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.
Teddy Lupin and the Forest Guard by Fernwithy
Summary: This story follows Teddy Lupin through his first year at Hogwarts. Novel Length, over 100,000 Words.
Guest Rec’d By: Auds
Why You Should Care: Fernwithy writes an amazing Teddy, one who seems age appropriate and reminiscent of an 11-year-old Harry Potter, yet without feeling like a total copy of JKR’s work. The new characters she introduces seem like they always existed in this universe and were just waiting to be introduced by her. The relationships between the characters are all so rich and carefully thought-out that it makes for a touching and emotional story. Humor is also nicely done in this story, as is drama — but without it ever moving into slapstick or angst.
Why You Might Not Care: Well, perhaps you’re bored with Teddy or you don’t have room in your head for another amazing Teddy characterization. Or perhaps the format of the chapters and all the back-clicking you’ll have to do will turn you off of it. Don’t let those two things keep you from experiencing this masterpiece, though — it’s fantastic.
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.
Smoke Gets In Your Eyes by Nellie Darlin
Summary: The real reason Lily Evans keeps turning James Potter down? She’s already sleeping with his best friend…. Romance/Drama, 18,890. (NC17)
Guest Rec’d By: Kira
Why You Should Care: A canon-compliant Lily/Sirius fic that manages to (fantastically!) document how Lily migrates from one Marauder to another without being dreadfully angsty or making her seem like a fickle shrew. Nellie writes with an entrancing voice that creates perfect imagery and captivating characters. What really wins me over is the excellent dynamics that she writes between the characters – Lily and her conundrum between James and Sirius – and how, despite it being a Lily/Sirius fic, she manages to fill in the transformational gaps for James from “arrogant, bullying toe-rag” to love of Lily’s life and the Lily/James moments are precious. The final scene is possibly one of the best fanfiction end-offs I’ve ever read; it takes my breath away every time.
Why You Might Not Care: There’s not much here for people who can’t stand Lily/Sirius, but if you’re even mildly neutral towards the pairing, you’ll find this fic endearing. There’s an OFC best friend for Lily, which is common enough in Marauder-era fics, and while this one’s a little bubbly, she doesn’t annoy and serves as an important plot device as opposed to others who are window-dressing Mary Sues. Personally, I was initially a bit off-put by under-aged sex (16 y.o’s – but I frankly prefer to think that no one at Hogwarts is tapping any ass until they permanently leave the gates), but apparently that’s all the rage these days with young whippersnappers.
Autumn into Spring by Crookshanks22
Summary: In this sequel to ‘A Romance, with Dragons,’ Viktor finds love at last… and long shadows of the past. Set in Romania, Bulgaria, and Budapest in the aftermath of the second war. Drama/Romance, 19,292 Words.
Guest Rec’d By: Allie Meril (allie_andromeda)
Why You Should Care: You don’t get a lot of fics that are (a) not set in Britain/Hogwarts/etc., and have (b) really fantastic original characters. “Autumn Into Spring” is one of those rare stories that paints a wholly new picture of a wizarding culture outside of Britain, and a totally believable one at that. Crookshanks’ picture of wizarding Romania and the rest of Eastern Europe is appropriately bleak and harsh, and this reflects beautifully on the development of the OCs: Marina Vasik is the way she is because her life molded her that way. Even more than in “A Romance, With Dragons,” Crookshanks22’s writing is stunning.
Why You Might Not Care: An OC-centric story, paired with a very minor character who only appeared in two books… And to boot, Marina has a tragic past! This sounds like a recipe of bad cliches, but it surpasses all of them to form a beautiful and touching story. I’d say that Marina is one of the very best OCs that I’ve ever seen, and her tragic past has very real effects on her character; it isn’t used as a way to get pity from others.
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
The Rules of Being a Godson by Copperbadge
Summary: Teddy Lupin never gets too close or feels too much; his godfather’s son never does anything else. Drama/Romance, 12,329 Words.
Why You Should Care: Whether you know him as Sam the Storyteller, SamVimes,or Copperbadge, there is no denying that this author is gold. Previously recced on Coffee and Chocolate for his humour masterpiece, Sublimation and the Snitch, he is perhaps better known for his excellent slash romances, and this piece does not disappoint. Action! Drama! Longing! All in Copperbadge’s wonderfully straightforward style. This is excellent, and the reason I ship Teddy/James about the same as Teddy/Victoire.
Why You Might Not Care: Beware, there are kissing boys in this fic. Also, it was written approximately twenty-four hours after the release of Deathly Hallows, and as such, might not adhere to all interview canon, though nothing leapt out at me during my re-read.
Awards: 2008 Hourglass Award, Best Slash Romance — First Place
Chase This Light by Lady Altair
Summary: “Draco Malfoy falls head over heels for Astoria Greengrass while he’s sneaking out of her engagement ball (in the most literal sense; he trips over her.)” Drama/Romance, 3,867 Words.
Why You Should Care: Have you ever read something that leaves Draco Malfoy just as he is in canon, and yet makes him utterly delightful and sympathetic? Yeah, I hadn’t either, until I found this. It’s the most lovely way of weaving the name-only Astoria Greengrass into existence and into everyone’s
least favourite snarky bastard’s life. I started grinning at the beginning, and just couldn’t stop; I hope you have the same reaction.
Why You Might Not Care: Some people don’t like Draco, and you know what? I don’t blame them. However, it’s a good fic, and I enjoyed it. (What I didn’t enjoy was that it’s in three parts, and instead of links to the next chapter, you have to navigate to the journal’s main page to get to each one. Luckily, you don’t have to hunt far.)
September When It Comes by SundanceKid
Summary: Seven years at King’s Cross for Teddy Lupin. Oneshot, 4,577 Words.
Why You Should Care: It just feels so right. Teddy grows up just like any boy might, and my heart was full of love for him by the end. Appearances by others felt very well characterised and realistic, notably Andromeda and Harry, and… it’s just such a good read. You know that full feeling in your chest that’s equal parts triumph and ache? Yeah. SundanceKid’s got that down to a tee.
Why You Might Not Care: If you don’t really care about the Next Generation, you won’t read this fic, and that’s fine. (Otherwise… go.)
Breathe Me by Andromeda311
Summary: “It’s like the sword of Damocles, nothing but a thin string between this and free fall. Nothing but a thread between safety and-” Romance, 15,307 Words.
Why You Should Care: Andromeda/Ted has become more common, and many of this rec site’s readers have some incarnation of the story laid out in A Keen Observer set as their personal canon — I am one of those, but this incarnation fascinated me. It’s from Ted’s point of view, which I have not seen elsewhere and is such a great idea. Andromeda311’s longer writing is just as good as her lyrical one-shots, with a certain beauty to the storytelling and hilarity in Ted’s internal musings. It’s sweet at times, it’s angsty at times… I cannot describe how good I think this is.
Why You Might Not Care: There is no reason. Breathe Me is an excellent story and you should start reading… now.
Awards: 2008 Hourglass Award, Admins’ Choice — Het Romance
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
Fighting To Explain From In-Between by Inkvoices
Summary: Dennis wishes he was more like Colin, then maybe he wouldn’t be in this in-between place. Oneshot, 1,766 Words.
Why You Should Care: Colin and Dennis Creevey are rarely written about in this fandom, and it’s lovely to see a piece that considers their situation during the Second War. Dennis, in particular, is very interesting in this piece, and the limbo between the Muggle and wizarding worlds in which he finds himself is especially intriguing. This piece is sad, but ultimately has an ending which, while not exactly happy, is definitely hopeful. Great characterisation for two fairly obscure characters, excellent flow, and an all-over worthwhile read (as most of Inkvoices’ fic tends to be).
Why You Might Not Care: I wish I’d seen Dogma, because this was written for an Omniocular challenge in which a TV show or film is incorporated into a fic (Inkvoices chose Dogma), and I can’t really fully understand how this ties in with a film I haven’t seen. Those of you who have seen it are better equipped to judge what sort of job she did at the challenge; as Harry Potter fic alone, though, this is wonderful. No criticism.
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.
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.
Don’t Blink by Sugar Fey
Summary: “When Luna was younger, her father told her to keep her eyes open.” Drabble, 668 Words.
Why You Should Care: I feel this really gets across the sense of uselessness, of anxiety, and of tension that must have been what it was like to be at Hogwarts during Deathly Hallows, and Sugar Fey wraps it up nice and tightly with a chilling, precise ending that links right in with canon and Luna’s character beautifully. It somehow manages to retain the feel of being stylized, even though it’s not really at all.
Why You Might Not Care: It’s Luna, but that doesn’t usually turn people off. This one’s short and sweet, so it won’t take you much time to check it out. There is a sort of preamble at the beginning that doesn’t really fit with the story, but I’m not sure it’s actually a part of a story. I think it just might be a preamble. To be fair, it’s unclear what the purpose of it is.
Map of the Problematique by SullenSiren
Summary: “He’s going to make it a RULE.” Before they went their separate ways, Moony, Padfoot, Prongs, and Wormtail shared a flat. The flat had rules. This is how it went. Drama, 15,406 Words.
Why You Should Care: I feel like I haven’t rec’d a good, general Marauder fic for ages, so here we go: this is an absolutely smashing fic about the Marauders in their few years between Hogwarts and the fall of Voldemort, as accompanied and illuminated by a list of rules on taped-together pieces of parchment. It’s quite an underhanded tragedy, how the war and their work for the Order and Dumbledore slowly tears these four boys apart. We see them when times are still good and when they are as tightly bound together as brothers; then we see them slip away from each other and watch each of them fall by the wayside. The huge gaps of time missed near the end of this fic and the silence it brings with it is just as poignant as the moments SullenSiren does show.
Why You Might Not Care: There’s blatant Remus/Sirius, and it deserves at least an R rating, and maybe an NC-17, for it, so be warned: those who do not like slash will wrinkle their nose. That’s really about it, though.
Awards: 2008 Hourglass Award, Popular Choice — Best Multi-Chaptered Fic; 2008 Hourglass Award, Admins’ Choice — Angst (tied)
Sherlock Holmes and the Ravenclaw Codex by Dolorous Ett
Summary: “The young man who entered presented an indefinably odd aspect. He was of no more than middle height, and dressed in a long, shabby travelling cloak that did not match his mud-stained army boots or his ebony and silver swordstick. A veritable bird’s nest of bright red hair stood up from his head in wild disarray, framing a broad, freckled face. Nonetheless, his voice when he spoke was cultured and pleasant, despite an underlying note of panic.” Crossover, 27,077 Words.
Why You Should Care: Because it’s an absolutely fabulous crossover! There’s Hogwarts! And Sherlock Holmes! The biggest rule for writers of crossover fanfiction is to understand both of your subjects equally well, and Dolorous Ett sets us an absolutely perfect example. She’s a master of the Potter universe and a master of the Holmes universe, she’s got all of her characters down perfectly, she’s constructed a fantastic little mystery while still being able to provide some very interesting commentary on Wizarding prejudice of the Victorian era, and she’s managed to do all that and give it to us in traditional Holmesian style. Brilliant! A fantastic addition to both fandoms.
Why You Might Not Care: Some people don’t like crossover fic. And some people don’t like Sherlock Holmes the way I do, either. But if you do, then this is not-to-miss!
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.
Where We Start From by Allie_Meril
Summary: The war ends for everyone. Oneshot, 1,200 Words.
Guest Rec’d By: Kali (thirty2flavors)
Why You Should Care: What I might like most about this is the characters that allie_meril uses; there are lots of “Sirius when the Potters die” fics and “Remus when the Potters die” fics, but there are few that cover this range of characters and with such stunning brevity. The addition of OCs in this piece is a brilliant one — we see the war as it affected other people, those not on the front-lines of the Order, and it’s a refreshing view of the First War that is rarely seen. The writing itself is concise and eloquent, and the allusions to poetry that start off each section aren’t so bad, either. The scene at the Burrow is, I think, particularly brilliant.
Why You Might Not Care: This doesn’t deal too heavily with the first characters that might spring to mind: there’s no Remus, no Peter, only the barest sign of Snape and most of the Order, and in their place are a handful of names we’ve never met. At first read I found the OCs were a little name-heavy — referring to other OCs that are never met — but if you can keep track of them it’s well worth it.