Author Archive



  • When Professor Snape heals Hermione’s injuries after the Battle of the Department of Mysteries, they are both surprised by what they learn. The two must work together to help Harry defeat Lord Voldemort.
  • Sequel to Phoenix Song or, Hermione Granger and the H-BP . By the time of Dumbledore’s death, Hermione and Snape had worked together for a whole year. Now, however, they both have very different and very difficult tasks ahead of them.
  • The battle against Voldemort is over, yet little has returned to normal. Once again, Severus Snape finds himself reluctantly cast as the protector of the wizarding world, with Hermione Granger his tireless ally.

Word Count: 100 839, 120 256, 195 399 (TOTAL WORDAGE: 416 949 – yes, almost half a million words.)

My Review:

This is a trilogy, and I’m reviewing them all together because I’m too lazy to write up a review for all three – and also because if you only read one, you are missing out on the full Phoenix experience. You should note that the first two books are fully compatible with HBP and DH, while the third one functions as a sequel.

Okay this is actually my second time reading this particular trilogy. I’m not, as a rule, much of a rereader – I can just about handle rereading some of my absolute faves once a year, but that’s it – and I read this fic, according to the review I left on, in May. Of this year. Of course in between I’ve read almost every SSHG fic over 100k words in the entire fandom (except for the ones that were rubbish) and I’d managed to conflate this fic with another one somehow – I was convinced that this was one of the ones where Snape and Hermione managed to stay in contact throughout DH, but then later I realised that I was probably thinking of Camarado, which I would reread, except it has a cliffhanger ending that frustrates me no end.

So, what can I tell you about this fic?

Well, first of all, if you like pining, you’ll like this. Snape and Hermione spend literally two and a half books pining for each other. He steals her hair! She keeps his hankie! (okay she also uses the hankie, which I’m pretty sure is not covered by the Rules of Romance, but still) I’m not even kidding, guys, this is Sherlock-level pining. No, scratch that, Sherlock‘s got nothing on this. At one point, right, he has to massage her hands to help her magic recover, and he has completely inappropriate thoughts and feelings about the whole business, and feels like a disgusting creep about it all because she’s his student and he’s supposed to be helping her, not lusting after her like some kind of pervert! And meanwhile Hermione is over there basically chewing off her lip trying to stop herself from moaning his name, and feeling like an utter creep because he’s her professor, dammit, and he doesn’t feel about her like that, and how disgusting is she that she’s getting this worked up just because he’s trying to help her.

If, by this brief description, you come to the conclusion that they’re both kind of stupid about each other, you wouldn’t be far wrong. The romance is beautifully done and comes to a glorious finale where everyone confesses their love for everyone else, and Cornelius Fudge looks like a tit. It’s long as balls though, so if you’re looking for them to be confessing their love by the second chapter you’re doomed to disappointment. The romance is about 90% desperately unspoken mutual pining, 5% ‘I know you love me and I love you, but I don’t think you know I love you back and this is a problem’ and 5% ‘I’m so noble I’m never going to say anything about my feelings, because they’ll never feel the same way about me’.

The plot is excellent as well. I mean, basically the plot of this fic is completely compatible with both DH and HBP, so there’s no reason why you couldn’t just decide that this is what was going on in the background during the last two books.

The Arithmancy in this fic is magnificent – it’s beautifully done and excellently used – it never becomes a crutch for the story but serves, almost always, to clarify something the characters should already have known.


I do not, as a rule, like OCs much. I’m not, you might say, a fan of the theory. But this character? Her I love. First introduced as a blank-faced Slytherin first-year, Joscelin comes properly to Snape’s attention when he discovers that she’s blocking her magic, and Poppy gives him two weeks to solve the problem before Poppy will be forced to send her to St. Mungo’s. I’m not going to tell you much more about her, except that she’s clever, funny, interesting, and an utter badass. She could be a Mary Sue, but I love her too much.

I have a few minor quibbles with the fic, but those are mostly stylistic. I feel, for example, that once Hermione has shifted to calling Snape by his first name, the only reason she would revert to calling him Snape or Professor, would be if she was angry at him. The name thing is one of the few real issues I have with this author – and oddly enough, she only does it with Snape’s name. Snape’s usage of Hermione/Miss Granger/Granger follows a clear pattern – he uses Miss Granger when trying to distance himself, Granger when they’re being casual and relaxed, and Hermione at moments of great emotion. Hermione’s use of his name, however, has no pattern. She calls him Snape in her head sometimes, and Severus out loud sometimes…it’s terribly confusing.

The author also occasionally refers to ‘Snape’ when writing from SS’s point of view. This may be a matter of opinion, but I’ve always felt that, when writing from a character’s point of view, it establishes a vital empathy with that character when you refer to them by their first name. So when you refer to Snape as Snape when writing from his POV, you’re creating a sense of distance – which I don’t think the author was trying to do here.

NOTE: The author promised an Epilogue to Hermione Granger and the Elder Wand back in 2013, which has not materialised. I don’t feel that its lack really affects the story – it feels beautifully complete to me, but ymmv.

Verdict: Why are you here, reading this, instead of over there somewhere, reading that? Go, go, GO!


Summary:  14 yrs post-war: Hermione’s teaching at Hogwarts when an un-aged Snape awakens from stasis and returns to the school. Sparks fly when they meet. Can they learn to trust and love in time to defeat an evil plot bent on changing the wizarding world forever?

Word Count: 152 986


According to the author’s notes at the end, this was apparently their first fic. I’m not sure I buy it, to be honest. There are a couple of awkward bits right at the beginning and a great fucking deal of exposition, but on the other hand I guess I can understand the need for setup, much as I dislike reading paragraphs and paragraphs of ‘who’s done what since the war.’ Feel free to skim those bits if you like – it all becomes very clear later. The story came alive for me (to the intense surprise of nobody at all) around the time when Snape wakes up.

The grammar is excellent and I didn’t notice any terrible mistakes, so if you’re a fussy reader this should make you happy.

As for the plot…well, it’s a delight. The author has managed to set up a delicious series of mysteries right from the start – what happened at Hermione’s previous job? Why is she so scared of Lucius Malfoy? Is Snape evil? Is Snape using Hermione for his evil evil purposes? It’s all, as I believe I’ve mentioned, rather delicious.

The summary doesn’t really explain the story very well, so I shall write my own. Fourteen years after the end of the war, Hermione is living the quiet life at Hogwarts, teaching Potions. Snape has been in a sort of coma since the events of the Shrieking Shack and hasn’t aged a day (I thought this was an excellent way of bringing their ages closer together, although their age difference has never really bothered me.) Snape wakes up and returns to Hogwarts, and they share both the Potions teacher’s quarters and the classes. The sexual tension is thick enough to eat with a fork, and really quite well-done.

There’s a great deal of angst in this fic, a lot of which hinges on whether Hermione can afford to trust Snape – he is an expert liar, after all, who managed to fool the Dark Lord for decades, so ‘can I trust this man to act in my best interests and not, as a random nonspecific example, manipulate and deceive me as part of his evil plot to make a fuckload of cash using Evil Means so that he can buy himself a castle with a dungeon containing no students whatsoever‘ is a perfectly legitimate question to ask.

I’m not entirely sure about one of the central conceits of the fic – McGonagall insists that Snape and Hermione share the (very large, but still) Potions Master’s quarters. I just don’t buy that the terribly conservative wizarding world would be okay with two unmarried teachers of opposite genders sharing living quarters. It’s a minor quibble though, and once I’d decided to ignore it everything went fine.

As for characterization, I think they’ve got it down, really I do.

Snape is an absolute bastard in this, very much in-character from the books. It came as a bit of a shock to me because I’ve been gorging on Subversa’s work, and their Snape is a much smoother, more urbane, certainly kinder character than canon Snape, and canon Snape is exactly what we get from Hogwarts 91. If you’ve just come from the books, though, or you’re into bastard!Snape, you’ll like this one. He’s twisty and kind of cruel, but the author hints (very mildly, it’s really exquisitely done, I didn’t find it soppy at all) at a sort of aching vulnerability to him that hurts my poor heart. I feel I should warn you that Hogwarts91 has a thing for Snape needing reading glasses (he uses them in two of their three fics) and the mental images are…very distracting. Scholarly sexiness inbloodydeed.

Hermione is a delight as well. I can definitely see this as book!Hermione all grown up, and even the mistakes in her past are in character. She’s lovely, really she is, and although I’m not sure I buy how vulnerable she allows herself to be with Snape, it’s not a terminal flaw – after all, people in love are known to be stupid.

Side-characters are excellent too – this author has done an exquisite redeemed Draco whose charm and wit and kindness blows my mind. He’s a dear friend and a wonderful person, and I adore this character from the desolate depths of my shriveled and blackened Snape-fancying heart. I’m not entirely sure about McGonagall, mainly because my mind’s eye waters at the thought of Minerva McGonagall encouraging Hermione to use her feminine wiles to get Snape to agree to something he doesn’t want to do. Mainly because McGonagall and ‘feminine wiles’ don’t belong in the same sentence. It was a funny bit, though, and I enjoyed it despite my doubts.

The Verdict: Well-written with a perfect blend of romance and plot. Give it a go, I think you might enjoy it.

I’m thinking I should write some. I read a lot of fanfic – lot of fanfic, and since discovering the sshgreview blog, I’ve been thinking that there may be a need for more of those. Obviously there’s nothing wrong with sshgreview, and I’ve been using their blog to guide my own reading, but since I’m apparently incapable of finishing a longfic I thought that this was a way that I could contribute to fandom as well (sad to say, I never thought that writing reviews of fanfic might be counted as a contribution until I started looking for epic Harry Potter fics to read. Shortly afterwards I came to revere reviewers and reccers as something akin to minor gods.)

I also have very strong opinions about fanfic and the urge to share them with the world, and it becomes awkward trying to tell my sister about what an excellent Snape characterization this fic or that one had when her default reply is ‘But Jagged, you know I hate Snape, why are you talking to me about this?’ or trying to explain how Sherlock was completely out of character in that fic when she’s only ever seen up to ASiB.

I’m not saying that Eyes Only will be solely a fanfic review blog from now on, although it should be noted that other than the final Farseer book I haven’t read an original work in about six months.

I will, however, be posting reviews of (and links to) the fanfic I’ve been reading recently. For the moment, I’ll probably be posting mostly Harry Potter reviews, since Sherlock broke my heart and drove me back into the welcoming arms of the Hogwarts crowd.

Almost all my HP ships involve Snape in some way, although my favourite is Snape/Hermione. I like Harry/Snape too, upon occasion, but prefer Harry/Draco.

If there’s a fic you think I’d like to read, please don’t hesitate to point me in its direction.

NOTE: I’m a bit of a snob when it comes to writing. I don’t have the patience for badly-written tripe, and unless someone I respect has recced a fic, I rarely read past the first chapter if it doesn’t look good. This has almost made me lose out on some really good fics (I never would have made it through Pet Project’s rather dodgy first chapter if it wasn’t recced all over the show) but on the whole I find that’s a price I’m willing to pay for what remains of my sanity.

What does this mean for my reviews? It means that unless the author shits all over the story in the final chapter and enrages me beyond belief, you will probably never see a bad review on my blog. If I don’t like a story, I won’t read it – I’m not a saint, and I have better things to do with my time than wrestle with migraine-inducing grammar or terrible characterization.

If I bother to review a fic, you can assume that it’s because I liked it. If something went wrong and I do a bad review, I’ll tell you, and I’ll tell you why too. That’s the best I can do.

The Spiral Dance: A Rebirth of the Ancient Religions of the Great Goddess
The Spiral Dance: A Rebirth of the Ancient Religions of the Great Goddess by Starhawk
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Usually when I read the Kindle edition of a book, I’m pretty much sorted. I’ve read the thing, I’m good to go. Not this time. Starhawk made me want to reread, refer to the backmatter, and even make notes – none of which are as convenient on Kindle.

Long story short, I bought this book twice…

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Review: Into the Forest

Posted: October 12, 2016 in Random Thoughts

Into the Forest
Into the Forest by Jean Hegland
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I think probably my favourite part of this book is its atmosphere. For me, some books have a sort of mental smell, which I associate with the book in my mind. Heinlein’s books often smell like my father’s garage, all metal and grease. The atmosphere in Into the Forest is so alive it’s breathtaking. You can smell the forest in the pages, the rich loam, the living smells of life and decay. It’s sharply real, while still maintaining a sort of dreamy quality.

I liked Nell as a character. She’s young and kind of silly, but she gets her shit together fairly quickly, which is nice. Her sister is a bit of a tit, though.

All in all a magnificent read, and has only two flaws: it’s too short, and it doesn’t have a sequel.

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Tell the Wind and Fire
Tell the Wind and Fire by Sarah Rees Brennan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Well, I knew coming in that SRB was going to break my heart, and she didn’t disappoint.

I really enjoyed this book though. I was a little worried about the lack of sass in this story, but felt better as soon as Carwyn arrived. Carwyn is 99% sass, and I felt as though I liked Lucie more when she was with him.

Never really got a feel for Lucie, which disappointed me. She’s a nice enough character and everything, but she didn’t really grab my heartstrings the way Mae or Sin in TDL did, for which I can’t blame her. She’s a much more complicated character than either of them, and while she didn’t immediately appeal, I think with a couple of months to grow on me and another reread or two, I could really come to love her.

I feel as though the book could have been longer, or maybe I’m just reading too fast again, because the story felt complete to me, and I can’t imagine where else it could have ended. Or, for that matter, another way it could have ended (although I hate the ending with the fiery passion of a thousand suns and will never forgive Sarah for breaking my heart like this.)

Bring tissues.

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His Serene Majesty, King Julius Malema


Julius Malema, formerly known as the head of the EFF political party, has declared himself King of South Africa.

His Serene Majesty Julius I said in a statement that plans for his coronation on 29 February 2017 are proceeding well.

“Of course it will be a very big affair,” King Julius said. “I plan to ride down Church Street on an elephant. There will be a parade and a spectacle so that all my subjects may admire me.” King Julius also plans to distribute free R100 coins stamped with his likeness during the event.

He expressed his hope that South Africans across the country will embrace the new monarchy and help him in his effort to throw off the shackles of democracy.

“I believe that this is the best possible move for the country as a whole. We need a united, strong leadership which is not chained to political agendas and can move strongly to take South Africa into a shining new future!”

In the same statement, he announced his intention to appoint incumbent president Jacob Zuma as his Minister of Treasury.

“Jacob and I discussed the matter,” King Julius said. “We both believe that it is time for him to step away from the pressures of the presidency and into a more relaxing job. Since the country has no money, no position could possibly be more relaxing than Treasury!”

Political commentators were divided in their opinions on the coming regime change. Those in favour pointed out that monarchy has always been quite a stable form of government, while others pointed out that monarchs themselves have never been known for their stability.

“Haven’t you people read your Shakespeare?” one well-known personality demanded during a brief interview as he was waiting for his flight to board. “Stick a crown on a man and he goes cuckoo-bananapants in a week and then it’s all over bar the shouting and the murder.”

In a later statement, King Julius also announced his intention to free South Africa’s neighbor countries and nations across the world from “the paralyzing shackles and false promises of so-called ‘democracy’” and bring them to a healthier mode of government.

He said that he fully expects to have South African boots on the ground in the United States before the end of 2017, and to have the region pacified by 2018 at the latest.

“Having come to realise that royalty is my destiny, it is my right, no, my duty, to bring the world together under a stable government for the betterment of all,” he said.

We eagerly await further developments.