Fanfic Recs: Harry Potter For Want Of A Nail
Proof that the remaining 10% is worth Neville being the Boy Who Lived for
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Prince Of The Dark Kingdom
by Mizuni-sama (AU)
The Lie I've Lived
- Recommended by Eccitaze, Elenor, Unclouded TJ, I Have A Head Ache, AnUnConcernedCitizen, FractiousDay, Rasdra
- Synopsis: A "what if?" story where Harry's parents fled with him to Germany. Voldemort winds up winning the war, and establishes a dictatorship, but instead of killing all the "mudbloods," he simply segregates the wizarding world even further from the muggle world.
- Status: Updated in 2013
- Comments: A VERY interesting fic where Voldemort mentors Harry, with an interesting take on what happened to the characters (specifically, the ones who were on the losing side) and an incredible re-imagining of a lot of the characters, the Weasleys especially.
- Elenor could tell you that it has eveything from culture examinations to political intigue, but that makes it sound like something we've all seen before a hundred times. It's not, its really not. As for how you'll end up feeling about everyone, I think this quote sums it up nicely, "Tonks sighed, and ran a hand through her leopard print hair. She missed the days when you could support your allies with the same enthusiasm you could oppose your enemies."
- Nornagest: This is a frustrating read. It's readable, in fact fairly good, but very obviously inadequately edited; a few more revisions with an effective beta would bring it up to "excellent", but they're unfortunately lacking. A few out-of-place animesque elements don't help.
- Inadequately edited or not, it has to be said that once one gets into the story it is very easy to simply overlook most of the spelling and grammar mistakes and only a few manage to really shake the reader out of the story. In any case, this should not stop people from reading the story, because nearly everything else about it is rather brilliant and absolutely worth the read. Mizuni-sama has managed to write a fanfiction that draws the reader in and makes him unable to stop reading in the same way that the real HP books do. As was said, Prince of the Dark Kingdom, despite its faults, is definitely worth the time one needs to read it.
- AnUnConcernedCitizen: While there are some spelling and grammar issues that can be a little off-putting to a reader, once you really get a few chapters into this fanfic you don't even care anymore. It's that good. The way the author presents the alternate universe is believable, the characters stay consistent with their development and personalities throughout the story, and the Harry/Voldemort relationship is done so well that you actually understand why Harry can stand being around him. With the amount of garbage fanfics I start reading and then quit reading within 3 chapters, finding this diamond was awesome. If you want an intelligent read, this is what you're looking for.
- FractiousDay: Incredibly complicated fic, the author had literally completely redesigned the Harry Potter universe. Definitely worth reading, however, a few complaints. Firstly there's this pervasive kinda weird 'pagan' vibe running through it that is somewhat off putting. Also, make sure you read it continuously, otherwise you begin to forget things, you'll pick it up again and find yourself not understanding what's going on.
- calamondin: That's not even a complaint, Pagan!Harry simply is not found often at all, so OBVIOUSLY it would be "slighty-off putting" to encounter it, no matter how much bloody animal sacrifice were present! I for one thought it was a deliciously fresh interpretation of the folklore of the U.K., let alone canon's simplistic perversion of it all...
Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality
- Recommended by Unclouded TJ, Looney Toons, Shadow AI, Foo Fighter, boonerunner, Seraviel, Willyolio, Sheaman3773, Hiraku Joutei, USA Bobcat, johnhancookie, Dethryl, FollyMolly, feral
- Synopsis: Not all of James died that night. Not all of Harry lived. The Triwizard Tournament as it should have been and a hero discovering who he really wants to be.
- Status: Complete
- boonerunner: Harry James Potter combines Harry's raw power and James's experience, but he makes his share of significant mistakes and he has trouble relating to the other kids his age. Well written.
- Your mileage may vary HEAVILY on this. It is without a doubt well-written but the author is a flagrant basher, who villainizes a few characters just to make some scenes work. That is laziness my friends. You want to know what characters he bashes? Krum and the Weasley Twins of all people. Not the usual victims of villianization but far from acceptable targets.
- USA Bobcat : As a sidenote, I've always passed this fic by on this page, believing it was a crack fic. When I finally ventured in to read it, I was surprised beyond measure. It is most definitely not a crack fic, though if you only hear bit and pieces and anecdotes from it, especially from the later chapters, it will seem like one.
- Dethryl: Full disclosure, Jbern is an acquaintance of mine. This one starts out a bit rough, what with the Sorting Hat's vulgarity being more Tourette's Syndrome than any kind of purposeful story element. I very much enjoy the new Tasks, and the characterization of Fleur is refreshing. YMMV, naturally, but EVERY character is worthy of villianization. If you don't think the twins can be mean, it's time to re-read canon. Between turning Ron's teddy bear into a spider and scarring him for life or shoving Montague into the Vanishing Cabinet so he disappears for more than a month (and neither they nor the Trio tell a teacher!), they're not angels. It takes a good author to challenge what you think you know about a character, and I think Jbern has done a wonderful job with this fic.
- FollyMolly: I love this fic. It stretches belief at times, but the James/Harry merger yields such a great character. Harry gains some much-needed swagger, and James loses some of his arrogance, creating an enjoyably balanced hero.
by Less Wrong
(pseudonym of Eliezer Yudkowsky
- Recommended by Darkloid_Blues, Looney Toons, Ronfar, Baughn, gg, Dor, jaimeastorga2000, White Hat, Seraviel, Hydro Globus, iamdatroper, Sheaman3773, The Uncredible Hallq, johnhancookie, pisoprano, Kogut, GhostLad, feral, Michael Katsuro, Abrakadinosaur, KaylaMoira, JET 73 L
- Synopsis: Petunia married a man other than Vernon Dursley...a scientist. The Harry Potter they raise is bright, bookish, rational, and frustrating beyond all belief to the wizarding world. He starts pointing out the logical fallacies from day one, and never really stops.
- Comments: Honestly, I never stopped laughing reading this story. There's one OC, Petunia's husband, but he's only there for the plot, and his back-and-forths with Harry and everyone else while they talk about magic range from amusing to hysterical. It gets particularly good when Harry actually goes to Diagon Alley for the first time, as that's when the lampshading really starts. Not very far along yet, but updated regularly.
- Looney Toons: Strongly seconded. Chapter five is hilarious. Apparently growing up in a supportive family environment allows Harry to develop some of the troublemaker traits he inherited from James Potter.
- Tropers/Picklejar: Note that this is not actually a For Want Of A Nail-fic, as the story disclaims in its first chapter:
This is not a strict single-point-of-departure fic - there exists a primary point of departure, at some point in the past, but also other alterations. The best term I've heard for this fic is "parallel universe".
Goodbye, My Brother
- Recommended by Fuzzy Boots, Unclouded TJ, Don Julio, Mazz, Puidwen, Komodo Classic
- Synopsis: 7-year-old Luna Lovegood sees how happy her parents are in their marriage and decides that she wants the same. Having heard from Ginny Weasley that Harry Potter is a good catch, she borrows their family broom and kidnaps him, refusing to tell her parents where she found him. After realizing the abusive environment Harry came from, Selene and Xenophilus adopt Harry into their home, figuring that they can dissuade Luna from the marriage plot later.
- Comments: A very sweet and crazy fic. It's unabashed Harry/Luna shipping and it works spectacularly. The story ends at a slightly changed Triwizard Tournament where Harry's animagus form, a rhinoceros, accidentally tramples Voldemort and Wormtail during a massive Auror raid on the graveyard.
- This story began as one of The Blot's Odd Ideas (see below for details) but grew from there. Considerably Lighter and Softer than its source material, but in a good way.
Yes, I Am Harry's Brother
- Recommended by mermaidgirl45
- Synopsis: After the final battle of Hogwarts, Harry dies. Ron is haunted by his death, until Harry appears as a ghost to comfort him.
- Comments: This is only two chapters, but is very sweet and moving. There are some discrepancies, but it's good writing, and it really captures the grief and pain of the battle, the personality of the characters, especially Ron, and is interesting to read.
, by 1411eastwest nowadays Ynyr
- Recommended by Looney Toons, Unclouded TJ, Seraviel, feral, Kogut
- Synopsis: A few years after the events of Halloween 1981, the wraith of Voldemort finds 4 Privet Drive and Harry Potter — and is accidentally incarnated into a near-clone of Harry's 6-year-old body when the soul fragment in the child's scar rejoins with the Dark Lord's spirit. Using every bit of his cunning and experience, the re-youthened Voldemort then escapes and begins a long process that results in him returning to Privet Drive at age eight in the guise of Harry's half-brother, the result of an affair James Potter had with an American woman — with the goal of studying Harry to learn what the prophecied "Power he knows not" might be. Along the way, Voldemort kills many, many people — and gives Harry a much happier life. Then comes Hogwarts...
- Comments: Intriguing fic with some interesting ideas that defy fanon and fan convention without violating canon, and well-written as well, told entirely from Voldemort's point of view. We learn that there's far more to him than just the homicidal maniac that the canon Harry sees once a year, and maybe — just maybe — he's Becoming the Mask from playing Harry's half-brother even as the death toll among canon characters at his hands keeps escalating. The author is very subtle about it though — "Vito Potter" sometimes feels like he's just a few weeks from a Heel-Face Turn, and then he'll turn around and a professor will be dead for getting too close to his secret; the reader is never sure which part of his personality is the "real" one. He seems strangely protective of Harry and even some of their friends, while at the same time plotting their eventual destruction when he comes back into power. Complete, and definitely worth a look if you want something different among your Harry Potter fanfics.
- The story has its ups and downs, especially towards the start, but steadily declines as it unfolds. It's an interesting read, especially if you don't mind rampant character bashing, but it doesn't really stand out from all the other OC/Super!Harry (even if it's not actually Harry in this case) by the end.
- Looney Toons: I will agree, the ending is somewhat anticlimactic.
- I liked the ending. It was a bit anticlimactic...until I read it again, tied together the bits about the Stone, and realized that Voldemort had won completely and utterly.
by evansentranced (AU)
Another Prisoner Another Professor
- Recommended by Anthiens, Lavanya Six, Tyranno Storm, Dexterfans1s2s7
- Synopsis: Harry didn't just get a letter — Dudley does, too. Quite a bit of unexpected character developments, including a Hermione/Dudley friendship, Draco still being his bratty self yet being portrayed as human and Harry being in Slytherin. Extremely well done and up to fourth year.
- Comments: Anthiens: This story focuses largely on the relationships and the changes both Harry and Dudley go through. A number of people get very different interpretations... including Vernon. I don't read HP fanfic often, but this is tops.
- Shay Guy: I kinda liked this one's character interactions and ideas, but thought it fell short in the realm of actual conflict. The bit when they realize that the basilisk is still on the loose, but without a master is about as good as it gets, and that didn't even last very long.
- Tyranno Storm: Dudley's joining Hogwarts affects very little. The story is from Harry's point of view, and the main difference is Harry joining Slytherin and befriending most everyone in it. As Shay Guy says, this story has little conflict. Personally, I found the lack of suspense a welcome change.
by Marauder the Slash Nymph (incomplete, eventual Sirius/Remus, LJ link
, FA link
- Recommended by sauronlulz, Lost Lenore, Eversor
- Synopsis: In Harry's third year he must learn the many truths about the new DADA teacher, Professor Black, and an escaped convict, Remus Lupin.
- Comments: The first few chapters come off as "the third book with Sirius' and Remus' names switched", but the fic gradually takes on a life of its own as more small details diverge from canon and the author makes up her own subplots. All the canon characters are IC (but Ron gets added snark!), the invented dynamics between characters who didn't meet in canon (e.g. Sirius and Draco) are done brilliantly, and OC Brutus Swift is hilarious. Remus has not yet come onstage, but the hints of Sirius/Remus are handled well. Best of all, Harry and Sirius' relationship gets the time and growth it didn't get in the books, making it Better Than Canon. Updated very slowly, but luckily not a deadfic.
- Seconded by This Troper. It actually makes more sense than canon in places - for example, an escaped mass murderer who's also a werewolf is a much better reason for the near-paranoid security measures. Plus, from where it's heading, it looks like it'll be Remus/Sirius, which should have been canon in my opinion.
- Status: Updated in 2013
by Robin. Also included: its sequels Promises Remembered
and Promises Defended
Freaks Aren't Allowed
- Recommended by Wookiee, Lost Lenore, DragonRidingSorceress, johnhancookie, Dethryl
- Synopsis: A look at Harry's first year at Hogwarts and the political climate outside the school in an AU where Sirius was the Potters' secret-keeper. Apparently dying rather than betray his friends, Lily and James are alive, Harry has parents, Voldemort is still at large, and the first war is still raging outside the castle walls.
- The brilliance of this story lies in the combination of making some things exactly the same as the books while radically changing other aspects. This is not a bland dark apocafic, but a very well-thought-out and detailed extrapolation of what could have been. What this author has done with the characters of James and Lily, Remus, and Peter is remarkably believable and logical, and the way a Harry who never went to the Dursleys views a much more divided wizarding world is a blend of both new twists and familiarity. The portrayal of the Marauders' friendship, including flashbacks, is beautifully rendered and heartfelt, and is the best aspect of the story. While non-orphan!Harry's personality may be a little too bland for this troper's liking, the characterizations of the rest of the characters makes up for it.
- Lost Lenore: Seconded. Admittedly, I find that Voldemort is a little underpowered (and perhaps slightly OOC?), but that doesn't really stop this fic from being great. Although it's set in the Trio Era, it really focuses on the bond between the Marauders. Since Rowling unfortunately employs Too Cool to Live on the Marauders in canon, their friendship here is quite bittersweet, as you see what might have been. But it's brilliant nonetheless. The third part is particularly good, and you might want to grab the tissues.
- DragonRidingSorceress: Thirded. I also recommend the various other 'Unbroken Universe' fics Robin has written.
- Namonaki Rei: Fourthed. It's an amazing read, the characters are, for the most part, spot-on, and what divergences there are from the books are because the story was started before the end of the series. Note that Promises Defended is not finished on sugarquill.net; here it is on fanfiction.net: Promises Defended
On The Way To Greatness
- Recommended by orpheus-izanagi
- Synopsis: After nearly freezing to death outside his relatives' home, little Harry is rescued by first a spirit and then a snarky git! The adventure isn't over yet though, as Snape soon realizes that his charge's problems aren't limited to just frostbite.
- Comments: This story is excellent for fluff: between the interactions of child!Harry and Snape, this manages to get just the right amount of fluff. It's tempered with a separate Dumbledore subplot, so if there's too much fluff for you, you can always look at that.
by mira mirth
Faithful Only He
- Recommended by Fiddlesoup, Unclouded TJ, MtheR, Sheaman3773, Fenro, FollyMolly, feral
- Synopsis: As per the Hat's decision, Harry gets Sorted into Slytherin upon his arrival in Hogwarts — and suddenly, the future isn't what it used to be. Spoilers for all books.
- Status: Updated in 2012
- MtheR: I have some nitpicks with this one, in regards to grammar and characterization and theme. I'm not sure that I buy all the character reactions mira mirth puts forward—something rings particularly false about Ron's, and Harry occasionally seems smarter than a teenager has any right to be—and I haven't decided whether elements such as the retconned explanations for why GoF's plot was so complex are amusing, annoying, or necessary. On the whole, I'm hoping that Harry's something of an unreliable narrator. On the other hand, it's certainly the best Slytherin!Harry fic I've yet read, and definitely a good read for anyone who loves ridiculously convoluted political plots. Plus, sarcastic Harry is my favorite flavor of Harry, and this fic has plenty of that.
- I found the retcon above to be quite good, actually. This sequence of events makes quite a lot of sense, including the explanation for the double-portkey.
- Agreed with the above statement. I especially liked how the Magical Binding Contract, and some other rules of magic, were explained; it actually made some of the canon events more understandable. Also, while the characters' dark side seem to be exaggerated a lot, I think the portrayal of the characters stay true to canon.
Forging The Sword
- Recommended by Valjean, force42, Fenro, Aeliren85
- Synopsis "And if Sirius had been their keeper..."
- Comments: A heartbreaking and devastatingly raw, real look at what could have been if Sirius had been the Potters' secret-keeper. The title might give a hint. This AU is beautifully written and the way it follows the simple, logical consequences of the life-changing choice is brutal but feels exactly right.
by Myst Shadow
- Recommended by Shadow AI, Unclouded TJ, Sheaman3773, feral, Kogut
- Synopsis What does it take, to reshape a child? And if reshaped, what then is formed? Down in the Chamber, a choice is made. (Harry's Gryffindor traits were always so much scarier than other peoples'.)
- Status: Last updated October 2013
by Niger Aquila
Dagger and Rose
- Recommended by foxintime, Unclouded TJ
- Synopsis What if during the first Chamber incident, Professor Dumbledore had caught Tom Riddle red handed? Actually, life would have been amazing for both Tom and Albus (friendship). Until, that is, when one night Professor Tom M. Riddle decided to check out if Alternate Universes do exist. Takes place around Half-Blood Prince in the canon universe. WIP.
- Comments: I like how author chose not to bleach Voldemort, but give him a reason not to go down canon path of another Dark Lord. He is a bad boy here, both of them are. Friendship with Dumbledore is made of win.
- Status: Last updated January 2013
, by Perspicacity
Arc Of Sacrifices
- Recommended by Hiraku Joutei
- Synopsis: What if Dumbledore took Harry as his apprentice, after hearing the second prophecy? When Harry takes him up on the offer, he is cast into a world far darker and much more dangerous than he could imagine. With all of the lies and betrayal, can Harry see through to the light to find his one true love? Or will it suck him up, turning him into the very thing he has fought so hard against?
- Pairings: Harry/Fleur
- Comments: Set in the Fourth Year. One of the best fics I have read (and I've read hundreds), dark and suspenseful, with a hint of hope. Masterfully written by an author with professional experience, this story manages to avoid the pitfalls of many other For Want of a nail fics. I can also guarantee that the ending will have you pulling out you hair. This story is complete.
- The story does have some issues with Harry getting special magic with the Runes, some character are quite derailed, with the most blatant maybe being Ron. The new ultra secret and powerful secret organization and the shift of focus to it instead of Voldemort is also potentially annoying. Aside from that, the fic is quite a bit darker than canon.
, by Lightning on the Wave
A Different Fate
- Recommended by Lost Lenore
- Synopsis: A seven-part series which is a long read, but worth it. An AU in which Harry has a twin, Connor, who is the Boy Who Lived. Lily and Dumbledore train Harry from an early age to always protect Connor, but then Harry is sorted into Slytherin...
- Pairings: Mainly Harry/Draco later on. (Warning: smut from the sixth book onwards.) There are other pairings, but they do not get nearly as much time in the limelight. The other one of note is Connor/ Parvati.
- Comments: Better than canon, in my opinion; the characters undergo a lot more development. It makes minor characters from canon into characters that I actually care about. Plus, it's the only fic that has made me cry.
, by Lordhellabore
Between Ruin and Salvation
- Recommended by fatrat, Fenro
- Synopsis: JKR portrays Harry as completely unaffected by the Death Curse cast at him. But how would things have gone if it had been different? Drabble series, five drabbles per chapter.
- Pairings: Petunia/Remus
- Comments: A sweet sensitively written portrayal of a version of Harry given severe learning difficulty by Voldemort's curse. Also features a much nicer version of Aunt Petunia and Protective Dudley.
by Kihin Ranno
Harry Potter and the Descent into Darkness
- Recommended by Lost Lenore
- Synopsis: What would've happened if Harry had followed Sirius through the veil at the Department of Mysteries? A Darker and Edgier version of what might have been.
- Pairings: Draco/Luna
- Comments: The main pairing was a little too out there for my liking, but that was all. The author does a very realistic job at everything else, including fleshing out a completely plausible AU. It's a lot bleaker than canon, with several major character dying or going insane. The fanfiction.net version, posted above, is free of smut but has sexual references. Definitely interesting and thought-provoking.
- Recommended by Rabid Cookie, Naomi Hansen, feral
- Synopsis: 4th yr. Through an accident Harry and Voldemort's Horcrux begin to interact and Harry slowly begins to change. He becomes stronger & slowly grows aware of the sinister events that have perpetuated his entire life.
- Pairings: Harry/Voldemort
- Comments: This is probably the best "Harry turns dark" story I've ever come across. the entire premise is that Harry finds the horcrux in his mind and decided to let it out, due to his friends abandoning him right after his name comes out of the Goblet of Fire. The horcrux doesn't turn him evil right away, it just makes Harry a bit more wary and a bit more morally ambiguous. The author does throw in a lot of rather stereotypical plot devices but she plays them well enough that you won't care.
The Real Memory
- Recommended by Thagomizer
- Synopsis: AU. An escape from Azkaban has called for drastic measures to be taken. Five-year-old Harry Potter is taken from his relatives' home and relocated with two of his parents' remaining friends. No slash
- Comments: An absolutely superb story with absolutely flawless characterization. Sirius escapes a few years early, prompting Dumbledore to relocate Harry with Remus. Fantastic plotting and pace, with writing that approaches a professional level. Mad-Eye, in particular, perfectly continues his streak from Canon of being hilarious and a badass at the same time- if you can make it though him going undercover as a polyjuiced Harry-a four-year-old Harry- without laughing, you are made of some very strong stuff.
Harry Potter And The Mysterious Curse Of The Girl Who Lived
- Recommended by KittyKat848, Mazz
- Synopsis: AU (sort of) Voldemort strikes and Harry falls. When he comes back to himself he isn't at Kings Cross with Dumbledore. Instead he's at the Dursleys, going to Stonewall High instead of Hogwarts. Why?
- Comments: This is one of the weirdest stories I've ever read, in a good way! The suspense is definitely here and the author brings us to the same level as Harry in quite the same way that JK Rowling herself did. I love that I could feel Harry's confusion along with my own. Aside from the excitement and adventure there is a warmth and family atmosphere that truly makes this story feel genuine.
by Lord Jeram
Harry Potter and the Magic Unleashed
- Recommended by Unclouded TJ, Mazz, Chaosjunction
- Status: Incomplete. Last updated 2014-02-24.
- Synopsis: Harry is the Boy-Who-Lived. So why does everyone think he's Harriet, the Girl-Who-Lived? Wizards are nutters…A Mysterious Curse makes everyone but seemingly the Dursleys see Harry as Harriet and can't hear otherwise, much to Harry's annoyance.
An Aunt's Love
- Recommended by Mazz
- Synopsis: On Halloween night of 1981, Harry was rescued from the ruins of the cottage in Godric's Hollow by the Potter family elf. He is subsequently raised by said elf and a portrait. Hilarity and drama ensue. It hasn't updated in over a year, though. Dead Fic?
by Emma Lipardi
When In Doubt Obliviate
- Recommended by Week Old Pizza
- Sypnosis: Harry comes home from school and Petunia is upset at the change in her nephew. Petunia decides to do what she should have been doing all along. Dumbledore had better stay away. Petunia Dursley is upset. - It's a fantastic fanfic that shows a different side to Petunia's character. Its interesting, original and shows that Lily's sister actually has a heart. Its over 60 chapters long however it hasn't been updated for a while. Still worth reading.
- Super powered harry is quite annoying, Voldemort seems to be extremely out of character, as are quite a few other characters. Mass of OC can be tiresome, but it works decently within the premise. The writing itself is pretty decent ignoring the previously mentioned problems, so it can be worth reading.
- Recommended by: Fuzzy Boots, boonerunner, Mazz, Unclouded TJ, Fenro, feral
- Synopsis: Gilderoy Lockhart is passing through when he runs into Sirius Black on the night of November 1st, 1981. Upon hearing that Harry Potter has been orphaned, he realizes his golden opportunity, Obliviates Sirius, and takes Harry Potter out of the country to raise him as his own. Eleven years later, Harry receives his admission letter and is accepted in Slytherin. The story takes the mickey out of every silly aspect of the Harry Potter universe, but does so in good humor. Imagine Methods of Rationality with a Harry who still acts like a kid and lives in a non-crapsack world.
- Ron is particularly hilarious: he treats it as a personal betrayal when Harry is sorted as a Slytherin. He finally manages to recover his equilibrium by deciding that Harry was simply sorted incorrectly and proceeds to plot a series of increasingly outrageous schemes to "redeem" his friend from the perils of being in the wrong house.
- Written by the same author of "Oh God Not Again!" a well recommended fic on the Harry Potter Peggy Sue page.
- Tags: Humor
- Status: Complete
(Previously named "Second Chance") by snakes and lions unite
A Butterfly Effect
- Recommended by: Mazz, feral
- Synopsis: His whole life, Tom Foster has had reoccurring dreams about a boy nearly identical to him, Tom Riddle. But when he discovers that they are really memories, he must make a difficult choice - to remain a reflection or to find his own destiny. AU. NO SLASH. Tom/Harry friendship.
- Status: Updated 2011
- Tags: Friendship
- Recommended by: Wasted In Jackson, Ephemeral Night, jennifersbody, johnhancookie, FollyMolly
- Pairings: fem!Harry/Ginny, (main and final)
- Synopsis: A butterfly flaps its wings in Brazil and a tornado brews in Texas. A simple choice: Today or Tomorrow? Conceived a day earlier, the Boy Who Lived was never born. He wasn't even a glimmer in his parents' eyes. But she was; Harriet Lily Potter... Harry; the girl that grew up in a cupboard; the girl with safety-pinned knickers; the girl that was never wanted by the only family she had left; the girl that would give anything for the slightest bit of love. What happens when the shoes of a hero are filled by the feet of a heroine? How does the world change? How do relationships change? How important can one person possibly be?
- Warnings: Mature Themes, Underage, Violence, Child Abuse
- Comments: - Easily the best fem!Harry I've ever read. Also, in terms of exploring canon without contradicting it, A Butterfly Effect is one of the most well-reasoned fanfics in existence.
- Contains both femslash AND het.
- Which, as we all know, is blasphemous beyond belief, but is also extremely refreshing. A heartfelt seconding of this recommendation here.
- Thirded. A Butterfly Effect is brilliantly plotted, brilliantly written, and possibly the most emotionally real Harry Potter fic this troper has ever read, and is especially notable for depicting a main character that is both convincingly-female and convincingly-Harry, while avoiding the gratuitous sexism that is so often prevalent in fem!Harry fics.
- Harry's got a bunch of fandom cliches (including absurd abuse and absurd power levels) for no readily apparent reason. Relationships are just totally out of character for the age group. I'm talking hints of porn (including an orgasm) while everyone involved is in first year.
- Harry's a total Mary Sue, with no psychological trauma at all, despite absolutely HORRIBLE things happening to her, despite claims that the relationship will progress realistically it... doesn't. The people involved are far too young for it to be even remotely romantic, and it's rather disturbing if you think about the context. The story is unrealistic, and many things are beyond explanation. It's definitely not worth a recommendation. Yet. The author, despite all these flaws, is a good writer. The stylism is good, as is the spelling and grammar. It's just that there are severe problems with the story and all the characters, and as the troper above me stated, there's a myriad of flaws that take a story with the potential for excellence and turn it into precious little more than power fantasies and softcore porn. Involving eleven year olds. I'm not trying to be rude (Well, okay, I'm being a bit rude), but the author really does have potential - it's just not met here at all. I'm disappointed. Especially since I have yet to find a good Fem!Harry (Femslash nice but not requisite) fanfic that doesn't fall into these traps/is gratuitously sexist.
- The above troper is TRULY disillusioned. 'A Butterfly Effect' fleshes out the Potterverse with extraordinary skill and creates an overarching plot that is both gripping and endearing. The changes in the Potterverse characters are all direct results of Harriet's existence... which I believe is part of the point of 'a butterfly effect.' Also, Harriet, while seemingly perfect on the outside, has a plethora of psychological flaws that stem from her needy personality and trauma from abuse. To say she is a Mary Sue is utterly ridiculous. The dark themes are scarring for all the characters and you can tell from the way they're developing. Furthermore, the sexual themes prevalent in the first 6 of 23 chapters (first year) are tastefully conveyed and that sexuality hasn't stretched belief since the second the characters turned 13. They are now 14. And honestly, if you don't want to read stories with mature themes, then don't pick up anything with an 'M'/borderline 'NC-17' rating. It's somewhat odd to criticize a 'Mature' story for being mature.
- This particular troper doesn't think a character can be called a Mary Sue when said character has fatal flaws out the wazoo. Also, it helps that Harriet doesn't read like a Sue either; she's rather like a blend of the entire trio with a bucketful of teenage angst thrown in to mix things up. And because she reads like a real person, one constantly empathizes with her when tragedy and setbacks befall her.
- Whether it's worth my initial recommendation... well, you should check the 800+ reviews, 90% of which are glowing and come from articulate, intelligent readers.
- The fic as a whole does a marvelous job of creating logical and interesting background stories for some of this troper's favorite HP characters including, but not limited to: Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, Albus Dumbledore, and Gellert Grindelwald. The author takes the tiniest of vague details, such as Dumbledore's slew of apparently-meaningless titles, and creates massive plotlines that weave seamlessly into the existing Potterverse. Also, another great feature of this story is its inclusion of multiple narrative perspectives, which was a very smart writing choice on the author's part. As we frequently see Harriet's world from the eyes of secondary and sometimes even tertiary characters, we as readers aren't restricted to the viewpoints of an OC whose femininity takes several chapters to get used to. And so, in summary, I heartily second (fourth?) this recommendation.
- FollyMolly: Seconded so hard. This fic strikes a bracing dynamic between mushy drama and fierce, brutal action. One minute the characters are sharing a tender moment, and the next, someone is being violently tortured. I couldn't say if this is a byproduct of the author's inexperience or mastery, but it certainly seems to be intentional. The fic is a wide-ranging collection of emotional ups and downs that switch about so suddenly, the reader is left feeling dizzy and breathless. While some may not like that sort of story progression, I personally enjoyed the ride.
- No longer a deadfic as of 2-20-2013. It's an interesting story. Not this troper's all-time favorite, but I know quite a few people who swear by it.
- Way, way overly grimdark. Many of the changes made to the plot have absolutely no relation to Harry being a girl, and it seems like the author just tossed them in there to be 3edgy5u. The author literally states that the rape was added just to establish what an evil guy Voldemort/Quirrell is, which is both entirely unnecessary and a mark of poor writing. In addition, the characters are incredibly oversexualized for the 11 year olds they're supposed to be. The premise is interesting, but frankly the story needs a complete rewrite to be worth reading.
- Tags: Romance, Action, Drama
The What If?
series by hpgirl7777
The First Step is Fatal
- Recommended by tclittle
- Pairing: All Canon ones, but emphasis is on Harry/Ginny
- Haven't read it in a while, but I remember really enjoying them. CHA abd TDB have some really fluffy moments, TMBM is Tear Jerker with some Yankthe Dogs Chain moments and MaH is a Tear Jerker throughout, but they are definite reads nonetheless.
- Sadly, the fics appear to have been taken down. Whether this is deliberate or just an accident is unclear. If the fics get re-uploaded, or if they exist on another site, posting them here would be wonderful, as they sound like they have really interesting premises. Here is the link to the stories, still up on wizardtales: http://www.wizardtales.net/viewuser.php?uid=260
- Note that while some are completed, others are dead. The author hasn't uploaded anything since 2007. Which is rather unfortunate, because The Difference Between had a lot going for it...
- Recommended by: TheForgottenOne, wijackson, Mazz
- Synopsis: Harry enters Hogwarts under strange circumstances where he is sorted into Slytherin. Not what he expected when he fell down the stairs and died at home on Dudley's eleventh birthday. Possession would have been Harry's last guess at a second chance. AU 1styr.
- I'll give this one a tentative seconding. It's an interesting premise, but the writing needs work.
- Apparently going under grammatical revision as of October 4th, 2011. New chapter due to be release after completion.
- Tags: Friendship, Adventure, Dead to Begin With, Inhuman Human, Spirit Advisor.
The They Shook Hands
series by Dethryl
Post-Canon Revision: Year 1
- Recommended by: LeoArchon, Jay Llenrup, SteakAddictsAnonymous, atrasicarius
- Synopsis (taken from Year 1): Suppose Draco Malfoy introduced himself before he started acting like an ass. What if he had asked Harry's name before insulting Hagrid? A friendly handshake in Madam Malkin's leads to an alternate but realistic universe which is eerily like the canon, featuring a cast of first year Slytherins as you've never seen them: normal children. Join Harry Potter and his new friends as they discover their magical talents and help him to explore the world that has been kept from him these past ten years.
- LeoArchon: I am astonished that this one has not made the list yet. I think it fits For Want of a Nail pretty well in terms of fanfiction. And this author makes Slytherin!Harry work. I was astonished when I first started reading this series, but I came to love it. It's an alternate interpretation of all of Harry's years at Hogwarts, and how they've been altered by being in Slytherin. Ron the Death Eater is not quite in full effect, though he despises Harry just because they're in different Houses. The author has changed a lot from the canon plot, and the changes fit the new Harry. As the Slytherin House Rules say, 'Slytherin does NOT mean Junior Death Eater'. The first four years are complete, and the fifth is in the works. It will not be published on FF.net OR Fiction Alley, the two main sites Dethryl uses, until it is complete. Though, in all honesty, this troper believes Dethryl could hardly do worse than the original Book 5.
- SteakAddictsAnonymous: This is the one fic I read which sounds like you are actually reading Harry Potter. I am talking as a person who disdains pretty much all Harry Potter fanfiction for the reason of not being canon, being too much of a wish-fulfillment, being something Harry wouldn't do, for simply not sounding like JKR, and pretty much everything and anything. (I wind up reading almost everything tongue in cheek.). The author does an excellent job of taking the text and making it JKR's style. It changes from the canon plot, but in such a way that could have happened it is almost like an alternate Harry Potter. (A Real Alternate Harry Potter. Like if JKR wrote the story differently and sold it, not like a fanfiction that has an alternate outcome.) This is a true For Want of A Nail Fic, and I highly recommend it to everybody. I particularly like the way the Slytherins are expressed, as the author said "as children".
- And here, is the counterargument by Maki P: The story is very good, there's no denying that, the characterization is excellent and it does a good job showing Slytherins as people; the problem is Harry. I'm afraid Slytherin made him an unpleasant person, he's arrogant, buys into the whole "blood purity" thing and he declared himself the Heir of Slytherin!; also Dethryl seems to be an anti-Gryffindor bias. Oh and Hermione being killed by the basilisk after she's been bullied by Harry's little friends is enough for me to despise the story
- 'Buys into blood purity'? You clearly haven't read the whole series yet. Harry will readily remind ANYONE that he himself is a half-blood, going so much as to quote one of the rules of Slytherin house: 'Blood matters. Ability matters more.' And since when is having an anti-Gryffindor bias a bad thing? It's a refreshing change from all the fics that depict Gryffindors as heroes who can do no wrong. As for the whole thing about Hermione, look at things from Harry's perspective: she's an insufferable, know-it-all bookworm who thought it was proper to gawk and make statements about his fame without asking. If she's your favorite character, then I apologize. But no one said you had to read it.
- I have to agree with Maki P here. The story is written well, but the author's anti-Grffindor bias, Harry's far less than stellar attitude and a few other things definitely make it subjective. For example, Hermione getting sent to Hufflepuff because Millicent Bulstrode bribed the Sorting Hat, Harry allowing and enjoying Crabbe and Goyle beating up Ron and his friends, the treatment of Percy, the whole switching Houses deal, etc.
- Keep in mind, Ron has been nothing if not an utter slimeball to Harry in this series. Besides, Harry does stand up for Neville at one point in first year, and tells off the other first year Slytherins for picking on pure-bloods outside of Slytherin. Except Ron, because Ron's gone out of his way to antagonize them. As for Hermione, well, wouldn't you be a LITTLE upset if someone starting pointing and gawking about you, rambling off interesting yet irrelevent facts about you like you were an exhibit at a zoo rather than a person? That's how Harry felt, and bribing the Hat to sort her into Hufflepuff was his idea of payback. And, again, what's wrong with anti-Gryffindor? Rowling's anti-Slytherin, so turnabout is fair play. But, as you say, it's all dependent on your preferences.
- True, Ron has been less than nice to Harry, and that smacks of Ron the Death Eater, (where do people get this idea that Ron would go out of his way to antagonize Slytherins from?), but then again Harry has acted much, much worse to Ron, so he has no reason to talk. As for Hermione, yes she was a little rude there, but far from unbearably so, and certainly not deserving that kind of revenge. that fact that the Sorting Hat could be bribed at all doesn't come off well. Well, in any case, it is a balanced portrayal of Slytherins, since aren't stereotypical monsters, but far from nice people, so Dethryl deserves a clap for that at least.
- The statement that Harry has bought into the blood purity and racism of Slytherin is incorrect and shows that Maki P has not read the whole series. Harry's problem is with Muggles, not Muggleborns. Slytherin fed into his hatred of the Dursleys, and from his limited worldview, Slytherin is right about Muggles (violent, barbaric, etc.). In fact, by Y4 Harry doesn't care about blood at all, only magicalness. He gets into a confrontation with Theo and brings up the fact that the Muggleborn Hermione Granger beat Theo in every subject in first year to try and crack Theo's attitude about blood purity.
- Maki P again. No, I haven't read the whole thing, and that's part of the problem; the "heroes" seem too detestable for me, and I found the extreme anti-Gryffindor attitude hard to swallow. I think this has to be said, so readers know what they were getting into (I wasn't, and I think I got hurt for that)
- I myself didn't like the writing style, I find it stilted, there's no flow to the characters speech, at least in what I've read. I don't think the writing even remotely resembles JKR, though the plot is decent
- Recommended by ranichi17
- Synopsis: Harry dies during his battle with Voldemort in the Triwizard Tournament and wakes up reincarnated as a 4 year old. Apparently a Dead Fic as it was last updated in November of 2009, but don't let that stop you from reading it.
by Marquis Black
How Xenophilius Lovegood Saved Britain
- Recommended by Milarqui
- Synopsis: Some men live their whole lives at peace and are content. Others are born with an unquenchable fire and change the world forever. Inspired by the rise of Napoleon, Augustus, Nobunaga, and T'sao T'sao. Very AU.
- Status: Not completed.
- Comments: this story is highly recommendable. While at the start it seems to be the typical fanfic in which Harry's parents survive, things change really fast, starting from the moment they decide to leave England for the continent - which they mention is constantly at the edge of a new war - to avoid being used by Dumbledore as propaganda weapons. It turns out that there is a point of divergence in real history, with the failure at the creation of the European Coal and Steel Community, the forefather of the European Union, and this has changed many things, including the lack of reasons why the European nations should collaborate with each other. The whole story is told - mostly - from Harry's point of view after he swears to do everything in his power to protect his family.
- The war scenes in which Harry manages to use his full power as a magician to destroy the enemy forces in Spain (which was democratized after Franco was killed, but a few years later an Ultranationalist party got voted in) are quite impressive, especially for the level of destruction and cunning Harry is able for. However, this ends up in a slight failure when the Masquerade is revealed to the world, and everyone has to deal with the consequences of this, including a civil war in England and the death of most of the Royal Family. In the end, it turns out that there is a second, far more important, point of divergence in history: the Trinity Project, the development of the first nuclear weapons, failed completely, thus forcing the Allies to launch Operation Downfall, the invasion of Japan, with the expected high number of casualties.
by Arpad Hrunta
- Recommended by Unclouded TJ, Mazz, Eversor, feral, Agogobell
- Pairings: Harry/Luna
- Synopsis: A simple letter sent by one Gabrielle Delacour to a depressed Harry in the middle of his 5th year changes everything. It's a brilliant one-shot that tends to not take itself too seriously. Written entirely in letters from one person to another or in a similar format. Reportedly the best "power the dark lord knows not".
by Kristen Hudson
Growing Up Black
- Recommended by mad4t
- Synopsis: At the end of their fifth year, Draco duels Harry as revenge for landing his father in Azkaban. Draco hits Harry with a previously unknown curse, that forces him to be the slave of the first person to touch him afterward: Severus Snape. Harry and Snape are now stuck with each other and have to overcome their differences while Dumbledore tries to find a way to break the curse. Not Slash.
- Comments: It's a beautifully written, sad story. The author does a decent job with developing the relationships over time instead of making Snape "nice" right off the bat (although it still may seem to happen to quickly for some). Deals with some very hard topics, though, such as slavery, abuse, and suicide.
by Elvendork Nigellus
First Place Sinner
- Recommended by Newt, Eversor, feral
- Synopsis: What if Harry had been rescued from the Dursleys at age six and raised as the heir of the Noble and Most Ancient, etc.?
- Status: Updated April 2013
- Comments: Harry is taken away from the Dursley's by his squib aunt and uncle from the Black side of his family tree. He is then raised by the extended Black family, who are unaware that he is the Boy-Who-Lived. An entertaining read. Not a Slytherin Harry story.
by Daystar Clarion
A Changed Destiny
- Recommended by FatRat
- Warnings: M rated warnings for Masochism, language, child abuse, violence, drug abuse, and underage drinking.
- Synopsis: In which Harry has Petunia's love, though it makes him bleed. contains extreme Mutual Sadomasochism, Basicly Harry and Petunia ritualisticly punish each other for each others "sins"
- Excerpt: "He liked to think their bodies mirrored one another; they had scars in all the same places, the word 'sinner' carved down their spines. He took great pride in that one, because he had sat on her back for hours, carefully carving the letters down each bump of her spine, listening to her repeated hiss of pain with each slice. He knew the intricate sounds of her pain like he knew his sins. His were that he had been born to Lily Potter. Hers were that she could not keep Uncle Vernon from leaving, though he imagined she blamed him for that too."
- Comments A great Horror story but not for the faint of heart.
Paging Dr Bell
- Recommended by MandibleBones
- Warnings: M rated.
- Pairings: Ginny Weasley/Theodore Nott, eventually
- Synopsis: Thanks to a twist of fate, Ginny Weasley is sorted into Slytherin due to Tom Riddle's diary's influence on her. Given the opportunity, she becomes a Death Eater - and a spy for Dumbledore.
- Comments Interesting exploration of the concept, with realistic consequences. Continues well past the end of the war. Ginny may seem a little high-powered at first glance, but compare her to canon Severus Snape and suddenly not so much. The author is pretty good about explanations for most of the divergences from canon, eventually.
- Status: Complete
The Wizard of the Kaleidoscope
- Recommended by templar627, Unclouded TJ
- Warning: M rated
- Pairings: Harry/Multi
- Synopsis: The 15 year anniversary of Voldemort's defeat is near so Luna is writing the behind the scenes look at what the 'power He knew not' was all about. She turns to Dr. Bell, famous psychologist, for her unique view of the B-W-L. Mature!
- Comments: This fan fic provides an interesting view into the wizarding world and answers a lot of questions about what Dumbledore did. It hinges on the idea that Harry meets and befriends Katie Bell and because of that things change. Also there is les yay in relation to how the magicals grow up and how that affects them as puberty happens.
- Unclouded TJ: Due to the nature of this story you might disagree strongly over the whole magical puberty deal as preteens will have risky encounters. However it's very well done story, despite the apparently generic Manipulative!Dumbledore that shows up, and I'd definitely recommend giving it a try. Also a majority of the story takes place in the appearance of flashbacks so don't expect a chronological depiction of events.
The Best Revenge
- Recommended by templar627, Wasted In Jackson
- Warning: M rated
- Pairings: Harry/Hr/Dg
- Synopsis : What does it take to destroy something completely? Some would be fine with eradicating its soul. Others would argue that you must erase even the concept of the object from existence. AU, with a notoriously complex Magic system.
- Comments: This fan fic poses the idea that harry has a sharingan, and because of that changes the entire story and makes everything more badass Harry goes out fights and defeats voldermort with a sword in his first year then goes out collecting rare swords in his second year then in his fourth year joins a mage dueling contests and defeats dumbledore
- Reads nicely, as can often be expected from the DLP crowd, but it's also targeted PURELY for a young male audience and despite being a young male myself, bits here and there made me eye-roll on multiple occasions. All in all, it was enjoyable and I will give this rec a tentative seconding. That being said, does this really belong in For Want of a Nail? Most of canon is essentially thrown out the window here and it pulls elements directly from Naruto lore. Maybe general AU recs?
by Arsinoe de Blassenville
- Recommended by Fuzzy Boots, Mazz, Eversor, FollyMolly
- Synopsis: Snape visits Minerva while she's making out letters to the students and happens to snare Harry's. Upon finding that Harry's address is a cupboard, he sets out to determine what's gone wrong. He decides that the best revenge he can have on James Potter is to help raise his son in a proper way.
- Comments: It's a generic premise, but well-executed. Snape is mildly amoral in how exactly he deals with Harry's situation, but avoids crossing the line too severely. Both the Wizarding and Muggleborn cultures receive some jabs, including an interesting commentary on how exactly Hermione's know-it-all personality would have distinctly rubbed the Wizarding community the wrong way. Most interesting for me, it features a Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy who somehow manage to be blood purists and yet very likeable in their own way.
- Recommended by capeclare, Mazz, Unclouded TJ, Eversor, Puidwen
- Synopsis: A "what if?" A prank by Fred and George confuses the Sorting Hat in Harry's first year, resulting in horrible house mismatches. "The Sorting Hat has sorted thousands of students in the course of its life. If it makes a mistake or two, who's to say it's wrong? Certainly not Fred or George Weasley." Written for the [info]omniocular September challenge - The Harry Potter AU Extravaganza prompt
- Comments: A VERY interesting fic where despite neing humerous and cracky in it's brilliantway but is also an exellent and dramatic fic where everyone stay in character but manages to live up to their own house. This fic also has a very uniqe and interesting alasization on what houses mean and thier effects on the students lives and personalities. (may be a dead fic but has almost finished third year and is definitly worth a read.
- Unclouded TJ: I've found it hilarious so far as it takes things both seriously enough but also distorts it enough to make everything perfectly in character as well. Also the Weasley Twins working together with Luna Lovegood of all people is worthy of their one word: Fear.
- Recommended by capeclare, Mazz, Eversor
- Status: Abandoned as of April 2013, but the story stops at the end of an arc, so there is something of an ending.
- Synopsis: "AU. The story of some very damaged people doing the best they can to patch things up in the wake of the First Wizarding War." Remus Lupin finds out from Mrs. Figg that Harry has been mistreated by the Dursleys. On his way to confront Dumbledore over this, he bumps into Severus Snape and they join forces (it's an Enemy Mine situation) to confront the Headmaster and try to persuade him that Harry can have a happy childhood and still stay alive.
by Carrie Swinton
, and its sequel Bound By Garlands Of Her Own
Harry Potter & the Halfblood Auror
- Recommended by Chaosjunction, Eversor
- Synopsis: Lacerta Malfoy, the twin sister of Draco Malfoy, has been raised with the impeccable manners that denote her pureblood heritage, and has always expected to be sorted into Slytherin when she started Hogwarts. When she's gets into Gryffindor instead, her whole life takes a different route...
- Comments: I know that this is one of the most cliche plots in Harry Potter fanfiction: daughter of Death Eater gets Sorted into Gryffindor and befriends Golden Trio. However Bright Star separates itself from the pack by virtue of being not only well written, but of being poignantly emotional at the oddest of times in a way that isn't entirely thoroughly cheap. Lacie's relationship with Hermione, especially is rather interesting for this type of fanfiction.
- Seconded extremely hard. We are told a little more about Hermione's history, which is rather interesting since Rowling never actually investigated the bond between Hermione and her parents and her non-magical peers. Lacie is a really nice OC, and that's coming from someone who doesn't like O Cs. The quotes at the front of each 'real' chapter are well-chosen and manage to even make mé like them. The English is sometimes a little broken, but nothing that couldn't be fixed with some extra beta'ing, and a sometimes hard to read sentence would be allowed in this good a fic, even by this nitpicker.
Harry Potter and the Enemy Within
- Recommended by capeclare
- Synopsis: In his quest to stop Malfoy in his sixth year, Harry turns to an old friend for help. Along the way he finds new allies, a Horcrux, & someone to stand by his side. AU. Rating for language & violence.
- Comments: This is not a typical fic. The changes start in Harry's first year when he accidentally gets acquainted with Tonks then meets her again in his third year and fourth year before she has even joined the Order. Both Harry and Tonks are in character and their friendship is enjoyable to read as their relationship develops.
- Status: Last updated in 2013
and Harry Potter and the Chained Souls
by Theowyn of HPG
All Roads Lead to Rome
- Recommended by: Almagest, Eversor, Komodo Classic
- Synopsis: Enemy Within: In his sixth year at Hogwarts, Harry's mental link to Voldemort is stronger than ever. Can Snape teach him to control the nightmarish visions? And is their connection the key to ending Voldemort's reign? Chained Souls: Harry must discover how Voldemort cheated death. He faces Death Eaters, shadowy Ministry officials & suspicions that threaten to tear his own allies apart. But the answers lie in the mind where victory can only be won by freeing the chained souls.
- Pairing(s): Only canon ones
- Status: Complete
My Nephew Harry
- Recommended by: patrckred
- Synopsis: In the end, it didn't really matter what road he took. Tom Riddle's destiny was, is and will always be in the form of Lord Voldemort.
- Status: Complete
What Would Slytherin Harry Do?
- Recommended by: Fuzzy Boots, Unclouded TJ, Komodo Classic
- Synopsis: After a traffic accident results in Vernon and Petunia being laid up in the hospital, Aunt Marge is forced to take Harry and Dudley into her house. She realizes that Harry is not the delinquent everyone makes him out to be and that Dudley hasn't been raised properly at all. Naturally, the only thing to do is to raise the runt right, as taught by her father, something that her brother Vernon seems to have forgotten, probably due to the poisonous influence of his wife.
- Comments: What makes this fic particularly good is that Marge is depicted in fairly unflattering terms, rigid and unbending, the product of a strict upbringing that flirted with psychological abuse. She's bigoted against other races, thinks that children should be regularly beaten to toughen them up, but she also has a strong moral core and insists on Harry growing up to his full potential even if she hasn't figured out how his "magic" thing works scientifically. Moreover, she definitely seems to be an Unreliable Narrator, particularly as concerns anything involving Vernon's culpability in the abuse.
- Status: Complete, with sequel last updated August 2012
by Big D on a Diet
Harry Potter and the Book of Changes
- Recommended by: feral, Unclouded TJ
- Pairing(s): Harry/Cho and Harry/Fleur
- Synopsis: A series of one shot-stories exploring how Slytherin!Harry would have handled key moments from the books.
- Status: Last updated January 21st, 2010
by SSVD (AU)
Harry Potter and the Power of Paranoia
- Recommended by Novatel, feral
- Synopsis: Two years before he went to Hogwarts, Harry Potter came across a book in his school library. This book would change his life forever, but not through the kind of magic he would soon grow used to.
- Comments: A pretty interesting story where Harry reads a certain fictional book and this ends up resulting in many mysterious murders happening. Harry's personality changes very gradually and he doesn't seem like a different character from canon.
- The link is currently broken and a quick search does not turn up any results. SSVD does not have the story listed on their author page either.
A Promise From Her Boy
- Recommended by Unclouded TJ, feral
- Pairings: Harry/Luna
- Synopsis: In the summer after Year Four, Harry begins to review the events that lead up to Cedric's Death. This begins to leave him just a bit paranoid about what is going on.
- Comments: A somewhat amusing look at the way Harry being paranoid might react to events and causes mayhem for all involved. There's no bashing of characters although Harry's initial thoughts are a bit hard to get at first, and are certainly not 100% accurate.
- Status: June 2014
- Recommended by Ridderres
- Synopsis: It did not occur to Harry Potter to wonder why his Snowy Hedwig was so much more affectionate than the other owls. It did not occur to him he would ever need to care. That's why she waited to tell him.
- Comments: This fic focuses on the relationship between Harry and Hedwig. The thing is, Hedwig is an animagus. A really cool fic that ends up keeping this AU rather canon. Be prepared to brawl your eyes out though.
- Status: Completed.
3 Slytherin Marauders
The Well Groomed Mind
- Recommended by feral
- Pairings: Sirius/OFC and slight Harry/Padma and Ron/Daphne
- Synopsis: AU, Dark curses don't play nice- not even with each other. When nine year-old Harry is bitten by a werewolf, the horcrux fights back. The result could only happen to Harry Potter.
- Status: Updated May 2014
and it's sequel The Mind's Guardian
- Recommended by feral
- Pairings: slight Viktor/Hermione
- Synopsis: AU, Manipulative!Dumbledore, Sane!Voldemort. On Halloween 1994, Harry learns his mind isn't his own. On Samhain morn, he vows to question everything. Armed with logic and an unlikely ally, Harry makes a last ditch bid to reclaim his life. The goal: survive at all costs.
- Status: Updated April 2013
A Shattered Prophecy
- Recommended by feral
- Pairings: will be Tom/Harry
- Synopsis: AU, Smart!Harry, Dark!Harry. Latin; a dead language with no practical applications except perhaps the deciphering of old texts and as a particularly quaint party trick. Thankfully, as Harry finds out, Latin is not as dead as he was first taught when he decided to learn the language. It wouldn't have mattered anyway, of course; he loved Latin, and would have been proud to know it even had it been as useless as it was pretty. But in the world of Wizards, the world of Magic, Harry realizes his rare talent with words is particularly valuable in the highly complicated and controversial subject of Spell Creation, a subject he soon becomes enamored with despite having to hide his interest from everyone. Besides, it's not like he's going Dark, after all.
- Status: Updated January 2014
by Project Dark Overlord
- Recommended by feral
- Pairings: James/Lily, Ron/Hermione, Bellatrix/Voldemort
- Synopsis: AU, dark!Harry, assassin!Harry. A twist of Fate... an opened window... a cradle robbed... two frantic parents... a lost hope, along with a shattered Prophecy.
- Status: Complete
- Recommended by feral
- Synopsis: Voldemort had been faster in regaining his body, than he had been in canon, and thus, he had begun to go after Harry while the boy-who-lived was still a small kid. Will a rather sane Voldemort find out, and use, the similarities there are between him and Harry to his favours, and change the wizarding world in a way no one had expected?
- Status: Updated April 2013
by Silver Pard
Escape To Darkness
- Recommended by feral, Komodo Classic
- Synopsis: Hufflepuff is the house of the leftovers, the losers, the forgotten. Well, Tom Riddle thinks, it's time to change that.
- Status: Complete as a oneshot.
- Comments: Absolutely, chillingly wonderful.
Knowledge is Useful, But Power is Power
- Recommended by feral
- Pairings: Harry/OFC, Harry/Narcissa, Grindelwald/OFC, Lucius/Narcissa, Lucius/OFC, Ron/Lavender, Remus/Tonks, Sirius/ OFCs
- Synopsis: After Voldemort's resurrection, Harry awakens to a cold stone floor. After years of toiling with a "reformed" dark wizard willing to aid his revenge, Harry escapes from Nurmengard and finds that the Wizarding world has changed...
- Status: Updated September 2010
by Disobedience Writer
Harry Potter and the Unlocked Knowledge
- Recommended by Mcnickel, Kogut
- Synopsis: Harry and Hermione are gifted a handwritten book at the beginning of Fourth Year. A book that reveals horrible truths about the world they live in. Prepare for a tougher Harry and a battle focused on the Ministry.
- Status: Complete, 8 chapters long
- Comments: An exploration of the nature of magic in the Harry potter universe, with a good deal of worldbuilding regarding Magical Oaths and artifacts like the Goblet of Fire, and the power of will in regards to magic. Highly recommended for anyone looking for a serious fanfic.
Harry Potter: Junior Inquisitor
- Recommended by feral
- Pairings: Harry/Katie Bell, Fleur/Bill, Remus/Tonks, Ron/Hermione
- Synopsis: When Harry returns home to Privet Drive after the fiasco at the Department of Mysteries, he finds that Voldemort's possession released the Horcrux inside of him. In addition to the companionship of "Tom", Harry has his knowledge, and must learn to use it.
- Status: Updated February 2013
- Recommended by Lustheron, feral
- Synopsis: Before the start of fifth year, Dumbledore changes the plans. Unfortunately he didn't bother to inform Harry. At his trial, Harry realises that it is down to him to save his own skin. To do so, his Slytherin side must come out to play, and once it's out, it sticks around. Now Dumbledore and the Ministry alike must watch their backs…
- Status: June 2014
- Tags: Character Bashing
- Comment: Fair warning, recent chapters have seen the story go from 'Harry getting his act together' into rather dark and strange territory. This includes Dumbledore drugging Harry and then all but seven students in Hogwarts to turn them into his slaves, Mc Gonagall and Flitwick happily agreeing to this, Alastor Moody hunting students down, the entire student body being stunned by the Order (who have apparently taken over the school) and Sirius happily helping Dumbledore use the Marauder Map because 'Harry isn't using it to hook up with girls'. While still a good fic, the sudden twist (with no forshadowing) and utter OOC of the entire cast may leave a bad taste in your mouth. May be best to avoid this one until the author gets his/her act together.
by Two four twelve
Hit The Ground Running
- Recommended by feral, Kogut
- Pairings: slight Harry/Hermione, Voldemort/Bellatrix, Hermione/Su Li/OMC, Draco/Ginny, Neville/Susan/Hannah, and one-sided Daphne/Fred
- Synopsis: A re-imagined Voldemort sets out to save the world; Harry and Hermione learn Occlumency; Ron and Neville decide to become Animagi; and the enigmatic, vicious Marionette Man unleashes destruction on the wizarding world. AU from GoF's graveyard scene, otherwise an AU fifth year. (Absolutely not an H/V ship.)
- Status: Complete
- Recommended by feral
- Synopsis: The Horcrux in Harry's head wakes up and begins talking to Harry long before he's ever heard the name Voldemort. Philosopher's Stone AU.
- Status: Ongoing. Updated May 2014
(story located here
- Recommended by Chaosjunction, Flairina
- Synopsis: Just what would Harry's life at Hogwarts be like if his best friend wasn't Ron Weasley, but Veronica "Ronnie" Weasley?
- Chaosjunction: Fem!Harry fanfics are extremely common, but Fem!Ron fanfics are far rarer. Plus, this fic makes some interesting changes to the Harry Potter universe.
- Flairina: The premise may not sound terribly interesting at first, but things spiral out in a believable, quite interesting way that seems very original flavor. The shipping fixation that plagues so many of these gender flip fics is notably absent, and the plot is all the better for it.
- Status: Complete; sequel in the works and located here.
by Lee Black
Dreams and Darkness Collide
- Recommended by feral
- Pairings: planned slash Sirius/Remus and Tom/Harry
- Synopsis: When Harry appeared on her doorstep and she read the letter in his basket, Petunia Dursley didn't have it in her to mistreat the infant. Instead, she brought him inside and resolved to raise her nephew in a way that his parents apparently didn't care to.
- Status: Updated February 2013
by Epic Solemnity
DID You Hear The Rabbit Cry
- Recommended by feral
- Pairings: Tom/Harry, Ron/Hermione, Draco/Cormac, Lupin/Tonks, and slight Ginny/Harry
- Synopsis: AU, inspired by Dexter. JK Rowling's once said: "That if Merope had lived and raised Voldemort, he would have turned out to be much different, probably a better person." But just how much different? And how much different would Harry be if he was given a life with a loving family and a life without the expectation of saving the world? How different would he be if his hero-complex was still intact, but so consuming, so twistedly dark, that he had to go through desperate means to hide it?
- Status: Updated May 2012
by demon Lilith
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
- Recommended by feral
- Pairings: slight Harry/Hermione, Blaise/Harry and Tom/Harry
- Synopsis: It seems that Harry has Dissociative Identity Disorder (Multiple Personality Disorder). To him, this is nothing new. He's known of his alters for as long as he can remember. Magic, however, is a different story entirely. When he finds himself sorted into Slytherin, he finds that the choices he must make are more important than he ever imagined.
- Status: June 2014
- Mallfacee: A good fic but a bit confusing and hard to follow. There are roughtly 15 different personalities to follow and it's difficult to figure out which alter is doing what. Shattered by Lillielle takes the same concept but presents it in a way that's easier to follow.
by The Carnivorous Muffin
Enveloped in the Darkness
- Recommended by feral
- Synopsis: Having spent over fifty years as a notebook the fragment of soul who still refers to himself as Tom Riddle regains influence of the mortal plane and finds reality to be an ephemeral thing while Harry Potter, a young boy of eight, discovers that things both are and are not what they seem. AU
- Status: July 2014
In Bad Faith
- Recommended by feral
- Synopsis: Dark Fic. Harry was left at an orphanage after his parents met their demise. There, he finds nothing but suffering until he rejoins the Wizarding World. Dumbledore may hope for Harry to be a kind soul, but he's made mistakes. And what he gets is a future Death Eater. Harry is Dark, Harry is ruthless, and he is siding with Voldemort.
- Status: Complete with a sequel underway.
by Slayer Anderson
A Necessary Gift: a Harry Potter story
- Recommended by throwaawy, Kogut
- Tag: Self-Insert Fic
- Synopsis: I never pretended to know what I was doing in my last life. Why should I pretend to know anything about this one? Well, the other option is a horrific and bloody death, so...I better start learning how to be a witch.
Remus Lupin, PI
- Recommended by Leid, feral
- Tag: Alternate Universe
- Synopsis: The war drags on after Voldemort's defeat and the Order of the Phoenix are fighting a losing battle. When Harry is hit by yet another killing curse, he wakes up years in the past and in an alternate universe. As an unknown child in an unfamiliar world, Harry has a chance to change the outcome of the war - while dealing with new magical talents, pureblood politics and Black family drama.
- Status: July 2013
by Larry Huss
- Recommended by: Raiglory
- Status: Complete.
- Synopsis: Remus Lupin didn't graduate from Hogwarts to become an odd-jobs man. He always knew he would be fighting the good fight, he just didn't know on which side of the Law. In the end,he made his own side.
- Pairing(s): Harry P./Hermione G./Padma P., Remus L./OC.
- Tags: Adventure/Crime
The Paths Diverge
- Recommended by Nerdman3000
- Synopsis: An eight-year old Harry Potter comes across Acquila Black, a girl at his school, only to realise that he shares a strange connection with her. And when Sirius Blacks escapes Azkaban, how will he help his Godson and daughter in defeating the darkest wizard of all times?
- Comments: A pretty interesting tale featuring what the Harry Potter world would have been like if Sirius Black had a daughter. It's a pretty long tale, which is currently half a million words. The OC daughter of Sirius is pretty good, although I felt it was unnecessary when the author made Acqulia's mom an OC sister of Marlene Mc Kinnon. I personally felt the mother could have easily been Marlene herself and it wouldn't have made a difference. Still it's a good long read that is getting even better as it goes on.
by Vaneria Potter
- Recommended by Omeganian
- Synopsis: Because there was NO WAY leaving a toddler on a doorstep in the middle of a winter night could POSSIBLY go wrong...
- Comments: Harry being brought to someone else instead of the Dursleys or taken right from their doorstep is a common premise. But here, there is a minor twist... Harry simply crawls out of the crib himself. It is also common for Death Eaters to be taken out with guns. This fic uses frying pans instead.
by Stellar Magic
Harry Potter and the Slytherin Selection
- Recommended by Omeganian
- Synopsis: Sirius and Hagrid weren't the first in Godric's Hollow. Hermione's dad was.
- Comments: 25 chapters, and the siblings have only just arrived at Hogwarts.
A Better Man
- Recommended by Evoluder Viral
- Synopsis: Another Slytherin!Harry fic. Humanizes the Slytherins without making them seem un-Slytherin. And, somehow, it does all this without breaking canon too badly. Read the whole series- the author's just finished Book 4- and be thoroughly impressed.
Princess of the Blacks
- Recommended by whofan94
- Status: Complete
- "Synopsis:" What if Vernon Dursley was actually a decent human being and treated Harry as if he was his own son? How different would his life be?
- Tags: Alternative Universe
and its sequel Black Princess Ascendant
by Silently Watches
Path of Indifference
- Recommended by Download, D.Fox
- Status: Second book in progress.
- Synopsis: Twin!Fem!Harry fic. Pretty much an original take on the 'Twin is the BWL and Harry is dumped at the Dursleys' fic. Very good, certainly not for children. Jen (Fem!Harry) spent over half a decade working in a child brothel. Jen is <i>not</i> fond of the Potters at all, for good reason. The author does a very good job of fleshing out under-used characters like Narcissa and Andromeda, and gives an excellent reason for the 'imaginary' creatures that Luna Lovegood talks about.
- Tags: Alternative Universe, Character Bashing
by Born of Prayers
- Recommended by Leid
- Status: In-progress.
- Synopsis: Twin!Harry fic. A fic where Peter Pettigrew died as a hero, Harry Potter is brother of the Boy-Who-Lived and his parents are still be alive, but he starts out feeling neglected in his brother's shadow. Meeting with an American witch early on taught him to look at the world from a different point of view and started his journey through Ravenclaw.
- Tags: Alternative Universe, Wrong!Boy-Who-Lived, Twin!Harry
- Comments: Starts out kind of angsty and stereotypical until after the first few chapters. Then it gets fleshed out and goes off the rails a bit. One of the changes include Snape being a legitimate traitor against the Death Eaters.