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Team AU: 15. He who can, does. He who can't, teaches the Dark Arts.

Title: In Summer Grass
Team: AU
Author: maja_li
Prompt: 15. He who can, does. He who can't, teaches the Dark Arts.
Wordcount: ~6700
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: Character death, angst.
Summary: The people Harry loved had a funny way of dying—so why should it be so strange that he fall in love with a dead man?
Author's Note: THANK YOU to my brilliant, wonderful, patient betas joanwilder and scarlet_malfoy, who soothed my flailing and let me work on this right down to the wire, even though they had their own stuff to worry about. *squishes and adores you both to pieces* Additional note: certain sections of the AU are direct block quotes from the Harry Potter books. A list with specific credits is included as a footnote at the end.

In Summer Grass

For a description of teams, please see our FAQ.

This poll is closed.

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

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

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


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I think you began this very interestingly by taking the other path for that first scene. I liked that he then began involved with helping him as a ghost. That was a wonderful twist. I also liked how very Draco he was and how free he seemed (I can't think of another way to describe it). He had so many concerns and pressures during his life- too many people expecting too much and so many social barriers to being himself. It made sense and was very nice that he was freed in death. I very much liked his "Gryffindolt" insult- it made me snigger a little everytime I read it. You used a wonderfully haunting style at the beginning that was echoed at the ending and worked so perfectly (with some reprieve for the later middle part).

It was very clever how the end of the non-italicised conferred with the beginning of the italicised. It was really wonderful and clever- tied the whole story together with a thick rope. It was very interesting to have all the hot and cold interactions between our two. I don't know if kissing would be at all tempting if those were the consequences. I like that they loved each other anyway- love does overcome all obstacles, eh? I could feel the love between them and it was simply wonderful.

It was interesting that you got Draco involved in all this scheming and I like that you planned it all out for them. I enjoyed that you told that whole story- and how it led to the same place as in the books, but with one major difference (which was really incredible). I loved the ending sections- they were absolutely perfect, even though the very end was heart breaking. I believe that it all made sense and was rational, but I still wish they could have had more of a future. It was nice that they got at least that much, but there's so much more that I would wish for them! This was very well done, as per usual, and very creative and clever. It was a wonderful retelling. Fabulous job, hon!
Oh, darling, thank you so much! *huggle and cuddles and luffs* It was absolutely lovely to read this as a first review for my fic, and I'm delighted you liked it enough to say so much! :D

Ghost!Draco was a blast to write, but also a bit tricky; I wanted to let him have that freedom, like you said, but not to break completely with his living personality. Hence "Gryffindolt"! *laughs* He was a sneaky bastard, too always trying to come up with ways to hang around after the end...it was a bit sad for me, too, that I couldn't find a rational way for him to stay...so, I'm really glad you thought that the end worked, even if it was a downer. :)

Thanks so much for such a wonderful review! I'm going to be walking around for the rest of the day with just the silliest grin on my face. ^_^ *grins* ♥
Oh gosh! This story represents the thing I love most about AU h/d- the fact that in any situation Harry and Draco come together. I absolutely love the way which you brought Harry and Draco together, when Draco has already died. There was something so fleeting, and tender, and romantic about their relationship.

Thank you so, so much for this.
I'm so glad you liked it! :D I hadn't written much AU before this fest, so I felt most comfortable with a simple, "old school" sort of AU--no Muggles, no time travel, just a change and a "what if?" :) And plenty of boy-love, of course! *laughs*

Thanks so much for reading and commenting! ♥
Such a beautiful story and so sad! I liked the repeating phrases tying the sections together. I also liked that despite the change of Draco's death some things didn't change. Both life and death (or whatever the ghost-state is) is fleeting; it's a reminder not to waste opportunities.
I'm so glad you enjoyed it! :D And I can definitely get behind that bit of philosphy there; I think it's something in the books that gets missed, even though people are dying left and right. *nods*

Thanks so much for reading and commenting! ♥
I loved the way you wove canon into the AU story to make it seem so plausible. Ghostly Draco was very endearing!
Yay! I had a lot of fun with both Draco and with figuring out how to balance canon vs. AU in this, so I'm glad you liked both of them. :D *grins*

Thanks so much for reading and commenting! ♥
What a great exploration! Interesting and exciting read ^_^
Hee, thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it. ^_^

Thanks so much for reading and commenting! ♥
Wonderful story. I loved Draco and how Harry fell for him despite their situation. I also loved how you reworked the final battle.
Thank you, darling! *smishes* The final battle was just kicks to write; I always wanted Harry to actually, you know, kill Voldemort, instead of the weird little thing he pulled with Expelliarmus, so this was my chance to make it happen! *laughs*

Hmm I think I may have offended with my last comment. Seriously that was not my intention at all. I truly loved this.

Using the quote from the book made the story seem seamless. No small feat for a AU story. I never felt a lurch from canon to your story.

Draco as a ghost was ingenious. I love him but he is often an ‘off screen’ character and yet he is always a big player. Harry is always aware of him. So yeah him as a ghost was good symbolism for Draco. He was also amazingly Draco. He was not all mushy and weak. He felt strong even as a Ghost he was strong. That is because Draco the ‘real’ Draco is strong.

The love affair was warm and touching. It kinda had a feel of Ghost and Mrs. Muir. They loved on a different level. Based on person rather then anything physical. It felt deeper. it was made clear it would end. I still didn’t want it to the end.

I don’t think I breathed until Harry was in the Astronomy tower. The first part was so fast. The next part gave a good breather. The pacing was perfect. I was slow at the end the way a sad ending should be.

I liked Ron and Hermione as well. It was nice to seem them as real and not tossed aside as is often done in Draco/Harry.

I guess to sum up it liked it… a lot.
Thank you for such a lovely comment! :D I don't know what "last comment" you're talking about--if you deleted and then changed it, I didn't notice--but this one put such a big smile on my face!

I'm glad you liked Draco as a ghost; it was definitely a different way of working with his character than anything I've done before. What's "Ghost and Mrs. Muir"? I've never read it (seen it? is it a movie?) but at the risk of sounding awfully full of myself, if this story reminded you of it I'd love to take a look!

Thanks so much for reading and commenting! ♥

In Summer Grass

I'm still dizzy after reading this.

Your writing is so beautiful, the AU that you built to believable. It makes so much sense going to AU from the Sectumsempra scene. I like that so many things from canon stayed the same (Snape kills Dumbledore, Snape dies, etc.), while the AU in itself was consistent as well. Very well done!

Re: In Summer Grass

Hee. ^_^ Thank you, lovely! I hadn't done a lot of AU before I wrote this, so I wanted to stay as close to canon as possible...I'm so glad you enjoyed it! :D ♥
So I know I only had the general idea of what this would be about...but OMG!

Love, this is amazing! I love the way you went back into 6th year to change things around. Draco as a ghost really helped to bring his character out, and another "what if Draco helped Harry?"

The direct quotations from HBP really put my mind right into bathroom scene and it really helps to envision what was going on, even though it happened so fast. But to Harry, I'm sure that was what he felt like, that it happened so fast. And for Draco to actually go to him, that was definitely a big step I think for the both of them.

I loved the way they fell for each other, and Harry is still Harry and Draco is still Draco and as sad the ending was, it worked. It really did.

You've done well for your team. WOOT! =)
Wahey! I'm so glad you liked it, hon! *squishes and cuddles* I'm glad you liked the pacing; it does sort of dive right in, but I was hoping the quote from the book would ease that a little, and it sounds like it worked, so yay! :D Draco's character was also a blast--a snarky, sneaky, tricky blast, but a blast! XD

Hee. ^_^ ♥
I think this turned out great! (see? heh) You somehow managed to give us suspense, horror, romance and a battle all in one! Way to go! I know it was a long journey, but this was really great. You're right, they did need to part, but I love that you also used 'that place in between' to give them some time to be together. Amazing AU! Way to go, teammate!
LOL, thanks for having faith in me, lovely! :D Looking back on this is all rose-colored and not stressful at all XD I had so much fun writing it in the end, and meeting all y'all! *squishes* ♥
Yayayay! *happy dance and kermit flail* I loved reading this again! You really did TEAM AU proud, in that special AU way--weaving canon with AU, so that the story is very familiar but very, very different. From the start, my heart sort of ached for Draco, but then I realized that he found something in death that he'd never possessed in life: a sense of purpose, driven by what he actually wanted--not his parents, his peers, or the Dark Lord. It's great that Ron, Hermione and Snape all took part in this too. The original magic was awesome, and that whole scene at the end--in limbo-- had my heart about to overflow. How they did end was the best part of all, though. Draco was so sure and gently reassuring, and Harry just waking up.

What a great job you did with this! (pleez, can I have the cat-licking icon in your reply?)
LOL "kermit flail"! Oh, thank you for such a lovely comment, darling--and thank you for holding my hand through so much of this story! You and Samantha were the bestest, most amazing and supportive captains we could have wished for. *cuddles you silly* And I'm so glad you enjoyed it the second time around, too! :D *cuddles some more*

Hee. ^_^ *lick lick lick* (and of course, totally nick if you want ^_^)
What an original touching story!
I'm glad you liked it! :D

Thanks so much for reading and commenting. ♥
This was great! I couldn't imagine from the summary how this would go, but you did a great job of altering one thing and making the rest of canon fit in with it. Sad ending, but fitting, IMHO, for this fic. Well done!
Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it, even with the depressing ending. I hadn't done much AU before this, so I didn't want to try anything too wild--just one "what if?" like you said. ^_^

Thanks so much for reading and commenting! ♥
Parting is such sweet sorrow...Congratulations- you got me to cry. Although, it isn't a very big feat to accomplish. I'm a big baby when it comes to things like this. This was beautiful and you used the prompt so well. I loved that death didn't part Harry and Draco, it brought them together.
Ohhhh, thank you for such a lovely comment! It doesn't feel quite right to say "I'm glad I made you cry" but...you know what I mean! *laughs* I'm so glad you enjoyed the story even with all the sadness. :)

Thanks so much for reading and commenting! ♥
I'm sorry I can't leave any insightful comments on your story. I was looking forward to reading your entry for our team!!! But, I just cannot stand to read character death and angst. :( Sorry, hon.

But I'm still here to cheer you on!! Go Team AU!!!
Oh, babe, I totally understand! I think this is the first story I've ever written that has character death in it (well, not exactly death death, at least not for most of it, but, well, it's still in there! :p) I'm usually a total fluffball, so I didn't think it'd hit people very hard...but I'm glad people have felt emotionally about it!

It's been awesometastic getting to know you, babe. Team AU fistbump! :D ♥
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January 2010

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