The Hands of a Healer by Lazy Neutrino
Summary: She has no children, and thousands of children. Drabble, 926 Words.
Why You Should Care: Because the teacher and student relationship between Pomona Sprout and Severus Snape is rich in layers, and Sprout’s sadness at the path Snape chose is palpable. The writing is top-notch, and Sprout comes alive. It’s wonderful to see Sprout interact with a student other than Neville.
Why You Might Not Care: The first phrase about Frank Longbottom is not as seamlessly tied into the others as I would have liked. The lead-in works, but I think lingers in too many words and misdirects the piece, then never gets tied off. His connection to this story seems too device-like, even though the section is beautifully written and very powerful. It feels like there’s a link missing somewhere.
Man of Property [Part One] [Part Two] by Josan PQ
Summary: After the war, an injured veteran Severus Snape finds sanctuary. AU, 7,000 Words.
Why You Should Care: There’s something very human about this story, something warm that we can all engage with. It seems to deal with the trivial facts of one man’s attempts to return to reality, but occasionally it seamlessly slips into something deeper where it has the ability to shed some light on darker topics. Extra points for exciting facts about House-Elves.
Why You Might Not Care: Written pre-DH so Snape Lives. Gratuitious pretty house-porn, and also gratuitious house-elves.
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.
The Chocolate Frog War by Leni Jess
Summary: The war is over, and Severus Snape is in Azkaban. With Chocolate Frogs. Could there be worse? Well, yes. Correspondence about them. Just what is really going on? Oneshot, 4,918 Words.
Why You Should Care: I… don’t really know. I just like something about it. Probably the complete randomness of the situation that is dealt with in (almost) all seriousness. It’s a grand battle of the wills over something completely insane. It’s wacky. It doesn’t quite make sense. It might be crackfic, except that it doesn’t read quite like crackfic.
Why You Might Not Care: It ends with several questions unanswered, and even after three read-overs I’m still not quite sure what all actually happened. But I still like it, possibly because it’s just… odd. A very strange and possibly unique piece of fanfic.
The End To ‘Always’ Evermore by Juniperus
Summary: Snape. And redemption. And Poe. Drabble, 571 Words.
Why You Should Care: It’s Poe! And unrequited angsty Snape/Lily, which you just know Poe would secretly fangirl! And just a smidgen of parody! And Poe!
Why You Might Not Care: Didn’t you hear me say there was Poe? Why are you still reading this rec and not reading Snape/Lily Poe?
Stealing Harry by Copperbadge
Summary: “Harry didn’t see why sharing a street with strange Mr. Black should mean he couldn’t go into the bookshop. After all, nobody actually knew that he owned it, and he had it on good authority that the shop itself was mostly run by another man named Moony.” Novel Length, Alternate Universe, Approx. 85,000 Words.
Why You Should Care: Alternate Universes are fun. They’re fun to write and they’re fun to read, and Stealing Harry by Copperbadge is no different. It’s a well paced, fully developed and well thought-out universe that branches off canon without feeling too contrived. In addition, it features a complex and interesting Remus/Sirius that feels like a fresh and original take on an over-written pairing. Their characters are familiar yet different, as all well constructed AU characters are, and while this version of Sirius may feel too settled for some people’s tastes, there is something wonderful endearing about him as he navigates deeper into the unknown territory of this new romantic relationship.
Why You Might Not Care: I’m not thrilled with the characterisation of eight (and a half) year-old Harry in this fic. Most of the time he comes off as quite a but younger than that, except occasionally when he comes across as quite a bit older; never once in this fic did the dialogue given to him sound like it might actually have come from an eight year-old boy, or at least not any eight year-old boy I’ve ever known. Snape’s character is likewise somewhat distanced from the Snape we know from the books, but considering this was written in 2005 without some of the canon knowledge we have today, I think overall the AU nature of this fic justifies the characterisation enough to be going on with. Be mindful of a handful of NC-17 scenes throughout the latter half of this fic that are not at all worksafe.
Awards: 2008 Hourglass Award, Best AU Fic — Third Place
As Before by Atrata
Summary: “That’s the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller, but for want of an understanding ear.” Drabble, 635 Words.
Why You Should Care: Written sometime between the release of Half Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows, this piece reflects one of so many possible outcomes of the complex relationship between Snape and Harry, had the chips of plot fallen differently. There’s a lot of room for interpretation in these six hundred words, which makes it all the more interesting — especially when we apply what we know from Deathly Hallows about what motivated Snape.
Why You Might Not Care: In the words of the author, it could be Snape/Harry if you squint (you really have to want it, though). Otherwise, it’s fairly clear-cut gen.
Nothing a Good Imperius Wouldn’t Solve by Afterthree
Summary: “Snape has nearly gotten used to dealing with the darkness creeping sullenly through the back of his head.” The tempting of Severus Snape. Oneshot, 1,562 Words.
Why You Should Care: Anything I put here will look pretty arrogant, eh? Rec’d in a couple of other places and the winner of an Hourglass Award, so I think it’s above board to put it up here.
Why You Might Not Care: Have shamelessly rec’d my own work, and you may all boo and hiss at your leisure.
Awards: 2008 Hourglass Award, Best Angst Fic — Second Place
Mentoring by Juniperus
Summary: A psychological study of Severus Snape in three acts. Oneshot, 3,046 Words.
Why You Should Care: This is a fascinating and in-depth character study of Snape at three pivotal times in his life. The language is incredibly thick and nearly entirely a descriptive exercise that occasionally wanders and slips and digresses and distracts, as the mind is inevitably wont to do. In places it might have even been stream of consciousness (except not quite). It is both canon to the core and not, and dances on the edge of indulgence without ever really becoming so. It is a high-level psychological exploration dressed in prose.
Why You Might Not Care: The language is so thick as to be sometimes confusing and even distracting, though in a way that never seems purple. Read this slowly, and read it twice.
One For Sorrow by Lilith Morgana
Summary: Eileen sings to her baby in Azkaban. Oneshot, 5,504 Words.
Why You Should Care: This is my favorite sort of fic, you know; the kind that takes the mere mention of a character or a fact of someone’s past and uses it as the smallest keystone to create something new and incredibly rich that slides right up against canon. The writing is top-notch, and the character work herein is just phenomenal. Lilith Morgana creates a very thoughtful character study in Eileen Prince, and a likewise thoughtful family history for Snape.
Why You Might Not Care: Snape’s here, but only just. This is Eileen’s story, so if stories about bit characters make you yawn this probably isn’t for you. But it’s really very wonderful, and I wish you’d read it anyway.
Once Upon a Time, In Winter by CatFoxBird
Summary: He had to see her, just once more. Oneshot, 1,923 Words.
Why You Should Care: I’m not really sure, actually, except that there’s something about it I quite like. Maybe it’s the mixing of unrequited romance and creepiness that suits Snape’s character, and how — for a little while — his motives and plans for that night are seriously in question, and it feels like the story might move into darkfic territory in a hurry. Wonderful tension that breaks on the lighter side.
Why You Might Not Care: I probably would have liked this fic even more if it had moved into darkfic territory, because there is serious potential to dive head-first into some obviously dark themes. It would have been a different story, though. And probably a different character.
A Problem of Scale by Halrloprillalar
Summary: Snape’s bad day. 100 Word Drabble.
Why You Should Care: It’s funny, and takes a well-meaning knock at the fandom. Anything else I say would probably ruin it, seeing as it’s only 100 words.
Why You Might Not Care: Some people don’t like 100 word drabbles because they’re too short. I love them because they’re exactly the right length.
Snape’s Portrait by JS1976
Summary: Eight years post-Deathly Hallows, Harry Potter returns to Hogwarts for a conversation with an old adversary. Oneshot, 7,349 Words.
Why You Should Care: Snape’s overall characterisation is good, and his dialogue is often spot-on and deliciously snarky.
Why You Might Not Care: It never would have happened. I don’t think Harry’s characterisation is very accurate, and while I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s necessarily OOC, the whole set up does feel quite contrived and strained, and the fic suffers quality-wise because of it.
Note: Forgive the extreme lateness and the brevity…. the jet lag is killing me right now and my brain isn’t entirely working properly, but it’s a rec so yay team me! I’ve been out of town on holiday for the last nine days, and intend to get to some housekeeping and broken links and such ASAP. Cheers, all!
Enter Stage Left by Thirty2Flavors
Summary: “You’re a dreadful actor, Black.” // While waiting for their cue, two actors discuss their profession. Oneshot, 769 Words.
Why You Should Care: It’s a brave writer who can find a metaphor and turn their entire fic over to it. Trust thirty2flavors, then, to do it awesomely. She’s seen the behind the masks of Death Eaters and seen the how masquerade continues to take place. What’s incredible here is that in a fic with a metaphor for acting, she doesn’t use a script form. That would be obvious. But she manipulates language so that her prose is scriptlike. Every time I read this fic I am in awe.
Why You Might Not Care: You’re sick of thirty2flavors being recced here.
Form 46A by Alan McLeod
Summary: How are things like household bills handled in the Harry Potter world? Are their beurocracies as incompetent as ours? Snape finds out. Drabble, Humour, 560 Words.
Why You Should Care: Because I really think Jo would probably find it hilarious, and just right on form. And because I think it’s hilarious. Snape makes the best straight man for this little drabble, I think, and the fact that it’s him just makes me love it even more.
Why You Might Not Care: It’s short and humourous. If one of those doesn’t tickle your fancy today, then skip it.
Angels and Ministers of Grace by Lesyeuxverts
Summary: “The angels come with Potter on his last visit, approaching the bed with due fear and skittish tremors. Granger and Weasley, yes – Lovegood, Longbottom, Finnegan, Weasley, Weasley, Weasley, it reads like the roll call of Snape’s nightmare classes.” Oneshot, 3,290 Words.
Why You Should Care: After reading Deathly Hallows, I anticipated a great influx of AU fic wherein Snape either didn’t die or was somehow brought back to life, and was more than a little surprised when it never came. This is, in fact, the very first fic along these lines I have found, and I’m pleased to see it was well done. This author uses description and narrative to great effect, and the paragraphs fit together like stanzas though it never crosses the line from prose into poetry. Snape is remarkably well characterised and, though we see Harry through his lens, I would say Harry is also very well done. It’s AU through and through, but it’s the sort of AU that’s been so carefully crafted that it doesn’t offend. Beautiful, poignant, and circumspect, this fic will delight all five of your senses.
Why You Might Not Care: It’s AU, obviously, and despite quality some people just don’t go for that sort of thing. I offer that the only leap of faith you must take is that Snape did not die, and everything after that is entirely within bounds.
To Dwell In Dreams by Snorkackcatcher
Summary: There is a danger in dwelling on past mistakes. Drabble, 1,000 Words.
Why You Should Care: These two men are not so different, really; both chased power and chose the wrong ally, and both paid in someone else’s blood. For all its redeeming qualities, love can be a hard, merciless master, and broken hearts often stay that way long after they should have healed. This is a melancholy piece where Albus Dumbledore struggles to heed his own advice, and it has been written without fanfare and with a mindful nod to subtlety. This is a prime example of the adege “show, don’t tell”.
Why You Might Not Care: We don’t garner much from this we didn’t already know, I suppose, but sometimes it’s worthwhile just to walk the path and take note of it. This is a brief and quiet walk through familiar territory. Not really remarkable, except in its execution.
A Spirit of Brotherhood by Torch
Summary: Tea, nightshirts, and blood. Cooperation isn’t all it’s cracked up to be for Sirius, Severus, and Remus. Oneshot, 19,878 Words.
Why You Should Care: Delightful characterisation and dialogue, that’s why. All three characters are exceedingly well written — if you are willing to suspend disbelief at the central conceit. These three characters have been thrown into a highly unusual and unlikely situation, and if you can allow for that, then you will enjoy the rest of this fic enormously. There is quite a lot happening under the surface, and it’s going in all directions. The character interaction is quite masterfully — and often quite subtly — done, and the dialogue is first-rate. Torch captures the individual and distinct voice and patterns of each Sirius, Remus and Snape, and the conversation only ever feels off when it goes the way of exposition.
Why You Might Not Care: There might be slash connotations here, though I seriously doubt it. Nothing about it other than a few of the situations seems very slashy, and — in my experience — slash writers do not tend toward subtlety. As mentioned, the plot is… a little contrived. It’s also decidedly un-canon, as of the release of OotP (it was most certainly written in that three year break between GoF and OotP), but for all that I strongly believe this would never have happened — that Snape would never have agreed to it — in the same moment I wholeheartedly believe that, if it did happen, this is likely how it might have gone.
Look Back In Anger by Magnetic Pole
Summary: “Minerva McGonagall, naturally, said everything that the portraits in the headmaster’s office had left unspoken.” Drabble, 590 Words.
Why You Should Care: What might the other professors’ reactions have been to learning that Snape would be their new Headmaster? Magnetic Pole does a most excellent job crafting this difficult scene, and Snape’s internal monologue meshes with his dialogue and actions well. Snape was a servant to two very accomplished and manipulative masters, two kings of Machiavellian principles, and he learned his art very well indeed.
Why You Might Not Care: This is actually the third part of a serial intending to have ten pieces. I believe there are currently six finished, but reading through them I found they are of varying quality. Read them all if you like, but I find Snape’s character a little unsteady through the six parts, and a couple of the pieces in comparison seem as though they were written by an entirely different — and somewhat less talented — author. Each section stands alone quite well, however, so I’ve opted to rec only the ones I felt are of the highest quality.
Protean by The Wailing Owl
Summary: Snape had, like water, shaped himself to fit what surrounded him. Drabble, 100 Words.
Why You Should Care: I’m not always a huge Snape fan: I often find him seriously OOC in fics, but this one is perfect. In exactly 100 words this author alludes to every event that’s shaped Severus’ character, everything that’s tossed and turned him, everything that’s affected him. The author uses half-quotes, and short sentences, and manages to include so much without feeling rushed. There’s more than a novel’s worth of emotion within those 100 words. Genius.
Why You Might Not Care: If you can’t stand canon or fanon Snape, you’d best stay away, there’s a lot of the former and a little of the latter in this fic. Additionally, if you don’t believe in the power of drabbles and reckon that 100 well-organised words aren’t a patch on a novel-length fic, closely depicting each feeling, then this one certainly isn’t for you. But really, this is a pretty incredible achievement, and checking it out’s hardly going to take much time.