Like fantasy football, choosing the best, most, etc., fanfic is an exercise in futility. As soon as you declare a choice, here comes a self-declared uber-fan ready to trash your pick and tout their own, hopefully while publicly humiliating you in the process. So, it’s with some trepidation we offer you a list of the 6 most moving Harry Potter Fanfiction Stories of 2018.
First of all, they aren’t all from 2018. (But classics last forever so…). Second, the author could write like Shakespeare. But if the story is about a canon character you hate, they might as well have cracked their knuckles, shoved Snoopy off his dog house and taken his place behind the typewriter to write “It was a dark and stormy night…” Nevertheless, at the risk of being tossed overboard with Snoopy, here is our list. Let us know if you agree, disagree, or want to bash us over the head with your own list. It’s fine. Our pain tolerance is pretty high…
Set in a post-war wizard world, a PTSD-stricken Hermione processes her pain by exploring a whole other branch of “magic” – baking. For each person she feels has suffered, she bakes a sweet treat and lands on their doorstep, baked goodie in hand. Soon she’s on a “PTSD pastry tour,” delivering pastries to her fellow sufferers – from both sides of the conflict. The tour’s conclusion at Malfoy Manor is actually where the story really begins. Fair warning – it morphs into a particularly touching Dramione tale that is a revelation of the healing power of kindness and especially sweetness – literal and figurative.
Harry-Pansy matchups are their own little sub-genre that has become pretty popular over the years. This gem of a story has garnered over 13,000 hits, 500+ kudos, and 101 bookmarks on Archive of Our Own. In this non-magical alternate universe, Pansy is a spoiled, quasi (yes, only quasi)-mean girl with a serious crush on one Harry Potter. Told alternatively in prose and text messages, the story is less of a narrative and more of a character-revealing slice of angsty teen life that lays bare the couples individual vulnerabilities. When they finally manage to connect you can’t help but feel that love wins.
This is part one of a five-part novel series that actually earned J.K. Rowling’s approval. Harry Potter’s son James, in school in America, wrestles with carving out his own identity while carrying his father’s celebrated but heavy legacy. In this installment, he stumbles across the makings of what could become a war between magic users and muggles and must decide what if anything he can do to stop it. In other words, he must learn whether he can offer the world more than just his father’s name.
Some of the most touching fanfics imagine the most unlikely friendships between canon characters. In this quirky and bittersweet offering, Ms_Anthrop imagines a friendship between future Death Eater Severus Snape and future auror Alice Longbottom.
Head Girl Alice reaches out to the misanthropic fourth year and bonds with him, literally, over bubble gum and books. The story follows the odd friendship through his tenure as a Death Eater and hers as an auror before reaching her inevitable end in torture-induced madness. It will leave you haunted by what might have been.
Harry’s physical abuse by the Dursleys fits comfortably within the fanfic sub-genre of hurt/comfort in which a character is put through a torturous ordeal before finally being restored back to health, sanity or both by another character, usually a friend, parent or lover. This story takes a different approach.
Instead of a neglectful, favorites-playing Aunt Petunia we get an overly conscientious and controlling one. Her goal remains the same: to ultimately separate Harry from the magical world. This time however she tries to kill him with kindness – which is merely emotional abuse hidden under the guise of maternal care. Harry’s slow emergence from the deep freeze into which Petunia has tossed him is in itself both chilling and sadly heartening.
A superior example of the Severitus (Severus Snape as Harry’s biological father) sub-genre, this sublime tale starts with the tragic death of Neville Longbottom thanks to abuse at the hands of his uncle. Because the school missed the signs of Neville’s abuse, the Ministry orders a mandatory physical exam for all students. Terrified his own treatment by the Dursleys will be discovered, he dodges every attempt to get him on an examination table until finally Severus is forced to step in. Needless to say, the evidence of the Dursleys’ brutalization of Harry hits the faculty like a thunderclap and forces them to immediately remove Harry from their custody. When a second incident of child endangerment forces the school to temporarily close, the faculty are stuck on where to place Harry – until Severus volunteers some shocking information.
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