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hd_worldcup: Tarot Prompt - The Devil

"Perhaps the most misunderstood of all the major arcana, the Devil is not really "Satan" at all, but Pan the half-goat nature god and/or Dionysius. These are gods of pleasure and abandon, of wild behavior and unbridled desires. With Capricorn as its ruling sign, this is a card about ambitions; it is also synonymous with temptation and addiction. On the flip side, however, the card can be a warning to someone who is too restrained, someone who never allows themselves to get passionate or messy or wild - or ambitious. This, too, is a form of enslavement. As a person, the Devil can stand for a man of money or erotic power, aggressive, controlling, or just persuasive. This is not to say a bad man, but certainly a powerful man who is hard to resist. The important thing is to remind the Querent that any chain is freely worn. In most cases, you are enslaved only because you allow it." - aeclectic.net

FYI, I list the fics in the order I read them, usually with the smallest fics first. I tend to save the Epilogue!fics for last - so far they've always been the longest fics in each round and I have to admit I'm a bit of an Epilogue!cheerleader now...

I also swore I would read every fic in this fest and vote. So while these posts help me figure out which ones were best in a prompt round, they aren't necessarily my favorites. If I have fics I adore, I'll have ♥ ♥ ♥ next to the title.

The One With Harry's Darkest Urges
Shadow Play -- Team Canon
There has been meta in fandom which has talked about Harry's psyche - that it could have a very dark and disturbing side. This fic shows that interpretation. 

Draco wants Harry to acknowledge that he is human - that if he could cheat on his wife for the many years before her pregnancy, he can also do it after. So he takes Harry to a room in the Manor which reveals an individual's subconscious desires. It was an interesting concept - with each memory I wondered how Harry's subconscious would manipulate events based on his darker urges. What initially starts as acts of violence gain a more sexual air in latter memories of Harry's life.

The fantasies were intense. And while the fantasy plays out vividly and to Harry's horrified curiosity, Draco can be seen as amused and titillated. In fact Draco seemed just a bit vicious - he needed Harry to realise he couldn't let Draco go. So much so, that their actual romantic relationship seemed a bit lacking.

The final vision of Harry and Ginny and the perfectly happy family was at odds with the previous scenes. By the end we know Harry needs Draco sexually and on some emotional level perhaps but not much is given for his need to stay with Ginny. I guess for a canon fic I expected more of a tug of war between Harry's need for Draco and his need for a family.

The One with Veela!Draco and Prisoner!Harry
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea -- Team Fanon
This was a dark fic and also happened to be a dungeon!fic and a veela!fic. It was different from the more typical veela fics since Draco didn't have Harry from the get go to control his sexual urges. There is non con/dub con sex (off camera if you will) and Draco is very much a victim of his own physical desires. Unlike the other fics, it's Draco who has lost control and if unable to find direction in his life.

The emotional attachment that springs up for Harry at the end seems to be happenstance and was a bit of a surprise to both Draco and me. With the focus so much on Draco, the development of the relationship with Harry felt like it could have been a bit...more.

I also kinda wish Harry had been more proactive in the fic, especially at the end - he felt a little broken. And while I like Draco centric fics, the ending could have had more H/D interaction and dialogue.

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 Harry Unable to Sleep
Better The Devil You Know -- Team Epilogue
The fic begins after the war and goes through past the epilogue. The focus of the fic is on Draco tattooing Harry. After the war, dreams plague Harry and he is unable to rest. Certain incidences result in Draco tattooing the name "Snape" onto Harry's skin, which sets off a chain of events.

Draco tattooing Harry? The act itself is intense. Harry uses Draco's tattoos to assauge his own guilt over the events of the war. Though even when it's about Harry's past, it's also irrevocably linked in to Draco. We also see a certain double life for Harry where he can visit Draco one night and purge his past and then propose to Ginny the next day since, in a way his brudens have been lifted .

But then things change and the tattoos become something of an addiction. The moment with the blowjob felt like the author had captured the essence of the devil card and the loss of control. Later in the fic, the name becomes secondary as Harry seeks out a new tattoo so that he can be with Draco.

A certain line towards the end had me squeaking with laughter 'cause it was so wickedly delicious. But the ending itself was unexpected - and I really thought Ron should have decked Harry. I kinda wish we had more forewarning since after all that time of sneaking around and Harry not having an issue with adultery - having Draco kiss him in public felt...really off. We need to see a bit more of Draco's emotions prior (during the Regulus and Lucius tattoos) to really understand why things took the turn they did at the end.

So yeah, first half was gripping and vivid but the second half could do with a bit of tweaking to really get it to work. Seeing Ginny around in the first half made things work but I can't help thinking we needed the kids for the second half to really mark the passage of time.

Side notes...I'm guessing that Draco killed Borgins? And I like how the passing of time is noted by the big event - the fall of Voldemort. I was a bit disappointed that we didn't have more on the Mehen boardgame. The moments where Ron and Harry wonder about Seamus and Dean had me smiling.

My Top Teams for The Devil : Tied between Team Epilogue & Team EWE

Overall, while these past two prompts haven't been the easiest, I still wanted to have a round up in case peeps were interested (and to help me figure out voting scores, lol)


All Tarot Prompts can be found via the fests tag.

My masterlist of recs for hd_worldcup can be found here
Smile, You're on Camera made me chuckle several times. Particularly at the bits with Kreacher and Harry just being so dense. I was curious about Draco's broomstick comment too.

I wish I wasn't already falling behind with reading the fics.
Oh the Kreacher parts made me smile though it was the Luna scene that made me laugh - overall though I think others found it more funny? The comments seemed that way at least ^__^

I think peeps are going to start leaving the fics for the weekends soon. I mean, just under 60 fics still to go, wouch.
I wasn't crazy about the writing in any of these; so much so that I didn't make it to the end on any of them. In fact, the past two themes have been pretty disappointing compared to last Thursday and Saturday.

It's nice to see that you're enjoying them though ;p
I made a promise to myself that I'd read every single fic and vote. The past two prompts have been harder, I guess, which is why there's a lack of ♥♥♥ next to any fic. If there is, then its an instant rec. If not...then I'm just trying to figure out voting scores.

Considering I missed all the fests in December and the more recent ones, I figured this would make up for it XD

Edited at 2008-04-09 07:54 am (UTC)
haha, well, it's certainly a noble thing to do XP I've been trying to vote on all of them too, but since I didn't like any of today's, I decided to call it a wash and not bother to differentiate.

Yeah I thought all the fics could have been improved one way or anothere, including Epilogue and EWE. I'm hoping that after the fest, authors will take their fics and take the feedback receives and make the fics better. Probably a slim hope but *shrugs*
Doubt it. Mostly people seem to get offended by feedback that isn't positive, which is one of the reason I try to almost always stay positive until I know the person wants something constructive. In fact, someone asked me if they could screen one of my comments on their journal that was negative in case the author came upon it. :/ Personally, I'd rather have more constructive criticism for my fics, so I know what I need to improve on from an objective reader! XPP

Also, I meant to say in my previous comment (but was distracted by your flurry of edits XD;;;) that it's nearly imposible to keep up with all the fests in December. Even just reading the fic for pairings I love and not bothering with rarepairs I fall behind massively. I think it was last month or the month before that I only just caught up with merrysmutmas. *FAILS* XD;

I haven't read the shortest one yet but I can't say I liked the other three. The Veela one didn't make sense to me in one thing: if Draco inherited his Veela urges, why isn't Lucius puppeteer'd by his Veela blood too? The gene couldn't skip a generation, and if it did, it should have been explained. If Lucius found a way to cope, why would he despise his son so?

Papparazzi!Draco, hmm, I just didn't believe in either Harry or Draco. Way too fanon, and again not Team Fanon but Team EWE.

The cutting/tattooing is very much not my kink, and Draco's turning their relationship public didn't look believable to me. It sort of came out of the blue.

Off to read #4.
if Draco inherited his Veela urges, why isn't Lucius puppeteer'd by his Veela blood too?

I was wondering about that! Why on earth is his family immune?

I'm guessing team epilogue and EWE can have both fannon and cannon while Teams Fanon and Canon can have epilogue or EWE themes.

The Devil prompt wasn't one I liked or at least the interpretations of it - which is why there aren't any ♥ ♥ ♥ I'm hoping the next prompt is more to my taste.

Edited at 2008-04-09 05:26 pm (UTC)
Totally get that - though I'm frollicking in new anime at the moment so I'm pleasantly distracted...

...and with nearly 60 fics left, there's bound to be something fantastic coming up ^__^