Story: Of Muggles and Magic
Story URL: Story Link
Word Count: 192,771 words
Summary: A witch struggles to conform in a society that restricts her. A wizard thinks he has nothing to offer anyone but his duty and, ultimately, his life. An SS/HG Regency Tale. As AU as you get. M for later chapters.
What a wonderful discovery this fic was! I’m so excited to have stumbled upon it as a result of a crack_broom rec. It’s the Harry Potter series, from Hermione’s point of view, set in the Regency-era! Oh happy day! Best of all, this fic is good. It’s very, very good. With apologies to the author, I must share her opening Author’s Note to give you an idea of why I went nuts over this story:
The Original Prompt: Write a Regency! Sense and Sensibility, the Potter Version, with Hermione of course as Miss Elinor Dashwood and Severus as Mr. Edward Farras. Or perhaps even more fun have Hermione be Miss Marianne Dashwood and Severus be Col. Brandon?
All I Could See: Write a Regency! blurbleblurbleblurbleblurble Potter Version blurb Hermione blurble blurbleblurbleblurble and Severus blurbleblurbleblurble… See? It’s a terrible flaw.
And so I give you 35+ chapters of tea and manners, Empire waists and Superfine coats, obstinate men and stubborn women, Intrigue, Drama, Angst, Romance, and eventually—clutch the pearls—smut.
This story is an amalgamation of Jane Austen, Anne Brontë, Charles Dickens, and Elizabeth Gaskell, with a smidgen of Wm. M. Thackeray, and a very healthy dose of J.K. Rowling. It is AU in the truest sense of the term. I do stick to the Potter storyline in the background, but trust me, even that is alternative. You will understand as you read.
How could I fail to fall in love with such a story? The transition of Hermione’s character into the sexist Regency-era was just flawless. I loved how brilliant, frustrated, resigned, pragmatic and utterly determined she was. It was fascinating to see what changed and what stayed the same. I was particularly startled by the comparison of the wizarding world to the muggle world in terms of who was most enlightened and allowed women the most rights. And yet, how logical and perfect was the author’s determination on that score! Snape sums up the reasons for that difference in a very insightful explanation to Hermione, with which I wholeheartedly agreed.
The story can be rather angsty at times, far more than I typically rec, but that isn’t because of romantic angst, which drives me up a tree when it is exaggerated for no good reason. Rather, what was present here was merely the understandable anxiety and frustration of a young girl stuck between two worlds, feeling neither fully witch nor muggle, in a world in which women were often treated like broodmares. Add in the anxiety of the wizarding world at war (for the author does a remarkable job of following JKR’s basic plot without the story feeling at all like a re-hash) and it’s easy to understand why Hermione’s mood is not one of perfect contentment at all times in this story. But again I must emphasize that this isn’t an angst fest. Hermione is too practical to allow for that.
The relationship between Hermione and Snape in this fic manages to eliminate a lot of those elements which I know are squick factors for HP fans who detest the Snape/Hermione ship, merely by setting the story in the Regency-era. At a time when marrying one’s first cousin was quite the norm, the issues that bother some HP fans about a potential Snape/Hermione pairing become rather irrelevant. It’s made perfectly respectable in this setting. So even if you’ve always despised this ship, you really should take a look at this story. You’ll be amazed. If nothing else, you’ll fall in love with the original characters, whose development is just awe-inspiring.
In fact, I must now go and browse through the author’s other stories in search of more sources of awe and amazement.