Compiled by the Espresso Addict

Espresso Recommendations

Innovative and stylish fanfiction, showcasing the very best across multiple sf, fantasy & literature fandoms. Good writing in all its forms can be found here, including gen, het, slash, OCs, AUs, crossovers, future fics, humour & pastiche

Contents: 942 recs in 217 fandoms; 64 links

Harry Potter

Harry Potter

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As Beeswax in Summer by Rinsbane

'Sometimes, if it’s an especially long meeting, he makes lines of stars down the edges of his parchment. Not the kind where they’re lines crossed like Xs, but the kind that are drawn without ever lifting the pen, from corner to corner.' An intriguing blend of the poetic and the mundane characterises this haunting war-time piece, set deep in the bowels of Hogwarts [locked to AO3 members]

[Added 12/12/2006; Drama; 6000-20,000; Harry Potter; Characters: Harry Potter, Severus Snape, Hermione Granger]

Cost of Living by Sansa

'After the first week, he stopped putting a second cup out with the tea. A month later, he made Potter's wrought iron chair the centerpiece of a lush potted garden.' This post-War story revolves around an unusual premise which I won't spoil here, but it's the details that really make it shine

[Added 07/08/2008; Drama; 6000-20,000; Harry Potter; Characters: Severus Snape, Harry Potter]

Cursed Artefacts For Sale by Icarus

'…collecting Cursed Artefacts is a registered form of madness in the Compendium of Wizarding Mental Disorders and Other Things That Make You Twitch.' A richly detailed & inventive future fic, with a broad streak of dry humour

[Added 13/02/2006; Drama; 6000-20,000; Harry Potter; Characters: Severus Snape, Harry Potter, Narcissa Malfoy]

The Death of a Soul, A Blowjob Beneath a Table, and the Rain of Toads That Followed by Phaballa

'As reported by the Southampton Soothsayer in March of 1879, the account of the kidnapping of one Alexandra Glass, age eight, daughter to the famous Astrologist Augustus Glass, who invented the Glass-Hayburn arithmantical equation used to calculate the aural patterns of stars.' A hilarious post-war happily-ever-after romp, with asides on coincidence and fate

[Added 12/12/2006; Humour; 6000-20,000; Harry Potter; Characters: Harry Potter, Draco Malfoy, Severus Snape, Remus Lupin]

Dim Sympathies by Creascendo

'Severus had taken pains to keep no personal effect beyond the functional and impersonal. The dummy frame had been left starved of memories, of letters, of childhood mementos, of any trace of his existence. At his death, Hogwarts would not be able to generate a portrait.' An interesting short on the ethics of magical portraiture. Suffers a bit from short-paragraph syndrome

[Added 26/10/2017; Character Piece; 2500-6000; Harry Potter; Characters: Severus Snape, Minerva McGonagall, Harry Potter, Eileen Snape, Sir Cadogan, OCs]

The Eleventh Birthdays by Livesandlies

'When he had turned eleven, it had been Aunt Muriel who'd taken him in, because she was a Prewett and had a cousin by marriage who'd been a Black, and they took those things into account down at the registry office. It had not been so bad for him.' Trio-centric triptych, set in a dystopia where Voldemort won the first war. Livesandlies creates a wonderfully detailed world where Dudley gets to shine and even Percy is sympathetic

[Added 15/01/2014; Drama; 6000-20,000; Harry Potter; Characters: Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley, Harry Potter, Weasley siblings, Dudley Dursley, Lily Potter, James Potter, Severus Snape, Minerva McGonagall, Dolores Umbridge, Dr & Dr Granger, Piers Polkiss]

Fool by Kass

'I've always enjoyed the first of April. Only the most moronic of students dare try to play tricks on me, and the day offers tantalizing opportunities for embarrassing my charges.' It's a bit of a clichÉ fic, perhaps, but the Snape voice is spot on

[Added 18/03/2006; Romance/Erotica; 2500-6000; Harry Potter; Characters: Severus Snape, Harry Potter; Adult]

Get There Faster by Jintian

A dark coda to Order of the Phoenix that deals with Harry's responses to Sirius's death. Breathtakingly plausible

[Added 13/02/2006; Drama; 6000-20,000; Harry Potter; Characters: Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Ginny Weasley, Remus Lupin; Adult]

Lamp in the Cooling Room by Sansa

'She only wanted some flowers. He has an entire garden of them, after all. Full, bright blooms with stalks so thick they braid together in places.' An unusual take on more than one old trope, with a creepy child narrator, lovely symbolic weather & an ending that's just perfect. Deservedly a Harry/Draco classic, but so much more than that

[Added 13/02/2011; Drama; 6000-20,000; Harry Potter; Characters: Draco Malfoy, Harry Potter, OC]

Möbius by Mandy

'Over time, Severus wondered if a wizard could draw out enough memories to leave him an empty shell, with only the most mundane of memories in his head and the ghosts of the past.' This clever novella contains one of the more inventive HBP fixes I've encountered, and also features a believable voice for Snape

[Added 11/12/2006; Drama; 6000-20,000; Harry Potter; Characters: Severus Snape, Harry Potter, Albus Dumbledore]

Nettle Soup and Gooseberries by Jay Tryfanstone

'On the television, they looked smaller, and rather further away.' The integration of the wizarding and muggle worlds was never going to be straightforward. An unusual future-fic, packed with sumptuous details

[Added 11/12/2006; Drama; 6000-20,000; Harry Potter; Characters: Severus Snape, Harry Potter, OCs]

On the Naming of Names by Jay Tryfanstone

'Severus Snape, on a bridge, in Prague.' An unusual post-War piece, densely written & evocative. Jay's better known for some of her other Potterverse stories, but I think this may be my favourite

[Added 04/01/2006; Drama; 2500-6000; Harry Potter; Characters: Severus Snape, Harry Potter]

Picture Perfect by Selden

'He and Potter had had to clear the room by levitating out rack upon rack of cheap port, only to spend almost an entire day dealing with the enormous wheel of cheese that had once been a diplomatic gift from the Dutch wizarding community but which had, by the time they unearthed it, become a kind of Doxy village, practically ready to claim municipal status.' This plotty casefic novella, with a side of H/D, marries Selden's usual lush descriptive prose with excellent worldbuilding & fascinating thoughts on the ramifications of portrait magic. Highly recommended

[Added 26/10/2017; Drama; 20,000-50,000; Harry Potter; Characters: Draco Malfoy, Harry Potter, Teddy Tonks, Narcissa Malfoy, Andromeda Tonks, Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley, OCs]

The Return by Kulfold

'It's from Ollivander. He's inviting you to return your wand.' This original depiction of a wizarding tradition is a little more sentimental than my usual picks, and a touch rough around the edges, but the ending is worth the wait

[Added 11/12/2006; Drama; 6000-20,000; Harry Potter; Characters: Severus Snape, Harry Potter, Ollivander]

Round Bottom, Twelve Inches by Penumbra

'Death Eater orgies, my knee. All we got were stale canapÉs and harangues.' Comedy à la Wodehouse, packed with delicious detail

[Added 04/01/2006; Humour; 2500-6000; Harry Potter; Characters: Severus Snape, Harry Potter]

Still Life by Amalin

'When you're dead and one-dimensional, Harry has found, it is easier to walk away from things. Even if you're walking sideways.' Clever concept and elegant execution

[Added 02/12/2005; Drama; 2500-6000; Harry Potter; Characters: Harry Potter, Draco Malfoy]

Two Lockets by Sinick & Acid

'The candles ... waddled after Harry in a row like ducklings, short and fluffy and dripping wax all over in their excitement at being alight and having company at last.' Worth a try for the world-building alone, with a fantastic evocation of Grimmauld Place and its secrets

[Added 10/07/2008; Drama; >50,000; Harry Potter; Characters: Harry Potter, Severus Snape, Regulus Black, Walburga Black, Orion Black, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, Bellatrix Lestrange, Ollivander]

Unseen by Astolat

'He kept it with him all the time, after that, and started wearing it more often than not—he'd forget he had it on, and if he was doing a shift at one of the desks, people would come by and then go away again without asking him to do anything and he'd belatedly realize they hadn't been able to see him.' Strong worldbuilding & superb characterisation of a traumatised post-War Harry who handles celebrity abysmally. The story suffers a bit from St Draco syndrome but don't let that put you off

[Added 25/10/2017; Drama; 6000-20,000; Harry Potter; Characters: Harry Potter, Draco Malfoy, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, OCs]