Tissue of Silver

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Fanfiction
Title: Tissue of Silver
Author(s): Fearless Diva
Date(s): October 2002 – February 2004
Length: ~75,000 words / 576K (podfic 8 hours 11 mins)
Genre: romance, epistolary, casefic, action adventure
Fandom: Harry Potter
External Links: Tissue of Silver at author site; Silververse index

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Tissue of Silver is a Harry Potter novel by Fearless Diva, completed in 2004. It is one of the early classics of the Harry/Draco pairing.

The novel is a futurefic, set after the successful defeat of Voldemort, in which Draco has defected to the side of Dumbledore and been instrumental in defeating the Death Eaters. His acts have made him many enemies and his life is in danger, so top Auror Harry is called in to act as his bodyguard. The story blends casefic, action adventure and romance elements, and intersperses letters and reports into the third-person narrative. It prominently features Severus Snape, Draco's godfather, as well as original characters, and there are cameos from Remus Lupin and Sirius Black. Written well before Half-Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows, it does not follow their canon; in particular, Snape is not only alive and well but a wealthy pureblood. The author summary is:

A love story concerning possessed furniture, black silk pyjamas, courtroom drama, premonitions of doom, assassination attempts, Death Eater yoga, absinthe, bare feet and a sensible werewolf.

The title comes from the poem "Fate Defied" by Adelaide Crapsey, which provides the epigraph. The story is rated R for coarse language, brief drug use, some sexual content, and consideration of issues of sexual consent.

Fearless Diva has written commentaries on several scenes in the novel, linked here.

Publication History

An early version was published in parts at the author's livejournal starting 3 October 2002; it has since been removed.[1] A rewritten and expanded version, beta'ed by A. J. Hall, was published at the author's website in February 2004. The original work is not currently available (as of 2013) at any archives.

Silververse

Several sequels and missing scenes are also set in the "Silververse". The main stories in the series are:

There are also several other shorter works in the universe:

Related Fanworks

FayJay recorded an 8-hour podfic (link), which she states was probably her first podfic.[2] It is also available as a audiobook.

A translation into French was published at ff.net by taraxacum.officinalis in 2007 (link).

Reception & Awards

Tissue of Silver was well received and very widely recommended. It has come to be considered one of the classics of the H/D pairing,[3] and is a favourite of many HP fans. Despite not adhering to Deathly Hallows canon, it still remains popular.

The characterisations are frequently praised, with each of Draco, Harry and Snape being singled out as particularly well written by some reviewers. Draco's character comes in for particular discussion. Writing in The Shipper's Manifesto, dorrie6 points out that Tissue of Silver's "redeemed" Draco ... represents one version of the oft-maligned "fanon!Draco" who is brilliant and beautiful and occasionally wears leather trousers but states that done well (as he is by Fearless Diva), I know few H/D shippers who can resist him.[4] Other reviewers feel that the more mature Draco of Fearless Diva's novel does not conflict with what is seen in canon. However, some readers who come to the story for the first time after Deathly Hallows are less persuaded by Fearless Diva's characters.

Many readers also enjoy the plot and the novel's multi-layered complexity, although one reader considers some of the plot devices ... a bit heavy handed.[5] It's one of the first stories to use SuperAuror!Harry, now a bit of a cliché. The work's humour, dialogue, pacing and writing style are all also often praised. The device of using letters and reports to move the plot along is generally well received, with many readers singling out the correspondence as particularly enjoyable.

Tissue of Silver won the "Best Completed Fic Category" in the 2006 round of the Forbidden Desires Awards.[6]

Recs & Reviews

Tissue of Silver has been recommended at Crack Van, Crack Broom and The Shipper's Manifesto, and by prominent HP reccers Beth H,[7] painless_j[8] and switchknife, among many others.

What's that? You think all HP fic is written in the same, trite, hackneyed voice? People just steal ba[c]kstory from The Big Five Fics and fill in their own porn? Fall in line, I'll take you to the good stuff.

I think this story deserves all of the lauding other, more famous fic, gets because this is all those are cracked up to be without the credit.

Plot, wit, beautiful phrasing, clever dialogue, angst, Ideas. You will find them ALL here. This is one of those rich, complex stories that when you're done you can't remember what she invented and what happened in the books. No plagiarism, no controversy, no fandom_wank, just real talent and a deft touch for detail and internal cohesion. There is also a sequel and tangential stories to keep you occupied until winter ends, and we can all go sailing again. (ethrosdemon at Crack Van)[9]
I read the new, expanded version of fearlessdiva's Tissue of Silver. I have said in the past that this was my favorite Harry/Draco story of all time, and though I'm not sure that's true anymore (bookshop killed me with The Reader), I think it probably still is my favorite completed novel-length H/D. At this point, only ivyblossom's Origins gives it a run for its money, though I think novembersnow's Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow has a good shot at it, down the line. There are things about [Maya]'s Underwater Light that I adore beyond reason as well. In any case, I love Tissue of Silver, and the new version has only heightened my admiration for it. (dorrie6)[10]
... there is a huge amount of fanfic written with this pairing in which Draco is dark, or being redeeemed from such, and I wouldn't be presenting a very balanced view of the fandom if I ignored this fact. One of my favorite stories when I first started reading HP fanfiction, in fact, was Fearless Diva's Tissue of Silver, which absolutely features "redeemed" Draco, and furthermore, represents one version of the oft-maligned "fanon!Draco" who is brilliant and beautiful and occasionally wears leather trousers. This is not the Draco I write, or the one that I most often read, however, when he's done well (as he is by Fearless Diva), I know few H/D shippers who can resist him. (dorrie6 at The Shipper's Manifesto)[4]
I don't know whether I should be amused or disturbed by the number of Harry/Draco fics already in my recommendations. They are far from my favorite pairing. I find the absolute least canon support for this pairing of just about any HP pairing I've ever read. I'm not a particular fan of Draco as we get him in the books, and having him undergo a major personality transplant is at best a major annoyance to me. But there are some stories that just manage to completely overcome that, and none do it better than this one.

Draco is still Draco. He's sarcastic, petty, and sometimes needlessly cruel. But this is an older Draco whose experiences have matured him if not mellowed him. Behind the same cool and aristocratic facade that defines the Malfoy family, there is a real, living, breathing, passionate person. There's also someone who struggles daily with the things they have had to do and the mark they have left on him. Harry is still the strong and impetuous Gryffindor hero, doing what is expected of him without regard to personal safety. He's older, but not a great deal wiser. Where he differs from most Harry interpretations I've found is that he's not above using his status as "The Boy Who Lived," not to mention the Hero of the War to get what he wants when he thinks it's necessary. Not only is he not above it, he doesn't feel so much as a frisson of remorse for it. He hates the expectations, and questions nearly everyone's motives for being a friend, but he'll use it when the occasion calls for it. This strikes me as much more true than the heroic Harry, who would never think of using his fame for any purposes that were less than pure. This is a Harry who has learned to live in the grey area, and appreciate other people who do the same. I think we've seen hints of that Harry in the novels, and I like that we're seeing him all grown up here. Their friendship comes a little easier than I'd like but it still feels natural, creeping up on both of them. Their romance takes up a comparatively short portion of the story, and while almost unbearably sweet, I couldn't help but feel that they deserved it.

One of the real selling points of this story for me, though, is the structure of it. We get some fairly lengthy bits of 3rd person omniscient narrative, but it's broken up by personal letters, and ministry of magic reports. I particularly enjoyed the many pieces of correspondence between Draco and Snape. They are often laugh out loud funny, and offer great insight into both characters. The ministry reports generate exposition on some key points without forcing the characters into rehashing events that there is no earthly reason they would feel compelled to talk about.

Then there is the story itself. Somebody is trying to kill Draco, and while the absurdity of determining suspects is pointed out early on, Harry Potter, in typical hero mode is determined to prevent it. There are a number of false clues laid out carefully in the story, and I was second guessing nearly every character we were introduced to before it was over. Some of the plot devices are a bit heavy handed, but it's an exciting story with enough action to balance out and justify the emotional entanglements. (Delwyn)[5]
*A VERY Enjoyable and Highly Recommended Read* ...

I would have given this story a summary of my own to better explain what it's about but for the life of me no words were coming to adequately describe the whole of this story. ...

...a truly amazing story. ...

That said it's a superbly written piece of work with spelling and grammar that's near enough flawless that nothing comes to mind and with a well thought out and well paced plot and storyline. The way the scenes are divided and how throughout the actual story there are glimpses into the background by way of case reports and the like that slowly reveal more information and ground the story even deeper into a sense of realism and give it more depth.

The characters are beautifully written and each unique and yet undoubtedly in character, from perfections to flaws. And the character interactions (all of the character interactions) are believable, from the sarcastic to the more affectionate, both when people are speaking to each other and in the letters between Severus (Snape) and Draco (my personal favorite). (storycache)[11]
fearlessdiva's "Tissue of Silver" has been rec'd in about ten million different places. It's good. But me, I'm special. I'm going one up on everyone else, and I'm reccing everything in the the Silververse. That's 9 fics for the price of one. Talk about value!!
Anyway, "Tissue of Silver" features an Auror!Harry, a martyr!Draco, and various other supporting characters, the most notable of whom is Caring Godfather (but still Snarky)!Snape. It focuses on the basic premise that Draco is a Seer targeted for death, and Harry is the Auror who's sent to protect him. From there it builds to include a relationship between Harry and Draco. The rest of the fics just fall into place after that. This has plot, humor, action, romance...You name it, it's probably there. It's long, but it's oh-so worth it. ^^ (Tani)[12]
This one aches people. You get transported into a world of hate, distrust, confusion, love and the inability to change one’s fate. You think you know the meaning of a quest for personal redemption? I dare you to read this and modify that opinion. In the end, we all have to face up to the wrongs we’ve committed. In the end, we all have to grow up. (vampiric_mcd)[13]
...my favorite Harry/Dra[c]o fic. ... I first read this fic 3 years ago and it still stands out in my mind for the beautiful storytelling. This fic is what I consider to be a classic. The author develops the relationship between the two characters with a very realistic approach. Throughout the story the author uses letters between characters to move the plot along and to provide an insight to the characters. (libel at Crack Broom)[14]
Post-war, Draco is revealed to by a spy for light and he spends most of his time testifying against his former friends and hiding out in Malfoy Manor working on a universal poison antidote. Good thing, too, as someone's trying to kill him. Not wanting to lose their star witness, the Ministry sends over Super!Auror Harry Potter, who promptly moves into Draco's estate to help keep the Ministry's silver boy safe.

Normally I don't have a tough time writing a short summary for a story that captures the essentials, if not all of the details. Tissue of Silver is so layered and so complex, however, that the above summary is just a pale shadow of the story as a whole. There's also Draco's name change and prophetic dreams (which shouldn't work in a story and yet totally does), Draco and Severus's fabulous written correspondence (I would read a novel of just these two corresponding if it wouldn't make me dead of squee! by the end), and of course Harry and Draco's burgeoning relationship. Tissue of Silver truly has one of the richest, most beautiful plots I've ever seen in fanfiction.

The plot isn't the only thing that's wonderful, however. You also have brilliant characterization, especially of Draco and Severus. Fearless Diva captures both of their characters perfectly, certainly better than JKR, and the end result is two of the most fascinating character portrayals I've ever read. Add in some detail about the practicalities of wizarding life, Harry being the long-suffering bodyguard of a very troubled man, and even a mystery as to who's trying to kill Draco and you have my favorite Harry/Draco fic ever. (Jane Elliot)[15]
The "Silve[r] Verse" is one of my favorite novel-leng[th]s, it's also one of the oldest and most widely recognized Harry/Draco novels in fandom. For good reason: the writing is su[p]er[b], the characterization (although fannish) perfect and the UST memorable. It's (at least) the third time I'm reading it and I still want to extract as many quotes as the first time. Funny, witty but also passionate and dark, "Tissue of silver" shows why Harry and Draco might want each other, why they might need each other and how right it could be but also how wrong things could go if they are not careful because both of them are extremely passionate people who often act without thinking. You can find the sequels to this fic in the page I link you to, they are 11.000, 900 and 19.000 words and they are all lovely, more introspective than ToS and full of insight. (Evalangui)[16]
You know how people talk about stories that singlehandedly converted them to a particular pairing or ship? Well ToS did this for me. I haven't found a Harry/Draco to equal it. Draco is so snarky it hurts, which is what us Daco fans would expect. However, there is an element of such raw vulnerability and selflessness-disguised as indifference in him that you just want to take him home and feed him. Enter Harry who is earnest, and loyal and steadfast and so endearingly thick. His commitment to keeping Draco safe, despite him protesting that he hates him, is very touching. It's so very Harry. I was not a fan of slash when I started reading this, but the UST scorched my eyeballs as I read. Equally lovely, is Draco's relationship with Snape (which can best be described as snark liberally doused with affection). I cannot pimp this fic enough. It's one of my all time favourites. Read the other accompanying stories as well, they're all great. (Rizzle)[17]
This is an involving post-war story with appealing characterizations of Harry and Draco. I was drawn in from the start by the opening letter from Draco to Snape. Usually I don’t find those kinds of openings effective (don’t worry, this isn’t an epistolary story, although there are letters throughout) but Draco’s voice was so dry and snarky it was a delight, and it set the tone for a very enjoyable story. (harmony_bites)[18]
Tissue of Silver isn't Underwater Light though its characterization of both Harry and Draco owe a lot to UL author Maya. However, it's easily the most entertaining Harry/Draco fic I've read in a while. The downside is its lack of explicit sex (c'mon, you know that's a huge reason we're reading this stuff); the upside is the care with which author Fearless Diva constructs her post-series world, and the characters within it who have been given a depth that, really, Rowling never managed (I'm serious). ...

I'm not going to say a whole lot more about this, so as not to spoiler things. The basic set-up is this: in a post-series, post-war world Draco Malfoy (who served as a spy for the anti-Death Eater side) is testifying at a series of Death Eater trials. He is also flamingly gay and very Peter Wimsey in his affected non-chalance. When threats are made against his life, (ostensibly)straight tabloid sensation Harry Potter ("Super Auror") is assigned to keep him safe. Shenanigans ensue.

There are also letters to and from Draco to his godfather Severus Snape which are hilarious, and have I mentioned Remus and Sirius make cameo appearances as Harry's godfather and godfather-in-law?

And obviously the Chair of Evil. Go forth and read. (Anna J. Clutterbuck-Cook)[19]
These are stories I encountered in my first major run of reading H/D, from 2002-2003. ... This based on memory, and right now only consists of one story. ...
The story that has come back to more than any other is Tissue of Silver, and mainly because it seems so vividly written to my memory. I remembered whole scenes from that story, in some cases word for word, for eight years. (shamedintellect)[20]
It’s subtle and gorgeous in ways that are both profound and simple. The pace is easy and thoughtful. Harry moves through his feelings about his past, the war, and Draco in such a way that it feels natural and matter of a fact. The characterization, back story, and dialogue is especially well done. (Keira Marcos)[21]
It took me ages to read this story, and it was only because of how it starts. It begins with "Dear Sev," and I honestly couldn't imagine any universe in which Snape would allow anyone to call him "Sev".

But once I started reading I couldn't stop. This story is everything good you've ever heard of, and then some more.

It has a deliciously independent and eccentric Draco, who is a Seer, and was a spy for the Order during the war. And there's Harry, Super Auror, who is in charge of Draco's security because his life, aside from being constantly at risk, is being currently threated even more.

There's also Mentor!Snape, and a series of original characters that add wonderful touches to this story.

I loved the slow progression of Harry and Draco's relationship. It was never hostile to begin with, but now they are both living Malfoy Manor, it evolves naturally.

This fic is worth all those hours one spends reading it, it has a rich background history of every plotline, and the relationship between Harry and Draco moves in balance with the plot. (Capitu)[22]
First, I'm going to start with Tissue of Silver and its sequel/side stories. This is in my top five favorite fics of all time and an H/D classic. If you haven't read it, I recommend that you do. ...
There are so many reasons why I loved this fic, but the letters are brilliant. This fic was finished pre-DH, so Severus is still alive and him and Draco correspond often throughout the fic. Their letters are so wonderful that I could read an entire fic filled with them. Also, Draco's characterization is perfect, at least to me. He's more mature due to everything that's happened in his life, but he's still snarky, quirky, and slightly insane. He's also resigned to the fact that he's going to die, so that makes the dynamics between him and Harry interesting. Really, I could go on for ages about this fic. Just trust me and read it. The sequel and mini fics are great too. (icicle33)[23]
A classic of the Harry/Draco fandom, and a formative fic for me personally. It uses multiple mediums to pitch perfect effect, is wonderfully clever with both dialogue and one-liners, has a really dynamic relationship arc, and delves into fascinating places with its in-world speculation re: book 7/final battle outcomes (old school!) and more general magical theory. Plus, I mean, all the push-pull of the enforced closeness of a 24/7 bodyguard situation… that’s something I absolutely can’t resist ever, and I know that’s partially because this fic showed me how great it could be. The Draco contained within is a bit dated, very much the disaffected aristocrat characterization that I feel the fandom eventually outgrew, but it really is the absolute best of its place and time. (epaulettes)[24]
Absolutely goddamn brilliant, and if I had the ability to steal this author's Muse, I would. Has an understated, minimalist grace with gorgeous, well-rounded dialogue. A future-fic in which Draco's life is in danger after he informs on the Death Eaters, and Harry's an Auror in charge of protecting him... The dynamic between them here is just so in-character, and delightful, that I kept sighing with bliss every paragraph or so. Also has some lovely Snape-written letters. (switchknife)[25]
A wonderful, wonderful story with a supremely snarky Draco. Also considered a classic and certain one of my top ten. (Pir8fancier)[26]
I was rivetted and spellbound and delighted. The characterisation is delicious, the pacing is mostly spot-on, some of the dialogue is nigh perfect, and, most wonderfully of all, there is a mix of text types, there are changes in narrative level, there are changes in focalisor! It's a tight (and oh, it's a deliciously tight) third-person pov, interspersed with first-person letters and reports from a variety of other people who sometimes also feature as characters in the third-person plot. Or, I suppose you could alternatively describe it as a series of letters and reports, written in different prose styles, intercalated with an ongoing past-tense third-person narration. Anyway, whatever it is, it is an outstanding, and I stand in awe. Harry/Draco. (Lobelia)[27]
This is just, yes, Harry/Draco in the future and it's wonderfully atmospheric. And, oh, the chair! I like this a lot. (ThaWrecka)[28]
This is one of my all-time favorites! Really, a must-read if you are a fan of post-Hogwarts H/D! (Emma Grant)[29]

Original Version

Comments on the original version:

Diva says (s)he is still rewriting this story, and damn, I can't wait to see the final product if a draft is this good. ... Beautifully plotted with an in-depth backstory that so many other fanfics don't bother to provide. The writing, too, is fantastic -- especially with Draco's letters to his Uncle Severus. (JR)[30]

Comments on the differences between the unrevised and final versions:

[On the original version] I was blown away. Great characterization, terrific dialog, angst and pretty much all 'round great reading. ...
The new (improved?) Tissue of Silver is up. I think you can really see the stamp of AJ Hall's beta on this version of the story. Still, it's a good read, nice drama and a relatively lovable Harry and Draco. (Rosa)[31]

Podfic Version

Comments on FayJay's podfic:

This is brilliant and epic and in turns scary, camp, funny and heart breaking. Her reading of Draco was a thing of wonder, he's so screamingly gay and sarcastic:) And the author has used a variety of narrative, letters, reports etc to tell the story, it works *extremely* well. (dodificus)[32]
Okay. This is one of my favorite stories read by one of my favorite readers. FayJay has an incredible voice and has a knack for accents and characterization and voices. Her Snape is dead-on. Actually, every character is dead-on, but Snape is so hard that I'm shocked when someone gets it right. She is one of the few readers I know, who I will listen to read any fandom, any pairing. It really doesn't matter, as long as her voice is ringing in my head. (fire_juggler)[33]
Podfic by the incomparable FayJay, who takes an audible delight digging into Draco’s drawl. (epaulettes)[24]

References

  1. fearlessdiva: Fic bit ("Tissue of Silver" part 1) (accessed 16 July 2013)
  2. Locked post to personal livejournal dated 7 August 2009
  3. It is listed at The Shipper's Manifesto Harry/Draco essay (2004) in the top twelve classics [1]; it came in the top 25 Harry/Draco stories in a 2007 poll by Sulky Rhino [2]
  4. 4.0 4.1 ship_manifesto: Harry/Draco (Harry Potter) (accessed 16 July 2013)
  5. 5.0 5.1 delwyn-recs: Harry Potter: Tissue of Silver, R, Slash, Harry Potter/Draco Malfoy (accessed 16 July 2013)
  6. Darkest Magic: Forbidden Desire Awards (accessed 16 July 2013)
  7. Recs Recs Recs: a work-in-progress (accessed 15 July 2013)
  8. painless_j: HP recs: Harry/Draco long fics (accessed 16 July 2013)
  9. crack_van: Tissue of Silver by Fearlessdiva (accessed 16 July 2013)
  10. hp-for-lotrips: recs for valentine's day... (accessed 16 July 2013)
  11. storycache: Slash; HPDM; Complete; Tissue of Silver (accessed 16 July 2013)
  12. tani-recs: Silververse by fearlessdiva (MA) (accessed 16 July 2013)
  13. fav_fandom_recs: Fandom(s) Harry Potter (accessed 16 July 2013)
  14. crack_broom: Harry/Draco-"tissue of silver" fearlessdiva (accessed 16 July 2013)
  15. epic_recs: Tissue of Silver by Fearless Diva (NC-17) (accessed 16 July 2013)
  16. readingz: Fanfic: "Tissue of Silver" by Fearless Diva. (Harry/Draco, classic, post-GoF). (N9) (accessed 16 July 2013)
  17. The Readers Have: Tissue of Silver, by Fearlessdiva (accessed 16 July 2013)
  18. Know it Alls: “tissue of silver” by fearlessdiva (accessed 16 July 2013)
  19. the feminist librarian: ficnotes: tissue of silver (accessed 16 July 2013)
  20. shamedintellect: Fanfiction Recs (accessed 16 July 2013)
  21. Slash World: Tissue of Silver by Fearless Diva (accessed 16 July 2013)
  22. my-drarry-recs: Tissue of Silver by fearlessdiva (accessed 16 July 2013)
  23. hd-storyroom: Bodyguard Recs (accessed 16 July 2013)
  24. 24.0 24.1 starredreview: HARRY POTTER: "Tissue of Silver" and Silververse by fearlessdiva (accessed 16 July 2013)
  25. switchknife's slash recommendations: Harry/Draco (accessed 20 January 2018)
  26. pir8fancier: Recs Index (accessed 16 July 2013)
  27. Lobelia's Niche Recommendations (accessed 16 July 2013)
  28. Colour and Movement: Harry Potter (accessed 16 July 2013)
  29. après l'école: Tissue of Silver by fearlessdiva (accessed 16 July 2013)
  30. JR's Parlor: Fanfic Recommendations: Page 10 -- Harry Potter (accessed 16 July 2013)
  31. The Saga of Two Girls and the Stories They've Read (accessed 16 July 2013)
  32. dodificus: Rec: Harry Potter (accessed 16 July 2013)
  33. fire_juggler: Podfic Rec/Resource List (accessed 16 July 2013)