behind the glass
written for @drarrymicrofic prompt 'ephemera' | 211 words | G | No Warnings | thank you to @starlitsilvereyes for the beta and @helle-bored for the title help
There's a Harry Potter exhibit in the hidden north wing of the British Museum. Disguised as an exhibition space under renovation, it contains the largest repository of information about the Savior aside from the man himself.
Included in the exhibit are:
Numerous passed notes, short journal entries, and other writings penned by Potter during his school years
Sixteen grainy polaroid photos of Harry Potter, age twelve
A scroll of parchment, covered in hurriedly scribbled signatures, Potter’s name at the top
Shards of a Firebolt handle
A tattered t-shirt, powder blue with navy collar
The jagged fragment of a small mirror, which shows an eerie blue eye every so often
Two irreparable halves of a Holly wand—eleven inches long, holly wood, phoenix feather core
Two men stand in the exhibit, shoulder to shoulder.
“It’s just weird,” the dark haired one sighs.
“What is?” his blond companion asks.
“All of this stuff, here. I never meant to keep half of this, and now it’s telling my life story.”
“It’s only part of the story. It’s still your life.”
“I’m just tired of everyone feeling like they know me personally.”
The blond man reaches across the gap between himself and his companion. He tangles their fingers together.
Some things, not even the museum knows.
read all my microfics here
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Suds szn has officially come to an end! There were some absolutely remarkable fics and art in this collection, and with Erised and 25 Days posting, it’s easy to get a little overwhelmed with the sheer quantity of fantastic works out there. So I did a little roundup of my favorite sudsy fics and art from this year’s fest for anyone looking for a place to start!
note: some summaries have been truncated for space.
Ceremonials by @jackvbriefs
“What are you doing here?” Harry said.
This Malfoy blinked up at him, then lifted the bottle of tequila.
“I’m teaching you how to make a drink.”
This fic absolutely blew me away from beginning to end. It follows Harry as he finds himself repeatedly visiting limbo every time he’s on the brink of death - which is, of course, quite often - and this time, he sees a very familiar face. This fic featured incredible worldbuilding in such a short amount of time, had unforgettable ritualistic elements, fostered delicious, fruitful tension, and wrapped it all up with delightful prose.
A Grey Shrike Alighted Upon My Wishbone by @opaleopioid
Cursed to forget everything about Harry Potter, Draco has to kill if he wants a cure.
I haven’t read too many amnesia fics, and now I feel like I don’t need to. This take on the trope was beyond beautiful, heartbreaking, fresh, and unique. It’s so clear to see that every word in this fic was carefully chosen, and it made for a poignant, unforgettable, and challenging (in the best way!) read.
Bacchanal, Bacchanal by @calypsotempete
One crisp morning in September, Harry receives a newspaper and a note. What follows is a descent into a world built by Draco Malfoy full of debauchery, glamour, and clawfoot tubs that wash away the miasma of hard-earned guilt to appease gods that may not exist but offer redemption all the same.
I tried very hard to put this fic down (I HAD THINGS TO DO!!!) and found that I could not. This was an incredible, colorful read, featuring vivid descriptions of Draco’s illicit parties without falling into any of the common tropes and pitfalls of party fics. The piece was anything but one-note - Harry’s internal struggles over the nature of his relationship with Draco paired with Draco’s inability to forgive himself plays out in some incredibly intense scenes that you just need to read to experience for yourself!
Possessed by @shah-writes
tldr; a sentient curse possesses Draco, leading to a whole lot of Auror action, magical theory, and baths!
I was delighted to see horror elements in this fest, and this fic does not disappoint. From beginning to end, I was enraptured by the details of the manifestations of the curse that possessed Draco, the way it intersected his relationship with Harry, and the visceral desperation that kept them fighting for one another. A truly unique read.
Postcards from Italy by iota/@sorrybutblog
A pool party, a nightclub, a bathtub. Draco Malfoy is the last person Harry expected to run into the summer before his third year of university, but he's not complaining (at least not anymore).
… And now for something a little lighter! I love fics that transport me somewhere else, and this one delivered that in spades. The fantastic Drarry banter and expert characterization in this sexy, sudsy visit to Italy made it an immediate favorite of mine - one I store away in my bookmarks to reread when I need a pick-me-up. Highly recommend for anyone who’s missing warm summer months right now!
Just a Phone Call Away by @cavendishbutterfly
Today’s the day: Harry’s getting over his ridiculous crush on Draco Malfoy. Even if Draco’s just invited himself over to wash Harry’s hair. In a very platonic way, obviously. Not intimate at all.
They can just be friends, right?
It wouldn’t be a Suds rec list without some good old fashioned hair washing. This fic has it all - crushes, pining, a fun excuse for the boys to get real close, and - my personal favorite - the most oblivious Harry Potter you’ve ever seen. Perfectly fluffy without losing character, and such soft, sweet intimacy throughout. A great read for anyone who’s looking for something with classic SudsFest vibes.
fic & art combos and art under the cut!
FIC & ART
Casefile: Operation MoD by @m0srael & @fantalf
After the Battle of Hogwarts, Harry Potter began having strange, unsettling visions--visions unlike those had by other Seers. Draco Malfoy, lab director in the Department of Mysteries Fate Division has been assigned to sit beside the experimental sensory deprivation tank that Harry uses to stimulate his Inner Eye. What Harry Sees is a mystery. What Draco sees is a vulnerable man, too selfless and trusting for his own good, fading away before his very eyes.
Is Draco the only one who can put a stop to Operation MoD?
If you’re looking for something really unique and fresh, you should definitely start here. The telling of this fic through found materials - Ministry recordings and transcripts as well as Draco’s diary - made it extremely lifelike and hard to forget. But this fic doesn’t rely on its unique storytelling devices to be compelling - far from it, though I hesitate to give too much away.
And as if that wasn’t enough, the fic features incredible and chilling art that is absolutely soul piercing. I definitely did not stare at it for way too long.
On Target by @the-sinking-ship and milkandhoney/ @fictional
A charity dunk tank, some sorry excuses for friends, a Slytherin with freakishly good aim, a (mostly) empty locker room, and one very small towel. Because, apparently, everyone is dying to get Harry Potter wet.
Characterization is a total make or break for me as a reader - and the characterization in this fic made me all but swoon. The detail work in the writing is second to none, with so much depth packed away in a deceptively simple story. Sometimes attention to detail and character drops off when the smut starts, but it was nearly the opposite in this fic, with so much story packed into the spicy parts.
And the art! THE ART. Incredible, vivid use of color, layers upon layers of story and detail, amazing, expressive characters - and we have to talk about the look Harry and Draco are exchanging. Every time I look at this piece (TOO MANY TIMES!!!) I discover something new, and the way this fic and art complement each other is spot on.
The Next Morning, Malfoy Manor by @gryffindorhearts
Auror training has been exhausting, to say the least, and Harry's gotten tired of making do in the tiny Ministry shower cubicles after the daily drills. He's going to prove to Draco that taking him home was the best idea either of them has ever had.
!!!! I just implore you to check this one out for yourself! Draco’s very Draco expression, the amazing attention to detail, the way your mind just fills in an entire story with the art + the title… just incredible.
something in the water by @helle-bored
Art for the Sudsfest prompt: Draco came back from a work trip different, and now Harry's seeing things in the bathwater. Is there something -- someone -- following him? Is there any way to escape it? Can he save Draco (and himself) before it gets them?
I absolutely LOVED this piece - a picture of sweet domesticity with something that’s just… a little… off. A perfect execution of the prompt - and Harry’s boxers are probably my favorite thing on earth.
so rest your weary heart with me. by @bluebutter-art
After the war, Harry starts to use sensory deprivation tanks to induce psychosis-like hallucinations, eager to see those who he has lost one more time.
Draco helps him get back on his feet, replacing the dirty flashbacks of the war with clean memories of love.
A story of what is loved, lost and found.
This was a complete emotional journey of a comic. My eyes definitely did not well up at the end. The art itself is just masterful - it’s impossible to put into words how much expressive, incredible storytelling was wrapped up in this wordless work. If you’re going to click, please be ready to feel things.
Let Go by @bubble-gumhead
The candles flickered, the wax dripping and puddling on the tub.
Harry sucked in a breath, the steam filling his lungs.
"Harry," Draco whispered in his ear, crawling onto his lap. The water was cool against his skin, the glass vials filled with red tinctures glowed and seemed to sigh with every breath Harry took.
"Harry," Draco whispered again, "Just let go."
Blood magic may or may not be my favorite thing ever, so this piece was an instant fav. This art feels like something out of a storybook, and all the details are completely electric - the expressions, the magic, the candles, the blood, the dark night brewing outside of the window. A truly unforgettable contribution to the fest.
I still haven’t gotten around to checking out every single piece in the collection, and I’m sure there are plenty more gems - take a look for yourself <3
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Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (Part 6)
December 6: Mug
Draco should have known that Harry would come down with a cold after spending all of that time hanging lights out in the cold and rain. His mother had always told him not to go out in that weather, that people got sick in that sort of drizzly chill.
He hadn't believed her, of course, it seemed like something that mothers told their children when they couldn't bear the thought of them getting all wet and chilled to the bone. But there must be some truth to it, Draco thought, as he watched Harry blow his nose for what had to be the fiftieth time today because Harry was definitely sick.
"It's that big tree lighting celebration tonight, right?" Harry asked when he'd finished closing the register, heedless to what Draco was thinking.
"Sorry?" he asked, taken a bit off guard by Harry thinking he was going to go anywhere except straight to bed.
He sniffled, "The tree lighting thing," he elaborated. "The one you said you go to every year over at the old-"
"No," he said firmly. "We're not going to go stand around outside so you can get sicker. You are going straight home and getting in bed."
Harry's nose wrinkled, "Don't be silly," he scoffed.
"Harry," he said with a frown, "you are going home and getting in bed. You need to sleep. Or else we'll end up missing the concert this weekend and they're playing The Nutcracker," he added.
"Fine," Harry conceded with a huff, which confirmed to Draco that Harry was in fact sick and desperately in need of some sleep, he was never this compliant. "But you should still go."
He closed his eyes for a moment, he did love the tree lighting ceremony, he loved the moment when everything turned from dark to light, when Christmas cheer lit up the night sky. "I don't know," he said, "It-"
"Either you go or I am taking you," Harry said resolutely. "You love the tree lighting and you shouldn't miss it just because-"
(Read more below the cut)
"Alright, alright," he interrupted. "I'll go. As long as you promise to go home and rest."
"Promise," he replied as he called Helmi to him, hissing softly for her to come.
"I'll see you tomorrow, I guess," Draco said.
Harry gave him a tired little smile, "see you tomorrow."
And Draco had every intention of keeping his word. He'd intended to go to see the trees light up, to hear the children cheering, and sip a cup of hot chocolate. But then he'd walked past a Chinese restaurant and glanced in the window in time to see some egg drop soup being ladled into a styrofoam container.
He looked at the soup and all thoughts of lights on trees were forgotten, instead he opened the door and went inside to order some food.
Twenty minutes later, he showed up on Harry's doorstep, ringing the bell and hoping he wasn't waking the other man up.
It took a few minutes, but Harry appeared, wrapped up in a blanket, mug of tea held securely in his hands. "Draco," he said in surprise when he opened the door.
"I brought dinner," he offered. "Have you eaten?" he asked as he started to make his way inside.
"You're supposed to be watching the tree."
"Yes, well," he said, clearing his throat, "this seemed more important."
"But you love the lights," Harry said, "You-"
"Yes, I know," he huffed, waving Harry off, "But when I'm sick, I love to have someone who will look after me."
Harry was silent as Draco unpacked the food on the living room table but then he finally said, "Why would you do all this for me?"
"What?" Draco asked as he finished taking the food out of the bag.
"Why are you doing this?" he repeated. "You're missing something you love, giving up your time and energy, to be here, sitting in my living room when I'm too sick to even think straight."
He looked over at him and in this moment, with his curly hair up in a messy bun, blanket around his shoulders, and cup still wrapped in his hands, he looked unbearably young. And Draco had the sudden epiphany that no one had ever done this for him before. No one had ever taken care of him when he was sick, no one had brought him food or encouraged him to rest. And his heart shattered. "Because you deserve to have someone look after you the way you look after everyone else."
Harry didn't respond and Draco let him process while he dipped food for both of them.
"Come on," he said, patting the sofa. "Come eat."
He sat down and took a tentative taste of the soup. "Do you want to finish The Muppet Christmas Carol with me? he asked.
"I've no idea what that is," Draco replied, "But I accept."
"You've never seen Muppet Christmas Carol?" he asked incredulously. "Well, I guess we'll just have to start at the beginning."
And if Harry fell asleep half way through the movie, with his head on Draco's shoulder, well, Draco didn't think it would hurt anything to finish the movie and enjoy the quiet time together.
Day 5 | Day 7
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