Status: Complete, Word Count: 13,200, Pairing: N/A
Read the Fic Here: https://archiveofourown.org/works/15989558/
Summary: “Filius Flitwick, champion duelist, has taken Tom Riddle for an apprentice. There is nothing to fear. (1941-1945)”
My Thoughts: According to His Own Nature is….to put it bluntly, fine. It’s certainly a step down from the previous three entries in the series, and while it absolutely has moments and scenes that shine, there are more things holding it back than things I like about it. This is especially problematic because a lot of the less interesting parts take place at the beginning of the story, and it doesn’t really manage to get good until a chapter or two away from the end.
Honestly, this is really disappointing for me, because it should be such an interesting story. Tom Riddle apprenticing under Flitwick in his dueling prime is a great setup, and the end result is just kind of….bland? Nothing about the writing stands out, the characters are mostly flat, and nothing really happens to paper over the previous two issues. This is very clearly intended to be a character development story, which is a completely fine thing to do, but neither Tom nor Flitwick really stand out to me as characters. Which is very odd, because Tom has been really interesting up until now. But for the first three chapters of the story, I found myself completely disinterested in what was going on with him. As for Flitwick, it felt like he spent the majority of the story just existing to rattle off information about magical theory and dueling practices, and not much time being an interesting, fully realized character with distinct mannerisms to keep the reader’s attention.
The dueling, on the other hand, is a distinctly mixed bag. They didn’t really do much for me during the first three chapters, but then something spectacular happens during chapter four. The fic becomes good. Not great, but there are some very engaging action sequences in that chapter that manage to be simultaneously fun to read about, and character-building. I always appreciate when action manages to do that, and this chapter pulls it off pretty well. And then we get a short epilogue in chapter five that ties things up rather nicely, before ending on a note of rather ominous (if a tad heavy-handed) foreshadowing. It’s honestly a shame, because right as I was getting into it, it ended. But I also can’t be too mad, because I think the ending’s really good.
So the end result is a 13k word short story that’s boring and dull for about 3/5 of its length. When it becomes interesting it works, but the last two chapters aren’t enough to save the fic. It’s also worth mentioning that the prose is pretty template and straight-forward throughout. Nothing positive worth mentioning, but not much negative either. It simply exists. Hey that actually sums this entire story up for me. Here’s to hoping that the future stories in this series manage to do more than simply exist.
Tier: Average Tier
Written on 01/24/2022