Right Hand Red by lumosed_quill

Harry Potter, Rated Explicit, M/M Slashfic, Romance/Drama, Draco Malfoy/Harry Potter, 73K words

Danielle Radcliffe as Harry Potter and Tom Felton as Draco Malfoy | © Warner Bros. Pictures

Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter and Tom Felton as Draco Malfoy | © Warner Bros. Pictures

Harry felt Malfoy’s breath on his lips as they came together over the bottle, hands firmly planted on the floor as though they each needed their familiar soil, refusing to cross into enemy territory.

Except that Malfoy no longer felt like his enemy.

Malfoy felt inevitable.

Fanfics that feature the Party Games trope get a bad rap. The plots of these fics usually rely on games like Truth or Dare, Never Have I Ever, or Spin the Bottle to advance the narrative and quickly drum up sexual tension. Often, the effect falls flat and we’re left with one-dimensional characters and lengthy fics that should have been one-shots.

Right Hand Red, by lumosed_quill, is an example of a fic that perfectly executes the Party Games trope without compromising plot or characterisation. Written for the 2014 Harry Potter Big Bang, this Drarry fic follows Harry Potter and his classmates as they return to Hogwarts for eighth year in the wake of Voldemort’s defeat. Headmistress McGonagall throws a spanner in the works when she assigns all the eighth year students, across house lines, to live together in one dormitory. Naturally, this means Harry Potter will be forced into close quarters with arch-nemesis Draco Malfoy. Although Malfoy plans on keeping his head down until graduation, he is quickly brought into the fold by Harry Potter, who feels an unspoken bond for the former Death Eater. Structured by a series of three party games (Twister, Spin the Bottle, and Truth or Dare), what unfolds is a classic love story, where prejudices fall away, grudges are forgiven, and redemption is offered to those who most deserve it.

In terms of Drarry fics (and I’ve read a fair many), the characterization in Right Hand Red is as good as it gets. Harry brings his patented stubbornness and cheek, Ron and Hermione are dating but haven’t lost their edges, and Draco Malfoy is deliciously snide with a touch of sentimental. The chemistry between Harry and Draco is electric: late night Patronus lessons and Snitch-Seeking broom flights are just two of the imaginative settings where enemies become friends and friends become much more. As for the rest, the eighth year setting allows the entire cast to flourish and, most importantly, allows us to see what sort of hijinks the gang might have gotten up to had they not had You-Know-Who to worry about.

But nothing compares to the beautiful and eloquent style that pushes lumosed_quill into the upper-echelon of Drarry writers. Scarcely a grammatical error, Right Hand Red is the most technically proficient fic I’ve read. Vivid vocabulary weaves rich tapestries of the Hogwarts castle, flawless dialogue enriches the diverse cast of characters, and a breathtaking passage describing broomstick flight transports you high above the Quidditch pitch, wind pressed against your ears and cool night air filling your lungs. The writing, coupled with gorgeous chapter illustrations by fan artist Iwao, is what qualifies Right Hand Red as fanfiction at its best.

Overall Rating: 5/5
Concept & Plot: 4/5
Characters: 5/5
Themes: 4/5
Writing Style: 5/5
Grammar & Punctuation: 5/5

Right Hand Red by lumosed_quill. Illustrations by iwao (NSFW). Harry Potter, Rated Explicit, M/M Slashfic, Romance/Drama, Harry Potter, Draco Malfoy, 73K words.

Harry felt Malfoy’s breath on his lips as they came together over the bottle, hands firmly planted on the floor as though they each needed their familiar soil, refusing to cross into enemy territory.

Except that Malfoy no longer felt like his enemy.

Malfoy felt inevitable.

About Malory Beazley (32 Articles)
Malory has taken her interest in fandom to the academy, penning a Master's thesis entitled "Out of the Cupboards and Into the Streets!: Harry Potter Genderfuck Fan Fiction and Fan Activism." You can find her in Nova Scotia, sipping coffee, writing fiction, and reading slash.

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