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The Magician's Gifts -- Team Canon

Title: The Magician's Gifts
Team: Canon
Author: rurounihime
Prompt: The Magician
Wordcount: 32,854
Rating: R
Warnings: Het! OMG het!
Summary: Harry's crisis is only the beginning of his journey.
Author's Note: Tarot card interpretations for each story section selected, paraphrased and adapted most gratefully from here and here. Thank you profusely to my betas C and F. DH compliant, pre-epilogue.


The Magician's Gifts


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Comments

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Oh. My. God. That was...immaculate. Harry was so perfect, all of this complex feelings about what he was doing, his children, Ginny, Draco. The scene at the fair, and the moment of betrayal (my heart was breaking), and the final scene, and, well, basically every single scene was so well written, so genuine...*sigh* Oh, my heart. And that kiss, those tears, Harry's fear and uncertainty...you've reduced me to incoherency. And Draco's fragility and fear was so very wonderful, and his interactions with Blaise, those undercurrents Harry didn't know he understood, was a very good way to lead into this subtle, slow romance. That's a good way to describe this story, subtle. You didn't feel the need to be elaborate and pointed, or tell us what we should be seeing, you let us figure it out for ourselves. Is this making any sense? If not, you should be even more flattered. I have rarely been this impressed. Good show, darling.
Oh my goodness, thank you for such a stellar review, especially as it came as my first review! Oh, that just made my day. I'd also like to say that even if you think you are incoherent here, it doesn't sound that way from this end, and I really love what you have said about my fic. The best part, though, the phrase that catches my eye, is the "subtle, slow romance." That is so evocative, and I love that you're using it to describe my story! Thank you!
This was very enjoyable. At first I thought it was going to be a "Harry and Draco go on an adventure" thing and was REALLY excited. Even though that didn't happen, the whole going-against-the-government thing was a good plot device to get them together. I loved the confrontation with Ginny, I felt like I was in her position AND Harry's position - I sort of knew what he was trying to say, but didn't truly know until he reached the end of his little confession. I'm glad they're getting together. I feel a lot of them getting together had to do with the stress Harry was having in his own marriage. Your time with your lover is always better because you're not living with them, and don't have to face the problems of daily life with them. That made me a bit uncomfortable because because I'm not sure they'd make it, and emotionally I always want the fic where they are destined to be together 30 years onwards. But the fact that you left that open, and made this situation so believable that I felt emotionally invested enough to care is... wow. Definitely one of those fics I'll read over again.
the whole going-against-the-government thing was a good plot device to get them together.

Ahaha, that is such a relief to hear, you have no idea. That plot device was probably the major bit of discord for me while writing it. Some people did not think that such a situation was likely to happen after the war, so I knew I had to really make it believable. I'm so happy it worked for you!

Your time with your lover is always better because you're not living with them, and don't have to face the problems of daily life with them. That made me a bit uncomfortable because because I'm not sure they'd make it

That, in particular, is a very meaningful statement, and you are absolutely right: the thrill of a lover is often the sense of secrecy, of risk and clandestine meetings, or so I have come to see it. To throw it into the light of domesticity is to risk destroying what makes it special and worthwhile to the people involved. I honestly see this fic as a bridging fic between Harry's situation at the end of the war, and his situation in the epilogue. As dire as that is for him and Draco (and as much as I PERSONALLY go for the H/D forever hook-up, haha), I wanted something that could work with both, if necessary. But when I got to the end, I think I saw it as more up in the air. Could go either way. Things could actually fix themselves into a sort of... compromise, I suppose. Something to think about...

Thank you for such a wonderful and thoughtful review! I love it.
Oh. Sweet. LORD! Wow, that was so WONDERFUL!!! I am just reeling from it -oh, my aching heart!
I loved the language of it, the perfectly crafted intrigue, the danger, the pub scenes, the families and their pull, and just... gah, EVERYTHING! It's the kind of story you can read again and again, and the emotions will still be felt just as strongly.
*LOVES*

And hey, kudos for the length -I was so wrapped up in never wanting it to end that I didn't even realise how much time had gone by! :D
Hi there, teammate! Ick, I feel really behind because I have not yet gone and commented on the team's fics and art, but I have read many and seen all the art, and it's just been fantastic! This was a fun fest, no? ^__^

That said, I really loved your art, and I will head over in the near future and tell you why. :D But I want to thank you for such an enthusiastic response to my fic! Hahaha, it truly caught me by surprise and made my day so nice. The fact that you want to read it again says more than enough. I really appreciate this!
Absolutely wonderful. The mystery, the politcal intrigue, the inner turmoil, the families, everything was spot on. I loved the charactersition for h/d and Ginny, too. Okay, you killed me with the ending, but I really enjoyed this story.
The endings of these World Cup stories has certainly had the fandom in an uproar, hasn't it? For that reason, I am so relieved that you liked the story, even with the ominous ending. O.o I personally choose to be hopeful about it (haha...) but I like that it is being taken in so many different ways.

Thank you so much for reading, and for such a great review! I am sorry for the angst...
This was beautifully done! You really conveyed Harry's concerns, political and personal. Nothing was easy for him, and there were no clear answers. It was a psychological thriller that kept me on edge waiting for things to go wrong.

You did such a good job making me believe Harry's feelings for both Ginny and Draco. I'm not entirely sure what I want to be decided, which is an accomplishment since I usually don't like H/G.

Excellent story!
It was a psychological thriller that kept me on edge waiting for things to go wrong.

Oh, that is a FABULOUS thing to read! Thank you so much! I love psychological thrillers, and I'm so happy that you think the story keeps the suspense and leads in to its climax successfully. That is so nice to hear!

It's also wonderful to have you say that you felt for Ginny. She is so often villified in fic, and I really don't think that's who she is. It is such a relief to know that you liked her character here. Thank you again!
Wow! That was such a wonderful ride ... and it felt like I was on a ride with Harry, feeling his roller coaster of emotions as though I were there.

I like that Harry didn't lose sight of his family in this, nor did they fall into something quickly, without thinking about it. Their relationship developed over time, and even after the kiss, he just couldn't betray Ginny that way.

You had me from the beginning, with that feeling of awe that overcomes a parent when you first look at your newborn baby. That complete connection that knows no limits. I love how you had Harry see Draco that way, as a father too. And that it was key throughout the story. There is pretty much nothing a parent wouldn't do for his child. Even betray the one he loves.

Brilliant story.
You know, finding out that a reader was sucked into the story is SO great. Thank you for letting yourself get so involved!

I admit, I have no children, and I was going on what I have heard from people who say that life just changes, and one's outlook on life changes once kids come into the picture. It was interesting to explore that, and how it might drive a person's actions.

Thank you so much for this lovely review!
I enjoyed reading this story - it was tense and involving. You handled the difficult emotions very well: Harry's struggles with himself and his wracking guilt. The pain Harry and Draco went through was made very real, which made it quite a difficult read, but well worth it.
The pain Harry and Draco went through was made very real, which made it quite a difficult read, but well worth it.

It makes me feel so great that you think it was worth the angst. I knew this story wasn't going to end in a crystal clear happily ever after, and I've been nervous about its reception. Thank you so much for such a nice review!

Hey, where's your icon from?
All was not well for Harry in this world, it seems. This was really sad story, heartwrenching and deep in emotions. It was intriguing to watch the story unfold. There was a stong morality issue, some basic human rights were taken away. It was just like Harry to help those Slytherins his in spite of his personal feelings towards them.
The interaction between Draco and Blaise was amazing, I felt that there were left many things unsaid, maybe a touch of DM/BZ?
Oh and my favourite part was probably the one where the two fathers are with the children.
Harry gets so tangled up in business, gets so involved and we can nearly see how it all can't end up well.
The end was so tragic, the betrayal, how Harry's feelings for Draco come to light, the scandal, the truth. You nearly had me crying, very nearly.

Thanks for writing it!
There was a stong morality issue, some basic human rights were taken away. It was just like Harry to help those Slytherins his in spite of his personal feelings towards them.

I think so, too. I think book seven proves that he finally learned to put the personal stuff aside in favor of what is right. And I loved that transition for Harry. It was great to see.

I felt that there were left many things unsaid, maybe a touch of DM/BZ?

Oh, absolutely. I personally went with the two-sided background for myself, but I kind of like the idea that the relationship might actually have been one-sided, with Draco knowing how Blaise felt about him. Either way, it's intriguing. And it puts Blaise into an excellent position to read Harry. Hahaha...

I'm sorry for almost making you cry! But thank you for getting so emotionally invested in my fic. It is a wonderful compliment. ^_^
That was really powerfully written. The plot flowed so seamlessly and flawlessly that I was instantly hooked. And the suspense, as the story progressed! I so felt for Harry here; it once again proves that bad things happen to good people. Harry didn't deserve to have his life turned upside down, and neither did Draco, - or Ginny, for that matter. There really was no villain in this story; the 'mastermind' that was Theodore Nott was more evocative of the proverbial hand of fate. And now they are all left to pick up the pieces of their fractured lives and hope that eventually something good will come out of it.

Thank you for writing!

The plot flowed so seamlessly and flawlessly that I was instantly hooked.

After reading several other comments on this subject, what you've said here has made me so happy... Others felt the beginning dragged too much, some felt the premise wasn't right to begin with... Thank you so much for letting me know that it worked for you! ^_^

it once again proves that bad things happen to good people. Harry didn't deserve to have his life turned upside down, and neither did Draco, - or Ginny, for that matter. There really was no villain in this story

And THAT, I loved. It's such a great interpretation, and I really appreciate it. I think stories that have no real villain are very interesting. Thank you again for such a nice review. ^___^
I love watching Harry's internal conflict about the Transportation law. It's such a rough thing, to uphold this law you don't believe in, and you verbalize his thoughts so well.
The progression of the relationship between Harry and Draco comes very naturally, nothing rushed, nothing out of place.
Draco's betrayal of Harry just broke my heart. I just was so desperate for a good reason. I mean, I know Draco warned him, and Harry being the fucking hero had to insist, but still....
I have tons and tons of respect for Ginny in this, which is a great kudos to you, author. It's difficult to make Ginny realistically acceptable in post DH H/D fics, but you did such a great job on her in this.
Oh man, that first h/c kiss is so perfectly right on and... I dunno, sob-inducing.
This is extremely well done; gripping, natural, interesting, and emotional. And very very realistic. I think that when I say "realistic" what I really mean is "true to canon" since that's the reality we're trying to match up with. And in that, you have done your team proud. Well done, well done.
Hahaha, can you tell I like making Harry distinctly uncomfortable with himself? *hides from Harry*

Thank you so much for your comment about smooth progression in their relationship. That means a lot, and it's usually one of the things I get concerned about when writing, especially for fests and challenges and the like. There was also a really quick deadline for WC, and I know I'm not the only one who was rushing to finish. It's a relief to hear that you felt it progressed believably.

I just was so desperate for a good reason.

So, I'm curious: do you think the ultimate reason for Draco's betrayal made sense?

Thank you for respecting Ginny! Hahaha, I feel so bad for her when I read fic because she's totally become the new Cho Chang, the girl everyone loves to hate. And that's too bad because she's can be a fun character to write.

Thank you so much for such a stellar review! This was so nice to read... ^__^
One of the best Canon entries for the fest so far. Your Harry was incredible. Umm, rather than repeating myself, I rambled on for a bit over here. Wonderful work!
One of the best Canon entries for the fest so far.

WOW. Thank you! I was thrilled to have you say this about my fic, and I wish I could have responded right away, but we were supposed to be all anonymous and such... ^__^ I'm heading over to your ramble to thank you there as well. ^___^
This story just completely captivated me. I wasn't expecting this. My heart is constricted and I feel all warm and feverish. My body is reacting to this story. OK, let's see if I can break down why. I actually started out kind of bored. No, really, don't be mad. The kids were napping and I scrolled through the start and felt it was dragging a bit. The initial confrontation between Harry and Draco was too long, I felt, as was the whole Greengrass thing. But I get it: you needed to show us how Harry got dragged into initially trusting Draco. And once they started really working together, the pace stopped stuttering and began to wind forward, carrying me to the conclusion I knew must be ahead. I couldn't tear myself away. The story just simmered and smoldered and erupted so violently, and sensually, even without any smut--their connection and trust forged so fragily, against all reason, but because of this thing between them. I loved it when Harry says that there's always been something between them when he tells Ginny. Actually, that scene is the best in the story. God, I loved this line:
"He could feel it rolling down his cheek, the cheek she couldn't see, and it felt like the brush of Draco's thumb, of all fucking things."

I think Draco's motivation for the betrayal was easy to predict, but your tense incredulity on Harry's part in the moment of betrayal had my heart beating so fast. Their kiss was exactly right. And the ending "Hi," and "Hey" made me so so oh, I am not the writer here; you are! I can't express it. I think I felt reassured that your Harry and your Draco were going to acknowledge that this is love. It might not be the love he has with Ginny, but it certainly isn't simply misplaced anger or jealousy or sexual attraction as it can be written in other H/D fics (not that I'm complaining about those characterizations; I just loved having this one for once). Harry is in love with Draco, and this reality spirals out of him from the moment he says "I am doing it for you" before the betrayal and culminates not with the kiss, but with the soft, "Hi" and "Hey" at the end.

I am strangely okay with the ambiguous ending (and I usually hate ambiguous endings) because to me what is important to acknowledge has been acknowledged. That Harry loves Draco, that he also loves Ginny, that she loves him but is angry, and that all of that is simultaneously fair and unfair. This is all shown, not told. A longer fic could have shown a little more about how Harry loves Ginny, but no matter; the reader believes it anyway. No easy victims or spiteful!Ginny here. A small detail that made this believable was the fact that she is working on anger control. I love how you showed her having grown up somewhat. I have a thing against Ginny-bashing fics. But my H/D OTP really makes it tough for me to find fics that handle her well.

Thank you so much for writing this.


Can I add another fav quote?
"No," he breathed, feeling appalled and very, very sick. For one infinitesimal moment, the comparison reared, Draco, or his children, his family, and Draco was so very small beside them. Something inside Harry scoffed, spit at the near betrayal, and then the horror at seeing Draco as so very insignificant began to curdle in Harry's gut.

Wow. Where/How did you come up with this? This moment is why we need to read your work word for word and not skim, because if you read this part too fast, you'd miss something gorgeous.
Okay, I'm writing this comment immediately after having finished reading your story, so forgive me if this is rambling and emotional. But, seriously. You can't write something that powerful and moving and expect not to get rambling teary emotional comments :D

It took me a little while to get into it at first: the beginning had a lot of dense detail that I felt myself sort of trudging through. But as soon as I got my head around what was happening (Slytherins were being persecuted in some way and then prevented from freely leaving the country), I just fell into the story. A bomb could have gone off in the kitchen, and I wouldn't have been able to stop reading. It was that compelling.

Aside from a storyline that really resonated for me (the slowly creeping strangulation of civil rights all in the name of safety&security) and the burgeoning love story that (OMFG!!) was so believable and moving, I was riveted by your ability to describe complex emotional experiences. One example that comes instantly to mind is when you describe the sensation of betrayal Harry feels as having taken too deep a breath and being unable to release it. I know exactly what you're talking about, and not only that, but I was feeling it, too, as I was reading. Draco's betrayal went straight to my heart. I literally felt it.

Your description of how Harry felt after the betrayal also struck me as exactly right. Not only was he grappling with the betrayal, but also the dawning realization that what he was feeling was not only shame and rage, but also heartbreak - a realization which, in turn, forces him to acknowledge what we, the readers, had been noticing all along - namely, that he had fallen deeply in love with Draco. And, god, the conversation with Ginny . . . I could picture all in my mind so clearly that it was like watching a movie.

Just a note about the ending: As I was reading, I was watching the blue side-bar-thingie (whatever that thing's called) that tells you how much farther you've left to go before the end and saying to myself, Nnnooooooo!!!!! because I just knew there was no way you could have them consummate their relationship in the space that was left. And by "consummate," I don't mean having them fall sweatily in bed with each other (though, god knows, I would NOT have complained if that's what had happened). And in many ways, that kiss did provide a moment of consummation (and a wonderful one!) But after what Harry had been through - and Draco, too! - I just craved something more in the marrow of my bones. I think I would offer you a lot of $$$ right now, if you would write another 5,000 words! Which is not a criticism of you as much as it is an expression of my own desire. I know why you ended it here: if you didn't end it here, it would have turned into another 10,000 to 20,000 words (not to mention another story) . . .

Anyway, I need to take a deep breath and walk the dog and massage my heart back into some semblance of okayness. Which, in case it's not clear already, is a huge compliment :D I loved this story. Truly loved it. Thank you so so so much for writing and sharing.

P.S. There are so many vivid visual moments in this story that I know are going to stick with me, but out of them all my favorite is Draco, dressed in black, crossing the twilit Quidditch pitch, the wind blowing his hair around his face. Just the way Harry saw him in that moment, I just knew. That was the precise moment the dart sank into the flesh of his heart, and he was a goner. And you, you amazing writer you, conveyed all of of that without ever telling us outright. ***adores***
Arrrrg, okay, I am sorry for not responding sooner. I LOVED your review as soon as I read it. It was such a treat! I admit to wondering if you would like the story or not because everyone was just raving over your work for another fest right before World Cup, and I hadn't read your stories yet but was so curious! Hahaha. This review was so wonderful to read.

I am finding that several other people found the beginning to be ponderous and slow. Even boring. Hahaha. It's good to get this kind of feedback... I will need to take a look at this if/when I edit it for posting elsewhere and see if I can change anything.

A bomb could have gone off in the kitchen, and I wouldn't have been able to stop reading. It was that compelling.

This is amazing to read about a story of mine. Thank you for telling me this! I'm also excited that you found the premise believable, even resonant. I had mixed feedback over that bit while writing the story, but I really liked the idea of wizardom descending slowly back into a dystopia so quickly. It's not as if all the trouble would just magically go away immediately...

the sensation of betrayal Harry feels as having taken too deep a breath and being unable to release it. I know exactly what you're talking about

I've felt that sensation before, not because of a betrayal, but almost like I'd breathed in too much air and even though I was exhaling it wouldn't all come out, and it was just building and building. Very icky feeling. O.o

I was watching the blue side-bar-thingie (whatever that thing's called) that tells you how much farther you've left to go before the end and saying to myself, Nnnooooooo!!!!! because I just knew there was no way you could have them consummate their relationship in the space that was left.

Hahaha! I have SO done that. I'm all freaking out as I scroll, watching the sidebar with one eye and reading with the other... ^____^

I don't mean having them fall sweatily in bed with each other (though, god knows, I would NOT have complained if that's what had happened)

I wouldn't have complained either. ^_~

I think I would offer you a lot of $$$ right now, if you would write another 5,000 words! Which is not a criticism of you as much as it is an expression of my own desire. I know why you ended it here: if you didn't end it here, it would have turned into another 10,000 to 20,000 words (not to mention another story) . . .

Exactly. I probably would have needed thirty more pages to get them satisfactorily together. Eesh... *is tired just thinking about it*

my favorite is Draco, dressed in black, crossing the twilit Quidditch pitch, the wind blowing his hair around his face. Just the way Harry saw him in that moment, I just knew. That was the precise moment the dart sank into the flesh of his heart, and he was a goner.

First off, I LOVE the way you've phrased this. :):):) Second, thank you for choosing that image. I had no idea it was so strong. ^__^

Thanks for a WONDERFUL review. I loved reading it!
I really liked the climactic scene where Draco asks who would have believed or cared about him--wonderful parallel to book 6.
where Draco asks who would have believed or cared about him--wonderful parallel to book 6.

Wow, THANK YOU! That scene really took its own direction, and that was just where it wanted to go, and it made sense to me, you know? I'm so happy that scene struck you as appropriate. Thank you again!
that was/is/will always be the best thing I've read in ages. It is absolutely stunning. It is moving and gorgeous and so, so, so out of this world brilliant. It is beyond all words and my lack of capacity to express them.

O.o

WOW. Oh my. Thank you for such a wonderful, fantastic comment here. This MADE MY DAY. You have no idea.

the realisation that he's terribly in love and cannot escape it but cannot revel in it either.

This was so spot-on. Such a great observation, and I completely agree with your assessment. I really love your review of my fic, and I want to thank you for reading it and for telling me what you thought.
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