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.
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.
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!
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
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.
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.
Stranger Things by Sonya
Summary: Buffy meets someone interesting in an unlikely place… Crossover, Humor, Romance, 2,772 Words.
Guest Rec’d By: Kira
Why You Should Care: An HP/BtVS crossover set post-OoTP, the first in a series of three one-shots where Remus meets Buffy Summers in a wizarding employment agency. Sonya does a great job of giving Buffy her trademark witty, but sometimes foot-in-mouth, remarks without grating on the readers’ nerves and Remus gets an in-character, though slightly snarky personality that is reminiscent of Young!Remus in Marauder-era fics. It’s touching to read this cute fic where Remus finally meets someone who feels just as out of place in society as he does and doesn’t mind the fact that he’s a werewolf.
Why You Might Not Care: You might not like Buffy. You might not like Remus.
The Final Stage by Another Dreamer
Summary: 12 Grimmauld Place is nobody’s idea of the perfect place for a party. Yet that is where Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, and Nymphadora Tonks find themselves spending the fourteenth anniversary of Voldemort’s defeat. Overwhelmed by memories of that Halloween night, the three just want to drink brandy and forget. Oneshot, 4,727 Words.
Why You Should Care: This is one of those lovely little plotless character genfics that I always gravitate toward, the value of which lies in what is said (and sometimes what is not said) rather than what is done. Just as Sirius and Remus are trying very hard not to think about it, this story dances around the edges of what it’s trying to say, and also just like Remus and Sirius sometimes can’t help but think about it, so this story sinks just deep enough into its subject matter to make it seriously worthwhile.
Why You Might Not Care: Low on the action-packed, high on the subtle character sketch.
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.
An Undying Passion for Cupcakes by Ignipes
Summary: “That morning, when they were finishing breakfast, she had been very insistent: ‘I’m going to make them the Muggle way… That’s the proper way to make these cupcakes.’ ” Oneshot, 4,622.
Why You Should Care: In places it’s quite funny, and in others it’s just so well written I can’t help but rec it. It’s AU, taking place in a post-Voldemort world where Sirius didn’t die (or at least, didn’t stay dead), and there’s been some attempt to create an after the war that reflects some of the same price as the one JKR created. Hermione’s story, particularly, is rather touching despite being “frosted” with humour. In the end, though, I rather think this is mostly fluffy.
Why You Might Not Care: I think it suffers from trying to do too much with too few words. Either it’s a moderately fluffy piece of AU post-war or it’s an in depth AU treatment of another version of events. In the end, this fic tries to be both, and ends up not really being either. The AU world hinted here is fascinating and would fill several chapters of several novel-length fics well, but the gaps that inform the characters written are too big to get much out of this story (aside from a moderate understanding of Hermione’s journey) but fluff. There hasn’t been a clear enough picture painted of the path taken that resulted in this AU endpoint.
Stacked Against by Lady Bracknell
Summary: At Bill and Fleur’s wedding, Ron seeks advice from the two people he knows who have faced the obstacles he thinks are in front of him, and finds that Gryffindors are nothing if not lucky in love. Oneshot, 3,889.
Why You Should Care: Lady Bracknell takes her well-used pen — so deft at spinning Remus/Tonks — and creates a Ron/Hermione fic that is just as wonderful. Charmingly canon characterisations paired with canny heart-to-heart discussion, plus just enough of the Remus/Tonks interaction we expect from Lady Bracknell to be the icing on the cake. Should prove sigh-worthy for Ron/Hermione shippers and Remus/Tonks shippers alike.
Why You Might Not Care: Written the spring before Deathly Hallows was released, and takes place at Bill and Fleur’s wedding, which in this incarnation is not crashed by Death Eaters. Not that that’s anything close to a good enough reason.
Variations on a Happily Ever After by GM Weasley
Summary: All was eventually well, but it took nineteen years to get there. Drabble Collection, 7,400.
Why You Should Care: This is a wonderful series of drabbles centered around the women of the Harry Potter universe and life beyond the epilogue. Insightful, thoughtful, and occasionally even mundane, these little snatches of the painfully ordinary process of moving on after the end of the story are well worth your time. Angelina’s thoughts on her wedding are particularly well done.
Why You Might Not Care: These drabbles could have been tighter, and occasionally they suffer from awkward syntax. A couple of passes from a sharp-eyed beta would have alleviated this problem.
Only in Ravenclaw by Apostrophet
Summary: Friendships and fun in the Ravenclaw common room. Oneshot, 1,381.
Why You Should Care: A fluffy little gen feature on what it might be like in the Ravenclaw common room. Practically purposeless, but kind of neat nonetheless. I especially love the idea of Luna deep in conversation about sex with a portrait of Yoda. These Ravenclaws seem both similar and different than the other houses we’ve seen, which — I think — is exactly right.
Why You Might Not Care: Pointless, other than to shed some light on the general common room feel of being a Ravenclaw. Technically also Cho/Roger, but it’s by no means the centre of the fic.