Title: Sleep Talking Author: flutterbywings
Original Source: Harry Potter Characters: Hermione G. & Harry P.
Rating: M Genre(s):
Chapter(s): 6 Status: On Hiatus
Description: It starts with a memory of the nights Hermione spent alone with Harry in the Forest of Dean. Who thought that remembering something from the past could change everything happening in the present? AU. M to be safe. Harry/Hermione Ron/Hermione
*Inhale* … *Exhale* … *Inhale* … *Exhale*
Okay, I think I’m calm enough to tackle this review. So, we have a Harry Potter fan fic based off the movies and it’s meant to be a Ron/Hermione, Hermione/Harry, Harry/Ginny romance type. Now, I think it started off as a one-shot, taking place during the time after Ron has abandoned Harry and Hermione and they are on their own. Harry has a wet dream and cries out Hermione’s name, which she hears, and it brings to the foreground some building sexual tensions between the characters and it eventually results in them sleeping together.
Fine. Cool. I can handle that. If the story had been left there it would have been fine. It would have been a one-shot that fills in the behind-the-scenes. I can dig that. What I can’t abide by is the bullshit of a story that follows after the first chapter!
What was a decent one-shot story became the basis for a horrible, lengthier story. The rest of the story picks up about three to five years after the movies ended with Ron proposing to Hermione in front of the Weasley family and Harry (who is Ginny’s boyfriend). From the proposal on, the story spirals down as the proposal brings up buried emotions and memories between Harry and Hermione, Hermione feels conflicted about marrying (more like ‘settling for’) Ron, there’s temptation to try having a relationship with Harry, and lots of the unnecessary sex. *Groans.*
Each of those things I mentioned happen after the proposal. Ron’s proposal was like the catalyst for bringing the story down.
What I find interesting is that the “current” relationship between Hermione and Harry is described as they’re friends but not on speaking terms; they avoid each other yet they see each other often at Weasley functions; they have agreed to be “just friends” yet they act as possessive lovers. Essentially an unhealthy relationship that is doomed to explode and create causalities in the process. It’s the type of relationship that I cannot fathom Hermione and Harry having for so long without one of them taking the initiative to sit down and figure things out.
Anyways, so Ron proposes (whoopee…) and Harry confronts Hermione about her answer (which was ‘yes’). The confrontation leaves Hermione questioning if there’s still a chance to be with Harry. *Rolls eyes.* I think the answer is “yes” if he’s choosing to be all jealous and demanding why you’re marrying Ron. Anyways, the confrontation stirs up conflicting emotions within Hermione that mix with stress from Mrs. Weasley nagging about the wedding (which had no date and was not being planned yet) and Hermione’s mom expressing her wariness about this union. On top of that there’s the stresses from Hermione’s work and Ron’s constant whining about his feelings of inadequacy (mostly in comparison to Harry)… It all begins to take its toll on Hermione.
Man, Mrs. Weasley would’ve hated me for a future in-law because I would’ve told her to shove it. I tell my mom to back off IRL when she starts planning my wedding, and I’m not even engaged yet. The entire situations surrounding Hermione in this story seem to be from one large pot of “what else can give Hermione ulcers?” They just stack and none of them get resolved, nor does Hermione seem to find solace somewhere or with someone. I’m not kidding. There isn’t a single character she seems to spill her guts to throughout the story! It makes me suspect that she’ll eventually have a mental break down.
Moving on! So, Hermione decides that the best way to deal with things (at least where Harry is concerned) is to ‘clear the air’ with Harry. Good! I like that idea. Let’s sort things out early on. Please do. While Ron is out of town for a few days she invites Harry over for dinner.
…Excuse me? Who sees this as a “good idea?” This sounds like a recipe for disaster—like a disastrous end to a relationship (or two).
I’ll give credit as far as the date was one of those “the reality does not always work out like the fantasy” dates. Hermione imagines candlelight (who the hell does that with someone they have a complicated/undefined relationship with?), elegant food, and Hermione looking all dolled up while Harry watches her with eyes that are storming with desire. In reality, she ends up with no candlelight, half of the food gets burnt, she’s not dressed up, and her hair’s a mess.
Personally, when I read this part I kept thinking, “Why don’t you just order pizza or Chinese take-out?” Hear me out on that thought, in my mind if Hermione and Harry are meant to be close friends despite their currently strained relationship then wouldn’t it be better to provide food that is meant for a more relaxed atmosphere and tends to induce talking rather than seduction? *Shrugs.* All the dinner scene accomplish was set the stage for the sex scene.
No one can say that s/he didn’t see a sex scene coming because it was practically spelt out in bold letters from the moment Hermione started planning the date. I’m impressed the color of Hermione’s panties weren’t mentioned.
The dinner date leads to a sex scene and very little is established by way of where they stand in their relationship. Huzzah for zero progression!
So, the date-to-sex just complicates Hermione’s emotions even more to the point where she boils over and erupts at Ron, bringing up the taboo subject of him abandoning them. Ron runs away and goes to cry on Harry’s shoulders. *Blinks.* I already hate Ron as it is, story, you don’t need to give me more reasons to think ill of him. Anyways, Harry scolds Hermione and she does a turnabout on Harry and directs the conversation to “them.” Admittedly, I’m happy(ish) to see that there is a moment where Harry and Hermione have to sit down and talk (instead of having make-up sex in the kitchen) about where they stand with each other, what their feelings are, and what they want to do. Too bad that moment is short-lived and still ends with them having sex.
I need to pause for a moment here. *Grabs a wooden crate with the words “Soap Box” written upside down and in red permanent marker on the sides. Flips the crate upside down and sets it on the ground, then steps up onto the overturned box.* Whoa… It’s a bit high up here…
I am aware that this story is rated M. I am aware that there are going to be sexual situations. I am aware that there will be times when characters are put into compromising situations. However, just because I know these things will/do happen doesn’t make it okay for any story to have characters having sex every time they see each other and then still claim that the characters “love” each other. No! You are not showing me, the Reader, that these character “love” each other; you’re showing me that they are attracted to each other and apparently can’t keep their hormones in check! That *points at the sex scene* doesn’t equal “love!”
When I read stories (fan fiction or published novels) that have these type of sex-driven romances and the characters claim to love each other, I feel uneasy and queasy about the relationship because what will happen once the novelty of sex wears off? Or what will these characters do once major issues in their relationships come up? Have sex and never talk about it? There’s little foundation, zero to little growth, and attempts to make it a serious relationship go up in flames with a sex scene.
Now, I’m pretty certain that a lot of Readers will misunderstand me and believe that I hate the constant sex scenes. This is not the case. I don’t care how many sex scenes a person puts into their story (wait until I review Shi-Chan’s Roommates) as long as there is a motive behind the sex. You need some examples?
- The characters are in a romantic relationship (dating, fiancées, or married). – Harry and Hermione are any of those as they are dating/engaged to other people and they are cheating on their significant others.
- The characters are labeled as “friends with benefits.” – Harry and Hermione can’t even define what they are.
- Prostitution or sex slave.
- Rape. I detest this reason but it’s a motive for sex in a story.
- Spell or curse that causes the character/s to have sex.
- Character/s was drunk. If you use this motive then you had better include some sort of consequence for having sex while drunk. I don’t care if it’s pregnancy, vomiting on partner during the act, the awkwardness during the morning-after and beyond, or whatever. As long as there is a consequence.
There’s no reason for the sex scenes between Harry and Hermione, or the sex Ron and Hermione have later. There’s the excuse of “love” but without a foundation it’s a pathetic excuse, particularly since Hermione is knowingly and willingly cheating on her fiancée. I’m impressed that her cheating habits don’t bother Harry since it’s him she has her eyes on being her next boyfriend. *Shrugs.* Although, to be fair, Harry’s cheating habits should bother Hermione as well.
Thus endth the lesson.
*Steps back, off of the crate, then bends down and picks up the “Soap Box.” Steps off to the side and hides the crate.*
Sorry for the soap box moment. Back to the story!
During their pre-sex discussion Hermione and Harry agree to stay away from each other long enough to break it off with their current significant other (three months) and to see if they truly want to be together. Admirably they are trying to spend time apart and have plans to break up with their current significant others rather than cheat on them (like they are currently). However, personally, I don’t think this was the way the story should have gone. I say this because I, the Reader, have not seen Hermione and Harry interact enough to actually be convinced that they should call it quits with Ron and Ginny to be together. *Shrugs.* It’s just my opinion though.
Also, when I read this scene I got the sense that Harry actually doesn’t want to break up with Ginny. In fact, the way he keeps dodging the topic of him and Hermione and their significant others just tells me that he might have only wanted Hermione at that time because Ron had her. It’s the whole wanting something (in this case, someone) you can’t/don’t have just because you can’t/don’t have him/her and someone else (Ron in this case) does. So, once Harry has Hermione and she starts talking about “them,” he wants out. Note: This is not what is stated in the story, it is merely the impression that I got from reading the conversation between Harry and Hermione.
Or perhaps Harry wants to have both Ginny and Hermione. Either way, in this scene he’s like this emotionless brat who would rather play pretend then confront reality.
It seems to be a recurring theme in this story; having two people that you love but not quite the same. I mean Hermione expounds upon that topic in regards to Ron and Harry; how she loves them both but she loves Harry just a little more and a little different than the love she has for Ron. Same thing with Harry, or so he claims. Maybe it’s just me, but this sounds like an excuse for not being able to make a decision.
Alright… *Takes a deep breath* Okay, we’re almost at the end. Last chapter or at least the last chapter that is currently available. I can do this!
After this lovely yet inadequate heart-to-heart, Hermione decides to pay Ron a visit to apologize for bringing up the abandonment thing and to break things off. Well… *Squints while trying to read the chapter.* I’ll be honest, I’m not entirely certain who actually “broke” the relationship off. It’s rather unclear. Actually, I cannot say that Ron and Hermione have called it quits (despite Hermione’s presumptions) because of the phrasing. Here’s the “break up” scene (Ron begins speaking):
There’s not a “we need to break up because this is not working” or “I don’t want to be your fiancée or even your girlfriend anymore.” Saying, “I think we should hold off the wedding for a while,” signifies taking a step back in the relationship, taking things a little slower, but not breaking up. Hell, if one of them said, “I think we should see other people,” I would be more convinced that they are legitimately no longer a couple. Sure, Hermione gives Ron the ring back but then she has sex with him!
Excuse me for a moment. *Grabs “Soap Box” and positions it upside down on the ground then stands on it.*
What the hell is wrong with this version of Hermione that she must have sex with Ron and Harry every time things get serious?! I’d hate to use the word “slut” but she’s not getting paid so I can’t call her a “whore.” I– *Groans in frustration* I just don’t get it! Is there an appeal to making Hermione a slut who can’t decide if she wants to be with Ron or Harry so she must sleep with both? This fic is giving me a headache trying to make sense of it, particularly Hermione…
And for Readers who want to point out that the story is labeled as “AU,” I have a few words on that subject. AU is not a pass to do whatever you want; no matter what people think. AU gives authors a lot of freedom but authors also limit themselves when they decide to AU a story that stays within the realm of the original source (i.e. the Harry Potter movies). If the setting, the characters’ backgrounds, and everything else had been changed then I couldn’t find as much fault with the slutty behavior. Alas, the story was kept it within the movie-verse then “AU” was added cover its ass. I’ll forgive Hermione’s slutty personality under “Creative License,” however, I will say this: I think the story would have been better if it had not gone in the direction of slut Hermione. *Steps off soap box* I’m not even going to move it this time. I might need it again.
Back to the story.
Yay!!! Another sex scene out of the way and the story ends with Hermione feeling more relieved at having gotten the burden of being engaged to Ron off her shoulders and the pity sex (I can think of nothing else to call it) out of the way. Now she just has to wait for Harry to do the same thing to Ginny.
*Pants* Oh my God, I made it through the story! I’m surprised I survived.
This story is…horrible! And the worst part is that it didn’t have to be. If it had been left it as a one-shot it would’ve been a nice little insight into the behind the scenes and nothing more; just a little something for the Hermione/Harry fans out there. *Raises hand.* Instead it was a good one-shot that became this disfigured, grotesque monster of a story turning Hermione into a slut, Ron into a hacky-sack (it seems like he just gets kicked around), and Harry into this self-centered, emotionless prick. I can honestly say that I spent the better part of the story being pissed at all the characters and their actions, and if there had been a death scene I would have cheered; that’s how unlikable the characters were in the story.
Let me recap everything that is wrong with the story.
1). The foundation of a relationship between Hermione and Harry is weak and unexplored.
2). The suddenness of Harry’s ‘need’ to interfere and persuade Hermione not to be engaged to Ron is never explored. Not to mention the timing is just feels off.
3). The indecisiveness of Hermione.
4). The indecisiveness of Harry.
5). The lack of romance building.
6). The lack of motive for the sex scenes.
7). The characters’ (Hermione in particular) lack of scruples in terms of cheating on their significant others. How certain characters lead others on emotionally (I get that impression from Harry. Then there’s the “pity” sex with your new “ex” (I’m not convinced Hermione and Ron broke up). I’m not even going to mention the lack of safe sex etiquette.
8). The pacing. Why is it that no one asks why characters, like Harry, decide that now is a good time to act on past emotions/attractions? He had a few years to make a move yet he didn’t, why not? If the reason is “he didn’t want to hurt Ginny” then here’s a newsflash, he’s going to hurt her anyways! Probably more now because he has cheated on her.
The only redeeming qualities in this story are: the first chapter and the formatting. That’s it. Otherwise, it’s a waste of time.
If you’re looking for a fic that’s got a plot used to provide excuses for sex scenes and the characters are idiots, then give this one a read. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you.