Archive for March, 2008
March 31st, 2008
Nothing a Good Imperius Wouldn’t Solve
Nothing a Good Imperius Wouldn’t Solve by Afterthree
Summary: “Snape has nearly gotten used to dealing with the darkness creeping sullenly through the back of his head.” The tempting of Severus Snape. Oneshot, 1,562 Words.
Why You Should Care: Anything I put here will look pretty arrogant, eh? Rec’d in a couple of other places and the winner of an Hourglass Award, so I think it’s above board to put it up here.
Why You Might Not Care: Have shamelessly rec’d my own work, and you may all boo and hiss at your leisure.
Awards: 2008 Hourglass Award, Best Angst Fic — Second PlaceComment (3) »
March 30th, 2008
Father and Son
Father and Son by IsabelA113
Summary: “He’s a man, a living breathing wizard. He has a family, a wife and a son. Who are you to take him away from them?” Ron learns what the difference between him and Malfoy really is. Onshot, 2,225 Words.
Why You Should Care: Arthur is one of the quiet heroes of the Harry Potter series, I think, and this fic is a good example why. This is a keenly focused study of Arthur and his beliefs about the war, his family’s position in it, and the Malfoys. This piece is specific and tailored for the purpose of showing what kind of man Arthur Weasley is: a very, very good one.
Why You Might Not Care: Very few reasons exist. The characterisations are accurate and the theme is resonant. You know the message already, but it’s good to have someone like Arthur remind us that it’s true, every once in a while, when we forget.Comment (2) »
March 29th, 2008
A 12-Step Program
A 12-Step Program by FalseEyelashes
Summary: 12 steps. 12 steps, and you can cure alcoholism, sex addiction, a love of coke, an uncontrollable rage or that hatred within yourself. 12 steps and you can dance in reverse, fall apart and watch the carefully constructed fabric of your life unravel. And in 12 steps, two people can foolishly fall in love. Novel-Length (almost), 39,019 Words.
Why You Should Care: This is a stirred and physicologically colourful look at love, lust, and the difference (or sometimes lack thereof) between the two. The characterisations of Lily and Remus are multifaceted and startlingly (almost shockingly) real — even bordering on gritty — and what strikes me most is how appropriate for their age this emotional opera is. The writing is stylized and almost exclusively narrative, slipping into and reaching most of Lily’s conscious and unconscious thoughts. In some ways, this is an angsty fic about angst.
Why You Might Not Care: This fic could be seen by some to be overindulgent, and in some ways I might agree, except I remember what it was like to be in my own head at 18 and think that maybe a little of that is part of the point, really. It’s both fascinating and tedious; in some places it digs so deep it starts going in circles.Comments Off on A 12-Step Program
March 28th, 2008
All The Pretty Horses
All The Pretty Horses by RedShoesOn
Summary: Perhaps she’s created this place in her mind, the way they used to say she made up Wrackspurts and Nargles. Angst/Oneshot, 2,284 Words.
Why You Should Care: Darkly mad Luna works so much better than I want it to. This is not how the story ends, but yet nothing about it makes me wrinkle my nose in disbelief; instead, I hear ‘please, no’ echoing in my head. It’s just so well done; a little frightening, but a perfect example of skillfully executed angsty darkfic.
Why You Might Not Care: Well, it’s clearly AU, as we know that Luna lives to marry Rolf Scamander and have lovely little babies with dreadful names. But if you can stomach alternate endings, and dark and twisted ones at that, this beautifully crafted piece is worth your time. It will tug at your heartstrings.Comment (2) »
March 27th, 2008
The Insecurity of the Wicked
The Insecurity of the Wicked by Carondelet
Summary: This argues what manner of life theirs have been: wicked and vile? Honest and just? Wasted, forlorn? With the final judgment, so their paths conclude. There are but fifteen turns to make with each of them, but can the truth be perceived from only one or but from all of their stations? Drabble Collection, 9, 637 Words.
Why You Should Care: Every time I reread these it amazes me how much thought has gone into them. These are drabbles loosely tied to religion and self-sacrifice and the words are so tightly woven that they draw you straight in to the confused humanity of these character’s minds. I would personally particularly recommend that you read carefully the Peter, Ginny, Voldemort and Andromeda chapters. Beautiful, and truly haunting, this drabbles give you a real insight at times, and a revelation at others.
Why You Might Not Care: Sometimes too many words don’t say enough here. Also, angst. Serious angst.
Awards: 2007 Hourglass Awards Best Drabble or Drabble Collections — Third PlaceComments Off on The Insecurity of the Wicked
March 26th, 2008
The F Words
The F Words by Antoshevu
Summary: “Remus and Tonks’s was the worst. Not that the others hadn’t been dreadful—Colin’s, which was just unreal, Dennis pale and unblinking by the grave with their Muggle parents; Mrs. Weasley wailing at Fred’s, gathering her remaining children to her expansive bosom so that all that Harry could see was a forest of red hair and blotchy faces. And one bright, brown eye, locked on his.” 20,900 Words.
Why You Should Care: There are a lot of stories about what happens after the battle in Deathly Hallows, from lots of different perspectives and angles. This is another, one that follows Harry through the days after, then the weeks after, then even the months after. It’s actually a series of six fics, though for me they are more chapters of the same than they are stand-alone stories. Well written, with much thought given to the loose ends left to tie.
Why You Might Not Care: The Dursley’s chapter is a bit far reaching, I think, but overall it’s quite well characterised. I think people who try to write Harry are at a supreme disadvantage, because he’s the character we know the best from the series. Out of JKR’s hands, he never seems quite right to me; this does come as close as anything, though. There’s lots of Harry/Ginny, some Ron/Hermione, and some Luna/Dean for those with ship preferences.Comments Off on The F Words
March 25th, 2008
Our Private Universe
Our Private Universe by Busaikko
Summary: Watch Remus, Peter said, look for evidence; but what Sirius found was something different. Christmas 1979. Romance/Angst, 12,000 Words.
Why You Should Care: This is so much more than slash. This is the most beautiful story I think I have ever read: it gives Remus a history and a humanity, and it gives Sirius a beautiful naiveté which is so fitting. The search for the spy is such an intriguing part of the Marauder story and the author’s gentle handling of it makes the final inevitability of it all the sadder. Unlike so many fics about this particular era, Busaikko uses our prior knowledge to make this beautiful tragedy, rather than powering through as if it were new. The characterisation is lovely, as is the raw emotion carried through it, complimented by the sweetness of falling in love and some unexpected humour. Perfect.
Why You Might Not Care: Slash, yes, yes, and rated for one short section towards the end. Which may or may not be required, depends on your perspective. Enjoy, m’loves.Comment (2) »
March 24th, 2008
Minding the Baby
Minding the Baby by Rhetor
Summary: Andromeda is left alone with Teddy, or so she thinks. Oneshot, 3,437 Words.
Why You Should Care: This is a heartfelt fic that follows the cycle of grief of Andromeda Tonks, from almost the moment she learns of the death of her daughter. This touches on several faucets of the after, including Andromeda’s interaction with Teddy, with Harry, and with Narcissa and her family. Andromeda is thoughtfully characterised, and this piece’s strongest moments are mostly in the first section — there is a very real, very life-like portrayal of fresh grief.
Why You Might Not Care: This isn’t the best characterisation I’ve ever seen of Narcissa, not by a long shot. It’s tolerable, and I understand the author’s desire to give Andromeda the chance to turn away from the people who turned away from her. Having said that, the interaction with the Malfoy’s at the funeral reads, for me, as fairly contrived and is the weak link in an otherwise very strong chain.
Thanks To: Rebecca, who sent this rec in to me.Comments Off on Minding the Baby
March 23rd, 2008
A Life in a Box
A Life in a Box by RedSioda
Summary: “Daddy, this is the best story in the whole world.” Oneshot, 4,116 Words.
Why You Should Care: This is really, really lovely. It’s the story of the importance of family history and of knowing where you come from and being proud of it at the same time you create your own life and your own history. This is a beautiful piece about the Longbottoms, and about the things we pass on that come to be so much more than just things. It is about family tradition, and about hanging on to and letting go of the past, and about the importance of story-telling. And, at the centre of all that, RedSioda has very thoughtfully created the middle-aged character of Neville and his growing family on the basis of JKR’s spoken canon.
Why You Might Not Care: This is a Neville/Hannah (though the ship is by no means the centre of this fic) and might make some staunch Neville/Luna shippers unhappy for that reason.Comments Off on A Life in a Box
March 22nd, 2008
Sirius Black, Super Genius
Sirius Black, Super Genius by Mistful
Summary: “A few weeks later with Valentine’s Day drawing inexorably nearer, it began to dawn on Remus that this did not appear to be one of the daydreams Sirius toyed with and then forgot about, like the time he wanted Dumbledore and McGonagall to get married and have superchildren.” Humour, 8,953 Words.
Why You Should Care: I have no solid understanding of the precise agreed-upon meaning of the term “crackfic”, but if I had to describe what the word means to me, I would probably use this fic as Exhibit A. And B. Also C through Z. This is one of those fics that zig-zags so violently across the line between comedy and parody that it becomes its own beast. It’s completely over the top while still somehow managing to have a solid foundation under all that crack; this one doesn’t just bring the clichs, it practically invents new ones. I can’t decide if Mistful is a genius or completely Sirius-Black insane. Probably both.
Why You Might Not Care: I suppose it all depends on what you define as crackfic and whether or not you like crackfic. I put forth only that in reading this I managed on several occasions to force hot tea through my nose in an attempt not to choke on my own laughter.Comments Off on Sirius Black, Super Genius
March 21st, 2008
The Rules of Being a Godson
The Rules of Being a Godson by Copperbadge
Summary: Teddy Lupin never gets too close or feels too much; his godfather’s son never does anything else. Drama/Romance, 12,329 Words.
Why You Should Care: Whether you know him as Sam the Storyteller, SamVimes,or Copperbadge, there is no denying that this author is gold. Previously recced on Coffee and Chocolate for his humour masterpiece, Sublimation and the Snitch, he is perhaps better known for his excellent slash romances, and this piece does not disappoint. Action! Drama! Longing! All in Copperbadge’s wonderfully straightforward style. This is excellent, and the reason I ship Teddy/James about the same as Teddy/Victoire.
Why You Might Not Care: Beware, there are kissing boys in this fic. Also, it was written approximately twenty-four hours after the release of Deathly Hallows, and as such, might not adhere to all interview canon, though nothing leapt out at me during my re-read.
Awards: 2008 Hourglass Award, Best Slash Romance — First PlaceComment (2) »
March 20th, 2008
Cleaning by GM_Weasley
Summary: Kreacher is cleaning. Cleaning, and following the Blood Traitor’s spawn, walking along poor Mistress’ hall with her unnatural hair as if she owns the place, a disgrace to the noble name of Black. Drabble, 750 Words.
Why You Should Care: This fic has fluff and PG-rated sexuality and humour, and it’s all cute and light and I really do like it. But moreover, this fic is Kreacher-centric. And Kreacher is awesome. And this Kreacher is awesome, all the conflicting emotions and allegiances, and yet he’s just an elf. This author is a genius, I tells you, she’s a bloody genius. Wow. Just, just, wow.
Why You Might Not Care: Shh, I’m wowing.Comment (3) »
March 19th, 2008
Twenty Random Facts About Lily and James
Twenty Random Facts About Lily and James by Thistlerose
Summary: Lily, James, and a popular LJ meme. Oneshot, 1,500 Words.
Why You Should Care: This is made up of the pieces that make a two people, and especially the pieces that make them work so well together. Wonderful, brief glimpses into two lives cut short, and beautifully poignant without being indulgent.
Why You Might Not Care: Surprise! It’s another list fic! There’s also some non-essential but ridiculously blatant Remus/Sirius that definitely didn’t have to be there, but that’s Remus/Sirius for you.Comment (1) »
March 18th, 2008
Hourglass Awards, 2008 Cycle
I’d like to give a nod to my favorite Harry Potter fanfiction archive site, The Unknowable Room, with whom this site is closely affiliated. For those who don’t know, the 2008 Cycle of the Hourglass Fanfiction Awards has officially started and nominations are open.
The current list of nominees is a strong bunch, including several fics that have previously been featured on C&C. Fic nominations are open until March 31, and anyone who is interested in volunteering to judge a category is encouraged to sign up here. Nominations are not restricted to fics archived at UR.org — any fic from any archive or journal can be nominated, and participation from all over the fandom is highly encouraged.
To see a list of the fics (with links) that are currently nominated, click here and scroll down past the nomination form. There are categories for Het and Slash Romance, Drama, Angst, Comedy, Drabbles, Gen, AU, and NC17 fic.
Best of luck to all the nominees!Comment (1) »
March 18th, 2008
Getting The Point
Getting The Point by Arabella
Summary: Hermione and Ron at the Yule Ball. Romance, 16,406 Words.
Why You Should Care: Arabella is one of the few authors who I trust with Trio-era fics. She’s got JKR’s knack for storytelling: her fic is action packed, but heartfelt, and the characters are human and flawed and lovely. Her Ron and Hermione are so meant to be. Ah. Le Fluff.
Why You Might Not Care: Le Fluff. Cough.Comment (2) »
March 17th, 2008
Chase This Light
Chase This Light by Lady Altair
Summary: “Draco Malfoy falls head over heels for Astoria Greengrass while he’s sneaking out of her engagement ball (in the most literal sense; he trips over her.)” Drama/Romance, 3,867 Words.
Why You Should Care: Have you ever read something that leaves Draco Malfoy just as he is in canon, and yet makes him utterly delightful and sympathetic? Yeah, I hadn’t either, until I found this. It’s the most lovely way of weaving the name-only Astoria Greengrass into existence and into everyone’s
least favourite snarky bastard’s life. I started grinning at the beginning, and just couldn’t stop; I hope you have the same reaction.
Why You Might Not Care: Some people don’t like Draco, and you know what? I don’t blame them. However, it’s a good fic, and I enjoyed it. (What I didn’t enjoy was that it’s in three parts, and instead of links to the next chapter, you have to navigate to the journal’s main page to get to each one. Luckily, you don’t have to hunt far.)Comment (2) »
March 16th, 2008
Eighteen by Seer_of_Spots
Summary: Eighteen. The world is your library and you have all the time to read, yet it all seems so much dimmer – as if that library is filled completely with appliance manuals and endless Arithmancy equations. Lying on a blanket with your unrequited love and a Salty Dog, you think. And sometimes your thoughts just don’t make you happy. Oneshot, 1,130 Words.
Why You Should Care: A great example of how a well done second person POV combined with just the right subject matter can really give a certain type of character piece a little extra stylistic punch. There is some really simple, excellent language in this one, and some great evocotive imagery. Remus’ bitterness at his lot in life is just strong enough to tint the piece, but not so strong it drives this into heavy angst.
Why You Might Not Care: Unrequited Remus/Lily, for those who roll their eyes at that pairing.Comments Off on Eighteen
March 15th, 2008
Mentoring by Juniperus
Summary: A psychological study of Severus Snape in three acts. Oneshot, 3,046 Words.
Why You Should Care: This is a fascinating and in-depth character study of Snape at three pivotal times in his life. The language is incredibly thick and nearly entirely a descriptive exercise that occasionally wanders and slips and digresses and distracts, as the mind is inevitably wont to do. In places it might have even been stream of consciousness (except not quite). It is both canon to the core and not, and dances on the edge of indulgence without ever really becoming so. It is a high-level psychological exploration dressed in prose.
Why You Might Not Care: The language is so thick as to be sometimes confusing and even distracting, though in a way that never seems purple. Read this slowly, and read it twice.Comments Off on Mentoring
March 14th, 2008
September When It Comes
September When It Comes by SundanceKid
Summary: Seven years at King’s Cross for Teddy Lupin. Oneshot, 4,577 Words.
Why You Should Care: It just feels so right. Teddy grows up just like any boy might, and my heart was full of love for him by the end. Appearances by others felt very well characterised and realistic, notably Andromeda and Harry, and… it’s just such a good read. You know that full feeling in your chest that’s equal parts triumph and ache? Yeah. SundanceKid’s got that down to a tee.
Why You Might Not Care: If you don’t really care about the Next Generation, you won’t read this fic, and that’s fine. (Otherwise… go.)Comment (2) »
March 13th, 2008
Over Time, Hope Dies
Over Time, Hope Dies by AuReviorSanity
Summary: There’s that absolute determination to fill emptiness. Drabble, 195 Words.
Why You Should Care: This isn’t my kind of fic at all: it’s angsty and it’s Hermione. But it’s honest, in a way that few Hermione fics are. It gets right to the root of the character we know, and shows us just how Hermione would react to the situation she is placed in. Every single word is utilised. Perfect drabble. Maybe it is my kind of fic.
Why You Might Not Care: Hermione-centric and most people aren’t keen. Also, angsty. But well thought through.Comment (1) »