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14 May 2008 @ 01:37 am
Worldcup and team EWE, post 2  
Buggeration! Meant to have these up last night and a new set done for today. Um, Sorry! More recs tomorrow (probably).

Best Interests
-- Prompt: the Hierophant, wordcount ~10,000
Harry is horrified when, straight after the death of Andromeda Tonks, Draco and Narcissa insist on their rights as Teddy Lupin's closest blood relatives being recognised. At least, he's horrified at first ...
This smoothly plotted fic is wholly believable. The characters are beautifully drawn, especially a very cool and clever Susan Bones, and their relationships evolve logically in response to the events we see. I found the tone of this author's writing exceptionally appealing, and convincing. There are even legal jokes!

"Malfoy," Susan stuck her arm between them. Malfoy took her hand and shook it. "Damn, I was hoping it would be Ramakrishnan."

"I've told you time and again," Malfoy drawled. "Vijay's happily married...to tort."

"Well, you can't blame a girl for trying."

It's not giving away the end to say that custody is split, and the opposing parties need to learn to work together. Life in the Manor takes up much of the story, and the compromises made on all sides for Teddy's sake propel much of what happens there. In addition to being an excellent H/D fic, it's also a very cleverly realised story of a modern blended family, and I was stunned when I looked at the wordcount; it backs a mighty amount of development into a reasonably small space.

Black's Blood Curse
-- Prompt: The Empress, Wordcount ~9100
If you ignore everything else I have to say, trot off and read this little charmer of a fic as it is shamefully under-reviewed. Harry turns up on the steps of Malfoy Manor in a panic, Teddy Lupin is gravely ill, and only the blood of a Black can save him.
This card pulled up a number of gorgeous Narcissa interpretations and I have to say that this author fully delivers on that count. She is Imperial, but also just and kind. At her urging, Draco offers his blood and his magic to help his tiny cousin.

The story is set mostly in St Mungo's, which might make for a static tale, but not with the fluid shifts of character that the writer achieves. In a highly charged setting, received views are quickly discarded, and fresh looks taken. Sometimes literally:
"You're staring at me, Mr. Potter," Narcissa said without looking up from her steadfast vigil over her son.

"I was just thinking... you're really a good mother."

"This surprises you?"

"Not anymore."

I loved the ease and assurance with which this writer crafts her tale, I don't think it's giving too much away to say that this was one of several on our team that was written in a very restricted time frame (we were cursed, I tell you! But also deeply fortunate in the team members who dealt with the curse with such resilience!) The relationship that blooms between our two protaganists is born out of physicality, and moves swiftly in that plane, but there is a deep connection written here, too, and written well:
"And what is it about my sleeping form that makes you want to kiss me on the forehead? You know, I do have a mother. She's in charge of the forehead kissing."

The Affairs of Men -- Prompt: The Tower, Worldcount 17,000
Draco is determined to do the right thing in the aftermath of the war, but people are surprisingly unkeen to let him.
After a bid to return to Hogwarts fails, he decamps to Durmstrang, where he meets an unexpected ally and mentor.  Completing school, he settles into a comfortable apprenticeship with the school's Potions Master, one where his skills and smarts are respected, but an unexpected twist sees him back in the UK, and teaching at Hogwarts.  Guess who the Defence Against the Dark Arts Master is? He has this scar ...

This fic covers a broad sweep of years and life in its restrained scope, and yet it doesn't feel rushed, rather like a series of photographs in the album of a friend you've not seen for a few years that are sufficient to catch you up on their lives. As Harry and Draco's relationship develops it feels as though they have come home to each other, a sense that is made literal at the story's end.

What the North Wind Brings
-- Prompt: Swords, Art
This artist's style captures so much in delicate pen and ink strokes. Using a genius interpretation of the prompt, the artist begins with two lonely men in their sparse homes, one not made personal yet, the other being stripped of everything that made it great. The conflict that is at the heart of the H/D relationship is splendidly realised, and its resolution is perfection.

I can't bear to put the next fic at the bottom of a post, so I'll start with it for my next list
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Bubbaabsynthedrinker on May 13th, 2008 04:28 pm (UTC)
I think Team EWE outwrote, outsexied, outcreated and just plain ole won this competition. Of course that's just my opinion! When the stories were posted each day I went to Team EWE first! Thanks to all of your team for their fine, fine work.


blamebramptonblamebrampton on May 15th, 2008 09:29 am (UTC)
Well, clearly we were the most attractive team in terms of physical appearance ...

Thank you so much for your support! I loved seeing your kind, thoughtful reviews on all of the team's fics as the fest went on, you brought a lot of happiness to a lot of tired writers!
Bubbaabsynthedrinker on May 15th, 2008 11:08 am (UTC)

Oh I didn't know that, and leaving the reviews was my pleasure. Thanks again for doing a bang-up job.

Seshetasesheta_66 on May 18th, 2008 05:26 am (UTC)
I'll second those comments. And thanks for the Team kudos. Such awesome compliments. *squishes you*