Black Widow by Victoria P
Summary: She stared at herself for a long moment, wondering when she’d become a ghost in her own home. Oneshot, 1,317 Words.
Why You Should Care: A little moment in the life of a women who birthed an heir who defected to Gryffindor and a spare who died before any of her hopes for him could have been turned into realities, this fic is wonderfully delicate. I’m a sucker for symbolism, and Victoria P uses the image of personal preparation (clothing, make-up, greeting the audience) as this incredible symbol for the situation the Black Family find themselves in. A nice cameo from a very neatly canon Bella, and a couple of other Blacks along the way, and it’s nice to see that Regulus’ death is worth a real affair and not, as so many fics think, no recognition at all.
Why You Might Not Care: Although characterisations are nice, this fic is very irritatingly not canon-friendly — either the Black Family Tree hadn’t come out or Victoria P hadn’t read it, but for whatever reason you’ve got Cassiopeia as Sirius’ mother and other Blacks never mentioned in canon, which vexes me greatly. But if you can move on from that, this fic’s crammed with tender motherhood in a family bound by tradition.
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.