Molesworth the Hufflepuff

Recs: There's Something About A Malfoy - and SEQUEL

A few years ago, a story called There's Something About A Malfoy took the hp_springsmut fest by storm. It's always fun to see momentum building about a story like that, and so I was interested in checking it out...but there were Malfoys! Malfoys are not my favourite things, however pretty and blond they may be.

But there was also the summary, which I think is one of the better ones I've ever seen:

Charlie has no room in his drawers for anyone else's skivvies, Harry wallows in moral agony for a bit, Draco wants to rebuild his life, and Scorpius just wants Harry to stop being an idiot. And there's something wicked in the forest. If they're going to stop it, they're all going to have to work together.

That summary kept nagging away at me, until I eventually started reading...and then 27,500 words later, I'd finished it in one sitting. Quite simply, it's one of the best combinations I've seen in HP fic of a really well-written, engrossing, plotty story with thoughtful characterisations and touching sex scenes that are hot while also adding to the plot.

Of course, now I know that the author was the lovely [personal profile] mindabbles, the brilliance of the story makes a lot of sense. :)

Anyway, I reread it again recently, and it was still engrossing second time around - and even more enjoyable, because I knew what was coming.

Why did I reread it? Because a while back I'd dropped [personal profile] mindabbles a prompt request for some kind of follow-up to There's Something About A Malfoy. And she delivered in spades!

Title: Something in the Air
Characters/Pairings: Harry/Scorpius, Charlie/Draco
Rating: NC-17
Summary: There's something awry in the forest—again. But this time, it's messing with his sex life and Scorpius is having none of it.

This story is only ("only") 6,000 words or so, but [personal profile] mindabbles manages to cram into that, apparently effortlessly, plenty of plot, more hot sex (well, it was posted to [ profile] daily_deviant) and the same, endearing characters. I loved it - it felt completely in keeping with the original story, but in a more bitesize format.

So, in short, if you haven't read There's Something About A Malfoy, now's your chance!

If you have read it, or if you don't want to read 27,000 words (although you won't regret it if you do) and are comfortable reading established relationship fic, then here is the sequel: Something in the Air.

Obviously, if you enjoy either of them, please do let the author know!

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Molesworth the Hufflepuff

Fic: Sunlight in the Garden (Pomona Sprout/Alice Longbottom)

[ profile] hp_beholder reveals were a few days ago, which means I can now publicly thank [personal profile] dueltastic for the wonderful The Vultures of Love, starring Minerva McGonagall, Severus Snape, Irma Pince and Argus Filch. If you haven't read it and you like any of those characters, I do urge you to give it a shot. Aside from being a great story and very well written, it's also one of those stories that makes me see the HP world and its characters in a different light. Which is one of my favourite things about fanfiction, so thank you again, [personal profile] dueltastic!

My own story, as guessed correctly by miss_morland, was Sunlight in the Garden, written for _hannelore. It was challenging to write, but also very enjoyable, so I was touched by the response it received from readers.

Title: Sunlight in the Garden
Rating: (very light) R
Pairings: Pomona Sprout/Alice Longbottom
Word Count: 4,300 words
Warnings/Content Information (Highlight to View): *References to the emotional fallout of the attack on the Longbottoms; references to memory loss*.
Summary: Pomona hasn't seen Neville since he was a baby, but the moment he steps into her greenhouse, the past begins chasing her down.
Author's/Artist's Notes: This was written for _hannelore for the 2013 round of [ profile] hp_beholder, and originally posted here. Thank you to teenage_hustler, author_by_night and [personal profile] secondsilk for beta-reading; all remaining errors and infelicities are my own. The title is inspired by Louis MacNeice's beautiful poem, The Sunlight on the Garden.

Read it on LJ or on AO3.

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Molesworth the Hufflepuff

HP_beholder: wrap-up/follow-up

1. If you've enjoyed [ profile] hp_beholder in this or previous years, you may want to check out beholder_plus, a community set up by the lovely [personal profile] magnetic_pole to discuss the themes, characters and anything else relating to the fest (or, as [personal profile] magnetic_pole puts it, "the challenges and joys of writing unconventionally attractive characters in general").

2. Quite a few people on my friends list wrote for the fest, so I enjoyed trying to guess who was responsible for each story. I have my suspicions about several of you, although I won't voice them unless asked! I'm also curious to know whether anyone thinks they've figured out which story was mine, so feel free to leave your guesses in the comments, if you like. Comments are screened, and I won't be confirming or denying any guesses until reveals happen next week. :)

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Molesworth the Hufflepuff

Final recs for HP_beholder

Just a couple more recs, as the fest has now wrapped up for the year.

First up: Come Back to Haunt You, Moaning Myrtle/Minerva McGonagall, background Minerva McGonagall/Amelia Bones, 4000 words, rated Teen. Summary: Nothing about love makes sense.

There have been a few Myrtle stories this year, and all of them have succeeded, I think, in making her something more than her canon caricature. This one takes its starting point from the fact that Myrtle and Minerva must have been near-contemporaneous (is that a word?) at Hogwarts, at least if you subscribe to the original backstory/assumptions about Minerva's age. It's a sweet, moving and occasionally funny look at second chances with two characters who have known each other for sixty years.

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Next up is The Aftermath, Charity/Hermione, Dudley/Neville, Pomona/Minerva, 3770 words, PG-13. Summary: In the days after the Battle for Hogwarts, there was much healing work to be done. Fortunately all of creation was helping.

This is a beautiful story of healing. I know there are some (very unusual) pairings in there, but for me the story almost reads as gen, because it isn't about any one couple getting together; it's about how the whole of Hogwarts regroups after the Battle of Hogwarts, looking for (and finding) hope for the future. I love the way the author blends the constant presence of magic with the sense of love that permeates all the characters and settings, making for a truly beautiful, moving story.

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And some art to finish: Frog, Paper, Scissors, Marietta/Millicent, Draco/Viktor, NC-17. This is a gorgeously playful, happy piece that's also very pretty.

In my recs, I've linked to the stories and artworks that appealed most to me personally; if none of these take your fancy, you could do worse than check out the masterlist (anonymous for now), which offers a huge variety of pairings, genres and story lengths for every taste.

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Molesworth the Hufflepuff

Recs: HP Beholder part III

[Crossposting from Dreamwidth seems to be down, so I'm reposting this manually. Apologies if you see it twice.]

A few more of my favourites from the last week or so of posting:

1. Fallow Fields (Pomona Sprout/Severus Snape, R, 20,000 words). Summary: Series of behind-the-scenes moments between Pomona, Severus & a few others.

Wait, come back! If your eyes glazed over when you saw the pairing and wordcount, please give this story another try. It's one of the best of the fest, IMO, written with emotional delicacy and a quiet intensity that makes the words fly by. This is a wonderful Pomona, capable, confident and kind - the perfect woman, in other words, to pick up and heal a lame duck like Severus Snape. But it isn't quite that simple, because Severus has plenty to offer in return. This story follows them from an inauspicious beginning through nearly two decades of interaction, never forgetting the influences and effects of the broader social canvas.

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The story is posted on Dreamwidth due to length; if you enjoy, please pop back to the IJ post to let the author know.

2. A Dictionary of Silence (Alastor Moody/Remus Lupin, 2,500 words, R. Summary: Moody is a man of few words, but he has a hundred varieties of silence.

This is a lovely portrait of two damaged men finding a kind of fulfilment with each other.

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3. Two Capable Women (Irma Pince/Minerva McGonagall, R, 6,700 words). Summary: A great many dreadful things have befallen the Hogwarts staff over the years, but the motivational training by Wilberforce (Bertie) Arbuthnot counts among the worst. However, Irma and Minerva rise to the occasion with the fortitude one may expect of two very capable women.

The author's tongue is firmly in cheek throughout this excellent story, a tale of Gryffindor derring-do and Slytherin cunning in which the Hogwarts professors face their greatest challenge yet: the motivational training instructor.

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4. And some art to finish: Constant Vigilance (Sybill Trelawney/Alastor Moody, NC-17). Summary: Sybill entertains a guest and Alastor finds that, once again, constant vigilance pays off. I love how happy both characters look in this!
Molesworth the Hufflepuff

Recs: HP Beholder part II

More excellent stuff at HP Beholder, the fest that puts overlooked and unloved characters in the spotlight.

The Vultures of Love, 13,000 words, Severus/Minerva, Irma Pince/Argus Filch, PG-13. My summary: Severus's family worries prompt him to confide in Minerva. Meanwhile, Hogwarts has a new librarian, and Argus Filch approves.

This was my gift, but I promise you I'm not reccing it out of politeness. It's simply a great read, from first to last, with four curmudgeonly protagonists who nevertheless possess a certain charm. I won't go into too much detail about the plot, because it's too much fun to spoil, but I will say it's a very quick read for 13,000 words, another testament to the author's skill. Collapse )

Read more here: The Vultures of Love.

A Cliff in July, Marietta Edgecombe/Millicent Bulstrode, 5,000 words, R. Summary: A chance meeting at a remote Muggle hotel, the summer when everything changes.

This beautiful story of two canon misfits has stuck in my mind since I read it a fortnight ago. Collapse )

Read more: A Cliff in July.

To finish, have some sweet artwork of Molly and Arthur: Strong and Stubborn Love (PG-13). I love the way the artist has extrapolated from the middleaged characters we know and reimagined them as teenagers.

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Molesworth the Hufflepuff

Recs: HP Beholder

My favourite fest, [ profile] hp_beholder, is now going strong and has already featured oft-overlooked and unloved characters like Marietta Edgecombe, Millicent Bulstrode, Aberforth Dumbledore and Filius Flitwick. Here are a couple of my favourites from the first week of posting:

Run with the Pack, rated R, 5,000 words, Sirius Black/Aberforth Dumbledore. Summary: When Albus said he had seen a stray dog around the village and to leave him out scraps, Aberforth knew right away that there was no way that dog was simply a stray.

Oh yes, oh yes! This story features a very strong Aberforth voice, jaded and cynical, but just open enough for the old hurts to come through. Pair him with a Sirius who's still on the run during GoF and you have a wonderful set-up for a fic, which the author delivers on perfectly. The gradual coming together of the two characters, both outcasts, both starved of human contact, is beautifully done; each is a perfect foil for the other, but more importantly, each understands the other because they've both endured such great pain.

A little taster for you:

After Voldemort vanished, Aberforth had a hard time believing Sirius was responsible for those murders. But then he remembered that anger. Anger could drive you to complete madness.

Albus claimed now Sirius was innocent. Albus claimed whatever was convenient for him to claim, and so Aberforth hadn't thought much about it.

Aberforth looked down the corridor leading to the back expectantly, and suddenly there he was. Emerging from the shadows once again but as a man, not a dog, and still acting as if he owned the place. He smirked at Aberforth as he strode to the bar. Aberforth was careful to watch him with an expressionless face.

His robes were filthy but his hair was not the matted mess from his wanted posters. It was short, as it had been when he was a boy, and he was still handsome, but something in his looks had changed. Like a person trying to regain health after a long illness.

He sat down on the stool right on the other side of the bar from where Aberforth stood. There was no longer anger in his eyes; it had been replaced with sadness. Aberforth knew a lot about sadness as well.

Run with the Pack on IJ - or read it here on LJ.

A Life of High Adventure, PG, 4000 words, Molly/Arthur. Summary: Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Molly Prewett who dreamed of a life of high adventure.

This is tagged Molly/Arthur, and the romance is lovely, but I'm tempted to class it as a gen piece about Molly because, really, that's who it's about. Again, the story has a very strong voice - a rather sweet, fairytale one albeit with lines of steel running through it, just as they do through Molly herself.

I've never seen this take on Molly before: that she comes from a much richer family than the one she marries into, and the pressures that this might impose on her as she grows up. I don't know that I really buy the whole pureblood class thing that many fans enjoy exploring (and fair play to them), but it works very well for this story, adding an extra dimension to the difficulties that we already know are in store for Molly and Arthur.


Either way, it’s a deep relief to be back at school, though she misses Gideon and Fabian terribly. And it is puzzling that Arthur hasn’t been more... noticeable until just now. He dances as naturally as a bird flies at the Yule Ball and she doesn’t even care that he’s wearing a set of dress robes that belonged to Gideon - they look just perfect on him.

And when he kisses her under the mistletoe...

Eventually someone tells them they’re blocking traffic and will you please bloody well move?

And they do.

Not to the Astronomy Tower, but to the stacks of the quiet library, where Molly decides that either kissing gets less credit than deserved, Christmas pudding is an aphrodisiac, or Arthur is quite marvellous at it. Subsequent returns to the library prove that it is actually Arthur.

There isn't enough Molly-and-Arthur fic in the world, but this is a lovely addition to the genre. Read it here on IJ or here on LJ.

And if you enjoy either of those, please comment to let the authors know!

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Molesworth the Hufflepuff

Loyaulte me lie

I have been getting quite ridiculously emotional over this.

The Channel 4 documentary last night was fascinating - so much science! DNA! Facial reconstruction! And I got to be a history geek and explain lots of stuff to my (sceptical) flatmate. Although I could have done without the programme making all the random internet Ricardians look like obsessive weirdos. Um.

Anyway, I've been flailing about and enjoying all the silly macros (not so much the hunchback jokes), and generally loving the fact that Richard III is suddenly in the public eye again.

And we know where he is, and that's amazing.

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Molesworth the Hufflepuff

Three recs make a post

Harry Potter:

Long live all the magic we made, Neville/Ginny, 1805 words, PG. Summary: A student asks him once, "Are you married?"

This just hits all my angst buttons at once, in such a beautiful, quiet fashion.

In a Cold Kitchen in Surrey, Petunia/Severus, 4,300 words, NC-17. Summary: Petunia and Snape grieve for Lily together.

Yes, Petunia/Snape, and it's nearly as fucked up as you'd imagine - but really, this story is about Petunia, and it's a moving, rounded, unflinching portrait of a character who has always been hard to like. With some seriously excellent writing thrown in as a bonus.

ETA: And a quick art rec: Our Autumn by mashach on DevArt. I think it's James/Lily going by the hair, but I suppose it could be Harry/Ginny. At any rate, it's a lovely, warm, autumnal picture.

Lord Peter Wimsey:

Untitled by nineveh_uk, Charles Parker/Lady Mary, G. Summary: Charles Parker's efforts to ask out Lady Mary for the first time.

If the two Harry Potter stories are sad, this one eases the heart in all the right ways. Light romance, but with all the knowingness and wit that makes reading good Wimseyfic such fun, and with a Charles POV that is just the right side of earnest. One of those stories I didn't know I needed until I read it.

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Molesworth the Hufflepuff

Request for book/fic recs

I am finding myself in the mood for some slightly schmoopy, sad-happy romance - sort of, girl meets boy, girl doesn't think she's good enough, boy turns out to be brilliant at making her feel good enough. Anyone have any recs? (I guess Bridget Jones and Persuasion would be the obvious ones, but I'd rather not go back and reread when there must be plenty more out there. Hmm, although I should probably reread Persuasion anyway.)

Suggestions for fic or published books welcome. Avoidance of sexism = a plus.

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