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.
Immature by Walkingcensure
Summary: Lily, James, Sirius, Remus, and Peter are seven years old, plump, cute, and innocent. Life for them is all about cake, ice cream, friendship bracelets, and premature vows of love. Humour, 8,713 Words.
Why You Should Care: Because it’s so cute! Mini!Marauders and Mini!Lily may just be the best things ever. There’s a wonderful ruefullness about reading this story, it takes you back to the dramas of being seven and all the crazy stuff you used to believe and it’s fun. Additionally, the author manages to keep all the characters pretty in character, and also passably young. It’s a nice gimmick, but done so well that it feels like more.
Why You Might Not Care: Vaguely AU. Also, small people are not everyone’s cup of tea. Plus, Lily/James.
Note: I haven’t actually been able to pin down Chelle about recs, but I guess I’ll just post as many as I can as often as I can until Chelle tells me not to…?
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
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.
A Little More Time by Jess Pallas
Summary: Was it possible to save two lives without altering history? Was it possible to give them a future twenty years after they had supposedly died? Teddy Lupin thought so…. Novel Length, 120,029 Words.
Why You Should Care: This, I suppose, technically classifies itself as AU, though to be fair there’s actually nothing in it that contradicts the canon of the books — that is, after all, rather the whole point. This is one of the only Remus-and-Tonks-didn’t-die fictions I’ve ever read, and it is by far my favorite. The characters are well realized and the plot is engaging — the young man Teddy Lupin has been especially lovingly crafted to inherit pieces of both his father and his mother. Remus and Tonk’s relationship has received the same kind of attention, and in a lot of places I forgot that it wasn’t JKR I was reading.
Why You Might Not Care: NoblePrat!Remus ahoy! I love him and feel canon justifies him, but some people might not agree. And if NoblePrat!Remus bothers you, there’s a good chance NoblePrat!Teddy will too….
Awards: 2008 Hourglass Award, Best AU Fic — Second Place
All The Pretty Horses by RedShoesOn
Summary: Perhaps she’s created this place in her mind, the way they used to say she made up Wrackspurts and Nargles. Angst/Oneshot, 2,284 Words.
Why You Should Care: Darkly mad Luna works so much better than I want it to. This is not how the story ends, but yet nothing about it makes me wrinkle my nose in disbelief; instead, I hear ‘please, no’ echoing in my head. It’s just so well done; a little frightening, but a perfect example of skillfully executed angsty darkfic.
Why You Might Not Care: Well, it’s clearly AU, as we know that Luna lives to marry Rolf Scamander and have lovely little babies with dreadful names. But if you can stomach alternate endings, and dark and twisted ones at that, this beautifully crafted piece is worth your time. It will tug at your heartstrings.
Charmbreaker by Orange_Crushed
Summary: They smile and tell him that he’s grown, as if this were a real reunion; which is funny because he feels that he’s been shrinking, and that he won’t stop until he has reduced himself to nothingness, like a star. Oneshot, 6,571 Words.
Why You Should Care: Because everyone has said it at least once — “All Marauder stories are the same these days.” Well, not this one. Using the idea that Remus was made to leave Hogwarts after the Prank, Orange_Crushed spins a wonderful alternate reality. You really feel the wasted years slip by as Remus submerges himself into another life, not so much the Muggle world, but a strange balance as he carves his own niche. This story progresses wonderfully, and the events are such that I wouldn’t mind seeing them fleshing out into a chaptered fic. All of the supporting characters just feel right, and Remus himself is lovely. Lastly, and I hate to say it, things almost turn out better this way, for everyone involved; there is so much potential in the ending (and I love the phrasing in the final lines, so wonderful).
Why You Might Not Care: AU is just simply not some people’s cup of tea, and I can respect that — however, I do recommend that you look past your preferences and give it a try. It really is a jewel of a piece. Also, I think Remus/Sirius is implied here, but anything that alludes to it can be taken as a close friendship. It’s very slight.
Awards: 2008 Hourglass Award, Best AU Fic — First Place
This Is My Truth, Tell Me Yours by Hackthis
Summary: “There’s only one story in the entire world and everything else is a variation thereof, so the idea that Sirius fell through the veil and died is just one potential ending out of hundreds of thousands. Remus doesn’t like that particular ending, so he’s going to choose another one.” Drabbles, 883 Words.
Why You Should Care: For the Remus/Sirius lover, this is six little connected snippets of heartbreaking AU gold. It’s straightforward, presenting each alternate scenario honestly and without frills instead of breaking into developed stories. Each one left me wishing it had happened that way instead, and they’re just so perfect. I’m finding it quite difficult to be eloquent about these. Just read them, you won’t be sorry.
Why You Might Not Care: There’s a brief moment of explicitness, and this is quite obviously slash. If you scoff at Remus/Sirius, this isn’t the story (or rather, stories) for you. Also, you might wish they had been longer: each one has the potential for a full-blown tale behind them. However, they work quite well as they are.
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.
Thirteen by Minnow
Summary: Remus is with Sirius, but obsessed with young girls. AU, 9,135 Words.
Why You Should Care: Jesus, this fic is horrifying. Minnow doesn’t use euphemisms, Minnow doesn’t sugar-coat, she doesn’t try to justify or prettify — Remus in this fic is a paedophile, no more or less. It’s terrifying the amount of realism, the dark cruelties of the character. The writing, the psychological depth that the author went into… it’s chillingly fantastic. It’s cold, it’s impersonal, it’s character-driven, it’s tightly woven structurally …it’s incredible. Unbelievable. Read it.
Why You Might Not Care: Thirteen is easily one of the best fics I have ever read, but it’s hard to escape the fact that it’s flagrantly anti-canon and yes, it’s about a paedophile. But if you can possibly, even partially, get over those facts, you will not regret reading this fic. It’s fabulous.
Warnings: This fic is rated NC-17 and contains sexual situations between adults and minors, including non-con and dubious-con. There’s also slash. But it’s pretty inconsequential.
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 Man Who Lived by Beth H.
Summary: You haven’t slept in days. Oneshot, 3,501 Words.
Why You Should Care: Second-person POV is not an easy task to undertake, and none but the bravest of writers (fanfiction or otherwise) venture that way. Beth gives it a go, and does surprisingly well in capturing Snape’s voice and creating a compelling second-person perspective. This is an AU piece, and doesn’t pretend to be anything else, but it is an interesting portrait of Snape none-the-less.
Why You Might Not Care: Second-person isn’t for everyone, and if you don’t fancy stepping into Snape’s head this probably isn’t a great fic for you. The AU might keep some people away, also, but to each their own.
Accio Stone by KrisLaughs
Summary: This is what might happen if Lily and James Potter had survived Voldemort’s final attack, if Harry grew up in a close-knit family far away from the wizarding world, if it was Harry’s eleventh birthday and there was a whisper of trouble in the air… Oneshot, AU, 8,800 Words.
Why You Should Care: This is an AU about what possible turn of events might have left the Potter family alive and whole instead of dead and Harry orphaned. The strength in this fic lies not necessarily in the writing (which is still quite well done) but rather the brilliance and originality in which Kris justifies her AU world, and the great sacrifice Lily makes for her family without having to die. When you figure it out, you will understand what I mean.
Why You Might Not Care: There’s a happy ending here, and I really feel a little like that is a cheat. I would have preferred Lily’s choice had more staying power, and I think it would have made this story stronger. As is, it is good — but there is real potential here for an astounding AU world that means as much as JKR’s original.
After The End by Arabella and Zsenya
Summary: It’s the summer after seventh year, and Harry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny, and the rest of the wizarding world must learn to live without fear. Over 400,000 Words.
Why You Should Care: This is one of those monumental novel-length pieces written by two well known and talented Harry Potter fan fiction writers. It was written between GoF and OotP, so by now it is — like many excellent stories written in that time period — firmly AU. The most noticeable discrepancy is that Sirius Black survives the war and emerges from it a free man cleared of all charges. I put off reading this for a long time, intimidated by the length of it, but I’m glad I finally dug into it. The characters are quite well done — Ron in particular seems accurate to me, and I find he’s one of the ones who’s difficult to find written well. The plot is considerable and well constructed, and this piece never really seems to amble or take too long. It may be difficult to believe, but almost all of the over 400,000 words are well placed. It was almost always a joy to read.
Why You Might Not Care: Ginny is edging into Mary Sue territory, which is my only real serious squabble with this fic. Harry occasionally gets a little excessively Harry (if you know what I mean) but I suppose there’s ample reason for him to be an emotional twat once in a while when you consider what he went through (and what he continues to go through at times) in this fic. Some people might take issue with Draco Malfoy’s character here, but I found him quite spot on — he’s more cuttingly canon than fanon. His dialogue, in places, is particularly well done. This is not a Draco Redeems himself sort of story; he stays decidedly ass-holeish through to the end, though there are brief moments of real pity for a boy who lost everything and only knows how to keep fighting. He’s real, but unrepentant, and perhaps not entirely the coward he’s been made to be in canon.
Awards: 2007 Hourglass Award, Novel-Length – Third Place.
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.
To Live Nobly by Vea
Summary: It doesn’t feel like he’s living. In a world ruled by the Dark Lord, he’s miserable, but not because of the government. A chance meeting wakes him up, but there’s something familiar about her that he can’t quite put his finger on… AU, Oneshot, 6,394 Words.
Why You Should Care: This is a really fantastic bit of writing and a brilliant AU fic. I don’t want to say too much about it because it’s really much better if you discover what’s happening as you read it, but suffice it to say that it’s heart-breaking. Everything about it is just excellent in that pitch-perfect sad kind of way.
Why You Might Not Care: If you don’t like reading something that plunks you into the middle with no information and slowly offers you tidbits as you discover what is happening and what has gone on, then don’t go here. But you really should, it’s so very good.
Awards: 2007 Hourglass Award, Angst – First Place.
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.