1517: No One in this World is Perfect – One Shot

Title: No One in this World is Perfect
Author: Draco Malfoy is Blonde
Media: Books / Movie
Topic: Harry Potter / The Great Gatsby
Genre: Tragedy/Angst
URL: No One in this World is Perfect
Critiqued by Addicted Reader

::Addicted Reader wanders absent-mindedly into the Riffing Room::

::looks around::

Oh, there are Patrons here!  I guess I should do a riff.  Hold on, let me go find something.

::starts rummaging through ff.net::

Well, last time we were in the Harry Potter crossover section, specifically the bottom of the list where the canons with exactly one crossover story are listed.  Let’s keep looking there.

::scrolls for a while::

Oh, Great Gatsby!  That must be that odd little underwear fic from a while ago.

::clicks link::

Huh, it’s something else.

::spends a while clicking links and mumbling something about dashes and underscores::

Ok, so there are two listings for “Great Gatsby” under HP crossover.  There are four fics, including the underwear one, under one listing and just this one under the other.  The fic is short and the summary presents a premise worth looking at, so here goes:

Short conversation between Jay Gatsby and Severus Snape; because women are fickle or dead. (Gatsby didn’t die.)

With great effort of will, I’m going to ignore that misused semicolon.

I can do this.

So we have a changed ending and a stretch at the timeline.  Let’s see what the author does with it.

There was an old man in a pink suit standing on an ornate balcony overlooking a beautiful bay. He was staring at a blinking green light in the fog.

Ok, we have Gatsby as an old man doing what he did as a young man in the book.  Pretty obvious way to start off.

The balcony was apart of a large, extravagant house, with extensive but dead grounds and an unclean pool, the blinking light was on the end of a wharf belonging to a house whose original residents had long since moved away.

::deep breath::  Well, that was a long sentence.  Or really, two sentences comma-spliced together.  But hey, description!  Without any purple prose!!  Author, have a cookie.

Our standards have gotten really low around here.

“It’s cold.”

Is that unexpected?  We got some description of the setting, but we don’t know what season it is.  And to whom is the old man speaking?

“Hello, old Sport.” The generic endearment was said fondly, regardless of the dour expression on the second, much younger mans face. He wouldn’t be forty years old yet.

“Old Sport” is Gatsby’s phrase.  Please don’t tell me Snape is using it.

“You’ll be Severus,” The old man said kindly. “I’m-“

He was.  That’s just not right.  I’m taking that cookie back.

“Jay Gatsby, yes, I know.”

That’s more like Snape – interrupting and making a big deal of already knowing.

The old man turned to look at the dark haired man, his nose was large and hooked, his expression sour his hair greasy and his robes were plain black.

Poor sentence structure makes it sound like Gatsby looks like how Snape is described in the books.

That is a very hard sentence to read on so many counts.

Jay Gatsby leaned heavily on his walking stick, once a thing to show status- an accessory, and now it served its proper function. Jay Gatsby smiled at Severus Snape, who offered a derisive sneer back.

What is it with walking sticks/canes in my fics lately?  First Creepy De Vil, now Gatsby.  I hope Gatsby isn’t going to turn creepy.

“What brings you here, old Sport?” Gatsby smiled a wonderful smile. “I haven’t thrown a party in a long time.”

Gatsby was already smiling above.  What makes this a “wonderful smile” now?

Also, what’s with the weird capitalization of “old sport”?  That’s twice now.

“Since she moved away?” Snape nodded towards the blinking light. Gatsby nodded, unphased by his bluntness.

Way to not answer the question!

And it’s a good thing Gatsby didn’t turn into plasma because Snape was rude.

Side point – if Snape could change a person’s phase of matter just by being nasty, Harry Potter would have been a much shorter series.

“Love then is it old Sport? you’re chasing a girl of your own?”

I don’t even know what is going on in those not-sentences.

Snape sneered. “She’s dead.”

Who’s dead?  Daisy?  Lily?  Someone else with a flower name?

And I’d say it’s not nice to sneer about someone being dead, but it’s Snape.  “Nice” never applies to him.

But then again, if it is about Lily, he’s probably be less nasty than usual.

Unless he’s covering up how he really feels about her.

But then why would he be here?

What’s going on right now?  I made myself dizzy considering both sides around and around like that.

Gatsby was moved, then.

Did Snape levitate him?  That would be rude even by Snape standards.

“Such a shame,” Gatsby said. “You’ve lost her forever.” Snape sneered.

I know Snape sneers a lot, but he does have other expressions.  Try to expand your descriptive range, author.

“I cannot have her, you lost her.”

Snape, you “lost” Lily long before she died, so find something else to feel superior about.

“I’m still waiting for Daisy to call, Old Sport.”

Oh, change in capitalization.  Shame, author, the consistency was pretty much all you had going for you there.

“She won’t call.” Severus deadpanned, “Its been seventy years.”

Ah, we’ve pinned the timeline!  So the year is 1992 and Gatsby is about 102 years old, depending on how exact that “seventy years” is.  So a stretch, like I said, but not completely implausible.  That puts Snape at 31 years old or so, Harry at 11 or 12, and this is happening during one of the first two books.  Again, depending on how exact Snape is being.

“It has, hasn’t it?”

I don’t know, has it?

“She’s probably dead.”

That would make it harder to call.  Especially in the Gatsby canon, which doesn’t include ghosts.

“Well, I’m not far behind.”

Oh, c’mon, Gatsby, be optimistic!  102 isn’t that old.

He wasn’t lying, the man was over a hundred years old. Severus didn’t care to comfort him, Severus never cared to comfort anyone.

Good thing I was there to be nice to him!

“What brings you here, old Sport?”

Wait, is Snape using Gatsby’s catchphrase again or did the alternating dialogue format break down?

I think everyone here knows how I feel about unattributed dialogue, but at least there are only two characters here.

::glares::

“Looking for information,” Severus offered, about Lucius Malfoy.”

Ok, so that was Gatsby speaking twice in a row above.  Poorly done, author.  I’m not even going to get into it about the quotation marks.

“British one, that one, I’m much more knowledgeable with the American purebloods.”

And why does Gatsby know anything about wizards, British or otherwise?

“Do you know anything?” Severus asked, exasperated.

At least he didn’t sneer this time!

“Afraid not old sport, nothing you and your’s wouldn’t already know. I knew more than a couple of his fathers dirty secrets, but Abraxas died a long time ago and nothing he knew would be of any use these days.”

Ooh, what sort of dirty secrets?!?!?

You’re not going to tell us, are you.  Damn.  It could have made this fic worth reading.

Severus sneered.

::headdesk::

“I’ve come all this way for nothing?” He asked, Gatsby nodded.

I guess this is why the author didn’t do much attribution – s/he sucks at it.

Well, that might be a bit harsh.  The author did do some of them correctly.  Not the worst I’ve seen.

Again with the low standards.

“I could teach you something I learned a long time ago, old sport.” Gatsby looked at Severus dead in the eye and Severus saw something he doubted anyone else had seen. The mans expression changed, his voice and mannar and posture all changed.

So what did Snape see?  What did Gatsby’s (I’m assuming Gastby’s, though pronoun proliferation here means that it could be Snape’s) expression, etc. change to?

And while we’re at it, what did they change from?!?

Also, I just noticed – Snape is referred to by last name at the beginning but now he’s Severus in the narration.  Gatsby is last name throughout.  One more strike against the author’s consistency.

“Don’t throw your life away for someone who isn’t interested, or can never be interested, Severus. No one in this world is perfect.”

Severus doesn’t throw his life away for Lily.  His enduring love for her is his redemption and he sacrifices his life to bring down Voldemort because of that love.  I don’t really follow Gatsby’s argument.

Severus was loath to admit it, but when he heard about Gatsby and how outstanding his reputation was he was reminded of himself – pretend, all of it was pretend.

That once again doesn’t make any sense.  What is Snape loath to admit?  That Gatsby’s a fraud?  It sounds like he already knew that.  And what did he hear about Gatsby?

Gah, why is there no real information?!?

“It was all for Daisy?” Severus confirmed. Gastby nodded.

What “it,” the parties?  That was so far back in the conversation so as to make no sense.

This whole fic is too much subtext and not enough text.  I can barely follow the point of the conversation.

“Thats right, old Sport, all for Daisy. Don’t do the same thing I did, some women are fickle.”

Snape already said Lily is dead, what does Gatsby expect him to do?

“Others are dead,” Severus supplied unhelpfully, but truthfully.

Yes, a lot of women are dead.

Wait, what?

The two men, one with white hair and a pink suit hobbling towards the doors, the other one with dark hair and clothes swooping over the marble floor like a bat, retreated into the house. Severus moved to use the old squib’s floo, neither of them commenting anymore about how they wasted their lives for women who never could have them and neither of them making plans to see the other again. Gatsby said a friendly, charming goodbye to the young man who replied with a sour, biting remark and they parted ways, the facade still in place, their disguises undisturbed.

Ok, so Gastby’s a Squib.  Sure, that’s a harmless-enough way to explain how he knows about wizards.

I’m ignoring the rest because it’s just too much talking around a point that isn’t there.

Gatsby died of old age a year later, Severus was killed by a big snake later that year, and even in death, the women they loved so dearly were never theirs.

So this being within a year of Snape’s death puts it in 1998, or late 1997, so that “seventy years” above was very inexact.

And that’s it.  It’s not really explained why Snape is looking for information on Malfoy during the war, while he’s Headmaster of Hogwarts, or what that has to do with Lily.

Since we’re never going to get answers, let’s just get out of here.  See you next time!

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11 Comments on “1517: No One in this World is Perfect – One Shot”

  1. AdmiralSakai says:

    Topic: Harry Potter / The Great Gatsby
    Genre: Tragedy/Angst

    OH GOD

  2. BatJamags says:

    “What brings you here, old Sport?”

    “Campaigning for Unattributed rights!”

    “Care to donate?”

  3. BatJamags says:

    What we have here is a story that desperately wants to be meaningful, poetic, and heart-wrenching. Instead, this paint-by-numbers approach to doing that just makes it confusing, given the characters involved. They really don’t even have that much to connect about.

    • Addicted Reader says:

      Exactly. Either the author thinks that the way to create “mystery” is to say as little as possible or the author thinks that readers are psychic and will just *get* whatever the point is.

  4. AdmiralSakai says:

    Why do I feel like the author never read the book and was just going off of that most recent movie?

    • Addicted Reader says:

      Actually, you just solved the mystery of why there are two different listings for this crossover! This fic is listed under “Gatsby” as a movie, the others as a book. So this author actually doesn’t claim anything about the book.

  5. leobracer says:

    The Great Gatbsy?

    I didn’t know people made fics about that.

  6. Jon Arbuckle says:

    “I know Snape sneers a lot, but he does have other expressions. Try to expand your descriptive range, author.”

    At least he’s not smirking.


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