1) The Strange and Curious Dreams of Herrn Ulrich Vilsak - A magical AU set in the Prague of the 1890s, Remus Lupin finds himself living another's life with fractured memories which come only in dreams, an enslaved-to-another lover who visits him mostly when he's sleeping, and there's a golem haunting the ghetto he knows is linked to him somehow. This is a nuanced, complex tale, with many psychological and temporal twists. I normally don't go for fics in which Severus is a sex slave (particularly when Lucius Malfoy is his master), but this is possibly the best fic of the Snupin Santa fest, extremely well-written and imaginative, and is well worth the time to read its six chapters. It will leave you thinking, and wanting to read it over again.
2) Why Potions for Pleasure Went Missing from the Hogwarts Library - Snarky staffroom banter, scheming colleagues, and yet another DADA professor - just another usual September for the Hogwarts teachers. But when the new teacher turns out to be Remus Lupin, and the rest of Hogwarts' staff seems to be turning their scheming on *him*, what's a frustrated potions master to do? Short, sexy and fun!
3) Right nor Wrong - Next up, a 'wow' from snapelyholidays . The first Snape/Filch fic I ever read was atdelphi 's The Conjugal State, which I loved, but mostly because it was humorous and Filch is actually sort of endearing (putting me in mind, ever so slightly, of Alfred P. Doolittle). This is a very different Filch, and his voice - my god, his voice- is so spot on it fairly conjures him in front of you. In this story, the two are not a pair, but that doesn't stop Filch from desiring Severus, and the castle gives him what he needs - which is to watch. The characterization and Filch's dialect, the writing, the plot (with Severus and Minerva as the lovers), the *names*, the low-key humor, all are just outstanding. An all around brilliant piece of work!
4) Broken - Another Snape/Filch, this one from hp_yule_balls , with yet another very different Filch. This Filch is angry at the world and at people in general, but most particularly people born with the powers he should have had. In the previous story, the castle took care of him; in this one, the castle is close to blind to him, because he is a squib. Severus Snape is a new professor at Hogwarts and Filch can tell that there is something very wrong with him. Filch decides to fix him, his way. This is short, but nonetheless insightful, with a Filch and a Snape who are very in character and very well drawn.
And now for an out-of-fandom rec:
5) Winter's Delights - Okay, I've finally succumbed - I have fallen under the spell of BBC's Sherlock. Not that I actually think of this as Sherlock Holmes, but, as an action/mystery show it's very, very good. It's well written, the clothes and production values are fab, and Benedict Cumberbatch is, well, delectable is the word which comes to mind. ::g:: So, of course, I went looking for fan fic, and to probably no one's surprise, there's a ton of it, a lot of it very well written. It's a running joke on the show that everyone thinks that John and Sherlock are a couple when they aren't, and this fic takes advantage of that to great comic effect. It's a Holmes family holiday fic, and there are many inside ACD canon jokes, just as there are in the screenplays, funny original characters, lots of good backstory for screenplay 'canon', and, of course, lots of heat between our protagonists . It's longish (21,000 words in 3 parts), but a throughly enjoyable read.
Well, this took longer than I thought . . . it's late and I'm back at home now. We went and got our Christmas tree this evening, at the tree farm a couple miles from our house. It's making the house smell really good, and driving the cats spare. :-) It that vein, I thought I share with you just what I got up to during that incredibly boring, outrageously long staff meeting;
Okay, so you already knew I was terminally weird.
Christmas ceilidh tomorrow night, so there can't help but be better songs. The Nutella Cake is to make a command performance (as in, I've been commanded to bring it or they won't let me in! XD) I hope you all have lovely weekends!!