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    Archive for June, 2007

    
    

    June 11th, 2007

    Twice As Bright

    Twice As Bright by Thirty2Flavors

    Summary: She introduced him as James Potter, he shook your hand, and you knew, instantly, that she’d outdone you again. // Petunia reflects on the differences between the Dursleys and the Potters. Oneshot, 1,243 Words.

    Why You Should Care: Character pieces on Petunia Dursley – especially ones that focus on her thoughts about the Potters – are few and far between, but this is a must read for everyone. It’s just as much about the Potters as it is the Dursleys, as seen through Petunia’s shrewd lens. Excellent!

    Why You Might Not Care: Even if Petunia isn’t your thing, read it anyway. Even if the Potters aren’t your thing, read it anyway. This is what quality writing is, people. I suppose if you’re one of those jaded readers that only reads fluff or slash or smut or something, but even then… read it anyway.

    Awards: 2007 Hourglass Award, Oneshot – First Place.

    posted by afterthree
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    June 10th, 2007

    With These Hands

    With These Hands by Daphne Dunham

    Summary: From the lines on his palm to the tips of his fingers, Severus Snape’s hands are etched with memories of Albus Dumbledore. Oneshot, 6,600 Words.

    Why You Should Care: This is an insightful character piece on Severus Snape and, to some extent, his relationship with Dumbledore. Mostly, though, it’s about Snape. Beyond being very well written, this piece goes a step above most fanfiction in having been composed very thoughtfully; the structure of the piece only adds to it, in that quiet, unimposing way thoughtful structure always does. Snape is in character throughout, and his dialogue is controlled and cutting. The POV shifts back and forth from Dumbledore to Snape, but it never feels forced or strange when it does.

    Why You Might Not Care: Those who would rather not get into Snape’s head, or those who are looking for something bright, cheery and fluffy to pass the time, this is not really for you. This is a character piece, folks, not a plot driven drama.

    posted by afterthree
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    June 9th, 2007

    Hypothetical Suicides and Other Stories

    Hypothetical Suicides and Other Stories by BlueBottleButterfly

    Summary: Assorted notes passed between the Marauders when they were at Hogwarts. A short series of Drabbles. 3,903 Words.

    Why You Should Care: Who doesn’t like the idea of reading the notes passed between these four? Essentially, this boils down to expertly written and extremely amusing dialogue. It’s simple, it’s cute, it’s fluffy. It will take you fifteen minutes at most to read, and you will undoubtably feel the lighter for it. If you’re a writer struggling to find the carefree, teenage voices of these characters, a read through this might help you out.

    Why You Might Not Care: It’s Marauder heavy, obviously, and you might not be the sort of person who likes fluff. There is no real plot, and certainly no deep exploration of character or motivation. It’s surface, but it’s a delightful one.

    posted by afterthree
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    June 8th, 2007

    Darkness and Light Trilogy

    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.

    posted by afterthree
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    June 7th, 2007

    Wordless

    Wordless by Penknife

    Summary: There are lots of things Arthur Weasley doesn’t say. Oneshot, 1,166 Words.

    Why You Should Care: Arthur reflects, at the beginnings of the second war, on his family and, most specifically, on Percy. This fic is set sometime during OotP, and highlights Arthur’s growing unease. It’s a very brief but expertly crafted look at Arthur.

    Why You Might Not Care: This is basically a character study; it’s short and doesn’t have a traditional “plot”. That, however, is part of what makes it good. Stop making excuses and go and read it.

    posted by afterthree
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    June 6th, 2007

    Things I Could Have But Done Without

    Things I Could Have But Done Without by ModestyRabnott

    Summary: It’s strange, I think, how it seems nostalgic thinking about it now. As if it’s already a part of The Past. Follow Tonks as she adjusts to her new life as a member of the Order, and the changes that it brings. Romance, Remus/Tonks, 31,015 Words.

    Why You Should Care: A first-person POV foray into the mind of Tonks while she tries to balance being an Auror, an Order member, and a good daughter as she falls for Remus Lupin. The speed of the relationship feels right, especially for a young woman of Tonks’ age, and, perhaps more importantly, it feels true to life as the two of them are physically intimate before they become emotionally intimate. (On that note, this fic has some of the very best sex scenes I’ve read in this ship – this fic is worth reading for them alone if you like that sort of thing.) The author slips into Tonks’ voice incredibly well, and her character is perfectly aligned with what we have seen of her in canon and with her age. The dialogue is very well done.

    Why You Might Not Care: If you avoid the Remus/Tonks ship, this is not the boat for you. Also, if you’re too young (we all know that’s not going to stop most of you, but it’s the responsible thing to say) or don’t care for NC-17, then you should leave this one alone: the sex scenes are explicit (though not graphic or crude).

    posted by afterthree
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    June 5th, 2007

    The Summer of the Phoenix

    The Summer of the Phoenix by JolieBlack

    Summary: “We’ve set up Headquarters somewhere undetectable. It’s taken a while…” Here’s the story of the rebuilding of the Order, bridging the gap between GoF and OotP from Sirius’s point of view – all canon. Novel Length, Complete, 69,369 Words.

    Why You Should Care: This is a simply fantastic story of the summer between Harry’s fourth and fifth year and everything that happened prior to Harry getting to Grimmauld Place. Focusing on Sirius, it fills in all the gaps. The characters are all spot-on, and Sirius especially rings true as we watch him fall into the resigned depression of being useless. This story intricately creates the relationships already established by the time we get to them in OotP, including Sirius and Molly, Sirius and Kreatcher, and Sirius and Remus. There’s even a few hints of Remus and Tonks. It’s also 100% canon and fits it like a glove. Except for the fact that it’s written from Sirius’ perspective, in places it’s almost like reading JKR. A splendid read.

    Why You Might Not Care: It’s long, though it doesn’t really feel that way reading it. It’s the kind of character development that runs through the plot and character interaction; there’s not a lot of deep delving into the character’s minds and thoughts. The plot may seem a little lackluster, but the action of the piece is secondary; the plot is Sirius’ failing usefulness and his realization of it. It’s primarily about taking Sirius from the man who leaves Harry in the hospital wing in GoF to the man Harry meets at the beginning of OotP.

    posted by afterthree
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    June 4th, 2007

    The Taste of Apples

    The Taste of Apples by Setissma

    Summary: Remus is in love with someone she isn’t, Tonks has the wrong eyes, and Harry Potter smiles. Implied Slash, 3,750 Words.

    Why You Should Care: It’s just… an interesting idea that doesn’t make any sense at all, yet makes a lot of sense at the same time. I don’t know how this fic does it, but it manages to be Remus/Sirius and Remus/Tonks almost in the exact same moments. It’s just very original, and while I’m not typically a huge slash fan, this fic just drew me right in. The author does a great job making you sympathetic to Remus while at the same time hating him just a little bit for using Tonks.

    Why You Might Not Care: Those who don’t like slash, probably not your best bet. It’s transitional, and there is no actual slash shown, but it’s not under the radar either. The style of this may not appeal to everyone: it feels almost poetic in places, and the author likes to play with language. It’s also just a little bit… strange.

    posted by afterthree
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    June 3rd, 2007

    Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in Fifteen Minutes

    Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in Fifteen Minutes by Cleolinda

    Summary: From the “Movies in Fifteen Minutes” series, as seen on Livejournal. Be warned: the entire movie will be thoroughly spoiled.

    Why You Should Care: Because it quite possibly the funniest piece of Harry Potter parody ever written, and I’m not even exaggerating. This is one of those pieces that is destined to go down in fandom history. You’ll laugh out loud, and you’ll start quoting from it to all your Harry Potter friends. And it really only does take around fifteen minutes to read.

    Why You Might Not Care: If you hate laughing, I guess. I can’t really think of any good reasons. There probably aren’t any.

    posted by afterthree
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    June 2nd, 2007

    A Keen Observer

    A Keen Observer by DeepDownSlytherin

    Summary: Andromeda says little, but she sees everything. Through their years at Hogwarts, she watches her sisters as one falls in love and one falls into madness, and doesn’t see as a Muggleborn boy breaks into her sheltered life. Novel Length, 145,600 Words, Complete.

    Why You Should Care: A brilliantly told story of the Black sisters – and to some extent the Black brothers – from the summer before the first of them goes to Hogwarts until the very end of Andromeda’s seventh year. It is so difficult to trace these characters backward through time – most especially Bellatrix – but this is how it must have been. This fic just pulls you right in, and you quickly forget that nearly every major character in this piece turns into a villain. The growing respect and romance between Andromeda and Ted is paced perfectly, and never takes away from the main themes. This family is given real depth, and their journeys are compelling.

    Why You Might Not Care: If you really don’t like stories that focus on the villains, or on the Black family in particular, this story isn’t for you. Also, this was written prior to the release of the Black Family Tree, so the ages of the girls are no longer canon. In my opinion (and I worship canon, remember) it’s worth over-looking. A warning that this fiction is long; over 145,000 words. It is, however, complete, so there is no fear of the potential that you might never get the payoff. Expect this one to take you at least several days – if you can put it down, that is.

    Awards: 2007 Hourglass Award, Romance – Second Place.

    posted by afterthree
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    June 1st, 2007

    Take Up Serpents

    Take Up Serpents by Rusalka

    Summary: “There were more Parselmouths in the United States of America than anywhere else in the world.” Tom Riddle, after Hogwarts but before he resurfaces as Lord Voldemort. Oneshot, 7,091 Words.

    Why You Should Care: I’ve rec’d this fic mostly because it’s an interesting transitional character piece on Tom Riddle, which are difficult to find and even harder to get right. This one comes very close – something after the Tom we see in CoS, but definitely not yet the Dark Lord. Not many people chose to write this character; especially prior to HBP. He was a little too flat and a little two dimensional at times, as is the super villain’s curse, but now we’re getting a few glimpses of his motivation and his past.

    Why You Might Not Care: It’s Voldemort – or almost Voldemort. How much do you love to read about him, I mean really? Tom’s dialogue and character is excellent, but a couple of the other characters fall a bit flat.

    posted by afterthree
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    June 1st, 2007

    I Guess This Is My Grand Opening…

    I’ve been threatening to do it for a long time now. The only thing keeping be back was the thought that it was shockingly unoriginal, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that the thing the Harry Potter fandom can always use is another fanfiction recs site. There’s so much crap out there, the more help people have sifting through it to the good stuff, the better.

    I’m still testing this site on some browsers, so if it looks a little wonky to you it just means I haven’t discovered those particular bugs yet. This is my first site designed with this new-fangled CSS and PHP, not to mention my first kick at the can with WordPress. I really should stop trying to learn fifteen new things in one weekend…

    Obviously, there’s not much here yet. But I’ve been collecting fic for this site for a while now, so I reckon I’ll get to changing that pretty fast. Check back in a few weeks, I’m sure it’ll be much more encouraging.

    posted by afterthree
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