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    Archive for October, 2007

    
    

    October 11th, 2007

    Quiet

    Quiet by Te

    Summary: The house at Grimmauld Place is usually empty when he arrives these days, housing nothing more than its own carefully applied protective magics, and portraits shocked dumb with the fact that the Black name is no more. Oneshot, 2,549 Words.

    Why You Should Care: This is quite a fascinating — and I think largely accurate — character study on Remus just after OotP.  In places it almost verges in on stream-of-consciousness, though it never goes so far as to abandon format and sense.  At times his thoughts are colourful and vaguely poetic, while other moments are clearer and more analytically self-aware; the mix is revealing.  This piece is coated thinly with defeat, and with age.  Remus is weighty beyond his relatively young years, like something light and sweet spoiled by too long in the heat.

    Why You Might Not Care: Snape is almost entirely out of character, and his presence is forced and awkward.  I understand what Te was trying to do with the conversation at the end of this fic, but I think Moody or Tonks or even Dumbledore could have produced the same results without having to have sacrificed Snape at the alter of OOC.  This author has a very firm grip on Remus, but merely a passing understanding of Snape, and the last half of this story suffers for it.  Everything internal in this fic is excellent — everything external feels sadly contrived.

    posted by afterthree
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    October 10th, 2007

    Final Draft

    Final Draft by Koonelli

    Summary: Here, read this speech. I went through a lot of pains to get it. It belongs to a certain best man, who read it at a certain wedding. Oneshot, 1,958 Words.

    Why You Should Care: I love this. It’s the sweetest, funniest, most adorable Best Man speech I ever heard. It’s very light and gentle, and has a great deal of humour. On top of all this, Koonelli produces a few memorable dramatic moments that give the reader a bit of food for thought: a welcome addition to this otherwise lightweight piece.

    Why You Might Not Care: Okay, I tried to claim that it isn’t, but truly, this is just a little bit of fluff with Lily and James and Sirius being all adoring and having a laugh and being all Marauder-y because it’s their last chance, damnit! So read it and reflect that this is what JKR killed off.

    posted by winglessflight
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    October 9th, 2007

    Silent Night

    Silent Night by Xylodemon

    Summary: The rain won’t stop, and they haven’t seen Potter in seventeen days. Oneshot, 1,463 Words.

    Why You Should Care: A bleak picture of what might have happened, written prior to the release of Deathly Hallows, using McGonagall as a lens through which each moment is experienced. It is both angsty and not — I doubt if Minerva has ever been the sort of girl to allow emotional release, and Xylodemon expertly uses this chosen character to create delicious tension. The picture this fic paints is of the mundane, animalistic day-to-day desperation of surviving, like rats under the floorboards. The choices of what to say and what to leave unsaid have been made cleverly, and the language is disarmingly simple. Beautiful.

    Why You Might Not Care: This fic will leave you with a suggestion of tension and hopelessness: it is not a shiny happy story. But it is good, and it works its way into your head.

    posted by afterthree
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    October 8th, 2007

    One Bowl of Kisses

    One Bowl of Kisses by Victoria P

    Summary: Remus kisses him, a tender thing, all soft breath and chapped lips. Oneshot, 1,134 words.

    Why You Should Care: It’s adorable! It’s Remus/Sirius and it’s fluffy with a little bit of angst and it’s so damned cute! I just want to gather this fic up in my arms and hug it, because it’s so damned lovely. The style’s nice too: Victoria P uses lots of different little twists of literary devices so that each mini-section feels fresh and individual, and yet it’s wonderfully cohesive. Ah. It’s just so wonderful.

    Why You Might Not Care: Look away now if you don’t like slash. This is a bit of Remus/Sirius slash and if you don’t like it then there’s really nothing here for you at all. But if you can bear slash, this fic is perfection.

    posted by winglessflight
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    October 7th, 2007

    Afterwards

    Afterwards by Pyreneeees

    Summary: Life doesn’t end after the war. Drabble Collection, 1,670 Words.

    Why You Should Care: Six people, all affected or unaffected by the war in different ways, living their lives. Because after a war has been waged and lost and won, that’s one thing every survivor has in common: moving forward. These are snapshots of lives and half-lives of the ordinary people, not the heroes. Sensitive and honest.

    Why You Might Not Care: This is one of those short little pieces that seems almost pointless at first because it’s tied together with a very thin thread. And, just maybe, that’s the point.

    posted by afterthree
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    October 6th, 2007

    California

    California by Q

    Summary: She likes to smoke while she watches the sunset from the hill overlooking the Forbidden Forest. Oneshot, 717 words.

    Why You Should Care: I have something of a bias here, because Lily/Sirius is my OTP, but truly, you don’t even need to ship it to love the delicacies of this fic. It’s all about the dialogue, all about what isn’t said. What I find truly interesting is, what they are saying appears to be pretty open: a lot of fics have them saying very bland things that mean a great deal, while here they open up, but their true meanings are still hidden. It’s so clever, I call it a real find.

    Why You Might Not Care: Most people aren’t into Lily/Sirius, but unless you’re a virulent hater, this shouldn’t put you off. Although it’s a oneshot, I still reckon this fic could do with a little padding out; some of the beauty is lost merely by constrains of length. It’s not perfect, but it’s a diamond in the rough.

    posted by winglessflight
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    October 5th, 2007

    A Drift of Azaleas

    A Drift of Azaleas by FernWithy

    Summary: When Sirius returns to Grimmauld Place for the first time since leaving home, he comes face to face with the mistress of the house. Oneshot, 2,803 Words.

    Why You Should Care: It would be nice and easy to think that Sirius always hated his family, and that he continues to hate them single-mindedly to the end of his days, but the truth of all family politics is infinitely more complicated than that, and sons inevitably (and unwillingly) seek their mother’s approval.  The bond between a mother and a son — no matter how disparaging — is made of something more instinctual than hate.  This is a story of a mother waiting for her child to come home to her, and the duties of a son that even being disowned doesn’t excuse.  As with anything written by FernWithy, it’s done with precision and care.

    Why You Might Not Care: Again, this is one of those thematically universal fics by an established, well-rounded, popular Harry Potter fanfic writer.  What’s not to like?

    posted by afterthree
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    October 4th, 2007

    The Moon-Cursers

    The Moon Cursers by Grace_has_Victory (Part I: Moons of Deceit, Part II: Crown of the North, Part III: The Werewolf’s Bride, Part IV: The Banesbrewer)

    Summary: Beginning just after the first fall of Voldemort, this follows the life of Remus Lupin and Ariadne MacDougal as they battle love, lycanthropy, abuse of human rights and living in the most prejudiced of societies. Four-part Series, over 330,000 words.

    Why You Should Care: Because if this woman weren’t a psychology teacher she could be an author. Very much like JKR herself, Grave_has_Victory is a master of storytelling. This four-part story (entirely fitting with canon) is brimful of twists and suspense; you never fail to be surprised. The characters, particularly Ariadne herself, are multifaceted and interesting, and the whole tale has a strong feeling of reality. There’s a little humour, and it keeps the story light, as does the hint of romance. The writing may not be flowery, but it’s substantial and at times bittersweet, and much of the dialogue is incredibly realistic. This fic is like reading a really, really good book. This series is probably my favourite piece of fanfiction ever. Incredible.

    Why You Might Not Care: If you don’t like stories about what-Remus-did-in-the-eighties, then this might be something to avoid. And if you like your emotions served up on a plate: pure angst, or pure fluff. But, honestly, I can’t believe that anyone could regret checking these out. If you like stories, if you like books, if you like reading, then these are for you. Go, my children. Read and enjoy.

    posted by winglessflight
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    October 3rd, 2007

    Behind Closed, Locked and Soundproofed Doors

    Behind Closed, Locked and Soundproofed Doors by Anguis

    Summary: “Arthur Weasley was rarely seen kissing his wife.” Not all romances are conducted in front of the camera. Drabble, 528 Words.

    Why You Should Care: This is the perfect little Arthur/Molly fic. It’s sweet, and gives me hope that even years of marriage and oodles of children are not enough to dull passion with just the right person. The language is eloquent yet precise, and every once in a while I just go back and read this fic over again a couple of times because it makes me smile and sigh.

    Why You Might Not Care: I can’t think of a convincing reason, because this is one of those short little ficlets that I’d like to handwrite out in a notebook and carry around with me to show people.

    posted by afterthree
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    October 2nd, 2007

    Within These Walls

    Within These Walls by Sionann

    Summary: A series of twenty drabbles about the members of the Hogwarts faculty. Drabble Collection, 2,000 Words.

    Why You Should Care: I have a soft spot for these kinds of drabbles: the ones that are truly just snippets of nothing, are moments that seem to have been merely plucked from the air, and yet they each say something incredibly unique. This particular collection forces us to consider characters we rarely do: Sinistra, Hooch, Vector. The characters so often used to flesh out other stories are pushed into the limelight, but with subtlety and grace.

    Why You Might Not Care: They’re not universally great. Some are ungainly, even pointless. But they are few: there are probably only two that I wouldn’t rate as highly. The concept of this fic, and the almost casual style used give it a very engaging feel: sometimes, unfortunately, to the point of triviality. But I think most people would really enjoy these: they’re something very different.

    posted by winglessflight
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    October 1st, 2007

    For Luck, For Laughs, For the Unknown

    For Luck, For Laughs, For the Unknown by ThistleRose

    Summary: If she tried, she might be able to keep him here just a little longer. Hands were more convincing than words, sometimes, and a tongue– Oneshot, 1,130 Words.

    Why You Should Care: I love the idea that Andromeda knew Ted was leaving, that he didn’t just slip away in the dead of the night leaving a note on the pillow or not come home one day from work. I feel as though that’s how it would have happened, because I’m certain Ted respects his wife enough that he wouldn’t have abandoned her and that Andromeda would understand that it would be his best chance at making it through the war. This piece is the moment they break away, and the difficulties of trying to be mature and do the right thing when all you really want is just one more minute.

    Why You Might Not Care: This has been rated NC17, and while I can see why I’m not sure it goes on long enough to entirely deserve this ranking. It’s brief but definitely there. Perhaps not quite work-safe, but it’s not the focus of the story and shouldn’t be the determining factor of whether or not you choose to read it.

    posted by afterthree
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