The End of the Beginning (Harry Potter/Buffy)

Reviewed by Kathryn A on 15th November 2003 (1)
Tags: Novel

"London, 1981. Rupert Giles and Ethan Rayne may not be wizards, but they thought they understood magic -- until the night they saw a glowing green skull in the sky above a quiet London street. Now they're caught up in a civil war in a world they never imagined existed. But can their "Muggle" magic really win the war? And for which side?" -- story description

Thanks to Johnathan for recommending this to me.

This very long story works very well in more than one aspect. It works well as a crossover, weaving the two universes almost seamlessly and doing both sets of characters justice. Of course Buffy fans may not be that interested unless they like Giles (back in his youth) and/or Ethan Rayne. No Buffy, and no Scoobies. But to make up for it, we have a good look at Giles and Ethan, especially Ethan, at his weaselly selfish best.

The other aspect this works well from is simply a telling of the days leading up to the legend of The Boy Who Lived. We get to see them all, James and Lily, Sirius, Peter and Remus, Dumbledore and a few new faces. Even if you didn't know a thing about Buffy, it would be worth it from that point of view. Lots of little details, and then how it all comes together, like the footsteps of doom...

There are some things that don't fit, due to certain things that were revealed in Order of the Phoenix which contradict things here. Also I found it rather jarring that this has the pre-zapped Voldemort looking like a non-human -- I'd always assumed that he was perfectly human (on the outside) before his curse rebounded on him, and that it was his restoration at the end of "Goblet of Fire" which gave him that non-human appearance. On the other hand, it has been pointed out to me that nobody has explicitly said that, and therefore another interpretation is possible. I suppose so...

Anyway, that's not a big niggle. I really liked this.

Harry Potter and the Polka Dot Plague (Harry Potter)

Reviewed by Kathryn A on 26th October 2003 (4)
Tags: Novella, AU, Humour
Characters: Severus Snape, Harry Potter

After having been persuaded to give the Harry Potter books a second chance after an interesting discussion on the Blake's 7 Lyst of a compare and contrast between the two, regarding morality as well as characters, and after having therefore devoured all five books in short order, I thought I'd give this story a go, due to Mistral's recommendation, for I wouldn't have considered reading any book-fic otherwise. I was not led astray.

This story is set post-"Goblet of Fire" and feels as if it were written before "Order of the Phoenix" came out, as it begins with Harry's fifth year at Hogwarts. As a result, this feels weirdly AU, as if we've slipped into another dimension.

The story is amusing as well as character-insightful, as "Harry Potter discovers why polka dots are evil. Snape discovers why it's a bad idea to forge your medical records. Lucius Malfoy discovers why you shouldn't give surprise presents to your boss." It manages to capture some of the zaniness of the Potterverse as well as having the characters in character, while still managing to portray Snape sympathetically.