The Hours by Virginia_Bell
Summary: It all weighs upon her like the gold of her locket upon her neck and the gold is like twisted iron. She has tried before but she cannot take it off. Oneshot, 1,078 Words.
Why You Should Care: When I read this, first time, I believe that my mouth was hanging open. This is so good. It’s beautiful, almost like poetry, and yet hints at such darkness and pain. It’s frightening and morbid and I can’t stop re-reading it. The formatting only makes me love it more — in the words of a reviewer, ‘the fractured style reflects her fractured thoughts’. So worth your read.
Why You Might Not Care: This is about the life of Merope Gaunt, before she reached out and tried to take her fate into her own hands; some might not care. It’s dark and hints at incest; some might not like. Also, it’s quite stylistic, which irks some people but only makes me like the piece more.
Dreaming Through The Twilight by msmoocow
Summary: Ariana; like a beautiful melody. Oneshot, 1,855 Words.
Why You Should Care: This fic is like a fragmented dream, slightly mad and slightly scary, and reflects the character it centres on to perfection. The true beauty of this is that the author uses exactly the right amount of narrative, so that the prose feels spare and poetic, but the reader always understands. The choice and placing of words is always impeccable, and the idiosyncracies of the characters are skillfully woven into the prose.
Why You Might Not Care: We don’t know a lot about Ariana because there isn’t a lot to know, and if you don’t want to read this author’s speculation on what the shadow we hear of in canon may actually have been like, steer clear.
Sheer Dumb Luck by WinglessFlight
Summary: “Cowards may die many times before their deaths; the valient never taste of death but one.” She laughs because she’s living on borrowed time. Oneshot, 1,175 Words.
Why You Should Care: The repetition throughout this fic is used keenly and strategically, and I feel at long last that I might actually begin to understand Merope Gaunt. This fic is poetic, but it doesn’t run away with itself too far. It’s supremely focused, which has always been the way straight to my heart when we talk fanfiction.
Why You Might Not Care: The focus is Merope Gaunt. But if y’all like character study fics about Petunia and Rita and Hagrid and Gilderoy, then this is precisely your cup of tea.
Awards: 2008 Hourglass Award, Best Drama — Third Place
Fraternity by Lyras
Summary: Aberforth Dumbledore is very different from his brother. Oneshot.
Why You Should Care: I have nothing to say. It’s rich and deep, it’s multifaceted and poignant, it’s beautifully characterised. Words are not enough. Man, you have to read this fic.
Why You Might Not Care: What did I just say? Unbelievably fantastic.
A Correspondence Between Albus Dumbledore and Gellert Grindelwald by M’lah Sihfay
Summary: As two men try to rebuild we read the letters between 1951 and 1997. Approx. 9,500 Words.
Guest Rec’d By: Christy (ChristyCorr – insofar that it was on her Livejournal and I jacked it and put it here.)
Why You Should Care: I’m not a huge slasher and I’m not a big Albus/Gellert fan at all, but I really like this fic. It’s got these fabulous nuances – epistolary styles in general are tricky because you’ve got to show the character, but it’s not like speech where things are blurted out – in letters everything is weighted and thought through. There are clear characters here and I really like that. The way the two rationalise themselves through the first war, the second war – every moment of weakness and strength and the way that neither can ever stop writing, can ever break away. There’s a theme throughout the fic of being ‘broken’ by events and it’s eloquently and interestingly expressed.
Why You Might Not Care: I want to go through this fic and cut out every slightly graphic moment. They’re few and far between, but they’re there and they’re pointless. But it’s a slash fic, and the slashers need their kicks from somewhere, I guess. Probably rated R for the occasional mention of boysex.
Awards: 2008 Hourglass Award, Admins’ Choice — Slash Romance
Anagrams by Melyanna
Summary: On a Christmas Eve during World War II, Cornelius Fudge witnesses an ordinary children’s game and hears a name which will haunt his career. Oneshot, 2, 450 Words.
Why You Should Care: This fic chills me to the bone, it truly does. It’s not exactly angsty, it’s intense – it’s dramatic. The characterisation is spot-on: Melyanna really gets to the core of young Voldemort and shows, with subtlety and eloquence, the cruel, coldness that foreshadows the later evils. Fudge, too, is incredibly characterised: so fitting with his unfriendly, unprofessional canon exterior and yet portrayed sympathetically. The concept of this fic, that Voldemort and Fudge might’ve attended school at the same time, is a little way-out, but Melyanna more than makes up for that with her fabulous storytelling. She takes you right into the scene, putting particular emphasis on detail – you too can feel when the fire seems to have stopped crackling. And if you, like me, revel in beautiful use of language and linguistics, the anagrams and connotations thereof that the writer delves into are truly mesmerising.
Why You Might Not Care: Timeframes and timelines in canon are a little iffy as to whether or not this could have actually happened. Also, there is a corner of my mind that says this is a little unrealistic: surely if this was young Riddle he’d have been ostracized, not adored. But it’s brilliant, and so cleverly executed. A masterpiece.
Vocabulary Lesson by Elektra3
Summary: Evil doesn’t always start out as cruelty. Sometimes it’s something simpler. Something as simple as aesthetic appreciation… A younger Tom Riddle reflects on the Unforgivable Curses. Oneshot, 718 Words.
Why You Should Care: The English major and closet Linguist in me adores this fic to pieces. It’s wonderful to play with the words, and to see Tom Riddle’s personality portrayed through them and the aesthetic appreciation of them. Very original.
Why You Might Not Care: People who do not love language as much as I do probably won’t understand why I love this piece so much. This is as much about the words as it the story or the character.
And The Hat Said ‘Gryffindor’ by Ciircee
Summary: Ever notice that there are no Hagrid stories? This is a story about bravery. Oneshot, 2,941 Words.
Why You Should Care: Because there aren’t any stories about Hagrid, that’s why. Hagrid is frightfully difficult to write, and Hagrid as a boy is even more difficult. But Ciircee manages, somehow, to invoke the very spirit of JKR and give us a young Hagrid that is just as perfect as canon. And then, on top of all that, she throws Dumbledore into the mix — quite possibly the most difficult character to get right — and somehow manages that too. And then, beyond even that, the author manages to write one of the most telling, heart-warming oneshots I have ever read.
Why You Might Not Care: The reason no one writes about Hagrid is because no one wants to read about Hagrid, and I get that, but please, read this. It’s only 2,941 words, and it is more than worth the ten minutes out of your day. Between brilliantly written canon characters, beautiful prose, and an inspiring theme, this story deserves an award. Probably several. This is why I read fan fiction.
Awards: July 2007 Gold Star Award for Excellence in Harry Potter Fanfiction.