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Review: "Best Laid Plans"
Title: Best Laid Plans
Author: [personal profile] elmyraemilie
Rating: PG
Word Count: 23,800 words.
Content/Warnings: (highlight for spoilers) *Blood and medical procedures.*
Summary: With Voldemort is well and truly dead, Harry discovers that there's quite a list of things to do: come to terms with his house-elf, figure out his Gringotts accounts, find someone to repair the plumbing at Grimmauld Place, fix Severus Snape...

It seemed like such a good idea at the time: save Snape, save the world – not necessarily in that order. And what Elmyraemilie’s "Best Laid Plans" gives us in terrifically entertaining detail is what happens next - after the plan, such as it is, succeeds and Harry is left with a deathly ill fugitive, a crotchety house elf, and an uncharitable goblin bank seeking compensation for damages incurred by flying dragon. These details are so true-to-life that one can’t help but sympathize with poor Harry, an inadvertent secondary school dropout whose ability to strategize is almost nonexistent. But what makes this story come to life is its wonderful characters – a newly no-nonsense George Weasley and a take-charge Molly, both keenly mourning the loss of Fred, a Snape who is beginning to see the world with new, unencumbered eyes, who consoles Molly for Fred’s loss in a way that no one else will, and a surly Kreacher who is doing his very best not to lose all patience with his inexperienced young master. There’s mystery, slow-simmering romance, and all these amazing interactions that will leave you smiling, but what works best here – what the story is about in every meaningful way – is how Harry becomes a man over the course of the story, taking his experiences of the past year and synthesizing them into an adult way of meeting his challenges, and hopes, head-on.


Review: "I’ll Take Less (when I always give so much more)"
Title: I’ll Take Less (when I always give so much more)
Author: Roozette/Roozetter
Rating: R
Word Count: 24,345 words.
Content/Warnings: (highlight for spoilers) *EWE, illness, established relationship*
Summary: Just because you know somebody doesn’t mean you know them. Especially when it comes to family.

There comes a point in Roozette’s incomparable "I’ll Take Less (when I always give so much more)" when Petunia Dursley, wizarding world outcast and now Harry’s only hope for a cure for the disease that is slowly sapping his magic – and his life – away, reveals her surprising friendship with Luna Lovegood. And it is a testament to the author’s complete control of the narrative that this seemingly innocuous eye-opener, and everything the unexpected relationship entails, becomes a heart-clenching moment that has the potential to destroy all of Harry’s and his husband’s hopes for a happily-ever-after. This is a full-blooded Snarry whose Snape is willing to endure the most odious of interactions with his childhood nemesis for Harry’s sake, and their devotion to one another is so clearly born of hard-learned lessons about bravery and sacrifice that Snape’s unflagging support of a physically and increasingly emotionally diminished Harry is utterly believable. But it’s also Petunia’s story, and she is rendered here in such amazing complexity that you can’t help but see her in a different light. This is an unflinching characterization, both sympathetic in its revelation of her motives for events that marred Harry’s childhood, and nearly unforgivable for the love that she nonetheless withheld from the boy. It takes Snape’s strength and his perspective, born of both experience and age, to bring Harry back from the edge of despair over the past, and it is in their reaffirmed love for one another that the story soars.


Review: "Remedial Potions"
Title: Remedial Potions
Author: Acid & Sinick
Rating: NC-17
Word Count: 12,000+ words.
Content/Warnings: (highlight for spoilers) *PWP, with a fistful of fun and fungi.*
Summary: Harry is in need of remedial potions; Snape is in need of remedial relaxation.

Acid & Sinick’s "Remedial Potions" is a truly delightful flight-of-fancy involving the most improbable – and therefore utterly enjoyable – of situations: the rare potions ingredient Puck’s Pestles must be tended, but it so happens that only a virgin can touch them bare-handed without suffering toxic effects. Enter recent Saviour-of-the-world and resident virgin Harry Potter, whose inexperience becomes an asset in more ways than one when Snape almost inadvertently offers him lessons in other remedial subjects. The two embark on an electric dance of sexual discovery (made poignant by a secret that Snape never reveals to Harry) that results in certain mutual realizations about the other. Harry is surprised to find that Snape the man is nearly as sensual and heady as sex itself, whereas Snape is astonished to realize that Harry is not all bluster and bravado, but is instead cheerfully enthusiastic and even unexpectedly acquiescent to all that Snape suggests. What this means to Snape, who has suffered for the sins of his past in decades-long isolation, is expressed in terms so delicate that it might almost be missed amidst the erotic action of the story, but this is where its heart lies and what ultimately makes Remedial Potions such a beautiful tale. Read this and know: you’ll never look at mushrooms the same way again.


Review: "Seeking Familiar Approval"
Title: Seeking Familiar Approval
Author: Suitesamba
Artist: Veridari
Rating: R
Word Count: 5,594 words.
Content/Warnings: (highlight for spoilers) *Humor, romance, acts of animal aggression*
Summary: Harry has a new boyfriend but Harry’s Familiar isn’t too fond of him. To what lengths will Severus go as he seeks Familiar approval?

"Seeking Familiar Approval" represents the perfect meshing of art and prose into a Snarry that is adorable, sexy, and utterly hysterical. Based on evocative artwork by [personal profile] veridari, [personal profile] suitesamba’s story presents a newly intimate Snape and Harry with an entirely unanticipated challenge to their heretofore smooth-sailing romance: a dangerously territorial Hedwig who is determined to keep Snape from laying a hand on his Harry. Snape’s increasing wariness in the familiar’s presence is captured to truly comical effect through attempt after failed attempt to inure Hedwig to Snape’s presence, and the solution that finally proves successful in placating Hedwig inadvertently opens up a whole new giggle-inducing can of worms. Yet, it is the current of growing love, as well as physical attraction, that underpins this story which sets it apart, lending it a charming sentimentality and surprising emotional resonance. This is a lighthearted tale perfect for a sweet summer’s read.


Review: "Sweet Afton"
Title: Sweet Afton
Author: Babygray
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 11,000 words.
Content/Warnings: (highlight for spoilers) *EWE, mild canon bending.*
Summary: Two months after the Battle, Harry packs his bag and goes back in time to save Severus Snape. He plans to arrive a day early. Instead, he overshoots his target date by sixteen years.

Sometimes, I just want to begin a review with the words “this story was really f***ing amazing,” and Babygray’s "Sweet Afton" is absolutely one of those tales. This time-travel fic gives us one of the most well rendered young Snapes I’ve ever read: he’s everything a recently redeemed, relatively recently Hogwarts-graduated, still-Slytherin new professor should be: youthfully arrogant, condescended to by every other professor of his acquaintance, and just on the cusp of bitter, consuming introspection. All of these characteristics are on full display when he meets Harry Potter, fresh from the Battle of Hogwarts and a time-turner mistake that has sent him far into the past. There is little in their early interactions to suggest any softening of Snape’s harsh demeanor save his almost instinctive drive to care for Harry, given eloquent expression in his insistence on giving the young man a haircut in memory of the debt he owes Lily. It isn’t romance, but a kind of mutual appreciation that blossoms between them, brought to a premature and wrenching end when Dumbledore rips the memory of Harry away from both Snape and himself in order to preserve the future, and it is the intervening years between this moment and that in which Dumbledore is murdered and the memories come flooding back that form the intensely satisfying emotional crux of the story. Start this for the author’s incredible Snape, and finish it for the poignant ending – it’s well worth the read.


Review: "That Which Makes Us Weep"
Title: That Which Makes Us Weep
Author: Roozette/Roozetter
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 19,224 words.
Content/Warnings: (highlight for spoilers) *Minor character death, natural causes.*
Summary: After the war the Wizarding World looks to Harry to give them hope. So he does. And Love, Joy, Grief, Understanding, Pain, Courage, and Strength. He makes his living giving pieces of his emotions to the world and is happy to do so, in fact. Until Severus Snape contacts him one day and asks for Redemption.

The central conceit of Roozette’s "That Which Makes Us Weep" – that Harry Potter, ex-Auror, divorced father of three, and pillar of an immense extended family, now creates for sale emotion-infused stones that imbue the buyer with some desired feeling – is at once wonderfully original and a perfect means of exploring both Harry’s life since the war and his slowly evolving relationship with Severus Snape. In the forty years since the Battle of Hogwarts, the two men have encountered one another on multiple occasions, but it is not until Snape commissions a stone imbued with elusive “Redemption” that Harry truly comes to know him; and then, not only through face-to-face encounters that hint at the possibility of something more between them, but particularly through Harry’s repeated attempts to capture a sense of redemption that will resonate with Snape’s own experiences. Add to this warm glimpses of a life positively saturated in family as they contrast with Snape’s hinted-at loneliness and social isolation, and what you have is a delicious recipe for redemption and acceptance of an unanticipated, but all the more welcome for it, kind. The love story that gradually emerges here is a gossamer thread woven through a vibrant tapestry of familial relations, gaining in strength as Harry coaxes Snape into his life and Snape allows himself to be coaxed. This is a tale to be savored for its homey, heartwarming comforts – truly beautiful.

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