hp: hermione fifty points

Recs: 2 Buffy, 2 HP, 2 Sherlock

Buffy
Ashes, Ashes We All Fall Down by misachan - Xander/Faith (R for graphic violence and imagery)
A chillingly plausible exploration of how Willow's spell in "Chosen" could have gone wrong. Xander and Faith reunite in a mysteriously restored Sunnydale to face a surprising adversary. The character voices are spot-on, and the story feels like it could have been written by Joss himself...on a dark, gritty, and pessimistic day.

Never the Twain Shall Meet by liz_estrada - Cordelia/Faith
AUs are so not my thing, so I almost passed this one by, and I'm forever greatful that I didn't. Faith and Cordelia meet at a fancy Boston high school their senior year and develop a tentative relationship. Faith is still the slayer, and Cordy's still the reigning queen of mean, but they fit together in surprising ways. Cordy's inner monologue is a thing of beauty, and the story gets bonus points for a plausible supernatural resolution that explains the AU.

Harry Potter
Magpie by annescriblerian - Snape
This is one of the best depictions of Snape's childhood that I can remember reading. Young Severus thinks about his poverty, his abusive father, and his suffering mother in such a matter-of-fact way that it hurts my heart. He is obviously a sensitive and caring boy, but you can also see the seeds of the dark choices he will make in the future. A real masterpiece of characterization.

The Boxers by downjune - Draco/Luna, Harry/Hermione
I've been thinking about this story for almost a week now. downjune imagines grown-up versions of these characters in such a real and adult way, and I love the complexity of their relationships. Draco's post-war life is especially fascinating, and everything about the story just feels true.

Sherlock
The Reluctant Relationship (11594 words) by faviconzoicite - Sherlock/John
I have been hankering for a Sherlock/John story set during series two instead of after it, and this one delivers beautifully. The narration is subtle and deliberate - you can really see how John slowly works out his feelings for Sherlock, and the role Sherlock plays in his life. Bonus points for thoughtfully dealing with John's canonical statements about his sexual orientation.

Cinnamon (918 words) by faviconSkinandpit - Sherlock, Molly
I love stories about food and cooking. I love stories about Sherlock and Molly forming a tentative friendship after the end of series two. This story is a happy intersection of both of those things, with the added bonus of a powerful ending that completely caught me off-guard.