What Is Harry Potter?
Unless you’ve been living under a rock these last couple of decades, you’ve probably heard of Harry Potter. The Harry Potter series was created by British author J.K. Rowling. The books follow the journey of Harry Potter, a young boy who finds out he’s a wizard, and his attempts to learn magic, make friends, and defeat the Dark Lord Voldemort.
The seven-novel series left a huge mark on an entire generation of children and on pop culture as a whole. Harry Potter has inspired plays, video games, music, and even boasts its own Universal Studios theme park.
What Is Fanfiction?
Fanfiction is a literary genre where writers create their own narratives around established characters, settings, story arcs, and other intellectual properties. In layman’s terms, a fanfic writer will take a character, film, TV show, video game, or book that they like, and write an entirely new story based on it.
Fanfic is as varied as the things they’re based on. It can be dark and adult or crazy and fantastical. It can be hundreds of chapters long or just a few pages. It can adhere very closely to canon, or it can be a gender-bent crossover text with new characters and plotlines.
A lot of people think that fanfiction is a new thing that’s legally and ethically questionable, but fanfic has existed in some form or over since the beginning of literature. In fact, most writers agree that the entirety of literature (including beloved classics like Shakespeare) is mostly comprised of fanfics of popular stories at the time.
The Popularity Of Harry Potter Fanfic
Harry Potter is the undisputed king of fanfiction. The number of fics based on the popular book series is literally almost a million strong, with three times more stories than its closest competitor, Twilight (that’s 809,000 versus 220,000). Even looking at other categories, like anime or TV shows, shows that HP has the most fanfics of any single property by a mile.
There are a few reasons for this:
- One, the Harry Potter universe is expansive and provides a lot of material to work with.
- Two, the books and movies were incredibly popular with women and teens, who just so happen to be the demographic of people who are most likely to write fanfic.
- Three, J.K. Rowling was different from other authors in the sense that she encouraged fanfiction of her work (instead of suing them for copyright infringement, like other writers would).
The result? Hundreds of thousands of fanfics – some good, some bad, some amazing.
The Best Harry Potter Fanfiction
Here’s a modified rule 34: if you can dream it, there’s probably fanfiction of it. Fanfic writers have written everything from a gay Snarry (Snape/Harry) slashfic, a wholesome Harry and Luna one-shot, to an epic about Voldemort having a harem of abused female Death Eaters. It’s an infinite well of possibilities.
Whatever floats your boat! Whether you prefer a relatively canon ship like Harry and Ginny or Ron and Hermione, or you’ve gone off the deep end with a Hermione/Sirius or Harry Potter/Fleur Delacour OTP, you’re in luck!
We scoured tons of websites from hpfanficarchive, to harrypotterfanfiction, to Reddit, to bring you the best HP fanfic of all time. This is no Harry Potter and the Sexy Hallows – this is top-tier writing in a wide range of genres.
4. Dumbledore’s Army And The Year Of Darkness
Author: Andrew Blake
Under the pseudonym Thanfiction, Blake created a literary masterpiece that could rival Rowling’s. Originally a one-shot, this epic follows Neville Longbottom has he prepares Dumbledore’s Army for the final battle with evil Lord Voldemort. DAYD was so massive that it spawned its own fanfiction. Fanfic of fanfic: fanfic-ception.
Lily and James shippers, this one’s for you. This mega-long fic clocks in at over 739,000 words and is a prequel that deals with Harry’s parents when they were students at Hogwarts. This flashback fic sets the stage for one of the most tragically sweet relationships in literary history.
2. The Draco Trilogy
Author: Cassandra Clare
Draco Dormiens, Draco Sinister, and Draco Veritas were Draco-focused (obviously) fanfics written by author Cassandra Clare that features an alternate HP universe after the events of Goblet of Fire. The fic helped popularise “fanon Draco” and is one of the most widely-read HP fics of all time.
Ah, Dramione, the ultimate fandom ship. This Bex-chan epic plays off the incredible chemistry between Draco and Hermione. More than the Gryffindor/Slytherin hate-turns-to-love plot, Isolation is about questioning prejudices and making an emotional connection despite your biases.
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BONUS: My Immortal
Author: Tara Gilesbie
No list of Harry Potter fanfic is complete without My Immortal, a text which is largely considered to be the worst fanfic ever written. The characters deviate completely from their canon personalities, the author’s self-insert is the very definition of a Mary Sue, and the grammar and spelling are atrocious. It’s a hilarious mess that everyone needs to witness.
Love it or hate it, Harry Potter inspired a whole new generation of writers. While these works aren’t canon (and most of the authors aren’t published writers), HP fanfics were a way for fans to engage with the story on their terms – expanding the fandom and immortalising the characters in the process.