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Team EWE: 24. Don't count your mandrakes before they're re-potted.

Title: Between the Shadow and the Soul
Author: aoifene
Team: EWE
Prompt: 24. Don't count your mandrakes before they're re-potted.
Wordcount: 3,046
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: Language, established HP/DM, secondary character POV, one-sided BZ/DM
Summary: Often it is the most deserving people who cannot help loving those who destroy them. -Hesse
Author's Note Thank you to my beloved beta team: jamie2109, norton_gale, oldenuf2nb, and melusinahp. This was a pinch hit and I chose to interpret this as not counting your chickens before they're hatched. In other words, there's no such thing as a sure bet.

Between the Shadow and the Soul


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Comments

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The imperfections of their relationship is cleverly hinted at the beginning of the story, and we see how deep the imperfection goes with every single revelation.

And when it is revealed that Harry doesn't know that Draco has grey eyes, it was a horrifying moment. That really made an impact.

The ending is so bittersweet, and ambiguous.

I love it.

Thank you.

Edited at 2009-04-01 12:53 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm very happy you enjoyed it. I always love it when endings leave room for a continuation of the story. Thanks for reading!

GO TEAM! :)
Wow- I felt so sad during this story. For Harry, that he has to learn that his lover has been lying about so much (including something so basic as his appearance) for so long on their wedding day(!!). For Draco, that he feels such a need to pretend- my heart absolutely broke for him. And for Blaise, who is so desperate and suffering from unrequited love. I hate that their lives were all so full of pretend- I wanted to cry for them all. You've written very well such a tragic piece (though not in the ways we usually think of tragedy). This is what you would expect from people whose lives have been scrambled by war- I just hope that in the future (especially now that Harry is armed with knowledge), they can heal and fix things. I so wish there was more of this story (mostly because I am a sucker for happy endings and I really want this one to have one), but I think it paints such a portrait of wounds and mistakes that it is incredibly touching as is. Well done!
Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it. I wanted to write a different kind of slice of life piece that showed the many pitfalls of love. But I also wanted to leave it with some hope because Harry really does love Draco. Thank you for reading!

GO TEAM!
Wow, this was interesting!

First of all -- I love the title. It's beautiful and very fitting. The sonnet at the beginning of the story fits as well.

At first I thought Blaise's arguments wouldn't be strong enough to convince Harry. But Draco using a glamour, and especially the fact that Harry didn't remember Draco's real eye colour was shocking. For a moment, I wondered if Harry would love Draco without the glamour. Now, I'm quite convinced that he does love him but like Harry himself, I have my doubts.

The ending was bittersweet and I felt a little bad for Blaise, even though I obviously wanted Harry and Draco to end up together. Draco beaming made me smile while Harry's doubtful look made me a little sad.

Loved it :)
That poem is easily one of my favourites. :)

I'm glad you got that from the story. I do think Harry truly loves Draco esp since Draco's happiness is the only he cared about. :) But it can still go either way really and I live that all up to the readers. :)

I'm delighted you enjoyed it. Thank you for reading!
WOW! I liked every part of this, from the narrative style to the dissection of Harry's view of Draco that so cleverly referenced many western views of beauty. I loved the fact that they were all so very true to themselves in such an unexpected way, even Draco wheeling and manipulating wildly, yet without the control he thought he had, away from the main story. Very nicely handled in the space, too!
YAY! I was worried since it was a last minute pinch hit that it would read like one. Thank goodness you think it doesn't :) I really tried to layer this fic so you can catch glimpses of the full story in just a short space. I'm delighted you think I succeeded. :) Thank you for reading, hon!
this story was so different from the countless fics i've read. the style of writing was unique [although i did get a bit thrown off every now and then, simply b/c it's uncommon], and blaise's revelations were entirely shocking! my heart goes out to him. i'd started reading the fic thinking he would bring up the usual complaints against harry, or somehow try to prove his worth, but the way the fic worked out was so much more interesting than anything i'd envisioned.

i feel so horrible for draco - having to change himself entirely to be with the one he loves is just a horrid concept, but it's so common. and harry? well, i suppose i feel somewhat sorry for him too, but not too much. it's realistic that he went ahead with the vows even after knowing the truth, and didn't even try to figure out if he would love the real draco - but the sap in me wishes he'd taken the time to truly know the man he claims to love.
Thank you! I was striving for a different take on the nature of love so I'm glad you thought it worked. Tragedy does revolve around the three characters. But I do believe that Harry really does love Draco so there might be a happy ending in store for them. But it also can go the other way. *laughs* It really depends on how the reader interprets it.

I'm delighted you enjoyed it. Thank you for reading!
I did want to show the pitfalls of love and how it can trip us all up. But I do believe that Harry does love Draco since the only thing he cared about in the end was Draco's happiness so perhaps there can be a happy ending in their future. Most of the story is up to reader's interpretation. They can see the situation and hope or they can despair. :)

Thank you for reading!

GO TEAM!
OMG, I just thought Blaise was crazy at first and then as he's explaining things, it's so sad for both Harry and Draco. Heartbreaking for everyone involved. I understand why harry went through with it, but i wonder what happens, how long before he breaks and confronts draco and then what?
great story!
Then the rest is up to you! lol It really depends on how the reader interprets the story. If they read it and think of despair or if they have room to hope that there could be a happy ending in the future. :) I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for reading!
This was heartbreaking and gorgeous and so different, yet it definitely worked.

My heart clenched and broke for Draco, that he had to change so much for Harry. And for Harry not seeing it at all.

I truly hope they end up happy, not in this farce.

And my heart went out to Blaise as well.

All i all, excellent job honey ♥
Thank you, hon! I did want to write something in a different style. Glad you thought it worked.

They can if you want them too. Harry is much too stubborn to leave things well enough alone, don't you think? lol

Happy you enjoyed it. Thank you for reading, hon!
Really unique. I really felt the tension between Blaise and Harry. And I can only hope that Harry does do the right thing and help Draco stop his charade.

Thanks for the fic! :)
Thank you! I'm glad you liked it. I was experimenting with a differnt style.

You're quite welcome! Thank you for reading! :)
So heartbreaking. It was set up so well with Draco in the beginning and I really felt for poor Blaise. And how could Harry be so blind? The pacing was very well done, with Blaise getting more and more desperate for Harry to see what he was doing to Draco. At least you gave us some room for hope at the end. Thank you for writing!
I'm glad you thought so! It's really interesting to see how different people react to this fic. If they see the hope in it or not :) I'm glad you enjoyed it. You're quite welcome. Thank you for reading!
Awwwww, poor, poor Harry! And poor Draco. And poor Blaise. I even felt sorry for all of them.
Hope H and D will find real happiness nevertheless.

Beautifully written!
Yes, it is a story with no villains and they're all victims of circumstance but there can still be hope for the future. :)

Glad you enjoyed it, hon! Thank you for reading!

GO TEAM!

Between the Shadow and the Soul

Blaise speech about Draco's beauty and how Harry didn't even know Draco's right eye-colour gave me the shivers.

This fic was painful in so many ways. I felt so sorry for Draco because he feared he wouldn't be enough for Harry, for Harry because he didn't even realise, and for Blaise because he would have to stand and watch in silence.

And what a great characterisation of Harry:

True to his word, Potter doesn't care about the how's and the why's. He seems to be interested in only one thing.

Most people will say that this is the only thing that matters.


Re: Between the Shadow and the Soul

I wanted to write a story where there were no villains but still create conflict and emotional strife. I'm glad you were able to get that from the fic. And I am delighted you loved my Harry. It's really interesting how different people have reacted to this fic. Some loved Blaise, others hated him and the same for Harry and Draco. :) I think it really depends on who they connect to more in the story.

Thank you for reading!
Oh man, awesome! It was the right kind of hurty, and was sad for Blaise to walk away, but maybe Harry will make everything work after having some sense knocked into him :)
lol I see you're going for the hopeful route! :D We all know how stubborn Harry is about the people he loves. I'm delighted you enjoyed the story. Thank you for reading!
I love how this is from Blaise's point of view. It's so interesting to see how Harry is marrying a fantasy, while Blaise is trying to make Harry realise that. And not just because he loves Draco either. It's more than that. Very interesting. =)
I did want to tell the story from a different unique angle so I'm delighted you think I accomplished that. Poor Blaise mired by his own loyalty and love for Draco.

I'm delighted you enjoyed it. Thank you for reading!
I have to admit that I am exceedingly picky when it comes to reading H/D. Most anyone who knows me, knows this. I don't tend to like a story unless it's one of those that reaches right in and grabs me about the heart and the gut. There have been some that have slipped through the cracks and exploded in nice, shiny bits of fluff... but normally it's the meat of the story and the angst that I go for.

No relationship between Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy should ever be simple or without its bumps or faults. It would be grossly unbelievable then. They are two of the most imperfect perfect characters out there. I feel badly for both of them; badly for Draco because he feels he has to lie and hide who he is to keep Harry and badly for Harry because he is being lied to. I'm also a little angry at Harry for not being observant enough to remember or even notice even the most basic of things with Draco. He spent six years with him, some of those times face to face and yet this Draco that he is marrying... from the way Blaise describes him... is a mere ghost to the boy/man he used to be.

Growing up attributes to a lot of changes, but to shut out such a large part of one's life altogether, especially when it includes friends you were close to in replacement to people you could barely stand to be around in the first place??? That's a huge change. It makes me want to scream at Harry to wake up and see that there's something very wrong here... but it also reads to me as a manifestation of how extremely naive Harry can be. As for Draco, it says something about him that he would twist himself inside out for the man he loves and for a while I questioned that he even really loved him. Draco is too proud a person to be anything but himself.

But... by the end, Harry didn't care that Draco had changed himself around and Draco was absolutely glowing, despite everything else. Love makes you do amazingly, horrible and wonderful things. I do find it fitting that there was guilt in Harry's eyes though. It foreshadows that things won't be perfect once the honeymoon is over. If anything, they will become even more complicated and mixed up. But they'll be together and perhaps they can start to really learn about each other. Or perhaps Harry won't say anything at all in a desperate attempt to hold onto the Draco he knows and has fallen in love with. I can't see Harry doing that simply because he's Harry though. Either way, they end as they began... complicated, bittersweet, and together.

I would like to read more, know the outcome, but as a stand alone... it evokes plenty of emotion and is very well written.

Edited at 2009-04-01 06:36 pm (UTC)
*nods* This story does have a lot of layers. On the one hand, you think to yourself how in the world could Harry be so oblivious to something so BASIC. So it leads you to think that perhaps Harry isn't quite as oblivious as he seems. Perhaps he knows the lengths Draco has gone to for love and is happy in having someone that could give him that kind of unconditional love.

And what of Draco? Draco as an individual is very proud. He wouldn't twist himself in such a way unless perhaps he was so desperate in his obsession that he's lost himself in the midst of his own manipulation.

Blaise is also quite peculiar. Is he really driven by love? Then why is he so intent in attacking Harry with insults? He tries to hold onto Draco with anger and has refused to respect Draco's happiness.

I think a lot of it is in how the readers view each character and their motivations. I've found that some people love Harry, others Blaise, but most love Draco. And that in and of itself is interesting because it shows that most people identify with the desire to be loved even when the price is too high.

I'm delighted you enjoyed this story. Thank you for reading.
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