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    Archive for October, 2007

    
    

    October 31st, 2007

    Look Back In Anger

    Look Back In Anger by Magnetic Pole

    Summary: “Minerva McGonagall, naturally, said everything that the portraits in the headmaster’s office had left unspoken.” Drabble, 590 Words.

    Why You Should Care: What might the other professors’ reactions have been to learning that Snape would be their new Headmaster?  Magnetic Pole does a most excellent job crafting this difficult scene, and Snape’s internal monologue meshes with his dialogue and actions well.  Snape was a servant to two very accomplished and manipulative masters, two kings of Machiavellian principles, and he learned his art very well indeed.

    Why You Might Not Care: This is actually the third part of a serial intending to have ten pieces.  I believe there are currently six finished, but reading through them I found they are of varying quality.  Read them all if you like, but I find Snape’s character a little unsteady through the six parts, and a couple of the pieces in comparison seem as though they were written by an entirely different — and somewhat less talented — author.  Each section stands alone quite well, however, so I’ve opted to rec only the ones I felt are of the highest quality.

    posted by afterthree
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    October 30th, 2007

    Remembered

    Remembered by Alyx Bradford

    Summary: Narcissa tends to her dead after the war. Oneshot, 1,242 Words.

    Why You Should Care: War is not kind to either side, and the followers of Voldemort have suffered losses, too.  It is customary to forget that every fallen soldier — no matter whom they fought for — is survived by people who will mourn their passing, and Narcissa feels the death of her sister acutely.  This fic is a small reminder that, in some ways, there are no right or wrong sides in war — only the winners who’s dead are heroes and martyrs, and the losers, who’s dead are villains and traitors.  Narcissa knows that, if not for a few twists of fate — some of which she directly influenced — things might have turned out quite different.

    Why You Might Not Care: Some people don’t like to remember the dark people are still people in the end, and it is easier to remember Bellatrix Lestrange as a murder and torturer than a sister.  If you balk at feeling sympathy for the Black sisters that stayed the course, then Narcissa’s grief will seem very indecent indeed.

    posted by afterthree
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    October 29th, 2007

    Seven Looks at Luck, Life and Love

    Seven Looks at Luck, Life and Love by Thirty2Flavors

    Summary: Seven different looks at luck, life & love with Teddy Lupin. Drabble Collection, 1,262 Words.

    Why You Should Care: A brief but effective set of seven drabbles centred around Teddy Lupin as a boy. Thirty2Flavors gives us a very real, honest telling of what it might be like to be a young orphaned boy who is both like Harry and not like Harry, and what it might be like for him to grow up as an ordinary boy raised by heroes. As the old cliche goes, the grass is always greener, and I don’t hesitate to say that Thirty2Flavors has a particular talent for brevity that makes me sigh pleasantly — when you choose to use few words, every single one suddenly seams like it should matter. Here, they all do.

    Why You Might Not Care: The first fic I’ve rec’d here centred around a New Generation character. If that’s not your cup of tea and you prefer to stay with the characters we know, this might not seem very interesting to you. You should read it, though. Because I said so, obviously.

    posted by afterthree
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    October 28th, 2007

    Protean

    Protean by The Wailing Owl

    Summary: Snape had, like water, shaped himself to fit what surrounded him. Drabble, 100 Words.

    Why You Should Care: I’m not always a huge Snape fan: I often find him seriously OOC in fics, but this one is perfect. In exactly 100 words this author alludes to every event that’s shaped Severus’ character, everything that’s tossed and turned him, everything that’s affected him. The author uses half-quotes, and short sentences, and manages to include so much without feeling rushed. There’s more than a novel’s worth of emotion within those 100 words. Genius.

    Why You Might Not Care: If you can’t stand canon or fanon Snape, you’d best stay away, there’s a lot of the former and a little of the latter in this fic. Additionally, if you don’t believe in the power of drabbles and reckon that 100 well-organised words aren’t a patch on a novel-length fic, closely depicting each feeling, then this one certainly isn’t for you. But really, this is a pretty incredible achievement, and checking it out’s hardly going to take much time.

    posted by winglessflight
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    October 27th, 2007

    Wild Things

    Wild Things by Lady Balin

    Summary: Lily encounters Padfoot, Wormtail, Moony, and Prongs in their animal forms. Hilarity, romance, and possibly some illicit groping ensue. Humour, 8,329 Words.

    Why You Should Care: This is another one of those ideas that had never before occurred to me, but now seems so bloody obvious.  As the summary indicates, there is a twitch of romance, definitely some groping, and a heaping spoonful of hilarity.  I chuckled — I chuckled particularly hard at Peter’s chapter.  Very enjoyable situational comedy.

    Why You Might Not Care: When you stop and really think about it, the plot is a little contrived, but such is all stuff worthy of situational comedy — it relies on one-in-a-million chances, strange coincidences, and having the absolute worst possible thing happen at exactly the moment you wouldn’t want it to happen.  The predictable nature is part of what makes it funny — don’t look too deep, that will just ruin it.

    posted by afterthree
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    October 26th, 2007

    Ships Without Sails

    Ships Without Sails by Insanguinare and WinglessFlight

    Summary: Everyone knows how Severus loved Lily, how Lily loved James, how Harry kissed Ginny, how Ron and Hermione danced into the sunset. A collaborative drabble collection of the most unlikely romances. Drabble Collection, 6,563 words.

    Why You Should Care: I do hope that Chelle doesn’t murder me for pimping my own story on her site, but I honestly do think this one is of note, and not because I wrote half of it. The story is that a friend of mine and Insanguinare’s set us a task on her Harry Potter Wiki involving the SCUSA ship list and we discovered reams and reams of ships that have just never been written: Harry/Lisa Turpin, Sirius/Draco, Ron/Madame Rosmerta to name but a few. And the idea stuck in our heads and, a few weeks later, here we are. This fic is a alternative-shippers dream: we’re trying to give sails to the ships that never leave the metaphorical harbour, and if you like anything romantic, drabble-based or just a little out of the ordinary, it’s worth taking a look.

    Why You Might Not Care: This fic fits with canon insofar that none of the occurences affect canon in the slightest. But if you love canon ships, beware! The only canon ship so far is Tom Riddle Sr./Cecelia, and we don’t plan many, if any, more: most canon ships are very popular. Also, if you want long stories with plot twists and philosophical dialogue these drabbles may well be too short for you.

    posted by winglessflight
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    October 25th, 2007

    And This, My Lovely Child, Is Your Garden

    And This, My Lovely Child, Is Your Garden by Honey Wheeler

    Summary: Bill and Fleur and the evolution of a family. Oneshot, 2,400 Words.

    Why You Should Care: There is something so marvelously soft and real about this fic — nothing is exaggerated, but nothing is under-whelming either. Fleur, for all her veela mystic, is as much a normal woman, wife and mother as anyone else, and what permeates this fic more than anything is an expanding feeling of peace and love surrounding a growing family. Touched with equal parts trepidation and joy, something about the language of this fic delights me though I’m not sure exactly why. There is a moment of reflection about George that made me sigh and say ‘yes, that’s exactly right’.

    Why You Might Not Care: I’m not sure how crazy you are about Fleur. I mean, I’m not. I don’t dislike her per se, but she’s not up at the top of my list. Yet I think the idea of Fleur fascinates me more than anything, and something about the delicate, aristocratic, superficial-seeming Fleur coupled with the earthen, hands-on, down-on-their-luck Weasleys makes for a usually delightful read.

    posted by afterthree
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    October 24th, 2007

    Clockwork

    Clockwork by Xylodemon

    Summary: “If she asked, Dumbledore would tell her that was what they were fighting for; a normal life. If Dumbledore asked her, she’d say she thought it was incredibly unfair that Harry was expected to fight for something he’d never had himself.” Molly reflects on her husband, her children, and the war. Oneshot, 1,913 Words.

    Why You Should Care: This fic is a fitting tribute to Molly Weasley, the mother of many. As she waits for Arthur to come home, her thoughts are drawn to the current climate of war in the wizarding world, and how her family’s role in it has become so much more precarious than it was in the last one, and why. In examining the vulnerability of her children — each of which is on the front lines in some way or another — and her surrogate, Molly can be, perhaps, forgiven for the sins of a mother trying to do only what instinct has trained her to do. She is already in the middle of facing the emptying of her nest in another, more natural way as each of her children has grown up or is growing up and shifting away from her, and coupled with the climate of war she reflexively wants to do the same as any mother would — draw them all back to her again.

    Why You Might Not Care: This is pure introspect, and it doesn’t pretend to be anything else. It isn’t angst, though it would have been a fairly easy topic to push that way, but I feel these more thoughtful, quiet moments do Molly better than angst would have anyway. The feeling of repetition — like Molly’s nightly vigil — is more accented with the muted tone, as if she has thought these thoughts every night since the war started, and they are as much a part of this routine as the cup of tea and the afghan.

    posted by afterthree
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    October 23rd, 2007

    Nicknames

    Nicknames by Helena McKennon

    Summary: Remus Lupin doesn’t like calling her Tonks. Oneshot, 1,978 Words.

    Why You Should Care: Oh, the things we let the people we have crushes on get away with! This little fanfic is a wonderfully nostalgic and delightfully flirtatious interlude between Remus and Tonks, and also a consideration of the meaning of the names we are given versus the names we adopt for ourselves. Sweet, and not so fluffy that you gag.

    Why You Might Not Care: Like many character pieces, this is a conversation between two people that has been lifted out and highlighted. It does not, perhaps, dig as deep as such character oneshots should, but I find fluffy things rarely do. I enjoyed it none-the-less, and any Remus/Tonks fan will too.

    posted by afterthree
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    October 22nd, 2007

    How To Write A Love Letter

    How To Write A Love Letter by BlueBottleButterfly

    Summary: James writes his first love letter. Well, he tries, anyway. One shot, 2,123 Words.

    Why You Should Care: I’m a total sucker for this type of fic: silly and a bit mad, and just a bit of fun. This fic is a nice antidote to anything deep, meaningful or philosophical. Sirius and James are just teenage boys, hanging out, having a laugh, thinking about girls and themselves. There’s nothing intellectual about this fic. There’s nothing heart-stopping, or moving, or eye-opening. It’s just fun.

    Why You Might Not Care: This characterisation of Sirius is a little cliched, and, as I mentioned, there’s nothing here for someone who wants a really meaty fic. Everything about this is light-hearted. Enjoy.

    posted by winglessflight
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    October 21st, 2007

    Benedictio Amicorum

    Benedictio Amicorum by Mosylu

    Summary: Just after the climax of GoF, Ron and Hermione ask Dumbledore for something–anything–to protect their friend. Oneshot, 2,159 Words.

    Why You Should Care: This is a simple, brief story about the friendship and love that will eventually help get Harry through three years of war, and see him come out the other side as hero instead of a martyr.  The characters are all well done, and the prose slides seamlessly into JKR’s canon, style and theme.

    Why You Might Not Care: We don’t learn anything new or breathtakingly interesting.  It’s a quiet moment and a heartfelt moment, but it’s quite transparent and predictable.  Having said that, it’s a nice little testament to the trio’s friendship and to Dumbledore’s ability to provide some peace of mind in the most frustrating of circumstances.

    posted by afterthree
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    October 20th, 2007

    The Diggory Papers

    The Diggory Papers by MachiavelliJr

    Summary: Cedric Diggory was nobody’s hero, nobody’s true love and didn’t die in Little Hangleton. GoF and beyond in the words of Cedric Diggory, coward, cheat and lecher. Work in Progess, 48,836 Words.

    Why You Should Care: There are lots of humourous fics. Some of them are even funny, with cute quips, and romantic entanglements and slapstick moments. But this fic is different. This fic is witty, it’s an educated kind of humour, a very British type of satire. The concept is wonderful: a truly teenage Cedric Diggory, lechorous, debauched, mind only ever on One Thing. It’s immediately obvious, as is the case, that this was written by a real teenage boy who went to a real public boarding school. Outstanding, noteworthy.

    Why You Might Not Care: You’ve got to want to read this fic, because the structuring is such that there are lots of long chunks of text and the laugh-out-loud hilarity hidden within. But seriously, if you like British humour, other humour, new characterisations or just damn good fic, take a look.

    posted by winglessflight
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    October 19th, 2007

    In Your Room

    In Your Room by Lady Bracknell

    Summary: Remus can’t say he anticipated this reaction to him being outed as a werewolf and splashed all over the front of the newspaper, but he can’t say he doesn’t like it. Drabble, 724 Words.

    Why You Should Care: It’s a brief, warm peak into Remus’ head; what one person often considers the end of the world, the other thinks of only as a passing and unremarkable aside. Sweet, passing anxiety.  There is sex, but it’s the work-safe sort (if you know what I mean).

    Why You Might Not Care: It’s very short, but it seems somehow exactly the right length.  In not elaborating and waxing on about the issue, Lady Bracknell actually helps make Tonks’ point.  I suppose if you’re underage then you shouldn’t read it, but the sex here is certainly no worse than you’d see on daytime TV or in movies — I wouldn’t worry about it.

    posted by afterthree
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    October 18th, 2007

    Rubbish

    Rubbish by She’s A Star

    Summary: Rita Skeeter’s first article on the Triwizard Tournament leaves Ron distressed, Hermione bewildered, and both of them particularly inclined to bicker. Oneshot, 3,073 Words.

    Why You Should Care: It’s a very rare thing to find a writer who can write a decent Ron, and an even rarer thing to find one whose Trio counterparts are also decent. Ron in this fic is adorable: all his insecurities laid bare, his nuances, his mannerisms. This author really knows her character, she’s really gotten to grips with what makes him tick and it makes for a very satisfying read. Particularly impressive for having been pre-DH.

    Why You Might Not Care: There’s a lot of Ron in this fic, and I know he annoys many. On top of that, it’s a little short for how much it has to say, and I would’ve liked a little more development of Harry and Hermione. But wonderfilly canon-friendly and…just wonderful, really.

    Thanks to: Sara (insanguinare), for pointing this one out to me. *waves*!

    posted by winglessflight
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    October 17th, 2007

    Sin of Lycaos

    Sin of Lycaos by D.M.P.

    Summary: Often in life, situations occur that are entirely out of one’s control. During the Goblet of Fire, Remus Lupin commits a crime that leads to questions he had never encountered before. Was this incident fate or poor judgment? How can he live with the consequences of his actions? Is there a way can he escape the prejudiced wrath of the Ministry? He must struggle to discover an answer because, for the very first time he finds himself branded a criminal… and a father. Novel Length, 142,670 Words.

    Why You Should Care: This was written a very long time ago, back when GoF was the most recent canon and all we knew of Remus was what we’d been given in PoA. This is a masterful and very original look at what the life of a werewolf might have been like, and what Remus’ life in particular might have been like outside of teaching at Hogwarts. It’s filled with delightfully canon and original characters, including a sweet and endearing young girl named Mary. This has quite obviously been made AU by virtue of the release of the rest of the series and it’s been quite a long time since I’ve read it, but it still stands as one of my favorites. Sure to interest Remus fans and novel-length fic fans.

    Why You Might Not Care: Remus is almost the only canon character in this one folks, and a lot of people will be turned away by the large cast of main and supporting original characters, but I feel all of them have been expertly created by a very talented author, and those who stick it out will be rewarded with a worthwhile and very original story.

    posted by afterthree
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    October 16th, 2007

    Above Reproach

    Above Reproach by AnotherDreamer

    Summary: Helga. Godric. Rowena. Salazar. The Founder’s Four. They had fought together in the Dragon Wars. Destroyed the kingdom the Muggles had established. Then they decided to start a school, and started to fight one another. Things had been unraveling ever since. Oneshot, 4,366 Words.

    Why You Should Care: It seems that I have been reccing a great deal of oneshots recently, and this is why. This fic is everything a oneshot ought to be: it develops character, and yet has plot. It sets the mood, and yet does not ramble. It’s to the point, and yet not jarring. It’s now the only way I’ll see the Founders characterised. It’s brilliant.

    Why You Might Not Care: This is quite a different characterisation of the Founders and takes some getting used to. Also, there’s something of a hole where light-heartedness has been sucked out. Yet the regal quality of this fic resounds. Lovely.

    Awards: 2008 Hourglass Award, Best Gen Fic — First Place

    posted by winglessflight
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    October 15th, 2007

    Five Women Who Hate Fleur Delacour

    Five Women Who Hate Fleur Delacour by Snegurochka Lee

    Summary: She was beautiful, intelligent, talented, successful — and not very nice about it. Clearly, other women must hate her. Oneshot, 7,300 Words.

    Why You Should Care: I can’t quite believe that no one else has ever written something like this, now that I’ve read it. It’s a brilliant little character study on Fleur, but more than that it is a prose-disguised dissertation on women in general: what we think of each other, why we think it, and how our own cultural nurturing repeatedly pits female against female based on a scale of beauty and sexuality versus brains and brawn. That Fleur might indeed embody both sides of this oft Us Or Them battle field seems at best a Mary Sue in the making and at worst a grand cock-up of nature. But women such as Fleur do exist and have existed throughout time without suffering from flat personalities; something about our female culture has turned us against such women instead of permitting us to rally around them, and the idea is neatly and artfully explored. The secondary character of Luna is created with equal parts care and canon-accuracy, and the way these two foils bounce off each other is quite clever. A must-read for all you young (or old) feminists at heart, and a reminder for all of us girls that we too often pick our enemies based on stereotype in place of reason.

    Why You Might Not Care: This is, at core, a bit of a feminist attack of women’s stereotypes, but it’s also a neat little story about Fleur and several people in or around her life. It’s interesting, but some people might not get (or like) the theme that has been carefully woven in through brilliantly executed canon characters (though this version of Tonks seems a little too hardcore for my tastes). Some people will really like this. Some people won’t. You probably won’t know until you give it a read, though.

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

    Thanks To: Kali (who might actually be my doppelganger if such things do exist) for reccing me this fic.

    posted by afterthree
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    October 14th, 2007

    Secret Moon

    Secret Moon by Klynie

    Summary: Eleven-year-old Remus Lupin is determined to make it through Hogwarts one moon at a time. Tonight’s the first. Oneshot, 6,600 words.

    Why You Should Care: I should not be reccing this fic. It’s not even that good: it’s not got the mastery of many of the others that we put up here, it’s not always perfectly characterised, it’s filled with flaws and imperfections. But I still love it. Because it displays all of the young Remus’ fears and anxieties realistically – it’s not a soap-opera drama; it’s an honest, open acceptance that this really is how it might feel to be a lycanthrope here. And the little, First Year!Marauders that make cameos in here are completely adorable. Real and enjoy.

    Why You Might Not Care: Look, it’s not the best work of art written. It’s not a masterpiece of literature. This piece is all about honesty, about empathy, about the knowledge of Remus’ feelings that this writer has managed to ascertain. It’s a little slice of life for the boy for whom everything was just too hard.

    posted by winglessflight
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    October 13th, 2007

    The Adventures of Icarus, the Invisible Poltergeist

    The Adventures of Icarus, the Invisible Poltergeist by After The Rain

    Summary: In which Mr. Prongs takes Muggle Studies, Mr. Padfoot has a crush on Professor McGonagall, Miss Evans demonstrates where her son inherited his CAPS LOCK tendencies, Mr. Wormtail discovers that his Animagus form is useful for petty theft, and Mr. Moony explains why none of this can possibly be construed as his fault. Oneshot, Humour, 7,610 Words.

    Why You Should Care: This is a fantastically funny little Marauders adventure that doesn’t pretend to have any larger plot or point.  It’s something Remus and Sirius might have reminisced about one of those long nights at Grimmauld Place over glasses of gin and a comfortably crackling fire.  Molly would have padded downstairs at three in the morning looking harassed and demanded to know what could possibly have been so uproariously funny that they had to wake the entire house at such a ridiculous hour thankyouverymuch, and Sirius would have tossed back a fresh glass of liquor with a defiant smirk while Remus lowered his eyes and guiltily apologized while stifling an excess of chuckles.  I love Remus’ tone as the one telling the story, one of a slightly-too-pompous sounding sixteen-year-old, and each of the Marauders is nicely characterized.  The Muggle Studies class and the misconceptions about Muggles and Muggle technology by pureblood wizards is gold —  pure, JKR worthy gold.  Completely entertaining.

    Why You Might Not Care: I dare say there isn’t anything remotely worth putting in this section.  This fic is 100% delightful.  Have at it, with my blessing.  I’m going to go read it again.

    posted by afterthree
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    October 12th, 2007

    Anagrams

    Anagrams by Melyanna

    Summary: On a Christmas Eve during World War II, Cornelius Fudge witnesses an ordinary children’s game and hears a name which will haunt his career. Oneshot, 2, 450 Words.

    Why You Should Care: This fic chills me to the bone, it truly does. It’s not exactly angsty, it’s intense – it’s dramatic. The characterisation is spot-on: Melyanna really gets to the core of young Voldemort and shows, with subtlety and eloquence, the cruel, coldness that foreshadows the later evils. Fudge, too, is incredibly characterised: so fitting with his unfriendly, unprofessional canon exterior and yet portrayed sympathetically. The concept of this fic, that Voldemort and Fudge might’ve attended school at the same time, is a little way-out, but Melyanna more than makes up for that with her fabulous storytelling. She takes you right into the scene, putting particular emphasis on detail – you too can feel when the fire seems to have stopped crackling. And if you, like me, revel in beautiful use of language and linguistics, the anagrams and connotations thereof that the writer delves into are truly mesmerising.

    Why You Might Not Care: Timeframes and timelines in canon are a little iffy as to whether or not this could have actually happened. Also, there is a corner of my mind that says this is a little unrealistic: surely if this was young Riddle he’d have been ostracized, not adored. But it’s brilliant, and so cleverly executed. A masterpiece.

    posted by winglessflight
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