The Way They Were Meant to Be – Zanthia122
The Basics: Classic Era (compliant to GoF, turns into OOtP), Romance, 100k
Hermione, in her fifth-year, develops a crush on Severus Snape that turns into something more.
Could it be more Classic Era? This is the absolute dictionary picture of a Classic Era fic, at least in the beginning. Little Hermione develops a crush on Snape that turns into more through a series of cauldron-scrubbing potion-making detentions, egged on by Dumbledore and McGonagall. It’s sweet, and charming, and very, very childlike. I felt like a little giddy 15 year old again just reading this fic. As a boring cynical adult, my tastes are now more demanding – I’m always looking for intellectual stimulation and complex storylines in my fics; but I have to tell you, this sweet little fic charmed me and I really enjoyed reading it. I had a couple of laugh-out-loud moments at the sheer naivete of it all.
There are some serious problems. For one, the author in her Author’s Notes freely admits that she became bored with the fic and didn’t really know where it was going, so she ended it. The latter half of the story is basically Order of the Phoenix from Snape’s perspective – very boring, and obviously predictable. I did find it interesting that the author was trying to write a fifth-year story as a canon fifth-year, but part of the fun of Classic Era is that there are basically no rules. Umbridge, the Ministry, and Occlumency angst descended on the fic like uninvited party crashers.
Snape is not really in character; he falls far too easily for Hermione and all of his usual angst and inner turmoil are basically swept under the rug as he is swept away by emotions. Hermione is a little more in character, although the author paints her as fragile and in failing health, and she performs the classic schoolgirl routine of ignoring her friends once she is in a relationship. There is nothing aggravatingly out of character, but it’s certainly not accurate or believable from an analytical perspective. But again, that’s not really the point of this fic. It’s a fun nostalgic romp.
The bottom line: Honestly, this fic is pretty short (100k is at the very low end of the Epic category) and it’s worth a read just for the nostalgia of childhood romance. Don’t expect a deep relationship, or a warplot, or intellectual dialogue or even humor; but if you want to smile and like you’re reading fan-fiction in junior high, this is it. 🙂