Ceremony to the UFO's (PG-13, 4k)
Summary: It was just his luck that he got stuck with the one person on the bus who had voluntarily signed up for the trip and not just for the extra credit like the rest of them.
My notes: A cute little fic involving adolescent!M&A going on a school field trip to the planetarium. It's not the most amazing story ever written, but it's a nice piece of fluff to read if you need something to brighten your day.
you have a one-track mind like me (PG-13, 3k)
Summary: For small creatures such as we, the vastness is bearable only through love. Or, four discoveries that shattered Merlin’s world and one that didn’t, not really, when he thought about it.
My notes: I usually don't like character studies, but this is a really good one. It follows immortal!Merlin through the thousands of years following Arthur's death while he waits for Arthur to be born again. It's sad, but hopeful in an understated way. Really interesting read, if you're into science and/or history.
Days of old and days to be (R, 18k)
Summary: Regency AU in which Arthur is the darling of the ton, Merlin is still a terrible valet, Mordred is a radical rabble-rouser, and Gwen's in love with a Light Dragoon.
My notes: This fic is an enjoyable read, primarily because the author seems to have researched every little detail about the historical period. The characters fit into the world seamlessly. There's no gimmick to the plot; it's just a simple reincarnation fic, with impressively IC characters (oblivious!Arthur is my favourite, but Morgana's lines are delightful, too).
Draco Malfoy's Travelling Theatre of the Strange and Spectacular (NC-17, 28k) **
Summary: "I welcome you to Draco Malfoy's Travelling Theatre of the Strange and Spectacular. Hold onto your seats, for this is not entertainment for the faint of heart. You will see both amazing spectacles and shocking displays. Get out your smelling salts, uncap your Firewhisky bottles -- it's going to be an evening you'll never forget."
My notes: I love the development of Harry and Draco's relationship here, and both of them are wonderfully IC. There are several comedic moments (anything involving Dennis Creevey is hysterical) and the mystery is well-crafted. Probably my favourite fic of the fest so far.
Darkstar (NC-17, 23k)
Summary: After the Ministry of Magic decides that Harry's Auror position is a liability, they offer him an alternative: become part of an international covert operations initiative. Joining the project means Harry must forsake everything he cherishes and learn things he never wanted to know about himself.
My notes: One of the stranger fics I've read, but in a good way. Several parts of it reminded me of The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus. There's one scene in particular involving a task that Harry must complete before he can complete training for the Darkstar project that's a bit of a mindfuck. Tbh, I found myself struggling to keep up sometimes because the fic is fairly plotty and Harry and Draco's relationship isn't the focus of the story, but the ending is wonderful and more than worth it.
Not Just Another Cream Bun (PG, 6k) **
Summary: After Eighth Year at Hogwarts, everyone seems to be getting on with their lives in various ways. In Malfoy’s case, this seems to involve a peculiar new shop on Diagon Alley, being stalked by a familiar bespectacled bumpkin and a dashing new apron.
My notes: I guarantee you'll be filled with warm fuzzies after you read this fic. It's an adorable little pick-me-up set in a quirky world that the author really brings to life. I was giggling and awwww'ing and pretty much making every possible undignified noise while reading this.
Give Chase (NC-17, 6k)
Summary: All Draco knows is that he can’t stop running.
My notes: I can't figure out if this fic is dark and twisted or just unusual. It's very ~edgy and fast-paced, with scenes depicting the two very different sides of Draco's relationship with Harry spliced together. The author has a fantastic writing style. The descriptions were incredibly vivid and unique -- even though I didn't quite understand what was going on, I felt as though I was really submerged in the scenes playing out in the story.
Savage (NC-17, 19k) **
Summary: In a post-war world that lives in fear and ignorance of werewolves, Draco Malfoy has taken every step to keep his condition hidden. When the delicate balance of his life shatters in a single moment, it is Harry Potter alone standing in his defence.
My notes: Holy crap, this fic hits all my buttons and then some I didn't even know I had. I've never read a more believable creature fic. I adore the way the author describes Draco's wolf senses and impulses, and the sex scenes... GUUHHHHH. Whereas Draco's character is really subby in Give Chase, he's definitely the toppiest top that ever did top here, and the result is mind-numbingly hot.
Unexpected, A Holiday Tail of Mistaken Identity (R, 24k)
Summary: After an accident involving a two year old and a wand, Harry (much to his dismay) is sent to Draco, who believes he’s caring for a pet. A large pet with a bad attitude.
My notes: OMG this is the cutest thing I've read in ages. Seriously, I wanted to reach through the computer screen, snatch Draco, and cuddle him until he couldn't breathe. If you have a weakness for pets, definitely read this one; you will melt into a puddle of goo before you even reach the halfway point.
Symbiosis (NC-17, 20k)
Summary: sym·bi·o·sis (sĩm'bē-ō'sĩs) n. Biology A close, prolonged association between two or more different organisms of different species that may, but does not necessarily, benefit each member.
My notes: Finally a good eighth year fic! I love the set-up here: the author doesn't waste time dumping unnecessary exposition about the state of the world after the war, and instead jumps right into the story. Draco agrees to tutor Harry in potions in exchange for the trio's agreement to protect him from Zacharias Smith. The academic tutoring then leads to ~extracurricular activities, a transition that's introduced surprisingly seamlessly. Both of the boys are very much IC, which is incredibly refreshing.