(I'm going to be posting a rectober wrap-up post in just a little bit too.)
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Really this was delightful. The author has such a deft touch with banter and light back-and-forth humor. Draco has gone missing, and people keep asking Harry where he is - as if he should know!
The best part of this story are the flashbacks to the developing relationship between Harry and Draco, starting immediately after the Battle of Hogwarts, and continuing for a year until the following Beltane. Draco's state right after the battle is heartbreaking, and his and Harry's tentative steps towards more are wonderfully sketched.
I really enjoyed this. Their conversation felt so realistic and adult and in character and interesting, and then the kiss, wow! And even though all they did was kiss, it was a bloody fantastic kiss :)
Clever story, as the idea of being 'bonded' through companion animals is unusual. The nature of the bond isn't well explained, but that is sort of the point: Harry and Draco misunderstand it as well and assume more is required of them than actually is :)
Since I seem to be almost out of lists to make, I thought I'd do a little mini-theme list. Just a set of three ficlets that on the surface seem to tell the same story, but actually showcase just how differently the same story can be told in the hands of different authors.
What's cool is how very dissimilar each of these ficlets are, even though they all involve more-or-less the same crucial incident: that of the boys inadvertently wearing each other's tie by mistake and thus revealing their previously secret relationship to the Hogwarts student body.
Note that the second and third fics in this list were both inspired by the same tumblr gifset that went viral in July 2014.
Draco can handle it, as long as they do it under the cover of darkness. Broom cupboard sex. Some angst. 2nd person PoV.
|The Ties That Bind Us||dracoxlovesxharry||PG||1,200||7/29/2014|
In which Harry dresses a little too quickly after some alone time with his secret lover.
|Tie Me Up in Knots||lauren3210||NC-17||2,000||10/29/2014|
“Harry, are you wearing a Slytherin tie?”
faithwood's Shame was written earliest, and indeed pre-dates the gifset that inspired both of the two subsequent fics. Shame is also quite different from the other two fics because it is written with 2nd person POV, and its focus is entirely on Draco and his thoughts and perceptions.
As the title suggests, in Shame Draco can barely acknowledge that he and Harry have a relationship at all, and in fact they barely speak to each other. But once the switch happens, Draco ends up quietly wearing the wrong tie all day--almost defiantly.
Both Shame and dracoxlovesxharry's The Ties that Bind Us are about Draco getting over his hangups. When the tie switch happens in both stories, Draco realizes it but he refrains from telling Harry or doing anything to stop it before they're caught. But that's where the similarities end.
In The Ties that Bind Us, Harry and Draco argue about going public (Harry's for it) before Draco ultimately takes advantage of the tie switch mistake to make a grand romantic gesture in the great hall. We still get primarily Draco's POV here, but it's more limited, and through his POV we also get to see a little more of Harry too. The way their relationship is portrayed makes for a sweet and endearing story.
lauren3210's Tie Me Up in Knots is the only one of the three to have the focus be more on Harry, as well as showcasing Ron and Hermione's reactions as well. It's more humorous, and also feautures a much more confident and possessive Draco than either of the other two: he didn't know about the tie switch until Harry told him, but he clearly doesn't mind at all. This is probably the hottest version of the bunch.
I enjoyed all these fics, and could probably read another dozen on the same theme without hesitation :)
What follows is a list of my picks for the best Drarry fanfiction of 2014
(29 fics, sorted by date published)
Updated Apr 12, 2015
Note: There are so many lists of favorite Harry/Draco fanfiction, but I'm doing something a little different. Rather than create a list based on genre or length or era or whatever, I've decided to do a series of "best-of X year" lists. This means the year the work was published not the year I read it.
Holy cow this list was hard to pare down! It's longer than any of my previous year's lists, most likely because I read more fanfic published in 2014 than in any other year. Basically the further back in time you go, the less fanfic I will have read. But that just means this list is the most comprehensive so far :)
How my fic preferences will skew the lists:
This was so unbelievably brilliant! It's just so very clever and well crafted and a great character study of Draco. It's like Groundhog Day in that even though the same day keeps repeating over and over, it never actually feels repetitive, or only in ways that make for a better story. And oh, the ways the confessions and revelations come out are so delicious. The conversations all feel natural and right and the emotional investment just builds and builds. And omigod the legilimency scene...there are no words! So much love for this fic! (extended rec at hd-storyroom)
Not only is this my pic for the single best fic of the fest, but it's also one of the very best Drarry fics I've ever read!
The premise is fantastic. It's fascinating seeing how Draco viewed Potter in the beginning, versus how Harry really was; that Draco deluded himself consistently, over and over again. His resentment is reasonable given his treatment after the war, yet he's baffled by Potter and can't seem to figure it out. Until he does. And then we learn that Harry has his delusions too--how he thought the laws after the war made sense, and didn't understand how Draco could be a prostitute. And I loved that the story took the time to really delve into Draco's character and what shaped him and also to show how their relationship changed over time and even after Harry learned who Tristan/Draco was, how long it really took for him to trust Draco again. And all of this is illustrated through sex too, which is incredible. Wow. (extended rec at hd-storyroom)
Lovely. Super hot and emotional and a great story. I loved how well both of their characters were developed and how real their interactions and relationship felt. So happy that the start of their friendship in 8th year was shown too. Such witty writing, and Draco's heartfelt speeches at the end were terrific, as was the way the readers *knew* Harry was pining for Draco all this time even though it was Draco's POV. Well done.
Very well written. I loved the scene where Draco admitted he was gay and couldn't be friends with Potter--it was so raw and real and full of anguish. And I felt that how Harry explained his confusion and epiphany about his orientation made so much sense too. The only thing I didn't like was how long it took Ron and Hermione to come around. They needed to see how much their disapproval was hurting Harry and get over it faster! But really, all the interactions between Harry and Draco were excellent and very realistic, and both their characters were beautifully drawn. Very very well done and lovely.
Charming and sweet. I liked Potter's depiction in this story--confident and competent without being over-the-top. Draco's obliviousness was cute, though maybe a little less credible. But I liked how even though there were misunderstandings, they weren't of the drawn-out to death cliche type, and they were able to talk to each other like adults. Lovely story.
I'm a sucker for the ABO trope, and this was super hot and sexy and very fun. I liked that when Harry was hurt by thinking Draco wanted him as a brood mare that they talked about it like rational people and didn't go all cliche silent treatment. And I loved the dirty talk and the concept of soul mates and how it was done.