The Basics: Half-Blood Prince Era, Parenting/Humor, 200k
Warnings: Underage (VERY underage), Original characters
Here we are, my first Dreadful rated fic. I feel like the word ‘dreadful’ is so cruel; I have been hesitant to make that category because of it. I do want to use the Harry Potter school marks as my ranking system, though, and this fic was worse than the fics in the next rating up, so it seemed appropriate.
I knew from the first chapter that this story was terrible. It is one I would have immediately stopped reading if it weren’t for the purposes of review. As it was, I started skimming immediately (which I don’t think I’ve ever done before; I at least give it a few chapters.) I found nothing positive to report in any of the chapters.
This is one of those stories that was written by someone very young, very inexperienced, and one who is probably an S-type rather than an N-type in Myers-Briggs. That is to say, focused on tradition and details of every day life rather than the intuitive mysteries of soul, spirit, and complex interpersonal dynamics. As a result, the story is a very basic laundry list of tropes and boring scenes from every day life. It’s what Snape and Hermione would look like through the lens of an ESFJ pre-teen; focused on traditional family, parenting, and shopping. Shudder.
I left off the ‘romance’ tag for this story because there is literally no romance. The story starts with Hermione being pregnant in her Seventh Year, in a relationship with Snape, crying about being pregnant and having her life ruined. Leaving aside the absurdity of the Brightest Witch of Her Age and a Potions Master ‘accidentally’ getting pregnant, we still have a non Marriage Law, non-necessary, non-coerced relationship between Hermione and Professor Snape that has advanced as far as pregnancy in her Seventh Year (Pedophile!Snape, apparently.) ALL THIS IN THE FIRST CHAPTER. The story is essentially over at that point from my perspective, as I read for rising romantic tension. Then, it somehow gets even worse – by the end of the chapter, we have them get in a stupid argument over nothing and decide to never speak to each other again. What?
The story picks up 11 years later when Hermione’s daughter ‘Janie’ starts attending Hogwarts. She feels it necessary to warn Snape as he doesn’t know that Janie his daughter. I thought, “Okay, maybe the romance is going to start here, as they fall back in love with each other, this could work.” But no, they’re magically in love and living together as a family in just a few more chapters. Mind you, this fic is 200k. We’re about 10k in and we’ve already established all of this. Why keep reading? What else could possibly be in these pages? The brief answer to that question – nothing.
The long answer to that question – Janie’s adventures with all of her original character friends at school, Hermione telling everyone about her and Snape, Rita Skeeter meddling, Dumbledore taking off 150 points from Slytherin as Snape’s punishment for getting Hermione pregnant in her Seventh Year (ARE YOU SERIOUS), some people get kidnapped and rescued, Hermione’s pregnant again, Hermione telling people that she’s pregnant again (seriously, there’s like a scene for every minor character in the books learning this. Fred Weasley gets a scene.) Snape fighting like a child with a bully who upsets Janie, they have a boring wedding and go on a boring honeymoon, Janie’s Patronus memory is the night she found out Snape was her dad; then they all tear up and go get ice cream. Just nothing upon nothing upon nothing. There is absolutely zero reason to turn a page in this story.
And here’s something else – the ending to the final chapter is NO DIFFERENT than the ending to all of the other chapters. It’s titled ‘Epilogue’, but since there was literally no story to wrap up, it just ends. Oops, author, you accidentally ended your story in the seventh chapter, although you didn’t seem to realize it.
Let me be clear – I really am fine with light-hearted fics, and with Classic Era fics, and even ones with a childish perspective. But in all of those, there needs to be something of value, something to hold on to. Something that feels like Snape and Hermione. There is nothing here.
The bottom line: My first ‘Dreadful’ rated fic. Not only is the writing terrible, but the characterizations are so incredibly wrong that I was very nearly offended by it.