This week, something that just barely qualifies as a list: Two fics where Harry Potter gets mistaken for a demon or other non-human horror to some degree or other.
(Sadly, no other such fics were noteworthy enough for me to remember them… though, if you don’t mind broadening the scope to other fandoms, The Dark Lords of Nerima is also fun.)
Anyway, let’s get going:
- Fallen by ForgerOfLies
- Length: 36,394 Words
Crossover: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
- When Harry Potter falls into an unaging coma for 68 years after vanquising Voldemort, he wakes up to discover that he gained a few new titles from his final battle including “Harry the Lightbringer”… but fate isn’t done with him yet. Not long after waking up, a hole in time and space opens up below his feet at a ministry ball.
Meanwhile, in Sunnydale, California, a demon tries to summon someone beyond what the Powers That Be or Glorificus can counter: The Morningstar. …he gets Harry instead.
What proceeds to unfold is a comedy of mistaken identity and misread clues. (And, of course, there’s an unhelpful prophecy about him because it wouldn’t be Harry Potter otherwise.)
I especially like the decision to flesh out the joke by having Harry and Dawn Summers bonding over how much they hate shrewd old men shaping their destinies for them… and the conclusion by others that, because it’s already been established that this is Lucifer, every little whim must be a plan too cunning for them to recognize.
That said, that the grammar occasionally trips up (in ways which suggest English isn’t the author’s first language) and, when the plot initially gets going (around when the assassin “Serpent” is brought in to kill Harry), the prose feels a little too shallow for several chapters, so I’d give it a 3.7 out of 5 rating. (It’s still something I’d recommend reading at least once for the novelty of the concept, given how it stuck in my memory for so many years, but it could really use some tighening up in those middle chapters in order to reach 4 out of 5.)
Make sure you don’t skip the omakes at the ends of some chapters. Even when they start slow, the punchlines tend to be great.
- The Master of Death by rgm0005
- Length: 69,139 Words
Crossover: The Dresden Files
- Here we have a Dresden Files crossover by an author who knows how to take that wonderful Dresden balance of seriousness and wit but also to mix in some very engaging extra-universal world-building and engaging conversations between Harry and an OC.
It all starts when Harry Potter, having lived a full life, dies of old age and returns to the train station at the edge of the afterlife. After telling the train’s driver that he’s ready to go, settling down in a cabin, and accepting the hallows which have appeared next to him like a faithful dog, the driver comes to him with a message: He’s being summoned and would he be willing to answer it.
What follows is a brilliant depiction of passing out of one existence and then back into another to visit the Dresdenverse, becoming an Outsider along the way. (Because of the need to borrow a body from within outskirts of the Dresdenverse within Shape but outside Existence.)
Harry then arrives, summoned by Justin DuMorne and, being an ex-Auror, proceeds with his “saving people thing” after a brief legilimency scan. However, as events progress, he quickly discovers that he has a history in this world and, compelled by the threat of paradox, what follows is an interesting series of character interactions: Harry with the OC “afterlife train driver” (which is surprisingly satisfying) who he relies on to plot routes which temporarily exit Time. Harry with Rashid and Ebenezer, who understand that he means no harm, but also recognize that every time he is summoned or departs, it widens the cracks in the Outer Gates (and are unaware that Harry is experiencing their meetings in reverse order). etc.
Thus begins a story that can be thought of almost as a series of connected short stories, with one complete introductory arc, an interlude, and an incomplete arc having been written. The first two feel very much Dresdenverse stories, while the third taking place so far in the prehistoric past that it feels quite different.
While I’m not a huge fan of the incomplete third and and think the story would be much better off without it (it’s simply too original for the author’s skill level to maintain interest properly), the introductory arc and the interlude are excellent blends of what makes Harry Potter who he is (both personaly-wise and situation-wise) combined with the maturity, tone, and atmosphere of The Dresden Files, and with some elegantly chosen original bits for glue and flavour.
I’d say 4.5 out of 5 for the introductory arc, 4 out of 5 for the interlude, and 3.5 out of 5 for the rest.
For a taste of the aforementioned original bits, I’ll leave you with a quote from the driver to explain the mechanics of Harry borrowing an Outsider body:
“Of course not, sir; it just means nothing out there exists. I think you’ll find that there are a great number of things that don’t exist, sir; indeed, we didn’t exist a short time ago.”