Isolation, by Bex-chan

18485142He can’t leave the room. Her room. And it’s all the Order’s fault. Confined to a small space with only the Mudblood for company, something’s going to give. Maybe his sanity. Maybe not.

“There,” she spat. “Now your Blood’s filthy too!”

Post Half-Blood Prince. Ron and Harry are Horcrux hunting and Hermione has been left at Hogwarts to help the Order make it safe for the other students. Draco is forced by Snape to stay in Hogwarts for his own protection, but he can’t leave the room he is given; Granger’s room. Hermione is the only student trusted with this information, so she and Malfoy share the small space, and Draco tries to avoid insanity as he becomes increasingly isolated with only the Mudblood for company. Something’s going to give… (from Goodreads)

Well… This launches a whole new category that I was not expecting at all: fanfiction.

Back in the day, when I was still in highschool, I might have read my share of fanfiction, but not much, honestly. I have no particular memory of reading anything online, and the only one I almost vividly remember was a weird work that was PRINTED (as, in the format of an actual BOOK) that was in the school’s library. The librarian practically SWORE that was an advanced copy of Order of the Phoenix. Despite that our 15 years-old selves knew better than that, my best friend and I checked it out anyway, just to immerse ourselves in the most ridiculous thing we have ever read, and I wish I’d remember the author or anything, to look that up again. But, other than that, my “fanfic” consumption was mostly visual, through the fanart embodiment of it.

During this winter-break from college I can’t say I used my time very productibly, but I did accomplished to binge some series and podcasts, these last all related to Harry Potter. Two of them are entirely about fanfiction: Potterotica (the name says it all) and Fanatical Fics and where to find them, and I highly recommend both of them.

Obviously, I got over-excited and wanted to dive into this -to me- unknown genre, which I did, building my path mostly through recommendations.

Isolation was my first, which was quite a tour de force. According to Goodreads (because, yes, apparently many of the largest fanfics are listed in Goodreads, and I couldn’t be more elated about that), it has over 1000 pages, and I read the whole thing in about 4 days, staying up late until 3am, avoiding any other type of activity and doing other things like that. I got committed to this new thing.

As the synopsis states, this fic works as an alternative to Deathly Hallows in which Hermione stays in Hogwarts. And, apparently, for being head girl she gets to have basically her own apartment, instead of sleeping in Gryffindor’s Tower. She’s forced to share it with Draco, who’s kept hidden and captive in order to hide him from Voldemort, who wants to kill him for not accomplishing the assassination of Dumbledore. Of course, it’s a Dramione fic, so you all know how that’s supposed to end, eventually, but it was a slow build up to that point. They do not start well, obviously. Draco is basically going insane from his incarceration, and Hermione’s not very happy about having to share her space with her bully. Besides, she’s also exhausted from hours of library research, trying to find something about horcruxes to help Harry and Ron’s clandestine work. None of them is going through their best time, so…  Angst galore! At some point the plotline merges, more or less, with what actually happens in Deathly Hallows, Hogwarts’ Battle and all, with some modifications here and there due the changes already inserted in the fic. That was actually very interesting.

Even though I’m very conflicted with the trope of falling in love with your bully, at least the author made a believable redemption arc for Draco, in a way that he gradually gets “enlightened” and he struggles a lot with his old-beliefs and his new reality and such things. Despite this, I enjoyed every bit of it, as I’m very easily prone to suspend my disbelief while reading fanfic, blind to whatever redflag I would remark in other types of fictions.

You can read this fic here.

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