First of all, the Harry/Draco World Cup is still going strong, posting one story from each team every day. The AU Team is doing pretty well, if I do say so myself, with many strong entries, some of which I am going to rec.
Second, I have stumbled across a *brilliant* webcomic called No Rest for the Wicked - so let's start there.
No Rest for the Wicked follows November, the princess from 'The Princess and the Pea' fame. While November has always had trouble falling asleep, ever since the Moon disappeared she has been completely unable to rest. She heads off on a quest to find the Moon, with the aid of several well-known fantasy archetype staples: Red Riding Hood, Puss in Boots, the Girl With No Hands. The panels show a strong Japanese/anime influence - one might even say it has a Yu-Gi-Oh/Totally Spies! inspired style. The way-too-big-even-for-anime eyes make some of the character designs look like they've been doodled in the edges of a Japan-loving American teen's notebook: especially the character design of the main character, November.
However, the storyline, concepts, and even some of the other character designs are far from juvenile. First of all, many of you who read this journal already know the <3 I have for fairy tales, which can be understood on so many different levels. But Andrea Peterson has taken us down the rabbit hole, here, to the deepest, darkest place our archetypes live. If you've forgotten why the Wolf from 'Little Red Riding Hood' and the Witch from 'Hansel and Gretel' were ever scary, Peterson will kindly remind you - and give you new nightmares. At the same time, she explores the nature of violence and trauma: she subtly points out how Red has been turned into a witch by what happened to her as a child. There's so much *here* here that it's hard to explain in one review without simply re-telling the story.
Finally, after my slightly disparaging remarks about November's character design (!sorry!) I have to say that Red Riding Hood's is fabulous, reminding me more of the *really* older anime I've seen - the oldies but goodies, such as Robotech and (and oh god... what was the one where they did the English dub with a guy faking Clint Eastwood's voice? ...and eyepatches?) Ehem. In any case, Red is easily my favorite character. (She also reminds me just a wee bit of Escaflowne's Dilandu.)
Well, what are you sitting around for? Haven't I gushed enough? Go read it!
...oh. You're waiting for the HP recs? That may have to be another post.
...because I caught the Flu. Note the capital letters. This is the Influenza virus, the one that makes your bones feel like they *hurt* for no sensible reason. It's the weirdest feeling in the world...