Where Your Treasure Is – by zeegrindylows
Rating: Exceeds Expectations +
The Basics: Post Deathly Hallows, Action/Friendship/Romance, Hurt/Comfort, PTSD, 350k
Warnings: Torture, Non-con (not SSHG)
This is an epic-length, heavily plotted fic that came highly recommended to me by just about everyone. It begins right where Deathly Hallows ends, and remains completely canon throughout, possibly even to a fault. The one large exception to that is Snape surviving Nagini, of course, recovering to teach another year at Hogwarts. Hermione, Ron, and Harry retake their 7th year, taking private lessons in the courses they score well in on an entrance exam. Hermione takes her private lessons in Potions with Snape; something in their relationship seems to have changed for the better since spending so much time together in the Hospital Wing. They are connected by a soul-binding enchantment, the details of which I will let you discover on your own.
The characters are extremely well-written and believable, especially Snape. He is aloof, short-tempered, sharp-witted, protective and noble, while remaining sensitive and insecure inwardly. There are several laugh-out-loud classic Potions Master remarks, though this Snape is not as humorous as others. Hermione is in character, but is drawn differently than usual; she is suffering from PTSD that worsens as the story progresses. The author clearly has first hand experience with the disorder. Hermione’s suffering is written heart-wrenchingly and without cliches, so subtly that at first none of the other characters notice that anything is the matter with her.
The plot involves rogue Death Eaters, including one who has a personal interest in Hermione. We travel from the Burrow to Azkaban to Australia and back; experiencing wand battles, torture, portkeys, and even Muggle airplanes. The plot is widely drawn, unique, and clever. There were many plot points that I had never seen before, and almost every character from the book is involved.
I only have one problem with this fic, and it is a big one. The romantic relationship between Snape and Hermione is drawn out slowly, to the extreme, so much that I would almost be inclined to call this a friendship fic rather than a romance fic. There are beautiful, tantalizingly chaste moments of course, but they are few and far between. There was so, so so much emotional buildup, with almost NO payoff. The scene where they admit their feelings for each other is a few fumbled paragraphs, and then a hurried and cliche epilogue. For such a long, high-quality fic, I found this extremely disappointing. I was actually angry and unsatisfied when I finished reading.
The bottom line: The fic is beautifully written and the relationship feels real, but there is just not enough pages of romantic payoff at the end. It is 99% friendship and 1% romance. I would recommend this to those who are new to the pairing, those who love plot-filled fics, or to anyone interested in PTSD. It is absolutely not for those who want a romantic payoff – this fic is about the journey TO romance.