A Defense for Sirius Black
After reading a lot Pre-Harry and the Golden Trio stories (a.k.a. Lily, James, Remus, Sirius, Narcissa, Bellatrix, Lucius, Peter Pettigrew, and original Order of the Phoenix's era) I have seen a disturbing tendency among my fellow authors and see the need to point it out in hopes that someone will have a light bulb of common sense go off.
People, just because we are writing stories about the Wizarding World where nothing is quite so feared as logic and common sense doesn't mean we have to be stupid too. Yes, I know a shocking idea. Please stay with me a bit longer, and for those of you who do have common sense, I sincerely apologize for that bit of unpleasantness, no matter how true, that you had to read. It was not aimed at you.
I am not addressing the horrifying stereotypicalness and immature characters, plotlines, and plot devices used to write most Lily and James' romances. I am here to take a stand for one Sirius Orion Black. He may have been a bully at some point in his career at Hogwarts, but he was not a vain idiot with an I.Q. lower than Dudley who's dramatic to the point of ridiculous stupidity, and is more vain than an idiotic blond (no offense to blondes intended) queen bee on hyper medicine.
Okay, so most readers from Harry Potter have completely trashed canon, but seriously? There's abuse, and then there's plain old mutilation people! There is nothing in canon that has even hints at Sirius of having the attitudes stated above that way too many authors portray him with. We know he was hot before he went to Azkaban- that doesn't mean he was a sex whore and the most popular guy in school who slept with every girl except Lily and the Slytherins.
We know he was hot-headed and passionate and loyal to his friends- trying to kill Snape, coming to look for the Potters when he didn't know if Voldemort was hanging around, and not to mention running away from home because he couldn't stand his family's beliefs.
That doesn't mean he was this crazy guy with no emotional discipline who switched moods at a drop of a hat!
After Azkaban- if it is all canon says it was, there was no way Sirius wasn't changed, damaged, and in need of serious therapy after he got out. So trying to compare his after 12 years in Azkaban character to his former character like many authors I'm assuming do (how else could they be so truly horrible a writer?) is pointless.
So what do we know about pre-Azkaban Sirius that is directly supported by canon (such as it is)?
He was passionate- fiercely loyal to friends, had a hot enough temper to go in a rage and try murder one of his classmates he knew for at least seven years, and when he decided to believe in something he played it all the way through- getting himself disowned, loosing his family, his wealth, his status, and his home in his late teens.
Not to mention standing up against Voldemort- and everybody knew it.
He was incredibly intelligent- Animagus transformation is supposed to be one of the hardest pieces of magic to master- yet three boys did it in their early teens with no supervision or teacher.
Not to mention strong-willed- the drive and discipline of a young teenage boy to master the Animagus transformation, the will to stay mostly sane and focused in Azkaban, the will to stand up to his whole family and break the mold not only with his beliefs.
Another piece that everyone seems to think is canon- just because someone is a pureblood doesn't mean they go into Slytherin. People have assumed, but no one knows who the pureblood families of the Wizarding World are besides some of the Death Eater families and the Potters. So why does everyone think Sirius is the only pureblood from a dark family sorted into another house?
It's like Rowlings tried to create a Star Wars "darkside" a.k.a. the Slytherins and the "lightside" a.k.a. the Gryffindors. Only, it doesn't work because people aren't like that.
Just because people are ambitious doesn't mean they're evil- heck, if someone really works to succeed by climbing up the job ladder, technically they are ambitious! And what about the people that run countries? I dare anyone to say that a politician isn't ambitious on some level.
Also-why no one seems to think that perhaps the beliefs and practices that Sirius's family had been trying to indoctrinate into him for 16 years didn't have some affect on his basic manner and personality? I'm sorry, that spectacularly fails the common sense test. Not to mention the psychology test. (Sorry for the off-topic rant, but it did need to be said).
So, hello people! WTF! Why are all these authors (not all of them, but it's pretty hard to find one's that not- and if anyone knows any, I'd be grateful if they could pass on the name and story) portraying Sirius in this manner?
I simply do not understand. If someone likes Harry Potter enough to write about, and is curious enough to venture into the "golden" past, why do they completely trash it? Can someone please explain it to me? Because I just don't get it.
Now, in all fairness, if someone portraying Sirius this way marked their story as an AU, that would be totally fair and fine and jazz. They marked their story as straying away from canon- I have no basis to complain if I go ahead and read it, knowing that I'm not interested in it or whatever.
But people don't! They completely butcher a character, ignore whatever hints and bases the legitimate author gave us for his character, and you know what? I think people who actually freakin' read the books are stupid enough to think that Sirius is really like that!
Can someone please explain their thinking to me? Because, I, who have a 3.8 GPA (yes, I dare you to call me stupid or ignorant. And just because I have that good a GPA doesn't mean that I think intelligence is based on grades- the GPA was just an example, so don't get riled up at me for discrimination- I have just clearly stated I don't think that way) am obviously too stupid to understand people's reasoning.
That's the end of my rant people. Despite my tone in the above paragraphs, I am not aiming my frustration at anyone specifically. I am only trying to raise awareness of what I think of as a serious issue. I used to love reading about the pre-golden trio era, but now I don't even read Harry Potter fan fiction anymore because it's gotten so ridiculous.
When writers like the ones I have mentioned above do this, they kill other people's love for reading. And the whole website about fan fiction is supposed to be about exploring worlds we all know and love together, of making them brighter, of showing them at a different angle, of exploring and sharing new ideas with each other.
When people completely trash characters, I can't help but feel they are destroying a little part of another world- and isn't that directly against the concepts and emotions behind fan fiction writing?
So, fellow readers and authors, I ask you to take a stand. I ask you to respect the principles on which millions and billions of readers all across the globe are here for.
I ask you to be conscientious about all the other readers who use this site before you publish a story.
I ask for respect- for your fellow readers and authors, for the books we devour, for the characters we love, for the worlds we loose ourselves in.
Please. Take a stand.