December 22nd, 2011


I've got a splitting headache and fear I don't make any sense, but these stories are such absolute gems that you would be missing out not to have read them.

- [ profile] hoggywartyxmas has opened and begun posting, and wow, did the fest begin with a bang! A Change of Plans for [personal profile] delphi (Snape/McGonagall, NC-17) is a masterpiece of prose. Told by an omiscient and personable narrator with great self-awareness, the story flirts with all sorts of literary devices (intertextuality, narrative voice, questions of representation - how much do I or do I not tell?) while being more than witty or sexy or psychologically realistic, while managing to tell us something essential about these two intensely private, powerful and scathingly intelligent people. I am not doing justice to this with words. Just go read it.

- Father to the Man by Anonymous for [personal profile] bethbethbeth at [community profile] snapelyholidays (Snape/Filch, R). Author's Summary: A restricted spell goes awry, and Severus Snape is left scrambling to cover his tracks. Meanwhile, Argus Filch turns out to be surprisingly good with small children, the nature of time is proven to be fiddly and anyone's guess, and (at least one) Severus gets a second chance at life.

I have my suspicions as to who wrote this - *eyes f-list slyly* - but no matter. This is a story to be savoured over and over again. Severus, obsessed with the idea of seeing Lily, ends up summoning himself as a child by means of a botched spell involving a holy well. Argus is on hand to help, and good thing too, for Severus' self-hatred and emotional instability are as dangerous to the child as to himself. I don't want to give too much away, but let me say at least this: Every line of this story is a story in itself, and yet the prose is by no means unnatural or self-conscious or distorted by pretentiousness -- on the contrary, the prose is as humble and calm and pragmatic, as simply beautiful, as Argus and Severus themselves. The motifs of seeing and not-seeing, of misjudging and falling and being rescued just in time, represented by the emblem of the well, are woven throughout the story with great deftness. Reading this is like healing yourself with a magical balm, it's that wonderful.

There were several other pieces I loved at [community profile] snapelyholidays but have not yet had the time to review. Let me briefly list my favourites here:

- gift art by Anonymous for [personal profile] fluffyllama (Snape/Moody, NWS). The loveliest and most thought-provoking Snape/Moody art I've seen. There are three panels, so don't forget to click ahead.

- At the Scramble Crossing by Anonymous for [info]7types (Snape/Harry NC-17). Author's Summary: Harry learns that Snape has found work at the Genius Bar at an Apple Store, far from home, and tracks him down. I think I know who wrote this, another one of my favourite authors. In any case, while the premise and wonderfully realised Japanese setting alone should catch your interest, the dialogue itself is so lovely, so natural and convincing, that you'd be missing out not to read this.

- To Some a Gift for [info]akatnamedeaster by Anonymous (Snape/McGonagall NC-17). Author's Summary: After Voldemort's first defeat, Severus has a great deal to atone for. Minerva finds a way to help him. I loved this story. It's difficult to speak of it without giving away spoilers, but let's just say that I very much enjoyed seeing the author's take on two particular dynamics: Snape/Dumbledore and Snape/McGonagall.

- Bumblethwacker, Broken Nose and the Wizard's Finger by Anonymous for [personal profile] delphi (Snape/Aberforth, adult). The wit in this story would be reason enough to read it, but it was the subtle and utterly convincing portrayal of these two men that stole my breath away. The story also has a fabulous structure. Albus, for example, is conspiciously absent and in his absence even more present - not easy to represent, yet masterfully done so here. Really worth a read, even if you've never thought about this pairing before.

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