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13 December 2012 @ 11:23 pm
Author: pir8fancier
Recipient: jamie2109
Title: Eye of the Beholder
Word Count: 22,450
Rating: R
Disclaimer: All Harry Potter characters herein are the property of J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury/Scholastic. No copyright infringement is intended.
Warning: Sexual acts occur between consenting adults
Summary: Draco Malfoy has written an explosive autobiography. Not only does lay bare his role as a Death Eater, he also makes a number of other shocking revelations. Harry Potter owls him, asking that they meet for drinks to discuss his novel.
Author’s Notes: For jamie2109, who requested the following: bottom Draco, some angst with some romance, and a happy ending. Hope I hit all your requests. Enjoy! I’d like to thank my beta, who shall remain nameless for now. Much appreciated, my dear!

( Eye of the Beholder )
Mab: Emily in thoughtmab on December 14th, 2012 09:41 am (UTC)
This fic is mesmerizing! It captured me from the start and is hands down my favorite fic of hols to date! I really enjoyed the first person narrative. I love Draco's voice in this and how he's grown from the boy we knew in canon. Harry broke my heart. I love the open ending you left off with. The whole experience was oodles of fun and full of all the feels.

And Guh ... the sex ... fan-bloody-tastic!
pir8fancier on January 23rd, 2013 05:30 am (UTC)
I love Draco's voice in this and how he's grown from the boy we knew in canon

I think that this is potentially the flaw with first-person POV because if the author's "voice" isn't how you, the reader, "hears" him, then all is sunk. But it's also an excellent way to get that intimacy we need to see the now-grown man who used to be that rather awful brat.

The whole experience was oodles of fun and full of all the feels.

(Deleted comment)
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(no subject) - pir8fancier on January 23rd, 2013 05:29 am (UTC) (Expand)
omi_ohmy: Winter branchesomi_ohmy on December 14th, 2012 10:50 am (UTC)
I love being surprised by a fic, and this story has surprised me in so many ways. The use of first person is startling but it works so very well, the phrasing is adept and more anything, I feel like I've had hte chance to burrow into Draco's soul. There was a moment when he puts down his drink, for fear of breaking the glass, and it was perfect. It summed up how nervous he was, how close to the edge, and at the same time his years of life experience, his ability to control himself. Draco was such a marvellous contradiction of all these things: cast-iron control, maturity, yet at the same time an inability to understand himself emotionally, a little removed from his life beyond the superficial aspects of it.

The pairings were new and unexpected, yet somehow I was happy to accept them all. It felt like I experienced Draco's surprise alongside him. I liked how none of the relationships were easy, how nothing was taken as a certainty. This was a masterful portrayal of an older Draco, and I loved it.
pir8fancier on January 23rd, 2013 05:28 am (UTC)
I feel like I've had hte chance to burrow into Draco's soul.

I don't think that every character works in first person POV. I couldn't write Harry in first person to save my life. But Draco works for me for precisely this reason. This is a character that we only see from Harry's limited POV for seven books, so in order for the reader to attain an emotional intimacy with him, I think it works better for me to write in him first person. It's doesn't work for a lot of readers.

This was a masterful portrayal of an older Draco, and I loved

Thank you so much!

jamie2109: H/D - Draco captivatingjamie2109 on December 14th, 2012 12:39 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for this! I thoroughly enjoyed it. Draco was lovely and I enjoyed his characterisation but it was a shame we rarely saw Harry as we had no time to get to know him. But Draco was a gem and I thank you sincerely for that. <3
pir8fancier on January 23rd, 2013 05:26 am (UTC)
I do apologize for leaving Harry a litlte vague. I have a hard time getting a handle on him, especially since Draco's voice is a tad loud in my head. Hope it scratched all your other itches! Best wishes for the New Year!
Appleling: Appleling icon1appleling on December 14th, 2012 03:46 pm (UTC)
Guh... *glazed eyes* I can't find words good enough to express my utmost squee at...ALL THIS. I don't know what to say, except: THIS IS MY MOST FAVOURITE EPILOGUE COMPLIANT FIC TO DATE!!

Edited at 2012-12-14 03:54 pm (UTC)
pir8fancier on January 23rd, 2013 05:25 am (UTC)
What a nice thing to say. Thank you so much!
Marianne: defaulteidheann_writes on December 14th, 2012 04:14 pm (UTC)


I don't even... This was amazing. I adored Astoria. Draco broke my heart. Harry was so wonderful... Guh, everything about this was... I don't even have words.

pir8fancier on January 23rd, 2013 05:24 am (UTC)
Thank you!
robinellen: owlrobinellen on December 14th, 2012 06:56 pm (UTC)
Great story! I love how it's realistic and still sweet -- how they fit despite the uncertainties. I love how both of them find what they're truly looking for (and needing) in each other. I think your supporting characters are also well-done. I like how you take aspects of canon characters and really flesh out their possibilities (I often wonder if Hermione would become a huge nag and how Ron could ever stand that, for instance). Well done all around! :)
pir8fancier on January 23rd, 2013 05:24 am (UTC)
I'm stupidly wedded to canon (only up to a point, obviously), so yeah, I have to write them as they are presented and they put on those slash goggles!

I often wonder if Hermione would become a huge nag and how Ron could ever stand that, for instance).

I wrote a Hermione/Draco fic that looks at Hermione and Ron's relationship a couple of decades down the road. It's terribly sad, but I can't see it happening any other way (and not that I tried to demonize Ron at all, because I actually like Ron a tremendous amount). It's call "The Politician's Wife" if you're interested.

e.: tie the ocean to your kneesmadeofsequins on December 14th, 2012 06:59 pm (UTC)
Utterly fantastic.
pir8fancier on January 23rd, 2013 05:21 am (UTC)
Thank you!
germankitty: hp makeovergermankitty on December 14th, 2012 07:39 pm (UTC)
I'm usually not a fan of first-person stories, but your Draco captured me pretty early on. I love the way how honest he is with himself and others -- and how Astoria isn't bedeviled. He goes through an emotional period in his life, and is taking the reader along over every bump and dip.

I'm also not particularly fond of open endings, but you imbued it with just enough hope to make it bearable.

Wonderful job, mystery author!
pir8fancier on January 23rd, 2013 05:21 am (UTC)
Yeah, I know it's problematic for a lot of people. But this is the way I hear him in my head. I've gotten to the point where I can't write him any other way. Thanks for sticking with it!
(no subject) - germankitty on January 24th, 2013 07:49 am (UTC) (Expand)
Truthful Plum Logical Horsemegyal on December 14th, 2012 09:30 pm (UTC)
Really enjoyed Draco's voice and his POV; also loved the pairings!
pir8fancier on January 23rd, 2013 05:20 am (UTC)
Thank you!
call me trys: me myself and Itryslora on December 14th, 2012 10:08 pm (UTC)
I think my favorite moment had to be when Scorpius and Draco were talking, with the whole "That'd be a bit rich" statement. Lovely fic, very well done. Kudos!
pir8fancier on January 23rd, 2013 05:20 am (UTC)
Yeah, I loved writing that scene. It just basically wrote itself. Thanks!
welcome to villa cariño!capitu on December 15th, 2012 12:03 am (UTC)

This was wonderful. I loved it. I couldn't stop reading it. I loved to see this side of Draco, the changes from the boy he was to the man he became. I loved this view of Draco and Astoria's marriage. I loved her, how you wrote her and gave her such an important part of the man he turned to be. I loved how much he tried for Scorpius.

You have been a wonderful father. He might not recognize it now, but I believe he will eventually.”

And I can see that. It's not just a line there, you wrote it just so that I can see one day Scorpius will know this and be thankful and admire Draco.

I loved Harry. The bastard. He was perfect. I loved that he was twice the bastard, first for even thinking and planning what he did, and then for having those damn eyes and wearing his heart on them.

The sex, well, damnit! It wasn't even about the smut, but it was sexy, and meaningful, and touching and intense. You surprised me. You surprised me with Harry and with Draco, because neither acted as I thought. I mean, it didn't happen what I thought it would, at the end it did, but in a different way, a better way, a more interesting way. Loved that.

And that ending! It went perfectly with the fic. This was truly a joy to read. Thank you for this amazing ride.
pir8fancier on January 23rd, 2013 05:20 am (UTC)
You have been a wonderful father. He might not recognize it now, but I believe he will eventually

I think that as the reader, we really DO need to believe that because it's precisely why I think Draco is redeemable or, more to the point, why he is capable of redeeming himself.

bernerbaer: pic#119359574bernerbaer on December 15th, 2012 12:04 am (UTC)
Now, this is the real thing. A grown up HD fic for grown ups. Because even though we might be hopeless romantics (we love fanfic, what more to say), life is just fucking complicated. You managed to somehow do both at the same time, be mature and starry eyed at the same time.
pir8fancier on January 23rd, 2013 05:18 am (UTC)
Wow, what a WONDERFUL compliment. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
fantasyfiend09: Rain Postcard Red Rahlfantasyfiend09 on December 15th, 2012 02:11 am (UTC)
Wow. That was quite an emotional journey I just went through in Draco's shoes. I usually prefer 3rd person, but the narrative was perfect for this story. You took us inside Draco's heart and mind so that we experienced his feelings as if they were our own. I think I need a drink.

The thing that struck me most about this story was the realism. Your characters were flawed and they hurt each other, but they were trying. They were working hard to make their imperfect relationships work. It was both sad and hopeful. I like how you left this open because life does not offer any promises.

This was a beautiful and thoughtful story.
fantasyfiend09: Rain Postcard Red Rahlfantasyfiend09 on December 16th, 2012 12:48 am (UTC)
The next day, I am still thinking about this story. I loved the way Draco divided his hate mail between those with reason to hate him and bigots not worth his time. I loved his little speech to Harry about being normal. I also loved that your depiction of marriage is so much more complex than simply love or lust. I was so happy that the difference between Harry's relationship with Ginny and his one with Draco was more than genitalia. Epilogue-compliant H/D fics are not satisfying for me if the only thing Draco has over Ginny is a penis. I want to feel that it's about who Draco is, not just what's between his legs and how flat his chest is.

As I said, this is beautiful and thoughtful.
(no subject) - pir8fancier on January 23rd, 2013 05:17 am (UTC) (Expand)
calmnla: pansiescalmnla on December 15th, 2012 07:05 pm (UTC)
Draco is rueful in his reflections. Honesty is his new middle name. I am intrigued that not only did we see him reflecting on the distance between his childhood self and his adult-who-actually-lucked-out self, but to my surprise we got to see him reflecting on all that was wrong with that adult life as he moved into a better one. Such a well-done middle-aged life shift. It is true, many people marry their opposites and learn what can be learned from each other, but then meet someone similar to themselves in mid-life. That used to be the stuff of tragedies. Now that it is possible to divorce and still become President or Minister for Magic and so on, this is just the stuff of stories of true love, intrepid emotional adventures, and coming to terms with balding.

I want to acknowledge the gems scattered throughout the adventure you give us. Draco seeing the end of the Malfoy line. Eh. Draco being reminded of childhood friend at dinner table when dragon babies are feeding. Draco's wise words about alcohol overuse, and how he knows what he is talking about - and Lucius was not a CHEAP drunk! The decor Astoria provided. The morning interaction between Astoria and Draco. I don't mean to sound like a storyboard, and so though I could go on, I won't. It's just that I feel I learned some useful ideas about being human, and those came from you. So thanks for those.
pir8fancier on January 23rd, 2013 05:15 am (UTC)
There is a point, it's at different times for different people, but I would say that in my late 30's I came to grips with many relationships in my life. At a certain point it's not like you have a bunch of epiphanies. It's more that you have enough of life's experiences under your belt that you gain insight into yourself and others. It's both a relief and a burden (sometimes a little innocence and self-delusion is very welcome). It really is about coming to terms with being bald. That as good a metaphor as any! Thanks!
emrys_mk: baby harry - destinyemrys_mk on December 15th, 2012 08:01 pm (UTC)
It took me a while to get into this fic--the first person narrative wasn't keeping my interest--but then it went from palatable to delicious in less than a second. I LOVED this story you told us. Completely! I adored all the details about Astoria and Draco's marriage: how they made it work despite Draco's being gay and how Scorpius and Draco had their problems. I really liked the idea of Draco writing a book that was the catalyst for both him and Scorpius beginning to mend their fences and Harry and him getting together. And might I add that I absolutely melted when Draco had his epiphany about not being able to play Harry. The conversation with Astoria after Draco and Harry's night together was sad and made me want to cry, but it rang so very true. This story is going on my rec list!
pir8fancier on January 23rd, 2013 05:11 am (UTC)
Lots of people don't like first-person POV. Thank you for sticking with it.

The conversation with Astoria after Draco and Harry's night together was sad and made me want to cry,

Me, too.
something clever: Omshantismurf on December 15th, 2012 08:47 pm (UTC)
Often I've found myself lately feeling a sense of lacking when I read a lot of hd fanfiction. I'm longing for a sense of reality to characters and interactions that is too often glossed over with creative spells and sex scenes (I am woefully guilty of this in my writing too, so I am not judging). Here, with this, dear mystery author, I have found the answer to my longings. Your Draco's hard-earned self-awareness was so very refreshing. I especially appreciated the honest and open-ended conclusion. It was the perfect ending.

I really enjoyed hearing this story from Draco's perspective, and you handled first person quite well. I especially enjoyed the passages where he was relating the words or actions of another, or when he was telling Harry what he'd do to him. He sounded like a romance novelist! It was brilliant! The only point where I felt the first person broke down a little was after his confession to Astoria, when he lost control. I suddenly felt like I was watching him sob and not fully feeling his conflict and anguish.

I think I might understand why you left the pairings and warnings on the header incomplete. I honestly don't think I would have read this if I'd known it was epilogue compliant, and contained infidelity, and it would have been my loss! Thank you for this!!

Edited at 2012-12-15 08:51 pm (UTC)
pir8fancier on January 23rd, 2013 05:10 am (UTC)
I'm longing for a sense of reality to characters and interactions that is too often glossed over with creative spells and sex scenes

But this is why I find epilogue compliant fics so compelling to write. Because truly life is so fucking messy. And these characters have unfathomable loss, destruction of innocence, betrayal, etc. to shoulder. This is what defines their childhood. Should they as adults be asbestos to this history? I can't leave them there. Of course neither do I condemn them for all their messiness. I wouldn't like a Harry that is sanguine about ending a marriage to a women he honestly loves but can't stay married to. I can't think of a single relationship that has ended in divorce where the people weren't saddened in the most awful way. That there was so much to lose and they couldn't hold on to what they had even thought they wanted to with everything they had. In Draco's case he refused to hold on because the cost of losing was so dear.

I know that infidelity is a real squick for people but I think that we can write these characters so that it's not so much a squick as it is a sad, sad thing that no one wants to happen and yet it does. This is what makes tension in a story and what makes it "real." We all hurt those we love, even when we try to do everything we can to NOT hurt them.
somehow socially inept...: branches d'arbredifferente on December 15th, 2012 11:55 pm (UTC)
Really, really good... I'm sitting on my sofa, happy and content.
Also, the first person POV is excellent (as usual, if I'm not wrong on who the mysterious author is...)
pir8fancier on January 23rd, 2013 05:02 am (UTC)
Not very surprising, I'm afraid. Not many people write first-person Draco. Thanks!
alovelycupoftea: Teaalovelycupoftea on December 16th, 2012 10:32 am (UTC)
I really really liked this. Thank you!
pir8fancier on January 23rd, 2013 05:01 am (UTC)
Leela: Solemnly swearleela_cat on December 16th, 2012 06:16 pm (UTC)
Enjoyed this story very much. Thank you!
pir8fancier on January 23rd, 2013 05:01 am (UTC)
Thanks, my dear. Much appreciated1
Karmabella Zephyrsparkle Nott: HP Draco - thinking about killing Dumblekaraz on December 16th, 2012 07:04 pm (UTC)
There is no way I'm wrong about who I think wrote this. This is your grown-up Draco and I missed him so much! I love that he is an adult in the way few fics let him. He knows and accepts himself for who he was and has become. There were several times I had to stop reading and give thought to how well canon could grow into this.

JKR says Draco was good at legilimency because he was very capable at compartmentalizing his life. How true to his characterization to have him putting the sex over here while the wife goes over there. It was the perfect illustration of how this all fell down when he brought Harry back to his wife's home.

I know how you feel about Hermione and Ron so I wasn't surprised to see them depicted this way but you did get me with the Astoria's bombshell. My jaw actually dropped. Well done! I'm a little squicked by the age difference in Scorpius' pairing - it must be nearly 30 years - but I applauded Draco for accepting it as a done deal in effort to show Scorpius his support.

Lastly, I really like how messy the whole thing with Harry was - he's a man who has only had this one family and has rarely put his own happiness before anyone he loves. It would be almost impossible to leave Ginny completely. I suspect the only way this guilt and clinging will end is when and if Ginny is ready to move on. I do feel for Draco because I think he is the one with the most to lose if she doesn't.
pir8fancier on January 23rd, 2013 05:01 am (UTC)
shameful_desire: pic#117039058shameful_desire on December 17th, 2012 01:09 am (UTC)
*glomps mystery author* You, dear, are awesome. The ending was superb as was the beginning….and the middle. This definitely deserves a sequel.
pir8fancier on January 23rd, 2013 05:01 am (UTC)
Thank you! I think this might be my last HP fic. Let's just assume that they will have two major fights. Break up for a bit and then get back together, shagging in the rose garden during a rain storm. Wow. That visual is pretty damn awe-inspiring!
ladyf_00 on December 17th, 2012 09:37 am (UTC)
This fic is... beautiful. And maybe every reader means different kind of beatiful, but that doesn't make it any less precious. :)
For me, what makes it so special is that I can believe in this story, I can imagine these characters in real life. And that's really important for me. It wasn't romantic, but at the end, I felt very hopefull and content and I believed that these man would create something very strong and wonderfull. I liked Draco's relationship with Scorpius and with his wife, his opinion of Ron Weasley and his marriage. And his feelings for Harry... Well, I think I can't even describe how much this fic touched me.
pir8fancier on January 23rd, 2013 04:59 am (UTC)
I can imagine these characters in real life. And that's really important for me. It wasn't romantic, but at the end, I felt very hopefull and content and I believed that these man would create something very strong and wonderfull.

What a wonderful, wonderful compliment. Thank you.
Black Silk: clutchpervyunitwins on December 17th, 2012 07:25 pm (UTC)
This fic has to be some of the most eloquent content I have ever read. It was just so wonderfully written and extremely articulate. It seemed like every sentence, every word was through out and well executed. I loved, loved, loved Draco in this. Poor emotionally immature Draco. And poor unaware Harry. I even liked that it was no in entirely perfect ending but I have hope that they end up together in a more permenent way in the future. I liked how you started h&r story with Rita's excerpt from the Prophet. And I think I know this American bar you spoke of in the story. I might have walked by it a time or two when I was in London last year. And I really liked how Draco had the sudden realization that Harry was it, he was his Dom; rather liked that particular line (also my phone insists upon capitalizing Dom). And isn't Charlie way too old for Scorpius? But I liked that scene in the dragon stables anyway including Draco's threat. I really just loved reading this fic.
pir8fancier on January 23rd, 2013 04:59 am (UTC)
Poor emotionally immature Draco. And poor unaware Harry.

Yes, as I said to someone below. Draco is aware in the ways and Harry is not, and Harry is mature in the ways that Draco is not. They are two pieces of a puzzle.

Oh this is a real bar. It's in the Savoy Hotel. It's MAGNIFICENT.

Charlie is far too old for Scorpius. But then I think Charlie might be chasing his youth and Scorpius is looking for a father figure that he can trust. I see their relationship as a little strange. And I do know a lot of young, young men with older men. It seems to work on a fundamental level that I don't understand. But here at least, they both speak dragon! Thanks!
Pimea Feenix: dark0feenixdark0feenix on December 17th, 2012 10:12 pm (UTC)
I loved this fic so much: the maturity, the hard parts as well as the achingly good parts, all the surprise turns and the secondary pairings. Draco and Harry's budding relationship was beautiful, to use Harry's words, and I loved the way they clicked from the very first moment they got together. And the ending was just the sort of hopeful one I enjoy the most. Just perfect! ♥
pir8fancier on January 23rd, 2013 04:55 am (UTC)
Thank you. I can't see writing them as anything but older. Canon whore that I am. And when you're older, things just aren't as clear cut as when you're much younger. Plus I don't think the challenges that they face are the black and white ones of their youth. As Draco says, it's so complicated. Thank you!