Here are some of my favourite Harry Potter stories.
Click on the author's name for link to where stories can be found net.

Warning: Description of the stories may contain spoilers.

Harry Potter is a really prolific fandom with some really great stories.
The trick is to find the ones that float your boat from amongst the deluge of stuff available.
These are the stories that I liked enough - for one reason or another - to go back to read again.

Stories marked with a       are highly recommended.

A lot of readers seem to like the darker HP stories out there - and there are a LOT - but I don't.
I like death stories, but only if they have a compensating schmoop factor.
Otherwise, dark stories are not my cup of tea.
I don't like explicit hurt and I'm not too fond of torture or other nastiness.
I do like bdsm, but only if it is a GAME played by two consenting adults.
I have a thing about the Americanisms and poor grammar - they drive me crazy.

I read a lot of different slash pairings,but most often I read Harry/Snape or Harry/Draco .

I'm happy to supply a copy of any story that has no link on the net - by email on request.

These recs are sorted alphabetically by author name, then story title.


ABI Z: "Every Farthing of the Cost."
57 kb
Black arrives to visit Remus on a collective of were-folk and gradually settles in with his old friend.

He Apparates early on a Saturday morning, when the world is still too slow and sleepy to notice a haggard man appearing out of nowhere in the Vermont woods. It's high summer, but the mornings are chilly this far north, and in his Muggle T-shirt (which is grey and advertises nothing, the way he prefers them) he is cold.

This is a sweet, well-written, mature Remus/Lupin romance.

ABRA: "It's All About the Subterfuge."
64 kb
Draco and Harry get together to discuss guys, although they're still at loggerheads both publicly and privately.

"Come on, Potter. This is no fun. Can't think of any good comebacks?"

Harry took the time to roll his eyes at that.

"Well, if you're not going to spar with me, let's talk about something else, then." He tipped his head toward Harry and said in a low voice "Finnigan is all right, but Blaise has a much nicer arse, trust me."

Harry looked incredulously at Malfoy, who nodded very seriously. "Communal showers are a godsend."

"What are you doing?" Harry hissed. "I'm not your friend!"

Malfoy gave him a scathing look. "Of course not. Last time I checked, hell hadn't frozen over."

"Then why are you telling me about Zabini's arse?" Harry whispered, eyes darting around.

"I need someone to talk about boys with," Malfoy said indignantly. "And I don't have to be friends with you to do that."

I thought this was pretty funny; a nice, amusing short story, if you're in the mood for that sort of thing.  One thing - the Americanisms got to me (eg "anyways") but, apart from that gripe, I enjoyed this story a lot.

ABRA: "My Fair Draco" or
Gryffindors Are From Mars, Slytherins Are From Venus."
95 kb
Draco's sick of being Harry's dirty little secret, so Harry tries to help Draco be civil to his friends.

"Do you see marriage in your future with Harry?" Hermione pressed.

"Wait, what, marriage?"

Harry quickly put a hand to his face to cover his smile and widened his eyes innocently when Draco shot him a wild-eyed look.

"It's not legal, even in the wizarding world. But there are commitment ceremonies. Or are you just planning on moving in and living together indefinitely?"

"In the same house?" Draco said, alarmed.

"Well, what, you expect to just date forever?" Hermione scoffed. "You don't expect Harry to hang around forever without some form of commitment, right?"

"I've changed my mind, Harry, I don't mind being your dirty little secret," Draco said in a frightened voice. "Can I stop talking to your friends now? I mean, you don't really expect me to answer that, do you?"

This is another amusing short story, although the lack of correct punctuation is annoying.  Don't expect strict canon characterisation or reality and just relax and enjoy the ride.

ACAMAR: "Shade More Than Man."
347 kb
After the war has been won and Voldemort defeated, Sirius Black visits Snape to apologise - and Snape realises immediately that something is seriously wrong.

Too weak to fight, Sirius spent some time watching the fascinating patterns of lichens on the dungeon's ceiling. His eyelids were heavy and his mind was blissfully empty. "How long is it going to last?"

"Until it wears off and I give you another dose. Now, eat." Sometime during his daze, Snape must have summoned a tray of food from the kitchens. Sirius felt his throat constrict slightly at the thought of eating, and turned his face away.

"Later. Severus, why did you sedate me with this goat bane potion and--"

"Goat WEED! Goat weed, you insufferable idiot! Can't you remember anything you've learned? Goat's Bane is highly poisonous; it's a variety of aconite!"

This is a very well done story with a nice slow romantic development and a canon snarky, sarcastic, sniggering Snape.  The sex wasn't as hot as some I've read but I enjoyed this story a lot, especially the sarcastic, non-fluffy way the two interact.  There's a sequel called "Like Him" [27 kb] which is good, too.


ACCIO SNAPE: "Something To Live For."
192 kb
Voldemort is dead but Harry is depressed.  One night he tries to commit suicide - and help comes from an unexpected source.

Do I really want to do this any longer? He pushed the thought away, but it came right back. Lie awake, perhaps fall asleep for a few minutes, lie awake some more, wait for morning. Get up and go through it all again. The thought made his stomach hurt.

"God, I wish I was dead." He was startled by the sound; he hadn’t meant to speak aloud. His roommates slumbered on, oblivious.

The longing to end it immediately washed over him. He felt like he was drowning in the need to stop existing. If only I could just flip a switch, he thought. Turn myself off. I’d have done it long ago.

This subject matter might not be everyone's cup of tea but I found it a realistic look at what it's like to be depressed and there is a nicely done Comforting!Snape that hit my kink dead on (if you'll pardon the pun <g>).  There are actually two possible endings to this tale - and you can read them both and decide which one you like best.  Since I'm a romantic, it won't be hard to tell which one I preferred!

12 kb
In the middle of fighting a war, Seamus and Dean are camped with their friends in a ruined churchyard.

“The war isn’t going to last forever, Seamus,” said Dean.

“What if it does? What if we just keep fighting these battles, and no one ever wins or loses?” Seamus said, voice edging on desperation.

“You know that’s not-“

“What if Voldemort wins? What are we going to do then? We’ll all die, and all this fighting will have been for nothing, and we’ll never have lived, really. All we’ve known is this goddamned war. He’ll win, and we’ll never get a chance to find out what could have been.” Seamus looked at the ground. When he spoke again, his voice was hoarse. “And what if we win?”

“Then we’ll all live happily ever after, I guess,” Dean said lightly.

“Nothing will be the same,” Seamus continued, ignoring Dean’s attempt to brighten the mood. “What are we supposed to do when this ends? How are we supposed to live a life that isn’t this?”

This is a lovely story, though quite short.  I love the fairly unusual pairing of Dean and Seamus and I like the way we get a glimpse of the reality of the way war affects the people who fight them.

AILEI: "Better Call It Home."
18 kb
Part of the Severus Snape Fuh-Q Fest.  Scenario Number 13: There's something about a sex-in-the-alley scene - even when it's Diagon Alley.

The night wind bit through layers of cloth, caressing his skin with knife-tipped little claws, as Severus Snape let the battered oaken door of the pub close behind him. It was a low-profile establishment, naturally, catering to the rough trade of the wizarding world lower orders of magic-workers than the Hogwarts-trained elite, or those who simply wished to get comfortably shit-faced in slummy anonymity. Snape straightened his back and was mindful of his gait, disciplined even wrapped in his cozy cocoon of alcohol. After all, it would never do for someone to find Severus Snape in a moment of...weakness.

I'm not a big fan of rent-boy scenarios but I like this one very much, especially for it's insight into motivation.  The writing is excellent: intelligent, evocative and a pleasure to read.

AJA: "Kissing Harry Potter."
47 kb
Draco decides to kiss a boy to discover if he really is gay - and naturally he chooses Harry Potter.

"You think you might be gay?"

Draco nodded.

"And, you wanted to kiss another boy just to-to see?"

Another nod. Harry began to wonder which of them was going off his rocker.

"No way, Malfoy!"

"What?" Draco blinked. He had not anticipated this response.

"Why me? Why in the name of Godric would you want to kiss me?"

Draco promptly drew himself up to his full height, reminding himself that he was roughly the size of Napoleon in his heyday, and proceeded to look indignantly down at Harry, despite the fact that Harry towered over him. "Well, who else would I kiss?" He huffed.

"Draco is That Way and Harry is Crazy; The Hufflepuffs have Steak-knives and Morag Is A Boy. Find out why everyone wants to be Kissing Harry Potter."

The above is the official summary provided by the author and should give you some idea of what to expect from this crazy, definitely not-to-be-taken-seriously story .  This is a funny fannish story with an amusing use of fannish stereotypes, although the unstable POV is very distracting.

AJA: "Love Under Will."   Warning! This is a WIP.
746 kb
Harry and Draco are paired together in potions for a week by Snape, and they can't seem to stop noticing each other.  

Harry stared at Draco, then down at the herb, then grumbled something inaudible. "Oh, cheer up, Potter. Maybe you’ll win points by producing the world’s first Deathjoy Syrup."

"And maybe I’ll use it on you, after I accidentally mess up a few key ingredients."

"You’re one to talk, Potter, having so many key ingredients missing yourself. A proper family, a proper pedigree—"

"Well, at least my pedigree isn’t longer than my—" Harry ceased abruptly as Snape came around to eye his progress. He irritably sawed at an edge of the herb. When Snape had moved away again he resumed his challenging glare at Malfoy.

Malfoy said flatly, eyes glimmering, "I have a Very. Long. Pedigree."

The two gradually start a turbulent relationship which is nevertheless full of sweetness. What I like most about this story is the gradual way the boys' traditional enmity gives way to love - it's a slow and very realistic process that was very enjoyable to read.  I laso really liked the sly humour throughout  - as above.

AJA: "The Reader."
68 kb
After Sirius Black's death, Harry is full of hatred and anger at pretty much everybody.  Surprisingly, in the middle of all the danger, fear, heartache and loss that the onset of war brings, it is Draco Malfoy who emerges as a unifying influence at Hogwarts.   Or, as the  official summary sums it up simply, but effectively: "Death. War. Love. Poetry. Angst."

Before Malfoy had a chance to respond, Snape had grabbed him by the back of his robes and yanked him to his feet. As he turned back to the front of the room, scowling, everyone looked at Malfoy; but Malfoy didn’t look humiliated. He picked up the book he had been reading. It was small, a paperback, and obviously new—the cover was still stiff, and Malfoy had to fold it back twice to get it to stay open. Malfoy glanced once around the room and then began to read in an unwavering voice:

“They were flying. The weights fell off; there was nothing to bear. They laughed and held on tight, feeling the cold slap of wind and altitude, soaring, thinking It's over, I'm gone! - they were naked. They were light and free-it was all lightness, bright and fast and buoyant, light as light, a helium buzz in the brain, a giddy bubbling in the lungs as they were taken up over the Clouds and the war, beyond duty, beyond gravity and mortification anti global entanglements -Sin loi! They yelled, I'm sorry, motherfuckers, but I'm out of it, I'm goofed, I'm on a space cruise, I'm gone! -and it was a restful, disencumbered sensation, just riding the fight waves, sailing; that big silver freedom bird over the mountains and oceans, over America, over the farms and great sleeping cities and cemeteries and highways and the Golden Arches of McDonald's. It was flight, a kind of fleeing, a kind of falling, falling higher and higher, spinning off the edge of the earth and beyond the sun and through the vast, silent vacuum where there were no burdens and where everything weighed exactly nothing. Gone! they screamed, I'm sorry but I'm gone! And so at night, not quite dreaming, they gave themselves over to lightness, they were carried, they were purely borne.”

Then he took his seat.

When the reading was over no one breathed—everyone was still looking at Malfoy, and the words he had spoken hung in the air for an unending moment. Not even Snape moved, until finally he resumed his lesson without a word of acknowledgment.

And it seemed to Harry that in the space of those few moments that he was flying again—flying the way he had not flown in weeks; and that with each word Malfoy read in his smooth, slightly stiff voice, something was being reborn inside of him, and inside everyone around him.

This story deserves its reputation in fandom as one of most commonly recced stories out there.  I love the gradual way the story unfolds and the subtle way that Malfoy and Harry's relationship develops - nothing is overstated or overemphasised.  Those who like their stories sewn up tight might not appreciate this story, as it ends with possibilities and uncertainties rather than concrete solutions - but this story only gives me hopefull vibes for both the possibility of a future Harry/Draco relationship and for the outcome of the war.  And I love the quotes within the story, too (see the one quoted in the excerpt above) -  I think most readers will.

ALLECTO: "Ghost."
10 kb
Snape grieves for Sirius as life goes on.

He can do this, one foot in front of the other, sneering at students and grading papers and brewing Wolfsbane, Living Death, Pepper-Up, Arsenic, reporting to Albus, to the Dark Lord, the burning on his arm, in his chest, he can do this. He does do it. And everywhere, following behind him, he can almost hear familiar footsteps, a soft, whispered "excellent", the barking of a dog.

This is quite a decent short look at Snape's relationship with Sirius Black - but only if you ignore the lyrics that litter this story and only detract from the real text.  My advice is: pretend they aren't there at all.  Believe me, the story can only benefit if you do.

AMADEO: "Ephemeris."
126 kb
As they get the Black house back into some sort of order, Remus and Sirius start a sexual relationship.

"Don't leave me alone in here tonight," he said finally.

"I never intended to," Remus said. "It won't be the first time I've slept on the floor."

Sirius had enough presence of mind not to say that Remus had been younger then. He couldn't help thinking, though, that Remus looked worn and tired, and that Sirius would feel guilty seeing how stiff he'd be in the morning.

"You don't have to," Sirius said. "The bed's big enough for about six."

Is something about your ancestors I should know?" Remus said.

This is an interesting take on this relationship.  I liked the story very much - especially the mature, intelligent writing - but it stopped rather abruptly, IMO, and I just wished there was more of it.

AMALIN: "Still Life."
60 kb
Draco has betrayed Harry in the war and, after his death, Harry wakes up to find he's alive in a limited way as a portrait in the Ministry of Magic - and so is Draco.

Being is a portrait is a strange thing. For instance, everything—upon close inspection, since the magic blends it well—is painted. It is not wet or textured like paint, but it is nevertheless exactly the way it sounds; it is like living in a painting. Harry wonders if he is real, if his thoughts are his thoughts or some flawed interpretation of magic, if perhaps he has the wrong memories, if his mind is truly his mind or a magical invention. He is, after all, dead. However, usually he doesn't think those thoughts, because if he thinks too hard about it he is afraid that his brain—if one exists—will explode.

The portraits at Hogwarts always seemed happy. Harry wonders if he is the only one with such an annoyance at being half there after his body has gone. He doesn't want to still be thinking. He doesn't want to be sitting in his chair, chin in hand, staring out at the crying visitors to the memorial, wishing he were dead. Except he is already dead.

This is an interesting take on magic and immortality and what it means in the wizarding world.  A must read, IMO.

ARISTIDE/MAIREAD TRISTE: "A Choriambic Progression."
520 kb
Finally Harry gets to DO something for the Order, even if it's only to play messenger boy with his least favourite person, Snape.  Inevitably, things fail to go entirely as planned - and events spin out of even Dumbledore's control as Harry's life is irrevocably changed - from within and without -  and the fate of the wizarding world hangs in the balance.

"Foolish, idiot boy!" Snape's harsh voice cut him off entirely. "This. Is not. A safe place. In case Albus failed to mention it, there have been a number of recent sightings, here in this very area--"

"Oh, right," Harry retorted with as much sarcasm as he could muster, "as if a horde of Death Eaters are going to ambush me right in the middle of Diagon Alley--"

"Don't flatter yourself," a strange but oddly familiar voice said from behind Snape. "Just one would be enough."

And then everything happened very fast.

Aristide will be a very familiar name to fans of Due South, Highlander and The Sentinel - she has an unassailable reputation as one of the best writers in these fandoms that is well-deserved.  I was absolutely thrilled to find she has turned her hand to Harry Potter fiction and this story fulfilled every one of my extremely high expectations.  I love it.  It's complicated, plotty, dark, mature, intelligent and full of Harry/Snape goodness, without at all twisting either character's essential nature.  And the plot is absolutely fascinating as it unfolds.  Oh, and funny too,  with some scorching sex scenes.  I can't recommend this story highly enough - it was a delight to read and I couldn't put it down.

ASHURA: "That Kind Of Night."
10 kb
Fred Weasley/Oliver Wood.
After a terrible defeat in quidditch, Fred spies Oliver flying over the quidditch pitch during the night.

There are some nights when it never gets dark, when the moon hangs full and bright and low, too laden with its stolen light to escape over the rooftops, when the forest sparkles with fireflies and will-o-wisps, so that when you look out the tower window over the treetops, it looks like you're looking down at the sky, all full of stars.

Fred is watching, because he's too hot and Ben Donnelly is snoring and he can't sleep. It's not often that he's the only one awake; their year is full of pranksters and rebels and boys who would eschew sleep altogether if their bodies were capable of it. But tonight is tired, subdued, and everyone knows that the sooner you go to sleep, the sooner it will be morning and the day, this awful day, will be over.

So Fred in his faded striped pyjamas leans on his elbows against the windowsill and watches the night that won't get dark.

This is lovely character study/first kiss story and a joy to read.

BERNICE: "New Man."
32 kb
Snape is changing under his lover's influence.

This isn't me, not any more. I've been rewritten into someone I no longer recognise.

You've been changing me, subtly, quietly, without my noticing each small change. Using your tongue, but not your words, you're writing a different person into my skin. Using saliva for ink, tongue for pen. You've been creating permanent tattoo to which I did not consent. Language, lingua, analingus. From the outside in, pushing a different person, personality, under my skin, so that I absorb the essence of you, the force of your cheer and joie de vivre into my body, against my will. You've used osmosis through delicate membranes. A charm, a potion, a delicate alteration of will.

I love this story, which makes me believe wholeheartedly in this unusual pairing.  Bernice has done a fabulous job and I loved this Snape.

BERNICE: "Sorry."
167 kb
Humour. Sirius is determined to apologise to Snape for the past - no matter how difficult Snape makes it.

"Hi Snape, it's time for your 5 o'clock apology call!"

"How long is this going to last?" Snape's voice was weary. This had been going on every day for the past week. Black would wait until all the classes had finished for the evening, and Snape was finally starting to uncoil the tendrils of vindictive malice that curled around his spine, turn up, apologise, set off another argument, then leave with Snape all coiled up with hatred and resentment again.

"Until we get this right and I can apologise properly." Black smiled brightly.

"If I accept your apology, will you leave me alone?" Snape was about ready to do anything to get rid of this nuisance.

"Only if you mean it."

I'm not a big fan of humour as a genre in fanfiction - if only because so much of it doesn't seem that funny to me. However, this story hit all my buttons - probably because the writer and I are both Australian, or maybe just because she always makes me laugh and is a fabulous writer.

BLYTHELY: "Was Will Is."   No link
41 kb
Harry notices that Draco is ignoring him.

Nine days, Harry decided, was enough.

Still September, still sunny and snoozy and the stone walls were warm to the touch in the afternoon. Everyone sat outside in between classes and sneaked their dinner out of the hall to watch the sunset. And watch each other, because they were all fifteen and had grown up and out and pretty and sharp during the holidays. No-one was familiar but they were all the same.

A week and two days. Seven school days and a weekend. New classes and they had all been mixed together, Ravenclaws and Slytherins and Hufflepuffs in all Harry's classes because they were specialising, Dumbledore had said, choosing their own particular magic. Nothing was the same but it was all familiar. Except.

Except Malfoy had ignored him for nine days.

Interesting structure to this story. It's short, it's pithy, and it's good.

CALICO: "Double Or Nothing."
89 kb
Twincest; Fred/George/Lance.
The twins prepare to do their usual switcheroo doubleact when the incredible happens and they meet Lance Bass but, to their surprise, he wants a threesome with both of them instead. 

George breathed soft and light and fast as their lips brushed, hands barely skimming Fred's back, then closed in when Fred nuzzled at his mouth, closed in with gripping hands and sliding thighs and his testing, delicate tongue.

It was dark and warm behind Fred's eyes, and George's back moved beneath his hands like this were natural. "This is okay," Fred whispered, only just a question, feeling like a fool because he shouldn't need to ask because George was standing here, was kissing him, was his twin and they were supposed to share a language--

But frankly, Fred interrupted himself, their language felt foreign right now, and kissing could mean nothing since they'd managed to actually fuck each other and still not answer that fundamental question.

This is a great story, if you have no trouble handling twincest as a concept.  And Calico is famous for her HOT sex scenes.

CALICO & JULAD: "Lustre."
149 kb
Draco's father sends him a ring and a rare snake for his birthday - but is there a sinister purpose behind these presents?

The light hits her muzzle perfectly, and her scales coruscate.

"Oh, Malfoy," Potter breathes, gazing at him with something akin to worship, "she's yours?"

"You don't think a snake like this would be seen on anyone else, do you?" Draco manages to sneer, but it's weak, because he's just intensely thrilled right now. Harry Potter is in love with his snake. The day just got better again.

Pomegranate yawns, her dark jaws cracking open slowly and then folding obscenely far back, showing the glossy pink contours of her long mouth, the suggested depth of her elastic throat. 

"Oh," Potter hisses, as the impressive display folds back into a neat pretty snake-head, "she chose you? Oh, Draco, she knows your name--"

I found this story fascinating and although I have a phobia about snakes, this story made me wish that I didn't!  It's full of plotty goodness and a believable Draco POV.

CASSANDRA CLAIRE: "Something Impossible."    No link
115 kb
Humour.  Draco is ordered to apologise to Harry for destroying his invisibility cloak or face expulsion from Hogwarts.  Harry's friends are determined to help a besotted Harry by putting an oblivious Draco through a series of hoops designed to help Harry get what he wants - Draco.

Draco came to a stop about a foot from the table. "I need to talk to Potter," he said. "You lot piss off."

The Weasel gave him a superior look. "'I'm not sure Harry's available to talk to you." He glanced at the girl sitting next to him. "Hermione, could you ask Harry if he feels like talking?"

Harry coughed. "I can talk," he said. "I'm not bothered." He smiled at Draco over Ginny's head, a shy, heartbreaking smile filled with charm and vulnerability. "Hi there, Malfoy."

Draco looked at him with loathing. "Reveling in my humiliation, you sadistic bastard?"

Harry's green eyes opened wide. "I'm not -"

Hermione elbowed Harry sharply in the side. "Shut up, Harry. He's supposed to apologize."

"But he really needn't," Harry began. "I really -"

Ginny clapped a hand over Harry's mouth. "What Harry means to say is that you needn't think you're going to get off with an apology," she finished.

"That's right," put in Dean Thomas smugly. "We heard about what Dumbledore said. You have to earn Harry's forgiveness."

"That's right," Seamus said. "I think a spot of groveling might be in order."

This is a pretty funny romp with a totally self-absorbed, narcissistic Draco and an absolutely besotted Harry.  Don't look too hard for any similarity to canon characterisation and just sit back and enjoy the ride.

CHIYA: "Falling."
98 kb
Harry awakes one morning to find a sleeping Draco draped over his chest - and he freaks.

Harry was awakened from warm, strangely comfortable sleep by a yell of sheer horror. He would have shot bolt upright if he had been able; as it was a heavy weight was pressed against his chest, and all he could do was stare up at Ron's blurry, horrified face. Then he looked down, realised why he couldn't sit up, and froze. Draco Malfoy's pale, pointed face looked up at him through an untidy thatch of rumpled blond hair. Their eyes met, green to grey, with a dawning realisation, and they screamed simultaneously, throwing themselves as far apart as they could get. For Harry, this meant right out of the bed; he landed on the cold stone floor with a thump and immediately shot to his feet, grabbing his glasses and jamming them onto his nose.

"What the flaming hell are you doing in my bed, Malfoy?!"

The writing in this story isn't the best but the situation was amusing enough to carry me through.  There's some lovely emotional intensity once the relationship gets going and overall  this is an enjoyable lightweight romp through the Harry Potter universe.

CINNAMON: "Beautiful World."
567 kb
Harry hears some terrible news from Dumbledore - and takes it badly.

Finally, Harry said, "You spend a lot of time thinking about the best way to run away?"

Draco shrugged. "I've always done that. Planned how I'd escape from anyplace I was at for more than an hour. Some call it paranoid. I call it careful. You never know when you'll need to run, after all."

Considering Draco's words for a minute, Harry shrugged, dropping down on the step beside him. "Do you smoke?" he asked.

Draco looked surprised. "No. Do you?"

"No. But I figure now's a good time to start."

"Smoking kills, you know," Draco pointed out absently.

"Not fast enough."

The angst factor in this story is pretty high but there is also a lot of lovely schmoop from the developing Draco/Harry relationship. I couldn't put it down, despite the usual grammatical problems (See below in the comments for Cinnamon's "Beneath You").

CINNAMON: "Beneath You."
840 kb
Harry/Draco;   Ron/Pansy.
Draco absconds with a book that Harry and his friends use for trivial conversations between classes, and this petty trick has consequences that neither boy could predict.

It occurred to Harry then that Malfoy honestly did not see the insult behind the things he had said, and it shocked him. Shaken, he merely stared at Draco in a bemused sort of fascination, wondering what it must be like to live in a world where the line between what is right and what is wrong was so clearly defined, yet so obviously skewed. He struggled hard enough just to define what was real and what wasn’t.

Cinnamon shows a lot of talent and promise as a writer, IMO, and she definitely hits my schmoop button, but some aspects of the writing do, unfortunately, let the story down. It really could use a  good, tough, thorough beta but,  despite this caveat, I really did enjoy the story very much.

CORI LANNAM: "Trouble."
25 kb
Lupin/James Potter; Lupin/Black.
Story set when the characters were at school together.  James and Remus have a friendly round of sex and then get caught by Sirius, who's desperately in love with Remus.

"Sirius, I'm so sorry." James really did look as sorry as Remus had ever seen him, shifting from foot to foot and looking at Sirius with the same hangdog expression Remus had seen him use on McGonagall when detention became inevitable.

"You don't owe me any apologies," Sirius said after a pause. "You're both free to do whatever you want with whoever you want. I was just surprised, that's all."

"I knew how you feel about him, and I should have respected that," James persisted, and Remus felt his stomach sink.

"No, you don't know how I feel about him." Sirius turned his head just enough to give James a glare out of the corner of his eye. "You don't know everything about me, believe it or not."

"You love him. You're in love with him."

Remus sucked in a deep breath and held it as Sirius finally turned around, ducking his head. Sirius hesitated, until Remus thought his lungs would burst. "Yeah," he said at last, keeping his head down to avoid James' gaze. "I suppose you do know everything."

I'm not a big fan of stories about the Marauders when young, but this one is a nice, sweet story that made me very happy.

CORVETTE CLAIRE: "Thicker Than Blood."
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Hogwarts is under siege by deatheaters and students are dying.  Harry and Hermione find an almost dead Draco Malfoy and bring him back to the dungeons.

Draco lay sprawled on his back, his head tilted up and his fingers buried in the thick grass as though he had been trying to anchor himself against a terrible force. His face, always pale, was dead white with a ghastly grey cast to it, his eyes sunk in purple-black shadows. His lips were drawn back in a grimace of pain and looked almost black in the eerie blue light from the wand. They were stained with fresh blood, also showing black, and more blood ran from his mouth with each slow, labored breath. As Harry knelt there, staring, he thought he saw a gleam from beneath Draco's eyelids. He reached up to lift one lid and saw that his eyes were glazed over, nearly opaque, and the pupils dilated hugely.

This is a wonderful story, full of angst and emotion and humour and great characterisation.  Who knew that Crabbe could be such a sympathetic character?  I love take-charge Hermione at the end of the story, too.  I have to say that, although the story is well-written, the Americanisms within the text do bother me.

CYBELE: "Cake And A Cup Of Tea."
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Snape has insomnia and, to his annoyance, he finds Harry already ensconced in the kitchen of Hogwarts.

"Strange how things can go from perfect to painful so quickly, eh?" he says, surprising me yet again. I stare at him as though seeing him for the first time. This is not the foolish boy who plagued my professional career for seven years. Nor is it the same irritating fool who moved in last summer to take a position which I lost hope of being granted long ago. This is a man whom I have never properly met. A perfect stranger.

Told from Snape's POV, this is basically a PWP with cake - but an extremely well-done PWP with cake <g>.  As with all the best PWP's, this is more than just an excuse for a sexual encounter.  There's plenty of nice characterisation for both Snape and Harry, and that's what makes this story so worthwhile.


CYBELE: "If You Are Prepared 01: The Truth About Harry."
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Because of  the threat of Voldemort, Dumbledore has Snape fetch Harry from his Uncle's house so that he can look after him at Hogwarts. Then Dumbledore reveals a horrifying truth about Harry to Snape - but Harry cannot know.

"You’re embarrassed."

"You love this don’t you?"

"You’re angry."

"You’re sadistic." Of course, he’s right.

"This is your training, Potter. If you don’t feel up to it, I’ll just tell Dumbledore that the Famous Harry Potter doesn’t need his help."

His face goes blank again. "Maybe I just don’t want to turn into you," he says. His voice is cold. There is truth there. I’m shocked. I’m hurt. But why should I be?

This is the first part of an enormous three part series and it's spectacular.  Told in alternating Snape/Harry points of view, Snape and Harry are forced to depend on each other as Snape attempts to keep his promise to Dumbledore to teach Harry what he needs to know to defeat Voldemort.  This is an incredibly long, plotty story and is a must read for those who like Harry/Snape.


CYBELE: "If You Are Prepared 02: The Boy Cannot Know."
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Part 2 of this complex story.  Harry is forced to grow up incredibly fast as he faces all manner of tests - in love and war.

I sneer and he chuckles before shutting the door behind him. I get the distinct impression that the man loves to torture me. It occurs to me that Dumbledore is a sadist. He forces amity on people the way that Voldemort forces enmity. Dumbledore’s personal brand of sadism is accepted because it doesn’t leave any traceable scars. He has all but gift wrapped the boy and set him on my lap... not bothering to include a bloody receipt so that I might exchange him for something I actually like.

One of the things I like about this story is the intensity of the emotion in the Harry/Snape relationship - but it never goes over the top into gooey sentimentality.

CYBELE: "If You Are Prepared 03: Come What May."
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Harry finally has to face the truth about his role in Voldemort's demise, even as his relationship with Snape continues to have its explosive ups and downs.

A groan of the bedsprings, which have never been so vocal. He slips under the duvet and stretches against my side. "What were you thinking about?"

"How rested I was before you came into my life."

"You were bored stiff." He laughs. His fingers play around my chest. His leg slides between mine. I long ago ceased to be shocked by this familiar gesture. He sighs contentedly. I keep myself from doing the same. "You won’t know what to do once I’m gone," he teases.

The many levels of truth to that statement make me dizzy. I am nearly thankful when he presses his lips to mine, anchoring me. I won’t know what to do when he’s gone. I damn myself for becoming accustomed to his presence. His absence will surely be felt. The warmth of his body which manages to smell like sun even when it hasn’t seen the sun for over a month. The quiet which stretches between us comfortably. He takes up space. Physically and mentally, he occupies every corner of my existence.

My chambers have become the perpetual present. We don’t speak about what has happened. Nor do we think about what will happen. Perhaps that is a mistake. But when I’ve tried to bring it up he silences me with a pleading look or a kiss.

This is my favourite of the three stories and what I love best about it is the deep melancholy of Harry's situation.   This story just about wrenched my heart out of it's socket before it came to it's inevitable conclusion  -  and I love that when it's done as well as this.

To avoid being  spoiled for this last part of the story, don't read this final excerpt that I couldn't help quoting below:

Good triumphs over Evil and both perish in the balance. Those of us who fit in neither category bide our time until the next battle begins, when we will be forced to choose sides again and fight for a cause that we've grown too weary to care anything about. A bright shiny scapegoat will emerge to save us all from a shadow which will never be truly conquered.

I ache with the longing to sleep through it all. If there's one thing we can count on it's that history will repeat itself. Again and again and on infinitely. The Dark Lord is not dead. He's sleeping. And the boy hero will be born again to fight him when he wakes.

And I care nothing for that. What concerns me is that he is not coming back. Not the hero. The boy. The young man who might be sitting at my feet with his head on my lap, happy to be silently petted, holding onto this one meagre shard of peace as though it were the one thing which kept the entire universe from crashing down on him.

And it was.

<happy sigh>  That gets to me every time.

CYBELE: "Le Lien des Beaux Rêves."
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In order to stay in contact for the upcoming fight against Voldemort, Dumbledore persuades Harry and Snape to form a bond.  The bond goes deeper than anyone expected and Harry and Snape fall in love.

As quickly as he had fallen, Severus cameback to his senses. He sat up in the bed and looked over at Harry, who had his eyes closed with an ironic smile touching his lips. The pale face had no trace of stubble, nor did any shadow darken the otherwise perfect youthful visage. Harry’s eyes fluttered open and shone with all their former youthful splendour.

Beautiful, Severus thought dimly. so young and so fucking beautiful.

"Snape," Harry said, grinning up at the man with bemusement. "I can hear you."

Lots of nice angst and emotional intensity in this one and an interesting dream-like sequence as the two bond.

DEE: "Ambush."
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Draco knows how to deal with his opponents.

You corner him in the corridor between the changerooms and the bright sunlight of the pitch. He's caught on the brink, as you loom menacingly with the extra height he hasn't realised you don't have over him. You back him slowly into the wall.

And kiss him.

Kiss him?

Nice, short little snippet about Harry/Draco - very well written.  I like this author's writing very much.

DEE: "Bring Out Your Dead."
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Harry/Draco  Harry/Ginny; Draco/Ginny; Harry/Draco/Ginny.
Finding peace isn't as easy as ending the war.

He woke with Harry's hair sticking to his face, and Ginny looking down at them. His left arm was dead, Harry's shoulder pressed hard into the nerve in the soft almost-armpit part of Draco's upper arm. Ginny's eyes were the colour of the light spilling through the flap of the tent behind her. It was almost dawn; the night patrols would just be coming back.

He met Ginny's eyes, and she looked like a woman this morning, older than all of them, inscrutable with secrets Draco could never know and sadnesses that were beyond him.

The next instant, Harry was awake in his arms. "What?" he demanded, the single syllable echoing under Draco's hand on his chest.

"The patrols are in," Ginny said. "We think we've found him."

This is a very original look at how the war was won - the day to day strain of fighting a war against an enemy such as Voldemort - and the cost of winning such a war.  Dee's writing is great, as usual, and her characterisations are realistic, mature and simply fascinating.  There's a complete lack of false sentimentality about Dee's writing that appeals to me very much.  She doesn't pull any punches and her characters are, for me, that much more realistic as a result.

DEE: "Unfinished Business."
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Ten years after the War ends, Harry and Draco still haven't got their act together - but maybe it's not too late.

But mostly, he wanted to avoid the world. Avoid the parts that would look at him with disapproval - or worse, with pity. Even more, he wanted to avoid those parts that thought a Malfoy would be interested in their insidious, whispered schemes. As if the very name bequeathed malice and rebellion.

They had been great once. They'd been something to be proud of. Oh, rest assured, Draco was never going to forget his fucking father.

Very interesting and original take on what happens in the future, the writing is mature - good intentions are not everything in this realistic brave new world - and I love this Draco and Harry.

DEMENTOR DELTA: "Parseltonguetied."
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Harry is spending the summer living in Hagrid's hut and working the garden.  One day he comes across a snake....

"Hello! What have we here?" Harry Potter thrust the hoe into the freshly turned earth and peered down at the large gray rock. A narrow black head edged out from under it at the sound of his words in Parseltongue.

"You speak?" came the clearly surprised sibilant hiss of the black snake as it slid back onto the flat rock. Harry had startled it just moments earlier, and it had ducked under the rock with barely a flick of its tail.

"Uh, yeah," Harry replied, leaning on the sturdy hoe as the full ebony length coiled back onto the rock. Dark round eyes looked at him, and Harry crouched down to nearly ground level. His knees were scuffed and dirty, poking out of old cut-off shorts. He put out one work-roughened finger and rubbed it along the snake's head. "You're very pretty," he said in the soft language of serpents. The elegantly pointed head swayed rapturously at the touch. "What's your name?"

The head cocked, one black beady eye fixing on him. "Name?" it asked.

"What do you call yourself?" Harry clarified, thinking maybe he'd got the word wrong. Parseltongue relied a lot on sibilants which could overlap and sound similar.

"The Snake," came the amused reply, and Harry smiled too.

Although the premise of this story was obvious almost from the start, it's a nice story and I enjoyed it very much.

DIANA WILLIAMS: "A Better Offer."    No Link
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Harry returns to Hogwarts to teach and Snape can't stand it.

Snape took a calming breath and started again.  "Nevertheless, I believe the time has come for me to consider other, outside pursuits -"

"Sweets?" Dumbledore asked, pushing the candy dish tward Snape.

"Bloody hell, Albus!" Severus snapped.  "Would you let me get through the sodding speech just once?  I worked most of the night on it!"

Dumbledore's sharp eyes were suddenly focused on his face, and Snape knew the Headmaster was reading him as easily as a book.  "There's no need, Severus," Dumbledore said quietly.  "I understand the meaning behind your speech quite well.  You are tendering your resignation."

This is very light, amusing tale and not meant to be taken too seriously.  The characterisation, for example, would send any Potter purist into a frenzy if they tried to treat this as a serious story - but if you lighten up, it's an enjoyable romp.  It's sequel, "The Unhappiest Potions Master On Earth",  is even funnier, IMO.  And I enjoyed the fact that this author knows how to write without grammatical errors - such a relief! I also appreciate the obvious efforts she has made to write this story in 'Brit-speak', although the odd error has still crept in eg "the candy dish" above.  

DIANA WILLIAMS: "The Courtship Of Harry Potter."    No Link
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In his 7th year, Harry finds out about a wizard tradition the hard way - as usual.

"Young Potter, of course," Max said impatiently, when Snape didn't respond quickly enough.

"Potter!" Snape exclaimed. "Have you completely lost your mind?"

"Just the opposite," Max said, winking at Snape. "I expect he'll be quite the favourite when he leaves school, and I intend to lay claim before then." He quirked an eyebrow at Snape. "Don't tell me that you have aspirations in that area?"

"Don't be imbecilic," Snape snorted. "I can barely tolerate the little snot."

I enjoyed this story, despite plot holes you could drive a truck through.  I find it hard to believe, for example, that this ancient wizarding tradition is so prevalent that Sirius takes it for granted, and so public that the entire school watches Harry and Draco's predicament, and yet it hasn't happened the entire time that Harry has been in Hogwarts? Riiiight.   I mean, otherwise he'd know all about it, wouldn't he?  However, despite a few problems in this vein, and despite the obviouslness of the plot, I enjoyed this story immensely.  And I loved the Snape characterisation. The trick with Diana Williams' work is not to take it too seriously and just sit back and enjoy her humourous writing style.

DIANA WILLIAMS: "The First Time's The Worst."    No Link
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Voldemort has come up with a new evil plan to renew his power - and the good guys need to protect Harry from him at all costs.

"Don' leave us in the dark, Pr'fessor," Hagrid said. "What's You-Know-Who come up wi' now?"

"He believes that if he were to have carnal relations with a virginal male, he would absorb his partner's vitality and regain his full health."

"Damned if I've known another as good at pussy-footing around a matter," Sirius Black said with a snort. "What you mean is that the son of a bitch needs to get laid."

"If you please, Mr. Black!" McGonagall said indignantly. "Such a display of language is not called for!"

Ignoring her, Black said to Snape, "Pitching or receiving?"

"Both," Snape said. He rested his elbows on the table and steepled his fingers. "He would first be penetrated by the young man, to temporarily give him strength from the semen received. He would then - as Black would say - bugger the lad to absorb the rest of the magical powers and physical attributes."

And what happens to the unfortunate young man?" Pomfrey asked.

"He would be reduced to dust."

"Rotten luck, that," Hooch said. "Expect that it cut down on the number of volunteers."

An amused smile touched Snape's lips. "I must admit, I have never before seen such a whole-scale scramble among young men to lose their virginity, nor such encouragement from parents to do so."

Again, NOT what I'd consider a true-to-canon story but highly enjoyable nonetheless.  I'd recommend this one for the hilarious sex scenes - what a change from the standard tab A/slot B scenario <g> - and some of the rioutously funny remarks made by various members if the teaching staff.

DIANA WILLIAMS: "Sexual Healing."    No Link
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While researching a potion, Harry Potter discovers that Snape suffers from a certain personal problem.

Harry cleared his throat. "How…when…was it the Cruciatus?" He'd heard stories that excessive exposure to some curses could do that, and felt an unexpected surge of sympathy towards the man sitting across from him.

"No," Snape said shortly, and drained the rest of his glass.

"What was it, then? A Potions mishap? A - um - accident with your broom?" Realizing that he sounded like a vulture picking over a corpse, he said hastily, "I don't mean to pry, and I won't tell a soul. It's just – well – I suppose it could happen to any of us." The tone of his voice made it clear that he considered death a kinder fate.

Another unbelievable situation that I enjoyed reading about , although the author would do well NOT to give her document a name that gives away the plot point of her story, one that is different from the official name!

DIANA WILLIAMS: "The Unhappiest Postions Master On Earth."      No Link
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Snape accompanies Harry, Dumbledore, Ron and Hermione to "the happiest place on earth" - Disneyland - for a class excursion for Muggle Studies.

"What I'd like to know," Hermione was saying when he tuned back into the conversation the adults were having, "is why I've got four girls, and you have only two boys apiece."

"Because we have three Slytherins," Ron said shortly.

"And two Gryffindors," Severus retorted. "Not to mention Albus. Care to trade?"

"Never mind," Hermione said with a shudder.

The idea of Snape visiting Disneyland is hilarious - and so is this story.  I enjoyed it a lot, despite the usual departure from absolute canon characterisation.   And I absolutely won't forget the vision of Snape in a thong!

DRUSILLA DAX: "In Just Seven Days."
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Harry/Snape Hermione/Sirius Black; Ron/McGonagal.
The final battle day has been and gone and Harry, Hermione, her baby and McGonagal are all dead.  Snape goes to bed on the day of Harry's funeral certain he doesn't want to live in such a world.  Next morning he wakes up to find the Headmaster's clock in his room.  It has chosen him to be the next Headmaster and takes him back again and again to the last day of the battle until he has fixed everything the clock believes needs fixing – including Snape's love life.

Whatever happened to... 'leave me alone' ?

Someone was pounding on the door.

Someone was forcing the spells on his doors, taking off the wards he had put on his private quarters... Flitwick had taken to doing exactly the same: the day Voldemort attacked, and again the day before, when he had come to fetch him to go to the burial.

If people meant to keep invading his rooms, he might as well leave the door open...

"I'm sorry, Severus," Professor Flitwick said, "But Albus told me to wake you up. It's time to go to the burial..."

Interesting plot - I adore this Groundhog Day scenario.  However, the writing lets it down somewhat.  It's quite amusing but it could have been so much more, IMO.

(This story now known as: "Magic and Secrets of Headmaster Snape's Life" and is part of a series which can be found in the author's email group here.)

FEMMESLASH: "Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme."
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Harry gets a mysterious present and an STD--both in the same week.

"Once again, you really are not helping here," Harry said, giving the Potions master a tight-lipped glare.

"Oh, forgive me," Snape, curling his lip in return. "Since everyone in the room seems to know exactly how and where we spent the past twelve hours and the concepts of privacy and discretion appear to have been hurled out the window never to be seen again, I assumed there was no need for parlor manners."

"I am trying to keep you from being sacked, you arrogant bastard."

"Well, you're doing a marvelous job of it, Potter, nattering around the issue like some bloody old maid. Where's that fabled Gryffindor courage?"

"Fine," Harry spat out. He turned towards Dumbledore, eyes flashing. "Here's what happened in a nutshell. We fucked. It was a mutual decision, the best fuck of my life, I'd do anything to do it again, and God in heaven only knows why, but I'm in love with the greasy bastard." He glared back at Snape. "Is that better?"

And there is really something for everybody in this story: Harry and Snape get caught in a compromising position by the Weasely clan, for those who like coming out stories;  Voldemort makes an attempt on Harry's life; there is a clash with Draco Malfoy and his father; there is some hurt/comfort between Harry and Snape; and there's plenty of true love schmoop for people like me who like their stories to be more about "luuurve" than sex.  But there's plenty of sex, too, and parts of the snarking really made me laugh, especially Snape's snark about parlour manners in the quote above <g>.  I have some issues with things like grammar, punctuation and characterisation - and there's a certain uneven quality about it that is irritating at times - but these are pretty minor, and on the whole it's still a pretty entertaining story.  Just don't take it too seriously.

FORTUNE, JULIE: "Experiments In Moonlight."
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Remus Lupin/Sirius Black.
After the events of The Prisoner of Azkaban, Snape is supplying Lupin with the werewolf potion - and tries an experiment or two with it.

He opened his eyes, tasted foulness in his mouth, and made an inarticulate sound of protest at the glare. He threw up a thin, pale arm to shield his face, and the smell and color hit him at the same time.

Blood, smeared dark brown and drying along his fingers, arm, all the way to the elbow. Bloody fingerprints in flower-blooms of bruises, as if someone had gripped him desperately, to hold him ...

... hold him back.

"Severus," he whispered, stricken, and stumbled to his feet. Or tried. His head throbbed and swam in sick circles; his eyes refused to focus. Every muscle trembled, on the verge of total collapse. He slid sideways, fell against something soft and fisted bedclothes to pull himself back upright.

Julie Fortune writes principally gen, which is the misfortune of slashers everywhere.  Thank god she finally turned her attention to the slash side of the fence and chose Remus/Sirius. This is a fantastic story - I love the language and I love her characterisations of Snape, Lupin and Black.  For Julie Fortune, I even read gen - which is saying a lot!

GMTH: "Seeing Stars."   No Link
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13 years after he defeated Voldemort (and he and Snape kissed on the battlefield) Harry returns from America to take up a post as teacher at Hogwarts.

I'm cold.

I'm so bloody cold. It was madness to climb to the top of the Astronomy Tower on such a frigid night as this, but I couldn't help myself. Clear nights always draw me here, and tonight the only clouds marring the sky are the ones I create myself with my billowing exhalations.

The stars are so bright they almost hurt my eyes. Countless pinpricks of light stinging my retinas, tiny brilliant punctures in the dark void separating this world from the next. They seem so close, I feel as though I could reach out my hand and pluck one from the sky.

Very nice story – not all sweetness and light, either – and a nice sex scene.

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Draco proves his loyalty by binding himself irrevocably to Harry.  He teaches Harry the things he'll need to defeat Voldemort - but at what cost?

They studied in the evenings. Harrywas always tired and Draco was patient with him.

"This isn't right," Harry would say, whenever Draco taught him something new.

And Draco agreed and rubbed Harry's neck, waiting until Harry was quiet. "Someone has to know these things," Draco said. "Can you ask anyone else to learn them?"

Dark, compelling story that is short but very well writtem.

HTH: "The Next Hero."
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Rupert Giles is the newest Defender of the Dark Arts professor at Hogwarts school.

Giles groaned. "Good Lord. Can one man *be* a Death Eater, an amateur Auror, *and* an American?"

"They hate you," Dumbledore pronounced, almost gleefully. "They hate you more than they hated the last two Defense teachers put together."

I like this story of Hth's very much, not least because it slashes my favourite Buffy character, Giles.  I'm not a big fan of Dumbledore slash but this story made me like it.

JIM: "Lest I Wither."    No Link
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Harry Potter is the victim of a deadly poison that nobody can recognise or cure, and Snape is called on to help as Harry comes home to die. 

"Are you in pain?" Snape moved back to study the parchment. "Madam Pomfrey must have more of that painkiller she's been pouring into you." Something about the color of the poison was teasing at the back of his mind; he made a note to check out Durbar's Medieval Poisons again.

"It makes me too hazy," Potter said. "If this is it, I'd rather be conscious for the last couple of days of my life."

Snape slapped down his quill. "You're not going to die, boy!"

"Really? How interesting. Everyone else seems to think I am." Potter's fingers toyed with the stoppered vial of the poison that was coursing through him. They were shaking.

"Everyone else is an idiot," Snape snarled.

Very nice story – not all sweetness and light, either – and a nice sex scene.  And I adore the Snape characterisation - I mean, who would't love a Snape that can say that last line quoted above?

JOSAN: "The Conference."
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Dumbledore forces Snape to go to a conference.  Snape hates it and eats by himself to get away form the other delegates - but then he is approached by one who refuses to be put off.

The fourth day, Yashin was waiting at the entrance of the dining hall when Snape showed up for breakfast. "I don't think you're going to want to go in," he said, in a casual manner.

Snape peeked into the hall and moaned. All the tables had been moved so that they made a large circle. Even theirs.

"For some luncheon activity," explained Yashin.

"Merlin's breath!" Snape's scowl would have deterred even Dumbledore.

Peter Yashin is an interesting OMC but there is an incident in his interaction with Snape which I find wholly unbelievable.  It seems to me that Snape would not not accept this sort of behaviour either, and his easy acceptance of it in this story ruins this otherwise fairly enjoyable story.

KAI: "Wabi-Sabi."
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Harry ponders the reason for his attraction to Snape.

Even now, after seventeen years, people still ask me why. Why, of everyone sexy, young, or beautiful, did I instead choose you?

Most times I shrug, say something like, "Love is blind," and that's that. It's none of their business, after all. Besides, I know that if you heard me, you'd snort, flicker your eyes over my scar, and say, "Indeed," in your most scathing tone: we both know that our love is anything but blind.

The more persistent ones will run down the laundry list of your deficits -- your nose, your past, your hair and teeth, your overall prickishness -- as if to say, "Harry, you idiot, can't you see you deserve better? Can't you see that you've got the short end of the stick?"

The short end? If only they knew!

At that point, depending upon my mood, I either counter with my own list of favored attributes: your voice, your hands, your uncanny ability to make me come hard enough to see stars. Or, I toy meaningfully with my wand and tell them, in multi-syllabic, knife-edged, Snape-like prose, to fuck the hell off. Either way will bring the conversation to a quick, satisfying close.

When Kai is at her best, I think she's unbeatable.  This is a fabulous story and one I highly recommend.

LADY VADER: "Friends Like Me."
    No Link
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The love story that might have been.

Memories curl around your mind, occasionally throttling the other memories it encounters. It is a virus, this game you play, yet you find you cannot stop it, and you want to share it with him, the thoughts you drown yourself in, the need and longing dissipated by your firm belief in these precious, false events.

This story ripped my heart out and stomped on it, then left it bleeding on the floor - but in a good way <g>.  It's bittersweet ending may not be to every reader's taste, nor the second person present tense format, but I found it original and beautiful, especially the use of language throughout.  What a fabulous story - I can't recommend it highly enough.

LAIKOKAE: "Remains."
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Harry is mourning the physical destruction of Hogwarts when Snape appears on the scene.

Yes. Yes, with his eyes squeezed shut, his breath deep and his denial firm, Harry could almost believe he was home.

But he could not stay that way forever. Eventually he would have to open his eyes.

And Hogwarts would never be the same.

Hogwarts was gone and with it, so was the only home he'd ever known.

What was the point, Harry wondered bitterly, of returning triumphantly from battle, if there was no home to return to? No safe, familiar halls and small comforts calling him back.

Had it been worth it, after all?

Sometimes Harry thought in the quietest part of his mind, that the price for freedom, the price of Voldemort's defeat, had been much too high.

What I like most of all is the tone of this very short piece.

LYDIA LOVESTRUCK: "The Medean Curse."
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Hilarious story in which Harry is cursed with impotence and has to turn to Snape to concoct the complicated and painful potion to heal him.  Snape agrees - for a price: Harry has to convince Remus Lupin to go on a date with him.

Bill chewed several bites of his sandwich, apparently starved. "Three options, actually, according to my friends in Cairo. But I don't know which one to advise you to try."

"Hit me."

"The first one is fairly straightforward. You have to have sex."


"With a unicorn."

"A unicorn."

"A unicorn. Every night for a full lunar cycle."

"A unicorn."

"Yeah. Are you a virgin?"


"Then that's going to be a problem. Getting close enough to one, I mean."

"Right. A problem. Like my already not being able to have sex wouldn't be? Oh. You mean..."

"Exactly," Bill said, swallowing about half his glass of juice. He flushed slightly. "The unicorn would do it to you. Although I understand that in some circles, that's considered highly erotic to watch. You could probably sell tickets... But no. I don't really understand the appeal of that, myself."

I enjoyed the details of this one - the gradual process of making the potion while Harry attempts to coach Snape on how to  behave on his date.

MAD MARTHA: "Circles Of Power."
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The final battle approaches but why does Harry keep dreaming about Draco Malfoy?  Where will the death eaters stike next, and who can he trust? 

But the part of Harry that was adult beyond his years, the part of him that had caused him to pursue the Philosopher's Stone, track down Ginny Weasley in the Chamber of Secrets, face up to a then-unknown Sirius Black, taken him through the Tri-Wizard Tournament and its sequel, and talk Peter Pettigrew to his death – that part of him sat up at the sight of the wizard who had tried so many times to kill him since his childhood. And a very grim voice in his mind said quietly: Showtime.

This is a long, complicated, fascinating story (part of the "Auror" universe of stories) about the final confrontation with Voldemort - and so much else.  There is darkness and stark reality but also moments of pure domesticity, humour and friendship.  Ron and Harry are an established couple but although there is much discussion of all that entails - including the various ways other people react to their relationship - I didn't feel the intensity of their emotions as I have in some other HP stories, which is something I really missed.  I felt the characterisation of most of the characters was spot-on, especially those of Draco and Snape; Mad Martha achieves that almost impossible feat of making these last two true to canon, understandable and, in Draco's case, even likeable <g>.  However, if this story suffers from anything, it is a bad case of Ron worship.  His character is, IMO, distorted out of shape due to the obvious desire of the author to have him occupy centre stage at all costs.  Despite this caveat, this is still a very entertaining story - and a truly mammoth read!

MIDNIGHT BLUE: "The Mirror Of Maybe."   Warning! This is a WIP
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At a Christmas Party, the students amuse themselves with a magic mirror that shows them a moment  a few minutes into the future.  Everyone is enjoying the fun until Ron pushes Harry in front of the mirror - and Harry vanishes.

Time seemed to stop. There was a moment of absolute silence. Then shards of glass exploded out of the mirror's surface. They reached a distance of slightly more than two feet, before halting, and then reversing their flight -- rushing back to slice into the ancient wooden frame that had once contained them. And everywhere the glass cut, the frame burned.

In a matter of seconds, the entire mirror was reduced to mere wreckage on the floor, and it was obvious that within a few minutes, those remains would be nothing more than smoking, black ash. Already, tiny motes of soot were drifting upwards on the heated air.

The shocked silence in the Great Hall made it a simple matter to hear Harry's ragged words -- "Good riddance you piece of cursed crap."...and then he fell bonelessly to the floor -- unconscious, with his wand still clutched fiercely in his right hand.

This is a very complicated and interesting story.  Although this is an unfinished WIP - at the moment it's up to 18 chapters and still going strong - it is such a mature and fascinating tale that I think it can be read as it stands.  This is  a Harry/Snape slash story but there is minimal sex so far and there is plenty of action that involves all our favourite "Harry Potter" characters for those who aren't that keen on this pairing.  Dumbledore, McGonogal, Hermione, Ron,  Draco Malfoy, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin and even Madame Hooch are characterised thoroughly within this brilliant story.  I love The Mirror Of Maybe absolutely and can't wait for the next instalment.  I can't recommend this story highly enough for its mature, intelligent writing - a rarity in any fandom.

MOONY: "The Facts Of Life."    No Link
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Harry gets "The Talk" from his godfather and Remus Lupin.

The next morning Dudley wouldn't look his mother in the eye, and Uncle Vernon took him out for a long drive. Harry went up to his room and owled Ron to tell him about the whole incident.

'Sounds like Dudley got The Talk. Mum gave it to me last month when I accidentally walked in on Ginny in the bath. I don't see what the big deal is but apparently it is a big deal or Mum wouldn't have been so keen on explaining it all. Anyway, I feel more sorry for your aunt having to see that, if Dudley's as disgusting as you say he is.'

To which Harry had replied:

'He's that disgusting and more. I don't feel sorry for Aunt Petunia at all. What's The Talk?'

Two weeks later they were back at Hogwarts, and Hermione had cornered Harry in his mysteriously-deserted dormitory.

Harry made a mental note to turn Ron into a rock.

This is a sweet, humourous story that left me feeling good.  There's not a lot of romance, if that's what you're after, just a facts of life talk for an embarassed Harry - but a well-done one.

PENGUIN: "Nymphaea."
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A Dragonweed spin-off. What would have happened if the kiss in the Hall had not been interrupted by news of war? What if Harry and Draco had decided to meet again later?

"Are you scared?"

It was a matter-of-fact question, not sneering or contemptuous. Draco simply asked because he wanted to know.

"Yes. Yes, I am. Voldemort wants me dead. Of course I'm scared. Wouldn't you be?"

Draco blanched. The question might not be as hypothetical as Harry thought. Draco hesitated for a moment, not sure what to answer. But something about the entire situation, about the soft flickering light and about what had just happened between them, something about Harry's very direct gaze, made it impossible to be anything less than truthful. The perfect moment to hand each other neat little pieces of information that could prove lethal for both of us, handled in the wrong way or revealed to the wrong people. But since Harry so unceremoniously had admitted to being scared, why shouldn't Draco? The thought of how wonderful it would be to say yes, the relief of telling Harry the plain, unglamorous truth, made him feel faint. But he felt the restraint of the rules of honour he had been fed all through his childhood. Admitting to fear was not something you did if you were a Malfoy. But then again, he had done so many things lately that were not worthy of a Malfoy, and he had avoided doing so many things that were expected of a Malfoy. He had avoided fights, avoided taking up challenges. He had given a helpful word in passing to a flustered Neville in Potions class. He had defended a crying Millicent when she was bullied by Crabbe. He had thought of his father with repulsion, questioned his motives, even questioned his sanity.

And he had fallen in love with Harry Potter, which had, at least initially, made him question his own sanity.

"Yes," Draco said in a low voice. The word was like a drop of honey on his tongue, sweetly melting. "I would be. And I am. I know my father is planning things for me that will be worse than dying."

This is a very lovely, romantic story - very sweet and emotionally intense. Loved it.

PENGUIN: "Trail Of Dragons."
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Harry finishes a school assignment only to find a mysterious message to "follow the dragons".

Harry put down his quill, rolled up the parchment and rubbed his tired eyes. That assignment had been gnawing at him for the past week and, as usual, he had left it to the very last minute to finish it. But now it was done, and it wasn't bad, either. He stretched and yawned, quite pleased with himself even if it was one o'clock in the morning and he wouldn't get as much sleep as he needed.

He pointed his wand to turn out the lights, and the Gryffindor common room was dark and quiet, only the warm flickering light from the fire dancing over the walls. Harry got up from his chair and collected his things. He was about to head for the stairs when he heard a very small, clear voice say: "Harry. Harry Potter."

He started and looked around. He couldn't see anything out of the ordinary in the room, nothing moving. "Yes?"

"Harry. Look for the dragons."

This is a sweet little story.  It does have quite a high schmoop factor - and the language gets a little purple at times - but it's balanced by more prosaic elements within the story.  On the whole I found this quite a lovely story, and I especially liked the descriptions of the dragons.

PENGUIN: "Warm Spell On A Cold Night."
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Harry and Draco keep running into each other in the Hogwarts grounds at night.

But I didn't go out to admire the beauty. I went out with the hope of accidentally running into Harry. We have been accidentally running into each other almost every night for two months.

Harry Potter.

Strange how someone so straightforward can be such a mystery.

When I'm with him, time breaks up. It loses its meaning, ceases to make sense. It's fragmented, slow, still, or it speeds past like a Snitch. It crawls. It has wings. It doesn't exist.

But I didn't go out to admire the beauty. I went out with the hope of accidentally running into Harry. We have been accidentally running into each other almost every night for two months.

When I'm with him, time breaks up. It loses its meaning, ceases to make sense. It's fragmented, slow, still, or it speeds past like a Snitch. It crawls. It has wings. It doesn't exist.

This is another well-written story that deals with Draco and Harry's first kiss on a cold winter night.   Very nice story from Draco's POV.

PENGUIN: "Winter Morning Elegy."
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Harry looks at Draco as he sleeps after sex - and wonders if Draco feels anything for him at all except lust and cruelty.

I’ve always marvelled that he can slip into sleep so easily with me. I never sleep when we are together. It would be like curling up to a dragon, expecting it to use its fire to warm you, not scorch you. But apparently he trusts me. Or, at least, he is not afraid of me, which is a fact that both comforts me and hurts me. I wish he was afraid of me. I feel that fear is the only means to really get to him.

This is a beautifully written, intelligent look at the difficult relationship between Draco and Harry.  Very nicely done short story from Harry's POV.

PREDATRIX: "The Love Song Of Bastard And Idiot."
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Snape has been taking a drug to inhibit his sex drive and must now go through withdrawal.  Harry Potter helps him out.

"It's not as though I like you anyway, Potter," he lied. Finding Potter occasionally likeable was one of the blows an uncaring universe had rained down upon him over the years. It shouldn't have happened. According to any rational view of things, it hadn't happened.

He squelched a moment of compunction firmly.

"Well, no," Potter said, looking slightly hurt, "but I doubt you'd accept even working in the same school as me if I'd done that to you. I don't want to force you out of a job just because I think you're attractive. It wouldn't be fair."

"Things aren't. The universe isn't. Get over it."

"That's true," said Potter firmly, "but mature human beings compensate for the universe by being fair and honourable."

"Fool." As scathingly as he knew how, which was very.

"Bastard." Potter snorted at him crossly. "Why is it that after five minutes in the same room with you I want to hit you with a rock? It can't just be House differences."

"I see. You thought an argument would cheer me up?"

"Well, I do know you that well."

Snape laughed before he could stop himself.

I like this story because Harry isn't perfect and Snape is his usual unpleasant self.  Neither automatically understands the other and they happily insult each other in lieu of the traditional (and sometimes nauseating) cliched endearments.  I just love a snarky Snape who calls everybody an idiot <g>.

SANDY JUSTINE: "If You're Breathing."
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At a meeting of the defence Association, Harry trains the volunteers.

Privately Neville thought this was how armies were really made -- you signed up because your friends were fighting. You signed up because you couldn't imagine the look of disgust on your gran's face if you didn't. You signed up because your father would have done, and your mother, too.

And because eventually, no matter how you hid, they'd come for you, too.

This is a beautifully written Harry/Neville relationship story - my first!  I totally believed this very canon Neville characterisation and the story was romantic without sacrificing either reality or believability .  A triump of a short story,  but this is Sandy Justine, who shows her excellent grasp of all the essentilas of good story-telling - including,  thank god,   grammar and punctuation - in this 2003 Secret Santa gem.

SNOWBALLJANE: "Games Of Skill And Chance."
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After the war has ended (with a surprise twist) Snape gives in his notice to Hogwarts of his intention to leave at the end of the next term.  Much to his amazement he finds himself becoming the supervisor of an impromptu games room for a mixed House bag of first and second year students.

"Damn it, Lupin," said Snape. "You should have told me you were suffering side effects from the potion."

"It's n-not the p-potion," stammered the trembling man as he allowed Snape to guide him back into the sitting room and over to the sofa. "It's just me, Remus Lupin, slowly falling to pieces."

"Aren't we all?" It was said under his breath, barely out loud at all, but it was clear from Lupin's sharp, surprised look that it had been heard. Two pairs of eyes met and held each other, half in challenge, half in understanding.

It seemed to Snape that in that moment an unspoken agreement was made. An agreement not to speak of their fears and weaknesses. An agreement not to mention their shared sense that the supposed forces of good had used them until they were worn to almost nothing, then abandoned them in lives they couldn't understand. An agreement that a great many things were past and they were just two tired veterans who knew - and therefore didn't need to talk about it.

This may sound like a pretty ordinary story - nothing exciting - but I found it so well written, so subtle in it's exploration of the nuances of being a survivor, that I highly recommend it for anyone who likes Snape or Lupin.

TARA TORY: "No Place Like."
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Harry/Snape; Hermione/Ron.
Harry, Ron, Hermione and Snape are caught up by a magical tornado and set down in Kansas in the middle of a heatwave.  Their magic is affected and they have to cope with muggle America while they wait for Dumbledore to arrange a rescue. 

It was powerful magic behind them, which harnessed the deepest power of nature.  The din was incredible, the roar of sound so close behind them, and as they ran for the trees, which were whipping around, the smaller saplings bent to the ground, several of the students swerved and ran towards the old cottage instead.

"No!  Dammit, not there!  Keep going!"  Snape screamed out his words, knowing they probably could not be heard, following three students into the cottage in order to drive them out again.  But it was too late.  The winds hit, the cottage shivered, creaked and cracked.  It was dark inside.  "The floor!  Get on the floor!" Snape screamed.  There was a boom louder than any thunder and Snape cast out a spell, chanting as the dark room got darker.  And then the oxygen seemed to leave the room and with a last, gasped word, Professor Snape passed out.

The writing in this story lets it down somewhat but once you ignore the choppy sentence structure and mangled punctuation, the story itself is very readable: amusing,  interesting and a very entertaining twist on the Wizard of Oz scenario.

TELANU: Tea Series 1 - "A Most Disquieting Tea."    Warning: WIP.
Dumbledore invites Snape to his office for a cup of tea and confronts him with his "real" feelings for Harry Potter - but Snape can still surprise him.

“Severus, we are friends, are we not?”

Snape sat there, stone-faced, without a word.

“I’ll take that as a yes,” Dumbledore sighed, “though I should know better by now…at any rate, I consider you a friend, whether you like it or not, and it has always been my belief that friendship carries certain duties.”


“Naturally.  There are all the requisite ones: loyalty, honor, kindness, a willing ear – ”

“How quaint,” Snape sneered.

“ – and, of course, the ability to tell someone when he’s being a complete git.”

Snape’s mouth, which had already opened to deliver a scathing retort of some kind, shut with a snap that might have cut his tongue in two.  He took a moment or two to recover before saying, in an extremely calm voice, “I do beg your pardon, Albus.”

“I think you heard, Severus.  You.  Are being.  A git.”

This is the first part of a series that is still in progress  but it can be read in isolation as a stand alone.  It's very well written and I think both Snape and Dumbledore are completely true to canon.  This is a lovely, subtle character piece and the dialogue is believable and very naturalistic.

TELANU: Tea Series 2 - "Almost, At Times, The Fool."   Warning:  WIP.
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Harry is now 15 years old but Snape still feels the same way.  Snape watches Harry, Harry watches Snape.  They fight and insult each other - and then they kiss.

I must be losing my mind.

Voldemort is back; better said, he was never gone to begin with.  I’m a Death Eater once more, so it seems, and risking my life with every little jaunt to a secret meeting-place.  If any of them, even one, suspected anything, that would be the end of Severus Snape. So  I’m a spy.  I’m a teacher whose sixth-year students wouldn’t know a proper Lesion-Healing Potion if it bit them on the leg.  I’m a wizard.  In other words, I have much bigger things to worry about than an irksome infatuation with a student.

He said I was pathetic.  I’m afraid he might be right.

This has a lovely emotional intensity about it and I love the Snape and Harry characterisations.

TELANU:Tea Series 3 - "Like A Glass."   Warning: WIP.
Harry starts to have premonitions that concern Voldemort - but can he get somebody to believe him before somebody he cares about ends up dead?

“At last?  How long have I been asleep?  And how the hell did I come to be here?”

“It is Monday morning; as to the rest, I think we’d better get you something to eat, and maybe cleaned up a bit, before I embark on that particular – ”

Monday.  It took a moment for Snape to remember why this should concern him.  “What?  I have an exam to give.  Two, in fact.  Oh, damn it all, I never even prepared the tests – ”

“And you will not be giving them, nor any of your other exams this week,” Dumbledore said firmly.  “You are to rest, Severus.  You’ve been through quite a bit.  Professor Binns has kindly agreed to compose and give your exams for you.”

“BINNS?” Snape shouted, outraged.  “He knows nothingabout Potions!  What the devil kind of test is he going to make up, the history of Veritaserum?  I – ow.”  He shifted in the bed, and winced as his bladder rather urgently reminded him of its existence.

This section of the series has an actual plot and I love the way Harry grows and changes throughout the story as he learns to deal not only with how he feels about Snape, but with Snape's bad-temper and insults.

TELANU: Tea Series 4 - "Corresponding."  Warning: WIP.
Snape and Harry correspond during Harry's endless summer with the Dursely's.

He was going to do really well in Potions this year, not just scrape by.  He wasn’t going to give Snape any excuses.  He was going to know this stuff cold, as cold as Hermione, if not colder, on the very first day of class.  He was going to be ready.  Even if the stuff was as dry as thousand-year-old bones.

Harry spends his summer learning all he needs to know about gay sex but other than that, this feels more like marking time until the next big blockbuster, but it's still very good.

TIRA NOG: "A Nick In Time."
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In the years after Voldemort's defeat, Harry, Hermione, Ron and Snape are teachers at Hogwart's.  Snape has been conscious of increasingly loneliness and isolation since the death of his only friend, Dumbledore.  Then, one morning, Harry and Snape wake up to find that they have been transformed into 7 year old boys.

"What's he talking about?" Ron asked, staring down at Snape as though the boy were a venomous snake.

"He thinks he's been kidnapped," Minerva McGonagall huffed.

"What?" Hermione's mouth dropped open.

To everyone's surprise, and Severus' obvious fury, Ron began to howl with laughter.

Even though I usually run a mile from stories with children, I loved this story, especially the writing.  I really enjoyed the experience of seeing a 7 year Snape, too; he was a riot <g>, although young Harry was a little too perfect for my taste.  This story could have degenerated quickly into mawkish sentimentality but the quality of the writing saved it, IMO, and turned it into a very sweet, satisfying, feel-good story about friendship.  It won't be to everybody's taste but I  loved it.

TOFT FROGGY: "Three Months."   No Link
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How will Snape cope now that Harry is dead?

The only sign of any internal struggle was most noticeable in the Great Hall at meals. It seemed right to leave Harry's chair empty, a visible reminder of their loss, and no new Dark Arts teacher could be appointed at such short notice anyway, midway through the term as it was. Always so neat, even obsessively so, Severus now seemed to spread out his belongings and cutlery haphazardly over the two places, in a futile attempt to conceal the gap Harry had left next to him. A salt shaker; a discarded spoon; a scarf over the back of his chair. Anything.

It was as if he carried it with him everywhere, that gap. There was a change in the way he carried himself; it was the way his shoulders were set, perhaps, as if he were trying to somehow occupy more space, or the way he took to carrying more things in his robes between classes, always ready to scatter across any space where Harry Potter was not, and never would be again.

I love this story.  It hits my poignancy kink head on and I love the understated way the emotion is presented within the text.  Snape is devastated, but in a very typically Snape way that keeps his emotions firmly private.

UMBRALIN: "This Day."
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There are days that just pass you by, and there are days that could change everything. And sometimes you can't tell the difference.

For a moment they just stared at each other, and Draco hated the insecurity, hated not knowing what to say, or even if this was for real. He wanted to lash out, needed to make someone else feel smaller than he did. But he had promised himself he wouldn't do that. He wasn't going to be the one that destroyed this.

A look of forced determination came over Harry's face, and he took Draco's hand. "Come on," he said. "I'll show you around."

This is a fabulously well- written story in which Harry and Draco are enemies - but something inside them is struggling to escape that paradigm and make them so much more.  Can one day change the past into something new, or is it too late?  I loved this story  - it hit my 'bittersweet" kink squarely on the head.

ZAHRA: "The Legend of A Boy."
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Post war, Harry has to try and find his place in the world - but finds it difficult.

Harry’s tried to fall in love.

Of course, what else is it to be expected? Most legends are dead, and Harry isn’t. Harry is very much alive and battle-scarred and only twenty-two. Harry’s killed and maimed and tortured people he went to school with.

According to popular lore, Harry is a hero.

Harry finds out tough it is to be a real flesh and blood person when what the world wants is the legend.  This is just a very short look at the reality versus the legend - nicely angsty.