"In readings, Death often represents an important ending that will initiate great change. It signals the end of an era; a moment when a door is closing. At such times, there may be sadness and reluctance, but also relief and a sense of completion. Death also suggests getting down to basics. Dying has a way of making you concentrate on what's important. This card reminds you to cut out the unnecessary. Death can also mean you will experience an inexorable force. Death is inevitable, and sometimes there are events that are inescapable as well. When these moments occur, the best approach is to ride your fate and see where it takes you." - learntarot.com
The One with Vamp!Draco
Companions in the Dark -- Team Fanon
I expect more creative liberties to be taken when it comes to fanon fics and noticing this round had a vamp!fic from the team had me doing a mini cheer. I admit one of my absolute favorite fics is Harry Potter & The Inconvenient Condition. So creature!fics have me going \o/
Unfortunately, events in this fic happen at a lightning pace. One moment Snape was getting somebody to polyjuice into Draco and the next moment we have Vamp!Draco calling out ,"Harry!"
It felt too fast. I think the plot overwhelmed the length - the storyline has potential, but when you have issues such as Harry's mistrust with Snape, Draco getting used to vampirism, the development of H/D - this fic had the potential to be five times as long.
If it were to be under 5000 words, it might have been better if the fic had just focused on the parts with the H/D...basically, the bonding!smut. The fic Rituals & Traditions did just that and it's a H/D classic to this day.
The One With Draco's Secret Barn
Nothing Ventured (Nothing Lost) -- Team Canon
This fic doesn't have a lot of words either but it doesn't feel short. In fact, it's my pick for the round. The characterization and interaction is excellent and the focus is definitely on H/D - on their affair which occurs in a secluded barn on the Malfoy property.
It's definitely a fic from Team Canon - the H/D relationship is raw and sharp and impossible; ultimately the end of the fic is the end of the boys' relationship. The overall message IMO focuses on the belief that the H/D relationship will not work in the real world. Draco will always hold onto his pure blood beliefs and Harry can't change that as much as he wants to. They set each other on fire and they want to be together - but ultimately, they know it can never be.
I have to say this: Team Canon's fics are the ones that have probably given me the most heartache and migraines as a shipper. H/D shippers know from the get go that their ship is not canon - but there's still this hope. It's all about the possibilities and that even with canon and everything that stands in the way of H/D (including Harry and Draco themselves) things can and will work out between the two.
Team Canon keeps reminding me about the lack of stability and longetivity in a H/D relationship - there are too many sparks and volatility, and that's not even taking into account the rest of the world and their family and friends and obligations. And while fics like this one are brilliantly written and are top picks, my shipper heart can't accept that message. To me H/D can work. Period.
The One With Lawyer!Draco
Day of the Dead -- Team Epilogue
It wasn't until I was in the second half of the fic that I realized what felt extremely odd: Harry and Draco didn't feel like they were married and with kids - or in Harry's case, at least with kids. When we finally see James, my mind kind of went, "Oh yeah, this is an Epilogue!fic!"
Harry and Draco got together between the last chapter of book 7 and the epilogue but the relationship didn't last. The fic opens up just after Harry breaks up with Draco. So we have the death of a relationship from the get go. I did like this concept - having the two get together and then break up because they weren't ready...only to get back together in future years. It just clicks for me.
Through the fic there are flashbacks to the H/D of yesteryears - so much so, that it didn't quite feel like an epilogue!fic anymore. For me, Draco didn't feel married - for someone whose first thoughts in the books are about family, I found it incongruent that throughout the fic, his thoughts revolved so entirely on Harry instead of Scorpius and Astoria. The characterization didn't quite gel with me either - Harry was a bit too civil from the start and drunk!Draco's antics at Harry's wedding felt odd.
I don't know… towards the end everything just felt too pat. I'm used to Harry having to hunt down villains. I expected there to have been an active investigation. Yet things just happened to fall into place at the same time Harry and Draco get together. I admit I had a hard time connecting with the fic.
The One With the Continuation of Book 7 and...Australia?
Beneath Boundless Skies -- Team EWE
While the first third of this fic dragged like hell for me, the remainder made up for it. If you lost interest early on I recommend you try sticking with it till you're halfway through and our two boys are in Australia. There are some wonderful one-liners in the second half that are not to be missed. Overall, this is a lovely travel fic with interesting details on the locale and the culture of the people
Initially this fic feels like a continuation of book 7. There are a number of funerals, you don't see much of Draco and the few bits that stood out IMO revolved around Dudley and Kreacher. I guess I just wasn't in the mood 'cause it felt like filler. Things get better when we get to Australia. There are brilliant one-liners from the locals and between Harry and Draco. As they start communicating, it's easy to get caught up in the flow of the story,
"That was ... good," admitted Malfoy. "I haven't flown in a year."One of the highlights of the story for me was Keeper!Draco which hardly ever happens in fics but is an absolute treasure to read when it does. Sneeker!Harry and Keeper!Draco make an unbeatable combination and it made me go \o/
"Me neither," Harry confessed. "Well, one dragon."
Malfoy snorted. "Merlin's balls, Potter, you don't even do it intentionally, do you?"
I wish Harry had actively focused on Draco sexually though. The two didn't have much friction and instead the relationship just felt a bit too smooth and didn't have the sparks I'm used to seeing. I also expected Draco's humor to have more bite.
On a side note, I can't help thinking that even with all the public attention and paparazzi, Harry's decision to leave for Australia felt too easy. He didn't seem desperate enough to be willing to leave everyone and everything familiar for an unknown continent halfway around the world. Comparatively, I'm more understanding of Draco, considering his situation. And yet, would Draco really leave the UK when his father's fate had yet to be decided? In such an uncertain political climate, that feels unlikely.
This story did make me realize what I am DYING to read: a fic where the Prophet is sued for libel XD
My Top Teams for Death : Team Canon followed by Team EWE
All Tarot Prompts can be found via the fests tag.
My masterlist of recs for hd_worldcup can be found here