Well, it is long past due for me to update my profile - particularly as I have branched out from reading mainly Harry Potter Fanfiction!
Harry Potter Fanfiction is what first got me into fanfiction so...
Pairings I like
Harry/Bellatrix - There are some fantastic stories out there if you spend a little time looking. I think that this pairing either forces writers to write well or terribly and often those that are terrible are easily weeded out. This pairing requires some creativeness and is often paired with time travel which is another fun element and personally for me allows Harry's friends to change without 'bashing' et al. which is a huge bonus.
Harry/Tonks - This is my 'Would be Canon Pairing'. I just think that in an extended world Tonks is a perfect foil for Harry despite the age difference. She is also a talented witch and I think it is a shame that JK Rowling didn't make much use of her really. Fortunately, this is a fault that fanfiction can correct.
Harry/Fleur - This is similar to Tonks in that I feel she was wasted in the books and by pairing her with Harry I can explore her character more thoroughly.
Pairings I dislike
Harry/Hermione - First off a quick disclaimer - I am aware of an enormous difference between 'book' Hermione and 'film' Hermione and it is more the film portrayal I have a problem with which, unfortunately is the most often fanfictioned version. Basically I feel that she gets far too much screen time to the exclusion of pretty much every character. In the books she has flaws which makes her more endearing but in fanfiction she becomes almost infallible and is used as a weak reasoning for changing anything that doesn't fit with the author's views on how the wizarding world should change. For example electricity and how to get to the moon on a Wednesday... For petty revenge I like to imagine Hermione as a Hufflepuff who constantly mentions the Hufflepuff library as a source of facts and information which every other house derides as being much like Wikipedia where anyone can add to it!
On Another Note...
A 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.
tbc with info about other fandoms I read