Title: Defiance Author: Dark Lord Slytherin Rating: M Genre: Mystery/Drama Library category: General/Indy Pairing: Harry/Daphne Summary Memories are tricky things. Sometimes, they cause us to lose nights of sleep. Sometimes, they bring light to darkness. Sometimes, they change the course of destiny. Set after the events of Fourth year. Follow Harry Potter as he finds his way across his strange problems, his notoriety and of course, the resurrected dark lord trying to kill him. AU. Powerful! Harry, Harry/Daphne. Link. Part 1 of my holiday reading. Compared to the other Indy story which I also read (and which I might review in the Almost Recced thread, if only so that no one else has to ...), this one takes all the tired clichés and delivers a cliché, but technically decent story. For starters, Dumbledore in manipulative, but he makes coherent, logical sense. I mean, maybe that’s setting the bar really low, but given all the other stories where Dumbledore steals money because ... why? and his "plans" have the intelligence of a toddler on crack because ... because, this one is positively a genius. The answer in either case is probably "so that I can better bash him". I didn’t really find that here, either. Some of the other Indy!pitfalls aren’t entirely avoided, but at least they’re tempered with motivation, much like Dumbledore. He ends up at Gringotts and a helpful goblin, yes, but that’s because Bill gets him there. He does have his rant moments, yes, but it’s actually to make a point in-story, and not just a list of everything the author always wanted to say ever. Etc. pp. So with those biggest stumbling blocks out of the way, all you have to do is swallow the premise that Dumbledore has his fingers in Harry’s life everywhere (for reasons that make sense from his perspective, just not from Harry’s) and that Hermione and Ron are dicks who put Dumbledore’s orders before his friend, and you’re set to enjoy a rather nice time-waster. It probably helps that the story doesn’t take itself entirely seriously, or at least that was my impression. It’s not so much the tone, rather the building of the scenes; I simply adored, for example, the contrasting house reactions to Important Revelations that happened -- you just know the author was grinning as he wrote this; Slytherin has a ridiculously self-important "assembly meeting", while Hufflepuff (immediately afterwards) ... is playing exploding snap XD There’s also (just recently) the correct usage of a marriage contract(!), a decent mystery, an (as far as I know) unique and original hook in the first chapter (which has the potential for a 5/5 masterpiece, in fact, and I’m not going to spoil it here), and it’s all decently wrapped into the more mundane parts of the story, so you keep reading to figure out what is going to happen. I was sad when I had reached the last chapter and that’s been extremely sparse lately. At this point, Harry’s and Daphne’s interactions would already be a bonus, but there’s that, too. It’s funny, it’s snappy, Harry is exactly the right sort of annoying, Daphne exactly the right sort of stand-offish, and as they then are forced to interact, the result is necessarily entertaining. Both are unashemedly sticking to their own motivations, which moves any "true love upon first sight" shit with a mighty kick into the trash bin. There is attraction, because both are attractive people, and after 23 chapters and 100k words, that’s that. Refreshing. I give it a solid 3/5.