Happy Hour by bk11

Story Title: Happy Hour
Author Name: bk11
Story Url: Story Link The author’s LJ account was deleted as of July 2011
Content Rating: Adult
Status: Completed
Length: Novel
Story Summary: The war has ended for them. Ron and Harry are at the point where they can be the kind of people to forgive Draco Malfoy for all that he’s done. But she’s not sure if she’s that kind of person. And she’s not sure if she wants to be that kind of person.

Gioia’s Rec:
In many ways, this is a hard story for a fluff-monger like myself. But I feel like I grew from reading it, which is perhaps the best thing one can say about any story. In addition, it has stayed with me, even years after my first read-through. The story is extremely well written, of course. But it’s also a rather angsty romance.  The story isn’t simply about misunderstandings that need to be resolved between the prospective couple; you’ll find nothing as simple as the misunderstandings between Elizabeth & Darcy in Pride & Prejudice, or as amusing as those between Benedick and Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing, nor as familiar as those in any other classic or derivative romance novel.   This is far less funny and far more complicated than I’m used to seeing in the majority of novels I encounter.  It’s a realistic-feeling post-war picture of how a bunch of messed-up individuals get along together and try to move forward with life.  And just because there is peace (and grief and regret and healing) in their post-war world, doesn’t mean there is understanding quite yet.

The author climbs inside the heads of her protagonists and helps us understand how they can be complete wrecks inside but still deserving of happiness even when they don’t believe that themselves. The close friendship between Draco, Harry and Ron is startling at first, but when put into the context of the war and the tough decisions that had to be made, it really makes sense. Hermione’s feelings about Draco are very conflicted and angry and messed up, and that makes sense, too.  But it’s Draco’s gut-wrenching remorse and self-described “Daddy issues” and his grief and anger and hope which take center stage for me.   This is quite possibly the best look at Draco I’ve seen in long, long time.

There’s far more depth in this story than I feel I can touch upon without spoiling the story.  So I’ll just point to the author’s note HERE and encourage you to read it after you finish the story.  I was amazed when I learned long after reading the fic what the author’s goal was, because I so often walk away from a story wondering if the message I absorbed had anything to do with the author’s intent.  In this case, she hit the nail on the head, and I really felt I learned something  about myself as a result of reading this fic.

J.K. Rowling has said in interviews that she worries about those who idealize Draco and Snape out of a misguided notion that being the bad boy is cool and that the right woman can reform such men.  Bk11 obviously understood JKR’s Draco very well, which is why this story’s pairing is so amazing. Whether or not you’re a Draco/Hermione shipper, I think you’ll find a believable situation here.  And for the author to take such an unflinching look at the flaws in these characters and figure out how to ultimately create a romance between them without glossing over any ugliness was truly profound.

About Gioia

I'm a wife and mother and, when not tied up with responsibilities, I read non-stop. I love to share my favorite stories with others, thus the existence of my blog.
This entry was posted in Deleted Story-no longer online, Draco Malfoy/Hermione Granger, Drama/Angst, Harry Potter, Harry Potter/Pansy Parkinson, Het: M/F, Romance, Unconventional Couple and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Happy Hour by bk11

  1. Keng says:

    I’m sad that I’ve yet to read past chapter 1 of this fic (since bk11 decided to rewrite it last year and got sidetracked, I guess; I got into the D/Hr fic-reading fandom late), seeing as I’ve heard nothing but praise for it. I love what you have to say about it and can only hope bk11 releases it again soon (the ch1 entry is friends locked now, woe).

    • Gioia says:

      I hadn’t realized her story was off the web until your reply – thank you for letting me know! I contacted the author who very graciously replied to confirm that the story isn’t available right now, though she does anticipate reposting it in the not too distant future. I’m so sorry that it’s not available at the moment, as the story really was very meaningful to me. I really loved how true-to-canon her Draco and Hermione were: She was hurt and angry and wounded by his past behavior, he was obnoxious and proud and kind of broken inside. There were lessons in the fic that really affected me. *sigh*

      I’m so sorry you’ve missed the chance to read the entire story. But it really does sound as though the story will be returning. Lord willing it won’t be too long.. In the meantime, I may pull this rec for now so that I’m not the cause of any further frustration by hyping up a story that is currently unavailable. I’m so very sorry to have caused any frustration in your case!

  2. katsudono says:

    I remember reading this back in what have must been 2006 or 2007 and I loved it to pieces. As you said, it isn’t all fluff and bunnies, but I really love how she portrayed Draco and Hermione — they aren’t perfect human beings as much as we idealise, and I think she really captured that. Unfortunately, bk11 deleted her journal but I’m glad I had the opportunity to read it while it was still up!

    • Gioia says:

      Oh, no! That’s terrible! I hope that the author is simply moving her LJ or perhaps setting it up under a different screen name, as rozarka did (scaring many of her fans in the process, lol!). It would be an enormous loss for both this story and for BK11 to disappear from the fandom. I suspect her story was never fully appreciated as much as it should have been, precisely because it isn’t all fluff and bunnies. 😉 But for me, she depicted something far more lasting, sincere and real than many fluffy stories do. I’m deeply saddened that the story isn’t up. I pray she’ll post it somewhere else soon. If you happen to run across it again, would you mind letting me know?

      Thank you so much for your comments and this info!

      • katsudono says:

        I have no idea what happened but it saddens me so 😦
        Welcome, and I’m so glad that you like it! Finding fans of old work is difficult but so rewarding 🙂

  3. Pachi says:

    I agree with every word of your review. Happy Hour is, quite possibly, my favorite fanfic of all time (and I’ve read more than a fair share). Thank you for so eloquently explaining exactly why it is so powerful, and so good. I always hope that BK11 will come back and grace us with her stories.

    • Gioia says:

      Thank you so much for your comments! I’m so glad you enjoyed the story and got as much out of it as I did. God willing, we’ll see BK11’s stories available online again someday. They’re just too powerful and (in my case, at least) life-impacting for the world to go on without them.

  4. B says:

    I always thought of BK11’s Happy Hour as the real epilogue to the Harry Potter series.

    • Gioia says:

      It certainly would’ve been a more thoughtful, meaningful option for the epilogue as a whole and for Draco in particular! 🙂

  5. Owyn says:

    I miss Bk11’s stories. When I feel sad I always go back and read this and the Red Summer, but now that it’s not on the net I end up feeling sadder when I remember. 😦

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