Title: Professor C. Binns: A Personal History Author: PurpleFluffyCat Status: Complete Words: 13,063 Library Category: General Fics Pairings: Cuthbert Binns & Walburga Black, sort of, ish Publication Date: February 2014 Summary: Link: AO3 Introspective and quietly tragic, in exceptionally competent prose, the memoir of Cuthbert Binns, with particular concern to his friendship with Walburga Black. Both these characters get an unsympathetic turn in canon, but here the author portrays them with nuance and empathy, without giving way to idealization. (Plus excellent cameos from the Hogwarts staff.) One of those rare pieces that meshes perfectly with canon while building upon it in ways Rowling could not. I admit, this checks a lot of personal boxes—I love thoughtful spins on neglected characters, and the hows and whys of historical scholarship in the wizarding world pose intriguing conundrums. I can only wish the author delved into it here in greater detail . . . the effect of talking portraits and pensieves, the mixing of myth and fact and intersections with Muggle histories, what the very notion of history means to a small society on the constant brink of world negation . . . but that's not quite the point of this story, and that's fine. The enthusiasm of my recommendation is also contingent on the success of the characterization of Binns as non-neurotypical; if others with more expertise on the matter find it problematic, I will happily and apologetically recant. Until then, 5/5 from me.