Don’t support JK Rowling: Read these Harry Potter fanfiction stories instead
Fanfiction is a word thrown around a lot these days with more and more people becoming entrenched in the recesses of nerd culture. The practice of writing your own fan story about your favorite property has been around for years, some of the earliest modern fanfics can be traced back to the 60s and Star Trek. Fanfics are great fun and written by people just as passionate about a property as you are.
J.K. Rowling may have revealed her transphobic views (along with not shutting up about them on Twitter). It leaves fans of Harry Potter in an awkward place. No one wants to support the property, but people don’t want to give up such a big part of their lives either. It’s a tightrope, one that leads to discussions of “death of the author” and fan involvement.
For many, it’s a tricky tightrope even for those within the trans community, who are justifiably angry with Rowling’s comments but also don’t want to let Harry Potter go. Many just won’t support Rowling through buying Harry Potter things. So how do you still get positive Potter involvement while not putting money in Rowling’s pockets?
Fanfiction, of course! Harry Potter has millions upon millions of pieces of fanfiction out there to read. It’s probably one of the biggest fandoms with the most fanworks out there. Honestly, for most fans, it’s the fanfiction that’s more important than the books. It’s like the books are a framework, but the most talented fanfiction writer can take the world and twist it in new wonderful ways.
So for those Harry Potter fans who feel let down by J.K. Rowling, but don’t want to let Hogwarts go quite yet. Fanfiction could be the most acceptable compromise out there. Here are some of the best out there. With this in mind, here are the best fanfiction of Harry Potter that is linked and credited to the authors.
Fanfic vocab for beginners!
Let’s presume you have no clue about the world of fanfic. For some of the terminology used in this article, here is some handy terminology to know.
AU: Alternate Universe. This is a story that can diverge from canon in aspects big or small. Such as: Sirius Black escapes from Azkaban when Harry is younger. Or Harry has a twin brother.
Canon: Established parts of the story or book.
Crossover: When one property crosses over with the other, example: Harry Potter meets Sam and Dean Winchester.
Fanon: Concepts that are commonly accepted by fans, but aren’t explicitly part of the book.
Gen: Fanfiction with no focus on romance, just general relationships.
OOC: Out of character. In that characters don’t act as they do within canon, such as Ron being a Death Eater.
Peggy Sue: Time travel essentially. Except the character time travelling wakes up in their younger body with full awareness of the future based on the 80s film Peggy Sue Got Married.
Ratings for fanfic depends on the site, but we’ll make sure to mark it. The biggest fanfictions website are Archive of Our Own and Fanfiction.net.
Alternate Universe Recs
Pairings: Lily Evans Potter/James Potter, Bellatrix Black/Remus Lupin
Rating: M (17+)
Summary: Two years after defeating Voldemort, Harry falls into an alternate dimension with his godfather. Together, they embark on a new life filled with drunken debauchery, thievery, and generally antagonizing all their old family, friends, and enemies.
This fic was written prior to the official completion of the series, so things such as the Horcruxes and Voldemort’s defeat are different. For real though, A Black Comedy is a fic that this writer personally makes time to reread at least once a year. It’s 31 chapters long and features Harry and Sirius in an alternate dimension when they both died, others lived, and Voldemort is saner.
It’s honestly pretty freaking hilarious. From becoming the “Death Eater Bandits” to both of them being Lord Black to Parselcrotch, it’s all pretty great. Donjon is truly known for the comedy writing across multiple oneshots and longer fics, but this is the pinnacle of some sharp comedy writing. You’ll laugh until you cry and want more after the fic is done.
Rating: T (13+)
Completed? No (Last story added in June 2019)
Summary: A series of “what if” rewrites of Harry Potter, books 1-7. Cross-posted from Tumblr (ink-splotch).
If there is one series of AU “what if” fics, then let it be this one. There are 17 works within the series, taking a key part of canon and seeing how much things change while also remaining the same. The author, dirgewithoutmusic, is a master of writing and crafts these beautiful, heartbreaking, funny stories that will leave you in tears but also feeling light.
Some of these AU one-shots (usually written in one go) include things such as “what if Harry grew up in Hogwarts” to “what if Hermione Granger was the Girl Who Lived”. The concepts seem simple, but each goes their own unique path, making them all the better to read.
Each story is absolutely amazing with the best being the girl who lived (again), which focuses on Harry’s journey as a trans woman, the kids who choose themselves, which focuses on a world where Harry and Neville died as infants, and the family potter, which sees James and Lily raising an orphan Dudley along with Harry.
Rating: G (All ages)
Summary: “You understand, Professor,” Harry began, after a moment, “that I don’t have my N.E.W.T.s. I never even finished seventh year. Between everything, I never had a chance the first time around, and then afterwards there didn’t seem to be much point. Hermione argued for it, of course, but I was so tired of Britain. So technically, I am completely unqualified for the position.”
“Quite a way to begin an interview, Mr. Potter,” McGonagall said, dryly.
Or, three years after the war, Harry Potter becomes Hogwarts’ newest Defense Against the Dark Arts professor.
Did you absolutely not love the fact that Harry didn’t become the Defense teacher after leaving Hogwarts? So did we! Follow a 20-year-old Harry across his first year of teaching DADA in Hogwarts after travelling around the world. This, honestly, feels more like a genuine epilogue than what we got.
It also features Harry Potter playing D&D and the paintings of Hogwarts castle breathlessly invested in the plot of the campaign. More importantly, it shows a Harry who is committed to not repeat the same mistakes and attitudes that led to the war with Voldemort in the first place.
Pairings: Draco Malfoy/Harry Potter, Ron Weasley/Hermione Granger
Rating: T (13+)
Summary: ‘You’re a wizard, Harry’ is easier to hear from a half-giant when you’re eleven, rather than from some kids on a tube platform when you’re seventeen and late for work.
This fic is over 90,000 words and eight chapters long. You will wish it would be longer. In a world where Harry never went to Hogwarts, he finds himself accosted by magical teenagers at the age of 17 and is brought along in a war that he had no idea what was going on. The whole thing is utterly believable with great character work and an engrossingly fun story.
Waspabi has a great grasp on the world of Harry Potter and twists it in some really appealing ways.
Pairings: Gen (mostly, can vary)
Rating: M (Mature, 17+)
Summary: Odd little one shots that may or may not be turned into their own stories.
Welcome to the 185 chapter fic dumping ground of author Rorscach’s Blot for any various ideas that pop into this author’s head. It’s been going on since 2005 and was last updated in 2019. If you’ve been in the Harry Potter fandom, then chances are you’ve come across it once.
The vast majority of these chapters are ideas of alternate universe versions of Harry Potter. Sometimes, they become their own full stories, other times it’s just relegated to Odd Ideas as a whole. Mostly, however, they’re pretty funny and weird. Again, it’s 185 chapters of content, so enjoy.
Pairings: Lily Evans Potter/James Potter, Sirius Black/Remus Lupin
Rating: T (13+)
Summary: In an alternate universe, one man still struggles with a moral decision made many years before.
There are some fanfic writers that everyone has heard of, even in passing, and copperbadge is definitely one of them. The Harry Potter entries are some of this author’s oldest work, but they’re also damn good. While many people recommend the forever uncompleted Raising Harry ‘verse (where Remus and Sirius sort of kidnap and raise Harry as their own), we’re going to give it to Reclamation.
This fic, however, is one that stays with you long after reading. Mainly because it goes so wildly off the rails from the get go and keeps drawing you in the with the passage of time. No, we won’t spoiler just what makes this fic an AU. But oh boy, it is utterly fantastic.
Crossover with: Doctor Who
Rating: T (13+)
Summary: Somewhere in Newt’s suitcase there is a pocket watch.
You only need to know, generally, what went done in the 2015 film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. esama has written some truly amazing works within the world of Harry Potter over the years, crossover and noncrossover alike. But this fic captures the essence of both Newt and the Doctor in the best way possible.
The trick of this fic is that it’s written so close to the film that you could almost believe it’s actually canon, which makes it an absolute delight. More to the point, it just has this bittersweet and hopeful tone throughout the story that almost makes you wish for more.
Crossover with: The Addams Family
Rating: T (13+)
Completed? No (Last updated in 2015)
Summary: Harveste began like this – another inconspicuous day in a slew of boring days, starting off with a perfunctory visit to the market, messing about with what could possibly be a very silly idea, and ending in a sense of accomplishment and the first installment. The day after that, buoyed into hitherto unfamiliar levels of ecstasy by readers’ comments (seriously, thank you so much to my first readers), the second installment. And then it just snowballed from there: the researching, the planning, watching and searching out all the little macabre details in a feverish giddy rush.
My absolute favorite project, hands down, and the one I’ve had the most progress with. I’m quite proud that this is the first contribution I’ll be making to AO3, and I’m certain it won’t be the last. I hope this inspires me to continue and finish what I’ve started, because dear Harveste deserves that.
While it looks unlikely that the author will ever finish the Harveste Addams series, the recommendation still stands. Set in a world where Harry snapped, murdered the Dursleys, and was subsequently adopted and renamed by the Addams Family, this series is just pure fun for any fans of the more macabre aspects of The Addams Family.
A lot of the plot points, however, are largely similar to the books, but with Harveste having different friends and house to his canon counterpart. Also the Addams family has a reputation within the magical world. Things really change around Book 5 for the most part with the introduction of blood magic. Either way, it’s a great read even if it’s incomplete.
Crossover with: Merlin (BBC)
Rating: Not given by author
Summary: As usual, Merlin has utterly failed in keeping a low profile by inadvertently getting himself dragged into a mess of a situation that appears to have something to do with a seemingly unkillable snake man, a toad woman, an order of phoenixes, and a boy named Harry Potter who, he quickly finds, is equally bemused by his current predicament. When he discovers how lost the boy is, he resolves to help him and his friends get rid of this dark lord–as well as their malignant (and worse, ineffectual) new teacher.
Merlin and Harry Potter make a natural crossover on paper. And many, many people have written some really great crossovers over the years. This recent one by RileyWilliamsJr is the newest and funniest. Merlin, rather than brooding over being immortal, is light-hearted, fun-loving, and seemingly learned how to enjoy himself again . . . by getting involved with the Wizarding conflict at the start of Harry’s fifth year.
The Immortal and the Revenant is just a fun crossover with a lot of wordplay, worldbuilding, and some great character stuff. Clocking in at 43 chapters, it’s a longish read, but a breeze if you like the humor and tone of the story. Seriously, we’re hoping for a sequel in the near future.
Crossover with: Fullmetal Alchemist
Rating: M (17+)
Completed? No (Last updated July 2020)
Summary: Ed had thought, after the whole Promised Day, homunculus, entire country harvested for alchemical batteries thing, the batshit quotient of his life would have settled down some. He really ought to have topped out the meter with that one. But no. The bullshit is just getting started.
“Are you fucking kidding me,” Ed demands. “The wizards?”
If you’re an anime fan, then chances are you’ve seen Fullmetal Alchemist at some point in your life. If not, then you really need to get on it. This is an absolute beast of a fic at 72 chapters and counting along with over 200,000 words. But oh man, it’s great. Edward Elric has no patience for magic and gets to drop as many f-bombs as his little heart desires.
Along with an interesting explanation for why the crossover is possible, plus the alchemists having it up to here with the impossible things that magic users do so casually, it’s a flat out fun fic and one that blends the two worlds together in a great way.