Seven Photographs

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.


Marigolds by Lady Bracknell

Summary: Her mother used to tell her stories of love and life, only in the stories, the two didn’t seem all that different. Romance, 2237 Words.

Why You Should Care: The ever-brilliant Lady Bracknell strikes again with her unrivalled ability to see through a character’s eyes and make their world seem so real we forget our own. The Luna she sets loose in this gem of a story is so full of life and hope and vivacity that her optimism pulls the reader along for the ride. With the utilisation of not-quite drabbles, the author allows us the sense of Luna’s curiosity and whim. You love this character from the word go: she has everything you could ever want, or need.

Why You Might Not Care: I don’t care if we rec Lady Bracknell here too much. I don’t care that there was a Neville/Luna piece here yesterday. Read on, please.

The Age of Not Believing

The Age of Not Believing by Laura Smith

Summary: Worst of all you doubt yourself. Drabble, 974 Words.

Why You Should Care: What’s really interesting about this fic is not necessarily the story or the characters, but the echoing of sentiment after the release of Deathly Hollows on one particular set of events that really surprised the fanbase by not turning out the way we thought it would.  And — while the characters are written well enough and it plays as appropriately as any valid “missing moment” — I think the real value of this fic is how it addresses our presumptions about the poetic license of life and how we come to expect that certain things should come of certain things, then are surprised by real life when events don’t always turn out the way they do in books.  I’m not sure this sort of depth was the author’s chosen intent, but some things resonate whether you plan on it or not.

Why You Might Not Care: Some undertones of Neville/Luna.  Some of Luna’s lines are clunkier than they should be, though they all come from the right place.

A Certain Light

A Certain Light by Mindabbles

Summary: Alice and Frank treasured him, Augusta took a firm hand, Algie meant well, Enid understood, and somehow Neville becomes some part of the best of each of them. Oneshot, 4,728 Words.

Why You Should Care: It’s a surprisingly wonderful way to watch Neville grow up. Eight Christmases over seventeen years, and we get to see the youngest Longbottom from baby to toddler to boy to young man. It’s delightful to see the transitions — not just of Neville, but of some of the other Longbottoms as well — and it’s done simply and gracefully; it’s oh-so-neat to see the parts of his personality that were shaped by the other people in his life. This is an excellent example of good dialogue and interaction put to good use, and it follows the rule “show, don’t tell” the whole way through. Lovely.

Why You Might Not Care: Only if you’re tired of reading character oneshots about Neville.

Lonely Let the Flowers Grow

Lonely Let the Flowers Grow by PumpkinPasty

Summary: “Longbottom,” Professor Sprout says wearily, “there is a time for fighting, and there is a time for waiting to fight. Right now is not the former.” Oneshot, 2,408 Words.

Why You Should Care: It’s the calm before the storm, and sometimes waiting on the edge of disaster is more difficult a thing than being right in the thick of it. There’s an anxious, helpless suspense in waiting for the wave to break: you can see it coming, in the distance, closer now than it was before, but still far enough off that to brace yourself for it is a waste of energy. This fic captures some of that sentiment well, focusing on the three other major characters involved in the war who are waiting to be called upon and probably all wish they could be out helping Harry along with Ron and Hermione just so they don’t feel so helpless. The characterisation of Neville and Luna are particularly well done, and this author manages to capture Luna’s voice without making it feel forced or overly prophetic. I think this is meant to be a Neville/Luna, and there’s a little ship service right at the end, but I think the fic holds up very well as a general piece.

Why You Might Not Care: I wish the thematic elements of this fic were a little tighter and a little more focused. I think the author meant it to be a simple story about how Neville, Luna and Ginny decided to start up the DA again, but the strongest sections are the ones that focus more on the helpless attempt to find something — anything — to do while they wait. This author has real talent, and I think she would have done a more thematic piece very well.

Gum Wrappers

Gum Wrappers by Imari

Summary: Neville knew something was not quite right with him. Other wizards his age awaited racing brooms. He awaited his mother’s gum wrappers. One-shot, 4,124 Words.

Why You Should Care: Written for the Scrivenshaft Challenge at the Unknowable Room, this fic is a masterpiece of character depiction. Imari says that she’s trying to bring Neville into a new light, and it’s entirely successful — this is clumsy, awkward, canon!Neville, but in a situation that brings out the best in him. Only one of the haikus in this piece was given by the prompt and it astounds me every time I read it (because it’s well worth rereading) that the writers beautiful style allows the poetry and the prose almost to meld. Heart-wrenching and soul-nourishing.

Why You Might Not Care: It’s Neville and Alice, and if you don’t care, you don’t care. Also, it does occasionally stray into being just a little too ponderous, but not often.

Awards: Scrivenshaft Challenge, ‘Poetry to Prose’ – Most Original

Five Moments of Doubt

Five Moments of Doubt by Bagheera

Summary: Sprout, Neville, Luna, Ginny and Professor McGonagall during Deathly Hallows. Oneshot, 5,971 Words.

Why You Should Care: Snape is not, perhaps, the infallible master of deception he seems. He swore to Dumbledore he would do everything in his power to keep the students and the school safe, but it is a precarious line to walk, and at times he slips to one side or the other. This seems to me perfectly canon in every way, and the notion that McGonagall — especially — might have discovered him is no surprise. Snape tells McGonagall “I am exactly what you think I am” and means it; he has played the game so long that he is what he must be, both Dumbledore’s man and Voldemort’s man.

Why You Might Not Care: Experience these moments of doubt with these characters as you experienced your own while reading, and know the uneasy feeling that things might go either way even though you already know the outcome.  This fic is well written, astute, and with thoughtful and accurate canon characters.  I encourage you not to overlook it.

A Turnip For Luck

A Turnip For Luck by Lady Whizbee

Summary: It wasn’t as if he wasn’t interested in meeting new women. He was. It was just that there was so much pressure attached to that first conversation. He had to be interesting, and witty, and clever, and he had to have more than one interesting, one witty and one clever thing to say. And, in total, that was very hard work. After all, what could he say that was all that profound? He was just Neville Longbottom. Oneshot, 3,555 Words.

Why You Should Care: This is a fluffy, 100% cute and 100% in character Neville fic. He’s appropriately awkward at the notion of dating in generally, but soldiers on in typical Gryffindor fashion. It’s little fics like this that make me want a Neville plushy to cuddle when I feel lonely or completely useless at relationships in general, because if Neville can put himself out there, dammit, so can I.

Why You Might Not Care: Dating and Neville can only equal shocking quantities of fluff. You have been warned.

Dancing Shoes: A Music Box You Couldn’t Fix Remix

Dancing Shoes: A Music Box You Couldn’t Fix Remix Original by Pirate Perian, Remix by Riko

Summary: Neville Longbottom finds where he belongs. Remix Oneshot, 3,651 Words.

Why You Should Care: I’ve very specifically rec’d this the day after Dancing Shoes because it’s a partner piece to it, or “remix” as they’re often called in fanfic. This springboards off the ideas presented briefly in Dancing Shoes and paints a beautiful sketch of Neville. The words and syntax are simple, reflecting the age of Neville, and this story carries him in moments and brief memories from a young boy to a young man. The simplicity is most assuredly deliberate, and the author finds the theme in it: simple language, simple moments, simple memories. Every overwhelming defining moment of Neville’s life is looked over in favor of the quieter ones, the ones that reveal where he came from, and Neville’s line at the end is appropriately true. Masterful.

Why You Might Not Care: You’ve got to be willing to be there with Neville, in those quiet moments, or nothing here will affect you in the ways it should. Neville is neither hero nor anti-hero — only an everyman who will never know any glory but that of being completely average.

Dancing Shoes

Dancing Shoes by Pirate Perian

Summary: During the summer before his fourth year, Neville acquires his first set of dress robes. Oneshot, 1,123 Words.

Why You Should Care: This is a brief little snapshot of Neville and his Grandmother that’s very simple, yet surprisingly sweet.  Augusta Longbottom is a hard, stern woman who has suffered and deals with it in the way hard, stern women generally do, but she does have real affection for Neville and it shows.  Despite appearances, you never get the feeling that she is ashamed of her grandson who doesn’t quite “fit” into his father’s shoes, and her comments on that score seem more wistful than cutting.  An intriguing brush stroke of an old woman who is a reluctant mother for a second time.

Why You Might Not Care: It’s a character piece driven by Neville’s POV and action, not words.  You have to read beyond the things that are said and see the motivation behind them.  If you don’t want to work that hard, you’ll probably read this wondering why I rec’d it.

Blood Speaks

Blood Speaks by Northlight

Summary: “Your parents, you have been told, are heroes.” Neville Longbottom reflects. Oneshot, 1,122 Words.

Why You Should Care: A brief, no-holds barred, angsty character piece on Neville and his parents, told in second person. It takes guts to write in second person, but Northlight takes on the task with aplomb. In fact, the POV only helps make the piece even more emotionally moving. It’s very real; there’s no sugar coating.

Why You Might Not Care: Those who dislike angst should probably read something else. Brief though it may be, it’s powerfully written; not quite poetic, but not entirely standard prose either. Here lies cold, hard truth about Neville and his parents in St. Mungos.