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.
Tumble by FireworkFiasco
Summary: “There isn’t time to dream, to pretend, so she busies herself with plotting and planning and doesn’t think about caresses by the lake or how green his eyes really were.” Oneshot, 1,340.
Why You Should Care: I’m not generally fond of Ginny-centric fics, and I think it’s because I find her character as created by Jo somewhat elusive — you think you’ve got her nailed, only to read it over and find out no, no that’s not quite right. I can’t say that this fic will suit everyone’s vision of Ginny, but it suits mine quite nicely; what’s more, it’s been carefully and deliberately designed in four verses, each with its own theme, and the entire four part oneshot stretches itself across the expanse of Ginny’s character in Deathly Hallows. Her transformation from child to adult is as borderless as the changing of the seasons.
Why You Might Not Care: For whatever reason, there are some people who so detest Ginny as a character overall that they probably wouldn’t enjoy anything that featured her.
The F Words by Antoshevu
Summary: “Remus and Tonks’s was the worst. Not that the others hadn’t been dreadful—Colin’s, which was just unreal, Dennis pale and unblinking by the grave with their Muggle parents; Mrs. Weasley wailing at Fred’s, gathering her remaining children to her expansive bosom so that all that Harry could see was a forest of red hair and blotchy faces. And one bright, brown eye, locked on his.” 20,900 Words.
Why You Should Care: There are a lot of stories about what happens after the battle in Deathly Hallows, from lots of different perspectives and angles. This is another, one that follows Harry through the days after, then the weeks after, then even the months after. It’s actually a series of six fics, though for me they are more chapters of the same than they are stand-alone stories. Well written, with much thought given to the loose ends left to tie.
Why You Might Not Care: The Dursley’s chapter is a bit far reaching, I think, but overall it’s quite well characterised. I think people who try to write Harry are at a supreme disadvantage, because he’s the character we know the best from the series. Out of JKR’s hands, he never seems quite right to me; this does come as close as anything, though. There’s lots of Harry/Ginny, some Ron/Hermione, and some Luna/Dean for those with ship preferences.
Two Conversations by YKuang
Summary: Harry has a hypothetical toe fungus. Ginny thinks he’s odd. Hermione thinks he’s odd. Everything happens at four in the morning. And it’s all canon. Oneshot, 1,665 Words.
Why You Should Care: The friendship between Harry and Hermione is a tricky one to write without straying into awkwardness, romance or the library and YKuang deserves a medal for this one. The interaction between Ginny and Harry is suitably sweet, and the author does a good job of connecting awkward!Ginny with grownup!Ginny. But it’s the characterisation of Hermione that really makes this fic stand out. I hate the character. I love this fic. Go figure.
Why You Might Not Care: This isn’t one of those fics that makes you laugh out loud, or cry, but it’s beautiful in its own, quiet little way and sometimes that understatedness is the best kind of genius.
The Boy Who Lived by PigWithHair
Summary: Set many years after Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Harry is asked to reflect. Oneshot, 4,962 Words.
Why You Should Care: If it’s a difficult thing for a fanfiction writer to track back a character and write them significantly younger than they are in the source material, then it’s probably even more difficult to extrapolate them far forward in time into old age. Old people aren’t the easiest characters for fanfic writers to wrap their heads around (probably because most of us are under 30 and still quite young ourselves), and in a lot of cases we end up with a character that doesn’t feel old enough. This fic ages Harry and Ginny (and Ron as well) very nicely and very realistically: they are cranky, crotchety, temperamental and nostalgic. They move like seniors, they talk like seniors, and they sound like seniors. Their interaction with the younger generation captures that certain “when I was your age we walked to school in waist deep snow uphill both ways” without leaning too heavily on cliches or abandoning JKR’s original character. This is a character piece on Harry as he reflects on a life lived and the things and the people we take for granted. Superbly good.
Why You Might Not Care: Ginny might be a touch too cranky for some people, but old age makes grumps of us all. Harry’s perfect.
Awards: December 2007 Gold Star Award for Excellence in Harry Potter Fanfiction.
Pause by MagentaBear
Summary: “This has been the strangest night of your life, a detached section of your mind realizes. You’ve never been so sick and frightened and confused and yet you’ve never hugged so many people.” The final battle, as experienced by Ginny Weasley. Oneshot, 5,106 Words.
Why You Should Care: There are three things most fanfic writers avoid like the plague: second person point-of-view, stream of consciousness, and action. In this fic, MagentaBear takes on all three at the same time, to great effect. Over all, it’s very, very good. In some places, it closely approaches excellence. MagentaBear also somehow manages to give us a solid characterisation of Ginny on top of it all, and in spots it’s as much a character study as it is anything else. There is a great momentum in this fic, except where MagentaBear calls a full stop and purposefully brakes to a standstill, starting and stopping deftly in a way that further punctuates Ginny’s experience.
Why You Might Not Care: There isn’t quite enough intensity behind the action, and occasionally Ginny appears to have more time to think than would have actually been afforded her. Having said that, also keep in mind that action sequences are far, far tougher to write than most people think; MagentaBear has tackled the biggest battle in Harry Potter canon, and come out with her head held high. This fic could also do with a little trimming and a little tightening here and there: it’s good, but cutting out five or six hundred words of excess would make it really good.
Wallflower by DrArchie
Summary: It takes Ginny three weeks to speak to Harry again after the Battle of Hogwarts. Oneshot, 1,384 Words.
Why You Should Care: After the war, Ginny and Harry’s reunion can’t have been easy – emotions flying everywhere like house-elves on Butterbeer, and this fic really captures that. It’s gently humourous, but there’s a lot of truth in here about what it must have been like for Ginny after the second war, how she might’ve coped, and it’s wonderfully human – showing the ridiculousness of desperation. Although it’s light-hearted, this fic moved something within me.
Why You Might Not Care: It’s Harry/Ginny, it’s post-war and it’s both angsty and funny. If any of those put you off, maybe skip this one.
Interlude by Biggrstaff Bunch
Summary: “Still, if he could lock her up in a tower, he would. Even now. Though she’d probably die from some sort of tower-inflicted catastrophe, and it’d be all his fault just the same, and possibly there’d even be a prophecy…” Oneshot, 1,597 Words.
Why You Should Care: It’s the first time Harry and Ginny speak to each other since the battle at Hogwarts, and the inner monologue is just so very Harry. Ginny is also written well, which is something that is difficult to find. In too many fics I find Ginny pushed into teetering over the edge of the Mary Sue-ism that JKR has left her perched next to, and it takes an author of some considerable discipline not to send her down that way but keep her walking that thin and often blurry line; Biggrstaff Bunch does an excellent job of keeping her real. Harry, too, feels right. I’ve read fics where Harry is still avoiding her, and those somehow don’t make sense after Harry’s duty has been done. Here there is mutual respect for the role the other played, and Harry doesn’t cling to heroics after the time for them is passed. Very nice. A sense that these two people have grown up.
Why You Might Not Care: All those folk that feel Harry/Ginny is a crock should probably go find a nice Ginny/Draco to read on some other site, least you pull out your hair. Everyone else, have at it.
To Love a Hero by Pantz
Summary: Tell him, tell him you love him. He’ll tell you, painfully, that he loves you, too. Oneshot, 3,169 Words.
Why You Should Care: A lovely staccato piece about the life of Ginny Weasley as it entwined with The Boy Who Lived. It’s beautiful and sweet to watch as Ginny goes from a young girl to a young woman. Lyrical.
Why You Might Not Care: This has not been written like a standard piece of fan fiction, and it might annoy some people. Other than that, there is no reason not to read this.
Awards: 2007 Hourglass Award, Oneshot – Third Place.
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.