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Title: Snitch!
Author(s): Al/titanic_days
Date(s): 2001-2002
Length: approx. 92,000 words
Genre(s): m/m slash
Fandom(s): Harry Potter
External Links: Snitch! at
Snitch! at FictionAlley

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Snitch! is one of the earliest Harry/Draco slash fanfics. The first six chapters were posted on 16 July 2001 to FictionAlley by Al with updates continuing until December of 2002 before it became an abandoned WIP.

It was published during a time that slash was still considered niche and something to be warned for, and may have garnered some hate for this (see The Pairing for more detail), but overall it was very well-received and quickly became a fandom classic. The ship name "Guns 'n' Handcuffs", which was used to refer to Harry/Draco on FictionAlley, takes the "Guns" half from Snitch![1]

At the end of each chapter posted to Schnoogle, the author thanked readers who had left reviews. There was also a dedicated Yahoo group, Draco's Appartment, for discussion, spinoffs, and related fanworks. Aja listed it as one of her recs in her giant fics rec meme.

Mentioned in the New York Times

Then, in May, the New York Times did a story about us (on the front page) and even though the article mentioned some of the slash that we host (titanic_days' Snitch, in which Harry and Draco are twenthsomething gangsters and gay lovers in London) the WB Store people contacted us and asked if we wanted to be an affiliate of their new online store. [2]


The summary on FictionAlley is:

SLASH. London, 2003, and two old enemies have become partners in crime. But the wizarding world is out to disrupt Harry's none too peaceful existence ... sex, guns, rock n' roll, drugs and bad language abound in a fast paced romantic thriller.[3]

The summary at

In London's seedy criminal underworld, two old enemies have become partners in crime, but the wizarding world is out to disrupt Harry's none too peaceful existence. Guns, car chases, wizards, sex, slash, Slut!Draco and drug busts abound in a fast paced r [cuts off here due to space limitation] [4]

The Fic

Written between the release of Goblet of Fire and Order of the Phoenix, Snitch! is a post-canon AU futurefic set in 2003. It features Harry as a mob boss and Draco as a drug dealer who team up to run Harry's club business and keep the Wizarding World from interfering with their lives. The fic was rated R on FictionAlley, although the author admits it "would be rated 15 in the UK."[5] It appears to be based in tone on Guy Ritchie movies, particularly Snatch,[notes 1] and many reviewers praised the originality and freshness of the fic, particularly in comparison to the author's earlier work, Dracaena Draco.

The fic is canon divergent from Goblet of Fire, with both Draco and Harry being expelled for having sex and being forced to make their own way in the world. The fic also features an interesting example of the Ron the Death Eater trope, where although Ron is not actually a Death Eater in the fic he is placed in opposition with Harry and they are no longer friends due to bad blood between them. The fic is notable for the use of many OCs, as it primarily takes place in the Muggle world. It also contains a cameo of Cassandra Claire, as the author was friends with her and it was Cassie who initially introduced him to Drarry as a concept.[6]

Unfinished Story

The story is an abandoned WIP, ending at Chapter 11 on something of a cliffhanger. The author posted an apology in 2004:

Sorry it's been a while. I'm up here at the minute to tell you it may well be a while longer. Whilst I would like to conclude the story, I have a million and one other things to concentrate on, and I cannot afford to give any more time to fandom or fanfiction.

I might feel inclined to finish the story at some stage in the future, but right now, I need to make a clean break. I'm sorry to let you all down like this.

Thank you for your support of Snitch, and your kind words and reviews. They were appreciated more than many of you know[7]

The Pairing

At the time Snitch! was posted, slash was still thought of as "niche" and something to be warned for. Harry Potter fanfic was overwhelmingly het or gen and the author himself was known for the Dark Descending Trilogy, a series of gen fics mostly centered around Draco Malfoy. For more context on the time period this fic was written in, see other early Harry/Draco fics. Initially, the first few chapters of Snitch! were posted with the following as the author's note:

The rating is, as usual, justified. This would be rated 15 in the UK, but I'm putting it as R to be on the safe side. This story also contains considerably more explicit language and situations than my previous works. And there are gay characters in it, and the implication of slash. If you find this in any way offensive, I beg you not to read on. Out of respect for any younger readers (I know I must have some) I really do recommend you stick with Dracaena Draco and its sequel, The Time of Trial, which are both more traditional fanfics. I respect you guys enough to be sure you will keep to your word, and therefore I feel I can post this here. Please do not prove me wrong![5]

This author's note was left up for archival purposes by Heidi8, against the author's wishes,[5] but the warning was presumably written because Al feared potential backlash for writing slash, especially when known as a gen writer. While the reviews on are largely positive, traces of the general attitude toward slash can be seen. This review from someone named Simon on chapter 2 is one such example:

Reviewing again. Decided it was not enough slashy (does that make any kind of sense?) to stop me from reading. Have been left a tad confused - my own fault for reading this in stages while watching that excuse for a rugby match (Scotland vs France). You forgot to mention that Everton were top of the table and that Arsenal are rubbish :P . Chapter was good, looking forward to more. The arguing over rules reminded me of Red Drawf [sic] - a programme I have not watched in ages. Have to get some work done so will finish me review now.[8]

And this similar comment by Samantha K. on chapter 1:

Darling! You can't make Draco gay! It's a crime! Parlament will be over soon. Other than![8]

These, of course, are only the remaining comments. Others may have been removed after being reported for abuse, if this comment in a review from MiniMalfoy101 on chapter 2 is any indication:

Somehow I don't think children would understand that, despite it's certain finase. Draco Malfoy is not a fixed straight character, he can be gay, and most of us lean towards that he is. Sorry Al, didn't mean to go on, but it's been bursting to get out of me. Can I just say that I love the whole Harry's sneaky little underworld. It makes England seem quite sordid. Sos, this is too long and my hands are cold, so I'd better just toddle off and lie down.[8]

However, the author's note in the version of chapter 2 posted to FictionAlley seems to indicate that the story was fairly well-received and (at least initially) garnered no hate:

The general tone of the reviews was 'damn, this is different', and I didn't get a single flame, which is great ... actually, I was really chuffed by such a positive response. Thank you all![6]

This sentiment was repeated in chapter 3's author's note:

Lots of wonderful people reviewed part two, I hooked some new reviewers, which is nice to see... so welcome on board! I am still amazed that nobody has flamed me for this, though I doubt that'll last much longer![9]

The remaining chapters that were cross-posted from only seem to mention the positive reviews, potentially indicating that Snitch! did, in fact, gather an amount of hate between the time chapter 3 was posted and the time chapter 4 was posted. Regardless of what hate the story did or did not gather, it was considered enough of a fandom classic by the time the ship name was being discussed to become part of the eventual "SS Guns 'n' Handcuffs" name proposed by the FictionAlley forumgoers.[1] Snitch! is the guns half, in reference to the gangster aspect of the story, and Irresistible Poison by Rhysenn was the handcuffs, because it featured handcuffs. This name was widely accepted enough by December 2001 that the first Harry/Draco megathread was called "Smart wizards choose guns and handcuffs!" in reference to the ship name.[10] That those two fics are the ones that ended up being popular is perhaps due to the fact that both authors were associated with Cassie Claire and therefore on the periphery of the inner circle.

Selected Commentary

The story has 631 reviews at, some of them by the biggest BNFs in the fandom, such as Cassandra Claire [11], yael [12], Rhysenn [13], Carole Estes[14], Heidi Tandy [15], Gwendolyn Grace [16], Flourish [17], and many more. See them (oldest to newest) here.

Some other selected reviews:

Well, That was...interesting. Your writing is clear and consise and very easy to read. Your idea of the characters personality's was very different, enjoyable. Your vision of Draco, as being one of my favorite characters, made me quite downharded, I truly missed his malicious glares and well placed smirks. Harry was pretty, well, cool. Remus was way different. Yet Ron was my favorite, he was charming. Good story, last chapter was a head trip, left me rather nauseous, Harry insults the hell outta Draco the promptly tries to do him in, then a lapse of time later and their getting it on in a closet... Well It WAS fun. Anyways I doubt this story's going to be completed, shame really.

- BlackFox's December 6, 2004 review of Chapter 6 on[8]

This is developing way beyond being just the weirdest HP FanFic on the net. This now officially has an interesting plot. And you had to make this chapter the shortest of them all, have you? I don't understand how Harry and Draco don't recognise Ron. He's dropping too many clues and he couldn't have changed by that much. Did he want to get caught, spreading all these clues, sending Harry to fumble in his pickets and so on? Was he serious about having a fling with Harry back in school? The flashback was so Rhysenn, Way to go! Was she cameoed on purpose with the Chevron agent? Oh, one nit-pick - Ron tried to whisper the password to Rave (five points for making him frisk her) and then, when he found Sher, he was surprised she wasn't a bloke. Weird. I ROFL at the imaging of matches poking out of James Dean's mouth. Good one. Why was Ginny so upset with Hermione/Charlie? (That's a new one, I think.) She said that H/R break-up was Ron's fault, so why does it bother he? I was so hoping that Ron wouldn't see D/Harry snog, but I guess that in your world, something like that can go quite smoothly. Ron and Draco! My god. That's worse than Cassie's D/G. I never would have imagined. *Scratches her head, remembering some of the scenes she wrote lately.* Er… right. Maybe that is a pairing made good by its unlikeness. Excellent chapter, Al. I may have to look forward to 'Snitch!' As much as I anticipate ToT.

- yael's April 22, 2001 review of Chapter 5 on[8]

Draco in FUR? I had sex with SIRIUS? And on top of that I noted steals from Terry Pratchett, James Bond, Lori (!), um...Titanic (?), why do I have a feeling Hermione is shagging either Sirius (not dead after all!) or Remus? I suppose she could be shagging Neville but not in this world nor in any other could Neville be considered slender and beautiful. Interesting where you're taking Harry and Draco. (Al: What? I took them to Brighton! Cassie: But they've never been to Brighton before!) I must admit I wasn't expecting them to get together so...soon. *blinks.* Interesting. Well, I can only assume that Ron or someone will show up and bollix up the whole thing. And who's the other guy Harry had sex with? Planting clues, you are. Must've been Ron. Lord. Those Hogwarts hunks, they get all the action. I liked Draco's little spiel about what it means to be gay & bisexual and so forth. Very well-thought out and intelligent. Am fond of Bisexual!Harry as well as Slut!Draco. He's so far from canon Harry he's almost an OC, but that's okay, he's a good OC and makes a nice foil for Draco. I think I would have liked to see Draco with his hair dyed brown. :) And my cameo was not nearly as terrifying as I thought it might be. I like being around to give Ron trouble. Makes me happy. Anyway, another awesome chapter; how you write this and TOT at the same time is a mystery to me, I'm jealous. *schnoogles Al for her cameo* *scarpers off*

- Cassandra Claire's March 16, 2001 review of Chapter 4 on[8]

Al. AL! WHAT did you DO? Draco's a SLUT! Harry's a meanie! Ha, anyways. I LIKE it. I like where it's going, and I like that it's not... well, normal. Different, as it were. I love where this is going (or rather, I love that I don't KNOW where this is going). I don't know what else to say.. I am speechless. Love it.

- Melpomene's January 26, 2001 review of Chapter 1 on[8]

Notes and References


  1. ^ In response to a reviewer, Al said: "Pulp Fiction, I'm thinking more Brit-gangster movies, like Snatch *hence the title* ... but the analogy works."