Beautiful World (Harry Potter story)

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Fanfiction
Title: Beautiful World
Author(s): Cinnamon
Date(s): 18 March - 21 August 2003
Length: 11 chapters (70,367 words)
Genre: slash, angst
Fandom: Harry Potter
External Links: Beautiful World at FictionAlley
Beautiful World at Pure Magnetism

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Beautiful World is a 2003 Harry/Draco novel by Cinnamon. It was written before the release of Order of the Phoenix and is set during Harry's fifth year.

Author's summary: Draco is afraid of living and Harry is afraid of dying, but sometimes the choice isn't offered. Draco's got to learn what it is to really live, while showing Harry how beautiful the world really is when you're not too scared to see it.

A 2007 poll found Beautiful World to be one of the top 25 Harry/Draco Fandom Classics.[1]

Background

Beautiful World was written primarily during the fandom's Three-Year Summer, after the publication of Goblet of Fire. However, it was posted serially from March to August 2003, so was still a work in progress when Order of the Phoenix was published in July. Despite being Jossed, the story continued as originally planned and did not incorporate any new canon.

The story was originally intended to be a one-shot.[2] Some ideas and support for the story were provided by the Armchair Slash community, where Cinnamon had been a featured "Author of the Month".[3][4]

Themes & Content

The story is rated R and contains mature themes (including self-harm and suicidal thoughts/actions) and sexual content. Though the author herself does not provide warnings, many reccers will include their own. Spoilery warnings are often included as well, as the ending is now usually considered common knowledge in the fandom. Reccers who don't wish to spoil the ending usually just give a tissue warning.[5]

Cinnamon wrote in one chapter's author's note:

"I wanted to thank everyone for reading so far, and for trusting me on the cutting issue. I know it tends to be overdone and clichéd, so thank you for having faith that it won't be in this story. And, because I'm feeling defensive, a lot of people have been arguing as to whether or not my Draco in this story's in character. I think he is, I wanted to play with a different aspect of his character that I rarely do in my stories. The kid Draco was before he became all worldly and sexy and smooth. So I think he's more canon than the others I've written, and I knew that lots of people would think that out of character"[6]

Beautiful World-Inspired Fanworks

Fan Response & Legacy

Fan response to Beautiful World has been largely positive. [....]

The line "The stars will sing of it ... We're immortal, you and I." is well-known and oft-quoted in various Harry/Draco communities, appearing on graphics and icons, as journal titles, and as Tumblr posts (usually accompanied by sentiments of tears and heartbreak). One Tumblr user notes:

"There seems to have been another outbreak of people reading Beautiful World. The past two days in the Drarry tag are filled with people crying. This seems to happen every couple of weeks. It’s a depressing, yet wonderful kind of thing."[7]

...

However, other readers are frustrated by the praise and attention Beautiful World gets, and some are vehement in their dislike of the story. In one particularly scathing review, Cash of Sectum-Bloody-Sempra writes:

"WHY DOES EVERYONE LOVE THIS FIC? WHY THE FUCK WHY WHY WHY WHY WHYYYY. The attention this “tragic” fic “Beautiful World” gets is tragedy in and of itself, as it puts an appalling stereotype on readers of fanfiction. [...]
I’m sorry if you think this is harsh but perhaps I would not feel so violent and cruel if it didn’t get so much publicity and praise and make me EMBARRASSED to be a Drarry fan for fear that people think that this has anything remotely to do with why I ship Drarry or read fanfiction. I never want to be related to this story. In any way. Ever."[8]

Recs & Reviews

Please note that the following section contains spoilers.

It's so overpowering, you're forever catching your breath trying to take it all in. Cinnamon writes with awesome simplicity but says so much that it's scary. The characters aren't canon, neither are the ideas but it doesn't matter because Cinnamon sets down her own rules. It's dark, foreboding, frightening, but at the same time wonderful.

I haven't read it for a while but I'm pretty sure that it doesn't exceed the boundaries of the realm. If so feel free to block. But read it ... you might not like it ... you might.

I loved it.[9]
The first time I read Beautiful World, I cried at random points for a month. If I sat by myself for to long or listened to music with any kind of meaning, I would burst into tears. I had never shed tears over fanfiction before. I’m not much of a crier unless things are just going really shitty. Also, I had no clue about the ending. I saw people suggesting in the tag and thought, “Sure, why the hell not?” I was not warned!

Just damn man, I’ve said it before but Cinnamon did her job. Even if you don’t care for the story too much or you think Harry and Draco are really OOC, she made so many people feel something. If a majority of a ship goes into a fic knowing it is going to end terribly sad and you still get them at the end, I applaud you.[10]

WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME CINNAMON ONE PERSON IS NOT MEANT TO FEEL SO MANY THINGS GOD DAMN THEIR ADORABLENESS AND THE STARS WILL SING OF IT WE’RE IMMORTAL YOU AND I ARE YOU TRYING TO KILL ME THAT IS SO FUCKING BEAUTIFUL I JUST CAN’T EVEN RIGHT NOW OKAY I NEED TO BE ALONE FOR A WHILE.[11]
I was going to read it for a long time but was too scared because I knew he died. Well, it isn’t such a huge spoiler ‘cos everybody knows it about this fic. Finally, a kind person wrote spoilers and I read it. I must say it lived up to my expectations fully.

Cinnamon here (as she often does) plays very obviously: she pushes the same pedal of simple sentiment again, and again, and again (a child is dying for 11 chapters), but it works and it doesn’t look silly. Besides, in the first two chapters the author shows her talent of comedy, also by the same device of repeating the same thing in different variations until it becomes crystal clear — and they are really hillarious [sic].

Don’t tell me that Harry is not too similar to his canon self; don’t tell me that the ‘big plot’ of the canon (i.e. Voldemort) is forgotten behind Harry’s tragedy. I don’t care because I’m told a good story, good and plausible in itself, within its own rules. I would call it ‘a puppy-dog fic’ because of how it’s made and works, what emotions of yours it evokes and how Harry and Draco are shown. They are teens, and they are written essencially [sic] as such. They are funny, and moving, and irritating, and sweet, and stupid, like playful puppies. And Harry’s upcoming, inevitable death is as impossible and heart-wrenching as it can be because, imagine, you know that your funny and ridiculous teen-dog, with its big paws and shining eyes, your dog that is now playing with your slipper in abandon, has to die, and you know about it.[12]
I can’t get over how beautiful Beautiful World is. Its without a doubt probably one of the most heart wrenching and heartbreaking - if not, the most! - fanfic out there for Drarry. I read it again and the whole it just kept reminding me of why I love my otp so much and why I fell in love with them from the very start. And how even though I’ve read it twice now, the impact that I got from reading it just the first time is still there. The specific chapters where I teared up at, the little Drarry moments when all they do is just hold each other and it rips your heart into pieces because we knew how it was going to end, but we hoped to the Magical Gods we were wrong, etc. I think its amazing when fanfiction makes you feel all these types of feelings, feelings of laughter, joy, pain, sorry, and full on fangirl breakdown. Now, if you excuse me, I’m going to sob into a corner and hold onto the last shreds of my sanity as I look for Dragon Tamer to try to fill in this gaping hole that Beautiful World has left in my heart.[13]
I was less certain of Cinnamon's Beautiful World, because I am Old, and therefore less about the Angst, and the opening of this story is All About the Angst, however once Malfoy came leaping into the narrative I was happy to give her another chapter or two to convince me, by which time the hooks were well and truly in. The set-up is bleak: Harry gives up on life, just in time to be told that it has essentially given up on him. Draco Malfoy, so used to defining himself in antithesis to Potter, finds himself trying to reconstruct the Potter that was; or else see what can be built from the remnants. It's hopelessly romantic in parts and full of High Drama, but the writing is so assured and so inventive that it sucks you back into the heady days of teenage madness and makes them seem natural, even beautiful. Long and worth the time it will take to read, it's not going to scare the horses if you're reading in a stable.[14]

References

  1. ^ sulky_rhino on LiveJournal. Poll: Harry/Draco Fandom Classic - Results. 18 September 2007. (Accessed 15 July 2012.)
  2. ^ Beautiful World Chapter 1 author's notes. 18 March 2003. (Accessed 15 July 2012.)
  3. ^ Beautiful World Chapter 3 author's notes. 16 April 2003. (Accessed 15 July 2012.)
  4. ^ Armchair Slash website. Past Authors of the Month. (Accessed 15 July 2012; archived by the Wayback Machine 18 August 2004.)
  5. ^ For example, elfflame writes in her rec: "I won't say too much, cause I don't want to give anything away, but bring tissue. You'll need it."
  6. ^ Beautiful World Chapter 5 author's notes. 06 May 2003. (Accessed 15 July 2012.)
  7. ^ draconispotter on Tumblr. There seems to have been another outbreak of people reading Beautiful World. (Accessed 15 July 2012.)
  8. ^ Sectum-Bloody-Sempra at Tumblr. Beautiful World. 29 January 2012. (Accessed 15 July 2012.)
  9. ^ m.i.r at Harry Potter's Realm of Wizardry Forum. Topic: Beautiful World. 19 August 2004. (Accessed 15 July 2012.)
  10. ^ draconispotter on Tumblr. I was just thinking…. (Accessed 15 July 2012.)
  11. ^ drarrysmut on Tumblr. My reaction to Beautiful World:. 25 June 2012. (Accessed 15 July 2012.)
  12. ^ painless_j. HP recs: Harry/Draco long fics. (Accessed 15 July 2012.)
  13. ^ darlingismyfallontine on Tumblr. Can I just vent about Beautiful World? March 2012. (Accessed 15 July 2012.)
  14. ^ blamebrampton on LiveJournal. More recs. 30 August 2007. (Accessed 15 July 2012.)