Review: 42 Flower Lane
Title: 42 Flower Lane
Word Count: 3,250 words
Content/Warning(s): (highlight for spoilers) *None*
Summary: Severus Snape visited Harry Potter every Thursday evening and stayed for just under one hour. Someday they planned to tell each other the truth, but they were still living in the days before 'someday'.
The Harry/Severus dynamic is rich in angsty potential, not least because each has been deeply wounded - both physically and emotionally. It's when their respective pain drives them to a place of insecurity that angst blossoms, something brought to heartrendingly beautiful life in leela_cat's "42 Flower Lane." The title refers to the address of a brothel run by a wonderfully sympathetic Pansy Parkinson, who allows Harry to meet Severus once a month for what Severus - we think - believes to be a Polyjuiced sexual encounter with a Harry lookalike. But the Severus we know is smarter than that, and it is each man's secret understanding of what's really going on that's at the heart of the story. It's not that they both know the truth about "Harry," but that neither can bring himself to admit it to the other that is the the achingly beautiful irony of "42 Flower Lane." The trust that exists here between Harry and Severus is both absolute and entirely conditional, both ripe and as-yet green and unpalatable to either man. It's an unresolvable contradiction, and one that brings the bittersweetness of this pairing into sharp relief.
Review: as the wind behaves
Title: as the wind behaves
Word Count: 18,553 words
Content/Warning(s): (highlight for spoilers) Chan, 17 *Harry is not quite 18.*
Summary: Harry thinks he knows what he wants. Snape is unwilling to oblige him.
Caecelia's Snape is ugly and angry. He's suspicious and paranoid, and he especially doesn't trust Harry Potter. Harry, who has saved a still-living Snape in the aftermath of the Wizarding war, does trust Snape and suspects he may love him. Thus begins this lovely, lyrical work that I have come back to again and again since first reading it, finding something new - some little nugget of heartbreaking beauty - every time. What makes this story so successful and appealing is the way it makes the case for a romance between an unattractively irascible older man and a callow war hero. As in many post-DH stories, it is Harry's viewing of Snape's memories that is the catalyst for his newfound feelings; in contrast with many of those stories, however, Harry here contrasts Snape's idealized Lily, in all her confident cruelty, with himself, arguing that he loves the man better than she ever did. Against all appearances, Harry understands that he and Snape are something like kindred spirits, and he wages a full-out campaign for Snape's affections. When Snape inadvertently reveals more of his inner turmoil than he intends, it is a moment that is made all the more powerful for its subtlety. This is a romance unaided in any way by Snape, and, because of this, the small concessions that Harry wins along the way - tentative and changeable though they may be - have the emotional resonance of sweeping declarations. Aching, bittersweet love and lyrical language make "as the wind behaves" a true treasure.
Review: Sing A Mad Rebellion
Title: Sing A Mad Rebellion
Word Count: 56,000 words
Warning(s): (highlight for spoilers) *Non-Snarry pairing (non-explicit), het mentions, bisexuality, minor character death, politics, semi-epilogue compliance, violence*
Summary: The State Security Forces come not in the middle of a dark night as one might expect, but on a bright, sunshiny Sunday morning just after the sausages are set on the kitchen table.
This is not your slightly-older-sister's Snarry. At first glance, "Sing A Mad Rebellion" sounds like an AU: set in 2019, it situates the Wizarding world in an impeccably-rendered contemporary setting in which Harry Potter, MP for the Diagon Diaspora, and Severus Snape, leader of the underground English Liberation Army, meet again after nearly two decades, first as adversaries, later as allies, and ultimately as lovers. Here, Harry is seen by the Wizarding world as the turncoat face of the fascist Muggle government, while Snape's role in the rebellion has become the stuff of modern legend, and it is this reversal of roles which is but the first of many revelations.
Yet, while "Sing A Mad Rebellion" may seem like AU, it's not - and that's a big part of its brilliance. The author weaves the familiar Wizarding world into the contemporary dystopia of an England ruled by the Coalition government through details that render it both recognizable and - because of that - all the more horrifying in its targeted decay. In the end, it's the familiar territory of Snape and Harry's relationship that sees the reader through what can, at times, be a harrowing read. What begins as a frail friendship, brought to life with references to the past that resonate even in this future, becomes something beautiful and rich as Harry and Snape learn to work together and trust one another anew. A little bit V for Vendetta, a little bit State of Play, and very, very Snarry, this is an amazing, and amazingly well-rendered, story, the perfect read for a long trip (let the masses have their Tom Clancy!) or just a quiet weekend.