Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Lily/James Fanfic Recommendations

It's no secret that I adore Lily/James Marauders-Era fanfiction. I've never been into kooky stuff where it turns out Dumbledore is OMG evulz and must be destroyed and then Harry has to go back in time or become a ridiculously powerful Boring Invincible Hero and inherit bazillions of money and become Lord Potter-Black or whatever and meanwhile Hermione's gone and had a makeover and Draco's like OMG she's so hawt I will ignore all my previous characterization and start writing flower poems and declare my true love for the Mudblood, but Hermione's all like no, no, I must go back in time and redeem Tom Riddle with the POWER OF LOVE and have lots of hot sex with him-

Sorry. Get very angry there. (Ron/Hermione forever, people!) There's some weird stuff in that fandom. But I do love a good story of unrequited love, lots of lovely yearning, crazy annoying friends, prank wars, kinky jokes, angst-oh-what-angst, immature teenagers, getting drunk, late night parties, plenty of oh-god-my-crush-doesn't-like-me-my-life-is-RUINED-FOREVER!, Quidditch matches, Voldemort rising... and then it all getting really depressing and ending with everyone dying or going to prison or betraying each other. In other words, I love Lily, James and Marauders fanfiction.

I'm a bit picky about fanfiction, and especially with Lily/James, there's a whole load of cliches and pet peeves that I get obsessive about, and like any popular fandom pairing, there's a lot of bad stuff in the genre. Luckily, as Sod's Law states, there's also at least 10% of good stuff, so here's a list of highly recommended Marauders-Era fanfic, due it being either tragic, funny, romantic, exciting, or just a plain good guilty pleasure;

  • Where Dwell The Brave At Heart (and the Outtakes) - Sirius, Remus and Harry go through Remus's school photo collection, each photo flashing back to the moment it was taken. A collection of non-chronological oneshots framed in an emotional style. It's a whole universe revolving around them, and it's epic. There's a lot of Lily/James romance, but there's also a love interest for Remus - love her/hate her Anna Lovett - and for Sirius - Slytherin ice-queen Electra Nott. (Also, this author adores Remus Lupin, so if you like reading about him, well, pretty much everything she's written centers around him in some way.)
  • A Lost Generation - The first James/Lily I ever really loved. It's definitely not a coming-of-age comedy; only the early chapters are set in Hogwarts, and it mostly concerns their life in the Order, the pressure of war, and the loss of all their friends. The writer's creation of Dorcas Meadowes, Lily's doomed best friend, is gorgeous, as is her failed romance with Sirius. I did have problems with Sirius's characterization; he's kind of an asshole here. The James/Lily romance, though... it's superb. It's incredible. (I wouldn't read this if you're just looking for a light piece of fun).
  • Tears On The Balcony (and its sequel, Kisses On The Balcony) - A funny, raunchy take on James', Lily's and the rest of the gang's seventh-year. It's lighthearted at first, and goes for a Skins'-esque version of Hogwarts; sex, drinking, partying, broom closet make-out sessions and what's more, writes it well. Riley, Lily's best friend and Sirius's love interest, is pure awesome. It has a few liberties with canon (Lily is an orphan, James comes from a large family and has a lot of siblings), and takes a chapter to get going, but it's well worth it.
  • Nobody Sees Me Wishing - Focused on a Sirius/OC romance rather than James/Lily, it's narrated by Lily's roommate Ivy Bennett, an aspiring writer who is hopelessly in love with an oblivious Sirius. It's a hell of a lot better than most OC romances, and comes to a sad ending. Seriously, if anyone's interested in Sirius/OC romances, this is practically the definitive work.
  • She Said What? - A first person account of Lily's seventh-year at Hogwarts as she tries not to go mad. As well as being an accurately depressing account of school life and stress, it's extremely funny and has a real knack for making mundane events hilarious.
  • Commentarius - It is impossible not to love this version of Lily. She's an awkward, self-conscious ginger with a temper problem and seriously weird friends. It's also written in a Bridget Jones's diary manner, and Lily's musings on love and life are sometimes hilarious, yet painfully realistic. The author rarely updates though, so you might be in for a wait to get this finished.
  • Written In The Stars - Written is the dark horse of the selection. It takes a bunch of traditional J/L tropes - Lily being shocked at James becoming Head Boy, James mysteriously maturing, Lily running out on their first kiss, James and Lily being involved in a Halloween misadventure, Lily having two best friends, one of which is beautiful, sharp-witted, likes fighting with Sirius and is *sooo not secretly in love with him*, and another who is quieter, shyer and falls for Remus - and writes them really well. Seriously, it writes them how they could and should be written. Not yet finished, but it's clear how much the writing has improved over the course of the story; the first chapter is pretty standard, and the last chapter is brilliant. Also, Eva/Sirius romance... :)... Damn, whyyy am I such a softie for Sirius Black romance???
  • The Marauders And The Rogues - One of those stories where Lily and her band of friends are also Animagi pranksters and arch-enemies with the Marauders. In this case, the Rogues - Lily, Hannah, Jamie and Regan - are each the counterpart and love interest to the respective Marauders; James, Sirius, Remus and Peter. I do have problems with the characterizations of the Marauders, but on the whole, I recommend this, because A) it's hilarious, B) the dynamic between the Rogues is terrific, and C) it's creations of Hannah and Regan are awesome, as is its version of Lily. It's not yet complete, and it's hanging on a surprising cliffhanger. (I think the story's currently on hiatus and may or may not be discontinued. Still, worth checking out - it's good fun.)


  1. You should review The Life and Times by Jules! http://www.fanfiction.net/s/5200789/1/The_Life_and_Times
    It's a great Lily and James story with awesome and loveable OCs as well as superbly characterized canon characters, and it's free of usual L/J cliches, so that's always a good thing. You should definetely check it out.
    And if you're reading this, I'm guessing you're on your computer, so you should also get to updating Marauders read My Immortal. ;)

  2. Many thanks for the tips, i think The life and times is the best one, though. Have a go! ;)

  3. I don't know if you've ever read The Age of Inertia, but tbh THIS FANFIC IS THE BEST I'VE EVER READ (and this means a lot), it's a Jily fic after Hogwarts, during the war, with jily smut, order missions, friends parties, and Petunia fights, and a wonderful fighting scene against Bellatrix - and Snape struggles !! https://www.fanfiction.net/s/3325624/1/The-Age-of-Inertia