Let’s get real here: you’re never going to get your Harry Potter fanfic published. In fact, if you ever become a best-selling author of original fiction, your fanfic will just be a dirty little secret you scrub from the Internet (we’re looking at you E.L. James).
It will never see the light of day again – until some nerdy uber-fan finds it and dumps it on the Web just when you reach the podium to accept your Booker Award. Noooooooooooo!!!!!
For now, however, you still have to schlep your way to your soul-crushing 9-to-5. To keep you inspired, here’s a list of Harry Potter fanfics that we think deserve to be published novels in their own right.
So, if you’re looking for a rousingly good read, settle in and browse this list of amazing fanfiction stories. You won’t be disappointed.
It’s not hard to see muggleborn Hermione Granger’s hyper-competitiveness as a cover for insecurity and a deep need to prove she belongs. Colubrina harnesses that insecurity to terrifyingly plausible effect here as she resorts Hermione into Slytherin, presumed home of the purebloods.
Along the way she casts a cold, hard eye on the wizarding world and throws in some subtle social commentary that is too easily – and unnervingly – applicable to the real one. You’ll be left satisfied if unsettled by the time you reach the story’s whopper of an ending.
A Harry Potter and Pansy Parkinson romance – affair, fling, thang; it’s hard to pin down just exactly what they are in this thoughtful character study – actually makes a twisted sort of sense. If you believe there’s no way Harry could take down Voldemort without carrying some trauma with him, then it’s easy to see him drawn to a girl who is almost equally damaged.
Although closer to a novella with just nine chapters, this is nevertheless a rich redrawing of Pansy and Potter, both of whom too often appear as one-note characters in fanfiction. Here, they leave you with a deeper realization of how much more than just the castle was destroyed during the Battle of Hogwarts as well as how much is still worth saving – on both sides.
Here is a satisfying yet ultimately heart-wrenching what-might-have-been tale that will leave you feeling like a war survivor standing dazed and bereft in the middle of an empty battlefield. In this tale, JLH changes three small things to powerful effect.
First, Severus Snape takes Harry to the Dursleys. Second, Snape actually tells Petunia, face to face, that the Potters are dead. Third, Petunia meets her baby nephew when he’s awake, chatty (for a baby), and ready to play. The altered course that proceeds from these small breaks in the chain of canon events will leave you happy, hopeful, and later heartbroken.
This tale of an affair between the dour potions master and an of-age student has the sweep of an epic romance (at 64 chapters!) without ever losing sight of reality or its characters’ authenticity. If John Steinbeck had written a romance novel with magic thrown in, it might have been this. It has a rock-solid realism that might even have made him smile. A masterful feat for a story about witches and wizards!
In a fascinating twist on the Groundhog’s Day motif, a deceased Lily Evans learns she scored too low – in the 26th percentile – on the righteous life scale and must spend 20 cycles in Purgatory.
For each cycle, she studies the lives of the others who earned higher or lower grades and learns how they triumphed (42nd percentile Lily – married James Potter and lived happily but briefly ever after) or failed (2nd percentile Lily – married Severus Snape, joined the Death Eaters).
As she reviews the others’ lives, it slowly dawns on her what went wrong with her own and she comes to some unsettling realizations about herself – and her treatment of her former best friend, Severus Snape.
This Snape-centric tale comes wrapped in a whimsical romp featuring the Marauders. Padfoot, Mooney, Wormtail and Prongs’ stalking of the Snape gives way to concern over bruises not caused by their bullying and later compassion and camaraderie as they learn about his toxic home life.
Typically, in such tales, the Marauders tutor Snape into finding his own animagus form and true to form he learns to become Skittles, a mythological creature thanks to his hybrid ancestry. The story devolves from there into a slightly slap-happy crack fic that still manages to pack an emotional wallop.
Dudley takes center stage here in an uncommon yet plausible scenario that finds the youngest Dursley finally taking a stand on his parents’ abuse of his magical cousin. Dudley has never been seen as one of the brightest bulbs in the Harry Potter universe.
But as his school’s lessons about child abuse collide with his witnessing of the brutalities rained down on his cousin every day, the light slowly comes on. Watching his newly ignited conscience push him into action will give you fascinate you and satisfy you in equal measure.
Here’s another student-Snape romance, this time with Hermione Granger. Now, the Snermione sub-genre has a dedicated following but this little gem has landed on the Favorites list of more than 11,000 Fanfiction.net users. So, it’s safe to say that it’s practically legendary within the fandom.
The story kicks off with Hermione learns that the man the Order of the Phoenix is relying on for intelligence on the Death Eaters is dangerously unprotected – and she seems to be the only one who cares. The injustice enrages her enough to appoint herself his clandestine guardian – leading her to intimate discoveries of the man that irrevocably change her perception of him – and her feelings.
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