Status: Complete, Word Count: 60,400, Pairing: Harry Potter/Katie Bell, Genre: Romance
Read the Fic Here: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/13777689/1/Chasing-Snowflakes
Author’s Summary: Follow Harry Potter through the holidays that shaped his life as he grows closer with one of his teammates and learns the meaning of love. A short story for Christmas.
Characterization: I’m sure this will surprise absolutely nobody, but I think the characterization in this fic is very, very strong. Now, this is especially true for Katie, but I think Harry and most of the minor characters are quite nice too. Now, what I consider to be most impressive about Katie’s character in this fic is that she’s essentially an OC, but she’s extremely compelling and memorable. I like how the fic first establishes as someone with a fairly level head, who Harry can talk to about his problems, and then gradually builds on her character from there, so that by the time we’re introduced to her family’s animal sanctuary, it’s fairly believable that she’d be an animal lover. She also has a very nice sense of humour that is very fun to read about, and I overall really enjoy the way she’s written. Next up is Harry, and what I like about him is how well TE7 nails his canon characterization in the first chapter, but then uses mild divergences in the plot to influence his character in subtle, interesting ways. I like how he mellows out over the course of the fic, and I’m a big fan of how he finds his peace after the defeat of Voldemort in helping to run the magical creature sanctuary. One of the most adorable parts of the story is the dynamic he has with the Sphinx in the last chapter. It’s something I haven’t really seen before, and I was a huge fan of it here. Next up, Ron and Hermione are both done very well. They’re pretty much identical to their canon counterparts, flaws and all. Are they acknowledged to have these flaws? Yes. Does Harry criticize them every now and again? Yes. Is it bashing? Fuck no. In fact, Harry’s reconciliation with Hermione at the end of the fic is an emotionally stirring conclusion to that arc, and I fucking adore it. See people? This is how you write character arcs! Take some fucking notes from TE7! Anyway…Luna’s also in this fic! She’s not there too often but she’s an absolute delight whenever she shows up, and she’s a reminder of how well written she was in Quidditch World Cup. Also, both of Katie’s parents are very fun, if a tad underdeveloped. However, considering that this is a Christmas fluff short story, it’s hella impressive how well written everyone is. So…overall, the characters are absolutely great!
Romance: It should come as a surprise to absolutely nobody that I like the romance in a TE7 romance fic. This is what he’s known for being good at, and I can once again say that yes, he is still great at it. Harry and Katie start out as good friends, and then as the fic progresses they fall for each other in a natural, organic way that makes sense while also complementing the plot. It never feels like there’s a single scene between them that doesn’t add to their dynamic in some way, and it all culminates at the end and makes you go “Awwww, that was cute!” I honestly don’t really have all that much to say besides that, because I just summarized the entire fic. I suppose it is fair to mention that TE7 is once again extraordinarily talented at implying smut while only describing enough to be tastefully romantic, and it’s a rather nice change from the other two options, which seem to be really cringe implications or full on graphic lemon scenes. It’s just nice to see some middle ground that feels like it serves a narrative purpose. It’s kinda similar to that TBR oneshot that complements Stepping Back, except it’s much better written here.
Dialogue: In terms of dialogue, this fic fluctuates between outstanding moments and dialogue that can be described as “good enough”. Like, there are some genuinely fantastic lines, and Hermione’s scene at the end of the last chapter is masterfully executed, but I feel like, overall, the dialogue is a tad bland. Not bad by any stretch of the imagination, but a bit bland. There isn’t anything that I found especially memorable, and nothing that was especially bad, which puts this fic’s dialogue firmly in the great category.
Plot: This fic’s plot becomes great near the end, but it’s very bland and forgettable up until fifth year. Now don’t get me wrong, the actual character work that goes on is fantastic from beginning to end, but the events that TE7 chooses to focus on aren’t executed too well. In particular, the yule ball scene was incredibly forgettable which is a real shame, considering how much romantic potential a scene like that has. However, once the animal sanctuary is introduced, it all turns around rather quickly. The idea of post-war Harry settling down and helping to run a magical creature preservation organization is just not something I’ve ever seen before, and I honestly thought it was interesting how TE7 explores the political ramifications of owning it and the power this gives to Harry and Katie. There isn’t any Wizengamot Lord bullshit, it’s just about Harry having a bit of influence over the Ministry. It’s not focused on for too long, but it’s a neat bit of world building that I found to be interesting. So….how do I reconcile the first three not as interesting plot chapters with the last three interesting ones? Well, overall I think the final three make the first three worth it, so I think it’s fair to call this fic’s plot good overall.
Writing Mechanics: Surprisingly, this fic has a noticeable number of mechanical flaws. Nothing horrific or anything, but enough to make me stop reading a couple of times and wonder what the deal was, cause normally TE7 is fairly good at the whole mechanics thing. However, who gives a shit? It doesn’t really detract all that much from the rest of the story, so…..yeah that’s my verdict.
Overall: I like Chasing Snowflakes! It’s a fun, heartwarming little TE7 Christmas novella. In terms of quality, I’d say it’s about on par with Twelve Days, if not a little bit better, but it’s definitely better than the Christmas chapters he did for fics like Pureblood Princess and Quidditch World Cup. It earns its spot in the Great Tier, and I’d recommend checking it out if you’re interested in some fluff to brighten up your day. Hell, it even has a bit of actually compelling drama in one of the later chapters!
Final Thoughts: If you’re into fluffy romance, then this fic’s for you. Also, notably, this fic is a Harry/Katie story, which should totally get done more often, because it’s wonderful. Glares accusingly at ACV. Anyway, I think this fic does a good job embodying the tier I am placing it in. It’s very good, while having nothing that really goes the extra mile to push it up into the highest two tiers.
Tier: Great Tier
Written on 05/20/2021