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04 December 2008 @ 07:01 pm
Happy H/D Holidays, bewarethesmirk!  
Author: _pinkchocolate
Recipient: bewarethesmirk
Title: Out From Under
Pairing(s): Harry/Draco, Draco/Astoria
Summary: When Draco catches Potter in a compromising position, he reacts in a way only a true Slytherin would.
Rating: NC-17
Disclaimer: All Harry Potter characters herein are the property of J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury/Scholastic. No copyright infringement is intended.
Warning(s): Infidelity, dub-con
Epilogue compliant? No
Word Count: ~17k
Author's Notes: Dear bewarethesmirk, I couldn’t decide between this fic and another one, but nqdonne assured me that secretary!Draco would be more appropriate than unending angst. Hopefully I managed to hit on a few of your requests and avoid your squicks. I hope you have a wonderful holiday season! Huge thanks to my many betas for putting up with me through the tumultuous writing process.

( Out From Under )
i must be fine cos my heart's still beatingpornography on December 6th, 2008 08:43 am (UTC)
dracofienddracofiend on December 6th, 2008 09:49 am (UTC)
Really fantastic! I love how you characterized them, the dialogue--they were older, clearly adults, but still fun, and still working on being responsible! :D I found the underlying power play vibe to be perfect, perfectly pitched, because the tone never got intensely dark, and yet, you kept that fascination element that mental/emotional manipulation brings. I loved it.
secretsolitairesecretsolitaire on December 6th, 2008 10:36 pm (UTC)
Fabulous! Such an interesting dynamic between Harry and Draco here.
azoulas on December 7th, 2008 02:45 am (UTC)
SFirresistableplx on December 7th, 2008 09:36 am (UTC)
\o/ yay no angst !
a happy new year to draco indeed ^^~
Daisy-chama: Golden Compass - compassdaisy_chan on December 7th, 2008 06:40 pm (UTC)
Oh my. I have... rather mixed feelings about this fic.
First of all, let me say it was not the writing. It was hot and confused and ambiguous and I really found that interesting. But there's something about the dubious consent and blackmail premise that made it hard for me to envision Harry's drastic change in attitude to wanting a relationship with Draco, even a closeted one. I'm fine with the idea of the sex making Harry want him physically, but I'm not really clear where the emotional connection came in, other than that one brief moment before Harry's trip, which seemed to me more of a starting off point than a game changer. Also, Harry careless switch from Zacharias to Draco seemed very much unlike Harry to me.

In any case, this was very hot. Great job.
bewarethesmirkbewarethesmirk on December 7th, 2008 08:29 pm (UTC)
I, bewarethesmirk, fully admit I should be hung or tortured or knocked over the head with blunt objects for not yet replying to this lovely, wonderful gift. I've been so busy, I've been reading this in chunks to ward off too-much-modding-and-beta-ing insanity. I hope you'll forgive me.

Now that that's over with... I am so, so, so pleased. You incorporated in everything I love - and I do love the premise of Secretary!Draco. nqdonne was absolutely right that I'd much prefer it to unending angst, lol. (Though I do like occasional angst and darkfic). I love Secretary!Draco if only because it's different and I like torturing Draco (just a bit *pets him*). I have to wonder if nqdonne also heavily influenced the presence of Mr. Zacharias Smith. And is that a Britney Spears-inspired title I see there, or merely a huge coincidence? *grins broadly*

What I love most about this piece was your writing style. You have a unique turn-of-phrase and in your arsenal interesting ways to describe details. Queer-tinted spectacles, anyone? The underlying tone has a really snide voice, and I wonder if that's a reflection of Draco as the narrator, or if its your personality. I'm a Slytherin and a huge fan of teh snide, so I found it hilarious. I adore all the sarcasm and tongue-in-cheek details.

I appreciate so much that things were not gloriously happy and that there was a strong dose of realism, much as it happens in actual life, in dealing with gay relationships (and heterosexual ones, too, in some ways). The office sex, the girlfriend cover-ups, the self-denial. There were no rose-tinted spectacles involved, but I was still able to feel acutely the stress involved. That being said, though, I truly believe Harry cared for Draco and vice versa.

The sex. It must be mentioned, eh? You definitely incorporated a lot of my kinks, and I'm so giddy over that. :D I enjoyed analyzing the psychological factors motivating the sex. As the wonderful lavillaneuva said in a previous comment, the sex wasn't glamorized, but neither was anything in the fic, and it worked perfectly. It was deliciously hot. And I love Draco's nervousness and Harry's roughness/overeagerness.

And may I comment on this Draco? He's just perfect. Self-serving, petty (turning the sugar in Harry's coffee to salt! lol), snarky, but overwhelmingly human, and I just loved him so.

The look into post-epilogue canon made me happy - Theodore, the blue-haired terror (LOL), Hannah Longbottom, and a chance to meet Astoria Greengrass, who was not a villain, but was fucking awesome. Draco and her had legitimate chemistry! It's amazing. Needless to say, I'm glad it didn't work, but it was a nice change of pace.

And, of course, there are the fundamental H/D components. Draco's first proposal to have sex to be rid of Harry, which just totally backfires in the most delicious of ways. The jealousy was wonderful - Draco punching Zach FTW - and then Harry's own jealousy. I love their dynamic, a relationship matured slightly from Hogwarts, but confused by Draco's attraction to Harry and the way he chose to go about winning Harry (even if subconsciously).

I think this sums up what Draco was searching for and what he attained:
Still, Draco let it happen. He made it happen, because it was the only way to keep Potter’s attention, to be something more than a secretary who made coffee and filed reports and recited everyone else’s schedules as they walked in the door.

And he did! In every way. Becoming an Auror, still sleeping with Harry, and there's still the indication he's dating women, so it ends a bit messy. But isn't that refreshing? *g*

In other words: thank you so much. It was truly a joy.
Jesjes: HDkaterina_black on December 8th, 2008 01:36 am (UTC)
I love secretary!Draco. I love secretary!Draco blackmailing Harry even more. Fantastic!
maggie: HP H/D Temptatiomarguerite_26 on December 8th, 2008 02:50 am (UTC)
Great fic! I loved Draco’s curiosity-cum-obsession and Harry's not-really-a-victim characterization. This was a really fun, hot read.

Maraudersaffairmaraudersaffair on December 8th, 2008 04:06 am (UTC)


*pulls at hair*

Seriously, this fic had me on a rollercoaster of emotions. I was aching for the, "Love you" "I love you, too!" ending, but nooooo. There relationship is still fucked and and and. . .

It was magnificent. I loved how you had the Malfoys leaving with Andromenda and Teddy. Like a perfect 360. Harry was so twisted and focused on what others thought of him. It almost seemed OOC, but in a really, really good way.

In my mind, they are leaving a cozy life together with everyone knowing. I wonder what Astoria thought when she found out it was Harry, and not a woman.

*dies* AMAZING.
Bryoneybryoneybrynn on December 8th, 2008 05:47 pm (UTC)
This fic was very interesting - it took some twists and turns that were different than what I had expected. It was wonderfully written. I really like your Draco - a beautiful blend of vulnerability, snark, and denial. I thought your take on Astoria was fantastic too. But it's always hard for me when dub-con slides so easily into a relationship - however that's just me personally, not a flaw in your writing. I thought the rawness of the emotion/wanting and the weird power plays going on were very interesting. I don't know, there was a lot that got me thinking in this fic. Nicely done! :)
rehsipusrehsipus on December 9th, 2008 06:42 pm (UTC)
Queer tinted spectacles and lack of caffeine, now that's what good fic are made from!! ; )

What a glorious tale of how denial and blackmail can come back and bite you most deliciously in the butt. Wonderful way to get into the Christmas Qu..err.. Cheer. Thank you for the smiles.
acromantularacromantular on December 10th, 2008 12:10 am (UTC)
I loved the snarky tone, and Astoria kicked ass!
Their blackmail, emotional and otherwise, was well-handled, adn it was fun watching both of them slowly come round to the realization their physical interaction was really so much more.

Glad to see Malfoy giving as good as he gets, despite the power imbalance.
Zebruizebrui on December 10th, 2008 01:35 am (UTC)
Oh, hell yes!

I knew I was up for a treat 20 lines in. Fabulous writing just screamed from the page.
Well... I loved it, all of it. I love how you set the scene right away, sparking the interest immediately. And I love how you set up Draco being intrigued and than attracted - it felt so natural, the pace just perfect. Auror quarters and characterization of everyone there (and outside it) were great. Every character had a special touch to them that I haven't read before. Astoria, Ron, Smith, Teddy - everyone was so fresh and vivid. After Draco initiated his blackmail I was scared it would go downhill irreversibly - their relationship was hitting very dark psychological corners of one's mind/soul.
I wonder whether you planned from the start to have Astoria finish it. Because, without her strength of character and pride (that's how you need to write kick-ass women Jo!) I fear Draco would have fallen in that pit he saw, all the way to the bottom. I don't see this fic reaching the happy place without author giving the story a little push and making Astoria take notice and leave.
Explanation from Harry was lovely and unexpected - very Dumbledore/Poirot way to wrap it up.
I enjoyed this Slytherin version of Harry - I know fandom at large is somewhat sensitive about cheating!Harry and dub-con so I really hope people don't miss out on this gem because of the warnings. And your take on Malfoy - *insert superlative/s of your choice*, head to toe.

Excellent, excellent writing! Heavy with topic, tight with sentence length but packing so much underneath and in. Nothing superfluous, rushed or stretched out; perfect rhythm and control of the story. I loved every single minute of this!
nonajfnonajf on December 10th, 2008 03:50 am (UTC)
I really enjoyed this. Draco's dilemma was very true to life. I actually was a bit torn because I really liked your take on Astoria.