|neviot (e_witness) wrote,|
@ 2007-07-17 11:15:00
|Entry tags:||fanfiction, snape, snape/pince, writing|
For purely selfish reasons
I've been working on-and-off throughout the summer on a Harry Potter fanfiction featuring the pairing Severus Snape and Irma Pince - I don't know what's wrong with my mind so don't ask - and am very, very stuck. For innumerable reasons, the least of which is that I'm just not competent enough to capture either character. Not in a way that won't scream "pathetic, melodramatic drivel."
So, I'm posting an excerpt, a really horribly written one that I'm really uncertain whether to include or not, and if anyone feels as if they wouldn't mind hurting themselves a bit, I'd love it if you could take a quick skim and tell me "yes" or "no."
It is often the circumstance that beautiful women live far easier lives than ugly ones. Beautiful women float through their existence in an ignorant euphoria, gracefully accepting their silver platters and never truly appreciating the gift Nature favored them with at birth. Ugly women, however, understand the chains of humanity and the eternal pain of enslavement. They understand that they may never escape the cesspit they were born into, that no matter their struggle they will always be regarded as the filth of the earth.
Irma Pince did not live an easy life. The option was firmly eliminated minutes after her birth when her handsome father rushed to the side of his exhausted wife and, bending over the squirming, screaming bundle, recoiled sharply at the sight. Even then, he later told her with his usual bluntness, she possessed the appearance of a vulture.
Irma could not remember a time when her father looked upon her with approval. His opinion was forever colored by that first and perpetual impression of a shockingly hideous infant, tiny face screwed up into an awful mess and screaming as if it knew what pain it would endure in that new world.
Her mother, too, never succumbed to that innate maternal affection that runs through the veins of all women. Perhaps her husband’s disgust tainted her as well, or perhaps she resented having to raise an ugly girl no one else could like or respect. In either case, she kept her daughter at arms’ length like a soiled tissue, never providing any more than the barest requirement.
The day Irma turned three stood in jarring clarity in her memory, a pinpoint of searing pain in a fog of unhappiness. That day, she had foregone flipping through her picture books to draw a picture of herself and her parents. She knew in her young heart that her parents did not love her as much as she loved them, but she hoped the drawing might at least bring a speck of a smile into their eyes. Clumsily, she scrawled as best as she could her family’s likeness, ignoring how her parents’ drawn figures kept trying to edge away from her own. And when she held it up to her father and mother, proudly hopeful, they snatched the drawing from her hands with a stern admonishment for ruining the paper and, setting the tip of a wand against it, burned the family portrait. Three-year-old Irma watched the fire eat the paper and knew that day to never again hope for love.
Nature had stolen the gift of loveliness from Irma, but she was allowed a larger portion of intelligence. She recognized early on that there was no one else she could rely on but herself. She gathered a protective layer of burns and scars acquired from reaching out and never bared her soul.
Rather than making friends and playing under the spinning sun, Irma spent her youth indoors, hidden amidst the musty shelves of her parents’ bookroom, the only room she was allowed into without supervision, and the library in Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where she felt least vulnerable. Wedged between the stacks of books upon books, she was safe from disdainful eyes and derisive laughter.
As a student, she had been careful to become as invisible as possible and was generally ignored. As a librarian, she was keen on protecting the only home she had ever wanted and soon earned an unpleasant reputation for guarding her books as most people would their lives. Her vulture-like hooked nose came in handy for glaring down at students, her nasty appearance a means for scaring away unruly adolescents.
Despite her cultivated loneliness, Irma wasn’t completely alone. As she grew older, her sharp mind recognized the value of friends and allies, and her scarred soul yearned for companionship. She carefully picked out the ugliest individuals to seek and offer amity, willing to trust and sympathize with her own kind. Very quickly, she became good friends with Argus Filch, the malevolent caretaker of the school. For all his fanaticism, she identified with his protective nature. He guarded his haven just as she guarded hers.
Two years after her graduation, she spotted a face as ugly as hers and soon discovered the intellect behind it matched hers in keenness as well. She had seen him lurking between the shelves one day, a gangly, pallid boy of eleven who looked on the verge of being wiped away in the dust, and she approached. He had rebuffed her help quite ruthlessly, and even she had been taken aback to hear such words from so young a boy, but she was not so shocked as to retreat. For some years afterwards, she kept tabs on him and on one or two other ugly students, making more allowances for them than all the other students combined and always ready to offer assistance.
But that boy especially fascinated her. She watched him mature, climbing through the school as she had done, and she found herself admiring his steely pride and resolve: he violently stood up for himself against those blasted Gryffindor boys and sneered at those who mocked his ugly, greasy face. He did not shrink from his enemies but cunningly outmaneuvered them with his superior intelligence. She could not help but envy him a little.
Then there were times she worried the boy was turning in the wrong direction. When she caught him with that dead spider pinched between two fingers, and when those older Slytherin boys circled around him, she sensed that his strength could very easily shift purposes and allegiances.
She felt a pang of loss when he graduated and moved on. In her sixteen years at Hogwarts, as student and librarian, she had never felt such regret for not striving harder to befriend another person. He stayed in her mind for years afterward, and she wondered about him, inexplicably unable to forget.
If I kept this wordy narrative, it would obviously be the introduction to the story, and it just seems terribly boring to open with, especially as it is in Irma's POV, and she's as unpopular a character as there could be. If I didn't keep this, my alternative is to plunge straight into their renewed acquaintance with Snape's return to Hogwarts as a reformed Death Eater. The history could always be slipped in elsewhere.
I think I've half convinced myself already. But I'm a teenager; I can't make decisions. Help.
Thank you ahead of time for just reading all of that. Sorry to take advantage. ^^;