May. 2nd, 2014

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There was a moment last week when I was entirely caught up over at Beholder and feeling very proud of myself. I should have posted immediately--now I'm behind again. But I'm enjoying this year's offerings so much that I want to get a couple quick recs out while the fest is still in full swing. (I think we're getting close to the end, no?)

The usual Beholder caveat applies: everything at this fest is amazing. My recs are only intended to whet your appetite for more.

we lay together on a cold hard floor, Severus Snape/Peter Pettigrew, rated R for language and sexual activity, around 9000 words
Circumstance threw Snape and Pettigrew together once before at school, when the future was wide open.
Read this for: its skillful use of magic to sketch out Peter's character, the painfully on-target observations about adolescent friendships and socialization

No Charity, Aunt Marge/Rita Skeeter, rated PG, 3200 words
Rita sets out on a tough assignment – to interview Miss Marjorie Dursley.
Read this for: Rita. Full-stop. A challenging assignment prompts Rita to reinvent herself and gives us a peek behind the bleached hair and lacquered nails

Centaurs and Merfolk, Millicent Bulstrode/Dudley Dursley, rated PG, 3800 words
The last thing Millicent wants to see when she Disapparates from her father's house is a stranger standing at her door. The last thing she expects is her boyfriend's mother.
Read this for: sensitively drawn family dynamics, a look at where and how love fails to bridge social divides

By Theft or Force, Dolores Umbridge/Arabella Figg, rated NC-17, 7000 words
The Muggle-born Registration Commission has decreed that magical powers stolen by Muggle-borns are to be retrieved and distributed among Squibs. Arabella finds herself on top of the list.
Read this for: a manipulative, horrific Umbridge

Brittle, Peter Pettigrew/Garrick Ollivander, rated R, 2519 words
Shortly after his kidnapping, Ollivander is forced to make a wand for Peter Pettigrew.
Read this for: the quiet power dynamics and a lovely, subtle, and ultimately unflattering portrait of Peter (Full disclosure: this was a gift for me, but that shouldn't diminish your curiosity. Go, read!)

ART: To That Which Improves with Age, Albus Dumbledore/Horace Slughorn, PG-13
Click on this for: the charm quotient, which is sky-high

Dirigible Plum, Xenophilius Lovegood/Albus Dumbledore, Horace Slughorn, rated PG-13, 6700 words
It’s 1946, and the Wizarding world is emerging from the shadow of Prussia. For Xenophilius, there could be no more exciting time to study further at L'Académie de Beauxbatons - especially when his life is lit-up by one very special visitor.
Read this for: truly memorable world-building

That's not a full list of stories I've enjoyed, but it's a good sampling for those of you who don't know where to start. Enjoy!

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