By Mr 3CP
Status: Complete, Word Count: 15,600, Pairing: Harry Potter/Daphne Greengrass, Genre: Mystery/Tradgedy
Read the Fic Here: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/13814887/1/Harry-Potter-and-the-Secrets-in-the-Shadows
Author’s Summary: A much changed Harry Potter departs from Britain following the defeat of Voldemort. Four years later he returns, and nothing is as it once was. As secrets spread and friends change all around her, will Hermione discover the threat to the Wizarding World before its too late, or will all be consumed, devoured by a rising darkness?
Characterization: Of the three main characters in this fic, I think that Hermione is the most impressive. You see, I know for a fact that the author of this fic has something of an extreme hatred for Hermione, so him making her a complex and compelling protagonist is impressive as all hell. He only has 15k words to develop her, and he does a really great job. She has her flaws and her foils, but she is never unrealistically stupid and she never falls for anything obvious. Her being blinded by her love and loyalty to her best friend is actually a rather neat idea, and it’s an interpretation of Hermione that I haven’t really seen before. Either way, Hermione is great from beginning to end, and I wish more people were able to write characters they hate this well. He even got to kill her off in the end, but he earned it and it made sense in the context of the story. Harry is….fun. This fic’s premise is that Harry goes and travels the world and comes back as Emperor Palpatine. He’s evil for the sake of being evil and it is as glorious as it is horrifying. I’m a really big fan of the way he goes about taking over the world as well, slowly setting himself up to take over Britain while placing people under his thumb in other countries, and keeping up the charade for as long as humanly possible before going to full on war. It is really well done, and there’s an oh shit moment about half way through the fic where you realize what Harry’s doing, and it’s just fantastic. Look, it’s not complex characterization or anything like that, but it works really well for what it is, and I won’t lie, sometimes I like my characters to just be evil, and this scratches that itch very affectively. Daphne is boring. I enjoy the reveal that she’s not the one manipulating Harry, cause it’s great from a Hermione perspective, but other than that, I’m not a fan. There’s not much interesting going on with her character, and she’s kind of forgettable. Overall, this averages out to some pretty great overall character work.
Action: While there isn’t much actual action, there are some descriptions of battle, and here is where I have to shout out this fic for the imagery it uses. There are some scenes that have some of the most vivid and moving imagery that I have ever seen in a fic before. In particular, there’s a scene involving Bill and Fleur, and holy shit it is simultaneously an emotional punch to the gut, while also being some truly gruesome and horrifying. This fic knows how to do gore right, without being gratuitous. It knows how to be horrifying without becoming cartoonishly violent, and this is a delicate balance to strike. I think that overall, the action in this fic is fucking fantastic.
Plot: In terms of plot, this fic is very basic. It is a simple world domination story told from the perspective of a character who it is fun to root for. It is a tragedy, but there are other fics out there, such as dead things by EclipseWing that do similar things to this with much better execution. I’m not knocking this fic’s plot or anything like that, but this is very much a plot that services the characters and imagery, which, while not a bad thing, does mean that this section is held back a little bit from true greatness.
Dialogue: As with the plot, the dialogue in this fic is very serviceable, without ever really popping. There’s not much that I consider to be bad, but this fic’s strength is very clearly in narration. All of the strongest scenes are narrated either from a nebulous third person perspective, or from the perspective of Hermione, and this makes the dialogue a bit…forgettable. However, it’s better to be forgettable than memorable for the wrong reasons, and Harry can have some memorable monologues at times, so this section, while held back a bit by some flaws, is still pretty great.
Writing Mechanics: Mechanically, this fic is very solid. There isn’t anything incorrect enough to bring me out of the story, and a lot of the tonal shifts are actually quite masterful, so this section is good, and as is the norm, I don’t give a fuck about the minor errors.
Overall: This is a really neat and criminally under-appreciated oneshot that does dark!Harry masterfully. Between the interesting characterizations, the truly stunning imagery, and the surprisingly good (for a first story) writing mechanics, I’d definitely recommend giving this fic a shot! You will most likely not be disappointed.
Final Thoughts: If you’re a fan of dark!Harry, this fic is for you, and if you’re a fan of good oneshots, this fic is also for you. I think it’s great, and I bet you will too.
Tier: Top Tier
Written on 05/20/2021