Irresistible Poison

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Title: Irresistible Poison
Author(s): Rhysenn
Date(s): 2001-2003
Length: 123,712 words
Genre: m/m slash
Fandom: Harry Potter
External Links: Irresistible Poison (FictionAlley)
Irresistible Poison (Noire Sensus)
Screenshot of the story page at Magical Intrigue, via Wayback

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Irresistible Poison is one of the early Harry/Draco slash romance novels.

Summary: Under the influence of a love potion, Draco learns that poison doesn't always bring death.


Two lines of Irresistible Poison were quoted in the news article What to do about Harry Potter porn by Christopher Noxon. This article was originally posted in 2001, came to wider attention in Harry/Draco fandom, and was later taken up by several other online news sites. The article was reprinted in the Vancouver Sun in 2002. The article mentioned Rhysenn's name at one point, but did not specifically cite her as the author of Irresistible Poison. The article was widely viewed by fans as being purposefully inflammatory.

The story was also linked in Porn - for the rest of us.

Its Relationship to "The Draco Trilogy"

In 2012, Aja commented extensively on the climate of the Harry Potter fandom at the time both "Irresistible Poison" and The Draco Trilogy were first being published, and how the two stories gained energy off each other:

So in the first part, Draco Dormiens, which Cassandra Claire started posting in 2000, and which was immediately super popular, Harry and Draco actually become best friends. So, yes you had all these hate tropes but you also had this sort of, you know, had a bunch of people reading Draco Dormiens and the two other fics in the series and going, Wow, maybe they could be friends and maybe they could more that friends, you know? Before I even got to the fandom, they—she actually had put, you know Rhysenn had started writing "Irresistible Poison" and Cassie and Rhysenn were friends and they shared a mailing list together. So even though "Irresistible Poison" was hugely popular — but a lot of that led over into the populate, the fan base for Draco Veritas, or the Draco Trilogy, because they shared a mailing list. So even though they weren't — like, Draco Dormiens wasn't a slash novel, there was this wink wink, nod nod type thing going on, because obviously she's on a mailing list with a Harry/Draco writer who's very popular.

Then, there is that sense that [Cassandra Claire] is catering to the subtext, and she actually—she actively did cater to the subtext in a lot of ways. But that was all before I came along. And when I came along, I think the immediate, I guess, impression that I had was just that the writing was amazing, because I had actually tried to get into slash before, like I told you. And then I got pointed to the one archive where all of these really, where all the quote unquote "best writers" of the fandom were archived, sort of this one, like, elite archive called Diagon Alley, and I was just really drawn to the quality of the writing.

Which now I look back, and I'm like, Oh. I mean everybody thinks that "Irresistible Poison" is sort of twee and it's very cliché and very shmoopy. And it was, back then, too—it was very obviously, very shmoopy, but it also seemed to tap into a kind of, I guess, emotional undercurrent and I think the... I think just politically, like the fact that all of these people were reading you know, the Draco trilogy and then reading Irresistible Poison right away, because like almost inevitably, when you ask somebody who came into the Harry Potter at that point in time what their first fan fic was, they will almost always say "Irresistible Poison." If you ask them what their first H/D fan fic was, you know that just seems to be the one that everyone remembers. And I remember reading all these fics together because it just sort of hit me all in one weekend. So Irresistible Poison was one of many that I that I sort of intook and actually probably the one that made the biggest impression on me was Shalott's Weather of the Heart which is very much the hate sex/rivalry type thing. But Shalott was also coming from a completely different, I guess, part of the fandom. She was, I mean she was sort of in line with the pop slashers and the western media writers. Whereas you know Cassie was, you know sci-fi fantasy, steeped in that whole literary tradition of fandom. And I think a lot of the people I had early conversations about Harry/Draco with were also sort of within the more literary side of it. They come to Harry/Draco as readers first, maybe, and fans second, I guess. Whereas I think a lot of the people who came to the, sort of, love/hate trope were sort of fans first, if that makes sense. So I think it depends on what you're looking to get out of it. But I definitely, definitely think that the hugeness of popularity of the Draco Trilogy had a big deal to do with it.[1]

Recs and Reviews

This is a Harry/Draco classic, hands down. The writer was able to convey so much emotion and put such beauty in this fic. Beautifully-written, emotionally satisfying, and down-right one of the best I’ve ever read. I couldn’t stop reading it and it has been [...] translated into different languages.

In fact, it’s been rec.ed by so many readers out there and has an unspoken title of being a classic that it’s a wonder why I didn’t find this story in the beginning.

Sure, it’s the whole ‘love-potion-cliche’ but it’s so much more than that. It’s like, the epitomy of the whole category. It’s that good. I wished that it didn’t end. It was long, but very much worth the read. The beginning until the end was interesting, not one part being draggy AND there’s enough dry humor to keep you sort-of-chuckling albeit the angst. [...] Rating:10/10[2]
Absolutely classical H/D novel. Intense, captivating, amusing. Even very much so. Very well developed plot. Some scenes are simply elegant. Characters (especially the main ones) are absolutely charming. Somehow resembles Draco Trilogy; most likely because Rhysenn is a co-writer (and companion) of Cassandra Claire, their writing principles and approach to characters are clearly similar. In another words, this novel would be one of my first recs if somebody asked me what H/D to read. Rhysenn writes very well, and this is her most popular work.[3]
If you were going to read just one Draco/Harry fic and leave the fandom entirely, this is the one to read.[4]
Feel a bit silly posting this, because I know everyone's read it... Still, this story is the quintessential H/D fic. If you haven't read it, you haven't read H/D. Love is the most irresistable poison of all...[5]


  1. ^ Fan Fiction Oral History Project with Bookshop
  2. ^ ficrecdump. Irresistible Poison. (Accessed 09 April 2012)
  3. ^ painless_j. “Irresistible Poison” by Rhysenn, 07 December 2006. (Accessed 09 April 2012)
  4. ^ Journey to another place - Harry Potter Recs. (Accessed 09 April 2012)
  5. ^ Switchknife's Slash Recommendations - ...harry/draco.... (Last updated 09 August 2004; accessed 20 January 2018.)