Status: Complete, Word Count: 16,100, Pairing: Harry Potter/Fleur Delacour
Read the Fic Here: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/13857826/1/A-Spoonful-of-Sugar
Author’s Summary: A one-shot written as part of the Flowerpot Discord’s Emily Collection. Sometimes, a spoonful of sugar’s all you need to make life taste a little sweeter.
Disclaimer: This review is laughably out of date. Read the January 2022 Reviewer’s Note at the end to find out why.
Characterization: The only two important characters here are Fleur and Harry, and I think they’re both pretty good. If I had to choose, I’d probably say that I find Fleur’s characterization to be a bit more interesting than Harry’s. She has a lot of her charming quirks from A Cadmean Victory, such as her sugar addiction, without the sociopathic god complex, and this all makes for a fairly amusing, entertaining character. I also think that the scenes where she tutors Harry in various forms of magic are all really good, and they play off each other really well. Harry is a bit less interesting for me, because his entire character in this fic is essentially being bored and lonely at the Dursleys, and enjoying spending time with Fleur, and while this characterization is perfectly serviceable for this kind of story, it’d be nice if he had a couple interesting quirks or mannerisms like Fleur does. Either way, both characters are still relatively strong, so…well done, Matt! Great characterization.
Romance: The romance is also really good! I already mentioned that Fleur and Harry play off each other really well, and I also think that the care and affection they develop for one another is really well written and builds overtime very naturally. I also like that each location they travel to has its own distinct tone, and seems to work to build up different aspects of their relationship. My particular favorite was the scene in the woods where Harry learns about Veela. That was an insanely heartfelt, well done scene, and I enjoyed it a lot. Overall, the romance is great, and I think it’s a great testament to DarknessEnthroned’s improvement over the years. Far better than the one in A Cadmean Victory. (And before anyone points this out to me, I know that these two fics are going for vastly different things with the romance, but this succeeds at what it’s going for far more than the original ACV succeeded at what it was going for).
Dialogue: The dialogue is, once again, great! Harry and Fleur both interact fairly naturally, and they each have their own distinct way of talking that makes their respective lines easy to distinguish. I also have to give some bonus points out for not doing the exaggerated, written out French accent bullshit. I know that it says at the beginning that Fleur doesn’t have a French accent here, but that was a really good choice, because the shit that some of these fanfic authors pull with Fleur is some of the most obnoxious, hard to read dogshit ever, and it’s so fucking refreshing to not have to deal with that fucking ridiculous accent. With that being said, there are a couple clunky moments here and there that hold it back from true excellence, which is a real shame.
Plot: Look I won’t lie to you and say that the plot is amazing or anything, because it’s not. It’s a functional vehicle to deliver adorable, fluffy scenes between Harry and Fleur, and it does that very well. It does utilize a bunch of really interesting locations though, so it gets some bonus points from me for stylistic flare. But…come on, at the end of the day, oneshot fluffy romance fics aren’t really fics that anyone reads for the plot. If it has a great one, then that’s awesome, but if it doesn’t…I’ll complain about it less than I would if a fic like Ashes of Chaos or A Cadmean Victory had a shit plot, because this doesn’t need a groundbreaking storyline.
Writing Mechanics: Look, I’d be lying to you if I said that this fic was mechanically perfect, because it isn’t. There are a few awkward sentences here and there, and there are certainly a few punctuation and grammar errors sprinkled throughout. However, it’s also clear that DE’s frankly enormous beta team put in a lot of work here, because this fic’s practically spotless, and I don’t think there’s a single spelling error anywhere in it. Also….I don’t like the single quotation marks. This is not an objective flaw, or anything or the sort (mostly because there’s no such thing as an objective flaw because this is all my opinion), but….it’s a stylistic choice that does not work for me.
Bonus Point: This is a fic written for the Emily Flowerpot collection, which is probably my favorite thing happening in the fandom right now. It’s so fucking wholesome and kind, and every author who writes a fic for it has all of my respect. So, just like with Darkened Void’s fic, A Spoonful of Sugar gets an extra gold star from me.
Overall: This is a very fun fic that I had a great time reading. It’s just 16k words of fluffy Flowerpot goodness, and reading it is an absolute blast. It earns its place in the top tier, and DE and his betas should all be very proud of it because they clearly put a shit ton of work into it. Great job, man, you fucking blew me away again.
Final Thoughts: If you like well written, fluffy romance then this fic’s for you, and if you like well written Harry/Fleur romance then this fic’s for you. If fluff and romance isn’t really your thing, then you can probably skip it. I enjoyed the shit out of it though, and it is my absolute honour to place it in the……..
Tier: Top Tier
Written on 04/08/2021
Reviewer’s Note: 01/20/2022: While I think the tier that I ultimately placed the story in is fair, this is quite possibly the worst review I have ever written. I shall leave it up forever, in honour of just how badly I missed the point with this fic, because I am a strong believer in embracing and learning from my mistakes. With that being said, it is a fucking embarrassment that I wrote what I did, and I can only promise that one day I will write a review for this fic that does it justice. When I do that, I will link to it below this note. Until then, I can only invite you to laugh at how fucking terrible this review is. While I do not have a dogshit tier anymore, I can say with confidence that this review belongs in it.