Fanfic as Coping

[Cross posted from my main tumblr blog, and originally posted on 7 Oct 2018. I don’t plan on this WP blog turning into an exclusively fandom related blog, but certain fanfics have either been instrumental to coping / grieving or Someone has decided to hijack an element, so I’m going to have some fanfic content.]

I know I’ve mentioned my grandfather’s cancer diagnosis but not really gone into it here, but I wanted to explain why it suddenly seemed like the only content I was reblogging had to do with fanfiction or inspiration for WIPs (part of my #writing prompt tag). Honestly, it may not make sense to some people, but I was drawn to reading fics with certain themes or elements when he was first diagnosed, and part of coping throughout the summer and fall included writing.

I was in not necessarily nice, proper, or polite tags on ao3. Rape / Non-con, dubious consent, consensual non-con, Master/slave, sexual slavery and Ownership, and elements where there was a loss of control. Because there’s nothing like a loved one facing a terminal illness and mortality to make you feel like you have no control over anything. There’s nothing like trying to ignore the initial anger and blame [1] and the fear to make you feel like you need to have control over something.

I came across a Master/slave fic back in April that I liked some ideas from, but obviously, I had some ideas of where I would try to take things in a different direction. The premise is that Harry is emotionally manipulated into a training school for slaves and the trainer he’s involved with will supposedly win his contract at auction, but given that it’s a Drarry fic, it’s not a surprise that the recruiter isn’t his Owner / Master. In my opinion, “Playing with Fire” seemed to gloss over the problems with this dubious training and the fallout for Harry afterwards, and I’m not even sure I can adequately explain why I wanted (needed?) to make it darker.

Some people talk about how writers like to play God, and they tend to go for a motivation by hubris. This wasn’t about pride that I could fuck Harry up more or write some part of the fic “better”. Writing the dissociation, having Harry struggle with stepping away from his body, digging into the anger at the trainer mixed in with the guilt for missing him (or at least expecting his reactions), and interspersing the memories, triggers, and flashbacks comes down to control. Figuring out if I wanted to flashback to a rape scene, only hint at it, and how it might affect Harry now is about controlling the loss of control. I, as the writer, can fuck around with this character’s body and head, and I can choose to leave us in angst or turn the arc a little upwards, and I can get us to a less fucked up place by the end. (Hopefully.)

As I’ve written about recently, my grandfather died at the end of September (a bit over a week ago). I uploaded the first chapter to ao3 last night, and I’m honestly not going to be surprised if this doesn’t get a huge amount of attention. But I’m not abandoning this fic because it’s cathartic, a bit self-indulgent in places, and it’s the closest I’ve been to something that’s not original fiction in a while. Because even as I’ve got Dark shit in the past (that’s not directly or explicitly in the current chapters), I’ve got non-sexual submission / kink, Mind Healing, kintsugi as therapy, and less fucked up shit in the future chapters. (Assuming someone sticks it out until then.)

. . .

[1] In a post from the time of the initial diagnosis, I talked about the types of cancer (lung cancer + lymphoma) and how it was partially do with an activity my grandfather chose to take part in (smoking). A part of me understands that there were other variables and doesn’t blame him solely, but initially, I did struggle a bit with that.

Kintsugi (Ch 6)

[Cross posted from my fandom tumblr where I started sharing some sfw excerpts as I uploaded each chapter. Backdated to align with when the chapter was uploaded – 9 Nov 2018.]

Ch 6: Vulnera Sanentur (Aug 6) [ao3] / ?

Ship(s): Draco Malfoy/Harry Potter, Harry Potter/Original Male Character(s)

Tags: Sexual Slavery, Master/Slave, BDSM, Post-Battle of Hogwarts, Post-War, Past Rape/Non-con, Emotional Hurt/Comfort, Non-Sexual Submission, Non-Sexual Kink, Rape Recovery, Dom/sub, Dom Draco Malfoy, Sub Harry Potter, Non-Sexual Intimacy

Added: [3] Kink Negotiation, [4] Impact Play, Spanking, [5] Public Sex, Safewording, [6] Communication, Consent Issues

The meta talk around consent (and issues with communication) don’t exactly have easily separated portions for excerpt purposes. I did share why I got into this plot in this chapter’s end notes because this is the end of what I had written before my grandfather passed away. I do not plan on abandoning this fic, fyi.

Kintsugi (Ch 5)

[Cross posted from my fandom tumblr where I started sharing some sfw excerpts as I uploaded each chapter. Backdated to align with when the chapter was uploaded – 2 Nov 2018.]

Ch 5: București (Aug 5) [ao3]

Ship(s): Draco Malfoy/Harry Potter, Harry Potter/Original Male Character(s)

Tags: Sexual Slavery, Master/Slave, BDSM, Post-Battle of Hogwarts, Post-War, Past Rape/Non-con, Emotional Hurt/Comfort, Non-Sexual Submission, Non-Sexual Kink, Rape Recovery, Dom/sub, Dom Draco Malfoy, Sub Harry Potter, Non-Sexual Intimacy

Added: [3] Kink Negotiation, [4] Impact Play, Spanking, [5] Public Sex, Safewording

A / N: București is Bucharest, and a nickname “Little Paris” inspired the name I gave to the Wizarding portion of The Grand Hotel Continental (Bijuteria Micul Paris, or The Jewel of Little Paris). The herbal cigarettes described here as nicotine-less and non-addictive (separate from Muggle cigarettes) are a crossover from a fic I have yet to post on AO3 (as of the original posting).

HP Wiki describes hags as having rudimentary magic (Hag) and cites Babayaga as an example of a hag that made it into Muggle myth. Eating children may or may not be a misconception. In this fic, I clearly deviated (adequately outlined in the fic itself, but there’s a definite Russian theme with this specific character). Pronya is named after a river in Russia, and Mikhaylov is mentioned as a town along the Pronya River and the connection to Russian lacemaking. Supposedly, one of the closest comparisons to human flesh is pork (source), and honestly, there’s no significance to the garlic mention other than my fondness for getting the garlic parmesan sauce at Bdubbs. The shawl described was inspired by the Celestarium that seems to pop up on my dash a lot, though I’ve made it a bit fancier here.

The erotic performance venue described in this chapter comes from another fic (Sherlock the Model), so the inspired by info has been updated; reading that fic is not necessary to understanding this one. A particular tumblr post of a screenshot of a tweet also figured heavily in writing that night at The Dragon’s Den [a shy sub riding your thigh and hiding their face in your shoulder, mewling quietly as you guide their hips & make them move faster]. Excerpt inspired by the general atmosphere of embroidery being a potential coping mechanism, called stitchcraft in this fic:

“Hm-mm”, Harry set the box on the floor next to him and slowly sat with his back up against the bench. He sat up straighter and leaned his head back, nudging into Malfoy’s knee. Malfoy’s inflection went a bit strict and stuffy as he carefully recited someone else’s words, “It is an esteemed Hearth Craft, and young Purebloods these days should be well rounded magic users. Your courtship profile will be sent to the bottom of the stack if you can’t handle basic alterations and sewing repairs, young man.”

Harry couldn’t imagine Narcissa talking like that, but he could picture a disapproving portrait of some long dead Malfoy or Black ancestor nagging the youngest living Malfoy during one of their summer holidays. He couldn’t really speak to sewing skills because Aunt Petunia making him help sew buttons back onto a dress shirt that Dudley had outgrown but still tried to put on wasn’t a wide knowledge base. Malfoy’s voice had settled back to normal, though he spoke quietly, “Knowing how to join two separate items together is rather handy in a war. Casting sutures is easier if you already know your stitches, you may need to sew the energetic fabric layers of space and time back together while repairing a Vanishing Cabinet, and so on. Mind Healer suggested reclaiming this from being associated with the war, and it turns out repeatedly stabbing something is less destructive than drinking, starting a duel, and other fun ways to redirect anger.”

Kintsugi (Ch 4)

[Cross posted from my fandom tumblr where I started sharing some sfw excerpts as I uploaded each chapter. Backdated to align with when the chapter was uploaded – 26 Oct 2018.]

Ch 4: The Dragon’s Tail (Aug 4) [ao3]

Ship(s): Draco Malfoy/Harry Potter, Harry Potter/Original Male Character(s)

Tags: Sexual Slavery, Master/Slave, BDSM, Post-Battle of Hogwarts, Post-War, Past Rape/Non-con, Emotional Hurt/Comfort, Non-Sexual Submission, Non-Sexual Kink, Rape Recovery, Dom/sub, Dom Draco Malfoy, Sub Harry Potter, Non-Sexual Intimacy

Added: [3] Kink Negotiation, [4] Impact Play, Spanking

A / N: Being upfront, I have no irl experience with impact play, so there may be some fudging with the spanking scene (my childhood experiences of being spanked doesn’t translate to a scene of this nature). While I am aware of what Caregiver/little is not, I wanted to try writing a pov where the incestuous Pureblood associations have made this unpalatable for Draco. I must admit that some of the caretaking elements (and referring to a stuffed animal as a ‘stuffie’) will seem familiar for those who’ve peeked into Cg/l, at least in some tumblr spaces.

I almost put the Astronomy stuff as this chapter’s excerpt, but between this story and another one being shared simultaneously, I didn’t want to overwhelm with Astronomy fan theory. Excerpt inspired by something I know I’ve seen elsewhere from fans that Draco had a stuffed dragon as a child:

Harry bit the inside of his cheek to keep an inappropriate laugh from bursting out, and he hoped most of the smile was hidden. A blue-gray dragon with a silver underbelly was being set on his knees. The main body was about the size he thought the typical teddy bear might be, but the tail did add a little extra length and the wings a little more width. Of course he would have a dragon, Harry carefully picked it up to get a closer look. It had a slightly faded look around the seams, and he was fairly certain the disjointed dark blue and silver stitching reinforcing the seams wasn’t intentional. Somehow it had two different blue buttons as eyes, different shades no less, and the hint of green under the chin might have been a permanent grass stain. There were no lethal blue spikes along the tail, and the snout was a bit shorter than Harry thought it should be, so this Swedish Short-Snout really was a him, as far as a children’s toy went.

“His name is Elty”, Malfoy mumbled, cleared his throat, and tried to speak a little louder, “Short for Eltanin, also known as Gamma Draconis, the brightest star in Draco. I know it seems a bit childish, but the herbal blend isn’t addictive and really does help with the nightmares”, he cut himself off at the admission. Harry gave an experimental squeeze and sniff. He didn’t really know his herbs unless they were used in cooking, but he did recognize the lavender Malfoy had mentioned and that vague tea smell might have been the chamomile. Elty smelled nice, and the calming was more of a gentle suggestion than the juggernaut of forced sedation from a Calming Draught. He reckoned it wouldn’t be strong or fast acting enough for the worst intensity of a panic attack, but there was something about the subtlety of the magic that did feel safe for long-term use. Harry couldn’t remember having a stuffed animal when he was little – just a blanket he was fond of until Dudley had tore it up to make a kite one summer – so hugging Elty didn’t seem quite as embarrassing for him. It was certainly better than feeling a bit pathetic at wanting to hug a spare pillow at least.

Kintsugi (Ch 3)

[Cross posted from my fandom tumblr where I started sharing some sfw excerpts as I uploaded each chapter. Backdated to align with when the chapter was uploaded – 19 Oct 2018.]

Ch 3: Acquiescence (Aug 3) [ao3]

Ship(s): Draco Malfoy/Harry Potter, Harry Potter/Original Male Character(s)

Tags: Sexual Slavery, Master/Slave, BDSM, Post-Battle of Hogwarts, Post-War, Past Rape/Non-con, Emotional Hurt/Comfort, Non-Sexual Submission, Non-Sexual Kink, Rape Recovery, Dom/sub, Dom Draco Malfoy, Sub Harry Potter, Non-Sexual Intimacy

Added: [3] Kink Negotiation

A / N: Preliminary safeword system uses a slightly modified “traffic light” system (green / yellow / red). Another case of pulling out terms for easier reference: As hetaerae shifted to time constrained contracts, the terms despoina (“mistress or lady of the house”) and despotes (“master of the house”) were applied retroactively to lifelong hetaerae (derived from Despoina, either a younger sister or Underworld epithet of Persephone).

The inclusion of an opera and subsequent theatrical talk (like props potionology) is a smidge self indulgent, but this excerpt works on establishing Ethelry in Wizarding history and gets into a fan theory about why Nicolas Flamel created the Philosopher’s Stone when he did.

He [Harry] figured the instinct to sit up straighter before answering such a question must be subconscious among the bookish, but he did appreciate that Malfoy didn’t sound like he was gearing up for a lecture as Hermione would, “Nicolas Flamel was a French alchemist, who is the only known creator of a successful Philosopher’s Stone. He bought relatively inexpensive hetaerae as human experiments for the Elixir of Life after his first successful gold transmutation with the Stone in 1340, and Tydrik Ruotsalainen was bought in 1344. It was still the acceptable practice to attach the Owner’s surname to a slave, hence Ruotsalainen De Flamel. Other hetaerae either died from the poisonous failed Elixir attempts or illnesses they were exposed to in trying to prove the Elixir worked, but Tydrik was successfully exposed to the Black Death for several years until Nicolas declared the Elixir of Life a success and drank it with his wife Perenelle in 1348.”

. . .

The math for Nicolas Flamel and his wife Perenelle’s lifespans are a smidge flexible, considering how they’re not talked about after book one. I know Harry had other things to focus on, but I would think the Wizarding world (or at least someone in the press) should’ve mentioned their passing later. I’m still absurdly attached to a connection between the Black Death and the Philosopher’s Stone.

Kintsugi (Ch 2)

[Cross posted from my fandom tumblr where I started sharing some sfw excerpts as I uploaded each chapter. Backdated to align with when the chapter was uploaded – 12 Oct 2018.]

Ch 2: Acceptance (Aug 2) [ao3]

Ship(s): Draco Malfoy/Harry Potter, Harry Potter/Original Male Character(s)

Tags: Sexual Slavery, Master/Slave, BDSM, Post-Battle of Hogwarts, Post-War, Past Rape/Non-con, Emotional Hurt/Comfort, Non-Sexual Submission, Non-Sexual Kink, Rape Recovery, Dom/sub, Dom Draco Malfoy, Sub Harry Potter, Non-Sexual Intimacy

No added tags for this chapter. Chapter 2 mostly introduces Ethelry specific terms, so there’s not really a good section to share as an excerpt.

A / N: While these terms are explained in the fic, I wanted to make it easier to reference these words that have mostly been borrowed.

Ethelry: Derived from the Anglo-Saxon futhorc for inheritance or inherited estate, eðel (ethel), which may be more recognizable as the Elder Futhark Odal / Othala. It’s the term applied to this system of slavery.

Taeog: A house slave, may be assigned to any task that is traditionally done inside the home (laundry, cleaning, cooking, etc.). Borrowed from the term used in south Wales for a native serf that literally denoted someone “belonging to the house” of the lord’s manor (pl. taeogion); see Taeog.

Theow: A land slave, may be assigned to tasks that were traditionally outside of the main home, even though modern houses may have floors, wings, or small buildings attached to their homes for these purposes (farming, gardening, tending to animals, etc.). Borrowed from the Old English term for a slave equivalent to the thrall in Scandinavian serfdom (pl. theows); see Thrall.

Hetaera: A pleasure slave, is kept most often for sexual activities. It depends on the contracts and the families as to whether taeogion and theows also engage in sexual activity and what hetaerae may do in addition to sex. This can include service chores for their particular Owner (such as cooking their meals), providing entertainment (a non-sexual example would be playing an instrument), and assisting taeogion and theows in other chores. Borrowed from the Ancient Greek term for a “companion” prostitute (pl. hetaerae); see Hetaira.

~

To make up for not having a Ch 2 excerpt, I’ve got a bit from Ch 3 that is my “fix it” for what JKR came up with as the US’ preferred sport over Quidditch:

Harry hummed and turned to the holo-pitch, a little curious to see how the teams were doing since being reinstated after the war ended. He squinted at the game as players in mostly off-white robes tossed a white quaffle back and forth. He had almost talked himself into the colors being off because of something to do with the holo-pitch transmission until the strange Chaser with the ball flew around the back of the goalposts to attempt a score and a Keeper in the same off-white robes blocked the throw, “The fuck are they doing?”

“The hotel has a large American clientele base, so they carry Kwiddle matches”, Malfoy sounded a bit bored as he carried on with an explanation, “The Quidditch derived Kwiddle adds several players and another ball to each team, in addition to the usual Chasers, Beaters, Keeper, and Seeker. The white quaffle is a Skipsi, which subtracts ten points when thrown through the back of the goalpost, the three Chasers in white are Skippers, and the Keeper in the back is the Backer.”

Like, don’t get me wrong, I can understand wanting a difference like with football / American football, but Quodpot, really? Honestly, the whole reason for sharing sfw excerpts is to share headcanons that are sprinkled throughout the story like this. Also of note: I’ve been incorporating holo-pitches into a lot of my fics recently; I just didn’t share the describing paragraph here. Think holographic pitch and it’s sorta like a tv? Basically, like a tv.

Kintsugi (Ch 1)

[Cross posted from my fandom tumblr where I started sharing some sfw excerpts as I uploaded each chapter. Backdated to align with when the chapter was uploaded – 6 Oct 2018.]

Chapter 1: Auction (Aug 1) [ao3]

While I am very aware that there is content that some people may not be comfortable with in their fics, I wrote here about why I started this fic and why I’m starting to post it now. For those who didn’t read that post, the important tags to pay attention to in terms of trigger or content warnings are Past Rape/Non-con and Rape Recovery.

Ship(s): Draco Malfoy/Harry Potter, Harry Potter/Original Male Character(s)

Tags: Sexual Slavery, Master/Slave, BDSM, Post-Battle of Hogwarts, Post-War, Past Rape/Non-con, Emotional Hurt/Comfort, Non-Sexual Submission, Non-Sexual Kink, Rape Recovery, Dom/sub, Dom Draco Malfoy, Sub Harry Potter, Non-Sexual Intimacy

A / N: Inspired by a Master/slave fic that features Harry spending the summer at the dragon reserve with Charlie in Romania, an emotion based headhunting experience, and a training school for slaves among other elements. Reading “Playing with Fire” is not necessary to understand this story.

Summary: The darkness of the black blindfold was disconcerting, but Harry tried his best not to tap his fingers or move his arms, knowing the deep blue scarf wound around his wrists was more for show than actual restraint and could come undone under too much fidgeting. Prospective buyers had to be able to test their range of motion or something along those lines. Harry had heard different footsteps and hushed whispering for the most part in Romanian, but no one had stopped to inspect him closer, to touch, or to speak to him. Someone in line had shifted and their leather shorts squeaked, but there hadn’t seemed to be very many sounds of anyone being inspected. A fluttering nervousness had crept into the young man’s gut. The private viewing before the auction officially started was rather like an auction for the particularly wealthy clients, and Matei hadn’t prepared him for this anticipation. Would Matei’s starting offer hold up against one of their offers?

. . .

Link to Spotify playlist for this fic ~