Theowyn of HPG

Enemy Within

(1) Harry Potter and the Enemy Within (Harry Potter)

Reviewed by Kathryn A on 6th September 2008 (8)
Tags: Novel, AU Divergent Timeline, Sixth Year, Mentor, Reconciliation
Characters: Severus Snape, Harry Potter

Summary: In his sixth year at Hogwarts, Harry's mental link to Voldemort is stronger than ever. Can Snape teach him to control the nightmarish visions? And is their connection the key to ending Voldemort's reign? (AU, set after OOTP)

I'm glad I came across Nomad's rec for this, ( because I wouldn't have found this story otherwise, since it's archived at, and I would never have waded through the huge amounts of badly-written Harry Potter fic in order to find it.

I didn't think I'd find something I liked better than "A Year Like None Other" in terms of Harry-Snape reconciliation stories, but this impressed me because it didn't have to go the hurt-comfort route in order to make Harry and Snape stop hating each other. Instead, it was a more gradual process, with many stumbling blocks along the way. Snape doesn't become nice. Harry is just as much an emo teenager as ever. The Trio is the Trio, with their own share of snark, banter, heartache, arguments and reconciliations. Dumbledore is as nice and as scheming as ever. We also get a new DADA teacher, who adds his own spice to the mix.

As compared to other HP AUs I've read, this story doesn't invent new magic powers (though it adds some wrinkles to what we know about existing ones), and stays close to Rowling's theme that "the power Voldemort knows not" is love. It follows up certain loose ends I hadn't thought about, and makes good use of them. There were points where I almost cried, and points where I almost cheered. I really really liked it.

(2) Harry Potter and the Chained Souls (Harry Potter)

Reviewed by Kathryn A on 27th September 2008 (18)
Tags: Novel, AU, Mentor, Friendship, Reconciliation
Characters: Severus Snape, Harry Potter

Summary: Harry must discover how Voldemort cheated death. He faces Death Eaters, shadowy Ministry officials & suspicions that threaten to tear his own allies apart. But the answers lie in the mind where victory can only be won by freeing the chained souls.

I love this story. This continues with the themes of love, redemption and self-sacrifice that were present in the first story, and keeps true to the spirit of the books by making love be the key to Voldemort's defeat (though in a different way than in canon, naturally). It uses an idea for Voldemort's immortality which makes as much or more sense than Horcruxes, and raises even more difficult dilemmas.

Excellent characterisation of Snape and Harry -- both still with their faults and weaknesses and strengths, their mistakes and misunderstandings, Harry's brave foolishness and Snape's "go to hell" attitude, it's all there. The other characters are themselves, too, and we get a good original character in the form of this year's new DADA teacher. There is snark and suspicion, confusion, malice, division, unity, friendship, lies, persuasion, cunning, foolishness, stubbornness and quiddich.

Well worth reading.