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This post is so terribly, embarassingly belated (I'm sorry! This month has been a shitshow but that's a story for another post!) and I hope you'll forgive me, but I absolutely could not skip making it when there was so much fandom love that made my birthday at least a thousand times better. So from the bottom of my very tardy heart: thank you!!

Especially thanks to [livejournal.com profile] lumosed_quill for an absolutely delicious-looking v-gift and to LQ and [livejournal.com profile] eidheann_writes, [livejournal.com profile] capitu, [livejournal.com profile] blithelybonny, [livejournal.com profile] nia_kantorka, [livejournal.com profile] ani_mage, [livejournal.com profile] khalulu, [livejournal.com profile] zeitgeistic, [livejournal.com profile] smirkingcat, [livejournal.com profile] khalulu, [livejournal.com profile] disapparater, [livejournal.com profile] birdsofshore, [livejournal.com profile] gracerene, and [livejournal.com profile] firethesound for lovely birthday messages and emails!!

ALSO, if you have not yet seen them, I absolutely recommend high-tailing it over to the following incredible gifts!

Unexpected by [livejournal.com profile] birdsofshore - NC-17, 5 x 100 words
Birds described this as "a little recreational hair-pulling for your birthday" but it's by birds so clearly we know it's going to be more than that. And lo and behold, it is. Five drabbles - all of which do feature the aforementioned hair-pulling - and each one is fantastic and full of delicious tension. And then together they tell this story that's all about how their relationship changes, and with that about how one act can take on so many different meanings within the same relationship. It's beautifully written and just...go read it!

Orchideous by [livejournal.com profile] anemonen - G, digital art
This is a scene from my fic Any Instrument and while I don't think Ane knew this, it's one of my favorite scenes. She did a phemomenal job of capturing it. Phenomenal. Harry looks so focused and open (and his eyelashes! I didn't notice them before but Ane, they're a perfect detail) and the colors fit the mood I had in mind beautifully. It's always an incredible gift to see something I've written come to life, and to see how it looks in someone else's mind, and on top of that this just hits the nail on the head. And on top of being perfect for the scene, it's a beautiful drawing, full of detail and movement and color, and you will most certainly enjoy having a gander!!

In conclusion: fandom is the best. You are all the best. Fandom and you make life that much richer, and I am grateful for it every day of the year!
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Title: Any Instrument
Pairing: Harry Potter/Draco Malfoy
Rating: NC-17
Word Count: 131,000
Warnings:Magical disability and the diagnosis and treatment thereof, addressing mental health issues, explorations of identity and self-worth in the aftermath of war, attempts (some successful) to manipulate Harry for the sake of politics, brief accidental voyeurism, coming to terms with sexuality
Enticements: Slow build, mystery, medicine, politics, angst (but not forever!), wandlore, wandless magic, drapples, Slytherins, Unspeakables, the Ministry, an asexual secondary character, dinner parties, coming out, awkward first times, long walks, Wiltshire, Paris, kittens, breakfast, snark, and a happy ending
Summary: Draco Malfoy wouldn't go back to England for anything less than an exceptional case. Being asked to figure out why Harry Potter can't control his magic might be exceptional enough to qualify.



In lieu of Author's Notes, extended flailing in three parts!

First, to my incredible recipients, [livejournal.com profile] femmequixotic and [livejournal.com profile] noeon. Writing for you was truly an honor and a pleasure. Your work, together and individually, is at the heart of my HP fandom origin story. I was amazed, blown away, in awe, and enraptured to discover your stories, which build beautiful worlds and give these characters extraordinary complexity and depth. I've often taken comfort in them in rough moments, escaping to your worlds for an evening to visit other countries, or be reminded that change and love are always possible, or to experience the beautiful, complicated, human love that your characters discover for themselves. To call that a gift is a massive understatement, but I'm at a loss for a better word, so: thank you for the many incredible gifts you've given to fandom, and me, over the years. And for giving me a good reason, with this story, to try stepping up my game. Having you as recipients was the kick I needed to take a risk and try something bigger, deeper, more elaborate, something that I hoped would give the characters a chance to grow and the world to develop. I'm absolutely thrilled (again, understatement!) that you enjoyed it!! And thank you for your lovely comments, too! ♥

Second, I know it's corny to say it takes a village, but it does. Huge, massive, oceans of thanks to my beta and brit-picker [livejournal.com profile] disapparater, who saw this through from infancy to posting, who answered a million questions and caught all my Zs and let me ramble on endlessly and replied thoughtfully and who, most importantly, really is my editor, and told me what wasn't working, when scenes needed more depth, when I needed to stop being lazy and do another rewrite. You were right, and this story wouldn't be what it is without you. No question about it. More village!! Many, many thanks go to [livejournal.com profile] eidheann_writes for being The Fixer (Ficser? Ficxer?) and talking about this way into the wee hours and for telling me to explore the relationship between Harry's emotions and the wand. Wound up being kind of important!! To [livejournal.com profile] firethesound for use of her dining table and for visiting mine and for lots of very productive word-making and excellent conversation. To [livejournal.com profile] ani_mage for great conversations and for pre-reading the first 2/3 and, among othe things, reassuring me that they weren't secretly terribly offensive w/r/t disability and asexuality. To [livejournal.com profile] sophie_french for entertaining a ridiculous number of questions about France, including some urgent last-minute inquiries that must have seemed truly bizarre ("Urgent!! In Paris, in 2008, did Starbucks cups have logos?") but that were always handled with aplomb and kindness and reassuring speed. To everyone who joined me in chatzy sprints for keeping me on task and for cheerleading and support. And to the mods, [livejournal.com profile] capitu, [livejournal.com profile] sassy_cissa, and [livejournal.com profile] gracerene, for being encouraging and patients, for giving me an extension (or three...I'm sorry! Thank you!) so I could edit this behemoth properly, for catching stealth typos, for uploading to AO3, and for making [livejournal.com profile] hd_erised the incredible event that it is. And to all of you, for moments of support and friendship that have ben more valuable than I can ever say. And to everyone who has left comments on Any Instrument, or who left bolstering comments on other stories while I was in the process of writing - thank you!

Third, a few thoughts about process and writing. )

Erised recs to follow soon - what an embarassment of riches this fest was!! And, again, unending thanks and love to everyone who helped this story come into existence, or who read it and left comments and kudos, and to everyone who will. Goodness, do I love fandom.

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