Untitled by Fernwithy
Summary: By now we’ve all got a pretty good understanding of the dynamics between the Marauders, but what about the Marauders’ mothers? Drabble, 668 Words.
Why You Should Care: Quite possibly because I’m a little bit in love with this particular characterisation of Dorea Potter, who seems to cheerfully fill the role of James Potter’s mother with style and a bag-load of zingers her son would be proud of. It’s also delightful to see Fernwithy remember that, even though Dorea ultimately chose to be a Potter, she’s also a Black, and she shows it. (The rest of the ladies are well characterised, too.)
Why You Might Not Care: The problem with doing this well is that now it’s too short! I wanted more Dorea, but I suppose I’ll have to make due with what I’m given.
Ravenclaw by Fourth Rose
Summary: “It’s all there in front of you, waiting for you to discover it.” Drabble, 600 Words.
Why You Should Care: I like the idea, and the observations of Hermione and Draco are are well made, I think. We so rarely get the opportunity to explore the world through eyes that aren’t Gryffindor or Slytherin, and this Ravenclaw mind is thoughtful and nearly poetic.
Why You Might Not Care: The only problem I have with this is the same problem I have with other pieces like it, which is that I often feel we too easily stereotype Ravenclaws and Hufflepuffs using the small handful of buzz words that appear in Sorting Hat songs. Having said that, the entire sorting process is rather an exercise in stereotyping, so perhaps I’m just being difficult.
Huffle Tonks Story by Fernwithy
Summary: “It was decided that Hufflepuff would make fine Jedi, archaeologists, and alien finders, while Gryffindors could perhaps do well fighting against things that had knives on their fingertips. Ravenclaws were only for the serious sorts of films, and Slytherins were gaily relegated to serving as magical nannies for the children of stuffy bankers, to be blown about by umbrellas in the wind.” Oneshot, 2,030 Words.
Why You Should Care: This is light, fuffy fair that has no broader purpose than to have a bit of fun with Tonks and her Hufflepuff contemporaries, and in that it does its job splendidly. In the Harry Potter books, we spend so much time with Gryffindors looking out at the other houses that it’s really refreshing to have the chance to experience one of the other houses; to see what being in that house means to them and what they think of the others. Superbly characterised as all Fernwithy stories are.
Why You Might Not Care: A bit of pointless fun, but well worth it.
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.
Minerva McGonagall and the Insurance Salesman by Emiime
Summary: “The hapless insurance salesman squirmed. ‘If you will recall, Professor McGonagall, last time we spoke I told you we wished to cancel your policy. The amount of issues the school has — it’s simply too high-risk for us….’ ” Oneshot, 1,218 Words.
Why You Should Care: Because it’s an absolutely smashing idea for a fic that mixes the magical and the ordinary in ways that make me cackle. I adore the original character of Brian Hemmings, who bit off much more than he could chew. A bit of a stab at the insurance industry. Delightfully amusing.
Why You Might Not Care: It says part one of two, and the second part hasn’t made it up yet. It stands well enough on its own, though.
Autumn into Spring by Crookshanks22
Summary: In this sequel to ‘A Romance, with Dragons,’ Viktor finds love at last… and long shadows of the past. Set in Romania, Bulgaria, and Budapest in the aftermath of the second war. Drama/Romance, 19,292 Words.
Guest Rec’d By: Allie Meril (allie_andromeda)
Why You Should Care: You don’t get a lot of fics that are (a) not set in Britain/Hogwarts/etc., and have (b) really fantastic original characters. “Autumn Into Spring” is one of those rare stories that paints a wholly new picture of a wizarding culture outside of Britain, and a totally believable one at that. Crookshanks’ picture of wizarding Romania and the rest of Eastern Europe is appropriately bleak and harsh, and this reflects beautifully on the development of the OCs: Marina Vasik is the way she is because her life molded her that way. Even more than in “A Romance, With Dragons,” Crookshanks22’s writing is stunning.
Why You Might Not Care: An OC-centric story, paired with a very minor character who only appeared in two books… And to boot, Marina has a tragic past! This sounds like a recipe of bad cliches, but it surpasses all of them to form a beautiful and touching story. I’d say that Marina is one of the very best OCs that I’ve ever seen, and her tragic past has very real effects on her character; it isn’t used as a way to get pity from others.
When September Comes Again by AuntBijou
Summary: Life comes full circle for everyone, even Muggles. Oneshot, 1,222 Words.
Why You Should Care: These sorts of genfics are always fantastic. It includes exactly zero canon characters, yet is completely canon, and it just warms your heart right up. Original characters and ideas written like this are why I love fanfiction as much as I do. It’s lovely to see that someone else thinks about those Muggles that live their lives so close to the magical world that they must be at least a little aware of it, even though they’ll never be a part of it.
Why You Might Not Care: I can’t think of a single reason.
The Story of the Mantle and the Silver Tree by Trowizilla
Summary: “In the youth of the world, Bedaal the Singer strode between mountains, and his singing wove the languages of men and elves, centaurs and goblins, pixies and nixies, the hissing tongue of dragons and the ululation of the weres” Drabble, 839 Words.
Why You Should Care: This is an example of world-building at its finest in fandom. It’s a wizarding creation story, a myth of mortality and the Veil, and the tone of it feels very much in the oral tradition, as a story passed down through generations of wizards to their small children and then to their small children. Really, really neat.
Why You Might Not Care: This is definitely Beedle the Bard territory. It’s one of those little stories that is less about Harry Potter and more about the culture and mythos of the Harry Potter universe. These sorts of things I find incredibly interesting, but you might not.
Sin of Lycaos by D.M.P.
Summary: Often in life, situations occur that are entirely out of one’s control. During the Goblet of Fire, Remus Lupin commits a crime that leads to questions he had never encountered before. Was this incident fate or poor judgment? How can he live with the consequences of his actions? Is there a way can he escape the prejudiced wrath of the Ministry? He must struggle to discover an answer because, for the very first time he finds himself branded a criminal… and a father. Novel Length, 142,670 Words.
Why You Should Care: This was written a very long time ago, back when GoF was the most recent canon and all we knew of Remus was what we’d been given in PoA. This is a masterful and very original look at what the life of a werewolf might have been like, and what Remus’ life in particular might have been like outside of teaching at Hogwarts. It’s filled with delightfully canon and original characters, including a sweet and endearing young girl named Mary. This has quite obviously been made AU by virtue of the release of the rest of the series and it’s been quite a long time since I’ve read it, but it still stands as one of my favorites. Sure to interest Remus fans and novel-length fic fans.
Why You Might Not Care: Remus is almost the only canon character in this one folks, and a lot of people will be turned away by the large cast of main and supporting original characters, but I feel all of them have been expertly created by a very talented author, and those who stick it out will be rewarded with a worthwhile and very original story.
The Moon Cursers by Grace_has_Victory (Part I: Moons of Deceit, Part II: Crown of the North, Part III: The Werewolf’s Bride, Part IV: The Banesbrewer)
Summary: Beginning just after the first fall of Voldemort, this follows the life of Remus Lupin and Ariadne MacDougal as they battle love, lycanthropy, abuse of human rights and living in the most prejudiced of societies. Four-part Series, over 330,000 words.
Why You Should Care: Because if this woman weren’t a psychology teacher she could be an author. Very much like JKR herself, Grave_has_Victory is a master of storytelling. This four-part story (entirely fitting with canon) is brimful of twists and suspense; you never fail to be surprised. The characters, particularly Ariadne herself, are multifaceted and interesting, and the whole tale has a strong feeling of reality. There’s a little humour, and it keeps the story light, as does the hint of romance. The writing may not be flowery, but it’s substantial and at times bittersweet, and much of the dialogue is incredibly realistic. This fic is like reading a really, really good book. This series is probably my favourite piece of fanfiction ever. Incredible.
Why You Might Not Care: If you don’t like stories about what-Remus-did-in-the-eighties, then this might be something to avoid. And if you like your emotions served up on a plate: pure angst, or pure fluff. But, honestly, I can’t believe that anyone could regret checking these out. If you like stories, if you like books, if you like reading, then these are for you. Go, my children. Read and enjoy.
Solace by SecretLily
Summary: Lily Evans remained shadowed and distant from the world she loved so dearly. Control was Michael’s weakness; temptation hers. Yet, when James Potter enters her life, without so much as a warning or brief hesitation, Lily finds truth. For James Potter refused to give up on her. Work In Progress, 23,613 words.
Why You Should Care: This fic isn’t unique in its subject matter. There are dozens of fics where Lily’s dating a guy who totally doesn’t deserve her and treats her badly. But they don’t do this well. What I love about this fic is its subtlety. This fic doesn’t go straight in with domestic violence, but plays on the surface of emotional possession, meaning that (unusally, for this genre) Lily isn’t OOC: she’s soft and passionate and interesting, and SecretLily manages to show her as a supressed character, a masterstroke in my book. Not only that, but stylistically this fic is beautiful and captures moments with soft, unexpected imagery.
Why You Might Not Care: It’s true. This is another fic where Lily’s dating a total arsehole. And it’s incredibly angsty; I reckon this fic could do with a bit of humour to lighten the tone, but the characterization alone should be enough of a draw to read it.
A Summer in Ottery St Catchpole by Ashley Donnan
Summary: Everyone in the village knew the Weasleys and their backward kids. Thankfully, they all went to some ‘special’ school up north during the year, so the only time she had to put up with them was during the summer holidays. One-shot, 1,317 words.
Why You Should Care: This fic is wonderful, that’s why. It’s told from the point of view of a Muggle living in Ottery St. Catchpole. Although it’s by no means action-packed, Ashley Donnan absolutely hits the nail on the head of how this character would be feeling. It’s also brimful of wonderful Britishness – it’s marvellous. Being British myself, of course, I end up reading this and thinking ‘My, my, she’s watching Eastenders in the middle of the day. It must be Sunday’, but even if you aren’t that anal a Brit-picker, this fic is still incredibly funny and incredibly real. Every teenage girl in the world either is Nathalie, or knows Nathalie. Just…just read it.
Why You Might Not Care: Yes, I know, nothing happens. Yes, I know, it’s a dreaded OC. Yes, I know, it’s the strangest fic you’ll read. Yes, yes, yes. Your complaints are unimportant. Read it.
Brave New World by Theatresm
Summary: The tale of the professor of Muggle Studies, as she raises her troubled nephew and comes to terms with her job, her colleagues, and the difficulties inherent in being a Muggle teacher at a magical school. Trilogy, Novel Length, approx. 150,000 Words.
Why You Should Care: This is the other of two major Snape/OC Trilogies that I think any self respecting Snape fan would need to read before really committing to the character. The narrative is in first person, and Miranda Hunter hardly ever so much as whispers the name “Mary Sue”; her relationship with Snape takes as much time to develop into fruition as a relationship with Snape ought, spreading from mutual dislike to mutual grudging respect and then like and then eventually beyond that as well. As for Snape, he never trips away from canon, and even in his softest moments he is as much the cruel bastard as we could hope for, but Miranda has been cunningly crafted to match him well. Furthar, one of the most compelling relationships in the story is that between Miranda and her young nephew, Ian; a young boy with his own journey to make. Every canon character in this piece is spot on, and every original character feels as though they might just be canon. The prose is dynamic, and rolling with style. This is not how JKR would have written it, and yet it honours the intent. A landmark piece, written before the release of OotP.
Why You Might Not Care: Oh boy. Do not venture here if you harbour any thoughts that Snape is not the prick he seems to be, because here the author never tries to dull his edge which — to the true canon Snape fan — will only make you want more. This is a man that was a Death Eater willingly, and perhaps in moments of weakness longs to be again. In places, it’s a story about a dead man trying to move forward and being just as startled as anyone to find there may be a part of him alive yet. Also, this fiction was written before OotP came out, so while it once fit canon perfectly, it now sits firmly in an AU category.
Awards: Round Four Multifaceted Awards, Best Original Character – Runner Up.
Darkness and Light Trilogy by R.J. Anderson
Summary: A young blind woman comes to Hogwarts on a secret mission, only to find herself allied with the one man she has been warned not to trust – Severus Snape. Trilogy, Novel Length, 113,525 Words, Complete.
Why You Should Care: Anyone who claims to adore the character of Snape should have already read this, or is lying. There are only a couple of highly respected Snape/OC fics and this is one of them for a very good reason. In lesser hands, Maud Moody could have very easily become a Mary Sue, but under Anderson’s pen she never entirely falls that way but instead becomes one of the most memorable original characters in the fandom. This fiction was written between GoF and OotP and while it has since been adjusted to reflect OotP canon, the plot carries through to Voldemort’s defeat and thus it is now firmly AU. However, the plot of this piece is one of its very best features: brilliantly and thoughtfully constructed, back before OotP it was entirely plausible.
Why You Might Not Care: Snape is not quite canon, here. Time and nods to canon give us at least a passable explanation why that is, and creates a sort of AU Snape that turns out to be as dynamic and dimensional – if less ambiguous – then his canon counterpart. The central romance does have a remarkable age gap that’s hard to believably overcome, since Maud comes to Hogwarts as a seventh year student from Durmstrang. I think what made it work for me is that the author isn’t afraid to admit the huge differential in age and sometimes puts it front and centre, admitting that yes, it is a problem, but sometimes other things matter more. Their relationship might be a tad rushed, but only just.