The Death of Narcissa Black by Winkout
Summary: Narcissa never intended to marry, but circumstances change and needs must. The darkest thing I could think of was abandoning the person you want to be for the person you feel you must be, so that’s what this is about. Art Fic, 1,000 Words with Illustrations (some rated R).
Why You Should Care: Wow. Between the story itself and the amazing artwork, I’m a bit shell-shocked. I’ve not got enough artistic background to really give you a solid critique of the art, but the style and the colours were so unique and well suited to the subject matter that I read the whole thing twice over, the second time just for the art. The story itself is well written and presses all the right buttons in all the right orders, and it creates a truly sad tragedy around Narcissa with this completely different take on her character. I would gladly purchase this as a real paper-and-binding book.
Why You Might Not Care: Some of the art is definitely Not Work Safe. Which only means you should read it at home instead of at work, not that you shouldn’t read it at all. Really, really wonderful. (It brought me back to make a rec after, oh, five months now is it? *grins*)
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.
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.
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.
The Taste Of Smoke by Tani
Summary: There are some things that cannot be forgotten. For George Weasley, the taste of smoke is one of them. Oneshot, 1,218 Words.
Why You Should Care: Because everyone has to grow up, even if part of their charm is that they never really completely do. Fred and George learn that lesson made famous by Ben Parker: with great power comes great responsibility.
Why You Might Not Care: Not as poignant as it maybe could have been. This could have hurt like a slap to the face, and perhaps it would have been better for it. As is, it’s more uneasy than jarring; still effective, but less powerful.
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.
Stand Helplessly Before The Spirit At Bay by Paradise Loved
Summary: Albus Dumbledore comes to convince Remus Lupin to take the Defense Against the Dark Arts teaching position. Oneshot, 2,584 Words.
Why You Should Care: Because it’s something different for Remus, that seems neither completely canon nor at all fanon. Paradise’s pre PoA Remus is a shadow, haunted by ghosts twelve-years dead or gone, and one gets the sense that he never really moved on past that ill-fated Haloween night. His depression permeates this piece, carrying a hollow, dusty weight of something that has been hanging over him long enough now that he’s become used to it and dulled by it.
Why You Might Not Care: This doesn’t connect entirely well with the Remus in PoA, and while that may seem a trifle nit-picky, I feel there could have been a better transition made and that the fic would have been stronger for it. This is also not the strongest characterisation of Dumbledore I’ve read — though it isn’t by any stretch the weakest either; he does serve his purpose well enough, however, albeit without his trademark twinkle.
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.
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?
Still Too Early To Dream by Andromeda311
Summary: Sometimes, Molly hates Lily Potter. Drabble, 218 Words.
Why You Should Care: This is all sorts of yes, because it’s just right. Of course — of course — Molly would feel that way. And all this ‘of course’ fits so well in drabble form that it makes it just that much better; it’s wonderful and simple and packs a sturdy punch, just like a good drabble should.
Why You Might Not Care: I rec’d Andromeda311 yesterday, but it’s my site and I’ll double-dip authors if I wanna!
Stasis by Andromeda311
Summary: There is no hero. There is no villain. There is only redemption and damnation, success and failure. Oneshot, 5,137 Words.
Why You Should Care: Because it’s the Regulus everyone writes except that it’s so much better. This characterisation is everything I’ve been missing in Regulus fics — darker, harsher, more bitter, and on a path clearly marked by self-destruction. This is a character sketch I can sink my teeth into, and one that is sure to be enjoyed by darkfic readers.
Why You Might Not Care: You might like seeing Regulus as more a victim of circumstance than this portrays. Like Snape, Regulus makes his own bed in this one.
A Matter of Opportunity by Shimotsuki
Summary: Remus is worried about Teddy, but Tonks is worried about Remus, and circumstances lead her to try something she’s never done before. She can only hope they are ready for it. Oneshot, 2,390 Words.
Why You Should Care: Mostly because I haven’t rec’d a Remus/Tonks in a little while and angsty!Remus fretting over baby Teddy’s first full moon delights me. I also quite enjoyed the interaction between Tonks and Wolfsbaned-Wolf Remus. Nice, cute, and fluffy.
Why You Might Not Care: What do you mean Remus and Tonks died in Deathly Hallows? Psht, like even. Unashamed denial-fic.
Flowers Shall Grow by Newyork Noodles
Summary: “He needs you. It’s the easiest and hardest thing in the world.” They say that hope can be found in the darkest of places, but Andromeda isn’t so sure anymore. A conversation with Augusta Longbottom might help. Oneshot, 3,645 Words.
Why You Should Care: I can’t believe it took me until reading this fic to realize the completely obvious parallels between Andromeda Tonks and Augusta Longbottom and the way the wars ended for them. Andromeda is at a crossroads, and her grief is too new to be entirely bearable. Her interaction with Neville is especially lovely.
Why You Might Not Care: This is not my favorite characterisation of Augusta Longbottom ever. There is too little personality there, and I feel as though she is merely a placeholder for some more neutral-sounding narrator. Everything the author gives Augusta to say is valid, but something about the way she says it falls flat. Over all, this fic starts out strong and struggles a bit near the end.
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
Now or Never by QueenB23
Summary: “Scorpius Malfoy, who was a Slytherin and a pureblood. Who, even worse, was the son of Draco Malfoy, a man that her parents barely tolerated when they saw each other in public.” Novel Length Work in Progress, 94,000 Words (and counting).
Why You Should Care: Queen B does not go the predictable route here, spending thousands upon thousands of words in the long slow build up that at long last comes to fruition as Rose and Scorpius inevitably realize their feelings for each other. Instead, she brings us in minutes before they come together and writes us a story that is equal parts about the now or never nature of teenage love and the complexities of loving across the Romeo-and-Juliet lines of family history and hostility. Rose and Scorpius are fantastically realized, both as lovable and fallible as real people, and Queen B has given equal consideration to her supporting cast of youngsters and adults alike; parents Hermione and Ron are particularly wonderfully crafted, and their interaction with their daughter on the issue of the Malfoys is true to their character, personalities, and history. A hopelessly romantic and carefully realistic portrayal of what Scorpius/Rose might really be like, and a unashamed exploration of the charming angst and desperation of teenage love.
Why You Might Not Care: I have hesitated so long in reccing this because it’s a work in progress, and I generally don’t rec unfinished works. That is more a guideline than a hard and fast rule, however, and I feel this fic is well worth following. At times, this fic seems to get lost in the sometimes too-passionate day-to-day comings and goings of Rose and Scorpius, but isn’t that exactly what teenage love is all about, really? Love at sixteen and seventeen has always been that sort of I didn’t see you yesterday and it was just terrible, how did I ever endure it kind of thing, and so the silliness that frequently irks me also delights me because of its honesty. Heads up for scenes with NC-17 content peppered throughout, starting somewhere around the ninthish chapter.
Thanks to: So many people who rec’d this to me several times over, including most of the UR.org Roomies, especially Erin and Liz.
Untitled by Fernwithy
Summary: “Andromeda had no trouble finding Draco and his son in the waiting room.” Drabble, 725 Words.
Why You Should Care: There is something completely awesome about the Draco Malfoy Fernwithy creates in this little off-the-cuff ficlet. Completely awesome. Draco usually leaves me feeling all *meh* inside, but this Draco I could read about at length. There’s depth and maturity there that reach all the way through his cameo in the epilogue and down beyond into the core of the books, pulling in just enough influence from Lucius and Narcissa to makes it all add up. Officially my favorite Draco characterization ever, and I hope all the Draco fangirls out there will remember that I avoid Draco fics like the plague before they spam me with what they think are better ones.
Why You Might Not Care: Um…. eh? Fernwithy was rec’d here just the other day, but we could all just consider it random clumping and get over it.
The Darkness Drops Again by 2 4 Joy
Summary: Knowing the Dark Lord has returned, Karkaroff awaits his punishment. 100 Word Drabble.
Why You Should Care: Because I love 100 word drabbles, and this one just oozes wonderful. I wish I’d written it.
Why You Might Not Care: I do not dignify this question with a response.