Despite the hundreds (possibly thousands) of fics I've read, this one still tops out at number one on my favs list. There are a couple of reasons for this, but the primary reason is CHARACTER GROWTH.
This is a Draco-centric fic and he starts out being utterly selfish and having a clear goal in mind that has little to do with his apparently selfless behaviour (that no one actually knows is selfless). As the fic progresses, his goal becomes blurred and eventually changes completely, even though he doesn't recognize that fact himself. Additionally, this fic has THE MOST AMAZING EVIL SPELL OMFGGGGG. I have the biggest weakness for intelligent, original magic and this fic delivers the ultimate in twisted, diabolical spells. Thirdly, I cried ACTUAL TEARS which has happened to me about three times while reading fic because I'm just that heartless.
It does have its flaws, as no fic is perfect. I could have done without all mention of Snape in the beginning and tend to skim over that when reading. It doesn't do anything for Draco's development, IMO. Harry's character is somewhat vague in places, but that can't be helped in a single-POV fic. Oddly, I also loved that Harry pulled away from Draco because of his friends' distrust. It seemed a very Harry thing to do and the fact that Draco accepted it and forgave him by the end made him all the more human and cemented that amazing CHARACTER GROWTH for me. *blissful sigh* Also, every mention of Dean Thomas is 100% love. I have a weakness for well-developed supporting characters and Dean's growth was just as profound as Draco's. Really, everyone involved in this fic was taken for a ride and came out better for it by the end.
I JUST LOVE THIS STORY SO MUCH, OKAY?
Anyway, here is linkage for you:Title
: A Thousand Beautiful ThingsAuthor
: Duinn Fionn (aka geoviki
Angst, angst and more angst, but with a gorgeous endingLinkage
: http://www.skyehawke.com/archive/story.php?no=2226Alternate Link
: (If anyone knows of one, please to be letting me know.)
*resist reading it AGAIN* Too much to do.
After some pondering I've decided to add excerpts to these. Because I like to tease you guys. :D
"Potter, I don't owe you an explanation. I have my reasons." Why did he have to make this so hard?
"Look, I'll find you someday when this is all over and explain it over drinks. The Leaky Cauldron okay with you?" Even as he said the words and imagined the two of them relaxing over firewhisky, he knew he'd never see that fantasy come true. They wouldn't both survive this war.
"No. Don't go, Malfoy. Please."
Looking back, he never did figure out why he reacted the way he did - maybe it was a way to say goodbye to his childhood. Or it could have been a reaction to his earlier, humbling confession to Severus. It was all so cold, so final - the hall, the night, the words echoing around him. Everything was closing in on him, freezing him. Maybe he was only looking for warmth. Goodbye ... goodbye ... this is the last time....
But something in the tone of Potter's voice, something in his whispered plea, made him surrender to the impulse to draw close to his rival, to carefully rest his hands on his shoulders to steady him and to pull him close. He felt warm breath dancing on his cheek, suddenly faster and more erratic than during the speech, now intimate and tempting. He acted without wanting to think too hard about what he was doing - what they were both doing. He stilled Potter's gasp with his lips and felt the responding pressure as though it was a wave breaking over him. Drowning him. Goodbye.
And in this dark, empty corridor, where he stood balanced between two worlds - here between the past and the unknown future - he could pretend that this kiss was the only thing that mattered. Here, he allowed himself to imagine he was no longer Draco Malfoy, with every bit of history that name dragged with it, but just a lonely soldier headed off to war. And here, he could almost believe that Potter was different, too.
They both pulled away as reality slowly reasserted itself. His heart pounding, his breath unsteady, he reluctantly dropped his hands and took a single step back. He'd acted with recklessness, with no reason he could name, and his head was whirling. He certainly hadn't expected to relish or to take pleasure in their kiss quite like that - but he had.
"What - what was that for?" Potter managed to stammer.
He smiled without any effort. "For trying. And maybe for luck."