You Can’t Have One Without The Other – RachelW

Link: http://www.thepetulantpoetess.com/viewstory.php?sid=61

Rating: Acceptable Minus

The Basics: Phoenix Era, Angst, 100k

Warnings: Non-Con-ish, BDSM, Abuse-ish, NC-17 Sexual Content, Darkfic

Hermione Granger is forced by new Marriage Laws to make a difficult choice. She makes the best decision that she can, but is she ready to deal with the consequences?

First off, one very important thing to know is that this story has two different endings.  If you read it the story on Ashwinder, it has an unhappy, non-romance, non-thoughtful ending.  Do not recommend.  I actually gave this my lowest recommendation until I read somewhere that the Petulant Poetess ending was different.  That ending was BRILLIANT!  It’s still not what I would call a romance, but it’s beautiful and interesting enough to make the story worthwhile, in my opinion.

The story is beautifully written, but I must strongly insist that there is a ton of barely consensual brutal sex.  The author calls it BDSM, but I am not quite sure I agree, as BDSM takes place between equal and willing partners and that is definitely not what you have in this fic.  It’s just short of sexual and psychological abuse and torture, in my opinion, but sex + pain is not my preference.  This sex is almost nothing but aggressive ‘BDSM’ sex, so if you don’t like that, you might want to skip this one.

That said, I did find the strong, independent Hermione to pretty fabulous. I liked her immensely.  But I don’t read SSHG fanfiction for a fabulous Hermione – I read it for fabulous SSHG.

The bottom line: Barely an SSHG romance.  Definitely not an SSHG friendship. Snape is very nearly the villain.  It’s sort of an uneasy, imperfect, incredibly dark take on the relationship, but the unique and thoughtful ending (Petulant Poetess version only) is enough for me to still recommend it, if you can tolerate the metric truckload of BDSM sex.  I’m not sure I would recommend it to myself, but for people with stronger tastes for pain + sex, maybe.  The writing is fantastic.

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4 thoughts on “You Can’t Have One Without The Other – RachelW

  1. Is the PP ending the one with the potion? Because I’ve just read that and it’s got a great big DO NOT LIKE vote from me.

    The Severus in that story has got some…serious issues.

    • ***SPOILERS**** The Petulant Poetess version (to my recollection, I read this ages ago) ends with Hermione leaving Severus because she realizes he’s been abusive and they are toxic for each other. Severus realizes his mistakes too late (a’la Scarlett o’Hara) and tries to make it up to her, but it’s too late. That is, for me, pretty much the only way a story with this Abusive!Severus should end.

      Edit: Oops, as JaggedRain pointed out, I’m quite wrong. It’s essentially the same thing, though. Severus gives her a potion that forces her to stay with him; every six months she gets ‘erratic’ and unhappy and starts leaving the house more to see her friends, and he has to give her the potion again. I say it’s the same thing as my mistaken remembrance, because whether she leaves of her own free will or he magically forces her to stay, it’s an unhappy ending that acknowledges the unacceptable Evil!Severus in this fic. Is it SSHG? Not really, but at least they don’t try to pretend a story like this would have a happy ending. I appreciated that.

      • I think you’ve got them confused tbh.

        SPOILERs

        I haven’t read the Ashwinder version, but in the PP version she leaves him, he tries to make it up to her, but it’s too late, and then he slips her a love potion. Which…no.

        I didn’t really agree with the idea of this Severus as abusive, because he was pretty straighforward about his needs before agreeing to marry her, although he could have been nicer to her (I don’t mind a bit of kink but there’s no need to be a tool about it, for gods’ sakes) but the potion thing? That is…seriously messed up. I feel super sorry for this Hermione.

      • You’r quite right, I should have looked it up to double-check before posting. I knew it was an unhappy ending, but I misremembered the details.

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