For Someone Special – by LadyoftheMasque
Link: http://snapeyluvshermy.livejournal.com/269240.html?thread=1517240#t1517240 (Instructions for joining author’s Yahoo group that has the files, requires signing up for a Yahoo account)
Note that the final two links are in two parts, you will need to read both, of course! I’m only hosting because the Internet ate the Restricted Section and it’s sad for a classic beautiful fic to disappear from the Internet for that reason; I’ll remove my files once it is back up properly again. Hopefully that is okay!
Rating: Outstanding Minus
The Basics: Phoenix Era (inspired by OoTP era, with additions from later books) Drama/Angst/Romance, 550k,
Warnings: Underage, Non-Con, Extremely Kinky in Every Way, Slash, Violence, Suicide, NC-17 Everything.
In the direst of circumstances, with no other options, Professor Snape performs the ancient Veritamoria ritual with Hermione Granger, binding her mind to his and saving her life.
First off, this fic is 500k and I first read it more than 10 years ago. I loved this fic so much that I used “Veritamoria” as my password for years. I scrawled the words in the margins of my college notes, with hearts and Snapes. I fangirl this fic.
My favorite part of this story is the ancient love ritual potion, Veritamoria. Essentially, it is a love-enhancing potion that works over a period of months, strengthening the bond between two individuals by giving them a telepathic link that increases slowly in power as the lovers progress through the stages – Mind-Bound, Heart-Bound, Soul-Bound. Most couples have incompatible thoughts and never make it through the first stage.
Veritamoria is a genius idea for this pairing; you can imagine how much fun the author has with the telepathic communication between Snape and Hermione.If you have read many reviews on my site, you will note that I often look for ‘witty banter’ as part of my criteria for a good SSHG fanfic. They are both intelligent and snarky (“I see no difference,” and “emotional range of a teaspoon,” for example), and they should rile each other up with hilarious biting comments, in my opinion. “For Someone Special” is what GAVE me that opinion. So much fabulous, unrestrained, occasionally telepathic, stream-of-consciousness snarky verbiage is spilled.
The writing and characterizations are perfect. They define the genre, for me. Snape, in this fic, has an incredibly strong tumultuous undercurrent of emotions that he keeps firmly repressed. That is so canon – Lily – yet this was written during OotP era. This is absolutely how I see Snape. So few authors get this right. He often does and says the opposite of what he feels; at first it was self-protective, then it was necessary (to pretend he was a loyal Death Eater.) then it became an unconscious misery-reinforced habit. The Veritamoria link with Hermione slowly strips away those protective barriers, both conscious and unconscious. Beautiful.
There are a few problems, of course. The author seems to have difficulty writing relational conflict. There are a series of ‘tragic misunderstandings’ in the final section of the fic that are utterly frustrating. I understand that tension is needed for a satisfying resolution, but the way it unfolds is ham-fisted. One of the misunderstandings could have been easily avoided with a simple conversation; something horrible had to happen, yes, but it would have been through tearful agreement rather than a stupid misunderstanding. Then, just when that obstacle is wrapping up, ANOTHER stupid misunderstanding, even more frustrating than the first, occurs, through deux-ex-machina Dumbledore meddling. It’s obvious to the reader that both misunderstandings were going to be resolved, so reading through them was absolutely drudgery. Both misunderstandings could have created tension enjoyably and satisfactorily if they were handled with more maturity from both characters, and had been briefer.
Additionally, I must complain that there is way, way, way too much sex in this fic for my taste, and that Snape and Hermione are far more focused on sex than they should be. Yet, because of this clever Eromancy plot, and Mudslut Voldemort Performance Spy plot, it’s tied to the plot and doesn’t feel like filler. I should also add that the sex is very kinky. This is one of the earliest fics that I read, when I was very young, and I must say that it shocked the hell out of me. It’s all done tastefully, but there is pretty much every kind of sex you can think of, magically altered in EVERY way. It’s an exploratory Tantric Eromancy project, after all.
If you’d like a LadyoftheMasque story that is slightly less sex-focused, you could try In Annulo by the same author. (Clarification: less sex, but still way too much.)
The bottom line: I am slightly concerned that my review might be over-praised or irrelevant for modern readers because I have adored this fic for more than a decade. However, the best part of this fic has not changed – LadyoftheMasque’s dialogue skills are the best in the ship to this day, in my opinion. There is way too much sex, and a series of extremely annoying tragic misunderstandings at the end, but there is also a beautiful, well-written, highly imaginative love story. The QUALITY of the writing is utterly spectacular. Read it for the snark, read it for glorious Veritamoria, and skim through the any parts you find tedious – because the overall quality of this fic is well worth it.