Reviews for At the Headmaster’s Discretion *Complete*

BY : Desert_Sea

  • From wirewoolly on May 17, 2018

    From wirewoolly on May 17, 2018

    Hello, this is my first ever review on this site - I registered specially to make it :)

    I've read your story twice in the last couple of months, it has so moved me. The only bit I haven't enjoyed is that when I look away from the screen, I don't have your Snape in my home waiting to look after me / teach me a lesson ;)

    Seriously, though, reading your words has really helped with my personal growth and sense of identity after a lifelong battle with being a pushover for abusive fucks. I mean, I was on the road anyway (I'm a counsellor now so have worked through enough to be able to help others while maintaining my own sanity. Mostly), but in my most recent post-unhealthy-relationship-healing process (which has been extensive due to having to manage shared childcare with said boundary-pusher) I've been trying to figure out the fine balance of my desire for being controlled by Snape-types and my needs for being nurtured, plus the dynamics of caring for someone else without assuming the role of sole emotional-weight-bearing-vessel.

    Every twist and turn of your characters' emotional development has challenged my own and helped me to learn about myself. As I say, the only difficulty I had was the post-story grieving over this perfect coupling - but that again leads me to question why it was perfect to me, and how I can go about looking for the things I need and desire IRL.

    I read that you were going through a pretty shitty time of it yourself during the writing of this story and I hope that you're in a better place now. And I'm so glad that if writing this was your crutch/outlet/distraction through all that, it has also been such a gift to your readers. I'm judging that to have considered all the complex emotional dynamics in this story, you must not only be a great writer and story-teller but also a pretty cool person :D

    Take care,

    wirewoolly xx

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  • From reapergirl on January 26, 2018

    This was so intense. I cannot handle it. I loved it. 

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  • From BlackMaiden on December 22, 2017

    This was an excellent journey. Sad to see it go, but great story. Hope to see new stories in the future.

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  • From einhornfee on December 21, 2017

    THANK YOU Thank you THANK YOU. Oh, I'm am so relieved for this HEA. So grateful for this story. Well done you on writing something so beautiful!!!!! 

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  • From OracleObscured on December 16, 2017

    Yeeeeeeeeeeees! Oh gods, this was so good. This is definitely my favorite of all your stories (sorry ITH).

    The ending was perfect. I loved the conversation between Snape and Hermione’s mom, as it was relevant to not only the characters involved, but to the reader as well. The open end of the section before (in his rooms) left me wondering if the scene that followed was real or imagined (or an obliviated dementia). But in the end, as with life, reality is subjective and not as stable as we’d like to believe. The moments of joy and gratitude are what linger, and the present is all we can count on.

    My favorite line was “But how did one live as the opposite—an emotional gourmand?”. It captures Snape’s journey (and Hermione’s) so beautifully and throws the spotlight on embracing life rather than running from it. Of course everyone tries to avoid pain, and subsequently runs from that which hurts us, but there is the possibility of embracing all that befalls us, good or bad, and celebrating the ups and downs as the grand buffet of life. Although I can’t claim to live so freely, I can see the pleasure in adopting such an open attitude. There can be pleasure in the pain if the pain is embraced. (As both Hermione and Severus have shown us.)

    I also liked “There is a sensation . . . of knowing . . . that comes naturally with our thoughts. It gives us confidence to trust ourselves. When that has been compromised, it can be challenging for that trust to be restored.” I found this poignant for myself as my trust in my thoughts is damaged at best, and it’s caused me to also mistrust the world around me. I think that’s what I find so debilitating about anxiety and depression—the loss of trust in my brain and body and the consequent hatred toward myself for that betrayal. (If I was another person, I’d never speak to myself again. I’m quite the grudge-holder.)

    And that’s why I like this story so much; it’s a mirror of my own life . . . even if I don’t always like what I see in the reflection. It’s nice to know I can take the painful with the joyous with equal aplomb when it‘s presented in story form. :) Perhaps one day, like Hermione, I’ll see my own life as a story and be equally ravenous for each new chapter. <3 <3 <3


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  • From OracleObscured on December 14, 2017

    I loved this chapter! Seeing Hermione embrace the yang side of their dynamic with the whip was brilliant. You captured the balance of her simultaneous give and take so wonderfully.

    And even though I was too caught up in the reading to save a boatload of examples, the writing was excellent. The whole thing. <3

    The part about her fighting for what she wants and her realization that she had lost that part of herself but had found it again through his “intervention” was brilliant. 

    And I wondered when you were going to come back to Snape’s earlier comments about competing bucks in both her holes. (I just couldn’t figure out how that was going to be applicable to the story.)

    Her declaration of love and his reaction were also fabulous. So sweet. She’s taking control (in so many ways), and he’s going to have to let her remain at the helm to get them back to shore safely. I can’t wait to see how she pulls them out of this shit storm. :)

    Fav parts (and one fix):

    Was that why he had sacrificed himself? Was this an attempt to undermine his own attachment . . . to her?—Yeeeees! 

    It was so pure that when she finally gathered to come, it wasn’t the unholy wail that she might have expected but a breathy sigh of exaltation that flowed from her throughout her deliverance—Love the seamless blend of physical into spiritual here.

    (It made her so angry that a man like he should think so little of himself.—I’m 99% sure it’s “a man like him”. I wish I knew how to diagram sentences better, but I’m pretty sure in this instance, it’s the object not the subject.)

    I’m so excited that we’ll have this whole story soon! I need resolution! :)

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  • From OracleObscured on November 28, 2017

    Noooooo, you can’t end there! We’re so close!

    Are they going to run away together? Don’t answer that :)

    This is a shitty review; I’m trying to work on my own chapters, and I my brain won’t switch over to analyze this.

    I loved the scene you set here; the description of Snape in his chair was brilliant. Despondent perfection. And Hermione is the quintessential yin to his yang, all vitality and passion to his insular self-denial.

    I need more!

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  • From Erexen on November 27, 2017

    I have returned over and over to your story, it has entrenched itself in my memory... which speaks to the power of your writing. I say this due to the fact that I have been tested by multiple doctors and found to have no short term memory, after the various vehicle accidents where I was hit. Your stories linger in my thoughts, an enormous talent which is truly rare. Thank you.

    Many others have already covered the details that make this story striking in its intensity, thus I will not parrot the intelligence of your reviewers. The only thing I will say, whether it be parroting or not, is that I deeply hope and wish for a HEA for Severus and Hermione. I understand the depths of the darkness you have plunged them through, they both Need the healing intrinsic to their blooming relationship... sometimes the simplicity of another human to share love is the best balm for the soul. I speak from some experience, though no where near what they have faced in any of the Potterverse / fanfic world. 

    Also, I wish to offer you my empathy for your loss, 25 years is truly incredible in this modern age. I am glad you have trusted ones to be your support structure, and I have faith that they can be more present for you than this simple stranger. Sincerely hope your writing fills you with the same strength as it does those of us who love your work. You inspire me to push through my issues, and to never give up. Best wishes to you DS.

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  • From einhornfee on November 26, 2017

    So, I've re-read this whole story twice within the past week because I needed to to understand. The past two chapters were such a twist and turn! Brutally gut-wrenching and leaving me desperatly hoping for a happy ending. I was so confused with the sudden appearance of her parents. And then his declaration of love under the sky of hopelessness! Sigh - him being her only home, it is now on her to save him ... I hope! If she can write the book by her subconscious, maybe the story isn't yet finished? Maybe she can write the story in his book - or hers to help all of us ol' romantics here who NEED a HEA...? (I'm willing to beg you, dear DS!)

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  • From SnapeLove on November 26, 2017

    I had a fantastic time. 

    Just a quick note, the job found me in Vienna so now I'm working like a maniac to make up the travel time I lost (no rest for the weary, as it seems). But now I'm working with addition of stiff neck (and pain that goes with it) and fever >.<

    Through the whole story, I had a small and distant feeling like all of it is...real and not real at the same time. Like she is dreaming - and I was waiting for the moment for her to wake up somewhere. This chapter just enhanced this feeling.

    All in all great chapter!

    And please, please tell me this story will have "happy end". I'm not sure I could take sad end... (I can but....) ... Between my story, how tired I still am and work I have to do, I have high hopes that your story won't be a sad one.  I need hope ;)

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  • From OracleObscured on November 24, 2017

    Okay, I went back and read everything again, and I totally forgot that he just took her wand again, and I obviously missed that it wasn’t her book she found in his cupboard earlier. And that she gave it back to him. (I’m slow like that sometimes.)

    Rereading everything quickly gave the story a very different feel. For instance that last scene where her parents are returned seemed far less abrupt. (But there was still something surreal about the whole chapter. The return happening at the library was particularly odd.) But Snape did tell her he would help her (when he was in his book club form), so it seemed fitting.

    But more than anything else, I was struck by the little things tucked into each chapter that have so much more meaning once you’re deeper into the story. Snape being a motulomens (if he is indeed one—I noticed he never admitted to it) changes the way each scene plays out—all the little reactions, all the cryptic comments. And it changes the dynamics between them later on, because he’s really experiencing her reactions along with his own, so when she’s “in charge” he’s getting whatever relief he feels from the whipping, but he’s also getting what she’s feeling about being the dominant partner. (Unless he can just turn it off at will.) But that goes for all their other encounters too—he’s feeling her side of things as well as his own.

    While it was fun finding the clue to what we’re introduced to later (that he’s watching her for the Ministry, that he’s a motulomens, that he’s not just fucking with her for fun), rereading has left me with a slightly different perspective and, in turn, more questions.

    You made a previous reference to Dorthy in the Wizard of Oz, which seems to suggest a theme in her thinking. Is it that there’s no place like home? Or is it that all she seeks can be found within, including her home/happiness? 

    Are the clothes in Snape’s wardrobe that she’s never seen him wear a clue? (e.g. the ties she uses to gag him.) Is he posing as other people besides her book club boy friend? (BTW, their connection prior to the detentions is much more poignant in the reread too. That feels important.)

    I’m curious if Samuel is just a red herring, or is he really another spy?  (I had initially assumed he was a just a red herring, but now I’m not so sure. He’s awfully focused on her.)

    Is Snape really a motulomens? Is he something more?Is Hermione something more? Is she somehow affected by what Snape is? She occasionally seems to have a connection with him that goes beyond what I would consider normal. 

    What has he really been telling the ministry and what kind of deal did he make with them? Did he just promise to keep her out of trouble? To talk some sense into her?

    And then there were just the things I noticed more the second time around. (Even though I thought of them before, they stood out more when replayed.) Hermione’s anger is her driving force, and she’s incredibly unbalanced. (Two things I strongly identify with :))She (and we) have no clue what Snape’s true motives are. BUT it’s painfully apparent that he was honestly trusting her and opening up. (His gradual removal of his clothing as the story progressed is a perfect mirror of his inner state. He immediately covers himself back up as soon as she accuses him of treachery, and he has stayed safely ensconced in his layers ever since.)

    So now I’m most interested in the remaining pieces of the puzzle, the ones you haven’t shown us, because it feels like there’s a major part of the picture we haven’t been shown yet. We came so close to finding out what Snape’s real motives were, and since we have almost no information on what the Ministry asked of him (or what he’s been telling them), that seems pretty important. His feelings for her are blatantly obvious, so his reasons for helping her aren’t terribly mysterious (and I’m guessing their getting to know one another under false pretenses at the book club is actually his impetus for action—she’s accepted and fallen in love with him in every form he’s taken). And what will the consequences of his actions be? (Assuming the last scene wasn’t some kind of dream/hypnothesia hallucination.) (And I’m curious what she was hoping to glean from that collection of books.)

    More please :)



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  • From OracleObscured on November 22, 2017

    I can’t quite decide how I feel about this chapter. There was something sort of abrupt about the reintroduction of her parents. But beyond that, I can’t put my finger on what it is that made everything seem a bit surreal. I went on AO3 to see if someone else could put words to my confusion, but nobody really pinpointed what I was feeing. I guess the people questioning the reality of the situation were the closest. 

    I love the idea of Snape bringing back her parents (obviously :) or I wouldn’t have written GP), but this whole story has been about Hermione finding her own power as an adult. (Not that she can’t be a kick-ass powerhouse with her parents there.) Snape doing a complete 180 on the matter feels incongruent with everything he’s taught her thus far.

    But at the same time, I can see him sacrificing himself for her and making this one huge heroic gesture. I’m torn.

    I think Luna’s right: the world can be too much for some (and Hermione might not be up for it yet either).

    Fav parts:

    “but it was Luna’s incantation and Hermione had little doubt that the world according to Luna might look a lot like this.”—This just made me laugh, so I had to save it.

    “Sometimes the world can be too much, for some, don’t you think?”—Amen.

    “Ruby red. This was her essence of Dorothy—small fragments of hope that may one day carry her home.”—I love the sentiment behind this. And it’s great foreshadowing for the reunion with her parents. (Or great foreshadowing if the whole scene is all in Hermione’s head—like Dorothy’s.)

    “The back of a girl’s head, brass snake rearing up from between the pages. It was her gift, returned.”—I don’t know if I would have interpreted this as a gift returned. If I saw an unexpected book on my desk with a bookmark in it, I’d start reading the pages it was stuck between for clues.

    But maybe I’m paranoid like that.

    “It was the copy she’d never found, the one he’d taken”—Wait. What? Didn’t she take her book back when she searched his empty room earlier? And since when doesn’t she have her wand? He gave it back a while ago, didn’t he? Have I forgotten something between chapter postings? I think I need to reread the previous chapters.

    I can’t wait to see where you’re taking this (plus I need explanations). I hope you’re writing in your cave (work can wait).

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  • From SnapeLove on November 19, 2017

    Iknow I'm late beyond late with my comments. So this is just a quick note. I LOVE this chapter, and all the other I missed to comment on. I'll be in Vienna for - 2-3 more days, and hopefully, I'll have time to write you a proper review either while I'm here or when I return home. 

    I hope you are better. You know you have my support, if you ever need a shoulder I'm just a hat away. 

    Love&Hugs&Kisses from windy and rainy and old Austria :* 

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  • From OracleObscured on November 14, 2017

    This was such a psychological chapter. Barely anything happened in terms of action. I feel like this is some turning point and the coming chapters are going to blow all her suppositions to smithereens.

    She’s so . . . locked in a victimized mindset. She’s interpreting all of his actions as a personal attack. (Which is of course exactly how people really do respond when cornered and presented with decisions or information they don’t want to face.) I feel for her, but I think it bothers me that she sees no good in what he’s done for her. She learned so much from him, but now she’s throwing it away because she THINKS she knows what’s going on. She’s distorting everything she’s experienced to fit with her anger. I understand her sense of betrayal, I just don’t think I could, personally, discount all the good things she’d experienced with him.

    She knows she means more to him, that she’s more than just an assignment from the ministry or a good fuck. SHE KNOWS! It seems like she’s dismissing that too easily. It’s like she’s trying to pick a fight. But to what end I can’t fathom. What would she ultimately win? Unless she just wants answers and explanations from him. She knows he had a job to do, and she knows he’s no saint (and she obviously knows that what he was trying to stop her from doing was a seriously dangerous proposition), so why is she so offended? It seems to me he did his best to lead her off a dangerous path by showing her that there was another road entirely. He didn’t have to do that (and I think Hermione’s smart enough to see that even if she’s pissed off). But I guess that line of thinking raises the question of where does one draw the line between guidance and manipulation? Is fucking a lesson into someone dishonest in some way? (I’m going to say no in this case; although it could be.) She’s acting like he had some ulterior motive, but the only thing he got from her (besides companionship) was sex; but she’s already made it clear to herself that he felt something deeper for her too, so it wasn’t just the sex.

    If she feels betrayed by the knowledge that he won’t admit that, I could understand her deluded train of thought, but she seems to be clawing for scraps, looking for any reason to justify her anger.

    But again, I do really think people do that. (I don’t want you think I find the chapter unbelievable; it’s more my personal discomfort with her mental gymnastics.) This is like the start of the story: her acting out so he’ll punish her, except now she’s pushing emotional buttons, and it makes me cringe because one of those buttons might destroy more than she realizes.

    But I guess that’s the human condition. We do things for emotional reasons rather than logical ones.

    Your writing, as always, was fabulous this chapter. My favorite parts were probably the last two paragraphs, but that was for strictly emotional reasons. I’m dying to know what’s going to happen next (everything’s so shaky and unsure). Hope you’re successfully hiding out in your cave today and eschewing work in favor of feeding my fanfiction addiction. :) Need more AtHD. (Nom nom nom.)

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  • From einhornfee on November 09, 2017

    How did I not read this story earlier? I'm obsessed to know how things will continue...! 

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