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HD_Worldcup: Master Rec List (with reviews)

I figured I might as well just organize the reviews for my favorite fics in one post - if you've been scared off by the number of fics in the hd_worldcup, here's an easy list of the fics that are must reads IMO.

In the last week, I'll add to the list if there are any other faves, but this is it so far :)

Favorites - Listed by Title

The One with the Inverted Werewolf Curse
The Arc of the Pendulum -- Team EWE ♥ ♥ ♥ [ Favorite ]
This fic made me think of two H/D Classics that I've read repeatedly in the past. One of them is an all time favorite of mine, so obviously this fic is now in my top favorites list EVER. It's a fic with a werewolf spin and a bit of a Disney (Beauty &the Beast) twist. This is the kind of story I had hoped Team Fanon would provide, but surprisingly, it's Team EWE that delivered. And I probably like it even more because the characterization is so canon. It's a brilliant blend of fandom, canon and originality.

The opening is haunting and eerie as we read about Lucius and Narcissa and the change of fortunes for the Malfoy family. The story moves at a gradual but steady pace, keeping momentum so even with over 30,000 words you don't feel the time go by as you're sucked into the fic.

I love fractured fairytales so seeing Draco in the tower and Lucius leave his son behind and at Harry's mercy was just fascinating. Then the scene in the woods made me remember the Disney movie and I was all ♥

Why did I love this so much? Well perhaps it was because watching Harry battle against the darker instincts of the beast within was like discovering the Corruption Series for the first time. This story is creature!fic at its finest. And that's not all. It also has moments where its damn funny too - the discussion about Harry's handwriting had me laughing so hard XD

It's a fic with a number of levels and so many things you can point out to sigh over. The moment Harry changes into a wolf is one; sad and sweet and poignant. Harry writing the apology. The sense of loss Draco feels when he sees cured!Harry (why, yes I did prefer the Beast in the Disney movie to the prince at the end XD)

The author was also able to show that being nice and generous and self sacrificing - none of it comes easy for Draco. And Harry is never forgotten, with his own struggle to find his way back to equilibrium. It's just beautiful when the two get together.

Draco's sacrifice at the climax of the fic had me thinking of A Thousand Beautiful Things, one of my all time favorite fics ever. I can actually draw a lot of parallels to that fic - the originality of the curse, Lucius as the mastermind behind it all, the restoration of the Malfoy name/status/fortune, a self sacrificing Draco (which is rarely written and done right). It's like I got my favorite fic fused in with the latest canon and I love it.

Yeah, this fic is definitely among the best in the fest IMO. It's also a story I'm probably going to reread time and again.


The One Where Al is called Bussy
DIY Messiah -- Team Epilogue ♥ ♥ ♥ [ Favorite ]
When a child's whoop is said to be "spine chilling", you know the author truly *understands* kids XD

Harry is kinda going through a mid life crisis - his grand ideas of a life with a picket fence has shown itself to be an illusion. His stay at home wife doesn't do much, sex is quick and the kids are a loving nightmare. Basically, his life has lost its spark. His friends all have Things To Do and for a Hero, a life of monotony can be Hell. And then he meets up with Draco on Take Your Kids To Work Day. And there is a bit more color to his life.

This fic has got to be the most...balanced in the fest. It's got a little of everything. It was like reading about the lives of Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy - not a work of fiction. Harry's day to day activities, the development of his relationship with Draco, the changes in the Ministry, the focus on family and upheaval and change and growth. It's a bloody fantastic story.

Oh and on a side note: Scorpius in Gryffindor and fighting with James...oh, my next-gen!OTP, how much I adore you! I LOVE how Draco noticed Scorpius' growing obsession with James XD I can see something developing in future and Draco pointing it out to Harry with this "I told you so" expression, lol.

What is really, really great about this story is that the author takes the characters we loved in the books and walks them through the years - you can feel the way they've changed. They aren't the same people anymore. And that's okay. In fact, that's probably why I love this fic so much. There is so much depth and dimensionality to their characters. We aren't readers - we become witnesses to the events in their lives ♥


The One Where The Harry/Draco Classic \o/
Homecoming -- Team Epilogue ♥ ♥ ♥ [ Favorite ]
With four fics left, this might be a bit premature but I think I've found THE Harry/Draco fic of the whole darn fest. At 27,000 words this story takes its time and so should you - settle back and just enjoy. One thing to note is that there's no big idea in the fic - no hugely innovative concept. We have Auror!Harry temporarily teaching at Hogwarts and Professor!Draco - beyond that it's truly a slice of life fic with Harry and a whole lot of H/D. It just works. The focus really isn't on the professions - its on the people. Even if you've not been able to stand epilogue fics in the past, try this out.

From the get go I was drawn into the story. Not only is Harry's characterization spot on but the reason for the Potter divorce is just so real. I loved the concept of the media destroying Harry's marriage - we see it in everyday with celebrity couples and I couldn't blame or hate Ginny for what she did. Rather, I completely understood where she was coming from - which is a rarity.

BTW, Draco's potion work is used not only to explain the tarot prompt but also to relate the prompt to the H/D relationship. The author also pays attention to details such as the Malfoys' situation after the war, the kids - I got to read what I wanted without any glossing over. Though there are perhaps a few points where the author's perceptiveness bleeds into Harry and he seems smarter than he should be. But then there are other moments when Harry puts his foot in his mouth and has to explain himself rather fast to prevent Draco from killing him XD So it does work overall ^_^

Oh and this story is the one in the fest with my favorite first-kiss!scene. And the smut that is sprinkled ever so generously through the fic was hot and wonderful. I am back to reading the pr0n in H/D fic! Harry and Draco sneaking around in unused classrooms was just awesome. It was like we were taken back to Hogwarts!fics except with a wholly different spin since they're *adults* It also leads to a particular moment in the fic where I started laughing and could not stop for over a minute. You'll know it when you read it >_>

I don't think I've ever read a fic where I liked *everybody*. It's kinda odd - Ron made me laugh, Neville starts out just fascinating and becomes hilariously awesome through later scenes in the story. There were one liner references to people - like Teddy - which just *clicked* in my mind. I even sent waves of love over to Snape ♥ And Albus and Scorpius has their own moments of brilliance.

The ending is simple and yet perfect and I wouldn't have it any other way. Oh, my OTP, how much I adore you!

On the whole, the story is a fantastic meld of canon and epilogue. The author is very perceptive pointing out details we might have glossed over or forgotten from the books but definitely help make the story than much better. And nothing is written for the sake of being written. In other fics there were things that screamed plot device but that just doesn't happen here. Everything seems to have a quiet purpose that adds to the whole fic. And while the story doesn't try to be romantic really, it *was*. That's the brilliance of it. It was so effortlessly fabulous. I couldn't help but think, this is H/D.
-- [ Favorite Fic of the Fest ]

The One With Draco's Seven Kids
How Do You Mend a Broken Heart? -- Team Epilogue ♥ ♥ ♥ [ Favorite ]
I BLOODY LOVE THIS FIC. How do I explain it? It's like trying to explain why one of Maya's fics rock. Hell, I'm going to try, but if you haven't read it yet, I suggest you stop reading this and just go and read it now, without the spoilers.

This is an insanely funny (and perhaps cracky) fic which felt great after reading Team Canon's entry for the round. A smile kept appearing on my face every other moment - and that's when I wasn't laughing outright. Oh and btw, this is the first time I got to read epilogue!Draco with more than one child...and instead with seven kids. My eyes went O__O But IMO it worked well with the humor.

It was kinda obvious to me (and I guess it was meant to be) that Harry had an agenda with Rick. Yet it made Draco's lack of awareness all the better because the way his mind works is so freaking Draco that you can't help but laugh. Of course not everything is sunshine - Draco does feel the loss of his wife and you can see that the hurt is just bellow the surface - though you have to look past the humor to see it (which can be hard).

The introduction of Harry's and Draco's kids to each other? I immediately thought "Cheaper by the Dozen" because So. Many. Freaking. Kids. HAHAHAHA. And Draco as a parent was wonderful - his interactions with the kids, how Harry manages to get roped in...it's so incredibly charming ♥

Umm, side question: who the heck is Marietta Edgecombe? I think she's mentioned in both this fic and Team Canon's and I just can't place her.... thanks blamebrampton!

Ok, moving on let me just say that this was the hardest I've laughed for months - I actually had to go visit the loo. And I know I'll be laughing twice as hard when I read it a second time because I'll pick up humor that didn't hit me the first time round. It's just a wonderful fic and wholly satisfying.


The One with Draco's Newspaper
The Last Voice -- Team Epilogue ♥ ♥ ♥ [ Favorite ]
There are very few authors who make me feel these particular emotions; this love and yearning and hope and want and joy over my OTP. It's not even 6000 words and yet this fic doesn't feel short at all. There aren't any words wasted.So if you haven't read it yet, please try it out without the spoilers.

I should note that it wasn't just the H/D that was stunning. This story had one of those concepts that just blew me away - the thought of Harry's generation starting their own newspaper. I loved it from the moment I realised what was happening. The author is able to use this idea and make it work with the epilogue brilliantly.

I admit this isn't quite canon!Draco - he is more level headed and a bit more fanon in a take charge kinda way - but it worked. And when we get to the point when the H/D relationship starts...it's beautiful.

While most of my favorite fics for the fest focussed on characterization, this fic focusses on the Harry/Draco. If you want an OTP fic, this is it. It shows how and why H/D would work even with the epilogue and it does it smoothly and lovingly. The parts that hurt were a good hurt because they opened me up to the relationship and the raw need and love between Harry and Draco. Damn, I'm so happy with this fic that I'm tearing up. Gah. Okay totally not thinking objectively.


The One Where Harry Breaks The Law
The Magician's Gifts -- Team Canon [ Favorite ] ♥ ♥ ♥
Recently I've been seeing fics focus less on the H/D and more on other elements of the story. The Magician's Gifts actually manages to find a balance for both. In fact not only do we have a gradual build up of Harry/Draco, but I loved Harry's characterization.

Seeing Harry's world change with the birth of his kids hit me in the gut. There's this growing awareness in Harry through the fic. He sees the Greengrass women not as Slytherins but as people with family just like himself. And it's not said - but shown through his emotions and subsequent actions.

Something of note...I don't think I've ever read a fic where Hary is fully aware of the consequences to his actions with every step he takes. It's very different from the books but it also shows his growth as a person. He isn't a teen anymore and I like the worldly awareness about him. The moment where he has to decide whether or not to turn in Draco - he knew everything was changing.

And yet the one thing that's stuck with Harry is his willingness to do what's right even if it means breaking the rules.
"There's some sort of problem," Draco hedged, eyes narrowed.

Harry looked skyward. "No. Never is."
Harry problem is that there is no problem - breaking the rules is as easy as breathing in some ways because in this instance its the right thing to do - and he gets that that's not a normal reaction for most people. He should be having issues...but he isn't. And I just love the way the author is able to point this out. Yes, he has issues with hiding it from his family and friends but everything else? Not so much.

The concept of this fic is brilliant - for once we have Harry and Draco as partners of sorts...but against the law. They go against society and they bond over their experiences at the same time. The moment where they have their kids with them and they're just talking? I kinda fell in love with that scene - I knew I was going to rec it at that point.


The One Where Draco Goes Shopping ♥ ♥ ♥
Perfect Day -- Team Canon [ Favorite ]
You wouldn't think Canon and originality would necessarily go hand in hand, but in the case of this fic, it does. The story takes place after the last chapter and disregards the epilogue. We have Draco, facing a rather hostile world now that the war is over and deciding on impulse to purchase Felix Felicis.

What starts out as a fabulous day of shopping, get progressively darker as Draco imbibes more and more of the potion. It's an incredible concept and works superbly with the tarot prompt. By the end of the fic things are neatly tied up, as are a number of plot threads that had been left hanging at the end of Book 7. We get to see Draco fix several issues and it all happened in events that seemed unrelated but are then connected into this tapestry of awesome. This was a fantastic read, with appearances of Zacharias Smith, Fenrir Greyback, Rita Skeeter and others and yet it's all about Draco and Harry in the end. 

The writing had me laughing at a number of moments - Greyback defeated by a peacock feather. Oh man, I'll never get over that. Then there were scenes like the one with the Resurrection Stone that added more depth to the story and gave it balance and dimensionality. The story went beyond a good read to become a brilliant read.  There are so many things to enjoy in this fic that I can't really describe it all. And the characterization and interaction was among the best IMO. This is how I LOVE my Canon!fic. You should just go ahead and read it if you haven't already.

I did not notice time passing, despite the length. And really, all I could say at the end was, MOAR NOW, PLZ.


The One With The Custody Case & The Bombed Apartment ♥ ♥ ♥ [ Favorite ]
Take A Sad Song (And Make It Better) -- Team Epilogue
YAY! People, the bar just got higher. This fic is the one to beat IMO. It's epic and real and pure gold.

All the epilogue fics so far have been realistic and have connected with me on a different level. This one especially. Reading it, my mind went yes, that's Harry, that's Draco and damn it, they are getting together.

The characterization in this fic is second to none - and I'm not just referring to Harry and Draco. Everyone from the kids to a quick scene with Snape - good grief, Severus steals the scene with one fucking line. And here's the kicker: I really liked Ron and normally I don't give a toss about him. The fic is that well written - attention is given to the plot, to the interaction and to the character development.

Moving on to spoilery stuff - I loved that Draco gave up the case because he could no longer think objectively. We again have the influence of the Daily Prophet and Draco's late wife being named Asteria instead of Astoria - what's the correct spelling I wonder? And it takes guts to not only have Harry with a dog named Godric, but then to have the dog die. I had tears in my eyes and my head was going all "oh no, no, no." Scorpius as a mute - I don't know how the author was able to juggle so many different lives and events and put them together so well. It just felt like Harry's life, as chaotic as it might be.

Harry's gradual recovery and development really did justice to the judgement prompt - it really felt like a show-not-tell!fic. You can feel the fic embrace the ideas of the prompt in its entirety. Just brilliant.


The One With Draco in Azkaban
Wall of Glass -- Team Canon ♥ ♥ ♥ [ Favorite ]
WINNAR. This story is beautiful and canon and just real. Probably one of the absolute best characterizations of Draco in the fest IMO. While I love reading snark and wit from our favorite Malfoy, that isn't what really draws me to him. It's *this* - and I don't even know how to describe it. It's reading Draco not as a character but as a living, breathing person. There aren't too many fics that can hit me on this level. TOTAL LOVE.

The story starts with Draco being released from Azkaban. I loved the imagery that the author is able to conjure with a few lines. Most fanfics tend to skip out on those kinds of details and its fics like this one that make me wonder why. The writing is excellent, setting a mood with the scene and we can't help but wonder what happened to Draco. The author then focuses on showing us exactly that.

I don't know how to explain it. This fic disregards the epilogue but the story reads like alternate canon to me. The descriptions of Diagon Alley, the events around Draco's trial, the reactions of the other prisoners to Harry - all of it connects into a larger picture. We can see on a fundamental level that the world has changed. And so has Draco's lot in life; he has a five year prison sentence during which time the Ministry pretty much drains the family's coffers and more importantly, the Malfoy family is destroyed. And yet this is a story about survival and living and picking up the pieces of your life and standing back up. It's wonderful.

Even the minor characters and their interactions are deeper than that of your average fic. You have Stan Shunpike for instance, who befriends Draco and helps him get used to Azkaban - that is, until he gets pressured by some of the other inmates to stay away. Seeing Draco in prison, his inability to cope with the food, his underlying fear while he nibbles bread - I could relate to it. A lot. And then we have Harry making a connection, sending a message to Narcissa, seeing if Draco is alright and finally telling him the news about his mother. These scenes were so gradual that until Draco was on his knees, I didn't realize my eyes were wet.

This is a very visual and emotive peace. The scene near the end, with Draco leaning against the wall, just breathing. It's a snapshot in my mind. Draco survives even though he's not really *living* - there's this mix of strength through survival and desolation from the loss of loved ones and family. And then we get Harry and things start changing yet again.

Out of all the fics in the fest, this is the one I most want to see continued further. The wizarding world has changed so much (all so believably though) that I want to see Draco recover, get a job, try to figure out what he's doing with Harry and so much more. I want to see Harry change the wizarding world. I want to see people's views of Draco change.

In a way this felt like a slice of life fic because there are so many more pieces of the story out there and I really want to see it *all*. I loved this. I want more. I will bribe the author for more. I love it that much. This is definitely amongst my absolute top favorites for the fest.

And oh my god, it's times like these that I just want to sit quietly by Draco on a bench in Diagon Alley and watch people walk past us. LOVE.


Other Top Picks - Listed by Title

The One with Gossip Columnist!Draco
Blind Leading the Blind -- Team Epilogue ♥ ♥ ♥
I would advise you not to read this fic in public. I was laughing and wheezing and my cheeks felt like they were on fire - this fic is funny, smutty and...well, you can practically feel Harry's embarrassment. I kept going "poor, poor Harry" and wanting to console him but at the same...I couldn't stop laughing. Umm, think Malcolm in the Middle, the Big Bang Theory or even American Pie - where the main guys get into very inconvenient and very real situations and you're just glad you're not them.

Harry, who is almost 40, gets a sexual education - of the homosexual kind. Some of the moments are incredibly titillating - visiting the sex toys store for instance - so much so that they border on too much information...I didn't know whether to cover my face or just giggle. I ended up doing both.

The sales lady's explanation of the products made her one of the best original characters in the fest - especially her casual admittance to watching the gay visuals XD Definitely someone after my own heart. And Harry's reaction is so very honest - horror, wide eyes, curiosity and ultimately, arousal XD

One point to note: this fic is a Harry-centric one - it took about half the fic for Draco's name to even by mentioned. After Teddy walked in on Harry experimenting, I kinda wondered whether they were going to hook up at that point, because we'd seen so little of Draco so far (all of it disguised) - and Harry hadn't even thought about Draco at all.

But when Draco and Harry finally have their showdown - oh the H/D ♥ It's very easy to get immersed in the dialogue between them. And Malfoy's letters were another bit that I'll always cherish - from a complete gentleman to good ol' Malfoy, haha. The development of the H/D does feel a bit sudden but it does work.

Side notes...the bits of communication between Al and Scorpius were lovely. One of the other things I liked is the idea of Ginny as a quidditch reporter - it just clicked and felt so fresh. Oh and btw, seeing Indian food in H/D fics makes me go *__*

I just wish we had H/D that was more evident in the first half - I'm not talking about anon!smut scenes but I wish Harry thought about Draco in a sexual context at some point, rather than just Teddy. That's the only thing that makes me a bit depressed. I'm reccing it, but not quite as a H/D!fic but as a fic with H/D.


The One With The Swingers Club
Breaking all the Rules -- Team Epilogue
Once again Team Epilogue surprised me by being the first group to bring in the Crack - and they still managed to bring the smut too.

Firstly: this fic broke my brain. Not only do we have the most painfully dry monologues of law and legal procedures and parliamentary things which I don't know the terminology for (wouldn't you know it, but Draco's a lawyer!) but we also have a swingers club that rivals the escapades of the Belle de Jour in porny details and escapades.

For some reason my mind jumps to Frasier when I think of those monologues and meetings through the fic. Draco with his rules and regulations and procedures that no one else could possibly enjoy...but you take a sadistic sort of pleasure in watching him torture people for hours on end with meetings and bureaucratic red tape.

Yes, this fic is evil.

Now you'd think a place to fuck with no attachments would be heaven - but the last year has been torture for Harry - ever since Draco walked into the Southwark Swingers Club...

...and never is this more obvious as when Harry is just moments away from fucking Draco into the floor and Ginny tells him they have to leave. I was in throes of laughter and pain (my sides were hurting from the laughter)....Harry must have had such a case of blue balls.

And yet, through all the casual smut and mind numbing speeches (which was torture for both Harry AND me) the author still managed to draw me in on an emotional level.
The H/D relationship goes beyond the sex and not only did the author manage to fully embrace the Hierophant tarot prompt but I also got my OTP.

Long and meaty, this fic has enough words to drown you - but oh my god, what a way to go *__* Its a fic in a class of it's own.

One thing to note though: Umbridge. I whimpered with Harry and was so glad this fic was NOT a movie - otherwise that election scene would have scarred me for life >__>


The One with Narcissa's POV & Lucius' Funeral
A Dark Place in Time -- Team Canon ♥ ♥ ♥
This fic, along with the one bellow are amongst my favorites of the fest.

Let me get this out first: I LOVE THE MALFOY FAMILY SO MUCH.

The ending is beautiful and perfect and its a family!fic, it's a mother!fic and it's a fic definitely about my OTP. God. The final scene just killed me and y'all need to run over and read this asap.

This is probably the best non-epilogue fic I've read in a long time. Excellent language and writing style too. It's also the first fic in the fest which has a POV that is not Harry or Draco - and it works perfectly for both prompt and fic.

Narcissa is lovely. Her irritation with Harry cracking his knuckles? God I wanted to hug her. I adored her comparisons of Harry and Draco with Lucius and herself.

And since the past two fics had a decidedly fanon slant, the interaction between Harry and Draco felt more vibrant, the antagonism and emotion skillfully done. I couldn't help being drawn in.

*Hugs Lucius and Narcissa* I love these two - when the flashbacks start with us seeing Lucius I just started smiling like crazy. It's fabulous and something I've always wanted to see - a canon take of Harry meeting Draco's parents post series. And I couldn't help but appreciate the way the author makes note of different perspectives - how Lucius is remembered so differently by Draco and Narcissa because he was father to one, and partner to the other. Not to mention he juxtaposition of the end of Lucius and Narcissa's relationship and the blooming of Harry's and Draco's just hits you on a different level. It's love and loss all in one fic.

The house elves in this fest are a delight and Prissy is no exception. From her reaction to Narcissa's early arrival, I knew something was wrong and then...LOL. So this is the second time in the fest that someone has walked in on Harry/Draco in flagrante \o/

I can't do justice to this fic - the interaction between Harry and Draco, Draco and Narcissa and even Narcissa and Harry - it's so unique. People might think this isn't a H/D fic because of the POV, but to me that just makes it more unique and that much more of an instant Classic. The final scene is just beautiful and if anyone has been having issues with hd_wc fic endings...I think this one will hit all the right spots. It really, really connected with me.


The One with the St. Brutus' Boys
"Did You Know I'm Naked Underneath This T-Shirt" And Other Great Hits -- Team Fanon
A Non-Magic AU at St. Brutus? This could either go really well or really weird. From the first two scenes, I knew it was the former. OH MY GOD, ACTUAL WELL WRITTEN AU FIC ♥ Now I initially did have slight reservations since I don't even remember the last non-magic HP fic I read. And yet...it didn't feel as weird as I thought it would. In fact it felt refreshing and perhaps even a bit liberating. Harry and Draco are just two boys in school who happen to be gay - oh and musicians too XD

You also get the teen angst. I wanted to hug Draco as soon as he heard Harry playing on the guitar and knew Harry was better than him *wibble* And there were these lines in the fic that just made me snicker, like:
You see, Draco's problem—at least in the eyes of Lucius Malfoy—was not so much that he was incurably criminal as he was incurably homosexual.

Harry is impossible and angry and one hell of a gifted musician. Draco is gay, rich, nowhere as talented and yet would still like to at least be friends with Potter. Considering the fic practically starts with Harry punching Draco in the face, you can see how that might prove to be a problem. Especially since Draco snags a tutoring session that Harry had desperately wanted.

And really, as long as Harry and Draco are rivals in *something* - whether it be magic or music or mastering pokemons - I'm fine with the storyline. I'm here for the H/D, no matter the world.

In the end though, the boys at St. Brutus are just regular guys. They all have their issues but there's nothing fantastical or magical about them. And yet it's that normality that was a novelty for me. It was new and shiny in a very unique way.

And I was surprised by how much I related to a single label - Draco talking about the GCSE exams had me walking down memory lane, remember all-nighters spent cramming for maths and computers et all. Unlike OWLs and NEWTs I really understood what the boys were going through. Oh and speaking about boys - Goyle and Seamus were wonderful as side characters and I would have loved to see more of them.

Now who's going to write a sci fi AU fic where Draco rides a hovercraft? ^_^


The One Where Harry Gets Run Over By Ron's Car
How You Carry On -- Team Epilogue ♥ ♥ ♥

Ah, shiny epilogue!fic is back! *dances* The last two posts for the fest lacked the squee and I was wondering if it was because I was losing my burning interest in H/D or something. This fic proved that was definitely NOT the case ^__^ I am back on the H/D bandwagon. In fact, this fic had me looking up at my poster by makani a lot. The author takes canon and the JKR interviews and just gets the HP world *right*. This fic was so easy and comfy to read ♥

The author blends canon, wit and humor together seamlessly. You would think that explanations of the tarot card would feel contrived or forced. However, James and the other Potter kids are a treasure and beyond hilarious. Ginny was the only one to put a damper on things - and that was perfect for future H/D of course ^__^

The interaction with Dumbledore had me banging the table -it was so uniquely funny! And discovering that Harry's near death experience wasn't the result of a dastardly villain but Ron's bad driving? Priceless. I keep snickering whenever I think of it XD

This is definitely on my fest favorites list XD I have to mention though, this is also a prompt!fic in that it made sure to satisfy the tarot prompt and yet by the end of the fic I still wanted to read more about Harry and Draco's relationship. However, unlike past fics, it isn't a desperate, oh-my-god-are-they-going-to-be-together kind of want, but rather oh-my-god-I-want-to-see-them-together-more- yay! kind of feeling.

Fun all around and definitely a pick :) This is how I wanted my grown up H/D long before book 7 came out - H/D as colleagues and with kids and just AWESOME.


The One with Draco as a Hit Man an Assassin
An Interpretation on Justice -- Team Epilogue
First let me say that the concept for this is BRILLIANT. It sort of had a bit of Alias running through it, and the introduction to the Department of Internal Affairs was LOVE. It made me think of Hitch-hiker's Guide to the Galaxy, it really did.

I got hooked early on - I mean, Pansy as a professor? I giggled. How could I not love it at that point? And while there is death in this fic too, it's Ginny's so I had no problem reading it. Astoria as an assassin was great. I like that Draco isn't shown as a home recker- in fact for the past two epilogue!fics, the guys Harry slept with were other men. I kinda like the change. Harry finding out he's gay and falling in love with Draco don't have to go hand in hand.

The ending IMO is the best out of the four fics. I like the way there are still questions - who put Ginny's name on the List and who killed her? These were left unanswered but really, that's life. What I really appreciated was Harry and Draco getting together but not at the end of the fic. We know it's going to happen, just not yet. And even though it's been left to our imaginations, I'm okay with that.

There were a few things that were off. The extreme antagonism between Ginny and Harry came out of left field. And I don't quite understand how Draco's code of ethics allowed him to kill Wood. While the Hit Man concept did bring justice into question, the idea of taking people's lives without a trial, the weakness of this system to exploitation - none of this is really explored in depth. In that way it doesn't quite capture the justice prompt. Scorpius' actions in the fic might make up for that though.

Overall while the execution of the fic and the storyline were good, it felt like the interaction and dialogue could have been developed more. A bit more attention to details and a bit more length, especially for the H/D. This fic seems to need just a bit more oomph to get it to be a real favorite of mine. But in any case, it's my pick for the round.


The One with the Trapped Muggle Girl
Lamp in the Cooling Room -- Team EWE ♥ ♥ ♥
Another beautiful fic. Last year, I went crazy over A Room With a View. This is similar in some ways becuase the story is viewed through the eyes of a rather clever young muggle girl.

Draco and Harry get trapped along with the girl and the fic focusses on their time together. I have this yearning for a sequel or a fic that shows what happens through the H/D POV - because when she asks,
"What about Potter and Malfoy?" I'm right there with her, a voice screaming in my head and tears are running down my eyes because there is both hope and resignation and I need more to really feel at peace with this fic. Don't get me wrong -t's an amazing ending - but it still left me yearning for more - an epilogue or side fic of its own.

This fic has the best original character in the fest so far.
"I wish you were my dad," "And Potter too," "Can someone have two dads?" That scene was so gorgeous that my eyes started watering. The fic has this underlying element of desperation and yet there is also this innocence that comes with narration from a child's POV. The language and story delivery seems so simple at times, but it has such quiet depths in emotion that it left me stunned. I want to know more about this world the author created - about the nameless girl and her parents, about Harry and Draco and the future events that weren't included. Definitely a fest favorite.


The One with Albus and Scopius as Triwizard Champions
Love in a London Tube Stop (Under Construction) -- Team Epilogue ♥ ♥ ♥
Evidence of Teh Funny in this fic:
Malfoy whirled again and faced Harry. His grey eyes sparked, his sneer identical to the one he'd worn when they were young. "You stay out of it! This is all your fault, you know!"

Harry felt like hexing him. "You're deluded! I don't even know your son!"

"Always heroing around, as if it's a socially acceptable profession."

"I don't think 'heroing' is a word."

"Of course it's a word! And don't change the subject. If Scorpius is injured during this farce, if one hair on his head is singed, frozen, yanked out or curled, I will sue you for every Galleon you possess, Potter!"
While the Canon entry of this round left me wanting so much more even while it made me incredibly happy, this one was long and meaty and more than enough to satisfy the shipper in me. In a way it made me think of Iron Man 'cause it was entertaining all round and I just enjoyed the experience. The plot is inventive, funny, witty and clever. Draco's characterization stole the show IMO. And the dialogue between Harry and Draco had me zipping through scenes at a record pace. We also have strong minor characters in this fic through Albus and Scorpius. Overall, there are a whirlwind of things happening and you never get a chance to look closely at one development before you're snatched up again and left flailing from the awesome in the next scene.

There were one or two things I wondered about though. For instance, Draco bringing his son to Rosmerta's and being at ease. I wanted to know what had happened in the past few years on that front. I was also surprised by how much of an impact Ginny had on the story, even with her not being present in most scenes. I never really got why Harry didn't go ahead and get a divorce - and why Ron seemed to willfully ignore his sister's infidelity.

Still, a fabulous read. This fic and Team Canon's entry have completely different takes on the same prompt and yet they're both amazing in their own way.


The One With the Horcrux!Mirror
Ring A-Ring O' Roses -- Team Canon ♥ ♥ ♥
This fic makes up for the lack of H/D antagonism in the previous two by miles. In fact I kinda wish it had traded off some of the angst for a bit of humor because...ouch. Still, my favorite canon!fics are the ones that take the Harry and Draco we know and love and get them into a relationship despite the fights and snark and arguments. Or even using those elements to make the H/D relationship stronger. This fic does that superbly.

The switches in POV were fabulous - the author got into the heads of both our boys and you could get where each of them was coming from. And there were certain lines that were simple yet packed one hell of a punch. The line "the peacocks were dead or escaped" was stated matter-of-factly but my breath kinda wheezed out and all I could think of was, fuck.

\o/ ⇐ this was me when Harry and Draco got into that first explosive fight. Hell, YEAH. This is what H/D is about *__* And while this fic isn't really humorous, I snickered when Invisibility cloak!Harry started stalking Draco again. And then I burst out laughing when Harry got discovered at the worst possible moment. What is UP with everyone's sex getting interrupted in this fest?

From the beginning everything about the fic flowed smoothly - except for Draco primping in front of a mirror. Finding out that it had a deeper meaning made everything click. The fic was tight and well written.

Bellatrix using Draco as a pawn? The horror of the situation...in some ways its similar to Ginny's experience with the diary but in others, its completely different. In Draco's case, he suceeded in killing the targets. God, the mirror made him turn against his family - and it breaks him. In some ways while the Weasleys seem to be the Family in the HP series, IMO, its the Malfoys - everything is about their loved ones and even war ceased to matter in that case. To see Draco become the reason for his own family's destruction. God, it hits you in the gut. One of the big fics of the fest IMO.


The One With The Prophet & The Leaky Cauldron ♥ ♥ ♥
Riptide -- Team Epilogue
With the other fics, as much as I enjoyed them, I spent just as much time trying to reconcile differences between canon and characterization. Not so with Riptide. The only point where I went o__O was trying to sort out all the kids and wondering how Scorpius can have such bad taste when it comes to his love life.

Firstly, the Prophet excerpts were excellent. It felt like a nod to all the trashy tabloid news we get in RL - where not everything is true but the few bits that are, well, they make it hard to know what's really going on. Draco's curiosity, sympathy and censure for Harry's actions as a result of them felt very close to my own - so I really appreciated those bits.

And secondly, that Draco was as flabbergasted as me with Harry's new job at WWW, made the whole situation that much more in character because yes, people don't always do what's expected and life throws curveballs.

The Draco in this fic reminded me of The Years That Walk Between by femmequixotic - it developed his character just as much as the romance between him and Harry.

Another thing I liked was that Harry was The Fool which set this fic apart from the others for the same prompt.

The lack of obvious acerbity was lovely, and yet still completely canon IMO - after a decade you'd expect Harry and Draco to mellow down and while they still have completely different ideals, beliefs and values they are still drawn to each other. And this fic had the best non-ending from all four. It just felt incredibly real.


The One with Paparazzi!Draco
Smile, You're on Camera -- Team EWE
Harry is dense. Whether it's about his own sexuality or figuring out how the Prophet gets its gossip, he is unbelievably thick. Of course he has his reasons...but being unable to point the finger at Malfoy after the fashionista!article? *shakes head despondently* Oh, Harry.

I liked the way the author didn't need to use violence and sex to embrace the Devil prompt. Instead, the focus is on a very human issue; depression. We also have another issue that has been seen in several other stories in the fest and definitely works in this fic: the media. The Prophet manages time and again to put Harry's life under the microscope for all the wizarding world to see. It culminates in a loss of control. Harry spends his life going through the motions and never really gets to be on his own, what with expectations from the public, concern from his friends and very efficient paparazzi. Then people atart questioning his sexuality and things really get uncomfortable.

Some random thoughts...Luna's tarot reading was charming, and the multiple Devils were a laugh - as well as the "Major Arcade". Harry noticing the growing distance between himself and his two best friends felt very real. I did wonder about Draco's dig at Ginny about broomsticks though...

We get hints of Draco's interest in Harry throughout the fic, though it isn't till the end that we really see it reciprocated. Still, it's budding H/D complete with a very talented blowjob so...^__^ It was a good read and worked well with the prompt too.


The One With Draco's Smile
What Could Have Been (And What Was) -- Team Fanon
This felt fresh and new - something I don't always associate with fanon!fics. I really liked it. If people ever wonder how H/D can exist after book 7, I'd just point them to this fic. It makes it all so clear - heck, it's practically a guide.

It starts out with complete canon (epilogue included) but keep in mind that this was written for Team Fanon - so with each different take on H/D, the story diverges from canon at an earlier point in the time line...and Harry thinks of Draco's smile earlier in his life. This keeps happening till the end where it almost makes a full circle back to another point in canon. Superbly done.

The potential and the possibilities for H/D shined through and so many lines were just excellent - it would be difficult to quote them all. There's something for everyone and because of that, the whole fic is that much better. The quote bellow is just one of the bits I loved. However, take note that each H/D snapshot has its own humor and its own angst and this is from just one of the awesome takes:
Don't think I didn't see the announcement. "The Potter family is pleased to announce the arrival of Albus SEVERUS." You utter git, Potter. Astoria is six days from her due date and what name had we settled on? Now we'll just be idiots who couldn't think of anything original. I hate your guts more than I hate your stupid family. And how dare you put "Albus" first, anyway. Go to hell.



The One with the Biography
Wheels Of Fire (The Official Autobiography of Harry Potter) -- Team EWE
Humor and awkwardness and some really funny one liners all came together in a story that felt surprisingly real- Team EWE's entry was a delight to read.

In this fest, there have been several stories that were very smooth - so smooth in fact, that I couldn't really see Harry and Draco in the characters I was reading. In this fic however, the author manages to take the friction in H/D and soften the edge - leaving a slight awkwardness and a magnetic pull too. I was totally sucked in.

Actually, I was laughing from the very first scene! For once Harry's mediocrity in academics results in him not getting his way - his biography is rejected by no less than seventeen publishers. The scene made me hit the table with my fists while I snickered. And the concept of Draco as a ghost writer is just wonderful - it also makes a lot of sense, though I wish we didn't have destitute!Malfoys so often in fanfics.

Interspersed with the humor is the friction which gives way to awkwardness as Harry and Draco get more comfortable with each other. There isn't much focus on other characters (Hermione and Ron being in Australia and all, lol) but that just means we get to focus more on the budding relationship. When the first kiss occurs, I was utterly charmed and yet it also felt realistic. If you take out the I'm-going-to-kill-you-if-I-don't-fuck-you passion, you have a rather different relationship and the author was able to capture it wonderfully. There are also moments of vulnerability especially at the end when H & D get together. Those moments made me smile softy - and then burst out laughing since there'd be a funny one liner or two that would make me snicker like mad.

This is the shortest fic of the round and like some other shorter works, the length is just enough to embrace the story. Still I wanted to read more about Harry and Draco, especially when they first started working on the books. You know those movie sequences, where time passes fast and you see bits and pieces of the people as their relationship changes? Well, I wanted one of those for the period leading up the first H/D kiss. In any case, a lovely read.
My fic taste buds make no sense so though I could see a future for H/D in a fic where Draco tortured Harry through his imperioed father I was appalled that Harry would go out with a paparazzi/stalker who invaded his privacy, used him for money and employed patent stalker lines in his declaration of love. Maybe my paparazzi hate is deeper than I thought. Notice how I say nothing negative about the fic because it was acutally well-written and my not likey is nothing the author had any control over. It's like not liking a fic for the predominance of the color blue as a metaphor when you have a weird color phobia.

Apart from that fic, our tastes are eerily similar.
*barges in*

I'm the author of Smile, You're On Camera and I have to tell you I agree with what you wrote above. I was in a hurry to get done with the fic and I didn't flesh things out enough. Personal tastes aside, if I were the reader, I would've thought it totally OOC. Your comment really made me realize that, and I appreciate it so much. Thanks! :)
You know, I'm reading only your recs, since I don't really have time to read them all. :)
So far I liked your recs (except Lamp in the cooling room was a bit depressive...:() so I'll read other recs as well (well, maybe not all - categories I like :P)

Thanks for comprehensive list!
Sadly, I haven't had the time to read more than a fraction of the fics. I intend to slowly get to them time opens up. Your lists and recs are going to be very helpful. Thank you!
Random person here. (I'm relatively sure I found your journal through a mutual lj-friend, but then that's only because I can't think of any other way I could have found it.)

Anywho. This rec list was the first thing I saw, and I had no other good slashy stuff to read at the time, and to make a long story short I've finally been pulled into the HP fandom. And I've been having lots and lots of fun, so I want to thank you for being the inadvertent cause! :D

As well as for all the lovely downloads.
WOOT! Am so glad it got you into the fandom :) I did the H/D Starter Kit this week for peeps who are new to the ship so you might want to check that out :)

My next gen OTP is James/Scorpius - the OT3 is Teddy/James/Scorp and the one fic that best explains it is Scorpius Malfoy's Very Bad Week - AS/S...feels overrated >_> In any case, hope you enjoy yourself XD
Yeh, already saw that. No chance of my to-read list running dry again any time soon. P: (Huge fandoms FTW!)

I don't like threesomes, so I only have OTPs. :x (Though does it still count as an OTP if I'm willing to slash the characters with someone else...?) I like Albus/Scorpius and Teddy/James. Wouldn't mind reading some James/Scorpius and James/Albus either, but those are a tad more difficult to find. And I'm not interested in drabbles and short fics, which I suppose doesn't help. Not like it matters much, though. Considering how much info the book gives about them, they all may as well be original characters who fanfic writers can portray however they like, and the only thing switching them around would change is their names. :/

Oh yes, definitely still enjoying myself. <3