The Draco Trilogy

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Fanfiction
Title: The Draco Trilogy (Draco Dormiens, Draco Sinister, Draco Veritas)
Author(s): Cassandra Claire
Date(s): 2000-2006
Length: ~895,000 words (2900 pages)
Genre: het romance, action/adventure, mystery
Fandom: Harry Potter
External Links: (offline)
draco_trilogy (LiveJournal)
Draco Trilogy Lovers! (Facebook)
Draco Trilogy tag (Tumblr)


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Contents

The Draco Trilogy is a Draco-centric epic written and posted in installments by Cassandra Claire over a period of six years. The series consists of three novel-length stories: Draco Dormiens, Draco Sinister, and Draco Veritas. Although the Draco Trilogy started as het, it was unusual in that it included plenty of intentional Harry/Draco subtext that straddled the divide between slash and het in the last part, Draco Veritas, even if the story never crossed that line.

The series begins with a love triangle where both Draco and Harry are interested in Hermione. By the end of the series, the resolution of the romantic entanglements confirms the pairings Draco/Ginny and Harry/Hermione.

The trilogy contributed to the popularization of Fanon Draco, called "Leather Pants Draco"[1] after a famous scene in Draco Sinister where Draco ends up looking good in incredibly tight leather pants.

Draco Dormiens, Draco Sinister, and Draco Veritas are, someone's calculated, almost one million words[2][3] (or 207, 996, and 1697 pages)[4] and the fics were many fans' first introduction to fanfiction. The trilogy is hailed by some as the fanfiction of all Harry Potter fanfictions,[5] but like all things that are hailed, others couldn't or didn't believe the hype.[6]

Since the launch of Cassandra Claire's profic career, the stories have been taken down, although it is possible to find them circulating by email and file sharing sites, and has even been reuploaded in the form of a blog.[7]

Cover art for Draco Veritas by Bhanesidhe.

Draco Dormiens

Main article: Draco Dormiens

Draco Dormiens, the first novel of the trilogy, was posted serially to FanFiction.Net in August 2000. It is the shortest novel in the series by far, totaling roughly 70,000 words. (Draco Veritas totals nearly 540,000 words.)

The story is now an AU, diverging from canon after Goblet of Fire. It is set during Harry's sixth year, and begins when unforeseen consequences with Polyjuice Potion in Potions class cause Harry and Draco to become indefinitely bodyswapped. The need to keep this a secret, the even greater need to find an antidote, and a love triangle where both Draco and Harry are interested in Hermione, power the plot of the novel.

Author's summary: "When an accident in Potions class turns Harry into Draco and Draco into Harry, each is trapped playing the part of the other. Romance, mistaken identities, Really Cunning Plans, evil bake sales, a love triangle, and snogs galore."

Draco Sinister

Main article: Draco Sinister

Claire began posting Draco Sinister on FanFiction.Net in late 2000. In June 2001, when the fic was one chapter away from completion, it was reported for plagiarism and Claire's works were deleted from the archive. (See also: The Cassandra Claire Plagiarism Debacle and Plagiarism Controversy, below.)

Draco Sinister and Draco Dormiens were uploaded to FictionAlley in July 2001, and Draco Sinister was completed on July 22nd.

Author's summary: "When Hermione is kidnapped, Harry and Draco must team up to rescue her from a thousand-year-old evil that threatens the entire wizarding world. Cursed demon swords, love potions, time travel, dementors, flying dragons, Draco wears leather, and everybody dies at least once. Except when they don't."

Draco Veritas

Main article: Draco Veritas

Draco Veritas was posted over a period of five years, from August 2001 to August 2006. It only appeared online in its entirety for about two weeks before Claire took down her fanfiction in order to embark on her profic career. (See Cassandra Claire: Fannish Retirement.)

Author's summary: "The sequel to Draco Sinister, featuring winter at Hogwarts, snogging, Quidditch, mysterious things and Rhysenn Malfoy."

Slash in the Draco Trilogy

Het fans and slashers don’t always get along, especially in a fandom known for impressive shipwars, and the Draco Trilogy was a huge het flagship. The idea that this story might turn into slash (any slash, even a minor pairing) was not one all shippers felt comfortable with. Cassie Claire had already written Harry/Draco slash and she was friends with slashers, so it was always a possibility that was difficult to ignore.

Several alternate universe outtakes penned by Claire include slash. For example, "Twist", a ficlet based on DS9, includes Ron/Draco and implied Draco/Harry. "In Which Draco Realizes Why He Is So Fond of Green Umbrellas" diverges from the events of DV1 to become Harry/Draco slash. Claire also wrote a DV missing scene that included Draco kissing Harry to prove that Draco "could be gay, if [he] liked"--of which she said: "Feel free to consider it DV canon -- I do."[8]

In the Trilogy itself, Claire included intentional H/D subtext, as well as a kiss between Harry and someone who had Polyjuiced into Draco. Additionally, she included a slash relationship with her OCs Ben and Gareth, ancestors and analogues of Harry and Draco, respectively.

Claire has said that she considers the Trilogy slash, in the sense that it has gay characters in it.[9]

Fanart

The now-defunct fansite The Draco Trilogy Archives had a fanart section that linked to hundreds of Draco Trilogy-related art and organized the links by chapter and character. Though the website no longer exists, fanart for the Draco Trilogy still can be found all over the net.

The PoU-Art Yahoo! group also hosts a large number of fanart for the Draco Trilogy.

Plagiarism Controversy

See also: The Cassandra Claire Plagiarism Debacle

The story first became the subject of major controversy when one reader identified an extensive sequences of action, description and dialogue from Draco Sinister, Chapter 9 as having been lifted from The Hidden Land, an out-of-print fantasy novel by Pamela Dean. Though this was sufficient to get Claire banned from FanFiction.net, readers have identified other borrowed text as further evidence of Claire's plagiarism.

The series also incorporates an intricate web of dialogue pieces and text passages from popular genre television shows and books. Two characters might have a lengthy conversation which Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans will recognize as dialogue from the show, or Harry might answer a question with the words of a character from Babylon 5. The practice of hiding quotes from other media sources in the text of the story was well-known and accepted by some of Claire's readers,[citation needed] and it was used as a way of engaging the fans on a mailing list the story was posted to. Readers would guess which parts were quoted and what the source was, they would suggest lines to include from different sources that would fit this or that character, and there were unofficial "quote-nabbing contests" with other fanfic writers.[10] However, in spite of the relative candidness of these practices, they contained huge potential for trouble because they relied heavily on context to be understood.

Another major issue, related to the use of pop culture dialogue, was that Cassandra Claire reproduced concepts, rough scenes, descriptive phrases and dialogue from several fantasy novels. Such borrowings were often uncited (or cited in such a way as to make the amount of borrowed text appear far less extensive than it actually was).

The story and author were removed by Fanfiction.net admins in June 2001. For more information, see the comprehensive account of events by Avocado.[11]

Fandom's Reaction

That could have been the end of it, but the emotional investment of Claire's fans caused tremendous upheaval in the wake of the decision.

Draco Dormiens and Draco Sinister happened to be among the most popular Harry Potter stories at Fanfiction.net.[12] DS was posted as a WIP and the serial format invited readers to speculate about what might happen next, who might end up with whom, and they were looking forward to updates. When it was deleted, fans were cut off from their favorite fannish crack. Someone took it and they wanted it back! The same kind of impulse leads to "Bring Back My Show" campaigns, which makes it less of a surprise that people reacted in a similar way.

To this day the conflict remains unresolved in many corners of fandom. Many fans are firmly of the opinion that Cassandra Claire is a plagiarist. On the other hand, many fans still enjoy the Draco Trilogy and her other works. Fittingly enough, the controversy had two major results: The wank surrounding the plagiarism accusation was so immense as to give Cassandra Claire the nickname "She Who Must Not Be Named"[13] in the Cult-of-Meaner circles in Harry Potter fandom, in the belief that even mentioning her name was enough to derail any wank report into a discussion of whether or not what she had done was plagiarism. At the same time, it led to the creation of FictionAlley, a major Harry Potter archive that became the new home of the Draco Trilogy.[14]

References

  1. The phrase (also known as Draco in Leather Pants) has become a catchphrase for "tak[ing] a controversial or downright villainous character and downplay[ing] his flaws, turning him into an object of desire". TV Tropes Wiki. Draco In Leather Pants. Accessed 4 November 2008. Archived September 20, 2012 at WebCite
  2. According to The Longest Harry Potter Fanfics by pokey1984, posted 27 October 2006, the word total was 896,762. Retrieved 04 November 2008. Archived September 20, 2012 at WebCite
  3. amanuensis1. The Draco Trilogy by Cassandra Claire. Complete. 04 August 2006. . Retrieved 27 December 2010. Archived September 20, 2012 at WebCite
  4. The numbers refer to the illustrated PDF version of the stories that's available on the net if you search for it.
  5. Clarriscent. What is Draco Trilogy?, 21 March 2010. . Retrieved 27 December 2010. Archived September 20, 2012 at WebCite
  6. Yemi-Hikari, (2010). Classic Sues: The Draco Trilogy. Retrieved January 31, 2010. Archived September 20, 2012 at WebCite
  7. Draco Trilogy blog, accessed 30 January 2013. Unavailable as of 23 April 2013; archived version here.
  8. Cassandra Claire on LiveJournal. ficlet. Posted 21 December 2002. (Archived 01 September 2003 by the Wayback Machine.)
  9. Cassandra Claire on LiveJournal. *gloom*. Posted 02 May 2003. (Archived 24 September 2003 by the Wayback Machine. [WebCite])
  10. See excerpts of mails posted to the mailing lists ParadigmOfUncertainty and cassie_and_rhysenn, reproduced here and here. Retrieved 07 November 2008. Archived September 20, 2012 at WebCite
  11. The Cassandra Claire Plagiarism Debacle, posted to the journalfen community bad penny, 04 August 2006. . Retrieved 07 November 2008. Archived September 20, 2012 at WebCite
  12. According to the recollection of one reader, Draco Dormiens had more than 6,000 comments before it was removed.
  13. "I give you the Pottersues FAQ,". Retrieved 03 November 08. Archived September 20, 2012 at WebCite
  14. According to Avocado's 2006 bad penny report, "The official story, cited by ignatius and Charlotte Lennox, is that the Fiction Alley archive was already underway at the time Cassandra Claire was blacklisted from FanFiction.Net, but that the deletion of her account accelerated the release of the archive." However, Avocado says that "It appears that, prior to her account deletion, individual fans had plans to develop their own fansites to host fanfiction. However, after her account was deleted, they decided to work together and create an archive with a much wider scope. Thus, the existence of Fiction Alley as a large collaborative archive resulted from the deletion of Cassandra Claire's account from FanFiction.Net. To my mind, this is not the same thing as the archive 'being in the works' and its release being accelerated." Archived September 20, 2012 at WebCite
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