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Fic Recs: Harry Potter [Jan. 14th, 2015|10:11 pm]
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I didn't do any recs last year, part of the reason was just time constrains and the fact that I haven't been reading as much fanfic as I used to. But I do want to start doing recs again. I will try to do at least 3 per month, a lot of the fics will be things I found last year, so they're not particularly fresh in most cases, but it's easy to miss things, especially in a fandom as large as HP or Sherlock, so I don't think these will be out of place. I'll be doing less recs, but instead of just doing lists, I hope to add some of my own comments. Don't know how much you guys care for my very subjective opinion, but well, it is what it is :)

As always, pairings are varied, ratings are varied, please always check fic headers and tags for warnings. Etc.

Be Here Now by byrilla_licious (Antonin Dolohov/Narcissa Malfoy, Antonin Dolohov/Igor Karkaroff)
This fic is a perfect example of why I will miss Beholder so much. The author takes Antonin and gives him a backstory and a slew of motivations that are beyond the Light v Dark struggle and beyond the Blood politics. There are pairings in the fic but the fic isn't really about them - they are rather wonderful illustrations of character. Antonin's adoration of Narcissa is sweet and romantic, his relationship, of sorts, with Igor is raw. The budding (platonic) relationship with Draco is sweet and hopeful. There are so many things to think about with this fic; it's a great example of just the sort of thought-provoking fic that I love to see come out of this fandom.

The Son by perverse_idyll (Regulus Black, Sirius Black, Walburga Black, Orion Black)
I love this illustration of the Black family, of the household that Regulus grew up in. I love this look at Sirius, not as some hero rebelling against his bigoted family but rather as a spoiled brat who doesn't care much about anyone but himself. The great thing about it is that the characterization is different but still perfectly canon-compliant. And Regulus. Regulus is marvelous.

Mercy by deslea (Rodolphus Lestrange, Lucius Malfoy)
If Bella and Roddy have a child but he died very young. Basically, that's the premise of this scene. As most things by deslea this is very poignant and well characterized. Roddy is, astoundingly, sympathetic, his relationship with Lucius is genuine and the scene rings true for these characters' world.

Spoken For by deslea (Lucius Malfoy/Narcissa Malfoy, Bellatrix Lestrange/Rodolphus Lestrange, Sirius Black/Andromeda Tonks, Alice Longbottom/Frank Longbottom)
A smart, in character (for everyone) looks at the custom of arranged marriages. That's all I have to say about it really - you can think about it as a character(s) study if you like, but it's delightful either way.

A Slytherin's Guide to Hugging Professor Snape by lastcrazyhorn (Severus Snape, "little snake")
A short and adorable little ficlet about Snape and his little Slytherin charges.

Drowning by hikarievandar (Barty Crouch/Regulus Black)
A gorgeous, sad piece. A tragic and insightful look at Barty during the First War and at the roots of his fanatical dedication to the Cause later on.

Because Hearts Can't Stop Seeing by lazywriter7 (Regulus Black, Frank Longbottom, Bellatrix Lestrange)
An intricate First War fic, thoughtful, with interesting characterizations and (inter)relationships. The imagery is gorgeous, the look at both sides of the war is captivating, Regulus is tragic as always, and just the whole thing pulls you in and doesn't let go until the end.

A Splash of Chance by bloodisshrp (Draco Malfoy/Harry Potter, Scorpius Malfoy)
I'm not really an H/D person, but even that aside, the relationship between Draco and Scorpius in this fic is so sweet. Scorpius is a charmer - the work is worth a read just on the merits of his adorableness alone.

Enough by westernredcedar (Argus Filch-centric)
If you think it's impossible to write a heartbreaking Filch fic, think again. A poignant ficlet about what it's like to be a squib.

The Sin in Your Grin (and the Shape of Your Mouth) by xylodemon (Sirius Black/Severus Snape, Sirius Black/Remus Lupin)
Gah just everything about this fic is gorgeous! The writing/style is fantastic! It's a wonderful war!fic for one. For another, it's got all you could as for: friendship, love, angst, drama, some really fucked up sexual tension (and hate!sex). The grim world of the First War is so starkly and vividly drawn out and just everything about this fic is completely raw. As a special bonus, I love the explanation this fic gives for why Peter was chosen as the Potters' Secret Keeper - it's not that it hasn't been done this way before, but the way it's set up here is perfect and, therefore, painful.

[User Picture]From: deslea
2015-01-16 06:46 am (UTC)
Thank you! I have such a soft spot for Rod. I just keep thinking about what he sacrificed, and his loyalty and devotion, and all of that - greater than anyone else along with Bella. And unlike Bella, he wasn't (presumably) motivated by romantic love. I think, if he'd been born into a different time and place and a different cultural construct, he could have been a really wonderful and good person. (I also think that about Bella - she's utterly honest and single-minded and not afraid of self-sacrifice - who would she have been if her father, and every single man she could have married hadn't been a Death Eater?)
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[User Picture]From: alley_skywalker
2015-01-16 07:51 am (UTC)
I don't know if I'd say that Rodolphus' sacrifice/loyalty/devotion was greater than that of other DEs, canon-wise*. But it's hard to really make canon-based arguments about most of the Death Eaters since we know so little about them from canon, and lots of what we do know if given to us by very biased parties.

*unless you're going off of Pottermore/interview canon information; I'm pretty bad at keeping up with that stuff.

Edited at 2015-01-16 07:52 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: deslea
2015-01-16 08:46 am (UTC)
I've been giving Pottermore a wide berth myself mostly (and I doubt JKR would bother to give us much of substance about the DEs).

I'm mostly thinking of things like him going to look for Voldemort while most people were running for cover, and the way Voldemort refers to both Lestranges as his most faithful and loyal in GoF. He can see into Rodolphus' mind, so it stands to reason that he sees genuine loyalty in saying that. And his loyalty was in spite of his wife being pretty blatantly in love with Voldemort.

I definitely agree with the impact of bias though. We have only the merest scraps about these people, through some very limited points of view. And JKR, in the midst of her complex storytelling, has some very simplistic ideas about evil, some of which really offend me. This idea that bad people are ugly and their inner ugliness shows in their bodies and faces, for instance. A lot of it really does have to be taken with a grain of salt.
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[User Picture]From: alley_skywalker
2015-01-16 09:07 am (UTC)
Ah I see. I mean, I was just thinking that someone like Barty went through a hell of a lot too to find Voldemort. He was with the Lestranges looking for Voldemort before the Aurors got to them all and Barty continued being super useful after he was able to escape his father. But, yea, I guess no one else had to deal with a wife obsessed with the Dark Lord on top of it all. Although, personally, I never saw Bella and Roddy as a love match, but that's completely open to interpretation.

A lot of JKR's views on morality annoy me. I mean, I know HP was always intended as a children's series, and black-white morality is more acceptable in children's books. I do feel like the series wonders more into Young Adult territory as it progresses. If your readers can deal with things like prejudice and war themes, they can deal with some moral and ethical complexity. So, honestly, I think this is not so much calculated as JKR's projection of her own world views, which is her right in her own work, but it makes me roll my eyes at her.
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[User Picture]From: deslea
2015-01-16 11:39 am (UTC)
Agreed. I mean, this is a series with torture (Voldemort and Harry in GoF, school DH1) and magical rape (Merope and Tom Sr) and creepy pedo grooming behaviour (Tom and Ginny) and all sorts of things. It wasn't JKR being sensitive to her audience - she never really did that. It was just, as you say, her own projections and sacred cows.

I definitely take your point about Barty, though - he was the only other one in my mind as a possible equal to Rodolphus and Bella. Although I think it's interesting Voldemort appears to have made no effort to rescue Barty after GOF. It could have been just not possible, but it does have a bit of an air of Barty just having reached the end of his usefulness. (Which says more about Voldemort than Barty, but he did rescue others, and he took a big risk to save Bella in the Department of Mysteries).

I don't really see Bella and Rodolphus as a love match either. I have done art for it, but I've never written it. I usually like to write them as bonded in some non-romantic way, but that's just my writer-preference. I just think it's a bit too easy and pat for me as a writer to write them hating each other, so I only do it when it really serves the story (like Mercy). It's harder and therefore more interesting for me to write them coming to terms with one another somehow. But I can certainly buy them not caring for each other or actively hating each other when I read it.
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[User Picture]From: alley_skywalker
2015-01-16 10:33 pm (UTC)
I think one of the things to keep in mind, though, also that a lot of the Death Eaters were caught very close to the end of the war. There was probably a lot of chaos after Voldemort's disappearance so many people probably didn't really get a chance to re-group. Others were caught before the end of the war too.

Also, gosh, poor Barty, when you think about it that way. The one thing here, though, is that most of Voldemort's rescues were in bulk - he freed several-to-many DEs in any one rescue attempt. He probably did not consider any one follower important enough to take that sort of risk. I think Bella is really the one person who gets any sort of special treatment.

I have Bella in a pairing with Antonin as my headcanon, which has nothing to do with canon at all, of course. So, my headcanon of Bella and Roddy is that he desires her sexually (and maybe has feelings for her and is certainly possessive) and she just sort of learns to tolerate him. ...Actually, I think if I shipped Bellamort instead of Tony/Bella this would be my headcanon too, just with a different romantic interest for Bella.
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