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[personal profile] lauren3210
Because [ profile] gracerene challenged people to do this in one of her Snowflake Challenge posts! :D

I wrote a general likes/dislikes list at some time last year, but now that I’ve had time to think about it more, I think it’s time I updated, in a hopefully slightly more coherent way. Also, I decided to write two different lists: this one for Harry/Draco, because most of the people here on my flist are going to be more interested in that. I am going to include a few general do’s and don’t’s, but this is going to be mostly Harry/Draco centric. Also, it’s gonna be long, because apparently once I get myself started, it’s pretty difficult getting me to stop!

*This list is purely about my own personal likes and dislikes, and I am in no way judging anyone for liking to read or write things that are in direct opposition to those likes and/or dislikes. This is also mainly in case people are nice enough to want to write something tailored to my explicit tastes and want to know more, and should not be taken as more than that. :)

General Fic Do’s/Don’t’s:

  • Use proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation. A bit of artistic license can be given for things like run-on or incomplete sentences; these things are sometimes very effective in creating atmosphere. But please, no then instead of than. It’s could have, not could of, and I couldn’t give a fuck, not could give a fuck (unless you’re using sarcasm, obviously). Seriously, nothing brings me out of a fic faster than bad grammar. I completely understand that not everybody is able to do this easily, especially writers for whom English isn’t their first language, but that’s what betas are for, and if they’re not picking up on this, then they’re not doing a very good job, to be honest.

  • Use speech marks. You wouldn’t believe the amount of times I’ve come across fics that don’t do this, for some completely unknown reason. I want to be able to enjoy the story, instead of trying to work out who is talking to whom. Also, please put punctuation inside the speech marks, and use separate paragraphs for each different speaker.

  • Try to keep characters as close to canon as possible (and that includes side characters). Obviously this isn’t always possible, especially if a story is exploring a certain character trait or a canon-divergent event, but if your Harry turns out as a meek, stupid idiot, or Draco as a cute, constantly smiling sweetheart, then you might want to consider that this particular story would be better used for another pairing.

  • Pick a tense and/or a narrator and stick with it. I don’t care if it’s present or past, as long as it stays that way. I’m also fine with hopping from one narrator to another, as long as it happens after a scene break and it’s easily recognized. But jumping around mid-paragraph is a no-no for me (unless it’s third person omnipotent, then I can get behind it, obviously).


  • Use epithets (the blond; the Gryffindor) instead of names. It’s demeaning, and it devolves the character into a cut out, rather than a nuanced and complex creation.

  • Use bad words in place of their biological counterpart: it’s an ass, not a channel; their eyes, not orbs (seriously, you might as well just call them faceballs or sight melons), and please, for the love of all that is holy, please never spell come CUM. What the fuck even is that?

  • Write Major Character Death if you expect me to read it. I know that people have these kinds of stories to tell, and I support their creative decisions and the cathartic effect these fics can have wholeheartedly, but this is an actual TRIGGER for me.

  • Write content that deals explicitly with homophobia, ableism, or racism if you expect me to like it. As with the point above, I respect and support the creation of fics that deal with these things, it’s just a major squick for me. I deal with this enough in real life, and I prefer that my fic reading remain a happy space for myself.

  • Write infidelity. As above, while it’s not a trigger for me, it is a major squick, one that makes me remember past memories that I would really rather never see the light of day again. I have strong feelings on this issue, and I’d really rather not have to think about it if I can possibly help it.

  • Write child death or miscarriage. As with Major Character Death, this is a TRIGGER for me; my mother went through a stillbirth when I was young, and I have suffered more than a few miscarriages, and I do not want to relive that, thank you very much.


  • TROPES – I am a sucker for them, and I’m not even sorry. Bonding, forced bed-sharing, forced to work together, friends setting them up, pretend!boyfriends; as long as there’s a cutesy cliché going on there, you can be sure I’m going to love every second of it. I mean, they’re clichés for a reason, right?

  • PLOT – I’m here for the stories, for seeing the myriad and unlimited ways in which writers are able to extrapolate from the source text and give us original, thoughtful fics. Case!fics are the best thing in the world – trying to figure out all the mysteries in the books was my favourite part of reading them, and I love seeing that extended into fic.

  • BANTER – I just adore good, in character word fights between the boys; it was one of the best parts of their relationship in the books, and when writers manage to twist that just enough to still fit into their romantic relationship, it’s like fic catnip for me – I cannot get enough of it.

  • POSSESSIVENESS – This is good for all my ships, really. I just… really, really like it. And I don’t mean it in a BDSM kind of way, more of a general, he’s mine, he was made for me, kind of way. Possessive as in Draco getting annoyed because Harry is arguing with someone else, because that’s his job, nobody else should be able to get Harry that worked up. Or Harry firmly standing between Draco and the Ministry worker who was flirting with him while Draco smirks about it, because no, Harry is the only one who should be allowed to touch Draco’s arm like that. I don’t mean possessiveness as in, I own you, or you belong to me, but as in, please let me be the only one for you, because you’re the only one for me.

  • SEX THAT IS INTEGRAL TO THE PLOT – I said I’m here for the stories, and I stand by that, but I’m not gonna say that I don’t want any sex in my fics, because the fact that I begin any fic search on AO3 by clicking on the explicit button would put paid to that lie pretty quick. I like reading about sex, and really any kind of sex – I don’t need penetration to find it hot – but I’m not a fan of PWPs for the sake of them. I like there to be reasons why they’re having sex, although those reasons can be as general as you like: maybe it’s a fic about an established!relationship Friday evening, complete with after dinner sexy times; maybe they’ve just escaped certain death by the skin of their teeth and it’s life-affirming sex; maybe they’re fighting and hexes turn into fists turn into biting kisses turn into frantic and angry sex against a wall – anything is fine, but I can’t just drop randomly into a sex scene with no explanation as to how we got there: I come at a story from the point of view of the last chapter of the books (not the epilogue), and I need to know how we got from there to the bed in order to enjoy the ride.


  • EPILOGUE COMPLIANT – I hate that epilogue with a fiery passion. The main reasons for this are in THESE TUMBLR posts (written in true Tumblr form and not meant to be disrespectful), but suffice it to say, I am not interested in reading about how everyone married their childhood sweethearts and started popping out babies as soon as they left school because apparently that’s the only way a HEA is supposed to go. I’m not interested in the myriad kids they all had, and reading about things like divorce and ‘suddenly finding the gay’ just tends to leave me feeling very unsatisfied.

  • GENDER-BENDING – While again, I appreciate the need and desire for fics like this, it’s just not something that appeals to me on a personal level.

  • A/B/O DYNAMICS – I don’t get it, basically. I have read a few fics with this trope, and while I’ve enjoyed them, I’ve also left them wondering why it was necessary. It’s completely down to personal taste (as is the entirety of this list), but it just… does absolutely nothing for me.

  • UNHAPPY ENDINGS – I’m here for the happy feels, and while I’m totally on board for all the angst, I do expect a reward at the end of it all. Otherwise, it’s just too much like life, and life usually sucks, to be honest.

  • LONG HAIR – I only like long hair on emos, rockstars, and cowboys, and in my headcanon Harry and Draco are none of these things (although I could possibly be persuaded on Draco being emo, but then he would look like Lucius in my head, and it becomes a bad time for all involved).

  • MUGGLE AUS – There are two reasons for this: low-fantasy is my absolute favourite genre, and straight-up romance is my absolute least favourite genre. I mean, you could possibly sell me on a detective mystery, with Harry as the detective and Draco as the snobby manor owner who is the prime suspect, but it’d have to be incredibly compelling. But in general, it just doesn’t work for me.


  • SEX – I’m really good with any and all sexual content, although I have to admit to sometimes getting a little uncomfortable with long, drawn-out oral sex scenes. I start to feel a little claustrophobic on the giving character’s behalf, so I do prefer foreplay or non-penetrative sex to be about hands rather than mouths. I LOVE fingering, especially after sex, and I also have a huge fondness for penetrative sex happening after the receiving partner has already orgasmed (just something about them being all ragdoll-esque and still floating on a high while their partner gets their’s just does it for me). I also freely admit to liking someone taking charge during sex – whether it’s the bottom being bratty and instructing the Top how to move, or the Top holding down the other and fucking them into incoherency, I truly don’t mind which. But someone should be losing their goddamned mind from being ordered about, is all I’m saying. I do like the occasional BDSM fic, but if I’m honest, I’m not a big fan of this trope when it comes to Draco/Harry – while I could easily see either of them in a submissive role, I can’t quite see either of them being a good Dom (I just don’t think Harry would like having that power, and I think Draco would possibly like it a little too much). However, I’m perfectly fine with a little BDSM-superlite – spanking, where one does it without thinking, and the other melts into a puddle of arousal and shame (at first); one character being dominating with words, forcing the other to admit that they like it or beg for more; even the odd “yes, sir” – but the games stop when the sexy time is over. The only thing I really ask is that positions don’t become too involved (I once read a fic where one guy was doing a handstand, it was weird as fuck); I’d like to enjoy the sex without having to work out where everyone’s limbs are at the same time.

  • SEXUALITY – I really don’t care what sexuality the characters have – gay, pan, bi, demi, ace, as long as it means they get to be together, I really couldn’t give less of a fuck. I’m also totally down for a queer!Hogwarts, because the way I figure, if the straights get to have a canon hetero wizarding world (fuck that gay!Dumbledore noise, to be honest), then it’s perfectly reasonable for us queers to get the occasional fanon queer wizarding world. So yeah, you wanna queer everyone up? I’ll be shaking my rainbow striped pom-poms right behind you.

  • SECONDARY PAIRINGS – To be honest, as long as Harry and Draco are getting together/already together, I don’t really care who else is shagging who. I do love a bit of side Dean/Seamus, and I do have a bit of a thing for Luna/Ginny, but other than that it really doesn’t bother me at all.

  • STORY – I prefer getting together fics, but I’m not against established!relationship fic. I prefer the boys to be in the age range between 8th year and their very early 30s. I prefer flangst to straight-up angst, and although I like the occasional piece of easy reading fluff, on the whole it doesn’t really reel me in – I just don’t see much of a story there, if everyone is in love and happy and nothing’s going wrong (although I do admit to occasionally feeling the need for some domestic!porn, I don’t usually look for it with this pairing). I like humour, but of the canon variety, rather than crack!fic. I’m not really all that interested in seeing either of the boys dealing with addiction, and I’m not a huge fan of down on his luck!Draco (a little bit ostracized is okay, but living on the streets is a bit too far for me).

  • CHARACTERS – (And here’s where it gets completely personal and all down to interpretation) I like a Harry who is confident in his everyday life, happy around his friends and family, but still a little bit clueless when it comes to romantic relationships – not to the point of stupidity, but just in the sort of, no, he couldn’t possibly like me, general hesitancy. I love Harry’s canon sense of humour, with his dry wit, sarcasm, and sassy comebacks. Looks-wise, I like him to be an inch or so shorter than Draco, and a bit more muscular – while he was fairly skinny canonically, I think it’s safe to extrapolate that this was due to poor nutrition during his childhood, and that while living in a cupboard may have stunted his growth somewhat, he would have begun to fill out some once the majority of his growing was over. I don’t want him ripped, complete with abs and Captain America style pecs, just a little broader across the shoulders and a little bit of muscle definition going on. Also, please have him keep the glasses – he’s just not Harry without them. For Draco, I like him kind of like he was in Half Blood Prince, but with a little less vitriol – still saying nasty things, but with a little less of a bite to them, and for there to be vulnerable reasons behind it. I like him to be smooth in that upper-middle class way, and a little bit snobby. And in my opinion, the whole Ice Prince of Slytherin thing I’ve seen going on in some fics just doesn’t really work for me; he might try to hide behind a cool façade, but his emotions were always pretty easy to discern in canon, so I like to see a bit of that in his characterization. Looks-wise, I like Draco to be fairly tall and willowy, and – this is really quite specific – I like him to be rather sparse in the body hair. It just makes sense to me, with how he’s described in the books, that he would never become a hairy gorilla of a man. I also like to see how he has grown into his ‘pointy’ looks.

So um, that’s it, I think? There are other things that I have less intense feelings about, such as MPREG (don’t hate it, but don’t love it with a passion either) or Top/Bottom preferences (I have them, and I’ve written about them in a post still to come), but these are the main make-it-or-break-it points for fics that I am guaranteed to either love or hate. And the more I think about this subject, the more difficult I find it to express my thoughts in an easily understandable way. Which I guess makes sense, because while these may just be fictional characters, my feelings about them are very definitely real.
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