Status: Complete, Word Count: 188,800, Pairing: Harry Potter/Daphne Greengrass, Genre: Adventure/Romance
Author’s Summary: Sirius had made a slew of different decisions that night he had arrived at Godric’s Hollow. With Sirius’ focus on Harry rather than revenge, a very different Boy-Who-Lived is going to make his return to the wizarding world at the age of 13. But the question is, why did Harry return so late? And will he still be the Hero the Wizarding World needs?
My Thoughts: So, despite the summary sounding like it was written by a Capital E EDGY 13-year-old, The Hero’s Return is actually pretty good. While it’s not at the level of quality of the other books in the series, it’s still a fun, relatively short read. The main issue with this book is the characters. Harry is a complete dickhead in this book for almost all of it, and while that can work, like it did in Prince of Slytherin, I feel like his character arc in this book wasn’t quite good enough to justify having Harry act the way he did. It’s a bit of an issue, and I’m not a big fan of it. However, this story is fucking saved by Daphne and Astoria Greengrass. They are both so charming, and Harry’s interactions with them both, and specifically his friendship with Astoria Greengrass, are an absolute joy to read. Personally, I’m not the biggest fan of Harry’s attempts to get on Daphne’s good side, but I’d say there’s a point about half way through this book where that turns around and his awkward attempts at flirting become cute rather than uncomfortable. I also feel like this book has the weakest plot out of the series, but I also think that’s fairly reasonable, because this fic is trying to be a character driven story about Harry returning to the Britain. I just wish it did a better job with it. Nonetheless, I do recommend giving this fic a shot, especially because there’s a dramatic increase in quality with Book II.