When respectable media outfits like CNN are covering fanfiction, not only has fanfiction arrived, it’s moved in, stolen your spot on the couch, and sent you to the kitchen for snacks (it’s busy watching TV, shhhhh!!). And if you’re consuming your Harry Potter fanfiction without a generous topping of fan art, you might as well be eating nachos without the guacamole. You’re just not getting the full experience.
As with the fanfiction platforms Fanfiction.net and Archive of Our Own, fan art has its own popular online platforms. Deviant Art, which claims to be the oldest online art platform, offers you more than 300 million art pieces, a large portion of which is devoted to fan art. Other popular platforms you can explore include Tumblr, Pinterest, Pixiv, and more.
So, there’s no reason not to season your diet of fanfic with a generous sprinkling of fan art. Here we start you off with 13 pieces of what we think make up some of the best Harry Potter fan art out there. Enjoy! And let us know your favorites.
Let’s start with the fan art that J.K. Rowling said was her personal favorite: “1978” drawn with sepia overtones by artist and student Aïcha Wijland (also known as artofpan). Here, a grown-up James and Sirius stand proudly before their first apartment together. Rowling has never made any secret of her love for the Marauders and the contrast here between the two friends’ cheerful insouciance and our knowledge that this will be one of their last few years of happiness before it all falls apart is poignant and sweetly heartbreaking.
In an alternate universe, Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy might actually have grown up, put their rivalries aside, and worked on the same side. Auror Mission, drawn by woshibbdou, captures the eeriness of a misty night as the fellow wizards hunt their prey.
Among the Harry Potter fanfic sub-genres you may have missed is Severitus. Named for the online user who originally posted the genre parameters as a story challenge, Severitus stories operate in an alternate universe in which Severus Snape, not James Potter, sired Harry.
Such stories run the gamut from the ridiculous to the sublime. Quite a few however capture the essence of these stories: reconciliation and family love as depicted in this lovely vignette picture by aznat, where Harry is tucked in by the unlikeliest of Santas.
Ginny gets a sexy makeover in this illustration by Thirrinaki for the fanfic of the same name. Here Ginny appears as a Dryad, one of the mythological Greek female spirits who were said to inhabit trees.
Your guess is as good as mine as to whether that’s actually the case here. The fanfic was written in French and remains untranslated. So, you can dust off your rusty high school French, or just enjoy the vivid green, red, and blue of this striking picture.
Yes, that Ebony, purple-haired vampire star of the infamous Harry Potter fanfic “My Immortal” – considered the worst fanfic of all time. Seriously. Search for “worst fanfiction ever” and Google will take you right to Chapter 1. So why include it? This illustration by StolenWater not only captures the cartoon craziness of what we can only hope is a caricature. It also distills the dizzy disbelief you’re left with after reading even a few sentences.
The controversy over its true authorship is almost as interesting as the narrative (we’re using this term loosely). In some ways, however, this is the fanfic world’s version of the Necronomicon. You must never read it – not if you value your sanity.
One of the latest theories going around the Harry Potter fandom community is that an obscurus, introduced in the film “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” is the origin of a dementor. Fan forums from Reddit to Scifi StackExchange have been debating the theory.
According to Rowling, an obscurus is created when a witch or wizard is traumatized. So, it makes a macabre kind of sense that all a dementor really needs to become a model, non-destructive citizen of the wizarding community is love. Artist Madeliveva might have been on to something with this delicately drawn illustration. Pucker up buttercup!
As we saw in Prisoner of Azkaban, not even a Dementor can keep Harry from storming the quidditch pitch. Nothing quite captures Harry’s indefatigable optimism like the post-game celebration depicted in this lushly colored illustration by an unknown artist.
Something about this illustration by an unknown artist echoes the feel of the best children’s books – the safety of hearth and home is threatened by outside forces as innocent children are caught in the middle. Here James ponders a worried-looking Sirius (in his canine animagus form) while Harry sleeps peacefully on the dog’s back.
In the window beyond, the Dark Mark hovers against a backdrop of green sky and the shadowy silhouettes of the houses beyond. Somehow the houses seem scarier than the Mark as something dark from one of them seems to bleed out and creep along the windowsill. “Safe as houses” is the saying but, appearances to the contrary, nothing is safe in this house.
In a contrasting scene of domesticity, Harry schleps around his “father’s” potions lab in another offering from the Severitus sub-genre. In this illustration by Fistis for the fanfic “Polyjuice Potion,” Harry learns from the master or at least gives lip service to learning.
Snape does not look pleased, does he? Perhaps it has more to do with the missing arm that should be filling his sleeve. The reason behind the loss of the arm that held the Dark Mark is surely a fascinating tale. However, the narrative is in Russian and has not yet been translated.
In 2017, Botnik Studios created a Harry Potter fanfic generated by artificial intelligence. “Harry Potter and the Portrait of What Looked Like a Large Pile of Ash,” implied insult to fanfic authors aside, was screamingly – if incomprehensibly – hilarious. And fan artists had to chime in. In the cartoon above by Megan Nicole Dong, the Dark Lord watches in baffled dismay as Harry blithely rips his eyes from his head and tosses them into the trees. Because that makes sense. Who knew computers could be so trippy?
In a style reminiscent of Lord of the Rings, comic books, and anime, this poster by electrocereal showcases the main cast of Harry Potter characters in a dynamic new light. True, Ron and Hermione somehow remain themselves despite the more stylized rendering. But with his wand brandished like a sword, Harry would look right at home standing beside Aragorn.
Hovering in the background and flanked by a dragon and some other fearsome creature, Voldemort could easily be seen as the Witch King of Angmar. Below, Bellatrix looks more Harley Quinn than Death Eater supreme. But Dumbledore and Snape could easily be mistaken for Gandalf and Saruman.
Sometimes fanfic authors take their world-building to the extremes to the benefit of everyone. Here author and artist SirHiss illustrates their fanfic “For Want of a Mallory” about a muggleborn sorted in to the Slytherin the year of the Chamber of Secrets opens.
The fanfic goes behind the scenes of Slytherin House and Hogwarts in general to delve into its culture and includes items such as their secret school newspaper, the Pickwick Wampus, above. Details like this add the verisimilitude that gives a fanfic resonance and staying power. Kudos, SirHiss!
Finally, here’s a racy little offering from another popular fanfic sub-genre, femslash, which features lesbian romances between canon characters. Artist TabbyRox depicts a little love in the afternoon, okay evening, between professors Minerva McGonagall and Pomona Sprout. At first glance, it’s a bit of a shock to see two such sedate faculty members utterly disheveled and in an intimate clinch. What would the students say?
On the other hand, when two people have known each other for the years, no decades, these two women presumably have, you can’t be surprised if they decide to take things to the next level. After all they spend 9 months out of the year in each other’s company in the wilds of Scotland. They’re just isolated, not dead! Love wins!
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