I am an avid Harry Potter Fan Fiction reader and I have a particular love of certain less used pairings. Even more so when they are of good length. Unfortunately the well is starting to dry up so if anyone comes across some good stories that are not already on my favourites list and have my favourite pairings in then feel free to let me know.
Pairings I Like
Harry/N. Tonks - I really enjoy Tonks as a character and, in my opinion, wasted in the books albeit not as much as some others I will mention. First off, she has got to be good-looking. Coming from the Black family how can she not be? I don't think a single one of the Blacks is made out to be anything less than handsome/beautiful. There is also the fact that she is a metamorphmagus which is really fun. Especially as it is unique to her. Thirdly, she is reasonably close to Harry in age and I think that if I was the author I would have paired her up with Harry. Whilst she is made out to be slightly immature, she is a very skilled witch. If you will remember an auror needs top grades including an O in potions!!! Harry is, conversely, slightly more mature than his peers so that decreases the effective age gap if it bothers anyone. I don't see why she is often moved to Gryffindor and not left in Hufflepuff. Whilst the impression is given that it is a house for the 'spares' you must also remember that all houses have some more dodgy members (think Crabbe and Goyle) and it is the overriding character traits that decide your house.
Harry/Fleur Delacour - Fleur is perhaps the most underused and, dare I say it, wasted character in the entire series. She is, of course, a Veela which, like Tonks being a metamorphmagus, is a unique trait to her so can be fun to play around with (I don't count Gabrielle, her mother or the world cup veela - they all really just feature in introducing Fleur). Then she is also the Tri-Wizard Champion for Beauxbatons which, at the very least, should indicate that she is a moderately powerful witch. Again, she is not much older than Harry being only a few years ahead and she would have been my second choice for the Harry pairing. Bill was ok but I don't feel Bill was developed enough as a character for me to feel comfortable with the pairing. Being played by Clémence Poésy in the films also has its merits.
Harry/Bellatrix Lestrange - This may be an odd pairing for many people but all I can say is that it is a great shame that there are not a heck of a lot more of these two. I would say that some of the best fanfics I have read have used this pairing. It is also hard to explain beyond the fact I like all of the Black sisters, although I tend to substitute Andromeda for Tonks because I know next to nothing about Andromeda and very few people have written any stories for Andy. Once again we get that Bella is a very good looking woman, her years in Azkaban aside. Nothing a bit of food, sleep and lack of soul sucking demons won't cure. Magic of course helps. She is also very powerful being the Dark Lord's sole female inner circle Death Eater. Made all the more impressive by the society in which Harry Potter takes place. I find myself drawn to the more powerful witches in the HP universe because Harry needs someone to be his counterpart if not his equal.
Harry/Narcissa - The final Black sister, she shares many of the same reasons as Bella and Tonks from the Black aspect. In the books we are not given any indication as to her magical abilities but I am inclined to believe her to be fairly powerful and rather knowledgeable. How could she not be with access to two old pureblood families over her lifetime?! The unique thing for her is the fact she is Draco's mum which stirs things up a bit and allows for a good deal of fun - Ohhh Drama!!!
Pairings I Dislike
Harry/Ginny - I used to not mind this pairing, mainly as a result of the books. She was one of the more interesting and fun characters for a potential love interest after the first couple of books she was in and I mean this in the context of her and Harry's peer group, I have already indicated my particular favourites. She was fairly easy going and compared to Hermione this made her much more attractive in my opinion. However, after I read my first few fanfics I came to the conclusion as I am sure many other readers do that she just is not good enough and is actually quite annoying.
Pairings I Loathe
Harry/Hermione - Hermione is NOT Emma Watson and frankly even if she was I wouldn't touch her with a barge pole she is so annoying and up herself :P I really don't get the obsession with this pairing, it turns me away from all but the very best fanfics and even then I have a short fuse as it were. In the books she was specifically denigrated as not being anything above average such as skinny ankles and the fact that she spent half a day trying to look good just for one evening when there is no indication that others have had to put in the same work. What sort of mind bending drugs must you be one to think that she is the obvious love interest for Harry? She is completely uptight, bossy and downright interfering with only an average appearance as a redeeming feature. The only purpose she has in the books is as a dump to propel the plot onwards when a little bit of research is required and lets face it, that is boring as hell. I also detest the 'Brightest Witch of Her Generation' abuse, that phrase was initially used by Sirius I think it was and then in fan fiction this has been extrapolated to the point where she inexplicably becomes the fountain of all knowledge and the solution to all of life's everyday problems such as lycanthropy and death and not being able to get to the moon on a Friday. Are you getting the picture yet? When you step back and look at it you must notice that she has achieved nothing of real note other than getting good marks. Fred and George were repeatedly inventing things, the marauders created the marauder's map which I don't see Hermione equalling. She gets good marks in her exams but is that all so hard when you have a photographic memory and just regurgitate books, she doesn't even do that well. What about Flamel!!! When I was at school we definitely were not allowed to give the teachers back what they had given us for our answers so sorry Hermione, no marks from me. Frankly, if ever someone in their life was to be bullied and deserve it, it would be Hermione and it would be entirely brought upon herself.
I have since been reminded by my sister and my mum, who decided to stick up for her, of the Protean Charm that she does for the DA and, of course, the Polyjuice Potion she made in 2nd year.
I'll be fair and say that those are noteworthy achievements and Hermione is not totally useless. However, despite perhaps being a little emotive in my description of her intelligence, my overall opinion of her doesn't change in the slightest.*
On Another Note...
Another little irritation I have is incessant Americanisms. There is nothing wrong with this per se and no doubt I find it more noticeable/irritating being British but Hogwarts and the Harry Potter Books in general are based in the UK for better or for worse. So to start morphing the school into some sort of American High School you come across in films with countless proms and the like is mind numbingly frustrating.
Again with the irritations but I have become increasingly frustrated with authors making the UK Wizarding society excessively backwards and inept. There is nothing in the books to suggest that any one country is better than another in terms of magic. In fact, Hogwarts is specifically made out to be an outstanding school so how does that fit in with the UK being rubbish. Be more constructive and less lazy guys. Focus on a few certain areas to criticise and not just lambast everything. It would, in my opinion at least, allow the other criticisms more weight and I can get more behind the story.
Oh, and another... Why must Harry always be so 'enlightened'!!! There is no light or dark bla bla bla, the levitation spell can be used to levitate someone off a cliff or Avada Kedavra was used be doctors to put patients out of their misery. For goodness sake, cut out the cliches and stop being so melodramatic. It is fine for Harry to not be so perfect in his idealism. Give him some flaws and he becomes a more interesting character. Perhaps this is kind of why I like Bella so much, there is no other way to right her than as a flawed character.
I am yet to write any stories of my own but through reading countless other fanfics I have come to a few conclusions
1. Electricity is not compatible with the magical world and it is annoying (in much the same manner as americanisms) for someone to 'discover' a spell which allows electrical appliances to work. Instead I think I nice way to get around that is to set the world in a Victorianesc Steampunk World.
2. No such thing as quarter or half Veela - The vela gene should dominate any human gene to create a full veela when a female child is born. There is no mention of male veela so how else are any veela supposed to be born.
3. If anyone hasn't read the Time Wars Series by Simon Hawke then I really recommend you try. They are fundamentally about time travel and the author has written some 'laws' of time travel which I would use if I was to ever create a Harry Potter across time sort of story to prevent my cannon being wishy washy.
Mesinger's Theories of Temporal Relativity
1. The Theory of Temporal Inertia - The 'current' of the time stream tends to resist the disruptive influence of temporal discontinuities. The degree of this resistance is dependent upon the coefficient of the magnitude of the disruption and the Uncertainty Principal.
2. The Principal of Temporal Uncertainty - The element of uncertainty expressed as a coefficient of temporal inertia represents the 'X Factor' in temporal continuity. Absolute determination of the degree of deviation from the original, undisrupted scenario is rendered impossible by the lack of total accuracy in historical documentation and research and by the presence of historical anomalies as a result either of temporal discontinuities or adjustments thereof.
3. The Fate Factor - In the event of a disruption of a magnitude sufficient to affect temporal inertia and create a discontinuity, the Fate Factor, working as a coefficient of temporal inertia, and the element of uncertainty both already present and brought about by the disruption, determine the degree of relative continuity to which the time stream can be restored, contingent upon the effects of the disruption and its adjustment.
4. The Timestream Split - In the event of a disruption of a magnitude sufficient to overcome temporal inertia, the effects of the Fate Factor would be canceled out by the overwhelming influence of the resulting discontinuity. The displaced energy of temporal inertia would create a parallel timeline in which the Uncertainty Principle would be the chief governing factor.
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