|Reviews for The Unforeseen Variable|
| Guest chapter 2 . 12/19/2020
Most of the time a gun will beat a wand
Is Harry The Hero and a genuine savior, or is he a trust-fund orphan whose deceased parents give him license to dismiss everyone else's problems as unimportant? Or is he a nice guy but just a poorly executed one? The first time he defeated Voldemort was through no action of his own, and the second time was mostly taking advantage of Voldemort's inability to understand love and he simply followed Dumbledore's plans. Some critics suggest that many of his victories were only based on luck (or Dumbledore's Batman Gambits) as opposed to great skill with magic. Interestingly, Harry himself believes the former, only for Ron and Hermione to insist that these events also showed a bravery and resourcefulness that others don't have.
Many also question if Harry actually is a good friend. Some have argued that Harry is a Hollywood Nerd who is fundamentally a jock, who likes sports and girls, coasts off Hermione for his homework yet refuses to listen to her and even dismisses her when he wishes to For instance, in Deathly Hallows, Harry privately concurs with Xenophilius Lovegood that Hermione is "narrow-minded," and while he agrees later that Hermione was right about the Hallows, he does not apologize to her and moreover has severe Moral Myopia when it comes to class and school discipline (i.e. his insensitivity to Ron, and his plagiarism of the Prince's notebook in Book 6, poor sportsmanship). Such fans also raise eyebrows to Harry/Hermione Shipping Goggles since Harry in the books does not really come across as a very good friend to her (taking Ron's side in Book 3, he got mad at her for reporting the Firebolt anonymously sent to him to McGonagall despite that it was a big red flag (To be fair, Hagrid did call him out for that), and generally getting very morose and depressed whenever he and Ron fight, but taking Hermione for granted and moreover not showing the slightest remorse or consideration about how his use of the Prince Textbook is unfairly giving him an advantage over Hermione's labor in class), while also criticizing him for Gaslighting Ron into the Sidekick Glass Ceiling Like after becoming Captain in Book 6, he doesn't defend Ron despite him more or less winning the Quidditch Cup the previous year, while Harry sat out of the final for his poor sportsmanship and then resorting to a cheap trick to make Ron feel like he won but still remain insecure, while Ron once again served on the winning team of the Quidditch tournament when he got himself suspended again.
Who are even the good guys? Many Death Eaters don't exactly share in Voldemort's fervor to Take Over the World. Some of them were high-ranking figures already, which suggests that they were attracted to the movement's ideology (which happens to be to exterminate everything that's not a pure-blooded wizard). Others suggest, though, that they're Not So Different from the good guys, who themselves want to keep magic a secret from the world at large (to the point where none of them bothered to break The Masquerade during the ten months Voldemort took over their government even though it was a threat would have ended both societies and despite how many muggles were being killed at the point), have a very harsh and sometimes disproportionate justice system, are fine with slavery, and have their own discriminatory viewpoints (Dumbledore is implied to be astonishingly progressive to give Lupin and Hagrid jobs at Hogwarts, and he still has to keep Lupin's lycanthropy a secret). One common fan interpretation is that Wizarding Britain is incredibly backwards, insular, and prejudiced compared to other magical communities.
Gryffindor is the house Harry belongs to, so naturally we see the most of it and it's painted in the best light. It's nominally the house of courage and chivalry, but some fans see it more as a house full of Jerk Jocks, Glory Hounds, and the Popular Is Dumb crowd. Ravenclaw is the house for smart people, but how smart are Ravenclaws really? Some paint them as rather boring, academic, and exclusionary. But when Order of the Phoenix introduced Luna Lovegood, now they also became associated with eccentrics, mystics, and creative types. Is Slytherin a house of Always Chaotic Evil Pureblood fanatics? Word of God says no, they're much more nuanced. However, we don't see much evidence of this in the books, but Harry is a Gryffindor, has a real rivalry with Slytherin, and might just not want to see any redeeming qualities. The most positively portrayed Slytherin, Horace Slughorn, is an Anti-Hero who still has subtle traces of Pureblood Supremacy. Officially, they're the house of ambition, but Ambition Is Evil in the story. Fan writers like to suggest that they're Not Evil, Just Misunderstood - a house that likes being edgy, sticking up for each other, and finding hidden potential. Pureblood fanaticism on that large a scale seems kind of impractical, anyway.
Its founder, Salazar Slytherin, is not painted well in the books - he was known to have built the Chamber of Secrets, which housed the Muggle-killing Basilisk, and he did have a falling out with the other founders over whether or not to accept Muggle-born students. This suggests that he really was a Pureblood supremacist, but one interpretation suggests that since the Burn the Witch! trope was alive and well at the time, he didn't have anything against Muggles per se, but was a pragmatist who didn't want to open the school up to attack by Muggles. Under this interpretation, the Chamber of Secrets was a defense against a possible attack.
Hogwarts appears to be founded in the 990s or so, the Burn the Witch! thing didn't get underway until the mid-1400s. There were isolated incidents in the Founder's time, but not the hundreds of thousands we see during the Early Modern Period. So it might have been the fear that the Muggle-borns would attract unwanted attention, as a pure- or half-blood would have parents who could mitigate the damage?
Hufflepuff is so often portrayed as "the House of All The Rest" that it named a trope. Fans naturally wanted to explore their positive traits, but they differ on what those are. Some suggest it's the House of goal-oriented hard workers, so much so that they'll eschew glory just to get stuff done. Others suggest it's the House of love, friendship, and community. Still others suggest they're just Lawful Stupid.
Much like Salazar Slytherin, Helga Hufflepuff has been reinterpreted in some works as the Only Sane Man. In this view Hufflepuff wasn't "all the rest" because she especially valued community, but because she knew children didn't have a firm grasp of their identity at age 11 and that dividing students up based on personality was a bad idea.
By the way, imagine what an eleven-year-old child would think when the Sorting Hat singing their song at the Sorting Ceremony DIRECTLY making Hufflepuff a "House of All The Rest" - somebody who isn't brave enough for Gryffindor, clever enough for Ravenclaw or pure enough for Slytherin, and making a very hard point that the hat isn't ever mistaken. No wonder why some consider Hufflepuff House as a dumping ground for students that the other founders wouldn't consider "worthy".
With a few exceptions, such as Dobby, the House-Elves find the prospect of not serving human wizards abhorrent. However, is this Happiness in Slavery attitude actually genuine? Are the House-Elves just saying they’re fine with being enslaved because they feel as if they can’t fight the Fantastic Caste System the Wizarding World has enforced on them? Or have they been enslaved by wizards for so long they don’t know what they would do if they weren’t serving wizards? note For this point, consider how Dobby's idea of freedom is "never serving the Malfoys again and being able to choose who he serves while he gets paid for it", not "never serving wizards again". Also, when Dumbledore offered Dobby ten Galleons a week and weekends off (which is the minimum wage in the Wizarding World) when hiring him to work in the Hogwarts kitchens, Dobby was uncomfortable with this because he felt it was too much, so he bargained down to one Galleon a week and a day off per month instead. Or are they just trying to avoid punishment from their human overseers by seeming to be grateful for the slave labor they’re forced to do note and most wizards, who aren't open-minded people just take these claims at face value so they don't have to bother themselves with the implication of having slaves?
At one point, Hermione speculates that the House-Elves are psychologically conditioned to like being enslaved, which is something that has happened to slaves in real life. When you read into it more, you realize that this assumption actually does have a lot of basis in fact; the House-Elves are psychologically conditioned to physically punish themselves severely if they fail a task or disobey their masters. If they're mentally compelled to do that to themselves, what other things are they mentally compelled to do to themselves?
The series also repeatedly demonstrates that the house-elves are fine with working for wizards as long as their masters treat them with kindness. With that in mind, it explains why the Hogwarts house-elves are upset when Hermione tries to trick them into being freed by leaving out hats and socks for them. Serving at Hogwarts under Dumbledore is the best job that a house-elf can get in Wizarding Britain, so being forced to leave would have forced them into an even worse enslavement, something that Hermione clearly doesn't consider at all
| Guest chapter 1 . 12/19/2020
Skyrim can't beat Thalmor by itself
| Tenjo chapter 1 . 11/26/2020
I’m confused. He’s only 140, but he’s unable to stand on his own without struggling? The only reason he’s alive is because he’s the MoD? That doesn’t add up. Dumbledore was 120 years old and, even when he was cursed, he‘d always been described as spright. Hell, even Armando Dippet only died when he was 300 years old which implies that should you not die in war or to dragonpox, the magical life expectancy is somewhere around 180. But you have Harry, the literal master of fucking death, and his body is failing at 140?
| Tina Saliceti-Irizarry chapter 5 . 10/3/2020
| Amargi'sNodachi chapter 16 . 8/15/2020
Well he’s screwed
| Kaiimei chapter 1 . 7/19/2020
Don't forget that Dumbledore was 115 when he was killed, witches and wizards live much longer lives than Muggles.
The life expectancy of the average wizard was 137.75 years, and the oldest wizard known was Barry Wee Willie Winkle, who celebrated his 755th birthday in 1991.
So if Harry had 14 decades of life, he was only 25 years older than Voldemort, who was still pretty physically spry, despite fighting in at least three separate wars.
But whatever, having him die like that is just a catalyst I guess.
| Guest chapter 32 . 1/4/2020
well i do hope you keep righting it my good man.
| OrdealOfMc chapter 1 . 12/8/2019
I thought I'd share my thoughts on why I'm reading original. You know how when you were a small kid and drawn something, and it looked absolutely brilliant to you, but you wanted to perfect it, and tried to redraw it? but when you did, but the result was no genuine-looking in your eyes, and that imperfect first drawing looked so much more lovely in your eyes? yeah, this is the same... from the surprising plot, and holes that lead us down the plotting rabbit hole, to story telling that feels just right in my eyes, I love this story;*
| Nikkless chapter 17 . 10/31/2019
ill be dropping this fic it became idiotic and stupid it was quite good until last chapter.
| Nikkless chapter 16 . 10/31/2019
didint like this chap
| Nikkless chapter 16 . 10/31/2019
wtf is this about harry giving the hallows away? thats just stupid
| Nikkless chapter 13 . 10/31/2019
harry opposed to sneaking around he has a invisibility cloak
| Nikkless chapter 10 . 10/30/2019
yes at last magic
| Nikkless chapter 6 . 10/30/2019
dosent harry know occulemens
| Nikkless chapter 6 . 10/30/2019
this really feels like an oc with the same name as harry and im really annoyed about harrys magic . otherwise the fic is interesting