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The Incredible Snapecase, Part Two

 Yesterday was spent being ridiculously domestic - I scaled Mt. Washmore (geez, how do 3 people generate so bloody much laundry?), baked cookies (oatmeal cherry pecan), dusted and vacuumed (but not in pearls and high heels) and made homemade sauce for the eggplant parmesan I made for dinner.  I also got my butt kicked in Monopoly by a pair of kids.  I have come to the conclusion that I am not the Gordon Gekko type, but that junior oligarchs are *ruthless*.   ::wonders where she went wrong::

In any event, I was too exhausted at the end of all of that to finish mysnapecase rec post.  But, as I am home all day today for various reasons, I can resume my flail.  And as my previous post's musical selection was roundly dissed, there shall be no biting dogs nor stinging bees (are you feeling sad?) in this post.  (Hey, at least it wasn't The Lonely Goatherd.::g::)  No siree - THIS post gets the the highbrow treatment.  Just excuse me for a moment while I warm up (memememememememeeeeeee) and slip on this kimono.

As someday it may happen that a great Snape fic must be found,
I've got a little list - I've got a little list
Of truly lovely stories that should be above ground,
And would certainly be missed - they surely would be missed!
There's the funeral for Min that returns Sev back to Scot Land,
Young Sev and Lils and a Snaco fic that's anything but bland,
Sev in dementia's clutches and strung out on potion dreams,
A story of a Baron's ghost and a fic that rends heart's seams,
And Amelia Bones the Auror - I've got her on the list,
And they'd all of them be missed - they'd all of them be missed!

Thank you, thank you.  ::bows while dodging rotten fruit::  That sound you are hearing is W.S. Gilbert rising from his grave in righteous wrath.  And as I expect the punishment to fit the crime, before I become a wand'ring minstrel,  here's the recs my bastardization hinted at:

Servitude and Service:  This is Severus in the aftermath of Lily's death, coming to the realization that both his masters have failed him (and, in Dumbledore's case, Lily - the reason he promised him 'anything') and that he needs to choose what purpose he will serve in pursuit of that 'anything'.  This strongly characterized and insightfully written portrait deftly shows that process in a way that has the feel of canon, as he makes an alliance with Amelia Bones without Dumbledore's knowledge, shoulders the responsibility of being Head of Slytherin in spite of his youth and sorts through what went wrong at Godric's Hollow and what he might learn from it.  Yes, he will serve Dumbledore, but on his on terms and for his own reasons.  This is going in my 'obviously canon' file.

Funeral For a Friend:  Yes. Well, I'm a sucker for fics about the the relationship between Severus and Minerva, whether as friends or lovers, and this falls firmly into the friendship category - even though one of those friends has passed on and is calling on the other for one last act of devotion.  In this lovely story, Severus comes to terms with more than Minerva's death as he prepares for her funeral, and, as often happens at such times, finds that when some things end, others now have room to begin.  This story even has a soundtrack (be still, my tartan heart!) of pipe music, as fits this meditative and subdued piece.

To Dwell On Dreams:  This was another 'major league flail' piece, where I was so awestruck by the premise and its execution that I couldn't do anything but leave some inane remark that was utterly inadequate to convey my admiration.  The story begins with an hallucination, brought on by an overdose of a potion Severus has been taking to find some comfort in his grief and guilt over Lily's death.  But this potion is a liquid Mirror of Erised, just as addictive - and he has been taking it for a year.  What follows is harrowing - not just in its vivid recreation of the potion-induced psychosis he is forced to endure to break his addiction, but what lies underneath:  the justifications and gut-wrenching emptiness and loss which caused him to seek it out in the first place, and his toxic relationship with Dumbledore, who seems on the surface to care, but is who using this as just another means of manipulating Severus ever further under his control.  It's devastating.

The Northern Sky in Winter:  This piece is just extraordinary for all that it's a sadly common situation.  An aged Severus, married for many years to Hermione, has begun to suffer from dementia.  He forgets little things, loses objects right in front of him, forgets what is was doing in the middle of doing it - anyone who has seen a loved one suffer through this knows what's coming, but somehow they overlook it until comes the devastating day when Severus temporarily cannot remember who Hermione is.  As Severus and Hermione deal with the trials his decline brings, and he adopts one of the most beautiful methods of attempting to hang on to his memories I've ever heard of.   And in spite of everything, the end when it comes is comforting and fitting for a life lived in great courage and love.  ::sniff::  Sorry -  this fic needs a Hanky Warning.

No Pepper-Up for the Brave:  I have noticed that I have two types of flail - one in which I can't say two coherent words I feel so Stupified in the aftermath, and the other in which I can't shut the eff up and quote every lovely line that struck me back at the author and still not get at the heart of what I loved so. Sigh. Both kinds make me look like an idiot, so I've got to figure out an alternative, like becoming articulate.  And no I don't know what triggers each peculiar reaction.  This one generated Patented Lark Flail #2.  Christ, I loved this story - every little thing about it: it's pragmatic take on an 11/12 year old Severus who does not yet feel as if he is on perpetual Pepper-Up (the author's description, 'like a boiling cauldron, full of angry broth and ready to spill over' is a pretty cogent description of the adult he will become), the still close friendship between he and Lily and the way just being at Hogwarts is tearing it apart, true to themselves minor characters, the twisted morals of the wizarding world laid bare, and a story which reads like both a slice of day-to-day life at a school of magic and a fairy tale.  Wonders abound here and I just wish I could describe them better.  Just go read.

Unbreakable:  I feel about Snaco the same way I feel about Snarry: I have a very difficult time suspending disbelief, so a fic has to be really good in order to get past my serious objections and allow me to fall into it.  This one actually works, and I loved the whole set-up here.  It starts in a period of estrangement between them, when Severus, believing that they are both acting under the influence of the Unbreakable Vow he took and under pressure from a Lucius who wants Draco to marry and produce an heir, has acted in what he believes to be Draco's best interests and pushed him out of his life - to the misery of them both.  This all takes place in a different sort of post-war milieu than we're used to finding him in and the subplot here is a big part of what makes the story so compelling.  Severus is living with his mother in the ancestral Prince family cottage in Cornwall.  She is ill, suffering from cirrhosis acquired as result of her disastrous marriage to Tobias, and Severus is caring for her.  She is being courted by a village man - a muggle who sets Severus's teeth on edge, more because of the baggage he's carrying than any particular objection to the man.  I like this Eileen, and the all relationships here seem very real and are beautifully drawn and the happy ending very satisfying.  

The Living and the Dead:  This amazing (cue Lark Flail #1), intense story is told from the Bloody Baron's POV.  This perspective is compelling, interweaving the tale and fate of the Baron with that of the boy he notices among his Slytherins right away, and whom he cannot resist befriending despite custom otherwise.  We see Severus filtered through the Baron's eyes and experiences and he sees what Severus will become and cannot stop it.  The writing is lyrical, insightful, heartbreaking, beautiful. 

In Infinite Remorse of the Soul:  And last, but definitely not least, the unarguably Best of Show.  I don't even know where to start (cue Flail #1 again.  Arrgggh!).  The very first scene grabs you like the hook behind the navel of a Portkey and you are on a powerful, infuriating, corrosive tour of Severus's life and death from the inside of Albus Dumbledore's head.  This is one of those fics where I'd just like to sit at the feet of the person who wrote this and worship - it is simply unbelievable.  I don't necessarily buy part of the premise, which is that Severus is in love (or at least, in lust) with Harry; the author just hasn't sold me (and I realize that I'm a hard case :-) ).  But that's about the only flaw in this for me.  It's indicative of the sheer strength of this story that this flaw nevertheless does not in any way dilute the power of these etched-in-acid portraits of the two.  The words sing and dance and burn as they spin the tale.  I could throw superlative after superlative at this and still not do it justice.  A great and terrible beauty, indeed.

Well, that's it for Snapecase, and I've never been so sorry to see a fest end.   But, I've got hp_beholder  to look forward to, especially since I know there's a bunch of you writing for it, so it's bound to be outstanding.  

With various interruptions, this has taken me nearly the whole day to do, and now it's time to put my little maid from school to bed.  'Night, all!



( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 1st, 2011 03:50 am (UTC)
Aaahhhh....yep, I'll take G&S over R&H any day. (Although the rhymes in "Lonely Goatherd" are inspired -- goatherd/table d'hote heard // goatherd/load to tote heard -- ahahaha).

Anyway, I'd rather be warbling "I've Got a Little List." Except for that line about "that singular anomaly, the lady novelist." (love your version)

And I just love it when my flisties and I have the same reactions to the fics of a fest /g/. Most of the snapecase stories you've selected are my favorites, too. I agree: a great fest that I hate to see end. (Are you going to try the guessing poll? I'm not sure I'm familiar enough with most of the writers to have any idea.)

In general, I have the same problem you do with Snarry and Snape/Draco -- finding the pairings believable (although I've written Snape/McG, so who am I to talk? /g/ Of course, I find SS/MM a more plausible couple than Snarry and Snaco, but I would, wouldn't I, since they "speak" to me when the others usually doesn't.)

But having said that, I'll also say that in the hands of a good writer, Snarry can be very powerful and even convincing. And I've read several fabulous stories by fine authors.

Ironically, I can more easily believe that Snape would be attracted to Harry than the other way around. (I say 'ironically,' because I think in many cross-gen situations, it's more usually the younger person attracted to the less-interested older.) But in the case of Snarry, I can sort of see Snape being attracted to Harry's power. Attraction to power is partly what brought Snape's personal moth to the flames of Voldemort and Albus. But I think it would be much harder for Harry to get past his hatred of Snape. After the war, Harry might respect SS more, but even knowing his true allegiance, he (Harry) might have a hard time getting over their hate-filled past.

So, yeah, both pairings are tough sells, especially if the boys are still school-age (I have less trouble buying a premise of "Harry runs into Snape when Harry is over 30.")

Still, as you say, "Infinite Remorse" is so powerful that it just burns away any objection.

And I'm impressed by your domestic day. I didn't do any professional or fannish work yesterday, either, but the procrastination it didn't translate itself into laundry, vacuuming, or cookies!

(*goes away humming a fun mix of "Sev in dementia's clutches and strung out on potion dreams / all people who eat peppermint and puff it in your face. . .*)

Edited at 2011-02-01 03:51 am (UTC)
Feb. 6th, 2011 08:24 pm (UTC)
Although the rhymes in "Lonely Goatherd" are inspired --

Odl lay ee, old lay ee
Odl lay hee hee, odl lay ee
Odl lay odl lay, odl lay odl lee, odl lay odl lee
Odl lay odl lay odl lay ee HOO!

Ooops. ::blushes:: Got carried away there. ::g:: And yes, if you hadn't guessed it, I am a former high school musical Maria. Those songs will be burned into my brain until it I die. Perhaps they will haunt me on the other side of the veil as well.

Are you going to try the guessing poll? I'm not sure I'm familiar enough with most of the writers to have any idea. No. I do have *some* dignity (though not much) to preserve. Other than getting you right as the author of Right Nor Wrong, I have never once correctly identified the author of a story. I am not likely to be in any danger of spoiling my near-perfect track record. :-P

But having said that, I'll also say that in the hands of a good writer, Snarry can be very powerful and even convincing. And I've read several fabulous stories by fine authors. Yes. I can think of several off of the top of my head (the ne plus ultra of which is The White Road. But only the best of the best seem to do it for me. I can't deal with Snape as pedophile (and no matter how you slice it, a man in his mid to late 30s lusting after a 16 year old or younger boy is pedophilia) - it is so completely out of character it doesn't matter how well written the rest of it is. I have difficulty with Harry in particular because of all of the baggage that he represents. It's difficult for me to see Severus getting past all of that to fall for someone who is the embodiment of so many of his life's failures, green eyes or no.

So long
I leave and heave a sigh and say goodbye

Feb. 1st, 2011 06:53 am (UTC)
Oh, Lark, you nearly made me spew croissant flakes across my keyboard with those lyrics! Funny how some songs I don't mind having stuck in my head. G & S get the earworm seal of approval. And now I've got a grin from inner ear to inner ear. ---> :D

Ah, I'm so behind on snapecase! I'm looking forward to catching up on fics and whipping my comment muse into shape. Four more to go, right? Iuls revised the posting schedule, and the fest should end on Feb. 4th. More to look forward to! Time to read back over earlier postings! \o/

I just now pushed my final crack_broom rec out into the world to fend for itself, which took immense willpower. I saved the best for last (I was reccing Snarry, so don't rush right over - or, no, I take that back, you might give that last one a gander). It's such a monumental fic that all I could do was flail around and make lists of why it's so fabulous. Phew. Reccing is thirsty work. *guzzles tea*

I entirely agree with you on No Pepper-Up for the Brave and To Dwell on Dreams, and I've got the rest lined up before me for later this week, when I can *knock wood* immerse myself at my leisure. I've been tapped for crack_van recs in February, so I can't quite lay down the mental quill just yet. Maybe if I reined in my tendency to ramble, I'd be able to squeeze in more feedback, y/y?

Affinities are inexplicable things. I think I've confessed this to you before, but I can't see Snape/Lupin at all, so I understand why you can't see Snape/Harry. Even for me, the pairing has to be written a certain way or I find it a dubious proposition.

Speaking of Snape (which I do rather often): your icon is loverly. And I feel as though you put Show of Hands on your playlist just for me! *swings you around*
Feb. 6th, 2011 09:27 pm (UTC)
Oh, Lark, you nearly made me spew croissant flakes across my keyboard *\o/* Well, *that's* a compliment and a half! :-D

G & S get the earworm seal of approval It's a good thing, too, because I've had The Mikado on about constant play in my head since I wrote this. A more humane Mikado never did in Japan exist:: As earworms go ::Titwillow, titwillow, titwillow::, it's tolerable, but it is possible to overdo ::Here's a how do you do!:: even a good thing. Oh, bother the flowers that bloom in the spring! Tra la la la la, Tra la la la la, Tra la la la la la!:: XD

I hope ypu've got caught up, because there were a few in those last two weeks that were just amazing (see recs above), and there's one (Wherewithal) among the last few that I wish I'd waited this post on.

Speaking of Snape (which I do rather often): your icon is loverly. And I feel as though you put Show of Hands on your playlist just for me! *swings you around*

veridari made him. Gorgeous, isn't he? And yes, you are directly responsible for Show of Hands getting dusted off and put back into rotation. Gotta love any group that has a great song about evolution! But there are so many terrific songs on Roots that I opted for that over Arrogance Ignorance and Greed or Country Life, which are the other two discs I have. I love Steve Knightly's voice, too. ::swings you back::
Feb. 1st, 2011 07:06 am (UTC)
Sigh, I wanna read through these but I gotta go beta a friend's work ( she does GREAT work by the way ) and I hate the fact that I read the first part of your post cause now I'm fiedning for oatmeal cookiees and feeling very guilty about my own Mt. Washmore, lol.
Feb. 1st, 2011 03:58 pm (UTC)
I'm blessedly unfamiliar with G&S, so while I admire your poetic powers, the other inmate of Spinners End can still sip his whiskey in peace. No risk of me screeching along.

I've bookmarked both your recposts, and I'll start reading as soon as you attach the time order form (you did know that delectable posts such as this should have an orderform of sorts [poll or little header window] where one can order the necessary time for the amount of fics one wants to read? They told you that much about LJ, I hope?)

Feb. 2nd, 2011 11:53 pm (UTC)
snapecase has two more days of posting, then the Guess the Future Game, and then the Reveal.

Thank you on behalf of my authors creators; your enthusiastic reviews and recs have been wonderful to read!

Edited at 2011-02-02 11:54 pm (UTC)
Feb. 9th, 2011 06:54 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for the rec. Very happy you enjoyed the story. I'm grinning at the thought.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )