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At Childhood's End - Team Fanon

Title: At Childhood's End
Team: Fanon
Author: mahoganyhandle
Prompt: The Magician
Wordcount: ~38k
Rating: PG
Summary: When Harry comes across a fallen branch of an elder tree and accidentally bonds with it, his life changes beyond his wildest imaginings.
Author's Note: Magician: Immanent, spiritual, and Mercurial transmutation from potential to kinetic, focusing on maturation, (limitless) power, self-confidence, initiative, determination, communication, new beginnings; coming of age. Link.

Betas: A, L

At Childhood's End

This poll is closed.

Is the author/artist true to their team? Yes/No vote ("yes" is worth 2 points, "no" is worth 0)

How well did the author/artist use their Prompt? 1 to 9 (1 being the least)

How much did you like this story/art overall? 1 to 9 (1 being the least)

For a description of teams, please see our FAQ.


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Thank you for reading and reviewing; I appreciate your kind comments, and I'm glad you enjoyed it so much. One of my favorite moments also was when Draco was talking about his sapling. I did have more about the confrontation (but cut it because it didn't quite fit), and an epilogue planned (which I wibbled about too much to include) but will appear if I post this story elsewhere.
You're style is very familiar to me...I guess I'll have to wait and see if my suspicions are correct. :) I have no idea how you came UP with that story. It was so utterly unique. It had such an incredible amount of depth and detail. I actually liked that we didn't get to see the final confrontation. It seemed to me that Harry has given up fighting, and I think it was appropriate he wasn't in the battle.

A few things: I must admit I was kind of confused at times, mostly concerning the more philosophical bits about magic and the continuum, but that might have been my fault, or maybe intended. You kind of set us up for some kind of confrontation with the two Sanger sisters, perhaps an unexpected one, since they wanted "happy" wands (hinting at possible unhappiness), and you didn't follow up on that at all. And Draco mentions the Wyggis early on, but Harry doesn't show any recognition when he hears it for the second time. So while I very much loved the intricacies of the plot, it might have tripped you up a bit (or I could need to reread, either way), but not in an unforgivable way, considering the length of this fic.

But to reiterate, I thought this story was truly amazing. I found Draco's mystical type of character to be very intriguing, and Harry's little undercurrents of history with various people gone unexplained was a subtle and fine hint at his full life. This story was so deep, and your writing made the plot come alive in a truly vibrant way, really igniting my imagination. No kiss, though. :( I know such a request could be annoying, but there is definitely room for a sequel with Powerful!Draco (and a proper kiss) and conflict with Harry's wandmaking (and sex) and the consequences of the battle in the last fic (and more sex)...or not, since it is wonderful the way it is. :)
One last thing: That final scene = so much, infinite love.
I wonder who you suspected wrote this? ;)

Coming up with the story was fairly easy--just a bit of research and a ten minute brainstorming session; writing it was the hard part! But I love plot-heavy stories, although I know they can be difficult to digest at times. Thanks for pointing out the parts that felt a bit confusing/jarring; I appreciate it! The thing about the Sangers is a bit... complicated, even now. C/P'd: I did have more about the confrontation (but cut it because it didn't quite fit), and an epilogue planned (which I wibbled about too much to include) but will appear if I post this story elsewhere.

Thanks for reading and responding!
*takes a deep breath and exhales slowly* Here goes...

Insanely good, this one. Very original, I must say, since I had yet to come across a fic where either Harry or Draco is this type of magical creature, or being, as you stated in the story. It's also admittedly complicated. The magical theories in this story gave me a lot to ponder about. I might have to re-read through some parts, though, because most of the things you wrote are quite -shall I say- philosophical? And I haven't been able to wrap my mind completely around them. But I enjoy the challenge of trying to understand these so-called theories; I do love fics that make me think. (Oh and you make me want to actually OWN a copy of Hogwarts: A History so I can find out more about these things... XD;;)

I'm impressed with how you worked out the underlying interconnectivity between the characters. Every single thing that a person says and every single person in the story have a part in revealing the answer to Harry bit by bit. Sometimes the information comes slowly to me as a reader whereas at another time it jumps out of the blue in what seems to be a normal conversation between friends (like in the scene where Dean tells Harry about staging a protest against the Parkinson's organic grocery).

I am also in awe of the subtleties that lie in the background stories and settings, such as Ollivander's messy habit, Severus' painting in Harry's home and the way Harry and his friends interact with each other (particularly the whole Ginny & Michael thing). My favorite bit, though, would have to be the black sister wands. Three of them, you say? Reminds me of another trio of Black sisters. (And speaking of wands, I absolutely love the geekiness Harry shows for wands!) It's just amazing how you managed to weave them seamlessly into the story and it ends up being richer.

As far as Harry and Draco goes, I'm touched at how they explore their -if I may say so- 'inadvertent' bond. The way they want to protect one another tugged at my heartstrings and although they were not physically available to each other for most of the fic, their souls and their spirits definitely were and this is what makes them special. (Terry Boot and the DRCC's interferences in trying to make Harry see and understand that his magical bonding is valid are amusing, too. For some reason, I laughed a lot whenever a letter from him came to Harry.) The last line is perfect but!!! I couldn't help but wish you'd elaborate on how Harry finally rescued Draco. Don't get me wrong, I like the ending a lot, but I want to know more about the process of Harry fulfilling his promise to Draco.

Speaking of the ending, maybe some people might want more action (i.e. a real kiss) happening between the two but I like how you did it. Exactly this way. Leaves more to the imagination. My imagination certainly ran wild after that. *laughs*

This is a very intense piece of fiction but the occasional outbursts of humors were entertaining. (I got turned into a puddle of uncontrollable mirth for the better part of 10 minutes at Draco's "but I am made of awesome, so I am the exception to the rule"!) I have a lot more to say about it but maybe this commentary has run too long. Suffice to say once again that this is a ridiculously good fic. Thank you and congratulations for completing it. :)

Edited at 2008-04-11 02:22 am (UTC)
Thank you for such a wonderful review. I'm glad you enjoyed it so much. It is a bit complicated, I'll admit--certainly not light reading for anyone but Hermione ;) but it was a bit fun twisting Hogwarts: a History into an intriguing book.

I'm also glad you appreciate the ending. It was a bit abrupt. C/P'd:I did have more about the confrontation (but cut it because it didn't quite fit), and an epilogue planned (which I wibbled about too much to include) but will appear if I post this story elsewhere.

Thanks for reading and reviewing. Your response left me speechless for quite a bit!
I really think that this is the kind of fic that the category "Fanon" was meant for. It isn't just a ridiculous tangent of hilarity and sex, labeled non-canon because of its utter lack of sense. It's a reinvention, with the same people in a different world. Instead of the same people doing things inexcusable to their character with the guise of "this is fandom!", you took those same people and made a new world, opened a new array of possibilities.

I'll admit that fanon is always a bit jarring, because there is that disconnect from the facts we are accustomed to, but I think a good fanon fic is about readjusting the audience believably to an alternative world. I started the fic faced with a Harry I knew, in an environment that didn't quite make sense. But Harry stayed the Harry I knew, while the fic slowly acclimated me to his new world. I learned little facts--the grocery he liked, his relations with his friends, and by the time Draco appeared I had somewhat adjusted to this new world.

I always find that this kind of fanon leaves me a bit suspended. Canon facts are forced into suspension, and yet the same characters are still being utilized, so there is that conflict of not knowing which facts, traits, fancies, have remained and which have changed. I always feel caught between two worlds, and while this wasn't a complete exception, your fic still left me with a wonderful feeling. It wasn't quite a what could have been fic, but it did give more dimension to the characters.

Once the big reveal is made, I do hope that you consider working more in this universe. There are still so many unresolved questions and, while I love musing about them myself, I'd also love to see what you, the creator of this world, see in its future.

As a note on characterization: I love how you kept the boys so unerringly stubborn. That, protect-you, protect-me rivalry was fierce to a kind of sad hilarity. Even though the sexual air you lent to the fic through the opening scene with Barley never quite caught up with the boys (and, really, who could blame them? The few times Draco was naked, or they were touching, conditions weren't incredibly relaxing or romantic), there was still that feeling that there was passion between them because of their repeated protective exchanges. I also loved how incredibly bone-headed Harry could be, and how Draco was aware of it but still teased him (and, at more pathetically sad moments, called him out on it while wishing he would catch on).

I really do hope you follow-up. Mostly because I want the satisfaction of:
-Seeing what happens to the Sangers :D
-Seeing what happens between Harry and Draco. And I don't mean just sex, though clearly that's an interesting point. It's just that, now that they are both in the flesh, and without such a despairing situation, I could see them clashing and fighting about more petty things, and I'd love to see their personalities riddled out.

Also, I know that, out of all of the scenes--the branding, the angry!Harry, the is-Draco-going-to-die... I know that there were more appropriate scenes to cry at, but... when Draco appeared, made his little "I'm made of awesome" exclamation, I was terribly sad. Something about the situation he was in, even at that point, and Harry's obliviousness to the ominous feel that the audience is exposed to... made me really sad, considering what Draco's mental state must have been when he said it.

In most fics, I usually end up annoyed with either Harry or Draco, but in this one, I liked them both. They were human, willing to own up to their faults, and there was something so very alive and sad about them. Draco's utter conviction that he was going to make it through, tinged with his musings on 'sleeping.' Harry's clear understanding of how grave the situation is, yet his inability not to get annoyed with the Ministry, and even at Draco, over little things. I wanted to wrap them up and hide them away from those god-awful sisters.

Oh--and I love the humor you added by having Maxie introduced to us as transfigured into a tree-like form. It's so ridiculous when it happens, yet when you think about it latter it's rather funny in that, that-bitch, kind of way.

In conclusion, I love you, and won't you please consider a sequel? :)
Let me second this comment, especially the paragraph on fanon. Am going to quote it in my rec :)
What they've said *points up* hahaha I don't think I could even add anytihng more to that. Thoroughly enjoyed it.
Thank you! It was truly a pleasure being teammates! The entire time, I felt so awed to be in league with the rest of Team Fanon. ;-)
I can't add anything either. But wow. This tale left me breathless, eager and enthralled. Well done.
I'm happy you so enjoyed my story. Thank you for commenting!
What an incredible intricate story, almost every single word key to the plot or at least related to it. The humour was so welcomed, both Draco's and Harry's. Hogwarts a History FTW! I loved the myth and lore and being taken on a wonderful magical adventure.

It was a bit thick, wasn't it? I had files upon lists upon files about who did and said what (or else, what reason did they have to live?!). ;-) I'm glad you appreciated the myth and lore in ACE; it was a pleasure to research and develop, and my favorite part of the process. Thank you for your comment!
I'm totally up way past my bedtime because I just couldn't stop reading! I adore all the little details, lines and riddles everywhere. And gosh, you made HOgwarts: A History sound interesting!

The end left me just a little unsatisfied though... what happened with the Sangsters? What happened with, well, everything during the time Harry was blacked out?
I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed the story. Thanks for commenting. Hogwarts: A History deserves a bit of love, no?

I understand your reservations about the ending. C/P'd:I did have more about the confrontation (but cut it because it didn't quite fit), and an epilogue planned (which I wibbled about too much to include) but will appear if I post this story elsewhere. /C'P.
This was sheer and utter brilliance! GO TEAM FANON!
Team Fanon left me in awe, and it was a pleasure to be a part of it. Thank you! :-}
Amazing story!
Thank you!
Fabulous, just fabulous. Perfectly Fanon.
I love wandmaker Harry, it's fresh and wonderful, especially in this brilliant new magical lore you're created. I love when writers go so imaginatively beyond what JKR has given, as far as history and magical folklore. The whole backround for the elders and the coven is extremely well described and well executed. I like the bits about how wizards only use like 10% of their magic, like how humans only use 10% of their brains, it's just such a well-thought-out bit of new (old) magic. And I love Draco getting really into being a tree (you can make wands out of ceramics!). I wish I'd known a little more about how they "awakened" Draco's genetics, and more about how they got him out. But your characterizations are very well developed, and, I think, very true to fanon. And it's obvious the prompt was very well used.
Excellently written, and excellent to read!
Wandmaker!Harry is one of my favorite fanon tropes, and I was delighted to get The Magician so he could make his appearance. The lore and history really tickled my fancy, too, and Tree(Spirit)!Draco was a lot of fun to craft. C/P'd:I did have more about the confrontation [and "awakening"] (but cut it because it didn't quite fit), and an epilogue planned (which I wibbled about too much to include) but will appear if I post this story elsewhere. /C'P.

Thanks for your comment!
Very interesting story. I really enjoyed the way you manipulated a staple of Celtic belief: the Green Man and added the extra details about their origins. The same is true for the founders versus the Kinnairds(?). So, it's ditto the above re Harry, Draco, the transformation of Maxie, which has a poetic justice to it, and the plot.

There was one place where Maxie was called Maxie Sanger; I thought she was Maxie Sangster.

Edited at 2008-04-11 08:34 pm (UTC)
I love learning about new lore and was very excited to incorporate the Green Man into this tale. Plotting this story and mapping out the history was truly enjoyable.

Thanks for pointing out the Sanger/Sangster bit. I'll have to look up who says it to see if I intended for her to be called that or not. The family name originally was Sangster, but in order to keep a low profile, they usually go by "Sanger" -- like a family named Smithson taking on "Smith" as a public alias. :-) Also, thanks for reading and commenting! I'm glad you enjoyed it.
i'm execrable at commenting. however, i really liked your fic.

it corresponded perfectly with my concept of fanon as a story with fanon aspects (creature!draco) yet coherent, interesting and well written.

and oh, was it well done! i loved how you didn't outright explained things to us as they came along but implied subtly so the reader could understand (for example the flow of energy harry felt as he had the carved wand in hand for his old wand is working, the bond is broken? what happened to draco's limb? where's draco?). i also loved how the plot was not obvious (far from it, for me), how well you introduced important characters and how they were all somehow connected.

i have to admit i was a bit confused by times with the different names and theories, but it was certainly due to my inattentive mind.

i hope to read more fic like that from you. :)
I'm glad you liked it (and commented)! Thank you! The concept of fanon was something the entire team struggled with defining, and which I probably never will fully wrap my mind around. ;-}

Harry's bond with the holly-and-phoenix feather wand did break, but he simply carved Draco's limb into a presentable shape (upon Draco's urging) because he'll use it for the rest of his life.
what an interesting and wonderfully complex story!
Thank you!
What a great story you weaved. From the wandlore to the elders and the history of Hogwarts. Very intriguing tale that had me involved from the very beginning.

Much ♥ for a Green Man Draco with so much power. I like how he recognized his own immaturity, and how the end befits the title.

And they got Draco back in the end. Yay! I suspect Harry's looking forward to that kiss too. :)
Ah, thank you. I appreciate your lovely comments and the time you put into my story. I'm glad you liked it!

Draco as a Tree (Spirit) was definitely my favorite, and I had a lot of fun developing the Elders.

Harry was looking forward to his kiss, too! I imagine it was very sweet.
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