The Basics: Phoenix Era, Romance, 100k
Warnings: Underage, Sexual Content
Hermione Granger, overworking herself with studying, takes on a 7th year potions project with Professor Snape.
I was very excited to read this fic, as I am in love with the ‘7th year potions project’ trope (probably because it is the most obvious early trope that everyone used back in the day, and I’m sentimental about it.)
Unfortunately, I could tell right away that it was going to be a bumpy ride. The writing is very low quality in the beginning, although it does improve. Then, the romance is rushed – uncomfortably rushed, especially for an underage fic. When underage fics are rushed, it makes Snape seem like Creeper!Snape or Pedo!Snape and that’s uncomfortable. Maybe it’s just because I’m getting older, but it seemed to me that both Hermione and Snape were incredibly irresponsible, to such a degree that it took them both out-of-character for me.
However, that’s not the biggest problem I have with this fic. The biggest problem is that nobody seems capable of having a genuine conversation with anyone else. It all seems to be screaming, and fits, and barbs, and tragic misunderstandings. Just over and over and over again. I felt like I just continually kept reading the same thing over again – someone gets mad at leaves, someone gets mad and grabs someone, they yell and try to hurt each other, blah blah blah. That kind of unrelentingly Gryffindor behavior is just not what I expect to read in an SSHG fic – what they have in common is their introverted side, their academic side. Screaming at each other is just tiresome. It felt like the adventures of Lavender and Seamus or something; two dunderheads who can only communicate with temper tantrums.
The plotline was pretty weak and seemed to change over time. It was clearly not plotted out from the beginning. Then at the end, lots of new characters are introduced and thrown together, and then the whole thing kind of sags outwardly in a quick wrap-up chapter. The writer even says in her author’s notes that she threw together an ending for the fic 5 years later when people kept asking for an ending. And it definitely smarts of that tacked-on effect.
The bottom line: Overall, there’s almost nothing worth reading here, honestly. It smacked of classic-era goodness in the beginning, but gets tiresome because of the childish tantrums continually thrown by ALL of the characters and the lack of a coherent plotline or sense of responsibility. The writing is decent, but that’s not enough to save it.