[Note: Oh Lord this took forever, as in the better part of six hours. I kept tripping over more stories in my bookmarks...and then I decided, I'm on a roll anyway, why don't I add in some EXTRA STUFF...and YEESH.]
Since I only started looking about four months ago, if that, some of this is new and some is old, but this is the stuff I've been carrying around in packets (the binder got unwieldy) for weeks, reading and rereading. Probably half of these were gotten off other peoples' rec lists, but that's just proof they work. ;) Anyway, half the point of me making this list is so I can clear out my bookmarks and still have access to these stories.
This rec post is a little different from my usual ones, not just because it's a single fandom, but because when I first started reading, I preferred long, plotty and/or multi-chapter stories over my usual taste for word art. I didn't feel that style would fit with characters who already existed in prose, and furthermore in stories based on action and dialogue rather than description. Of course, turns out I was wrong about that, but there are still several longer ones on here. I'll try to warn you when we get to them. Also, I refuse to do the little picture-link for LJ authors this time, because they will only get mucked up in formatting after I hit "post" and there's no way I'm fixing that many.
These are in no particular order...well, actually, I tried to do it chronologically by placement in series, but it's not perfect and probably still looks jumbled, with random pairings here and there. Oh well. I am assuming you've all read Deathly Hallows by this point, of course. There are no spoiler warnings after this, though spoilers (if they can still be called that) abound after...let's say #12.
James always believed that Scrabble was what won Lily's heart.
And now, so do I. This is both giggle-inducing and heartwarming, as James, just post-Hogwarts, has broken up with Lily and presently trying to get her back, comes up with the brilliant idea to have get-togethers with friends at his place on Thursday nights. Amusing exchanges ensue as he tries to keep his friends in line (not that Lily can't hold her own), until she introduces a Muggle board game. Even though I don't usually read J/L stories, or anything set pre-series, really, this is officially my canon for how James & Lily ended up together. Even better, it's rather fun to read about the Marauders when they're all alive and happy together. Maybe I should read fic from that era more often...but this one remains one of my favorites.
2. [gen] Here Comes the Sun - such_heights
Remus has been in St. Mungo's since Voldemort's defeat
This is the story that changed my outlook on word art in the HP universe, and made me go "Holy good g'damn!" (and also, "I wish I'd written that.") I know I just said I don't read pre-series fic, but this was another lone exception that I followed based on a recommendation and that summary line, and it is every bit as good as promised. It's a heartbreaking account as he wakes up months later in the hospital without any memory of what happened, and the descriptive writing as bits of it slowly come back is so poetic it aches.
3. [gen] A Little Behind the Times - akissinacrisis
Harry-centric, it’s a fantastic explanation for a tiny little moment in the first book, when Dumbledore says "No sooner had I reached London than it became clear to me that the one place I should be was the one I had just left." Basically, time-turners are awesome things.
4. [gen] To Dwell in Dreams - Snorkackcatcher
There is danger in dwelling on past mistakes.
An interesting and rather moving sort of missing-scene from the first book where Dumbledore talks with Snape about moving the Mirror of Erised. Although I think "poignant" is a good description for the piece overall (also, the phrase "Poor Snape!" may jump to mind at some point), the last line will rip your heart out. Just FYI.
5. [Remus/Tonks] Broken - bratty_jedi
He knelt on the floor amidst the scattered shards of porcelain, tracing one long finger around the rough edge of a particularly large plate piece as he surveyed the damage caused by a spell first cast over twenty years before.
It's not even a page long, and I cry every time I read it. Very few, at least that I've read, come up with a sad ending that has nothing to do with the war, but this is heartwrenching and poignant.
6. [R/T] The Dare - Mosylu
Cheering up from that…decidedly the most hysterical story I've ever read, set OotP, as a rather bored Ginny & Hermione speculate madly over who’s responsible for Tonks’ recent upswing in cheeriness, Ron dares them to go ask, and Tonks and Lupin have entirely too much fun admitting the truth.
7. [R/T] Midnight in the House of Good and Evil - WildMagelet
If a tree falls in the middle of the forest and there is no one there to hear it, does it still make a sound? And if an illicit gobstone hits the floor during a meeting of the Order of the Phoenix, is the resulting noise twice as loud as if it had been dropped in an otherwise deserted room?
Whee, miniature novel! Really, I think the count was 18k words. But it's a nice version of the start of Remus & Tonks relationship, set during book 5. Those two lines drew me in, because I can't recall anyone ever so vividly describing an Order meeting, making me feel like I was there...and then I was completely hooked. Of course, I can rarely say no to copious amounts of banter involving Sirius, but still. This is good for when you have a good chunk of time to devote to a single piece.
8. [R/T] The Newlywed Game - MrsTater
A werewolf’s marriage in a time of war, in four vignettes.
I don’t even have the words to describe how lovely this is - but I've read it so many times it’s nearly memorized. Not that there's not plenty of angst, but it’s all manageable. This is a very brief but moving rendition of their early days together, particularly learning to navigate full moons. But it’s so full of love and hope and fluff in the best possible form that I think it’ll be just the thing to read on cold winter mornings. Also? It’s in present tense, yet strikes an awesome balance between dialogue story and word art. We call this kind of thing a “must read.”
9. [R/T] Multicoloured - sparkly_stuff
And lo, there were so many. And they were furry and multicoloured. And it was good.
Read it straight through, no skipping ahead, and you will get a giggle out of it if nothing else. What? Sometimes I just need pure, G-rated R/T fluff.
10. [Harry-centric, R/T] Graveside Manna- Lady Bracknell
Harry didn’t think too much about not having any parents. Dumbledore had told him it didn’t do to dwell, and so he didn’t – but a trip to their final resting place means he has no choice but to come to terms with their deaths, and what lies ahead.
This was one of the first places I went upon tentatively stepping out of my HP fanfic bubble, and it was a good choice. The Godric’s Hollow scene in the book is one of my favorites, but at the same time…it’s just Harry and Hermione, which is a bit of a letdown. I prefer this one, in which it’s the first place Harry (and friends, and Remus & Tonks as lookouts) goes before setting out on his quest; much deeper and more moving, and there are lovely descriptions of both house and gravesites. It’s from Harry’s perspective, but that makes for a lovely bit of bonding between him and Lupin as the latter provides a birthday gift of memories, and there’s a much less headdesk-provoking confirmation of his relationship with Tonks in there too. It’s a longer story than I usually read, but not overwhelming, and it's quite worth it.
11. [R/T] Rhythm - Jaded Diva [rated M]
He touches her hip in the kitchen to move her away from the sink and brushes against her in the living room. She still curls up to him in bed at night because she won’t sleep a wink if she doesn’t.
"Good Lord, I just read a PWP. And I think I liked it." Such was my reaction to following this off a rec list, and I'm still kind of in a state of shock at how enjoyable I find this bit of "smangst." (I like how people keep coming up with ways to blend their smut into something else) To be fair, it's not precisely explicit, although I have deeply mislead you with my chosen excerpt...but it does pretty much entirely revolve around the bed, and as it's quite brief there's no room for plot, other than knowing it's set after post-Dumbledore's-funeral. It does make for some rather nice fantasy daydreams, though. ;) However, my under-19 self would probably have been horrified by the concept, so your level of enjoyment may vary.
12. [R/T] Raw - gilpin25 [rated M]
Tonks wakes up on the morning after the night before and finds the world as she knew it isn't quite the same.
The author says "There's nothing very graphic, but it's definitely intimate." I'm inclined to agree, since my eyes don't feel scarred or anything, but the more I think about it the more I think that my standards of modesty and decorum have become alarmingly relaxed where it concerns this couple, so I don't feel qualified to reassure anybody. Anyway, while I'm not a particular fan of stories that deal with flashbacks, I do like how this one intercuts them as Tonks is lying in bed, waiting for him to wake up (and getting rather adorably impatient). I prefer to think they had a slightly less jump-into-it approach, but nevertheless, I quite like the way she describes their morning after.
13. [H/G -- art] - mudblood428
a) First Love (set HBP)
b) Something Useful (set DH)
Breaking up the R/T fest here to bring you drawings of utterly fantastic quality. I never go looking for fanart, both because IT'S ART and because I prefer to rely on official illustrations and/or movie casting, but...HOW DID I NOT FIND THIS PLACE SOONER?? Seriously, these make me faint dead away from sheer pleasure overload. The first one officially drew me hook-line-and-sinker aboard the H/G ship, not only an amazing sketch but fic snippets around the eges. The second one actually made me want to reread the kiss in Deathly Hallows again, and I might remind you that my initial impression of that kiss was "hormonal, lusty little teenagers." This picture promptly fixed everything. I am in love with it.
14. [gen -- art] Welcome to the Afterlife --doomandnachos
You will click. And you will laugh hysterically. You will no longer mourn the deaths (as much). Because Sirius is awesome.
15. [R/T] Of Unions and Civility - After the Rain
“Is that how you want things to go on, then?” The vehemence in her own voice surprised her. “Am I supposed to behave like there’s something shameful about loving you? Because there isn’t, and I won’t.”
The main lure of this one is that it does what the books have never managed to do for me, and that’s to show in vivid detail precisely what “anti-werewolf sentiment” means, which gets rather nasty as "Tonks confronts the social consequences of her relationship with Remus." Actually, her determination not to give into the insults, prejudice and not-so-subtle disapproval she encounters everywhere, particularly at work (Umbridge! Umbridge is such a fantastic villain) is rather uplifting. I think there might be a larger social message at work here, but I'm stubbornly putting on my werewolf blinders and refusing to read it in a broader context.
16. [R/T, R/S] hollow, like lines - Dollsome
The fact remains that she is miserable and he is empty and there is nothing left to lose.
Oh good GOD I'm like a crack dealer tonight. First I'm pushing M, and now slash. Remus/Sirius slash. Well, to be fair, it's incredibly mild on the latter, but what I'm saying with that label in the brackets is, if you're an extremely purist R/T shipper you might want to skip to the next number. The thing is, this author is extremely talented at word art, and I trust a lot of seemingly off-putting things in her hands...this is no exception. It's weird, because it uses the logic I hate - that Sirius was first, that Remus turned to Tonks later out of loneliness and little else, and as such their relationship here lacks the closeness I firmly believe in; he's almost humoring her, and it seems only Teddy really brought them together at all. And yet, oh, it is so pretty and haunting that for the duration of the reading, I can be convinced that this is the way it was. In this context, I understand it, and it makes sense. Still heartbreaking, but it makes sense. Weird.
17. [R/T] Three Weeks In - Shiny Rose
This is a late addition to the list, but it features fluff and shiny, happy, giggly dialogue so I felt it warranted inclusion. The newlyweds attempt to make dinner, but have a fair bit of difficulty as they keep getting distracted by one another (this is entirely G-rated, by the way).
18. [R/T] Baby Steps Toward Regret - Scarlet71177
*squees off the hook* I FOUND IT! I found the patch that covers Remus & Tonks' reaction to finding out she's pregnant. It took later than most of the other patches to pop up in fanfic land, but it's here and that's all that matters. I cannot be convinced that this is not exactly what happened. I only found this one last week, so forgive me if I'm not exactly coherent about it yet. It's just that squeeful.
19. [R/T] Seconds - Joely-Jo
Lovely and poetic leadup - interspered with soft, dream-like, fluffy and highly domestic flashbacks - covering Tonks' rationale just before she left to find Remus at the battle of Hogwarts. It has the double-patch effect of both explaining this and giving me the happy-family scenes I so desperately crave.
20. [R/T] Sojourners - After the Rain
“Wherever you’re going,” she whispers, “I’m going with you.”
“Bloody Hufflepuffs,” he says, not without amusement. “Here. You take the Anchor.” He presses Teddy’s sock into her hand right before he passes out, and closes his own fingers over hers, and that’s the last thing she remembers before they come to the lands of the dead.
I do not believe it is possible to find a better denial fic for these two. Why? Because this is a canon-compliant denial fic. The Draught of Living Death is a powerful, powerful thing, and even though that might seem obvious, actually working it into a story and taking care of all the problems posed by canon (namely Lupin appearing with James & Sirius) is quite difficult. But it's managed here. In addition to this, this story itself is lovely and descriptive, emotional (particularly as Tonks meets her father, but cannot touch him), powerful, and full of love and angst. Happy ending here, though, really, even though it also made me want to cry at several points along the way. I am not doing it even a tenth as much justice as it deserves; the story blows me away every time I read it as much as it did the first time.
21. [R/T] The Way We Fall - isis_uf
The first time she trips in front of him and he helps her up with a smile instead of a snicker like other people do, no one seems to notice that her hair is a bit brighter or her smile a bit wider. . . .Molly keeps cooking and Kreacher keeps muttering and the twins keep pulling pranks and no one seems to see the moment everything shifted.
A moving bit of word art, taking us through the whole of Remus & Tonks' relationship in barely 600 words by focusing on these small moments, centered around literal or figurative falls, that zoom in on a defining moment for them. It's succinct but all-encompassing, able to paint a vivid picture without lengthy descriptions...and if nothing else, read it for the final, oh-so-poignant paragraph.
22. [Gen, slight R/T] Seven Photographs - Casira
The battle did turn, in time.
--I love all these stories I'm reccing equally, or I wouldn't bother linking & describing why, but I might love some a bit more equally than others. This is one of them. A beautifully written account of all kinds of things about that final battle and its aftermath. Split into seven parts, there's another version of the end of Remus & Tonks, McGonagall's perspective as the battle draws to a close, Hermione reuniting with her parents (memory fully restored), George tentatively returning to the joke shop alone, the first "password-free broadcast" of Potterwatch, all the kids (particularly Ginny) gathered around Andromeda & Teddy while they listen to said broadcast, and finally, Harry paying his respects at Snape's grave. All of it is amazing and heartbreaking, and it fills in so many much-needed gaps. (some of which I didn't even know were needed until I read them) In fact, the content's a bit like what I was expecting to read in the last chapter before the epilogue, only it's better in fanfic because the writing is so much richer and more descriptive, and gets to follow different narrators.
23. [Narcissa/Lucius] Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow - Lilith Morgana
They've become the cautionary tale of the Pureblood world.
That thing about the more-equal-than-others? Applies here too. GET YOUR BUTTS OVER THERE AND READ IT RIGHT NOW. It is the most beautiful and heartbreaking piece of post-DH work I have found so far, and possibly one of the best fics ever. This more or less takes everything I started to like about the Malfoy family in book 7, and qualifies it with extra scenes and backstory, making them very real, human, and almost sympathetic (particularly Narcissa) without watering down the essence of who they are (she's still Crucioing their house elf at one point, after all). More importantly, it is full of rich and breathtaking word art. Every single sentence is important. Satisfaction guaranteed, or your money back. Unending thanks to lessthangreat because I would not in a million years have found this on my own.
He was going to have to break a promise of sorts, but if it helped the Weasleys move on and say goodbye… then he would gladly do so.
You! Are you still sobbing over Fred's death? Then you need this. The Weasleys are half-destroyed by their grief, but Harry realizes that he's more at peace because he was able to see everyone important to him one last time. Thus...the Resurrection Stone, giving each member of Fred's family a chance to do the same. It really does make you feel a bit better, in the end.
25. [gen] Spook - xparrot
Or perhaps you were mostly just upset that the twins were being split apart? In that case, you want this one. There's a refreshing bit of humor as Fred pops up from the rubble, delightfully in poltergeist form. Now the twins can wreak havoc forever! (assuming George joins him as a poltergeist several years down the road).
26. [R/T] After the Bombs - Phantasmagoreinne
And they try to be each other's missing pieces, as best they can. The Lupins, after the war.
Denial fic! Oh, it is lovely! It is twisty and angsty but so much better than the alternative. Especially when it's pure and poetic word art...this is the kind of story I expect would have popped up in many more variations if Rowling had let them live (instead, everyone focuses on writing their death scene). A rather recent find, but a gem, all about Remus and Tonks feeling hollowed and empty, trying to cope with the heavy losses while trying to seek out and rebuild a normal life, finding solace in familiarity, in each other and in their son.
27. [H/G] Itinerant - biggrstaffbunch
It's Ginny who finally reminds Harry about little Teddy Lupin. And it's her that reminds Harry that where one journey ends, another begins, and everyone always needs someone by their side.
Okay, so I've only skimmed this one and I'm running out of positive adjectives, but I know it's good and I want a few non-R/T things on here. Nice follow-up to the final chapter of the book, and as always, it's nice to see stories where Ginny's a well-developed character, which I feel the books (or at least book 7) sorely lack. Stories like this remind me why this is my second favorite 'ship.
28. [H/G, R/H] Don’t Need No Credit Card to Ride This Train - thistlerose
Some things are better than money and fame. Like bantering with your friends and your girlfriend at the Quidditch World Cup.
Set 5 years post series, it's just under 1000 words but...you know what, I'm just going to copy my review; for once it fits the rec style too. "This is undoubtedly one of the best depictions of the foursome I've ever read. The dialogue and banter are light and wonderful (I laughed aloud a fair few times), characters playing nicely off one another, and nicely balanced by Harry's slightly more serious thoughts/very adorable snuggling with Ginny. What impresses me most, though, is that I can actually tell these characters are older - not by a lot, but matured beyond their school days. It's not always easy to get that kind of change to come across in writing, especially in something so short. And it's just nice to see that they're all still able to be happy and not emotionally screwed up in the post-war era." (what? It is nice, even if I expected them to be screwed up)
29. [gen] Pointless - Fernwithy
"Mine, on the other hand, didn't accomplish anything. Even the people who killed them didn't notice they were dead! They didn't save anyone, they didn't stop anything. They didn't die for anything, they just went out there and died."
This is important mostly because the things Teddy says are freaking awesome, even now that my anger over Remus & Tonks dying has dissipated a great deal. I'm running out of steam right now, but basically 15 y/o Teddy flies into a long-overdue, frustrated rage about his parents dying and leaving him alone, and dying in a such a clearly pointless way, and when he refuses to listen to Harry or Ginny's rationale, he gets dragged down to their graves to apologize, where he unexpectedly gets a chance to actually see his mother face to face.
We interrupt this reccing to bring you an advertisement alert!
Quality Fic Patches I am Still Needing Desperately:
-The post-chapter-11 scene where Remus comes back to Tonks
-Ron/Hermione, post-torture, things we missed while Harry was burying Dobby
Other Stuff - Humor
30. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Condensed - mollyringwraith
HARRY: Hey, um, it isn't true. She's like a sister to me. Our love is only a sibling-like love. Always has been. Never will be otherwise. I want to make this perfectly clear. We are now on record about the sibling-only nature of our love. Everyone got that?
C'mon, you know were waiting on pins and needles for this one. And if you weren't, crawl out from under your rock and acquaint yourself with the condensed versions of Lord of the Rings!
31. Deathly Hallows parody - Naill Renfro
HARRY: Let’s go to Godric’s Hollow and visit my parents’ graves! And the Dumbledore family’s! And lots of others! And the house where my parents were murdered! For Christmas!
HERMIONE: Er, Harry, I’m trying not to say “morbid…”
HARRY: Hey, seventeen is my emo year.
--I didn't think there could be anything as funny as the Condensed parody. In short...I was wrong.
Voice: You seem to be wrong about an awful lot of things in the HP fandom.
RS: I'm new.
32. The Epi-Epilogue - alaskaravenclaw
Brief, but amusing, and rather what I imagine was going through heads of a good number of readers during the so-called "real" epilogue.
33. If My Flist Wrote DH - Violet Quill
Apparently someone dies. Not sure who. Probably someone unattractive who doesn't get much fanfic. Oh, but George's ear also bites the big one, which is Tragic.
--I nearly killed myself with laughter when I read this, and I still think it's a hilarious - and so accurate - representation of what various sections of fandom pay attention to vs. what a normal reader would.
34. You've Got Mail - Fourth Rose [rated possibly in that M area, particularly where it concerns the Darkfic]
Btw, both Draco and I are in total awe of your ability to flat-out deny the existence of the Epilogue of Heterosexual Doom and *still* slash our sons.
--A series of intensely amusing birthday update letters sent out by Harry to various factions of the fandom, including The Sugar Quill (cc Canon Whores), HMS Harmony, Snarry, Harry/Draco supporters, Darkficcers, fanfiction.net, and Rowling herself. stunt_muppet is to be much praised for connecting me to this.
Other Stuff - Essays
35. In Defence of Nymphadora Tonks - GM Weasley
Yes, Remus regretted it afterwards. But he told us why! He had made his wife (who, I might add, he frequently refers to as "my wife" rather than "that loathsome manipulative whore who trapped me into this terrible marriage by getting herself knocked up deliberately just so that I would feel guilted into marrying her, woe") an outcast. ... In his eyes the wedding was a mistake because of other people's opinions.
--Whenever I get to far outside my R/T bubble in the HP fandom, and start headdesking at the sight of all the anti-Tonks sentiment, I return to this essay. It's soothing. Like a lava lamp.
36. Fidelius Charm & Remus Lupin - Copperbadge
I love this one just because I've never actually stopped to think about why Remus would have been suspected of being the spy back in the day/not chosen as alternate Secret Keeper for the Potters, but this offers up some rather good and intriguing ideas.
OKAY! Finished. And I don't even get to relax and bask in the glow of completion, really, because I've got post content planned for the next three days already. This place is going to be buzzing all weekend.