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    Archive for July, 2007


    July 13th, 2007

    Asinus ad Lyram

    Asinus ad Lyram by Ylime

    Summary: Moony, Wormtail, and Padfoot feel that Prongs will never win a certain red-haired girl with the tame Valentine he is writing. So, full to the brim and beyond with good intentions, they design a little Valentine of their own… Humour, 5,256 Words.

    Why You Should Care: HAHAHA! This was something read on Spellcast that I loved. It’s a fluffy, humourous MWPP misadventure, yet remarkably in character. Sirius, Remus and Peter play off each other nicely, and all manage to be exactly what they are: misguided boys. In addition, the description of the Valentines Frenzy that overtakes Hogwarts is more than worth the price of admission. And the little Valentine James gets melted my heart and made me all gooey inside.

    Why You Might Not Care: Don’t come here unless you enjoy chaos created by Marauders or if you feel the need to take the Marauders too seriously. Or if fluff makes you gag a little. And James specifically is… a little weak, character-wise. But he makes up for it when he freaks out on Sirius, so I suppose it’s all good.

    posted by afterthree
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    July 12th, 2007

    The Human Factor

    The Human Factor by Mari-grem (This link is broken as Mari-grem’s livejournal account has been deleted.  If anyone manages to find this fic elsewhere, please email me and send me the link.)

    Summary: “We all bleed red, even you.” How close did the boy Tom Riddle get to friendship? Oneshot, 1,729 Words.

    Why You Should Care: An intriguing little fic that leads with Dorcas Meadowes but is really about Tom Riddle. This fic uses tense and flashback to its advantage, and some of the word play here is excellent. It toys with the idea that, while Tom Riddle was never a good person, he was at least — at some point — a person, at least a little. Unique.

    Why You Might Not Care: Some of the punctuation within this story is… a little odd. The dashes have all been made hyphens, and you’ll find yourself having to read some lines several times over before you stop tripping over them. There are commas where there should occasionally be periods, and this author doesn’t quite grasp the fundamentals of punctuating and using capitol letter within and around dialogue, but it does the job and by and large the quality of the words written far outweigh any lack of skill punctuation-wise.

    posted by afterthree
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    July 11th, 2007

    First Signs of Magic: Hermione Granger

    First Signs of Magic by Icarus

    Summary: Dr. and Dr. Granger have a perfectly ordinary evening, when something very odd occurs. What do they do? “As a family, they made the decision to panic.” Includes vampires, uncomfortable chairs, and singing hospital orderlies. Oneshot, 4,093 Words.

    Why You Should Care: Somehow, this is exactly what must have happened and exactly how the Grangers would have reacted and exactly what would have happened when they tried to do something about it. The magical-meets-Muggle world Icarus creates slips in as if JKR wrote it herself. Cute, funny, and completely clever.

    Why You Might Not Care: Oh, well… some people are going to think the Grangers aren’t real people, but I say put magic in front of anyone’s Muggle face and these types of rational reactions are not that far off. I liked it.

    posted by afterthree
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    July 10th, 2007

    Standing In Shadow

    Standing In Shadow by JulieFortune

    Summary: Malfoy invites Snape over for an evening of amusement, Death Eater style, and Snape has to try to keep his cover and Hermione Granger’s life intact at the same time. Oneshot, 4,823 Words.

    Why You Should Care: The language in this piece is exceptional. The turns of phrase, the cutting dialogue, the sarcastic commentary: everywhere you look in this fic, the author’s ability to create memorable sentences is tactfully showcased. That’s what makes this fic worth reading and worth reccing. Not the plot (though I’m sure many a Snape/Hermione shipper will feel an eek of excitement midway — rest assured, it doesn’t continue in that vein) or the message, just the words on the page and the way they connect and flow together.

    Why You Might Not Care: There are vauge non-hints that could be construed as Snape/Hermione if you reach a little, though I don’t read into it more than is written so I don’t really see it. The plot is a little contrived, hinging on the idea that Hermione up and waltzed into Malfoy manner on a half-baked rescue mission, but it’s good enough to be going on with. Snape is… not quite right. His dialogue is dead on, but his motivations and some of his actions seem just slightly off kilter. Nothing terribly upsetting, but the true Snape fan can expect to be very slightly annoyed at certain parts and not really be sure why. He’s an imperfect carbon copy, this Snape, but — like the plot — he’s good enough to be going on with.

    posted by afterthree
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    July 9th, 2007

    Precious Things

    Precious Things by Paperchain

    Summary: Honorable Mention in the Phoenix Rising “A Phoenix Moment” Fan Fiction Contest. Dorcas Meadowes faces Voldemort. Oneshot, 1,492 Words.

    Why You Should Care: If you remember the details of canon at all, you’ll already know the end to this one, and so it becomes all about the journey. It is both hopeless yet hopeful, and right to the end we are reminded that — just as there will always be true villains — there will always be heroes willing to stand in their way. Dorcas Meadowes is no hero of old, here, but just an ordinary person trying to do what’s right even when they know they can’t win. This story is far more general than it looks at first glance. Inspiring.

    Why You Might Not Care: Beware angst ahead, and one of those endings that tries to be as uplifting as it can without being a happy ending. The characters here aren’t really the point, just the means for the message.

    posted by afterthree
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    July 8th, 2007


    Embroidery by IsabelA113

    Summary: Alone in the Manor in the wake of her husband’s arrest, Narcissa Malfoy finds that she does not know what to do with her hands. Oneshot, 2,845 Words.

    Why You Should Care: Some people have difficulty seeing the humanity in the Malfoys, but this quiet little fic does the job splendidly. It neither belittles Narcissa nor ignores her, but instead takes this little-seen character and breaths a lonely life into her. Yet there is a strength in this Narcissa, a feeling that she is only bending to the wind, not breaking in it. It’s a puzzle to figure out from exactly where her actions are coming from, but that seems to me quite fitting for a woman under such tight control, and intentional from an author of the same. In her upset, Narcissa remains aristocratic, and we are reminded that not all evil is total and that Death Eaters have something to lose in this war as well.

    Why You Might Not Care: This is a tight little character piece about Narcissa Malfoy, and if neither of those things tickle your fancy, you’ll probably be bored. If you — like me — love a thoughtful, well written piece and damn the subject matter, then you will enjoy it.

    posted by afterthree
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    July 7th, 2007

    Fortunes Favor the Bold

    Fortunes Favor the Bold by Seldes Katne

    Summary: As part of their Divination final exam, three seventh-year students perform Tarot card readings for Professors Dumbledore, McGonagall, and Snape. Story is set at the end of “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”. 6,539 Words.

    Why You Should Care: Seldes, after taking a Tarot course, decided to read the cards for three Harry Potter characters: Albus Dumbledore, Minerva McGonagall, and Severus Snape. The results, which she kindly wrote into a neat little oneshot, are indeed interesting. A fascinating character sketch that hints at what may yet come. Startlingly canon, when you consider how it came about. If it remains canon through the end of the seventh book (and it’s not outside the realm of possibility) I may go out and buy my own tarot deck.

    Why You Might Not Care: Well… if the premise explained above makes you scoff, I suppose you’ll probably stay away, but you shouldn’t. The writing is well enough, and the dialogue is well formed and in character, so there aren’t any quabbles there. If the only thing keeping you away is the fortune telling, that’s a pretty poor excuse.

    posted by afterthree
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    July 6th, 2007

    After the End

    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.

    posted by afterthree
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    July 5th, 2007


    Truce by Thirty2Flavors

    Summary: This, Sirius thought, was the sort of thing they ought to teach you in Care of Magical Creatures. It was far more likely than an encounter with a Hippogriff, and probably more dangerous. // In the face of Lily and James’ strengthening relationship, Sirius and Lily realize they have no choice but to make amends. 8,155 Words.

    Why You Should Care: This is one of my most favorite pieces by Thirty2Flavors because she’s a lip-smacking genius when it comes to these characters. Her Remus is exactly the way Remus should be, both prefect and marauder without being manic depressive. Most authors struggle with Remus as a boy and a teenager, opting to either make him a carbon copy of Sirius and James or a depressed, shy Hermione. The balance struck here is excellent. Sirius, too, is well written and compelling, and the interaction between him and Lily and him and Remus is brilliantly composed. The dialogue is snappy and feels right for both the era and the characters, and some of the lines are pure gold. I just really adore this fic and everything about it.

    Why You Might Not Care: I don’t even know what to say here. Because you’re an idiot, I suppose. Or if you completely hate MWPP era fiction. Or if you’re really lazy or something.

    posted by afterthree
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    July 4th, 2007

    The Two-Step of Death

    The Two-Step of Death by Lady Game

    Summary: In the end, they all dance to the music of two words and a flash of green light. These are the stories of the last ten victims of Lord Voldemort. Drabbles, 1,348 Words.

    Why You Should Care: This is a great series of ten interconnected drabbles about the last people to stand in Voldemort’s way. Each is a slightly different tone, but all are pulled around a central theme and idea. A good drabble is like a good poem, and Lady Game hits the mark each time. The extra pleasure comes from the way she connects them, like stanzas.

    Why You Might Not Care: Here there be traditional 100 Word Drabbles, ladies and gentlemen. If you’d prefer to sink your teeth into a good long novel-length rec, then you’ll finish this wanting more. For those of you who appreciate the fine art of the Drabble, this is the icing on the cake, and they leave you satisfied, if also a little depressed. Here lies angst; abandon fluff, all ye who enter here.

    Awards: 2007 Hourglass Award, Drabble or Drabble Collection – First Place; 2007 Round One Quill To Parchment Award – Judge’s Favorite.

    posted by afterthree
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    July 3rd, 2007


    Splinters by InFabula

    Summary: A conversation between Remus and Sirius following their chat with Harry about the scene in the Pensieve. Oneshot, 2,134 Words.

    Why You Should Care: This is a missing scene from OotP, and a difficult conversation between friends. InFabula finds the adult voices of Sirius and Remus quite well, and this feels as though it could have been effortlessly inserted into JKR’s work. This is not so much a character study as a conversation twitched with more meaningful subtext, and we gather a little more insight on the event and the people Harry saw in the pensieve. Neither ground-breaking nor staggeringly potent, but a quiet little piece about retrospect.

    Why You Might Not Care: There is nothing particularly earth-shatteringly good about this fic, but I like it non-the-less. Something about a conversation between two people gets me every time, and so I feel I should share this with everyone. Anyone with zero interest in the Marauders (as teenagers or as adults) might not enjoy this as much as I did.

    posted by afterthree
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    July 2nd, 2007

    The Abyss Gazes Also

    The Abyss Gazes Also by TangleofThorns

    Summary: You build your own Azkaban, and you let yourself out. Angst. Oneshot, 7,924 Words

    Why You Should Care: This is an amazing piece. There is a phenomenal use of language throughout this fiction, and an inspired approach to character that I can’t praise enough. These are people pushed to the very edge of their reach and reason. It is by turns heartbreaking, staggering, thought-provoking, and chilling. If you have ever had difficulty wrapping your head around the reality that Azkaban creates, this story is where you will find it. Truly brilliant.

    Why You Might Not Care: This is not a fluffy shiny happy story. This is angst in its purest, most revealing form. But it is brilliant, and you should read it. Right now.

    Awards: August 2007 Gold Star Award for Excellence in Harry Potter Fanfiction; 2008 Hourglass Award, Admins’ Choice — Angst (tied)

    posted by afterthree
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    July 1st, 2007


    Unusual by DeeDee

    Summary: How Ron comes to buy perfume for Hermione. 6,862 Words.

    Why You Should Care: I’m the first to admit that I don’t usually read fiction centred around any members of the Trio, and yet the summary of this intrigued me because I had wondered, while reading OotP, why and how Ron came to give Hermione perfume for Christmas. What I found when I started to read was a delightful story about two young people very slowly discovering how much they like each other. Both Ron and Hermione are kept true to canon — I find Ron especially difficult to find properly written, so to find a fiction where he rang true was a surprising bonus. Ron is exactly fifteen and entirely a boy in this story. He doesn’t know what’s going on or why its going on, as most fifteen year old boys in love generally don’t. Very good.

    Why You Might Not Care: This is a Ron/Hermione people. All Harry/Hermione shippers should immediately turn around and go elsewhere least you tear pieces of your hair out. It’s… almost fluffy. Except it’s not. Not really.

    posted by afterthree
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