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Fan Fic / The Best Revenge

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Minerva nodded, and said, "You're a wise boy, Mr. Potter. After all, you know what they say-" her eyes, full of compassion, slid to Snape.
"What?" Snape asked, impatiently.
She smiled. "That living well is the best revenge."

The Best Revenge is a Harry Potter For Want of a Nail fanfic in which Severus Snape sees the address of Harry Potter's letter, which leads him into changing his perception of The-Boy-Who-Lived, and beginning a mentorship that would change everything. While some canon bits are slightly tweaked, everything else is for the most part the same. The Author, who is also known for writing Victory At Ostagar, expands upon the Wizarding World; its traditions, lore, politics, its prejudice against the muggles and muggleborn, as well as houses otherwise not as developed as Gryffindor, and side characters who didn't get as much focus.

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Her story is written into two parts, The Best Revenge and The Best Revenge: Time of The Basilisk. Both are completed.


This Fanfic provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Petunia and Vernon. They view their treatment of Harry as so natural that Snape has to magically manipulate them to get them to develop a sense of conscience.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Lucius and Narcissa, though they still retain their pureblood supremacy. And, shockingly enough, Professor Quirrell.
    • The Malfoys do retain elements of Pragmatic Villainy. As Snape notes early on, at the end of the day the Malfoys are on their side and no one else's. Narcissa especially states that she can bite her tongue and downplay her prejudices (and advises her son to do the same) so that they can get Harry on their side: a large asset to securing their power.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Zacharias Smith, who becomes Harry's rival in school.
  • Adults Are Useless: Averted. The whole premise is Snape doing something about Harry's abusive home life. And adults like Snape, McGonagall, Flitwick and Sprout do their part in preventing Voldemort's return, Burbage prevents bullying from happening in the Explorers Club as well as protects students when in danger, and even Lucius and Narcissa do their part to stop the Dark Lord. The only person who arguably plays this straight is Dumbledore, but it's not without reason.
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  • All Myths Are True: Even more extensively than the source. Mentions of demons and King Solomon containing djinns are made by the professors when planning how to deal with Quirrelmort.
  • And I Must Scream: Unlike canon where Quirrel is a willing follower, here he hates Voldemort's possession and during the climax in the first story talks about what a living nightmare it is to forcibly share his mind with a Dark Lord
  • Ascended Extra: The Hufflepuff house as a whole gets fleshed out. As do Nicholas and Perenelle Flamel.
  • Because Destiny Says So: Pureblood wizards believe that certain remarkable individuals, called Child of Destiny are above the rules of normal society because they've a destiny to fullfil.
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: Played with. Alexander the Great was neither a muggle or a wizard, though his mother was a witch, but was a sort of Magnetic Hero whose charisma was uncannily similar to the Imperius. Lucius Malfoy refers to him, and others like him, as a Child Of Destiny, and belives that Harry is one as well.
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  • Brainwashing for the Greater Good: This is how Snape ends up dealing with the Dursleys when he's unable to remove Harry from their care. On top of putting a spell on them that makes them pretty much ignore Harry and his room when he stays at Privet Drive, he also forcibly alters their personalities to make them less unpleasant. Among other things, he places a magic compulsion in all of them to work harder, develop healthier habits, and just overall stop being a bunch of obnoxious louts.
  • Character Development: Various characters undergo this. Most prominently is Severus Snape and Draco Malfoy; the former defrosts emotionally and eventually moves on from his love for Lily, and the latter's friendship with Harry, Neville, and Hermione lessens his prejudice until it almost completely vanishes.
  • Cool Crown: A gold diadem with huge cabochon rubies, pearls, gold leaves and other decorations. It belonged to the Potter family before they were even named Potter.
  • Creepy Souvenir: After Voldemort's attack, the Potter hideout was pillaged by greedy wizards and witches until the Ministry put wards one month later. Luckily, they missed most of the really valuable items hidden in the upstairs bedroom.
  • Death by Adaptation: Zach Smith spies on Lucius Malfoy disposing of a certain diary and ends up falling victim to the soul-fragment it contains. Notably, this is the only death in the entire fic.
  • Depraved Dentist: When Harry and Hermione explain to Draco what dentistry is, he gets very sick.
  • Everybody Lives: There are almost no deaths among the main characters in the story or its sequel; even the basilisk in the Chamber Of Secrets is spared thanks to Harry using his Parseltongue to convince it to return to the chamber, then feeds it until it falls asleep.
  • Freudian Excuse: While Snape remarks that Petunia's treatment of Harry is unforgivable, he admits to himself that her and Vernon's hatred of magic was likely made even worse by the disastrous Potter wedding, which devolved into a fight between anti-muggle purists and the Light supporters, with Petunia and her parents being among those attacked.
  • Geometric Magic: It can be used to contain demons. Snape and the other teachers use Baphomet's Configuration, along with a circle of salt to contain Quirrelmort inside the Mirror of Erised.
  • Harmful to Minors: During his childhood, Harry got lots of presents from wizards and witches, which Dumbledore stored away in a room within the owlery. However, a lot of presents had curses and poisons in them which would killed Harry.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: The Hogwarts teachers to Dumbledore. They are the ones who devise the Geometric Magic necessary to have Voldemort trapped inside the Mirror of Erised for all eternity.
  • Impoverished Patrician: Due to James helping fund the War, most of the Potter fortune and holdings has been lost, leaving Harry with only just enough gold to get him through Hogwarts. Luckily, he's not completely on his own, as Snape, Minerva and Dumbledore find some of the family jewels and keepsakes in Godric's Hollow, and several grateful people had left money and even a house in their wills to Harry.
  • Insufferable Genius: Hermione, like in canon. However, her enthusiasm for being the best, as well as being an outsider, gets her bullied by the Ravenclaw girls. Luckily, Harry informs a teacher, who steps in and stops it from going too far.
  • Insult Friendly Fire: When Zach Smith taunts Harry about staying at Hogwarts for the Christmas holidays, insinuating he's "not wanted at home", Ron takes offense because he and his brothers are staying too. This turns out to be the beginning of the end for Ron and Zach being the "Gryffindor bully duo".
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Snape.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: The Mirror of Erised has been substantially upgraded from canon — though it is less effective on children, who have fewer regrets. It almost ensnares Snape and McGonagall, who only manage to escape because they happen to bump elbows, bringing them back to reality. It does ensnare Voldemort, with a little added assistance from the Hogwarts staff to physically transport his spirit inside, and he is expected to spend the rest of eternity there, basking in the triumph of seizing the Philosopher's Stone.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: Harry, when due to Quirrelmort's actions he ends up bleeding from his nose and ear. The other Hufflepuffs, Snape, and Hogwarts teachers do not have such reaction.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: Quirrelmort makes Harry to be target practise during DADA, while having a knife magically stuck in his hand. The results is that Harry ends up bleeding from his ear and nose. It backfires on him though and only Dumbledore's intervention prevented him from being sacked.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Downplayed. Dumbledore is portrayed as manipulative and secretive of his motives, but rather than vilify him, the author still portrays him as a good guy, just one that simply believes he knows what's best due to his age and experience. And when Dumbledore is proven wrong, he admits it.
  • Noodle Incident: Once Minerva borrowed her precious copy of Ogham Book of Ballymore to Dumbledore then she got it back with its pages stuck together by melted lemon sherbets. Since then she refuses to borrow books to Dumbledore.
  • Odd Friendship: Hufflepuff Harry Potter, Slytherin Draco Malfoy, Ravenclaw Hermione Granger, and Gryffindor Neville Longbottom become a tight-knit foursome throughout the story.
  • Our Demons Are Different: There's very little detail about demons but they apparently are controlled by necromancers.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: Since the Philosopher's Stone only works for its original creators, the Flamels end up outliving several generations of their descendants. After about two hundred years, they learned to stop getting attached, as their descendants now constituted most of wizarding England and France.
  • Panty Thief: James Potter. He had kept panties stolen from girls from the four Houses. McGonagall is mortified when she finds them in his trunk, and Snape laughs until a knicker belonging to Lily is found.
  • Papa Wolf: Deconstructed with James Potter, who squandered the family fortune to pay for the war against Voldemort. The characters are divided with one camp, including the Author claiming that James and Lily would have preferred that Harry be poor than what would happened if Voldemort won. Others, mostly Snape believe that James was simply an idiot who squandered the family fortune and left his only son with just barely enough to get a proper wizarding education.
  • Plot Hole: In Time of the Basilisk Pomona doesn't know that Harry is a horcrux until she finds out he's a Parselmouth; but back in the first fic, Snape tell her, Flitwick, and McGonagall that Harry is a horcrux.
  • Pyrrhic Villainy: While rifling through Petunia's mind, Snape discovers that she basically sabotaged her own life in a misplaced obsession to show up Lily by marrying the first suitor that came along and having a child before her sister did. When all was said and done, she was stuck in a loveless marriage with a man she couldn't stand, and a son she didn't know how to raise properly.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Voldemort's spirit is trapped in the Mirror Of Erised, as a reflection of himself holding the Philosopher's Stone.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Quirrell survives the events of The Philosopher's Stone and is exorcised of Voldemort's soul. The Flamels are also spared, as they have several Philosopher's Stones, none of which work for anyone but themselves, and so can continue producing Elixir of Life for themselves even after sacrificing one to the Mirror of Erised to keep Voldemort trapped in it.
  • Stupidest Thing I've Ever Heard: Flitwick's reaction to hear about Voldemort creating horcruxes. He points out that horcruxes would cause a Death of Personality, make the wizard more irrational, and Evil Makes You Ugly.
  • Tome of Eldritch Lore / Women's Mysteries: The Mysteria Bonea Deanote , a magical tome that is passed down to witches and cannot be touched by men without horrible pain. Lily had it in her possession when she died.
  • Treasure Room: More specifically a drawer protected by powerful wards inside the ruins of the Potter's hideout at Godric Hollows.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: An In-Universe example, as Snape thinks of many theories regarding Zacharias Smith's disappearance.
  • Win-Win Ending: Snape finds a Second Love and reconnects with his mother's side of the family; Charity gets recognition for her books and has children; Harry is Happily Adopted and unburdened by fame and heroic responsibilities; Sirius is freed and owns an exotic island where Remus can transform safely; the curse is lifted from the Defense teaching position; Quirrell is freed from the possession, saved and healed; Tom Riddle (the part of him that was sealed in the diary) starts a glamorous new life in the USA. In a way, even the bit of Voldemort trapped in the Mirror of Erised gets a happy ending, as he gets to spend eternity basking in the triumph of seizing the Philosopher's Stone and never has to learn the Worthless Treasure Twist.
  • Worthless Treasure Twist: The Flamels eventually reveal that a Philosopher's Stone only works for its creators, so even if Voldemort had really seized it, it would have done him no good.
  • You Are a Credit to Your Race: Due to a misinterpretation of his father's words, Draco believes that if he meets the rare exceptionally talented muggleborn, he shouldn't look down on them but rather treat them as equals. This gradually lessens his prejudice, until it almost completely vanishes.

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