Harry Potter and the Nightmares of Futures Past by Viridian (S’TarKan)

Story Title: Harry Potter and the Nightmares of Futures Past
Author Name: Viridian (S’TarKan)
Story Url: Story Link 1
Alternate Url: Story Link 2
Alternate Url: Story Link 3
Content Rating: Teen-Mature (some minor swearing, violence, and references to adult themes)
Status: WIP (last updated 2019: Draft; Author’s notes about upcoming chapters)
Length: Epic (over 390,000 words as of Oct. 2012)
Story Summary:  Thirteen years after leaving Hogwarts, Harry Potter finally destroys the last Horcrux and obliterates Voldemort, ending his reign of terror.  Too bad everyone Harry cares about is dead now.  A chance discovery sends… part of… Harry back into the past. No matter that Voldemort will be alive again – Harry is determined that this time, things will be different!

Gioia’s Rec:
“Nightmares of Futures Past” is one of my favorite Harry Potter re-do fics, in which a war-weary Harry sends his memories back to his 11-year-old self in an attempt to escape the hollow victory and brutal war he has just survived.

As demonstrated in Book One, Harry’s deepest desire has always been to be safe along with his loved ones. Viridian examines the lengths Harry will go to in order to achieve that goal.

I must admit I procrastinated in rec’ing this 1,000-page epic, due to its WIP status.  And although I’m fairly certain that there will be more to this story posted at some point (Click Here for the author’s comments regarding the story’s pending updates), I also think it’s possible that this story may never be completed in full. So please be aware from the outset that this story is incomplete and may always be so.  But that’s okay.

Regardless of the story’s status, it still merits a very favorable rec thanks to the story’s rich characterizations, intriguing plot, creative development of what could have been an overused, clichéd plot device, and the sheer fun and excitement which this story contains in abundance.  I’ve read Nightmares of Futures Past more times than I can count, as it never fails to captivate me.

One problem which many fanfic authors encounter in writing a re-do/time-travel fic is the urge to fix too many things – to make the canon problems just disappear with quick remedies.  I like the way that Viridian candidly illustrates the major flaw in that approach, by repeatedly demonstrating how one seemingly innocuous change to the timeline can automatically throw everything off, bringing about widely varying differences between the new timeline and the old one, often in the most unexpected and inexplicable ways.  For example, in Viridian’s story, Harry is perplexed during his second year at Hogwarts when Cho Chang, a student whom he barely knows in this timeline, is brutally attacked during the Ravenclaw Quidditch practice.  He cannot figure out why any changes he has made to the timeline would cause that to happen, and yet he knows that his changes must be at fault, because the attack didn’t happen in the original timeline.  That incident is just one of many which indicate that Viridian has carefully plotted out his story in great detail, weaving in seemingly unrelated plot threads, to create a complex and broad story which keeps the reader entranced from start to finish.

Regardless of whether you typically enjoy re-do fics, I strongly recommend Nightmares of Futures Past, as it sets the standard for all others of this subgenre.  In fact, Viridian’s story is such a classic favorite within the Harry Potter fandom, that readers may recognize several elements which have since been affectionately spoofed by other fanfic writers.  The story is greatly beloved because the characterizations are extremely well-developed, the plot is never dull, and the author keeps us guessing as he cleverly depicts just how unpredictable people (and fate) can be, even when Harry thinks he has everything all figured out.  There are a few minor stylistic elements which I wasn’t as fond of, but I notice that even those trifling details disappeared as the story progressed.  The story just kept getting better and better, with the author’s already obvious talent improving even further with each chapter.  I sincerely hope this story is completed some day, but even if it isn’t, I’ll always be grateful for the countless hours of entertainment I’ve reaped from it.

Please Note: The “Out-of-Character Behavior (Deliberate)” tag is never used as as a criticism on this blog, but as a way to identify fics in which a deliberate change is made in a characterization.  In this case, 30-year-old Harry resides in the body of his 11-year-old self. This is a deliberate plot device, not a flaw, and it makes it all the more interesting to see Harry struggling to behave like an 11-year-old.

About Gioia

I'm a wife and mother and, when not tied up with responsibilities, I read non-stop. I love to share my favorite stories with others, thus the existence of my blog.
This entry was posted in Action/Adventure, Alternate Universe, Comeuppance/Vindication/Schadenfreude, Content Rating-HP: Mature (R), Content Rating-HP: Teen (PG-13), Conventional (Canon) Couple, Drama/Angst, Favorite Story, Favorite Story-Harry Potter, Friendship/Mentorship, Gen, Harry Potter, Harry Potter/Ginny Weasley, Harry rescued from the Dursleys, Harry-centric, Het: M/F, Hurt/Comfort, Introspective, Main Character Death, Original Character featured, Out-of-character behavior (Deliberate), Outsider-POV, Reunion-fic, Romance, Ron Weasley/Hermione Granger, Sirius Black avoids or escapes Azkaban earlier than in canon, Spoilers for Half-Blood Prince, Time Travel, Time Travel-HP, Violence or Abuse-Non-sexual, Work-In-Progress and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Harry Potter and the Nightmares of Futures Past by Viridian (S’TarKan)

  1. Pingback: The Uncle by samvimes (Copperbadge) | Gioia Recs…

  2. Carl Antuar says:

    Chapter 43 is complete and being posted very soon! It’s been over three years, but Viridian has kept promising to continue (despite serious health problems), and he’s succeeded.

  3. TempestK says:

    Unfortunately, someone rather spitefully reported the story for having “copyrighted lyrics” shortly after chapter 43 was posted, and FF.net bots automatically removed the story. It’s been two weeks, and the FF.net staff has failed to contact S’Tarkan as of yet. While S’Tarkan has said he will likely repost it, he’s looking into alternatives, and he has lost all of the former stats from FF.net.

    • Gioia says:

      Oh. My. Gosh. What is WRONG with people??? “Spiteful” is definitely the right word! This is infuriating news. And, ugh, FFN and the perpetual inability to get a real person to respond to tech support needs! Considering how much money the site earns thanks to their high Alexa ranking, one would think the owner could provide responsive assistance in cases like this! This is exactly why so many writers have migrated to AO3. {/rant}

      Thank you for letting me know. After I get through banging my head against the wall, I’ll keep an eye on this situation and watch for a new link to the fic.

  4. Lars says:

    There is a downloadable pdf of the story through chapter 43 (yes, it includes the deleted chapter). Find it at https://github.com/IntermittentlyRupert/hpnofp-ebook/releases/tag/2.2.1 if it’s no longer there email me personally (graphicdesignerlars@gmail.com) for the file. So far no luck finding chapter 44 though…it’s a real shame, Harry Potter and the Nightmares of Futures Past is a fantastic story up there with Harry Potter and the Prince of Slytherin, or Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality. In some ways it’s superior, probably the closest to original events and voice. I just spent like 30 hours reading the thing. Huge fan.

  5. Lars says:

    Use subject “Chapter 43” in the email header.

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