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    Archive for November, 2007


    November 11th, 2007


    Interlude by Biggrstaff Bunch

    Summary: “Still, if he could lock her up in a tower, he would. Even now. Though she’d probably die from some sort of tower-inflicted catastrophe, and it’d be all his fault just the same, and possibly there’d even be a prophecy…” Oneshot, 1,597 Words.

    Why You Should Care: It’s the first time Harry and Ginny speak to each other since the battle at Hogwarts, and the inner monologue is just so very Harry.  Ginny is also written well, which is something that is difficult to find.  In too many fics I find Ginny pushed into teetering over the edge of the Mary Sue-ism that JKR has left her perched next to, and it takes an author of some considerable discipline not to send her down that way but keep her walking that thin and often blurry line; Biggrstaff Bunch does an excellent job of keeping her real.  Harry, too, feels right.  I’ve read fics where Harry is still avoiding her, and those somehow don’t make sense after Harry’s duty has been done.  Here there is mutual respect for the role the other played, and Harry doesn’t cling to heroics after the time for them is passed.  Very nice.  A sense that these two people have grown up.

    Why You Might Not Care: All those folk that feel Harry/Ginny is a crock should probably go find a nice Ginny/Draco to read on some other site, least you pull out your hair.  Everyone else, have at it.

    posted by afterthree
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    November 10th, 2007

    Gum Wrappers

    Gum Wrappers by Imari

    Summary: Neville knew something was not quite right with him. Other wizards his age awaited racing brooms. He awaited his mother’s gum wrappers. One-shot, 4,124 Words.

    Why You Should Care: Written for the Scrivenshaft Challenge at the Unknowable Room, this fic is a masterpiece of character depiction. Imari says that she’s trying to bring Neville into a new light, and it’s entirely successful — this is clumsy, awkward, canon!Neville, but in a situation that brings out the best in him. Only one of the haikus in this piece was given by the prompt and it astounds me every time I read it (because it’s well worth rereading) that the writers beautiful style allows the poetry and the prose almost to meld. Heart-wrenching and soul-nourishing.

    Why You Might Not Care: It’s Neville and Alice, and if you don’t care, you don’t care. Also, it does occasionally stray into being just a little too ponderous, but not often.

    Awards: Scrivenshaft Challenge, ‘Poetry to Prose’ – Most Original

    posted by winglessflight
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    November 9th, 2007

    Bad News

    Bad News by Penknife

    Summary: It’s one piece of bad news Harry hadn’t been expecting. Humour, 475 Words.

    Why You Should Care: This is short, sweet, and funny, and I can’t believe I never thought about this before because you know this is exactly what the Goblins would do. Exactly.  JKR would think it was brilliant.

    Why You Might Not Care: It’s pointless, really.  Just an amusing little drabble written to make you laugh.  But sometimes, that is the point.

    posted by afterthree
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    November 8th, 2007

    Black Widow

    Black Widow by Victoria P

    Summary: She stared at herself for a long moment, wondering when she’d become a ghost in her own home. Oneshot, 1,317 Words.

    Why You Should Care: A little moment in the life of a women who birthed an heir who defected to Gryffindor and a spare who died before any of her hopes for him could have been turned into realities, this fic is wonderfully delicate. I’m a sucker for symbolism, and Victoria P uses the image of personal preparation (clothing, make-up, greeting the audience) as this incredible symbol for the situation the Black Family find themselves in. A nice cameo from a very neatly canon Bella, and a couple of other Blacks along the way, and it’s nice to see that Regulus’ death is worth a real affair and not, as so many fics think, no recognition at all.

    Why You Might Not Care: Although characterisations are nice, this fic is very irritatingly not canon-friendly — either the Black Family Tree hadn’t come out or Victoria P hadn’t read it, but for whatever reason you’ve got Cassiopeia as Sirius’ mother and other Blacks never mentioned in canon, which vexes me greatly. But if you can move on from that, this fic’s crammed with tender motherhood in a family bound by tradition.

    posted by winglessflight
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    November 7th, 2007

    Desk Duty

    Desk Duty by Mosylu

    Summary: A librarian’s job is never done — especially not at Hogwarts — and especially when a certain toadlike High Inquisitor is nosing around.  Oneshot, 1,929 Words.

    Why You Should Care: D’you think McGonagall was the only member of staff to get up in Umbridge’s face?  Apparently, no one but no one mucks about in Irma Pince’s library.  The bit at the beginning where we get a little glimpse into what it might be like on a day-to-day basis for Madam Pince and what kinds of magical books she deals with is very JKR and most excellent.  Madam Pince might just be my new favorite minor character…

    Why You Might Not Care: Well, it is about Pince; I don’t suppose that will win it legions of fans.  But for all you folk that like those quiet little character pieces that slip onto canon as if made for it and to hell with which character, you’ll definitely like this one.

    posted by afterthree
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    November 6th, 2007


    Stamped by Altricial

    Summary: Why Percy Weasley does the things he does. Oneshot, 2,507 Words.

    Why You Should Care: Percy Weasley rather got the short straw in the novels – first he was arrogant, then a traitor and finally was granted what to me seemed like a rather grudging reprieve. This fic goes right back to the time of the Weasley childhoods and shows, very plainly and innocently, what went on behinds the scenes: what configured Percy like that, and you end up with this overwhelming rush of sympathy for him. Great novels have been made out of a child’s viewpoint and this fic is in the same vein – it’s naively, even childishly written and yet it tugs unexpectedly at the heartstrings of the reader. Sweetly written and cleverly constructed.

    Why You Might Not Care: Be forewarned! This fic calls Ginny ‘Virginia’, a canon error that makes my blood boil, and sometimes it needs to delve even deeper than it does: although Percy is beautifully depicted, the author has a tendency to fall back to stereotype for the other Weasleys. Even so, Altricial clearly has an eye for characterisation and this sort of skill is a rarity. A real gem.

    posted by winglessflight
    Comment (1) »

    November 5th, 2007

    And When I Have Lost Everything I Will Remember This

    And When I Have Lost Everything I Will Remember This by Paperclip Bitch

    Summary: “And Dumbledore, empathetic bastard, came up with a way that means Remus can attend, and now he is here, with a trunk full of books and robes and things, and everyone else is busy making friends while he attempts to sink into the upholstery and simply not exist.” Oneshot, 7,680 Words.

    Why You Should Care: There are so many things about this I love. The characterisation is front and centre, and Remus has been constructed with love and care from his five-year-old self to the very moment of his death. The use of language is lovely, all brilliant descriptions and thick narrative without ever once turning purple. Told as a set of eight scenes pulled from one man’s life, each tied to and drawn from a quote or line from the series, this story combines prose and poetry effortlessly. The three boys’ reaction to Remus’ furry little problem is especially well crafted, being both endearing and typical of teenage boys. The strength of this piece is the author’s unyielding commitment to the quietly tragic nature of Remus’ life, bookended on one side by chance and the other by choice. The last section is a touching and heartbreaking summation, and where most fiction writers couldn’t stand to end this man’s story like this, Paperclip Bitch shows her chops by choosing to honour Remus’ tragedy to the very last.

    Why You Might Not Care: There are some straight-up grammar and minor sentence composition problems, and the author has an excessive use of commas that could be reigned in by the use of a smart beta with a red pen. There are also very occasionally mild tense problems. However, all of these mechanical things are very minor and the quality of the storytelling is so far above par that you shouldn’t let a few extra commas stop you from experiencing it. The emotional weight of this fic makes such small errors mere annoyances that are forgotten as soon as they have passed.

    Awards: 2008 Hourglass Award, Best Angst Fic — First Place; November 2007 Gold Star Award for Excellence in Harry Potter Fanfiction.

    posted by afterthree
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    November 4th, 2007

    Newton Knows Best

    Newton Knows Best by EntirelyToo

    Summary: Lily and James learn Newton’s Laws of Motion first hand. One Book in Motion tends to prevent two Objects Not in Motion from snogging in the stairwell… Humour, 16,628 Words.

    Why You Should Care: Anyone who’s been to a Physics lesson will find themselves howling with laughter at this fic: it’s monumentally brilliant. This is the kind of plot bunny that appears at two in the morning in conversations with friends, and it takes a writer like EntirelyToo to pull it off with this much humour. It’s fluffy, funny, random in a good way (as opposed to a ‘why the hell?!’ way) and original. With huffy!Lily and teasing!James, you’ll never see Physics the same way again.

    Why You Might Not Care: Pure fluff lies here. Nothing angsty. Nothing tear-jerking. If you don’t like to laugh, don’t look this way. (But do reconsider. Laughter is the best medicine, after all.)

    posted by winglessflight
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    November 3rd, 2007


    Consequences by Inell

    Summary: For every choice, there are always consequences. Oneshot, 1,215 Words.

    Why You Should Care: I always thought Hermione erasing her parents’ memories and sending them off to Australia was both an act of courage and cowardice on Hermione’s part, and that it was such a terribly cold thing to do, yet somehow so very Hermione.  It came off in the books as a thing in passing, an easy way to get the Grangers out of the way of the rest of the plot, as if they were as inconvenient as the Firebolt that fell away in the first chapters because it would have been too cumbersome to keep track of.  Yet this bypassed act is so telling; whether it tells of the terrible situation or Hermione’s character is up for some debate, and Inell forces us to linger on it.  The power of choice and how it shapes people has always been such a central theme in the books, and this is a harsh coda for Hermione.

    Why You Might Not Care: Again, I can’t think of one.  Some seemingly good deeds are not necessarily so, and we all know where a road paved with good intentions leads.  This might linger with you.

    posted by afterthree
    Comment (2) »

    November 3rd, 2007

    Late Rec Today…

    Hey Folks!

    Due to Circumstances Beyond My Control, today’s rec will be late.  Look for it later this afternoon.

    Sorry for the delay.

    posted by afterthree
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    November 2nd, 2007

    The Firewhiskey Incident

    The Firewhiskey Incident by Lady Bracknell

    Summary: In a lot of ways, it was Joni Mitchell’s fault. In some ways, it was Sirius’. The Firewhiskey had a bit to do with it, Remus admitted, but when it came down to it, really, he had no-one to blame but himself. Humour, 6,738 Words.

    Why You Should Care: Another classic Lady Bracknell fic.  This one is fantastically funny, and the set up is gold.  It’s adult Marauders at their highest (or lowest, depending on your point of view) and, while plot-wise it perhaps lacks a certain — shall we say — thematic punch, in the end the goal is to amuse and Lady Bracknell delivers.  This slides seamlessly along side the other works in her universe quite well, but this talented author never makes her previous stories required reading, and this stands alone quite splendidly.  Fans of Lady Bracknell will delight in the throw-away references, and those just jumping in will hardly realize they’re missing anything.

    Why You Might Not Care: Oh, for goodness sake why wouldn’t you read it?  There’s drunken hijinks and even hints of Remus/Sirius depending on how you take the wink at the end for those who like that kind of thing.  It’s Lady Bracknell, doing what she does best.  What’s not to like?

    posted by afterthree
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    November 1st, 2007

    Much As She Had Lived

    Much As She Had Lived by Ignipes

    Summary:…That’s Dorcas Meadowes, Voldemort killed her personally…” Oneshot, 4,900 Words.

    Why You Should Care: There are a few takes on the last moments of Dorcas Meadowes, whose major claim to fame is that, for some reason, Voldemort took the time to go after her personally. Now, a Dark Lord is a busy man, and can’t be expected to make house calls (especially when he’s got a full staff of excitable and murderous Death Eaters at his disposal), but something about Dorcas made him want to see to her himself, and this is not the first time this situation has caught an author’s imagination. I have rec’d fics about the death of Dorcas Meadowes before, but I think this is my favorite. It’s a departure from the standard, and the author ties theme into a tone that is both uplifting yet melancholy, dignified yet undignified. Beautifully structured, the author is well disciplined and this is perhaps one of the best examples of that much uttered matra, show, don’t tell. The characters — both those we know and those we don’t — are all created thoughtfully and with surprising originality; each presence is felt strategically, even if they only appear for a stanza.

    Why You Might Not Care: This is another one of those wonderful pieces you should just read, regardless of character, ship, or genre preferences. Lovely.

    Thanks To: Ellie K for this wonderful rec and the insightful review of it she sent to me.

    posted by afterthree
    Comment (1) »

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