Reviews for Self Slain Gods on Strange Altars
duskywolfdaemon chapter 3 . 12/12/2021
Dear Scum,

This was the chapter that did it for me all those years ago. I remember so clearly because I was beyond busy getting ready for an inter-continental move from Canada to New Zealand, and I didn't have time to sit and read a new fic, let alone the hours I wanted to spend with your story. I took the story in snatches. In the dark before bed. In the moments between endless packing and weighing and packing again. And then, finally, throughout the endless era on the plane, when your work unfolded at last, the carpet I rode to a new land and a new life.

This was the chapter I read the night before I left.

There are moments in some fanfics where canon changes forever. The final scene in this chapter is one such moment. When I wrote my own fic I had to include a similarly gruesome scar; Rowling hints at the depth of Hermione's injury, but I have always loved how you explore it in full. Hermione is a changed character after that disastrous ending in the fifth book; not many fanfic authors notice that.

The encounter in the Entrance Hall is almost as arresting as the scene of the scar. I had to read it a number of times to understand what Snape was doing, and why he was seeking her out. He sees in Hermione the self-same ideological possession he displayed at her age. It was what led him away from Lily and into the dark. And he knows now that, light or dark, that type of possession is dangerous and foolish and callow. He's trying to guide her away, to teach her. He knows that her position in this war is second only to Harry's, and that she must accelerate her maturation in order for the light to succeed. All of this, matched with his deliberate cruelty, his underlying knowledge of her most essential nature, is, as I said, arresting.

As Hermione realises that she is exactly what Snape thinks she is, she begins the transformation necessary to complete her role in the war. But it is this transformation that deepens her fascination with him – both despite and because of the precedent he sets here.

On to the next chapter.

Toodles,
DWD
duskywolfdaemon chapter 2 . 12/12/2021
Dear Scum,

You hit your stride in this chapter, particularly in the idiosyncratic second-person perspective similes. You strew them about, giving us little peeks into Hermione's sensory processing, which reads either as either highly sensitive... or disordered. But we've all had those moments, haven't we? Those times where the colours of the world becomes so saturated that we can't look away though we must, or risk the slow burning of our retinas, the slow calcifying of our minds.

This chapter features one of my favourite scenes: Snape and Hermione the Knight Bus. There is something so pedestrian in public transportation, and you take full advantage of matching an ordinary milieu with Hermione's extraordinary realisations. Those realisations transform Snape from a creature of the shapeless dark to the man who knows that Hermione will need saving from her own lack of foresight. This knowledge permeates the remainder of the text, shapeless one chapter, and so solid in the next that it might destroy everything because the one thing he cannot rescue her from... is himself.

Hermione's awareness of everything – and everyone – seems to grow, tendrils of thought that snake through this chapter, which barely coheres between all the breaks and pauses. It shouldn't work, Scum. But it does. It works because Hermione is as disjointed as this narrative, and we must disjoin, too, in order to join her.

Yours faithfully,

DuskyWolfDaemon
duskywolfdaemon chapter 1 . 12/12/2021
Dear Scum,

You have beef with me and you don't even know it.

Why?

Because I owe you. For five years. For one fic of my own. For dozens of readings of yours. For two almost-complete original fics. I owe you. I feel like my work is an intertext with yours, skating across my screen – across my mind – alongside my own for five years.

And I have yet to give you the only currency that matters to a proper writer.

I will rectify that now.

This first chapter submerges us in a Hogwarts and a Hermione that are entirely your own, but that are entirely convincing. This Hogwarts is dank. It is mouldering. It would surely fall apart were it not for the magical denizens within. And, even then, it is threatened. This Hermione is everything JK didn't write, but which she hinted at in the hands-up eagerness, in the glances we don't see, in the genius that isn't quite genius, but longs to be. Your Hermione reads as someone who knows her flaws and who knows she can't get around them, but, goddamn it, she will try anyway.

And this is why her first two encounters with your Snape - he of the hideous eyes and awful teeth in such painful focus - is earth-shattering. He offers a counterpoint that feels close enough to canon that there is no suspension in my belief. The attraction makes perfect sense. Of course he could correct that which she lacks; of course she could challenge that which he idolises. These are the two equally broken halves a whole that might make the rest of the world sigh in appreciation, or shriek in horror.

The rest of the characters are drawn in sharp, perfect lines, the essence of each captured in a few well-chosen words. Indeed, this entire story is a lesson in vocabulary.

"Get thee to a dictionary!" you scream at me with your prose. "Get thee to a thesaurus!"

But instead I'll just click on that little arrow. I'll dive into the next chapter to watch Hermione's fascination grow, her anxiety fold over itself, a sword she creates with each new encounter. Her judgements will cascade like a waterfall behind her eyes until all she can see... is him.

Cheers,

DuskyWolfDaemon
A chapter 20 . 12/11/2021
Your story is the best fic I've ever read. You have incredible writing skill. The main thing I like about this story is it's realness. Hermione doesn't swoon over an unrealistically handsome Snape. She sees his flaws, it's not mushy, it's raw and full of feeling. I know life gets in the way but just to let you know that even if its 8, nearly 9 years later, someone would be interested in reading the rest of it 3
mia9801 chapter 20 . 11/6/2021
I‘ve read this entire fic in one sitting and I loved every second of it. Your abilities as a writer are phenomenal. This is the kind of story that makes you want to quote every single line in it.
I know it’s been like 8 years since you last updated and I hope this message finds you well and happy in life. Perhaps you do find it in you to return to this little part of your life and finish what you started. One day. Anyway, I’ll be here, waiting for your return. Much love, xx
dmoni chapter 1 . 10/4/2021
I hope you return one day and finish this masterpiece. you have a gift. Beautifully done!
Guest chapter 6 . 9/12/2021
Your writing is so good it hurts!
Guest chapter 1 . 9/11/2021
Oh this so so Good!
Lilltomten chapter 20 . 5/24/2021
Wow I really, deeply enjoyed your writing. I've been on a break from fanfiction and just returned, found this and spent the entire night reading insteed of sleeping. I do hope you've continued writing, of not on this then something else, because you've got an amazing way with words and just making something feel so real. One of the best pieces I've ever read on this site, just want to say thank you for creating somethiing this magical and sharing it with the rest of us. Amazing.
01010932 chapter 20 . 5/10/2021
“ Promise there will be more SSHG goodness in the next chapter! And by more I mean... MORE. *wink, wink*” famous last words skkdkdksk no but seriously, this is the best snamione story I’ve ever read, and even though this could’ve been a good ending, if an open one, I really want more. It’s been 8 years, but the last things you lose is hope, I guess. Anyways, I hope one day I’ll see this again in my notifications, great work!
Jarmitage chapter 8 . 2/6/2021
Hermione describing his kissing to her horrified friends made me cackle madly out loud for a full minute.
M.Blanche chapter 1 . 1/20/2021
Word of advice: write in past tense.
"Harry is due to arrive soon" should be "Harry was due to arrive soon"
Jemjnz chapter 20 . 1/4/2021
Your writing is really good. I absolutely adore the philosophical abstract paragraphs and the sense of what the war is doing they give. The mind altering, numbing, confusing, grinding downess that is this war is really well down. It makes for a grim story but there are not a lot of fan fictions out there that do from quite so well.

Kia Kaha. We’re all moving through our lives, one step at a time. You doing a fine job, we’ve all got our demons. You are not alone, no matter which way you look at it. ️
Kcm765 chapter 20 . 12/5/2020
This story gives me shivers and sets my soul on fire. Perfection *gesticulates widely*.
Sevvy chapter 20 . 11/27/2020
Hi,

I hope all is well.

I Really love this story and hope you return one day just to say Hi. I do hope you’re doing well, and I wish you all the best in life.

X.
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