Ooh, I'd actually been planning to do something like this. I've had ideas for several new Harry Potter fics since reading DH, and I might as well pop in some random excerpts from older stuff too. (Been fighting a rotten mood for at least a week now, and showing off some stuff that I'm proud of may help a bit.)
Professor Neville Longbottom and the Tentacula Ardoris -- because Neville is totally awesome.
My life has been many things, but one thing it's never been is glamorous. No one could possibly look at me and think I was the dashing type, the hero of the story. I'm a bit player, a well-meaning doofus who gets in the real hero's way when he's trying to save the world.
And yes, maybe I did recently fall into what you could call an adventure. But I still maintain that it was an accident of fate, and that while I was rushing around the globe trying to prevent a disaster, somewhere out there was a real hero who spent those months cataloguing plants, only to look up and wonder what the heck happened. He probably would have done it a lot better, figured out who sent those seeds from the start...
So as much as I'd like to be able to say that it started with an urgent missive from the Minister of Magic, or a... I don't know, a gorgeous blonde in a red dress walking into my office... Truthfully, it just started with me, Neville Longbottom, knee-deep in dung.
(And another bit from later in the first chapter:)
"Hey, Neville, good ter see ya!" It was Hagrid, of course, lumbering up the hill with a grin that threatened to split his head in two. "Or should I call yer Pr'fesser Longbottom now?"
I couldn't help but laugh. "Oh, Hagrid, use Neville, please! It's going to be hard enough having the students call me that..."
"Still feel like one of the students yerself, eh?" Hagrid patted me on the back, and amazingly I only stumbled two steps forward. "I remember feelin' like that the first few years I started teachin'. Ol' Pr'fesser Dumbledore, bless his soul, let me stay on after th' whole Chamber mess. Never met a kinder man..."
Catharsis -- addressing several of the deaths in Deathly Hallows. All I have written is the first line of the first chapter:
He never would have believed a spirit could trip over itself and slam into another one. But he should have known his beautiful, ever-clumsy wife would be capable of it.
The Archer's Blade -- a Bleach AU fic wherein Ishida Uryuu dies and gets another chance to fight...
Can you hear me, Uryuu?
Uryuu gasped and sat up straight. The grass rustled underneath him, tickling his palms. 'Grass? Wh... Where am I now?'
Trees surrounded him -- massive towering oaks and pines and redwoods, stretching out in every direction. A river wound between the trees and a small path ran along its side, all the branches and leaves painstakingly cleared away. Storm clouds filled the skies, twisting and roiling, as lightning lit up the landscape and thunder rolled across the forest.
Can you hear me, Ishida Uryuu?
"Who's there?" Uryuu yelled, startled out of his exploration. The voice had skipped over his ears completely in favor of hitching a ride up his spine. "Where is this place?"
The voice spoke again, an elderly voice, but one with steel hidden behind the quaver. You don't recognize it? Strange. There is no one in all the world who could know it better than you...
"What are you talking a..." Uryuu stopped himself. It sounded like a riddle. A place only he could know? The forest did look familiar. Like the trees around his grandfather's home, in his memories. Memories... So then, could this be... "My mind?"
As expected from an intelligent young man like you, the voice said, audibly pleased. Your inner world, Uryuu. In this moment, as oblivion approached, I was able to bring you here.
Uryuu paused, a question arising in his mind. "Then... Who are you?"
Come to the center, Uryuu. Follow the path in, and I will show you. The voice went silent.
Reactions -- a Bleach fic wherein we see what might happen if my personal favorite pairing hooked up. (Takes place right after the return from Soul Society, incidentally, hence "ex-Quincy".)
At first, I'd intended to keep things quiet.
Oh, not that I wanted to deny what had happened, by any means. No, there was a part of me that wanted to shout it from the rooftops. Inoue Orihime had returned my feelings, had fallen in love with me -- with me, ex-Quincy Ishida Uryuu, incompetent at social interaction. It felt like a dream.
But logically, I knew there would be complications. Orihime had a fair number of admirers at the school, and they would be upset, undoubtedly. Not that I cared a whit for their opinions, but it would get noisy. Better to stay quiet about it for a while, so that there wouldn't be any rumors jumping around.
This plan worked perfectly, right up until I stepped into the classroom and Orihime kissed me.
(And one sentence from later in the scene that amuses me:)
Surprisingly, it had been an entire minute and Arisawa Tatsuki hadn't yet broken my spine.
To Tell the Truth -- a Teen Titans fanfic wherein our heroes share secrets. Cyborg takes offense at the idea that "steroids" might be his:
"Hey!" A scowling Cyborg pointed at his arm, muscles flexed. "I'll have you know, these muscles are all natural." A pause. He blinked, then gestured to another spot on his arm. "And these muscles are all technological."
Project O.N.E. -- my One Piece AU, which I have yet to complete past the prologue. Just sharing this little clip that's so very Luffy:
Humming happily to himself, Luffy skipped through the police station, toward the section marked "Prisoners" in huge English letters (with "Keito" written in Japanese kanji below it). Roronoa Zoro was actually here! How cool was that?
Two long rifles crossed in front of Luffy's path. He absent-mindedly reached out and shifted them both aside, continuing on his path.
Romantic Alley -- I started this HP fanfic after book 5, but never got around to finishing it. I may still do so; it'd be fun, AU or no.
"So what are your intentions toward our little sister, Mr. Potter?" His twin crossed his arms and looked stern behind him.
Harry snorted. "I'm going to ravish her in a dark alley and sweep her away to Paris for a whirlwind wedding, what d'you think?" he asked blandly.
Fred and George opened their mouths to respond, but instead... they just smirked at him. He was about to ask what those smug expressions were for when an older, distinctly feminine voice said from behind, "Is that so?"
Harry could practically feel his blood going cold. He turned around on the stool. "Ah -- M-Mrs. Weasley, I, ah, uh..." 'Bloody hell. Should I just hex myself to next week and save her the time?'
"Oh, don't look so terrified, Harry, dear," Mrs. Weasley chimed, turning to the stove with a smile. "After raising these two hellions, I can tell teasing when I hear it."
Fred squawked. "Hellions?! I'm shocked that you would talk about your beloved children in such a way!"
"I'm shocked we didn't come up with that title ourselves," George put in.
Harry would have responded to that, but he felt getting his heart rate back under control took priority.
A Cat's Courage -- a Fruits Basket AU fic wherein a certain death does not occur. This clip from chapter 4 has no relevance to that, however:
The world soared around her as she fell backward --
-- and halted, leaning back at an unsteady angle, but supported by a strong hand at her lower back. Kyo craned his head around to give her an unamused look. "You just love to make people worry about you, don't you?"
"K-K-K-Kyo-kun!" Tohru stammered, attempting (with mixed success) to regain her balance. "I-I'm so sorry, I just --"
Kyo finally took pity on her, pushing her forward until she was upright once again. "Don't be sorry, dimwit," he groused, "just be more careful next time. What if I'd got here a minute later and found you with your head cracked open on the pavement?"
Tohru blushed and nodded. As grumpy as Kyo sounded, she knew he was just concerned about her. "I'm sor -- ah -- I mean... I will. Thank you, Kyo-kun."
It didn't earn a smile, but Kyo at least stopped frowning. He glanced away, just the barest hint of red coming to his cheeks. "Yeah, whatever."
And finally (how apt), the opening scene from Final Move -- a Ranma ½ fanfic wherein Ranma has trouble learning a new technique:
Fourteen people gathered around the Tendou Dojo. Some were Tendous, some were Saotomes, there was a Hibiki, a Kuonji, two Kunous, and three people from China. And Happosai, who tended to defy categorization.
No one had entered or exited the dojo for over two hours. Most people knew better than to interrupt Saotome Ranma when he was trying to master a technique he didn't understand. And Ranma had made it clear that that was what he was doing, with the sign he'd nailed on the locked dojo door:
Working On New Technique. Very Important.
No interruptions from any fiancées, rivals, parents, great-grandparents, or perverts.
Also no spying (that means you, Nabiki).
Kasumi can come in if she wants to.
Should be done soon.
With this note, Ranma had managed to exclude everyone except Kasumi, whom no one was able to convince to intrude. Curiosity and imagination ran amok, and reactions were mixed.
Akane and Ukyou were being the most realistic (not that this was difficult, in this group). They were chatting with Nodoka, comparing their recent conversations with Ranma, trying to figure out if he'd made any mention of this technique before.
Nabiki cheerfully bounded up the stairs to her room -- then ran back to the group five minutes later, ranting about busted video cameras and tripling the debts of a certain teenage martial artist.
Kasumi didn't bother to worry about it. She'd seen Ranma's pure determination many times, and she knew that if whatever Ranma was trying in there was actually physically possible, he'd have it down in a few hours. Of course, if it wasn't physically possible, it might take him a few days. Perhaps she should prepare a meal for him, just in case.
Soun was not crying. I just want to be clear about that right now, before you start thinking this is one of those stories in which "crying" is the Tendou father's natural state. In fact he was rather happy. All of these people were gathered at the dojo, but Ranma's vague note had confused them so much that they were too busy puzzling it out to start any fights. Soun was indeed proud of his -- with any luck -- future son-in-law.
At first, Shampoo was too busy bashing Happosai (for yet another grope attempt) to think about Ranma's new technique. Once that was out of her system, though, she and Cologne agreed that it was good for husband a.k.a. son-in-law to be strengthening himself. The topic of "strong children" was brought up on more than one occasion.
Happosai was unconscious, thanks to the efforts of Shampoo. The less said about him, the better.
After some thought (to which she was somewhat unused), Kodachi realized that she wasn't technically included in the note, since Genma had never officially engaged her to Ranma. She kept quiet, though; there was no way in hell she was gonna bring that disadvantage to anyone's attention.
Kunou, Ryouga, and Mousse got pretty nervous; they were all convinced that Ranma was working on a technique that would enable him to defeat them. (They conveniently forgot the fact that Ranma didn't have much trouble defeating them now.)
Pantyhose Tarou was elsewhere at the time, but if he had been there, he would have laughed about "fem-boy's latest cheap trick," while deep within, a part of him that he didn't like to admit existed would have been worrying like hell.
In fact there was only one person there who knew what was really going on, and you'll more than likely be surprised to learn that it was Genma. He sat back and grinned knowingly, keeping the secret to himself. 'If that boy truly wants to do something,' he thought happily, 'there isn't a force on Earth that can stop him. After the chat I had with him this morning, I don't think I need to worry about him any more...'
Whew! I seriously need to finish some of these fanfics some day.