Author's Note: Before I begin I need to give credit to JKR for Ginny Weasely, and Teresa Nielsen Hayden for the Stupid Plot Tricks List, on which I have based this fic, and which can be accessed at: her lists - they're hysterical!
Tips for the Hero's Own True Love...
34. I will never take a vow to marry only someone who can defeat me. I will learn of any laws which limit my marriage options and work towards their repeal. I will decided when and who I marry, thank you very much.
Well obviously. The only person likely to 'limit my marriage options' is Mum – I can just see the gleam in her eyes as she contemplates Potter-Weasley grandchildren – but it's not like I can't take Mum on. Well, so long as I've a good set of earplugs.
35. I will not freeze in terror in the presence of monsters or servants of the Evil Overlord.
Does any 'Hero's One True Love' really do this? I mean, I might have – once! – but there was the whole being-possessed-by-the-most-evil-wizard-who-ever-lived (aka Voldemort) thing, so it wasn't like I was actually scared of the monster/servant of the Evil Overlord.
36. If I have a friend who never seems to be around when the Hero shows up and clobbers the Bad Guys, I will draw the appropriate conclusions.
Yeah, I already know who the Hero (aka Harry Potter) is thank you very much – and Harry would not be so good at the whole Secret Identity thing. He's the worst liar I've ever seen.
37. If I am captured by the Evil Overlord and escape, I will assume that he is tracking me in some manner. If I am going to the hidden rebel base, I'll first go to an alternate location, change clothing, equipment and means of transportation, and then go to the hidden rebel base.
If I'm captured by Voldemort I'm fairly sure he'll just kill me, but if he doesn't…well a hot bath and a shower to a great deal to make a girl feel like herself once more.
38. If I have a copy of the Evil Overlord's plans and my capture is imminent, I will not send the only copy of those plans away with a cute little sidekick. I will make many copies of the plans and send them away with many cute little sidekicks.
Voldemort has a plan? He keeps getting beaten by a bunch of 'pesky kids!" Still, I will take note of this, and in the event of my coming across written documentation of this supposed 'plan,' I will send them away with Pig andErrol and as many of the Hogwarts owls as I can get my hands on.
39. I will learn unarmed combat, so that I can kick Bad Guys between the legs, and put my elbow into the Evil Overlord's solar plexus when he uses me as a human shield. I will not, however, attempt to tackle a Bad Guy bare-handed as long as more practical alternatives exist.
One of the many reasons why growing up with six brothers is a good thing – I already know unarmed combat! I learned early on the weak spots of the male anatomy, and Fred taught me how to throw a punch, so I'm all set.
40. I will learn armed combat, so that when the Evil Overlord and the Hero are engaged in mortal combat, I can grab some dead henchman's weapons and help tilt the odds in the Hero's favor.
Not like I had much of a choice really – Defence Against the Dark Arts is an "essential part of the curriculum" (Percy Weasley, 1994) after all. Then Harry went on with the whole 'Dumbledore's Army' thing (named by me!) and between the two I think I've a fairly good grip on the whole Curse-Dodge-Hex-Duck thing.
41. I will practice broken-field running so that I can actually run from one place to another without tripping over every shadow, crack, and pebble along my path.
What are brooms for exactly?
42. If the Evil Overlord tries to force me into marriage, I will insist on a ceremony so expensive that it will debilitate his industrial capacity. I will be picky about the tiniest details of the ceremony and change my mind frequently so that the resulting delay will give the Hero more time to rescue me.
Isn't Voldemort about seventy? I mean, I'm sixteen, so it's kind of illegal. And icky. But all right – on the express understanding that I will be rescued (or even better, will rescue myself) and the 'marriage' will never been consumated, I'll do it.
43. My own sidekicks will be picked for brains, not looks.
Don't get me wrong, I love Luna and Neville, but…I have a feeling they'd resent me calling them sidekicks. And Luna's smart and all but…well she's got that whole mind on another planet thing going on (which, yeah, is cool and great and don't you dare make fun of her, but…makes her a bit hard to understand sometimes.)
44. Since liberated women are still allowed to have it both ways, I will not rule out using my womanly wiles to defeat the Evil Overlord. Even if it only works on Stupid Bad Guys, it never hurts to try.
I've had the misfortune to meet several of Voldemort's Stupid Bad Guys, and aside from the fact that they're all serving a Dark Lord of Unspeakable Evil, they're not exactly the kind of men who have to beat them off with sticks, if you know what I mean. All right, I know Lucius 'I Like to try to Murder Eleven Year Old Girls' Malfoy is a bit of a fox, and has an interesting fashion sense (see for instance, the pimp cane) but otherwise… I'll just need to have a strong stomach and 'think of England,' i.e. the Wizarding World once Voldemort and his pathetic little cronies are gone.
45. After being forced into a compromising situation, I will not grab a weapon from the Bad Guy and toss it to the Hero when he walks in; I will instead grab a weapon from the Bad Guy and use it on him myself, before the Hero walks in.
Who Bat-Bogey-Hexed Draco Malfoy? Yours truly, that's who. Why should Harry have all the fun?
46. Likewise, if I catch the Hero in a compromising situation with another woman, I will give the Hero the benefit of whatever doubt might reasonably exist.
Unless her name is Cho Chang, I will assume that Harry has been duped. If her name isCho Chang then…well quite frankly I'll have to question his taste.
47. When the Evil Overlord forces me to help betray the Hero, I will make a show of resistance and then feign capitulation. I will then use whatever resources are placed at my disposal to screw the Evil Overlord (in a metaphorical sense, of course).
It might be a bit hard to 'make a show of resistance'/'feign capitulation' under the Imperius curse, but we'll see. What's my natural strength of character for after all?
48. My clothing and footwear will always be appropriate for the occasion. It will enable me to run, climb, and fight, and will hide as large an assortment of personal weaponry as is practical. It will also protect me from frostbite and hypothermia. If my clothing becomes torn in a manner which threatens to kill me from exposure or transform me into cheesecake, I'll steal a jacket from some bad guy. As I am confident that my charm, loyalty and wit are enough to maintain the Hero's love, the harem girl outfit is reserved for private moments when we are living happily ever after.
Harem Girl outfit? That sounds more like something from one of Harry's fantasies (you just know he's had them – he's a right kinky bastard underneath all that butter-wouldn't-melt) than something the Death Eaters would actually do. Still, it's a suggestion that I'll keep in mind – maybe for his next birthday. As for warm clothing – I suppose Mum didn't knit all those jumpers for nothing.
49. I will not hesitate to lie about the Secret Location of the Rebel Base.
Well of course I would, but thanks to a little thing called the Fidelius Charm, it's not like I'll be able to tell the truth anyway!
50. If I have phobias about spiders, snakes, lightning, etc., I'll get therapy and overcome them, so that when lives depend on my ability to behave intelligently, I can do it. Since liberated women can still have it both ways, I will feign phobias in order to deceive or distract Bad Guys.
Me? Scared of spiders? Unless Ron is Harry's one True Love (which…isn't entirely impossible I suppose) that doesn't apply. Snakes…well, why would it have to be snakes? As for the whole acting meek and mild, I think I'd rather swallow my tongue. Harry owes me – so much. If I can dress up as a Harem Girl, he can pretend to be a Pirate!
51. If I am offered a bribe, I will accept it, and inform the Hero by a pre-arranged means. The happily-ever-after will be happier if we have a good nest egg to start on.
I think Harry already has a nest egg, but...it couldn't hurt to add to it, I suppose. At the least I'd be able to buy myself a better broom.
52. The Hero and I will have a pre-arranged signal so that if one of us is held at gunpoint and the other is ordered to drop his/her weapon, the hostage will know when to duck while the other one plugs the Bad Guy.
It's a bit hard to arrange a signal when the Hero is off on one of his adventures and hasn't been in contact for months. Seems like Harry's the one who needs to read this list. Guess I'll just have to rely on our innate understanding of each other (gag!)
53. Knowing that creatures with tentacles have a preference for True Loves, I will keep an eye out for them.
Honestly, are there any good sides to this whole True Love thing? Harry hasn't even declared his affection and already I'm at risk of any number of highly unpleasant deaths.
54. I will learn basic mountaineering skills so that when I'm dangling off a cliff the Hero can finish off the Evil Overlord instead of letting him escape in order to rescue me.
Wands. They come in useful for so many things – like Apparition.
55. If I am presented with a reasonable opportunity to save the day myself, I will at least try, and not wait for the Hero to do it.
Honestly, I never thought I'd be a True Love in the first place. But even so – what kind of True Love wouldn't at least try to keep the Hero out of situations that have an average-to-high possibility of getting him killed? I'm getting the impression that most True Loves really aren't up to the job of being a True Love – which is lot riskier than most quite frankly (I haven't even tried to get insurance.)
56. I will never buy an apple from peddlers plying their trade in remote places where the customer base could not possibly support them.
That all depends you know – only Hags and snakes have a consistent history of using apples for nefarious purposes – and I wouldn't want to assume… But, I suppose in my position it pays to be suspicious.
57. I will not give sloppy, wet kisses to the Hero until I verify that he isn't related to me.
Okay, Harry may be my fourth cousin six times removed or something, but…that's not all that uncommon in the Wizarding World, and it's about six generations back. I think we're safe!
58. I will not jump out of a lifeboat as it's being lowered over the side of a sinking ship. I'll either give my spot to a mother with a baby and join the Hero in a noble death, or sensibly stay on the lifeboat and treasure my memories of him forever.
Quite right, I will not jump – I will Apparate away from the sinking ship, and so will Harry, and we won't have any lifeboat related troubles whatsoever.
59. I will not steal confidential information from the Hero in an attempt to further my career, thus causing the Hero's dismissal from the team assembled to save the earth and severely damaging his efforts to succeed.
I'm only just sixteen! I haven't got a career, and unless this war ends sometime soon, I'm not going to have one, so this doesn't apply.
60. If the Hero tells me he wants to break up with me or quit his dangerous job for my protection, it's already too late; a kidnapping is already in the planning, and I will take all reasonable precautions against it.
Really? I knew Harry's stupid-noble-reason thing couldn't possibly end well. Damn and blast it anyway. (Seriously, why couldn't he have read this list? We would have had considerably fewer problems.)
61. I will obtain a device that the hero can use to locate me when I, despite my best efforts, am kidnapped.
Of course given the invariable fate of the True Love, the device will probably not work, or merely summon more Death Eaters, but it's worth a shot I suppose.
62. I will refrain from converting the Captain of the Guard to our side, as it means he will be killed while helping me to escape.
This makes my head hurt. Surely it's better to die fighting for the right side than live and do terrible things for the wrong one? Moral dilemnas aren't really my thing – I just want to blow stuff up.
63. I will not accept gifts from the Evil Overlord. They probably contain mind-control devices that would make me giddily happy to marry him. It's demeaning enough to be head-over-heels for the Hero, let alone a creep like the EO.
Word. Especially diaries. Diaries are Not On, let me just make that clear right now.
64. When the Sidekick rescues me, I will dump any gifts received from the Evil Overlord. They probably contain tracking devices, which would result in the Sidekick getting killed; then I'd have to listen to his confession of undying love while he croaks, and feel obligated to say some comforting baloney before his eyes close for the last time, and then after telling the Hero about his friend's courageous sacrifice, wind up naming our first child after him.
Okay, I'm sure that Ron loves me, really. But I just want to make this clear – he loves me in an entirely brotherly and platonic fashion. Anything else is just wrong. And I already named my pet after Ron (well, sort of), now I've to name my kid after him? (Incidentally, toilets are less effective Evil-Overlord-Gift disposal units than you might expect.)
65. There is a fifty-fifty chance that the Hero's Sidekick is in love with me. I'll find him a spunky, moderately attractive tomboy type about his height, and steer them towards each other. If they quarrel, they're in love; if they hit it off, she loves him, but he's secretly unhappy with her and still loves me, and the Hero will need to send them off on a mission together.
Ew! I just want to state once more, for the record and with absolute certainty that the Hero's Sidekick is not in love with me – even the Malfoys don't go in for that type of thing, and we Weasleys certainly don't! Besides which, he definitely is in love with a spunky, moderatelyattractive…know it all. (Sorry Hermione)
66. If I absolutely must scream, I'll use actual words with useful information. "I'M BEING EATEN BY A SHUGGOTH!" better enables the Hero to rescue me than does a simple ear-splitting "AAARRRGGHH!"
Well, in my one instance of screaming to date (in the Ministry of Magic) I did manage to be reasonably coherent at least, even though my ankle was sore.
67. When the Evil Overlord says that he was driven to his evil by my radiant beauty, I'll just kill him.
Well, I might ask if he's been reading bad poetry first ('radiant beauty?' Does that mean the sun shines out of my arse?)
68. I will never vow to slay the killer of my brother or other near relative; there is a fair-to-middling chance that the Hero did it, that it was an accident, and that I won't learn he did it until after I fall in love with him.
I don't think Harry would kill any of my brothers – not even if I wanted him to. I might just be able to convince him to throw mashed parsnip at Percy, but frankly I think that's aiming a little high. See what I meant when I said stupid and noble?
69. If someone capable of feeling pain covers my mouth with their hand, I will make use of my pearly whites at the moment when my captor can least afford to be distracted.
People need to be told this? Clearly all True Loves need several annoying older brothers.
70. I will save my ethical dilemmas for times when I don't have an enemy at gunpoint.
I don't think Dumbledore would approve of that kind of behaviour – we must choose between 'what is right and what is easy' after all. Besides, what's a gun?