Earlier this year, the podcast Fansplaining out out a rec list of exceptions to the "no" in reference to their recent survey where people ranked various tropes and kinks. It inspired me to put together my own little rec list of fics I loved, despite them containing things I normally prefer not to read. I figured posting it now as a tribute to Rectober's past, would be perfect timing. :)
Infidelity between Harry/Draco is a pretty hard limit for me, and I don't generally enjoy infidelity where Harry & Draco cheat on their significant others to be with each other. I have, however, read some really wonderful fics that contain the latter. I do think there are some really beautiful, meaningful, thoughtful things authors can do with the topic.
Collect Your Courage by mervab [NC-17, 44k] — Potter needs control; Draco needs forgiveness. They shag; Lavender gives advice; they yell; Seamus makes muffins; they fight; and everyone else drinks far too much coffee for their own wellbeing.
Content/Warnings: mild voyeurism, infidelity, switching (but mostly bottom!draco)
- Stepping Stones by lomonaaeren
- The Full Four Seasons by ravenclawsquill
- Promises to Keep by silentauror
Major Character Death
Major Character Death is another one that I can pretty much not tolerate at all. I've slowly began to read some of it, but I still can't handle it in longer fics. Still, I do think there are some really emotions that can be worked through with this trope. (And no, I haven't read Stop All the Clocks, and no, I can't imagine I ever will. MCD is no-go for me for a reason, and longer MCD fic is basically impossible for me to read. However, it's universally recced, so if you're in the mood for MCD, give it a shot.)
Almost Like Song locked to AO3 users by melusinahp [NC-17, 7k] — They were once lovers, but Harry hasn't seen Draco in years, so it's a bit of a shock when he appears to warn Harry about an upcoming Auror mission.
Content/Warnings: non-linear timeline, bottom!draco, wall!sex, MCD
MPREG kind of weird me out, sorry. Plus, as somebody who finds female pregnancy sort of disturbing, and as somebody who's not all that fond of kid!fic, MPREG is usually a no-go for me. Particularly for the H/D pairing, because there is SO MUCH pregnant Draco, and I have a really hard time buying the whole barefoot and pregnant thing fandom often loves for him. I just don't buy my Draco wanting to carry a child inside him. Soz. Of course, there have been some fics that managed to grab me. :)
Some Kind of Wonderful by nishe_w [NC-17, 12k] — It’s a bright, sunny day when Harry Potter accidentally drinks Hermione’s fertility potion. Madness ensues, and how will Harry and Draco cope with the repercussions?
Content/Warnings: established relationship, made them do it, bottom!harry, implied bottom!draco
- If at First you Don’t Succeed... by lauren3210
- You First, Loser by zeitgeistic
I love the HP characters, and I'm not particularly fond of fics that feel the need to denigrate them to further a story line, especially because it's usually either women or the Weasleys that suffer this fate, and I love them both! However, I was a bit less discerning when I first got into fandom, and there are a couple of fics I read in my early days that I enjoyed, and they've sort of been grandfathered in, despite the bashing. I pretty much won't read it at all now, but here are some fics that I enjoyed despite it.
Building With Worn-Out Tools by lomonaaeren [NC-17, 130k] — Right smack in the middle of a stormy divorce from Ginny, Harry has no reason to be attracted to his Arguer, Draco Malfoy. I mean, it's Malfoy. // Harry and Draco have the perfect life. Or close enough to perfect for Draco to torture Ginny about it, at least.
Content/Warnings: slight AU after HBP, ginny bashing, switching
- Teach Me, Life; Guide Me, Love by kiraohara
I am such a baby, but past relationship fics just really rub me the wrong way. First off, there's usually so much angst. And second off, maybe it's because in my own life, I've never seen or experienced anybody breaking up and getting back together with any kind of success, but it's just a really hard sell for me. Plus, I am not a fan of non-linear timelines or flashbacks in media, and those are both pretty popular in this trope. But, it's pretty popular in fic, and I've definitely read some that I loved.
Late Bloomers by thistle_verse [NC-17, ~13k] — Harry always thought he had a pretty satisfying array of sexual fantasies, until he stumbles upon the Mirror of Erised again and sees himself getting banged senseless by Draco Malfoy. Now he can't stop thinking about it, and that summer almost twenty years ago when he'd come to know Malfoy very well indeed.
Content/Warnings: epilogue-compliant, past relationship, bottom!harry,
- Systemic Morality by zeitgeistic
- French Blue by sassy_cissa
Despite loving the Next Gen kids, I've never been a huge fan of kid!fic. Honestly, I'm not much for kids myself, and I think they're very hard to write well. I often find myself bored when reading kid!fic, or I'm rolling my eyes because it's so saccharine and sweet and that is not why I am reading H/D. But like I said, I actually love the next gen kids, and when they're written well in H/D, it can be awesome.
Turn by saras_girl [NC-17, 322k] — One good turn deserves another. Apparently. Based loosely on "The Family Man"
Content/Warnings: switching, bottom!harry, bottom!draco, epilogue-compliant and AU, kid!fic
- Like a Real Family by mab
At this point, Ive been reading H/D for so long that I've formed some really solid head canons around them, and it can be hard for me to read things that challenge those head canons for this particular pairing. I also have a hard time reading traditional genderbending fics where one of the characters is female, as I'm really not here to 'het' a queer couple, you know? But there have been a few seriously fabulous and hot fics that have played around with gender. (Also, disclaimer that this doesn't really apply to transgender characters, I'm referring here to genderswapping or playing with gender without identifying as a trans person)
Glamour by silentauror [NC-17, 28k] — Post-war: Harry is given an assignment: to assist Draco Malfoy as he carries out a month-long disguise that turns out to reveal more than it hides in the end.
Content/Warnings: EWE, gender-bending, bottom!draco
- L'Inconnu by ladyvader
2nd Person POV
2nd person is so damn hard to get right, and most of the time I find it too distracting and it totally throws me out of the fic. It's rare that I'll read and seriously enjoy a 2nd person POV, but when it's done well, it can be brilliant.
Rapture by dicta_contrion [NC-17, 2k] ‐ To fuck is not to know. You like it like that. Except. Tonight. Next to the bar. You won’t learn a face but you know that hair, that walk, know the jut of that hip and the smirk on those lips, and though it’s been ten years he is no less to you. You feel him the way you feel your own hands, your feet, the thrum of the room.
Content/Warnings: semi-public sex, club!fic, second person POV
I'm here for the smut, let's just be real. I mean, I love well written fic and plot and character development. I've read hundreds of thousands of words in fic, but when I put in that effort, I want there to be some kind of sexy release after the build-up. I don't read much Teen rated fic, and I read even less long teen rated fic, but it has been known to happen on occasion...
One Night at the Leaky by birdsofshore [PG-13, 12.5k] — Harry should have known better than to accept a drunken dare. Especially when Malfoy was sitting right there, looking like that and wearing those bloody tight trousers.
Warnings/Content: Post Hogwarts, drinking games, Truth or Dare, drunkenness
- Expectations (And Their Undoing) by keeper_of_stars
- Catfished by saras_girl)
I don't mind me a good bit of dub-con, but rape/non-con is such a hard subject, I've found it difficult for me to read, especially if it involved Harry or Draco. But it can also be really powerful and important, and when it's done right, it can make for a very moving fic.
As Souls From Bodies Steal by femmequixotic [NC-17, 41k] — Hope may be found in the oddest of places, even in the bleakness of winter.
Content/Warnings: mentions of past rape/non-con, minor character death, implied bottom!harry
Polyamory (Involving my OTP)
I love reading threesome!fics (particularly as some of my fav kinks work best with at least 3 people...) but I'm much more particular when it comes to my OTP. I tend not to really enjoy reading H/D with a third partner, especially if it's a more permanent addition to their relationship. I've found I'm most susceptible to Harry/Draco/Teddy, which is probably only because LQ writes them so well. :)
Making an Entrance by lq_traintracks [NC-17, 2k] — Just a little threesome PWP sofa action.
Content/Warnings: established relationship, dirty talk, threesome, m/m/m, bottom!teddy, spitroasting, sofa!sex, exhibitionism, voyeurism
I'm so particular about Harry, and for some reason, I really much prefer when Harry hasn't had much experience with men before Draco. Or if he has, that it's sort of vague and non-explicit and definitely not like, seriously boyfriends. Kind of a weird quirk, but it can make me wilt a bit when I read it. But, of course, when the fic is good enough, I can get behind it. :)
All Our Secrets Laid Bare
Author: firethesound [NC-17, 149k] — Over the six years Draco Malfoy has been an Auror, four of his partners have turned up dead. Harry Potter is assigned as his newest partner to investigate just what is going on.
Content/Warnings: auror!fic, switching, bottom!harry, bottom!draco, first time, tattoo!kink
- Shine, Even in the Darkness by raitala
So that’s my list! Do you have an exception recs of your own?
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