Archive for June, 2007
June 30th, 2007
Small Things by NopeJr
Summary: Peter Pettigrew, as a battle is fought. Drabble, 1,000 Words.
Why You Should Care: This is a story about who Peter is if, in the end, he doesn’t turn out to be truly Gryffindor. Almost a story about cowardice. Yet I found I couldn’t be truly mad at a version of Peter than never did the right thing. Could you?
Why You Might Not Care: This is unashamedly Peter, and this story dares to suggest that not all men who fall find their redemption. Some just… fall.Comments Off on Small Things
June 29th, 2007
Just A Word
Just A Word by DeepDownSlytherin
Summary: A young Nymphadora learns a new word. Her mother is unusually disturbed by it. 1,908 Words.
Why You Should Care: From the author that wrote ‘A Keen Observer’ comes an interesting little piece about what words mean and what we think they mean and how those two things can change as a person changes. This author writes these characters brilliantly, and the young Nymphadora is especially endearing. It’s also lovely to see an older Sirius with light in his eyes. This story exists in the same universe as ‘A Keen Observer’ but can be just as well read on its own.
Why You Might Not Care: I’m not really sure. I suppose some people might be bored, depending on what they generally read. I suppose people with their feet firmly planted in Trio fiction might not give a damn, but there’s a message here for everyone.Comments Off on Just A Word
June 28th, 2007
Brave New World
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.Comment (2) »
June 27th, 2007
Animal Instincts by Jack Ichijouji
Summary: Veterinary science has cured thousands of ailments for almost any type of creature imaginable. But veterinary science hasn’t had to deal with the likes of Crookshanks. Humour, 2,611 Words.
Why You Should Care: It’s cute and it’s funny and I love the inner voice of Crookshanks. I never thought I would want to applaud the character of a cat, but here I go anyway. Hermione is done quite well also. This fic is simplistic, yet will undoubtably paint a funny little smile on your face, and cat owners everywhere will be delighted at some of the apt observations made about owning cats in general. I would call it fluff except… well, let’s just say I don’t think Crookshanks would find the topic of today’s fan fiction fluffy in the least. Also, this fic gets the award for the best disclaimer ever. Ever.
Why You Might Not Care: Obviously this is a story about Crookshanks. Not exactly leading man material, or so you would think. Hermione’s sort of there in the way all cat owners are to their cats, but I wouldn’t classify her as a main character.Comments Off on Animal Instincts
June 26th, 2007
Civilised by Copperbadge
Summary: Lupin gives up his bed freely enough, because sometimes you have to make sacrifices to be human… Oneshot, 2,151 Words.
Why You Should Care: It’s a neat little character sketch about Remus and why he is the way he is, and how being a werewolf has affected other areas of his life including his personality. The dialogue is well written and the characters are canon-accurate.
Why You Might Not Care: While thoughtful and with canon characters, the situations somehow don’t ring true and make the whole concept just a little… awkward. However, even though the setup is contrived, I’ve rec’d this anyway mostly because I feel it makes some accurate points about Remus — specifically how who he is and how he deals with people is always influenced by the fact that he is a werewolf. I’m sure there could have been a better way to set this up, but I feel it’s worthy anyway.Comments Off on Civilised
June 25th, 2007
It Was Within
It Was Within by Twinsuns
Summary: “Nothing comes from nothing.” The words haunt Cedric, and after doing nothing to help during the incident at the World Cup, he’s ready to prove what he’s really worth — by entering the Triwizard Tournament. Oneshot, 3,117 Words.
Why You Should Care: A touching piece about the boy who died for no reason, and why he died for no reason, and a story about a good boy trying to be a good man. As always, the writing is excellent and the pacing is perfect. This piece has been constructed with a very specific theme in mind, and there are no excessive bits cogging up the works. Beautifully structured.
Why You Might Not Care: I can’t really think why you wouldn’t, unless you’re one of those people who ignores really good writing in favour of some random never-ending badfic about a non-canon ship you’ve jumped on. If you are, I have to wonder why you’re here.Comments Off on It Was Within
June 24th, 2007
The Six Degrees of Drunkenness
The Six Degrees of Drunkenness by BeeDaily
Summary: Scrooge-channeling Lily runs into a bit of trouble with a bottle of Ogden’s Old Firewhisky after she finds the Marauders drunk in the Head dorms. 15,809 Words.
Why You Should Care: Everyone’s done the “she gets drunk and kisses him finally” story, if not with Lily and James than with some other pairing. It’s been done to death, over and over and over… Yet, somehow, BeeDaily manages to make it feel fresh and new again, largely through the use of three-dimensional characters who are believable and — most importantly — imperfect. Her Lily is excellent and her James is excellent. Both characters are not only believable people, but also believable teenagers. Additionally, while wearing a fluffy exterior, this fiction manages to have a surprisingly thoughtful interior.
Why You Might Not Care: Well, obviously it’s James/Lily, so if you have a problem with that, this is decidedly not for you. And it’s a little fluffy, so if angst is your thing, this will make you gag just a little.
Awards: 2007 Hourglass Award, Comedy – First Place.Comments Off on The Six Degrees of Drunkenness
June 23rd, 2007
Spinning by Aldalindil
Summary: Luna spins a tale of mice and dragons, lions and gold, and a hero who doesn’t know her. Set during the spring of GoF. Oneshot, 1,242 Words.
Why You Should Care: Luna’s another one of those difficult characters to get a handle on — especially in first person POV — and here she walks the line between airy and just a little off nicely. There’s just a tiny bit of wisdom thrown in too, here and there, like an expertly used spice for that extra flavour. It’s curious to hear Luna’s thoughts on the boy who lived, even before they became friends.
Why You Might Not Care: Oh, this is one of those fics that gets a little… free-form at times. Poetic and dreamy. If you like your feet planted firmly on the ground and don’t like to think too much when you’re reading, you won’t get as much out of this. You’ve got to find the subtext, or it’s not going to resonate.Comment (1) »
June 22nd, 2007
More The Fool He
More The Fool He by Strega Brava
Summary: Severus’ thoughts before duelling Gilderoy Lockhart in COS. Drabble, 639 Words.
Why You Should Care: Well, mostly because Strega gets Snape’s voice perfect in this quick little first person POV, and that’s something that takes some trying. And it’s just fun to listen to Snape get ready to smack Lockhart down.
Why You Might Not Care: If you don’t care much about Snape or about learning to write his voice, then there’s nothing here for you, really. Unless you delight in Lockhart getting his just desserts, then give it a read. You’ll get a wicked sense of satisfaction.Comments Off on More The Fool He
June 21st, 2007
And The Hat Said ‘Gryffindor’
And The Hat Said ‘Gryffindor’ by Ciircee
Summary: Ever notice that there are no Hagrid stories? This is a story about bravery. Oneshot, 2,941 Words.
Why You Should Care: Because there aren’t any stories about Hagrid, that’s why. Hagrid is frightfully difficult to write, and Hagrid as a boy is even more difficult. But Ciircee manages, somehow, to invoke the very spirit of JKR and give us a young Hagrid that is just as perfect as canon. And then, on top of all that, she throws Dumbledore into the mix — quite possibly the most difficult character to get right — and somehow manages that too. And then, beyond even that, the author manages to write one of the most telling, heart-warming oneshots I have ever read.
Why You Might Not Care: The reason no one writes about Hagrid is because no one wants to read about Hagrid, and I get that, but please, read this. It’s only 2,941 words, and it is more than worth the ten minutes out of your day. Between brilliantly written canon characters, beautiful prose, and an inspiring theme, this story deserves an award. Probably several. This is why I read fan fiction.
Awards: July 2007 Gold Star Award for Excellence in Harry Potter Fanfiction.Comment (1) »
June 20th, 2007
Whisper In My Ear
Whisper In My Ear by Wingless Flight
Summary: A person is a complex being. Torn, mended, covered. Memories, lovers, death. Explore what truly makes a human being human and see how the slightest thing can mould a person forever. Novel Length Drabble Collection, 53,583 Words.
Why You Should Care: Yes, this is a drabble collection that is over 50,000 words long, though I use drabble in its “less than 1,000 words” sense rather than its “exactly 100 words” sense. Still, by no means an unremarkable feat. This fiction is a series of snapshots and moments in the life of Lily Evans, from the earliest point of her childhood right up to the moment of her death. They seem random and scattered at first, despite each chapter being linked by a central theme, but within a few chapters a picture begins to form through the pieces and therein lies its true brilliance. Wingless Flight manages to put together an amazingly cohesive story and builds an incredibly complex and real Lily. We get to see, not just the kindness and love in her, but also the colder, harsher tones that are inevitably present in all of us in one way or another. This fic doesn’t push her into sainthood or pure angst, but walks the balance; and it often does it with something approaching poetry.
Why You Might Not Care: If you can only bear to read a version of Lily that is wholesome and pure of heart, this will be like having your eyelashes plucked out. Also, the structure of this piece may frustrate people who have never read something non-linear; you just have to trust that the author knows what she’s doing and let it happen, piece by piece at first. Believe me when I say, it will start to make sense; then, it’s all about filling the holes.
Awards: 2007 Hourglass Award, Drabble or Drabble Collection – Second Place.Comment (1) »
June 19th, 2007
Bargains by Gehayi
Summary: Severus Snape and Peter Pettigrew, both suspected of treachery by the Dark Lord, come to an arrangement. Oneshot, 4,400 Words.
Why You Should Care: This is the missing scene between OotP and HBP where Peter first shows up at Spinner’s End. These two characters are such interesting foils for each other, and Gehayi gets right into their heads. Peter is thoughtfully created: defeated, clever, and very self-aware. These two voices bounce off each other or cut into each other – sometimes in ways you wouldn’t expect but make perfect sense – and you’re left with a feeling that there has been some weak truce declared. Taken in context with the interplay between them in Chapter 2 of HBP, it’s quite an interesting truce indeed. This fic manages to be entirely about Peter and entirely about Snape at the same time.
Why You Might Not Care: If you are solidly in the “We Completely Hate Peter” camp, his quieter moments won’t affect you as they should. This is primarily about Peter, and primarily about Snape; about the differences and startling similarities between the two. If you could care less about either of them, then you won’t get much out of this.Comments Off on Bargains
June 18th, 2007
Naked Quidditch Match
Naked Quidditch Match by Anya
Summary: Exactly what the title implies. Comedy/Parody (obviously), 19,927 Words.
Why You Should Care: This is gloriously funny. One of those comedic gems that only gets funnier as you keep reading. The characters start out and almost remain entirely in character and yet somehow manage to be completely un-canon hilarious at the same time. This, my friends, is all about the situational comedy and what it can do to perfectly normal people. It’s written almost entirely in e-mail like correspondence between the characters, and all the regulars (and some of the not-so-regulars) make appearances. Oh goodness, this is funny.
Why You Might Not Care: There is absolutely no reason for you not to care, it’s that funny.
Awards: Round Three Multifaceted Awards – Humour; 2008 Hourglass Award, Admins’ Choice — Comedy.Comment (3) »
June 17th, 2007
A Little Night Air
A Little Night Air by Penknife
Summary: Snape and McGonagall are friends. More or less. Oneshot, 1,678 Words.
Why You Should Care: Snape and McGonagall talk about the fundamental differences between Slytherins and Gryffindors, but the differences are in more than the discussion. Anything by Penknife is worth a read, and this fic is no different. The dialogue and character is perfect, and the repartee between them is well crafted. There is a begrudging respect between these two characters that is very tangible in this brief scene.
Why You Might Not Care: It’s a conversation, so not much happens. If you need action action ACTION all the time, then you’ll be disappointed. This is for people who like character, not plot.Comment (1) »
June 16th, 2007
To Live Nobly
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.Comment (2) »
June 15th, 2007
If Not For The Rain
If Not For The Rain by Afterthree
Summary: “Snape knew more curses when he arrived at school than half the kids in the seventh year…” At nine, Severus Snape has a chance encounter with a boy named Lucius Malfoy in the streets of London. Oneshot, 4,519 Words.
Why You Should Care: A brief look at Snape as a young boy, before Hogwarts. A little window into his home life. A shameless plug.
Why You Might Not Care: I have no real claim to bias here, as I wrote it. Uh… well, what’s the use of having a recs site of your very own if you can’t plug your own work? Seriously though, it’s been nominated for the Hourglass Awards, so I guess I must have done something right.Comments Off on If Not For The Rain
June 14th, 2007
Sublimation and the Snitch, by Remus J. Lupin
Sublimation and the Snitch, by Remus J. Lupin by SamVimes
Summary: Remus Lupin wrote an essay about Quidditch and sex in his seventh year. Are you brave enough to read it? You’ll never see the Snitch the same way again… Humor, 4,726 Words.
Why You Should Care: An essay, as written on the above topic by Remus. It’s a wonderfully amusing little exercise.
Why You Might Not Care: Well… to be honest, if you start to fall asleep reading an essay, you might not find the funny here. It’s a little geared towards an audience that knows the process and format of writing papers – not high school essays, but collage-style papers. The brilliance in this lies in that somewhere, someone has written an actual academic paper on this very topic – I guarantee it.
Awards: 2008 Hourglass Award, Best Comedy Fic — First PlaceComment (1) »
June 13th, 2007
The Metronome by Icarus
Summary: “Lord what?” Lucius laughed. At sixteen, it seemed Lucius had everything, but he knew what was out of reach. An unknown dark wizard offers him the impossible. Oneshot, 7,399 Words.
Why You Should Care: An interesting and thought provoking look at Lucius during his first meeting with the man that would be Lord Voldemort. This author has a keen eye for character, and gives plausible explanation for what first tempts a young Lucius to throw his lot in with Tom Riddle. Unique, because it doesn’t paint Lucius with the broad brush of “Just Another Muggle Hater”, but gives him more personal motivation. Or perhaps it’s just that I really feel for Lucius in this story because I see a lot of myself in this character study…
Why You Might Not Care: If you get bored reading about Lucius, obviously, or if you don’t give a damn what makes him tick. There is some – ahem – “language” in this fic, so be warned. The author gives it an ‘R’ rating, though I’m not sure it deserved it. You also might tear your hair out if you’re a hardcore Lucius/Narcissa shipper, as Lucius displays a clear personal preference for Bellatrix despite his destiny.Comments Off on The Metronome
June 12th, 2007
De-Bugged and Ready To Roll!
Well, I’ve tested this site on just about every browser I can get my hands on and it seems to be working pretty well. To be fair, I’m still not sure about Opera and Camino: anyone out there care to let me know if this site looks strange for you? But if you’re on any version of IE, Firefox or Safari, you should be seeing what you’re supposed to be seeing. Netscape… well, I haven’t a clue and the statistics I regularly see at my day job have convinced me not to care that much for the 0.1% of the population that still uses it on ten-year-old computers. They’re probably all like my grandfather anyway; old, and completely uninterested in reading fanfiction.
I declare Coffee and Chocolate officially open for business. If you like this site and think others may like it too, please tell them. Link to me, even. My goal is to provide a broad spectrum of really good quality, mostly canon-friendly, and probably very general fiction recs because Lord knows there’s enough ship and slash rec sites out there. What about the rest of us? Those of us who would rather curl up with a nice, thoughtful character piece than a smutfic? Those of us to whom slash is not, generally, our cup of tea? Those of us who worship at the alter of all things canon? Those of us who just want a decent story that doesn’t read like it was written by an eleven-year-old?
To be fair, I’m not limiting this site to “Canon Only” or some such nonsense. But you will find it’s probably slanted that way more often than not because these are the things I tend to read more often. I make no claim that I am unbiased.
I find these things everywhere. The Harry Potter fandom is a wide and varied world, and I try to sample a little bit of everything. Is there a fic you absolutely love beyond all others? One you feel should be shared with the world? E-mail me and tell me about it and where to find it. If I fall in love with it too, up it will go. Let’s encourage quality writing by sending readers in their direction in floods. I honestly don’t give a damn what the subject matter is, so long as it’s good. That’s really the only prerequisite.
In the meantime, I have a fairly long list of my own to get through. My goal here is to post one rec a day, for as long as I can find great things to post. At the bottom of each rec is a link to comment, such as for those who have read it and feel they have something to add. I don’t want to blindly send people to fanfiction with just a wink and a “trust me, this is a gooder”, I want them to be able to better find the stories that make them sigh. We are taught to make informed decisions about the things we chose, so lets inform some people.
Thanks for coming, and enjoy the recs. I assure you, I enjoyed them all.Comments Off on De-Bugged and Ready To Roll!
June 12th, 2007
Blood Speaks by Northlight
Summary: “Your parents, you have been told, are heroes.” Neville Longbottom reflects. Oneshot, 1,122 Words.
Why You Should Care: A brief, no-holds barred, angsty character piece on Neville and his parents, told in second person. It takes guts to write in second person, but Northlight takes on the task with aplomb. In fact, the POV only helps make the piece even more emotionally moving. It’s very real; there’s no sugar coating.
Why You Might Not Care: Those who dislike angst should probably read something else. Brief though it may be, it’s powerfully written; not quite poetic, but not entirely standard prose either. Here lies cold, hard truth about Neville and his parents in St. Mungos.Comments Off on Blood Speaks