metaphasia: ([harry potter] to write love on her arms)
I hate Ron Weasley.

I hate Ron Weasley, and tomorrow, it will be *my* day.

I don't hate him for the reasons most people hate him; for all the terrible actions that he takes over the course of seven years and seven books. Well, no, I do hate him for those things.

Read more... )
metaphasia: ([harry potter] to write love on her arms)

Today's post is a rec list of fanfiction for Harry Potter! Most of these are Harry/Hermione centric (it's definitely my OTP for the fandom), but there are a few gen fics in here as well. All the stories have a great plot though, regardless of what they ship and are worthwhile reads even if you don't ship Harry/Hermione. I decided to do things a little differently than most rec lists, and rank them in order of favorites.
First, a couple of honorary mentions. These fics would have made it onto my top ten list, except they are currently incomplete and leave off in terrible cliffhangers. They're excellent stories though, and all are definitely worth the read.

Forging the Sword - Ginny dies in the Chamber of Secrets, and as a result, the Trio gets serious about the fact that they are in a war. Like the other entries on the honorable mention list, it's not on the main list because it's still incomplete, only reaching the middle of fourth year currently, but features the Harry, Hermione and Ron we should have seen in the books, who all still retain their unique personalities but become a lot more competent and committed to their cause.

Applied Cultural Anthropology, or - Hermione becomes a Slytherin. Most stories that feature Slytherin have Harry going there, and a story that puts Harry into Slytherin is usually a sign that he is evil, or "grey", or just plain emo. In this story however, putting Hermione into Slytherin just makes her more ambitious and while she is certainly scarier, it is not because she is evil but because without Harry and Ron to be her friends, and placed into an environment hostile towards muggleborns, she is forced to bring her ruthlessness to the foreground.

Coming Back Late
- During the final battle, Harry doesn't return from the Forbidden Forest, and instead disappears into the muggle world to get rid of the Deathly Hallows once and for all, leaving Hermione to become the Witch-Who-Won. A great romantic subplot, an excellent actual plot, and a realistic look at how Magical Britain may look after the fallout from Voldemort's demise, as well as featuring ultra-competent Hermione. Quite possibly the most badass Hermione of any fic, ever; when every member of the cast keeps getting crowning moments of awesome, she still manages to shine (I dare anyone to read this and not break out cackling maniacally at "and yet somehow, you keep doing it"). It's got a very slow burn, but it is absolutely worth the time invested. If this story wasn't incomplete and had been updated anytime recently, it could very well take the top spot in my opinion.

And now for my ten favorite Harry Potter fanfics!

10) Many Thanks - Like a lot of fanfics on this list, this story is based on a trope that a number of other fanfics use (in this case, time travel back to the era of the Marauders), but both does it much better than a lot of similar stories and features a unique twist on the approach. The twist that this particular story takes is that instead of preserving the timeline, Hermione sets out to make the largest changes possible, and manages to redeem a number of characters in unexpected ways. It manages to turn one of the happiest endings possible into an incredibly bittersweet and tragic gut punch of an ending as well, but in the best way possible.

9) Years of Rebellion - It's centered on a slow burning Harry/Hermione romance, but the plot is solid. Set during the summer after the events of OotP, this was one of any number of fanfics that feature Sirius' funeral, but it's certainly one of the most believable and entertaining takes on it that I've read. And the rest of the story manages to keep that same high level of quality. Unfortunately, a large percentage of Harry/Hermione stories out there feature character bashing, usually Ron, Ginny, Molly, the entire Weasley family, or Dumbledore. The only explanation for that that I can think of is that the H/Hr shippers believe that it not only "could have been that way", but SHOULD have, and someone must be to blame if they don't wind up together; since they didn't in canon, and blaming JKR is too meta, it must be some character's fault. However, this fanfic, like the rest of the list, manages to portray a believable Harry/Hermione romance without resorting to assassinating characters to get them together. While Ron isn't portrayed in the best light initially, his actions are explained, and the story takes the opportunity to give him character development instead.

8) With Malice Aforethought - After making this list, I've discovered that I'm apparently a sucker for slow burning romances, because there's a bunch on here. It's a great all around fic, and manages to showcase a number of unique ideas that I haven't seen in other fics. While this story is complete, there's a sequel that's been left unfinished, which is part of the reason this one scores so low.

7) A Black Comedy - This is the second in what I consider the "Alternate Universe Trilogy" - three works that are completely unrelated in plot, but feature the same theme; Harry and friends getting sent from one universe to another - to make it on this list (The first of the three is in the number one slot, and while the third doesn't make it on the list, the author of that one is bobsaqqara, who wrote the next entry). Like in the others, Harry winds up leaving the residents of his new dimension stunned at his abilities, and showcases just how absurd the Harry Potter canon is. While the work is mostly set up as a comedy, with lots of light hearted moments, there is an actual plot that ties the story together and features a pretty impressive reveal at the end that is a lot more fun to read if you don't try to figure it out beforehand. The humor varies from frat comedy to long lead setups, and everything in between; the only comparison I can think of for the whiplash from high brow to low comedy is the show Archer, and this fic pulls the style off brilliantly.

6) The Riddle of Jim Lillian - The titular riddle has a fairly obvious answer that I expect most or all readers would figure out immediately, but the enjoyment is in watching it play out and the various characters try to figure out who Jim Lillian is. There's some character bashing of Ron, but it's a well written enough story and the bashing is a minor enough detail in the plot that it doesn't come across as angry as most stories featuring character bashing do.

5) Will He Be Happy? - This is the Harry Potter fanfiction equivalent of the scene in Veronica Mars where she gets Sheriff Lamb to say "Veronica Mars is smarter than me", but in this story Severus Snape is Veronica Mars, and the entire wizarding world is Sheriff Lamb. Snape executes an incredibly Byzantine revenge scheme to ensure that after the final battle with Voldemort, Harry will live happily ever after. This plot goes about as well as most supervillain plots go, and while a lot of characters are angry about Snape's derisive scorn towards them, and it doesn't have the happiest ending, it does feel like a much more positive and healthy ending because of the fact that all the buried feelings of the characters get brought to light and the air gets cleared.

4) Stupid - This is probably the most annoying fanfic of any fandom to search for, since "stupid harry potter fanfiction" tends to produce rather different results than what you are looking for. It's a brilliant look at post series, and one of the few fully canon compliant, even the epilogue, Harry/Hermione fanfics out there. It's a remarkably slow burn romance though, full of unrequited feelings and unresolved tension, but when it finally manages to takes off, the resolution is just amazing and a delight to read. While others may beat out Stupid for "slowest burning romance" in terms of word count, in terms of chronological time this is hands down the winner, with a relationship that spans decades.

3) Hermione Granger and the Goblet of Fire - A very simple point of departure AU, positing what would have happened if it had been Hermione's name to come out of the Goblet instead of Harry's, and manages to not only come up with a believable explanation as to why, but also features a believable fallout from the change. Lots of great references, intelligent behavior by the characters, a stronger but not superpowered Hermione, and seeing the events of fourth year from Hermione's viewpoint make up for the sheer emotional torture that is the awkward dancing around actual romance that Harry and Hermione perform. A brilliant and triumphant ending caps off the intensity of the rest of the fic.

2) Restoring Hope - The other work of Alchymie, the author of Coming Back Late. This one is actually finished, and again features delightful competence all around, and my favorite (not actually technically a) sex scene of any fanfic ever. A lot of writers use Chekhov's gun badly, but Alchymie is the grandmaster of this trope. He lays out Chekhov's entire armory of weaponry on the mantle in fair view at the start of this story, and walks through the room picking them up one by one and shooting them, and every time it's a revelation.

1) Stages of Hope - This is, without a doubt, my favorite fanfiction of any fandom ever. Harry and the last of his resistance wind up in a magical accident that sends them from the bad future of all bad futures to an alternate universe where James and Lily never got together, and everything happened differently. The title rather brilliantly refers to Harry's emotional reaction to knowing that everything will end badly and suddenly being shown a possible happily ever after. It is heartbreaking, and one of the few works of anything that I have read that is able to get me to reliably cry every time through. The characterization is spot on, with quite possibly the best Hermione I have ever read. The writing is brilliant and elegant in a way that few fanfics achieve, packing every scene with an incredible amount of emotion. Reading it all at once will leave you with a bit of emotional whiplash from the sudden shifts from competence to humor to tragedy and back, but the read is absolutely worth it.