snapely recs from assorted fests
- pale_moonlite wrote Black Queen, Dark Pawn (NC-17; Bellatrix Black/Severus Snape, past Bellatrix/Narcissa). You may wish to read the warnings beforehand. A fascinating sojurn through Bellatrix's head that, through clear, cutting prose, illustrates the fine line between madness and rationality. It's only fitting that a master Legilmens be brought into the fray, and -- if Bellatrix is interesting, Snape is the true piece de resistance. The author's portrayal of Snape -- ugly and awkward and rude -- is just delicious. Best of all, she cleverly brings out his strengths and weaknesses at once, foreshadowing the Spinner's End argument in HBP, where Snape is coldly able to outmanipulate Bellatrix even when she thinks she's got him cornered.
The speaker emerged from the shadows. It turned out to be that ugly schoolmaster, Snape. Just like him to cite an obscure piece of Norse mythology. She really had to wonder about the Malfoys. To cultivate vulgar customs was one thing – at least they were justified by ancient tradition. But to invite a half-blood upstart like Snape – that was quite another affair.
Bella regarded him curiously. His dress robes had seen better days – presumably sometime around the end of the last century. All those ridiculous buttons, and the high collar that was so tight around his Adam's apple that she marveled at his ability to breathe. His greasy locks didn't improve things, either, concealing most of his face but failing to hide the enormous vulture beak. Yet his worst feature was without doubt his posture. Gaunt and too tall, he stood hunched with his head withdrawn into his bony shoulders. A lamp post, Bella thought, a black-clad lamp post, and the idea amused her to no end. Laughter bubbled up inside her, threatening to break to the surface. And because Snape was a no one, a complete nonentity, she behaved as if she was alone. She threw her head back and let it all out. Wave after wave of glorious laughter.
- Anonymous at Snarry Swap wrote The Winter Out There (NC-17; Snarry). You may wish to read the warnings beforehand. This is a fic that could give you nightmares, especially if you associate bagged human hair with more than its use in Polyjuice. Nonetheless, in only a few thousand words, it captures something essential about Harry and something monstrous and pitiful and desperate about Snape. I won't give an excerpt, as I don't wish to spoil the horrible twist here more than I already have . . .
- igrockspock wrote The Journey of a Thousand Miles (Gen; Severus Snape, Luna Lovegood). What a beautifully told story! The shades here are never very bright; in this post-war world, Luna is isolated even from her father, whom she can't bring herself to forgive for betraying her friends. Seeking a connection to her mother, she tries to recreate the experiment that killed her and ends up taking up an apprenticeship with an even more isolated and estranged Snape, who runs a struggling potions business. Luna is a marvel here, never ridiculous or exaggeratedly silly, but a troubled, searching human being who brings a unique perspective to all she sees, who is strong and unexpected and interesting. Snape is wonderfully bitter. And Xenophilius is troubling and heartbreaking at once, a moral and emotional puzzle for the reader and Luna to solve.
The Daily Prophet was folded on the table; the headline asked, Severus Snape, Friend or Foe? Harry had testified on his behalf, Luna knew, but not even the opinion of the Boy Who Lived could overcome the killing of Albus Dumbledore. Snape couldn't run the shop without her, Luna realized with a start. She had tagged along often with Harry and his friends, and she had been useful, but this was different: Snape needed her. She liked the feeling.
Still, it would be better if he were healthy. Snape's face was so pale it seemed almost bloodless, and Luna still caught him leaning against tables and sagging into chairs when he thought she was not looking. He worked constantly, but at the end of the day, he could not stop his hands trembling. Luna made certain to brew more of the restorative draught than they could sell, and she put the leftovers in a kettle by his favorite chair before she left. If he was not watching, she left behind a sandwich or a bowl of stew from her lunch. Snape never acknowledged these offerings, but the next day, she always found the plates and bowls in her bag, impeccably clean.
On the days when no one visited their shop, which were frequent, Luna brought the restorative draught to her father. He still felt like a stranger to her, but she didn't like how tired he looked, and he had no one to care for him but her.
“I miss you, Luna,” he said one night.
She was on her way upstairs, and he stood in the sitting room, half his face in shadow.
“I know,” Luna said instead of I miss you too. “Give me time. Please.”
“All the time in the world, darling, all the time in the world.”
schemingreader wrote At the Scramble Crossing (NC-17; Snarry). Alright, I know I've recced this before, but I love it so much, this fic means so much to me personally, has made me cry several times -- that I helplessly offer it up to you again, in case you missed it the first time. Severus and Harry exude a palpable loneliness; in Tokyo, of all places, they find each other and, in their own awkward, impulsive, personal ways, begin to discover, in that surprising yet perfectly natural way schemingreader has, essential things about themselves. This is a love story to Tokyo as much as to Severus and Harry; every word is like a fruit, sweet and complex and like a jolt to the senses. I think this reads well together with the story schemingreader and green wrote together earlier last year, Wild Thyme Honey. Both have a similar premise -- Harry finds Snape hidden away in another country after the war, and they recover and heal together in this magical place away from home -- and yet are complementary, in that WTH is told from Harry's perspective, and ASC from Severus'.
schemingreader also wrote Moonlight Saving Time (NC-17; Snupin), a very unusual and interesting alternate universe with a lot of wonderful humour and mystery and snark and the unforgettable appearances of Sirius Black and Lucius Malfoy.
"You read it," Severus said. He put both hands around the teacup.
"Am I your correspondence secretary now?"
"You did bring me tea."
"Future me," Lupin said pedantically, "brought us tea."
"Then immediate-future-you may read the damned letter."
Lupin grinned and opened the parchment.
"That Lucius Malfoy," Lupin said, "is such a dear man. "
"He's writing to tell you that the rest of the Board of Governors would like to meet with you, perhaps to ask you to step down as interim Headmaster in favor of a Ministry appointee, but that he, Malfoy, will support you."
"Reassuring," Severus said, but it came out a little surlier than he'd intended.
"Also, he's going to drop in on you on Thursday at 6PM."
"Shit," Severus commented concisely.
And now for three contributions from the wonderful snapecase:
- Anonymous wrote That Time of Year (R; Severus, Eileen, Remus, Albus, some Snape/Remus). Severus' father is dead. The repercussions of this, of having to go "home" for the funeral, of trying not to think about it and thinking about it and trying not to cry and trying to think about what to teach -- the hysteria and depression and raw pain of fresh grief are convincingly portrayed here, thanks to the beautiful prose and a repetitive structure that just hammers you with Severus' pain.
The home was exactly as he remembered, though he tried very hard not to remember, most of the time. Eileen Snape looked up from the kitchen table as her only son entered the cramped room. Severus felt too big for the space, too big and too nervous. He thought he could touch the opposite walls of the room with both hands if he stretched his arms wide enough. Eileen smiled so briefly he almost missed it.
"You came home," she said, and there was that word again, that word that meant everything to so many people, but meant nothing to him at all. Well no, that was a lie, but not a lie he was willing to dissect at the moment. Instead he simply nodded. He could feel snow melting in his hair. It was an odd sensation.
"Your father's in there," she said finally, jerking her head to the left. Severus moved on lead legs to the small, dim sitting room, now filled to capacity with his father's coffin. The lid was closed, but would be open tomorrow, for the viewing, he supposed. It was very cold in the room, and he wondered why, wondered if it was on purpose, or if she'd forgotten to pay the heating bill. So many things he'd forgotten about living in the Muggle world. He thought about conjuring a fire, just a small one, wondered if she'd object, realized the only reason she had to object was lying dead in the coffin.
- Anonymous wrote Memories, Dreams, Reflections (PG-13; Snape, Remus, Poppy). The incredible suffering of recovery -- of recovering from a cursed gigantic snake bite -- are unflinchingly portrayed here. Severus' courage shines throughout his pain, and though he can barely speak, his actions and expressions speak volumes. A sobering and yet rewarding tale.
Snape was still ensnared in his nightmarish visions, and the sweat that had begun shining upon his face mixed with the silver tears leaking from beneath his closed eyelids, which were darkened by exhaustion.
The terrible sound was suddenly replaced by an almost inaudible exhalation; he had lost the ability to make any use of his damaged vocal cords, and a thin film of blood tinted his teeth pink.
"My God," Lupin said, paling.
"Get me a pain potion, Remus!" Poppy said.
By the time he returned, Snape had awoken, but he didn't seem at all aware of where he actually was. What they saw in the murky depths of his eyes was an unnamable agony, and terror, and despair.
- Anonymous drew Defence Against the Dark Arts. Severus is just wonderful here -- arrogant and supremely focused and calculating and dangerous and yet isolated, inwardly sad. You can read almost everything about his character in this face, he is so multilayered and interesting.
. . . Let me know if I'm reccing too much or too often or not enough. I have a femmeslash rec post planned with some more hoggywartyxmas favourites that I loved so much I haven't been able to overcome my shyness and comment, but can wait to post it for a few days if you need a break. :-)
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