July 4, 2019
5 Best Harry Potter Fanfiction Stories to Read this Year

The world of Harry Potter fanfiction is vast and all-encompassing. If you’re a die-hard HP fan, you’ve probably fallen down the rabbit hole more than once, devouring fics that happen in the original Harry Potter timeline but which feature unlikely pairings as well as fics that tackle time traveling, romance, adventure, and drama alike.

The 5 best Harry Potter fanfiction stories below have surprised me with their creativity, cheekiness, and intensity. They may not be your typical Harry Potter fanfics, but they each have an interesting, thought-provoking story to tell. If you’re looking for your next favorite fic, I hope my reviews will convince you to give these a shot.

Fiction Rating Key

  • Fiction M – May contain adult themes, language, and suggestions. Not appropriate for children and teens under the age of 16.
  • Fiction T – May contain violence, minor suggestive adult themes, and minor coarse language. Not appropriate for children under the age of 13.

1. Isolation

Author: Bex-chan
Rating: Fiction M
Pairing: Hermione G., Draco M.
Themes: Romance/Angst
Words: 278,881
Chapters: 48
Author Summary: “Post HBP. Ron and Harry are Horcrux hunting and Hermione has been left at Hogwarts to help the Order make it safe for the other students. Draco is forced by Snape to stay in Hogwarts for his own protection, but he can’t leave the room he is given; Granger’s room.”
My Rating: 5/5

Sneaky snak snak

I have to confess I was quite skeptical of the whole Dramione fanfiction hype, since I’ve never quite understood how a character as exceptional as Hermione could ever develop feelings for someone as problematic as Draco. Well, this fanfic completely changed my mind, which says a lot.

This is more than your typical Draco and Hermione love story. While the romance (and erotic) scenes are sure to be enjoyable for anyone craving a little smut, the story goes deeper into a world that people are quick to judge as black and white, only to prove that there are many shades of gray (no pun intended) in between.

As a Slytherin who’s constantly bothered by the bias against my house, it was refreshing to read a story that portrays the realistic growth of a character that’s deeply flawed and has made many mistakes throughout his life. I particularly liked the scenes told from Draco’s POV, because they show how tormented he was and how ingrained the notions of Pureblood and Mudblood were in him before Hermione acted as a catalyst to change that.

The action is not rushed (hence the 48 chapters), which is why the author has time to dwell not only on character development and romance, but also on the world under Voldemort’s rule and the dynamics between what is considered typically “good” and “evil”.

I’m by no means gonna go as far as to say that this is better than the actual Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince novel, but I do wish JKR would have portrayed the wizarding world as nuanced as Bex-chan did in this story, especially in times of tremendous turmoil, when one’s allegiance can change at a moment’s notice.

2. The First Day

Author: little0bird
Rating: Fiction T
Pairing: Harry P., Ginny W.
Themes: Hurt/Comfort/Romance
Words: 251,033
Chapters: 55
Author Summary: The first year after the battle.
My Rating: 5/5

Reaction upon reading:

Same, Daniel, same

Definitely one of my favorite stories ever, the second best Harry Potter fanfiction on this list made me tear up more than once.

Hats off to the author who has managed to create the most gut-wrenching, raw depictions of life after the battle of Hogwarts, which as you can imagine, is not all sunshine and roses. The scenes are emotional, with everyone being hurt, tired, and overall devastated, in a way that we don’t get to see in the original books.

Compared to the other fanfics mentioned here, this is, in my opinion, the most realistic, in that the action we follow could have easily happened in the HP books if JKR had decided to continue past the seventh book.

We get to explore the feelings of guilt that Harry experiences for being alive while his friends have died for a cause that he led, which I would argue border on survivor guilt. We also see the teenagers who were involved in the battle as unsure of what to do with their lives now, after so many years of struggling just to survive.

Ginny was a favorite of mine in this story, because as opposed to her character in the movies, who JKR and the directors didn’t do justice to, she was quite the complex, badass character. Harry is also a memorable character, as we get to see the slow-paced, realistic depiction of his struggles, PTSD, and nightmares.

I particularly liked the fact that the author takes time to develop all of the characters (not just Harry and Ginny), and gives us plenty of scenes with all of them, including some back at Hogwarts and some in the Ministry of Magic, according to what the characters decide to do next.

The story touches upon many thought-provoking details that any devoted Harry Potter fan will appreciate, such as how the sorting process might not be so fair after all, as the Sorting Hat is given a lot of power to decide someone’s fate so early on. These kinds of details are what made me fall in love with this fic.

Another aspect I have to mention, as it is one that really struck me, is that the fanfiction depicts the ripple effect the death of someone you love can have on you. For instance, after Colin Creevey’s death, his brother Dennis, tries out for the Seeker position just because it is something Colin would have been happy about. This shows how we tend to live in the past for so long after we have lost someone, and how every decision we make is somewhat influenced by that.

3. To Shape and Change

Author: Blueowl
Rating: Fiction T
Pairing: Harry P., Severus S.
Themes: Adventure
Words: 232,332
Chapters: 34
Author Summary: AU. Time Travel. Snape goes back in time, holding the knowledge of what is to come if he fails. No longer holding a grudge, he seeks to shape Harry into the greatest wizard of all time, starting on the day Hagrid took Harry to Diagon Alley. No Horcruxes.
My Rating: 5/5

Reaction upon reading:

“I can’t believe I have to be nice now”

If you’re tired of reading Harry Potter fanfictions that revolve around the romance between two main characters, I suggest this adventure fanfic following Harry and Snape. Once you get used to how wonderfully different Snape acts towards Harry in this fic, you’re going to love the dynamic between the two.

Prepare for a rather different trajectory for the Golden Trio, as Harry makes other friends and gets sorted into a completely different House (that I’m going to let you discover on your own). As others before it, this story invites us to imagine a world in which, through time travel, characters struggle to change the tragic ending that will befall them if Voldemort wins the war.

The author goes into detail regarding the potential of Harry’s magic and how it can be shaped and influenced by different decisions regarding his upbringing at the Dursleys, his dedication in class and so on. This is a concept I’ve never given any thought to, but one that not only makes sense, but is also a wonderful catalyst for a delightful story.

The relationship between Harry and Coral (his pet snake. Yes, pet snake) seems to somewhat mirror Voldemort and Nagini’s relationship. I’m not sure the author had this in mind when writing this fic, but it makes me a bit uncomfortable nonetheless, particularly in light of the Nagini reveal in the newest Fantastic Beasts movie.

Still, the concept of parselmagic (healing people with the help of magic and snakes), which is very important to the story, is very enthralling and it has managed to capture and hold my attention. What I don’t find as believable though, is the way Harry talks, thinks, and carries himself for a child of his age, but that is a completely different story.

Harry is not the only character who has the possibility to be different when he is given another chance at living his first years at Hogwarts. Draco is on the same boat, and it is a much more believable Draco that we see here, as opposed to the Draco caricature that we often have in the original novels.

Make no mistake, there are still many elements of Harry that we recognize from the HP books in this Harry Potter fanfic. For example, Harry is famous in this story as well and he still makes the front page of newspapers. However, this time it is for different reasons, which in my mind are better.

The final thing I want to mention is something that has always bugged me in the Harry Potter novels, namely Harry’s stubborn insistence that he knows better and that professors or other adult figures of authority cannot be trusted with his secrets. In this story, Harry finally learns to deal with his trust issues and to share his worries with the adults close to him. This leads to a completely different narrative, where he gets the help that he should have gotten in the first place.

4. The Green Girl

Author: Colubrina
Rating: Fiction T
Pairing: Hermione G., Draco M.
Themes: Romance
Words: 150,467
Chapters: 22
Author Summary: Hermione is sorted into Slytherin; how will things play out differently when the brains of the Golden Trio has different friends? AU. Darkish Dramione.
My Rating: 4/5

Reaction upon reading:

I was not prepared for this

This HP fanfic was a rollercoaster of emotions for me. I went from doubting that a Slytherin Hermione could ever persuade me to suspend disbelief, to being genuinely shocked at the journey the author decides to take their characters on. Throughout the last two chapters (particularly the final one), my reactions ranged from “Wait, what?” to “Ohmigod I did not see that coming!”

Let’s just say things are not what they seem in this, the fourth best Harry Potter fanfiction story and there is a twist in there worthy of the great Severus Snape. In the spirit of keeping this spoiler-free, let me tell you some of my other thoughts on it.

First of all, the premise of the story, though not unique, is undeniably gripping. I know I imagined the Harry Potter novels with Hermione as a Slytherin more than once. If anything, I don’t think the story underlines just how lost Harry and Ron would have been without their brainy friend enough.

We still get glimpses of the Gryffindor Hermione every now and then, particularly towards the end, but overall, she is undeniably Slytherin, so if you can’t even stand the thought of a malicious Hermione, I do not recommend reading this.

However, if you want to look at important events in the books through the Slytherin lens and see how everything changes once the perspective is shifted, this will be right up your alley. Gryffindor favoritism is thoroughly noticeable once we take a moment to analyze some key scenes and this story makes that reality staggeringly obvious.

That said, I’m not sure one of the main arguments of the story – Slytherins accepting Hermione even if she is Muggle-born just because she is one of them, while still hating and harming other Muggle-borns – stands. The idea of “Oh, I don’t hate you, I just hate everyone else that’s like you.” is ridiculous in my mind, albeit an argument people actually use in real life, sadly.

Make no mistake, even though there are many instances that could potentially redeem Hermione, she is still a frequently malicious, morally culpable character and I quite like the fact that the ending doesn’t change that and that the author doesn’t try to completely excuse her actions.

Hermione’s perspective is, nonetheless, an interesting one. We get to see how her biggest fear upon confronting the Boggart is Draco calling her a Mudblood and not wanting to be friends with her, which explains a lot about her internal struggle with being a Muggle-born Slytherin. Oftentimes, we also get the feeling that she might have chosen a different group of friends had she felt she had the choice.

The romance between the two main characters (predictably Hermione and Draco) is played out nicely as well. It is neither instant nor rushed. Now, the relationship between Hermione and Voldemort (yes, you heard that right) is what interested me more, and also made me cringe at times. Hermione knows she is still in danger around him for being Muggle-born, while Voldemort seems to be using her at times to seem more inclusive.

5. The End and the Beginning

Author: muggledad
Rating: Fiction M
Pairing: Harry P., Hermione G.
Themes: Romance/Adventure
Words: 144,392
Chapters: 14
Author Summary: “My stab at the Harry travels through time genre. Significant inspiration from “HP & Nightmares of Futures Past” with a twist. Harry/Hermione”
My Rating: 4/5

Reaction upon reading:

An autobiography.

This is a Harry Potter fanfiction story for people who want to read adventures as far away as possible from the canon. In order to enjoy it, you have to get out of your own head. Reading this with the mind of someone who knows the Harry Potter novels by heart (and loves them) won’t do. You have to read it like a completely new and entirely different story, as if the original Harry Potter never happened.

That said, if this is what you’re after, this can be a particularly compelling read. While it mainly focuses on the love story between Harry and Hermione, this is not just a Harry-Hermione fanfiction. The depth with which certain topics are explored is what made me enjoy it. I didn’t particularly enjoy the romance, but I did appreciate other things enough to make me keep reading. Ron is completely disregarded as a character, so if you’re a Ron fan, you might not like how the author decides to play this.

One of the main things I enjoyed is how this HP fanfiction strengthened my belief that there are many serious issues in the original books that are just skimmed over by J.K. Rowling, such as the Dursleys being abusive to Harry. A character that this story particularly does justice to is Luna, who I love and who isn’t particularly prominent in the books. We get to see an interesting and creative backstory to her, as well as to many other characters, such as McGonagall.

This fic deals with intense topics, which is why I must mention some trigger warnings for extreme violence, gore, and sexual assault. It shows how at times even good people can end up doing regrettable things (such as killing other people) in order to save themselves and their loved ones. Fortunately, the story doesn’t skim over this, but chooses to explore the mark that this leaves on you, which makes it raw and believable.

The interesting take on the character of Dumbledore is another thing I liked, because I always thought the series didn’t do him justice. He is a complex character for sure and one that you can never seem to be able to fit into one category, even though the story clearly leans towards “evil Dumbledore”, as opposed to the books.

The author focuses very much on family as well, and not the family you are born into, but the family you choose, especially during particularly difficult times in your life. Characters form unlikely alliances and end up being there for each other when no one else is.

Finally, a little word of warning: the language takes some getting used to if you’re accustomed to the way the characters speak in the books, as it feels out of character.

Final Musings

Did you click on any of the Harry Potter fanfictions above? If so, I would love to hear your thoughts on it.

Are you a Harry and Hermione fan, or do you prefer Hermione with Draco? Maybe you don’t have any interest in romantic pairings at all, and you just want to read some good old adventure tale following unlikely characters.

I loved To Shape and Change’s wonderful depiction of perseverance and comradery between two people who learned to put their differences aside. In The First Day, the masterfully tackled hardships following years of struggle and war made me tear up multiple times. Isolation reminded me that even people on opposing sides can forge an unbreakable bond. Thanks to The Green Girl, I’m now even prouder to be a Slytherin. Finally, The End and the Beginning gave me goosebumps when contemplating what people are capable of doing for love.

Regardless of what you’re into, one of the Harry Potter fanfic choices above is bound to be right up your alley (I hope). Happy reading!

Andreea Voicu

Executive Editor

If you were to look for me most days of the week, you would find me either in front of my laptop watching TV shows, or reading a book with my cats beside me.

I enjoy keeping up-to-date with TV shows and movies that strive to provide positive and accurate representations of different aspects of society and groups of people. Moreover, I am a geek at heart when it comes to franchises like Harry Potter and Star Wars. If you think I own too many Harry Potter bits and bobs, you’re definitely right.

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2 Comments

  1. Mara

    I read the isolation one about Hermione and Draco. Some of my favorite fan fictions are the Draco/Hermione ones. I have to say that this one is one of my favorites. I love how the author showed the progress of their relationship. If you feel like you want another good Draco/Hermione book, there’s a book on Wattpad that is absolutely my favorite. It’s called “The Marriage Decree” by DumbledoresWisdom. The story’s all about the Ministry creating a marriage law and that they have to have kids with whoever they get. A lot of people have made stories like this but this one is amazing. Thank you for giving me some good books to read and I hope you check this one out.

    Reply
    • Andreea Voicu

      Hi, Mara! Thank you so much for your input! Some of my favorite fan fictions are also the Draco/Hermione ones. There’s just something about watching a relationship between a typical “bad boy” and a classic “good girl” develop. Thank you for the recommendation – I’m definitely going to check it out. I just love how fans write entire books on these characters. It’s a true testament to the power and dedication of the HP fandom.

      Reply

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