Top Ten Fanfics That Made Me Cry

image by kai Stachowiak, CC0 Public Domain, blog post may contain spoilers for various fandoms and some stories may be triggering. You have been warned.

Fan fiction stories are a staple of any fandom. They allow fans to re-imagine all the parts of the original work they didn’t like or place their favourite characters in different situations. Authors, like the Gods, can be quite cruel to the characters in our stories and, in this, fan fiction authors are no different. It is the goal of any author to make the reader feel and if, by placing our characters into terrible situations, we cause the reader to shed real tears, then we have definitely succeeded at our job.

In the world of fan fiction, this can be done in a number of ways. Whether it is killing off a favourite character’s lover, subjecting them to a terminal illness or simply examining a canon situation in a more personal way, many fan fiction authors have a particular talent for ferreting out that one thing that will devastate the hearts of their readers.

I have read many stories that have caused me to cry; and by cry, I mean real tears rolling down my cheeks, not just watery eyes. I have read so many such stories, of outstanding quality, that I had quite a time choosing which to exclude. In fact, this has been one of my most difficult Top Ten lists to date.

Before I begin the list, there is one story I have not included on this list, but would still like to recommend. The number ten slot was a very close-run thing, and took me nearly three hours to make a choice. I was tempted to make it a tie, but in the end I decided to go with the other story.

The story that just missed out on the spot, but which I feel is worthy of a mention, is A Gambler’s Lucky Streak by Ithilwen C. Malfoy. It is a complete one-shot, of 3,107 words, and shows the final moments of Harry Potter and Severus Snape in the dungeons of Malfoy Manor. It is well worth reading and I strongly recommend it.

Anyway, without any further fuss, here is my personal top ten list of fan fiction stories that made me cry, from ten to one:

Number 10

Recnac Transfaerso + Alternate Ending (Harry Potter)

By the time you finish reading Recnac Transfaerso by Celebony, you will be balling your eyes out, particularly if you read it in conjunction with the Alternate Ending. In this tale of the ultimate sacrifice, a severely abused Harry befriends a new muggle family in his neighbourhood. When the father finds out that he is dying from Cancer, Harry searches for a magical cure. Unfortunately, the only way to cure his friend’s father is to transfer the cancer to himself.

There are a few different ways to read this story. The first is to read all the way to the end of Recnac Transfaerso. If you choose this route, you will get a happy ending and can either leave it there, or continue on to read the sequels (which I haven’t read, so cannot comment on). The second, if you don’t want a happy ending, or get annoyed by Deus Ex Machina’s, is to read Recnac Transfaerso, and leave off after chapter 35 or just before the end of chapter 36.

Finally, you have my preferred method, which is to read Recnac Transfaerso up until Ginny Weasley’s line ‘Why does everything always have to happen to Harry? Doesn’t he deserve a break?‘ Ginny muttered angrily,” (which is near the end of chapter 33), then switch to the Alternate Ending to Recnac Transfaerso. This method will definitely not give you a happy ending. You have been warned.

Recnac Transfaerso is a complete story with 39 chapters and 195,216 words.
Alternate Ending to Recnac Transfaerso is a complete one-shot with 33,398 words.

Number 9

Do You Remember Love (Naruto/Naruto Shippuden)

Do You Remember Love by DigiFruit gives Naruto’s favoured shadow clone technique an unexpected and heartbreaking consequence. Not only does each clone duplicate his body, it also duplicates his soul, and after Naruto dies, the next soul in line gets a chance to live. Think about how many clones Naruto produced in his lifetime. Think about how many times Naruto must live his life over. Waking up at the moment of the next clone’s creation, forced to relive his pain, forced to watch everything happen again and again, as changing events only serves to make things worse. This is a bittersweet story of love and loss that will have you in tears more than once.

Do You Remember Love is a complete one-shot with 16,145 words.

Number 8

Had I Known (Harry Potter)

In Had I Known by kayly silverstorm, Harry disappears after defeating Voldemort in seventh year. Eight years later, a deadly illness forces him to return. Severus Snape must now race against the clock in order to find the cure for, should Harry die from this particular illness, everything he has done in life will be undone, including Voldemort’s defeat. Unfortunately, for Harry, the cure is almost as bad as the potential outcome, and Severus soon learns that everything he thought he knew about Harry, Dumbledore, and the events of the past is so very, very wrong. I found myself in tears on many occasions when reading this story.

WARNING: This story contains extremely graphic scenes of torture and child abuse, as well as mentions of suicide attempts. Some people may find this triggering.

Had I Known is a complete story with 50 chapters and 167,745 words.

Number 7

Within This Box of Letters (Harry Potter)

Many years after the war, Hermione is writing book containing a true accounting of events. Having never told his friends the full story about his fourth year, and feeling that the truth should be remembered, Harry hands Hermione a box, hoping the contents will help her to understand. As Ron and Hermione read the letters contained within, they finally come to understand the true nature of Harry’s relationship with Cedric, and the depth of his loss after the events in the graveyard.

Watching events unfold in Within This Box of Letters by Stardust of Orion, while knowing the eventual outcome, will have you reaching for a box tissues before the end.

Within This Box of Letters is a complete one-shot with 7,630 words.

Number 6

10th Man Down (Alex Rider)

10th Man Down by Jusmine is short but intense. This story was recommended to me by my eldest daughter not long after I started reading fan fiction. It follows teen spy Alex Rider in his short career as an assassin. Unfortunately for Alex, he has a conscience and does not cope well with his job.

I had neither read nor watched Alex Rider at the time I first read this. That’s fine, though, you do not need to have any prior exposure to Alex Rider to understand and enjoy this story. In fact, I enjoyed it so much, that I watched the first Alex Rider movie and I intend to read the books as well. This is another emotional story that will require the good old tissue box nearby.

WARNING: This story contains themes of suicide that may trigger some readers.

10th Man Down is a complete one-shot with 4,856 words.

Number 5

Giving Notice (Harry Potter)

Giving Notice by dontgiveahoot is incomplete, and looks to be abandoned. Don’t let that put you off, however, because it is well worth reading and, regardless of the fact that it would be nice to read more, the story can stand as it is.

This story resembles a series of one-shots more than a progression from Point A to Point B. Each chapter shows the reaction of a single character to the death of a prominent student. While some are more devastating than others, every single one of them will have you in tears.

One of the things I love about this story is that, instead of concentrating on the reactions of all the major characters, we see the aftermath through the eyes of characters like Filch, Peeves and Percy. There are some characters missing that I would love to see but, as I said, this story appears to be abandoned. Even so, I strongly recommend Giving Notice to every Harry Potter fan.

WARNING: Contains themes of suicide that may be triggering to some people.

Giving Notice is a work in progress with 13 chapters and 33,021 words.

Number 4

Draco Dormiens Nunquam Titillandus (Harry Potter)

Draco Dormiens Nunquam Titillandus (Never Tickle a Sleeping Dragon) by EchoVanity is one of the few stories told in second person that I have enjoyed. In this story, Harry is called to the morgue in the middle of the afternoon to identify Draco’s body. The contrast between the present and flashbacks of the past, as well as Harry’s internal struggle to retain emotional control is absolutely devastating. Even just writing about this story has me in tears. This short, but powerful, one-shot is a definite must read.

WARNING: This story contains themes of suicide that may be triggering for some readers.

Draco Dormiens Nunquam Titillandus is a complete one-shot with 1,885 words.

Number 3

Radiation (Harry Potter)

In Radiation by Sailolee, Harry lays in the hospital dying of cancer. There isn’t much more I can say about it, really, except that this short, but sad, story does not have a happy ending.

Radiation is a complete one-shot with 1,572 words.

Number 2

I Won’t See You Tonight (Harry Potter)

I Won’t See You Tonight by bentheslayer is another story in which flashbacks provide a devastating counterpoint to a much bleaker reality. A broken Harry visits Azkaban in an attempt to find closure, as well as to punish an un-repentant Draco by showing him just exactly what he stole from Harry. This story contains major character deaths and will have you in tears before the end.

I Won’t See You Tonight is a complete one-shot with 4,891 words.

Number 1

Cauterize (Harry Potter)

Years after the war, Dennis Creevey takes up his brother’s beloved camera and uses it to document the scars left on people’s bodies in an attempt to heal the scars left on their souls. The descriptions of the photographs he takes are so incredibly vivid that I have no trouble picturing them in my head. I know that this summary doesn’t sound like much, but the story is far more distressing than I can convey without spoiling it. Cauterize by Lady Altair isn’t just first on this list, it is also one of my favourite Harry Potter stories altogether and I strongly recommend it to Harry Potter fans.

WARNING: This story may be distressing for readers who have experienced war.

Cauterize is a complete one-shot with 1,648 words.

Well, that’s it folks. Let me know in the comment section if you agree or disagree with this list, or if you know of a story you think I should read. Also, if you do read any of these stories, let me know what you think. Until then, keep the tissues handy.

Categories: Top Tens

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