I was never really a fan of fanfiction growing up. And yet, if a story didn’t end the way I liked, I would just imagine that the author had gone a different direction. I didn’t realize that I was creating my own fanfiction in the process.
I stumbled upon Harry Potter fanfiction by accident. I had no idea how rich the internet was with fanfiction. The first piece I read gave background on one of the characters, and I mistakenly believed that it was part of the original canon. It was quite dark but realistic and gave the character more substance.
I had to be careful, though, and so should you, because more recent Harry Potter fanfiction has a lot to do with explicit content and gender issues, featuring a whole universe of fanfiction devoted to a trans Harry Potter or very specific kinks and humiliation.
With this list of the best Harry Potter fanfiction, you can find things with a bit more substance that focuses on a broader story with more depth, changes to character relationships, and unique magical gifts.
Bottom Line Up Front
The best Harry Potter fanfiction is Eclipse and Twelve Dark Moons. Eclipse is great because it explores Draco Malfoy’s background and the internal struggles he no doubt faced while under Lord Voldemort’s employ.
With the original Harry Potter books, readers only got a small snippet into the changes Draco Malfoy had toward Lord Voldemort, but with this, you get a much deeper understanding of those changes.
Twelve Dark Moons is equally unique because it follows Luna Lovegood’s imprisonment and the fact that she was able to influence Lord Voldemort. I love Luna. She is one of my favorite characters, so naturally, an exploration of her time while imprisoned at Malfoy Manor, even though it did end up with some violent scenes, was well worth a read.
The Best Harry Potter Fanfiction
The world of Harry Potter fanfiction is vast. It’s so big it has entire websites. So what makes the best Harry Potter fanfiction?
- While it can contain some explicit content, that shouldn’t be the purpose of the fanfiction, so I look for things with a well-fleshed-out storyline.
- I also look for good writing that incorporates many of the elements of the original universe, such as the characters, the magical creatures, the locations, or the timeline. Some of the best fanfiction has the same characters but has slight canon divergence or different relationships between characters.
- Quality and length are important. It doesn’t have to be particularly long to be good fanfiction; although several writers started their projects by contributing new content every couple of weeks, it shouldn’t be more than just a quick paragraph. It needs substance.
“The Beginning of the End”
- Published: June 6 2023
- Word Count: 14,524
- Where to read: https://archiveofourown.org/works/48115975/chapters/121331392
This fanfiction is about four chapters which are significantly longer than most, so you don’t get a 1,000-word short story, and then you’re yanked immediately back to reality.
I was hooked from the beginning, small typos aside, because it has to do with an alternate universe where during their 5th year, Harry Potter, Theodore Nott, Draco Malfoy, and Blaise Zabini are Death Eaters. What’s more, they aren’t trying to bring down the end of the world but rather protect magic.
In this iteration, the Ministry of Magic alleviated all dark and gray magic after James and Lily Potter were killed. But doing so meant a disruption to the fine balance of magic, which requires both sides. false prophecies were made about Harry Potter, the Ministry of Magic used things
like Time-Turners to go back in time and correct their mistakes, further corrupting the timeline.
There is so much happening in this, and it really draws you in because it uses some of the same settings and characters, so it’s not completely different, but gracefully it has to do with an actual storyline and not just a gender issue or explicit content.
- Published: Jun 13, 2020
- Word Count: 94,760
- Where to Read: https://www.wattpad.com/968124443-the-stand-a-helping-hand
This is one of the top-rated fanfictions on Wattpad. It mirrors many of the same events and the timeline of the original books but with a slightly different twist: what if someone actually helped out Harry Potter instead of just letting him get picked on forever?
When Harry Potter gets picked on by Dudley and his gang of friends, instead of being left alone, another young wizard finds him and helps him, knowing that he’s Harry Potter and knowing that he’s a good kid.
When the young wizard brings him home to fix him up, he expresses confusion that Dumbledore always said Harry Potter went to a good home with a nice family, and yet the cousin was obviously a dirtbag.
It starts with Harry Potter being beaten up by his cousin and then helped by the young wizard, and then jumps to things like shopping at Diagon Alley.
There’s a lot where Harry Potter is supposed to be flummoxed because he doesn’t know what’s going on, and yet in this fanfiction, he just kind of guesses correctly every time. Trust me when I say the writing isn’t great, but you’ll still find yourself clicking to the next chapter.
But the author does put unique elements in there that I really like. For example, when going to Gringotts bank for the first time, Harry Potter has to pass a test proving that he is Harry Potter by putting on family Rings, including:
- The Potter crest
- The Gryffindor ring
- The Emrys ring
- The Peverell ring
- The Slytherin ring
- The Black ring
When the rings don’t burn him, it concludes that he is the rightful heir to all of those houses and can get to his vault. I like that a lot better than having to hang on to a key.
“The Incredible Race”
- Published: Oct 29, 2010
- Word Count: 52,325
- Where to Read: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/6435350/1/The-Incredible-Race
This fanfiction is set in the future when both Draco Malfoy, who apparently got off scot-free with the ministry, and Harry Potter are Aurors. It opens with Lee Jordan narrating episodes of a televised Global race that is supposed to boost marketing for the ministry.
Ron and Hermione are still together, and Ron is still depicted as gross, especially where food is concerned, talking with his mouth full and spraying the table with crumbs while Hermione absent-mindedly cleans up the crumbs.
Aside from that, it is incredibly well-written and one of my absolute favorites. There’s nothing quite as funny as putting two Rivals together, especially in challenges, and neither Harry nor Malfoy disappoints.
This fanfiction is very funny and very involved. You’ll find yourself staying up late at night, scrolling to the next chapter.
- Published: May 26, 2003
- Word Count: 309,149
- Where to Read: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/1360492/1/Eclipse
This is another fanfiction that involves Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy, but this one’s a lot darker and more suspenseful.
If you thought 11 chapters were a lot, this one has 20. It’s over 300,000 words long, but in it, you’ll watch as Draco kidnaps Harry and brings him to Voldemort but then recognizes the depth of his mistake as they both try to escape together.
I like that this one is set in the same universe, in the year when Draco’s father is in prison. I also like that it contains unique spells and potions. “The Beginning of the End” also has unique spells created by the characters. This is something that isn’t really talked about a lot in the original books, but obviously, all spells, hexes, jinxes, and Potions had to be created by someone once upon a time.
While it’s clearly not safe, which is why adults do it most of the time, Severus Snape was experimenting with that while he was still in school, so it makes sense that Draco would too. This fanfiction neatly glosses over that Draco Malfoy was severely punished by his father growing up, locked in the Malfoy dungeons for trying to steal.
I love how the author describes that Lucius Malfoy never punished his son eventually, nor was he sympathetic; he just truly believed this is what must be done and that chaining your son up in a dark dungeon overnight was perfectly acceptable.
It really paints a picture of how Draco could have ended up as he did, which of course, lends itself to the confusion Draco faces while standing guard over Harry Potter in the same dungeons, but I won’t spoil it for you.
- Published: May 2, 2017
- Word Count: 91,338
- Where to Read: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/4377774/1/Midnight
One of my absolute favorite books is The Name of the Wind, part of the Kingkiller Chronicles. It follows a boy whose family is part of a musical troupe who travels from town to town. Then his family is killed in mysterious circumstances, and he, a musician, is left with nothing but his father’s instrument.
His goal is to get to a magical University where he can continue the basic education he learned from a magician who traveled with the musical troupe. This University uses such complex magic that some people go crazy, and they end up residing at the insane asylum located on the University campus.
There is one character, however, which reminds me a bit of Luna Lovegood; she hasn’t gone completely crazy; she’s only half crazy, so she lives on campus but hides in the dark and abandoned buildings rather than living in the asylum. She has a spin-off book, The Slow Regard of Silent Things.
I say all this because the way that character runs around the campus at night, listening, talking, and whispering, is akin to the way Hermione lives concealed in the ruins of Hogwarts after the final battle.
This piece of fanfiction grabs you immediately, following Hermione as she moves ghost-like through the ruins, the way the ghosts of all those who fought and died during the battle appear at midnight, replaying their final dying moments, describing the way nature had reclaimed the pieces that battle magic had not destroyed.
I couldn’t stop reading this fanfiction because it described a completely different ending, painful losses, and a small fragment of hope. And it has a great flip on the Mirror of Erised after the battle. I also learned a new word, “niggle,” and I love it when I learn new words.
“Twelve Dark Moons”
- Published: July 10, 2006
- Word Count: 108,916
- Where to Read: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/3037156/1/Twelve-Dark-Moons
Twelve Dark Moons follows Luna Lovegood’s imprisonment with the Dark Lord. So naturally, it takes place while she is a member of the Order of the Phoenix, and the trio, Harry, Hermione, and Ron, are searching for house artifacts that could be Horcruxes.
I was pulled in the minute the story opened with Luna visiting the Forbidden Forest, making friends with unicorns, and naming Thestrals after a Chinese Abacus because of the clicking sound they make with their teeth. High praise to the author for truly capturing Luna’s personality and exploring things from her perspective.
For example, when one of the characters notes that they don’t know if she’s brave or barmy, and she says she doesn’t think she’s brave, Luna expressed that everyone started laughing and she wasn’t sure why and things like that happened a lot where she would say things, and everyone laughed, and she didn’t know why.
Luna often lets her thoughts get the best of her, and the way she gets carried off in her own thoughts probably explains why, to others, she always has a far-off look in her eyes. In fact, this exasperates Snape during his interrogation and is endlessly funny to the reader.
Answer: The Harry Potter fanfiction website was archived and then closed. You can still read all of it in the archived forms.
Answer: Anyone can write fanfiction. Several websites publicize Harry Potter fanfiction; on them, many of the authors are anonymous and go by pen names.
Answer: The author hasn’t sued any writer and seems to be supportive of fanfiction. She has given her blessing to all those who write fanfiction based on the characters and says that she is very flattered.
She did have issues with particularly explicit content, especially if it wasn’t accurately credited to the author because, as she noted, no matter how old the books are, they were designed for children, and it can be a problem if young children who are fans of Harry Potter stumble across explicit, X-rated stories.
Best Harry Potter Fan Fiction: Bottom Line
The best Harry Potter fanfiction is Eclipse and Twelve Dark Moons. Eclipse is great because it explores Draco Malfoy’s internal struggles under Lord Voldemort’s control. Twelve Dark Moons is equally unique because it follows Luna Lovegood’s imprisonment and offers a unique relationship in the end that is weird and a little unsettling… but so is Luna.