Arsinoe de Blassenville

The Prefect's Portrait (Harry Potter)

Reviewed by Kathryn A on 9th December 2008 (2)
Tags: Novel, AU, Angst, Worldbuilding
Characters: Severus Snape, Lily Evans, Hermione Granger

Summary: Hermione's quest for a quiet place to read leads to the discovery of a remarkable portrait. The girl in the picture meant so much to so many. She is remembered as a devoted wife and loving mother, but what was she like at sixteen? Will her reappearance change everything?

I really like this. An intriguing premise, an unpredictable plot, well-balanced characterisations, and some interesting theories that explain certain things better than canon did. Slytherins aren't portrayed as automatically evil, but they're still very Slytherin; they have their own reasons and reasoning for doing the things they do.

Another thing that raises this story above the average is that the ending isn't an unalloyed happy ending; not everybody gets what they want, not everybody lives.

Best Revenge

(1) The Best Revenge (Harry Potter)

Reviewed by Kathryn A on 6th November 2010 (2)
Tags: Novel, AU, Reconciliation, Abusive Dursleys
Characters: Severus Snape, Harry Potter

Summary: AU. Yes, the old Snape retrieves Harry from the Dursleys formula. I just had to write one. Everything changes, because the best revenge is living well. T for Mentor Snape's occasional naughty language. Supportive Minerva.

There's a lot of good stuff in this.

An important part of this is the way that first impressions of people influence things in a different way: Snape sees Harry's resemblance to Lily, Ron behaves like a git, Neville gets Harry's sympathy because of the way his Gran bullies him, and most interesting of all, the completely different relationship that Harry develops with the Malfoys.

Various canon characters who are barely anything but names are fleshed out as supporting characters. Lots of little touches, like getting a glimpse of Houses other than Gryffindor, some intriguing world-building about Runes, and a particularly influential Hogwarts club.

Our Heroes still get into trouble; after all, Quirrelmort is still the DADA teacher...