Rating: Acceptable +
The Basics: Classic Era (compliant up to GoF only), Romance, 200k
Warnings: NC17 SC, Original Characters
This is a nice fic, at the very top end of Acceptable. I very nearly gave it the next rating up! Hermione returns to Hogwarts as a student-teacher, the last step to earning her teaching certificate. All of the teachers welcome her warmth and respect…with one notable exception. Severus Snape.
I was tempted to stop reading in the second or third chapter with the introduction as an original character as a main, but decided to wait it out and see what happened. I’m glad I did! The original character is a Wiccan named Ailie. There are a lot of interesting comparisons of the Wiccan world and the Wizarding world, all drawn with respect and thoughtfulness. As far as original characters goes, Ailie is stellar – unique, interesting, and an important plot device that does not seem out of place in the story.
The romance in this fic is that of chemistry and sexual tension; not usually my favorite approach to this pairing, but is slow-burning and fairly believable in this fic. They are both relatively in character – Snape is perhaps a little more forward than we are used to, at least in the beginning, and Hermione is more explosive and childish than I prefer, but of course, she is a Gryffindor.
My biggest problem with the fic is the loose structure and the wandering plot. It is clear from the author’s notes that the fic took some time to write, with major interruptions, and the story reflects that. It begins as one fic and ends as another. I was very intrigued by the Wiccan culture aspect of the early chapters, but this (incredibly focal) plotline was completely gone by the end. I expected it to be cleverly used to resolve the war, or something…not just to disappear. It felt like the author ran out of ideas for the plotline and just deleted it. I expect more symmetry than that, in the best fics.
The bottom line: An enjoyable fic if you love drawn-out standing-too-close-to-each other sexual tension and explosive fights. Avoid it if you can’t stand original characters or sloppy plotting; overall, it’s probably worth a read!