One-shot of the week: The War by Victory-Starr

The War by Victory-Starr ~A review by Ameri~

“Everyone has a role to play.”

Summary: Snape lectures Harry on the realities of war. Take place after Harry cuts Draco into bloody strips with the sectumsempra spell (in Half Blood Prince.)

Written for the Potions and Snitches 2012 Prompt Fest. Prompts: blood-curdling screams, soggy socks

Why you should read: Victory-Starr’s Snape-dialogue is great. Her concise writing style is fun to read, even though the subject matter is grim. This story is eerie, chilling, and interesting. It made me think and offered a new perspective to consider.

In the end, isn’t that what stories are supposed to do?

Fox Tale and Magic Actually by Sita Z

A Harry Potter fan fiction Author Spotlight by Ameri

Ameri’s featured author of the week: Sita Z at potionsandsnitches.net

Sita Z has written 8 different short-short-stories (1-5 chapters long) featuring a variety of interactions between Harry Potter and Severus Snape. From enemies to allies, Sita Z covers it all.

They range from ridiculous (see Owls in the Garden)  to chilling (see Fox Tale) and all contain sharp insights into Harry and Severus. All of her scenes are well worth a read.

Here are my favorites:

Owls in the Garden by Sita Z

Worried sick about a missing Hedwig, Harry decides to pull one of his more dangerous stunts. Snape has been landed with the job of looking out for the Boy-Who-Lived… but surely he doesn’t know anything about Harry’s missing owl? One-shot. 

Fox Tale by Sita Z

Lucius Malfoy enjoys his family traditions. Severus Snape is stuck with the unpleasant task of rescuing the victims. Until one night a captured boy surprises him… 

Baby in a Box by Sita Z

Every year on Christmas, Harry wants to hear the story of how he arrived at Spinner’s End… in a box.

Magic Actually by Sita Z

In his first year at Hogwarts, Harry is the only Gryffindor who signs up to stay at school for Christmas. At Dumbledore’s suggestion, he is temporarily transferred to the Slytherin dorms so he won’t spend Christmas morning alone. In Severus Snape’s opinion, not one of the Headmaster’s better ideas… 

Pot Luck by Sita Z

Raised to despise magic, eleven-year-old Harry Potter isn’t sure being a wizard is a good thing… although a certain snarky Potions Master might just change his mind.

~

Sita Z has a mini-novel posted as well, called Through a Glass Darkly. It’s going on my reading list!

Image credit goes to Modern Rosies for her fabulous “How To Make Chocolate Frogs” post!

Enjoy!

Digging for the Bones by Paganaidd (work in progress)

Digging for the Bones by Paganaidd (work in progress)

~~~A Fanfic Review by Ameri~~~

Author’s Summary: Rather than allowing Harry to stay at Diagon Alley after he blew up Aunt Marge, the Ministry sends Harry back to the Dursleys. Harry returns to school after a terrible summer, to find that he’s not the only one with this kind of secret. A student has been killed by his family. New screening measures are put into place by the Ministry: Every student must be given a medical exam and interview to look for child abuse. With Dumbledore facing an inquiry, Snape is entrusted with the task of making sure EVERYONE receives one. 

Rating: 16 +

Warnings for: Violence, Self-harm, Suicide themes, Child Abuse, Character Death, AU.

Why You Should Read: Reading this story is like lying underneath a cold, clear winter sky. All at once you want to take shelter from the winter chill, retreat to a comforting cup of safe, predictable hot cocoa, and, strangely enough, to stay, and stare at the mesmerizing stars until you fall asleep to their glow.

It’s like that.

The themes are dark, gritty, and hard to swallow. But the words themselves are majestic.

I read it in literally two sittings, and both went late into the night. All 43 chapters, done in two days. And then I found myself wishing that there were more. Then I set off to read everything else this Paganaidd has ever written.

(It’s also like that.)

Digging for the Bones is about the aftermath of trauma and loss. Paganaidd writes with the wisdom of one who has walked many others through the healing process, and her intelligent, compassionate perspective consistently shines through the story’s dark events.

Plot wise, Digging for the Bones contains all of the classic elements of a good Snape-and-Harry mentor/guardian tale: Snape as healer, a good Occulus Patrernus potion, heartwarming scenes between two unlikely characters, a brilliant Snape-and-Lily friendship.

Having spent a lot of time reading through the potionsandsnitches archive, I (mostly) wasn’t shocked by the plot. And still, I was drawn into the process, comforted by the hope of redemption, and mesmerized by the writing.

Go read it. Go. That’s all I have to say.

A Note of Caution: Please be cautious about reading this if you are currently depressed. Do NOT read it if you have thoughts of self-harm. There are a LOT of dark disturbing images throughout the entire story so far, so please be careful with yourselves as you read.

Overall: Four thoughtful chocolate frogs (out of five)

Read it here.

~

Ameri’s Note: If you or anyone you know is dealing with depression or self-harm, here are some helpful resources:

Information about depression

Suicide Prevention Hotlines (USA)

You are not alone!

(Even some of us here at the Magic Word have struggled with these issues and have come out of them stronger than before. There is hope and it’s not an endless battle.)

Something heartbreaking by phoenixfeatherbird

I (Ameri) just found these lovely little head-cannons and had to share. They’re  bite-sized (anywhere from a sentence to a page long) and they are well worth a read:

Harry Potter Head Cannons by pheonixfeatherbird at WordPress

Also, this head cannon  broke my heart, and prompted me to post this.

I also like this one and this one and this one, for a start.

Warning: Abundance of Dramione references. I might complain if these head cannons weren’t so well-written.

Enjoy!

Laocoon’s Children by Samvimes

Laocoon’s Children by Samvimes

Rating: R

Summary: Sequel to Stealing Harry. Harry starts his first year at Hogwarts after spending 2 years in hiding from Peter Pettigrew. He befriends Neville, Padma, and Draco. The four youngsters get into all kinds of mischief, inlcuding investigating the mysterious package hidden deep within the castle. Unfortunately nothing much has changed in the last two years and Peter Pettigrew is still out to get Harry. What will happen when these two face off once again? 

Why you should read: Samvimes delivers another wonderful story. I don’t think the plot is as well done as Stealing Harry but Samvimes does a great job paralleling canon with his own story. You’ll laugh as Draco gets sorted into Hufflepuff and because he is such a different boy having grown up in a house absent of Lucius. Neville is the brave Gryffindor we have grown to know and love in Canon but is much less awkward. Samvimes creates a great Padma character from scratch who often reminds of us of our own beloved Hermione but much less stuck up. This story is just fun. Read it. My only regret is that it is much less Sirius Black/Remus Lupin centered but you still get a good dose of their relationship in this story as well. It is just not the primary focus. Although Samvimes wonderful Severus Snape makes up for the lack of SB/RL.

3 enthusiastic chocolate frogs out of 4.

The Innocence of Wolves ~ a fanfic review by Ameri

The Innocence of Wolves by GatewayGirl

Summary: (RL/SB) AU. The Prank goes wrong, Severus Snape dies, and the Marauders dispose of the evidence and get away with it — and after that, what can’t you do?

Rated R for Violence.

Ameri’s Review: Welcome to the dark side of the Mauraders. What would happen if our loveable little group of troublemakers decided to go rogue and take justice into their own hands, vigilante-style?

This.

The Innocence of Wolves is short, chilling, and well worth a read. It will leave you debating war-time ethics against yourself all day long. I still can’t get it out of my head.

Four unsettled chocolate frogs (out of five)

Read it here.

The Lost Boys - A Fic Review by Ameri

The Lost Boys by Bil

Story info: Perhaps it was the whimper that broke through the boy’s fear, the evidence that Severus was as human and broken as he. T, AU

A heart-breaking one-shot that involves a young Harry and dying Severus, both imprisoned by Voldemort. It’s a unique twist on a classic premise. Bil’s sparse, poetic writing style makes this well worth a read!

Four and 1/2 chocolate frogs (out of five)

~

For more one-shots by Bil, click here. Well-plotted and well-written, they are great reads for a rainy day!

Spotlight: The Definition of Home

The Definition of Home by oliversnape
~A Harry Potter fan fic review by Ameri~

Setting: Post OOTP. AU, but plays off of HBP.

Synopsis: A very annoyed Severus Snape finds Harry drunk in a park one night. When he drags him home to keep him safe, a series of adventures ensure. An eventual Snape-adopts-Harry fic.

Why you should read: I have read literally every legible Snape/Harry father/son fic currently in existence, and this is the only one I’ve seen that keeps directly to character cannon. The story starts immediately after the events of OOTP, and you feel like the characters have walked straight off of Rowling’s page. Harry is every bit as defiant and surly as you would expect him to be when forced to stay with Severus Snape. He’s also rebelling and grieving more fully than we ever see in cannon. Dumbledore is meddling, but not a demonic chess-master. Snape is every bit as foul-tempered as usual, without apology.

Notes of caution: Though the dialogue is great, the descriptions and actions are clunky at best. By Chapter 10, the writing becomes an absolute jungle. Personally, I found it worth finishing for the excellent, throughly-cannon characterization. I applaud anyone who can build a bridge between Severus Snape and Harry Potter while keeping each character true to form. But I wouldn’t call this an easy read.

Overall: Three chocolate frogs out of four. 

Read it here.

A Handful of Family Fics - recommendations by Ameri

Remember, Remember by Suite Sambo T, AU

Regrouping after Ginny is severely injured, Harry goes on a mission for Minerva and discovers that Snape is alive, is living as a Muggle with no memory of his magical life, and has a daughter Lily’s age. A fun & sentimental journey to bring Severus home.

Along Came a Family by Missyanne T, AU, in progress

Severitus-beginning between years four and five. Harry is overcome with guilt over the death of Cedric Diggory and has isolated himsef from those who care. A strange gift arrives on his fifteenth birthday that changes everything.

Never Say Remember by Malora T, AU

Thirteen-year-old Harry is forced into the body of another Harry in a parallel world, where Snape adopted him years ago. And Snape is enraged to discover that his son has been replaced by a stranger. In our world, Snape discovers a new Harry–one who sees him as a father he never wanted to be. Each Harry must learn to survive in a strange new world, and search for a way home.

Lily’s Charm by ObsidianEmbrace T, AU

Lily and Severus attempt to control the powers of the Dark Mark after Lily’s life is threatened. Seventeen years later, Harry realizes he has no idea who he is. SS/LE H/G

Reviews to come!

Little Lambs Eat Ivy

Little Lambs Eat Ivy by Kelsey Potter

~A Fanfiction Review by Marci~

Summary: Remus and Sirius visit Panera Bread one “date day”. 

Why you should read: This lovely one-shot takes the mundane and turns it into something memorable and cute. You’ll love Sirius’s concern for Moony as the full moon approaches and you’ll feel a rush of angst as Remus tries to tell Padfoot how much he loves him. The pair will make you laugh what with Sirius’s antics and Remus’s pre-moon moodiness. 

Why you may not care: This story has no place in the bigger picture that is Harry’s story. It’s fluff and it’s simply for entertainment. It is solely written for those of us that love a little Padfoot/Moony shipping but don’t want anything more than a glimpse of the fluff. All romance. No sex. 

Four swooning chocolate frogs out of five. 

*A Note on One Shots and Marci’s Reviews*

I am not a one shot fan but I am trying. I tend to rate one-shot fics fairly low in chocolate frogs because I prefer novel length fics and figure anything less than novel length is not worth my time. So if you’re looking for a more accurate rating of one-shot fics, please refer to Ameri’s reviews. 

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