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The (sadly, final) year of the HDS Beltane fest has wrapped up over at[livejournal.com profile] hds_beltane, and I'm going to see if I can get a few recs in before reveals. This fest celebrates any combination of Harry, Draco and Snape, from gen to pre-slash and slash. There is always high quality, inventive and well-written work in this fest, and sometimes it doesn't reach the audience it deserves. Here are my favorites (in posting order) from the other still-anonymous writers and artists.

Art

Memoirs of Beltane (H/D, rated R) with Harry and Draco looking sprightly and pretty against lovely backgrounds.

What the Fires Bring (H/D, rated PG). A tender embrace in Harry's strong brown arms gives the warmth Draco needs.

The Weight of Feathers (H/D, PG-13). This is an epic tale of mystery and veelas, from Blaise's point of view, told through Legos, pictures and text. It's fabulous, funny, and one of a kind. And the Weasleys take Blaise ice-skating. Check out Lego-Pansy's smirk.

Fic

Shag, Don't Speak (H/D, rated R, 3350 words). A very fun and funny H/D and the best take on bonding I've read.

When Harry turned to Snape, he wondered if it was possible to hex portraits instead. Snape looked oddly gleeful, and a happy Snape was not a good sign.

“And did you incorporate Beltane into your, ah, nightly activity?” Snape looked like all his wishes had been granted when he spied Harry’s red cheeks.

“Potter may have been, uh, tied up with Maypole ribbon,” Malfoy muttered quietly, but Snape heard every word.

“Oh, you two truly are idiots,” Snape announced, smiling brightly.

“Oi!” Malfoy protested.

“It isn’t your fault, Draco,” Snape added kindly. “Potter has a habit of spreading his idiocy.”

“Oi!” Harry protested.


(Everyone Wants the) Happy Ending (H/D, NC-17, 37,500 words). A very original, creative and fun H/D - mysterious things are going on at Hogwarts 8th year (when Harry is unhappily enrolled in Auror training but can't resist visiting his friends at Hogwarts), but only Harry and Draco seem to notice or care. (Everyone else seems blissed out and high and goofy.) Magic gone haywire, math, arithmancy, difficult interspecies communication signaled by really pretty curlicue scripts, and Harry and Draco finding out what (and who) they love.

No Gracious Influence Shed (H/D/S, NC-17, 27,000). A deeply determined Draco trying to save his ill lover, Snape - even if it means dragging that Potter out of his secluded life among Muggles. Very well-written.

An Owl-keeper and a Kingmaker ("a subtle Harry Potter/Draco Malfoy development, starring Teddy Lupin and featuring a cameo by Severus Snape", PG, 4300 words). This is hilarious and thoughtful. The central relationship here is the friendship between Draco and a grown Teddy, who is scraping by as an owl-keeper (whose owls are on strike) under a dreadful new government. Also, it's sort of a tour of British biscuits.

After breakfast, Teddy decided to curl into a ball on the floor and be miserable. The weather was damp. Everything was awful. The owls were eating only this one special kind of owl food that he sure wasn't going to be able to afford with his Gringotts bank account balance if they kept striking. He was an independent contractor for the Postal Office. They didn't pay him those meagre Knuts for nothing.

*****
As a child, Teddy had thought Cousin Draco to be a man of marvellous mirth. He was spectacular. Always keen to indulge Teddy's cravings for a game of Exploding Snap or a ride on a tiny broomstick that safely hovered just above ground. And although Draco always showed up in clothes just a tad more posh and smart than Harry's, he was a much better sport about crawling on his knees in the dirt or getting paint and crayon smudges all over his crisp white sleeves. Later, as a Hogwarts student, Teddy learned to appreciate Cousin Draco as a man of singular learning, someone who was comfortable explaining spells and the intersectionality of magical discipline in a more approachable and grounded manner than, say, the great luminary of mutual acquaintance, Hermione Granger.

He was witty, he could be mean, and he generally reminded Teddy of a knife blunted by inappropriate use: its handle still gilded and fancy, but with the blade left chipped and rounded through the vagaries of time and grim experiences.


The rain has gone (I can see clearly now) ("Gen, implied future Drarry" but Snape-centric, PG-13, 3300). Snape as a ghost must face the many people he'd angered before he can find peace. Original, uncompromising, interesting and well-written.

Hostes in Aeternum (Eternal Enemies) (H/D, rated light R, 44,500 words). Long plotty well-researched story, much of it set in the 14th century with the medieval counterparts of our HP characters on a quest. The scars of homophobia and an old feud explained and finally overcome.

The Fine Old Truth (H/D, rated R, 9680 words). Harry and Draco meet again at the St. Pancras Hotel for Venerable and Genteel Greyheads, aka Geezers. By turns funny, poignant, sexy, thoughtful. Really splendidly done, mature story. Life's sometimes painful but not over yet, especially when you unexpectedly find a companion for the ride.

fizzing whizzbees and a cunning plan (H/D, PG, 4500). Spectacularly well-written, witty, inventive and densely packed - read it twice for full effect. Draco and Harry are teaching (and shagging) at Hogwarts, the Ministry is awful, Draco has a plan, and everything seems to be at risky cross-purposes. Here's the opening:

These are the things Draco has at his disposal: one box of Fizzing Whizzbees, one bottle of Arbour Gold, and one soon-to-be-coherent workmate inclined to be distracted.

This is the task at hand: co-opt one solitary classroom on the far side of Hogwarts without attracting undue attention until the appointed hour.

It is perhaps unfair of him to have in mind this particular combination — he suspects he’ll be hearing about this one for ages, suspects it’ll be years yet before he’s lived it down — but he fancies himself the sort of resourceful that survives a war from all the wrong sides of it, survives despite a slew of reasons he shouldn’t have.


With Your Eyes Turned Skyward (H/D preslash, PG-13, 15,000 words). Gorgeous story, some incredibly moving scenes, many kinds of difference, many losses (physical and emotional), enough courage and inventiveness and love to keep going. Especially moving scenes with (my favorite ever) Astoria and with Scorpius. Includes a couple of beautiful pictures of Veela!Draco.

There are of course other worthy fics and pix - the reveals will be out soon, but you can find a round-up list of the first half of the fest here, and the second half here.
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