Story Title: The Way We Were
Author Name: Chem Prof
Story Url: Story Link
Alternate Url: Story Link
Content Rating: All Ages
Length: 11,055 words
Story Summary: Facing a milestone in their lives, Harry and Hermione look back at the choices they made, and the things they would change if they could go back and do it over. Then they receive a tempting offer. Fully canon compatible.
I’ve read numerous re-do fics in which Harry or another character goes back in time to change how things went during his Hogwarts years; many of those fics are rec’ed here. This story is very different from those. I’ve also read many “Harmony” stories, in which Harry is paired with Hermione. Sadly, you’ll note I don’t have many such fics recommended here. I like the idea of the pairing, but for whatever reason I have a hard time finding authors from that ship who write Harry and Hermione in a way that matches my personal definition of “in-character” behavior for the two.
Chem Prof, whom I’ve previously rec’ed, is a talented author who not only writes a convincing Harry/Hermione pairing, he also takes the Re-do trope and turns it into something unique and creative. Perhaps most challenging of all, he does all of this while maintaining a storyline that is completely consistent with canon and lacks any bashing on Ginny or Ron.
This introspective story begins decades after the Epilogue of Deathly Hallows. Unlike most re-do fics, it isn’t focused on what happens once they go back in time, but on what causes them to make that decision. It is a very character-driven narrative, with interesting discussions between Harry, Hermione, Lily Luna Potter and Hugo Weasley about the past, particularly the post-war years. For those of you for whom this is a concern, let me again emphasize that there is no character bashing and no adultery in this fic. What you will find here is a character-driven story which takes nothing away from canon, while still allowing us to enjoy the fun “what-if” nature of time-travel fics.
On a personal note, I’ll add one other thought. I’ve been married for nearly 20 years, as have the three couples with whom my husband and I have been close friends for many years. Within the last year, all three couples have divorced, something that would have been inconceivable even a year ago, much less when we were all first married. Marriage is hard – the hardest thing most people will ever do. If I can say that, knowing that my husband/best friend and I were perfectly matched, how much worse must it be when there is a poor foundation to a relationship? With the experience I now have, I must admit I find it increasingly easy to look at Ron and Hermione’s relationship in Deathly Hallows and envision a very challenging road ahead of them. So while this story does make reference to Ron and Hermione having a marriage full of arguments, the author clearly isn’t depicting Ron as a bad person. What you’ll see here is not hatred and bitterness, but care-worn, hard-won, painful experience about what it takes to make a relationship healthy and happy for the entire family.
Well done, Chem Prof.