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Draco Malfoy: The Department of Department Regulation

December 24, 2010 Leave a comment

“The Department of Department Regulation” is a HP fanfic starring Draco Malfoy. It’s been written by Ayla Pascal.

In this story, Draco gets a job in a little-known department at the Ministry of Magic and is given the opportunity to investigate a case for which he cares very much.

This fic is evidence that a good mystery doesn’t have to be novel-length. Don’t get me wrong: I love novel-length mysteries, I really do. But who said that short stories don’t have a place in the mystery genre? Here Ayla conveys all the information the readers need to know while still keeping the fic concise.

Although the plot deals with serious topics, this gripping story isn’t dramatic. In fact, it even contains some amusing passages. Draco is in character, which means that his less politically correct side shows at some parts. He’s definitely not portrayed as a villain, but the author hasn’t made the mistake of turning him into an angel either.

Click here to read this Harry Potter fic featuring Draco Malfoy.

Hermione Granger/Harry Potter: Life

December 24, 2010 Leave a comment

“Life” is a HP fanfic starring Harry Potter and Hermione Granger. The author is Ayla Pascal.

This story deals with Harry’s decision to leave the wizarding world–his wife Hermione follows him–and the consequences of their moving to a Muggle village.

This is my favourite type of shippy fic: it falls midway between gen and het (you can replace “het” by “femmeslash” or “slash” and my statement will remain true, but given the pairing it’s obvious that this is a het fic). The story shows us how the characters are affected both as a couple and as individuals. Although Harry and Hermione’s relationship isn’t the happiest of all, you can rest assured that the author doesn’t indulge in melodramatic scenes nor over-the-top dialogues. Oh, and I love how the ending does justice to Hermione’s cleverness!

Click here to read this fic featuring Harry and Hermione.

Hermione Granger: Mudblood Act

December 24, 2010 Leave a comment

“Mudblood Act” is a Harry Potter fanfic starring Hermione Granger. The author is Ayla Pascal.

In this dystopian story, Voldemort has won the war and life becomes really hard for Mudbloods. The fic shows us this new, darker world through Hermione’s eyes.

I wouldn’t say this is a perfect story. The ending doesn’t give the readers a sense of completion. Besides, the fic contains the tired, unconvincing cliché “he raped me but I couldn’t help an orgasm.” With that being said, I urge you to read this fic if you are looking for a well-written, thoroughly believeable dystopia. The world, the laws, the society described by the author are all fascinating–in a sad, twisted way. The more you read about it, the more you want to know.

The characterisations are all perfect. And I’m glad that Narcissa wasn’t depicted as a villain, but as a rather sympathetic and almost friendly character instead–well, as sympathetic and friendly as the circumstances allowed her to be.

Read this HP dystopian fic featuring Hermione Granger.

Draco Malfoy/Harry Potter: Necromancy, Necrophilia, and Nargles

December 24, 2010 Leave a comment

“Necromancy, Necrophilia, and Nargles” is an HP fic featuring Draco Malfoy and Harry Potter. It’s been written by Ayla Pascal.

In this story, an empoverished Draco agrees to help Harry in an unusual project. Soon Malfoy finds out that he is going to need help as well.

Not-a-shipper alert: Considering the popularity of the pairing Draco/Harry (or Harry/Draco, I don’t care), I think a fair warning is in order here. I’m not a Drarry shipper. If you’re looking for the kind of review which reinforces the idea that these characters are cute/hot/perfect together, I’m sorry but you won’t find it here. And no, this fic hasn’t “converted me.” Ships aren’t a religion!

Now, onto the actual review:

This fic made me laugh out loud! There’s so much irony and wit in it. The dialogues are a delight to read.

The worldbuilding has been carefully done. I must highlight the potion brewing process, for it feels quite realistic.

Harry is by far the least interesting character in this fic. If he disappeared, I wouldn’t miss him at all. On the other hand, Draco is incredibly likeable here. It’s hard not to care and cheer for him–and this is saying something, as Draco belongs to my “least favourite HP characters” list. Pansy is amazing as well; I love her scenes with Draco. There are still other characters whose names I won’t mention because I want to avoid spoilers, but I can tell you that I loved their participation in this story!

Click here to read this amusing HP fic starring Draco and Harry.

Neville Longbottom/Pomona Sprout: Immortal Beloved

November 1, 2010 Leave a comment

“Immortal Beloved” is a Harry Potter drabble featuring Neville and Sprout. The author is ellensmithee.

Months ago I mentioned here that I’m not overly fond of drabbles. This statement was included in a rec for a drabble starring Snape and… Sprout. Talk about nice coincidences! Anyway, if there were more drabbles like “Immortal Beloved” out there, you’d see me flooding this blog with drabble recs. I won’t say more; just go and read this HP fic.

Hermione Granger/Severus Snape: Some Bind of Wonderful

September 8, 2010 Leave a comment

“Some Bind of Wonderful” is a Harry Potter fanfic featuring Hermione Granger and Severus Snape. It’s been written by cathedral carver.

In this AU story, Hermione and Snape are in love with each other, but they just won’t touch. Until the day comes when she must set him free.

This was my first time reading this super popular pairing (in a complete fic anyway; I’d previously read an incomplete, not-ready-for-publication fic draft). I confess I would have liked to see more of their background story; after all, their relationship in canon is far from friendly, but here they’re already “head over heels in love with one another” when we first see them. Not that you should take my complaint too seriously in this particular case, for this fic is a pleasure to read.

I really like the way the author describes Severus and Hermione’s feelings, behaviour and habits. It was a great idea to have Snape’s (excessive, perhaps?) self-restraint work against him, and then also have it be the best thing that could happen to him and Hermione. By the way, I love it that she takes the lead and rescues him. Oh, and don’t let the low rating fool you: this fic contains BDSM! Well-written, cleverly done BDSM.

Click here and enjoy this Harry Potter fic about Snape and Hermione.

Neville Longbottom, Bellatrix Lestrange: To Break a Good Man

August 3, 2010 Leave a comment

“To Break a Good Man” is a Harry Potter dark fic starring Neville and Bellatrix. It’s been written by Ayla Pascal.

The story is set some years after the Battle of Hogwarts. Bellatrix is alive, and she manages to take Neville as her prisoner… or “pet,” as she once says.

This was my gift at the fanfic exchange The Secret Coconut. Thus, it’s been written with my tastes and requirements in mind. This obviously makes me even more inclined to rec it than I normally would. Besides, Ayla is one of the most talented ficwriters I know; browse this blog and you’ll see how often I rec her fics here.

But do you know what? As biased as this rec may seem, you’ll see that it’s a well-deserved one. The fic’s outstanding quality speaks for itself. It is dark, but not gratuitous nor untasteful. The author successfully puts the readers right there, inside the story; as you read it, you’ll feel just like Neville: there’s no way out, no hope, no future.

The characterisations are excellent. If you like Neville, you’ll agonise with him; if you’re a Bellatrix fan, you’ll love her sadism.

Other characters are mentioned in the course of the story. Chances are you’ll feel truly sorry for Ginny and Hermione. There’s a particularly disturbing passage about Alice. You’ll be left wondering whether that’s just a lie to make Neville feel even worse, or whether it’s possible that his mother has actually done what Bellatrix says she did.

Do yourself a favour: click here right now and go read this brilliant fanfic featuring Bellatrix Lestrange and Neville Longbottom.

Luna Lovegood: Dear Mother

January 15, 2010 Leave a comment

“Dear Mother” is a Harry Potter ficlet starring Luna Lovegood. The author is rosehiptea.

In this fic, Luna writes a letter about her upcoming wedding to Rolf Scamander. The letter’s recipient? Her mother.

The author managed to write a sentimental yet saccharine-free ficlet. Luna’s characterisation is perfect. Her marriage to that name-only bloke is one the things I hate the most about interview!canon, but I decided to brush this issue aside this time. Although I still hate the idea, in this particular story it works.

Read this short fic about Luna Lovegood.

Hermione Granger/Neville Longbottom: Surprisingly Well

January 14, 2010 1 comment

“Surprisingly Well” is a lovely Harry Potter fanfic starring Hermione Granger and Neville Longbottom. It’s been written by darth_gojira.

What’s this story about? Well, the author wrote it as a response to the prompt fem dom, which really was one my requests at [info]saying_yes_2010.

Now, think about a woman who smiles nonstop while reading a fic. That would be me! :) I love Neville, I love Hermione, I love Neville/Hermione as a ship and fem dom is a major kink of mine. The fic has it all; of course I was more than prone to like it. But what made me really happy was that darth_gojira stuck to the “fem dom” prompt all the time, never deviating from it and always showing it in a positive light.

The author did a good job with the characterisations; both Hermione and Neville are easily recognisable. Besides, I liked the way darth_gojira worked several little details from HP canon into the story, making it all the more believable.

Click here now to read this highly enjoyable HP fic featuring Neville and Hermione. Don’t forget to give the author some well-deserved comment love! ;)

Neville Longbottom: At Peace

December 30, 2009 Leave a comment

“At Peace” is a Harry Potter fanfic starring Neville Longbottom. It’s been written by angela_snape.

In a few words, the author tells a poignant story about Neville and his loved ones. It’s worth noting that a single sentence is enough for angela_snape to show us that the youngest Longbottom has made some progress, but still retains part of his old traits. This is how a good drabble is supposed to be like.

Click here to read this HP fic about Neville.

Harry Potter/Luna Lovegood, Ginny Weasley: Quixotic

December 26, 2009 Leave a comment

“Quixotic” is a fanfic starring Harry Potter, Luna Lovegood and Ginny Weasley. It’s been written by artemis_sparks.

In this story, Ginny breaks up with Harry and he finds comfort in his friendship—which eventually grows into something else—with Luna.

First of all, I want to thank Ayla Pascal for suggesting that I read this fic. Apparently Ayla has mind-reading powers: I was determined to have my next rec be a Harry/Luna fic, so her message reached me in a most appropriate moment; besides, she guessed exactly the kind of story I’d like to read, and trust me, this is something many people would get totally wrong even after reading about my preferences.

The author did a great job with the characterisations. Harry is his usual selfish, annoying and whiny self; Luna is, well, entirely Luna-esque; Ginny is in character too.

By the way, one thing I must praise artemis_sparks for is the way she dealt with Ginny, both as an individual and as Harry’s love interest. I don’t loathe the ship Harry/Ginny, I just find it utterly lame; while I dislike Harry, I certainly don’t hate Ginny. Yet, this is for the most part a Harry/Luna fic. So it would have been too easy for the writer to engage in some sort of Ginny bashing, and develop the plot so as to lead the readers to believe Luna is the only worthy woman in the world. As I read the fic, I grew more an more concerned, fearing that at any instant the author would fall into such traps. Fortunately, it never happened.

I loved the interactions between Luna and Harry. She helps him see old things with fresh eyes, in a way that is very much hers. I also liked the scenes with baby Teddy. Normally, I’m not too interested in small children, but Teddy’s presence in this fic is important. His reactions to the grown-ups’ actions and the way they behave towards him add a lot to the story.

The ending wasn’t the one I expected and this is precisely one of the strongest points in this fic. I’m going to post spoilers about it below. If you dislike spoilers, you can quit reading this review now and click here to read a very good Harry/Luna (and Ginny) fanfic.

Read more…

Lucius Malfoy/Hermione Granger: Ten Years

December 17, 2009 4 comments

“Ten Years” is a Lucius Malfoy/Hermione Granger fanfic. Its author is Ayla Pascal.

In this story, Lucius is imprisioned in Azkaban and has to play the domination/submission game set by Hermione. Some passages hint at events which took place ten years before, hence the fic’s title.

From what I’ve gathered out there, this is an atypical LM/HG fic, because here we have dominant!Hermione imposing her will on submissive!Lucius, whereas most fics about this pairing go the opposite route. No wonder I liked this fanfic; I adore femdom/malesub stories. On the other hand, it seems I’ll dislike most fics about this ship, so this will probably remain as my single LM/HG rec for a long time.

I normally despise dub-con/non-con stuff, and this fic does contain non-con elements, both on Lucius’ and on Hermione’s side. Consequently, I should have hated this story. Yet, I didn’t feel disgusted at it, although I admit it’s somewhat disturbing. More power to Ayla, who is competent enough to describe an obviously unhinged relationship in an almost acceptable fashion.

Read this Harry Potter fanfic starring Hermione Granger and Lucius Malfoy.

Minerva McGonagall/Hermione Granger: Yes, Professor

December 7, 2009 Leave a comment

“Yes, Professor” is a Harry Potter femmeslash, PWP fanfic written by Aisha. It features the pairing Minerva McGonagall/Hermione Granger.

This isn’t a brilliant fanfic, nor is it particularly original. Plus, it deals with a (former) teacher/(former) student relationship of an erotic nature, a theme many readers object to. To tell you the truth, I myself used to strongly object to such stories … before I joined the Harry Potter fandom anyway. I still do object to teacher/student erotic relationships in my primary fandom, Saint Seiya, and my objections would probably apply to many other fandoms as well. But this is a Harry Potter fan blog after all. And I do tolerate that controversial topic in HP fanfiction, as long as it doesn’t make me feel disturbed.

As I see it, this Hermione/McGonagall fanfic isn’t disturbing at all. We just get to see the characters engage in a sensual roleplay. There’s not much background info on their relationship and it really doesn’t matter much in this case.

Minerva and Hermione’s sudden love confessions seem somewhat awkward amidst the story; their words look unnatural. You can almost sense the characters thinking something like “oh, we have to say we love each other so the readers won’t think we’re just two dirty witches.”

Luckily, these quick distractions don’t really spoil the fun. This fanfic is a nice read, especially for those into dominant!McGonagall. :)

Read this femmeslash fanfic starring Hermione Granger/Minerva McGonagall.

Hermione Granger/Luna Lovegood: Virgin State of Mind

December 6, 2009 Leave a comment

“Virgin State of Mind” is a Harry Potter femmeslash fanfic starring Hermione Granger and Luna Lovegood. It’s been written by purelush.

If you don’t like reading about virgin!Hermione, you may want to avoid this fanfic, but know you’d miss a quite cool story. I’m not overly fond of virgin!Hermione myself, and yet I had lots of fun with this fic.

The only downside to it is the way the author explains Hermione’s sexual orientation. The character realises she’s a lesbian, but she does so too quickly and in an excessively simple manner. A few additional sentences might have fixed the problem and made the whole oh-Hermione-is-really-a-lesbian issue much more realistic.

If you couldn’t care less for character development and just want to know about the fanfic’s hot parts, be happy: this story won’t disappoint you at all. ;) Luna and Hermione’s scenes are delightful.

This fanfic is also very funny. Luna’s explanations and announcements are all didactic, as if she was a teacher (and in a way, she certainly is). Didactic moments often make a story look awkward or plain boring, but the author doesn’t fall into this trap. In fact, she successfully uses Luna’s “lessons” to enhance the fic’s fun atmosphere.

Read this Harry Potter femmeslash fanfic about Hermione and Luna.

Minerva McGonagall/Augusta Longbottom: A Toast to Lord Voldemort

December 2, 2009 3 comments

“A Toast to Lord Voldemort” is a femslash Harry Potter fanfic written by magnetic_pole, rated PG. The main characters are Neville Longbottom, his grandmother Augusta and now retired professor Minerva McGonagall.

Neville finds out his gran and his former Transfiguration teacher took advantage of the new, more flexible times to do something they’d ever wanted to do. The story shows how he reacts to the news. It also reveals Minerva and Augusta’s common past, plus their feelings and thoughts on various topics, such as society and politics.

Why do I recommend this story? Before I go on, let me tell you that this was the very first Harry Potter fanfic I ever read. After finishing all the books a few weeks ago, I started collecting and saving links to fanfics. Several hours ago I stumbled upon IJ community hp_beholder, fell in love with its concept and finally found this fanfic over there. I decided then that it had to be “my first one,” because I love Neville and McGonagall dearly, have a soft spot for Augusta, am a femmeslash supporter and the reviews left by the fic’s readers caused me a much favourable impression. So I returned to the community about one hour ago, read the whole fanfic, enjoyed it immensely … and here I am, writing this fanfic recommendation.

The characterisations in this story are just about perfect, as well as the dialogues and the overall atmosphere. This fanfic will make you laugh and will give you a warm feeling too. Speaking of feelings, it must be noted that the author is skilled enough to write about love without making her story look unrealistic, annoying or plain cloying. Moreover, this isn’t just about the so-called romantic love; it’s about family too. In fact, this aspect is quite relevant to the story.

Minerva and Augusta are their usual flinty selves. They’re a lovely–in a rather weird, tough manner–couple. Their dialogues make you think about how things might have been and how they can actually be now that the two of them got to do what they had always wanted. Despite some rather sad memories and frustrations, they don’t sound sour at all. Augusta Longbottom is rarely seen in the books, so it’s great that magnetic_pole let her shine. McGonagall is wonderfully in character, and I read each of her lines eagerly, never getting disppointed in the process.

Neville is shy, awkward, loving and understanding. He’s clever enough to see exactly how he’s supposed to behave if he doesn’t want to get into trouble with his all-mighty gran. The fact that he isn’t presented as a “macho” or something like that makes him all the more adorable. Fortunately, the author didn’t try to distort the character’s personality to make him fit into the “normal” behavioural standards for young men–a mistake I’m afraid many writers would have made if they were in magnetic_pole‘s place. At least, this is what many ficwriters outside the Harry Potter fandom tend to do to sweet male characters like Neville: they follow a sexist path that destroys most or all of the positive things about the guys they portray. I’m truly grateful to magnetic_pole, for she portrayed Neville as he is, and never sounded as if she had to apologise for this. She doesn’t have to, anyway.

In conclusion, I’m happy that this was my very first experience as a Harry Potter fanfiction reader–and recommender. Then again, that should be obvious enough by now. *smiles*

Click here to read “A Toast to Lord Voldemort,” a femslash Harry Potter fanfic.

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