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Rose of the West

I was going to suggest that everyone who wants to play offer to join in, and then you can assign us all different girls to try this with.

3/18/2013 #211

OK. Is anyone else in? If it's just two of us, I won't make a thread, but if there are more, it sounds like a plan.

If not, your Harem Owner is Luna. Remember, it's Het - Luna and a bunch of dudes.

3/18/2013 #212
I might join in. I'm not sure.
3/18/2013 #213
Rose of the West

Ooo... Ben should get one of the Black sisters...

3/18/2013 #214

Definitely. Ben, if you're in, you get Bellatrix.

3/18/2013 #215
Well, I don't deny I wouldn't mind...
3/18/2013 #216
Hmm...Ok. Is this another RP thing or what?
3/18/2013 #217
Sorry. Had a Brain Fart. Please disregard the previous question.
3/18/2013 #218

No, it's going to be like a challenge thread. Stand by - I'm making the post now.

3/18/2013 #219


3/18/2013 #220

So I'm in the Great Matriarchal Harem Fic Challenge with Cho Chang. Gives me a lot of wiggle room, even with strict canon compliance. Some things instantly spring to mind.

  1. No goddamn secret "Asian" magic (smeg off, Study in Magic). So often this is done simply to make characters with any ethnicity interesting. So cheap. Not doing it. Every single "harem target" will ask about it, though. Cho, a British-born witch from a long line of Purebloods, will have rapidly increasing levels of annoyance in response.
  2. The "hard target" harem member will be Harry. Usually, there is one "target" that has more problems joining the harem than others. Harry will be this one. I'm not sure he'll actually ever join. Cho will go from minor crush to lukewarm on him over the course of the fic, but everyone will expect him to be an early and popular target. He won't be.
  3. A plot focus on personal, constructive, non-combat magic. Cho isn't a front line warrior, but is smart enough to have realized joining the DA was a good idea for self defense reasons. She might have gone in with romantic ideas about fighting Voldemort because of Cedric, but she quickly realizes she isn't really cut out for that. In canon, she returns for the battle at Hogwarts, but I despise that book with a fiery, burning hate, so I might just ignore everything there. Anyway, this isn't a horcrux hunt, it is a harem fic. I want to spend at least a little time working on how people use magic in day-to-day life - if they weren't raised in a broom cupboard or by an overbearing mother who won't let them use magic at home, that is.
  4. Love Potions: have to figure out how to deal with them. I'm thinking what people actually buy are the "joy buzzers" of the emotional-control potions hierarchy. In no logical world do people sell something worse than date rape drugs out of shops. Sure, they make you act weird, but it is just a shallow thing. You babble a good game while on them, but they don't actually make you try to assault anyone. Hospital wing stay is at the same level as other pranks, mostly to keep the person from being too badly embarrassed. People might accuse someone of using them, but that isn't seriously a thing that adults believe makes someone actually fall in love. Serious potions capable of stuff that Merope Gaunt might have used them for are really dark, really hard to make, and really illegal.
  5. No marriage contracts silliness for me. Too easy.

I'm working on my "obstacle" right now. Not sure what it'll be, but I think I'll have one. It might drive "The Gathering" or be something that is simply easier now.

Related: I've also got no idea which required trope element I'll be ignoring...if any. Suggestions, ideas on your fic?

Ha! I just realized it would be a lot more interesting (read: hard) if you had to not only ignore one, but actively subvert that element of the trope. I might make that a personal rule just because. That would mean I have to pick one harem element to destroy and completely overturn in my fic, but in a serious and logical way.

For example: the harem isn't there to comfort or help Cho. Instead, the plot McGuffin causing "The Gathering" that's happening to her was actually a plot by Voldemort to distract Harry from training to fight him effectively, it just misfired and hit her somehow.

Tons of ideas, very excited, welcoming input from everyone.


3/18/2013 #221
Instead, the plot McGuffin causing "The Gathering" that's happening to her was actually a plot by Voldemort to distract Harry from training to fight him effectively, it just misfired and hit her somehow.

This is awesome. Also, if you want to play on the ethnicity thing, there was a Margaret Cho bit where she talked about people being confused "Because I look like this, but I talk like this." (she has a very pronounced Southern Californian accent).

Meanwhile, I've discovered that it's difficult to do this without some really, really bad writing. Not impossible, just difficult. Especially if (like me) your characters are over 18.

3/19/2013 #222

Some more challenge stuff! Sorry, not using my previous McGuffin idea. Got something I like more for this challenge, though. Love and remember the Margaret Cho bit - might end up using a thinly disguised version of that.

My first shot at a Summary paragraph:

Cedric was dead. Voldemort was public knowledge. Her family was fleeing to France, but not Cho. She planned to stay at Hogwarts that summer and her 7th year and fight the Ravenclaw way: smart. Now Head Girl and riding herd on a swarm of boys, her plan for a secret weapon, a quiet summer to mourn her love, and a sane personal life were a smoking ruin. Cho/HetHarem challenge.

Rules checklist:

  • CHECK 1)Takes place during Hogwarts years
  • CHECK 2)Harem size builds
  • CHECK 3)Harem is there to comfort harem owner, and help overcome an obstacle
  • MAYBE NOT 4)Harem owner shy about all the attention
  • HARRY OR NEVILLE, NOT SURE 5)One of the harem is always the primo/a inter pares. But they're all totally cool with the arrangement.
  • CHECK 6)School and parental rules are bent (after some light persuasion) to maintain the harem


The last week of June 1996, a week after Voldemort's return is proven at the Department of Mysteries, Cho Chang's family decides to move to France to escape Voldemort's inevitable violent rampage. Cho wants to finish her education and despises the very idea of running away from the monster who killed Cedric, so she successfully argues to stay behind. Her parents, however, want her to have a safe place to live for the next year. She is able to get her Head of House, Flitwick, to help arrange for her to stay at Hogwarts that summer, as he is also staying at the castle over the break.

However, unknown to her family, someone finds out about a student staying over the summer break and word spreads – but not the specifics of her family's plans. Other parents owl the Headmaster and Deputy Headmistress and demand their kids be allowed to spend the summer at Hogwarts, the safest place in Great Britain. Unsurprisingly, only the parents of the older boys think it is a good idea to leave a bunch of teenagers loosely supervised over the summer, and they collectively assume this was a young-men-only arrangement. The rest of Cho's classmates and female friends arrange for extended holidays on the Continent, only to return for the next school year in September.

When Cho gets to Hogwarts a week later, she is surprised to find a bunch of boys already there. They hang out in inappropriate clothing, throw magical beach parties in empty classrooms, are assigned personal rooms instead of sleeping in their dorms, and, for some reason, the huge Prefect's hotsprings-err, bathtub is the only one working. Something about the House dorms and other bathrooms being closed for magical cleaning and maintenance every summer. Professor Flitwick gives Cho her Head Girl badge with a shrug and tells her she's now responsible for keeping the students in line over the summer, giving and taking points as if school were in session. He then disappears back into his office and is seldom seen outside of meals in the great hall. All of the other professors are on vacation and the Headmaster is absent on political missions virtually every day, morning to night.

Being the smartest witch in Ravenclaw (maybe the school – that bint Hermione is all facts and figures, no art in her magic), Cho realizes she is going to need a magical solution to both keep an eye on everyone and get some privacy. Using her knowledge of Runes and Arithmancy, she designs some magical floating stones based on ancient, pre-Druidic ward stones to detect when any boys might be around and monitor the huge, empty castle. After a week of long, late nights and several trips to the Restricted section of the library, they end up working like, well, magic. Her research on additional uses of these stones leads her to design a floating, seven stones array that, assuming her calculations are correct, will provide a powerful secret weapon to help defeat Voldemort once and for all.

The only catch is, the elements of this super weapon need to be created by temporarily using almost the entire power of a witch or wizard's magical core. This leaves the donor weak, but they quickly recover completely with no harmful side effects. At least, she thinks that's what will happen. Also, every stone in the array structure needs to be created from a different person's magic, and none can be hers. Not willing to trick the boys into providing the power like a Slytherin, she sets out to openly convince and fully inform seven volunteers to help her with her summer project. The problem is, being teenage boys, they really only have one thing on their mind, and it isn't runic arrays. Getting their attention is easy. Getting them to focus is the problem.

Deciding everyone needs the training anyway to defend themselves against Voldemort, Cho helps to restart the DA and takes the opportunity to start talking the boys into helping with her magical project. After the first two volunteers have run through the process, Cho starts suspecting something weird has gone wrong. Those two boys are on her mind constantly now – in her thoughts during the day and in her dreams at night. Embarrassing, inconveniently messy dreams.

To top it all off, she's now magically sparkling at inopportune times through the day and prone to very...interesting daydreams. The magical side effect, it seems, is the same as some "Love Potions," bringing the boys to the front of her mind (and her to theirs). She's not in any danger of losing control and assaulting anyone (or, goddess forbid, the other way around), but it is very, very distracting. She's mortified but the boys seem strangely understanding.

The only solution, the teachers and healers find, is to replace the magical obsession with real experiences and feelings, even if those turn out not to be romantic ones. Madam Pomfrey and Professor Flitwick inform her of the cure but also tell her that it must be simultaneously enacted on all targets of the magic. Otherwise, the result could be an even more dangerous and potentially unstable magical obsession with or, worse, from one of them. In other words, she needs to date both of the boys, at the same time, and explore her feelings naturally for the magic to be broken. She doesn't really mind – after all, some of them are really cute and they're all bravely training to fight Voldemort together. The boys obviously don't mind (most of them get along pretty well already, having spent a lot of time in the DA last year) and they both jump at the chance for more time with her, even if they have to share.

After the next volunteer, her third stone, she discovers the side effect is back, now for all three boys. The "cure" process has to be repeated after every additional stone is added to the array, meaning she'll end up dating all seven boys at the same time by the end of her project. After careful calculations, she finds this is a fair trade for the power to defeat Voldemort – she doesn't actually have to do anything with these boys. But soon, Cho starts to realize she is beginning to have genuine, non-magically-induced feelings for all of her brave boys.

3/20/2013 #223

Lol. I'm sporking the shit out of the "Magical Core"

"Now, Ms. Granger, Healer Bellam told me some about your condition, and I believe the problem you are experiencing isn't a problem at all, but rather an enlargement of your Magical Core."

"My what?" Hermione said, laughing. "My Magical Core? Right. Next thing you're going to tell me is that I must use the Force to control it. Am I on the wireless or something? Is this a joke?"

Ephraim let Hermione's line of questioning run its course before he continued. "Not at all, Ms. Granger. In fact, knowledge of the Magical Core is something we in the Mysteries discipline have had since the 7th Century. Up until the Enlightenment, magical children were often tested for the size and strength of their magical cores. Those with smaller cores were left in the woods to die. So, beginning in 1792, all public testing of Magical Cores stopped, and anyone who was caught performing that test was sent through the veil. A government could enact drastic measures like that in the 18th Century."

"Alright," Hermione replied. "Then why is it a myth today? Why isn't the concept of a Magical Core simply ignored or unheard of?"

"Because people are going to ask themselves - and each other, for that matter - why some witches' and wizards' spells have more potency than others. It was easier to encourage the populace to create mythology, rather than have to answer awkward questions every few generations when someone figured it out. This way, when a scientifically-inclined person does discover the Magical Core, they will be branded a crackpot, and the idea will be summarily dismissed."

Harry was stunned. "But - but that's blatant, naked manipulation of the people!" he protested.

Ephraim smiled as one would to a five year old who was told he couldn't have a candy bar. "My dear boy," he said, "what is it that you think the purpose of Government is?"

3/22/2013 . Edited 3/22/2013 #224
Arpad Hrunta
I really hope you post some version of this at some point, and it's brilliant even as it is. Ephraim's final line is just breathtakingly cynical and great.
3/22/2013 #225

Done and done...

3/22/2013 #226

okay, i'm having a bit of a problem with one of the fics i'm working on. the idea is that Petunia got Severus to take Harry soon after he was found on the Dursley's door step. angsty bits are involved in the beginning, so i'm good with that. flash forward ten years and Harry (who doesn't know he's Harry) is on his way to Hogwarts and getting his supplies and whatnot with his dad who is actually Severus Snape. and there's parental rumination with that, and i'm good there.

but i don't know is how to get Harry to sound like he's an eleven year old boy being introduced to a brand new world for the first time and not the mouth piece for my questions and ponderings about magical theory. every time i try to get him to interact with one of his fellow students, he ends up sounding like a well-read 20-something woman. same with Hermione. no bueno. any resources you guys might know about would be helpful, especially since i don't have time to go hang out with eleven year old boys (... or plausible cause... "honestly, officer, i just want to know what he's thinking. it's for this story i'm writing...") and recording their conversations is illegal without parental consent.

4/4/2013 #227

You could find some of the old, non-animated, real-actor Disney movies with kids in them. That's like real children.

In general, I can only suggest a few basic things. But maybe I'm not the best to do so, as so far I've avoided kids talking to kids as much as possible. It isn't fun for me. So take this with a grain of salt.

I'd try to make the sentences either short or actually run-ons, depending on the kid. If talking to another young kid, I'd avoid deep conversation about philosophy, but you can still have them wondering about things happening around them with straight-forward language.

It might help to think of the kids as being more self-centered than most adults. They'll ask other people about how they feel and what they're doing, but it'll seldom be about things they aren't worried about themselves. Classes, favorite toys and activities, teachers, other kids. They also usually have stronger preferences for using favorite words and phrases than most well-spoken adults would consider acceptable. Try figures of speech that seem cheesy to your adult sensibilities and employ euphemisms that they'll likely not really know the meanings of and sometimes misuse.

In my opinion, JK wasn't very good at the kids' dialog. Not Twilight terrible, but not great. Most of the kids other than Harry are plot-pumps, giving out further information on demand and setting the scene for Harry's own emotions. She does the later teenager stuff okay, but that isn't what you're having issues with. Anyway, I'm sure some of that had to do with how long her books got (especially for kids books) so there was less time for character setting dialog.

I think setting up your Harry to have little Snape-isms that he uses in casual conversation could turn awkward talking into something cute and memorable. On the other hand, in my mind at least, Hermione does talk like a well-read young professor, so you need to find the tone you're comfortable with in your story and with your characters.

4/4/2013 #228
Bad Mum

11-year old boys are self-centred, more worried than they'd care to admit about what other people think about them, slightly scared of girls (though they'd never admit it), and mostly keen to be seen as a "big man" - in control, better than those darned teachers, not too bothered about schoolwork, one of the lads.

Keep sentences short.

An 11-year old will want to know how magic will affect him - "Can I do that?" "Can I fly a broom?" "Will someone curse me?"

They'll also pick up on a tiny detail and go off at what an adult will see as a tangent.

They might ask questions that betray their worries. "Which house will I be in?" might hide an underlying fear of whether they'll be with nice people.

An 11-year old boy will probably also be overly concerned with what he'll eat and how often!

And if he's not used to wizard fashion, he might be worried about the robes. With the boys I work with, looking or being thought to be "gay" is the worst thing ever.

Mostly at that age, girls stick with girls and boys with boys. There's a lot of jeering and giggling about who fancies who, and teasing of people who are thought to be "going out".

An lot of them will pick up very quickly on something they see as injustice and dwell on it. There's a lot of potential with Harry for why he was never told about the magical world before, and for him being bitterly resentful about it.

Hope that helps.

4/5/2013 #229

I had this idea in my head to day and I had to write it down. It's for my own LBPB story. I was inspired by a scene from Justified.

Dennis Creevey is a Spy for the Death Eaters, and he's decided to try and kill Harry. Harry tries his best to give him the opportunity to turn it all around, just lower his wand. When Dennis doesn't, the person Dennis brought with him to try and kill Harry pulls a Wand on Dennis. Harry curses Dennis, above the Heart. It's a curse that will kill a person slowly.

After giving him a speech, Harry mercy kills him, and tells him right before he does to close his eyes.

Keep in mind that this is in a War, and Voldemort by this point has taken over.

Can it work? Or does it need work? Or what?

4/30/2013 #230

Wait, does Harry curse Dennis, or does the person with him curse him? What happens to the other guy? Why is he killing him slowly? I'm not big on death bed speeches with no action, but I suppose it could work.

Edit: will we find out why Dennis was working for the DEs? It might feel kind of rushed/random if the audience doesn't have a smidgen of motivation, but I like the idea of a kind of out of the blue spy.

4/30/2013 . Edited 4/30/2013 #231

The person with him curses him, because he was going to try and betray the Order by killing Harry. As for why the other guy did it, he's a sadist. As for the other guy, I'd like to think that Harry would kick his *** you know?

4/30/2013 #232
Can it work? Or does it need work? Or what?

I rarely say this, but no. Far too many moving parts, not enough rationale. And yeah, what Lo said about deathbed scenes, although that sounds more like a villain monologuing before flipping the switch to his doom machine, allowing the hero to break free and stop him. Honestly, if you flesh out your idea by a factor of about a bazillion, give or take, it would help.

Does that make sense? Probably came out a whole lot harsher than I intended...

4/30/2013 #233

Sorry, I'm super confused. I'm going to write this out and you correct where my brain has malfunctioned:

DC tries to kill HP to betray the order.

DC brought Random with him.

Random was also in it to kill HP.

Random curses Dennis because (?)

Harry mercy kills.

4/30/2013 #234

It's not that it's harsh. I can deal with harsh. But can you maybe put it a bit more simply?

And quite honestly, it's a weak idea anyway. Besides, like I said, I was inspired by a show I love.

4/30/2013 #235

If Dennis brought a friend with him to kill Harry, why would he then kill Dennis for trying to kill Harry?

Surprise betrayals are usually fun, but I think this needs to be fleshed out some more. I do this sometimes, where I get a scene that looks fantastic in my head, but I can't ever get it to work on paper.

4/30/2013 #236
Besides, like I said, I was inspired by a show I love.

What happened in that show?

4/30/2013 #237

That's about right Lo.

Because the guy was on Harry's side, Chelsey. But I agree. I don't know how it'd work on paper.

4/30/2013 #238

Well, a guy tried to kill his Former Boss. He recruited His Boss' cousin to help him. Thing is, the cousin had tipped the boss off. The boss shot the guy, and mercy killed him. At least, that's how the scene went.

4/30/2013 #239
Yeah, that sounds like a scene from a multichapter fic.
4/30/2013 #240
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