Although stylistically Aja’s Harry/Draco fanfic “Trajectories” could not be more different from V’s overtly unpublishable work, this story is equally deeply embedded within the specific world of the Potter series and fandom. “Trajectories” is, on the surface, more accessible, and Aja’s breezy writing furthers that impression. However, this story is a perfect example of the fanfictional pleasure of exploration of the details of the canon universe—in this case, wizarding portraiture, which provides a means for her to examine the larger effects of trauma following the final war with Voldemort among Hogwarts students—and to use that exploration to ground a fanonical romance narrative. Painted figures in turns tythe wizarding world can move, speak, and interact with living people; Aja expands upon this relatively minor detail in Rowling’s work to examine, thoughtfully and to devastating effect, the impact such portraits would have upon the recently bereaved.
(More behind the cut)
In her 2008 academic work “Homosexuality at the Online Hogwarts: Harry Potter Slash Fanfiction,” Prof. Catherine Tosenberger cites the early influence in Harry/Draco fandom of one of my fics, and goes on to quote my 2004 fic “Pop Quiz:”
The joy of an enemyslash pairing is in watching antagonists overcome their differences, at least long enough to have sex. Dislike is recast as sexual tension, and when the characters are both men, part of the pleasure is in seeing their negotiation of expectations of male aggres- sion (rather than friendship) in terms of desire. A scene in Aja’s “Pop Quiz” captures this tension nicely:
Whenever they pass in the hallways, Malfoy does his best to jostle Harry. He is scrawny and bony, so if Harry doesn’t feel like moving that day, their sides scrape together, and Harry’s hip might bruise a little. If that happens, he has the satisfaction of knowing that Malfoy’s is bruised a little, too. When he reaches his palm up, his hand connects briefly with the flat plane of Malfoy’s hip. He can only do this once, on the excuse of shoving Malfoy away–but it’s not bad, really. Just stupid, like the whole thing is to begin with.
Harry is careful to articulate his consideration of Malfoy as a combina- tion of violence and disinterest (“if Harry doesn’t feel like moving that day, their sides scrape together”), which underlines both the depth of his attraction and his denial of same. He then denigrates their enmity, and expressions of that enmity, as “stupid”—a disavowal that foreshad- ows their later romantic connection.
Harry Potter, Literature, and Media Studies
In 2010, Prof. Catherine Tosenberger of the University of Winnipeg taught a special summer class to high school students on the Harry Potter phenomenon. Among the course texts was my 2002 fanfic, “Monsoon Season.”