Best Harry Potter Fanfiction
Top 10 Harry Potter Fanfics
Harry Potter universe is phenomenally popular among fanfiction writers and readers. There are not only thousands of fan-written stories available to read online, but also multiple websites dedicated to hosting Harry Potter fics of all lengths and genres. It comes as no surprise that most stories are average at best, and many are incomplete. That being said, some HP fanfics are truly outstanding, and - dare I say it - rival the original in terms of how well thought-out and written they are.
Finding such stories is not easy. FanFiction.net communities and the impressive collection at FanFicAuthors.net do help a lot, but it can still be a hit-and-miss affair. With that in mind, I created this page to share the best Harry Potter fanfics I've ever read.
- This list is based on my personal opinion. Your taste might be different, and I'm sure I've missed plenty of good stories that I simply didn't have the pleasure of reading. You are more than welcome, however, to share own favorites in the comments.
- Some stories contain more mature themes compared to the original heptalogy. Fanfiction.net has its own content ratings system, so if you are concerned about content inappropriate for younger readers, make sure to check the story's rating first. Other websites mentioned here also have similar filters in place.
- I do my best to keep the reviews spoiler-free, but I'm not a great reviewer so they might contain some information beyond what is mentioned in the story's summary.
- All stories are complete unless stated otherwise. This does not include sequels (which may be complete or not). I've had to ignore some very promising fics, but it can't be helped as in all likelihood they will never be finished.
#1. Harry Potter and the Last Horcrux
Genre: Action/Adventure, Drama, Romance, Tragedy
Harry Potter and the Last Horcrux by Mike aka Full Pensieve is one of the most well-written, and the most realistic HP fanfic that I've ever read. When I say realistic, I mean it in terms of portrayal of the Second Wizarding War and how it affects the Muggles, the detail that went into expanding the Harry Potter world, and the actions and emotions of the characters. It is still very much a fantasy story, and magic plays a crucial part in it.
The story starts with more mature and grown-up characters making a last stand against Voldemort. The atmosphere is bleak and melancholic, but very believable unlike many other HP fics which attempt to be "dark". There is a certain balance, and hope is never lost.
Harry Potter and the Last Horcrux was started back in 2006, and was only recently completed. If you have read this story before, you might recall the two endings, one of which was unfinished. Thankfully, the author completely rewrote and finished the story, and you can now read the whole thing.
#2. Bungle in the Jungle
Bungle in the Jungle and its sequel Turn Me Loose by JBern are my long-time favorites. It was hard choosing between them and The Lie I've Lived by the same author, but the latter will be getting a sequel while Bungle is complete. Regardless, I highly recommend reading all of this author's stories if you enjoy well-written action and a confident, independent Harry. Rest assured: he doesn't become a badass with superpowers overnight. There's always a long road ahead of our hero at the beginning of the fic, but he gets there through hard work, will, and sheer determination. And if he does beat Voldemort, it's through a real battle rather than a lucky fluke!
It's not just action, either: JBern's take on animagery and a unique cursebreaking / warding system he created truly deserves praise.
P. S. if you enjoy jbern's writing style, you might be interested in his published works.
#3. Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality
Genre: Adventure, Drama, Humor, Rational Fic
Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality by Less Wrong is probably the most unique HP fanfiction piece in existence. It tells the story of a very different Harry Potter: brought up by his scientist stepfather and a loving aunt Petunia, the boy possesses an intelligent, inquisitive mind and a healthy bit of skepticism. That's why learning of Hogwarts and the existence of magic is such a shock to him. Harry, however, doesn't break down but rather approaches magic using logic and the scientific method. This is essentially a story of him trying to learn how magic works, and why do wizards do seemingly ridiculous things.
HPMOR is so popular that it has its own website, fanart, and a huge following (and for a good reason). It is also the only incomplete fanfic on my list. Do forgive me, but I think it absolutely deserves a mention - and at 85+ chapters, it will keep you occupied for days.
#4. Stages of Hope
Genre: Action/Adventure, Drama, Tragedy
The story of Stages of Hope by kayly silverstorm is as follows: a year and a half after Bill's and Fleur's wedding, Harry and his friends are still looking for the Horcruxes. Voldemort has taken over the Ministry, and most of the Order is dead. During the Horcrux search, a freak magical accident occurs which transports the group to an alternate dimension - similar to their own, but also subtly different.
I thought I didn't like tragic / dark fics until I read this one. Then I realized that most authors just can't write this genre very well. Merely killing off your characters one by one does not make a tragic fanfic. You also need to create an emotional connection between the reader and the characters, and don't forget to show a glimmer of hope even in the darkest situations. Stages of Hope does this well. I felt genuinely sorry for the characters, but I also laughed at the occasional black humor. All-in-all, it's a very well-written and remarkably believable fic.
#5. White Knight, Grey Queen
Genre: Action/Adventure, Romance
Jeconais has written a number of stories that essentially follow the same formula: Harry meets a girl, she helps him gain confidence, the pair destroys their enemies and live happily ever after. And it works: the stories are certainly entertaining to read, and if you're a sucker for happy endings like I am, you will definitely be satisfied. My personal favorite from Jeconais is the White Knight, Grey Queen which is one of his longest works, and features some interesting characters and an unusual pairing (Harry/Pansy).
#6. A Black Comedy
Genre: Comedy, Action/Adventure
There's plenty of funny Harry Potter fan-fiction, but few stories are as well-written and imaginative as A Black Comedy by nonjon. In this story, a twenty-something Harry gets sucked through the Veil during a magical experiment. Surprisingly, it turns out to be a portal to an alternate dimension - one which Sirius entered before him. Reunited with his uncle, Harry makes it his mission to mess with the lives of his friends and enemies, and generally have fun. There's plenty of crude humor in this story, but it's not just mindless entertainment: A Black Comedy also features an interesting take on the Harry vs Voldemort conflict.
#7. Harry Potter and the Wastelands of Time
Genre: Action/Adventure, Time Travel
Harry's determination to win against Voldemort leads him to making a pact with the devil (figuratively speaking). As a result, their conflict escalates until it threatens the very existence of our world. Harry gains new, fearsome powers, but also makes new enemies that are more dangerous than he could have imagined. This story is definitely epic in scope, but sometimes it's a bit all over the place which is why I haven't ranked it higher. Wastelands of Time is complete, and its sequel Heartlands of Time is in progress.
#8. Indifference and Neglect
Genre: Drama, Comedy
At first, Indifference and Neglect might seem like nothing more than Harry acting cold or lashing out at everyone. You will soon realize that this isn't like most angst fics though: it's more the case of Harry simply deciding to stop giving a damn. Everyone expects something of him or wants to control his life, and the young wizard has had enough. This decision has unexpected consequences in the second half of the story.
Even though it is serious for the most part, Indifference and Neglect has some funny moments as well. The fic has plenty of confrontations, but not a lot of action.
#9. Harry Potter And The Summer Of Change
Genre: Action/Adventure, Drama, Romance
Fans of the Harry/Tonks pairing will surely enjoy Harry Potter And The Summer Of Change by Lord Dwar. It is a gritty and often grim story of Harry growing stronger and taking control of his own life. I definitely enjoyed Lord Dwar's version of Harry who is no longer content with getting by on luck alone, and tries to improve himself and actually learn from his mistakes. On the other hand, I felt that Harry's character was changing too fast when I was reading the story. He definitely doesn't become a mighty, confident wizard overnight, but 3 months of summer is still a very short time to essentially become an adult.
#10. Apprentice Potter
Genre: Action/Adventure, Drama, Romance
One of the best Harry Potter fanfics I've ever read is Apprentice Potter by Draco664. Hunted by the Death Eaters, at odds with the Ministry, and not seeing eye-to-eye with the so-called "Light Side", Harry finds an unexpected ally who takes him on as an Apprentice. The story is remarkably well-written, believable, and entertaining. It also features a rather unusual Harry/Blaise pairing (Blaise is a girl in this story).
I would have loved to rank this fanfic higher in my list since I enjoyed it a lot. Sadly, while Apprentice Potter and its first sequel Journeyman Potter are complete, the third installment Master Potter is unfinished and seems to be abandoned. I still think it's worth a read, and the first two fics stand well on their own.
Favorite HP Fanfiction Tropes
What tropes do you actually enjoy seeing in HP fics?
- 28% Do-Over and Time Travel
- 6% Harry in Azkaban (aka Betrayal Fic)
- 10% OBHWF (Harry/Ginny & Hermione/Ron ships)
- 9% Severitus (Snape as Harry's mentor)
- 7% Soul Bounds or Veela Bonds
- 5% Crossovers
- 11% Slash (Harry/Draco, Remus/Sirius, etc.)
- 17% Wizarding Politics (Harry as Lord Potter)
- 2% Crack
- 4% Other (share in the comments)