Variations on a Happily Ever After

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.

J’ai Demandé À Ma Mère

J’ai Demandé À Ma Mère by Elektra3

Summary: “It is not until you are older that you come to realize that they cannot, in fact, answer everything; and it is not until you are even older that you come to realize that you do not want to know the answer to every question you ask. But when you are eight, every curiosity has a simple solution…” Fleur Delacour speaks about the nature of being a veela. Oneshot, 1,473 Words.

Why You Should Care: A telling reflection of an increasingly self-aware Fleur Delacour, and a remarkably realistic look at the nature of a creature both beautiful and deadly in the Harry Potter Universe. Elektra reminds us that, though they appear human, the veela’s motivation is anything but; the cold and brutal truth of it is as much a slap to the face for the reader as it is for Fleur. This clever author leaves off while the marks of it still linger on our cheek so that we — like Fleur — must decide for ourselves what being a quarter-veela is really going to mean for her and the people around her. Brilliantly thought out, and even more brilliantly executed.

Why You Might Not Care: There are more interesting things about the character of Fleur Delacour than the average Harry Potter fan probably realizes. How will you ever find out what they are if you don’t read fic about her?

Thanks To: Anna Karenina for a fabulous rec, though she didn’t rec it to me personally. It was just so damn good I felt like giving a kudos.

And This, My Lovely Child, Is Your Garden

And This, My Lovely Child, Is Your Garden by Honey Wheeler

Summary: Bill and Fleur and the evolution of a family. Oneshot, 2,400 Words.

Why You Should Care: There is something so marvelously soft and real about this fic — nothing is exaggerated, but nothing is under-whelming either. Fleur, for all her veela mystic, is as much a normal woman, wife and mother as anyone else, and what permeates this fic more than anything is an expanding feeling of peace and love surrounding a growing family. Touched with equal parts trepidation and joy, something about the language of this fic delights me though I’m not sure exactly why. There is a moment of reflection about George that made me sigh and say ‘yes, that’s exactly right’.

Why You Might Not Care: I’m not sure how crazy you are about Fleur. I mean, I’m not. I don’t dislike her per se, but she’s not up at the top of my list. Yet I think the idea of Fleur fascinates me more than anything, and something about the delicate, aristocratic, superficial-seeming Fleur coupled with the earthen, hands-on, down-on-their-luck Weasleys makes for a usually delightful read.

Five Women Who Hate Fleur Delacour

Five Women Who Hate Fleur Delacour by Snegurochka Lee

Summary: She was beautiful, intelligent, talented, successful — and not very nice about it. Clearly, other women must hate her. Oneshot, 7,300 Words.

Why You Should Care: I can’t quite believe that no one else has ever written something like this, now that I’ve read it. It’s a brilliant little character study on Fleur, but more than that it is a prose-disguised dissertation on women in general: what we think of each other, why we think it, and how our own cultural nurturing repeatedly pits female against female based on a scale of beauty and sexuality versus brains and brawn. That Fleur might indeed embody both sides of this oft Us Or Them battle field seems at best a Mary Sue in the making and at worst a grand cock-up of nature. But women such as Fleur do exist and have existed throughout time without suffering from flat personalities; something about our female culture has turned us against such women instead of permitting us to rally around them, and the idea is neatly and artfully explored. The secondary character of Luna is created with equal parts care and canon-accuracy, and the way these two foils bounce off each other is quite clever. A must-read for all you young (or old) feminists at heart, and a reminder for all of us girls that we too often pick our enemies based on stereotype in place of reason.

Why You Might Not Care: This is, at core, a bit of a feminist attack of women’s stereotypes, but it’s also a neat little story about Fleur and several people in or around her life. It’s interesting, but some people might not get (or like) the theme that has been carefully woven in through brilliantly executed canon characters (though this version of Tonks seems a little too hardcore for my tastes). Some people will really like this. Some people won’t. You probably won’t know until you give it a read, though.

Awards: October 2007 Gold Star Award for Excellence in Harry Potter Fanfiction; 2008 Hourglass Award, Admins’ Choice — Gen (tied).

Thanks To: Kali (who might actually be my doppelganger if such things do exist) for reccing me this fic.