Quality of Mercy (Harry Potter story)

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Title: Quality of Mercy
Author(s): Maya
Date(s): 23 July 2005 - 16 September 2008
Length: ~260,000 words (31 chapters)
Genre: het and slash
Fandom: Harry Potter
External Links: (offline)
Fanart for Chapter 14 by SakiChiRocks, links to additional fanart inspired by the story below

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Quality of Mercy is a popular Harry Potter fanfiction novel by Maya that was posted in installments on her LiveJournal over the course of three years. The story's title comes from a poem by William Shakespeare.

Maya started posting the story shortly after the release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and is consistent with the canon up until that point. Because the story was still a work in progress when Deathly Hallows was published, Maya was able to incorporate some elements of the seventh book for purposes of meta and resistant reading. However, the plot is inconsistent with the events of Deathly Hallows.

Quality of Mercy is no longer online.

The Story

Quality of Mercy was written as Maya's version of Book 7. The events directly follow the events of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and feature Harry's quest to find and destroy Lord Voldemort's horcruxes.

Fan Response

Quality of Mercy was extremely popular and widely praised for its character development:

It is almost an improvement on JKR's own work -- giving us the depth of character and motivations not only for Draco but for so many flat characters in the series. Not only that, but I think in this fic we can really see Harry for the first time. While this is not a Dark!Harry story, his shortcomings are brought artfully to light.[1]

However, while the story was still a WIP, Maya did not reveal what the final ships would be farther than saying "het and slash," so many fans were disappointed when it did not turn out to be Harry/Draco like many of her other fics, despite numerous hints in that direction. In addition, although the story ended with Harry/Ginny, there remained an uncertainty that frustrated many readers:

The slashtastic scenes of Harry and Draco putting each other back together when there was no one else. That stuff MADE the fic for me. However, there were NO scene's when Harry did the same for Ginny (or vice versa) IMHO. As a Gen fic it had too much focus on H/D, as a H/G fic it had too little H/G Also, the fact that the attraction Harry might feel for Draco is never explicitly mentioned and the whole lot of hints about it (his jealousy) are just left hanging there it's annoying in the extreme. Too many details where left hanging in these fashion, I think, due to time constraints, and it's truly a pity because Maya was trying to tell a similar story that in "Underwater Light" and as a whole the older story it's better.[2]

Fan Art

  • Quality of Mercy by Maya by ~periwinkle-blue
  • Handyman Draco by ~Levicorpus
  • Naginininini by ~padfootness
  • Quality of Mercy by yazenia. The artist writes: "This isn't an illustration for a particular scene, it's more what the first two chapters felt like: Harry finds the Necklace-Horcrux, but unfortunately Snape has charmed it around Malfoys neck. Harry takes it anyway - and draggs the attached Malfoy with it."


  1. izzerwurst. Oh, Potter, You Rotter - Harry/Draco Recs. 1 August 2008. (Accessed 14 February 2011.)
  2. readingz quoting marguerite_26. "Quality of Mercy" Review. 17 September 2008. (Accessed 14 February 2011.)