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Title: If Memory Serves
Username: [livejournal.com profile] dicta_contrion
Prompt Number & Prompt Author: #62 by [livejournal.com profile] capitu
Beta(s): [livejournal.com profile] disapparater
Pairing(s)/Character(s): Harry Potter/Draco Malfoy, Blaise Zabini, Gregory Goyle, Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley
Disclaimer: Harry Potter characters are the property of J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury/Scholastic. No profit is being made, and no copyright infringement is intended.
Rating: NC-17
Warnings (Highlight to view): *Dubcon, for Harry being persuaded to give consent in an uncomfortable situation and for Draco consenting to or pursuing sex while experiencing memory loss and unable to understand the implications of his actions*
Word Count: 30.4k
Summary: Maybe Draco wants to forget. Maybe it’s wrong to make him remember.

(If Memory Serves)

This was my first foray into writing these two, and the experience was exciting and noteworthy in a million ways. Thinking about who Draco would be without his memories and how Harry would react was a thought-provoking, intense way to get started and whoa, was it a great way to explore the two of them, individually and together. There were some moments when I thought this fic might kill me, and I’m beyond grateful for all the support and commiseration that happened during the writing process and for all of the comments and kudos that have come since. I really can't tell y'all how much each one has meant.

Special thanks to [livejournal.com profile] capitu for such a rich, interesting, wonderful prompt and a rec that made my heart sing, to [livejournal.com profile] kedavranox for putting together an awesome fest and especially for being so incredibly patient with my first timer's nerves, and to [livejournal.com profile] disapparater, my beta, brit-picker, and fic writing doula, for incredibly thoughtful, thorough comments and a level of speed and support that went way above and beyond.
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Hurtfest!! There were many awesome reads and lots and lots of feels and, yes, there was hurt. But it was some damn good hurt. Also some damn good sex, character development, plot twists, and writing. A few that especially stood out (and are totally worth the hurt, with a whole week left before reveals):

And I Know the Spark - (NC-17, 15.5K) - This starts with a familiar premise; Draco is willing to give up his relationship with Harry in order to save him. This author does a superb job of showing what that costs him. Draco’s sacrifice is the heart of the story; the things he has to do, and what it does to him, are given admirable depth and respect. What it means to be a Death Eater and a spy and a person in a terrible situation is never taken for granted. Parts of it turned my stomach and made my heart just break for them, even while it was living in my throat for the whole last third. The suspense and, well, all of it really, had me rooting for them so, so hard.

I Am Your Shadow - (NC-17, 3k) - This story was one of the first posted for hurtfest and it’s stayed with me and demanded several re-readings. The author does an amazing job of conveying Harry and Draco’s emotional states. I don’t want to say more for risk of giving it away, but this one just gets more devastating with time and the ending gave me actual, physical chills. Like, whoa. Just. Whoa. This story does a phenomenal job of getting at the slippery nature of feeling and love and desire, of flatness and intensity, and the ending is the perfect cap to it all. This one will make you feel and make you think, and if anyone wants to talk about the ending, I want to talk about the ending.

A Multitude of Sins - (NC-17, 44k) - I didn’t mean to read a 44k fic in one sitting, but once I started this I couldn’t put it down. The sun set. Dinnertime came and went. And I was totally absorbed into the incredible cadence and detail and atmosphere of this story. It’s a non-magic AU where Harry is a priest, Draco is one of his parishioners, and Bishop Dumbledore has tasked Harry with getting through to a reclusive, socially isolated Draco. I was, admittedly, a little skeptical about the premise, but it worked. They’re still them, and while this story is ostensibly about religion, it’s also a story about loving two impossibly incompatible things. Beautifully written, totally engaging, and with the kind of detail that makes AUs work.

Stop All the Clocks (This is the Last Time I’m Leaving Without You) - (NC-17, 44k) - I’m not a crier, really at all. Holy shit, this story made me cry. And cry. And cry. I’ve seen some people avoiding it on that count. Recommendation: don’t. In between (and during) bouts of crying, this story reminded me why I love the people I love and made me get in touch with them. It was cathartic and refreshing and an experience, and it's such a universally human story that it transcends its pairing. But it doesn't neglect it's pairing. Draco and Harry are so on point, so wonderfully themselves. Their love story is epic, and it’s heartbreaking precisely because this author does such an incredible job of showing why, and how deeply, they fell for each other. Which means that there's also happiness, and love, and (fucking hot) sex, and humor. It's the whole package, and it's worth the pain. Get the tissues, set aside some time, and read. this. fic. Instant classic.


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January 2017

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