Author has written 4 stories for Harry Potter.
I am an American woman who loves to write, but has always had to do it as a hobby because it doesn't pay the bills. I've been a teacher, a women's healthcare administrator, and a graphic designer, but none of these have ever felt as right as writing always has. There are lots of ways to "write." I've never been able to physically do so on a daily basis as a discipline, but I'm always playing with characters in my head. Sometimes they're my own, and sometimes they're someone else's.
I stumbled upon my first HP fanfic in 2006 and found out that the weird thing I constantly do in my head is called fanfiction. Such a relief to know that I'm not as freaky on the inside as I've always imagined myself to be! I've been writing fanfics in my head since my earliest memories of childhood. I just love a good character ensemble, and especially love when a storyteller leaves gaps in the plot that I have to flesh out for myself. I've probably done this the most with Star Trek, the Original Series (yes, I'm that old), but transferred that obsession to Harry Potter around 2003, when I finally started to read the series. I love this site, and have read hundreds of the HP stories here.
I've self published 3 novels as D.S. Kirchen, in which I introduce character ensembles that I created in my twenties and have carried with me for nearly thirty years. I like the fact that since they're mine, I can rewrite their histories if I want to as the world changes, and certain norms change as well. I love my characters, and my biggest fantasy would be to one day have enough success as a fiction writer for some of you fanfiction types to post your own renditions of the shoulda-coulda-woulda's that your imagination created after reading my novels. To me, that need to stay connected to the characters is what makes the world go 'round.
Update in August, 2020:
I can't help but compare today's global chaos to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, just before the Final Battle. I will confess that my own coping mechanism of escape via the perfect story has led me to revisit my first 3 stories about 20 times each since I finished them. They’ve gotten me through some very real hell. And I’ve so badly wished I had another story in me, or even better, the desire to write a sequel.
This week, I had a thought that I might be ready to challenge myself to write another fic. Periodically, I’ll receive a guest review criticizing the names of my Emancipated Minor fics as misleading because Harry does not end up on his own. Not my intention, and it bugs me too, and it has left the door open to write a fic that actually leads to Harry’s true independence while still resolving all of those awful wrongs committed against him. It’s also a chance to move out of the hurt/comfort genre and dip into the drama realm. Fewer hugs, fewer tears (I’ll truly try), more inspired action and confrontation. But there will be angst. Gotta love the angst!
So, since I'm STILL stuck on the Emancipated Minor plot bunny, I'll start at the same spot as EM and EM-E. Introducing Emancipated Minor: Harry's Independence
1) All of the applicable events of Book 5 (except OWLs) have occurred before the Christmas holidays
2) Umbridge has been carted off by the centaurs, Professor McGonagall was injured in an attack, as in the book, but will return to act as Headmistress
3) Remus will be reassigned as DADA professor
4) The horcruxes will add to the peril, and extend the ever present Lord Voldemort threat
5) The story again begins as the battle at the Ministry has just concluded, and on my timeline this is the last day of school before the Christmas break, and Harry is escorted back to Privet Drive by Snape to ride out the winter hols
6) Sirius is indeed dead (sorry, I loved him too, but he’d get in the way of Severus and Harry forming a bond, which is always my first priority)
7) Lucius is not evil, just a ponce. I’ll try to make him more of a ponce than I have in the past. That’s a hard one for me. Such is the consequence of casting Jason Isaacs to play him in the films. I keep veering towards writing him as a badass. Same with Severus!
8) Harry will discover a special ability, but this time I'm inclined to emphasize that it's something that any wizard can acquire if they put in the work.
That’s all I can think of, but suggestions are welcome. I have no idea where I’m going with this fic, except to officially and truly Emancipate poor Harry.
Author’s Note - The explanation behind Emancipated Minor - Extended (EM-E)
So… here’s what I’m playing at, literally:
I had one scene in my mind when I came up with the idea for Emancipated Minor, about 8 years ago, which I never acted on, but never forgot either. After I finished Failure to Thrive with such positive feedback, I decided I wanted to try to write another, and Emancipated Minor was the only other plot bunny I’d ever contemplated. Ironically, that scene, as I originally imagined, never made it into the story. A variation of it did which worked well, but I still kind of like the original and want a chance to put it into a story as well.
Writing Emancipated Minor was an exercise in letting go, like I’ve never done before, and it was fantastic. I’d think of a line of dialogue for each new chapter, and just go with it, until it felt complete, and then I’d post the piece and see what you all said about it. But as I was bringing the drama full circle and letting all of the obstacles between Harry and Severus get resolved, I realized I was running out of steam and, therefore, sources for that hurt/comfort/angst genre that the story fits into. By the time I got to Chapter 40, where they were in Gringott’s and all of the horcruxes were all there too, I went with it as I’ve been doing and I love what I wrote.
At the part where Bella curses Harry, I just sort of went with the blasting hex idea because that’s what my fingers typed. It felt right, and I think it worked great with the scene. But when I walked away, I thought… OMG, what if Bella had hit Harry with her very own, self created “time turning” hex, that sent Harry back about four weeks, minus one day???!!! …that would be the point in Chapter 6 of Emancipated Minor, when Severus goes up to see why Harry is late for their first dinner together and finds him asleep in the big armchair with one sock off and a very sore foot on display. What if when he awakens Harry, Harry wakes up not understanding that he’s gone back in time and has the audacity to speak on familiar terms with his potions professor… a simple shift in that first conversation as it belatedly dawns on Harry that he has traveled in time. Different words, different arguments, different threats and different responses.
Harry will have to start this whole thing over again, and return to the point where Severus is still being hurtful could change everything. Heh heh heh.
So, here are the rules for Emancipated Minor - Extended, or EM-E:
- Harry has come back to the evening of December 23.
- He retains all of the knowledge that he’s gained (magical and informational) in the past month, but his strength goes back to being easily drained.
- He loses his perfect eyesight.
- He is so destroyed by the loss of support from Severus especially, but also Lucius and Remus, he shuts down at first (goes numb with shock), and Severus misreads it, as he always manages to do, before he really knows Harry.
- Harry will change one immediate event intentionally, and that will change the way that everything which follows actually plays out.
In conclusion: EM-E has the same overall plot, I’m just going to tell it with different occurrences and events. I get to start over in some ways and can move farther along in others. Many of you expected Harry to struggle with abusive power over him until he was Emancipated, and actually so did I, but I didn’t have it play out that way the first time around. I’m curious to see if I can pull it off this time around. No promises, in that regard. It gets really challenging to keep Severus from showing compassion, and I’ve never seen Harry as being as bullheaded as some authors like to write him. My Harry is a survivor, first and foremost. But he is also eager to please, once he trusts a person. The challenge may be for Severus to re-earn Harry's trust now that he's suffered the biggest loss of all.
A note about my writing style: I’ve consciously spent more time in my head telling and retelling a scene with dearly loved characters than I can honestly say I’ve spent on any other endeavor in my life. I love doing this. I love telling a story one way, and then going back and changing something and rewriting it from there. I plan to do it with my published books as well one day. However, this is actually the first time that I’m going to do it publicly. I hope it fills that void that you are feeling as Emancipated Minor comes to an end. And if you have not yet read Emancipated Minor, this story may leave you feeling like I’ve glossed over important background information. So, of course, I’d recommend reading it first and returning to EM-E afterward.
Thanks for sticking with me! I’m thrilled to a state of giddiness that you’ve done so!