Seven Photographs

This is really just absolutely everything a post-Deathly Hallows story needed to be right now.

I tried to pick out a favourite bit but it’s just not possible, it all weaves together so fluidly, each person’s closure leading into the next. There’s an incredible feeling of catharsis that comes with reading this story, as the events of Deathly Hallows, all those terrible losses, stop being lists and numbers and we feel the true impact of these deaths on the people who loved them and the rest of the wizarding world.

Seven Photographs by Casira

Ensemble
Genfic
Story length: mid

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The House Guest

There is not a lot of Draco/Remus around (not surprising considering the lack of canon, though a lot of pairings work with a lot less) but what’s there is tends to be very good. I’m just now getting around to reading last year’s Reversathon stories, let alone this year’s, and I’m very glad I’m taking the time to look back.

After the war, Draco and Remus are placed in the uncomfortable situation of being bonded to one another, ostensibly for security reasons. The bond, however, was originally meant for marriages, and as things progress it becomes clear just why. Both characterisations are very believable – a faintly bratty Malfoy, a world-weary Remus, and war wounds that are wholy credible – and the sex, when it happens, is just exactly as I like it: a visceral punch to the gut.

The House Guest by wildestranger (Remus/Draco)

Alternate Post-War
Draco
Remus
Story length: mid

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Harry Potter and the Eagle of Truthiness

Harry Potter. Stephen Colbert.

Defense Against the Dark Arts, as taught by Professor Colbert. There is no bad here. Great story if you just need a laugh, even better if you know both sources to get the references.

Harry Potter and the Eagle of Truthiness by Christine Morgan

Crossover
Ensemble
Story length: mid

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An eclectic collection for spring

A random assortment from my till-now-unposted recs over the past ten months or so, running the range from very short to very long, and from hopeful to tragic.

In Between Days by Atrata (Harry/Snape)
I really enjoy stories that make me wonder just what and who I should believe, where I can’t guess the ending long before we arrive at it. This is definitely one of those. 31may05

le vivant par cœur
A very brief slice of the life of Susan Bones, after the war. It’s very striking in its simplicity. 16mar06

And They Say by Crys
Percy never betrayed his family, even if they’ll never know it. A very stark and saddening piece, with an ending that is pretty much perfect. 13oct05

Like Your Mouth by philalethia (Millicent/Hermione)
Possibly the best drabble I’ve ever read, filthy and stunning. 08feb06

The First Footer by chazpure (McGonagall/Snape)
A wizarding take on an old tradition, incorporating wartime weariness and a pair of excellent characterisations. 01dec05, for Smutty Claus
[alternate link]

Misc Collections

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Transformation

This story, according to the author, was originally meant to be part of the Big Bang, Baby challenge, but wasn’t finished quite in time to participate. I think that was a bit of a stroke of luck, actually; the story stands out more for having been posted on its own. I haven’t any idea why it took me so long to get around to reading it, but I’m glad I finally did (devouring it to the point where, after having gone out of my apartment to get some of my own writing done, I pirated wireless in an abandoned food court just to be able to load up the last couple of chapters).

The story has a lot of things going for it, but the absolute strongest element for me was the characterization of both Harry and Draco. They don’t lose their individuality, their animosity, their senses when they begin their turbulent relationship; they make it work in spite of that, and it makes for a much more vibrant relationship. Draco does not abandon his loyalties, nor does Harry; they don’t fall girlishly and poetically in love. They find something they want and need and are absolutely drawn to one another despite their history and good sense.

There were also a few moments (that I’ve chosen not to spoil) that were very surprising to me; the sorts of things that you don’t usually see in the middle of a story like this. Again, good writing: giving the reader something familiar while shaking things up all the same. Definitely worth the time invested in a 100,000-ish word story.

Transformation by Amalin (Harry/Draco)

Draco
Harry
Story length: long

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Nine and Sixty Ways

No one ever need write another post-HBP story because they are all right here, concise and exquisite. Nine and sixty ways things could have gone. And each one of them breathtaking.

Nine and Sixty Ways by Goosey (Snape/Draco)

Draco
Snape
Story length: mid

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Cadenza

What grabbed me first about this story was the setting: Moscow, perfectly realised in detail. And Snape is himself yet fits into this foreign landscape. I think I almost love it more for that than for the relationship, but then again the Snape/Draco is also rich in detail and backstory and more than a little bit hot.

While I might have liked for the two of them to find an idyll, the ending that does come is much more exciting and infuriating and satisfying than that.

Cadenza by Femme (Snape/Draco)

Draco
Snape
Story length: short

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Lucius times three

Lucius Malfoy, in all his wicked and perverse glory, from the playful to the despicable.

In this first story, the worst of Lucius’s crimes is luring Severus into the Dark Lord’s circle of influence, but part of that lure, or a reward for service, is inviting Severus to witness an intimate moment with Lucius’s young wife.

Drought by Lah (Lucius/Narcissa)

Lucius Malfoy schemed his way out of going to Azkaban once, and following his capture in the Department of Mysteries, he manages to pull it off again, with nothing but his words and his wit.

A Question of Loyalty by Chthonia

Be sure to go into this last one with your eyes open – it is undeniably non-con and undeniably chan – but even if this doesn’t sound like your cuppa it’s an incredibly well-written story. Lucius sells his son and his soul to keep his freedom. He, and his choice, are absolutely loathsome, and he knows it. And yet on some level we sympathise with him all the same because while he is loathsome he is also portrayed as a father, and there is a terrible, terrible price to pay for his decision.

Turn to Ice by Amanuensis (Draco/Various)

Lucius
Times Three

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How a Gay Man Should Please a Gay Woman in Bed, According to Luna Lovegood

One of the funniest and most delightful PWPs I’ve ever read. Remus demands to know why his wife left him for a woman; Luna shows him, with the help of a map to the clitoris and a double-headed dildo.

How a Gay Man Should Please a Gay Woman in Bed, According to Luna Lovegood by Snegurochka (Remus/Luna)
[ Not currently available, though I expect it will appear on AO3 in time. ]

Luna
Remus
Story length: short

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Teiresias

This story will make your brain hurt, but it’s worth the pain. Draco changes history, but he can’t change his destiny.

Teiresias by alibi_factory

Draco
Story length: short

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A Spell In Azkaban

An absolutely hysterical vision of Azkaban, post-Dementors. Narcissa rushes in to rescue Lucius only to realise things aren’t quite as expected.

A Spell In Azkaban by Amanuensis (Lucius/Narcissa)

Lucius
Other female
Story length: mid

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Partners

Brilliant and funny and very in characters. Goyle isn’t in Slytherin for nothing. And really, I heart Goyle and Crabbe so very much, it’s such a treat to see them written so cleverly.

Partners by Halrloprillalar (Crabbe/Goyle)

Crabbe or Goyle
Story length: mid

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Everyone Knows

I don’t even remember where I found this one anymore, but it’s a unique and fascinating little tale of life after the war, featuring — but not about — the next generation. I think it’s the ambiguity of it that I love the most, which I why I shan’t say any more about it than this.

Everyone Knows by Joosetta (Harry/Draco)
[ Not currently available. ]

Draco
Harry
Kidfic
Story length: mid

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Sorted Differently

Three ways that Hogwarts students are not sorted, and for very good reason! Hysterically funny, but also meaningful, in its way. “We don’t question the Squid, Harry.”

Sorted Differently by Magistera

Ensemble
Genfic
Story length: short

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Round Bottom, Twelve Inches

Now, I’m normally not one to recommend a story that is set around a misunderstanding, since that sort of thing generally makes me uncomfortable and frustrated. But this story is masterful, and celebrates as well as transcends its premise, and is just a terrible lot of fun.

Round Bottom, Twelve Inches by Pen_and_umbra (Snape/Harry)

Harry
Snape
Story length: mid

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Tied With Silken Ribbon

It strikes me that there is a lot of corsetfic in HD, and corsets aren’t a particular kink of mine. But this story is something else, at least for me. More punishment than kink, Draco is hamstrung by Laces and Heels, a prisoner of Harry’s whether willingly or not. Which is not to say that it isn’t sexy, but it’s much more than that.

Tied With Silken Ribbon by starrysummer (Harry/Draco)
[ Not currently available. ]

Draco
Harry
Story length: short

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‘Big Bang, Baby’ times three

In January, a challenge was unleashed upon the fandom, to write the ‘definitive’ Harry/Draco follow-up to OoTP. Six months later, four responses came in. As they say, it’s not quantity, but quality.

House unity projects are always a good way to bring students together who otherwise might not have anything to do with each other, and have the benefit of being true to the spirit of canon. (Sorting Hat songs, anyone?) This is an alternate POV for a previous H/D story (A Gryffindor and a Slytherin) and provides a fascinating alternate perspective.

Beyond Wild Moor and Fen by Furiosity

The second was the exception to the pattern of the other three, and takes place during the summer before sixth year and not during school at all. The plot is compelling on its own, but the story is also definitely the most graphic of the three.

Hall of Mirrors by Ella Bane

The authors of the third story say they wanted to squeeze every cliche into the story they could. And they manage to use quite a few, but in the best way. A really fun read with some really interesting characterizations and OCs. The ending is abrupt, but I like the story all the more for it.

Queen of Hearts by Duke and Betty

(The fourth entry, The Wheel of Fortune, was written by me.)

Draco
Harry
Story length: long

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Snatch

This is possibly one of my very favourite Harry/Draco stories (a title that is always in flux, of course). It takes a real talent to tell a story about such complex characters in such a spare and straightforward way. Not everything needs to be said; some things are much more powerful when they’re not. Every time you think you know what the story is about, it changes; fiction: it’s a lot like life, in a way.

Snatch by Rose (Harry/Draco)

Draco
Harry
Story length: mid

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All Save the Good

I think I use the word ‘heartbreaking’ too often when I review, but that’s one of the qualities that really gets to me, in a story — if I can become so involved in the story and with the characters that their eventual fate moves me, or shatters me.

This is definitely one story that does that to me, because the relationship is so carefully developed, the trust so gradually built, and then in a moment it all comes irredeemably crashing down. The ending is not without hope, but it mostly leaves a sense of profound regret, for what might have been and what has been lost. A very compelling exploration of Snape’s past and present, and of the possibilities in Draco Malfoy.

All Save the Good by by !Super Cat

Draco
Snape
Story length: long

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Clockwork

A story about the battles Molly Weasley fights in the war, not with Death Eaters but with watching her family — all her family — go out into the world without her to protect them, and not being able to do a thing about it. Very heartfelt and genuine.

Clockwork by Xylodemon (Molly)

Genfic
Story length: short
Weasley

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Another Shade of Violet

“Maybe she’s so clumsy because she’s never become comfortable in this body that is somehow not quite hers.”

A fascinating character study of Tonks, who can be anyone she sets her mind to be, except, perhaps, herself. About the lengths she goes to to carve out an identity and a purpose that’s her own.

Another Shade of Violet by Sioniann (Tonks)

Genfic
Other female
Story length: short

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Three Times

James and Lily Potter defied Voldemort three times, or so the legend of Harry Potter is told. This story shows those three times.

There is one general strength and two very specific moments that make this story memorable to me. The one general strength is the characterisation of Lily, who is brave and competent and who loves her family very much; just the way I like to see her. The first of the moments comes after James has been posing as a Death Eater, when Peter asks him why he didn’t at least tell his friends about it. Just the way he acts, it implies that James’s necessary deception was one of the reasons Peter — Peter, who had been idolising Potter for years — joined the Death Eaters. The second moment comes when Lily has been captured by Voldemort, held hostage in exchange for the location of the Order’s headquarters. The absolute anguish James feels when he has to tell Voldemort to go ahead and kill her is absolutely shattering.

Three Times by mahaliem (James/Lily)
Written for Reversathon.

James
Lily
Story length: mid

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Shadows of the Past

When the security firm of Granger, Potter and Weasley is hired to protect the Headmaster of Hogwarts, one Severus Snape, Harry is forced to, or perhaps has the opportunity to, renew their acquaintence. I really do love a long, plotty story to sink my teeth into, and Meri always delivers on that count. And if there’s a nice slashy relationship to go with it? So much the better. It seems like the Snape/Harry segment of fandom really knows how to do this sort of story and do it well.

The story does posit a pre-existing attraction between Snape and Harry that I find difficult to swallow, even from a pre-HBP story, and the mystery of it never really holds solid, but the charm of the story and the characters overcomes that. One of the things I particularly liked was the use of original characters to fill out the relationships, something I find more realistic and more interesting than everyone intermarrying.

The story, while fun, wasn’t revolutionary or edgy and didn’t really say anything new. And it wasn’t meant to. What this story was, was immensely satisfying.

Shadows of the Past by Meri (Harry/Snape)

Harry
Hermione
Ron
Snape
Story length: long

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The Abyss Gazes Also

This is an exceptionally potent portrait of Azkaban, as seen by its prisoners over the years. The prison is absolutely alive in this story, malevolent and mocking, and does not just consist of the walls and the bars. The prisoners make their own prison.

The Abyss Gazes Also by tangleofthorns

Genfic
Story length: mid

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When Tomorrow Comes

Every bit of this story is unexpected, even when (especially when) you think you know where it’s going. It’s brilliantly told and smartly characterized — this Draco lives and breathes and never feels like a stranger. I hesitate to give away where it goes; just let it take you and break your heart and mend it over and over again.

When Tomorrow Comes by abaddon (multiple)

Draco
Story length: mid

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