Word Count: 8,100, Pairings: Harry Potter/Daphne Greengrass, Draco Malfoy/Hermione Granger, Neville Longbottom/Destiny Lestrange, Blaise Zabini/Ginny Weasley
My Thoughts: As The Sealed Kingdom goes on, I really start to realize how badly the Dark Prince Trilogy’s earlier growing pains are going to come back and hurt the fic. I’ve generally enjoyed this third leg of the trilogy quite a bit, but I can see it starting fall off here. I genuinely felt like the Dumbledore death scene and the Potter confrontation were both great sequences, and paid off a lot of setup, and those gave me hope that this thing would somehow find a way to stick the landing, but I just don’t think that’s the case. Everything I like about The Dark Prince Trilogy is the unabashedly dark and messy corruption arcs, framed through the Wrong-Boy-Who-Lived template. Hermione’s corruption arc? Fantastic. Neville’s corruption? Wonderful. Unfortunately, this trilogy made the decision to do some major bashing in the first two books, and those characterizations are sticking around. The dark side is just too….good for my tastes. I mean sure, they’re doing some fucked up shit here and there, but it’s balanced by them actually having some decent ideas and being straight up right about a lot of things. It’s just annoying, because I can’t revel in them being evil, and I also can’t really root for them, and I also can’t root for the light, because they’ve been bashed to hell and back! I still like Hadrian and Daphne’s interactions, but a lot of this chapter was drama that I just couldn’t be fucked about. Give me more action, dammit! And if not that, give me some of that Haphne fluff I saw in some of this fic’s early chapters. So overall, I was a bit disappointed by this chapter. I really hope it picks back up, or else this trilogy very well may go out with just as big a low as it started with.