Having the Right Enemies

By Callmesalticidae

Status: Complete, Word Count: 1,900, Pairing: Gen

Read the Fic Here: https://archiveofourown.org/works/15449145

Author’s Summary: The Minister for Magic is having a meeting with aspiring politician Tom Riddle. There is nothing to fear. (1967)

My Thoughts:
Characterization: As the opening oneshot to the absolutely sprawling There is Nothing to Fear series, this fic’s sole purpose is to establish Tom Riddle as a threat to be reckoned with. This is not a particularly long oneshot, and I think it does a very job establishing who Tom is at this point in his life. He’s daring, he’s ruthless, he’s even a tad reckless, but he is also undeniably intelligent. Watching him and Minister Leach exchanging veiled insults and threats for the duration of the fic is very entertaining, and it’s just a great little character establishing short. Overall, I think the characterization in this fic is quite great.

Plot: So this fic’s purpose is to serve as an introduction to the There Is Nothing to Fear AU, which asks the question “What is Tom Riddle was sorted into Gryffindor?” Apparently, the answer to that question is that it would change quite a lot. This fic drops you right in the middle of this enormous story, and then basically forces you to begin figuring out what the fuck is going on through little hints and clues dropped throughout the dialogue between Leach and Riddle. I really don’t want to give too much away, because I think figuring out what’s going on is half the fun of reading this oneshot, but to put it mildly, a lot has changed, and it’s all really interesting. This fic serves as an excellent hook for the series, because after reading it, I really want to learn what is going on. So….yeah, I think this fic’s plot is fantastic. It has an intriguing premise on its own, but the thing that really sells it for me is the beginning of the scattering of clues.

Dialogue: I already mentioned how great the dialogue is in the plot section, but….yeah I think it’s absolutely fantastic. It’s engaging, it’s snappy, it doesn’t overly rely on dialogue tags, and it makes for an incredibly entertaining read. The majority of this fic is dialogue between two people, and it would have been a damn shame if the dialogue had sucked, because that would have fucking neutered this series’ hook. So….yeah, I don’t really have much else to say here. The dialogue is great.

Writing Mechanics: I won’t lie, this fic definitely could be better in terms of mechanics, but I also don’t really care all that much. With a short fic like this, when the dialogue is engaging, the characterization is entertaining, and the plot is full of intrigue, I can very easily forgive a misplaced comma here and there, or the occasional awkward line of narration. I think that the mechanics are, overall, pretty solid, but the mistakes that were there did not detract much from my enjoyment of the fic.

Overall: I think this oneshot is a fantastic opening to the There is Nothing to Fear AU. I’ll admit that I didn’t really know what to expect when I first started reading it, but this did a really good job getting me instantly interested in reading more, while also telling its own little intriguing story. I’m honestly very curious to see if we’ll ever get a bit more closure on Nobby Leach’s story further down the road, but I honestly wouldn’t be too disappointed if we didn’t. Leach and Riddle’s conversation serves as a fantastic framing device to deliver some basic information to the reader, and I think the way the dialogue delivers little bits of information is honestly fantastic. It’s so much better than boring old exposition, and it honestly really impressed me a lot. So…yeah, as an introduction to this enormous AU, I think this fic works really well.

Final Thoughts: While it’s not going in the highest tiers, I honestly think everyone should give this fic a read. It’s very different from most things I’ve seen, and it’s very short, so if you don’t like it, you’re not wasting much time. However, if you do enjoy it, it’ll provide an entry way into quite the epic story, told through some very impressive non-linear storytelling, which will likely keep you entertained for quite a long time. So yeah, I highly recommend checking it out!

Tier: Great Tier

Thoughts on Part II: Men Who Are Resolved

Thoughts on the Series:

Written on 06/07/2021

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