UPDATE: First re-read August 2013
I'm a little bummed that I didn't love this as much the second time through. The first half with the development of the mystery just seemed to drag this time.
The second half was still brilliant and amazing, and I still totally enjoyed it. I don't know as I'd still give this 5 stars, however, if I were to rate it today...
ORIGINAL REVIEW: March 9, 2013
Quite possibly my new favorite drarry fic.
I agree with another reviewer who said that this was very much like one of the actual books in that there's a real plot, a real problem to solve, and that the romance is just a delightful extra along the way. The former seventh-years are all back just to take NEWT-preparation classes, and are therefore unable to participate in school activities like quidditch teams or being prefects or head-boy or girl. Harry keeps noticing Draco turning up in suspicious places and tries to investigate. At the same time, he notices that Draco's life keeps being endangered and tries to protect him. Draco is delightfully sarcastically resistant to Harry's attempts at both investigation and protection.
I thought the mystery was fantastic. I was captivated by each new twist and Harry's attempts to track down what was really going on. And when it was revealed what was really going on, I was delightfully surprised and quite impressed by how imaginative the whole thing was. And by how well executed!
What makes this potentially my new favorite is how believable the relationship between Draco and Harry is. They're so beautiful together! And things progress at the perfect pace to make me really believe they're honestly coming to care for one another and that it's not just Harry's need to save everyone and to redeem Draco, or Draco's infatuation with his rescuer that are the foundation of their relationship. And I thought it was fantastically perfect that it was Draco who got to do the rescuing at the end. That Harry was able to help him forgive himself and see that he was worthy of being loved. So beautiful!Favorite Quotes:His relationship with Ginny had started like a bright spark. Harry had been so hopeful. But then, somehow, the spark had died. It turned into a thick blanket you could wrap over yourself and feel cosy and safe, but never warm enough. There was no fire to put a flush to his cheeks and heat him up down to his toes. Harry had told himself it was enough, it was better than nothing, but then he realised Ginny deserved better. She deserved fire, too.
"Oh, right," he sneered. "Another victory for the great Harry Potter! You have saved a poor Hufflepuff's life and an evil Death Eater's soul. Now, if you will excuse me, I must write a poem about your heroic deeds."
I thought, you're not so hopeless after all, Draco. There's someone who thinks you're worth saving.