Very few fics make it into my favorites list. It’s harder still to find truly good ones about Snape and Hermione. Let me save you the trouble of wallowing through the tired cliches, sickeningly sweet Snapes, and painfully dull Hermione Sues; read these instead.
1. Self-Slain Gods on Strange Altars by ScumBlackEntropy
What it’s about: The series as told from Hermione’s perspective beginning with OotP and delving into the harsh aftermath of Deathly Hallows that Rowling conveniently skimmed over. And oh yeah–there’s this little thing with Snape thrown into the mix.
Who should read it: Fans of modernist poetry. Fans of angst and fans of Severus Snape just as he is; unattractive, insecure, cruel and all too human. Fans of Imogene Heap’s “Hide and Seek”. Fans of fiction reaching literary caliber. Fans of deliciously decadent unresolved sexual tension. Fans of Epilogue? What Epilogue? Fans of feeling like their emotions went through a wringer, washing machine, raked over hot coals, and who would turn around and read it all over again because it’s THAT GOOD.
Comments: I probably should have saved the best for last, but I am such a huge admirer of this fic that I wanted to bring it up right away instead of taking the chance that you might not read the rest of this post and miss it. Hands down, this is the most plausible portrayal of a SSHG relationship I have ever read. The fact that it’s canon compliant for a stretch of the three longest books is also an achievement. It’s so emotionally compelling, I’ve basically given up ever trying to write an SSHG fic because THIS is the story I would tell. No need to reinvent the wheel!
Although the prose can border on purple, it still manages to reveal all kinds of gut wrenching truths not merely limited to Snape and Hermione’s relationship. It’s safe to say this fic requires a bit of heartbreak experience to fully appreciate. I don’t know if I would have even liked it had I come across it in my early twenties. Sprinkled throughout to temper the harrowing emotions are moments of friendship and existential insights between the characters that would not be amiss in actual canon. The author also bears the distinction of having written the most realistic-yet-scorchingly-hot sex scene I have ever read. I dare you to read the first chapter of this fic and not get sucked in.
It was a distraction. That’s all it was. She was stressed. She gave in because she is young, and the thrill of being wanted was new and heady and made her feel like…
Like something burning. And alive. And just… it was wonderful.
And he did it because she understands him to be one of those people who cannot sacrifice irresolutely, or sin half-heartedly, or do anything without throwing the whole of himself under the weight of it. He is the type of man to make Unbreakable Vows, and there is an autonomy to his tragedy that tugs on some buried part of her.
She wonders if she can just let this thing die without ever having felt his hands on her body, and then she tells herself that there is nothing to let die, because it’s been dead weeks ago.
2. Killing Time by Lariope
Who should read it: Anyone curious to see the virgin!Hermione and sexgod!Snape cliches totally turned on their head in a very successful way. Fans of reformed!Draco, fans of post-Hogwarts material
What it’s about: In the aftermath of destruction wrought from the war, Harry opens Grimmauld Place to those in his circle needing a home. Though he survives Nagini’s attack and is exonerated for his crimes, Snape is left destitute with the destruction of Spinner’s End, and forced to consider Harry’s offer. This is a story of Snape putting together the broken pieces of his stunted life and finally living for himself.
Comments: I was impressed by the strong writing and decent characterization from the get-go; It’s a cleanly executed story for fanfiction. The technical proficiency on top of completely reinterpreting popular notions of what an SSHG relationship can look like is by far it’s most successful point, and you’ll find yourself thinking about its unique perspective long after you’ve put the fic aside.
It was while he was working the lather through his hair that he heard her door shut. At first he told himself that it was impossible to hear anything of the kind when surrounded by the pounding of water against tile, but then he heard the scrape of drawers opening and footsteps.
She had never been home while he had showered before. Suddenly, he knew why she cast those Silencing Charms. It was…well, it was mortifying to stand here naked with Granger only on the other side of a flimsy wall. She could hear him! She knew what he was doing. She might even picture him naked. That idea made him flush painfully. He had certainly never pictured her naked–she had no right! And yet now that he’d thought of it, he knew he would not be able to unthink it, and the next time he heard the thunder of the water starting up, there she’d be in his mind, taking off her… He shut off the water.
3. The Problem with Spitting by RussianDestruction
Who should read it: Anyone looking for a quick fix, who loves rough and (mostly) unapologetic power play in their erotica. Or maybe just in their Severus Snape.
Comments: Ever get to the part in the story where there’s a sex scene and you’re like “Oh goody!” and then one paragraph in you realize you’re just skimming to get to the end because the author somehow managed to make sex sound like Courtney Stodden’s twitter feed? Yeah, that’s not this story. This BDSM themed romp is shocking mainly because the author actually appears to be knowledgeable about kink. It’s quick and dirty and laced with a bit of humor. Bonus points for being written by a former milspouse!
He sneered down at her, slim nostrils flared, pale face livid with anger. Slowly and deliberately, holding her gaze, he passed the cuff of his robes over his face, removing the traces of her loss of control.
Hermione knew she should probably start groveling right about now. She didn’t think that even Dumbledore would find a way to excuse this, and as the enormity of what she had done sunk in, she knew she deserved whatever punishment Snape felt inclined to mete out. A contrary part of her rejoiced in her small act of retaliation, feeling that the injustices of the last six and a half years had been at least partially redressed, but even through this weak sense of accomplishment, she had to suppress a rather violent shudder. What was he going to do to her?
Getting the Hang of Thursdays by Hayseed: Snape and Hermione are having the worst day of their lives… over and over, and over again. Based off of Stephen Hawking’s time travel paradox. Clever and different!
If you read one of these, let me know what you think. I’m kind of starved for fanfic discussion. Also, what are your favorite SSHG fics?