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Deserving Chapter 18

This chapter starts off with a brief author's note saying that it hadn't been beta'd. This isn't a good sign, given that I credit the beta with some of the incongruously well-written (or at least not-so-badly written) segments thus far.

Thursday night found Severus and Harry playing with Richard and Baby on the floor next to the hearth in the sitting room. Harry was amazed to see how fast Baby was recovering. His eyes were wide awake now although he seemed to have an absent look. Try as he might, he could not get Baby to look at things that he pointed out for him or even placed in front of him. Severus tried to engage Baby with some of the toys but he would not hold on to them.

Ladies and gentlemen, the most imaginatively named character in the history of literature.

“They did not shave it off. When the body lacks nourishment it begins to ration its nutrients. The body stops wasting its energy in producing hair and even fingernails. It is just a self preservation method,” explained the professor.

The professor of biology, apparently.

Harry looked lost in thought even when he was looking straight at Richard and his demands to go “up, up”

Does he ever do anything else?

“So they did not shave her hair off,” he said voicing his thoughts.
Severus knew who he was thinking of. Harry seemed to be genuinely sorry for what he had done to her, but Snape was still finding it hard to forgive. It was a woman and child. It was a classmate. It was Pansy Parkinson, a girl with whom Harry had lived with in the same castle since he was eleven years old.

And couldn't stand for most of that time. Anyway, Neville brings another concentration camp inmate through the Floo.

Harry saw that the woman looked just like Pansy: skin and bones, no hair and just rag to cover he nudity. All of a sudden he saw Snape’s eyes grow wide with awareness.
“Millicent Bulstrode!” was Snape’s shocked reaction.

This fic really does put the Slytherin bit-parts through the wringer, doesn't it?

Harry looked at the form lying on his couch. What was Snape on about? Millicent Bulstrode! NO WAY.

“Milly, you’ve got to drink this. This will make it all right.

I know the feeling.

It turns out that Millicent is the mother of Baby the baby. This appears on the surface of it to be a contrived coincidence, but the implied fact (for which I have to give the author some credit) is that Stuff is Happening behind the scenes and someone has arranged for Millicent and BTB to be reunited.

“Yes, Millicent, your baby is beautiful and he is also healthy. My husband made sure of that. He means you no harm,” assured her head of house.
“But they say he is very cruel to you. I heard my Guide laugh with his friends about how he would not allow you decent clothing and almost killed you by not allowing you to have medical assistance during your birth and …”

They were probably twirling their moustaches as they did this.

Harry seemed puzzled by his words. “What do you mean, you will take them?”
“They need to get to a safe house. We have a couple set up. They will be safe from Single’s men,” explained Neville.
Harry saw Severus close his eyes and drop his chin.

The POV!fail doesn't seem to have been quite so bad in this chapter - it still flits around a bit too much for my liking, but this is the first example that's really jumped out and hit me. Is the author learning, or is POV!fail the beta's problem?

Neville looked at his professor. There was no way he was going to allow Harry access to another Marked One. Yes, it was true that he seemed to be treating Severus a bit more humanly but it was clear to him that his professor had been brainwashed in some way.

If the author springs the reveal that Severus had been under the Imperius Curse this whole time, I will not be happy. Especially since we should know if he had because of the author's approach to POV.

This was not but a ghost of the Severus Snape he knew and respected back in Hogwarts.

Neville respected Severus in the sense that he was totally shit-scared of him until the last book, to the extent that a literal embodiment of fear itself took his form when it confronted him.

“Mr. Longbottom, I assure you, no harm will come to them. Kreacher has taken a liking to the baby and experience tells me that when he likes someone, no harm comes to that person.”

Aside from the fact that he didn't stop you getting, well, Chapter 15'd.

“Professor, I am not the enemy here. If you would have accepted my proposal I assure you, you would be happy and free,” countered Neville.

These days are a-a-all happy and free, these Happy Days...

“Mr. Logbottom, what you fail to see, or should I say, what you do not wish to see is that I am perfectly content with my family,” he said rising to his full height.

Emphasis mine.

“Out of respect for a great man, they will stay,” he was about to throw the floo powder when he turned to Harry and looking him square in the eyes said, “Not even when you raped him in the Single’s office?” and left.

Oh, burn! Also, Dumbledorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrre! Okay, wrong scene; still I couldn't resist.

“I use to have an owl,” he said out of the blue.
“Yes, a snowy owl, it was your signature trade mark back in Hogwarts,” confirmed Severus.
“I had never had a pet before Hedwig. It felt amazing. Even when she was upset with me she would come when I called her,” he paused in silence. “She came every time I needed her.”

That's a bit harsh, author. If you could save Severus, then why not Hedwig? Seriously though, this exchange does work. The omnipresent and ever-infuriating said-bookisms aside.

“She has heard of my barbarian acts.

Like the time he stole Gryffindor's sword and carved a bloody swathe through the country wearing only a loincloth.

“I am sure they have greater fears than you, but as always you seem to believe that life revolves around you,” answered and old Potions Master.

Double burn!

“What I am seeing is a young, healthy, free man feeling pity for him self. And quite frankly I can not sympathize when there is a young broken woman with her undernourished child in the other room.”

Angst dissonance! Even the author sees it!

Harry walked back to the window and once again looked up to the sky.
“Do you have any idea how messed up we are?” said Harry gazing at the stars.
“I do not have measurement but the assessment seems correct.”

With dialogue like that, I half expect him to raise a single eyebrow and say "Fascinating."

The following night, Harry goes to talk to Millicent. The topic gets onto:

“Will you please calm down? And yes, I do know he would never say anything bad about me. I was just trying to make light conversation. You know, I would like it if you and Baby…” he stopped when the thought hit him. “What is his name?”

You'll wish you hadn't asked.

“It seems that her Guide was particularly mean to her. He was engaged to be married to his Hogwart’s sweetheart when the marrying law came out. His girlfriend would not even hear of a triad.”
“So why didn’t he just give Millicent up?”
“He had made his mother a promise to avenge his father’s death. Death that came from the wand of Millicent’s great uncle.”

I don't know if the parallels to Harry's own situation are intentional, but if they are then it's quite well executed within the constraints of the fic's brain-breaking premise.

“What does she have to do with her great uncle?

Exactly the same as what Severus has to do with Sirius' death.

“I would think it to be obvious. Millicent and the baby gone, his father is avenged and he can go off to make his life with his true love.”

Love makes you evil! Then again, so does everything else in this fic.

Harry looked at him with eyes as wide as Trelawney’s eyeglasses. “You think it’s that easy?” he said with a look of disgust on his face.
“No, sir, I do not believe it is that easy but some might fool themselves into believing it might be so.”
Harry had to agree with Severus. As an Auror he had seen many senseless crimes.

Which this actually isn't. It's completely fucked up and wrong on every level, but the motivation is internally consistent.

“So can we get down to our original inquiry: What is Baby’s real name?”
“Yes, Husband I was getting to that when you interrupted me. It seems that he took it out on the child and gave him a very cruel name.”

Mezzanine? Flymo? Ebony Dark'ness Dementia Raven Way?

“A cruel name? How can you give your own child a cruel name? Well, actually I have seen some pretty bad ones. You have no idea how hard it is when you’re trying to fill out a report with a straight face after the victim has given you a name like Englebert,” but when he looked up Severus was not amused.

I don't know why; this scene is fucking hilarious. I'm not being sarcastic here. Just read on.

“Hey, your name isn’t that bad?” still Severus showed no amusement. “So what is Baby’s real name?”
“Sin,” answered Severus with a dry face.
“Sin. The man named his child Sin,” trying to contain his anger.

The first time I read this, I laughed out loud, literally. This is supposed to be the grand evil that has us all crying for the bastard's head, right?

Not so much.

Let's see, shall we?

  1. Sin is an actual, legitimate name.
  2. Sin is/was the Akkadian moon god, which is cool.
  3. Even concentrating on the obvious English meaning, it's still not a bad name. More like a badass name. I mean really. The worst you can say about it is that it sounds like someone trying too hard to be cool and edgy, but that's hardly unusual in fanfic. It's nowhere near as bad on that front as the aforementioned Ebony Dark'ness Dementia Raven Way or many others, drawing as it does from the same goffik onomasticon.
  4. This is a setting painted in shades of very dark grey, in which almost everyone is evil, stupid or both, and most of the wizarding world have no problem with people being enslaved and forcibly impregnated. Against that backdrop, Millicent's Guide could have called him something like Winklemass Fartknocker and it would still barely register on the hierarchy of, well, sins. Especially since he abandoned his wife and child to be sold into slavery but this is still supposed to be his crowning moment of villainy.
  5. Sin is an actual, legitimate name. Did I mention this part?
Actually, from now on BTB shall be known as Sin for the sake of my sanity. Just so I don't have to type about the little sod running around being called nothing but fucking Baby for the rest of the fic. Or at least until he does get a name, which won't be for a good few chapters yet.



( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 20th, 2010 01:33 am (UTC)
“I do not have measurement but the assessment seems correct.”

With dialogue like that, I half expect him to raise a single eyebrow and say "Fascinating."

I just have to say that, as a rather obsessed Trekkie, this made my day. XD
Keep up the sporking--I'd NEVER be able to read something this bad, so I really admire you for doing it yourself.
Aug. 27th, 2011 02:08 am (UTC)
Sin the Baby is the best name for a Baby. I must say that I rather like it when Harry is called out on this stuff, though. If this fic didn't involve rape and mpreg, only the slavery and its impact, and it was written better, I would actually find this fic interesting.

Shame it can't be in the hands of a better writer, really.
Aug. 27th, 2011 02:27 am (UTC)
It does make a change from those fics where everyone's completely awful but never gets called on their bullshit. Mentioning no names *cough*HE*cough* excuse me.
Jul. 18th, 2012 02:19 am (UTC)
“She has heard of my barbarian acts.

Like the time he stole Gryffindor's sword and carved a bloody swathe through the country wearing only a loincloth.

I would read that fic SO hard.
(Deleted comment)
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )


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