This story was intriguing, and I found myself trying to figure out the logic puzzle as I was reading (though needless to say I did not get it right). I liked this snippet from Half Blood Prince told from Hermione’s point of view, and I enjoyed the small references to canon events that showed the story was compliant with the novels. It really did feel like a scene from the series; that is, if the series had been told by Hermione’s point of view.
What stood out the most in this story was your characterization of Snape. I was thoroughly impressed by your ability to capture his way of speaking and word choice so accurately. Snape has always been a difficult character for me to write in fan fiction, as it seems to be with many authors. My favorite was the line from the beginning, when Hermione first enters the detention room:
"And why, Miss Granger, did you do that, when I have warned you time and time again to keep your abominably large mouth closed?"
Perhaps it was because this line was one of the first I read from Snape, but it made me smile. His words here reminded me so much of the first class Harry has with him, when Snape says that line about how he hopes the entire class isn’t comprised of ‘dunderheads.’ It’s that sort of shocking statement that is so Snape that I think you captured wonderfully in this piece. Great job on that front, it was mind-blowingly accurate.
I was worried at first that this story was going to be a Snape/Hermione pairing, but you’ve taken a really unique turn with this. I like the idea of Snape teaching Hermione something about her own narrow-mindedness (although one could argue that Snape suffers from the same character flaw). It’s always been one of my favorite Snape moments in Half Blood Prince when he manages to teach Harry something about dueling as he’s fleeing with Draco from the castle. I thought you did a great job of showing his not-so-malevolent intentions in how he (albeit rudely) shows Hermione what she needs to fix to be a better student.
Wonderful job with this story, Vorona! I really enjoyed it.
Author's Response: Dear Ariana, Thank you for the wonderful review! The duelling scene in Half Blood Prince is one of my favorite scenes as well, and probably one of the inspirations for this little scene. I'm also glad that you felt the story seemed like a real part of the novels: this is one of the times I've tried to do that. Many other times, I focus on trying to create something different, but this one I wanted to be very realistic. I'm also very flattered that you like my characterisation of Snape. It sometimes feels too easy to write him, like I have my own version of Snape. It's good to know he came across as authentic to you as well. Thanks again!
Hi there Spew Buddy!!
Well, I have to say you have an amazing insight into Snape’s character, and you write him perfectly, something not many fanfiction authors can do. Saying that, Hermione was also amazingly characterised. I think one of the aspects I loved most of this story was how effortless and natural the dialogue between them sounded.
You start building tension and creating atmosphere straight from the start. Hermione’s tentative approach; the gloom and fumes in the room; that heavy moment when “he simply stared at her”. It was lovely to read, and set up the tension very well indeed.
The way Snape was trying to help Hermione fight the war while at the same time staying snide and mean was great. I love how in the same speech he can insult her and take points from Gryffindor and also want to help her in the coming battle. His only redeeming quality in this series is the fact that because of his love for Lily, he will do whatever it takes to save Harry and help him win. And so, bringing Hermione into it is perfect since she is part of the trio.
I was very curious to see the riddle. Of course, I didn’t have any of the background as to what you based this fic on, but it was intriguing nonetheless. Ah, it was an old trick. Like that riddle about “A plane crashes on the border of x and y country. Where are the survivors buried?” Of course, the survivors aren’t buried anywhere. I can completely see Hermione not thinking about wizards not having letterboxes. Snape’s evaluation of Hermione’s mind is so very true – we can see clearly in Deathly Hallows that he mind is very closed to certain concepts.
Oh wow, what a twist with Hermione revealing the secret of the HBP book! I didn’t see that coming at all. And Snape then telling Hermione she had to stop Harry from using the book. It was so in character, yet another example of Snape looking out for Harry without Harry being aware of it.
Well, what a lovely little one-shot that was. I really enjoyed reading it! It could have easily happened in canon, and that’s the biggest compliment I can give.
Your Spew Buddy
Author's Response: Oh, I'm so glad you liked it. I spent a lot of time on it, but some parts -- like Snape's dialogue -- came very easily to me. I am glad you think both Hermione and Snape are in character. Thank you once again for the wonderful review. It made me very happy!
While I do find it rather hard to believe that Snape would admit all of that to Hermione and that Hermione would tell Snape about Harry's book, this was an interesting take on Snape's character, and Hermione's. I did enjoy the riddle and the way Hermione's logic was pulverized into nothingness by the very Slytherin answer. :D And well-written, too! :)
Author's Response: Thanks! I see what you mean about Snape, and I'm glad you liked the riddle and the Slytherin answer.
This story is pretty good. I think Snape could have been a bit more critical, but I like the book part at the end. Good job.
Author's Response: Thanks for the comment. I'll think about how to make Snape more critical. That's a good point!
Clever logic problem. :) I really enjoyed this 'missing scene', and liked how Severus was 'teaching' even though class was not going. Good work!
Author's Response: Thanks! I had a lot of fun writing it.
I'm impressed! I've always LOVED Hermione's character, but I do agree that one of her main weaknesses is her innate faith in her own intelligence. She does have a slight bit of arrogance, and I can see how that would be a problem in a battle situation. Good work!
Author's Response: Thanks. I'm not sure it's faith in her intelligence so much as not being able to see obvious options that she has (thinking of how she forgets she can make "sunlight" in the first book) - that is, she has trouble thinking on her feet. I have that problem, myself, and it really would be important in battle situations. I'm glad you liked it!