"She's Mother. Generally, Mother in a good sense. Patient, loving, giving, generous. If defining her as the Querent, you can say that they are currently feeling like a mother hen, worried about their children, new business, new creation, new romance. Male or female, they want to dote and hover and fret over every little sneeze and problem. If defining the Empress as someone related to the Querent, well, it might well be the Querent's Mom, or a woman who's very motherly toward them.
Of course, the Empress can also be the worst aspects of an attentive Mom; she can smother, not know when to let go, be possessive and jealous of those who would take away her "baby." It is important for the Querent to realize that plants can die from over-watering as easily as neglect.
This card tells the Querent that if they want their new romance, new career, new business, new creation to grow into all it can be they have to pay attention to it, baby it and be willing to let it take those first steps when it is ready. Most of all, like any pregnant mother or good gardener, they have to be patient. All things need time to gestate and sprout." - aeclectic.net
Let me explain. This was the first round to have not one but TWO beyond brilliant fics that sent me over the moon. If you have not been keeping up with hd_worldcup? I suggest you correct that situation posthaste. This has got to be the most satisfying fest ever.
The One Where Harry Shatters Draco's Awards
The Opposite of War -- Team Fanon
There was a bit of a reversal of situations in this fic, wherein Harry has settled into a life of normality and Draco has become something of a role model for future wizarding generations. It had a definite fanon flavor which wasn't really my thing. I like it when fics take their time - whether it be in regards to developing the H/D or trying to help our boys get over their issues. I just think that there's rarely a quick fix, especially when it comes to people. For that reason the fic felt rushed.
Initially Harry and Draco have this incredibly awkward silence between them since they've both changed so much. However, the sexual tension still exists so it isn't much of a hop, skip and jump to snogging in private. On the other hand, I did like the part where Harry's magic lashes out; it was nice to see that while things can change, Harry will forever bit a bit of a loose canon.
It's probably just me but...having Hermione around so much without Ron felt extremely...off. I don't know why. It's like in my mind they're a set, not to be sold separately. I was expecting to see Ron more prominently at the function. Perhaps it's the influence of fandom - we usually only see Hermione around this often if there's been some sort of magical accident. I guess the author was using Hermione represent the Empress - didn't work for me but that's not to say it won't work for others.
The One With the Curse on Teddy
Black's Blood Curse -- Team EWE
This fic flowed smoothly right from the start. Like the previous fic, this one is definitely fanon. It was more apparent through Harry - I'm thinking the author might have wanted to include some elements of the Empress card, so we had moments where Harry kisses Draco on the forehead. The characterization for him didn't quite gel with me. Draco and Narcissa were a more comfortable fit - Post-war!Draco looking a bit run down and Narcissa, always a lady.
I never really paid attention to it but there's been a change in fandom since HBP - at least when it comes to Draco's parents. Suddenly it's Lucius who is written out of the picture and Narcissa is the one who acts as the main parental figure for draco. (I mean, nowadays we're more likely to find buttfacemakani drawing Cissy than Lucius >__>) So I give the author props for bringing in Lucius even though again, I couldn't quite believe *pokes at brain* Damn it.
The Malfoys are definitely my favorite family in the HP series so I really liked reading Narcissa's interactions with others. That was kinda the highlight of the fic for me . Her role also worked well to reflect the prompt so it's definitely a plus point.
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 Draco's Seven Kids
How Do You Mend a Broken Heart? -- Team Epilogue ♥ ♥ ♥
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 ♥
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.
My Top Teams for The Empress : Tied for Team Cannon & Team Epilogue.
Do I need to mention that the fics got perfect scores? I loved them for different reasons and they both deserve pedestals of their own.
All Tarot Prompts can be found via the fests tag.
My masterlist of recs for hd_worldcup can be found here