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One of the great things in fandom is to discover something new - a new fandom to dive into, a new writer to explore, or a new pairing to immerse yourself in.
Sometimes it happens over time, but sometimes, it's a specific story or artwork that makes me go, "Oh yes,this makes so much sense, I love this and now I totally want to read more of it!"
This rectober entry is about some of those stories for me, the ones that made me fall in love with a character or a pairing I might've liked before, but not necessarily been in love with. It is not, by any means, a complete list of pairings that I like, but pairings where I can say, yes, that story truly convinced me.
Harry Potter fandom in general, via Remus Lupin and Remus/Tonks:
Blindsided by shimotsuki
Summary: Remus makes a terrifying discovery, but he really should have seen it coming. For her part, Tonks discovers just how much Remus intends to deny himself—and her.
Word Count: 5590
My thoughts: I used to be such a fandom novice, it's not all that many years ago I hardly even knew it existed. I came into it when I searched for more to read about Remus. This fic was the first fanfic I ever read that was really good, that made sense, and it was my way into HP fandom. shimotsuki has written a wonderful series about Remus and Tonks, where she shows us rich characters and manages to combine R & T from HBP and DH with the Remus we know from PoA and the Tonks we know from OotP. When I was first searching around, in the very beginning, I was a bit sceptical about how much fun Harry Potter stories that weren't written by JKR could be. Ha! I was very happy to be proven wrong, and this is the fic that started it all for me.
Without Fear by remuslives23
Summary: “You have to know the past to understand the present” – Carl Sagan. Sirius finds a bundle of letters that make him revisit his past – his hopes, his fears, his regrets.
Word Count: 36,657
My thoughts: This fic was written for a Sirius Black Big Bang where the site unfortunately seems to be taken down, so I was happy to see this up on AO3!
When I first read the HP book series, I thought that the idea of Remus and Sirius together made a lot of sense, but it was fandom that really made me ship them and understand Sirius' character better than I did before. This was the very first Remus/Sirius fic I ever read, and after having read about one third of this story, I was completely enthralled by these two.
The Voldemort Manor by kedavranox
Summary: The Malfoy Manor is a state run museum, renamed The Voldemort Manor by the Ministry for Magic. As part of his probation, Draco is assigned as sole caretaker. When the Manor hosts a series of high class events celebrating the Wizarding World’s fourth Yuletide season Post War, it brings with it a swathe of people Draco hasn’t seen in years; including one, Harry Potter.
Word Count: 40,616
My thoughts: H/D used to be one of those pairings that I read every now and then. I could understand the appeal, but I wasn't really into them. It started to change with for instance a few stories by dysonrules. And then I read this one, and it was like a punch in the gut, in the very best of ways. I loved this Draco, this broken, but determined man. The take on Harry is also an interesting one, but it was Draco that stole my heart. And the writing in this fic is wonderful.
Unguarded by birdsofshore
Summary: Staying with Scorpius for the first time proves to be more eventful than Albus expected, right from the moment when he walks in on Mr Malfoy shaving.
Word Count: 15,300
My thoughts: This is a pairing I hadn't given a lot of thought, and the cross-gen aspect is usually not a huge thing for me in itself. But this fic, though. It's beautifully written, and yes, very hot (as in very hot), but all the scenes tell us so much about who these characters are, and they all make sense. And that will always be my favourite kind of smut.
Stop Me If You Think That You've Heard This One Before by dueltastic
Summary: Severus and Minerva both survive the war and think they have another chance together, but the war leaves scars that neither expected.
Word Count: 6000
My thoughts: I don't ship Severus with anyone very easily, but this really works. The characterisations are rich and beautiful, and the writing is full of charming details that made this come to life. There are plenty of funny lines, but the overall mood is bittersweet, showing us the complexity of these characters and their relationship. It feels very true, never sentimental, and I loved every word of it.