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.
An Undying Passion for Cupcakes by Ignipes
Summary: “That morning, when they were finishing breakfast, she had been very insistent: ‘I’m going to make them the Muggle way… That’s the proper way to make these cupcakes.’ ” Oneshot, 4,622.
Why You Should Care: In places it’s quite funny, and in others it’s just so well written I can’t help but rec it. It’s AU, taking place in a post-Voldemort world where Sirius didn’t die (or at least, didn’t stay dead), and there’s been some attempt to create an after the war that reflects some of the same price as the one JKR created. Hermione’s story, particularly, is rather touching despite being “frosted” with humour. In the end, though, I rather think this is mostly fluffy.
Why You Might Not Care: I think it suffers from trying to do too much with too few words. Either it’s a moderately fluffy piece of AU post-war or it’s an in depth AU treatment of another version of events. In the end, this fic tries to be both, and ends up not really being either. The AU world hinted here is fascinating and would fill several chapters of several novel-length fics well, but the gaps that inform the characters written are too big to get much out of this story (aside from a moderate understanding of Hermione’s journey) but fluff. There hasn’t been a clear enough picture painted of the path taken that resulted in this AU endpoint.
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.
Box, Opened by Halrloprillalar
Summary: Girls and politics. Drabble, 100 Words.
Why You Should Care: It’s a Harry Potter/Adrian Mole crossover. It’s a 100 word drabble. It’s by that girl that did the Snape-counsels-gay-Hogwartians drabble (recced here 07.01.08). It’s funny, and rips the piss out of canon (in a good way) and Dumbledore features.
Why You Might Not Care: No content, no meaning, no worthy messages. It’s, basically, a witty one-liner. But what’s wrong with that? Also, will make no sense if you haven’t read Adrian Mole. However, if you haven’t, do.
Getting The Point by Arabella
Summary: Hermione and Ron at the Yule Ball. Romance, 16,406 Words.
Why You Should Care: Arabella is one of the few authors who I trust with Trio-era fics. She’s got JKR’s knack for storytelling: her fic is action packed, but heartfelt, and the characters are human and flawed and lovely. Her Ron and Hermione are so meant to be. Ah. Le Fluff.
Why You Might Not Care: Le Fluff. Cough.
Over Time, Hope Dies by AuReviorSanity
Summary: There’s that absolute determination to fill emptiness. Drabble, 195 Words.
Why You Should Care: This isn’t my kind of fic at all: it’s angsty and it’s Hermione. But it’s honest, in a way that few Hermione fics are. It gets right to the root of the character we know, and shows us just how Hermione would react to the situation she is placed in. Every single word is utilised. Perfect drabble. Maybe it is my kind of fic.
Why You Might Not Care: Hermione-centric and most people aren’t keen. Also, angsty. But well thought through.
Along The Way by Elizabeth Culmer
Summary: Idealism is hard to balance against the rest of life. Oneshot, 6,000 Words.
Why You Should Care: Many times, it is difficult to write the Trio as adults; in this piece, I felt Hermione growing up, and it was beautifully done. This is a realistic story that follows her on her journey, not only to adulthood, but through it. I’m not personally the most interested person in the Trio as opposed to other characters, but this captivated me; I felt that the characters in this piece, most of all Hermione, were kept true to themselves while aging just right. The story felt honest (which is an achievement, considering the universe we’re playing in), and the end gives the most excellent feeling.
Why You Might Not Care: As the author warns, post-DH interviews are disregarded, and this may bother the greatest of canon-sticklers. Also, you may not really care about the trio, at all. Otherwise, this is wonderful, and you should definitely give it a read.
Postponed by Koonelli
Summary: They hadn’t finished a game of chess in four years because they happened to be friends with the Boy Who Lived. Drabble, 610 Words.
Why You Should Care: It’s a thoughtful little coda for Ron and Hermione written by the always-readable Koonelli. It takes a few grand themes and presents them upon a chess board in front of a fire. A lovely summing up.
Why You Might Not Care: No good reason that I can come up with. Let me know if you do.
Two Conversations by YKuang
Summary: Harry has a hypothetical toe fungus. Ginny thinks he’s odd. Hermione thinks he’s odd. Everything happens at four in the morning. And it’s all canon. Oneshot, 1,665 Words.
Why You Should Care: The friendship between Harry and Hermione is a tricky one to write without straying into awkwardness, romance or the library and YKuang deserves a medal for this one. The interaction between Ginny and Harry is suitably sweet, and the author does a good job of connecting awkward!Ginny with grownup!Ginny. But it’s the characterisation of Hermione that really makes this fic stand out. I hate the character. I love this fic. Go figure.
Why You Might Not Care: This isn’t one of those fics that makes you laugh out loud, or cry, but it’s beautiful in its own, quiet little way and sometimes that understatedness is the best kind of genius.
Is This The Moment? by BelovedRanger
Summary: “Hermione looked up at him quickly, and that was his undoing — or at least what he claimed, later, made him botch it all up. The look on her face, the trust in her eyes — he had no strength in the face of all that.” Oneshot, 2,883 Words.
Why You Should Care: This seems like it might have happened. Ron and Hermione are well written, and the situation doesn’t seemed overly forced or contrived (even though it might actually be, but the best plot devices are the ones you never notice). Both characters are noticably older and more mature than they were when last we saw them as young adults in DH, but not yet as old as we saw in the epilogue, and it’s a very nice touch by an author that has a good sense of age and the transition, especially of people in their twenties. There’s a maturity in them both, but not as much as when we see them as parents. Nicely written.
Why You Might Not Care: Won’t blow you away and make you say ‘OMG WOW’, but sometimes things aren’t meant to do that to you. After all, if we were always blown away, then we’d never be blown away.
Five Dead Women by Snegurochka
Summary: Five vignettes, seemingly unrelated and featuring diverse Potterverse women, explore the link between these women that will answer the question: why are five of them dead? 6,400 Words.
Why You Should Care: There’s something beautiful about a fic that draws subtle links that are canon, but never before apparent. Snegurochka’s style is haunting and tense, the fic is laden with symbolism and suspense. It’s been cleverly crafted, you can see the amount of premeditation and effort in the structure and the reader really appreciates the writer’s work.
Why You Might Not Care: It’s symbolic and beautiful. but tends to get carried away in itself – this fic could do with an edit and a good cut. But it’s worth it, trust me.
Summer Holidays by Penknife
Summary: After saving the world, it’s time to figure out what to do next. Oneshot, 4,971 Words.
Why You Should Care: Largely because, whenever Penknife takes the time to put pen to paper, it’s well worth the effort — most especially so when she tackles gen fic. This is an excellent little coda for Hermione; in places just awkward enough, and filled with brief and brilliant moments from other canon characters as well. Hermione floats through her own aftermath while at the same time bearing witness to the post-war experiences of others in her quiet Hermione way. It’s almost a story about moving on and almost a story about getting swept by. Either way, it’s quite good.
Why You Might Not Care: When it’s Penknife and it’s gen, there aren’t really any very good reasons not to have a read.
Love By Numbers by Dulcinea
Summary: Sometimes, one plus zero equals two. Drabble, 537 Words.
Why You Should Care: Okay, a word of advice, ignore all the femmeslash in the fic. It’s Luna/Hermione. It’ll bemuse and befuddle you. But aside from that, this fic is a wonderful work of art. Dulcinea weaves words into tapestry patterns — her symbolism here of enigma, maths and numbers is spot on. Luna is an enigma, a complex pattern to absorb and learn and this is so how Hermione tries to rationalize her.
Why You Might Not Care: Heed my advice about the femmeslash and there’s no reason not to care. Beautiful characterisation, marvelous symbolism, and a clever wordsmith. All in a day’s work.
Consequences by Inell
Summary: For every choice, there are always consequences. Oneshot, 1,215 Words.
Why You Should Care: I always thought Hermione erasing her parents’ memories and sending them off to Australia was both an act of courage and cowardice on Hermione’s part, and that it was such a terribly cold thing to do, yet somehow so very Hermione. It came off in the books as a thing in passing, an easy way to get the Grangers out of the way of the rest of the plot, as if they were as inconvenient as the Firebolt that fell away in the first chapters because it would have been too cumbersome to keep track of. Yet this bypassed act is so telling; whether it tells of the terrible situation or Hermione’s character is up for some debate, and Inell forces us to linger on it. The power of choice and how it shapes people has always been such a central theme in the books, and this is a harsh coda for Hermione.
Why You Might Not Care: Again, I can’t think of one. Some seemingly good deeds are not necessarily so, and we all know where a road paved with good intentions leads. This might linger with you.
Benedictio Amicorum by Mosylu
Summary: Just after the climax of GoF, Ron and Hermione ask Dumbledore for something–anything–to protect their friend. Oneshot, 2,159 Words.
Why You Should Care: This is a simple, brief story about the friendship and love that will eventually help get Harry through three years of war, and see him come out the other side as hero instead of a martyr. The characters are all well done, and the prose slides seamlessly into JKR’s canon, style and theme.
Why You Might Not Care: We don’t learn anything new or breathtakingly interesting. It’s a quiet moment and a heartfelt moment, but it’s quite transparent and predictable. Having said that, it’s a nice little testament to the trio’s friendship and to Dumbledore’s ability to provide some peace of mind in the most frustrating of circumstances.
First Signs of Magic by Icarus
Summary: Dr. and Dr. Granger have a perfectly ordinary evening, when something very odd occurs. What do they do? “As a family, they made the decision to panic.” Includes vampires, uncomfortable chairs, and singing hospital orderlies. Oneshot, 4,093 Words.
Why You Should Care: Somehow, this is exactly what must have happened and exactly how the Grangers would have reacted and exactly what would have happened when they tried to do something about it. The magical-meets-Muggle world Icarus creates slips in as if JKR wrote it herself. Cute, funny, and completely clever.
Why You Might Not Care: Oh, well… some people are going to think the Grangers aren’t real people, but I say put magic in front of anyone’s Muggle face and these types of rational reactions are not that far off. I liked it.
Standing In Shadow by JulieFortune
Summary: Malfoy invites Snape over for an evening of amusement, Death Eater style, and Snape has to try to keep his cover and Hermione Granger’s life intact at the same time. Oneshot, 4,823 Words.
Why You Should Care: The language in this piece is exceptional. The turns of phrase, the cutting dialogue, the sarcastic commentary: everywhere you look in this fic, the author’s ability to create memorable sentences is tactfully showcased. That’s what makes this fic worth reading and worth reccing. Not the plot (though I’m sure many a Snape/Hermione shipper will feel an eek of excitement midway — rest assured, it doesn’t continue in that vein) or the message, just the words on the page and the way they connect and flow together.
Why You Might Not Care: There are vauge non-hints that could be construed as Snape/Hermione if you reach a little, though I don’t read into it more than is written so I don’t really see it. The plot is a little contrived, hinging on the idea that Hermione up and waltzed into Malfoy manner on a half-baked rescue mission, but it’s good enough to be going on with. Snape is… not quite right. His dialogue is dead on, but his motivations and some of his actions seem just slightly off kilter. Nothing terribly upsetting, but the true Snape fan can expect to be very slightly annoyed at certain parts and not really be sure why. He’s an imperfect carbon copy, this Snape, but — like the plot — he’s good enough to be going on with.
After The End by Arabella and Zsenya
Summary: It’s the summer after seventh year, and Harry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny, and the rest of the wizarding world must learn to live without fear. Over 400,000 Words.
Why You Should Care: This is one of those monumental novel-length pieces written by two well known and talented Harry Potter fan fiction writers. It was written between GoF and OotP, so by now it is — like many excellent stories written in that time period — firmly AU. The most noticeable discrepancy is that Sirius Black survives the war and emerges from it a free man cleared of all charges. I put off reading this for a long time, intimidated by the length of it, but I’m glad I finally dug into it. The characters are quite well done — Ron in particular seems accurate to me, and I find he’s one of the ones who’s difficult to find written well. The plot is considerable and well constructed, and this piece never really seems to amble or take too long. It may be difficult to believe, but almost all of the over 400,000 words are well placed. It was almost always a joy to read.
Why You Might Not Care: Ginny is edging into Mary Sue territory, which is my only real serious squabble with this fic. Harry occasionally gets a little excessively Harry (if you know what I mean) but I suppose there’s ample reason for him to be an emotional twat once in a while when you consider what he went through (and what he continues to go through at times) in this fic. Some people might take issue with Draco Malfoy’s character here, but I found him quite spot on — he’s more cuttingly canon than fanon. His dialogue, in places, is particularly well done. This is not a Draco Redeems himself sort of story; he stays decidedly ass-holeish through to the end, though there are brief moments of real pity for a boy who lost everything and only knows how to keep fighting. He’s real, but unrepentant, and perhaps not entirely the coward he’s been made to be in canon.
Awards: 2007 Hourglass Award, Novel-Length – Third Place.