Flowers Shall Grow by Newyork Noodles
Summary: “He needs you. It’s the easiest and hardest thing in the world.” They say that hope can be found in the darkest of places, but Andromeda isn’t so sure anymore. A conversation with Augusta Longbottom might help. Oneshot, 3,645 Words.
Why You Should Care: I can’t believe it took me until reading this fic to realize the completely obvious parallels between Andromeda Tonks and Augusta Longbottom and the way the wars ended for them. Andromeda is at a crossroads, and her grief is too new to be entirely bearable. Her interaction with Neville is especially lovely.
Why You Might Not Care: This is not my favorite characterisation of Augusta Longbottom ever. There is too little personality there, and I feel as though she is merely a placeholder for some more neutral-sounding narrator. Everything the author gives Augusta to say is valid, but something about the way she says it falls flat. Over all, this fic starts out strong and struggles a bit near the end.
Untitled by Fernwithy
Summary: “Andromeda had no trouble finding Draco and his son in the waiting room.” Drabble, 725 Words.
Why You Should Care: There is something completely awesome about the Draco Malfoy Fernwithy creates in this little off-the-cuff ficlet. Completely awesome. Draco usually leaves me feeling all *meh* inside, but this Draco I could read about at length. There’s depth and maturity there that reach all the way through his cameo in the epilogue and down beyond into the core of the books, pulling in just enough influence from Lucius and Narcissa to makes it all add up. Officially my favorite Draco characterization ever, and I hope all the Draco fangirls out there will remember that I avoid Draco fics like the plague before they spam me with what they think are better ones.
Why You Might Not Care: Um…. eh? Fernwithy was rec’d here just the other day, but we could all just consider it random clumping and get over it.
Seven Photographs by Casira
Summary: Glimpses of our heroes at the end of the battles and beyond, as they face what’s lost and what’s to come. Oneshot, 8,300 Words.
Guest Rec’d By: Kira
Why You Should Care: Written shortly after the release of DH, casira writes seven separate scenes that, frankly, JKR should have written, and succeeds just as if Jo had written it herself. There’s Remus and Tonks’ death; Minerva and Hogwarts directly after the battle; Hermione’s parents in Australia; George returning to WWW’s alone for the first time; Kingsley and the rebuilding of the MoM via Potterwatch; Ginny, Neville, Luna, and Andromeda discussing post-war plans; and finally, Harry visiting Snape’s grave. In a style very reminiscent of Jo’s, casira really wraps the HP series up well with a touch of everything that made it successful in the first place: brilliant character interaction, gripping action, laughter, family, and sacrifice. A brilliant pre-epilogue.
Why You Might Not Care: If you didn’t like the way DH ended at all, then this may not be your cup of tea.
Variations on a Happily Ever After by GM Weasley
Summary: All was eventually well, but it took nineteen years to get there. Drabble Collection, 7,400.
Why You Should Care: This is a wonderful series of drabbles centered around the women of the Harry Potter universe and life beyond the epilogue. Insightful, thoughtful, and occasionally even mundane, these little snatches of the painfully ordinary process of moving on after the end of the story are well worth your time. Angelina’s thoughts on her wedding are particularly well done.
Why You Might Not Care: These drabbles could have been tighter, and occasionally they suffer from awkward syntax. A couple of passes from a sharp-eyed beta would have alleviated this problem.
Minding the Baby by Rhetor
Summary: Andromeda is left alone with Teddy, or so she thinks. Oneshot, 3,437 Words.
Why You Should Care: This is a heartfelt fic that follows the cycle of grief of Andromeda Tonks, from almost the moment she learns of the death of her daughter. This touches on several faucets of the after, including Andromeda’s interaction with Teddy, with Harry, and with Narcissa and her family. Andromeda is thoughtfully characterised, and this piece’s strongest moments are mostly in the first section — there is a very real, very life-like portrayal of fresh grief.
Why You Might Not Care: This isn’t the best characterisation I’ve ever seen of Narcissa, not by a long shot. It’s tolerable, and I understand the author’s desire to give Andromeda the chance to turn away from the people who turned away from her. Having said that, the interaction with the Malfoy’s at the funeral reads, for me, as fairly contrived and is the weak link in an otherwise very strong chain.
Thanks To: Rebecca, who sent this rec in to me.
Breathe Me by Andromeda311
Summary: “It’s like the sword of Damocles, nothing but a thin string between this and free fall. Nothing but a thread between safety and-” Romance, 15,307 Words.
Why You Should Care: Andromeda/Ted has become more common, and many of this rec site’s readers have some incarnation of the story laid out in A Keen Observer set as their personal canon — I am one of those, but this incarnation fascinated me. It’s from Ted’s point of view, which I have not seen elsewhere and is such a great idea. Andromeda311’s longer writing is just as good as her lyrical one-shots, with a certain beauty to the storytelling and hilarity in Ted’s internal musings. It’s sweet at times, it’s angsty at times… I cannot describe how good I think this is.
Why You Might Not Care: There is no reason. Breathe Me is an excellent story and you should start reading… now.
Awards: 2008 Hourglass Award, Admins’ Choice — Het Romance
A Ribbon of Black by _YourGoodbyes
Summary: “Silly girl, she thinks, an utterly incomplete thought.” Oneshot, 2,547 Words.
Why You Should Care: This fic makes me sigh. At its heart it’s a series of drabbles tied together as a series of memories in a time of profound loss for one, Andromeda Tonks, and by now we all know how much I love well-done drabbles, so this rec should come as no surprise. This also gives a slightly different version of the Andromeda/Ted situation at the end of their final school year that I have not read before and had never thought of before, but now that I have I’m quite completely in love with the idea.
Why You Might Not Care: Nitpickers should know that Dolohov’s age might not fit with canon, but that’s only for those hardcore nitpickers (you know who you are). Other than that, if you like nearly-poetic stories, drabbles, or fics about Andromeda (you know who you are, too), then you’ll like this for sure.
As We Destroy, So Do We Build by Montlake
Summary: She is sixteen when she falls in love with the wrong boy and she’s sixteen years too young to understand why it all feels so right. Oneshot, 1,266 Words.
Guest Rec’d By: Tash (PirateSmile)
Why You Should Care: The simplicity of not only Ted and Andromeda’s romance, but of Andy’s own evolution as an independent person, is really beautiful to see unfold. It’s not overly detailed, and the snapshots of her life over four years are very sparse, but, again, the simplicity of it allows it all to just flow naturally.
Why You Might Not Care: Like I said, it’s not overly detailed, and it would be nice to have more moments.
Ghosts by Andromeda
Summary: After he husband dies, Andromeda takes a last walk through the Nobel and Most Ancient House of Black, finding nothing but dust and nostalgia and a few unburied ghosts. Oneshot, 1,687 Words.
Why You Should Care: No matter how much Andromeda does not regret abandoning the Black family name, there’s something about the connection of the family we are born into that can’t be forgotten. This is a sad piece about remembering where you came from just because you have to, and about the power our family has over us even after they’re gone. The structure of this piece drew me right in; the hand off of dialogue to narrative — from past to present — and back again is expertly handled, and it adds so much to an already excellent piece. The fragile connection between the last remaining Blacks at the end is especially lovely.
Why You Might Not Care: Heck if I know.
For Luck, For Laughs, For the Unknown by ThistleRose
Summary: If she tried, she might be able to keep him here just a little longer. Hands were more convincing than words, sometimes, and a tongue– Oneshot, 1,130 Words.
Why You Should Care: I love the idea that Andromeda knew Ted was leaving, that he didn’t just slip away in the dead of the night leaving a note on the pillow or not come home one day from work. I feel as though that’s how it would have happened, because I’m certain Ted respects his wife enough that he wouldn’t have abandoned her and that Andromeda would understand that it would be his best chance at making it through the war. This piece is the moment they break away, and the difficulties of trying to be mature and do the right thing when all you really want is just one more minute.
Why You Might Not Care: This has been rated NC17, and while I can see why I’m not sure it goes on long enough to entirely deserve this ranking. It’s brief but definitely there. Perhaps not quite work-safe, but it’s not the focus of the story and shouldn’t be the determining factor of whether or not you choose to read it.
At the First Turning of the Second Stair by Lirazal
Summary: ‘Together they are too much knowledge, all the same memories, almost completely Black as they never are when with anyone else.’ Sirius and Andromeda, the night before he runs away. Oneshot, 1,763 words.
Why You Should Care: What I love about this fic is that Sirius and Andromeda are truly Blacks in it. You read so many fics where they use Muggle slang, and swear, and act up to escape their roots. But here they are just Black children, who’re choosing to take another path. Much of the dialogue is refreshingly natural, and there’s a delicate feel to what’s said, as if it’s only held up by what’s unsaid.
Why You Might Not Care: If you don’t like the Blacks, there’s nothing for you here. And maybe this fic could do with a little touching up here and there, to make the writing less awkward in places. On the other hand, I like the way it’s a little rough and raw. Maybe you disagree. But I still reckon you should read it.
The Bravery in Staying Behind by Ms. Spell
Summary: She thinks it’s her fault, somehow. Oneshot, 1,020 Words.
Why You Should Care: Andromeda waits out the longest night of her life, and already knows how it will end before it does. There is a numbness to this piece that seems all too realistic, a sort of absence of emotion until the very end, like something frozen that is slowly thawing. The emotional storm will come — perhaps has just started — but this piece is about the before. It’s about waiting to feel.
Why You Might Not Care: This is one of those fics that is less about a particular person (though this one is that, too) than it is about a human experience. Everyone should take the time and read it. Really. It’s very good.
Of A Sort by FernWithy
Summary: A series of stories about the experience all Hogwarts students share: being Sorted into their houses on their first day at school. Novel Length (abandoned), 49,388 Words.
Why You Should Care: FernWithy says in her notes that she considers this idea of hers woefully overused, but I confess I have never read a compilation like this, so for me it’s quite original. It deals a little with sorting and a lot with how the first day of school can very much affect the rest of your educational life. The seemingly benign choices made on the Hogwarts Express have lasting repercussions, some of which we’ve seen even in canon.
Why You Might Not Care: This appears to have been abandoned as she began to attempt the sorting of the Trio Era characters, but I have rec’d it for the strength of the things I think are more valuable — that is to say, the fact that she’s already tackled the characters we haven’t seen being sorted. It’s been about a year and a half since an update, and I sort of wish she’d just ended it with the sorting of Tonks instead of trying to slog onwards. We’ve already seen Harry’s generation and their sorting, so I feel it’s unnecessary. Parts have since been made AU by new canon factoids offered by JKR, but it still stands quite well.
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner by DeepDownSlytherin
Summary: Ted and Andromeda have always thought of themselves as fairly open-minded parents, so how will they react to their daughter’s new romance? 5,011 Words.
Why You Should Care: Once again, I find myself recing something written by DeepDownSlytherin and hoping you won’t think I’m pigeon-holing myself too much. This is a delightful fic about parents, daughters, and boyfriends that aren’t what or who you expect. It’s a light-hearted and sweetly written family portrait, and anyone who’s ever brought someone home to meet the parents will enjoy this. I adore Ted and Andromeda as an older couple, and thoroughly love the dynamic between them and their daughter.
Why You Might Not Care: Technically, this fits into the world of DeepDownSlytherin’s “A Keen Observer” but, yet again, the author makes sure it’s not required reading. This is mostly cute and character-driven, but humour is threaded through the piece and Ted especially — as all fathers everywhere — keeps you smiling. Occasionally just a teensy bit fluffy, but the writing is always worth it with this author.
Just A Word by DeepDownSlytherin
Summary: A young Nymphadora learns a new word. Her mother is unusually disturbed by it. 1,908 Words.
Why You Should Care: From the author that wrote ‘A Keen Observer’ comes an interesting little piece about what words mean and what we think they mean and how those two things can change as a person changes. This author writes these characters brilliantly, and the young Nymphadora is especially endearing. It’s also lovely to see an older Sirius with light in his eyes. This story exists in the same universe as ‘A Keen Observer’ but can be just as well read on its own.
Why You Might Not Care: I’m not really sure. I suppose some people might be bored, depending on what they generally read. I suppose people with their feet firmly planted in Trio fiction might not give a damn, but there’s a message here for everyone.
A Keen Observer by DeepDownSlytherin
Summary: Andromeda says little, but she sees everything. Through their years at Hogwarts, she watches her sisters as one falls in love and one falls into madness, and doesn’t see as a Muggleborn boy breaks into her sheltered life. Novel Length, 145,600 Words, Complete.
Why You Should Care: A brilliantly told story of the Black sisters – and to some extent the Black brothers – from the summer before the first of them goes to Hogwarts until the very end of Andromeda’s seventh year. It is so difficult to trace these characters backward through time – most especially Bellatrix – but this is how it must have been. This fic just pulls you right in, and you quickly forget that nearly every major character in this piece turns into a villain. The growing respect and romance between Andromeda and Ted is paced perfectly, and never takes away from the main themes. This family is given real depth, and their journeys are compelling.
Why You Might Not Care: If you really don’t like stories that focus on the villains, or on the Black family in particular, this story isn’t for you. Also, this was written prior to the release of the Black Family Tree, so the ages of the girls are no longer canon. In my opinion (and I worship canon, remember) it’s worth over-looking. A warning that this fiction is long; over 145,000 words. It is, however, complete, so there is no fear of the potential that you might never get the payoff. Expect this one to take you at least several days – if you can put it down, that is.
Awards: 2007 Hourglass Award, Romance – Second Place.