Prophecy’s Pawns – by Leandra
Only hosting my copy because Ashwinder is down. Thank you to the reader who sent it to me. I will remove this link once the story is properly hosted again.
Rating: Exceeds Expectations Minus
The Basics: Phoenix Era, Romance/Action/Angst, 120k,
Warnings: Sexual Content, Underage, Pregnancy
A prophecy draws seventh year Hermione and Snape intimately together in the quest to defeat Voldemort.
There were a lot of great things about this fic, but unfortunately there were a few problems as well that stop me from giving it a hearty recommendation. The overall quality was high enough that I couldn’t stand to grade it any lower than ‘Exceeds Expectations.’
First, the good! The writing itself is great; I had lots of delighted laughs at the witty banter, even among the side characters. The warplot, though kept mostly out of sight, maintains a steady pulse. The climax is very good; one of my favorite Voldemort-vanquishing plot devices I’ve yet seen. The plotting is quite cliche and expected. I even found myself thinking at one point, ‘I bet they have a fight in this chapter,’ and then they did – but it’s all done so decently that it’s hard to complain about.
The bad. My largest problem with this fic is one of my story pet peeves – the Tragic Misunderstanding. THREE TIMES in this fic, there are serious fights that result because one person wouldn’t let someone explain a incriminating-looking situation. They run off sobbing and slam the door without listening to an explanation first. Who runs out the door when someone is protesting, “Wait, please let me explain!” No one. Or at least, not Snape and Hermione. Maybe Ron would do something like that. I’m sorry, but Hermione is someone who NEEDS information and data. She thrives on it. It’s how she thinks. She would never run out of a room in a fit of emotion without first gathering all data possible! And then to go 3 months before resolving the situation, still continuing on without the relevant data? No. Snape is just as bad; he does that Martyr!Snape thing where he does something completely annoying and irrational to sabotage himself because he thinks he doesn’t deserve happiness. Snape is angsty, but he’s not stupid. I rolled my eyes SO HARD every time there was a Tragic Misunderstanding – and it was uncomfortably often.
The romantic pacing was also not my preference in this fic. It’s basically a Marriage Law fic; although they’re drawn together because of a prophecy instead of a law, the result is the same. The romance develops inorganically because they are rushed together physically. My favorite part of fan-fiction, as I repeat over and over in this blog, is that slow-simmering heat of standing too close to each other and denying their feelings to each other and themselves. Marriage Law creates a desire to be together, an encouragement of those feelings, which for me ruins all of the sexual tension.
I turned the pages quickly in this fic, I was delighted by it many times, but as I’m trying to muster up praise for it, I’m having a hard time thinking of anything specifically that was good. It must have just been the overall quality of the writing that made this fic work for me.
The bottom line: It’s a fantastically written adventure with an in-character Snape and Hermione and lots of wit. Be ready to stomach dumb tragic misunderstanding fights and rushed Marriage Law intimacy.