Review: "A Choriambic Progression," by Mairead Triste and Aristede
Reviewed by Regan V
Title: A Choriambic Progression Story link:here Author: Mairead Triste and Aristede Pairing: Snape/Harry Rating: NC-17 (or whatever we’re calling it, nowadays) Warnings: Harry is 16 Author’s email the_Cimmerians at earthlink dot net Author’s website:here (note: there aren’t any hp stories on this site, however, and it doesn’t seem to be updated any more)
Summary: Snape is under a curse, is forced to spend time with Harry in the summer after OoTP.
Reasons for Recommending: When you first enter a fandom, if you’re lucky, you stumble across a story that sinks its teeth into you (“grabs you” is far too pallid an expression), sucking you irresistibly into its alternate vision of canon. Such a story forces you to experience all the possibilities, the alternate meanings, unexpected nuances, and deepened readings of canon characters that fanfiction has to offer. “A Choriambic Progression” was that story for me, published the very month I began to look for hp fanfiction. It was the first hp story I found that had me staying up until 3 a.m., hopelessly addicted, scrolling down the screen. After that, I never looked back: nothing could stop me from exploring this fandom.
The plot sounds simple, and doesn’t convey the complexity and nuance of the story’s construction. Snape is inadvertently cursed, and Harry is the only one who can be around him, in consequence. Forced to spend time together, they both begin to realize that Harry is developing new and unusual powers as he enters puberty, and Snape tries to help Harry learn to control these powers. The story (like Harry’s new powers) develops incrementally and inexorably, including many intelligent details.
But it’s the story’s character development that lifts it from the level of merely “good” to “outstanding.” This Snape is one of the best that hp fandom has to offer. Conflicted and intelligent, he is horrified at his own attraction to Harry. He’s one of the wittiest Snapes I’ve ever read, too: if you made a “top 20” list of snarky, funny lines uttered by Snape in fanfiction, quite a few of them would have to come from this story. Snape’s humor is sharp and unforgiving. Harry is extremely well-done here too, and the story’s characterization of Dumbledore is deft, since he is both “good” (whatever that means) and ruthlessly naïve.
A second thing that makes this story stand out is the sheer power of the sexual tension that is generated between Harry and Snape. The slow build up of erotic attraction is almost unbearable, leaving the reader almost as desperate as Harry becomes. But the resolution of this tension is worth the wait: it’s a marvelous piece of erotica.