Home For You Rosann’s Reading Recommendations – July 2024 – Canon Fic Favorites

Rosann’s Reading Recommendations – July 2024 – Canon Fic Favorites

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Article by: @Rosann_1986 on Twitter @WishingICouldFly on Tumblr

Happy 1D Anniversary Month, my dear fic lovers. I thought canon fics would be appropriate this month, to celebrate the boys and their real life struggles in the band. 

I adore canon and canon-divergent fics – stories that take place in a universe where the boys met and fell in love on The X Factor and in One Direction – so I love an opportunity to recommend stories in this category. When I first started reading, I was hungry for real insight into the industry, and canon fics really fed me (at least an imagined version of that). 

I’ve given canon fic recommendations before, in January 2023 (here). Some canon fics are still AU (alternate universe) in that there may be a magical element (such as time travel or soul marks) or are canon-divergent (veering off into a whole new universe). At their core canon fics are imagined stories using the actual known events as a starting point.

Note that some AO3 fics are available publicly on the server, while some require an Archive of Our Own account/membership to access. If you don’t currently have access, you’ll need to sit on a waitlist – typically for a week or two – to gain access. Get yourself on that list ASAP as some of these require that access to read.

The “Summary” is taken from the author’s own AO3 summary. “Why I Liked It” is my opinion (and only mine). 

These are NOT in ranked order. 

Summary: Louis is on tour when he first hears about it. It’s all over the news – Harry Styles Attacked By Fan runs in headlines for days. It’s not even just the gossip rags, either. Actual journalists are covering the story. It would have been impossible to avoid hearing about it. Technically, Oli is the one who tells Louis about it, but it’s not exactly being covered up. Harry doesn’t answer Louis’ text asking if he’s alright, but that’s not really surprising. They haven’t spoken for months, and it’s been a lot longer than that since they’ve had a real conversation. The sting of the text going unanswered is still there, less painful than it might have been a few years ago. It’s not that it’s easy to forget about, exactly. Louis has a whole life outside of One Direction now, though. So Louis goes on with his life, figuring that if Harry was seriously hurt he would have heard about it by now. He might currently be in the same country as Harry, but being on opposite sides of it puts enough distance between them that putting it in the back of his mind is easy. There’s nothing Louis could do, even if he thought Harry might want him to. That’s why everything that happens next comes as a complete shock to him.

Why I liked It: I loved this—it was almost 100% just Louis and Harry and it kept my interest all the way through. Trying to figure out the mystery of the curse became secondary to the two of them fumbling their way around each other as they tried to admit their love – post hiatus. Nice allusions to canon. 

Summary: In the moment, everything feels like it’s on fire, but suddenly Louis just feels boneless. He kind of can’t believe that this beautiful boy is all his. Harry looks wrecked but he’s grinning like a criminal, and city lights smile over them both. (Harry’s twenty-one; Louis still loves him. there’s birthday sex.)

Sadly, the author of this fic is lost to the fandom. “Orphan_Account” indicates that the author has either gone anonymous or has left the fandom, but thankfully has left their masterpiece to live on in the AO3 database.

Why I liked It: This is beautifully written, while being all smut. Louis remembering all the versions of Harry he’s loved, on his 21st Birthday. 

Summary: After years of no contact, it’s a random Tweet on his timeline, that makes Louis brave enough to wish Harry a happy new year

Why I liked It: Love this short canon, contemporary fic. Boys finding each other post 1D.  It’s post-hiatus, friends to lovers. 

Summary: Harry had thought he’d been prepared for his first solo tour, and in some ways it is exactly what Harry expected. But in other ways it’s entirely different. It’s lonelier than he remembered, all the waiting around backstage, the endless hours on tour buses, the days he’s so tired he thinks he could melt into the asphalt of a rest stop in the middle of America and happily stay there forever, and the nights he’s too keyed up to sleep. It’s alienating. He feels unmoored, drowning in all of his too-big emotions. Without the chaos of four other boys to keep him distracted, to keep him grounded, he’s afraid it’s only a matter of time until he loses himself in it for good. But then there’s Louis. Through it all, there’s still Louis. Waiting for Harry at the end of every show, ready with a bottle of water and sweet words of praise, beside him in dressing rooms, challenging him to ping pong tournaments to pass the long, empty, waiting hours, and holding him through the restless nights, soothing him with reassurances that he’s there, that he understands, and promising that he will never, ever, let Harry truly get lost. – – – – – – – – – – – – A collection of timestamps spanning the 2017 leg of Love on Tour.

Why I liked It: Short canon compliant post-hiatus 2017. Louis and Harry are in a settled relationship but still working through contracts and finding each other. Very sweet.

Summary: Harry grows wings.

Why I liked It: Harry grows wings – no one ever talks about this one, but it’s one of my favorites. It is set in 2012 just before the second album. As the summary says, Harry grows wings. It’s a metaphor and I won’t give away the goods, but it’s super well done and just lovely to read. The absolute adoration on the page between Harry and Louis (and all of OT5) is palpable and feels so real, despite the fantasy element of the wings.

Summary: “You came,” Louis says, still breathless, clinging to Harry, uncaring that his sweat is getting all over Harry’s presumably clean dad shirt, or that he’s making Harry hold up all of his weight. “Of course I came,” Harry says. He shifts, one arm curled underneath Louis’ arse, the other spreading wide in the middle of Louis’ back. “If I ignored you every time you pissed me off we would have stopped being friends a long time ago.” Louis already knows that, of course. It doesn’t do anything to stop the pleased squirm in his belly every time Harry proves it, though. They fight like nobody’s business, both of them too stubborn to pull their punches when they’re arguing, and it used to get them in trouble, but they always make up. Adrenaline makes Louis loose-lipped, and they both know it. He tightens his arms around Harry’s neck, buries his face in his hair. “I missed you,” he confesses, quiet.. “Doesn’t feel the same up there by myself.”

Why I liked It: I really enjoyed this slow burn, canon compliant, post-hiatus fic. You don’t see enough of these solo canon fics. Louis needs support on his first solo tour and Harry comes along to help him. It’s friends to lovers. 

Summary: The day after his 27th birthday, Harry Styles attempts suicide. Louis is flown to his bedside to unravel the mystery of why he did it after a flash drive is found with a note attached, addressed to Louis. On it are a collection of 78 songs, all written for different dates from their past.

Why I liked It: This one is dark, so beware. I like it because it explores some interesting canon moments. It’s from Lou’s POV and goes to some dark places, but it’s well written and is thought provoking. Be aware of stunts like El and Freddie being mentioned, and in particular Freddie is Lou’s son for real in this one, the result of a one night stand, so if that’s a trigger for you, best to avoid. 

Summary: It’s strange, making the choice to face his past—it almost feels like he’s heading for the sun straight on, like he’s screaming come on and burn me, I deserve it – when a solar flare is announced to end the world in twelve days, Harry reunites with the people that he used to know better than the back of his own hand.

Why I liked It: I didn’t cry until the very end, but then I ugly cried, so beware. There’s no real plot here, but it has some lovely imagery and some lovely boys finding each other after too much time apart, just in time for the end of the world.

Summary: Canon Compliant AU in which Harry and Louis broke under the strain of it all and now, years on, there’s a chance to put all the pieces back together. Set in early April 2015 all the way through to October. Written in Harry and Louis’ perspectives, alternating every chapter.’

Why I liked It: In this fic, they broke up in 2013, but they loved each other all the time and find their way back to each other. It’s broken into two halves. Good canon-divergent, but talk of Azoffs as the good guys might be triggering for some. This is also a kid fic, so if that bothers you, skip this one. 

  1. Another Dream But Always You by you_explode

Summary: Harry is a Dreamwalker; he has the ability to visit people in their dreams and help put them on the right path. He’s assigned to Louis, who’s struggling after the break-up of his band. It’s an unusual assignment from the beginning; Harry has a crush on Louis, and Louis’s subconscious immediately decides Harry is the love of his life. When Dreamers cast Harry as their love interest, he can usually redirect them, but Louis is insistent on being Harry’s boyfriend, and despite knowing they have no future, Harry wants to keep up the charade.

Why I liked It: This is such a unique concept. Canon-divergent in that Harry isn’t in the band, but the band exists otherwise. Love the vibe of “in every universe” they fall in love. Wisps of Harry missing out on 1D, and what the boys would have looked like without him. Really liked this one. 

Xoxo – Rosann

Happy reading and thanks for checking out my recommendations. I’d love to hear from you and what you think of my suggestions! Let me know if you have any thoughts for future themes!

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