This blog post may contain spoilers for various fandoms and many recommendations are nsfw. You have been warned.
Fanfiction stories are a staple of any fandom. They allow fans to re-imagine all the parts of the original work they didn’t like or place their favourite characters in different situations. They allow fans to take their favourite scene and say things like “What if Snape collected Harry instead of Hagrid?” or “What if Pain left everyone dead?” and imagine how these tiny changes might affect the entire story.
Fanfiction stories also allow fans to combine their favourite fandoms. I have read stories where Cedric Diggory (Harry Potter) turned out to be Edward Cullen (Twilight). I have read stories where Vernon abused Harry while on a business trip to the States and Harry wound up in the care of Casey Novak (SVU), who turned out to be a witch. I have read stories where Harry somehow came in contact with the NCIS team, the Winchesters or the Avengers. All of these authors were able to create situations for these fandoms to interact without stretching the point of incredulity to breaking and all wrote excellent stories that were well worth reading.
Another thing many fanfiction authors use their stories for is hooking up their favourite characters. Did you ever wonder what it would be like if Naruto and Sakura hooked up or how the Harry Potter books would change if Harry and Hermione chose each other instead of their respective Weasleys? These answers, and many more, can be found in the world of fanfiction.
Even in the fanfiction community, however, Harry Potter is unique in the sheer number and variety of pairings that are available. If you can imagine it, chances are that somebody has written it at some point, though some of the rarer pairings may take some searching.
Of course, even with such a smorgasbord of couples available to read about, everybody is bound to have their favourites, and I am no different. So here is my personal top ten list of Harry Potter ships in fanfiction, from ten to one:
The Weasley twins are devoted to Harry. He is the investor in their store, the son of Prongs and they see Harry for the kind, selfless individual that he is. I have read very few stories in which the twins betray Harry. Even when the other Weasleys turn on Harry, Fred and George almost always remain loyal. In most stories they look upon Harry as a little brother, but there are also stories where the three become lovers.
Harry Potter and Lucius Malfoy definitely do not get along in canon, but they do interact due to Lucius’ membership in Voldemort’s inner circle. Lucius is not a very nice person but he is a man after power rather than a true believer and Harry is rather powerful; and nobody can deny his physical beauty. Besides, who doesn’t love a starcross’d lovers type story?
None of Harry’s relationships are quite so volatile as the one he has with Severus Snape. However, Severus has saved Harry’s life on numerous occasions and is not unattractive physically. When Snape finally realises that Harry is not a James Potter clone or Harry suddenly finds Snape’s sarcasm funny instead of insulting, the intense hatred the two share can turn into passion of a different sort. And we all know Snape is hiding a caring, sensitive heart beneath that prickly exterior.
Recommendations: Yes, Professor; It All Started With A Visit To Gringotts; The New Dark Lord and the sequels The Dark Phoenix and The Dark Before the Dawn; Harry Potter and the Mirror of Paradox and the sequels Harry Potter and the Extent of Existence and Harry Potter and the Paradox of Being; Revenge Comes to Those Who Wait; Sleepwalker; Willing
Harry and Cedric are both really nice guys — friendly, loyal, honourable; really, if you set aside Harry’s age at the time, they are perfect for each other. And a relationship between the two adds a whole new dimension to Harry’s devastation after the third task.
Many people who have read the Harry Potter books believe that Harry and Hermione make a far more interesting couple than Hermione and Ron or Harry and Ginny. I am one of those people. I really do not think Ron’s laziness and propensity for jealousy match Hermione at all, and I don’t believe that Ginny ever truly got over her hero-worship for the Boy-Who-Lived. That isn’t to say these two don’t have good points; they do. I just think that Harry and Hermione work more as a couple.
Recommended: I Won’t See You Tonight; Harry Crow; Harry Potter and the Manipulator of Destiny; Can’t Have it Both Ways; H J Potter; In This World and the Next; Knowledge is Power; Quoth the Raven, Nevermore; The End and the Beginning; The Power of the Press
Daphne Greengrass is barely mentioned in the book but her character is fully fleshed out in fanfiction to the point where she has become one of my favourite characters. Being a blank slate, different authors envision her differently, though there are some recurring themes; the whole ‘ice-queen’ persona comes to mind.
In my headcanon Daphne is blonde and beautiful. The Greengrass family are purebloods who remained neutral in the First Wizarding War but are considered dark by most ‘light’ families and are mistrusted as a result. Previous members of the Greengrass family have typically been sorted into Slytherin or Ravenclaw, though there has been the odd Gryffindor in the distant past. They are incredibly wealthy, though the majority of their wealth comes from good business practices rather than being entirely inherited.
Daphne has a younger sister, Astoria. They do not get along well, due to Astoria’s pureblood ideals, but Daphne still loves her and would likely hex anybody who harmed her into oblivion. Daphne does not agree with Voldemort and his followers so she largely keeps to herself, giving rise to the perception of her as the ‘Ice Queen’ or ‘Ice Princess’. Her intelligence is on par with Hermione, but she has the Slytherin cunning to balance it out.
In my opinion Daphne and Harry complement each other as a couple. Being with Daphne allows Harry to develop his Slytherin qualities while being with Harry helps Daphne to thaw a little.
Recommendations: A Champion’s New Hope; The Grass is Always Greener; Angry Harry and the Seven; Harry Potter and the Return of Heritage and the sequel Harry Potter and the Peverell Legacy; Paid in Blood
This is another pair who, in the books, share a volatile relationship. In fact, I would be willing to bet that Harry’s hate for Bellatrix is second only to his hatred for Voldemort, more even than his animosity towards Snape. In fanfiction, it is often speculated that Bella’s cruelty and devotion to the Dark Lord are due mainly to her insanity, loyalty potions or compulsion spells; or some combination of the above. This, combined with his innate kindness and compassion, allows Harry to forgive her for Sirius’ death and overcome his hatred, slowly coming to care for her despite himself. Fanfiction stories featuring this couple are easy to stuff up but, when written well, they are quite enjoyable.
Have you read ahead to what I wrote about soul mates for the Harry/Draco pairing? Well that applies here as well. Not to mention the fact that Harry was only in Voldie’s crosshairs because of a prophecy made by Trelawney, of all people. Plus, while the books assume Harry grows into the ‘light’ side’s ideals, this may not necessarily be the case. What if he found himself agreeing with Voldemort? Especially given Dumbledore’s manipulations and Harry’s treatment at the Dursleys?
All of these points give fanfiction authors lots of material to mold into interesting and enjoyable stories; and they have definitely done so. This, along with Harry/Draco and Harry/Hermione, is one of the most popular ships in the Harry Potter fandom.
Recommendations: Descent Into Darkness and the sequel Harry Potter and the Breeding Darkness; Xerosis; Paraselenic; A Snake Named Voldemort; Veritas Vos Liberabit; Again and Again; Irreversible Destiny
Everybody knows that Harry and Draco are bitter rivals, right? But what if all that hostility is masking passion of a different sort? Soul mates are destined to be a part of each other’s life and if they cannot come together in love, they will come together in hate. Either way, Harry and Draco are each destined to provoke extreme reactions in the other.
Recommendations: Secrets; Cherish; The Way (We Break); Radiation; What Is Slash?; The Lightning Letters and the sequel The Lightning Letters II: Internal Affairs; Anything But Ordinary; Epemera; A Funeral; Malfoy Flavor; Questions; Rise of the Dark Angel; Runaway Wizard; Servile; The Epistolary Journal of Draco Malfoy; The Haunting of Draco Malfoy; Under the Pouring Rain; The Worst Happiest Day of His Life
Of all the female characters in the Harry Potter-verse, the one most suited to be in a relationship with Harry is Luna Lovegood. In my opinion, they are perfect for each other and I would be overjoyed if they had ended up together in the original books.
Luna, along with Daphne, is my favourite character in the Harry Potter fandom. While she may seem odd to many people, her unique outlook masks a down-to-earth wisdom and her sensitive and caring nature never fails to calm the maelstrom that is Harry Potter.
On the other hand, Harry easily accepts Luna’s oddities and allows her into his heart far more quickly, and feels far more protective towards her, than any single person he encounters. Harry’s relationship with Luna actually reminds me quite a bit of Naruto and Hinata. Harry may imagine himself in love with someone else, but harm one hair on Luna’s head and you’d better start running.
Recommendations: Ashes; Shattered Masks, Broken Heroes, and Delusional Girls; The Final Straw; Insanity