Contemplations of Birth – Saavik13
Rating: Acceptable Plus
The Basics: Classic Era (compliant to GoF), Romance, 100k
Warnings: Underage, Marriage Law (sort of), Implied DM/RL, Violence, References to Non-con, NC-17 SC
Hermione Granger and Severus Snape are forced into a marriage, though neither is particularly willing.
This was an interesting story. The beginning felt quite rushed and overwhelming to me, but I later realized there was a reason for that – a non SS/HG prequel (link at bottom.) Similarly, the ending was a bit of a cliff drop because of an unfinished sequel (link at bottom.) There was resolution in the major romantic arc, but that had happened chapters earlier. There was no resolution in the war arc, which left me a bit unsatisfied.
However, the ‘middle’ chunk of the story that we get to experience is quite good. I found the premise unique. Hermione finds out that she is heir to a member of a powerful, long-lost Slytherin house – the Penwraths. Her family forces her into an arranged marriage with a Death Eater, Marcus Flint, at Lord Voldemort’s behest – and Severus Snape steps in to marry her instead – if she MUST marry a Death Eater, she can at least marry one who works for Dumbledore and will watch out for her. The story goes deeply into Pureblood politics and history, which is one of my favorite areas in fanfiction. The idea of a long-lost house is not one that I had read before, and the author ties it in nicely with the war plot.
Having said all that, the downside of this fic is the romance. Marriage Law fics are never my favorite genre – when they are forced together like that, the romance just isn’t as fun. There is a bit of growing and a small romance curve, but not much. My interest in the fic was more in the (unresolved) war plot and Pureblood history.
Gold Star: Special mention for the Lucius Malfoy in this fic. This is the best Lucius Malfoy I have EVER read. This is Classic Era -all that the author had to go on was a few sneers and rude comments. Somehow she extrapolated a beautifully, fully-formed, totally-canon Lucius Malfoy that broke my heart and made me rage at the same time. The best scene in the story is a conversation between Lucius and Snape near the end of the story when all seems lost. Just beautiful. Honestly, it made me want to read Lucius fiction, which I have never had an interest in before.
The bottom line: It’s well-plotted and has an interesting premise. The characters are decently in character (love the mouthy, crafty-when-necessary Hermione) and the action scenes are great. However, the lacking satisfaction of an unfinished sequel paired with the early resolution of the romance plot makes this fic just above mediocre for me. Read it for a great portrait of Lucius Malfoy – not for the SSHG.
Non SSHG Prequel: http://www.fanfiction.net/s/1569673/1/Convergence_of_Birth
Unfinished Sequel: http://www.fanfiction.net/s/1567487/1/Complications_of_Birth