Running on Air by Eleventy7 (PG-13)

  • Oct. 13th, 2015 at 1:20 PM
Title: Running on Air
Fandom: Harry Potter
Pairing: Harry Potter/Draco Malfoy
Categories/Genres: Cold Case, Mystery, Drama
Length: 74,885

Author/Artist on AO3: Eleventy7

Summary: Draco Malfoy has been missing for three years. Harry is assigned the cold case and finds himself slowly falling in love with the memories he collects.

Review: This is a fic that makes your heart ache and will be with you till the end of time. Nostalgia and Wistfulness packed in a bottle. It hits you right in your chest, so subtly dragging you back to times in your life when you’ve isolated yourself because it’s easier to run away then let other people see your pain.

It honestly makes you pine for a car of your own and to drive forever. It’s a fic about finding yourself and how it’s a journey all of us have to face. It’s a beautiful fic with a happy ending.

Running on Air
Title: Sacrifices Arc
Fandom: Harry Potter
Pairing: Harry Potter/Draco Malfoy
Categories/Genres: Spy, War
Length: 3,069,375 + extras
Warnings: Dark, Child Abuse, Character Death, Maiming, Slavery

Author/Artist on LJ: [ profile] lightningwave

Summary: Saving Connor begins an AU of Harry Potter's school years, the Sacrifices Arc, where Harry's twin Connor (bearing a heart-shaped scar) is acknowledged as the Boy-Who-Lived. Harry and Connor have a loving relationship, and Harry plays the role of personal bodyguard/silent support for his brother to the hilt.

I admit I didn't get all the way through this. It's just so monumentally long. For comparison the Harry Potter books themselves are only 1,084,170 and I'd have a hard time reading them one after the other as well. Yet it will truly be a huge regret on my bucket list though if I do not finish this and I do not know if I would ever forgive myself. I think I got to book 5 and it is shocking.

The summary explains nothing of the book so I'll go into a little more detail. If you hate spoilers do not read on. The book starts with a huge change to the plot. In this version Harry had a twin brother named Connor and when Voldemort came to kill them when they were a year old they both received a unique scar when the killing curse backfired. The boys weren't with their parents when Voldemort came into Godric's Hollow meaning both Lily and James were alive to raise them.

This means the prophecy was also different. In this one it mentions the the younger would care for the whole world and the older would only care for the younger. Dumbledore decided that to keep the prophecy in their favour the two boys must be the younger and older. If they were not it meant that there was another boy out their the dark lord could kill to ruin the prophecy forever and they couldn't let that be so they started planning.

They pretty much condition Harry as the older twin by minutes to only care for Connor. They pretty much systematically abuse him until he cares about Connor's happiness more than his own life. They train him to be his brothers protector, train him to not care for any pleasure and tolerate any pain. If you cannot stand Lily, James and Dumbledore treating a child as less than human then don't read this.

It gets so bad at points but at the same time it's worth it for how you grow to love this version of Harry. I love him dearly to the point his losses make me cry, his hurts make me feel pain and his victories make my heart soar and I would never ask more from a book than that. This is probably a fic I would recommend to J.K Rowling herself as this fic is a castle build only on her bare template and to call it just another AU is to degrade all the clever ideas and plot that makes so much sense to the the point of nothing.

The Sacrifices Arc
Title: In Between Days

Fandom: Harry Potter
Pairing: Percy Weasley/Oliver Wood
Categories: AU/canon divergence, war, slash
Length: long, 23,524 words
Warnings: references to injury, torture, wartime setting, minor character death

Author on LJ: perpetual_motion on dreamwidth
Author Website: Perpetual Motion (perpetfic) on AO3

Summary: Wherein book 7 is completely ignored because wars don't tend to happen so quickly; Percy Weasley runs a safehouse [because that's as close to administrative work as you can get in a war], and everyone gets a chance to play minor character bingo. Get your cards and markers ready!

Review: So there has been a reasonable amount of HP on here lately and I would rather post variety, but I read this for the first time only yesterday and I Must Rec, because I was blown away by how fantastic this is.

This is Percy Weasley's war, as he runs his safehouse with a removed precision and attention to detail -- living with the information silences and asking only what's necessary to perform his assigned role in precaution against capture. Character cameos pop in and out, delivering fragments of other peoples' stories throughout, and the Golden Trio are entirely absent from proceedings as we get to see the struggles of other characters fighting in their different fashions, in the longer slog, out of the spotlight.

The sparse style really fits Percy's perspective and state of mind, pulled in so tight to do the job and allowing himself so little, and the way he organises his world, to best offer the people he's taking care of what they need. It's lovely to see this character in an essentially caregiving role, too, a contrast to the administrivia and rule-obsessed focus he so often has (and in this fic he definitely still also has), and recall that he looked after the twins while they were growing up. The characterisation is subtle and glorious, making the moments where characters with an outside perspective on Percy's closed world make observations that pull all the hints together so very earned.

Of course, one of the agents flitting in and out of Percy's safehouse is Oliver, but the romance, while definitely engaging, to the degree that I'm now seeking out more of this pairing to read, feels more like a bonus on top of a very different kind of story.

There are sequels that expand events after the war a little, and I love that there are sequels and you should read those, too, but this fic is where my rec is at.

In Between Days
Alternate link to In Between Days on Dreamwidth

January Girl by parenthetical (R)

  • May. 4th, 2015 at 8:03 PM
Title: January Girl
Fandom: Supernatural/Harry Potter
Pairing: Dean/Luna
Genres: AU, Crossover, Pre-Canon, Romance, Action
Length: Long (33,438 words)
Warnings: Minor character death

Author on LJ: [ profile] parenthetical
Author Website: parenthetical @ AO3

Author's Summary:
With Sam trying out normal life at Stanford and his father working an undercover gig across the country, Dean is on his own and getting reckless. While investigating a series of mysterious deaths, he runs into a strange witch called Luna Lovegood, who is searching for what she calls a 'Horcrux'. (Seriously?) Suddenly Dean finds himself dealing with evil wizards, broomsticks, Bat-Bogey Hexes, Dementors, mirrors which order him to wear a pointy hat, and much more - all the while trying not to think too much about Luna's last name and whether it's accurate.

In this AU of the Deathly Hallows, Luna and some other members of the Order are in America tracking down a suspected Horcrux. Dean stumbles across her in battle, and her separation from the rest of the group results in her and Dean working together to track the Horcrux down. Luna is delightfully in character, and that results in an unusual - and all the more sweet for it - romance. Despite the dark subject matters that are Death Eaters and Horcruxes and Dementors, this is a light fic and an easy read. I don't quite believe that a Season 1 Dean would accept that there are good witches quite as quickly as he does, despite his protective instincts. Nevertheless, the fic is still a lovely read featuring a surprisingly compatible rare pair.

January Girl

Draco Malfoy makes a wonderful Ravenclaw

  • May. 2nd, 2015 at 12:27 PM
I am reccing two fics today because the first is impossible to find a link for. The author took down all her work when she became an established author and those of us lucky to have copies kind of feel like a beautiful piece of art has been destroyed by the very person who made it. So I also give you a fic of a similar theme which is also heartwrenchingly beautiful.

Title: If you've a ready mind
Fandom: Harry Potter
Pairing: Draco Malfoy/Harry Potter
Categories/Genres: Hogwarts AU, Alternative timeline, Ravenclaw!Draco
Length: 89144
Warnings: Canon Deaths

Author/Artist on LJ: [ profile] sarahtales formerly Maya
Author/Artist Website: Sarah Rees Brennan

Draco is sorted into Ravenclaw. A lot stays the same but somehow this little thing makes a world of difference.

I love how over dramatic Draco is in this fic. You get the feeling he always was but he never stood out because so were all the slytherins. In Ravenclaw he really stands out. He throws a tantrum and the ravenclaws find it cute and calmly leave him to it. I love how the rivalry is different between Draco and Harry because no one believes Harry that Draco is a bad person, even when Draco easily admits to only using everyone for his own gain. It makes Harry question his black and white reality.
Not to mention it feels really in character that Draco becomes smart only to try and make his father proud of him. Knowledge is power is how he justifies not being in slytherin to his cold hearted father.
Favourite moment - While Draco gets smarter every year, he still maintains the belief that his muggleborn friends' inhaler is in fact a demon amulet.

Hermione, false friend that she was, abandoned Draco and left him lumbered with Potter,
who was looking around with an air of vague alarm, as if he totally failed to recognise the
people he'd been going to class with for four years. He was also giving Draco strange
sidelong glances.
"You're asthmatic?" he said after a moment, gesturing to the amulet.
"Don't call me names when you're in my common room, Potter."

No Link for this fic.

Title: Chaos Theory
Fandom: Harry Potter
Pairing: Draco Malfoy/Harry Potter
Categories/Genres: Hogwarts AU, Alternative timeline, Ravenclaw!Draco
Length: 102711
Warnings: Graphic Depictions Of Violence, Major Character Death, Kidnapping, Torture, Psychological Torture, Mind Control

Author/Artist on A03: Tessa Crowley

Chaos: when the present determines the future, but the approximate present does not approximately determine the future. One gene varies, one neuron fires, one butterfly flaps its wings, and Draco Malfoy's life is completely different. Draco has always found a certain comfort in chaos. Perhaps he shouldn't.

Draco is a little out of character in this fic. Still over dramatic and terrified of everything but possessing the brain of Sherlock Holmes and the empathy of John Watson. Anyone can see from the quotes in this fic that the writer is a Sherlock fan. It gets very dark after Book 4, darker in some ways than the actual series. You can read up to then and be satisfied with the point in the story that you decide to leave it.
I love the fact the story feels like a childhood frienship slipping into romance in an entirely unforced way. Harry and his butterflies really take the cake.

“I know it might be a bit…” Harry’s mouth twists. “But I was thinking of your thing about chaos.”
“The butterfly effect,” Draco supplies.
“Yeah. I thought it might be a nice symbol.”
Draco laughs, though it’s quite breathy. “The butterfly isn’t a symbol of chaos,” he says.
“No, Harry, it’s a symbol of—”
Draco looks up at him, and he has to physically bite his tongue to keep himself from finishing the sentence.
You, Draco wants to say but doesn’t. It’s a symbol of you, of the way you feel about me, of the way I feel about you.

Chaos Theory
Title: Draco Malfoy and the Trials of Single Parenthood

Fandom: Harry Potter
Pairing: gen-ish, background Ron/Hermione, Harry/Ginny
Categories: drama, kidfic, diary, angst, humour
Length: long, 26,588 words
Warnings: I don't think so? See the bit about cynical-me and sobbing.

Author on LJ: [ profile] estora
Author Website: estora on AO3

Summary: Draco Malfoy: ex-Death Eater, former bigot, divorcee, and single father. His wife left him for Viktor Krum, his children worship the Weasleys who clash with the décor, something is rotten at Hogwarts, and he doesn't really know what he's doing. But maybe he's getting the hang of it.

Review: HP isn't really one of my fandoms, but reccing it last week made me want to re-read the previous really good HP fic I remembered reading. This rec is uncharacteristic for me, since I emphatically don't seek out kid fic. Yet evidently this story has some mysterious capacity to melt the cynical and hard-hearted. It has a couple of things working against it, actually, because I'm not a fan of the faux journal/diary style of narrative, and yet I did find that here I could get used to it after a while and still like the story very much.

Harry's generation are now in their mid thirties. As the story starts out it seems that Draco is still a prat, but a prat who loves his kids -- enough to disregard his own dignity and humiliate himself in front of his old enemies to provide parental comfort to them. And over the course of the story we get to see him mellow somewhat through the fronts he has to present and the stands he has to take for the sake of his children.

Perhaps the reason it works so well is that despite putting such an unlikely (and-yet-somehow-not) character in this situation, despite the magical world twist, the problems are real problems and the fic doesn't overplay things for angst, but takes on its situations with a genuineness and honesty. The impact of a parental separation. The way the parents' politics and actions and status impact upon their children. How parents have to fight for their children when they are different.

I suspect this has something to do with why this story reduced me to a sobbing mess in at least three places even on re-read. Really I don't know how to explain that.

Don't let that dissuade you from reading. It's actually a pretty funny story, too. Bring on the running jokes about Draco's receeding hairline.

Draco Malfoy and the Trials of Single Parenthood
Title: My Way Home Is Through You
Fandom: Glee/Harry Potter*
Pairing: Kurt Hummel/Harry Potter
Categories: Romance, Crossover, Kid Fic.
Length: Epic [233913 words]
Warnings: homophobia, bullying, past Suicide Attempt, war flashbacks, nightmares and discussion, mentions of cutting, torture, pstd.
Author Website: orphan_account (on AO3)**

Summary: Kurt Hummel wasn't really looking forward to his Junior year. At least, not until he met Harry Black and his son Teddy. Suddenly, things are a lot more interesting, though not always in a good way. {original summary}

So I needed a break from 1D and this fic just jumped at me. A crossover between Harry Potter and Glee, where everything from Harry Potter happened and it’s been a few years since the war, while Glee cannon follows season 2. Harry and Teddy Lupin are the main characters to crossover, but we do see Ron and Hermione and the best surprise Ginny Weasley and Daphne Greengrass.

The best thing about this fic is the fact Harry is just such a cute and precious dad and Teddy overwhelms me with how well written he is. I love kid fic where the fic is important, but at the same time the central plot is still interesting and this fic just delivers both: we have a lovely romance plot full of drama and sweetness and we have the family unit Harry and Kurt start creating.

Harry is more sassy than Kurt and so damaged that it makes me truly happy to see the growth he gets along the fic, and how healthy portrayed his relationship with Kurt is, which makes the fic move along really well, without turning into a Sabrina novel. There is plenty of bullying and Kurt having to deal with it, but Harry helps him get confidence and Kurt returns with the comfort we all know Harry always needed.

Will is his usual terrible self, so Harry gets a lot of Glee mentoring time, which is both hilarious and delicious - specially when he sang What makes you beautiful and made me cry, because I can’t get rid of 1D. Harry helps not only Kurt, but all the Glee kids and Shannon, which made my heart melt and wish they found a great guy for her.

Anyhow, this fic is cute and funny and full of dramatic content, so it’s just that well rounded reading. I love the fact the author managed to discuss the HP canon in a subtle way, while still charging the war, the nightmares and the flashbacks with the importance they deserve. All Glee character are well represented, Rachel is her annoying self, Finn plays the big brother so awkwardly and Santana is quite amazing, which is no news, but always worth mentioning.

So just go on, read it, comment, and let me know what you thought. It’s one of the best crossovers I read and one of the best in both fandoms.

My Way Home Is Through You

* This review was cleared up with dreamsparkle, who claimed Harry Potter.
** the orphan_account is a place for any writer to post and be anonymous, so other works may be by multiple authors.
Title: The Sleeper Awakes

Fandom: Harry Potter
Pairing: Gen
Categories: drama, character study
Length: medium, 10,300 words
Warnings: none

Author on LJ: [ profile] snorkackcatcher
Author Website: n/a

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." (DH, ch30). This is Percy's journey to that point.

Review: "But I want to fight," said Percy. He hadn't realised it until that moment, but saying it seemed to crystallise his resolve "What else can I do?

I'm very fond of Percy Weasley for the ambiguous position he occupies in the HP universe, as a character who isn't evil but nor is in the heroes' camp, who both follows his own ambitions and tries to do what he thinks of as right, and never really got the sort of attention in canon to examine that closely. So I'm partial to fic that works to redeem him and show his perspective.

This excellent story, I'd read almost a year ago, and it evidently stuck in my mind to the extent that I've just spent two hours obsessively looking for it again when it popped up from nowhere while I was thinking about what to rec today. It focuses on the subtle, creeping helplessness of Percy's position as he watches the ministry unravel around him and realises he's surrounded by a system he once believed in, now completely infiltrated and controlled by the enemy, and that the choices he made were the wrong ones... and then how he reacts once the truth becomes clear.

I am particularly fond of the manner in which Percy finally starts to fight back from within. It's so very him, after all.

The Sleeper Awakes
Title: Percy Weasley: Rogue Demon Hunter

Fandom: Harry Potter / Angel fusion
Pairing: gen
Categories: humour, action/adventure, crossover (ish)
Length: epic, 68,476 words
Warnings: none

Author on LJ: [ profile] viola_dreamwalk
Author Website: Viola Dreamwalk on AO3

Summary: It's the summer after OotP, and Percy Weasley is a man without a mission.

Review: Once outside, he looked down at the card. It read:

Career Analysis: Weasley, Percy

1. Wand Salesman
2. Lounge Singer
3. Personal Administrative Assistant
4. Chartered Accountancy
5. Champion for the Good of Humanity

First off, disclaimer that this series is listed as a single incomplete chaptered story on AO3, but it's posted elsewhere -- and I read it originally on LJ -- as several self-contained stories. So I feel justified that at least in terms of the earlier installments I'm not reccing something unfinished, although the series remains open-ended. I'm not sure how likely it is to get more installments at this stage, but the author did post Part 6 after a long gap.

So after Order of the Phoenix, Percy washes out of the Ministry of Magic with the rest of Fudge's administration and proceeds to get fearsomely drunk. Then, eventually, when the hangover wears off and he picks himself up out of bed, he tries to find an alternative career.

The jump-off concept of the story is that Percy Weasley is Wesley Wyndam-Price transposed to a whole other canon with a different name. Which, well. Heh. The portrayals of Percy, Ginny and Kingsley Shacklebolt working together channel season 2's Angel Investigations-without-Angel consisting of Wes, Cordelia and Gunn. The only Angel character that physically appears as himself is Lorne, and yes indeed, there is karaoke. (And yes, there are vampires.)

It's funny, in a restrained, wry, sarcastic-sideways-look-at-the-universe fashion. It's got a unique whimsical rhythm and charm all of its own. It gleefully abuses both its fandoms in terrifically fun ways. It stands in its own little world of gentle, self-effacing crack. And after something over a decade, it's probably still one of my favourite pieces of fic writing on the internet.

Percy Weasley: Rogue Demon Hunter

Second Chances by Kishijoten (NC-17)

  • Oct. 15th, 2014 at 12:30 AM
A day late and probably a dollar short too. Fortunately I work in sterling :-)

Title: Second Chances
Fandom: Harry Potter
Pairing: Draco/Harry
Categories: Slash, romance, kidfic, non-canon compliant.
Length: Epic (96,000 words)
Warnings: Sex, depression, suicide attempt

Author on FictionAlley: Kishijoten

For the first time in over a decade, Harry Potter crosses paths with Draco Malfoy. Both have changed a great deal, but what do those changes mean to them - and to each other?

This is another one of those stories that is over a decade old — well before Half-Blood Prince came out, so don't expect canon compliance — that has stood up to the test of time.

At heart it's a love story initiated and complicated by children. Harry is single, and a teacher at Hogwarts; Draco is divorced, and his youngest twin children have just started their first year. They meet when Harry notices that Adrian Malfoy, who has been sorted into Hufflepuff, is suffering from severe depression. What follows is a slow-burn romance, with parent and teacher bonding over the child's problems and desperately trying and failing to maintain their professional distances.

The strength of this story is in the characterisation. Harry and Draco are still recognisably themselves, but equally have changed in the way that you might hope a decade of maturity would give them. They don't instantly fall into agreement with each other, but then neither do they instantly dismiss each other either. The children are clear and distinct individuals, the right sort of mix of angel and demon for their ages, and really they are the ones that drive the story through. Harry and Draco are driven together by the children, and when their romance hits a bump, as it frequently does, it is almost always because of the children too.

Don't be too scared by the warnings. Bear in mind that I'm reccing this, and I'm a depressive with a real hot button about suicide. Without wishing to minimize either, the writing doesn't over-dramatize the issues and as a reader you do still feel in control.

This is a very good example of fanfiction romance, and I have no qualms recommending it to you even after all these years. Go on, enjoy yourselves.

Second Chances

Aftermath by Josan (NC-17)

  • Sep. 30th, 2014 at 12:39 AM
Title: Aftermath by Josan (NC-17)
Fandom: Harry Potter
Pairing: Severus Snape/Ron Weasley
Categories: post-canon, drama, romance, slash
Length: Epic (50,000 words)
Warnings: Non-con, rape, torture (mostly off-stage), serious medical problems

Author Website: Josan
Author on LJ: [ profile] tales_of_josan (moribund)

It's long after the War, and Severus Snape discovers there is more to life than potions.

This is another one of those stories I first came across years ago, but which has stood up to re-reading. I admit I read it the first time because I saw the pairing and couldn't believe anyone could write a story matching Ron and Snape that would work at all. It does, though.

The main reason it works is that both men have changed after the war. Snape has resigned from teaching and is hiding himself from unwelcome attention in Muggle Liverpool. Ron, refusing to accept charity and suffering from a curse that has left his motor control shot, crosses paths with him. What starts off as something of a challenge rapidly becomes more than that as Ron and Snape find themselves dealing with what might be the resurrection of the Death Eaters.

Fascinatingly, that's only half the story, pretty much literally. At least as much time is spent on dealing with the other Weasleys' reactions to the pair, which are not exactly friendly to start with. The Weasley women in particular take a long time to come to terms with Ron flourishing with Snape as he didn't in their care, and it takes a suitably long time for those emotions to work themselves out.

This isn't a perfect story. While the wordsmithing is just fine and the plot entirely credible, the characters' voices don't quite ring true to me. In some respects the story has been thoroughly jossed through having been written well before the final books were out, though that's hardly its fault. Even so, for me it stand head and shoulders above the crowd for coming up with a remarkable story of triumph over adversity.


Or on LJ without the annoying ads: Aftermath Part One, Part Two, Part Three and Part Four.

The Lodger by Mad Martha (PG-13)

  • Aug. 26th, 2014 at 11:53 PM
Last week I was late because of computer trouble. This week I'm late because I was enjoying myself too much. Sorry!

Title: The Lodger
Fandom: Harry Potter
Pairing: Harry/Draco
Categories: Drama, romance, canon divergent
Length: Epic (44,500 words)
Warnings: Talk of suicide, accidental(?) near-suicide, depression

Author on AO3: favicon mad_martha

Years after Voldemort's death and the end of the war, a lonely and alienated Harry Potter decides to take in a lodger. The result isn't quite what he anticipated. He has more in common with his new housemate than he expected, and together they learn to look life — and the wizarding world — in the face again.

This story delighted me many years ago when I first read it on Martha's now-defunct LiveJournal. Coming across it again on AO3 when I thought it lost forever was a particular joy, and now I get to pass the joy on to you. Better yet, it turns out that there are prequels and sequels to enjoy as well, though they are by no means necessary to make sense of things.

The story pre-dates Order of the Phoenix, so needless to say diverges from canon. All the information we need as readers is there in the text, spread about as necessary rather than dumped unceremoniously at us, allowing us to slip naturally into this variant world. A slightly different selection of people lived and died, but it's close enough not to matter; it's perfectly clear how both Harry and Draco turn into lonely young men with complicated lives. The trick that brings the two of them into contact some years after Voldemort's death is probably the least convincing part of the whole story, but it works well enough that I can't really complain.

This is a well-written, well thought out story, full of keen observations of personality and social reactions. It's not perfect — Justin Finch-Fletchley is particularly hard done by, but someone recognisable had to turn out to be a plonker to make the story work, and better it be Justin than someone whose nature would have had more obvious violence done to it.

I take particular delight in Martha's portrayal of Ron Weasley. This Ron is no temperamental ham-fisted side-kick to the famous Harry Potter. This Ron is the Chief Auror, the man who quite literally spread Bellatrix Lestrange across the main street of Hogsmeade. He can be extremely intimidating when he wants to be, but he's still the same old Ron. He reacts to the news of Draco's arrival with characteristic Weasley temper, but he and Harry can still have a reasonable approximation of a rational argument about it, and he doesn't hold the grudge past the point of reasonableness. Indeed at several cruicial points, Ron is the one to decide to trust Draco and casually back him up in public. This is a breath of fresh air compared with all the stories out there where Ron causes all of the conflict in the story.

The Lodger
It's Epic week, and I've been saving this one up! This should have been posted last night, but I fell foul of misbehaving hotel wifi. Sorry about that.

Title: The League of Extraordinary Women
Fandom: Harry Potter/Buffy/Stargate SG-1/DCU/The Secret World of Alex Mack/Bionic Woman
Pairing: Gen
Categories: Crossover, action/adventure, crossover,
Length: Super!Epic (134,500 words)

Author Website: Diane's page on the Whateley Acadamy fanfiction wiki.
Author Website: Twisting the Hellmouth author page.

Hermione Granger has to recruit six women to help her stop an army of monsters before her world is overrun. But none of the women are even in her dimension...

This massive story is a response to a site challenge that basically amounts to "get a bunch of women together to save the world." The resulting story is so much more than that.

Yes, OK, so a lot of women from different worlds do get together under the direction of Hermione Granger to defeat a hellgoddess intent on invading other dimensions, but they do it with intelligence and style, making full use of the widely varied skillsets they have. There are fights, but they are conducted with tactical sense and use of such extra resources that are available. In general it hits that wonderful balance point where the characters are intelligent and competent, but not so smart and capable that you stop believing in them.

It's not perfect, of course. The prophecy has all the usual credibility problems of prophecies in being both too specific and too vague, as well as a bit cringeworthy; as usual it would have been more believable if we didn't see the whole thing and immediately treat it as an indifferent acrostic. There is also maybe a bit much random discussion and phoning home before the main event, throwing the pacing off a bit. It's still a very good story with a great deal to commend it to all readers.

There are two sequels, using the term loosely. The first, Cross Purposes is really a collection of shorts in which various characters look up the equivalents of their team-mates in their own universes. Thus SG-1 attempt to recruit Rupert Giles from the British Museum, unaware that he is a double-oh; Bruce Wayne contacts an embittered Sam Carter just before she turns into a supervillain; the Scoobies discover just how paranoid a retired air-force colonel can be; and so on. Some of the stories have been extended into novellas, but are confusingly intertwined and could do with a good sorting out.

The second is the super-epic The Secret Return of Alex Mack. Weighing in at a whopping 1,000,000 words — yes, you read that right, one million words — and still climbing, it continues Alex's story as she returns home and takes up the the identity of "Terawatt." Crossovers abound; I won't spoil your enjoyment by saying much. Suffice it to say that an awful lot of my B-movie guilty pleasures get checked off, and my admiration for Riley Jerome Finn knows no bounds. Again, there are faults; I could cheerfully live without ever seeing Alex's morning exercise routine again, and the emphasis on how much Alex has to eat to fuel her powers is a overdone. Personally I'm not at all taken by the teen drama parts, but that's probably more a reflection of me being a middle-aged man rather than a sixteen year old girl; either way none of the flaws are fatal.

Just a little light reading for you as you head off on holiday :-)

The League of Extraordinary Women

Night-Blooming Heartsease by Julad (NC-17)

  • Jul. 15th, 2014 at 1:58 AM
Title: Night-Blooming Heartsease
Fandom: Harry Potter
Pairing: Neville/Snape
Categories: Romance, drama, war
Length: Long (~32,000 words)
Warnings: Character death, slash

Author on LJ: [ profile] julad
Author on AO3: favicon Julad
Author Website: Ambivalent Pleasures

Snape swooped around the room like a giant bat, adding ingredients to some cauldrons and stirring others. Then he stopped and tapped his wand against the benchtop impatiently. "Well? What is so important that I must risk a vital brew of Animaserum by having you in the room with it?"

His tongue was so dry, he didn't know how he would ever get the words out. "Heartsease, Professor." There, that wasn't so hard. He took a deep breath. Dementors were worse, surely.

There's a little throw-away remark in Resonant's story Transfigurations (which unaccountably hasn't been recced here (yet)): Then George raised his glass. "To Neville Longbottom," he said ... "And to Severus Snape, may he rest in whatever he prefers instead of peace." This is the story of that remark.

It is a gloriously impossible romance, and it tugs on your heart-strings the whole way through. We know from the start that Snape won't live to the end of the story, and the Snape we meet still terrifying Neville at the beginning of the story isn't the sort of man that we would mourn much, just as he should be. By the end, he's still the same man; it's our view of him through Neville's eyes and Neville's growing self-confidence that has changed. That's the great achievement of this story, keeping true to the characters but making us care anyway.

It's worth saying that Neville's viewpoint is appropriately odd all by itself. He is a pureblood, and there's a lot that he takes for granted, particularly about magical plant breeding. There's enough logic to it that we get drawn into accepting what Neville accepts, and correspondingly have to think a moment before recognising ordinary Muggle things like credit cards.

If you haven't read this story, you definitely should, even if you have to put your fingers in your metaphorical ears for the short slash parts. It's the romance and the growth that matters; just keep a hanky near to hand.

Night-Blooming Heartsease

Weasley, Percy Weasley by Teague (PG-13)

  • Jul. 8th, 2014 at 1:52 AM
Title: Weasley, Percy Weasley
Fandom: Harry Potter
Pairing: Oliver/Percy
Categories: Romance, slash
Length: Short (~1,800 words)
Warnings: None

Author Website: Breagerey

Percy is doing his part in the battle against Voldemort. He’s just not entirely sure what to make of this part of his duties.

It's very annoying when stories you read and loved years ago disappear on you (and if anyone can find me a working link to Kirsah's Virgin Sacrifice I'd be much obliged!). Fortunately Teague's fiction is still present on the 'net, and while that's so I'd like to bring this lovely little piece of Percy/Oliver fiction to your attention.

It's very nearly canon-compliant, in a strange sort of way. Suppose, as many O/P stories do, that Percy's blind loyalty to the Minister was an act, and he's actually a spy. More than that, he's Dumbledore's spymaster, and so he has to get reports from his contacts in a variety of ways. With Oliver, he has dinner at a really nice restaurant once a week. Where Oliver flirts gently and Percy is confused.

The writing style is very gentle, and fits the couple well. Despite the brevity of the story we get a sense of Oliver's passion for Quiddich and of Percy's quick-thinking nature very clearly, but without having it thrown in our faces. It's rather sweet, and that's probably it has stuck with me all this time.

Weasley, Percy Weasley

The Pure and Simple Truth by lettered (G)

  • Jun. 30th, 2014 at 1:48 PM

After 2 years reccing weekly, it's time for me to go (though I'll be around as a mod for a while). I've loved sharing favorite stories at ER. Thanks for giving my recs a look. I've saved a good one for last. If you haven't already read it, I hope you enjoy.

Title: The Pure and Simple Truth
Fandom: Harry Potter
Pairing: Eventual Harry/Draco; a cast of pretty much everybody who went to school together and lived through the war
Categories: Post-war, conversations, friendships, drama, humor, romance eventually, philosophy,
Length: Epic (65,482)
Warnings: None

Author on LJ: [ profile] lettered

Author's summary: Harry, Draco, and Hermione go to a pub. Harry, Draco, and Pansy go to a pub. Harry, Draco, Pansy, and Hermione go to a pub. Harry, Draco, Hermione and Ron go to a pub. Harry, Draco, Hermione, Ron, and Pansy―you guessed it―go to a pub. I could go on. In fact, I did. Harry, Draco, Hermione, Pansy, Ron, Blaise, Luna, Goyle, Neville, and Theodore Nott go to a pub. In various combinations.

OR My Summary: In my initial comment to the author in 2012 I offered my own, fairly biased summary:
Brilliant exploration of the heart of people - individually, in pairs, in groups, in society, in the wake of war and throughout the course of bloody history. When you think you know everything it has to offer, this story unfolds into more: more humor, more revelations, more warmth and understanding. It's larger than its word count, but it sings along. And yes, it may read in some ways as practically gen, but in any way that counts, it's a steam train running toward mutual affection and respect, and that's more than enough romance. Also, it's hysterical.

In life, the truth is often anything but simple, and that's the beauty of this fic. lettered knows everyone has their own beliefs and experiences, and that celebrating that instead of fighting it makes for a feast of friendships, ideas and debate. And yet for all its philosophical implications, this is an emotional and immediate story. It's warm and funny and sharp.

Harry's in character, never one to over think his plans, but he's not the glue holding this social circle together - not even the center, since it doesn't seem to have one. But it's his point of view we get, so the way he learns and changes is central to us, and through him we see Draco's growth as well. To me, in addition to everything else it has to offer, this is a romance, despite how long it takes them to come around to just the start of that - or actually because of how long it takes. They don't get pressed together or rushed in any way. Their post-war journey of discovering who they are now and who they could be is both required and incredibly good to read.

And I'll never be able to include why everyone else is so fantastic, funny, thoughtful, sometimes hurting, and always individual. I'll just say briefly that I'm a Luna fan, and she shines here. Pansy is so clearly drawn she could walk off the page (if she weren't too busy looking at her nails), and her hysterical deadpan delivery covers hurts you couldn't begin to untangle. Plus her description of Draco's relationship with his father is dead on. Blaise, of all people, works as the lynchpin; I'm not sure the story would get to the heart of things without him. ...And there are so many more terrific characterizations.

The Pure and Simple Truth has a lot to offer the heart and the head. It sticks with you long after you're done reading.

The Pure and Simple Truth (AO3)
On LJ: Part One, Part Two, Part Three - and comments to the author go here

It's Humor Theme Week here at ER!

Title: Wheels Of Fire (The Official Autobiography of Harry Potter)
Fandom: Harry Potter
Pairing: Harry/Draco
Categories: EWE, Post-war, bad writer Harry, good writer Draco, humor
Length: Medium (9,468)
Warnings: Brief mention of past character deaths

Author on LJ: [ profile] captain_tulip

Author's summary: Harry's been wanting to publish an autobiography for years; only problem is, he can't write for peanuts. Enter Draco Malfoy: broke, surly and the best ghost writer in the business.

There's more to this snappy story than just humor; Draco is alone and seriously poor at the start. But the tone isn't about angst or Harry saving Draco... Well, wait, I guess without it being his original intention, Harry does save Draco. And Draco certainly saves Harry from embarrassing the hell out of himself.

Okay, starting over... When I'm reading this story, it has me smiling and admiring Draco's tangents and Harry's stubbornness. What we get to read of Harry's writing is so fabulously awful, and the publisher's attempts to not laugh him out of the office are just right. I also like Harry not wanting to be full of himself, but failing to understand how no one could want to publish a book by the Chosen One!? Draco's point of view is even funnier as he imagines different ways his first meeting with Potter might go. Especially since Harry has no idea it's Draco he's meeting. Lastly, the final two lines are perfect.

It's such a lively read that the more serious aspects just lend it a bit of weight without ever slowing it down.

Wheels Of Fire (The Official Autobiography of Harry Potter)

Art: Be My Valentine by Doris (PG)

  • Jun. 2nd, 2014 at 11:31 AM
Title: Be My Valentine
Fandom: Harry Potter
Pairing: Harry/Draco
Categories: Hogwarts, quidditch, kissing, romance, fluff
Length: N/A
Warnings: None

Artist on LJ: [ profile] wincest_drarry
Artist on DeviantArt: dorisdoris

Artist's Summary "Harry! STOP KISSING your house enemy!! "
"Can someone catch the snitch so we can all leave for dinner? I'm really STARVING now..."

I seem to be in a quidditch art mood, but we could use more art recs on the comm, so I'm going with it! Last week I recced quidditch locker room art, and this week, I'm reccing a less recent favorite with Draco and Harry in quidditch gear, sharing an airborne kiss while riding the same broom. The artist has a lot of great work; I love their use of shadow in some and the luminous quality of their light. Here, the boys are lit up in gold that glows from beneath in a style that reminds me of stained glass, though with finer, more detailed lines. There's a radiant sense of joy and optimism, and beautifully expressive faces and body language. One of my all time favorites.

Be My Valentine (to bring up the full sized version, click "download" on the right)

Art: quidditch by chouette-e (R)

  • May. 26th, 2014 at 3:00 PM
Title: quidditch
Fandom: Harry Potter
Pairing: Harry/Draco
Categories: Hogwarts, quidditch locker room, kissing
Length: N/A
Warnings: None

Artist on LJ: [ profile] chouette_e
Artist on DeviantArt: chouette-e

I love both the composition and coloring of this realistic digital art created this year. The tones are mostly warm and dark with quidditch gear and brooms in the background. That's contrasted with the almost pearlescent lightness of the shirtless pair in the foreground. The boots are beautifully detailed, as are the little hurts from quidditch scrapes and the discoloration on Harry's neck that's more likely a hickey than anything that happened on the pitch. Draco's hair is a work of art on its own, and the placement of Harry's hand with its bloody knuckles is perfection.


Inevitable as Tragedy by Lomonaaeren (PG13)

  • May. 19th, 2014 at 7:25 AM
It's Epistolary/Historical theme week!

Title: Inevitable as Tragedy
Fandom: Harry Potter
Pairing: Harry/Draco (mention of Harry/Ginny)
Categories: Post-War, EWE, Epistolary, Drama, Recovery
Length: Medium (8,084)
Warnings: Minor character death, mention of suicidal thoughts

Author on LJ: [ profile] lomonaaeren
Author on AO3: Lomonaaeren

Author's summary: Physical separation is possible for Harry and Draco. Mental separation is not.

More than any other Harry/Draco story, this is the one that's head-canon for me, because Lomonaaeren spotlights the resentment that lies between them, plus their differences in personality and beliefs, yet Harry and Draco still move from antagonism to truce to reliance and finally understanding.

They find common ground in their shared trauma from the war. And at the heart of their transition is the curse on Narcissa. It leaves Draco open and brings out Harry's drive to act. After that, any guardedness Draco feels is gone, and what's left is Harry's emotional upheaval. With no Voldemort to defeat, he's facing up to his neglectful childhood, his adulthood and his sexuality all at once.

I found this story uplifting. Without sweeping anything under the carpet, it pushes inevitably toward connection and fierce protectiveness. Though there are setbacks, each letter moves through and past obstacles until there's nothing left but the two of them.

Inevitable as Tragedy (AO3)


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Epic Recs

Length Guidelines

Short: under 2,000 words
Medium: 2,000-15,000 words
Long: 15,000-40,000 words
Epic: 40,000-100,000 words
Super Epic: 100,000+ words


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