So, back to the meme.
#5: Favorite Villain: If we're going with the penultimate Big Bad, the human sort, I have to say Rudolf. If we're going with the final, not-human, Big Bad, it's harder to say... Medeus (humans have it coming), Idoun (not what was expected) and Ashera (whoa) have their interesting points. Fomortiis and the Fire Dragon, not so much. At all. And if we're just going with a villain, any villain... I do have that soft spot for Caellach.
So, Harry Potter. Since people on the f-list are getting interested, I will present the following recs. These are not necessarily the "best" stories out there, as I have only read a fraction of what is available and my tastes are idiosyncratic, but these stuck with me.
"The Shipping Forecast
"-- nothing to do with 'shipping! A glimpse of Snape as a lad looking to better himself. I really like this author's take on Snape, which was firmly in the "he's lower-class and possibly Yorkshire" camp well, well before HP7. This writer also wrote some interesting HG/SS and the only HP/SS I've ever liked, but she yanked her stuff off the 'net when she decided to go pro. Sad times.
"The Scarlet Pimpernel
"-- A Percy Weasley redemption story that made me silly-delerious happy upon reading it. I mean, really, this sort of "behind the scenes fix-it" tale is precisely what fanfiction is about.
"Dark Gods In The Blood
"-- My favorite of the SS/HG post-Voldemort epics. Sucks to be Harry, but oh well.
"Somewhere I Have Never Travelled
"-- Another post-Voldy SS/HG epic, with time travel and stuff. There are parts I loved and parts, like the whole psychoanalysis bit with the healer from Newfoundland, that just tick me off. (Also contains some bonus HP/HG, which is Fine. By. Me.)
"The Prefect's Portrait
" by Arsinoe de Blassenville. Marvelously entertaining, ingenious, Slytherin apologist BS. There's an illustrated version out there that's quite lovely. Ms. de Blassenville has a few other equally marvelous and ingenious works of BS out there that are worth a read if you can stand the deconstructionist stance, I mean canon warping
A word on the SS/HG-- it was really kind of a subgenre unto itself, a very literary subgenre whose writers seemed, at the time I was following it, to be mostly adult women. It's a crack/AU pairing in its very inception, but the good writers recognized this and tried to run with it anyway. Hermione is, IMO, usually an author stand-in, or some kind of... I dunno, Jane Eyre stand-in subbing for the author. And Snape is a smoldering wounded romantic hero in need of a right fixing up. It gets old after a while, but after plowing through highly-touted and bloody ridiculous Harry/Draco stories, not to mention the complete works of Cassie Claire, the SS/HG was a nice change of pace.
There was also a SS/HG one with Hermione as a ghost (death by potions class accident) that was really sweet and moving even if it went kind of fluffy at the end, but the title eludes me and I never did bookmark it. Oh well. I was following some interesting Lupin/Tonks stories, too, but after the way they ended up in canon I lost the taste for it.
I also don't actively seek out HP/HG stories, but I do welcome recs on their behalf.