A Metaphor For Change by Sahara Storm
Summary: Five things Albus Dumbledore could not bring himself to say to Gellert Grindelwald. (One of them is a lie.) Drabbles, 1,000 Words.
Why You Should Care: Ah, the “Five Things” meme… what an awful lot of fic it spawned. It is fortunate that quite an impressive percent of it turned out to be quite good. Dumbledore is hard enough to characterise as a wise old man, and tracing him back through the years to his younger self is nigh impossible. Sahara Storm does, I think, a reasonable job, and what’s more the drabbles she creates around her theme of things not said are well worded.
Why You Might Not Care: Obviously a Dumbledore/Grindlewald, and an R-rated one at that. This may or may not slip over into NC-17 territory, depending on your point of view. I would say it’s probably not worksafe.
Five Stories About Gwenog Jones by Snegurochka Lee
Summary: Gwenog Jones is a Beater, a woman, a Slytherin, and she loves to fly – not necessarily in that order. She’s not afraid of very much in this world, because she’s never found very much to be afraid of. And yeah, for the record, she could kick your arse. Oneshot, 4,800 Words.
Why You Should Care: Because Snegurochka Lee is pretty much the queen of minor characters, and this is just another excellent instance of her breathing life into a name dropped by JKR. She has the single-mindedness of Oliver Wood wrapped up in a tough, female-Beater exterior. Her interaction with Hermione at Slughorn’s party is particularly well written.
Why You Might Not Care: Extreme minor character alert. But if you know me at all, you’d know that these usually turn out to be some of my favorites.
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
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.
Untitled by Fernwithy
Summary: “Andromeda had no trouble finding Draco and his son in the waiting room.” Drabble, 725 Words.
Why You Should Care: There is something completely awesome about the Draco Malfoy Fernwithy creates in this little off-the-cuff ficlet. Completely awesome. Draco usually leaves me feeling all *meh* inside, but this Draco I could read about at length. There’s depth and maturity there that reach all the way through his cameo in the epilogue and down beyond into the core of the books, pulling in just enough influence from Lucius and Narcissa to makes it all add up. Officially my favorite Draco characterization ever, and I hope all the Draco fangirls out there will remember that I avoid Draco fics like the plague before they spam me with what they think are better ones.
Why You Might Not Care: Um…. eh? Fernwithy was rec’d here just the other day, but we could all just consider it random clumping and get over it.
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.
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.
Surprises by Lady Bracknell
Summary: Lily likes surprises, and this thing with James Potter has been positively filled with those. Drabble, 678 Words.
Why You Should Care: Ahhh… this tops up my James/Lily metre nicely. It’s sweet, a bit romantic, and mostly sigh-worthy fluff. Lady Bracknell’s just damn good at finding all those impossible little nothing moments that mean so much.
Why You Might Not Care: All about James/Lily for people who ship elsewhere.
Between the Lines by Lady Altair
Summary: There are many tales to be told between the golden threads of the Black Family tree. Oneshot, 1,024 Words.
Why You Should Care: I love it when a clever author takes the thinnest, flimsiest of threads from some sideboarded piece of the Harry Potter universe and weaves it expertly into the broader tapestry, tucking it in here, tying it in there, and making it feel so obvious, like it couldn’t possibly have gone any other way. What was probably an unintentional gaff of math on JKR’s side is turned into an incredibly poignant story.
Why You Might Not Care: Um…? Lady Altair pretty much always deserves a read. This one looks like it’s going to be a larger collection of oneshot stories; I anticipate all of them will be of similar stellar quality.
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.
Due to “real life” challenges, I’m making a small change to the reccing schedule at C&C. Effective today, recs will no longer be made on Saturdays or Sundays in hopes of accommodating the increasingly hectic weekend lifestyle I have been plunged into. I’d also like to continue reccing fics in the forseeable future, and while my staff is MIA I think it’s only prudent to give myself a fighting change and take a couple of guilt-free days off.
As ever, I encourage everyone to send in Guest Recs. Not only will it help diversify the fiction here, but it also helps me out when my stockpile of reccable fics starts to get low, especially right now while I’m up to my eyeballs reading and judging Hourglass Nominees, many of which have already been rec’d here.
Laughter by Emiime
Summary: There is always laughter. Drabble, 250 Words.
Why You Should Care: I love everything about this flash fic — the character contrasts between serious baby Neville and his light and lively parents, the suggestions of real-life unromanced sex, the foreshadowing of what we know is to come for this family. It’s a wonderful word sculpture.
Why You Might Not Care: It’s rated R but I’m not sure I’d count it as NWS, but it’s all up to you.
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.
Due to the collision of several entirely separate circumstances, C&C has been quiet the last couple of days. Apologies to all for the spotty reccing of late, which is due to a combination of MIA staff, RL weekends being chaotic, and most recently a lack of reliable internet connection. Rest assured I’m doing my best to steer things back on the track of predictable and reliable once again.
I’d also like to apologize for having rec’d The Willingness to be Duplicitous a few days ago without realizing the link was pointing to a locked community. I found it from another recs list, and because I’m in that particular community and was logged in at the time, I didn’t even realize I was reading a locked entry. I have tried to find an unlocked version of this story and had zero luck (if anyone else does, please let me know) and want to let everyone know that it is my general policy not to link to locked stories, and if I had realized I wouldn’t have rec’d it. In the future, I will be more careful.
Catch-up recs will be posted throughout the day today, and hopefully there won’t be any need for a catch-up day as large as this in the future. Thanks for staying tuned…!
Home Invader by Ichthyosaur
Summary: Ron is home alone with Rosie and Hugo when a spider attacks! Humour, Oneshot, 1,856.
Guest Rec’d By: Kira
Why You Should Care: Fangirls, rejoice! Daddy!Ron is the sex. The over-the-top reaction that Ron and little Rosie have to the intrusive spider is hilarious and their interaction whilst facing off the spider with their brave Gryffindor courage is adorable. Ichthyosaur does a delightful job of placing our favourite characteristics each from Ron and Hermione and reflecting what home life would be like in the Granger-Weasley family, post-Epilogue – filled with Gryffindor courage and makeshift kitchen armour!
Why You Might Not Care: Epilogue fics aren’t suited for everyone, particularly those about the next generation. However, the fic stands strong on its own without the Epilogue (read: without the names Rose and Hugo pulled from those pages.) It’s just a splendid read to see Ron in a father/daughter situation; guaranteed to resonate with anyone who has an arachnophobic significant other or offspring.
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.