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15 April 2006 @ 11:22 pm
Interview with the Hero (Epilogue)  


Epilogue




I am forty-two years old today.

Given that I know I'm going to die three weeks shy of my eight-fourth birthday, this year is something of a half-way house. It reminds me of the turning of the seasons on the twenty-first days of December and June -- of knowing that the year is either getting colder or warmer from hereon in. I'm told that I should expect this to be the winter of my life, but for some reason I feel like I'm living in a perpetual summer solstice.

I've already survived all the hideous things I predicted for myself. The death of my wife at the hands of one of Zabini's Breakthrough lynch mobs. Losing my eldest son to that same party of delusional rebels, from his warped sense of duty. The decline of my mother after finding my father in bed with another two women. She coped -- even someone without my abilities could have foreseen that -- but she was not spared months of embittering grief.

I feel that my role in the world at large has played itself out. Seers do not just happen upon the earth by chance. We are drawn to the troubled times of history. Or perhaps the troubled times are heralded by us; perhaps we even usher them in. Little wonder that we are as equally reviled as we are respected, or that people often thought they could stop the tide of evil events with our blood.

I trust that I do not need to regale my paltry audience with events of the last twenty-odd years. I am not quite old enough to have outlived anyone who suffered through them by my side. It will be some time before people can look back on them with objective indifference; I cannot predict if they ever will. Like I said, my powers have much diminished, starting with the day Blaise Zabini -- the self-styled Leader General of the Breakthrough Party -- died.

Let us simply state the obvious: Zabini was a madman who was lucid enough to sway too many others to his cause. No one knows what it is like to fight a war on two fronts until one is standing between the powerful bigot who wants to control your people, and the Muggles one has to protect from him. I cannot count how many people returned home from patching up the scenes of a roust between Zabini's Breakers and an innocent, confused group of Muggles, to find their own homes destroyed by another battalion of the same men.

I was not the only one who despaired of ever toppling this loathsome dictator. Not one of the hundreds of plans we put into operation against him came to fruition. He was just too good for us. But not, it transpired, better than his killer.

We know little about her. Only two other people were in the same building as Blaise Zabini and Gytha Holt on the day she assassinated him. They did not see her arrive. They did not see her leave. In fact, they didn't discover his body for hours.

Some say she was trained by an Auror, but I doubt that. Those Aurors that Blaise did not rally or coerce to his side he slaughtered without mercy. Unless she chooses to come forward with her story, I think she will forever remain a mystery. Speaking as someone who saw what she did to Blaise -- both before and after he was dead -- I rather hope that she will not.

Under duress, I once did try to get a read of Gytha Holt. It drained me for days, and all I was left with was an image of a chubby, gurgling baby. It had a perfect heart-shaped bruise on its forehead. I maintain to this day that it is simply one of the things we are not supposed to know. I can tell you, though, that the name Gytha means 'war.' I do not think that is a coincidence.

As for my own history, well, that is less well-documented. My mother was a passing wily woman. She soon recovered from the shock of finding that her son was a Seer and moved to protect me from the inevitable backlash. She used her own considerable powers of persuasion and that of her influential friends to force the entire corps of Aurors and employees of the Department of Mysteries into signing a secrecy agreement about my powers. It might even have worked, had not my visions started manifesting themselves in ever more violent and public forms as I grew older.

People do not like to be told the time, place and manner of their deaths. I discovered this on my first day at Hogwarts, with my head flushed down a toilet. I learned -- with difficulty, but I learned -- to be extremely circumspect about the information I revealed. The girls with shining eyes and hair who wanted to know if the class Lothario had ever noticed them -- did I have the right to tell them of the evil that lurked in their futures, of those who would suffer at their hands, at the losses they would themselves endure? I didn't think so, even without the mental influence of the friendly neighbourhood bullies.

When I was a child, the visions came thick and fast. All I had to do was concentrate, just to the level another child would use to read a picture book or colour a painting, and there they were. They flocked to me, swarmed around my brain, chattered in my ears till I threw pillows at nothing in order to sleep. From studies conducted on and by me, and my own personal opinion, I think that this is due to the natural openness to new experiences that all children display. Little girls and boys dream of princesses in tiaras, dashing sword-fights, vanquishing dragons and having enough money to buy all the ice-cream in the world. As we grow up we realise how ludicrous these ambitions are, so we shut ourselves off from them -- usually, forever.

I was no different. Talking to beings from another astral plane, and hearing their tales of fantastical places that I later realised were the past, simply did not happen -- so, after a time, these spirits left me be. I still regret that.

By the time I was twenty I had to consciously put myself into a trance to evoke the visions. I travelled all over the world, learning esoteric practices from shamans and witch-doctors in remote corners of vanishing rainforests and expanding deserts. I drank so many poisons that I stained my fingernails and the whites of my eyes black, and all of my hair fell out. It grew back as dark as my eyebrows, interspersed with odd tufts of blonde, like the coat of a piebald badger.

I cannot say whether or not the concoctions worked. Increasingly, the visions arrived when they would and stayed for however long they chose. I no longer had any control over them. For their part, they were far less interested in my personal fate than I was. I was thirty-two when I had the last vision pertaining to myself. It was disappointingly trite, revealing only that I was due to get a bout of diarrhoea from the guava fruit juice with which I was currently enamoured.

Naturally, I made a comfortable living peddling fortunes to those too stupid to realise how little they wanted to hear them. It surprised most people to be told they were guaranteed to dislike the news about their future, even when it was good.

I still don't know how any of it works. I told one man he was going to be killed by a dragon on a trip to Romania; he cancelled the trip and lives on today, doing a steady business in magical fertiliser. I warned Charlie Weasley that his next broom ride would be fatal. He laughed it off, saying that he'd had every possible safety spell installed on his state-of-the-art Lightening Strike. Perhaps he had, but the manufacturers had not been so vigilant. Not even wizards can survive fifty-feet drops on to concrete from brooms that go to pieces in mid-air.

So, it would appear that free will is alive and well. Perhaps what I see are the important branches in life. Not every decision you make is going to significantly affect the course of your existence. A scant few, on the other hand, make history. Your history.

What if Voldemort had not been abandoned in an orphanage? What if Snape had not killed Dumbledore? What if Harry had recovered his magic? On a more hackneyed note, what if my mother had not married my father but instead wed the love of her life, Ron Weasley? I certainly got glimpses of all those futures in potentia. (I had red hair.) I cannot claim with any authority if they happened 'somewhere else' or not. All I know is that they did not happen here. Or if you like, think of it this way: even if your vision is twenty-twenty, you cannot see what is happening behind you -- unless you turn around.

Blaise Zabini wanted me to tell him a number of things. When would he die, and how? I think he hoped to circumvent this occurrence by killing the man whose hand turned against him. He also wanted me to predict his enemies' movements, reveal choice information about their whereabouts and help him outwit them at every turn.

My wife was the price I paid for my refusal.

I still wonder, sometimes, if Blaise wasn't right on some particulars. I often resent concealing my true nature when I walk down Oxford Street. Once or twice I've been taken to a Muggle hospital in the midst of a prophetic seizure and have had to pretend I have epilepsy. Yet -- I don't think any magical coup is worth the bones of one Diagon Alley street-sweeper. That is where Blaise and I had a difference of opinion.

Besides which, it is I walking down Oxford Street, not the other way around. Those Muggles who -- through their association with Muggleborn wizards -- have been inducted into the secret of our world, have never sought to infiltrate it. Granted, their motives were not wholly pure. None of their compatriots would believe cock and bull stories about a school for witchcraft, flying brooms and wands that turned water into wine. To their credit, however, none of them have ever so much as tried.

I believe Muggles call a neighbour-against-neighbour war a 'civil' one. The term is rather a misnomer.

There is nothing particularly civil about being interrogated by your own son, having him demand in words frothed with spittle why you refuse to bow to the will of his great leader. Blaise, although fond of physical contact himself, never allowed his sergeants to indulge. I once thought it was from a tiny, residual sense of honour. Now I realise he knew how very much crueller it was to simply see your own blood turned against you. He had plenty of hot-headed adolescents among his ranks -- each and every one brainwashed into supporting the justice of his 'cause,' not one of whom would have hesitated to point their wands at their own kin should Blaise have asked it of them.

Equally, I would not call it civil to have a man die at his brother's hands.

Stefano Aribas was in training to be an Auror when Blaise came to power. He defected rather than bow to Blaise's rule, and joined the Resistance. I met him several years later when I myself joined. One thing led to another after I asked him about his curiously familiar appearance. (I, as you may imagine, never forget a face.)

Draco Malfoy may have been one of the very first victims of Blaise's reign of terror, but he was not the last. When Stefano discovered that his brother Alexandre was passing classified information from the Spanish Ministry of Magic to Blaise's Breakthrough cells in Spain, his grief was terrible. So was his revenge.

As I understand it, there was more than mere brotherly affection bonding those two together. And more than fraternal discord killed them. After Stefano cursed his brother so that his heart would explode in his chest, he remained to watch him die. At the last moment, he kissed Alexandre goodbye -- and died from the Deadly Nightshade that coated his lips. They died in each other's arms. Perhaps they would have wanted it that way.

Unlike many of my more optimistic friends, I never thought that the trouble would end with Blaise's death. But I am glad he is dead. Now, perhaps, for a short while, we can heal. Until it is time to fight again.

However, my cynical diatribe was not the reason I sought to examine my role in these troubled times. Blaise's plan to use Harry Potter as a pawn fell through with Harry's disappearance. As a result, Blaise retreated for a time to lick his wounds, only to re-surface more fanatical than ever the month after I finished school. By then, he didn't need any pseudo-hero to hide behind. In the years that followed, the world all but forgot the strange and absurdly tragic existence of Harry Potter.

I did not. It was not my lot to do so, when every now and again I caught glimpses of him in my dreams. Before anyone jumps to conclusions: no. I don't know where he is. I never did. I know all the theories, all the suppositions, all the wild hopes. That is why I refuse to content myself with anything but fact.

The first fact: Harry was never comfortable with his notoriety. Having experienced a little of it myself, I completely concur with his dismissal of fame. Besides which, even my seven-year-old self could see that Harry was not the paragon the world desired him to be. He was cranky when he woke up, he swore when he stubbed his toe, he was given to sulks and fits of temper that would have shamed a two-year-old. He was no less a good man for these faults, but the world did not want a good man. It wanted a perfect one.

The second fact: Harry knew all along that Draco Malfoy was masquerading as a Spanish reporter. How? Because I told him. I told him the very first day.

At the time Harry wasn't aware of the extent of my powers -- neither was I, come to that. But I knew enough to warn him when the researchers were coming over to prod and poke him, so that he could pretend to be asleep. I anticipated his thirsts and hungers before he felt them, and knew what to fetch to sate them before he asked. He may have thought me astute, but little more than that. More important was the fact that, by the time Michel Rodriguez appeared on the scene, Harry trusted my judgement implicitly.

Not long before Harry left for good, he was told by the Aurors and magical researchers that excess amounts of magic were toxic to Muggles. What he wasn't told was that his extended stay in a highly magical environment -- St Mungo's -- had drastically lowered his immune defences. It explained why he was so weak and ill all the time he was awake.

While the researchers couldn't begin to address the problem of filling the emptied stocks of Harry's magic, they were intelligent enough to locate the cause of his poor resistance. As a result, Harry's room was stripped bare of all the basic magic that is inherent in wizard buildings, as well as the wards and warning devices added later. The Aurors were cautioned to cast spells only when absolutely necessary and to keep visitors to a minimum to aid them in this. In any other room in the hospital so well guarded by Dark Wizard captors, Draco's thin disguise would have been penetrated in seconds. I later interviewed some who claimed acquaintance with him; all claimed such shoddy planning was characteristic of Draco and was mainly due to his overblown confidence.

Of course, I didn't know this at the time. I found out later, from my mother, who had her finger in countless pies. I don't know if Harry was ever told but, somehow, I doubt it.

The third fact: I was the one who engaged Blaise Zabini to locate Draco Malfoy and tell him of Harry's awakening, in the hopes of fetching him back to England. I did so in my mother's name, after picking Zabini's enterprise out of the Lemon Pages. I little thought that Blaise would be such a powerfully negative influence on all our lives. All I knew was that picking him was what I was going to do well before I did it. I also knew that Harry would need Malfoy. What for, I am still not sure.

When I first saw the man who introduced himself as Michel, I was heartily puzzled as to why the man beside him was being so totally ignored. He was blonde and slight, his pointed face as different from Michel's swarthy handsomeness as it was possible to be. When I next got Harry alone, I asked him why he'd refused to speak to the blonde man.

I won't detail the tedious exchanges that led to Harry's identification of my 'ghost' as Draco Malfoy, nor the subterfuges necessary for me to liberate a wand and, following Harry's instructions, run tests that would ascertain if Michel Rodriguez was who he claimed he was.

He wasn't.

That is where the realm of fact ends and the kingdom of fantasy begins. I didn't know Draco Malfoy from Adam. Taunting him with my knowledge amused me, but I possessed a seven-year-old's view of why Harry concealed Draco's true identity -- in other words, I had no idea. There was no doubt that they struck up a curious friendship. There was no doubt, either, that seeing his secrets and apparent 'deception' by Draco Malfoy spread all over the Daily Prophet hurt Harry more than he was ever likely to show.

Was Harry simply tired of his life as a research subject and object of pity?

His bank vault, later found to be cleared of every Knut, had contained enough money to allow him to live the life of several kings even when converted into Muggle currency. Hair dye, contact lenses, clothes, aeroplane tickets, even plastic surgery; these are easy to obtain when you have limitless funds. Harry had the cash and wherewithal to stay hidden for the rest of his life, and that's pretty much what he did.

Did Harry's closest friends, Ginny Wood, Ron Weasley and my mother, miss him?

Of course they did, terribly so. Just as they'd mourned for him eight years before when he was as good as dead to them. His awakening was a miracle -- a reprieve for which they'd long since learned to cease hoping. Given time, they would have adjusted to having him back from the living dead. Then again, when that time was taken from them, it was easy enough to pretend it had never been. For eight years they'd learned to live without him. Ginny had lost a lover; Ron and my mother, a mediator and friend. They'd done their grieving and their coping. Eight years was good practice for the next forty. We can all vouch for that.

Did Harry die?

That one's easy enough. If Harry made sure to stay well away from anything magical, he would remain reasonably healthy. The question of whether he could bear to do that is far more difficult to answer.

Did Draco really betray Harry?

It depends on what the questioner means by 'betrayal.' When you are seventeen and your world is falling down around you, when your parents are in mortal danger and you are the only one who can save them -- what price betrayal then? Draco hardly knew Harry when he hated him. In two weeks in a hospital ward, he got to know him better than almost anyone. He could still have betrayed him, but why would he have waited to send his story to press? To complete his devastation of Harry's heart? Or because he didn't do it?

Every written word is open to interpretation. That's why I'll tuck in here a little something that has been in my possession these last thirty-eight years. There was no signature and no magical read on the letter when it was delivered to me during the Christmas of my first year at Hogwarts. I'm not inclined to discover the identity of the sender. Either way, this is what it said. Make of it what you will.

Who is Harry Potter?

He is a hero, say some. Others would declare him a blood-traitor and despise him for destroying wizarding kind's last chance of redemption. Few members of the latter group are still in a position to speak their views. Those acting in Harry Potter's name made sure of that.

I don't think he's a hero. I never did, not from the first moment I met him. I saw him as an advantage, a mark to be gained. Later, I saw him as a closed door -- a representative of the biggest failure of my life to date.

My opinion of his hero-status has not faltered, even as I came to damn well like the man. Heroes are, in their ideal state, dead. Harry Potter is very much alive. He is inclined to be tempestuous, to argue with those who think they know better than him (or even actually do), to question authority and generally act like a complete fool. He has flashes of insight and flashes of idiocy in equal measures. He has never been in love, yet he knows how to love better than anyone I know.

I have spent two weeks with Harry Potter. In that time I went from despising him as an attention seeker, to feeling pity for his miserable state, to ending my judgement of him forever because he was my friend.

If I'd ever been a truthful man, I'd have sent this article to a newspaper. After all, I ferreted my way into Harry Potter's good graces by posing as a journalist. In the end, however, I discovered that I wanted to divulge details of this man about as much as I'd like to have my sexual prowess rated on the front page of the
Daily Prophet. I knew so much about Harry Potter by the end of two weeks that I couldn't even begin to list all of it. Perhaps I still could have done so if it were not for one thing -- one very important thing.

And it is: everything I learned about Harry Potter ended up tying him to me. Where he ends and I begin is impossible to tell. Not only good memories and happy ones, but every crabbed and unworthy thought he thinks could just as easily have been thought by me. As I have no wish to reveal myself so conclusively for public consumption, I could not possibly do the same to Harry Potter.

Perhaps I loved him for those two weeks. Perhaps I only fooled myself. Perhaps I was revealed to myself in my entirety and was so consumed by it that I confused those feelings with any I had for Harry Potter.

I think he loved me, a little.

Heroes cannot love that way, though. I am not a virginal maiden, nor even a man worthy of any honest emotion. I don't wish for it. I never cared for responsibility. I would never have wished loving Harry Potter on my worst enemy.

Then again, my worst enemy was Harry Potter.

If Rita Skeeter were here now, I'd have one thing to tell her, and one thing only.

Harry Potter wears red boxers.


Did Harry run to Draco when he left, or away from him?

A lot of people would like to think that Harry wreaked dreadful revenge upon Draco for his multiple crimes. Certainly he was never heard from again either. I'm the only one who dares imagine that there was more between those two than that. Constantly in their company, witness to their interactions, and not blinded by years of partisanship and conflicting hopes, I saw what no one else did. People think that they would always welcome love and close the door to hate. But when you can't tell one from the other -- when you're all alone -- can you be sure who or what you'd let walk beside you?

I could find out. The spirits are still there, and they're a garrulous lot -- gossipy to the core. I have enough potent dream-herbs and mystical wines to smooth the way to half a dozen astral planes.

However, I know better than most how little I wish to see. Watching my wife be Crucio'd to death not once, but twice, did not help me prepare for it. The vision only let me live in dread of the event from the day I knew it would happen.

Yet, and yet, my imagination runs riot as often as it did when I was ten. Perhaps ...

Perhaps my vision would allow me to see two heads: one light, one dark -- both, I daresay, a little speckled by grey -- bent together. Jaunty Caribbean music plays in the background; fresh breezes blow in off the turquoise ocean. Waitresses in grass skirts serve drinks the colour of tropical fish. Draco and Harry use two straws in one glass. Harry allows Draco to stick the cocktail umbrella in his unruly curls, tucked behind the arm of his glasses. In return, he dabs the salt of the tequila from the corner of Draco's mouth with his thumb.

A nice image, is it not?

But is it true?

That's for you to decide.





The End


::Chapter Index::
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Fiona Fawkes: HP - Lost Harryfiona_fawkes on August 22nd, 2006 06:39 am (UTC)
Bloody. Fucking. Brilliant!

Because I told him. I told him the very first day. HA! Makes me want to go back and read it all again. I loved Angus. I loved the way he constantly goaded Draco and unnerved him at every other step.

The line about mothers not having to be dead to be gone? Killed me dead. The whole bit with the Spanish brothers following Draco to England and just hanging about while Draco went about his business still doesn't sit all the way with me, but I soon quit thinking about them in anticipation of your next Harry/Draco interraction.

I loved it when Harry realized that Draco understood him better than his best friends. Actually, there were so many simple lines that just bowled me over with how much they said with so few words. The part about buying the expensive sheets, Draco's reactions to Harry, just about everything that ever came out of Angus's mouth.

I also think you made excellent use of the fade-to-black sex scenes. I don't feel as if I missed anything, because all the importance of each sexual interaction were still there, you just skipped the unnecessary details.

Just, loved it all to pieces.
*runs off to add to my favorites list*
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: An interview icon -- Harryscoradh on August 24th, 2006 07:22 pm (UTC)
Ha, I'm getting bashful now and I have no idea what to say. Yes, there are plenty of loose ends in the story -- like the Aribas brothers -- but I hope I'm still learning. All this would be a pretty boring experience if I didn't.

I'm glad you liked it; thank you for your lovely comments. ♥
alexandra - maybe in another universe.: moiisilme_ on August 22nd, 2006 04:10 pm (UTC)
*jawdrop*
BLOODY FUCKING BRILLIANT!
mhwhyasdecakal
erm.
right.
I loved every little bit of it, loved how Hermione's children turned out to bw, loved Angus- he was a fav from the very first moment he appeared, loved Draco's intentions how he changes his mind. I can't ever grasp how you manage to write this, this is wonderful, i'm lost for words. There are so many thibgs I love, so many things I'll love to review about but then I'd write the entire story...
adding to my memories - NOW! You are so wonderful.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: An interview icon -- Harryscoradh on August 24th, 2006 07:23 pm (UTC)
Yes, Angus seems to be oddly likable. I'm not sure why that is. I wish more children were as quiet as he is, mind. ♥

Thanks for commenting -- it is always appreciated.
painless_jpainless_j on August 22nd, 2006 04:35 pm (UTC)
I loved it! It was a wonderful story. Am going to rec it and unload all my thoughts in that rec. Here let me just say, THANK YOU VERY MUCH!
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: An interview icon -- Dracoscoradh on August 24th, 2006 07:27 pm (UTC)
You are -- of course -- very welcome. ♥
ecamposecampos on August 22nd, 2006 08:16 pm (UTC)
*Stands up in cube clapping wildly* May you made me procrastinate as no one from work... This was Amazingly well done.

The twists and turns, the character development, the old ones and the new ones. Bloody Brilliant!!...

I will friend you... will you friend me back?? bookmark and will recomment...

Wonderfully executed. *is still amazed*
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: An interview icon -- Harryscoradh on August 24th, 2006 07:20 pm (UTC)
Thank you! You seem well pleased with it, which is as much as I ever want.

Sure thing -- my flist is hardly busting at the seams. ♥
Rebecca Elizabethstar_faerie on August 23rd, 2006 12:02 am (UTC)
Wow. I just wanted to say that this is one of the best Harry/Draco's that I have read. I loved the characterisation and the ambiguous ending. Basically I loved it :)
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: An interview icon -- Harryscoradh on August 24th, 2006 07:19 pm (UTC)
I'm very glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for commenting.
lilian_cholilian_cho on August 23rd, 2006 12:14 am (UTC)
*adores madly*

Is it wrong of me to love OCs this much? I just knew that those brothers have lots of hot sex when Draco's not around >=D And their deaths are so...fitting.

And I love the idea of Muggles being physically ill near large amounts of magic.

And a Draco that unabashedly use sex is just <3


If Rita Skeeter were here now, I'd have one thing to tell her, and one thing only.

Harry Potter wears red boxers.


*grins* :-D
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: An interview icon -- Harryscoradh on August 24th, 2006 07:19 pm (UTC)
They totally do -- the Aribas bros, I mean. They are very bold boys. :D

I think it's totally Draco -- sex is just another tool to him. Love isn't. That's where he falls ...

Thanks for commenting!
seana_sseana_s on August 23rd, 2006 12:29 pm (UTC)
That was absolutely amazing... I read the whole thing through without a break, and loved every line and word and comma.

I'd love to give a meaningful review but all I can say is wow. I really enjoyed your unusual interpretation of Hermione and Ron, and the way their relationship completely fell apart without Harry to mediate and balance them; their children and interactions with their children were equally unusual and bewitching, and Angus must be one of the most vivid OCs I've ever read in this fandom. Plus the relationship between Alexandre and Stefano and of course the beautiful dynamic between Harry and Draco (and in fact Draco and everyone else). Basically - just so much love for it all.

I'm going to friend you, I hope you don't mind :)
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: An interview icon -- Harryscoradh on August 24th, 2006 07:17 pm (UTC)
[grin] Well, I can't say that's not nice to hear!

I'm especially glad that you found the OCs likable -- it's always a worry, in such an OC-allergic fandom. ♥

No worries, I like new friends.
because i canmerisunshine36 on August 23rd, 2006 02:33 pm (UTC)
in which I spout vapid praise...
I actually had to occupy myself with meaningless household chores for ten minutes in order to compose myself enough to write a coherent review; as opposed to unintelligible keyboard spam. How do you do this? How? Great works of art come from your fingertips. Your mind is an awesome thing. I loved so much about this story, both the big and the small. The small unhappy endings, no simple solutions. The fact that the world didn’t immediately erupt in rose petals when Draco started saying “Harry” instead of “Potter”.

And Angus—oh, Angus. Best OC of the Millenium. I both simultaneously wanted to cuddle him and be wary of him because he was so mysterious. And you matured him fantastically. But one of my favorite, favorite parts about the story is that you didn’t turn Draco into some beautiful blonde seraph. I personally never thought of either canon or movie Draco as someone who sounded physically attractive, so while I love some H/D there is always a little voice in my mind that goes, "his features really just don't bring to mind delicate porcelain figurines..." You have left a much more plausible impression—that you don’t have to be physically beautiful to be sexually attractive.

Here I will insert my two little eensy weensy bits of concrit. Isn’t Alexandre a French name, and Stefano Italian? Not to say that maybe their mother didn’t have a thing for other European names, but I kept thinking along the lines of, ‘shouldn’t they be Alejandro and Esteban?’. But overall, they were fantastic OC’s as well, and good foils to each other. Also, as well fleshed out as the other characters were, Ron always felt a wee bit flat and one-dimensional to me. I always felt that there was another side of him missing, the part that missed Hermione and worried for Harry in ways other than complaint. This is just my wibbling, however.

Harry as a man-child both warmed my heart over and broke it, every time.

Psychotic!Blaise---yessss. why should Voldemort and Greyback get to have all the fun? He has all the foundation for being a psychopath, yet we don’t know too much in canon so character-wise, he is moldable like putty.

Generally plot wise, you have created such a plausible future. There are always madmen, and regardless of Harry’s fate the world will keep turning, and breeding more of them. The epilogue laid this out so very nicely. And your backstories, sidestories, subplots and bits of history are all on point! My last point of praise is, the story was witty. It takes a lot more skill to pull off wit than maudlin angst, and you’ve done a bang up job.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: An interview icon -- Harryscoradh on August 24th, 2006 07:35 pm (UTC)
Re: in which I spout vapid praise...
[thoughtful] Well, last summer I was stuck for a whole month without internet -- I had to do something to occupy myself. That something was 50,000 words of this. I'm pretty sure I watched a TV programme on Ancient Egypt -- I usually only need a little trigger, like rain or chocolate and then I want to write about it. So ... that's it. ♥

I like Angus. Well, I like his black eyebrows. I was proud of that. :P Like I've said before, the only way I write beauty is the kind you see in others for whatever crazy, hormone-ridden, chemically-induced reason.

I don't believe for a second that it's generic -- that someone can be beautiful to everyone. Physical attractiveness helps, but it's a multi-faceted thing. Like Roald Dahl said in the Twits -- your personality will shine through. I don't think Draco is exempt from that.

Oddly enough for an Irish person, I've never been to Spain. Like I said, I had no internet access when the majority of this was being written -- and by the time I had resources, they were so definitely Stefano and Alexandre that I couldn't change it. Imagine that they Anglicised their names for Draco's benefit, if you like. :)

As for Ron -- this is Draco's POV, wholly and completely. He hates Ron, and his view is going to colour what's really there. He's not about to give Ron credit for anything. But yes, I should have done a better job with that. :D

Anyway. I'm delighted that it was plausible and that you liked it. It's really fun for me to hear that, I can't tell you. ♥
serkeien on August 23rd, 2006 09:11 pm (UTC)
That, was powerful.

And took up the majority of my day.

And apparently I'm still not coherent enough to write a long review here.

Anyway, I loved it. :) (and must re-read it sometime because I think that I read the last few chapters a little too quickly)
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: An interview icon -- Dracoscoradh on August 24th, 2006 07:16 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you liked it! Although I'm sorry that it took up so much time and that it left you incoherent. Here, have a free Angus.
Kelleycopperbeech on August 24th, 2006 07:31 pm (UTC)
You are a brilliant writer!
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: An interview icon -- Harryscoradh on August 24th, 2006 07:35 pm (UTC)
[grins] Thank you!
(no subject) - graphix_fret on August 26th, 2006 11:24 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - copperbeech on August 26th, 2006 02:48 pm (UTC) (Expand)
pir8fancier on August 24th, 2006 11:40 pm (UTC)
Brilliant characterization and the dialogue! My god, woman, this is just wonderful. Like fiona I had a wee bit of problem with the brothers, but pales and becomes completely insignificant in light of the absolutely marvelous writing. BRAVA!
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: An interview icon -- Harryscoradh on August 25th, 2006 09:48 pm (UTC)
I guess the brothers were what you meant by 'implausible plots'? :P It seems I have the writing thing in hand -- perhaps I should start working on my plotting skillz. ♥ Thank you!
(no subject) - pir8fancier on August 25th, 2006 10:37 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - scoradh on August 25th, 2006 10:43 pm (UTC) (Expand)
christy: h/daskani on August 25th, 2006 04:45 am (UTC)
wow. im kind of speachless. but it was bloody brilliant. i love how you never knew if draco was going to be found out or not at st. mungos. and angus was so cute.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Cat with no handsscoradh on August 25th, 2006 09:08 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm glad you liked it. ♥
not your typical annihilatrixfuriosity on August 25th, 2006 06:30 am (UTC)
Oh damn. okay. This was awesome. Unfortunately, homophobe!Ron and evil!Blaise are absolutely bulletproof squicks of mine -- the former, because I do not for a second believe canon!Ron to be a homophobe and the latter because I'm irrationally fond of Blaise and don't want him to be evil. So those things I didn't like enough to roll my eyes at, but that has nothing to do with you.

Everything else, though? Good god, woman. You are fabulous. Your Draco is so human and flawed and yet infinitely lovable. Brilliant use of OCs as always; the way you write them, they never seem like patches on an otherwise smooth quilt, they are there in the story and they damn well belong there. That's really, really rare in fanfic and I'm so glad that the general "ew, OCs" attitude in fandom has not stopped you from using OCs because you are truly a master. If you're a writer worth any salt, it's very easy to write your own characters -- for your own world. But to write characters and slot them into someone else's world as though they'd always been there is such a talent. I know I just said the same thing twice, I just think it can't be repeated enough.

You know, this reads like a movie. And I don't mean that in a bad way, I mean, like... I could see, feel and hear everything you were describing. So fantastic.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: An interview icon -- Dracoscoradh on August 25th, 2006 09:35 pm (UTC)
Che, I never thought of it as talent -- more of a red flag to distract people from bulls like Ron's homophobia or Blaise's megalomania. ;D I'm glad you liked most of it, though. The more I read what other people thought of it, the less I like it -- more for what I should have done than what I actually did. This learning curve is a damn steep hill ... ♥
Candy: fujitezcandy_marie_55 on August 26th, 2006 12:19 am (UTC)
I found this through Furiosity, and I knew I'd be good, because she wouldn't endorse badly written prose. But I didn't expect it to be sooo amazing! I read the prologue and was instantly hooked; my original plan was to read a couple of chapters a day, but I ended up tearing through it in a couple of hours.

I loved everything about this fic, starting with the very original premise. I'd never paid so much attention to OCs, because they rarely deserve it, but Angus had me from the very first time I "saw" him, and he shocked me to the very end (I surmised he'd told Harry the truth about Michel at some point, but not the very first day!!! That killed me!! Now I want to read it all again, with that detail in mind.) And somehow I thought the Aribas brothers would, ahem, find each other, what with all the time Draco spent away from their hotel room.

I also liked how there's no fluffy ending. Regardless of my sweet tooth, sometimes the readers need a little jolt, a little uncertainty (but ARE they sharing drinks somewhere in the Caribbean? Cuz that'd be so cool.)

The only thing that bothered me was that you managed their first kiss to taste like vomit. LOL I guess by that point they were lost enough to not care.

Great fic, scoradh, and btw, I liked your MomoKai too ^__^
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: An interview icon -- Harryscoradh on August 26th, 2006 08:47 pm (UTC)
God, I've done that too many times to mention. I'm highly flattered that I caused it to happen!

I'm delighted that you liked those parts and especially that you liked my OCs -- they are precious to me. :)

Yay, another MomoKai shipper! Have you recs, by any chance?! ♥
(no subject) - candy_marie_55 on August 27th, 2006 09:28 pm (UTC) (Expand)
no: [tailfluff] with lovekurafufu on August 26th, 2006 07:30 am (UTC)
It is 12:25 in the morning, and although this is actually considered rather early for me, I had planned on sleeping at 10. That didn't work out, since I was reading this...this...absolutely incredibly work of art.

In fact, it was so incredible that even when I got a chapter alert for one of my favorite fanfiction ever, I couldn't stop what I was doing (that is, reading this) to go and read it - which is, actually, what I would normally have done.

So, if I had a hat, I'd take it off to you and your writing because it is every positive word I could possibly say and I will definitely have to rec it at some point in the future (uh, when I make my next update). (I hope you don't mind.)
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: An interview icon -- Harryscoradh on August 26th, 2006 09:14 pm (UTC)
Gah, apologies! I should have posted some kind of sleep-deprivation warning, ne? ;D

I'm intensely flattered by that! I'm delighted that you want to rec it, are you kidding? Thank you so much for your lovely words. ♥
Tulip: Frankie Say RELAXgraphix_fret on August 26th, 2006 11:21 am (UTC)
I stayed up all night reading this! I planned to read a few chapters then head to bed. That did not happen.
Looking through the other comments there's not much more to say about this, but what everyone else has said. I'm not very good at concrit & I think others have covered those bits.
I do want to say that I loved this. I thought Angus was an amazing character; he had me hooked right away. Your Draco was very...human.
Ugh, there's more I want to say about this I'm sure, but it's not coming right now. I'll have to digest it a bit, then read it again.
It's memoried & will be recced.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: An interview icon -- Dracoscoradh on August 26th, 2006 08:56 pm (UTC)
Sorry to deprive you of your sleep! I'm glad you liked it; thank you for your lovely comments. ♥
(Deleted comment)
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: An interview icon -- Harryscoradh on August 27th, 2006 09:38 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you liked it! I'm afraid there's little to no chance of there being a sequel, so ... sorry about that. :)
zyxinnzyxinn on August 27th, 2006 08:15 am (UTC)
awww... loved this

but... is there going to be a sequel of some sort? i love the ending, but i hate the ambiguity of it all! (cries) perhaps just a bit of a drabble? (begs)
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: An interview icon -- Harryscoradh on August 27th, 2006 09:36 pm (UTC)
Eh ... I doubt it. Feel free to imagine that Angus' vision is true, though!
Tam: Niketamlane on August 28th, 2006 01:23 am (UTC)
*CHILLBUMPS AND TEARS*

*tries to type through tears and jolts of raw emotion*

Bloody beautiful. A lovely way to spend a weekend. I'm SO DAMN GRATEFUL TO YOU for writing and sharing this fic.

And now to quote back the one line I c/p'd (although there were really too many to count):

Draco wasn't deprived of choices. He just didn't make them.

AHHH, but in the end, he DID. And yet... still so damn Draco, right down to the "letter" at the very end. I'm so touched. So very touched. Thank you for that.

every Starbucks should have a polar bear: An interview icon -- Harryscoradh on September 2nd, 2006 09:03 pm (UTC)
Apologies for the delay in replying! Basically, I suck.

Your words made me feel ... well, inadequate, really. But also pleased. Thank you for replying. ♥
laughingcamel: slash ficlaughingcamel on August 28th, 2006 01:34 am (UTC)
wow I really liked the story. And the end was great, I like that we don't really know the end. I don't know what to write so I will just say two more things:
I loved the line "The second fact: Harry knew all along that Draco Malfoy was masquerading as a Spanish reporter. How? Because I told him. I told him the very first day."
and thanks for the good read.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: An interview icon -- Harryscoradh on August 28th, 2006 08:42 pm (UTC)
Thank you! And that happens to be my favourite line, too. ♥
4rightchords_ on August 28th, 2006 05:38 am (UTC)
hmmm...this is so wildly original and off-the-map unique that I don't really know where to start. I guess the main word I want to use is interesting. because this story didn't hand me lots of things -hell, nearly anything- with which I was familiar, I couldn't relax while reading it. I was always always paying attention and seeing what you'd do next. and what you did, I feel, was go somewhere new and special.

I don't know if this is the best thing I've read by you. aspects made me negatively uncomfortable, particularly ron and hermione. I'm entirely willing to get behind broken-neurotic hermione on principle, and I have no doubt that given a more hermione-centric fic you could have made me believe it, but without more background and context she was difficult to get on board with. your response to merisunshine36 on ron being seen entirely from draco's POV made him make a lot more sense. if you were to edit this story, one thing that might be very helpful would be to emphasise the bits with ron as being told not from the objective viewpoint third-person often implies but from draco's highly subjective viewpoint.

having just read through the comments, I'd have to say that I agree with a lot of what shezan said. the end was ... confusing. I thought harry was dying due to being around so much magic, and when I didn't I was, truth be told, a tad miffed. chapter sixteen also felt kind of all over the place, and I wasn't really sure what was going on when I finished it. the blaise uprising was also unexpected, to say the least.

so that's the concrit part that you probably don't want to hear anyway =P what I liked enormously about this story, what kept me going (other than the writing which is, of course, firing on all-plus-one cylinders), was how enormously original it is. everything from making draco unattractive to angus (best OC evarrrr) to harry losing his magic, was really just off-the-map your own (I am reusing cliches like it is my job). you went somewhere with this story where I don't think anyone has been before, and that in and of itself deserves huge commendation. on sheer balls, guts and bloody-mindedness, this story succeeds thoroughly.

the writing is of course nearly flawless. (I say "nearly" because only robots are flawless, and you are not a robot, but really, I can't think of a single thing wrong with your writing...ever. /fangirlishness)

I wish I had slightly more roses with slightly less thorns for you, because this really is an impressive piece of work. (and heaven knows I owe you a backlog of roses, because I'm the absolute worst when it comes to commenting on fic I enjoy.) I get the impression that you're very done with this piece, and that's totally understandable - but I do feel that, given the many truly wonderful elements contained therein, you could make it really fly if you so chose.

even so I am hella impressed.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: An interview icon -- Harryscoradh on August 28th, 2006 08:36 pm (UTC)
Hell, I don't think this is the best thing I've ever written either. I totally lost the plot towards the end. It's like published authors just going for broke and writing for a deadline instead of a vision -- I wanted this out before I went back to college, with little to no effort on my part. It was three-quarters written last year and half the plot-lines had died in my mind since then. I don't/didn't make enough notes at the time on how I intended for it to end -- in fact, I doubt I knew even then. I usually just let that come to me as I write.

If you mean that I should edit it and re-post ... naahhh! For one thing, people would have to read it again and stuff. I think once it's out there that's really it. People know now what the 'real' ending is, and even if the new one is better it'll still not be the ... right one, or something.

I'm not bothered by the fact that people see fault in it. Sure, maybe the first night I was a bit pissed, but that's surely understandable. You get a bit fragile right after posting. But if I'm nothing else, I'm able to take criticism. Far more easily than praise, in fact. No one anyone is saying isn't true, and I can just hope that I've learned a lesson or two for next time.

(no subject) - 4rightchords_ on August 28th, 2006 09:18 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Remus Buttplug Face: duckpups and lunu H/Dlazy_daze on August 28th, 2006 10:21 pm (UTC)
SO I finally got around to reading this. GOD I LOVED IT. SO MUCH. SO MUCH TO LOVE *flail*. It's so you and so delightful and fresh and different and always surprising in a good way. You never take the easy way out and it's refreshing to read. Your OCs are always a joy and I think you won everything ever with Angus. I want, like, a whole fic about him. The epilogue being his voice was genius and one of my favourite parts of the fic and one my favourite fic endings I've ever read. It finished it perfectly; I loved the way it neatly summarised the events of the last ~40 years as if we were meant to know it yet still being informative enough to piece things together; I love the offhand thoughtful comments he has that make me stop and think and flail with the goodness of him and his character voice and some of the topics touched on therein (like all the stuff about the reality of being a Seer and his childhood and growing-up and slkjdghsjldgh. gah!) and much as I love a good old happy ending, I LOVED the ambiguity of the Harry/Draco; we don't even know if they're even alive, let alone if they saw each other again, but there's that little hope and it's brillaint. And the fact Harry knew along along makes me flail.
ADORED this Draco and believed in him; loved the hot incestuous brothers, heh; loved the action flitting from Egypt to Spain to England; loved everything. YAY. (I fail at having reviews even attempting coherency, structure and paragraphs.)

I actually think I enjoyed this the most out of all your fics, even though I love all your stories (though it could be immediate post-coital-fic feeling talking, ha), even if you don't think it's the best thing you've done. So there! <33
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: An interview icon -- Harryscoradh on September 1st, 2006 08:36 pm (UTC)
The epilogue being his voice was genius and one of my favourite parts of the fic and one my favourite fic endings I've ever read.

I think you must be about the only person to say so, but I'm turtley glad it worked for someone! Ah, I love your reviews. I always feel like I've touched a nerve (but not in a pervy way, okay). And I regard all of my work with the same amused, despairing condescension, so don't mind that.

Anansay: wandereranansay on August 28th, 2006 10:53 pm (UTC)
*hugely big sigh*

I read this in several sittings, mostly due to time constraints and demands of RL.

At first I found it long and tedious, trying to catch the essence of this stories existence. And then, and then, it came to me. And I was hooked.

Your writing is poetic and flows beautifully from page to mind, with such wonderful little similies and metaphors and such. I feel I've learned a lot about writing from reading this.

I wonder where it was all this time, how did I miss it... I'm glad I got to read it, though, finally.

(I know this isn't a very coherent comment, but the story is still trying to gel in my mind, everything about it. I AM in awe of your writing.)
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: An interview icon -- Dracoscoradh on September 1st, 2006 08:39 pm (UTC)
Sorry for the delay in replying -- I've been bumming around other fandoms and clean forgot about this fic. Intentionally, I daresay; I don't like it much myself, after all.

However, I am glad you liked it and that you thought it was worth reading. It's good to know. Thank you. ♥
(no subject) - anansay on September 1st, 2006 09:53 pm (UTC) (Expand)
ex_ella_bane358 on August 29th, 2006 05:08 am (UTC)
I adore this! You are such a brilliant storyteller. Your writing shines. The pacing and structure are perfect; the epilogue is superb. What a terrific choice to use Angus this way. Draco is enthralling here, even though he's horrible! But, GOD -- Harry is phenomenal. His characterization, for me, is the most true. Thank you for sharing this with us.

I even forgave homophobe!Ron, which usually makes me angry. You made it work. Reccing later!
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: An interview icon -- Dracoscoradh on September 1st, 2006 08:41 pm (UTC)
Heh, I'm glad you liked the epilogue! It seemed a rather contentious way to end the story, but there you go. Different strokes for different folks and all that.

And Harry! Some people seemed to think he was the worst. You're making me feel a lot better about this little story. ♥ ♥ ♥
spark_of_chaos: angel in shacklesspark_of_chaos on August 29th, 2006 02:43 pm (UTC)
I have rarely read a piece to touch me so deeply and to make me think so much, and I bow to you. Few people have the talent to weave such a story, reveal the truth bit by bit and still leave a sufficient amount of it to imagination. Such stories are the ones that get remembered and the sort you fall back to, time and again, to marvel at and learn from.

It was a magnificent, breath-taking read. Thank you!
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: An interview icon -- Harryscoradh on September 1st, 2006 08:42 pm (UTC)
I have nothing to say to that, I'm blushing so hard.

Except: Thank you. Very much. ♥