Winds of Change – by Christina Hilt

Link: http://www.fanfiction.net/s/2772930/1/The_Winds_of_Change

WARNING: PARTIAL REVIEW
I read this in 2003, it being one of the first fics I read, and only briefly skimmed it for my 2012 review.
If anything in my review is inaccurate or misconceived as a result, please feel free to let me know and I will amend my review.

Rating: Acceptable

The Basics: Classic Era (only compliant up to GoF), Lust/Romance, 100k

Warnings: Non-con, Underage

To be honest, I remember really, really enjoying this fic in 2003 – I guess that’s evidence how just how little SSHG fanfiction was out there in 2003, or how much my standards have raised since then, because I was really disappointed on my quick re-read.

Hermione works on a Potions project with Professor Snape; the Potions Master loses control of himself one night in the dungeons and they begin a forbidden romance.

My biggest disappointments were in the characterization and the plotting; in my mind, tightly-lidded Professor Snape would never, under his own will, lose control of himself and rape a student, period – especially on the first night of the Potions project.  Worse than that is that the author makes no explanation or excuses for him.  How easy would it have been to say that he was just back from a Death Eater meeting, emotionally traumatized, or a Potions accident, or a whiff of the wrong ingredient, or any number of other things?  For it just to *happen* was unforgivably out of character, for me.  Snape, to his core, is defined by his extreme aloofness, control, and distance in all social situations.  Not to mention Dumbledore – would the seemingly omniscient headmaster let an emotionally out-of-control potential rapist teach at his school?  No.

As I skimmed through the other chapters, I saw a mixture of tragic misunderstandings, trying to hide the romance, lots of smut, lots of out of character romantic tender moments, etc.  Outdated cliches, unfortunately, though I am rather forgiving of that due to the fic’s age (2001.)  ‘We had sex, now we’re in love’ is a very big pet peeve of mine, and that’s the base of this fic.  That and an out of character emotionally turbulent Professor Snape.  I feel like I must have missed something redeeming, because as I said in the first paragraph, I really enjoyed this fic the first time around.  It does have a nice writing style and occasional wit, but that’s the best I can say for it.

The bottom line: This is one of the oldest SSHG fic in existence and sadly, I think this fic’s downfall is its age – a casualty of the raised bar in modern fanfiction.  What was original, exciting, and forbidden at the time of writing has now become cliche, and there is precious little remaining for a modern SSHG reader to enjoy.  Read it for nostalgia or curiosity in the Classic Era fics, otherwise, skip it.

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