Status: Complete, Word Count: 2,200, Pairing: Harry Potter/Daphne Greengrass, Genre: Romance
Read the Fic Here: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/13846573/1/Hot-Chocolate-Helpful-Snake
Author’s Summary: Harry finds himself upset following the confiscation of his broom on Christmas day. A Slytherin girl gets involved and turns a bad Christmas into a fond memory.
Characterization: The only characters who matter here are Harry and Daphne, and I think they’re both written really well! Harry reminds me a lot of how I was at thirteen. His brooding at the beginning of the fic is very charming, and I’m a big fan of how melodramatic he’s being in the opening scene. He’s also very awkward around Daphne which makes for some very fun moments throughout the story. Speaking of Daphne, I think she’s also great! I’m a big fan of how she’s also very clearly a socially awkward thirteen year old. She may be descent at reading people, but she’s still kinda poor at reading social cues, and that makes for a pretty cute dynamic between her and Harry.
Romance: Now I’ll openly admit that I’m not a fan of third year Harry Potter romance, but I think this particular story does it really well! There’s no forced kiss at the end, and someone could reasonably read this and just see a blossoming friendship, but Valor does an excellent job planting seeds for an implied future romance, and I’m a big fan of it. So many fics go on and on about large romantic gestures, or epic first meetings, and I think Valor’s choice to just write about two young teens drinking some hot chocolate together is a really nice change of pace.
Plot: The plot is very simple, and serves the story really, really well. Harry and Daphne meet up in the owlery, they talk for a bit, and they decide to get some hot chocolate together in the kitchens, they talk a bit more, the end. It’s short, simple, and the exact level of complexity that a 2,000 word oneshot requires. While it’s definitely not the most original idea out there, it fits the fic really well, and I appreciate it for that.
Dialogue: The dialogue is fucking fantastic! It’s purposefully awkward, it has some fun quips, and it conveys a bit of emotion here and there. None of it feels at all stilted or robotic, and it’s an enormous improvement compared to something like The Saviour’s Pariah.
Writing Mechanics: Of all the Valor fics I’ve read so far, this one is easily the most mechanically sound in terms of grammar and punctuation. There might be a few small errors here and there, but nothing jumped out at me. the spelling is also all accurate, but that’s pretty much always the case.
Overall: Hot Chocolate, Helpful Snake is exactly what I look for in a two thousand word romance oneshot. It’s a nice, cute exploration of a single moment in the lives of two people as they share some sort of experience that brings them closer. It made me go “Awww, that was cute” at the end, and it’s very well-written, and that’s really all I ask for from these kinds of stories.
Final Thoughts: If you like Haphne, romance short stories, or both then you should absolutely give Hot Chocolate, Helpful Snake a shot!
Tier: Top Tier
Written on 05/20/2021