"Fists of Ink" by pale_moonlite. Millicent Bulstrode/Blaise Zabini, Rita Skeeter, Minerva McGonagall/Aurora Sinistra. First, the Rita Skeeter in this story plainly IS Rita Skeeter. Canon Skeeter just skedaddled right out of the nearest copy of GoF and slipped into this story. Second, both Millicent and Blaise are excellent in this piece - you can know it for fact, given that I usually don't pay Slytherins much mind (then hypocritically mention needless House prejudice in the series - I'm consistent, aren't I?). McGonagall and Sinistra share a beautiful romantic and educational cameo that is subtle and divine. This story is full of strong, independent women; for that reason alone it is well worth a read!
"The Days & Nights & All the Hours" by IJ's odogoddess. McGonagall/Hooch, McGonagall/Moody, McGonagall/Snape. If you want your heart broken into a thousand pieces and possibly mended, read this story. It is a tear-jerker. It brings meaning to Hooch's name, explains the mood- and personality-shift behind Moody and is so very Snape yet simultaneously sentimental that it just reaches into hearts no matter how hard. Minerva is a solid (and believably IC) character throughout. Brilliant story!
"Clouds of White" by purplefluffycat. Filius Flitwick/Peter Pettigrew. Another heart-wrenching and surprisingly believable story. I rec'ed another Peter story in my last post; this is equally beautiful and offers a different story to the life of Peter. I love Filius as a well-rounded character with strengths and weaknesses that are not cemented, but merge and mingle - one set can easily become the other. Fascinating tale!
"The Dog's Days of Summer" by IJ's donnaimmaculata. Aunt Muriel/Griphook, Arabella Figg/Arthur Weasley. Yes, that pairing is down correctly. Muriel in this piece is the perfect cantankerous 'old' (as she will endlessly remind you) lady most sensible women long to be (for where is there more freedom than unleashing our sharp tongues with abandon?). Arthur deals with heartbreak and healing. Arabella deals with her cats, which true-to-life have just as much character as any human or goblin. This is a story of serious topics (pain, hard life changes, prejudice, a society healing from great darkness) woven with humour and brilliant lines. The style is fantastic. Check it out, if you are so inclined - but do remember the pairings, for they are not particularly subtle.
"A Small Touch of Luck" by r_grayjoy. Severus Snape/Filius Flitwick. Now, unlike many of the dashing ladies of my flist, I am new to this Snape bandwagon. Previous to this month I would read him occasionally but wouldn't think to seek out a story with him, and would mostly focus on other features of the story. It is fic like this that fosters a new love for his character. I watched him morph from strict snark to realisations and sentimental expression. I enjoyed this new look at old characters. My favourite may have been Flitwick - the grace with which he was described made me smile. I think I can count the number of slash stories I've read on two hands now!
"When Dudley Met Millicent" by IJ's noeon. Millicent/Dudley (background Harry/Dean, Ron/Pansy) Millicent/Dudley (background Harry/Dean, Ron/Pansy). This is another story that offers the opportunity to take a new look at old characters. It's basically all there in the title, save that the catalyst was someone surprising: Harry himself. It was lovely to see new camaraderie between two characters that had previously shared no mutual affection.
Going to leave that to be it for now. May make a personal entry in a bit. Tomorrow I really need to kick my arse into financial forms and dissertation setup. I'm still treading water in the waters of Da Nile, and great Poppy's pants, she's giving me a thrashing!