Immature by Walkingcensure
Summary: Lily, James, Sirius, Remus, and Peter are seven years old, plump, cute, and innocent. Life for them is all about cake, ice cream, friendship bracelets, and premature vows of love. Humour, 8,713 Words.
Why You Should Care: Because it’s so cute! Mini!Marauders and Mini!Lily may just be the best things ever. There’s a wonderful ruefullness about reading this story, it takes you back to the dramas of being seven and all the crazy stuff you used to believe and it’s fun. Additionally, the author manages to keep all the characters pretty in character, and also passably young. It’s a nice gimmick, but done so well that it feels like more.
Why You Might Not Care: Vaguely AU. Also, small people are not everyone’s cup of tea. Plus, Lily/James.
Note: I haven’t actually been able to pin down Chelle about recs, but I guess I’ll just post as many as I can as often as I can until Chelle tells me not to…?
Death and King’s Cross by Sciathan File
Summary: Who was to know Death had etiquette enough to be personalized? Oneshot, 10,074 Words.
Why You Should Care: Because it’s my very favorite Harry Potter afterlife fic ever, I think. It’s amazingly well characterised and considered, with each afterlife tailored to the individual. It is completely canon, having been launched from the springboard of the King’s Cross chapter in Deathly Hallows, and it’s just really, really well done. JKR would approve, I think. Hedwig’s interlude especially made me smile.
Why You Might Not Care: If you dislike afterlife fics, that is all this one is about. Otherwise, it’s really an excellent comment on the characters it covers. Definitely worth the time to read.
A Marauder’s Map by Xylodemon
Summary: Seven memories found in Sirius Black’s pensieve, one for each of his years at Hogwarts. Oneshot, 7,076 Words.
Why You Should Care: Xylodemon always delivers something worth a read, quite frankly, and these seven pinches from Sirius Black’s school-days is no exception. There’s enough character to keep the boys defined, though this fic’s focus is Sirius in particular. My favorite bits are the pranks — good Marauder pranks are difficult to come up with, especially ones that mix magical execution with light-hearted, boyish goals.
Why You Might Not Care: It’s a little overly generic, to tell the truth, though perhaps it wasn’t back when it was written in September 2005. Similarly, a splash of Remus/Sirius is thrown in and then never really developed or explained, which makes its inclusion — for me — a little pointless, though die-hard Remus/Sirius shippers will probably disagree vehemently.
The Delusionist by Sciathan File
Summary: In the Wizarding World, people who have passed on are remembered by their portraits. Some cling to these seemingly living and breathing works of magic and forget that they are, like Muggle portraits, breathed into life by the artist who created them. Oneshot, 9,300 Words.
Why You Should Care: This is a really excellent look at a concept in the Harry Potter world rather than a particular character — though the ones that appear are as well written as you could possibly wish for — and it is by far the most interesting and complete consideration wizarding portraiture has received. It is a story about the process and the hand that creates the portrait just as much as it is about the cultural traditions based around the portrait. This fic is anchored by an original character that is well suited to the subject matter, crafted to suit the explorative nature of the piece, and the fic’s non-linear style acts as a focusing lens on scenes that might otherwise have been about the characters in them. Fabulously well done.
Why You Might Not Care: This is one of those fics that is more about an idea than a character, and some folk don’t bother to read anything that hasn’t got a “/” in it somewhere. Sure to attract and be remembered by the genfic connoisseur.
Literacy by Sin Fin
Summary: Sirius is an illiterate bastard, James doesn’t care for the Dark Arts, Peter just wants to pass Astronomy, and Remus is a werewolf. Hogwarts, years 1 and 2. Oneshot, 6,000 Words.
Why You Should Care: This is not quite canon and also not quite the typical characterisation of the young Marauders, but there’s something about it that still just works in that way fics sometimes do. The characterisations are solid enough that you get a feel for these boys as individuals, and tying the discovery of Remus’ lycanthropy into the theme of literacy is a nice touch.
Why You Might Not Care: It ends rather suddenly, I think because the thematic elements weren’t as tight as I wished they were throughout all the facets of the story — you’re left hanging because there’s the feeling there ought to be more, that the author hasn’t quite said everything she meant to say. As a whole, it lacks… something. It feels unfinished and loose.
Surprises by Lady Bracknell
Summary: Lily likes surprises, and this thing with James Potter has been positively filled with those. Drabble, 678 Words.
Why You Should Care: Ahhh… this tops up my James/Lily metre nicely. It’s sweet, a bit romantic, and mostly sigh-worthy fluff. Lady Bracknell’s just damn good at finding all those impossible little nothing moments that mean so much.
Why You Might Not Care: All about James/Lily for people who ship elsewhere.
Smoke Gets In Your Eyes by Nellie Darlin
Summary: The real reason Lily Evans keeps turning James Potter down? She’s already sleeping with his best friend…. Romance/Drama, 18,890. (NC17)
Guest Rec’d By: Kira
Why You Should Care: A canon-compliant Lily/Sirius fic that manages to (fantastically!) document how Lily migrates from one Marauder to another without being dreadfully angsty or making her seem like a fickle shrew. Nellie writes with an entrancing voice that creates perfect imagery and captivating characters. What really wins me over is the excellent dynamics that she writes between the characters – Lily and her conundrum between James and Sirius – and how, despite it being a Lily/Sirius fic, she manages to fill in the transformational gaps for James from “arrogant, bullying toe-rag” to love of Lily’s life and the Lily/James moments are precious. The final scene is possibly one of the best fanfiction end-offs I’ve ever read; it takes my breath away every time.
Why You Might Not Care: There’s not much here for people who can’t stand Lily/Sirius, but if you’re even mildly neutral towards the pairing, you’ll find this fic endearing. There’s an OFC best friend for Lily, which is common enough in Marauder-era fics, and while this one’s a little bubbly, she doesn’t annoy and serves as an important plot device as opposed to others who are window-dressing Mary Sues. Personally, I was initially a bit off-put by under-aged sex (16 y.o’s – but I frankly prefer to think that no one at Hogwarts is tapping any ass until they permanently leave the gates), but apparently that’s all the rage these days with young whippersnappers.
The Measure of a Man by Gilpin25
Summary: “I’m sixteen years old and I’m in love with a girl who thinks I’m an arrogant, bullying toerag, and I don’t know how to change her mind as everything I do just makes it worse.” James Potter, who usually has all the answers, has none for this… Oneshot, 7,690.
Why You Should Care: One of the most frustrating parts of DH for MWPP era writers was the order in which JKR presented the memories in Snape’s pensieve, suggesting in her cannon that Snape’s Worst Memory happened sometime after the Prank, which has made it difficult to track James’ character from childish, bullying tormentor to Head Boy material. This is the first fic I’ve read that addresses these events as in the order suggested by JKR and doesn’t use the Prank as the linchpin pulled in the growing up of James Potter, and it does an admiral job of tying those loose ends together into one cohesive whole. Creative, original, and very well characterised and executed on all fronts.
Why You Might Not Care: Tired of Marauder fic yet? Boy are you at the wrong recs site…. 😉
Haggic From Algernon by Vea and GhostOfBambi
Summary: The fic about nothing. Humour, 101,594 Words.
Why You Should Care: Because it’s funny, and there’s not enough funny left in this damned fandom. Part-crack, part-romance, part-cat!worship, this fic is two talented comic authors playing with Lily, James and the eponymous Algernon to whom I give my heart.
Why You Might Not Care: It’s almost crack, and, hard as they try, there’s no poignancy or worthiness. Not drink-safe.
Awards: 2008 Hourglass Award, Best Comedy Fic — Second Place
Sirius Black, Super Genius by Mistful
Summary: “A few weeks later with Valentine’s Day drawing inexorably nearer, it began to dawn on Remus that this did not appear to be one of the daydreams Sirius toyed with and then forgot about, like the time he wanted Dumbledore and McGonagall to get married and have superchildren.” Humour, 8,953 Words.
Why You Should Care: I have no solid understanding of the precise agreed-upon meaning of the term “crackfic”, but if I had to describe what the word means to me, I would probably use this fic as Exhibit A. And B. Also C through Z. This is one of those fics that zig-zags so violently across the line between comedy and parody that it becomes its own beast. It’s completely over the top while still somehow managing to have a solid foundation under all that crack; this one doesn’t just bring the clichés, it practically invents new ones. I can’t decide if Mistful is a genius or completely Sirius-Black insane. Probably both.
Why You Might Not Care: I suppose it all depends on what you define as crackfic and whether or not you like crackfic. I put forth only that in reading this I managed on several occasions to force hot tea through my nose in an attempt not to choke on my own laughter.
Twenty Random Facts About Lily and James by Thistlerose
Summary: Lily, James, and a popular LJ meme. Oneshot, 1,500 Words.
Why You Should Care: This is made up of the pieces that make a two people, and especially the pieces that make them work so well together. Wonderful, brief glimpses into two lives cut short, and beautifully poignant without being indulgent.
Why You Might Not Care: Surprise! It’s another list fic! There’s also some non-essential but ridiculously blatant Remus/Sirius that definitely didn’t have to be there, but that’s Remus/Sirius for you.
Rush by Infinitesimal
Summary: He whispers, hot open mouthed kisses, and she tastes like cinnamon from her toast that morning and the butterbeer he had bought for her, ran all the way to Hogsmeade under his cloak and bought for her, just because she said she’d never tried one before. I want you to experience everything he’d told her, and she’d looked so innocent. Oneshot, 1,408 Words.
Why You Should Care: I know I recced Infinitesimal just the other day, but this fic is so noteworthy that I hope you’ll let it pass. This short and simple Lily/James piece is so richly emotive and carnally passionate that something within you stirs as you read it. At first glance it just feels like a pointless, mussed-haired moment, but the details about the emotions and facets of the characters give this piece light, shade and depth as the characters stand gingerly on the edge of the precipice.
Why You Might Not Care: Rated NC-17 and at times gets a little close to being a little PWP-ish, but mainly it’s character-driven, not porn-driven.
Valedictory by Thirty2Flavors
Summary: It is the night before the Fidelius Charm is performed, and Lily cannot shake the feeling that this will be the last time she ever sees Sirius Black. Oneshot, 2,091 Words.
Why You Should Care: This piece broke my heart when I first read it. You might think, alright, the last time James and Lily will ever see Sirius — okay, not that original, moving on. But no, Thirty2Flavors dives right in and presents the scene with such raw emotion that I can guarantee that you have never seen it like this before. I rarely cry at fanfiction, but tears were streaming down my face by the end of this one. Lovely, and heartbreaking, and so real. Thirty2Flavors, once again, has set my personal canon.
Why You Might Not Care: Sharp, piercing angst. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Also, like I said, you might have already imagined or read about this scene — but really, it’s so worth reading, even if you think you’ve seen it all before. (Maybe you’re tired of reading Thirty2Flavor’s fics, too, but I have no sympathy for you there, because you’d have to be mad not to love her work.)
Awards: 2007 Hourglass, Best Oneshot — Second Place.
Seven Things That Didn’t Happen On Valentine’s Day At Hogwarts, Or Maybe They Did by Pru
Summary: “At seven thirty-six AM on February fourteenth, the giant squid climbed out of the Hogwarts lake, dragged itself in front of a nondescript part of the castle, and began to sing “Daisy”. Before the encore performance and right after a glorious vibrato finale, the squid dedicated the song to Severus Snape, who had appeared at one of the nondescript windows at twenty minutes ’till eight.” Valentine’s Day over seven years at Hogwarts. Humour/Romance, 25,256 Words.
Why You Should Care: This is so funny — and so Marauder. Of course they would have prank wars on Valentine’s Day. As ridiculous as it gets — trust me, the summary is only the start of things — you never stop believing that it could have happened. It’s equal parts romance and humour, with just a little bit of angst towards the end to keep the saccharine from becoming overwhelming. A perfect fic for today.
Why You Might Not Care: Some of the formatting is a bit off, but that’s a minor irritation. One of the seven sections runs quite longer than the rest, but it never stops being amusing. Also, this is quite decidedly Remus/Sirius, and though about half of the fic focuses on the actions of all four Marauders, the ship does take over at the end. If you’re not interested, don’t read it, but I highly recommend that you do; I love this fic.
If I’m A Fool For You by Esinde Nayrall
Summary: On New Year’s Eve, Remus Lupin makes a promise to Sirius Black. Five days later, Remus Lupin makes a promise to himself. If he keeps them both, it will be the hardest thing he’s ever done. Romance, 84, 000 Words.
Why You Should Care: It’s hard to write Remus/Sirius originally: it’s all been done before, but this fic feels fresh. The author has very clear characterisations of Remus and Sirius and they’re quite out of the norm, and yet they fit perfectly with the adults we know they will grow into. But this fic is more than heartbreaking (which it is, by the way. There’s a whole load of angst. I cried. I never cry at fic.). James and Peter are also really well characterised; these feel like real people and the way they react to different situations is also very real. Not to be missed.
Why You Might Not Care: There’s slash. Lots of slash. Some NC-17 slash. Quite a bit of NC-17 slash, actually. And also, angst that makes you want to die, just to stop it. And a rubbish attempt at using the Black Family Tree. As in, Sirius’ mother is Cassiopeia and his uncle Alphard is dating a guy called Marius. But yes. Read this fic, it’s fabulous.
41 Random Facts About James Potter by Xylodemon
Summary: A few things James thinks you ought to know. 41 is an odd number, but that’s precisely the number of things James was willing to talk about. Oneshot, 2,200 Words.
Why You Should Care: It says 41 Random Facts and the setup is a listfic, but in actuality, this is more fic than list, and each point segways easily into the next. This, I feel, is how listfics should really be done: with more emphasis on the word fic than list. Xylodemon’s take on James is really quite excellent, and the portrait she paints of him is all-ecompassing in only 41 verses. Very well done, and better than your average listfic.
Why You Might Not Care: There might be slash connotations dropped in here or there, but by and large they’re either not there at all or almost missable. Scratching this fic off the list because of that would be an error, in my opinion.
Map of the Problematique by SullenSiren
Summary: “He’s going to make it a RULE.” Before they went their separate ways, Moony, Padfoot, Prongs, and Wormtail shared a flat. The flat had rules. This is how it went. Drama, 15,406 Words.
Why You Should Care: I feel like I haven’t rec’d a good, general Marauder fic for ages, so here we go: this is an absolutely smashing fic about the Marauders in their few years between Hogwarts and the fall of Voldemort, as accompanied and illuminated by a list of rules on taped-together pieces of parchment. It’s quite an underhanded tragedy, how the war and their work for the Order and Dumbledore slowly tears these four boys apart. We see them when times are still good and when they are as tightly bound together as brothers; then we see them slip away from each other and watch each of them fall by the wayside. The huge gaps of time missed near the end of this fic and the silence it brings with it is just as poignant as the moments SullenSiren does show.
Why You Might Not Care: There’s blatant Remus/Sirius, and it deserves at least an R rating, and maybe an NC-17, for it, so be warned: those who do not like slash will wrinkle their nose. That’s really about it, though.
Awards: 2008 Hourglass Award, Popular Choice — Best Multi-Chaptered Fic; 2008 Hourglass Award, Admins’ Choice — Angst (tied)
The Seduction of Sirius Black by Sciathan File
Summary: “I hope to Merlin that everyone’s collective wisdom was very wrong and that neither Sirius Black nor James Potter has been the death of me – try though they may have to have been so.” Oneshot, 10,649 Words.
Why You Should Care: Sciathan File has a very unique style of writing, and she’s got a good handle on character as well as what it takes to write a good fight scene. She’s gone and done something unique with her plot, which is to say she’s engineered an Order of the Phoenix mission that seems like something that would have happened. She’s done her research (which is always something that earns big, shiny bonus points from me, as I’m the queen of too-much-research) and the plot has been well thought out.
Why You Might Not Care: Sciathan File has a … very unique style of writing. A uniquely complex style of writing. The ways in which she engineers a sentence are not to be taken lightly. My best advice? Read slowly, and don’t press on if you’re not sure you’ve understood what that last sentence just said. Take the time with this one, and you’ll probably enjoy it. Speed-read, and you’ll get to end not really knowing what just happened.
Thirteen Steps to the End of the World by Thirty2Flavors
Summary: “The only thing more accurate than incoming enemy fire is incoming friendly fire.” Thirteen steps to the end of Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs. Oneshot, 4,821 Words.
Why You Should Care: Well, Thirty2Flavors for a start. And she’s doing what she does best, which is to say it’s a fic about the Marauders during those moments that make all the difference. There are some fabulous parallels drawn between characters in this fic, and it’s Thirty2Flavor’s ability to dig just a little deeper and find something to show you that you’ve never seen before that keeps us coming back for more every time.
Why You Might Not Care: Perhaps not her strongest piece, by comparison. But well worth the time to read, especially for Marauder fans.
Awards: 2008 Hourglass Award, Best Drama — First Place; 2008 Hourglass Award, Popular Choice — Best Oneshot.
The Enforcer by EmilySavsTheDay
Summary: Lily becomes sick at a Quidditch match, and James comes to see her (but only after he’s done playing, of course). Oneshot, 3,870 Words.
Why You Should Care: Oh, the banter! This is how I feel James and Lily really should be, you know. I think the combative nature of their early relationship would have translated into glorious and hilarious Josh’n’Donna-esque pedeconfrence banter (for those of you who don’t know, that’s a West Wing reference there). This is like that. Two people of equal wit showing each other they care by way of carefully placed digs. Love it.
Why You Might Not Care: That up there is my impression of these characters, I admit, and yours might be different; if so, this might strike you as out of character– though we know so little that it’s really all about personal preference when it comes to James and Lily, isn’t it?