Archive for December, 2007
December 31st, 2007
Dead Things by AcidPop25
Summary: Helena could always tell their spells apart. Drabble, 638 Words.
Why You Should Care: This is a very interesting sliver in time during the Founders Era. In only 600 words, AcidPop manages to give us a fairly complete character summary of Rowena Ravenclaw, Salazar Slytherin, and Helena Ravenclaw, as well as offering (in even less words) what probably amounts to a very accurate view of Helga and Godric as well. The interplay between Helena and her mother is well done, and quite fascinating. This piece drips with style from start to finish.
Why You Might Not Care: Founders fic ahead! Also, you might wish there was more. It works very well short — don’t mistake — but at the same time, the author makes it work so well that you just want more.Comment (4) »
December 30th, 2007
Form 46A by Alan McLeod
Summary: How are things like household bills handled in the Harry Potter world? Are their beurocracies as incompetent as ours? Snape finds out. Drabble, Humour, 560 Words.
Why You Should Care: Because I really think Jo would probably find it hilarious, and just right on form. And because I think it’s hilarious. Snape makes the best straight man for this little drabble, I think, and the fact that it’s him just makes me love it even more.
Why You Might Not Care: It’s short and humourous. If one of those doesn’t tickle your fancy today, then skip it.Comment (1) »
December 29th, 2007
Sheer Dumb Luck
Sheer Dumb Luck by WinglessFlight
Summary: “Cowards may die many times before their deaths; the valient never taste of death but one.” She laughs because she’s living on borrowed time. Oneshot, 1,175 Words.
Why You Should Care: The repetition throughout this fic is used keenly and strategically, and I feel at long last that I might actually begin to understand Merope Gaunt. This fic is poetic, but it doesn’t run away with itself too far. It’s supremely focused, which has always been the way straight to my heart when we talk fanfiction.
Why You Might Not Care: The focus is Merope Gaunt. But if y’all like character study fics about Petunia and Rita and Hagrid and Gilderoy, then this is precisely your cup of tea.
Awards: 2008 Hourglass Award, Best Drama — Third PlaceComment (4) »
December 28th, 2007
The Sleeper Awakes
The Sleeper Awakes by SnorkackCatcher
Summary: “It’s been coming on for a while,” said Percy, “but I had to find a way out and it’s not so easy at the Ministry, they’re imprisoning traitors all the time.” The journey of Percy Weasley. Oneshot, 10,429 Words.
Why You Should Care: Everyone has their breaking point: whether it’s the point at which we realize we’re wrong and turn back or the point we give up all pretense and make a grab at power is, in the end, up to the individual. There is a wonderfully sculpted set of contrasts in this fic in Percy Weasley and Doloris Umbridge. Where Umbridge throws herself heart and soul into the new Ministry line, Percy is more uncomfortable, and ultimate makes the same choice as the rest of his family. It’s delightful to see realization creep up on him slowly until a damn breaks and it all just makes sense, and then it’s just as lovely to see him fight the way Percy fights best– with a pen and a list of regulations. A very well written and carefully thought out telling of Percy’s missing story in Deathly Hallows.
Why You Might Not Care: It may seem a little slow in parts, but I think it was meant to be, if that makes any sense. For Percy to have come to this realization suddenly and without the long, slow plod down to the feet of the devil himself, it wouldn’t have had the weight and the realism it ultimately did. Be patient with it, and be as frustrated as Percy is — you’ll find it satisfying, at the end.Comment (2) »
December 27th, 2007
Get There From Here
Get There From Here by La Onza
Summary: From parents who had attended Hogwarts in their day, such a brief, vague, yet unambiguous letter advising the school not to expect their child in September – that was a poser. Oneshot, 1,046 Words.
Why You Should Care: Firstly, the idea of little!Remus writing to McGonagall and asking not to go to Hogwarts is adorable. Secondly, because the characterisation of McGonagall is spot-on: La Onza really shows her humanity, without casting doubt on what we see in the books. And finally because this fic has the wondrous ability to capture each character’s register without any effort and I love that.
Why You Might Not Care: The ending of this fic kills me. The last line, after a fic that is fabulous, sucks. It’s cliched and overly romantic and ugh. I hate it. But otherwise there’s not much here to offend.Comment (3) »
December 26th, 2007
A Certain Light
A Certain Light by Mindabbles
Summary: Alice and Frank treasured him, Augusta took a firm hand, Algie meant well, Enid understood, and somehow Neville becomes some part of the best of each of them. Oneshot, 4,728 Words.
Why You Should Care: It’s a surprisingly wonderful way to watch Neville grow up. Eight Christmases over seventeen years, and we get to see the youngest Longbottom from baby to toddler to boy to young man. It’s delightful to see the transitions — not just of Neville, but of some of the other Longbottoms as well — and it’s done simply and gracefully; it’s oh-so-neat to see the parts of his personality that were shaped by the other people in his life. This is an excellent example of good dialogue and interaction put to good use, and it follows the rule “show, don’t tell” the whole way through. Lovely.
Why You Might Not Care: Only if you’re tired of reading character oneshots about Neville.Comments Off on A Certain Light
December 25th, 2007
How The Dark Lord Stole Christmas
How The Dark Lord Stole Christmas by Alyx Bradford
Summary: Every kid down at Hogwarts liked Christmas a lot. But the Dark Lord who lived just north of Hogwarts did NOT! Parody, 1,257 Words.
Why You Should Care: Because I thought a cute and funny Classic Christmas Story parody would be just the thing. (The last bit is my favorite!)
Why You Might Not Care: Come on, it’s Christmas!
Merry Christmas to all the C&Cers, without whom this site would just be me, talking to myself. Cheers!Comment (1) »
December 24th, 2007
The Enforcer by EmilySavsTheDay
Summary: Lily becomes sick at a Quidditch match, and James comes to see her (but only after he’s done playing, of course). Oneshot, 3,870 Words.
Why You Should Care: Oh, the banter! This is how I feel James and Lily really should be, you know. I think the combative nature of their early relationship would have translated into glorious and hilarious Josh’n’Donna-esque pedeconfrence banter (for those of you who don’t know, that’s a West Wing reference there). This is like that. Two people of equal wit showing each other they care by way of carefully placed digs. Love it.
Why You Might Not Care: That up there is my impression of these characters, I admit, and yours might be different; if so, this might strike you as out of character– though we know so little that it’s really all about personal preference when it comes to James and Lily, isn’t it?Comment (2) »
December 23rd, 2007
Ghosts by Andromeda
Summary: After he husband dies, Andromeda takes a last walk through the Nobel and Most Ancient House of Black, finding nothing but dust and nostalgia and a few unburied ghosts. Oneshot, 1,687 Words.
Why You Should Care: No matter how much Andromeda does not regret abandoning the Black family name, there’s something about the connection of the family we are born into that can’t be forgotten. This is a sad piece about remembering where you came from just because you have to, and about the power our family has over us even after they’re gone. The structure of this piece drew me right in; the hand off of dialogue to narrative — from past to present — and back again is expertly handled, and it adds so much to an already excellent piece. The fragile connection between the last remaining Blacks at the end is especially lovely.
Why You Might Not Care: Heck if I know.Comments Off on Ghosts
December 22nd, 2007
Almost by AuroraWest
Summary: George returns to 93 Diagon Alley for the first time since the Battle of Hogwarts. Oneshot, 1,471 Words.
Why You Should Care: Yes, yes: it’s another post DH George fic. I’m reccing this specifically because I think the author does a very good job with George’s character in a way most other ‘George mourns the loss of Fred’ fics don’t, which is by way of saying that some of the twin’s delightful sense of humour manages to shine through his sadness. At its core it’s quite sad, but there are moments where George is still George, despite having lost Fred, and that’s a hard thing to find in this kind of fic. In retrospect, this is probably the most accurate portrayal of George I’ve read: life goes on, whether we want it to or not and whether we think it is or not, and sometimes the only way you can tell is the cracking of an inappropriate joke or the reality of dirty underwear.
Why You Might Not Care: Sometimes it’s a little too much in George’s head, if you know what I mean. Some of what we are told about what’s going on in George’s mind isn’t necessary, and I think those sections could have been cut, either to make a tighter story overall or to spend more time on the character study here that makes this fic unique.Comments Off on Almost
December 21st, 2007
A Good Way To Fall
A Good Way To Fall by Lady Altair
Summary: “It’s a good way to fall, he decides as the curse rushes up at him.” Drabbles, 726 Words.
Why You Should Care: Lady Altair presents a series of moments from Alaster Moody’s life that go a long way to explaining how he ended up the way he did, and I admit I’ve fallen a little bit in love with the idea of Kitty Fenwick and this whole scenario. This author has a firm handle on what it takes to write a good drabble, and each is wonderfully simple. She finds the man behind the paranoia in Alaster Moody, and brings us a lovely and developed original character in Kitty Fenwick; the fact that she does it in so few words goes to show the depth of her skill. When Lady Altair gives us the bit about Moody’s leg, it was just perfect. This is one of those stories that I’ll probably absorb into my own version of canon, because I just like it that much.
Why You Might Not Care: Well, you know… Moody’s the central character. I don’t suppose he’s got much of a fan club. There’s some weird indentation that I admit makes my eye twitch, but the content is just fabulous.
Awards: 2008 Hourglass Award, Admins’ Choice — Drabble.Comment (2) »
December 20th, 2007
Seven Ways Words Can Hurt
Seven Ways Words Can Hurt by LindseyGirl
Summary: Seven moments in Sirius’ life. Drabbles, 442 Words.
Why You Should Care: A set of seven fantastic drabbles that are quite a lot about Sirius and even more about the reckless use of words and the power they have to change lives. This author has nailed the drabble format with unusual precision: she knows with every one exactly what she needs to say and resists the temptation to say anything else that might distract from her theme. She is also mindful of the collection she has created, and each leads to the next smoothly and effortlessly. Very nice.
Why You Might Not Care: Her use of “Sirius’s” to (wrongly) abbreviate “Sirius is” drives me to pulling out my own hair. I have rec’d it in spite of this, but it still annoys the hell out of me. Also, I can’t decided if there’s an allusion to Sirius/Remus or not. If there is, I’m likewise somewhat annoyed. If there isn’t, then good.Comments Off on Seven Ways Words Can Hurt
December 19th, 2007
Lacuna by Andromeda311
Summary: After Azkaban, Sirius steals a puzzle and starts trying to put himself back together. It’s harder than he expected. Oneshot, 1,377 Words.
Why You Should Care: Writing Sirius freshly out of Azkaban is no easy task, but trust Andromeda311 to get it right. The metaphor she draws to putting together a puzzle of a familiar picture is keenly affecting, and the immense feeling of personal desolation and emptiness is portrayed without purple prose or sentiment. The message that sometimes leaving behind torture is harder than being tortured is indeed a wise one. A sensitive and brilliant character study.
Why You Might Not Care: Can’t think of a single reason. Don’t you hate it when I say that?Comments Off on Lacuna
December 18th, 2007
Angels and Ministers of Grace
Angels and Ministers of Grace by Lesyeuxverts
Summary: “The angels come with Potter on his last visit, approaching the bed with due fear and skittish tremors. Granger and Weasley, yes – Lovegood, Longbottom, Finnegan, Weasley, Weasley, Weasley, it reads like the roll call of Snape’s nightmare classes.” Oneshot, 3,290 Words.
Why You Should Care: After reading Deathly Hallows, I anticipated a great influx of AU fic wherein Snape either didn’t die or was somehow brought back to life, and was more than a little surprised when it never came. This is, in fact, the very first fic along these lines I have found, and I’m pleased to see it was well done. This author uses description and narrative to great effect, and the paragraphs fit together like stanzas though it never crosses the line from prose into poetry. Snape is remarkably well characterised and, though we see Harry through his lens, I would say Harry is also very well done. It’s AU through and through, but it’s the sort of AU that’s been so carefully crafted that it doesn’t offend. Beautiful, poignant, and circumspect, this fic will delight all five of your senses.
Why You Might Not Care: It’s AU, obviously, and despite quality some people just don’t go for that sort of thing. I offer that the only leap of faith you must take is that Snape did not die, and everything after that is entirely within bounds.Comments Off on Angels and Ministers of Grace
December 17th, 2007
All Our Tomorrows
All Our Tomorrows by Sandrine
Summary: Glimpses of Rose, over the years: she doesn’t know it yet, but it was always going to happen like this. Oneshot, 4,697 Words.
Why You Should Care: It’s amazing how quickly ships can arise in a fandom after what amounts to a glorified list of names. The last chapter of Deathly Hallows has spawned more pairings (both plausible and outlandish) than any other single chapter, and because we don’t know anything about these characters other than their parentage, it’s much easier to allow for “anything goes”. Scorpius/Rose has become a nice outlet for the closet (and not-so-closet) Draco/Hermione shippers, and this, at least, I don’t find that unbelievable. Life has a way of working out just this way sometimes. The interaction between Rose and Draco is particularly on-model, I think.
Why You Might Not Care: It’s a largely generic xxx/yyy ship fic with a few moments of character commentary, and while the writing is of good quality, it won’t blow your mind. It pokes and prods at a family’s private stereotypes, but probably not nearly as much as it should.Comment (2) »
December 16th, 2007
The Yellow Road Lies Sleeping
The Yellow Road Lies Sleeping by Elanne
Summary: This is how the world ends. Drabble, 749 Words.
Why You Should Care: This is gloriously poetic, without being ridiculous: almost like watching a life flash before someone’s eyes. It’s beautiful and deceptively simple, and focuses on the good and the hope and the new beginnings that inevitably show up in one person’s life. Really, really excellent!
Why You Might Not Care: I’m not even going to dignify that with a response.
Note: Day Number 2 without internet…. *rages* At least I work tomorrow so I have access from there. *grumbles*Comment (2) »
December 15th, 2007
The Birthday Boy
The Birthday Boy by Lady Bracknell
Summary: On his seventeenth birthday, Teddy Lupin is forced to face a message from beyond the grave, and a cake with his face on it. It was enough to make anyone hide at the bottom of the garden. Oneshot, 4,482 Words.
Why You Should Care: Another Lady Bracknell fic. Really, I probably should stop reccing her at some point, but she just has this impossible plethora of fantastic stories and I can’t help myself. This is mostly about Teddy, and a little about Harry, and a lot about the similarities between the two, which is just as JKR intended. Harry knows more about what it’s like to be Teddy than perhaps Teddy realizes, and it’s easy to see why these two characters would connect without trying. Lovely.
Why You Might Not Care: Another Lady Bracknell fic. So, while I can’t really think of a good reason, it’s possible y’all are just sick of being pointed at the same person. Ah well.
Note: So late today do to chaos of the “my internet isn’t working” fashion. In the end, I walked to a friend’s house and used his internet for fear of missing a day (horrors!). Let’s just say, this is not a good day for this to have happened…. *sigh*Comment (1) »
December 14th, 2007
To Dwell In Dreams
To Dwell In Dreams by Snorkackcatcher
Summary: There is a danger in dwelling on past mistakes. Drabble, 1,000 Words.
Why You Should Care: These two men are not so different, really; both chased power and chose the wrong ally, and both paid in someone else’s blood. For all its redeeming qualities, love can be a hard, merciless master, and broken hearts often stay that way long after they should have healed. This is a melancholy piece where Albus Dumbledore struggles to heed his own advice, and it has been written without fanfare and with a mindful nod to subtlety. This is a prime example of the adege “show, don’t tell”.
Why You Might Not Care: We don’t garner much from this we didn’t already know, I suppose, but sometimes it’s worthwhile just to walk the path and take note of it. This is a brief and quiet walk through familiar territory. Not really remarkable, except in its execution.Comment (2) »
December 13th, 2007
Fraternity by Lyras
Summary: Aberforth Dumbledore is very different from his brother. Oneshot.
Why You Should Care: I have nothing to say. It’s rich and deep, it’s multifaceted and poignant, it’s beautifully characterised. Words are not enough. Man, you have to read this fic.
Why You Might Not Care: What did I just say? Unbelievably fantastic.Comment (1) »
December 12th, 2007
Nothing But Fighting
Nothing But Fighting by Bratanimus
Summary: “Merlin, why hadn’t James told him how much fun fighting Lily was?” Oneshot, 4,128 Words.
Why You Should Care: It’s hard to write action. I mean, it’s really, really hard to write action. And while Bratanimus doesn’t go so far as to sweep you up blow-by-blow as perhaps I might secretly wish, she does make the attempt to deal with Wizard Dueling as a fighting style unique to the wizard, and — in tandem with her always spot-on character portraits — gives us a quick little commentary on our favorite Marauders under fire. Particularly featured are Sirius and Remus, and what a delightful contrast they are to each other too; we see in these quick exchanges and Remus’ inner dialogue how Remus might have lived so long and why Sirius might have died that night at the Ministry. As always, Bratanimus is a treat to read.
Why You Might Not Care: There could have been a little more action and a little less inner dialogue from Remus, I think. More than anything else, I think Bratanimus meant this to be a bit of a Remus/Lily interlude (which it is) and so we spend a little too much time in Remus’ head. Internal dialogue and character work is the safe place for fanfiction authors, and who can blame us since writing action is (as previously mentioned) a son-of-a-bitch, but Bratanimus has the chops and I really think we could have had just as much character work done more subtly if she had featured the action sequence a little more strongly. She glozes over the meatiest part of the duel in a mere paragraph of past-tense description, right where I longed for a physical climax. I really wanted to be in Remus’ shoes in this one the whole way through, not just told about Remus’ shoes.
Thanks To: Alice Lay (Tassee1) for this rec.Comment (1) »