The Incident in the Great Hall – by Acadia Elle
Rating: Acceptable Minus
The Basics: Phoenix Era, Romance, 100k,
WARNING: PARTIAL REVIEW
As with many of my low-rated fic reviews, I only read about halfway into this story before skimming to the end.
If anything in my review is inaccurate or misconceived as a result, please feel free to let me know and I will amend my review.
Harry Potter must go back in time to his seventh year at Hogwarts to prevent the violent deaths of Severus Snape and Hermione Granger.
I feel a little under-caffeinated today, so if the tone of this review is mildly annoyed, that’s probably why. I think this might be an all right fic, but I was just in a bad mood today.
This fic has the usual problems of Acceptable fics. The writing is mediocre at best, although it does improve slightly as the fic continues. It also has that ‘young’ perspective; only surface interest in the greater plot or in emotional consequences, and almost completely focused on the exciting emotions of the budding relationship. Maybe it’s because I’m entering my seventh year in a committed relationship, but for me that isn’t enough to sustain a fic anymore. Romantic tension, maybe, but not simply ‘lol relationship with Snape he’s Scary but also Handsome!’ This fic feels like the latter.
I really SHOULD have liked this fic – it has my two favorite tropes, Seventh year apprenticeship/project and an ancient love binding with varying levels of success. Somehow it just felt like going through the motions in this fic, though. Nothing gripping, nothing touching, nothing tantalizing. As an example, an ancient love spell ceremony in described in only a handful of sentences. This is something that would have been a beautifully painted chapter in a high-quality fic.
The Snape is a pathetic Snape who doesn’t find himself worthy of Hermione. He continually insists he isn’t worthy of her, he won’t taint her, blah blah blah. I have a hard time with this type of Snape. For me, this is a layer of Severus, yes, but one that he keeps carefully hidden and would never betray. Hermione would guess at it or see flickers of expression that *might* betray this. To have Snape say these things, and to repeat these things, was just totally annoying to me. It took me far out of the moment and away from the characters.
Plotting is also a problem. The love relationship is fully resolved, consummated, and legal by the halfway point. Why keep reading? Sometimes 100,000k fics can still feel short and rushed, because the author actually wrote an okay 50k fic, but didn’t know when to stop writing. This fic just meanders into nowhere.
My last gripe with this fic is that Hermione loses interest in her friends and family in favor of her relationship with Snape. It would be one thing if they were examining this, and if it were some sort of hurdle in her maturity or something, but nope, the author just seems to think that it’s okay and normal. Protip: Not! Hermione and Snape are far too intelligent and passionate about their interests to become codependent.
The bottom line: Rushed writing that lacks description, childlike perspective, pathetic Snape, and meandering plot. There are some good ideas in this fic but the result is disappointing. I wish the author would do a rewrite, because the ideas are strong and I imagine that he or she was very young when they wrote this.