appreciates what Snape does and doesn't let Snape's grumpiness make him think that Snape doesn't care: actions speak louder than words.

In tone, this is rather light-hearted; even though there are adventures and dangerous things, it isn't dark. Harry here is ickle wee Harry, new to everything. Sometimes I wondered if Harry was being written too young, but it was fun enough that I didn't mind.

Another awesome thing about this story is how Snape is so very Slytherin in the way he plots and engineers things to further his goals in protecting Harry.