Log in

30 December 2012 @ 04:15 am
Author: leela_cat
Recipient: novembersnow
Title: ...and with persons even worse
Pairing(s): Harry/Draco
Summary: Someone's killing rentboys in Lower Knockturn, and the case is getting attention from the top. No one at the Ministry wants another Ripper, stalking Knockturn Alley or moving into Muggle London. Harry Potter agrees to go undercover, but can he keep his identity a secret when Draco Malfoy is the rentboy assigned to show him the ropes?
Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer: All Harry Potter characters herein are the property of J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury/Scholastic. No copyright infringement is intended.
Warning(s): * Off-screen minor/original character death *
Epilogue compliant? Nope
Word Count: ~14,560
Author's Notes: November Snowflake, your stories have given me so much pleasure over the years; I hope that this gift helps to repay a little of that. Happy H/D Holidays to you and to everyone else playing and reading in this fest! And especially to the mods, who have given us so many gifts over the years, and to my betas, who are a treasure beyond price.

"He consorted with prostitutes and poets...and with persons even worse."
― Jorge Luis Borges, Collected Fictions

( ...and with persons even worse )
Nennenenne on December 30th, 2012 11:49 am (UTC)
I would like to know more about the significans of the first name use.

This is a good story!
Leela: Harry/Draco - calmleela_cat on January 22nd, 2013 12:46 am (UTC)
Interesting. I thought it was fairly clear in the story, where Harry was casting the spell, that it was about Harry's feelings for Draco.

Glad you enjoyed it! Thank you for reading and commenting.
hazel_wandhazel_wand on December 30th, 2012 01:13 pm (UTC)
Aww, good rent boy fics are a guilty pleasure of mine, and I enjoyed this one a lot. Draco's POV was especially well done. I would have liked a little more exposition at the end about the significance of Harry using Draco's name in the spell - does he have to care about him in order for the spell to work? The identity of the killer surprised me!
Leela: Harry/Draco - calmleela_cat on January 22nd, 2013 12:47 am (UTC)
Thank you so much. I'm glad I was able to fulfill your guilty pleasure.

And, no, he didn't have to care about Draco, just be honest about his feelings. :)
Faithfaithwood on December 30th, 2012 06:22 pm (UTC)
This fic has such a quiet, heavy feel to it that fits perfectly with the world you're describing. It's probably sad that I expect rentboy fics to be light and fun, and there was some playful dialogue at the beginning there, so I assumed. What I'm saying is that this was a pleasant surprise. I love the way you unobtrusively tugged at my heartstrings.

I loved your characterizations. I loved that Draco recognized Harry. And I loved, loved, loved the ending.

"I still can't let you save me," Draco said.

"Can I help you save yourself?"

Oh yes, yes! Exactly perfect.
Leela: Harry/Draco - calmleela_cat on January 22nd, 2013 12:49 am (UTC)
Thank you! I'm glad the more serious tone of the story worked so well for you. It was a chance, but I couldn't write it any other way.

And so glad you liked the ending. I couldn't imagine Draco not wanting to save himself, you know?

oakstone730: pic#118166040oakstone730 on December 30th, 2012 06:49 pm (UTC)
Loved this story - so very well written and a great premise. My favorite part is Draco not wanting to be saved and coming to Harry on his own terms - and Harry's acceptances of his conditions.
Leela: Harry/Draco - calmleela_cat on January 22nd, 2013 12:50 am (UTC)
Thank you so much. Very glad you liked the ending.
Minxie: Other Beach Footprintsthe_minx_17 on December 30th, 2012 07:22 pm (UTC)
This is so very well done. Them magic, the relationships, the mystery. All of it comes together to form a beautiful picture.

Thanks for sharing, Mystery Critter!
Leela: Harry/Draco - calmleela_cat on January 22nd, 2013 12:51 am (UTC)
♥ you for all your help with this.
celya: firecelya on December 30th, 2012 07:56 pm (UTC)
great story! i'm also left wondering what having to use the first name means... i really liked their interactions, and the way they behaved before versus after draco found out harry's identity. it all made me want moremoremore :)
Leela: Harry/Draco - calmleela_cat on January 22nd, 2013 12:52 am (UTC)
Thank you so much. I'm so glad you enjoyed the story.

As for the name, it was just Harry being required to be honest about his feelings for the magic to work.
jm9001: pic#119505408jm9001 on December 30th, 2012 08:04 pm (UTC)
Wonderful, wonderful read. I love the quiet, slow, almost gentle tone to this fic. I'm always wary of stories where Harry saves defenceless Draco, so I was immensely in love with the way that Draco recognized (and Harry respected) that he has to save himself. The scene with Lavender just about broke my heart. It was beautiful and sad and poor, poor Lavender, but I'm so glad she has people like Draco and Harry who love her and trust her.
"I know, Lavender," Griff said. "I know you wouldn't do anything like that. Not ever."
Oh fine, I totally teared up at that.
Leela: Harry/Draco - calmleela_cat on January 22nd, 2013 12:53 am (UTC)
Thank you! I'm so glad you liked all these things about the story, but especially the smaller moments like the one with Lavender.
E McGee: Melusinamelusinahp on December 30th, 2012 08:51 pm (UTC)
I really enjoyed this. Your writing was very powerful and completely absorbed me. I loved your characterisation of everyone, especially Harry and Draco. I imagine that Harry's use of Draco's first name demonstrated an intimacy in his feelings for Draco that gave the spell the poet to work.

I like that you didn't sanitise sex work, but also allowed the workers their agency. And I also loved that you had Draco figure out who Harry was early on without dragging it out. Their relationship progressed in a lovely, subtle way that settled in my heart. And like the other commenters, I like that Draco went to Harry not wanting to be saved by him again.

Edited at 2012-12-31 04:28 pm (UTC)
Leela: Harry/Draco - calmleela_cat on January 22nd, 2013 12:54 am (UTC)
Thank you so much. And, yes, that intimacy is exactly what I was trying to convey with the first name. The magic wouldn't allow Harry to lie about his feelings for Draco.

I'm so very glad that you appreciated the non-sanitised sex work. I worried about that a little, but couldn't imagine writing the story any other way.
fantasyfiend09: Rain Postcard Red Rahlfantasyfiend09 on December 30th, 2012 09:40 pm (UTC)
I loved this. Adored it. I want to know who you are!

You handled the subject matter, neither glorifying or dramatising the murder or prostitution. I especially like that you showed Harry's own experience only through the after-taste. It was visceral but not gratuitous. The crime was well done so that I was left guessing until the reveal.

The ending was so well done. You left it open to the reader to imagine what we chose, but were clear that Draco would be the deciding agent in his own life.
Leela: Harry/Draco - calmleela_cat on January 22nd, 2013 12:58 am (UTC)
Thank you!

So glad that you enjoyed this story and the ending, and especially the handling of prostitution. I worried about that a little, I have to admit.
shameful_desire: Censoredshameful_desire on December 30th, 2012 11:12 pm (UTC)
I love Rentboy!Draco and the mystery was great. There’s a few things I wish were explained a bit more but I still enjoyed this fic quite a bit.
Leela: Harry/Draco - calmleela_cat on January 22nd, 2013 12:58 am (UTC)
Thank you so much for reading and for comments. So glad you enjoyed the story.
slashedsilverslashedsilver on December 31st, 2012 09:05 am (UTC)
This was amazing. I feel like I could have read 10k more of this rentboy fic. I love so much about this -- the mystery of the murders, how Draco realised so quickly that it was Harry under the disguise, how he didn't follow Harry immediately into his happily ever after. Just little twists that made your fic just a bit different, and even more amazing for it. I love how Harry and Draco interacted, especially over Lavender's attack.

I liked this line: "Don't worry about them," Draco said, hoping he wasn't making promises that Griff wouldn't be able to keep. "They're not going to come anywhere near you until you're ready."

There was just something about the trust he had for Griff, even though he didn't know who he was, that gave me the warm shivers.
Leela: Harry/Draco - calmleela_cat on January 22nd, 2013 01:08 am (UTC)
Thank you so much. I'm very glad that you enjoyed the story and that the twists and the ways that they trusted each other, even when Draco didn't know who Harry was, worked for you.
besamislabios: navidadbesamislabios on December 31st, 2012 09:17 am (UTC)
Oh I completely loved the ending! I loved the plot and your writing, the way Draco figures out it's Harry, the progression of their relationship. Super lovely. :)
Leela: Harry/Draco - calmleela_cat on January 22nd, 2013 01:08 am (UTC)
Thank you so much for reading and for letting me know that you liked the story.
Jocelyn Lavin: new utd hatgroolover on December 31st, 2012 01:34 pm (UTC)
This was really good :-)
Leela: Harry/Draco - calmleela_cat on January 22nd, 2013 01:11 am (UTC)
Thank you!
aline_daryen: best enemiesaline_daryen on December 31st, 2012 06:46 pm (UTC)
I love rentboy fics with next to no smut :-) The characterizations were really good and the lack of tedious explanations as to who did what and why felt refreshing, it added to the gritty, laconic atmosphere IMO. In short, excellent read!
Leela: Harry/Draco - calmleela_cat on January 22nd, 2013 01:39 am (UTC)
Thank you so much! I'm very glad you enjoyed the story.
ICMezzo: pic#114764502icmezzo on December 31st, 2012 11:44 pm (UTC)
Well done! I really enjoyed your story! :)
Leela: Harry/Draco - calmleela_cat on January 22nd, 2013 01:39 am (UTC)
Thank you!
Pureblood Princessraitala on January 1st, 2013 07:30 pm (UTC)
Thanks, I enjoyed this story. I liked how you managed to avoid glamourising prostitution and give the characters who were sex workers their own agency, even when they were clearly being taken advantage of.
Leela: Harry/Draco - calmleela_cat on January 22nd, 2013 01:41 am (UTC)
Thank you so much. It's such a relief to know that people enjoyed this not-pretty-woman look at prostitution.
November Snowflake: snowflakesnovembersnow on January 2nd, 2013 04:05 am (UTC)
Oh, mystery author, I enjoyed this SO MUCH!

My glee when I realized someone had written me rentboy!fic was a thing to behold. And my glee when I realized it was, in a way, DOUBLE rentboy!fic...well, let's just say there may have been literal hand flailing. :D

I loved the flashes of humor, and how very Harry your Harry is. I loved that Draco was still very much Draco, even in his reduced circumstances, and that he was sharp enough to identify Harry through his disguise. I loved how they were able to relate to each other as adults--to trust in and respect each other. And I was fascinated by your vision of a post-war world in which so many down-on-their-luck young people have been driven to prostitution--and particularly into one of several pure-blood "stables"--so I'd be fascinated to learn more about your thinking behind that.

This really was such a pleasure to read. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Leela: Harry/Draco - calmleela_cat on January 22nd, 2013 01:42 am (UTC)
Yay. I was so incredibly relieved and joyful when I saw this comment. You have no idea. Comments are always wonderful, but yours was just the best ever.

So glad you enjoyed the story and that it hit the things you liked in rentboy fics and in Harry and Draco.


Verde~...: drarry1azrim_midori on January 3rd, 2013 02:58 am (UTC)
So, so good! I enjoy every minute of this story, with every character, and the mistery and over everything the development between Draco and Harry, I love it, and the end, oh that perfect ending! Amazing work, really beautiful.
Leela: Harry/Draco - calmleela_cat on January 22nd, 2013 01:43 am (UTC)
Thank you so much. I'm so glad that you enjoyed so much about the story, especially the ending.
Geoviki: OTP - Lichtensteingeoviki on January 4th, 2013 02:05 am (UTC)
This was so well written, and like so many others here, I'm a big fan of rentboy fic. Although many folks here have asked about the significance of the first name, I have been reading so much Japanese yaoi that it slotted right into their trope of first names=very special relationship. Are you a fan as well, o mystery writer?
Leela: Harry/Draco - calmleela_cat on January 22nd, 2013 01:45 am (UTC)
I was honestly surprised that so many people didn't get that trope. I have read some yaoi in the past, so casual fan?

Thank you so much. I'm so glad you enjoyed this story.
daemonic: yunjaedoubledaemoncas5 on January 4th, 2013 09:00 am (UTC)
It was a pleasure to read, MA. I love the characterization, and the ending which is felt real for me and not forced. The bussiness in Knockturn and the way the law dealt with is written precisely by my preference, not quite black and white. Love it♥ BRAVA!
Leela: Harry/Draco - calmleela_cat on January 22nd, 2013 01:59 am (UTC)
Thank you so much. So glad that the ending, the characterisation and the world in which they live came across so well.
Appleling: Appleling icon2appleling on January 4th, 2013 09:36 am (UTC)
Yay! Flangsty rentboy fics have always been a guilty pleasure of mine and this one was perfect! There was something about the tone used that was warm and soothing, despite the murder mystery plot. It was quiet and slow... and yet heavy with feelings (but not in an overly dramatic way) and plot. It was beautifully written! I loved the way you handled the plot and the subject of prostitution - that you didn't glorify rentboys and the sex work they do and you didn't dramatise it either. I loved that Draco was the one to eventually figure out Harry's true identity. I loved that Draco didn't want to let Harry save him (even if I do agree with Carl, that it was pretty stupid of him to refuse help like that) because it showed he was still same prideful boy he has always been. Well, almost the same prideful boy. Seriously, this....was made of all kinds of wonderful! Definitely one of my top favourites for this hdhols.
Leela: Harry/Draco - calmleela_cat on January 22nd, 2013 02:01 am (UTC)
Maybe it was stupid of Draco to refuse the help, but I think he'll do better if he can do it himself rather than having it done for him.

Thank you so much. I'm so very glad you liked this story and let me know.
welcome to villa cariño!capitu on January 4th, 2013 12:11 pm (UTC)
I so loved this story. I loved how Draco kept having this hints of recognition about who Harry was until he realised for sure, well of course! He had been watching him for years, yeah? I loved the characterizations of them, Harry was perfect, and Draco, but the rest too. I loved that it felt real, the mystery about the murderers, and that ending! That ending was simple perfect. I enjoyed this so very much. Thank you!
Leela: Harry/Draco - calmleela_cat on January 22nd, 2013 02:02 am (UTC)
Thank you! Harry and Draco know each other so well; it seemed wrong for Draco not to recognise Harry.

So glad you enjoyed the story.
i can see your house from herewho_la_hoop on January 4th, 2013 02:22 pm (UTC)
This was an enjoyable read - I liked the quiet tone of it, and the lack of angst at Draco's career, and how the sex workers were like a family. The last few lines were great - I'm a sucker for a character saving themselves, rather than being saved.
Leela: Harry/Draco - calmleela_cat on January 22nd, 2013 02:02 am (UTC)
Thank you so much. I'm really glad you enjoyed the story and the ending. :)
Snape's Angel: lightningangela_snape on January 5th, 2013 05:32 am (UTC)
This was really good. I do enjoy a good mystery!
Leela: Harry/Draco - calmleela_cat on January 22nd, 2013 02:02 am (UTC)
Thank you! <3
glorafin: recent HDglorafin on January 5th, 2013 08:58 pm (UTC)
Haven't read this yet, but you already won me over with the Borges quote. :)
Leela: Harry/Draco - calmleela_cat on January 22nd, 2013 02:03 am (UTC)
Cool. Hope the story lived up to the quote. :)