The Fire and the Rose – by Abby and Domina at WitchFics.org
Note: Fanfiction.net only has Book 1, and Witch Fics is down, so the link is to the Wayback Machine’s archive of Book 2. If anyone has a full copy if this fic, I would prefer to link that because nobody wants to read a fic off of the Wayback Machine. Let me know in the comments if you do – thank you!.
Rating: Book 1 – Exceeds Expectations Minus
Edit 06/2017: I previous had split the books in half and gave them each a separate rating, because Book 1 is awesome and Book 2 is horrible, but I think it’s better to combine the ratings. You may just want to stop reading after Book 1.
The Basics: Classic Era (compliant up to GoF only), Humor/Romance, 200k
Warnings: Underage (well, she’s 18 but still in school), Non-con (briefly alluded to, not SSHG), NC17
Thanks to a botched Longbottom potion, Snape and Hermione find themselves in the wrong bodies with no remedy in sight.
The first few chapters of this fic were absolutely hilarious and delightful. Not only are they forced to switch bodies, for the sake of ‘safety during the War’ they must also live each others lives, because Dumbledore wants no one to know of the switch. The scope of comedic opportunity here is wide, and the authors take full advantage of it, with plenty of twinkles and winks. Snape-as-Hermione getting a full body makeover from overeager Gryffindor girls? Hermione-as-Snape has to referee a game of Quidditch? Check and check. The banter – the delicious witty banter – between the two unwilling, irritated protagonists is some of the best in any Snape/Hermione fic I’ve read, though it takes awhile for it to develop, of course. All of this with a serious and well-paced romance – the forced intimacy created by the body swap pushes Snape and Hermione past all barriers of politeness and reticence, inevitably leading them to each other.
I expected the body-swap to last for a few chapters, perhaps a quarter of the way through, but to eventually be dispensed with; only used as a device to create that original intimacy to set the plot in motion. I was wrong. The fic goes ahead with the romance, both emotional and physical, while they are still in the wrong bodies – so be warned if you’re squeamish about things like that. They remain body-swapped for almost the duration of the fic. I wasn’t really comfortable with the romance occuring while they were in the wrong bodies, but I think that is just personal preference and not a reflection on the quality of the fic.
What IS a reflection on the fic’s quality is the disappointing Book 2. It seems to me that the authors may have lost their interest in the fic, because the events rather carelessly and predictably stagger towards the finish. It would have been much better to add a few extra chapters to Book 1 and have done with it , because Book 2 is nothing but dissembling and tragic misunderstandings, all to come right around to the same conclusion they almost had in Book 1. What a waste.
The bottom line: I would recommend this to any fan of the pairing who enjoy humor fics, if they are able to tolerate NC17. It is a nice balance of serious, believable romance and humor, despite the wacky body-swap situation. Just be ready to grit your teeth through the ‘let’s just finish this’ sloppiness of Book 2.