Archive for May, 2008
May 30th, 2008
A Marauder’s Map
A Marauder’s Map by Xylodemon
Summary: Seven memories found in Sirius Black’s pensieve, one for each of his years at Hogwarts. Oneshot, 7,076 Words.
Why You Should Care: Xylodemon always delivers something worth a read, quite frankly, and these seven pinches from Sirius Black’s school-days is no exception. There’s enough character to keep the boys defined, though this fic’s focus is Sirius in particular. My favorite bits are the pranks — good Marauder pranks are difficult to come up with, especially ones that mix magical execution with light-hearted, boyish goals.
Why You Might Not Care: It’s a little overly generic, to tell the truth, though perhaps it wasn’t back when it was written in September 2005. Similarly, a splash of Remus/Sirius is thrown in and then never really developed or explained, which makes its inclusion — for me — a little pointless, though die-hard Remus/Sirius shippers will probably disagree vehemently.Comments Off on A Marauder’s Map
May 29th, 2008
The Delusionist by Sciathan File
Summary: In the Wizarding World, people who have passed on are remembered by their portraits. Some cling to these seemingly living and breathing works of magic and forget that they are, like Muggle portraits, breathed into life by the artist who created them. Oneshot, 9,300 Words.
Why You Should Care: This is a really excellent look at a concept in the Harry Potter world rather than a particular character — though the ones that appear are as well written as you could possibly wish for — and it is by far the most interesting and complete consideration wizarding portraiture has received. It is a story about the process and the hand that creates the portrait just as much as it is about the cultural traditions based around the portrait. This fic is anchored by an original character that is well suited to the subject matter, crafted to suit the explorative nature of the piece, and the fic’s non-linear style acts as a focusing lens on scenes that might otherwise have been about the characters in them. Fabulously well done.
Why You Might Not Care: This is one of those fics that is more about an idea than a character, and some folk don’t bother to read anything that hasn’t got a “/” in it somewhere. Sure to attract and be remembered by the genfic connoisseur.Comment (3) »
May 28th, 2008
Stand Helplessly Before The Spirit At Bay
Stand Helplessly Before The Spirit At Bay by Paradise Loved
Summary: Albus Dumbledore comes to convince Remus Lupin to take the Defense Against the Dark Arts teaching position. Oneshot, 2,584 Words.
Why You Should Care: Because it’s something different for Remus, that seems neither completely canon nor at all fanon. Paradise’s pre PoA Remus is a shadow, haunted by ghosts twelve-years dead or gone, and one gets the sense that he never really moved on past that ill-fated Haloween night. His depression permeates this piece, carrying a hollow, dusty weight of something that has been hanging over him long enough now that he’s become used to it and dulled by it.
Why You Might Not Care: This doesn’t connect entirely well with the Remus in PoA, and while that may seem a trifle nit-picky, I feel there could have been a better transition made and that the fic would have been stronger for it. This is also not the strongest characterisation of Dumbledore I’ve read — though it isn’t by any stretch the weakest either; he does serve his purpose well enough, however, albeit without his trademark twinkle.Comments Off on Stand Helplessly Before The Spirit At Bay
May 27th, 2008
Literacy by Sin Fin
Summary: Sirius is an illiterate bastard, James doesn’t care for the Dark Arts, Peter just wants to pass Astronomy, and Remus is a werewolf. Hogwarts, years 1 and 2. Oneshot, 6,000 Words.
Why You Should Care: This is not quite canon and also not quite the typical characterisation of the young Marauders, but there’s something about it that still just works in that way fics sometimes do. The characterisations are solid enough that you get a feel for these boys as individuals, and tying the discovery of Remus’ lycanthropy into the theme of literacy is a nice touch.
Why You Might Not Care: It ends rather suddenly, I think because the thematic elements weren’t as tight as I wished they were throughout all the facets of the story — you’re left hanging because there’s the feeling there ought to be more, that the author hasn’t quite said everything she meant to say. As a whole, it lacks… something. It feels unfinished and loose.Comment (2) »
May 26th, 2008
And But For The Sky
And But For The Sky by WinglessFlight
Summary: And never say Sirius didn’t love them. He loved them, all of them, whatever they’d done and whoever they’d become. Drabble, 975 Words.
Guest Rec’d By: Glynnis Griffiths
Why You Should Care: Because it’s tightly written – even poetic in spots – and manages to convey a great deal of feeling in few words without going overboard into gratuitous angst. Sirius reflecting in Azkaban is hard to nail, and WinglessFlight strikes a wonderful balance between the inherent madness of the place and the thing that is keeping Sirius from completely succumbing to it.
Why You Might Not Care: Well, it strikes a great balance but it’s still angst of the first order. If you’re looking for fluff, look elsewhere.Comments Off on And But For The Sky
May 23rd, 2008
The End To ‘Always’ Evermore
The End To ‘Always’ Evermore by Juniperus
Summary: Snape. And redemption. And Poe. Drabble, 571 Words.
Why You Should Care: It’s Poe! And unrequited angsty Snape/Lily, which you just know Poe would secretly fangirl! And just a smidgen of parody! And Poe!
Why You Might Not Care: Didn’t you hear me say there was Poe? Why are you still reading this rec and not reading Snape/Lily Poe?Comments Off on The End To ‘Always’ Evermore
May 22nd, 2008
Still Too Early To Dream
Still Too Early To Dream by Andromeda311
Summary: Sometimes, Molly hates Lily Potter. Drabble, 218 Words.
Why You Should Care: This is all sorts of yes, because it’s just right. Of course — of course — Molly would feel that way. And all this ‘of course’ fits so well in drabble form that it makes it just that much better; it’s wonderful and simple and packs a sturdy punch, just like a good drabble should.
Why You Might Not Care: I rec’d Andromeda311 yesterday, but it’s my site and I’ll double-dip authors if I wanna!Comments Off on Still Too Early To Dream
May 21st, 2008
Stasis by Andromeda311
Summary: There is no hero. There is no villain. There is only redemption and damnation, success and failure. Oneshot, 5,137 Words.
Why You Should Care: Because it’s the Regulus everyone writes except that it’s so much better. This characterisation is everything I’ve been missing in Regulus fics — darker, harsher, more bitter, and on a path clearly marked by self-destruction. This is a character sketch I can sink my teeth into, and one that is sure to be enjoyed by darkfic readers.
Why You Might Not Care: You might like seeing Regulus as more a victim of circumstance than this portrays. Like Snape, Regulus makes his own bed in this one.Comments Off on Stasis
May 20th, 2008
A Matter of Opportunity
A Matter of Opportunity by Shimotsuki
Summary: Remus is worried about Teddy, but Tonks is worried about Remus, and circumstances lead her to try something she’s never done before. She can only hope they are ready for it. Oneshot, 2,390 Words.
Why You Should Care: Mostly because I haven’t rec’d a Remus/Tonks in a little while and angsty!Remus fretting over baby Teddy’s first full moon delights me. I also quite enjoyed the interaction between Tonks and Wolfsbaned-Wolf Remus. Nice, cute, and fluffy.
Why You Might Not Care: What do you mean Remus and Tonks died in Deathly Hallows? Psht, like even. Unashamed denial-fic.Comment (4) »
May 19th, 2008
A Metaphor For Change
A Metaphor For Change by Sahara Storm
Summary: Five things Albus Dumbledore could not bring himself to say to Gellert Grindelwald. (One of them is a lie.) Drabbles, 1,000 Words.
Why You Should Care: Ah, the “Five Things” meme… what an awful lot of fic it spawned. It is fortunate that quite an impressive percent of it turned out to be quite good. Dumbledore is hard enough to characterise as a wise old man, and tracing him back through the years to his younger self is nigh impossible. Sahara Storm does, I think, a reasonable job, and what’s more the drabbles she creates around her theme of things not said are well worded.
Why You Might Not Care: Obviously a Dumbledore/Grindlewald, and an R-rated one at that. This may or may not slip over into NC-17 territory, depending on your point of view. I would say it’s probably not worksafe.Comment (2) »
May 16th, 2008
Five Stories About Gwenog Jones
Five Stories About Gwenog Jones by Snegurochka Lee
Summary: Gwenog Jones is a Beater, a woman, a Slytherin, and she loves to fly – not necessarily in that order. She’s not afraid of very much in this world, because she’s never found very much to be afraid of. And yeah, for the record, she could kick your arse. Oneshot, 4,800 Words.
Why You Should Care: Because Snegurochka Lee is pretty much the queen of minor characters, and this is just another excellent instance of her breathing life into a name dropped by JKR. She has the single-mindedness of Oliver Wood wrapped up in a tough, female-Beater exterior. Her interaction with Hermione at Slughorn’s party is particularly well written.
Why You Might Not Care: Extreme minor character alert. But if you know me at all, you’d know that these usually turn out to be some of my favorites.Comment (1) »
May 15th, 2008
Flowers Shall Grow
Flowers Shall Grow by Newyork Noodles
Summary: “He needs you. It’s the easiest and hardest thing in the world.” They say that hope can be found in the darkest of places, but Andromeda isn’t so sure anymore. A conversation with Augusta Longbottom might help. Oneshot, 3,645 Words.
Why You Should Care: I can’t believe it took me until reading this fic to realize the completely obvious parallels between Andromeda Tonks and Augusta Longbottom and the way the wars ended for them. Andromeda is at a crossroads, and her grief is too new to be entirely bearable. Her interaction with Neville is especially lovely.
Why You Might Not Care: This is not my favorite characterisation of Augusta Longbottom ever. There is too little personality there, and I feel as though she is merely a placeholder for some more neutral-sounding narrator. Everything the author gives Augusta to say is valid, but something about the way she says it falls flat. Over all, this fic starts out strong and struggles a bit near the end.Comment (2) »
May 14th, 2008
Stealing Harry by Copperbadge
Summary: “Harry didn’t see why sharing a street with strange Mr. Black should mean he couldn’t go into the bookshop. After all, nobody actually knew that he owned it, and he had it on good authority that the shop itself was mostly run by another man named Moony.” Novel Length, Alternate Universe, Approx. 85,000 Words.
Why You Should Care: Alternate Universes are fun. They’re fun to write and they’re fun to read, and Stealing Harry by Copperbadge is no different. It’s a well paced, fully developed and well thought-out universe that branches off canon without feeling too contrived. In addition, it features a complex and interesting Remus/Sirius that feels like a fresh and original take on an over-written pairing. Their characters are familiar yet different, as all well constructed AU characters are, and while this version of Sirius may feel too settled for some people’s tastes, there is something wonderful endearing about him as he navigates deeper into the unknown territory of this new romantic relationship.
Why You Might Not Care: I’m not thrilled with the characterisation of eight (and a half) year-old Harry in this fic. Most of the time he comes off as quite a but younger than that, except occasionally when he comes across as quite a bit older; never once in this fic did the dialogue given to him sound like it might actually have come from an eight year-old boy, or at least not any eight year-old boy I’ve ever known. Snape’s character is likewise somewhat distanced from the Snape we know from the books, but considering this was written in 2005 without some of the canon knowledge we have today, I think overall the AU nature of this fic justifies the characterisation enough to be going on with. Be mindful of a handful of NC-17 scenes throughout the latter half of this fic that are not at all worksafe.
Awards: 2008 Hourglass Award, Best AU Fic — Third PlaceComment (1) »
May 13th, 2008
Now or Never
Now or Never by QueenB23
Summary: “Scorpius Malfoy, who was a Slytherin and a pureblood. Who, even worse, was the son of Draco Malfoy, a man that her parents barely tolerated when they saw each other in public.” Novel Length Work in Progress, 94,000 Words (and counting).
Why You Should Care: Queen B does not go the predictable route here, spending thousands upon thousands of words in the long slow build up that at long last comes to fruition as Rose and Scorpius inevitably realize their feelings for each other. Instead, she brings us in minutes before they come together and writes us a story that is equal parts about the now or never nature of teenage love and the complexities of loving across the Romeo-and-Juliet lines of family history and hostility. Rose and Scorpius are fantastically realized, both as lovable and fallible as real people, and Queen B has given equal consideration to her supporting cast of youngsters and adults alike; parents Hermione and Ron are particularly wonderfully crafted, and their interaction with their daughter on the issue of the Malfoys is true to their character, personalities, and history. A hopelessly romantic and carefully realistic portrayal of what Scorpius/Rose might really be like, and a unashamed exploration of the charming angst and desperation of teenage love.
Why You Might Not Care: I have hesitated so long in reccing this because it’s a work in progress, and I generally don’t rec unfinished works. That is more a guideline than a hard and fast rule, however, and I feel this fic is well worth following. At times, this fic seems to get lost in the sometimes too-passionate day-to-day comings and goings of Rose and Scorpius, but isn’t that exactly what teenage love is all about, really? Love at sixteen and seventeen has always been that sort of I didn’t see you yesterday and it was just terrible, how did I ever endure it kind of thing, and so the silliness that frequently irks me also delights me because of its honesty. Heads up for scenes with NC-17 content peppered throughout, starting somewhere around the ninthish chapter.
Thanks to: So many people who rec’d this to me several times over, including most of the UR.org Roomies, especially Erin and Liz.Comment (5) »
May 12th, 2008
Untitled by Fernwithy
Summary: “Andromeda had no trouble finding Draco and his son in the waiting room.” Drabble, 725 Words.
Why You Should Care: There is something completely awesome about the Draco Malfoy Fernwithy creates in this little off-the-cuff ficlet. Completely awesome. Draco usually leaves me feeling all *meh* inside, but this Draco I could read about at length. There’s depth and maturity there that reach all the way through his cameo in the epilogue and down beyond into the core of the books, pulling in just enough influence from Lucius and Narcissa to makes it all add up. Officially my favorite Draco characterization ever, and I hope all the Draco fangirls out there will remember that I avoid Draco fics like the plague before they spam me with what they think are better ones.
Why You Might Not Care: Um…. eh? Fernwithy was rec’d here just the other day, but we could all just consider it random clumping and get over it.Comment (4) »
May 9th, 2008
The Darkness Drops Again
The Darkness Drops Again by 2 4 Joy
Summary: Knowing the Dark Lord has returned, Karkaroff awaits his punishment. 100 Word Drabble.
Why You Should Care: Because I love 100 word drabbles, and this one just oozes wonderful. I wish I’d written it.
Why You Might Not Care: I do not dignify this question with a response.Comments Off on The Darkness Drops Again
May 8th, 2008
Teddy Lupin and the Forest Guard
Teddy Lupin and the Forest Guard by Fernwithy
Summary: This story follows Teddy Lupin through his first year at Hogwarts. Novel Length, over 100,000 Words.
Guest Rec’d By: Auds
Why You Should Care: Fernwithy writes an amazing Teddy, one who seems age appropriate and reminiscent of an 11-year-old Harry Potter, yet without feeling like a total copy of JKR’s work. The new characters she introduces seem like they always existed in this universe and were just waiting to be introduced by her. The relationships between the characters are all so rich and carefully thought-out that it makes for a touching and emotional story. Humor is also nicely done in this story, as is drama — but without it ever moving into slapstick or angst.
Why You Might Not Care: Well, perhaps you’re bored with Teddy or you don’t have room in your head for another amazing Teddy characterization. Or perhaps the format of the chapters and all the back-clicking you’ll have to do will turn you off of it. Don’t let those two things keep you from experiencing this masterpiece, though — it’s fantastic.Comment (1) »
May 7th, 2008
Surprises by Lady Bracknell
Summary: Lily likes surprises, and this thing with James Potter has been positively filled with those. Drabble, 678 Words.
Why You Should Care: Ahhh… this tops up my James/Lily metre nicely. It’s sweet, a bit romantic, and mostly sigh-worthy fluff. Lady Bracknell’s just damn good at finding all those impossible little nothing moments that mean so much.
Why You Might Not Care: All about James/Lily for people who ship elsewhere.Comment (3) »
May 6th, 2008
Between the Lines
Between the Lines by Lady Altair
Summary: There are many tales to be told between the golden threads of the Black Family tree. Oneshot, 1,024 Words.
Why You Should Care: I love it when a clever author takes the thinnest, flimsiest of threads from some sideboarded piece of the Harry Potter universe and weaves it expertly into the broader tapestry, tucking it in here, tying it in there, and making it feel so obvious, like it couldn’t possibly have gone any other way. What was probably an unintentional gaff of math on JKR’s side is turned into an incredibly poignant story.
Why You Might Not Care: Um…? Lady Altair pretty much always deserves a read. This one looks like it’s going to be a larger collection of oneshot stories; I anticipate all of them will be of similar stellar quality.Comment (1) »
May 5th, 2008
Minerva McGonagall and the Insurance Salesman
Summary: “The hapless insurance salesman squirmed. ‘If you will recall, Professor McGonagall, last time we spoke I told you we wished to cancel your policy. The amount of issues the school has — it’s simply too high-risk for us….’ ” Oneshot, 1,218 Words.
Why You Should Care: Because it’s an absolutely smashing idea for a fic that mixes the magical and the ordinary in ways that make me cackle. I adore the original character of Brian Hemmings, who bit off much more than he could chew. A bit of a stab at the insurance industry. Delightfully amusing.
Why You Might Not Care: It says part one of two, and the second part hasn’t made it up yet. It stands well enough on its own, though.Comments Off on Minerva McGonagall and the Insurance Salesman