Cursed Child Detox Thread (or: let’s talk fanfic)

18 Aug

In the wake of Cursed Child and everything that entailed, I thought it might be fun to do a fanfic recommendations and discussion thread. Let’s share recommendations for post-canon/next-generation Harry Potter fanfics that put Cursed Child (and the original series for that matter) to shame, and maybe some time travel stories done right. I’ve got a fair number of these but I’d love to find more, so please post them in the comments if you have any.

Let’s get this out of the way first, obviously there’s Loten’s stuff, though I suspect if you’re reading us there’s a good chance you’re already familiar with it. I’m utterly incapable of being objective here; these stories literally changed my life because I’d never have met her without them. I love all of her fics but to stay on the theme of post-canon, Post Tenebras Lux is the obvious one (SS/HG, sexually explicit), Picture Perfect (the PTL epilogue I made her write), and a shorter, unconnected one called Here I Am Not.

I’ll also plug a couple of my own (very short) pieces, as far as post-war stuff goes there is “Et Tu, Brute“, “Overdose” and “Tabloid Journalism“.

The Golden Age” by Arsinoe de Blassenville. This is the quintessential cynical “reality ensues” post-canon fic, it’s well-written and realistic while still being a very pointed criticism of canon and “all was well”. I will say, however, to stay away if you are a fan of Hermione because this story is very hard on her and deliberately explores the consequences of her worst acts in canon (and bases her characterisation on those). I can’t say it’s wrong about later books’ canon Hermione, though, and it’s thought-provoking and a good criticism even if you prefer to interpret her character differently.

The works of Vera Rozalsky. My personal favourite of hers is “In Which the Princess Rescues the Dragon“, which is a long and nuanced story written from the rare perspective of Andromeda Tonks. It’s actually an alternate perspective of her other long story “Amends, or Truth and Reconciliation“, but I think it’s the stronger and more interesting one, and her Andromeda is a fascinating and well-rounded character with a unique perspective. She does have ships, “Amends” is Hermione/Neville and Hermione/Neville/Draco, which are not ships I’m normally interested in but she makes it work (and it’s largely out of view in “Princess” anyway). “Princess” also has a subtheme deconstructing love potions and dealing with their consequences. “Four o’clock in the morning” is also quite good, a shorter story not in the same continuity as the other two focusing primarily on the mental-health consequences the canon events should have had (also Hermione/Neville but it’s primarily Hermione-Draco friendship).

Questions and Answers” by little0bird. This is a very long-running next-generation fic. I hesitate to recommend/endorse this one because it’s epilogue-compliant and very much within Rowling’s value system (family uber-alles, it focuses on the characters as parents and the children’s growing up and eventually finding their way into heteronormative relationships, and does not address the Potterverse’s dystopian elements), but for what it is it’s very well-written and I think it’s probably as good as such a thing can be. Very much YMMV though (I do not agree with or endorse messages or characterisation that show up in this). I will also add that I had to hold my nose through every scene Hermione was in because Ron/Hermione squicks me and this fic is canon ships all the way (except, for some reason, pairing Draco with Daphne instead of Astoria).

Silence” by mortenavida. This is a short piece (and Dudley/Daphne) but manages to be surprisingly nuanced and interesting IMO.

The “Backward With Purpose” series by Deadwoodpecker. This is another one that I hesitate to recommend and will not endorse, but it is very well done for what it is. It’s a time travel story, Part 1 has Harry, Ron and Ginny travelling back from a bad timeline to try to create a better outcome, Part 2 stars Albus as time-traveller trying to prevent Harry dying an early death, and Part 3 (incomplete) I don’t think I’ve read because I got sick of it before then. I’m mainly mentioning this because it’s a well-crafted story that featured time-travelling Albus long before Cursed Child became a thing; this is another story that’s invested in canon ships (including a truly creepy version of Ron/Hermione that made my skin crawl far beyond what that ship usually does) and Rowling’s value system, but at least the time travel mechanics are well-thought-out and it did some interesting things.

Just because I like the genre, I’ll throw in a couple of other time travel stories. “Arachne” by sylvanawood and “The Traveller” by Somigliana are my favourite SS/HG time travel stories, and “The Apprentice” by Deborah Peters (though sadly unfinished and unlikely to ever be so) is by far the best of the “Snape is forced to relive his childhood” genre (it’s one of the only portrayals of Severus/Lily I can still tolerate, its portrayal of magical acadaemia is a thing of beauty, and it has truly memorable and compelling OCs. Seriously, when I reread this I do it more for the OCs than anything else, they’re fantastic). These three come highly recommended by me, and are relatively short if you’re turned off by massive novel-length monstrosities.

[Loten here, more to confirm that I’m still alive than anything else. I can’t contribute much to this one, Mitchell reads more fanfic than I do – the more of my own stuff I write, the more concrete my headcanons have become, and the harder it is for me to enjoy someone else’s vision. I also personally don’t like time travel as a genre, though Mitchell’s talked about some of these to me and they do sound pretty good. (Also some of my plotbunnies are post-canon, I really need to get back into writing again…)]

Add your own in the comments! Let’s be fanfic connoisseurs together and purge the taste of Cursed Child from our brains.


Posted by on August 18, 2016 in mitchell


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5 responses to “Cursed Child Detox Thread (or: let’s talk fanfic)

  1. William Wehrs

    August 18, 2016 at 4:34 pm

    I read a fanfiction called Dumbledore’s Army and the Year of Darkness. It struggled with the romantic elements, but otherwise was quite good. It shows what happened at Hogwarts during the Deathly Hallows, and it really conveys the brutality of living in an oppressive regime that readers did not get to see in the actual book because for some reason J.K. Rowling decided it would be more exciting if Harry, Hermione, and Ron were almost always safe whether it be Grimmuald Place, the tent, or Shell Cottage. The fanfiction also has Slytherins join the D.A., which is a gesture I greatly appreciate. Their reasoning is also good. One does it because his father, Albert Runcorn, was tortured, so he has become disillusioned with the new regime. The other does it because he knows his history, and he knows that oppressive regimes never ultimately win, therefore he wants to be on the winning side.

  2. helgeke

    August 18, 2016 at 9:32 pm

    The Traveller was first HG/SS story I read. Only fond memories. 🙂 His Muggle-Born Witch is on the sugary side of things but liked it quite a lot.

  3. janach

    August 20, 2016 at 2:13 am

    For time travel (but not Next Gen), I recommend Aurette’s “An Unwritten Future,”, an SSHG time-turner fic that uses a flowerpot instead of a time turner. All of Aurette’s stories are wonderful, but this is one of the few involving time travel.

    If you’re okay with timewarp rather than time travel, I recommend Aurette’s “Of Muggles and Magic” , Severus and Hermione in the Regency Era. If the death of Sev’s OC first wife doesn’t break your heart, nothing will.

    “The Apprentice” is my gold standard for ‘Sev-relives-his-life’ fics. The author originally said she had the story entirely mapped out, and it would not be abandoned, but alas that has not come to pass. I hope it was only because she found new interests, rather than because of some tragedy. On the web, one can never tell.

    An unusual Sev/Lily time travel story is “Ananke” by Eunike , in which Lily travels forward in time and encounters Headmaster Snape. It takes her an annoyingly long period to stop treating Sev like dirt, but she finally comes around just in time for Severus to die in canon fashion. She then returns home and starts changing things. The story in still in progress.

    “The Prince and the Professor” by the-supreme-mugwump . Adult Harry travels back in time to the Marauders’ era, and tries, among his other tasks, to rescue young Severus. It shows us the sort of person we would hope Harry would grow up into, if we could ignore the idiocy of his youth. Hasn’t been updated since January 2015.

    For my own version of the Next Generation, see “Princely Names” . Severus and Hermione discuss the Chinese Revolution and decide not to get married; Theodora Granger-Snape is named after a prostitute; and a Malfoy-Weasley pairing fizzles despite the fact they’re in the same House (Ravenclaw) because Rose is a lesbian.

  4. maryj59

    August 21, 2016 at 3:38 am

    I’d like to recommend Terri_Testing’s stuff on live journal, especially Headmaster Snape. You can find both stories and meta at

    And I’ve done a few (mostly Snape-centric) one-shots. This one features Neville, who IMHO does not get enough respect in canon. It is set about 14 or 15 years after DH, and is part of a pair of “bookends”. It’s called “Gift and Burden”.

  5. Maciej Paprocki

    November 22, 2016 at 9:14 pm

    Inverarity’s Hogwarts Houses Divided is a wonderfully crafted NextGen fic. Plus, he also wrote Alexandra Quick series, a dark and thoroughly engaging take on Magical America that surpasses Fantastic Beasts in all possible ways (and yes, it is culturally sensitive!) Highly recommended.


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