50 Must-Read Harry Potter Fan Fictions

The world of Harry Potter fan fiction can be highly overwhelming, especially if you’re a beginner. There are so many acronyms! And portmanteaus! And fan fiction tropes which have become so pervasive, even diehard fans might be fooled into thinking they’re genuine JKR products! (A good example would be Draco Malfoy’s middle name: contrary to almost every fan fiction ever, it’s Lucius. Not Abraxas).

While I’m by no means an expert on the fandom, I love everything about the Harry Potter universe. Here’s a collection of all the stories that have stayed with me over the last decade of my fan fiction explorations. Some are one-shots, i.e. one chapter long; others are multi-chaptered. Some are finished; others are still works in progress. I’ve tried to ensure I have a good selection of types and pairings. What they all have in common is that they’re well-written, something that can be hard to come across in the fan fiction world. The blurbs are generally taken from the authors, but I’ve added extra notes for detail.

Before I begin, however, here’s a quick guide on fan fiction terminology.

Key Vocabulary

AU: Alternate Universe. A story which diverges from canon (see below) in key respects. Example: a world where Tom Riddle died at birth and was never a threat.

Canon: Concepts which are established parts of the books, or have been directly decreed by Rowling as being part of the Harry Potter world. Example: it is canon that Hermione slaps Draco.

Fanon: Concepts which are so popular, and used in so many fan fictions, that many fans confuse them with canon. Example: Draco’s middle name being Abraxas instead of Lucius.

EWE: This stands for ‘Epilogue, What Epilogue?’, and refers to any fan fiction in which the ‘Nineteen Years Later’ chapter has been ignored. Example: A story where Ron marries Lavender instead of Hermione. Sometimes this has happened accidentally, because the fan fiction was published before Deathly Hallows.

PWP: Alternatively meaning ‘Plot, What Plot?’, or the slightly seedier ‘Porn Without Plot.’ Exactly what it says on the tin. If that’s what you’re looking for, you may wish to skip immediately to this list of Harry Potter erotica recommendations.

OOC: Out of character, i.e. the characters do not behave as we have to come to expect that they would. Example: Hermione acting unusually stupid.

50 Must-Read Harry Potter Fanfictions | From BookRiot.com

No Pairing

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality by Less Wrong (#1)

Petunia married a biochemist, and Harry grew up reading science and science fiction. Then came the Hogwarts letter, and a world of intriguing new possibilities to exploit. And new friends, like Hermione Granger, and Professor McGonagall, and Professor Quirrell… [This is by far the most famous fan fiction out there. Also possibly the only one with its own website. Rated T.]

Odd Ideas by Rorschach’s Blot (#2)

Odd little one shots that may or may not be turned into their own stories. [Ignore the unprepossessing summary. What we have here is a one-shot collection that will absolutely KILL you with laughter. Rated M. Warning: typos.]

The Pureblood Pretense by murkybluematter (#3)

Harriett Potter dreams of going to Hogwarts, but in an AU where the school only accepts purebloods, the only way to reach her goal is to switch places with her pureblood cousin—the only problem? Her cousin is a boy. [Although there are some egregious Americanisms – no, British people do not have ‘underclassmen’ and ‘upperclassmen’ – the fic is hardly unique in having them, and it’s a very well-thought-out story. Rated T.]

Pairing: Drarry (Draco Malfoy x Harry Potter)

The Incredible Race by Cheryl Dyson (#4)

Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy, Aurors, are forced to join a televised global race in order to provide some free positive publicity for the Ministry, despite the fact that Aurors Potter and Malfoy don’t exactly get along. [A very funny Drarry fic from one of the ship’s most popular captains (aka authors). Rated M.]

Hello Goodbye (‘Twas Nice To Know You) BY tmerofdarkstars (#5)

Draco Malfoy thinks he might know whose thoughts are scrawling themselves on his skin, but that’s crazy. Impossible, even. It has to be a mistake. [A fluffy one-shot in an AU where your soulmate’s thoughts tattoo themselves on your skin. Rated T.] 

Deconversion by lomonaaeren (#6)

They were right, those old wizards who thought Parseltongue was a Dark gift. As Harry begins his slide down, fighting desperately all the way, Draco is more than happy to take advantage of the Hero’s fall from the Light. [A dark fic, with dark Draco and dark Harry. Rated M.]

Eclipse BY Mijan (#7)

Draco swore revenge on Harry for Lucius’s imprisonment, and for once, he keeps his promise. The old rivalry turns deadly when Draco abducts Harry for Voldemort. But when Draco’s world turns upside down, the fight to save himself and Harry begins. [Twisty and angsty. Rated T.]

Draco’s Boy BY Empathetic Siren (#8)

A mysterious little boy named Harry moves in next door to Draco Malfoy, and he’s determined to make him his friend and learn all of his secrets. Years later, he’s determined to make Harry more than a friend. [A non-magical AU. Rated M.]

Okay, so this isn’t the film actor for James Potter. This is Aaron Taylor-Johnson from Nowhere Boy. But come on, isn’t he the perfect James? Millions of fanvid-makers on YouTube think so, and one can’t blame them.

Pairing: Jily (James Potter x Lily Evans)

Crossroads by Emmyjean (#9)

In her seventh and final year at Hogwarts, Lily Evans finds herself facing a tragedy that leaves her life in pieces. She ultimately finds great strength both within herself and those she never would have expected. [I came across this because it was recommended in a Time article nearly ten years ago – it’s a total classic. Rated T.]

Commentarius by B.C. Daily (#10)

Lily has always considered herself ordinary. But as she enters her 7th year, things start changing and Lily starts going a bit mad. Suddenly, she’s Head Girl, her mates are acting strangely, and there’s a new James Potter she can’t seem to get rid of. [At over 700,000 words, this is certainly a behemoth – but utterly hilarious and so worth it! Rated T. Modelled on Bridget Jones’s Diary. Not complete, but author is active on Tumblr and has been promising to update for the last six years…]

Symphony of the Fallen by ravensoulsister (#11)

The Head Girl makes a mistake. Now the Head Boy is in the Hospital Wing with no recollection of who he is or who she is – but he certainly doesn’t care enough to keep his perverse thoughts to himself. [A cute, funny, and romantic one-shot. Rated M.]

The Life and Times by jewels5 (#12)

She was dramatic. He was dynamic. She was precise. He was impulsive. He was James, and she was Lily, and one day they shared a kiss, but before that they shared many arguments, for he was cocky, and she was sweet, and matters of the heart require time. [Over 600,000 words… sorry! Also still in progress, and last updated in 2013, but beautifully written. Rated M.]

Just Stay Here Tonight by monroeslittle (#13)

Lily Evans isn’t a witch. [AU. Long, angsty one-shot. Rated M.]

Boyfriend by molly Raesly (#14)

Potter was going to say that he wasn’t my boyfriend. I couldn’t let him do that. For the love of Merlin, I could not let him do that. I had to stop him. He couldn’t tell her the truth. So I did the only conceivable thing I could think of. I kissed him. [The funny first installment in a series of Jily-centric fics. Rated T.]

Pairing: Dramione (Draco Malfoy x Hermione Granger)

Anniversary Arrangements by scarlettcat (#15)

Draco and Hermione have a yearly arrangement. Ron finds out about it in a shocking way. [A side-splittingly funny one-shot. Brilliantly lampoons all the clichéd Dramione tropes. The author has plenty more Dramione stories which are also must-reads! Rated M.]

Bite Marks by Provocative Envy (#16)

“So—you’re upset,” he says with a nonchalant nod and discreet adjustment of his slightly too-tight khaki corduroys. She blinks at him, her expression alternating between indignation and incredulity and flat-out fury. He had been right about her being pretty beneath the intimidation tactics. [Non-magical AU set at university. Rated M. Two-shot.]

The Green Girl by Colubrina (#17)

Hermione is sorted into Slytherin; how will things play out differently when the brains of the Golden Trio has different friends? [Rated T. Dramatic, a bit dark. AU.]

Midnight by Spankinghalo (#18)

It has been three years since Voldemort won. Hermione is one of the few wizards left free, concealed in the ruins of Hogwarts. And only midnight reveals its secrets. But she has been discovered by the last person she wants to see… [AU. A dark, well-written, complex tale. Updated fairly regularly by fan fiction standards. Rated M.]

Crimson with a Silver Lining by Lady Cailan (#19)

It is six years since the fall of the Ministry to Voldemort. Those other than purebloods are deemed less than human. When Ginny’s daughter ends up in grave danger, Hermione sells herself to the Death Eaters to save her life. (Dark AU. Angsty. But at least it’s finished! Rated M.]

Problem by katatonic25 (#20)

“I’ll kick your arse regardless, Malfoy,” I murmured. He chuckled again and I arched into him. “Then get on the bed,” he said and watched my hips sway as I walked to his large bed. “This is going to be a long night, Granger.” [Smutty, but not PWP. Obviously rated M. Well written!]

Pairing: Hinny (Harry Potter x Ginny Weasley)

A Better Man by Valandar (#21)

Vernon changed in the beginning to be a better man, thanks to a wish. How will this affect Harry, and the entire Wizarding World? [Slow-burn and well-written. Rated T.]

Diary of a Redhead by Snowy Winter Tales (#22)

Fifteen-year-old Ginny Weasley’s diary, filled with embarrassing situations, sarcasm, and a lot of Harry Potters. She’s not in love with him or anything. Honestly. [An early fic, short and humorous. Rated T.]

Living with Danger by whydoyouneedtoknow (#23)

Lone wolf. Dream-seer. Bright child. Scarred child. Singer. Prisoner. Dancer child. Dragon child. Eight semi-ordinary people. One extraordinary family, and how they became one. [AU. Eventual Hinny. Rated T.]

Pairing: Tomione (Tom Riddle x Hermione Granger)

School Days by meowmers (#24)

They meet on the playground. Ron told her that if she doesn’t fight for herself no one will ever leave her alone so she’s just trying to follow his advice. “Are you crying?” He asks. She musters all the fury in her 7-year-old body and channels it into her voice when she speaks through the tears. “So what? I’ll still kick your arse.” [Non-magical AU. Rated M. The author has a lot of other, very well-written Tomione stories – do check them out!]

Exitus Acta Probat by jellybellys (#25)

After a series of catastrophic events, Hermione decides to go to the past to stop Tom Riddle. [Author description: Story includes time-travel, Slytherins that aren’t evil, romance, betrayal, death, angst, and some comedy thrown in. Rated M. Still in progress. This story is extremely underappreciated, and honestly, please just go and read it!]

Blood and Gold by obsidianpen (#26)

The true time-turner was slammed savagely into Hermione’s throat. It shattered against her neck, bits of glass and gold piercing into her skin. The last thing she saw before blackness consumed her was a plume of metallic dust and vitreous fragments, tiny prisms dancing behind her eyelids.
(In which Hermione accidentally ends up in 1950, pitted against an ascending Dark Lord in his prime, caught in the entanglement of pureblood politics, dark magic, and Tom Riddle’s interest). [An extraordinarily well-written fic. Still in progress. Rated M.]

Nightingale by everambling (#27)

Brilliant student and prospective MI5 recruit Hermione Granger is inadvertently thrown back in time by a top-secret government experiment- Right into the lap of aspiring bio-engineer Tom Riddle, who she knows in her time as the man whose dangerous ambition will herald a nation’s ruin… [Non-magical AU with a wonderfully original premise. Deserves a lot more recognition. Rated M.]

Please, Save Me by winterblume (#28)

‘Are you not scared of him? Tom Riddle has got a rather peculiar reputation. But I’m sure it’s all stupid talk. He’s Head Boy after all.’ – ‘What kind of a reputation’ – ‘Er… he’s… well, he seems kinda dark.’ [Dark, lush, and beautiful story. AU. Exactly what I think of when I picture Tomione. Rated M.]

Avada Kedavra Anonymous by speechwriter (#29)

No one missed Riddle’s pale fist tightening around the useless wand in his lap. “I am Tom,” he ground out. “I am here for the sole reason that the alternative was community service.” / Hermione moderates a post-Avada Kedavra support group. Chaos ensues. [Funny one-shot bordering on crack-fic. Certainly unique.]

Pairing: Drinny (Draco Malfoy x Ginny Weasley)

Allegiance by mugglehugger (#30)

When 11-year-old Ginny Weasley is sorted into Slytherin, she is thrust into a world where the line between good and evil is blurred and where the boy she was supposed to hate becomes the man she was never supposed to love. [A complex and well-written AU fic. Still in progress. Angsty and dramatic. Rated M.]

After All These Years by Sarea_Okelani (#31)

Every couple has secrets. [A funny one-shot with the perfect twist. Rated M.]

Smoking in the Head Boy’s Room by sugarbear_1269 (#32)

When Ginny decides Draco is the only boy in the castle who can teach her how to effectively woo her crush, she learns more than just technique. [Angsty and very smutty, with a dash of humour thrown in. The author has other great Drinny fanfictions too. Rated M.]

Pairing: Harmony (Harry Potter x Hermione Granger)

A Marauder’s Plan by catsarecool (#33)

Sirius decides to stay in England after escaping Hogwarts and makes protecting Harry his priority. [An extremely long and extremely popular fic, based on the peerage system of the wizarding world. Rated T.]

Harry Crow by Robst (#34)

What will happen when a goblin-raised Harry arrives at Hogwarts? A Harry who has received training, already knows the prophecy and has no scar. With the backing of the goblin nation and Hogwarts herself. [A classic AU. Rated T.]

Blindness by Angelastarcat (#35)

Harry Potter is not standing up in his crib when the Killing Curse strikes him, and the cursed scar has far more terrible consequences. But some souls will not be broken by horrible circumstance. Some people won’t let the world drag them down. Strong men rise from such beginnings, and powerful gifts can be gained in terrible curses. [Slightly more unusual premise – Harry is blind. Rated M.]

Miscellaneous Pairings

Prime Cut by Provocative Envy (#36)

“Well, aren’t you precious,” he remarks, tongue darting out to flick at his bottom lip. “Do I need to put a towel down on the front seat before you’ll get in the car?” She lifts her chin. “That depends. Do I need to Febreze you before we share an enclosed space?” [Non-magical AU. One-shot. Hermione x Scabior.] 

Detained by SE1GE (#37)

Marcus is becoming obsessed with Katie. The last thing he ever plans to do is let her know. Katie is becoming obsessed with Marcus. Her life would be far easier if she weren’t. [Marcus Flint x Katie Bell. Rated M. In the interests of full disclosure, this fic hasn’t been updated since 2009… but it’s so flawless I’m still glad I read it! The dialogue is whip-sharp and the characterisation is perfect.]

Amortentia by olivieblake (#38)

Will they or won’t they? Oh, they will. [Author description: Fluff for when you need it. Romantic short stories, multiple pairings, mostly Dramione but some by request. Rated M.]

Mudbloods of the Death Eaters by jellybellys (#39)

Theodore Nott has always been the overlooked Slytherin until he is forced into joining the Death Eaters by his elderly father. Now, with the new rewards Voldemort has given his followers, captured Mudbloods, he is in over his head with Hermione Granger. [Hermione x Theodore. Angsty, but also kind of funny. Absolutely fabulous. Rated M.]

Distractions by sableunstable (#40)

Sometimes a distraction is exactly what you need. [A hot, well-written one-shot featuring Hermione Granger x Teddy Lupin. Rated M.]

Prejudice and Pride by bballgirl32 (#41)

Arrogance and bigotry can be well-founded, but perhaps that is when it is most important to fight through prejudices. Sometimes choices have to be made, even if they go against everything that you stand for. [Ginny Weasley x Tom Riddle – or, as I prefer, Gin n’ Tonic. Rated T. A curious fic, but by far the best one with this pairing.]

Memories to Keep You Near by darkrivertempest (#42)

Hermione has a loving husband. Too bad she can’t remember anything about him. [A romantic, well-written Lucius Malfoy x Hermione Granger. Rated M.]

Take the Tumble by kittenshift17 (#43)

There was never a hatred so profound as that of Rose Weasley and Scorpius Malfoy, but when a challenge is issued the pair embark on a roller-coaster ride of emotions and confusing, passionate meetings. Enemies with Benefits never tasted this good, and Rose is going to learn there is a whole lot more to Scorpius than a lifelong rivalry and a wicked smirk. [Funny, angsty, smutty Rose x Scorpius. Rated M.]

Courting Chaos (One Day at a Time) by Ellory (#44)

Pureblood vignettes of various pairings. [Okay, so the thing is, the author has created a huge and complex world of pureblood etiquette and culture. This is a collection of one-shots with different characters, based in that world. Very different from the usual fare – do try it out! Rated M.]

Seas Between Us Have Roared by tamlane (#45)

“We both know you were hoping and praying Potter would get called in tonight so you could come to me and get what you really need. What he won’t give you. So can we drop the charade?” [Dark, kinky one-shot. Blaise Zabini x Ginny Weasley. Rated M. The author has over 40 other erotic one-shots!]

Rosie’s Mum Has Got It Going On by Inell (#46)

Today is the day Scorpius plans to seduce Rosie’s mum. [Exactly what it says on the tin – Scorpius Malfoy x Hermione Granger. Funny, very sexy one-shot. Rated M. The author has OVER 900 Harry Potter fan fictions, mostly erotic one-shots. Go go go!]

Addict by Redcandle17 (#47)

Padma Patil is intelligent, respected, and successful. And she’s addicted to being fucked by some stupid ex-Death Eater wannabe just released from prison. [The rarest of all rare-pairs: Padma Patil x Gregory Goyle. A short one-shot, with an abrupt ending, but an interesting premise. Rated M.]

Twelve Dark Moons by SophiaX (#48)

As a captive of Lord Voldemort, Luna Lovegood never thought she would live beyond the first 24 hours. Saved at first by her quick wit, Luna learns the depth of human evil…and becomes the Dark Lord’s greatest weakness. [Incredibly, a Voldemort x Luna Lovegood fic. Rated M.]

Roundabout Destiny by maryroyale (#49)

Hermione’s destiny is altered by the Powers that Be. She is cast back to the Marauder’s Era where she is Hermione Potter, the pureblood fraternal twin sister of James Potter. She retains Hermione Granger’s memories, and is determined to change her brother’s fate for the better. [Time-travel AU. Rated M.]

Kairos by cocoartist (#50)

He’d watched the swotty Gryffindor for years, jealously nursing his lust. [A smutty two-shot with an interesting pairing: Hermione Granger x Adrian Pucey.]

Be Mine by RZZMG (bonus #51)

Pansy Parkinson has always loved Draco Malfoy, but Blaise Zabini has always loved her. The story of a woman coming into her own & finding out that real love sometimes stares you in the face. [A lovely one-shot by a highly prolific author in the fandom! Do give it a try. Rated M.]

It Doesn’t Stop There…

There are currently over 608,000 Harry Potter fan fictions on Fanfiction.net. Of course, they won’t all be good, but there’ll be something to suit everyone! That’s not even considering the vast number of fics on AO3, or assorted Livejournals. If you’re a newbie, try out these stories too!

 

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