Other Reviewers: Goodreads
About 5 years ago I found the webpage Archive of Our Own and found the world of fanfiction. There are those fan fictions that really feel more like porn with plot, and there are others that take the original world and build an even more varied and elaborate world. One such amazing writer is DebsTheSlytherinSnapeFan.
She has finished 5 full-length novels there and there are many that I still have bookmarked and refresh the page every day to see if there are any updates. In a time where you think that “every possible trope and Harry Potter storyline” has been explored, she manages to provide original content. I have actually begged her to write original work — she’s that good.
Harry Potter is the twin of the “Boy-Who-Lived”, Nick Potter. Pushed into the corner of his family, Harry learns that he is invisible to his family and struggles to find his own indignity and future. He finds his passion — potions and finds another family through a chosen family made of friends and advisors. As the threat of Tom Riddle appears again, will he be able to avoid destiny and find his own path?
Much of the Harry Potter we see in cannon and other fictions is bashed on his experience in the Dursley’s household. His stature and need of approval and “rescue” is one that sets him up as gullible and susceptible to the machinations of Dumbledore. But in this version, we see an independent Harry, one that thinks for himself from the very beginning. Yes, there is a level of abandonment, but we have someone who has the strength of character to believe in himself.
By the time Harry and Nick were three, Harry had learned to do what few other children at the tender age of three should have had to do: he had learned to look after himself, bathe himself, and look after what toys he had. He could, and did, read the books their parents had gotten Nick, who didn’t read them if he could help it. Harry hid them under his bed so nobody could take away from him.
Harry learns at an early age to rely only on himself, adult will always let him down.
Early in on this novel, we only see Severus as an instructor and mentor. This is not a novel that deals with under-age romance, so never fear about that. This version of Severus is one that while, still made a poor choice as a youth, he has the love of his mother. We can see in those story, that Severus having that positive influence, keeps him from being the bully he becomes in the novels.
He was startled when he read the register and realized Harry Potter was in his class. Looking for the boy as he called his name for roll-call, he found him in the corner of the room, ready to take notes after having written down the potion’s instructions. Severus kept an eye on the boy all through the note-taking after roll-call, and right into the brewing after that. The younger Potter twin was brewing his potion with a patience he had only known himself to show for the subject, but was still not sure what to think of the boy.
Severus learns how to be a mentor first, and then as the years pass, he finds he admires the man Harry has become. As the world around them falls apart they learn to trust and lean on each other.
The biggest theme that I get out of this is that your past and family does not define who you are and can be. If you have a rough childhood, instead of letting it control your future, learn from your pain a grow stronger. Both Severus and Harry learn that their past does not define them.
Yes, life despite its tremulous start, had been very good to him in later life, he wouldn’t trade it for anything. He wasn’t invisible anymore…he was loved.
One of the strength of novel is the ability the author has in building a world. The way she adds the layers of the potion world (not see in the movies) is fantastic and keeps it from being like every other Harry Potter fan fiction.
What could be better?
Because there is no editor, there are times within the 580,840 words that a good editing could move the story along. There are some grammar issues as well, not enough to harm my enjoyment, but enough to know that this is not a professional book. Considering that she is doing this for the love of writing, I certainly am not complaining.
This is a Harry Potter fan fiction that have on repeat. If I feel the need to immerse myself into a world for hours at a time, this is my go-to book. And I can say that any of her work should be considered the height of Harry Potter fan fiction.