blamebrampton: 15th century woodcut of a hound (Default)
Was reading Ring for Jeeves the other day and burst out laughing. Colonel Aubrey Wyvern's third-rate domestic staff are named Trelawny and Bulstrode.

Also, Happy Birthday [personal profile] raitala! And happy birthday for tomorrow, [personal profile] draykonis.

In sad news, Min cat is now out of chances and is living out her last weeks with all the salmon she can fit in.  The lovely vet assistant from the uber vet dropped round her pain meds this evening. She doesn't need them tonight, but it's good to have them. Poor brave kitty.
blamebrampton: 15th century woodcut of a hound (Default)
Was reading Ring for Jeeves the other day and burst out laughing. Colonel Aubrey Wyvern's third-rate domestic staff are named Trelawny and Bulstrode.

Also, Happy Birthday [personal profile] raitala! And happy birthday for tomorrow, [personal profile] draykonis.

In sad news, Min cat is now out of chances and is living out her last weeks with all the salmon she can fit in.  The lovely vet assistant from the uber vet dropped round her pain meds this evening. She doesn't need them tonight, but it's good to have them. Poor brave kitty.
blamebrampton: 15th century woodcut of a hound (Default)
It's a common tale. You hear a rumour that a friend writes fic, and, purely out of solidarity, you stop by and read a few of hers. A few hours later you're startled on one level (Harry what?! with whom?!), but, on another, impressed.

Then you follow a link or two. Just a few. Only ones your friend likes. You're not really paying attention to fandom, there's too much else on. But still, you're not feeling that this is silly anymore.There's some good writing out there, and really, isn't it all a witty embrace of theory? Yes, the text is open, it's all about the jeu!

So, because you're rubbish at buying gifts, you write her a fic for her birthday. A one-shot, that's all. Straight to begin with and then a gently pervy rewrite, because it's 2am and the straight version was just too filled with URST.

And because you've never written fic in your life, you need to read just a little more so that you can get your head around the rules, the tropes, the cliches and this strange thing people have about ferrets.

And many, many hours end up disappearing, even after your friend's present has been received with thanks and laughter. Because while you were right about there being some utter tosh out there, there's some bloody good writing lurking, too.

So, like someone who has learned a language for many years, but has for the first time moved to a country where that language is spoken, you proceed with care and slowness. Just quietly over here for the moment. Slowly writing, sometimes supporting, giving thanks where they're due, and grateful, because these people have made me laugh out loud, and moved me far more than I thought they could.

So. Stories I will reread:

The Years that Walk Between … is a beautifully sketched story of an evolving Harry/Draco relationship post DH, which manages to be canon-compliant at the same time as making many annoying things about DH seem better. Written by [personal profile] femmequixotic, who is very good at writing friendships and dialogue. Some shagging between people who aren't teenagers. Blessed mercy for thos of us who would like our younger friends and relatives to all be behaving so much better than we were at their age. [... what's the opposite of Oedipal tension? (er, that would be Oedipal tension, wouldn't it?), most of the time in HP fic it's like having to listen to my nephews talk about what they actually do on weekends. They're still four in my head. Just six-feet tall and four ...]

Draco Malfoy, the Amazing Bouncing … Rat? had me stuffing my scarf into my mouth so that I would not wake my partner in the next room with my shrieks of gleeful cackling. Draco is put upon by a mysterious ill-wisher, and finds himself scurrying around Hogwarts as a sleekly attractive rodent of the literal type. In this world of big boots and bad-tempered cats, he hides in the only logical place, and is appalled to realise that he likes Gryffindors. One smart, bushy haired example of the species in particular. [profile] mistful has a glorious sense of anarchic humour, nicely tempered with good plot instincts and extremely fine characterisations. While being totally AU in concept and events, the characters feel very genuine, even if Malfoy has had his sulk surgically removed and replaced with the sort of wit that would have Alan Clark's publisher saying "So, been keeping any diaries lately?"
blamebrampton: 15th century woodcut of a hound (Default)
It's a common tale. You hear a rumour that a friend writes fic, and, purely out of solidarity, you stop by and read a few of hers. A few hours later you're startled on one level (Harry what?! with whom?!), but, on another, impressed.

Then you follow a link or two. Just a few. Only ones your friend likes. You're not really paying attention to fandom, there's too much else on. But still, you're not feeling that this is silly anymore.There's some good writing out there, and really, isn't it all a witty embrace of theory? Yes, the text is open, it's all about the jeu!

So, because you're rubbish at buying gifts, you write her a fic for her birthday. A one-shot, that's all. Straight to begin with and then a gently pervy rewrite, because it's 2am and the straight version was just too filled with URST.

And because you've never written fic in your life, you need to read just a little more so that you can get your head around the rules, the tropes, the cliches and this strange thing people have about ferrets.

And many, many hours end up disappearing, even after your friend's present has been received with thanks and laughter. Because while you were right about there being some utter tosh out there, there's some bloody good writing lurking, too.

So, like someone who has learned a language for many years, but has for the first time moved to a country where that language is spoken, you proceed with care and slowness. Just quietly over here for the moment. Slowly writing, sometimes supporting, giving thanks where they're due, and grateful, because these people have made me laugh out loud, and moved me far more than I thought they could.

So. Stories I will reread:

The Years that Walk Between … is a beautifully sketched story of an evolving Harry/Draco relationship post DH, which manages to be canon-compliant at the same time as making many annoying things about DH seem better. Written by [personal profile] femmequixotic, who is very good at writing friendships and dialogue. Some shagging between people who aren't teenagers. Blessed mercy for thos of us who would like our younger friends and relatives to all be behaving so much better than we were at their age. [... what's the opposite of Oedipal tension? (er, that would be Oedipal tension, wouldn't it?), most of the time in HP fic it's like having to listen to my nephews talk about what they actually do on weekends. They're still four in my head. Just six-feet tall and four ...]

Draco Malfoy, the Amazing Bouncing … Rat? had me stuffing my scarf into my mouth so that I would not wake my partner in the next room with my shrieks of gleeful cackling. Draco is put upon by a mysterious ill-wisher, and finds himself scurrying around Hogwarts as a sleekly attractive rodent of the literal type. In this world of big boots and bad-tempered cats, he hides in the only logical place, and is appalled to realise that he likes Gryffindors. One smart, bushy haired example of the species in particular. [profile] mistful has a glorious sense of anarchic humour, nicely tempered with good plot instincts and extremely fine characterisations. While being totally AU in concept and events, the characters feel very genuine, even if Malfoy has had his sulk surgically removed and replaced with the sort of wit that would have Alan Clark's publisher saying "So, been keeping any diaries lately?"
blamebrampton: 15th century woodcut of a hound (Default)
Not my characters, JKR's, not what I'd normally be up to, not quite sure how I ended up enjoying writing this quite so much.
Some degree of shagging, tastefully ellided.
H/D, because what's the purpose of HP fic if it's not?

And it appears to be Part One ...



It was cold here. But he knew not to complain, because cold was better than dark, and anything was better than dead. Snape had left him enough food to last him through the week, and there were blankets he could huddle under, books and old letters to read.

Draco was glad of the distraction. Unoccupied, his mind kept returning to that scene on Hogwarts’ roof. The gentleness of Dumbledore … he had expected fury, rage, grief at the betrayal … but the man had offered to help him. And then Snape had … Draco picked up the nearest book at random and read intently. It was a novel, a bad one, about a friendship between a wizard and a giant. He read a few pages, then dropped it back onto the threadbare sofa, pushing himself up to walk around and warm the blood in his legs.

Giants were no more likely to befriend wizards than Dumbledore had been likely to protect him. The Dark Lord had them fighting on his side, but once the war was over, they would be on their own side, with their own list of demands. Everyone had a list of demands. Kill Dumbledore, get the Death Eaters into Hogwarts, be a proper Malfoy, stay quiet, stay hidden, wait till we can find a use for you.

He smiled ruefully. Three years ago he thought that the worst of his problems was losing at Quidditch to bloody Potter. He’d pay to go back to those days, now. He had thought there was high drama in a House prize, and that a victory in Potions meant something, then. The heights of joy had been found in swanning about the Slytherin common room and making Harry Potter’s life miserable.

Potter. God, what would Potter be doing without his precious Dumbledore? Three years ago Draco would have gloated that his hero was stronger than Potter’s. Now he felt a stirring of empathy. They’d both been left abandoned in this war. Potter had lost just as much as he had. More. Every one who had ever stood as a parent to him had been taken away, one by one. Just as Draco’s father had chosen the Dark Lord over him, and his mother had chosen his father, and Snape had …

To be honest, Draco had no idea what Snape had chosen. His former teacher appeared for half a day every week, gave brief updates, restocked the larders, then left. What passed for conversation between them was lists. Lists of the living and of the dead. Of those who had declared themselves for the Dark Lord and those who had been killed by his forces. Of towns that stood, of towns that fell. Lists that described a world ever shrinking, descending into one overwhelming conflict. Draco had come to dread Snape’s visits.

At least, said a quiet voice deep inside him, at least your family is still alive.

Draco picked up the wretched book again and began to read in the light of the small lamp. Outside the wind blew fiercely, and the black curtains that covered the cottage’s windows stirred, even behind their closed windows and shutters.

With a sharp crack, the door flew inwards and Draco realised, too late, that the weather had been calm. He lunged for his wand, but as his hand closed around it, a familiar voice cried “Expelliarmus!” and it flew out of reach.

Potter stood in the open doorway, his arm outstretched, with wand at the ready. Sunlight blazed behind him and Draco couldn’t see Potter’s face clearly, but he didn’t have to. There was only one path left to him, now, and he chose to face it with dignity. With his hands open and lifted away from his sides, he stood up straight. “Finish it,” he said. “You win, just let it end.”

Potter took two swift strides towards him, there was a crash of pain, and then blackness.




Part Two
blamebrampton: 15th century woodcut of a hound (Default)
Not my characters, JKR's, not what I'd normally be up to, not quite sure how I ended up enjoying writing this quite so much.
Some degree of shagging, tastefully ellided.
H/D, because what's the purpose of HP fic if it's not?

And it appears to be Part One ...



It was cold here. But he knew not to complain, because cold was better than dark, and anything was better than dead. Snape had left him enough food to last him through the week, and there were blankets he could huddle under, books and old letters to read.

Draco was glad of the distraction. Unoccupied, his mind kept returning to that scene on Hogwarts’ roof. The gentleness of Dumbledore … he had expected fury, rage, grief at the betrayal … but the man had offered to help him. And then Snape had … Draco picked up the nearest book at random and read intently. It was a novel, a bad one, about a friendship between a wizard and a giant. He read a few pages, then dropped it back onto the threadbare sofa, pushing himself up to walk around and warm the blood in his legs.

Giants were no more likely to befriend wizards than Dumbledore had been likely to protect him. The Dark Lord had them fighting on his side, but once the war was over, they would be on their own side, with their own list of demands. Everyone had a list of demands. Kill Dumbledore, get the Death Eaters into Hogwarts, be a proper Malfoy, stay quiet, stay hidden, wait till we can find a use for you.

He smiled ruefully. Three years ago he thought that the worst of his problems was losing at Quidditch to bloody Potter. He’d pay to go back to those days, now. He had thought there was high drama in a House prize, and that a victory in Potions meant something, then. The heights of joy had been found in swanning about the Slytherin common room and making Harry Potter’s life miserable.

Potter. God, what would Potter be doing without his precious Dumbledore? Three years ago Draco would have gloated that his hero was stronger than Potter’s. Now he felt a stirring of empathy. They’d both been left abandoned in this war. Potter had lost just as much as he had. More. Every one who had ever stood as a parent to him had been taken away, one by one. Just as Draco’s father had chosen the Dark Lord over him, and his mother had chosen his father, and Snape had …

To be honest, Draco had no idea what Snape had chosen. His former teacher appeared for half a day every week, gave brief updates, restocked the larders, then left. What passed for conversation between them was lists. Lists of the living and of the dead. Of those who had declared themselves for the Dark Lord and those who had been killed by his forces. Of towns that stood, of towns that fell. Lists that described a world ever shrinking, descending into one overwhelming conflict. Draco had come to dread Snape’s visits.

At least, said a quiet voice deep inside him, at least your family is still alive.

Draco picked up the wretched book again and began to read in the light of the small lamp. Outside the wind blew fiercely, and the black curtains that covered the cottage’s windows stirred, even behind their closed windows and shutters.

With a sharp crack, the door flew inwards and Draco realised, too late, that the weather had been calm. He lunged for his wand, but as his hand closed around it, a familiar voice cried “Expelliarmus!” and it flew out of reach.

Potter stood in the open doorway, his arm outstretched, with wand at the ready. Sunlight blazed behind the younger man and Draco couldn’t see Potter’s face clearly, but he didn’t have to. There was only one path left to him, now, and he chose to face it with dignity. With his hands open and lifted away from his sides, he stood up straight. “Finish it,” he said. “You win, just let it end.”

Potter took two swift strides towards him, there was a crash of pain, and then blackness.




Part Two

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